Saturday, 29 April 2017

Mess is mine

When people talk to me about my Husband I tell them he “goes alright”. When they find out that he halves the house & baby duties with me, often times tipping the scale on his side, they are visibly in awe; but I play that one down too – “So he should! I work just as much as he does.”

A fortnight or so ago, someone told me we were “perfect” & likened us to a fairy tale. I didn’t laugh directly in their face but I certainly had an internal chuckle. It did get me thinking though.

The first year or so nearly killed us both. We were two entirely different extremes; Jacob was the easy going good guy who had learnt to lie his way around tough relationship situations just to keep the peace. I was the high strung, emotional crazy wench with serious depression & anxiety issues. So, lies were told, trust issues ensued. Fights were so often sometimes I wonder if we had a break between them. Words were said, things were done. It was ugly. There were so many times we both had the mind to walk away. Was it worth all of this?
And that’s when the fairy tale comes in. There was no evil witch, no fire-breathing dragon. We were our own villains. But we worked so unbelievably hard at us. We talked. We cried. We screamed. We went to therapists. We talked again & again & again. Jake learnt not to lie to cover up his mistakes. I learnt to let go of things & found a proper balance to control my anxiety & depression. We slowly but surely overcame the horrible parts of our tale & suddenly it was clear skies. 
We decided to get married. Then we decided to make a tiny human. Through all of that, I can assure you, it has not been “perfect”. My Husband still makes big mistakes, like packing a bag to leave the night we found out we were pregnant… Or calling me the morning of our wedding to say he wasn’t sure he wanted to get married that day. I love the timing of his meltdowns. Speaking of meltdowns, mine are still quite often – more so over spilling formula & not getting all of the washing done. A “fight” is a big thing for us, almost something to mark on the calendar they are so rare. We know how to talk to each other & we know how to help each other. All thanks to that one year of hell.

What set these thoughts to paper was a song. A song I had heard so many times before but never thought of in any relation to my life – until now. Not supposed to be a love song but the words ring with so much meaning, they sound so much like our fairy tale. Relationships are always messy so find someone to share the mess with.

‘Mess is Mine’ – Vance Joy

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Insatiably Content

I know, it's an oxymoron isn't it? Currently, it is all that is me.

Never in my life have I had a lust, thirst, desire for MORE. Always there have been standards & goals but never really a need for more than what I had or what I could achieve. Maybe it's becoming a mother or maybe it's just hitting the back end of my 20's, but things have changed for me as of late.

Previously I sat in my dead-end job content with the fact that I was earning enough to live a happy life. Now I am starting to get fidgety. I'm good at my job but I can do more & suddenly I am starting to want that. Being unappreciated for the quality of work you put out is damaging. Slowly but surely it makes you think you are just doing a mediocre job instead of a bloody outstanding job. It's draining & unfulfilling. I want something more.

Photography is something I love but I haven't put my all behind it for a long, long time. I found a lot of people terribly hard to work with. I'm a candid lover & the posing was hard for me to swallow at every shoot. Not to mention the Bridezillas (especially the ones that didn't pay up after you drove for 2 hours to do their beach wedding). My camera is OLD. It's heavy & although the shots are still lovely I have found a new camera that I have fallen oh so in love with. It does everything I need it to do at a third of the weight & size... I want that camera & I want to take photos; of things, places, people & especially moments.

Funnily enough since giving birth I have become content with my body. I don't loath myself like I used to. I have packed on a good 10kg in the past 7 months; all due to emotional eating & simply making bad choices. Though I'm not stressed about the way my body looks, I want to feel healthier. I feel slow & tired. I want to wake up with more energy & I want to be able to RUN without gasping for air. I want to be fit & healthy. There's also a gorgeous pair of jeans in the bottom of my drawer begging to be worn this winter...

Travelling has always been a plan for later. Now it is a stirring beast that is so unsatisfied. Camel rides in Egypt, skiing in Japan, a New York hot dog from a corner stand are just a few of a million things I want to experience. Wanderlust - it's gnawing at me.

And yet, I have enough.

If I stay in the dead end job, if I never get another camera, if I never lose a kilo or board another plane - I will have a complete life void of nothing.

I come home every day to a Husband who loves me more than I could ever have hoped for. I wake up to the gurgles of a little girl who makes me whole by simply being. I call my Mum every day & hear about what she has been up to & tell her everything that has happened since I last seen her. My dogs wag their big boofy tails with insane happiness when they see me walk in - no matter what time of the day.

All of the wants & desires that may one day be a reality for me will be a bonus on top of an absolutely imperfectly perfect life. Happily I will remain insatiably content.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Resolutions to Last

A few weeks ago Hubby & I were discussing the upcoming end of the year. Jake believes that New Years Resolutions are silly & that if people need or want to change things they shouldn’t wait for a new year to do it but start working on it straight away. He has a point, of course. I on the other hand LOVE the idea of New Years Resolutions. For me the ticking over to 12:00am - although not ‘celebrated’ (usually pumping out the z’s well & truly before midnight) - brings hope & excitement. The first day of the first month of a brand new year sings opportunity to me. A fresh start. Another round of birthdays, Easter, Christmas & everything in between. Another 365 days with the knowledge & insight gained from all of the years past; but as is true every year that ticks over, I will have an extra 12 months of wisdom & ideas to guide me. An entire years worth of failures, triumphs, heartaches & joys that I did not have at the beginning of any new year before.

In saying all of this 2017 started in a way that I would never have deemed appropriate of being exciting, hopeful or happy. I woke up on the 1st of January in a 2-star Motel Room with nothing but Milo for breakfast & heading to my in-laws for a get together that would last most of the day. My in-laws aren’t big fans of me, or I them. It was a long day & came out the other side anxious & itching to be home. The support & love I am always surrounded with when I feel downtrodden was on the other end of a 12 hour drive. So instead of waiting until the early hours of the morning to take off, I asked hubby would he very much mind getting his ass in the car - right that instant. He didn’t miss a beat. Packing like we would win a prize if we were faster, we hit the road north at 4:30pm Queensland time.

Through the hours of driving in the rainy darkness I had so much time to think. Between stopping to change shitty nappies & refuel (ourselves & the car) it occurred to me that I still hadn’t made any promises to myself for the year ahead. I contemplated. Lose weight – obviously. Get ahead financially – another obvious one. I went through a few until it occurred to me that each New Years we make resolutions to force ourselves to do the things we hate or that are hard to do. Diet. Exercise. Saving. For me, all of these things come & go. Sometimes we scrooge our way through the months & other times it’s 2-minute noodles for tea & no new razors. Some days I do all things health & fitness. Other days I eat copious amounts of carbs & sugar & nestle myself into the couch so good I need a hand getting up. So no, this year I couldn’t bring myself to decide I wasn’t allowed to eat badly or splurge on the next Lego sale. I knew none of that shit would stick, it never does. I will happily ebb & flow on these.

Then I wondered what actually made my happy. So many things; good books and movies, bubble baths & tattoos, good music & dancing, gardening & baking, taking photos & writing. Little tiny day to day things. Things I have not let into my life quite enough because I have spent so much time deciding to be pro weight-loss & financial gain. I decided to make sure I filled my days with all of these little joys. I also realised that what made me that absolute happiest was my people. My family & friends. Not just them though. Yeah, they go alright, I love them to absolute bits & they of course light up my life but what really makes me swell with excitement, joy & contentment is seeing them happy.

And so my Twenty Seventeen truly begins – and the decision to make myself & everyone in my life as happy as possible. To simply enjoy. I think this one might stick & might be the resolution that lives on into each year.

Happy New Year to all. I hope your days & months fill with everything you hope for to make an amazing year.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Energy & Relationships

Yesterday while doing the dishes, I made a call. I put the phone on loud speaker & scrubbed at the coffee stain inside one of our cute little owl mugs. I held my breath as the ringing began & sighed when the message bank picked up. By my count that was the 10th time in 4 months - although I think there might be more that my baby-brain missed. With a tight throat & tears threatening to spill over, I left a message. Again.

I decided then that I had to stop. It absolutely killed me but the constant revolving door of hoping, trying & being shattered was killing me even more. The times I have been able to get in touch over the past few years have been met with mixed responses – sometimes warmth, mostly distant conversation & sometimes rudeness. I was never sure what I was going to get, but I always kept trying. When I think about it logically, without the emotion attached it makes sense to put aside the people who are hurting you & not look back. Family members, people I have considered family & friends who I thought worth my while have played the same actions, slowly drifting away or cutting ties without even a hint of why… that hurts. When some of the very few people I let have the privilege of attending our wedding don’t even tell you they won’t come, when my first child is born & I send a message to a bunch of people & had genuine responses from everyone except the two I wanted to hear from the most… When it’s a sibling that’s breaking your heart, for what seems like no reason at all… it cuts pretty deep.

For someone like me, who needs closure - to understand just what the hell happened on their end & get a chance to say my peace – it’s one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. My door will always be open if said people ever needed or wanted me in their life, I’m just built that way. I am close to many, many people who have hurt me & I have hurt also, some because trying to hold the grudge is completely pointless & being friends is a healthy choice, some because no matter what, you fix what’s broken & get a stronger bond for it; all of them because no matter how crazy busy & vastly different our lives are, no matter how much time passes, a random message/call/coffee date is never too hard.

For all of the people who are in my life, all of the different relationships I have with all of you - from those in my day-to-day to those I never get to see but love just as much, those I simply have a deep respect for because of the person they are, I am so thankful. I love all of you in different ways & you bring joy to my life, a lot of you without even knowing it. I have decided to put my energy here from now on & not chase ghosts. Here’s to the people that give us the most precious gift – their time, their energy, themselves. You guys rock.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Golf Balls & a Possum

Today I noticed that we had put away more savings than we had planned - a nice surprise with baby not too far away & several appliances that could finally die at any given moment. To celebrate, I asked my Husband if he wanted to do a short-notice date night. It's not a regular thing for us, so Jake was stoked. We both looked forward to it all day & planned to walk the dogs, go out for a nice meal & then see where the wind blew us.

Stress strikes me down most days. I have small panic attacks, work through them as usual & move on. Mostly, I've learnt to deal. Mostly is the operative word. Sometimes things overwhelm and stump me for what can be hours & sometimes days. So when I got home & seen the golf balls, I may have had a slight meltdown.

Our neighbours over the back, you see - are (for lack of being able to filter my absolute rage for these people) a bunch of assheads. From the parents all the way down to the screaming toddler. We have had some serious issues with them that called for police coming to the house and a security camera being bought for the back yard. With the knowledge that we were going out, I turned said security camera on and happily chatting to the dogs, went about checking it was all in position. Well it was, with about six golf balls hanging in our anti-dog-escape fencing directly above it. Of course, paranoia kicked right in - "They've been trying to knock the camera down with golf balls so they can climb over and hurt the dogs or break in!!" I felt sick to the core. I put the dogs inside and went directly to our next door neighbour to ask it maybe their kids had been playing with the balls and put them there. She knew nothing of it and had pretty much the same reaction as me "Those bastards!"
That was the end to date night. I was not leaving the house or my dogs with the knowledge that these people were actively trying to knock the camera down.

Jake came home & I pointed to the balls, I had by then brought inside. He excitedly said "Golf Balls!" with a lopsided goofy grin that I could have decked him for. How could he not be concerned about where they came from & why I was obviously upset!? "I collected them when I took the dogs walking on the golf course." That was his next cheerful little sentence. I actually buckled with relief, causing a flood of "are you ok's" & many apologies after I explained what had been the obvious scenario in my mind. We laughed it off, took the dogs for a walk & got ready to hit up one of our favourite restaurants.

Our night was fun & relaxing. There was Mexican food, discussions about what to ask at prospective day-cares for Charli & then 3 rounds of horrendous bowling (mostly on my part). We headed on home with take away dessert - another of our favourites; Gooey Caramel Cheesecake. Music up loud & keen for pyjamas, we roared onto the highway in my beastly little Yaris, Betty... and there it was, the next source of destruction for my fragile little anti-stress bubble. A Possum. Too late to brake in time and going too fast to swerve on the wet road, with cars coming up behind me & cars on the highway next to me. I had nowhere to go - I tried to judge my car placement on the road to get over the top of the cute little critter. I got his tail. I checked the rear vision mirror to see that he was fine & that another thoughtful human was trying to do the same & managed to swerve over little possum as well. Beyond that though, I don't know of little possums fate.

I immediately clapped a hand over my mouth, the overwhelming nausea set in super quick. Breathing through my nose to try and quell my stirred up Mexican dinner reappearing, I only got half way home before I couldn't hold it down anymore. I managed to get off the road & the door half open before I spewed all over the door frame - then again in the gutter before my dear husband took the keys and got us the rest of the way home. He also cleaned the car spew and let me sob a little about my little possum buddy and what part I might have played in scaring or hurting him. He also got me a spoon & my slice of cheesecake & sat with me while I then pondered if I was okay enough to remove myself from the couch.

I realised tonight at some hazy point during delicious dessert and salty tears that as much as I freaked out, I never wanted to forget. I don't want to forget the hilarity of my short-lived golf ball obsession. I don't want to forget my Husband showing me his daily route to walk the dogs & which houses have dogs that bark & where Nelson & Maggie both always stop to wee. I don't want to forget the high-five & little excitement I got when we decided that we would read the BFG to Charli, even though she is still growing in my belly. I don't want to forget sore fingers from bowling balls and the surprise of getting a strike among all of the gutter-balls. I especially never wanted to forget my Husband, reassuring me with pats on the leg & stories about how fast and smart possums are, cleaning the spew out of my car without even a question or being asked to & taking the next small step for me when I am stuck whimpering on the lounge.

Because its all of the thousands of days like these that will end up being my life & really, whats not to love about that.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Breaking all the rules...

Online dating is something I've refused to dapple in. Ever. It was a personal rule in my life. I broke this rule after some pressure from outside influences, finally giving in late last year & signing up to a few. eHarmony was the only one that lasted more than a week. I signed up for 3 months & made myself a few rules to get me through what I envisaged to be a horrible experience.

One of these rules was that I would not, under any circumstances, respond to an 'icebreaker'. (Basically the same as hitting a 'like' button) If someone was interested enough in me they would talk to me, asking & answering questions, even if prompted from the system.
I held fast to this rule, checking out the profiles of the guys who had sent them & rolling my eyes.

Then, suddenly, this one guy.
I seen the 'icebreaker' notification, sighed, and checked his profile. I read it, and re-read it. I looked through the photos more than once, and then, an internal battle raged. 
I had made a rule, dammit. 
Who was this guy, to come up on my screen & not allow me simply ignore his existence? 
I broke my rule.

Now, I'm not overly Facebook savvy. I post a lot, like & comment on things I see, but stalking is just not my forte. It is also not something I like to do. Another little rule.
How else though, to get to know someone who lives a touch under 1000kms away? 
Talking was fantastic, but he could say & act however he pleased & I would know no different.
Seeing how he interacted with family & friends on a public forum was what I was after.
Facebook stalker extraordinaire I became. Another rule down the drain.

It was the 4th of January when Jacob asked me if I would like him to fly up & take me out to dinner at some point. Naturally, when I seen the message I was completely out of range. It only took me less than 10 minutes to get close enough to my sister's wi-fi to respond, but I can assure you, it was a very long, slow-motion 10 minutes.

There was absolutely no hesitation for me to say yes.

As things turned out, Jacob couldn't make it up here until mid to late march. After a couple of phone calls & daily conversations, my impatience & excitement got the better of me. I booked a flight to Sydney for the weekend.

All week I could barely think of anything else except the upcoming meeting of this man that I had been talking to constantly for what seemed like forever. He made me laugh, shared in my boring day-to-day life & didn't question when I was being a complete dork. In fact, he got it. There was also no judgement when he called me for the first time ever & I continuously slurped on ice-cream & Milo throughout the entire conversation.

The day before I flew out (Valentine's Day), I spent nervously shopping for something nice to wear, getting my hair cut & barely eating a thing thanks to the wonderful nerves coursing through my body. I was entirely convinced I would walk off that plane & be a disappointment. Post retail therapy, I came home to a long-stem rose & a card with the message "Hey Gorgeous" and nothing else. Now my confusion here was that it could only have come from Jacob, he says those exact words to me. A lot. But I had never once given him my address.
Insert sneaky best friend who had asked me for my address earlier that week for "contact details" on a form.
The effort to find out my address, send a rose & note for me to receive on Valentines Day pretty much blew my mind. It also abated all of my fears...

So last Saturday I got on a plane, on my own, for the very first time in my life.
I avoid getting onto any sort of aircraft as much as possible, only swallowing my fear of flying to take my Mum various places. There was no rule as such that I would never fly alone... It was simply something that I would never do unless absolutely necessary, because lets face it, I lose my mind. Flying makes me panic. My anxiety attack is not pretty. I cry silently, I clutch at the hand rests every time the plane so much as rattles. I honestly fear that I will not make it to the other side. Not due to the plane crashing, but simply because the gaping hole in my chest feels as though it will be the end of me.

I managed to put one foot in front of the other & board my flight, hoping & praying I would sit next to someone who I could talk to as a distraction. I sat next to 2 gorgeous young girls from Germany who struggled with their English. Of course.
I also made it to the Sydney airport, hitting the tarmac with so much relief I could feel it in every tip of my body. Disembarking though, only brought with it an entirely different anxiety.
What if this was entirely awkward...

The second I walked into baggage claim, to see Jacob stand up & come towards me, instant excitement, familiarity & a complete sense of warmth took over everything else. He also had a block of chocolate I had jokingly claimed I would need after enduring a flight... that wasn't including the other 2 blocks waiting in the car, either.

I spent an amazing weekend, talking, sharing, laughing & being doted on. Even the odd moments of silence were comfortable & relaxing. I discovered a whole lot more about Jacob, setting my feelings even more alight. It was almost a silly question to ask, 'where to from here?'
We have something very special to pursue.

I remember my Mum once telling me it was not just about how I may feel about someone, it was about how they made me feel about myself.

Now I understand.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

I get to Live

My last post was in July. It's now the tippy-tail end of December... When did that happen!?

I suppose, in the smudge of my life that has been the past 5 months, I have been a little too busy to have given my blog a thought... I've moved house (again, I know), adopted a beautiful pain-in-the-ass puppy who I love death, taken on & tried a whole new range of things & had a smaller but still hugely intense breakdown.

Almost this time last year, I wrote a blog. It was inspired by the fact that I simply made it through 2012 & in doing so, I had hope that 2013 would be different for me.
It was & it wasn't - I was sometimes swimming in Lemonade & other times puckering on the sour, seemingly endless taste of pure Lemon...

With all that I have learnt in the past 12 months (that seems more like an entire decade) I can simply say this - 2014 is mine.

There are a whole lot of things that happen every day, every month, every year that will get me down, and sometimes crush every desire I have to simply keep going.
I'm certainly not immune to them - just this past Christmas Day I had a wonderful little anxiety attack, no trigger that I could recall, I just couldn't stop moving my hands & felt constantly uncomfortable.
I went to take a relaxant and found I had none in my bag - then the REAL panic started. What if it didn't stop?
Big sister to the rescue with some natural herbal drops that done all that I needed them to do - took the edge off so I could focus.

So I'm sure you're thinking it: This late in the game & I'm having panic attacks over seemingly nothing, yet I'm optimistic about the New Year that is now only hours upon us?

Hell Yes.

So what's different?

It has taken me almost 5 years to come to full terms with my depression & anxiety... but now that I know it's there & know how to control it (mostly), I have more strength & determination than I could ever have hoped for.

I'm going to slip back. A new number on a year won't change that, but the me that has gotten through the 2012 from the depths of hell, to a not much better 2013, has a new coat of armor, ready to take whatever 2014 has to throw at me.

At the moment it is already shaping up to be a better year & a start to something really new & fresh. Something I haven't had for the start of a New Year before.

Hence this post - I am happy. Plus... I have a few very special things to look forward to:

  • Unless my sister has an extremely quick & easy labour in the next 4 hours - I will become an Aunt to my 6th beautiful little niece within the next week.
  • I will see my first overseas plane trip, finally see snow & get to spend that special experience with my Mum.
  • I will see my longest friend, of 18 + years now, walk down the aisle & marry the man of her dreams. I will be privileged enough to watch from the perspective of a bridesmaid.
Among these 3 very special, very big life events, I will do much much more. I will drive with the windows down. Sing at the top of my lungs. Get sandy feet at the beach. Lose myself in a new book. I'll smell the fresh cut of the grass when I mow the lawn. I will go out with my friends, confide in & listen to everything they have to say. I'll watch Nelson, my favourite furchild, wag his tail madly when I get home from work. I will watch my other 5 nieces, 6 nephews & 1 step-nephew grow & change. I will get to see my sisters & brothers, talk to them, laugh with them, cry with them. I will get to enjoy & spoil my Mum as much as I can. I will get to live every day of my life as best as I can. I am truly blessed.

To all of my family & friends. I love you more than I can put into words. I hope the new year brings you all everything you wish for. I hope that you can make it yours & live every single day just as you want.

Happy New Year