Wednesday, 21 October 2015

My right foot


Sometimes when I look at my life, I feel like I am reading about it in the paper, or in one of those sensationalised magazines: ‘My bridesmaid is having my fiancĂ©e’s love child’ or something.
Maybe not, but now that I am sort of on the outside looking in, it looks kinds Jerry Springerish.
A single mum to two teenagers, who works FTE (1.2), runs a household, looks after 4 animals. She is renovating her house; the stove breaks down, leaving the family without a kitchen. Then she falls over and breaks her foot, which requires surgery. As a result, she is unable to stay in her house because of her ridiculous driveway so she has to stay with her mother. On top of this, she was due to start a new job just prior to the injury, so she is under pressure to return to work asap, but can’t drive, because it happens to be her right foot.  And she is unable to return to one of her jobs due to the circumstances.
It just sounds like something someone made up for fooks sake…..
Nevertheless, this has been an interesting opportunity to review my life from the outside. After all, the universe simply granted my wish to have a holiday from my life. Given that I am so busy, I never really have the time to sit and contemplate whether what I am doing is sustainable, or whether there are other ways I could be doing it. Plus, I often find myself with few alternatives anyway.
The weirdest thing, and one of the most valuable lessons for me is the fact that I don’t think I will ever be lazy again about things that I need to do. For example, washing the dishes, doing the washing. It seems that the perceived effort when I was healthy seemed over the top. Everything takes so much longer now, given that an at least a 6 point turn is required in order to get around any corner in the house. Walking to the shops, or cooking a meal just doesn’t seem onerous at all. The other thing I have discovered is that I love driving, and being able to have the freedom to come and go as I please. And also, no matter how much free time I have, I don’t spend all of it doing crafts or reading, I do find myself looking at medical journals (which I never have time to do) and writing.
I haven’t been short of things to be grateful for, and that feels great. My friends and family have been so nurturing, and helpful, and altogether awesome, and I feel so very lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life.
What seems clearest of all is that Wi-Fi is evil and will need to be restricted when we go home, and that my children need to do more around the house, not because I say so, or because it happens to be their dish, but because it is a lesson they better learn now, about living in a community and helping each other out. If I only ever did things for myself, I would still be in my backyard with a broken foot and no one to help me.
People are veritably strange, and I have greater compassion for people with a disability now. The number of people who are irritated by the fact that moving takes longer, or that I need a ramp or take up more room in a lift or on the bus is unbelievable. The number of people who roll their eyes at me, or tell me that I should be more careful or whatever is also astounding.  What do they think that I am ecstatic about it? Losing my independence, using a shower chair to wash, a toilet raiser to pee and take two buses to work, not to mention calling in favours all the time and being unable to pick my kids up from school?
Maybe my foot will heal and I will forget these lessons, but I doubt it.

Christmas will be a time to reflect on the 3 months prior to it, to be grateful, to regain all the losses, including a tall order of Rehab and further surgery to remove pins. I sincerely love my right foot despite all the challenges. 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Retreat into Myself

I have just returned from one of the most unforgettable 48 hours of my life. It so happened that my family bought me a gift voucher for my 40th birthday so that I could go on some meditation classes or a retreat. It turns out, (and I am sure it was not by accident), that the voucher was just enough for a hills retreat. I participated in a silent retreat, no phones, no books, no strict schedules. We had a cooking workshop (obviously voluntary) with an Ajurvedic chef. So I ate beautiful vegetarian food and spent time with myself, walking, feeling.

I am not new to meditation, I have done it before, and enjoyed it. I attended many sessions at the Buddhist Centre in Adelaide. I have been interested in Eastern philosophies and have taken a lot of the teachings into my life over the years.

But like everything else, I forget to do it. I get caught up in the moment, the hurrying, the hustle and bustle. And who doesn't? One of the great things about it is that I realised that I have incorporated some of the teachings into my life automatically. I wash the dishes purposefully and with awareness. I have learned to stop and say; "Can I get back to you on that ?" when I am feeling tired, rather than the shotgun; "I should say yes because he or she wants me there". I have learned to some extent to nurture aspects of myself that do not just need FOOD.

By the same token, I am somewhat frustrated by the fact that things I thought I had covered to death, I need to revisit and re-explore with more maturity, and more experience, and more depth. It just doesn't stop, and I think that is where I have gone wrong. I have managed to get my fitness regime going and have realised that it cannot be a temporary thing, but neither is the growth and development of my soul or inner being. Especially when life is not static, and my relationships and physical space shift me, toss me, and sometimes gently coax me into action. If I listen. And that is the crux of it. To listen.

But not just hear it. I am not sure if I am the only one who does this, but sometimes I hear the inner child, or the need loudly ringing in my ear, or my bed beckons, or I am starving or need to pee; and I simply choose to ignore it because it's just too inconvenient or too hard right now! So listening takes patience. And sometimes you just have to make the decision that you will ignore it temporarily but will get back to it before it is too late and the whole situation makes you sick. COUGH COUGH COUGH..... she says as she crawls back from the inner alveoli of hell...

So what I am getting to here is this:

I have decided that Facebook is slightly poisonous. And I know that the media app polarises people like Tony Abbott does. But I guess I have always kept it going because I accumulate so many people in my life and would like to keep in touch with them, as much as I can. And that is not always possible.

I find it terribly sad that recently because I have been busier than ever, I have stopped calling people and making an effort to connect. I mean REALLY connect. NOT on facebook, but on the phone, face to face, over a coffee. And I am lonelier than ever sometimes. My core people continue to be in my life and those are the ones I will continue to have real connections with, in real life.

And this is a survival tool for me. I NEED real people in my life, not pixels. Obviously, for those who live overseas or interstate, I will continue to keep in touch. I think I will slowly withdraw from this format, though. I want real connections, real warmth, real touch, real meals, real laughter, real visits, real shared times, real relationships.

And if you want my number, just ask.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Forgetting in my old age

I lost my way. I am not sure when it happened exactly, or how long ago. But I lost my way.
I stopped trusting, believing in myself. I started doubting, and wondering if what I was doing was the wrong thing. How on earth did that happen? I worked really hard to find that strength in me, and I am a tad disappointed in myself.

I took stock in the last few weeks, and realised that my self love: the one that says that I will accept me regardless of the number on the tag of my clothes, or the size of the dark circles under my eyes, or the tone of my teens voices, had disappeared. That love that would echo my thoughts, and say: "Of course you know what to do, and if you don't, you'll find out!". Damn it!!!! How could I forget?
I guess sometimes it happens because you get knocked down over and over again, and the last time, you allow it to make you lie down for a while. And then you simply forget you fell over, you just stay there and allow people to walk all over you.

I realised mostly when I was preparing to update my blog, and was thinking about the piece I was going to write. And then I looked at it in my mind, and it sounded whingie. Fuck, when did I get whingie? When on earth did I become a martyr, a "poor me" type? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I refuse to be that woman, no matter what the pressure remains for feminine women to appear to need to be rescued. I refuse to stay lying down.

So shit has happened, so life is hard. So what? No one ever said it was meant to be easy, and haven't I always thrived under pressure? When did the anxiety consume me rather than fuel me?
I need to start saying: "Good morning, the sun is shining, and I am alive". And "what will I teach my children today?". Lately, the self talk has been more like: "I cannot teach my children anything else", "I have had my time, I am no longer useful". Since fucking when????????

My message here is, that no matter what, I will always be worthy. So, okay, my relationships have mostly not worked out, my preferred career wasn't to be, and internet dating has mostly sucked, I haven't finished my book, my serial attempts at shrinking my arse have resulted in a tight, but large arse. But the point is: I AM ALIVE, I have people who love me and appreciate me (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, YOU PRECIOUS FEW), I am still useful, I am still learning, I am still writing, I am still going to the gym and watching what I eat, I am still dating, and I am still hoping, and loving, and making my life worthwhile.
Next time I tell myself otherwise, someone please shake me! And my hope is that people genuinely never stop talking about hard stuff, the stuff that really matters. Let's not become a society where these topics are taboo. Life sucks most of the time, let's acknowledge it, let's deal with it. Hug someone, be someone's strength when they are low. I know without those people who continue to be my strength I wouldn't be writing these words today.

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