Monday, September 17, 2012

spring has sprung

There ARE a couple of things I like about winter.

Food, mostly.

And curling up by the fire with a good book.

That's pretty much it.

Because in winter, I shut down. I don't go anywhere, or do anything. I lose enthusiasm for just about everything. I feel weighed down.
Taking the kids to school is an effort. Going shopping is an effort. I don't go out for coffee, or go window shopping, or visit the library, or go to the beach.

I stagnate.

And while I don't LIKE it, I feel powerless to do anything about it. Winter (in my head, at least) is the time to hunker down somewhere warm, and wait for it to be over.

But spring has sprung here in BeachTown.

And, OH, I feel good! The flowers are blooming, the birds are out singing (no, it's not the iPad) and the sun is warm.

Whatever is inside me (call it spirit, if you like) is relaxing. I can feel all the tension draining away, those metaphorical shoulders are dropping, losing the defensive hunch against the cold and grey.
I can breathe big lungfuls of warm, scented air, I can leave my bedroom windows open all night, I can bask and revel and delight in the sun.

I know there's rain ahead -- we get our rain through winter and spring -- but the winter has passed for another year......
.......and I'm LOVIN it!

Friday, September 14, 2012

book club

I heart Facebook, I really do.

It keeps me in touch with family, lets me stalk friends, and allows me to post a million political and football related articles and photos.

Recently I joined a support group for local women whose husbands do FIFO, or DIDO (which, for those of you not in the mining game, means Fly In Fly Out, or Drive In Drive Out)
As an off-shoot of that group, I also joined my first ever bookclub. We met today for a meet-and-greet, and to collect our first book.

All of the ladies involved in the group have husbands who work away. One is married to a man who works on boats, the rest are mining shift-workers.

We 'get' each other. We know how hard it is to be a single mum most of the time, and a wife for a little while.

I think a couple of the ladies know each other already, but most of us are strangers. One of the group moved over here from New Zealand just a couple of months ago, and I hope that she makes friends because it must be horribly lonely for her.

It always make me feel good when I meet a strange bunch of women, and we find ways to connect rather than disagree. I spend a lot of time on-line, and .... well, you know ... the on-line community can be amazing but it can also be really divisive.

I tend to stay at home a lot (and then whinge that life is boring) so it's really good for me to get out of the house and meet people I might not bump into otherwise.

I had thought I might be the oldest one there -- and I am, I think, but only JUST! this is a good thing. There's a nice mix of ages and I'm looking forward to the first 'real' book club meeting.

And the book? is this:

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

the notebook(s)

A few months ago, I bought 2 cheap spiral-bound notebooks (yes, yes, I know, baby trees were clubbed to death in China to make those notebooks. Don't care)

One is lurid pink, the other dead black. For the Princess and Mr 10.

What we do with them is this:

every couple of days, I'll write a letter to the child, and hide the notebook under their pillow.
When they get into bed at night, they find the notebook, and you wouldn't believe the delight on their faces!
(I know, because I sometimes hide nearby and watch)
Then they sneak out of bed, scribble busily in the book, and creep to my room to hide the notebook under my pillow. They are not very good at creeping. Mostly they hover at the edge of my line of sight from the lounge, then they'll make a sudden dash for my door when they think I'm distracted.

It's all great fun!

Sometimes Daddy writes in the book, too, and then they don't know whose pillow to hide the book under.

There's no great literature going on here. I tell them how proud I am of something they achieved that day, or how nice it was to have them around, or some small thing. They thank me, or just tell me they love me. Mr 10s replies can be quite --- shall we say, to the point? "thanks" or "same"..... but they're precious, anyway.

There's lots of good reasons to do this -- the kids have visual proof that I was thinking about them in the day (not that they really think I wouldn't); it gives them reading and writing practice; it involves them in some secret, family memory...

... but mostly, it's about me.

I want my kids to look back on their childhood, "Mum was kinda weird, but she sure was a lot of fun!"

Sunday, September 2, 2012

say WHAT???

I am not meant to be thinking about my 50th birthday party.

In my head, I'm somewhere between 32 and 35. I know people who wish they were back in their 20s, but that's not me at all. I had my head up my arse in my 20s, I was a miserable stoner and had no appreciation of my life or the people in it.

But my 30s were pretty cool. My 40s haven't been bad, mind -- it's just that they're bringing me ever closer to


FIFTY, people. Freakin FIFTY.

How do you get your head round that?

Look, if you're 50 plus, and fine with it, good on ya. I'm so so happy for you, here's a balloon, go away.
Because it is freaking me the fuck out.

It isn't even that actual age that's doing me in -- it's just the constant reminder of my mortality.
And not just mine, but my husbands' too.

In the last few months -- well, since April -- I've had 3 friends diagnosed with breast cancer, several who've lost parents, and two who've had possible hideous disfiguring cancers.

I keep being reminded -- I could DIE. Like, really, DIE. And be GONE. FOREVER.

How could the world keep going without me in it?

I know. I know. Totally narcissistic. But, really? how could it?