moral dilemma

Today I received a letter telling me it is time to renew my driver’s license. Where did those 5 years go?

My dilemma arises from the fact that I can renew my license on-line. No visit to the transport office to stand in line to renew my license. That is not my dilemma, my dilemma is, that I can use the same photo! The same photo that was taken 5 years ago.

5 years ago, I was, well, 5 years younger. My hair was a dark reddish brown. It is now blonde grey.

This is the same license that a clerk, all that not long ago, after viewing my license, declared that I looked better in the photo than I did in real life!  How many times do you get told that?

So, it would be stupid not to just reuse that photo, right? Except for the fact that the photo is suppose to be  a form of ID, and in that instant one would expect it to look something like what you do at the present moment.

Well, I guess it does. Still have only one eye (carrots don’t make your eyesight better)!

I guess a woman’s got to do, what a woman’s got to do… go with the old photo, right?

No brainer.

the years rolled by


Happy Birthday to Son!

My baby is 26 years old!

Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable. Plato

Before you were conceived I wanted you
Before you were born I loved you
Before you were here an hour I would die for you
This is the miracle of love. Maureen Hawkins




a life of endurance

Mr FD’s 93 year old father is in hospital.  I have mentioned previously that he has adopted the habit of chewing his food, and then spitting it out onto his plate and hence he has lost a lot of weight and is growing weaker.

FIL was taken to hospital late Friday night. It took a whole day in hospital before the hospital said they would actually admit him. Today is day two and already FIL is pushing to go home, despite his condition.

Once again, we have the dread of the phone ringing. During my Dad’s final years we developed such a dread of answering the phone that we would actually fight over who should do it. When it was my turn, I would actually answer the phone, not with a “hello” but with a “what’s wrong?” The phone anxiety lasted long after my poor Dad, and lingered throughout the years our children were teenagers and learning to drive and to leave home. Every parents knows that a phone call late at night means some sort of rescue mission or worry session.

The difference this time is that the intensity of care is not the same. Mr FD’s father is a flawed human being. A very flawed human being. He also adopted the mantle of invalid some 35 years ago, long before he actually was an invalid. He is a self-centered, selfish, paranoid, angry man who has always been quite capable of physically and verbally attacking his family, to this day. So, his life is viewed as more of a burden.

So, it is a conflicting time, balanced between doing what is “right” and expected, with the exhaustion of a life time with a man who shows no love, except for himself. Always himself.

Mr FD maintains that when the time comes, he will not have any second regrets about how he treated his father in the last years, despite the fact that his father, even in his current physical and mental state, has never shown any intention of having a loving or open relationship with his son.  This means emotions are somewhat stretched and raw within the family at the moment. Mr FD maintains two wrongs don’t make a right, but when there is no hope of a right from the other side, ever, it is not only exhausting, but soul destroying.

No doubt, they will tire of FIL’s behaviour in the hospital soon and shoot him back home within a day or so, to resume another round of serving and waiting. He won’t agree to going into care, despite the fact he can longer care for himself and is totally dependent on the assistance of family and carers. He is added and abetted  by Mr FD’s mother, who is equally dependent on the kindness and help of others, and also resistant to going into care.

In all, what this situation has brought home to me, is the need to sort out family relationships before old age brings a new and heavy burden to not only the individual, but to the family.  If a family is happy and functioning, then the coping mechanisms are strong and burdens more easily carried. If the love is gone, or was never there, then the cost to all involved  adds to the trauma and the exhaustion.

To me, it comes down to the simplest of rules – treat others the way you would have them treat you. Love and you will be loved in return. Centre only on your individual needs and wants and your life will be viewed as a burden that must be endured out of a sense of humanity.

A poor epitaph for a long life, don’t you thing?

How not to organise your way out of a paper bag

Friday was one of those days, when you want to just want to say, ‘I’ll get on with the day’s work over here and when you are ready to get organised then come and tell me’.

 We have had issues with air conditioning in the library since the start of the school year, partly due to the recent floods and partly due to things just breaking. Friday, we were told, was the day that the system in the lab would be replaced. Happy Dancing as no more fans shooting students off chairs. We were very organised and cleared the computers out and rebooked teachers to laptop trolleys instead of the lab. All lovely.

 We arrive Friday morning to discover that the new air conditioner, a different system that was to cool the entire library area, and separate  to the computer lab was arriving that day also.  Two different companies.

 No one had informed us. No one had told us that they would be lifting huge metal beams with a crane over the front entrance of the library and onto the roof.

 So I arrive at 7.30 to chaos. The person in charge is not front and center, why would he when he was needed, and proving a bad communicator as always. The guys with the crane says no one should be in the building when they use the crane, not even the other guys from the second company  (workplace health and safety). We agree. Mt Organiser, or should I say Mr NonOrganiser says we only need a 20m clearance area.

 Exactly, where is a 20 m clearance area when a metal beam is dangling over one’s head?

 I send some emails and suggest, room changes for all classes booked into use the library, creating a safety zone around the library, and that as we had duty of care for ourselves, my staff would be working out of an area in the staffroom until the crane work was finished.

 What was most annoying was that  everyone was asking me for updates on the work, when I was obviously not involved. Even the damn stupid man in charge was asking me and was testy that I didn’t know. He also appeared to be testy that I took my staff out of the library, but I was more than prepared to fight that one.

 By early afternoon the crane was gone and I was walking back to the library when I was stopped by the Head of the Senior School, also male, who politely told me that in future I should alert him earlier to such changes so that they can reschedule classes. He was lucky I didn’t punch him right there, right in that smug face. I told him that in fact I didn’t know.

 If I had known, I would have organised it a damn sight better and not endangered staff and students. I wonder if they ever heard of working on a Saturday?

 Top my glass up, it is damn near empty.