Australia got a change of government yesterday. Tony Abbott is now our Prime Minister. I did not vote for him, and I fear that his will be a “mean government” (the liberal party in Aust is akin to the republican party in USA). However, I really hope for all our sakes, that my fears are unfounded and that when it comes time for the next election in three years time that I have to admit “I was wrong”. In the mean time, I may cease watching news programs and lalalalalal sing whenever politics is discussed!
After we voted, Mr FD and I went out for a late breakfast. I had a stack of pancakes, with strawberries, maple syrup and bacon. Mr FD had the “BIG BREAKFAST” which seemed to have every meat product known to man along with eggs, tomato, hash browns and toast. Just put the word “big” in front of any menu item and Mr FD will order it! Breakfast is our favourite meal to order out, and we love nothing better than being to order it at any time of the day! We are off to Tasmania in a little over two weeks and the thought of all those breakfasts I will order is getting me a wee bit too excited! I really do need a life!
On the way home we visited with my Mum in her Twilight zone. I always announce our names as we arrive, as I am never sure if she will know who we are if we just walk into the room. So if I say, “Hello Mum, its FD and Mr FD to see you.” she seems to be comfortable with us. We took her out onto the patio outside the dining room to sit and talk. I like to get her out of her room when we visit, but it is a major operation these days as she is having more issues with movement. It is as though her brain is just forgetting her basic motor skills. These days I ask for the nurses to assist, and they seem to get her on her way. We stayed with her until it was time for her lunch.
BIL is in palliative care and has good days and bad days. My sister does not expect to bring him home from the hospital. He is now having trouble swallowing and he is not eating very much. She has been told to get wills etc. in order. Tough times for her. When time moves on I am going to take her away for a few days for a sisters vacation. Maybe we will go to Perth and visit Daughter2 (my sister is also her godmother, and they are very close). We expected the worst last week but he keeps bouncing back. It is a fine life line.
Two weeks until the September Spring holiday break! I am going to a librarians’ conference in Hobart, Tasmania across the middle weekend and Mr FD is coming with me and we will stay a couple of days extra just for a break. It will be my third trip to Tasmania and I do love going there. So beautiful.
Treasure your week – we never know how many more we will be allowed.
This morning I felt an overwhelming sense of panic and I really had to fight not to lose my plot. Breathe, I told myself. I had three tasks with looming deadlines and my anxiety went into overdrive.
Last night I had halved my sleep medication as I have been feeling more in control and I can’t use the medication for too long. I would rather be off it sooner rather than later, so I thought I was doing myself a favour and decreased the dosage. I slept well, but this morning it was a struggle to face the world.
So, I mentally listed my tasks, knowing that only one should be done today; though if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be the end of my world, despite my catastrophe thinking. I listed them and knew that I needed to stop procrastinating to be less anxious, so my best avenue of recovery was to tackle them. Smart, Flamingo Dancer! In turn, I admitted to myself that there was no way that all three could be completed today, if they were to be done well, so I set myself the goal of completing two, and to work on the third early next week.
When I left work in the afternoon, I had those two tasks completed and forwarded to the stakeholders. I felt a real sense of relief to say the leas!. The third is not due until the 20th so I really shouldn’t be panicking, but anxiety doesn’t allow a quiet mind.
I was going to write, best to get that task completed and off my worry list, but truthfully, I will probably just replace them with another set of worry tasks – such is the anxious mind. I have long ago accepted that and now all I can do is try to calm myself and instead of avoiding the task just set to and do it. Yes, I will be anxious, but I will be less anxious!
I never claimed to make sense!
So it went something like this…
I made an appointment to meet with the school head and I kind of, sort of, poked my finger into his direction and kind of, sort of said, how dare you speak to me in this manner when this guy didn’t do his bit and that guy didn’t do that bit etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. We agreed on some things, we disagreed on others and he admitted that he can be quite aggressive at times, which is as close as he could ever come to an apology.
Not deluding myself that the issue is at an end and I know he has the bigger stick, but I handle my stick with elegance and accuracy, so at least I stood up for my beliefs and values.
I had girded my loins to the extent that I was hauling students who dared look in the wrong direction during assembly out of the hall and sending them off to detention, with wild goddess abandon, earlier in the day. I think I even scared Minerva, who can herself be very scary at times! (God, I love working with that woman!)
In the end, a woman just has to do what a woman has to do! I feel as though I reclaimed me in the process too.
On the other front, yesterday BIL was transferred to a larger hospital’s palliative care ward as he has developed pneumonia (two years to the day since his first bout with pneumonia that signalled the start of his journey) and required two bags of blood as his haemoglobin was very low. I have resigned myself to the worst, but this morning he had rallied a little, so we fight another day.
His journey has reminded me of what is really important in life, and that time is so short that we can’t allow others to control our agendas. Fight, I say, fight to the death if one must…but it is important to know when to pack up one’s yurt and go to the next field too. It really is all about balance, a matter of contracting and expanding, to survive and thrive.
Depression 1: Resilience 10.
I’m back! I’m so back that I am feeling mean, and tomorrow I may just bite a few heads off people who have crossed me in recent days. Bugger the stick list and waiting for the last day, I am going for the throat. No one is going to mess with me, EVER AGAIN.
I am going to make coffee nervous.
First day of spring here in the southern hemisphere, and it is also Father’s Day; Mr FD’s first as a grandfather too! It has been a rather quiet affair after the events of recent. Yesterday, on our way back from visiting BIL in the hospital (running a fever and on intravenous antibiotics and morphine for his pain) Mr FD and I stopped at a nearby village to lunch at the little restaurant where I normally socialise with my girlfriends.
I had one glass of wine, while he had coffee and we both had pasta dishes, and sweet, rich desserts. It is months since we had lunched, I mean more than a quick hamburger somewhere, so it was lovely.
Mr FD, ever the adventurer wanted to resume our search for my grandparents farm (I haven’t been there since the 1960s!) armed with some information from my sister, but while we got close I was never convinced we were in the right spot. It was only when we returned home and I suggested googling a cousin who lived nearby that we got onto Google Earth and actually found what I thought was the site. It seemed to have the house and farm buildings in approximately the right geographic location, but we need to sight to be sure. In those days there was no road signs, or house numbers, it was just farms.
It was fun to tell Mr FD some of the family tales which no doubt after 36 years of marriage he has heard before, except for maybe the story about “that is where the house where the lady shot her brains out and Grandpa had to clean the mess up, used to be. There were just house stumps remaining when I was a child…” He already knew the story of my grandmother having a nervous collapse after the accidental death of her first child at the age of 2 and attacking a pet dog that she partially blamed for the accident with an axe…yes, we Flamingo Dancer women are really not to be messed with! I think a stick list is a civilised improvement over a wood axe!
The entire time though, one side of me was going through the motions, even enjoying moments, and certainly if anyone asked me how the day had been, I would have to honestly reply “rather pleasant”, but there was this incredible sadness, and a fight to hold back tears that I found so incredible. It was if I was looking in on another person altogether.
I understand anxiety. I grew up with anxiety, but in recent years I thought I had worked to put all that behind me. I have been happy and content but now my equilibrium, my identity, just seems to be dissolving. What an alien world I am in these last few weeks.