Friday, November 26, 2010

16 Years

16 Years ago, on the 26th of November, Anthony and I had our first kiss.

Because we're not married (I have wanted to be at various times through our relationship, but mostly I'm happy with the status quo), this is the date we decided would be our 'anniversary'.

It was such a cliched way to begin a relationship. We'd known each other a while, and were pretty good friends. On the 26th we were sitting outside listening to Motley Crue and talking. Somehow, we got into a 'tickle fight' which ended up with us kissing. Lol.

It was actually Anthony that chased me after that. I was still young (20) and fancy free, but he pursued me and after a week or so we were an 'item'.

As you know, about 5 months in, we discovered I was pregnant with Sam. The rest is history. I'd love it if he was here to help us celebrate. I know he'd be proud we managed to get through this tough year with our relationship intact (god knows he's seen us go through some shit!)

Happy anniversary Anthony. Here's to another 16 and beyond!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It's been a heck of a week. I've been so incredibly busy it's been hard to stop and take a breath.
But it's been a good one.

The best part was our trip to Jervis Bay on the weekend.

When I drove down with Clint (my colleague) on Friday, it was wet and miserable and I thought it was going to be an awful, wet weekend. But by Saturday morning, the sun had come out, the wind had died down, and it was just lovely.

We packed a fair bit into the 4 days we were there. Clint and I worked at the school on the Friday and Monday, and what a lovely little school it is. How's this for picturesque:
 Yes, that's the bay in the background. The kids often go for walks down there, apparently.

The bay is simply gorgeous! Beautiful white sandy beaches:

clear water, lots of lovely little towns and forests,

and a cool old lighthouse:

The boys had a good time. We swam, went for a nice little sightseeing drive (I could easily move to Corrorong right now if I had $500000). We saw lots of kangaroos (the Navy base we stayed on was densely populated with them - the street we stayed in had 20 times as many kangaroos than residents!); an echidna that we had to move off the road to drive past:

There was the tame possum that hung out in the backyard:

As well as beautiful parrots, lizards and other funky wildlife - what a treat for a 7 year old (and a animal loving 39 year old!).
They also liked climbing on the rocks in Nowra and near Honeymoon Bay (what a gorgeous spot that is!)

And I fell in love with this spooky house (called Reganville) near Culburra Beach. Doesn't it look like something out of a horror movie??

It certainly sparked my desire to move closer to the sea. In fact I think I like this area even better than The Bega Valley! It's a pity that real estate prices are a little higher there too. But by the end of the weekend, Anthony and I (and Oli) were talking about getting me a job in the school so we could move there. You never know...

All in all, a lovely weekend. Followed by an enormously busy week (which is not over yet!), but I will hopefully manage a bit of relaxing on the weekend. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Just when I thought it was over...

...we get the bill.

I'm heading away this weekend for work, with the boys joining me for the weekend (burglars beware - the house will be manned!). It's set to be a lovely weekend by the sea: quiet Jervis Bay (I've never been but I've heard it's lovely); a relaxing weekend; and free accommodation.

Which is good, because I have a heap of bills to pay. Why do they all come at once?

And that was OK too. I was prepared to have a nice, if a little more sensible than usual, weekend.
Then today, waiting for me, was the ambulance bill.

Remember a couple of months ago Anthony knocked himself out? Well today we got the bill. $770. Yay.

Yes, I'll admit I was naive enough to think that my taxes, or possibly my rates, paid for things like that, but sadly I was wrong. I guess I was also lulled into a false sense of security because it's been two months since it actually happened. But no, there it is. And they were lovely enough to make it due two weeks before Christmas. Thanks.

Don't get me wrong, I am very appreciative of what those people did for Anthony (and me) that day, and I think paramedics do a fantastic job. But nearly $800? Just before Christmas? Wow.

Never mind, we'll carry on, like we always do.
Luckily we've bought Oliver's Christmas presents (sorry everyone else, think you're missing out this year!), because it's going to be a little tight for a while!

On a brighter note

I meant to do this on Sunday, but you know me...

I just wanted to publicly wish my parents a very

Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary!!

Congratulations to my lovely mum and dad. Who have certainly been through some ups and downs over the years. But they have stuck together, and for 40 years! It's fairly rare in this day and age, so well done!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

If you could meet your younger self...


When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

Alexander Graham Bell

I often wonder what my life would be like if I'd done things differently.

I've made quite a few bad choices in my life. But if I had the chance to go back and tell myself not to do some things, would I do it? Would you?

Thanks to Oliver's unholy fascination with Doctor Who (and to the fact that I'm a product of the 'Back to the Future" 80s), I know that changing any event in history is bad news. But apart from the ripping-apart-the-fabric-of-time-itself thing, what could possibly happen?

Obviously, if I could travel in time, there is one thing that I would definitely change. I would spend all of the night of the 21st of December, 2009, sitting beside my beautiful son's bed, waiting for the moment that I could save his life.
What consequences would that possibly have? Well, we'd still have him, which would be awesome.
There are some good things that have come from this tragic event (if you've been following the journey this year, you will know what I mean). Would they still have happened if we didn't lose Sam? I'd like to think so, but I don't know....

What else might I change?
Well, my whole life, I've wanted to be thin. I resigned myself to the fact that I never will be. But in the back of my mind the wish is still there. If I could visit my 16 year old; perhaps 10-15 kilos overweight but curvaceous and healthy self; would I tell me to just be happy the way I am? Would I let me know that by the time I'm 36, being 15 kilos overweight is actually OK, and much more acceptable than it was in the early 90s? Would I tell me to get to gym and get rid of it now before I have kids and it becomes impossible?

But what would happen if I did? Would I have ended up with Anthony, who actually liked more 'realistic' women? Or would I have stayed with some of the horrible boys who told me I'd be 'the one', if only I was skinnier?

Or what about if I'd done all the travelling I now desperately want to do? If I went back in time, would I tell my 18 year old self to travel now, while I had the chance?

If I'd done those things, I may never have ended up with Anthony. Then I wouldn't have had Sam or Oliver. I wouldn't have the home I have now. I probably wouldn't have gone to uni and got my teaching degree either.

Come to think of it, maybe I would tell myself to study more. To go to uni earlier than 27.

Would I tell me to stop some of the self-destructive behaviour that accompanied me through my late teens and early twenties? Surely that's one change I could make that wouldn't affect too much!

Would I tell myself that buying all those VHS tapes was a mistake? Or that ruffle skirts really were  a mistake? That I should have paid more attention that night I met Dave Grohl and the other boys from Nirvana? That I should have put more on my mortgage (which would have been well and truly paid off now if I had)? Or that school really was the easiest time of my life and I should just enjoy it?

We all have regrets. But how much would we actually change? What would you change?

Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.

Jonathon Larson 


Oh, and thanks to Blog This for the post idea.

Thank you


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Kindness of Strangers

Life is mostly froth and bubble; Two things stand like stone: - Kindness in another's trouble, Courage in your own.

Adam Lindsay Gordon

I'm a nice person. Well, I like to think so anyway.
I've always tried to live honestly and behave in a nice way. That's not to say that I am completely without sin. God knows I've made some very poor choices in life - but most of them only affect me.

I have gone through life following this code. Most of the time there are positive results: I get many of the things I want or need through hard work and a good reputation, rather than deceit; people tend to like me OK (once they get past my strangeness and patchy conversation skills); and I have a sense of general well-being (or is it moral superiority??)  

There are also times when this approach has made things difficult. I've missed out on things that more unscrupulous people haven't; I've got myself in trouble once or twice where lying would have let me get away with it; and sometimes I've made things harder than they would have been if I'd taken short cuts or taken advantage of others.

I always thought being nice would see me through; that in the end it would 'all work out' because I'd taken the high road. This belief was shaken considerably when Samuel died. These sorts of things aren't supposed to happen to nice people! For a while I thought I'd chuck the niceness out and start looking after number one, but I didn't think Sam would like that either. I'm still a bit pissed off about it, but I feel good when I'm being nice!

Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.


There's one nice thing I love to do, that also benefits me, and that's random acts of kindness. Just little things:giving someone my leftover parking voucher (which usually has lots of time left on it - 'cause I always overestimate the time I'll spend); giving someone the change they need when they're a little short at the checkout line; smiling at someone who looks a little down; giving the postie or the garbage man  an easter egg...
I also like to do it at work: little chocolates of lollies left in people's pigeon hole; a note or card to someone who's a little down; finishing a job that someone started but couldn't finish themselves.

Last year, I even got my kids in on it. We had a 'Random acts of kindness' month, where they did things like help younger kids on the playground, say nice things to people and pay each other compliments. It was lovely to see how excited they got about it. And how good they felt.

Because that's what it all comes down to. It makes me feel good. To know that I've made someone else smile, or feel a little better; that's what it's all about for me. I know I've probably made myself sound like some paragon of kind perfection, but that's truly not why I do it. I love that warm and fuzzy feeling. I'm sure you all know how it feels too. In fact, I've already written about some of the kind things people have done for me. Here and here.

We should all do more of it. What a world it would be!

Need inspiration? Check out the Random Acts of Kindness foundation. I'd love to hear about some of your 'random acts'.

Monday, November 8, 2010

So far... good.
I'm definitely feeling things more. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Actually, I'm kind of glad to be feeling again. I think I've been a little numb for the past couple of months.
The sadness seems to creep in a little more. And I find myself thinking of Sam more often. But it's not like it was before. I think time and a few life changes have made it easier to feel and then move on.

I'm doing a good job at keeping up with the exercise (I've added 'Pump' and 'Body Jam' to my list of regular classes). But the food...not going so well. Just want to eat junk again.

I'll get there...

Friday, November 5, 2010


I had a flex day today. In the six weeks I've been doing my new job I've managed to build up 19 flex hours, so my manager said 'you'd better take a day off!'. I didn't take much convincing!

At the moment, I'm doing 3 people's jobs, so it's not unbelievable that I have been working past my 7 hours and 21 minutes each day. Not that I mind - I'm still loving the job very much.

It was definitely nice having a day off without having to call in sick. It also happened to coincide with an assembly at Oliver's school, so I had a nice walk, went and watched my boy sing a bit (and wipe his nose on his shirt a couple of times) and then came back and did some sorting in my 'study'.

I got rid of a heap of teaching stuff that I haven't used in a while ever, and made it a bit more comfy for sitting and blogging in (among other things).

The cupboard in the corner is the one I put all of Sam's stuff into (and on top of). The Elmo, purple guy and the stuffed dog were all Sam's, and the Pooh Bear toy was Oli's first 'Santa' gift.
You can just see the top of the recliner I've jammed in here (the blanket on the back of it was also Sam's) and some of my school stuff. The cute rabbit picture is one my mum did with cross stitch.

This is more of my school stuff and stationery. Plus some of my landscapes. Not ones I painted, but ones I've bought. I love a good landscape painting. Especially one with water in it.

This is my lovely iMac on my desk, with the backyard out the window.
It's a little cramped, but it's ALL MINE!

I love having somewhere to go and hang and know that no one else can mess it up or dump stuff in it (only me!)

All in all, a good flex day. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

No more?

I've decided it's time to come off the anti-depressants.
When he first prescribed them, my GP suggested I stop taking them around October.
Well October came around and I really had to think about it for a while. Would it be better to wait until after December, when it had been a year since we lost Sam?
But what good would it do to wait? I have definitely appreciated the balance they have given me, but at the same time, I do want to be able to feel real emotions; and know I can deal with life without drugs.

So I've been back down on half doses for the last week or so. I won't say it hasn't made a difference because I've noticed that I am feeling things a bit more. I'm also thinking about Sam more.   
None of the hills and trenches yet, but he's definitely on my mind more.
But, now that I've had a chance to sort through some things, that's not so bad. There are still so many things I want to remember about Sam, and write down. I think that is so much easier with a clear head.

Of course, I could be kidding myself and fall in a heap again. I don't think I will, but I just don't know.

So tomorrow's my last half pill. I'm going to give it two weeks and see how I go. I've still got a couple of prescription repeats if I need them, but I hope I won't.
Stick with me readers, I might have stuff to get off my chest.