Tag Archives: hope

Hope for sale

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Facebook is full of Buy Swap Sell pages.

Generally, people are cleaning out their garage or buying something to replace the old. Posts usually include the words “listed elsewhere” and “or nearest offer”. I saw an ad once from someone selling a Chester Drawers. It took me a bit to work that one out. Turned out they were selling a chest of drawers. It made me laugh to think that they called it Chester, and I imagined them walking down the hallway and bumping into the drawers and saying, “Oh, sorry Chester, I didn’t see you there”. Poor Chester.

On eBay, I’ve been caught out more than once by sellers having items for sale that they don’t actually have. I’m currently waiting on one such item. I’ve been emailing them to try to find the item and they told me a couple of weeks ago to be patient because the item is at my local post office. I got a refund, but I still don’t have my item.

The point is, selling something you don’t have – it doesn’t work.

There are things you buy or do that are investments into the future. We recently made a vegetable patch. Because we were starting from absolute scratch, we had to buy the stuff to create the garden beds, and the soil and the fertiliser and the seedlings and seeds and the works. But we did it, in the hope that in a few months, we’d have a harvest. Essentially, we bought into the future; we’d bought hope. Because there’s no guarantee that the weather would be right for these crops, there’s no promise that we’d get our money’s worth. There’s just hope.

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Yesterday at Tafe we were asked to consider what personal trainers are selling. What we’re giving clients in exchange for your hourly rate. Several answers were offered but none of them really sat right with me.

And then it struck me.

If you’re selling something, firstly you need to have surplus of it. Secondly, it’s generally an investment into the future.

For me, personal training is about selling hope.

Consider it.

Imagine hitting rock bottom with your health. No, I mean worse than what you’re considering. It hurts to move. You have weight related health conditions. You can’t play with the kids, you struggle to do basic things. Doctors are telling you to lose weight but if it was that easy, don’t they think you would? Because it isn’t easy.

But you take a punt. And this takes more courage than the average person could ever understand. So you find a trainer, someone who you’ve heard gets it. Someone who has come recommended. They take you through some basic screening, check out your functional movement so that they can work out what the beginning is for you. And you hand over the money, with plans to be spending more of it with this person, based on one single thing:

Hope.

They might be able to help turn things around. They might help you save your life. They might even help you start to enjoy exercise without pain, without intimidation, without shame.

And it’s all a might, but it’s anchored in one thing: Hope.

I’m confident in this because it’s what I bought, almost two years ago. I didn’t know how it was going to work, or even if I could stick with it. I didn’t know if my body could do it, or if my mind could do it. But I had to try, I just had to. So I handed over the dollars. Signed up for one session a week. Went to each session, and did what I needed to do in between sessions. At the time I had no understanding of what my awesome PT was telling me to do, what it would all add up to, what difference it could make. But I just did it. Because I’d paid for hope, and I had put action in that investment.

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Before buying hope.

So while it’s an industry that can be tied up in appearance and numbers on scales and measurements, don’t forget that essentially it’s got the potential to be an industry that’s about hope. And if you’re lucky, you’ll find the people to be on your team with it. Who know it’s about hope. And when yours falters, they’ll remind you that it’s still there.

Hope for sale.

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Investment: worth it.

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Behind the keyboard

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It was unexpected, by me, anyway – but the last post, It’s Not That Hard, went a little bit crazy. It resonated with many of you, and while I knew it was true for me, I tend to write things taking a bit of a punt that it might be true for other people, too. It’s kind of hard because my brain is a peculiar place. But it appears this time, I was spot on.

The problem with writing a post that results in new followers of this blog and big reactions, is that for me it creates this funny kind of pressure to follow it up really well. I guess it’s a different kind of writer’s block – performance anxiety or something. Who knows. But I decided in the end that probably the best way to follow up that post is by letting you know who is behind the keyboard for this particular blog. To prove that I know what I am talking about when it comes to losing weight actually being quite hard.

This is me.

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This is also me.

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So yes. I do know that it is is indeed hard to lose weight. Anyone who tells you it isn’t that hard is an ignorant fool, and probably hasn’t been there. But I’ve already told you my thoughts on that one.

For me, this journey started when I fell down a flight of stairs. I completely screwed my ankle, busting bones and ligaments and tendons. I was overweight at the time, and the foot surgeon I saw said, “If you were an athlete, I’d repair it, but you’re not.”. Can anyone say arsehole?

Eventually, seven years after the initial fall, I did indeed get my ankle repaired. And after months of physio, and two more procedures, I started walking. Exactly 12 months after I took my first steps on that new ankle, I completed my first fun run. I barely ran, in fact I walked the vast majority of it and also managed to get lost on the course.

The thing is, in that seven year gap, I wasn’t able to do anything active at all. So the weight piled on. And on. And on. I also had PCOS (poly cycstic ovarian syndrome), which meant that I was exceptionally good at gaining and keeping weight. Like, National Representative good. And every single thing that I did, was hard.

I can tell you that while it wasn’t easy getting started, I knew I had to. I had a lot of motivators, but no motivation on earth is match for a reason. A Reason. Motivation can and will fall away. But I reckon if you have a Reason, a Reason for anything that you do, then you have something that will drive you through the days where you don’t want to, or it’s too hard, or you just cannot be arsed.

For me, my Reason was simple, but came from the most painful of firey furnaces. I’d say it  was like a phoenix but in reality is was more like an uncoordinated pelican that my Reason surfaced. It involved shifting of mindset and reframing of response.

My mum had died very suddenly, and the grief and aftershocks for my family and myself were, in short, heartbreaking. And I stayed stuck in grief mode.

And then one day, when I was thinking of my family and my people and my beloved, I realised that by not getting my health under some form of control, I was heading up a path that was going to force my people to go through the grief and pain of my own sudden death. Because that was the reality of where my health and my weight was.

So I changed the way I wore that blanket of grief. Tucked it into the back of my shirt and turned into some kind of mediocre superhero cape. Because it really was going to take a superhero effort to turn that ship around.

18 months later, that Reason hasn’t changed. For me, my Reason comes down to love; to an encompassing need to try to protect my people from experiencing that grief and pain of loss. Everyone is going to have a different Reason, but if you can find your Reason, then congratulations, you’re on your way.

That Reason pushes me on daily. Fuelled by love, I do my kilometres on the treadmill. I lift my weights. And now, I go to Tafe to learn how to be a personal trainer and fitness worker. Because there is a serious shortfall of people who know what this is like, first hand.

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know all of that stuff. And even now it still makes me a bit wobbly to share it all again. These are painful things to think on, but it’s the reality, and if nothing else I have always, always had the mindset that if it’s painful and I have to do it, then I need to use it to help other people.

Give me a few months to finish these qualifications, and I’ll do just that.

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Just Be.

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I have a friend, a woman who has been a part of my world for years and years. And the most consistent thing she has told me is this:

Just be.

Whatever the situation. Whatever the moment or mood or swings or roundabout or event. It’s always the same. Just be.

I think as we live more and more on social media, documenting ourselves doing life, those two words become more relevant. I’ve been making a conscious effort to not use my phone when I’m with friends, and to resist the urge to take photos of every moment. Mainly because I want to experience things in real life, rather than through a screen. And as I write this blog post I’m aware of the irony because I’m writing via a screen and it will be read via a screen; and there are plenty of times where to zone out I’ll play pointless little games on my phone; and when I need to be distracted I’ll again connect dots or scroll through music or word games.

But I’m learning to be. To just be.

Accepting where I am, what I’m doing, what I’m experiencing, and just being in that moment.

No regretting, no resenting, no longing for something different. Just being. And the more I just be, the less I am actually regretting or resenting or longing for something different. Life is, generally, very good.

I have big things in mind for this year. I’m working on a second book. I’ll be kicking off the study towards being a personal trainer. I’m taking on #nofearnovember as a way of life, and rising up to just do the things that scare me. And it is good. I’m seeing again and again that I can do things.

We had a party recently, something that generally fills me with dread. And it did, but fuck it, I took it on. I also went to a BAR that I had never even heard of before, and it was awesome. And I saw my GP about a couple of things that had been worrying me, and I feel so much better knowing that she’s got things under control.

Just being. Rising up when I can and when I need to, and finding out exactly what I am made of.

And I am learning and realising that what I am made of is probably the opposite of what I used to think I was made of. I’m strong. I’m brave. I treat people well. I care about the underdogs. I’m stubborn, but I use it well.

I want 2017 to be the year that I am guided by what I am made of, instead of what I am afraid of. It’s going to be the year where I learn more about what I am made of, and then just be.

This song, Steer, by Missy Higgins. It’s on my playlist when I am at the gym, and it’s currently on high rotation in the car. These lyrics are the theme song for 2017 for me.

“But the search ends here
Where the night is totally clear
And your heart is fierce
So now you finally know
That you control where you go
You can steer”

Thanks, S.

 

The fame game

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It’s been Christmas and New Year’s since I blogged last. Time has this trick of trundling on, especially when we aren’t paying attention.

The last few weeks have been chaos. I do not enjoy chaos. My hair would suggest otherwise, I got it cut today because I am sick of finding strands around the place and beloved has a shaved head, so I can’t even blame anyone else. I look like I have an afro at the moment, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m now thinking there might have been another solution to the finding hair problem, that didn’t involve me seeing the hairdresser.

I don’t understand the small talk shit you have to do at the hairdresser. The whole time I am wondering how I am meant to look at her, do I use the mirrors or turn my head? Other concerns include catching headlice, wondering why people lie about dying their hair at home, the unreasonable potato-form I take on when they drape me in the cape prior to the hair cut, and wondering if hairdressers get itchy from the hair that must accumulate on their skin after cutting hair all day long. It really is not a restful experience.

So, the last few weeks. I had big plans, all of which were thwarted after a phone call from my GP telling me to start fasting. I had a blockage in a kidney which needed fairly urgent surgery. Two surgeries, actually. The other thing I don’t manage well is changed plans. Chaos and changed plans. Incidentally, both start with CH and when I was a kid, I did speech therapy, and that CH blend is still a sound I struggle to pronounce. So the thing you sit on in my house will always be a SEAT. I also still lisp when I am tired but I am better at pretending I haven’t.

Anyway anyway, Christmas and New Year’s.

Both were good. Both were here. Both were spent with people that we love. Which is nice. Because it would be awful if we had to spend both of those events with people that we don’t like.

I was just sitting outside and the view was spectacular. Here, have a look:

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2017 is upon us. Let’s hope it isn’t the same kind of talent cull that 2016 was. That’s what everyone seems to be focusing on, when it comes to 2016. And the reality is that we lost a lot of talent. But we also lost a lot of normal people, a lot of run-of-the-mill people, a lot of people who mattered to someone. Just because it wasn’t on the news doesn’t mean it didn’t matter. Social media has added this funny element to life, hasn’t it. We spend a lot of time documenting ourselves, in much the same way these famous people were documented. But when we die, it’s our friends lists that are impacted. I suppose it comes down to where you create your world; to where you create your fame.

I am happy to be famous with my friends and family. And more and more, I want to be famous with myself. To respect what I’m achieving and to admire the attitudes and approaches. To be able to hit ‘like’ on the moments and the posts, to share the important things, to go viral with something like joy or love or self belief or something that actually matters more than ‘tag a mate who…’ or a cat using a human toilet.

What it comes down to is that I want 2017 to be a good year. And at the risk of sounding like a smug cow, 2016 was good. I got through it. I achieved some stuff. People I love achieved stuff. I witnessed survival and triumphs and laughter and friendship and kinship. I experienced moments and events that won’t shape a nation but certainly shaped my year. And on the 31st of December, the people I hold dear (s0me of them) gathered together and we said goodbye to 2016 and welcomed in 2017. Some of the people that were there, I didn’t even know til this year. Some of them, I’ve known for over 15 years. But in that moment, we were all there together. We smiled, we chatted, we ate, we peaked too soon (ahem. That was me.). We were together.

I do this thing quite often where I’ll step outside of the moment and look at it. Like I’m taking photos in my head. And the in those snapshots, I saw the culmination of the 2016 fame game. Hearts. Together.

2017?

Bring it on.

 

Two

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Two years ago, I was waiting.

The surgeon was running late.

I got a call from my sister, who was quite worried about things.

Beloved was by my side, the queen of my army of supporters.

And we waited.

Finally, I got wheeled off to surgery.

Drifted off to sleep, and woke up with a brand new ankle.

The original injury happened around seven years earlier: I’d fallen down a flight of stairs, severing the ligaments that support my ankle and gravelling off the end of one of the bones. The surgeon I had to see at the time looked at my body, looked at the xrays, and said (and I’ll never ever forget this) “If you were an athlete, I’d fix it. But you’re not”.

So, for the next seven years, I broke my ankle. Again and again. Or twisted it. Or sprained it. And it got worse and worse.

Then I saw another surgeon.

This man, he became one of my heroes.

He took one look at my ankle, gave it a tug and watched how that pull had no end point except for when my skin got too tight.

He told me how he would fix it, and when.

On surgery day, he was running late.

So two years ago, I was waiting.

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I didn’t know it then, but that surgery saved my life. It certainly altered the path of my life. It took another surgery on my calf, a procedure on my Achilles and a shit load of physio to get me walking correctly again.

Exactly twelve months after I took my first steps, I did my first fun run. The Variety Santa Fun Run, raising money for the Variety children’s charity. I got slightly lost on the course and did an extra kilometre, but I did it.

Since then, I’ve done at least one fun run a month. I’m not sure on what the final tally is, but I’ve collected a swag of finisher medals and shirts and bibs.

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So far this year, according to the app I use, I’ve clocked up almost 800km. Just me and that repaired foot. And I still, still, get that buzz of joy every single time I start.

It’s not until you’ve been unable to do something for so long that you realise how much you love it. Love the freedom that being functional offers. Love the sense of achievement that one step after another brings. It’s been hard though. Realising that the barrier that I had for so many years no longer exists.

It’s so hard to explain, the fullness of the emotions that surround this day. Grief, for the years spent just… unable. The joy at these new days – and yes, even after two years, they’re still new days. The sheer amount of time I lost, not able to do stuff. The things I avoided. But now, the almost daily surprises I get when I do something that I couldn’t do. Or when I jump on and off beloved’s truck tray, then realise that I stuck the landing.

I stick the landings now.

In November, I’ll be back where I started with these fun runs. To finish off the year of fun runs, I’m taking on the Variety Fun Run again. I’d love it if you could throw in a buck or two, to help Variety help kids in need. Here’s the link for my profile.

It’s funny. It’s joyful, but it really is a sense of sadness about those years spent thinking that the first surgeon was correct; that I didn’t need or deserve surgery because of my body shape.

Well. I’ve fucking shown him.

But I know, without doubt, that I couldn’t have done it without that new surgeon, beloved and my beautiful army of supporters.

Thank you.

 

Ho ho ho

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If you didn’t know the Santa Run was on today you would have had a bit of a shock if you drove through Newcastle. I knew it was on, obviously, as I was bearded up and jingling all the way. But look!!

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There were hundreds of Santas. All shapes. All sizes. All wearing red and beards and joggers. And in the above photo, all warming up.

My sister drove up from the Hawkesbury to run with me. She’s awesome. Beloved is sporting a heel spur so she cheered me on. Beloved is also awesome.

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So! You’d think that with a crowd of Santas all running the same track, it would be borderline impossible to get lost, wouldn’t you. Not so, my friends! My sister and I didn’t listen properly and ran/walked straight past the drink station that marked the 3km turn-around point. It wasn’t until we passed the dog beach that we thought something might be wrong. Instead of doing the 3km, we did 4km. And that is how I got lost in my first fun run.

Here’s something I learned: It is much easier to run on solid ground then it is on a treadmill.

Something else: Everyone was NICE and nobody looked at me like I had two heads for even attempting this kind of thing. Everyone was totally involved in what they were doing.

One more thing?

When you finally do something you’ve wanted to be able to do for months, it feels good. And you grin like an idiot for hours afterwards. And then you start thinking about the next one, and wondering when you might be able to do it again. And it doesn’t matter what you look like or how fast you go or even if you get lost along the way. What matters is that you do it.

And I did.

The slab of meat

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I went to a social thing with a group of friends. Most I knew quite well, some were acquaintances and others were new to me. One of them greeted me with, “So how are your surgeries going?” and in that instant I felt like I lost my humanity. In my head I became a slab of meat, full of stitches and scars and procedures. I ceased being about my music and my writing and my volunteer work, and the passions and preferences that ignite my creativity and my individuality, and I became a slab of meat.

I am the first to admit that I have had a rotten run of things. Not a single person in the world goes in to surgery lightly, and when it has to happen again and again, you can safely assume that this isn’t something that person is choosing as a new hobby. It isn’t a recreational pastime or an adventure sport. It’s more likely to be shitty and confronting and scary, with no real secure promise of what the result is going to be.

In the midst of all of this, it is easy to forget the person inside the body that is being cut open – it is easy to forget that they are there.

Earlier this year I had a “discussion” with my GP about this. I told her that I felt like I couldn’t plan anything because I didn’t know what part of my body was going to let me down next. We talked about different things that could be causing this, we talked about broken mirrors and rotten luck. We talked about the things I had wanted to achieve this year, and the different barriers that had arise, changing those goals. We talked about the things that could help, if not maintain health then at least give me a better chance to get through shit as it arises.

I went to my car and bawled my eyes out.

In my head I physically couldn’t go to the gym or get active enough to lose weight, which would be extremely helpful when it came to my physical health. Even eating properly was a challenge because the simple fact is that beloved and I already were eating very healthily.

Then I remembered those words. “How are all your surgeries going?”

I don’t want to be the sum total of scars and repairs.

So I joined a gym a couple of months ago. I figured I could at least sit on a bike and pedal. And I could, and I could do the treadmill and the cross trainer, too. And weights!! God, I forgot how much I love doing weights. You see I have in the past been a gym person –  before I moved up here. And it was some of the best times ever. I stopped when I busted my ankle. But my ankle is fixed now. So off I went.

Since then, I’ve dropped 10kg.

There’s a shitload more to go, I know that. And life has indeed reared up and given me another kick. But fuck it. I kick back now. I kick back.

I’ve set myself the goal of doing a 6km mud run next march. I can’t wait. It’s going to be fantastic.

I am not just a slab of meat connected by scars and stitches.

I am a person with goals and dreams and passions and people of the highest quality around her.

I am a human being and I am turning this shit around.

I am a human being.

I am a human.

The Shifting Sands

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My head has been completely occupied with thoughts lately.

I don’t think I have even told you about my emergency trip in an ambulance over Easter, or even the visit to my sisters. I’ve just been so caught up in the thoughts that are bothering me.

We live on a beautiful planet. And we’ve treated it like shit, but we’re learning from our mistakes. And we treat each other like shit, and for the most part, we’re learning from those mistakes too. As individuals, we know now that it’s OK to chase dreams and set goals and embrace what you are good at. Generations have changed now. Having a “proper job” and a “career” aren’t really the be all and end all that they used to be. It’s OK to be creative and clever and to have opinions and thoughts and dreams and goals. You can brag about your kids without being a wanker and you can be proud of your kids without being labelled a helicopter parent.

And I think the Internet has a lot to do with that.

And this is good.

The example I have in my head when I’m writing this, is my beloved. She creates awesome stuff with her interior design knowledge. Cushions and clocks and tables and all sorts of stuff. It’s great. It really is. Even if I didn’t totally love her, I would still think it is good. You can check out her Etsy store. But this isn’t about throwing publicity her way.

Because the other side of this is a Facebook page I’ve been made aware of that exists solely to “save” Australia from the religion of Islam. It’s a hate page. It offers frequent videos and rants, full of swearing and incitement to jump on the bandwagon to “reclaim” Australia. And I cannot tell you how ashamed the page makes me feel. Ashamed, but also concerned for the welfare of the person behind it.

This seems like a totally unrelated bunch of words at the moment, but bare with me.

Because here is where I am going with this:

For some reason, this hate page has very quickly grown in support and numbers. My beloved’s page is growing… but slowly. Same with the page for this blog. What is it that makes people jump on board with hate speech instead of creativity, is what I want to know.

Not because I want more numbers for me or my beloved, but because I think it might be offering an insight into what people really are passionate about. And this is a scary, scary thought. Because what if it’s the increased access to a ready audience that fuels this kind of thing. People who have these extreme “anti” viewpoints aren’t outsiders any more. There’s a heap of people ready to support them in their vitriol and not one stops to consider the well-being of the person behind the posts.

The thing is, everytime something like the page I’m talking about starts spewing forth opinions and hatred, more people rise. People who share the #illridewithyou hashtag. People who say “You do not speak for me”. People who can see beyond the actions of extremists and embrace humans, regardless of their religious beliefs. And for every ounce of ignorance, there seems to be double the weight in love and courage and humanity.

Because it just isn’t brave to be hateful and destroy.

It takes a lot more courage to love and create.

And yet somehow, this hate page has garnered a lot of support. And there are plenty more just like it.

Have we turned into a world that supports hatred? See, I don’t actually think that we have. I hope we haven’t.

And maybe, just maybe, that is the conclusion I’m looking for, in this blog post. Because I’m aware I haven’t said a huge amount, not really. And I’ve done nothing to empty the thoughts out of my head. But the crux of it is maybe those two words. And they might be what we need to take away when we see hate and vitriol on social media, alongside our friendships and our creativity and our passions. Two simple words, which are the ultimate response to hate and also to the pursuing of dreams. Just two words.

Here they are again:

I hope.

Ten Days of Whirlwind

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Things have been a little bit bizarre, the last week or so. Which is a vague apology for not blogging, but not really an apology, because I’m not sure if there is anything to be sorry for. The beauty of blogging is that nobody pays me to do this, so if I write or not there’s no pressure, no deadline, no dress code – I do it because I love it, and when I don’t get to blog it’s generally because life is happening and leaving me a bit overwhelmed or bewildered.

Anyway, anyway. I digress, and in paragraph one! Oh this is going to be a ripper, isn’t it.

This has been a really big week. Week and a bit. Let’s say ten days. A big ten days.

And now I’m counting, and getting totally distracted.

I have lots of things to tell you, and long time followers will know that each of these things is significant. But what they actually are, is a list of how my world has become a bit of a whirlwind. And to be honest, completely and utterly honest, I’m going to tell you that these things are all awesome. But the reality is I am starting to panic a bit. Panicking is something I do when I feel like self sabotaging. It’s very counter productive and is generally accompanied by increased nicotine inhalation and a rise in the amount of time spent playing mindless games on my phone.

Anyway anyway anyway. Here is what’s going on.

1. I got a job. I got a job. I got a job. I’m yet to start, but I got a job. Can you believe that? I had a two hour interview – yes, TWO HOURS! I’m looking forward to starting.

2. During the job interview, I was trying really hard not to fidget around. So I stuck my hand into my shoe. It made sense at the time so shh. Anyway I was sitting there talking in a very grown up and professional manner when my fingers found themselves encircled by a random piece of RIBBON that was attached to the inner sole of the shoe I was wearing. So I did what anyone would do, when they were in the middle of a job interview with the hand shoved in their shoe: I pulled. Yanked out the ribbon. Slipped it into my pocket without them even noticing. Because that is how smooth I am. Total adult.

3. A few days after the interview, I found out that Skunk would be riding again. Skunk is my Scout name. Because I was a Cub Scout leader. For a long time, minus 12 months after being stood down for fighting to save my beautiful little group. I’ve been reinstated. And I started on Thursday. And it was hard. It was the actual definition of bittersweet. I was happy to be back, but heartbroken to be back at the wrong Hall and seeing everyone in the wrong scarves. But I guess that’s the thing, isn’t it. My passion for giving kids a chance to step up has to be bigger than my grief or my pride. And I suppose it is, because I go back tomorrow night.

4. Before I left for Scouts, my baby Scouty hurt her foot. Pretty badly. Not amputate or put down – probably only comparable to a sprain. But fuck. Seeing that furry little face in pain and not understanding why she was hurting and my beloved having to take her to the vet without me to hold her paw. Then I came home, and she just held onto my arm and breathed and slowly her breathing returned to normal and she looked at me with her big brown eyes and then limped out to bed. My heart, in a million pieces. She’s fine, by the way. Still a bit hobbling but absolutely improving.

5. So I got a job, got reinstated as Cub leader, my fur baby hurt herself and then I went to the Hawkesbury to visit my family. And this is awesome, this bit. My sister got a PUPPY. His name is Rory and he’s beautiful. Look, this is him!

Rory. Image by The Naughty Corner

Rory. Image by The Naughty Corner

6. I set a goal and I’m working towards it. By nature, I’m someone who loves to be at home. I recharge at home, I feel safe at home, I have some form of control over things at home – not in a I’m a control freak way, but in a knowing how things will be kind of way. Comfort from routine and lack of surprises, I guess. But I’ve been really making a huge effort the last week or so to go out every single day. I fucking hate it. But I’m doing it. And working on this is confronting. But I’m doing it.

7. I came home from the Hawkesbury today. Was met by my rambunctious furries and slightly overwhelmed dog sitters. We had dinner and then they left. Then I saw this clip, from a show called “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here”. I had been backing the glorious Chrissie Swan to win since day one. I love this chick. She’s beautiful and clever and witty and funny and caring and smart. And she’s a mum and spoke often of missing her kids while she was on the reality series, eating this like ostrich arseholes and having maggots poured over her. The finale was tonight and this, this moment here happened. Watch it, then I will tell you why it reduced me to tears as I watched it over and over and over again:

Did you see it? Chrissie, so tired and worn out. And just… waiting. And then she hears it. A hopeful little word. A word that’s a question and a hope and an assumption and a heart. “Mum?”. And everything changes. And I watched it and cried and then watched it again and again. And it wasn’t the obvious answer of oh god I miss my mum. It was this:

Is that what it’s going to be like when I finally get to see my mum again? When we meet again in the next part of life? Will she be waiting for me? I might get to hold her and hear her and see her, and smell her listen to her, and in one word tell her how much she has been missed and loved and remembered and thought of and hoped for. In one word, I’d catch her attention and she’d look up and see me. And everything changes.

And everything has changed.

But it isn’t all bad.

And that’s the biggest whirlwind of all, I think.

New Adventures

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After writing about seeds, and sharing with you the little surprise discovery I had about myself last year, the ongoing support has been awesome. Thank you.

Yesterday and today, I did some biting of chunks of challenges.

You see, in 2000 I finished uni with a Masters in Teaching. I stayed on and completed the Masters because when I did prac with the Graduate Diploma, I made a terrible discovery: teaching scared the shit out of me. Panic attacks galore, to the point of hoping for car accidents on the way to work so I wouldn’t have to go. The level of anxiety and fear I felt about teaching was horrible, and I know I won’t be able to do it justice with words. The entire thing terrified me – how to interact with other teachers, what to do on playground duty, what to wear, what to take for lunch. I completely forgot basic skills like telling the time and spelling, so great was my terror. So staying on and going the Masters seemed like the perfect way to avoid going into the classroom.

Of course, I finished the Masters and was a targeted grad, meaning I got offered permanent full time work straight away.

Which I turned down.

Since then, I’ve had many failed attempts at getting back into the classroom. I go OK for maybe a day or two, but then it just falls apart. More often then not, recess and lunch were the times I would find a quiet corner and sob. This was pure terror, all stemming from anxiety.

I’ve tried other jobs, and the thing is, that anxiety ended up being related to everything work related. And with the discovery of Aspergers, I now realise that what has been fuelling that anxiety is missing those cues and hints that help everyone else navigate work just fine. That, and not recognising the limits of my role, and therefore deciding that I was there to save the entire world. Which is a pretty damn big ask.

I had a discussion with my beloved about different things I might like to do. Working with older people, community services stuff – they’ve always been high on my list. And so has teaching. I know, it sends me batty but I still want to work with kids. I was talking to a friend about it as well and she suggested I check out the course for being a leisure and lifestyles worker – that cheery soul that rocks up to aged care facilities or hospitals and runs diversional therapies like music and art and games and so on. Sounded pretty good to me. Actually, it sounded a lot like I’d be getting a formal qualification for what I had been doing at Cubs for all those years. So I checked out the course, and applied last night.

I got a call this morning, just after nine. I’m in! I start on Thursday! Yay!

And then… I had a shower and got dressed and drove to a local primary school. You see my lovely friend from House of Damask had listened to me talking about teaching, and spoke to a family member about my position (Aspergers versus stubbornness). That family member works in a local school. And just like that, the way was paved.

So I went. I spoke to my friend’s family member. Worked out what I had to do next. And now, that is in progress.

Adventures, friends. Adventures and possibilities.

It’s scary and exciting and big and hopeful and maybe, just maybe, things are going to be OK. Because at long last, I’m not working against myself.

I’m working with myself.

And the possibilities seem endless.

Source: unknown

Source: unknown