#1824 Goodbye number 14

Phwoar. What a day.

Today was the day that we said goodbye to our family home.

The home that my parents have lived in for 40 years.

The home that my sister spent growing up as a teenager, all the way until she got married.

The home that’s the only childhood, family home I’ve ever known… that I lived in for 25 years until I got married.

Goodbye, number 14.

It was an emotionally bittersweet day. Emotional because oh God, all of the above! So many memories are in every inch, every corner, every crevice of that house.

Through the rush to get everything out of the house this morning, I tried to pause every so often, look around, take a breath, and say a personal thanks to the house that made my years growing up, the best in the world.

Here is the emotional part.

I was reflecting on my life spent there as I walked around the empty rooms, a bit taken aback by the hollowness of it all. The furniture, furnishings, and all the photos and trinkets that made it such a loved home, were all gone.

But oh, those walls. If those walls could talk.

Those walls would speak of happiness, of laughter. Of sadness and shock, family coming together, and family celebrating to make the most out of life.

And love. SO much love.

Memories hit me as I walked into rooms, turned corners. Looked this way, that. People from the past resurfaced, along with people from the present.

In the lounge room, I saw myself sitting on the floor while my parents watched footy on the TV.

In the kitchen I saw my Mum cooking up a feast, our family sitting down to eat at the small round table, perfect for us in size, so perfect, to keep us tight and close together, as always.

In the garden I saw happiness. Friends, cousins, brimming around, enjoying a drink on a hot Summer’s day, folk music from the garage wafting over and adding to the festive atmosphere of it all.

The garage, ohhhh, the garage. Where so, so, so many parties and events were had. Birthdays. Milestones. Weddings. Day after weddings! New Years. And all of the Christmases that Mum cooked up a storm, catering for over 30 people like it was an absolute breeze, even though it wasn’t.

She made it look effortless.

Those were the days. Those were the BEST days.

The park next door. Hearing the squeals of happiness from our younger cousins as they took advantage of the play proximity.

At the front door, I saw my sister being led out in her wedding dress by my parents… then I saw myself, doing the same.

Deep breath.

The dining room showed me all of us, our big family, as we are now. The original foursome, us, being my parents, sister and I, but now with our Hubbies and our kids, filling up the table, eating heaps, drinking more, and playing music off of youtube on the mobile until the late hours of the night.

In my bedroom. The bedroom that I spent 15 years of my life sleeping, dreaming and hoping in. I had another room for the first 10 years of my life, but I claimed this one, sister’s one, after she got married and moved out.

It’s always been the better room.

I sat in my old room. Took some photos around me. And then here, I began to cry.

I remember watching Video Hits for hours on weekend mornings.

My childhood cat scratching at my window, wanting to be let in, and then me opening the window to shoo her, upset she had woken me… but when she jumped down from the window sill outside, I thought stuff it, you’ve woken me now… and so I would call her back in (she must have thought I was a crazy bipolar cat owner) and she’d snuggle up next to me as I slept a little more.

I’d open up that window, and talk to friends through it.

I talked to SO MANY people, through it.

I listened to music for hours on my bed.

I had sleepovers in that room.

I had sleepovers in that house! On the lounge room floor, covered in blankets and sleeping bags.

When Croatia played Australia in the 2006 World Cup, Hubbie-then-boyfriend and I watched it, me running around the house with a Cro flag when Croatia scored a goal, and Hubbie running around the house with an Aussie flag when they scored a goal.

I don’t remember who won that game. All I remember is the memories.

All the people who came, and went from that house. It would be in the hundreds. Friends, family, people who I grew up with, grew apart from, so many people have touched base in that house, shared a laugh, a dance, a drink, and made a memory.

Even baby girl. It was the first place that she ever visited, after her own home.

Speaking of baby girl… My waters broke in that house! And my own Mum’s waters broke in there, when she was pregnant with me!

Both sister’s Hubbie, and my Hubbie, met my parents for the first time in THAT lounge room…

News broke. Secrets shared. Heavy discussions were had. Tears shed.

People were welcomed. People were greeted.

People came in, and immediately knew that there was love. They were safe. They were in a memorable place.

And so today, the time came. We walked through the house. We took our final photos.

And we drove off, for good.

That was seriously bitter, right?

Where is the sweet?

Well, it comes with the choice. How blessed are we that this was born of my parents decision to move closer to me and sis, and not because of a bad circumstance.

How lucky are we that we get to say goodbye, together, in the best way possible… and how lucky that we still get to take ALL the memories with us?

Including most importantly, the people.

I am so looking forward to making just as many happy memories in their new abode. 🏑🏑

But my heart will always hold a very special and dear place, for number 14.

πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1776 Thank God It’s Christmas

“Oh, my love, we’ve had our share of tears

Oh, my friend, we’ve had our hopes and fears…”

Did you know Queen has a Christmas song? Actually, two that I know of. The one I’m referring to, the same title as my blog post, well I discovered it a few months ago.

But upon finding it to play, I struggled to get through it without tears in my eyes, as the lyrics hit me hard, having gone through some issues at the time.

This morning, I put it on repeat, several times.

“Oh, my friends, it’s been a long hard year

But now it’s Christmas

Yes it’s Christmas

Thank God it’s Christmas.”

Those were my sentiments exactly, and I went into Christmas at my parents house, shared with my sister and her family, feeling utterly grateful.

Snapshots of Christmas 2020.

You might notice a plate of lemons in there. Well you see, lemons are the right fruit to refer to with what I’m about to share, having played an important part of a moment I had today.

Not only was I grateful to be amongst family after a year like no other, where hardship and difficulty seemed to arrive at every opportunity, but it was a bittersweet Christmas in that it would be the last at my childhood home before my parents moved house.

It was a Christmas, like so many we’d had there before… full of love, happiness, laughter, and great memories. But every now and then, it hit me – CRAP, this was our last one there.

I was cutting up lemons for our evening prawn feast, when it struck me again.

Last Christmas here.

And suddenly, it was bittersweet. Much like the lemons. On their own they were hard to take, your face screwed up when you bit into it, they were so sour…

But in accompaniment, with something else, like prawns… with a martini… or with honey… somehow it tasted a lot better.

It was great, even desirable.

Much like this last Christmas.

It wasn’t the last, but it would be the last there.

I could take it though. I could take it, because I still took with me all the memories of being there, celebrating Christmas after Christmas with my family and friends, all throughout the years.

Most importantly, I was taking the most important thing with me.

My family.

As if on cue, INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ came on the radio, and I had to smile.

If only there were no change. Things would be so easy, with everything staying the same, static, and with no room to move.

But that’s the point of life you see. To grow. To evolve.

There MUST be change.

So I took the lemons to the table, and we enjoyed them in the best prawn feast ever.

Merry Christmas. πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸ’–πŸ€Ά

#1645 Day 147 of getting there: The Iso birthdays

I was really surprised to reach the end of today, and find that I felt…

Sad. Bittersweet.

The exact same way I feel after we have one of our big birthday parties.

Only this year was different, right?

What was different…

Firstly, no family, no friends, NO ONE. Just us.

No celebratory birthday outing.

Hmmm….

That’s about it.

What was the same though?

The food. We ate most of the day, and felt absolutely stuffed by it all!

The drinks. I went a little ‘woo!’ in my head.

The presents.

(Even Mister F was amazed there was a present hiding up there!)

The cakes. The candles.

The music. Freddie! Dancing.

The surprises… for both of us.

The love and well wishes that came from everywhere.

I have to say, my family and friends made sure we felt the love today.

During such a weird time in our lives, when we are going through celebrations and momentous life events without so much as a peep on the radar as to its significance, the people around me reminded us today that we are loved, we are remembered, and also…

That we WILL party really really really really HARD when this passes!

And so, it comes as no surprise that I would be feeling sad it was all over.

It was actually, still, a really lovely day. πŸ₯°

Everyone was far… but I felt the love.

We felt the love. πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

#1609 Day 111 of getting there: The Bittersweet, Boof-head Brunette

I had my hair appointment booked for this past Thursday.

Cut and colour at my hairdressers.

But then, second round lockdown happened.

Wednesday night 11:59pm.

Talk about timing.

And because I still frequent my hairdresser on the other end of town, well, travelling an hour to do my hair, didn’t really feel like an “essential” thing, seeing as I pass about 12 hairdressers when I drive just down the main road two minutes from home.

Still… it is SOOO essential. I was desperate, really I was.

I haven’t cut my hair since sometime Feb. It is so long and flowing, with probably a gazillion split ends, that makes brushing it absolute hell (just as well I wear it wavy and DON’T brush it).

And even though the last time I coloured it was in April during the first lockdown, when I did it myself, I did really really really need to get rid of those annoying ‘light-coloured’ hairs popping up around my forehead…

But in the scheme of things… I sucked it up. Like all of us are doing this year.

I bought a hair colour again from the supermarket. Same one, bittersweet chocolate, because that is so me this year.

And then after colouring it tonight, I thought I would go a STEP FURTHER…

And blow wave it.

Oh geez.

Now doing this on regular basis is a feat in itself because my hair is always thick, usually long, but now it is just out of control. Iso has given me a chance to give the hairdryer a rest, and I honestly have not used it since early March.

Wavy hair all the way friends.

So after colouring tonight, that’s what I did… I blow dried my hair.

And even though I used that super creamy conditioner from the box that made it feel all silky, my hair had just been coloured… so then drying it with the hair dryer, made it go all frizzy, making me look like a –

BOOF-HEAD.

I was refreshed, I looked new, I liked the colour, but my hair was all wiry and funny and just looking like it was crying out ‘SOS!’

I pinned my long fringe away from my face to try and create the appearance of smoothness… kinda 60s like, something like this:

But it wasn’t pretty like that you see, it felt more like THIS:

Yeah that’s better.

I’ve been a boof-head all night in my bittersweet brunette hair. But it’s actually okay.

You know how they say a change is as good as a holiday?

Well I’ve just been back in time to the hippie era, so I’m good thanks.

#1576 Day 78 of getting there: the best, bittersweet, bedtime story

“Come on, you have to go to bed! You’re not gonna get as much sleep as usual.”

Baby girl is bouncing on the bed tonight, full of energy.

“I am so excited!”

She is standing on her bed, and is a touch taller than me as I stand on the ground next to her, and envelope her in a big hug.

“I’m excited too!”

She leans back, eyeing me. “Can you tell me a story?”

ERRRR.

MASSIVE stalling technique.

“No book, not now… you want me to tell you a story?”

“Yes!”

“Well go on, sit down…” And as I sit down myself, I am realising I have the best bedtime story of all.

But, names are modified… as per usual. πŸ˜‰

“Once upon a time, there was a girl called Kandi. And she had the most beautiful daughter, called Karisa.”

Baby girl gasps in happiness.

“But one day, this terrible, horrible virus, took over THE WORLD…”

I find myself getting majorly choked up.

“People can’t go anywhere. They have to stay home. They can’t go to work…”

I am trying to gather myself, but it is too late.

“…They can’t go to school.”

And I am full on sobbing. I am acutely aware of baby girl sitting there watching me, and I’m hoping like hell she isn’t going to break down herself.

“But – ” I force myself to continue. “Karisa is so amazing. Her Mum works from home, and Karisa is a trooper, she’s a superstar. She makes her own breakfast, she brushes her teeth, gets dressed, even brushes her hair some days! She does this every day.”

“She puts on the TV on her own… she does her homework. She is, the best, and her Mum is soooo proud of her.”

I am smiling at baby girl, my cheeks stained with tears.

“Is that the end?”

“No! After all of that, she goes back to school, and she has the best day, no – she has the best DAYS ahead of her ever. She is the best student, and she goes on to change the world.”

The End Beginning…

#1525 Day 27 of getting there: I dyed my hair, yeah yeah

So, I have NEVER coloured my hair on my own, at home, alone.

That statement suggests that I may have coloured my hair at home, but in the company of someone else… and that is totally right. Years and years ago I had bestie do it for me, before baby girl entered the picture, and I am pretty sure it was during my “save money/I can do that” phase.

But only I wasn’t actually doing it… bestie was.

Fast forward to several years later, and now Coronavirus is making me dye my hair at home, properly alone.

Let’s just stop to think about that for a moment. The isolation caused by this virus is making people look within themselves to build things, create things, change things, and be inventive in ways they never imagined they would, or could.

Although it’s not a situation anyone of us want to be in… there’s something exciting and thrilling about that thought. The thought of all of us looking within ourselves to make something in our lives happen, to make something in our lives better.

Including, hair.

Look, I love my hairdresser, and I will happily go back to them after all this is over.

But I totally smashed the hair colouring tonight.

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I couldn’t wait until this isolation blew over, no I sure as hell couldn’t. As it was I was scheduled for my hair appointment the weekend when the virus crisis started to peak… and so I ended up cancelling.

Regrowth and split ends galore. I could deal with the split ends indefinitely, but the regrowth was NOT TO MY LIKING AT ALL.

You know what colour I picked? Bittersweet chocolate. I told Hubbie I picked it because I liked the name and said it suited me at this phase of my life, and he said that sounded just like me, ha ha.

Things are bitter at the moment, but I always try to remain sweet.

And who doesn’t want their hair the colour of dessert?

Hair colouring night… success. πŸ™‚

#1444 Reminiscing yet looking forward

I know there are so many parents out there counting down the minutes until their brood is booted off to school for another year.

And as much as I fall into this category many times during the year, a part of me ain’t feeling it tonight.

We had such a great summer.

Today was so bittersweet. I was thinking of all the routine, school lunches, rushing out the door, urging baby girl to GET OUT OF BED, and then oh God, those Winter mornings… so far away and yet so INEVITABLE.

Ugh.

Baby girl and I enjoyed a babycino/coffee break on the balcony today, which seemed like a fitting holiday send-off before a new school year.

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And then tonight, after we checked her uniform and got her lunchbox requests sorted, I spotted the remnants of a stunning sunset.

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A truly beautiful sky. Wisps of barely-there clouds floating through the middle, seemingly connecting the heavens to the earth…

Our dreams and wishes to us mere mortals?

Here’s hoping for a superb year that is more sweet than it is bitter. β™₯

#1373 What side of the sunset do they see?

You know, I still call them my work colleagues.

I realised it some weeks ago while out with friends. In conversation I went “oh yeah, my work friend so and so…”

And it was here that it occurred to me what I’d said.

‘Work’ – present tense… ‘Friend’ – present tense.

Perhaps it feels like that because it’s still all so new.

Perhaps it feels like that because I haven’t actually moved on to another form of paid work yet.

Perhaps it feels like that, because they will always be my friends.

Either way, this time of year has had me thinking about the crew a whole lot.

Because I knew, one of them would have started Christmas shopping already.

One of them would have a couple of holidays/getaways planned for the Summer .

One was going to visit the parents and pot around the garden.

A couple were going to spend time with the kids and do a whole lot of beachside activities.

And even a few more were looking forward to an extended holiday break to sleep in and watch the cricket.

I knew this, because I know them so well.

But yet, I was still not content. It’s been 3 months now, so long between catch ups, between drinks, between coffee walks.

So I messaged them ALL.

Well let’s be serious, not all of them. I messaged those who I had a connection with. Those I missed the most. Those who when I said, “let’s catch up soon” back in September, I had meant it.

Because I only say it if I mean it.

So during baby girl’s swim lesson this afternoon I took out my phone and started sending out messages.

In the hours that followed everyone responded. I returned text after text as baby girl and I got home, as she showered, as I prepared dinner and then as I cleaned up… I was grinning from ear to ear and going “awwww!”

Hubbie was smiling at me, crouched over the kitchen island, saying “that’s good.”

It was good.

I went to shower, but then got another message, so sat on my bed to respond. And it was here that I looked outside and saw the view.

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Such a beautiful sky, dotted with those rippled clouds.

How did the sky look to my work friends? How did it look to them all? We were certainly scattered all over the city, that there was no doubt of, from coastal towns to country regions, and every where in between…

Did they see the same colours? The same sky? Were the clouds peppered in their view as it was in mine?

I thought about this for a moment and how we were now, as I always said we would be… strewn all over the place, far from each other, and away from our former place of work.

But we were still bound. We still are. By the memories. β™₯

#1284 Lucky 7

As I drove into work on the dreaded Monash this morning, the car slowed, painfully so… for the longest time.

There was an accident. I shook my head. I was going to be late.

As I walked into work the drizzle intensified, cascading down over my face. I couldn’t help my amused smile. Thanks for the lovely send off Docklands.

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IMAG0182

And then as I started up my computer, two programs weren’t working… I had to call IT.

Face palm.

All on my very last day of work.

It was finally HERE.

It was the weirdest sensation. I felt anxious and intensely nervous through most of the day. Things were emphasised to me at every turn… when I went up a lift “this will be my last time travelling to level 3.” When I scraped my bowl of its weetbix residue… “this will be my last dish from this kitchen.”

When I locked my locker for the last time.

When I logged off my computer for the last time.

Even going upstairs for a break with my colleagues got me over-sentimental. I in fact stopped going up for tea years ago, back when I started my morning coffee walks instead, and then there was the whole writing-at-the-desk-during-any-break thing…

I had to force myself to breathe. Pause. Reflect.

Many things made me feel better.

Firstly, this was not I, and I alone leaving. It was all of us. Our entire department and so many more. I was the second last of our team to leave, and so many had already walked my steps, felt my dis-ease, the discomfort and the bittersweet emotions at leaving.

It had happened to ALL my colleagues. My friends.

Secondly.… well change. It is inevitable. If this hadn’t happened now, we would have all been content in just going through the motions, the routine of work that we know like the back of our hand, becoming complacent in our roles and not expanding our mind and life journey with new learnings, adventures and places to see, people to meet.

There is so much to see. So many people to meet.

Memories flooded back to me as I looked around. The people I had seen come, and go. The places where secrets were shared. The darting looks and cheeky glances. The meltdowns. The showdowns. The ups, and downs.

Almost 12 years of my life.

I got my last coffee with a colleague… and today it was necessary to get dessert. Sure I had leftover cake from the weekend at home…

But it was my LAST DAY EVER. Screw that.

IMAG0192

It was sublime.

As I sent off a billion emails to my personal email, going through folders and deleting files here, there and everywhere, the feeling of anxiety grew.

I was deleting, and removing any remnants of me, from my locker… my desk… my entire email account. 1000s upon 1000s made their way into the graphic rubbish can on screen.

And my anxiety grew.

I was forgetting something. I met with HR. Got my papers. Went through more emails. Checked my lists… again. Went through my empty locker… again.

I had done everything I had to… and yet there was the strongest urge that I had forgotten something.

And just like that, at the acknowledgment of my lost feeling, I realised.

I felt like I was forgetting something, because a piece of me was going to remain there, even after I walked out the doors.

You can’t just flick a switch. Walk out without turning back. Expect to not have a memory lingering. Some laughter floating through the halls.

You can’t do it. Not after so long. Not after having created some of the best memories with the best people you could ask for.

You couldn’t, just, forget.

With that in mind, knowing I was going to have to leave a piece of me behind…. I walked out.

And instead of the grey morning and drizzle I had walking in with, now there was sunshine.

There was a new adventure waiting for me.

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And it’s a bit hard for me to believe now, so early… but I think it will be even better than this one.

And that’s because of my lucky number. Numbers. Because I have lots. And it’s not just 7.

πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

#1277 Hidden work emails

The end, is nigh.

At my work. I don’t even want to say anything too soon for fear of things getting dragged out further, but let’s just say my time at my current place of employment… well it won’t be so current anymore.

I am ready to move on.

A couple of months ago, perhaps not so much. I was feeling very bittersweet about the whole thing, wondering what I would do after it all (uh, write more?!) I was questioning my future, and was thinking about the people mostly, those I had made memories with for the past 11 and a half years.

But as the weeks have gone by, and many colleagues have already left, along with the fact that we are still here 4 months after we were meant to have left, a total of 18 months AFTER being told about our redundancy… well I am ready.

I really truly, think I…Β  AM… READY.

There is barely nothing to do. We are hanging around at work waiting for problems to arise so we can fix them, before the official migration interstate happens. And as we wait, we… do what we like.

Today I was getting ready and sorting my things by going through emails. Not those work-related, tips on how to write a resume and grab the attentions of your preferred employer emails…

Rather the emails I’ve been sending and receiving for over a decade, between me and my work friends.

What a time warp. So many things have transpired and gone down and exploded and sailed, all with a lot of cat photos, food porn and plenty of coffee walks in between. πŸ˜‰

So I have collated a few of those cheeky work emails for you to read and hopefully enjoy, even if you have no idea what or WHO they are about…

work emails that happened when we were supposed to be working,

when we were supposed to be not listening, and

when we were supposed to be not talking.

And before any potential work friends of mine meltdown when they see this… RELAX. I am only repeating on here MY WORDS. Only.

Still, they paint a little story. Read on. πŸ™‚ (Photos included were actual photos included in original emails)

 

“I think I need to try all their pastries… just to makes sure they’re up to scratch, u know”

“He WAS chirpy today! OMG you’re killing me!”

R things progressing?

How the hell will I wait ’til thursday to find out?

Oh oh! I’m parked at remand, maybe u can move ur car when I leave 5:10???”

“Yes!

What would you say if I told you I brought you in a donutella? Would you like it now or after? ;)”

catpotcoffee

“OMG yes just in time for as this audio assault arrives beside me”

“Please don’t feel pressured… I understand.. if u wanna say something im totally here (!), but if u feel uncomfortable I get that too.

But I am here if u get the urge to say something. Hey u could also say something really vague and let me interpret. Lol

Joking joking. Or am I ?;)”

“No problems! Even if u wanna wait until the day to confirm, up to u πŸ™‚ when it comes to coffee and catch ups I say yes very easily and quickly lol”

“I don’t watch the Voice but I saw bits of it on Sunday and everyone was raving about how amazing Ricky is, if I was on that show and he turned around for me, I would throw myself on him!”

“How’s your coffee today? Mine is really good!”

silence human

“I think I dreamt about u again! But u know when u feel like someone featured in ur dream but u cant remember any detail? Like that”

“Ok…. Well think of it as a cry out for help, where you can help a poor Mum who has had very very little sleep get some sense of normality back in her day with some caffeinated goodness.

And, if that fails, here is Ricky Martin: (this is not the same photo, but meh)

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In not knowing who to post for you, I’ve just thought to go with who to post for ME, lol!”

“Let’s be honest, all you’ve been eating is herbs today, so you can totally have more sweets”

“By the way i’m nice and warm now after my big cap!”

i want coffee cat

(And I end with my favourite exchange…)

“I can’t remember what we used to call the greasy ogler, so I’ll just go with greaseball.

He walked past me this morning (past Xs desk) and I looked up with a normal smile because I SERIOUSLY DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS WALKING BY! And he did that flick of his head where it was as if he was gonna look away but then quickly turned back because he saw I smiled. I was so bloody disgusted and upset that I let him think I was FRIENDS with him.

Then he just walked by again, totally looking the whole time as if waiting for a smile. Because I’m actually sitting here doing work rather than ogling people in the office (like, honestly) I didn’t notice him β€˜til the very end, but thank God I only looked up with a fairly serious look.

I notice only him on his own around lately, so I hope his horrible posse has dismembered.

Ugh.

Hope you have a nice greaseball-free day!”

Ahh, memories. πŸ™‚ β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯