#392 Quick reflexes

So, I’m glad I’m here writing this to you.

I’m so glad I’m alive.

And no, I’m not being melodramatic. I was nearly wiped off the road today, and my quick instincts saved me.

A colleague at work mentioned those ‘Sliding Doors’ moments after I told her the harrowing ordeal, and that just freaked me out more. Imagine if I had been going a bit faster, the guy could have, he really could have…

…Rammed into my left side and thrown me against the concrete wall of the Monash. Doing 100ks on that freeway, and then having to slam on the brakes, and swerve very abruptly towards the concrete wall, is NOT FUN.

I wondered: imagine? What if? Was I meant to get into an accident? Did I avoid getting mashed up – my real fate? Was that my ugly destiny?

I can’t think like that. In fact, I actually can’t. As a glass half-full gal, I believe that what is meant to be, has been, and that is, I miraculously avoided a huge collision and definite injury because, I’m meant to be around here for a while longer.

Call it fate. Call it intervention. Call it timing. Call it circumstance.

I’ll call it quick reflexes. And I am bloody well grateful for it.

 

#360 Damaged blinds

Am I grateful that the blinds are damaged?

???

I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend’s child damaged baby girl’s bedroom blinds today.

And I sure as hell as hell am not grateful that she clearly saw and tried to cover it up, or else how the hell did the blinds look all rolled up and tidy?

And I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend referred to my daughter as ‘cheeky’ when her child is a destroyer!

And I sure as hell am not grateful that she doesn’t go as far as to invite people over to her house which she keeps untouched from other children, yet is more than happy to go to others’ where her children will wreak havoc!

No, I sure as hell am not grateful for ANY of those things.

What I do hold consolation in is the fact that these blinds, although new and untouched (until today), will eventually be replaced.

Not in the next year or so. Maybe a 5 year project. So I will have to look at baby girl’s damaged blinds for the next however many years thinking of my friend’s child’s face.

And grunt.

But at least they’re not our ‘ideal’ blinds.

Trying really hard right now. Trying to summon forth the glass half-full view of post #1…

Grrr, argh.

#331 Somebodies to love

I was having a really shitty morning. Even for a glass half-full gal like me, when I am upset at something, or as was the case today, when I am upset at a NUMBER of things, even I struggle to find a piece of good in it, or something to be grateful for in the day.

But, I try. As bloody shitty as I am.

And pissed off as I was, running around being a taxi driver, people not working with me, feeling like a failure, feeling like I had to answer to people, feeling like everything was up in the air, feeling confused, feeling AHH!…

I had a thought. And suddenly, I realised I was lucky.

Here I was, running around for baby girl.

Here I was, running around for my parents.

Here I was, with my mother-in-law who was dropping plans her own plans to help me with baby girl.

Here my sister was, helping amidst her busy family schedule, to help me, and help our family unit out.

And all of these people, who were helping me, or were the recipients of help, I realised were part of the ongoing help cycle that is “US.”

I help them often. And they help me, much, much more.

And then Freddie Mercury came to mind.

“Can anybody find me…. somebody to love?”

I had so many people to love. And they loved me.

Suddenly, running around didn’t seem like such a chore anymore.

Suddenly, running around for those I loved, no matter how trying or frustrating some moments were, and knowing that those people in my ‘unit’ had run around for me too, so many times before, and probably would until the end of time, well, it became a blessing.

And just like that, my frown turned upside down.

It’s amazing how a change of perspective can change a situation, instantly.

Now for some genius… Freddie Mercury. 52 seconds.

You’re welcome.

 

#261 Sister’s phone call

She knew I was going through a hard time. Still, despite how busy and run off her feet she is, she called me this morning to see how I was.

That meant a lot.

We talked for a LONG while. I shed some tears, and also, many frustrations. We talked about the issues at hand… and though for some things there were avenues to be explored, with others it was just the good ol’ fashioned way: sit it out.

Sit in the crap, and know it WILL pass.

And that was it. I mean, it wasn’t just it. It was all, everything to me. But the conversation which probably went on for about an hour, didn’t magically solve all my problems. It was just having someone listen to, validate my feelings and emotions, and just having someone care. Someone try to think of how to make my life easier. Someone to actually give a damn. To go out of their way to help.

That someone is my sister. I am God damn lucky to have her.

And the phone call was well-timed. Although I had been emotional, I went on with the rest of my day in a newer light… thinking of the words she had said in the phone call, thinking of her…

Often it’s hard to be a glass-half full gal. Because when you’re down, you know you should get yourself up, get out of the funk, try and move on… and this acknowledgement is worse, as it makes you feel even unhappier that you are upset in the first place. You should know better, you tell yourself.

What’s gold, is having someone like my sister around. Because when my positive vibes aren’t flowing, she is there to lend me some of hers.

And all it took, was a phone call.

#141 Parents’ proximity

There are those who can’t wait to move out of their parents’ house once they have a fairly reliable job. There are those who move as far away as possible, sometimes even interstate or overseas.

Then there are people like Hubbie and I, who live bang smack in the middle of our parents – 10ish minutes on either side.

We’re going to sea change, eventually. I have no idea when that will be, but all I know for certain is that we will be almost 90 minutes away from them. The luxuries of popping in because we’re bored or in the area, will be swept out from under our feet.

So today I took advantage of our current situation. I asked baby girl what she would rather do on this miserably grey day: “go shops, or see your grandparents?”

To which she replied “(gr)aaaa(ndparents!)”

(I know her lingo well).

We spent about 2 and a half hours there, when in future that will consist of solely our driving time back and forth to their house from our new abode. Future visits will need to be organised and constructed carefully, so that the maximum amount of time and quality can be spent with each other.

I figure our time together will be more meaningful then: less petty convo and more in-depth bonding stuff.

Whichever way you look at it, it’s good to try and see the positives of both sides. As a glass half-full gal, that’s what I always try to do.

Now, I am grateful for their proximity… in future, our time together will be filled with more quality endeavours…. walks in the park, beachside visits, café stops, spas, wineries, bushwalks…

You gotta look for the positives, no matter what.

#130 Hot chocolate

Not the “I believe in miracles” kind… but the actual melted milk chocolate, hot chocolate type.

In glass half-full fashion, I will only state that I am under-the-weather. Under-the -weather consisting of sore and raspy throat, with the addition of incessant coughing and occasional runny nose. That under-the-weather.

I avoid coffee and caffeine where I can when I’m like this… where I can, meaning ‘if I have the willpower to.’ Fortunately for my tired and weak body my willpower was strong, but still, after I had decided that maybe a little trip to the shopping centre, to you know, venture out into the world and not spend my entire Sunday holed up and feeling sorry for myself, I decided that instead of my regular cap when we sat down to coffee… I would hot chocolate.

And it was impressive. What other place to have a hot chocolate at than an actual proper chocolate lounge, with actual melted chocolate inside your mug?

I was way too overwhelmed with life to think to take a photo of my mug, but trust me, it really looked something like this photo I found online:

theobroma-chocolate-lounge1

With the melted chocolate hanging over the mug’s edge and all.

Sweet. Decadent. Rich. Milky. Ohhh, it was good. I actually uttered these words to Hubbie: “Now I know why you sometimes go for hot chocolate over coffee – when it’s this good!”

Much of today has been shit. Yes I can be grateful that I’m not worse off. Yes I can be grateful that baby girl is in really good spirits despite being sick herself. Yes I can be grateful that because she is sick, she is in a really comfort-seeking mood, and sweetly handing out hugs by the second.

But I’m grateful for that Theobrama chocolate. It was surprising. And by surprising I mean, Yum.

 

#127 The tape cassette – voices from the past

It’s 1976. My Mum is back in her homeland, with my sister who is 7ish. My grandmother – my Mum’s Mum – is unwell, and my Mum and my sister, along with a couple of aunties and one uncle, have all gone back to visit her and various other loved ones they left behind when they went to try their hand in the ‘lucky country.’

My Dad is not there. I can hear my sister, so little, her voice warbled and strewn out the way mine was when I was that age, talking about leaving her cat behind. She’s saying that she hopes Dad is feeding him. She was sad when he said he wasn’t going overseas with her and Mum. She was silent, curious at his statement. He explained to her that if he went, they would have no one to feed her beloved cat.

He also added, that he wants her to eat well while she is away. Because if she doesn’t eat well, he will know, and therefore won’t feed her cat well. And if he doesn’t feed the cat well, well God forbid, the cat could get sick or possibly die! Shock horror.

This is all relayed with much laughter on the cassette. I can hear my Mum’s brother and his wife laugh and joke over what Dad will do with her cat. She calls out “laze!” (liar). I tear up, fascinated by my sister’s voice and character back then. I wasn’t around. I perhaps, wasn’t even a thought. Until 7 years later.

It’s the present day. Thursday June 30, 2016. I am in my parents lounge room, and due to some unspoken, unexpressed, deep-seeded need, my Mum has spontaneously put an old cassette tape with writing all over it, into the player. She said “n0!” when I threatened baby girl with leaving, as she was being cheeky and getting into all sorts of things that she shouldn’t.

“Here’s Baba,” my Mum says suddenly as a new voice enters the speaker after a distinct break in recording. “Your Dad’s Mum.”

I listen ardently, straining to make out every word through baby girl’s bouncing and racket behind me. She is sending many happy wishes, positive words and sweet thoughts to the whole family. She wishes her son were there with them too, but adds in a glass half-full fashion that even seeing my Mum and my sister is dear and touching enough.

She starts to tell him, through the cassette recorder, in between countless kilometres of earth and sea, that his daughter is a joy. She is such a happy child. She ran to her without hesitation, yelling “Baka!” (Grandma). I tear up, hearing the way the woman I never met speak about my sister. I try not to look at my Dad, knowing what I will see; but I can’t help it. I look back to him sitting on the couch, and his face is a wretched twist of emotion. Gone, but his eyes and the tears are speaking ‘never forgotten.’

Baby girl jumps in front of Mum and I, trying to touch the player. I hear my Grandmother’s voice, and with sharp clarity realise the start contrast of life. I never met any of my grandparents. Not one of them. Yet baby girl shares the most beautiful bond with my parents. I wonder if she realises how lucky she is.

I’ve always wondered what my grandparents would have thought of me. Would they have been proud of me? Would they have loved me? I hear my Dad’s Mum speaking about my sister, and my heart swells with joy. I know my doubts are ridiculous. I can hear the love in her voice. But still, I was never there when they were. I always wonder ‘what if?’ Do they see me now? Do they care? I hope and pray that they are one of my Angels watching over me… maybe even baby girl.

I listen to my Mum on the tape. Her voice is so youthful, so beautiful. She is sitting there near me, and I can hear her now as she intermittently explains who has just spoken… but as her voice comes through the player, man oh man do I wish I could see her then. See her vibrancy, her beauty, her naivety at all that is still to come. The desire runs deep and wild.

The emotion that one little cassette tape can bring out, is unbelievable. I’ve always wanted to record my own parents on cassette tape, to capture their stories from their childhood, teenage years, how they met and then came to Australia, and everything thereafter. I guess everyone thinks their family history is pretty fascinating, but there have been times when I’m listening to my parents tell me something that happened 40 years ago, and I can just see the picture: it’s there. It’s playing out to me, LIVE, and it’s the most fascinating story I have ever seen.

Today’s unexpected recorded moments have lit a desire in me. I don’t know how I will manage it, but I want to somehow record my parents life stories. I have a cassette tape recorder, and with it I will buy time if I have to.

There’s one thing that gives me comfort in never having met my grandparents. I think of my grandmother’s voice, her glass half-full view on things… I remember what my aunties have told me, about how I share her physical stance, her disposition. And I think, even if I never met her, or met any of my grandparents for that matter, they all live on, in one way through me. There is a part of them, in me, right now. And that’s pretty damn cool.

And I really could convey what my Grandmother was like from just that little brief moment of listening to her today. I am grateful to the tape cassette, for it brings people oceans apart within ears reach, and brings those who have never met into each other’s hearts.

Those voices, long gone, were very alive today.