I kind of had to face a mammoth task today. One I’ve been avoiding for some time now…
But, it was unavoidable.
More than necessary.
Once again… I had to colour my own hair. 🤦♀️
My hair is LONG.
It is THICK.
And for the last month, it has definitely had regrowth that needed attending to.
But, there was a catch, an extra element of difficulty that meant it would be all the more harder.
The ends of my hair are a golden colour, much lighter than the roots.
They kind of gently fade as the eye travels down, and I love it, and I don’t wanna lose it… I didn’t wanna lose it, it’s the only thing that makes me look like I may have recently been to a hairdresser (I most definitely HAVEN’T).
Instead of just rubbing colour into all parts of my hair like in other lockdowns… I had to be careful, and really only focus on the roots.
You know you’ve progressed to a crucial part of a relationship, when you start to rely on the other for self-care. Sometimes this comes about because of ill health, a new child entering the family… or lockdown.
Like, the amount of times I’ve cut his hair… I just can’t handle it, it is SOOOO stressful!
But I claimed my credit back tonight.
I got him to help me out. We were both there in the bathroom – actually baby girl was too, supervising and providing entertainment and all – and he was helping me get to all those back of scalp places that makes it all too hard with long, wavy, thicker and wider and crazier than a Lion’s mane type hair.
The rain started, right before the end of school bell rang.
I was already there with my umbrella, and baby girl’s. God forbid I forgot the purple unicorn umbrella with ears, oh oh oh.
I watched the rain come in fast, like sheets on an angle, getting in and behind people running through it, and even reaching people like me who thought they were safe with a nylon canopy covering their heads.
Baby girl, and the rest of the school kids emerged from their classes, bolting, and SCREAMING. They weren’t worried about the rain. They just wanted to have a good time and let everyone know it too.
Baby girl ran over to me at the low fence, throwing her bag over and doing the tricky manoeuvre she does so well and so often, as she swung her legs over it, cheating the kids who were passing normally through the school gate 50 metres away…
But only this time, she didn’t do it so well.
As she came down on the other side, she hit the unseen part of her chin against the fence.
I could tell it was a decent hit, not by looking at it, but simply by the look in her eye.
But, it was raining. We were walking fast to the car with our umbrellas, and only when we were almost there did I ask her to tilt her head up so I could see the damage.
Ouch. Blood. And a good mark.
But, I shouldn’t have told her that. 🤦♀️
There were tears. She was wiping at the cut constantly, blood always blotting onto the paper. At home I told her she must put Dettol on it… it was a wire fence after all… and she screamed, and cried, and screamed, and cried.
And I screamed, and pleaded, and screamed, and pleaded.
She touched it with her bare hands, all grotty still from school.
“No! Don’t do that! Use the Dettol!”
This went on for so long. My ears were ringing from our feverish cries. I was desperate for her to listen to me, so I could help her, while still trying to calm her nerves and assure her all would be well…
But then all of a sudden, I just broke.
I broke. I started to sob, and these felt like actual gasps of sadness escaping from my heavy heart, so terribly upset and desperate, so so desperate I was to help her, but she wouldn’t accept my help.
My heart cried, and the tears fell.
And it got her attention. Her breathing slowed, and her tears stopped falling for a moment as she looked at me, telling me it was alright.
And then she wiped a tear from the corner of my eye.
And just like that, the roles were reversed.
I don’t know why that moment has stayed with me today. To be honest the rest of the day I’ve been pretty flat and cranky.
Even though she let me dab the sore two times quickly with Dettol…
Even though I begged her to put on a band-aid, and she reluctantly agreed…
Even though it seems to be healing, and she’s now sleeping sans band-aid…
I’ve still felt heavily low and flat, and I think it has to do with my emotional outburst. Our screaming match actually traumatised me, and only a good sleep will be able to reset me, us, fully.
We are HOME. Finally. And in no small part is it due to a kind person we had only ever met over the phone up ’til this morning, who quite literally saved the day for us.
Our car had actually been fixed, lo and behold, late yesterday afternoon. But both last night, and this morning, when I tried repeatedly for almost 2 hours, Hubbie couldn’t get an uber to pick up his car from a mechanic’s only 15 minutes away.
It was so frustrating. I called taxi services that didn’t answer, and then uber just kept saying –
“Sorry, we couldn’t find a ride for you.”
A word of caution for us and anyone else when booking a holiday: regional trips can come with its share of issues if shit hits the fan. Just sayin’.
Anyway, we were due out of the apartment at 10am. Hubbie called the mechanic in desperation to explain the situation, and this guy that we’d never met, that we’d been hassling for a day and a half to get our car fixed in time, so very kindly offered to drop the car off to us.
OMG. Praise the Lord. Can you hear the angels sing?
We lugged bags and bags and bags worth of stuff to the foyer, checked out, and then some time later, our car pulled up to the reception!
What a sight!
This mechanic was the nicest guy… he had gone out of his way to help us, and we couldn’t say thank you enough.
But once we did, pedal hit the metal, and we zoomed home for an hour and 10 minutes.
Not that I’m usually dishonest. But doing this gratitude blog, means I focus in on some positive moment, event, thing, person, expression, and amplify it.
So often in our lives, we focus on that which doesn’t work. That which doesn’t go to plan, or that which makes our hearts sad.
That’s why I do this blog. To prove, that no matter what, you can find something good in every day.
I have had so many bad days. More than you will care to realise. And each time, I chug on, write another gratitude post, think of that one thing amidst many shit things that is worth focusing in on.
But I am really truly struggling as of late.
My health has been hit with some setbacks. When you fall ill, without any understanding of why it’s happening, and it comes back again, and again, and again…
You really start to doubt things in your life. You start to fear. Anxiety grows, slowly at first, but then like a garden you tend to, if you neglect it for only a few days, the weeds spread out and cover your every thought.
This has been my life. This has been me. Health issues, as well as other serious thoughts, and isolation, are all colliding together spectacularly.
I clutch onto good things in my day, like a cat with its claws dug into a piece of driftboard, as it sails further and further away into murky and stormy seas.
It is hard to avoid the deep, dark seas.
I am becoming devoid of passion. I have no motivation for things that used to bring me happiness. I am not looking forward, to anything… even my appetite has taken a hit.
I used to look forward to baking new things, finding new recipes… I can’t be bothered anymore.
I used to count all the opportunities during the week in which I could write in all my side projects… I can’t. I feel fake.
I would love sitting on the couch at the end of the night, doing whatever I liked, for me, while the rest of the house slept.
Now it just makes me feel more alone and scared than ever.
Fear and anxiety is the main presence in my life. I can’t trust anything… I am scared of what’s around the corner.
I just want my life to go back to how it used to be. But it feels so far away. Isolation, the absence of seeing my family, my friends, is making it so hard.
Being stuck in the square box we called home, the anxious thoughts circling around my head, following me from room to room, are not helping.
I’m honestly going mad.
And although on a good day, I would be overjoyed and proud to share something like this…
All three of the tulips blooming.
Today? Nothing. A mere distraction, that I’m trying so desperately to clutch onto.
I try to snap other things, other flowers, trying to remember how they will look like this season, based off previous years growth…
But not even curiosity can save me.
So I turn to you, anyone reading, to ask for help.
Having poured my heart out to you, I ask, I beg…
If you were ever in a moment, or a spate of days/weeks/months, of intense and extreme fear and anxiety, where the emotions took over all your senses and clouded all movements you made throughout your day, what did you do to help yourself?
Is there anything you did to help yourself? What helped? What could you have done better, looking back?
With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.
Without my phone on me.
IN MY PYJAMAS.
It was about 10am. I stepped out to feed the cat, while baby girl was inside.
But then she followed me. And when she leant down to pat Mister F as he started eating…
She brought the door that she was leaning on with her… and it closed.
It’s one of those old doors that has no handle, it can only be turned with a key.
Only the key was on the other side of the door.
I looked around in panic.
The garage was locked.
The back door was locked.
The front door was locked.
Hell, even if I climbed like an ape onto the balcony, that was locked too.
And obviously, the laundry door was now locked.
So, I went around to the front… to wave someone down.
Pretty quickly, I saw a man walking past. When I called out to him, standing there in my purple fluffy robe, explaining that I had been locked out and needed to call my husband… well I must have looked genuine.
He took out his phone, asked for the number, and proceeded to call.
It went to voicemail, but he left a message on my behalf, nonetheless.
I thanked him profusely, and then proceeded to wait.
But I was anxious you see. I know Saturdays are busy for Hubbie. And I know he won’t generally open up voicemails left to him by unknown numbers…
It might have been 45 minutes later, when standing by the rose bushes, baby girl and I flagged down another passerby, a woman walking by with her daughter.
She was also, so so lovely. I wasn’t presumptive of taking her phone, but she was more than happy for me to take it and call Hubbie.
Again I called his phone… he didn’t answer. And I left a message:
“Please come home… we’re locked outside!”
But it just kept gnawing at me, and gnawing at me. I knew, I just knew the only way to know he had gotten my call, was to call the damn store itself.
Or, we would be waiting many more hours ’til lunchtime.
But how would I get his work number? I had no mobile. Calling his phone wasn’t working when it kept going to voicemail…
I needed someone like me. I needed someone with internet who could look up his work number online and get the number to me in a jiffy.
I sent baby girl over to several neighbours. Two doors down wasn’t home. The next door neighbour had moved out. But on the other side, well they seemed to be home, but they weren’t answering the door…
After baby girl’s third attempt over, the young boy came out. I didn’t hear him – his head just popped over our fence, and my eyes lit up.
“Hi! Can you tell your Mum we need her mobile… we’ve been locked out.”
She came over, and something like within 0.8 seconds, she had Hubbie’s work number up on her screen.
Praise the lord.
Hubbie answered, and he came. We had been outside for 90 minutes. The house was warm from the heater being left on. Our brekkie that we were about to prepare, was sitting on the bench. I re-boiled the kettle.
I took our stuff to the coffee table… and sat down.
I was emotionally exhausted.
It hadn’t been the nicest experience. Being locked out of our safe space, waiting for someone to come and save us, not dressed appropriately, feeling helpless, the rest of my day dependant on other people entirely…
You know what that sounds like there? That sounds like a homeless person.
As I sat on the couch, eating my toast, and drinking my hot tea at midday, I realised what I had experienced was similar in many ways to what someone living on the street would experience.
Out in the elements, with no shelter to protect them.
Their livelihood dependant solely on others.
Clothes that weren’t quite right or didn’t fit properly (I had fluffy socks on, sleep socks as I like to call them, and because I had literally put on slip-on shoes to feed the cat, the socks kept slipping down my ankles).
Having to ask others for help.
And in my case, I had someone with me. I wasn’t alone. I had a sunny morning, I was within the confines of my yard, and I was safe.
And yet still, as I came into the house, the sense of relief was immense.
I was able to walk into a sheltered home. Have food. Have all my creature comforts.
It changed my outlook for the WHOLE DAY.
I was able to get changed out of my sleepwear. Into clean clothes.
I was fortunate, that I had the means to wash my clothes.
Clean the house.
Tidy my surroundings.
Clean the bathrooms and toilets, that allowed us to be hygienic.
Oh how lucky I was, to have these taken-for-granted items and chores that we all whinge about all-too-often.
I WAS SO LUCKY.
I actually got really emotional during the day. I thought of those homeless people, here, there, everywhere around the world… who cannot escape their predicament, for whatever reason.
It made me feel so much for them.
I remembered getting off at the station in the city before iso, for my new job, and how the lines of pre-9am people heading to walk would just charge by the homeless person sitting in the same corner, head hung, almost devoid of life, every single day.
What had happened to them, that their life was reduced to this? Did we not have a greater responsibility to look after our fellow humans, more so than to just walk right by without a second glance?
I remembered an old work colleague, who said on her clubbing nights in the city, she would buy a cheeseburger from Maccas for them, instead of giving money, so she knew that her gift was of value, and being used wisely.
I think that’s a great idea.
And as I sit in bed tonight, warm, the wind thundering and beating the roof outside… I think of them all.
They are on my mind.
And I think they will agree, a cheeseburger sounds pretty good right about now.
There are no total reports yet, but there have been an endless number of homes burnt to the ground, there are missing persons and confirmed deaths including those of 3 volunteer firefighters, and our native animals have disintegrated to dust, with approximately 450 million animals dead.
There are ecosystems and animals that may near extinction or be wiped out completely after this event.
6 million hectares of land has burnt. When you look at that on a map, it would be like almost all of England engulfed in fire.
Flames at heights of 70 metres have been reported. In comparison, the Sydney Opera House is 65 metres tall.
The hardest hit states have been New South Wales and Victoria.
The situation is beyond catastrophic. Watching unfolding coverage and media footage, you can’t help but feel the pain and sorrow that the people who are victims to the bushfires and trying to save themselves and their homes, are feeling.
It is heart-breaking to see, and fighting back tears is something I’ve been doing a lot of lately.
In amongst all of this pain, there is something YOU can do.
We can all do it.
Which is why I am grateful. I am grateful I have this platform to use my voice in a positive way.
So many people are doing it, and so many more need to speak aloud.
Our fellow Aussies need HELP.
I am grateful I have the means to make a small donation, to go towards the bushfire appeal effort. Money that will be used to help those that have lost everything, who need food and basics, shelter and clothes and furniture.
To rebuild homes, towns, cities.
You can’t say that you can’t give anything. I don’t have a job, and I don’t even know when my next paycheck will come, but I know I can give something.Anything adds up, even small amounts, and that makes a HUGE difference.
If you have $2 to spare (and if you are reading this with your internet connection I am sure you do) then you can donate to the appeal.
Because if there are 20 people out there thinking of donating $2, and feel like it’s not enough, well think about it… 20 times $2 will equate to $40.
And at the end of the day $40 of something is better than $0 of nothing, especially when you’ve lost EVERYTHING.
Please make your donations to proper organisations and reputable names. Be wary of scammers (sadly they exist even in a time like this).
Today I attended a Parent Helpers Morning Tea at baby girl’s school.
I wrote some time ago that I got the invite to the tea and happily accepted. To be honest, I was feeling a bit shit this morning and actually contemplated pulling out.
On top of my hesitation, I had called my hairdresser this morning to cancel my upcoming appointment with them, since it clashed with me helping out baby girl at swimming.
Why was I going?
I was busy already.
What was the point?
What made me say yes in the first place?
I had these questions circling through my mind, but at the same time the thought of not going didn’t sit right with me either.
So I went… and oh man am I glad I did.
Firstly, I had a reallygreat time. I caught up with other parents and baby girl’s teacher, and it was lovely to be in a slightly different social setting without our kids screaming “Mum look at me!” from the playground at pick-up.
Oh, my THE SPREAD. It was this insanely long table with all kinds of sandwiches, rolls and wraps, fruit and snacks and chocolate and cake and sweets and crackers and everything in between… it was amazing. The coffee and tea window was set up and moving quickly despite the long line, and all in all it was a really well organised morning tea.
But then the principal spoke, and thanked us… she pointed out and spoke about an elderly gentleman, telling us that despite his flailing health, he had been volunteering and helping kids at the school with their reading for 11 years now. I looked at the sombre-looking frail man hanging his head, wishing he would hold it up high. Tears gathered in my eyes and I willed myself to not be a sook by taking a big sip of my tea.
What a man.
Then there were two students who had made up poems for all the helpers. They read them out, and though they were simple, they were so, so sweet, and totally pulled at my heart-strings. I was standing there thinking “damn it, I’m not supposed to cry.”
And then I realised. I realised that all of us in there, all of the helpers really did deserve this special morning. We deserved the thanks. I was reminded of how only that morning I had cancelled my hair appointment as I had forgotten over a month ago when I booked it, that it clashed with the last swimming session baby girl had through the school.
Baby girl wanted me there at swimming, and I couldn’t let her down. I cancelled my pre-Christmas hair appointment instead.
But secretly, someone was looking out for me. Because when I called to cancel, the hairdresser was able to fit me in next week with her… at a better and more convenient time than the original one would have been anyway.
I made the morning tea. I gratefully accepted the thanks amongst so many more.
I cancelled the hair appointment and made that tiny sacrifice for baby girl…
And I was thanked.
These sacrifices we make, big or small, are all eventually noticed… if not by friends, family or your child’s school… then by the Universe. ♥
I got excited when baby girl brought home this today:
An invitation for all the parent helpers to attend a special morning tea, thanking them for their help with the kids this year.
I have been absent for so long… but yet I got one.
Why you might ask? It wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was, time flies lately) that I was proudly showing off my visitor’s sticker in this post,as I started helping out baby girl’s class on Thursday mornings.
But that all came to an end at the end of term 2. While baby girl loved me helping out… she loved it a bit TOO much. So much so that when it was time for me to leave, she was beyond devastated.
As the weeks progressed she even grew anxious as the day of my helping approached. One week she asked me repeatedly, perhaps up to 20 times if I was helping… which I was… and it was here I knew something had to change.
I spoke with her openly and said I needed to take a break. She was not coping when I left, even though she was perfectly fine at the start of the day when I dropped her off.
When she nodded her approval and agreed, not only was I surprised, but I knew I was onto something.
I stopped helping.
But then she started talking about it again. Me helping. I told her repeatedly that I didn’t want her upset. I didn’t want her crying. I felt like half of her did want me there, whereas the other half was confused and still in-between.
But when the news came out about their swimming lessons some weeks ago, I knew it was the perfect middle ground.
Help out… on an excursion? A place where baby girl actually swims in her private lessons, no less?
She was happy. And so was I. 🙂
Today was the first time in a while I was there to help. And since the lessons are going on for several more weeks, I will be on hand for so many other occasions too.
I think I have just found a great middle ground – an excursion helper 🙂 I don’t actually leave… they do. Because they jump on a bus 😉
So it was timely that on the day I started to assist again, I got this invitation via baby girl…
And I happily accept your caffeine and biscuit invite. 🙂 ♥