#2025 Alive again

Once upon a time there was a little girl.

She wasn’t a baby, but she wasn’t yet grown either, far from it.

She was in that beautiful in-between stage, of growth, of wonder. An abundance of delicate naivety followed her wherever she went.

She was a friendly, happy girl. She talked it up without hesitation amongst adults, and yet played up a storm with her peers, creating magical worlds, chasing each other around the yard, and racing through the playgrounds, side by side.

She was all light, all magic. She had a deep drive for adventure, with an innate desire of curiosity shining from her eyes.

Then one day, a virus came.

It came seemingly out of nowhere and spread through the world.

Lockdown, after lockdown, after lockdown.

After the 6th one, it started to catch up.

It started to catch up to the girl.

The things she used to love, she did no more. She didn’t want to go out. Home, home, home and that’s where she wanted to stay.

She used to beg to accompany her parents on the grocery shop trip – she no longer cared.

When her neighbour called her to come out… she said she was busy.

She was tired, flat. She wasn’t herself.

Her Mum noticed. She mentioned it to a health professional, who concurred –

“She seems sad. She’s withdrawing.”

The course of action? Getting out of the house more. What she always used to do.

Her mum suggested a beach walk.

But the girl rejected it.

This former lover of sand and sea, said she didn’t want to put on sunscreen.

But… she came around.

And they went to the beach.

And the girl… became alive again.

The sea air, woke her up. The cold snap of the ocean shook something within her soul. She was scavenging for rocks and shells, dipping her body in the water, and laughing like she hadn’t in a long time.

She had found happiness again.

They went home, and her Mum told her Dad… and her Mum cried. She cried because she saw how close her girl had gotten to getting sadder, and sadder, and sadder.

That Mum is me. That girl, is my girl.

My baby girl.

This virus is taking lives, as well as our wellbeing.

But let’s not forget the other virus. The silent one.

The one that infiltrates our thoughts. The one that removes all sense of joy, of purpose, and of passion.

That is the dangerous one we must look out for. We must keep our children’s wellbeing in full view, and keep a close eye on them.

Sure, stay safe from the virus. But we need to keep them safe from dark thoughts. πŸ™πŸ’–

#1667 Day 169 of getting there: finding the meaning of life, amidst death

I was beyond shocked at about midday today.

I was working from home when an old work colleague called me.

She told me that a mutual friend of ours, our old work friend, had died.

She cried, and I said ‘Oh my God,’ repeatedly.

It wasn’t that much of a shock. In terms of, we knew she had been battling a serious illness for years now.

But she had been winning. She had been beating it, time and time again, and I really felt like her bubbly personality and upbeat attitude would actually kick its arse.

I really did. I thought she had.

I read her posts on facebook, and I also followed her journey, taking in eagerly her updates that she was getting better, she was part of the small percentage that was still alive since her original diagnosis, watching her face on the screen of my mobile, all happy and positive, the way I used to see her when we worked together.

Back in the party shop days, when we were both in uni. We’d usually work the same Friday night shift, 4pm-8pm, and she’d fill me in on her weekend plans, the clubs she would frequent, the friends she would go out with. She was so bubbly. So positive. I don’t think I ever saw her mad. EVER. Even when a sad or sore topic crossed her lips, all it did was lower her voice, make her eyes go distant for only a moment…

But then she’d be back. That happy girl we all knew.

Today on the phone, my old work friend cried. I just stared at my computer screen, my mind blank with shock. I told her I’d call her back to have a good chat… I was at work, and had to process it all. She urged me to check out the facebook page that confirmed the sad news.

We hung up, and I knew I shouldn’t have… not just because I was at work, but because my mind was already becoming a jumbled mess.

But I did. I looked up the facebook page and burst into tears.

Why? Why her? How? She was 2 years younger than me. She was 34 when she died, months ago, and we’d only found out now. My heart sobbed. I felt sad all over. I thought of her again and again, her fight, her courage, her strength…

I struggled to think of memories. They were from so long ago, over a decade now. But slowly they came back, more and more.

Her long nails that she kept immaculate, strong and healthy despite all the balloons we tied and dust we encountered.

I remembered her 21st birthday. It was in a huge hall and she had hundreds of people there. She was dating a guy she was rapt about at the time, but he ended up to be a bit of a douche. I have to say, I wasn’t surprised about him when she later told us.

But I was beyond floored to hear the news of her death today.

Why? How? How did this happen? She had a loving family. A wide circle of friends.

She was going places. She loved her job. She was motivated. Dedicated. hard-working. Fun and cheeky and hilarious.

How did this happen?

This afternoon, my thoughts went into a deep, dark place. I cried over my keyboard, and then Hubbie came home for lunch and I cried some more.

He just nodded. He understood.

I told him I was scared. “What’s the point of life… we’re all leading towards death, or heading towards watching all our loved ones die. I’m scared to love anyone.”

I struggled with these thoughts. To and fro I went, battling, thinking of her, thinking how life was scary, life was unfair… life didn’t ask you. Things happened.

Things just happened.

Nothing mattered anymore. All this coronavirus crap… seriously who cared?

We were alive! We were breathing. Hell even if I felt pain somewhere, it meant I was alive.

I was feeling. Breathing.

A few little things made me realise what was important in the second part of the day. I finished work, and instead of rushing off to do home-schooling, and start the whole routine of getting jobs done, I sat with baby girl. Watched her draw with some colouring pens she’d re-discovered.

We had our coffee break on the balcony.

I used my eyes to look at the water.

My hands to wave at the passing neighbour.

I smelt the coffee with my nose.

I felt the sunshine on my face.

I heard the wind breathing as it wrapped the warmth of Spring around us.

I was alive.

We took a walk around the block. I needed it. We looked at houses. We counted street signs. We laughed. Touched leaves. Ran.

At home, I read, on whim. I’ve been holding back, trying to not read as much in order to motivate myself to catch up on my Book Reviews for my blog… but it’s made my soul sad. My soul wants to read. I want to read.

So I read a chapter just before dinner.

Yes, if you looked at it deeply, darkly… we were all leading to inevitable death. Ours, or everyone around us.

And we didn’t know what would come first.

Bleak, yes. Not very glass half-full at all.

But we had this life to live… and to love, was to live. We had to spend our time on this earth making the most of it, enjoying the little moments, using our senses, experiencing them, and being grateful that we were granted time on this earth at all.

Doing what we wanted. What made us feel good, in our core. I realised I had really followed my heart today, because the news of our work friend passing was so upsetting, I had to do something to make myself feel better…

I am still so profoundly sad. I think of her and I feel like crying all over again. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe she’s not here anymore.

Despite everything, I spent my time doing something for me today. Something to make me smile through my sadness. Something to make me happy through my tears.

And it was made all the more meaningful tonight. Baby girl kept asking for kiss after kiss after hug after hug from us, as she lay in bed tonight. It became a joke to her, saying “one more,” every time we moved back.

But it meant something entirely different to me.

“Yes honey. One more.”

And more. And more.

And more.

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

RIP SJ. πŸ’–πŸ™

#1611 Day 113 of getting there: someone to hug

Today my gratitude is a bit weird.

Because it’s got to do with death. Death has been creeping into my thoughts.

A person doesn’t have to die for you to think about death. I think at a certain age we start to think of it more and more. Hell, with all this coronavirus around us, it’s a wonder that we don’t talk about it ALL THE TIME.

Past trauma can remind you of death. The process of life can remind you of death… it is guaranteed we will all end up there at one point or another.

Sometimes for me, just the simplicity and beauty of life can remind me of it.

Today though, it was death that reminded me of death.

My mouth dropped open when I heard the news that Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife, had died on July 12th following a 2 year private battle with breast cancer.

She was 57.

Floored, was an understatement. Even though I saw it on a reputable news network, I had to look it up to confirm it was true. I watched the news report on it later that night. Tears welled up, my mouth turned downwards.

It was so unfair.

Did I really know Kelly Preston? No, not really. I knew her as Avery in Jerry Maguire, one of my favourite movies of all time. She plays the classic high-brow, over-achieving, sexy, sassy and totally bitchy fiance to Tom Cruise’s sports agent character.

She played the role so well, I almost forgot it was Kelly Preston. In real life, she seemed so sweet, happy, her face was so gentle. I knew she and her husband had lost their 16 year old son to a seizure, and they had been able to have another child some years later.

John Travolta’s wife.

Maybe it was because of him that I liked her so much. I grew up loving John in Grease… another one of my fave movies of all time. Scenes will play, and I will recite, word for word from that movie.

I know there has been a lot of scandal surrounding them, especially John over the years. I know there was speculation about their relationship, and I know the way John was perceived in his younger years started to change drastically, for the worse, in these recent years.

But today, all I could think of was his tribute to his late wife.

All I could think, was how they had experienced so much pain, to have to lay their child to rest, and they got through it, somehow.

All I could think, was how their relationship stood the test of time, through scandal, through sadness, through HOLLYWOOD.

So many relationships out of there don’t last months, let alone years and years and tragedy.

And it just makes me want to cry.

These stories are sad. They are true. They aren’t taken from a movie, and then lo and behold, surprise miracle cure! The person is alive again. They beat the disease.

They beat the bastard cancer.

Some real life stories do take a turn of events, like in a fairytale. Many don’t.

Today, after hearing the sad news of Kelly Preston, I hugged my daughter, tightly.

We sat on the couched, rolled around and tickled each other, and I didn’t mind one bit as our heads collided, my nose bumped hers, and she swatted my kisses away playfully.

I didn’t mind it at all.

Because I had someone to hug.

#1567 Day 69 of getting there: What happened after I got locked out

Have I got a gratitude story for you.

Today, I got locked out of my house.

For 90 minutes.

In the morning.

With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.

Without my phone on me.

Before breakfast.

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.

All this, from getting locked out.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

#1456 Pieces of straw

It crossed my mind today that maybe I should give this whole gratitude blog thing a rest.

It was just one of those days, where everything bothered me.

But somewhere in the afternoon I found some things to grasp onto, and keep me going.

A great cappuccino made by Hubbie.

Chocolate. Many pieces.

And then one of my fave movies. I put on –

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God bless art. ALL FORMS. Within minutes I was laughing as Meryl Streep’s character Julia Child was going ga-ga over buttered fish in a French restaurant.

It is an amazing movie, and Streep’s performance is phenomenal.

I think I gravitated towards this movie, and it’s the kind that always picks me up, because it shows the two stories of women who were in a slump in their life, struggling to find a place to belong, went through much difficulty and hardships to get what they wanted, but in the end…

THEY GOT THERE. THEY GOT IT.

I really needed this movie today. I cried with happiness just as much as I did with emotion.

It was the needle that helped me get out of the stack. β™₯

#1421 What you should do while the Land Down Under burns

I find it hard lately to look at a sunset without thinking the vibrant hues look a lot like flames.

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Most of the news, social media sites and influencers are talking about it. Even international sites and celebrities are getting in on it and pledging help to the cause.

Skies across our country have turned orange, red, black.

Australia is in the midst of a bushfire crisis.

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Photo by Benjamin Lizardo on Unsplash

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).

My suggestion is the Victorian Bushfire Appeal web site www.vic.gov.au/bushfireappeal and click on the ‘Donate now’ button.

You can read their plans for the distribution of the funds there. And remember that donations of $2 and above are tax deductible.

As horrific as the scenes and stories coming out of this tragedy are, I am comforted by the strong and wide display of love, care and support given to so many people in need.

I know what I am going to do right now… GIVE.

I know you can too. β™₯

 

 

 

 

#1370 A date for helping

I got excited when baby girl brought home this today:

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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. πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ I don’t actually leave… they do. Because they jump on a bus πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™‚ β™₯

#1317 Deep reflections at a funeral

A sombre post today. Still with some gratitude, but definitely, sombre.

I was at a funeral today. It’s that event on the other side of the spectrum that makes you think. The event on the opposite side? A birth. Something so wondrous and magical that it feels as if all of life’s blessings have fallen upon your lap.

But death. That which is inevitable but which we don’t speak of.

Although both birth and death make us reflect and think about life, nothing quite shakes our core and makes us think about how far we have come, like the end of someone’s days.

IT IS INEVITABLE. Yet we don’t think about it, we don’t talk about it. I stood there in the church today, staring at the great bright and glowing chandelier above our heads, underneath where I married Hubbie, and where years later we christened our baby girl… thinking deeply.

How would my funeral be? Where would I be? Would I want to be remembered there, in an Orthodox church, a place of many beautiful memories for me personally, or in a church that spoke of my Catholic roots?

The answer came to me easily and abruptly. Despite my deep respect for my husband and his traditions, I wanted to go back to where I came from.

I shared this with Hubbie in the car, on the way to the cemetery. He nodded.

“Fair enough.” But that wasn’t enough for me. I continued.

“Have you ever thought who will be at your funeral? Like, it’s going to be those younger than us, most likely.” I started rattling off names of those near and dear who were a generation younger than us. I got choked up thinking of others.

“What about my friends?” Who of them would be at mine… or would I be at theirs? It was too much to bear. Suddenly the tears were welling up in my eyes and rolling down my cheeks. “How will it be? Who will be there to remember me?”

Hubbie reached out his hand to hold mine. “Don’t talk like that.” If anyone had thought of death, and of how grief took hold of your body, it was Hubbie. “Don’t think about it.”

And that’s what we do, don’t we? We go back to not thinking about it… not talking about it.

But like I said, death makes us think. And so it should. It makes us take stock of things, do a life inventory as it were, to see what makes us happy, if we are using our time wisely, and who we are spending that hard-earned time on… all sage questions, and things we should consider more often.

It made me think of those around me. Was I surrounding myself with the best people possible? Those who had my best interests at heart and made me happy? Would I be happy, at who turned up at my funeral?

So today I used this time to think. To contemplate and reassess what is around me. Put things in perspective. To remember to stress less, and LIVE MORE.

Because I have time. If you are reading this, YOU have time too. Take the event of death of a loved one as a most humble and sobering reminder to wake up to the signs of life and make sure you are on the right track… every day is a chance to start anew… every day is a chance to make your days count… and every day is a chance to make your life worthy and satisfying.

Make your relationships with your loved ones count. Surround yourself with the best people possible. Not just because they might be at your funeral… but because they should already be in your life, too.

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Photo byΒ Simeon MullerΒ onΒ Unsplash

 

#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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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.

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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.

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#1283 My new furry friend

I haven’t written too much about the feline addition to our family. To be honest, I am a bit hard on Mister F.

I know I am being totally unfair. At the beginning I would constantly reference him to my childhood cat… let’s call her ‘Incredible.’ Incredible was a beautiful tabby. She was smart and friendly, with a touch of cheekiness and strong foundations in dependability, and was so obedient. Oh my. She never misbehaved or did anything wrong, and easily became the favourite cat of my parents too.

She was, quite simply, Incredible.Β 

She wouldn’t even meow when she wanted to be let out. You would just notice her gone, and then find her by the back door waiting for someone to come along and see her.

Incredible had a strong sixth sense too. I remember a few times in my late teens when I came home, and she was sitting on the front porch step, waiting for me to walk up even though I had been in Hubbie’s (then boyfriend) car for 10 minutes, having some kind of argument.

She sat and waited patiently.

I remember another time in my early teens, when I came outside to the back step and started to cry. Something had made me very sad. And she just stayed there with me. She didn’t meow for food. She didn’t do anything to suggest she wasn’t aware of my state of being… rather the way she went silent, sitting by my side and just being there, showed to me that she knew.

She was there for me.

It was a very hard day when I realised she wasn’t eating. I immediately knew something was up. A vet visit discovered a tumour, and it had spread inside of her. She was subsequently put to sleep.

My childhood best friend of 11 and a half years was gone.

I can then be forgiven for taking so long to get another cat. 16 years in fact.

I didn’t realise how much of Incredible was still in me. How much of her I still mourned when we got Mister F.

Mister F would jump up on the island bench… repeatedly – “Mister F! How dare you! Incredible never did that!”

Mister F started scratching our couch – “Mister F! Stop it! You’re so stubborn! Incredible always listened to us!”

Mister F would not eat, shock horror, cooked chicken – “If Incredible was here, she would smash your meal! You don’t appreciate good food, pft.”

Chicken was Incredible’s favourite.

But I’ve realised I have to lay off Mister F. I have to give him space to be his own cat.

I have to give him space to be his own kind of Incredible.

Today he showed me something that twigged something deep inside of me. I had come home upset about something, and sat on the couch quite despondent… he reached his paws up to the couch, before jumping up next to me.

He didn’t just stay there though. He went further, placing his paws on my legs, as if to say “hey, I’m here.”

I pet him. Sure this cat wanted attention. But again and again he came back, resting his paws on my leg, and I couldn’t help but think, ‘there’s something here.’

Just like that day on the back step with Incredible, now I could see Mister F’s sixth sense… there was something incredible happening.

Mister F was there for me. And he got in quite close, leaning against me as I sat there, thinking.

We can’t all be Incredible. But in Mister F’s case, I think he is on his way to becoming Mister Fantastic.

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