Bella

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boarding

(bɔːʳdɪŋ )

  1. uncountable noun

Boarding is an arrangement by which children live at school during the school term.

I left my boys with my sister and drove down the dirt road for my interview with Bella, these interviews that I organise have me anxious and out of my comfort zone every single time. I arrived at Bella’s home and after initial greetings, and quick catch ups with her parents over a flute of champagne, Bella and I got comfy in the lounge room for a chat.

The first question that I asked Bella was, “tell me what boarding school has been like for you?” This eloquently spoken 16 year old young lady started her story.

“I left home in 2013, as a year 8 student at St Hilda’s on the Gold Coast. It was my first time leaving home for longer than a week or two.”

“It was terrifying, boarding is terrifying, but, it has been amazing.”

I promised myself on the drive over that I wouldn’t get emotional. Well, that first sentence killed that promise. My nose started to run and my eyes misted over.

Sport, socialising and being active in the community is big part of the culture of living in the bush. Bella has built close friendships from being a team player as a young girl. As luck would have it she was introduced to her closest friend at a sporting carnival playing netball, and the girls went on to board together at St Hilda’s. There are not only rural and remote girls at the boarding school but a number from Papua New Guinea, Asia, and some prefer boarding over home.

She tells me about the process of being dropped off at her second home.

“For first time parents they are advised to leave a bit earlier so it doesn’t get too emotional. Our parents settle us in and then we head to the boarding house.”

The head of boarding and the boarding mums are at the school for the arrival of the girls to support them in getting settled. Helping the girls set up their new bedrooms, getting comfortable in their new surroundings. Bella is following in her mother’s footsteps at St Hilda’s. She was blessed to be allocated to the boarding mum that guided her mum, through the boarding years. The boarding mum also holds strong ties to the family. Bella’s granny nurtured Bella’s new boarding mum when she was a student at St Hilda’s.

“A boarding mum is a lady that comes to work and looks after boarding girls, they are so kind. I had her in year 8, I was her granddaughter and she loved me the whole way through. So when I finished year 8, I moved boarding house and she moved with me – she was with me for the next two years. I then moved again and now she is looking after my sister. When I started, I mean we were the babies, we are their babies, the babies of the school. These ladies are our mums while we are school. They are a big part of us, I mean we spend more time boarding than we do at home. So they become very special to us.”

“They looked after us through it all. We were naughty, but god they love us.”

Tears are now flowing freely down my face. For Bella, knowing that this young woman is so loved by so many strong women. For her mother for being so courageous and dedicated to her daughter, her education, and growth and sharing her child with another woman that Bella loves so much. And the boarding mum, what a special lady to devote her life to opening up her heart to loving and helping raise teenager girls so far from home.

“As a year 12 girl I get an individual room. They are very nice. The mums come around at 7am and wake us all up. Breakfast is 7.15am so we get dressed and ready to go to breakfast or we can make brekky in the boarding house. We usually just sit and have time with the mums in the morning, watch the news, get ready and then off to school. After school is where we go and do co-curricular activities or tutoring if we have to, otherwise we just go back to our room and do whatever we want until 5.00pm. Prep is at 5.00pm, so we study time until 6.10pm and then go for our dinner sitting, 6.40pm we have prep until 8.30pm. We can study in our rooms or they provide tutors in the boarding house. Most of them are old St Hilda’s girls as well, they come up we chat and study. From 8.30pm is for showering, studying or visiting friends in their rooms. It’s just like home you go around and chat to the mums, chat to your sisters.”

Bella acknowledges the social skills she has developed from being a boarder, she tells me about the situations faced by boarders that sometimes are out of their comfort zone, and what she has learnt from that.

“Every term we change rooms, you find when you’re living beside different people you become better friends with them. A few years ago I was put beside this girl and I was like, “oh no, I do not want to be beside her”, but by the end of the term we were really good friends.”

I have to laugh at little when she is telling me about the deep friendships that are forged in the boarding house. She makes it sound like a five year slumber party with your besties.

“It’s so much easier in boarding to make friends. I mean everyone is your sister we are so open and comfortable with everyone, maybe a little too comfortable. We are always talking to people, always with people, you just get so much confidence. Best part of boarding is just always being with your friends. In the end you are boarding more than you are at home and they are your second family, they just mean so much to you. I mean we can go out on leave on the weekends, but sometimes you just want to say home and hang with your girls. I have boarded for five years and yeah this is my last year. So daunting. I mean I am not going to see all of those girls every day and it is going so fast. I mean crazy fast, and scary knowing it’s nearly over. The whole time you think:

“Oh gosh I want to get out of here”. But now, its like, “oh no! I am getting out of here soon”.

And with friendships established with the girls you live with, you also build relationships with their family. The girls are “allowed out on leave” every weekend. There are a couple of weekends a term that are dedicated to the families and them spending time together.

“I mean, for all the times that mum and dad have come down I don’t remember a time that we just had us as a family. We always take out my sister’s friends or my friends, if they are stuck in. My really good friend, her mum lives in Western Australia so every time mum and dad come down we take her out.”

Bella compares going out on leave to see her parents with the feeling little kids get on Christmas Eve. “Oh yeah, it’s like I can’t wait to see them, I mean we only see them a few times during the term”.

Then for the families the routine of drop off and settling in to school is repeated. Drop off at school, mums and sisters are allowed up to the rooms for settling in, but being a girl’s boarding house, dads can’t go in. Bella tells me, most of the parents sign their girls in at reception, the girls catch up with friends before starting their school routine again. Obviously this is easier on some than others.

“Lucky for me I get to see mine every few weeks, which is very nice. I can also go over and see my sisters in their boarding houses whenever I want, and they can always come and see me.”

Bella participates in a new initiative for the school. She has taken on additional “sisters”. The program starts before the little girls arrive at the school some starting in year 6. Year 12 students connect with them by sending Christmas cards and wishing them a happy new year. On arrival at the school the big sisters look after the little ones, help them with the settling in, they help with homework, and offer support when boarding is overwhelming. Bella is positive that this new programme has helped the little girls greatly.

“I know my first year we all thought we were pretty tough and would hold back the crying. You always end up crying. All you want to do is go home see your family, god, even see the dog. We never had any older girls to help us get through it. Oh, those older girls for me where so scary, they were so big and we were so little. By doing this we are breaking that, we are good friends with them, and both of my buddies are good friends with my sister.”

She is home now for the school holidays, I ask her what it was like this time coming home.

“It’s is so good, so amazing to come home. I mean everything changes. Last time when I was home everything was green, but on the turn to brown. But I got here the other day and there is knee high green grass and we have puppies”.

“I mean and coming home to mum and dad and my youngest sister, oh, it’s everything”.

She goes on to tell me that she hasn’t always been positive and accepting of her life of having to live away from her family to receive an education.

“I am ok now with going away, but in year 9 I threw the biggest tantrum. I was not going back to school. I was not going back to boarding. There was nothing worse. So I just refused. I was just like “nope, I am not going back”. But yeah, year 9 was my worst year. Year 8 is so surreal, so new and exciting. Year 9, I knew what to expect, I knew what was going to happen and I was just like nope, I won’t be leaving mum and dad and my sisters. It was terrible. Eventually, I got in the car and I was taken back. Year 10 was so much fun.”

Year 10 for Bella was not only receiving an education from the school but from travelling the world. Bella an active student at St Hilda’s participates in sport, the adoption of little sisters, and she also represented the school in an exchange program to Holland for six weeks.

“It was the absolute best experience. I had never travelled overseas before, and then I ended up going to Holland living there for six weeks, oh amazing. I was really keen to travel everywhere when I got home from Holland. But now I just love being home. Australia is the best.”

In her last year at school, having made the most of her experiences as a boarder and in her education Bella has completed a hospitality and barista certificate and responsible service of alcohol certificate. She is currently working on her certificate three in childcare and works at the St Hilda’s day care centre with the pre-preps. So what is happening next year?

“Next year I will hopefully go north, maybe the Kimberley’s and either go jillarooing or governessing for a couple of years. I want to eventually go to the Marcus Oldham College”.

This portrait was a difficult piece to create as openly as I normally write. When I was crafting this piece I didn’t simply have Belle to think of. But her parents were taping away at my heart as well, that was the prickly part. I wanted the story from the mouth of the daughter that lives this experience. I wanted this interview and this story because I bow down to the parents that share their pre-teens and teens with a second family so generously. A big thank you to Bella and her Mumma, love you both for sharing your unique story.

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Post 96

Post 96

For this post I flicked through the dictionary and the word that came up for me was “Uncomfortable” – adjective

  • Causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort.
  • Causing or feeling unease or awkwardness.

I was a bit miffed actually that this was the word that appeared to me. I was hoping for a word that I had never heard of. Something intelligent, or a word that sounded lovely or something with deep meaning. So I sat with the word rattling around in my head.

Then I got to thinking about the meaning and how I had experienced some unease and awkwardness over the last few days.

In post 94 I wrote about a road trip that I had done with my little family. We drove 566 kilometres to collect my first born. He had been holidaying with my dad for the first week of his school holidays. I was agitated and a little cranky the whole drive out. See it is the first time that I have slept in the same house as my Dad and his partner since he left our family when I was 14. We have had dinner and lunch a couple of times and I never find it a pleasant experience. When we finally arrived at my dad’s place he was ecstatic to see us. I was glad to see him but extremely uncomfortable. Thankfully there are hot springs in the town at the aquatic centre so after a quick hello and grabbing my kid we fled to the water. The look on dads face told me that he was a bit hurt that I was running away so quickly. We went to the local Christmas carols and I honestly just couldn’t be myself. I kept comparing everything that was happening to when I was a child. I don’t remember him once taking us to anything remotely like carols. I could feel the resentment like a boulder in my chest, and I knew at the time my face and mannerisms weren’t polite. I struggled to engage in conversation with anyone, aside from my rock of a husband who could see how much I was struggling. Dad introduced us to his friends, and I smiled and nodded as politely as I could and discreetly left the conversation. It sounds so immature to be like this as a 37 year old woman, I just couldn’t stop the chatter that was in my head about that family driven childhood that I had wished for and only now being on the receiving end of it with my father and me as a wife and mother. The next morning after a sleepless night, I crept around in the dark, getting showered and packing my families belongings. I saw the surprise on my dad’s face that we were preparing to leave before 6.00am. These encounters with my dad and his partner that he left our family for, makes me lose my voice. I can talk for hours on the phone with my dad, but put me at a breakfast table with them and I may as well me choking on the food for the amount of ability I have in forming sentences. By the time we climbed in the car I was feeling sad for my dad. I knew he wanted more from me on this trip – I just couldn’t connect and be the daughter that he wanted over those couple of days. I was in a foul mood the whole seven hours home with unanswered questions running rampant.

This experience was followed two days later by another experience that caused unease and awkwardness. It was a job interview, I was interviewing to keep the job that I currently work in. I am great at my job (way to toot my own horn), I have 15 years experience doing the job. Yes I left it for a while but was still in the same type of job in the same field. I went into the interview with a dry mouth and a pounding heart. After I met the three women on the panel that I had never seen before and the chair of the interview asked the first question. All knowledge of my job evaporated from my brain. My actual thought was have I even done this job before. I took a deep breath and started rambling, I was pulling out words and examples from everywhere. At one point I think that I completely was off track but just kept using key words like team, experience, ethics, confidentiality, infection control, work place health and safety. This awkwardness went on for the five questions that was the whole interview and about half an hour. At the end, one of the ladies on the panel said “ok, you can breathe now”. I walked out feeling uneasy and like such a failure, and so pissed off. Annoyed with myself for not going into that office and being completely confident in the interview for a job that I know backwards. And pissed off with the whole situation. It pisses me off that it will be decided by someone that has never done my job – if I am capable of it and they are happy to give me a permanent position, that they get to decide if I get to keep my job so that I can put my kids through school. I was frustrated with myself on the drive home that I hadn’t made better choices and made myself a bit more uncomfortable and got out of my comfort zone so that I wouldn’t be in this position.  That perhaps I could’ve spent my precious time on an endeavour of my own, where I get to decide what is right for me and my family.

As I thought more about the word uncomfortable, the more that I realised that the more unease and awkward I feel the more I grow and change. The more I want to grow and change so that the unease and awkwardness at that moment is replaced and I can move onto more unease and awkward situations. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it.

Post 83

Post 83

Our block of land has trees absolutely overflowing with birds. All types of feathered friends, kookaburras, cockatoos, king parrots, magpies,
butcher birds, owls and lorikeets. It can get very noisy, colourful and a privilege to see so much wildlife hanging out at our home. I often stand with a cuppa coffee at the windows that line the back of our house and watch the crazy antics of the birds, from
a distance. From a distance because I don’t like birds anywhere near me, not just wild birds, I am the same with our chickens. I am happy to throw food over the fence but that is about it. The few times that I have had to feed them, in their pen I look like
a big bird flapping my wings and making enough noise that they will not come near me. The black chook despite my efforts to scare her still pecks my feet – what a bitch, I am feeding her for god sake. I remember as a child going to some sort of zoo or bird
sanctuary and being absolutely paralysed with fear, when a bird came near me.  

 

So imagine my absolute horror when at work I receive a photo and a text message to say that my eldest son has rescued a baby lorikeet that fell
out of its nest that was in a tree in our backyard. This one text set off a flurry of responses along the line of “get rid of the bird”, “you have to make a choice, it’s the bird or me”, “call someone qualified to look after your patient”. My whole work day
was  interrupted and I was freaking internally for my whole shift as my family kept torturing me with photos of their feathery friend. My children with the bird on their head, my husband with the biggest smile on his face holding the little green ball of feathers
and the caged bird in my living room. One that said I would break boy 2’s heart if I said it had to go. I sent one back saying I was willing to risk my kid having a broken heart.

 

I woke the next morning to the bird crying, I don’t know if birds cry but it sounded like it was crying for its mother. I am finished with crying
babies, and I hate birds so was not thrilled to be woken with the cries of a baby bird. For now I seem to have lost the battle of the bird and it is still living with us. I am trying to be nice to it, I did approach the cage twice to look at it and both times
it has shit all over the bottom of the cage. Maybe it’s as scared of me as I am of it.

Post 81

Post 81

I was up to my elbows in healthy ingredients: bananas, berries, apple sauce, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, chia seeds, oat bran and flax seeds, when I did some baking during the week. I have been looking for recipes to make for afternoon tea that fill my boy’s bellies. Something healthy, something filling and not full of sugar. I needed something to keep them out of the kitchen for five minutes. They love smoothies when they get home from school, the big cups of creamy berry goodness fills them up, but I was looking for something else. Other snacks we have in the afternoon are cheese and biscuits, fruit, pies, sandwiches, brownies, popcorn. This recipe was included in an email I received from DailyOM, a yoga website that I subscribe to that has some full on shred yoga sessions.  I sweat and move my way through the yoga sessions, I read all of the motivational lessons that Madisyn sends via email. This recipe that was sent through for the very healthy, almost sugar free muffins, was terrible. The aroma filling my kitchen while they were baking in my oven, had everyone hanging out in the kitchen waiting for them to baked. They were barely cool enough to eat when one of my boys stuffed one his mouth and then almost immediately spat it out.  The muffins didn’t have the same fluffy shape as the not so healthy ones that I usually make, that have flour in them, they were a completely different texture.  The bananas, berries and apple sauce sounded delicious combined in a muffin to go with my arvo coffee and chat with my kids.   No these flat pieces of healthiness were bland, oh my god, so bland. The chickens loved them and I whipped up a really early dinner to stop my darlings eating every single item in my pantry.

Day 42

Day 42

Morning, it is 4.56am. Nope I haven’t risen early today. I just haven’t been to bed. I was called into do an overtime shift last night and I stupidly said yes. Very stupidly because I will finish at 7.00am and then have to be back here at 5.00pm for my rostered shift. Yesterday when I wrote at the end of day 41 that I want someone to pay me for my writing so I don’t have to work from 11.00pm until 7.00am, I was completely serious.

I am part of a group on Facebook, set up by Daphne Kapsali the author of 100 days of Solitude. Yesterday she posted an idea of trying to arrange an actual meet up of the women in the group. It would seem I am the only one on the other side of the world. Daphne wrote: Let’s manifest some cash and get Melinda over to Europe. I replied that I would write a book about me travelling to Europe for the meet up (I was joking at the time). But the depth of my hatred for working night duty, has me wanting to go knocking on doors of airlines, accommodation and publishers to fund a trip and a book. I mean seriously isn’t there some new phrase/term on social media called an influencer.

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.

Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or may be so-called value-added influencers such as journalists, academics, professional advisors.

A person who has the power to influence many people, as through social media or traditional media: Companies look for Facebook influences who can promote their brand.

I mean, I am really happy to whore myself out and represent any company that wants to send me to Europe to meet up with an author and other women from around the world and represent their companies on social media. OHHH how fun, to influence Mothers, to take a trip to Europe to pack up their suitcases and their mother guilt and spend sometime on themselves. Imagine the fun I would have writing an honest, raw, no doubt emotional account into book form.
End/beginning of day 42.

I will probably read this in a few days and be very embarrassed about my fatigued and delirious ramblings.

Depending how I feel may have to ad an extra post to this seen as it is only 5.27am.

Day 36

Day 36

Our school has a school Facebook page and one of the teachers posted a fascinating article about parenting on the page.

It was called Abandon parenting and just be a parent the article is an interview with Alison Gopnik about her new book The Gardener and the carpenter. I also did some more research and the Guardian also talked to Dr Alison Gopnik about her new book.

 

I found these articles to be a fascinating read. I suppose I was more inclined to read it, you know with it being the school holidays and spending more time with the boys. I look at them some days and cannot believe that I gave birth to these gorgeous humans. I have always loved the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”.

I do worry about our parenting style. I do try to be a fit free range with the boys and let them explore and discover and learn lessons in their own way. To a point though. I do sometimes feel like a bit of a helicopter parent and feel as though I am getting a bit worse with that the older they are getting because they are stepping out into the real world, so different to toddler lessons and primary lessons. Alison touched on the work parenting and that it is a term that was introduced in the 1970’s.

It’s interesting that the very word “parenting” is so recent. It only showed up as a word in 1960 and became common in the 1970s, even though, of course, the words “mother” and “father” and “parent” have been around for as long as English has. The rise of that particular word came with the rise of a particular cultural picture of being a parent: that your job as a parent is to get expertise, information and tips that will help you shape children.

 

I have included some fascinating paragraphs that caught my attention when reading the articles.

 

What ends up happening is parents are so preoccupied with this hopeless task of shaping their children to come out a particular way that their relationships with children at the moment become clouded over with guilt and anxiety and worry and the need for expertise.

I so understand this. I found it especially hard when helping boy 1 to pick subjects for year 10. I took the route of if you love your subjects then you will learn lots, get good marks and then you will have lots of options at the end of school. I really tried not to go down path of what do you want to do when you leave school and pick subjects from that, because well his mind may change 10 times in the next 3 years and he may end up doing subjects he hates and fail. He was excited about his subjects so we will see what happens.

 

Gopnik musters all this evidence in an attempt to persuade parents and educators to stop trying to mold children into adults with some desirable mix of characteristics, the way a carpenter might build a cabinet from a set of plans. Instead, we adults should model ourselves on gardeners, who create a nurturing ecosystem for children to flourish, but accept our limited ability to control or even predict the outcome of.

 

It should be fundamentally both reassuring and liberating for parents to know that children are doing most of the work. All the research that shows how incredibly sensitive and intelligent and powerful and good at learning children are and that they do it by observing and watching the people around them doing the things they do every day and by playing spontaneously. Children learn much more from using their own brains to just observe and play than they do by having someone sit down and teach them.

Yes, yes, yes this is why I love Montessori education.

The things that come out of play and free exploration, which are things like capacity for creativity and innovation, those are things that we need more than ever in the adult workforce. It’s a bit ironic that we’re taking a school system that was designed for 19th-century factory workers to be able to do the same thing over and over again—it was to try to develop human robots. In the 21st century, what we need is innovation and creativity, but we’re extending the robot model to younger and younger ages and more and more children.

The message is if you do the things that come naturally to you, that’s the best formula for being a successful parent.

 

End of day 36

Boys and I spent time at the Skate Park and slothing on the lounge talking, laughing and enjoying each other today.

I got absolutely fried on the beach yesterday and today I am wearing jumper, jeans and socks.

Day 35

 

Day 35 – which should really be day 39.

 

I have been MIA the last few days. I just couldn’t post on here. I was feeling fragile, tired and was sick of writing about myself every day. Ridiculous work hours, no sleep, school holidays, pms, and a husband that I was really trying hard to love, but really hated, put a halt to my feeling creative and focused. I had started this 100 day blog challenge for myself to help improve my writing and to see how I would grow or change in the 100 days. However as the days have gone on I have looked forward to the writing and people’s reactions to it. I found myself starting to stress about the stats of the blog and was stressing about the writing of it and if it was what people were wanting to read. Last week on night duty while on my breaks I was researching blogging and sending myself crazy, comparing my blog to people that have hundreds and thousands of followers and feeling like a bit of a failure.  I had myself feeling like the picture below (Willy Wonkas Chocolate factory when they visited the TV room and the little brat shrunk himself and he turned into 1 billion pixels, I felt like I was the billion pixels floating in the air)

 

I had a read of a blog post by Dr Ashlee Good growing pains are real, it was what I needed and it helped ground me. My friend (not my actual friend but love her work) Elizabeth Gilbert wrote a post called go to the water. I did this, this morning with my little family and I floated in the ocean for a couple of hours, I breathed deep, I sunk my feet in the sand, I watched my 3 play and enjoy each other. Amazing how salt waters heals all.

End of day 35.

I am not naked in the feature photo, on the beach, just wearing strapless bikini.

Off to work, but feeling good about writing for me again.

Day 34

Day 34

I read motivational books, and I practice yoga, always try and find the positive, I scroll through Pinterest looking for inspiring quotes, do things like a 100 day writing challenge, to get me outside of comfort zone. But today was a profound day.  I went to my Nannas funeral today.  As I wrote in a post a few days ago, I wasn’t close to her and felt sorry for her because of the life that she could of lead and the life that she chose to have. Today I went to the funeral as a support for my Dad. As we arrived and I watched how the family interacted with each other, I was glad that among us there was no false emotional greeting. We greeted each other with polite indifference, just like when we were growing up.  That was about most honest thing that happened in in the hour and a half that we were together.

My sisters and I sat towards the back of the chapel while the rest of the family was in the first few rows. We were actually more comfortable at the back, we weren’t there under false pretences, we were there for our father. As the three of us sat and listened to the obituary and other tributes we were remembering our own memories of our Nan, completely different versions of the same memories that were being recalled. It was interesting as the rest of the congregation seemed to be doing the same thing, as I glanced at her surviving children in the first row, both had their heads bowed and seemed to be lost in their own memories of their mother. One of the tributes was from my Nans, brother. He was amazingly honest and real in his recall of his sister, saying that he didn’t know her as well as he knew his seven other sisters, and that he had to research her so that he would be able to speak at her funeral.

As my sister and I drove home with had our youngest sister on speaker phone we dissected and debriefed on the funeral. I said to my sisters, I think that has been the most motivational/ profound experience I have had. It makes me want to be a better Mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. It makes me want to get out and live a beautiful life, to be kind and thoughtful and get out of my comfort zone and experience life.  The motivation wasn’t because this is what my Nan did. The motivation is because I want people to be able to speak honestly about me and not have to do research to be able to pay tribute to me at the end of my journey on this earth.

End of day 34

My sister has had to leave her broken car in my yard, and drive 6 hours home in our other sister’s car. This means that she will be back in a week or so to pick up her repaired car, can’t wait to see her again.

I felt incredibly overdressed for the funeral, but was proud that I stood with my sisters and represented mum and dad in a way that said we were raised right.

Day 33

Day 33

 

Boy 2: Mum, I have something in my hair.

Me: If you have nits you are getting number 1 clippers all over.

I walk over to my boy and look at where he has parted his hair.

Me: ahhh, where is the phone I need to call your Father. You have a massive tick.

My Husband: Hey babe.

Me: Tom has a tick burrowing into his head, I can’t remember which way to turn it, clock wise or anti- clockwise! Do I need methylated spirits, I don’t have any in the cupboard. Oh shit why do these things happen when you are at work. How do I get it out? What if it’s the type that can kill him, shit what happens if I don’t get it out?

My Husband: Turn it anti-clockwise and just pull it as you turn it.

Me: Anti-clockwise?

Ok into the bathroom, get the torch, I will get the tweezers, sit on the bathroom floor and I will sit on the bath.

Hold your hair.

Stop moving.

Hold the torch.

Ok I am going to try and get this thing, oh god it’s burrowing in deeper.

Stop moving

Shit, I can’t get it, it’s going deeper, oh god it’s still moving.

Where is your father when I need him!

Ok, I got it, I got it. AHHHHH it’s still alive and moving those creep little parasite legs.

 

End of day 33

Completely freaked out about the tick in my kids head.

Went for a massive walk with my husband and dog this morning, while boy 1 was riding his skate board at the skate park and boy 2 was at a friend’s house. We didn’t get swopped by magpies, in an area where everyone gets picked on.

Day 32

Day 32.

 

I have bookshelves in the lounge room, my office and the library. I also have a stack of books that I keep on my kitchen bench, in easy reach for me to grab a little daily inspiration if I need it. I have Oprahs – What I know for sure, Elizabeth Gilberts – Big Magic, Sophia Amoruso #Girlboss and Lisa Messengers Life and love – creating the dream . Today I reached for Oprahs – What I know for sure, curled up on the lounge with my youngest boy, a cuppa tea and a crocheted blanked and flicked through it. I usually hold whatever book I choose for the day, take a deep breath and ask for guidance or a message for the day (sounds a bit kooky hey, but whatever works). After finishing night duty this morning and only having three hours sleep, I needed some sort of guidance and didn’t think the red variety in a glass would help, so I left it to Oprah. I opened up to page 49 of the book and it was the start of the chapter – Connection.  I want to share a few phrases/ sentences that touched my heart from the chapter:

At our core, longs to be loved, needed, understood, affirmed- to have intimate connections that leave us feeling more alive and human. I loved this one because on my About me page on the blog, this is what I am striving for, for myself and for the readers of my writing.

What I know for sure is that a lack of intimacy is not distance from someone else; it is a disregard for yourself.

I’ve always thought that communication was like a dance. One person takes a step forward, the other takes a step back.

These two resonated strongly with me in regards to my marriage, we have had a shit year and we are working really hard on our relationship and reading these made me think back to the worst and lowest point this year and our lack of communication and I could see clearly the thorough disregard, dislike and frustration that I felt towards myself and how I was projecting that on to our marriage.

I have found myself looking forward to hanging out, laughing, connecting and embracing others as a part of the circle. It’s added new meaning to my life, a feeling of community I didn’t even know I was missing. This struck a chord with me after a Facebook private message conversation that I had with a friend this afternoon about this exact thing.  Connecting with genuine people and them becoming your tribe, and only when you found these relationships did we realise that we have missed not having them all along.

When you make loving others the story of your life, there’s never a final chapter, because the legacy continues. The only thing that will have any lasting value is whether we’ve loved other and whether they’ve loved us. Yes well this is the whole point to life isn’t it cause at the end of the day it is the people and the love that make up our lives not the things.

End of day 32

I saw my husband for about 30 seconds this morning and he hugged me so hard I have a sore shoulder.

I braved egg collecting today, I HATE birds/chickens. But there beautiful eggs where sitting in the chicken coop needing to be collected and I did it. I may have had tears in my eyes from fear and was making a hell of a racket so the chickens wouldn’t come near me, but I got the eggs.