Monday, September 11, 2017

You have the power to say, this is not how my story ends

This afternoon I was having a cry on the phone to a friend who lives out of town. After I finished having my pity party, I asked them how they were. They were kinda cagey about how things were going, but for some reason I kept pressing and they told they had taken a bottle of strong painkillers and were just going to give up and die.

I did not know their address and I could not convince them to dial 111. They had a lot of compelling reasons why it wasn't worth carrying on. Now I know that life is not like the movies where the police find you by your cell phone number; but I couldn't do nothing, so I dialled 111 and told the dispatcher everything I could think of about the person. The 111 dispatcher told me they would not stop till they found the person and so they did.

Did you know that the police will do that? I didn't but I had to try. I felt like a shitty friend because even though I knew my friend had problems, I hadn't done any physical thing to help. I mean winning lotto would definitely have solved a lot of their problems, but short of that I felt hopeless. Sometimes we can't solve things for our friends because they have to have the guts to do it for themselves.

Suicide is a long term solution for a short term problem. I don't know how my friend is going to solve their short term problems, but I do know if they died tonight, they would never find out. I hope that they will find a way out of the dark place, that they will make some changes in their life, that they will ask for (and accept) help, even though that is hard. I may have been a shitty friend and I don't have to answers to their problems, but I don't want them to just give up and have no hope.

Life is a weird thing. It can seem so grim, it can seem like there is no hope, but things change. Slowly but surely things get better. Sometime we have to make really scary steps before things change, sometime we have to put ourselves in a really exposed position. We have to say out loud, I need help. We might have to say it over and over again to several people. But if we keep right on fighting, we can change our situation. In a week, a month or a year we will look back and see how far we have come. I don't believe we are too old or too young to start taking those brave brave steps. Keep fighting friends.

You have the power to say, 
this is not how my story ends

If you or someone you know is feeling like they cannot go on, here are some numbers to ring. Or you can ring the police, turns out they will find you and make sure you are ok.

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
Lifeline 0800 543 354 or 09 522 2999
Suicide Prevention Helpline 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOK0)
Youthline 0800 376 633 or free text 234
Samaritans 0800 726 666

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to

Tomorrow it's my birthday. I'll be 49.
It just sounds so old, like old old.
But the weird thing is I don't feel old.
I still have a lot of hope and dreams.

I still have a lot of things left to do 
before i get, like really old. 

I won't lie, my life isn't where I want it to be
and as if to really emphasise this fact
this week life really kicked my butt.
{insert pity party here}

But you know, life goes on. 
It's ok I think to stop and cry a few tears
to kick at the walls that surround you
and to rage at injustice.

It's ok to admit out loud that things
are not going as well as you wish they were,
that you feel the burden is to great
and the fun has worn off.

But it is not ok to set up camp there.
It is not a place to live out the rest of my days.

So this post is me giving notice to myself,
time to get up, to brush myself down
and keep on moving forward.

After all I still have one year to go
to get to my self-appointed goal of
"having my shit sorted".

But you know, if I get to this time next year
and I still haven't got there yet,
as long as I'm still moving forward 
and made progress from last year
well that's all I can ask for really.

Happy Birthday to me.

Monday, September 4, 2017

About Monday's on a Tuesday

It's another week. What is it about Mondays? we look forward to the weekend and then ugh before we know it, it's Monday. Monday is about getting things started, about working out the to-do list and being organised. 

I used to love Mondays, a fresh new week full of opportunities but somehow lately I've really grown to hate them. I think it is because my weekends are kinda full and there just isn't enough down time, you just get to the end of your to-do list and behold it's time to cook Sunday Night tea. It feels like that hamster wheel that you never get off. 

I think hating Mondays is just a symptom of where you are at with adulting. Anyway, right now for me, I think Mondays suck. 

If you want me, I'm now struggling through Tuesday. Is it spring yet??

Thursday, August 31, 2017

There was a f*** load of shouting and then I got this nice photo.

Last weekend we went to my nieces wedding. We almost did not make it because when the Resident Teen tried on his suit, he had grown taller and it didn't fit. We discovered this at the very last minute and then when we made an emergency trip to the Warehouse to buy something, the Resident accidentally picked up the wrong pair of jeans and brought home the ones that didn't fit.

I can't even begin to explain how many tears, how much shouting and how many swear words were spoken before we got to the wedding. It was VERY STRESSFUL indeed and almost an unmitigated disaster.

But once we got there, the wedding was beautiful and the rest of the day was just lovely. Also I have this awesome picture of my four kids looking stunning all at the same time. 

Let's just keep it all real, shall we?? 
Happy weekend folks. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Lonely is not being alone, it’s the feeling that no one cares.

It's Friday night and it's been a hard week. The Resident Teen has been super sick with the flu and I've been trying to spend as much time at home looking after him while juggling the day job. Mr W decided that maybe he would rather we were friends. Hard times.

As I was folding this pile of fabric tonight, I thought about how Alison from Cotton Factory enables us to buy nice fabric and so now I have a pile of happy that I can play with. I thought about how Rhiannon sent me encouraging messages the other night which put an end to my pity party.

I thought about how I accidentally clicked a button on my messenger app the other day and found words with friends. And how Alisa is the best person and comes up with words which I have no idea what they mean.

I remembered that I'm hanging out with Michelle tomorrow and coffee with my folks on Sunday.

I'm reminding myself of all the good people in my life. And so I might be alone, but there are people who care. Yes, it's been a hard week. My heart hurts and I've been struggling. But now it's the weekend and I have good things planned with people who care. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Confessions of a Single Parent

Last weekend I went to Auckland. I was lucky enough to have a talk with Simone about our unexpected lives, lives that never in our wildest dreams we thought we would ever be living. It was such a relief to talk to her. It made me realise that I have not one person in my every day life who is living the same life as me. Talking to Simone made me realise that I'm not failing, I'm just doing the best I can, the same as every other single parent out there. I don't believe anyone decides they want to parent by themselves, when we are growing up, each and every one of us have hopes of finding someone to share life with.

So doing it by yourself is frankly, a rude shock. Sometimes I see people on social media whose partner is away, tagging their photos #singleparenting. Let me tell you, that is NOTHING LIKE SINGLE PARENTING. (Yes those are shouty capitals). Single parenting is doing every single thing by yourself. Ugh. And then feeling like you are failing the whole time. Let me tell you, nobody judges me as badly as I do myself, I am constantly second guessing and hating myself for all my decisions. 

Being a single parent means that you do all of the parenting at your house. All of it. This is an actual photo of the rubbish and recycling situation in my kitchen right now. It is Annie's job and she has procrastinated all week. She's actually doing it right now because I promised to help her make donuts. Could I have done this job? absolutely! would it have been easier? Hell yes! honestly its a 2 minute job, if done each day. 

But what would she learn?? She would learn that if I leave something long enough Mum will do it. So no, I won't do it for her. Am I doing it right? who knows?? not me that's for sure. I'm just trying to teach my kids how to be contributing members of society.

While I was away Mr W staying in our house and fed the animals for us. He also took it upon himself to completely clean and organise the room of the Resident Teen. It was amazing. I had been bleating on to the Resident Teen for weeks. That room smelt bad, and I kept saying it seemed like a homeless person lived there. I cannot tell you what a relief it was to have that done for us. It was incredible. Both the Resident Teen and I were amazed. We are now both working together to keep it better. Having Mr W do that meant that I didn't have to back down from my stand but gave grace to the Resident Teen to start again. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for some help and support. Hopefully Mr W is not scarred for life after that experience. I think he might be :(

Last weekend I went away (as I mentioned). I went to Auckland to see a friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer. I chose to do that, instead of registering and warranting my car. Who knows when I'll get money to do that? maybe in about three weeks?? Goodness knows. See what I mean about decisions?? It's tough I tell you. But it was worth it to see my friend, you gotta do what is important.

I've reconciled myself to the fact that clearly it's going to take a long time to dig myself out of this money hole. So a few months ago, I started buying random jars at the opshop for $1 or $2. Every week (no matter how tight money is) I buy at least one pantry ingredient. Finally it is starting to pay off. I have also started making treats from scratch. We always have homemade toffee now for an emergency sugar fix. We always have some nuts. We have popping corn so we can make pop corn. It's little things, but it is making a difference. We are possibly eating healthier now we make all our own treats.

I sometimes joke that when this phase of my life is over (and I'm sure things will get better eventually), I never want to eat another sausage again. Ever. Ever, Ever. But in the meantime they are cheap and versatile and filling for the Resident Teen. Also (just by the way) why do the cheap foods have yellow and red packaging?? It's almost like they colour code food the cheap food!! don't get me wrong, we are super lucky. We have a nice home, I have a full time job, and we are mostly doing ok. Well we were going into debt fast, but we are going slower now. And yesterday I finally (two years later) paid of the arrears for school activities. It's the little things. 

At least now when I do have some money, I mostly make good choices with it. It's taken a while, but slowly but surely I'm starting to feel like we might actually make it. The problem is, it is 100% up to me whether we do or not. Falling off the rails is so close at any point. For example this weekend I could just easily go back to bed and sleep, but if I clean the fridge, do the dishes, do 10 loads of laundry, vacuum the house, empty the rubbish, feed the chickens, make meals, make donuts with Miss 8, do the seven hours of work for my day job that I didn't do yesterday because the kids were sick, make the Resident Teen (who has a bad dose of the flu) some hot drinks and find some painkillers, bind three quilts, make the beds, do some baking for school lunches and cook the pumpkin that has started to go off sitting on the kitchen bench.... if i do that stuff, then next week will run smoothly. 

That's what being a single parent is all about. It's relentless. And it's on repeat. 
So don't judge me if I drink Coke Zero and don't exercise. Ok? 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Looking back (but still moving forward)

This photo came up in my memories. Beautiful Annie on her first day of kindergarten.
Sometimes I miss my old life. Not that I want to go back to that life, but I think it is ok to say that I miss the simplicity of my old life.

I miss having someone else to share parenting with,
I miss having enough money,
I miss my kiddies living in the same house all the time,
I miss having someone to go to bed with each night,
I miss my friends that I never have time to see now
because I work full time.

There's things I don't miss of course, and I love my new life,
but I think it's perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that things are different
and sometimes that makes me feel sad.

Change is painful. I guess that one day this new life will fit more comfortably
 and I'll manage it better on a day to day basis. 

Let's do this.