I was feeling adrift on Good Friday. Wistfulnes came upon me and I was listless. Thinking of this world and the tragedies which occurred the past week…My mind was insisting that I curl up in bed and not move. I know enough about myself by now to defy this edict. I ended up doing the reverse. I took my daughter down to the river and went for a walk. I was joined by friends and as the kids played, we chatted. On my way back home, I met another mum, who was trailed by two little boys. Her face was cast in sadness, and she disclosed that she had only been at her in-laws for fifteen minutes and already they were irritated by her gorgeous sons. Rather than stay and become more and more upset by their cantankerous behaviour, she walked to the river. The boys burnt off energy and we had a lovely time, picking up sticks and errant treasures.
My daughter was overjoyed to find that the Easter Bunny had been Easter Sunday ! There was a trail leading to the backyard, a little girl with a basket, hot on the scent. We lit a candle at breakfast time, and stated what we were thankful for. Afterward, we went to church, and were greeted by many familiar faces. This place is about love, and about service. You can be real here, and the relief is palpable.
We messaged a friend, and found her to be depressed. She was alone in her unit, and I said that we were coming to see her. “when you are feeling despondent, you sometimes have to do the opposite of what your brain is telling you to do,” I insisted. I know from personal experience. If you feel like isolating yourself and staying in, you have to do the reverse. If you feel like drinking or binging, the same applies. Holidays are a cruel reminder of what you are missing out on, if you are alone. You see the myriad of families enjoying each other’s company on Facebook via status updates and photos. You can’t even watch TV without ads appearing, showing you how it is meant to be. Feelings of rejection, abandonment and fear emerge from the recesses of one’s mind. It is hard to escape.
I mentioned to our friend that we were going to Vaucluse House, so my daughter could take part in an Easter trail. To my delight, this friend wanted to come along. It takes guts to do the opposite of what your mind is demanding. We watched my daughter and her friend playing amongst the ancient trees, and had a Devonshire tea afterward. It was a perfect afternoon. Next time you feel like isolating, or are pressured to stay inside a home with people that make you feel unwelcome, do the reverse.
We have had a dizzying week, filled with grace, learning and love. We had a mum and her son come to stay for a little while. They have been on the road for almost a year, and are finding it difficult to locate permanent housing. One day we shall look back with horror that a single mum and her children found it so tough to secure housing. I could think of nobody with such a vested interest in being the perfect tenant. They are travelling South, and I pray that they find what they are looking for. Everybody deserves a permanent home.
My daughter attended a robotics lecture and tour at Sydney University this week, and also went to a Brain Week Open Day at UNSW. She loved being on campus, and was fascinated by all she saw.
This is a picture of her exquisite and beautiful brain activity! I love the violet!
My daughter felt emotional as she observed this sculpture, looking deep into his eyes. Everybody deserves permanent housing.
I attended dinner for a dear friend’s birthday and was delighted that Hannah Erika Music were playing. It was a sublime night. I met a designer, who disclosed that she is dyslexic, and her dream is to empower young people who have dyslexia. I can’t wait to see the glorious clothing she produces after she sets up her business. It is important that dyslexic kids hear of such adults, and have the chance to tour universities, attend workshops and see all the opportunities that are available to them. By ten, most have had deflating experiences and had trials beyond what an adult could comfortably endure. My child loves science, art, music and drama among many other interests. I know she will succeed in whatever she chooses to do in life, not in spite of her dyslexia, but from it. She already thinks outside the box, is extraordinarily creative and curious. These qualities will hold her in good stead.
We also saw a beautiful performance at the Seymour Centre, of Huang Yi and Kuka My daughter asked if the performers had fun coming up with the choreography between themselves and the robot (Kuka). Huang Yi answered an emphatic yes, and went on to tell her that he believed in his dream, and found others who did too. He told her to never let go of her dreams. It was lovely advice to give a little girl with a bucketful of hope.
Lastly, I had to share the recipe for these fruit balls that my friend made. They are amazing! Mix Coconut, Almond Meal, Honey, Vanilla Essence, Lime juice and peel and Chia seeds together and roll into balls.
In the Telegraph, on October 2nd, there was an article which caught my attention, ‘Why kids crave more time with parents.’ Multiple after-school activities have left kids craving more free time with their parents to enjoy spontaneous pleasures. In a direct quote, “Ikea’s Time to Live research discovered nearly half of kids aged six to 16 are busy with three or more after-school activities and two-thirds pine for more free family time. In the past month, 43 percent of teens and parents did not manage any spontaneous time, despite 66 percent of teens and 73 percent of parents believing the most enjoyable times have been unplanned.” Life gets crazy, particularly at this time of year when activities and commitments ramp up. However, is there something amiss with palpable relief that the classes stop during the festive season? The game was cancelled due to inclement weather? We can now play board games at home? Doing things we love sustains us, and in fact, we feel liberated as a result. Over-commitment kills spontaneity and that’s sad. My daughter and I need that as much as we relish the assurance of structure. Getting the balance right is the key and takes some doing! What are your guides for activities? Do you have rest days in between?
My husband had been unreachable since his disappearance. His movements and speech were slow, and painfully hopeless. He was inside his hell, and I couldn’t get in to retrieve him. I told him about a lovely doctor I had confided in, and he agreed to come with me on Sunday to the practice. This gentle man with a timbered voice listened after asking about my partner’s experiences in childhood and as an adult. He described his restlessness, his recklessness, his over-the-top behaviour and the savage, meteorite crashes onto earth. “I believe you have bi-polar, and have been trying to regulate your moods with alcohol,” the doctor finally spoke. He prescribed two different drug classes, one an anti-depressant and the other Lithium. When he indicated that it would be a hard, slow road, whilst the dosages were tweaked, but that the result would be that my husband would feel better than he had his whole adult life, my man broke down. I cried too. He may start to experience what it means to feel alive as opposed to feeling hyper or under-stimulated. The past five years have been hell. I look at the dishevelled, unhappy man seated next to me, and I know we are on a new journey, one I hadn’t anticipated nor prepared for. I buckle my seatbelt and prepare for blast-off.