Pity Party for One

The first two weeks of July each year is one of reflection and sadness.  On the 6th July 1997 Mark, my 1st husband and father of my two eldest kids, died at the age of 41. It was sudden.  Although Mark and I had divorced several years early, he was still my friend and my rock and I loved him dearly. I miss his voice and I miss our long discussions on raising our children as divorced parents – we were the role models of a happily divorced couple.  I reflect on our life together and wonder if we stayed together, would he still be alive?  He died of an cerebral aneurysms so the likelihood he’d be alive today is, well it’s unlikely.

This year on Mark’s death anniversary my son visited his grave and my daughter posted the annual tribute to her father on Facebook.  This year was probably the 1st time in a while I didn’t post about Mark’s death on Facebook. To be honest I forgot until I saw my daughter’s post and with the outpouring of sympathy and support for her, I remembered that my father’s death date loomed.  But my grief will go without any fanfare or outpouring of love and support not even from my kids – they didn’t know him.   I might post a tribute on Facebook but I think I’ll just have a pity party for one!

My father died on the 9th July 1981.  I was twenty with a three-month old baby girl.  I had no time to grieve my father’s death.  The moment I found out, I had to toughen up and support my mother, plan a funeral with my brother and find out how mum could access some money to live on as dad handled all the finances.  To make matters worse mum was an emotional mess.  I knew she would be as she was always an emotional women, cried at the drop of a hat.  I could never work out why she was so emotional when I was so hardened, if only I knew then what I know now.  I also found out later that my brother had his own burden to bare as he found our adoption papers the day dad died – secrets take their toll on everyone and they certainly took their toll on mum.

All this going on and I was struggling to breast feed a hungry baby!

As months wore on, I spent nearly every day with mum.  I loved her dearly and loved her company and her help raising my daughter.  Three years later I had a son and nothing changed with my daily routine.  Then mum found out she had cancer.  I was 23 by this time.  Mum wasn’t a well woman at the best of times, she had high blood pressure and was always on nerve tables as she called them, we call them Valium. As a diabetic I watched her administer injections twice a day.  I had to learn to do it myself. I learnt using an orange as I didn’t want to practice on mum, I might hurt her.  To this day I’ve never needled anyone.

One year after having my son and mum being diagnosed with cancer, Mark came home from the pub one night and told me about a conversation he had with my brother – he found our adoption papers.  It wasn’t a revelation for me, I had already suspected but the last time I thought about it was 6 months before my dad died, I was pregnant and I told the midwife I was unsure about my family health history because I suspected I was adopted.

Here I was, 24 years old, looking after two kids and an emotional mum dying of cancer and all I wanted to do was ask her 1000 questions but I had to put my feeling’s and question’s aside, at least for the time being, or until I couldn’t bare the silence anymore – which by the way took nine long months.  When I finally broke my silence the conversation was quick and we barely spoke about it again.  Over the next six years my marriage to Mark broke down, my fault, and I had another child to husband number two all the while supporting mum as much as I could.  I didn’t have as much help from mum’s sister as my nan’s health deteriorated during the ten years since dad died so it was all on me and I was becoming an emotional wreck although you wouldn’t know it because I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve, I still don’t.

Within three months after my 30th birthday, my beloved nan died and one week later my mum died. Which brings me to today 7 July 2018, two day’s before the 37th anniversary of the death of my dad.  The anniversary that kicked off a ten year cycle taking in every year of my 20’s.  Being a responsible adult, mother of three, carer for my dying mum, watching my nan deteriorate, the breakdown of my marriage and for most of those ten years holding in a thousand questions on my beginnings,  all the while secretly searching for the mystery birth mother I knew very little about.

37 years ago, this very day, I was a new mum with a wonderful husband, amazing parents and a great brother.  It was pretty much the last time I had very little to worry about except for how in the hell I was going to get this baby to sleep more than 3 hours without doing as my dad advised, putting a bit of brandy in her bottle.

To you dad, I don’t have any brandy but I have wine and I’ll tip my glass to you and to the 37th anniversary since I last saw you and the 37th anniversary of the last two almost care-free days of my life.

 

The Pity Party Train has just derailed at the corner of
Suck It Up & Move On, and crashed into We All Have 
Problems, before coming to a stop at Get The Hell over It!

#sodramatic #wintercold #woewoeisme

A lonely beginning

My granddaughter turns ten this week and I reflect on the first time I laid my eyes on her, such perfection, so much love.

I was in the room when my daughter gave birth to my granddaughter Matilda.  It’s not a pleasant experience for a parent to watch your child go through labour even though it’s the natural occurrence of life.  There’s nothing natural about giving birth, it’s painful, messy and fucking stressful even though there’s a reward at the end.   I was so stressed witnessing this event knowing that any minute something could go wrong. After I cut the cord and my daughter got a little cuddle of her daughter, the nurse took Matilda to the side to clean her up and get her breathing on her own.  Matilda didn’t start crying soon as she was born but she made noises so I wasn’t worried.

After a little while I couldn’t resist the urge to check out Matilda’s toes to see if they were webbed just like mine, her mothers and her Uncles, and they are.  The nurses were still fussing around Matilda but they let me check her toes.  I noticed the nurses were a little bothered and I noted Matilda still hadn’t had a big cry.  She was whimpering as if trying to cry but I didn’t think anything of it until the Nurse told us she needed to take Matilda to a high care unit for a short time.  She also assured us everything was OK.  She explained that Matilda was born so quickly she was a little distressed so she need some specialist care to clear out her lungs and get her breathing normally.

Matilda disappeared with the nurse and I was left in the labour room with my daughter and her husband.  The birth was so quick it also left my daughter in some terrible pain that continued after the birth and that wasn’t normal so she was being attended to by the Dr and her husband.

There was nothing I could do for my daughter, she was in good hands.  My thoughts were with Matilda, I should be there with her.  She was ten minutes into this world and not with her family.  She needed me!

I asked the nurse if I could be with my granddaughter and she showed me the way to the high care unit.   As I entered the unit alone, I noted how big the room was and how empty except for a tiny baby crib at the far end of the room.  As I approached my granddaughter’s crib the nurse assured me she was OK and not be alarmed by the wires connected to her.  It was routine and she was just fine and needed a little time and some extra oxygen to get over her quick entrance into the world.

It wasn’t the wires that alarmed me but the overwhelming mixed feelings that swept over me.  My granddaughter was just born and was left alone in her crib at the end of a big room.  To be fair the nurses had just finished wiring her up for oxygen and other things to monitor other vital organs, whatever they were.   I leaned down and kissed her on her head and caressed her cheeks softly with the back of my fingers.

I’m here now my baby, you’re not alone!

As I stared down at this perfect angel, the love that swept over me took my breath and I swear my heart’s temperature rose a few degrees. I will not leave this darling girl. I will not leave her alone for a second.  In that room and in that moment, I was all she had and I didn’t want her to be or feel alone.

As I sat silently next to her as she slept it dawned on me that Matilda and I had very different beginnings.  Although I was taken to a ward very soon, if not immediately after birth, I had not one family member there to have the same feelings that swept over me.  No doubt I would have been alone in a ward for weeks possibly more. No one to caress my cheek with a loving hand and no one to stare down at me with overwhelming love and joy.  The only touch would have come from the nurses who fed and changed me. My heart ached for that baby (me).   I’d not wish this beginning on anyone let alone my granddaughter. I can’t help but wonder…..

Was my lonely beginning in life the reason I’ve been alone in my heart since the day I was born?

Kate’s mate

When I was little girl, we lived next door to my maternal Nan and my Auntie (we called her ‘Dig’). Dig worked at a nearby factory.  Every day around 7am and again at 3pm the factory whistle screamed the start and end of the working day and everyone in town would hear it.  When the afternoon whistle blew, I knew that Dig would be home soon and I would run next door to my Nan’s place, stand on the gate and wait for her to come walking up the lane.  On most afternoons before I was old enough to go to school and on weekends I would help Dig with household chores such as gardening, chopping wood, and anything that needed to be done around her and my Nan’s home.  Tammy was the family dog for most of my childhood and she was always hanging around us to keep us company while we worked away in the garden. 

Dig would always say as she walked up the lane towards me, standing on the garden gate – “Kate sat on the garden gate, waiting for her little Mate”.  For Dig’s 80th Birthday I finished her little ditty with the following poem to celebrate the most memorable and wonderful time of my life – spending it with my special Mate.  I knew when I wrote this poem that one day I would read it at her funeral, that day arrived on the 11 May 2016. 

Kate’s mate

Kate sat on the garden gate
Waiting for her little mate
Up the lane she’d come each day
Kate would scream a loud haray

Soon as Mate walked through the gate
She was working with little Kate
Chop the wood and stack the pile
Gather veges once in a while

Then Nan would say its tea time
And Kate would duck next door
Until tomorrow arvo comes
And Kate came back for more

The weekend came
And Kate would know
That back to work Mate didn’t go
And Kate would start the game

Kate snuck next door and jumped in bed
And Mate would wake and shake her head
Get up, get up little Mate
We’ve got to fix the garden gate

Nan would cook em breakfast
And they’d go outside to work
They’d mow the lawn and trim the trees
Til Tammy went beserk

Monday came, the whistle blew
And Mate went off to work
Come 3 o’clock and Kate just knew
Where she would have to lurk

Kate’d be on the garden gate
Waiting for her little Mate
Soon as Mate walked through the gate
She was working with little Kate

……

 Loved forever, forgotten never!
1931-2016

You have how many wives?

While channel surfing a few Sundays ago, I came across a 60 Minute story on the self proclaimed Rabbi, Phil Sharp (AKA the Rampant Rabbi) who has had eight wives. Of course in the eyes of the law he only has one wife. Sharp claims his polygamy is part of a divine plan, revealed to him by God, in which the End of Days judgement will start in his own house.

Polygamy refers to the practice of having more than one spouse. It is broader than polygyny, which refers to situations where one man has multiple wives, and polyandry, which refers to one woman with multiple husbands.

I don’t know who to feel sickened by, the polygynist man or the concubines who make up his harem.  In today’s society why do women allow themselves to be in a situation where they share the man they love and the man they bare children with?

Why would you resign yourself to be wife number 2 or 3 or more?

It’s enough that we are given identifying numbers for many life situations. Everyone entering the workforce are given tax file numbers. After you start work you’re given an employee number. If you’re a member of a club you have a membership number. For goodness sake we’re even given queue numbers.

It’s little wonder that sometimes we feel that we are nothing more than a number. Why a woman would decide to become just another number in what should be a very personal role in life, that of a wife, be it in traditional marriage or de-facto relationship, goes beyond my capability to understand the reasoning behind such a decision.

Or is it that I’ve been conditioned by society, in particular western society that polygamy is wrong?

Although most Australians live monogamous relationships it’s claimed that  70 percent of all marriages experience an extramarital affair – 60% of men and 50% of women, however that figure differs depending on your age. In many cases these affairs can be long lasting and in fewer cases again can lead to pregnancies of the second female partner.  The difference is that polygamy is open but not commonly accepted and having an affair isn’t open and more accepted. 

Given that polygamy doesn’t cover up the concept of multiple partners as opposed to the closed or secretive aspect of affairs, why is polygamy condemned?

Firstly we should look at where does polygamy stems from.  I blame religion for many things wrong in the world and my first stance is to blame religion for polygamist communities dragging on a ridiculous tradition, Mormons for example.  However, polygamy stems way back before organised religion came about. For example, for Australian Aboriginals the concept of multiple wives is normal or at least it was normal until white man came along and changed things.  There is no formal ceremony, wives are selected for the men from within the community, siblings and first cousins are not allowed to marry.

However, there are negative aspects of this arrangement and they are not confined to the Aboriginal example used here. Although, it has been suggested that polygamy stemmed from an imbalance of women to men, statistics suggest that the ratio of men and women were the same therefore leaving many men without a wife.  Men who were left out were often found to be having affairs with the neglected wives of a polygamous relationship and also a wealth of sociological information points to the fact that single men commit the vast majority of violent crimes.

Historically, all religions have practised polygamy at some stage.  Each religious text refers to polygamy. For example, in the Hebrew Bible polygamy was permitted only if a man has more than one wife, at the same time if a woman had more than one husband (polyandry), it was seen as adultery. The Quran states that a man can marry up to four women, however, in practice the first wife must give her permission.  The Bible also has many references to polygamy with some of the main characters in the old testament having several wives such as David, Solomon and Abraham. However, during the early church period of Christianity polygamy was banned citing a few references in the bible that forbade multiple marriages.

In historical Chinese society where a polygamist family existed the child was considered to have more than one mother and they could have up to 4 mothers. The first wife was considered to be the official mother while the others were the unofficial mothers. There was one main wife, known as the ‘Queen wife” and she had a higher status than the others.

So what’s the affect of a polygamist relationship on women?

The more information I read about polygamist relationships it’s apparent that the women get the raw end of the deal no matter how you look at it and children don’t fair any differently.

Predominately, women of polygamist relationships are more likely to be from a poorer background and have limited education.  As more and more wives are introduced to a family unit, the new wives are generally younger resulting in increased jealousies and ultimately affecting the family unit.  

The affect on children is no better than that on women because men with lots of children and wives are spread too thin, and to make things worse, they’re compiling resources to attract their next wives instead of using it on their existing families.  Also, it appears that child abuse is more prevalent as young girls become a commodity to barter with and many very young girls are married off to very old men.

On the flip side many women in polygamist relationships state that having multiple women on hand to help with the running of the family provides each wife with the ability to take time out for themselves and I sure all women in monogamous relationships would agree that this certainly would be a benefit, albeit the only one.

The countries that do accept polygamy are generally underdeveloped, their population is mostly illiterate, as well as having a cultures of oppressed women as polygyny is the only form of polygamy that is acceptable in these societies . Virtually all of the developed countries do not permit polygamy.

Kody BrownI do fear that polygamy is starting to be accepted with TV now popularising it with shows such as Sister Wives.  Although shows such as this may not show polygomy in a bad light, I’m sure practised by a wider community the impact to women on a whole would certainly be a negative one with the increase in mental health and single mothers, not the mention the negative impact to children and the increase of crime amongst single males as studies suggest.

In conclusion, society doesn’t need these type of family dynamics in order to progress and prosper. I know many people who are against gay marriage think that legalising gay marriage will lead to legalising polygamist relationships but we’re not comparing apples to apples so I don’t see why the two are linked. Polygamist families are not good for women or the children born out of these relationships and it’s certainly not good for the young males who are left on the shelf.

Sources
The Perils of Polygamy by Christopher Kaczor

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Happiness and the holy grail

It’s 7am, Sunday morning and I’m sitting-up in bed looking through the wall of glass in front of me onto a beautiful blue sky, albeit through slightly dirty glass reminding me it’s time to clean the massive expanse.

What appears to be developing into a spectacular autumn day in Sydney should bring a sense of excitement – what wonderful things will I do today? Where can I go to enjoy the lovely weather? But it just so happens that I’ve woken up in a bad mood which is turning into a depressive mood.

Oh damn, another beautiful day will pass me by and I’m depressed.

If I stay at home today I’ll just get more depressed but I’m in such a bad mood I can’t bring myself to go anywhere or do anything – it’s a catch 22 situation. So I complain to MOTH whose quick reply is – “you’ll never be happy!”

Is he right? Will I never be happy?

As I contemplate this announcement, I try and articulate what happiness is – my version of happiness.  “Mmmm well, um, well it’s about being happy!”

Obviously I can’t quite articulate what happiness is for me. So I’ll refer to the dictionary.

Happiness:

  1. The quality or state of being happy.

“Durrr, I knew that.”

  1. One having good fortune; pleasure; joy and contentment.

“Does this  suggest that if one achieves good fortune, pleasure, joy and contentment that lifelong happiness can be achieved?”

“Ok, so let’s take a closer look at each of these attributes of happiness”.

Good fortune

According to the online dictionary, “luck” is a contributing attribute to good fortune. Many people believe that luck is something that materializes from the cosmos (aka nowhere) or that luck comes about by chance. Someone who wins the lottery is considered lucky but you can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket, so luck really doesn’t have anything to do winning the lottery.

I don’t believe in luck by chance and one certainly can’t achieve good fortune based on luck alone. Good fortune comes about by hard work, then the so-called ‘good luck’ follows. I guess I consider myself to be fortunate in some aspects of my life but my good fortune hasn’t come about by luck, it’s come about by hard work and doing lots of things that don’t give me pleasure, joy or contentment. At least not for any considerable periods of time worth noting.

One could also say luck plays a part in good health. I on the other hand attribute good health to environmental and evolutionary factors. I’m a proponent of Charles Darwin’s natural selection – a natural process resulting in the evolution of organisms best adapted to the environment. I guess I could be considered lucky that so far I’ve adapted to my environment – but time will tell I guess.

One can’t expect lasting happiness predicated on good fortune. Realistic people know that good fortune can be lost in an instant. Successful people go broke because of reasons outside their control.  One’s assumed good health can be turned upside down with one visit to a Doctor.  When good fortune turns bad, you’ll inevitably hear people say how unlucky you are.

Pleasure

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I certainly feel pleasure regularly. I get pleasure from spending time with family and friends, enjoying a meal, watching a good movie or spending a summer’s day at the beach but pleasure isn’t a sustainable feeling and just around the pleasurable corner pain is lurking.

Pleasure can turn to pain if there is an unpleasant occurrence, a wrong word used in conversation, a not so pleasant mood. Many pleasurable moments lead to pain.  Athletes get pleasure from their chosen sport but many suffer pain from injuries or losses.

Pleasure and pain, although these two feelings may be polar opposites, they are very much related by the pure fact that one can very easily follow the other – pleasure then pain and alternatively pain then pleasure.

Joy

Personally I’m not a big fan of the word joy and I certainly don’t recall joy lasting long enough for me to feel an overwhelming sense of happiness. Joy is certainly not a feeling that lives on it’s own, joy accompanies other feelings. For example, I get pride and joy from watching my grandkids accomplish new skills. Laughter follows the joy of listening to a good joke.

The online dictionary attributes joy with bliss and delight.  I associate bliss with the accumulation of several feelings at one time emanating in a ‘high’ or the feeling of ‘bliss’. It’s a momentary high – could last seconds or minutes and if you’re exceptionally lucky maybe a few hours.  Delight and joy are interchangeable words resulting in very similar feelings both not lasting long, certainly not long enough to attribute to lasting happiness.

And lastly there is contentment

My research suggests that contentment can be achieved from gratification or being comfortable, secure and confident in oneself – a sense of inner peace. That’s very well and good, we’ve all had these feelings at some point in our lives, but can contentment last?

I believe contentment to be a sense of accomplishment that one has achieved in life. When one can say, “I’m happy where I live, how I live and what I’m doing now”. I would love to sing that tune with a warm and fuzzy feeling of “life’s great”. But alas, lifelong contentment is illusive and therefore begs the question – does it exist?

I’ve never been and probably won’t ever achieve lasting contentment. Maybe I’m being overly dramatic, I have felt contentment on many occasions but like good fortune, pleasure and joy, contentment is a feeling with a use-by-date, or for the unlucky ones like me, a use-by-time.

I can’t help but wonder if I’m alone with these short lived feelings?

According to most professors of evolutionary psychology humans evolved to: one, not get  killed; two, not be rejected by those around; and three, to accumulating as much of value as possible.  Therefore good fortune, pleasure, joy and contentment from our ancestor’s point of view would inevitably be short lived because at any moment they would certainly be fighting for survival.

The fight for survival is still evident today, albeit the dangers aren’t the same as what our ancestors faced but any lasting pleasurable feelings are short lived because man’s evolutionary wiring remains the same even though our living conditions have evolved.

Personally I get comfort from these findings and I conclude that eternal happiness is unattainable at this point of time in human evolution, so searching for it is as pointless as searching for the holy grail.

On the bright side, I can now reply to MOTH’s “you’ll never be happy” with a confident “and neither will you”!

Reflections on the beach

It’s amazing that so close to Sydney I can sit on an almost deserted beach with no one close to distract my wondering thoughts and observing eyes.  I feel drawn to the sea edge, the looming sound of the impending crash of a wave onto the sand followed by another and another.  The beautiful bottle green of the water from the shore, reaching out beyond, until it meets the horizon. The deep green cutting a definite line between the sea and the light blue hazy sky.

As my view draws closer to the water’s edge,  I’m tempted to join the seas cool wet embrace as a slight breeze blows a fine spray onto my face and a salty taste onto my lips. I’m mesmerised by it’s beauty and I remain frozen to my sandy seat.

Just beyond the tempting shoreline the sea floor falls away sharply and the deep beyond turns into a foreign place which can be fraught with danger.  For me the contrast between the sea’s edge and the depths of the yonder sea becomes a vocal point for reflection.

Life, like the sea is wondrous – it can be great one moment, can provide much pleasure but it’s also scary because in any one moment, life like the sea can become wild and dangerous.

Before I get lost in my melancholy thoughts on life, love, and death I notice a windsurfer way beyond the water’s edge, almost half way between me and the horizon. I’m in awe at his speed and how he appears to be floating above the water’s surface. I follow his journey and although I can’t see him clearly I get a sense of his strength and determination to go faster.  He’s using the sea and wind for his pleasure and it appears to me that he’s telling the sea “you don’t scare me”.

As I watch him I can’t help but smile at his courage and I can’t help but think,  life like the sea maybe scary at times but I can almost hear myself scream “you don’t scare me”!

Australia Day or America Day or Bogan Day – I was confused

My first Australia Day away from home was spent at Nelson Bay with my Daughter’s family. Within walking distance of our holiday house is Fly Point and it was here that Australia Day celebrations were held for the Nelson Bay area.

We set off around 10am on the 15 minute walk with the two kids in tow. I was rather looking forward to attending an organised event as I usually stay home and enjoy the time off work.  Fly Point has a wonderful outlook over Nelson Bay and the entire Port Stephens water way.

As we approached the venue we passed what appeared to be marching band members making their way back to their buses to put their various instruments away.  I confirmed with the venue timetable that said a procession was on at 9am.  I was glad we missed it as I loathe processions where all the local so-called talent hurts our ears with their horrible sounding instruments or maybe it’s their playing that’s horrible.

Please, leave the marching band format to the Americans, they love that sort of crap.

We veered off into the main park area where all the action seemed to be happening and the first thing I noticed were a bunch of old biddies dressed in blue jeans, chequered shirts and cow-girl hats and the load speaker confirmed my  fear – 10 minutes before the boot scooting dancers start their routine.

What the f*k has boot scooting got to do with Australia yet alone Australia Day? Oh my goodness, give me strength!

At Fly Point there is a large covered platform, an excellent venue for musical groups to perform under cover and it was equipped with all the gear for such an event. I could see the band was just making their way to their musical instrument or microphone, depending on their role within the band.  They looked rather country so I was looking forward to some Aussie music even though I’m really not a fan of country music but the likes of Slim Dusty does give me a spine tingle when I hear his classics especially on Australia Day.

However, when the music started it seemed to me that the songs were very much American country songs of which I’m not a fan. What the f*k has American country music got to do with Australia especially when we have our very own unique style country music. If Sweet Home Alabama came on, I would have blown my top!

Around the corner from the music stand was a long line of market tents selling all sorts of shit no one wants and no one uses. Of course there were numerous clothes stands selling all sorts of Aussie flag clad gear. I consider myself a very proud Aussie but do I really need to clad myself in cheap overseas made T-shirts, shorts, wraps, hats, tongs and scarfs to prove it?  No fucking way, not this little Aussie wombat.  I certainly didn’t feel very patriotic when I saw an obese bloke squeezed into a pair of Aussie flag clad board shorts.

I calmed down when a great modern version of Waltzing Matilda came on while the kids were having fun jumping on the castle, and after we helped ourselves to a snag sandwich. We’d had enough so decided to walk down to Little Beach, which is next to Fly Point Park to have a swim.

The narrow beach was full of shades, sun chairs and many people bathing in the only sun we saw all week. We found a spot and the kids were exited to go for a swim. I for once sat on the beach in observation mode.

As I looked from one party to the next and I noticed, along with every type of Aussie flag print clothing, most of the blokes and women were supporting multiple tattoos and not very good ones I might add, most smoking and all drinking excessive amounts of beer – I even spotted a cask of wine.   Most had no consideration for the people nearby with their swearing and flicking their butts anywhere but the bins.

We were surrounded by Bogans. All I needed to hear now was the bogan chant – Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie Oi Oi Oi.

Can this be?  Are there really this many Bogans in Australia?  But here they are alive and well and out on Australia Day? And on our favourite Little Beach usually visited by young families.

I’m confused, is this Australia Day, America Day or Bogan Day?

To make matters worse we’ve come home to the news that our Prime Minister has tripped over while being carried away from an angry mob. Love her or hate her, she is Australia’s Prime Minister, she runs the best country in the world and we should respect the position she holds whether we agree with her policies or not.

On Australia Day we should celebrate what’s made this country great and it wasn’t boot-scooting, American marching bands or country music, or overseas made clothing and certainly not Bogans.  It was hard working convicts and our forebears who suffered great hardships trying to tame a harsh land and climate to build this country. And today we live in a wonderful country and let no man or women who come here take that away.

So how about next Australia Day we take ourselves to the nearest beach or bush, have a BBQ or picnic, listen to Austarlian music if you so desire, have a couple of drinks without disturbing those around you.  Don’t tarnish it with junk selling markets or cheap overseas clothing with the Aussie flag patterned all over them.  Think about the freedoms you have today, the five day working week most of us enjoy, the secular societly we live in (on the most part) and the wonderful country you’ve either been born in or have moved here by choice.

Reflect on other countries where women are second class or no class at all, where religion determines if you live or die and governments use their army against it’s citizens, where hunger is a daily feeling and clean water is a luxury, where the survival age is middle age for an average Aussie and where life is just one miserable day after another.

Never forget that this is a great country and there is no better country to live than Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

A Mother’s gift, my gift

There is too much to write about one’s mother, so here is the tip of the iceberg…

It is amazing to think you have been there for me from the moment I was born until now when you read my gift. Not only have you been there physically, your presence in my life has been more than just a mother.  You are my best friend.

You know all of my thoughts without an explanation. You comforted me when my heart was broken. You have nursed me to good health when I have been sick (even when my sickness was self induced and against your wishes).

You have seen me through each year and every special moment in my life, acting not only as a mother and protector but also a friend to share my joy.  You have shown me how to push myself to achieve everything I could ever need or want.

Your strength has made me into the person I am today and if it wasn’t for you, I don’t know where I would be.  Your drive and direction has lead all of us. No one could ask for a better mother and I only hope I can one day be half the mother you have been.

I tried to pinpoint events or things that remind me of you, but I don’t need to be reminded. I think of you every day and smile.

All that lies beneath the water’s surface is too precious for words and can only be expressed in the love I have for you.

I love you Mum

 

 

 

This lovely letter was written by my beautiful daughter long before she was married and long before she became a mother. And I can say she has turned out to be a wonderful mother and a wonderful human being. Everything she writes here I can easily apply in return because she is to me what I am to her.

Searching for the Holy Grail

Lifelong happiness is a gift for so many, for me it’s the Holy Grail. Lifelong happiness exists, but I’ve never found it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my moments of happiness and many of them. What’s turning into the Holy Grail is holding on to it from moment to moment.

I know I’m not alone in this quest, it’s one in which most of the western world aspire to have and hold. Some may not think about it too often, unfortunately for me it’s a daily thought.

It’s out there, I’m sure of it. But I don’t have the time to find it. I’m stuck in the superficial world of ‘want’ – I must go to work because I want! Money can buy you a lovely home, nice clothes, great holidays and the latest car but I have learnt through my years of obtaining each of the wants, after obtaining them they aren’t what I need.

So where is happiness hiding? Is it around the corner? What corner?

Would I find it if I moved to the beach and opened a coffee shop? Which reminds me of an early blog “Is it just me?” Would I be happy if some of my lifelong ambitions came true? Maybe! Would I find it if I gave up work, stayed home and cleaned, spent time with the grand-kids? I know I would have more happy moments but I’m not sure they would blend into each other to make happiness lifelong.

So I guess I must concede that lifelong happiness is like searching for the Holy Grail. It’s a lifelong journey looking for something mythical and holding onto hope that one day you’ll actually find it.

It’s only fitting

It’s only fitting that I find myself at Concord hospital getting some pretty intense medical tests done.  Concord hospital for the most part, represents so much to me. It’s the place my mother first underwent the first of many operations for cancer, and ultimately it’s the place she took her last breath.

I think the enormity of the occasion together with the time I had to waste between x-rays and blood tests, gave me much to reflect on – my life and ultimate death.  Yes folks, I’m in a sombre mood and you gonna have to suck it up or leave now.

It’s not so much my death I dwell on but where I’m at in life right now and where I’ll be before I die – which will be many many years down the track I hope.

Seeing so many old people just hanging around wards in wheelchairs, runnaway hospital beds, all looking like they want an answer to their ailment, a fix or a miracle.  I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be that person just hanging by a thread.  Surely life isn’t that enjoyable they’d do anything and endure anything to stay alive:  Will I?

After I drove away I felt miserable with life and what it can dish out.  Come to think of it, it doesn’t dish out much.  You’re born, you go to school, maybe do more school, then you work maybe have kids, grow old, maybe even old and lonely and then you wait for death  – the ultimate frontier.  And for me, death is nothing, it’s eternal nothingness.

I saw an old lady waiting at the traffic lights. She seemed loney, going through her boring mundane daily routine:  get up, have breakfast, potter around the house, walk to the nearby chemist to get her prescription filled for whatever ailment she has.  She probably doesn’t see her kids much anymore and the grandkids are probably too hip to waste time with their old boring grandmother. I could see this story in her eyes and the way she carried herself.  Will this be me someday?

Is it that I’m so unhappy with my life that I find I dwell on these things.  Surely not?  I have a great family and great friends.  I live comfortably.  So what’s missing, what’s the one thing that’s missing that I can’t put my finger on?

Well you don’t think I know the answer do you?  I hope you didn’t expect a good ending to this story.  I could write about happy mundane shit everyday if that’s what you want, but somedays you just have to endure the sombre me.