backstory breakthrough

 

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Back in June last year I’d been hammering on for probably 2 years about leaving work, but still couldn’t see a finish line particularly due to the fact that I had $13 less than $14,000 in credit card debt. 😐

However, back in June last year – and still in gainful employment; with my utter disgust at this debt, I told myself I was going to do everything I could to get out from under it by Continue reading “backstory breakthrough”

wild ride

 

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Its been a wild ride for the last few weeks, and a ride that I’m still in the midst of, and I’ve gotta say – that some of it I’m not lovin’ so much!!

I’d been starting to ‘spiral’ a bit after I last posted, but then a series of events happened that just swamped me totally, and I felt like that wild ride was taking me crashing back down through the floor…

Firstly, whilst I was seeing some small advances with our joint counselling sessions, I was feeling like the majority of any getting-ahead was happening mostly only in the sessions, and wasn’t transferring to our real-world everyday Life.
And I was feeling a bit ‘played’, by that.

Then, the State that we live in which has been suffering from the most gut-wrenching droughts, where stock had been routinely starving to death, and Farmers were walking away from their Lands in despair – was suddenly engulfed in never-before-seen ammounts of water from weeks of torrential rains, then the resulting total devastation of flash-flooding.

The majority of the stock that Farmers had been able to hand-feed and keep alive – were washed away and drowned, and the Farmers have been left with mass piles of stinking rotting carcasses to try and bury / dispose of.

Some of our family members were in the path of that flooding, with our eldest daughter having to evacuate and her home being inundated with mud and water over a metre deep – which destroyed almost all of their belongings, including precious photo albums.

And then…

And then a friends husband tragically died in a freak accident, leaving her and her two small children shell-shocked and (obviously!) devastated.

The crazy circumstance of his death, his young age, the ‘unfairness’ of it all, sent my already wobbly emotions right over the edge!

I knew it was time for a solo check-in with my counsellor, and she thankfully managed to fit me in on fairly short notice.

I think I spent most of that hour sobbing.

But there were a few things that floated to the surface for me, that I recognised were of importance to me and needed to be ‘dealt with’, in some way…

The first was about the old adage of the days being long, but Life being short – and this one hits me more and more in the face, as each day, week, month, year passes.

We have one short, important, glorious, fucked-up, amazing, beautiful Life, which is gone before you can barely blink – and in some cases, is over with before it’s even properly begun.
This also becomes even more obvious on a daily basis, when you have a life-limiting illness…

The second thing was – that I have the right to make certain (reasonable) demands of people and to have and impose boundaries around how I am treated, and that it’s ok to not put up with being treated in a way that I find less-than-acceptable or inappropriate.

That evening, My Love and I had a big talk.
Wellllll – in all honesty, I did the majority of the talking – in amongst a pile of sobbing, sniffling and tears!

I laid out how I was feeling, as best I could, and explained in brief what I felt I needed.

Two nights later, my Love initiated a conversation.

It was a conversation of plans and intentions – and I’ve heard it a number of times before, but I am willing once again to see if this time around the intention will ’stick’, or if it will just fade away as it has before…

At only about 10 days in, we had our next joint counselling session.

I was in the midsts of telling our counsellor a very broad overview of what had been going on, and was explaining that although we were only 10 days in from the conversation that had been initiated by My Love, that I was feeling hopeful, and more trusting and respectful toward My Love, when our counsellor asked if she could know what the conversation had actually been about.

My Love said “no – not at the moment”, and it felt (to me) like that was right about the moment that the session came to a stand-still.

Our counsellor – bless her heart – tried to move it along, but everything after that was just superficial chit-chat.

At the close of the session, she reminded us that we needed to revisit our conversations and to keep having them, even though it would be hard work and uncomfortable for us both.

We agreed.

That was just over 2 weeks ago.

I’ve sent My Love an email about our session – but I’ve had no response.

And there have been no further conversations…
Sarah

1st session

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Well the poor counsellor probably needed a bex and a lie-down after she had finished her first hour with me the other day!

It was pretty much like shaking up a coke bottle then flipping off the lid.
A whole damn lot of built-up stuff just came spewing forth filling up every spare space in the room.

The counsellor was a lovely lady and despite me having a panic attack on the way to the appointment – as I wasn’t sure I was in the right building or even in the right waiting room and I was almost late, which always riles me up no end – but once I was settled in on the little couch in her office, I quickly felt comfortable with her, and didn’t feel wary, judged or too vulnerable to be able to feel like I couldn’t speak freely.

All good signs.

Session #1 was pretty much a brief overview of birth to now, and as she said, she could see why I was feeling a little overwhelmed right now – and I think was a little surprised that I hadn’t got to the point of overwhelm long before now!

It was sort of funny watching her try and work out our family dynamics, and even funnier knowing that thus far, she only has the dynamics of my birth family, and my marriage and kids – we haven’t managed to get into any of the nitty gritty yet – like how my best friend is actually My Loves ex-husband! lol

That conversation should be extra entertaining :)))

Following the appointment I had to go back to work, which I had been unsure about prior to the appointment whether I was going to be able to do or not; as I figured that it was going to be an emotionally draining event, and I unsure of how I would feel after it.

Although I was incredibly drained, I felt mentally ok enough with going back to work, so I did – which ended up being fine, as I was incredibly busy for the rest of the day and therefore didn’t have time to dwell or think too much on what my morning had been like…

Needless to say probably, but I was emotionally exhausted by evening, but still managed to get more done when I got home from work than I had managed in the last couple of weeks.

I decided to take the next day off work, as not only was I still processing, but I had to fly out the day after as I was flying to Brisbane, hiring a car and then driving 2hrs north to meet up with family who didn’t know I was coming – and I wanted to get everything sorted at the Farm for while I was away, do some grocery shopping so that my Love didn’t starve to death, and get my bag packed.

I had only planned for carryon baggage, which limits me to 7kg, and with my laptop and charger already coming in at 2kg, that doesn’t leave a whole lot of wiggle room for everything else that needed including!

The amazing thing was though – that the day following my first session, I actually felt the best that I have felt since before I went to New Zealand.

So here I am now at my brother and sister-in-laws place, with a pile of family members; and we have spent the day firstly with my sister and I going and seeing my mothers husband at the aged care home – which was supremely taxing – and then she and I going to their house where we met up with the brothers, and dealing with the cleaning and just generally airing the place out ready for the real estate agent to come through and meet with us on Monday about listing the house for sale.

Its been a really tiring day and the introvert in me is squirming rather a big bit at having all these people around me 24/7 – and of course being away from my Love and being in a strange bed I am not sleeping terribly well – but it is nice to be surrounded by cuddly rellies that I don’t get to see very often – but I’ll still be super-glad to be back with my darling!

Oh – and the next appointment with my counsellor is the day after I get back – so that probably going to end up being perfect timing…
Sarah

impact books

 

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There have been two books in my life, that have had a major effect on my Life.

The first was “The Alchemist”, which I read in my very early 20s.

Somehow – I realised years later – that ’The Alchemist” had given me a strength, faith, belief and trust in myself, that I had never possessed before – and not too long after reading it, my life went through some big changes.

Then – 20 years ago, I read another book that forever changed my Life.

After reading the very last page of that book, I almost ran down the street to our local video shop – which incidentally was owned and operated by a lovely man called Michael, and I hired out the movie.

Of course it was no where even close to being as wonderful as the book had been – but thankfully, I had known of the movie before I read the book, so the pictures I had in my mind when reading, of the main characters, were the faces of those actors whom I knew were in the movie – so it made the transition from book to movie a little less jarring…
[Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood in case you’re wondering!]

The book was: “Bridges of Maddison County”.

Set in the 1960s, to me it was about the ripple-effect impact that came about when photographer Robert Kincaid unwittingly wandered into the life of isolated housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days.

I am sure others would have a different view of what it was about, but that matters not…

Whatever the intent of the writer, that book gave me a metaphorical kick in the stomach – that I actually felt so very deeply; physically.

I remember physically shaking, feeling like there was a lava-pit in the depth of my stomach that was going to blow to at any second.
I felt claustrophobic almost – like I was trapped in one of those car-crushing machines, and the roof, floor, and walls were slowly closing in on me, and that before too long I would have the last vestiges of my Life, crushed from within me…

I was terrified.
I was alternately sobbing, dry-retching and eerily calm, still and quiet.

Something within me was making a very big shift – and as it turned out, I didn’t have to wait too long to find out just what that something was…

Later that evening, whilst my husband was out in the lounge-room, indulging in his usual nightly entertainment of getting drunk and playing video games, I went into our bedroom to the house-phone on my nightstand, and dialled the number of a woman whom I had met in person only a few times, but whom I had been ‘talking’ to online for almost two years.

I asked her to find a house for me and my children to live in, in her town – which was a town I had never even been to in my life, and was over four hours drive away from where I currently lived – and told her that I would arrange to have money sent to her as soon as I could.

The next day, I briefly rang my Father and without giving any explanation – told him I needed a large amount of money sent to someone he had never heard of and had never heard me speak of.

I had never asked my father for money before that day, and to his credit – whilst he must have been very wary, worried and confused, he didn’t harass me for any details, and simply did what I asked.

Over the following week, I had a few phone and online discussions with my friend – who understandably wanted reassurances that I knew what I was doing, and that I was sure about what I was doing.
I was very sure.

We also arranged that she would purchase beds, bedding, a fridge and other small necessities for the house I was planning to move into, and organise appointments for me to enrol my kids in the local schools.

That poor woman had a very busy week that week – especially seeing that as a working mother herself, she still had to deal with school runs and her job, on top of everything that I was needing from her!

The day before I planned to totally relocate myself and my children to a new Life – I told my husband what I was doing.

He didn’t believe me.

That evening was no different to any other.
Dinner was made, and eaten as a family.
The kids were bathed and put to bed at varying times that befit their age; then I went to bed – and eventually the drinks ran out and the video game was turned off – and my husband came to bed too.

The next day, I packed up my kids and my car and drove away from the life I had known.

Now here we are in 2018.

Eight years ago, in 2010, I bought a book that had been on the Best Seller list for years, which no doubt many of you will have heard of.
That book was “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I know the general premise of the story: that it is a work of non-fiction about the author, whom ventures through Italy, India and Indonesia on a quest to learn more about herself.

I also know that it has been made into a movie starring Julia Roberts, which I have also heard decent reviews about, and I actually own a copy of, but have never watched.

And until this week, I had never opened the cover of this book and dived on in.

I’ve had no idea why not, but I just kept avoiding it – passing it by.
For some unknown reason, I have always been wary of it – getting some sort of feeling permeating from it, saying that now wasn’t the time…

I think a very big part of me has unknowingly (until now) been a lil frightened that this book might be a huge catalyst for a big Life change – and I’m just not sure I’m brave enough these days, for that sort of Adventure…

I guess we’ll just wait and see what comes of it eh!?!!

Sarah

 

 

 

 

Eat, Pray, Love

a year ago

 

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A year ago today my heart shattered into a million little pieces…
As is usual for anyone when grieving, I felt like I would never be free of the feeling of total and utter devastation that I was going through.

A year ago, I was heartbroken and a chunk had been ripped from my soul – I felt like a mangled piece of road-kill. Continue reading “a year ago”

making friends

 

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Friends – thats todays subject!
Is it just me, or do others find it incredibly hard to make super-close friends?

I have a lot of people that I know that I can go have a cuppa, a meal, a wine etc with, or that I chat to with some regularity, but usually on a fairly superficial level – but I have no-one that I honestly feel I could share anything+everything with.

I know a part of it is my reticence to be truely vulnerable with people, particularly after two incidents when i thought i had made a close friend – only to find that the friendship wasn’t what i believed it to be – and i got very hurt in the process…

Throughout school (and we’re still friends to this day actually!) I had a wonderful friend Helen that knew every secret I held.
Knew me probably almost better than I knew myself at that age! lol
We can still pick up where we last left off with none of that awful awkwardness, and I would trust telling her anything – but the sad reality is – that we only catch up every few years – so there isn’t that daily / weekly opportunity…

In my 20’s I had another wonderful friend Caroline – who I spoke to every.single.day – and spent a lot of precious time with, and we aways had each others back.
That woman kept my sanity intact for a lotta years(!!) – but then I moved away, and we just seemed to slip away from each other…

Fast forward and here I am in my 50’s.

I had one brief friendship that meant a lot to me, that was ‘blossoming’, when I was in my mid-forties, but then she moved away – and it just sort of moved on without the necessary contact that close friendships take…

And these day I just don’t quite know how one gets to that place of going from a casual acquaintance / friend, to being someone who is really close!!

I know it takes an investment of time – and of course a certain amount of trust, vulnerability and faith – but how does one know just when the time is, that its safe to roll out those parts of you?

What if you think you like someone enough to be a friend, and then you have a few coffee ‘dates’, a few chats, maybe a lunch or two, and you get to thinking “naaaaaa – this just isn’t my kind of person” – how do you then dial it back without appearing rude, when up until then you’d been willing to invest the time, just in case this was going to be a friendship that worked out?
(and YES – I’m very aware that it might be me, who isn’t someone else idea of ‘the right person!)

How do you even know that you’re capable of being a decent friend?

Maybe I don’t have close friends ‘cos i’m not only not good at the making-friends part of it, but maybe i’m actually someone that people just aren’t draw to, to make friends with!!
Perhaps not a pleasant thought – but one that certainly needs looking at in the interests of honesty! 😐

I’m not one for groups, teams, hobbies, sports or crafts – so that way of meeting people is out.
I also don’t still have kids at school any more, so thats not an option.
Not only would the parents at the school-gate probably feel a little ‘young’ for me, but it would just be creepy to have some old lady without a kid to pick up, hanging’ out at the school-gates, trying to talk to random people!! 😀

Work is work and whilst I have met a few people through my work whom I feel like I have ‘clicked’ with – there is still the whole ‘work’ thing about it (and often a ‘hierarchy’ thing), that just makes it feel kinda awkward – both for me and them.

Sooooo – what does one do?
How do YOU go about this whole ‘making friends’ business?

Thoughts and opinions welcome and encouraged, so please feel free to share, as I’d love to get a wealth of knowledge and opinions on this topic! 🙂

Cheers,

Sarah

gettin’ closer

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Its a year on from my “one step at a time” post – and I’m reflecting a bit about where I am now as opposed to this time last year.

Some things haven’t yet changed.

I am still at my job as a Manager, I am still working three days a week, and I’m still not a full-time HouseSpouse.
YET!

A lot has change though…

We have the house in town on the market – for sale.
We have moved full-time into the FarmHouse.
We have stacks of garden beds that are flourishing with edible produce, that fills our bellies with wholesome homegrown goodness.

We have enough surplus veggies that I am able to do canning so that our pantry shelves are stocked with a variety of foods that we know the ingredients of, and I routinely make our own bread.

We have chickens that supply us with all of our own fresh eggs, and we home-cook 95% of the food we eat.

I have managed to reduce our food budget substantially.
I have also paid off a lot of credit card debt, and will hopefully have paid off the remainder of it in less than a year.

We also no longer have cable tv or home phone line payments to have to find the money for.

I have reduced my clothing spending significantly, although we are going to need to buy some new-to-us work shirts soon, as the ones we currently share are getting a bit faded and threadbare lol.

And – we’ve reduced our power and water consumption!

I may not be as close to where I want to be as I would like – but I am certainly a lot closer than I was a year ago – and for that, I’m pretty darn proud of the headway I’ve made…

Sarah

flipping out

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This morning I had a major anxiety filled panic-ridden flipout…

But first a bit of background.

Our youngest daughter is getting married in eight days.
yes – EIGHT!

Now I am already having a bit of a belly-wobble about what may or may not be expected of us (well ME) on the actual day, but I also don’t Continue reading “flipping out”

comparisons

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I’m having a bit of a ‘comparison’ dilemma at the moment and whilst I know that comparing oneself to others is never a healthy or helpful thing – I’m just not quite sure how to get it “out of my system”…

It makes it that much harder – because the person I am making the comparison with, is my Love.

My Love is 5 years older than me, and is a healthy happy vibrant person, who loves Continue reading “comparisons”

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