Post-study reflections

2016-09-28-05-28-49It’s an incredible time for me right now that feels like a beginning, more than an ending. I’ve just submitted my final piece of assessment of my Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. I should feel relieved, excited. I do, but there is a sense of sadness, and a great deal of reflection. There is also a nervous excitement about the time ahead of me, the unknown.

My last four years have been tremendous in all senses of the word. My life has changed in so many aspects, and lives around me have changed. Mum died, throwing my and my offspring’s worlds into chaos. My kids transitioned from children to teenagers, jumping normal adolescent hurdles, and fumbling through more tricky ones. I wrote a tonne of words and found a stable part-time job in the communications world.

Twenty-eight days 

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Beware. This is a ‘journey’ post.

Twenty-six days ago I was sitting in my psychologist’s office (not something I would have done, or admitted to a couple of years ago, but now I wonder how people survive without brain dumping on someone who can help you sort out all the brain mess). We were talking self care and how it would be good for me to try to incorporate it into my every day (instead of an extraordinary occasion) with the view to chat about it when we caught up again in 28 days. She was concerned that I had stopped writing, that I had given up on the idea of my words making any sense, and that I wouldn’t allowed myself to look at my manuscript I had saved all the way back in November last month.

So, being a listy kind of person I knew it would start with a list.

Fighting the green eyed monster

My life has been some crazy out of control beast for the last year or so. Things have flown at me that I have had no control over, so I have had to stop what I was doing, and deal with it.

This is normal for most of us, especially when we have kids, or older parents. The difficulty I have found is trying to get some balance with what I would like to do (the things that make me sing and dance and just feel generally ace about myself), and getting on with the necessities (caring for people who need me to).

Lessons from childhood

EchidnaLast Friday I set out for my second Going Solo hike. I headed back out to Werribee Gorge and took the track that I had planned to go on the first week.

It’s a hot day. The sun beats down on my head and as I put one foot in front of the other I’m reminded of hiking with my folks when I was young.

Mum and Dad took us out bushwalking often and sometimes, in fact most times, I would get about five minutes into the bushwalk and think, ‘I’ve had enough. It’s hot. I want to go back. I don’t like this. It’s hard work and I don’t think I can do it. My head’s starting to hurt, my legs are starting to hurt and the flies are annoying me.’

Going Solo

Life has been a little crazy for me over the last twelve months with my mum’s diagnosis of cancer followed closely by her death, and then one of my kids became very ill with a chronic illness. From the moment I finished the latest draft of my manuscript and uni last year, I took up the role as a full time carer.

So when the three kids went off to school this year (all three tackling something new: one into high school, another spending a term away and the third changing schools for his VCE), I sat down to breathe. It was the first time in eleven weeks I had silence around me. It felt like it had been so long I had forgotten what it was that I used to do. This time had chipped away at my confidence as a creator, and I needed to work out how to find my creative spirit again.

I think I’m a fraud

Yep, you read that right. I do think I’m a fraud when it comes to my writing. I spent the last three years writing a manuscript that I now think is best placed in my bottom drawer, along with the two other half finished manuscripts.

My life has become so immersed in being mum, because that’s absolutely what I need to do right now, but in doing so the only writing I’ve been doing has been in my head, or notes to self about real life issues. Nothing creative makes it out of there because when I do get a moment to sit and write it’s all gone.

I crave silence, to enable my brain to work again. I crave space to be, to create. My impatience to create wakes me in the night, makes its own restlessness.

It’s a plan, not a resolution

planI don’t do resolutions. They stink of failure. just waiting to be broken and open up that chance to beat myself up. Instead I make a plan at the start of each year.

Every year for as long as I remember (as an adult) I have started the new year with some plans across different aspects of my life. I figure it’s good to give myself a little direction. I wrote about this last year, and a few years earlier. Life in its unpredictable way ensures that I need to keep adjusting these plans.

2015 in review

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It’s been a long time since I last posted. Life’s been a bit crazy, and there just didn’t seem like there was time, or energy to post here. But, as the year draws to a close (only a matter of hours now), it feels appropriate to wrap up 2015.

Spring is sprung

blossumsI love spring. I know it’s naff, but I am incredibly weather dependent and once the blossoms begin to open and the air is sweet scented, I do smile – just a little more.

And there is the age old poem that runs through my head, and sometimes spills out of my mouth at that first whiff of spring in the air. It’s the poem that my dad would say every year at the first bud.

A suitable farewell

A letter Mum wrote to her church when she knew she was dying

A letter Mum wrote to her church when she knew she was dying

I am not sure I had realised how popular Mum was (and I am positive she didn’t either). The church at her funeral was packed and overflowing and there were many people who couldn’t even get there. On the day and after, we (my siblings and I) have all been asked for copies of our eulogies and to be able to listen the Mum’s funeral service.

So, without further ado, here are the eulogies in the order they were read, and her service.