As I grow bigger, so does my understanding of those around me

What a world you’re plunged into when you get pregnant. People start acting like you’re public property, you get stroked and groped (yes, groped – had one lady miss the belly stroke and start at my boob – I jumped quite spectacularly!). And you are suddenly surrounded by women judging each other and getting all riled up over whether we should hold our children every moment of the day, or let them cry themselves to sleep, whether the $1200 pram is better than the $1500 pram (god help you if you believe a $400 pram is sufficient, like I do!). It’s insane.

People warn  you that you’re going to feel inferior because you’ll be bombarded with images and descriptions of perfect mothers. To be honest, I’ve found the opposite is true these days. It seems  like every mummy blogger and mum-on-Facebook is in a battle to one-up each other on how terrible they are at parenting, how exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed or horny they are. I think if I see one more post about how hard parenting is, how it changes (read: ruins) your life, how you’ll never sleep again but of course, how much you will love your child (always tacked on like an apologetic wave to the knowledge they chose to be parents), I will scream like a newborn just appearing out of the vag. Which, by the way, we can apparently all expect to have ripped to smithereens, so that sex is never pleasurable again, but that’s ok because our partners can’t bear to venture near the horror that remains where our pert bodies once lay. It’s remarkable anyone goes back for seconds if this is all the truth!

Now, I’m sure parenting is going to be hard. I’m not oblivious or living in denial. I know how terrible I am at dealing with life when I’m sleep deprived. I know there will come a day when I will burst into tears because I dropped the lid to the Vegemite jar or can’t find my other shoe. But I also think a lot of the misery comes from focusing on the tough stuff. Why drill your brain full of the hardships and draining parts of parenting, especially for those of us that haven’t even pushed our bubs out of our enormous bellies? I’ve not enjoyed pregnancy so far, and did feel guilty about that for a while, because it is an amazing thing to be able to go through. But just because I’m not enjoying the aching hips, the uncomfortable lung squishing and getting kicked in the bladder or the backbone, doesn’t mean I’m writing the whole thing off as a horror story. I’m trying to focus on how cool it is knowing I’ve got a little person in there, marvelling at my body knowing what to do even though I haven’t got a clue what’s going to happen next, and looking forward to the moment he’s out of me and can kick around in the air rather than in my innards. I’m not perfect, but I don’t expect to be, and I don’t want to compete with others in either direction – perfect or hopeless mummy are both bad ‘roles’ to cast yourself in!

Another interesting thing I’ve noticed is that non-parents start unloading their own fears and insecurities on you. I’m a first time mum, and making the decision to start trying was both terrifying and exciting for Simon and I. So I get people being scared about having kids. I’ve started finding out how many are though, as they feel the need to tell me (because apparently sharing fears with someone already fully committed and stuck in the situation you’re about to fantasise horrific things about is a good idea). I’m not sure if they feel like they have to justify why they’re not pregnant, because I am, or what it is – perhaps having my belly jutting out between us just puts it at the front of their mind. I’ve found out recently that one is terrified at the thought of giving birth to a socialist, another can’t handle the physical limitations of pregnancy as she’s a gym junkie, and another has the standard childbirth fears (don’t we all?). Oh, and my physio kindly informed me of a statistic she’d read about the rate of women who are cheated on, who are also pregnant, because their partner doesn’t find them attractive anymore, can’t handle the mood swings and the fact their pregnant partner’s sex drive may have gone down. Thanks, that’s what all women need to hear when they’re already dealing with their body rapidly changing. I’m glad I’m secure in my relationship and could see it was more about her insecurities, as she’s terrified she’ll pack on the pounds when she’s pregnant and her partner is a stick (her words).

It’s just fascinating to me how pregnancy opens up a whole new layer of communication. Some healthy, some not so much. As someone who loves delving into the depths of people, it’s like having a large, bulbous key growing on the front of me!

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Roller coaster!

I haven’t written for a long time again. I could bring forth all my excuses, but that’s all they are – excuses. I don’t know why, but somehow my introversion kicks in to the point sometimes where I can’t even bring myself to ‘talk’ to a screen and write out what I’m thinking or what has been going on.

So, what has been going on? A lot! Biggest news – I’m pregnant. We’re very excited, and yes, it was planned. Because we’re not married, I’m finding the vast majority of people have asked tentatively if it was planned. Like we couldn’t possibly have decided to have a child out of wedlock. I’m actually quite surprised how old fashioned people still are. I feel like explaining to them that it’s quite miraculous – I don’t need a band of gold or a diamond on my left ring finger to trigger feelings of wanting to be a mother, or to boost my fertility. But I don’t. I usually succumb and explain to them that Simon and I decided that we’re not getting any younger, and didn’t want to wait another year or two until we’re married, in case it takes us a while to fall pregnant. I’ve seen my best friend go through many painful years of IVF before her little one arrived, so we wanted to get started in case that was part of our journey too. Fortunately for us, it wasn’t and here we are! I’m 16 weeks tomorrow, and while I’m thrilled we’ll have a bouncing baby boy soon, I’ve got to say I’m not a fan of pregnancy.

First trimester was a terrifying blend of cramps (oh god, am I losing it?), nausea (plastic bags in my handbag for emergencies), utter exhaustion (any form of lying down turned into naps) and just bewilderment at all the changes happening so rapidly to my body. I’ve never been good with bodily changes. As an INFJ, sensing is my least active attribute, so when it goes into hyperdrive I’m basically operating against myself. So I catastrophise and worry and analyse everything to the nth degree. It’s been a learning curve for me to try to just ‘go with it’ and treat it all as part of the journey. I’ve had some hip problems recently that saw me hobbling far earlier than expected, so I’m off to the physio this week to get that sorted. I have my first midwife appointment this week too, which I’m looking forward to, as my GP is really not great with pregnancy!

On top of all of that, Simon’s dad got diagnosed with cancer and has rapidly declined. He told us the week we were going to tell them our good news, so that turned that moment into a bittersweet one. A couple of weeks later, he had a 4.5kg tumour removed, along with the kidney it was growing in, and his ureter and some lesions  in his bladder. They snicked the tumour on the way out so he’ll have to have chemo. They hadn’t started that yet, but he was in intense pain for 2 weeks after the operation. That all came to a head on Monday night, when he collapsed in immense pain, broke out in a sweat and went delirious. An ambulance was called, they called another for senior support when they discovered his blood pressure was 50 over 40. He was rushed to the nearest hospital and has been in ICU ever since.

We haven’t been to work all week, and it’s amazing how quickly something becomes the new normal. We’d get up, shower, wait for a call from Simon’s mum and then head into ICU to take shifts at his bedside. He’d had an internal bleed from his splenic artery and lost half his blood. There have been other complications along the way as they tried to sort that out, so we’ve been on a hideous roller coaster of hope and fear, with a few moments where we really weren’t sure he’d make it. He’s still in ICU now, but his haemoglobin levels  have finally stabilised, and they’ve given him even more blood again to try to bring them up. It’s a day at a time at the moment, and a very long road to recovery ahead. With the cancer, they’d said if the operation went well, he’d be feeling great & up and about in about 3 weeks. Not happening. Now it will be 6 weeks before he stops feeling completely exhausted, then 3 months before he feels remotely well. He’ll have to do rehab to build up his strength again, and still has to tackle chemo somehow. He’s always been such a larger than life, strong guy, it’s devastating for the whole family to see him like this.

So, a lot going on at the moment! I’m just reeling from one thing to the next, trying to support Simon and still make sure I’m doing the right thing for our baby, so it’s incredibly difficult. And instead of these months being about people supporting me through the pregnancy journey, it’s more me expending my energy to look after others. Which I don’t mind, but I’ve got to try to remember I have another little person to look after now too, even though he’s inside of me and I tend to not think of my own bodily needs at times like this!

 

Lose the battle but win the war

Yet again, I’ve set myself too many resolutions this year, and at least one has slipped. I try to trick myself by telling myself they’re not resolutions, they’re just plans for staying on top of things. But the thing about tricking yourself is that you always know you are! So here I am, the last Sunday of the month, writing my first blog post when I’d promised myself I’d at least write every Sunday (in at least one of my blogs). But better late than never, I suppose!

My other plans have been going pretty well – I decided to do a bit of housework every day so that by the time I hit Saturday I don’t do it all in one go, in a foul mood because it’s eating up my precious non-work hours. It’s worked out so far, and it’s definitely helped with my stress levels. Not having piles of dirty dishes to deal with, or bits of mess lying around helps me keep my head clean as well as the general household.

Work started out well for the first week and a half, and then everyone else came back from holidays and it very quickly ramped back up into the chaos and tension of the last part of last year. I could feel the old anxiety and overwhelming workload rushing back, so I spoke to my manager again and he’s assured me he’s locked in a date for me to come off one of my projects. Fingers crossed it actually happens, as I can’t keep this up long this year – last year burned me out and I haven’t got my stamina back yet.

Both projects are pretty full of conflict these days, which is my Achilles heel – I’m an INFJ on the MBTI scale, and the part about us loving harmony really rings true for me. But I’m pretty proud of myself this week – I had 2 confrontations that I found quite  scary, but they involved me sticking up for people under my leadership so I did it without batting an eyelid (just walked away afterwards wondering how I’d managed it!). The result is that out of one confrontation I ensured one of my team members gets the long weekend she definitely deserves (and desperately needs!), as well as being able to still attend the training she was due to go to this coming week. I was horrified when my project managers tried to argue she shouldn’t attend because it ‘wasn’t relevant to the project at this time, or to her immediate future’. What the? You’re going to stop someone’s professional development and stunt their career because you want her to stick around doing your dirty work for a couple of days? I don’t think so. I think if they hadn’t lead with that, I probably wouldn’t have been so insistent in the subsequent conversation, but that just disgusted me so I was all fired up with righteous anger. I was very polite, but very firm about why she should not be held back. It still gets me all riled up now just thinking about it!

I’m also helping  out with a women’s mentoring program this year. I participated in it last year as a mentee, and wanted to give back to the people who helped me gain focus on my career and strengthen my confidence – I doubt I would have handled the situations this week as well as I did if I hadn’t had a year of talking through how to handle myself in the workplace and learning about how women are treated (both through experiencing it myself and reading about it). I had to bite down my feminist rage last week and remind myself that I can’t win every battle but I can win the war – I have been trying to put in place a strategy on one project that would mean a large chunk of the problems we’ve been having would be solved. No one would listen to me until a male member of my team proposed it as well. Ooh, that got me mad. But I decided to just let it slide and be glad that my strategy was finally in place. And then surprisingly this week, my (male, dominant) project manager is treating me more like an equal, and gave me full credit for the strategy  (which I quickly shared with my team, because while it was my idea originally, they all helped with the final strategic plan). So I’m one step closer to breaking the boys’ club mentality. It’s so tough and incredibly frustrating sometimes though – I like to think the problem isn’t there, but from time to time it really rubs your nose in it.

Facing fears like a…shaking leaf hiding in a cubicle

Because yes, that’s where leaves hide when they are shaking. Well, this one certainly did today at work when we had a TORNADO WARNING. I hear all you mid-USA folk snorting like ‘puh-lease, that happens like every day during particular months…’ (my knowledge of tornado alley extends as far as never go there).

But for good ol’ Melbourne, Australia, this never happens. Which is perfect in my eyes, as for some reason, tornadoes are my all time greatest fear. For some it’s spiders. Or snakes. Or being really high above the ground. For me, it’s tornadoes.

I blame you, Dorothy, I blame you.

I blame you, Dorothy, I blame you.

I was at my desk having a quick chat to some colleagues, when we realised how much rain was bucketing down outside. Our side of the building looks out over the river where it joins the bay – beautiful in good weather, fricking nuts in bad weather. The side we were looking out had pouring rain, but still some light & sky. Then we turned to look out the bay window and saw darkness and a wall of water. Right at that moment, my co-workers phone buzzed and she said ‘Holy crap guys, my sister-in-law says to stay inside coz there are tornadoes in Melbourne’. Oh…my…sweet…lord… Those words I only ever hear in my nightmares when I’m really stressed out were being spoken in real life, and I wasn’t even able to run away and hide in a cupboard (or a basement – I did take comfort in the fact my building has a basement until I remembered my pass doesn’t grant me access).

Turns out the tornadoes were over near where I live (great), so while I stared with terror out the giant glass wall that is the side of my building, convinced I was about to see a waterspout erupt and kill us all with flying shards and scared looking fish, I gave Simon a call. Here’s how it went:

Simon: ‘Hello?’

Me: ‘Are you inside?’

Simon: ‘Yes, why?’

Me: ‘Is the dog inside?’

Simon: ‘No’

Me: ‘Can you get her inside now please?’

Simon: ‘…ok…what is going on?’

Me: ‘There’s a tornado warning out for all of Melbourne and some have touched down near you.  Is she inside?’

Simon: ‘She’s barking. Maybe she’s barking at the tornado!’

Me: *not amused* ‘Is she inside??’

Simon: ‘Yes, yes, and there’s no tornado, she obviously scared it away’.

Very supportive, thank you, partner! He was actually pretty good after that and tried to distract me with chatter about his day but all I could think about was calling my mum to check she was inside too. She was much more supportive. Then I got off the phone and went and hid in the toilet for a moment because I was all shakey and sweaty. Having your dread come to life, even though I didn’t see an actual tornado in front of me was intense. God help me if I ever come face to face with a tornado (well, yes, help me because that would mean certain doom, but you know what I mean). I did manage to hold my shit together mostly though, which I’m pretty proud about. And also had to go face a difficult meeting straight after that, which I sailed through, so screw you fear, you didn’t win this time!

Setting myself free

I’m feeling much better today, compared to the stress levels I had when I last blogged. Work is still insane, and became slightly crazier recently as I’ve been nominated for an award and there’s some big reshuffles about to happen. But I made myself take a day off on Friday to use up some of the time in lieu I had accrued through my overtime. Even though it meant I had to work until 11pm the night before in order to be able to relax on the Friday, it was worth it – having that extra day, one empty of people, was just what I needed. Plus today I’ve had another quiet day as it’s the Melbourne Cup. Simon’s work continues as they serve interstate folk as well, who don’t have the day off, so I’ve had the house to myself again. And I finally feel slightly human again.

I’ve also done something else to help me claw back my sense of self. I’ve gotten back into my writing. I keep a personal journal (offline) and have started writing in there again. I write in there more often than on here, as I still struggle to share my everyday highs and lows with the faceless beast of the internet (though having some of you comment on my blogs has helped with that – I feel like I’m actually talking to kindred spirits rather than the general ether – thank you!). I also started a new blog where I’m posting a manuscript I wrote years ago, bit by bit. It’s a novelised version of my messed up life, so it’s both terrifying and fantastically liberating to put it out to the world. I wrote it when I was in a very dark place (and half of it is based on actual writings my grandmother did for me – go check it out and you’ll see what I mean: Biding Her Time), back when I was processing what had happened in my life and how I would move forward from it. Whilst I always planned on publishing the book one day, I never intended to make money from it – it was something I did for me, for my family, and for others out there who are going, or have gone, through something similar. For many years, however, I have been too scared, or ashamed, or defiant, to put my words out there. My stepfather was a psychopath, and that leaves some interesting ‘issues’ that rear their heads when you sometimes least expect them. Until now, I have felt too close to what happened to put it out there. But the other day I finally realised I was ready. I am strong. I have survived. And I want the world to know. I don’t even really care if no one ever reads it – just as people release balloons/lanterns/birds into the sky to set things free within themselves, I am setting my words free and it feels amazing.

Getting there…

I had a good day today. It was still busy and stressful, but I had a feeling of keeping my head above water occasionally, rather than drowning in everything. I still had a lot of the day where I felt under the water, but those few moments of control and clarity really went a long way to putting me in a good mood. I figure if I can get glimpses of that, at some point there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel and I’ll find my rhythm with this leadership stuff, it will feel normal at last!

Missing – my sanity…

Life has been pretty crazy lately. We’re pretty close to being done  with the renovations now, thank goodness. We moved in a few weeks ago, so it’s slowed down a little while we unpack and breathe after 2  months of intensity. I am starting to worry we’ll fall into the trap so many folk have fallen into before though – move in, and then never quite get around to painting that door, fixing that handle etc. So tomorrow we’re determined to get the paint out again and get things moving along again.

Work has been pretty nuts as well. I got a promotion a  couple of months ago, which meant I was getting paid at the level I was already working, so that was great. But somehow since then the level of expectations of me have risen again and I’m so insanely busy. The main problem for me is that I’m an introvert (like 100% on the MBTI scale) and my role now puts me in meetings ALL DAY. As in, I have to excuse myself from meetings to go to the toilet, and have had to block time in my calendar to make sure I get a lunch break, as there were days when that just didn’t happen.

As a result, I’ve been feeling pretty wrecked. Poor Simon’s been patiently suffering through my short tempers and listlessness in the evenings and on weekends. I don’t like being that way though. He has his own stresses at work, so I do support him with that, but I feel like I’m not myself lately. I hope other introverts out there will understand what I mean when I say I feel like I’m having to be someone else for too many people – everyone has an expectation of me, and I don’t like letting people down, so I’m working against my own personality a lot of the time to get by and succeed. Which leads to me getting grumpy,  because I feel like I never get to do/be what I want to do/be. Healthy.

I’m not entirely sure how to get my equilibrium back. [Side note- Simon just came in and read this over my shoulder, rubbed my back and told me I need to take a valium, haha]. I have a public holiday coming up, and Simon’s working that day, so I’m looking forward to having a day to myself with no people. I feel like I just never get that anymore, and that’s what I need to keep me sane. I’ve tried to block out some other days off in the next couple of months too. My projects at work are insane so I can’t really take multiple days off at a time, but I have about a week of time in lieu accrued due to doing ridiculous overtime last month, so I’m going to take a couple of Fridays off and give myself some long weekends. Even if the weekends end up having people in them, if I can get a Friday with no one, maybe I can claw my way back to normal.

Any introverts out there with tips on how to get some energy back when you can’t escape being around people all day?

The end is nigh…the end of my 20s, that is

It is officially the last night of my 20s, folks! Tomorrow I bid farewell to 29 and join the brigade of the 30-somethings. I believe that means from now on I will need to check a different box on forms – no longer part of the 25-29 demographic!

I always thought I’d feel worse about turning 30. Everyone holds it up as this hideous looming doom as you move through your 20s, every birthday peppered by comments about how you’re on the downward slope, not long now, enjoy it while it lasts. But really, your 20s are just hard work. Sure, there’s a lot of fun times, and the ability to stay up all night without falling in a heap for a week afterwards is sorely missed, but mostly it’s a lot of existential angst and wondering what on earth you’re going to do with the next 60-80 years of your life.

I had one momentary pang of anxiety and sadness just before when Simon was teasing me about getting old, but that’s just the usual anxiety crap that bubbles away in my brain awaiting a horror thought to latch onto. For the most part, I’m not fussed. I think a lot of the dread is that you won’t have your shit sufficiently together by the time you hit 30 (whoever set that as the aspiration should be given a swift clip up the back of their head). Surprisingly (and I am surprised), I have been fortunate enough to get my shit together – I’m actually really happy with how my life is at the moment. The anxiety voice immediately tells me not to say that because something awful will happen to take it away, but I’m going to hush that for a moment and comfort myself with my move into 30-dom.

One thing that is both wonderful and highly stressful at the moment is our house. I think I mentioned in my last post that we bought our first home. The plan was to give it a freshen up – new paint, new curtains, maybe re-polish the floorboards. Oh my. That turned into a full blown renovation! There was some asbestos in the laundry & toilet (normal in houses of that era here), which we knew about and Simon’s parents insisted on having removed. In the process of doing that, it became clear it was in the bathroom too, so out comes the whole bathroom! Which was a big deal, but we’d planned on doing the bathroom at some point (in a few years!), so it just moved that forward. But by taking the walls off, we could see the wiring. Luckily for us, Simon’s sister’s partner is an electrician and he took one look & saw the whole place needed rewiring. Though I’m not sure we needed a sparky’s opinion on that – there were a couple of wires literally bandaided together. I mean with an actual band aid. Wtf.

Plus the heater had to come out, so we’re doing ducted heating. And a whole bunch of other things that are a mix of our ideas, other people’s ideas (I reached the point where I said ‘no more thoughts on things!’ to everyone), disasters that need to be remedied and dodgy building stuff that needs to be fixed. All of which is great and means we’ll have a safe, nice house to live in, but has meant we’re watching our accounts bleed away and a lot of work has had to be done by everyone. I’ve had a few meltdowns, but Simon has been very supportive for the most part, and last night took me through an imaginary journey through the house to help me emotionally reconnect with it, which was exactly what I needed.

One interesting experience for me, as a feminist, however – I have noticed that as a woman, every time you voice an opinion on something in a building, or contribute to a discussion about something, people immediately cast you into the role of nagging shrew. If I disagree with Simon about how the shower head should be positioned, it’s greeted by the tradies (friends of the family) with ‘Oh no, better listen to the missus or there’ll be trouble’ etc. etc. At one point, the guy doing our plumbing said ‘Yeah mate, when we were doing our house, I did our whole bathroom, but I still had to check everything with the missus or I’d be in trouble!’ I retorted with ‘Well, it is her house as well’, which was completely ignored. Simon and I have a very fair relationship, so we discuss things as equals. I’m paying for a lot of this house, and we share a life, so my opinions about what the house should look like should be treated equally. And they just weren’t – not even by non-tradies, and not even by the women in some cases! It was quite an eye opener, and really pissed me off. I told Simon what was going on, and he admitted he hadn’t noticed but could definitely see what I was talking about. It was really good to hear him say that it was quite derogatory and that he’d stand up for me the next time it happened. I wish he didn’t have to, but since then there have been no more issues.

Anyway, I’m going to go, as I’m pretty exhausted by the craziness that is life at the moment, and I’m really craving some time in front of the TV – I have so many shows waiting for me on the IQ. Good night!

Back!

Wow. I have been neglecting my writing. A lot! But I’m back, and I’ll make that same old promise to myself- I will blog more often!

A lot has happened since I last blogged, so I won’t even try to recap. Instead, on to this week’s joys! Simon & I bought a house and it settled today! We are officially home owners. Well, owners of a lovely mortgage, but still – we’ll soon be in a house that we can paint, landscape and not have the intrusion of someone coming to inspect my housekeeping skills every 6 months! I’m just waiting for Simon to get home from work (he’s on the late shift this week – such bad timing), and then we’ll go over and revel in it. Getting the news from the lawyer and then getting the keys from the real estate office was bittersweet – super exciting, but Simon wasn’t there, so it lacked a ‘little something’. I’m looking forward to having him put the key in the front door this evening.

And then tomorrow the hard work begins – we’re going to repaint the interior, get new curtains or blinds, find rugs, a new couch etc. I’m really looking forward to making our mark on the place. Every time we’ve been there, the previous owner has been there, so it’s been difficult to get that ‘yes, we can make a home here’ vibe going properly. The worst was on Monday when I went to the pre-settlement final inspection. She was trying to pass the ‘woman of the house’ torch to me, which was very lovely, but the way she did it was completely overwhelming. I came home and had a panic attack and had to call my mum, crying that it was never going to feel like our home, it’s going to be full of her and the memories she just implanted in my brain. I know faaar too much about her daughters, including the fact one of them had their period arrive that day! My goodness!

Other big news in my life – I’m most likely getting a promotion at work (there’s a headcount freeze for end of financial year that’s holding things up). Crazy times in my life these days. After all the horrible, hard years, this year everything is just coming up roses. It’s hard to believe it’s really me this is all happening to – this stuff just doesn’t happen to me. But I’ll take it! The role at work was created with me in mind, but I still had to go through the red tape of applying and facing the interview. It was yesterday afternoon and I thought I completely flunked it. Like so bad that as soon as I left the interview room I went to the bathroom and cried. It was awful. I had been laughing with family earlier this week, saying it was going to be super awkward being interviewed by people who already knew me – how do you big note yourself in front of people you know? Turned out it was horrible for another reason – humiliating yourself (or so I thought) in front of people you know and respect is absolutely crushing to the ego. I was so desperately upset at myself, feeling like I’d let my little family (Simon and our dog Minnie) down by not going up a pay grade when we just got a mortgage – on and on went the negative self talk until I could barely function, I was filled with that much self-loathing and despair. And then I ran into my TL today (he was one of those who interviewed me) and he started talking about me having the job like it was a totally normal conversation. When I was surprised, he asked why and I told him I thought it was the worst interview I’d ever done. He said I was much better than the others they interviewed and that Donna, the other person who interviewed me, thought it was one of the best interviews she’d ever been in. What?? I honestly don’t know who she’s been interviewing but they must be abysmal because I was terrible! I couldn’t think of any good answers to any questions, and half way through my replies I forgot what the question was (they were really long questions!) and kind of petered out and had to be prompted. Argh. Hideous. But again – I’ll take it! Maybe I didn’t seem as bad as I did from inside my head. There’s usually so much going on in my head it’s hard to tell what’s coming out and what’s not. I often get people walk by and go ‘Katie, you’re so quiet!’ and it always surprises me, as there’s so much going on in my head I feel anything but quiet. Those I trust would probably not say I’m quiet – I tend to gabble all my thoughts out at them if they give me an opening.

So that’s my crazy old life at the moment. There’s more that’s been happening but I’ll get to that in another blog post. Oh, one more thing – on top of all this, and the general insanity that is my life at work, it’s nearly my 30th birthday! So I’m in the process of planning the most elaborate party I’ve ever had (that’s not hard, I’m generally the don’t-make-me-the-centre-of-attention type). I think it’s going to be awesome. Way more people than I was expecting have said they’ll come – I feel very lucky in life at the moment. I hope the world is treating you all kindly too. If it’s not, take my word for it – from the darkest holes, you can rise to the brightest happiness. It just takes time.

29 and still a child…

I turned 29 last week. It still doesn’t feel real, which is slightly odd as I usually start aging myself up about halfway through each year. My brain seems to get stuck when I have to tell people my age now. I don’t think it’s a rebellion about being nearly 30, though that does seem bizarre. I remember clearly sitting in my shared flat when I was turning 20, with my flatmate saying we now had less than 10 years til we were 30. She was terrified, I was amused – 30? So far away! Of course, I set myself deadlines and goals to have met by then. One of which was to have a baby or start trying for one at the age of 30, even if that meant doing it solo. I didn’t want to let the drive to fertilise my eggs be the deciding factor when looking for a life mate, so I took the pressure off myself and decided I’d do it alone if it came to that. Now that I’m not alone, Simon knows of my 30 plan and we will probably work toward that. So maybe there is a little of the looming-30 going on in my mind at the moment. I keep getting impulses to do things, like this is my last chance to do them. Which is a little ridiculous, as I have my whole life ahead of me and while having kids will change things dramatically, it doesn’t end my whole existence. Just gives it some different priorities, I guess. So while I’m young and fancy-free, I want to enjoy it.

Last week was enjoyable, despite being really ill with a cold/flu bug that has still struck me down more than a week later (probably my own fault for working through last week instead of resting), so I’m off sick for the second day this week. I feel horribly guilty every time I take time off for illness, but I had to reason with myself that the doctor has given me today off & it is best to take it & get well, and not keep pushing and really make myself sick. Still, I feel bad as I know there’ll be a lot of work waiting for me when I go back!

Aside from the illness, I had a lovely lunch with my mum on my birthday, she spoiled me with lots of unexpected gifts. And Simon & I had a lovely dinner at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try – anyone in Melbourne, I recommend going along to State of Grace, the food was incredible and it all came out very quickly. There’s a lot to look at in the restaurant too, which is a good thing in my books!

Saturday evening we had dinner & drinks with a few friends, which was very nice. Again, the food was amazing – Terminus Hotel is our favourite place for a pub meal, they’re so creative. My friend Lauren and I had a lot of fun imagining what they could mean by ‘textures of strawberry and basil’, with Lauren picturing a chef rolling a strawberry across some cream to leave just the texture behind.

The rest of my week has been spent either at work or curled up on the couch reading and watching tv. Simon & I have finally jumped on the Orange is the New Black bandwagon (mainly because there was a marathon on Foxtel). And I’ve been revisiting some books from my childhood – the Little House on the Prairie series. I loved them dearly when I was a kid, but haven’t read them in years. My local libraries never had the full sets (good ol’ little country town libraries), so some of the books I’ve only read once before. They’re obviously an easy read, so I’m churning through them rapidly, but they’re so delightful I can’t make myself slow down. It’s been making me hungry for beans, cornbread and salt pork, even though I’ve never had cornbread or salt pork before! It also makes me want to bake and sew, so I’ve been feeling frustrated at my virus for making me all weak. At least I can live vicariously through the Ingalls girls for a while. Mum’s also ordered me some more kids books I love – we discovered them while waiting at a pathology clinic once – Poppleton. They’re hilarious, and I can’t wait for them to arrive. I know technically I should be stocking up on these kinds of books in preparation for future children, but I totally just want them because I love them! I never want my inner child to die, so even if I don’t end up able to have kids or something else happens, I will continue loving children’s literature. There are some truly beautiful works out there.