Nigh Nighs for the Night Owl

Much to my mother’s frustration, I have always been a night owl. From 6 months I refused to sleep during the day and then would only sleep soundly from late in the night. I have been nocturnal for as long as I can remember.

University was the best. I could churn out assignments last minute and hand them in first thing without breaking a sweat or failing. In fact, some of my best work has been done at the last minute and in the wee hours of the night and early morning.

Until August last year. Now, with 2 babies and being halfway through my thirties I find, even if I have a quiet day I tend to fall asleep by 8:30, usually straight after tucking my little bunnies into their beds. I wake up tired.

I’ve had all the blood tests. I’m fit, apart from carrying some extra weight from bearing 2 wee bairns and the usual spread that occurs after marriage. I make no excuses for the extra weight. I just couldn’t be arsed getting off my arse with the mental gymnastics and running around I do after the family. I’m just knackered after 13 years of multiple redundancies, financial ruin and family members demanding more than their good share of holistic energy.

 

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The heartache of Soon…

Much has happened the last year or so.

The baby is hurtling towards her first birthday. She is the spit of her big sister in looks and the opposite in personality. Both my arms are full of such sweet and curious babies.

My Nan has deteriorated badly in the last year as well. She recently turned 90 and her limbs have lost 70% mobility. A week before her birthday took a bad fall, leaving her unable to return home. She is now in care. The only place my Dad and his brother could get her into straight away was a home 40 minutes away in the Dementia ward. It makes it harder to see her as much as I did and she with all her mental faculties leaves her lonely.

Last night was a hard night. Nan had pressed some random buttons on her TV remote by accident and couldn’t get her CD player working. She rang us in tears because the nurses didn’t know what to do and the maintenance officer wouldn’t be in until today. We tried to fix it over the phone but was too hard to work out as she was so distraught and not thinking straight. She cut the call abruptly; I think she was about the cry a little harder.

I feel quite helpless. If I could care for her at our place I would… but unfortunately it’s not in the realm of possibility financially or time wise. I’d care for her at her place but then my girls are too noisy for my Pa and they need their routine. I need to return to work in July and my two girls, ages 6 and almost 1, can still be quite demanding, thriving on routine.

We are quite close, Nan and I. I miss her not being down the road from us, and I know that her twilight days, months or years are a trial for a once vibrant, creative and active woman. Part of me wants to keep her forever, but more of me prays that she finds rest like the dignified lady she is- peacefully in her sleep as soon as possible. For now, I will enjoy her presence as deeply and often as possible because I know these days are so very precious.

 

Written Off

Officially written off. That’s our car. By the time the remaining of the loan is paid out, we’ll have little to have as deposit for another car. 

Fortunately, we’re still in possession of my Pa’s 24 year old Magna. It’s a tank, gas guzzling and clunky, but it’s well looked after and should do a few more years while we save for another car.

The job he’s got is pretty much written off also. It has been troublesome from the beginning within the organisation, which is poorly structured and stinky in culture. There is no guarantee that if we move up there with him that the job will last, and I’m hesitant to throw away my job security just so my husband can say he’s gainfully employed. I may only have a part time job, but it’s a sure bet, and a well-balanced position.

Being away from our daughter is taking its toll. He’s missed her 5th birthday, first day of school, first school award and so many play dates this year. 

He’s missed the first human looking scan of our baby and being present as my belly grows. He’s missed being that smudge more connected to the pregnancy by engaging with us in the day to day. Now baby is halfway through incubation the fun part for Dads begin- the midnight kick in the back when we’re snuggling in bed, and the last couple of scans that ignite anticipation.

Our daughter cries at least twice a week because she’s had to deal with a lot of change at a young age. She’s resilient but Daddy lives in a different town, she’s going to be a big sister after 5.5 years and a school girl now. Emotionally she’s had to grow quickly, but I see how it’s wearing her in places.

His absence has little impact on me emotionally,  apart from the domestic workload and being the exclusive parent day to day. I’ve always been rather self-sufficient. Sometimes though, it would be nice to not be the one to always hang out the washing or be the main source of comfort for our girl.

Life is drama. That’s a reality. It’s often out of control and grappling with the uncertainty is trying at the best of times. Now, it is necessary to decide on the non-negotiables. 

After nearly losing him last week, and not gaining anything tangible from his absence, it’s time to cease this experiment. He’s hopefully putting in his notice on Monday and coming home the following week.

This comes with a new set of challenges. There are always consequences to decisions. We take comfort in not being separated being the best decision for us.

Hair

Last Thursday I had the urge to shave most of my head, a drastic change from the 1930’s pin-curled black bob I had been embracing for the previous 6 months. That was the goal of two years growing out a pixie cut- a vintage bob that Dita Von Teese would be envious of.

(The hair was cut before the accident. It wasn’t a completely unplanned action)

I nearly chickened out, but my five year old daughter gave me the same rhetoric I often serve her: if you say you’re going to do something, then do it. So I did. 
I love the cut, and I even liked the short dark ash blonde sides with the long black bangs. Then, as I do when things get out of control, I start tinkering…

I no longer own a sewing a machine to run up some Pretty in Pink op shop finds, so instead, I’ve bleached the life out of and currently have a mix of conditioning treatment and hot pink dye sloshed all of my remains tresses.

I guess it’s a bit of a mundane thing to blog about, but for the moment I’m in dire need of catharsis after the shock of last week’s still unresolved events. 

Deceased

Thursday night, my husband was hit head on by a drunk and high driver who had just overtaken a semi-trailer despite the double white lines clearly indicating it was unsafe to do so. My husband didn’t have time to react and as the airbags expelled from their casings and the cabin of the car filled with smoke, he struggled to open the door to escape…

Thursday night was, the eve of a year since my husband was made rendundant. It signalled a long year of job searching and ended in a new life forming and a job in a completely different town. Our incubating baby is thriving according to all the scans. The job is disappointing (understatement). We’ve been unsure if it’s worth moving for such an uninspiring role in such a negative and disorganised company in a town I couldn’t wait to escape from 16 years ago. Thursday night’s event has begun to unravel all of the determination to make the best of things, and the situation is feeling even more frustrating than it did this time last year.

The reality of Thursday night is beginning to sink in today… and we have to take him back up there tomorrow. What was meant to be four days of normal family life in a long distance family existence, has turned into a mix of complete gratitude and utter frustration.

The police and ambulance officers are amazed that he walked away, let alone without a bump or bruise. Witnesses equally amazed that he’s okay. The car is a write off. Our future plans and financial success yet again messed up. What was already a tricky situation is now feeling desperate. All because one asshole’s common sense is deceased.

A bit fed up…

Regardless of what you think of Trump, which ‘side’ you’re on, or are completely over the situation (i.e. anyone who has a modicum of common sense), I’m pretty sure the more the extreme left carry on the way they are, the more he is going to dig in his heels. Don’t tell them that though, they’re too busy burning limousines and executing ad hominem with great skill (in the words of Inigo Montoya “I don’t think that word means what you think it means”) to conduct themselves in the open-minded way they profess to believe in so fervently.

Whoa, that was a big ranty intoduction…

It is disturbing. It’s an infinite loop it seems. The extremes on both sides are as stubborn as the other and never think maybe listening is better than shouting or perhaps considerate thinking and carefully constructed, sensible and sound arguments are a better option. It’s horrible to watch. It is disheartening when I agree with some of the left side’s viewpoints (and right) but can’t condone the avenue of protest.

Now, please don’t think for a minute that I am trying to belittle the serious nature of both Trump’s approach and the response of the left, the importance of confronting injustice etc. It weighs heavily on me, wondering how I can be a help and how I can teach my children to navigate increasingly foggy weather of the political and global climate. I don’t even live in U.S of America and I can see how it is affecting the day-to-day function of some parts of my society. I also see how the pertinent issues of my country are being so hotly debated and fought over that I wonder if we are losing ourselves in the midst of trying to find ourselves in the frays.

I’m not saying I have any answers. In fact, I have way more questions than solid answers. It wold be marvelous for it to be clear cut in belief and action, but neither is true. I am, like so many who see themselves as somewhere in the middle, trying to find the balance in the solving the problems and enriching our communities without losing our compassion or respect or resorting to low tactics.

To finish though, If anyone is still in doubt about my a/political leanings here is the oft mis-ascribed Voltaire quote and a slight bastardisation thereof… “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it (maybe, depends on my mood, but hurting people is always bad), and I’ll still give you respect because life is too short to hold onto that kind of baggage.”

And let’s finish with something we can all agree on:

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P.S. Should you decide to be mean-spirited in response to my honest and earnest attempt at being constructive, it will be necessary to use your comments as example of my first paragraph’s statement. However, I will give you the respect of keeping your tag/handle/name/whatever anonymous.