A change in the air??

Do you ever have those moments when you just look at what you are doing and think ‘Why? Why am I still here? Why am I still doing this, and not what makes me happy??’

Well, I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life. I have an amazing family, some good friends, and a husband that ‘gets’ me, in all my strangeness! There’s no way I would change any of that. However I still feel like I’m floating through life, never really making any big decisions. When it comes to work I have always just taken the easy option.

And it has worked for me. It’s given me a job that allows me to only work school hours, to be there as a Mum. (Because being Mum is the most important job to me. Ever.) But nowadays my job is changing, I’m not enjoying my time there. I don’t like to go.

So maybe I should do something else??

I haven’t thought about what ‘I’ want to do for a long time now, if ever really. If truth be told I really don’t know what I want, but I’m starting to get an idea 🙂

I was sitting down with the 17 year old boy, going through his options. Trying to get him thinking of what path he may like to take. Looking at work, and study…..and then it hit me. I could do that! I could study, I could choose a new path! As I kept looking through all the different courses that are available, one just kept jumping out at me.

Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine.

But what a big course. What a big commitment. And at the end, a nutritionist??!! ME??!!

Can I really do this? Am I good enough, smart enough, motivated enough?

You know what? I think I am! I think I’m gonna give it a red-hot go!

In the wise words of the 17 year old..’you never know until you try’

🙂

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Boil and bubble

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It’s a hot one,

like 7 inches from the midday sun”

I really think Carlos Santana must have been living in the Pilbara when he wrote those lyrics!!! Man oh man it’s hot!!!!! All week it’s been sitting between 37-42 degrees (98-107 for my Yankee friends :))

It’s not just any heat either, it’s a really dry, horrible, suck-your-eyeballs-right-out-of-your-head heat.

The ground is scorching, the few plants are brown and very sad, my car becomes an oven two seconds after I turn off the air con. And don’t even think about touching the outside of the car..or the seat belt buckles..or anything metal really. Think instant branding iron. The water from the cold tap is hot enough to scold you when you first run it, and only cools down to warm-and-toasty. I haven’t used the hot tap for my showers all week, and they still feel hot!!!

So as you can imagine not a lot is getting done around here. It’s school holidays, so I have a house full of kids, but it’s far too hot to take them anywhere. Go to the beach and you burn in 5 minutes, and the water feels like you are swimming in pee anyway :/  So we are watching lots of movies. And TV shows. And Xbox. Basically anything that requires us to be inside and move as little as possible.

The poor animals are really feeling it though. They don’t have the modern luxury of air con (I worship whoever invented that!) The dog has dug a hole in the shady garden bed that goes half-way to China, and seems content to never leave it. Even for food. The budgies are all huddled on the floor of the aviary, chilling in the puddle I make for them each day. And the poor chooks! Those girls seem to really be struggling the most. I have put up so many shade sails, and keep watering down their run. They have fresh water, ice blocks, frozen food….none of it seems to help. They are still listless and panting. There’s not much more I can do for them, when even the very air we are breathing feels hot enough to burn the inside of your throat.

The weather department keep teasing us, and saying we will get rain. Thunderstorms, even the possibility of a cyclone. Bring it on I say!! Anything to blow away this heat! It rained for all of 2 minutes yesterday. Didn’t even wet the ground. Not even enough to settle the dust.

Ah yes, gotta love the Pilbara summer!!!!

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A fresh start

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So this year is drawing to a close. Fading into twilight, ready for a new dawn.

It is bittersweet to see the closing of 2014, as it has been an odd year, a roller-coaster year, a year of extremes.

😦  It has been the first complete year without my Mum. This has, of course, been a really hard thing to get my head around. It has come with it’s own set of emotions and illogical behavior. It has raised a whole new set of challenges for my grieving boy. We are getting through it slowly, and we will be OK.

:/  This has been the year we were able to start the process of building an investment house. This is still ongoing, but the process has been started. It has only been possible because of Mum.

🙂  We have been on an amazing, long holiday, which was sorely needed by us all. It was full on, busy and heaps of fun.

🙂  I have added some chooks to my little menagerie, and now enjoy fresh eggs every day. They are very tame and friendly, and like to get attention.

🙂  The health of my immediate family members has been steadily improving. We are recovering from the challenges of late last year, and finding our feet again.

😦  My running has totally taken a backseat, and is virtually nonexistent now. I haven’t been back to PT all year. However I have been doing really well with my eating habits, so I don’t feel too bad about it.

😦  Work has been taking is toll on me. New management and internal politics have been hard for me to deal with, particularly in my current frazzled, only-just-coping mental state.

🙂  We have been working hard on improving my sons reading abilities, and are finally seeing some progress. More would be made if I could focus on it better, but I can only do my best.

😦  I feel I have been dropping the ball in all areas of my life, letting things slide. Family, home-life, cleaning, work and exercise. All have suffered due to my very lack-luster attitude.

🙂 My eldest son has decided to move up and live with us for a while. He has been getting into some strife at his Dad’s house, so is looking for a fresh start. It is great to see him engaging with us, excited about being part of our family. It makes me proud to see the effort he is making to help around the home, and make himself useful to my husband. I really think he can do well up here, and I love having him around.

So all in all 2014 has been a very mixed bag.

2015 however, is what we make of it.

It will be the year I pull myself out of the funk I am in. Be more present for my kids, put solid effort into the reading focus. It will be the year I start running again, as I enjoy it so much, and it is so good for my head-space. It will be the year I learn to survive without my Mum, as hard as that is to bear. This will be a golden year.

Because it will be what we make it.

Rainforest Relaxation.

My oh my what a week this has been!
Our big holiday is now well and truly under way, and so far going extremely well.

This week was our ‘rainforest week’, and also the week I have been looking forward to the most.
I needed some peace, some space to relax. To surround myself with nature. I needed trees. It’s amazing how much I miss proper trees living in the dry Pilbara.
So my wonderful husband got tired of listening to me talk about rainforest, and booked a flight to Cairns!

He booked us a week in a private ‘couples retreat’ (although we took the boy with us too) nestled in the rainforest. Called Platypus Springs Rainforest Retreat, it is a lovely private house with the most magical veiw. Featuring a spa bath set into the veranda, overlooking the lush forest that just drops off right at your feet, it is hard not to relax! It also has it’s own icy cold plunge pool with a little waterfall.
The house is magnificent, with wooden planked ceilings, raw wooden bench tops (even the bathroom vanity), pure white linen and fluffy robes. It has every mod con you might want in the kitchen, as well as a hidden laundry. The only downer is the terrible internet and TV reception, which has been driving my husband crazy!

 

This is what paradise looks like

This is what paradise looks like

I love it here, surrounded by greenery. Beautiful lush trees, with ferns and vines growing all through them. There is an amazing amount of wildlife about too (nothing scary though). So many different types of birds to watch and listen too. Their songs seem to be never-ending. We also spotted a few Northern Brown Bandicoots scurrying about in our garden in the evenings. Very cute and timid, and lots of fun to try to spot with a torch 🙂
The only bad animals we have encountered are ants, big March Flys (they bite), and of course the hideous Cane Toad. Being from the west I have heard about them, but never seen them before. The ugly buggers seem to be everywhere after dark!

We are just outside of a cute little tourist town called Kuranda. It is small, cute, artsy, and made up almost totally of markets! Even outside the markets most shops are selling art or handicrafts. There is a lolly shop that hand makes boiled lollies, and a place selling the most amazing fruit liquors. Mango port, mango cello and lemon cello are just a few! Yumm!
Whist exploring the markets we brought a lovely Kalimba (thumb piano) made from a gourd, and drank fresh coconut water straight from the coconut. My son and I also really like watching the Brush Turkeys that scratch about the place, as well as Curlews with their really long legs.

Yum!!

Cheers 🙂

We took a small little ferry up the river. Welcome Swallows were nesting in the roof and life jackets. We saw lots of fish, as well as some tortoises. Even one small lazy crocodile sunning himself on a log.

spot the croc!

spot the croc!

Kuranda is also home to Bird World, a Koala Park, and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. That was a magical place to visit. Thousands of butterflies, of all different species, flitting about amongst beautiful lush gardens. They don’t seem to mind people too much, and land on your head, hands, all over. So cool. My son said they looked like little fairies 🙂

 

 

 

We haven’t only been lazing around though, and have spent a day exploring Cairns, which I think is a beautiful city. Lush green and vibrant red foliage, and bright flowers everywhere. It has a really fit, outdoorsy vibe. Early morning is full of people jogging, walking their dogs, using the exercise parks, all types of activness. We even saw someone doing Thai Chi on the beach. A really relaxed and happy feeling place.

We have also spent a day exploring the Atherton Tablelands. There is so much there. We hardly even scratched the surface, you would need a week to see and do it all. So we picked the things we really wanted to see (by we I mean me) and stuck to them.
So we drove through the countryside, which is totally different to what I am used to. It changes so fast. One minute it is lush green forest, the next it is grassland complete with cows! So many hills and valleys, which make for some awesome scenery.
We stopped and had lunch in a tea room that stood on the edge of a peaceful lake, formed by a volcanic eruption. We then went swimming in another. Jared was stoked to be swimming in a volcano! The water was really crisp and cold, but so refreshing. I’m so glad I went in. A beautiful spot.

A beautiful refreshing volcanic lake to swim in

A beautiful refreshing volcanic lake to swim in

Next was a stop at Mamu Tropical Skywalk which features an elevated walkway through the rainforest canopy, plus a really tall observation tower. It also incorporates a walk along the forest floor. One word…. AMAZING! To be able to see the canopy from so close, and such a different angle was just awe-inspiring. The walk takes you through a section of the rainforest that has been severely damaged by two cyclones in the last decade, and I found it really interesting to see how quickly and totally the forest recovers. It was so peaceful just wandering along, taking it all in. One of the highlights so far for me.

 

We have two more days in this rain-forest paradise before we head back down the mountains for some beach R&R. So far, this is bliss 🙂

 

 

Holiday Time, Oh Yeah!!!

I just wanted to jump on line and let you good people know that I am going to be MIA for the next two months. Even more than normal… I know I am terribly slack at this whole blogging thing, but this time I have a reason. A REALLY good reason.

I’M GOING ON HOLIDAY BABY!!!!!!

Yep, you heard me.

Holiday 🙂

We are packing up and taking a much needed break. 7 weeks of no work or school. Instead there will be family, sunshine, rain-forest, beaches, theme parks, V’8 supercars… oh so many good things.

To say I am excited is an understatement.

I can’t wait, and the boy is pretty darn happy about it too.

I think a break will be good for us. Give us back some fun and joy. Maybe help me relax a little again.

Mum’s anniversary will happen while we are away. I can’t believe it has been a whole year. A whole really horrible year. I will finally get to visit her grave, and see her plaque. I haven’t been back since the funeral. So that will be another milestone of sorts.

See why I need a holiday??? I start a happy holiday post, and end up missing my Mum. Story of my life right now.

Oh well. Mum would have approved of this holiday.

So I’m going to enjoy every minute of if. Spend quality time with my husband and son. See my eldest two sons (jeez I’ve missed them lately). Catch up with my extended family. Spend time with my husbands family.

And lets not forget the rain-forest. The beautiful, tranquil, relaxing rain-forest. Did I mention the private 100 acres, the spa overlooking those acres? How about the plunge pool and waterfall, did I mention them yet??? Oh yeah I am looking forward to this holiday!!!! 😀 😀 😀

See you on the flip side 😀

Solitary

Lovin the roadside spinifex grass.

Lovin the roadside spinifex grass.

My son took this photo of me yesterday. Just a random snap, as I was heading out to pose for a different shot.

I’m not sure why, but I really like it. As in, I totally love it.

In some strange way it seems to capture a lot of my life and feelings at the moment.

Endless blue sky…and I’m looking down.

Surrounded by natures beauty…but concentrating too intently to see it.

Solitary in a vast open space.

Alone with my thoughts.

The Tide. A poem of grief and loss

Turn the tide

A poem for the people who are helping a loved one through their grief.

Just be there for them, hold them. Support them when they crumble. It may not seem like much to you, but it feels like a lifeline to them.

I am lucky. I have an amazing husband who gets this, he is my rock.

How Do You Make Friends As An Adult??

Well, today is my birthday.

I didn’t really want to make a fuss of it, mostly because it hasn’t been a great year, and because I worried that if I did something to celebrate nobody would show up. (It has happened before, my 30th birthday BBQ I had 2 neighbors show up. Yay for me!!)

However I have been feeling down lately, and I thought a night of laughs with a few drinks might be just the thing I needed. A good friend suggested it, and said she would definitely be there. So I figured hey, why not. I invited the few friends I have, my husband invited some of his. I started to look forward to it, even bought a dress. Here’s the thing, very few people are now coming, even the good friend has cancelled. I will be lucky if 5 people show, and they are really my husbands friends, not mine.

Which leaves me wondering..why don’t I have any friends? Why do I find it so hard to connect to people?

I’ve always been the type of girl who has 1 or 2 close friends, that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, most people like me. I am friendly, I chat to everyone…all that jazz. I just don’t seem to be able to bridge the gap between that and true friendship.

It probably doesn’t help that I live in a very transient town, with lots of ‘clique’s’. It feels as though once you put in the hard yards, and make a halfway decent friend, they move.

So what am I doing wrong????

I am friendly, mostly polite, but I am not a sickly-sweet angel. I help others and truly care about people. People often tell me I have a great smile and a fun laugh. They say I am kind and genuine. They say I am a good person.

So what’s the deal? I find it hard to put myself out there. Hard to make the first move. I have always been a little shy.

But how did I get to be 37 years old, and still not have enough friends for a drinks and nibbles night?

How do other people do it? How do they make it look so easy? They seem able to move around and still always have a group, however small. Why can’t I do that?

If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

How to you make friends as an adult?

Endless Summer

 

The sun is in the sky, oh why oh why, would I wanna be anywhere else? (Lilly Allen)

Blue sky, crisp and clear and cloudless.

My child’s laughter floating to me on the breeze.

Warm weather, balmy and sweet and sticky.

The sun slowly rising while I run, turning the sky pink and yellow and brilliant orange.

A rope swing hanging from a tree, twisting and turning.

Watermelon slices in the garden, sweet juice running down my chin.

Today I am concentrating on the small things.