When life gives you lemons…

…just order a shit sandwich, a Gin and Tonic, and dive right in.

These are lemons from my lemon tree. They are huge and juicy and I love having a citrus tree in my garden. When I started writing this post in my head a couple of months ago, the tag line was “when life gives you lemons…. share them with your friends” and it was going to be about how in the past 18 months I’ve shared a lot of my life-lemon moments with my people. Oh and how I’ve also shared my actual garden lemons with them too.

The point I think I wanted to get across was that the more people you have in your life to share your lemons with, both theoretical and physical, the less sour your life will be.

Unfortunately, I’ve been in such a mood, on and off, these past 10 or so days, that the post in my head took a turn for the cynical, and here I am. You see, on Sunday, my back situation started steadily declining, and by the afternoon I knew I was in a bit of trouble. Monday I spent in bed resting, but around 5pm, it went into one hell of a spasm and I just thought “of course.”

At 4 in the morning, when I had three kids in my bed and couldn’t sleep, I was messaging my friend in the UK (hi Kat!) and said “Without sounding completely hopeless I’m not even bloody surprised. I’m just like oh yeah. That seems about right” to which she responded “Sucks when you start to get used to the shit sandwiches”.

I couldn’t quite figure out if it was sad and cynical, or actually kind of dark and comical. I just wanted to give a big old “up yours” (my new favourite emoji, BTW) to the universe and be done with it.

Thankfully, with the help of some good drugs, my back was okay to fly and I had a marvellous trip to Rocky. And maybe it’s not a bad thing that things don’t rattle me much these days. It’s not like I’m waiting for shit sandwiches to be served to me on gold platters, it’s more that when they are, I can stomach them without too much drama.

And while life, and my tree, keeps giving me lemons, I know I have a whole bunch of people I can share them with. Maybe even in a G&T or two 🙂

Oh crap

I’m not okay.

In fairness, I think the only person I was fooling was myself.

I think “my people” know I’m not in fact okay, even though I’ve been insisting “I’m okay” for some time now. And people who don’t even know me must know that I can’t possibly be okay.

As my friend just said to me “It would probably be weirder if you were okay” and another said “I think I would be more scared if I thought you were okay“. Um yes I do have the best friends in the world, thanks for noticing.

The front page follow-up article in the Rocky Bulletin today has hit me hard.

I have to fill out a questionnaire each week in between each session I have with my psychologist. Some of the questions include:

“I am able to show my emotions to others.” Yes

“Others can tell how I am feeling.” Yes

“My feelings are confusing to me.” No

The same questions are asked each week. It has become a bit tedious to be honest, but when I filled it out before my session last week, it (finally) occurred to me that I hide my true feelings. Not intentionally; I truly feel like I have been completely honest this whole year; but subconsciously, as a method of survival I guess, I have kept my cards quite close to my chest.

I think I confuse sharing my thoughts with sharing my feelings. I have been fooling myself that thoughts and feelings are one and the same, but they clearly are not. It’s easy to share thoughts. But feelings? Hmmmm. Not so much.

I was at a playground meet-up this morning with the prep mums. These women are absolutely incredible and gorgeous and fun and real, and I have connected with them in the same way that I connected with my mum’s group in Wangaratta all those years ago. I was telling them about the article, and showed them the front page. To lighten the mood, I laughed about the editor flipping the photo around (obviously as a coping mechanism) which turned Darby’s Super Mario shirt logo backwards.

When I saw the tears and heartache and empathy in their eyes, it hit me.

If I were reading about another mum and wife who had gone through this, I would have tears in my eyes as well, and I would wonder how this woman could possibly get out of bed each day. If that mum was showing me this article, and lightening the mood with humour, I would ache for her. 

What can I say? It’s different when that person is you.

I haven’t been drinking nearly as much this year, but I have had a drink or two this evening and the words are pouring out. I’m not saying I need to drink to write but sometimes the words flow unexpectedly after a tipple.

The front page article in the Rocky Bulletin today has touched something in me but I don’t know what it is. And it’s not a bad thing. And a part of me has to say that, because it’s true, but also to reassure the journalist who interviewed me, that it was a great article. (People pleaser through and through.)

Good grief there are so many tangents and ideas and thoughts and feelings in this post. This is more of a journal entry than a blog post, but I’ve come this far, so why not go all the way.

Another statement I’ve had to address in my therapy questionnaires:

“Being upset helps me be creative.” Yes

Yes indeed.

Please don’t worry. I’m okay with not being okay. This is helpful to me. Getting these words out of my head and heart and onto a screen is part of my therapy. Whether or not my words are read is irrelevant. It just helps to write and work through stuff as I go.

Thanks for being part of this inconceivable journey. 

When mix-masters go bad

Frith bought me a Kenwood Mix-master for my first mothers day. As I’m sure you can imagine, I have given it quite a workout in the last seven years. Lots of birthday cakes and yummy desserts and even the odd savoury treat.

Last year, it started to lose some mojo. It just wasn’t beating as fast as it should have been on the highest speed, so Frith and our neighbour had a look at it and tried to fix it. It was also slightly off centre so it didn’t pick up all the mixture on each rotation. They did their best but it didn’t really improve on performance.

It still worked fairly well, so I just put it on the list of “once it breaks I’ll get a new one.” And since my Mum has had hers for decades I wasn’t expecting anything to change any time soon.

Things changed on Friday when I was mixing the batter for Julius’ birthday cake. It’s one of those really runny cakes (and literally the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made) and it was on the very lowest setting while I was pouring in the hot water at the end. All of a sudden, it found the mojo it had been missing, and sped up out of nowhere, spraying me and the kitchen with cake batter.

I screamed and Dad came down to see if I was okay. I honestly nearly cried, but then decided it would be best to take photos instead.

It’s what bloggers do I guess 🙂 And you know, it does mean I get to put “new stand mixer” on my wish list! I’m lusting after a KitchenAid of course, but that might have to wait a wee while. In the mean time, I always have my trusty hand mixers to keep those cakes rolling out.

Happy Birthday Quinny

I thought I’d better get into blogging about this before I do what I did last year and went months and months without the full debrief!

As Quinn’s birthday was looming, I took the steps to plan her birthday party. Last year was a huge affair with a jumping castle and loads of her friends, and ours, and it was a fantastic afternoon that continued on into the evening, as our gatherings always did.

This year was going to be a smaller affair, but it turned out bigger than I had planned. The weather didn’t cooperate with the coldest February day in years (on record?? Surely not) It was raining, windy and cold. And the party was at the local playground.

The good news is, we had the place to ourselves! The bad news was that the kids got soaked through within the first five minutes so were a little miserable on and off for the afternoon.

Quinn wanted a cake with ballerinas, Minnie Mouse, flowers and something else I can’t remember. I suggested a mermaid cupcake cake like this:

Bless her cotton socks she agreed, and was even excited about it! As was I! There was a slight transportation issue with the mermaid tail cupcakes…

But with extra icing and a metric tonne of sprinkles, no one was the wiser…

Ha ha. Nailed it! 🙂

The birthday girl was a little overwhelmed with all the fuss, and stayed close to her Mama. That was fine by me. I don’t often get lots of cuddles from my baby girl.

She was all smiles when it came to the cake.

Again, it’s not what we planned, but we were surrounded by some of the best people in our lives and for that I am grateful. Happy 5th Birthday to my Quinny. You have always been Dadda’s girl, and I know you miss him but his spirit lives in you. You are determined, caring, hilarious, and kind. You will always be our baby girl, even though you are growing up before my eyes. Your family love you so much and I know you will go on to do great things in your life. We will be there for you every step of the way.

Love, Mama  xxxxxxx

38 today

This is not exactly how I planned to celebrate my birthday this year. Not even close. But with these four rascals vying for a spot on my lap, and being surrounded by my cousins and family, it wasn’t bad at all. Thank you everyone. This was the first of many firsts without Frith. And it was made easier with your love and support.

I’m heading to Rocky first thing tomorrow morning until Saturday evening. I feel that reality is about to hit. I can’t prepare myself for it other than getting my village ready up there to catch me when I fall. And what a village it is. Thank God I have them. See you soon guys. It’s going to be rough xxx