The villages that sculpt us

16 04 2012

I kind of forgot I had a blog. So here I am updating so you don’t all think I’ve DIED or something. It would be impossible to fill you in on everything that’s happened since I told Chantel to ‘Stare at It’ (my last post). So here’s a few villages I’ve passed through in 2012.

The village of summer, sickness & sadness. The heatwaves this summer, or more so the humidity that accompanied the breaking of said heatwave, sent me to hospital with severe asthma. At the time, distressing and HORRIBLE. But I was able to finally give up smoking purely because I had to. Plus I met a lady in hospital with end stage emphysema, that helped. A lot! I had already cut right down and was working on a better diet and adding meditation & mindfulness to my life, which has been and still is great! — but I was fooling myself and making excuses for myself for needing cigarettes to handle stress. It’s a big lie, and I’m onto it. 7 weeks smoke free, and i’m breathing easier, much easier.

The next was the village of madness, mania & maladies. A family member has been struggling with panic attacks, bad ones, go to hospital ones. I used to suffer from these life-wreckers when my kids were very young. It’s been a long time, and I’d even forgotten what happened to me when I, after a few long years, finally took control and ‘got it’ that I was ok, that my feelings were tricking me, that I didn’t have to hook into my thoughts, that panic didn’t have to be an everyday part of life, that I had CHOICES. I discovered that at the bottom of them was a traumatised me needing to heal. I wish wish wish I could pass on this experience to my beloved. But nothing I say helps. It is a deeply sad thing to feel helpless, to not be able to help the ones you love. I will continue to try. In the meantime, there will be lots of hugs, lavender oil, vitamins & diet, & my hand in theirs letting them know I’m always there. It’s not enough, but it’s all I have.

Next we come to the village of houses, dust & hysterical packers.  I’m dwelling in this village right now, and IT’S CRAZY HERE! Here’s the story. Two days after I came home from hospital, I was told BY TEXT, that the unit I’m renting, will be going on the market for sale. By text? Can you believe that? I mean, I know we are living in a technological age, but really, how RUDE! Anyway, this could turn into a very long story, so here’s my attempt at the short version.

My brother has been staying with me, he’s driving Limos in the metro area and it’s conventient for him to stay in the suburbs rather than go back to the caravan that he’s been living in for 10 YEARS.

We decided to trial living together for a while, it would help us both out. Besides, rental houses are very expensive now, and I would be pushing to get another rental at the rate I was paying. Also the competition is fierce. A customer and friend at work was leaving her rental home, I went and looked at it, my brother and I applied, and we got it on the strength of 1) my friends good word that she put in for us and; 2) not many people turned up. Unusual, as the previous 5 or so inspections I’d been to, people were lining up.

So here I am packing up my tiny little unit with a week to go til move date. I’ve been very sick over the last month with a virus. I’m only just starting to feel somewhat ok, so i’ve finally started stuffing stuff into stuff! (hence the hysterical packer). We’ve been given permission to take stuff over there before the move date, but only to be put in the garage. Still this helps us heaps, and it means that on moving day, it will be just the lug of hauling the bigger furniture pieces. Did I mention the new house is much bigger than here, has 3 bedrooms, two living rooms, a proper dining area and a purple BATH! I adore baths! I am SO excited for my brother who gets to kiss caravan life goodbye. He has a FOUR CAR GARAGE and a twinkle in his eye.

So anyway, that’s been my year so far, along with trying to hold down my job through all this, and having a meltdown or two while GIVING UP SMOKING. Sorry to shout, but it still astounds me that I’m doing it! I’m still very much struggling with my health and every day is a battle to keep moving and work on strengthening my poor immune system. Daily suffering is a given. But I’m a battle-weary warrior and that’s what we do, we grit our teeth and keep moving forward to the next village. Keep. Moving. There’s times we need to be still too, but not when the flames are licking at your legs.

So maybe I’m coming out the other side of this dark prickly place that has bruised me so much, maybe even stronger than before. I still hold love in my hands. I still see beauty in the world. I still hope for better days. Maybe the next village will have me ALL-CAPPING throughout frantic storytelling. Or maybe I will just make bread and soup and sleep the winter away.

See you up the road a bit.

Lily





Unearthing Monsters and Angels

11 10 2009

I am moving again. I’ve lived in more ‘homes’ than your fingers and toes, and add a few more. They say moving is high up on the stress scale. I second that statement with an enthusiastic OI!!

restless
dispossessed
unsure

I’m not sure if i should ramble on about the path that I’ve been on while packing to move, but just let me say it has been full of detours, potholes, and roadkill. Maybe just to give you the old cliche ‘life is a rollercoaster’, and i’m really wanting to get off this one. At the time of writing, i am yet to get a ‘yes’ on the applications i keep rolling into the real estate agents for a rental house/unit. I have three weeks to go until my vacate date. I have to leave here in three weeks! My body and mind are in a perpetual knot and the black dog is a’howling at the Spring moon.

I’ve carted a lot of STUFF around with me over my many moves, and lately I have been confronted with, what started out as a niggling feeling, that blew out to full blown MUST DO, to shed, shed, shed.

To unburden my mind, body and soul of all the things that have been weighing me down and hanging around just doing nothing, just being there, taking up space, being unproductive, not looked at, not used or played with, or enjoyed, or displayed, just sitting in boxes, many groaning boxes of packed STUFF. Much of this STUFF has been untouched for many years. It was time, and I was scared.

I make a decision, it’s time to scale down, I had decided that this stuff in boxes was ridiculously ridiculous. I wanted to light a fire and burn the lot! But i knew there were treasures in those groaning boxes, some that I needed to take into my future, some that i needed to make peace with, some that i wanted to re-live, others, not so much. So I have been embarking on the unenviable job of sorting through STUFF. Some boxes I discovered were packed hurriedly from my last move. I call them the hybrids. These hybrids took the most time to go through. Many of these spun me into utter confusion.

The roller coaster ride that unearthing these treasures would bring was inevitable, emotions and tears were expected, but never in my life did I realise the drain this would have upon my soul. Sometimes i was thrown into complete despair, other times flamed my heart so much I could have warmed several cities.

Many times I had to STOP! to shed a tear, to remember to eat, to take a walk, walk away from the little sorted piles. I would find myself staring at words that were written, find myself in a trance, taken back in time, only to snap out of it with tears running down my cheeks, sometimes with a huge grin. I knew every time I opened another box, there could be either MONSTERS or ANGELS in there.

It feels good to face the Monsters. Some of them, I had to sit down with and have a good talking to, some sent me reeling, tumbling down into rabbit holes I wasn’t sure how to get back out of again.

I have discovered parts of myself, and my daughters that I never knew existed. I found notes of ‘i love you to the moon’ and ‘KEEP OUT’ and ‘spy logs’ (lol), also many many drawings, some with heartfelt and passionate little notes or stories, and many funny things that children say. The remnants of my broken marriage lay where they were once thrown too, little pieces of it spread throughout the stuff. It was time to say hello to grief, and get on with the healing, flow with the pain, ride it out, and try to salvage and cherish the windows of happy times.

I couldn’t possibly list all the things I’ve been looking at and reading, and it’s hard to re-live it again. I am fresh from tasting a bittersweet past.

The Salvation Army Op shop know me by name now, i’ve dropped off a stack of boxes and bags of clothes, toys, books and many other items I can live without. Letting go.

I feel lighter already, and I haven’t finished yet. I am still scaling down, I am simplifying my life and it feels really good!

~Lily

Update: A real estate agent called and offered me a very small unit nearby, note ‘very small’, this means i have to pare down even more *gulp*. I do have a garage at the new unit, so i will be storing my ‘must haves’ in there. Sorry Car! My energy levels are low, but i’m excited. As my mama always says, one day at a time.