I love living in the country, for where else can you walk by a café and see boxes of locally grown cabbage and pumpkin for sale for a $1? This morning I walked into the local bottle shop to buy a bottle of chardonnay and they had buckets of mandarins for sale at $2 a bucket. None of it is “picture perfect” but I know it is fresh, local and grown by locals. Good stuff.
I am so over this whole responsible adult person role that I have been playing for way too long. I really do think I have been typecast and it is time for the damn second act to allow me a little of improvisation.
Don’t you just get fed up to the eye teeth with the alarm ringing, roll out of bed at 5 am every weekday to climb over the sleeping dog and kick your toe on the way to the bedroom start to the day?
Not to mention, but I am, the deciding of which costume to wear to perfect the character that you need to be that day . Am I professional take me serious woman; learning is fun teacher; reading is not a bore librarian, I have my own style and refuse to be a stereotype and yes I can wear pearls with everything if I want to individual, or my brain has gone on a long beach holiday in a foreign country and left my true identity in control and that is not good I anyone’s book boomer?
What to wear versus what is ironed/clean or fits me. Then lunch…sandwich or wrap, salad or frozen meal? A can of tuna… Onto the highway and its more of that get out of my way I may just drive over the top of you but the thought that it might damage my car and cause me more inconvenience (going to jail will do that, inconvenience, I mean) and why are you all passing me when I am exactly on the top legal speed (my cruise control confirms it) commutes that leave me way to much time to contemplate my wretched condition and as I drive 40 minutes each day I am tired of all my recorded music and the radio is driving me mad with their depressing news and information or inane breakfast shows.
A day of lamenting that parents don’t teach their kids respect or responsibility, or much of anything any more. Kids shouting their rights to you but never considering that maybe you have rights too. A life of buckling under management teams that all seem to be bad copies of each other – all inept, deaf, blind and dumb in the sense that they always have to take to road to nowhere and expect you to sing happy songs as they throw you off the cliff and point fingers at you.
Years of people making promises to fix the washing machine on Wednesday but to call on Thursday and say they can’t make it for two weeks and then still now show up and a world where everyone is willing to critique your performance, your life, your actions, but never stop to self-reflect at all. People in glass houses shouldn’t stand up in the bath, matey.
No suitable ending in sight, except the big light calling, calling, and to some that is no ending at all. Life’s a shit and then you die. Nobody cares, nobody dares, off we go again.
Yes, Friday and not enough weekend ahead to do anything to change my mood, my life, my chances. Drink will rot my liver, pills make the head hurt, chocolate goes to the hips and everywhere else. I long to lie in green fields but the fire ants would bite, the snakes would slither and bite as well no doubt and the crows would pick over what was left.
Turn off the clocks, shut all the factories, stuff the children in the closet. Let’s go to the faraway place where we always expected to be. Burn the bridges behind. I’ll boil the kettle you can get the teacups from the cupboard in the corner. Then sit down, drink your tea and shut up or I swear I will hit you with my stick. I swear I will.
And to think I didn’t even have to threaten you with my stick to make you read either!
[Well, except for GOM...]
Since the start of the school year I have been working long hours and at weekends staying in the city to help out with baby Petit Fille and her reflux problems. Today I said to a colleague that I was a bit of tenant in my own home. I didn’t realise how true my words were untill tonight when I was in our bedroom and closed the door.
Mr FD, roused from his television viewing by the sound of the door closing, called out to Son that he thought someone was trying to break into the house and set about searching for the source of the noise!
Surprise – it is called a wife!
Then we followed with desserts.
I celebrated with a glass of chardonnay as well, something I couldn’t have done until I completed my course of medication, so it was a celebration in more ways than one!
Afterwards we drove to a lookout that overlooks our little Village – and yes we could see our house from there!
While we were there I learnt from my sister that our paternal greatgrandmother had grown up on a farm only a short distance away. Her name was Hermine and she married my greatgrandfather Herman – yes Herman and Hermine!
Today was a beautiful autumn day and though the photos are a little hazy, I think the beauty of where we live is still evident.
Well, obviously the social director didn’t liaise with The Big Whatever as I spent my birthday in bed and for none of the right reasons. I was felled by an attack of diverticulitis on Friday night and so was rather quiet all weekend. Quiet, except for the times I was clutching my abdomen and groaning in pain.
Saturday was my first experience of the local medical services. The weekend surgery is in the next town which is about 15 minutes away, so Mr FD was enlisted as my preferred driver (Driving with Mrs FD! I know someone had to say it!)
I phoned to make an appointment and was told that it was more or less turn up and wait your turn on the weekends. I followed the suggestion that I arrive at 1pm when they would reopen after lunch. At the stroke of one o’clock I staggered through the surgery door only to discover the room filled with people who obviously possessed insider knowledgeable of the system and turned up before the allotted time.
The number of people meant I got to sit in the cheap seats at the back with the heathen children. What is it about the children of the great unwashed in that they have no fear of strangers and no concept of personal space? There seemed to be a number of scantily clad young women with hordes of snotty nosed children who wanted to share my seat with me (the children, not the scantily clad mothers, guys). They did not respond to the usual teacher stare so I was left to shudder and watch the time clicking by too slowly on the wall clock which ironically had a sign next to it, instructing parents to keep their children seated and under control at all times.
I counted off that I was about 7 down the list at one stage, but people kept coming through the door with great sob stories and children with broken bits and so they were whisked down the corridor ahead of all those waiting. Why should a small child in pain be assisted before moi? Anyway…
Close to an hour later and after a period of musing that perhaps the people who had already been seated at my arrival were actually waiting from last weekend, I was overwhelmed by pain to the point where I thought I was going to pass out. I approached the desk staff and told them my pain level was 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 so they were kind enough to allow me to lie down on a bed in the nurses’ station.
An older nurse staffed this area. Well, she was walking about the area and eating an apple. She asked me by name, which she appeared not able to remember, even when she was reading it off the chart. She asked me a few questions and retuned every 10 minutes to ask me my name again.
The doctor arrived and the nurse relayed my name and information incorrectly, and so I explained the situation. I informed the doctor what I normally took for diverticulitis and he wrote a script. Not once did he ask what other medication I was on, or any other history – I was a new patient so I think he should have taken a few minutes to ask a couple questions.
Throughout the entire process I was more and more confirmed in my decision to stick with my doctor in the city, however to be fair I will give the doctors in the Village a chance. Perhaps a nonweekend visit will produce a better opinion. I know it is the country by that shouldn’t mean substandard service. Living in the country is no excuse for unprofessionalism, or poor customer service.
Anyway, the birthday had been postponed to next weekend when I shall make merry again. I shall also expect all the lovely birthday wishes to be extended again – just joking (possibly)!
Today is another day, and I am 55 years and one day.
[Thank you for all of your lovely birthday wishes. They did make the day so much less disappointing! As you can see by my mug shot, I look great for my age!]
Fifty five is the age of the season and a lovely age it is too. When I turned fifty I wrote a list of things learnt and as half a decade has passed I have decided to update my list :
Things learnt by 55
Quiet is good. Quiet is very, very good.
Being a grandparent is the world’s most wonderful gift.
Read to your children, for all else follows.
Don’t give up on education and reskilling, no matter your age, or the length of the road in front of you.
Grey hair means freedom from the recolour schedule and no more fear of looking like a skunk at important events!
Find a good beautician because the hair is not only on the top of your head.
Now is the time to organise the rest of your life.
If seeking a sea or tree change, make sure that amenities are not too far away. You may be happy to drive to shops and doctors now, but in 10 0r 15 years it may not be so easy. Think, how long will it take an ambulance to get to you? Also, if buying as a couple, what are the plans for when there is only one of you? Can you handle where you live solo?
Sometimes, perhaps more often than you would like to admit, your adult children know better than you.
It is still important to have a job that interests you and gives you some motivation and is not just a pay check. You’re going to be working for a long time yet.
Exercise has to be more than moving from one end of the couch to the other.
You can learn healthy eating habits from your children.
Try to be the mother in law you wish you had been given.
Declutter your house so that your children don’t have to do it when you can’t.
Know when it is time to go into care – and do it. Your children should not be asked to give up their lives for you.
Adult daughters can be your best friend. Know the boundaries.
Life experience builds wisdom and confidence. You also realise the rat race is a farce as your ego no longer needs materialistic props.
Needs become quality not quantity.
Sharing laughter brings more meaning to life.
There is no answer to life, and life itself has no meaning – we create the meaning in our lives.
Being in your fifties is a best time of your life.
All the cares of my world were whirling and snarling around in my brain this morning as I sat predawn on the patio hand feeding cone head Augie Dog his rice and chicken breakfast (no greater love has a woman for her dog…. you know the rest). Sick and ageing mothers, colicky babies, sick puppies, and the state of the world in general were a portion and I was giving in to the sad faces when the sound of a bird way up in our tallest gum tree caused me to raise my head and look towards the early morning sky.
Silhouetted against the blue black sky was our lovely garden that we have inherited from the previous occupants. Trees, shrubs, grasses and the wildlife that inhabits them is gifted to me every single day and I never cease to marvel at the time, effort and dedication that others have put into my precious garden.
The wildlife is not restricted to the garden either. In the kitchen I discovered a little large lizard. I have no idea which lizard is which, I just scream “lizard!” and leap about the house calling for Mr FD. The long ago silently agreed consensus was that Mr FD coped with lizard, frogs and cleaning up vomit and I did spiders, his relatives on the phone and the Christmas cards.
My efforts were directed in keeping Augie away from the lizard, but with his cone head I doubt he would have stood much of a chance, but I wasn’t going to be blamed for any set back in his recovery, so I occupied him by alternating between calling “puppy, puppy!” and “Mr FD, a lizard”.
It was 5.30 in the morning and Mr FD knew there was no way his day was not about to start, so he slowly came out to our rescue. Naked.
Think naked bald, hairy pear shaped creature with short thin legs.
I handed him the broom and pointed in the direction of the last sighting of our invader.
“It’s a gecko!” he sighed.
It didn’t look like any gecko I had ever seen, it was huge, but like everything else in the country it came in the free range jumbo size.
”You’re sure it’s not a baby goanna?” I needed convincing.
“It’s a gecko, you mad woman”.
It was at this stage that I reminded MR FD that he was naked and told him to take a look at what happened to Augie’s manly bits, so he pursued his conversational direction no more.
Mr FD chased the MUTANT MONSTER gecko around the kitchen, through the family room and out onto the patio where he stood sweeping the gecko towards the great outdoors and freedom. NAKED.
So, for the second time this morning I was thankful for our tall lumbering trees and thick undergrowth; for it hid Mr FD’s nakedness from the passing public. Or at least we can hope it did.
Mr FD returned the broom to the cupboard and returned to bed, his heroic duties done. I put an extra tea bag in my mug not sure if the day was looking up or down…
I thought I was handling this Monday morning okay until well into my day I went to the ladies and found a plastic clothes peg attached to my undies. I hadn’t sensed the peg there at all until my hand actually brushed against it.
Even goddesses have their off days.
[no granny jokes if you value your existence]
The Grandma bubble of happiness lasted until period 3 of school today, when one of my year 11 boys decided he would try to use his size and loud mouth to try to control the class and bully me. He got sent to the responsible thinking room to think about his behaviour. He has to write his own behaviour plan before he is allowed to negotiate his return to my classroom. Little pisher.
It’s raining again and the locals are nervous. I don’t blame them as many of them are still cleaning up from the Australia Day flood in January. If it rains throughout the night I doubt whether I will make it to work tomorrow. We stocked up on milk, bread and dog treats on the weekend, so should be right for a few days. Hopefully it won’t flood at all.
I was reflecting on the past year and this is what I reallised we have experienced over the previous 12 months :
My mother became ill and needed to go into care
My siblings and I had to clear our parents home of 57 years and sell it.
I started a new job.
We sold our house in the city and moved to the country.
A daughter moved to the opposite side of the country.
Our first grandchild was born.
We got a dog.
We experienced another flood (luckily not as a vicitm).
Now, talk to me about ageing and change…
Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.