What can I say about the fact that one year finished and another year started. Except that I am one year older.
Fifty-three. Oh well, that is okay. It is what it is.
I had a nice Christmas Eve dinner with K and S, my brother, his gang and my niece. On Christmas day, however, I was woken up by a really, really awful headache. It was about 5.30am in the morning. I felt ill. As I lay in bed willing it to go away I knew it was one of those aches that would be around for a while. Eventually I stumbled out of bed and took two painkillers. A total waste of time by the way as they were not strong enough. By the time I went back to bed I was feeling very sorry for myself and the pain had only increased. Despite that I fell back asleep and a few hours later awoke feeling even worse. It was just a migraine, a really unpleasant migraine that made the day null and void.
The week prior to Christmas I had caught a nasty virus that was most unwelcome in the last week of work. It morphed into a chest and sinus infection and the day after Christmas I had to go to a 24 hour medical clinic to get a script for antibiotics. Even today I am feeling second-rate which is a bit shitty as I am on holiday. Still, I am not going back to work until the 16th January so there is still time to do lots of things. Not that I have much planned. I just like hanging out at home.
Around mid December I went out to dinner with the girls that I have book club with. They are all younger than me and thus at a different stage of life. I think they are mid forties give or take a year or two. Their children are still in primary school so it’s going to be a while before they reach the age that my son is now.
I am a very different person to the book club gals. They all went to private school and University. Their children will go to private school when they reach high school. Their husbands work in high powered jobs and earn huge amounts of money. There is a lot of privilege going on in the group. I left school in year 11 (high school goes up to year 12 here) and I never attended University. Any further education was via night school over a number of years and I took a year off (at age 27) to study full-time. We chose not to send S to private school as we decided that going overseas a few times was a better education. Plus, private school here is $30K a year. Had I gone down that path would have meant that at age 53 I would have an epic mortgage and zero savings. We were fortunate in that we live in the school zone an outstanding public school. Also, I don’t really subscribe to the private school ethos, I am possibly a bit left wing in relation to that. Interestingly, students who attend private schools have a higher drop out rate when they attend University. There was no reason given as to why this happens and it appeared to be more in the first year of Uni.
During the dinner, they all talked about their children. All the children do a truck load of activities outside of school hours (swimming, gymnastics, soccer, nippers, little athletics). My son never did extracurricular activities (he was not interested at all). Everyone goes on holidays a couple of times a year (we rarely do). So I heard all about it and found it so uninteresting that I zoned out. What could I add to the conversation? While I was sitting at the table with one ear on the conversations going on around me I had a feeling that I very, very rarely have and that was inadequacy. I felt that somehow I had failed as a person, as a mother and as a wife. God knows why I felt that. I know I’m fine as a person.
It is always unsettling to have unwelcome thoughts and feelings. Especially when they have no substance. I thought that I would get less of them as I grew older. Sadly, it appears that they are just part of the human condition.
We have been getting our big bathroom renovated. Although, renovated is not really the word. The room has been gutted, a wall moved, a door cut out to the laundry (which is also being redone) and my budget had to change a bit. When I first chose the fixtures and fittings the prices was waaaaaay over what I thought it would be. For example, the cost of two toilets (one in our smaller bathroom needs replacing) went from $1800 down to reusing the almost new original one as the replacement toilet and getting a new one for $250.00. The bath I chose when from a $950 one to a $500 one. The only thing I spent decent money on was the tap ware.
Right now we have our laundry set up outside on the back verandah and nobody is working on the bathroom until the end of January. So K, S and I are sharing the use of one bathroom and toilet which took some getting used to.
Now that 2017 has ticked over, have I made any resolutions? The answer is no. I don’t make them as I don’t need to. Every day is a work in progress and I just continue along that road. I have become a much more introspective person these days. That gives me a lot of peace within which makes my focus in life quite different. In the years leading up to turning 50 I had a very clear view of the goals I had set and met most of them. Once I hit fifty I was kind of stuck for a while but that has finally been resolved.
Despite not having any resolutions in particular, I do have some changes planned for the year. I am increasing my CrossFit activities from three times a week to four with the aim of achieving a different level of fitness. The other thing I plan is to spend minimal dollars on things. This kind of started last year when I had a cull of items in my wardrobe and pondered on past spending. It was related totally to when I had been in a hypomanic stage of bipolar. How does that differentiate to normal spend? I would buy things on impulse. They were usually items I loathed once a couple of weeks had passed. The colours were ones I would NEVER wear (hot pink, crimson, red and other numerous bright colours). The clothes were really impractical. And they cost more than I would every spend on an item of clothing.
Once I became stable I replenished my wardrobe with an inexpensive number of dresses that were based on three designs but in different fabrics. All linen, all under $100 each and made by a woman in the UK. I just wear them over and over. All are suitable for hot and cold weather as I can wear things underneath. So now I have no more than ten dresses in my wardrobe. And that is it until they wear out. It is such a relief to just go to the wardrobe and take out a random dress knowing I it meets all criteria for me. Clean, tidy, neat, practical and, strangely, a bit asexual. Just a neutral dress.
When I go to CrossFit after work I am not home until after 7.00 pm. Then on Wednesday after the seeing the psych I don’t get home until after 7.00 pm as well. So once I add one more day to CrossFit I will have five nights a week where I don’t get home until late. It’s really important to be organised with food, laundry and other things. Each Sunday I organise what meals can be cooked, buy the ingredients and make a note of what K can make for dinner each night. It works pretty well and I like knowing that things are cooked from scratch (Thermomix makes cooking so much easier). K and I have a very egalitarian relationship which makes sharing the responsibilities in life so much easier. Plenty of women (who work full time) I know are married to men who do jack shit around the house.
I don’t have much planned for the rest of my break. I’ll pop into work to feed the turtles and check my emails (which I can do from home anyway). CrossFit, drawing, potter around the house. Just whatever I feel like on the day. It is the best type of break as far as I am concerned. It must be an age thing. Actually, come to think about it, I have always enjoyed being at home.
Oh, I’ve just realised that I have not uploaded a photo. Here is a random one from my desktop.
My beautiful Mr Benny. Taken when he was a puppy. He is such a lovely buddy.
May your 2017 year be the one you want.