Friday, April 27, 2018

Sentimental on 'roids

I am hopelessly sentimental, idealistic and a lover of romance and love itself.  This means I remember all sorts of dates which hold value to me.  Today was a huge day, today is the 27th of April.

Today is my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  He wanted to take my mother to the Serengeti to see the migration of the animals.  Last year we all went out for lunch and I gave them pretend medals for putting up with each other.  He looks relatively healthy and normal in the photographs.  It is a bittersweet day having them stay married for this lifetime and him passing just 4 months before.  He should have had another decade at least.  He was only 18 when he got married, just a boy.  They had their ups and downs and drove each other batshit crazy like couples everywhere but my father loved my mother with that once in a lifetime great love.  We came second, she was his number 1.  My brave mom who misses him and is living out a whole new life, I just know he is super proud of his wife.

Freedom day in South Africa and a public holiday.  We finally had our first post apartheid democratic election.  We were hopeful and optimistic about change in our country.  Sadly massive corruption, greed and inefficiency means poverty, violence and crime is worse than ever.  Services are lacking in all spheres and the gift of freedom lacked the partner of responsibility it should have co-existed with.  But, it is our rainbow nation and where we live and I love my dysfunctional crazy beautiful country.

The last night in my home.  What a happy home this has been for all of us.  We raised our children in this home and enjoyed them and and their many friends.  We did so many alterations spending far too much money but it was perfect for us for a long time.  I am sad to leave my home but excited for a fresh start.  I so wish it was sold rather than rented out as I cannot have the closure I wanted but such is life.  The thought of having to move again in a year's time is also a ballache but that's next year's problem.   It is already nighttime and in 12 hours the movers arrive and it is chaotic.  I worked so hard before I left but the 10 days I was away were not ideal and the girls did nothing so now it's rush, rush, rush.  Even the painters are working through the night tonight as I had thought they were booked to do the job while I was away.

The date of my 1st kiss with Gary.  17 years ago in my driveway of my parent's house.  A fleeting kiss due to my dad hovering at the top of the stairs.  I felt 16 instead of 30.  Who knew we would be together and parents of our beautiful girls and Daniel and our 4 dogs.  We are partners in this life.   

Koningsdag in Holland.  The entire country dress up in orange and they have these festivals everywhere to celebrate their king Willem-Alexander's birthday.  I am glad my mom gets to have the entire country celebrate her anniversary with her and the mood looks so fun.  I am also so relieved my brother and his wife Lisa are spending the day with her as well as her sister and Derrick which would make my dad happy.  He would have loved the crazy festivities of the day.  It is a total bummer I had to fly back on the 24th but the move meant I had no other option.

So much emotion today and gratitude for the marriage of my parents and my beautiful home.   I am crazy stressed and my jaw and mouth a 9.5 right now but it is what it is and I just have to wear my big panties for the week and do this big move.  Next time I write will be in my new home in my new study looking out at my exquisite garden.   I am also going to start a new blog...Singapore fling never ever happened.  Six years have passed and so many things have changed.  Right, time to carry on shoving shit in boxes.  The careful sorting and packing is over now, it's crunch time!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The last day of my 46th year

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I usually love my birthday and arrange something to celebrate the day but I am not really in the birthday mood this year.  I think it's a combination of factors that have squashed my birthday mojo. 

Firstly I am moving house which is massively stressful.  It takes up all my physical and mental energy and causes my anxiety to spike.  I am also super stoked to move and have a fresh start and this massive clearout of 16 years of possessions.  I really wish we had sold our home and bought a new home to have proper closure and a real new beginning but it wasn't to be.  So I trust my tenants will look after my home and I trust we will be happy in our rented home even though it's only for one year.

Then in just a few days I fly to Holland with my mom for 10 days.  Our last trip was the day after my 40th birthday when we went to Singapore and Thailand and had such an amazing time.  We are excellent travel partners and spend most of the time laughing and looking for bargains and adventures.  We said we would go every second year but time passes and life happens and now its seven years on.  My aunt lives there and is a total hoot so we will have a fabulous time.  I can only stay for 10 days due to family and life plus the big move is on the 28th so I will have just 3 days for the last pack up.  But, I will try and not worry about that when I am there.

And lastly, my old dad who won't be calling me tomorrow to wish me happy birthday.  Its been a hard 3 months since he passed, it was a hard 16 months before that.  We miss him.  We miss our family unit intact with everyone in their places and roles.  One person is no longer there and the remaining family members are left trying to adjust to a new normal.   

My 46th year was a good one even with the losses and grief and mourning.  I finally finished my degree after 6 years.  My graduation is in June and I hope to start work in July or August.  I have treasured and enjoyed my friendships so much.  I have a tribe of incredible women in my life who I love and who love me.  I am very grateful I enjoy good health and a fit body at this age.   Healthier and fitter than I was 20 years ago, happier too.  Last month I cycled the 109km Argus, I did an olympic distance tri, a mile open water swim and ended the month with a half marathon.  All these things were totally impossible for me just 5 years ago.  The cliche of mid life crises and life beginning at 40 rings true.  It will always stay hard for me and my mind and body do not match re my goals and ambitions but it keeps me humble and keeps me pushing.

Big kids...I love having older children.  Pregnancy and babies and toddlers and little people were a fun and crazy time in our family and the role of mother was bigger than any other.  I embraced the season in my life and mothered 100% full on.  Now at age 13, 15 and 21 I get to step back and guide and protect and advise but it's less full on.  The other bits of me have more space.  It is time for my career now which is kak scary.  I question my capabilities, if I have it.  Can I do it?  I have massive imposter syndrome after my studies.  I aced my studies but now its real life and I feel insecure re if I can actually do this.  And what the 'is this' actually is???  What exactly do I want to do with my degree?  Where do I fit in?    Its like I am 18 years old and I need a career counselor to direct my path.

So 46 is done.  Another year of my life.  A big one with big scary grown up stuff.   Losing my father.  Life is a series of lost and found.  47 arrives tomorrow.  New house, exciting travels, my ironman 70.3 in June, my career.  I can't believe I am this old?  More than half of my life has been lived.  Many never get to 47 so I thank God for my life past and thank Him for my future.  I go forward with trepidation and excitement and expectation and I feel the presence of my father keeping me safe and still guiding my choices.  I am incredibly blessed and profoundly grateful for another birthday and this 47th year with all the possibilities it has to offer.