Friday, 30 September 2011

The things people say

I have been musing over the inexplicable things some friends have said to me. On two occasions friends have sought to console me – at least I assume that’s what they were doing – when I have expressed sadness over losing my husband. They have countered with “couples are not always happy.”

Well no, but couples make the choice to stay in the relationship even if they are not always happy. Clearly there is enough happiness for them to maintain the relationship, or enough needs are being met so they are stay invested in the relationship.

It is such a bizarre thing to say to someone.  Is it really meant to make me feel better? That other people might be sad or unhappy?

And in one way it makes me angry too. Try having no choice; you will die no matter what you do. I can only imagine how hard it was for my husband, no I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like. I can only say what I experienced. When he was diagnosed it’s as if all the hope and the joy was sucked out of my life and I was living in a vacuum. I couldn’t see anything good in the future.

My heart was a solid, heavy lump in my chest. I couldn’t think straight. In the early days I would wake up in the morning and for a split second forget and be blissfully ‘normal’, then I would remember and be under a cloud of sorrow.

Later there was no forgetting. I would despair over how I would survive it. The sorrow felt so great, I felt trapped, I didn’t want to watch him suffer, but I couldn’t walk away and let him suffer by himself.

And now two years on, selfishly, it has become about me. I still miss him, but I feel lonely more. I want to be in a relationship again; not any old relationship though. Obviously I can’t replace him or our relationship but I want to try again with someone else.

Most of the time I feel OK, I’m not excessively sad or unhappy because you have to get on with life. Even the two year anniversary was OK. I passed it with friends and didn’t feel too sad- a few days later though the sadness has hit again.

I still feel embarrassed about it, eg when I was out for lunch the other day, and inexplicably felt bleak and sad and teary. I don’t want to show that to people, to have them think I am weak, to have them think I am still grief stricken. I am lonely, yes, but not grief stricken, which is progress. Still, I’d like to not feel lonely anymore.

I’d really like my friends not tell me that not everyone else is happy anyway. That’s not very helpful. I shall, instead, listen to my friends who are more empathetic. 

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Don't try this at home

Question: how can one feel hung over and yet be completely sober?
Answer: when one has insomnia for several hours, yet gets up and goes to Bikram, without breakfast. Bad idea. Very bad idea.

My plans for Bikram were thwarted yesterday, lunch with friends that I was too lazy too move from. It's a mystery why I was too lazy to move because the three young children present were making a hell of a racket; there was frequent screaming, motorized toys, and crying for Mum resulting in people at the table talking louder and louder. It was quite a relief to come home to my dog: no yelling, no bouncing balls off walls or furniture, no running the motorized toy car thingy (I'm not down with toy names) into your sister, no need to carry on the conversation at drill-decibel levels. Phew. I have no regret having a dog, not a child. 

Nevertheless, despite this distractions I didn't leave. I'll blame it on inertia.

So today I determined to be more energetic. Being on school holidays, I have resolved to go to Bikram three times a week, not very successfully.

Anyway, so I woke in the night thinking about the MOS (I know, it's completely pathetic) and a friend who was at lunch. I replayed our conversation over and over in my head trying to examine if she was in a bit of a snitch with me. To my mind her demeanor towards me had been a little cool. I think I've been over-analysing, but still, how do you stop yourself doing that? Especially at 3 in the morning. 

Hence, the insomnia. Speaking to myself sternly, "Quit it, Stella!" had no effect. At some point I fell asleep and woke an hour before Bikram began. This is not enough time to eat. If you are exercising in 40 degree heat for 90 minutes, you don't want any food in your stomach for at least two hours before commencing the class. So I guzzled a couple of litres of water and was on my way.

Once at Bikram I did my very best fountain impersonation. There was sweat in my eyes, my crop top and shorts were completely soaked, and I sported the reddest face I have ever seen. In tree pose with my hands in prayer I created little streams running down my arms and dripping off my elbows. (Very nice.) About 45 minutes into class the nausea began. I was fairly confident I wouldn't throw up because there was nothing in my stomach. However getting up off the floor at the end of the class was challenging; I was the last person to leave. The shower afterwards mainly involved propping myself up against the wall and breathing deeply. 

I stumbled across to the shopping centre and got some miso soup - the thought of any other food made me even more nauseous. Eventually I was able to drive home where I drank several more litres of water, and was finally able to eat. The nausea has subsided but I still have a mean headache and feel like I've polished off a bottle or two of wine. No fun at all. 

I live and learn: no Bikram after insomnia. None.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Two years ago today

Twenty-fifth September, 2009 - my husband finally succumbed to cancer and passed away at 11pm. It was a blessing for him in the end. He had hung on far too long. He wanted to go, we all told him it was "OK" to let go . . . but still his body was stubbornly strong.

Five minutes before the palliative care hospital rang me my dog was pacing around the lounge room and then came and sat outside my room. That's the only indication I ever got of anything from the "other side." Despite what people told me I did believe I'd have some sort of communication or sign from him once he'd gone. Or I'd feel some sort of closeness. It's not like that at all. It never has been.

Two years. It feels like such a long time on one hand, and such a short time on the other. Last year I couldn't bring myself to do anything on the day. I spent it in the garden, and felt sad.

This year I decided I should plan better.

So I saw a close girlfriend last night. We got out my wedding album, we talked and laughed and cried. I got to remember the relationship and the man before he got sick. It's been a long time since I've been able to remember that. It was lovely.

Today I had lunch in the city with another girlfriend - bless her heart, she'd broken up with her partner the previous week. Despite feeling fragile and sad she still came out to lunch with me. It was a good day. It was nice to be out, in the sun, surrounded by other people.

The 2nd anniversary- it's OK. I still have no sign from him, no feeling of his presence. But it's OK.

Stella x

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Before iphones, ipods, and wii

To occupy their time they would create tunnels in the foot long grass on the empty block in their street.
They would make whirlpools in the small backyard pool by swimming around and around until the water was churning.
They would get out their swap cards and swap a pretty picture of a horse for a picture of a kitten.
They would play ‘don’t touch the ground’ in the lounge room jumping from chair to chair to table to chair.
They would play card games like Spit, Snap and Go Fish.
They would play knuckles and jacks, elastics and skippy.

A Velvet Verbosity 100 word challenge response. The prompt: occupy

Friday, 23 September 2011

Should've got pregnant instead

So, not only am I annoyed with the MOS today I get to be annoyed with work as well.

I'd taken a replacement position this term as the International Student Coordinator at my school. Today is the last day- I have survived. And, I have done a damn fine job. The students all come to me, it is a rare day that goes by when no one is in my office at recess or lunchtime. And they're not just there because they are being told off. Often they come to me to ask questions or for reassurance etc.

So, this morning the Principal didn't thank me publicly at Staff Briefing. I suck it up because she never does. The replacement position I did last year, I didn't get thanked publicly either. The replacement position I did Term 1 this year, I didn't get thanked publicly. It's getting to grate a bit because she remembers to thank other people and welcome back those returning. People say to me it's because I'm a bit of a fixture there now and am usually there doing something.

However, today it's really bothering me because on Monday she offered me another replacement position for Term 4, the last term of the year. The only question was whether I started at the beginning of the term or three weeks in. I was happy with either. And I was counting the money already. "Yay!" I thought.

This morning she emails me and tells me that matters have "moved on and perhaps regrettably" there is no work for me Term 4 now. She can offer me some work in the Study Hall, perhaps 1 or 2 days a week. The Study Hall is supervising the senior students in their spare periods. You don't get paid as a teacher, you get paid much less. Crap. 

So who is doing the position now? A teacher who has been on Maternity leave. Well, that's great. I resigned because when my husband was sick I wanted to spend time with him. We decided I'd apply for a year's leave without pay. I got it. But then the next year I wanted to return to university- the school wouldn't offer me another year's leave without pay.  So I resigned, perhaps stupidly, from an on-going position.

In between time I had TWO WEEKS SICK LEAVE to help look after my husband when he was first diagnosed, no other leave until I requested the year's leave without pay. That is all that was offered to me. My sister-in-law, the one I do get along with, had a whole TERM'S worth of PAID leave from her school so she could come and help me out.

The woman on Maternity leave has a husband, and presumably some sort of government assistance also for having a child. She gets three years Maternity leave, yes, I know it's unpaid, and  I know it's not the same thing but this time I'm really annoyed about it. I'm annoyed that the school didn't offer me more assistance. I have been lucky enough to have several postions with them since, but I'm still annoyed. I'm annoyed that someone who is pregnant can hang onto their jobs for three years. I'm annoyed that my only assistance was a year's leave without pay. I'm annoyed that a job that was offered to me, and accepted, has now been offered to someone else.

There was form I could fill in to apply for assistance when my husband was sick. A form that forced me to outline his sickness, what he was capable of, what he wasn't, how long he was likely to live. . . and if I managed to fill that out I would get $50 a week assistance. Great. That covered about 1/5 of his medicine costs each week. (Oh, that doesn't include the chemo every fortnight. That was just for the nausea and the pain medication that he needed each week.)

Needless to say it was far too distressing for me to fill in that form for at least a YEAR. Eventually, because my doctor pestered me I filled it in and received the $50 a week, for six months. Yeehaa.

I really shouldn't complain because we were fortunate enough to be able to afford all his medical needs, and have me stay home too, and I have had a lot of work at the school. However, sometimes I just get shitted off and need to vent, even if it isn't really unfair.

Now, for instance.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

No more MOS- I mean it this time

Don't roll your eyes at me. I know exactly how it sounds. It sounds exactly how it feels: pathetic.

Let me explain. No, as Inigo Montoya would say with a thick Spanish accent, "No, there is too much. Let me sum up."  (You have to be a fan of The Princess Bride.) So this is how the non-relationship has panned out thus far. . . in chronological order.

  • Three months of haphazard, irregular texting, a couple of phone calls, three dates in the middle of that three months, and 3 IM chats.
  • The big IM discussion/argument that went seriously wrong and I decided I just couldn't bear the situation anymore and told him not to contact me.
  • A week later he emails, still also pissed off with me and bans me from Lygon St.
  • I email back, really annoyed, and tell him he is arrogant. 
  • I email back 3 hours later and apologise, and say I didn't want to end this on an angry note.
  • Three weeks later - because I'm weak- I email and tell him I would like to see him again because he's still on my mind.
  • He doesn't reply until one week later - by which time he's back in Melbourne. He says that he's still thinking about me too and maybe we should talk even though he's not really been a "good" boy the last few weeks. (Sigh, why would I want to be involved with someone like that I ask myself?)
  • The next day I email back and say I'd like to chat.
  • Then the next day, having not heard from him, I email again and say: By the way, I deleted your phone number so you'll have to contact me.
  • A few days later and. . . nothing.

Clearly he's not that "into me" or he'd have emailed or text or even rung by now.

And because he hasn't my interest has waned because I want someone who is "into me" and will make an effort to contact me. I figure he's still out and about 'catting' around, so to speak.

And before you say "Are you out of your freakin' mind?" Yes, I know I am but in my defence he was the most interesting man I've met in a very long time. Plus, I was attracted to him - and most of the men I get on the internet I am very much NOT attracted to.


OK, one more sleep and then HOLIDAYS. Hooray! And I shall continue to forget about the stupid MOS. . . maybe life is simpler single. I am still on-line, it's still no fun.

Stella x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bed made - now lie in it

She was entirely to blame, she thought, as she lay there in a foreign country next to the snoring man - her husband of 10 years now.
The proposal had hardly been romantic: Well, you’re getting on now. Who else is going to have you?
And so, like a fool, she’d married him. She remembered ringing her best friend back home, sobbing, knowing she was making a mistake but too inhibited to back out. “Just leave, walk away,” her friend had advised.
She hadn’t, so here she was now. Two kids, a husband she disliked, and in-laws living next door. 

This is my 2nd response to Velvet Verbosity's 100 word challenge, I didn't like my first response overly. The prompt is INHIBITED.

To text, or not to text . . .

Everyone knows women get “involved” more quickly than men. The phone calls and text messages you want to make, your more sensible part says, “No. Don’t text him again. Give him a chance to miss you”
So you play it cool. He takes hours to reply to a text. You have your phone in your hot little hand, you know exactly when he replies, yet you must wait.
The rules: don’t appear too eager, too available. Does he have rules, or is he just less involved? So you restrain yourself, inhibit yourself.

Does it always have to be this way?

This is another response to Velvet Verbosity's 100 word challenge. The current prompt is INHIBITED. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Sarcasm and being single

Tired of internet dating, I got out. I was so disappointed in it that I resolved not to go back for at least a month.

That lasted for about 4 days - I have no staying power whatsoever. I’m clinging to the slim hope that I might meet someone nice. I don’t run into a lot of new men in my other activities. It’s the same old people at school, and lunch/dinner/drinks with friends never nets any new men. The problem might be where I live- up here in the hills, miles from town, it’s more likely to be families than single people, plus the occasional hippy.

Lots of us teachers live up here too. But professionals who work in town generally don’t want to spend an hour on the train getting there. They tend to live closer to town. I always see the same men at the gym, and Bikram tends not to attract men; yoga’s not one of those activities men flock to do.

As usual the internet dating thing is never simple. On an excursion the other day a fellow teacher tells me that her partner’s friends also do internet dating- they are much younger than me. The bad news is they often reject women because they look too attractive in their photos, “Not her, mate, too good looking.”

Really? So should I find my worst photo and put it up? How are you meant to know what to do?

Other advice I’ve been given which would explain why I am single includes:
  • I’m too fussy.
  • I intimidate men. (Actually, a guy I was seeing told me this.)
  • I’m superficial and need to have at least 3 dates before I decide whether or not I’m attracted to someone.
  • The dog should be an outside dog- that’s old advice actually but the theory was that a man would be put of by the dogs.
  • I’m too independent.

Reasons why I think I’m single:
  • Men are stupid. (I’m an excellent catch and anyone would be pleased to have me.)
  • I’m full of myself.
  • I’m too sarcastic.

Anyway, I figure I may as well be back on there. I re-wrote my profile description too. There’s a teeny chance that it might sound a little sarcastic, but just a slim one.

 Stella x

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Traveling by train

Yesterday I went into town by train; it was a new experience. Barring the occasional excursion with 150 teenage students, which is very noisy, I haven’t traveled into town by public transport since I worked in the city 20 odd years ago.

I’m not sure what I expected but it was very busy. On the way there was a strange man who got on the train with a white terry toweling dressing gown on a hanger. He was obviously a seasoned traveler as he stood with one hand pressed against the ceiling until his stop instead of hanging onto any of the vertical poles; yes, he was very tall. I wonder where he was going that he needed a dressing gown? And it was on one of those hangers that the dry cleaner gives you too, except it didn’t have the clear plastic wrap.

Then there were all the people using their phones: “Hi, it’s me. I’m on the train . . . ” was how each conversation began. Last time I traveled by train on a regular basis that wasn’t an issue. Last time I traveled by train I didn’t have an ipod to stick into my ears to block the sound of everyone’s phone conversations either - so it worked out all right.

I’m always amazed at the phone conversations people have in public. I’d be much too self-conscious to blithely ring a friend and chat away while everyone else on the train listened in, or tried not to listen in, or even ignored me and listened to their ipod.

Then there was the woman’s conversation on my carriage on the way home. She was happily chatting to a man she obviously saw frequently, and the train was almost empty getting to the end of the line as it was but still. . .

So now I know that she’s divorced, her husband had “problems,” she’s got two sons, and a boyfriend. She’s been seeing her boyfriend for three years now and he wants her to move in with her. She’s not sure; her boys think she should wait. She doesn’t have a car, but her ex-husband does.

Is there such a thing as invasion of air-space? Apparently not.

Better stop now before I start going on about the good ol’ days. . . .


Thursday, 8 September 2011

is there such a thing as too buff?

I think I might have to eat my words; previously I have mocked myself about becoming a gym bunny. Well, er, it might be happening.

After a week of being poorly and using that as an excuse not to go to Spin class because I wouldn’t want to fall off the bike during a coughing attack, today I went to the gym to do some weights. Voluntarily. And this isn't the first time that I've wandered off to the gym, for no good reason, and done some weights.

Previously I’d only go to the gym to do weights before the Spin class, you know if I just slipped them in there right before Spin then I wouldn’t really notice. Despite the fact that I only have four weights/exercises I feel really good now and am considering making an appointment to see a trainer and getting a few more exercises.

What’s up with that?

Is that how it starts? Four measly exercises, then before I know it I’m hooked and I’m loading huge weights onto the bars and grunting with the best of them?  And if I do huge weights will I end up looking like a bloke?

I know, I know, don’t sigh. I’ve heard it all before: women do not get muscles like men. But, the thing that worries me is that I tone up ridiculously quickly. Really. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating. What if I’m the exception and get really, really buff?

Do men find buff women attractive? I’ve completely lost touch with what men find attractive. Slim, I think they find that attractive. Arm muscle definition? Do they find that attractive? I don’t know any men I could possibly ask without it sounding like a come on.

Obviously I don’t want to make things anymore difficult for myself in the search for a bloke. I’m already excessively picky. The man must be intelligent, fit, a bit quirky, tall, wouldn’t-hurt-if-he-looked-like-Alex-O’Loughlin (remember my Hawaii 5-0 obsession?), works in Melbourne. (Yeah, I’m still bitching about the MOS who did meet all my criteria except the last one.)

What if added to my pickiness is the fact that I’m superbuff and “cut” as they say? What if that’s off-putting to men? 

Ok, have just taken a breath and tried to get a grip. Clearly I need to calm down. I’m not excessively buff right now. Perhaps I’m worrying ahead of time - as usual. But if anyone knows any men that they can ask, could you ask them then get back to me? Please?


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dasiy, Tom and the whole damn crew

It was her whimsy to dress in flowing white chiffon, modeling herself on Daisy Buchanan, she of the voice “full of money”.  Whimsy also had her name the dog Gatsby, the cat Daisy, and the goldfish Tom. (Man/fish/bike being in her mind at the time.)
She’d rejected Seiko for the dog, he was less of a watch dog, being a golden retriever, than a drooling Gatsby; always on the look out for Daisy, watching her slip past, languidly.
Unfortunately the goldfish kept dying, necessitating their final journey through the plumbing, so Tom preceded Myrtle, followed by Nick, then desperately, Jordan.

This posting was in response to Velvet Verbosity's 100 word challenge.  This week the prompt is Whimsy. I felt the need to write, didn't feel like writing about real life- sigh, school, men-or lackthereof etc but this filled the need. (Sorry if you saw this a few days ago, I had to change the title.)


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

an explanation for my forwardness

I have been very forward of late- ie right now- and swapped my blog over from Wordpress AND (this is the forward bit) signed you up again if you'd subscribed via email.

Bad, Stella, bad!

If you don't want my emails then just don't click on the confirmation thing when you receive it; or unsubscribe, I don't mean to take liberties.

Thank you for your attention.

Stella xx

I need a cure . . .

I have a cold currently, not heaps of fun but I’ve had much worse colds so I’m keeping the tissue box close and not doing very much.

What’s worse than the common cold is the insomnia I’m having. I’m thinking about work, I’m thinking about the MOS, I’m thinking about work again. And I can’t seem to stop.

In my ongoing battle with insomnia I have seen several doctors, a couple of sleep specialists (it’s all in my mind), and two hypnotherapists.

I have read several books, I have attended meditation classes, I have taken up yoga, I have exercised  (but not just before bed), I have drunk warm milk, I have listened to relaxation CDs, and I have simply given up, turned on the light and read my book.

Last night was particularly bad because along with the insomnia was the need to get up to wee about 3 or 4 times during the night. What’s up with that? Have I got old all of a sudden and didn’t notice?

Work finishes in three weeks time and so far I don’t have anything for next term – this means I’m probably sleep better. I’m not unduly stressed because I’ll go back to doing emergency teaching. I’m also thinking of doing some office/temp work. Worst case scenario I’m might look for some casual waitressing, just to keep me busy..

The MOS- another problem. Despite his last email telling me to stay away from Lygon St and that I obviously engineered the whole conversation because I had an ulterior motive of wanting to end things, I am still thinking of him. This is very annoying. If only someone else would contact me and I could think about someone else for a change.

The cold- now it feels worse at the tail end of the day.

On being banned from Lygon St- alas

The beauty of being anonymous is that I can be irreverent about my internet dating experiences- especially the MOS.

If you’ve been following closely you’ll know that after a three month, mainly text, relationship the MOS and I have parted ways. For the uninitiated it would be kind of hard to see the difference this has made in my life. So let me point it out for you:

I do not get several text messages a day, varying from the humdrum to suggestive.
I no longer need to compulsively check my phone several times a day for text messages.
I don’t wake in the night and wonder if he text me late at night when he got home and then feel absolutely compelled to turn my phone on and find out. (Sleep is much easier now.)
I no longer have 3 hour long IM chatting sessions- not that that happened very often anyway.
My ‘heavy’ dating schedule averaging one date per month has been cleared - we had three dates in the three months we’ve “known” each other - so I have much more time on my hands now.

However, a week after our last chatting session- this would be when I spat the dummy at him, logged off, tried to ring him twice, he didn’t answer, and then ended “it” by text - he emails me. (I didn’t say it was a very mature relationship or anything.)

Apparently he’s not very happy with me. Nor does he hold me in high regard right now. In fact, my interpersonal skills are sorely lacking.

The part of me that has regained my sense of humour smiled at that email and considered that this was the man who wanted a relationship with me based solely on texting for 6 8 weeks. Texting that would suddenly cease for no particular reason. No, “I’m going out to eat now” or “Catch you in the morning” or anything quite as civil, just no reply until the next day, or several hours later.

But the part that I love the most is that I’ve been “banned” from the Carlton area, Lygon St in particular. He lives in Carlton. The non-Melbournites among us might need to know that Carlton is a trendy inner city suburb with lots of fabulous Italian, and other, eateries. It also has a very cool cinema that plays foreign films, which is why I occasionally go there.

Because I am immature and ,well, my ire was raised, I immediately responded by “banning” him from the hills. Good come back, huh?

I do wonder though if I’m allowed to go to the city, or is it just Carlton that is off-limits? Actually, he only said Lygon St. Maybe I can get a carbonara somewhere else in Carlton? Or, what if I bought an apartment in Carlton- that’d annoy him for sure.

Oh, and what about whichever country he is sent too next? Maybe I’m not allowed to go there either? Maybe I should just stay in the hills and hope for a date with someone else who actually works in Melbourne.

Frickin’ frick, frick, frick!

So against my better judgement I agreed to “see” the MOS. What does that mean? Well his situation is that he is away for six weeks at time; I assume that means I can see him every six weeks.

No, that is not what it means. What it means is it’s “about” six weeks.  This time, by the time he gets back and I might be able to see him it will be eight weeks. Plus, he’s not 100% sure of which date he will actually get back, “around the 14th or 15th of September,” he says. So in theory it could be longer.

When I crack the shits –metaphorically speaking- whilst IM chatting he doesn’t understand.  He brushes aside my accusations that he hasn’t been completely truthful with me and continues to make light of the situation. I don’t find it funny.

Why is that?!

I’ve explained to him that I’m looking for a relationship, and that for me that would involve actually seeing the person. And that I could probably put up with a six week separation but anything more is just too much.

He’s so casual in his approach to “us” that he doesn’t really know how long he will have been away. This speaks volumes to me. As does the fact that his job takes him away for weeks at a time, and has done so for several years. Obviously this is a man who’s not that worried about being in a relationship, or he wouldn’t have elected to live his life this way.

I was aware of this when I first met him and decided to take the chance on him anyway.

Now I’m re-visiting the wisdom of that decision.

In fact, I was so angry when I was IMing him I told him it was over and then got off line. I followed this up with trying to ring him to explain in person; he did not answer his phone. So I clearly stated in a text that a six week separation I can endure, more than that and I simply don’t want to be involved.

I said I wanted more than he could offer. I said: “Please don’t contact me again. And when you return to Melbourne please don’t get in touch.”

I thought I was being pretty clear. Apparently not.

His response the next day was to text, “Does that feel good to take control for yourself? Well that took a weird turn last night. I sense there was something else going on for you on the weekend but I can’t quite put my finger on it yet.”

I haven’t responded.

The therapeutic value of chocolate and ice-cream.

After baring my bloggy soul yesterday I was rather bolstered by the lovely caring comments from friends. That was nice. It was also nice not to have to explain in real life while I’m feeling shitty and then have the tears descend again. Phew.

I did manage to stop crying last and by some miracle or other my eyes didn’t look too bad so I was very good and went to the gym. I even did some weights before the Spin class and was very pleased there was hardly anyone there so I didn’t even have to feel self-conscious about my not quite normal eyes.

I followed this up with sitting on the couch in despair because I had no chocolate in the house. You’d think I might’ve prepared for this and bought chocolate on my way back from the gym, wouldn’t you? But no.

After scouring the cupboards, and fridge, I discovered ice-cream. Being desperate I took the Sara-Lee French Vanilla tub and sat down on the couch to eat it straight from the tub. After all, that’s what they do in the movies.

I ate a significant amount - and felt better. This is ironic because I bought the ice-cream for dessert when I invited the MOS over to my place for dinner FIVE weeks ago. (I can’t tell you how glad I am I didn’t sleep with him.) It was the first week of my new job, mid-week, and I wanted to see him again before he headed back O/S and I thought dinner at my place would be convenient - for me.

Anyway, the important thing to note here is that I don’t really care for ice-cream that much and hadn’t touched it since. I was, in fact, getting sick of seeing it in my freezer taking up space for the last FIVE weeks but it came in quite handy last night when I let it get all soft and proceeded to guts some down straight from the tub.

If only Alannis Morrisset could have cleverly worked the purchase of ice-cream into her song “Ironic”- maybe she’ll do a sequel and use my sad story. She could call it- Ironicer, or maybe More Ironic.  Actually, the whole irony of the situation is almost making me feel better. Almost.

Tonight I came home prepared. Well, not prepared as much as just pathetic really, when I think about it. I have chocolate. I have ONE Caramello koala. That’s one very small chocolate. Ah well. It is chocolate. And there’s still half a tub of ice-cream in the fridge too. 

Shite things

Things are a bit shit at the moment. And when I say “a bit shit” you can take that to mean, well, just shitty all over.

I’m walking around feeling incredibly sad, and I really don’t want to feel that way anymore. In fact, after my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and I survived that, and learnt all about resilience etc I never wanted to feel sad again.

Which is unfortunate because I’m walking around doing that “enduring” thing. You know, enduring the day, enduring my classes, enduring coming home and crying on the couch.

I guess it’s an improvement over grief because I know it’s not grief just sadness, but I’m sick of feeling it. It’s like I just have to survive each day. The stupid thing is there’s no good reason for it. Yes, I told the MOS to leave me alone. . . . mainly because that’s what he was doing – ironically. Leaving me alone far too much. Not enough contact, not enough meetings, not enough texts, not enough phone calls, not enough attention, not enough anything really . . .  even after we spoke about all this. So, yes now I do want him to leave me alone.

And he is. So that should be good, right? I know it’s not just about him. It’s also about the possibility of a relationship which I have just thrown a flame thrower into- now, no possibility. That’s why I’m sad- no possibility.

I guess there’s also the little matter of the two year anniversary coming up- two years since I lost my husband. That’s probably contributing to the sadness.

Work is pretty busy too, and I’m feeling pretty stressed . . . still, it’s hard to cry when you’re manically meeting with students or touch typing emails as fast as you can. 

Let me tell you, when I get home the dog cops it all. Fortunately she’s good with tears. She’s seen it all before and been through it all before. She has great equanimity in the face of my hysterics- dogs are good like that.

On becoming a lush

I think the new job is turning me into an alcoholic. Thursday I finished early, and for the first time this week actually managed to leave when I finished. It was quite a novelty not to eat lunch in my office while I frantically finished emails, or while students visited me, or while at another meeting.

In fact, I got to have lunch with a friend. The temptation to have a drink with lunch was very strong, so I succumbed. For those who don’t know me I rarely have a drink at lunchtime because after one drink, bingo, I’m drunk. So I surprised myself by having another drink after the first. That’s two drinks, in a row. It must be the job.

Friday there is the traditional After School Drinks; I had what is rapidly becoming my standard: two drinks. I was, again, slightly drunk. Friday Night Drinks doesn’t last very long (fortunately or maybe I’d have had more) because by about 6pm everyone has upped stumps and gone home to their family. If you have no family to go home to you go home anyway and say hi to your dog so as not to appear a sad, single, drunk woman.

When I got home I wrote a posting about how busy I’ve been at work. Then read it. Then deleted it because it was so boring. Then I wrote a posting about the M.O.S.- Man OverSeas, and posted it. The next day I had a look at my blog and realized it replicates a posting I’d already written, so I deleted it. Maybe if I hadn’t had those drinks I would’ve known that?

Anyway, Saturday I had lunch with friends and two glasses of wine again. It’s becoming a habit! I can only think it’s the job driving me to drink. Fortunately I’m in no real danger of becoming a lush as I had no desire whatsoever to have another drink that night. But, that’s three days in a row that I’ve had two drinks . . . by this stage I’ve probably balanced out the three days in the row that I went to the gym I guess.

Ah well.


A long week

Ah but it’s been such a long, long week.

My new, temporary, job at the school is great. I love it. I feel like I’m really making a difference. I’ve gotten to know all the girls really well and have very small classes but I walk around with a huge list of students to follow up, parents to contact, questions to ask people in authority, and assessment to mark.

A colleague overhead me today asking another staff member about this list of students I was meant to collate and she reassured me that I was doing an excellent job. Such feedback is always welcome. But I figure I am doing a good job as I’ve taken the job home with me to such an extent that I wake most nights and mentally tick off, or add to the list of things I need to address the next day.

As a result I’m constantly tired and suriving on about 6 hours sleep a night. This is OK because when my insomnia is at its peak I can be lucky to get 3 or 4 hours. The added benefit of this is that it means I am very diligent about getting to the gym- exercise always helps my insomnia. So I go every 2nd day and do a Spin or Step class, or get to Bikram on the weekend. Now I look toned, but tired.

Never mind, it’s only for another 5 weeks. And a regular paycheck is very nice. Plus look how much I’ll enjoy the holidays when they finally happen.

I have no idea if I’ll get any work next time, so far its looks like I’ll be emergency teaching but that’s OK. It’ll be nice to sleep again.

The M.O.S.

A couple of months ago a man from the on-line dating scene made contact with me. Hm, he’s very appealing, I thought.
Attractive - check.
Tall - check.
Smart - check.
Fit and active - check.
Can string a word or two together, coherently - check.
Works in Melbourne- nope.

Ah well. With all the other things going for him I responded to him and said, “Sure, contact me.” What could be the worse thing that happens, I reasoned.

The worse thing that could happen is he contacts me, we exchange emails for about 4 weeks, and then he comes to town. And wants to meet me.

Which, of course, made me pause and wonder if I should actually meet him. Eventually I decided I shouldn’t. Here I was already falling for this guy because of his intelligent and witty emails, and frequent texts. But the downside was he works away for six weeks at a time, and then comes home to Melbourne for only three weeks at a time. How could I possibly cope with that? What I want is a relationship where the guy is actually in the same town as me.

Plus, what if he only wants a bit of fun, anyway? And what if I meet him and he lives up to all my attraction and hopes that have been building since we’ve been emailing and texting? What then?

What if, what if, what if. . . .

Eventually I got over myself and agreed to meet him. We had three dates while he was in town. He was everything I had hoped; witty, smart, attractive. He was fun to go out with, he knew the right thing to say, he acted like a gentleman, he opened doors for me (I’m a sucker for a man with manners), and finally he didn’t run away when I said I was looking for a relationship. Instead he just kissed me. All good.

Then he went back overseas. Less good. In fact it was downright torturous.

You know how at the beginning of every relationship you wonder, “Will he ring again?” and you watch the phone, and check the mobile several times a day? Well it was just like that except we’d come to no sort of agreement so I had no idea where I stood.

We’d text most days, we spoke on the phone a couple of times, we instant messaged a couple of times, but I felt I never knew when he’d text again. Or if he’d text again. What if he just stopped texting? I drove myself crazy checking the phone.

After about two weeks of this I decided I just couldn’t do it. It was too exhausting, I’d use so much energy wondering why he hadn’t replied to my last text, and wondering if he was going to reply to my last text at all, and I decided to just end it. So I text him.

It was such a relief.

Then he rang two days later. We had a long talk, I explained how it was driving me crazy. We agreed he wouldn’t just stop texting, he’d stay in contact; I agreed I wouldn’t try to end “it” via text message again.

So here we are. I’m still hoping I don’t get hurt- really badly- he’s still away. We’ve agreed we will date again when he’s back in town, other than that I have no idea where this will go. Will it end in tears? Will we continue to “see” each other? Will I see him often enough when he returns to keep me happy? Can I actually have a relationship with a man who’s away more often than he’s here?

Time will tell.

Becoming a gym-bunny. Or not

As a member of my local gym I go to the Spin classes, the occasional Step class and some of the other classes when time and motivation hits. What I don’t do is go to the actual gym part. It intimidates me.

However, I have recently decided I would like to do some weight training for my upper body. My butt and legs get a good work out from the Spin classes, and even from the once a week yoga I do, but some exercises for the upper body would be good.

When you join the gym they throw in a weights program for you. I joined the gym 6 months ago. I had an appointment for a weights program but then had to cancel it. I’m sure I had a legitimate reason at the time but I never got around to making another appointment. Until now. So I picked up the phone and made an appointment. 

So far, so good. I explained I wanted something I could do quickly as my previous experience has taught me that if I have a gym membership, the most likely result is that I will avoid the gym. So I reasoned that if I had a quick, small program I could do in 20 minutes just before the Spin class I’d be much more likely to go.

So that’s what I got. Then I avoided going for a week. (Ha Ha. I can see why women- only gyms are successful.) But I went eventually, twice this week, and it wasn’t that bad. OK, so I try and do my exercises as quickly as possible - unlike the men there doing a little bit of grunting and lifting very big weights - but I did go. Yay for me!

Apart from having to speak quite harshly to myself to persuade myself to go, it wasn’t that bad. Yes, there’s some blokes wandering around looking terribly serious and muscle bound, but I did see some other more normal looking people. There were even other women there. Phew.

So that’s twice this week. And I am sore now. I’m going to have the sexiest most toned underarms you’ve ever seen if the pain in my armpits is anything to go by. Now all I have to do is convince myself to go next week again!


On becoming a hermit

I’ve become a little hermit-like lately; somehow this seems unacceptable. And I’m not sure to whom, or why. The weekend has arrived again – and I’ve discovered I relish the weekend much more now that I’m working every day – and I feel as if I should be going out either Friday or Saturday night.

Well, guess what? I really couldn’t be bothered. Is it because all week at work (school) I’ve spent time talking to people/students and now I’m all talked out? Or is it coz I’m naturally an introvert, even though I don’t look like one, and I’m just exhausted from dealing with numerous students and staff?

Or is it a side-effect of getting older? Or is it just a side effect of being single?

I get out and about during the week, if you can call going to the gym a couple of times getting out and about. Plus I will go to Bikram once, or maybe even twice, this weekend but other than that I’m content to stay at home on the couch and read.

I went out twice last weekend. So if I average it out that means I go out once a week, or once a weekend. That’s fine, surely? I didn’t even go to the pub after work tonight, instead I went to the hairdressers. So now I look good I should really go out . . .except I’d rather stay at home and eat chocolate (this is a new thing, what’s that all about?!) and drink wine. (But not to excess or anything.)

Is there something about being an introvert that’s inherently undesirable? I went away recently with a friend, who’s not really a friend anymore. She discovered I’m much more of an introvert than she thought I was. When I was happy to do a bushwalk then sit on the beach in the sun for a while, she had to potter around and keep exploring. When I didn’t want constant noise and tv in the evening, she wanted something on, anything on. When I was happy not to constantly chat- she needed constant chatter.

Needless to say, she was unhappy with my “behaviour.” That’s not my behaviour, I said, that’s who I am. I’m much more of an introvert than people realize. I spark up in company and social events but I don’t have a constant need for company. 

So, guess I will stay in. Bloggging is perfect for us introverts, isn’t it?