I guess that on the last day of the year it is natural to look back and reflect upon the past year, what you are grateful for and what you can kick to the curb.
When I look back, all I can think is …….FAAARK!!! What a year!
It is no secret that I bitch and moan about working full time, having 3 kids, house, husband, kids homework etc. I shouldn’t really complain though. I do have a good job, with people I like, and we do good things. Having said that, I have struggled a bit this year keeping all the balls in the air, and sometimes they drop and smash, but I have realised that at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. I now just shrug my shoulders, pour a glass of wine, and move on. I have become REALLY good at stress management.
But it is more than just the normal stuff that made this year full on. The year started well, went a bit pear shaped in the middle, and but has then ended well…let me tell you all about it….
It started in Feb with Ed & Arch starting at a new school. Max had already been there for a bit over a year and we were so happy with the school (& still are!) that we decided to move the other 2 over as well. In theory, it started well, in that they weren’t late on their first day, but it took them at least 2, if not 3 terms to settle in, feel comfortable and decide that they liked it. So that was at least 6 months of encouraging them about going to school through to full on threats of taking every single thing they own away from them if they don’t stop carrying on. It worked.
Also in Feb, I got a phone call my Mum. My brother, in his late 40’s, found the main artery to his heart was 95% blocked and was being flown to Melbourne for an emergency stent to be put in. Now that all was successful and he is healthy now, but it triggered not only concern for my brother, but there are 5 kids in our family (I am the youngest) and I think it made us all look at ourselves and realise that we are not immortal, and that, oh my god, we are getting to that age where health shit happens!!
In March I got a phone call from the school. Ed had fallen off the monkey bars, and could I come and get him. I’m glad it was a Friday when I was working from home. The poor love looked so pale. I took him home and dosed him up on panadol. We had a suspicion he had broken a wrist. But you know…it WAS the school carnival that night, and he really did want to go. So the choice was…go to school carnival, or go to emergency at Frankston Hospital…Ed begged for the carnival. So we poured more panadol down his throat and off we went. He had a great time. We had put his arm in a sling, but he took it off so they would let him go on the rides (!), he bought treats and novelty sunglasses, and had his hair spray coloured. A successful carnival by all accounts. After the carnival we decided to take him to the late night doctor, but when we got there we found it was the one night of the year they decided to close early. Sooo…more panadol, and the next morning I washed the colour out of his hair so it was no longer green, and took him off to the Doctor. Doctor got cross at me for waiting overnight (thank god I didn’t tell her we went to the carnival instead of the hospital!) and sent us to the hospital. Just to shorten the story (because it can go on a fair while about Doctors making me feel guilty, neighbour and friend with his son in the bed next to Ed making jokes about breaking wrists etc), we found that Ed had broken BOTH his wrists. Yes, both. Both in plaster. Yes, BOTH. I think the realisation of what that meant for the next 6 weeks set into both Ed & I and we shat ourselves and cried! Poor Ed. At least he could wipe his own bum (one plaster was up to his elbow, the other up to his shoulder ). But that was about it. For 6 weeks. And the poor love had his birthday with 2 arms in plaster. And we had already bought his present. A longboard skateboard. Hmmmm. More about that later.
And then another big thing happened. The week after Easter my gorgeous, incredibly fit, healthy nephew was diagnosed with cancer at 24 years of age. That started his own journey of tests and chemo. But as an Aunt who wanted to support but not be a pain in the arse, it was a really hard thing to do to stand on the sidelines and watch. Probably the hardest this I have ever gone through, and it wasn’t even about me! I am pretty sure my brothers and sister as Aunt and Uncles felt the same way. And my poor sister who is his Mum…so hard to watch your son go through that. But our beautiful boy has come through it with the support of his family and lovely partner, and though I am sure he wished it never happened, these things make you the person that you are.
That led us into winter, which was pretty uneventful. It consisted of soccer training 2-3 times a week and soccer on Saturday AND Sunday mornings. I quite enjoyed the soccer season, even though it was bloody cold, it did make us get out of the house.
I had my own little health concern, which I think was paranoia which was started by my brother’s heart probs. Again, to cut a story short, I wore a heart monitor for 24 hours (which is not very slimming), did a heart stress test with nothing on but a pair of knickers and a hospital gown which is left open at the FRONT. Mortifying. And then I realised it was all just stress about a big project at work, trying to juggle kids, their school, dinners, and homework, and a house that is crumbling around me. I am much better at juggling that all now. All I need is deep breathing, a bottle of wine and some ‘Rescue Remedy’. Works a charm.
My Mum called herself an ambulance when she had some chest pains, and spent a couple of days in hospital. My poor sister stayed by her side for the whole time. Hospitals are Yuk. Again, all ok. I am starting to feel like we are hypochondriacs!!
Getting towards the end of year now…late Oct. Ed and that bloody longboard. He was pushing it up the hill near our house. Trips over. Smashes face into the footpath. On a Sunday night. We live on the outskirts of Melbourne down the Mornington Peninsula. No emergency dental care there on a Sunday night. That is without even addressing his smashed face and swollen lips. His front tooth that was hanging 5mm lower than the other one. So I race him to the late night Dental Hospital in the City. They race him in. Shove his tooth back up (ugh, awful. We both cried), glued a wire splint on. And sent us on our way. Vitamin E oil worked a miracle on his face, wire splint came off in 5 weeks, and it was another event to add to Ed’s list of injuries (am not even going to start about his infamous eye accident of 2009). FAAARK.
And as I have 3 boys, so there are constant non-event injuries that are forever going on. Well, that is just Ed & Arch actually. Thankfully Max is adverse to taking risks and therefore never injures himself, and rarely gets dirty.
My husband decided to leave his job in Oct, bless him. Not convenient. The timing to do that is never good. But in his defence, it was a crap job. So after a few weeks of no job, and a stressed cranky wife, he got a new job. Yayyy. And it is a job he will like, so even better. But that did mean he had to go to America for 10 days before Christmas and got home on Christmas Eve. Not great timing. School was over for the year and I was working. A bit of a juggle, but my mother-in-law and several friends came to my aide. So all good. But again, all’s well that ends well.
There was other good stuff in the middle. I have been getting back into photography, and had pieces in 2 separate exhibitions, so that was good. We spent lots of time at the beach. Spent good family time together. Spent great times with friends. What else could you want?
So all in all, not a bad year. Some things could have been better, or eliminated altogether. BUT…
All’s well that ends well…
Happy New Year to all our friends, old and new, and of course to our lovely families. Love you.