Sunday, 15 January 2012

An Awful Week

A lot has happened to me over the years. Those who know me, know what I mean. But this week has knocked me around a bit more than I would ordinarily have expected.
I had high hopes for this week. A new year with a new group of people to train, my first one starting this week. Getting close to the first anniversary in a new job and new town, with some pretty good outcomes to show for it. It's busy and I love it, even though we are short staffed and I find myself having to spend at least one day a week doing the thing that I used to do and wanted to have a break from.
The downer hit me on Tuesday midway through a training session. My phone doesn't usually work in my training room - a windowless cell close to the lead-lined back wall of the hospital where the linear accelerator is located. It did on Tuesday and I decided to answer it because it was my sister, she doesn't usually ring me at work so it may have been important. For the rest of the day I wished I hadn't. She rang to tell me that a guy that I had gone to school with from Year 3 had died of a heart attack. He was 44.  He has 3 kids and a wife that we went to school with from Year 7. He was part of a group of guys that made my life hell from Year 8 to Year 10, and most of Year 12. He lived on the other side of the world now. So why was I sitting in the tearoom at work crying for him?
Was I crying for his wife, a friend back in high school? Or their kids, one of which had gone to preschool with my first child? Was I crying for myself - what if it had been me or my husband? I'd made peace with the crap from high school a long time ago, so it had nothing to do with that.
I'd been mulling it over all week, and then on Friday I find out that another guy I had gone to school with was the victim of a fatal assault a couple of days before Christmas. I'd seen his funeral notice in the local paper when I was in my hometown for Christmas, and thought to myself about what might have happened, but we weren't close so when I hear about what had happened I was shocked but put it out of my mind.
So two more guys taken to soon. One through violence and one through "natural causes", if a heart attack at that age can be natural. We've lost a few from our school year since leaving. Some at their own hand, some through illness and some through violence. We were just a very ordinary group of kids in a very ordinary public high school in a very ordinary place. We had the same crushes and heartaches that any group of kids did. We had the school bullies, the smokers, the geeks, the princesses, the jocks. It was a lifetime ago. So why has it affected me so much? I was referred to a couple of months ago as the "memory" of our year. I seem to remember more people and happenings than most. A group of us were on Facebook one night, going through a picture taken in Year 11 and tagging as many people as we could think of. I think we ended up getting all but a handful. I wasn't even in the picture as I was at another school that year, a result of the crap that had happened in the previous years, but I could still pick them out.
In church today, I prayed for them all. All those that we have lost, their families and those of us who remain here - confused, mourning, reflecting.... and thanking God that I am still here. It's going to get better.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Maybe it's time to get organised. FOR REAL.

I follow so many organising blogs it's almost an addiction. I am trying to be organised, but have always been a messie. I have a stack of books on my bookshelf about organising too. Currently thirteen, but I have decluttered some of the useless ones over the years, too. I would love a pristine house with everything in its place. But lets face it, I have kids, a husband and a very busy life outside the home (and the little addiction I have to my laptop/iPhone/Facebook etc). I get home and I collapse into my desk chair.

I've been decluttering for years it seems. I'm sure the local vet appreciated my 2 railway bags of old sheets and towels that I finally parted with - a year after packing them up. Moving twice in the last 12 months has helped to streamline me, but there are some things that have moved twice that I don't want to move again.

There are so many Organising/Organizing Challenges starting this month that it's so easy to get sucked in to at least a dozen of them. I have neither the time nor inclination to do a full-on one that requires me to blog about it every day (how dull), so this one will do me fine.

I've just posted these goals as a response on a blog that I follow. They seem to be achievable at the moment. Most of the good organizing blogs are American, but this one is a fellow Australian. So, thanks Katrina!

Here are my organising goals for this year. I think all bar #6 are SMART.  Anyone want to admit to theirs?

1. I want to feel AT HOME while I’m at home, not like I'm camped out in someone else's place between work commitments.
2. I want to spend more time QUILTING.
3. I want an area of the home where I can QUILT.
4. I want to organise LAUNDRY/KIDS BATHROOM first - currently using their shower recess as a broom cupboard.
5. I always lose MY PHONE IN THE BOTTOM OF MY BAG - need to remember to use the little pocket in the side of it.
6. I want to be all organised by MARCH 1 - I have holidays coming up, I'm laughing too.
7. Something that I don’t need, but am having trouble parting with MAGAZINES - I'm going to buy less this year, I swear.

I'll be revisiting this periodically through this year, so I'll see how I go. Want to join me?

Monday, 2 January 2012


I always considered myself a bit of a nomad. I couldn't wait to leave my hometown after going to a total of 3 schools (one very briefly - a post in itself) and living in 2 houses that I could actually remember. I lived in a very safe little family - Mum and Dad, a sister and a brother, me being the eldest.  I left home as soon as I had finished school, well after I enjoyed a month or so of a summer break that comes with new-found freedoms of turning 18 during the HSC and getting a new boyfriend just before said HSC (resulting in lousy HSC marks and another dozen posts at least!).
I went to Sydney to live with my Mum's cousin and her husband to start my first job. Then very quickly moved out of their place in with my boyfriend to King's Cross - shock horror! An enlightening experience, especially for my parents, but one that has probably shaped me more than if I had stayed in my hometown. No, I didn't develop a drug habit or anything like that - it showed me a different side of the world to the one that I had grown up in. I only lived in The Cross for 3 months, but the Eastern Sydney area was to feature in a large part of my formation.
I moved in with some old school friends out in the suburbs for a couple of months and then, when I started my Enrolled Nursing training, found myself living just down the road from my old haunt of The Cross, in the slightly more upmarket (then - now it's gone through the roof!) suburb of Pott's Point. I moved there so I was close to St Vincent's Hospital. We weren't allowed to live in the Nurses Home, which would have been so much easier, as we were "special funded" to help overcome the nursing shortage that came about when nursing training was transferred from the Hospital system to the Tertiary Education System. Good for me as it meant I could test the water so to speak, before throwing myself into 3 years of unpaid study and find that I hated it at the end. If I liked, I could then pay my way through my course. Win win.
I finished my training, the first group of ENs to go through the TAFE system, then kept working at Vinnie's and moved around a little bit - into the nurses home (we were eventually allowed to), then Camperdown, Leichhardt, Balmain and finally Lane Cove. All inner suburbs before eventually crossing the bridge again. I did start my Diploma to become an RN but after the first year of full-time study while trying to work, I gave myself' a year off and stayed at Vinnie's working in the Renal ward, before leaving after 6 months and eventually finding a job in bank. Why? who knows. It was different, I didn't have to work shift work and I got paid a bit better. I hated it though.
Two years later, having married the aforementioned boyfriend, we decided to leave Sydney. Being in my early 20's I would have happily gone back to my hometown and settled down and had babies. But no, we ended up moving to Townsville! He had a sister up there, who was telling us how great it was - at the time Sydney was having record rains and it was downright depressing - I was also still working in the bank. I agreed so long as I could go back to nursing and Uni.
Another 7 addresses later, a marriage breakdown, a BNSc in hand and pregnant - I eventually moved back to my hometown, where I would stay for another 16 years (less 4 months when I thought Sydney would be a good idea again - another whole raft of posts there!).
I'm now sitting in a town in Central West NSW, having come via a village of 400 40km out of town. Why?
God knows! Literally!
But more on that later.