Growing into Our New Life

I don’t think I ever expected to be this homesick. By the time we sailed away from the mainland, six weeks ago, I didn’t have the slightest urge to look back. I wanted to only look forwards. And I needed to save my dwindling energy for the next steps of my journey.

As I write this, the sun streams into my new lounge room. It’s a mid-week day off from my new job, a day for catching my breath. My two older children are at their new school, dressed in their new uniforms, playing with their new friends. My youngest is nearby, clutching his treasured bug-collecting box, enjoying our time together after beginning at his new child care. It’s so easy to be positive and hopeful on a sunny day like this. It’s so easy to Continue reading

The Night That Ends a Heavy Chapter

The late afternoon sun is blinding. I have to shut my eyes against the glare, though I don’t bother moving my chair away from the fierce rays. It is, at best, a mediocre excuse in case my kids happen to notice that I’m crying.

They don’t. They’re having too much fun playing mermaid and pirate games in the deck-top spa. Today, this is by far the easiest option for their bath-time. The easiest option to avoid tantrums. I have been surviving on empty for too many weeks now, although this is the first time my body actually gives in to its tears. The first time Continue reading

A Fond Farewell to My Team at Work

With a light load and endless possibilities, she skipped into town. The work may have been like anywhere else she’d passed, but it was the people that made this place distinctive. The people who made it special. Colleagues who soon became friends. And friends who then became family.

In the years that followed, she became a mother – three times over. Life was happening, and it was happening to them all. The good came with Continue reading

Counting Down a New Beginning

There has been a shift. Our daily routines are now moving amidst the winds of change. And normal is very soon going to become an entirely different landscape for us.

Everyday, I’m making lists. No longer trusting my memory with all that needs doing today, next week, next month. And I’m now gripped by a vehement desire to clear my slate, finding myself finally settling things that have haunted my to-do lists for eons. I’m burrowing into the depths of my pantry, using random remnants to cook obscure meals ready to stash away in the freezer. Keenly aware that time will soon be very precious, and leisurely prepared dinners will become a luxury.

Many of you will know the feeling, I’m sure. Continue reading

No One Can Run Away from Their Problems, so Why Are We Packing up Our Life?

The clerk at the post office gives me a strange look as she processes my paperwork. A look I’ve seen before. One that outwardly appears politely positive, but inwardly hides her surprise, her puzzlement, and her questions. Because when you live in such a sought-after coastal town, a town that people from all over the country flock to for their holidays, why on earth would you ever consider moving far away?

Then, as she stamps my mail redirection forms, the clerk can’t help but ask me why. And I give her the one brief answer that I know, with my youngest child in tow, will satisfy her. Continue reading

The Lesson in a Beautiful Wedding

On a gusty Friday afternoon, with our umbrellas in hand, my 8-year-old daughter and I braved unseasonal heavy downpours to attend a very special wedding.

I remember, as an 8-year-old girl, being enthralled by everything to do with weddings. The flowers, the romance, the fairytales, and yes, even the kissing. But more than anything else, the bridal dresses had me utterly entranced. And, as a budding seamstress, I would spend hours on end sketching the most extravagant designs as I daydreamed about my own wedded future.

My daughter is just as fascinated with weddings, and was simply thrilled when, earlier this year, her beloved school teacher announced her own engagement. The upcoming wedding soon became a daily topic of conversation in our home, so it was exceptionally exciting news when Continue reading

Where Does the Mental Illness End and the Marriage Begin?

Don’t listen to the songs. Don’t hold on to the stories. Don’t watch the movies, and don’t believe the fairytales. Because in the real world, nobody gets a happily ever after. The real world is full of real people, and real people are never perfect. Marriage is never perfect.

Yet so many of us continue to idolise a happily ever after, and we even think we see it in some of our friends, but every marriage will have conflict. Every marriage will know frustration and experience anger. Every marriage will face adversity. There is no happily ever after.

We had known each other for four years when we married, and lived together for three. Time enough to discover our flaws. Time enough to see the cracks. Honest enough to accept what was manageable. Secure enough to know our foundation was strong. And when Post Traumatic Stress Disorder entered our lives, shortly after our fifth wedding anniversary, it certainly wasn’t Continue reading