Red Sky in the Morning…

New year, new blog post! **Insert obligatory well wishes here**

Settled down indoors amongst a wealth of cushions, because Wellington has rained for 3 days straight now, I started flicking through my 2016 journal. I’m a believer in journaling and getting down your thoughts, feelings, fears, frustrations, joys and ramblings. It’s like this blog but way more private & humiliating when you read back over it.

I’m going to stray from my usual format and share with you a page from my journal. Did you just sit up in eager anticipation? Sit back down, first I’m going to cast your minds back to 3 weeks ago when I landed here in Windy Welly…..

What I didn’t share with you all was that I arrived on my friends doorstep on the 10th Dec, sunburnt and recovering from a severe case of Ross River Fever. For the month prior I had come to a complete standstill after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. I don’t remember being bitten, just a vague awareness that my arms were achy and I was exhausted for a fortnight in the lead up to my Grandpa’s funeral. It had been a big year and the 8 weeks prior to this had been intense as I supported a very sick friend. I dismissed it as tiredness and grief but took some time out after the funeral to sleep and refresh. Instead of refreshing, I woke up 3 days later barely able to move. My joints were so swollen I couldn’t get any of my rings past my knuckles. My wrists & elbows ached constantly and my shoulders clicked and grated with every movement. It was like I had aged overnight and I walked with slow and painful steps, my feet ballooning to the point that most of my shoes suddenly didn’t fit. For 10 days I clasped my wrists in despair, lathered my body in deep heat and popped pain killers that failed to take the edge off. Then I broke out in a rash that left my feet and ankles looking like fat rolls of Salami. Test after test came back clear and apart from a high inflammation count and a sluggish liver, I was healthy. The Doctor put it down to stress. I had after all, had an overwhelming couple of months and just lost my 2nd job that year. I was mortified that my body was reacting in such a way to stress and vowed to take better care of myself. I cancelled all my plans & responsibilities and with the help of friends and family, the pre-planned trip to New Zealand was hurriedly brought forward.

Slowly I began to feel better and though solid sleep still eluded me, the aches and pains ceased and I began to regain the use of my hands and feet without moving like I was an 88 year old woman.

The Friday before I flew out the Doctor rang, my Ross River Tests were finally in and I’d tested positive. I had no idea what it was so after a phone consultation I jumped online and researched the symptoms. It was exactly what I’d been experiencing and a sense of relief flooded my being. I know you aren’t meant to feel that way when you hear you’ve been sick but there was a reason I’d been unwell and I would get better. A month in and I was recovering just fine.

Not 24 hours after I arrived in Wellington I came down with a bout of Gastro. Not only had I arrived at my friends with the residual effects of a mosquito born disease, now I was violently throwing up and doing “other things” in her toilet. In the midst of it I remember praying that as I ‘purged’ every bug, infection, virus and disease would go with it. I’ve slept like the dead ever since and every morning I wake up with an intense sense of relief that my body is mending and healing.

So as I sit here reading my journal and reflecting on the past 12 months, I can see remnants of my despair leap off the pages. Yet one page captures my attention. I think it must have been written after I’d spent some time in prayer that day. I haven’t edited or embellished, I want to be true to what I wrote in that moment.

Tues 25th Oct 2016

When you let go of the need to control other people’s responses, you set them free and self free. Resentment cannot build because you have released them from your own obligations.

He is teaching you to lift your eyes and navigate the storm. It’s not clicking because all you see is the damage from the storm. Keep your eyes and heart set on course. If you navigate by the storm then you will end up FAR off course. Follow the compass, follow the pattern, follow the set path. Trust HE will bring you AND others through.

The seasons surely change. They always change in God. Always.

You are not alone in the boat.

I don’t want to over explain or elaborate. I think that you, dear reader, can reflect on this or take it with a grain of salt as you wish.

I will leave you with this – heading into 2017, you are not alone in the boat. We can fight against the waves, we can loose our way and get knocked off course but days of calm and rest are coming where the wind will be at your back and it will push you into the next season of your life. You won’t be in the eye of the storm forever because the seasons surely change. They always change in God. Always.

Until next month!

Kath x

Hawaii Five-no

So here’s a quick one. 

Last night I had to come to terms with a very sad fact while watching Hawaii Five-0. Im not actually destined to marry Lieutenant Steve McGarrett after all. You know when you’re crushing on someone and then you have a proper conversation with them and you think ‘what the heck?’. I had the same kind of epiphany. 

Here are my five reasons why….see what I did there, Five No’s? Ok, moving on….

1. He spends his weekends hiking. I do not. I spend my weekends eating out with friends and watching him hike on Netflix.

2. He takes his lady friends on surfing, snorkeling & deep sea diving dates. I can’t even pick up those coloured rings from the bottom of the pool. 

3. He is a workaholic & gets shot at every day of the week. It would cause serious friction in our relationship.

4. I don’t live in Hawaii, I’ve never been to Hawaii and I have no plans to become the victim of a horrendous crime whilst holidaying in Hawaii so the chances of us ever meeting are really slim. 

5. HE ISN’T REAL. 

#NewBeginnings. I’ll catch you when I have something profound to say. For real next time. 

Oy with the poodles already x 

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Relax dear reader, I don’t mean permanently.

But sometimes when life is happening and I get caught up in the busyness and the mayhem and I feel like things are spinning out of control, I want to throw up my hands at the world and shout “everybody just STOP! Let me think for a minute!” simply so I can catch up.

I don’t know where I first heard this phrase but it turns out it’s the name of a musical. One of my very favourite things is a musical so that’s kind of fitting! Having consulted Wiki, it was last on Broadway in 1978 so clearly I haven’t seen it. But I hadn’t heard of it either. It’s about the life of Littlechap. Each time something unsatisfactory happens in his life, he calls out “Stop the world!’ whilst addressing the audience. Judging by the picture on Wiki, he also appears to be a circus clown. But that’s neither here nor there.

Would you like to know how I came to be sitting at the kitchen table at 1.55pm on a Wednesday, while the rest of the world is working, talking to you about Littlechap? You do? I suspected as much. Grab a cup of tea, I’ll wait…..

Excellent. It happened like this.

I can pin point the moment that feeling became semi permanent for a season of my life. It was in June 2015. And for 6 months I had an overwhelming feeling of needing the world to just stop for a minute so I could catch up. Of course I didn’t want to just stop all on my own and take a breather because I feared life going on without me. Work, family, friends all continuing to spin around whilst I simply stopped. If I’m honest….there is also the fear that life would in fact just continue to spin because I am not the center of the universe….but that’s just between you and me my reader friend! And so I pressed on but it was with reduced capacity to enjoy life, to cope, to be in any way productive as each area of my life took a hit. There were issues at work, huge financial pressures, tensions in some of my relationships and then spiritually I began to struggle. New Year’s Eve 2015? I was away with friends and crying on my poor bewildered sister’s shoulder, I begged her to let me go home for the evening and I spent it alone. I ate Nacho’s and I went to bed at 9pm.

Then I kind of got my unspoken wish in the most unorthodox way! I was made Redundant. The world didn’t stop spinning but it surely slowed down! My friends and family took matters into their own hands and shipped me off to New Zealand for a week. If I think about that to much I feel overwhelmed because their generosity during a financially difficult period and their intervention got me back on track. Away from home & staying with wonderful friends, I began to unload the fear, stress, grief and anxiety that I’d been carrying for a long time. And in the process, I began to heal. And in the healing, I could see all that God had been doing for me all along and I began to feel His presence around my life again. That might sound odd to you, if you aren’t a person of faith. But I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t want God to just be real from afar. I want Him to be real and evident in my life. My everyday life.

I’ve been unemployed for 8.5 weeks. Not for a moment did I think I would still be unemployed coming into April! I job hunt everyday but I’ve also made some changes. I started keeping a journal because I realised that my ability to carry not just my burdens but other peoples burdens was, frankly, world class. Dutch Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom says this:

“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts, whirling around a center of fear”.

So I started to write it all down. Every question, fear, problem, concern, thought on life and my friends and family, I write it all down. I take a deep breath, close the book and I cease to carry it. It’s my way of offering it up and letting God be God. Sometimes it takes several deep breaths & some midnight entries so I can sleep…but it’s a work in progress!

I’m also going back to study! If there is one thing 2 months off work has done it’s allowed me to take stock of my life and think about what I really want to do next. And with the very timely sale of my apartment, I’m going to work less & take on some study.

I do a bit of freelance work. Work I love and enjoy. It ensures I get dressed everyday (ok, most days) and gets me out of the house.

I got an exercise bike. It’s squished into my tiny bedroom and I ride away while catching up on episodes of Blue Bloods. I know most people listen to music but I feel it allows me to watch it guilt free if I’m pedaling at the same time.

And that’s my story. If anybody is still out there.

“Oy with the poodles already” x

P.S: Maybe next post I will shed some light on that phrase…unless you’d like to boost my confidence by leaving a comment & shedding light of your own….hint hint…

P.P.S: There is something very narcissistic in writing about oneself and expecting people to not only enjoy it but leave positive comments don’t you think?

 

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Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.

So this is my 3rd attempt at a blog. The others weren’t successful. I think because they never went live. At least, that’s my gut feeling anyway.

In a world of bloggers that actually have something to say, I’m not sure just how widely read this will be but unemployment means desperate times, desperate measures. I can no longer talk just to myself and for some time my Facebook posts have leaned towards long and ramble like.

So here I am on my 3rd attempt. Should that be third attempt? III attempt? These are the things that will keep me up at night because there is always that one person who wants to give you ‘feedback’ on your post. It can be funny, lively, witty, touching, heartfelt and their comment ‘Too. Too is the correct context’. Thank You kind reader. Said no grammatically challenged person ever.

What will I write about? What Project is going on in Pearson Street? Who is this witty, articulate and strangely compelling almost middle aged woman? All excellent questions. Thank you for asking.

I will write about whatever I want. For example, books. The title of this post is in reference to…yes you on the iphone up the back…correct! A highly controversial novel by Judy Blume written in 1970. It’s a great title don’t you think? Maybe I’ll try and be clever and name all my posts after fabulous books and obscure quotes! Maybe. What does it have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing. I will write about life. Work. My love of Anthony Warlow and the theatre. Tea. Green Tea. I love green tea. Family. Food. Customer service. Oh my gosh, do I loath poor customer service and love when people get it right.

As for Pearson Street, for 18 months I’ve had my apartment on the market in an attempt to sell and gain a little financial freedom. Something I have not really known since buying my first house at 22. 18 long months it sat on the market and it’s been one hell of a ‘project’ to sell it. That project then extended to one of the most interesting and challenging periods in my personal life. One I might just talk about here! The apartment has now sold and settles on the 22nd April. New Beginnings. I just might talk about that also!!

Well reader, I think I’m done. The hardest post to write seems to be the first as it kind of sets the tone but doesn’t say much in particular. Or should it say ‘much’ in particular? Hmmm. A Quandary. I’ll research that before I post again.

My final thoughts?

“Oy with the poodles already” x