Monday, April 21, 2008

blue is the colour

I truly don't know how people who struggle with depression keep putting one foot in front of the other. They must have to draw on such reserves of strength just to make it through each day.

I don't think I've ever been depressed - not according to the clinical definition - or if I have, I've been lucky that it righted itself without intervention. But some days I get a taste of what it must be like to be depressed ..... I have the blues and they're hard to shake.

Last night I thought about the week ahead and it seemed that my life stretched ahead of me in endless weeks - work, work, weekends, work, work, weekends. Occasional holidays - long anticipated, over in a trice - then more work, work, work.

I woke up this morning and was overwhelmed by a sense of dread for the day ahead, the week ahead, the months ahead. Already this feeling is slowly lifting, but it's a frightening emotion. I hate to be so gloomy, so negative, so introspective, and yet the dread seems to wash over me unbidden.

To all those who suffer on not just the odd Monday morning, not just a few days here and there, but weeks and months and sometimes years on end - you are heroes. Day after day, you battle what others like myself can only imagine, while we despair of a single day of sadness.

It's time to get ready for work. It's time to change that blue to purple, then merge to red, and maybe even rev it up to hot pink.

I wish you all a hot pink kind of day!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

beauty and beasties

Despite the fact that I am a non-church-goer married into a family of devout Lutherans; despite the fact that I always take seconds of dessert; despite the fact I boss their son around and am much louder and more assertive than is probably seemly - despite all this, my parents-in-law are nothing but loving towards me. They accept me as I am. I think they even love me (well, they say they do!). So when we go to visit them, I genuinely have a good time.

Last week, Fatty and the kids and I went to visit Nanna and Poppa. We drank lots of coffee and played several games of 500.

The Birdman could not help himself and even did a bit of twitching in his parents backyard. This photo was not staged in any way.... I simply snuck up behind him.
Laura and Ben spent hours watching their snails race. Yeah. 'Race' is probably not quite the right term.
I just hung around making strange finger gestures.

When not making odd gesticulations, I wandered around Nanna's beautiful garden, taking photos of the glorious roses. They are so perfect, and so fragrant.

One day, Fatty and I took the kids to a wildlife park. I have never seen these particular Australian animals up so close. Normally these species are to be seen in the distance in some cage. You squint your eyes, and your companion says, "See! See that brown fur?", and you say, "Oh. Oh, OK", with disappointment, because really, it could be a stuffed toy for all you can see of it. But these guys were careening about their open-topped enclosures, as if to say "Look at me! La-di-da!"
Wombly wombat

Dastardly Dingo

Enchanting Echidna

Devlilish (Tasmanian) Devil

And now, this devilish woman better get some sleep, or I'll be devilishly obnoxious tomorrow.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

ninety four

He lay in the narrow cot, covered up to his chin by a light cotton blanket. His skin was almost as parchment white as the blanket. His mouth was agape. He was as still as a mountain. I came close to Grandpa, and touched his shoulder gently.

Red-rimmed eyes opened. A slow smile of recognition spread across his pale face. "Hello darling!" he exclaimed. "Happy Birthday Grandpa", I proclaimed proudly.

Later, we sat around a plastic table in a courtyard - Grandpa, my daughter, my son and I. The children drew with pens on scraps of paper from my handbag. Grandpa watched the children as we talked of his health; as I told him a funny story; as he recalled tales from his life. He ran his hand over his grey hair as he declared himself pleased to have reached 94 years of age.

Out of the blue, Grandpa declared earnestly, "I'm staggered by the beauty of those children!". I felt a flash of motherly pride (Yes! Someone else has finally realised! My children are unusually and incredibly beautiful!), before I recalled that Grandpa has quite poor eyesight.

After half an hour, the (astoundingly gorgeous) children and I said our goodbyes. Ben permitted himself to be hugged, and Laura gingerly kissed Grandpa's dry stubbled cheek. Grandpa's eyes watered and he murmured huskily, "I'll never forget this day".

And now, in writing this down, I'll never forget either.