• I am having a pyjama day. Mostly because it’s 11:30am and I’m still in my pyjamas. And I’m still in my pyjamas because I have a splitting headache and I was in bed up until 10 minutes ago when I decided that writing a blog in my mind is not actually writing a blog. (Did you notice how I justified being in my pyjamas at 11:30am? Did you see how I did that? See how I don’t do well with ‘taking some time out for myself’? It’s bloody annoying.)
  • Anyway. On the subject of being productive, my making room has exploded because the Great LEGO Codification has begun again. I went into this project with little or no idea as to how it should be done, I just knew I wanted to (a). do a inventory so that lost or broken pieces could be replaced and (b). organise pieces to allow for happy building. I’ve decided to focus on (a). for now. This means making a copy of the parts list for each set. We have a lot of sets. Copying alone will take a while, which is why there are files and instruction booklets all over my work table. At least I’ve sorted folders to put in all the lists once they’re copied. Right?
  • Sophia inherited my old smartphone, mostly because I decided to give her access to ChoreMonster and RoosterMoney. I’m trying to teach her life skills people, but using a smartphone to do it is tricky. Rules (that we both agreed to) have been put in place, but still. I have concerns. It’s so easy to phub* people around you… and the internet is such a big place filled with nice and (very definitely) not so nice content and/or people. <biting lip>
  • It seems I’m back to square one when it comes to whether or not I go back to work as a instructional designer. A conversation about SharePoint and knowledge management turned into a conversation about how adults learn. And I got quite passionate about it, which was a little surprising to me considering how I’d written it off as a career. I’m beginning to see that it’s not so much a lack of enthusiasm for education that holds me back when looking at job ads, it’s a lack of confidence in my ability to use specific tools common to the industry. But you know, I could probably sort that out fairly easily. I could. Probably. <more biting of lip>
  • This week has had some highlights. Nothing terribly exciting or life changing (I don’t think), just… nice.
    • I had lunch with a friend in celebration of her birthday. Besides spending sometime in a happy eatery** with one of my favourite people, it was good to know that I got there all by myself. It’s a slow process, this whittling away at the anxiety evoked by going to new places. But it’s happening. And that is good.
    • I arranged a play date for Sophia, and spent a good 45 minutes having a lovely chat over tea ‘n biscuits with little person’s mum. It was very easy to talk to her. And it was nice seeing Sophia play so nicely. So yes, just nice… enough to give you the warm fuzzies and cheesy smiles at the thought of it all.
    • I am going to learn how to make dolls, and their costumes. It’s an online course, so it’s very much dependent on me making the space and time for the learning, but that’s totally do-able. It is exciting! You know how you decide to do a thing and you have feelings about how it could propel you into something else? Yes. That. That kind of exciting.

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* the habit of snubbing someone in favour of a smartphone

** that reminded me, rather fondly, of my dad’s various greengrocer, convenience store and/ or take-away shops and how he’d work the till or run around madly packing shelves or chatting to customers. He was also so… social.

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  • I found a box in the corner of my cupboard. It holds all of my journals. It turns out, I’ve written in a journal, on and off, since 1993. That’s a good 25 years. I hadn’t realised it, but it looks like the wheels started coming off (badly) when I was around 18 years old. It stings, reading the entries. I was so brutally honest in my writing. So much turmoil. So much.
  • I was angry for a time this week. Because frustration. 25 bloody years dealing with depression and/ or anxiety. And still, I work with it. Still. (If you’d asked me four years ago how I felt about my history of mental illness, I’d tell you I saw it as a gift because it’s created so many opportunities for me to understand myself better. And that is still true, in a way. I’m just… tired. So bone-aching tired of it all… especially now that I can see how much smaller it makes my world.)
  • And I do wonder how my mental illness has impacted on my closest friendships and/ or romantic relationships over the years. Especially during the times when I’d withdraw into myself (for what felt like a very long time). I imagine it’s hard being on the outside watching, not knowing what to do to make things better. I’m sorry it turned out that way, but thank you for hanging around. (Actually, I’m a little amazed at how many people did stick around, especially considering I did a very good job of pushing them away. Because pain. So much inexplicable, indescribable pain. And yet, they stayed. That’s… quite something.)
  • An astrology chart reading from 2004 was ‘interesting’. “For some reason you haven’t manifested the vast amounts of potential you came into this life with which tells me it was somehow suppressed during childhood. It’s not necessarily something bad or extreme that happened, I think it’s more like you were too protected or maybe shielded from events that were supposed to develop your strength and courage,” it says. “Your chart very definitely shows deep reserves of energy and the fact that you feel tired so often can only mean something is draining you. It could be the fear.” It seems not much has changed in 14 years.
  • But let’s finish this on a happier note from 2009: “Your feet will bring you to where your heart is.” Small steps, ‘nita. Small steps. As long as you’re moving forward – that’s progress.

The truth be known, I’m feeling a little rubbish today. This post will be short. Probably.

  • So, you know how I do the #52recipes thing – explore my cookbooks and/ or online food blogs and cook a new recipe a week for 52 weeks with the intention of broadening my cooking skills as well as adding to our repertoire of go-to dishes?Well. I love doing this, but we’re going to take a break from it for the next eight weeks or so. We’re repeating the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Programme, see. As I’ve cooked (most of?) the dishes before, I don’t feel I can claim them as a #52recipe thing. (Unless I skipped a recipe the last time we did this in 2015. In which case, I’m so claiming it as a #52recipe attempt.)
  • So, why the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Programme? Because it’s a ready-made eating plan and shopping list for the next 8 weeks. (Read: I don’t have to think about menu planning for a while. It’s a big mental load off my shoulders.) And it’s time we got back into the habit of cooking everyday. And eating whole foods. And yes. Okay. I admit it. We’re looking to lose some weight. (I have issues with loosing weight because it feels like I’m giving into cultural and/ or societal expectations of how I ‘must’ present myself and how I ‘should’ move through the world. And yet. It would be nice to find a warm jacket that can accommodate my bust measurement. And I do feel better when I eat a more vegetable and protein-based diet… and… yes, I know. It’ll be better for me generally. But still. Society and its demands, you know?)
  • Interestingly enough, when cooking the last recipe I claimed as a #52recipe thing, the ‘Champignons en pasté’ (Mushroom Pasties) from Le Ménagier de Paris (a late 14th century manuscript), it led to a messy conversation with Russell about our playing the SCA game here in New Zealand. We were meant to go to a gathering later in the afternoon, but Russell just didn’t seem up to it. At first I put it down to him being tired post-hockey game but as we continued the conversation, we realised we’re hesitating – we want to play, but we don’t. Not really. I put it forward that meeting new people is hard enough as it is*, and integrating yourself into a new group is harder still**. Sure. This is true for us. But it still stands – we won’t become part of the group unless we show up, even when it’s uncomfortable.
  • More conversation, and then the penny dropped. We’re still so invested in what’s happening to the SCA groups in South Africa, and that makes starting something new in New Zealand difficult. It feels like we’re trying to start a new relationship but we’re still hung up on what’s happening to our ex! <shrug> It’s understandable, of course – we invested so much time, energy, hope, and work into the game in South Africa… to see it faltering makes it harder to let go. But… let go we must. If we’re to be fully present in playing the game here, we do need to let go of playing the game there. <sad face> (I do need to stress though, letting go of our attachment to the shires in South Africa does not mean we let go of our attachment to the people with whom we played the game. Because they’re our friends. And we love our friends… even if they are 10 hours behind and very far away!)
  • It’s small(ish) revelations like these that make you sink into the realisation that moving country means things*** end. Despite your not necessarily wanting things to end, they inevitably have to. Otherwise one never settles. One never puts down solid roots. Because your heart is somewhere else. I finding there’s more and more that I’m ending. Because I can’t fully start this new thing that is living in New Zealand until I end the chapter that is living in South Africa. I sence I could be a happier, more fulfilled person here than I ever could be in South Africa because the opportunities here are just… different. The urge to simplify, to prune, to weed out, to let go of… it’s strong. The urge to start again, it’s stronger.

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* for people like us who aren’t the outgoing types

**figuring out who does what, remembering names (both period and mundane!), actually talking to people, putting your hand up to do a thing when you’re so uneasy because you’re still so unsure of how things actually work in this new(ish) country…

*** i.e. traditions… habits… relationships…

  • I bought a magazine called ‘Look What We Made‘. It’s a collection of maker stories. By ‘maker’ I mean people who make stuff – hatters and brewers, potters and jewelers, textile artists, dressmakers and illustrators, weavers and cobblers. It’s a magazine about creative folk doing what they love best. And I bought it because it’s a quiet tug, a pull at my mind saying: “If they can do it, why not you?”

The “why not you?” is a big question. I tend to respond with: because it’s so much bigger than me (I can’t imagine myself doing the thing), because I don’t know where to start… because I can’t be sure that I’d earn an income from it… because growing up my father said “No, you can’t do that.” so many times I eventually stopped asking. (He had his reasons. I get it. I didn’t like the reasons (still don’t), but I appreciate said reasons made sense to him and directed his decisions… and I complied. It’s just a pity it taught me to play it safe. To dream smaller, until I mostly stopped dreaming. And I probably died a little death inside. I’m starting to appreciate how this small death could have been at the centre of my depression all those years ago. It was a mourning of sorts. Yes. That’s feels true.

But now. Now I find myself asking again, and hearing my father’s voice saying, “No, you can’t do that.” And me asking, “But why?”. There’s no answer. There’s no one to tell me I can’t do it now. Except myself. And that, interestingly enough, feels harder to deal with because it’s not about what I learnt as a child anymore. It’s about what I can do as an adult. And that much freedom is downright terrifying.

  • According to Twitter, Elizabeth Gilbert said: “You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” The operative word being relentlessly. I’m not very good at relentless participation, but I do recognise it’s necessary. Participation, that is. (The relentless part will come with time.) Starting is the hardest part for me. Just… starting. (Probably because I’m up against the voices in my head telling me I can’t (or shouldn’t!) do the thing.)
  • Russell was away in Auckland for work for three days, so I had to take care of all the things. Which was surprisingly empowering. I even drove (All. By. My. Self.) to a shopping centre we don’t frequent often (as part of the exposure therapy). And I didn’t freak out. At all. I actually felt quite… grounded. Like, yeah. I can do this.
  • Part of being able to take care of all the things is largely about me feeling like I have enough time to do all the things, so I’ve started getting up at 6am (just an hour earlier, but still). The morning ritual is starting to take shape. There’s nothing definite yet, but I am paying attention to what I’m doing (drink a glass of water… make a cup of tea… start breakfast… make Sophia’s lunch… all the while there are lots of thoughts popping into brain… make a note of thoughts… a shape for the day forms…) It feels nice, this easing into the day.
  • I, rather randomly, came across another human being who plays Love Nikki Dress Up Queen, and I love what she does with it. She writes microfiction, and uses a dress up from Love Nikki as part of the story. Nice. Maybe I could do something similar… or make dolls’ clothing based on a Love Nikki dress up. Interesting. These thoughts. It’s nice to actually be having these thoughts. To feel more… open. Grounded?

 

 

 

The thing about doing the work that is making yourself whole is that it tends to unravel your life. And it can become front and centre to everyday living. (Not in a way that makes you vex about ‘stitching yourself back together again’, but in a way that means you’re processing emotions that surface or you’re working to integrate new ways of thinking, and possibly being. This can make the body very tired. And the spirit cranky.)

It’s hard sometimes. And I feel like a lot of what I’m writing about in these blogs sounds like me whining. And that gets old quickly. (Not so much in the sense that I don’t think people want to read about it (because they’ve told me they do and they appreciate knowing what’s going on in my life, even if it isn’t always pretty), but more in the sense that I’m tired of talking about it.)

You know how sometimes you feel like you just want to withdraw for a while, do the work you feel you need to do, and then return to the world when you’re in a better position to deal with mundane life and/ or other humans? Yeah. That feeling. That’s where I’m at at the moment. Maybe it’s Matariki*, maybe it’s the Winter Solstice/ Yule** vibe, or maybe it’s just me needing to be quiet. I don’t know.

What does this mean for the blog? I’m not sure. For now, maybe it means you’ll hear from me less… or not… or things will carry on as usual. I don’t know. Let’s see where I’m at next week.

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*Matariki is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter and for many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year. It’s a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life.

**Yule is the sabbat that begins the Wiccan year. It takes place at the time of the Winter Solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s a celebration of the renewal of life, but compared to other Sabbats it’s a relatively quiet, indoor holiday, as people gather within the warm shelters of their homes and give thanks.

 

 

 

  • This blog post is late. Ooops. Sorry. But, see – there was a flurry of unexpected activity yesterday, so blog writing had to wait! It simply had to. See, we bought a thing. And because we bought a thing, it had consequences, namely the rearranging of furniture across three rooms. Who knew the acquisition of a (very pretty!) desk could lead to so much happy upheaval. I’m excited about this, people. Very excited. I now have a desk on which I can permanently place my notebook computer. This is a hooray moment because it means my big, white desk that was meant to be used for the laying out of fabric (because garment construction!) can once again be used for its intended purpose. I’m amazed at how having a dedicated space for making actually encourages making. I have a space. It is good.
Table

My new little desk. Isn’t she lovely? 🙂

  • Also, bonus treat. The rearranging of furniture to accommodate new little desk has upended stuff, allowing me to rediscover bits ‘n pieces I’d forgotten about. One such treasure is a print that was gifted to me some 15 years ago. It’s entitled Galerie des Rois & Reines de France. Granted, I’m not French, but I do like the impressions of period costume that the print displays. I decided it needed framing, so we popped into The Warehouse. I happened to walk past the clearance shelf, and stopped at a basic white frame. The print in said frame is what drew my attention – a lovely picture of what looks like a thick hedge of bay leaf. I suddenly thought of a weird Alice in Wonderland-ish tea party with elaborate picture frames attached with ribbon to a towering garden hedge. Then I remembered I had some crochet lace tape, and a day later this happened:
Print

I’m a little amazed by how it all came together. This thing called creativity, it’s a fascinating thing, eh. Wow.

  • I had a bit of a flash-intuition-popping-into-brain-by-what-I-call-Spirit this week. You know how I’ve been bleating on about how I’m shit at dressmaking and how I have regrets about stopping my studies in year dot? (Yes, that.) Spirit posed this question: how do you know you’re shit at dressmaking when you’re not actually doing it? I’m mean, seriously. If I do the thing, I might actually surprise myself as to how good I can be at it. Ha. Now that’s a different way of looking at it. Thanks Spirit.
  • Getting angry last week was a good thing because it’s made space. I admit it – I love clothing (not in a ‘must-follow-latest-fashion-trend’ way, but in a ‘oh-wow-this-dress-is-so-cute-that-wearing-it-makes-me-feel-so-happy’ way).* Of course, this has it’s problems because shopping for clothing is difficult. I don’t quite fit into a size 20  anymore (because my bust is 4cm too big), but a size 22 feels too big. So, I find myself contemplating weight loss so that I can fit into ready-made clothing. This does not sit well with me. Loosing weight to conform to what is considered a ‘normal’ shape has never sat well with me. Mostly because it feels too much like changing myself so that I become ‘acceptable’. But what choice do I have, really? I love the clothing. <sad face> Argh.
  • Also, during this week, day two of exposure therapy happened. In order to acquire an aluminium muffin pan**, I had to go to Moore Wilson, which is on a very busy road in Porirua that I’ve never driven on. Ne-ver. Never. So, yes. That was a good three on the Prickly Scale. I’m so glad Russell came with me. He gives good direction. (Expect when he’s pointing out all the places of interest whilst my brain is trying to process the directions to the place I actually want to get to. His “turn right at the next circle” got lost in amongst the “oh, and if you want to go to Countdown, you turn left here and then go round into the parking lot. And there’s Pete’s Emporium if you need thread. North City is just up ahead. There’s the entrance to New World’s parking area.” My brain: “Wait. What. So where am I going now? Where am I? Oh, right. Oh shit, I have to turn right like now!”) I did feel heady once we arrived, on account of not breathing, but that soon sorted itself out after I shook out the prickliness that is adrenaline pumping through your veins. Shopping was fine. (I didn’t buy any cookbooks. So much restraint on my part! (No Russell – a little instruction booklet on how to make butter and yoghurt at home does not count as a cookbook! Although it probably will go in the cookbook library. Because food. Um.) The drive home was a little crazy because I had to get over two lanes of oncoming traffic moving in opposite directions, around lunch hour. I think I’ll just go to the round-about next time. My nerves.

 

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* I mean, I found these shoes that are advertised as being a wide fit and died a little, albeit exhilarated, death.

Symone_1_joe_browns

Pinstripes and rich burgundy velvet make these heels an absolute treat. Bar strap and a soft grey rose finishes the look. A perfect Winter season shoe.

** I have not found pastéis de nata in Wellington. Sure, custard tarts exist here, but they’re more like custard slices. And they’re okay. I guess… Dear god, I miss the deliciously creamy custard centre and crispy pastry that are pastéis de nata. And that slightly burnt bit on the top of the custard. Yeah, I miss that. With hot coffee. And the warmth of a satisfied sigh that is biting into a pastel de nata. So dreamy.

Anyway. I’m going to make my own. Yes. I’m doing this. Hence the need for a aluminium muffin pan (because non-stick pans, apparently, don’t make for heavenly crispy pastry) and two pizza stones (because these babies need a super hot oven, like 270°C at least, filled with radiating heat to create that yummy burnt custard top). I’m smiling just thinking about it.

The child is home sick with a croaky cough and gooey stuff coming out of her nose and throat. It’s… um… interesting. Of course, as we’re family, we share all the germs, so I’m feeling sick too. Argh. And having the lergy makes me grumpy. So. Yes. Chicken soup. I shall make chicken soup. It will make everything better. It will.

Anyway.

  • It was rainy and cold this week, which made for good cocooning in my ‘Making Room’ (my work space, basically). There was some happy re-decorating and making important-creativity-inspiring stuff more accessible (i.e. putting it all some place I can see it). I’m slowly getting excited about doing more sewing again.
  • I’ve also started knitting another scarf because I found fluffy yarn and the child has claimed it. (This scarf will most likely replace the scratchy scarf. The scratchy scarf will, most likely, be taken apart and knitted into a handbag, or something that goes nowhere near the throat. I’m okay with taking scarf apart. It’s a trial and error thing, am-i-right?)
  • I began my exposure therapy this week. I’m starting with places that are familiar and fairly close to home, and I’ll focus on a suburb at a time. I started with Porirua CBD… because dear husband had to take his car in for a service, and he needed a lift home… (so, why not, right?). And because that’s were all the shopping happens, and it’s where the main library is. And the art gallery. And… um. It’s as good a place as any to start? Well. Yes. (See, I have to do it by myself. On my own. And it’s hard. But, as a dear friend pointed out, what a present to myself.) It was alright, by the way. My prickliness was bearable. Sure, there was some deep, conscious breathing before, during and after the drive, and I felt quite tired once I’d returned home, and yes the lethargy oozed over into Thursday because this work takes a lot out of me physically. But! There was no weird brain going to mush and heart pumping so hard my chest could crack open… so… <thumbs up, wide grin>
  • I don’t know if it was me being tired from Wednesday’s work, or me being a bit angry with the world because feelings, but Thursday was not a great day. I’m angry at this thing called anxiety and how it makes my life so much smaller, angry at my much younger self who didn’t finish her studies with Gordon Flack-Davidson Academy of Design because depression hit (and a whole bunch of other reasons, I suppose) and therefore lost out on what may have been so many amazing experiences in clothing construction, angry that I still seem to be fumbling and um-ing and ah-ing about my ability to create and to sew. My self confidence is a little shattered, hey. <sad face> But I did come to a place where I decided that, well… I have to start somewhere. I might not be Toi Whakaari material yet, but I have to start. Some. Where.
  • Unfortunately, with child home sick and me feeling grumpy because sick, the second venture out by myself to do some grocery shopping (in the city!) isn’t going to happen today. Next week. We can do it next week. (An important part of this work, I think, is to acknowledge that it takes a lot of self motivation to step out, do the thing and sit with the discomfort that inevitably comes. It takes a lot of effort to manage the physical manifestation of anxiety. It takes a lot of energy to deal with the emotional fallout that sometimes surfaces. Being grumpy and physically ill does not make for enthusiastic self motivation, nor does it make managing the anxiety streaming through the body any easier. So we wait. And we try again later. We feel defeated, but we wait.)
Jun11_33

This is one of my favourite pictures from our (very) Roman Catholic wedding. It gives me *all* the feels! The way we were (are?).

  • Tomorrow, 2 June, marks our 16th wedding anniversary. (This ceremony, unlike our handfasting, included the ‘legally binding agreement’, what most people think of when they talk about wedding anniversaries.) We celebrate both days as being significant to our being together. It is good, this marriage. <dreamy smile>
  • Also, marriage brought this ray of sunshine to us:
Smiles

Eight years, and so enthusiastic about stuff. 🙂

  • I’m reminded of how my mãe wanted to make my wedding dress. I remember her working late into the night, hand sewing the lace onto the white velvet, and then accentuating the detail of the lace by stitching beads to the edges. So many beads. Such patient work. I still have my wedding dress. I couldn’t give it away because it has so much of my mother in it. Perhaps one day, should my baby girl choose to marry, we’ll take pieces from my wedding dress and put it onto her wedding dress.  That way, she’ll have a little bit of me and a little bit of her grandmother… her bloodline, with her. (Is that macabre, or sentimental… or… perhaps just… symbolic?)
  • There is a lot of sentimentality in the ether at the moment. I’ve been pouring over my Portuguese cookbooks and listening to a lot of Mariza* lately. It’s odd because South Africa has a proud Portuguese community, but New Zealand does not. I somehow feel lost, like my Portuguese-ness has no place here. And that makes me sad. (Also, because I was never formally educated in Portuguese (my reading and writing ability is, well… pretty much zero), and I don’t have the opportunity to speak the “kitchen” Portuguese of my childhood, I’ve lost a lot of the language… I’ve lost much of my connection to the community. There is a weird heart connection there, though. But still. I’m an outsider.)
  • My thoughts have also turned often and much to the Self Esteem = ‘I am lovable’ + ‘I am capable’ equation, specifically the ‘capable’ part. I don’t feel capable at the moment. Far from it. I remember my mãe sewing so many items of clothing,  doing her crochet and embroidery. All of it, so detailed and magnificent. I don’t feel like I’m as good as she is… but I can be, I think (maybe?). My mãe tells me my grandmother was especially good at clothing construction. Better than my mãe. (<wide eyes>) And then I consider my skills as an instructional designer and how I feel like I don’t meet the grade here in Wellington. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t know how my diploma aligns to the standards required in New Zealand (which can be easily remedied by having the Qualifications Recognition Service assess my qualification… at a price, of course), or because I don’t have much experience with several software packages (e.g. InDesign, Storyline, Captivate) that are so typically used to develop online learning content these days (again, that’s a skill I could learn). But do I want to? Do I want to go to the expense and do I want to put in the effort and time to bridge what I think are gaps in my skills when I don’t know that I want to return to instructional design? (Or do I not want to return to instructional design because I don’t feel capable of doing the job anymore?) (Did I mention I’ve pretty much given up on the full time, permanent job idea because that would leave me with no time or energy to pursue the making of clothing? Well, that’s what I’m telling myself for now… hm.)

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* Mariza – a popular Fado singer.

May26_25

 

  • Tomorrow, 26th May, marks our handfasting. A handfasting is a neopagan wedding ceremony. It’s more of a commitment ceremony than a marriage ceremony in my mind. Where a marriage is a legally binding agreement, a handfasting is more of a commitment made by both parties to live as husband and wife for a year and a day. On the day after the year, the couple have a choice – either commit to the relationship for another year, or go your own separate ways. Russell and I have quietly celebrated our handfasting for 16 years now. I like that it gives us the opportunity to reflect upon our relationship, to check in with one another in a purposeful way. It’s… nice.
  • Seeing the pictures taken during the ceremony reminds me that I’ve had a long time calling to things esoteric. Being brought up in a Roman Catholic household, metaphor comes easily to me. But. There’s a lot about Roman Catholic dogma that just doesn’t sit right, so my twenties saw a gravitation towards neopaganism, wicca and witchcraft. I don’t feel comfortable with the label of ‘witch’, probably because it’s loaded with stigma, so I’ve never incorporated the ritual into my life. Which is sad because there’s a lot there that does sit well with me. I feel a certain connection to the ritual of it all… but it hasn’t ‘clicked’ yet. Being in New Zealand though, and glimpsing Maori belief systems and how they influence day-to-day living… there’s something there… stirring. A recognition of sorts?
  • I had a bit of a revelation during a conversation with a homeopath. She pointed out that Self Esteem = ‘I am lovable’ + ‘I am capable’. It’s a bit of a revelation because I was wondering why I have this thing about finding a job, especially in the light of the fact that I’m not looking for said job with any great measure of enthusiasm. Working, I think, and doing good work, shows us that we’re capable, which in turn creates healthy levels of self esteem. I’m not new to the idea that doing good work builds self esteem, but I hadn’t made the connection to how feeling capable impacts on self esteem. So, yeah. That’s interesting.
  • The other thing we talked about is where I’d like to be by the age of 48, or thereabouts. This is coming from a place of me wrestling with the question ‘what am I doing with my life?’ And the truth be known, I don’t see me as an instructional designer anymore. But I can see myself as a dressmaker, a sewer, a maker of things. Maybe even a costumer. Knowing that my grandmother was a seamstress, and my mother too… and that I have the ability in me… somehow makes changing careers do-able. Not only because everything about the making of clothing makes my sap rise, but because it feels like I’d be continuing something that is in my blood. That’s… powerful.
  • This came across my feed today:

 

Midlife

I have a sense that I’m enduring a rebirth.

  • This last week has been a bit of a whirlwind. There hasn’t been any applying for full-time jobs or much going on in the Great LEGO Codification arena. We have the beginnings of a Pricky Scale, and a list of things to do with appropriate Pricky Scale allocation. So that’s a step in the right direction. (Yes?) Also, things are going well with organising my (our?) life using all the Trello boards. I have noticed how I am starting to breathe a little easier, now that things are being written down in an organised way, being acknowledged. It is good.
  • But back to the whirlwind. I posted this on Instagram on Tuesday:
Sad

forestwyf I’d like to sit outside for a while, in amongst the trees…but it’s raining… and it’s cold. And… I am sad. Sad for my dear friend who said goodbye to her mum yesterday. Sad for her mum’s passing. Sad for my cousins who lost their father and will say their goodbyes on Friday. Sad for my dad who has lost another brother. Sad for having lost my uncle. Sad. I want to give them a hug. But I can’t. Because physical distance (… they’re in Jo’burg, I’m in Wellington). I’m sad I can’t be there in person to offer comfort. Just. Sad.

Wednesday saw me in bed, because migraine. Thursday saw me better, but bone weary and heart achy. Today? Today is my uncle’s funeral. (There’s a little candle burning in memory to him as I write this.) It feels very heavy. We lost Tio Manuel about a year ago. It was heartbreaking and sad. But with my dad being in hospital for three months, and now Tio João passing away… it feels more poignant. My parents are getting older, more fragile. It changes you, when you realise your parents won’t live forever. Worse still, I realised that it would take me a minimum of 24 hours to get to my parents if I wanted to be by their side to say my final thank you and farewell. They’re not a mere 30 minutes away anymore. No one tells you this when you emigrate… and even if they could express it… would it change anything?