Friday, November 30, 2012

'Back' to the grind.....get it?

I have been somewhat absent from my blog as of late. I write it as a record of my thoughts, feelings, and the goings on of my life, but as of late, I didn't want to write my thoughts and feelings. I couldn't put my finger on why. It just didn't seem to come like it normally does.

I am booked for more spinal surgery. Come February 2013 I am going under the knife yet again. I need to get some hardware removed and replaced and some new bits added on to stabilize the broken area. This surgery will go from the middle of my back to my pelvis and whilst not being as large as my previous operations, it is still not something I look forward to nonetheless.

I feel like the topic of my back dominates a lot of my conversations and my life and I myself get sick of hearing and thinking about it, but as much as I would like to stop thinking about it, it keeps rearing its ugly head again and again.

In thinking about why I haven't yet written my thoughts and feelings on this upcoming event, I realized it was because I was confused in my feelings.
I hate the idea of more surgery. But I also have something inside me telling me it will all be ok.

I believe part of why we face challenges in life is to experience all facets of mortality, but also to grow as a person.

I learnt and grew a lot with my first spinal fusion. I wasn't keen on a second and more extensive surgery, but the challenged changed me somehow - I'm hoping it was for the better :)

The thing I wonder though, is why is this same challenge before me again? I see how the past experiences were tough and I grew because of it, but I wonder why the same thing over and over again? Have I missed something? Did I not learn what I was supposed to?

When I think about this, I get a real sense of peace that although not easy, it will be ok. I have felt this before. This feeling obviously didn't mean that my back will be completely fine, as I have required more surgery down the track. It also hasn't meant that I won't have to deal with pain, as it is constant still.

But Anthony said something a while ago that comes to my mind now. This is not something I will be able to overcome in this life. It seems my back will always be an issue. The challenge isn't overcoming, it will be enduring.

So perhaps it's not that I 'missed' anything the last two times, it just that this is something to endure. This is the hand I was dealt and although it's tough, there are many other 'hands' I could not cope with. So I will take it and endure it well- with a little help of course :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Young on the inside

"Remember when getting high meant swinging on the playground? When protection meant a helmet? When the worst thing you could get from boys were cooties? Dads shoulders were the highest place on earth and Mum was your hero? Your worst enemies were your siblings? Race issues were about who ran the fastest? War was only a card game? The only drug you knew was cough medicine? The only thing that hurt you were skinned knees? And goodbyes only meant for tomorrow? And we couldn't wait to grow up." (not sure of the author of this)

Nine years ago, my parents, siblings, and I moved from Adelaide to Sydney. All eight of us.

About eleven months later I got married and moved up to the Central Coast of NSW.

A few years later my sister Jade got married and moved out also. Within a couple of years, my older brother Andrew, younger brother Phil, and younger sister Alyce were all married and leaving the nest.

Shortly after Mum, Dad, and baby (well, the baby to us) sister Rach moved to NZ for Dad's work. Of course we missed them being close by but there was still the five of us still living within an hour of each other.

Two years on and we are now scattered. Alyce and I still live on the Central Coast with our little families. Andrew and Jade are both in Queensland with their own little families. Phil and his wife are in the US, and Mum, Dad, and Rach are still in NZ. It's amazing how fast things change. It's amazing how you suddenly realize you have grown up. I don't know if being a grown up is all it's cracked up to be though. Things get complicated when you become an adult. You get to make all the decisions but they aren't all easy and if you make a bad one; the buck stops with you.

Earlier this week I came home from five days in Brisbane with my older brother Andrew and younger sister Jade and their families. Despite having more distance between us than we ever have in our lives, we are close. I genuinely enjoy their company and feel like I am with friends.  We are parents ourselves now and much has changed in our lives, but it was such a joy to be with them.

But one of the things I like best, is that being with my siblings, I don't feel grown up. We talk about the silly things we used to do as children and the trouble we caused. We call each other by the silly nicknames from decades ago. We discuss how we used to tease one another and the tricks we played on one another.   We are all still eager to remind each other of embarrassing experiences of the past.  We are happy to simply "hang out".

I am thrilled to be back with my three boys and have missed them every minute I was gone, but it's also nice knowing that distance hasn't changed a thing between my siblings and I.  Thanks Jade, Matt, Andrew, and Alex for having me xxx

Monday, November 5, 2012

Little Miss...or Mister?

Last Friday I took Carter to an appointment. We had about 45 minutes til it was school pick up time and it seemed hardly worth going home so instead we went to Medicare. Carter waited patiently and when I checked my watch I realized he had eaten his early lunch nearly 3 hours ago and was probably hungry.

We were close to a shopping complex and I knew there would at least be a McDonalds there so we headed over to find some food.

I have only been to this particular shopping centre a handful of times but we easily found the food court. Before we even thought of sitting, I demanded a toilet stop because Carter seems to time his bladder almost bursting right when we sit down to eat.

I spotted the toilet sign and we headed down the hallway. I saw the 'Parents Room' was occupied so I thought it best Carter just came into the 'Ladies' with me.

I pushed the door open and was overwhelmed by a horrible smell. I hadn't used these toilets before but they were obviously not cleaned very well....or very often.

Wanting to get out asap, I led Carter over to the cubicles to find there was only one cubicle. Feeling rather confused, I turned around spotted the urinal.

Even though I checked the door sign, I somehow still managed to wander into the 'Men's' toilet. We hurried out and passed a very confused man on our way out who stopped in the doorway, did a complete 180 and came back out to check the sign on the door.

Being a horrible Mummy, I put on my serious tone and said to Carter;

"Now Carter, you can't just go running into the toilets, you have to wait for Mummy or you will go into the wrong one."

That's what children are for right?  To throw under the bus to save you own pride.  Sorry son! But I think you owed me one anyway...or many.