Saturday, April 15, 2017

a post about my damaged faith this Easter, try not to judge me.

So it's Easter this weekend obviously, arguably the most important date in the Christian calendar. Celebrated with spicy fruit buns, chocolate and a weekend off work. I've been thinking about what it actually means to me. I believe in God. I believe that Easter is about new beginnings and second chances. It's about having a future and a hope. But I won't lie, I'm struggling with how what I believe correlates with what happens in a church setting. So much of the rhetoric and harsh words that you hear on a daily basis, particularly from so called christian people talking in the media, are just incompatible with the unconditional love that you read about in the bible.

For lots of reasons, I don't have a place in a church that feels like home right now. In fact I can probably say that I feel isolated by church and disillusioned with it as an institution. If I could find a church where going along wasn't a performance, where everyone was welcome and judgments were not dished out with the church notice, if I could find a place where I wasn't judged for leaving a relationship that wasn't working, for getting an education and for making decisions for myself. If I could find that place and we found people with common ground there, well maybe we would try again.

My faith is not dead. Not at all. It is pretty pared back now though. I believe in two things:
  1. I believe in God, his son Jesus and in the Holy Spirit.
  2. I believe that if we can't love someone unconditionally, then our faith is wrong.

That's all I have right now. I'm holding tight to that.

I hope that by this time next year I've found a place where I can get my heart stitched up again, where I can learn to trust and feel safe. I want a place where I can have good conversations with people, to wrestle with the issues we all confront in a way that doesn't cast judgment. After all we are all flawed human beings, we need to give each other grace for this. I absolutely don't have all the answers, actually apart from those two things I know, I don't have any answers.

I'm kinda hoping that this Easter is as far away from God as I get. I'd like to think that by next Easter I will have found my way back to some kind of Church setting, a place of accountability and trust. 

So this Easter, maybe it's my new beginning, my second chance. We'll see. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Current status: hanging in there.

It's a long weekend. This afternoon I dropped the teen off to the bus to go to Easter Camp. I told him it's a right of passage and all the kids go. It's true. I believe that, but I also really just wanted him to have some fun that I don't have to dredge up myself. The term has been long and frankly we all need a break from each other.  I'm really really hoping that he has a lot of fun, lots of laughs and makes new friends.

I feel bad sending him because it's pouring with rain, like pouring pouring. I made him pack all his stuff in a plastic rubbish bag inside his suitcase. He has a waterproof jacket that he magicked up from somewhere, a pair of gumboots we borrowed from his dad. The budget isn't balancing this week anyhow so I went and brought him a new polar fleece blanket to drag around the place and hopefully he will be warm. Quilts are not cool to take to camp when you are fifteen.

I had high hopes for the weekend, but I don't think they are going to work out. So my current plans are to sleep in every day and wear pyjamas a lot.  I need clean the house, do some laundry, to bake a cake with the dying bananas and to make some soup with the last of the soup mix. I hope to knit a bit more on the Sunshine Shawl for Sad People. That is actually it's name. How appropriate. I hope to help Annie have some fun on the (second hand) sewing machine I gave her for her birthday. We hope to make a dress. I need to bind a baby quilt and finish one for another baby.

Our original plans involved hanging out with my friend Mr W, but he is having a hard time on lots of fronts. Hopefully we can hang out but we will see. There is nothing that I find harder than giving someone space. I automatically think they are rejecting me. This is hard for both of us. I'm trying not to be all needy but it's hard. I don't know how a week which started out so good, ended up so shit. I'm kinda drowning in an emotional stew.

I think I'm becoming an ostrich because I can't bear the alternative. I'm holding on, taking one day at a time. Because what else can I do??

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Do not adjust your set... {hard times}

It's cold and it's dark. It's pouring with rain.
I'm tired and I'm a bit sad, but it's only 7 pm 
and I have chores to do before I can crawl into bed.

You know how sometimes you just feel miserable? 
You can rationalise all the the reasons why things are actually going to be ok
but sometimes your heart hurts and it's hard to rationalise it away.

I feel like I am walking an emotional tightrope between the teenage angst
and the very real problems that people I love are going through.
It's ridiculously hard when you feel so powerless.
I want to fix all the things but it doesn't work that way.

If I could love them better I would you know?
Ugh. Hard times.

It's weird because good things do happen,
but then you feel guilty because of the other stuff that
is always in the back of your mind.

I never used to cry, but now I feel like I'm always one step from tears.
I'm tired and (according to the aforementioned teen) short tempered.

The thing about hard times is that they will pass.
I remember how in the old days when I was young,
there would be static or something on the TV
and a sign would come up "do not adjust the set".
And eventually the picture would come back.

I think life is a bit like that right now,
we just have to wait a bit for the messy bits to pass
and the picture will reappear.

If you want me, I'm trying not to yell at the teen,
I'm trying not to let the sadness overwhelm
and I'm just getting through each day holding onto hope.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Seeing the World through Tom's eyes....

One of the main motivations to getting a qualification was that I wanted to find a place where I worked in a team. I wanted to be a small piece of something bigger, not the person in charge (I've done that, it sucked). I've been working at Big Boy Websites for quite a while now. One of the things that I hadn't realised is that not only do you have people to work with, you end up with a whole new family to share life with.

I spend more time with my work family, than I do with my relatives (well apart from James who clearly fits in both camps, lol). Its been so great to start getting to know a whole bunch of people who are all from different background and with different skills and different perspectives on the world.

I share a space with Tom. Tom has been a bigwig business owner and knows everything there is to know about business. At first I felt like he was slumming it with us here in our start up company, but I soon found out that Tom is not like that. Tom does know heaps about stuff, but he doesn't shove it in your face, he just kinda comes alongside you and dispenses his knowledge in a way that doesn't make you feel less of a person.

One of the things I really like about Tom, is that he makes no bones about the fact we are here to make sales. Coming from a background where being rich was frowned on, it is super refreshing to acknowledge that we are all trying to earn an honest dollar. I mean there isn't anyone in the Big Boy Websites making pots loads of money, but it does give perspective to what we do.

It's great to work alongside someone who might drive a fancy fancy car and might have a grocery budget bigger than your household budget, but someone who still values you for your skills rather than your status. It's also great to work along side someone with a great sense of humour and a different view of the world. It kind of makes you look at things through their eyes sometimes and really get a different way of making sense of the world.

I think it is worth every single one of those all nighters, all those weekends spent reading, all of those essays and assignments; it is worth all of the stress to get that degree to not just have a qualification -but a whole new bunch of people to do life with. All of that short term pain has been worth the gain of being a small part of a team. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat for this opportunity.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Is there anything that makes us feel more inadequate than parenting??

It was the harvest festival at Rudolf Steiner School this morning.
These days nothing makes me feel more inadequate as a mother
 as having to turn up on mass with the other parents. There are a couple of reasons why,
the fact I'm a single mum and the fact that I'm a working mum.

Nobody actually says anything negative, but it's me judging myself.
After all nobody can make me feel like rubbish than me.
Honestly I'm a pro at it.

Being a working mum means for me that I never quite do either job as good as I want to.
When I'm working, I can't deal with the kids 
And when I'm parenting, I can't deal with the work.
It's a balancing act, which actually gets easier as the kids get older
but let's not talk about the school holidays......

And being a single mum just means I am stretched thin.
It's almost impossible to volunteer for all those things the school wants me to do.
It means that I remember every Thursday that I was supposed
to take two pears or two apples to school on Tuesday
and it means that the important school notices
have probably been used to wipe sticky fingers on in the car
because I keep forgetting to buy wet wipes.

Honestly all of those things are things in my head,
today my little darling was thrilled to bits to have me at school,
(I know because she waved to me from the stage).

So this is me telling myself to get over it,
I'm doing ok really. 

Here's to all parents everywhere doing the best they can.

Monday, March 27, 2017

#cancersucks #teamhikuroa

Tahu is having brain surgery this morning. I have literally no frame of reference to imagine this ending badly. It feels like one moment we were all just ticking along, talking about work and kids and plans for the year and now we are staring Death in the eye and saying, you can't have this one.

I have shut the door in my brain which imagines how it would be if this treatment doesn't work. I'm not going to think about it. I just can't. 

I can only open the door to the possibility that the treatment is really successful, that it all goes well and that Tahu and Jo and Knox get way more time together surrounded by all the love and support of those of us who love them.

There is nothing else that we can do really is there. #cancersucks #teamhikuroa

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

There's a new Mrs Robertson...

Yesterday morning I woke up very early and lay in bed trying to figure out why I was feeling upset about David's big day. It made no sense to me because I'm happy that he has a new person and even happier that they were getting married.  Just because I didn't want to be married to him anymore, doesn't mean that I wanted him to be unhappy.

I worked out what was upsetting me, and it's a bit silly really. It is because now there is a new Mrs Robertson and she is the step-mum to my kids. They have step-siblings now and a whole bunch of new people in their lives. I know that I've been very easily replaced in David's life and I guess I was subconsciously concerned that the kids would find me just as easy to replace.

My rational self knows that is not the case. I'm mum and I always will be. And Rhonda is a really important person in their lives and I want them to get to know her, to like her and to respect her; if for no other reason, because their dad loves her. 

Rhonda and I, while not friends, can respect each other's place in the children's lives and we can communicate with each other to this end. 

I think it is ok to feel a bit sad at this change of things. 

I won't lie. I shed tears. It's just so hard to have your kids involved in something so big and you can't be there. But they all did really well and according to all accounts the day went off perfectly. And if my heart hurts a little, don't worry. I'll get over myself I'm sure.