Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday 21st February

May 2011
Almost a week has gone by.  I know I mention this on a regular basis but time is going rather quickly now I have officially become middle aged.  Past fifty.  Down the slippery slope.  For a short time I got up to the top of the hill and looked across at the scenery that is life before I stumbled a bit and started the unwanted skid down the other side.  Oops, down I went, my brief view a distant memory already.

I worked from home on Thursday and got a lot done.  But I think this week I will work Monday to Thursday at work and take a leave day off on Friday.  I'm going to be making an effort to do that once a month so that I am able to catch up with personal things and get some free time in the studio.

Work has been very hard this February.  We always have the most hideous cash flow this time of year and this year is no different.  I am beyond giving a shit about answering the phone when people ask for money, I just say it as it is.  We have more money owing to us than we owe out so that is all I care about.  Tax and superannuation is up to date and each week we pay the boys wages.  In that sense all is good but in business good cash flow is king.

I won't deny that it has not made me feel a bit more anxious than usual but it's what I call a "rational anxiety" in that I can explain it to myself and get on with things.  Irrational anxiety is quite another matter.  That requires a different approach.

My additional medication has been going well so far.  It would be reasonable to say that I don't feel so incredibly joyless everyday.  I feel different.  However, it will be a few more weeks before I can be confident about it.  I no longer take for granted my frame of mind and value good days so very much.

I am going back to the psychiatrist on Friday for an update.  I'm not going to 'fess up to drawing him naked.  I'm guessing he knows already.

On another note, I have to confess that I am very bad at remembering birthdays and anniversary dates.  Important dates pass me by.  Appointments are something I will miss if they are not in the iPhone along with multiple alarms to remind me of a forthcoming event I have to go to. I know people who recall the date they met there loved one and I have no idea.  I know the year and that is it.

But this time I have really excelled at getting it wrong.

Last night K and I went out for dinner and got into conversation about how we met and during the course of the conversation we were asked how long we had been married.  We said that we had just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  To which one girl said "oh, so you got married in 1990" and K said "no, it was 1991 wasn't it?" and I replied that it was.  Which means that we have only been married for 24 years and not 25.  Needless to say that made for lots of laughing.  Everytime I think about how we celebrated our 25th anniversary I can't work out how I got it so wrong.

Maybe it just feels like it's been 25 years.  I'm not sure I'll mention this fantastic oversight to anyone at work because I don't think I'd live that one down and it would only serve to once again confirm my kooky personality.  Plus, if I can't get the amount of years I have been married correct what does that say about my number skills?

We have a new person starting at work on Tuesday.  She is helping in the office with answering phone, data entry and filing.  Three days a week. It will be great and take a lot of pressure off me and J.  So life once again will change in the office.  My feelings about it are strange.  It's busy, I get on with everyone, work gets done.  But part of me feels a bit bored or something.  I've been working there for a long time and wonder if this is it.  I have no reason to leave because I do love working there despite the boredom.  So I think something is going on inside me as opposed to my work environment.  And that is something that perhaps takes time to work out.

Last night I had to take something to ensure a good sleep after having three nights of poor sleep. When I woke up I decided to take it easy and before getting ready for the day I sat and had breakfast, read most of a very good book and chilled.  Around midday I went to the hairdressers to get a trim. Outside was so hot. Like opening an oven door and I decided not to do the usual meander down the street once she had finished.  So I headed home and finished the book and mosied around.  Changed the bed linen, did some laundry, cooked dinner and suddenly evening crept in.  Sometimes you need to do nothing kind of days.

I'm a bit aimless at the moment.  Maybe I need a holiday or a change of environment - which kind of is a holiday I guess.  But I don't know exactly what it is I feel like doing.  I'm stuck in my head.  As though I have reached a blank space and don't know how to decorate it or how to step over it.  It's an emotional blank space I think.  It's not like being stuck in a rut either.  Nothing springs to mind as such.  I have my art work and that is a constant.  Always there waiting for me and part of me.

So lately I spend time how I can action this feeling.  Do I add something into the mix.  Put another thing on my plate?  Get another tattoo?  Oh, yes. Now that is on the cards and has been for ages.  I have a strong idea in my head but do not want to act on it until I feel 100% in a good and strong mental place.  Even I know not to get a tattoo when fragile or filled with too much angst.

Well, until I work out what it is I am aimless about I may as well think about going to bed.

It's late.

And this post has taken for ever.

Time for bed.

linda x



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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Hot Sunday 15th February


Sunday afternoon and I am sitting in my warm studio.  It's such a hot day outside.  The sort of day that would burn your skin in minutes.  I could turn the air conditioner on but I kind of like to feel hot and sweaty in this room. The door is open so the studio is not completely sealed off.  The heat makes the timber smell nice, a bit like a sauna or something.

I've been doing some work. Real work from the work place.  I'm not feeling creative at the moment and figure I may as well do something.  I managed to get a fair bit done.  I am always surprised how long it takes to do things.  Not just work related things, just anything.  In my mind the speed in which it takes to complete a task should match the speed it took to say the words.  It took me years to get that thought around my head that I was not slow at my work but in fact the work I did was time consuming.

Before I came into the studio I had to have a quick nap on the bed.  I think the meds are making me a bit tired, but it could also be the weather.  Hot weather sucks the life out of me these days.  I cannot believe I trained for the 100km charity walk two years ago in this weather.  If I had to do it again I could work up to it but I'd really, really, really have to want to because these days I'm not inclined to put myself out so much.

Despite it being hot, I love the blue sky, the longer days and the way the washing on the line smells when I take it in once it has dried.  It's beautiful and fresh.

The meds are doing what meds do.  No notable side effects apart from a loss of appetite.  That is kind of weird.  Even if I am hungry the thought of eating holds no appeal so I just make sure I eat something nutritional and not too filling or I feel queasy.  This is a known side effect and I have already lost some weight.  But I am very pragmatic about it and expect this to not last.

S caught up with a group of friends yesterday at someones house.  There were about eight of them. They had planned to go and see Fifty Shades of Shite just for fun but decided it was better value to download movies they really liked and eat lots of shitty junk food.  When he came home later on he could not eat dinner and this morning he was still feeling full.

He is very practical about food.  It's there for a purpose and that is to fuel.  Nothing else.  So he never eats out of boredom or when he is not hungry.  He will eat breakfast and then nothing else until dinner on the weekends.

He's enjoying his last year of high school.  I cannot believe that he will be eighteen this year.  When I started blogging he was and eight year old kid with a little voice and now he is almost a man and has the deepest voice.  Lately he has been a bit bolshy.  I may ask him a question that he perceives as irrelevant and he gives me a bit of a smart reply.  I rarely let him get away with it, explaining nicely that just because he thought what I said was stupid that does not mean it is okay to respond that way.

Plus, he is a know all.  In a good way.  He argues a lot and pulls up facts to back him up.

I am sure that someone said something like "when I was 18 I knew it all and my parents knew nothing, when I was 21 I could not believe how much they had learnt in three years".  Or something akin to that.

At school I believe this is the year of parties and lots of them.  S went to one a few weeks ago and we said that he just has to ring us and we will pick him up no matter the time.  He rang us at 11pm and when he got home I asked him why was he home so early?  He said he did not want to wake us up in the early hours of the morning.  Do I think that was the truth?  I don't know.  But it was nice of him to consider us.  He took a few bottles of beer with him and I presume had a few drinks which I am okay with.  He is at the age where he has to make his decisions like drinking and drugs and all I can hope is that K and I have done our work in making sure he is mindful about his choices.

He is also going to the Prom at the beginning of March.  We have decided to buy him a suit because it costs just the same to hire a generic dinner suit as to buy a suit and get it fitted properly.  I really want him to have a great year this year.  The last year before he steps out to the bigger world of University and doing his own thing more and more.

Life is different when a child is no longer the child and really gets close to being more adult in their ways.  He does not want to do things with us too often.  We always ask.  I did ask him if he wanted a party for his 18th and he said he would probably have one at a friends house.  This friend often holds parties.  I said okay.  And it is okay with me.  He would rather just go out for dinner with us and I like that too.

The other day we were talking about our planned overseas trip and S said that he did not want to go to the UK again and wanted to go somewhere different like Scandinavia and Germany.  I appreciate his interest in other countries and we have planned to put Scandinavia in the trip but we have friends in the UK that we want to see so he is just going to have to wear it.  I think the next trip he does with us will be the last one for a while.  He will want to travel with friends or a girlfriend, not with his parents.  By the way, he told us that he saw this old couple driving along and pointing at houses and said it reminded him of us!  Old couple.  Fuck that.

Well, I have succumbed to the heat and put the air conditioner on.  When the sweat starts trickling down my back then it's time to cool down.  I have to think about dinner. Oh, wait, no I don't.  I bought K and S sausages.  So it is sausages in bread.  God, I am such a lazy cook these days.  But S and K are not the most interested foodies and it is a hot day. Who wants eat on a hot day?  You know my rule, more than six ingredients and I am eating out.

I think I've done all the work I am going to do.  Time to go inside the cool house and finish off a drawing, watch some tv, get my gear ready for tomorrow and go to bed at a reasonable hour.  No doggy walk tonight - it's way too hot.

linda x







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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thursday 12th February


It's been a looooong time since last I did a post.

I've been okay.  Ups and downs.  Mostly downs.  In fact, after much consideration and dialogue with the psychiatrist I have decided to add an anti depressant into the mix of my drugs.  It sounds oh so awful but I am okay with it.  It's a smaller than normal dosage so the side effects should be fairly minimal and if it does not work I will taper off them.  The past month just tipped me over and made me think that a quality of life is really important.

I did agonise over the decision for ages but the physicality of being depressed is really an issue and, quite frankly, I am over it and want a break.  Not that I have to justify it to anyone (except myself), but I guess I am just talking about it as I do on my blog.

This week I went to the psych's and it was an okay visit.  I mean, what can I say about that monthly visit?  Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not.  He asks me about my moods and state of mind and I said "how should I know as I don't have a good baseline".  I did have a fairly unexpected rant about a few things when he asked some questions I did not like.  Despite the ups and downs I am most definitely in a better place than I was in 2013 before I went on medication.  That year was just blah on so many levels.

Anyway, on a much more interesting subject, I uploaded a very quick video of my dear furry friend Mr Benny.  Today I worked from home and it was just him, me and the sunshine.  As I worked away he sat at the door of the studio and now and then would meander off somewhere else in the yard.

I had a very productive day but I also have a bit of a sore neck.  The desk I am sitting at is not ideal for doing computer work on.  I shall persevere.  I think it is a bit high and my chair is basically crap. It is an office chair my brother gave to me and compared to the one I have at work it is rather average.  I could also have a sore neck from the boxing class I did last night.  Loads of punches and push ups.  Who knows.

So I had a good day and was meant to go for a fitness class at 6pm but with the sun shining and that lazy feeling inside me I sent the following message to the personal trainer:


Dear C, 

After a fantastic and productive day working from home and taking the dog for a walk I have decided to forgo the fitness test and take S and K out dinner instead.  I know it is very disgraceful of me but I don't feel guilty. x  ps will eat salad.

So, as it was I had not taken the dog for a walk and took it after we got back from dinner and I did not eat salad but the grilled chicken breast burger I had was accompanied by coleslaw so I think that was close enough.  Having a burger isn't really dinner is it?

In the past few weeks not much has been happening.  Went to the art gallery last weekend and saw a Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition which was fantastic.  He's such an artist in my opinion and the exhibit did not disappoint.  I went with one of the girls I did the Oxfam walk with.  Last year I pretty much isolated myself from being social so this year I am making the effort to change that.

I am starting a new project in my studio.  Years ago my brother made four divine wooden shadow boxes for me to do some assemblage work with and they have been sitting there waiting for a solid idea to happen.  Finally I saw something that started the ball rolling.  This weekend I will sketch the concept for each box and then start on each piece.  There is wire work involved so it's a fiddly task.  I was really thankful when I knew what I wanted to do.

As I type this painfully boring post it has suddenly occurred to me that my blog has been going for nine years.  Okay, it's been limping along for a while but that's fine.  I have removed truckloads of posts from the public eye and have been slowly saving them into a folder with the intention of printing them out one day.  Lots of life talked about over the past nine years.  Changes, both mentally and physically.  Now and then I read some aloud to K and S and it's pretty funny going back over conversations that have gone on.  I am very thankful I started the blog and continue to do so.  It's a little time capsule in cyberland.

There is one thing I must comment about my psych visit.  I wasn't going to because I am a bit embarrassed about this little episode.  I took in my drawings for this visit.  At first I was not going to show him but the whole session was difficult for me so I thought it would be a good change of pace.

However, in hindsight I should have taken out two drawings.  These two below.  Why do I say that? Well, as you may or may not know, when I first drew naked man a few weeks later I realised he looked like my psych would without clothes.


The second drawing is another one with him in it (The Grotto with Naked Man).


So, the psych points out the drawing above and asks me "what does this mean Linda?" and I give some vague explanation.  I really loathe being asked to interpret my drawings because I really do not have a solid idea what they are about.  I draw them as I feel them and I finish the drawing once it feels right.  Most start life as a dream and then roll around in my head before I start them.

Anyway, that is okay.  Then he points to Naked Man and asks "who is that man? I saw him before in the other drawing".  Well, I was hardly going to say that it was him was I?  There was this silence and I said "I don't know" before mumbling some shit - it was painfully obvious I was squirming inside. But I am fairly certain he KNEW it was him.  In hindsight I wish I had fessed up and said "it's you" but my polite self could not do that.

He asked me a few more questions about it before moving onto another drawing.  By this stage I wished I had not shown him any of them at all.  I felt very uncomfortable afterwards.  Oh well. It's done now.   I am wondering if I should bring it up with him next time and say it was him in the drawing and I felt uncomfortable telling him that.

By the way, I love my drawing of the Naked Man so he should be flattered that he was my muse!

Well, it's 10pm and I am tired.

I guess that means bedtime.

I love my bed.

lc x





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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday 18th January

I told a lie today.  Well, kind of a lie.  What I did was keep my mouth shut about something I already knew.  Bossman rang to tell me that E was leaving in a week.  I had already been informed by E himself and I chose not to say anything.  I feigned a low level of surprise, very low.  Now I feel a bit meh about doing that because I prefer to be honest.  It's not a nice feeling I now have inside but it will pass.  Oh well.  It would have been easier had Bossman just told me when he found out which was last Monday.

As a result of this person leaving Bossman and his lovely family have cancelled their camping trip that was organised for next week.  Their life will be under stress while they sort through it all.  As there is a family connection (wife and E's wife are sister's) there is some tension there.  They all had Christmas together and this was being organised by E the whole time.  Bossman is past the anger stage so now has to get into the action stage.  

He said to me "no loyalty from anyone Linda, except for you, I always know you will be there".  To which I replied "well if I ever go you can bet I will give you waaaaaaay more than a weeks notice". We had a laugh about that.  Thinking about what he is going through right now pales into insignificance when I compare it to my bit of angst over keeping something to myself.  

It's been a moseying around weekend.  Yesterday was relaxing.  I pottered around the house just cleaning things up and throwing things out.  I felt normal.  Normal in that way where I don't have to think about my mood at all.  In the past (let's call it BE - before Epilim) I had either ups or downs and no real in betweens.  Or what I thought were in between stages were kind of just reprieves.  Now I get longer stages of a definite untroubled day.  

I said the the psych last week that I did not want to take this frame of mind for granted. He agreed but also said to just go with it and to be aware of any changes.  Ho hum. 


It's sunny outside today.  This weekend has been sunny in general.  I've been doing lots of washing and hanging it out to flap in the breeze.  I love days that are breezy and warm with the blue sky and sunshine gazing down into everyone's backyards.  I can hear the leaves on my beautiful weeping Elm rustle and they sound reminds me of the beach.


I often think about the beach.  The sand and the water.  The pleasure it offers for nothing.  That's the thing about nature isn't it?  Its beauty is free and yet what we get from it is so enriching.  I cannot imagine anything in our material, consumeristic world that matches it.

My little world has suburban nature.  Many bugs.  Trees.  A small variety of birds. I'm out of touch with what I call "big nature".  Sometimes I think about going on a camping trip and the reality of it comes to mind (bugs in particular).  That alone is enough to change my mind.

My niece has been travelling with her partner up along the coast.  She posts photos of her trip on her Instagram page here.  The photos are great and make me think I need to get out more.  Though, one has to keep in mind that it's easier for her to get out and about.  She does not work full time.  She has no children.  It allows her to live a fairly free life.  But, those few things aside, she just does stuff. She gets out and does them despite her health issues (Lyme's disease).

But I know that B has things in the back of her mind that bother her.  Financial security.  It's not much fun being 35 and living with your Aunt.  A while ago she made a joke about S leaving home before her.  Her health worries her.  The treatment she has is costly and comes with no guarantees for the chance of a full recovery.  There have been days where she can barely get out of bed but thankfully they are getting less and less.  For that B is very grateful.  Recently she talked to me about the purpose of life if a person has no children.  I said children give a different purpose and not the only purpose.  Plenty of people have no children and live very purposeful lives.

Bonsai Tree
Last night I did not sleep well.  I had two late nights in a row.  Friday was intentional but last night not so.  I got caught up watching a movie on the computer.  Then my mind was over stimulated and I took a long to time to fall asleep.  At 1.00 am in the morning my mobile rang which woke me up.  It was a "no caller id" incoming call so there was no way I would answer that.  Recently I have had a few of those and am wondering if my number has been given out to random people.  The other day I had an sms from someone saying "hey how are you babe - xx".  I ignored it because nobody I know would send me such an sms.  Then a few minutes later I received a phone call from the same number.

It was some guy asking for Crystal.  I said he had the wrong number and then ended the phone call. A few minutes later I had another sms from the same number asking if my name was Crystal.  I replied no.  He then said that someone called Crystal had given my number out from a chat site.  I replied that I was most definitely not her nor was I on any chat site.  He responded with something like "oh, yeah, okay sorry about that. ha ha".  Ha ha my arse.  I hope she is not handing out my number all over town.

After being woken up at 1.00 am I finally drifted off to a dream filled sleep only to be woken up by K's alarm at 5.30am.  Yes, that's right.  Nice and early.  He was off to a car show today and had to be up early to meet up with the other cars at 7.00 am.

Then I again fell into a dream filled sleep.  My own alarm woke me up.  I had forgotten to turn it off. By this stage I was so tired that I crashed back to sleep until 9.00 am and woke up to a dribble soaked pillow and creases in my left cheek.  Nothing like the deep sleep that makes the body sag into the bed.

Sooooo, today I have been a bit anxious, a bit tired and not managed to get much done as I would have liked.  The phone call from Bossman probably made me more anxious that I need to be as the crappy sleep makes me more sensitive.  Which I know is the same for many, many people.  Tonight will be an early night and no movie watching.

So that is my weekend almost done.  After this I will go inside and get my clothes ready for the week.

Organise my gym gear so that it's easy to pack the night before work.

Sounds all so very exciting.

linda x







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Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday 16th January

Bro's Backyard
So this week I went back to work and it all seemed okay.  Phones rang.  Bills were paid.  Filing piled up.  Paper spread across desk.

Someone from work is leaving.  I only found out today.  He has purchased a take away food franchise and next week is his last week.  He is from corporate and was a buyer for a big supermarket chain here.  He also used to go into the supermarkets that were running poorly and turn them around.  He's pretty tough and sometimes a bit hard on his guys.  But he and I got on so well.  I was very sad when he told me he was leaving but at the same time I understood it was the right thing.  He is bossman's brother in law and, quite frankly, there has been tension.

Things change.  The office dynamics are so different now.  We are finally getting someone extra in the office to help out and none too soon.  I feel as though the place I started working at so many years ago has gone.  One day I may go to but for now it's all okay.

On Wednesday I went to see my psych.  Now I am taking my meds all at night I sleep through.  For more than two weeks I have slept straight through the night.  My bedtime routine is becoming quite strict.  Meds at 8.00 pm and bedtime at 10.30pm.   Then I fall asleep.  I cannot recall a time where I have experienced such a length of good sleep.  Definitely not since my son was born and prior to that I was a very light sleeper.

At the psych we went through the usual questions.  He asks me about ten q's and I say yes or no.  Then I might say something random.  Although this week I spoke about the factors that helped leading me to good sleep.  Holiday, no coffee, moving medication to take all at night and no engagement with too many people.  I am hoping that taking away three of those four won't cause an issue.

As usual he reiterated the routine, exercise, sleep, diet thing.  He explained that the more I embraced those aspects the less likely I will have to increase the medication or have a relapse.  My psychiatrist is not all about the medication.  He does encourage me to continue with a mindful lifestyle, be aware of my mood each day, continue to take certain supplements (B6, B12, Omega fish oils, folate, Q10 and some other stuff) and keep taking medication.  It's nice that he talks about more than just medication.

Then I said something like "if it continues like this can I drop the dose a bit?".  I know the answer but I live in hope that one day I won't have to take the meds.  They do take away something rather life giving from me.  Then I recalled that they are also the same meds I would have to take for the nerve pain on my face so, really, I doubt I could stop taking them for that reason alone.

We had our floors repolished this week.  As the product they used was toxic we went off to stay at my brother's house for three nights while they were on holiday.  Initially my husband and son said they would be fine sleeping in the house and I told S that, as his mother, I pulled rank over him and would not allow him to sleep in such a stinky house.  Anyway, we were all down near the studio when the lacquer was being applied and the stink of it drifted in.  The three of us just packed up and left.

At my brother's it was good.  S played with Mr Benny, jumped on the trampoline a lot and went and picked up the hen's eggs (of which there were a lot).  However, we all got bitten by mosquitoes and my the beds were as hard as a rock.  They had latex mattresses whereas we have big, fat, pillowtop ones that you cuddle down into.

Now we are home and although the house still smells a bit it is not so bad.

We also pulled out a built in unit my brother made for me about 17 years ago.  It was designed to fit around a gas heater and a television, both of which we no longer have, and since then many conversations have been had about how to fix it the open spaces left behind.  In the end my brother said to take it out and utilise sections of it to make a new one.  The last thing I have to do is pick a new rug.

Always something to do.

This weekend it is a "tidy the house" weekend.  Go food shopping no doubt.  The Farmer's Market is on but I may give it a miss this time.  I'm on a budget after Christmas and currently in a "no indulgences" frame of mind.

I definitely want to do some drawing. It's been weeks and so many ideas are running around in my head.

And play with my new computer.

But for now it's bedtime.

linda x


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Saturday, January 03, 2015

Saturday 3rd January

Well it's 2015 and that's one more year under my belt.  And under yours as well.  

On New Years Even the three of us thought we might go into the city to see the early fire works. After walking all over town to find a place open to eat we finally sat down at a pretty average restaurant for dinner. No doubt they had their "NYE menu" out as everything was so expensive for what it was.  Anyway, we ate there and then walked around watching a few stage things before discussing what do to do next.  It was about 45 minutes to the early fireworks and crowds were pouring in to the city.  My son then gave his idea of what was going to happen if we waited for the fireworks display. 

Here is roughly what he said:

"Well, we can join the crowds and head down to the Yarra River and find a place to stand. Or if we're lucky we might find a place to sit amongst thousands of others.  We will get there early and so will at least 200,000 other people.  Mum will probably want to go to the toilet at least once.  Then the fireworks with start and everyone will go "oooooh" and "aaaaaaah" for no more than ten minutes and then we will head back to the train station with 200,000 other people, possibly more.  What do you think?"

Based on that comment from S we headed home on an empty train and that was it. 

I'm still not at work and only now am I feeling kind of normal.  My anxiety levels are almost zero. I stopped taking anything to sleep after noticing that it mattered not which one medication I took the day following I would have significant issues with my depression.  On my birthday I spent another day in a mood that swung from utter despair to an overly rational human being. 

My sleep has actually improved to the point where it's pretty much a full night with nary any waking up.  My husband can tell if I have slept well.  My side of the bed is usually tangled because I kick around like a donkey during my sleep but lately it is smooth from my non moving state.  This suggests to me that some healthy deep sleep is going on.

I have, coincidentally, stopped drinking coffee completely and wonder if that is a factor.  This came about because around 6 to 8 weeks ago I noticed that every time I had a cup of coffee I felt ill. Strong, weak, skim milk, full cream milk, almond milk, no milk.  It made no difference.  I just felt queasy and it became progressively worse.  Then about ten days ago I had a mouthful of coffee when I was out and I almost vomited.  Now I cannot imagine anything more disgusting than drinking coffee.  It is such a vile thought to me that I don't even feel sad about not being able to have what was once my favorite brew. 

The same thing happened to my brother.  He just loved coffee and then one day he could not stand it. I had a similar issue with black tea in 2005 so now it appears that green tea is my beverage of choice. Oh, and hot chocolate.  

It's a scorching hot day today.  Around 41 celcius and so I have been lolling around the house watching DVD's.  Now I am in the studio doing this post.  The air conditioner is on and it's nice a chilly in here.  

I bought myself a new Mac computer in anticipation of working from home.  I can claim aspects of it on my tax.  My little lap top is totally inefficient for doing a full days work on.  I also found the small lap top hard to do my photo books on because of the size.  I could think of 1000 reasons why I went out and bought it actually.  But the main one is that I wanted it really badly for months on end.  I love that long drawn out process of thinking about a big ticket item that is going to be purchased.  I love saving for it, thinking about, agonising over it, buying it and then getting it home to set it up. 

Cotswolds
I thought I had lost two years of photos but managed to retrieve them (with my son's help) from off an old lap top and then reload them onto my computer.  Lots were from the 2008 trip we did over to the UK.  It's so nice to revisit them.   S was such a cheeky and happy kid.  He would have been almost 11 then.  There is an age where kids are still all yours.  He was at that age.  Annoying, joyful, talked non stop, moved around a lot and was very sweet.

He is still all of that but he is also cynical, self opinionated and, at times, a bit bolshy . I love him at any stage but there is a wistfulness at the loss of that stage and I expect there is always that little sadness that happens as children grow up and emotionally move away from parents.

But knowing it is meant to be that way and allowing it to happen is number one.  Sometimes I say to him "Aw, what happened to my baby, he's all growed up" and he replies "Aw, have a cry mum".

The other day he asked me if I wanted to go and see The Hobbit with him at the movies.  I was really touched as prior to that he had said that he was going with a friend.  For an insane moment I thought he enjoyed my company more.  I said "I thought  you were going with your friend" and he said "Yeah, I was but I want to go Gold Class instead".  Gold Class being the uber way to see a movie.

So, it appears that it was not my my company he preferred, it was the Gold Class treatment he preferred.

Random Lane
I am doing a days work on Monday and then won't be officially back on board at work until the following Monday.  Even then I am taking it easy until at least the end of January, taking the odd day off here and there.  I feel almost burnt out and the thought of working is not making me feel any joy whatsoever.  Yesterday I realised that for the past few years I have not actually done "nothing" during my Christmas break.

Last year we went to Sydney and at the same time I was dealing with the whole medication thing. The three previous years were interrupted by a lot of training for the 100 km charity walk.  In 2009/2010 we did a Winter overseas trip.  

At work I have the most holiday leave built up as well as sick leave.  I have to focus on recognising the importance of putting myself first.  However, that is easier said that done as work is a kind of dysfunctional place at times and taking a few days off can often mean coming back to a pile of crap on my desk that makes things worse than before I left.  

I do, however, think the one day working at home is great. It's not just me that will be doing that.  But I am finally okay with doing that.  Letting go a bit.  So much more gets done when no noise, no phone calls and it's just me and the computer.  I can answer emails and just chew through work twice as fast.

Cup of tea time at a pretty place in Yorkshire
On Wednesday I am catching up with one of the girls I did the charity walk with.  I've hardly spoken to any of the girls I walked with all of last year.  Honestly, I have been so focused on just keeping in a good place with work, my frame of mind, my menopause and whatever else that I really have been very tardy in the "maintaining" of friendships.  Although, it's not like I have many ones to catch up with here.  It's very hard to make friendships when you get to my age, especially if you are inclined to be a loner like me.

I've kind of engineered my life to be social via work, exercise and home.  I expect that as work lessens I will do voluntary things and incorporate by creative interests with like minded people.  But close friends with whom I could go and have coffee with (oops, hot chocolate) are not something I really have.  I know how to be social, it's a skill I work on a lot, but in my mind there are people who have lots of friends and those who don't.  And of those that don't there are ones who are completely okay with it (that's me) and others who are terribly lonely.

There are times I am really lonely but it's kind of at a deeper level that has nothing to do with people to visit.  It's just a part of life feeling.  The fact I have a LOT of interests makes a big difference. Being able to write, draw, paint, read and even walk the dog are crucial to staying positive and not letting the loneliness become an issue.  I would go spare if I did not have my creativity to play with.

Anyway, back to the catch up.  We are going into the Art Gallery to see an exhibition about Jean Paul Gaultier.  Have some lunch somewhere.  Just mosey around.  The weather is expected to be very hot so it will be nice to be inside.

Well, it's almost time to eat.  Or move around.

So off I go for now.

linda x

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday 28th December



Well, that's that done.  Christmas day has been and gone. Tree is packed away ready for next year.

This year I invited over my older sister and her family.  She has not had a good year and it is not going to get better. It's mostly a financial problem.  Or a series of financial problems so it's just something she will have to battle through.

I'm always a bit tense when the whole gang gets together.  My brother is a shit stirrer.  My nephew has emotional problems related to former drug use and is super sensitive.  I worded up my sister and brother and made it clear that my house means my rules.  Told them to be nice to each other.  And, thankfully, it seemed to worked.  Everyone was just happy to join in with the festivities.

I cooked for 12 all up and it always amazes me that I can actually come up with a pretty decent meal considering how much I don't really like cooking.  Well, perhaps it's more a truth that I don't like cooking if I don't have time.  If I am rushed I get overwhelmed with doing the most basic thing such as chopping vegetables.

I had a lot of food and sent a most of the left overs off with family.  But the next morning when I opened the fridge door there was still enough there to bring forth a raft of ex Christmas dinner smells.
My two glasses of wine headache was affronted and my breakfast consisted of a nibble on toast.


The lead up to Christmas was different this year.  I've been wondering why over the past few days. Was it the general economic climate?  Was the world just so depressing out there that people found it hard to rustle up some joyfulness?  Is it because I am getting older?  Tell me it is not that.  I can't stand the thought of yet another happy event in my life turning into a grey blot.  

For the days after Christmas I pretty much ate chocolate, Danish Christmas biscuits my sister made made me and leftovers.  Meat, meat, meat.  I ate a lot, watched a great DVD series, slept in my new chair, took the dog for walks and slept more.  Now I feel recovered and rested.  Tomorrow I have one day at work and then the following Monday so in between all that I expect to do whatever I want.  


It's always this time of year that I (and maybe a lot of people) think about what the year has been like and how to make changes in the new year looming ahead.  I don't mean resolutions, I just mean small changes to make life a bit more enjoyable or peaceful.

To me 2014 feels as though I spent the entire year getting stabilised on my medication and coming to terms with the changes that went with having to take it.  I'll just be grateful if next year I can stay on track and not smothered by the depression that seems to be a bit pervasive.  Right now I have my sleep under control and the anxiety has dropped down enough to not be intrusive.  I loathe that it has had to be managed with the use of medication but I cannot afford to let that get to me at this point in time.  I'll tackle it later on.

So, what plans are on the cards for next year?  Who knows.  Mostly my art.  To me that is me.  Just picking up a pencil and getting ready to put it to paper is a sure way to calm me down and empty out my head.  Unless, of course, it does not go to plan and then a melt down might happen but that is less likely these days.

I found a photo of me the other day from around May 2013.  For those who don't really know me they think it is just a nice photo of me but for those close to me it is the "melt down on the way" face I have.  I recall that day sooooo well.  I shredded my painting.  Stabbed it with such frustration and anger. Had it not been the painting I think it would have been me. I never project that onto other people.  It belongs to me so why infect those who care.  If I get those feelings now it's more visual in my head and I tend not to act on it.


For example, a few visits ago I was at the psych's and he asked me if I had and feelings to self harm. It had transpired that I had been thinking a great deal about sticking knives in my skull and arms. Don't ask why, but it these thoughts just arrive and then stay for days on end.  I remembered that I had been grooming my dog Benny and cut my hand and it was a few minutes before I noticed that my hand was covered in blood (scissors are extremely sharp).  I felt enormous relief looking at it and thought how easy it would be to just slash my arms and feel more of the relief.  Needless to say, I left that as a thought only.

It's like in the pre med days I had weeks on end with suicidal thoughts.  Not that I would have acted on them, but they were just there - some sort of mental anguish happening I guess.  At the time I would just groan inside knowing I had to cope with them as well as normal day to day living.  Now I know when I have those thoughts it's not me, it's Bipolar and I have thinking strategies to move through it.   It also indicates I need to get a blood test to see if the medication levels are correct.

I'm writing about this now because today I started having intrusive thoughts of that nature and have been able to deal with it in a relatively good way.  It's just a cyclic thing maybe.  The aftermath of Christmas pressure.  Who knows.  But I know that it's okay.  However, I am counting down the days to see the psychiatrist on the 12th.

Why do I talk about it?  Some sort of intellectual exercise for me?  When I write it down it takes the emotion out of it and that does help.  It becomes a logical thing and thus no feelings are attached to it any more.  I like to feel that having these thoughts are separate entities to who I am even though, at the time, the really can feel quite the opposite.

However, that's not all I have to talk about.  Today K and I went into the city to do some shopping. It's so big there now.  So many designer shops with names I do not know anymore.  As you get older you are right out of the loop.  It's not that I care about being out of the loop, it's that I don't exactly know when it happened.  I am in another loop.  The loop outside the loop.  The loop you end up in once you get to a certain age.  Do we just go from one loop to another?  When I get to 70 will I be in yet another loop?  Age loops.  That is what I will refer to them as from hereon.

We walked a lot, had lunch, walked more.  Went to the State Library and looked around and some great paintings.  There was an exhibition on about Bohemian Melbourne over the decades.  It's funny how K and I think so differently about the Bohemian lifestyle.  He thinks of it as just a lot of dirty, smelly lot.  Not totally but you get my drift.  I think of it as an artist living true to their beliefs.  It always seems so idealistic and no doubt it is.  I do think it is not a natural event any more.  Somehow it seems manufactured.  Decades ago society seemed much more rigid so going against the grain and living a bohemian lifestyle was much more outrageous and imbued with a truth that seems no longer possible.

But hey, how would I know - being out of the loop and all.  Anyway, the exhibition was great.

Right now I am contemplating bed time.  Looking at a cute website. Thinking of what has to be done at work tomorrow.  It's going to be nice and quiet because I will have the phones on night switch with a message saying "We are not back until the 12th Jan" or something like that.  I've lots of filing to attend to and also the usual accounting work, pays and whatever else I can get through.  Then I can chill until the following Monday.

On Tuesday it is my birthday and if that is not weird that I will be 51.

Fifty One.

ten twenty thirty forty fifty one

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

I think the cake will have to be a one candle event.  There is a point in time where your age makes it dangerous to light the matching number of candles on a cake.

I have reached that age.

linda x


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