Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dear person who judges me because I'm fat...

Guess what, I know I'm fat. I've been fat for a long time now and frankly I don't really care. I mean I would love to be fitter and be able to climb mountains, but I've been busy getting educated, having surgery, becoming a single parent and looking after my family and getting fit slips to the bottom of the pile.

I actually feel sorry for you, that you think I am jealous of your skinny body. Really I have far more important things to worry about. I'm busy parenting and earning a living, and when I have spare time I'm kinda busy hanging out with people that I care about.

Yes I'm fat, so what? How does this effect you? Actually I'm pretty sure the doctor thinks I'm obese, but it doesn't stop me from being a good mum. It doesn't stop me from being a good friend. Being fat doesn't mean I can't have fun or work hard, whichever I choose. I'm fat because the gene pool is shitty. All of my ancestors were fat, actually I'm possibly skinnier and healthier than some of them.

 My being fat doesn't effect you in any way shape or form, unless I hug you in which case you might get squashed by my bosoms. The only person it effects is me and I'm not bothered enough to do something about it. So please don't tell my kids I'm jealous, because I'm not, and I don't want them to think that. I don't look at people and think I wish I was you, I'm {mostly} happy being me. I want my kids to be happy being them too. I'm healthy and gradually I'm getting fitter; as far as I am concerned, that is the important thing.

I'm much more concerned about being someone that genuinely cares for other people. I want to be someone who can listen when someone is having a hard time, who has time to spend with others and who makes a difference in other people's lives. I want to be someone who is loveable. Being unkind would make me unloveable, or being selfish or being rude, those things would make me unloveable.

Being fat does not make me unloveable.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Accidental Anglican

Last year I when I turned my life upside down
I realised that I needed a new place to attend church.
It's weird isn't it. You would think that because I grew up in a cult,
and because so many very bad things happened to me in a Church,
that I would think Church wasn't for me.
But actually my faith is an important part of who I am
and I'm not letting it go.

But also my faith has changed a lot over the years.
Thank goodness for that.
Today my faith is something that is at the core of who I am.
It is about how I think, how I act and how I love those around me.

It is not something I do.
It is something I am. 
I am deb.
I believe in something bigger than myself.
That belief, gives me a future and a hope.

So last year when I wanted a place where I felt safe
but where I could see faith in action, I ended up at St Marks Anglican.
I had gotten to know the vicar's wife.
And she is a real gem of a lady.
I thought, well Elizabeth is lovely (and non judgmental)
maybe it is safe to go there.

Turns out I love the Anglican style of worship.
I love how inclusive they are.
I love how non judgemental they are.
I love how it is not a performance.
It's just completely practical.

Ask for forgiveness.
Ask for help.
Declare your faith.
It's working for me.
That's how I became an accidental anglican.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The end of a {very long} era....

Tomorrow this sweet sweet child starts school
and marks the end of 22 1/2 years of my parenting of pre-schoolers.
I feel like I've been doing it forever,
you would think that I would be good at it by now wouldn't you?

The truth is, I regard it as a success that they are all still alive,
that they can dress themselves,
feed themselves (and others);
that they are {mostly} helpful, polite and fun to be around.

I've managed to keep them all in {mostly} clean clothes,
eat {fairly} healthy food; 
I've read stories, I've pushing swings,
I've mastered the art of bandaging every kind of wound.
I've been on more doctors visits that I can count.

I've said, I love you {almost} as many times as I've told them to wash their hands,
I've handed out {nearly} as many hugs as punishments.

I've been strong against the worst tantrum thrower ever
I've kept the thrill seeker alive.
I've dragged the anxious child with me on every kind of trip.
I've run a tight ship with military-like routines
for as long as I can remember.

I'm not even going to pretend that it's all been fun,
but there is something special about having a small person
who thinks that you are wonderful,
who hangs on every word you say
and wants to be as close to you as physically possible.

It's awesome to be able to fix all of their wee problems
and make all of their little dreams come true in some way or another.

So tomorrow I'll take Annie-Rose to school
to start the next stage of her journey.
I'm excited for her and I know that she will love it.

I think my eyes may leak a little.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Making mistakes is better than faking perfections....

One of the things I find hard about being a solo parent,
is the responsibility to make all the decisions for the family.

It's a really big deal,
to have to work out what is the best,
not just for little things, but for big things.

Frankly, I'm pretty worried about stuffing things up.

But then I have to tell myself,
what is the worst that can happen??
what is the important thing here??
what can I achieve if I change something??

The really really hard part is when you decide something
and then you get a whole lot of different opinions from people.
I mean getting advice is good and important,
but sometimes you have to make a decision
in spite of what other people think.

It's really really scary deciding to back yourself.
To say, I've done the research,
I've weighed the pros and the cons
and I've found a way forward.

The whole process is wearying to say the least.
Tomorrow I'm listing my house for sale.

I really really hope it is the right thing for our family.
I think this could be the scariest thing I've ever done by myself.

There have been a few secret tears.
I'm holding on by the skin of my teeth.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Twelve Months

So it's exactly twelve months today since I began to live my life on my own.
Although I had been considering it for a while,
I still can't believe that I actually took that final step
to end my marriage of 22 years.

You might think that after a couple of decades
that you would have sorted out any differences that you have,
but I discovered that that wasn't the case,
and it turns out the rest of your life is a really long time.

As a family we have achieved a lot over the last twelve months.
Both David and I have created separate homes for the children,
managed our finances and kept everyone fed and clothed.

All while negotiating the tricky paths that untangling 22 years 
of living together creates.
For the most part we have managed to do this while
maintaining our equilibrium.

I won't lie, it wasn't easy. 
But actually once the initial decision was made,
the difficult parts were about building a new life,
learning to be a single person,
learning who your real friends are,
and not taking one's self too seriously.

I know that I've made a lot of mistakes,
I've stumbled along and sometimes fallen.
I've got angry, I've cried, I've sworn a lot.

But looking back, I can see that I have stumbled forward,
that even though I've fallen, I have got up again.

I'm so grateful for my life now.
I might cry, but I can smile too.

I have hopes, that this year will be even better.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Last day in New York City {things I've learned while I've been here}

1. I have zero sense of direction. This means that you get a lot of incidental exercise in your day. It's probably not a bad thing.

2. I can manage fine by myself but it would be awesome to share this experience with someone. This is where social media comes in so handy, because I can share my pictures online and people like them. I was alone, but not lonely.

3. Stairs are not my friend. 
4. Meeting people you "know" through social media is heartwarming and awesome. It has added so much to my America experience, to meet real Americans. Thank you my friends.

5. I'm not a tourist. I really couldn't make myself go and do the touristy things. I tried, but there was always too many people and the queues were killer. However I loved people watching, finding details in the architecture and just wandering about the city.

6. I can live on Starbucks.

7. New York cold is not the same as Christchurch cold. I wore my coat once and my thermals not at all. (Disclaimer: I realise that this is not normal. Maybe next time I'll see snow).

8. I don't mind crowds, but I hate it when you get trapped in the crowd.

9. I love the Subway, which is lucky as I spent so much time on it. (See point 1)
10. I enjoyed unstructured adventuring rather than planning each day in detail in advance.

New York has been amazing. Everything I dreamed and more. There really are yellow taxis and yellow school buses. There are fire hydrants and post boxes just like in my childhood storybooks. The buildings are amazing. The people are interesting. I feel like I've just spent my time absorbing it into my soul. I'll never forget this time, I'll be able to take out the memories for years to come, remember this place and its beauty. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have had to come here. It has completely changed my perspective on America. This is a good thing! I can't wait to bring my kids back one day and show them this place.

Lastly thank you to all of you who have commented both on the blog and on my Instagram feed. It's been awesome to have you all along with me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The land of the free and the home of the brave...

I left my friend Lora's house this morning
and it was 16 hours before I staggered in the door of my apartment tonight.
In fact when I stood in the elevator,
I was so tired I didn't notice it wasn't moving
till a voice asked me which floor I wanted. 

I have absolutely had the best time.
I got to meet John and Patrick
who were so welcoming and kind.

I had a really good time with them,
and John took me all around his favourite parts of his area.
It is the greatest thing to meet someone that you have only corresponded with
and discover that they are truly lovely people in real life.

I have completely fallen in love with the trees in America.
I have taken dozens and dozens of photos of them.
All those slim trunks, so close together,
so sculptural with the light coming through them.
I could look at them for hours.

That's lucky, because the aforementioned train journey
did involve looking at them for hours!!

It is so weird to see that America is actually just like it was
in my Little Golden Books as a kid.
They have the same fire hydrants, the same post boxes
and look, the Sheriff drives the same kind of cars.
The children at school actually do go in those yellow buses
which feature in so many movies.

I also spent a wonderful day with my friend Lora
who I have known and corresponded with for quite a few years now.
We never dreamed we would actually get to meet each other
and we talked each others ears off.

Lora took me on a Great American Adventure.
We went thrifting, we went to Target and Hobby Lobby.
We ate at Chick fil a (it was delicious).
We went to a great outdoors shop called Cabels
and looked at an incredible array of weapons.

I'm so glad that I have been able to spend some time outside of New York,
to see the beautiful countryside
and meet some more people.
I think the best part of travelling is seeing people
in their natural habitat!! 

I absolutely love America.
I truly did not expect to.

But it's lovely. The people are lovely.
The countryside is beautiful.
The architecture is amazing.
It's great. I feel so privileged to have had this opportunity to visit.