Thursday, November 1, 2012

Surprise come back post!

Oh, hi. 
Or as my friend (blogless) Cath says when I see or talk to her (far too infrequently) "Oh, hi, friend". I really like it!

I feel like this is an odd 'come back' post- I have done heaps of sewing latley, and in my usual style some has been gifted without being photographed, I have done a decent amount of baking- including being back on the sourdough path after a break of about 15 years! And I need to show you 'around the grounds'- we're talking flowers, asparagus, strawberries, onions...and less excitingly to me, broad beans- but I need to be thinking of creative and fun things to do with them, because the 10 year old planted them and it's her first 'crop' (note to self: get her planting corn next time!).

Cathy (tinniegirl) has inspired me to tell you a story, after reading her post on Kat's blog.

This story is from actually probably nearly 10 years to the day.

We were renting an "off the grid", solar powered house on 100 beautiful acres including cliffs and waterfalls (pity it was mid drought and no water was falling). It was isolated. I had a 2 year old and a baby. My health was crap- I was sore (fibromyalgia was that diagnosis), I was tired (chronic fatigue syndrome was that diagnosis) I was teary (post natal depression was that diagnosis) I didn't feel right (Hashimoto's disease was that diagnosis) and, depending on whatever other specialist I saw at the time, they also had a specialist diagnosis to add to my growing toolkit (that's what they do, specialise)

The upshot is I was at my wits end- regardless of all those unhelpful diagnosis, it's always going to be a challenge (which some might respond to better than I did) to have broken sleep and the constant physicalness of two young children, not being around any 'old friends' (the day we left Melbourne was the day I found out I was pregnant, after a good 2 years of hoping to be)..etc.

I did have a small handful of cool women I had met in town. One day, I must have been vulnerable and told the truth to one particular women, who oozed authenticity and genuine-ness- when she said 'how are you going?', I reckon she meant it. I can't remember the details of the conversation but I must have responded with 'yeah, not great, so tired, just hanging in there'- or something along those lines. A few days later her partner visited our house and said 'Ms. Wonderful said you're not travelling great'- and then reiterated her offer- "if you ever need one of us to come and hang out with the kids while you sleep- please let us know". It touched me, made me realise it wasn't a token offer. These people lived maybe 25 minutes away, and had two little tackers of their own, we weren't at all 'besties'- I just really liked them!

At some stage in the coming weeks, I rang. Ms. Wonderful turned up- and while it would have been really fun to sit and chat with her and hang out, I didn't have it in me and she knew that's not what she was there for. She walked in, she said 'what are the kids up to' (eg- that one will have a sleep soon, the other one will wake up)...and when I had 'handed over' she said "now, off you go, go sleep".

Seriously- what a gift. I don't know how long she was there for, no longer that a few hours probably, but here I am, ten years later, telling you just how much that meant to me. Actually, how much that meant to me is beyond words. 

It was hard to ring and ask for help. Having low energy is crap. I must continually not compare my efforts of living to those of other people (some of whom seem to get so much done- and be able to handle 'simple' things like looking after their two young children!)

As I get older, I appreciate diversity and figure, although I am very conscious of all the balls I am trying to juggle and dropping, I am just travelling along side you, trying to 'be humans' together.  People value different things, that's okay, fair chance there are some similarities amongst the differences.

I still have times of stuggling with my energy levels.  I am so thankful when people with more energy than me can just be with me and not tell me that 'the more you sleep the more you want to sleep' (I take that as implied laziness, beat myself up, question myself and then resent the person who said it- overall, not helpful!)

And I was so thankful the day Ms. Wonderful turned up on my doorstep, to offer her hand and practical skills without any sense of 'the do-gooder' or 'the judger' , just with herself and her recognition that we are travelling the road of life together, and it's good to help each other out. 

How very decent!


  1. Thanks for sharing your interesting story, isn't it amazing all the ups and downs of life - sometimes you don't even realise the downs until you look back.
    I love people who will just get in there and help with no strings attached - they are rare.
    One of my aims as the years pass by is to become that person that I need. There are so many times I have needed help and not received it (this is where my faith has really saved me) but instead of being bitter and self pitying I want to turn that into something positive and be that helper to others.
    Re: your Kmart comments - I'm there with you on that! I'd love to buy handmade full time but realistically it's totally beyond out budget and we mostly wear second hand and some cheap new stuff when necessary. Buying handmade is a great aim to have and I really appreciate it when I can support other WAHMs and make the rest myself wherever possible.
    Well, look at me rambling on, I'd better leave it there!

  2. Great post, Tan. And I know what you mean about how much small acts of kindness can mean. If you read the acknowledgement in the front of my book, you'll have a sense of a similar story.

  3. It's hard to let go and accept help. I try my darndest to be as independant as possible, but there are some things where I just have to give in, as much as I hate doing so.
    So glad you were able to get help Tan!

  4. Wow, we all need a fairy 'godmother' person sometimes. It takes strength to recognise you need help and then to ask for it.
    I bet Ms Wonderful didn't think she'd done much at all...
    Damn, some people are ace :o)
    Have a great day.

  5. Bravo my friend, bravo! When I was pregnant with the girls we decided that if people offerred help we would say "Yes, thank you". I love being part of community and being able to offer assistance to other people but in turn it is important to remember to also take help when you need it and it is offerred.
    The not

  6. Hmmm, it froze mid-comment!
    The not comparing is hard but vital. There is always someone who seems to get more done, but do they do it as well as you or I, who knows!!

  7. Hey you! You rock, such honesty, such courage and such self awareness....these are all amazing traits! I am sometimes one of those people that allegedly has 'so much energy', but you know what, as a general rule everyone is just doing the best they can on any given day.....and our best today is different to our best on any other day and the best of anyone else! comparison is good for recognition of other people's achievements, but os pointless for assessment of our personal have such terrific insight Tan, this will give you a far greater understanding of yourself and life than comparison to anyon else. I wil finish as I started....YOU ROCK!!!!!!!! Love Tanxxx

  8. You are you & that is how you are wonderfully made! It is so hard not to compare .... Kindness is such a rare thing in our world & it is wonderful to see it even in glimpses...the impact of that restful afternoon will last a life time ... what a wonderful gift! .... have you had you Thyroid tested??? Changed everything for me!

  9. I don't really have words for how much I love this post. I came back to read it again today and these words "I am just travelling along side you, trying to 'be humans' together" touched my heart. So perfectly said.


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