Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The long road to normal

I should know better really. I guess I should know better about a lot of things but one of the things I do know better about is don't mix conversation and emotion and tiredness. It often works out badly and I guess it did last night, hence I should have known better. And I have to say that without my online friends who YES I do consider to be friends, not just Net Friends, the past couple of years would have been much less enriched and a lot less laughs and love.

And while I will continue to recover from lifes little glitches at my own pace, because that's all I can do - good bad or otherwise - just be me in everything including recovery processes, I do take on board that I have people who care about me and try to offer advice and support when they see a need for it. I am very grateful to have you all in my life.

The one thing that does interest me out of this has been the realisation of how we tend to think that we are perceived a certain way or tend to rather NOT see how others perceive us and the things we do. As much as your intentions may be a certain way, it doesn't mean that's how everyone else sees it and sometimes I think one can be misunderstood for that very reason.

Mel at Scrap Pile issued a challenge which by rights should have been completed this morning by 8:00 a.m. however I was simply unable to spend the time on it for various reasons and only just managed to get it finished at lunch time. It wasn't actually what I started out to do, but in light of conversations last night and this morning, I think it was probably perfect and I therefore dedicate it to Tracey & Julie - why? - Because they are both a little scarey, both sometimes just don't understand me, both sometimes simply can't see where I am coming from (I blame my old age and their excessive childrenness... LOL), but both are passionate, beautiful ladies who's maternal instincts to protect those they love are fierce and loyal. And it's when that instinct branches out to friends, even when it causes conflict, you can't help but admire and be grateful they are on your side.

The challenge was for Australia Day and to scrap a layout or card only using the colours of the flag. I decided to do a bit of a play on the colours and so the LO is entitled "Read, Why't & Blue". The journaling tag says : I don't want to minimise the pain or the impact. I don't want to think about the loss. I don't want to forget how happy you made me. I'm the lucky one though. I walk away with self respect, knowing I was honest, gave it my all and did it for the right reasons.

And Tracey - it's because I feel I am the lucky one that I think I am the real winner - if, as you see it, there needs to be one. I can cope with the smugness and spite from her, broken promises and lies from him.... but throughout all of this I remained true to myself, I kept every promise I made him, I never let him down when he needed me throughout his heart attack, his car accident, his financial troubles, his emotional stress or at any other time in the past year, & in the end I allowed him to make his choice based on love and trust and respect, not guilt or need or ownership. If he fails to see what he's lost, then that too is his loss. I will survive and be happy, he has a miserable life caring for an old, unattractive, bitter and betrayed woman ahead of him, and she has his pity and a firm hold of her end of the dog leash. Frankly they are both welcome to that life - I certainly want no part in a relationship that consists of that, and at the end of the day it was his choice.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Just when you think it's safe...

I actually thought that I was doing surprisingly well this morning. I mean not withstanding no sleep and a pounding headache that equally surprisingly didn't have anything to do with alcohol - I actually thought I was coping. That was until I got in the car and drove into town. A well meaning 101 message from a friend was the start of the tears. That was followed by a phone call from Lakeisha who was at work asking if I was OK. Evidently me getting in the car and driving off is enough to send out a red alert at the moment. Given she was finished for the day I had to go and pick her up early.

And I would have said I was in control until the moment I walked through the back gate at Culture. And then my mind was crowded with a thousand visions of the two of us walking hand in hand/arm in arm along that walkway on any given day. And once in the restaurant the sight of "our couch" as it's been labelled after a year of preferred seating, and the table that we always take if the couch is occupied or we are eating - I just couldn't breathe. I felt as though I would pass out and I just turned on my heels and bolted out of there bawling my eyes out.

And so I have spent a miserable afternoon recalling everything. Thinking about the plans that have been made, the promises that were given and every little detail about the past year as crisp and clear as the day it took place. And you know, it's not even the big plans that are the ones I am having the trouble getting over, the overseas travel plans, his plans for my 50th Birthday even though it's still over 3 years away, and the night out in Melbourne each month plans, and pursuit of the arts plans, and the working together as a business team with all the inventions and writing and music plans, and not to mention the whole promise of 50 years together if we both live that long plan. No, actually it's the "I'll start dinner if you are late home" and the "If you are tired I'll pick up Lakeisha from work on those midnight/1 a.m. finishes" and the "Sunday mornings in bed reading papers and talking" plans that are proving to be the biggest hurdles to get over. And that isn't even starting on the "How the hell to I face tomorrow without you" hurdle.

And so I sit here tonight having not eaten anything for 2 days, contemplating that future I simply can't face, trying to figure out how the hell you adjust to your life being turned completely inside out in the space of 24 hours, feeling the incredible weight of the look of disappointment and concern on Lakeisha's face, and just having the lesson of past lives impacting yet again - Never Enough, Never Enough.

If it weren't for the incredible support of those beautiful people who have offered such encouraging words and thoughts and love : Lakeisha, Wendy, Frank, Julie, Bob, Mel & Tracey : I swear I would not be sitting here typing this blog.

Every Step Is Forward.

This arrived in my mailbox this morning and I am ever astounded at the accuracy and timing of either the Astrology or Daily OM messages in relation to my life most of the time.

Every Step Is Forward
No Going Back

There are times when we feel that we are spinning our wheels in the mud in terms of our spiritual progress. This can be especially true following a period of major growth in which we feel as if we’ve gained a lot of ground. In fact, this is the way growth goes—periods of intense forward movement give way to periods of what seems like stagnation. In those moments when we feel discouraged, it’s helpful to remember that we don’t ever really go backward. It may be that we are at a standstill because there is a new obstacle in our paths, or a new layer to get through, but the hard work we have done cannot be undone.

Every step on the path is meaningful, and even one that seems to take us backward is a forward step in the sense that it is what we must do to move to the next level. In addition, an intense growth spurt requires that we rest for a time in order to fully integrate the new energies that have been liberated by our hard work. When we feel we are not making progress, we can encourage ourselves to take a moment to rest. We can meditate more, feed ourselves well, and get extra sleep. Before we know it, we will be spurred on to work toward the next level of our development, and this rest will make sense then as something we needed in order to continue.

Once the sun rises, it doesn’t go backward but instead follows its path in one direction. It may appear to stand still for a moment in time, or to move more slowly at some point or another, but really it is steadily moving forward on its path. We are the same way, and once we have moved through something we can never really go back. We may be resting or revisiting issues that seem old, and it’s natural to feel stuck, but in truth we are always taking the next important step forward on our path.

And so another step is taken in the path of life. Not one by my choice but by the choice of another that I must live by. At the moment I feel empty, lost, and most of all numb. I can't contemplate the future or think about the past. It all hurts too much for that.

Some of the girls at Scrap Pile have been experiencing tough times lately. In an effort to give some guidance I wrote in the forum last week this message.....

"Life doesn't always take you in the directions you thought or sometimes even hope. Sometimes fate steps in and either herds you in a different direction or deals you what seems like a blow that you'll never recover from. The funny part is that things seem to work out in the end and no matter what you are older, wiser, stronger and sometimes surprisingly more ready for the next challenge than you anticipate. It's taken me 46 years to really know who I am and what I want and to actually be happy with the person I've become. Whatever the future holds for any of us, the most important thing is that you are happy. Find your passion and follow your heart. It's the best advice I could give anyone now. I'd rather die trying than try dying......"

Yesterday I died trying....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The big weekend....

I'm now able to post the layouts I completed last week since they were my challenges for the Scrap Pile Cyber Crop from Friday night. My challenge was to Scrapjack a layout from anyone in the gallery posted during 2007 since 2007 was the theme for the CC. My first example was a jack of Tammy's Freedom layout.

And the second one was a jack of Mel's Beauty layout.

A big weekend this weekend of so many important things it's almost difficult to comprehend the impact it's all had in so many ways. If I had to pick a highlight it would be the realisation of the impact of the reality of the future. The memorable moment is meeting one of Shanes most valued and respected friends and really liking this person a great deal. The low point, being reminded how hurtful it is when people you love lie to you. The saddest moment, realising just how difficult the next weeks are going to be.

Today was another gig for Shane in Melbourne and although the photos are not great, at least this time there were some although at first glance you would be forgiven for thinking he is playing a milk crate..... The laptop is sitting on one, and clearly we need to look into some alternative attire for such performances.....

Beginning of another week and I'm not sure it's likely to be one worthy of much blogging, but we'll see what happens. The one thing I do know is that life as we know it ceases to exist.... Having strength, patience and faith will be the key..... If there are three things I know I have these days, it's certainly strength, patience and a little faith.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What is this thing....

Today I watched him as he spoke to me and I am just so touched by the love in his eyes, the way he looks at me, I love that he wants to hold my hand as we sit and drink coffee, I love that he puts his arm around me or holds my hand wherever we walk together. I love that when he is driving I catch him glancing across to look at me with a smile on his face. Yeah I know - I sound like a teenager. Everyone should feel this loved and this cherished at least once in their lifetime. Maybe it's finally my turn.

52 weeks ago today you walked through my door, turned my head and changed my life. I know you aren't big on anniversaries, but I doubt I will ever forget that day as long as I live......

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday morning...

I got a layout completed this morning for next week's Cyber Crop at Scrap Pile, all except for the photo which I will need to print out at work either later today or tomorrow. Needless to say though I can't upload it until next Friday night. Was really pleased with the way it came up though.

Then I was sitting here trying to figure out which paper to use to do another example for next weekend and suddenly an idea came into my head for a photo that has been sitting here for a couple of months. It doesn't always work like that, but sometimes inspiration actually does hit you. And so came "Out Of This World" from a photo that cracks me up every time I look at it, and two men who make me laugh, cry and feel ever grateful they are a part of my life.

More later - hopefully.....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A time for change....

It struck me earlier today just how different life is about to become. Not just for the obvious impending changes but for the ones underlying that I sense are coming as well, not so obvious to some, although somewhat expected by others. There is little doubt there will be events over the coming weeks and months that will impact heavily - good and bad. And although there will be pain and sadness, there will also be great fulfillment and joy as well. I suppose as always, the key to "surviving" will be the ability to focus on those good parts, be supportive and just get through it all.

For my own life - day by day I feel a sense of reassurance and encouragement. I am grateful for once that time moves by quickly. Sometimes taking on a new role in life is easy, it seems to fit like a glove. That is where I am at now. I feel comfortable and at ease but not in a negative boring sense. Comfortable and at ease that it all just feels right somehow. I honestly don't know if it's a wisdom with age thing, or if I'm just at a point in my life where I feel just confident to go with whatever fate deals my way. But I do know that I've never been so relaxed or prepared to accept the fate as I am at this point. It's strangely calming.

I had hoped to complete a layout for Scrap Pile today, but instead focused on using up a few rather old bits and pieces that have been sitting unused for a very long time and create some cards. I never thought of myself as a card person, I think I've written about that before, but I really enjoy making these things from time to time. They are quick and fun and hopefully if they ever make it in the post at some point, and the recipients get half as much pleasure from receiving them as I did making them, then it will have indeed been well worth the effort.

Hopefully some scrapbooking to come tonight. Although I enjoyed the first week back to work, I have missed pushing paper around and creating pages. I still have so many photos to play around with.... and a lifetime of memories to preserve.

I was thinking today of how lucky I am, especially at two points in time. One was reading your post to Scrap Pile Kylie, about how tough 2007 has been, and the other was your comment Tracey, with all the pain in your life - past and present. These two beautiful ladies deserve so much happiness and I hope and pray you both will find it in 2008. I'll let you in on a little secret - on New Years Eve, when I toasted the New Year, there were instantly half a dozen things that crossed my mind and believe it or not, the two of you were included....... Isn't it incredible what online friendship can bring to your life...... I love you both!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Exciting news.....

As you know this radio station Otway FM is close to my heart for so many reasons. One of the main focus points for the past year has been to get the signal strong enough and efficient enough to send it out to the entire area we are licenced to broadcast to. Once we do that, it will actually be one of the largest Community Broadcast areas certainly in Victoria. Well as of tomorrow the equipment is being installed and so hopefully by Friday morning we will be broadcasting to a vast majority of the area we are aiming to cover. The rest should follow in quick succession.

This has been a dream for those who have been involved with the station for many years. I have to say that I'm proud and extremely excited to see this finally achieved and it has been through much hard work and perseverence. It couldn't have been achieved without the incredible assistance of Mike Tobin - President of the Community Broadcasting Association of Victoria - and I'm not sure that any of us could completely repay him for the hours of work he has put into not only the technical side of the station operations, but also the incredible work with his lobbying in government departments and cutting through the red tape to finally see this dream come to reality.

At some point during tomorrow's transmission we will change over to the new system and finally the station will achieve a status worth recognition and respect. I am actually humbled by the thought of that tonight. Humbled and very proud to be a part of what is truly a great achievement by some very dedicated people. To Shane, Rosemary, Tell, Cherise, & Mike, particularly - thank you for your never ending support and belief not only in Otway FM but also in me.
I am often struck by the incredible power of music and it's ability to move you. And although you may have heard a particular song many times, suddenly it can mean something completely different to you because of a change of mood or circumstances.

And so it was as I was driving in to town this afternoon and heard a song I've heard many times before and probably passed it off as a cheap opportunity to cash in on the last Commonwealth Games at best. But as I listened to the lyrics, I was so struck by how it seemed to "fit" the events of today. Maybe it fits yours too......

I know you're hurting
Feels like you're learning
'Bout life the hard way
And it ain't working
Seems like forever
That you've been falling
It's time to move on
Your life is calling, yeah

This was never meant to be the end
Close the book and start again

Cause I know how hard it can get
But you gotta lift
You gotta lift
And sometimes that's how it is
But I know you're stronger
Stronger than this
You gotta lift
You gotta lift

When you can feel your
Whole body's aching
What's left of your heart
It won't stop breaking
You gotta let go
You took a hit
Time to pick up now
Move on from this

This was never meant to be the end
Close the book and start again

Cause I know how hard it can get
But you gotta lift
You gotta lift
And sometimes that's how it is
But I know you're stronger
Stronger than this

You gotta
Lift yourself up above all the hurt
Don't give in
Wipe your eyes and remember
You're better than this
Let them know
That they took their best shot
And missed
C'mon and lift

This was never meant to be the end
Close the book and start again

Cause I know how hard it can get
But you gotta lift
You gotta lift
And sometimes that's how it is
But I know you're stronger
Stronger than this

You gotta lift
You gotta lift

Pick up now...
Pick up now...

"Lift" - Shannon Noll.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Last day...

One day to go. Although actually there is only half of it left... so really I might as well just get used to it.

If anyone knows of a Scrapaholics Anonymous meeting somewhere in my vicinity in the near future, perhaps you could email me the what when and where... it's become a serious addiction these past few days and I'm going to miss my free time so much starting tomorrow. I've had this photo sitting on the desk now for a few weeks so I figured I might as well stick it down on some paper. This is one of my favourite decorations - THE favourite decoration layout is yet to come but I'll get around to that sometime soon. In the meantime here is Xmas07.....

Saturday, January 05, 2008

And one for good measure

OK so I got a little carried away today on the scrapbooking. Here is another layout. Melanie created a challenge at Scrap Pile which was the inspiration for this one. Scrap your hopes and dreams for 2008. Well... what are ya gonna do..... you have to scrap what you have to scrap.... Here is "One Wish"....

Now that's it for scrapbooking for the day.... I think.....

and one more for Saturday...

Here is another creation for today. I took this photo on my mobile phone a few months ago at Culture - our 2nd lounge room... of Lakeisha one night when we were there for dinner. I love the rich grainy look of the photo. The paper was another part of the Design Team pack for Scrap Pile and looked like a page out of a calendar so I went with the block theme, wrote some journal entries and mounted the photo on chipboard before I cut it up into pieces and stuck it down on the panels. The result was almost a big Boofcheese jigsaw puzzle LOL. Entitled "Every Single Day".... and she does.

Earlier this afternoon an email arrived with 3 pieces of "reading material" attached. My friend amongst his many talents is a writer. One never really knows quite what to expect, though I hazard to guess this is a big part of what makes the ride so enjoyable... and having read these samples I have three things to say.
1) Only a parent can appreciate the incredibly overwhelming anguish of protecting a child,
2) Teddy Bears are only 2nd in cuteness to FLF's who remain at the #1 spot in this house,
3) If I see you with that camera and a smile on your face, my friend, I am going to be afraid - very afraid.

Life, Love & Scrapbooking...

Well another week almost over and my time off almost to an end. I just can't believe it's almost 2 weeks gone but there you have it. It's been a nice relaxing break, filled with some drama, but mostly a time to recharge and look at everything through some refreshed eyes. Hopefully the next few weeks will bring some professional and personal changes that see 2008 taking a slightly different course.

I finished a layout last night for Scrap Pile's Design Team projects. When I went to bed I wasn't completely happy with it. I woke up this morning and thought - NAH - and pulled a few things off, put a few extra things on and so now we have this......

Entitled "Cute And..." it was inspired by the rub-on "Knowledge Is Key". The pic of course is of Lakeisha & FLF (Furry Little Friend for those not in the know), and given there is a rather large push on at the moment for the purchase of a Wii, I notice reinforcements are being employed in the tactics - not the least of which includes our dear friend FL. Hence the "Cute And Not Afraid To Use It" title of the layout. They have the knowledge - they are using it.... LOL

I've never really been afraid of getting older. I think the wonderful thing about getting older is experience. It's not something you appreciate when you are young, but probably the one thing you come to rely on as you venture on down the path of life later. Experience and maturity tell you lots of things at lots of times. One of the things I am grateful for in my experience & maturity drawer is patience, and the ability to identify when and how to employ it. You learn that the things worth having are the things you work hardest for and that if you were meant to have them you will. I have a peaceful feeling of acceptance in all of life now. I am slowly recognising those things I can and can't change, I understand the difference between the things I need vs the things I want, and I know that the most important thing is to just be happy with what you have. And I have so much......

Friday, January 04, 2008

And then it was Thursday...

What a mixed bag today was. Some interesting highs and lows. But mostly the emphasis for me needs to be some focus, patience and support. Well "some" may be a slight understatement. But what I do know is that above all else right at this time I need to trust my instincts and allow the world to revolve on it's axis without me feeling the need to now and then give it a push like some small child on a swing to keep up the momentum. Hey - I've been for many years a "fix-it" girl and the habit is somewhat difficult to break from time to time. Especially when it's an important child on the swing. But somehow I feel like all the years of days gone by have been my training session to cope with everything that is taking place right now, and because of it, I have what it takes to stand back and allow what ever processes need to take place - and it's OK.

I started a new layout this afternoon but didn't get it finished until we returned home later tonight. Hence me sitting here writing this at 1:30 a.m. It's finally finished and scanned and is my first Design Team layout for January for Scrap Pile. Entitled Stay True - the theme of the layout came from those rub-ons you see on the page "Stay True To Your Heart" and "It is all about choices". There is a hidden journaling tag behind the photo which reads - "You two are the most important people in my life. Always follow your hearts, live life - don't settle for existing. Life is all about the choices you make, the people you love and living in a happy state."

We enjoyed a really nice night out thanks to our host Jenny - it's been ages with whom I've caught up but we really do need to do it more often. I really like this lady a lot. She has a strength and courage that inspires me, and an incredible patience and tolerance that makes her easy going personality very refreshing to be around. She and I have a lot in common and I'm pleased to know that some nice things are happening in her life as well. She certainly deserves it. Great dinner, nice wine and good conversation made for a really enjoyable evening. Oh but did they have to buy a Wii yesterday???????........

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another mini album

This was part of last month's Scrap Pile Design Team pack but I couldn't get the photos printed off until I borrowed the work printer over the holidays. I only had these photos from the photo shoot we did a year or so ago with Lakeisha & her friends. I couldn't think of another group of shots that would go together especially given the paper I was working with. Hopefully soon we'll get around to having more photos taken around here. That would be a nice change. Anyway here is my Friends mini album for Lakeisha.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The New Year

It certainly was a New Year's Eve to remember. I would have to say it's been many years since I can recall enjoying a NYE this much. I don't think I have ever spent a more romantic, sensual or intense night with anyone as I did last night. But then there were also some rather "memorable" moments that I'd rather forget. Being referred to in a somewhat superficial and temporary genre did nothing for me (or my thumb which is now sporting a nice "hole" in preference to speaking out about my objection to said comment).

I've always given the human race the courtesy of assuming there was at least a little intelligence involved in it's day to day operations. In the case of this particular human's "race" one has to ask if the power button is switched on and the "alert" button has actually been depressed. How ANYONE can miss that this particular individual's basic needs are NOT being met is BEYOND ME.

Anyway a couple of shots from the night..... Unfortunately not exactly what I had hoped for but given the lack of lighting - it's the best I could manage.