The Happiest Day of Your Life?

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I’ve been watching a show on TV about couples getting married, where one set of parents has refused to come to the wedding. Excuses are: the couples are gay, the age gap between the couples, cultural differences, too young. I got married 12 years ago and my parents refused to come to my wedding. Why? I’m not sure. I’m not gay (but totally support gay marriage), there was no great age gap, no cultural difference and at 40, I was definitely not too young. They just had an unspoken falling out with me, and somehow that was that.

I actually think maybe there was a weird belief in my family that I was meant to be the spinster nurse who would look after everyone. Getting married totally betrayed that family dynamic.

My parents were invited to the wedding officially. My brother gave me away. My sister made the decorations for the church. My in-laws turned out in support and we had a fabulous day.

My parents gave me $1000 towards the wedding then spent $40,000 on a trip to France instead of attending our nuptials. We payed for everything ourselves.

I sometimes wonder how anyone gets through these situations.

Life can be bloody tough. In your happiest moments, you can have your darkest hour. I’m not sure how the heart forgives. I’m not sure how families survive this stuff. For a long time, I absolutely hated my parents. But quite a few years of therapy helped that. I don’t have any answers, but I wanted to post this and say, don’t let the negative shit rain on your parade. By forgiving my family, moving on and making my own way in life, I’ve gained so much self respect. At the end of the day, people bang on about family, but sometimes, your family can be a bloody disappointment.

If you have a great family, then celebrate that to the stars and back. If you don’t (like me), then celebrate yourself to the outer edges of the universe and back. Because you are good enough, and they don’t get to dictate your life. Make yourself your own legend. Good luck. Get help where you need it. Make friends with people you can love, and most of all, don’t let your family’s limited vision of who you are become your belief system. Once you free yourself from needing their approval, the world will be your oyster. Don’t look back! You are enough. You are amazing to have survived this sort of family. And they will make great characters in your novel, (which they will never read if you have written it!!!)

A change of season

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This is not what you want to greet you when you walk into your wardrobe, amongst your carefully collected, much loved vintage clothes. My wee ferret Lottie has a climbing fixation, and it’s driving me crazy. But I digress. Winter is drifting into spring here in South Australia, and it’s been an exciting time. We had a TOTAL blackout of our whole state two weeks ago. Everywhere!! There was chaos in the city because all the traffic lights, ATMs, petrol stations and shops were closed down. All the country towns were blacked out – we were the laughing stock of Australia. I think over 1.2 million people were without power.

Us oldies knew what to do though. Luckily my muse and I have a gas powered stove. We hung a torch above the oven and proceeded to cook every evil, fattening, fabulous thing in our deep freeze and fridge (because by the morning it would probably be off). We had a feast of curry puffs, minced beef with bacon and a bottle of tequila. On reflection, the tequila probably would have kept if it had been thawed a little, but nonetheless. I still have an ancient landline, connected to a phone that doesn’t run off electricity. I called friends interstate, and they told me what was happening from their news updates on the TV. It was great. I also sat in my car in the garage (I wasn’t going out into the mayhem of the roads), and listened to the AM radio, which was still broadcasting. A fairly early, fat-fuelled, drunken night was had by all. I’m thinking the maternity wards will be very busy nine months from now…

Last week we had a week of hot, hot temperatures. I packed up my winter wardrobe – dry cleaned all my coats, washed and packed away all my winter tops and dresses – only to have us plunge back into freezing temperatures this week. I’m wandering around in the only two outfits I can be bothered to wash again. Life is so unpredictable.

So, as we slide into summer and Christmas, I’m left to ponder yet again, where did the year go? And what did I do in this year? But before I answer those questions, I need to figure out how I’m going to keep Lottie from climbing up the Christmas tree next month. Yup, I put the tree up on November 1st. I bloody love all the decorations and it takes so long to put them all away, I want to enjoy them. I’m thinking I’m going to have to find a really big box to perch the tree on. I wonder what Jesus would make of it? And Lottie! Well on that note…

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The end of the road…

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Hmm, I could have done with a camel recently. Two weeks ago I was sitting in my car at the end of our road, waiting to turn into the main street, when some hoon (for non-Aussies, that’s a person in a car who is driving like an idiot) came barrelling into the back of me, ripping off the bumper and wrecking the boot. My trusted car of eleven years was promptly written off by the insurance company, and taken to the scrap yard. The stupid driver of the other car was whinging at me about his insurance excess (being a 19 year old. Yes, it was $1,500), but I wish I had said to him, ‘hey dickhead, I’m on foot now.’

I’ve been catching public transport ever since.

Still, I wasn’t injured, and I’ve found a new car which I get tomorrow, so all is well in the world! This experience came shortly after we lost two of our little ferrets to cancer and old age. They passed away together on the same day. We’ve had a lot of change happening around us lately, and it’s made me think about the whole idea of letting go of things, and moving into new phases of your life. Not the easiest thing to do.

Sometimes you simply don’t get a choice. The best thing to do is try and accept the situation and make the best of it. While I hate public transport, I’ve rediscovered that 30 minutes to work is the perfect amount of time to get stuck into a smutty book a friend has lent me. And two new fur babies have found a home with us, from the animal shelter.

It’s hard to trust that the future will work out, but these last few weeks have shown me just that. And I got a great new car to provide it.