Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bored but Happy

I'm bored. It's a one day public holiday in the middle of the week . . hump day . . . Wednesday. It's pouring rain which I should be thankful for. DrummerBoy is trail bike riding in the mud (and he took my toothpaste so I had to brush my teeth outside with Listerine because if I spit in the sink it kills the bacteria in the Envirocycle) and ClareBear is paying her respects to the ANZACs by getting pissed at the local Returned Servicemen's Club. ThePrincess has taken over the bed and I'm stuck with the Anzac Parade on telly or Dr Phil. God forbid. But I guess I'm happy. Boredom led me to take a journey into my own head and I begain wondering when I was at my happiest.

My childhood was incredibly happy. The first 11 years of my life spent in country England when it was safe to ride a tricycle to the local building site and marvel at Irish labourers fiddling with solder - they shared their chips with me and had handkerchiefs on their heads with knots tied on each corner. I was even happier when each birthday, high day and holiday, someone paid for a riding lesson or better still a day trek at the local riding school where we rode and froze our toes off all day and returned for baked potatoes in their jackets and Heinz tomato soup. Soooo good.

I was happy when I went to my Nana's each Saturday. She owned a pub in Manchester so while she and my mother drank tea and gossiped, we ran riot in the supply room in the basement, pinching corners of jelly and drinking little bottles of coke and mini packets of chips in the days before they were pre-salted - they had little blue wax papers full of salt in the packet so that you could add your own. She would let us dress up in swags of feathery, sparkly clothes and buckets of cheap jewels. She and my Grandpa never got on, he'd come in and do the breakfasts, she'd saunter out of bed at 2.00 and talk some restaurant into staying open for very posh late lunch. I had my first prawn cocktail when I was 7! I reckon I could write a book about them eventually.

I was pretty happy when I first arrived in Australia although it was very, very different. Big. The fields were bigger, the trees were bigger, the cars were bigger - even that expanse of blue sky looked bigger. It took us a long time to settle and we moved from Melbourne to Sydney - 4 primary schools and 3 high schools later we stayed and I haven't had the urge to move more than 10kms away ever since.

Of course I was happy falling in love, getting married, delivering two perfect children. My pigeon pair. Then 9 years of pretty blissful and uneventful marriage sustained that euphoric state. It wasn't without its moments but in retrospect, I was very happy with my, tiny house, little family and massive mortgage.

I was pretty happy at work too. I had a great bunch of colleagues in a creative environment and we socialised and worked together. I still keep in touch with them and our quarterly lunches at each other's houses are really worth looking forward to. A couple have since moved overseas but the core sticks together. They were halcyon days filled with art and music, differing opinions and weird clothes.

I'm always happy travelling. Even though trips to Fiji, Tahiti, England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Disneyland (I daren't say I saw any of America) seem so long ago, they definitely made me happy and that is now my retirement goal. I'm just going to move around the globe by whatever means necessary.

I was happy camping when the children were younger. I had a little trailer tent which I could put up myself in minutes but as they grew older the trips became few and far between so I sold it, something I regret now. We went from beach to bush, caving, swimming, walking - no TV, no mobiles. Fantastic.

I was happy in 1995 when my house seemed to be full of young men and flirty young women due to a newly divorced sad sack and a handsome foreign house guest who attracted much mirth and merriment. I seemed to be perpetually cooking pasta, curries and BBQ's for the 20 something hoard and they rekindled my love of alternative music. I learned to mosh without my neck hurting and can still be caught dancing alone late at night if the right vibes are being played on Rage

I was very happy when BabyBro moved in next door after our Dad died, the previous occupant, my now estranged BigBro turned out to be a vegetarian narcissistic hedonist by his own admission and choice and we talk only about estate matters these days. He certianly doesn't make me happy . . . he's not happy himself so has no empathy with the emotion.

Breakfast on Sunday makes me happy. We sometimes go to a local cafe or one within the many nurseries around here and indulge in the big breakfast and juice and enough coffee to rev me up for hours.

I'm happy on Saturday mornings when I have coffee and girlchat with BabySis and catch up with the neice and nephew and make sure the 'boys' have been fed and watered even though I barely pass them a cursory glance these days.

I'm happy when the heat finally subsides and we embrace winter and soft woollens and the extra doona gets broken out for night time warmth and I can walk in the mornings without breaking into a sweat, just breathing in the mist and watching the sun come up over the trees.

I'm happy when I have dinner with Thommo, TheMerryWidow, and StruthRuth. There are giggles and tears and we try to get away for a girly weekend each year where we behave badly and are extremely silly in luxury hotel spas.

I'm happy when I blog and that I have some new contacts who write funny, clever, banal, astute, opinionated, silly, intelligent posts and often humble me with their prose, humour and honesty. It's a pleasure to check each morning. And Arky if you're reading this, I'm happy when you MSN me . . . so get crackin'

I'm happiest these days with the little things. That time in the evening just before the sun goes down and it's cooling off and the birds are settling and we sit out in the garden or dangle our legs in the pool. Even more so with a champagne in one hand, chatting about the day's events to whoever will listen and admiring the last vestages of rural life around us, bathed in the very summery fragrance of jasmine and gardenia. Also when we're all home together, usually when it's cold all snuggled like pigs in a blanket watching DVD's or enjoying a family meal and really talking to each other, not just checking in. I marvel at the birds that steal a morsel from the bird feeder outside my family room door, blue/green King Parrots, Crimson Rozellas, underrated pink and grey Galahs and of course the pirates of the bird world, Sulpher Crested Cockatoos who are sometimes so numerous they make it swing wildly in their scramble for sunflower seeds.

So as I sit here, banging away at the keyboard with much needed rain thrashing down outside and gushing dangerously off the too-narrow gutters, I have realised that I'm not ecstatic at the moment. I'm in a shit-load of debt, I have separation anxiety and hair, ageing and weight issues. I don't really like my job at the moment, my car is ancient and likely to keel over any minute, I have $500 to live off until payday because I'm an over-insured substance abuser living on a property I can no longer afford and my only company is a 20cm lizard which is curled up on my router because it's warm and a five year old labrador that rarely lifts her head off my pillow.

So no, I'm not ecstatic . . . and I'm frequently bored these days but I'm blessed with the important things, friends, family, health, and a great environment so I think I'm pretty happy.

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