Monday, December 29, 2014

Mum believed in a home. I'll wash the curtains.

I was 19 when mum and dad split. Mum and us three moved to Nana's garage. No matter how large it seemed when I was tiny, it was too small after we'd moved in. But Mum made it a home. I got out pretty quickly.

A year or so later mum rented a house in Laver Avenue, 2 mins walk from our childhood home. Coincidence? No. All four of us lived there for some time and eventually went our separate ways. But Mum had made it a home. I'd had my 21st birthday there and my sister her 18th, I think.

Mum moved to Onkaparinga Drive Salisbury and made this place a home too. First a home to herself and (I think) Kirrily, and then she made it a home to her mother when she was ready for it. Mum moved next door to the "tall brown house" and Nana got the single storey. Homes. Freedom. Self determination. The stuff I believe in.

On Nana's passing (love you) Mum moved back in here. Home again.

So mum died almost six months ago. I'm in furious agreement with my sister - this won't become a "dead lady's house" as much as it is one.

Mum, I promise you. This will remain a home until we sell it. Today, I'll wash the curtains. Yep, in another life (or another me) I would've been doing this stuff before you died. I suppose I can at least do it now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Your greatest responsibility to others is to have your own shit together

I have met a few interesting people over the last few weeks. I have liked only some of them but I've respected all of them.

What does each member of this disparate group have in common? Each person knows what the hell they are.

The abrupt young lady who was setting up her travel plans and speaking about setting it up with her other half. When I met her other half I was introduced to another strong woman. A female (now friend) who would just talk, talk talk. When I pointed out that it drives me crazy she told me  "that's what I am but I'm good, deep down" and we agreed that we'd butt heads but be friends. The crusty old guy who took up as much space as he liked but with an attitude of "I've been doing this stuff a long time and know how I get my best results"

So our greatest responsibility to others is - first - to have our own shit together.

When the commercial airliner goes into a dive and the masks drop out, what is the advice? "Secure your own mask before assisting others."

If you are not solid in your own space, you are forcing everyone else to work with a moving target.

And it serves us, too. As Sun Tzu said:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There is only now..

"Promising myself someday I'd take the time to try to make sense,
out of all those opportunities I'd lost from tryin to sit on the fence,
Right now I've got no time for yesterday,
Yesterday's a thousand miles away..

A thousand miles away."

It's a song from the 80s that laments the loneliness of a commercial traveller. It's always rung a bell for me but the verse above is particularly poignant at the moment.

My mum was having health problems from the beginning of the year. In late June she went into the hospital and never came out. She died with all of her closest loved ones around her, and a whole outer circle of loved ones were taken totally by surprise.

As I live through the months since she's gone I realise that I, too, was taken by surprise.

I surely don't need to dwell on yesterdays, and I don't need to worry about the future. There is only now.

Now is the time to do the things you want to do. The only time. There may not be a tomorrow.

This week, this day, this minute and this second. Now.