Heart of a Gypsy

A journey in the pursuit of happiness

Looking into the abyss

I've been feeling in such turmoil lately and as though I am in some kind of awful limbo.  It's incredibly frustrating because there are so many things I should be doing and I can't seem to set my mind to anything.  I want to slap myself but that would only make me cry, something I avoid doing at all costs.

Maybe I should cut myself a bit of slack..... after all a marriage breakdown, even if you are the instigator, is a massive life change and to be fair to myself I think I have done the best I can. The worst part is the way my moods can swing from one extreme to another in the space of 24 hours. Some days I feel at peace, content even and other days I feel like my whole system is in total conflict. I have no idea what each day will bring and I am at a loss to know how to handle it.  This is one of the main reasons why I haven't blogged or even kept up with my emails (sorry Kim).  I just haven't wanted to talk to anyone.

I did deactivate my Facebook but I am using it again now or I will turn into a total recluse.  At least with Facebook you don't have to worry about writing a masterpiece or even anything half decent and you still feel as though you are in contact with the world if you want to be.

I guess things haven't turned out the way I'd hoped when I finally plucked up the courage to leave my husband.  Really I think I just wanted to be happy but I'm just as unhappy as I was before only now I get to be miserable in private and I don't have to "fake it" all the time.  That is a relief at least.

I've always believed that the best way to deal with any kind of negative emotion is to make yourself feel it. So many people bury their grief and really believe that if they ignore it then it's gone. It isn't. You carry it around with you everywhere you go. At least if you face it and deal with it no matter how painful it is, you can eventually put it somewhere it won't be forgotten but won't be festering inside you like a painful wound.

I keep telling myself that this will pass, it always does. The thing is if you asked me what was wrong I honestly couldn't tell you and that is the main problem.   If you know what you're dealing with at least you have a shot of moving past it.

I vowed that I wouldn't write a "poor me" post but at this point I am up for trying anything to get past this terrible funk.

If anyone out there has been through this and has any words of encouragement or advice I am all ears and willing to try anything.

Bad Blogger

It is entirely possible that I am the worlds worst blogger.  I'm back 5 minutes and I've already lost interest or rather I'm just not in the right head space for blogging at the moment.  Just wanted anyone who still visits to know I'm not dead and I will keep this open for the time being just in case.

Hope you are all well in your little piece of the world.

Much love
Gypsy xx

Save Face on Facebook

I did something last week that I swore up and down I would never do.  I signed up for Facebook.

To be honest there were many reasons why I didn't want to go down that road not the least of which was I thought it would be another time wasting activity when spare time is not something I have a great deal of.  I have occasionally looked at my daughters' Facebook accounts when they haven't logged themselves off my computer and I couldn't understand for the life of me what all the fuss was about.  People were writing the most inane, mindless drivel on there and I just didn't think I would get any enjoyment out of it.  I mean really...does anyone care if you just made yourself a ham and cheese sandwich?  Hold the mayo.

I'm always happy to concede that I've made a mistake and been wrong about something, especially if I didn't even give it a try, but I'm not saying that exactly.  You thought I was going to eat a giant slice of humble pie didn't you?

How about if I just eat the crusty part I like so much?

The part that I have enjoyed is finding old friends, in particular, some old school mates.  Some of them just have an older version of their young teenage faces while others are virtually unrecognisable.  In the case of the latter I am quite sure I would have walked straight past them in the street.  Most have that middle aged cushioning going on and in some cases a lot less hair but on the whole they are just older versions of their former selves and most seem to have got through life without too many bruises.

I've never had a lot of what I'd call good friends and the ones I do have all live a long way from me.  It's strange but one of the reasons I decided to go back to blogging is because I missed the genuine friendships I formed with fellow bloggers.  People who aren't familiar with the concept of relating to others on line scoff at the prospect of any real sort of friendship being formed as a result of blogging.  I couldn't disagree more.

Since I've been separated, I have been very hurt and disappointed by the treatment I've received from people I thought were my friends.  It's true what they say......you always find out who your real friends are in a crisis and that has been a very bitter, hard lesson to learn.  People find it uncomfortable having a third wheel around.  My men friends seem to think because I am now single I might make a play for them and that scares the geewilikers out of them.  Frankly I don't fancy any of them but evidently they have a fairly high opinion of themselves.  So I have muddled on without anyone and have done very well.  My social life is tragic but I was never much for going out a lot anyway.

The people who have been there for me are blogging friends who kept in touch with me even before I left Craig.  After we broke up, they gave me their unconditional support, their wisdom, kind words of advice but most of all their friendship.  I won't embarrass them by naming them, but they know who they are.  You made all the difference as to whether I was going to sink or swim at times and I will be forever grateful for that.

So I decided to join Facebook to see if I can make some sort of life for myself outside of my little home that I share with a chicken called Elizabeth.  It may not work but the world is full of possibilities and we all have to start somewhere.

Time just flies

I have had my daughter Chelsea staying with me this week and it's been wonderful.  She has had to go into the city every day for a work placement through school and I happen to live very close to the train station.  So close in fact that sometimes it sounds like the train is hurtling through my living room.

It's hard to believe that in just 18 months my daughters will be finished school and will be making their own way in the world.  Chelsea is keen to be an events organiser in a big hotel or entertainment complex and I think she will be very good at it.  She seems to be the one amongst her many friends who gets things done and she is definitely a go getter who wants to take life by the scruff of the neck and wring every last drop out of it.  She'll go far I think.

Emily originally started to pursue a career in hospitality but even before she had done her work placement a couple of weeks ago, she had started to have second thoughts.  Emily is the complete opposite to Chelsea in every way imaginable.  She is a home body who doesn't really go out of her way to be sociable.  Occasionally she will go to a party or hang out with her friends but she's mostly happy in her own little world.  She likes her computer and TV and doesn't seem to have any lofty dreams as yet. 

Emily has now changed her focus to Child Care and I think that would suit her perfectly.  She loves babies and little children and in fact already helps to teach the babies dance class after her own class has finished on a Wednesday.  It's really cute because at the end of the lesson all these little ones chorus together "thankyou Miss Emily".  I think Emily will just cruise through life at her own pace and she won't be hurried by anyone and that's ok.

We are all different in what we hope to get out of life.

Looking back now I know I could have achieved much greater things than I have but I was a different person when I was a fresh faced teenager and young adult.  I was content with the way things were and was happy to just coast along.  I don't look at the world the same way at all now.  If I don't like something in my life or can see room for improvement I am not content to just let it lie.  Maybe it's the passing of time or maybe it's because as those numbers increase in that Age box I have become more aware of my mortality and the need for action before it's too late.

This weekend the girls and I are going to the dressmakers to pick up their ball gowns for the Presentation Ball we are all going to in August through school.  I guess it's a bit like a prom and it will be very formal.  They are both going to be dressed in white and when we went for a fitting last week I got a huge lump in my throat because they almost looked like brides.  I just know I am going to cry when I see the finished gown on them.

Where on earth did those chubby faced, cherubic little girls go?  Now they are driving, they're in Senior School and they are dipping their toes in the employment pool to get a taste of what's ahead.

I see my beautiful girls becoming women before my very eyes and I hope for so much for them. I hope they find a job that will not only support them but give them great satisfaction. I want to protect them from harm or from being hurt, but realistically I know I can't do that. I think adversity helps to shape us into better human beings. We all have to suffer at some point or how will we recognise what's good and important in our lives if we don't have any concept of the more negative, destructive aspects that are always just waiting to pounce.

I hope they fall in love and have that person love them just as deeply. Most of all I hope that all their dreams, big or small, come true.

It's so hard to let them go but my job is almost over and it's time to let them loose.  I just hope I have taught them enough to be the best they can be.

Have I really reached my Use By Date?

I have had to face some harsh realities in my new life as a single woman and each in their own way have chipped my confidence around the edges.  One of the most soul destroying things was finding out that I am virtually unemployable at a time when I needed to be able to feel as though I could support myself more than anything.  It was a sobering moment to be sure.

When I first told Craig I was leaving I thought the worst was over mostly because that was the ONLY thing I had been focussed on for months.  It only took a nanosecond to realise that my challenges had only just begun.

I could no longer rely on Craig's income, I had nowhere to live and even if I found something I had no money to pay for it.  YIKES!!  I naively thought I would just get a job and the rest would fall into place.  It almost makes me laugh to think of it now but at the time I really believed I could get something even if it was something I didn't particularly want.  I've never been afraid to do anything for a living, within reason of course, and I am not too proud to do a job others might consider beneath them.  As far as I'm concerned if it's honest work and it pays my way in life, it is plenty good enough for me.

I applied for job after job in the field I am qualified for which is business admin and after several months I hadn't even managed to get an interview.  This had never happened to me before and I couldn't understand where I was going wrong.  Was my resume too wordy, not wordy enough, not applicable to the job at hand?  Was I too old, out of the work force for too long or just not good enough?  It really got me down especially as everything depended on me getting some sort of employment.

In the end I had to go down the road I had sworn I would never set foot on and applied for the Disability Pension.  I met all the criteria and after exposing my entire life to scrutiny I was approved.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't feel ashamed or embarrassed that I have had to ask for this help but I did hope it wouldn't come to this.  I guess it just felt like I was telling the world, "that's it, I'm on the scrap heap and you may as well all know it."  Yes I do know that's silly but I'm a stubborn old mule and I'm not ready for that kind of capitulation.

Having been granted this Pension I didn't see that as being ok to sit on my butt and watch soap operas all day and I volunteered to go on a program at the Disability Employment Services.  Basically this organisation pays a significant portion of your wage to an employer who is willing to take you on with whatever impairment you bring to the table.  I see a lovely guy called John once a fortnight and we try to figure out what I can do.  We have both come to the conclusion that my calling is to help people and he is trying to get me into a training program to work with elderly people or people with disabilities which is kind of ironic when you think about it.  The expression the "blind leading the blind" springs to mind but I digress.

I did have a part time job delivering catalogues twice a week to about 300 houses.  There could be anything up to 15 catalogues per house which all had to be collated.  Long story short it turned out to be far too much for me and I collapsed in the street twice in the space of 30 minutes.  My legs completely lost feeling and went out from under me and it was very scary.  I was quite ill for several weeks and realised I had to find something that wasn't as taxing.

Fate stepped in last week when I got a letter from Avon asking me to come back.  It hadn't even occurred to me to consider that which is strange because it is actually a perfect solution.  Those of you who were reading me for a long time may remember I have been an Avon lady before and I mostly enjoyed it.   I was also very good at it and was in the top 10 reps out of about 300 people and our area was the 2nd to top best selling area in the whole of Australia.

I signed on again last week and will get my area in the next few days. 

I love that I can have my own hours, work when I am able to and most of all meet new people and make new friends.  I am allowed to work up to 15 hours a week and I don't think the little bit of money I'd get from Avon will be breaking any rules.  It will help me have a better quality of life and you can't put a price on that.  Most of all it will give me a sense of purpose and usefullness and that is one thing that has been missing from my life for far too long. 

They also want me to go on the Leadership Program which sounds good but I've learned my lesson.  Baby steps....I need to take baby steps and see how far I can push myself BEFORE it's too far.

I am studying more or less full time too at the moment but more about that another day.

So you see some things have changed in my life to make it almost unrecognisable but then out of the blue comes something that takes me back to a familiar place.

Don't you just love the inconsistencies of life?

A brand new life

They say that the first step is the hardest and I have found that to be true on many occasions in the past six months.

The first step back into the blogging world is exciting, scary, unnerving and exactly what I need at this precise moment in time.  I have missed it a lot lately but most of all I have missed the friendships and camaraderie I once had with fellow bloggers.

So what have I been up to since I last wrote anything?  I hardly even know where to begin but let's just say so much has changed and other things have stayed exactly the same.

I left my husband in January this year which won't surprise anyone who has ever read any of my blogs, yet to my amazement it shocked the pants off everyone in my real life, including my husband.  There have been some very dark moments since that fateful day when I told my husband I no longer wanted to be married to him.  The only moment harder than that was telling our daughters.  I have never felt like a bigger heel in all my life but I truly believed the time had arrived to stop living a lie.

Where once I lived on a two and a half acre block of land, in a large house in the peace and quiet of the country, I now live in a tiny little house in the suburbs where you could stick your hand over your neighbours fence and turn their chops on the BBQ for them.  Yes we are THAT close.  I left behind a family and two dogs and now live by myself with an aviary / atrium full of finches and quails and a chicken which I inherited with the house.

The chicken has quite literally been a lifesaver for me and has stopped me from going out of my mind.  Who knew you could love a chicken so much.  I called her Elizabeth and she is my best little mate.

My daughters are doing really well and have made me so proud with how well they have handled everything.  They told me that although they are sad about their dad and I splitting up, they would rather us be happy apart than unhappy together.  Their mature attitude just reinforces in my mind that I did the right thing in waiting as long as I did.

They are now entering the two most important years of their school life and my husband and I decided it would be better to leave them where they are to minimise the disruption to their life.  So they have a room at my house and their rooms at their dad's house and they come and go between us as they please.  Craig and I are getting on better than we ever have and there is no tension or awkwardness when we are all at family functions together.

Of course there is lots more to tell but all in good time.

This has been a time of learning and evolving, suffering and celebrating and every day presents new challenges. 

I deliberately waited until I felt a calmness and serenity before blogging again because I didn't want this to be a sad blog.  I hope that it might even help someone who may be facing the same struggles and inner turmoil I was feeling for such a long time.  The inner fight with my conscience and what I knew was the right thing literally left me bruised and battered inside and it was a very trying time.

I would like to end this first post with something I saw on a greeting card recently.  It made me laugh and I have it permanently on my fridge as a reminder to try and find something to smile about every day.

I don't do exercise.....if God had wanted me to bend over
he would have put diamonds on the floor.....