Thursday, 5 January 2017

Happy New Year?

Happy new year one and all.

Wasn’t 2016 just a joy? Actually, I can logically and rationally see that many positive things happened in 2016, including, for me personally, the below:

The birth of my niece Lydia in January.

A new job with University of Adelaide which finally found me happy and sufficiently challenged in my work life in Australia.

An awesome visit by my aunt and uncle in May with much reminiscing and happy time together.

A new car which has finally given us security and freedom to explore the state further.

An AMAZING trip to Africa and Mauritius in August/Sept which took in some incredible safari experiences and concluded with the wedding of my little brother. We met an incredible bunch of people on our G adventures tour and I know that many of them will be friends for life.

This beautiful bunch of awesome people was a highlight. Africa 2016.

Some great QT with my mom in October/Nov when she stayed with us whilst doing a course.

An exciting visit to the NT with my folks and Stu for Christmas which included memories I will treasure for years.

About to fly over Kakadu - utterly wonderful!

So, there you go, on balance some good things really did happen. Sadly, we also had our fair share of sadness and heartache and it felt like the world had lost its collective shit with some of the unbelievable political decisions and global acts of terrorism which also occurred.

I have stalled in blogging about the Africa trip due to us having an unexpected and completely shocking family bereavement which, to be honest, we are still kind of reeling from and which has prevented me from being able to concentrate on much else.

You see, my lovely father-in-law passed away suddenly in early November and it has rocked our world on its axis in a way I never could have predicted. I guess I should be thankful to have got to the age of 37 before experiencing a bereavement like this. Supporting a spouse through the loss of a parent is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It is not something there is any guide book for and the hardest part is not being able to heal their pain in any visible or rapid way. Add to this my closeness to my brother and mother in-law, both fully in the grips of overwhelming loss and shock and pain, and who I also cannot help in any real, tangible way. The helplessness is crippling.

I miss my father in law greatly and am grieving myself too, though I can appreciate I am one level removed from the intensity of the grief for Stu and his mum and brother. I have been part of this family for 18 years this year and he has always been this incredibly kind and warm personality in my life, so welcoming of a “daughter” into his family. He has left a huge hole in our collective lives and I am still finding myself regularly shocked to remember he will not be with us for various family plans and special days. New Year was incredibly hard. I do not feel ready to draw any kind of metaphorical line under last year because that feels like we are drawing a line under him and it feels so wrong. I know it needs time but it breaks my heart on a regular basis and I guess will continue to do so for many months yet. 

I will pick the Africa blog posts back up soon, I just need to get back in the mental head space to be able to do it justice.

Other things on the horizon for 2017 are helping me to think positively but I am considering some CBT for a few things (including the grief) which I can’t seem to process at the moment.

Anyway, Stu has booked a weekend in Moonta for my birthday which includes the beloved pooch and so for now I am just aiming for that, mid-February. I refuse to feel in any way defeated by 2016 because it was just an extreme year and one which included many things I never thought I would have to see or deal with at the age of 37. It taught me a lot. 

The sun is out here in Adelaide, our dog is a constant source of joy and the best therapy is walking him on the beach with the sand between my toes. A book I received for my birthday is called "May you live a life you love" and I intend to do just that this year, more of the good stuff and less of the crappy stuff I feel obliged to do. That, I think, is the extent of my "resolutions" for 2017. 

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