A whirlwind vacation

And, we’re back. Well, we’ve been back for about a fortnight, but I’ve been waist-deep in university assessments and haven’t had the time or the brain-space to even think about writing for enjoyment. I also can’t remember the last time I read a book that wasn’t “required reading”… I have at least one essay due every week between now and the end of August, so my life is all kinds of exciting right now. Work, study, sleep – rinse and repeat. The good news is that after this hard slog, I will be done. The crazy news is that I’ve been looking at Masters courses – why stop at two degrees? I am a glutton for punishment, what can I say.

Our trip away was everything that I needed – time off from work, time away from PosyTown, time with family and friends that  I miss so much. Before we flew out, I was constantly feeling like this awful angry person – someone that I am not, and I certainly did not enjoy feeling so on edge all the time. Spending time with my dad and grandparents and extended family in Bega was exactly what I needed. The landscape down in that part of the country is magical, and it was so lovely to be able to escape from the world. I hope my Pop enjoyed his 80th birthday party as we all did!

On our way back up to Sydney, Mr Posy and I spent the night in Canberra – it was his first trip to our nation’s capital, so we took the day to explore what is a very pretty locality. Say what you will about Canberra, there is no denying that it is a beautiful city. Unfortunately our flight to Sydney was delayed the next morning due to heavy fog, and when we did eventually make it to Sydney, our bags did not. I had watched them, from my seat on the plane before take-off, unload all the luggage, so it came as no huge surprise when we arrived in Sydney and the baggage carousel was empty. An apology certainly wouldn’t have gone astray, however…

Our time in Sydney was a bit of a whirlwind – we caught up with as many people as we could, but our trip was over before we knew it. My dear friend Neek remarked to me over a drink that she loved that I was always excited about visiting Sydney, because she knew so many people who don’t share that same excitement. Who are these people that visit or live in such an amazing city, and don’t even know it?! These people need to pay a visit to PosyTown… In the middle of the build-up, when the heat and humidity is so bad that you start to think that you are literally in Hell.

Can you believe that we are now at the END OF JUNE? Niece Posy is going to be TWO YEARS OLD next week. TWO!

Days go by

It feels like just yesterday that a friend and I were lamenting over coffee that we were in the middle of March, and now here I find myself at the end of May. We’re almost halfway through this year, which is a scary thought – Mr Posy and I have still have so much to do over the coming months, and not really a whole lot of time. I can’t believe that Christmas is “only” 7 months away!

When I was a little girl, it felt like time would pass by so slowly – I was always in a hurry for the next event, and I would will the days to speed up. Adults would tell me to stop wishing my life away, that time speeds up as you get older and that one day I’d yearn for my youth. I can vividly remember sitting in the mahogany tree across the street from my house with a friend, discussing how adults were crazy, that it just wasn’t possible for time to “speed up”, and that life would be so much better when we were grown up and we could do as we pleased. Now, there are never enough hours in the day, and I wish time would just slow down.

Tomorrow, Mr Posy and I are jetting off down to Sydney for a little break. We’ll be heading about five hours out of Sydney first up for my Pop’s 80th birthday – I’m looking forward to spending time with all my extended family. I saw them all in January for my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and the feeling of being in a room full of people that look like you and love you unconditionally… I can’t explain it. Living in PosyTown, so far away from my extended family, means that I’ve only spent a little time with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and little cousins over the years, so when I do get to spend time with them, I cherish every second.

After a weekend with my family, we’re heading back to Sydney for a few days, where I am looking forward to catching up with good friends, shopping, and checking out this year’s Vivid Sydney light festival. We were down at the same time last year, so it will be interesting to see what’s in store for us this year.

I have been keeping a keen eye on the weather forecast, and I am looking forward to pulling out my coats and scarves and boots and stockings. What I’m not looking forward to is the niggling worry in the back of my mind about work – I know that my staff are well able to handle any issues that might arise, but it doesn’t make me any less anxious about leaving them. I am also slightly rattled that when I return, it will be June. JUNE!

2011 – A Year in Review

Much like 2010, for me 2011 was a year of growth.  There was change and heartache and uncertainty, but there was also much to celebrate.

When I was much younger, I always thought that life would be better, easier, when I was “older”. Then I got older and it wasn’t any easier – in fact it was harder – and I would tell myself that life would be better when [insert reason here]. Now I’ve realised that this is just life, and with the great losses also come great wins – that life is sometimes incredibly painful, but it can also be extraordinary.

This thing that I’m living, this is life.

And so I present my wrap-up of 2011 –

There were babies born

2011 was the year that some very special babes came into this world.

In January, a dear friend had a very special, brave little boy – a little boy that I am very much looking forward to meeting in a week.

In September, my lovely friend Little Miss Moi had her little Harrie – and just as I do her big sister, I completely adore her.

In October, I found myself with a nephew – a little brother for Niece Posy. Nephew Posy is the most handsome little man, and I am smitten.

Friends moved away, new friends were made, current friendships were strengthened

Living in PosyTown, people come and go frequently, and 2011 was no exception. We said goodbye to friends throughout the year, and while it was sad at the time, I know I will see them again – and I know that one day soon it will be our turn to move away. We made some wonderful new friends throughout the year, and I feel that current friendships (both near and far) have gone from strength to strength.

There were trips interstate

Mr Posy and I didn’t take a lot of time off in 2011, but we did manage to get down to Melbourne in March/April for Niece Posy’s baptism, and to Sydney in June so Mr Posy could attend a work conference, with a couple of extra days on the side to relax. Both trips, while short, were exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries.

The C-word, Part II

While 2010 was the year that we discovered my mum had breast cancer, 2011 was the year that we beat it with chemo. It is of course still early days, but the worst of the battle is over.

There were great achievements

After four years in my current workplace, in April I finally won a permanent position – the position that I had been “acting” in for nine months at the time. I have a terrific team, and together we had an incredibly successful work year – cyclones and all.

I completed a second triathlon (the same beginners triathlon that I completed in 2010) – but I managed to shave FIVE MINUTES off my previous time. I felt like I was going to die on the last leg of the run, but, somehow, I stumbled over the finish line.

Weddings were celebrated

My childhood best friend got married in August, and I had the honour of being her bridesmaid. The wedding was a beautiful affair, held on their family’s property.

I was also fortunate to watch another dear friend get married, in a gorgeous ceremony, with a fairytale reception outside under the stars.

A new addition

Always one with my feet firmly in the dog-loving-camp, nobody was more surprised than my cat-loving Mr Posy when I finally agreed to us getting a cat. PosyKitty arrived in July and wormed her way into my heart. She is truly the sweetest little thing, and Niece Posy is completely obsessed with her.

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2012 is already shaping up to be another big year. Mr Posy and I are heading down to Sydney this weekend – for a very special little boy’s baptism and 1st birthday, and to celebrate my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary.

There are big things on the horizon for the Posy family this year, and I cannot wait.

The C-Word: Part I

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There are a few choice c-words that come to mind, but I’m talking about The Ultimate – The Big C – Cancer.

It was exactly one year ago today that everything changed; it was one year ago today that my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When Mum called me a few days prior to her diagnosis, asking me to come over that night so that we could talk, that she didn’t want to talk over the phone, I knew something was wrong, but it never occurred to me that she might be sick. I thought that maybe she and my dad were finally finalising their separation, or perhaps that my Pop was sick again – mothers don’t get sick, right?

I sat on the couch, bracing myself for her news. She’d found a lump. She’d been to her GP. She’d been sent off for an ultrasound. She’d had a biopsy. She’d been referred to a surgeon. She would have the results in a few days. “Do you understand what I’m telling you?” she asked. “Yes,” I replied, seemingly unmoved. “You’re saying you have cancer.” I tried hard not to choke on the word; nobody was dying here, that word would not break me – I would not cry.

When the results from her biopsy came back, the diagnosis came as no surprise. Surgery was scheduled in – a lumpectomy – my mother would be fine.

It was nearly two weeks from that afternoon on the couch before I cried. I sat at my desk at work as hot, angry tears spilled down my cheeks. I am not a pretty crier. My eyes swell up, and the surrounding skin goes red and splotchy. People walked past my cubicle, stopping to offer concerned looks – I waved them on. I’d not long managed to stop the tears when Little Miss Moi appeared at desk to ask a question – she took one look at me, and gave me a hug; I tried not to soak her shoulder. She’ll never know just how grateful I was, how much I needed that hug.

The day of Mum’s first surgery, I went to work as normal. I waited anxiously for my phone to ring all day. What was taking so long? Why hadn’t my dad called? What was wrong? I don’t know how I managed to drive myself to the hospital after I’d received the call that Mum would soon be out of recovery and back on the ward. Did I speed? Did I run any red lights? Did I drive my car or Mr Posy’s? Wait, did I even drive? What I do remember is how green my mother looked when she was out of recovery. Green, and fragile, and sick. I felt nauseous. Hot. Dizzy. I had to get out of the room. When my dad called the next day to tell me that Mum was going back into surgery, because she had a blood clot, I couldn’t breathe. Another surgery? A blood clot? People died from blood clots, didn’t they? My stomach was in knots. When I arrived on the ward that afternoon, my mum looked a much better colour when she was wheeled into her room. Still fragile and sick, but not so green.

The drains caused her pain, and turned my stomach. The smell of the hospital became comforting. Mum had to stay longer than anticipated, but I was grateful – it meant that the nurses were only a few steps away should she need them, and that her pain was effectively managed. I was terrified when the time came for her to go home.

We breathed a sigh of relief when her lymph nodes came back clear – the cancer hadn’t spread. But they’d found pre-cancerous cells close to her lumpectomy site, and that meant more surgery – a mastectomy. Fucking cancer. My mum appeared calm, but I could see that she was crushed. The only upside was that following the mastectomy she wouldn’t need radiotherapy – but she’d still need chemotherapy and hormone therapy.

Her surgeon plugged different scenarios into his computer, with treatment, without treatment, with surgery, without surgery, and the computer spat out numbers – her odds of being alive in 5 , 10, 15 years. Her surgeon scheduled in her surgery – Mum changed her mind a few times before that date, but in the end she went ahead with mastectomy.

The hospital began to feel like home.

Right Here, Right Now

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Life has been a wee bit crazy in the Posy household.

I’ve written maybe 100 posts in my head in the shower/car/toilet over the past couple of months, but none have made it on to the page/computer screen/blog/whatever.

Mr Posy has been working a lot, and my friends are largely unavailable; I’m lonely. I’m teary all the time. I dread people asking how I am – I fear I’ll end up in a puddle of tears at their feet. Sort of like Alex Mack.

I have a job interview on Friday. For the position I’ve been sitting in for the past nine months. Everybody keeps saying that I’m going to nail the interview, but I’m not feeling so confident. I don’t know what I’ll do if I don’t win my job. Crawl under my doona and die of humiliation? I’ll cry, probably.

We had a cyclone. Only a small one. There was a lot of rain and wind, mostly, and a lot of trees were knocked down.

Cyclone carnage

We booked a short trip away. To Melbourne, for Niece’s Posy’s christening. Take Two. We were stuck in PosyTown because of the cyclone, and with the airport closed, we (and more importantly, the Godmother) couldn’t get to Melbourne until after the christening. So it was rescheduled. I need the break – I’m exhausted. Mr Posy made the mistake of telling the in-laws the hotel we had booked. Now they’ve booked there too. Is it pathetic if I ring the Park Hyatt, and ask to be on a completely different floor?

My in-laws want to build a granny flat in my backyard. It’s not happening, but it’s been stressful. They don’t understand why we don’t want them living in our backyard. They also can’t see how, when we move out, their living in the backyard will have a serious impact on our ability to attract tenants to rent our house. Our house was always going to be an investment property – and they always knew that. I wouldn’t want to live in a house/apartment where the owner lived next door, never mind in the backyard…

My mum is on the home stretch with chemo – she has one session to go, and then she’s done!

I had a birthday. I turned 26. It was a couple of months ago now, but it really was the best birthday ever.

Another Year Over

One of my favourite things about one year ending and another beginning are the Year-in-Review-esque posts that pop up on blogs around the interwebs.

So, in a similar fashion, I present my wrap-up of 2010 –

A Quarter of a Century

Whenever I’d go through a particularly rough patch when I was younger, I would tell myself that if I could just hold on until I was 25, things would somehow work out.

Twenty-five was this magical age whereby all things that haunted me would no longer hold me in their grip, and I would be okay.

I did hold on. I held on for dear life. I turned 25. And things were okay. Things worked out. I have far more good days than bad, now.

In less than a month I will turn 26. I can’t wait. I love birthdays, I always have – be they mine or somebody else’s. At what age am I supposed to stop getting excited over birthdays and start feeling depressed?

I moved in with my Mister

I finally moved out of the Family Nest (the granny flat my parents had built under their house to keep me at home longer…) and in with Mr Posy. Now we live across the street from my in-laws. It’s been quite the… adventure. You can read more about my move in My Life is a Sitcom.

Niece Posy

Niece Posy

I’m ashamed to admit that when we found out (not long after their wedding) that my BIL and SIL were expecting, I was fairly unmoved by the news. It wasn’t that I didn’t care; I just wasn’t overly interested, particularly as I wasn’t that close to my sister-in-law.

The morning I woke to find out I had a niece, I acted quite cool – but when I laid eyes on Niece Posy in the hospital that evening after work, my heart just melted. My BIL handed Niece Posy to me, and I felt as though I would cry. I never imagined that I could love a tiny being so much.

My SIL has been wonderful at including me in my niece’s life – when I visit, she’ll always take Niece Posy from whoever is holding her at the time, and plonk her in my lap, ensuring that I get plenty of cuddles. Niece Posy’s whole face lights up when she sees me – she has the most amazing smile, and a cuddle from her just makes my day.

I got a promotion

I am extremely lucky to have some amazing people who believe in me, possibly more than I actually believe in myself. I never imagined that I would be in such an amazing position at the age of twenty-five – and knowing that I had the support of some wonderful people really made all the difference when I took the scary step up the corporate ladder into Management in the middle of the year. I feel more confident in my position now, but every day is different, and I’m constantly learning. I have an amazing team, and I actually like going to work.

I finished a triathlon

Tri

I’d often said that I wanted to complete a triathlon, but I’m not sure that I ever really believed that I would. It may have only been a beginners (women only) triathlon, but I felt so proud when I crossed that finish line. … and I actually want to enter another.

The C-word

Finding out that my mum had breast cancer really came as quite a shock. It was a week before I even cried. This is another post for another day, however.

My boys lost the NRL Grand Final

32 – 8. Thirty-two to eight. My boys had a good first half, but they didn’t capitalise on their plays, and then the second half, well… Let’s not talk about that. I sat in the stadium watching on, my heart breaking with every point scored against my team.

I was surrounded by some truly wonderful people

You know who y’all are. At least, I hope you do. I love you, and I feel so blessed to have you in my life.

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In a nutshell, for me, 2010 was a year of growth.

I’ve come a long way, baby.

My Life is a Sitcom

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“Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn’t last 22 minutes. It lasts forever.”
– Pete, Knocked Up

Mr Posy’s verygreekfamily live across the street. From us.

Late one night I was flicking through channels on the TV (something I rarely do – as we usually download from iTunes), eventually settling on Knocked Up. When I heard Pete compare marriage to a once-popular sitcom, I couldn’t help but laugh. Not about the marriage part, as Mr Posy and I are yet to tie the knot (we’re engaged, but living in sin – tsk, tsk), but because over the past six months I’ve often joked that if my life were a sitcom, it would be called Everybody Loves Mr Posy. But hopefully funnier. To everybody but me, at least.

About this time last year, Mr Posy’s parents sold us their house. That they had literally built with their own hands. My in-laws no longer needed such a large home – they wanted to downsize and move into a flat a few suburbs away, but they wanted to keep the house in the family. I was not too excited at the prospect at owning Mr Posy’s family home; I knew that there would be many problems, and that my in-laws would have trouble separating themselves from the idea that the house was no longer their own. However in the end, I had to admit defeat. It would be a means to an end – our golden ticket out of Posytown.

A few months later, and the in-laws still hadn’t moved out of the house – I was still living with my mum, refusing to move in with Mr Posy until his parents vacated the premises. Then, Mr Posy’s older brother moved from interstate with his wife, asking if they could crash at the house for just a few weeks. Fast-forward four months, and they were all still in the house. In MY house. That I still hadn’t moved in to. I was furious! It had been eight months since settlement – we were paying the mortgage (and I was also paying my parents a considerable amount in ‘rent’) – it was time for his family to move out.

My Posy rang me with “good news” a couple of days later – his Ma had found a place for my brother-in-law to rent. … And Mr Posy’s parents would move in with my BIL and his wife!

“Where is this new place?” I queried.
“Well,” Mr Posy replied, “It’s close.”
“How close?”
“Across-the-street-close.”

I was not particularly impressed that I would be able to wave to my in-laws from my front patio, but I was glad that I could finally move in with Mr Posy.

Before Mr Posy’s Ma moved out, she told him that we were to come to dinner each night. When Mr Posy told her that that would not be happening, she retorted that we were to come across the street to collect the dinner that she would make for us, and we could eat at it at our house. Failing that, we could give her a key so that she could come to our house to cook dinner each day while we were at work. When Mr Posy told her that we would be cooking our own dinner each night, she cried. She also cried when Mr Posy told her that, no, we would not be delivering our laundry for her to do, nor would we be giving her a key so that she could come and clean our house while we were at work.

The evening that I moved in, she was over at our place before I could even get out of the car, and about halfway through moving she informed Mr Posy (who translated for me) that we were tired, and demanded that we rest. The next evening she turned up on our doorstop in tears, insisting that Mr Posy take the meal she had cooked.

Perhaps when deciding on a pseudonym for my blog, I should have called myself “Debra”, and Mr Posy, “Raymond”.

The parallels between my life and that blasted sitcom are uncanny. But at least Everybody Loves Raymond only lasts 22 minutes.