Looking back on 2015 (another belated Year In Review)

Bondi sunrise

Happy 2016!

The last couple of years I’ve really struggled to get going in January; I haven’t wanted to let go of the old and embrace the new – but not this year. While 2015 was a good year for me, I was well and truly ready for 2016 to kick off by the time the end of the December rolled around… Unfortunately work has been fairly all-consuming, and while I had planned to get my ‘year in review’ up at the beginning of January, somehow we’re now in the middle of February. Again..

I shouldn’t be surprised that January (and half of February) disappeared in the blink of an eye – 2015 was a total whirlwind. I look back on the posts that I wrote last year, and most of our adventures feel like a lifetime ago. Gosh, never mind adventures from last year, we were in Margaret River just over a week ago for a friend’s wedding, and even that feels like eons ago!

But back to 2015…

I turned 30 at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t have a meltdown. My celebrations were relaxed and low-key, and involved a lot of food. It was fabulous!

After acting in a role for a little over six months, I won the position in June as part of an external competitive recruitment process. … Shortly after, I was seconded to work on a reform project which kept me busy for the rest of the year!

Mr Posy had been working remotely for his PosyTown employer since we made the big move, but in the middle of the year, he got a job here in Harbour City. I am so proud of him and everything he has achieved, and I am so happy that he got a job where he did. It seems like an amazing place to work, his colleagues are fantastic, and his skills are really valued by his management.

We flew down to Melbourne to visit family, and they paid us a visit when they came to Sydney for a cousin’s wedding. Mr Posy and I took a road trip down the coast to visit my grandparents, and up the coast to visit my aunt and cousins. My dad visited, my brother visited, my aunt and cousin visited, we had friends visit. Our family and friends will always be very important to us, and I love sharing our beautiful city with them.

Mr Posy and I managed to squeeze in an extra-long weekend on Hamilton Island to celebrate our second wedding anniversary – it was nice to just relax and spend some time together, especially after a busy few months settling in to new jobs.

We saw Wicked at the Capitol Theatre, Ed Sheeran at the Entertainment Centre, The Script at All Phones Arena and Taylor Swift at ANZ Stadium – all of which were absolutely brilliant.

In October, we walked a good 32+ kilometres as part of the 7 Bridges Walk, and I vowed I would never walk it again. Until the next day, when I admitted that was probably a lie, and while I wouldn’t be signing up in 2016, I would do the walk again. It was a great way to see Sydney, and it was a fun day out (blisters and all)!

We took more road trips towards the end of the year, exploring beaches we’d never been to up and down the coast. My favourite so far is Hyams Beach, and I am itching to go back for a long weekend.

We finished off the year back down in Melbourne for Christmas with Mr Posy’s family. After two Christmases apart, it was a lot of fun to spend time with Niece and Nephew Posy.

The past few months have been hectic with work, and just the thought of making plans was exhausting, so we had a quiet end to yet another busy year. One day we’ll do the big Harbour City New Year’s Eve, but, this year, the call of my couch was too strong. We said our farewell to 2015 with a couple of movies, a home-cooked dinner, and a couple of glasses of champagne, before walking down the street to get a good view of the (9pm) fireworks. I was asleep before the main event, but woke at midnight to the sound of the fireworks and people cheering. As is becoming our tradition, we were up early on New Year’s Day to catch the first sunrise of 2016 (pictured), and to get in for breakfast at Bills before most of the city woke (and before the last of the party revellers went to bed).

2016, I like you already.

20142013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

(Belatedly) Looking back on 2014

Sydney

Oh dear, I’ve done it again – I’ve left my ‘year in review’ post until February. I seem to really struggle to get going in January; it’s my birthday month so it still feels like it’s part of the festive season, people at work are all still off on holidays so I find it difficult to take the month seriously, and the past couple of years I’ve been finding it really hard to let go of the old and embrace the new. Now here I am, feeling like I am finally starting the New Year, in the middle of February.

I knew that 2014 had a lot to live up to as 2013 was always going to be a hard year to top – 2013 was the year that Mr Posy and I finally moved to Sydney, the year I started a new job after six years with the same employer, and it was the year that Mr Posy and I finally got married. It was a big year for us, and one that I didn’t want to end. I may have been a little slow in letting go of 2013 and getting into the swing of 2014, but once I finally accepted that a new year was upon me, I really embraced it. While 2013 was a year of change, 2014 was a year of adventure – our first year living in and really exploring Sydney, our first year of marriage, and our first overseas trip in five years.

I’m glad that I kept track of all our adventures through my quarterly blog posts – I’m still amazed at just how much we crammed into 2014. I visited 81 different restaurants/cafes/bars, some of which I returned to again and again, spent 33 mornings at the beach, went to 17 different festivals/events, had 13 visits from family, took 5 road trips, went to 4 concerts, took 2 trips to Melbourne, had 1 adventure getting stuck on public transport underground, and took 1 holiday to Bora Bora. I won’t even go into the sporting events we went to, the movies I saw, the books I read, the special events we celebrated, or my adventures at work.

2014

More than a year on, and we still haven’t really adjusted to living here – we’re up at the crack of dawn every day and we squeeze the most out of our days, as though we’re only here on a holiday and may have to return to reality at any minute, forgetting that we’re here in Sydney for the long haul. By the time Sunday evening rolls around each week I am completely exhausted, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mr Posy and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in Bora Bora – parasailing, swimming with turtles, stingrays and sharks, driving an underwater scooter, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, snorkelling, jumping off our overwater bungalow, swimming, drinking, eating. It was an amazing holiday (another post for another day). We’ve been back to reality for nearly four months and I still miss that beautiful island nearly every single day, and can’t wait until we can go back.

We had a quiet and very relaxed end to a busy year. We farewelled 2014 at home with champagne and trashy movies, before taking a stroll down the street to get a good view of the fireworks. The next morning we were up early to catch the first sunrise of 2015 and to get in for a leisurely breakfast at one of my favourite cafes before the rest of the city woke. It is going to be another really great year.

New Year


2013 | 2012  | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Feels like home to me

Sydney

As of three weeks ago, we’ve been in Sydney for one whole year!

Three hundred and sixty-five days. Fifty-two weeks. Twelve months. One year. It’s amazing how quickly time passes! The past year has been a total whirlwind – interstate move, new job, wedding. Nothing like a bunch of major life events all at the one time!

Some days, I still have to pinch myself. It’s hard to believe that a year ago, after packing up our little life in PosyTown, we said farewell to our family and friends and boarded a one-way flight to Harbour-City. I just can’t believe that we’ve lived in this beautiful city for 12 months now. Yet at the same time, I feel like we’ve lived here forever, and I can barely remember a time before Sydney. PosyTown feels like a lifetime ago.

We had dinner with some very old friends who were passing through the night after our Sydney-versary, and speaking with them made me realise that moving, and moving interstate, isn’t just some tiny little thing. Not only do you have to find a new place to live, pack your whole house up and shift it interstate then unpack, you have to find a new doctor, dentist, hairdresser, start a new job, make new friends… It’s not easy, and I’d be fibbing if I said the past year had been a walk in the park, but it also hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be. Completely exhausting yes, but not so difficult.

Coffee

It still feels very surreal that we made the move I always dreamed we’d make and that we do actually live here now, but we are settled. We have our weekday and weekend routines. As much as we like to explore new cafes and restaurants, we also have our favourites where we often find ourselves again and again. I haven’t yet made an effort to get into team sport since we’ve moved down, but it is something I want to look into for the coming year. Making friends in a new city is not easy, so I am grateful that we already had extended family and friends here as part of our instant support base – it has helped, a lot. I miss seeing Niece and Nephew Posy every day, watching them grow, but they left PosyTown for Melbourne not long after we moved, so now they’re only an hour’s plane ride away, instead of a four hour flight.

After dreaming of our Sydney move for so many years, I had that little worry at the back of my mind – What if it doesn’t work out? What if it isn’t everything I’d always hoped it would be? I also worried about Mr Posy – he’d previously been a little hesitant about moving so far from everything we knew – What if he hated it? What if it made him completely miserable? I needn’t have worried. It has been more amazing moving here than we could have ever hoped, and surprisingly, I think Mr Posy actually loves Sydney even more than I do. I certainly didn’t see that one coming! In fact, I wouldn’t have thought it could ever be possible.

Celebrating Sydney

This beautiful city treated us with spectacular weather to celebrate our Sydney-versary – we enjoyed sangria and seafood in the sunshine down at North Bondi, while reminiscing over everything that has happened in the past twelve months, and talking about our plans for the years to come… and then because we hadn’t indulged enough, we finished off our day with a trip to the Messina Dessert Bar…

Dessert

Our new chapter has only just begun.

Looking back on 2013: A belated Year in Review

Given we’re through the first month of the new year and fairly well into the second, television has resumed its regular programming, school is back in session (traffic, uggggh), annnnnd I just had a birthday, I can no longer deny that it is now well and truly in 2014.

I know I am a little LOT late with my ‘year in review’ post, but I wasn’t quite ready to let 2013 go – it was a huge year for me; my biggest year yet.

The First Quarter

Thinking

As has become the custom for us, we marked January with a trip to Sydney. Sidenote: I’m not sure what we’re going to do now that we actually live here?! We caught up with friends, ate too much, met with wedding vendors, and celebrated a friend’s gorgeous little boy’s second birthday.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t always the best company – I had discovered a lump a month earlier (Christmas! Best gift yet!), and being particularly stupid I had decided to bury my head in the sand (hoping it would go away), only to rediscover the lump on our trip away. Pretty stupid at the best of times, incredibly stupid when you have my family history. After crying hysterically to Mr Posy, I made an appointment with my GP (who was also Mum’s GP and had diagnosed her cancer) for when I returned to PosyTown. I cried even more when my GP referred me on for an ultrasound, saying “We need to get this looked at”… Thankfully, it was just a false alarm; however it did prompt me to quite seriously look at my lifestyle and how I was treating (or not treating) my body, and make necessary changes.

Community Service Announcement: Get your girls out (and the rest) – see your GP and get a health check. If something doesn’t feel quite right, have it looked at, don’t just hope it will go away.

The rest of the quarter involved drowning in huge changes at work (and all the additional work that these changes created) and supporting staff through said changes. Explaining to staff, who after many years working together had become like family, that there would not be a position for them in a new structure was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my career. Thinking about it now still makes me feel sad and uneasy. I can’t even rationalise it to myself as one of those “growing experiences” that “only makes you stronger” – it was an experience I could have done without.

PosyTown is such a transient place, and as with every year, I said goodbye to more dear friends who rode off on their way to greener pastures – always hoping that it would soon be my turn to leave.

Needless to say, my heart was pretty heavy and I shed many tears during the first quarter of 2013.

Quarter Two

Sydney

Fortunately, the second quarter balanced out the first.

After many years of balancing surviving work and study, I finally donned a cap and gown, and walked across the stage to collect my degrees. I don’t know who was more proud – me, Mr Posy, or my parents. I am missing study, but I’m not quite ready to throw myself back into another degree just yet. For now I am enjoying making travel plans, exploring Harbour City, and researching possible future courses.

We took another trip to Sydney, this time for a friend’s baby shower and to meet with our priest in the lead up to the wedding. I was far more relaxed and in a far better head-space than our previous trip, and we had a wonderful time catching up with friends. I went back to PosyTown feeling refreshed after our very quick trip away.

Niece Posy turned three, and she had a Minnie Mouse themed party. I tried my hand at cake pops for the first time, and will never ever forget my little niece’s reaction when she saw the finished product. I had so much fun helping my SIL with the party-prep, to the point of finding myself designated as face painter for the big event. Luckily the three year olds were quite impressed with my basic flower, love heart and a little glitter; the older children, on the other hand, were not quite as forgiving of my ‘skills’…

Quarter Three

Chaos

Chaos. Bedlam. Total pandemonium.

All the changes at work that had been brewing for months with the restructure hit boiling point. It was an incredibly challenging time – but I can honestly say that it was made somewhat easier working with and for such amazing people. I have many decades in my career ahead of me, and I am sure it won’t be the last major restructure that I have to stomach, but I’m thankful that my first experience with such significant organisational change was with such an incredible bunch of people.

I said farewell to more friends leaving PosyTown, but I also said hello to my very dear friend who was back visiting after two years living in the UK, so it wasn’t all bad.

I found out that I had won a job in Sydney! I received two job offers within days of each other (and came *this* close to a third), but with one permanent and one on a temporary contract, it was an easy(ish) choice with such a huge interstate move to make. Telling work and our family and friends that we were leaving was much harder than I had anticipated, but the opportunity really came at the right time for Mr Posy and me.

I took Niece Posy to the Royal PosyTown Show for an Aunty & Niece Day Out, and we had so much fun checking out the cows, goats, chickens, horses and fire trucks. Gosh I miss that kid. She and Nephew Posy are so sweet, and I miss them every single day. Fortunately they moved down to Melbourne with BIL and SIL, so they’re now only an hour flight away (instead of four!), but I do wish they were still only across the road.

Mr Posy and I took another trip to Sydney – this time for wedding prep (nothing like leaving dress shopping and the menu tasting to only a few months before the big day!), to meet a friend’s new baby, and to meet my new employer. It was a quick trip, but the weather was amazing, I got to spend time with some of my closest girlfriends, and it was exciting knowing that we would soon be calling Sydney “home”.

A few weeks later we took one last trip from PosyTown to Sydney, this time to find a place to live! We returned to PosyTown just in time to pack up our little life (which surprisingly filled a huge truck) and send it on its way to Harbour City.

The Final Quarter

Dream then do.

I think we managed to cram maybe a year’s worth of activity into the last few months of 2013.

I finished up in my position in a team where I had worked for the past four and a half years (with the same employer for six years), said our goodbyes to family and friends, and caught a one-way flight to Sydney. Moving to Sydney was a dream around ten years in the making, and it felt (and still feels) so surreal finally making it happen.

Our new life in Sydney kicked off on the right foot, when my beloved Roosters WON THE GRAND FINAL – and we were actually there to witness it. It was a nail-biting game, and I will never forget the moment when Jennings basically put his body on the line for an amazing try that turned the game back in our favour. A fellow female Roosters supporter in the seat in front of us turned to me – we stared at each other incredulously for a minute, before giving each other the biggest high-five. It still makes me tear up just thinking about it. I have been trying to brainwash telling my little Manly-supporting cousins (now 8 and 10) that they have been barracking for the wrong team for years – I may have rubbed in our victory when we finally caught up with them a couple of weeks ago…

We had a little under a week to unpack our home, before I started work – it was an adjustment going from a three-bedroom house with ample storage, to a two-bedroom terrace with only one built-in cupboard and a much smaller living space. While we had purged our lives of things we no longer needed when packing in PosyTown, we used the opportunity to further simplify our lives and rid ourselves of junk. It was incredibly cathartic.

After working for the same employer for the past six years, it was a little strange starting a new job. I’d managed to develop a nasty chest infection in the week between arriving in Sydney and starting work, so the first few weeks completely knocked me about. I am still adjusting to a less frenetic pace than I was used to in PosyTown (a pace which I secretly enjoyed), but the people are nice, so I can’t complain.

One of the highlights of 2013 for me was of course getting married, and also having all our family and friends in Sydney to celebrate in the lead-up to our wedding. Niece and Nephew Posy completely lost their minds when we picked them up from the airport, however I still can’t decide who was more excited over our little reunion – them or me. While the weather wasn’t amazing (torrential downpours, anyone?), we did manage to get in a daytrip to Taronga Zoo, and the rest of the time was spent at the Aquarium in Darling Harbour, eating out for breakfasts and dinners, walking around shopping centres like mall-rats, and of course gearing up for our wedding celebration. We had an amazing dinner with our bridal party and immediate family a couple of nights before the wedding – it was so nice to have everybody together before the madness started.

I will save the wedding post for another day, but we had a truly beautiful day that exceeded all our expectations and was more amazing than we could have ever imagined. Mr Posy and I felt so incredibly humbled to be surrounded by all our family and friends, many of whom travelled such a long way to be there. I don’t think  I will ever tire of looking at our photos and watching our wedding highlights video…

After not managing to catch a single one of the concerts that we’d planned during the first three quarters of the year, we finally squeezed a few in – Ricky Martin and Taylor Swift for me (both of which Mr Posy also surprisingly enjoyed; they put on a great show), and Muse for Mr Posy (and okay, partly for me also).

The time came to say farewell to my gorgeous friend (and beautiful bridesmaid) who returned to the UK for what sounds like another two years minimum. I’m just grateful for all the mix-ups with her visa paperwork which meant she was home for longer, and meant that she didn’t have to do a crazy flight back to Australia for the wedding, only to have to get on the plane back across the pond the very next day.

Mr Posy and I finally took our first real road trip, down the coast to spend Christmas with my grandparents. While it took us around six hours each way, it was such a nice drive – so nice that Mr Posy who has always been Mr Anti-Road Trips is now keen to take more of them – and it was the perfect trip away to recharge after such a crazy few months.

As it was our first “married” New Year’s Eve (and our first in Sydney), I soon found myself manically scouring the web for ideas of where we might go on the night to ensure we started 2014 with a bang. In the end, Mr Posy talked me down off the proverbial ledge, and we spent the evening eating dinner at home and watching movies. I managed to stay awake for the “family fireworks” (which I could just see from where I had positioned myself on the couch), but fell asleep barely ten minutes before the main event. It was the perfect way to start our first year of marriage, and our first year in Sydney – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Epilogue

While this post is long overdue, I figure better late than never. I needed to write it – it’s important to me to look back and reflect on the year that was; to celebrate the good times and mourn the bad, to step back from it all and gain a little perspective, and to stop and really appreciate the people in my life and the moments I have with them.

I am still finding it a little difficult to really embrace 2014 (maybe I should have stayed awake for those midnight fireworks after all, ha!). I can’t decide if it’s because so much happened last year and I’m still processing it all, or if I simply don’t want to believe 2013 is over. It certainly was not always an easy year, but 2013 will forever be a special year for me, and one that I will treasure always.

I can’t wait to see where 2014 takes me.

Bright Lights, Big City

Sydney

I still have to pinch myself daily.

Twelve weeks ago, a removalist van pulled up in our driveway back up in PosyTown and took away (almost) all our belongings. Two weeks later, we hopped on a one-way flight to Sydney.

Yes, this little Posy family finally moved to Harbour City.

It will come as no surprise that I love Sydney – I have always been quite vocal about my affection for this beautiful city. It is my happy place, a place that has always felt like home, and for the longest time I hoped that one day it would be.

We had been saying that we were moving for more years than I care to admit – it was always “next year, in six months time, at the end of the year, middle of next year, we’ve had to push it back again, we’ll get there soon, yes we are still moving” – but we are finally here. When an ex-colleague back at my work in PosyTown asked earlier in 2013 if I really thought we’d move this year, and whether I thought it would be before the wedding (which at the time was fast-approaching), I could barely contain my very defensive “YES!!!!” – however, at the time I wasn’t sure I really believed it any more than she did.

When I received the phone call letting me know that I was the successful applicant at the end of July for a job I had interviewed over the phone for, I was shocked. Mr Posy was far less surprised than I (love him and his unwavering support of/confidence in me and all that I do), but anxious. Telling our families was hard, there were tears. Telling work was harder, there were more tears. And there was support – so much support. Our family, friends, colleagues and bosses were all so wonderful and so supportive. Every time I would get nervous or scared or sad, my (then) boss would tell me I deserved this, that it was a new and exciting chapter of our lives, and to embrace it with open arms. She would tell me to give it my best shot, and that if I didn’t like it or it didn’t work out, I could always come back, that there would always be a place for me in PosyTown. I love her for that – for helping me keep things in perspective, for reminding me that moving to Sydney was what we wanted, for letting me know that it was okay to do something for us, that nobody would hold it against us, that our family and friends loved us.

Packing up your whole life and shifting interstate is no easy feat. We flew down two weekends before our moving date to inspect and apply for rentals, and we were very fortunate to secure a little terrace the day after we applied in a great location that would allow PosyDog and PosyKitty. This meant that we could take the remaining couple of days of our whirlwind trip a little easier, instead of sticking to the gruelling schedule of open-inspections that I had planned for us. We arrived back in PosyTown at 1.00am on the Monday morning, and our removalists arrived out 6.30am (we thought that one through well – we were still throwing things in and taping up boxes right before our flight to Sydney, as well as the morning that the removalists arrived). The house was packed up and we were back at work mid-morning.

We both worked right up until the day before our one-way flight. This is the one thing that I would have changed if I had my time again. We were working all day, then coming home and cleaning our place at night, leaving little time to spend with our family and friends before we left. We were still throwing clothes and shoes and other various belongings into our SIX suitcases the day of our flight (we’d had a late night at a Farewell BBQ our SIL threw for us the night prior), before and after brunch with our family. Somehow, we managed to make it to the airport that day, and with time to spare.

The farewells at the airport were hard. Mr Posy’s Ma cried. A lot. Saying goodbye to Niece and Nephew Posy was especially hard, and I cried a little right before boarding, but managed to pull myself together for a final wave, before crying a lot more on the plane. I was so happy to be catching our one-way flight down to Sydney, but I was sad to be leaving our loved ones behind.

Our arrival to Sydney was eventful. Our flight arrived at about 8.30pm on the night of a fireworks and pyrotechnics display as part of this little thing called the International Fleet Review. There were masses of people everywhere, streets were closed off, and our taxi driver decided he would leave us, our six large suitcases, three laptops, and two carry-on bags a little under a kilometre away from our hotel. I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and I had no idea how we were going to get all our gear to our hotel. I rang the concierge, nearly in tears explaining that we had just moved to Sydney, that we had so many bags, that our taxi driver had deserted us, and two amazing attendants came down to our rescue. I will be forever grateful. While it wasn’t so funny at the time, I can look back on it now and laugh – what a way to start our new adventure!

We’ve been here for a little over two months now (nearly three months!), and I am still completely exhausted. But happy. Oh so happy. We’ve been all unpacked for a little while, the furkids are all settled in, and our place feels like home, but we’ve only just managed to do a proper grocery shop, instead of just popping up to our local to buy what we needed day-to-day. I think I felt like we were just on this extended holiday, like we lived in a serviced apartment or something, that we’d have to go back to our old life in PosyTown any day, so we didn’t really bother buying groceries.

I still can’t believe we live here, but at the same time, I feel like we have lived here forever.

Furkids

Snap out of it.

I’ve not really felt like I’ve been my best self lately. I’m not happy about or proud of this.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been angry and irritated and impatient and intolerant and sarcastic and potty-mouthed  and snarky and frustrated and tearful and pretty negative all round. I’ve been withdrawn and I’ve bailed on team sporting commitments. I’ve been tired all the time, and I’ve not been making good food choices.

Work has been unpredictable and stressful for some time, and all the change and uncertainty has left me feeling anxious and generally uneasy – but this is really no excuse. This is just not me.

I’ve been a real wet blanket. don’t even want to be around me lately, so I don’t know how others have tolerated me.

Ordinarily, I am a pretty cheerful person; even when things are tough I can usually manage to slap a smile on my face and muster a little enthusiasm. Lately, I’ve barely tried. I know I certainly can’t be upbeat all the time, however I do think there is something to be said for always doing your best. While one’s “best” is of course bound to change depending on how one is feeling in that moment, even stressed and tired, I know I could be putting in more effort.

The only thing that is certain right now is that the next few weeks will continue to be exhausting and stressful.

Life

The Year the World Didn’t End: My 2012 Recap

If I could describe 2012 in one word, it would be … hectic.

Given I’m not one for stopping at just one word when describing something, I’d say it was also tiring. And demanding.

2012 may have been busy, but it was always pretty darn remarkable. I grew more than I realised possible in a very short timeframe – it was a year of pushing my boundaries and venturing outside my comfort zone.

Celebrations in Sydney

Sydney

We started 2012 with a trip to Sydney – to celebrate my Nan and Pop’s 50th wedding anniversary, and also for the baptism and 1st birthday of a dear friend’s very special little boy. We spent two weeks in Sydney in January, and had a glorious time. I wish I could bottle the love, laughter, warmth, excitement, and happiness that filled the rooms for each of the celebrations – it’s the stuff that makes your heart feel so full it might burst.

I wrote a 30 by 30 list

When I first started thinking about what I wanted to achieve over the next few years, I thought my list would be short – get married, move to Sydney, finish a half marathon. It wasn’t until I really started to think about it, and put pen to paper that I realised that my list was long. Very long. Much longer than what made the final cut, but I figure I can only achieve so much in the next few years. What comes after that, time will tell.

I chopped off my hair

It might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was averybigdeal. I felt such an overwhelming sense of relief, and like I had just shed years and years of unwanted thoughts and emotion. It wasn’t just a hair cut, it was somewhat of a spiritual cleansing. Or an exorcism.

I took up a new sport

When a work colleague asked if I would join her beach volleyball team (indoor), with people that I didn’t know, my internal reaction was a resounding “hell no”.  The words that came out of my mouth were another story, however – “Sure! I’d love to!”. Funnily enough, I’ve had a lot of fun, and I’ve made new friends. I am not the most skillful player, but I am getting there. I can hit the ball, so I figure that’s a good start. It has also been strangely cathartic, belting that ball back over the net, particularly after a bad day in the office.

Another Sydney trip

From Nan's kitchen

June saw us take another trip to Sydney, and then down to the Sapphire Coast (it truly is God’s country), for another special occasion – my grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was so nice spending time with all my family, and for Mr Posy to visit my Nan and Pop’s house for the first time. It is the place that has always felt most like home. I could stare out Nan’s kitchen window all day.

Mr Posy

We also managed to squeeze in a brief stopover in Canberra – Mr Posy’s first trip to our nation’s capital.

More family festivities

Melbourne

This time, the celebrations were for Mr Posy’s family – we flew to Melbourne to celebrate Nephew Posy’s baptism (in the same church Niece Posy was baptised, and my brother-in-law was married).

I never really understood people who went on holidays with their family, but after all the family holidays we’ve had over the past couple of years, I finally get it.

We celebrated our ten year anniversary

Mr Posy and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this year – a decade together. Ten years! It really doesn’t feel like ten years. Gosh we’ve had some seriously amazing adventures together – I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.

I finished studying

It was about bloody time. I’d had a semester off here and there (for Mum’s cancer etc), but it was still such a bloody long slog. Two degrees later, and I’m done. Only, I’m not – I’ve been browsing course catalogues, and it’s taking every ounce of rational thought that I have not to enrol in another course. At least, not just now. I’ll give myself a study break in 2013, but I can’t promise the same for 2014.

Work was crazy

No, really. It was C-R-A-Z-Y. Sometimes good-crazy and sometimes bad-crazy, but always one hell of a ride. I have grown and learnt a lot this year, and I’m very fortunate to work with such amazing people.

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Looking back, it is pretty clear that family and festivities were the overall themes for me in 2012. I am surrounded by such wonderful family and friends, both near and far, and I feel so blessed to be so lucky.

I was sad to see the end of 2012. There were days of pain and sadness, and days where tears were shed, but I wasn’t ready for this year to end – on the whole it was a good year. It was a huge year.

2013 will be another big year for Mr Posy and I, starting with a trip to Sydney later this month – for a special little boy’s 2nd birthday!

2012, it’s been grand. 2013, please be kind.

The Big Chop

Back when I vowed to run a half marathon, I mentioned that I was having a recurring dream about chopping off my hair. Any dream dictionary will tell you that willingly cutting off your hair indicates reshaping your thinking, or shedding (pardon the pun) unwanted thoughts and emotions. A big chop is a metaphorical fresh start. It took me a month and a half to mentally prepare myself.

When I went to see my hairdresser in February, she asked if we were just doing the usual – a trim and touching up the colour.

“No. I want to chop it. Let’s chop it.”

“When you say ‘chop it’, how much are we talking here?”

“Maybe 5 or 6 inches?”

“Are you going to cry? I’m not chopping it if you’re going to cry.”

“I won’t cry. I want to chop it. Chop it. I’m ready.”

“Are you SURE you’re not going to cry?”

“I WON’T cry!”

“If you’re going to cry, you’re going to have to go outside. I can’t deal with tears in my salon. This is a tear-free salon.”

“I PROMISE I won’t cry. I don’t think. Please, just chop it.”

“You’re going to cry. I know what you’re like with your hair. You have to wait until you get in your car to cry. If you cry, I’ll start crying. I can’t deal with the tears.”

“For the love of all things good, JUST CHOP IT!”

Sometimes I think my hairdresser knows me better than I know myself. I’ve been going to her for more than ten years. She’s been privy to all of the ups and downs in my life during this period.

When she was finished cutting, I looked in the mirror. She’d taken less off than I wanted. I looked at the floor. I looked back at the mirror. My hair was short, by my standards. I looked back at the floor, at the sheer length that she had cut off. My eyes welled up.

I felt this overwhelming sense of relief.

“I’m just SO happy. I feel so much lighter. I promise I’m not going to cry, I’m just a bit teary. But they’re GOOD tears. I promise! I LOVE IT.”

My hairdresser rolled her eyes and went to mix up my colour.

It has taken me the better part of a year, but my hair is finally around the length that I first had in mind I wanted about eight months ago.

Every six weeks, I would go a bit shorter than the previous visit. Baby steps. I think my hairdresser was concerned I’d have a breakdown while I was sitting in the hot seat.

I could certainly stand to go another inch shorter… but now that we’re just a little over a year out from our wedding, I think it’s probably time that I started growing it again.

Table for One

Today I did something crazy. Something that I wouldn’t normally do. Something that would normally terrify me.

I sat in a cafe (okay, a coffee shop’s seating area in a food court, but c’mon, slim pickings in PosyTown) by myself, while I had a coffee and read the paper.

Sure, this seems like no big deal, people do this all the time, but for me, this is a Very Big Deal.

I am a little skittish when out in crowds. I feel unsettled and exposed. I think the defining moment for me was when I was 16 and waiting by myself at the bus depot after school to catch my bus home – I was randomly approached by a group of four people (that I didn’t know and had never seen before), and punched in the face. When I tried to run into the shopping centre to find my friends to see if they could drive me home, I was attacked again. Having rocks thrown at me and being spat on as I walked home from school when I was eight years old and lived in a remote community probably didn’t help much either. The thought of that incident must be more traumatic than it actually was, however, as my parents tell me I was quite unperturbed about it at the time.

For a long time I was scared of my own shadow. I avoided crowds – shopping centres, markets, festivals, the cinema on a Tuesday or Saturday night. I never went back to that depot and it took me quite some time before I would catch a bus again. To this day I still startle very easily, if a friend sneaks up or somebody quickly races up behind/past me. More than a decade on, while I’m fine when out and about on my own, I’m never really at ease, and I tend to rush through whatever errands I need to run.

I’m not averse to my own company – it has taken time, but I’d go as far to say that, to an extent, I enjoy it. If I spend too much time alone, I do tend to think too much, and can wind up a little emotional – but that is another post for another day. It is a good thing that I enjoy my own company, because Mr Posy works a lot, and there is only so much that you can expect your friends to babysit you on weekends. Now that I’m finished with study, I’ve found myself with a lot of extra spare time on my hands. And I’m starting to go a little bit spare, sitting at home on my own. This morning, I decided that I was going on a coffee date with myself.

It was bliss. I sat and flicked through the newspaper at a leisurely pace while sipping my coffee. I people-watched. I checked Twitter. I had a quick chat with a friend while she waited for her coffee. In that moment, I sat there in my own little world. And I started to make plans for my next solo coffee date – in a cafe with actual crockery.

Groundhog Day, The Sequel

The Blackmores Running Festival was held in Sydney last Sunday, and with it, the half marathon that rain, hail or shine, I was going to run, stumble, walk or crawl to cross the finish line, as you might remember. I was so looking forward to running across the Harbour Bridge, finishing up down at the Sydney Opera House, collecting my medal, and ticking an item off my 30 by 30 list.

I think I severely under-estimated just how much of my time would be required in taking on three units for my final study period of university, on top of my full-time job. I would battle through 10-hour days in the office, drive home, set myself up with my journal articles and my MacBook, work on essays through until around 1am, finally fall into bed to sleep, only to wake up and repeat again the next day. Weekends involved trying to juggle essay writing while babysitting Niece and Nephew Posy.

Thirteen weeks, three units, twelve essays.

Mr Posy picked up the cooking (it felt like there was barely time to eat, let alone time to make dinner as well!) and cleaning duties, my sporting commitments fell by the wayside, I got behind in all my television shows, I couldn’t remember the last time I opened a book to read for fun and not for an assignment, and my friends started to forget what I looked like.

I’m not sure when I thought I was going to train for a half marathon.

I handed in my final essays for the study period a fortnight ago, today. I can’t even describe the overwhelming sense of relief, the delirium, that I felt when I pressed the ‘Send’ button for the last time.

By the end, I was up to three coffees a day (from my usual once a day, only in the morning routine), and it was still a struggle to keep my eyes open. I was wrecked.

Now, I’ve had two weeks with so much ‘spare’ time, and I feel a little bit lost. I’ve found myself researching Masters programs, downloading training plans for a half marathon, searching vendors and suppliers for our wedding next year, and coming into work on weekends.

This not-studying-thing is going to require some getting used to. In the meantime, I need to decide on a new half marathon race to run…