The first time I side stepped I was 9 years old in the top of a treehouse that was so high up I could see much of the streets surrounding us, or at least over the fence. I was drowning out the cries coming from inside an angry house and as princess of my dominion in the tree watched the world and imagined beautiful ladies in far away places singing songs of princes, and story writing (weird combo) I forgot how to for a while after that. Without even meaning to.
Fast forward 30 years and…
The world is a zenith. Because we dominate the physicality of it within the stretch of our own intelligence we think we have all of the answers to everything. What if we only know .5 of a percent of the entire equation? What if we are at kindergarten level of knowledge and any more can’t even be fully conceptualised by our brains?
What if all that is required is being a species called human, then when the correct space appears with our name on it or we get that inkling within – our job is to summon all we are and can be with every ounce of strength, passion, dedication and courage to create an action. An action that vibrates with such ferocity that it ripples across the universe. Be that the action of Mother, Father, the creative, the entrepreneur, the waste collector, the cleaner, the king, the inventor, the builder, the vet, the nurse, the truck driver or the monk. You get the idea. But then what happens if you are too busy to feel the inkling? What if because you are jamming elements like feelings or emotions down like compacted earth in a garden bed, the inkling can’t bubble up?
No wonder I have a bloody aneurysm.
You see the mind gymnastics it gets up to when I have 10 minutes to myself to ponder? Especially right at this moment. At this very moment as I write this I am in an Ashram, which always gets the mind gymnastics going. An hour and a half from my home, where an entire community of Yoginis live authentically the Hindu life, wrapped in the cocoon of the Wombat State forrest. In their spare time they feed the hungry, nurture the lost and travel to India to learn more altruism, more philosophy and more ways to assist humanity. So I sit here in the company of a dear childhood friend who has journeyed here with me. We sit in utter silence, she is reading unbeknown that I am here doing a triple twist bystandting twirl with my frontal lobe.
We can hear nature, which when its all by itself, can be a bit noisy. Nice noisy though. Frogs, birds night crying and the super moon. Ah ha. The Supermoon; that’s not helping one bit. I can feel a double tumble coming on…
Which brings me to side stepping.
Before Fred, before death’s knocked on my door with a loud bang ( i never promised i wouldn’t be dramatic ok- don’t forget the supermoon) Somehow on that journey I learned the art of side stepping.
I travelled, I went away sometimes on holidays, I escaped into a good book, a good movie or conversation, a moment. But I had never truly side stepped. The practise of sidestepping originally came about as good old fashioned escapism, but then became more. I realised that if I side stepped by choice rather than necessity, the perspective of appreciation for what I already have was kept in tact and valued, appreciated even more. The strangest thing then happened; inklings and ponderings emerged slowly then at dynamite speed. Realisations and epiphanies popped into my lap like gifts wrapped in silvery dew.
So what is it? This side stepping nonsense some of you might ask. Or some of you might be nodding with a knowing smile and recognition.
It is when you open a little door for brief moments that allow you to observe your surroundings in a different way. A different location, or maybe a different mind set. You might travel. You might stop everything to build a tent in the back yard and be completely present with your 2 year old. But it needs to be different. Different breeds separation from the normal, it stirs the pot, disrupts the sediment from the bottom of the wine bottle. But most of all; it breeds contemplation and perspective. You do it before you have to do it.
I have been so incredibly fortunate this year to have journeyed to far away lands as guests of some large companies. Once such trip; Lothario and I sat drinking a beer on a very balmy night outside a small bar in a small village in the Alsace region, called Riquewhir. I had spent the afternoon writing stories in a ridiculously cute courtyard in the steamy french afternoon, so the bar and beer was welcomed.
It was here that we chatted and from an open window above us a voice from a nameless lady drifted out, a song was being sung that was both lilting and magical , it reminded me of the spectacular alien goddess from the movie Fifth Element. She was singing an Operatta. Like a princess. Then from over the road an elderly saxophone player had set up, the two began a serenade. He played in with her, then she changed her song to match in. The two of them harmonised by ear across a street, the sound lingered above us like a decadent fog. Without even looking at each other. I had tears rolling down my cheeks. It was real. This was really happening. This was my reality in this moment. But it was more intense as I was outside my normal. My every day had been altered, I had sidestepped. I remembered. I was no longer in a treehouse, I was a grown up writing stories for a living, listening to a lady sing in a faraway land.
Even now as I type that particular memory, adventures start rumbling around ready to go.
Or more presently, only an hour from my house I just sat on a wooden bench in the middle of the forrest in an Ashram and giggled like a kid with one of my best friends since childhood. We are trying to stifle the giggle because we are on silence tonight, or Mouna. Not much of that going on. But again, this is outside our every day and both of us have had this time to sidestep, appreciate, analyse, get perspective and just be in a different way.
I spoke with one lady here who spent the second day in the garden crying. She said she had not cried for years and had no idea why she was crying, just all of a sudden they were pouring down her face and afterwards she felt lighter. She had sidestepped, just enough to rattle the old emotions up from their deep bed and let them out. Cleansing too.
Children sidestep beautifully, cubby houses, faraway lands in the trees or under the couch…loop holes into a different moment, removed from the now and into a temporary ether.
Then somehow we are ere in our grown up place and we tend to forget how to, or we mesmerise ourselves with hypnotic chants of “you cant afford it. You cant just leave. Don’t be silly. Get real. Immature. Grow up” you get the idea.
I find it particularly good if you have a problem you cannot solve. Its like when you cant think of a movie name, if you let it go it pops up.
Maybe if we were living truly to the format species of human instead of demigods smashing the earth with ego we might remember ourselves long enough to think about side stepping. So many other humans do it outside of the westernised crazy. Supermoon rambling again I know. But it is true. In so many tribes women have huts that are seperate from the rest of the village where women go to ‘be’, They are away from their normal chores or living duties, for a time. Men have walkabout and time together, time alone. I am reading a book here where it talks about Ancient Indian traditions where it was necessary for every woman and man at different stages of the year to have separateness from the rest of the everyday living, just for a short time. It was a healthy and well practised tradition that served many purposes.
Blue eyes does it when he goes fishing, problem is he doesn’t go fishing nearly as much as he could. My daughter sidesteps magnificently when playing piano, you can see it in her eyes. My sons both sidestep when drawing or creating. Unfortunately one is forgetting, I must remind him…
Please don’t be like me and wait for the worst case scenario to happen before you realise it’s not a luxury, it is actually a necessity. Because no matter what your space is you have to step into it, you need to create your ripple you set out to start. Don’t wait for an epic interruption to start enjoying the maximum moments available to you. There is richness for the taking and a sense of fulfilment that comes with it. A thunderclap is ready to ride. It’s like grace, you can’t see but when that stuff rumbles you feel it in your bones and it can shake a window.
Panic, small child panic. The only way it fades is to give my heart over to grace, surrender all and sleep. This is my prescription for a hurting heart. Fear is my enemy and yet it reminds me again of my purpose, my plight. It makes me realize that this is the condition of being human; we lapse back into the business of life and we forget, is it a fault or a necessary facet of survival?
But I cannot sleep. I am sitting on a hard plastic chair in a sterile room.
I do not like to feel vulnerable. I do not have the coping skills for it. Vulnerable on some level equals harm. Why is this? Vulnerable makes me want to tuck in my wings and go home. I do not want her to be in this room, she has to come home with us today healthy. I want to cling to her fast and sure. The words Vulnerable and Her trigger something within that makes tears form, moistening my eyes. My heart feels swollen and inflamed, just short of anger.
My internal force wants to tuck her up and take this moment away quickly and without pain – does us no good its a pointless exercise of the mother. We are sitting in a waiting room.
He told us it has grown. The growth in her Brain has grown. He is going to see what is to be done. It’s not an area they would be interested in operating on, its too deep. Too deep. What does that even mean? I’ve been told I can be too deep. Too deep is a bad thing? Yes, isn’t great. What is it then? I had too deep and I was blind and had to learn how to walk again. I had too deep and I am here still waiting for Fred to work and keep me alive each day. I’ve seen what 160 staples in my head look like.
Something comes to mind after I look at my husband’s face. His face is ashen and has turned a sickly white transparent sheen very quickly. His lips have thinned and he looks at her, looks at me, looks at the ground.
I look at my beautiful daughter; Her faith is built on a rock, and her hearts desire will come to pass, under grace and in a miraculous way is what I think as I look at her beautiful big 17 year old eyes, too wise for one so young. Nothing can defeat God, therefore nothing can defeat her. God’s plans for her are built on a rock. What was hers in the beginning, is hers now and ever will be hers. We cannot lose anything which is born from love. She is not lost to me.
I am reminded by a passage I read recently by Florence Scovel Shinn that said
“ To believe in something enough that it cannot help but manifest is to know the power of faith. Just to imagine is not enough. You must back your imaginings with every ounce of courage, love and conviction your heart can muster. This is when you will truly find peace.” I then remember a little plaque I have someone gave me when I was in rehab recovering from brain surgery that said “Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you”- Mark 11:22
Am I doing this now? Am I believing? Am I doing the right thing by her? How can I soothe her and him? These two parts of our whole are hurting in front of me. So I do what I am reminded of, I squeeze their hands and believe that no matter what he comes in and says- it iS GOING TO BE OK. We cannot be defeated. We are not alone, we are not vulnerable. All will be well. I back up my imaginings of what will come to pass- that no matter what he says we can handle it.
She sits in front of me, fighting back tears, and looks at us apologetically. I squeeze her hand and remind her its ok to cry and she responds in a way typical of our weird genetics (my sister and I both suffer from this) a nervous onset of giggles and a wiping of the tears, then a smile, sad but a smile. We sit there for 12 minutes knowing it has grown but as we all look at each other something is changing- we are remembering our resilience, remembering how toughened we have all become and mighty through this journey we have all been on together.
He enters the room and says that’s it all ok, he’s checked with the surgeons -the growth is within an acceptable range, unless there are any new symptoms they don’t need to see her again for twelve months. The growth could just be from two different people reading the scans or a different perspective. It’s a good outcome, don’t worry. Here are a list of her symptoms. One of them is- if she doesn’t wake up. A small amount of vomit hits the back of my throat. Like the tears, my body reabsorbs this unwanted fluid.
I fire questions at him like a Captain firing a semi automatic and he answers every one of them, some with surety, some nervously. He is a nice young man.
We try process on the way home, all of us with gusto; talking, teary, yelling, angry. Discussing accuracy, second opinions, what does this mean, that mean. How does she feel? Are we good? Yes we are good.
By the time we get home we are all exhausted. We are all relieved. She is ok. She’s going to be ok. She came home.
She does her homework.
I cook dinner, He takes out the rubbish and feeds the dogs. He hugs us all lots that night. He gives awesome hugs.
We return phone calls. How is she? She’s fine, all good for another 12 months. It cannot be explained ; this day that we have had. This confusing paradox of a day, of roses and leeches. How do we have the words when we have not yet fully processed it ourselves?
When I go to bed I close my eyes and give thanks for my family’s faith, it continually gets us through these times in tact. I am revealing so much here in this pondering it scares me, I am being vulnerable because there might be one of you out there that can understand, can feel it too and know that its going to be ok. For some reason this is why I write.
This is a message in a bottle.
This sense of faith my little tribe has is like a well of spring water in a desert. We draw from it what we need, it gives us reflection, tools and peace. I lay there and picture in my mind a big bubble made up of every color of the rainbow and inside are epic particle of feelings of peace, grace and calm and I send it out to the world asking for it go to every parent and child who is unwell.
We are on the road less travelled, but we are on it together.
I have been a very lucky vegemite. I just got back from a Family Holiday that included laughter, smooches and all the nutbag stuff that stems from being a part of our little tribe. I also got to catch up with some beautiful friends I haven’t seen in a really long time. While I was basking in the sunshine and love of these two friends, it occurred to me that in their own way they are exceptionally kind at heart. Then I started to think how lucky I was that I had so many friends that many have one thing in common- true kindness, a- go- out -of -your-way sort of kindness. Pondering on Kindness stopped me thinking about Fred and the Case of the diabolical Aneurysm. So bear with me and come along on my little escape from reality, hold my hand and lets walk together…
As parents and guardians of little humans we all strive in some way for them to be good people, to grow into being constructive adults, nice adults. The awesome thing to recognize is that all children are born good, children are naturally and intrinsically good. However once they have been in the world for a bit, environment starts to play a huge part in the formation of social skills and empathy. Some kids just seem to have a natural empathy for others that burst forwards like a water spring, whilst for others it doesn’t come so easy. How do we teach them effective skills? Is it simply by example or lesson? So what is kindness? A concept? An ideal? How do we teach it?
When we take all of these notions we have of kindness it all boils down to one question: What does that person need to assist or help them, make them feel better? We could even say that Kindness is an act of servitude to assist in either a small or large way.
In our Western environment we really do live in a convoluted world of ME, even as a kid it’s a busy place full of school, sport, curriculum, sleeping, eating, play-dates, movies, birthday parties…the list goes on, which for busy kids or just most people in general if we are honest – being kind or going out of our way for others on a daily basis isn’t a priority. Sure you can be pleasant and do nice things when the occasion arises, when it is requested or obvious, but to make Kind Acts a daily goal and a priority most likely isn’t on the agenda.
So what if we taught kids that the Kindness Formula has a necessary ripple effect that is crucial to living a healthy and happy life, as important as Vitamin D, Fresh Air and Good water? I will go one step further and say we should teach everyone. Because I don’t know about you, but there are poison spitting lumpy caterpillars in my life amongst the butterflies. (They don’t always look like caterpillars though huh?) Yup, the growed up ones we cooked earlier. Kindness doesn’t come easy to some. Some of us just have a bit of kindness lacking in our life, we’ve forgotten its important, seriously life can be bloody tough and you don’t always have the fuel in the tank to go the extra distance for another person. Or do you?
In 2010 political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University undertook an in-depth study into group dynamics and kindness that turned up some fascinating results. They revealed that kindness is in itself contagious and has contributed to the evolution of co-operation and Groups with altruists in them will be more altruistic as a whole and more likely to survive than selfish groups. From a scientific perspective, Fowler added, these findings suggest the fascinating possibility that the process of contagion may have contributed to the evolution of cooperation.
Fowler is quoted as stating acts of giving were “tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who are directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more.” They suggest that behaviour of kindness spreads and is a successful element for co-operation. Not a bad suggestion for a group of humans sharing a planet together one would think? James H. Fowler, and Nicholas A. Christakis. Cooperative behaviour cascades in human social networks. PNAS, March 8, 2010 DOI:10.1073/pnas.0913149107
So, kindness is contagious and necessary for the development and evolution of humans on the planet, (whoa heavy stuff!) So it stands to reason that the act of Kindness becomes a priority and a skill we teach our kids to give them a solid foundation for social living, without of course ignoring the fact that it feels really good.
So how do we go about it? A suggestion I heard about years ago and we integrated with our kids and became my catch cry when dropping them off to school; “Don’t forget to do something kind for someone and learn something new!”
Each night on the way home or at the dinner table we would ask them what act of kindness did they do and what did they learn? If they “forgot” to do an act of kindness it then gave a chance to think about how they could have. If they did do an act of kindness and learned something new it gave them the opportunity to feel really good and positive about their actions and see what they were “putting out there” and achieve a sense of accomplishment.
Something pretty magical starts to happen; they start to see the Ripple Effect for themselves. This action and process is an illustration of how kids can plant their own seeds and in weeks to come the kindness and learning grows and comes back to them. They are rewarded in subtle ways which in turn teaches them a whole new level of social skill and inner self learning, guidance and reflection and even gratitude for other’s kindness to them. Before you know it, acts of kindness become a daily routine.
Another benefit is that it propagates a great attitude; No matter what sort of day you’ve had, as long as you’ve shown an act of kindness and learned something new it has been a Successful and Worthwhile day. Don’t forget all of the great things Goal setting does for kids too…the list goes on. This little exercise before and after school has many layers of worthwhile outcomes for emotional growth and development all stemming from one small action.
Tip: You might get some eye rolling and resistance, don’t let this deter you, trust in the process of what you are doing! You can even make some rewards if needed to kick start it a little bit. Remember that if you make it routine your kids will retain it and integrate it eventually.
Another method I tried recently that was so successful I couldn’t believe I hadn’t tried it years earlier, it certainly would have saved me a couple of near nervous breakdowns and money on wine lol. Seriously you ask no kidding around; TELL ME!
We ran a House Competition- the person who was the nicest and the kindest for a week got to choose whatever we had for dinner Friday night and a sweet of their choice. I admit I didn’t think this was the strongest of incentives, I thought only a trip to Disneyland would induce what I was asking… but what transpired was so hilariously successful it replicated a cross between the Hunger Games and Mary Poppins on steroids. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a house of boys and more often than not; regardless at this attempt I call parenting – the fighting that goes on between my offspring is so common place that the lounge-room resembles Fight Club more than the Swiss alps of Sound of Music, but I am telling you this house comp worked! After 5 days I had a non –conflicting peaceful calm house. Fighting had reduced by an estimated 70%, conflict resolution had progressively improved in epic proportions, my nerves were lovely and crazily in-tact and the house felt like an over 80s knitting party on a Sunday. I am not kidding!
The acts of kindness that went on were blissful to see, albeit at times they were faking it till they made it- (always fun to watch.) But it seems my children have enough of a competitive streak to make the challenge a success. The irony of them trying to out-do each other with kindness would have the most impressive passive aggressor bursting at the seams! But all humour aside- it worked. Surprising but true.
Lets face it, as parents we want our tribe to be kind, we all crave peace and calm and for our kids to be happy positive contributors. Perhaps a bit of well -positioned bribery laced with competition and good intention is good for the soul. I think the most important thing to remember is that we are all in this soup called life together, none of us is perfect and putting our heads and hearts together makes all the difference.
Some Questions to get you going when stumped with acts of kindness for your little humans:
Did you see someone sad at school today?
Did your teacher need help with anything?
Was there a way you could have helped?
Could you open the door for someone? Give a compliment? Help carry something?
What are the ways you could help at school?
Did you accept someone different today?
How could you support your friends?
How do you stay positive with your teachers?
Did you see someone in your class that needed help with something?
Remember Do something Kind for someone today and learn something New and don’t forget to try this on big humans too. You can replace the “Choose the Dinner” with “Choose the sport on TV and all sorts of other interesting Grown Up things, this is especially good for Romantic Relationships (My tongue is firmly in my cheek right now!….) If you want to be really super kind, you could change a legislation and pass a new law even! Now wouldn’t that be exciting?
Do you like being married? Was it fun growing up as a Heterosexual? I bet it was awesome, you were never questioned about the un-natural state of your romance or progression in front of God and Your Tribe making a commitment to have and to hold, honour and keep from this day forward, in sickness and in health. It is so much more convenient isn’t it? You didn’t have a choice you were just born that way! Lucky duck! The strange thing is, its a kindness to let all sorts of people have this choice too, let us not be greedy! Let us be kind and let us be human, its good for the soul I promise, and it won’t hurt anyone.
PS- putting the toilet seat down is truly a kindness. No really. Put it down.
Thanks for indulging me in my little escape. Sending you all blessings and lots of copious laughs because a giggle a day can keep the doctor away. x
I have been going through a bit of a process, a great word – from Latin processus “a going forward, advance, progress.” Moving forward, I hope that is what I’ve been doing. It might be slower than a herd of turtles, but I am getting there.
So much has been going on and I’ve been in observer mode. You know sometimes in life when everyone and everything in it spins around so fast you feel like you are watching the carousel? Deciding when to jump back on, you take a running leap and BANG you missed it. Deep breathe, ok this one looks good, I will jump on HERE….nope gone again.
If I am really honest, there have been a few days where I want to gather up my children and Lothario and escape from the Carousel up into the branches of the Faraway tree into the land of Always & Hugs. We would stay up all night laughing and eating copious amounts of pop corn, we would never get fat because the Queen of Always & Hugs has exiled Sir Carbohydrate to the land of NoFun.
Didn’t take me long did it? There’s the gambler then there’s the rambler, I have the art of verbal diarrhea refined.
I am avoiding. Procrastinating- Latin for “Not getting the shit that needs to be done, done.” I went to the Doctors, I went for an MRI a few weeks ago now. The MRI- a lovely big tunnel of magnetic genius. Like the Wizard of OZ behind the curtain They work their magic to look at amazing pictures of your upstairs grey matter. An hour of lying in an enclosed space, with ear muffs while big noisy machines click and grind around you, shrouded behind space age plastic and metal.
I pretend I’m in a space Odyssey capsule, flying faster than the speed of light to the Land of Chocolate & Johnny Depp (have you heard darling? Its mean to be just de-lish) Then you wait a few hours, They don’t make eye contact normally. Because they know and you don’t, and they are beautiful, dedicated and often polite people, so they don’t want to acknowledge that you know that they know. So everyone pretends they don’t know. I actually find it quote socially awkward sometimes.
Sometimes I feel like patting their arm and saying “Look I know what’s in there, don’t worry, I am cool with it, really. Go have a coffee, take a load off.”
On other days I feel like looking at them and saying “Can I just ask? Have aliens infiltrated it? Because I’ve been wearing some pretty bloody thick aluminum foil around there and It doesn’t seem to be doing the trick,” and signing off with the Captain Spock hand gesture and walking mysteriously off into the distance with my arse hanging out of my gown. That’s usually on a bad day.
Lots of people ask what this stinky aneurysm actually is. So if you want to be bored senseless and I really hope the doctors aren’t reading this as it is WAY TOO SIMPLISTIC- SO LAYMANS TERMS LOL.
Ok lets do this quickly …the aneurysm is a big misshapen balloon in my Brain but more precisely in my Internal Carotid Artery, facing opposite my Opthamalic artery and many other little arteries that feed all the blood supply to the front of the brain including the eyes. Picturing? So basically if it ruptures I would die very quickly or in some medical staff’s words I would wish I was dead (yup these words have been used). Normally aneurysms can be clipped, or coiled to seal off the blood going into it. I’ve already had this done back in 2012. This is a completely different aneurysm. Imagine a balloon filling and filling until the wall gets too thin, or even a hose with a bubble in the side wall. If blood is filling into it, depending on the size and location it weakens and can break. So back in November I was told it was a case of uh oh– no clipping, no coiling, no neurosurgery, but at the same time it was such a nasty little bugger if they did nothing I would die. The Doctor’s estimate at the time was that I would be lucky to get to Christmas.
SO they put FRED™ in, a Flow Diverter, to take all the blood away from the aneurysm and redirect the flow. When you take the blood flow away the aneurysm can shrink and occlude itself or in lay-mans terms shrivel up and is no more. They did this by threading a catheter all the way from my groin to my brain and placing two Diverters in there.
They were very honest with me, the nature of this brain aneurysm was so severe that they were wanting and praying that this could save my life or prolong it a bit. Life or a bit more time. Either way was better than Christmas. (Try telling that one to your three kids, no thank you very much).
To cut another long story short, this is not like a brain tumour. Its not about getting bigger, and if it doesn’t get bigger its ok, or if it gets a little bit bigger its ok. This cannot grow. If it grows any more – no more Kirsten. It’s that simple.
Harsh huh? So it definitely hasn’t grown because I am typing this blog, and unless the NBS has developed at super speed and Heaven has WIFI so far so good.
SO FRED is working well enough that I am still here. The not so great news was that blood is still entering the aneurysm. It isn’t shriveling or occluding. They expected it to be doing this by now or even be gone. It isn’t. Its still filling with blood…
Yours truly was so excited before this news because I wanted to report back it is gone. All gone and I am going to revert back to normal land. Who was I kidding? First I’ve never been “normal” per se. Secondly that would be really greedy considering I have already received multiple miracles and Thirdly I am not going to question the process. Fourth- “hello my name is Kirsten and I might be a perfectionist”. Hmph.
Good news is- it might take 12 months to happen. Scary news- the artery might not make it.
So there it is. I have a time bomb in my head every day. I could live until next Tuesday or until 2050. This time bomb has also been my golden opportunity and key to looking at my life in all sorts of different ways. Its true I appreciate all the little things and the big things too with a new light. My educated guess is that the bomb will be dissected and stop ticking before the year is out. I hope so. The red wire or the blue wire? Anyone’s guess. They have done everything they can. But maybe October 2015 some scientist will release a laser beam that can penetrate and vaporate blood flow in an instant. Who knows? Now there’s an idea…
If one more person says “Or you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, none of us know” I will scream. I really will. Like a “back away now- she’s going a funny colour” kind of scream. No, not really. Have you ever seen me cross? Apparently according to my Lothario it’s an amusing event to watch.
I mean this with absolute love and good intent but for the purpose of understanding- Please take a big uncomfortable chemical lump of C4 attached to a super big bomb, strap it to your chest while sitting at a Russian Roulette game, take a big breathe and listen to the ticking of the clock. Can you hear it?
Just a tip- it ticks louder when you tuck your children into bed, when you see a sunset and you hug someone. It even gets caught in your throat when the dog does something cute or your brother makes you proud. I have to sit in my car and watch my son play tennis, because otherwise i get misty eyed. When my little niece CC runs up to me (every single time she see’s me) and gushes “Oh I LOVE YOU Aunty Kirst” looking at me like I am amazing and hugging me like a vice I get a bit scared my heart will explode and I will make a big mess. Not kidding, its kind of pathetic. So the bomb ticks… (like sands through the hour glass?? so dramatic, i should really get a grip)
The ticking gets super loud at the midnight hour too. I talk to it, I make it my friend and I do all the right things to ease my body, mind and keep calm so I can carry on. BUT, when mortality is in your waking moments, through your day and in your dreams you are not fully submersed. You are not positioned on the carousel like most of the population. Your thinking IS different. Your experience of life, spirit and love is different. Your relationship with the idea of death changes dramatically. The different is good, bad, ugly and positive. It just is.
So I was fine. I am good, no really I am fine. I kept it together the day I had my review and MRI. Lothario and I even made silly jokes in the waiting room together. Hugs are good when they are for people you think are crazy awesome aren’t they?
The trip home was fine. We were all ok. Then I woke up at 2.00am and had a little walk outside, pacing the back yard in the Wintery chill and had a serious convo with the Bearded Wise Guy upstairs. I asked him if I could hand back the ticking thing. I then realized he didn’t give it to me, so how could I give it back? It was a human thing, this ticking business. Humans can break did you hear? Their parts can and do stop working sometimes. It’s the darnedest thing. Its complicated.
So back at the 2.00am backyard Q&A session I took some long slow breathes asking for guidance and in true Frozen form the answer came “Let it Go” so let it go I did. Many, many tears came. Huge ones, little ones, fat ones, Forrest Gump sideways ones. They fell for a long time, and with each tear I could feel the tension and fear draining away. It was okay, I was not alone. I was surrounded with a grace and peace that felt strongest in my chest. As my tears fell, I could feel my heart unravel just enough to let some faith back in.
I wiped the tears. I made a cup of tea. I asked for some really good stuff to happen to lift my heart. Within hours I had received 3 pieces of news that made my day.
One of these involved a gorgeous young friend of mine called Lilly who went to the Sydney Writer’s festival and met a writer we both adore and respect. I’ve known this poppet since she was born, she is one of those sparkly shiny people you feel blessed to be able to hug every so often and this news we shared made my day.
The second was that my Nanna was ready and waiting at the local nursing home. She moved to live around the corner. From me. Nellie Florence, my beautiful wonderful Guardian Angel was brave enough to move from Far away to Close. From the Land of Bendigo to the Land of the Blowing Cold Winds (otherwise known as Geelong) My inner child was so flipping excited it was on a sugar high, red cordial and ants-in-my-pants joy that had me unable to sit still! She’s alive and around the corner for me to hug whenever I want to.
The third was that I would live the day out and get to hug my children, feel their warmth and their breathe on my cheek and walk through their mess. (The mess bit only lasted until the Wednesday if I am really honest)
And such is life. It is a roller coaster or carousel as my daughter would put it. So I have jumped back onto the Carousel. It took me a few weeks to get the nerve again and be friends with my vulnerable, scared self while embracing the inner warrior who trusts in God and maintains her faith about jumping onto a moving object. I even had a weekend with great mates and laughed until it really hurt and it was so good.
And Here we are.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to share. Check out our new support page on this website and I wish you well.
The other is Annie L , our tyre –men connection, our Kerry connection, our brain connection and now our heart connection. I want you to know that you have been in my prayers, blessings and thoughts EVERY DAY since we walked passed each other in Ocean Grove- a glimpse is worth a thousand words. My blessings to you in your journey are in abundance. You are amazing and you are not alone and I hope your heart is peaceful, you are getting enough daily laughter with your Vitamin D along with lots of love and a shrinking tumor xxx