To everything (turn turn turn), there is a season (turn turn turn).... (Pete Seeger)
There are seasons in life.. Looking back over the last 10 years I can clearly see definite seasons.
Uni was one. I didn't realise how care-free and easy life was. I was sharing a house with a friend, paying $90 per week rent and working 12 hours a week while getting a couple of hundred from the government each fortnight. I could do anything I wanted. I was young and in love with my newish boyfriend Johnny C. We got engaged during that season.
Then John and I got married. We had a season living in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Mitcham- it smelled a lot like curry no matter how hard we scrubbed those walls. We loved being close to one another, washing dishes shoulder to shoulder in our miniscule kitchen and I went through a "tinnie" or lucky phase during this time where I seemed to win every competition I entered, this included winning a car, 5 litres of ice cream, $500 and a diamond ring.. all from different competitions.
We lived as lead tenants supporting a man with cerebral palsy.. that was a season that was very rewarding but also very challenging. We lived there for two years until we were blessed with wee Molly and it wasn't manageable any more.
During Molly's infancy I was a stay at home mum and got to spend my days hanging with my mum's group while John worked as an integration aide.. another quite pleasant season.
Then we moved to Footscray.. We have been here 5 years and we have experienced different seasons even in that relatively short period of time. Another baby, kinder, school, friendships lasting and some I've lost, different phases; gardening, cooking, craft. John studying while I worked a little bit. I had a great work arrangement where I could work weekends and have the week free to spend with the kids.
Our time in Footscray has been really great. Aside from the factory smells and lack of trees, Footscray is a vibrant, lively community and it feels like home. There have been ups and downs but life's been pretty good.
Well, we are in a season right now.. and it is definitely a winter for me.
I never want to seem like a complainer.. I generally avoid people who complain a lot online and I've never wanted to be one. But there's complaining and then there is telling people about things that are hard. And that's how it is for us right now.. it's hard. I went out for dinner with some friends the other night and one of them said "Does anyone else feels like things are all too hard at the moment?"... We all nodded. Everyone seems to be feeling the same.. Perhaps it's the time of year.. Holidays feel so far away.. Winter solstice.
This "winter" just feels endless and I have been trying to put my chin up and get on with things but I can only keep it up for a few days between regular melt downs and teary spells. I'm actually having a good day today. The sun is out and I have had enough sleep. Today is one of those days where I feel like I can persevere through the rest of the year until John finishes studying.
I think the problem is that I feel like I'm stuck. I am working full time, which I never intended to do, but it has become necessary as we just can't afford to be earning any less than we currently earn. I am not doing particularly inspiring work .. I mean, it's ok.. many people would love to do what I do. I'm glad to have skills and to be offered enough hours to earn enough to (just) make ends meet but I'm not really happy. I want to work creatively. To do my own projects. To use my social work degree but not be so busy that I can't hang out with Richie.
I am struggling a lot to find reliable childcare and every time I need to make a new care arrangement for him I am reminded that he is not with me. I want to be the one taking him to the park and having babycinos. I am constantly running around, I feel like I pull up to school in the morning (a rolling stop) and push the girls out of the car so I can quickly rush to the next thing. The washing is piling up because neither John or I have the time or energy to do it and I am still struggling to make time to do anything nice for myself (although, credit to me, I am going to see Katie Noonan on Friday night with Mezz!).
But it's a season... it's a very hard season.. But I can see an end to it.
And it's my project to use the next 6 months to plan out how I want next year to feel and what things I need to put in place to set that up. It will be better.
I guess it's a good lesson to the girls that sometimes you just have to put your head down and work through the shitty stuff until it's over.
And it's not over for us yet.. but every day it's getting closer.