Monday, February 28, 2011

Call for candy

The other night I was on Twitter and innocently put it out there into the twitterverse that I was willing to bring some U.S. candy to Oz if anyone was interested in making a request.  The response was quite enthusiastic.  How enthusiastic you ask?

The conversation around Reeses and Hersheys and cinnamon lollies (whatever those are) became so hot and heavy that this happened:



Yeah.

So. Now I know how to win friends and influence people in Australia. Sugar. Or maybe it's just us sleep-deprived mummy bloggers?

While a lot of you tweeted me your requests, your tweets were quickly lost in my twitter stream. So I'm writing this post as your official chance to make a request for bad American candy.

This is how it's going to go down, folks.

Seeing as how I have a limited baggage allowance we're going to have to all get by with a sampling of our favorite candy.  But seriously, I'm happy to indulge -- and I love a challenge (remember, I can get anything through customs).

Here's what I want you to do.

1) Leave a comment on this post with your request.

2) Show up at AusBlogCon at the designated drop off point (i.e. fancy schmancy hotel)

3) Transactions will occur here:




4) In case anyone's curious, I cannot get the following in Kansas (and have been known to cry into my pillow about it on more than one occassion):




Just. Saying.


5) Staying for margaritas optional.



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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sunday Selections - Idling



Just sitting in the sun
On an autumn afternoon
Watching the world go by
Not a bad idea


Today's post is short and sweet. I'm still taking it easy and this photo from a few months back really appealed to me. I'm taking part in Kim's Sunday Selections. You can join in too. Just visit Frog Ponds Rock and link up.


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Friday, February 25, 2011

AusBlogCon - tick, tickety, tock

So... AusBlogCon 2011 is only three weeks away and we're all hyperventilating, right?

I know I am. Because I'm coming out a little early so I'm already making a list of what I need to pack and trying to remember where I put those converters I bought for my last trip. And speaking of packing, Sydney, what should I come prepared for? Summer? Fall? Summall? It's the dead of winter here. Throw me a bone.

This conference is a little different from your average conference. Most people come to a conference to (a) learn something and (b) network. And while both of those things will be happening at AusBlogCon 2011, the real buzz behind it, from my perspective, is the excitement borne of a large group of bloggers who have befriended and supported each other, laughed and cried together, bonded over shared experience--all in the virtual world of blogging--who will now be meeting together in one place for the first time.

It's almost like 150 people met on Match.com, discovered they had something in common and have been writing each other for, oh, a year or two, and now they are finally meeting for a group date. And they've spent the last month obsessing about what they're going to wear on that date (thank you Nikki, you goddess).

A lot of bloggers have expressed fears and insecurities related to the conference. Will anyone find them interesting? (Yes, you will be as interesting as the rest of us!) What if I'm not pretty/thin/unwrinkly enough? (Remember Bloggers Without Makeup? We are all simply gorgeous. Full stop.) What if I'm too shy to talk to anyone? (Then come hold my hand and we'll meet people together!)

My fear is that I can't possibly spend enough time with all the people I want to talk to in one day. It will be overwhelming. I want to be able to meet and spend time with everyone I've made a connection with in the blogworld. Because you all are amazing. You write the most beautiful posts and leave the kindest comments and make me feel like I'm wrapped up in friendship even though I'm half a world away. And I have one day to say thank you. How can that happen?

I'm fortunate in that I'll be in Sydney beyond the conference and can catch up with my local friends then, but what about everyone coming in from Melbourne and the north coast and Perth and Tasmania and Adelaide? See? Overwhelming.  I've already decided that I need to kidnap Kirrily away so she misses her flight back to Melbs (do you think her family would mind?)

What I'm most looking forward to is coming home to Australia herself. To stand on her red soil and smell the scent of eucalyptus and the salt of the ocean and know that once again, I am home, if even just for a short time.

Ah, Sydney, it will be a sweet reunion. Woogsie, can't wait to see you at the airport after I've cleared the customs guy. Lori, my dear, I'm going to give you the biggest hug (and then we're going to go have some fun). Eden, fair warning, I'm coming to steal you away for an afternoon so we can share our stories and plot and laugh at life. Okay, I'm going to stop here (Brenda, Anne, Sawhole), I'm getting breathless.

Because I'm just so grateful to be able to come to Sydney, I'm linking up with the sensational Maxabella Love's.

So what about you? What are you most looking forward to about AusBlogCon? And which blogger would you kidnap away for a weekend?


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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clouds



It seems that his first voyage above the clouds has only whet his appetite.







This is my contribution to Kim's Sunday Selections. If you'd like to participate, link up at Frog Ponds Rock.


* * * * *

I want to thank everyone who has emailed or messaged me, or left comments on my last two posts. Your concern and kind words mean the world to me. Thank you so much. I owe responses to so many of you. I've been by a couple of blogs (way to go TM) and sent a few email responses, but mostly I've contined to do lots of nothing. It's not because I don't care or don't appreciate your contact -- I love it.  I'm just fried. Yesterday I slept almost the whole day. I was exhausted and achey -- I don't know why. Today I got up and went for a walk and then slept some more, and then watched cartoons with my kids. Fluff. A few times I thought, "I really should respond to all my emails," but, you know, clouds got in the way.

xoxo


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shattered

For the last several days I have been with family and it has been an incredible relief. I have been wrapped in a cocoon of support and unconditional love, and I can relax completely because I feel safe.

For the last several days I have done nothing. I haven't worked or driven or cooked a meal. I haven't blogged or read a book and I've barely been online. I've watched a bit of TV and today ventured out to the movies (The King's Speech), but mostly I've done very little.

I don't want to watch or read anything that is violent or has anything to do with deceit or exploitation of children or adultery or anything the least bit dark. So I watch cartoons with my kids or fluff or nothing at all. I don't want to think or talk about anything that's happened in the last six months because I feel like a glass bowl with a hundred fine cracks and the least bit of pressure could shatter me.

Before I left, when I last met with my therapist, I was quite distraught. She looked at me with so much compassion and said this to me: "You're living in a crime scene. If someone had been murdered in that house, you would never have stayed. But there was so much trauma that happened there, and you live there every day and sleep in the same bed."

This didn't fully sink in until I got away from the house and could actually disconnect from all that dark energy. There had been so much trauma there. Not just the assault, but police searches and the kids or myself stumbling upon so many shocking and deeply disturbing things. I just couldn't absorb it all. Who was this man I had slept beside for nine years who carried so much violence in his soul?

For six months I didn't feel much of anything. I didn't feel grief or anger. I was just trying to get by and putting one foot in front of the other. Until one day I couldn't even do that. And it was then I realized how much all this violence had shattered me.

I am so grateful for the love and care of my family at this time. I am so grateful that in a matter of weeks I am leaving to go overseas. I want to thank my sponsors, GSK, and everyone else who donated and made this trip possible. It is such a gift. Right now I need to be somewhere that feels safe and is far, far away.

I know in the interim I will have to go home and face the house and all that goes with it. But I pray that someday soon I will be gone. I look at my children and they are so beautiful and innocent. They deserve to be in a safe place where they will be surrounded by love and support. And so do I.

No one should live in the midst of such violent energy. It's unhealthy and destructive. It's wrong, wrong wrong. I don't want it in my life anymore. Not now. Not ever.


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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Broken

(If you are looking for FYBF, it is being hosted by MummyTime today. Apologies to Lori. Thank you dear Brenda, for picking up the slack, xx)


Falling. I am falling. For so long I’ve held it together.

People shake their heads, “You are so strong,” they say. “How do you do it?”

The answer is nobody does this without a cost. For six months I have parented alone with no respite. For six months I have lived in fear, ever vigilant, waiting for the axe to fall. For six months I have followed the rules of the system, pounded on the door of the system, waited for the slow cogs of the system to turn, been let down by the system.

My brother flew out for a few days recently. The kids were overjoyed. There was a different energy in the house. I had forgotten what it was like to have someone around to help out. He played with kids. He helped put them to bed. He bought dinner and cleared the table. Little things, but they meant the world. I cried when he left.

I keep telling myself I must hold out a little longer. One day, this will all be behind me. But for now, I have to keep going for my children. Eventually, I’ll have permission to move and I can get out of this house with its dark history. In another month, I’ll be in Australia where I can breathe easier. These markers, they give me hope.

But my body has said no. It has put a stop to everything and simply refused to keep going.

At work I stare at the computer screen but can’t focus. In the mornings I stand in the kitchen and look at my daughter’s lunch box and can’t remember what I was going to do with it. The simplest of daily tasks seem insurmountable.

This morning I asked my friend to come into my office. I sat there and cried and told her I needed help. She was wonderful and helped me connect with the right people. Apparently, what I’m experiencing is normal. To be expected under such circumstances. In my case it’s the result of trauma, social isolation (what family I have is thin and far-flung), sustained, elevated stress and the ongoing threat of violence. It’s a wonder I’ve lasted this long.

Now I am leaving to stay with family, so that I can rest while they help care for the kids.

I haven’t talked much on my blog about what’s been happening the last several months. I’ve held off for fear of retaliation, either litigative or physical. I haven’t seen my husband for six months, but isn’t it funny how I can still be silenced by the implicit threat of backlash? Such is the dynamic of abuse. Don’t speak or else.

But not speaking has cut me off from one of the few support networks I have. Not speaking does not keep me safe, by any stretch of the imagination. Not speaking has impeded my healing. And now, months later, I am broken.

I have made the decision to talk more openly about the difficult things, the scary things, the ugly things. Here. On Wanderlust. And I am taking time off to let myself heal. Between the two, I will find the strength to move forward and do the hundred things I need to do to get to the other side.



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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

FYBF - Be nice to mother edition

Alright. Whoever is pissing off mother nature, would you just stop already? Queensland is being hammered by cyclone after cyclone, here in the midwest we're digging out from Snowpocalypse 2011 and somewhere in Japan this happened:




Methinks Mom is having a bit of a tanty. So let's buy her some premium chocolate, farm the kids out for the day and just....walk....softly.

Mkay. We're also going to do a little bit of flogging. Because it's Flog Yo Blog Friday. FYBF was originally started by the fearless Brenda at MummyTime who gave it all up to rappel down active volcanos to measure seismic activity; she handed it over to the gorgeous and talented Lori at Random Ramblings of a SAHM who is currently busy revolutionizing the blogging world. Thus, you find it here. For now.

So don't be shy. Link up. Here be the rules:

  1. Follow my blog or RRSAHM or the Yellow Brick Road (I don't know, what's the protocol when it's on loan?)  If you follow me, make sure to leave a link so I can follow you back!
  2. Grab the bubbly button and post it on your sidebar.
  3. Link your First Name and/or Blog Name and URL of your post or blog.
  4. Add a short description (max of 125 chars). It could be a description of yourself, your blog or a teaser to your latest post.
  5. Follow at least 1 linkyer/blogger (Be nice and spread the love).
  6. The list will be open for linkyers on Fridays (and for the foreigners Friday as well).
  7. A new and fresh link list will open every Friday. And you will have to link up AGAIN. The previous link list does not carry over to the following week.
  8. And lastly, have lotsa fun.




rrsahm






 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Civility holds its tongue

There was a lot of discussion on the interwebs yesterday about the benefits of blogging raw, so to speak. Specifically, Lori has been writing very openly about her emotional responses in the aftermath of her husband’s suicide. While the vast majority of readers have been incredibly supportive and appreciative, a few have suggested that she should tone it down.

This sort of thing really sticks in my craw. Partly because Lori is my friend and it bothers me to see her get so upset over a few idiotic comments. Partly because I think they're just flat out wrong. But also because I too blog raw. I fall firmly on the side that believes that transparency and honesty always trump secrecy.

Secrecy is a poison that has torn my family apart and robbed my children of a father. When we speak, we bring things into the light and give them a chance to heal. Sometimes the things we need to speak about are taboo. They still need to be spoken. In fact, they need to be talked about all the more, because it then gives others struggling with the same difficult issues the courage to speak as well, and thus heal.

Two days ago I received an email from a woman who reads my blog. She told me she had followed a link to Lori’s blog and read her posts. She shared with me some of the circumstances in her life which led her to the point of wanting to take her own life. But after reading Lori’s post and seeing firsthand the brutal reality of the aftermath of suicide, she had changed her mind. She wanted me to pass her email along to Lori, to thank her for writing that post and saving her life.

There are some that suggest that they make these critical comments out of concern. I call bullshit. Calling into question a mother’s parenting choices and basically accusing her of triggering suicide, at a time when she is experiencing the depths of grief, is not something one does out of concern. At best it is incredibly insensitive. At best.

When you spend enough time on the internet you are bound to come across the occasional commenter who loves to swoop in and throw barbs at another, apparently getting a rise out of causing strife to someone else. They are almost always anonymous. Some people call them trolls, some call them flamers. Perhaps we should call them by their clinical name: sociopaths.

Harsh? Perhaps. I think I’m just in mama lion mode. But anyone who kicks another person when they’re down just riles me. Unfortunately, they’re out there. Fortunately, they are by far outnumbered by generous, caring people.

It’s so easy to express compassion and support. Ridiculously easy. Here, watch this:

  • Lori, you’re amazing and I fully support everything you’re doing right now. Listen to your heart.
  • Jodie, thanks for your support of Lori and her decision to write through her grief.
  • Milk, I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm hoping for the best outcome.
  • "R", I'm glad you chose life. I hope you keep choosing that every day. You are worth so much more than you think.
  • I’m feeling frightened for all my friends in Queensland, and all the people there I don’t know. Stay safe.

The blogosphere is a big place full of lots of opinions. If you like what you’re reading, it’s a wonderful way to connect with someone new and share some support. If you disagree, why not just click away? I'd like to think that civility knows when to hold its tongue.

 

 

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