Sunrise, 2 May 2016, southern NSW
I woke this morning at 3am, annoyed to be awake. After tossing and turning for more than an hour I fell into a deep slumber, waking at 7 feeling completely shattered.
There's a bit going on at the moment. As I've been saying, I'm dealing with five life events at once. It's like five roller coasters in slow motion all moving along a straight line. They are never in synch. One may be hurtling towards the ground as another gains upward momentum. Another will be resting between dips and drops.
If there is one life event that takes priority for me (and this does not discount the seriousness of the rest of them) it's the firstborn joining the armed forces. I'm not saying which one because there's a total media blackout on anything to do with him. In the limited time he's been there he is doing well.
The other life events are the terminal illness of my father-in-law, the old age of my Grandad, the ex family home going on the market and my ongoing underemployment.
All biggies and I'm navigating two teenagers through each of these events, obviously with the help of their father and other family members.
Today should have been the first day of a new job for me. It was offered to me last week and two days later the offer was withdrawn. There was feedback from an anonymous individual that I was not good with deadlines. Let's remember that I have been a journalist since 1981 so I have an idea what the concept and fact of a deadline is.
Let's also think that if an organisation is prepared to accept commentary from someone for whom I have never worked about my ability to plan and execute work, it is an organisation that has values (?) that do not match mine. You know, integrity, honesty, kindness, loyalty, diligent work ethic. Oh, did I mention it's a Christian-based outfit?
The recruiter was as appalled as I was at my treatment. She also gave me some good feedback. My specialist set of skills was not going to fit into any old job advertisement. I have come to realise the same thing over the past few months. There's also the issue, unspoken but prevalent, of ageism. I am offering this as a topic of conversation as I have met many, many people who are underemployed. They are mostly over 50. That's right. As our Prime Minister speaks of agility and start-ups and exciting times, anyone with a few decades of life and work under their belt is discarded. As one of the old-timers at yesterday's funeral said, most start-ups fail within 12 months so it's hardly the basis to firm up the economy. Another person told me he despairs for the Australian economy. He has worked hard throughout his life on public and private projects, in and around government. He has never seen such a lack of vision, understanding or intelligence when it comes to running the country.
Those over 50s are turning to self-employment or insecure casual work. If they are lucky, they have some sort of pension or income stream that they have built up over many years. But not everyone has been able to do so.
If you listen to the current crop of politicians your eyes are probably glazed tight shut and you shake your head at the lack of vision, the total inability to see beyond their next pre-selection. Of course there are some exceptions to the rule, people who work for the common good, but they are not the ones scheming and manoeuvring into positions of power.
The father-in-law's terminal illness has been a source of great sadness for all of us and yesterday we gathered to farewell him in a little country church. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremony. Not too "Goddy" and a good mix of a praise and harmony.
To ensure that the firstborn could I attend, Miss B and I travelled on Sunday afternoon to stay with one of our dear friends who lives closer to his base than we do. Yesterday we left early in the morning to collect the firstborn, drive him to the funeral, attend the funeral, attend the wake, then I took him back to where he needed to be and I turned around and drove home, collecting Miss B from the family gathering along the way, 730km in one day. As I turned into my street my Dad, who had also attended the funeral, called to tell me my beautiful Grandad, Alfred Samuel Date, died yesterday afternoon, aged 110 years, five months and three weeks.
The ex-family home is on the market. There is interest. Someone will be buying a home that we loved.
There is so much emotion swirling around all of these events.
I've been walking, walking, walking and painting. I have beautiful friends and family who sustain me both literally and emotionally. I have two entirely beautiful and delightful children who are learning to make their way in the world.
There is a silver lining to all of this. I've learned how to spot the vampires who suck the bone marrow from you and me. I keep garlic close.
All the love.