The highest of highs and the lowest of lows: the decade that was

I’m taking a look back at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows: the decade that was, inspired by the #10yearchallenge. If you have been playing along for a while, you will know it hasn’t always been easy. So many utterly amazing things have happened, bringing magic to my world, filling my heart and soul with gratitude. I’ve also faced some of my darkest days.

2010

I began the year by throwing myself a party to celebrate turning 40. I’d started on the path to becoming a sole mumma by choice, but was not yet pregnant.

I was very lucky that my second attempt was successful, and a few months later my August ultrasound confirmed I was having a perfectly healthy baby girl.

2010 is the year of me becoming vegetarian.

A very quite New Year’s Eve as I was so close to my due date. I lay on my couch with my feet up and the air conditioning on freezing to combat the summer heat, and watched the world-famous fireworks on tv … Bella’s head resting on my bump.

As glorious as so many things were in 2010, it was also the first time I was made redundant – 6 months into my pregnancy. Not really the kind of stress a sole mumma-to-be with shocking all day {all pregnancy} morning sickness really wants to face. Not surprisingly, no-one wanted to employ a 6-month pregnant woman!

2011

I’m not sure anything will ever top the year I became a mumma. It was a lifelong dream and something I wanted with every fibre of my being. Even my adverse reaction to the anaesthetic following my not planned but necessary c-section couldn’t dull the pure bliss and incredible gratitude I felt to hold my bubba in my arms. A bliss I still feel every day.

Born that day were: mumma, grandma, aunty, uncle, little sister {to the fuzzies}, fairy god daughter and friend. What a day!

Despite my reservations and the stories I’d heard, I went along to my local mothers’ group when Love Bug was 6 weeks old. By the end of that meeting, I’d made a life long friend, proving yet again that it’s when you put yourself outside your comfort zone, there is magic to be found.

My little sister got married again that April. To the same lovely man she married previously. The one she’s been with since they were babies. Or early 20s. Same thing really!

Having to start again in the workforce as the sole parent of a 6 month old was not easy. Securing a job at the level I’d left the workforce proved to be impossible, so when I rejoined the workforce it was at a level significantly lower than when I’d been made redundant the previous year. This had not been in the plan!

2012

My bubba turned one. That first year sure did fly by. I know everyone says that the years pass quickly but I don’t know that I fully grasped it until I was counting the firsts of my bubba. Smiles, teeth, words {mumma, og [dog – Bella and Beary were never far from their little sister]}, food, steps!

The house I was renting was being sold, so we moved.

The complete surprise this year was being diagnosed with post-natal depression. I had been under the misguided opinion that if you were going to succumb to it, that would happen in the first year of your bubba’s life. Apparently that’s not quite right. For me it happened when I finally weaned Love Bug at 14 months. Thankfully I had a great doctor who put it as plainly as this: if a physical part of you was in need, we’d prescribe medicine. Mental illness sometimes needs medicine. Same same.

2013

This year I juggled. A huge job, long hours and parenting. I had an incredibly supportive CEO who understood that I could do my job from wherever I was, so despite working super hard, I had a black-out period in my evening from when I picked Love Bug up from care and when she was in bed.

The house I was renting was being sold, so we moved. Again.

2014

The year started with my world being pulled from beneath me. A day where I felt I was in freefall, a nightmare presenting itself in broad daylight. One I could never and will never wake up from, leaving me with a stone in my heart that I will always carry.

This was also the year I was made redundant for a second time. My anxiety was having a field day. Oi vey! {No, I’m not Jewish, but it’s just such a perfect expression for the tone this year was taking!}

It is also the year we lived in a lovely little home with the most perfect frangipani tree in our front garden and cubby house in our back garden, and a teeny kitchen just big enough for the four of us to be in together. Love Bug, Bella, Beary and I spent so much time this year wrapped in each others’ love. And there is absolutely nowhere else I would have been.

Love Bug also started full time at a day care centre where she made some beautiful friends, in particular one of her best male friends. Despite not attending the same primary school now, they pick up just where they left off every time they see each other. It’s a friendship I hope they both treasure for always.

I found a job with another understanding manager so my parenting/working balance was maintained.

2015

The year I became vegan. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

My beautiful mumma turned 70. She is a wonderful role model who lives life getting involved, learning every day and sharing her big, kind heart!

The house I was renting was being sold, so we moved. Again. I know, right?!

2016

Love Bug started big school! I felt all the feels. As did she.

Never one to happily say goodbye, there were many mornings the before school care educators needed to unwrap her little arms from around me. She was always fine 30 seconds later, but that ache of pulling away from your child when they just want to hold on tight. Ugh! She loves hard, that gorgeous kid, and still cries when she leaves her loved ones. But the actual school part of being at school? She took to it like a duck to water, and to this day adores going to school.

I was worried about making new friends when she started school. Not about Poppy making friends, she’s such an inclusive little bean that I knew she’d be fine. I was worried about me! I had friends who I love dearly and barely have time to see. How was I going to cope with more? I need not have worried! Not long into her kindergarten year, we found a tribe who are – to this day, at the end of our 4th school year – amazing.

Speaking of friends – this amazing girl turned 40. Love Bug’s Fairy Godmother.

2017

One of my soul sisters moved back to the same city as me. Not only that but she moved two streets away!

My baby sister turned 40! How is that possible? To me she’ll always be the little kid in this photo {the one on the left, the one on the right is Love Bug, and in the middle my Daddy!}.

Well, maybe not quite that young, but when your baby sister reaches such milestones it makes you consider that you are, perhaps, a little older than you imagine yourself to be!

The most heartbreaking news came in February when Bella was diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous tumour. My fuzzy soul mate. My rock. My shadow. My emotional support. My therapy dog {although this was never made official}. How could this happen? She was supposed to live forever.

There is a Bella-shaped hole in my heart that will always exist. To always carry her with me, I got my second tattoo that year. The shape of her ears inside my right wrist. Whenever I’m anxious or missing her, I look down and know she’s with me for always.

My first trip to Europe! How incredibly lucky were Love Bug and I to stand beside my childhood friend while she married her sweetheart in England, to have tea at Buckingham Palace with our dear friend, to visit Paris with my mumma, and to watch Love Bug’s face light up when she saw her Eiffy {Eiffel Tower} then again in the magic fairy lights of Paris Disneyland and as we watched Wicked in London.

December saw the paw count in our home once again increase to 8 when we welcomed our little rescue mutt Harry. I had been so determined to rescue an older dog, but fate had other plans when Beary, Love Bug and I met this scrap of a character a few days before Christmas.

2018

I started my own business, and as a result am now lucky work with the most inspiring woman. board-assist was born when the corporate world delivered another interesting moment and halved my days of work to 2. When life gives you lemons, huh? Speaking of lemons: hello menopause {although the less said about that for now the better}!

I met David Duchovny. If only you knew how infatuated I had been with him during his X-files years. It was all I could do to form coherent words and not completely fangirl at him during our 60 second chat!

Love Bug went to her first stadium concert- Taylor Swift. She didn’t take the t-shirt off for days!

2019


Love Bug started Nippers and also learning keyboard this year. And I learned that she can play by ear. The joy she has always had for music has stepped up a notch or three. She sings in the school choir and in September was part of a 400 strong state-wide school choir who sang at the Sydney Town Hall. It was a delight to watch her shine in this endeavour.

Although my eyes were opened to the climate crisis during 2018, this year the resounding reality of the dire state of the future came hurtling towards me; as did the devastating effects we are having as a species on our planet and those we share it with. My anxiety is once again having a field day. I have attended climate rallies, joined the kids school striking for climate, been to a couple of Extinction Rebellion events and shared every piece of information I come across via social media platforms. It is not enough though. I need to do more. The science is very clear and the global action is just not good enough. Our children deserve a livable planet.

As I type this post, Australia is burning. Literally. We have bushfires raging across our country. Unprecedented, unstoppable beasts. To date this fire season {September until now}: 12 people have lost their lives, including two volunteer fire fighters; 1,000 homes have been razed; we have lost somewhere between 480 and 500 million {yes, million} animals to the fires, including hundreds of our beloved koalas; and over 7.4 million acres have burned. This, apparently, is approximately the size of the country of Belgium. And there is no end in sight. We are on high level water restrictions and electricity supplies have been cut off by fires. The state I live in has finally declared a climate emergency and will hopefully now act upon that declaration. The Prime Minister is, unfortunately for us, an idiot who doesn’t believe any of the current emergencies we are experiencing have anything to do with climate change. It is beyond me.

2020 and beyond

I am the luckiest mumma in the world. I look at Poppy and can’t believe she’s days away from turning nine, was she not a babe in my arms six minutes ago? She is caring, bright, engaged, funny, loving and just the most wonderful child I could have ever hoped for. Some nights I still watch her sleep and pinch myself that she’s mine.

I have a wonderful family {human and canine}, incredible friends – some I see daily and others I see less often but pick up right where we left off; some I’ve known forever; others I’ve met in the past few years.

I am hopeful for the future. There seems to be a groundswell of people daring to step outside their comfort zones and speak up for themselves, those around them and our planet. We need more of them and we need to support each other in doing the same.

I am grateful for what I have. In a world where so many people live with so little, it is not lost on me the privilege of the life I lead.

I am lucky to have my health and humour, both of which I’m going to give a little more airtime this coming decade.

I am thankful for the past decade and the lessons it taught me. If I was ever in any doubt before, it is blindingly obvious to me now that I have the strength of a mumma lion. Even if some days it feels like I don’t have the strength of a newborn kitten! My battle with anxiety continues, some days easier than others, but I have lots of tools to help me with my fight.

{I’m probably okay for big lessons for a while though, Universe. Okay?}

I will read more, travel more, cook more, make more magic, learn more and play more. And be so appreciative that I can.

Finally, despite trying all of the types of dating {again} this decade, my ultimate romance still eludes me. The coming decade is going to be the one!

Wishing you and yours an incredible new year and decade, filled with adventure, magic, love and hope for a world where we are all equal. xox

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Such a lovely post. Definitely lots of ups and downs and MOVES! Yikes! May your 2020 be filled with love and licks and strength and smiles.

    Happy New Year!
    Cupcake and Mom

    1. Wishing you both lots of fun and happiness too x

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