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My husband and I have been a bit neh to each other these past few days. Complete misunderstanding it seems but done all the same. Now because it’s my blog I can say what the problem was he was an arse and I was a coward. Despite being the most awesome man alive apart from my father and the three boys I am raising he can be an arse sometimes as much as I can be a bitch and when he is an arse I am a coward because sometimes it’s easier but then its not always right.

A brief non accusatory story he barked at me one too many times this past week for reasons he feels are justified and perhaps he is right I’m not sure because I can’t remember any good reason to bark at the person you love.

{he throws his hands up as I type this and I run my blog past him .. he says he is the fall guy for a story that should be told..and so I will state despite being an arse he is totally awesome..every body fights}

{Anyway……}

So how did I react? Initially I bit and it was good fighting. Its good for the soul but then the barking it continued and I get he has crap to deal with but so do I. My life isn’t long lunches and Ellen. So after a bit of confrontation where dummies were spat and paper was thrown I stopped biting because it started to hurt.

Now I’m normally a runner when in trouble and not being able to run I decide the best thing usually to do is hold things in. Become meek subservient. Non confrontational because currently I have a wee bit on my mind and he being an arse and his crap was the last thing I wanted to think about. So I stopped talking for a while, not affectionate and just plain polite; room-mates if you like.

So this is what I found using this polite non confrontational strategy. I guess with drawing is a term some would use.

It sucked and come this morning I was crawling into bed next to him saying we got to talk because I can’t do this crap. I can’t take the politeness being a roommate.

Laying into his chest trying to create connection between us hoping that the chasm that politeness had created would become smaller a conversation was started.

However if I had left it any longer we would have started on that hard path where the bread crumbs start getting taken by ant’s and finding your way back becomes hard and perhaps that’s an exaggeration for now but its how its starts the withdrawing the avoiding because the polietness is easier than the hurt or the work thats involved with the fixing of a problem I am not sure which. And whilst it ticks me off that it was me that crawled into bed and say hey this crap isn’t working someone has to do it. And I can’t live in that environment. It’s not healthy for anyone. I eat too much crap when living in that environment and yes I will blame him should the scales say I have gained that 2kgs that I lost last month.

Whilst the environment was very civil it was horrible. Not being able to speak your mind is numbing and unproductive. It sucks the love from you at least with an argument and one that is argued well ignites the passion and respect. Now my marriage has been to some low and high places and this is what I have learnt when needing to talk to someone about a problem.

So after some space and emotions are calm….

  1. Talk to them when they are relaxed for me there are two places my husband is relaxed driving the range and when is lying in bed of a morning. If you walk up to them and say we need to talk chances are the heckles will go up before you have time to sit.
  2. Touch them while you’re talking hold their hand. Touch their arm. Sit adjacent to them or just to the side.
  3. Lower the tone in your voice and understand that there is a right and a wrong way to fight. You know the wrong way. It’s full of venom and that will not fix something it will make it worse so just walk away.
  4. Don’t exaggerate and watch the words that you use. Words have power and you can’t take them back.
  5. Explain how you feel and ask what the problem is or what you want. Be open to the response.
  6. Don’t bring up past problems.
  7. Smile and lighten the mood with a joke somehow.
  8. Don’t have too much pride to say sorry if it dawns on you that perhaps you were wrong or misunderstood.
  9. There is no winner. That is not the object talking to someone…
  10. Understand all relationships have there ups and downs.

However there should always be a draw when it comes to the kissing and making up…both should be satisfied with the ending…

Xx D

{image source with thanks here}

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They are taking advantage of you he said.

We were coming through the gate having started a conversation in the car after grocery shopping. I dropped the plastic bags at my feet in exhaustion of both attempting to carry all the shopping in one hit and exhaustion that I was explaining my actions yet again.

They are not taking advantage of me I said exasperated. I know when I am being taken advantage of and this is not one of them I said but if you want to know what taking advantage of is let’s talk about those mates who come sit drink your beer and yet when you need a hand they suddenly have a pressing matter they need to attend to. That’s being taken advantage of I said my voice rising slightly.

He looked at me.

I am on my own for six months of the year I said. I have no family around me and after numerous bouts of exhaustion I have finally learnt that I must create my own family a community because the saying blood is thicker than water is bull. And so having learnt this the hard way more than once I have done what I need to do and that is I must create a community a family in order for me to survive for my kids to survive and thrive I said. And I have done that.

How I live is; I like to think is how the world use to be before we all become so self obsessed with making it on our own and keeping secrets and lies to ourselves. Once upon a time we could send our kids out and not see them until dark; we knew that our friends and neighbours would watch our kids rouse them if necessary. Once upon a time your neighbours would step in and baby sit, cook dinners and care for each other like family. Family would be just around the corner and it was just a given that auntie Jo could help out with kids six while dad was at work ploughing fields with a team of bullocks. It was simple and it was good. I want that I for kids and so because I don’t have family I have done the next best thing.

They return the favours of helping me out as much as I do them. We have balance. They are in the same position I am and so we have created community and family and I like that; we like that. I said with a sigh.

I picked up the groceries and kept walking. He stood there at the gate watching me not knowing if we were arguing or just sharing a difference of opinion.

Community is important to me perhaps it’s because you live in the city perhaps it’s a country thing but it’s become essential to my survival. And whilst I skirt on my larger community I have created a smaller one around me with my neighbours and my friends. It’s made my life what it is. I feel safe here. I have people who keep an eye on me and my children. If there is a problem they look for me and I them. I feel a part of something bigger than myself but none of it came by accident. It’s all too easy to shut yourself in and but where is the benefit in that? What will that teach my children? Nothing. Being part of a community creates tolerance, understanding and wellness. It’s good for you for everyone. Families are spread far and wide I said finally you are my parent and yet I see you three times a year because we live 3000 kilometres apart.

He shrugged his shoulders and shut the gate behind him and instead of following me to the house he went to the shed so as to avoid the conversation all together.

So my top five tips on creating community.

  1. Just say hello. Start talking taking an interest in those around you. Chat over the fence say hello. Dont gossip and be welcoming to new ideas and opinions. You may not agree but thats how the world turns. Communities are about tolerance.
  2. Have a neighbourhood party or a party of like minded people. My street has a Christmas party each year it’s the only time we all get together but we know each other. We know whose children belong to whom, whose dog comes from which house and who goes on holidays and when.
  3. Help each other out. Help and ask for help. When I first arrived my neighbours eight year daughter was walking up the street and offered to help with the groceries. That was my first introduction to community and the goodness it can offer. Sometimes you will get the help straight away sometimes its when you least expected. If you’re helping someone for something in return you don’t understand the concept of community.
  4. Have play dates with your kids and vice versa. It teaches your children the difference in family values, culture and experience. It also means if you ever need a break you can have one. My children run between the houses in the street and vice versa and if one house finds I’m unwell…I don’t see my children until dinner time.
  5. Go to neighbourhood meetings. Get to know your neighbours by name at least. I know all my neighbours even those that own the two holiday homes across the street who come up a few times a year.

Being part of a community has untold benefits, it doesn’t have to be your neighbourhood it can be a group of friends with similar views or be in a similar situation to you. Humans were not meant to be sole creatures it’s as simple as that. Community has become my family and without it I couldn’t survive.

Do you belong to a community? Do you think it valuable?  Was it something you created on purpose?

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a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on September 16, 2014

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I’m not sure how it happened but the few things post is on a  Tuesday…and it feels so wrong I am sorry…Monday came and went just like the weekend and already we are one quarter through the RNR swing. Life is going to fast. Way to fast.

So the weekend.

I did my first speaking event on Sunday and I’m so glad I did. I was nervous beyond words and rather than vomit I sweated. My fear of groups is extreme. I’m good with just a few but place me in front of more than just a few and well I am the queen of swoon and not in the romantic sense. I was prepared for vomit not for the potential sweat athon {is that a  word}. I made it through despite sitting there going oh my god I am sweating so much do I stink can they smell me? the stupidity of it all but typically by the end over I was over the moon because not only had I got through it I conquered a fear and I literally made new friends {well I hope I did} all without vomiting sweat excluded.

And I must say the tips that everyone offered worked a treat so much so I think I will write a how to..anyway I have missed you its only now that I sit and write that I have missed you and its only been a day…so these are the things running through my head..and I must say I am heavy hearted for the unknowing that many defence families are facing today..my heart and thoughts are with you…

So the few things.

1. I asked for some love today on facebook..in the form of what you makes you smile and I got it and I cried..in the doctors surgery I cried and laughed the ugly cry..I am grateful for you.

2. Listening to my husband lose his crap with the kids brings me such joy…on the inside..on the outside I am saying you must listen to your father.

3. I have lost two kilos..I have to tell someone because my husband hasn’t noticed yet..

4. It’s almost summer but I’m determined not to show my legs until the wobble is gone…its getting beyond crazy especially in this tropical heat but I will persevere.. that or the fake tan may make a never made before appearance.

5. Real girls wear high heels mum..I stopped myself from slapping my B2 ..so I answered with real girls wear what ever the hell they want. I am looking out who has taught him that rubbish..

6. Seems my sweaty face is a fashion trend..first time I have ever been ahead of my time here.

7. I have new celebrity crush…let me introduce you to him..here.

8. How to stop the bullies in school? Perhaps? here.

9. What giving birth around the world looks like here.

10. I can’t play this song loud enough here.

Have a great week my lovelies

xxDeb

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This past month I was the one who left the house for work. I was a FIFO wife of the working kind and to be honest whilst I have left my children before it was the first time I wasn’t breaking my neck to get out of the door to leave my life behind for just a few days rest. This was the first time where leaving my children wasn’t mixed with overwhelming joy because I was going able to pee and sleep alone for more than 24 hours. So this time knowing I was going to work was met with a little hmmm. It was work and no I wasn’t particularly stoked about it. It was what it was- work. And whilst it was only ten days it was ten days of work. The plane flight was a plane flight to work the hotel was accommodation and the people not my friends but strangers who dressed far nicer than I.

In fact the morning I left whilst I wasn’t the third wheel I felt removed somehow. I helped the boys get ready for school but it was Nana {who had travelled down to care whilst I was away} who was the parent this morning. My boys like a knowing switch instinctively called for her when they needed their shoes or help find their readers because well mummy was going to work this day.

And like they instinctively made the switch to calling for Nana instead of I it was me who also instinctively made a switch to create a distance. I was there but separate and without meaning too I sat back and allowed Nana to take the reins. It was a strange feeling this letting go and allowing my mother to take charge but I noticed that it was something that my husband did each time he flies back to work. It’s never bothered me but had felt it and I had always wondered why. He never became the third wheel or an obvious separate parent entity it just sort of happened that way. I often wondered was it hurt regret what?

Then I realised that this distance it made the good bye easier not just for me but them. It formalised going back to work because let’s face it we all have to work.

It was then after hearing Nana scream one last time that the bell was about to go {in typical parent style} I walked my boys to the school crossing. They hugged and kissed me goodbye and ran off blindly across the crossing. I turned to walk back to the house when they screamed in unison{ just like they do their father when he heads back to work} from across the road see you when you get home from work mum we love you. And I have to say the great sense of pride I felt for my boys is what kept the tears at bay because I was going to work and they understood everyone must make a dollar and that me going ‘away’ was no different to anyone else’s mum or dad going to work.

Do you notice that distance when going to work ? Am I a little bit right?

xD

{image source from here with thanks}

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a fifo life {a fifo wife: me: Anxiety and me }

by debbie on September 11, 2014

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If you had asked me six months ago did I suffer from Anxiety I would have said no but truth is I think I might have suffered from it since I was a little girl. I just didn’t know exactly what it was.

I remember as a girl getting these dreams they occurred almost always after my parents had fought which at the time was a lot because life was creating continuous hiccups that their marriage had trouble jumping. These dreams whilst hard to describe where claustrophobic and would leave me tired and confused come morning but it never made sense to tell anyone. Everybody dreams right? Yet there were three types of dreams always the same. Trapped between cars, a twisting rope and a rock that would crush me and in these dreams it would leave me with a metallic taste in my mouth that would often wake me along with a migraine. Then as I grew the dreams went.

Then when I was 28 I had children and whilst the dreams didn’t return after my third child I become exhaustive and I turned into a parent and person that didn’t resemble myself anymore. My temper because I was tired and hormonal because of sleep deprivation was volatile and if I’m honest which is what I am I came close more than once to hurting my children accidentally on purpose and whilst it was never physical the venom I would spit sure made up for it. Throw in my new hormonal cycle after my three children and for one week out of four I was and can be potentially a monster. And whilst I was only this person for six months it is something I am ashamed of and thank god every day that my children don’t remember me as that person.

And whilst I know that I am not that person now and never will be again and haven’t been since becoming well it was after a very personal issue 12 months ago that produced the fear again I may be again be as the tired set in. This fear that I may turn into that person again consumed me. I was scared of myself.  So the dreams returned along with a energy or constant ache in my chest it was energy of sorts that would contradictory leave me paralysed somehow. It was like excess energy but I couldn’t actually describe the feeling. I could function I wasn’t depressed {well at least I didn’t think I was} and I could get things done but it was harder some days. I couldn’t concentrate on just one thing. I was going around in circles and I didn’t know exactly what to do about it because I couldn’t really work out what was going on. And as a result I was not happy I was constantly nervous of my own self.

When I thought of anxiety I always assumed it was hyper ventilating, clawing for breath, being scared or crying and I was none of these things. I did however know I was scared of being that person again the one that frightened myself and my children and this fear would pop in to my head randomly or when someone felt it was their place to tell me their opinion on my life but crazily enough I only paired the fear and energy together recently when I felt this ‘energy’ one afternoon when I suffered a massive day of doubt over the blog, my writing and my place in the world. My questioning whether I was valid scared me more than anything and so this day I sat at my desk unable to write foggy trying to work out what the hell was going on with me.

And so I read researched what it could be this energy in my chest that left me energized chaotic and going round in circles. Anxiety is what I thought but followed it up with my GP as me and doctor Google don’t always agree on a diagnoses.

For once however Google was right. Anxiety is what she said. I laughed no I said. Yes she replied looking at me a little amused at my attitude. I want you to take these for stabilising your moods before your period she said that will stem your fear of your temper pre menstruation its not like you have the ability to walk out and leave the kids with your husband she said. So I now take 10mg of Lovan before my period is due to control the moods that my hormones create. These moods are what set the fear into my heart. And the excess energy Deb run it off she finished with dance it off. It’s your brain creating cortisol which in turn creates energy do something with it otherwise it will play havoc with your heart and your brain.

Anxiety its symptoms and extremities can be vast. Everybody is different and nobody is immune. It can come and go and it can strike when you least expect it. It can also be managed with different approaches and I like to think conquered. And so I run. Not well infact I run in the dark but the fear has gone along with the excess energy yet in its place is a different type of energy. Its happiness instead of fear.Because each time a bout surfaces for me I fight it. It will not beat me. It took a good 12 months from me and it will not happen again.

Have you any tips for beating a bout of anxiety?

xx Deb

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a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on September 8, 2014

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Is it just me or am I the only one who marvels at how one can be in one place one day and across the seas home again next?

Yeah perhaps its just me..so I am home. This is home. Just before I met my husband I was in the midst of planning a move to Auckland. I was 23 years old. I didn’t have a job but I had family there and if I’m honest the relationship between my parents and I had shifted slightly south. At that time and I’m sure many can relate I’m not sure they agreed with some of my life choices but those life choices in hindsight have made me who I am; well that’s the excuse I am giving myself for those life choices that caused so much heart ache at the time. So when I was planning my big move my parents and I were not as close as we were now for one reason or another and I was searching for a sense of family and New Zealand offered that to me. I had cousins, aunts and uncles and when I went and visited which was often I felt adored and part of something. It felt like home.

I had been flying to New Zealand for almost every major holiday as a child and started the journey on my own as soon as it was legal for me to travel unaccompanied. Both my parents worked one worked FIFO or DIDO and well rather than be alone my parents sent me back to what they still called home. It was  a double bonus of baby sitting and getting that sense of family and where I came from. My mum and dad however no longer call it home, Australia is home. As do I but I do but I wish that my boys could meet my family and know them a little as I do see where their grandparents grew up to give them an understanding of them.

And so it was with great delight that my Uncle was able to give me the family tree on my mothers fathers side. Turns out that my great great great great grandfather who was a British writer and documenter of the Maori people who went onto marry a Maori Princess and well we are direct descendents which accounts for my mothers interesting nose. And so with books papers all tracing our lineage almost back as far as 11oo AD so it was one of those ‘where do you come from scenario’s’ around my Aunts kitchen table last Tuesday night. Knowing this is kind of amazing if you ask me my family was part of the first documented cases of mixed race marriages. That and there was relief that there was more than basket weaving going on in my family tree which is the case of my father’s family.

So there is a lot going on in my head this Monday the second week of Spring..

1.  The last flight home was as painful as my 42nd week of pregnancy it felt like it would never end.

2. I watched a mother feed her three-year old child snakes, gummy bears and coke as they waited in the departure lounge for their flight. I have never prayed so hard not to sit next to child and rather a bloke who has eaten his fair share of tuna than I did on that flight.

3. My neighbour’s dog has just joined me in bed and I do believe she found the chicken I buried two weeks ago.

4. Summer is finally on its way. In the words of my B3 thank goodness for that.

5. He fancy you is what the hostee said to me when a fellow let me go first with a wink. I looked at her…its disappointing that good manners have become so far removed that the slightest bit of courtesy is mistaken for flirting.

6. Jack the ripper has been found after one hundred years here.

7. Scarlett Johansson has had a baby girl here.

8. I am doing my first public speaking thing..I accepted because I am trying to break through my almost crippling fear of groups but also because I wanted to share what I have learnt. It’s the Cairns Writers Festival the program is here.

9. The other side of those really cute baby photo’s..one for the 21st birthday here.

10. For the latest spring fashion here.

xx Deb

{image source with thanks to here}

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If you have a child you can relate if you are FIFO you can relate some more so let me tell you about six year old Bayley and his family.

On Easter Monday 2014 their lives took a dramatic turn their 6 yr old son Bayley was diagnosed with suspected Leukaemia. This meant that they had to get to Brisbane ASAP to get an official diagnosis and start treatment. This was a bit of a logistical nightmare as they live on the Atherton Tablelands in regional FNQ, however after several ambulance rides, an RFDS ride and 23 hrs in emergency departments they arrived to the Oncology ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.

On Tuesday the 22nd April their worst fears were confirmed and Bayley was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). They were informed that they would be in Brisbane at least 6 months for intensive treatment followed by a further 3 years of maintenance treatment that could be done at home with frequent visits to Brisbane.

Bayley is one of three boys and has twin brothers who are four years old. And so the difficult decision was made that they would stay at home in FNQ while Bayley is receiving treatment in Brisbane all the while splitting the family at either end of the state. As well this; their father continues work as a FIFO worker in Papua New Guinea. Jamie works a 16/12 roster as a Fixed Plant Maintenance Coordinator on a joint venture with Newcrest & Harmony Gold on the Hidden Valley Project and so Jamie’s mother in-law is doing a type of FIFO 19/11 traveling from North West New South Wales to Brisbane (driving), then fly’s to Cairns to care for the twin boys on the Atherton Tablelands while Jamie is at work in PNG.

Jamie and his family are in the very position that I fear as do many of us because as a FIFO family he must work and he must work outside of the home. Like many of us to take extended leave means he may lose his position and then what of his family. Relocation to Brisbane is not an option and nor would it be for I as keeping the normality for his twins is also paramount and so what does one do? You do your best and so every 16 days Jamie travels to Brisbane to spend four days with Bayley and his beloved wife Teresa and then back home to the twins who initially hadn’t seen their brother for nine weeks. It has since been decided that there will now be monthly visit however these are not government funded and so if you would like to make a donation towards the reuniting of a family please consider making a donation.

A trust account has been sent up for Bayley courtesy of the Malanda Lions Club.

Donations are greatly appreciated and will be used so the family can be reunited on a more regular basis whilst Bayley receives treatment.

Bank Account details for donations

Acc Name: Lions Club Malanda
BSB: 633 000
Acc No: 152 068 383
Details: Bayley McKinnon

A Face book page has been set up for Team Bayley here.

Please email me at debbie@thefifowife.com.au if you are able to make a donation so I am able to send a personal thank you.

x Deb

 

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I was sitting in the vet surgery waiting for Big Boy the wonder dog to see his doctor when she walked into the waiting room. I was sitting down on the bench Big Boys head on my lap when she turned on her heel and looked at me. I knew her but couldn’t think of her name. I knew where I knew her from. We had worked to together at the hydroponic farm near on nine years ago. I was five months pregnant and was working there to pay off my credit card that had accrued after a last hurrah trip to Europe before B1 was born. She had just started as I was finishing. Farm work is not easy work when your five months pregnant and in my short time of being there I had accrued a build up of chemicals in my blood that was significant enough for my doctor to say enough. And so she was my replacement.

So we knew each other- sort of.

I smiled and said ‘hello’.

She responded with ‘I know you?’. Stating a fact rather than asking a  question.

‘Yes’ I said the hydro-farm.

‘That’s right’ she said her head nodding.

She would have been about fifty now and still as gorgeous as she was then. I still I couldn’t remember her name but offered mine. She hadn’t changed.

‘You were pregnant’ she said.

‘Yes’ I said ‘he will be nine this year.’

‘Nine’ she said probably thinking the same thing I was that time flies. I smiled and continued with ‘I went on to have another two’ I said ‘all boys. I love it.’

It was quiet for a second as we both searched for something to say.

‘What are you up to now’ I said.

‘I run a mobile dog grooming business’ she said.

‘Your own or a franchise’ I asked just to continue the conversation.

‘My own started from scratch my husband just finished making me a new trailer’ she pointed outside smiling. ‘Yeah after my kids left home’ she said ‘I was lost, it was depressing. I was depressed. I had no purpose. I expected them to leave home but to leave town leave the state I didn’t expect that. I had no life of my own. Dont get me wrong they call, love me and visit, in fact my daughters coming next week but it’s not the same you know’ she said folding her arms across her blue polo shirt. ‘I am so proud of them’ she finished with.

I smiled listening to her talk surprised at her openness towards me. Someone she hadn’t seen in nine years and even then our friendship was no more than a smile and nod and yet I felt like I knew her and so I listened.

‘My husband coped just fine when they left. He had a life of his own. But then men generally do’ she said.

I laughed a little ‘yes they do’ I said. I patted Big Boys head as he nudged my hand wanting some more loving as he sat patiently at my feet.

‘Yes I said men generally have that ‘other’ life and interests outside the family it just seems to be how it works. And they seem to manage the emotions of parenthood differently. I searched for the right words its ‘Like they are more realistic in knowing that their job as a hands on parent is short and so they prepare both physically and emotionally better than us mum’s.’

‘Yes’ she said looking at me ‘and I don’t regret a minute of my time as a mother. It was the best job I have ever had but I wish I had developed just a little life of my own outside of my girls. Then perhaps it would have made the inevitable transition easier. It was a terribly tough and horrible time for me’ she said.  She took a deep breath in and said ’My husband he was amazing. He encouraged me to start my dog washing business and well it has grown to this size and well here we are’ she said still smiling, the pride evident in the way she held herself tall. And I looking at her amazing figure dressed in lcyra pants with her beautiful tanned face.

“It was a scary time’ she said ‘but that’s okay”.

“I bet it was “I said not really knowing what to say because I was still taken back with her honesty but so pleased all the same. I looked at her again. Her eyes were smiling and you could see yes she was happy.

Our conversation was interrupted by the vet calling for Big Boy and as we pulled him into the consultation room because no human or animal wants to voluntarily get a needle in the head I turned to say good-bye but she was already out the door and in her car. Reversing the trailer like a trucker all the while smiling.

And she is right we all need little lives of our own.

xx Deb

{image with thanks to here}

 

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a fifo wife {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on August 25, 2014

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I am confused as to whether we are week two or week three of swing; I’m betting its week two because I’m starting to go into that normal spiral that occurs between week two and three. So I’m betting that’s week two is where we are.The weekend came and went and was unusually eventful. Meaning we had lots on this weekend so it flew by. It’s not often that the weekend is chockers so it was nice not to have to think about that for once. Being the entertainment officer is the one thing that people forget that we are and that is probably the toughest gig of all. Providing something for all those different personalities.

My mum arrived on Sunday however she is unwell and I’m scared. I have seen her unwell but yesterday when I picked her up from the airport she looked like death. She has pleurisy  her third bout this year and today I’m off to get her checked over by my doctor. Darwin has some great things great sunsets, great winters but its medical system is not one that its known for.

This week also sees me going south for work and then a quick jump across the ditch to Nz for a week to visit my aunt so now that mum is sick I’m super nervous and trying to determine whether to cancel. My Aunts husband passed away two years ago but still the pain hasn’t eased. i should have gone long before this. I should have I regret little and I regret this.

However these are the few things running through my head this third week of August ..

1. Life is good.

2. We are coming to our first month of trading for the shop and the support has been overwhelming. In fact I just added a third title to the shelves whilst the donation wont be huge we will be able to make a donation this month to Life Line {131114 24/7 support} and I am super excited.

3. My boys can’t stop saying they love me ..in the past week B1 has said it every single day and has even said it to his brothers..I am lapping it up..I cant get enough. I hope they stay this vocal and communicative forever.

4. I love having my mum so close by. Love it.

5. My boys have started doing Abc Reading eggs and its awesome. I highly recommend it.

6. If we all thought like this what would the world be like? here.

 7. Images of women who changed the world. here

8. I saw this morning and it reminds me of how I feel most mornings. here

9. How beautiful {and affordable} are these prints. Here.

10. This is anything but my big fat greek wedding. Here.

Have a great week everyone.

Deb

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I’ve been a FIFO husband / dad for nearly 10 years now, all those 10 years I have been over weight and deep down inside unhappy with my physical image. My journey to becoming healthy started nearly 12 months ago when I started on my latest project, a long term LNG construction job in WA.  Now people that know me well (and there are not many) will all say that im a pretty happy guy who doesn’t seem to have many worries in his life.  Truth is I have been unhappy for a very very long time, unhappy with myself and my physical image.  So I decided to do something about it, I decided to get fit, I flicked the switch inside my brain that said just do it.

You know,  all the holidays I have been on with my wife (childhood sweetheart), there we are in the photo, my wife stunning as usual, and me with the big gut, more chins than a Chinese phonebook, baggy clothes to hide the body shape etc.  I hate these photos because I know I can look better, it was just pure laziness that got me there, no exercise, binge eating, take away food, soft drinks and alcohol all contributed to me looking how I was.  Always up for a beer and chips, over eating, loading up my plate with rubbish, eating until I couldn’t eat anymore.

My wedding photos I hate (and that’s a strong word) but I do hate them, one of the three most happiest days of my life, and im not proud of my personal presentation. Likewise with my professional photos we have of me with our two children – but I will never dispose of them, as they are the precious pics that highlight wonderful parts of life, however I would prefer they stay in the cupboard.  We have a 30” x 20” framed professional pic of our wedding day in our entrance to our house – later this year it’s coming down and being replaced  with something that represents the new me, I don’t want what I perceive to be a horrible pic of me in the entrance to my house.

I have tried for many years and promised for many years that this time im getting fit only to not see much progress and give up and feel sorry for myself and remain unhappy – but then cover it up and act all happy around friends / family etc…..I was fake, I would never have admitted that in the past, im proud of myself for being able to admit this now.

I was a huge social media user, mainly FB, I would have it on all day, when I decided to finally get fit, I also felt as though social media was becoming a problem for me, I would wake up, check FB, would have it on all day, would be interacting with my wife and kids but only halfheartedly as I was on FB, at night I would be sitting on the couch on FB etc.. I trimmed my FB page down to approximately 15-25 friends (people who I actually care about), I now am hardly on it when at home, I needed to refocus my time and energy on my wife and kids – it’s been the best thing I have done.  How many households in Australia sound exactly like what I have just described?  To many I presume

Yeah I’ve tried the meal replacement shakes, I’ve tried all these fabulously touted weight loss programs, I’ve been there and done that and failed, and failed in epic proportions, weight would balloon etc.

When that switch flicked  in my brain last year, I told myself that this is it, this time you must get fit and not give up – im not stupid, being overweight is not cool, it brings unwanted health concerns, It makes me struggle to keep up with  my kids, it makes my wife not find me physically attractive (though she has never once told me that), it makes your sex life suffer because I didn’t love myself.  I owe this to not only myself but to my wife and kids, I want to be a family who is fit and healthy and I need to lead by example.  My wife is tall and lean and will never have physical body image concerns, my kids are both lean and looking as though they will be tall, I want to be lean and short (im not tall sadly).

So im proud to say that this morning I hopped on the scales at the gym at work and it read 98.4Kg. that’s a whole 10.6kg I’ve gotten rid of since about June last year.  I have no intention of getting it back.  Despite all the fads about quick weight loss etc which I have tried and failed at I decided to do it through nothing but hard work and pure grit & determination.  I was being brutally honest with myself, I could see one day that it could end up affecting my marriage, people have commented my whole marriage (10 yrs. this year, 16 yrs. together) to my wife, I don’t know why your with him, you could do so much better, and you know what? She no doubt could, but we have this union together, we love each other, we have a wonderful partnership, one that I never want to end.  But I need to keep my end of the bargain so to speak, I need to look after myself.

I go to the gym every day when on site, I wake up and just get out of bed, I don’t find it tough, sure I get tired, but I have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to exercise. I spend a good hour to hour and a half doing weights in the mornings, different parts of my body each day, then at night I do cardio, this consists of spin classes ( yes we have spin classes here at work), time on the x trainer or running.  Im going through a whole body transformation and im loving it, im so motivated, my FB wall is covered in motivational quotes etc.  when home I have joined a gym, and go to the gym 3-4 time s a week on my week off ( I do 3/1 roster), last time home I even joined in a group class called step, I was the only bloke in there amongst all these mums who had their coordination spot on and here I was having a crack, not quite in time, but hey I did it.

Healthy eating, no soft drink, no alcohol & no take away and plenty of exercise are what is working for me, I only drink water now, I don’t have meal replacement shakes etc, just good healthy foods, im finally making the right choices.  Yes I take a couple of supplements as they seem to be all the rage these days, I take a pre workout supplement and during my weights workouts I sip on a protein formula that helps to build and repair muscles and I have the same protein formula directly after the workout – none of this is food replacement. I still eat and I eat a lot these days. A lot of the right stuff.  I allow myself one cheat day a week, generally Sunday where I might get myself something form the desert menu, but even now days im finding that I don’t do it often, because im not craving it, I don’t feel like it, my habits have changed.

I have no weight goal because im doing a lot of weights and I know muscle is heavier than fat (unfair hey).  As long as im seeing a positive change in my physical shape I’ll be happy.  I have a way to go yet but today was a milestone and I feel ever so proud.

As part of my new leaf I’ve turned, im becoming a runner ( strangely Im enjoying becoming a runner) my first run event is in two weeks’ time.  Im running 6km and raising money for our local children’s hospital – something im very passionate about.

Lastly Im looking forward to a long and healthy life with my beautiful wife and two kids & not being called “big fella” anymore.

Thanks Kieran as always  

xxD

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