Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating My Own Reality 2013

So, yeah, vacation was great thanks.
Smile Ian.  And try to look older.  We might need this shot for 2013.

Except I've been informed I'm not - as a bonafide Aussie - allowed to call it that anymore. 

The holidays rocked, mate.

Said with faux British-American accent with a trace of fake German.

I may have mastered some of the vocabulary but I'm still lost on the accent!

In any case, two married couples, with eight kids, sharing living arrangements for an entire week, minus electricity and running water.  And we're still friends.

It's been the best summer vacation - eh hem - HOLIDAY - that I've ever had.  (If only I could figure out how to post the pictures!)

First we had Christmas.  Then Damon's bday on South Bank where we FINALLY rode the Big Wheel above Brisbane.  (And came off seven to eight minutes later asking ourselves WHY we actually chose and PAID to lock ourselves into a small, enclosed glass container swinging precariously 60 meters in the air with five children, all of but two - and the one year old doesn't count - turns out are afraid of heights!  Ah, the memories.  Good times, those!)  Mexican food.  Chocolate desert.  Nice couple from Harvey Bay who turn out to be counsellers and end up telling ME to SURRENDER, that Ryan is FINE, and that our spiritual journey together would be a hoot to watch.  From Harvey Bay.  Oh and good luck with that.  Namaste!

Just imagine her a little taller - and uh yeah, you'll get the idea!

New Years Eve AND New Year's at White Water World and Dreamworld.  Cause the parks are empty then.  A  New Year's tradition started.  Because who wants to wait 90 minutes in line to get onto a ride that plunges you straight down into the earth at breakneck speed when you can do it in 5?!  UH, no, thanks Andrew, I did it ONCE so that we can say we did all seven terror rides.  But just because it was on Dec 31 does NOT mean you get to tell me that I owe it to you once a year and need to do it again the next day.  I am NOT that....uh....that....ambitious.  And no, I am NOT letting you get on it yourself.  What about that nice Tunnel of Terror again.  Where we get to speed off backwards before going vertical and THEN dropping again vertically.  Uh, hey, did I actually think I LIKED that one?  And why did it take me two more days and three more rides to figure out it wasn't so much that I LIKED it the first time as it was that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I was happy to have SURVIVED it without cursing.  (Note: did not curse on big vertical drop either but did emit scream of bloody terror that only stopped by telling  myself that it wasn't going to last forever, that if I had survived that last delivery with Ian I could do this, and ...hey, that's a lot of thinking for a two second drop!)  No problems doing anything upside down.  Get a little nauseous on the spins, but keep reminding myself I am not pregnant with twins, and that helps LOADS!  Most painful ride in the park?  The Big Red Car in Wiggle World.  Really folks.  30 minutes in line to get on the slowest car ever and go in a circle and sing songs.  Okay Ian liked it.  But the rest of us have either been to Disney -It's a Small World - or done the Pirate Ride in Europa Park.  And the Fairy Ride there.  C'mon Australia, you can do better than THIS!  Note to self:  Just because you get nauseous on the Wiggle Boats does NOT mean you are pregnant with twins.  Or pregnant at all.  Get onto that vertical drop again just to be sure.

Whaddya mean, I don't look like a one year old?!

And then we went camping.  Highlight for Ryan was stumbling upon our first poisonous snake.  Alone.  Lowlight for me was not being there with her to see it.  Panic and silliness aside, it was a red-bellied black snake, and yes, it apparently glared at her, but then glid into the bushes while she stood there shaking.  She still doesn't see that the worst is over.  She saw a poisonous snake.  She stood still and it left  her alone.  Ryan remains oddly unreassured.  And I am still bummed I haven't seen one.  Honestly, although the rest of the world believes we are crawling in poisonous spiders and snakes and swimming regularly with the most dangerous creatures on earth (and we tell you this to keep the faint of heart away...you think the animals are scary, wait til you get a load of the Medicare system!!!) the truth is that most suburbanites go their whole lives without seeing even one poisonous snake.  Or even a nonpoisonous (but really big) python.

Why Ryan doesn't feel lucky is beyond me.

(I never did tell the kids that I discovered - on the last day there - that sharks sometimes swam up the river system we were swimming in.  Sometimes its better just not to know.  We were in shallow water most of the time and blissfully unaware.  Thought I would keep it that way for the rest of them!)

Aidan and Matthew now have shorter hair.  Ian has hair.
Tracey and Kita then introduced Ryan and myself to the Eumundi, a hippy town on par with Nimbin or Ithaca or Eugene.  I fell in love and found my soul.  Something I will try not to bore you with too too much in the future. 

Ah heck, who am I kidding.  My soul is fragile, this world is harsh, and I am a brave brave girl for facing the harsh ugliness of other people's negative energy.  I have the energy to create my own reality.  In fact, that is all we ever do.  And if I create it based on fear and anger, then that is what I will receive. 

I did okay with this for about four days after coming home.  I was peaceful and loving and kind.  I was gentle with the kids.  And Damon.  And myself.  We made New Year's posters with resolutions such as "be kind" and "be joyous" and "create your own world."  With sparkles.  Laminated and hung on the wall.  We kept up all the Christmas decorations.  And made an altar out of things that were important to us.  Like Jesus.  And Buddha.  And little bits and pieces of Grandma.  (Well, things she had given us really, but bits and pieces of sounded better.) 

Damon and I snuck out one night after putting the kids to sleep and watched Les Mis.  It rocks.  We have decided to choose our friends only amongst people who "get" Les Mis from now on. (While we're handing out Academy Awards, what about one for the make-up artist who managed to make Hugh Jackman look like a dirty, ugly convict with bad teeth?!! Really, is it fair that that man can do EVERYTHING well?!)   I thought of Victor Hugo and  his portrayal of suffering - and I thought of my experiences in the last year.  Maybe I DO need to treat some of what I witness with the same air of detachment as I watch a movie.  My heart can bleed for poverty, ignorance, addiction and abuse in real life just as in Les Mis.  But I can't let my soul be broken by it any more.

We create our own realities.  All of us.  And I can bear witness and I can empathise and I can lead by example.  But I cannot be broken by the suffering of others.

So yeah, I'm working on getting rid of the guilt this year.

There are still wallabies in Australia.

My heart broke when Aidan came home from his first day at his new school and told me that the bad kid had asked to be his partner and he had said 'No.".   My heart literally hurt.  But the sad lesson we have taken from this past year is that, while we are all equal in the eyes of God, in that Namaste kinda way, while we may want to love our neighbours as ourselves, we also owe it to ourselves to choose our friends wisely.  Let Aidan empathise when he is old enough to know his own values.  For now, he needs to make his own, wise choices and leave the empathy for those whose choices are not as wise to the teacher.  Ouch.  Still hurts though. 

But I have a wise friend who told me that everything strong comes from something broken.  And a faint memory of a movie recently where a character tells his son that a heart isn't anything until it is broken and mended. 

My heart will still bleed for that boy - and for others like him who don't have the advantages of me and mine. 

But it is healing. 

Let's see what reality it can create for itself - and for us all - in 2013!!

(Oh dear.  Was that another spiritual sojourn?  So sorry.  So sneaky of me too.  I honestly didn't know it was in there.  Really.)



But I am a soul on a powerful journey.

Now if only I could figure out how to get those pictures onto the internet!

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