About a month ago I had my first mammogram, I have no idea why I decided I should have one… it’s not like I’d received a letter from Breast Screen SA to say that I was old enough now for a freebie, I just woke up one morning and decided that I’m an old girl now and it was time to get the boobies squished. A friend and I decided to make it a lunch date, we had an average lunch, a good yarn and then headed to the bus in Jamestown to have our boobies squished so tight it made our eyes water.
Anyhoo, about a week later I got a phone call to say there was a lump in my left boob and they needed me to come to Adelaide for further examinations. I didn’t sleep for a week waiting for that bloody appointment, I cried every night, I didn’t know how to tell my kids that there was a possibility that I had cancer, in a nutshell I had my non-funeral/piss up at the local pub (with everyone wearing outrageous colours and wigs) 100% organised. The only thing I didn’t obsess over was losing my hair as a result of having chemo.
When I told a local friend that I had to go to Adelaide for further tests she insisted on taking the day off work to drive me to Adelaide… this incredibly strong woman has fought numerous types of cancer and lived to be a pillar of strength to people like me who was shitting myself. We solved the world’s problems on the three hour drive to Adelaide then the ‘further examinations’ began. The process took all afternoon and I think Mels-Bells was just as worried as I was but she made me laugh, she explained to me every step of the way what was about to happen and she kept me calm. I will always love her for that because I haven’t even know this girl very long but just like so many women who continue to come into my life she is strong, she is kind, she is resilient and she knows how to look after others.
Turns out the lump in my left boob is just another lump of fat (as if I don’t have enough already), a cyst or a lymph node with absolutely no cancerous cells. I tell ya what though, I learnt so much in that week of waiting for the appointment, I learnt AGAIN that life is way too short to stay in bad relationships, it’s way too short to stay in jobs that are unfulfilling, it’s way too short not to travel to all the places you want to visit, it’s way too short to work 5-6 days a week (which I’m only going to keep doing until mid-2020 when I finish my Enrolled Nursing studies) and I learnt that it’s vitally important to surround yourself with people who love and accept you no matter what and to tell your loved ones how much you love them every chance you get.
FYI: in South Australia you can have a free boobie squish at the age of 40, so get on it girls!!!
This past decade has been very eventful… I filed for divorce, lost all my hair, visited the Victorian High Country, Broome, Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland, left a well paying job in Adelaide to move to the Southern Flinders Ranges, renovated my tiny cottage (with the help of my parents and my baby girl), moved to the Fleurieu Peninsula for 6 months (to make a clean break from a man who I loved very much but couldn’t live across the road from), moved back to Laura, completed a Cert 3 in Aged Care, started a Diploma of Nursing, dated a few blokes, said goodbye to two beautiful dogs, bought and sold a few cars, met some amazing people, met some right duds of human beings and generally did whatever the hell I wanted.
I’ve had a few people tell me recently that I’m a strong person. I don’t see myself that way… but I have learnt how to protect myself so I don’t end up rocking in the corner. Having said that, there have been a few times during the past decade that I have cried myself to sleep wishing I didn’t have to work so hard to fulfil my dreams… some days I’ve just wanted to become a dole bludger and drink beer all day.
When I lost the favourite aspect of my femininity I didn’t think I’d cope with life’s challenges anymore but the funny thing is, losing my hair made me realise I can do whatever I want and I don’t have to put up with anyone’s shit anymore. Losing my hair made me see that life is WAY too short to stay in bad relationships, WAY too short to associate with halfwits, WAY too short to waste time on anything that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief!
I’m excited to see what this new decade has in store… I look forward to meeting more interesting humans and beautiful dogs, I look forward to graduating as an Enrolled Nurse and using those skills in remote areas of our beautiful country, I look forward to seeing the changes that take place in my kids lives, I look forward to every precious minute I get with my parents while they still have their dingbats, I look forward to finally meeting Bruce Willis and him realising that I am the woman he’s been looking for his entire life! Yippee-ki-yay MF’s!! 🙂
It’s funny how scents, songs and certain sights transport us back to happy or sad times. The road I take to work each day is lined with Quandong trees and I cannot stop the smile that comes across my face when I see the brilliant wild peach hanging off the trees at this time of year.
There are many reasons why I grin when I see the gorgeous bright red bush tucker hanging from those trees, one is their brilliance that stands out from the dry landscape, another is their resilience to grow and look so bloody beautiful in such a harsh climate, another reason is the memories of when and where I first learnt about Quandong trees in Hawker, SA and the main reason I grin like a right daft bitch is because I love where I live. Don’t get me wrong, if I won lotto I would move to the coast immediately, but I am very glad I left the madness of Adelaide and created a new life for myself out in the Mid-North.
Life can be absolute shit sometimes but it can also be filled with amazingly happy moments where you’re unable to wipe the smile off your face. This week has been exhausting, I’ve worked 6 days (my choice, not looking for sympathy) but as the week draws to an end and I enjoy a G&T on the back verandah with Hudo by my side I am a happy daft bitch who is pleased about where her life is headed and who will continue to smile at the beautiful red Quandongs as I drag my sorry arse to work again tomorrow morning in pursuit of my gypsy dream.
I got up this morning to another pile of shit in the kitchen, from the puppy who is residing at Miss Murray’s Cottage at the moment, after cleaning it up I tried to eat my porridge with four dogs vying for my attention (before I threw all four doomcoffs outside in the minus one degree weather) so I could eat my porridge without being licked, climbed upon and barked at for attention. On a “normal” day I would lap up the attention from these four-legged bastards because I love all animals (except lama’s, I hate them and literally give them the finger every time I pass them in a paddock) but this morning I was tired, grumpy, sick of being so busy and not in the mood for going to Tafe again.
And then I got a text message from one of my best mates in Adelaide telling me how awesome I am, how her heart swells with pride when she thinks of me and how strong I am. I cried. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. Some days I feel like I’ve been pushing a bolder up a hill (financially) since I left my ex-husband and I am slightly sick of being so busy and feeling like I will never achieve my goal. But this friend reminded me of my goal of becoming a nurse, an ambo, an owner of small acreage and an owner of a horse and made me feel like I can achieve it.
It is amazing how one simple text can change ones mindset and inspire us to keep working towards our dream! So don’t forget the power of one simple text message, phone call, conversation which reminds those who you love that they “can do this” because it goes a long way and can make a huge difference to someone’s day. Ruby, I love you and miss you. xx
As I sit by the fire trying to study before heading to night shift tonight I cannot help but be jealous of Hudson’s life. He spends all of his days either lying by the fire (and he has 4 fire areas to choose from at this pyromaniacs house) or out the back in the sun while I have full time nursing study, full time work, trying to attend Ambo training and finish my Ambo’s Cert 2 in order to actually be a useful volunteer for SAAS!
I don’t like having a busy life but at the moment it’s a tad hectic and this week it’s getting me down. I think stress is the biggest kill factor when it comes to the human body and since losing my hair I have done all that I can to avoid stress and for me that means soaking in my quirky outdoor bath tub, sitting by the fire inside with a good book or walking my fat lazy dog.
I am very grateful for friends who know when you’re feeling overwhelmed and ask what the hell is going on? It’s amazing how much better you feel when someone asks that question and knows you well enough to know you’re feeling like shit.
In the meantime I will keep plodding on with my annoyingly busy life until the middle of next year where I will be spending more time lying in front of the fire like my lazy bloody dog! And hey, lets not forget how important it is ask if someone is ok. xx
It’s been over three years since I lost my hair and even though I accepted the new me very quickly I still dream of having my own hair again one day. Having said that, there are benefits of being a baldy, one never has to shave the legs when the boyfriend is coming over, I can literally kick my girls around in the shower and that’s my hair done for the next day, I can change my hair from day to day and confuse the hell out of people when they see me with pink, blonde, brown, orange hair all in one bloody week.
I work in an industry that is all about the end stage of life and it’s been a huge eye-opener for me on a number of levels. The thing that hits me the most is what people talk about in the last few years of their lives; they reminisce about the past, they talk about the ones they love, they talk about the people in their lives who they wish weren’t. You never hear anyone say I wish I’d worked harder, I wish I’d made more money, the conversation is always about the people in their lives and what made them happy.
You may be thinking “what does this have to do with being a bald fucker?” well for me the process of losing my hair opened my eyes to what is really important in life. When I am about to fall off my perch I want to be able to say that I’ve lived my life with integrity, I want to be able to say that I loved the humans in my life in a way that left no doubts about how much I adored them, I want to be able to say that I faced my demons with a grit and determination that made the fuckers run for cover, I want to be able to say that I had a great relationship with my babies and they know that I love them more than anything in this whole god-damn world and I want to be able say that I even though life is never easy I faced each day with my bloody bald head held high and with a smile on my dial. 🙂
I don’t get to see my babies very often at the moment, my little baby girl is currently working in the N.T. and my big handsome son lives and works at Victor Harbor but I think of my babies every single day. They are my best achievement, they make me so proud, they make me laugh, they’ve made me cry and I could kill with my bare hands if anyone hurt them.
I didn’t read any parenting books when my babies were growing up I just went with my gut when it came to trying to help them grow into decent human beans. I’m not saying my kids are perfect but I am very proud of the adults they have become. The one thing I wanted them to learn is not to give a shit what other people think of them. When my daughters’ two best mates from her school days said at her 18th birthday party that Em taught them not to give a shit what others think I felt SO proud, it brought a tear to my eye – I have done my job! Some may say that I should have been teaching them morals, kindness, work ethic, how to love another human being etc but I hope they learnt those things from how I live my life… in my opinion, being able to say “I don’t give a shit” and really mean it is a much harder thing to learn.
Having babies can be rather freaky cos it’s like looking in the mirror and sometimes that ain’t so good!! However I am glad that both of my babies say “I don’t give a shit” in the exact same way as I do (and I don’t just mean how we say it as if it’s all one word) they can say it and really mean it and that makes my heart sing. ❤
The past 8 days have been a tad hectic… 8 days of being in the big smoke, 8 full days of training in an field that is completely foreign to me, 8 days of hanging out with a bunch of strangers, many nights of catching up with very dear family and friends and I was reminded yet again that there is SO much to learn, so many amazing humans to meet, so many precious precious times to be had.
I had dinner one night with a new SAAS friend who has her own incredible story to tell, dinner with two old mates who I’ve known for 25 years, dinner with a mate I’ve known since year 8 at school, dinner with my son who is an incredible man, a brief catch up with my gorgeous gutsy girl who was in the big smoke for 24 hours, dinner with my parents who have been together for 49 years next and still thoroughly enjoy each other’s company.
As I drove home to my beautiful little quiet town on Saturday night I felt tired but invigorated, my brain was fried but I was excited about all the things I have and will learn as part of my role within SA Ambulance Service, I felt overwhelmed about the assignment that is due tomorrow but lucky that at the age of 45 I have the option of doing a 360 and completely change my career.
As my Pa would say, what’s the moral of this story? I reckon the message is, life is what we make of it, you can completely change your life, yes it may be exhausting at times but it can be so bloody rewarding too. Now back to reality… two more questions in this assignment and I will be one step closer to becoming an Enrolled Nurse which will open up more doors to meeting amazing people and more unique experiences. Cheers to that aye!
It seems when I’m having a shit/emotional day I get inspired to blog. Yesterday was an emotional day for me, it was probably a combination of having pmt, a week of 40+ degree weather, and the fact that it’s usually in the middle of summer when I have a mini-meltdown about being a bald fucker! I never wore hats or beanies when I had my own hair and now I am effectively wearing a tight swim cap and a beanie in 45 degree weather all day, every day.
The photos in this post say it all, the first one is my gorgeous hair, the 2nd one is when I’d lost half of my hair so I went to my favourite spot in SA to grieve and say goodbye to the girl who I knew was soon to be gone forever. The third photo is a bit tragic and I’m a bit embarrassed to post it because I’m usually pretty good and putting things into perspective but I was a right sooky-sooky-laala that day. I felt so lost, sad, gutted and I didn’t know how I was going to reinvent myself yet again.
Almost three years later, I cannot believe how much life has changed since I lost my favourite part of my femininity but I have to say that most of the time (except in the middle of summer when I’ve had enough of wearing hot sweaty wigs) I’m pretty bloody chuffed about all the changes I’ve made in my life since that day. I left the suburbs/got rid of the mortgage, I’m finally working a job that I love, I’m about to start my training in Nursing and as an Ambo officer. Over the past few years I have learnt that no matter what life throws at me I will survive or I will die ungracefully with my middle finger in the air but with my head held high because I did all I could to make the most of the life I have been given 🙂
Today would have been my 25th wedding anniversary… I had the perfect day, we were married in a beautiful old church in Unley, my husband sang a song that he’d written for me, we had a gorgeous reception at Fernilee Lodge in Burnside (which has since been smashed down, ironic much?) and a honeymoon in the USA. What a start to married life!!
I always wanted to marry young so I could have my kids young and we did just that. My little baby girl was born when I was 21 and my bloody massive son was born when I was 23, they were and always will be the most important creatures in my life.
Our marriage probably appeared to be a good one but to be honest we never really connected in the way that I thought we would. We didn’t share many interests, we had nothing really to talk about, we virtually never fought, we weren’t very affectionate with each other and all in all it wasn’t really what I was expecting but I had nothing to compare it to so I just got on with life.
Almost 18 years after the wedding day my husband told me he’d had an affair. We were sitting down at Moana beach and it is a day I will never forget. I remember walking away from him and feeling like I was going to vomit. I kept this information to myself for the next 5 months because I couldn’t physically verbalise what was going on and because Christmas was just around the corner as was my beautiful father-in-laws 90th birthday which I was not going to miss. It took me 7 months to get my shit together (mentally and emotionally) and then I left my ex-husband who to this day still has not had the correct response to breaking my heart.
Will I ever marry again? Not a chance in hell!! Do I hope to find true love? Abso-bloody-lutely!! Am I sad the marriage failed and that I didn’t get to be one of those old geezas who grows old with the father of her children? Yes for my kids sake I am sad, for my sake, not so much. I have fallen madly deeply in love since leaving my ex-husband but that turned out to be a complete disaster however I’m still glad I have experienced what it means to really love someone.
To quote Edmond from one of my favourite movies… life is a storm my friend, you will bask in the sunlight one moment and be shattered on the rocks the next, what makes you a man (or in my case a woman with a fucking bald head) is what you do when that storm comes! xx