I survived my birthday. Less traumatic than expected, not as uneventful as expected. Some birthday cake and celebratory drinks.
Not pictured- terrible cake, small children vomiting and open mic night at the bar ( none of which was terrible, but none planned).
My office looks out onto a small city park, a busy road and an Anglican cathedral. We are on the second floor (third to some- we have ground, first floor and then second floor), so close to the ground. My little office enjoy observing life outside. We see a lot of weddings and a lot of tow trucks.
A few of the weddings are big traditional affairs, with lots of guests. They aren’t the interesting ones. The cathedral is popular with overseas couples who use a wedding service. Getting married overseas, using traditional western wedding trappings was very popular in Japan when I lived there. It’s cheaper than the big Japanese wedding for many. The customers of this wedding company are all Asian, so we are guessing that is what is happening. This sort of service is very popular in Queensland, as it is already a good travel destination from east Asia. We can recognise the company- it’s always the same planner, the same limo driver (and limo), the same sequence. They come over to the park to take pictures and drink bubbles. We get to look at the dresses, the groom’s suit (is it white? Is it grey? Is it shiny), the family (sometimes there are friends and family) and the general behaviour of the groom. The wedding party has to jaywalk across a four lane road- some grooms are more solicitous of their wife than others, sometimes the couples hold hands but not often. It’s always a happy moment when we get to observe a wedding!
So, I have not been posting.
No really good reason, just life is busy and I am stressed. I write the posts in my head, they just never make it further.
Tomorrow is my 40th birthday. It isn’t an easy one. I remember back when I turned 25, a co-worker (who was in her 30’s) stated that she had a mental breakdown at that age. This was the day before my 25th birthday. She had struggled with her expectations of what her life would be like at that age and the reality. That was not an issue for my 25th or 30th. But apparently it is this time. I have been struggling with this for a few months,off and on. Hopefully it gets easier after the big day.
I don’t have huge celebrations planned- a lunch tomorrow with some co-workers (and my boss told me that I didn’t need to rush back afterwards- which would be great, but I have stuff to doooo) then dinner out with my husband (venue yet to be determined). A big family dinner on Saturday- my siblings are coming to town for that.
I am going try to write more, but we shall see.
Hmm, maybe I should try and post once in the month. I don’t like this month and it doesn’t like me.
Things I did:
Went for a second opinion on the whole infertility thing. Plus side- nothing else obvious we should/could do. Bad- same thing, there is no magic bullet
We went to Melbourne and saw Bruce Springsteen
I thought some embroidery
I did some watercolour- the watercolour class was late January and then we had a watercolour night with QCWA in February
I saw a large spider in a car park
This most recent weekend we went to the beach
I also had a busy work month, there is an industry wide change that came into force this year. The deadline for reporting the information was today, and a lot of decisions had to be made this month. It is a complex change and I have spent too much time explaining it.
Not sure I am looking forward to march- I have a big birthday coming up.
So I went to a weekend art class about painting watercolours. It was interesting. I was definitely outclassed. A couple of the other students were school art teachers, so had art skills. My drawing skills are not great. It was fun to play around with paint and colour and practice. But it was challenging.
I was uncomfortable at points because I did struggle with the process. I wasn’t confident in my skills, so it was not always obvious what to do. The pieces of work that the teacher liked were not necessarily the ones I liked. Sometimes it is important to try to do things that are outside my comfort zone. Making art-painting, drawing, sculpting all require you to look at the world around you. Sometimes it is just about looking at the small details, sometimes it is about looking at the bigger picture.
I have also been making phone calls that make me uncomfortable, trying to get appointments.
Because I was at the class all weekend I did not march, although there was a march in my town. My feed has been full of the marches though- I wish I had been able to participate.
1. Lifeline bookfest is on! The southern hemisphere’s biggest second hand book sale. We went on Saturday (14 Jan) as I can’t go this weekend or on the Sunday. We includes G and Elle. G bought one book, although I also bought one for him as well, but Elle and I both acquired a number, including (for me) some vintage crafting magazines from the 70s.
2. Yin yoga again tonight. Very calming. I am thinking this will probably become a very regular class for me.
3. I have started eating veggies for breakfast. One packet of those steam in the bag frozen veggies, a handful of frozen blueberries and some cheese. Lots of comments but filling, tasty and good for the digestion.
4. A walk in air con last night. Brisbane is sweltering through a heat wave and so we went to the mall last night for an air conditioned walk.
5. Not really a good thing- but I am heartened by the significant number of posts about protesting trump on facebook feed. Silver lining that it has woken up people to the need for continuing work on the progressive cause?
I was going to think of one eventually… it’s the union movement and it’s long term results.
Unions played an important role in early 20th century Australia and were strongly involved in politics. Their power and impact is waning, in part due to their success, but the political party of the unions is still going.
What their impact has been is good working conditions- something I am so used to I forget how good they are. Full time workers get 4 weeks annual leave a year, workers in some professions get more. Standard out of the box starter. If you stick with an employer for ten years you get something called long service leave- and once you have hit that point you accrue and can access that. Government workers can access it from seven years in, which is why my husband has way more leave than me. The industry I work in is also one of the benefits. Anyone earning more than $450 a month, their employer must pay the equivalent of 9.5% of their salary into a Retirement fund. This is on top of their wages. Employees can choose their fund, and while it is locked away, it is still their money. Sick leave is available for employees (apart from casuals), minimum wages are high and industry specific and worker welfare is generally monitored. Not as much as I would like, but enough to make for a safe workplace.
Yes all of these can cause issues- the unemployment rate in the 90s was higher than in the USA, but with less pain on the population. I think the biggest issue is how much we take it for granted, so when employer groups try to strip it back we can forget to gift for it. That said, public anger over the reduction of worker protections was what unseated the last long term prime minister (Howard), so people do appreciate it.
The Conservative party (confusingly called the Liberals) keeps trying to wind the protections back, but even they won’t touch the leave and superannuation provisions!
Every time I think about looking elsewhere for work, I have to remind myself of the value of these.