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BY Amanda

08/01 Direct Link
It's Sunday and I'm in Mildura for a friend's baptism. I've been sick and have pharyngitis, so you can imagine my surprise when they announced that I was to do the musical item and sing at the baptism. There was silence as I whispered to the organizer - "you are kidding aren't you?" However, he wasn't and I croaked my way through "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". Its a testament to the words that it touched hearts and tears flowed freely. Today as we travelled back the weather was perfect, the scenery stunning and life is good.
08/02 Direct Link
Madi turns 2 this week. She is such a delight. I have no problem being thought of as a biased and doting grandma, because she has me wrapped around her little finger. She is as cute as a button (actually I'm not sure where that saying came from because I've yet to meet a button I thought was cute, but anyway...) she is undeniably adorable. I'm surrounded by women who can't have children and I know how blessed I am to have both children and grandchildren. I stress sometimes to find time for all, but what a blessing they are!
08/03 Direct Link
I'm finally finding my feet with my new job. My boss goes to about a hundred meetings and I've drawn up a spreadsheet to help me get a handle on it all. It'll take a while to complete it, but I'm moving forward slowly. I feel like I'm just caretaking in the role at the moment, but I'll get there. He is very laid back and calm in comparison to my old boss who is fiery and volatile, but I love her dearly. She has a good heart and works really hard, she just stresses even more than I do! 
08/04 Direct Link
I've finally given in to this lurgy and seen a doctor and taken some time off work. I've both both a throat and a chest infection, but thanks to antibiotics, steroids, ventolin and analgaesia I should see an improvement in a couple of days. In the meantime I get to spend time at home working on my assignment. That's a huge blessing! I wasn't sure how I was going to fit everything in, but as usual Heavenly Father has it all in hand and even challenges can be blessings in disguise. It all depends on how you look at it.
08/05 Direct Link
I never get tired of savouring the pictures that nature paints for us and one of my favourites are sunsets. We have spectacular sunsets here in  Adelaide! The clouds often seem to be set against a steely grey background at this time of the year and they look stunning as they change from pink to orange and then to a deep red before the sun finally sets. For me, the experience has a unique spirituality about it that involkes gratitude and reverence. No matter how busy my day has been there is always time to look at the sunset.
08/06 Direct Link
Music has the most amazing ability to transport me to different time and places.In the past couple of days I've spent hours listening to music I haven't heard for ages.I feel as if I'm visiting old friends.Some songs have moved me to tears and some made me smile. Each experience has been rich and sweet. I also remember funny things -  I was so moved when I first listened to "Ben" and was almost devestated when someone told me it was about a rat! Oh well, that's life I guess...
08/07 Direct Link
Another quiet day at home was just what the doctor ordered. My assignment is all but finished, and I can go to bed knowing that there is no pressure to try to complete things on Sunday. I love having Sunday off. Not only is it a time to renew my commitments and spend time with family, but its also me time. It's the day of the week when I don't feel guilty because I'm not "doing" something. I'm happy to sit and read, spend time with family, contemplate and relax. My world is so busy Sunday's are a real blessing.
08/08 Direct Link

I've been choristering music since I was a teenager. It's second nature to me. I can lead a public choir and not even work up a sweat. I don't get nervous, in fact, I don't even really notice the audience are there. It's just me and the choir. So, why, when you put me in front of a congregation of 100 do I get performance anxiety? My palms are sweaty, my hands shake, my head becomes fuzzy and songs that I can chorister with ease now become insurmountable obstacles. Suddenly I'm a klutz!

08/09 Direct Link
The sun is shining today. As I drive down the hill I so want to just keep on going. I could drive forever. But work beckons, and so I obediently turn into Haydown Road and see the familiar view of the hospital. As I pull into the car park, there's the usual scramble in my bag for my ID card. As I walk out into the sunshine again I feel the strong desire to bask in the sunshine and  fresh air. But duty wins and I sigh wistfully as I head for my desk.
08/10 Direct Link
Finally I'm winning. My filing tray is nearly empty, and for the first time  I don't feel like I'm rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic as I shuffle papers from one side of the desk to the other. It's a good feeling. I still have to master the filing system, which is a cryptic collection of documents with names and associated files with numbers. I'm not sure who designed it, or for that matter what they'd sniffed or consumed while they dreamed this up, but it's what I've inherited and there's no changing it. But, I'm still winning! 
08/11 Direct Link
She's really unwell. It's beginning to become really obvious and we know we won't have her with us for much longer. I'm not sure how I feel about that. She's saying final farewell's and I find it uncomfortable. Her focus is on trying to say all the things that have been left unsaid. There is an urgency about the way she encourages me to live my life. I will be said when final farewell's have been said. I love her dearly and will miss her, but, I can't live my life as if I also only had months/weeks left.
08/12 Direct Link
It's been one of the longest days I can remember. Up at 4am, at the temple for 6am and then a full day at work. Home to study and crawl into bed at 10.30pm so tired I'm almost delirious. I'm too tired to even eat, and that's certainly a statement packed with meaning - food and I are very good friends! But, its been such a productive day and that makes it all worthwhile. I love the feeling at the end of the day when I can mentally tick off the tasks completed and able to account for my day.
08/13 Direct Link

Nothing of particular interest today, just work, work and more work. We're short staffed and that makes for long, hectic days. The atmosphere is nicer where I am now. There isn't the familiar panic during crisis, but there is still crisis. I don't mind being busy, although there is a nagging feeling at the pit of my stomach that my study is being neglected. I'm trying to ignore it, but it continues to unrelentingly beckoning me to address the inevitable panic that will follow when I get too far behind. But 12 hour working days will do that.

08/14 Direct Link
People are funny. I knew the moment I walked in that she was marking her territory. It made me smile. Not only have we been friends so long that her efforts are futile, but, he's also married. We've experienced and grown out of the attraction and are now soul mates in the true sense of the word. I can finish his sentences and our lives seem to be parallel, but its purely a platonic friendship. That makes her strutting around all the more humorous. Then he leaves; I see the hurt in her eyes and humour turns to empathy.
08/15 Direct Link
You're home and that brings a smile to both my face and my heart. It feels like there is something very right about you being back. I've really only ever known you in Australia and this feels as if its where you belong. It's been so long since we've seen each other. A lifetime for some. I was a teenager and now I'm a grandmother. So much has happened! I could not have predicted my life or yours. I find myself waiting with excited anticipation  for the time when we can finally sit and chat. I've missed you.
08/16 Direct Link

The girls at work are playing games and I'm getting cross. They really resent my absences, and while it was originally interesting to watch, now it's losing it's appeal. I can't help it if it's been promised that I would help out in ED and continue to train, and I can't help it if there was such a huge balls up in medical admin that I'm the only link because past and present. It's not like I'm sitting around sipping damn coffee! I'm trying to be patient, but I can feel the showdown coming and it won't be pleasant.

08/17 Direct Link
Things at work are calmer; things at home more troublesome. I seem to revolve between the two. I hate the familiar knot in my stomach as he talks about how terrible her latest boyfriend is and how concerned he is for his children; my grandchildren. He's scared this will blow up and be horrible, but it's already horrible. He wants her to achieve her potential,but there are victims while we wait. And so I immerse myself in study once again.  I'm helpless, the decisions aren't mine, I can only listen, and advise, and hurt with him.
08/18 Direct Link
My morning didn't start out particularly well. I'd had a late night, was tired and late getting up. The computer was slow, It took 4 pair of pantyhose before I could find one I could wear and then discovered a ladder when I arrived at work late to the disapproving glares of my coworkers (who incidentally often arrive late or leave early). At lunch time, I spilled egg salad on my skirt and knocked over a can of coke. But they were moments, not my day. Generalizations are dangerous things that turn mountains into mole hills.
08/19 Direct Link
Ellis would argue that our lives would be much happier if we labelled things appropriately not emotively. It works for me. I try very hard to avoid adjectives like "awful, horrible, terrible" and phrases such as "I can't stand it". I've been to awful, terrible and horrible in my life and most days what I experience doesn't look anything like it. Challenging, frustrating, confronting - certainly - but not awful. Interestingly, those who say "I can't stand it" usually just have. They didn't fall over sideways and explode, they coped, it just wasn't comfortable. Uncomfortable isn't always bad it's just uncomfortable.
08/20 Direct Link
Tomorrow we vote and for the first time I haven't a clue who to vote for. I know that the term politician seems to be synonomous with deception but ours seem to have taken it to a new level. I dislike policies on both sides and neither bring me hope. Voting for one of the lesser parties is pretty much a wasted exercise and so I'm left wondering which is the lesser of two evils - literally. With that in mind, I've decided to take it to a local level and decide who I think will be better for our community.
08/21 Direct Link
I think the best thing I've done today is to buy a hot dog at the local primary school after voting. At least I can say with some confidence that that will have a positive impact as it raises money for the school, which is more than I can say for any of the political parties. There are 2 other things that I hate about voting. The first is the incredible amount of paper that is wasted with all the flyers, there has to be a better way. The second is that its compulsory. Since when is that freedom?
08/22 Direct Link
I woke up this morning with the usual pang of loneliness. It passes quickly enough, but seems to be worse on Sunday's because the day isn't quite so structured. It's not that I'm looking for a husband, because I'm not, in fact I'm not even sure where I'd find time to fit one in, but every day since I became single again there are just a couple of moments where the ache returns. Then I remind myself about all the wonderful blessings I have and the fact that no one has everything they want and get on with my day.
08/23 Direct Link
The ache and the sadness haven't gone as quickly this time. He's going through a hard time and this is when I find it particularly challenging being a single mum. It doesn't seem to matter how old my children are, I hurt with them. Perhaps that's a sign of being a good mum? I hope so. There are days when I feel pitifully inadequate to fill the dual role of mother and father. A man's advice might be different, sit better, help more. In it's absence I can only offer comfort, constancy and love.
08/24 Direct Link
It's been an easier day today. He's pretending to be okay and only occasionally alluding to the pain he's experiencing and I'm happy to perpetuate the illusion and focus on other things. There's nothing I can do, except listen and try to soothe, so being upset won't help either of us. I'm grateful for meditation and relaxation techniques that help me cope and bear what feels like a huge burden some days. But, not today. Today I'm coping better. I'm focussing on important tasks, achieving and moving forward. I guess the key is just to keep on moving. 
08/25 Direct Link
I love the rain. Not just a drizzle, although I do love the "soft" days, but when the heavens open and it comes down in sheets there is something magical about it. People stop and stare out of windows and thoughts turn to blankets, warm fires, hot chocolate and curling up with a good book.

There is nothing quite as exhilerating as walking in the rain. It's as if my mind is washed clean as the drops of water fall in profusion. The air is generally crisp and I feel refreshed and renewed.

Yes, I love the rain.
08/26 Direct Link
You rang. It was just a quick phone call, but I had secretly hoped you wouldn't. I wanted to experience the whole package, untarnished and pristine when we met. You have a London accent and foolishly I wasn't expecting it. Why would I? You've only lived in London for the past 10 years. You sounded like a polite stranger arranging a meeting. It felt strange and yet the excitement I felt was contagious, people around me smiled because I did for the rest of the day. I'm excited. I can't wait to  see my friend again.
08/27 Direct Link
Watching you today was such a privilege.  You not only continue to influence my life in wonderful and inspiring ways but you naturally and effortlessly have the same effect on everyone else around you, from the girls in the deli to my son and grandson who were completely enamoured by you. You are more like family than any family I've ever known and one of the two people in my whole life with whom I don't have to be on guard or pretend, that's a priceless gift that I can't adequately explain with words. It's been a wonderful day!
08/28 Direct Link
I drove down the street in anticipation of going past the house where we used to live. The house where my children grew up. Where I spent endless hours renovating both house and garden. The house that I went to as a wife and left as a single parent. The house where we used to toast crumpets on the fire and make bread on the woodstove I installed in the kitchen. All of those memories flooded back as I drove down the street, but just like the events, the house was gone and will only ever be a memory now.
08/29 Direct Link

I'm not sure where to start today. I have so many thoughts, so many mixed emotions. I'm sad about the house, I spent a significant part of my life there, I cleared the land by hand and put in floors, rendered walls and made it our home. Now there's just weeds and a vacant, neglected block. Then you visited again. I can't find the words to explain how thrilled I am and how much I realise I've missed you. You bring depth and meaning to the word family. And yet, perhaps it's all the sweeter because of the interval.

08/30 Direct Link
I woke up this morning realising just how incredibly lucky I am. I lay in bed just that little longer revelling in stretching and wiggling my toes in the clean sheets. The sunlight streamed through the window as I opened the curtains and I knew in my soul it was going to be a very good day. Today I have the opportunity to learn and grow, to take one step closer to my goals. I have the opportunity to touch the lives and hearts of others, if I'll just look for opportunities. Yes, it's going to be a great day!
08/31 Direct Link
I want to finish the month on a positive note, but I'm not sure I can. It's fathers day this weekend and how I wish you could see what you have done to our son and feel how he feels. I can't compensate for your thoughtlessness and selfishness and it reduces him to tears, and rips at my heart. No matter how hard I try, I can't compensate for the father he grieves for; the father you will never be to him. I am so sorry that you are his father. I wish we had both never met you.