221 days to Antarctica..."My Way" Fank Sinatra
Approximately 13.5 minutes reading time
“The past is gone, the future is not here, now I am free
of both. Right now, I choose joy.” Deepak Chopra
Another week has passed. It has been a hard week. A good week overall and this is all that matters.
My Dad’s birthday is today. My niece turned six last week. The fact that I can’t hug either of them or see them closely makes me sad. I am grateful for our amazing modern technology so that we can all see each other and talk face to face every day regardless of the distance between us.
My trip to Antarctica is at risk. Although I do not know if I will be in peak physical fitness for my trip, I still want to go. This is a dream of a lifetime for me. Understanding mortality after facing mine countless times over the last eighteen months, my trip is more important to me now, more than ever, particularly given the dangers we face with Covid-19. It is Covid-19 that puts my journey of a lifetime in jeopardy once again. We have already rescheduled twice because of Covid-19. We wait and hope that the world be a safer place for us all as soon as possible and that the threat of Covid-19 starts to finally dissipate.
All the Covid-19 escalation and danger and lockdowns take me back to what it cost me last year. My soul aches from this lament which stirs and is re-awakened within me. I am so deeply saddened that this is our brave new world. Although there are no Covid cases in my region the shop shelves are bare. It reminds me how my Hero had offered me his last two rolls of toilet paper, on two separate occasions. This would ordinarily seem a ridiculous thing to consider, let alone as important or as an act of love. At this time though toilet paper was one of the most precious and rare commodities all across the world. Arrests were made over toilet paper in shopping centres and outside in carparks. People assaulted and even stabbed each other, almost to the death over toilet paper. Toilet paper was being sold on the black market. Much as I have let go of him, I cannot let go of the love I feel for him. Or the gratitude for what he gave me.
It is as though the Universe conspires to keep him firmly in my
thoughts when I fight to forget him. Mostly I am okay. This is made easier when
I remember that no matter how much I was sure of his love for me, I knew he
loved me the same way that I love him, he did not choose me. He chose not to
honour the love he felt for me, we felt for each other. He made me love him. He diminished it and
made it meaningless. He had constantly declared his love for me and shown me
but not consistently. I never doubted his love for me. I knew it was real, deep and pure, as mine for him. I trusted him with my life, still do but I didn't trust his motives with my heart. He didn't know what he wanted. He ran away. He abandoned me when he had promised me that
he would be there for me at the worst time of my life. He denied what I knew to be true when I needed his
reassurance and to know that he would never let me go. He left me when I told
him how to love me. The only thing he had not given me was choosing me and this
I needed most of all. I felt betrayed. I do not want a man who doesn't want me. I do not want a man who needs to think about wanting me. I have never before found myself in such a situation. Never again will such a man get an opportunity to get close to me. Only Alpha Males, those to which I am best suited and used to having in my life are for me. Perhaps he felt that I had judged him
and told him that I had found him wanting. He thought that I told him that he was not a good person when I explained my boundaries, values and explained the type of people that I allow to enter my life. I did not. I had not. If anything, it was a compliment to him, although I highlighted that some of his behaviour was hurtful and was not sustainable for me. I never rejected him, just some of his behaviour. His follower I didn't want in my life, she is a vile person. It was not him but I have realised that if he felt this to be true, it was through no fault of mine but his bothered conscience. I was upset with his choice to behave disrespectfully, dishonourably and ignobly, including towards me. This was fixable with a conversation and an apology, an explanation with assurances that it would not continue or happen again. He would not choose so I did. As an act of love, I didn't reject him but his follower from my life. I gave him a chance to step up if he wanted it, in case I was wrong. I was not. I allowed him to think that he chose but he did not. I did not want to hurt him or his Ego so I took the hit. He was always
more than enough for me, as he was, as was his love and I chose him, flawed as I knew that he was, as we
are all. It seemed that I wasn't enough for him.
He misunderstood my message, I was unclear in my communication. Some of his actions were questionable and poor. I had expected that he was used to women accepting poor behaviour from him. This is what I had tried to tell him, to let him know how I felt and that I wanted us to talk about the situation and make our relationship better and stronger. I was too compromised and too vulnerable to successfully achieve this outcome. I realised now that he perhaps didn't know better and that I had overestimated him, his character in many ways. My mistake and poor judgement in more than one instance. Perhaps he underestimated himself, me thinks that this is so. We lost each other and Covid-19 had a real and important part to play in my decision to resolve our relationship, ultimately to dissolve it entirely. This was one of the hardest and saddest decisions of my life, for that time. I feel that he failed to realise that by diminishing what was between us, he diminished himself and there is a price that we both have and will continue to pay for this choice, until this wrong is made right by him.
I see clearly in my mind’s eye, the night he came to deliver my groceries and see me, after my birthday, for the last time, as he stood on the nature strip outside my gate, looking like Shah Rukh Kahn playing the romantic lead in every one of his Bollywood Romance Films as he longed for and tried to win the woman that he loved. Like Shah Rukh Khan's Romantic Heroes he kept leaving and coming back to talk to me, declaring his love for me. Throughout this time, he held my heart and my soul. He knew this to be so. He kept coming back because he wanted to stay with me, to tell me that he loved me and behave like a love sick teenager but still not claim me. I wanted that too, from him and only him but I needed him to claim me. Yet unlike Shah Ruk Kahn's Romantic Heroes he did not choose me. He did not fight for me. He ran away and abandoned me. Before this happened to me I never knew that a man could truly love a woman but not want her and not choose her. The worst part was that I watched him fight himself because he did want me but he didn't want to want me. This was a fresh Hell that I didn't need to know about or be stuck in ever. This was too much to bear. I would not wish this on anyone. For me this was the greatest tragedy and heartbreak that life brought me in the last eighteen months, since the Black Summer Bushfires stole my life. Possibly the greatest Tragedy of my life. This confuses me as I do not know why or how he could do this to either of us. I saw on his face and in his eyes the last time that I saw him that he felt as I did but this was all his choosing, not mine. A part of me does not believe that our story is ended. Just like he said defiantly, emphatically and passionately that it wasn't goodbye, when I did, just before he left. I do not think upon this and I have surrendered it to the Universe.
Often even when I have not thought of him, he visits me in my dreams. He comes to my door, here where I currently live, so it is soon, and he calls my name. His sexy car is parked outside my door. I do not realise it is him who stands at my door and calls me until I see him and I am standing in front of him in the open doorway, but not too close. He reaches out and grabs me by my waist, pulling me to him with his big, strong, long, sexy arms and presses us together, as he’s done so often before but this time he reaches down and kisses me passionately and does not let me go, ever again. He has finally accepted the truth of how he feels about me, stops sabotaging his happiness and mine. He finally comes to claim me and tells me this as he holds me firmly, lovingly and securely in his warm and safe embrace. Is he thinking of me? Why does he visit me in my dreams? Is this our story in another life, another parallel time? I would love for these dreams to come true. I find these thoughts and dreams of him unsettling and I begin to become unraveled once again. I fight to stop this happening to me and am glad that I succeed. If he wants me he knows how and where to find me. He would need to complete an arduous test, a Quest to win my favour once again, to win my love and to win me back, to hold me once again. He would need to slay a few Dragons first to prove his intentions and his mettle. As Mummy taught me, "Faint heart never won fair lady".
The new reality makes me uncomfortable and puts me back in this awful place and reminds me that loving him and losing him, crippled me. This was the final trauma compounded with all the rest, made me completely disabled, almost killing me. He does not know what happened to me after he left. This story is for another time and the details are in my novel which I am currently writing.
Shopping for groceries is once again dangerous for me. Last time, he did my grocery shopping for me, to keep me safe. I was so grateful for his care, attention and help, but most of all, for his love. Until he stopped caring and left me to fend for myself. Luckily my friends stepped in to help me. I don’t feel able to ask anyone’s help anymore. If I am destined to succumb to Covid, then I will, nothing can or will change this eventuality. I do miss him so much more at this time. My sadness is heightened. I am glad that I have new men in my life and I like them.
Shah Rukh Khan is one of my favourite Bollywood Actors. I have loved Bollywood films since I watched my first one, by chance when I was but fifteen years of age. This has been about as long as I have loved Jon Bon Jovi. I love the colour, the joy, the vibrant life on display in these films, the noise, the songs in all Bollywood films, no matter how sad the story or miserable the circumstances. It is people choosing to stay optimistic, choosing to be happy, choosing to live life to the fullest, against all odds, even in the worst situations. I love the singing and the dancing and the quintessential kiss as these are the three ingredients which make a real Bollywood Film. These splendid and often spectacular films fill my heart with joy. I have inspired my family to love them too, even the children who read the sub-titles as do we all unless they speak English. Lagaan is the most wonderful film, loved by us all, in all its epic glory and splendour. I don’t care about cricket but my nephew had taught me the rules, which were not necessary but a bonus to enjoy this marvelous film which deserved its Academy Award. It is a story about the Triumph of the Human Spirit. Thinking about this film makes me smile and warms my heart. I am partial to hot, sexy Indian men with killer smiles and bright, shining eyes.
When my sister went to India for the first time, in 2008, I told her to say yes if she found herself in a position to be in a Bollywood Film while she was in Mumbai. I would happily give almost anything for the chance to be in a Bollywood Film. Purely for the experience, the adventure and for the fun of it, this would be a personal joy for me. I have been fortunate to experience an Indian party once, by special invitation, held at one of Sydney’s great Theatres and I felt like I was in a Bollywood Film. It was fantastic and joyful. I was incredibly fortunate and glad for the experience. Since coming out of hospital in my compromised and disabled state last August, Bollywood films were my staple choice of entertainment.
On her last day in Mumbai, hours before her scheduled departure for Goa, my dream came true. My baby sister was stopped on the street and asked, invited to appear in a Bollywood film. Goa could wait. Production finished and the cast and crew went to the The Leopold Cafe/Hotel to celebrate the wrap up of the film. As they were celebrating the Terrorist Bombs went off, killing so many people. My sister was lucky to escape with her life. This is a story for another time. My beautiful baby sister never blamed me but I blamed myself that she hadn’t safely left Mumbai for Goa days before, as scheduled. The great thing that happened was that she has been in a Bollywood Film. A friend of hers gave her a DVD of the film which she has now. I have yet to make into a Bollywood Film but my baby sister has and this is just as good for me.
My strength has been tested this week physically, mentally and emotionally. Feeling unwell has contributed to my pain and feelings of weakness. My pain has been increasing. Tingling in my feet fills me with optimism that my recovery continues as my nerves repair themselves although my discomfort has increased. The cold weather has a part to play. My hands have felt weak and sore at times. My ulnar nerve seems to be aggravated. I have had discomfort and pain in my pinky and felt it in my neck and shoulder. I am working harder on my exercises. My right arm, shoulder had been incredibly painful and I could feel my ulnar nerve radiating pain in my elbow. My neck has been sore. I went to visit my fabulous Physiotherapist Anne who massaged my tense, tight muscles making me feel better. I have a new exercise to further strengthen my core. Heat packs help with the pain. I am sure that the increased stress I face has caused this tension and pain. I have increased my hand exercises. At times my fingers feel weak, hopefully because the muscles are getting stronger. Schrodie and I have braved the cold and have enjoyed our daily walks. We are grateful to live in a beautiful place so our hearts fill with joy as our bodies strengthen.
Schrodie and I walk every day, despite the cold. He is back to his energetic, playful self. His urine results were clear, thankfully. He did wake up retching at 4.30am on Wednesday morning and proceeded to throw up three times. It was a very thick, clear mucus spotted with tiny red blood spots that he threw up. I rang the vet and he assured me that Schrodie’s results are fine via his nurse, as he was home sick. I am watching him like a hawk. He may have eaten something on a walk but I worried about him catching something from another animal during our walks. Hopefully not and it was just a random event.
My guitar playing is steadily improving as I practice most days, completing all the exercises that I know several times. At times my fingers have struggled but I believe that my finger and hand strength is improving. A couple of days my playing was terrible. It was a combination of my mind wandering and not being able to focus as required from all the distractions and my clumsy, weakened fingers and hands. Johnny and I still enjoyed our time together, every day and I played until I got everything right at least once. The experiences were challenging and upsetting. Thankfully everything improved. Failure was not an option for me. I have been through too much. I have lost too much, suffered too much and fought too hard to lose.
Schrodie and I have been dancing for up to five songs a day. This equates to about half an hour which is a tremendous feat of strength for me. Schrodie and I bond during our dancing and are unbelievably close. It is amazing given that we are different species. Our bond is incredibly special and intimate, there is no doubting that we belong to each other. Schrodie also acts as my weight during our dancing and he is six and a half kilos (kilograms) in weight, which is a substantial weight for me to carry, especially for so long. The duration of our dancing is still not consistent but what matters is that I can do it with him. The consistency will come as my strength improves. My physiotherapist and occupational therapist and hand therapist love it and think it’s brilliant and they share this with other people. We have so much fun and have danced together since I adopted him at eleven weeks of age, almost nine years ago. Our walking and dancing together are the highlights of my day, playing chasings and hide and seek as well.
The building Supervisor responsible for building my home would not take my daily calls from Monday when we spoke briefly and he allayed my concerns about the build and fence repair. I had nightmares about the tanks on Monday night and needed to know the time-frame of completing the works to fix the boundary fence, my neighbour’s yard and the retaining wall, after an acceptable quote is received. He had agreed that the work to fix the fence, my yard and my neighbour’s yard would be at the builder’s expense as the damage had occurred as part of the building works. I would pay for the retaining wall once I had an acceptable quote. I believe that they will charge me again for everything. This has been upsetting and distressing. It is certainly cause for concern but I remain unperturbed. I have a right to ask questions. I have a right to the information. I recalled that he had told me as if nothing, that he had changed my custom water tanks making them wider as they were too tall and would not be allowed even though they had passed the Council Development Application (DA), which I did not understand and questioned. I asked about a refund as my custom tanks were not as per my building agreement and contract. On Friday, he replied to my call with a text telling me he would reply to my email and asked if he could call me later. Sure, I replied. I am always reasonable. I received an email on Friday afternoon telling me that these were still Kingspan Custom-made Rain Water Tanks but with new custom dimensions which made them shorter and wider. T. his defeats the purpose of why I chose these expensive custom tanks, being their smallest footprint to not devalue my property. At this point in time I can do nothing as I need to go home and my build completion is my priority. I had also continued to press upon him the urgency of the retaining wall and yard repairs, especially for my neighbour. He said two weeks for completion of works and that I would be sent a quote for the retaining wall.
Masterton had a Duty to Disclose that they would not or could not give me the house that we had contractually agreed to build. I had asked about the tanks before they were included in the contract. They had no right to take my money fraudulently and not disclose what they had done without my knowledge or consent. This is so disrespectful, offensive and insulting at a minimum. By putting me in this position they have robbed me of my dignity. This experience is so demeaning and derogatory.
On Monday he told
me that the frame for my new home was going up. I had not been notified of this
or changes to the water tanks. He was scheduled to call me once a week which he
has not done. This is not acceptable. I am excited that the house frame should
now be up but I don’t really know if it is complete as I have not been told. On
Friday I got another charge for my electricity plan as Masterton’s electrician
required a greater and upgraded mains switch which will cost another three
hundred dollars. I am at their mercy. I cringe when I think of how much money I
will need to safely complete my home once the builders leave and before we can
return home. If I had a big, strong man to help me, everything would be so much
better, so much easier. It is a shame that the man who promised to help me, abandoned me. It would be great if he changes his mind but I will not ask
anything of him. They are charging me for their mistakes, outside of the contract. They have me over the proverbial barrel and I must sign the variations for these additional charges if I ever want to go home.
I have reverted to using Excel Spreadsheets to manage my cashflow and my requirements. I have not needed or used spreadsheets for years.
On Friday, afternoon my friend’s niece came to visit me and we cooked together. She is a lovely little ten year old girl who is half Greek but nobody in her family is Greek. I have been asked to be her mentor and give her an insight into what it means to be Greek, which is delightful for me even though I am hardly a stereotypical example of a Greek or any kind of woman. I do know the language and the culture which I will happily share with her, as if she were my own niece. We cooked a stifado, a traditional rabbit and onion stew which is also made as a beef and onion stew which is quick, easy, simple and delicious. A hearty, warming and nutritious meal. It’s three simple steps and inexpensive. I explained to her that I don’t use recipes to cook. I cook as I was shown and taught by mummy, she understood. She peeled two bags, about two kilos of onions and was great, undertaking the role with enthusiasm and bravery; wiping away and rinsing away the tears caused by cutting the onions. The food was delicious and she was very happy and now armed with a recipe to use whenever needed, throughout her life. We had fun and she wanted to have a sleep-over which was unexpected and flattering, we said another time.
I taught her to make some necessary sounds required to speak Greek properly. We counted to ten. We laughed and she enjoyed her meal, taking the rest home for her Family when her mother came to collect her after five hours. We played Trivia Games which are new to her and she loved them, especially as she was learning new things whilst playing. This was the point of the games and her telling me this made me happy. She’s welcome whenever she wants to visit as we like her and are happy to teach her what we can when she wants to visit. She wanted to return the next day but we said in a few weeks.
My view of my role as an Auntie is to up-skill the children with a different perspective on life and the world than they get elsewhere. I aim to teach them knowledge and skills that they do not get anywhere else, to arm them more fully so that they can face and beat challenges that they face in life to have their best life possible. She bought up being afraid of certain things and we talked about fear and the important need to overcome fear, doing everything you want in life, carefully after considering and mitigating the risks. Not to let fear hold you back and stop you from achieving your goals in life. So that the children learn that they can overcome fear to live the life they want, the life they choose, to make their dreams come true and live their best life. Much as I aim to achieve by sharing my journey with you in this blog and conversations with people, helping them through sharing my processes to achieve their goals, as required. I am glad to know that I have been successful in achieving these aims in many ways and helping many people overcome the many and different obstacles, adversities and traumas that they face, so far.
Trivia was fun on both nights, one being at a new venue. We won both nights. I love winning. I am naturally very competitive which most people do not realise. We play for fun and winning is always a welcome bonus. It was good to be able to play twice this week.
Meditation was cancelled because of the lockdown laws. My interview about the Bushfire with a Candidate for Council, was cancelled because I did not wish to risk dealing with any potential animosity from my neighbour or the Building Supervisor, just in case.
There has been so much to do every day. I have so many different deadlines to meet and have been achieving them, one at a time, challenging as this is for me. My book is progressing well. My poems are being received very well by my growing audience. There is still so much for me to do to achieve my myriad of goals and gratefully every day I am at least one step closer. Failure is expected. Barriers and obstacles are expected. As a Scientist these do not phase me. Since I was a girl I think of Thomas Edison when he said that every time he failed trying to get the light bulb to work, after over ten thousand attempts he was one step closer to success, every time after each and every failure. I stop. I breathe. I hold on tight to this and take another step forward. I am closer now than ever, no matter what happens. I have nothing to lose.
Schrodie and I have had our daily walk, which we enjoyed as always and we managed to beat the rain. I had left over Spaghetti Bolognese earlier and will enjoy a rump steak with steamed turnips, beans and zucchini. Rump steak is my favourite but I also love a good T-Bone steak. I treated myself to a T-Bone Dinner, with mash and vegetables, on Wednesday night, which was delicious and did not cost me anything as I used my Dine Voucher from the state government. I am at a loss as to how I will use my two twenty five dollar government Discover Vouchers. Lockdown has made this impossible for now and the date has been extended until 31st August for now.
I am expecting much to happen this week. I anticipate a good week, albeit a very busy week. Thanks for joining me. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask me a question, let me know how I can help you or include something specific in my blog. I hope this has helped you. I hope that my inspirations; poetry, stories, information, my Heroes are of interest to you and inspire you as they have inspired me throughout my life and continue to do so.
"My Way" by Frank Sinatra was a song that I grew up with and love. Frank was right. This is the only way for one to live their their best life, to live and do it my way!
This is good bye for now. I hope that you have a good week.
Stay happy and well.
Watch this space....