Secrets, Lies & Chat

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas/New Year Thoughts

Christmas has come, and gone, again with some speed. After all the preparations, perhaps months of hoarding away gifts as you find them for friends or loved ones, it's all over. I always think it's a shame once Christmas arrives as the pre-Christmas period is one of anticipation. Not for gifts, well not as far as I'm concerned. I'm more interested in having a couple of weeks break from the robotic routine of going to work 5 days a week. It doesn't matter if I wear makeup or not, I can spend the day in a big Tshirt and nothing much else and no-one cares. My feet are bare, the way I like them to be. I get familiar with my home again, spending 24 hours a day inside it's walls and outside in the yard, having a swim if I feel like it. There's no need to plan any of my days; whatever I feel like doing, I do, and if I don't feel like doing anything, then so be it.

I love the non routineness of the break, and I mourn it when it's gone again for another year. It seems that I spend most of the year thinking about the end of it. For the last 6 years I've had breaks of a week or so perhaps 3 times through the year, travelling to Queensland to see my mother. But these breaks were never holidays as my time away had to be scheduled; arrangements to have my pets looked after, deciding whether to leave my car parked near the airport or to have someone drive me in and then pick me up on my return, arranging to hire a car in Brisbane at the airport, booking flights, booking accommodation if I wasn't staying with family. On arrival I would pick up the car, drive to wherever I was staying, have a short chat, then go and visit my mother. That would be the start of a day by day depression that lingered with me after I returned home. For all the efforts I made to fly to see my mother, she showed no recognition mostly that I was even there. She rarely said my name and in fact called me by her sister's name. When I would tell her I had to return to Sydney and wouldn't be seeing her for a while, she would look at me blankly. No kiss goodbye, no sadness, just nothing.

My breaks at Christmas haven't included flying to Brisbane as it's too hot to fly north and it's also school holidays so everything is more expensive, and there are too many people everywhere. That's why I always look forward to this break because it's a chance to spend time with my little family, and a chance to veg out at home. I don't go to the sales because I know that most of what is on sale is junk the retailers couldn't flog off during the year. A lot of the so called specials are actually the same price, or even dearer, than they were during the year! I know this to be true as I used to work in retail and I knew the prices of some things before the sales and the price of them during the sales. Total ripoff for the unsuspecting looking for a bargain. The only real bargains I feel are in manchester and it is a great time to buy sheets, towels, beach towels etc. Anything else, forget it.

There will be no more visits to Brisbane to see my Mum as she passed over on 10 December. I still have cousins up there, and my brother and his family, but there won't be the need to go up every few months ever again. I guess if I were truthful I would admit that I will miss going away every few months. I have this adventure gene in me and I love to fly away. Each time I go to the airport to drop someone off, or pick someone up, I get this strong urge to go get on a plane and take off.

The New Year is looming but for me it doesn't hold any great excitement. It's just another day in another year of uncertainty. My aunts and uncles are aging and 2006 is shaping up to being a sad year for some of my cousins who will have to face what I have this year. For my ex husband, who has had both his legs amputated above the knee, the year ahead, if he survives, will be one of trauma, anger, despair and frustration. He, along with many others in our society, will perhaps wish that 2005 had been his last year in this world. It makes you wonder why so many people who you don't think deserve to suffer, do suffer in cruel pain before they die, and yet others who don't deserve to breathe, live on seemingly untouched by hardship. One of the frustrations of life, an unanswerable question ... why?

May the New Year bring you peace and fulfilment and may you make others less fortunate travel their roads easier by a smile or a helping hand. The richest man in Ausralia died last night - Kerry Packer. I am now richer than Kerry Packer; he has nothing and I have a few dollars. Money can't buy health, and his death proves that you can't take it with you. You might as well have little as having a lot doesn't give you eternal life nor can it save you if you are terminally ill. Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.

Take Care & Happy New Year 2006.

Vena McGrath
27 December 2005


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