Friday, 31 August 2012

End of August

Things are happening quickly.  But at the same time they’re moving slowly.   Since my last post, where I described my desire to start my own business, I’ve been inundated with kind, supportive words from friends and family alike.   It’s been truly humbling and it’s helped me take steps towards realising my full potential.

A business plan has been written.  A name has been chosen.  The name has been registered and an ABN has been acquired.  All of these steps have involved me sitting in front of the computer, nervously filling in details and then procrastinating when it comes to hitting the “submit” button.  The giant step of starting my own business has involved tiny incremental steps of filling out forms, sending emails and researching.  Hour by hour, day by day, I am getting ever closer to beginning operations as a business.  Eeeek!

In amongst all this, The Architect took me away for the weekend and we rediscovered us.  It was a weekend that was meant to be for my birthday (in July) but due to constant illness, we weren’t able to get away until almost a month later.  Anyway.  That’s a first world problem if ever I’ve heard one.

That weekend away was the breath of fresh air we both needed.  I don’t think either of us realised how much we would get out of it and a huge thank-you goes out to our friends who took the Polynesian Princess and Little Warrior for the night.  In a galaxy far, far away, in a time long, long ago, The Architect and I would regularly go away for weekend jaunts.   We thought nothing of it.  The same cannot be said for the last five years.  But after this weekend away, we’ve both said that we need to do it more regularly.   Translation: maybe once a year.  At least it’s on the radar though!  And we know that it’s “doable”.

I’ve missed blogging, and it’s taken me three attempts to get this one finished.  It’s not flowing as easily as others, but I’ll persist and will be back in the swing of it this Spring.  As in tomorrow.

Happy First Day of Spring everyone!  And Happy Father’s Day all you Papa’s out there.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Where am I?

Hi!!!  I’m still here…I’ve just been a bit preoccupied lately.  That, and the fact that I’m still sick.  Yes, I know.  It’s getting old.  Just when I thought I was getting better, I decided to go for a walk with a friend.  I huffed up hills I’m normally fine with.  I struggled along stretches of road and finally almost collapsed when I reached our front steps.  The next day I woke up with another razor blade throat and aching body.  I’d laugh, if I knew it wouldn’t start a coughing fit.

And I’ve been a bit preoccupied because I’ve allowed myself to dabble in the thought of starting my own business.  Even typing it makes my stomach clench in anxiety.  When I first thought about it, I was excited.  Full of confidence.  Full of verve!  “Before I roll over and DIE and take an admin role I could do with my eyes shut, I want to try something I REALLY want to do” I have been proclaiming to anyone who’ll listen.

And then I sat down and did some serious thinking, which involved visiting the Queensland government’s website.  This site has a plethora of information that I am so thankful for!   I decided to take their business readiness quiz and was shallow-breathing with anxiety by the end of it.  There was so much I hadn’t considered.  So many things I just didn’t know.  I closed the laptop, secure in the knowledge that I would NOT be starting my own business.

As a Stay at Home Mum, I struggle with self-confidence when I think about returning to work.  Despite having a background in admin, recruitment and marketing, I still feel as though I’m unable to return to the workforce in any other capacity other than admin.  And can I say, that I am proud of my admin skills.  Very proud indeed, but I feel I know that area, and I really want to work on my experience in other areas – those being social media.  I want to do it part-time and I want to offer my services to local small businesses.  I would be managing their social media presence and would only want a handful of clients to begin with, so I can manage my time at home as well as at work effectively.

A friend I admire said to me recently, “the only problem you’ve ever had is you”.  “You always worry whether you’re doing things right, even when you’re being Mother of the Year”.  She knows I constantly doubt myself, despite the fact that I’m a smart and good person (that was so hard to type).  So currently I’m struggling with thoughts like “do I REALLY have the nous to start my own business?”, and “maybe you should just get a data entry role somewhere – you’d rock at that”…or is this my inner-voice laced with self-doubt talking?  A year ago I didn't have the courage to start a blog.  But with some fantastic compliments from friends, a little encouragement from others and a huge leap of faith on my part, Dilettante Diva was born.  I'm glad.  I'm so glad I took that leap of faith.

I've decided to proceed tentatively with my idea, and now I find myself thinking strategically.  Where am I?  Where have I been?  And, more importantly where do I want to be?

I know where I want to be.  Now I just need the guts to get there…

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Death becomes her...

This morning I woke up at 2am.  I went to the toilet and then settled back into bed.  This is the point that I would normally go straight back to sleep.  But then this thought floated through my head: 

Every year we pass the anniversary of our death

I know.  Random, right?   Do you think I could go back to sleep after THAT?  Thoughts like “will I die in August?”, “will I die by myself?” and then the morbid thought “I wonder how I’ll die….”.


This thought haunted me and interrupted various parts of my day today.

Every year we pass the anniversary of our death

I read this sentence recently and it was in the context of W. S. Merwin’s poem “For the anniversary of my death”.  I read it about a week ago, and I didn’t think much of it at the time.  But clearly my subconscious filed it away to be retrieved at the most convenient time of 2am today.

This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about death at length.  The first was when I was about 12.  Shaka Zulu the tele-movie was on and when he died, I cried myself to sleep.  It suddenly occurred to me, as I watched Shaka Zulu die from the multiple stab wounds, that one day I will know what it’s like to die.  And that thought made me spiral into a despair and depression that didn’t shift for days.  Pretty bloody heavy for a 12 year old.

And so it has continued through to my adult years.  At various times through my life, I've found myself back down the black hole and depressed about dying.  Let me share with you how deep my disturbing preoccupation with death can run. I actually wonder what I will be wearing when I die.  I wonder if it’s already in my wardrobe.  I mean, isn’t that just crazy and pointless?

But these days when thoughts of death come visiting, all it does is reinforce to me to live each day as if it’s my last.  Try to be the best me I can be.  Love this life.  Love those I’m with.  Try not to be the crankiest bitch on the earth.  And try to let everyone I love, know that I love them.

Because death will come to all of us and as I get older, I am more at peace with this fact than the little girl crying for Shaka Zulu.

And so, let me share with you the poem that got me thinking.

For the Anniversary of My Death
By W. S. Merwin

Every year without knowing it I have passed the day  
When the last fires will wave to me
And the silence will set out
Tireless traveler
Like the beam of a lightless star

Then I will no longer
Find myself in life as in a strange garment
Surprised at the earth
And the love of one woman
And the shamelessness of men
As today writing after three days of rain
Hearing the wren sing and the falling cease
And bowing not knowing to what

So I beg you.  Live this life to the absolute full.  Let go of those grudges, don't stress about the kids not sleeping, let your husband do the washing...his way.  And smile.

This life of ours.  It's short.

It is just. too. short.

Monday, 6 August 2012

What's your current musical crush?

You know what it's like.  You get a song in your head and, like a real-life crush, that's all you want.  All you want to listen to.

Mine changes every few days.  I get a hankering for a certain song and that's it for me.  Don't ask me why, but the hankering usually hits as we're about to leave for the school run.  I know.  It's weird.  But who am I to question my musical needs?  So this usually finds me downloading straight to my iPhone as I'm ushering the kids out the door and into the car.  By the time we get into the car and we're all buckled in, I've got myself a new tune to listen to all day.

My latest musical crush comes direct to me from Sex and the City.  Lately I've been working my way through the entire box set of SATC and somewhere in Season 3 I came across Charlotte on Staten Island, drunk and singing Carol Douglas's "Doctor's Orders" - I love it!:

And can I say, I have not listened to anything else.  You know that moment when a song can make you smile like an idiot, dance around in your car like nobody's watching and make you incredibly happy all day?  That's how my musical crushes always makes me feel.

I've had so many musical crushes over the years.  Oh What a Night by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Starships by Nicki Minaj and most recently Gimme Hope Jo'anna by Eddy Grant.  Are you still with me? Judge me though you will, but these songs have all made my day somewhere in the past.  They have made me happy, and for that I will always love them.

Carol Douglas's Doctor's Orders will get relegated to one of my playlists on my phone after the shine wears off, and another song will fill its place.  But with a bazillion songs out there, I have no shortage of choice for my musical crushes.

And you?  Do you have a crush at the moment?

Sunday, 5 August 2012


I have just unpacked the last bag from our weekend trip to Sydney.  We went down to visit The Architect who is down there for work at the moment.  It was such a nice, whirlwind visit but I am tired.  We packed Taronga Zoo, breakfast with friends, Surry Hills Markets, Luna Park, Darling Harbour and a catch-up with my cousin into the weekend.   I’m so tired I almost feel dizzy.  And!  This is my first time traveling on my own with the two chilluns.

I know girlfriends who do long-haul trips with two or more children on their own.  I know they do it with the aplomb of a veteran.  This is mainly assisted by them residing overseas, meaning regular visits back home to Oz (and these visits are often on their own with the kids).  I always applaud their efforts, which they shrug off with the ‘it’s no big deal’ attitude that only somebody who does this regularly can possess.

I used to sit in awe of them, secretly assuming that I will never, ever be in that position.  With my myopic vision, I thought there wouldn’t ever be a time that I would travel with the children sans The Architect.  So imagine my surprise when I found myself in just such a position.   The Architect is currently down in Sydney working, so we flew down this weekend to visit him.

I worried about Little Warrior.  I worried about his current stage of screaming and throwing things.  I worried about how I would discipline him and keep him quiet on a plane surrounded by strangers.  And most of all, I worried about how I was going to carry all the in-flight entertainment we would be BYO’ing.  The ticket was for hand luggage only, so you can see my dilemma.  DVD players, iPads, bento boxes full of snacks, asthma medication, drink bottles, toys, surprise presents (in anticipation of breakdowns), Chupa Chups, jelly beans.

The. Works.

When there’s two adults to share the carrying duties, it doesn’t feel like much.  But with just me, I ended up sharing the love with the two children.  I loaded their hand-luggage up with their entertainment, food and drink.  And despite doing this – my handbag still looked like it was nine months pregnant with triplets.  But I did it, and it all went (relatively) well.  The only downside I would say, was boarding from the tarmac.  With two little ones, three pieces of luggage and schlepping all this down stairs, across the tarmac and then back up again, success hinged on whether Little Warrior would walk on his own.  The first time he did it.  The second time he refused, which resulted in my walking like Quasimodo carrying/dragging two pieces of luggage in one hand and my bulging handbag and a 13kg child on the other arm.  Polynesian Princess, God love her, dutifully pulled her luggage and carried her little handbag.  She’s a good one…

And so tonight I will pour myself a congratulatory drink and then, this packhorse is packing it in and calling it a night.

Until next time peeps...