I’ve lived with a parent who has a sickness for a really long time. There are exacerbations and fluctuations with that illness, but it’s been a fairly constant thing for almost as long as I can remember.
My worries and fears for Mum’s health and wellbeing have been a constant background hum, the kind that you get used to. It’s this really big thing that we have become accustomed to and we just get on with it.
It’s just the lemonade of life you make with the lemons.
That background hum was overtaken by an overarching shriek recently when we had news that my Dad is unwell. It took me quite by surprise because he’s not supposed to get sick.
We’re currently undergoing extensive medical tests and it’s not my story to tell but I hightailed to his side as soon as he would allow me.
It’s a funny thing because six weeks ago I decided to give up writing and get a job. Like a “job” job.
Not like “do a bank job,” which is sexy and exciting unless you get busted, go to jail and have to wear poo green overalls for 30 years. I was thinking an actual job where I go to work and do worky stuff like all of those people on the train at 8 am every morning.
The anxiety of freelance was weighing heavily on me every week and I decided to pack it in for some stability. After a handful of vibing interviews with passionate people doing interesting things, I changed my mind.
I realised what I was looking at was taking me further away from what I envisaged for my life. My core values, vows I had made about how I want to live. Of course, these are somewhat fluid and can be thrown out anytime, but the timing just doesn’t feel quite right.
I decided what I actually needed was to take a massive step back for the time being and work out my next steps.
Be driven by my desire to create instead of being driven by fear – part truth, part wanky sounding meme. Also, I’m about to take a big fat Croatian holiday so timing is totes shite.
Anyway, that was fortuitous, because then I got a call from my Dad and I had the flexibility to pack up the kids and come to his home while we navigate this next little bit. It’s not a tough call, as you can gather from these photos. His place is a magical place for dreaming and nurturing body and soul so it’s a win-win in my books.
So, here we are in Opua, Bay of Islands in New Zealand and my 41st birthday is today.
Unlike the birthday soiree of last year where I cleared the loungeroom and created a dancefloor fuelled by copious amounts of champagne and frivolity, this year I decided to postpone my birthday until I was home again.
But then something way more freakin’ blog-worthy happened.
You see, although my step mum and my Dad haven’t hung out so much since their separation a good number of years ago they’ve been in a touch a bit of late, so I decided to invite Wicky (short for Wicked Stepmother) for lunch.
She, in turn, decided to come to town for the night and bring her delightful partner whom I’ve met numerous times and we get on like flaming houses and other metaphors. (Note, this will be he and Dad’s first eyeball of each other. Pure family gold.)
I also mentioned to an ex-boyfriend of mine (one of my top three all time shittest boyfriends, to be precise) that I was coming to town, and in light of our recent-ish rather surprising friendship, he said he’d like to bring his partner to hang out while I was here.
Then, Dad said his new ladyfriend was coming to stay for a few days. So the sum of all peoples at my upcoming birthday lunch is my Dad and his new ladyfriend, my step mum and her partner, my ex-boyfriend and his girlfriend and my kids and I.
And a dear family friend affectionately nicknamed Zebra.
What could possibly go wrong?
I’d love to say it has the potential to be the bones of my next big project.
This project would be a noir comedy film built upon deeply awkward social moments, inappropriate booze consumption and some kind of cliff-hanger at the end where we discover the new partners are somehow related or something, however, I dare say my stepmother summed it up much better.
She said “Your relationship with your ex is an indication of your emotional maturity, and I think we’re all pretty bloody mature, darling. Should I bring the bubbles and the wine?”
So, even though I gave up writing, here I am, writing this here bloggy wog to tell you that I canceled my41st birthday only to organise the most unconventional birthday party because when life gives you lemons… you better throw a fucking Mexican birthday lunch and make some damn margaritas.
PS I wish my mum, my boyfriend and my husband we here to complete this magnificent birthday party.
PPS I really need to get a divorce.