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There are many things from the last few weeks that I want to write about, but can't write about here. They're too important or private for the Internet, or not mine to write about in public.

I can write about the small things which have consoled me.

It has been so lovely to be welcome, to be able to be there, without a fuss made about it. I have felt grateful that there has been space for me to cook, do dishes, make tea, do all the small domestic acts that allow me to show love and care for the people around me.

I have felt quiet and steady and useful, because others have nurtured that tiny sprout of a feeling, after weeks and weeks of feeling helpless and overwhelmed. I like to be quiet and steady and useful, now and then, because it carries me through and makes me strong.

I woke up this morning and the first worries that sprang to my mind were about work, everything that needs to be done today, tomorrow, before Monday. That is a consolation in itself. I know I'll get it done, one part after another.

It is tremendously consoling to have a sense of myself as someone who can do what is needed, and provide comfort and care, even under difficult circumstances.

And I have been buoyed by the love and care of others. J, who has helped me to be strong and given me hugs when I wasn't, and all of Pink Hair Claire's wonderful words that I can carry with me whenever I need to, and House Claire who has made it easier to cook for people that I love, and my wonderful family, and all of the people who have sent messages of love and support.

The last couple of months have been hard, for a whole heap of reasons. But I think it's going to be okay. Now is the time for putting my house (literal and metaphorical) in order, finding a safe space for future adventures.
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I need a tag for entries that say: "hey, I know That Other Thing that was stopping me from being social is over, but now This New Thing is happening, so I won't see much of you, still."

This is another one of those entries.

I am back in Australia, and am now working full time (officially, rather than merely unofficially) in an actual office with my name on the door. Far more importantly, J's family is going through a very difficult situation, and I want to spend as much time with them as possible.

So I will probably be dividing my time up between work and family and home. I would still like to see people, but I think I will not have a lot of time and will mostly want to be at home, when I'm not doing other things. I want to nest and tidy, and make people tea, and cook for people that I love.

I'm going to try to make sure that work is something I can corral into my actual office time, and spend as much of the rest of my life as I can making small beautiful spaces and small beautiful things for the people around me, and for myself.

So, um, I guess what I'm saying is that once again: it's not that I don't like you. I do like you, very much! But there are some other things I need to do, for a while.
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Well, J just left for Europe for six weeks and I'm trying to do my Greek homework, but mostly just feeling unsettled. It felt strange coming back to the house from the airport - everything feels musty and abandoned, and smells all wrong. I'm going to tidy a little tonight when I get back from class, not because it's messy but because I think I need to re-settle into the house a bit, give it some love and nest a bit. When I finish I'll listen to some audio books and do some craft.

Part of me is fretting about missing him. We haven't spent this much time apart since we started going out, and it feels odd that he's going to be meeting people and learning things and be in new places and I won't be there to be part of it. At the same time, I know that this is going to be a great time for him, and I'm glad he's having the experience. And even though I know I'll miss him, I'm going to make sure that I use the time well. I'm going to spend as much time with my family as I can spare, which I'm looking forward to. I'm going to do craft, and write, and stay up past my bedtime. I'm going to practice ukulele and accordion. I'm going to spend some days alone wandering the city and having adventures, which it feels like I haven't done in the longest time. I'm going to see friends.

And I'm even going to resist the urge to throw out J's giant inflatable penguin.
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So, after some fairly frantic work on Friday and Saturday, and some help from J with formatting issues, the full, formatted, almost-final copy is with SupervisorFace. He'll have a few changes to suggest, no doubt, but hopefully not more than changing a sentence or paragraph here and there. (Secretly, I can't help feeling that he's going to say something along the lines of, "oh, now I realise you have to rewrite this chapter...") So, I guess it's almost done?

I feel a bit flat about the whole thing. I guess the anti-climax is predictable.

I'm going to take the rest of this week to gather myself, and to finish making the changes and submit it. Probably around the end of this week I will totally be up for seeing some people? Yesterday I vacuumed, and tidied up the house and backyard a bit. I did some Greek homework, and read a book, and didn't eat lunch while working. It feels ridiculously decadent and wonderful to have some time to myself that isn't packed full of things that need to be done Right Now.

I'm really excited about going to libraries, and reading fiction or books about things I'm curious about. I'm so excited about taking some time to just be *curious* about things, without constantly thinking about whether what I'm reading fits into my thesis somehow. I'm excited about doing all the things that I used to do when I had time: going to libraries and art galleries and museums, wandering around the place a little, reading, cooking for friends, making stuff.

It's not going to last. I'm going to start applying for jobs this week, although I'm not sure how long it will take me to find something. We'll see, I guess?
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We need to get a sofa bed, and while my mind immediately springs to IKEA (oh, to have an excuse to go stare at the tiny fake rooms!) I feel like we should explore other options first. I'm willing to consider getting one second-hand as long as it's sturdy, and maybe if we could replace the mattress also? I am also a bit leery of spending ages driving around different op-shops, since a) I'm feeling rather time-poor, and b) driving! ick!

Are there any furniture stores in Perth that are particularly ethical (sustainable/locally-made/fair trade)?

I might try Freecycle also, or perhaps if I'm feeling really brave think about making one - any other ideas on how to get a reasonable ethical, sturdy, cheap, sofa bed?


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July 2012

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