Saturday, October 2, 2010


I suspect my extended family is like most other have more in common with some members and less with others....some members you like...and others not so much..........and it isn't static. The dynamics and the relationships change over time as the individuals and the circumstances change.

The extended family can be a place to share the slings and arrows of life (or may be the source of the slings and arrows).

I have been thinking about family, and family dynamics, a lot lately. For the last week both Favourite Daughter and No 1 Son have been away. I had 5 days when I was "home alone" and it felt very strange.
No 1 Son has returned but FD is away until the end of the week so it is still not the usual dynamic.

This week Glenn's younger (and less handsome) brother, his wife, and their kids are in town. Glenn and his brother were very close, and his wife is a friend of mine (from before I knew Glenn). So the relationship between us is a positive one. Perhaps that explains why I find spending time with them a two edged sword. Glenn's absence is like an elephant in the room because he was the prism through which my relationship with them was focused. Perhaps I am like an elephant in the room to them because I was Glenn's wife and the mother of Glenn's children.

So spending time with them is enjoyable but painful because there is now a gaping hole where Glenn once stood and their physical presence forces me to focus on his absence.

Life happens (and death happens)

Reddy (or Not)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A long time ago a friend told me that I was great at giving other people advice but not good at solving my own problems (giving myself advice). I wonder is that true of everyone or are some of us better at backing our own choices?

I can't vouch for other people but i suspect in my own case it has something to do with confidence and consequences. I can be confident in my judgements about other peoples issues - I may not always be right (not even close) but I can look at the problem rationally, consider different angles, ask the "what is the worst thing that could happen if you took this action" question. It might sound boastful but I would ask me for advice.

So why is it that when it comes to my own issues - I don't ask myself "what should I do"? Perhaps more truthfully I do ask myself but I don't have confidence in my own judgements. Maybe it's because with other people you advise but they then make the choices (and suffer the consequences - good or bad). Whatever advice I give myself the consequences fall back on me and mine. Is this fear or just wisdom and caution?
Funnily enough I recall being more gung ho when i was younger. I remember making some choices, and taking some actions, at university that I would never repeat now (nothing illegal or shocking - just gutsier choices).

In this regard perhaps, G and I were not a good match. For much of the time I knew him G's depression was coupled with very low self esteem. Coupled with my naturally risk averse nature and a mutual tendency to procrastinate we were not good at making big decisions (there are those of you who doubted we would ever move to/build a new house). When I think about all the big decisions we did make nothing terrible happened. I suspect it was the millions of little decisions we made or didn't make that proved (and will prove) to be more consequential.

Right now I am in a position where I need to make some major choices. Nobody else can make these choices and I can't put it off. Time to listen to my own advice - time to be confident in my decisions and to realise that I only have a limited degree of control regarding the consequences.

Life happens (and death happens)

Reddy (or Not)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Changing perceptions

When I was growing up I remember being in awe of people who had university degrees, especially PhDs.
Then I went to university and met some people who had PhDs - and my perspective changed. While a degree takes some level of intelligence it wasn't as lofty an achievement as I had thought.

When I was single I longed to me married. Then I got married. I loved G and he had many great qualities but being married to someone who is suffering from chronic depression is not easy.

I remember my Grandmother giving me $10 and thinking I was rich. When I was at uni I remember waiting until my Austudy benefit was paid and getting $20 from the auto teller and feeling very flush. When G and I bought our first house we paid $154,000 and I thought it was a fortune. A similar house 2 doors up recently sold for $600,000.

While I am extremely thankful for life insurance having the money does not make me rich, but not having G impoverishes me, and definitely makes FD and No 1 Son poorer.

Life happens (and death happens)

Reddy (or Not)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reddy (or not)

Life is fragile.
We go through life knowing the stark statistics - 100% people die but somehow it still comes as a shock when it happens to someone close to you.I have been reminded of that statistic yet again this weekend.

Some friends are travelling in WA and their car rolled.  Details are still fairly sketchy but thankfully they are all alive. So often on the news we hear of fatal car crashes and I think we become a little immune...but for every fatality there are family and friends who are left grieving.

Even more shockingly we can see news items where hundreds of thousands of people have their lives ripped apart and seemingly we are not moved. Why has the devastation in Pakistan not been met with the same kind of compassion we saw after the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Are the people of Pakistan somehow less deserving of our compassion and our help? When we read that someone's husband was washed away in the flood waters, or someone's child died of it just a statistic?

I am sure somebody, somewhere, someday will be looking at the data on deaths in the ACT in 2010 and for them Glenn will just be a statistic but he was so much more than that.
Every time you read or hear about a death - just take a moment to consider that to some that death will cause gut wrenching grief. No death is just a statistic.

Life happens ( and death happens)

Reddy (or not)