It was my nephew’s birthday on Friday. I went around for dinner of his choice – dominoes pizza and star wars cake! I love that boy. Every time I arrive I hear “it’s Aunty Ali” being yelled and footsteps racing to the door, and it’s him and his younger sister pushing and shoving to give me a hug. Or else the door opens mysteriously by itself and then he leaps out from behind it, grins to himself in satisfaction when he makes me jump every time, then grabs me for a hug.
I actually took him on a solo bushwalk on Saturday. We stayed local because I had to be decked out with diabetes instructions and managing exercise and its effects on blood glucose is not for the uninitiated. He had to be the “leader” of the walk, and it was hilarious the way he kept his eye on me behind him and kept veering in front. Whenever large men on their fitness routine went past he looked at them in consternation and dissatisfaction as they overtook. But then we had to stop along the way and blow bubbles to see whether they would go uphill or downhill (uphill if you would like to know). He got a bit weary near the top (it was actually a rather steep hill we went up) and wanted to go home but I convinced him the top was nigh and then he was so chuffed with himself.
The tragedy is that my sister and family have been posted back to Queensland next year. Oh I cried when they got that news. Then I was hopping mad with the military. My brother-in-law didn’t get his preference, again, and it’s so annoying that even at his rank he has to go to see a careers advisor who tells him where he needs to go. Then I also had another moment of realisation that as a single person there is no-one who is committed to me, to being where I am or going where I go. They need to move with brother-in-law because he is their priority (which is as it should be), and I am no-one’s priority. And you can’t pretend there isn’t a loneliness in that. And I was just sad. But I know that God will still be here and is more than enough and I will be thankful that I had them here for two years.
And I can find something profitable to do at home on Thursday evenings when I am no longer going there for dinner. I’m thinking of making Thursday nights self-education night. For years I thought of retraining in something, to learn and also further my “career” prospects. Then I realised that everything I actually wanted to study was not really vocational (Literature? Poetry? Philosophy? …) and that I would incur a large HECS debt (or whatever they call it now) for something that would not be likely to lead to a job. (And when I tried to be sensible and practical and applied to the Dept of Education about teaching secondary school science they said I would need to go back to uni for extra chemistry – and I just couldn’t get excited about studying chemistry or teaching science.) So I thought I could just educate myself in poetry and literature and philosophy etc. But the problem is that you just don’t have the same motivation or deadlines or the same justification/reason to set aside the time, and I have been slack about reading more rigorous and academic works of late. Once upon a time I read through hefty tomes on theology and other topics and I don’t so much anymore. But I want to. I also completed Grade 1 Music Theory online a while back, and I want to do Grade 2 and pick up that dusty guitar again (and I regret not making the progress that I might have if I hadn’t stopped).
So you know, those are the plans for life without those kids. I want to return to this blog being more a collection of thoughts rather than occasional updates on my life, really I do. I’ve made a pact that there are to be no more life updates until I’ve actually written something, OK.