Get real

It’s OK, I have even been making myself a little woozy coming onto my blog and seeing how cheery and bright and pretty and nice it all is at the moment. Maybe it’s because it’s been school holidays and I’ve had time to relax and not rush off, and visit people – who knows? But it certainly has been peachy hasn’t it?

But here’s the thing, my life is really like this. My house is really beautiful. My kids are cute and {mostly} well behaved. I love to cook and eat and drink well and love to share that with you. I swear to you every, single, flipping day I am counting my blessings that this is my life. I feel a compulsion to document it all. Show it’s beauty. Celebrate it. Honour it for all the goodness that there is in it.

I have this weird {perhaps Catholic} thing that makes me feel like whenever my life is good, that it means that there is some bad just around the corner. Sick right? I was reading this post by Kim yesterday, who incidentally is funny and fabulous and cooks AND is famous now that she has been nominated as a finalist by Sydney Writers Centre best blogger or something so you should read her blog, and it got me thinking about what my greatest fears are. Sure I don’t like frogs or kittens (I know what is wrong with me) or mice and I am paralysed that something will happen to Rob or my kids and I will be left alone without them – but my constant fear is that something bad is just around the corner. And I can’t even believe that I am writing this all down because it means that something will most definitely for sure most certainly happen. Crackers.

Growing up we either had money, or we didn’t. My Dad was a salesmen who was onto the latest thing or scheme which saw us being dropped off to school in a corvette one year or a Holden Vacationer the next. We went on holidays one year to the Gold Coast where I could buy whatever I wanted from Cherry Lane to somewhere less glamorous the next. The one constant we did have was unending love and patience and warmth and food provided by my Mum. Our home was always filled with that regardless of what was in the bank and so all that other stuff wasn’t the focus or front of mind – it was inconsequential to the important stuff. The real stuff.

But. Nonetheless it has formed a mindset that when it’s good, when life is good, that it inevitably means that there is some bad. Just. Around. The. Corner. When my first grandparent died when I was about 10 or so I was so sad. As any kid is when  they first experience real loss. Death. After that happened I used to count all the people alive in my family which meant all the people still to die. To leave us. {I still can’t believe that I am writing down all of my crazy for the world to see}. And then one of our family friends lost their 3 year old son when he drowned in their backyard pool. And he was one of us. It could happen to anyone. This little mantra appeared in the very back of my mind, from an early age, which still creeps in, into every good day, good month, and as it has been for me, good year of late.

I spent many wasted years in a relationship that was hard beyond my years because I kind of felt that life was meant to be a little hard. I still don’t know exactly what it was that gave me the strength to leave, to believe that I might deserve a little better, but I am grateful each and every day that I did. Maybe good can just happen right? And it has been good. Nothing but good for the past 8 years. 8! But there is still that lingering feeling at each family occasion, in each photo that I take that I look at and think “is this my life? Really?” that its coming. The bad.

And the bad has many forms. It could be the death of any one of my family, but mostly it’s my death. Uh huh. Here’s where the crazy really starts. I have always just thought that I would be the one to get sick and die. And it would happen now more than ever because of all the good I have. Like the better the life I have the more horrible my death will be. Which, given the current state of things, I will die young, horribly and alone. And last night because I had started this post and had it in draft and actually written some of it down – well then the bad was about to begin. I woke at 11pm with the worse motherfucking heartburn I have ever had. I thought I was going to die. Honestly. There was a hot, angry elephant standing on my chest and I was *this* close to getting Rob to call an ambulance because I thought I was dying. For reals. And then I had some milk, calmed the hell down, and eventually felt half way normal again. But it was that lingering feeling, again, just waiting for me saying that he could come at any time. And it’s due. It’s long overdue.

So. For all my pictures of sunshine and lolly pops there are bad photos taken on my mobile phone that may just be my favourite photos of all. This one, taken on Tuesday as we were waiting for Rob to arrive with the car. Daisy with a god awful headache which almost has her in tears and Harper looking like a drunken footballer either about to vomit, or having just vomited. And a mother, desperately documenting it all because it’s all going to end at some stage.

And that, my friends, is my Thursday therapy session with all my crazy for the world to see. As Kim asked and what I will ask so that I don’t feel so alone – what’s your crazy? Come on, share, it feels good to get it out. And is that not THE best photo of my children? Ever? I love it.


  1. Oh my god I love this. I love you … I went to bed last thinking of a certain yellow chair and table. And how I want to tell you to put some paper in your typewriter, so that when people walk past they can tap out a little ditty.

    That photo is fricking fabulous, you have no idea how much I needed to read your real this morning. I is fucked up, lately. SO annoying.

    And on death … I have been to so so many funerals. A lot of my family has carked it … a lot of my friends have died in tragic accidents or overdoses. What the fuck, God??

    It sucks, and can lead to insane panic sessions. It can also lead to this amazing clarity … of knowing that this is not a dress rehearsal so just DO IT PEOPLE. As Eminem says: “You only get one shot, do not, miss your chance to blow coz opportunity comes, once in a lifetime, yo.”



  2. I think your crazy is quite normal, well to me anyway.

    A few weeks back I was convinced I had early onset alzeheimers and was having midnight panic attacks that my husband was going to put me in a home and I wouldn’t even know my own children. I think to a certain degree we all do the what if I die etc.

    If it is any consolation last night I nearly had the if I die and you remarry you can only do it if the children like her okay or I will come back and haunt you and her big time.

    We are both completely crazy…I mean normal.

  3. Wow, Beth. I share the very same fear of my own death. It’s a nasty one so thanks for bringing it out into the open to make it seem a little less scary.

  4. I used to share your fear of my own death. I spent a lot of time thinking about what people would say about me when I was dead. I imagined how sad people would be and how vindicated I would feel (huh?) knowing that people actually did like me and missed me. My fear changed when I had Amy. After she was born I was on a euphoric high for a few weeks and then the low hit and I spent a lot of time hanging over her cot trying to stop myself imagining her hurt or sick or worse. Dead. I was diagnosed with some mild postpartum anxiety which has manifested itself in the nearly 5 years since then as periods of obsessing about what terrible things could happen to my children. I try not to indulge myself in Children’s hospital shows or RPA – where are they now and then it seems to pass. Thats my crazy. (along with my love of weird flavour combinations, sausage and marmalade sandwiches anyone?)

  5. Beth, wow. Is it wrong to say that I love this post? I don’t love that you worry about the other shoe dropping, I just love the realness of it. The stream of consciousness honesty. And the picture of your kids. That rocks. x

  6. I have always felt this very same thing.

    My therapist is helping me with it and says, “change takes time. You are unwinding old tapes. be patient.”

    And, so, I wait…

  7. I think that you {and this} is so normal… We mothers run on empty so much, and this is just what happens. When I’m at my very lowest, I worry that the sun will go out, and jump on down the rabbit hole of what will life on earth do, and why oh why did I ever open myself up to the vulnerability of having kids who I love so much but can’t necessarily protect from everything *gasp* Then I pull myself up, realize that it’s an imaginary game that my mind is playing, get some sleep, look after myself a little better, enjoy the moments while I’m living them, and try not to over-think! Phew.

    I read a great book a while back, why is god laughing? was the title {and as you know I an not religious. At. All} but this book was about how fear tricks us into missing the joy in our lives… I think we all do it to some extent: you are so NOT crazy!!

  8. Wow – hopped on over here from Eden’s site and love that I’m not alone with my fears.

    I only posted the other day about my greatest fear which was inspired by another post I’d read.

    Why is it so reassuring to know we’re not alone with our fears in this crazy old world?

  9. Anonymous says

    Don’t say I don’t add value to this site…

    Mr Anonymous

  10. No, not crazy. I can so relate, I used to feel like this.
    I used to constantly worry about dying, about those around me dying. I mean constantly – cancer, heart attack, plane crashes, nuclear explosions, bird flu, murder. I think I spent my whole childhood worrying about being killed.

    I don’t anymore. To be honest, I don’t know when or why it stopped. I think it was as simple as looking back and realising how much time and energy I wasted worrying. Realising that wasting my life worrying about something that may/may not happen was worse than dropping dead suddenly. I’m sure I’ve replaced it with another kind of crazy, though!

    I won’t tell you to stop worrying, cause I know that can be impossible. I will tell you to soak up every good thing that happens, enjoy it and don’t take it for granted. Whatever happens, that’s the best way to enjoy the here and now.

    PS- you do deserve good things

  11. I have laughed a lot at different photos of those girls…but NONE as much as I just laughed at this….HILARIOUS!!!
    I’m sorry, but you have inherited a gene from your grandmother and I….it’s the “worry” gene. If I have “this” today…then “that” will happen next, it has to balance…..right??
    No. Life really isn’t about checks and balances, just live each day and see where it takes you. I think I’m starting to work that out..sorry nanna…we’ve got to stop worrying about the “what-ifs”

  12. that is the best photo and I’m crying laughing at it. oh dear but what a great post and let me tell you that I always thought other people’s parents got cancer not mine. I always count my blessings and look for the good everywhere and everyday.


  13. 1. That photo is awesome. Totally the shot of a couple of ladies after a night on the turps. Too funny.

    2. I do not get the fear of dying. I mean, once you’re dead, that’s it, you’ve got no idea it’s happened so why worry.

    3. But the fear about something bad being just around the corner!?! HELLO! Me totally.

    I used to wail to my mother that I hadn’t suffered enough (as a teenager) – when I look back I realise I was in some significant denial.

    4. So much more but now fairly pissed on sparkling shiraz and need to go before I embarrass myself.

  14. Oh lady, such a well written post. I love when you get all serious. Honestly, I have those fears on a daily basis… sometimes even hourly, depending on my frame of mind. I am terrified of leaving my boys before they’re of an age where they can fend for themselves. I used to laugh at my nana AND my mama when they would say things like “well as long as I’m around long enough to see you turn 18”, I would think what is with that!?
    Now, I get it!
    P.S. Hope the heart burn stays away for a while now… mylanta lady!
    P.P.S. Love the pic! Harper, could she possibly get any cuter!?

  15. Great Post and yes, that is THE best photo of your children!

  16. If life is good. You should embrace it. I love reading your blog the goodcand the bad. Love your guts baby Mac.

  17. I love that photo! Yes, Harper SO looks like she’s going to pukey in the gutter, go girl!!

    I am quite the hypchondriac… I am terrified of death, and cancer and all those horrible things… I worry about my kids and what I would do if anyone ever hurt them…

    It’s normal I think, to worry. It means we are human, and we care. But you shouldn’t think about it too often. You have SO much good going on in your life right now…

    I love the honesty in this post, you always keep it real hun.


  18. I don’t remember where I read this quote, but I think of it often when I realize that I’m going to die. I also remember that I’m not the only one who is 🙂 and rather sickly, I think, “I’m glad!”

    “Perhaps the best cure for the fear of death is to reflect that life has a beginning as well as an end. There was a time when we were not; this gives us no concern – why then should it trouble us that a time will come when we shall cease to be?”

  19. this is such a great post! You are so brave to write it! I’m such a coward I couldn’t even leave a comment for Kim 🙁
    Sorry Kim…

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