Sometimes exploring the city takes you to unexpected places. Well, I should have anticipated that this would be on the to do list when taking in the sights of Melbourne. Slow Beer was a treat. We arrived mid afternoon, just in time for a tasting plate and a pint of one of their favourites on tap. As we ate and savoured the hoppy goodness we could not keep our eye off the shelves. Each row was heaving with local and imported treasures. Beer Heaven. Slow Beer goodness, right in the heart of Richmond.
I have a confession. I started this week naked. Yep, I felt every bit naked without my sunglasses. In recent years they have become an extra, important part of me. Reflecting the suns rays, making me somewhat anonymous and offering me protection. But mostly they are pushed back on top of my head as a pseudo hair/head upper body accessory. I know, I know this sounds quite bizarre really. But I know I am not alone. Women all over the world share my pain, share my nakedness, when the sunglasses are misplaced. Random children confiscate them. They can be put down on the kitchen bench, lost in the deep side pockets of the drivers door, abandoned on the dresser when getting changed. And then lost…..for a moment. But earlier this week I went nearly all day without them.
Now my man would tell me that extra rays are good for you. Strong light first thing int he morning can help with my body clock and help me sleep better. Plus sun is a good antidote for SAD, seasonal affective disorder . And I could do with a bit of both – more sleep and less SAD. Maybe it is worth being naked more often, even if it is just in the wee hours of the morning!
How do you cope with everyday pain? A headache here or there. Today I am trying to hydrate, eat better, swallow the pill of perseverance and a Panadol to get me through the day. But I know that my aches and complaints are nothing. There are those who labour with chronic illness day after day after day. There are those who have a terminal illness and battle complaints that exacerbate and do not fade.
How does a mother cope when her child is ill constantly? How does a partner care for and love a spouse when he or she is a shadow of the their former self? How do we we bear the pain and grief of current wounds and still hold onto a future hope that one day all will be healed?
For some inspiration and insight into pain and suffering you would do well to consider Jean’s perspective on Joni Eareckson Tada and Stephen Estes’ When God Weeps here or Dave Mc Donald’s journey with incurable lung cancer at this blogpost, Hope Beyond Failure.
Everyday pain is made better with the knowledge of a future hope.
On a recent road trip one of my girls had this song on her playlist: Gotye, Somebody that I used to know. It is a nice enough Indie Pop song and a pleasant car trip track. However, at my age the song’s title has quite some significance. There are a number of people who were once so close, significant and influential in my life. And yet now they have become merely someone that I used to know. How did that happen? Why do we let some people into our lives for a season and then drift away? Why do others get pushed to the side or left behind?
Every now and again they pop up on Facebook as a potential friend. But if I am honest I know that they are not a friend, but merely someone that I used to know. With time, experience and some wisdom I hope that we get better at relationships. We know how to negotiate the complexities of friendship, romantic love, family feuds and collegiality. We have real boundaries, clear expectations, knowledge of commitment and generous hearts to forgive and persevere when things get hard.
Relationships are hard work. Marriage, parents, children, siblings, girlfriends, colleagues, neighbours. The R factor is important.
This is what I see when I look out of my study window. I love the colour this morning, the dew on the large leaves of the ginger plant, the Japanese Maple looking sumptuous. But I am here for but a moment, checking emails, making a few calls before disappearing into the mundane reality of housework. Bathrooms to clean, bedrooms and living spaces to tidy, de-clutter and reorganise. The washing machine is leaking today – oh, joy! I am hoping it will be a simple Mr Fix it job. Monday mornings are always about putting our house and home back together after a busy weekend. I wonder what joy Monday is going to bring you?