It’s taken me a while to muster up the courage (and the energy) to write this post. I’m treating the text over the next few paragraphs as cathartic: if you’re still with me, buckle in…
To say that 2017 was a rather shit year, would be an understatement. On reflection, I’m not really sure how I survived. Actually, I’m not sure how anyone within proximity to me survived.
To be fair, it wasn’t all bad, but it was pretty shit. A couple of highlights stand out. As mentioned in my first post of 2018, I finally graduated from uni (a round of applause, please). And, I made some new friends (who I shall call here – Eagle Girl, Swinger and the Ornithologist). If I’m honest, that motley crew certainly contributed to me maintaining my sanity last year (and, at times, to varying levels, each also contributed to some craziness as well). I love the three of them dearly. Other than that, 2017 is a year I am incredibly happy to see the back of.
Where do I start? Ah, work: Work was nuts. As in, completely and utterly mental. It was the most challenging period of my professional existence. I have never experienced such complete chaos and Machiavellian behaviour (I learnt a couple of new tricks – jokes!). I witnessed, and was exposed to, some of the greatest narcissism I have ever seen – that still blows my mind. Of the four of us (Eagle Girl, Swinger, the Ornithologist, and I), none of us lasted more than 21 months (me), with Eagle Girl pulling up stumps at five months. In that short time, we also said goodbye to some other great capability losing colleagues who had also clocked up short tenure for the very same reasons (PT, Shrek, Statler & Waldorf, and others). For mere survival purposes, much alcohol was consumed throughout 2017. My liver is grateful to have the opportunity to dry out. Coupled with chaos, narcissism and Machiavellianism, I also wrapped up my studies. In my infinite wisdom, I thought it would be smart to complete my last four units of my final year in semester 1, 2017. In future I would possibly reconsider that decision….but, go hard or go home.
Resigning was empowering. It also led to the first period of not working (apart from maternity leave – and that shit is hard work!) I’ve had since I entered the workforce. Did I handle that as well as I could have? Probably not. Though, I did spend many days enjoying scrubs and massages at day spas. My offspring enjoy telling anyone that will listen that I didn’t really cook them dinner over that three month period (I call bullocks).
In addition, I quite possibly did not enjoy the prospect of also turning 40…in some circles, one might consider I displayed symptoms of a ‘mid-life crisis’. I may have dropped my bundle for a little while. Just no young blondes or red sports cars to speak of.
Offspring/Trolls: Well, they have a way about them to let you know you’re alive, don’t they? Other than being taught the incredibly valuable lesson by the Pink Grommet that I can’t live the life I wished for through her; we went a few rounds with the Blue one (who I will now refer to as The Bull…quite fitting given his approach to life and his cricket).
To suggest the Devil and I have both been left a little emotionally battered and bruised after 2017, would be an understatement. Our not-so-small blue human has pushed us, stretched us and tested us in ways I never comprehended were possible…until I had children. He has made his fair share of really dumb choices, and worn the consequences. Choices that have taught him valuable lessons that neither the Devil or I were obviously capable of teaching him.
However, he has also really struggled, which, if you ever have the pleasure of meeting the little treasure, would strike you as surprising. Our beautiful boy has been bullied most of his time at high school. That is three freaking years of our lives. It started in year 7 with a science project (that he received a really good grade for!), and spiraled from there. While his physical successes have made him a ‘tall poppy’ the children have been utterly cruel. I have learnt that bullies will sniff out any sign of weakness and hunt it down until they succeed in their endeavours to alienate the weak. We did everything from trying to teach our boy to turn a blind eye, the old saying ‘sticks and stones blah blah, but words will never hurt me’…I call bullshit. I honestly think the words are the most hurtful and can leave the deepest scars. We suggested to our boy that he not talk about things that gave the perception of weakness. We kept trying to tell him to modify his ways…that was until he tried to take his own life. On more than one occasion.
I could go on and on about the experience, but I will spare you the tears and sleepless nights. All I can say is: Fuck you 2017.
If you have made it this far, you may be pleased to know he has turned a corner. He is incredibly focused on his cricket (hello 130 runs from 45 balls, and a few not outs, and a wicket or two for good measure), spending countless hours in the nets these holidays. He has his aspirations, most of which we will support if he knuckles down and applies himself to his school work as well. He has a lovely group of friends, and they in turn have lovely families who we have the pleasure of spending our summer weekends with. He is an awesome kid (I’m his mother – of course he is!), and he is going to turn out just fine.
I’ll chalk 2017 up to experience. I’m only going to carry into 2018 the things that make me happy and leave the rest by the wayside. 2018 is shaping up to be a good year. New job, new hair cut, great friends and they are still making champagne. What more can a girl want?