The Bottom of the Hill.

Hills and more hills as far as the eye can see.

On the outskirts of town, they ebb and they flow. Looking like a far off distant land you could easily explore and conquer like a Burke and Wills expedition.

Why is it you feel like screaming and crying and dying as you walk up a hill, wanting to stop every breath, every step, but as soon as you stretch your whole body and reach the top, you feel like a queen; an athlete; a champion! Adrenalin pumping through all of the pulsing, hilly veins inside. Wanting to feel this way forever. Hooked.

When my mum was my age, she had birthed and mothered four children. She was in the midst of a life running a household containing a 15-year-old, a 14-year-old, a 10-year-old and a 4-year-old.

She had at 37, already lived in a shack my parents had built with their own hands as newlyweds, on the side of a hill, in the middle of nowhere.

Their first year of marriage and they had no electricity, no indoor toilet a new baby and snakes and spiders to contend with. She was 21. On the side of a hill.

They then went on and raised the rest of their brood, on a huge, flat, dusty property with a long, long dirt driveway. She handled it all bravely. The kids, the cows, the dust, the wheat crops and dad..worrying about the rain, the drought and making ends meet. Despite the flatness there she could still look out across the plains and see hills on the horizon, warily keeping an eye on them – closer then she wanted them to be. She was focused on staying strong and keeping a household running, she had no time to enjoy ups or wallow in downs so she kept charging on and planted her life firmly where it was flat.

I have wondered lately how she coped with it all? She did not have cafe dates with girlfriends, cocktails or book clubs, hiking or wine tasting weekends…or the freedom to throw a tantrum and hurl herself under a mountain of doona to Netflix and chill.

So it is her that I think about now, on the edge of that hill of hers. Her and that incredible strong will, as I face plant my bed and give up.

As I dig my way through all of my hills and tell them to all go to hell.

I am sick of the climb, sick of hurting as I scrape my skin from my legs – only getting half way up before I slide down again in the rubble and rocks and muck, sore from straining my neck to look up and see where I long to be.

I have had enough, so today I quit. I give up, resigning myself to the fact it is too hard to reach the top.

I am sick of the injections, the nausea, the headaches, the cramps, the negatives, the scans, people mourning, dying, leaving my job and trying to stay positive; more scans, more injections, turning around and pregnant bellies and newborn babies everywhere swirling around me, not knowing who I am or where I should be; up the hill, down the hill, round the hill? I am sick of the waiting. Waiting until I am suddenly told I am over the hill and it is too late.

So today I am going to just quit and surround myself with soft hills of pillows and bedding filled with feathers. Diving into doonas, hugging hot water bottles and a call to my mum today because the hill is shitty and she will tell me what to do.

Maybe next week I will feel like I can strap my hiking boots back on ready to go forth again. Maybe I will be surprised by how light those heavy boots suddenly feel.

Maybe by then I will look out across the Autumn afternoon and feel OK when I see those hills on the horizon.

Thinking about how at least I am not on the side of one of them, doing a wee in the dark.

 

Em xoxo

Treasures.

Before there was all of this and things were hard. Before I moved through life tactically and knew about pressure.

There was a large, clunky dress-up trunk, at the back of the sun-soaked kindergarten room.

It had dents in it.

Dents made from my young teacher I now suppose.

As she pulled and pushed it to do something amazingly romantic perhaps – fleeing a Budapest bedsit in the middle of the night, where a lover slept soundly.

Catching a plane, then a train to a dusty country town for a new start. A chance to disappear into something other than herself. Resting it down gently, filled with old costumes, in the midst of my class-roomed world.

 I remember the buttery warmth across the mostly brown room, like yesterday. The trunk itself was often covered with cushions and pillows and packed up tight, which made it always seem even more of a treasure trove; a mystical box that my little hands itched to dive into at all times. When all tasks were done and colours were kept in between lines, Miss Eveleigh gave me the nod I needed.

Silent indications that it was finally time for me to carefully – almost reverently, make my way to that box before anyone else thought twice about it.

A chance to disappear into something other than me.

Children around me picked up fireman hats and stethoscopes, teachers glasses and astronaut suits.

Maybe I should have to.

Instead, I reached like always for the thick, heavy faded wedding gown and fell into it. Dancing around in complete bliss.

I remember it was so scratchy on my skin and so billowy and so big, it was hard to walk in a straight line without stumbling over.

I always picked up a doll; my baby – and felt that was that; ambition recognised. The dress, the kid. I had it all. This was where things were going. Children around me pretending to be surgeons and pilots.

Perhaps I should have to.

Then maybe right now I would be able to breathe in. To not feel the weight of the pressure of a clock booming in my head. To not feel my next birthday approaching like a roaring jumbo jet inbound from Budapest. In the middle of the night, my body dented from pushing and pulling it all around to get where I need to be.

I am running out of time, I can feel myself drowning in layers and layers of white lace and billowy fabric, clutching on to imaginary babies for dear life.

To discover you only have a finite time to turn make-believe real; a hard punch to not fall down in a heap from. To realise it may not happen, makes me wish I never wanted it at all. In my head, I now have 2 years left. 2 years to find the treasure, the trunk and pull all I want from it.

What an unrealistic time frame I have managed to set myself.

What a time for wishing I could easily disappear into something other than this.

Why am I suddenly a 37-year-old pirate digging for treasure?

Em

xoxo

From the Tips of My Toes.

Baby Ruby holding Scott's hand

 

I have so much love inside me.

It starts from the very tips of my toes and reaches all the way up to the hair on my head.
It has always been there.
It sits and it waits for you.
I promise I have been very patient..and positive, even mostly upbeat while I have waited, for so long now I forget where I end and you start.

I have watched everyone else around me meet their little joys.

I have lived vicariously through them, cuddling my nieces and nephews as much as I could. Hoping that feeling of being someone’s mother, sprinkles on to me a little bit each time.

I have tried everything to get you here.

Distracting myself in hopes you would pop up one day and say ‘Surprise’! Trying to pour the love I am keeping for you onto your Daddy, on to friends and family and their children….even the cat, but there it still sits, stubbornly knowing it is only for you.

I have tried lots of tricks to bring you along that little bit faster.
Some of these tricks have made me very sick, some had me doing very strange things and some made me feel prodded and poked like a pin cushion. All of it worthwhile to see your face, your little fingers and chubby legs.

I do not know how it is possible, but I do completely already love you – without you ever even existing. I have picked out your name, and it is as beautiful and strong as you will be my love. I have already guessed your hair colour; auburn like Mummy, and your eyes, beautiful blue with flecks of green like Daddy. The way your soft cheeks flush hot and red when you are tired. The way your little hands feel as they take mine.

I smile for you. I grieve for you. I crave for you more then I have ever craved anything.

I think about you all the time now too. For a while it was every now and then. Little tiny thoughts and wishes I dared to conjure, a soft and breezy whisper; now though it is a tornado whirling around in my head over and over.
Even though my whole body painfully aches for you, the thought of you actually appearing is quite incomprehensible. Because you see, I dream of you but I also dream about lots of things that won’t ever come true.. so I worry you won’t either. To have you would be like winning a lottery, and I am just worried that I am not that lucky.

I watch people with their little ones, and how they almost take for granted how easily they came to them. They simply thought it and it happened. Photo frames on desks of camping trips and seaside adventures; children’s smiles taunting me with their easiness and regularity…reminding me what is normal for everyone else on the planet but me it sometimes seems.

I also think of you a lot when your amazingly, fantastical Daddy does something that is kind and lovely for someone. You are really going to love him. He wants you to arrive just as much as I do and I am just so excited for you to know his love. It feels like a warm, sparkly summers day. How lucky are you.
When I am feeling more positive and sure you will come, I daydream about what it would feel like to look down and see the swell of my tummy. To feel you growing and moving inside of me, protected and loved so much already. Hearing your little heart beat.
Finally the relief washing over me knowing everything was going to be OK.
Knowing I was not a failure.
Knowing I too would be a member of a club I have longed to join forever and a day.
Knowing I have succeeded in giving Daddy and I everything we ever wanted all wrapped up into one little being.

I have spent many years watching many women who had come before me, their belly’s swollen for a time before they got their tiny wish granted. I was happy for them, while distracted with all that youth brings, never noticing how quietly time ticked on and days turned to night. I had all the time in the world I said. I had many mountains to conquer before you would come…
Soon women in my life who came after me, started to have swollen belly’s too and so then came the fear. Despite this fear that surges in the dead of the night, I do deep down believe we will meet some day little one. I hope it is soon.

I hold on to this love for you, like a keepsake box filled with many things. Our first touch, skin on skin. Your first suckle. The first time you cry for me. The first time you smile for me. Our first book we read together in your room; in our house; in our life we have made ourselves with that same tornado of love that now churns out of my body releasing it all around you.

In the meantime, if you do hear me cry at night, just please know that I do a lot more smiling then it looks, just sometimes…sometimes the pain and fear of never seeing you or holding you is too much to bear. I really want you to know no matter how hard it has been for us; all this waiting and pleading to the universe for you; it was all worth it, every second of it. I would do it all again, for you.
Even if you never come. We love you, so quite simply and surely, we had to try.
I know we will be OK; we will find some other way to use this love we have for you. But for now there is hope and hope will do me just fine.

So, I sit and I wait. Filled with love,

from the tips of my toes to the hair on my head.

Too much to camambert.

Saying goodbye is never easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things us emotionally frail humans are forced to endure.

I have said goodbye to a lot of things in my life, friendships, jobs, homes, pets, George Michael’s heterosexuality, the 90’s tv show Felicity…nope, nope, actually that one still hits a raw nerve.

cast_newfelicitytyt

But this week I have had to say goodbye to one of the best friends I have ever known. Wait. First, let me dim the lights and cue Sarah McLachlan’s ‘ I Will Remember You’.

 

Ok, where were we? I say best friend, however, the reason for me letting it go is because it really hasn’t been good to me at all. Sure they provided comfort, blissfully bitey times and an awakening to so many new experiences and tastes, but not without the bad stuff too…digestive bad stuff. I won’t go into it, but let’s just say it was one of those trips to the chemist where you keep your sunglasses on and buy hand cream and cotton balls to hide the real reason you are there, you know…rhymes with shonstipation…

Oh the pain is too much to bear, (no, not my downstairs problems, we have moved on). What will I do without a weekend cheese board with blue vein, fromart, goats cheese and brie? A slice of Gouda or a bite of Jarlsberg here and there, yes as hard as it is to decree;

I HAVE SAID GOODBYE TO BELOVED CHEESE!!

ron b

I am taking deep breaths and doing what grown ups do. Making sacrifices for the good of my health, so it’s time to put down the kraft cheese single and embrace all things Paleo! YAY! I am, what sophisticated circles are calling ‘a Paleoist’. I think I just made up a word?

The excitement of this cheesy epiphany has caused me to get ahead of myself, so let’s take a step back.

It has been a busy few weeks here in Casa De Brooker. Nothing really spectacular or out of the ordinary but busy; oh yeah, I did do that one cartwheel upstairs on our new temptingly empty, springy carpeted living room and was pretty fricking chuffed with myself. ..but aside from that not much else to report on.

On the non-spectacular, nothing out of the ordinary front, I have been busily writing a bajillion job applications whilst dealing with the prospect I am unemployed and no one seems to think I am marvelous enough to hire. In the moments I get away from my laptop I am usually found raiding our kitchen pantry from boredom and trying to see if I can make a procrastination snack with only home brand cooking chocolate, peanut butter and cruskits.

There is a silver lining though, and hence my reason for this very post!

Whilst being unemployed does crush the soul and creates a black hole of dirt poor we are slowly sinking into. I also see a teeny, tiny grain of fantastic in my current predicament. I have had the chance to really focus on me. Which is something apparently everyday folk don’t get a good go at, when stupid annoying things like jobs and children get in the way.

SO quick history lesson, I completed a program that saw me lose 16 kilos about 9 months ago and I had to ditch it for various health issues, thus gaining back 5 quite quickly, I KNOW sucks right….the life of someone with PCOS. *sad face.

Oh yeah, I have Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. (boooo) It’s the non ‘cysts on the ovaries’ kind, for the record my ovaries are pink and pretty and just dandy (yaaaaay).

SO because of the PCOS that raids my body, I started reading A LOT  and conducting my own research project with all my spare time, and in a nutshell, paleo is awesome for fat PCOS sufferers wanting to get knocked up,..so paleo shall be my religion!!  Please don’t ask me what PCOS is kids, because I was kinda too busy in my doctor’s office when she was explaining it to me, staring at that plastic vagina trying to memorize it, so I could check mine out later at home and see if it looked the same. Feel free to google it ..google away…PCOS, NOT MY VAGINA!!!

All I do know is a lot of studies have been done and sweet, innocent unsuspecting dairy is apparently a big iron poker to the flame that is my PCOS and said fatness.

Can I do it? Can I cut the cheese..wait, what?

Look I sure hope I can, I have already pretty much cut grains and sugars (“pretty much” legally covers me if you happen to come across me inhaling a sugar sandwich in a dark alleyway somewhere), so I am willing to give it a red hot go!

I will touch base and let you all know how it goes. I have the shakes already and I only started an hour ago. I had Parmesan sprinkled on my salad for dinner (pffff Parmesan doesn’t count, it’s a definitely a condiment, not a cheese).

I am so proud of myself at the moment I really am.

 

It is so completely worth making these small sacrifices for a bit of health and wellness.

But..if you do ever see me in a baseball cap and sunglasses ordering a pizza or cheese sandwich, just know it’s me having an off day and give me a wave.

Em x

Classic-cheeseboard-002

Come on, talk to me…give me some inspiration! Have you ever had to give up something you loved? Can it be done?