Monday, December 17, 2018

It's Ok To Change Your Mind

Point Nepean National Park photo by Peter McConchie
At 5.30am last Monday, the day we were meant to be going to Fish Creek and staying the night so Sol and River could go to orientation days at their new schools, Pete woke me to talk.

For those of you who have been following along at home or are directly in my real life, you'll know moving to South Gippsland from the Mornington Peninsula has been a huge decision for our family that we've been working toward for months.

I had a tenant lined up for our house on the Peninsula, I had applications in for rental houses in South Gippsland, the boys were all signed up at schools, I was winding up work here and lining up work there, the wheels were fully in motion.

What on earth could Pete want to talk about at that early hour?

It turns out, he had changed his mind.

"It is not the right time for us to be making this move, I can't move the boys from their networks they are happy here and this time is about them not me," he said.

I was stunned. And happy and grateful and concerned and relieved all at once.

But most of all I was actually filled with love for Pete for making such a big call at the eleventh hour and for thinking and feeling so deeply about what we were about to do and putting us first "I'm making a family decision, not a me decision" he said. When it could have in some ways been easier to stay proud in a way and plough on with the decision, purely because that's what we said we were going to do.

And that's why I say it's ok to change your mind.

We don't have anything to prove to anyone our job is to honor what's right for our family hard as that is sometimes, and sometimes that calls for hard decisions being made at the last minute.

And so we are staying. Sol and River will continue their schooling here and we get to continue and strengthen our friendships and work opportunities here.

Gull Crossing photo by Peter McConchie

I haven't told our change of plan to one person yet who has been disappointed we're staying.
In fact with a couple of people it has been a bit like when you break up with someone and then the truth comes out "I never really liked them anyway" which has been kind of funny and comforting that our friends and community are so supportive even when they weren't entirely convinced we were making the right decision to go.

I did have a strange experience leading up to the potential move that I'll tell you now and didn't tell anyone at the time.

I had been having what I thought were heart palpitations accompanied with shortness of breath, although I didn't know exactly what a palpitation felt like I thought that's what I was having, racing heart no pain.

I was hoping they would just go away but after a few days and they weren't going away I thought I'd better get them checked out. My mother did die of a heart attack at 44 after all.

So, one night once Sol and River were in bed I said to Pete, "Now I don't want to alarm you and I know I will but I'm having these weird heart beat things and shortness of breath and I'm going to take myself to the emergency department to get it checked out."

Pete panics at the best of times so this was not an easy thing to tell him but for my own peace of mind - and heart health! - I had to do it. He took it better than I thought he would and I promised to keep him closely updated.

I didn't think I was having a heart attack but was slightly freaked by the sensation.

I arrived at the ER and as soon as you mention the words 'heart palpitations' and 'strong family history of heart disease' you're seen to pretty immediately.

Before I could say 'don't panic' I was in a bed attached to a heart rate monitor having an ECG, blood pressure tested, blood tests being taken and a chest x ray lined up. It was action stations, which in itself was both comforting and disconcerting.

I was wheeled in the bed up to where I would have the chest x ray.

It was a small room, they wheeled the bed in feet first and pushed the bed up feet first up against the wall where I was facing a huge landscape photograph of...Wilson's Promontory National Park, the area we were meant to be moving to.

I was mesmerised. Always one to look for the 'signs' what did this mean? I thought it was weird that they would have a photograph of the Prom on the wall of a Mornington Peninsula hospital.

At first I thought it meant it was a sign that we were on the right track and yes that's where we were meant go.

About a week later I flipped on that idea and decided it was a warning that no we weren't meant to leave what we have here on the Peninsula.

Oh and the heart issue? All they could put it down to was low potassium. They gave me a dreadful tasting potassium drink and told me to eat a few bananas.

Fast forward to today I've had some blood test results and turns out the palpitations and shortness of breath are caused by my extremely low ferritin and iron count so I'll be having an iron transfusion asap.

On a final and seemingly unrelated note I want to share a link to this video over at Marie Forleo TV:

How To Save Your Marriage

Marie Forleo is basically an online business coach who I follow and this video landed in my inbox about a month ago and not that my marriage needs saving I'm always up for learning tips on how to make it easier and better.

This is an hour long video, it is quite academic in parts but I think there are some real wisdom pearls in there and worth a watch.

Hang in there sisters it's a bumpy ride sometimes (life and love) but so worth it.

Thankyou to my darling friends who have supported me so generously and unconditionally over these particular bumps xxx

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Choose Love

My sister-in-law Davini was in New York last week for the US launch of her friend Heather Rose's acclaimed book The Museum of Modern Love.

Heather's novel was inspired by artist Marina Abramovic's 2010 performance 'The Artist is Present' in which Marina silently engaged with members of the audience while seated in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Heather won the 2017 Stella prize for her novel, the judges said:

"It is rare to encounter a novel with such powerful characterisation, such a deep understanding of the consequences of personal and national history, such affection for a city and the people who are drawn to it, and such dazzling and subtle explorations of the importance of art in everyday life."

Which brings me to my next point: art in everyday life.

I've realised a dream of my own this week - not quite at the scale of Heather's magnificent work - but a creative feat that I've put a lot of work into and am thrilled I can finally share it with the world.

And that is the launch of River & Sol Gallery the online home of Pete's extensive collection of beautiful photography taken over the past 25 years, complete with store selling prints, books, cards, limited edition prints and soon to arrive organic cotton t-shirts and tote bags featuring photography.

Inspired by a post Davini shared on Instagram while she was in New York of a neon sign that spelled out CHOOSE LOVE, I've made that the launch code for print purchases on the gallery valid until midnight Friday 7th. 

If you fall in love with a print on the gallery type in CHOOSELOVE at the checkout and receive 20% off your purchase, free shipping in Australia.

Davini going to New York to be with Heather reaffirmed to me that anything is possible in this lifetime. Opportunities and adventures don't end or run out, life continues to expand it doesn't shrink just because we're mums and wives and have responsibilities and people depending on us. We too can spread our wings and fly across the seas to celebrate our friend's successes.

It keeps my faith alive that good things happen when authors like Heather take time to put pen to paper and to follow the story, just trust and have courage to go where the story takes you.

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