“Stop and smell the roses, once in a while” echoes in my head from a time gone past. I sit in my concrete-car-park-of-a-back-yard with the sunshine beaming in and ponder this statement. My roses are doing really well with the good rain fall this week. It does not take much to please my roses – they must think their Christmases have come at once when it rains … since I am a poorly behaved garden waterer! Given also to the fact that Bill, my handyman, has not been here for 6 weeks or so, they have been allowed to grow randomly. Mr Lincoln is as tall as the neighbour’s gutter now and chooses to flower at the top so I cannot take him inside to admire! Typical bloke!
The one puddle in the dip of my concrete shimmers an invitation to swim. My old feline girl, Queen Olivia, loves to drink puddle water; I suspect the rainwater tastes better than the tap. A bit more nourishing and less chemically enhanced. Last rain fall we had I watched her wander through the water sipping at it like champagne. She obviously had a brain freeze for a moment as she decided to lay down but forgot she was still in the puddle. Her facial expression was priceless!
The sun has warmed my body well and as I escape to the shade of my pencil pine (well, it’s big enough for my baby feline Princess Willow Rose), I relish this time I have had to STOP and smell the roses, even if they are out of reach. It is only Week 4 for me (in time of business closure due to COVID-19 restrictions) and the Government promised financial support is still a theory. I am told mid-May is Pay Day and in my mind that will coincide with the May 11th revaluation of our Emergency Status. I can hear the Government saying “OK, we are all good now. You can go back to work. Our financial assistance will cease in 48 hours!”. But I am not ready for that. Firstly, I want/need the promised money that by then should be around $7500 in back-pay. That is about 18 weeks of mortgage if nothing else. It could be 17 weeks of mortgage and a good grocery shop! It could be 16 weeks of mortgage, a good grocery shop and some winter clothes to fit my fattening body!
I am eating less, I have found, and that is because I have a lower appetite. I suspect the decrease in physical exercise of my work as a massage therapist, that has not only improved my skin tremendously, also leaves me craving less fuel. However, eating twice a day out of sink with the rising and setting sun does not increase the chances weight will drop off. In fact, I think that is where my problem lays – an 11am breakfast and 4pm lunch/dinner, while it certainly saves time, does not work with the natural digestive processes of the human body. Who needs to save time anyway? I have all the time in the world (for now).
I have been using my time wisely I would say. I have been considering how my life will look come Spring, when I expect my business will return to service. If the financial support is withdrawn before that, maybe I will not last the Winter through, hibernating in the warmth of my cave. But assuming I do make it through to Spring, ‘what will I do with the remaining 48 years of my life?’ I ask myself. Well, when you give it that solid a time frame it seems like no time to waste doing what you do not want to do!! To break it down further my mortgage commitment is until I am 75 so retiring before that will take a miracle (or marriage to a man with money ... or a Tattslotto win, that I fear is the most likely of the 3) which means at least 23 years of continued business or employment. That will then give me 25 years of … sitting around … doing what I am doing now, in fact! Enjoy this time now as the next “holiday” is 23 years away!
That is not to say that the first 20 years of my business is “what I do not want to do”. It may not be exactly what I want but it did achieve what I created it for and it is not too far from it now. Given the changes I have caused the last couple of years including my up-qualifications in Ayurveda, my specialist research/online courses and workshops for a future as a Birth Doula and Postpartum Care Doula ... along with the “flying of the nest” by a number of my health professionals and so reducing the wide array of services The Health Exchange has offered … I suspect the Universe is trying to tell me to shift my sails more North, if north is my True North (sorry to use the housing development slogan).
A couple of years ago, as part of my life review at the age of 50, I created a vision for a future where children’s hospitals were closing wings because there were not enough sick children to fill them! In business the adage “build it and they will come” is commonly used and this is how I feel children’s hospitals have been. Millions upon Millions of dollars are raised every year for Children’s Hospitals and it gets bigger upon bigger and we have more upon more sick children! This is just my observation, of course. That was why I wanted to work with the challenge of sick children from the other end of the spectrum - before being conceived, during their time in utero and certainly the first 12 weeks of their life – through enhancing the health of their Mother!
My commitment to this work has not waned. My commitment to providing Massages has not waned either. But maybe, after supporting 40 health professionals to get their business off the ground … maybe this is one of my arms to be amputated. 40 businesses in 20 years is not a bad statistic! That does not include the number of people I have given employment to, or work experience, as a Receptionist. While I did enjoy this arm of my service, I felt under appreciated by those who “jumped ship” with the health professionals “who flew the nest”. There are probably only 4 or so for the 50 people I estimate who have passed through the doors of The Health Exchange, who have cut my soul with a knife … and then there is the one who penetrated my heart with a sword (and twisted it) with her reaction to my question of what it was like being pregnant – “FINE if you don’t mind being FAT” she threw. “Then I’d be OK with that,” I replied with my size 18, 39-year-old body and no sight of ever having the privilege to create a human. “Hormones” was the excuse another colleague used to explain this woman’s attack. That is only something that could come from the mouths of women who do not know what it is like to be on the other side of “correct weight”. Now I have worked more closely with pregnant women and mothers I banish the thought that a human being in your belly could be “fat”, emotional changes or not! How dare your mother call you her fat? When you look at it that way, hopefully no pregnant woman ever thinks of her creation of life in that way (again, hormonally charged or not!).
Anyway, I think I have side-tracked again. This writing has been a good cathartic exercise in letting the volcanoes of my past erupt … and feel like they have been heard.
Smelling the roses, that is where I was. The next 23 years at a minimum, that is where my thinking is …
I was on the RMIT website, just because I am on their emailing list. I found a course called Certificate IV in Screen and Media. Then I discovered the Associate Degree in Screen and Media Production. Then ... the Diploma of Screen and Media and then the Advanced Diploma in Screen and Media. Oh, the choices! I will need to speak to them to find out which would be best for me. Most are 1 year, with one for 2 years. One is the pre-requisite for the other which will make it 2 courses in 2 years … While not the same path to my True North, can it not be slightly North-East? Or, North-South if there was such a direction?
In January 1986 when my HSC result arrived in the post and I saw that my Anderson Score was below entry to Nursing, I pulled out the list of all courses available and shimmied down the cut off score to then look across and see what course I could do with such a number. I called Gippsland Institute of Technology about their Social Science Course to be told that 6 points below their score made me ineligible. Wagga Wagga was offering a Film & Television Course, so I rang them to enquire but they did not answer the phone. I got through to Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education for their Social Science Course and was welcomed in with open arms by a high-pitched woman with excitement. I always wondered if Wagga Wagga answered the phone, what my life would look like now.
I had been introduced to a video camera in 1980 by my father who had a career in the 1960’s as a Motion Picture Camera Man. He basically made the news reels and the like shown in Cinemas before the affordability of buying your own television came into existence! I consider film work in my DNA as well as my life experience from age 12. Gosh, that is 40 years ago! About time I answered its call, hey? Maybe that is the next direction … while still heading North!
Is there any reason one cannot split their career in two directions? I think I have grown up in a time when a full-time job was the goal and that meant you could only do one ‘full time’ thing at a time. For men that may be true and surely my generation is from a patriarchally dominated time? (Most) Women have always split their careers by being a full time Mother and part time or full time employee in some paying capacity. Since being a Mother is an unpaid career option it does not really get factored in. I could write a whole other Blog about men who are full time Dad’s but I had to delete the 1000 or so words I just started, as I am not going to present that losing side of the argument here. If you really want me to I can write the ‘other blog’ that attempts to defend their position of “equal” parenting but sadly it will end with the comment most women I hear say that goes something like: “My husband is really good … he takes the rubbish out”.
This blog will not be taken over by that hidden volcano in my head about equality of the sexes that does not exist and probably should never exist. The closing remark on this I will make is that women have two X Chromosomes and men have one X, backed up by a puny Y Chromosome which has led to Freud’s “Vagina Envy” theory turned into a “Penis Envy” and so the push by men to dominate the world! Full stop!
Where was I? Yes, 23 years of working life ahead of me! Great opportunity to pick up the loose ended dreams I have carried and tie them into the winning dream! With a timeline like that I am motivated to really see my life shine and be able to lay on my death bed (after my 100th Birthday) and declare “I should have worked more!!”.
Miss Sophia Cull Ayurvedic Traditional Medicine Woman | Doula | Pregnancy Massage Practitioner | Massage Therapist | Writer | Poet | Film Maker