My posts are sad and/or thoughtful lately šŸ˜³

I think I need to start posting daily again to get some balance lol. Please know that I am okay. My blog is a collection of my thoughts and perceptions to help others feel less alone. Yes, I’m impacted by my life but I’m usually good. And I’m definitely a happy person. What I post is real but the posts are snapshots. 

Now, having said that …

One of my friends is in the process of miscarrying and my heart is breaking for her. We have no real control over such things and it just sucks. Especially right at Christmas, the time for children. It’s hard not being a mum. 

I still struggle being around small children. I love them. And it is like knives slowly twisting through my heart as I interact with them. 

I will never have that. 

Never share the giggles and smiles of my child as they explore their world. Or hold their hand and them close when they are scared. 

Spending time with children at Christmas is soooooooooo hard for me. I used to imagine and daydream setting up the tree, wrapping presents late at night to give Santa a hand, being woken up ridiculously early when children realise Santa has been. 

I’ve banned Christmas for myself this year except for Christmas movies. I’m also contemplating (every day) putting the tree up. I’ve banned it partly because I’ve grown to dislike December and mostly because of the extreme consumerism that I am also guilty of. 

But also because it reminds me that I’m not a mum. 

I will unban it if my foster care application is approved but probably won’t if it isn’t. 

We do Kris Kringle in my faculty. I was blessed to receive notice that my Kris has donated in my name to an adult literacy program for women in the third world. 

Perfect. 

We need more of this. 

I assure you I am happy. 

When things don’t go your way

It is very easy to stop breathing and sulk. But I think I’m almost perfectly to the point where I perceive every ‘failure’ as a different opportunity. I still feel the sadness and the loss, but I quickly move beyond that to a place of calm. 

Recently I applied for a job that I really wanted. I didn’t even get an interview. Initially I felt the sting. But it didn’t last because a couple of days later a much better opportunity presented itself. 

I find that this has always happened. 

I couldn’t conceive with IVF so I’ve moved into fostering. If I am unsuccessful there I will apply to do my doctorate in writing. 

I have found that having many different goals, many different plans, affords me with the freedom now to not get stuck. I keep moving forward. Sometimes I move slower, but my pace will always pick up when it is ready to. 

I have also developed my trust in fate, for want of a better word. 

I am, and I am going, exactly where I am meant to be/go. If something goes wrong, if something is delayed, there is a reason. And that reason is that I am meant to be elsewhere. I trust …

Ironically. 

The Tide of ChangeĀ 

I’m not sure where this post is heading which pretty much goes against how I usually construct these. There is so much going on in and through my head at the moment. 

I hurt my back yesterday. I am in pain today. Ebbs and flows. Incapacitation. Hurts to sit, hurts to stand, hurts to lie down. Bizarre place to be in. 

There are so many people having babies or falling pregnant at the moment. Also a bizarre place to be in. It’s been almost fourteen months since my last failed IVF attempt and almost nine months since I decided to stop by not accepting my sister’s offer of donated eggs. Mostly due to finances and future quality of life. 

I still twinge though, every time I see a pregnant woman or hear of a pregnancy; I’ve only not felt that once in almost six years. I sometimes wonder if it will ever stop, hoping that it does. 

I have locked in the dates for my foster care assessments and training sessions. 

When you struggle with fertility everyone says that foster care is there as an alternative. Even I have said it. But what I am realising is that it isn’t an alternative to being a birth parent. There is nothing that is. 

And that’s okay. 

But I’m going to stop suggesting it that way. It is a completely different scenario. A completely different mindset is required. 

You aren’t a parent, you are a carer. You have the responsibility of raising a child and providing them with opportunities, but they are not your child. They are in your care. Not yours. 

And I’m good with this. I’m looking forward to providing a child with opportunities they currently don’t have access to. I’m looking forward to inspiring them to heal and to be all that they can be. I’m looking forward to building a family. A modern family. And I’m okay with what it is. 

I think realising and acknowledging the difference has been important for me. I was always so worried that I wouldn’t cope if I had to give the child back. Now I understand that that would be okay; in ideal circumstances that would be the best for the child and my impact isn’t lessened even if a child’s time with me is short. 

They are not my child. They do not belong to me. Realistically, no person belongs to another. But I needed to really get this before I could proceed. So I am grateful that I finally understand that. 

And so, the sting continues. 

But now, as a result of missing out, I try to put my needs first. I don’t often succeed at this point, and when I do, I often feel guilty. But I am a work in progress, hurtling towards evolution … Happily. 

Nervousness

I have received contact from Fostering Young Lives; about to confirm my appointment times throughout December and January for the continuation of the application process to become a foster carer. 

And I am so nervous. 

The unknown does that. Insert nervous giggle. 

I am sure that I could be a good foster parent. I think I have resolved most of my issues as a human being. At least enough to make healthy decisions regarding parenting responsibilities. 

I think I am nervous because whilst I feel I will be accepted as a carer, I know nothing beyond that. And there is always a fear that I could be a bad carer, that it will be way too hard, and that maybe I’m not ready to sacrifice the freedom of my life. 

All big questions, and funnily enough, the same questions and fears I had throughout my IVF cycles if I became pregnant and carried successfully to term. 

My logic says that the fears and questions are sensible, even healthy, and so if I am questioning but continuing the process, then it will be okay because this is the path that I am meant to be on. Realistically, the path that I continue to choose to be on. 

I really am grasping my life and giving it a good shake. 

And it’s empowering more than nerve wracking. But the nerves are there. So many unknowns. 

Will I be at my school next year? Will I start my business by running my first workshops next year? Will I become a foster carer next year? Will I be successful? Will one happy? 

What I do know is that life is incredibly short. And none of us know what tomorrow will bring or when we will take our last breath. And that it is our individual responsibility to be the best we can be and to live the best life we can live. 

I feel that I am succeeding in trying. 

Fear is not crippling me. 

A Fostering UpdateĀ 

I am still processing … 

On Monday afternoon I hosted the assessor, a prac student and lovely Vessna from The Benevolent Society for my first at home visit in the fostering application process. I was nervous. I can control 600 teenagers easily but not a three year old dog that I have raised. Doesn’t look good lol šŸ˜³. 

It was intensive. We discussed why I want to foster and went into detail. Still processing and I really am struggling to recall and/or find the words. I am making it an overwhelming process hehe, but in fairness to me, only because I hate failing and I struggle that I failed at becoming a birth mum. Even though I truly believe this is my path. 

The appointment lasted for two and a half hours. The girls are all lovely and I am very grateful for that. 

We discussed components of my Life Story and my current work as a teacher, and all the way through I tried to provide examples from my life and my practice to support my responses. I think I am taking it all a bit too seriously. 

I think I am at peace … finally … at accepting that even if I only have a foster child for a short period of time, I will have made a positive impact. And that lasts forever. I can live with that. 

It is unlikely I will, if successful, foster a 0-4 year old. Changes in Australian adoption legislation ensure that this age range is more available for adoption rather than long term foster care, and I also think I am alright with that. I am really maturing into this as time passes. And I am grateful for the slow pace because I am able to process and question thoroughly. 

The girls informed me on Monday that whilst they interview me and take extensive notes, they needed to meet with the main assessor for approval to take me to the next phase. They try to ensure that everything is covered comprehensively to ensure success at Panel – where the ultimate decision is made regarding my suitability to become a foster carer. 

Today I found out that I have been approved to go through to the next phase. Sam, my assessor, will contact me to organise the next appointment. 

Maybe I am going to get the opportunity to be a ‘mum’. 

Today

and I am truly back to me. It’s been an interesting day. 

I decided to drive to Liverpool this morning to drop in the originals of my application to become a foster carer so that The Benevolent Society could witness my 100 points of identification. A quick trip. Culminating in a timeline. 

By the end of this month, Vesna will contact me to organise the first of five home visits. My completed application and their reports should go before the panel in January. I will know by end of January, and then it is just waiting for a child/children to be placed with me. If I am successful. When I am successful. 

I went to school to do some work in readiness for Tuesday and for starting in a new staffroom. Just for the first three weeks. All of my units for this term are ready to be printed for the kids. Every single one. There will still be bits and pieces but I don’t have any real school work to do for three days! There are things I could do but nothing I have to do. 

And then mum and I had lunch at the Art Centre; well worth visiting the cafe there. 

Home to call the University of Wollongong’s Head of Postgraduate Courses in the Arts Faculty to enquire about the potential of completing my Doctorate. I thought I would be knocked back completely. Instead, I should apply and detail the research I completed in my Masters. They will accept me into the Doctorate or an integrated Masters/Doctorate or my Master in Philosophy. 

And then I started reading Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic. I have been looking at it for so long but knew I had to achieve my school work, foster care application, business things, and my doctorate enquiries before I was permitted to read. 

What a glorious day! A day of rewards and bliss. 

And Tina is back. 

Yay!  

Today

Last night, after applying for and receiving my ABN, and initiating the process to register my business name, sending the appropriate paperwork to my boss to acknowledge and seek approval for secondary employment, and joining a few other online business tools, I ordered some stationery. 

Working out exactly how I will run the first course is tiring work. I have bought some books on writing as therapy and have commenced reading them. I have decided to trial a six week course, or three half day weekend workshops next year. Each participant will receive a journal and pen, and obviously, my expertise and support. And that’s as far as I have gone. 

I googled the application process for University of Wollongong Doctor of Creative Arts and Doctor of Philisophy in Creative Arts. The latter is more likely to permit me access. But they also might not. I have started to formulate a focus – creative non-fiction/the therapeutic value of Life Writing – you get the gist. Early stages. 

I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted. Life change and taking control to force change is tiring lol. I dreamed last night. Vivid dreams about work and about starting the term as Head Teacher Mathematics until another staff member gets back from leave. The Maths Faculty will walk in on Tuesday to find me there. 

And unbelievably, I am nervous. Twenty seconds of courage. I will go in this week to sort my stuff out so that I am prepared, as well as I can be. 

And so I woke several times throughout the night and my eyes were so tired this morning. I fell asleep on the lounge for five hours. I woke at 1:30 this afternoon and my pets were also napping – a happy home lol. 

I need to finish my fostering application tonight. Ready to send it tomorrow morning. 

Then I need to finish sorting the house out, write two units of work, and complete some assignments in my Children’s Writing Course. The next one is almost done. 

My head and heart are stronger. 

It has taken time. But not as long as it could have. 

This time I need to ensure my boundaries and prioritise myself. 

I have got this …
                                             I think. 

Highly Eventful Day

I have decided to grab my life by the horns and really start to live it again, like I did when I was young. I’m shaking my snow globe and daring the flakes to settle in new patterns. 

Today was my initial business consultation. It went exceptionally well. I have an action plan to follow, starting with applying for an ABN and then registering my business name (and trademarking it so that it can act as an asset – yep, I learned heaps). 

After that I drove to Bargo to pick my brother up and take him to the University of Wollongong for his Early Admission interview (which went well). As we were waiting I said to him, “I miss studying. I want to study again.” 

Uh oh. 

I looked up their Post Graduate courses. They offer a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Arts) and a Doctor of Creative Arts. I have read the requirements; I am not sure that I meet them. 

But, twenty seconds of courage, and I have enquired. I am going to apply. It doesn’t cost anything except courage. I am going to focus on the therapeutic value of creative writing/life writing. 

This connects to the first phase of my business plan. The first phase of my business plan also then provides research participants for my research. 

Synchronicity or what. Boom. 

Add to that my foster care application. 

And I am making dreams come true in every direction. 

Self-empowerment. 

That’s the way to go … Following my bliss. 

Life is gonna change. 

Being a mum … StillĀ 

I just started to watch tonight’s episode of Australian Story, recorded because I wasn’t sure I would be able to sit through the whole thing in one sitting, and I was right. 

The urge to be a mother can be so primal. I was forced to think of the entirety of my journey to motherhood thus far, including the life choices I made to be in the position of needing to use fertility treatments. 

The most incredible part is that desire, deep seated longing, to become a mum. I cry it is so fierce. I know that my best chance of being a mum for a young child all the way through is through foster care. I am okay with that. Now. 

But I really feel like I need to let other people know how hard it is emotionally to see other people with their own children; a constant reminder that as a woman I was inadequate. A failure. 

And before you jump telling me that I’m not a failure and far from inadequate, I need you to hear what I’m saying. Logically I know that I’m not too. But that means nothing. Or very little. At the end of the day, you have had what I don’t. 

I am working to change that. 

And at some point, my home will be filled with children. 

But it isn’t yet. 

I’m at peace with my path. But it still hurts. That yearning unfulfilled … Cries. 

Day 6 100 Happy Days

Day 6:

The seasons are a metaphor for life. Spring – new life, hope, promise, potential, growth. 
  
For me, especially during life’s darker times, I have found it helpful to break time down into chunks. Every new year, every season, every month, week, day, even hour, is a new opportunity. And within that moment or chunk of time, lies hope and promise. 

Whilst we can’t control everything, we shouldn’t lose sight of what we can control. 

We control our responses. And from that, we control our moments. 

And it is easier to know this, when we are happy and life is alright or good. It is more important for us to remember and realise it in our darker times. 

So many children and adults seem to be suffering from anxiety and depression, increasingly as the months roll on, and whilst there is less of a stigma, people still don’t know how to be there for others, and so it becomes the burden of each person to heal themselves. And this isn’t easy to do when the mere thought of getting out of bed seems insurmountable. 

Focusing time into chunks has always helped me. Immersing myself in nature is grounding. Practicing gratitude and meditation helps my brain find the path back to balance. And making time just for me is vital. 

This last part I have struggled with this time. But I am building to it. And I will somehow resolve the guilt that it inevitably brings. But I need to do it. I need to be strong again through balance when I go back to work. It will be a hard term, harder if I don’t start it well within myself. 

I am putting shelves up in the laundry to be able to sort out the spare room. Cleaning out the garage and storage in the laundry will enable this. 

I was sitting in the spare room not long ago, and I started to think about where a bed might go, hoping that my fostering application will be approved. The room needs some life, an inhabitant, to bring it into this home. 

I am really excited about the potential of that, of a family growing in this home, beyond my fur family. I can imagine a child playing, a child healing, a child knowing and believing that their darkest days are behind them. Here, they will grow, they will heal, and I will grow. 
I don’t expect it will be easy. Not at all. But eventually there will be more happy than sad, even if it’s only by a little. 

That is my hope.