For the longest time I didn't post because I didn't feel I had anything of value to say - I was unemployed, looking for work, feeling useless and frustrated. I thought I would start posting again when I found work and felt less empty, but even when I found work in February (almost six months ago, how time flies) there still seemed to be nothing to say. We'd started having some bereavement counseling through Christ Church, and the issue of my unemployment (and unemployability it felt at the time) dominated every session to the point where I really didn't feel it had any value to me at all. The only positive thing that did come from it was that my counsellor suggested (near insisted) that I needed to have someone to talk to (about Zoe, but also about life in general) and so my brother and I started meeting up for coffee on a weekly basis, and those times were very valuable and precious.
Starting work has been good for me in a lot of ways - the staff at Rustenburg have been very welcoming and I have felt comfortable far, FAR faster than I ever thought possible. I've always taken months, if not YEARS, to feel truly comfortable in a new environment, and within weeks, I had told the group of staff I sit with about her, wept with another member of staff over her and invited a bunch of them to our house for a braai. Inconceivable!! I have managed to make a positive impact there, as I am quite different (both in character and aptitude) to my predecessor and so have been able to do things that have simply needed a fresh pair of eyes and yet made a significant difference in the school's life. And so I feel valued and important, which has been crucial for my self esteem.
Life at home has gone through ups and downs, with Nicole working harder than ever before - dividing herself between school, home, the business and study. Sometimes she manages, sometimes not, and sometimes I have felt like I'm at the bottom of the To-Do list... Janel has gone through phases of not wanting me to do ANYTHING for her and screaming for Mommy if I so much as try. Having said that, she has also gone through phases where I'm flavour of the month instead, so that cuts both ways. Money has been tight, got better and is tight again as Lovely Laities starts gathering steam - and now we start thinking about buying a second car and renovating our house in Field Close!!
Health has been pretty horrid of late as well - I got a cold in June, which ended up as pneumonia by August, after two weeks in bed, I was ready to climb the walls, so went back to work, probably earlier than I should and picked up another cold, which I have yet to shake off, but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse either...
My faith has pretty much been down - we've pretty much given up on being able to fit in at Christ Church, it just doesn't seem to be working, although we have joined a small group "bible-study" which has been good, at least for the relational aspects, but going to services has been a bit of a wash-out. The other good thing about our stint of counseling was that we were "given permission" to stop feeling obliged to go to services if that was proving a hinderance rather than a help, which it was at the time. Instead we bought a membership to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and have spent several very happy Sundays there. We've now started attending (well, we've been twice) a church closer to where we are, and that seems promising, at least from Janel's point of view, as their children's activities seem to be well organised, and there are a couple of children from nursery there, so she is much more relaxed, which means that we may be able to leave her there on her own soon. The truth, though, is that I don't think it matters where we attend, for me there is nothing going on inside. There have been times when I have wished that I could believe in the way that I used to, but for the most part, it is an empty and meaningless exercise.
That seems like a depressing place to end this post, especially because I'm not really depressed - life is mostly good, if a little meandering. We'll be able to try and fall pregnant again in about 6 weeks time (medical aid won't cover the treatments Nicole will need until a one year probation is completed), so that will herald a whole new set of stresses!!
Here's hoping it's not another year until the next post...