Recently, the cable through which my house receives both TV and internet had a major fault. It lasted 4 days.
...and I nearly lost my marbles.
Part of the reason was that I needed to log onto the work system to download the latest files for school, but part of the reason was that I have come to rely on the television to provide an inane, background distraction whenever my brain wandered in to places I'd rather it not revisit.
Australian children have just come back from their 6-week summer holidays.
So have their teachers....
The first year after Greg died, I dreaded the Christmas holidays. All those long weeks of just me and the kids. NO trips away (every holiday doubles in price during the holidays as we all know). No will to do more than walk the tracks to the beach near our home and photograph things. ... and always the uncertainty of what work I could come back to.
I'm not sure that the second year was any better.
I am sitting here, marvelling at how far I’ve come since March 1, 2010; I am a different person with the same heart.
I can now look back and remember the sharp, stabbing grief of that day. The insanity.
The weeks and months directly afterward where I alternated between shrieking pain and dense fog; I rocked and cried or I floated behind a thin wall, a sense of being elsewhere and detached.
A new year.
Bringing hopes and dreams for a year brighter than the last.
I remember the first new year after Greg died.
I did not want it to happen.
I hated the passage of time.
I did not want to welcome a year in which Greg had never lived.
Back in Ye Olden Days (ie - before we had children), we had a tradition of going up to a house near a lake just outside the city to celebrate the new year with our dearest friends.
The house was owned by my friend's parents and was used solely as a holiday house.
A party house.
A place where we would gather.
With plentiful food and booze and motorbikes and books .... and the boys would ride off into the hills and my girlfriends and I would chat and read and chat and drink and chat and play pool and chat and dance and welcome the boys home and light firecrackers and roman candles and generally yahoo the night away.
... Christmas, that is.
I won't lie to you, the week before Christmas, I was not feeling great. The weight of another Christmas without Greg weighed heavily on my mind.
I missed him.
I know I miss him every day, but last week I really missed him.
I missed sitting on the couch and snuggling, watching the lights on the tree flicker.
I missed talking to him about everything.
I missed his strong arms.
I missed his safe embrace.
I missed seeing the kids play with him.
I even missed seeing him stuck under a piece of machinery, tinkering away for hours on end.
I am finding it hard to find any Christmas spirit this year.
I have no idea if I have bought the children presents that they will enjoy... just a couple of small gifts to keep up the pretense of Santa.
I have not sent a Christmas card in years ... they remind me too much of all those funeral "thank you" cards that sat on my dining room table and mocked me for months after Greg's death before I threw the lot of them in the bin and decided I just wasn't going to do it and if anyone was offended, tough luck.
Today was school break-up day. Party Day. Unofficial last day of the school year (except for tomorrow which is clean and scrub every single thing in the classroom day).
I have been counting down to this day for the past month.
My class are tired.
I am exhausted (and for those non-teachers who scoff, don't until you've done it. I used to work in a "normal" job as a research scientist and I thought deadlines were annoying. It's like that but with the entire emotional health of everyone you work with thrown in as well).
... well lost to me anyway.
The last time I did "flirting" (without knowing that the flirtee was already very interested - ie Greg), I was in possession of a rather hot 22 year old body, flawless skin and a geeky naivete that was somehow attractive (who knew?).
In other words, the most flirting I did was glancing in the direction of someone I fancied .... and smiling. After that it wasn't me who was trying to do the impressing.