Weeks! #15: even the worst of weeks have good bits to them

2014-04-07 08.38.43In some ways, which I don’t always talk about here, this year has not been that easy for us. There have been a lot of stressful things going on in the present, and a number of stressful things from the past looming large over the now. We have mostly been getting by day-by-day and they aren’t the worst things – we still have good jobs, a house and the boys are healthy and happy. But this still hasn’t been the easiest of times, and this week proved to be one of the most unpleasant of the year to-date. I cried quite a lot during the week.

But even when many things are crappy, there are good things. And we started the week with Jude’s birthday and walking the boys to school.

2014-04-07 08.38.48I decided I could get away with wearing my fun shoes to work.

2014-04-07 09.24.09And we had dumplings with friends to celebrate Jude’s birthday.

The next morning it was off to Melbourne early for meetings and the beginning of the surrealness of the week.

2014-04-08 06.21.43The meeting finished early so I went back to my hotel to read transcripts of the Royal Commission hearings. It was raining and not terribly nice outside, so hiding in my room in my pyjamas, looking at the view and reading transcripts was an acceptable way to pass an afternoon.

2014-04-08 08.53.17I did wander out to eat at Rosa’s Kitchen and walk through the rainy streets.

Two very nice opportunities presented themselves during the week – one in Melbourne and one in Brisbane. I finally got to meet two people from Twitter (and more recently Facebook) in real life who I had only know electronically – but for a long time and they are both people I like and admire. So James and Andrea, thanks for being highlights of a somewhat bleak week.

I also had a chance to catch up with my old friend Lee when I got to Brisbane – seeing old friends and meeting new ones is a nice balance.

2014-04-10 10.18.20Another highlight was breakfast with another different James who brought us back t-shirts from the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup. It was lovely to see him.

So there was lots of horrible on Thursday. I was in Brisbane and spent the day waiting to be called to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Home Insulation. This was fairly stressful, especially when I got to see the person in front of me warned that not being truthful is an offence. In the middle of all this, some derby drama reached its peak, and I felt I had no choice but to resign as President of the League, something I really didn’t want to do. Much of the day was hard, it was horrible, it was stressful and I cried quite a bit.

2014-04-10 18.50.40Fortunately the evening held beer and more importantly, friends. Did I mention beer? It was absolutely lovely to hang out with Simon, Bondy and Viv, drink beer and talk about stuff. Of course, I still hadn’t made it into the witness box, so I did have to limit the beer a little because I wasn’t sure that having a hangover was the best way to manage my appearance.

2014-04-10 23.03.23Brisbane is pretty at night.

2014-04-11 11.13.56Here is the courtroom in which the Commission hearings are held. I had nearly five hours in the witness box. Six different lawyers, all representing someone different, asked me questions. The Commissioner asked a couple as well. All in all it wasn’t a terrible experience. It was interesting to see the various different strategies lawyers use – trying to lead me into agreeing with a proposition I wouldn’t necessarily agree with, implying I was stupid, complimenting me, giving me complete statements of fact to agree with. I didn’t let them bother me terribly, told them what I knew, provided a few lectures on the nature of the training system and in the end was reasonably happy with my evidence. I was very happy though when the commissioner told me I was dismissed.

2014-04-11 15.35.20

Then it was time for wine.

2014-04-11 15.38.43Here is me hoping that all the crappy parts of the week were over. Spoiler: they weren’t.

2014-04-11 17.44.25I flew to Bathurst via Sydney. The boys had all already headed up there for the derby boot camp we were attending Saturday. It was so nice to see them all and get hugs and be back with my family after the stress of the week.

2014-04-12 13.35.48

So Saturday was boot camp. It was exciting because all of us but Zac could participate. I was really looking forward to a day of drama free skating to make me find the joy after the past week. The day started well. The first few seasons were fun and straightforward. The boys were having a good time.

But after lunch it all turned bad. I am not that confident in the end about my skating ability. It has taken me quite a while to get where I am and there are still skills I am trying to master. I am good at most of the things i do, and derby is the one thing I have to really work at. When I get stressed therefore, I think some of my confidence and insecurity gets poured into self-criticism around my skating. So when someone decides to tell you you can’t participate in something essentially because you aren’t good enough, it is devastating. Especially because I knew that there were people who weren’t as good as me still taking part. I still haven’t been able to work out exactly what it was that led them to single me out – I had only fallen over once the entire day and they were claiming it was to do with my stability. Maybe it was my age and size, maybe someone just didn’t like the look of me. I have actually written to the League who ran the event, but I haven’t had an answer yet. Anyhow, I was beyond distressed so Zac and I headed back to the house where we were staying, leaving James, Jude and Sebastian to the rest of the boot camp and to participate in the bout.

Zac and I went for a walk down to the river on the beautiful property where our cottage was which helped me regain some serenity.

We also had Thai food for dinner – Zac’s choice – before going back to the bout to see James reffing and Sebastian and Jude acting as on-skates scoreboard guys.

And I got a cupcake.

2014-04-12 20.09.45The next day was a chance to forget all that stuff and hang out as a family.

2014-04-13 09.21.25After all, the view was beautiful.

There was some more exploring.

Then, we went into Bathurst for some lunch.

We also took some time to visit the Mineral and Fossil Museum which turned out to be pretty impressive.

On the way home, we saw a lovely wind farm. I was completely impressed that Shire and Country Energy had put up a viewing platform and notes around wind power. The wind farm did look great – renewable energy both beautiful and clean.

So that was the week. I am enormously grateful to my friends who helped me get through the week – our “urban family” who joined us to celebrate Jude’s birthday, the two James Hs, Lee, Andrea, Simon, Bondy, Viv and Natasha and to Demo, Jess and T-Ref who all gave me hugs when I was a mess on Saturday. Thanks to my staff who kept my real life running while I was incapable of engaging. And once again I am ever so so grateful to my family – my lovely boys and my wonderful James who help to put in all in perspective.

Hoping all the weeks after this are better!

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