Saturday, January 26, 2008
Post No. 4
Welcome to my world.
Kids and I are working on the house. We've made a couple of lists - one is in a column called "Tidying", where we are aiming to reduce clutter, culminating in "Knicknack Day", when everything that isn't put away, gets thrown away. The other column is called "Improvements", and includes all those projects we think about one day doing - we are making a timetable to get them done.
That's the thing about being on your own with kids - they respond when things like time and money are tight, and work as a team more, so they can still make choices and try to achieve what they want. They seem to understand that resources are limited, so they will have to be more resourceful themselves. Proud of them.
We house-hunted today. Fun! We are not exactly serious house-hunters, and one of the properties we looked at today - waterfront, wrap-around verandahs, beautifully finished, sunny gardens with fruit trees and herbs in raised beds - was definitely out of our reach. But we looked, and the kids dreamed their dreams - who would have the loft bedroom, when they would go kayaking from out the back door, etc. Doesn't matter that it's not reality. They came home determined to do a bit more with what they have.
Their dad phoned them in the evening. He's happily ensconced with his girlfriend in the USA, and I am glad he's happy. Looking at the houses today, though, I reflected that I would have worked all day and all night, to achieve the same result with our modest home, over the years that we were together. What was missing, was a partner who was as committed, and who liked challenges and trying to change things for the better, as me.
This is not intended to be a criticism; just a reflection on why marriage did not take me where I wanted to go. Not just renovation projects, obviously, but sharing common goals, a sense of who we wanted to be and what we wanted to achieve with our lives, and most importantly, being brave enough to take the first step, and make a start. I want to teach my kids what it means to plan to do something, and work towards it, and have the knowledge that they have done what they set out to do. I want them to develop their sense of morality, and be brave enough to hold true to what they believe to be the right thing to do, throughout their lives. If they do that, they can go to sleep each night, knowing they are doing the best they can.
If I can teach them that, I will be a happy mummy.