What a difference a year makes!
A year ago, I was training for #hellandback and #DIL Darkness Into Light was introduced to Donegal for the first time. At the time, we did it because a good friend was organising it and it was a good “public” run as it were. It was fun, I made good time, I did it on my own.
One year later it was being staged at home and it wasn’t just a means to an end. It was an experience as opposed to a run. The whole point was going from Darkness INTO the light, to experience the camaraderie, the feeling of being part of something, that we aren’t alone. And no, that’s not just an excuse for taking twice as long to do it than the year before. Although circumstances have changed greatly since. I’m not running as much following an ankle and calf injury 6 months ago. I’m 5 months pregnant. The list could go on and on.
I forgot to turn my MapMyRun (too busy chatting) on but someone said it was about 5.37km.
I am very lucky that no one close to me has died from suicide but I have close family and friends that have. I know the depression that lurks deep, that can spring from a slow drip to a gushing flood. That it’s paralysing and unstoppable. And for whatever reason people did or didn’t do it, i hope they take away the simple fact that there is someone out there to reach out to.
I want my kids to grow up in a house where we can talk and talk about anything. That depression and suicide aren’t dirty words, a whispered secret. That there is an illness that is so consuming that there is no light. So they can recognise it, they can be aware of it, they can ask for help.
It is difficult to approach in an age appropriate way but I got them a book a few years ago which very gently touches on it and I think its a good spring board for more mature material later on.
It’s another one of those things that I endlessly worry about as a parent. But I guess, time will only tell.
I know the whole concept of #throwbackthursday is to reminisce on days gone by and bla, bla, bla.
But this week, it gave me pause.
The other day, Arjay sent us a package from Sydney. A few presents for the kids (if you have reading age kids- check out Anh Do’s book WeirDo- the kids love it, it’s HYSTERICAL), a present for Justin, an Aussie cookbook (Australians have indigenous food? ;)) and a pack of old photos. The photos were from schoolies week and it was a real kick seeing them. We graduated the day before, mom and I got mugged and traumatised for life and the next day, I got on a plane with my best buds and had a week I hardly remember because, hello, that was the whole point of schoolies week! I’m still friends with the people in the photos, albeit mostly on facebook, and it really brought me back. It also made me realise that there are photos from decades of my life that I can’t show my kids until they’re at least 16 lest I need to answer awkward questions like, why are your eyes like that? what’s the green stuff? Why are you on the floor/hugging the toilet/passed out on a bench in the dark?
Anyway, this is my #tbt photo this week.
Mom was 39 in this photo. 39. That’s 3 years from now for me. At that time, I was already 18. When I turn 39, Gabriella and Max will be 10 and 7 respectively. I remember when that was still a lifetime away.
Most days, I still feel like this is me. Obviously not on the outside (that was about 30 pounds ago), but i’m still waiting to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
But these monkeys won’t wait until then.
I guess we never really gave much thought to our parents then. About who they were when they weren’t our parents cos really, that’s the only thing that defined them for us (and face it, kids, especially teenagers are selfish). I have a great relationship with my mom, I like to think so anyway. But back then, I never gave a thought to who she was besides my mom. What sacrifices they made, the struggles as well as the triumphs. I guess, as a child, it’s just way out of our sphere. Everyday I worry about my kids, how we are raising them, if the choices we make will help or hinder them when we send them out to the big bad world. But when I see a photo of her at nearly the same age I am now, still so unsure of what I’m doing, it really is terrifying.
Obviously, we turned out AWESOME so they’ve done something right.
I only hope my kids will be as forgiving and understanding (and don’t forget well adjusted). Eventually.
And so I am making more of an effort to “be in the picture” or let my kids take half asleep photos of me. Because, yes, mommy is here.
And instead of hiding them away on my phone, I am just as proud of them as I am of my kid’s photos because it shows the presence, the togetherness, make up or no make up.
They are still few and far between but I will treasure each one and make sure I leave them tangible and lasting reminders of us, together.
PS Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to like, follow, press, etc. This isn’t a blog I put out there, not many people I know IRL know about it. It’s just a place for me to verbalize (or try to) and keep a little visual reminder for myself of our every day. And that there is life outside of facebook. I do get a bit tired of all the passive aggressive status updates and the underlying competitiveness, etc, etc. Sometimes it makes me feel like a stand up comedian, waiting for the audience to applause.
What do you think of the new format? Too dark? Was the other one a bit lighter, more fun? Still having a play around anyway.