31 things: you

AGE| 34

FAVOURITE TIME OF MY DAY| The small time window when I get home from work, I put the kettle on, have some time with the cats, settle down on the lounge to read (a book, a magazine or blogs on my iPad) and wait for Simon to come home from work. I usually leave the front door open and there is a nice breeze coming through in the afternoons. The cats often sit at the door watching the outside world and waiting for Simon, too. I love that moment when he walks in the door and the first thing he does is to walk over and gives me a kiss. Our evening starts from there.

LOVING| This life. I think I’m tipping over into sappy now, but this life we’ve created in Brisbane is what I have always wanted. The easy going way we share our lives. While our little flat is not ideal, we do cope. I like my job, I like going to work and I love that I work for a university. I feel loved and supported by my network that I’ve built over the last few years. My bipolar is STABLE. We are not struggling financially and we don’t argue over money. Our life together is lovely.

LONGING FOR| Remember how I said our little flat isn’t ideal but it’s okay? I am longing for more space. A spare bedroom for people to stay over. A large study where I can spread out and work on my craft projects. A lounge where we can lie down and be comfortable. I am longing for my things that are still in boxes five years after they were put in them. I am longing for a kitchen where we have bench space, the cupboards aren’t broken and the oven is not squashed into a corner. I’m longing for quiet – no bollywood music, no loud parties at midnight, no off key singing from the neighbours’ friends at 2 in the morning, no drag racing around the roundabout, no listening to what everyone orders from Red Rooster across the road, no more construction work at 6am. I am longing for pleasant smells – no more cigarette smoke from downstairs, no more incense from next door, no more KFC grease smells wafting across the road. I’m longing for a home.

INSPIRED BY| I am always inspired by artists like Ali Edwards and Elise Blaha Cripe. I love reading their blogs, their photographs, the way they put projects together. What they do inspires me in my own crafts, the way I see the world and how I take photos of that. Beyond craft, for a long time  I’ve been inspired by William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Their philosophy speaks to a deep part of my soul. My style icons who inspire me are Audrey Hepburn, the classic elegance of Princess Mary of Denmark and the minimalist chic of Gwenyth Paltrow.

DREAMING OF| Marrying Simon. I’ve been told to stop looking at wedding blogs and getting excited. It’s not going to be this year (sorry, folks) but it is going to happen. We’re negotiating what kind of wedding (big or small? Formal or informal?) and I’m trying to hold strong on the big party with all of our friends. We may have to meet somewhere in the middle. At the end of the day, it’s not about that one day, it’s about the life we share and the legal recognition of that commitment to each other.

NEEDING| More sleep! My sleep routine has never been great and it’s also something that I’ve come to realise has a rather large impact on my bipolar. I’ve been gently easing myself into a routine where I’m in bed before 9.30pm, I turn off any electronic devices I’ve been playing with (When I start playing Plants vs. Zombies I just can’t stop!) and read until I turn the light out at 10.30pm. This is working better and I do feel tired at the end of the day. Staying up to all hours like I used to just doesn’t seem possible anymore. I like that feeling.

NAVIGATING| This world of working full time and managing bipolar. When I lived in Sydney, and for most of my working career there, I suffered depression (which was officially diagnosed at 24) and undiagnosed bipolar (it was only officially diagnosed at 29). Working within that was incredibly hard, wearing a mask at work to get through and crumbling at the end of each day. This time around I’m on the right medication that has been working for awhile now, I have a stable home environment and I work regular hours. My psychologist told me many a time that I would find this easier than I thought and of course, she was right. I have noticed myself getting a bit ratty by the end of the week, so some small tweaks are needed to keep making this work.

STRUGGLING WITH| My relationship with my brother. We had an argument a few weeks ago that upset me terribly. There was a misunderstanding but there was also a lot of pent up tension and underlying issues we have avoided. Numerous people have told me that it is most likely coming from a place of frustration and unrest in his life and I need to not let it get to me. We were so close a few years ago but we’ve drifted apart. I don’t know what is the best way to handle this.

KNOWING| I fought hard for this life and I am incredibly proud of myself for what I have achieved. Being content with who I am and knowing everything will work out as it’s meant to, that is a good feeling.

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