Friday, September 9, 2011

Remember me?

Look who’s back, back again. Benny’s back, tell a friend.

Yes that is correct folks I am back.

Like a bear returning from a long hibernation I am still a big groggy, disorientated and a little hungry. My absence from the blogspace has been unfortunate, inexcusable and for that I beg your eternal forgiveness.

I have been busy. That is not offered as an excuse or a plea, more an observation.

In the past 6 months I have:

1. Met an amazing woman who constantly challenges and supports me, someone who I can trust, who always has my best interests at heart and never fails to make me smile.
2. I have relocated (yes, again!) to the sunny city-who-aims-to-be Brisbane.
3. I have undertaken the research and writing of a Masters thesis.
4. Balanced three part-time jobs.
5. Welcomed a niece into the world and been informed that another niece/nephew is waiting in the wings.

It has been a hectic whirlwind period but also thoroughly enjoyable – there are not many people who can start their day with a walk along the water, a freshly brewed coffee, breakfast with a loved one and then undertake their day with no pressures, deadlines or people nagging – just a view to the city, a fridge full of food and a pile of paper.

Change is a strange beast. I was only saying to Stace last night that anyone would forgive us for being a little stressed out – we have both undertaken some pretty extreme life changes over the past 6 months. For many people extreme change is trying a new laundry liquid, having a coffee at 10.15am instead of 10am or cutting their hair into a bob.

I don’t do change in small measures my friends. Oh no, when I make changes, I MAKE CHANGES.

So I am just getting my feet back on the ground. The thesis has been like a round the world yacht race – the beginning I was sailing though the pacific islands, life was rosy, sunny, relaxed. Now I have reached Cape Horn and the swell is rising, tossing my yacht from side to side and I am clinging to the rail, white-knuckled, hoping for a clearance in the weather. But once I round the Horn I will be in smooth waters again.

This is not a mountain I am climbing; it is a hill.

I have only about 7 weeks of my thesis writing to go, before I dump it on my supervisors desk and jet off to the cold reaches of Europe. 7 weeks is not a lot of time and instead of fearing it like a man awaiting the green mile I am trying to stop, breathe and savour the experience – before long I will be suiting up, grabbing my coffee to go and joining the corporate throng once more. Change is inevitable and once again I will step into change’s breach and see where it takes me.

But for now I am reading and typing away, trying to make the most of this time and not thinking about what lies ahead. A former boss used to tell me to ‘take bite sized chunks’ and that is what I will do.

It is great to be back in the blogsphere. I shall not leave it so long to write next time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'll be meetin' Millie in March

I am sitting in a small cramped space, waiting patiently, a myriad of thoughts circling my head. As I stare ahead into the mesh I ponder what lies ahead and whether I am fully prepared. I am not a religious man yet I feel driven to confess. So here we go, the moment has arrived.

I am to be an uncle and, to be frank, I am not sure I am going to be very good at it.

There, I said it. It is out in the open. Phew, I feel better.

Recently, I had the pleasure of spending a few days with a very close mate and his baby boy, a bundle of arms, legs and an elongated torso (he is a beautiful bub) and I got a window into what my sister and her husband were heading for, and also I got an all access pass to what it is like to be an Uncle.

This is an important role – it is more than just twice a year phone calls, overpriced gifts and the promise of hosting your niece/nephew in the future when they wish to escape their parents, home town, friends, life or whatever else affects them – especially during those teenage years when the world is against us and we are against the world.

This role, in my extremely ill-informed and nervous opinion, is one of support and trying to be a role model. The significant geographic distance from my niece-to-be will prevent me from providing physical support or being a visual role model but with humans essentially wired into technology these days I do not imagine that constant communication will prove to be difficult.

There was a period in my early 20’s when I was a wonderful role model of what not to do with your life – A period which a number of people, least of all my mother, will remember with little fondness or humour. However, people change and the 2011 model is ready to be put to work and it is a challenge I am relishing to be perfectly honest.

How many times do you get to see the unadulterated joy of parents cradling their newborn; a tangible, living, and breathing testament to their love….oh and lots of pregnancy eating, sore backs, sleepless nights, morning sickness, waiting and late night trips to the 24 hour supermarket or servo.

It promises to be an intense, emotional, taxing but invigorating year for my sister and her husband as they come to grips with their new addition and how their lives will be forever changed for the better. It is a year that I am relishing the opportunity to share with them and try to pick up some tips along the way so when I am placed in their position (hey, stop laughing, it could happen!!) I will be better prepared than I am now.

So here’s to young Millie, the little Tasmanian. I’m looking forward to meeting you, cuddling you, feeling your vomit run down my neck and smelling your nappies.

You are everything that is pure in this world and I will be humbled to be your Uncy Ben!