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Post Info TOPIC: Santa's been
Nic


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Santa's been
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Hi All - Over this side, Christmas is winding to an end. There are sneaky bits of gift wrap still sneaking out from under couches and cupboards, despite the fact I keep putting them into the bin...the kids have test run every new toy, dvd and peice of technology and have headed to bed pleasantly exhausted... and the fridge is still full of all the stuff I didn't think I'd have enough of...


It's been a nice day. I didn't hear from my blood family, but that's ok. I did hear from several people who called to remind me they were glad I'm still around - and it seems to have so much more impact, when you know they don't have to, and they just wanted to. There are some really kind people in the world, and I have been lucky to bump into a lot of them.


One of my kids left a note to Santa last night saying, "Please don't forget my Mum, she is the best." That was my best gift, I think. A very special moment, when Santa read that.


There was a time when I dreaded Christmas. For too long it meant family fights, street fights, pub dramas, binges that lasted from about the 17th of Dec until whenever I finally ran out of steam bringing in the new year, and generally just a bloody, sad, miserable and difficult time. My last few Christmas's have been very simple - and some might consider them boring, but I have enjoyed them. It's been nice to just be a kid for the whole day, play with toys, make a mess, and treat everyone and everything around me to a few extras just because its "christmas".  I love seeing the kids anticipation. I love spending the day playing new games, trying out new things and trying to put together new stuff (with Japanese instructions). Time just kind of stops and there's suddenly no hurry... you know you have all year to enjoy it all, but you still have to try everything.


I hope everyone can find a bit of that magic today. Enjoy the peace and hug the kid inside you all.


I'm sorry to hear about your slip Amanda. Glad to see you didn't run with it though, and managed to sidestep back in. Might be worth asking yourself which side of the first step, was working for you through that. Am also glad to hear the AA safety net is still as strong as ever in your part of the world. We are very lucky to have it. We're not alone - even when we pretend we want to be!


Stan... would you mind ID'ing? I'm not sure if I missed it, but I'd like to get to know you.


Phil, glad to hear you are rocking along under the Christmas tree. I was wondering this arvo if you might get around to decorating the turnip truck. Thanks for sharing about your year. You are obviously a very strong character and I am enjoying getting to know you.


Cabbagehead... I have decided I really like your spirit. What a little trooper. Dunno how you squished all those folk in your house, but I bet it was fun. Have a great Boxing Day and don't forget to help your "woman" with your dishes "man". *grinning*


All the best everyone and enjoy your Christmas Day/Night/Boxing Day,


Nic



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Such is life


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So glad you're here, Nic, and how touching and beautiful to get such a lovely compliment from one of your children.  You must be a pretty neat Mum... kids don't say such things unless they mean it.


God bless you, sweetie, and I wish you and yours a blessed and healthy 2005.


 


Love & hugs & prayers,


Alice



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Hi Nic, Alice is right, kids can be really hard work and if one of yours said that, it's obvious that your being a good mother and the kids appreciate that!


Bye for now


Best wishes


Chris. 



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"Computer games don't affect kids; I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music." -- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989"
Nic


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Thanks.


Mothering means a lot to me. Sometimes I think the fact that I was blessed with kids, was possibly my saving grace. It really gave me a chance to learn about love, and make peace with the little kid in me... and understand about how difficult parental choices are to make sometimes. There's things I still don't understand about my own childhood and upbringing, but it is easier to understand how things go wrong sometimes, when you know you've done your best, but things are not just falling into place, or making sense.


Learning to love who we are, what we do and what we have, seems a natural part of growing up for my kids. I'm not sure if that's because they do this alongside my learning now, or whether they are just much more loving, lovable or loved little personalities than I was. They are great teachers though. I'm happy to try and follow their lead, and just step in with the occasion diversion if and when they start turning on each other (as humans inevitably seem to do at some time or other).


Today, we have restored the house to its usual chaotic order. They have begun squabbling again... over who did the dishes last, and who took this or touched that. It is time to move outside of the house for a while, I think. They got a you-beaut boomerang that makes a spacey vump vump noise when you throw it. Only one of us managed to get it to come back yesterday, so I am off to perfect the art of boomerang throwing.


Ya never know when you might need this skill... will let you know how I get on.


Keep smiling everyone and have a great day. Thankyou for your encouragement.


Nic



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Such is life


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Hi Nic

It sounds like you and your kids had a great Xmas.

Not sure what you mean by ID'ing. But I'll have a go.

Live in Central London, England. Age 47. Born in the North of Enland and went to University on the South Coast. Have lived and worked in Paris, Luxembourg and Sharjah.

I am a Chartered Accountant and have my own practice. Have done so property developments. I got out of the market last year, as I considered that the market was overheated and had peaked. So am in shared rented accomodation, with cash in the bank and stockmarket, waiting for interest rates to rise a couple of per cent and the bubble to burst. I hope to be able to do some "bottom feeding".

Married for the last 27 years, and we have the perfect marriage. Never have any rows or disagreements and have not had any contact with each other for 24 years. May be a widower or divorced for all I know. My son is 28 (if he is alive).

Hobbies include: football, computers, learning Italian, travel, cooking, music, crossswords, reading. Trying to learn to play the guitar at the moment - not very much progress - its not so much a learning curve as a brick wall. I try to spend at least one month a year abroad - 2002 was the USA (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina). This year spent a month at school in Venice, Italy and then went to Piedmont to stay with family. For 2005 have booked four weeks at school in Sicily for February and March, which should be a bit warmer than Venice, which was covered in nine inches of snow when I got there.

I envy what you said about love. Apart from a very brief period in my youth, I don't think that I have ever given or received love (and that was probably more like lust).

I have a "close" relationship with my mum and dad and we speak on the phone every couple of months for a few minutes. They never invite me for Xmas or anything, although I have stayed there on a couple of occasions while travelling up to Scotland. I have not seen my brother, who has been in and out of prisons and secure mental units, for over 20 years.

I do not have many friends. I have almost zero social life apart from the Local Society of Chartered Accountants, where I meet up with my alcoholic mates to have drinks and do some training and then have some more drinks, which I will in future have to avoid. I skipped the Xmas party to go to an AA meeting although I would still have had to pay for it, except the secretary forgot to make the booking. So everyone (except me) turned up and there was nothing but an empty building. A few of them went for fish and chips, and I saved 25. The annual conference used to be great fun and involved a lot of lectures, a football match, a huge quantity of alcohol and not much sleep. Driving home was accomplished with red bull, pro plus and will power.

Gave up drinking about a month ago, after a course of anitbiotics gave me an enforced week of abstinence. When I gave up smoking, I felt a lot better very quickly and soon noticed a big difference. However, with not drinking, I now feel worse (depressed and lonely) and take more time off work than I ever had with hangovers. Normally I enjoy the Christmas period, but this year it has been a very miserable time for me as my main source of enjoyment has been denied and it feels like my identity has been taken away.

Xmas day I could not be bothered to get out of bed (except to put the Stone Roses first album on loud) and went back to sleep till about 4pm. There was no champagne to be drunk or joints to be rolled, no 40 per cent vodka in the freezer, no bourbon to be unwrapped - nothing except cooking the turkey. Cooked for 4 and a half hours. Watched a bit of Harry Potter. Ate. The food was cooked to perfection with all the trimmings but I did not enjoy it without a nice chardonnay or barolo followed by a port and a large brandy. Did not even bother with the pudding as custard is no substitute for brandy sauce. Went back to bed as my plate was empty. Got up at 10.35 when the AA meeting started at 10.30pm. Got there horribly late after not finding the venue, just managed to have a cup of tea before the meeting ended. Went for a coffee. The car had NOT been clamped which was a miracle, came home. Sober but empty, soulless and joyless - and alone.

I was never alone when I had Jack Daniels or Johnny Walker for company.

Is that enough of an ID?

Anyone want to buy an unused Xmas Pudding and two tins of luxury custard?





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Nic


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OK... I am back. I put the boomerang in two trees, and somehow managed to plant it in my own stomach, much to the amusement of my youngest, who seems to have no problem making it both return and make the vump vump noise. I think she must have an advantage being left handed or something... I never quite sorted it out. Both the kids got a few wins though.


Then we headed off to repair a fence we noticed the pony had made a mess of, and while I'm straining and grunting with my left-hander working as my right hand, the other munchkin wanders off and puts her detective hat on. She stumbles across a pile of feathers apparently belonging to "Fred" that I really should have bagged on Christmas eve, but there's only so much a person can do in the pursuit of a peaceful Christmas. So now I'm in trouble, cos the kids now know the turkey was actually a duck - and it had a name!!! (Now you know why I never commented on Phil's chicken jokes...)


Such is life.


What an interesting life you live Stan. I love to travel, but despite a trip to the UK about 20 years ago, my meanderings take place here in Aus. When I was about 15 I decided I wasn't going to head overseas until I'd seen my own country and I still can't say I have done that yet. The kids have grown up roaming about in Campervans and they are both very well seasoned travellers. A couple of years ago, I parted with the "Happy Bus" and bought a bike and sidecar as I figured the more economical, the better our lifestyle. So that's how we get about now.


Am afraid I don't understand much about the stock or money markets.. I understand stock (live) and I understand money (debt) and I understand markets (fruit and vegies), but that's obviously not where you are coming from. As for bottom feeding... well, mate, I dunno WHAT that means. Not sure if I need to know either..


What I do understand is that resentment and lonliness you are feeling. And the loss of identity.. I walked around like some sort of zombie for months when I stopped drinking. I went to work and came home, just went through the motions, feeling like someone had ripped my guts out and I had no idea what I wanted in life, what mattered, what I was supposed to do with myself and why on earth I was still here.


Jack on Johnny were great mates of mine too. I grieved their passing like I did when my childhood dog died.


The grog had mattered for so long, and was such a big part of me, that without it, I had trouble working out where to begin with anything. I had worked closely with a woman for about 18 months and at about 3 months sober she asked me, "Are you raising your girls on your own?" I looked at her and nodded, and she was so surprised. She had no idea. I had created this little bubble around myself that kept people far enough away, so that I could move among them, without them getting close enough to see what was really going on for me. It turned out no-one knew very much about me at all. I just went to work, put on my happy face, did my work and thought that was all there was to 'making a living'. The truth was I was really lousy at living and had isolated myself from anything that didn't revolve around the bottle.


Getting to know myself, and working out what I was about, what made me happy, or gave me peace, started getting easier when I started making an effort to get to know others and letting them get to know me. I've found other people noticed my good bits before I even contemplated the possibility, and as I began to actually share bits of me, it seemed a bit easier to count my blessings. I found I was often thinking,"Well, maybe I AM a bit luckier than some..."


I have found, that despite the odd moment when I suddenly manage to get a few chords happening in some odd accidental rhythm and branch out into my best version of da-da-da-da, that I am not a very good guitarist. That doesn't stop me though, from using it to let out feelings and moan and croon, when there's no-one around to torture! It also helped me find out that I'm not a very good singer either, but I did learn that I REALLY like singing. So I do it despite the groans or eye rolling that might take place around me.


One of my early sobriety goals was to sing Karaoke sober. It took 3 years to actually do it, and the support of a table of AA friends, but it was a monumental moment. Funny how little things can seem such big accomplishments. I made such a mess of Son of a Preacher Man... but I had finally found the courage to stand up and just have a go. After ballsing that up so badly, it was a lot easier to have another go, and just keep trying. After all, everyone was now expecting me to mess it up. I let rip with Sid Vicious's version of My Way... and the usually serious karoake crowd (who all think they are about to be spotted by some talent scout and must conduct themselves accordingly ) were on their feet hooting and hollering, and I had finally realised that little childish dream of leading a crowd in song. A little step externally, but a big step internally, in terms of my own confidence and ability. I later learned it wasn't my voice the folks were responding to (as much as I would love to delude myself), it was something else I was sharing though, I think... My courage (they could see me shaking), my spirit (I still made mistakes and laughed a lot through this song) and my willingness to just be me and share my new 'way'.


It is hard to start sharing ourselves, I think. You obviously have a great start and have lots to share though. A quick look at your hobbies and interests tells me, it will only be a matter of time before you begin sharing those gifts and giving them away as the gifts they were intended to be, just because you can. You have heaps of talents to offer and at least you recognise them. When I got sober the only thing I knew about myself with any sort of certainty, was that I could lift heavy things. Weird? Yes, probably. After years of lifting weights in isolation and enjoying the personal satisfaction that comes from making a new lift, that was all I believed in about myself. My sponsor looked at me like I was nuts and I don't blame her for laughing when she asked me what I was good at. But that was the only thing I trusted myself to do. I guess also being a woman, meant that my strength was often noticed as kinda unusual, so it was just something I knew about myself. My admission, obviously led to lots of requests to help move house and I always seemed to be the one packing up meetings etc., but that's okay - it helped me feel a part of things. Slowly, I uncovered lots of other things and accepted realistic limitations as well, as I continued to try sharing bits of me.


It's fun too. Not just the giving of yourself, but the finding of new skills, talents or abilities, as you get to know yourself. I'm not bad at painting, and themed decorating on a minimilist budget, and I am pretty good with kids and teenagers. I don't know who said it to me, but I put it on the start-up screen on my phone, so I read it everyday, but I was told to:


Offer what you want.


It works, I reckon. I'm not always good at it, but it reminds me to at least have a go.


Thanks for sharing your world, and your progress with me, Stan. It is nice getting to know you, and knowing there are real people out there doing real things, and having real reactions to those things. We are all here for the same thing. Some days are harder than others - but it does get easier.


I look forward to talking with you again,


Nic 



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