Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seven things....

I received the challenge to reveal 7 things about myself from the delightful ladies at Mondo Cherry, and the inspiring Ness from Marley and Lockyer.

The challenge goes like this...
Share 7 things about yourself. Challenge 7 other blogs at the end of your post through naming their blog, and post a link to it. Let them know they have been challenged by leaving a comment in their blog.

1. Facts first

I just scrape in as a sixties baby - I was born in the last half of 1969. Born and (mostly) bred in Adelaide, but I spent four years of my childhood in the country and one year in the big smoke of Chicago USA. After a happy childhood I toddled off to university to do a Business Degree (the safe option), and now I work for a government regulatory body (again, the safe option). Check me out as a baby - I look like a boy! Pink and grey bathrooms were all the rage when my mum and dad built their home in the 1960s.

2. Passions

Decorating captured my heart from an early age. Here's me painting my desk chair white (what other colour is there?) at the age of 18 with a very bad '80's perm (thankfully you can't see much of it since I had my hair in a ponytail). Note the hills hoist and the corrugated iron fence in the background - Australian icons! I spent many a time swinging off that hills hoist as a kid. We also had our own incinerator (!) and the requisite fruit trees.

My other passions are books and movies. In my free time when my son is with his dad, if I'm not blogging, then I've got my head in a book or I'm off to the movies with friends. Books and movies capture my heart, inspire me, move me, transport me to another world. For a list of my favourites go to 'my complete profile'.

3. Laughter

Here's me looking a bit 'tired and emotional' after a big night out with my friend J. Am I hugging her, strangling her or simply hanging on so I don't fall down? Even Jazzy J doesn't look too sure. I've been friends with J for more than 15 years and we met through our boyfriends at the time. The boyfriends came and went but our friendship has lasted! J lives in Melbourne now but we still catch up as often as we can and pick up where we left off. I am so blessed to have such lovely friends in my life - some friendships span 24 years and counting. My friends make the sun shine for me - there's lots of laughter and support and I couldn't be without them.

4. Joy
My son is now 7 and he is my joy. I didn't get the opportunity to have other children (wanted 2 more!), but I am so lucky to have him.

Nobody told me that when you have a child, it is like someone pulls your still beating heart from your chest and places it in the tiny hands of another human being. It no longer belongs to you.
In my experience, motherhood heightens all your emotions in technicolour glory - amplified joy, pride and wonderment, yet pain, guilt and worry too. Life is a roller coaster ride when a child enters your life, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I share a special bond with my little man. I'm sure that being 'just the two of us' has made it more so. But it can be tough - my son has been diagnosed with a behavioural disorder which gets him in to lots of hot water and causes me a great deal of worry for him at times. All I can do is surround him with love and hope for the best. Lots of naughty children turned out great adults.

5. Love

I'm 11 in the above picture with my dad who is 45. The picture below was taken a couple of years ago at my dad's 70th birthday at Vitners in the Barossa Valley.

This year, in July, I lost my dad. My dad had suffered a cruel and debilitating neurological disease for twelve very long years.

These days I try to remember dad as the healthly, vital man he once was. He had over 300 friends and colleagues attend his funeral and the comments people said to me included 'he was a true gentleman', 'loved and respected by everyone', 'one in a million' and 'a man with the x factor'. He started out as a country boy from a poor family, who moved to the city to start an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner. By the end of his career he was a CEO of one of South Australia's biggest employers. In between he met and married my mum, had three kids, became a draftsperson, then an electrical engineer and later a management consultant for a big firm in Chicago. And yet, he was a humble, down to earth man, a real family man with a calm, gentle nature and a great sense of humour. I'll always remember him as the man with a project - dad was always tinkering contentedly in his shed, designing something, building a pergola, digging out his own mechanics pit under the car, carving mum a mirror or a coffee table. I feel truly blessed to have been his daughter.

Love this picture below - dad being a dag on the bike, my brother and sister along for the ride.

In this picture above my mum was 18 and newly engaged to dad. I'm loving the polka dot dress with the boat neck - I think she sewed it herself. My mum is my rock, my ever present source of love and understanding. She and dad were married for 47 years and she loved and supported him to the very end. Her bravery never flagged. Love you mum!

6. Independence
The decision to become single was the hardest decision I've ever made, but the right one. I've been single now for five years. I don't even recognise myself now. My friendships are deeper, I'm bolder and I bang my own nails and kill my own spiders. I've bought my own humble little house (see below) - it's nothing special but it's mine. And I have had so much fun turning it in to a place that is a comfortable and cozy home for my son and me. Being a single mother, paying all the bills, working full time and still managing to be a good friend and daughter is not a walk in the park, but I've done it.

7. Dreams

Ok, I admit it, after five years of singledom, with a love life like the Sahara Desert, I am READY for love. The timing wasn't right before, but now the time has come! I'd like a man who is good and true and who shares some of my interests and dreams. Know anyone suitable? Send him my way please.

I also dream of ditching the corporate job and doing something more creative and fun. I look at Judy over at Lilly-g, running her own homewares store and design consultancy and say 'that's what I want'. Other days I think I could quite happily buy houses, do them up, style them then put them back on the market. But saying goodbye to regular income when I have a mortgage and a growing boy to support scares me witless! Maybe one day I'll bite the bullet and do it!

I have done zippity travel overseas as an adult, and one of my dreams is to go to Europe and soak up the sights and sounds.

I would love to build my dream house one day, which would look much like this picture above - a beautiful white home with dormer windows, a grey roof and a big wide verandah all around. It would have french doors and big windows everywhere and inside it would have high ceilings and dark wooden floors.

So there you have it - you know all about me, I am an open book.

Now it's my turn to flag 7 others. So here goes -


delamare said...

Lovely post Catherine - and yes, I agree, 'naughty' children do turn into wonderful adults, and need lots of love now. (At least that's the way that I think it works...)

Fiona Taylor said...

How the devil do I top that post woman? Dammit you made me cry, but then that's nothing unusual for me. I may be able to scrape together something to write but how on earth I am going to find anyone to tag...tricky! Great photos too, and you couldn't have looked less like a boy with those huge eyes and sweet expression.

ness lockyer said...

Love your post Catherine. Hang in there chook for your business. I am only now after a 10 yr+ dream getting my own store and design consultancy, but it is worth the wait. You are in inspiration to your little Man and he will come into his own. I have a niece who has a behavioural problem (something she is missing in her brain) and already at 6 ish she is starting to calm down. Your Dad sounded like a wonderful Man and your love for him is beautiful.
Did you notice the Hills Hoist is in the pic of your Mum and Dad too!
Ness xx

vicki archer said...

Such a beautiful post Catherine and a wonderful tribute to your father. He would be very proud of you.
Children are never an easy path, but the most rewarding journey we can take. xv

Solange said...

oh, what a story... being a single mom, must be so hard, but good for you that you do so well!! I think your house and job and son give you a lot to be proud of. Very nice tribute to your father, I think your story says it all...

take care,

Kath Lockett said...

This is a wonderful post, Catherine, and says so much about how your heart is in the right place for your parents, your son, your home and your wise (and yet difficult) choice to live life as a single parent. Throughout it all you remain witty, kind, elegant and damn classy.

....and you do realise that my tagging ME I'll be the exact opposite, don't you?!!

OLIVEAUX said...

A beautiful post Catherine & a wonderful tribute to your father - you should be very proud of your achievements thus far & keep chasing those dreams!!

citysage said...

Gorgeous post Catherine. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos of your dad. What a handsome man he was! With such life in his eyes too. My heart goes out to you on his passing.

A-M said...

What a moving story you have to tell. You are so blessed to have had such a wonderful father and a beautiful, supportive mother. You are so brave and so strong. You should be so proud of your journey and what you have achieved. You will achieve your dreams... just believe it! A-M xx

Villa Anna said...

Catherine, you are a hero! You are a single, full time working mum! You deserve the very best success in life and I believe it will happen for you cause just look at what you have already achieved? Like our fellow blogging friends have said, your beautiful father would be so proud just as I'm sure he was in life.

Anna :)

p.s my god I'm really enjoying these "7 things" posts, aren't you?

Velvet and Linen said...

What an amazing post Catherine. Thank you for sharing with us. What a difficult decision it must have been to become single, but it certainly appears to have been the right thing to do.
Yes, having children makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. Those little ones hold all of the power.

Hold tight to your dreams. I am sure they will come true.
It has been a pleasure getting to know you better.


Millie said...

Gorgeous post Catherine, what a truly caring & generous spirit you are. And you are your Father's daughter, no doubt about it. You have made your little house into a secure & loving home for you & your son, what a great achievement.

Love will come again when you least expect it. I was a single Mum with 3 little boys & a full-time career, & definitely not looking. Then one afternoon, as I was struggling to lift some heavy boxes into my car, a nice man in the Car Park offered to help. That man was MOTH & 15 years & another 2 more gorgeous boys later, he is still the best pressie I've ever been given!