I not only packed my passport away, I packed up my past with it.
And came to terms with it. (Acceptance didn’t happen overnight I can assure you!)
I’m pretty good at packing up the past, maybe too good, but this year I feel the need to take a look back.
So I’ve written myself an ‘unforgettable moments 2020 list’. The good, the bad, the sad, the funny, the scary, the heartfelt and the ‘omg what have I done?’ Not in any particular order and I may keep adding to it.
Jan 9. My 58th birthday… wearing rubber boots, so dirty from hauling logs, shifting dirt, building the foundation for my new house. So many ‘how the hell did I end up here?’ thoughts chasing through my mind.
My plan to quietly slip out to hospital is a fail. Ambulance arrived with flashing lights, siren blaring and medical team in full PPE gear. The word spread through the village like wildfire. Not a good move in the early days of Covid.
Making the decision ‘to stay’. Despite the pressure for Australians in Indonesia to flee home. I’m so glad I did. I’m living a super cautious Covid driven life, but it’s easy to isolate, and as it turned out less risky than getting amongst the travel and quarantine chaos.
My one and only “Moet Meeting” with my bestie Jo outside our posh glamping yurts in New Zealand. Little did we know our plans for future Moet Meetings in Bali, Sri Lanka, South America, Fiji, Australia and Timor-Leste would all be cancelled.
I had no idea this would be my last glass of champagne in 2020. Served in a plastic cup at the airport before flying out from New Zealand. Thank you Jo! Now that I think about it, pretty sure it was the last time I had a reason to wear a nice white shirt as I’ve spent most of 2020 building and working in the garden getting very dirty!
Cleansing my social media accounts. Shutting down my Instagram account felt good. Never did like IG. I’m down to a personal page on facebook only. So uncomplicated.
Struggling to write my new ‘about’ page for the website. I find it such a confrontational thing to do. Took days as I asked myself ‘what the hell am I ‘about’. Turned out to be the reality check I needed.
Punching ‘how to sew a mask, no elastic’ into Google Search. I’ve worn a mask every day since and it looks like the norm for a long while yet.
Swapping mangosteens and bananas for my home sewn masks over my garden gate. The New Covid-19 currency.
Clarity… I can now look back and say how lucky was I that I got to reimagine my life? I’m laughing at myself as I type these words. It wasn’t pretty at times.
Jak, an abandoned Bali pup nosed his way into my life. I had no idea a Bali dog could have such a sweet nature.
Sobbing in the middle of the night holding Cantik upright to help him breathe, scared the time to say goodbye was close. (We got through a really rough patch. He needs a little extra care now. I’m not sure I can love him anymore than I do, but I will be digging deep).
“Speak from your scars, not from your wounds.” Can’t remember where I read this but it was the best damn advice I needed this year.
Terrified by the neighbourhood thug, a big male monkey sitting on my fence. Thank god I’ve only seen him once.
Building my very first house… by myself.
Sleeping in the kitchen with Cantik and Jak whilst roof number two and three happened. 3 roofs later… no leaks.
Painting….. 000’s of roof tiles, chairs, tables, bathroom, kitchen. I will be happy to never clean another paintbrush in 2021.
Flicking the handle in the shower and I have glorious hot water. Will never take running water for granted ever again. I am in love with my bathroom…
Calculating the cost of getting a bottle of wine delivered as I no longer have the luxury of going to Ubud to shop in a supermarket. $80. It didn’t happen.
My past….. “Sharing Bali…. and it was one hell of an adventure. It’s hard to find the words to really explain what it was all about. All I can say is that it got under my skin. I lived it. Loved it.” Writing these words in my book (yes, it’s still a work in progress) felt so good.
A family Facebook call to celebrate 50 years since my brave parents packed up 5 kids and two suitcases and we became Ten Pound Poms. Power to my mother for working out FB video for the first time at the age of 82!
Thrilled to see the cover of Andy’s book for the first time. Helping on this book has been a big part of this year. From first draft to to final draft has been a epic journey.
Just when I thought I had the whole ‘no projects, no plans’ way of life down, Google sent me into a meltdown. The automated daily reminder “you have no events scheduled in your calendar today’ did me in. Total panic over wasting time, letting life pass me by, getting older every day. My response to Google once I had a day or so to get over myself … ‘every day is incredibly full, thank you very much. I don’t need a calendar to remind me.
Picking frangipanis every morning in my garden. Made all the more sweeter knowing every tree came from the gardens of my friends and neighbours as gifts.
My first night in my new house. Bliss. I only had a cushion to sleep on, a table and chair, a basket of clothes. And Cantik. It was enough.
Sleeping on the terrace under the full moon… because I can!
I am alone but not lonely…….. how lucky am I?
Realising that I couldn’t be in a better place to sit out a pandemic. It has forced me to be deeply quiet, to live one day at a time. I may never have this time again.
Note to self…. This was such a good exercise.