I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Make that a lot overwhelmed.
Very unexpectedly, I spent most of last week back home in Perth, attending a family funeral. Now I’m back in Canberra, cold again, and feeling stressed by all the stuff that accumulated in my absence such as insurance policies and performance reviews. None of this is helped by the bug that I picked up off my niece. It was thoroughly incubated in the flight home (apologies to my fellow travellers) and is now hammering away at my sinuses.
There aren’t many good things that come out of funerals. One of them is this: you get to carve out a little circle of time which is protected from the astounding tedium and terror of dealing with bureaucracies. (Filling in forms makes you realise all over again that bureaucracies don’t give a fuck about you. It’s their way or not at all.) Watching my cousins deliver the eulogy I was reminded all over again that what is truly important in life is not what we spend most of our time doing.
After the long and emotional day of the funeral, the wake and visiting my own parents last resting place, I had a few days of very precious down time. I went up to Kings Park to see the wildflower festival, and to catch up on my diary and reflect on my direction. I took my nephew birthday present shopping and visited a dear friend, and sooner than I knew it, I was back on the plane and heading ‘home’.
Perth still feels like home, I still dream about it regularly. After all, I did spend the majority of my life there. My family is there. Siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. And when the place was absolutely awash with flowers, not just in Kings Park but everywhere, it was hard not to think that maybe I should go home. My friend punctured that one. ‘Don’t be stupid’, she said. ‘In six weeks time, it will be forty degrees’. She’s right. On my last trip home it was forty degrees in November. Who knows what I’d do for a job? Who knows where I could afford to live? Who knows if I could stand the summer any longer?
When I got the call to come home, I had just returned from booking a trip to Tasmania, where I had intended to go and settle. I had a shortlist of properties. I had ideas of businesses.
Now, I am just profoundly confused on everything except one point. I don’t want to stay in Canberra any longer.