2 months…

I’ve rarely left my house in the last 2 months. Mostly due to restrictions and being told to self isolate. The place I have had an opportunity to go to is my local shopping centre. The place is just a shadow of it’s former self. The community spirit that is usually abundant, is not there. No older gentlemen sitting at the cafe, drinking coffee, talking. No elderly people with their carers having a coffee/tea and cake, no kids at the food court with their parents shouting or eating with each other. Nothing like that…it feels different. We go shopping, we are more mindful of others in our personal space, we apologise for being to close. But this is now the new norm.

I have started my new job, which has been great. However, we are not in the office, we are working from home. I have only met 4 people from my office in person, 3 I met prior to starting my job, and my manager, when she came over to visit me, we sat outside and worked. I am really looking forward to meeting my colleagues face to face, in our office, and just enjoying the experience of working with other people.

I know one thing though, there is one creature who is not going to cope with the fact that I will be heading into the office, and that is my dog. I think most people’s animals are not going to cope with the sudden disappearance of their owners…but, this is another thing we will take in our stride.

COVID-19 and the impact on my business

I was going to start this as a twitter thread, but realised that it is going to be more than a twitter thread.

At Christmas time, I made a decision to have a break from my current work, basically because I wanted to branch out to more project work, working with Aboriginal people and community to upskill them to advocate for their families within the child protection system, but to also do other small projects to promote a healthy sense of cultural pride. I had an idea of how to proceed and was learning how to network with other Aboriginal people, who were in similar fields, who wanted to collaborate.

However, at the beginning of this month, there has been a world wide break out of a virus, which is having massive impacts on the world. People are dying, and there is no known vaccine or cure. This has now changed the way in which we do things.

The last month, there has been massive hoarding of every day shopping products (eg: toilet paper) and we now have limited on every day items, because there are people out there, who are scared, and think that we are never going to have toilet paper again. Unfortunately for me, I only shop when I get paid, so while everyone is hoarding, I’m conserving what I have at home.

This was another reason why I decided to move away from consulting work, is that I can finally have a regular pay day, which I can pay my bills, save for holidays and be able to afford things. Sometimes working for yourself, while can be fufilling and rewarding, can also be stressful and your constantly worried about when the next invoice is being paid so you can go shopping.

On Monday this week, I started on, what I thought would be my second last trip East. I was in Coffs Harbour, working with a family, empowering them to make positive decisions regarding their children. I was sad, because I really do love this work, I love going to community to work with families utilising their resources where they live, seeing their life and being able to help them make positive plans around their kids. But, I also knew that I have to have a break. I’ve had a few meetings towards the end of 2019 that were particularly trying and just reinforced a need for a break. But, then this virus has changed everything.

I’m kinda feeling very frustrated and angry that this virus has dictated to me when and how I cease my work. I did not want to end my work this way, I wanted to end on my own terms, and be comfortable with that, but, now, I just have to be comfortable that my own state has closed it’s borders to non-essential travel, and that I will not be in a position to do the last assessment that I want to do. I’m also frustrated in that I can’t go to the shops because people are hoarding food, and my car has a flat battery. But I’m equally frustrated at the people who are disregarding the self isolating requests and treating this virus like it’s a cold. It’s not. It kills people, it’s easily transmissible and kills people, and its because of these selfish people, I now can’t complete my job in the way that I wanted.

I’m resentful, angry and frustrated. But, I will never regret the past 3 years, doing my dream job, working with my people, in ways I could never imagine and travelling to all parts of NSW, and truely appreciating my people and culture. I am forever grateful for making new friends, catching up with old friends, and being able to reconnect to country, and seeing my family in an ongoing way. I’m going to miss that aspect. But, I need to put myself first, this is the reason for the original decision, but this virus has just closed my business.

I would like to encourage you to visit small business, as they are also feeling the ramifications of this virus, some will go out of business, and suffer financially. Please, continue to use local business, don’t hoard, but more importantly, if the government tell you to self isolate, self isolate!!

It’s nearing the end of the decade 2010 – 2019

What a decade it has been. I’ve moved jobs 5 times, I’ve moved states, I’ve gained a life companion, I’ve met some amazing people, I’ve travelled to some amazing places and done some interesting things.

The beginning of this decade was in Marrickville, NSW, the end of this decade see’s me in Perth, Western Australia. I’ve grown older in the mean time, have had some life experiences which have shaped and influenced my future life choices. My mental health has taken a battering, but through it all, I’m still here. (Which is a good thing)

The biggest part which can not be changed is my family. This is a photo of us at the beginning of the decade, my Mum, Brother and myself. At the end of the decade, my brother and I no longer talk, and my mother’s mind has been decimated through dementia. While her body is still with us, her mind will forever be lost in her own world.

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

I think for me this decade, that moving to the East Kimberley provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills, learn how to make friends, converse with people and positively contribute to my community. It was here that I had to rebuild who I am. I can only hop that I’ve turned out stronger and wiser, but sometimes I doubt it.

However, there is one major change which has been the most positive, and thats the inclusion of Miss Bindi in my life. Shes provided me with companionship, laughter, sadness and most of all love.

As this decade is coming to an end, I can only hope the next decade provides less adventures but more fulfilment of life and happyness.

Week ???

Lots have happened since I last updated this blog.

Work

Work has been hectic, I think I averaged 12 work trips to the East Coast during the first half of the 2019/2020 financial year. While this was down on last year’s trips, still the work was intensive and rewarding. The last 6 weeks, however were the most time intensive and challenging. Every family you meet, or come into contact with, is different in their own way. They have their unique circumstances as to why you’ve come into their lives and what I have found in my time working with them, is that they will listen to you when you empower them to make positive decisions about their family. One thing that was reinforced to me during this time, is that families don’t give up. Even when they feel the odds are against them, and it’s like they are swimming up stream. They just don’t give up. They continue to challenge, question, advocate. that speaks to the tenacity of dis-empowered people who find their voice and use it.

Life

Life has been crazy hectic. Not only with the travel, but, along the way, lessons have been learnt about the true nature of peoples perceptions, and how they impact on friendships. I’ve also learnt that Bindi and I need to get out more and see new things. But the biggest thing I’ve learnt is that I’ve really missed my family and need to start making plans to either connected with them more often or move home.

Week 4 – A favourite … book/music/movie (How do people choose?)

As part of the Deadly Blogger Challenge #DB19 the above topic is for week 4. The issue is, for someone like me, I can’t choose, and I will tell you wise.

Favourite Book (how can you choose a favourite?)

I love books! I am a bookaholic. Back in my younger days, I used to read at least 3-5 books at a time. I used to have books in my bed, in my bag, and thought nothing about sitting at a cafe with a cup of tea and reading a book. So how can I choose? If I was to choose, then I would say, the Harry Potter Series was a very good series. Kept me captivated and I honestly looked forward to the release of the new books. I also have to say another of my favourite book series was the Alphabet series by Sue Grafton. Her last book was Y for Yesterday. She passed away after the book was released. I haven’t read it yet, as I’m not sure if I can let go of Kinsey Millhorn, so I guess it’s on the “to read list”.

Favourite Music (again, how do you choose?)

I have an eclectic taste in music. I love heavy metal, love classical music, have grown tolerant to country music and at times, dance, techno and R&B. I guess one genre of music I really don’t like is heavy rap, R&B. If I was to choose, I like Aussie rock. The likes of Jimmy Barnes, Daryl Braithwaite, Cold Chisel, Powderfinger, Midnight Oil…

Favourite Movie (too many to choose from..)

While there are many to choose from, I will say, the one I love watching the most is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. For me, it’s like the ultimate love story, with a cat. I like the old type of movies, I recently saw one with a young Robert Redford and Jane Fonda as a newly wed couple, it was sweet. I also liked Sabrina. I think Audrey Hepburn exuded class and sophistication. If I was to chose, then that would be it.

Week 3 – How I spend my money…

How I spend my money…well..when I was younger, I didn’t have a sense of responsibility and money management. I used to see something, and go, “I want that” and purchase it. Nowdays, I’m a self employed person, with bills to pay, rent to pay (No, I don’t get a free house!) and a high needs 3 legged dog to care for.

However, having said that, I do have some things I like to splurge on. These things make me happy, sometimes I collect too many of these things and then I have to stop, but, I can treat myself every now and again 🙂

Books: I love books, and I love different authors, so I do buy books. I don’t read as much as I used to, but I’m hoping to change that in 2019. I buy books new, or from second hand shops, or on FB Marketplace. Books give you that sense of enjoyment and adventure without ever having to leave the confines of your life. I’ve solved murders, I’ve been on magical adventures, I’ve learnt spells and used magic, I’ve been the President of the USA, I’ve entered magical realms, I’ve explored the universe and gone to new worlds and explored new civilisations, I’ve been a cowboy/cowgirl and I’ve been a fighter in the resistance v the empire (Amongst other things).

Kitchen appliances: I love kitchen appliances, be it a blender, grater, mixer, slow cooker, etc. I just love them. Do I have the kitchen space to have them all in, nope. But I love going to Kitchen shops and I love looking at all the new appliances and wishing I can use them, or dreaming of how I can use them, but in reality knowing that it will never happen. I have a pasta making machine, for when I was going to make home made pasta, still hasn’t happened. Will I ever make pasta? I have hope. I do have on my list of things to acquire: Thermomix, KitchenAid and breadmaker.

Tupperware: It’s a deep, dark hole to crawl down but once you’re there, you have to keep going. Tupperware is my vice. I just love the stuff. I might not use all the products I purchase, but the fact that they are in my cupboards makes me feel good. I think at the moment the only Tupperware products I use on a daily basis are my 1lt water bottles. But, I might use those mellon ballers to make an awesome looking fruit salad…one day…

Make up: I love make up. Just love it. I love foundations (I use a full coverage one in Perth, but when in the East Kimberley, I use a low-medium coverage) I love beauty blenders, I love different eye shadows, I love powders, I love setting sprays, I love blush and bronzers, I love make up brushes. Due to having dark, sensitive skin, I can only use select products on my skin. So I test them out, see if they react and if they don’t consider a purchase. My foundations are from Mac, Napoleon Perdis and Urban Decay. I did get a Maybelline one, but that was because I ran out of the Mac. Eyeshadows are from Napoleon Perdis and Urban Decay. Bronzers/blush from Benefit and Mac. Powers from Mac. I love going to see what Mecca Maxima has in stock, as well as Sephora, Mac and Napoleon Perdis has. But alas, I have a budget so I can’t spend like I would like to.

What about this weather?…

This summer in Perth has been quiet mild, however on the East Coast they have had to put up with some rain, thunderstorms and then catastrophic heat conditions. Then up North, its the usual wet season weather pattern.

Me, while I like the heat in Perth, bought a new air con unit so we can survive, I do miss the wet season. While it can get hot, humid and sometimes unbearable, the glorious rain, when it comes is cooling. big gloopy drops of water, which just refreshes everything.

Up North, when the wet hits, it makes everything green, yes there are times that you can’t get through roads due to flooding, but the boabs start blooming, the river is warm, we don’t use our air con much when it rains, we sit outside taking in the coolness, which cuts through the humidity.

The top photo in this frame was taken in Jan/Feb 2018 during Wet Season. The photo on the bottom of the frame was taken Jan/Feb 2017 wet season
While Dry season has is benefits. Wet Season makes things look greener and more alive…

Downsides to self employment..

I’m currently self employed. I have taken two years off my full time employment to, originally help with my Parents, however due to some differing of opinions, aggressive, violent behaviours and gaslighting directed towards myself, I find that I no longer feel safe near them, or their current care circle, so have moved away from them and now am self sustaining.

However, during this time I have had to find a source of employment which would best suit my needs, and be able to provide me with an income to pay my bills. (Cos, unlike all those myths out there, I don’t get stuff for free!)

While my work is enjoyable, I get to work with Aboriginal families, young people and their carers, working to create ongoing and sustainable change, and being able to give families a voice in a system that really doesn’t give a crap about them. The downside to this, is the lack of consistency in work.

At the moment, I have one task that, depending on a meeting today, might be finalised by next week. I have another one I am working on, and two others, that through no fault of my own, have had to be postponed until March. So in the mean time, I have to find other work.

I’m trying to develop my business webpage, so that I can detail the type of work that I specialise in, but to also build up a customer base. I’m still trying to work that part out as growing a business is a new thing for me, and promoting myself and my skills and knowledge is not something that I do easily. But as with everything else in life, it’s another step in a forward direction…

Wish me luck!

What a Year!!!

Deadly Bloggers – Week 1 Challenge

2018 – What a year!

2018 – what a year you have been. While you haven’t been as challenging and trying as other years, you did your best to test me, but I rose to that challenge and once again, managed to come out the victor. While I can’t name every single awesome thing that has happened to me, I can name some that have made my life happier and given me some purpose. I became an Aunt to the most gorgeous little girl, I mended bridges with some family (who I have missed very much throughout the years), I travelled throughout NSW for work and had the privilege to work with some amazing families, had johnny cakes and chops by the river in Bourke (and I’d do it again cos it was awesome), and was inspired at the NAIDOC Womens Conference being surrounded by amazing women who are focused on working on positive outcomes for our people. Though there were the good times, there were the sad times, where decisions had to be made to again cut people out of my life because of their toxicity and negativity – and I don’t regret those decisions. Heartbreaking times, where I had to say farewell to an Uncle and two cousins. It’s never easy to say farewell to family, especially the day before Christmas, but our little family supported each other and we gave Cuzzo a special farewell.

As for 2019, well, I don’t know what that will entail, or what kind of adventures that I will be going on, but I can say, I’ve survived some pretty hectic years, and while with some I’ve barely managed to escape alive, I still made it, and I will meet 2019 with an open mind and be open to learning more, growing and making more big decisions.

So friends, family, I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and hope that 2019 is a year of strength, determination and achievement.

lots of love
Lisa and Bindi..

Workwise in January: This was the first work trip to Dubbo for the year. Plane was on time this time, but I lost my friends car in the carpark at the airport. Don’t believe people when they say all white cars don’t look the same, they do! (Work KMs (exc Perth) 800kms)

Workwise in February: Second trip back to Dubbo for the year, and first trip to Bourke/Brewarrina. Work KMs 1733kms

Workwise in March: third trip to Dubbo to head to Walgett and return (1341kms). Sydney to Melbourne, Echca and return (2102kms). Sydney to Woodford, via Brisbane and Caboolture return (2012kms). Sydney to Bourke, via Dubbo and return (1544kms) making this the fourth trip to Dubbo. (btw: I hate Dubbo!)

Workwise in April & May: Second trip to Melbourne, then up to Sydney which then ran into May (1756kms), and it was a 4 week trip east. From Sydney I went to Dubbo (fourth time) then back to Bourke & Brewarrina (1722kms), then to Albury (1107kms), and then back to Dubbo (fifth time) to head to Lightning Ridge and Goodooga, then return to Sydney (1635kms).

Workwise in June: was a quick trip to Grafton – in the freezing cold!! (1222kms)

July was NAIDOC Week and didn’t go anywhere

Workwise in August: sixth trip to Dubbo, to go back to Bourke and Brewarrina (1722kms). Then to the Gold Coast to head to Murwillumbah then back to Brisbane and to Sydney (1917kms)

Workwise in September: Sydney to the Hunter Valley and return (355km)

Workwise in October: (in total, it was almost 10,000kms due to going from Perth to Bathurst, and then the other places) but work wise, it was Sydney to Coraki via Ballina, then Goonellabah via Lismore, then Sydney via the Gold Coast (1685kms)

Workwise in November: Sydney to Nowra and return (330kms)

Workwise in December: Sydney to Cowra via Bathurst and return (619kms) Sydney via Cowra via Orange and return (660km)

In total, without calculating the trips from Perth to Sydney, I have travelled 24,262kms this year for work. If I was to add the Perth leg, then that would add an extra 78,200 kms to the trip which then totals: 102,462kms in 2018.

Lets start again….

2019 is approaching, with it, comes a new perspective and new outlook on things. So I’ve decided to step up and re-commence this blog.

2018 was a big year, my business moved forward, with some bumps along the way. Family life was disrupted and bridges were dismantled, but some were rebuilt. Personal life also moved forward, I became an aunt and I realised that life can be more, if I want it.

in 2019, Deadly Bloggers is having a 12 months blogging challenge, which I intend to participate in. I will also share my work journey, as I travel to Sydney and beyond, sharing my pictures of my travels and hopes for the future of my people.

I’m going to leave this photo, it’s one I took in Kununurra, the place where my soul is at peace. It’s of a big, old boab tree..its located 20kms on the Wyndham side of Kununurra, and when you drive along the Victoria Highway, you know that home isn’t that far away.