I was brought up under the ‘if you don’t eat your main you won’t get dessert’ regime. I have to say, it worked quite well for me, because I love a bit of dessert, even if, for the most part growing up it wasn’t very exciting. Stewed fruit, for example, or bread jam and cream. But I got used to eating up my plate, even if I didn’t really like it. And because of this, I think, even to this day, I tend to eat the bad stuff on the plate first. I’ll eat the vegetables I am less keen on, and save the bite of lasagna for the end.
Generally, if I am eating something I am not familiar with, I taste a bit of everything and then almost subconsciously eat the thing I like least first, or at least most of it.
But this is not without its problems.
“Sometimes homesickness feels like getting stabbed in the chest.”
That’s a direct quote from me. But let me be very clear – I wrote this in a highly emotional moment when I was throwing the dark thoughts out of my head so I could rid myself of them. I’ve also never been stabbed in the chest and in reality, can’t imagine it would feel similar.
What I was referring to is the homesickness surprise attack. Because when I return to Austria after a few weeks in Oz, or when I wave goodbye to my parents at Vienna airport, or when I get off the phone from a friend enjoying their warm summer on the other side of the world, I expect the homesickness. And because I’m expecting it, and I’m ready for it, it doesn’t seem to hit as hard. I can have a cry, I can get a hug from hubby, or I can sniffle a bit and remind myself that this was my decision.
‘Sneak attack’ home sickness is the one that stabs you out of the blue.
Coming up to Christmas the year I finished high school, I was met with a shocking revelation – I had no money to buy presents for friends and family. My once-weekly evening job saw me earning more than enough to get by, in a time where my parents were still paying for my essentials, but the office closed over Christmas… and my pay checks would dry up. I had been thoughtless with my money. It’s not that I spent a lot – but I sure spent a lot on things I didn’t need.
I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I did not want to admit that despite pocket money and a job, come Christmas, I would be broke. In that moment I vowed that never again would I put myself in such a position. And I did what anyone would do… I concocted a lavish internet scam.
Just kidding… the internet was barely a thing back then…
The first weeks with a newborn are brutal – exactly like they say. Brutal in ways not even thought possible. It’s just everything rolled up together – emotion, hormones, recovery from birth, sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, learning to keep a small creature alive, him learning how to be alive, and just coming to terms with the fact that you’re now stuck with this guy forever.
When Sam was between 2-3 months, it got a little easier. There was a noticeable shift. And again it was a combination of a lot of stuff; both of us were better and faster at feeding, so despite the 2 hour nightly wakings, there was more time between to sleep; we were both learning how to survive so could just cope better; he was still sleeping a lot during the day, so I had more time and flexibility to myself.