Those Scales


Those Scales

January 22, 2011 Stories 0


Those Scales

This morning my bathroom scales, which I religiously use, started to hover around 3kg less than my normal weight. I have been walking every day and have limited food – remember I am unemployed so I am storing food for the future; not on me, in the cupboard. Now that is survival mode.

I was feeling excited and then the scales jumped up to the normal weight range. Why does life do that? Gives you that little bit of hope and excitement, and then goes, ‘Nah’.

With a roller coaster week behind me I was looking forward to a small reprieve from the norm, including some weight loss. I am not worried about my weight. I am not that worried about anything and that is how I intend to live the rest of my life. I have to tell myself this every day, otherwise I might just worry and it wrecks my mood completely.

Staying on worried, for just one minute the doctor’s nurse was back on the phone on Monday morning with a suggestion I see the doctor; that week, if possible. Aging kicked in immediately.

The nurse said it was not urgent. “Yeah okay, I can see him today if he has a free appointment today,” I said. I was in at 5:20p.m. I was told he was going on holidays at the end of the week and wanted to discuss the results of further tests which have been done.  The results, of the further tests were that they were not conclusive, and I needed to do them all again – in January. Ohhhhhh I could stop with the deep breaths, toss the brown paper bag I had stashed in my handbag. If anyone has ever hyperventilated they would understand this. For now, anyway, I will stop any thought of worrying about my health and let my body sort it out. It’s holiday time.

While I am not working I have loads to do and I will be making the most of the rare down time I have. Well sure, this year I have had more down time than most, how lucky am I?

Busy but not stressed is what works best for me. Pressure is okay if it is manageable. When I get pressured to do something that is just undoable for the many reasons that undoable is, I struggle a bit with that.

Thinking about what is doable and what is not is a very individual thing. My father did not think there was anything that was undoable.

I grew up in Brisbane and when I was a teenager I would walk to the local swimming pool. We did this most of the year as it was so hot all the time in Brisbane. I would read books about this autumn and spring and wonder when we got ours. As for snow, that was something I could only imagine. I would often go to the swimming pool with one of the neighbourhood kids. We would not always look out for each other, once we were there we would do our own thing. When I was 12 one day a man tried to drown me, God only knows why. I can see the guy’s face. He was an older man and he came up dunked my head under the water and held me there. He was an adult male. I was a 12 year old girl. I found it hard to escape this man. Once I did I never wanted to go back to the public swimming pool. I told me parents when I got home. Some time soon after it was announced we were getting a pool in the backyard. “Really?” I asked. “Yes, really” was the reply from Mum and Dad. How cool.

Some time after that, Dad started digging. I kid you not, with a shovel he dug out a whole swimming pool by hand. We had a house which was street level at the front and high at the back, so from the back door Mum could watch Dad shovel out this dirt. He would then wheel barrow it out – I have no idea where he took all the dirt.

Mum being Mum had etched into the wood on the back door the ambulance phone number. If dirt stopped coming out she would phone for an ambulance. Thank God Dad had stamina beyond the norm, or knew not to let her notice no dirt was flying through the air. She never had to phone for a ambulance.

After he had the big hole it was time to pour cement. He had researched it all and knew what to do. He found out how to do what he had not done before. No, he did not mix bags of cement. He got a ready mix truck to pour the cement. Because of the volume of cement he needed a group of friends there on the day to help him. Because there was no access to the back yard directly, planks were set up through the garage area up the driveway across the footpath to where the cement ready mix truck was. The whole neighbourhood was watching the carry on at the Deans’ house. Dad did his best to invite strong and capable men as the work was hard. Each was given a wheel barrow and had to run that full of cement down these planks towards the hole in the ground. Stop. Then pour that load into the boxed area to retain the cement and make the walls of the pool. What a carry on, hey?

One friend Dad had concerns about. Jack wanted to help but Dad felt he may struggle with the physical effort required. Jack arrived and I do not know at what stage it happened but he ended up face down in the cement in the pool. He lost it on the plank, well he kept it on the plank but the momentum of weight was too much for him to pull up when he needed to. I did not witness this but it was talked about for many, many years.

We enjoyed the pool for lots of years. Dad even made a dolphin mosaic in black tiles on the base of the pool at the shallow end. He was a very clever man. Nothing daunted him. He had lots of jobs as well, it must be genetic. In the first year of his marriage he had 12 different jobs. Mum said it was nothing to have him back home by lunchtime. Eventually he found a job he loved which worked for him, and he stayed there for 20+ years.

As we do, I have inherited some traits from my father and some from my mother and then the environment I grew up in shaped me even further. I find it interesting, even compelling, to endeavour to understand what makes us who we are. What shapes our lives and the life we choose to live? What makes each of us happy and why?

Copyright © Mary Willetts 2011


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