Why I’ve been gone

Why I’ve been gone

It’s been quite a long time since I wrote my last post, and I wanted to make a quick update today to explain!

Back in May last year, my house got flooded during an unusual storm event. We’ve had water flood into the lower part of the house before, and have been working on lots of different methods to solve our drainage issues. We thought we had it pretty much covered.

But nature is a powerful entity and water is particularly insidious and tends to find its way in, no matter how many drains, pits, pumps and overflows you put in its way.

So not only were we bailing and pushing water out of our under-house and garage for hours, we discovered water had gotten into our laundry and rumpus room at the back of the house. This was an area we’d never had water in before, and it was what really caused the most disruption and damage.

We still aren’t sure how it happened, as there is a roof over our back deck, but somehow the water came down through/over the guttering, between where the two roofs join, and made its way through the sliding glass door into the house. I suspect it was due to a combination of poorly sealed roofing and glass door, capillary action from roofing iron not being angled correctly, and extremely strong gale force winds from a direction we don’t normally experience.

There were several thunderstorms and a huge amount of rain that night, so we were actually quite lucky it didn’t end up worse. Many people had far more negative impacts than we did, so we count ourselves fortunate in that regard.

So flash forward some six months to early November. We are still living with mildewed carpet, the threat of mould, partially demolished walls, and our entire video game collection stacked on every available surface across the rest of the house. I had also started a new job that year, and it wasn’t working out how I had hoped.

Then I found a lump on my cat’s chin and there came a very real fear of her having cancer (she’d had a couple of lumps removed in the past two years). All this was happening about two weeks before we a planned holiday, and we were very worried the house would not be repaired in time for our trip, leaving our housesitter needing to live in a tip for a month.

Thankfully the repairs got done, and the new carpets/tiling laid just in time (but not without some hiccups, of course!) We had barely a few days to get the place in order, before we were abandoning our cats to a stranger and jetting off to a foreign country (which comes with its own stresses, especially with anxious travellers and special dietary needs).

And just to add a little more stress in the mix, I was handling a heap of intense stuff at work for an international meeting of nearly 300 delegates, interviewing for a new job (while keeping that on the down-low!) and negotiating a start date for said new job. Oh, and the day we arrived overseas for our trip, we saw the forecast for back home – several days of heavy rain expected and a potential for similar conditions to the May flood.

The first few days of the holiday were not a lot of fun as we worried about what would happen back home. Thankfully – as people do in a crisis (or potential one) – our friends offered to help if needed, and our housesitter kept watch. The forecast changed, the rain came but didn’t turn into anything much, and we could get on with enjoying our trip.

The second last day before we were due to come home, I fell ill and I am only just recovering. We also got to experience our first Japanese earthquake, something I’m keen to not do again.

We got back home, and in the throes of my chest infection, two days later, our foyer flooded again, even with the new overflow pipe we’d had installed. At this point I started to research “water curses on houses” and wonder if I needed to do some kind of emotional cleansing. Water is meant to signify emotion, so perhaps there was some bad energy in the house!

The next day, I was due to start my new job but I was so sick I could barely function. I ended up dragging myself to the doctor, who said I had a fever, laryngitis and a serious chest infection. Suffice to say, I didn’t start my new job that week, and the next was Xmas break.

So here we are in the new year, and I’ve finally started my new job, albeit whilst still sick, meaning I only managed a half day on the first day. Nevertheless, things are looking up, maybe?

The point of this long description of my shitty 2018 is to say that it took it out of me. Living in my house in that state didn’t feel like home. Every time I looked around, and saw the stuff piled up where it shouldn’t be, just reinforced how I was no longer in my sanctuary. I felt sad and stressed much of the time, and, on reflection, it really chipped away at my mental health.

The house is back to normal now (except for a bit of carpet downstairs needing to be cleaned from the minor flood before Xmas), and I’m starting to feel normal again too.

Sometimes you just need to let yourself lean into these stressful events and just let them happen. Time tempers the stress and reminds you that all things end, both good and bad, so weather the storm (no pun intended) and enjoy the rainbow.

Here’s to what I hope will be an amazing 2019.

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