Gone but not forgotten

I’ve been away from this blog for over a month now and so I want to tell you what’s been happening. It’s been a busy month and there have been both good developments and sad ones. The sad concerned the sudden death of my uncle earlier this month.

This is not the place to speak about family matters but it was a particular shock to us. Families grow apart as siblings get older and my dad and his brothers went their own ways. Lately we hadn’t had much contact with my dad’s youngest brother and so it was a big shock to us when he died quite suddenly on Sunday the 8th of May. My dad had unavoidable work commitments in Swaziland and so wasn’t able to make it back for the funeral. I was asked to be a pallbearer and also to do a reading from 1 Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind, It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

And so on. It was a very fitting reading for Uncle C since he gave so much of himself over the years (perhaps too much). This was also the reading I’d done at my sister’s wedding and it felt so strange to be standing up there in my wedding suit and to be reading the same words. I was very sad that I hadn’t spent more time with my uncle when he was alive and sad for him for the disappointments he’d suffered over the years. But also proud of what he had achieved in his life, particularly with regard to yachting. The last conversation I’d had with him was around model yachts and more than a year ago he’d invited me to the Waterfront to see the yachts that he and a friend were making and selling. He had always been a keen sailor but as he’d got older he wasn’t as fit anymore and so he switched to model yachts. I was busy at the time and so I didn’t go. Now I wish that I had taken a greater interest.

Moving on to happier news, this month has been an exciting one for me work-wise. In the same week as my uncle’s funeral I went for a job interview as a school psychologist. I was understandably nervous but I had a good interview (in front of a panel of five) and yesterday I met the principal and signed the contract! And so in three months’ time I will be leaving the military and going back to my roots in education. I’m really looking forward to the challenge and I know this is a good move for me. As much as I learned a lot in the military, gained invaluable experience and made some good friends, it was not a long-term career option for me. I just wasn’t comfortable with going away on deployment, having officer’s training hanging over my head and just the general culture of ranks and saluting, uniforms and endless rules and regulations. Of course schools have their own rules and regulations and uniforms and hierarchies. But they are also nurturing environments and it’s a particular challenge to work with adolescents. I’m looking forward to it.

Another thing that’s kept me from blogging is that my part-time private practice is slowly picking up. Two months ago I started sharing another psychologist’s consulting room three late-afternoons a week after I’ve finished at the military base. It was terribly quiet to start with but I also knew that things would pick up in time and they have. It means taking a change of clothes to work (since I’m in uniform) and also a longer day since I start work at the military at 7am and I’m finished at the practice by 5.30pm. It’s an exciting development but also more difficult in a way since there’s more pressure. Medical aids often don’t cover psychotherapy and so clients need to pay for it themselves (which is particularly difficult in a recession).

And then of course there’s L and Baby F. L goes back to work part-time in July and I think she’s looking forward to it but is also quite anxious about how we will all cope with the change. Baby F will be four months old in two weeks’ time and she is cuter than ever. She has also, dare I say it, started to sleep through the night (and has been doing so for the past two weeks). I’m not even going to risk saying the words “easy baby” because that would be tempting fate. As for the anxiety about being responsible for this little one, I don’t think it ever goes away.

I’ll try and get back into a blogging rhythm soon – even it’s only every second week. But I wanted to say I haven’t forgotten about my blogging friends. Happy reading and writing to you all.


14 Responses to Gone but not forgotten

  1. smithereens says:

    So much happening to you these days, no wonder you’ve got no time for the virtual world! I’m sorry for your loss, and for the other bits of news, congratulations! Job change, new practice, and better sleep all make for a great new season for you!!

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Smithereens. I’ll take the great new season quite happily. Three months to go with the old job and then I start my new job on the first day of Spring 🙂

  2. litlove says:

    Really sorry to hear about your uncle, but such good news about the new job. I feel sure that education will be a much more vibrant and intriguing atmosphere to work in than the military! And wow, sleeping through the night at four months – that’s impressive. I always felt a parent could cope so much better with a decent night’s sleep behind them. Spare a thought for my friend, who had her second baby about a year ago and neither of them slept for more than 30 minutes together until they were almost a year old…

    • Pete says:

      Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing so I do feel for your friend. Is her second baby a boy? That seems to be the familiar story I’m hearing – first baby easy (a girl) and second baby much much more difficult (a boy). L and I know we are incredibly lucky with Baby F (touch wood etc.) Thanks for the good wishes re the job. I did think of you with your career in education too. I’ll have to get some tips!

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your uncle. Congratulations though on your new job. Wonderful!

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Lilian. I’m sure it will be very challenging but the good kind of challenging. The military has its own challenges but enough said about that!

  4. Courtney says:

    Oh, congrats on the new job! That sounds absolutely wonderful for you. I am sorry to hear about your uncle, though – your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve just returned to work after nearly four months off and I am enjoying the balance of motherhood and working – don’t get me wrong, I adore caring for E and would stay home if I could – but having time to eat my lunch, and listen to some music while writing…well, it doesn’t suck, anyway. And for what it is worth (and yes, I worry that putting this in writing will jinx us as well) – E has been sleeping through the night for over two months. Now, she wakes up EARLY – 6 am – but she has never regressed from nighttime sleeping…

    • Pete says:

      So glad to hear that you’re enjoying the balance of motherhood and working. L is looking forward to going back to work for the same reaons as you mention. And yay for E that she’s sleeping through the night. 🙂

  5. Corri says:

    It’s always difficult to keep up with the blogging, itsn’t it, when day to day life requires so much of our attention! Don’t worry, blogging should be part of the fun side and when it becomes a chore you should leave well alone! I’m sure you will pick up when you feel like it – and congratulations on the new job!

  6. litlove says:

    Pete – this is just to say I know you have a new post – I can read it in my feed reader. But every time I click through to your site, it disappears, or tells me it can’t be found!!! So I’d love to comment and will do if the Gods of the ether world ever permit me to access the newest content on your blog….

    Hope all is well, in any case with you and your family.

    • Pete says:

      Hi Litlove – I think it’s probably an old link (a post that was edited and so the link doesn’t work anymore). I’ve been meaning to post something though so perhaps your feed reader is a mind reader too! Everything’s fine here but I’m just not getting the time to read (or post). Will do so soon. All the best to you and the rest of the Litlove family. I think I owe you an email soon too.

  7. litlove says:

    Well I’m relieved not to be ignoring your writing, as I feared it might look as if I were! Really, I quite understand the lack of time – I remember those days well! Take care of yourself and write just as and when you can. Your credit with me is unlimited. 🙂

  8. doctordi says:

    Oh Pete, condolences about your uncle. I’m sorry to hear that, and understand well that feeling of wishing you had done more while you were able. I hope you’re all okay – your dad may be taking it harder than many men of his generation are comfortable letting on.

    AWESOME news re the school job – congratulations!!! Just perfect, I know you’ll excel and it seems a much better fit for you. Much.

    Fab that Baby F is sleeping through, and I agree, I don’t think the anxiety of parenting ever leaves.

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