Life Is Good.
Like most people, I tend to go on autopilot during the work week, and just do the same old same old: Wake up, go to work, <insert tasks for the day here>, come home, eat, catch up with my family and go to sleep.
I’m guessing unless you’re one of the fortunate few that don’t have to work for a living, this pretty much describes your week day as well.
The weekend is what most of us look froward too.
Pretty mundane right?
I thought so too until a friend said something which gave me pause. In that moment I realised the past 10 months have been extraordinary for The Pillion and I.
Our youngest, Jaja, graduated from high school in November; and for the third time in five years I was the proudest bloke in the suburb.
That day marked the final milestone for our kids, they had all achieved something neither The Pillion nor I had achieved: They finished high school.
A bonus in having them all out of school meant our vacation patterns would make a serious let turn for the better. No longer can the airlines, tourist operators and hoteliers extort money from us just because it is “high season”.
Does everyone know how to say Customer Gouging?
A month later, in December, The Bar Tender traded up employers. Even though he had been promised much by his then employer, they delivered little.
No training, limited hours and a duty manager with a bad attitude towards his staff.
What a contrast his new employer is.
They’ve given him more hours, more training, and exposed him to more responsibility in a few months than what he had received in the previous two years with his previous employer.
He’s much happier, and has risen to the challenges put before him with aplomb.
With all this encouragement and positivity, (is that even a word?); he decided in January to enroll in a Diploma Of Hospitality at college: Another proud moment.
By the end of February, The Pillion and I were on the road. For seven weeks we toured four states, one territory, crossed Bass Strait and covered around 8,500km (5,280 miles).
This was by far the longest and most ambitious vacation we’d ever undertaken, not to mention we were on a motorcycle the whole time. We relished in the adventure and are already planing our next extended vacation.
By May our eldest, The Pillion In A Million was off on another of here world adventures.
In early 2015 she spent two months touring India (Link) and Nepal; in November 2015 she went to Japan for two weeks. This time we wouldn’t see her again for at least 6 months (Yes I’m counting!).
Since leaving us in May she’s been to Singapore, Thailand, The United States, Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean and Colombia.
Her itinerary extends into November, but it’s looking more and more like she wont be home until January or February with all the additional destinations she has added in. Plus she’s already warned us she’ll only be home long enough to get a working visa for her next destination.
I don’t envy her, really I don’t… much…
July saw Jaja enroll for a Diploma in I.T. at college. He’d been looking for work for six months with not a single interview. Very disappointing.
It was getting to him and annoyed the hell out of me, because here was a kid that wanted to work, but couldn’t get a break. All the while the nightly news is reporting a shortage of labor and that employers wanted to get more overseas workers in on 457 visas. Grrrrr.
In late August I got a call from “me Mum”.
She dropped a thought bubble in my lap, which has caused us to re-focus the latter part of the year. I might elaborate when it’s all done and dusted; I need to see how it all pans out first.
Towards the end of October there’s a visit the butcher planned for The Pillion and in December I get to see my nephews again while they are up for their grandfathers 80th birthday.
I’m really looking forward to that.
In amongst all of this there’s been 3 rounds of redundancies at work, meet-ups with some most excellent friends from Melbourne who we haven’t seen for ages. (Happy Birthday T-Bone by the way), and sadly the loss of another friend to the Black Dog.
It has been, and will continue to be, an extraordinary year for us. That’s for sure.
I can’t remember another one quite like this one.
But you know what I’m looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the day when Jaja is remotely manipulating a projector via a whiz-bang network he has designed and built, as The Bar Tender creates one of his specially blended secrete recipe cocktails while The Pillion In A Million regales us with tales of her adventures from abroad.
Life is good.
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