In case you are wondering where we are – we’re taking some time out and traveling the East coast of Australia (Canberra to Cairns) to visit family and friends.
We’re a few days in and, to be honest, although traveling this sort of distance with a newborn hasn’t been a painless experience, I can say it has been particularly nice just being together as a family without many of the distractions of everyday life.
Just us, the road, and the next rest stop.
Catch you all in a few weeks.
Wow – how quickly things can change.
I’m left feeling a little bit silly at the moment because not 24 hours after I had been publicly singing the praises of my employer in my last post, I received a call from my manager to inform me that my position has been made redundant and they were letting me go…
I kind of expected to get this call at some stage while I was on leave – they laid off nearly all members of my team the week before I went on leave – so really, it came at no great surprise. In my mind I had even been entertaining the idea of being served a redundancy package with a bit of enthusiasm, but when it actually happened I have to admit feeling a bit funny about it all and spent a few days in the dumps as a result.
With that said, having had a bit of time to get used to the idea and apply some logic to the situation I’m happy with how things have turned out. I really wasn’t looking forward to returning there after my 12 months at home – I’d been quite unhappy in my job for a while now and felt as though I was wasting my life just trudging along for the sake of it. I wasn’t in a good place.
To my (ex) employer’s credit, they agreed to pay me the remaining unused balance of the parental leave in addition to my accrued long service leave as part of the base severance package. All-in-all, I’ll end up with substantially more than if I had have simply taken the leave and resigned of my own accord at the end of the 12 months.
So where to from here? I’m not exactly sure. In the short term, nothing really changes – I’m still needed here in the home to help look after our new daughter. If I take a longer term view, then you could say that I’ve been given a fresh start. A chance to explore other options, whether that be in the same field or something different entirely. It’s all up to me.
Exciting times ahead!
If someone told me they had a day in Canberra and asked me what I’d suggest for an activity, I’d highly recommend strapping on some walking shoes and heading out on the 4.7km (3 mile) bridge-to-bridge circuit of Lake Burley Griffin.
Mel and I would walk the circuit regularly, typically once a week on a Sunday, sometimes stopping for a coffee/tea along the way, but since the bub has arrived, putting some time aside to indulge in a few enjoyable pastimes has been just a bit difficult to achieve.
Since it was such a great day outside, and one of my sisters had popped over to visit, it was just the excuse we needed to all jump in the car and go for a walk.
Aside from the national institutions dotted around the foreshore, including the National Library, High Court, National Gallery and various memorials, the lake also offers the chance to spot a range of wildlife that also think it’s a nice place to call home, like this Australian Black Swan that put on a good show for the camera.
Being such a focal point in Canberra for both tourists and locals alike, you never know what you’ll come across down by the lake. This time we were witness to a flyover by a few RAAF F/A-18 Hornets, marking the 60th anniversary to the end of fighting in the Korean War.
We had such a good time chatting and enjoying the sunshine. It was just a fantastic day and I really am looking forward to the next time. We may not have a surf beach in this inland city, but there’s plenty here for those who want to get out and experience it.
Please feel free to share one of your favorite activities offered by the town or city where you live, I’d love to hear about it!
My wonderful, productive veg patch is suffering from neglect. I’m alright with that, in fact, I’m so comfortable that I’m putting it out for all to see. I have to laugh really – it has literally “gone to the cats.”
I’m cool with the fact I’m learning to be a parent first, and everything else comes second. I’d have been out there cleaning the place up for the last two days were it not for the fact that as soon as I finished taking some photos, a horrid cold winter drizzle set in, but if you look at it another way, the good soaking rain will make the chore of pulling out the weeds – roots and all – a piece of cake.
On my list is: clearing out the remains of the summer crops, weeding, raking the fallen leaves and adding them onto the compost, saving seed, pruning, tool maintenance, and turning over the vacant beds to sow green manure crops.
Amongst the neglect, some thing seem to be thriving – my broccoli heads are much larger than ever before, and the garlic I planted from bulbs saved from last years harvest have all come up after only two weeks in the ground and are looking very strong and healthy.
… And just as I finish writing this, the baby has gone down for a nap, the weather is lifting and sun is pouring in from the window. I’ll get started then.
Well, it’s been eleven days since Mel and I became new parents to our daughter Millie, and wow, how our lives have been turned on their head. Not that we’ve had any particularly bad experiences, but it’s a shock to the system, that’s for sure. Experienced parents may smile with sympathy at some of the below, but here are a few observations I’ve noted –
- My day (and night) is now broken up into 3 hour segments and time seems to pass remarkably quickly.
- I’ve never felt so constantly tired in my life, and sleep is achieved by snatching it whenever you can.
- Breastfeeding is a hard gig. Really hard. Respect.
- I’ve become dramatically more efficient and motivated at nearly every chore, now that I have a defined time-frame to achieve it.
- I wish I had have chopped more firewood, made more frozen meals, and pushed harder to wrap things up at work earlier.
- I’ve noticed a new perspective on life is developing, and the things that used to matter in my world have started to change.
But you know something? – I need to take only a glance at her and immediately any of my challenges are forgotten. Every day seems to be a little easier than the last, and as a team, Mel and I are just as strong as we’ve ever been before. I am so thankful that I’m not forced back to work next week, as is the reality for many, and I’m able to provide in-person support for my new family. My year of being a stay-at-home dad has begun, and I’m loving it.