It’s been a really, really rough few weeks. And as I type this I can imagine a few eye rolls, because given the greater issues that millions of people face in our country every day, this may all seem relatively trivial, but like anything, when stuff starts to add up and compound, it can all feel like a little bit too much.
If someone had to make you a cup of tea, and sneak one small grain of salt into it, you would drink the tea and think it was lovely. The next day, should that person add 2 grains of salt, you probably still wouldn’t notice a difference. But slowly, if the amount of salt added to your tea increased, then very soon your tea would be soured and undrinkable.
My teacup has too much salt.
About a month ago my husband went through some really ugly stuff with work. And that’s pretty much all I can say. But it was enough to really put a dampener on our spirits and set a rather sad foundation for the situation. At that same time, we had to rush him to hospital where he needed an emergency appendectomy. The surgery went fine and he’s recovered well from his 1/3 C section (which I like to remind him of daily). A week after that though, we had some exciting news – our long-awaited house renovations were finally starting. Much excitement as windows got knocked away and ground got broken. But less than 12 hours after, we were woken at 3 am to the sounds of intruders in or on our roof. It’s funny, nothing happened and no one got in our home (apart from half a security guard who fell through the ceiling when on the hunt for these criminals) but I felt terribly afraid. Suddenly a break-in was more than just a threat to Barry and me, it was a threat to our two-year-son who lay in bed with me while strange mean ran along our roof, asking what the noise was.
Violated, but unharmed, life went on, until 3 days later when we arrived home to find out that our electricity had been accidentally cut off. On the coldest day of the year. This was 5 days ago and we have still not been reconnected. Again, thousands of people in or country live without electricity every single day, but it has just been one little blow, one small grain of sand, after the other, and I am exhausted. This also means we have lost all power to our beams, alarm system, gate and fridge. We are bathing over pots of water and lying wide-awake listening for more feet on the roof and more sounds in the garden. The alarm is trickle charging on the generator for a few hours every night and dies early hours of every morning. We have a ritual of a midnight trek to the garden – I stand waving a solar powered jar looking for baddies while Barry pours Valpre bottles of petrol into the generator. He then lies in the lounge listening for sounds while I attempt another 2 hours of sleep. There has been only one night since Monday where a siren hasn’t triggered, where we haven’t had a security guard knocking on our window and where we haven’t lain awake for hours on end wondering if tonight is the night someone actually gets in to the house.
I am sick and tired of it. I am tired of being a good person and paying my bills and living responsibly only to have incompetent government and municipal institutions carry on with their inefficient ways. There is no accountability. I’m tired of spending our hard earned renovation money on CCTV and electric fencing upgrades and UPS systems instead of taps and tiles and paint. I’m tired of wondering how I am every going to explain this to my son. I’m tired of arriving home to a black hole in my suburb, not knowing what lies in or around. I am tired of everything always being a fight. I am so tired of salty tea.
And I know, when the power does eventually get restored and life returns to ‘normal’ that this will be forgotten, and life will carry on, but for now? I’m angry and cross. Not just for me but for our whole country – a country who is subject to archaic, sulky and incompetent processes and governance.