Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Risky business

A couple of weeks ago, after helping Middle Son in to the car before he and Mr A took off for an early run to school for band practice, I ran up my driveway to get out of the rain and as soon as my (very wet) feet hit the garage floor they slipped out from under me and I landed on my back.

I promptly burst in to tears. I mean, yes, it hurt (I hit my head as I went down - not too hard though, thankfully. Actually, it was my foot that immediately started to hurt - I'd cut it on the lawnmower as I fell), but the tears were more due to the shock and frustration of what happened. Mr A immediately got out of the car to assist, and I could hear a woman in the distance - probably on her morning walk - asking, 'Is she okay?' After Mr A determined it was unlikely I had a concussion (although, I was under strict instruction to text him every hour to let him know I was still alive), and after giving reassurances that I was fine, Middle Son gave me a longer than normal hug goodbye (awww...) and they were on their way.

About five minutes later, the initial shock having subsided, I suddenly realised I had an enormous, shooting pain in my left elbow. I administered an ice pack, and ended up wearing it for the whole school run with my other two boys. It was on my return from school that I realised it would probably be a good idea to get my arm checked out. I headed to our local medical centre and within half an hour of my arrival I'd had an x-ray and the doctor confirmed there was no break, but that he could see 'something' in the x-ray at the base of my elbow that would require a specialist's opinion. He sent me home assuring me a specialist would probably see it within the hour and he would call if there was a problem.

Because I didn't hear from him that day, I assumed whatever he saw was nothing, and I thanked my lucky stars I'd escaped without serious injury. However, the next day (after waking up hurting all over ... ouch!) he called me back in to tell me I'd chipped (or cracked - I can't really remember) my elbow and needed to wear a sling for 4 to 6 weeks. (Great.)

So here I am, taking three times as long to type this one-handed - forced in to considerable downtime (something I've always wished for, but now realise is not much fun if it's not an option) and having to rely on Mr A to do a number of things that I just can't do at the moment. Simply because I ran up my driveway. I didn't base jump off a building. I didn't wipeout while on a surfboard. Nor did I parachute from an aeroplane or fall from a cliff I was abseiling at the time.

I'm a worrier. I don't take risks. I think about the consequences of my actions all the time. Perhaps that has a little bit to do with growing up being the sister of a girl who lost her life in a car accident. (My dear Mum worried/still worries about my safety constantly.)

But after my little accident, I'm questioning the concern. Mr A, for example, does a lot more stuff that I'd classify as 'risky', because he figures: you've gotta live life. (For example, it's ironic that a couple of days before my fall, he'd spent the day at superbike school racing around a racetrack on a motorbike doing over 200kms per hour - in the wet - and survived. All I'd done was run in my house.)

I'm not saying I'm about to do all, or even any of the things I've mentioned above (the only way you'd get me to jump out of a plane is if you pushed me). But it's got me thinking that although it's sensible to have concerns about safety etc, it's just as likely that fate will get you anyway, no matter how careful you think you are. May as well take a few 'risks' if there's something you really want to do.

Don't you think?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No photos, please

Mr A recently had to renew his passport. It arrived just in the nick of time before he took off on a work trip. (Nothing like anxiously awaiting a passport's delivery just prior to leaving the country to get the old adrenaline going, eh?)

Anyhoo ... it prompted me to check if the boys and I are due for new passports any time soon. Good thing I did: turns out that all three boys require new ones. Promising myself I'd get on to that quick smart (that was about a month ago and I've still yet to look in to that. Typical) I looked hopefully at my own only to find, unfortunately, that I have another six years to go.

I say I looked 'hopefully’ and ‘unfortunately’ I didn’t need a new one because at the moment I believe I possess the worst passport photo EVER. No, really. I do.

I am so not photogenic. Especially when it comes to official documentation like a passport and/or driver's license. And from memory, my recent passport shot was done on the fly, hence I have three-day hair (as in, it was the third day since I'd washed it, and I was in desperate need of a good shampoo) and I’m wearing some horribly boring, beige kind of top that makes me look even more blah than what I would normally in a photo. (Add to that I'm not allowed to smile... ugh.) The next six years just can’t go quickly enough.

This is not the first time that I’ve been stuck with a really bad photo. In fact, there was one driver's license that – if it’s humanly possible – had an even worse photo than my current passport does.

In the early 90s – back when I still looked young enough to be asked to produce ID when entering an establishment for over 18s (because I was actually young back then!) I had the world’s worst driver’s license photo. Although I can’t produce the actual ID to prove it to you (thank, gawd) I can prove it with further evidence based on a real event ...

One night, I ventured off to one of my fave nightclubs in Perth at the time: The Hippodrome. As I arrived at the door, one of the two bouncers on duty asked me for ID. (I was probably annoyed at the time that I was all of twenty and still being asked for ID. Sheesh. I so didn't appreciate back then how great it was to be considered young!) Knowing how my shiny, new driver's license looked, I hesitantly handed it over.

Bouncer 1 glanced at it then promptly burst in to laughter. He looked up at me, still laughing, and said, ‘That’s gotta be the worst photo I’ve ever seen!’ I rolled my eyes and said, ‘Yeah, yeah - hand it over.’ But nooooo, he wasn’t finished with my ID yet. Instead, he passed it on to Bouncer 2, saying, ‘Mate, get a look at this. Is that the WORST ID photo you’ve ever seen?!’ Bouncer 2 took the ID and also promptly burst in to laughter.

Once I managed to wrestle my ID back, I muttered, 'Glad I was able to amuse you,’ then quickly pushed myself past Dumb and Dumber and entered the club, hastily shoving my ID in to the depths of my purse. 

A couple of hours later, exhausted from hitting the dance floor (where I always spent most of my time in nightclubs, because I really loved to dance - unless, of course, a member of the opposite sex was able to, say, distract me at the bar … * winks *), I stumbled out of the nightclub, ready to go home, lie down and rest my weary body after all my Vogue moves (or something similar). As I exited, I heard a laugh and, ‘Hey, there goes the girl with the funny ID!’ Bouncer 1 and Bouncer 2 were enjoying their second round of amusement at my expense.

Thankfully, that particular license was a twelve month one only. I couldn’t wait to cut it up when I got my new one.

Of course, even though I can’t wait to try again with a new passport photo, the downside is that by the time 2020 rolls around, I’ll be pushing fifty, with no doubt even more wrinkles to show.

Think I’d better hit the hair salon and the makeup counter at the local shops that day. *sigh*