Beautiful Chaos

Last time it was about details, drowning in them, to be more specific. While I am still up to my chin in the minutiae of departing the country for a year, I have found myself in another not-particularly-comfortable predicament: I’m surrounded by chaos.

Our usually orderly home is a study in disarray.

There are boxes – flat; assembled, but half-filled; filled and taped shut – both tucked into corners and boldly sitting in the middle of rooms. There are crates dotted about the apartment filled with random collections of things, like electrical tape, climbing gear, extension cords, and unframed posters. I have piles of things that I move from one location to another as we consolidate, pack, use up and slough off. Post-its flutter in the air conditioning with messages like ‘take to work’, ‘give to [insert friend’s name here]’, and ‘donate’.

We’ve done countless trips downstairs to give strangers our things, sometimes for cash and other times for free. Who knew someone could get so excited about a bedside table? We gifted our mattress to a friend and are now sleeping on side-by-side single mattresses on the floor. We have filled the clothing donation bin on the ground floor and have contributed several times to ‘hard rubbish’.

Every day we move the chaos about in an attempt to make it smaller, and to give it order, shape and purpose.

My inner perfectionist is either on high alert, causing me to appease her with increasingly advanced lists, or she’s slacking off, beginning to ignore the chaos, at times embracing it.

And, maybe she’s right.

Maybe the chaos is a beautiful part of this journey, there to juxtapose against the simplicity of living a year aboard with a suitcase and a laptop.

New Year’s Absolutions 2018

Every year I like to write a list of things I absolve myself from doing, no matter how good they may be for my mind/body/soul/relationships/success/wallet, and so on.

This year I absolve myself of the following:

Eating spaghetti squash as ‘pasta’

While I am all for substituting healthier foods for less-healthy foods, like Greek yoghurt for sour cream, spaghetti squash is a heinous abomination and no one should ever have to eat it. Blech! ***same goes for making ‘noodles’ out of zucchini (double blech)


Meditating is supposed to be really good for you. It also happens to be very stressful!!!!! I can’t do it. I have tried, really tried, but I cannot clear my mind. I end up going off on a crazy tangent about what a clear mind is or what ‘nothing’ looks like. It turns into Mr Toad’s Wild Ride in there. My brain is clearly not supposed to be clear.

Going completely paperless

This one is really hard for me. I am 100% on board with receiving emails instead of letters from insurance companies and the electric company, but I still like to write things down. Notes, lists, ideas, thank you cards – I even like wall calendars. Yes, everything is in my digital calendar and my phone beeps regular reminders at me, but there’s something lovely about walking past a (pretty) wall calendar and seeing that it’s only a week ’til our friends come to stay. Plus, I was a teacher for 14 years, and teachers love stationery – it’s in our blood. I will never, ever give up my notebooks, Post-its, or coloured pens. EVER.

Drinking kombucha, coconut water, or apple cider vinegar

Besides the fact that the science documenting the benefits of these drinks is either non-existent, incomplete or inconclusive, they taste bad. ‘Nough said.

Choice on kombucha

Choice on coconut water

The Conversation on apple cider vinegar

Going grey

I have seriously considered just letting the greys grow out. I colour my roots every 2-3 weeks (yes, really) and we’re about to live around the world for a year. It would be highly convenient to give up the root touch-ups and go grey. But if I did, I would look like the human version of Pepe Le Pew, as most of the hair on the top of my head is silver, but not-so-much on the sides or in the back. Plus, I don’t think I’d like it very much. I’m too vain and I like my hair not being grey.

So, what do you absolve yourself from?

The Devil’s in the Details

We are now in the T-minus state of departing Melbourne, and then Australia, for a year. As in, T-minus: 17 days of work left. And T-minus: 33 days until we fly out of Melbourne. And T-minus: several hours until I lose my damned mind.

I woke up at 4am last night (or this morning). I finally drifted off to sleep around 6 – for an hour – and then staggered out of bed at 7. My body is exhausted, but at 4am my brain is doing gymnastics. It’s the details, you see. The details are both exquisite and excruciating.

For example, I decided at around 4:30am, that I should print and laminate a little credit card-sized card that says, ‘Hello, we’re staying at ROAM in Ubud,’ with the address and ‘thank you’ – written in Indonesian, so we can give it to taxi drivers while we’re staying in Bali.

It’s a brilliant idea, I agree. So, I did that today on my lunch break. But, did I really have to come up with it in the middle of the night???

In the past week, I have made multiple messes in our house while clearing things out. For some reason, everything I’m sorting through needs to explode and cover every surface in the entire apartment in order for me to make order from it. I have subsequently thrown out, gifted or sold around 1/3 of what I own. I keep reminding Ben and the cat to move around so I don’t accidentally put them on EBAY.

And the lists! Every time I check something off the ToDo list, I get to enjoy about 30 seconds of satisfaction before my mind starts panicking about the 75 million other things I need to do.

I keep reminding myself that in just over a month, none of this will matter. It will all be done – or it won’t – and I will be on a plane with my carefully-curated luggage tucked safely beneath me in the luggage compartment.

And then, the real adventure begins…