about life

Dear Diary,

This week has been exceptionally difficult.

Jay’s Dad took a turn for the worst. We thought death would take him, consumed by cancer.

Jay flew up to be by his bedside on Monday morning. After missing the day’s only flight to Hervey Bay he managed to catch one to Maroochydore, hire a car and drive the rest of the way. He arrived late afternoon tired, with man-flu and in time to start planning his father’s funeral with his sister; things were looking very grim and the doctors were not optimistic.

After five days of hour by hour highs (gaining consciousness, sitting up, talking) and lows (crashing, failing vital organs, unconsciousness) his kidneys are gaining functionality and his infections are clearing up and best of all he’s out of bed. Today he got discharged from hospital (huzzah!). The doctor’s have said he’ll be with us for another 3-6 months.That’s 262,974 more minutes. Not enough time to see us fall pregnant or have a baby or buy a house or congratulate Jay when he graduates from uni or see Jay turn 40, watch his 6 grandkids grow up or celebrate his own 74th birthday.

Everyone knows death is inevitable. A natural part of the cycle of life. But that knowledge never makes it any easier. Someone you love is there. And then they’re not. 

I think I have stayed strong for Jay on the end of the phone; listening, soothing, missing, giving him tidbits of my & Harley’s day to breakup the hurt. I am sad also. My heart feels weighed down and heavy with worry and sorrowful expectation of what is to come. The man I love most in the world is going to lose the man he loves most in the world. 

How can that be anything but the shittiest thing life spews at you?


I posted that earlier in the week on my Instagram

Yesterday, my brother, my only sibling, checked into rehab. Mum & Col drove him there after looking after him for the past week; basically drinking himself to death and almost achieving it after a fall from 11 stories resulting in broken ribs, internal bleeding, fractured spine & skull. Mum said he barely weighed 60kgs when she picked him up from the airport, my 6.2ft baby brother.

After 10 years of substance abuse & chronic alcoholism he will finally be getting the help he needs. I can’t even fully articulate the levity of my heartbreak and grief for him. I am optimistic and hopeful, yet not totally convinced that this will be the cure. I have no doubt that rehab works but I don’t know if he really truly wants to get sober or if he thinks that this is the only solution to current situation. No job, no home, no relationship with terrible injuries. Rehab puts him in a place where he doesn’t have to deal with any real world fallout, and I don’t think he realises how hard it’s going to be in his own head without drugs & alcohol. More than anything, I want this next 12 months of rehab to be his sobering rapture. If I believed in a Deity I’d be praying profusely. Now we just have to wait. I get to speak to him in 6 weeks, but until then there’s no contact.

“About life:
“It is not complicated unless I make it so. It is not difficult unless I allow it to be. A second is no more than a second, a minute no more than a minute, a day no more than a day. They pass. All things and all time will pass. Don’t force or fear, don’t control or lose control. Don’t fight and don’t stop fighting. Embrace and endure. If you embrace, you will endure.” 
― James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

Almost always the optimist, I am looking up. Strong in the belief that things will be better tomorrow. Because after everything, I can only love them and truly hope for the best.

signature2 - melly xox

wild at heart


Her wild tangled hair,
wearing a halo of  evening sunlight
like a majestic crown,
goes haywire,
when a sudden guest of wind,
in the manner of a lusty lover
play with it,
in every which way
one can imagine.
Waves of scent,
of freshly cut lemongrass,
emanating from her auburn tresses,
light wild fire
in his thoughts,
as they go down the hill,
through the narrow path
lined with trees full of roosting birds,
to the clearing in the forest
where stands
the lone hunters’ lodge
where they’d spend the night.
~K Balachandran~

wednesday words | a little duck


With a little bit of luck
A duck
Will come into your life.

When you are at the peak
Of your great powers,
And your achievement towers
Like a smoking chimney stack
There’ll be a quack
And right there at your feet
A little duck will stand;
She will take you by the hand
And lead you

Like a child with no defence;
She will lead you
Into wisdom, joy and innocence.
That little duck.

I wish you luck.

~ Michael Leunig ~

wednesday words

It’s not often I get emotionally intimate on my blog, but earlier this week I came across a beautiful quote that I texted to my younger brother who has been going through a hard time.

He’s had a tough year; struggled with heartbreak from a girl he thought he was going to marry, emotional turbulence in trying to reestablish a relationship with our father, loneliness with living 5,000 kms from his Mum & sister (and any other family), an ongoing battle with substance addiction and recently a mugging & stabbing that left him close to death.

While my Mum and I try and support him as much as we can from our various parts of the country (I’m in Sydney and Mum’s in Emerald, QLD) there isn’t a huge amount we can do, other than emotionally support him, without him taking ownership of his actions and action for himself. 

It’s not that I’m looking for sympathy, but it is emotionally straining and heartbreaking to see someone you love not live their best life
or up to their full potential.

This quote is something that really embodies the message I want to give to my brother. Someone who has a beautiful soul that is scarred by experience, but who needs to understand that although we are the sum of our experiences we don’t have to let those experiences define our path.

be soft

i am superwoman (yes you are)

When I think back to my adolescent wishes for the future, and about the woman I imagined I’d become, I realise that my teen ambitions were superficial aspirations; lofty ideas based on proclamations such as “when I grow up I’m going to be a millionaire/Mrs Mulder/Mrs Furlong/Jacques Cousteau’s research assistant“…. While most of those things are no longer attractive to me (Fox Mulder? Edward Furlong? What was I thinking?!) or no longer possible (RIP Mr Cousteau) and while I could still be a millionaire…the main thing is that my idea of what it means to be a woman has changed.


When I think of my definition of what it means to be a woman, I think of someone who is confident, self-sufficient and comfortable in their own company. Someone who has success or is working towards her goals be they career and/or home driven, who has friends who she can regularly turn to for support or a giggle; someone who is adventurous and knows her way around a kitchen & a bedroom. Knows what it means to love and be loved, is supportive of other women and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or speak her mind if she feels the need to. She isn’t defined by other people’s expectations.

“As women, our lives are infinitely complex. We’re wives or significant others, we’re caretakers and givers, we’re business executives, we’re life coaches and life providers.” ~Macala Wright

Not that I’m saying that I’ve achieved this zen-like muliebrous state. Some qualities I’ve nailed and some I’m blindly stepping through the effeminate minefield towards. 

Like a note to self, I’ve compiled a list of things to help keep me on track in becoming the woman I’ve always dreamed of being…keeping in mind we are the sum of all our experiences, mistakes and all.

  1. Be kind¹ but not always nice¹.
  2. The way we dress effects the way we feel, act & the way others react to us. You don’t need to be a fashion icon, but you do need to remember the image you want to portray to the world.
  3. You don’t have to talk to strangers but it’s nice to give a smile.
  4. Invest in your education or creativity. I truly believe a happy and fulfilled woman is the healthy heart of every family or a building block for a future one.
  5. It’s OK to say no. You don’t have to be everyone’s yes-girl.
  6. Always tell your family that you love them (even if your brother is a complete shit at times!)
  7. Know how to be a good friend. One that listens, is supportive and has fun with them.
  8. Take the time to truly understand what the meaning of feminism is. Its not about women above all others, man hating or burning bras. This is 2012! Start [here]
  9. Exercise every day. A 1 hour workout is 4% of your day. Virtually nothing when you think of it like that!
  10. Respect your elders but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say.
  11. If you believe what you say, then eventually others will believe in you.
  12. Remember important events and details of people that matter. And invest in a great app that helps you do such things!
  13. Just like Kenny Rogers said…’You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em“; learn when to take the high road.
  14. Learn how to give bad news with grace.
  15. Keep your house clean and tidy. It does wonders for your demeanor. And stress levels when your mother/-inlaw comes over!
  16. Regularly kick some ‘soul goals‘ (a term my hubby coined which means doing something good for others without expectation of praise or acknowledgement).
  17. Own a basic tool kit and know how to use it. Drilling stuff is actually quite cathartic!
  18. No matter what the magazines tell you, it’s not about being fashionable. It’s about being attractive; for yourself and for the people that matter to you.
  19. Knowing that a way to a man’s heart is through his tummy (figuratively speaking) is not classed as manipulative!
  20. Fresh flowers are not a waste of money; they are an investment in the happiness of your soul.
  21. Just because you make bad mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
  22. Giving your heart away leads to some of the best experiences in life. Learning when to do so is half the fun.
  23. Try hard to have no regrets. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
  24. Learn the art of polite chit chat. It makes those parties where you don’t know anyone, less awkward.
  25. It’s OK to change your mind or change direction; to take a different path. Courage is knowing what & when it’s not working out for you and then doing something about it.
  26. Embrace the internal self pep talk; they really do help your confidence (just remember the internal part because people just think you’re weird when you talk to yourself).
  27. Know what things are important enough to make sacrifices for. Our lives are so busy that we inevitably have to decline/cancel/skip/run-late for things that we wish we had time for, but it’s seeing the bigger picture and knowing that you can’t do everything all the time. And that’s OK.
  28. “she eats takeout on china and serves champagne with pizza”! here here! [via]
  29. Remember: you can do anything but not everything. It’s OK to ask for help.
  30. What it means to be a woman is different for every one of us. Figure out what it means for you and live your life with whatever purpose you want for it!

a week with instagram

Pictures posted to Instagram this week
[thisismelly on instagram]

Monday breakfast at a client site
Monday evening margaritas on our balcony
Tuesday Halloween decorations in a pub window
Tuesday walking home from boxing with Jay
Wednesday lunch
Thursday breakfast
Thursday sunset over the bay
Thursday night dinner
Friday morning boxing on the harbour
Friday flower garden in the town square
Saturday food truck
Saturday shelling broadbeans for lunch
Saturday stroll along the bay

*as a side note to the picture of my boxing gear on the harbour above; during this workout I slipped a disc in my lower back! Ive been laid flat out for the last 2 days in total agony, leaving the house to go to the physio and for gentle strolls. I’ll be back to normal soon, but man, it has been the most excruciating pain in my life!