How has the first week of the school holidays treated you? Ours has been filled with loom bands, glow-in the dark glitter glue (not even kidding!), musical bedrooms and burning parachutes. It’s time for the Little Sister to vacate the nursery, for me to reclaim the office I gave up six years ago and (hopefully) for Bearhands to stop complaining about the amount of stuff on the dining room table.
The Big Sister has to move into the spare room, so the Little Sister can move in to her old digs. It’s a bit of a mammoth task. Our spare room has become a collection of vacuum storage bags of clothes the kids have grown out of, luggage (where do people store their luggage??) and the carefully packed parachute I stashed there years ago.
When Bearhands and I first moved to the farm, we weren’t married. In fact, we’d only known each other 20 months! Bearhands had a clear vision for our future, I took a gamble and chucked in my career to dive into it with him, but I packed my parachute first. I packed it for any one of several possible events I’d imagine between two and three am:
- Bearhands and I split the sheets
- Farming wasn’t for us
- Farming was for us, but some financial catastrophe befell us.
- Bearhands got hurt or worse.
So I carefully packed my parachute in the spare room. Textbooks, coursework, options: all neatly stacked in the cupboard. But parachutes are bulky and they don’t have indefinite lifespans (particularly the panel of the parachute made up of environmental law). So this week, I set fire to my parachute.
I burned a plan to conserve an imaginary endangered ant eating lizard and the safety briefing that I designed for snorkel tours of Brampton Island.
I kept the cards that our loved ones sent when the girls were born and my childhood french textbook.
I burned employment offers and a cheery booklet called Am I in Labour?*.
I kept my 21st key and the letter that my Mum wrote when after I’d resigned my career to join Bearhands on the coast.
I burned notes from my criminal intelligence training and gave away my environmental risk management texts.
My parachute had to go and the realisation that I no longer need it was a really happy one. I wish I could go back eight years and whisper some steadying words into my own insomniac ear.
It’s freaking awesome to have a life from which you don’t need an exit strategy!
do you have a parachute?
where do you keep your luggage?
* Should by some miracle, I ever find myself in that situation again, I’ll trust myself to know it!