In the garden

Some days, being a teacher is really heartbreaking. It's the holidays but I got a call from my principal. I won't mention any details here other than to say it was a tragic accident and we will be one student less when school begins.
I'm so sorry. When does school start up again? Do you get like a full 2 months off, or less?
I start on 30 Jan, classes start 2 February. Different schools have different start days, but most schools get 6-7 weeks off.
I start on 30 Jan, classes start 2 February. Different schools have different start days, but most schools get 6-7 weeks off.
I just wondered. It varies widely here by state. The Northeast where I live always gets off from June 21 at the latest, to about Sept 2. Some states get much less, and then get a longer winter break.
Just got caught up on your posts, Evie. Sounds like things have been pretty hectic, both good and bad! Hope you can enjoy the NRE as much as possible given all the other things going on.
I've had some moments when I can truly enjoy the NRE but January has really been challenging.

However, looking well into the future, today I booked next year's longer term accommodation for Puck's visit here.

Looking even further into the future, I've started saving for my return visit after that. Small savings, but it will add up over time.

Adam and I have been making plans for the year as well, many which revolve around household plans (painting, organising, etc.) I've rearranged the budget to free up some cas for these things. It will mean longer to pay off the credit card, but overall, even with the interest, I think it's worth it. It means this place won't feel like a holding pattern and we'll get to see some progress.

Now to get my energy back. I really enjoyed those few days of NRE and feeling like I could actually have an exciting life. I was doing pretty damn well until the tragic death of the student. That's going to sit heavily for a while yet, so I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to have the high level energy again.

Today, I dyed a couple of pieces of clothing that I hadn't been wearing for different reasons. I am pretty pleased with how they have come out. I'm about to hang them to dry and then I'll really get to see how they look. I'm wearing my hair dark now so although this is a dye colour I originally had around for an entirely different purpose, I'm hoping it will suit me in clothing. If not, it will be pretty easy to dye the clothes black 😁
COMPLETELY off topic, but how do you feel about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's resignation? I don't know enough about her to make an educated opinion, but I have seen you mention her once or twice and I was curious.
Well, I'm not particularly surprised. Leading a country takes its toll on anyone and she's had a hell of a lot of sexist bullshit to deal with on top of everything else. She's been a superb prime minister but there was no doubt she would have lost the next election. This allows Labour the chance to put up a real fight in the campaigning this year. And it's pretty clear that the succession planning has been in place long enough that there was a very quick change of leadership. That's what Helen Clark (the last female Labour PM) didn't do and Labour subsequently lost the election. Jacinda learned that lesson, the plan was clearly already in place, and she can go enjoy being a full time SAHM for a while.
A little summary of her time in office:

In my world, I'm a little under the weather but not testing positive for Covid (feels like I should be though). I only got 5 mins to talk with Puck today so I'm also missing him more than usual. But it's date night tomorrow afternoon so we get a long call without risk of interruption.

Work starts again on Monday (although I should be doing all sorts of prep right now, sigh) so that will keep me busy. I have had some good news that should make this work year less stressful. We'll see. I really want to have enough energy to keep up with learning new skills, just in case I really want to jump ship from teaching after this workplace. 4 more years (max) but am I doing myself a disservice even trying to stay that long? Or is that outweighed by a little longevity on my CV, a chance to learn the new student national assessments in a comparatively relaxed environment, and a short commute while I focus on some home improvements and as much travel as I can?

The great Kiwi dream is winning lotto. I'm dreaming a lot right now.
I really hope you do, it can be a very refreshing change.

So, Puck and I had our long call today and talked largely about his visit here next year. It's going to be hard now to not compare to the experience we had on the last visit. But we're going to have to treat it as another sort of blank slate with regards to how we will live day to day. He asked about winery tours and although it's a smaller (less well known) region, where I have booked is wine country. And the AirBnB comes with bicycles yay!

I've just been talking with Adam about how Puck might perceive NZ. We're both very interested to know.

I want more than I'll ever get.
I had a first date yesterday with a local-ish guy I met on the other site I write at. We'd been texting a while and he seemed okay but...


I felt so unsafe by the end of it, I've deactivated that profile. I'm not long off the phone from just hanging out with Puck for an hour after telling him about it.

But, onwards and upwards today. It's Sunday morning and I have some stuff I want to do today. We'll see how much I actually get done, but I might even start with a list. It's been a while since I've actually done a list to enjoy crossing off. Tomorrow, work begins again with some staff only meetings. I don't have to deal with students until Thursday.

Adam isn't working today so I'm looking forward to spending some more time with him, too. We had last night together as well and enjoyed dinner and a movie at home. I honestly wish we lived somewhere else, somewhere with good restaurants! We hardly ever go out anywhere, but hopefully the changes I've implemented to the budget will allow a bit more flexibility in a few months once we've built up a little savings. But then, we also need a plumber pretty soon, and Adam needs hearing aids. And I need to visit my parents again next weekend so that's petrol and accommodation. Sigh, it never ends.

(I've actually reached out to Tech's widow to see if she is up to me visiting her - she's said there's always a bed there, but that could have changed or it could be too short notice. Hopefully she'll text me back.)

I've got this, though. There might be some stress at times, but overall, we're in a pretty strong financial position.
I visited my parents this weekend, made more progress on the financial management stuff, but there are still issues. But I've also come down even sicker than last time. This time I stayed in an AirBnB, woke up aware that I was slightly congested and it just kept getting worse over the day. I got home about 8:45pm, barely slept, and now I'm miserable, staying in bed today, can barely speak, feel like hell and not even sure how I'm going to go to work tomorrow but am definitely not up to setting relief. Adam has gone out for a few hours but hopefully he will be able to help me a little when he's back. It's Flatmate's birthday but I'm not going to be up to doing anything nice for him today. I briefly spoke with Puck. He says he's also got a sinus thing going on, but at least he's functioning.

I really need to be better tomorrow.
Friday night.

I made it. I'm still sick, but I'm on the mend. I had reasonable classes today and I am getting to know my new students better and better.

I've had my "long call" with Puck. We're both wrecked from being unwell, but there's hope amidst the crap of trying to work while sick (both of us). I want to go back. To live together again, even if it's on holiday, brief and surreal.

I've also had a lovely dinner with Adam and good conversation. There are small plans afoot, and bigger ones. Hopefully ones that will mean I'm not just hanging in this town by the skin of my teeth and at this job, gradually being ground down each year. I don't want to die here. I'm optimistic that we can have a few more adventures first. In saying that, Adam admitted the other day that he's winding down, more content than I am, and would probably stay here if I was to leave for a while (depending on where I go - he'd definitely come to England, maybe to Dubai, not to the US.)

I want to be well, I want to be fit, I want to be capable. I hope I have enough energy tomorrow to do a bunch of things on my to-do list - enough that I feel like I've not wasted the day. As always, I could also use a decent lotto win, I have so many dreams that a "mere" $250K would solve (that's $160K USD). Doesn't seem much, does it, and yet it's all my current debt and enough left over to forgive debts owed me, and a couple of treats and home improvements.

Dreams are free, goals need work. I just need the energy to work towards them. When I'm well again, game on!
I have tomorrow (Tuesday) off because of the cyclone and l couldn't be happier. We're actually not in a place where it will get awful (too far south) so I'll be happy and safe at home and I can do a lot of my admin work while I'm chilled out at home. This is the day teachers need. We'd be so much better off if we worked 4 days full on and had a whole day off in the middle of the week to do all the other things we need to do.

I could end up teaching in the district where Puck lives but I have such little understanding of the American system that I am scared I'd fail really fast.

But I'm learning a new skill at the moment too, so who knows what life may look like in 4 years.

The other day Adam unbidden said I could go away for years and then come home. I might yet take him up on that.
We're in a national state of emergency.

I've just heard from Mike as I type. He's evacuated.

Small mercies it's not cold.

I'm so lucky right now, my house is in a good spot.

But I'm feeling a little anxious. This is going to be a hell of a clean up for so many people.

In other news, a childhood friend reached out this morning. He lives overseas but is visiting his mum in Wellington at the moment. I'll see him in a few weeks when I go visit my folks.
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School is closed for the rest of the week as the water is not currently potable and we are also not showering or flushing unless essential. Even next week there will be so many students who cannot get to school due to road washouts. I am insanely grateful we got solar last year even though the grid is technically working here, I can see from the monitoring website that we are almost exclusively supplying the grid right now, not drawing from it.

Flatmate was due to start a new job this week but it's in Napier and therefore closed. Him not working is really affecting my financial planning, but not the day to day stuff. I'm just going to struggle to pay off the credit card in a timely manner. Adam is due to get hearing aids in the next couple of weeks and those things are insanely expensive here still.

Going to Wellington to see my parents every month has already taken its toll. I had another friend offer to put me up, which will help, but she's only just signing a lease today so I won't bank on her for March; anyway, I want to be able to fuck childhood friend (let's call him Gabe) if the mood strikes, so one more motel.

I keep telling myself just one more year of struggle. If Adam can finally get his promotion this year, and I will go up a pay band just due to length of service, and then my student loan will be paid off in December or so, and we should be getting higher bands anyway with the current contract many things to fall into place and then a little more freedom.
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I just wanted to spent a moment ruminating on hierarchy and long distance. I'm now at the point that I consider Adam and Puck to be co-primary. How? Well, for me, the emotional connection has been on par for a long time, it's the most obvious part that can be equal since Puck and I spend so much time talking. Obviously there are day to day things that we aren't sharing; he runs his household and I run mine. But we're now planning on how to spend more time together, a lot more, so this next couple of years will be about both of us getting our financial lives in order to make that easier. I'm not just running my household and developing my career for Adam and me anymore, I'm running it with a view to being able to spend more time with Puck, and him likewise. That's, for us, how long distance can be co-primary.
I've called in sick at work today. I worked through when I had a terrible cold, but today I'm so far beyond that I have absolutely nothing left to give. I'm am exhausted and cusping on a migraine. How can I still use a screen? On the dimmest backlight in a dark room with a yellowish screen. And lots of pauses.

Why even bother? Because the nausea will take over if I don't concentrate on something just a little.

Adam is on 2nd shift today so right now he's gone to get me some supplies. Ibuprofen. Fruit. Puck is working out of town but we have been doing well touching base for about half an hour each evening. I hope I can use the computer by this afternoon, I have a 90 minute zoom professional development meeting, too.

We had badminton for the first time last night. I didn't get to play much but I really enjoyed seeing other people have fun and learn stuff. So many people showed up we will need some more structure next week.

On Sunday his time, Puck flies out of state to help Iris with the drive back from visiting family. He'll be off the radar for about a week. That'll suck for me, especially since the weekend he gets back I'll be visiting my parents, and hopefully Gabe, so I won't get a good long call with him for a couple of weeks.

Adam is back with wellness supplies. I'm going to go get some while I can.