Monday 7 September 2015

When the world is falling freshen up your flamingoes and listen to Ben Lee.

New symptoms, medication side-effects, and a cry on the bathroom tiles. That has been the last few days. Well, weeks in truth. And exhaustion. I can't forget exhaustion, even if I wanted. It's perched on my shoulder weighing me down, be it in bed, or on the couch, or lying on the grass outside.

Shut down. My body. My brain. The world. All of it.

My recalcitrant body is winning at the moment. I'm not sure we're even playing the same game anymore. All the old rules no longer seem to work. So more tests, more symptoms, more tests, infinitum.

Words don't come. Thoughts jumble, tumble, and fall away.

Pieces fall. And no one picks them up. I'm not sure that they can.

I sat in the garden and let the new Spring sun fall on my face. I looked over at Natasha and Boris, my garden flamingoes. They were faded and battered. Yellowed, pastel pink enamel, looking used and sad.

I focused on the faded colours and couldn't let them go.

Paint was bought.

Beaks and legs were covered in Glad Wrap and sticky tape.

Two layers of pink enamel and they were alive once more.

It's a small act in the big scheme of things. But it's something. I slept after. I lay down in between coats. But when I look out in the backyard today and glimpse their shiny pink feathers it fans a little spark in my heart. Keeps it alive for another day.

It's the small things that make it okay when the world is pulling you under and your reserves are spent.
#lookingup flamingo in the evening.


In my tired state I couldn't find a clip to accompany the Ben Lee song, Everything is OK, from his new album Love is the Great Rebellion, but I like it a lot. It's simple and beautiful. There's a central couple of lines that are stuck in my head at the moment.  

(Here's a live stream version)

Everything is okay,
even when it's not
even when it's not. 


  1. That song, that sentiment and those feisty fresh feathers. You are one brilliant bird, Michelle.
    Hang in there, keep listening to good music and knowing that it's not just flamingo feathers that you brighten up. It's the world itself. You shine, girl. Even from a horizontal position!

    1. Thanks Rach. It's such a gorgeous song, and great album, just what I need at the moment. Love my flamingoes, it really is the small things that matter when it all feels crap. I think I need those lines written on my bedroom wall to read each day xx

  2. I SO LOVE your flamingos and that you followed what needed to happen in this world, just as it is, right now, symptoms and all. They are gorgeous and so uplifting!

    Here's to doing the Little Things that make us happier - 'cause that, too, is an important part of our healing / working with our health journeys.

    1. Thanks Veronique it really is a balm for the soul xx

  3. I love Ben Lee! Have been to a few of his concerts. He came to my university for one. Such a nice guy and his music is so uplifting. I had forgotten about this song.

  4. Thank you for your words, for sharing your life thank you for sharing your pain, your illness, you're coping mechanisms, and I love your sarcasm, such a beautiful thing , your strength and the will to never surrender I am going through a horrible divorce. After 17 years of marriage and three children My pain and illnesses and surgeries showed up about eight years agoAnd today in his court brief he mocked my illnesses and my pain, he has never respected my chronic illness and today was just one more day after 10 years of this emotional abuse that I put myself through by staying with him, reading your column help me remember there are people out there like us who every choice we have to think about because exhaustion and fatigue has become our new Neighbors that we try to avoid but there they are most mornings waiting to wave at us as we try to ignore them Thank you for reminding me that I can let go of people that make me sicker, that give me more pain, people who can't handle & deal with illness and pain. I was told early on by my pain Doctor Who was a beautiful man who understand chronic pain that many relationships and marriages don't survive, it's just it's hard to be a caretaker as it is to be the patient, It's just too hard for some people to see the person they loved and relied on get sick So I do what my faith asks pray for him, understand that he is unable to deal with the situation and this is his coping mechanism Please know that you painting your flamingos was amazing to me and helped me get up this morning, take my kids to school and prepare for court, and face my ex-husband Who will most surely mock me again, but I will get out my paintbrush too :-)


All who are lovely enough to comment should be showered with cup cakes, glitter and macarons. I promise to use my spoon bending mind powers to try and get that happening for all who are lovely enough to share their words. Those who go the extra step to share posts should really get a free unicorn. Or at least the gift of finding the shortest and quickest line at the supermarket on a regular basis. xx

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