An April Lunch at Cafe Norden

Hmmm… starting this post is not easy.  It cuts a little too close to home and isn’t very pretty.  It has been tumbling in my brain for awhile and is now pushing its way out.  For a few years now I have begun to believe that upon our return home to Melbourne, I was entitled to my reward.  Some may ask, reward for what?  These would obviously be the people who could not see beyond the holiday photos of my life littered across Facebook pages to the true harshness of the reality that I have been living.  They failed to see how selfless I had been in putting my life on hold so that my husband could pursue his dreams.

I could go on and on glorifying the many selfless acts that I made without argument or murmur of dissatisfaction over the last decade or so in the hopes of justifying what I believed to be true.  It’s be much more fun.  However, I’ll admit to it being mildly exaggerated before someone else feels the need to point it out for me.  The amount of energy I had placed in this daydream was bluntly pointed out to me this week by a complete stranger.  He didn’t pull any punches.  His favourite phrase, which he used repeatedly, was, “but you know this already.” I might but I don’t want to hear it spoken out loud!!

Yes, we went and saw a financial advisor.  The future is not bleak nor dire but neither is it paved with the many glorious houses I have drooled over for the last seven years.  It contains a level of common sense which I had been ignoring.

After I had recovered from the dashing of my elaborately crafted daydream, I was reminded of a comment that Robin Pascoe made in her book, A Broad Abroad.  Paraphrasing from memory, she basically tells us to not get caught up in the lifestyle of luxury that many expats find themselves in.  The majority of us, including me, are not born into a life of maids, drivers, fancy houses, private schools, business class flights and champagne brunches.  Enjoy it, yes.  However, remember who you are and where you come from.

When I first read those words, not so long ago, I felt sorry for the poor woman who would need that advice and not be able to work it out for herself.  How much more sympathy does the woman who has enjoyed that life and feels herself entitled to a reward or medal of honour require? It’s possible she needs a straight talking analyst to tell her that the party, while fun, is over and she should plant her feet firmly in some concrete and begin building herself a solid future.  He even suggested that I get a job … “only two days or so a week.  I’m not asking for much.” !!!! Yes, that is what he said.

Upon existing his office, I asked my dear husband how much he paid for that particular lecture to be delivered.  He is crying innocent.

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