Hey Mom, I’m Getting Married | Six Years

It’s six years since we had to say goodbye. You’ve missed all of the parts I wish you could’ve seen. All those things you wished for me are coming true, and all the things I said I’d do, I did.

I like to think you haven’t missed them, but I miss you in them. We’re planning a wedding, and I keep looking for the part where I can stop and ask you what you think about menu choices, or where you think we can be socially correct with seating arrangements. Who are the people you’d insist were on the guest list, and who can I skip right past? Look, I know my own answers to those questions, but sometimes I want your view. I want to tussle with you over these things, and have you pull the pursed-lip, arm flung-over-head move on me. I miss fighting with you over the most stupid of things, and isn’t that just the most ridiculous thing to miss someone over?


So yes, Mom, I’m getting married. And it still feels weird that I am typing that, because it remains entirely surreal to me. Excitingly surreal, like I won a life lottery that I forgot I bought a ticket for.

So, instead of a list of things I have to discuss with you, all I have is a calendar reminder that on then 5th of June, you shuffled off. Not just shuffling off down the passage at 10pm, like you did for almost all the evenings I can remember, but you really, really shuffled off. It is a symbol of my lineage that I find that funny to contemplate. The thing is though, you never really shuffled, whether in life or in endings. No, you were always triumphant and bold with what you did, which served as your way to overcome everything internal or from life that sometimes expected you to feel small. You were a warrior, even in the quietest of fights, and my word, what a warrior you were. You are, still, it’s just that it’s the bodies and minds of the people beyond you that act it out. The courage and wisdom within the little-people-now-growing-bigger that live beyond you – that’s where your fire burns brightest still.

Six years seems so very long, but I swear it was just yesterday that I noticed your hair was turning blonde in the sunlight. Perhaps it was the magnitude of you that meant you were gone for just a moment – that you’re just in the next room – yet an entire six years can live in that moment. Time has still not faded you, and it never, ever could. That’s because you are indelible and undeniably here, somehow, in the little things. Whenever I say the word “indelible” I think of you, because you referenced the word so often in my memory. I guess that’s a significant word for me to remember when thinking of you.

As I wind back the time and look across the expanse of these years, I remember the things you said, the incredible things you did, beyond anything I can ever imagine (and some of the things I will probably never know about). I meander through the words of you, in my head and on paper, and as I look towards the future, I remember the possibilities of beginnings, and how they sometimes look like endings, at first. The ones you’d hoped for me, the ones you’d wished into life and the ones you grabbed with both hands at glee. All the ones you wished for me.

Mom, I’m not afraid to speak anymore, and when my voice shakes, I know it just means it’s even more important that I say it.

Hey mom, I’m getting married. I wish you were here for it.

I miss you forever. Adam For Nightum.




Morning Rituals

Ask anyone who has ever lived with me, and they’ll tell you – I talk when I’m in the shower. It’s here that I get my best ideas, find that hook for a story or finalise an idea.

When we arrived to view this house, I walked in and loved it, immediately, without walking upstairs. When I did eventually go upstairs, I peeked into the bathroom and laughed at how big the shower was – we could probably host a dinner party in there. But there’s another thing about that shower you need to know – it has something in it that struck me when I first saw it.

Perhaps it’s a flaw in the tiles, or whatever, but if you squint your eyes a little, you’ll see it too – there are two things on this tile that I stare at every morning and most evenings (I grew up in a house with four other people, with only a bath. Trust me, I like showering. We have an eco-friendly shower head, calm down).


At the centre of this image, you’ll note a weird shape. Squint a little and it’ll become a heart. To the right of that – yes, that’s a question mark. No, it’s not pen or anything – it’s in the tile.

Every morning, I stare at those and they help me focus – think about what needs to be done today, and throw some ideas around for a cool story or the like.

If there were ever to be two symbols chosen for my life – they would be the heart and the question mark. I question everything, all the time (mostly myself) and try so very hard to do everything I do with love. It’s been like that for as long as I can remember, and it really used to lead me feeling hurt when I was a kid. A lot, actually – more than I am willing to admit – some stuff that happened to me at 5, still stings more than it should. The question-everything-aspect is something I see with my kid (and I see the heart thing with her too, more again, than I think anyone else knows) and I endorse it, over and over again. It’s that quality that will help her find the answers to things that plague her, and it is by heart that she will be guided through life.

Anyway, when I spied this little funny flaw in the tiles, I knew all over again that this is where I wanted to live. And every morning, as I step in to think and clean, I look at those two things and am so weirdly reminded of why I woke up this morning.





21 Days Of… Breakfast

Life is currently kicking me into shape a bit, and that shape is – well, as I type, I’m pretending I don’t have a cold and am attempting to engineer my way towards smacking a few deadlines on their heads. But something caught my eye this morning, so I’ve signed up to do it (and it has to do with the first sentence of this post).

I’m not a very “let’s do a challenge!” or “sign me up for that diet” person. In fact, group hype about something is not the best way to pique my interest in something (which is why I’ve never yet, and probably won’t ever, read or watch anything of the Harry Potter franchise – friends, feel free to flee me now). But this one is a little different, and it’s something that can be done, quickly and integrated easily. It’s 21 days of awesomeness, overseen by my adventure compadre, GI Jane. 



It’s completely up to you, what you choose to change or commit to and, over the 21 days, people who have signed up for the challenge share their commitments, perspectives and ideas on what they’d like to do for these three weeks. I’ve chosen to commit to eating breakfast.

Yeah, I know – I sound ridiculous. But here’s why: Since the beginning of this work year, I have failed to eat breakfast every morning, instead ending up wanting to gnaw my desk by 10am, because I “had to attend to that urgent email”. I end up feeling flat, emotional (in a bad way), grumpy as all heck and my ability to work starts to wobble. The stupidity is, I sit with my daughter every morning as she eats breakfast and I attempt to regain my personality with a cup of coffee. By skipping breakfast, for the sake of my inbox, I’m effectively ruining my own day before it’s begun. So, here goes – starting 15 February 2016, I will start eating breakfast with her again.

What would you commit to doing for 21 days, to make your life a little better, or to feel a little healthier? You can sign up here. (By the way, it’s free).

The Extraordinary Thing.

You spend the major portion of your adult life with a backup plan in your pocket. This isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. Life isn’t Monopoly. It’s a survival tactic that’s sewn into the fabric of your personality. Then your life does a kick-flip and you realise that you need that back-up plan less and less, because the plan you have before you is actually better. Sure, it takes hard work, learning and a bunch of really difficult curveballs to create, but this one is pretty darn cool, so you’ll stick with it. Eventually, you throw away the back-up plan because you haven’t updated it in years.

I’ve never been a huge idealist when it comes to marriage. Even just typing the word still feels foreign to me. I always just found it an impossible idea. In fact, it’s something that I had pegged as an experience I would not be going through, and I was totally okay with that. P knew that too – I like our life, with the homes, the dogs and the kid in-between. Were we to stay like this for the next 5000 years, I’d probably die from an overdose of satisfaction in my dotage.

But if there’s one thing life has taught me about this man, it’s this – that I should never expect the expected. Six years ago, when I thought he had come over to feed me baked goods and talk through a problem he was enduring, he got down on one knee with a post-it note and asked me to be his girlfriend.

Since then, it’s been six years of surprises. Of leaning, learning and loving. Of homes, dogs, parent-teacher meetings, take out menus, spreadsheets and me doubting myself, while he doubted me not at all. He has believed for, and in, me, far beyond myself, and far beyond anything I could ever have imagined.

I’d arranged a special starter for our anniversary dinner for him. Something he’d been wanting to try, and that I hoped would raise a giggle. We’ve done years of HUGE surprises for each other, and years of smaller ones. I thought this would be a very cool one.

After he finished eating and we were giggling and laughing, he engineered a conversation with my daughter that made my eyebrow do the telltale arch. He asked her what she would say if he asked her for permission to marry me, and she nearly exploded in a smile and tears with a resounding yes. Then he turned the conversation to chatting about my brother because, as it turned out, he’d asked him too, earlier on that day.

And then he turned his sparkly-eyed face to me.

This funny man, who has made me laugh (mostly at myself) when life threw the biggest wads of horrible paper at me. This human, who stands up for me whenever and however he can, especially when it’s me that’s talking me down. This one. The one who saw my life as a package deal, and signed up for it, terms and conditions accepted.

With a ring in his hand and a knee on the floor, the man I’ve given the most uphill to, who has stood by me through more than anyone can imagine, asked me to be his wife.

It’s the easiest question to answer that I’ve ever been asked.

Most people get married, find a home and have children. But there’s nothing usual about us at all, so it makes sense that we do everything in a roundabout way.

As it turns out, we are the extraordinary thing.