Red, Red Whine

Perhaps I will!

We’ve been Red  Zoned and despite all the confusion, misery and dislocation that this implies for thousands of us, I personally am just blown away by the superior adaptability of the English language, which has moved these words from a noun phrase to a verb phrase in half the time it takes to spit out the word “liquefaction“.

Turns out that moving from one suburb to the next is almost as fraught as the move from country to country, and I should know. Gone all our dreams for our home, gone our plans for the future, gone our little bit of paradise. Instead we join the legions of pale, sad people driving slowly down your street in search of a replacement dream.

But in the interests of taking it one day at a time, we do know one thing: we will have to rid ourselves of piles of  useless **** (insert here rude word of your choice that rhymes with “trap”) that we have hoarded over many  years.

So, where else do you turn in situations like this other than to our fantastic libraries for help? I think I know what I need right now, but I lack the energy to track it down. So I’m turning to you to suggest some reads for me. What could I be reading that might satisfy at least some of the following requirements:

  • Help me clear the clutter;
  • Make me feel that this purging is a spiritually rewarding path to take that will result in a new improved me;
  • Transport me to a world of pioneers who relocated and lived to tell the tale;
  •  Make me laugh!

I’ve loved all the recent blogs on getting back your mojo, but have to warn you that I am about as far from bouncing back as I could possibly be and that on a good day a gentle seep is about all that I can manage.

The truth is, this could have been the world’s shortest blog yet – just three little words:

Red zoned – help!

22 thoughts on “Red, Red Whine

  1. mj 29 June 2011 / 3:20 pm

    Firstly big hugs.

    Secondly, here’s some things getting me through … I’m doing the “live out of a suitcase” routine while everything else is in storage & I figure out what to do next, so I’m waiting to read ‘The 100 thing challenge’ to see if I am doing the right things –

    I’m also on the wait list for the book Donna mentioned – the happiness project.

    I read this one a while ago – Lessons in letting go – – it definitely made me laugh out loud.

    And to get me inspired, I’ve been reading Trade Me Success Secrets!

    • robertafsmith 29 June 2011 / 6:01 pm

      The Happiness Project sounds like a must – and the hugs are most welcome too! Thanks so much Megan.

  2. Sue 29 June 2011 / 3:31 pm

    Although not in Christchurch, Im from Auckland, but having worked as a Red Cross volunteer during the Chch earthquakes, I understand some of what you have been through and are still going through. Too, in my life, and very recently, my husband and I have suffered our own financial “earthquake’ of sorts, located in a type of a “Red Zone” – losing our home and all we owned as a result of an accident my husband had which meant he can no longer work as a plumber after 30 years with this as his source of income. ACC turned him down so we were left alone. We were left with a 200k shortfall due to loss of value on our home due to the recession and housing market downfall it will take us many years to pay this shortfall off. I also suffered redundancy twice in the last two years.

    We have suffered loss of dreams, loss of income, loss of security and are slowly starting to rebuild our lives – trying not to look over our shoulder for something that may once again bite us in the derriere. Believe me – we suffered financial aftershock after financial aftershock for years. We long to return to the “normal” of 2008 – the time before his accident and this recession within which we all live and struggle to survive. We have a new normal now and we have had to have accepted this over time.

    We have had to find new dreams, a new way of being which hasnt been easy and we are almost two and a half years down the track since his accident and one year since we lost our home. I am finishing off a Master of Education E Learning to help me get better paying work in my field which is adult education. My husband is just about to start a little part time study. However the “homelessness” and surplus debt will haunt us for some time to come yet.

    Probably the best advice I could give you is just take it slowly. Baby steps. Nothing is going to be fixed overnight and one can wear themselves out overanalysing the situation and trying to find a million ways to get through. I know I have done it all. Just pace yourself and be kind to you. Dont feel bad if you cant cope with what you used to – the reason you cant is that there is so much in front of you right now to cope with and none of it feels normal or controllable.

    Acknowledge what you face, its limits, your limits – often the lack of power you have over where you are right now. Have faith in yourself and your ability to move forward. Know that nothing lasts forever.

    I would like to give you two songs to listen to which helped me through – the first is to let you know you are not alone – I and others are here and I am more than happy to chat with you either online or on the phone any time you need support. Heres the first song – MJ Will you be There. To you and indeed all humanity I answer – yes I will be. Note the lyrics in one part : –

    But They Told Me
    A Man Should Be Faithful
    And Walk When Not Able
    And Fight Till The End
    But I’m Only Human

    I say yes we are only human. It is okay to feel all that you feel right now my friend.

    The second song I would like to give you is the Sunscreen Song extremely inspirational. Some great hints in here! And yes as the lyrics say “brothers and sisters together we will make it through”.

    Well I hope some of that helps

    Cheers and much love

    • robertafsmith 29 June 2011 / 6:05 pm

      There is a lot of wisdom in your comments Sue, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I am especially grateful to you for reminding me of the importance of music at times like this.

      • Sue 29 June 2011 / 10:17 pm

        You are more than welcome and please feel free to share with anyone you think this may help.

  3. Rebecca 29 June 2011 / 3:48 pm

    Sorry to hear this news and I hope you find a new place which you really like as much, if not more, than your home right now. I found this book good for clearing clutter and other people have found it good, too:
    Sorry, these are not book recommendations but for laughs, or lifting your spirits, how about watching Roman Holiday, ?? or Casablanca ..
    or everyone’s favourite, ‘The Philadelphia Story’?
    I think good music to sort by can be a help, as well.
    good luck

    • robertafsmith 29 June 2011 / 6:07 pm

      I am getting a picture now of myself in full de-clutter mode with good music blaring and a glass of red, red you know what at hand. I feel much better already. Thanks Rebecca!

  4. Maggie 29 June 2011 / 8:36 pm

    Oh my gosh I now believe in mental telepathy. Dear Roberta I had just sat down to write you a little note on how you enlightened me last night about the insurance saga. You made perfect sense and today I chatted to someone else who has a fair knowledge on the insurance situation and had virtually the same views.
    I feel for you seeing your dreams and plans just begin to change. Just take a day at a time – get a long,deep body massage to help relax, and anything else you wish to indulge yourself in. Its good for the mind, body and soul.
    Take care

    • robertafsmith 30 June 2011 / 8:04 pm

      Thanks Maggie – will treat myself to a massage sometime soon!

  5. Sandi & David 30 June 2011 / 6:20 am

    Hi Roberta
    I’ve been looking up what Red Zoning means, and gather it’s rather awful for you. Good to see ons moenie vir julle paniek nie – as we’re panicking fit to bust here in the UK. We’re not particularly good company for cheering anyone up at the moment, as we’re due to leave for Ireland tomorrow, non-refundable ferry booked, red-eye shift on Friday night, and now having further major drama with the van – MOT, repairs, almost getting it sold today, sale falling through blah, blah, fishpaste! Not that anyone needs to listen to our woes, but it’s vent or implode mode for this Nye right now. But, that aside, what I can recommend is listening to a song – Pencil full of lead – by the most delightful young chap called Paolo Nutini. It lifts my spirits each time I hear it – no matter the circumstances – so I hope it will do the same for you. I will try and send it to you as a link, but not quite sure how – so here’s hoping. Sterkte skatties!! Sandi & Dave

    • robertafsmith 30 June 2011 / 8:05 pm

      Tough times all round Sandi. I did get the link for the song – thanks for that.

  6. cloudy5 30 June 2011 / 10:13 am

    Roberta big hugs, I imagine this is a bit like having to climb Everest wearing platforms, a bikini and a paper bag (for oxygen). I’m reading ‘Lessons in letting go: confessions of a Hoarder’ by Corinne Grant. (Having trouble making that a link so won’t and I’ve just noticed that someone cleverer than I has included the link further up doh). My songs are ‘Don’t give up’ by Peter Gabriel and (irrelevant but just makes me smile). (don’t think that link worked: Weird Al Yankovic ‘White and Nerdy’)
    Also don’t be shy about asking for help, people love to feel needed and are keen to help a friend in trouble. My heart goes out to you and all the people facing this unfair wrench.

    • robertafsmith 30 June 2011 / 8:08 pm

      Music is definitely coming into its own as a form of therapy here, and hugs are always welcome! I am putting all the suggestions into a folder on my computer – they will be a terrific resource for me to trawl through over the up and coming months, Thanks.

  7. internetbob 30 June 2011 / 2:40 pm

    Dearest Roberta, I know that one has to be positive, accept the new normal, half full instead of half empty blah blah blah and act like Pollyanna a lot of the time BUT sometimes, just sometimes one hits the wall and ends up slithering down it and ending up puddle-like at the bottom. Steps to recover at such times involve:
    1. Fill the hottie
    2. Climb into bed at 5.30 p.m. and make like a tepee under the duvet (this avoids anyone approaching you & asking if there’s anything wrong. (Silent Scream))
    3. Snooze for an hour
    4. Upon waking, request tea and toast to be brought to you in bed from some loving individual.
    5. Commence reading until the sleeping pill kicks in.
    6. Sleep for 12 hours solid
    7. Repeat until standing on two feet again

    Only two books have managed not to provoke my patience since EQ3 and, even better, they made me forget the real world for a few magical hours. I don’t know why. It’s too hard to analyse but I felt an extraordinary affinity with the main characters and they didn’t make we want to howl with rage at the patheticness of their lives.

    Grace Williams Says It Loud by Emma Henderson
    Mr Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt

    I’m not usually a self-help book type of person but a bit of sunshine in my life has come from SARK. She has luscious titles like Succulent Wild Woman and I see that she’s just published her latest:
    Glad No Matter What: Transforming Loss & Change into Gift and Opportunity

    Which made me smile a little because maybe there is a bit of serendipity left in Christchurch after all?

    • robertafsmith 30 June 2011 / 8:11 pm

      I am very taken with the tepee suggestion! Some interesting reading suggestions here from authors I have never heard of .Who is SARK and why does she get capitals? When will we leave our tepees and have a coffee together?

      • julesw100 2 July 2011 / 1:09 pm

        Internet Bob very reluctant to leave tepee but No.1 Boss very happy to meet for coffee or even a red red whine!!!! She doesn’t do evenings so well as she’s into hunkerdown mode. But lunch – 12 or 13 July any good. In a normal part of ChCh – does this mean we have to become Westies? xx

  8. Lynners 1 July 2011 / 3:44 pm

    Escapist reading is surely the order of the day. I’ve gone back to re-reading childhood favourites and have just ordered every Georgette Heyer I can get my hands on. Light hearted Regency love-triangles are just the thing. My colleagues are probably wondering if I’m having some kind of breakdown when they look at my ‘holds’ shelf. I’m also reading The sunne in splendour by Sharon Penman about the Wars of the Roses. Boy, those times were harsh, every aristocrat crossing and double-crossing each other to get hold of the crown of England and the poor peasants having to cope with seige and starvation on top of plague and gruesome deaths from accidents and botched childbirth. I recommend it for its “thank god I’m not a medieval peasant” schadenfreude.

    • robertafsmith 1 July 2011 / 3:53 pm

      You are so right, at the very least I am not competing for the crown of England and I do derive some warped kind of comfort from that. I saw a Rupert the Bear Annual the other day and found myself making little low whimpering noises. Perhaps I should put my Booker Prize reading list on the back burner for a little while. They are not usually comforting reads!

  9. le fake wine club 1 July 2011 / 6:51 pm

    Ai, my heart breaks to read your post, not to mention the many poignant responses! Wish I could ship over containers of good SA red for everyone In The Red.

    My book is Journey of Souls by Michael Newton. I recently started rereading it and it’s working wonders on helping me get through my own little struggles. The author is a hypnotherapist who specialises in past life regressions and in particular the time between lives as souls. It’s mainly presented as case studies. For that ‘spiritually rewarding path’ requirement, this should do it! I can’t put it down and have in fact now moved onto the next one which goes into more detail – Destiny of Souls – which I’m reading obsessively. Fascinating stuff.

    And since we’re doing songs, here’s my feel-gooder (Everyday Good by Patrice):

    Lots of love

    • robertafsmith 2 July 2011 / 8:34 am

      Must get hold of that book, it is not that easily available here. I think it is stuck in Central somewhere so I may have to buy a copy from Amazon.

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