amw oct5Lately, my life seems to be a blustery gale of unexpected  mishaps and then, just when the sun dares to peek through the clouds, an unseasonal hailstorm unleashes its wrath to put me back in my place.

I mean this both metaphorically and literally.

The weather has been unusually freaky in my part of Greece with storms that would put parts of Asia to shame. We’ve had our house, outdoor furniture and internet connection damaged as well as being scared out of our wits due to a few close calls with Mother Nature. A neighbour’s sheep was struck dead by lightning – yes, DEAD – about 10 metres from where I was standing!!!

What was I doing hanging out in the middle of a thunderstorm with a sheep? I’d rushed outside to gather clothes off the washing line before they were blown all the way to India or someplace where such meteorological phenomenon are more common. The only positive result from this close encounter is that all my body hair has a rather lovely demi-wave and swishes beautifully when caught in a breeze. Must be a result from the static electricity when the lightning struck so close. It’s a shame the poor sheep wasn’t so lucky.

Apart from trying to dodge lightning strikes and hurricane winds, health problems and work-related issues have also plagued my family for a while. Thank goodness the health issues aren’t life threatening, but they are constant and irritating. No sooner does one of my family get over one thing, than another member gets something completely different. A few days ago I finally recovered from a particularly vicious case of gastroenteritis. On the same day my sons got sick with flu…! Hubby is now complaining of stomach cramps. HELP.

We only have one bathroom and it’s seen rather a lot of action recently!

Most adults go through such phases in life and especially moms with kids, of course.

Mothers are used to all the childhood maladies that life tends to throw at us.

If you’re lucky, you may have a partner who can help take care of your sick offspring while you try to nap or catch up on all the backlog of chores threatening to overwhelm. However, at least one of you, if not both, will have to go to work to earn extra money for the medical bills and medication as such situations put a strain on the family income. So, traditionally, it’s mom who stays home and tries to cope with the patients hoping that she doesn’t get ill herself.

I’m lucky that my mother-in-law lives so close as there have been times when the four of us have been really ill, and we needed a care taker to make us a hot drink and bring us medicine. I don’t know how people living in isolated areas cope. What about families who live far away from friends and loved ones? Perhaps they have just moved and haven’t had time to build up a support network. What happens when most or all of their family have been struck with some nasty little bug or mischievous virus?

These questions have been troubling me a great deal lately.

These insecurities are worming themselves into my psyche and sqeezing out every bit of creativity and imagination. I’m not the positive person I used to be, but feel I’m moving sluggishly in a black cloud. 

So many predominantly negative things have been thrust randomly in my life recently that I’m starting to wonder if someone has put a curse or the ‘evil eye’ on me.

Greeks, of course, take such things pretty seriously, and many people wear jewellery in the form of a blue eye around their wrist or neck. This is supposed to help protect from negative vibes and illness.

Next time I’m shopping I’ll have to remember to buy a few dozen.

On the work front, I have been almost stressed to death with the uncertainty of our family income. Most Greeks are in the same boat though, and especially civil servants who don’t know if they will receive a pay cheque next month or not due to the country’s recent financial crisis. Several of our friends have either left Greece or are planning to abandon ship in the near future.

We are giving our two teenage sons the tools and skills to be able to study and work abroad if they choose, as life and survival in the country of their birth is so precarious.

The only way that I can deal with this stormy ride and find some moments of peace is to spend time in my OWN SPECIAL PLACE.

I have my ‘private’ sofa and TV/radio which is connected to the kitchen. It’s very cosy and convenient as I can keep an eye on the oven and read, sew or watch TV at the same time. The other three members of my family have their own larger living room and hardly ever sit in mine. I rarely go out socially because of my family obligations, so it’s the place I can be to chill out and unload. It’s my personal little area to try to make sense of the messy time we’re going through. I can ramble and ponder at my leisure. Should we try to sit out the storm and remain in Greece? Start somewhere else without a social network or support group? Dig up the roots we have taken a couple of decades to grow?

It’s no wonder we’re constantly ill-ish.

And it’s no wonder that the Gods have echoed the political/social climate and tossed cataclysmic rocks at us.

What are your stresses/worries at the present time? Do you have a special place you like to be to try to chill out and work things out?

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ann Marie Wraight of Greece. Photo credit to the author.

Ann Marie Wraight

Having lived in 4 different countries, Ann Marie finds it difficult to give a short answer about where she's from. She regards herself: Brit by birth, Aussie by nature, with a sprinkling of Greek and German based on her insatiable appetite for tasty food and chilled beer! This World Mom has been married to her Greek soulmate for 16 years and they are the proud but constantly challenged parents of two overactive teenage boys. (She secretly wonders sometimes if she was given the wrong babies when she left the maternity clinic.) She can't explain the fascination and ability that her 13 and 14 year-olds show in math and physics or that both boys are ranked 1st and 2nd nationally in judo. Ann Marie can only conclude that those years of breastfeeding, eating home cooked meals and home tutoring really DO make a difference in academic and physical performance! The family is keeping its fingers crossed that---with the awful economic crash in Greece---continued excellence in math and/or judo will lead to university scholarships... In addition to writing, enjoying a good glass of wine and movies, Ann Marie also works as a teacher and tends their small, free-range farm in the Greek countryside.

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