Well hello there. I've been somewhat MIA for the last few weeks, and I'm sorry. However, for those of you who live in Christchurch, or are close with someone who does, I'm sure you can understand why. It's been a bumpy few weeks here (more so than the usual) and for me, I'm just about reaching my limit. The chronic stress (it's been over 10 months since our first big quake) of almost constant earthquakes, is seriously getting to me, and I'm almost, almost not coping. Last Monday June 13th, we had another big one. A 6.3 magnitude, which was the same magnitude as the devastating February earthquake. I was in the same place as I was in February, doing a very similar thing. For those of you who follow my life, I work 90 kms and over an hour away from my home, my friends, my family, my life. I very much still feel the larger earthquakes where I work. They are not nearly as aggressive and sharp, but still very obvious. After previous experience, I now know that when I feel an earthquake like that, something very bad may be happening in my home town. And so I panic. I can't get hold of the people I love as all the phone lines crash. I don't know what has happened and where it has happened and it sends me into hysteria. Not the most practical thing to happen, but at this point, after 10 months of this, my body takes over and this is what it does. June 13th's earthquake wasn't nearly as devastating as February's - most likely because our central city is pretty much a ghost town and that is where the buildings fell last time, but it was still bad. People's houses continued to be destroyed, even more than they already were, rocks slide down hills, uninhabited buildings collapse and people are scared, terrified even, for we know what happened once, and who's to say it won't happen again. Christchurch is exhausted, on edge and over it, more than words can ever describe.
And then this week, another big aftershock hits, 10.35pm on Tuesday night. We got out of bed for that one (and not much gets me out of bed); it was long and powerful. However, once that was over, the series of aftershocks a larger earthquake sets off begin. This is something people from Christchurch now now intimately. Yes, big earthquakes are scary and annoying, but do you know that they are followed by many, many aftershocks? Aftershocks often rumble, like a jet is taking off directly over your house. I liken it to a Giant, walking with his massive feet, right outside my house. So, they start with a rumble, maybe 5-10 seconds long, and then they hit, in varying strengths, but very similar to the a fore mentioned Giant kicking your house. This past Tuesday night, after the 10.35pm aftershock, the littler rumbles and punches continued well into the night. In the paper the next day, the headline read something like 'Here's Why You Had Such a Bad Nights Sleep', and showed the aftershock pattern, which continued until around 4am. And then I get up at 6am and drive for over an hour, away from my home and my life. Safe to say, I've been pretty tired this week.
Trust me, I know, despite all this complaining, that I am lucky. I still come home to a house that is dry, watertight and still standing. I have water and electricity (unless a large aftershock temporarily knocks them out) and I have a job to go to, despite how far away it is. But that doesn't mean I am not exhausted, living in a semi-constant state of heightened arousal due to very regular aftershocks, missing life pre-February 22nd, sad, angry and upset that my reality is in a constant state of stress, change and uncertainty. I feel like I am underperforming in all areas of my life at the moment, and for a perfectionist, this is very hard to accept.
So please, let me have my whinge, because while I know I am lucky, my reality is still hard. And understand that my absences have a reason; because sometimes, it is all just a bit much.
Now, enough of that and onto the winner of my wee competition, to celebrate my 100th post. After flipping a coin for the TWO entries I received, 'heads' and Fran from Frangipani was the lucky winner. Fran lives in Christchurch too, so be sure to pay her a visit and say hi. Fran, please excuse the delay, and I will have something lovely in the post for you by the end of the week :)