Yes, fellow bloggers, I know it's been a while. I couldn't believe it myself when I saw my last post was on 31st August! Whaaat....
But shortly after that, things went spectacularly downhill. I was rejected for promotion at work, things with SD and the BM continued being difficult, and things at work got more manic, and seemingly nastier, although I'm sure that was partly my perception of it, because I was so devastated at the prospect of remaining in the job indefinitely with no prospect of any change. It became an odd but lethal cocktail of boredom mixed with intense pressure, and it eventually resulted in a massive 3am meltdown, DP pretty much marching me to the doctor and the doctor signing me off with stress until I was due to go on the China trip, from which I have now just returned.
The 8 days I was off work, plus the trip to China gave me a lot of chance for contemplation about where I am, what I'm doing and why. Suffice to say, I don't really know what I'm doing in that job, other than earning money and paying bills, going through the motions and taking shit from people who think their computer problems amount to the dawn of Armageddon. Surely, no job and no amount of money is worth crying for 3 hours in the middle of the night because you can't switch your head off enough to sleep for dreading the day ahead? I also read Oliver James's Affluenza, which was enough to remind me that no, it is not worth it, and that life is not meant to be like this. The more you earn, the more you want. The more you get trapped into thinking that if only you could afford this car or this TV, you'd be happy. But you get them, and a short time later there's a new model and yours is no longer the best....so you want the next one.
Don't be alarmed, fellow bloggers, I'm not about to pack it all up and go live in a caravan, turn Freegan and go dumpster diving. But it is time to make some changes in Wicked Steppie world, and I look forward to sharing those with you all over the next few days as I try and write about my incredible experience trekking the Great Wall of China with some of the most fantastic people I could ever wish to meet (including of course my own beautiful DP) and some of the things that I've learned about myself and about life over the past few weeks. I'm not sure I've processed it all quite enough to write about it just yet.
I have to warn you though, this is not going to contain any major revelations about how to deal with stepmotherhood. The Great Wall held no mystical secret answers on that front, and when we got back yesterday, and DP phoned SD, I still felt the familiar bubble of annoyance when the first thing she asked was "did you get me a present?" and "what are we doing at the weekend?" expressing disappointment when DP told her that we had only just got back and nothing was planned as yet. But, SD is a product of a typical Western upbringing where being materially spoilt is the norm, and I can't really blame her for that, though I do feel sad that sometimes, she looks at us with pound signs and not love in those wide blue eyes. Would she want to come to us if we couldn't afford the horse riding lessons, the new bike for Christmas, the trip to the cinema? I am not so sure that she would, and I don't think DP is either, which is why until now he has ensured that SD remains pretty indulged, and it's sad that the poor kid can't separate the spending of money and love. For her, the two are inextricably intertwined.