On compatibility

I asked The Man what he thought made our marriage successful. We to and fro'd for a while and landed on this: I think we have compatible personalities. We have similar interest (which, may I point out, is not the same as the same interests!). We have slightly different skillsets - there are things he does well and there are things I do well, and in between we get most things done.

And something which is especially important to me: we leave each other a sense of freedom.

We don't set many expectations to each other and rather, strive to let the other person keep their own sense of happiness. I am here because I choose to, he is here because he chooses to. We are free to go, if we choose, or free to stay, if that's what we'd rather do.

That's what I think our "compatibility" is about - that we're both able to be ourselves whilst fitting into each other's lives.

And though small children can put a strain on any relationship, I think, for the work that is involved can sometimes be just... geesh f*ckin' christ, it's also important that we share our kids together and are able to enjoy them together.

Putting together The Box

A peculiar thing has happened.

And I don't even know why now exactly. Several reasons, probably.

One is probably the fact that I've been in a sort of a "let's get it done" mood lately anyway: preparing for a move to Invercargill has meant that I've systematically looked through everything in the house and discarded anything that's not worth taking. I've sold a baby bike seat The Girlie no longer fits in, will sell the backyard climbing frame which, though useful, is not worth dragging along in a moving truck, have tackled the mountain of kids clothes that needed repairing and patching up, and a multitude of other little things.

Me and The Man have organised life insurances for us both, and trauma insurance for The Man (I would've loved to have it for me, too, but having epilepsy meant that my weekly premium payment was so high that it just... wasn't worth it).

I am about to organise a will for both me and The Man, because although we have talked through with our families what should happen in the unlikely event that both me and The Man die at the same time - having it written down is better than not having it written down.

So that's one thing - I've been getting things sorted and that's one of those things that have needed sorting.

But another thing that prompted it is the fact that on Sunday evening me and The Man watched a recorded video of a lecture that explains how a computer simulation of New Zealand's next big Alpine Fault earthquake was done.

And as a result, it reminded me - again - that although me and The Man have for a long time had what's called a "Getaway Kit" ready in the hallway (it is basically a bag of emergency supplies which, if some sort of a natural disaster struck, or a civil emergency of other kind, we could just grab and go - there's food, water, medical supplies, water filter, dishes etc), we weren't actually well prepared for having 3 days worth of supplies.

And it's actually very simple things.

I asked myself, given that I have two kids (one of them still in nappies - but we're working on it), what sort of supplies would I actually need if suddenly Alpine Fault earthquake hit and it took out the power network, damaged pipes and closed the shops - and therefore, I didn't have access to water, electricity or shops - and I realised that I haven't taken into account a whole bunch of things.

Disposable nappies. (Because, duh!, I wouldn't be able to use the cloth nappies.)
Packets (and packets, and packets) of sanitising wipes and baby wipes. (Because, again, duh!, I wouldn't be able to wash things.)
More water. (I had 16 litres, but would probably need 20+ litres.)

I realised that if Alpine Fault earthquake hit and we were still here, we would probably not go anywhere and so, rather than having a "Getaway Kit", I need to put together a bigger and more comprehensive bag of supplies so that even if our pantry was low on supplies - say, I was planning to go shopping but the earthquake came first - then we would still have everything necessary in the house. We would stay put, listen to radio and just try to live on, quietly and patiently, whilst all sorts of emergency teams focused on doing their job.

It's one of the things that gets repeated again and again and again in New Zealand - if the Alpine Fault goes, everyone needs to have at least 3 days worth of supplies.

And so today, I finally took up and started putting together a 3-days-worth-of-supplies box which will now live in the bottom of our hallway wardrobe.

And it actually feels like A Really. Big. Thing.

Practically, it's not a big thing - not in terms of effort it takes to put it together. I had to go to a department store, buy a big plastic box, a box of wipes, more water bottles and other bits, and I had to put the stuff in there.

But it feels like a big thing. A Really. Big. Thing. Actually.

Are you... wait, are you singing... Queen?

Have you ever heard a 5-year-old try singing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody?

"Mamaaaaaaaa!" (in a really high pitch)
"Time awaaaaaaaaaay!" (not really the lyrics, but okay)
"Pudu, pudu, pududuuuuuuu..." (definitely not the lyrics, but still - it's okay)

Just try. Try imagining it. :)

Two kids in a nutshell

If one has it or does it, the other one will want it, too.