Outside the outer

Tomorrow I get to sleep in for Anzac Day. I’ll have a quiet morning doing nothing in particular unless I manage to squeeze in some writing. Come the afternoon I’ll be eager to sit down in front of the TV to watch the big game from the MCG.

There’ll be near 100,000 people there, and millions of others watching. The build-up will be enormous, the anticipation huge. It feels momentous, like one of those rare occasions when you join with others in common expectation of something out of the ordinary. I know it’s just a footy match, and sometimes it’s been a disappointing contest, but often it has been epic.

I’ll brook no interruption tomorrow. I might have a mate join me, but all my focus will be on the game. I bought a meat pie today, and tomorrow will cook it up with some chips and enjoy it as the game begins as if I was at the ground. Come the evening I’ll be happy or sad but nothing in-between. And come Thursday I’ll be back at work.

I’m heading out for a glass of wine tonight. One of the bonuses of having a midweek day off is that you get a midweek night out if you want it. The mood will be lighter, people more relaxed.

Some I know are heading out tomorrow, going for a drive down the beach or into the bush, or catching up with family. I’m happy with my plans, but I recognise the subtle pang I feel when people mention this. I’ve always shrugged it off before. It’s a fact of life. Today I faced it squarely.

It is a fact of life, but personally I feel sad that the family occasions – birthdays, mother’s day, Easter, random barbecues and family meals – are no longer available to me. What I miss is that sense of belonging. Of being a part of something. It was nice to go there and feel utterly comfortable and free to be myself; to know I was loved, and at the very least always had a feed whenever I wanted it.

I don’t have that now, but there’s no good reason why I can’t have it again. That’s the plan. In the meantime, let’s hope the Dons do over the Pies tomorrow.

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