Brisbane city, December 2009
Taking advantage of a day of independence, I revisited my old haunts in Brisbane city today.

I got an opportunity to “streak” today, and drove off in the car, leaving the three girls at home with David. The next time I go out “by myself”, it will probably be with a newborn strapped to the front of my body. But today I filled in the morning with a string of errands before catching the bus into the city.

Normally, when I am sans enfants, I can move at quite a fast-paced trot. Not so today. I waddled slowly, loathing every incline and avoiding the stairs, wincing and praying that each Braxton-Hicks wasn’t going to turn into a set of real contractions.

Now that I’ve gotten this close to my due date, I’ve suddenly decided that I need it to be a little bit further away. I knew I wanted to successfully get through today’s social engagement, and on Sunday afternoon I’m having a small shindig with some ladies from playgroup. And then next week, David’s days are fully booked in with work that needs to be done “before Christmas”. But back to today’s main event…

My former work colleagues had invited me to their annual Christmas lunch, which isn’t so much a Christmas lunch as just an excuse to get out of the office and yak over some nice food. We met at a city café that fancied itself as a nightclub, first by putting stairs at the entrance that lead you down into a black cavern, then by hanging fancy contemporary artwork on the wall and using non-uniformed waiters and waitresses with various accessories of tattoos and piercings.

The food was good, but the noise level meant that you could only talk to the two other people on either side of you. I had the seat closest to the exit — all the better to make my escape should “my condition” warrant it. Despite the noise, it was still a lovely, relaxed meal, and the company was good. While we were at lunch, news of the new CMC chairperson was released, adding a touch of the surreal, as I had previously sat through the appointments of two previous chairpersons.

In discussing our lives’ situations with one former colleague who was on extended maternity leave, I finally understood why I have become so content to stay at home. D explained that although she was full-time at home with her 13-month-old, she had many opportunities to contribute her “working” skills via public relations exercises, fund-raising for a school and involvement in a number of different mums’ groups.

My life has become much the same. This blog has given me an outlet for creativity — with design, writing and photography — without demanding too much time away from my family (though David would probably dispute that). I meet regularly with other mums through playgroup, and embrace the weekly supermarket-grab as an outing.

Especially when we do move (and we are going to — someday!), I’ll need to make the effort to pursue relationships outside the home — and some of them will need to be IRL, face-to-face interactions lest I turn into a square-eyed geek. I need to remember that it’s these sorts of interactions — where my world is stretched outside the boundaries of my property — that encourage me and give me additional fulfilment.

"My lovely Ecto-parasite" (2006) by Alice Lang — a captivating photo that I saw today.