Island Paradise

Are you ok? – he asked…

“Sorry, what was that”, I said – clearly taken aback with the question… “Yeah I’m fine, just got a stress headache you know – but not to worry, How are you, have you had a nice day?”

Yes really well, they said… you look tired, sure you’ve been working too hard lately. Maybe we should go ask your boss if you can have the night off…

Meet Mr and Mrs B…

I’ll call them that because they’re so humble, they’d almost be embarased to be featured in someones story – but they are anyway… and they’re awesome.

The Chat…

So I’m on again tonight – after 5 days in a row working split shifts, I’m kind of flagging – you know – and I know because my eyelid starts flickering like when you’re really tired.

Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would notice, let alone give a shit really – because as we all know too well – everyone’s just too busy these days.  Well that’s what I thought and I was wrong.

They were a lovely couple – from Christchurch – enjoying their retirement and taking all the holidays they could.  Last year they went to Europe, did a river cruise through France then stopped off in Vancouver, shopped in Dubai and holidayed all through the Kimberleys in Australia before deciding to holiday here.  Turned out they’ve so many travel credits to use, they’ve almost been on holiday all year and they’re loving it.  Tired too, but enjoying themselves all the same.

So he’s got a famous name too – the same as one of our Governor General’s from way back and for a split second I wondered if it was him… even asked him after a while… had a good laugh about that.  She’s a proud lady as well – spent her life raising a family and helping with the family business – including building their holiday home in Akaroa – from scratch – as she recalled many stories from that experience.

Next Visit…

They holidayed several times in Wanaka while I was working.  In fact there were a number of people that would visit quite often – and it was always great to catch up with them.  I think people often put their guard down while they’re on holiday – I know I always do that too.  Anyways, I got to know them so well we’d greet each other with a massive hug – then they’d sit down and we’d chat for hours.

The police…

Ok so not the actual police, but just my boss – looming on the horizon – every chance she could to catch me out – and she did – and I got a grilling for daring to sit down and talk to them for like 5 minutes.  You see, after they asked me if I was ok – we had a little chit chat – as you do and they were so caring and kind they pulled up a chair.

So comes the conflict – the lecture and the telling off later – then being called out the next morning when I was late for work – not 24 minutes late as she announced – no not at all… “It was actually 7.17 – I said, but who’s counting?”

And so that started a chain effect than unraveled quicker than a circus clown juggling.  And started my motivation – took a while – you know I was so sensitive I hadn’t even realized it was all getting to me – but it did – and they noticed. The lovely couple from Christchurch.

Studio Visit…

We got chatting.  The next day they called into my art studio in town.  We went out for lunch, had a great time and they drove away with this painting in the boot of their car – Island Paradise.  You couldn’t even order that experience if you tried.

In between their next visit, I’d since left my job.  Turns out I grew the courage to tell my boss I didn’t need her approval – or negative feedback. Actually I didn’t give a shit anymore – they’d drummed all that out of me – to the point I stopped painting for a while too.

But the good news is – and what I found out was that all I needed was a break and more importantly I needed that one question – the one that I couldn’t remember ever being asked – at least not for a really long time – those 3 little words… Are you ok?

“Yeah Fine” I said – and I was because I knew, and I really knew that they meant it – and they still do.  And I’m so grateful to them for that – their hearts and their kindness because not everyone notices things like that.

And the awesome thing is…

We still keep in touch – via email and when they visit here.

Beautiful people – They really are.

Karina x

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