I am a little bit sad this week. Sad and disheartened. Feeling blue. Down in the dumps. Wound up. All of those things. And for once it isn't anything to do with our baby makin'.... that stress has been put on the back burner for a time, while Jon and I have been doing lovely things like fixing our house and gardens (VERY slowly), watching movies, having lazy brunches at home on the weekends etc etc.
No folks, this time my sadness is being caused by the ongoing debate (some may say brawl) that is happening in my sleepy old town of Bowen.
Basically, there is a proposal waiting on government approval at this very moment to determine whether the coal port (Abbot Point) located just outside our little town should be expanded (by means of dredging the ocean bed to allow the expansion infrastructure) to accommodate increased traffic and export.
The frustration and desperation for this oh-so-important decision to be pushed ahead in the quickest amount of time possible (which has already been delayed as a new Environment Minister has been appointed in the meantime) is palpable - and is rearing its head in really heated and, sometimes, ugly discussion.
There are two valid sides to the debate - one is the fact that our town is dying, literally, suffocating under the strain of high unemployment, failed businesses and over saturation of the housing market with new developments which were banking on a "sure thing" with the expansion going ahead.
The flip side is some people's distrust in the integrity of the big corporations who are linked with the expansion. The distrust is based around the core areas of environmental conservation and the impact on other industry such as fishing and tourism, "real" benefits for locals vs out of town and overseas workers being brought to Bowen for the expansion phase and what all of this will mean in the long term for our town.
I am a big believer in debate and discussion - and that it can only bring a better understanding of the wider issues - and that EVERYONE has a right to express themselves and their concerns and to be listened to.
What has my heart heavy with this debate is the appalling manner in which my town folk are treating each other - the insults flying freely, people being told their opinions and concerns don't count, a "shut up if you don't think the same as us" attitude, and some really, really, really loose use of "facts" to try and sway opinion - from both sides of the extremists.
Its really off putting and saddening to realise that the egos of some people are breaking down the very fabric of what living in a small community should be about - having respect for your neighbours and working TOGETHER towards an outcome that everyone can live with happily. I mean, I know not everyone could ever be made happy (especially the extremist "greenies" and the extremist "anti-greenies") - but there has got to be a better way to deal with this debate other than bullying and badgering and bulldozer-ing everyone into thinking the same. I don't want to live in a world where everyone thinks the same - how would we ever have change and improvement? The only thing I want everyone to think the same about is how to treat each other, and sadly that just isn't happening.
I am not sure what will happen, and I am not sure how I will feel about it when it does happen. All I know is I grew up with some of the people who's behaviour is so upsetting to me - and it makes me question what has happened to us? Have we become so tied up in ourselves that we have forgotten how to care for each other? I relocated my husband to the other side of the world because I didn't want to raise our children in a city where it's the norm to look the other way and not have close relationships with the people you live around. I grew up so differently to that - where the neighbourhood kids played in the street; safe in the knowledge that we were all looking out for each other, where your mum found out you were smoking behind the town hall before you even got home to breathe your stinky breath on her and where, when times were tough, you knew a neighbour, a friend or a family member was just around the corner with an offer of help.
If that isn't how my sleepy little town operates any more - if progress and industry has replaced manners and kindness - and if people I once respected are going to turn on each other - then what the hell did I come back here for? I wouldn't want my children to witness the things I have heard and read seemingly "decent" people say to and about each other lately, it's heartbreaking.
Maybe its the migraine I have been rocking all day. Maybe its a distraction from other things I would normally be stressed about. Maybe I got me a case of the boo-hoo-blues. Whatever it is, I am a sad sack - and cannot wait for the decision to be made already so all of this silly-ness can end. Or maybe, just maybe, it's time for me to start scouting for my teepee commune haven in the rainforest I have always dreamt of - and just be done with this place once and for all.
I feel majorly guilty for not being "positive" in this post - but it's how I am feeling and I couldn't even pretend it's not - so I am just going to go with it.
Maybe a playlist will cheer me up..... who knows?