Things that go bump in the night
Sarah Long arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met her Mr Miner soon after. They're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. Sarah came out to Oz as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!
'Twas the night before fly-in and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for a spouse (actually make that a girlfriend, but it doesn’t rhyme as well!)
When Mr Miner’s home, I have an almost regimented routine of 10pm bedtime. Yet when he’s gone and I’m home alone, it’s not something I seem able to maintain.
Like a naughty child in the school holidays, I rebel against my comfy queen-size with its king wool duvet and soft, cool cotton sheets - despite my drooping eyelids and the knowledge I'll be cursing my own stubbornness when the alarm goes off at 6am.
Here's the strange thing: I asked around a group FIFO friends and they all said it was the same for them. It doesn't matter if you’re single, have kids or you're an empty-nester - there's something keeping us all from our beds of an evening.
I suppose the obvious reason is that we don’t want to go to bed on our own, but for me that’s a bit sentimental. Yes, I like having someone to cuddle up to now and again, but really, how much easier is it to sleep on your own? The bed’s the right temperature, there’s nobody hogging the covers or snoring in your ear.
Mainly, my stubborn justification for staying up late is that there’s too much to do. Yes, I know we don’t have kids - but I still have the evening juggle of finishing work, going to the gym, cooking dinner and doing all the housework that he never seems to notice. Then I need to catch up on The Block/MKR/Real Housewives of Melbourne (while he’s not around to disturb me) ... and suddenly it's 11pm!
And then there's my social life. OK, when I say 'evening juggle' occasionally what I’m juggling is drinking wine and exchanging gossip - because when he’s away it’s my time to play! At the start of our relationship I tried to create a very active social life to keep myself busy and not miss him. But now it has evolved and maintaining this monster of my own creation takes a lot of work (for 'work' read 'alcohol'). Without wanting to sound like a city snob, when you’re virtually single and living in Sydney there’s always people to see and a place to be and sometimes it’s hard to say no.
The trouble is I then get home and STILL don’t go to bed. The number of times I’ve found myself awake and watching reruns of Sex and the City at 3am on a Saturday morning (thank you Mr Miner for paying for my beloved Foxtel) are too numerous to count.
When it comes down to it, I am just a rebellious little kid who doesn’t want to go to bed at a reasonable time and when there’s nobody home to stop me I will do as I please. Another FIFO wife I know eats fairy bread for dinner, so I know I’m not alone in this rebellion!
Whatever the reason, we all seem to agree that whether you’re awake tackling the endless 'to-do' list, watching reruns of trash TV or just indulging in a bit of quiet alone time, the Mining Mrs is a creature of the night … or in my case just a naughty little kid!
More from Sarah:
- FIFO does get easier – here’s why!
- 2014 – my year of positivity
- Burns survivor Turia Pitt on staying strong, the love of family and the importance of goals
- Work hard, smile and join in - how my parents prepared me for life
- Three-word phrases for simple communication
- The guilty pleasures of a woman left alone
- Help - I've started to nag my miner about marriage
- Goodbye is always the hardest word
- Don't be lonely when your miner's away. Enjoy precious 'me time' instead
- How to handle food intolerances when you work FIFO
- Lost that loving feeling? Go back to where it all began
- The great escape: holidaying out of a relationship rut
- Time for a DIDO relationship spring clean
- Reliable, flexible, super-organised ... 10 reasons why mining wives/partners ROCK
- How to make friends and really irritate them
- Relationship rules for DIDO DINKS
- Curse of a DIDO girlfriend: the fear of missing out
- After two years, a DIDO relationship is still love on steroids
- Body clocks and DIDO rosters: a rather stressful combination
- How anxiety counselling changed my life and prepared me for Mr Miner
- Making new friends - an essential tool in mining life
- Here's why I don't talk to Mr Miner while he's away at the mine site
- Sex confessions of a DIDO miner's girlfriend
- Roses are red and DIDO rosters make me blue
- Mixed emotions and my first mining Christmas
- All you need is trust
- How to make your own Prince Charming
- The guilty pleasure of 'man moaning' about my Mr Miner
- Down days and risotto
- How I met my miner
- Making your own life in a mining town
- So what's Orange really like?
If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!