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Who Even Am I?

Here i virtually am, with my lady in waiting and parasol at the ready. We're going to hit those streets and shake our fists and cause all sorts of nonsense.

Here I virtually am, with my lady in waiting and parasol at the ready. We’re going to hit those streets and shake our fists and cause all sorts of trouble and nonsense.

I’m late, that’s what I am.

Late for this first #blogging101 challenge partially because I didn’t check my emails and partly because I’ve been trying to work out just who I am and why I’m even here. I mean, that’s a pretty tough first assignment, to ask such deep questions when the best scholars through the ages haven’t even been able to answer them. What hope do I have?

I don’t even know why I’m here or what I’m trying to achieve.

I like to pretend that I’m a writer, even though I never know what to write. I like to pretend that I have an audience that are interested in my gripes, rants and amusing little anecdotes and one of these days I’ll have an audience and I’ll write something that’s worth their while. I like to pretend that I’m sitting somewhere far away, like 1950’s New York or 1940’s San Francisco or even Victorian England, but I’m in 2014 suburbia. I like to pretend that I’m sitting in a fancy parlour, sipping endless cups of tea while I glance longingly at the handwritten manuscripts at my feet, the ones I’ve spent an eon writing and I have publishers vying for the rights of said marvelous manuscripts, but I limit my tea intake and there are no manuscripts or publishers and at this rate, there won’t be.

So, let’s just say this is my virtual world and I’m here to type virtual nonsense (see what I’ve done there) as often as I can. I have fast become one of those Grumpy Middle Aged Women that you see in the streets (or you don’t see, because we are invisible…) and I look forward to one day walking down the street in my Victorian finery complete with cinched-in corset showing off my still youthful waist, waving about my parasol at the young hooligans who should be out there getting jobs and respecting their elders by showing common courtesies, and stuff like that.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to trawl the internet for said corset and a lady-in-waiting to help me cinch it in just so. By the way, it is so very nice to make your acquaintance.

Soldier On

I made several requests for bourbon, double shots no less. Perhaps I should have asked for vodka or even gin.

I made several requests for bourbon, double shots no less. Perhaps I should have asked for vodka or even gin as I see that Nurse had adequate supplies.

It all happened at once. My computer borked itself – luckily I didn’t lose any important files as I’d already backed those up on a couple of externals. And then I had a bit of a health scare that has kept me away from the computer and work and some of what life has to offer. How lucky to live in Australia, where I was able to walk into my nearest hospital and seek treatment without having to worry about whether I had enough $$ for the treatment.  A couple of procedures later, and I’ll be able to return to work next week. I’ve even ventured to write this post, the first since the “issue”* arose, albeit a little gingerly.

Earlier this week I was feeling more morose than usual and had convinced myself that this was now my lot. The occurrence of the “issue” had well and truly curtailed how I functioned in this world, I had told myself, but that’s what happens when you ask Dr Google questions… I really did feel very sorry for myself and wasn’t afraid to let the rest of the family know about it. I did also tell them that that day was my sooky-la-la day and that I’d give myself a good talking to by the following morning.

Ac1 and AC2 had done a wonderful job fixing my computer and it was good as new. The programs were all loaded and I was keen to listen to some music, that always cheers me up and it might help lift my mood. I had also wanted to check out some meditation apps on iTunes that I could download, as I thought they would be helpful too. Well, doesn’t the universe work in mysterious ways…I opened up iTunes, hit the shuffle button, hit play and the first song that came up was The Temper Trap’s “Soldier On”. Very apt for my current mood – have a listen if you haven’t heard it in a while:

Interpret it as you will, I’m seeing this song as being about life and getting on with it. Make the best of what you have and when the gold turns to rust, then don’t think about it. Just soldier on.

 

* I don’t feel comfortable publicly discussing the “issue”, at this stage.  Other than to say it has frightened the bejebus out of me and I still remain a little shaken. In time I may be more comfortable to discuss this “issue” down the track. In the meantime, my apologies.

A Short Break

At one point, the nurse may or may not have had to restrain me. And at one point I may have had that same plastic look of solidified terror on my face.

At one point, the nurse may or may not have had to restrain me. And at one point I may have had that same plastic look of solidified terror on my face.

Due to an sudden health issue this recent weekend, I’ll be taking a break from posting for a short time.

See you all soon.

A Little Corner of Calmness

The world was just on the other side of that library wall of books. She would just read to the end of the chapter before entering the real world again.

The world was just on the other side of that library wall of books. She would just read to the end of the chapter before entering the real world again.

Where do you go to find your little corner of calmness in your life? Do you have a hobby that you turn to when life gets hectic and overwhelming? I’ve just been over to The Book of Life website and read the post On Bounded and Unbounded Tasks. It’s a post that certainly resonated with me and it’s only been in recent times that I’ve discovered that some tasks, like the raking of gravel or doing a jigsaw puzzle as discussed in the linked post, can be great stress breakers. Take for instance this blog post. As I’m writing this, I’m totally switching off to the other worries that normally occupy my mind. And I’m finding there’s something therapeutic about getting my thoughts down in coherent sentences and paragraphs. Sketching, although new to me, is the same. My sketches are terrible, but the act of making those lines to create shape and form lead to an enormous sense of calmness. Which seems so strange that something that is so frustrating can be so calming at the same time. And reading. I read every day. I have been known to become quite unbearable if I don’t have a book, newspaper or magazine to read. To immerse myself into another world and to lock out the ordinary is just wonderful. And calming.

Do You Know What Bugs Me?

Cecily was putting the finishing touches to her status update. she just had to make the final embellishments, after all, all the right people would be seeing it.

Cecily was putting the finishing touches to her status update. She just had to make the final embellishments, after all, all the right people would be seeing it and she had to make the right impression.

There’s a little habit I’ve been noticing that a few FB friends have been engaging in that I find a little difficult to process. That’s the habit some have of heavily censoring their posts to make them seem better, grander, more worldly, more attractive, and in general better people to their FB friends. They write their posts using language and phrases and embellishments making them appear to be something they’re not. Now I understand embellishing status updates may be common and perhaps more so with strangers or on social networks where there’s some anonymity. But embellishing to your friends? Ummm, I don’t understand that. *whispers* We all know the truth anyway, so why all the embellishments? *ends whispers*

An example is a friend who recently posted how proud she was of their daughter who had received a glowing school report. She was proud of her achievements and the tone was very OTT and positively gushing. The likes and glowing comments were many. However when a friend asked via the comments what those grades were, some swift back pedaling ensued. Now this behaviour may not have been noticed by some of her acquaintances on FB, but I certainly knew the grades and they were not glowing. Not one bit. I struggled with commenting or even ‘liking’ the post, so I didn’t. I couldn’t. And I struggled with why she would post such a status when I knew she was very angry with the results. So what was her motivation in posting such a status? Is it the need to share for the sake of sharing? After all, here I am sharing this with you when really I could keep these thoughts to myself. Is it to get pats on the back for being a wonderful parent of such a smart child and to ‘show off’ to other parents who didn’t post any status updates about their children’s school reports and thereby making other parents possibly feel bad because their child’s report wasn’t as good as to warrant such a gushing status update? In fact, are school results anyone’s business other than the child and the parents’? Do we share the wrong sorts of private matters on social media and so we feel compelled to make those we do share sound better etc in order to win approval? This particular friend is a smart, confident and very friendly person. She has her life together and has a warm network of friends. She doesn’t strike me as the sort who would need to heavily embellish the truth to make her seem ‘better’ to her FB friends. So, why do some people fall into the trap of ‘showing off’ in this way?

I’m sure someone out there is doing their doctoral thesis on this very subject. If you come across it, then please drop the link in the comments. In the meantime, I’m going to go and check on my perfect family who are probably doing all the chores around the house as I type, they’re also making me the best cup of tea ever, and fluffing up my pillows in time for bed. They totally spoiling me rotten. I am the luckiest woman in the world.

This post was written as a prompt to “Bone of Contention”. Clearly I have an issue with FB and some of the posts I read… Is it me or is it you?

The Freedom to Juggle

Just like Lottie Brunn, I too was grinning when I realised the freedom of going with the flow. (Photo source: Historical Juggling Props)

Just like Lottie Brunn, I too was grinning when I realised the freedom of going with the flow. (Photo source: Historical Juggling Props)

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to a radio program that discussed goal setting and the difficulties often associated with it. The guest speaker was Lisa Forrest who is now a professional coach, among other things, and the point that resonated with me was the habit of being an “all or nothing” person. Yikes – I’m one of those! Are you? Her first client was also one of these people – she could only throw herself at one project at a time, often at the expense of other projects, work or even family. Oh yes, I totally relate to that. Listening to the radio conversation, and I wish I was able to listen to all of it as I now can’t find it online to listen to in full, I realised the good timing of it as I was struggling to work out which “project” I should pick for myself this year. You may have read here that I chose multiple projects that, while daunting, will be great for me to try and become a little more balanced.

That balance was tested this weekend as I missed posting here yesterday due to a spur of the moment weekend away that meant no internet! Is that even possible in this day and age? I felt a little anxious about this in the beginning and then I felt free. Free to be in the moment, to look up and around me. Free to enjoy whatever it was I was doing, rather than only paying partial attention. And how wonderful was that. At one stage in the city, a crowd of people were enjoying a very talented busker perform. I lost count of the number of mobile phones recording the performance. Why not just enjoy the actual performance, why does it need to be recorded? And will you actually sit back and watch it again? That requires a post all by itself, I think.

Anyway, I stopped feeling guilty that some of the project rules I set myself were being bent simply because a change of plans had occurred. In times past, I would have abandoned the projects altogether, but I’ve now learnt that that is a bit extreme. My world didn’t end because I missed a couple of the creative tasks, in fact no one noticed. That moment of anxiety that I felt when I realised the projects would have to be paused meant that I value the projects I’ve chosen. The freedom I felt when I allowed myself to relax and enjoy the spur of the moment plans also confirmed to me that I can learn to not be an “all or nothing” person.

Thank God it’s Indoors Friday

Driving on the roads is not like driving dodgems . Not one bit.

Driving on the roads is not like driving dodgems . Not one bit.

Let me tell you about my morning so far. I’ve driven in my car a total distance of approximately 12 kms this morning and I’ve had four close calls.

1. Driving under the required speed limit of 60km/h because I can see the suburban streets are busy and there’s a few pedestrians about. A car turns right and narrowly misses my car. The other driver and I eye ball each other as I wait for her to mouth “sorry”. But nothing. She drives on.

2. I’m in a carpark at the local supermarket. This is a notorious one for accidents and the car spots are ridiculously narrow. As I wait for a car ahead to reverse so I can park in a nearby spot, a car on my right begins reversing. I realise they haven’t seen me and can’t risk waiting to see what happens so I honk the car horn. This time the driver does apologise, saying she had no idea I was behind her car. Remember I’m in a car, it’s not just me standing there in her way.

3. I’m leaving the same carpark and I’m extra cautious – things happen in three’s you know – ensuring I’m looking either side for oncoming cars and pedestrians as well as using all mirrors. It’s safe to back out and as I edge out, a car comes flying through so fast I didn’t catch what model it was, just that it was a light coloured car. Phew, that was close, but at least that’s the three done.

Except.

4. Driving along the highway heading back home, out of nowhere a grey car driving the other way makes a very hasty right hand turn in front of oncoming traffic of which I am just one car of the many, before screeching on it’s way. How we didn’t collide is a mystery. No idea on what make, just a grey streak.

So you’ll excuse me if I stay indoors for the rest of the day and refrain from any coffee or chocolate or anything that might excite my nerves any further. My nerves are jangled and frazzled and on edge enough as it is. I’m going to stay indoors away from the seemingly mad people who are driving through our streets today and I’m going to catch up on some reading. The worst that can happen to me today is a papercut, surely. If you’re heading out today in your car or using any other form of transport, take care, won’t you.

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Another take on writing, reading, loving -- and eating

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