26 August 2014

Hello 3 am

I can't be the only one that does this.

Sound asleep.  Snoring loudly most probably because I do that.

Then BOOM.  My eyes snap open.  Wide awake.  Brain goes from 0 - 100.

Take a sip of water.  Snuggle back down under the cover, eyes screwed shot and silently counting sheep once I've decided what they are jumping over.  Slowly.

Then a few nursery rhymes.

The old school songs.

The sawdust meditation.

Brain gets louder.  Agitating.  Banging on my eyelids, frantic for attention.

Brain says - NOW.  NOW WE HAVE TO SORT IT OUT. World peace. Finances. Parenting approach. Lack of fashion sense. Things left unsaid to people whose surnames I no longer remember. Lists. Missed opportunities. People who drive without their lights in the rain. The Government. Weight. Exercise. Living long enough to do stuff. Where is the charger for my camera.  What if... what if... what if....

Lordy me let me sleep brain.  Don't you know that a lack of sleep is bad for you?

Reach for phone.  Look at time.  Three fucking am.  Again.

Try mindfulness.  Mindfulness. Mindfulness.  I wonder why that become the buzz term?  Language is quite interesting isn't it? Maybe there is something in yoga? Do you think they named Yogi Bear for Yoga?  Hippies.  Man my butt is big. What is it with the Kardashian/Minja butt thing? They just look weird. But it sells. Maybe I could do something weird.  Man, what time is it now?

Three fucking oh two.

What if I did x instead of y? Maybe we could move to the country.  Then I could walk more and get chickens for eggs. The girls would like that.  Well Tully would. Cass hates chickens.  Funny little thing. Shit, do we have milk? Nick so does snore sometimes. Listen to him.  Oh, he's stopped.  Is he awake? Probably not. Is that a tap dripping? Oh god, I hope we don't have to ring the real estate agency again, that woman is a nightmare.  Maybe I could be a plumber? Change direction completely? That could work.  Yeah, what time is it now?

Three fucking oh two and a half.

And so it goes.  Round and round and round and round in a circle.  For an hour, maybe two.

Until my eyes eventually struggle back down over my brain, gagging it so I can get some more sleep until the children come in, pretty much still asleep, just wanting cuddles and to share the same one centimetre of pillow.  With my eyes still closed I hurl them around the bed until nobody is breathing on anybody else's pyjamas and sleep as well as I can balanced on one thumb, a bit of hip and holding onto the sheet with my teeth, resolutely ignoring the bit of my brain pleading "You're not really asleep, come on, wake up... waaaaakkkkkkeeeee up, we haven't even started on how much of a loser you are!"

And then it's morning I've had a strangely unsettling dream about falling out with Kylie Minogue about banana bread.

My brain is an arse.  Anybody else suffer from the same cantankerous grey matter?

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25 August 2014

Four years a parent

Today my first born celebrates four years of being alive.  Well she's not to be fair.  Her father and I are the ones high fiving each other in the kitchen as she scoots around on her new bike, in her Anna dress covered with her stethoscope and other Doc paraphernalia and yelling at her sister not to touch her stuff.

But I find myself, on this day, a parent of two girls - both glorious, funny examples of the human race and how genetics, environment and personality combine to make people so wonderful you feel like hunting down garden obsessives and yelling 'CARROTS? Ha! I grew PEOPLE! IN MA' BELLY!'

But you don't.  Because that would be weird.

And I'm not the parent I thought I'd be.  I'm making it up as I go along because it turned out that the kind of parent I thought I'd be would require me to be a person it turns out I'm not.

I've learned that there is an awful lot of parenting that goes on in this world because 'what will people' think.  We talk about the insidiousness of mass marketing telling our children what to look like and how to dress without thinking twice about making them do something because we want them to do it, or because their grandparents won't like it, or because 'slippers are not okay for the supermarket'.

Why shouldn't they have bad days? Why shouldn't they talk back when they don't understand why you're asking them to do something?  I'm not talking safety and manners here.  The girls have boundaries and we are uncompromising on treating people with the same respect as you expect from them.  But I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I ask them to do and why - and if you told me four years ago I'd be that parent, I'd have thought you mistook me for some kind of idiot.

I've learnt that it's okay to spoil my children.  Because I can spoil them without them feeling entitled.  I've learnt that embracing their defiance as an example of them trusting me to love them anyway, is a great way to work out what they don't yet understand.  I've learnt that yelling at them because they are pressing every single one of my buttons is okay, if I'm mature enough to apologise for being a grumpy arse, so that they know how to do it too.

I've learnt that if I do things at their pace and not mine I get to have conversations with them I would never have had otherwise.  I have learnt that if we change the way we do something because the other way doesn't work they'll roll with it. I've learnt that they prefer standing in front of the neighbour's trees for photos rather than ours.

I've learnt that I don't believe in smacking children because I recognise that in doing so I'm demonstrating that I've lost control, not them, and that I'm teaching them that violence is an acceptable way of making them do something.  I've learnt that reading aloud to children is just as boring as reading aloud to adults and that I have a capacity for craft that has lain dormant for a good many years.

I've learnt that the sound of my two girls laughing and not sharing the joke with their parents fills me with confidence about their future relationship. I've learnt that I don't care if they tip oats all over the kitchen floor because they want the independence to make their own breakfast.  I'd rather they make mess, wear their good dresses to jump on the trampoline and wear wellington boots to bed if it makes them happy.  Because these things don't matter.  They don't matter at all.

What matters to me is that they know how to treat people kindly.  It matters to me they have the confidence to go boldly out into the world and find things to do.  It matters to me that they hug freely.  It matters to me that they know who to trust.  It matters to me that they value their friends.  It matters to me that they know how to apologise when they have erred and it matters to me that they can rage against what they don't like and ask questions when they seek to understand.

It matters to me that they love words and they love ideas and they have an imagination which will keep them company throughout their whole lives.  It matters to me that they exist in the world they live in, that they embrace technology, environments, education, opportunities, sunscreen and ideologies which are reflective of their future, not the past which so many view with rose tinted spectacles and obvious memory loss.

It matters to me that they know that they are loved by both of their parents with a fierceness we didn't know was possible, but that they owe us nothing.  Nothing.  For we chose them, not the other way round and it is up to us to be the kind of people they choose to be with once they know they have options.

Don't anybody tell them too soon. Please.

I've learnt that some people like putting tomato sauce in their porridge and that blowing bubbles in your milk is hilarious.  I've learnt that four years passes so quickly I still haven't finished some of the things on my to-do list from my first maternity leave.

I've learnt that if you mess with my children I am capable of vengeance in the style of Jules and Vincent and that people who can't yet say their own name without a lisp can name every single type of dinosaur known to man.  Correctly.

All that in just four years. Who knew?

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21 August 2014

Love will make a way

Whether you are a believer or a non-believer, it's quite refreshing to see the mischief that a group of 'god botherers' are getting up to around the country over past weeks and months.  And by mischief, I mean the turning up to the offices of MPs and sitting around praying.  I know.  Kids today eh?

And nuns. And like, just people.

And they don't leave, which means they have to be arrested, and then they plead guilty and they have to be charged.  And it's the nicest 'god bothering' story going around the traps at the moment because they are very politely pointing out that children shouldn't be in detention.

And that the general approach to asylum seekers is completely rubbish.

But they're not banging on about it.  Just taking their collective backsides aged from their 20s to their 80s, putting them somewhere semi-comfortable and praying.


Turns out the silent act of conversation with the big guy IS an act of rebellion which will get you arrested, against a bunch of people who bang on about being guided by their Christian faith as they treat the world's most vulnerable with a casual cruelty we call 'policy'.

But we've stopped the boats.  Somehow keeping hundreds of people alive in horrific conditions that are described as 'tortuous' by experts, so that others don't take a chance on catching a boat to Australia, is 'successful policy'.  Or 'behaving like a completely bigoted arse of a country'.

And it'd be nice to think that Scott Morrison is actually seeing that you don't have to be a complete knob head to be Christian and that's why he's started releasing children from detention.  But only the ones that are on the mainland mind you.  Don't get me wrong, committing to releasing 150 kids from detention is lovely, but wouldn't it be even better if he released the other 750 living in our own tax payer funded hell holes and scattered them about the countryside too?

But no, it's not because he went read the book again and did a refresher course on Jesus weeping OR the bit about Jesus asking for the children to be sent to him for they were innocent and good OR because Jesus said do unto others as you'd have done unto you, but because he's pooping his pants as he's got to front up to the Human Rights Commission and actually justify why we're torturing people to deter the desperate rather than um, coming up with a humane solution to a global crisis.

Love will make a way.  I do believe that.  We can not sustain a nation on hate and bigotry.  The piping hot white sands are shifting. 86 year old nuns; Fr Rod's billboard; photographers; baristas seeking work; comedians such as Corinne, Adam, Tom and Will; journalists like Gabrielle and Peter and Bill; politicians who actually are in it for the people; and defiant groups of 'god botherers' of all persuasions, are all proactively practising compassion and acts of inclusivity as small, non-criminal acts of treason.

And I love them for it.  I love them all for being the change they want to see in the world.  I love them for making small but significant steps around educating the public and being prepared to stand up and be counted.  I love the people in cafes, schools, hospitals, playgrounds that do what they can to demonstrate that we are mostly kind of lovely.  And we're not sure how things got to be so bad, but we're keen for change.

It's those people, those every day, every single day, people, that represent Australia to me.

Yep. Them. Thank you. Mayyyyyyyyyte.

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19 August 2014

Blah, blah, BLAH

There is a lady in a house, filled with herself, her lover and her two adorable children.  They aspire to live a simple life, a happy life, a meaningful life.  All at once.  She has single handedly changed the definition of 'blah' for me.  If I'm feeling 'blah', I'm feeling pretty awesome thanks for asking.

That lady is the brilliance behind Blah Blah Magazine.  She nominated this blog for a Liebster Award last week which is very lovely and gave me the chuffed feeling that most encounters with her leave me with.  I did the Liebster thing last year and so I thought I'd participate today in a slightly different way.  I'm going to answer Cybele's 10 questions and then I'm going to share some blogs with you that I think are completely 'BLAH'.

1. What are five components of a life well lived?

Compassion, kindness, confidence, love and personal responsibility.  They are the no brainers for me.  To live with these five things as the foundations of all you choose for yourself and for others is to give everybody the freedom to be the best person they can be, to live in a manner which is open to experience, to embrace all things as educational and empowering, be an active participant in their own journey and live devoid of the insidiousness of hate, bitterness or regret.

2. Do you prefer holidaying in urban or rural areas?

I'm a fence sitter on this one.  There are so many places still to go on this planet, both urban and rural, I'm just going to tick them off one after another until they're all done.  I find it unfathomable that people can have a bad holiday.  A non-relaxing holiday sure, but a bad one?  Nope.

3. Is there a song that makes you cry?

Yes. Several. One that gets me EVERY time is Brandon Flowers' "The clock was tickin'" from his Flamingo album.  Every. Single. Time.  The other is Dusty Springfield's "The Windmills of your mind" which I want played at my funeral.  It's an amazing song.  It just makes you feel.

4. Has a view, artwork, building or similar taken your breath away?

One of my favourite views in the world is the rolling red dirt fields filled with crops that you see as you drive up the inland road heading towards the Queensland border.  There is something so naked, so magnificent, so endless about that vista which is uniquely Australian and makes me go all Dorothea Mackellar.

I find photography a more moving medium than art in general, but I am a sucker for anything my girls create.  If I had to choose a professional artist who I always enjoy the impact of, I would pick Sidney Nolan or Paul Gauguin.

Buildings - the older the better.  I love them all.  Tin sheds, stone castles, old queenslanders, cottages, verandahs, you name it.  It's not so much breath away as that being surrounded by buildings that have borne silent witness to so much kind of feeling.

5. Favourite season?

Summer.  Because heat.

Oh, and the smell of dry grass, the hum of heat around the trampoline, the long evenings, the crackling of tyres on steaming roads, the hopping of small children and adults across concrete too hot too walk on.  And Christmas.  And my birthday.  And New Year's.  It's the very best season of all.

6. Your ideal Sunday?

A late breakfast at our local cafe, time to read the papers, spontaneous walks or park visits, hanging with the trio of happiness, visits with friends, an afternoon glass of wine, an easy dinner.  Anything which surrounds me with people that I value.  Then I'm all set up for real life the other six days.

7. A book, film or story that has had a big impact on you?

So many. So so many.  But I'm going to pick "To Kill a Mockingbird"as one of those stories that never ever stops impacting because so many elements resonate at so many levels.

I find the character of Atticus retains his relevance across the ages which is a positive. On the flip side, I find it sad that the book's key themes are still playing out in real life in places like Ferguson, USA and Darlinghurst, Australia.

8. Why did you start your blog?

While I adore my two daughters with all my heart, the truth is that they were crap conversationalists when they were 2 and 20 months respectively.  And I had lots to say and explore and they just weren't up to political debate, lamenting bigotry or hating on tuna.

They are much better at conversation now but we still haven't quite reached a point where we want to talk about the same things.  We'll see how we go once they get to school.

9. What is your idea of an amazing meal?

Anything I don't have to cook pretty much.  But if you can somehow make it a full English roast beef meal - that'd be pretty dandy.  Oooh.... and popping candy topped creme brûlée.  That stuff was the bomb.

10. Are you the eldest, middle or youngest sibling or an only child?

I am the second of six children, eldest female and by far the most interesting it has to be said.  Right siblings? What? What? Not reading the blog today?  Phew.  

We are very well organised - boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl.  They got the looks, the brains, the coordination and the talent but I got generally hilarious and I genuinely enjoy Dad's uninteresting tours of places, so it's like we're all winners really.

me. aged five. darwin.
People often ask if I'd have six children. The answer is no.  My parents, much as I love them, were obviously deranged.  That said, I'm rather fond of the four that follow me so I'm glad they didn't stop at two.

And now I'd like to introduce you to the following BLAH bloggers.

Obviously go and check out Cybele at Blah Blah Magazine

In no particular order and with no offence mended if I have missed somebody I love, I invite you to meander over to the following places and check out:

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18 August 2014

Wanted: My Mojo

It's a lamentable event in an otherwise perfect world but I feel at the moment that my creative well has run dry.  I've had less urge to blog lately and when I found out we had yet another bloody week of dress ups at childcare, this time for book bloody week, I almost wept.

I mean don't get me wrong, I get a certain satisfaction that most people get from doing something worthwhile, when I manage to turn items from the dress up box and the odd bit of household recycling into something that would make Catherine Martin jealous. But keep in mind that woman only does a movie a year and I've got to produce nine outfits TIMES TWO this month alone.  That's 18 outfits for the mathematically challenged.

It's exhausting this being lively of mind but devoid of mojo.  I can't even get the energy up to be pissed off at #TeamAbbott.  I mean they are doing the job for me so I know I can take some time out but really - between Abetz, Brandis and Hockey I should have been typing out blogs and opinion pieces at such a rate that my fingers bled and my brain exploded.

But all I've managed is a muttered 'ah bunch of tossers' as I perused the news and a delighted 'how funny is that hashtag #otherthingspoorpeopledontdo" to my husband yesterday?  Answer: pretty funny.

Andrew Bolt was hoisted on his own petard by Emerson of all people and I just thought "ha, take that you stupid man."  I couldn't even summon up a suitable profanity.

It's a little alarming.  I'm unsure if it's my recent flirtation with domesticity - I mean I've been using the slow cooker to make casseroles and baking banana bread like I'm somebody else entirely.  Is it possible that these small acts have tamped down the fires of my inner anarchy?

Is it the seven billion four thousand six hundred and twenty seven times I've had to play jigsaws with my beloved children in the last week.  An activity I find only slightly less stultifying than pretending I like watching children at a play park and I'm unsure why they've decided to become addicted to things that will improve their minds RIGHT NOW.

Is it the fact that I have now listened to Frozen's soundtrack so many times Nick and I had a discussion about the obvious pathos in the lyrics that is not as evident when accompanied by the visual feast of the actual movie and all that arm waving that Elsa does?  People. It's a cartoon.  A good one, but it's a cartoon.  The emotional impact of a lonely childhood of an imagined character should not be part of my discussions with the love of my life.

Look I don't know what it is but I want rainmageddon to not just be further evidence of the climate change that doesn't really exist because apparently the scientists just make that shit up for fun.  I want it to fill my creative well and have me banging away with gleeful disregard for the finer feelings of those that find me too outspoken.

Or I'm going to have to use my cross face.

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13 August 2014

How to put the Pro in Problogger. You're welcome

For those that don't blog - I'm going to a conference the week after next called ProBlogger.  It's a training event for people that blog both professionally and for fun and it's an excellent opportunity to 'do the social medias better'.

Which since I 'do the social medias' both professionally and for fun makes it a pretty useful event.

But quite tiny in real life
Last year was my first one.  The forums indicate that there are LOADS of newbies coming to this year and people are writing lots of meaningful and useful posts about getting the most out of the conference, or any conference.

I kind of feel people are addressing worthy points, but not actually any of the things newbies secretly worry about when attending conferences alone.

So here you go - my insights.

1. If you meet Mrs Woog for the first time, even though you love her ballsy attitude, her general hilariousness and her willingness to share information about blogging, the very first thing you will say is "YOU ARE MUCH SHORTER IN REAL LIFE THAN YOU SEEM ON YOUR BLOG".

Yes, that loudly.  And that daftly.  Because how can anybody tell how tall a person is by their writing? And you will die a little inside and she will be very lovely about it and you will slink away hoping against hope that while you said that sentence, she actually heard the things you MEANT to say.

No dugong will pass by to make the moment less painful
2. No matter where you sit in the auditorium, it will never be the right place.  You will either feel you are too far forward, no where near anybody you know or you will find yourself sitting at the end of a line of fashion bloggers, pretty much feeling like Homer Simpson making small talk with Kris Smith.

If you are male you won't give a shit, but if you're female you will spend the session feeling acutely self conscious even though every single one of them is completely lovely and quite frankly doesn't give a rat's bottom about what you are wearing.

3. The reason everybody seems to know each other is only because they read the form better than you and knew about the Thursday night drinks where you go along and meet people while drinking wine.

You won't realise this until the end of the second day when you're just settling into your groove and summon the courage to ask how long this little group of seeming besties has known each other and they say 'about 48 hours'.  The simple lesson is unless pregnant or teetotal - slip wine into your morning coffee if you can't go on Thursday night so you find your groove earlier.

I think that went well don't you?
4. People are actually that lovely.  They are not just being nice to you because you look like the only liturgical dancer at a rave.  If they aren't speaking to you it's not because they are arses, but probably because they are feeling a bit 'wooooo' as well.  Even if they have been a zillion times.

So if you say "Hi, my name is XXXX, how are you?" they will probably just start chatting, not leap away from you screaming "SOME LOW LIFE WITH A BLOG I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF JUST DARED TO SPEAK TO ME! DARREN BOOT HER OUT!"

5. Those tips about photographing key slides are good ones.  Also, the basic unspoken challenge is to try and tweet more than Carly Findlay who is like 'quick draw Mcgraw' at these things.  And she normally gets the point quicker than you do.  So if you can beat her, it's a bit like winning bingo when you just went along for the cheap drinks.

If you don't manage that just retweet her.  It makes you look slightly cleverer than you are.

6. If you meet a male blogger that asks if you want to hold the snake, just assume he means a live snake and don't slap him for insolence.

Snake, me and a male blogger
7. You won't need most of the business cards you have printed and when you do you will not have them on you.  So you'll just pull out your smartphones and become Facebook friends, swap numbers and extend your tribe that way.

Or write their number on your hand and hope you remember their name when you wake up the next morning.  If you have been drinking Tequila - it's probably Danielle's.  She's lovely like that.

8. No matter what you wear, where you stay, who you know and how badly you fangirl somebody - It'll be fun.  And inspiring. And you'll meet people. Those people become friends. And you learn stuff. Lots and lots and lots of stuff. And you laugh. And take a lot of photos. And write lots of notes that mean nothing afterwards like 'use that quote'.

So I hope I sorted that for you all.  Basically doesn't matter what you did - I was way more gauche last year so you'll be completely fine and dandy.

See you there.  I'll be the one in the corner wishing I knew how the f**k to dress like an adult.

I was told original and colourful was IN damnit. 
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12 August 2014

Gender. God. Insects. Pokes. Doughnuts.

Today my Tully had to go to the doctor because she's got a skin tag on her tongue growing faster than her, and is about due for her 4 year old 'pokes'.  So Cass went to childcare and Tully and I went off to look at toy shelves and have a doughnut to help get her in the zone to have both arms 'poked'.

We wandered around hand in hand, having girl time, and she was in the chattiest of places. Questions and observations tumbled from her mouth in a constant stream of colour.  And I was struck afresh that I have an almost four year old.  Seemingly only yesterday I had a big fat beautiful baby who was the spitting image of Chairman Mao and now I have this tall, long legged, big hearted, intelligent little person who is curious about everything.  Everything.

"Mum, who is God?"

"Ummmmm, how much do you know about theology, spirituality and religion?"

"Not bery much I don't fink"

"Well in that case, I'll let Daddy tell you tonight who God is because I don't either."


"Mum, if girls have ginas, boys have geniuses, what do dogs have?"

(And YES I know that men around the world wished more females mispronounced penises)

"Well sweetheart, dogs can be boys or girls too. So they can have either"

"Even though they are dogs"


"What about other animals?"

"Mostly the same but I'm pretty sure there are lots of sea animals and insects which can be both."

"Really?  Where would an insect put a gina?"

"Hmmm, a good question.  We might want to find somebody that is an entomologist, that's an insect expert, who can answer those questions, I'm not quite sure."

"Mum, why did that man die hung"

(They miss no conversation do they?  Not one)

"Robin Williams?  He had depression sweetheart.  Which is a sickness and he didn't get better so he died."


"Dead. Which is really sad because people will miss him don't you think?"

"Like his mummy or his sister?"

"Yep, that's right"


"Yes sweetheart"

"Did Bobby Wheels have a genius or a gina?"

And there, just there, is IT.  We are trying to wrap our heads around mortality, death, loss, sorrow, happiness, joy, love, hate, war, politics, famine, money, work, life - the list is endless.

And she just wanted to know about his gender and his family.  No interest in his celebrity, his achievements, his failures, his illness.  Her world is made up of simpler things.

Gender. God, Insects. Pokes. Doughnuts.  Small people give all questions equal weight.  All aspects of life is given a measured validity that we disregard as we get older.  And there is a joy in those questions, the random nature of their discourse, their thirst for knowledge.

And I hope her edge is never blunted by depression or the careless words of people that fear questions.  I hope her little spark of madness always flickers, that her curiosity always burns and that when we speak of this again, (for she'll have taken it all away to mull over and bring up as a time waster on the toilet, or as we are running late for childcare), I can talk of birth, death and the insanity that lies in between, in measured, honest mouthfuls.

For life is complex. Messy. Unfair.  And the more we talk of things, the more we understand things.

And that is not just true of the children.

Vale Bobby Wheels.

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11 August 2014

10 reasons not to have children

I'm going to say something very controversial here.  Ready?

You don't have to have kids.

You don't have to want them. You don't have to have them.  You don't owe your parents grandchildren. You don't owe your partner children.  You are not selfish if you don't want them.

Everybody is different.  The number of conversations I have had with people over the years that just don't want children is larger than people might think.  But it's a bit of a dirty secret.  Not wanting children is something you kind of have to say with your chest thrust forward and your fists clenched.  Because people are judging you.  Especially if you're female.

And if you marry somebody that says they don't want kids, you can't be mad with them when they ummm, don't want kids.  If they lie to you about it, well, kick their sorry butts from here to kingdom come but don't think they'll change their minds if you bang on about it long enough.

Because some people don't want to be parents.  And why is none of your business.

In fact, there are a lot of extremely good reasons not to have children.  Truck loads in fact.  Here are my top ten.

1. Never get woken up by somebody weeing on your leg UNLESS BY CHOICE. (No judgements here people that like to be weed on)  

2. Being allowed to laugh really loudly and for a long time when a child says or does something completely inappropriate. Because, not your child. Ever.

3. Wiping your own bottom. And ONLY your own bottom.

4. Sleeping. Blessed, blessed sleeping.

5. Money. Who cares if you go broke and lose everything - with nobody but you to worry about, a few weeks without food will kick the diet off nicely.

6. Getting up and going places.  Just getting up and going places.  Even to another room. And not having to talk about it, explain it, take people with you or have them follow you.

7. Catching up with friends at a moment's notice. Because. Sunday. Or Tuesday. Or lunchtime.

8. Arguing with your partner about stuff that matters. Like world politics or the price of tea or whether the Lethal Weapon series is tainted by Mel Gibson's stupidity two decades on.  Not the 'I am more tired than you' argument which is the only argument that parents have forever.

9. Profaning.  Glorious glorious glorious profaning with gay abandon and much volume.  Actually, you can do this as a parent too but people judge you for it.  Even the types that like to be weed on judge profaning parents.

10. Personal space and privacy.  And I don't mean a room or a chair.  I mean not having small people pry your eyes open, stick their fingers up your nose, finger your boobs, pull your willy, discuss your business with strangers, bite your knee, headbutt you, sit on your knee as you poop, join you in the shower, eat from your plate, stand under your tummy for shade.  You know?

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5 August 2014

A reason, a season or a lifetime

It is said that friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Hoarders like myself try not to let any of them go because if I liked them for a reason, surely I can keep them for a season or even a lifetime?

But it doesn't always work like that.

People change. Your life changes.  Their lives change.  You disagree over something you think is big and it's not, but by the time you realise that you've actually forgotten what you disagreed on, the moment has passed.

You move house, cities, countries.  You may even have done this before social media.  You lose numbers, lose addresses, lose touch.

Some people fall out because they are too proud to apologise.  Or too hurt to acknowledge their own culpability.  Or just because.

Some people don't fall out, they drift.  And friendships are like relationships - they require work.  You can't complain somebody never calls if you never call them.  Nobody owes you friendship.

And if you only ever accept invitations, not issue them, people stop asking.  Not because they don't like you, they just assume that if you had the same interest, you'd put in the same effort.

People that have just had babies or have young families quite often feel isolated and bemoan the loss of friendships and accuse people of not caring.  It's probably not that, it's probably that you just haven't said anything apart from "it's so hard, I'm so tired, and you'd never understand" for about 12 months and they are waiting for you to reemerge from the fog.

I like my friends.  I assume my friends like my friends.  This is not always the case.  Sometimes your friends find your other friends to be awful.  Which is always a mystery but there you go.  On the other hand, sometimes your friends like each other so much they end up having sex with each other and that is also a mystery. And one you'd prefer they didn't discuss with you because 'ewwww'.

Sometimes you have nothing in common with your friends.  You just enjoy their company.  Sometimes you are friends with people because you work with them.  Sometimes you are friends with people because you live with them.  Sometimes this works.  Sometimes it doesn't.

And we think that nothing is ever as awkward as when we used to date as teenagers, but finding friends in your adult years that suit the new improved you, the finally comfortable in your skin you, the parenting you, the career change you, the new fitness freak you, the living in a new country you, is just as hard.  You have to exchange numbers, make dates.  You don't want to appear needy so does the three day rule apply? Or do you just call them and say 'DUUUDDEEEEE'.  When is it appropriate to add them to your facebook friends list?  WHAT IF THEY DON'T HAVE FACEBOOK?

Friendships are always awkward to start.  Maybe only for two minutes and the first tequila shot, but they are worth it.  Those lifetime friends, the people you call your tribe, they are the ones that give life it's messy, chaotic, diversity. They are the ones that have your back as they kick your arse.

Those friends.  You have them for a reason.  And a season.  And a lifetime.

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