It’s Christmas morning here in New Zealand. And as I sit here enjoying my morning coffee, having done a few chores and taken the dog for a walk .. I find myself pondering “Peace on earth” and all the other sayings trotted out at this time of year.
I think really, it isn’t peace on earth we should all strive for. It’s peace within. If we attain that – we’re winning.
A short time ago I was reading overnight texts, emails & facebook updates. Everyone is posting gorgeous pics of kids and trees and gifts and the like. I have no tree, no xmas decos, nothing to say it’s Xmas here in the way of decorations. There’s other history behind why Xmas is of little joy to me, not appropriate for this blog.
However, I have to admit for the first time in a few years: I feel at peace this Christmas.
And it’s nice.
Happy Christmas to you. Where-ever you are and however you celebrate this date: I hope it is safe, relaxing and enjoyable.
PS Why the title? A fave kiwi saying is “she’ll be right, mate” It seemed apt to Xmas-it-up a bit!
Someone asked me this yesterday after I’d mentioned the fact I had a blog and went on to say that mine was an anonymous one.. An understandable question I suppose.. although their statement “surely the idea of writing something is to have it read?” did annoy me somewhat.
I tried to explain to them that people do allegedly read my blog, but that they didn’t know who I was, as such. This lead to an even more irritating conversation where I was teased for having make believe friends (wouldn’t be the first time lol) and advised that I needed to get a life.
Which got me to thinking. You see to me this is a diary of sorts. Except for one liddle thing, if anyone had come within 100 feet of my hand-scratched-anguish-filled paper diaries when I was keeping them way back in my tweens, teens and 20’s, I’d have set the dogs on them.
And as you can imagine my diaries back then positively brimmed with excitement. You know: really juicy stuff like at age 16 writing: “I hate my Mother, why won’t she let me date that hot 20yr old boy” and other equally as “private” and important (snort) stuff.
Let’s face it, how exciting can a teenager’s life really be?
Yet I write the most personal of thoughts, the most intimate details about my life here on the interwebs for the world to see, laugh at and even at times, abuse me about.
Which begs the question!
Why do I blog?
I started this one a few months ago as a place to dump thoughts whilst going thru a particularly complex break up. I figured it’d save my friends from groaning every time they saw my number on their caller display units as I battled with a range of emotions and thoughts .. And continue to do so 😉
Over time thought – it’s become a place not just to dump my thoughts but a place I go to read others, also. Some are painful, some are entertaining, others educational. Some offer me inspiration. All are enjoyable and I have to say that I am thankful for discovering the world of WordPress and all you fabulous people who inhabit it and have become a part of my world.
So do you tell people about your blog? And if so, what do they say in response?
Well to “they” I say: Twaddle..
I could probably stop right there, because really – that sentence does sum it all up. But I have a predisposition to talk shit (it comes with the boobs) and so I’m gonna add more. And as someone who’s done the opposites ‘attract’ deal, I even feel like I’m moderately qualified to speak on this theme!
Not content to marry (then divorce!) a guy who was so fundamentally wrong for me, some years later I went on to spend 1/3 of a decade with another man to whom I was physically attracted but who was a mental marshmallow .. we honest to god had nothing in common except .. well .. you know..
Amazing how long that type of “relationship” can last when you’re young, dumb and full of .. the joys of life 😉 And in all fairness to marshmallow-man, we did have loads of fun cos he was a not just very funny – he was also charming, albeit a total lightweight in the brain-stakes.
When we split I said “never again, I need a man with a brain”, however again to be fair – I can since recall times I’ve been bored to the brink of stabbing myself in the eye with a fork (just for something to do!) with men who are intellectuals because somehow they shut off their sense of humour in the process of becoming big giant brains.
As always it comes down to balance huh.
Interestingly, to me anyway – the whole misconception about opps attracting seems to be so very common. Not helped I am sure, by every romance novel reminding you that Mr tall dark and brooding (and of course: independently wealthy and so handsome he makes your eyes ache) is going to fall madly in love with the meek, left leaning well-bought up virgin he rescued from a fracas in a bar last Tuesday.
*insert dry retching noises here*
An element of difference is acceptable / normal and probably even a good thing but I’m a firm believer that there needs to be a core of alignment – there has to be some fundamental similarities between you in order for any relationship to stand the tests of time.
Right this cynical old biddy is off in pursuit of a cheese burger (the blogger I’ve linked that to assures me it will cure my slight hangover.. so I’m going to test the theory) Happy daze people!
This is inspired by the dearth of recent blog entries on WordPress with the theme of “what Xmas means to me”..
For me, Xmas means: Bedlam in shops, traffic jams, harried people, broke people, crying kids, godawful music, tinsel, dead trees, turkeys and pigs. THEN there is the fact you can’t go shopping on the day, tough shit if you need milk. We’re shut. Deal with it. Selfish, huh! 😉
Of course, Xmas also means: Summer holidays, swimming at the beach, BBQs, strawberries, cherries, champagne, parties and pavlova. Of course these are my adult Xmas “feelings” about this time of year.
When I think back to my childhood, Christmas meant excitement, gifts, people smiling, laughter, good food and being allowed to stay up a bit later than normal. Plus a whole host of other things that were usually positive .. but not always ..
In my childhood we didn’t open any gifts until 5pm on Xmas day. Not so positive, tis fair to say. We did get to eat strawberries, fruit cake and drink (watered down) sherry for breakfast. Not all bad. We got to stay up late so we could actually see the lights on everyone’s trees .. because it’s daylight savings here in Dec, so it isn’t dark til after 9pm!
My family did the “clan gathering” thing every single year and, as far as it goes for a kid, nothing could be more fun! However for the wimmen-folk I’m gonna guess it meant cooking for 12 days solid in 30+ degree temperatures, because everyone always said “yes” to the question: “Shall we stick to traditional Xmas fare?”
I wonder how much my Grandmother, Mother and aunts wished just once we’d all say “let’s just chuck a snag and some shreemp on the Barbee” – but we were never asked.. traditional was de rigour!
It’s Christmastime after all!
And so it was that at lunchtime we would sit down to a large table groaning with a giant glazed ham, there was always roast lamb or beef and of course all the trimmings. Jugs brimmed with dark meaty gravy, apple sauce, mint sauce, mustards and naturally there would be tureens filled with every vegetable known to man – many of them roasted, to ensure the kitchen temp never dropped below a balmy 45 degs C (some 113F, I think) ..
And since Dec is the height of Summer, there was never any breeze, except for when we kids would whizz by on a mission to grab some tasty treat when we hoped Motherly eyes were distracted.
Those red faced, wooden spoon weilding women were generally on to us tho .. It took a lot of careful planning to nab a biscuit tin without being caught. But Oh the spoils when we succeeded, because Grandma’s pantry was positively brimming with tins that contained a cornucopia of sweet treats: Sugar crystal topped shortbread, fruit tarts, sultana and / or date loaves, pikelets, gingerbread, Belgium biscuits, Afghans – you name it, she had them.
But I digress..
Lunchtime was our main meal and we knew that – along with the aforementioned gorgeous food, we’d also have to save a little room for pavlovas with whipped cream, strawberries and cream, trifle, and the piece de resistance: Gran’s flaming christmas pudding with runny, brandy laced custard (How I loved finding the little coins inside!) and of course: fruit tarts and fruit cake with cheeses and then chocolates to finish.
As kids, this all just magically appeared not unlike an Hogwart’s feast. How those house-elves had to slave to ensure a successful dinner was had by all..
Nowadays, nothing on this planet can convince me to attend a family Xmas. Everyone is still there incl lots more kids and just as much food and presents as ever, but .. and maybe my tolerance levels are lower than they were .. now I just think the whole thing is silly. And I really dislike seeing the worn out faces of the women, as the day progresses.
I wish we could all just ignore the fact it’s xmas and sit around with some crackers, some cheese and some wine .. AND relax.
And you know what?
My Grandma says she wishes the same! Usually around the same time each year she calls me to say “you’re not coming again this year, are you dear?” I swear, I hear envy in her tone but nothing more! lol
Ah yes, Christmas. A time of peace and joy. Or of stress and of exhaustion.. ?
Ultimately the choice is yours once you are no longer a child who has to attend along with the rest of your family and I choose to do mine either alone or with friends, in a relaxed and pleasant way.
So, what does Xmas mean to you .. And how do you and yours celebrate this more than crazy tradition?
for another year. Always makes me laugh how everyone bangs on about how stressful Xmas is. Is that because the date changes each year that you’re so surprised and not ready for it? Hmm.. Anyway for your daily dose of cynicism, well let’s just say you’re in the right place!
I am nursing a less than pleasant blend of sunburn and headache after a fantastic day in the sunshine with an odd assortment of people. Turns out splashing oneself in champagne doesn’t save you from burning. I mean heck, who knew .. 😉
So this morning I’m sitting here sipping strong coffee (and swallowing drugs as fast as I can) and I check my emails to find one from the daughter of a friend of mine.
She wanted to share with me some pictures of her xmas pressie, from her boyfriend. They’re 15. It’s adorable in that eye-stabbing kind of way.
And as I flicked thru the pics I realised what a nasty piece of work I was, cos I muttered to myself “Yeah cos that’s gonna happen”..
You see, the dear boy (and he does seem sweet) had bought her a teddy bear and on the bear’s shirt was their names and the words: “together forever” .. Which is what bought about my cynical comment.. I know, like I said – nasty piece of work 😉
Speaking of work, I aint got none! For 2 glorious weeks! Which means one thing: NO need to get up early. Which means what else!?
You guessed it.. It’s party season! And in 3 hours I am off to the first of many Summer BBQ’s .. Funny to think we’re on the day after Xmas while you’re all half way through yours..
I trust that everyone is having a “wonderful Xmas time”, as the song goes 🙂
PS Yeah, sorry about Santa being late…
But I’ve always had a thing for a man in a suit..
If, by some quirk of circumstance, I was given the chance to go back in time and give myself some advice I think maybe I’d start by saying “it’s OK to make mistakes”. I was raised to believe that mistakes were failures.. When in fact I now know that they are simply a chance to learn something .. I spent my teens and 20’s worrying every time I screwed something up (which was reasonably often cos duh it’s what we do best at that age!) and that was not time or energy well spent.
1. Regret less. That would be something I’d say to my younger self.
2. Go with your gut. Tune it finely, then listen to it!
3. Love. Love wisely, love deeply. And love often.
4. Friends come and friends go. Enjoy them while they’re friends, let them go when they are not. There was a number of times I fretted over a friendship that faded for reasons I couldn’t identify.. I know now it sometimes just happens.
5. Dark chocolate and red wine are health food. Enjoy!
6. Surround yourself with beauty.
7. Swim naked whenever presented with the chance. It’s a wonderful feeling. Not after the company xmas party though.. Decorum suggests at least keeping your sox on.
8. Don’t live your life trying to impress others. Turns out they either don’t care or they like you just the way you are.
9. Plan for the worst – but don’t welcome or invite it into your life.
10. Make different mistakes. Refer earlier “they’re lessons” statement 😉
11. Save money – but don’t be so worried about saving anything else. Sleep in the best linen you can afford. Eat jam sandwiches off that exquisite dinner set your Mother kept in the cupboard ’til she died. That last drop of beautiful perfume is best applied to the nape of your neck before you go out on a date than it is going sour in the bottle at the back of the cupboard.
The saddest task I did after my Mum died was to dispose of all the things she felt she had to save.
There’s probably more, like the fact I think laying back cloud watching is something everyone should make time to do. Or the obvious ones like “be kind”. But I think those 11 are my top tips to a younger me.
And now, it’s time to go and sit in the sun and drink some ice cold champagne, eat some gorgeously ripe strawberries and send Christmassy texts to all my friends.
Merry Christmas to me .. And to you 🙂
If nothing else it makes people think you got laid? I love misguided people and gosh let’s face it, the planet is simply groaning with them but why (whyyyyy!?) do they all seem to congregate around me?
What the $#@! is she on about? Well, I dunno really. Bear with me and we’ll see where this goes cos it’s 6am and I’m still half asleep. I guess I’m kind of responding to a very sweet email someone sent me after reading my last blog entry.
You see, apparently I am giving off the wrong energy to the universe 😉
SO this is to replace that post with something less “tragic” in tone to a) ensure people do not think I’m about to top myself and to b) remind the universe that I’m a liddle bit crazy but not completely there .. yet 😉
Hmm what to say, what to say .. There’s a reason I don’t tend to blog during the week – I don’t write well under time constraints, clearly!
OK I’ve got it – did you know that I’m that woman? (At 42 I suspect I am too old to call myself a girl) But I digress .. as usual..
I’m that woman.
The one the crazy people on public transport just KNOW to sit next to cos I will talk to you if you engage with me. The one the homeless people on the streets smile at and wave. Preferably from up-wind.. Annoyingly, I’m the one kids gravitate towards too. They can smell my fear?
But that’s nothin’!
Yesterday I was walking along and some gang members (from a very nasty gang) were sauntering along. I didn’t notice them til I was almost in their personal space (which as a rule should be kept very LARGE) I looked up and smiled without really thinking and said “excuse me” and I got the sweetest smile back from this big black bad ass.
He looked as shocked as me, as we side stepped each other and kept on going – it made me smile to think I can even make gang members (who’d beat their own Mother up for a few dollars) smile! Maybe he’ll be nicer to his girlfriend for a few days, who knows!
I kinda like the idea of random things like that. We have a few character homeless people in the city I live and they all know me cos I sneak them drinks (coffee or energy – not bourbon! lol) or sandwiches every now and then. And they are just so surprised each time. OK so they’re coked out of their tiny minds and don’t recognise me: That’s why they’re surprised? 😉
Without wanting to sound Pollyanna-ish, I do love the notion of smiling at the world. Of course, some days when the world has taken a dump on you from a great height, this aint easy to achieve but most days, I find it’s a nice way to be.
Yesterday was a dump-day no two ways about it .. Today I’m gonna rock on out there and see what happens (got my hard hat and brolley just in case) 😉 Happy daze everyone, it’s time to go to work!
WHAT – and I think I genuinely want to try and understand this – gives someone the right to think they can ask someone who’s single “Soo .. (get the tone right k, pity meets patronising is crucial here) what are you going to do about it then, dear?”
Like one might to someone who’s bought the wrong fucking flavoured ice cream for their dinner party ie just pop down to the local store and grab the one I need, thanks.
A girl could go off this time of year, after fielding yet another annual phone call from yet another idiot relative (woman) in my family. In this case we have a woman who’s lived a completely insular life and has NO friggen clue about the world now (she’s in her late 50’s, never worked other than to have a baby and be married since age 20) nor – perhaps more annoying – does she even remotely understand ME.
Cos you know what, people?
I’ve got no fucking idea what I am going to do about it but for all that? I’m not exactly sitting on my fat arse doing nothing.
I support myself in a very nice lifestyle. Sure, I work 60+ hours a week but I LIKE it and I party anytime anyone asks me to, within the work constraint. I am sociable, I am friendly .. I don’t make small children cry when I venture out in public. Unless they annoy me and I am mean to them 😉
The thing is I wonder if people would rock up to a recovering alcoholic who’s gone to their first AA meeting (after realising they’re ripe for change) and go “hey, about the whole drinking thing” .. NO they wouldn’t. In the same way people do not approach overweight people and go “dude, take it easy with the pies k”.
Cos ya know what? (Deja vu lol)
WE FUCKING KNOW WE’RE MIXED UP!
We know we’ve got issues.
We know we need to change.
We know we can do better.
WE KNOW YOU WORRY ABOUT US.
But ya know what? (Jackass)
We aint exactly having a laugh a minute time where we’re at, either be it at AA, Weightwatchers, the gym or immersed in the love life scene. And your inane and misguided comments DO NOT HELP our cause so hows about you fuck the hell off and go back to your sorry little existence and leave me the hell alone.
I did warn it’d be a category 4, yes?
Sorry. Lots of foul language. Lots of anger. Lots of hurt actually cos really .. and I’m struggling not to cry as I type this – I so do not need YOUR shitty views, I can do the soul searching and questioning fine all by myself..
Merry Fucking Christmas.
So I’m walking home from work just now, it’s 7.20pm here on the other side of the world .. and I was SLAMMED by the realisation that I was angry. WTF?
As a rule, I walk along with a pleasant set to my face … this stems from when I was in my late 20’s and realised I was a “frowner”. The worry line worry aside, I realised scowly faces sucked. So I set to working on a generic facial expression. Do I have issues or wot? heheh
Anyway that’s not what this is about! Focus please..I was just SO angry as I stomped home from the office now. And not cos I’d had a bad day, I’d had a good one including being told by several people including one who – oh gee, is elected to DO his job – that what I am doing is good.
So tis fair to say when I left the office I felt fine.. albeit tired. But then for some reason I started to think “if I was going to see a shrink what would I say?” Dangerous times. And to all you lovely people who said “come visit when you’re in the USA” I understand if you rescind said invite!!! 😉
Still, as I stomped my way thru town I got to thinking. WHY did I feel so .. crummy?
Without wanting to make excuses. I guess I have a few reasons.
1. Issue 1: My Dad. We were so, so close and he’s now not around to be “that guy” for me. It sucks. Cos he was that man. Idolised, intelligent, there for me .. you know the story.
2. Issue 2: My Mum. Less close, we were still in daily contact and loved the hell out of each other but yeah well THAT aint happening now. Dropping dead kinda puts the brakes on anything cool with a parent I’ve learned.
Neither were sick, both were incidents that ripped from me the one constant in my world.. whether I liked it or not lol All in the last 2 yrs.
3. Issue 3 (God I hate having this many issues!) In the last few months, I ended an 8yr relationship that I had hoped would be the lifetime deal. That – for all I chose to end it – hurts. Shattered dreams do that to a gal. Or guy, I am sure.
4. Yet another issue ffs – I hate, hate, hate my current job and cannot change it til after Xmas cos yeah who gives up a job on the cusp of xmas which guarantees you’re out of work til Feb? mmm! However, we’ve been here before, my job is a big part of who (or what?) I am. So when it’s bad oh god it’s bad.
They say there are a few things in life that fall into the “holy shit” change categories. Divorce, death and moving home being the bulk of ’em. Suffice to say I’ve fucking dealt with all of them and then some in the last 2 years and I’m weary. And wary 😉
Look at me trying to keep my sense of humor, fuck I’m a moron.
I just want someone to hold me and tell me it’ll all be ok. Anyone?
Why is everyone soo all fired up about the notion that someone might die alone? In many ways I think it’d be ideal. If nothing else it saves your family / loved ones the trauma of watching you die ..
And trust me, it makes sod all difference to how you feel being there or being told once it’s happened, when someone dies. And I think I am qualified to say this – last year I held my Mother, while she died. This year someone I cared deeply for died in another city and I was told via text.
It felt shit either way.
But back to my ranting topic..
An old aunt of mine who has “stuck by her man” (even tho they hate each other) said to me this morning:
“Well don’t come crying to me when you die old and alone!”.
I just managed to resist the urge to point out she’d have long kicked the bucket before I get to wear the title “old”, instead gritting my teeth and saying “it’ll be ok, I am sure…” dutiful niece that I am..
I then had the pleasure of sitting thru a further tirade on how us “silly girls” (I’m 41 for god’s sake, hardly a gal much as I like to think I aint middle aged or that grown up lol) expect life to be so much more than we really should.
Why shouldn’t we aim high? Why is it OK to accept mediocrity in our lives? Since when did we become so worthless than we should just “put up with it” .. whatever it may be.
I made a reference to her being in a miserable marriage – she is. And admits it, on her more honest days. Divorced young, with kids and no income .. her requirements were simple: survival and provision.
A man presented who wasn’t completely awful, who had money or at the least: an income source. Voila: A match made in heaven. For her, if nothing else.
In exchange for providing for her and her children, he gets nagged at over meals, lives in a clean house and has a bunch of other things he probably doesn’t value that much.
Yet they both choose to stay together, miserably and hey it’s their lives – good luck to them. That does however, mean they are completely unable to comprehend the notion of someone ending a relationship “simply” to seek something better.
As those of us who’ve been brave enough to do exactly that, ending a relationship is anything BUT simple. I didn’t bother going there though. In the same way as I didn’t bother explaining that I didn’t plan to die old and alone but that I might just be ok if that did happen too.
Some things are just too hard to explain..
For now, I will continue my journey of self discovery (which thus far is more questions than answers damnit, lol) as I try to work out what this whole love & happiness thing is about.