Belonging.

There is  business to be made by having rules. A right way. A wrong way. Etiquette and protocol.

There are blog posts to be written, when you can bullet point the ways in which one way is unacceptable and another is the right way.

And the quicker you can reach these conclusions and confine freedom, the faster you can make your money and curb the manner in which we communicate.

I’ve watched it happen.

I’ve seen how others rally around anyone who stands up and says “well you really shouldn’t talk about religion and politics in polite conversation”. Why the fuck not? Oh but damn, I just swore right in the middle of a decent sentence. How rude, how completely gutter of me. I might go stand in the corner and not talk to anyone for that sin. Except by doing this, I’ll also be committing some kind of wrong – by not talking. By not “socialising” in our ever social world. Oh but make sure you only tweet about X,Y,Z on twitter.. even if you have several alphabets in your head..only X,Y and Z are acceptable. It’s a sick joke. A scam to build business and popularity.

Be who you want to be! they say.

But in being who you want to be, try not to offend anyone, darling. Also make sure that you don’t waste anothers time, don’t waste your own, don’t talk rubbish and certainly don’t share too much of yourself so that you drive people to feel uncomfortable or drive them to boredom. Be entertaining for fucksake. Be polite. Be genuine. Be yourself.

I’m not myself I am theirself.. I am what they say is the right way to be or at least strive to be. I’m not alone, we all do this.

When we try to get fit because they say you should be healthy and live a long life.

When we try to hold conversation across a table with people we know are complete jerks.

When we buy high heels, because that’s what is acceptable office attire.

When we work and work and work and scrimp and save to buy a house and a car and furnish our long life with all the things we think will make it better and buy the tv and the stuff and worry about whether the way we have our coffee reflects the kind of person I am. The writers of Fight Club had it right in a way.

It’s exhausting.

So where did this need to “belong” come from anyway? And does it give us freedom, or does it make us prisoners?

 

On trying to get fit.

Yeah I suck at this.

But I do have Boris, the eliptical trainer that David’s sister lent us.

Boris does grunt at me from time to time.

Uh. You. Woman. Uh. Get you fat arse over here. Uh. Now.

Then I put on something particularly girly to annoy the crap out of the trainer while I pretend all my bouncing around is going to make one speck of difference. Madonna. Kylie. Hmm Barbie Girl and the complete works of the Disney Princess singalong CD. Take that you russian spine jolter!

It is such an unpretty picture. This huge sleek machine, designed to showcase lycra and blonde bobbing ponytails, instead curses in Russian under the weight of me and my baggie paint covered trackiedacks and unsexy bloke shirts. And I sweat, not like people in the movies do with healthy wet patches easily dabbed away by super white towels. No, I sweat like one of 243 horses crammed together in a metal lorry being transported across the back of a desert on fire at noon. No escape. Disgusted and disgusting all at once.

So it goes, evey night tryinging to hit some magical number. Maybe I’ll do 7km tonight? Maybe, maybe I’ll burn 1000 calories in one session.. maybe just maybe I won’t collapse my ankle awkwardly out of sheer uncoordinativeness. Word nazis so better not correct me on that one. maybe maybe. Maybe none of that will happen. Who am I kidding here. Absolutely none of that will happen. I will jump onto Boris, give him a good thrashing til I’m puffed and then give up. Because I suck at sticking with something, and because I suck at achieving my personal goals.

Give me somebody elses goal.

A business goal.

A relationship goal.

Then I’m a bloody expert aren’t I?

Stardate: [-28] 03885.00
Weight on Jupiter: 212.7kg
Depression levels: midrange and holding

 

The Noodle Dream – Except It Was A House

I actually have something to share today that maybe needs an answer, maybe not.

For YEARS I have had a dream about a house. It’s not a real house, I’ve never seen it, except for in my dreams. No matter what the storyline of one night’s dreaming is, this house appears and I am urging my husband to buy it. Sometimes we inspect it, sometimes we don’t. It is just a little white weatherboard place on a hill overlooking the ocean, but there are no other houses near it. On occasion, I pull back some of the branches around the house to discover that it has a second part attached and while David gets excited about turning it into his workshop, I go inside to discover staircases leading to attics full of things. Old things. Incredibly stuffed to overflowing, old horded things, that I know will take me years to dig through and catalogue and love endlessly.  It is, delight but also desperation that permeates the scene of my dream. On the one hand, I know all of this is there. On the other hand, I can’t convince my husband that it is there – he just sees the house as a house with maybe a shed.

On one night I dreamt that in this second building and up two flights of hidden staircases,I find a ladder that leads to a third special place and behind years of collections and books, I find a door to yet another room. On and on the mystery unfolds and the level of joy I have is incredible with each new find. So much joy and sadness because I have and have not at the same time.

So the dream goes on, with my love of the deep secrets held in this house building stronger and stronger with every experience of the place. Until last night.

Last night for the first time in, I would guess, 10 years, I had the dream but it was not the same.

This time, we finally bought the house and with utter delight I ran to the side of the place to pull back the bushes and and and…. I revealed a small path going back to a carefully clipped garden. No second building. No multi-storied hider of stories. Just a neat tidy garden. Strangely while I knew instantly it was the same house, it wasn’t. There was nothing hidden here. Or to think about it differently, there was nothing to discover here.

Yet instead of being shocked in my dream by this change, I accepted cleanly David’s, “there has never been any secret places here, we just liked the view”. I was happy, I was ok with it all, in my dream. I was unexplainably content!

It wasn’t until I woke up and tried to tell myself it was just a dream, that I started to be overcome with sadness.

What if I never have the house dream again?

Identification of black holes and ladders

A black hole. Certainly something you can sucked into but also squished against as the weight of that world and everything around it pushes in on you. Some say, you can travel through a black hole to somewhere else. I say, avoid them if you can or find a reallybig  physics defying ladder. The thing is with a black hole, sometimes you just can’t see it coming.. even when you are looking right at it, even when you think you are completely prepared.

I recently met for the first time in a very long time,  a school friend I had been best friends with when we were 14! Her life took a seriously different path to my own. She talked about the sadness, and as I listened I realised how close we still were, not because we had shared growing into adults or hung out with the same people, but because we had shared the same numbing oblivion. Two old friends, a history apart, being crushed on the surface of the same black hole.

That in itself was a dark thought. Then my tweet stream started getting clogged with the #RUOK campaign stuff and while I appreciated that it was all about awareness, I was annoyed because tweeting RUOK? is certainly not going to make a difference to someone suffocating from the sheer weight of space and time and dimension on their chest is it? Is it? No. So I actually say in real life to someone “are you ok?”
“I’m more than ok, I’m awesome. Here’s why. By the way you’re pretty stupid if you think my life would be anything other than awesome. I’ve always been awesome, just couldn’t be bothered telling anyone cos then they would bludge off my awesome. Anyway, you have a rather heavy looking planet sitting on your head. Are you ok?”

Fuck it, where’s the ladder? Smackdown.

And I’ll finish this  post when I can find out how to transform ladder into the physics-defying sort.

 

 

Theme of the week – Free Range Kids

Seems like every show or piece of radio this week has been about Lenore Skenazy, the author and speaker of the topic Free Range Kids.  You can read all about her ideas at http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ but what has stuck with me this week, is the volume of support being voiced for and against her views. I didn’t think parenting was so polarised.

But I am naive. I was naive when I followed my brothers and their friends down into the bush at the back of my house to play armies. I was a runt of a girl all blonde hair and freckles and I raced down there in my favourite dress and bare feet, naively, keenly. You know what I learnt down there in the bush? I know what you are thinking.. but that is part of the problem.

I learnt that you can climb all around and inside and over and through piles of trees piled up by council and turn them into fortresses or castles. I learnt that sticks used as weapons can give you really nasty cuts that sting, but after a while that goes away and you get a great looking scab to talk about. The biggest lesson I learnt is that if you build really big chicken traps, they can catch other animals too and that doesn’t always end the way that you think so you should think a little harder about what you choose to do. I learnt that when it gets dark, it’s time to go home because you can’t see the other side you are playing against anymore.

In a world where we read and hear so much bad, it is too easy to forget about all the good that can come from letting our children free to learn in their own way. Of course bad will happen, but where is the perspective?

I am going insane this week with all this over protective parenting.

Don’t touch that, there’s germs.

How could they forget to put his nappy on?

What do you mean she fell over, you were supposed to be watching her!

The chikkehs! The chikkehs have scratched my baby boy!!!!

The icing on the cake came with the announcement of the FisherPrice recall in the US. I watched an interview where they showed how a small protruding button on highchairs had caused cuts and a plastic ignition key on a trike had caused bruising. Sorry? Did you say you are ordering all these toys returned at a cost of multiple millions of dollars because kids could be cut and bruised? Not something that could poison or kill a child, but the kind of injuries I sustained and survived in the course of a normal happy childhood?

So I guess I just don’t understand. I don’t think childcare workers should have eyes in the back of their head anymore than mums can be supermums and supervise what colour paint is the tastiest for their toddler to suck on. I think we can try our best. If our best means that on somedays we fear for our kids, let’s hope that those fears are squished by the weight of their sheer joy as they recount how the chickens squirmed and squawked in their hands… or whatever part of life they learnt about today.