Category Archives: personal

Every Year on Mother’s Day

IMG_1117Every year on Mother’s Day I feel weird and uneasy at all the hoopla. I know it’s a tough day for many people, for a variety of reasons.

Some women aren’t mothers and never wanted to be mothers, and this day can make them feel as though a person only has value if they’ve procreated.

Some women want so much to be mothers but it doesn’t happen, and Mother’s Day is a slap.

For women who have lost babies and children, this day can bring fresh tears.

Many men and women have lost their mothers. This day reminds them of how their mum used to laugh, or cut onions a specific way, or how their mother smelt when she hugged them. There may be mixed emotions, but always emotions.

Others can’t wish their own mothers a Happy Mother’s Day even though their mother is still alive. The relationship was simply too toxic. Their mother is mentally unwell, nasty, and not seeking help or understanding their own illness. The only way to stop the unending damage from that unwell mother has been to move away, in every sense. I have two friends who have found themselves in this situation, and they are two of the kindest women you could meet. Both tried for years to solve the issues before making the break. Although it has been the best decision for both of them, it was not done without great heartache. So on Mother’s Day, there can be sadness.

When the second Sunday in May arrives each year, I can’t help but reflect on the mix of feelings that must swirl around on this day. Pride. Betrayal. Loss. Adoration.

My wish is that everyone still has a moment to feel good on the day – whether it’s paying tribute to a mother, being celebrated as a mother, or being hugged by a mother (your own or not, as long as they hug you well). xoxo

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Talking around my toes

I spend way too much of my time with my foot in my mouth. Not literally. I am not one of those disgusting people who nibbles toenails or toe cuticles or whatever it is those toe-chewers do (my apologies if you’re a foot-eater but seriously … that habit is cute in babies only).

I’m talking about social clangers: forgetting names, talking too much, over-revealing, asking people unwanted questions, unknowingly joking about sensitive topics. Not just talking too much, but sort of feverishly. Fast and full of irrelevant detail, wandering off topic, and forgetting what topic I started on as it dawns on me how crazy I’m sounding and the heat rises up in my face. This mainly happens when I’m a bit nervous, but can happen any time. In the supermarket. At a meeting. At a party.

I’ve asked a few friends about this foot-in-mouth thing, including people who are outwardly confident, and they swear they often feel awkward, but I find it hard to believe. They can’t be as dorky as I am. I wonder if they’re telling me they’re nerdy out of kindness (poor Fi, let’s all tell her we’re also dorky so she won’t feel so alone).

It seems ridiculous that I should be on the verge of buying orthopaedic shoes and yet I’m still as inept as kid. I wonder if I’ll ever become wise and sage and venerable. Serene and calm and collected. I picture myself gliding into rooms, smiling and nodding, saying and doing exactly the right thing. Definitely not asking the lady whose new baby is five months old how far along she is.

I suspect it is my lot in life to blunder about, treading on toes and shoving mine into my gob in the process. Making those around me shake their heads but perhaps also stand a little taller, feel a little better about themselves.

It’s just a community service I provide.

***

Do you also suffer from Foot-in-Mouth? I’d love to hear.

If not, please help with anti-dork tips.

 

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wake from dreaming

Ever wake from a nightmare and sigh with relief? Or spend a morning feeling unsettled, before realising it all stemmed from a dream?

It’s amazing how dreams affect our moods. It’s amazing how dreams reflect our moods too. Last night I dreamt I had an English assignment due the next day and had nothing prepared (yes, I’d reversed thirty years in age and was back in high school). I also had an exam the next day for which I’d done no study. In the dream I was trying to reassure myself, asking myself calmly, ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen? You won’t get a good mark. No big deal.’ But it was a big deal. I wanted a high mark. I was panicked and upset.

These ‘school exam dreams’ seem to happen to many people, often years down the track. Maybe it’s when we’re under pressure, maybe when it’s when we feel somehow inadequate for whatever we’re facing. For me, I suspect it’s because I have several stories under consideration and I’m waiting and hoping and crossing fingers and toes.

How about you? Do you dream of exams too?

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Six Degrees

I remember her biting wit, her intelligence, her brisk kindness. I hadn’t seen her in over twenty-five years. The other day, I heard her voice and saw her face from the end of the operating table. She was about to be anaesthetised for surgery. I was the surgical assistant.

I tried not to stare but her eyes kept scanning my face, despite the staff who were busying around her. I think she sensed I was someone she’d once known, but couldn’t place me. She was being given sedation and I knew she wouldn’t recall any conversation from that point onwards. It wasn’t the time to speak of the past – she had enough to deal with in the present. Within minutes, she was given the thick white liquid that sent her into oblivion.

I told the surgeon of my long-ago link with the patient, and although she knew some of her patient’s life story, I filled in a few more details. Mostly, how much her patient was respected and admired. She had sass, she had smarts and I thought she was the ants pants.

Wish I could have told her so.

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Off and running …

I really did it. Quit my job, walked away. Left a perfectly respectable position that gave me status, respect and good pay to try something for which I have little training and dubious aptitude. Sometimes I can hardly believe what I’ve done. Thank goodness I have a small part-time job in the pipeline and a supportive husband!

Strangely, I’m not sad. If anything, I’m a little relieved. I think I was ready to move on. But with the relief there is also a huge fear – the fear of failure, fear of mediocrity, fear that I’ll find myself floundering and uncertain and rudderless as a writer. I’m trying to sit with that fear. ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. That sort of thing. I figure this is all normal.

I’ve started a couple of stories since the big change. Both seemed like good ideas when I began but withered, mid-story. I’m unsure whether to persevere and see what they’re like once completed or whether to cut my losses. The usual writer’s dilemma, I suppose. I tell myself that all writing is good practice, whether the story ends up being ‘a winner’ or not.

Guess I’ll go see what I can do with those dodgy stories now …

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