Friday, May 22, 2009

Be Careful What We Wish For

For the last three days I have tried to nap but keep getting woken up by the phone or the doorbell or just waking for no reason. I have to think that this is deliberate.

I am also thinking about metaphors linking life with bikes, reminding the rider that they need to keep moving in order to maintain balance and therefore avoid falling off but also in order to make any progress. I am wondering if I am on a bicycle or an exercise bike.

The wind outside is crazy and as an air sign it is really setting my mind to overdrive.

The glimpses are dominating my night times and I am sometimes very scared. I don't understand why but there are definite feelings of malice around me that I didn't invite. I wanted to see more and am reminded that we should be careful what we wish for.

The Crux of the Problem

Spending time with the kids at the school for a few hours each week has given the centre of my brain that thinks about these things a bit of a nudge and I find myself contemplating what I was like as a child.

Each school year contains certain stereo types in their students - the quiet, brainy kid; the troubled trouble-maker; the popular kid; the bully; the push-over; the sporty kid; the brown nose; the ginger; the kid with big ears and buck teeth; the kids that cries over everything; the noisy kid - the list goes on.

Somewhere, sitting outside all of these main characters, are the extras. There are some episodes that see them in a speaking role, and some where they are actually the focus. At least that's how it seems to an outsider looking in. But for these extras, they still have the leading roles to play in their own lives, even if they are largely insignificant to the rest of the cast and crew.

Having all of this sorted, I am still surprised to find that I don't know which of these kids I was. I was really smart (Dux in primary) but not quiet or geeky; I was friendly and generally well liked, but not the girl that battered her eyelids and played friends off against one another; I was really good at sports but I was way to chunky to be considered actually sporty; I rarely got in trouble but I certainly wasn't a kiss-arse; I was sensitive but also tough and I was generally always involved in stuff but I still always felt like I wasn't actually part of it all, perhaps dancing to my own tune too much but still the one that people turned to for support, guidance and leadership in many situations.

When I look at the kids that are in my daughters class and reflect on the different personalities and particularly the ways in which to get each child to respond in a positive way to the tasks that I am involved in, I sometimes wonder what the adults that looked at the child-Wendy were thinking. I know what I wanted them to think, but I don't know what it is that they actually thought.

I believe that I have spent so much of my adolescence, early adult hood and certainly a great part of my broader adult life trying to work out who I am by how other people see me. That is not to say that I typically put up an image that I want them to see or that I shape my attitudes and behaviours by their standards and expectations, but I realise that I do tend to seek my understanding in other people's conclusions. I also believe that this has been a great limitation in my growth and something that I am ready to step away from now, or at least, something that I would like to be stepping away from and now seems like a pretty good time.

Being quite physically capable in the things that I do, it has taken me some time to admit that I am actually better at the theory than the practical side of life. I spend so much time in my head and am possibly driven to do so by my failure to apply my mental developments to my actual life. The result, however, is a life that is a long way from the one that I want to live, no matter how much I own the responsibility for my reality.

I read a quote recently that was attributed to James M Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. It reads:

"The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to write."

The greatest sorrow of this quote in relation to my life is not only have I been writing the wrong story, I never even bothered to work out what story it was that I would have liked to have written.

Is it too late? Of course it isn't - theoretically, and that's where I return to the crux of the problem: theory versus practical.

The Master of the Segue Way

Do you ever notice that some people make everything about themselves? In conversation, every point of discussion comes back to them and their experiences, which is good to a point but when it is pushed to the extreme and when it overrides just listening and empathising then it can be difficult. This person is the master of the segue way, but every change in direction leads back to them, no matter how obscure or inane. I think one of the The Late Show dinner party sketches had a character like this but I'm sure we all know at least one in real life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Irrelevant Irreverence

Whose finger has squeezed the trigger of my feelings of self-doubt this time? In reality, it can only be my own, but surely I wouldn't do this to myself, would I?

We typically don't let just anyone into our inner circle of trust and expose ourselves fully. I am generally a fairly open person and tend to speak my mind, although I mostly chose my words very carefully. There are, however, very few people that I feel fully comfortable with and I am still shaken by the collapse of the illusion of friendship with one that I had previously felt was someone who was a true friend, who cared about me, who respected me, who judged me honestly and fairly and with love, who was being truthful in their communications, who I was comfortable with and who I thought felt the same in return.

It's been many, many months since I lost this friendship. I actually cried for days with the grief and was so hurt and confused as until this one time I had no idea at how shallow this friendship was, how many negative feelings were being masked and how I was merely being tolerated as best as this person could manage until they could take it no more.

When it happened, they ran rather than confront their feelings. They didn't have the courage or self-belief to express their feelings directly, perhaps to simply avoid confrontation, perhaps through fear of being further unmasked, I guess that there is possibly not one true answer and no matter what I will never really know for sure.

It's hard for me to acknowledge the inner weaknesses of some people, particularly those who I respect and see their great strength and potential - it's easy to forget that these people, too, are human and that they suffer from the same doubts that trouble us all. It's also hard for me to witness communications being severed with those who purport to speak their minds. This makes me conclude that there is more that they would prefer to remain under the surface rather than face in themselves.

And that is how it has been since. I was weary at first, afraid that my tears would betray my stupidity in believing in a friendship that was so false. I was so uncomfortable for so long and still so in the dark about how this person was really feeling. My choices were fairly straight forward, run away myself, confront the situation or find my own peace and keep on being the person who I was all along.

To run away would be to lose absolutely everything the friendship had blessed me with so I did not see this as a good option. My pragmatic side kicked in regarding confrontation as I knew that the person would not respond when they had worked so hard to shut me out so it could only make things worse and would result in the same final termination as with option one. I knew where I stood so I just had to accept that.

So, that left just continuing on. It was sort of like pretending that nothing happened, but I was painfully aware of the loss of trust. I was never really sure if the problem was me, because it was never actually said to me that it was, and on one hand I wanted desperately to believe that it wasn't. But even so, there was a friend that I cared for so very deeply who was obviously in great inner pain and was describing what seemed to fit recent events of the time. Paranoia? Maybe, but the clincher was that I reached out and was rejected. Either I was the cause of the problem or I was not seen as the friend that I thought I was because I was shut out.

I came to peace in that I alone knew my own personal situation at the time, the impact of the many hugely tumultuous things in my life that I was struggling through and that it would take me some time to comes to terms with in themselves. So, that, coupled with my previous sense of security lulled me into a place where I thought I was safe and where I could vent and start to try to express some of the feelings I was going through. On top of that, I went through a great learning experience, one that would possibly have addressed my friends cause for concern had the choice been to stay and see rather than to run and accuse. Also, once I realised the depth of the problem, I reached out, even if my offer wasn't accepted, I still honoured my standards as a friend. I focused on being me and letting other's judgement and intolerance work themselves out.

It has never really been the same for me and I am on edge so often worrying about how I am being received rather than enjoying the sisterhood that I had previously believed in. Sometimes I am petty and I let small things upset me, so I need to be aware of this in myself as well as to acknowledge that this may be the case with others. I do like to think that I am honest enough and have sufficient humility that I would admit to my errors and misjudgements and also would want to talk things through so that I can look for reasons why I was wrong and therefore the pain and hurt can be reduced on both sides.

I am not sure why I am writing this now, other than because it has been on my mind today due to an interpretation as a result of being on edge. At my end, it has sparked huge feelings of inadequacy and is provoking my fears of never really belonging and I know that's my issue to deal with, not to deflect on anyone else. I have been longing for such a long time for my guides to talk to me, or at least, for me to be able to hear them when they do. I am finally realising within myself something that I have known for some time, they are talking and I can hear. I can cite several very specific times when they have spoken to me or have sent me messages and I guess I was expecting it to always be like that. But just now, I realise that most communications for me at this time are more subtle. There is much chatter and movement around me at the moment and I am actually scared a lot and don't know how much is my guides and how much is, well, not, but today I had a strong urge to change direction. To not go back. To deny myself in order to fulfil myself. And I don't want to, and I'm not even sure who is giving me this advice, but it is what I am hearing anyway. My saving grace in this decision is that there is actually a different dynamic and I think that perhaps this is very much meant to be and something that I have openly supported since I knew about it, so perhaps the distance that I am being advised to create will just happen naturally anyway.

Wow, this has turned out to be a really long post and I feel sorry for anyone who has followed the crazy notion to read all of my waffle as there is no one who reads my blog that it will actually make sense to. I'm sure even the bravest readers will have tuned out by now and I am tempted not to even post it but I remind myself that my blog is for me and that I started it for my own record of how I am feeling and what I am thinking and that's what this post is and who it is for.

Enough irrelevant irreverence now. I really should be in bed, getting ready to commit tomorrow as a day where I will achieve what I plan on achieving so I can, once again, fail dismally as is my current practice.

Could We?

The paperwork is all under control again - phew (and other noises of relief).

One invoice to send today and then perhaps a nap is in order.

I was so tired last night that I watched Lost with my eyes closed - but I had to stay up and watch it as the TV we can record stuff off has crappy reception and I didn't want to miss out on anything. Ah, the irony. Yes, I know I can watch it online or download it as well but I don't generally make a habit of this. Well, not at the minute anyway, perhaps I will do this in the future, but for now I like my routine, even if I am tired.

That's about all from me today. Not particularly inspired, I know, but, hey, if I glowed every day then everyone would have to walk around wearing sunglasses all the time and we couldn't have that, now, could we?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

But It's Only Tuesday!

Big weekend with over 300km on Thea within 24 hours and another 400 more before the weekend was done. For some crazy reason I woke up circa 3am on Saturday morning and waged war on the doona for the next three and a half hours before finally giving up and climbing out of bed with a million thoughts and plans in my head, most of which were the within the same few themes over and over again: car seat covers, packing, travelling and how we would get the domestic chores done while we weren't even in the house.

The Starchild took the smiley monster for his 7.30am swimming lessons while I had a lazy crazy shake brekky and organised the other two widdies for the weekends events before starting to investigate car seat covers. After reviewing websites across four states and making phone calls to places between here and Sydney, the best option, it seems, are custom made ones that would need to be ordered in. These were only slightly more expensive that the eBay equivalent but I think that for some items, an extra $20 is good value for being able to deal face to face should there be any complications.

So, until the car seat covers are here and fitted, Thea has been deemed to be a non-eating, non-drinking (except water) transportation service. Oh, how will the widdies cope!

When we set off we were late as usual, and arrived at the end of the first quarter of the Virgo Nurse's netball game. Bones was there already and we all got to watch her come home with a convincing win over the last three quarters - or rather, I got to watch as I am really the only one actually interested in netball, while The Starchild and Bones chased the widdies and mediated between them as required.

We all stayed at the Virgo Nurse's house that night and set the alarm for 6am with the plan being that we would leave by 6.30am. Theoretically possible, but I knew from the outset that it was a plan doomed to failure, with final confirmation at 6.28am when the Virgo Nurse staggered into the bathroom for her shower. We ended up leaving a little after 7am.

It was wonderful to have all of us driving out to Lithgow in the one car. We even had one spare seat but I still couldn't convince The Starchild to pick up a hitch hiker. We arrived about 20 minutes later than planned, so it was a pretty good run and a very positive visit to the nine live cat with clipped wings.

We had lunch at a nearby park and went back for the afternoon visit as well. I had already shed a surreptitious tear in the morning session because it is really not an easy process with the kids and the whole gaol environment and it reminds me of how much of an outsider I have always felt in my "family" by marriage, but we make our own choices, don't we?

There was a shop that I wanted to visit on the way back, but, of course, we were running late for a suit fitting so didn't stop. As it turned out, we hit traffic a little further on and didn't make the suit fitting either, so we could have stopped at the one thing that I had wanted to do over the whole weekend, but now I just sound bitter when at the time I was in backseat-to-your-lives mode and had graciously withdrawn my request anyway.

On the last leg of the journey after we dropped off the Virgo Nurse and Bones, all of the widdies wanted to sit in the second row of seats as they were having a rare moment when they all wanted to watch the same DVD. Hurrah for the Bee Movie. Rather than leave the third row vacant, I decided to spread out with the doona and pillow and spent some time in comfort and in quiet gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives.

We got home just before 9pm, put the sleeping smiley monster straight in bed, gave the other two a quick shower and tucked them into bed, then brought the rest of our travelling gear (which contains a high percentage of toys that are rarely touched throughout the journey) in from the car. I'm lucky I didn't blink as I would have completely missed the whole weekend.

Yesterday was another day of procrastination. I wish procrastination was a paying career cause that's something I really excel at.

I started today full of plans, but after feeding the widdies, getting the widdies lunches, ironing the widdies uniforms, taking the smiley monster to care and the other two to school, paying the deposit on the car seats, getting petrol, doing a grocery shop, putting away the groceries, feeding the lorikeets, feeding the budgies and doing a quick vacuum under their cage, feeding the dog and cats some left overs, feeding the chooks, cleaning the chooks water dishes, cleaning the pond filter, putting a load of clothes in the dryer, unpacking the dishwasher and washing up a few pots and pans that had been sitting sullenly with an accusatory look about them since Thursday, The Starchild came home and took me out on a date for lunch so now I'm a bit over doing anything else. And still the company paper work lurks unattended.

But I have blogged, so that's something. And lunch was very lovely. We played a few games of pool afterwards, which was also fun. I had bought a semi-acoustic guitar with pick up this morning from Aldi for $99 (reduced from $149) during the grocery shop and I'm totally stoked with it. It includes a case, stand, strap, lead and five picks and sounds much better than my $35 purple eBay jobbie (which I still love because it's purple). I bought the new guitar because Kman wanted a one with a pick up so he could be plugged in when we jam at church but I will probably use it as my main practice guitar as well so it will officially be a family purchase.

Well, that's my last four days. The widdies will be home from school soon, then I will pick up the smiley monster and be back for about 15 minutes before taking the impossible princess to dancing and somehow organising dinner in between. Looking at everything that happened and knowing I've only just skimmed the surface, I feel justifiably tired, but it's only Tuesday!