Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What if I had the money...?

I've often dreamed of winning the lottery.

It's never happened of course because I rarely buy a ticket! hahaha

I dream (and often pray) for the opportunity to become philanthropic.

I want to WIN so I can give it away. I have friends and family who are desperately in need of some sort of financial boost and I'd love to be able to help them out in some way without making them feel like they owed me something in return.

Oh yes! I would love to be able to give altruistically without any second thought as to the return favours.

I rarely expect to have my gift giving reciprocated. I give when I feel like to whom I feel like giving. To me, the honour and the pleasure is in choosing a gift for someone, that resonates with some of our shared history and our combined temperaments. I love taking the time to choose a gift carefully for loved ones and I don't necessarily like having to stick to traditional seasons for gift-giving either, though I will recognise these occasions more often than not.

I just like to give gifts to my people to show them how much they mean to me. It's as simple as that really.

What I don't like is people taking my generosity for granted and expecting it to come to them as a matter of course. Gift giving stops when I sense that someone is beginning to take advantage of me like that.

And if I still "have" to give gifts for forms sake then the 'gift' isn't really heart-felt or searched out with care. I admit that I become very pragmatic about gift-giving when its expected of me.

When my friends and family accept that I give when I have the heart and the love to give - then they will understand that the gift isn't so much about the gift itself but that they are dear enough to me that I care for them in this way.

In a way... I have won a lottery!

Not a financial one but a Love Lottery! :) I have a lot of love in my life both from me and to me and that has to count for more than all the millions the universe could throw at me huh? :)

But yeah! I'd still like to throw some free cash at them all the same ;)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What if.... No 1

What if I didn't have a sense of humour?


This is me without a sense of humour.

"My life totally sucks! I hate working full-time and I want to be free of the stupid shop and get a real life writing and being on my beloved internet 18 out of 24 hours a day"


Not so much fun am I?

Without a sense of humour the day to day hum-drum of existence totally sucks! Depression, ingratitude, pride, arrogance and a deeply held belief that the whole world OWES me something for nothing is the direct result of not having a healthy sense of humour.

I believe that a sense of humour is deeply rooted in humility. It's not all about "me". Humility is about not believing oneself to be better or worse than anyone else. It's about accepting the curve-balls thrown at me by life as just another part of the rules of the game and not getting too het up about how the game is played.

Life isn't meant to be taken that seriously or God would not have created laughter, irony, satire or slapstick. The ability to laugh in the face of sucky daily living is a sign of maturity rather than an abnegation of "duty". You can still do your duty with a smile on your face after all.

Everything has a season of course - there is a time for grief and sadness - but I do think that deep joy is definitely evidenced by the outward expression of humour and laughter. There is peace in the heart when you know you're important to God and equally as important as everyone else.

I'll keep my sense of humour thanks. :)

Embracing my What if's

I've decided to embrace rather than fight with the "What if's? inside my head.

I'm a "What if...?" kind of girl. I am always prognosticating about the possibilities, good or bad that may or may not lie in the immediate future.

The curiosity in me is boundless. I need to KNOW stuff. I like knowing stuff.

The future is unknowable of course. That's kind of frustrating. I like being able to know what is going to happen. So.. I play the endless "What if...?" Game inside my head, tossing around scenes from a potential future - usually bad! *blush*

Thing is that I am always surprised at how GOOD things turn out, probably because I've imagined all the worst case scenario's, so anything better than those is a bonus! hahaha

I thought perhaps I should play around with my "What if...?" questions here in this blog. Musing on things in print seems to make the stupid more obvious and the really cool even more so.

The 'What if?' posts should come thick and fast... I hope :)

Monday, November 20, 2006

time to be me

I'm getting used to the working full-time thing...slowly :)

My masseur last week made an interesting observation about MY life that took me rather by surprise actually.

She was noting that I was a "classic example" of the post-modern woman with my peculiar lifestyle.

I'm not alone of course - hundreds of thousands of women around the world do what I do and often MORE each day than they have a right to - AND we seem to be expected to pack ever more into our busy days! But I suspect those expectations are just stupid marketing messages from our screwed-up results-based society really!

I'm a woman who is...

a) a wife of a shift-working man :)
b) a mother of two kids in their early teens with all the associated angst that that role seems to produce in a day *sigh*
c) a business partner with my husband. We are self-employed in the food industry.
d) a daughter, sister, aunty, cousin etc - [women seem to MAKE families happen really].
e) a friend (my most favourite role of all actually and probably the one after husband and kids I tend to invest the most of my precious time into)
f) a church goer
g) I'm also a housekeeper, business bookkeeper, cleaner and shopping expert and DVD-R expert (I record stuff for my husband to watch on the tv nearly every day - I know my way around a DVD Recorder better than most ;))
h) I also go to the gym, read books, watch tv shows, write cards, blog, write short stories, listen to music, use cosmetics and other such "potions".
i) And after all this, I work in our take away food shop around 42 hours per week.

I get up at about 5am most mornings to talk to my best friend, do laundry, clean stuff, make the bed, sort stuff, write and give the cat his medicine!

I crash on the couch around 9pm until my husband gets out of our bed to go to work at around 11pm (sometimes I don't even hear him leave and will wake up still on the couch in the early morning hours :))

So yeah! It's a busy life! The kids help a little bit here and there with a LOT of rather noisy "encouragement" from me of course ;) They'll get there I guess.

One thing I do believe though is that we girls need to not place such high standards on ourselves. We can't do everything, all the time, every time, perfectly! Some things have to give and they do. Thing is, it's where you place the value that will determine what gives. For me, what gives is the vacuuming! If I can let that go for as long as humanly possible I will and not give a fig! I make the kids do it now when it's necessary anyway. It's not like I enjoy living in a tip, but I just don't NEED to vacuum this crappy carpet like some demented Sadie! If I had new carpet - this value judgement might significantly change but until then - it's a no mitch-go zone! hahaha

Love thy neighbour as thyself!

And I look after myself first!

That sounds absolutely heretical but it's an important thing really to note. When I take care of myself first [within reason of course], I have enough in my emotional and physical tank for everyone else.

My God, my husband, my kids and my beloved family and friends are the most important priorities I have and if I don't take care of ME - then I miss out on them and I do not want that to happen at all.

So to hell with being the "perfect little housewife" - I am a modern woman with my eye on MY goals and nobody else's. If that makes you grimace then you just ain't busy enough to understand.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The city

Hubby and I visited Melbourne overnight last night.

I love visiting the Big Smoke. There is a certain element of excitement to be going to the hub and hurry of a big complex city.

I hate and detest far outer suburbia but for some reason the central heart of any big city thrills and elevates me to wonder and delight.

Whilst we stayed in an inner suburb, the heart of Melbourne, with its tall towering skyscrapers, all shiny and silvery against the skyline, wasn't far away.

I could live in the heart of a city. I could not live in the boxy, artificial housing estates on the fringe though. It's like I need to feel the rhythm of a city in my blood and to me, its the centre of town that pulsates with this life - not way out there in 'Burbland!

Melbourne over recent years has developed a strong cafe culture with small, quirky and interesting places to greet, meet AND eat, tucked away in side streets and alleyways. It literally feels like being in a giant gastronomic puzzle. :) The food is unbelievable and eclectic beyond belief! You can taste the world in Melbourne now.

The only real downer to Melbourne on the whole is that it seems to be still packed with cigarette smokers! Australia is very much an anti-smoking campaign nation. The evidence is insurmountable now that smoking causes so many ills in our society. Even South Australia are planning to bring in legislation to ban smoking in cars where small children are present!

Still! It amazed me to see in just the short time we were there yesterday how many people - young women particularly - were lighting up in the streets. They were thin and they were attractive...until they lit up their smoke! I don't understand why. They have no real vision of how much the smoking thing taints the overall image of their beautiful city let alone themselves.

It seems ironic in many ways that I saw so many thin women who smoked, and yet who were surrounded by so much food! It was as if the smoking was their chosen tool of protection against becoming curvaceous from the sensual pleasure of tasting the banquet laid out before them on every street!

I'm curvy - perhaps too much so in the light of the evidence against obesity. I love my food - GOOD food! I would rather eat a plate of good food once a day than have to fill my lungs with smoke 25 times per day in order to avoid getting fat. :)

That's just me though. We all have our addictions I guess.

I won't let this wreck the pleasure I get from visiting Melbourne though. There is so much to love about Melbourne but I am glad I don't actually live there all the same.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Fix You

The band played this song in Church on Sunday evening.

Its a song by Coldplay One of the better mega bands of the moment :)

So anyway, these words kind of stayed with me these last few days. I find them very powerful and beautiful on a number of levels. This could be a spiritual song or a love song or anywhere in between. The power in a good lyric is its ability to move the soul and that's what this song did for me - it moved me, rather profoundly.

Fix You

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I have learned from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I...

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Friday, November 10, 2006

Snatching moments now.

I am "officially" full-time as of this past week.

Our business is a small take-away food shop. It's been a quiet year this year what with rising fuel costs and the above average temperatures over the winter months. Our busiest time of the year is from about mid April through to mid October, however, it's been quite tough to make ends meet this year for many reasons.

So we've tightened the belt meaning that I'm essentially the "cheapest" labour available right now :)

It's been a big week. It hasn't dragged by though - it's literally flown by at full tilt. I'm wondering how I'm going to fit everything I love to do and HAVE to do here at home into my "new" lifestyle. I said to a friend this morning that I have felt something like the Energiser Bunny, particularly yesterday - have had to really just to get everything done.

The kids are technically old enough to help out but they're not that keen on that idea which is perfectly normal, I guess, for 14 and 12 year olds ;) They'll soon learn if they want to get fed in the evenings they'd best help Mum out a bit.

Time to write is my big priority now. Leisurely zone-outs here on the computer focussed on a story or working on this blog are going to be very precious - so I'm making the most of these moments as they arise.

Time to go put the groceries away now though... will be back when I'm rested up and rearing to go again :)

See ya! :)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You bet!

Australia is famous for many things.

There's the Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Sydney Opera House

Ayers Rock (which we now call Uluru)

Paul Hogan (of Crocodile Dundee fame)

The Kangaroo and The Koala

and then there's....

The Melbourne Cup.

The one horse race that really DOES "stop" a nation in its tracks! Literally!

I confess that the first Tuesday in November - which is the day when the Melbourne Cup is always run - holds a certain allure for me. Twice before in my adult life, I've put on an "official" bet on a horse for the race but on the whole its the thrill of the event itself that wins my heart.

I'm glad I didn't put any real money on the horse I picked this year though! It ran 9th! hahaha

I only spotted the name from the list in the paper this morning and because it was named after one of my all time heroes of the Modern World - Nelson Mandela - I thought it was a good choice! I still do :)

The race itself isn't a big deal to really dedicated horse-racing afficionado's - there are apparently "better" races with "better" horses on "better" odds etc. But then again... there are no horse races here that I know of with quite with the same romantic appeal OR the prize money as is splashed about for the Melbourne Cup.

The race has been sponsored in recent years by overseas commercial interests. For years it was an iconic Australian brewery that sponsored the race which in many ways was typical of our laconic, anti-politically correct, beer drinking character. But we, as a nation are "growing up" and are being more universal and perhaps less parochial in these matters.

Todays race is yet another "historical" race with the 1st and 2nd placings run by first time Japanese horses and jockeys!

It seems The Cup is beginning to now finally reflect the diversity of culture and race that makes up Australia as a nation!

That can only be a good thing. :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Construct of a dream No 2

For most of my life I've had regular vivid dreams about constructed objects - mainly houses and buildings.

I wrote about a very cool building I "saw" in one of these dreams some time ago. I would dearly love to have this particular dream recur but it has so far eluded me :( It was such a powerful experience though that I don't think I shall ever forget it despite it being just the once. I can still "see" in my minds eye the details, colours and textures of that building.

I have probably another three or four "house dreams" that have remained with me over time. The details may be a little more muted in some but nevertheless it seems that my houses take on a life and identity of their own and remain with me long after the dream is over.

I can't MAKE myself dream about houses. I've tried! They come to me when I least expect them to and are an intense experience when they do appear.

I thought perhaps I should describe another one of the buildings of my dreams. I can "see" it in my head as I type but its not as clear as when I dreamt it the first time of course. I shall do my best to provide what details I can remember.

The Carved Mahogany House (in Asia?):

The setting was a warm, humid, maybe a tropical place. I remember it complete with smells and colours - very vivid and bright colours. It reminded me of the places I saw in India near the border of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu just below the Deccan Plateau.

The street was a "typical" Indian road of bitumen and ashphelt with non-descript and crumbling edges beside non-existent footpaths. There were verdant green palm trees surrounding the building.

The house itself was quite large and boxy, styled a little bit like a low slung homestead you might find in the Australian Outback. It did not have the typical corrugated iron roofed verandah though. There were no bull-nosed iron verandahs here. Instead, the roof was made of the same deep rich red-brown wood as the rest of the house. The house seemed to be entirly carved from mahogany and was highly polished. It was as if the house was as much carved furniture as what might have been found inside.

The pitch of the roof was quite low, the angles flattened out somewhat and sweeping away from the crown to the sides making for very slightly fluted eaves which were not obviously so until you looked closely. This gave the building a kind of fixed but ephemeral quality - almost as if it were a spiritual place.

It seemed very asian in feel, style and character and yet its familiarity was for me very much like the "typical" aussie weatherboard homes I have been surrounded by for most of my life.

On the facia across the front of the roofline was a detailed frieze in relief. It was deeply and expertly carved into the wood and was both intricate and extraordinarily fluid in style and pattern. Nothing in this frieze seemed to have sharp edges on it; the carving was all rounded and perfectly smooth as if carved in marble instead of timber.

The front of the house was wide and low. Right in the centre, there was a low door with a very deep, wide lintel above it. Either side of this door, equi-distant, were two perfectly retangular windows. I don't remember if there were screens or panes in these.

The front verandah had five steps leading up under the low pitched roof-line to the front door. The mahogany here was also beautifully and cleverly carved in relief. I don't recall if I could actually see any wood-grain but I instinctively knew this house was made of exceptionally beautiful timber. In fact, the entire house seemed to be carved from a single piece of timber. It was as if it were one giant sculpture.

I never went inside this house, I only ever viewed it from the street but I remember pacing up and down in front of it totally mesmerised by the quality of the wood, the colour and the carvings on it. The traditional shape of the actual house - that boxy, squared off style of architechture, was solid and comforting but the all over intricate carving made it very unique and rather extraordinary.

I don't recall a lot of the details in the carvings on this house unfortunately. It was a sensory overload of detail really. I do remember some small things like traditional Indian artwork such as smiling, scantily clad women in various erotic poses; and I recall seeing the elephant motif - especially on the facia on the front of the house. The elephant was very smooth and highly polished. I recall being amazed that the walls were carved too - that EVERYTHING on this house was intricately carved in endless detail. Leaves, flowers, people, faces, animals - it was all there - I just can't remember it all clearly anymore. :(

I rememeber curves a lot, though! Despite the house being shaped like a low-slung box - everything else about it was sensuously curved and rounded. The high gloss thing on this house was somewhat odd and anachronistic really - it constantly surprised me anyway.

This house mesmerised me but also confused me. It was beautiful beyond belief but seemed out of time and place despite its definitive asian overtones.

As I write this today I'm struck by the possibility that these houses I dream about may actually be representative of parts of me. That may sound strange but I feel like I'm really seeing myself when I dream about my houses - that they are aspects of my character and personality buried deep within me somehow. It might also sound a bit boastful to say that though because I'm always amazed at the complexity and incredible beauty in the houses I dream. *blush*

My house dreams are usually very comforting and inspirational, and generally awe inspiring. They tend to occur before significant lifestyle changes and/or personal mindhops that I make in my awake life.

The house dreams that stay with me are like intimate friends now. The intensity of each first meeting may have dimmed with time but they still stick around long after to bring me joy and comfort.

I like dreaming about houses :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

in, at, im and other moments in time

Martin has this wonderful german accent right? (he says he does NOT have an accent at all! - we agree to disagree on this ;))

What I love best about his inflection though is this line he says...often.

"In the moment..."

I think its from the German "im moment" but don't quote me on that.

I say "At the moment" and now, when I look at these two statements side by side, his way of saying it makes much more sense.

What we do, say, think or feel is very often IN the moment its expressed. To me, the wee word "at" kind of implies the moment is yet to come as in "about to occur".

Some people are quite gifted at thinking things through carefully and choosing their words with cautious intent. I'm not one of them! I do take time over things like story and blog writing but on the whole not much else I do, say, think or feel is ever really "about to occur"!

I tend to say, do and think things and then verbally (or textually) express them pretty much that instant IN the moment of their conception. It's a risky habit and I do need to learn to put some space and distance between my thoughts and their external expression sometimes. I guess the plus side to this is that I am, if nothing else, a very natural person :) If you can overlook the chronic Foot-in-mouth disease!

To me the saying "in the moment" seems more honest in many ways than saying "at the moment". It's such a subtle thing though and I suppose it's not a really big deal as such but it just struck me that it could make a difference in my own understanding of how I think and then act in the moment.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Triston's flash of Genius

em gets upgraded by Triston in this very sweet and tender post on Mind Unbound

We've tried to explain to him that there's no word in English for "unmarried life partner of my father." I am definitely family, but I don't have a category.

em's right! There ARE no cool words for the modern day complexities of relationship.

There are some legalese words which sound about as tender and loving as rubber floor mats in cars. Words like "de facto" and "common law wife/husband" have about as much appeal as cold porridge or wet blankets.

I guess you could call em, Steve's "concubine" (yes the definition of this being "A woman who cohabits with a man without being married to him" - Macquarie Dictionary Australia - go look it up!)... but this word has other subtle connotations I'm sure would make em choke on her Coconuff Fudge and I really like her far too much to have her die from such a thing! ;)

Triston is on to something!

Modern day love needs new definitive terms that describe the differences succinctly but also tenderly. Marriage, un-marriage, de-facto, gay and lesbian unions, polyamory unions and committed friendships are a whole new ballgame for many people needing new paradigms and agreements on how to tenderly name the relationships that grow from these complex arrangements.

The thing Triston has done though is to bring a powerful sense of family to em's role in his life. She is "my Michelle". This simple, definitive and somewhat possessive term of endearment puts em at a central and integral place in his life. It describes why he loves her and how important she is to him.

Love spawns complexity. It grows roots and branches among people in strange and often confusing ways. The boundaries to the traditional understandings of mere "Marriage" and "Union" has and is becoming more and more blurred.

The most important thing though, is that whatever new words we find to describe particular relationships - that we also acknowledge and recognise that those relationships are about LOVE before anything else.