Friday, December 30, 2011

One Crazy Day when the Year is about to end and other things seem to follow suit

I would like to start this post by saying, no admitting, that I'm drunk. No, not drunk but a little bit tipsy. I'm a little bit tipsy because today things went wrong and I decided to self medicate. As one does. When things go wrong.

I don't actually know if things went all that wrong or whether I kind of brought it to a point where it burst and probably ended my relationship with O. As some of you know it's been a little weird at times. I say weird because I don't want to say bad. I don't want to be judgmental at this stage.

Yesterday was a really bad day for me. I literally woke up thinking I couldn't care less if I was dead, in fact it may even be preferable. That's not the same as being suicidal because being suicidal makes one want to act on it and actually make it happen. It was more a thought that if I was dead I wouldn't feel pain. I wasn't too alarmed by this state because it's part of the depression although I can't say I enjoy it.

Today things happened that apparently made me go nuts again. I don't know if I should tell you about these things. Maybe I should. I have come to realize that there are some very wise ones out there and I need wisdom at the moment. Not my own but other people's wisdom.

O can't be in a relationship. He doesn't get it. the whole thing of being in a relationship is like being shackled to him and my mistake is that I've been trying to have a relationship with this man. It's not going to work.

In O's mind we're great mates which is apparently better than anything else in this world. My mind finds it confusing and thinks it diminishes me as a woman. It makes it feel like I'm unattractive. This is rather warped.

A few months ago when the whole shitstorm was on I found out that O had corresponded via e-mail with a woman and written her two erotic letters. He had been honest enough to tell her, apparently, that he's in a relationship but they kept talking. They apparently stopped when I found out but today he added her on Facebook. He's only just started Facebook so her and I are the only people on his friend's list. I did my nut.

I don't think I'm wrong with doing my nut but I'm now faced with him storming out and Bee mourning. Bee should have nothing to do with this but she does because she is part of the family. Where O is I do not know and I don't expect us to stick together after this. Apparently he feels "caged". I don't know what I feel, maybe I'm a bit relieved...., but I'm sure I'll find out soon. Not as soon as I sober up because I ain't drunk but rather as soon as I decide to feel something.

You know what? I'm tired.

I just want things to smooth out and things at work to be well. Merry said in a comment the other day that she hates my work even if she doesn't work there and it made me think. Merry, you made me think, you made me think that what was my whole word is a very poor companion indeed.

Through my two (bad) marriages I hinged my whole existence on my work and my so called career. It was dependable. It did what it promised to do and since I never asked it to fulfill me or make me happy I was "happy" with it.

My two marriages were rotten. The first one should have disappointed me but I was too busy surviving, literally. The second was a failure from the start and I knew it but I tried to stick it out and make it work because I didn't want to fail. It did.

When I met O I had no hope that it was going to turn out OK. I didn't want a relationship, or so I thought. I must have wanted it because I accepted it and I accepted his inability to not quite commit and to not give me a label. I was his friend. That was a higher status than anyone.

If I called him now I wonder if he would answer but I don't think he would. I think he will move out and then we're left working together and it will be very awkward. Bee will be very sad. All is lost.

But maybe this needed to happen. Maybe there is really something better out there for me. I don't know how that could be because I'm so god damn faulty and apparently I need a therapist even though I think in this case I really don't. I think in this case my head was screwed on precisely right when I asked him why the hell he had added this woman to his Facebook.

Take me or leave me. I think that's what it comes down to, no?

Later addition:
He came back and he came back to tell me that he's moving out. I told him that I would like him to leave now but apparently I should go stay with his parents. That makes sense. To him.

I ended up calling his parents. I'm not proud of it. He had already called his parents. They knew. They told me he's the mad one. I don't know if they're paying me lip service but is that even important?

His dad talked him into coming out of his room to talk to me only he didn't talk to me at all. He just say there. I tried to talk because that's what I do. I try to talk things through. This is a tactic that doesn't work with O.

This is all getting a little tedious and as the story progresses I'm realizing that I'm quite the arse. For putting up with all this. What's wrong with me? Do I have some sort of self esteem issues? Yes, I do. That's why I put up with all this.

I'm left with this:

a. I'm crazy. I'm a raging crazy and I need to have my head checked. Those are not my words but sometimes it's important to consider input from others.

b. I'm crazy. For putting up with this shit and for thinking I could keep this "relationship" together. I need my arse kicked.

c. I'm a freakishly awesome person who just sold herself really short and who thought she could have a relationship with a guy who is rather messy in the head. I still need my arse kicked.

d, I'm crazy because I really need to kick get my arse kicked and wake up to what a healthy relationship really is. I need one of them or I don't need it.

e. I need to have my ego stroked to realize that as much as I needed my arse kicked I now need to have my ego stroked. I'm smart, I'm gorgeous and I can kick my own arse. Basically I rock. See I can stroke my own ego too, there's simply no end to my talents.

f. Things need to change around here! Oh yeah, they need to change around here! They need to change in whatever way they need to change so that I can get on with my life and be happy. Remember happy? That's the little fussy feeling one gets in the chest or stomach area that makes your mouth smile for no real apparent reason. I need change and I need happy.

Now we can take any of those or even a combination. I would like to write off a immediately because my therapist doesn't seem to think that's me. I would like feel good right now about what I just wrote and I would like to feel like I can do something right in life because that would be nice, a bonus if you like. I would like to feel OK and I would like to kick depression right in the nads because that's where it hurts the most. Other than that I'm actually fine. Other than that I think I will be absolutely peachy my dears (I say with a trembling voice and a fair dose of disbelief).

I'm a survivor. My therapist told me so.

Oh yeah, and Merry is right. I listen to Merry and I will keep what she said in mind.

Did I tell you guys I love you?

Oh yeah, then there's the part about how friends don't treat each other like crap. That's an important part right now.

Corporate think

When I don't write I sometimes draw things...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A mood that's not lifting

One thing I don't like about being on leave is that it gives me time to think. I don't need time to think right now especially not if it means that I will start thinking things I would rather not think. I find it, I have to admit, extremely hard to enjoy what's going on in my head right now.

I long for the days when I was carefree but here's the real problem with that kind of longing. I can't honestly remember a time after the age of five when I really was. I'm not sure if it all changed when I started school and it was all so traumatic that I developed social anxiety and just decided that the world was an unkind place and the people in it were no better.

I know that world view is not true because I'm surrounded by people who care. When I say this year was really hard and I say I have to be fair and say it brought a lot of benefits I'm talking about the benefits that having people support me brings.

I also have to be fair and admit that I have a really hard to time accepting help because I feel I don't deserve it. It's a trust issue in the end and even though it's not hard to see that people give support because they want to I simply can't reconcile in my head that they do it for me because they want to do it for me. That would mean I have to admit that I have some sort of value.

When I wake up in the morning, like I have today, and I feel like I'm just one big raw open wound I wonder when it will all stop and I do feel like it's all hopeless. I want to get away from this feeling so desperately that I start fearing that I will take drastic action. With that I don't mean suicide, I'm nowhere near that point, but it all seems to pointless fighting with this disease. There are times when I just want to let it take over and give up. I want to turn my back on people before they have  chance to turn their back on me because I'm becoming such a pain in the arse.

One of the things I can see rather clearly about myself is that I just don't have any value of self at all. It's all been eroded and I'm desperately looking for confirmation that I'm of some value to someone. I want to wake up in the morning and feel like there's someone who cannot do without me, that I would be missed if I was gone. I know Bee would miss me desperately but it's not enough for my mind. It wants more and it wants the big gaping whole in my soul filled with love. I can't generate that love myself so I'm constantly looking to others for it. It's not hard to see that it's a sort of disease I'm suffering from.

Feeling like this isn't normal and trying to squash it down and pretend that it's not there is not going to work. Right now I'm incredibly tired and it used to be that tired was what I longed for but now that it's here it bothers me because there's so much I want to do. If I could just figure out what it all is.

I'm beginning projects though and one of them is to dye jeans. I bought three new pairs yesterday (and I'm down a size from half a year ago - not enough but still nothing to be sneezed) and I will tie dye, or something, the white pair just for funsies. I think projects are important for me right now because keeping my mind occupied may be the only thing that stands in the way on me doing the Titanic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stocktake of sorts and a new plan

The end of the year is going so fast I just can't keep up. The end is very neigh and I will be glad to see the back of it. It's been a hard year but I have to be fair and say that it's not been without benefits. To be fair there's been a lot of benefits.

I've been thinking about work and I realize that I have to change tactics. I need to change the way I approach things. There's been a lot of right-sizing, managerizing, incentovizing and emerging leadershipping going on and it's easy to lose track of where you are exactly as an individual in the corporation. As such I have decided we, my team and I, need to enter a new phase.

I shall call this phase the Fuck Phase. It's a prepubescent phase symbolized by a face in which the eyes in the eye-sockets have been replaced with two penises. I feel this is the only way we're going to be able to survive the coming year and not go completely bonkers. We need to approach it in a completely immature way. Let the managers manage and allow ourselves just to fuck around doing work.

Having said that I have some growing up, some maturing if you will, to do so that I can emerge into the new year, or perhaps I should rather burst into the new year with complete reckless abandon, as a more emotionally mature being who doesn't need reassurance from others constantly. I shall also have my hormone levels tested because I'm beginning to suspect my thyroid for being responsible for my depression.

And I should stop reading Private Eye. It lowers my maturity level significantly.

Oh yeah, I love you guys and I'm not even drunk.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Today in my Garden

Another little beauty - perhaps a friend of the other one

Vintage cat's head ashtray - a must for anyone living with a smoker

When you have no canvas palings from your broken fence will do

Another fence paling recycled
Bee's dragon guarding our treasures and keep evil spirits away

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Caterpillar Day - Today in my Garden

I'm just a little caterpillar noming on your Morning Glory
Don't mind me...
Little my butt - yes, those are my fingers in the picture and as you can see this "little" caterpillar is quite large
This is not a caterpillar. This is a lemon on my lemon tree. Soon it will be ripe and I can nom it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Arcccch and a lot of things I shouldn't write

You know when your dog is chasing its tail? You don't have a dog?! Work with me. Please. Picture in your mind that you have a mutt and it's one of those poor misguided creatures that likes to chase its tail. You have a dog? Your dog may be mentally stimulated and physically satisfied enough not to chase its tail and I applaud you for it. If you have a dog that chases its tail: I'm sorry. Try some of Cesar Milan's trick or exercise the poor bugger more.

Where was I? I was chasing my tail, that's where I was. I have been chasing that tail for some time and while it's a very good way of exercising my mind I'm growing weary of it. I need to start doing something else.

Patterns. I have patterns, patterns that are a little like airplane holding patterns and currently being in the holding pattern includes a message from the pilot saying I'm in a holding pattern because the landing gear is stuck and won't come down. That's the depression part of it. Figuratively speaking.

Did I mention I'm a little tired of being depressed. I'm actually suffering from depression, that is the correct term, because when I should be kicking ass and dancing to the beat of my soul's music I'm doing the hard slog believing every damned word that my subconscious chooses to dish up at me.

I'm worthless. That's my personal favorite, or it was at least until I grew very tired of it. I'm very tired of it. I'm also tired of waiting for someone (SOMEONE!) to tell me that I'm not even though I will dismiss it and will be in need of persuasion.

There are few people who are willing to persuade you. People tell you that they care but they really don't like sticking around for the persuasion part. They don't like spending time reassuring you.

I understand that it's a giant drag. I understand that it's hard work. You may not think it but I would do it for them, I really would.

Today I've come down again in a giant heap and it's so easy to blame the depression but what came first, the chicken or the egg?

I think of my parents who don't want to talk to me. I have failed to show them that they're important. I know I have. But here it is my friends, here it is as naked as it can possibly be, they have failed to show me that I'm important too. I can't remember a time when I felt important. I can't remember a time when I didn't feel like I'm a drain on someone's resources, a waste of space. All I want, no all I need, is a little bit of feeling important to someone. To feel like I'm worth something to someone. Like I have value. I need to hear it, I need to feel it.

Fuck it O. I need you to step up to the plate.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Heh! ...and other stuff

I just had my feedback session for the manager survey they did at work. They actually got the plebeians to rate their masters! I like it! Except in my case I’m left with two direct reports and it’s easy to tell who out of the two gave me lower ratings consistently.


You can have fun with that sort of thing. Like I am. He’s still got his performance review coming up with me beginning of the year. He’s shitting his little pants right now. I’m not mean y’all and I will be subjective, oops objective I mean, a mere Freudian slip I assure you, but I’m kind of enjoying the power it brings me at the moment. He’s been a bit of shit this year. Like when I had my breakdown and he cut his workweek short by two and half hours a week not including the one and a half hours every day he spent writing his own book. He doesn’t know I know but I know, you know.


I’m easily amused at times. This is one of those times. Thank God! It's not been a lot of that lately what with the depression and all.

It’s a good thing though getting rated as a manager and I’m not saying that because I actually rated very well, above average, but because I think it’s important as a manager to get feedback on how you’re managing to manage your direct reports. There should be more of it. How you perform as a manager should be part of your performance review.

But I’m a little more worried about something else at the moment and that is the complete lack of a decent hairstyle and clothes.

I’ve decided to grow my hair. Having chopped it off completely after the March breakdown, don’t get me wrong it was a really good idea and it suited me, I have now come full circle and I want my locks back again. Problem is that like Rome long hair is not built in a day. I have to wait. I’m not a patient person. I try to take the stance that what I have now is a completely tolerant other kind of hairstyle, not just and in between kind of hairstyle, but it looks like Princess Di hair on a really bad day. It’s completely lame. What can you do but wait for this stage to pass? I suppose a scarf is a good alternative if all else fails. Maybe I should spend the holidays knitting beanies. Or maybe just give mirrors a miss. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrch!

Although, it can work...
Adding the hair dilemma, and believe you me it's a dilemma, my wardrobe is failing at the moment. Failing to excite. It’s not working for me. I would love some hip vintage dresses rather than just jeans I tend to wear. I would ideally like some vintage dresses that go with Doc Martin boots. This would be a complete fashion faux pas, or more like and epic fail, as we know and it’s impossible to pull off but this is like trying to fight eating chocolate when you’re PMSing. Do not try that at home. Or anywhere. It’s not a good idea trying that anywhere. It’s very likely someone will get hurt. I want to wear Doc Martins with dresses. That’s what I want Santa!

I’m conflicted about the wearing dress thing though because I have big calves and flabby upper arms. I need to lose weight. I’ve been saying that for ages. I even started a page here in October to track my progress only to realize the other day that it’s gone. To where? I don’t know. Maybe it realized it was an embarrassment and shoved off. I don’t know. I do know though that one shouldn’t try to lose weight while in the throes of severe depression. It’s like trying to row a boat up a waterfall.

So for now I will have lame hair, wear jeans and no Doc Martins and I will try my damnedest to be content at the weight I am. I feel better today. I will try to hold on to that because trust me it’s more than something. It’s a lot.

Over and out! I have things to smile about (for once).

I can think again it appears...

I’m back again. At least for now.

Today my brain is back in the “WTF world?!” mode again and I’m looking around at the BS sprouted at us that we’re supposed to believe and not question. Problem seems to be that most people actually choose to believe and not question. I find that worrying.

I would like to start by saying Windows is dead. Yep. For most of us it comes as a great relief because we’ve been battling with the beast for far too long. Let’s face it. The Windows beast sucks. It may be cheaper to get a PC with Windows than it is getting a Mac but for Christ’s sake realize that you will need to know how it works (and you will need to know magic) or your local PC shop is going to make more money out of you anyway. You should have bought the Mac and realized that you would have a user friendlier system to work with.

I had to make the move from PC to Mac early this year when my laptop (running Windows Vista – I use the term “running” loosely) gave up the ghost because of hardware failure. It had served me well and when I was given a Mac mini to use in lieu of my laptop I snickered and sneered because I was told I would never look back. I stopped snickering, I stopped sneering and I never looked back. My questions for Microsoft are: How can you not make a better system? HOW CAN YOU NOT?


We’re lazy, not because we use cars but because we’ve not come up with a more energy efficient means of travel yet. You cannot tell me there’s no better technology out there. You cannot convince me there isn’t. Where is it and how can we get it out there now? If we’re really serious about “saving” the planet we can’t afford to wait. We need to jump on this now.

Here in Sydney if you’re cycling you’re basically seen like some sort of feral animal who takes up space on the road simply to annoy motorists. As a cyclist you will tell people that you cycle to keep fit, get to and from places and to save the environment. We need to encourage more cycling.

Seeing that most of the low skill jobs and to some extent medium level skill jobs are now getting outsourced to Asia how will first world countries be able to sustain their economies? Is it just me or is there a complete lack of planning? Is it a surprise that the EU is falling to bits? It doesn’t seem surprising to me. We cannot afford to sit back and assume that the people we elected are in fact looking out for our best. We cannot allow corporations to run away with profits while less and less money is put back into our economies. We need to open our eyes to what’s happening around us and realize that capitalism is no longer working for us but against us. Time to turn it around folks, and it’s time to turn it around in our favor.

Here in Australia, at least among the people I’m surrounded with there seems to be a lack luster response to Christmas this year. It’s almost as though people are over spending big and lashing out on gifts and extravaganza. Could it be that we’ve become afraid to open our purses wide open to be raped by retail? Perhaps.


Have a good one won’t you? It appears I will for a change.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lost and Found

I'm really struggling with my depression. It's not getting any better for now at least. Add to that the fact that my parents don't want to do our customary Christmas call because they have to walk their dogs before they travel to my brothers to celebrate Christmas. Needless to say I now feel rejected by my own family. I was sitting here the other day thinking that I need my family now and perhaps I need to make more of an effort...or something.

The other day I read an article in a Swedish newspaper. It was about domestic violence and the comments (never read the comments unless you want to get mad - rule no. 1) got me so mad I had to comment myself using my Facebook profile.

I was not prepared for the result. At all.

Within a few hours I had received three requests on Facebook from people belonging to the same family. Not actually knowing who they really were I accepted them, something was telling me I should, and as it turns out they are from a part of the family that we didn't know existed until I was in my mid teens (some distant memory of them must have existed for me to accept the requests...). Two of them are my cousins and one of them is the wife of my mother's half brother. They all seemed so happy to have found me.

Today I arrived at work to find the loveliest e-mail from my uncle (said mother's half brother). At a time when I really needed to belong somewhere I'm desperately fighting the urge I have to think I have no business accepting their kind invitation to be part of their family now. They're so happy to get in contact with me - I'm the lost and found - and are tentatively reaching out and simultaneiously worrying about intruding.

But as I said my dears, I sat here and thought I need family just the other day only to have my parents call me and break the news about the phone call.

Do you believe the Universe is listening to you and is ready to help when you need it?

Today I do. Today I really do.

Sometimes it arrives in an unexpected way but it's the still the same wish fulfilled.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thought stopping

I find it really hard to write at the moment. Let me say that again: I find it really hard to write at the moment. It’s important that I do though, very important.

When I saw my psychologist last Wednesday she asked me if I had considered journaling or any other form of writing to “get it out”. You know I do. I also told her about my cute little notebook where I write down things about me. Good things. Great things. Wonderful things. Beautiful things. Things contrary to the script that runs in my head.

Fred from the Fred Effect popped over and left me a link to thought stopping. Without really knowing it I’ve begun practising it in a slightly different way.

I’ve noticed that there are a few things that I can do that distract my mind from becoming too occupied with the script (the script that tells me how worthless and god awful I am…). I say “too occupied” because it’s also important for me to sometimes listen to it so I can change it.

The things I find help stopping the script from running:

I really enjoy yoga and wouldn’t want to be without it. We’re going to get married because as much as I love yoga, yoga loves me too. The most important thing about yoga when it comes to stopping the script from running is that it’s virtually impossible not to concentrate on what you’re doing when you’re “striking a pose” and breathing your way through holding that pose. Like I said, yoga and I will get married. Soon.

Broodwar is my new friend. It’s an old game but it works for me. It’s impossible for the script to run when I play it. I’m too busy being zerg commanding my zerg hoard grinding another zerg hoard into the ground and working my way to an E P I C  W I N ! Another bonus is that when I win I feel really good. (If the computer zerg is winning I  quit the mission and start a new one. HA! I win either way. Watch me do the victory dance. Do you see me baby? Shaking that ass!) When I start feeling really anxious or down I find that playing a computer game is by far the fastest way of getting myself away from those feelings. Quick diversion tactic then I can go back and start to think differently.

Meh v. Celebration
I’m dividing outcomes into two different categories: Meh and Celebration. Anything that can be seen as a loss is met with a meh and anything that is a win, however small, is celebrated. I’m purposely going about celebrating every damn thing I do that’s even remotely good. Yesterday I celebrated how well I stacked the dishwasher. I was awesome. I wish you could have been there! You would have been super impressed! Now this will eventually become a little demented but for now I really need that much encouragement. Believe it or not.

Thought stopping is probably the next natural step because there will come a time when I will really need to start teaching my mind that I don’t accept the kind of stunts it’s currently pulling on me. In order to change the habit that the negative script is I have to notice the opposite of it as much as I can so I can prove it wrong. We are collecting evidence of the contrary here, mmmmkay? I also have to stop the thought pattern as soon as I notice it beginning to play its little script (See how I made it feel small there? It's because it is! It's nothing to me. Nothing! It's not even the dirt on the soles of my shoe. It's lower on the evolutional scale than doggie do). It takes a lot of work but it’s going to work. You know what I mean. If you don’t go read Fred's thing on thought stopping. It’s useful.

Over and out. I have thoughts to stop.

Strike a pose! Bring me another hoard of zerglings to be sacrificed by my lurkers!  Go me!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love is the answer (in case you wondered)

I went to see my psychologist today and I'm glad I did. It was a little like doing yoga was yesterday. I didn't feel like doing it but once I had done it I felt better.

I have major depression. You don't get any awards or special recognition for telling me things like that now. I've kind of figured that out. I have a huge gap in my soul and I need to fill it to make my soul whole. You know, like it once was in the beginning. Landfill.

It's not going to happen because someone tells me I'm awesome and smart. Believe you me when I say that my psychologist is my biggest fan but I pay her yo so she ought to be. I kind of like to believe she would be anyway. I think she would be but it's hard for me to believe it. That's how my mind works. Anyway, what worries her is the turn things have taken.

I have no real reason to feel the way I do. I mean, sure I have this really bad manager who's making my life less pleasant but in the big scheme of things it could be a lot worse. I think we can all agree on that. I can certainly agree on that. The fear I feel in relation to my situation is disproportional. The state I'm in is a kind of grieving state. My medical doctor wants to medicate me again. I just want to walk through this fucker once and for all and be done with it. Once and for all because it feels like this has been going on an eternity when it's really just been the last few months that I've been depressed.

My problem is the mood that had descended on me and that is sticking to me like a band aid. It's eating away at my heart and soul, at my very essence, and I want it gone.  We're getting a divorce whether it likes it or not.

Love is the answer.

Like I told my psych to day, if I had my way I'd be sitting curled up in a corner having someone, preferably O or Bee or even better both, telling me how much they love me, how awesome I am and how much they have to have me in their lives because they love, love, love me that much. That however would only be a band aid.

You see when there's a lack in one area in your life, when you feel completely unappreciated and hard done by in one area, you run the risk of starting to tax another too much in order to achieve some sort of balance. I could easily bleed them dry and I don't want to do that. What I want is very simple:

I want to become so whole that I don't need the love of others to get me by. The love of others should be the icing on the cake, it should never be the cake. My own love for me has to be the cake. I love cake.

I need the script that is running in my head that's telling me I'm ugly and particularly worthless to be removed once and for all. I have watched it play over and over for the past few weeks and it's amazingly destructive. It's gone viral in my head and it's time to bring in the big guns whatever they are. Is it still possible to buy old Cold War nukes off the Russians and are they still affordable?

I have to stop waiting for someone to save me. No one is going to. There's no magic rescue team that will turn up, apologize for being late and then proceed to get me out of everything that makes me feel bad. It ain't going to happen. I need to get myself out of this....with a bit of help from my friends. You cannot underestimate the help you get from friends but at the end of the day I need to be my own hero. I need to become my own knight in shining armor minus the sex change and take responsibility for my own life.

I need to deal with the whole massively huge issue I have with feeling like no one cares. I have issues. I really do believe that I'm so worthless that no one cares. I'm wrong. I care. A whole bunch of other people care too and not only the people who get paid to do so.

Today the fog lifted a little and I hope tomorrow it will prevail. In the meantime I will be monitoring myself closely, eat right, exercise and remind myself how god damn awesome I am.

Over and out. I have an ego to build.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Opposite and a bit about how I feel right now

I meant it when I said I had nothing to post about but every time I say something I have to do the opposite just to be.....opposite.

A friend said, when we were still in our teens, that I would be like the old lady who died in the old folktale who was so stubborn she would float upstream when they put her in the river.

I, she claimed wouldn't do it because I was stubborn though (although my mum has always claimed that I am), I she said would do it because I had to explore the opposite to what others found natural. Had she been aware of the term "devil's advocate" she may have used it.

I think she was right.

I'm of the firm opinion that an opinion is just an opinion. One should play with them, exchange them, examine them, debate them, explore them, turn them upside down and inside out, and change them frequently. Opinions are things we have to amuse ourselves with.

This is why I find it hard to post at the moment. That and the fact that I don't have anything inspirational to say. You can only whinge so much about your lot before you feel like you're starting to burden others.

You see I appreciate every reader I get here. I appreciate the comments I get (duh, obviously!) because I love the exchange of opinions and ideas.

I don't like bringing to you week after week of me describing my battle with the beast (aka depression) because it will be how I got out of it that will be nice to post about. I would like to fast forward to that simply because I'm not enjoying this particular phase I'm going through one bit.

I'm discovering though some pretty raw wounds that I have applied to current situations that belong to the past. I need to deal with this be they related to my current condition or not. I need to make myself understand that I'm not the worthless troll I think I am. I can see it but I just can't believe it.

I need to love myself out of this, that's such a cliche but that's exactly what I feel I need to do. I need to once and for all understand that how I feel about myself is just plain wrong. I need to look around me and see more of what others think of me, and that is oddly enough very contrary to how bad I feel about myself.

I'm fortunate my friends in that I have people around me who mirror good back at me and who show appreciation for me. I'm fortunate that I have a good therapist. I'm fortunate to have you dear reader here who when I today posted that I wasn't going to post and felt bitterly disappointed in myself for so many reasons, reassured me and told me it was OK. And this is the hard part to admit, told me that you may even be impatient for my return. It's hard to believe because it's not how I feel about me.

I'm so very grateful I have that now. It helps.

In the end though it's clearly myself that I have to battle with and the beliefs I hold about myself. Maybe the posts will be weird when I post but I hope that someone will recognize themselves, find inspiration, and perhaps even courage, in them because that is what ultimately want when I write. That much has become clear to me.

So it may be sporadic. It may be a little disconnected but like I said, I'm here and I'm reading your blogs. I'm just doing more lurking than participating.

And having said that (refer last post): Thought...

In our modern society are there only two accepted female roles, I mean generally speaking, and are they the frustrating mother figure or the sexual object?

It sure feels like it at times, like there are no other roles that women can play however much we wish there were.

Yeah, I know. Depressing thought right? But really truly, and this kind of comes down to a lack of role models in other areas than in the ones I mentioned I guess (please argue with me on this one!), isn't it damned hard to feel that you are anything else but those two?

I'm not Disappearing - I'm really just Battling my Depression

Depression not only makes me boring but it also makes me quiet. It's becoming a full time job monitoring my own thoughts just so I can weed my mental garden. It’s really important that I do. It’s like now or never.

I refuse to up my dose of meds. I don’t believe in that stuff except for in emergencies. I don’t believe I can be in a state of emergency for almost a year. If a state of emergency of this kind lasts longer than three months it’s a habit. Habits are there to be changed. And so are beliefs.

So, with the risk of sounding like I’m trying to not just be like but become Tony Robbins, I’m choosing to look at this as an opportunity. I’m forced to dive into the messy wardrobe that is my mind and I’m finding some really interesting and useless stuff in there. And I’m finding gaps.

Various out-of-fashion and ill-fitting beliefs are hanging about like they actually belong there and they’re the kind of stuff that should never be worn. Ever! I hate paisley and they’re paisley.

Various habits and beliefs that could possibly be worn again with a bit of modification have been identified and hung on a separate rack. They need attention and won’t be worn until they’ve had it.

Some cool vintage thoughts that definitely suit me have lovingly been brushed off and put aside to be worn again, every day no matter what the occasion.

New additions have been identified and work is currently underway to procure these additions and if I manage to fix getting them I should be happy and whole in no time.

In the meantime it seems I will be posting and commenting less but please know I’m not far away. I’m just having a serious debate with myself as to what to wear mentally. It’s not worth writing about.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cause for Concern

I worry far too much. I mean I worry all the time. It’s not good for me. Or so I’m told.

I’ve decided that as a means of trying to help myself worry less that I will define a list of things that are worth worrying about. The small things, like will there be enough potato salad for everyone to have with Christmas lunch, should I make the traditional Swedish herring-beetroot salad for the lunch even though I will be the only one eating it and is it OK to wear black nail polish at my age, well those things are quite frankly not worth worrying about.

So, currently my short list of things that are worth worrying about looks something like this, it’s a draft so it’s subject to change, but this is it for now:

You’re suffering from a rare form of leprosy which has caused you to lose both your legs and you can’t afford a wheel chair. You’re trying to dial for pizza but your fingers keep coming off because they get stuck to the phone keys.

Someone has lost their head, literally, and you caused it to happen when you were swinging the samurai sword you for some odd reason were given for Christmas. Your mum’s really pissed about the mess but you’re more worried about the whole prison-dropped soap-shower thing.

The sky has fallen down on you, literally, because unlike in the Asterix and Obelix adventures where people just worry about it and it never happens it did actually happen to you. It’s your turn to do the cleaning and you wouldn’t even know how to start. There’s sky and space junk everywhere!

Your Siamese cat has embraced white supremacy and is making demands that you kill your two black cats immediately preferably by gassing them. He is gathering other cats in the backyard and they’re working on some sort of manifesto.

Your two black cats are in negotiation with the guys who made the Nuremburg trials happen and they want you to pay their solicitors fee. They’re threatening to involve the UN if you don’t.

The internet is down and your ISP is refusing to take your calls.

You wake up one morning and realize you’re the captain of a slave ship doing a run between Africa and America, only you’re black and you’re transporting whities to Africa to become slaves to be used in the local farming industry. Knowing what you know about the whole African-American thing you’re faced with a moral dilemma that threatens to cause you a nervous breakdown. There’s no Xanax on the ship and you’re out of rum.

Your meth lab blows up and now everyone knows you’ve been supplementing your income. The tax department wants their slice of the profits and rival gangs are shooting through the windows of what’s left of your house. Your kid tells you they’re ashamed of you.

You wake up one morning to realize that you’re a man trapped in a woman’s body or vice versa. You don’t know how to break the news to your spouse or partner. Not the news about being a man trapped in a woman’s body or vice versa but the fact that you’re going to have to charge your sex change operation on your joint visa card.

There’s no peanut butter.

...I feel this is going to work for me you know.

Another thing worth worrying about....
This year Santa Claus actually turns up and not only is he pissed that you don't have a proper chimney, and all the arguments you make about living in Australia where chimneys aren't really needed seem to fall on deaf ears, but he's also royally peeved about you having bought gifts for people who are on his naughty list. You're D I S R E S P E C T E D Santa's authoritae! You think you're worrying now...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

C oM m u NiCa Ti oN

There are many situations in my life past, present and probably future in which I have ended up feeling like I’m not being treated right. It usually manifests as anger at the person I perceive has having done me wrong but when the situation is more difficult, when I can’t easily separate myself from the person, I usually end up feeling distress and/or depressed especially if the person is someone I care about. Let’s face it, when someone you care about does the dirty on you, you end up feeling like crap.

There’s no real protection from this happening to you as far as I can. Most of the time in these kinds of situations there is a lack of effective communication and a lack of empathy. If it’s a close relationship there is bound to be a lot of hurt involved. A lot of the time you end up going separate ways when this happens.

It’s amazing how poorly we understand each other and it’s even more amazing how poorly we communicate. It has to be the reason for conflict 99.99% of the time and it’s only later we have those aha-moments when we realize that what we heard may not have been what was said.

I wish I could tell you how to prevent it from happening but if it’s already happening to you then it’s probably too late in the game to intervene. It’s extremely hard to turn a situation like that around unless you decide to involve someone else.

When you can’t effectively communicate with someone what you need is more than likely someone to sit there with you who can objectively look at what’s going on. It’s no use trying to squish your own feelings down to the bottom of your toes in an attempt to pretend everything is fine. There has to be a way for you to express what you feel with the clear understanding the no party involved at that particular stage is thinking clear.

It’s when you can’t do that, or you don’t get the opportunity to do that, that things escalate and it’s probably the most common reason for break ups.

What does this tell us? It tells us that for all the education we’re getting and for all the wealth we have we are not getting educated or are not wealthy in the area of effective communication. We don’t feel safe expressing ourselves and we are not taught how to do it.

The most important gift you can give others this Christmas is learning to communicate effectively. Don’t forget that communication includes listening. Don’t forget that sometimes we all say things we don’t’ mean and don’t forget that when someone needs a hugs it’s really good communication to give it to them.

Let’s be nice to each other this Christmas. Let’s communicate a little, eh?

I'm just saying.

I’m adding this song because it fits my mood today….no other reason really.

Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm not gone

...I'm  just dealing with a bit of corporate crap right now, the aftermath, and hopefully tail end of my Workcover claim.

I will tell you about it.

But first I will sleep.

Because I'm very tired nowadays.

Tired of corporate crap.

I went out swinging and I hope I hit them in all the right places.

No words needed

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’m wearing a cold. I refuse “have it” as it would be accepting it as being part of me so I’m wearing it. Or it has somehow just attached itself to me. It’s following me around like a little dog suffering from separation anxiety.

Wearing the cold has made me spend time worrying about getting laryngitis because even though I‘m just wearing the cold it has that kind of power over me. It makes me do things I wouldn’t normally do. I used to get laryngitis every year and it always shut me up for a good three days at least. I tried to look at it like a vacation from talking but it was really more like a form of torture.

Wearing a cold sucks. You’re not sick enough to bunker down in bed and just sleep, or to sit through a Sex in City marathon while camping out on your couch.

You’re sick enough however to feel out of sorts, be listless and begin to suspect that you’re wearing a polystyrene box over your head. Your hearing is impaired and your eyes feel like they’re a size too big for the sockets they so happily inhabited just days before. Your nose produces so much snot that you have no doubt that when they say there’s a water shortage they’re telling the truth. You know because it’s all in your nose and your discarded tissues. Suddenly your life is all about having the next hanky or tissue ready.

You spray god knows what chemicals up your nose in an attempt to stem the flow and keep your airways free. You’re snorting that stuff like you would meth if you were an addict (which I sincerely hope you’re not because meth’s nasty shit). You curse the bastards who make meth because they’re the ones who made Sudafed hard to get and requiring you to show ID when you buy it. You never carry your ID around with you because you only have a cold once a year.

There’s not enough tea or water in the world to keep you from feeling like you’ve been crawling through a desert for days. You could try juice but it just gets weird because your tastebuds are on strike. Eating becomes about texture not taste.

You become an outcast. You’re not sick enough to stay home so you front up to the office with your cold in tow. You look like Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer because of all the times you’ve blown your nose and it doesn’t matter how much you keep telling people it’s cute because it’s seasonal, they still shun you like you had a rare form of ultra-contagious leprosy.

You can’t wait for it to end but you know what’s coming next: your kid will get it too and kids are a little like men when it comes to being sick. When they get sick it’s sooooo much worse than when you do and so the games begin again.

I suppose it could be worse. I suppose it could have been leprosy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In which I shamelessly spam a friend's brand new blog

A friend of mine, a colleague in the US really, was recently persuaded (by me) to start her own blog.

She, like me, is a technical writer who is sick of the corporate world and would like to go into something more meaningful. In her case it's holistic healing and nutrition.

She's a great lady and she knows her stuff. When I checked into her blog today there were three posts.

The Future of Mankind

You should go check it out.

You should totally check it out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

In which I have nothing to say - again!

I'm tired. I can't remember the last time I actually felt this prepared to sleep. It's almost like I'm relaxed and just kind of rolling with it. I'm almost starting to see something of the old me, you know the old me that could easily sleep in to lunch unless the roof feel down on her.

There's something else that seems to be wanting to return. I used to have the most amazing ability to daydream. I would just slip into it and take off on my little adventures but somewhere along the line Corporate 1.0 was installed and it's not compatible with daydreaming so it had to give. I'm slowly finding my way back, it's a kind of crawling thing and it's not going to happen in a hurry.

I don't have any rants to share and there's really nothing upsetting me in the world today. I'll just let it go on without me keeping track on it for a while. It seems to be doing alright. Even Kyle Sandilands looks like he's finally falling out of favor with the people. If you were in Australia you would know why it's important that he does.

I'll be back with thoughts. When my brain decide to come back from vacation.

Friday, November 25, 2011

An Eschatological Laundry List - A partial register of the 927 (or was it 928?) Eternal Truths

1.   This is it!
2.   There are no hidden meanings.
3.   We can't get there from here, and besides there's no place else to go.
4.   We are all already dying, and we will be dead for a long time.
5.   Nothing lasts.
6.   There is no way of getting all you want.
7.   You can't have anything unless you let go of it.
8.   You only get to keep what you give away.
9.   There is no particular reason you lost out on some things.
10. The world is not necessarily just. Being good often does not pay off and there is no compensation for
11. You have a responsibility to do your best nonetheless.
12. It is a random universe to which we bring meaning.
13. You don't really control anything.
14. You can't make anyone love you.
15. No one is stronger or weaker than anyone else.
16. Everyone is, in their own way, vulnerable.
17. There are no great men.
18. If you have a hero, look again: you have diminished yourself in some way.
19. Everyone lies, cheats, pretends (yes, you too, and most certainly myself).
20. All evil is potential vitality in need of transformation.
21. All of you is worth something, if you only will own it.
22. Progress is an illusion.
23. Evil can be displaced but never eradicated, as all solutions breed new problems.
24. Yes it is necessary to keep on struggling toward solution.
25. Childhood is a nightmare.
26. But it is so very hard to be an on-your-own, take-care-of-yourself-cause-there-is-no-one-else-to-do-
      it-for-you grown-up.
27. Each of us is ultimately alone.
28. The most important things, each of us most do for themselves.
29. Love is not enough, but it sure helps.
30. We have only ourselves, and one another. That may not be much, but there's all there is.
31. How strange, that so often, it all seems worth it.
32. We must live within the ambiguity of partial freedom, partial power, and partial knowledge.
33. All important decisions must be made on the basis of insufficient data.
34. Yet we are responsible for everything we do.
35. No excuses will be accepted.
36. You can run but you can't hide.
37. It is most important to run out of scapegoats.
38. We must learn the power of living with our helplessness.
39. The only victory lies in surrender to oneself.
40. All of the significant battles are waged within the self.
41. You are free to do whatever you like. you need only face the consequences.
42. What do you know...for sure...anyway?
43. Learn to forgive yourself, again and again and again and again...

If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! by Sheldon Kopp

Edit 15th May 2012:
Dear Jonathan,'
If I have stolen your father's wise words without giving him credit I humbly ask for your forgiveness. Truth is that I have actually found them extremely useful since my nervous breakdown.  

Yours faithfully,
Spilling Ink


I suffered from insomnia.

I remember those days.

Like it was yesterday.

Because it was like yesterday!!! (The blatant overuse of ! denotes that I'm going through some sort of emotional ordeal because of the situation. I just don't overuse ! unless things have gotten really bad.)

In the space of, mmmm, a week I have gone from having to use all sorts of sneaky methods to make myself sleep to hitting the pillow and sleeping through the whole night. Which usually means I wake up busting to pee because some of us still haven't learned that it's not a good thing to drink a lot at night.

Yes mum, I know you told me decades ago. You are right.  I am wrong.

I love sleeping. I really do. Although the whole dreaming thing can get a little complicated. I don't enjoy having a whole night of dreaming of disemboweling. I know I watched a David Lynch movie before going to bed but COME ON! I like dreams that are made of fluffy bunnies and kittens, and the occasional unicorn. Oh, and at least half of the male cast in True Blood.

I remember a time when I used to nudge O all the time because he was snoring. When he's snoring it's sleeping with a grizzly bear with a cold. Between grizzly bear and its left leg, a leg that sometimes get possessive and decides that my right leg belongs to it, I had a hard time getting shut eye.

 Not so anymore.

I now put on my little beanie, it was one of the little tricks I used to make myself sleep, and I disappear for the night and travel to places in my dreams where Stephen King would shit his pants if he was with me. But he's not and I don't care. The dreams don't even bother me to be honest. (I'm really all that desensitized. I sat through Blair Witch and I came out a changed woman - and I didn't pee myself even once!)

I would love to go back to bed now. It's my day off and it's winter weather out. It's November in Sydney, Australia and we had the heater on last night. Global warming?! My Dad is right. Someone's made a mistake. Al? Can we talk about this please? I'm a little confused.

(And don't give me all those scientific explanations about how it all works and it gets colder in some places but it's still global warming and we should be in an ice age now and you're making me tired with all that stuff and you're making me want to sleep!!)

I have to go clean now. As I'm renting my house we have a house inspection today and I have two hours to get things ready.

Then I will sleep. Maybe.

Or Christmas shop. I have figure out what grizzly bears like.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If you want to be the best, you must... lose... your... mind

No, the topic is in no way related to the topic of this post. No really. I mean it.

Some of you were here with me when I lost my mind and my grip on reality, and I began to relate to my manager at work with the same fondness one would a T-Rex. No really, that is how I felt. She was a T-Rex, I was going to die and she was the one who was going to kill me. I didn’t literally believe all that but that’s how I felt.

I realized, even at the height of the breakdown (or should that be the lowest point?), that I was going through something that distorted my reality profoundly. It took me longer to figure out why my mind had a meltdown and the cause of it.

I think most breakdowns occur when you’re faced with something that conflicts with your own beliefs to the point that you can’t match facts with those beliefs. If you believe something strongly and you suddenly have irrefutable proof in front of you of something contradictory then you’re going to have some trouble reconciling things in your mind.

I’ve figured out what caused my breakdown and that was a huge step for me. It was a very important step. It made my recovery easier. I was so glad when the penny finally dropped.

It’s not over for me yet it seems. I have apparently been left suffering with something related and that’s depression. I think I can safely say that I’m suffering from depression. If I go and read a list of depression symptoms I pretty much tick all the boxes.

I regard myself fortunate that I know enough to realize that it is depression and that it’s not me. It’s my dark passenger, the black dog that shadows my every step, the little black cloud hovering over me every step I take.

It’s not me. It’s something I suffer from. It colors my work, my relationships and my outlook.

I’m currently on a very low dose of mirtazapine. I was put on mirtazapine so I could sleep and I decided to cut down a few months ago because it didn’t help me sleep anymore and I was experiencing severe bouts of sadness.

I know it will pass but I don’t how it will pass. I know I’m blessed because I have so much going for me. I’m afraid and I’m very sad most of the time. I know this is not me. I know that’s the depression.

I will not, if I can help it, get on other medication to help with the depression. My aim is to get through this and find the root cause. I believe there is a root cause. I believe my depression is a symptom of perhaps something I haven’t dealt with. I have a very strong sense that there’s something I have to break free from, something from the past.

If you have suffered from depression I would love your input. I would love to hear from you, leave comments, because I know more and more people who are feeling depressed and who are getting that diagnose. I’m interested in hearing who people cope with it and what they do to find their way out of the darkness again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Name's Barf. I'm a Mog, half man half dog. I'm my own best friend

I feel decidedly much too serious and I completely lack a sense of humor at the moment. Not one funny thought went through my head today to entertain. As I sat there and played with Sharepoint all day at work, and I use the word play loosely, I resorted to watching documentaries about serial killers on Youtube.

They're not funny. I'm just saying.

So basically I need to chill and relax and stop being so serious.

The world is serious enough as it is.

What we need now is a clown.

I came here to build a bridge

I did set up that third worm farm and it was at the end of setting it up, in the finishing phase like, that I came to realize that I was missing one important ingredient:

Enough worms.

The simple solution to a lack of worm is to get more worms. You can wait for the worms to make more worms which they will especially in the warmer months. If you're a little impatient like I am, apparently, then you find a place that sells them and you buy some more which is how I've come to sit here and wait for 2000 little beauties of five varieties and 1000 eggs (which hatch within three weeks and take six weeks to mature) to arrive.

You're not going to believe this but when I was living in the actual city I used to own a business that sold worms to the local council. I was a worm farmer. We had 25 working factories in our little concrete backyard.

Food for the worms came mainly from a local fruit and veg shop that was more than happy for us to take old veg for our worms in return for some of the castings to use with their own plants in their homes. Sometimes they would even leave us a tray or two of plums that were too ripe to sell. Worms love sweets. I bet you didn't know that!

I'm hoping that my next project will be to grow some corn. I like the idea of growing something we can eat!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Apaches, Captain! The hills are swarmin' with 'em

The heat is pressing in Sydney, Australia this weekend. Thank goodness O went and got new ice cube trays. Ice cube trays that make ice cubes that look like space invaders.

I'm tired but I still set up another worm farm this morning and am currently contemplating setting up a third. I already had one that I started last year.

We compost all of our organic matter and the compost heap is a hap hazard heap that we just throw things on. I dug around in it this morning to find some earth to put in the new farm, accidentally chopped a huge earth worm in half which upset me a bit and irritated a whole bunch of flies who obviously consider it to be a five star restaurant. I was half expecting the heap to start talking and begging for mercy when I first put the shovel in it. It's teaming with life.

Have any of you out there got worm farms that you feed your compost waste through?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hello, hello, hello. Is that the clinic?

It's Friday. I've decided to name it Finally Friday.

This week I discovered how to stretch time. Apparently.

Intrinsic value

Intrinsic value is:

The actual value of a security, as opposed to its market value of book value.


The amount by which a call option is in the money, calculated by taking the strike price and the market price of the underlier.

I don't claim to understand any of that. It's investor talk. It's also what you get if you google "intrinsic value". I told I was going to have to come back to it.

My worry is that applying terms that are quite clearly based in investing and marketing to  people is really eroding humans being. I think it really devalues us. We are not numbers.

I'm going to have to circle back to this one again and I try to figure out that the equivalent of "intrinsic value" is when applied to humans, why it's important to have and how you go about getting it.

That's for a later post though. Not right now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

America, America – we have your president (we promise that no harm will come to him)

I was out in the kitchen fixing myself the first cup of coffee for the day. That is, to be precise, the first cup of coffee at work for the day.


The TV was on in the general lunch area and I caught a glimpse of it. Kind citizens of the USA, apparently we have your president. The President of the USA. He’s visiting apparently.

It’s just by sheer fluke I realized that he’s here now. I’m not paying attention. Not to that sort of thing anyway. Apparently.

Apparently the English Queen and her main squeeze Phillip were here a few weeks ago too. I kind of missed out on paying attention to that too which is why I have little to say about it. I saw the Queen back in the 90s. In her car. My puppy dog and I waved to her. I’m sure she thought that my Cattledog pup was a Corgi. She seemed excited.

I saw the Pope too. Not the German one (I don’t like him), the other one (I liked him). He didn’t seem excited.

I would have completely missed out on knowing that the Swedish princess Birgitta, she’s the Swedish king’s sister for the uninitiated, was visiting Australia recently had it not been for my partner’s father who kindly told me then proceeded to find a local newsrag, with a picture and all, so I could be part of it all. Exciting times!


I swear I have ADD. I just can’t keep my thoughts straight.

I remember posting a pic on my blog the last time our prime minister and Obama met. Y’all don’t mind if I call him that, do you? It’s a catchy name!

The picture was of Julia (she’s ours so I can call her by her first name) and Obama (it is a catchy name!) playing football in the oval office. I think they were tossing an Aussie rules ball around and I couldn’t help thinking “Wanna play ball Julia? Here! Fetch the ball Julia!”

I’m not saying our prime minister is a dog but it just seemed so out of place.

Look! A chicken!

No, it’s not. That’s all in my mind.


There’s apparently been no ball play this time around. There’s what seems to be the obligatory photo in the office though.

I can’t help thinking that we could have done this better. I know what you people think the Aussies are like and as such I think we should have given it to you. It’s only fair.

I want to see pictures of Obama in Julia’s backyard with her partner Tim wearing an apron and throwing a few shrimp on the barbie. And we would call them shrimp just so all y’all wouldn’t be confused by our provincial weird way of speaking the English language.

I believe in giving people what they want and I think they want Aussies to barbeque. Ever since Paul Hogan, remember him, he was Crocodile Dundee, did that ad for all y’all over there you’ve come to expect barbeques. We should stick to that because it’s less confusing.

“Where’s the President now?

“I don’t know. Wait! They’re showing him in some backyard at a barbeque.”

“Aah. Australia!”

It’s not too late, I hope, to save this whole circus from becoming Cirque du Désastre. I’m sure Julia’s neighbors wouldn’t mind nicking down to the butcher’s to procure some snags. The neighbourhood ladies could surely whip up some coleslaw to go with them.

We can do this Australia! We can fail to disappoint!

I’m just saying.

Unless of course you think that the fact that a fullscale US Marine force was given the green light to conduct its own war games on Australian soil for the first time, under a new military agreement signed yesterday is more interesting.

I would totally understand.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Things I think may be useful to develop a positive outlook

I tend to make a distinction between positive attitude and positive outlook. It’s more than likely because I’ve got a bit fed up with the whole positive attitude cult. At the same time I know, God do I know, that having a positive outlook in life does helps you enormously.

Here are some of my tips for whatever it is worth:

Pay attention to your internal dialogue. If the majority of your thoughts are negative, especially if they’re about you, then you need to do something if you want to improve the way things are for you. Some people recommend making a list out of the negative thoughts then rewriting them and keep doing this until your negative list gets down to a more reasonable size.

If you’re having trouble communicating, then do what you have to do to learn. Not saying how we feel can lead to frustration, anger, anxiety and hurt. Find ways to communicate more effectively both with yourself and with others.

Get back to basics. Stop trying to do it all and do more of the things you really enjoy doing. Reconnect with friends, for a walk, visit an art gallery or read a favorite book.

Spend time somewhere you’re guaranteed to see people worse of then you are. A friend used to go sit in the shopping centre during the day when he was out of a job because he would always see people who were quite clearly worse off than he was. He claims that it made a huge difference when it comes to how he felt about his own situation.

Learn to let things be. There are things, situations and there are people we can change. There are a lot more things, a lot more situations and a lot more people we can’t change. It’s easier to change how you look at things, your outlook, than it is to change things that are outside of you.

Allow love in your life. Loving and being loved are basic human needs and when we do it makes it easier to combat emotions born out of fear.

Laugh. Trawl youtube for stand up acts or whatever else makes you giggle. Have a great big laugh at it all.

Exercise and eat healthy foods.

Read blogs. Yep, I know I don’t have to tell you that but just in case you’re wondering why you do it I can tell you why. Blogs are often very inspirational and you can learn so much from reading about others’ experiences.

These are just some of the things that are off the top of my head.

Outlook is to an extent a matter of choice and it is something you can work at changing so it works for you and not against you. Sometimes it’s hard work but it pays off in the end.

I’m just saying.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On being positive in the workplace

There’s been a lot of talk about being positive lately and I have my own little opinions about the usefulness of being positive at all cost…

Google is my friend and yesterday I googled (don’t you just love how it’s become an accepted verb?) “being positive in the workplace”, a favourite topic of mine possibly of all time.

I found some handy tips at by way of the article The top ten ways to be positive in the workplace of life by BZ Riger-Hull, Certified Success Coach. He/she should know what he/she is talking about.

I’ve taken the liberty to quote some of the bits out of the article and adding my own comments because I think we need to think critically about the whole thinking positive cult. If it’s so good it should stand up to scrutiny, shouldn’t it?

Please keep in mind, when reading my comments (the quoted parts are in italic), that I’m grouchy and I really feel completely at ease with pointing an accusing finger at the world and blaming it for just about anything.

Ready? OK. Let’s go.

“There is a growing volume of research that shows’ staying positive is better for your health; you can cope better with stress.” 

There’s also plenty of research showing that putting a lid on your feelings and pretending that you’re feeling positive works to some extent but that it also can be very harmful and can leave you feeling disempowered. We all know that having a great big whinge to a friend is a great relief and does reduce stress. My therapist thinks along these lines but that’s maybe because she makes her living listening to people whinging…

“It’s better for relationships; you keep from judging people and getting the bad habit of gossiping.”

I’m a little confused by this one to be honest because it seems to be directed mostly towards the people who don’t have a lot of power in the workplace. Every worker who has KPOs (key performance objectives) to work to and be judged against knows that there are managers who love using them to criticize people. Basically it ends up like this: It’s better for some in relationships if you don’t tell them that you’re not happy. Gossiping of course is not nice but there’s a fine line between sharing your experiences with a particular person with your colleagues and gossiping.

“It takes much more energy to be negative, always worrying, thinking of the “what if’s”, the “should’s”. Being positive, living in the present will lighten your life and the mood of others around you.”

I don’t know but being negative seems to come easily to me if scrutinizing the system is being negative. Worrying is a drag but it’s easy to slip into the habit of doing that if you have manager who likes to dog you or you work with evil bitches. The author seems to assume that the problem lies with you and your thinking, not the attitude of others toward you. Both can be a problem.

“Attitude is everything. It is the lens that you look through to experience your reality. Take a look at your attitude. Are you negative? Do you color everything with fear or need? How will your life change if you change your attitude?“

Attitude is important, no doubt about that, but let’s not exaggerate. Attitude is not the only lens you look through when you experience your reality. The beliefs you hold about yourself and the world colors your every experience. Are you fearful? Ask yourself what it is that makes you feel fearful and try to find a way to deal with it. If you’re constantly being told that you could lose your job any day because of “right-sizing” then you’re being exactly what they want to you to be; don’t try to change your attitude in that case - look for another job.

“Treat people with kindness and respect. Everyone that you encounter should be valued, treated with courtesy. Acknowledge that they have feelings and their own perspective on life, they may be different than yours but they are also valid.”

Your mama taught you to be polite and you should be. Respect others and most of them will respect you. You don’t have to value each encounter in the workplace, let’s face it some people are pains, but you should strive to at least keep it civil. Valuing it is optional.

“Avoid comparison- whether you are looking down at the people who have not mastered special strengths or up at people who may be more experienced or accomplished. Constantly comparing yourself keeps the focus on the other person instead of what you can do, want to do, and are good at doing. Look inside and improve from there.“

Comparing yourself to others can really help you set new goals. For example, telling yourself that “I’m going to become a better technical writer by striving to become just as good, or better, than the other writers in my team” is not a bad thing at all. We need people to look up to, aren’t they the people we call role models?, and sometimes we need to look down on people too in order to help them perform better.

“Take responsibility for your work, actions, and life… Don’t pass the buck. Don’t make excuses. Take responsibility; acknowledge a mistake fix it and learn from it. Don’t beat yourself up about the mistake, or hang onto past mistakes. Resolve them, own them and move forward. Today.”

The only thing I can add to this one is: Ask for help when you get stuck. There’s no shame in asking for help. Asking for help is a must and is why they have us working in the same building together in the first place.

“That doesn’t work for me. Keep this in mind when someone offers a put down. When they cross your boundaries. Your worth comes from you; your being, your true self. They cannot change your intrinsic value unless you let them. Make it clear that what they are doing doesn’t work for you, keep your boundaries and move forward.“

I have real issues with this one. How many people do you know who have the self-confidence to truly fob off a put down? How many people feel empowered enough to do it? I don’t know many at all to be honest. Most people don’t have “intrinsic value”; hell they don’t even know how to define themselves. This one is bigger than Ben Hur my dears. We’re going to have to circle back to this one in another post at some stage.

“Respect other people’s time and boundaries. If you are having a bad day, feeling stuck, or you are just enjoying procrastinating. Make sure you don’t use that as an excuse to waste other people’s time or cross their boundaries. Time is the most valuable thing we have. If you feel like wasting your time that’s your decision but don’t waste other people’s time.“

Time is the most valuable thing we have in a stressed out world perhaps because that’s all we end up focusing on. The most valuable “thing”, I prefer the word resource personally, is other people. We need to allow each other time to bounce things off each other and not call it wasting time. Not having time is the most popular excuse used by managers when it comes to not dealing with issues the people they manage have.

“Make a “what I have accomplished list”. Too often people make huge to-do lists and then beat themselves up when they have only accomplished a few things on the list. Keep your master list of what you want to accomplish so you don’t forget things that are important to you, but keep a second list you update daily. Each day keep a specific list of all the things you did and how much time you spent on each thing. You’ll know where the day went, can feel good about what you did accomplish and see where you need to focus, to get what’s most important to you, done.”

“Celebrate your victories”. It’s the new favorite in corporations. Maybe we should all get some gold stars to give to ourselves to acknowledge our own achievements. How about you break down some real barriers and acknowledge someone else’s good work? Now that’s useful.

“Take notice of the people around you; co-workers, customers, clients, vendors, and other people you come in contact with each day. Acknowledge what they are contributing and don’t take them for granted. Thank them for buying from you, for their help, their value to the relationship, and for a job well done.”

Sure, if they’re doing a good job. Comes back to being civil again, doesn’t it? If they’re giving you crap then please don’t. You don’t need to stay positive in the face of their mess ups.

“Enjoy the little things that happen in your day. The compliment someone gave you on the insight you shared at the staff meeting. The big smile the customer gave you when they picked up their order. By recognizing your accomplishments even if they seem small or routine, you are acknowledging a job well done.”

There’s nothing intrinsically bad about this one except that you have to keep tally all day. I think this happens automatically though…

“Coming from a positive attitude and perspective you will feel more in control. Consider each job and interaction as your best performance, rather than just running them together as part of your day. You will see the impact you have and the value you offer. People will be attracted to this. They will notice how well you do things and they will truly value you.” 

How about you just make it your goal in life to enjoy things more? How about you take stock of what really makes happy and do more of that in whatever way you can? If you’re a cleaner and you don’t enjoy the floor scrubbing part of your job then please don’t feel like you have to change your attitude to it. You hate it, end of story. You’re glad when it’s done and you can go on to doing the favorite part of your job – scrubbing toilets!

It’s probably not lost on you that I was being a bit negative. I was being negative because I think it’s important that we don’t go about swallowing being positive hook, line and sinker at the cost of our own health and well being. Sometimes we have a right to complain and should do it or nothing will ever change. We'd be standing out in the fields trying to grow corn to eat and not worrying about sitting in a cubicle farm being miserable.

I believe that one of the most common tools used in corporations today is telling people that it’s their attitude that’s bad and that there’s nothing wrong with the actual work environment. This puts the responsibility firmly back on the individual and leaves the corporation free to do pretty much what it wants. This is not a good thing. This is a very bad thing and it causes a lot of stress for people.

You’re allowed be negative. You have my permission. You health demands that you have a negative outlook occasionally.

I'm just saying.

Hunger strike, eh? How long has this been going on?

Is there a way one could bottle and sell the way you feel right after you've done yoga? No? That's a shame. I'm going to have to keep doing it then!

I love yoga. I would marry yoga if it was single and willing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's not all gloss and fairy floss! (Fairy floss is provincial English for cotton candy all y'all)

I’m not known for being overly positive on my blog I should think.

I’ve shared my breakdown with you and I’ve shared too much about the man problems I had a few months ago (we need to talk about that you and I but now is not the time).

I spend a fair amount of time sniping at the world in general and especially at things corporate. Lately I started snarling at capitalism too (and I now fear that I will soon be referred to as “Castro’s little bitch” in the blogosphere).

I’m discontent and grouchy. The best thing about writing about it is that I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one feeling bitchy. I’m not grouchy because of hormones. I’m grouchy because there’s something amiss in this world.

Don’t get me wrong, I count my blessing every day.

All three of them.

Or six if you count the cats.

I think that most of us in the blogosphere want to paint a rosy picture of our lives for fear of being seen as failures if we don’t. Partially at least. Perhaps even more importantly though we do it because we want to inspire. I would bet my last dollar that most of the female bloggers out there have some sort of “hidden” agenda that makes them want to write things that inspire other women into doing great things. We all have a little Oprah inside us that just can’t wait to shine on through.

Some of us want to appear to be Wonderwoman too. Look at me! I can make the kids’ lunch, counsel friends on the phone, do my beauty routine and exercise, have a great sex life, quilt pillows in the shape of vegetables for starving children in Africa and blog all at the same time, and so can you! You go girl!

I’m guilty of it and I have to admit that even in my darkest moments I get all kittens and fluffy bunnies on the inside when I get a comment on one of my posts that tells me “I needed to hear that”. Is there anything that could possibly validate you more or to make you feel that it’s all worth it, and I mean ALL worth it, in the end? No. There’s not. At moments like that the little Oprah who lives inside me (yes, I have a small black woman living inside me and so do you!) puts on her cheerleader uniform, brings out the pom poms and does a little dance for me. Oh, yes. It's good.

One of the reasons I read blogs is that they inspire me. Another reason is that I thirst for the experiences of others. I can’t possibly do it all with the limited time I have in this life so I cheat and assimilate the experiences of others. It’s nice when those experiences are good but I tell you what inspires me the most; it’s the experiences that show me that something needs to change and brings about action as a result of it.

The truth of it is though that I'm just one woman living one life.

It’s easy to feel lonely when things are not going well. 2011 will go down in my history as being one of the most tumultuous years of my life. It’s one of those years when I should have had it together but lost it completely.

In March I suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of work related issues. You can read about it in any post tagged “the Breakdown”. I wish I could say I was OK now, it’s been a long time, but the result seems to be that I suffer from depression and anxiety.

I don’t cope with work very well, or perhaps it’s more a case of me noticing how stressed work makes me now, and every day I think that there has to be a better way to make money and to live. I’m capable. I’m awesome at what I do. I have come to loath the word career. I don’t like my job one bit. I like some of the people there but I don’t like my job. I would like to have a job where I get to inspire people to greater things than they even imagined they could do themselves. The black monolith building I work in is full of people who feel like me.

I don’t spend enough time with my 13 year old daughter. I fear that we will drift apart and that I seem to her as distant and disinterested as my own parents did when I was a teen. She still needs me. I should be more available.

I live from holiday to holiday. I don’t sleep well and coffee is my best friend.

I’m one of the fortunate few who earn enough money to be able to put some away for a rainy day. That’s being fortunate. Many people I know are losing their homes and can’t afford to put food on the table. These are scary times. I’m blessed.

I’m in a relationship that is a bit weird. Some of you know about the troubles I had a few months back. Some of you told me to get the hell out. Maybe I should have or maybe there is such a thing as being scared and mouthing off not really knowing what you said. Take a swing before the opponent does. I’m hedging my bets and things are a lot better. I am though, as always, deathly afraid of being abandoned but I would be no matter who I was with. This is one of the major issues I need to deal with and it’s what kept me in relationships that were not great in the past.

I’m a survivor but I hate to admit it. I carry scars that I don’t feel I’m entitled too. I feel I didn’t suffer enough to warrant the scars I know are there. I try to forget about being shoved up against a wall, having my life threatened and being dragged through the house in front of my scared daughter. I count my blessings every day that I had the guts to leave. I kick myself every day for allowing myself to be in two relationships that were like that, for wasting years and years of my life. I wonder if I will ever be OK and feel good about me again, if I will ever feel safe in a relationship. I walk around saying things like “It’s not like they nailed nails into my feet to keep me from running away” because I have developed some sort of weird survivor’s guilt. I blame my parents for my poor self-esteem.

My mind is sometimes a very messy place and right now I feel like I can’t structure my thoughts enough to write a good post. I want to do so many things and write so much. I forget that I started this blog just to write without thinking about if the content was any good or if what I was saying was important. The ambitious part of me demands that I be inspirational, clever and witty. The real me keeps telling me it’s just a bit of fun and to relax.

No, it's not all gloss and fairy floss (remember that's cotton candy all y'all) but at the end of the day I can’t complain. All in all life’s not all that bad and I can certainly see, very clearly indeed, that things could be a lot worse.

Have a great day out there! You know you deserve it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I was just talking to someone and we were on the subject of aftershave. I love scents and I have way too many perfumes but I can't say that there's an aftershave that I actually know of that I really like. I used to love Lagerfeld in the 80s and then in the 90s Artemis but I don't think guys wear those anymore. At least if I'm to believe my nose.

When I was still in school and in my teens and I was doing my engineering course there was this guy who was from Paraguay or Uruguay, I forget which, and he was a friend of my friend Carlos who was from Chile. The guy's name was Jorge and I thought he was so hot. He had the nicest behind I had ever seen. I never went out with him or anything because I was quite content perving at his behind while I was hanging out with my friend Carlos wagging classes so we could smoke and drink coffee.

One day I realized that Jorge wasn't all I thought he was cracked up to be. His behind wasn't really all that nice to look at suddenly. I was puzzled for a while but then I realized that he had changed aftershave. He went from wearing Lagerfeld to wearing something else that my olfactory sense didn't find nearly as appetizing.

Not long after that I was having dinner with my family and I can't remember why we were talking about aftershave but I declared at some stage during the conversation that Lagerfeld aftershave was the kind of stuff that could make any man, and he could be butt ugly, look dead sexy and completely irresistible to any woman.

Within a few weeks my father and my brother were both wearing Lagerfeld.

It was a very confusing time in my life.

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