Category Archives: daily prompt

Whoopsie

Missed a few days there…

It’s funny how as soon as you miss one, it’s easy to miss the next day too. And the next, and the next… The biggest problem is that in my head I have to justify why I let things lapse, which just sets up a road block that quickly becomes enormous.

But I’m back now! And in a weird mood. And with a post long enough to make up for the missed days.

I got drawn into a debate on a friend’s Facebook today. He slammed a proposed tax on sugary drinks that my preferred political party (the Greens) has developed.

I don’t really have a strong opinion about it either way. I agree that some sort of official stance is needed to encourage healthier eating habits in general, but see it as a complex, multi-pronged issue (as do the Greens themselves, who see a 20% tax on drinks with at least 5g of sugar per 100ml as just one step within a larger program to curb obesity). 

Anyway, many people in the discussion started wringing their hands and accusing the Greens of being paternalistic and out of touch, claiming that a sugar tax would unfairly burden the most poverty-stricken members of society. I agreed that a broad tax on sugar wouldn’t be the best idea, but pointed out this was just a tax on drinks – not food in general. I figure the greater burden will be borne by middle/upper class types who think nothing of grabbing a can of Coke at lunch: the poorer people around here generally go for no-brand options that are super cheap to start with. We’re talking a price hike of 10-15cents per 1.25L bottle…

Enter my nemesis, Kitty.


(As opposed to my kitty, Wolfgang, who cares nothing for politics so long as the tuna keeps coming)

Background

Kitty is the wife of the friend that started the conversation and an ex-acquaintance of mine. An ardent feminist and intellectual, we got on quite well for a while there – until we both had children and I immersed myself in an Attachment Parenting approach.

I don’t know if she felt like I was judgemental about mothers who go back to work (I’m not), or if she was projecting her own insecurities, or if she bought into the common argument that Attachment Parenting is inherently a step backwards for feminism (IT SO VERY MUCH IS NOT), or, quite frankly, she was bitter that whenever we met up at parties her daughter preferred my company to hers, but one night she unfriended me with a flounce via private message.

I won’t go into full details, but at the end of her message she wrote:

“PS Your attachment parenting is insane. Let your kids have some boundaries, FFS.”

It cut pretty deep. The implication that my kids were somehow flawed made me seethe for many days. I wanted to rip into her but managed to hold back and just walk away.

The really funny thing was that the night she sent that message we’d been to my brother’s 40th birthday party. It was at an all-you-can-eat buffet that included a dessert bar. My oldest was 4yo at the time (my youngest only 3 months) and as we got there I said to her: “It’s a party tonight so you can help yourself to anything you want! I just want you to have at least one serve of green veggies before you go for the desserts, OK?”

She ended up filling two plates with pasta and bread and vegetables and trying out a bit of everything. When she was finally ready to check out the dessert bar, she had a couple of skewers of marshmallows and fruit dipped in the chocolate fountain, one very small cup of soft serve ice cream, and a couple of tastes of various cakes and jellies.

She was 4. And had been given license to go nuts. And had a very balanced meal with a slightly big dessert.

But, you know, clearly she was crying out for firmer boundaries…

Back to the story

Anyway, Kitty jumped on one of my comments this evening and accused me of being dismissive and elitist. I’ve had a charmed life and have no real-world experience with actual poverty so was not fit to question points made by the people in the thread offering real, lived experience. I was bringing my usual arrogance and condescension to the conversation and was completely blinded by my desire for the Greens to be in the right.

lolwut?

I’d had a few wines at this point so got into a bit of back and forth, trying to remain civil without being drawn into justifying why I had a right to an opinion (not least of which being that people were discussing the effects of a tax on cheap sugary food while the proposal was for a tax on expensive sugary drinks). In the end I threw my hands up and let rip.

I thanked her for the attack. I told her that the last time we’d talked she’d insulted my parenting choices and as a result I’d doubled down on my approach and my kids were thriving. Now? She’d inspired me to double down on my community outreach efforts (volunteering as a teachers aide at the school and becoming more active in the local Greens chapter) just so I can prove her wrong there too.

I then turned off notifications for that post and had a good vent on my own page to try and diffuse my anger (and, as much as I hate to admit it, my tears).

This was an excellent move.

I’ve since had about half a dozen mutual friends reach out and reassure me she was out of line in that conversation, and reaffirm that it was a good idea to switch off notifications, and imply that others had gone into bat for me.

Feeling much better now!

I just wish people like that didn’t elicit such a strong reaction from me. It’s so childish and high-school and ridiculous. I know I’m awesome, and I have many important people in my life who agree with me!

Why can’t I just let it go when I know people don’t like me for reasons they’ve completely invented in their own heads?

Anyway, I have a new mantra in my life. If I’m making an important decision around parenting or social views I will ask myself: “Would this choice spite Kitty?”

I can’t see how it will possibly lead me astray.

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Is it worth it?

Is it worth aiming to post something every single day, even if I am uninspired?

Am I doing any good by filling my blog with sub-standard posts and cluttering up my virtual home as much as my actual home?

Not sure.

But damnit, I’m gonna keep trying anyway. Even if they don’t always make for good reading, at least this commitment to post something every day for a month is helping with my self-discipline. That has to count for something, right?

I’ll let that thought percolate a little more and see if I can lift my game.

Nudge nudge, wink wink

I’m one of those awful people who can turn anything into a double entendre.

I’ll giggle if anyone says “erection” and respond “That’s what she said!” in any moment where it could be even vaguely appropriate (if you could ever describe that response as “appropriate”). Even here, now, the Daily Prompt is “filthy” and my immediate response is to talk about smut rather than dust.


This knee-jerk reaction can get me into trouble if I’m nervous and/or meeting new people, but it has helped me cement some solid and enduring friendships – not least of all with my husband.

One of the things I really do love most about him is our identical (and filthy!) senses of humour. It’s so grounding to know that with the slightest tilt of an eyebrow and one or two words we immediately know which in-joke is being referenced, and BAM! – we’re on the same page.

So here’s to my fellow dirty-minded peeps! Revel in the creativity of drawing double meanings from the most innocuous of phrases. All the best people do it.

(Heh. “Do it”…)

Mangoes and nectarines and lychees oh my!

About the only thing I look forward to in summer is the abundance of ripe, juicy stone fruits.

I cannot stand the heat. I cannot stand the sizzling UV index. I cannot stand the icky sensation of sunscreen on my skin. I hate being so hot that I break a sweat just sitting under a tree. I hate sand in my sunscreen and wearing skimpy clothes to avoid dying from heat exhaustion.

But MAN I love my stone fruits.


We bought our first mangoes for the season the other day, and a massive punnet of white nectarines. They were all so amazing. Every single one.

And it’s but a mere, sweet, tart-free taste of the months ahead…

Almost makes up for the sticky, icky, exhausting weather.

Almost.

Fishing for Clouds

A few nights ago I dreamed the most entrancing little ditty.

Fortunately I woke up in the middle of the night with it ringing in my head, so I was able to sing it out loud and analyse it enough to visualise how it might look on paper. This made it stick in my memory so I could recall it the next morning.

I so love it when that happens.

It’s quite a light, happy melody (with just a tinge of angst) and it’s been going around my head ever since.

I sang it to the moon last night – and again this evening – and it accompanied the shimmering magic of those silvery clouds just perfectly. I have no words for it yet (I never do, when a melody pops into my head like that) but I think I owe it to the moon to develop this one into a proper song.

I’ve already settled on a title thanks to inspiration from the Daily Prompt – Fishing for Clouds has great potential, I think…

If I manage to record it I will let you know!

Oh Supermoon!

We missed the moonrise this evening, but got to a beach at Jervis Bay in time to watch the Supermoon playing peek-a-boo with the clouds as the sun set.

It was pretty magical.


I only had my iPhone, but still managed to get a few decent shots to remind me of such a special occasion.

My girls loved it too, which made me extra happy: I have some pretty fond memories of sharing significant astronomical moments with my parents as a child. I remember counting down the seconds to 1:23:45 on 6/7/89 with my dad. And we were at the radio telescope in Parkes when Voyager 2 encountered Neptune later that year. We were among the first people in the world to see the signal kick back in once the probe had traveled behind the planet and out the other side.


I hope there’s a parallel universe where another Meg is a successful astrophysicist, because that’s definitely a path I was curious to tread.

As it is, I’m happy to keep dabbling and sharing a love of all things lofty with my little ladies. We really are made of star stuff, and I always feel at peace when I can look at the sky.

13 days into November

And I’ve managed to post every day.


I’m on FIRE baby!

Where I’m at right now:

– Still horribly depressed and honestly just so over it. Sick of doing the bare minimum each day! Sick of spending so much energy fighting the urge to curl up in bed all day! Sick of being a grumpy mum who says “No!” all the time!

– Managing to stay on top of my health apart from that though. I’m doing my first grading for karate this Friday. 😀

– Had a bit of energy this afternoon so managed to get some cleaning done in the living room. We still have way too much crap, but a nice clear floor in the main living space really does make all the difference.

– Had a great chat with my in-laws after dinner this evening (we’ve started a regular dinner at their place on Sunday evenings, which I LOVE) and I’m feeling more relaxed about our financial security.

– Have my first session of work experience as a Teacher’s Aide tomorrow afternoon. 


I haven’t managed to finish my assignment for class on Tuesday though. It’s a big one, so I’m going to put the rest of it off until next weekend, as my husband has Thursday and Friday off work. So long as all assignments are in by the end of the course I won’t get penalised.

– I have fresh sheets on my bed this evening. They were dried in the sun today and smell soooo goooood!

– Have I mentioned how sick I am of being depressed? Look at this list! Things are going great right now. I wish I was biologically able to enjoy everything properly. *pout*

– My kitty was sleeping like this on my bed earlier today though, so that makes everything feel better…

Prim P

Primrose Penelope Pinkerton

Went for a walk one day.

With her head held high,

Her hat did fly,

Into the sky so grey.

….

If only she’d thought to have pinned it on

It wouldn’t have set itself free.

With a smile and a sigh,

She waved it goodbye,

Leaving it up in a tree.

….

(Inspired by the Daily Prompt)

(Because what the world needs right now is whimsy, damnit!)

Well.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the Daily Prompt – “second thoughts” – today. I made a conscious decision years ago to just not do regret, so I rarely have second thoughts about anything much anymore.

I can’t change the past, I can only control what I do with the consequences that arise from it. Holding grudges or getting lost in regret is the biggest waste of energy – energy that I simply cannot afford to spare.

So I let go of things and move on, and work out what to do about how things are now instead.

(Source)

But then I caught up with the US Election.

Now all I can think is:

I’m sorry, America. It’s not me, it’s you.

I try to keep divisive issues like politics out of my blog, but dayum I am in shock right now. I mean, really? The GOP speaks for you that much right now?

*shakes head*

The older I get, the more of a “bleeding heart liberal” I become. I truly do not understand how anyone in the First World can buy into the culture of fear and selfishness that conservative parties love to sell right now.

Honestly, we never had it so good.

So at the moment, I’m having second thoughts about engaging with the world at large at all. Conservative, exploitative, anti-intellectual, anti-science thought is sweeping through so many cultures right now, adding to the pain and suffering of vulnerable people everywhere, and it just…

I don’t understand.

Just do me a favour. Spend the next few days smiling at strangers; sharing a hug with someone you care about; losing yourself in music; getting absorbed in a moment of wonder at the amazing beauty that surrounds you – if you care to look for it.

Hope costs you nothing. Generosity simply adds to the joy in the world, in whichever small way you can spare it. The more love you give, the bigger and more abundant your heart becomes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a family to embrace. Good luck with your choice, America. I hope you don’t end up regretting it.