Joy is great. Sometimes it eludes us as we overthink it or we put far too much pressure on ourselves and others around our expectations and the pursuit of joy. Simple joys and lifelong passions are born and built when we don’t overthink things or try to be who we are not I feel.
We all react differently to different things. Some people love a good roller coaster some people would consider it torture. Damon loves the beach and could spend all day there, while I love a swim but the annoyance of sand everywhere after a frolic in the waves means I avoid the beach and tend to opt for forest bathing instead. My daughter loves crafting and crocheting while paying attention to painstakingly detailed patterns. The idea of following instructions for fun is laughable to me. Laughable, actually even thinking about it kinda stresses me out. Equally annoyed/stressed by sodoku, lists, or re-organising a linen cupboard. All of which are things that I know for a FACT bring people I know and Love joy. Weirdos. Just saying.
The point I am trying to make is that we are all unique beings. My idea of heaven on earth and the happiest place I can think of is actually a Star Trek cruise. Surrounded by fun, quirky, kind, and often traumatized (through bullying and harrowing life experiences) neuro diverse people like me. It is the only week on earth I feel genuinely free to be myself without judgement and find almost everyone else on the ship fascinating and fabulous. A Star Trek convention would probably be perceived as punishment to many of my neuro typical friends.
Finding what sparks our joy doesn’t have to be an exhaustive search. Really embracing things that excites you, despite whether or not other people think it is cool or worthwhile is a step toward holistically living your best life. If you like plants and gardening, every time you engage in these activities or actively seek communities who share your passion is building you a narrative and creating a community for you to find and feel joy and belonging.
Conversely, if you are forever finding reasons not to pursue and embrace the things that you actually like, because you are too busy doing the things you think you should, your soul starts to shrivel up like a prune. You don’t need to be a prune you are way better off being shiny and sparkly and satisfied instead of trudging through daily grinds doing things because you think you should, rather than enjoying the magic you could if you got really brave and honest.
Today’s blog I am gonna give us both some homework. Pop on a timer and brain storm a list of things that actually spark joy in you and write down as many as you can think of in two minutes.
Ready… steady… GO!
Here’s my list:
My asshole cat with three legs who never catches any birds and I worship even though he is… well, an asshole. His beautiful sweet tabby brother brings me joy too.
Geeking out over soil health, EV, and clean tech advances and finding amazing plants and animals thriving on the farm where we are blessed to be Kaitiaki
Having a good sweary rant with my goddesses about the state of the world. We talk about ideas and plan world domination rather than get weighed down just gossiping about boring people and talking about boring things
Nature … just a huge fan of soil and birdsong and this week I am OBSESSED with the baby bananas we have planted.
NOT dealing with emotional/social/general vampires
Alone time with the spunky monk
Hiding from society for days on end and turning off all my devices and embracing a digital detox
Memes that Jane/Debs/Ben and others post. So good.
Kay that was a little over two minutes… But actively writing down a few things that fill me with joy was helpful as a kinda gratitude journal exercise, but also has me thinking about hundreds of other little things that bring me huge joy. Laughing in the kitchen with the kids. Deep chats with Stephanie and feeling so proud of the fierce and funny goddess she is. Hugs. Oof I do LOVE hugs, only from my inner circle though clearly.
So the next step on this homework assignment for both of us is this.
Just make sure you engage in something that brings you joy. I’ve already patted my asshole cat, am currently writing, and have actively shut down an interaction with a dipshit dunning krugered up dork who thinks he’s far cooler than he actually is. Feels good to walk away from dipshits. I know not everyone can, and we all have to deal with some vampires in life. I’ve also scrolled a little bit and lolled at some memes. Tonight I will enjoy dinner at harbourside restaurant with my beloved future husband and spunky monk and keep my phone in my purse the whole time… unless I look fire… then all y’all are getting a cute pic on the Instagram cause sometimes that sparks joy too.
We’ve just joined the throngs of people who are catching up socially in outdoor situations. Guess we have been allowed to meet up in outdoor settings for a few weeks now, but aside from work and our already existing bubbles we kinda opted out of that scene until this week. Lately, being chill and mostly content with the tiny life I’m building with the spunky monk and our increasingly independent tribe of progeny, keeping mostly to ourselves suits my journey and keeps the PTSD and ADHD more-or-less in check. I still suffer from terrible anxiety and cycles of self-doubt and even self-loathing that can spiral out of control so I keep my circle small and only allow safe and lovely people near me. It is a strategy I strongly recommend! You’ll need to deal with assholes and toxic types from time to time as they still exist, but in your time and in your space, being incredibly selective and demanding respect, honesty, joy, and encouragement is a winning strategy.
Here’s what I think. Mindset and morality are essentially contagious. If you hang out with angry, mean, judgemental, greedy, scared people that behaviour will be normalized. You will be susceptible to catching it. If you hang out with joyful, interesting, quirky, kind, and hopeful people, well their light will brighten the shininess of those things inside you. Seriously. We become who we surround ourselves with. I choose to be surrounded with superstars and will suffer no fools or two-faced self-serving shenanigans. I tolerated that shit in the past, but my huge heart and shiny, happy, generous soul are far too wonderful a resource to be squandered on shitheads. Same goes for you. You will have your own magic and there’s always good bits and bad bits fighting it out in each of us, but trust me, you deserve shiny not shitty people. Being that energy is how you attract it too. It’s like an infinite loop of shiny. Don’t get trapped in an infinite loop of shitty.
Saying all that, we still have to deal with strangers and meet new people. Sometimes that’s cool, sometimes it is a challenge. How we react when we are challenged says a lot about us and changes the energy of that situation and countless ripples of situations that are affected by us in that moment.
Let me try to explain, using an example from last night.
We have been trying to catch up with our beloved friends for months and months. Lockdowns and chaos often intercepted our plans countless times, but last night, although we were running late, we finally managed to lock in a BBQ with this beloved family who have over the years become very close to us.
We were going to make dessert for the dinner, but work on the farm kept us much busier this week than we’d anticipated, so we rushed to New World and bought frozen desserts and then planned on grabbing a nice drop of wine at the bottle shop just around the corner and on the way to our friends home.
We unplugged the car and Damon parked up and I rushed into the store. I was reminded at the door to scan in (something I am usually epically good at remembering) and I rushed around and grabbed a chilled bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a really decent bottle of Central Otago Pinot.
Got the the checkout, and the very young clerk asked me for ID. At first I laughed. But he was quite serious.
Flustered, I pulled my mask down really quickly and said: “Oh that’s incredibly nice of you, but I am 43 see” and put it back in place. He didn’t budge. I said the ID was in the car, as I only rushed in with my phone. He politely said I had to get it.
I mumbled “Oh FFS!” and rushed out to grab my purse.
Damon and the kids laughed their asses off for a minute or two, and for some reason that still escapes me, nobody passed me my purse with my ID. Instead, Damon huffed in half chuckling half annoyed with his wallet in hand.
In the end, the clerk refused to serve him as well, and we rushed off empty handed and relayed the story to our hosts who thought the whole thing was quite a compliment and probably owing in no small part to the little house on the prairie pigtails I was wearing that evening.
So here’s the rub of the story I am trying to convey in today’s blog.
Being ID’d at the age of 43 is a huge compliment, but I kinda felt it was quite genuinely absurd too. How many underage people pull up in a Tesla to buy a $60 bottle of wine on a Wednesday evening I thought. Truth is, I am used to getting my way and being treated really well in most situations. I am a spoiled, powerful, wealthy, occasionally whingeing white woman. And both Damon and I were less than awesome in this situation. I could have/should have calmly collected my ID as he asked but the whole situation was just so surreal, and we were in a rush so it played out with almost Cohen Brother movie absurdity instead of just being simply resolved.
This kid was following procedure and actually doing a pretty great job in what I am assuming could be a stressful customer service role. But it all happened so fast and both Damon and I acted without grace but I look at it as a learning exercise.
I could choose to leave a terrible review or never return to that store. Or I can think about how the kid trying to serve us might see the situation. I could have been upset and stomped around and let the whole situation ruin my evening, or I could do what I did and tell the story (with my kids and fiancé as witnesses) and then carry on with a truly magical evening filled with great conversation and huge belly laughs with some of my beloved sparkly people.
I chose the sparkle.
Today as I reflect on the situation, I think I may even put a good google review up stating how professional and polite the clerk was.
So that’s my blog. Crazy wonderful evening, punctuated by a strange but interesting learning event and an opportunity for me to reflect on the kind of person I am and want to be.
Now I will be heading out to run errands and have to deal with many more strangers, and I just hope that I manage to be sparkly not shitty in each and every one of these opportunities today.
And gosh I am grateful for our gorgeous friends. The laughter and hospitality last night has left me almost stunned by how blessed I feel to have such special people in our circle.
Hope I soon get to see more of my favourite sparkly people too.
Current situation here = surviving way more than thriving. Normally I relish a good lockdown. This time I am among the throngs of “languishers”. It is less than fantastic.
So a while back I walked away from the hurricane pace and futile and incessant race toward external validation to try to calm the neglected and traumatised child in me. Well, since my massive mega mic drop I have found peace and comfort. Unmedicated, and unincumbered by the unrelenting and absolute dread and self-loathing that used to guide my crazy ass into battle or into a bottle, I can sit and just be. Often feeling so incredibly blessed far more than stressed. It no longer hurts to breathe. Most of the time I can rationally face many or most challenges. Lockdowns were for the most part like a wonderful warm hug that allowed me more time with my fiancé, kids and cats. The bubble was safe not constricting as I had nowhere else I’d rather be…
This round not so blissful.
I am agitated, touchy, uncertain and feeling helpless in my safe cushy bubble while people I Love and respect or hustling through some pretty spicy struggles. I feel trapped. I feel nervous. It’s probably all very useful to be feeling these feelings as many or most people were wading through them in previous lockdowns and redundancy rounds while they were trying to remain upright on very shaky ground. This is a bit of an exercise in empathy.
(you knew that was coming, seriously, you must have)
However, and this may just be the algorithm change in my social media feeds, however this round I have been absolutely impressed and ignited by the people I know who are bravely setting course on their quest toward boundaries, self-care, and good mental health.
Being on the journey doesn’t mean everything is going to be great all the time just because you make better choices and do the work. There’s still some absolutely harrowing and undeniably shitty stints, shaky feelings and crying in your burrito blanket bits. Life’s meant to hurt. We are supposed to feel really big feelings sometimes those really big feelings are out of our control like grief, anxiety, or the recently identified reaction of so many of us to this jarring lockdown… languishing.
So here’s something I have noticed in the last year or two. There are some fierce fucking humans taking a super raw and real look at themselves and their mental health, and facing their demons and trauma head on. I cannot overstate how terrifyingly vulnerable taking these first steps can be for any and all of us.
The absolute and unadulterated clusterfuckery that has been crescendo-ing and crashing around us has affected everyone differently.
This blog is a blatant bellow, a serious shout out, a veritable and vociferous vocalisation, and an unabashed acknowledgment of the kick-assedness of you being on your journey and getting messy and honest and being exceptionally brave and yelling:
What, the actual fuck. I DESERVE MORE THAN THIS!!!
And then getting out there and making changes and taking chances and doing the shit they were scared to do. Some of the changes were forced on my fabulous friends, some of them they took the leap of their own volition. Some things worked out. Some things fell flat. Every single person that springs to mind and was the motivation for today’s sweary chronical from my cranium is still struggling through, the main difference is that they are now doing it on their terms not someone else’s. They are setting boundaries, letting go, holding on, loving, leaping, learning, and yes… sometimes just languishing. But wow seeing them bravely stand up and be counted has filled up my cup so it is so fucking full it overflows.
I may need to tone my enthusiasm down in some cases.
Many… many… MANY of my tribe are going through separations or divorces. This is a testing time for relationships, and some just broke under the weight of lockdowns and so much uncertainty. Strangely, the first half a dozen or so my response was:
“Oh, I am so sorry. Are you okay?”
But after navigating my own Dee-lightful (and often difficult and undeniably harrowing and loooooong and drawn out) divorce my response has actually changed to:
Weird right? Or maybe not. Divorce sucks. It brings up a level of grief matched only by losing someone or something that is truly cherished and beloved. Even if things were shit, a marriage or union is a living breathing force that was nurtured by the participants over a long period and through unimaginable obstacles and challenges. Putting that entity to rest is going to smart.
I got sidetracked.
Listen, I hope you stumble across this blog, and I hope you know that it is you am talking to.
Life is fucking weird.
You are doing really great.
Okay…. That’s my sweary blog.
Much Love to you wherever you are at on your journey or in your relationships, romances, personal or professional life right now. There’s gonna be shit bits. But you have got this.
I met Damon nearly a decade ago although our paths crossed only briefly and irregularly for most of those years. Usually we’ve met at sustainability events of one sort or another at which we seem to have a bit of a history of publicly debating with one another.
One of our first such “debates” occurred at a conference at AUT. We were listening to a woman from one of NZ’s largest fisheries presenting on her organisation’s efforts to become sustainable and Damon asked about the overall sustainability of the entire fishing industry.
It was a fair question, but my concern went to the speaker, as much as his was with the ocean and sea life. That’s where the issues of social and environmental justice intersect – women have had to fight so hard to be heard and seen so I tend to take their side no matter what!
I have a fierce loyalty to women doing the best they can with what they have and you will see me standing up for friends or even foes many times again before my final breath. I often have to stand up for people and I rarely shy away from doing so and I’d like to think others would do the same for me when it’s their turn to be brave.
I will have friends backs and fronts and I will also tell people plainly if I do not like them and why – even though that’s not the kiwi way though I understand my candour can be considered obnoxious. I prefer that to being passive aggressive. Ask me one day how many fucks I give about the people I offend or scare through authenticity or bravery and I’m sure you can guess the answer. So many more things to concern ourselves with in these crazy times. Bruising the odd ego doesn’t make that list.
Speaking of other more important issues, say for example bullying and poverty, I remember driving with some associates to a vegan fundraising dinner to kick off a food poverty awareness initiative some years ago now.
All those in attendance were there to commit to a campaign to live on a three dollar a day budget for an entire month. That challenge forever changed the way I looked at food security and the social and psychological impacts of being hungry. I remember being so grumpy and hungry toward the end of the challenge having to live on oats, kiwifruit, and very little else.
That short time was my turn to walk a month in the shoes of the roughly one in five of the people in Aotearoa that live under the poverty line. This was my turn to be hungry and feel the ripples of sadness and insecurity that thrived in the dusty soil of that hunger and hopelessness. It was my turn to feel that way and fuck it opened my white privileged eyes wide and in short order. Opinions on health and obesity were turned on their head and I still think about that time a lot. Poverty is a prison without bars and society makes it nearly fucking impossible to break free. I don’t personally have a strategy or the answers to change this, but I do know how easy my life has been financially and how rare that is and how most people in my position completely take it for granted.
It was a little look into a reality that makes me angry and sad and left me bereft of the ability to judge the diets of those on the bread line or marginalised without food security. For the first time in the just over thirty years on the planet I finally understood the incredible pull of fat and sugar to fill an ongoing and relentless void. It wasn’t just the food. It was the feeling. That feeling of empty and helpless that comes from being denied access to nutrition and variety and the joy that good food brings to me and most of my peers.
Anyway. That whole time that it was my turn to be hungry and dig deep into my undeniable and sporadically documented white privileged guilt was kicked off in the same room as a man who would several years later become my fiancé. How weird is that right?
On the way to the event one of the people who joined me that evening had a lengthy dialogue about Damon being “beautiful” and I do believe that was the night he was in my reckoning christened “the Kiwi Ken Doll of sustainability” in my mind and vernacular. I saved his number in my phone under that name as a bit of a joke. He had no idea. Our paths crossed soon after that event as he invited me to do a Pecha Kucha presentation on electrification of transport in Aotearoa. Anyway. It was a lovely event and evening although I actually didn’t talk to Damon at all that night. He was there with a large group of friends and colleagues looking aloof and stylish and adored. I was also still very married to my Phoulmate Phteven. It was not my turn to talk to Damon that night. But my turn would come.
As an aside, I feel it is worth mentioning because I LOVE this bit… Those two associates I attended the event with are both long gone from my life as they in turn proved to be truly horrid and/or spectacularly incompetent as friends, colleagues, and sadly just awful human beings. Sure they have their stories, we are all shoveling shit but they proved to be at best cowards and at worst petty, malicious, greedy and nasty. To them I was not a friend but a gravy train or a quick stop at a station as they manipulated and complained their way through life. They had their turn and plenty of time and countless chances to prove themselves to be decent or at least beautifully broken and fascinating. They failed on all counts in spectacular fashion.
I can handle just about any character flaws and do not shy away from complication or intensity in people. It’s an honour to have met and known so many souls for moments or for decades. I love people, the quirkier and more authentic the better, and so many have and will continue to offer colourful threads as my life’s tapestry continues to be woven. A smile grows steadily on my face and a sigh of relief escapes as I write this account of letting go of toxic people. I do not hate them. That would require effort. I just cherish the distance I now enjoy without them and many others who have been. I’ve gladly let go of a good many assholes, and sadly let go of some lovely people who simply were not meant to remain in my narrative or me in theirs over the years. Some I miss dearly, most I do not miss at all, or even think about unless I am recounting or recalling a story that brings one of those many closed chapters to mind.
Perhaps some of the people who have passed through our life and fallen are doing great things. I hope so. Truly, I generally and genuinely hope the absolute best for most everyone I meet. Awareness, growth, learning, laughter, Love. I wish these things even for… perhaps especially for those I have moved on from. Not those two though, they’re like wrinkly, officious, sad, insecure, mean versions of fairy tale ugly step-sisters and last I heard neither of them are particularly at ease or happy in Love or in life. I still hope things turn around for them, but it needs to be at a vast distance from me.
It is now my turn to have only healthy, honest and mutually respectful and encouraging relationships. Don’t get me wrong, we are all perfectly imperfect and in relationships, even healthy ones, we drop the ball and even argue at times. Conflict is okay and usually passes pretty quickly between the stoic sisterhood that remains in my world. But no more ugly step sister constant building them up and being let down and put down and treated like shit. That’s old me. It’s my turn to have boundaries, standards and respect. And I do. And it is fucking brilliant, even if it takes some effort and solid and earnest communication which can of course be staggered as I don’t really see people much these days…
We have our turns being villain, victor, victim and a vast variety of parts in our time and in our turn. I’ve moved rather far from the intended theme of this conversation. It has taken a typically tangential turn into something completely different than what I wanted to say when I started this outpouring of reminiscing and ranting as I so often do when my fingertips find their rhythm and the story takes on a life of its own.
What I wanted to say, was that after a decade of dancing around one another, Damon and I have now just spent two very intense and generally lovely and uplifting years together – it seems to be our turn to be happy.
Damon has also just changed his professional trajectory. He has said since the very first night we… erm… “hung out” that he felt a distinct and compelling urge to take a break and make some changes. Not because he was unhappy or unfulfilled or unwanted in his role. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has spent nearly seven years working solidly toward a spectacularly successful vision. His role as CEO at EcoMatters was an integral part of countless people’s lives in our sector and especially in the West of Auckland.
Damon led a talented, terrific and magically motley crew of passionate community and environmental champions to a place I can barely describe without tearing up a little. The culture of safety, inclusion, diversity, kindness, and hope that embraces you when you step over the threshold of the community centre is something so special I was honestly intimidated by it at first. After fits and starts and feeling like I might not be good enough for the “Kiwi Ken Doll of Sustainability” who was clearly a beloved and charismatic leader, I finally reached a place where I earned the trust and respect of most of his leadership team (I hope) and I relish any excuse to cross paths with them now. In just two more sleeps we will be at a farewell event for my beloved. None of the team wanted to see him go, but they love and respect him enough to know he’s due a little rest. He will keep his toe in the water and continue to contract to them while he takes a sabbatical and considers any number of the exciting options being made available to him as the market gets a whiff of the news he and his charisma and skillset are potentially available for hire. He can and will do whatever he wants, but first he needs a little rest.
He has juggled so very many balls for so very long. Not the least of which has been caring for my crazy ass through the second breakdown (that’s Dee’s Behemoth Breakdown V.2.0 for those paying attention to the sequence of events and titles they’ve been given).
He waited patiently for his turn and the right time to ask me out. He was brave. He was patient. He was calm. He was honest. He came to a couples therapy session with me two weeks into our relationship. He has been kind and generous and helpful to my family, and charming as fuck to my friends. And you know what… It is his turn to do whatever he needs to do right now.
It is my turn to be his calm and comfort. He is tired. He has run a personal and professional marathon as so many of us do and have. When it was my turn to take a break, the whole universe rose to the occasion and my once chaotic life was suddenly and serenely sized down. He kept calm and carried on for me and so many through countless personal and professional challenges. I have had nearly two years of regeneration and recovery and I had no idea how fucking far and firm I would eventually find my financial, physical, mental, emotional, and social shit coming together. My life is unrecognizable and the next chapter is so authentically and electrifyingly exciting I cannot wait to share our plans with you all. From high flying to low lying I am preparing for the most wonderful chapter of my incredible story so far.
So. Like you, I’ve had my turn as the supportive and the supported in many a relationship and many a dynamic.
After a strange but successful recovery from a long and painful descent into madness… it is now my turn to let my partner pick his pace. While I am well rested and ready to hit the starting blocks for our next project, he really does need some time before we kick off the next race.
And that’s what I was trying to say. It’s my turn to turn it up a bit while Damon takes a much needed and unbelievably well-deserved breath.
After being the Director, Editor, Executive Producer and Starring Role in my own painfully public nervous breakdown (and the sequel Dee’s Behemoth Breakdown V.2.0), I decided to (or was forced to) take a colossal amount of quiet time.
Nearly two years into meticulously observed and strictly imposed safety and warmth of the chrysalis that has been created for me to heal in, I have hit a wall. Upon reflection, on balance it has been, brilliant…
And doesn’t there always seem to be “however”. Many, perhaps most of life’s learnings seem to be wrapped in ribbons of “however” and the simplest and clearest accounts and content are actually sometimes the background and “however” is the subject.
So, life’s been safe and serene and simple for quite some time. Allowing assholes, agendas and vampires to steer my boat has all but ended. Assuaging guilt and shame by embracing some ridiculous messiah complex has taken a back seat to self-care and reflection. Busy has been bounced from the venue of my life and rather than a booze fueled rave or being securely strapped tight to a roller coaster I never really understood or felt in control of, I am recently feeling sorta stranded. It feels lately like an incredibly boring health and wellness retreat. Or a waiting room. With calming guided meditations and Enya music playing in the background.
I mean, booze fueled ranting and raving and manic screaming into the abyss while on some terrifying rollercoaster doesn’t interest me in the slightest… It didn’t even while that was the scene I manufactured. To be fair, I am plagued by the fallout from being on that wild ride for so long, but somehow I feel out of sorts and adrift.
There was a genuine comfort in being an oversharing hot mess. I felt comfortable in the role. Like I was meant to be the warning to others so they could watch from the safety of their vantage points and shake their heads think “whoa, at least I’m not quite as fucking out there as that Dee…” and save themselves some level of self-loathing as I’d busy myself rolling down the cliff of self-destruction. I felt seen. Terrified, vulnerable and lonely but also… helpful? Authentic? Sincere? Noticed.
After landing with a mighty thud (twice) at the bottom of that cliff and being safe in a proverbial padded suite in some metaphorical five star resort where my absolute cunt of a mother can’t derail me and people who have not proved their salt as steadfast and supportive friends aren’t even allowed access to the lobby has been pretty fucking sweet actually.
So why am I so angry? Why am I so sad? Not depressed… not stressed. Just… pissed off.
Here’s what I reckon triggered this.
Seemingly inconsequential teenage tantrum as I asked for a coffee (it wasn’t the coffee, it was grace I was pleading for)
Sharing a very sweet and uplifting memory from 9 years ago on a page I admin for that got virtually no traction, while the whole admin team has to manage trolls and flame wars on that same page daily… I mean honestly, WTF!
Limbo (waiting for things to be finalized and the future to start unfolding)
Hope being tested. The world is again (still) in a terrifying state of being simultaneously on fire and under water. Climate change deniers, anti-vaxers and lockdown protestors have taken to the streets
White privilege guilt. It’s heavy and while mostly I choose to manage it by trying to be a decent and active advocate for justice and change… a couple of spoiled middle-aged billionaires burned up countless tons of kerosine to jack themselves off racing into space…
Holy shit. There’s heaps there. And my heart is heavy with so much more. I’ll spare you and move this blog closer to its wrap though.
But I feel better. Just writing it down. Writing it down and thinking maybe someone somewhere is going to read it and glean some comfort or wisdom that’s only made possible by me being the hot mess that I have been subverting for some time. I feel better thinking someone might be pissed off or triggered by my rage and maybe think about who they are and what they can and should be doing to make the world better not worse.
I am in a safe, Loving, healthy and communicative relationship with both my former and future husbands. I make (mostly) good decisions and am the kick ass consistent and impressive kind of parent I was too strangled, neglected, and gaslighted to be with my asshole mother telling me I was crazy and useless and sabotaging every imaginable aspect of my life she could get her fat lazy fingers on. I am healthy. I am safe. I am brave. I am surrounded by Love and support in a way my traumatized inner child could never possibly have imagined.
However… I have been keeping it all to myself.
My fiancé and b’ness partner for the next chapter in my narrative is a distinctly private, aloof and stoic creature. He equal parts struggles and admires my desire to shout and share and connect with people and situations. He rarely makes rash decisions and almost never looks the fool. His ability to be bubbling over internally and appear to be the king of calm to the untrained eye is staggering and I respect and admire it. I’ve learned a shitload about making decisions in a state of calm and acknowledging when the ego takes over. He’s caught the brunt of my wrath and juggled full time work, sorting our lives and future, keeping my divorce and our farm on track and every day… I MEAN EVERY fucking day… he holds my face in his hands and tells me I am beautiful and he Loves and appreciates me. Often through tear filled crystal blue eyes shining from his ridiculously handsome face.
Seriously. Who wouldn’t be pissed-off am-I-right!
Clearly I jest. He saved my fucking life. He gets along with my ex, the kids adore him, and he champions every part of my chaotic being. All this as he balances his own deep-seated desire for anonymity with my almost manic desire to share, feel, hear, be, say and do things loudly and with reckless abandon.
He followed my journey for years from a distance, and cringed and cried along with everyone else at my frequent blogs and my journey into madness. He was only romantically interested in me some time after his relationship dissolved, it was a picture of me in a cosplay corset that tipped him into romantic curiosity. Now he’s poised on the precipice of our nuptials and for the most part he’s pleasantly surprised that my chaos and crazy is actually quite manageable as I’m self-aware and only a fraction as fucked up as I may have portrayed myself.
(Here comes the denouement)
However. I need to reach out and I need to write. I need to be seen. I’ve been protecting myself and everyone else for fear of offending or opening up old wounds.
Holy shit the dating data that comes in from my tribe leaves me staring blankly at my screen muttering “what the actual fuck…” with alarming frequency.
One of the kindest, coolest, calmest, wittiest and most beautiful women you’re ever going to meet just posted on her story that some bullshit storm of truly sad and pathetic human messaged her saying:
“I’ve started talking to someone prettier than you, so I am going to chase her now.”
What a very special flavour of despicable that dipshit clearly is. This woman lost her truest, smartest, kindest and most wonderful soulmate to cancer a few years ago and it has taken incredible courage for her gentle and tender heart to heal up enough to get back in the ring. I am absolutely fucking fuming just thinking that there are people this terrible, but also incredibly pleased she’s clearly dodged a bullet. What. An. Asshole.
Clearly, I wrote to her that very moment I read it, reminding her she is a beyond beautiful and a powerful goddess and I Love her very much. But oof it felt like someone punched me in the heart reading that and remembering being in the occasionally terrifying trenches of tinder or the drifts and doldrums of chats and then dates. Strangely, I pine for parts of the delirious dance since settling down in a magnificently monogamous relationship. Then I re-calibrate my remembering machine (brain) and I remember more clearly the clusterfucks and chaos. Some of which changed me forever in unimaginably great ways, and some were just plain awful and left somebody (sometimes me, sometimes them) crying for days.
My partner and I did not meet online, we had known each other through sustainability circles and mutual friends for close to a decade, and lucky for my undeniably crazy ass he is a very patient man and sat squarely on the sidelines for a few years after he found himself single again. One rather unremarkable Wednesday evening found him in my house and it wasn’t too many months after that August evening he moved in and never left.
We can’t swap stories of our online dating adventures, he has no stories and would rather not hear about my adventures. That’s fair, but sometimes I worry he might have missed out. He vehemently disagrees.
So, if you are like so many people who have found themselves single, recently or for some stretch of time, can I please share a few learnings from dating disasters and delights? It’s a snake pit out there, but there are lovely, kind, wonderful not snake like individuals navigating dating just like you, and seeking something much more sacred than a one night stand. Or, maybe not. You gotta decide what you’re looking for and manifest that shit like a boss… I loved and hated dating so much. Here is just a handful of hints to helping protect your heart and save you some precious time.
You have them, we all do. Hear them! If you feel something is not quite right, remove yourself from the situation and stay gone. If you’re feeling like you’re vibing, check in with the other. Even this can still be dangerous territory as you will absolutely happen across players and narcissists who say what they think you want to hear to get into the proximity they wanna be (in your pants). Take your time whatever you do and don’t let anyone know where you live or work until you have done enough mutual background checking and you feel safe to do so.
If you’re just looking for some light distraction and entertainment and your spidey sense starts tingling that the person you’re chatting with might be angling for more, you gotta check that before you wreck them.
Instincts. We all got ‘em. Listen and act accordingly.
Meet first in crowded and safe public place
Clearly most people know the drill here. You must do face to face meet and greet before venturing beyond the digital realm, and please ALWAYS meet in a neutral, well lit, and preferably crowded location before seeing someone in private. Terrifically trendy coffee shops or cafes with great outdoor seating are an ideal place to scope out the talent.
Whenever you are with anyone, and for however long you spend dating, you will save yourself and others a lot of heartache and frustration if you are clear and concise from the very beginning. Be honest with yourself and those you meet about what you are looking for and your expectations. If you want a relationship, say so. If you aren’t ready, let people know. You’ll need to check in with some regularity if you are dating someone often or for extended lengths of time. Situations and feeling change, keep ahead of confusion by having regular check ins on where you are both at and how you are both feeling.
I highly recommend you venture into the realm of dating with the understanding it’s a numbers game, like most things. You will not meet your perfect match immediately no matter how much you’ve manifested it, and feelings very rarely flow freely and equally in both directions. I would strongly implore you to look at the whole thing lightly, and hope you meet a friend or two and learn a lot about other people. Mostly though, you gotta get out there and try stuff so you can learn more about you! You are so infinitely and powerfully important and worthy of respect and Love. I have made some genuinely wonderful friends on dating adventures. Clearly, some of which became more than friends for a reason or a season, some of them we lacked the spark or opportunity, but I check in with a handful of them and many are happily coupled now while some are keenly enjoying their singledom in perpetuity as I knew they were destined to do.
Walk when it’s done
I had, and occasionally continue to have difficulty with this one. I said earlier that feelings don’t always flow equally in both directions, well, I’ve been guilty of not being able to take a hint and carrying on contacting a few former “friends” when it served neither of us to do so. Going back to the very first point I made, your instinct will let you know if a situation is safe or if it is shitty, so listen to that gut. And ffs make a blanket rule NO DRUNK TEXTING regardless of the situation because that is just nasty and you gonna feel a fool when that bottle of Sauv works it way through your system and you read back. Eat a cracker and stop. Do NOT chase people. Move on and be strong like the fierce fiery creature of creativity and kindness you are destined to be.
Love YOU because YOU are magnificent
You are beautiful, perfect, funny, feisty, fabulous and absolutely wonderful in the eyes of a soulmate or kindred friends you will meet in this life. There will be those who are able to see you for the beautiful you that you are, and there will be blind idiots who completely miss the point. That’s fine, they don’t deserve your magic anyway! Don’t get yourself out there and online until you truly know this shit. Seriously, if you are looking for validation this is not the place to find it. Also, make sure you have the Love and support of some seriously sturdy friends who will hug you when your heart hurts and listen to your adventures in dating and laugh loud and long at the misses and high five you when you hit some lofty heights. Not every catch up will create sparks, and not everyone is going to call you back. That’s cool, you don’t need dipshits in your life, so if you are hoping for something that doesn’t happen, just do your hair toss and check those nails because soon enough you’ll be back to feeling good as hell.
There’s a lot more advice I could/would give you but I gotta head out to dinner and then back to scrub more grout to get my sweetheart’s house ready for sale. Plan to be in bed before 9:30 like most evenings since my last messy breakdown. Life’s a piece of shit sometimes, and we all have to pick ourselves up and brush ourselves off and keep going. But only when you’re ready! Don’t give up on you, you can totally give up on dating, but you are absolutely perfect, and nobody really knows how, where or when the right people will see that perfection, but it will happen and it could last a magical moment or the rest of your life. With or without a partner, you gotta know that you are a fucking absolute star, I know that you are. So, there’s my dating blog.
Thanks for Reading.
Ps. Love you Em, fuck that guy he was a total dickhead you’re much better off.
Optimism is contagious; as is joy, laughter, community, collaboration, kindness (there’s even a documentary on contagious compassion and kindness)… I challenge you to flash a broad and authentic smile at even the most surly looking stranger and not see a light go on in them. As true as this all is, the stark reality remains, that negativity, pessimism, doubt and (possibly most dangerously) fear are also contagious. The forces of good and evil are engaged in a constant dance within and around each and every one of us, and processing that has genuinely left me almost completely incapacitated. It is likely that there’s a few more of us out there trying to figure out the world and their place in it, and feeling a bit burned out or overwhelmed in the process.
This journey is exhausting at the best of times, and this particular blip on the time space continuum really can’t be diagnosed as a universal high point for humanity. Probably safe to say that almost none of us have been left unchanged by the changes and challenges introduced through the pandemic and any number of local, regional and international issues that have unfolded in recent history. There are bits of beauty, and strange serendipitous events surfacing through the fog that would never have been given the bandwidth to begin, let alone thrive, without all the chaos and confusion. Let’s focus today on identifying and honouring the things we can manage and/or control, and actively asking the things that distract us or detract from our growth and journey to fuck all the way off.
It’s okay if we force ourselves to take a breath, relax, and centre for as long as we need to. And what better time to do this and practice radical self-care than the actual end of the world as we know it? We are in the midst of a painful rebirth/transition made absolutely necessary because of the greed and short sightedness of countless actors on the stage of the industrial revolution. We fucked shit up. All of us. Seriously. Go ahead and disagree with me, it doesn’t make this observation any less true.
There’s a lot of work ahead of each and every individual keen to rebuild better and embrace unthinkable possibilities like clean energy, sustainability, peace, creativity, community, and safety and justice for all. With so much out of our control, maybe it’s time we focused on the things we can manage and audaciously identify and eject or reject the things you cannot. As simple as it sounds, I think you might find the pursuit of this balance is rather a lot. Ouch, look as I lean in and fall toward strained and awkward rhyme. Do it every time. Ba dum pscchht.
Okay… So. Catching and spreading good feels and blocking or protecting ourselves and others from negativity and falling into patterns of blame, ignorance, arrogance, excuses, finger pointing, fear and generally damaging fuckery. Let’s do this.
In the spirit of lazy but (hopefully) interesting journalism/slacktivism, let me impart a list of suggestions, based predominantly on my own opinions, but delivered to you in a format that makes it look ever so slightly and annoyingly official and well researched. Ready? Let’s do this!
Ask and Share
You are the youest you that ever there was or ever will be. You are also privy to a plethora of possessions and expressions and blessings (both tangible and metaphorical) that the world craves and needs. Share your knowledge. Share your gifts. Share your resources. Share your experiences. And be brave enough to ask clearly for things when and if you need them. Asking for things is a huge hurdle for empaths and creatures of kindness. Fear of rejection or concern you may be inconveniencing someone often makes asking even harder than saying no to things. Being on the giving or receiving end of no is an integral part of this process, as no is a gift from you and to you as without a reasonable level of no in life, there’s no room for heartfelt, brave and passionate yes to exist. If that didn’t make sense, may I suggest you read it again until you understand it. No makes space for yes. Saying no can show you care, for yourself and others.
When you are amplifying or sharing information through any medium, please remember to test the veracity and usefulness of your narrative with:
Is it TRUE?
And last, but absolutely not least… is what you are about to say or do KIND???
If not, maybe just don’t. Eat a cracker and stop.
Oh I have lost count of those of you who are spread so thin by life and things in and out of your control that you are coasting on little more than caffeine, convictions and adrenaline. HEAR ME NOW! Stop. Just fucking stop. Find a thing that brings you joy, shut everything else out and do that thing for enough time that you start to recharge your beleaguered batteries.
There comes a time in all our lives when the only reasonable and responsible thing to do is curl up in a blanket. Crying is optional but I find it incredibly cathartic and cleansing while I resort to burrito stasis. Burrito time can absolutely include bingeing on actual burritos, shitty TV, books, or music. I’d caution you to avoid the Internet for the duration of your burrito adventure, as detoxing from socials while in your burrito will help you to come back and be extra contagious earlier and more effectively than if you resort to scrolling while snuggled in your blanket.
This is so important. Just reading the word kicks something quite visceral in my gut into action. Quite often the hardest person to forgive is yourself. And hanging on to blame or anger toward anyone just hurts you and gives them space in your beautiful heart and head. So forgive yourself. Forgive others. Move on and if someone is proper toxic block that fucking noise from your life and keep fucking moving forward. Being unincumbered by the weight of shame, blame, regret and excuses makes you yummy and interesting. Being a negative, gossipy, bitchy asshole makes people wanna go hang out with someone lighter who forgives and forges ahead (more on that next).
Inertia is a seriously powerful force, as is propulsion. No matter how fast or slow you move, the direction and the continued directional force toward whatever goals you are chasing is the formula to success. Take a break. But get back up and keep going when you feel safe and ready to do so.
Pick a Pace
Don’t be a fucking hero. If you are going hell for leather all the time it is absolutely inevitable you’ll end up a puddle at some point. There will be sharp, short bursts of energy and activity that you’ll need to observe, respect and get through… but then you sure as shit better stop and recharge. Nobody can go hard all the time without breaking themselves and setting dangerous and unrealistic standards for those around them. Pick a pace or you’ll never finish the race.
When you really understand that we are always learning and there’s so much more to know and show and so many ways for us to grow, that’s where the magic of curiosity kicks in and it is contagious as anything we have covered today. Seek knowledge. Get excited when you are clearly (and kindly with respect) proved wrong or questioned or challenged. Try new things. Go new places. Stop making excuses and start making creative and expansive mistakes and magical triumphs. None of that happens without curiosity. When we stop being curious we atrophy and our light dims until we find something to stoke the fire again.
Be and Receive Kindness
I don’t know if this is the fifth, fiftieth or five hundredth meandering search for meaning you have read from my broken but eternally hopeful heart. Trust me when I say that I know that YOU know when you are being kind, and you also know when you are being an asshole. Don’t be an asshole. Find ways and means to be kind to people, even if and when they don’t deserve it. Smile at a stranger when you feel like crying, but cry when you need to. Seek the kindness and comfort of true friends who celebrate you and want to see you evolve and succeed. Tell the fucking truth, to yourself and others. Tell it with kindness though (I say this because I can be incredibly obnoxious and direct, and you can say the same thing in a different way and show much more respect). Let people Love you and protect and respect your boundaries and theirs. You know when you are being kind, so fucking make a huge effort to do it because that shit is proper contagious and the world needs more of it.
The human condition is a rollercoaster even for the most sublimely spiritually evolved beings. For the rest of us who aren’t so incredibly evolved, it is so often frustrating, confounding, confronting and exhausting. Know that how you speak, act and are will affect people around you. Energy you share and spend leaves you and then it is more or less out of your control who picks it up or how, so try and make that energy positive or inspiring rather than negative and exhausting. Failing your ability to be a ray of fucking sunshine all the time, please demand of yourself some down time to recharge so you can come back and kick some ass with your sparkle and kindness. Thanks.
Woof. How you doing? We are on the home stretch toward the end of a rather harrowing year, so I thought I’d take minute to drop a few lines on the screen and check in with you.
School holidays was a lot for those of us who embarked on the dizzying and chaotic journey of parenthood. The uncertainty and pace of change has been tough for the kids, and different family cultures seem to be managing things very differently.
Our family choose laughter and a lot of somewhat nihilistic truth bombs. The kids and their friends are feeling the energy of precariousness and change as it is all around them. I won’t lie and tell them everything is going to be okay. Nobody knows what is next. The only thing we actually have any control over is how we choose to act and react to things. Reacting with grace and bravery seems to come quite naturally to these quirky kids though so that’s good. I don’t have many answers, and I suspect their parents and teachers are equally at a loss when it comes to offering helpful advice or guidance in these very strange times. All I can provide is a safe and consistent place for them to air their concerns, as we set aside our daily sacred journey to and from school where nobody has to be brave or stoic. We just jostle over who gets control of the playlist and everyone gets a turn to air things that may be of concern to them that day or in general. Laughter is our therapy on the school run, and it is a safe place for all of us and the soundtrack changes daily.
The Election. We voted over the weekend, and my only observation is probably: “What. The. Actual. Fuck.” My faith in democracy has been shaken an awful lot in recent months, but I am quietly optimistic that NZ is going to continue on a trajectory or hope and sustainability. We aren’t perfect, but my tribe and I feel absolutely blessed to be safe and sound here on these shaky but unquestionably safer-than-most-places-on-earth-right-now isles.
Has anyone else noticed there’s a plethora of divorce and separation hovering around in the world lately? This could well be an acute case of Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, as my own long-overdue divorce seems to be dragging on and on and the uncertainty is quite frankly paralysing. I am certainly not the first, won’t be the last to be on this journey. Hugs to anyone else floating around in the process or the aftermath.
Social anxiety. Not sure where you’re at as it seems some people have loved some seclusion and others have struggled with isolation and feelings of loneliness or being trapped in bad or joyless situations in their bubble. I carry a lot of mixed feelings as the pandemic gave me an opportunity to get off an incredibly painful roller-coaster of busyness and seeking validation. I Loved, trusted, and supported too many, too often, too easily, and too much and struggled with boundaries for years. My last breakdown came about the same time as Covid, and was the perfect opportunity to say: “Fuck this shit I’m out.” to the vast majority of, well, everything. It’s a privileged position indeed to have that option. The reality for far too many people all over the world is that they are incredibly vulnerable to the changes thrust upon us all. It’d be callous and crass of me to force my ideologies of seclusion, self-sufficiency and growth on anyone as not everyone is privy to the same options as me. To be quite frank that seems to be the problem. Inequality and struggles are not fairly distributed among us in this life. The conflict and conundrum of being comfortable, white-privileged, and socially conscientious is and was a constant internal battle. I’m not certain of many things, and don’t have any solid answers for myself, the kids, or anyone else, but I do strongly believe positions of privilege come with a responsibility to give a fuck about social and environmental issues. How any person goes about being the change they want to see in the world without being chewed up and spat out by opportunists and assholes is a bit of a mystery to me personally at this time. So in my safe bubble surrounded only by the very small tribe I allow near me is where I’ll be for the foreseeable future. Wherever you are I wish you joy and comfort and safety on your journey, especially if you are brave enough to be fighting the good fight and making yourself vulnerable in the process. And, if you are just hiding in your bathrobe putting on a few extra pounds and healing from a rough ride up until this point, that’s actually fine too. Be kind to yourself and surround yourself with kindness from others. We are all just trying to figure this shit out.
The media. Oof. The fucking media. It’s not what it was and we’re sent down some serious rabbit holes as we scroll through the abyss. There’s echo chambers and trolls and fake news OH MY! I implore you to turn it off from time to time, and take those you love offline as well. Our best option, whether we have chosen the red or the blue pill, is just to focus on what we can manage and being amazing in little and real ways by smiling at strangers, offering a kind word, checking in with someone, planting things, fixing things, or whatever it is that brings you joy, well, that’s our best hope now and was leading up to where we sit on this surreal timeline today. Be a good person. You know when you are, and it feels pretty good to honour that so get out there and feel free to get a little smug if you’re getting your grace on out there IRL.
There’s more I wanted to yarn with you about, but I am growing weary of waffling and I suspect my full-on train of thought style of blabbery jabber might be tiring you out a bit too after this collection of thoughts and tangents.
Wherever your head is at, be gentle with yourself. You’ve been through a lot. We all have. Kia Kaha.
There is no correct way to be feeling as we are faced with the arguably inevitable second wave of Covid in New Zealand.
There’s been some new emotions on my own radar in the last 72 hours. I’ve coined some of these:
Shangryired – this one is a mix of shame, anger, hunger, and tired. Shame because we are in an inarguably comfortable position and I actually relish lockdown with my bubble despite missing out on the freedom and adventures of level one. Angry because Cov-Idiots are out there protesting the use of masks and the neccessity of lockdown rather than just hunkering down and being graceful, isolated, patient and kind. Hungry because I do not drink much at all these days (win!), nor sneak that many ciggies (ultra-win!) so I eat. Oh boy do I eat. And my tastebuds light up like never before since giving up smoking almost entirely. Tired… well, the day starts and ends in pjs so it’s a fairly reasonable state since I am dressed for rest.
Schornyanxious – a mix of scared, little bit horny, and anxious. This is not Damon’s least favourite mix as we eat toast and snuggle and sometimes even snog while watching Star Trek (Roddenberry franchise has been an emotional and cognitive anesthetic to life’s ills and spills my whole life)
Netflixatiqued – sick of scrolling through netflix and feeling exasperated and fatigued at the idea of getting emotionally invested in a new show so I tend to just lean on my old friends Colombo, Star Trek, Golden Girls, and of course everyone’s favourite series the 1pm briefing. I need to take a moment to say I am absolutely ecstatic about the plot twist of having a competent and charismatic new leading role with the arrival of Chris Hipkins. I like this new series a lot more than I did with smuggy mcsmuggerton hypocrite character guy who was written off that show. Win.
There’s other emotions too of course. I haven’t taken the time to name them but they are there.
I’m side stepping social media for the rest of the day after posting this as we plan how we will manage the next few weeks if the lockdown extends as we are already certain it will. We’ve mapped a fortnight that will see our kids moving freely between their father’s house and Matakana where we are heading as it is in the Auckland region and now has Internet, so Damon and the children will be able to work and attend school and nobody has to drive to the end of the road to get cellphone reception anymore. We will click and collect gardening supplies as the window for us planting our hundreds of seedlings and baby trees is fast closing as spring approaches.
Bopping around in my bubble has been confronting and comforting. I have signed out of society in a big way, and the vast and varied varieties I once sought some sense of validation through are just NOT as important as they once were.
Some people have been forced to change trajectory, other’s have had the luxury of deciding to slow down and retire early or work fewer hours and spend more time in their gardens and kitchens in pursuit of a the previousy unforeseen satisfaction that comes from increased self-sufficiency. Some have even found purpose when once they were searching for meaning.
I know that there are some of you reading this who find lockdowns and changes painful, unnerving, uncertain and perhaps lonely or isolating. There’s nothing useful for me to offer, no twee advice or comforting calls to actions. The fact is, this is a time of great change and incredible uncertainty and nobody knows how things are going to land. Drop me a line if you need to talk. You run the risk of me being obnoxious or saying the wrong thing, because I can be a fucking nightmare sometimes, especially when my heart hurts and I want to help and don’t know how.
My bubble bop is a simple dance in the direction of simplicity and self-sufficiency. I am grateful to be a Covid couple as I am rather certain my relationship would not have survived the first year if we hadn’t been forced together for months on end. We are a team now, and I know that plenty of people are not in such idyllic social or romantic situations.
I implore you to take very good care of yourself through this our second wave, and look ahead to a future that might very well be a lot simpler and very different to the plans you had before 2020 kicked all of our asses.
Good luck with your bubble bop. Try to find things that make you feel safe and joyous, and it’s okay to feel afraid and angry too, just don’t let the bad stuff win.
Last night we made curries and had our first official couple hosted dinner party.
My ex husband and (I hope) BFF Phteven even joined us and I brought a plate over to mother in law next door.
My partner and husband (ex in October as our official and long overdue separation will be two years old that month) could not be more different in most ways. In very important, the most important ways they are similar or the same though. They are both excellent, kind, intelligent human beings who make me laugh and are (mostly) incredibly honest with me and themselves. Love them and love the ease with which they share space.
So the evening was, in no small part, engineered to show off our lime chutney to four of my partner’s friends. Unbeknownst to him, every one of our guests already knew each other. Rather well apparently as there were work and family connections and the two high school science (physics and biology) teachers had known each other since one had done her practicum teaching gig. Just saying, New Zealand is small. Really small. Really small and really wonderful and I Love this country so much it moves me to tears daily.
Back to our sassy lime pickle…
So I am seriously impressed with our combined skills in the kitchen, it has some bite and we adjusted the recipe with what I believe are STUNNING results. We made it from limes out of the orchard that was planted when our 6-year-old son was born. It is all fenced in now and we have a flock of chickens who are much loved. My curmudgeon of a mother in law, and absolutely one of the best friends I have ever or will ever have is the main caretaker of these girls. And she is the keeper and distributor of the eggs while I am just the cleaner of the coop and mite treatment giver. In the several years of having these feathered ladies share our leafy acre of land, we have lost two baby chicks one teenager and two beloved mature bantams. Loving and loss hurts. A lot.
Last night was so great. Less than an hour in I loudly (I do most things loudly) announced how terrified of people I have been for a long while now, and how nice it was to welcome kind, interesting, honest and powerful people into our home and then not have to work too hard and just be the loud, sweary, caring mess that I am. This was the second session of entertaining anyone who is not family since lockdown ended and we are going to be hosting these dinners every month with only between 2 and 4 guests, so we can easily and comfortably engage with everyone sharing our roof and our table. The first went equally well, but Damon was at his board meeting and didn’t arrive home until late. So this was our first time hosting as a couple. I said that? Yes I did. It’s a milestone though and I promised I would write at least 500 words a day every single fucking day, so this is the brain vomit of the moment, and I am going to post it raw and unedited because there will be a time and a place for slick, clean, well-crafted words.
This is just spit balling to see if I still got it. The ability to write that is…
Back to the breakdown of our dinner party:
Everyone arrived very near 5pm and were gone before 9. Laughter volumes were high and awkwardness was very low. Our teenage son Daniel sat at the “grown up table” and articulately held his own with humour, insight and humility.
How he came out of my body remains one of life’s great mysteries. All our kids are incredible and watching them in action as they teeter on the precipice of adulthood is a strange and wonderful thing.
There’s a lot in the heavens and on this earth that I don’t understand, but sure as shit appreciate with a sense of gratitude and wonder.
I certainly don’t know why there are so many fascist leaders and terrified angry people in the world right now. And I don’t know what makes some people so brave in times like these, or at any time. Brave enough to stand up and say: “This shit is NOT acceptable” when they see suffering and injustice. Brave enough to listen, to learn, and to not need to be right or better, but to be gracious and curious instead.
And I have no idea why I have to cope with so many fucking idiots. Particularly scared, cowardly, arrogant middle aged white idots parading around being annoying sealions. I learned the term from someone who is brave and most certainly NOT an idiot last night, sealion is an internet term for someone who thinks everyone thinks they are really smart, but in reality, they are insecure bullies who have no desire to be good people, they just want everyone to think they’re right. Manipulative muppets who embarrass themselves and always have the fate of a getting hoisted by their own petard.
I don’t even celebrate the poetic justice of it anymore. I just sit with gratitude in my own head and heart and feel blessed to have the life and tribe I do. Any yes, I do feel sad for them. Not sad or moved enough to welcome them into my home or engage with them on any level, ever. Seriously, who has time for second chances or wasting time with people who have clearly and abundantly demonstrated they are dipshits, while the world is changing at a pace never before comprehended, let alone witnessed.
Our guests were the farthest thing from idiots or dipshits. My partner said during our morning sway and snuggle time in the kitchen by the coffee machine, that there were going to be three Wahine toa (warrior women) at the table that night. He was right. These goddesses, along with all the others I know and Love are indeed brave warriors. We aren’t violent and we do not brandish swords or shields. Many of us use patience, charm, grace, wit, humour and intelligence as our are arsenal. But we are engaged in battle, most days.
I will leave it there at the crest of a wave of observation that really is worth delving deeper into.
I will leave it there because this is my domain. A blank page filled with my thoughts and not requiring validation or a call to action. Just happy to be writing. It is the single most selfish and selfless thing I do and it is something I will do every day now, because I want to and I can.