I’ve been banging on a lot about kids friendship lately, but you know this stuff doesn’t just stop at childhood. It becomes something that happens throughout life really, doesn’t it? We make friends, we grow close, shit happens, sometimes we pull through, sometimes we change and grow apart. It’s never really easy to deal with.
For most of us, we love having friends. You know, those like-minded people who just ‘get’ us, who we can talk to about things and make a dick of ourselves around and it’s ok.
As adults, sometimes it can be even harder to make and maintain friendships than when we’re kids. Because there’s so much stuff going on. Moving, changing jobs, going in different directions, family and kids taking over time, and everything else in between.
In adulthood though, we need friends more than ever. To help when the going gets tough, and provide support to deal with… life. And selective hearing exhibited by children and partners. Holy shit, that is a killer. Social connectedness has been proven time and time again to be uber important in overall happiness and wellbeing.
Before you ask- no. This is not a post about old grannies in some messed up sci-fi fantasy show with a weird twist at the end. Though it might be marginally more exciting if it were. Sorry about that.
You know the grey zone? That weird place where you’re not exactly miserable and unhappy, but you know you’re not feeling particularly #blessed and zesty for life? It’s this zone in the middle of it all, where you can exist, and you can have some fun, but it’s like you’re operating at 75% and not 100%.
Much along the same lines as other gems such as carbolinia and no-aphobia, I’m sure the grey zone is a totes legit thing. And it can really suck. I’m so grey right now, this post is even boring. Again. Sorry about that.
It’s that thing where you can be chugging along, comfortable in your ways, not really minding the grey zone and then BAM! It hits you. You’re greyed out. Not happy…. Not sad…. Not anything really. It’s a full attack of the meh’s.
Have you ever seen a little kid’s athletics carnival? It’s the best. BEST. When the littlies go running- there’s no strategy, there’s no designated lanes- it’s just run like the wind and laugh your head off at the end. They run into each other’s lanes, and don’t really pay attention to what other people are doing. They just run. Run where they like, and they have FUN.
Then somehow we forget about the fun part. We start looking at what others are doing. We are given a set lane and we stick to it, watch out if we deviate from the path. And shit gets serious. Like warming up, wearing the right shoes, doing that weird jiggly jump thing at the start of the race before you get in the start position (I’m sure it has a purpose. It just looks a little wanky, you know?).
I am super guilty of this. I’m forever looking at what others are doing, and before I know it, I’m running their race. Huffing and puffing trying to keep up, or accidentally bumping into their lane because I’m not looking at where I’m going. I don’t give up though. Because I’m insanely stubborn. To a fault. Eeep.
Ahhhh travelling. Jumping on that plane, going somewhere new. Sometimes for fun. Sometimes not. At some point we all end up travelling. Unless you’re dedicated to the cause and you refuse to put a foot outside your door. Then you might need to come and have a chat to me. When you can put your foot outside your door.
Travelling can bring out the best in us and the worst in us all at the same time. It can test relationships, it can give parents conniptions for years to come, it can plant that little itch that needs to be scratched only by jumping on a plane and going somewhere else.
You know how we talk about our personality styles? Introvert, extrovert, omnivert, pervert. So I may have made that last one up, but it rings true at times, no? I think that travelling shows us another side to our personalities. One that isn’t really described much, but very much threads its way through our everyday lives.
Our travelling personality can change relationships. They can show us a side of ourselves we’ve been reluctant to let out. And sometimes we see that personality in others and we just don’t know what the hell to do with it.
So without further ado, I present to you, the 7 core traveller personalities, and tips for dealing with them. So you can all enjoy your trip without murdering each other. You’re welcome.
Ever had the urge to scream while simultaneously pulling your hair out and stomping your feet Hulk-style over something seemingly innocuous?
Ever wanted to throw an object really hard at a wall because you’ve just had enough of the crap. Only you’re not quite sure just how bad the crap really is?
No? Yeah, me neither *shuffles feet awkwardly whilst looking at the ground*
I am loathe to admit it, but I have a short fuse. That has become even shorter with the popping of children. I’d like to think it’s as cute as this:
But it’s more like this:
I have next to no patience at the best of times, but lately? There’s not even a fuse there to be lit. It could be a tiny irk, a whiny voice, a stupid question, making a decision, food…. anything really, it just rubs me up the wrong way and I get that ick. And a screech might be found to escape my mouth. Occasionally hands thrown in the air are witnessed also. Because by doing such an action, it will magically make everything change for the better, right? People stop and listen to you, shit gets done. Surely?
How short do you think your fuse is? Are you a:
Fuse Master– I am the zen of zen. Nothing really bugs me that much. I can let a lot of stuff slide. The most angry I get is a gentle shake of the head and an ‘oh deary me’ muttered under my breath.
Garden variety fuser– I’m pretty good at keeping my shit in check. I have a fuse, but it takes a bit before it is fully lit and I explode. I can explode pretty darn good, but that’s mainly reserved for A grade jerks and kids who insist on spilling the entire contents of a jar of glitter on my carpet.
How-dare-you-even-ask-me-that-question fuser- Fuse? What fuse? I wouldn’t need to worry about a short fuse if people weren’t so infuriating. And the sun wasn’t so bright. And the grass wasn’t so crunchy. And food prices weren’t so high. And kids weren’t so….kid-like. Just don’t look at me like that, ok?
My fuse and I are at odds of late. If we were a Facebook relationship, it would be ‘its’ complicated’. Hormonal, bloated and tired do not help one’s fuse. Just sayin’. But I have realised of late my fuse was pretty damn short to begin with. And that guilt cycle? You know the one- fuse shortened=explode=eventually calm down=feel like a jerk= guilt=repeat. It’s on a constant cycle and it’s not a nice one.
Firstly let’s just be clear- take the guilt away from it all- anger isn’t a bad thing. It’s ok to feel angry!! The emotion itself isn’t a positive or a negative thing. It’s what we do with it that’s the issue. And half the time we’re aware that screaming like a banshee whilst jumping up and down isn’t actually going to change the situation. It’s good to vent and get stuff out, it’s not so good to scream and rant. So we need to channel that anger and let ourselves calm down so we can do something with it.
Did you know that chronic short fuse-it is (it’s totes a thing) can actually lead to heart disease, make you vulnerable to diabetes, insomnia and blood pressure? (see here) So in a nutshell- short fuse ain’t cool.
Can we grow our fuse? Or are we doomed to pluck our nosehairs in frustration forever (don’t pretend you haven’t plucked a nose hair. It’s painfully addictive. And they’re there…)?
It’s a conscious decision to make grow a fuse. To not react so quickly. And a good thing to model to our kids, and partners. Because monkey see, monkey do. Grown ups included.
So what do we do?
A few things:
Stop.Yup. Stop. Right now. Picture that big red stop sign smacking you in the head.
Calm down– Reeeeelax. Slow that breathing down, squeeze the tension out of your muscles.
Understand the emotion behind it all– Anger, and that short fuse, normally are just the surface level emotions for something else going on deeper. So a lot of the time anxiety drives anger. Worrying about being late, worrying about not getting stuff done on time etc. Anger normally represents not having your needs met. Like, the need to be listened to. ARE YOU READING THIS KIDS? Even though you can’t read yet… yes I am aware of the irony…..
Get a reality check– is it really that bad? Do you really need to lose your shit over it? In 5 years time will it mean a thing?
Sort out an alternative– what else can you do beside losing your shit? Laugh it off? Problem solve? Talk to someone? Go for a run to clear your head?
I realise that the acronym there is SCUGS. Rolls off the tongue, yes?
So there you go, when the fuse is short- SCUGS it. Don’t say I don’t give you anything quality.
How’s your fuse? Do you SCUGS it? Can you lend me a bit if you’ve got some to spare?
It’s been a long day. I’m madly rushing trying to tidy the house, do the washing, unpack from work, get all the things done. And there’s this little noise buzzing around. It’s incessant. At first I brush it off, thinking I can block it out, there’s just too many things to do today. But it continues. Louder and louder it seemingly gets. Like that pesky mosquito that comes buzzing by your ear. You want to ignore it, but that sound is so grating and ick, instead you want to spend your time trying to squash the crap out of the mosquito.
This sound is much louder than any mosquito though. And it drags on. And on. And ON. I’m trying to give myself a pep talk to rise above it all.
“Ignore it lady. Shake it off. But not Taylor Swift style. Damn, now I have that shit song stuck in my head….”
But it gets louder. It’s following me everywhere I go. Not even a bit of Tay Tay can get me out of this one.
“Muuuuuuuuuuuuum. I waaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnt thhhhhhhhhhe bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnne. Itsnotfaiiiiiiiiiiiiiir”
Whining. From that little cherub that you spawned. That seemingly gorgeous face and angelic eyes spewing forth this painful, grating monologue of angst. Over nothing. From the wrong coloured plate, to siblings getting first turn, to not having the right shoes, to having to brush teeth (JUST BRUSH THEM FOR FUCKS SAKE. YOU WILL THANK ME ONE DAY).
It’s a killer, right?
I try really hard to move past whining. And I know what ‘the books’ say to do. But it can be really tough some days.
This year has been a hard slog. Not gonna lie. I have work piling up and I feel like life is a perpetual hamster wheel of stress. Same stress, different day. It seems like as we get older we scream at life to slow down, only it doesn’t listen to us and likes to speed up instead. Bastard.
Even when the work is piling up though, and we feel overwhelmed, sometimes we have to just STOP and take a breath, and look at what’s around us. Right here, right now. Last year, each Monday I’d have my fuzzies- taking the time to appreciate something, or try to do something nice for others. Just taking that fuzzy moment- to say something nice or to do something nice selfishly makes us feel good too. And helps others. We’re like freakin’ Mother Theresa’s when we fuzzy up.
I’ve needed to get out of my head, and I’ve got a couple of cherubs who need their Mama to be with them, even for a part of the day, so we’ve been out and exploring what’s in our own backyard.
Have you ever just gone out to find different places where you live? It’s like discovering hidden treasure sometimes. Or realising you have stashed a chocolate at the back of the fridge and totally forgotten about it until now. Winning. You forget about the mundane, about your own issues, and you appreciate what’s around you. A genuine fuzzy right there.
I think we’re pretty lucky here in South East Queesnland. We’ve got everything at our fingertips. Brisvegas is like a country town that had some steroids. Truly. It’s still got a fairly low key vibe, chilled, but with the perks of a capital city. And now with H&M. My life is complete.
There’s lots of places that Brisbane is known for- Southbank, Roma St. Parklands, Kangaroo Point. Allll the pretty. But sometimes they can get a bit nutso, so it’s good to find some more hidden gems around the place. I get fuzzy when I’m not packed in like a sardine.
To the east of us we have the super cute Shorncliffe. It’s like driving into a quaint little town, it feels so removed from a capital city. Beautiful water, a little mini beach area and a pretty darn cool playground. Because, what place is complete without a playground? It’s now our goal to find places with playgrounds. Pubs, cafes, you name it. Keeps us all happy. Moora Park was where we stopped off for a bit. Because. Free fun. I’m alllll about the free fun.
Can I let you in on a secret? Aside from having to pop a watermelon sized baby out of my vajayjay soon enough, my big fear is breastfeeding. It’s not been a success for me over the years. At.all.
We talk a lot of breastfeeding shaming that goes on, but I can tell you there’s almost an equal amount of bottle feeding shame that one endures. Because apparently when you bottle feed your child, you’re practically murdering them. They’re going to grow up to be illiterate sociopaths via the bottle. Think of the children! Shove a boob in their mouth for crying out loud!
I did. I really, really did. And I could not feed my children fully. With my first, she was premmie, and didn’t have a sucking reflex developed. It was a hard slog. I tried it all- with every lactation consultant under the sun helping. I vividly remember one day sitting in the feeding room of the special care nursery- one boob stuck to a pump, the other one being squeezed to within an inch of it’s life by a nurse- trying desperately to get milk supply happening.
We had a shocking incident occur to our neighbour last week. Like, the kind of shocking you just don’t think would, or could happen near you. Stuff you hear on the news and shake your head about. It has taken our relatively nice, family-friendly street and shaken it right up.
Our neighbour is doing well, she’s a very tough cookie. But it got me wondering about us as a society and why these kinds of things happen. Why are there some people in the world that think they can treat others in such a manner? Why do we get so angry/hateful/hurtful that we want to cause others pain?
The thing is, these people don’t think about others. They just don’t. They think about themselves. They think about their needs, or what they think they want. Others are simply de-humanised. And while our minds boggle at how some people can do what they do, they don’t see it.
It’s like the Rubix cube of life, isn’t it? Trying to figure out the puzzle that is being in a relationship with someone. Co-habitating. Dealing with their quirks. Bad breath. Leaving towels on the ground. Laughing at fart jokes. Actually, screw relationships- go and live on your own. Much less fuss……
Sorry, I digress. So, we’re all after it, aren’t we? That magic recipe- the keys to a good relationship. Every time some article pops up on it, tell me you don’t sneakily click through to see if you’re doing it right….. *cough* yeah me neither *cough*.
What do we do? What is the secret? Is there even a secret?
That’s the thing. There is no secret. And the sooner we accept that the better off we’ll be.