We all have it in life sometimes, don’t we? An idea, a plan, something that we hope for, and we try to attain it. Sometimes things get thrown in our path though that might get in the way. And sometimes those things seem so big that we wonder if we can even continue on the path.
With the little setbacks, we move past it, look back and wonder why we stressed so hard over it. But then you get those big giant setbacks, and they can rattle us.
Sometimes they have us questioning the universe, and they feel like we’re stopped in our tracks. However, they don’t have to stop us in our tracks.
It has been a hectic last few weeks. Hectic! Adjusting to this new life of ours, dealing with nasty random viruses, and keeping said infected germ factories (aka: the girls) away from the baby, watching an ever-growing list of things to do steadily grow, downing wines. You name it, we’re dealing with it!
When things get hectic, plans tend to go by the wayside. Some of us handle this ok and roll with the punches, others, like yours truly, tend to get in a flap about it. I *may* be a teeny, tiny bit anal about my routines, and about marking my to-do list off.
So it got me thinking. What makes some of us rollers, and others flappers? What’s your style? Those terms sound rather crass, don’t they? Totes my style.
Think about these questions- how would you respond?
1.The house looks like a bomb has gone off. In fact it probably has- a bomb of toys, detonated by tiny hands throwing crap all over the shop. Your friend rings (or texts. Because who rings these days?!) and says “what’s up? How bout I pop around in 20 mins?” Do you:
(a) Respond- ‘sure thing, you’ll just have to navigate the maze of toys on the ground’ and just put the kettle on in preparation?
(b) Get really annoyed that you’ve been given 20 minutes notice, pace the house for 10 of those minutes muttering under your breath, panic and start throwing toys in a cupboard (that will most likely burst open smacking said friend in the face as they walk by. Penance for giving 20 mins notice in your mind), while responding ‘sure thing. Can’t wait to see you! xoxo’ (because even though you want to throttle them, kisses and hugs are mandatory to end a text).
(c) Just not respond. If you pretend the message never came through, then it didn’t, right?
2.You’ve got an appointment you have to get to in 15 minutes. You’ve prepped, you’ve sorted the troops out. You’re on top of this shiz! Then one of your cherubs decides to spill vegemite toast (because we ALL eat vegemite, right? And it’s Murphy’s Law that something so heinous would stain a shirt just before you have to leave) all over themselves and then the other has a toileting accident. AT THE SAME TIME. It’s kismet. And if you’re cherub free- let’s pretend you spilled something on yourself. We’ll save the toileting accidents to protect your modesty. What do you do?
(a) Laugh it off. No biggie. You’ll get there when you get there, these things happen.
(b) Stand motionless, paralysed by frustration. Noticing a twitch in your eye, you think you may be having a mini stroke. Curse Murphy for such a shitty law, panic about missing the appointment, and the chain of events that results from rushing and being late. That’s it, the whole day is ruined now.
(c) Pretend these things didn’t occur. Throw new clothes at one, hide the vegemite stain on the other. Smile and nod people, smile and nod.
3. You’ve budgeted to within an inch of your life. You know what bills come in when, your money is sorted. Feeling rather chuffed with yourself, you feel like it’s all covered and heck, at this rate you might be able to take the family on a holiday! To a caravan park an hour up the road, but hey, it’s still a getaway, right? Then you get an unexpected bill in the mail… in the form of a speeding fine from your delightful partner. Do you:
(a) Chip your partner for not following the road rules, but reassure that it’s all ok. It will work out somehow, and you’ll just have to budget a bit tighter for a few weeks. The caravan park will still be there.
(b) Begin plucking your eyelashes out, because it’s less painful than dealing with your reckless partner. Your voice quivers with rage, whilst simultaneously panicking about where the hell this money is going to come from, given the money tree out the back ain’t producing the goods. Curse Murphy’s Law once more and you’re convinced that Murphy is specifically out to get YOU.
(c) Shove it to the bottom of the bill pile, down a shot of whatever alcohol is close by and deal with it when it’s due.
If you find yourself gravitating toward (b) then welcome to flapperworld. I’m right there with you. Though of course we’re not that flap-extreme. Much. Cursing Murphy’s Law is mandatory though. Flappers need advance notice for everything. They need a notebook and a pen for obsessive list-writing. They are the planners, the organisers, the sorter-outerers. It’s a word. For real. Spontaneity, while it sounds awesome, really isn’t their shtick. When that routine is thrown, even the slightest, the flap begins. And the melodrama. And the mountains out of molehills shit.
If you’re more of an (a) person, you’re a roller of the highest calibre. Nothing phases you. Breaking a sweat isn’t in your vocab. Shit happens, and you’re ok with shit happening. You shake it off, shake it off (ooh ooh… yeah try getting that song out of your head now…), and rolling with the punches ain’t no thang. People rocking up at the last minute? Come on in! Stuff going haywire? Not a worry.
And what about the (c)’s? Classic avoider. Like kids do when they’re really little- ‘if I close my eyes it’s not really happening, right?’ It’s akin to being a flapper on Valium. Rather than getting upset, they just block it out. Put fingers in the ears and go all ‘la la la la laaaaa’. While it feels nice in the short term to avoid shit, long term it is a big ouchie. The shit doesn’t go away, and that ick feeling in the pit of an avoider’s stomach doesn’t go away.
So ideally, we all want to be rollers. How do we get to divine roller status, without having to listen to Cat Stevens or spend a weekend in Nimbin? It’s not easy. My flapper self still struggles with rolling. Things I would say to a friend (but of course I can’t do for myself. You know, like the best kind of advice….) that might help would be to just chill out, relax, prioritise- what really matters? Is it a big deal worth flapping about? And what if you did just let it happen? Let that friend come over, or clean up the kids and run a bit late? Is the world going to end? Will your friend disown you because Toys R Us vomited in your lounge room? Will you be condemned because you’re 10 minutes late for your appointment (let’s face it, you’ll be like 20 mins late at least… but hey if you say 10 minutes you don’t feel as bad so let’s roll with that)? Challenge the flap- things might actually turn out better if you roll, you know? Or it might go to shit, but let’s not worry about that right now.
I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to have our shit together, and to be ordered, and to present a nice, ‘together’ us, that we often end up in a flap about stuff we don’t need to flap about. Friends don’t care if the house has exploded in toys and crumbs (unless it’s like from an episode of Hoarders), appointments normally run late anyways, it’ll alllll work out. Kids have been sent to test our flapability, I’m sure of it. They are like heat-seeking missiles when it comes to mess, and tardiness, and delays.
We can roll. They’ll roll when we do. And in the meantime there’s wine. There’s always wine.
How about you? Are you a roller or a flapper? Or just avoid the whole shebang?
Can you imagine living each and every day having to lug a giant weight chained to you? It might be sitting on your shoulders, making it impossible to stand properly. Or sitting on your chest, making it impossible to breathe clearly. Or maybe chained to your leg, making it impossible to move. It’d suck balls, right? Well often that’s what it feels like each and every day for people dealing with mental health issues.
Only we can’t see those heavy burdens that they carry. They look like they’re walking fine, talking fine. They might smile and chat, laugh and hug. But those heavy weights are there, and they can be suffocating.
Isn’t it funny that in 2015 we’re still so in the dark about many things? Many simple, basic things. One of those things is mental health. We’ve come so far, but yet still so far away from a cohesive understanding, and decent support for mental health issues. We still think of it as some weird, taboo thing, something many try to sweep under the rug, or discount as ‘not really being a thing’.
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.
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.
I ran into a dad at kindy pick-up today. I knew his wife was due a few weeks before me (like… NOW! Holy shit… I’m next….), so when I saw him I was excitedly rambling and wanting to know how she was. The mum is a lovely lass, and we’d chatted a while back about our bumps. She’d mentioned she was having a girl, and so they’d thrown out all the boy clothes in preparation (they have a boy the same age as Miss SP).
Me: “Oh gosh, has she had the baby yet?”
Him: “Yep! Baby is here!”
Me: Squeee! “Oh that’s fantastic….what’s her….”
Him: “…..another boy”
Me (my face by now is contorted into a ‘do not compute’ look): “Oh wait, what? Huh? I thought you guys were having a girl?”
Him: “Uhhh huh. So did we”
Yikes. Cue me preaching the virtues of having same gender siblings and how awesome it is (because IT TOTALLY IS), and how boys rock pink anyway so it’s all good. He got it, but I could tell it’s been an adjustment for them. And you know, there’s possibly some disappointment thrown in there.
We hear a lot about gender preferences, and in the media we hear about these ‘outrageous’ controversies of people selecting gender, or even the notion of gender being available to be selected. And many react with outrage. It’s a sensitive subject. And raises all sorts of ideas about morals and values and human life etc.
You know how we’re in this society where there seems to be so much god damned pressure to ‘look on the bright side’ and ‘think positively’ and ‘be grateful’, while showing the world how #blessed we are? Well, turns out it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I mean, sure, we need to live in the now, and it is so important to focus on what is going well as opposed to just looking at the shit going wrong. Nobody disputes that. But, not everything has to be awesome all the time. Nor do we have to ‘find the positive’ in every.single.thing. Sometimes crap happens, and we have to acknowledge that. Friends, I present to you, depressive realism.
I’d love to say ‘oh yeah, I’ve got it all sorted’, it’s been a journey of self-discovery #blessed’. But erm. No. I’m not entirely comfortable in my own skin, but I think I’m getting there. I hope. Maybe? Fark.
Is it a global phenomena? Or just a couple of odd balls like me that get like that? I often wonder how other people feel about themselves. Is it easy to feel comfortable in your skin? I’m never sure.
Even when you deal with wellbeing and sorting people’s brains out for a living, it’s still hard stuff to take on board for yourself. I’m not selling myself very well here, am I?
As we are growing up, being comfortable in who you are is tough. You’re trying to find who you are. When you’re little, well you can run around nude, pick your nose and eat it (actually some adults still do this. PLEASE STOP. PLEASE STOP NOW) and then wear five layers of garish socks and not bat an eyelid. And no one else bats and eyelid either. Because. Kid life. But as you grow older, you start to notice others around you, and invariably start to compare yourself to others around you and that shit is tough. Really tough. Particularly when you’re not the cream of the crop.
On this Wellness Wednesday I’m taking a different tact. Rather than flood you with psych stuff, I’m taking pictures. Each month I play with a bunch of lovely bloggers and we all take a bunch of pictures, 10 to be exact, and then link through to each other. Hence the name 10 on 10. It’s a nice idea. And it forces me to go and do stuff on the weekend, because pictures of my backyard or my insane dog every month might get a bit tiresome to look at.
I am notoriously bad at taking time out and chilling. I know, shocking, right?! But basically, I feel like I need to be working, or cooking, or cleaning, or doing other ridic shit all.the.time. And if I stop and chill- then I’m lazy. I should probably go and talk to someone about that…..
But this weekend just gone we had a long weekend. And I actually stopped. And I chilled. And I hung out with my crew. My work took a backseat. As did the cooking and cleaning. Just don’t look at my floors and we’re cool, k? Feeling nauseous as all heck probably helped force me to stop, but let’s not talk about that part.
I realised that I need to stop more often. We need me to stop more often. I’ve talked about us Mamas putting ourselves first before, but yet I still keep pushing myself and not stopping. So how’s that for a wellness message? Just fucking stop for a minute. Please. Don’t get stressed about stuff that isn’t going to fall apart if you take some time out.
Now, I should probably quit chattering and start showing some pictures, huh?
This weekend, I was feeling saucy. As saucy as a beached whale pregnant lady can feel that is. We were chilled and having fun and I thought we should try something a bit different. So we took the girls out to putt putt. Yes, we are mildly insane.
Ahhhh the old Silly Monster. A crowd favourite with kids, an arch nemesis of parents and adults alike. What is the silly monster? Is it what happens to Mummy when she’s had one too many wines and thinks that singing karaoke and staying out partying until 5am is a good idea? Not quite. That’s a monster of a different kind I think (hello alco monster, I hope to meet you again in a matter of months….).
For kids, the Silly Monster represents that little part of us that can get a little too active sometimes. At the wrong time. Not understanding personal boundaries, not picking up those subtle cues that people might be getting a bit put out. Getting so excited our little brains get a bit scrambled and we can’t really put our impulse control or regulation skills into place. It’s not that we don’t know what to do, but the act of putting it into practice can get short-circuited by this Silly Monster. Sometimes the Silly Monster is just a by-product of excitement, or over-tiredness, or sometimes it can be a symptom of something bigger. Anxiety, ASD, ADHD can all feature the Silly Monster.