The Mood Chart Attacks

Sounds almost like a 1984 compilation album.

Except that it’s not. I’ve going to a shrink for a few years now. He reckons I’m nearly bi-polar. I don’t know if he’s right or not. I just know that what I think is normal is a tad off-kilter with what it probably should be.

How self-indulgent. How ME. I mean, people with kids get off scott-free when it comes to this sort of things, don’t they. They just get on with things. Wish I could do the same. For the last few months I’ve been on Lexapro. Bad, bad, for me. Had to request something else. That something else came in the form of a recommendation for Lithium. Umm… sorry but didn’t Kurt Cobain tell us not to go there? So I’m back on the old Effexor. Maximum dose. We’ll see.

My therapist (as opposed to the shrink) has asked me to start charting my moods. So here it is for the last two days – the aim is closer to the green centre. Seriously, this does seem very self-indulgent.

Sat, 28 Feb Sun, 1 Mar
Severe Significant impairment Not able to work
Moderate Significant impairment Able to work
Mild Without significant impairment
NORMAL
Mild Without significant impairment *
Moderate Significant impairment Able to work *
Severe Significant impairment Not able to work

A small dose…

JJ’s away at the moment, very far away. And for 6 weeks. So far, so long, so miss him…

So, along with work, study, seeing friends and walking the pooches, it’s given me a bit of time to think. Ordinarily, thinking isn’t always a pleasant experience for me, because the mind goes into overdrive and all sorts of funny little voices take over the airwaves (literally). But this time, the thinking seems to have taken on a very different form altogether. It’s not all pleasurable, but it’s mostly satisfying. I’ve worked on the finances, having formed a few ideas that JJ has also agreed with, but there are other bits that I’m still working out. For example:

I was listening to a podcast, an interview with a couple of life coaches, and one of them said that one of the areas she wanted to manage was her mornings. She likes to “wake up slowly”. Now who the hell wouldn’t want to do that? But how do you do that when you’re working a full time, demanding desk job?

And then, I realised, as I’m sure we all do at some point, that I spend more time in the company of people who I could give a rat’s ass about – my colleagues – working on things that I could give and equally meagre rat’s ass about – my desk-based work – so that I can make money to pay my bills. Sure, I also make money so that I can enjoy a lovely lifestyle, go on holidays, buy nice things, have nice dinners and all that, BUT SERIOUSLY what’s the point of all that if I can’t spend a lot more time with those people that I give a big fat cow’s ass about?

How would I choose to spend my days? Well the reality is that I do enjoy working, being challenged, solving problems and whatever. But at what cost?

So this is my mid-life crisis point. I seriously think that it comes a hell of a lot earlier for those of us who don’t have children. From what I gather, once children are in the picture, you know your purpose. But when you don’t have any, you start to question your purpose. Is it to work 50 hours a week so you can spend 2 days cleaning, doing the groceries, washing laundry and the like so that you’re ready to do the weekday thing all over again?

So anyway, I’ve started studying life coaching. And it’s altogether satisfying. I’m stunned.

And then I came to a realisation yesterday that for well over half of my life, I’ve wanted to be skinny. I mean, I’ve starved, vomited and obsessed my way toward that goal. And I’ve achieved at various stages and with varying degrees of success and failure. I mean, what a load of rubbish. So I’m not modelesque and will never look as good in Marc Jacobs as Winona. But who the hell wants to live that level of maintenance? I’m a woman with curves. An Italian woman with soft curves. Not FAT. Not in any sort of danger of becoming ill because of my weight. I mean, I’m a size 12 (Aussie size 12, US size 8), so where’s the problem? It’s this really relief, albeit an incredulous one, that just months before my 40th, I think I’ve finally realised that food is not the enemy. It’s delicious. I’m not a glutton. I don’t LOVE to exercise (although I like to walk). I’m pretty normal, to be honest. I have softness and I constantly hide it away as though it’s completely hideous and abnormal. We women are so lucky to have these gorgeously formed, soft bodies, no harsh edges, just soft and squidgy. How lucky are we! But we try to exercise this beauty away, to starve it away, or diet it away, for what? So we can wear pants? I’m over it. No more dieting, no more obsessing, no more dressing to hide my curves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m vain so will always want to look pretty. But as for wearing pants, it’s pretty much over, and hiding my softness? OVER.

So what now?

World record temperature and that sort of thing…

So it’s going to be 43 degrees today. Even more impressive is that in Farenheit it’s 109.4

This is followed by yesterday’s top of 44.5 Celsius or 112.1 Fahrenheit

And that was followed by Wednesday’s top of 43 Celsius or 110.12 Fahrenheit

Or Tuesday’s top of 36.4 Celsius or 97.5 Fahrenheit

And to be nicely followed by tomorrow’s delightful 35 Celsius or 95 – thank GOD!!!

So what do us Aussies do on such days considering that we have the biggest hole in the ozone layer right above our pates? Well I’m pretty happy at work in the air con. But here’s what other Aussies are up to.

A thing about families…

From The Age: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/its-time-to-enlarge-our-closed-family-circles-20090104-79t2.html

It’s time to enlarge our closed family circles

Brigid Delaney
January 5, 2009 – 1:20AM

FORGET wide brown land, forget the drought — when I returned to Australia after a two-year absence, the country resembled a fecund cabbage patch.

Australia was having its biggest baby boom since 1992 and many of my close friends were doing their bit for population growth.

Suddenly my life was filled with new people — new little people: Jacks and Matildas, Rorys and Charlies and Olivias.

I’ve got enough friends, thank you very much, I thought, but like it or not I was going to have some more.

A generational shift occurred when my back was turned and suddenly I had become a family friend.

It’s a big responsibility — but I wondered, what does it entail these days? How would I do it? What’s the role now anyway — and does it even exist?

Parenting manuals, websites and chatrooms tell you until your ears bleed how to be a good parent, but all are silent on how to be a good family friend. “Family friend” is a phrase almost absent from any public discussions about family.

It is used sotto voce when discussing abuse, as in he was “once a trusted family friend” or a “family friend” is wheeled out to make statements to the media after a tragedy when the immediate family is too distraught to talk.

But other than that, the family friend has somehow slipped away from public discussions about family life.

The notion of family has contracted — suspicion lurks in the public swimming pools and in the parks.

In England, The Guardian reported recently that a grandmother was questioned by police for playing in semi-secluded woodland with her grandchildren. Several joggers had reported seeing something “suspicious” — that is, someone playing with children who did not look like the mother. In these days of fear and loathing, of stranger danger, you are either a parent or you’re not. There is no middle ground. But I would like to think there is something in between — someone who cares for the child in a parental way, who the parent trusts — an older friend to the child, a long-time friend of the parents — that is, a family friend.

When I was growing up, besides my parents and grandparents, family friends were the most important adults in my life.

Not only did they look after us, they played a major role in keeping my parents sane — companions on the odd night out away from home and a friendly ear when they felt overwhelmed by four small children.

When I was older and away at university, it was family friends that moved me into college, and it was in their houses I stayed when I felt homesick. They were an extension of my parents but now, as an adult, they have become my friends.

Recently, some family friends (university buddies of my parents) met me for dinner in London. It had been many years since I had seen them, yet there was a special warmth in the room that evening. They knew me before I even knew myself, maybe felt me kicking in utero; they knew my parents when they were first married and younger than I ever believed them to be. They babysat me and my brothers when we were little, and we went on family holidays together. They had, over the decades, nurtured me. Now as adults we were sitting down and having a meal. Maybe that’s what family friends give you in the end — history, and a feeling of being known in a deep and abiding way that new faces, brief encounters and fresh friendships can’t provide. Family friends have been privy to my tantrums and tears and changed my nappies — which is not something I can say, thankfully, for my own friends.

Back in Melbourne, I hold the Jacks and Matildas — all the new babies — the way my parents’ friends once held me. I also see us 30 years ahead — in a restaurant together, talking, marvelling at knowing them before they knew themselves.

Brigid Delaney
January 5, 2009 – 1:20AM

A thing about families…

From The Age: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/its-time-to-enlarge-our-closed-family-circles-20090104-79t2.html

It’s time to enlarge our closed family circles

Brigid Delaney
January 5, 2009 – 1:20AM

FORGET wide brown land, forget the drought — when I returned to Australia after a two-year absence, the country resembled a fecund cabbage patch.

Australia was having its biggest baby boom since 1992 and many of my close friends were doing their bit for population growth.

Suddenly my life was filled with new people — new little people: Jacks and Matildas, Rorys and Charlies and Olivias.

I’ve got enough friends, thank you very much, I thought, but like it or not I was going to have some more.

A generational shift occurred when my back was turned and suddenly I had become a family friend.

It’s a big responsibility — but I wondered, what does it entail these days? How would I do it? What’s the role now anyway — and does it even exist?

Parenting manuals, websites and chatrooms tell you until your ears bleed how to be a good parent, but all are silent on how to be a good family friend. “Family friend” is a phrase almost absent from any public discussions about

family.

It is used sotto voce when discussing abuse, as in he was “once a trusted family friend” or a “family friend” is wheeled out to make statements to the media after a tragedy when the immediate family is too distraught to talk.

But other than that, the family friend has somehow slipped away from public discussions about family life.

The notion of family has contracted — suspicion lurks in the public swimming pools and in the parks.

In England, The Guardian reported recently that a grandmother was questioned by police for playing in semi-secluded woodland with her grandchildren. Several joggers had reported seeing something “suspicious” — that is, someone playing with children who did not look like the mother. In these days of fear and loathing, of stranger danger, you are either a parent or you’re not. There is no middle ground. But I would like to think there is something in between — someone who cares for the child in a parental way, who the parent trusts — an older friend to the child, a long-time friend of the parents — that is, a family friend.

When I was growing up, besides my parents and grandparents, family friends were the most important adults in my life.

Not only did they look after us, they played a major role in keeping my parents sane — companions on the odd night out away from home and a friendly ear when they felt overwhelmed by four small children.

When I was older and away at university, it was family friends that moved me into college, and it was in their houses I stayed when I felt homesick. They were an extension of my parents but now, as an adult, they have become my friends.

Recently, some family friends (university buddies of my parents) met me for dinner in London. It had been many years since I had seen them, yet there was a special warmth in the room that evening. They knew me before I even knew myself, maybe felt me kicking in utero; they knew my parents when they were first married and younger than I ever believed them to be. They babysat me and my brothers when we were little, and we went on family holidays together. They had, over the decades, nurtured me. Now as adults we were sitting down and having a meal. Maybe that’s what family friends give you in the end — history, and a feeling of being known in a deep and abiding way that new faces, brief encounters and fresh friendships can’t provide. Family friends have been privy to my tantrums and tears and changed my nappies — which is not something I can say, thankfully, for my own friends.

Back in Melbourne, I hold the Jacks and Matildas — all the new babies — the way my parents’ friends once held me. I also see us 30 years ahead — in a restaurant together, talking, marvelling at knowing them before they knew themselves.

10 things I hate about me and some I like…

Well perhaps not 10 exactly. No, not New Year’s resolutions but, anyway…Although as I write this I’ve already made a new resolution, while walking home from the station today. I decided that there are two things I can do. Only two. Because I like to think in black or white. I’m like that. So I decided that I could either stop whinging about it (whatever “it” is today) and do something about it, or let it go. So that’s it.

In the meantime, here are a few of my PROBLEMS – bold, all caps.

  1. I think I need someone to tell me to shut up and stop whinging. Not as gently like JJ does it.
  2. I don’t have anything I’m really passionate about and keep looking high and low, over yonder, hither and thither.
  3. I feel hopeless and dark blue about:
    – the future;
    – lack of passion;
    – thinking, constantly, about how I feel, don’t feel;
    – the long wait for someone to give me answers, such as my
    * hypnotherapist – yes, really
    * therapist
    * weight watchers leader
    * JJ
    * T’Red
    * Momo
    * Renee Stephens
  4. Am I sad that I’ve given up writing?
  5. The kid thing.
  6. Not practicing my goals.

So what are the things that I DO  want?

  1. To be happy and healthy.
  2. To have a relaxed and healthy relationship about food.
  3. To enjoy and appreciate my family and friends.
  4. To be free from anxieties.
  5. To enjoy the work that I do.
  6. To have a career that nurtures and is of value.
  7. To write goals and practise them.
  8. To se JJ fulfilled and happy.
  9. To read more and enjoy my time.
  10. To watch less TV.
  11. To enjoy every moment with JJ.
  12. To be more open and honest with the ‘rents.
  13. To live life with no regrets.
  14. To stitch more.
  15. To understand my child free life and love it.

That’s all for now.

Oh, did I forget to say

My New York pressie – that’s Daniel Trocchio at work in the Saved Tattoo studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn http://www.savedtattoo.com/

And now for some action.

Oh, did I forget to say

My New York pressie – that’s Daniel Trocchio at work in the Saved Tattoo studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://www.savedtattoo.com/

And now for some action.

A broken fence and some brethalisers…

So who’da thought it about sunny Sunshine?

There I was on Saturday night, weeding the front yard, watering the newly planted flora and all when I hear this “whhoooo whoooop whoo whoop”. No, not an owl on acid, but a hotted up car with craaazy wheels doing a zip zip zip up the hill, and within seconds, a cop car with its siren a-blazing. “Sheesh,” I thought, “there goes the neighbourhood”. And I yelled out to the puppies to run inside quickly because I really wouldn’t like to live with the irony that the dogs never got injured when we lived on a busy road only to get run over on the quietest street in our ‘burb. Anyway, so then there’s this bang. The kind of band when steel (or fibreglass) hits something solid. J’Red comes running out of the house next door going “what was that? Was there a smash?” And I duly told him of the whhoooo whoooop whoo whoop and the cop car and yelling at the dogs to get inside, while still yelling at the dogs to get inside and watering the newly planted flora.

So, being the ever-vigilant copper that he is, J’Red gets into his car and races off in search of mystery and histrionics. I go back to watering, because the plants couldn’t care less about the mayhem and I wants my flowers to live!

But then, holy crap, I see a guy running off a few meters away from our driveway, followed by JJ holding a pair of serving tongs. He’s yelling out at the guy, “that’s him!” I say, “no, that’s a cop, he’s got a CB!” JJ says, “no it’s not, that’s him!” I say, “no, it’s a cop, he’s got a CB!” And then JJ goes running after the guy, wielding his tongs (they were really longs ones), yells at T’Red to call J’Red, and runs off around the corner. Meanwhile the street’s a-buzz with activity. Naturally, I tell everyone to “go inside! Go inside!”.

And I go back to watering the flora.

A few minutes later, JJ returns, tongs raised, and says, “that was the guy the cops were chasing in the car.” And I say, “no it wasn’t, it was a cop, he had a CB.” And JJ says, ‘oh yeah, check out the side fence.” And I head down the driveway and see this:

It seems I may have been wrong about the guy being a cop. But he did have a CB.

And the breathalisers? Well I found a few in the driveway after the real cops left.

And he shoots…

Last weekend, Jazzy Jeff and I took the neighbour’s kids to an auction. That’s right, an auction. So you might be thinking, Betty and JJ are off their nut if they think that taking a six and eight year old to an auction is going to pique their ADDD-riddled attention. Well think again. We’re not the greatest ever childless couple for no reason. Seriously, the barren celebs might think they’re doing it for the kids simply by buying them out of their poverty and giving them, oh, whatever they want and all, but JJ and I are to the suburbs what Nicole Kidman was to motherhood (pre-Sunday Rose). So, to live up to our Number 1 slot, we took them to a

PINBALL and ARCADE GAME AUCTION

In Campbellfield, butwhatever, right? I mean, there were around a hundred pinball machines and arcade games for sale. And you could play any of them FREE. It’s like when I worked at Timezone on Bourke Street and had the master key and after work I’d go upstairs and play the Dr Who or Adaams Family pinball And no, no amount of Law of Attraction wishing and hoping could bring the price of an Adams Family pinball within a sniff of my budget ($500 – it sold for around 4 grand, whatever) but JJ did get this:

Cool, innit!