#360 Damaged blinds

Am I grateful that the blinds are damaged?

???

I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend’s child damaged baby girl’s bedroom blinds today.

And I sure as hell as hell am not grateful that she clearly saw and tried to cover it up, or else how the hell did the blinds look all rolled up and tidy?

And I sure as hell am not grateful that my friend referred to my daughter as ‘cheeky’ when her child is a destroyer!

And I sure as hell am not grateful that she doesn’t go as far as to invite people over to her house which she keeps untouched from other children, yet is more than happy to go to others’ where her children will wreak havoc!

No, I sure as hell am not grateful for ANY of those things.

What I do hold consolation in is the fact that these blinds, although new and untouched (until today), will eventually be replaced.

Not in the next year or so. Maybe a 5 year project. So I will have to look at baby girl’s damaged blinds for the next however many years thinking of my friend’s child’s face.

And grunt.

But at least they’re not our ‘ideal’ blinds.

Trying really hard right now. Trying to summon forth the glass half-full view of post #1…

Grrr, argh.

#297 Madonna’s Billboard acceptance speech

There is really nothing more I can say than to simply post the above link for everyone to see. If you haven’t heard or watched it already, Madonna says plenty in her Billboard Woman of the Year speech. She says it ALL, with more honesty and poignancy, humour and candour, and sincerity and laughs, than anyone can ever say.

She is, of course, Madonna.

I love her. I think she is ahead of her time, and people just don’t know how to deal with her. They want to put her in their little box, but hold on… she doesn’t fit into this box, or that box, and this box is too triangular…

What do we do then? We abuse her. We intimidate her. We talk down on her. We make fun of her. We make a mockery of her because that is easy, and asking ourselves why she unsettles us and our way of thinking is too difficult to even ponder, so let’s just be dicks.

People are often scared and intimidated, unsure of what to do with people who rebel against the norm, who do not conform with what is ‘given,’ and who speak their mind and express their views about everything, so openly.

She is only doing what many men in entertainment out there were doing. Are doing. And yet it is unacceptable, for her, to do so as well. Not just her. But any woman who openly expresses her mind without fear or shame or inhibition.

Stay shy. Stay timid. Be quiet. Stick to the straight and narrow. Sit on the fence. As a woman, doing that, YOU WILL DO JUST FINE.

Fuck that shit.

You can watch it and see for yourself. But I think the most clear, defining moment for me of this video, the moment that speaks volumes, because maybe it’s the Universe’s silent message to me in watching this, is when Madonna thanks all the naysayers for pushing her beyond what she thought was possible of her. She thanks them with utmost sincerity.

I frankly think that those naysayers should just go and shove one up their arse, to be honest. I mean, if we’re going to be honest here. Just go and give yourself one if you can’t handle it.

But no. Maybe we all take a page from Madonna’s book. Never give up. Stay strong in your beliefs, and your vision. Don’t let them belittle you. Rise about it all.

And then thank the fuckers for making you the brilliant, successful, and amazing person that you are.

Because Bitch, she’s Madonna. And I’m grateful for this icon in the world.

(I do not own the rights to this video).

 

#292 Relaxed Backyard Bliss

My moment of gratitude came to me today as I was purging my thoughts out on the phone to my sister, sitting in the backyard having a break while baby girl napped.

It was warm. The afternoon sun hits the front of the house, so I had wonderful refuge near the shelter of a big tree that we still don’t know what to do with – chop, or keep?

After this afternoon, I think we’ll keep it.

I had on my sailor-style blue and white striped dress. Glamorous “vlecki” adorned my feet. Facing our two birds who were talking and singing out intermittently. Sitting on our iron chairs. And even though we were talking about disappointments and people getting you down, I had a moment. I realised how wonderful it all was: talking to my sister, having someone to share my concerns with. Sitting relaxed in this backyard that we had no time to do anything with, but it was pretty great as it was. I had shade, I had grass, and I had room.

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I was relaxed, I was warm, and despite the conversation, I was actually really happy.

Gratitude can find you in the strangest of places?!

*”vlecki” – European woggy outdoor slippers*

#268 Kind lady advice at Aldi

Advice and Aldi seem to come hand in hand. I came across it today after I had been on the Main street with baby girl, and had received two unpleasant looks from an older man when she had been shrieking at a nearby fly.

She hates bugs. She is my daughter, after all.

She was waving around the Hula Hoop I had just bought her, pretending to hula it on her arm, and showing me how she was going to do it from her leg – I kept reigning her in, pushing my trolley onwards, looking back at her, and trying to work out if I was going to buy any brie from there.

Standing in the cold aisle, I once again pulled her in closer to me as she waved the hoop around. A lady had been near me with her own trolley, and after I checked her for what seemed like the 5th time in a minute (“Be careful baby girl, you could hit someone”) this lady leaned forward and said

“Shhh.”

“She’s happy,” she continued to me, whispering. “Leave her.”

I really appreciated her understanding. I smiled and replied “I know, but there are some people…” I trailed off, thinking of the old man I’d just seen on the Main street, letting the woman fill in the blanks with her own scenario.

“I know,” she replied. “I’ve been there, done that. But just ignore them. Pretend you can’t see them.”

I laughed. This woman’s understanding was tops. She added that they’re only little for so long, and then as she moved past us, trying to get past a waving Hula-Hooped baby girl, she said “beep beep!”

Baby girl did a “beep beep!” back, and I was immediately grateful to this woman for her unnecessary, yet-so-longed for kindness, her understanding, and the fact that she verbalised it when I needed to hear it.

You know, it’s a really hard stage that I’m going through with baby girl. I write lovely and beautiful things about her, because that IS my gratitude blog… but simultaneously, post-moving house, and during these tumultuous 3 year-old days, I find myself getting upset and yelling every day. It’s tough. It’s trying. it’s challenging, and it’s emotional too. When I have people looking at me, and baby girl in disappointment, like the old codger on the Main street, I feel sad. It’s hard enough keeping baby girl in line, without the added looks from passers by. I feel like saying “what, were you a perfect child? Are her shrieks interrupting the frequency of your hearing aid? She has as much right to be here as you do… walk on.”

So when I come across someone who has a nice thing to say, who understands, and who is subsequently kind to baby girl… It really makes my day.

Thank you lady.

 

#202 No dickhead noisy neighbours

First I was going to talk of rain. My ever-growing, intense fascination with this ethereal substance.

Then I was looking at the bevy of umbrellas bouncing along the sidewalk as I walked in the rain today, under my own umbrella, and considered that picture of beautiful imagery something to be grateful for.

Then my boss. Another post will come there. (Suck).

Then the Reese’s peanut butter Krispy Kreme Hubbie got for me on his petrol doughnut run earlier tonight (Mmmm).

But no. 15 minutes ago I changed my mind from all those gratefulness-worthy possibilities.

My dickhead neighbours started being loud. Again. And I thought “I’ve got less than 2 months of this.”

I can’t express how grateful I am for that.

If I were staying on, I would take further action. Write to their body corp. Expressly convey my frustration at the inconsiderate couple choosing to put on loud music and clang God knows what, slam doors and talk exceptionally loudly (shall we just say shout?) past the hours of 10:30pm, very, very often.

It doesn’t happen every night. I might have already committed a sin if that were the case. No, these guys pop up with their loud demeanours, maybe once, twice a week, and every so often it gets so upsetting that like tonight, I immediately call the cops.

I am not a music-scrooge! I can hear him now, he’s freaking sawing something!

IT IS 11:07pm!

I don’t mind music. However generally people don’t start to play it on a weeknight, post 11pm. These guys are not normal. Every time they get noisy, it begins post 10:30pm. They even have kids, primary-aged, and I think they go outside so that their own kids can sleep…

I don’t know how, because I can hear every freaking thing.

They’re also cheeky, in that their loud periods won’t last for much longer than about 15 minutes at a time. Then there might be a half hour gap, and again, I hear the sliding door, and the abrupt jolt as they slam it shut. They must be smokers. I have beautiful visions of calling the house owners and telling them how their roach tenants are slowly tearing  their home to shreds.

I don’t like to cause trouble. And I’m not against having some fun. But you cannot deny, that these guys are repeat offenders and inconsiderate bastards who have no common sense about how to go about living alongside their neighbours.

I mean, live on a 27 acre farm, and make ALL the noise you want. Go for YOUR LIFE.

I can’t stand them.

And it may be awfully negative to talk of being grateful for the absence of annoying people…

But man I will be. I just can’t wait to be rid of them.

I am so grateful to be moving far, far away from them.

Let’s just hope our new neighbours are better than these guys…

#185 Laughter amidst the madness

Driving home late, on yet another Saturday night. Another family function. Of course, August. Again, driving my parents. And Hubbie. And baby girl.

Hubbie has drank, as well as had multiple coffees. I love the guy immensely, but he is a DRAINER. He just won’t stop talking. I’m like “shhh!”

“She won’t wake up!” He proclaims about baby girl, an octave louder.

“You have to respect women,” he’s saying to my parents in the back seat. I internally eye roll. “I’ve always believed that, but now even more after baby girl… imagine now, I’m in the back, with SmikG, and baby girl is at the front with her husband. I want to make sure she’s looked after, respected.”

My parents just nod. I can hear their amused thoughts.

“Shhh!” I go again.

“It’s ok, she’s fine!” Again he practically shouts this. I grimace. I put down the volume in the car, accessible from my steering wheel. He catches this within time and laughs at how I put it down after he’s turned up the dial.

“How can she hear it, if I can’t?”

I scowl, turning it down again when he’s not watching.

“Maybe I’m talking too much.” He turns to my parents. “It’s the alcohol. And the coffee. I’m talking tonight for the whole week! During the week SmikG talks… I won’t talk.”

Eye roll.

My Mum pipes up. “That’s how my husband used to be.” My Dad laughs from beside her. “He would drink and then not stop talking all night. I would go to bed and he’d still be talking! Oh, and if I upset him the slightest… I wouldn’t hear the end of it.”

They both laugh, and I smile, remembering this story I’ve already heard. It’s the first time my face has turned upwards the whole trip home.

“Respect,” Hubbie is saying again. “You have to respect women. It may not be your  daughter, but it’ll be someone else’s daughter. It’s no good how there are men that don’t respect women, I don’t like that.”

Everyone nods, hoping to shut him up.

“I wish baby girl finds someone that respects her. I wish baby girl finds someone like me!”

In that moment I withhold from bursting out into laughter.

‘I don’t want her to find someone like you – someone to shit her incessantly! I don’t want her to be pissed!’

This thought makes me laugh so hard from the inside, that suddenly, despite my shitty-ness at Hubbie refusing to be quiet, refusing to keep the music down, and just repeating repeating repeating like a parrot, things are a little more lighter.

After we’ve dropped off my parents, I tell him what I thought earlier.

He smiles. “If that’s the worst baby girl has, a husband that shits her on the drive home… if that’s her only problem, I’m happy.”

Yes, his inability to listen to me, to anyone, at all, after multiple drinks of coffee and alcohol, totally fucking shits me up the wall. I freaking want to go insane.

But he’s right. It’s a pretty funny problem to have.

It’s nice to be able to find the funny-ness, amidst the frenzy.

I love my annoying Hubbie.

;P

 

#144 My Parents

I was pissed off. I put baby girl to bed, saw that Hubbie was happy napping too, and decided to calm myself by making someone else feel better.

I headed over to my parents’ house. They’re going to be needing their daughters’ support more than ever over the next couple of months, so no time but the immediate moment to start. I tried to keep the focus on them, and what their plans were for the next while – but in true parent fashion, they knew something was up.

Soon we were talking about the very thing I had come over to try and avoid the topic of. Selfish, inconsiderate, uncooperative people. People who only thought of themselves. People who wanted it all. People who didn’t care. People I had no time for, but unfortunately people who I couldn’t avoid.

It was a big open-all, heart-to-hearts. And I realised something I always knew.

My parents are always there.

My parents always have the exact right things to say.

My parents really do know it all.

My parents always have my back.

I was sitting there, feeling so comfortable, amongst my own. Sitting at the old kitchen table I used to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything else in-between at, just made me feel right at home. The home I’ve made with Hubbie and baby girl is definitely home. But there’s a comfort attached to your home home. Your original abode, the place you grew up and became the person you wanted to be and made memories in. There is comfort, nostalgia and homesickness all mixed into one.

Made even more so by my parents being there.

I am so grateful for these two humans for being the most amazing parents there ever could be. They have always supported me. They have been there for me through everything. They would go to the ends of the earth for me and my sister. And despite their own hardships, they continue to. They have always been there for the deepest of conversations, lightest of laughs and toughest of trials. They’ve provided for me everything I could need and want and more, and inspired me to be the kind of parent to baby girl that they are to me.

I’ve always been appreciative of them and all that they’ve done, and all that they are, but most particularly in recent times, and definitely today, I’ve felt their love, their warmth, and their dedication.

And it just blows me away that despite their own personal battles, they are there for me, no matter what. That’s how loyal they are.

That’s what a parent is. That’s what love is.

I love them so very much. And when things get tough, you realise just how much.