Tuesday, February 14, 2012

But that’s not romantic to me…

It is Valentine’s day today.
Every year I explain to people around me that we don’t “do” Valentines Day. By that I mean there aren’t flowers or gifts in our household. I object to being told when I should be nice to the special people in my life. I also MASSIVLY resent the constant messages of “What Women Want” from the media around this time of the year.
For me, what would make my day special is for the man in my life to attend my sports training and cheer me on, meet my team mates, and get to know a little more about who I am, and what I am capable of.
For him, the morning is a lovely time full of promise and hope (I’m more of the try-to-sleep-through-it brigade) so me getting up super early to cook breakfast and take that special time to be together without a big rush will make his day really nice. Neither of these things are in any of the numerous advertisements for how to “really treat your partner” on Valentine’s day, and yet, there it is… our perfect day.
So for all that I mock it… perhaps Valentine ’s Day is a really good time to set this stuff up with a new partner, or reinforce what makes you happy with a loved one. Because not everyone shows love in the same way, and not everyone accepts love in the same way. This is pretty damn cool, and it makes total sense given how unique each person and their life experience is.

I’m a super lucky lady, the man in my life is a really good guy when it comes to little gifts, and flowers. Unfortunately when I met him, flowers still stank of obligation and emotional bribery. Because of a history of a stalker and a boyfriend who would only buy flowers to give himself more time to wiggle out of trouble, they meant nothing more to me than someone trying to control me. I needed to gently tell him that I knew what message he was trying to send, but until I got a little more comfortable with him, and felt safer, flowers didn’t always send that message.
He knew he loved me, and wanted to tell me that.
But his message did not resonate with how I identified “love”
So message sent needs to equal message received.
It’s not romantic, but it does mean a lot more genuine happiness. And that sure doesn’t come in a box with a bow.
For me it comes with the smell of chlorine and a victory hug after training.

So how’s about we fuck up the sales records and tell the people we love, that we love them how THEY want to hear it.
I can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to be an organised woman...

I've got a tendancy to write blog posts in a word doc, and save it to complete later, or forget completely.
I found the following post (written in September 2011 - the month of the antidepressants!) in such a file, and it made me laugh. Hopefully it makes you laugh too.

I got a bunch of books out of the library this week.
All sorts of self-help books. Women in business, Business women. How to not just be a token woman in business. Dealing with business as a women. Taking care of woman business
You get the idea…

Basically I am interested in learning more effective techniques for the day-to-day and to improve my future career.
One of the books I got was about being more organised. The book was pink, so I knew it was actually a “How to be an organised lady” subtext.
I started with it because one of the issues I had was a distinct lack of time to do what I wanted to do as opposed to the stuff I felt like I should do. The book was a horrible disappointment and almost lead to my first panic attack since I started on anti-depressants.
Each chapter had patronising little quotes about how great women are and how useless men are, followed by things that you could do that would streamline your life.
Such as labelling everything that goes into the freezer, cooking multiple meals at a time. Scrubbing the floor while enjoying your favourite TV programme. Having all your herbs and spices in one place, with clearly defined with expiry dates.
Asking your partner to chip in.

My partner was already valiantly running the household while I was never there.
I didn’t even know that our spices COULD expire! This was clearly designed for people who had NOTHING to do but couldn’t figure out why nothing was getting done.
It was essentially a chores list for people who have nothing better to do that store pillow cases between books to avoid ironing.
WHO THE FUCK IRONS ANYTHING LET ALONG PILLOW CASES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (That many exclamation marks is a sure sign that my mental illness was winning.)

I was almost homicidal by the second page, but at least I got up early today, too angry to lie in bed enjoying the fact I don’t have to work.

So here is MY advice to streamline your life.
Get your partner to write down their responsibilities, while you do the same on a different page.
Now each go through and tick what you ACTUALLY DO.
Redistribute chores so that ones that are being missed are swapped or negotiated, or split.
If this doesn’t work, or you can’t negotiate an even workload, find a fresh partner, or enjoy the peace of a single life.

If you are single, hire a cleaner and give them the list of most hated jobs and some money – life is too short to iron.

If the garden needs re-digging start a rumour that there is treasure in your garden then throw a party for the local 11 year olds. No one has more energy than a kid on a treasure hunt.

Tell people who sell label machines, tuppaware, and other assorted kitchen crap to fuck off. If you need to store that much food, you are buying too much or eating too little.

People who like to organise things do it because they like it. Don’t feel guilted into having a matchy-match kitchen or office space if the thought of it doesn’t give you a total lady boner. As virtuous as it looks, no one should do it for any reason other than personal satisfaction.

Bakerys are there for a reason. Cupcakes from the supermarket can be put in kitsch cupcake wrappers and sent to school with the kids with a clean conscience.

Schedule the fun stuff, your guilty conscience will ensure the jobs get done, and you will end the day a better person for it.

The most awesome people I know have houses that are a mess, because they are busy doing awesome things in it. Visit other people’s houses or get some cool friends who love your mess as much as they love you.

Staple multiple “magic mops” to your and your partner’s shirts and make love on the kitchen floor. If you are doing it right a vigorous 30 minute cleaning session should leave both you and the tiles glowing.

If your job has you out of town more than the three days a week they promised at the interview, quit and take three weeks off to sleep, eat and tell everyone you love them and you are sorry.

(And I did. And it was AWESOME!) x SN.