I once read that one of the most important career related decisions a woman can make is who she chooses as a partner – someone who values her career as much as his or her own and is willing to do things to support it, or someone who sees their career as most important and can only take what they need to sustain it, not give what their partner needs. What this comes down to is mutual respect. Seeing each other as equal partners where, when one person succeeds, they both succeed.
11 years ago today I made one of the best decisions of my life and married my husband. We’d been together for four years before that and, to be honest, if he had’t proposed when he did we wouldn’t be where we are today. But he did, and here we are.
We’ve weathered our fair share of storms. We are incompatible in every way but the important ones. We’ve embarked on the journey of parenting and eight years in have managed to produce two beautiful little boys without killing each other (or them. Some days it’s a close run thing though). He lifts me up, makes me laugh, holds me when I cry, forgives my weaknesses, leads when he must and follows when he must. Apart, we are still whole but together we are so, so much more than the sum of our parts.
Truly and as trite as it sounds, everyday I love him more.
I’ve just finished reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. If you’re wondering how I could just have finished reading Wuthering Heights this week when I had just finished reading The Mouse and His Child last week, then all I can say is, it’s all down to a voracious appetite and a determined disregard for house-work.
I hadn’t read Wuthering Heights before. It’s another book-fair find for me. But of course I’d heard of it because, well, most people have. I always thought it was a love story between Heathcliff and Catherine but it’s really more a story of obsession, hatred and revenge. If it is about love, it’s a very twisted kind of love. And it seems that people either fall into two camps; strong but cruel and selfish or kind but weak and selfish.
All that said, I enjoyed the read. Possibly you’ll be forced to read it in English but if not, I’d still recommend finding a copy and giving it a read for your own pleasure.
Have you read Wuthering Heights? If goodreads is anything to go by, it’s one you either love or hate. What do you think?
I’ve just finished reading The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban. When I was little I watched the animated movie many times. There’s a scene in the cartoon where a rat beats an old wind-up donkey to death and, unsurprisingly, it always stayed with me. I saw the book at a book-fair and picked it up for $2, for old times sake really.
It was a brilliant book. While I recognised a lot of scenes from the movie (including the scene with the donkey) there was so much more to it. Even knowing how it would end, I couldn’t stop reading about the toy mice’s journey from the toy-store to the cruel word and their quest to become self-winding and autonomous.
And I would never have picked it up if not for the book-fair and a bit of childhood nostalgia.
We tend to be attracted to what’s shiny and new but old stories have so much to offer. The Mouse and His Child was first published in 1967 but it’s themes are timeless. The writing style of older books is very different to modern style, often with much more description and author intrusion, but they’re often beautiful and poetic because of an author’s artistic license.
If you get a chance, keep an eye out for The Mouse and His Child and in the mean time blow the dust off some older stories for a chance of pace.
If there’s radio silence on this blog, chances are I’m busy with something else. I’m not good at multi-tasking. This is disappointing because ‘people’ are always saying how women can multi-task and men can’t. Maybe that’s true in your family, but in my house my husband can have multiple things going and not miss a beat, while any more than two different thoughts at a time leaves me flustered.
I’m not flexible either, despite making this claim in every job interview I’ve ever had. I need time to process. It’s not that I can’t change or even that I don’t want to change, it’s that I need to get my head around it first. It’s a very deliberate process for me, moving on from plan A to plan B. Sometimes all I need is a couple of deep breaths and I’m on board, sometimes it’ll take me a day or so.
Here’s the thing though, not being able to multi-task well has never been a huge impediment in my life. Often, the people I know who are multi-tasking all the time seem to be so busy chasing different balls, they miss the individual nuances of each ball. You may not get things done as quickly taking one step at a time, but you will get to appreciate each step you take and fully as you can. And that’s worth it to me.
I love television aimed at kids and teens.
The Next Step
Little Lunch (an awesome Aussie show)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I loved it in the 80s, I love it now. I had a crush on Raphael in the 80s, I have a crush on him now).
The list goes on. The problem is, I’m 34. That’s right, I’m a grown woman in her thirties with two kids hoping that Adrien and Marinette will get together (Australian free-to-air TV can be a bit behind, so if you know something I don’t, keep it to yourself).
While my friends are binging Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead, I’m giggling over Mickey’s jokes like a six-year-old.
So what’s the deal?
Some of the appeal for me is that watching shows for a younger audience keeps me up to date with what kids and teens are interested in, and that’s good for my business (writing for young people). Some of it is that it’s nice to enjoy things with my kids. And some of it is that shows for kids and teenagers tend to be optimistic and clever. Kids have a finely tuned bullshit meter, so their shows tend to be spot-on. Kids are also idealistic, so their shows tend towards an open, optimistic view of the world and I have to say, the older I get, the more I need that view in my life.
What about you? What TV do you watch that people would say is too young (or too old) for you?
In Indonesian ‘belum’ means not yet. There’s three different words for no, ‘tidak’, ‘bukan’ and ‘belum.
Sudah ke Indonesia?
Have you been to Indonesia?
You wouldn’t say no (tidak) because that means you’ll never go. And I love that idea because it leaves that door open. It’s hopeful. It’s full of possibility.
Have you been published?
Australian’s love a long weekend. This weekend it’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend (but not actually the Queen’s Birthday) and we’ve spent it visiting family. Both my parents and my MIL and SILs live in the same area, so it’s easy to visit them all the same time.
It’s also exhausting.
I remember when I used to sleep in on a public holiday, have a relaxed brekky and spend the day doing generally very little or spending time with friends. Ah, those days are gone. My children get up between 6 – 6 30 am every day. EVERY DAY. But, that said, I think my days are more interesting now.
What do you get up to on a day-off?
At the end of this month my local supermarket will stop supplying plastic bags. In theory, I support this because I know plastic is a problem in the environment. It’s a danger to fish, birds and animals, it doesn’t break down and plastic bags fluttering in the breeze are an eye-sore.
But, in practicality, I find plastic bags so convenient.
I know, I know. I am bad and lazy.
Also plastic straws, plastic wrap, plastic containers, plastic bottles and the list goes on.
I’m disgusting, I know.
So, back to plastic bags. The real problem is that I use plastic bags as bin liners (I KNOW). So what do I use now? What did people use before plastic bags? What do you use?
I’ve been absent for a while, I know. I’m sorry but things just got a way from me for a bit. I was knocked down with a cold, then there was school holidays and my brother got married and the excuses just keep going.
Sometimes life is like that. It’s one thing after other and all you can do is prioritise and come back to the other things when you can. And so I’m back. Luckily for me, it does mean that I have lots of topics saved up to blog about.
Thanks for hanging in there during my absence.
I like to think of myself as an honest person. I was brought up to know that cheating and lying were bad and this is what I teach my children but the truth is, I lie all the time.
In my family as a child, as in my family now, there was a special place for white lies. Those not-honest-but-not-quite-a-lie things we say. In explaining the concept of white lies to my kids I’ve gone with the definition of, ‘…they’re lies we tell so we don’t hurt someone else…’, but on closer inspection, that’s a pretty dodgy definition. After all, a cheating spouse could make the same claim about their lies (I didn’t tell you I was having it off with the butcher, because I didn’t want to hurt you), but that’s definitely not a white lie.
Unfortunately though, when you think about it, a white lie is often as self-serving as any other lie. They’re the lies we tell to avoid confrontation or guilt. We lie to our friend about her clothes and say it’s to spare her feelings, but in reality it’s to avoid a tricky conversation. We lie to acquaintances and say we’re busy, when really we’re not interested in spending time with them. We lie to ourselves.
More and more, I see white lies like strands of spider’s silk. It seems light and insubstantial but it’s sticky and difficult to rid yourself of and when it clumps together it becomes dusty and unsightly. And you know what they say, what a tangled web we weave, when we practise to my deceive.
On the other hand, how would we get through the day without a few white lies? Would it be an endless wave of conflict and confrontation or would we be freed by our honesty? What do you think?