Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Soul food

I first read the Desiderata when I broke up with my first husband.  I had moved into a mate's house and it was on a poster, hanging on the back of the toilet door.  So I read it - over and over that day until it made me cry.  Especially one line, made me realise that I was actually something - not this useless, fat, piece of shit human being that I was led to believe throughout my first marriage, but a person of some importance.  Not important to everyone, but important to someone.  It was time to take back my self confidence that I had lost in that relationship, time to believe that I was worthy of love.

Its fair to say that the Desiderata changed my life.  I have used it in times of anxiety, reading it over and over slowly, breathing, working through the panic.  It feeds my soul and helps make me a better person.

So for those that haven't ever read it - here it is.  I have put my favourite (and life changing) line in bold.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become bitter or vain, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.  But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.  Especially, do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment is is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortunes.  But do not distress yourself with imaginings, many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.  And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~Max Ehrmann~

Monday, 20 February 2012

Internet friends

I have lots of "friends" on the internet.  People I've never met make up a fair percentage of them.  So how do you know if they are really your true friend or not if you've not ever met them in real life?  Some people are different in real life, they have a persona online, something they have to hide behind.  So if there are people out there like that, how can you differentiate between who is real - and who is fake?

I've been burnt a number of times, by people that I thought were my real friends.  People that I had been friends with for 3 or 4 years online, and then they just weren't the person I thought they were.  Is that a me problem, or is that a them problem?  Did our friendship run its natural course?  Was there really a true friendship to begin with?

I know you can't really know someone until you meet them in real life, because you know, its far too easy to lie online.  I'll admit that I'm not a perfect person, but what you see online is the real me.

Since I've been in Queensland, I've had a few experiences meeting people that I only knew from online - one has turned out to be one of the greatest friends I think I will ever have (she just gets me even if I do torture her with exercise at 5am most mornings!), one was like a volcano that erupted and shit was thrown everywhere,  and one was meeting up with an old friend that I had met a few times before I moved to Tassie - and she rocks too.  Best of all, these two rockin' chicks live in the same suburb as me, and its awesome to know that they are there for me, and that they accept me for who I am - warts and all! (well maybe not warts, but hairy legs at least!)  Plus, there was also another friend who I felt I could just sit there all day and natter away with, while the kids all ran around nude and jumped in and out of the pool - no judgement, no bitchiness - just a down to earth, honest, rockin' chick.

So I guess you have to take the good with the bad.  Next month I have a meet lined up with a group of girls from BB - my baby buddies when I had Speedy.  I can't wait.  Sure, I'll be nervous and probably go between laughing hysterically at nothing funny in particular, or being that quiet little mouse sitting in the corner - but I truly cannot wait to see these girls, and get pictures of our antics!  And I truly hope that I mean as much to them as they mean to me - the same in real life as online.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The danger of assumptions

As a mother of 4, I'm sure that people make assumptions about me all the time.  They assume that I "have my hands full".  They assume that I'm "not coping" because my house is a bit messy (seriously, have 4 children, and you will soon realise that there is no point tidying up during the day because it just gets torn apart straight away!) They assume many things.

So I'm going to lay it out on the line.  Yes, my life is full of heaps of crazy.  My kids have whingy days.  That's heaps of whinging x 4.  And I don't particularly like those days.

But am I not coping?  If you walk into my house and see the mess - why does it seem to automatically indicate my ability to cope with my children?  My house is messy because I choose to read books to my kids during the day instead of cleaning all the time.  My house is messy because I pick my baby up when she cries and give her lots of cuddles.  My house is messy because I play on the wii or playstation with Sparrow instead of cleaning.

So to make the assumption that I'm not "coping" because my house is messy is just not accurate, I am coping.  I am a better mother than I was with 3 children.  I think the more children I have, the better I get at parenting, even if my house gets messier.

So I don't think the problem is that I'm "not coping" with all my children, the problem is that I obviously need a cleaner......