Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Innocence of Age

I continue to be amazed at how swiftly time rushes by. One moment I'm seeing this:



And in the blink of an eye, I'm now seeing this:



Jaimee celebrated her third birthday last weekend. I pulled up outside the house on Sunday morning just in time to see Anna walking down the street dressed as a clown. She'd had no sleep the night before. She'd spent the evening and the early hours of the morning decorating the conservatory with balloons and streamers, putting up photo collages of her daughter in the dining room, and adding the finishing touches to the birthday cake.

She then spent the day prancing around entertaining the kiddies in attendance. They were completely enamoured of her, she had them totally under her control. That's impressive when it comes to a bunch of 3-4 year olds. The look on Jaimee's face when she first saw her Mum in that get-up was priceless.

It made me think about the lengths we go to for our children and their happiness. I mean, we feed them, clothe them, and are forever wiping their noses, faces and bums at that age. Their health?...I couldn't begin to count how many times I took one of my boys to the after-hours medical centre at 3 or 4 in the morning. As their parents, we do it because we just do.

Looking after our children when it comes to their health, education and everything else in between, becomes as natural to us as breathing. We're parents....it's our responsibility to ensure they're healthy, safe and warm. We don't have to think about it, we do it automatically.

I have knocked on every door and called through every tent flap on an entire campground, looking for a missing teddy bear that a 3 year old broken-hearted Ryan left on a trampoline the night before. I've worked into the small hours of the morning with my (ex) husband, putting together a racing car set to surprise the boys on Christmas day. My girlfriend's partner forced himself into a heavy Winnie-the-Pooh suit on a stinking hot day to attend her son's birthday party...the kid's were in awe.



We painstakingly sew costumes for plays, make kites, attend concerts, bake cakes, and chase balloons across fields that have been whipped out of their hands by the wind. We sit on the floor and build houses and planes and any manner of structure borne of their imaginations out of blocks. We get covered in glitter, glue, string, paint, whatever...and watch and listen to the same videos and songs over and over and over.

We get filthy and tired from doing these things...and over the years we do these or similar things again and again. Because we want our kids to be happy and we spend so much of our lives making that occur in as many ways possible. The expressions on their faces and the excitement in their voices...makes every dirty, exhausting, sweaty, breathless part of it worth it.

With the age my boys are now, it's easy for me to forget what it's like looking after toddlers that seem to have boundless energy. It's one of the many reasons I love being around Jaimee so much. She helps me to see the world through innocent eyes again. She allows me to appreciate the wonder of so many beautiful things that we can take for granted on a daily basis. Things that can get overshadowed by the pace of a hectic life.

These young kids teach us to appreciate what we've got. If they're happy we know it, if they're not, we know it. They say what they feel and mean what they say. They're open and raw and fabulously untainted with their perspective on life. What a shame that part of our jobs as parents is to help them grow up!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Cheesy Victory...or Not...

scone
I made scones yesterday.

That may seem insignificant to you but there's a reason I'm telling you this.

I've had problems making scones in the past. My mother and both my sisters can make magnificent scones. Me? I make hard, flat ones....scones akin to paperweights, river stones, whatever...you know, the type you break your teeth on. I am the only female in my family that can't make the damn things. I won't be asking my brother if he can ...the possibility of hearing him say "Yes" will just ruin my scone-esteem through and through.

I have woken up on previous days and in true positive-affirmation fashion have recited "This morning I am going to make scones...and they are going to be GOOD!"

They never are.

Yesterday I tried a new recipe my sister gave me last weekend. Alice rang while I was in the middle of kneading the dough...some of you may recall that Alice's partner is my ex-husband...I said to her "Tell him I'm making scones." He came back with "So she's learnt how to make them then?" See? It's been almost 9 years since we lived in the same house and even he still remembers.

But...yesterday I made scones...and they really were good. They looked fantastic...they smelled fantastic...and both boys "ooohed and aaahed" with appropriate enthusiasm after I insisted they come and gaze upon my little trophies.

Last night as Cameron was getting himself some supper, I went through to the kitchen to make a coffee:

"How come you aren't eating the cheese scones?"
"Eh?...oh, well...I..."
"Did you not like them? I thought they turned out pretty well today."
"It's not that Mum."
"Don't save my feelings, just say it.."
"I just think they're too good to be eaten at this time of night."
*I turn slowly and look pointedly at him*
"Aw Mum, don't look at me when I'm telling you shit like that."

Not exactly the special scone moment I've been searching so long for.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Caught In The Act

We sat glued dreamily to the television:

Sis: "How old do you think he is?"
Me: "Who even cares?"
Sis: "Imagine having a voice like that woman, and singing with him..."
Me: "Imagine being able to get that close to him, never mind singing at the same time."
BIL: *rolling eyes, getting up to walk out of lounge*
Sis: "What's her name again?"
Me: "Dunno...something-or-other...her surname sounded like pussy"
Sis: "Lisa!"
Me: "Well it did!"
BIL: *quick backtrack* "What was that?"

We were watching a DVD of Michael Bublè in concert. His name runs off the tongue ooh soooooo easily don't you think?

Michael-Buble


Michael Booooblaaaaaaay...*sigh*

I'm not one for having crushes on celebrities but I have to say...I could listen to this man sing and watch him move for hours...and hours....oh and did I say, hours??

When I mentioned his name to my sister on Saturday night, she clapped her hands..."Oh yes! I've got a DVD!...Let's watch that eh?" Who was I to argue? I was already in love with the man's voice...what better way to wile away an evening but to feast my eyes upon him. He does all those cutesy, jaunty moves at the same time as belting out some beautiful old classics...it was a win/win for me.

He came on stage at the top of the stairs as the strings commenced their harmony...."Feeling Good" had begun....mm, mmmm. As the sexy beat of the bassline and drums thobbed in, he strutted downwards. Lord....*slaps hand on heart*...I swear my jaw hit the floor the same time my knickers did! I had definitely started to feel pretty good myself.

My stomach did an achey flippity-flop that can only be described as hopeless desire for something unobtainable. Hot damn, as if I haven't been dealing with enough of that lately, pfft lol.

As he crooned so clearly "You Don't Know Me"...I threw my arms out to the TV and cried passionately "But I really want toooooo." My sister pinched me...maybe she was trying to get me to come to my senses.

If he EVER makes it to New Zealand, I am SO gonna be there...I don't care WHERE in NZ he may perform, I'm there. Security could end up carrying me off, only to be chasing me away again later...but hey, it'll be worth it.

Honest, I really AM going to be 42 in a couple of months...you'd never know it half the time eh? I reckon I can be just as good a groupie as the rest of them. In fact to quote my oldest son recently "Mum, you're acting like a school kid, it's not on", so there lol.

Never know how much I love you,
never know how much I care,
when you put your arms around me,
I get a fever that's so hard to bear...

You give me fever...
when you kiss me, fever when you hold me tight,
fever!..in the morning, fever all through the night...
Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sway With Me

Anne and I turned up at the performing arts centre with no clue what to expect. We knew we were going to be moving our bodies about, that was pretty much it. We were the first people there. Eager beavers eh? lol If I was going to have a go at this, there seemed no point in being late. Yep, gonna do this? I'm gettin' in there, boots an' all.

Tango first. And yes...*rolls eyes* I had to be a man. Come on, on sight it's more than obvious I'm female...but for the purposes of the evening I relented and was occasionally male. And you know what? I think I'm a better man than woman in this respect. I said in this respect...make sure you read that part.

Any time I was dancing with a man I found myself pushing/pulling against him...seems I like being the leader, go figure. But it WAS easier dancing with a man, and I think that was all to do with length of leg stuff. I need to learn to take smaller steps.

Not bad for a first attempt really. Ok, I lied. Was tricky trying to remember all the correct combinations...certainly easier ad-libbing, which I did plenty of if my partner allowed me. In other words, when I was being the man and could push my female counter-part about, haha.

Salsa next. Well, well, well. How interestingly, um, what's the word I'm looking for here?...uh...intimate? hot? sexy?...err..."difficult" comes to mind lol. Hip-isolation appears to be what it's all about...that, I can do...afterall I AM polynesian...this should give me a natural hip movement in the hula-stakes. Well, you'd think so anyway wouldn't you?? Be a darn sight easier if they'd just let me do it my way, ya know? But no, I was there to learn. Besides, I don't think they have a name for whatever dance I wanted to be doing.

One thing I can say for certain....if you're going to be learning the salsa, it would definitely be more pleasant dancing with someone you've been horizontal with. I mean, as you'd know, it's a very close, kinda touchy-feely dance....I wasn't comfortable getting THAT up close and personal with other people, especially the men. I WILL say that one particular chap I danced with, who was well over 6'4" and built like a brick shit-house...was great with me...apparently he'd been dancing the salsa for 7 years (great...I waited for the frustration to etch itself across his features).

So, he helped me through a few things. The part I enjoyed the most was when he eventually gave up trying to dance against me...held me out, holding my hands and instructed..."Do this, now this, see? That's good, you're doing great...Keep going." I'm thinking "Yeah ok, cool, I can do this...haha, I CAN do this. Go me!" He pulls me back in...I immediately tense up..."Keep going Lisa, you're doing fine, relaaaax"...back and forth, side to side, forever swinging hips, start off with right foot....blah blah blah.

"Great...now look at me." I stop trying to see my feet...my eyes move to his chest..."My face...look at my face". Apart the fact he was so tall, I couldn't bring myself to make eye contact when the rest of my body was that close to him physically. Last time I was THAT close to a man, and my eyeballs were having constant contact with his...well, I just couldn't have given a rat's arse about foot-placement.

So yeah, I couldn't do it....I started staring at the roof instead...like, straight past his right ear lol. Eventually the music stopped...we were instructed to swap partners...I thanked him for his help...and rushed to Anne. Taking her in my arms, I actually felt safe and happy morphing back into the male gender for a short time again.

Of the two styles, salsa is the one I preferred. I enjoyed the relaxed, sexy but upbeat style of it. I think you can improvise more with your partner...if you had a regular one anyway. With the tango, I had to count more, think more about combinations and I stood on more toes (poor buggers lol). I will go back though...it was fun and I had a lot of laughs. I would love to be able to dance with some sort of finesse.

If only I could convince one of my boys to come with me...I don't have a problem looking either of them in the eye AND I reckon I could still manage to push them around despite being the girly. lol
Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'd Rather You Didn't Son...

I was bitterly disappointed to find that my friend had got her wires crossed when it came to the salsa/tango dancing lessons last Friday. Had I not had the brains to ring and confirm with the school, I would've found myself standing outside the place on a Friday night, waiting for nothing. I'd psyched myself up to have a go, only to find out it's not until this Friday. Lord help them if they try to make me partner up with another female and they want me to be the man...that'll piss me off no end lol

I'm a woman damnit, on or off the dance floor. Get it right.

The boys are in their second week of school break. Back to school next week. I welcome the time I have on my own during the day, so I'll admit, I'm looking forward to them going back.

When I told Cameron I was starting these dance lessons, he thought that was pretty cool til I asked him if he'd like to come with me. The simple answer was "um...no"...followed up with "well at least it's not ballet". Which reminded me of this.



Needless to say, from this mother's point of view, I'm relieved that neither of my boys wanted to get into tights lol.
Monday, April 16, 2007

If You're Happy and You Know It....

"He's gone?"..."Yes."..."So, you're on your own again now?"..."Yes."

She waited to hear more. Yet I had only told her moments before I wouldn't talk about it. I clammed up, refused to get into further dialogue on the subject and shut down that part of my mind. The conversation turned to her. She was asked by another friend of ours..."So, are you in love?" She responded by giving it some thought and said "Yes, I think so, I really enjoy having him around."

When people say they think they're in love...is that because they don't actually know for sure? Or is it because they don't want to become vulnerable to others by confirming it? I understand we don't like to admit to being in love too soon after we start seeing someone...that could have 'egg on face' possibilities. But several months down the track, I'd expect them to have some idea as to whether they want to continue seeing that person and explore the potential of a future relationship.

Perhaps that's expecting too much. We've talked on here before about how long or little it can take for you to know what you want, or when you start having those feelings sweep through you. The conclusion of that discussion if I recall, was that there was no set time really...you feel it when you're ready, you know when you know...you just feel whether they're right or not.

I have to admit I was surprised that my friend had to think about it. I know if anyone had asked me that question recently, I wouldn't have hesitated...my response would've simply been "Yes". I know it, those close to me know it...it would've been pointless denying it anyway. It's a fact, I'm in love. Problem is, I don't quite know what to do about it...well I can't do anything really, so I do nothing lol.

What happens when you're in love and you shouldn't be? I mean, if things don't go to plan, unexpected events crops up, complications etc? We all know there's no internal switch to flick off those feelings. And why would we anyway? Being in love is a terrific feeling. Unless of course the object of your heart's desire isn't in love with you. That feeling would suck big time.

But it doesn't stop us from eventually falling again. It might take us longer each time, and one of the beauties of getting older, is that although we become weary with age...we also become wary with age. Hopefully past experience will help us learn more about ourselves and give us guidance. In theory that sounds great but falling in love can occur without us even noticing at times, so that kinda chucks level-headed thinking out the window. *sigh*

Cupid's got a lot to answer for. But we let him play with our hearts because we remember what it feels like...we want that feeling again...we need it. Hell, there are people out there virtually hunting it down on a daily basis. There are enough online dating services to prove that fact. We want to be happy...sharing our lives with that special someone makes us happy...and we all deserve to be happy.

Love....apparently it's what makes the world go round...and who are we to stop the world spinning on it's axis?
Thursday, April 12, 2007

Has Font, Will Ramble

The temperature has certainly dropped here the last few days. Last night it was SO cold I actually wore a t-shirt and flannelette grandpa pj pants to bed (you know the ones like your grandad used to wear? baggy, stripes etc). I'll confess, I love those pants, they're great at keeping the bottom half of me warm. In fact I always know where they are, as opposed to the rest of my nightwear, which I can take or leave the majority of the time (oh except that t-shirt, I always know where that is now too lol.)

Ok, enough about the weather...

A friend of mine put me on to a typing speed test site the other day. She starts a new temp assignment next week...and the company have requested the temp to be typing 80 words per minute. I reckon that's a crock of shit. I mean, I didn't think anyone was allowed to request that much these days. Years ago, when Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) was hitting ACC's budget hard, I thought companies were only allowed to ask for between 50-60 wpm. That's a reasonable amount to expect I would think. Correct me if I'm wrong, I wouldn't have a clue what's acceptable or not these days.

I had a go myself and chalked up 82wpm. Not bad considering my nails needed cutting. The following morning I cut my nails off - didn't make a shit of difference...still came in at 82wpm (however, it WAS only 6.15am, my fingers may not have been awake yet lol). Turns out I average 90wpm. To be honest, I would never tell a temping agency I can achieve that. In fact, I'd probably say I was doing somewhere in the vicinity of 70-75. I'm buggered if I'm going to be sitting around all day typing 90wpm and boring myself stupid in the process...it's not my thing, variety being the spice of life and all that.

Click here and have a go yourself if you're interested. It can be fun, if somewhat addictive. And it sure beats the hell out of the 'old' days at school when we were typing along in time with vinyl records belting out "a s d f ; l k j" blah. (We should all have a go at it before we do the drunken blogging thing, it also tells you how many mistakes you've made lol.) Go on Leilani, I'm interested in how fast you can type...let's face it, you've been known to come at me like lightning during IM chats lol.

That's about all I have to report. Besides the fact that the other day my young coffee maker was going to try giving me a fright by leaping out from behind the counter at me. (He must be about 10 years younger than me...to my teenagers of course, he'd be chucked in the 'old' category el pronto.) I say "was", because he changed his mind at the last minute and appeared from where he'd been hidden, grinning at me instead.

Just as well...I scare easily under those kinda circumstances. If I'd had 6 feet of man jump at me unexpectedly, I've no doubt I would have responded by shooting snot straight from my nose. And I just simply didn't feel like being that impressive.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where'd She Go?

I was talking to a friend on the phone last night. I asked her "Wouldn't it be great if we could be invisible for a while?" She didn't agree, she said that we might see or hear something we may not want to. She misunderstood me....I corrected her, "I didn't mean in a 'fly on the wall' sense, but just invisible full stop."

Invisible so noone can see you. Where you go, what you do, the face that we can often put on for 'show' to others, we wouldn't feel we had to. We could be who or whatever we wanted to be, without repercussions of being judged. Invisible. How wooooonderful. Hide away from the rest of the world until we were ready to come out of the dark and rejoin the race again.

Actually I found a way to make the opposite occur today. I went into the supermarket, shoved my iPod earbuds in, cranked the music up and went around the shop filling my trolley. It was fantastic. I became totally oblivious to anything or anyone around me. Perfect.

In some ways I guess I've hidden myself by not blogging. The fact of the matter is, I actually just didn't feel the motivation to expose what's been happening in my world. Did I miss writing? Absolutely. Did I want to voice my thoughts for all and sundry to see? Yes and No. It felt safer...I felt safer, more comfortable, less vulnerable by keeping silent.

Writing on here can sometimes make me feel naked....that's a frightening thought at the best of times (lol), but I know you understand what I mean. I don't usually have a problem opening up and telling it like it is...and I've done that previously time and time again. But this matter has had me clinging to my trusty self-preservation jacket...my defence mechanisms are down...they've deserted me, gone AWOL....shit, shit, SHIT! *sigh*

Hope can be given in one breath and taken away in the next. Just. like. that. *snap*. How do we prepare ourselves for the sudden change? We don't really. We either sink or swim...exist or live (thank you to one of my previous commenters, I just stole that off you lol).

I know I prefer to live a little while I exist. And is there really anyone out there that wants to sink instead of swim? I don't think so.

As I've already mentioned to my friend Larry, I'm going to go have some (more) fun. It will also serve to keep me distracted. This Friday evening is going to be the first of many Salsa and Tango lessons. Imagine that? Me thinking I have the flare and co-ordination enough to have a go lol. But you know, who the hell cares? It's hardly sky-diving is it? It's only orchestrated dance moves (could be famous last words lol). That, I can cope with for now. God help anyone else on the dance floor.

How hard can it be?? What's more, I don't have to have a partner...so all I have to do is turn up. At the very least I can see myself dissolving into laughter at my own expense, and that's gotta be a good thing.

*sticks rose between teeth and throws back head*

"Hola!"
Saturday, April 07, 2007

Winds of Change?

You may have been thinking that I've shrivelled up on the inside and am in a catatonic state, rocking dramatically in the corner of the room. Come on, you know me better than that. Well ok, I'm not in that condition today, so let's chalk today up as a good day on the outside.

I'm on the brink of major changes happening in my life. I can feel it in my bones. I'm restless and itching to start implementation. Unfortunately the whats and hows I haven't figured out yet. As some of you will know, I've started seriously considering working full-time again. Where or how I'm going to do that, I'm not entirely sure but I may have come to the end of my career as a medical receptionist anyway. By the end of April, I would've held this role for 6 years.

It's been great, I've loved it. The public contact on a daily basis, the rapport that I have with many of the patients and of course the staff, is pretty much what's kept me sticking to it for as long as I have. It's a varied, busy position and the shifts usually fly by. I hate sitting around twiddling my thumbs at work, so it's all good. So why would I want to change it? If it aint broke, why fix it? I dunno, I just feel the need for something else.

My boys are not going to be getting any younger...only older and more mature and spreading their wings further afield. They don't need me on the same level as they did when they were toddlers. I will always be there for them, no matter what, but eventually the time will come when the 'whats' will be few. And unless I want to turn into an interfering, suffocating mother, I have to take a step back and allow them to make their own way. I have to have faith that I've done the best job I can as a parent to prepare them to face the challenges that life brings and to solve them accordingly. I get that.

For the first time in years I feel truly in love...it's a hideously complicated situation that I have no control over...and you all know how I feel about not having some sort of control...well, it kinda depresses me and pisses me off. When things come to an end and I'm not ready to let them go, how do I hold on? Or more importantly, how do I hold on to my pride and dignity, when all I want to do is basically get down on my knees and beg that it doesn't end? I never thought the day would come when I'd get to that stage...not ever. I'm fed up with learning curves at this point of my life. I'm supposed to have a clue. Perhaps I'm having a mid-life crisis? Am I too old for that yet? When are we too old for a mid-life crisis? 45? 50?

I'm also tired of pretending to the outside world that all is rosy within mine. Because it's not. We often show a different face to the people around us. Only those that are close and really know us well, are able to see the cracks in the facade. And if we become particularly talented at this game of 'hide and seek', we may even be able to fool them to a certain extent.

Most women are natural communicators...I think I am anyway. At times I've felt I can vent/talk until it seems I'm trying to rid myself of a kidney. Other times I'm silent, watching the world go by in a stupor. And I think "What do I do now?" which can lead to me choking back tears...or, if noone's looking, I allow myself to dissolve into them. These latter times don't happen on a daily basis, except at the moment. For the most part I push it all to the back of my mind and continue with my life in the same way as usual.

I'm not depressed, I know this. I think I've come to a cross-roads...what I do next is going to be a turning point in my life. As I said earlier, I'm restless, in a quandary, I need change...it's like I want to break out of the life I've been leading for the last God knows how many years. It's not that I'm unhappy with what I've achieved so far, it's more that I'm done with that for now. I doubt this feeling is uncommon, I think many people go through this. What I must do of course, is figure out what it is I want to do, and how I go about it. Or more precisely, whether I want to take the risk of doing it.

Mind you, I could continue on in the same vein for several more years until I've dotted my i's and crossed my t's and I feel safe that I've done all my homework, covered my arse from all sides and then move on wherever. That could mean several more years of me feeling this ho hum existence. I don't want that. I'm not getting any younger ya know? What would I say when my grandchildren (assuming I have some that is) ask me "Grandma, what did you do in your day?" or something similar. How comfortable am I going to be replying with "Well, I waited around for something to happen".

Life is what we make it. We make decisions and choices and whether they are right or wrong, we deal with the outcome/consequences in the best way we know how. The older we get, the faster the years seem to rush by. Time is not waiting...it's out there doing things, seeing things, experiencing things. This is all happening regardless of whether I'm involved or not.

I'm not liking that at all. How dare I leave myself out of all the excitement and fun?