Sunday, August 29, 2010

Aaaah growing up....

Who would want to be 18 again? Hands up? Those over fifty who would really want to go back there?

Didn’t think I’d get too many volunteers.

There are so many distractions, media, options, and choices while at the same time shackled to a body of raging hormones.

Life seems so short when you are 18 – tomorrow is an eternity away. Making decisions is all about the now.

It is an era of instant gratification. Not helped by the comfortable life parents give growing up, they expect that this is what life is going to be like and not realising of course that the comforts afforded them by parents comes from hard work and tough decisions along the way.

But growing up is also about learning to make your own decisions and sticking by them and about being responsible for these decisions and everything that goes with them.

Sometimes the reality is tough.

It’s not called tough love for nothing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Decisions ... Decisions ....

It’s not easy being a parent, living life, keeping it all together and having time for you. Any parent knows the balancing act you do to get through each day and get to sleep at night.

Sometimes we have to make decisions tough decisions and then back up afterwards.

When we have relationships with others we enter into a very solemn contract with the other person. Nothing needs to be written and it goes without saying that we are responsible for how we treat that person, how we care for them, love them, share and deal with the tough things in life that come along.

That’s what we do. We stand up and are counted. We act with discipline, respect and responsibility.

It is never easy. I watched a great movie not long ago and one of the conversations stayed with me. Making hard decisions doesn’t make life easy – it just makes it easier.

So I’m back home giving the family a base, laying a foundation for my one true love when he returns to us. Families are important. We don’t have children to not share and listen to them, and when they need us we come.

That’s what families do.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life’s too short ....

How many times do you hear that?

How many times do you say I’ll put that off until another time?

How many times do you not say how you feel when you’re hurt, upset, happy and full of love?

How many times do you not make that phone call to keep in touch, send that email, sms or card?

How many times do you get a corny email that makes you squirm in your seat about missing your friends and then there not there?

In our mobile world we move and move on, drift apart, don’t put the effort in, contact drops off to Christmas cards – “it’s OK though” because you know they will always be there.

Chris went 5 years ago from breast cancer.

And now news that Colin’s gone too.

Wonderful memories. Dinners – good food and wine. Lots of laughs. The stories of a great dane that still thought it was a puppy and wanted to sit on laps. A picture falling on the bed in the middle of the night. Weekends away together. We were pregnant at the same time, our children all born within a 3 year window. Babies growing up. Fairy parties. The trials and tribulations of just trying to get on with life with a young family. Sharing the happiness and the sadness.

Then moving and losing sight of how the children grow. Life gets filled with so many things.

And now they’re both gone.

And there are regrets – contact that tapered off but always you knew was there if you got in touch – that you could take up again where you left off.

While there are the memories that will keep them alive in our hearts I can’t but help think that the world is now a lesser place because Colin and Christine are no longer in it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Drive Time.....

I like going for drives and exploring new places. It’s always an adventure.

I do like to have a bit of a plan, a general direction, how long it might take and, if it’s a mystery – I like to know that beforehand. It’s not all that much to ask is it?

I’m not particularly fond of speed bumps and will go out of my way to avoid them - ask the man in my life. And pot holes that can inflict such damage to my unsuspecting tyres and wheels – where do they come from?

I don’t particularly like driving aimlessly for hours to get to my destination if there is a quicker way. I really do prefer to be prepared.

If I’m going to have an adventure I want to know, take supplies, wear appropriate clothing and shoes, pack a picnic, camera and the assorted kit that can enhance the adventure experience.

I love spectacular scenery, the mystery of what can be around the next corner, the wildflower blooming in the impossible landscape and the delight in meeting fellow journeymen.

Driving, I guess, is a bit like life. The speed bumps, the pot holes, not having a plan and wondering what could possibly happen next. Sometimes we feel a bit aimless, the scenery is boring, the road uninspiring. Sometimes the plans just don't work.

We’d like to be able to see the future and know what is going to happen in advance but it just doesn’t work that way. The best we can do is make sure the car is ready, the engine serviced, we have good tyres and a tank full of fuel and always move forward.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Boys Toys.....

What is it with gadgets and the male of the species?

I find it interesting that women shopping and men seem to be diametrically opposed to each other. That the thought of browsing and wandering into shops and looking rather than buying, that comparing the cut and fabric of clothes from one place to another is an activity that causes men extreme misery. Their eyes glaze over, their feet start tapping. They agree to wait outside the store.

And there you are inside ever conscious of that presence outside waiting. You love them dearly but how have they not adjusted over the years?

Living as an expat intensifies the experience. You often only have one car. There is no local public transport that you can utilise on your own. Shopping is done in tandem.

Some shopping malls are wise to the experience: comfy chairs and barista’s at regular intervals see men sipping coffee, or dozing lined up in the chairs. A repository of shopping bags at their feet and not a woman in sight.

But then there are boy’s toys. Gadgets, cars, bikes, equipment, things that go buzz.

A truly amazing transformation takes place.

All of a sudden shopping the male version takes over. Preceded by the appropriate period of internet research, relevant magazine browsing and research in book shops, discussions over lunch at work or in the car park at work, men gather speed and intensity in their march towards the cash register. Comparing shops, levels of service, after sales support, warranty and lifespan.

Armed with research they venture forth for the best deal – going from shop to shop in proportion to the increasing levels of adrenalin and testosterone now zooming around their bodies.

Until at last they emerge with their bright shiny toy held high for all to see.

Of course there are some advantages.

A man on a shopping mission of his own will agree to buy anything you want if your timing is right!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Curiouser and curiouser.....

What is it with curiosity and the need to know?

Where is the fine line that separates curiosity (harmless) from gossip (malicious)?

If someone wants to know something, why don’t they just ask?

Why do some people feel that I should bare my soul and private life across the wasteland of other peoples boring and barren lives?

Why don’t some people get the meaning of the word private and leave it at that?

I really don’t feel the need to explain every action and thought I have to those I really do not know very well.

My friends will tell you I’m an open book. There’s not too much I don’t discuss but my friends will also say that what I discuss is mine and if others want information they need to talk to me.

How hard is that?