To the anxiety beast in my head…

anxiety beastMy anxiety is a tricky beast. It’s aware I would never invite it in so it just appears and then stabs me  repeatedly in the chest area to remind me of its existence.

My anxiety beast loves change almost as much as I hate it. Whenever there is a slight whiff of change in the air he swoops in and attaches himself to me like an iron filing to a magnet. Or a parasite to my flesh.

It’s that capacity to sense and swoop in on change that makes sure my anxiety knocks out any excitement I may have before it has a chance to express itself. Picture my head as a 3 litre container – anxiety is 4 litres and takes up all the space spilling over and not allowing the other emotions any light or space. It’s odd how I can see that objectively but I can’t stop it from happening. [Read more…]

The real reason they tell you to stay in bed

stay in bedI am writing this post from a pool of mucus. Sorry there is no other way to say it. I have the same hideous, dreaded illness that seems to be taking over Sydney – except I have had it for five days now and I am over it. I wish I was over it in the literal sense – rather I am just over blowing my nose every ten seconds and coughing as soon as I try to lie down. I am also over feeling like my body is walking in concrete and my thoughts are floating around in honey.

I have been to the doctor and he has plied me with drugs, after asking if it was okay if he examined me with a mask on. That’s understandable, the poor man does not want to get ill, but it did make me feel that perhaps I was not presenting my best self at that time.

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This is what I live with

There is a brilliant segment on James Valentine’s afternoon show on 702 called This is what I live with. “We love our partner. We live with our partner. For richer or poorer, for better or worse and often despite some very peculiar habits. These are real life stories. People put up with the most extraordinary things and and they’re happy to talk about it on the radio” says the website.

Given that I am not the kind to phone into the radio, hell I’m not even the kind to phone the hairdresser, I’m instead going to complain right here about an issue I live with that is infinitely more difficult at this time of year.

I live with a man who is sports mad. He doesn’t actually play much any sport himself but he could be an Olympic gold medal sports watcher such is his prowess. This in itself is not a bad thing, the man works really hard and doesn’t get much “me time”, if watching a few hours of rugby on the couch on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon is his biggest flaw I am a lucky woman. But no, at this time of the year Saturday afternoons mean nothing to him other than an opportunity to go to Bunnings. It’s the nights that are the issue.

Mr Pencil is not the kind of man who normally goes to bed early. He only gets home from work after 7:00 and by the time dinner is eaten, stories are exchanged, Little Pencil has talked to him in minute detail about almost everything and he’s had some time to unwind, it’s getting close to midnight before he lies down. But not at this time of year. No, lately Mr Pencil has been getting into bed at around 9:00pm and then armed with his remote control the trouble begins.

Faced with the “delights” of the Tour De France, the Ashes and the British Open, Mr Pencil is in his happy place in a warm bed with the TV blaring and the dog at his feet. I have about a zillion sleeping issues and part of that is I find it really hard to fall asleep in the dark and in silence, so the TV on is not an issue for me. The problem is that the TV with a relaxing golf/cycling or cricket commentary acts as a mild sedative for Mr Pencil. This is our typical nightly exchange

Mr Pencil takes about 15 minutes to decide what sport to settle on

Mr Pencil makes weird, cute sleeping sounds

I try to change the channel

Mr Pencil wakes and sits up “I was just resting my eyes” he says a little too loudly

Weird, cute sleeping sounds emit from Mr Pencil

I switch on the lamp to try read

Mr Pencil grunts “do you need the light on?”

I try to explain how reading and eyes work

Mr Pencil starts to change channels and reassess what sport he should be watching

I start to fall asleep to the sound of the TV

Suddenly there is no sound but the TV is still on.

I realise Mr Pencil has settled on cricket where there is clearly nothing to say

Weird, cute sleeping sounds emit from Mr Pencil

I try to change the channel

Mr Pencil wakes and sits up “I was just resting my eyes” he says a little too loudly

Weird, cute sleeping sounds emit from Mr Pencil

The next thing I know it’s morning and we’re both complaining about how tired we are. And then we repeat the same thing again the next night.

This is what I live with.

Anyone relate?

It’s not home without him

henry is sleepingI always thought that this house we live in now would be our forever home, I love this place and the thought of ever moving again fills me with panic and dread. But there have been a couple of days over the last week where I have thought that if something happened to my dog we’d have to move. I don’t know if I could live here without him.

It was the two days that Henry was not home. The two days that he has spent at the vet.

Yesterday he had surgery to remove an anal sac tumour. It’s as bad as it sounds. The type of tumour and the general prognosis is worse but thankfully not for Henry. Last week an ultrasound and x-ray showed that it hasn’t spread. Its subsequent removal and removal of the tissue around it will ensure that it doesn’t.

He is going to be okay but I have been a mess. [Read more…]

The most of me you will ever see

It’s my birthday today! Yeehah! I have survived 47 years. That’s a lot of surviving.

In honour of the fact that I have made it this far and because I love writing lists here is a list of 47 thoughts on my 47th birthday

  1. I am really glad I married my husband
  2. I did something right in raising my child. He is a magnificent person
  3. I really feel quite sanctimonious giving up sugar
  4. I would kill for a slice of birthday cake with icing sugar made with icing sugar and butter and the white of an egg (my favourite icing recipe)
  5. [Read more…]

A fate worse than half picked nails

There are few things I find as tedious as having my nails done. I know it’s a real first world problem but right now I am on holiday and trying to immerse myself only in the problems of the first world type (although to be honest I find it hard to stop thinking about asylum seekers and Kenya, and innocent women murdered and the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped nearly a year ago today – but that’s just my brain).

Before I arrived on holiday I had my nails done and sat through it in much the way I sit through everything that I find excruciating – I counted. It’s much easier to get through the nail painting if I think it’s only ten times four (ten fingers, 1 base coat, 2 colour coats, 1 top coat). What I hadn’t taken into consideration is that I find going on holiday can be a little stressful at times what with saying goodbye to the dog and flying. So naturally by the time I arrived in beautiful Port Douglas my nails were hideously picked (reference this video for a reminder of that “gorgeous” habit I share with my friend Kerri).
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Is it cheating if you’re not actually reading the book?

My hypochondria started when I was young and I blame the radio. And those awesome little cardboard dolls came with outfits made out of paper that you had to cut out with great precision and fold the tabs over the doll to dress her.

paper doll

You see when I was a little girl and I got sick my mother would buy me one of these doll/clothes combos and leave me to lie in bed with the radio next to me. It’s not that we were anti-technology or that I was too ill to go to the lounge to watch telly, it’s just that TV hadn’t yet made it’s way to South Africa when I was a child. Shocking, I know but it developed in me a mighty fine appreciation of the radio.
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This is how you fit 365 days into three weeks

There are a few things I have been having a really hard time with lately

  • putting eyeliner on (because I am old and my eyesight is failing, I have been known to walk around with a line of makeup somewhere near my eye that will invariably smudge at some point in the day and make it look like it is badly applied eye shadow)
  • staying off sugar (because sugar is delicious and it knows where I live and creeps inside my spoon)
  • and, perhaps most importantly, fitting my year into three weeks

The eyeliner and sugar I can cope with, but trying to squeeze 356 days into just 21 is harder and it’s something I am sure anyone who lives away from their families can understand.
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Blogging 101: How to put yourself and your readers to sleep.

I couldn’t sleep last night and I think it is because I have so much to do today. Instead of getting a restful night’s sleep to energise me and prepare me for the day ahead I awoke at 1:0oam after a “luxurious” one hour sleep and did absolutely nothing on the internet.

At first I started with purpose, I looked at websites that I assured myself were actually helpful to me, that would help me in deciding exactly where I am going to shop for the million things that I needed to buy, but I quickly realised that I didn’t actually need to buy anything at all and I was just shopping in bed (as is my want).
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Adolescence the second time around

You know what’s really hard? Adolescence the second time around.

I know what you’re thinking, you didn’t even know that you could go through adolescence a second time, mainly because it only happens to a damaged unique and particularly neurotic type of person. The type of person who still has issues around their own teenage years, the person who hasn’t yet slaughtered all their demons and come out triumphantly on the other side with the word ‘adult’ stamped on their soul.

My very amateur psychology around this field that I am sure I am making up, says that when you have issues with your own teenage years and then your child becomes a teenager you are faced with all your demons again. And you relive them without the aid of Passion Pop, $2 bankies* and other cheap and nasty stimulants that got you through the first time.

I’ve been dealing with this for about a year now and making very little progress. But yesterday I heard something and today I put it into place and I think I am making some headway.
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