Tag Archives: life

40 Things

Tomorrow, I turn 40 years old. By design, my life now is simple, stress free, and fun. I feel loved, and I feel valued. It hasn’t always been this way; I have waded through massive amounts of bullshit to get here. I thought it only appropriate, on the 40th anniversary of my arrival on this planet, to share some key things that I have learned on my way here – alongside some of my favourite things from 1978. Please enjoy.

Me

Me, obvs. I’m clearly one of my favourite things from 1978.

1. Makeup is not about how you look, it’s about how you feel about how you look. If you feel good about your face, you feel less compelled to spend your time fixing it.

2.  There’s no emotional relationship you are not allowed walk away from when it is damaging you.

3. High heeled shoes are genuinely not worth it.

4. You are not responsible for how any other person feels. They may be upset, but that’s their truth, and it’s not down to you to manage that.

5. No one else is responsible for how you feel. Do not expect other people to behave according to what will make you feel good.

6. Tidy does not equal clean.

Watership Down

Watership Down. I even nearly cried looking through Google images to find this. Devastating.

7. Most situations and stories can be cropped to fit any chosen narrative. Check the true facts before wasting your energy on outrage.

8. We are mostly designed to tolerate a status quo, to achieve stasis and maintain. We’re designed to put up with less than ideal conditions, until the pain of staying still outweighs the discomfort of actual change. Don’t beat yourself up about not immediately Fixing All The Things, but also understand where and when you need a push to achieve what you really want.

9. You do not have to forgive someone to be able to move on and have a happy and fulfilled life. Some actions and choices do not merit forgiveness – and not forgiving someone is not the same as holding a grudge. If you are living with constant anger or grief over someone else’s actions, you need someone to help you… but if a person wants forgiveness for their actions, tell them to go and find Jesus.

10. Some relationships are beyond economical repair, and that’s OK.

11. Every day, aim to be the best You that you can be that day. Might not be as good as yesterday, might be better than tomorrow, but it’s the best you can be today and that is good.

Garfield

Garfield – born weeks after me. He has slightly  higher levels of impulse control than I do.

12. Take the time to always be honest with yourself. If you cannot acknowledge your own reality, your own failings, or admit your own wants, then your interaction with the world is not truthful. It’s not fair to yourself primarily, but it’s also not fair to the people in your life.

13. Cheap toilet paper is never, ever worth the cost saving.

14. Judging people is absolutely fine. Just keep your fucking mouth closed about it.

Kenny_Everett

The Kenny Everett Video Show. All in the BEST possible taste.

15. Ironing clothes is not worth the effort. Make a life decision not to do it, except in exceptional circumstances, and it will make you free. Well, free-er.

16. We have many evolutionary redundancies – male nipples, the appendix, wrist tendons for tree climbing… Pain is not one of them; physical or emotional, pay attention to it. It’s there for a reason.

17. Spend your time with people that value who you are, not the people that tolerate who you are.

Battlestar Galactica

The original Battlestar Galactica. Ahhh, Starbuck…

18. If you think everyone around you is being an asshole, take a moment to find the common denominator, and then re-review the circumstances.

19. ‘Smart Casual’ is one of the world’s most subjective terms, and can be merrily abused to whatever extent you have the nuts for.

20. Doing a good thing because it makes you feel good, rather than because you actually care, does not make you bad person. Self care is important, and if everyone wins – happy days.

21. If someone tells you that their experience is different to yours, hear them. They are not lying to you, even if it challenges what you thought to be true.

Animal House

National Lampoon’s Animal House. I should never have had access to this film as early as I did, but there we have it.

22. No one can decide for you how you are supposed to feel about something. Your values and experiences may give you an entirely different perspective to even those closest to you. That said, if you are disproportionately apathetic, or massively overreacting, you probably want to have a look at that.

23. You are not entitled to the world giving you easy money. You are not entitled to a fancy house, or a fulfilling career. You are however entitled to the love and care of people who are supposed to love and care for you. If you didn’t get that, then they did a bad fucking job, and it doesn’t just fall under “Life’s not fair, deal with it”.

24. Woodchip wallpaper is the work of the fucking devil.

Mork & Mindy

Mork & Mindy. Robin Williams ❤

26. You are wrong about something. Something you think you are right about. You will probably be sensitive or angry when someone points it out. It’s fine to be wrong, it’s fine to be upset about it, and it’s fine to feel like a bit of a dick – what’s not fine is not learning from it.

26. If you are a man, everything you do is – by default – manly. If you are a lady, everything you do is – by default – ladylike. Correct people on their adjectives and don’t let them define your shit.

27. Recycle for fuck’s sake. You made the rubbish, it’s your responsibility, and that doesn’t stop when someone else puts it in the back of a truck and takes it out of sight.

28. If you cannot complete your work within your contracted hours, you have either been given too much to do, or you are in the wrong job. Do not give a corporation extra hours for free. You won’t be thanked.

Sesame Street

Sesame Street. Still love it, to this day.

29. Spend time with children. They will either allow you access to a world of simplicity you had forgotten about – or they will reinforce why you were right not to have them. Maybe both.

30. Say ‘no’ if you want to. You do not need to justify yourself, nor offer an explanation. It is not a debate, or a negotiation.

31. Be clear about your expectations to your family and friends. No one is able to read your mind, and because you are a different human person, what is obvious to you is not likely to be obvious to them. Failing to explain what you want and need is a straight line to disappointment – and it’s your own fault.

32. Fear will cripple you if you let it. Assess, understand risks, mitigate where possible, but walk forward in awareness with your head up.

The White Dragon

The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. One of my all-time favourite authors.

33. Do not borrow trouble from tomorrow. Future You can handle that shit when time comes – if there is nothing you can do about it now, leave it the fuck alone.

34. If you are unable to stop worrying or being fearful on your own, you need someone else to help you out of whatever physical, emotional or mental situation you are in. Go and ask.

35. No matter how well-reasoned, balanced, inclusive, well-researched, fair and progressive your opinion is, someone will always fundamentally disagree with you. It may make no logical sense, but people give a shit about different things, and those things are often selfish and destructive. And since everyone is allowed an opinion, you just have to suck it up.

36. If you don’t engage with other people’s drama, it won’t engage with you. Walk away, without remark, be at peace.

Every Which Way But Loose

Every Which Way But Loose. Not sure that any part of this would be appropriate for 2018, but might just have to watch it again to check.

37. Spend deliberate time immersed the things that bring you joy. 5 minutes of laughing at a squirrel dicking around can counter a surprising amount of bullshit.

38. Anyone who belittles you or your experience is a bully. They are attempting to create a power discrepancy between you, to either repress you by standing on your head, or make themselves look taller by standing on your shoulders. Fuck them. You do not deserve that.

39. Some people want your advice and opinions to help them fix a problem. Some people just want your complicity while they are angry about something. Understand the difference, and be careful who you gift your time and energy to.

40. You are one person, from one place, with one life. There are 7,600,000,000 other lives out in the world – any time you spend understanding some of them better will make your own experience more rounded and rewarding.

Hello, I am a grown woman, of sound mind, and I don’t want children.

I’ve generally taken a “Never Say Never” approach to children, because I am aware that there are hormones and psychology involved in this shit, and therefore there was always a possibility that I would reach a point in my life where I would change my mind.

Well, I’ve just turned 37, and I have not changed my mind. I have never wanted children in the past, and I still don’t now. I have an absence of desire for babies. I understand that to ensure survival of the species, animals have a drive to reproduce. Well, humans are not just animals anymore, and I do not have that drive. Most people seem to feel that there is a child-shaped hole in their lives at some stage, and look forward to having a mini version of themselves running around; I genuinely cannot think of anything I want less for my life.

Since we in general are no longer in the position of running our own little farmsteads and having to raise a swathe of children as a) unpaid labour and b) someone obliged to look after us when we’re old, we no longer need to have families. These days, there are hundreds of reasons not to have children, and only one reason why you should – Because You Want To.

And you know, that’s cool, if you do want to. It’s… like… science. I just really don’t. There are a plethora of reasons for that – many of which are aptly demonstrated by this instagram account – but the biggest ones are probably;

  1. I don’t like children. They are loud, demanding, unreasonable, emotional, unpredictable idiots. Incidentally, I dislike those same characteristics in adults too.
  2. I REALLY don’t like babies. Not only are they completely incompetent in a way that the young of most other species aren’t, but they do that funny thing with their mouths that turns my stomach. They move in weird ways, and when they cry, it makes me ANGRY. I know there is a biological imperative that makes us respond to children’s cries, but it physically makes me feel aggressive. Red mist stuff. I genuinely do not trust myself around crying infants.
  3. I find the idea of pregnancy and breastfeeding physically revolting. I feel about gestation, childbirth and nursing the same way other people feel about maggots and gone-off milk. I am actively repulsed. Your body is taken over by a foreign entity that grows and grows until it smashes its way out, in many cases leaving you physically scarred for life, and then sucks its nourishment out of that same body. I mean, come on; that’s just grim.
  4. I like my life how it is. It is quiet, and peaceful. I spend most of my free time alone, and I earn enough money to do what I want, when I want. I choose my activity according to what will make me happy. I plan on keeping things that way.

Now all of that said, I do love reading blogs and watching vlogs about families who are doing their best to do things right by their kids. I like to see children that are happy, but I approach it more like a research project, a curiosity, and certainly something that happens at a distance.

Interestingly, kids seem to like being around me (…probably because I act like a child a lot of the time…) and I have in fact experienced isolated moments of enjoying the company of children. Watching my friend’s 3 year old son rocking out quietly to Bat Out Of Hell in the kitchen was hilarious and cute. However, I have also heard the stories about the same child melting down over ridiculous things, and for me there is not enough ‘cute’ to outweigh the ‘demon-spawn’.

Also, in order to be supportive and encouraging of a child’s growing mind and sense of identity, there’s loads of Not Being Honest that comes into play. And I’m not very good at that. I may be largely ignorant when it comes to dealing with kids, but even I know that “I heard you the first time – I just don’t care” is an inappropriate response. I am filled with inappropriate responses and no real desire not to use them.

When I was a child myself, I always just assumed that I would end out being a single parent – like the family environment I was raised in. It was only when I passed the age that my mother was when she had me – 20 1/2 years old – that it was like my ears popped, and I suddenly understood that it wasn’t fate, it was actually my choice (…I like to think that I am a smart person, but there is honestly no accounting for the conclusions you come to when you are younger.)

I started taking contraception seriously at college because hello, COLLEGE. The Pill was never a realistic option for me because I have the worst short-term memory, so I ended out having 3-monthly Depo Provera injections. It felt GOOD, knowing that there was something permanently in my body that would stop babies happening.

When I was 23, I got married. Seriously bad decision making, and worthy of a dedicated blog for another time. My then-husband started talking about having children and I freaked the absolute fuck out. I was horrified that there was an expectation that I would have his babies. We had never talked about children; me, because it never occurs to me as A Thing, and him I guess because most people just assume everyone wants kids. I went to the doctor for my Depo shot just after that, and they told me that they had run out. Instead, they offered me an implant, which lasted either 1 or 3 years. I went for the 3 years, and told my husband I had gone with the 1 year one. Yay for honesty in relationships…

Anyway, I have never looked back. I am on my 4th 3-year implant and I would never dream of not having it. I honestly think that I would be scared if I had to have it removed, it has become such a safety blanket.

This is me. This is who I am. There is nothing wrong with me, and there is nothing wrong with any other man or woman who – for whatever reason – makes what is actually the only logical choice about having children, when you think about it.

For my money, it’s the people who do want kids that are the weirdos.

chestburster2