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Showing posts from 2010
On the work front, women get a lot of jip about being emotional but we really are only emotional about some things, and certain emotions seem to dominate our experience.I think men have equally strong emotions, maybe a different set of emotions, but also express them differently.Perception often governs emotion.This week I have been dealing with a male employee who was getting far more emotional than me.I think it annoyed him on top of whatever it was that he was already annoyed about.I discussed with my other male colleagues whether they thought he might be having difficulty responding to me as his employer because I was a woman.It’s been some time since I have felt this way, but thrust into a male dominated trades’ environment and the fact that some things were just not making sense, I had to ask the question. I don’t feel precious about this role, I would love to step aside.I care very little about transforming this bloke’s respect for my abilities, and don't feel the need to p…

W.T.F

I may regret this blog.I talk to a lot of women about breastfeeding.I hear a lot of negative stories about misinformation, bad advice, even from health professionals.I am usually fairly calm in these situations.I can usually hold it together. I can be diplomatic and see both sides.I can have tolerance for someone ‘just doing their job’ and even being ignorant but trying to help.But for goodness sake, this time I am fuming.What the heck is wrong with a doctor who looks at a mother who has gone to him with breastfeeding problems and tells her that ‘maybe she can’t do it’.What scientist (surely a doctor is a scientist) in their right mind looks at a human woman, who has incubated and supported life from conception to birth, grown organs and tissue and a brain that can reason and a body that can develop and grow and heal itself; a woman who has produced all the hormones to create and support life for 9 months, then with the amazing process that is birth completely flips hormone production…

Any given Thursday

My home is once again a thrumming organism of boys, girls, cats, lego, and voices.The oven is full of tasty morsels and music is playing in the background from one of the bedrooms just in case there was a silent moment that needed filling.Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are zooming around the living room, followed by storm troopers and there is some amiable discussion on the hop, as to the further structure of this game of good guys and bad guys. The friend accompanying Zoe is her guitar lesson buddy so I am expecting that the guitars will come out shortly.A glass of wine will be required earlier than usual I think, not in escapism but in quiet appreciation of the moment.I may even get twenty minutes undisturbed with my nose in a book.

Ms Clark

What a day.I wonder about the prime minister, not this one, the previous one, the one with oestrogen.I don’t know why I think about her every time I have ‘hormonal’ days, but I do. Maybe she has good B vitamins or something - apparently they help.Maybe it’s a good boost; like a power surge.I needed a bit of tenacity today alongside the people-pleasing diplomacy that comes much more naturally. There were a few difficult work conversations on my ‘to-do’ list, ironing out a new contract and its rocky procedures.I decided to challenge an email sent to one of our employees in regards to the outworking of this contract, and did not relish the task.However, I outlined my argument, my displeasure and my requests directly and without emotion.I managed to get people moving and give me answers.I am a power pack of oestrogen and self-importance. I may take on the country.

Another day at the office...

Thousands of exam entrants, a few hundred distinction students, 100 scholarship nominations, 16 finalists. One of them - my daughter.It’s a fantastic achievement.I arrived at the end of the day to my beautiful daughter in tears, in the midst of a crisis of confidence and adamant that she would not be participating any further. The occassion demands of her attributes that, at present are way out of her comfort zone; performing on stage in front of a public audience with minimal practise of a routine they have learnt that day, taught by no other than the international dancer who choreographed the exam syllabus.The enormity of the occasion was a little overwhelming. This is it, this is what a dancing career feels like. It's make or break baby. It took me a minute to adjust to the situation, as generally I am supportive, but only because dancing is what she wants. My determined daughter is usually striving for the goals herself. A dancing life is not what I would chose for my baby. Se…

Captivating

It’s Saturday night.I am sitting here with tissues plugging my red runny nose, electric blanket on, boys in front of a movie, husband out making an appearance at the 50th birthday party we were supposed to go to, weeping over a stupid (read awesome) book, cup of tea on the bedside table and a copy of ‘Psychology Today’ next on my list of reading fodder. I am a captivating sight. I know.I have managed through the day of sausage sizzles and birthday present purchases, taxi driving and supermarket trips and hit a wall at about 4pm.Thus hopped into bed, and cuddled up with said of cup of tea and book.‘Encouraged’ husband to take 7 year old boys to mini golf, second favourite activity next to ten-pin bowling, only to have them return, one in tears, as it was closed.For goodness sake, it’s Labour Weekend.Bless their hearts; they let me doze for about an hour while they watched a movie together and made dinner.Hubby has since skulked off, dateless, as the sober driver for other party goers.I…

Another weekend goes by in a blurr...

I had a lot of work to do on Friday. Did I get any done. No. Ah well, there is the rest of my life.
Lunch with Em & J talking absolute bollocks is always fun. Same place, same coffee, same verbal rubbish - it's great.

After school I had my usual crazy house full of bodies - three sets of twins, three ten year old girls, two teens. Later, eight adults, pizza and a lot of chatter. It's nice as these are not our usual friday night buddies, who are away in Christchurch.

Great day. I think I may have met my human contact quota for day for sure, and then some!

Saturday.
Awake at 4. Up at 7. Sigh. Girlfriend visits on her new motorbike at 7.30 am. Interesting! Aaron takes the bike for a quick spin before heading off to a businesshouse soccer tournament. I have some work to do and that takes up the morning and until 1pm. I relent to the girls' endless requests to go to the mall, mainly as I need to buy a 4oth present anyway. I don't find malls pleasant at all, but these things …

Ski Bunnies - Part Two

Wednesday – Ski TuroaAwesome day.Anita and I realise that we have made it to a significant milestone – all the kids are carrying their own gear – this hasn’t always been the case, and our sense of achievement is probably disproportionate to the actual achievement.However, we will take our successes as they come.Surely development from here should be exponential. Zoe then surprises me by falling apart emotionally while waiting to get on the chairlift.She has fallen off this particular lift before, the chair being just a bit tall for her, but I know she has been on it since.She is obviously scared each time she hops on but manages to hold it together.In the presence of mum however, all the emotions hang out.I give her words to use with the chair lift attendant and encouragement to ask for help.This young woman is very good, talking the process through with Zoe as she helps her get on.The whole process takes about 20 seconds, but it feels much longer.Zoe is obviously pleased with her suc…

Ski bunnies - part one

Day OneAhhh it’s so good to be here again.I feel a strange affection for this little shack in the middle of the North Island.The cladding has been completed and the house is warmer, even though it has never been cold.It heats very quickly and the layout certainly lends itself to efficient heating, as the fire heats the water and all the bedrooms are off the main living area, so the bedrooms are warm too.Skiing – Turoa.The family wakes at 5am, long before the 6am alarm and early morning ski report. The still-warm embers from the night before are stoked and the fire roars into life again, quickly making our wee home warm and cosy.The kids are relaxed and having fun, tv-less, playing lots of board games, and make-believe games. They occassionlly argue with each other, but I am relaxed that this is healthy too as they learn interpersonal skills and conflict resolution; big terms for normal family life.Breakfast is taken in sittings, and thermoses are filled with coffee and soup to take up…

Dancing comps, oh dancing comps…

...where unfulfilled mothers have their time in the spotlight vicariously via their painted babies, instilling all their hopes and dreams for celebrity securely on the shoulders of their daughters (or sons).Celebrity counts even in the small world of New Zealand’s dancing competitions.It’s a strange environment.Time alters when you enter the doors.You no longer measure time by the clock but by class and dancer, meal breaks and results.You can arrive in the dark and leave when it’s light, arrive in the light and leave in the dark.You sit around for hours getting high on hairspray waiting for your daughters to perform their three minute dance, with your heart in your mouth and everything crossed hoping and praying that they at least remember the steps so they don’t freak out and run off the stage; ultimate poor manners in dancing etiquette.Dancing comps are a subset of the community with its own culture and rules.Things are acceptable here that are not, outside these walls such as risqu…
Haven't heard the rooster for a few days...
I’m back – full of inanity and verbiage, not always in that order.A rooster woke me up this morning.Some crazy person has introduced a flippin rooster to the otherwise farm animal free zone of suburban Papakowhai.I give it 3 weeks before someone goes on a suburban style hunting trip.Or is that a poaching trip?It’s been a busy week.The girls had curriculum and performance exams for dancing on Monday and Tuesday. It’s been a while since I have seen Miss C dance and I enjoyed the jump in skill level that was apparent.She is quite lovely.After a few wet days reminding us it was almost winter, Saturday was a beautiful day.The boys had a great game of football in the morning.There was quite a contingent of support for the Taylor boys; two parents, two aunties, two uncles, one cousin, one great aunt.Master J entertained the entire sideline by calling for a video ref (by hand signals) for a dodgy call made by the (admittedly amateur) parent-ref.It was a very pleasant and sun-filled start to a…
It's another particularly splendid Autumn day in New Zealand's capital. I am not sure if the season is an unusually pleasant one or I am especially sensitive to it; a new awareness of the natural beauty around me.It’s been an unusual few days.Monday, I loved my job.Unfortunately for environmental reasons rather than content reasons.I do get to meet interesting people.Tuesday, I hated my job, I was under pressure to prepare financial reports for the quarterly Board meeting, and every thing was going wrong.I had a ten cent problem that would not go away.It took several hours and attempts to find the issue and I eventually had to undo three weeks of bank recs to fix one transactional error.Luckily I managed to do that before our internet/server stopped working.Sigh.I couldn’t find two crucial international invoices, and looked foolish in front of my colleague, who is super organised.It wasn’t actually my fault but I felt stink anyway.I am a square peg in a round hole and I know …

Just another day

Physical...I am loving indoor netball, but am a little perturbed by the two people who have laughed at the thought of me playing netball. I must come across in a different way to how I feel. Wouldn't it be great to get an outsider’s viewpoint of yourself and see yourself as the world sees you. I would really love to get a completely objective perspective of myself one day. Maybe I wouldn't. I have re-discovered my physical nature having been masked for some years in the physical demands of incubating, feeding and nurturing young people with no extra energy to use in recreational activities. I recognise myself in my daughter who is an incredibly physical being. I now have time to explore this side again and realise that your true nature never dies. Even as you mature, you are still you if you allow yourself to be. As a young woman in youth group days I was the the one playing scrag, rugby and all games while the other girls didn't want to get hurt. The boys didn&…

Wednesday the 5th of May - 5th of the 5th of the Tenth

There will never be another today so use it wisely. To grow and love and be. To cherish and honour and protect; to seek knowledge and more importantly understanding. To love and laugh and live. It's our culture to pursue happiness, and develop and seek divinity. You live only once.
Make it count. Love passionately. Live heroically. Laugh uncontrollably till your sides ache and and the medicinal properties of laughing ease your weary bones.

Breathing

Asthma is an interesting condition. I have never had it before, but I seem to have developed a cough and restricted air passages from a recent bacterial infection, which is alleviated with ventolin, a default diagnosis of asthma. It has been an eye opener for me as to how my daughter feels, who does have asthma similarly and usually after the first virus of the autumn season. I sound like she does, I am tired and aggravated and lacking in oxygen. I am experiencing first hand the symptoms I watch her her go through every year.

But as is my custom, I have found it to be an interesting analogy of emotions.

Emotions are like breathing; ignored when under control. In, out, in out, involuntary, unnoticed, invisible. Emotions, as with breathing can be ignored when working well. Then something happens to upset the natural rhythm of the breathing. All of a sudden breathing becomes laboured as does life under emotional stress. Walking, talking, eating, and sleeping becomes an effort and you need …

I should be asleep

Its 10pm. I really am my own worst enemy. I have been feeling sleepy since about 7pm – and it’s the ‘feeling sleepy’ that usually eludes me, so I should make the most of it when it comes to visit. But even tho I rustled all seven tired kids into bed relatively early, I am compelled to sit here and appreciate the house while it’s quiet.

These kids (mine included) are really neat. With their dry and witty sense(s) of humour, and current joke-telling preoccupation they have really made me laugh over the last few days. They are quite delightful, and without any other adults here they actually have my attention.

Over the last two days… we have fed birds, fish and guinea pigs, given one of the canaries antibiotics, attended to various human medicines for various human issues, ventured into the city for homework supplies, new pyjamas, and beads for hair-braiding, bought ice-creams, been to the supermarket, been for an evening walk along the beach, been to the pools, and prepared several meals.…

Hills, hills and more hills...

A beautiful day on the lower east coast of the north island today. The kids and I drove from Papakowhai to Napier via the Wairarapa and enjoyed a beautiful Autumn day through typical rural landscapes. The low autumn sun created an idyllic aura over the paddocks and lolling hillside and the late afternoon haze and sunset cast an awesome spectrum of colour over the cloudless skies.God is quite the artist, and I reveled in His quixotic creative hand. If I were a photographer I would have been quite frustrated by the complete inability to capture such a scene but I would have been compelled to try. My kids are going to grow up quite appreciative of the NZ country side as I can wax lyrical with a captive audience on a lengthy car trip. They even join in these days, and we had great desultory conversations about colours in the sky and where they come from (why is the sky blue type questions), discussing atmosphere and light etc etc. So cool.I really enjoy the journey on that side of the cou…

Todays adventures in Paradise

AA Again. 1pm. I am sitting in my car waiting for the AA (again). This time I think the battery is flat, although it doesn’t really sound like that. At least I had my lunch with me, and a brand new National Geographic. It would be nice if I could lie down and have a nana nap but I have to keep a look out for the AA guy to arrive. What astounds me is that every few minutes or so I try the ignition again (just in case) and not a single person has come to see if I need help, not staff member, not man, no one. I would not be able to do that. I would be compelled to see if I could do anything, and in car troubles I inevitably couldn't but I would have tried. I am disappointed. Everyone is obviously very busy... its pointless of me to think this, no one can help me and the AA is on its way. But still, I am miffed Thorndon, miffed!
Later... I am sitting in my office, my car has been towed to the Motor Doctors (it is actually called that). I have just finished my work and am waiting for hu…

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. TS Eliot

(or take away cups as the case may be! LT)

This was my thought for the day, before reading the online newspaper – and made me realise how shallow my life is…

Margaret Page succeeded in starving herself to death in 16 days. I find that amazing, mind blowing and strangely admirable. I couldn’t do anything so determined. Although I have not lost my will to live. She was very smart, it was not an easy option but one very difficult for anyone to challenge although her (ex?) husband did try. I guess they would have had to subdue her with drugs and feed her intravenously if they were to force her to eat, and I guess this also raises its own ethical debate.

There was also a story that I first read this morning about a young man in a foreign country who cut off his manhood and threw it down a well, because the woman of his life chose to be with someone else. That is commitment. It takes cutting off your nose to spite your face to new extremes. I could not find the article when I went back to look…

Mid week madness...

Peas. I committed the cardinal sin of motherhood yesterday and put peas in the bolognaise sauce. I dont know why, I know better than this. Mince dishes are very forgiving and you can hide a lot of evil vegetables, but not peas. It really should be illegal to put mince and peas together, ever. In tidying up the dinner table I discovered the error of my ways with stealthily placed peas only just hidden around the base of each plate. Never again.

Growing Up. My 14 year old is going through a chatty stage at the moment. She is being open with me and asking lots of questions about life. She can be very guarded so I am particularly enjoying that at the moment. She is enjoying the novel they are reading for English, and it would be the first I have not had to read with her and translate at every sentence, so that is good. It is a teen angst/coming of age novel so the language and concepts will be readily available to her. It seems to have hit the mark with many of the girls and initiating lot…

Village People

I live in a village. Friday afternoon... friend turns up early to a) pick up son b) she knows there will be wine and good conversation. I have an easy meal to prepare and plenty of it so I invite them to stay (I can cater for an extra family of five at the drop of a hat). The husbands come home in due course, one brings more wine – isn’t texting a wonderful thing – and kids watch a DVD, although they do get a bit ticked off with the rowdy parents. At some stage it is decided that all the kids will stay the night, and we sort them out into various bunk beds and mattresses on the floor. Parents walk home close to midnight. The next day at 9.30am six of the kids migrate south down the road and stay there all day and the next night. We contemplate the attractive concept of week about parenting... I only see my kids briefly as I call in for a glass of wine and freshly caught crayfish. The next morning I turn up earlier than expected and find them all in their pyjamas. My friend starts to f…

Life in a village

You realize you live in a village when you ring the AA (not alcoholics anonymous although that may be coming) and your nextdoor neighbour comes to rescue you, and then proceeds to tease you for being blond and doing whatever stupid thing you have done to require you to ring the AA, in front of your new friend who does happen to be blond.
Breathe…. Back to the beginning. In dropping off new friend brought home from school to play by small boys, mother vacates the car and small boys ignore mother’s command to stay in said car, that still has the motor running, and activate the central locking as they vacate the vehicle. Feeling like a dufus, mother rings the AA who say they hope to be there within the hour. Mother knows that her neighbour is an AA mechanic but does not want to abuse the neighbourly relationship and sits and waits with new friends… now friends due to extra time spent talking due to locked/running car situation. I realize I recognize this mother, point of memorable differe…

If busyness made one happy I would be ecstatic…

I just got a book out of the library called ‘How to be happy, dammit’ – it appeals to my sense of humour, and also my mode of operation. I might request 'She was happy, dammit' to be put on my headstone, when I die. It reminds me of a wine-fuelled speech I made one New Years Eve, using our outdoor table as my soapbox. Surrounded my a few of my closest friends I was confident of a sympathetic audience, and challenged everyone that they had no excuses NOT to be happy and also no excuses not to do absolutely fabulous things with their lives. We were the most privileged people in the world I argued. We were young, financially sound, European (a sad, and unfortunate truth but one we should respond to appropriately), able bodied, intelligent, educated, free from oppression and war, mobile, fertile, the list went on and on. We had and have nothing to complain about. But I wonder if that also makes us complacent. To become a stunning butterfly the stodgey caterpillar has to struggle a…

He Reo Aroha - Love Language

I have been very slack in one sense since the boys have been born. Out of necessity I have not tried to forge new relationships, conserving a bit of energy. It is very obvious now that I do not know very many of the mums at school of the boys’ peer group, a few but not many, whereas with both of the girls I know everybody. With that in mind, there are a few that I do know and I have made a concerted effort to have more decent conversations with them recently. One of them has been recruiting for a Sunday indoor netball team so I have decided to tag along. Yesterday she had a ‘meeting’ at her house which really was an excuse to socialize and drink wine – both of which I was ready for. I left at 6 but apparently the evening continued and there will be sore heads this morning. But I had somewhere else to be.

He Reo Aroha. Stunning. She had me at ‘hello’. She opened her mouth and I was captivated. He was awesome too, and they were fantastic together. A wonderful two person performance of a …

This house is full of noise, toys and boys

It is a normal day, a normal Monday afternoon. I have five seven year old boys playing with lego, two 10 year old girls doing whatever 10 year old girls do, something pink and fluffy, and any minute now two teenagers will walk in the door, hot, tired and hungry. Hot; as it’s a glorious Wellington day – and I am feeling the need for Fish and Chips on the beach, tired; as they both were at the fantastic Phoenix game last night, and hungry because they are teenagers and teenagers always seem to be hungry, especially the sixteen year old male variety. People think I am crazy when I have so many in my house. Crazy or just numb I haven't decided.

I have music on in the background, have brought the washing in, and am thinking about what to have for dinner. It is surprisingly calm for this wee house in the suburbs filled with little people. It’s nice.

It’s been a busy weekend with family. A’s mum here from OZ. She has only recently moved to Australia, to avoid mid-life crisis I guess, and h…