There has been a shift. Another one to be exact. As is the way with parenting, with family life, as soon as you get used to something, change rears its head.
Where do you draw the line between privacy and a personal blog when children keep on growing? When they are less wanting to be in the posts. When their lives are less centred around myself and their father. Friends, school, becoming who they are – all things that I see, am part of, but have no right to share on the pages of a blog.
What to write when a large part of life is not for the sharing. How to write without giving away details of other people? Vague blogging. There is a trick to it. An art to the writing of words that say so much, while not giving away specifics. For now though I am at a loss. There seems to be much to say, with no clear way to say it.
Some days it is not so much what is written as the spaces in between the words. In what is not said more than what is. In the lack of posts. Or, sometimes in the flurry of them, all saying very little other than here I am to fill the empty space.
Autumn has come to the hills. Our road is covered with leaves that soften the black tar edges. Perhaps I should write about that. Or how I love the ritual of cleaning and polishing school shoes for the kids of a morning. Something I remember my own Dad doing for my sisters and me. Or how I miss running with a less than cooperative knee prohibiting it for now.
Perhaps I should just say nothing.
There is an art to vague blogging. A trick to it. Perhaps I will learn it. Or perhaps I’ll keep writing about the leaves on the road, and my love of clean shoes in the morning.
The photo above is one I took during winter at our old house. Planted at the base of Mount Wellington, Hobart. The photo has meant many things to me over the years.
In my facebook feed recently I saw an image of a house with a perennial border. It was beautiful. If you had asked me eight years ago where I’d be now, I’d have answered easily. Living in the house Hubby and I bought. Renovations would be completed. I would have tamed the garden beds into something resembling the image I saw on facebook.
My kids would be in the school of our choice, with friends they had made in kindergarten, if not earlier. Life would be grand.
Life is grand. Just not in the way I pictured it. And that is ok. I often think about what would have happened if Hubby had not accepted that job interstate. If we had not sold up and moved. Who knows is the only answer.
What I do know though, is that while I don’t have a well loved perennial border, I do have a life of my own making. One that I am not all that sure would have happened if I’d stayed inside the comfort zone of a well known town and friends.
I doubt this blog would have started. I doubt I’d be on twitter. Or instagram. I certainly would not have made the friends I value so much now.
Even a few years ago I wished for that house, that garden. But not that life. It’s not that I don’t miss family and friends. I do. But I also know that if I’d stayed, I would not be who I am today.
The twists and turns. The deviations along the way. That’s what life is about. And I for one am glad to still be on the path unknown.
If something happens and it isn’t posted on social media does it really happen?
I am beginning to wonder. I know I do my share of tweeting and instagramming and have a blog. But I also know not every part of my life is up for public consumption. And I’m not saying other social media users lives are either. But then again, sometimes I do wonder.
While some people seek comfort in the online world when the shit hits the fan, others retreat. One is not better then the other, they are just different.
Shouting loudly, out tweeting, out commenting, doesn’t make the person right. It just makes them the loudest. Not talking about personal issues so much on line does not make the suffering any less. But it does make it more private.
Privacy is important to me. It is why you will never read about some things that are happening in my life. Other people are the opposite. And that is as justified as my not sharing.
The way people cope with stress, grief, anxiety, is as varied as the amount of people in the world. Me? I have a two pronged attack, black humour, and complete shutdown. Does this mean I suffer less? Feel less? Am less? If I don’t write it all out on the internet does it mean I don’t have as much right to sympathy as those who do?
The phrase if you don’t laugh you’ll cry is one often used in my family. Sometimes with more bitterness than others. But in all reality, sometimes, well, if you don’t laugh you’ll cry. Crying is all good and well, but sometimes starting means not stopping. There are times and places for not stopping the tears. There are times they need to be stopped before they start. Dark humour is how I cope. It doesn’t mean the feelings are less, it is just the way I manage the shit. I do not expect everyone to cope in the same way, but I do expect the right to be able to deal with things in my own way without judgement.
Shutting down doesn’t mean not feeling, not suffering. It is a way of coping. It may not be your way, but it is as valid a way as sharing it all.
I worry sometimes about posting more emotionally charged writing. Some of that worry is because it could be a trigger for others. Sometimes it is because if we are being really honest about the internet, there are voyeurs who feed off other people’s sadness. I find that more than a little disturbing, and for me, some of the things in my life are not up for voyeurs. I worry about what happens when people get used to the online support and comments, and then comments dwindle. The internet can be fickle, and voyeurs can get bored.
While pouring your heart out may be cathartic, so too sometimes can restraint. Time and distance to process thoughts and steady emotions can give a different perspective.
The reality is, the internet can be a lonely place. It can be a harsh and quick to lose interest place. It can be quick to judge and even quicker to click the share button, and not always to the benefit of the writer. It can sometimes do as much harm as good. For me,some of the more personal aspects of my life are not up for public discussion. Sometimes I admit to wishing it was, but more often then not I don’t. And that is my reality.
Sometimes there is a need to get away. For whatever reason. A longing to be a little insular. A little tricky perhaps for a social media user. But there you have it.
Contrary to popular belief not everything a blogger does is up for public viewing and comment. Some things are just for the blogger.
Some stories are still being played out. Some stories, thoughts, feelings are not mine for the telling or sharing. So they are kept close while I sit in my cave.
Cave dwelling is not for everyone, sometimes it is not even for me. But there are days when what is needed is a quiet mind and heart.
A long run with music loud, a quiet evening watching TV with the kids. A walk with Hubby and the dog. A book or a cup of tea in a quiet kitchen. Cave dwelling at its best.
Some things are for me alone to sort through.
Blogging is a strage thing, where we pour our heart into words. Or not. Sometimes it is just the opposite. Words typed on the page as if to say I am here, just quietly, and the thoughts are mine alone.
Generally I do not make new year resolutions. They are there for the breaking if you ask me.
This year though I did do something perhaps a little like a resolution. The fridge in our kitchen is littered with memories. Photos, cards from cafes, bars and restaurants. Postcards, business cards and images from visited exhibitions.
The thing is, many of the items had been on the fridge a long time. Too long. I had been holding on tightly. Too tightly.
It is not that the people in the photos do not mean as much to me anymore, it is that is time to move forward. For months I would look at the fridge door and think about taking some of the items off. Make way for the new. But I did not.
Last week though I did. The fridge was stripped back. Made clean.
Some images and cards were placed back on. Their meaning or memory needed to gel the old with the new. But many more did not stay. They have been kept; tucked safely in the drawer of an antique dresser. The old holding the old.
It is time to move on. The make new memories.
If I am being honest, many of the images were first placed on the door as a way to show I had a life. Had friends and good times. That is the difficulty of moving to a new place, far from those you know. It can be lonely at times. The need to prove you are loved and love can be strong. The fridge bore the brunt of that need in a tangible way.
So while some things have remained, the fridge is light once more. Not weighed down with the past. Neither am I. The time for the new is here. And now there is room, and not just on the fridge.
This week Anne Hathaway had a wardrobe malfunction (for want of a better phrase.) The paparazzi were there to capture it. Incase you managed to miss it, she was photographed getting out of a car in a tight fitting dress, without underpants, at the premier of Les Misérables.
The image went viral.
Anne Hathaway has since spoken about the incident. I love what she had to say;
It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it.
And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants…
I have read articles on the incident. Some saying how well she handed the situation. Most, however, also go on to say it could have been avoided if she wore underpants. And this is where the articles lose me.
There is a tone of oh dear you silly girl, tisk. You really should have remembered to wear some underpants.
Once again, the focus is taken away from the photographer who took and sold the image, to the woman and what she did wrong. Which if you ask me is nothing.
Her Les Mis premier outfit is dramatic and tight fitting. I am fairly certain Hathaway is not the first or last woman to wear a tight dress without undergarments. I’ll be the first to admit I have.
Anne Hathaway has also been quoted as saying:
I was getting out of the car and my dress was so tight that I didn’t realise it until I saw all the photographers’ flashes. It was devastating. They saw everything. I might as well have lifted up my skirt for them.
But she did not lift up her skirt, she got out of the car in a tight dress in an awkward way.
It was devastating for her, but apparently that is of little consequence if someone can make a quick buck selling the images, or belittling her with patronising copy masquerading as (bad) humour. Article writers thought it witty to remind Hathaway to wear panties – a word I despise – or suggest she wears a number of different types of seamless or form fitting under garments to keep her otherwise flawless image intact. The we know better than she does mentality.
Just last week I saw form fitting underwear being sold in a department store that was without a gusset. Presumably so the wearer could go to the toilet without the need to extricate themselves from the tightness of control top, tummy sucking, thigh flattening underwear. There is was, hanging on the racks. If it is good enough for a department store to sell underwear without a gusset, it seems logical to me that it’s also good enough to wear no undergarments if one chooses. Without judgement. Without clear violations of privacy and a bit of good old decent respect for another human.
The question should not be why she did not wear underpants. The question should be why the image was not deleted. Why the image, clearly not taken with consent, is deemed news worthy. The question that should be asked is why, once again, a woman’s choice is questioned, and why, once again a woman’s body is not seen as her own.
Today instead of blogging, I could just put a link to this post adding the words, what she said. It seems some days blogging worlds and words collide.
Instead, I am musing over my own thoughts. Determined to see this blogvember challenge through to the very end. I know this is my space. I can write, blog, comment however, whenever, whatever I want. Say, or not say the things that need saying. The choice is mine.
Today, as I head into week two of operation go slow I am beginning to see that I am not as good as doing nothing as I thought. Bathing in the middle of the day is all very nice, but I feel time is slipping away. The days are slipping away. It’s the age thing getting to me again.
In an attempt to be contemplative and reflective I filled the hot bath with sweetly scented salts. I am now prune like and smell of frangipani. My heels have been pumiced into submission and my face exfoliated to a sheen. I am shedding skin.
I wonder at the words I choose to write. The ones of which I press publish. I am thinking about what they do not say as much as what they do. Readers cannot read my mind I tell myself. But then I do not think I need to tell everything to tell a story or share my life. Some things are not for the telling.
I contemplate what movie to watch. Consider if I should go for a walk or just rest; and wonder if a glass of wine will tip me over the edge of good health. I press perfume to pulse points, look for the bright side and tell myself good health is more than resting up.
As for blogging and writing, perhaps this month has been better for me than I am ready to admit to. It’s all very well to say I can blog when I want, but perhaps sometimes I should blog when I don’t want to. Ah, the shedding of skin. It’s more than exfoliating and a pumice stone.
Oh it’s all fun and games until someone gets high blood pressure.
I had an image in my head of people with high blood pressure. They were red faced and angry, often with spittle dried in the corner of their down turned mouthes. They didn’t exercise, the were breathless and were old.
Cue me at the GP’s last week. I was there for my hurty knees, which had morphed into hurty knees, back, neck, hips and fingers. While I was there, sorting out anti-inflammaroty and pain medications, my doctor thought he’d just take my blood pressure, seeing as I’m of that age now. We had a bit of a joke about it. He is the same general age. We muttered about teenage children and he put the arm band on. I was far from worried, I’ve never had high blood pressure before. I chatted away while the machine did its work.
It was at this point the GP turned the machine around to let me see the numbers. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what reasonable blood pressure should look like. But apparently the numbers I was being shown were not good. The words very high were said.
Oh. No big deal, it could be because of the pain I was in. Nevertheless I was sent for a few blood tests, and told to return in a few days for a follow up. Turns out at the follow up my blood pressure was no longer in the very high. No, I’m an over achiever and now it was extremely high. Excellent. Or, you know not.
So, now I am spending some large parts of my days doing not much while this latest health issue gets sorted.
I have been compiling a list. This year there has been a foot injury that took months not weeks to heal. There was the whole breast lump and my need for brave boots. There have been a few arthritis flair ups and now, high blood pressure. It appears I am in fact getting older. Who knew that would actually happen? I mean really WHO KNEW?
I know I am lucky. I have (don’t laugh) relatively good health, I try to keep some semblance of fitness. I eat well. There are beans, legumes, whole grains and lean protein in my diet. There are fresh veggies, fruit and nuts. I enjoy a few glasses of the good stuff, but I figure it’s all about balance.
But, as life would have it, I am ageing. The fact I only feel like I’m about twenty-one (as long as I don’t see my reflection anywhere) appears not to matter. Life has other ideas. It likes to remind me people born when I was at university are now employed and have drivers licences, and they can drink alcohol legally. It likes to remind me I am grey of hair and my eyebrows get these weird extra long ones every now and then. (What is with that by the way?) And as for facial hair. Men and movember have nothing on me.
So, while I am in rest mode, and getting to the bottom of the blood pressure thing, I’ve been catching up with some favourite movies. There is nothing a good period costume drama can’t fix. Ever. Today movies on the couch, tomorrow Morning Melodies and the pokies.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with the couch, some tweezers, a magnifying mirror and Mr. Rochester.
Shit is getting real people. Shit is getting real.
The oh so very pointy end of the year is here. Meetings in overdrive, reports being written, ends are being tied, hopefully tightly. Nothing messier than unravelling ends.
As I type flashes of henna from my palm appear. It makes me smile. Music plays from the dock on the top of the fridge. The washing machine hums and spins.
Thoughts fly. Hearts pump. Lungs fill and deflate.
The pointy end is here, and I am not ready. I need time. I want to hold out my henna inked palm and tell the world to just stop. Please. Just for a while. I’m not ready.
I need to run. I need to ride. I need to slow down. Move more. Rest easy. Keep going. Eat less. Eat more. Sleep. Sit in the sun. Brew tea.
I am angry at the universe today. I am rebelling against it by cleaning the toilet in good clothes. I am playing music loud and throwing caution to the wind. Take that universe! Get bleach on me as I scrub the loo. I dare you.
Some days are better than others. It’s the way it goes.
Thoughts fly. Hearts pump. Lungs fill and deflate.
We get up, we get on. It is the way of things. Tomorrow, so the cliché goes, is another day.