I’d say it’s what separates us, not from the beasts, but the bestial. Creating the future, renewing a learned past - these are reasons to strive. Writing for and with love, taking and framing an image, stretching new melodic skins onto old skeletons of song… it’s how we manage to fly. It’s how we stay you and me, not us and them.
Unlike Osk, who seemed to establish his own tactical task force wherever we lived, scooping up neighbourhood feline troublemakers as sidekicks (including the memorable ginger behemoth Watson, with whom he used to scope the street from the safety of the shed roof), Jelly has the intelligence gathering skills of a sponge cake.
Anyway, somewhere in between my 'and then you should've done this' and 'why didn't you say x and y, rather than z', and 'for the love of monkeys and the general public's eyesight, you didn't honestly wear that heinous shirt did you', something he was saying about the dating extravaganza we were picking to pieces finally penetrated my cloud of self-congratulatory cumulo-waffle.
"Most people don't talk about how dates are progressing as a tender process, do they?" he asked.
"She said I was 'part way through the tender process' and that she was judging me on my submission. I'd like to think there was irony involved, and I think at the time I may have given an admittedly weak "haha, yesssss, quite". Looking back, I'd have to conclude, computer says no on the presence of Fabulon or other aids to achieving crisply pressed linen."
Today is my 44th birthday. As stated by the woman I dearly wish I could have had the opportunity to drink under the table at the Algonquin, Ms Dorothy Parker herself:
“Time doth flit; oh shit.”
Sound a bit dismal and non-fizzy for a girl who loves shoes, champagne, rugby and books on her FORTY SECOND (remember this, people) birthday?
But it's my birthday, and I'll chastise myself if I want to.
To anyone celebrating a birthday today, or anytime soon, I have some things to say to you, imbued with my heartfelt love, appreciation, gratitude, and infinite wonder at the people who continue to love me, not least of all the Man Who Vaguely Resembles David Tennant.
Today is R U OK? Day - and already on social media this morning I have seen criticism of the day, ranging from 'people should be asking others if they're alright every day' to 'at least use proper letters - dumb name'.
Yes, it would be amazing if people asked others if they were alright every day. But let's face facts. We are selfish, greedy beasts, we humans - and if a day such as R U OK? Day can get us to stop and think about others - for even a moment - then it's alright in my book. As for the name - we live in the Age of Textarius. Much to my secret sorrow, what grabs the attention more - Are You Okay or R U OK? And anything that can bring attention to suicide prevention - well, that gets a free pass from the Grammar Goddess.
The number of people who struggle with depression in Australia is growing. People are scared to talk about how they feel - we are expected to achieve so much, to keep achieving, to keep up the pace, to go the distance, to succeed, to provide, to be happy, to race for the finish line. And all whilst pegging back the darker emotions or feeling tired, or sick, or drained of energy.
Or perhaps coping with grief and sorrow - and finding it all too hard, and just quietly slipping away because nobody has noticed the stress-lines beneath the surface.
We are all guilty of two things - and often it's not out of any lack of care or compassion. One, we DON'T ask our loved ones often enough if they are OK; and two - we don't ask ourselves.
So today, don't only check on those you care about.
Do a self-check too.
Make sure you are, if not happy, then at least in a mental place where you feel you are capable of reaching out for help. Look inside. Say to yourself 'Am I coping? Am I waking up of a morning wishing it would all just go away?'
Sometimes it is harder to ask yourself that question and give an honest answer that it is to look someone else in the eye and say 'no, I am not OK'.
But if you expect that honesty from them - give it to yourself too.
And yes, it would be great if every day we asked 'are you OK?' of friends, family and co-workers. Maybe start with today - and a simple text, or message, or phone call. I will even be relaxing my rules.
It has been yet another rough
week in the world of grumps and glum a.k.a. KateLand. I hate admitting
this; I hate saying out loud 'yup, things are currently craptacular'.
But allowing oneself to be vulnerable is something which we all need to
do. If we don't, that internal balloon gets to popping point… and what
is the result? Stress, anger and an awful lot of tears, and not the 'I
needed to have a cry' tears, but great big 'I can't stop' sobs which are
vulnerable and letting people in is important. It's something that I
have to work on very hard. I am extremely bad at letting people help me.
I am not sure whether it's because I see asking for help as some kind
of defeat, or whether I am just a stubborn cow, but putting my hand up
and saying 'I am not coping' is vastly difficult.
I know I am not alone in this.
I also think that a part of it is perhaps thinking I am not worthy of being helped.
Again, I know I am not alone in this.
some degree, most of us dislike ourselves. There are some happy go
lucky souls out there who saunter through life without any kind of
self-doubt - always secure in themselves and their place in society and
the world. They have a confidence in their own ability which borders
almost on arrogance; but it isn't, and it isn't ego either. They simply
don't have any kind of 'I'm no good' feelings running through their
At times, I envy
them. To have that kind of blasé bliss - wow. For a week, a month or two
- yay. It would be great. But if I really stop and nut it out, I come
to a different conclusion.
Whilst I don't want to doubt my
likeability on a daily basis, I do want to question whether my actions
affect the wellbeing of others. I want to make sure that the way I
behave is of good consequence. I want to make sure that what I am doing
means I can sleep well at night.
While I want to love other
people - the most important person in my world to love, I have figured
out, is the person I spend twenty four hours a day with.
part of loving yourself is being loveable. That means being loveable in
your own head. If you can't go to sleeps with yourself - how can you go
to sleeps with someone else?
week has been an eye opener in many ways. I have found out that I can
reach out for help, and that people are there to answer that call. That
it doesn't make me weak. And more importantly, I have found out
something else about myself.
I heart me.
I am prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure I keep doing so.
This means being strong, and self-assured, and independent - but it
also means letting down the walls occasionally. It means allowing people
to help you. It also means taking responsibility for yourself - and
part of that responsibility is saying 'no that isn't acceptable to me'
or 'yes, that is acceptable, and I am going to run with this and seize
happiness with both hands'.
if the path to happiness - and responsibility, and most of all, self
love - involves breaking out a box of tissues and having a weep every
now and then.