Made It Monday: Hospital Cake?

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Another summer holiday cake 🙂 This one was for the reopening of a hospital ward! I even have a photo of the state Minister for Health posing with it as it was cut!! :O

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Well THAT Was A Mistake, or, How To Conquer Perfectionism With 3-2-1

It’s not that I’m so perfect that I rarely make mistakes, it’s just that usually they’re tiny things I don’t notice, or instances where my ego can brush things off as being other people’s mistake instead, or whatever. You know. We’re human. Usually, with a healthy brain, we don’t spend too much time thinking about our mistakes.

Then there are the moments when you do make a mistake, and it’s right in front of your eyes, and it’s confronting, because you realise that this perfect little image that you have of yourself in your head (anxiety and depression forebearing) is false.

I’m guilty of a superwoman narrative: my usual response to someone telling me something can be done is YEAH?! WANNA BET?!?!?! (This almost always occurs strictly in my head, fyi.) Like the whole narrative about Being A Woman, and about how You Can’t Have It All. That drives me nuts, not on a philosophical level (well, okay, but moving on), but on a nuts-and-bolts, daily-bread kind of level. What do you MEAN I can’t do ALL THE THINGS?!?! WHAT ARE THESE LIES YOU SPEAK?!?!

And so I go a little crazy. And I don’t mean that in an ableist kind of ‘ha ha that’s so crazy’ kind of way, I mean like: I actually go a little mad. I overload and overload and overload my schedule until my healthy brain functioning overloads and I melt down. Folks, this is NOT a stellar way to live.

And so I’m learning to be kinder to myself. Yes, okay, I still secretly think I’m superwoman and that if I just work hard enough and be more organised and come up with more efficient Ways of Being then I really can have it all, but I’m learning not to beat myself up for mistakes, not to dwell or stew, I’m teaching my thoughts to move on past obsessive cyclical patterns (6 months of cognitive behavioural therapy in 2012, I’m looking at you, thanks), and I’m learning to take a business-minded approach to mistakes.

What do I mean by that?

If you’re into small business (or big business, I guess), or inventing, or creating, or designing especially, or whatever, you know that a lot of the process involves fast prototyping. Fail fast, fail early is one motto I heard that really gets it. Fundamentally, it’s an acknowledgement that, say in design, your first ten, twenty, thirty ideas are basically going suck. So you get through those as fast and as efficiently as possible so you can get to the good stuff. Fail fast, fail early, so then you can succeed.

Looking at mistakes with a business mind also means assessing their effects. Instead of dwelling on ‘oh, I should have done this, I should have done that, what do they think of me, I’m such a fool’, etc, it’s a quick 3, 2, 1:

3: Rank the actual, tangible results out of three: 1 = no one got hurt; 2 = maybe someone got hurt moderately, or a few people got hurt a little; 3 = someone got hurt a lot, or a few people got hurt moderately. (Bonus points for 4 = someone is dead.) And yes, you have to apply this scale to emotional hurts as well, but you have to apply it accurately. No inflating the number because your anxiety is telling you that you suck and that bad things might happen. (And yes, this can apply to things too, like okay, I dented the cover of my favourite book, that’s a 1; I accidentally lit the kitchen on fire, that’s a 3, possibly a 4 depending on how ‘dead’ the kitchen now is.)

2: You have two options now: decide you don’t care about the people that got hurt (Which, legitimate! Example: Toddler is being obnoxious and won’t do The Thing. I mean to speak nicely but am tired and cranky, so I snap and demand that The Thing be done. For me, this qualifies as a mistake, albeit a common one 😛 Toddler is now hurt, but you know what? Tough freaking luck, because you don’t have to want to do The Thing, you just have to do it. You can’t be an effective parent/boss/teacher/mentor/human if you only care about never making others sad.) –> 1, do nothing; or decide you do care, –> 2, do something. Note that there is no option here that says ‘care, but also do nothing’. You care, you do something. You don’t care, you don’t do something. End.

1: Move on. That’s it. No options here. Just, assess the level of damage, either do something towards fixing it or don’t, and move on. 3, 2, 1.

So what prompted this little discussion here today? Buh-bing! You guessed it! Amy made a mistake. I was contacting a book for school, and when I went to seal in the back cover, I accidentally sealed in the back page as well >.< Book contacting is one area where my (actual, literal, though I don’t have a diagnosis) OCD tendencies run rampant: I HATE poorly contacted books. It is actually physically uncomfortable. But you know what? I took a deep breath, and 3-2-1’ed: The book was not destroyed, I didn’t care about the book’s feelings anyway, so it was time to move on.

And that, my lovelies, is how you win the battle against raging perfectionism: one baby step at a time.

None of us are superheroes; that’s what makes us great. <3

PS I totally made that 3-2-1 thing up as I was typing, but it WORKS, and I really LIKE it, so YAY ME! <3

MEN ARE NOT BRAINLESS SHEEP (SHOCKING, I KNOW) (a repost)

It feels awkwardly risky posting this in the wake of #MeToo, but isn’t that the point? That something like this shouldn’t be controversial? And so: I randomly stumbled across this while searching my archives for something else, and it is salient, and it is relevant, and it is important. Men: you are not brainless sheep.

 

“Shocking? What? Why should this concept be shocking?” I hear you ask. To which I counter: why is it not? How is it not, when so many of the fundamental assumptions our society is based on are designed to tell men that they are wild, uncontrollable, savages to be tamed, creatures of undeniable violent instinct who, when confronted with a flash of skin, a hint of cleavage,  or – heaven forbid!! – butt or upper thigh, cannot help themselves; they MUST HAVE THAT FLESH NOW.

Yes, I’m talking about feminism. I’m talking about rape. I’m talking about ‘they deserved it’ mentality and slut-shaming and all those sorts of things, and you know what I’m saying? They’re disrespectful to men, too.

Dude, I KNOW that the primary victims of these patriarchal paradigms are women, but if we’re going to convince men that feminism – real feminism, not “femi-nazis”, not man-hating, not these things which are just as bad as patriarchy, only in reverse – no, real feminism – if we’re going to convince men that this is something they need to get on board with – and ladies, lest you think we can do it alone, never forget that while we make up about 50% of the population, so do men – we need, as a culture, to recognise why these ingrained narratives are damaging not just to women, but the whole of society.

Men are not brainless sheep. I have a husband who, shockly enough, is a man. While we don’t always see eye to eye on things, we have tremendous respect for each other and for each other’s opinions and individual lives. And my husband, whom I have been married to for seven years, whom I have been ‘with’ for over ten, whom I met and started dating at sixteen – sixteen! – has never, ever once touched me without my permission. Not once. Ever. Not before we were married; not after. Not when I was dressed in sweats, and not when I was dressed provocatively. Never. NOT. ONCE.

Please take a moment to absorb the implications of that.

My husband, you see, is not a brainless sheep. He is not a bundle of uncontrollable impulses, something that is triggered by the appearance of womanly flesh and cannot be reined in, denied, constrained. He has a mind, and willpower, and morals, and knowledge of right and wrong – and he understands – really, truly, deeply understands – that women – even beautiful, attractive, scantily-clad women – do not exist for his gratification.

Husband? I know you will never read this, but thank you. With all my heart, thank you.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for society. And I do mean society as a herd rather than individuals; I think most people in isolation are fundamentally decent (whether because I am an optimist or have a restricted circle of acquaintances, I leave to you :D). But the paradigm in which we’re operating is designed to bring out the worst in people. It’s a paradigm where someone can hit you in the face, and it can be your fault. It’s a paradigm that says humanity is foundationally brainless, that women are empty vessels and men are mindless urges.

This comes because I was reading Elizabeth Esther yesterday, and in a link-click-link spree, came across this:

Rick Warren came out and said that a battered woman was not allowed to leave or divorce her abusive husband. In the ensuing cries, he backpedaled and said a woman could leave her husband physically “in the heat of the moment,” (as if a man so crazed that he is beating his one-flesh partner whom he is supposed to honor and sacrifice his own life for would allow her to walk out on the beating) but must return when things have “cooled” and submit to his authority. At no time have I seen him following up with a statement, “Men, you cannot beat your wives for any reason. It is a sin and a crime.”

(Source).

I hope, if you’re reading my blog, you will find the above horrifying on many levels. Yes? Good. Actually, the source is a good article, discussing the recent phenomenon of prominent (male) Christian leaders going out of their way to emphasise the sexiness of their partner (wife), and how this is just wrong on so many levels (But it’s monogamous sexual objectification!! That’s practically Godly!). But the takeaway point for me was as above in that quote: while we are busy reminding young women not to ‘put themselves in risky situations’, society is doing very little by way of reminding young men that this kind of behaviour is not, actually, acceptible. We’re operating from the default position that men cannot control themselves and so it’s up to the women to remove all temptation, and if something goes wrong, well, we told you the boys couldn’t control themselves, what did you think was going to happen?

Men: our culture has been telling us for so long that you are the ones who deserve to be dominant because you’re smarter, stronger, faster, all the while pulling the rug out from under you, insidiously operating on the assumption that actually you’re just a bunch of dumb impulses. Society is lying to you, just like it’s lying to women. But now – now is your chance. Don’t buy into that crap. Of course you’re not a conglomeration of lusty, violent instinct; you’re an intelligent human being. I know. I married one of you. You can do this.

Made It Monday

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

A quick lil anniversary cake for a friend this time. This one was fun and so easy to make, and even though I had no clue what I was going to do it turned out okay. Woo!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Trees Think, Starfish See: The Most Fascinating Stuff From The Web

A random and fascinating assortment of internet reading today:

Starfish actually have eyes (on the ends of their arms!!), and they can probably see better than you think.

And speaking of ‘think’, it turns out plants can be anesthetised; does that mean they are conscious??

While we’re considering life forms, here are some animals that count (and, interesting to note is the stability even between human cultures of the numbers/words/concepts of one to five). 

Less stable, it will shock no one, are our personalities, but there’s good news here: research has shown that a 30-minute lesson on the malleability of personality can help teens with anxiety.

And lastly, something that tends to cause lots of anxiety, our work – more specifically, this article looks at how we’re (potentially) going to have to stop defining ourselves by our work as robots, machines, and A.I. become a bigger and bigger part of the workforce. Perhaps, it suggests, we should start defining ourselves by our volunteer work (and hobbies?) instead.

Read anything interesting this week? Please share!

 

(PS If you’re up for a heavy read, this article on what teens are learning from pornography and how “Porn Literacy” classes can help is equal parts fascinating, necessary, and saddening.)

School Work Sleep Exercise Flnmph.

Term one week one and I am so ded I’m not even alive anymore. Combined with a birthday party last weekend and household guests (which were super welcome!) and, of course, wanton consumption of amines and gluten over the weekend and consequential lack of sleep/insomnia… URGH.

Anyway. I AM still alive, even if restarting some sort of exercise regime this week feels like it has broken my body (aquarobics is HARD, y’all, OUCH), and words are trickling along (which, totally frustrating, because I am getting SO CLOSE to the end of this book and if I was on holidays still it would be DONE by the end of the week, URGH), and so This Is Real Life Once Again.

I hate the end of summer holidays :\

At least my classes this year all seem super sweet and lovely <3