Some inspo for your weekend today. This one tears me up every time. And you know what’s even more glorious? I actually know that I have friends who would – and have – rush to my rescue like this, to support me through dark times. If you’re one of those friends, THANK YOU. I love you wholeheartedly <3 <3 I am one super lucky human bean.
IDK about you but last week I was in a really negative headspace, and it’s lingering through to this week (though today has been better and honestly a lot of it is probably food-caused, urgh). So I really needed a reminder that not all humans, particularly Famous Ones, are walking garbage fires.
So. In the interests of buoying my own spirits, and hopefully also yours, I present for your personal edification, Humanity Humaning Well. IDK, I feel like this needs to become a regular feature, tbh. It was pretty awesomely perspective changing to do the research for this 🙂
Any good news on your end? Any examples you’ve seen or can actively find rn of humans humanning well? Please feel free to share! 🙂 🙂
Just take five minutes to skim over this list. I promise, you’ll find AT LEAST one thing there that will make you glad you did 🙂
Go on. Click. You won’t regret it <3
Saw the dietician last week, which was a positive experience all round. She reaffirmed that I knew what I was doing with this elimination diet, and encouragement me to keep pushing the boundaries to discover the thresholds of my tolerances so that I could eat as wide a variety of food as possible. Which is great, and last week I dutifully set about including a small dose of amines daily, to see what would happen.
Only then on Sunday we had a kid’s birthday party to attend, and I forgot to pack my own food, and rather than starve I choose to ate the homemade pizza, because PIZZA, right? And there was a green leaf salad with a vinegrette dressing, and ohmygosh, FLAVOUR.
When you can’t eat amines, you definitely miss out on a whole world of savoury/umami FLAVOUR, and I, the renowned sweet-tooth, and turning into a major savoury-craver. World = ending.
So anyway, predictably, because I’d had small daily doses followed by a modestly giant dose (we’re talking the equivalent of maybe two and a half adult slices of mushroom and capsicum pizza, the half slice also with pineapple, made with actual tomato paste (i.e. intensely-concentrated tomatoes) with maybe 2c of salad leaves with dressing?), I tipped over the edge and had insomnia most of Sunday night and spent Monday wandering around in a bit of a fog – but I realised something. I’d also been feeling groggy and off all of the previous week – and notably, despite the fact that I’d powered through 10,000 words* in just four days at the end of October, boding well for NaNoWriMo for a change**, in November, last week, I fought for about 2000 words in the last 7 days. And I mean fought.
* Look, I’m reworking an old story, so I have the old scene open next to me as I type, so it’s not really hard, thinky writing.
** November is marking/reports/finals/BLEARGH month in Australia at schools, so I don’t usually even attempt it.
Now, I have been sick the last week+ too, with a persistent chesty cough that kept me awake all Wednesday night, for example, so I’m not exactly in peak health. BUT.
Sicknesses aside, it looks like even though I can *tolerate* a small daily dose of amines (a tablespoon of grated parmesan, a couple of stalks of broccolini, some tomato sauce (ketchup) on hot chips, etc), ‘tolerate’ does not equal ‘function optimally’. And even though I’ve trained myself to write tired, writing tired and writing groggy are different – i.e. I can write tired if I have to, but I can’t, apparently, write groggy.
Which means I’m pretty much left facing the choice between food or words, knowing that if I go with ‘food’, it’ll likely knock out the words as an option for the following handful of days as well.
On the one hand, this is a sad situation to be in. On the other, it will make sticking to the diet and not cheating a whole lot easier, because you guys? I want my words.
Turns out words are a pretty powerful motivator.
So yeah. I expect I’ll be out for at least the next couple of days recovering from last week (and from being sick – nearly there, getting there, by the end of the week I should be okay again), and then we’re going out for pizza on the weekend, so that might knock me out a bit again, so we’ll see. We’ll see. Hopefully I can get back to the words again soon, because I really want another book done by the end of the year (even if it isn’t Sanctuary 3, oops O:) ).
Sometimes, you just really needed to hear it.
My kids are 5 and 2 right now, and they are both clever little beans, and super active. My son particularly is a little perpetual motion machine, and always has been.* So for the last two years, they’ve been doing swimming lessons as yet-another-way-to-try-to-expend-their-energy-and-keep-them-sufficiently-occupied. Y’all know my schedule tends to be packed so tight I can a) barely breathe and b) never afford catastrophes because they throw MY CAREFUL BALANCE OUT…
…but this is not, actually, a story of something that went wrong. The schedule comment is merely to contextualise, and to note that by the time I hit 6pm on the weekday whereon they have their lesson, I’m frequently a little frazzed. The actual lesson itself is fine (once I get over the almost-requisite being-5-minute-late part), but since I get in the water with the 2-yr-old, it means three swimmer-clad bodies to deal with at 6:30pm when we are all tired, in a crowded public change room where we often have to queue for the kids to use the open showers (though at least this means they don’t need a bath at home, and serves as their weekly hair-wash if I don’t get to it at any other point in the week 😀 😀 #MultiTaskingFTW), and then, because my kids are slooooooooooooooooow and everything is a biiiiiiiiig deeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaal when you are 5 and smart and tired, we usually have to queue for a cubicle so I can also strip off and change while they change, and look, it’s not a problem because we’ve been doing it for 2 years and have our routine down to a fine art (requisite tears x 2 + 2 x optional bonus rounds of tears included**), and it works, and I wouldn’t not do it because they both LOVE swimming (baby especially, who’s been swimming since 14 weeks*** o.O) and they need to learn to swim (this is such a compulsory Australian skill that most primary schools include a course of swimming in their sports curriculum each year), but it’s… a juggle. You know. I don’t mind it, it’s definitely not horrible, but it’s not the most relaxing 25 minutes of my weekly life.
So this week, I was going through all these motions as usual, had queued for a cubicle, and was just ducking in, and another mother came up to me.
I’ll admit, my heart sank a little, because the last time this happened it was a mother very politely and with much embarrassment on her part informing me that my son had been pushing her son into the pool >.<
But this lovely woman, looking – let’s admit – not a whole lot less frazzled than I, leans in close, and goes:
I just wanted to say, I think you do an amazing job.
I blinked, stunned, managed to beam and thank her appropriately, locked myself in my cubicle, put the baby on the fold-down table and instructed my son to set up under it, as usual, and promptly burst into tears.
I hadn’t been feeling especially frazzled this week, not compared to some weeks. And I hadn’t had a bad day at work, and I wasn’t feeling like I was teetering on the edge of sanity like I sometimes am. But I had managed to accidentally hurt Mr 5’s arm as I directed him out of the showering area, and the general frustrations of trying to wash, dry and dress two baby octopuses with Strong Opinions and Independences of their own in a crowded space on a tight schedule is always… well. You know. It is what it is.
And so even though I hadn’t been going, ‘Man, I could really use some encouragement right now’, apparently I still needed it, and it really hit home, and I am so, so grateful to this woman.
The take-home point is this: Modern Western consumer culture particularly sets us up to be in competition with each other – as men, as women, as non-binaries, as teens, as adults, in the workplace, in comparing homes, in our hobbies, in our social media. People who are united, gracious and forgiving of each other, always striving to encourage and lift each other up – these are not the kind of people who are susceptible to advertising, propaganda, consumerist values that drive corporate business. It’s not in the best interest of the people who currently run our society for us to encourage each other.
But we need it. Oh, how we need it. For the sake of our self esteem, our sanity – and, simply, our humanity.
So do something rebellious with your life: Become an encourager.
I bet you’ll be amazing at it <3 <3 <3
* Like, always. He nearly cracked one of my ribs in utero o.O
** One from Mr 5 at some point because he wasn’t listening to what he was supposed to be doing and got hurt (slipped on the wet floor, bumped his head, got soap in his eyes, take your pick), one from the baby when I wash her hair, and optionally up to another one round each while actually in the change cubicle because Tired and Wet and Getting Changed Is Hard).
*** Initially as a) something to do while Mr then-3 began lessons and b) as a bonding activity with my sister, who was also on maternity leave at the same time 🙂
So this is a super cool thing I found because someone had gif’ed the “The Scream” portion of this music video and it is SUPER, and then someone in the thread linked to the full video and YAY! Such a happy song! So cheery and determined! And what an AWESOME music vid, with all the famous paintings coming to life! There’s some serious hard work gone into some of the scenes in particular and wow, yay, much happy.
Here. Enjoy and be happy for a little over three minutes 🙂
[language warning at one point]
Something a little more mellow this week. This is one of my favourite music videos, and the song’s pretty cool too 😉
I was trying to think of a story for the Darkness & Good blog the other day, because it’s my turn to post this week, and me and short story ideas are kind of hit and miss sometimes (AH HA HA ALL THE TIME HA HA SOMETIMES HA), and first of all, I ACTUALLY THOUGHT OF A STORY RIGHT WHEN I NEEDED ONE AMEN HALLELUJAH, and second of all, in doing so I had a bit of a revelation about myself. The story starts with the protagonist making a stupid mistake that they really should have known better than to make, and it puts their life in danger. Usually in my stories what happens next is sudden, inescapable DEATH.
But this time, I realised that that’s how the story would usually go, and it made me realise something else: I’m really not good at giving myself permission to make mistakes. Like, really not good. I’m better than I used to be, and I know enough now to recognise when I’m beating myself up over something I shouldn’t be and to take steps to stop that, but yeah. I still have this subconscious expectation that I really should be superwoman. Making mistakes when I didn’t know what was going on or what was happening? Yeah, okay, that sucks, but it happens. Making mistakes when I really should have known better? That is pretty much unforgiveable.
Except, it shouldn’t be. I’m human. I’m not *actually* any better than anyone else, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to retrain damaging perfectionist tendencies. I’m learning where the boundaries are between ‘good enough’ and ‘killing myself with perfect’, and I’m getting better at realising innately what my mum taught me while I was first married and studying at uni: I only have 100% of myself to give, and the more things I spread that between, the less I have to devote to each thing. I can’t expect to achieve 100% in fifty-million things, because that’s fifty-million-hundred percent, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
But. My fiction, apparently, still keeps telling me otherwise. I still keep writing stories where stupid mistakes cost people their lives, out of this perverse and totally subconscious belief that I’m not allowed to make stupid mistakes, that I’m better than that, that doing so is a failing on my part.
So this time, I let the protagonist win. This time, she got hit by a mistake, and came back up swinging, learned from her mistake and triumphed in the end. Because let’s face it, that’s what I do in life. You make a mistake, and you’re allowed to beat yourself for a minute or two, but then you have to figure out what you did wrong, what you’re going to fix the situation, and how to avoid making the same mistake again. Sometimes that actually means remembering to not over-commit yourself, or making sure you protect your sleep so you’re not walking about like the zombified dead–shockingly enough, sleep deprivation is not conducive to avoiding mistakes!!!!!!
If you’re interested, you can read my short story over on the Darkness & Good blog right here. But either way, leave a comment and let me know: Do you get frustrated when you make mistakes too? How do you cope with residual perfectionism, if so?