Monday, 2 March 2015

The drum.

It is an understanding
Few may reach.

We gather here,
Streets apart.
We seek connection
Through thoughts we never share.
Lonely days, distant sounds,
Lonely nights; minor feats
Are major wins
For us.

Because for us, the cells slow.
Minute by minute, hour by hour,
They slow.
And what was once so creative, so contemplative,
Is now an empty drum.
A drum
Beating without a cause.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Only the lonely.

I have been thinking about the difference between being alone and being lonely.

Based on what we learnt at primary school, being alone is the less bad one. It's the one where you're physically by yourself, but that's cool because everything is ok and someone's coming home later on to have a chat and watch TV with you.

But being lonely? Well, that's more serious. To be lonely is to miss people; to be unable to reach out. Lonely people are sometimes even a bit unsure of how to change their situation, so that they become less lonely.

If I've got my definitions correct, being alone and lonely are two things I've been this weekend. (Does that make me alonely? Are made-up words even allowed on blogs?)

Right now, nobody is home, and I'm sort of wishing somebody was. I know that there are people outside home who are around on weekends and who would be happy to chat, but it's hard to reach out.

Reaching out is hard, especially when you know that you could have seen aloneliness-busting people at pre-arranged things, only you didn't go, because you are alonely. Aloneliness is a tough one to crack.

Monday, 2 February 2015

No weekends for you.


It's been a while.

I've got more to write about than I can actually get down in one sitting, so what you're about to read is just a snipped of recent happenings. Over the coming weeks I'm hoping to write more. 

For now, I'd just like to briefly explore my experiences over the past week, after returning from a holiday in New Zealand. 

First, I'll set the scene: we arrived home, rushed inside, dumped our cases at the door, at said a huge hello to our cats. It was clear they had been missing us. Socks looked a bit thin and had sad eyes. He took about an hour to get used to the noise of our voices, after two weeks of living in a silent house. 

Poppet was in better shape, and very pleased to see us. She reminded me of an old friend who somehow manages to slot right back into your life after being gone for years. It was as if we'd never been apart.

Since being back, I've been working pretty hard on getting my business up and running for the year. Students have been registering for tutoring over the last few days, and I've had fun coordinating all the bookings. It's like playing tetris on iCal. No overlapping is allowed, and you're always aiming for minimal space between bricks of time so that every student can be accommodated. 

I've been talking to my Mum about trying not to get stressed over it all. I know that there is no point getting stressed, but I also know that at times my threshold is pretty damn low, making it very easy for me to end up in a stressy place. Talking about that has been a great preventative strategy.

But the main thing that has helped me is the echo of New Zealand, and all that we saw and did there. My Mum's family is still mostly in NZ, and spending time with them seems to have grounded me in ways I didn't expect. People who are older (at least, the ones I spend time with) have more perspective, more time, fewer worries, and fewer things to prove. Even just being around people like that does have a positive effect - probably because it communicates something along the lines of "That's right! It is TOTALLY possible to enjoy life by going at a pace that you're comfortable with!"

Since we've been back, I've been working less. That much is true. I've also been sleeping better, though I'm not totally convinced that this will be the case forever, as I'm sort of just waiting for basal stress levels to rise enough to compromise it. 

I guess you could say that I still don't trust my body or my head 100%, and for that reason I never expect that enjoyment of life is guaranteed, day to day. I'm not used to waking up and thinking "Great! Today is here!" When we went to NZ and I found myself really enjoying quite a lot of the trip, it was strange.

I am so grateful for the exposure I have had to different ways of living while away. In NZ, things seemed to move more slowly. Nobody was in a mad rush to get anywhere, especially if rushing meant putting yourself out. I liked that, and I want to apply it to all that I do in Sydney, even if others are not.

I realise that it's going to take a certain type of strength to dig my heels in and assert myself. I know that this is not something that comes naturally to me, as for years I have bent over backwards to accommodate other people. Which brings me back to tutoring. This year I have decided not to work on weekends. I need my breaks, and last year I frequently worked through them in order to start the business and get everything ready, so that I could best help others as quickly as possible. Towards the end of the year, it was becoming less fun as a result. Given that I want to be in this game for the long haul (I love tutoring, and I want to make a difference to the educational landscape of NSW), I need my breaks. So it's been decided. No weekend work for me anymore.

What's interesting is that now my mind is made up, saying "no" is easy.

What's also interesting is that this weekend just gone was quite enjoyable for me. I didn't expect to enjoy pottering around my house yesterday, reading books and raking up stuff in the garden, but I did.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Try this on for size.

Immediately after you buy new clothes, do you do everything you can to preserve their newness?

I do.

Picture me, actually looking forward to washing new clothes once they are worn. (Instead of leaving them at the bottom of a washing basket somewhere, like I usually do.) Picture me selecting them from the freshly-washed pile to wear, even though other clothes are already good to go. And picture me folding the new clothes all nicely in my cupboard, without sparing a thought for last year's track pants - stored inside out without a care.

It's definitely a pattern I've noticed.

And I do exactly the same thing with thoughts.

When I'm sick of my old thoughts and have judged their need for replacement, getting new ones is awesome. I shop around, reading books, surfing the web, looking for interesting theories/people/places/ideas/movies/games/concepts/strategies/paradigms/choices/lives to learn about. I try them on for size, and pick the ones that suit me. Because if they don't look good from all angles, they're not a good fit.

Once the process is through, I've got these great new thoughts to think. They're all shiny and new. It almost feels like my world completely opens up with new thoughts. Who wouldn't want to preserve that?

It's new clothes syndrome down to a tee(shirt).

Eventually, the thoughts get old. They go through wear and tear, some of which is due to my personality -- I don't have a great track record for keeping colours bright. I'm quite a harsh detergent, really.

So the thoughts become part of normal thinking, and they aren't as exciting anymore. Truth be told, I feel a bit bored when I'm in old-thoughts mode, because I like to learn. I like to be challenged. I like to improve. I like things to be dynamic.

But hey, maybe new thoughts and new clothes are just meant to get old. It's just part of their life cycle. Or washing cycle. Or whatever.

I'm cool with that. It's given me something new to think about anyway :)

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Rock on.

A couple of months back we visited two great friends of mine. They've got an apartment above the most incredible deli. We went there after a lunch to have a look around.

I could be here all week if I start describing everything we saw in as much detail as it probably deserves. I'll keep it short - here is the most impressive thing:

A large slab of himalayan rock salt.

So like, I've seen this stuff in shops before, but never in block form. I don't know why that's such a huge deal, but I was genuinely impressed. How often do you see salt wrapped up like a present?

If you're me, the answer is not often. So obviously you'll need to get a lame photo with the thing and also get one of it on its own too, for glory. I don't know why we take the photos we do, but hey it was cool and I liked the concept. It was... solid!