I love a list. But not these ones.

I’m turning 30 this year. I don’t have much to show for it, besides a startling number of hats I don’t wear, and several pairs of jeans that don’t fit me. Any milestone birthday means you are confronted with lists of ’30 Things You Definitely Have To Do By 30 Or You’ve Basically Wasted Your Youth’ (hot tip – we already know we wasted our youth). You know what I’m talking about. Those lists that tell you to ‘Make sure you’ve watched a sunrise in the Maldives while hand-feeding rescue turtles’, and ‘Pay off your debt’ (HAHAHAHAHA). A lot of those kinds of lists are – I’m just going to say it – unachievable to most regular people. If you’re like me, and you hate ’30 Before 30′ lists, join me as I rip one apart. This is for those of us who sometimes find it overwhelming just getting through the goals for the day, let alone half a lifetime.

1. Travel somewhere you don’t know the language. 

Ok, this is not a great start, because I have actually done this one, but it is not necessarily the starry-eyed, exciting adventure that it always seems to be painted as. It’s scary, it can be really lonely, and it’s usually fucking expensive, despite the related list of ’25 Ways to Travel the World With Only $25 in Your Pocket’.

2. Stop holding grudges.

How dare they. I will hold a grudge til I die. Probably of a stomach ulcer from holding said grudge, but honestly, a grudge is probably the only thing in life I can really commit to.

3. Feel the rain on your skin.

Spare me. We’ve all been caught out without an umbrella, we’ve all been rained on. It’s not romantic and whimsical. It’s damp and inconvenient.

4. Treat yourself to something really expensive.

This just seems 100% trivial to me. Sometimes, spending $40 on a shirt seems absolutely frivolous to me, other times I will spend that much on novelty greeting cards and not even blink. Once I bought a quite expensive handbag without a second thought, and then the next week agonised over whether or not I needed a three pack of socks for $7. If you have the means, once in a while, buy yourself something you really want, but don’t necessarily need. Whether that is a chocolate bar at the checkout, or a full velour tracksuit à la J.Lo circa 2001, you do you. If you don’t have the means, call me. I can always spring for a Snickers.

5. Attend the Olympic Games.

This is just taking the absolute piss.

6. Pay off your credit card debt.

How is one to do this if one has just travelled somewhere they don’t know the language, bought themselves something really expensive, and been to the Olympics? Seriously.

7. Learn the lyrics to ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ by R. Kelly.

This was honest to god on a list I read. If you were born pre 1990, you probably know all the words anyway. If you weren’t, and you don’t, don’t fucking bother. Space Jam is awesome, but R. Kelly is revolting, and I’m still trying to scrub ‘Ignition (Remix)’ from my brain.

8. Make music

The only music I can make is playing ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on the jumbo xylophone at the playground, and that’s only because my kid can’t tell when I fuck it up. Does that count?

9. Wear more colour.

I shan’t. There is a breed of people who wear grey, black, and white, and we will not change. However, I did just buy a green jersey, so maybe I’m full of shit. (Spoiler alert: I am)

10. Find something you’re really good at.

I have dreams that one day I’ll try something for the first time and I’ll just be an absolute natural. Like, maybe one day I’ll be a champion ski jumper, or a world-famous whittler. I’m guessing there’s probably a bit of hard work involved in becoming really really great at something, which is probably why I haven’t yet.

11. Jump more often.

Pardon?

12. Write a book.

Look, I have seen all the typos in your bloody facebook posts. Don’t write a bloody book ok?

13. Watch 100 of the IMDb top 250 movies of all time.

Ok. This one sounds fun. BUT. There are veeeery few comedies on that list, so really prepare yourself for some harrowing viewing. Also, the list was compiled based on user-submitted ratings. Just keep that in mind, and ask yourself if you want to watch 100 movies recommended by strangers who rate stuff on the internet…Maybe instead ask five friends to recommend five films each. At least then you have someone to blame when you hate them all.

14. Keep a list of books you want to read and work your way through it.

I have a list like this. It won’t be completed by the time I die, let alone by the time I’m 30.

15. Find a way to wake up in the morning that you don’t hate.

This morning I woke up with wet pyjamas because my 3 year old peed in my bed, so to be honest, this is probably a great goal for me personally.

16. Go on a blind date.

Sure, Meghan and Harry met on a blind date, but let’s be real: your friends don’t know any princes ok? Blind dates are not usually fun. They’re usually set up by people in relationships who don’t understand that Bridget Jones’s Diary is not a documentary about single people.

17. Get married.

Come on. I know my limits.

18. Spend time with children.

You can do this if you want to, but children are tiny psychopaths. I say this as a mother and a preschool teacher, so just trust me.

19. Learn to gamble.

I have ZERO interest in gambling. I can’t even hold onto money that I’ve earned, there’s no way it would end well if I felt like it was all a game. That’s why I’m so shit at Monopoly.

20. Do something that scares you.

I am scared of stilt-walkers, and those street performers who stay really really still until you walk past, and then they try to shake your hand or something? I’m not doing either of them.

Ok ok, so that’s only a list of 20. But that was gruelling work. I’m very aware now of my failings as a 29 year old woman. I’m fine with it though, because even though I might not have run a marathon, or seen a Broadway play, today I got the washing off the line juuuust before it started raining, and that’s the sort of victory I can get behind on a wet Thursday afternoon.

 

Advertisements

Married at First Sight, aka the black hole that sucks up my nights.

If you’re not watching Married at First Sight Australia at the moment, what are you even doing with your life on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night? (Probably a fucking lot, actually…) This is the last week. Questions will be answered. Who will stay together? Has Davina developed a conscience? Does Dean even know what feminism means? Will Troy’s laugh get its own spin-off show? All will be revealed. Here is my stream of consciousness while I watch the final ceremonies (if you’re behind at all, I wouldn’t read on…unless you don’t mind spoilers, in which case, knock yourself out).

Tracey and Dean

Dean is like ‘so traditional’, and like, so likes a man to be a man, and for a woman to stay home and pop out babies. He makes jokes about other men sleeping with Tracey, doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with making plans to hook up with another woman behind her back, but is also like, suuuuch a feminist you know? He’s also a 34 year old white man who thinks he is a rapper called Visionz, so. That tells you all you need to know about him. He ends his speech at the final ceremony with the only display of emotion we see from him that isn’t feigned outrage when he gets called out on his sexist bullshit – he cries when he tells Tracey that he loves her. Nothing wrong with crying mate but, in the words of the White Stripes, you don’t know what love is. Tracey talks a lot about trust and betrayal and betrayal and trust, and forgiving Dean and bombshells and being blindsided, but has stayed with him every single week. At the final decision, she drops her own bombshell and SAYS SHE CAN’T SEE A FUTURE WITH HIM, and honestly, I wasn’t even this proud when my daughter started walking.

Patrick and Charlene

I THOUGHT CHARLENE WAS SAYING LEAVE AND SHE DIDN’T GUYS! YES! Never mind that I’ve already looked up whether they stay together…let’s not get into that. Charlene’s confrontational dinner party style is also me after five drinks, so I’m all about that. Patrick is almost a dream, but he needs to stop taking his laundry to his mother’s house before he’s full dream.

John and Melissa

*ALERT* JOHN IS LETTING HIS GUARD DOWN *ALERT*. Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time someone said John didn’t talk about his feelings…well…I’d wonder where that eleven dollars came from. Anyway. Melissa is in her 50s and wears out of control heels and extra AF hair extensions, and I am here for it. John was on the show last season, and disappointed his ‘wife’ by not being a Polynesian man or a gluten free cake. So. He lucked out with Melissa. They have found each other, and I am so glad. It means that when I am 52 and Married at First Sight NZ is onto its 30th season, I can apply in the hopes of finding someone too. Never mind that I will be twice the size of Melissa with half the charm. Let an old woman have her dreams.

Ashley and Troy

When your couple name is Trashley, you’re probably in trouble before you’ve begun. Who are all these people Ashley is talking to that are telling her Troy is such a great match for her? He’s always touching her tummy, and kisses by lunging at her and using his tongue like he uses his toothbrush. I don’t know a woman alive who would be into that. I think she has had Stockholm Syndrome this whole time, and someone needed to give her a safe word so she could GTFO. If she’d said yes to staying with him I would have had to personally stage an intervention. Troy ended their ceremony with his trademark fake laugh, which no doubt reassured Ashley that she made the right choice.

Unknown

Sarah and Telv

No YOU’VE got something in your eye. Yes guys. Yes. I can’t bring myself to look up whether or not these two are still together because I’m not ready for the torment if the answer is no.

Tomorrow night there is a reunion dinner party and HOLD ME BACK it will be the highlight of my calendar this week. (Sorry to my cousin whose 21st is this weekend – that’s a close second)

(Ok a distant second. But still second)

(Also, I know this show is trash OK? I have serious reservations about the judges’ experts’ intentions, I don’t think their matchmaking process is very rigorous – last season they matched two guys together who had nothing in common, for no apparent reason other than ‘uhhh they’re both gay?’ – and it is on four nights a week. Which, for anyone who has an actual life, is ridiculous. I do not, so here we are)

From the mouth of my babe

This will be updated regularly because my kid is out the gate.

  • ‘Your tummy is squishy like slime eh Mum?’
  • Someone called her heinous because she was throwing a tantrum, and she said ‘I’m not a penis’
  • ‘I put a booger in my mouth’
  • ‘Can you see my face? I’m angry’
  • ‘I don’t like tractors, I like washing machines and vacuum cleaners and building’
  • She was showing someone her heart shaped glasses and they said ‘love-hearts’. She said ‘no you don’t love hearts, you love triangles’
  • ‘I don’t fart with my bottom. I just do poos with my bottom’
  • ‘You are being adicklious’ (code for ridculous)
  • ‘Can I ride on a camel when I’m bigger?’
  • ‘We don’t touch peoples’ boobs eh Mum? We only look at them’
  • ‘Can I smell you?’
  • ‘Mum can I pat the baby?’
  • She was frowning while she went to the toilet, and when I asked if she was ok she said ‘yes I’m just getting poos out of me’
  • We walked outside on a cold morning: ‘Brrr, it’s a bit chimney’
  • ‘I’ve got two girls. They’re called Menassy and Bejinny’
  • ‘Mum look at my hands. They’re beautiful eh?’
  • She found a dead butterfly on the lawn, and was carrying it around in a container. I bumped into the container, and said ‘oops sorry’. She said ‘say sorry to my butterfly’, and when I did, she said ‘she’s not talking to you because she’s dead’

The space between singing in the rain and crying in the shower

I’ve had a few people tell me they were less than impressed at my post about my disdain for ‘inspirational’ hashtags a few weeks ago. That’s fine. Nobody likes everything on the internet, and nobody likes everything I do. 100% fine. That post was not intended for any specific audience, or intended to offend anyone, but for an insight into why I hate them so much, I though I’d share this:

Last night, my three year old didn’t go to sleep until 11.30. Ish. I don’t know for sure, because in between sweating my balls off in 7000 degree heat, taking her back to bed, giving her a cuddle and then not giving her a cuddle (‘go back to your room now Mum’), opening her windows, closing her windows, taking her duvet off, putting the ‘right’ blanket on, being told she didn’t want any blanket at all, laying down with her to rub her back, and then not rubbing her back (‘stop it now Mum’), retrieving the teddy she didn’t even actually want, I lost track of the time. Then she woke up at 6.30 this morning. Not a huge deal, surely? Except that she usually sleeps from 7pm until 7am. Which means that today she was operating on about 50% less sleep than she usually does. No problem. Surely.

Today, after being out for a few hours, I had the pleasure of being serenaded with two hours of screeching/whining/crying/yelling from my sweetheart. Stern words from me were an incredible study in ineffectiveness. Once home, I immediately got into a cold shower, sat down and cried. Got out. Cried some more. Breathed deeply and reminded myself that she is learning how to process her emotions, she is only three, she is even more tired than I am. Then she put her squishy little face on my shoulder and said ‘sorry Mumma, for I being grumpy and crying today’. Which made me feel like ASSHOLE MOTHER 2.0. The rest of the afternoon/evening passed regularly enough (she had a bath; I intervened when she poured water all over the bathroom floor, didn’t intervene when she peed in the bath and then 5 minutes later drank the bath water, put her towel round her wrong, put out the wrong pyjamas, read Guess How Much I Love You, tucked her in and held my breath that she WENT THE FUCK TO SLEEP THIS TIME). Once she went to sleep, all I fucking wanted was to go and order one of everything off the menu at KFC, but I can’t bloody leave her home alone for another 10 years or so.

This day was not remarkable. It wasn’t unusual. It happens, on average, three or four times a month. And that’s alright. I can mostly deal with it (crying in the shower is dealing, right?). But then I pop onto social media for some light browsing before I tackle the 300 household tasks I have to do, and I see a picture of a palm tree against a sunset with #lifeisbeautiful underneath it, and I want to drown myself in pissy bathwater. I know it’s no one else’s fault that I’ve had a shitty day. I know people are allowed to put whatever the fuck they want on their own social media. I know I have it in my power to not look at shit I don’t like. I KNOW ALL THAT. I just wonder – is seeing a picture that has had time, editing, and sometimes money go into it, that inspirational? I can’t stress enough that I don’t give a shit about the content, for me it is about the pretence. You post selfie after selfie my friend, show me that smoothie bowl pal, hit me with those beach snaps babe, but if you have to do it while pretending that you are bestowing inspiration on others, then you are being disingenuous. Inspiration isn’t a gift you get to give someone because you can take a nice photo. It’s not the thing, it’s the intent behind the thing, ya know?

My house is blissfully quiet now. For how long, I don’t know. I’m waiting for a knock on the door, and the inspirational sentence, ‘Hi I’m Jack, I work at KFC, and I read your mind and brought you one of everything off the menu’.

You are not what you eat

There is a weird thing that we do as people who eat stuff, and that is assign moral value to food. I have no doubt that everyone reading this has used language like ‘bad’, ‘naughty’, ‘guilty pleasure’, or ‘cheat meal’ when referring to something they’ve eaten. We’ve probably also all said something like ‘Oh man, I was really bad yesterday and had fish and chips for dinner’, or ‘You are so good, having a salad for lunch’. That’s because it’s a short leap between labelling food in a negative way, and labelling ourselves in the same way because we eat that food. I’m aware that they’re only words, but words have power, and the way we talk about what goes into our bodies affects the way we think about them. The more we imbue food with shameful and negative connotations, the easier it is to feel the same way about ourselves when we eat it.

Most adults understand what healthy and unhealthy mean – and somewhere, we transmuted those into meaning ‘good/bad’, and ‘clean/dirty’. And the more we’ve done that, the more we’ve accepted that we are good or bad, clean or dirty, depending on the food we eat. Somewhere along the line, we have also convinced ourselves that the ‘bad’ foods make us bigger, and the ‘good’ foods make us smaller. If the bad foods make us big then being big must be bad, and if the good foods make us small, then being small must be good. It’s a false equivalency, and it’s an insidious and persistent lie that diet culture sells us: that our bodies are a reflection of our morality. And it’s fucking bullshit. Just to be clear here, I have no interest in what anyone eats, or what size anyone is – eat salad every day of your life, or consider donuts a food group, whatever works for you – but remember that what you eat doesn’t determine your worth. Your moral value depends on many things, but the ratio of Snickers bars to kale smoothies you’ve ingested in your lifetime is not one of them. Eat the fucking cake. Drink the fucking coconut water. Enjoy the chips or the chickpeas, but know that your food choices don’t make you better or worse than anyone else.

There is a similar narrative which tells us that ‘food is fuel’ – existing to help us get those gains, lose that tummy, grow that ass, and that’s fine. But food is more than just fuel. And we have to let ourselves be OK with that. Food is fuel, but it’s also celebration, comfort, enjoyment, togetherness, nostalgia, and sometimes, the only thing that’ll get you through a fucking rough hangover.

(I know that most people who read this know me personally. And those who know me personally know that I am not a slim woman. I am not now, and I never have been. Chances are I never will be. I know that some of those people who know me personally will read this and have thoughts like “LOL she’s just talking shit because she’s fat, maybe she should try eating less bad food every week trololololol”. I won’t label food, but I will label those people ‘bags of shit’)

Things I am not here for in 2018

  • ‘Inspirational’ hashtags. I am not here for the vain attempts of people to grow an Instagram following by adding 6000 hashtags to every picture they post. Stop using #blessed to get strangers on the internet look at your boring pictures of wonky horizons and black and white selfies. In all honesty, I don’t really give a shit what people put on their own social media – but stop trying to act like the salad you made for lunch warrants being called #blessed #positivevibes #goodformysoul or #purehappiness. If all it takes for you to achieve pure happiness is to make a salad, you should be writing a fucking cookbook, not a hashtag.

 

  • Silence in the face of racist/sexist/homophobic/transphobic bullshit. Don’t use gay/homo/f*ggot as insults. Don’t say shit about immigrants taking your jobs. Don’t be a loser who says things like Muslims are terrorists/Indians own dairies/all Asian people look the same. It doesn’t make you anything other than a big, steaming pile of ballbags. Don’t use the culture of others as costume or gimmick (take that bindi off your fucking head). Don’t laugh about not knowing which pronouns to use with someone who has transitioned. Don’t make jokes about rape. Don’t laugh at jokes about rape. Don’t whine about the friend zone, because women don’t owe you shit just because you’re nice to them. And if people do any of this in front of you (or any of the countless other small but significant ways people say ‘fuck you’ to minority groups) – say something. Otherwise, in your silence, you are complicit. And make no mistake: that is just as bad.

 

  • Trying to dress my three year old in anything other than what she chooses to wear. Because honestly, who cares that she wants to wear four necklaces, sparkly shoes and reindeer antlers with her togs when we go to the supermarket? I don’t. I don’t care at all. It’s a battle I am not fighting, because she looks bloody excellent.

 

  • Businesses that deliberately use spelling mistakes as a marketing gimmick. Sorry Kool Kutz, your inability to spell properly makes me doubt your skillz as a hair ztylizt too.

 

  • Leaving six month gaps between posting here. I am aiming for every second Sunday, but I am notoriously inconsistent, so if I stick to it…consider yourself #blessed…