Archive for November, 2011

Time to tell your friends how great they are

November 28, 2011

Recently I was “allowed” out for a sleepover at the house of one of my dearest girlfriends. I left behind a sofa-dozing dad and three brawling boys, shouting “you can all destroy the place if you want – I don’t care. I’m outta here” and accelerated away feeling like Thelma and Louise.  It was the best feeling. My friend and I ate blue cheese, drank wine, and listened to Leonard Cohen. We told each other how interesting and great and intelligent and surprising we both were and fell asleep with smiles on our faces at 1am. A perfect night. I awoke with no demands, feeling rejuvenated, as though I had been at a retreat. We ate a leisurely breakfast before saying our goodbyes and I realised it wasn’t the food, or the wine, or the music that made me feel so uplifted – it was the appreciation of our friendship. The mutual acknowledgement of how important we both were to one another. That acknowledgement and appreciation of friends is all too often left to be interpreted implicitly – through dinner invitations and texting and coffees. What’s wrong with actually telling your friend how much you like her? How funny she is? How unique and talented? How much her friendship means to you? Perhaps there should be an annual “Friend Day” akin to “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” where you take the time to tell your friends how great they are and how lucky you feel to have them. It could go a long way.

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School choices and bizarre phobias

November 19, 2011

If one doesn’t already exist, then somebody should devise a series of workshops or seminars for uptight parents on how to choose a school for their child. It could be broken up into three sections: What Type of Schools Are There? What Type of Child Do You Have? and How Far Do You Want To Go And How Much Do You Want To Spend? It would be very lucrative. There could be an optional follow-up seminar called Does It Really Matter featuring guest speakers with happy and successful lives from various schooling backgrounds.

Personally I like my mum’s methodology: she had a phobia of turning right in the car, particularly when it involved t-junctions of side streets with arterial roads. Thus our school was chosen on the basis of avoidance of right turns. And hey, we turned out ok.

There’s a lot out there

November 18, 2011

I can’t get over how many blogs there are floating around in the cloud. How many blogging people. There I was, happily checking in every day or so on what the fabulous and inspiring bluemilk was up to, or how the lovely Rebecca has been getting on with her crew at strewthmama, when I stumble upon this universe of blogging people with offspring. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. It’s weird but fabulous at the same time that there is this community of mums and dads out there sharing (or exposing) their experiences with the online world. A more cynical person would say how self indulgent and ultimately pointless, and true, some of it is, but the best of it is genuine, helpful and inspiring. I think, in Australia at least, the past 10-15 years have seen people retreat into a very protective, depressingly nationalistic, individualist, xenophobic mindset (fueled largely by the politics of the conservative Howard government). We’re still trying to shake this off, and perhaps establishing open-minded, tolerant, compassionate and concerned online communities is the way forward out of the quagmire.

Or maybe there’s just a whole bunch of bored parents out there with way too much time on their hands…

Is it ever too late to start a blog?

November 15, 2011

Has the blogging boat sailed or can I join the flotilla? Looks like I’ve done it now. Can you blog when you don’t know what RSS stands for? Is there a point to blogging? Why am I blogging? I can answer that. Because several people told me to. Because being a feminist with three sons and having something to say about that might actually mean something to some people. Because you can exist within multiple communities – online and offline – and tweak your identity to suit each one and instead of this being shallow or fake it can actually enhance your integrity as a person. Because some blogs can be illuminating and intelligent and funny and familiar and pointless and therapeutic. As I hope mine will be. So let’s set sail.