How come every time you leave the house looking less than perfect, you meet the person you really don’t want to meet; either she who purrs with satisfaction at your apparent demise, or he who scans your appearance quickly with a ” God, that was a close escape” glance??
I know this always happens so “how come” I was so lazy?
Well, maybe, during all the broken dish-washer, laundry loading, floor washing, bed changing, loo cleaning……stuff(!!!!), how I look just didn’t seem that important!! And then I feel that look…ouch. Suddenly you see what they see. They don’t know how bad my week has been, or how clean my house is right now because of all my hard work. No, with one scathing look they make their assessment of your life-coping skills and, from their ivory towers of perfect personal grooming, and their desperate need to find a victim to crow over, they pass their judgement.
The absolute worst is the “Ahh, so how are things with you?”, pseudo-sympathetic arm around your shoulder, just hoping you will collapse into them and confess that your life is falling apart. But all of this says more about the viewer than the viewed.
When I meet my friends looking a similar way I guess their dish-washer has just broken, they have just finished their laundry, washed the floors, changed beds and cleaned the loos. One ( or two) off days does not make you a wreck, a failure, or mean that your life is falling apart. I am actually happy not to be so self-obsessed as to be unable to leave the house without make-up or my hair just freshly coiffed. How awful to under that kind of self-inflicted pressure.
But………….it might be a while before I do the naked face thing again. As I waited at the till to pay for my groceries I started chatting to a lovely lady. She was chatting away about her upcoming trip to England. Her face smiled easily and she looked vital and engaged with life. She was happy to tell me her age, 76, and she certainly was a great 76. As we lamented and laughed about the trials of modern day living she asked me (51 years old),
“Do you not find you don’t need as many clothes when you retire?”
Estee Lauder, I love you and will never leave home without you again!!!!!!!!!!!
My theme is all about women supporting women, and Good God, have I needed some of that this last two days.
Life just has a way of knocking you flat on your backside now and again and, without the support and kindness of good friends, where would we be. It’s not all about the huge obstacles in life; more often than not it’s about the “death by a thousand cuts” type of dripping pressure that can break us emotionally and physically. I have at times felt I can’t, or don’t want to, get up again; that it’s just too much.
But this is where the love and warmth of my friends has given me the secure space and time to catch my breath, and also the reassurance of being loved ( confirming I am worthy of this.)
And so I am back, freshly showered, dressed and make up on! Not a lot by some standards but it’s big stuff for me right now. I can now put the issues that bothered me into perspective and accept that life is good……at times, and at times it sucks. If we don’t have the crap times how will we enjoy the good ones.
But it’s having that space, that breathing space; a secure, warm and cared-for space, that has allowed me to get my “mojo” back.
Thank you to all those who care for me and here’s to life, warts and all!
Chatting to a friend recently, she confided her coping mechanism for times of stress or unhappiness. She withdraws to her “White House,” a place of peace, calm and serenity, all shades of white and cream, and also all in her mind! Now, this sounded wonderful, harmless and totally unthreatening, except for one thing…….this is MY house!!
I was staggered. It really was almost identical to a place I go to in my head when things just get too much on planet earth. That another had built herself a sanctuary in a mirror image of my own started me thinking. I asked other women about how they cope and find this is a common theme; a place of their own, pale, neutral colours, and above all peace and tranquillity.
In my “White House” the fabrics are soft, soothing, warm and comforting. The bedding is crisp, brilliant white and the fire is always glowing. There is no president in my “White House”, just a first lady.
The colours (or lack of) have to be important. Okay, we are all bombarded with advice on selling our homes and to have a neutral, inoffensive pallet, but I think this is more significant. I believe our “White Houses” represent an emotionally neutral environment, allowing us time and space to decide how we feel about the different stressors in our hectic lives. All very harmless and a valuable breathing space. Yes……… and no.
What happens when our sanctuary becomes more than that? What happens when it becomes our alternative reality, and instead of allowing us some quiet time, mentally, it, in fact, allows us to emotionally to detach from our lives, our husbands/partners and children? Where is the line the line in the sand?
I’m not trying to repossess any of your lovely, alternative homes here, merely that they come with a warning. Don’t overstay your welcome!
I have spent some time expressing what I hope this blog will become. What I had hoped it would NOT become is a rant…….but that was before to-day, and certain men behaving just like….. men!
Right now, if I never see one of the little darlings again it will be too soon! I was about to say words fail me, but they don’t. The problem is they are all very, very rude and writing them down has nowhere near the therapeutic effect of letting them spill forth, with a huge amount of bile adding a certain “je ne sais quoi” to the saying of them.
I do love swearing; I mean really love it. It has saved me, many times, from choking the living daylights out of some people. I just say ” fine,” ( through gritted teeth) and then walk away to somewhere kind of private, and curse them to hell and back again( with bells on).
Now apparently this can worry/scare a few people, but, honestly, far more worrying are the folk that choke it all down, keep their mouths firmly shut and say absolutely nothing; not a word. All of us have a breaking point and I just hope I’m not in the firing line when these people find theirs.
Anger, and the ability to express it productively, is a huge problem for a lot of my female friends. Society still seems to have issues with women and anger. We are viewed with suspicion and labelled as trouble-makers. An angry man is a man with strong opinions and driven; an angry woman is a pain in the ass with mental health issues!
I think its in the world of the tarantulas that, when they have finished mating, the female then kills the male! Now, even I think that’s a bit harsh; she could at least let him enjoy a post coital nap before offing him, but I bet those male spiders know when to shut the hell up.
You know I may be fifty one but I still get that OMG feeling, from about 4 o’clock on, on a Sunday afternoon. I don’t know why as I actually enjoy my work ( lucky me) but still it persists. It’s a reminder that I haven’t got half the things that I should or need to have done over the weekend and less than a teeniest fraction of the things I would like/love to have done.
How come I could sleep the clock round when the alarm goes off on a weekday ( having not slept for most of the night) and then at the weekend, when its possible to lie in until, oh…. 8.00am, my back breaks and I have to get up. “Anyway, sure I could have a wash in instead of lying in bed couldn’t I??” This is the kind of stuff that runs through my ( and most women I know) mind.
I’m thinking of taking up golf to get over this. Men I know, who play golf, get up early at the weekends too, but not to put a wash in or clear up the Friday night Chinese carry out mess; no… they get up early and disappear off to knock a ball around a course, walk off their middle age spread and also the frustrations of the previous week. God knows, with some of the frustrations of my weeks recently, I think I could hit that ball to Dublin!!
How come Monday night isn’t as bad as Sunday night? You still have a workday the next day so why doesn’t it feel as bad, if not worse, because you’ve been at work all day too?
Not that long ago I woke up in the early hours of Monday morning, in a complete blind panic. I thought I had forgotten to do my French homework. Considering it was going to be about 34 years late, boy was that teacher going to be pissed!!
I chose the title of this blog with one aim in mind; to keep men out!. Okay, you may think it odd then to put “vagina” in there as they may actually make them curious. Perhaps I should have put in “period pain”, “menstruation” or “change of life” as we all know that would have them run a mile! But I also wanted to choose something worth rejoicing about and so ” Vagina” it is. It’s great to be a woman.
I would like to welcome all of you to this blog and explain my hope to offer positive support to the wonderful women I know, to those I meet every day through my work and to all those women I don’t know but who, nevertheless, belong to the community of women coping with life in all its varying degrees of joy, frustration, misery and wonder.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t hate men. In fact I want to learn from them. I want to support my own sex as they do theirs. I long for the day when the size of our ass or our boobs, the wrinkles (or lack of) on our faces, or how clean or dirty our house is, is NOT what defines us to each other. My ass has dropped, my boobs are following and my house…. well, just don’t go there. So what! I’m actually quite a nice person ( It has taken years of counselling for me to say that by the way).
Love who you are right now, perfection can wait.