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Posts Tagged ‘#MicroblogMondays’

Apparently, more wealth means less empathy. I wonder if I should be surprised that this is news? Surely it is quite obvious?

A friend I haven’t seen since 1981 (!) has suggested we Skype. I’m thrilled but have a small degree of hesitation. How come everyone else manages to Skype with good lighting and look great?

Why is it that no matter how many pairs of shoes I have, there were none that went with my dress (for a recent wedding)? (Fortunately, I found the perfect pair that was not too fancy so I can wear them more casually too.)

Does everyone else manage to go paperless easily? I never quite trust my devices, especially when it comes to travel bookings, and whilst I might use my Air NZ app to check in and board a flight, I always have a printed copy as well.

Is anyone else surprised that it is March already? Argh. I don’t think I’m quite ready for summer to be over.

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I recently finished the “line a day for three years” journal my niece gave me. Each day, it gave me a prompt for a quick response. I didn’t fill it in religiously every day but would almost always go back to complete the previous days’ questions. When I was not travelling, I rarely left it longer than a few days. It was nice to have – I felt as if someone, somewhere, cared what my answers were!

The three years I had this were not my best. They were far from my worst three years, but nonetheless, during the last three years I broke my ankle and was pretty much house-ridden for six weeks, my mother died, my mother-in-law died, I felt weighed down by the responsibilities of caring for our in-laws, I was on an unsuccessful job hunt, and had only one big trip to enjoy anticipating. So yes, as I flick through the book now, I can see that for much of the time I was feeling gloomy. Even when I wasn’t, a lot of my responses were about my in-laws. Or Trump. I’m sure you get it!

But there were happy notes in it too. Questions about funny things that had happened recently reminded me and made me laugh, including things my husband had said. Also, prompts about the last compliment I was given came up about every four months, so I had to find compliments a number of times. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes I couldn’t think of anything. But a lot were blog related, so thank you to anyone who has ever said something nice here or on my other blogs. It means a lot! Two compliments mentioned that I didn’t look my age, which I find hard to believe. And my great-nephew said that I was funny. Three years later, I’m still not sure if that was a compliment or not!

One of my favourite prompts was to note what the last nice thing you did just for yourself. My responses were always simple. A coffee and some time with a book. Taking some photographs. Successful diet days. Mini-moments, just for me. They’re good to note, to be grateful for. Otherwise, with everything else going on they can be easy to miss, easy to forget.

I enjoyed having these external prompts* and those few moments to write in the book before I would start whatever task I had come to my desk to complete. But now it’s finished, what can I replace it with?

 

* I know that sounds hypocritical, given my regular “blog posts I won’t be writing” about prompts that miss their mark. 

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Yes, as I wrote on my daily blog the other day, summer has arrived. Not as hot, so far, as last year, its arrival had been more gentle. Tomatoes and basil, strawberries, cold drinks outside on the deck, early mornings and (relatively*) late nights are all reminding me of the time of year. So too is the sun. I set off on a walk yesterday, determined to charge up and down the hills of my suburb, until – ten minutes in – I realised I’d forgotten to put on sunscreen, and had to turn back. Exercise is important, but sunburns are dangerous, and so a reminder to my fellow Kiwis and Australians – don’t forget to cover up!

This all meant I needed to change A Separate Life’s livery. The pohutukawa flowers are already making an appearance and will be in full seasonal bloom here in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping I won’t miss them.

* after visiting Iceland and Norway last year in June, it’s hard to be surprised by daylight at 9 pm.

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I’ve been away the last week, taking advantage of some (sadly only) temporary help (but welcome nonetheless) in the elder care situation. We visited the northeast of the country, to a part I’ve only ever visited for business, flying in to a factory with foreign visitors and then out again.

This time we took the slow route, taking time to stop on the way, to enjoy the landscape that is similar yet subtly different. The road north along the Pacific coast is winding, up and down hills and rarely opening up to large vistas, around farms and commercial pine forests, the large logging trucks ensuring we maintained vigilance on the roads, the dairy farms replaced by sheep – the farming of old New Zealand – then the sheep replaced by vines – the farming of new New Zealand – and then north into the hills, finding beef cattle everywhere, grazing on lush green grass, living the good life. Then we came across goats, more goats than I had seen anywhere in New Zealand, the source no doubt of the goat curries we saw on some menus in the area, and of the cashmere in the beautiful Tolaga Bay woollens I had bought in the years when income came easier.

We drove north to the bays of the Whale Rider, and the now disused wharves of formerly bustling communities, and through areas that have been home to hundreds of generations of Maori, past small marae and meeting houses, and in the local museum, we heard a class being shown around entirely in Te Reo, the beautiful language of their ancestors that has seen a rebirth in recent decades.

We stayed on a long, golden beach, where surfers rode the waves after work, and locals and visitors of all ages walked, some with dogs or small children or both running around them, some alone, some holding hands with those they love. The magic of knowing we were in the first city in the world to see the sun was made better by the beauty of the location (and the sunrise), the calming white noise of the waves, and the pleasure of briefly being free.

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In thinking about the #me too posts on social media from all the women who have experienced harassment, abuse and assault, I found one instance going over and over in my head, in which a senior executive of our company humiliated me for absolutely no reason, pushing the backs of my knees at a party so my legs collapsed and I ended up on the floor, inevitably leading people to assume that I had had too much to drink. I never took him to task, just as I never complained to my boss about the off-colour joke he told in our staff meeting that felt directed at me, just as I never told anyone about the two boys who attached me in a ditch when I was about 15, but I managed to fight off. Women are taught to feel embarrassed and ashamed when we have done nothing wrong, and so-called “decent” (and even not-so-decent) men are given a free pass when they use their power against us. #Me too; I’m really angry that this is the case, so angry that women are still treated as second-class citizens, and furious that we are expected to be quiet about it.

It was announced in the last week or so that the US have increased entry requirements for flights, and airlines have said that there will be increased passenger screening, including that we may have to attend interviews before boarding flights, and so I have to say, “sorry, my US friends and family, but your government is making it very hard to want to come and visit!”

I keep hearing people (on media and social media, though less so in real life) referring to people as having Resting Bitch Face. I’ve never liked bullying, and ridiculing someone for their looks is simply another example of that, when they can’t help having a down-turned mouth any more than someone can help having blue or brown eyes, or ginger hair (also an area of discrimination I find childish and despicable), and I find the use of the “B” word, which I try never to use as there isn’t a male equivalent, is just adding salt to my wounds. And for the record, although I have a mouth that turns down naturally, I also have a happy smile, and if you dare to say that I have RBF then you’ll never damned well see it.

 

 

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  • You come up with the perfect blog topic, think to yourself, “that’s so perfect and so obvious, I don’t even need to make a note of it,” and by the next day you’ve forgotten what it was, but you haven’t forgotten how perfect it would have been, and it still haunts you two Microblog Mondays later! (If I’m honest, I remember coming up with a brilliant post topic some years ago when I was driving home from the gym, and it has never come back … so maybe it wasn’t so brilliant?)
  • You have to admit you were wrong to your significant other, which is fine, but then they gloat.
  • You know you put something somewhere safe but then you can’t find it.
  • A young woman was appointed as the Leader of one of our major political parties, and the first questions she gets are focused on whether she will have children or not, and if that should disqualify her.
  • You get out of bed ready to go for a brisk morning walk, and it rains.
  • You can’t find the perfect hairdresser.
  • Self-doubt stops you getting where you want to go.

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I have just cancelled my gym membership. I became a member at this chain of gyms in 2004, after my former personal trainer and physiotherapist, along with one of his colleagues (and one or two former clients as investors) set up their first gym. I’ve watched his company expand and achieve success, and have worked out at three of his gyms, each with a very different character and clientele, but each with high quality staff and facilities. Their own excellent physiotherapist clinics attached to the gym facilities have treated me with injured wrists, calves, knees, and a broken ankle. And every year I have enjoyed a free birthday massage, sometimes the only massages I get these days.

But I’m not driving into the city now on a daily basis, the only suburban gym in the group – the one with the amazing views and the wonderful drive around the bays to get there – is no longer working for me, given its distance from home, and the fact that other businesses are taking up all the available (and free) parking.

I need to change my workout routine, get into swimming, and have a cheaper gym membership nearby that I can visit regularly without taking up half of my day. But right now I’m mourning the loss of my lovely gym, the friendly people staff and the other members I have chatted to over the years, the views across Evans Bay, the scenic drive I took to get there, and the cafes where I would stop for a delicious coffee on the way home.

 

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