It may get hairy…

Posts tagged ‘reading’

The drowning feminist

I’ve always considered myself a lazy feminist: I ignore protests, petitions and debates, unless they directly affect me, but I do believe in equality and I see red when treated like less because of my gender.

Stereotype me beacuse I’m a woman and I’m guaranteed to flip a lid. I am just as able to make a decision, manage finances, have a career and survive as the next man. I would never be treated like a little woman… until now.

Before I continue, I should point out that I drafted the first few paragraphs and title of this blog in November 2015, over two years ago, when I was starting to feel trapped in a gender-stereotypical role in the quagmire that is military life. I’ve moved on since and accepted my role as a stay-at-home-mum, which was originally by choice. I fought my way out of that, studied, grew, built up a childminding company and successfully kicked the fuck out of my ‘little woman’ image.

Yesterday, two years later, I had a hard lazy-feminist day. Yesterday marked the day where we realised that financially, I cannot work. Having two children, childcare isn’t affordable at all. Even with 30 hours funded by the government, we realised I couldn’t find something in the role that I wanted to do (or a role that would work towards my career) that could cover the extra costs. Just to break even.

There are ways forward and things I could do. For example, I could walk into an incredibly well-paid job tomorrow, thanks to my experience and qualifications, but I’m not willing to sell my soul (or allow my children to be parented by strangers at a nursery) for something as trivial as money. I have made such progress in my life and mindset that taking a gigantic leap backwards isn’t worth it. So, I had to face the fact that I will be a stay at home mum, quite possibly for the next 2-3 years. It’s hard to keep positive when faced with this. I allowed myself a whole minute of pathetic weeping, then picked myself up. I have to make the best of this.

There is no way that I will sink into domesticity, donning an apron and making my best apple pie. I can’t clean for shit, my house is always a tip, I’m late to everything and I’m just too much of an ass to allow myself to be downtrodden by others. So, I’ve decided to try and stay positive and use this time to focus on other goals and enjoy my children. Keep my mind awake, my intellect intrigued, do my best to be a good mum…to keep being proud of who I am.

Firstly, I’m focusing on reading and writing. These are things that make me very happy and I know they will never do me wrong (well, what I write often gets me into shit, but, as an overall activity, it does me well).

  • I’m working on a children’s book. Nothing major and I don’t expect to get published, but, in a saturated market, I believe I have a good idea and I like doing it. It’s also a goal I can work towards, achieve and kick ass at. Whether someone buys it or not is irrelevant. I’ll go the agent route, perhaps directly to publishers, but if those routes don’t work, the kids will thoroughly enjoy it. Hopefully!
  • I’m going to blog more often – keep my adult writing going and it’s a relatively cathartic process. I won’t be sharing to other platforms unless I feel it’ll benefit someone else.
  • I was given a one-line-a-day five year diary for Christmas and I’m keeping that going. It’s nice to summarise and helps with exercise goals (at the end of each line, I write “Did squats. Didn’t die.” It helps to remember I survived!). 
  • I’m keeping a book journal and trying to read as much as possible. It’s not easy with two young children, one of which is me incarnate. She’s a darling, but, god, does she have a temper. I’ve got myself a book stand to help me find my current book (a daily struggle with my 3 yr old being into everything) and have joined book clubs. Still looking for my first book, which I started one line of and then someone walked off with it.

Secondly, I’m going to try and do some work-from-home crap. Perhaps selling wedding stationery, which I seemed to have a knack for. I might do some editing, but it’s soul-destroying work and means I need complete quiet – an, as yet, unachieved status in this household. I dunno, I’ll find something. I have a nice new graphics tablet, so I’ll just spend some time reminding myself how utterly untalented at drawing I am.

I’m sounding upbeat and positive about this. It’s a necessity. If I let myself feel anything about this, I’ll drown. In reality, this is hard. This is really fucking hard.

 

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We all kick bum

Quick note, as I’m running around like an unlucky chicken:

We hit 2000 views yesterday!!

Yay! Ok, it’s not much in comparison to your average blog, but baring in mind my unstable blogging style, it’s freaking AWESOME!

Quick side note: Slash and the Handbag dog had a Mexican standoff last night. Slash sitting calmly on the steps, a meter away from Handbag dog, while Boggle-eyes goes bat-shit crazy, running loops and barking like mad. Each time he ventured to Slash, Slash took one threatening step towards him and he bolted….which is when Slash started to stalk him.

I’m so proud 🙂

Now back to being an unlucky chicken.

Slash vs the Handbag dog

This lasted a good 1.5 hours. The only time Slash moved, was to advance. So, so proud 🙂

Just one stocking

After a moderately stressful day, I popped by my grandfather’s for a glass of box vino and a chat.

My grandfather’s one of those lovely elderly folk who doesn’t dwell on ‘the ol’ days.’ We can have a pretty good chat about current events, family stuff and the likes, never having to enter into the world of the old that the youth so readily condescend without ever having understood.

Yesterday, however, we got onto the topic of how he met my grandmother. A touchy, but touching, subject, as she passed over two years ago and he is still very much in love with her…as are we all. After chatting to him, I got to wondering whether true love, or at least true romance is now antiquated.

We’ve all watched movies like The Notebook and other parodies of history and romance – it makes us weep (or, if you’re a ceiling watcher like I am, bawl shamelessly) and makes us wish for a such a time, whilst realising the fiction and the sensationalism that makes those movies so damned profitable.

*But listening to my grandfather, I realised that, perhaps, movies such as these aren’t sensationalised at all.

He lived that life of trust, honesty, fidelity and romance. He spent years apart from his girlfriend, not yet wife, writing her letters, with which he posted only one stocking a time, to ensure she replied. Stockings weren’t readily available in England at the time and my grandfather had returned to Scotland to dig trenches for electricity lines, whilst my gran completed her nursing studies in Plymouth. So he would only send the second stocking after she replied, thus ensuring their correspondence continued.

They spent months and years apart and somehow retained passion, love and trust. Coincidence had it that they were both transferred to London and one year later they were married. This may seem slightly tame in comparison to the love-birds in The Notebook, but when you look deeper, you find the sensationalism, you find the struggles and the difficulty that they faced just to be together.

My grandfather is a Scot, a damned proud one. My gran was as Irish as can be and came from a…um…rather traditional family. My grandfather was not well off, whereas my gran’s family was wealthy. My grandfather was a Protestant, whilst (and here’s the clincher) my gran was an Irish Catholic.**

When they were wed, no parents attended the wedding.

Whilst apart, they wrote and they knew the other would reply. They had oceans between them and yet they trusted fully. In today’s day and age, we look down on what we term ‘long-distance relationships.’ I’m a loud and proud advocator of not having a long-distance relationship and have accused friends of ‘playing it safe’,  by having a partner so far away that you have a hassle-free relationship without the implied shame of singledom.

After chatting to my grandfather, I now find myself ashamed. I’m a firm believer in true love and have always been, regardless of logic, and yet I felt free and obligated to condescend those that fought for love, regardless of distance.

I am ashamed that I should so readily give up the values of past generations, so am now determined to support those who fight for love, no matter how far apart they may be.

I only hope that someday I shall find someone who will love me enough to send me just one stocking.

 

*please ignore the bad grammar – poetic license.

**allow me some flexibility on the facts, I may have one or two mixed up, but the gist remains the same.


Some kick-ass reading

This post may be of relevance to no one but myself, but I must say, today I am awesome. I am also buggered, for the same reason.

I read an entire novel last night, after returning from work…late.

I like to classify myself as a bit of an English boff. I don’t compare to some of the great minds I studied English with in our Honours’ year, but I do like the classics and love to get my nose stuck into something obscure and intellectual. I read Rushdie for fun, Fowles for insight (please read The Magus. It is one of those novels that may actually change your life…and simultaneously make you doubt the loyalty of your toenails) and I love a bit of Shakespeare when the moment’s right, but I also revel in my cheesy crime and horror novels.

I loved reading as a child, but my passion came when, as a ten-year old, I picked up my first Stephen King: The Tommyknockers (unbeknownst to my mother). A mediocre novel at best, and by far not his best work, but it served to tell a little, rather odd, girl that she was not all that different from others. I was awed by the fact that the characters’ minds seemed to work similarly to mine (that they would suddenly ponder the state of their laundry, whilst aliens attacked, incessantly probing their minds). This was, of course, before they thought of nothing but nursery rhymes and building walls (King is outstanding. He is also strange. And I fully believe he stole the walls thing from Churchill).

Last night, after returning from work at 7.30, I wanted nothing more than to enjoy a glass of  Merlot, whilst reading a chapter or 8 of a new Harlan Coben before I went to bed. His writing style is particularly cheesy, which says nothing of mine, as I felt as I were reading my own work for the first few pages. At around 9pm, I realised that I may have gotten myself into a problem. I couldn’t very well put down a book, when it was about to reveal the ‘who dunnit’ (excuse the vernacular)? At 9.30, a new problem revealed itself – what if there were no ‘who dunnit, ‘ as nobody had, actually, done it?

It wasn’t until midnight that I finally turned the last page, thoroughly pleased with the ending and hit the pillow.

Now, this would not be a problem for a large majority of people, as midnight is not a particularly awful time to hit the sack. For an insomniac, however, it’s a bad, bad idea.

I fell asleep at 2am, filled with thoughts of run away pedophiles and blog writing.

Thus, I am buggered. But I am awesome. I read an entire novel in only a few short hours 😉

*A slight hindsight note: I doubt that I seriously pondered the state of laundry as a ten-year old, but you get the drift. Additionally, this is the second time I have written this blog, as dear HTML decided to hate me and, instead of saving a draft, it published a version I had written an hour previously. A start to a particularly crappy day, that has gotten progressively worse. This second post is much crappier. Apologies. On a last note: anyone who has time, please see if  you have any problems subscribing to my business blog, as I’ve heard there are issues with some and not with others. Don’t worry, you’ll get to unsubscribe if you want. It’s not a spam scam, I’m desperately trying to fix a blog prob – http://sayssez.com/business-blog/ – click the panda.


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