I have only known for two days, yet already I find myself liking this thing growing inside me. The Internet tells me that it’s the size of a sesame seed. The Internet tells me there’s a chance (anywhere from 10 to 25 percent, depending where you read) I might never meet it. And that makes me sad.
I know it’s early days, but I wish I had some symptoms (not sickness, please) just to assure me that everything is okay. Still ‘baking’ so to speak. It’s only six weeks and there’s no scan until 12, so does that mean six weeks of worrying and wondering? Any tips for what to do in the meantime to relax a bit (normally I’d say a glass of wine, but…)
I’ve been away for awhile. But I’ve been thinking about this post, and feel compelled to write. I’ve just eaten a late dinner (prawn pizza), gulped a couple drinks (alcoholic and non) and swallowed a prenatal vitamin. It was three weeks ago that I made that change – one little blue pill for one ginormous pink horse tablet. And it was strange for a moment there, but it also felt right. It’s time.
My friends and I have had this talk more lately. There’s already a whole herd of little nippers running around our feet at barbecues. And those of us without, well, we’re starting to look at the tykes with less disgust and more adoration. And oddly, the men folk are too.
It’s not about the pills though. It’s about more than that. It’s really about the sex. Those moments in the bedroom (or on the couch, or against the shower wall – whatever you may fancy) have served a lot of purposes over the years. First and foremost, enjoyment. But also distraction, relaxation, therapy and communication – they’ve brought us closer together, they’ve helped us to patch up fights, take our minds off stress or sadness occurring elsewhere in our life, even perhaps keep our bodies fighting fit – it does burn calories. They’ve provided hours and hours and oodles of fun. It is only now that we begin to see the other, some may say greater, purpose behind it all.
I swore that I never wanted it to become a chore. That I never wanted sex to begin to create stress rather than take it away. So we’re relaxed about it, but I can already see how it becomes hard for couples who try and try to get the timing right, who wonder, ‘did it take that time’ as the months drag on. We’re in for a wild ride – in more ways than one. I plan to try to sit back and enjoy it all.
Okay, let’s get to the point. Yesterday’s post. It wasn’t just about perfection. It was about the put-upon wife and the hen-pecked husband. The cliche that I so desperately do not want to be. And it was about my fear that stereotypes exist for a reason. That we fall into these roles so naturally, by virtue of who we are as man and woman.
I do naturally look after others. I clean the house because I like it tidy. Even when my husband leaves dishes in the sink. In the bathroom. On whatever surface may happen to be closest.
My husband does like a drink or two, or 10. He does like to have fun with the boys at the footy. It comes to him without any pre-meditation because it is who he is as guy. That is not to say he is not an amazing husband – he most certainly is, and I feel thrilled to have found him.
But how, oh how, do you navigate these differences? To, say, get me to loosen up and live a little, and get him to pick up and give a little? I suppose couples spend a lifetime figuring this out. I just don’t want it to be a lifetime of bickering.
Advice welcome. That is all.
Early on in my interview-ingenue days, I remember getting tips on how to prep for all. the. hard. questions. And I remember people telling me the pat answer to the classic, ‘what is your biggest weakness’ being some sort of perfectionism confession. (I’m too detail oriented, I get too wrapped up in trying to get it right, I never know when to say ‘good enough’). It seemed like a fine idea at the time. I did consider myself a perfectionist. I always wanted everything exactly right, in every sphere of my life.
But now, as the person now doing the hiring, I can tell you how crap these formula answers really are. The people across the table just want to hear the truth – good, bad and ugly. Second, though, I can tell you that I have, finally, once and for all, learned to let go of my perfectionist ways. The truth is that ‘perfect’ – in work and in life – just doesn’t quite exist.
Life is messy. It is mean. On many days, it is not what you signed up for. But then, on other days, it is much more. I have been coming to this realisation over the past several years, as I begin to experience life at its fullest (and sometimes crappest), following nearly three decades of a charmed existence that did not force me to face these realities. A more perfect union? No, your marriage will not be. It might be a more better union, but there are not degrees of perfection (just a grammar peeve) and even if there were, you’d be lucky to reach the penultimate peak, much less the pinnacle. And it is only when you can let go of the myth of perfection, I believe, that you can start to accept the wonderful and good that comes instead.
Laid up at home with an unfortunate injury (let me state for the record that fingers and blenders do NOT mix, and ask for forgiveness of any typos as I do my nine-finger touch typing), I have a lot of time with my thoughts. (And a lot of time with Pinterest, but that’s another story altogether.)
This week was my third anniversary in Aus, and I think I’ve finally moved past that ‘adjustment’ stage. I feel happy, settled, loved. And as such, it’s now time to enter an ‘improvement’ stage. Less about where I am and more about who I want to be. So, I’ve registered for a photography course. (Let’s hope my finger is well enough to shoot pics in one week’s time…) And I think this site will become more about my adventures in improvement, my thoughts on the world, etc, and less about dwelling on my living situation. Now I just need to post more regularly.
It’s funny how we ascribe value to ‘things’ – based on what they mean to us, both sentimentally and monetarily. And it’s funny how important these things can become, when really, they’re just things. For me, I get more wrapped up in the sentimental aspect of it all. A piece of jewellery from my mother means more to me than, say, a new Corvette would. (I’m really more of a vintage Mercedes girl anyway.)
Currently, I’m upset over a few lost things which meant so, so much to me. The funniest bit about it is, they remind me of my mother, and she has been known to fall victim to the clever disappearing act of important items as well. She and I both try hard to hang on to what matters to us, and in the process end up hiding items so well that we’ve hid them from ourselves: a practice that results in futile searching and, often, permanent loss when they are unknowingly tossed aside in the used up Band-Aid box of a safe.
I’m using this opportunity to try to remind myself that we should not stress over the past that cannot be changed, and that we should instead focus on the future. This means taking better care of my ‘things’ (I’m really going to try this time!), but it also means placing less importance on possessions. What matters most is not the reminder of the relationship, but the relationship itself.
Just stumbled across this post on ‘Freshly Pressed’, quite apropos since I ended up having a 30-hour journey home thanks to the Qantas grounding.
I have never been one who loved flying. I was not the young girl who grew giddy with excitement at takeoff, and I don’t view air travel through some strange, romantic lens firmly focused on the places and adventures in which a plane might one day land me. To me, taking flight is no more fantastical or promising than getting in a car, on a train, or astride a push bike. It is simply a way to get from Point A to Point B. As an expat living away from my friends and family, however, I have learned that I need to at least tolerate the time I am forced to spend sitting far too close to far too many people inside a somewhat oppressive metal capsule.
On the plus side, I have found planes offer plenty of time for:
- Multimedia magic. Booking my longer flights on newer, plusher planes with on-demand personal entertainment systems allows me to catch up on those movies I vaguely wanted to see but didn’t deem worthy of an $18 cinema seat. (It also lets me see romantic comedies my husband couldn’t quite be dragged to, a la ‘Friends with Benefits‘ – actually funny, ‘Something Borrowed‘ – less so, etc.) The best part? Probably a toss up between Tetris and the fine selection of documentaries most wouldn’t normally have stumbled upon. (Yesterday, I watched ‘The Hollywood Complex‘.) If you won’t be boarding an A380 soon, you can, of course, bring an iPad. I’m not that fancy.
- A good read. As a child, I was more than an avid reader – I consumed books the way a lion consumes a gazelle, rapidly and ferociously. It wasn’t at all odd for me to have a three-book weekend, and they weren’t all of the Sweet Valley High, three-syllable word variety (though some certainly were – I loved Elizabeth and Jessica!). Sadly, the time and energy that used to be channelled toward books has, of late, had to go toward more ‘important’ activities like, oh – I don’t know, holding down a job. My little aisle seat is perfect for sharing some time with favourite authors like Michael Cunningham.
- Time alone in our heads. Most of my travel of late has been alone. It is funny the effect this has on my otherwise generally optimistic nature. The solitary time makes me melancholy as I watch couples cuddle across the arm rest and brings all the ‘big issues’ rushing into my brain at once. While I don’t enjoy pondering religion, life, death, love and more all at once, it is good to have some time where I can work through what does and doesn’t matter in my life without a buzzing mobile or other interruptions.
While my list may be more pragmatic than most, it shows that flying does represent an escape – just not a physical one. It gives me a chance to finally switch off from and contemplate my daily life – something I wouldn’t do even if I had the same free time available to simply sit on my couch.