Goodbyes are Sucky

Goodbyes are sucky.

Goodbyes are really sucky, no matter which way you look at them (I guess I’ve never looked at one upside down, perhaps they are a little more fun if you are upside down?). When I say goodbyes, I don’t just mean ‘have a good day at work, see you tonight’ or ‘thanks for the hangs today, gotta make this train’ kind of goodbyes, I mean proper ‘I’m leaving the country, wont see you for a few years’ or ‘maybe this is the last time I will EVER see you’ kind of goodbyes. You know, the rough ones. The tear jerkers. They usually and not un-coincidently include your favourite humans. That’s one of the biggest contributing factors to their suckiness.

Airport goodbyes are even suckier. I’ve had more than my fair share of those. I’m emotional at the best of times, but add an airport scenario to it and it magnifies the suckiness to the power of a bazillion. There is the confusion of being excited because you/they are travelling and doing something damn exciting, but sadness because you aren’t going with them and won’t see them for god knows how long. You also are meant to be busy playing it cool at an airport. Everyone is pretending they are high flyers (especially if you are flying on your own) being as nonchalant as possible about the whole gig and an emotional goodbyes mess that whole look up.

What about goodbye protocol – Is it good for them to see you cry, or should you hide it? If it’s in public, some people don’t like a public cry (see previous blog!) Do you turn around? Do you just keep walking? I never know what the right thing to do here is. So much pressure. What do you even say? See you soon? (that’s usually what I go with and that piles on even more awkwardness).

I wouldn’t put goodbyes as a skill on my resume. I’m not very good at them and even with practice, I’m not improving. I get all awkward and start talking about other things, the real things I want to say get kind of stuck in my throat, I will do anything to avoid having that moment where we have to talk about the fact that this is IT, no more business as usual, gotta go for a long time, (maybe forever) moment.

I’ve been thinking about goodbyes a bit lately, this is because I am gearing up to have a whole bunch of them. I have already had to have a few that snuck up on me a little (even suckier!). I have a great big tribe of special humans (also described as favourites) that I will have to awkwardly and blatantly lie to when I say ‘see you soon’. The suckiness rating will be out of control and there will be tears from here to Sunday.

BUT the reason it will be sucky is because I have so many absolutely amazing things to miss. So many beautiful people that have come my way here in London and made my time here (big call about to happen here….) the best in my life. I have memories of good times I will cherish forever, So many (maybe all the) lols and adventures to smile about when I am older. Only good things are hard to say goodbye to and to quote one of my favourite inspirational characters Winnie the Pooh ‘How lucky I am to have something that is so hard to say goodbye to’.

Goodbyes usually equal a hello too and hello’s knock my happiness socks right off. It’s inching close to two years (that flew by in a blink!) since I have seen a lot of faces I love so much and I cannot wait to have them right up next to me for hugs, cheek pinches and reunions over meal’s, beers or in the case of my god daughters I’m hoping for a reunion tea party and bounce on the trampoline.

I get to say hello to some of the non-human things I have been missing of late as well. I was doubting my nationality when I wasn’t craving Tim-Tams, Vegemite and shapes when I first arrived in the UK, but I am literally dreaming of the whole days spent on the beach, perfect prawns, wearing a bikini and thongs non-stop for a week (and not having to deal with the giggles of people around me when I say thongs), bike rides, (consistently) good coffee, trips to Woolies/Coles (in your swimmers and thongs of course!) to pick up more fresh bread rolls and a chook for dinner.

Finally, I am grateful that goodbyes now are only physical goodbyes. Technology keeps us close and stops people from becoming strangers. Sure it is not the same as being face to face, but if people are meant to stay as part of your life, distance won’t stop that from being the case.

So, if I have to say goodbye to you, it’s going to be awkward, I’ll try and avoid it (I will literally sneak out of places if I think I can get away with it!), procrastinate about it, talk incessantly (you might not notice as it is not that different to normal), I’m not going to know what to say, it won’t be heartfelt, but please don’t be offended and know that I hope someday we can have another hello and don’t be a stranger, you know I LOVE a chat and I love to keep my collection of great humans as large as possible.

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I’ll Cry if I Want To !

It might shock you to know that I cry a lot. I am not even one little bit ashamed of it (anymore). Ironically, it goes hand in hand with the laughing a lot thing. As they say, it is both a blessing and a curse to feel things so deeply and I am not ashamed of it (anymore). Don’t forget that tears are not always reserved for sadness. I would need to borrow alot of fingers and toes to count the number of times I have cried happy tears. I’ll cry because I am tired, because somebody showed compassion to me, because I saw a beautiful view (the first time I saw the Southern Alps in NZ, or when I first saw falling snow), I will cry and laugh at the same time and I will very very often laugh so hard I cry!

Despite it actually being a good thing to do, crying has a bad rep, (perhaps like the dentist I guess?). Especially for men. Sure some men fully endorse a cry and then some men genuinely don’t need to. I wholeheartedly support both of these policies. What I am strongly opposed to is the cultural pressure for men to hold back the tears because it threatens their masculinity and that they are seen to be emotionally weaker because they seemingly cannot control it. What a load of bollocks! It should be the opposite, that you are strong enough to show what you stand for and that you have morals, strong values and you have things in life that matter enough to you. Without emotions, we are just robots and being a robot sounds like zero fun to me. We need to stop teaching kids that tears are for the weak and shouldn’t be shared in front of people. What is possibly so threatening about a little drop of water sneaking out of your eye and rolling down your face?

Sure, not all tears are positive. Tears flow for sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes horrific, sometimes brutal reasons and nobody should have to experience that. They do also make us feel vulnerable because they are raw emotion and that’s very exposing. I also won’t say the big old howling, can’t breath, eyes get so puffy they almost close over kind of cry is my go to activity for lols and good times, but ‘they’ do say that most (a massive 9 out of 10) people feel better after a cry. When I say ‘they’ I mean the science-y and researcher-y ‘they’ and ‘they’ sure sound like they know that ‘they’ are talking about.

I have cried and cried and cried (in a huffy, puffy, hyperventilate-ry way) so much that there is literally nothing left. (Unfortunately it was not for the sake of research, but I don’t need to justify the reason either!!) After what feels like a flood of tears that go on so long that my audience start looking around for supplies to build an arc, finally when there is not one more tear, huff, quivering lip or sigh left, I can usually say, I feel better. Sure it won’t have fixed the problem, but it doesn’t feel as big anymore. Maybe it’s down to emotional release (as good old cliché ‘they’ say tears wash away the pain) or just exhaustion, but either way, what a magical power tears seem to have and I can’t see how holding that in could be good for you!

One of the things that makes me giggle is when people confess (or I just ask them) the seemingly ridiculous reasons they cry. I’m not just talking cutting onions, but something silly like losing it because you didn’t have enough silver tinsel to cover all of the Christmas tree and the red just doesn’t go with the purple or because your big sister called shotgun on the front seat of the car faster than you… You know, the big issues in life!

One of my best was that I cried because it was windy at the beach. I’m not just talking a little boo-hoo, fairly passive little disappointed tear. I lost it completely. Apparently I had been looking forward to the beach and all it’s sunny, calm, salt water curing all wounds kind of glory all week and my life was completely ruined by the wind. You would have thought somebody cut off my arm from the way I was reacting. I think it was a long nap helped me more than the cry that day.

So, my wish for you is that you don’t have enough fingers and toes to count your happy tears and I hope they are the ones where you laugh and cry so much that you cant even remember why you are laughing and crying. I also hope you don’t have tears of grief or heartbreak, but if you must or need to, take the advice of someone more credible than me and never be ashamed!

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Gentle like a Bee

I’m not sure if I told you all that I was in Paris with my darling friend Penny recently. Paris was everything it should be; French, romantic, iconic and just lovely. We wandered the streets of Belleville like locals (until they started speaking French to us, that caught us out quick smart!!), dined on Steak and frites overlooking Saint Martins canals, lined up for Falafels in the Jewish district (not even joking it was the BEST falafel of my life! See L’As Du Fallafel), watched people watching people from a café in Montmarte , avoided the gypsies and the pigeon man in front of the Lourve and enjoyed a moment of tranquility listening to the angelic sounds of the nun’s of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica (personal highlight and insiders tip for those reading at home!!).

Although those things are very excellent, one of the standouts of the weekend for me was a little conversation with a stranger. While sitting in the sunshine for breakfast at a café on the banks of the Seine overlooking the Notre Dame (that itself is pretty standout, but keep reading!!). He was a ‘real, proper Parisian’, which If you have been, you will know in Paris are just as difficult to find as a ‘real proper Londoner’ in London, especially in the tourist districts. He was quietly enjoying a Sunday morning coffee and cake while tap tap tapping away on his laptop next to us. Penny and I were deep in a conversation about goodness knows what ** while I munched on my croissant and sipped my macchiato, I looked over to see a bee on his cake. I instantly reacted by letting him know of his invader and nearly shooed it away by instinct. He just calmly said (in his perfect French accent!) ‘oh yes, but she is ok there. I can share with her, she wont eat much and it wont hurt me!’

I was really taken back by what he said and it was a great reminder to be tolerant, patient and calm. Although it was a bee, the same should apply to people. Sometimes we react defensively or selfishly out of instinct or self-protection when actually what they are doing will not hurt us at all. Sure you cannot let people just do whatever they want at cost to yourself, but if you are capable of giving kindness and gentleness to people, especially when they don’t deserve it, you will be better off because of it, it wont hurt you and it might just make a difference to them.

I can on occasions be a little hot headed (I hear you all gasp!) and as such, I am not necessarily always the best at this. Sure I will do what I can to squish in a little closer to the other commuters on the tube so that one more person can get home two minutes faster (and I feel like Mother Theresa herself !) and I try to spend time to be understanding and let things go when somebody has done something that may initially upset me, however I will also get irritated at having to dodge the tourists on London Bridge on my walk home and will be sure to make it known if my place in a line gets taken by a queue jumper (thank you very much Mr in line at Nero’s on Sunday!!). In reality, it doesn’t hurt me to just wait a few more minutes or in the case of the tourists, I should be letting them remind me that I live in a pretty epic city and I should take a leaf out of their book and slow down or even stop to admire the view of Tower Bridge for just a moment, instead of trying to beat my personal best time at getting home so I can cook myself dinner and spend time on my couch.

This was the other thing I admired about this guy. He was still in love with his city. He was out enjoying it, despite having lived there a while. He was proud of it and wanted to tell me exactly why he thought it was so great. We talked for some time over our coffee and I took a lot more than the fact that they have bee hives on the roof of the Notre Dame in the 30 minutes spent chatting to this lovely Parisian and I have already used this little interaction as a mental reminder to offer kindness and understanding rather than anger.

** The deep conversation was the ‘Proust Questionnaire’ .. one of my favourite ways to get to know more about a person!

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Poké if you want to.

I was just chatting away to my big sister just now and telling her I was having a grand old time sunning myself in the park and she asks me if I am catching Pokémon. I don’t really know much about this Pokémon Go craze, except that it makes me feel like a bit of a dinosaur cause all the kids are off doing it and I don’t really understand.

My sister carries on to tell me that people who catch Pokémon are called Pokérs. I don’t know if I quite believe her, because big sisters are always trying to stitch up their younger siblings, but lets roll with that identifier all the same.

When I say I don’t understand Pokémon Go, I have had a few brief educational seminars over a pint with some of my friends who are known to be Pokérs. I understand the basic principal, that you cruise around in the real world, looking like you are lining up a photo on your phone catching virtual pets (are they pets?!). What you do once you have one, I couldn’t tell you, but I keep hearing that ‘you’ve gotta catch ‘em all’.

Now despite the fact that I had a Tamagotchi as a 10 year old and got a bit into Harry Potter as a teenager (may or may not have lined up to get one of the first releases of one of the books) and fully endorse a pomegranate and kale superfood low GI salad concoction, I do have a tendency to resist a fad out of stubbornness. I cannot say I relate to this obsession and understand how it has taken over so quickly. I saw a sign the other day that said ‘Pokémon in this store are for customers only’ and was interested that this seemed like such a normal every day thing to see, despite this having no relevance only weeks ago.

I have been very fascinated by the divide between ‘Pokérs’ and ‘Non-Pokérs’ with a ‘Non- Pokér’ recently saying to a group of people ‘am I the only one who isn’t into this bloody Pokémon thing’?? I have also noticed that ‘Non-Pokérs’ tend to give the ‘Pokérs’ a bit of a hard time and are quite judgmental of their game – a few meme’s spring to mind instantly.

In saying all of this, I fully endorse anything that makes you happy. Although I personally would rather sit in the park and try to catch sun-rays and pats from other people dog’s than catch Pokémon, I say go for it, spend your Sunday morning doing whatever it is that delights your soul. We are all passionate about and spend our time doing something that a those around us don’t understand – be it travel, food, drinking, filming, napping, any kind of sport (eg walking 100km non-stop like somebody I know this weekend – NUTS!!) or even blogging, we are all different and that is an absolutely excellent thing. Conversation would be fairly monotonous if we all did the same thing and just agreed with each other all the time. There is nothing more lovely to see in somebody than a smile (picture it, so genuine, often slightly dorky) on their face, the way there is a little more enthusiasm in their voice or little spark in their eye when they talk about something that’s fun for them, that they love or that they are really really into. We should do more of that stuff than the things and not care at all what other people think.

I’m off now to have a cold drip coffee and top up my supply of Coconut oil and matcha powder, hope you get your Pikachu !!

Happy Sunday people!

xx

 

‘Are you with Me?’

Do you have songs that you associate with? Songs that make you happy? Songs that remind you of the good times and maybe the not so good times? I was just listening to a song that somebody I love once told me that it reminds them of me, a very special insight! Since then, I have listened to the lyrics and am proud of that!

Here is the YouTube

You Tube – Are You With Me

and the lyrics

I wanna dance by water 'neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

Are you with me?

Are you with me?

Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

I wanna dance by water 'neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

Are you with me?

I wanna dance by water 'neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

I wanna dance by water 'neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?


Make yourself smile!

Warning – this post is a bit ‘deep’ and could be classified as ‘philosophical’ not remotely funny – read on at your own risk and peril! 

I’m reading a book called ‘Not that kind of Girl’ at the moment which would officially be classified as a memoir. The author talks about living a life where you have memories that you will think back on later in life and laugh at and about not regretting anything or wishing it to be otherwise – even the less ideal things that happen, because these things all bring you to be the person you are now. I have always aligned myself with this attitude very much, so this is nothing new, however the book naturally made me think about my own life, as we do from time to time – and question myself:

  • Am I living a life that I will enjoy thinking back on in my own ‘later years?’
  • Will I cringe when I recall the craziest or less sensible things I have done and or will I smile, smirk and laugh?
  • Will I say to myself ‘ I wish I didn’t do that’! or ‘I wish I DID do that’!
  • Am I experiencing things that will inspire me and possibly others around me now and later’?

I sometimes look around me and think ‘ how did I get here’. Especially on days where my timehop app shows me that only a year or seven ago, I was living a life so different it is quite bizarre to consider. I then look around again, smile and think ‘however I got here, I am so glad I am here’ and no, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’ve learnt recently that sometimes in life you just need to let go of the way of life and attitude of “I have to” or “I should”or worse still ‘I cant’ or “I shouldn’t”. I also am trying to not do things because I think somebody else disagrees with it. Sure it may make things a little more difficult when I don’t have the most grown up property portfolio or am not asset rich at 40. I may not have focused on my career as much as I “could have” or “should have” over the past few years, but again, I still would not change a thing.

I can tell you that even though some days ARE hard (like the days when it’s so cold that the air hurts my face and I wonder why I live somewhere that the air hurts my face), sometimes it is incredibly lonely for a little extrovert like myself (like when all of your London people leave town coincidently on the same weekend), sometimes you can only afford cheese on toast for dinner (partly because you had to pay for your trip to Brugge for the Christmas markets and a flight to Dublin in the same pay month) and on your birthday when the world feels especially big and your most treasured of family and friends feel especially far away, again, I would not trade it for anything.

I’ve never felt so alive and free in my life till now. I am experiencing things and learning at a rate of knots. Every day brings something unknown and new. Things that make me sometimes rub my eyes and think ‘am I really here’ ‘what the hell is happening’. But one thing I know for certain, I will most definitely smile and smirk to myself and with my very special new London friends and family in years to come. I know this with certainty because I already do. Living life the way that I am living it now brings a big real smile to my face. I have always found life to be amazing, but as each day goes by I know for sure I am following the right path – nobody, especially myself knows where the path is heading, but that is part of the fun! Life experiences and memories like this are more precious than diamonds and to me, more valuable than physical possessions. They say that adventure is the best way to learn – I am definitely happy to be a student of that school of thought!

So, try not to over think things. Relax a little, don’t let yourself be always so serious and start saying YES when you would usually say no! Inspire yourself and live a life that makes you smile!

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Simply Happiness

Be Happy

For those who know me, know I have a habit of being outrageously happy. I am fortunate that joy comes easy to me. Sometimes I do have to look for it, because happiness is a choice and a frame of mind. But it is also about finding happiness and beauty in the most ordinary of places.

My very sweet housemate just inspired me to blog about where you find your simple joys as I was sitting here on the couch feeling a teensy bit less happy than usual (post travel cold – which is always worth it!) and she came bounding out of her room with the brightest and most infectious smile… her smile was so big it made us both giggle and I asked her why she was so happy this morning and she said she had simply been watching one of her favourite TV shows and eating cereal in her PJ’s and life was good!

It’s not only the biggest, most outrageous life events that bring happiness, sometimes (and most often for me) it is the very gentle and most ordinary things that almost go by unnoticed that put a smile on my face. One of the biggest for me is SUNSHINE! I feel my soul awaken when the warm rays hit my skin and bounce off my face, perhaps it’s because I am a Queenslander and I am certain that my soul is made of sunshine and salt water, but life feels good when the sun is shining.

The flip side of the sunshine is that I also love the moon and the stars equally. I especially love to see the moon sneaking around the sky here in London as it’s that connection to the big wide world outside of the fortress of this big city! The moon reminds me of all the wonderful adventures I have had in my life and I can think back to the times I have sat and stared at it from all corners of the globe and thought to myself, what an absolutely wonderful bloody world! It doesn’t matter if it’s a big bright full moon, or just a little sliver, there is something a little bit magic about it and the glittering stars!

Oscar Wilde, a man after my own heart said ‘With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, how could you not be happy’ ? It would be impossible for me to write a complete list, nor would anybody have time to read it, but here is a collection of a few other simple things that brighten my insides:

  • A perfect cup of tea (preferably made by or shared with somebody you love to be around)
  • Writing or receiving a card.. especially just to know somebody was thinking of you (and receiving mail that is not a bill)
  • A great workout… running as hard and as long as you can.. stopping when you are puffing and you have made your distance goal… you can feel satisfied that you have worked hard and take your time and stretch it out.
  • Being half way through an excellent book
  • Sitting peacefully in a café on your own people watching (the people watching in London is very high quality)
  • Good hugs
  • Cancelled plans – I know it’s nice to see people and as an extrovert this usually brings me energy, but sometimes when there is a lot going on, an unexpected night to yourself or for some other spontaneous fun, cancelled plans can be just what you need
  • Sun rays or perfect light dancing down a laneway or on a drop of dew on a leaf or even a spiders web, this is about taking time to notice.
  • A laugh with friends, sometimes it is just a little quiet giggle, or a full belly laugh that makes tears roll down your cheeks, there is few things better than those times with friends.
  • Remembering your phone number/address when you have first moved to a new city (still working on my postcode here in London!)
  • Crossing things off your to do list. I’ll confess that sometimes I will write something I have just done onto my to do list for the satisfaction of crossing it out!
  • Holding hands with Children. When my nieces and god daughters would look up and me and slip their tiny little fingers into your hands, how precious they are and how lucky you are to have them in your world.
  • Crips clean sheets and that moment when you head hits your pillow when you are exhaustedly tired.

For me right now, my simple happiness is a Saturday morning.. the whole weekend in front of me, the possibility of adventures ahead and I’m about to make a perfectly simple breakfast with a perfect cup of tea. How could you be anything but happy?

live simply