All posts filed under: Modern Life

I can see clearly now the dishes are clean

I’m starting to think that a little bit of hot water and a little bit of suds does more than just get egg off a frypan. In fact, the waters of your kitchen sink hold deeper truths than a Dalai Lama quote on facebook. As dirty dishes are immersed and sparkling clean ones are raised up, they reveal much more than simply what you had for dinner. It’s WHO had what for dinner, and HOW. A microcosm of life at this particular instant in time. Take my sink for example. Your standard one-large-one-small-plus-drainage-area kitchen sink, in your standard early-1990s-light-peach-with-cream-lino colour palette. Each day it gets filled with small, brightly coloured plastic bowls, of which I clearly don’t own enough because I am forever washing the same ones. Floating under those are several small, multi-coloured plastic spoons, some with rabbits on the handles and others with heat-sensing rubber technology. Into the murky broth goes the stick part of the Bamix, some Tupperware containers, and I like to finish it off with a nice cheese grater or potato masher. If I’m feeling celebratory, I might chuck in some wine glasses (exaggeration, of course I wouldn’t actually chuck them), but that’s a rare occasion. There …

Nasty Nostalgia And The New Life Crisis

It can strike at any time. When you’re driving in your car. Or, for me, more often around 8.30 at night when I’m elbow deep in washing up water, while the microwave dings to announce that my frozen peas are ready and the washing machine fill cycle gurgles away in the background. Nostalgia. A wistful desire to return to a former time or place. In my case, to the time before my gorgeous baby boy came along and altered not only my physical state, but my emotional, financial and social states as well. I’ve heard plenty of parents say that becoming a mother or father has changed them for the better. It has helped them to realise that they are not the most important person in the world, or at least not anymore. It makes them less selfish, more patient, more generous; which are all lovely attributes in a human being. And all this from simply spending less time thinking about their own wellbeing, and more time looking after their child’s. Well, you might as …

Blessings Can Come In The Strangest Packages

This week some strange things happened in our house. Not in a ghost-in-the-attic, Round The Twist kind of way. Each event was not even particularly remarkable on its own, but coming as they did, one after another, they eventually made me sit up and take notice. It began when my office phoned to let me know about some extra work I might be interested in. After hours, they said. Possibly able to be done from my home computer, they said. As much or as little as I could fit in around my day-to-day mothering duties. I was thrilled and accepted right away. Not exactly mind-blowing, but still enough to make me a wee bit excited for the extra money I would be contributing to our single income family. On Monday evening an informal jam session had been arranged with one of the singers from our church band. Just a casual practice at our place to go over a song that needed work. Our guest arrived and let herself in, walking into the kitchen carrying a …

Crossing Over

I’ve crossed over. Not in the creepy John Edwards TV show psychic sense, but in the child-becoming-adult sense. I know, I know. Didn’t I pass puberty about 15 years ago? But it seems there was one last bastion of childhood still remaining. Now I am even an adult when it comes to Christmas. My first Christmas with my son officially marks the end of me as one of the children on Christmas Day, having gifts and food lovingly showered upon me by my parents and grandparents, with not much needed from me in return. I always gave presents too, of course, but I belonged to the youngest generation, the one at the end of the line. Now I am a parent, and my son has taken my place, in fact the place of all my siblings, in receiving the fun, joy and deliciousness that we have prepared for him. This year we hosted Christmas at our house, which further cemented the transition of my husband and I from beneficiary to benefactor. We had a huge …

A Mother Of A Decision

I don’t often receive nasty comments about the direction of my life. Not being in jail or on drugs or having a suitcase full of hateful ex-boyfriends, I’d have to say my life is pretty good. Sure, I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry tomorrow and I haven’t written a bestseller (yet), but I think I’m doing OK at this thing called life. Not so! I found out this week, when two women from my past just couldn’t help but share their disdain at my latest endeavour, if you can call it that: the birth of my first child. “What a waste [me] having a baby.” Pow! If that doesn’t knock you sideways you must be built like an Olympic weightlifter. I didn’t know that putting my reproductive organs to good use would actually cause the rest of my mind, body and soul to wither away into nothingness. Not to mention render invisible any great feats achieved during my first 29 years of life. I guess if I had read more of …

Poll Position

In China there are elections, but all the candidates are from the same party. In Afghanistan, voters face physical intimidation and bribery before they even get to the polls, and corruption and electoral fraud once their votes are cast. In Fiji the military leader cancels and postpones elections according to his own will. In Australia last weekend, voters were asked to attend a polling station of their choice, at the time of their choice, select the candidate of their choice, and cast their ballot for the federal election. Unfortunately, the mere privilege of having free elections appears lost on many voters as they are forced to give up half an hour of their Saturday to perform this duty once every 3 years or so. The contempt which is shown towards our electoral process only serves to highlight a self-centredness we rarely acknowledge. “Let’s get this shit over with”, one wife said to her husband as they walked in through the school gates. Disgruntled constituents arrived to see moderately lengthy queues, scrunched up their faces and …

Bus Vs Car

I feel sorry for the busses driving around on their route with no-one in them. Unwanted & lonely, they must feel. Are they resentful of cars? Like a walkman is of an i-pod… People still like music, they just don’t like how you give it to them. People still like going places, they just don’t like using the RSL-carpeted seats and safety bars to get them there. Me, I quite like going on a bus. You don’t have to think about traffic, directions, where to park when you get there. You are completely free to eavesdrop other peoples’ conversations or cocoon yourself within your musical earplugs. If only the bus went precisely where I wanted to go and when. Aye, there’s the rub.

The Losing (And Gaining) Of Wisdom

The thing about getting your wisdom teeth out is that everyone has had theirs out too, and of course there’s a horror story about how they had to do it right there in the dentist chair with only a petrol rag sniff of happy gas while the nurse was manhandling their lower pearly whites with the amount of force it takes to undo a really tight bolt on a flat tyre. I imagine it (the opinionating & the storytelling, not the tyre-bolt-unscrewing) to be similar to the thoughtful suggestions & heartfelt comments that a pregnant lady receives. In the same way that a woman “with child” really loves it when perfect strangers tell her that her belly bump will be a boy because of how big her butt is, or that their neice had a 48-hour horror labour and required 30 stitches at the end, I found it extremely useful to receive unsolicited advice about how sore my throat would be or how purple my face would go or how much cotton wool I would …