Thursday, 25 October 2012

Dear Men

Hello, my name is Tan and I'm a sexist.

No really.

If anyone unintended read my personal text exchanges with my friends [who are also sexists], I would never get another job, according to the recent backlash afforded the Australian ex-speaker, Mr Slipper.

And before any of you get all up in arms about it, this is not a political post. I am not sharing my political opinion and I'm not interested in yours. I am, however, using his recent scandal as a segue to my confession of being a sexist. Which I am. And because I like to be topical.

Men, this is why you shit me:

1. Shut the fuck up about women nagging you. You are being nagged because you don't fucking listen. If you did, you wouldn't have to be asked again. You either have a hearing problem or you're an idiot. Either way, it's annoying.

2. You are not allowed to use the term 'man-flu' in defence of your ridiculous inability to cope with a cold. We made that term up as an insult to you.

3. Ditto the term 'boy's look'. OPEN YOUR EYES. If there is a pile of stuff LOOK THROUGH IT. If it's not in your drawer LOOK IN THE LAUNDRY. If it's not in the laundry LOOK ON THE CLOTHES LINE. If it's not on the clothes line it's probably still on the bedroom floor NEXT TO THE CLOTHES BASKET where you left it.

4. An impromptu display of affection does not mean you're 'in'.

5. Zara = Bunnings. Got it?

6. FYI, your sexy bits ain't that attractive either... and at least we don't have ours out at every opportunity including, but certainly not limited to, drunken social events.

7. YOUR arse looks fat in those jeans. If you gave a shit enough about how you looked and asked us, we'd tell you.

8. Your woman bending down in front of you is NOT an invitation to dry hump her. What the fuck is wrong with you? Are you an animal?

9. Hey moron in the corner office with the inflated salary... who'd YOU sleep with to get there? 'Cause you certainly didn't earn it with your personality or intellect.

10. Do you like the way your home looks and feels? It's because of the throw cushions - GET OVER IT.

11. What makes you think you need to keep your back to the wall at a gay function?? Straight women aren't interested in you so you can bet the far more discerning gay guy isn't going to be either. Probably due to point number 7.

12. Porn is porn. The articles are irrelevant.

13. When I hear that you like women's southern parts to be hairless it makes me think you like little girls. Do you?

14. The Godfather Trilogy are movies not a religion. Reciting lines from them doth not a gangster make.

15. Our current Prime Minister is a woman. She earned that role. She worked hard doing what she believed in and reached the top of her career path. She is the boss of our country [as described by my 7 year old son] swimming against the testosterone tide with her head held high and I'm proud of her. Because she's a woman. So shut up.

16. Strippers, exotic dancers et al are SOMEONE'S daughter. They could be yours one day... especially if you teach her that men are attracted to that type of behaviour and they can earn good money from dancing, semi-naked on some bloke's lap.

17. Women menstruate. Every month. It enables us to bear YOUR children. Be grateful.

18. What do we SEE in Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig??? pfft.

19. You are not doing us a FAVOUR when you bring the clothes in off the line or do the grocery shopping or make the bed. Unless you are a GUEST and then you should refrain from farting in front of us and give chocolates and/or wine to thank us for our hospitality.

20. Taking half an hour to take a shit is revolting. How can it be comfortable to sit on the toilet with your pants around your ankles and your arse in the breeze for that long? And don't start with that bullshit about the only place you can get peace. Please refer to point number 1.

OH and just in case my boss is reading this [Hi H!], please don't sack me because I'm a sexist. I promise it won't affect my performance at work xx

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

This is a true story

I have not cooked my family dinner tonight. I have also not made any other arrangements. I am on family strike.

I'm tired and I'm premenstrual and I worked today. Nothing too stressful and during school hours but it was work nonetheless. I then dropped into a couple of shops on the way home to make arrangements for my HUSBAND'S business Christmas dinner that I am organising. In my spare time. I came home and returned a few emails, made a couple of calls, emptied the dishwasher and then I picked up the kids from school.

And that's when it all went to hell.

"I don't want to go to school tomorrow Mum. I'm too tired"
"Why can't I go on the iPad?"
"It's not fair"
"I don't want to watch THAT I want to watch THIS"
"I don't have ANY homework"
"I have to go on YouTube for my homework"
"I don't want an apple, I want chocolate"
"If he's having chocolate, I want chocolate too."
"I'm not eating dinner"
"You never listen to me"
"I don't want to change out of my uniform"
"I'm not turning the tv down. I can't hear it"
"I don't have to empty out my school bag. You can do it"

All these things were said to me this afternoon. Said with attitude. Lots of school boy attitude. In response to my requests. Cajoles. Demands. Threats.

And then something clicked. 

Remember Sheriff Rambo Harry Down? Well, she just poured herself a big glass of wine and rode into town. Yes, drinking and riding. She's that bad-ass.

"Is that right? Well how about this. You can do whatever you want. I have nothing more to say to you tonight. You can eat what you want. You can do what you want. You both seem to think that you know best. Well let's give that a go."

And I have not said a word to them since. I did not respond when they repeatedly chanted they were going to watch the verboten Harry Potter II. I did not flinch when they ran to the iPad to download whatever it is they covet. I didn't bat an eyelid when they opened a packet of chips for dinner.

Because Mum is on strike and the Sheriff is sitting in the corner, drinking her wine and whistling.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Spring Clean Your Life...

So I have this friend who's a coach. Not a sports coach. A LIFE COACH. Really. She coaches you through your life. Do I sound skeptical? I don't mean to be, but it does sound bizarre doesn't it? 

For those of you who are not yet aware of what life coaching is all about, it's about partnering with someone whose job is to improve the quality of your life, by guiding you through professional and personal matters, such as career, health, personal relationships, etc. It's like your best friend, mum and guidance counselor all in one room... but far less intrusive.

Tania runs Blue Sky Coaching. I like the inference. I like blue skies. They're my favourite sky, in fact. She has a diverse range of clients and starts her coaching with each of them by giving them a personal checklist when they begin. At a recent networking function, she showed us all this check list and suggested we use it at as a spring board to spring clean our lives... y'know being spring and all. This list was broken up into ten true or false statements each in the following subjects:

  • work
  • finances
  • home environment
  • health & body
  • relationships
  • personal

It was one of the quieter functions I have been to as we all read through our lists. There were lots of obvious statements like "I manage my time well", "I have a budget that I use" and "My personal files are in order". Answer 'false' and guess what? Yep, that indicates you need help in that area. Then there was a quiet buzz in the room as we questioned some of the more obscure statements and their relevance to the checklist and our own lives. I found the answers interesting and thought you may find them helpful.

I have had a birthday party in the last two years.

This is an indicator of you acknowledging and celebrating your life. It speaks to your inner happiness and affirmation that you are valuable.

I don't lie or exaggerate.

This is about not feeling good enough and your need to ‘embellish’ to make your life sound like it’s exciting/interesting/worth talking about. But let's face it, that's what Facebook is for.

My bed is always properly made.

This one was interesting to me. Tania says it's about having one more thing 'not done' which could be a very easy fix. It refers to visual clutter. I have to admit that on the days that I have time to make my bed before I leave for work, I feel more in control. Crazy but true.

My bed supports me having a good sleep.

Another bed statement that puzzled me. What difference should this make? Tania explained that this was about taking care of yourself. We spend a lot of time in bed and if it's crappy then our sleep is crappy then we feel crappy so our day is crappy and so it goes on. If your answer is false, get yourself down to Dreamland pronto.

I am happy with my current weight.

Tania says almost every client she has ever worked with ticks false. No real surprises there but it's a sad indictment of our society's self image today. 

Other statements she almost always gets a 'false' for are

I have enough confidence to do what I want in life.
[people tend to underestimate how great they are]

I am comfortable saying no when I need to. 
[that's why so many people are so busy]

I don't acquire clutter. 
[when people are surrounded by clutter it makes it hard to have clarity. They are distracted by stuff]

Tania filled a similar checklist out herself when she first heard about life coaching. She says it was a wake-up call that she deserved to feel better about her life.

For me this whole year has been a wake-up call that I deserve to feel better about my life. Something about the babies leaving home and turning 40 turned a new page for me so that I had already begun my spring clean before I even knew of this list. 

I had a HUGE birthday party. I bought myself a new, gorgeous bed. I'm VERY happy to say no. I've got no idea what my current weight is because I don't believe in weighing myself and we therefore do not own scales. I've just got to get rid of the clutter...

You deserve to feel better about your life too. 

Don't underestimate how great you are xx

NB - this post is in no way sponsored. Tania and Blue Sky Coaching did not ask me to write it. I was just inspired :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Body Love xx

This image came up on my Facebook newsfeed this morning...

It resonated with me BIG TIME. As I have grown up [and out] I have really learned to appreciate who I am, what I've done and my authenticity.

As a younger woman, I struggled with all that. I hated so many things about me from the things I thought to the way I looked to the things other people thought and to the way they saw me too. At various times I was too skinny, too fat, too dark, too dimply, too Asian. My breasts weren't big enough. My bum was too big. My teeth were too crooked. My toes were too long. My finger nails weren't long enough. My hair was too straight. My arms were too hairy. My tummy was too flabby. My thighs were too stretch-marked. I wasn't funny enough. I wasn't rich enough. I wasn't smart enough. I wasn't popular enough. 

So, guess what I did?

I faked it. I tried to fit in. I tried to be the person I thought everyone else wanted me to be. Sometimes it worked. Most times it didn't. Almost every time, it meant a compromise of my authentic self. It made for bad choices, unhappy times, crazy fashion mistakes and toxic relationships. I know you know what I'm talking about. It's called teenage-hood.

Now... I couldn't give a shit and that feels AWESOME. 

I don't have daughters but I want my sons to grow up knowing that their mum loves herself. I want them to become men who think the most beautiful women are the real ones. The ones that know themselves. The ones that don't compromise their authenticity for anyone. I want them to see the most influential woman in their young lives being comfortable in her own skin. Being unapologetic about her body, her feelings, her fears and her love. Not in a creepy Oedipus way but in a 'my mum's cool and happy' way.

So, here goes. 

I LOVE my body... I love that I'm soft. I love that my hips are wide enough to bear children without complication. I love that my tummy has a pot. I love that my breasts bear the signs of nourishing two babies for years. I love the freckles I've earned from time outside in the sun. I love my shoulders. I love my hair. I love my strength. 

Are you brave enough to say what you love about your body??