Friday, May 29, 2009

Of hair and being 4

When I was a little girl I was blessed with whispy, fly-away, style-less hair, coupled with a high forehead to give an overall slightly odd look at all times. I never really cared, I was not that kind of child! Since then I have tried numerous short styles, settling for the tousled crew cut I now sport. And will for ever more! Hair is just not my strong point.

For 4 years now I have resisted the fringe effect for young Shannon, determined that she would eventually grow thick long, blond tresses to be the envy of all. Sadly I think I may be deluded and, though in looks she is just like her Dad, she has the misfortune of having inherited my hair!

So I cut it. A short bob with a fringe that seamlessly frames her face making her look oh so much more adorable than she did before. I have embraced the fringe!

Shannon was over the moon with her new haircut, which happenend on Saturday afternoon. She couldn't wait to get to school on Monday for all her friends to see. And she was flocked, little girls of four and five oohing and aahing over the new stylish chica amongst them. Shannon came over to me once the parade had ended and said quietly: Mommy, I love you. Thank you for cutting my hair.

Then it all went horribly wrong. Yesterday one of the girls in her class said Shannon looked ugly because now she looks like a boy! I was not surprised to hear that this had her dissovling into floods of tears and left her tearful for the rest of the day. Even this morning she seemed not to have recovered fully! One person put her down and now she believes that everyone else was talking rubbish and, in fact, she really looks terrible! Something makes me want to take that little girl and shave her head!

Now I must undo the damage to her delicate self-esteem and convince her, once again, that she is beautiful with her new haircut! And not at all like a boy.

The thing is, once I am over my protective mother emotions, I am amazed at the importance placed, by very little girls, on their appearance and the need to be accepted. How delicate their emotions really are. And how easily one wrong word can ruin their little world! Once again I had fallen off the attention wagon and assumed that nothing could really be wrong in my babies worlds because I love them. A bit egocentric don't you think? So now, I am more attentive and watchful to ensure they recieve the attention they need from me, while at the same time hopelessly aware that I cannot protect them forever from the big bad world!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Job requirements... Epic Fail?

I've come to a conclusion. I would make a terrible counsellor.

I always believed, at least until recently, that I would make a great counsellor: I can see other people's point of view almost as clearly as my own, I worked through my own issues and reached a state of higher understanding about being me, I want to help other people improve their lot and I am a caring and empathic person. It turns out I may be deluded.

Behind the above facade lies a whole different person screaming to get out! This person says: get over yourself, pull your socks up and cope! This person prefers to speak than listen! This person judges others against her better judgement. OK, no not really.

I really do feel I understand how people work, better than many others do(hmmm maybe I am deluded). In fact I have no real hangups about how or what other people are. I just want everybody to be happy and successful! Oh and world peace wouldn't be a bad thing either!

So, where I fail really in the whole job requirements for counsellor story is here: I had an idyllic childhood, I belong to a stable and loving family, I was given a good education and guided through life's harder decisions by parents who knew enough to allow me autonomy, while at the same time making sure I was safe, I am now in a stable, happy marriage and have two children who are adored and provided with boundaries to help them become content and successful adults. OK, so I was a bit misunderstood as a teenager and also tended to misunderstand a lot about the world, but that is more normal than not!

So where are my experiences of things traumatic? How can I counsel someone who has been raped, since I have no idea what they are going through? How can I counsel alcoholics or drug addicts when I've not walked a mile in their shoes. How can I help someone who is having a nervous breakdown, if I've never felt the stress that they are feeling? How can I empathise with an abused woman who won't leave her husband, when I've never been beaten or abused? How can I? Not authentically.

I am not all out of ideas though. I have had some experiences, that other people have all the time. Some can cope with them and some can't. Those who can't can be shown how to do so and be taught what to expect and different ways to handle it. I am still thinking about it. It is already done. It should be. I'll think about it some more and blog about it when I am ready!

When I am qualified as a counsellor I will see if I have anything authentic to offer. Until then, I'll be a writer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

on cycles, astrology and being me

I am done being cognitively driven for the moment and have decided to do a little soul searching. Don't know why, or where I am going with this, so please bear with me! Knowing me it will end up cognitively driven anyway... let's see, eh?

Oh, and it's a little long winded so look away now if you are in phase 3!

It is quite apparent, and has been for a long time, although I have chosen to mostly ignore the fact, that I work in cycles. This is not just true of me, but also some of my discerning friends who have noticed a similar sense of their own capabilities. Recently I have decided to pay more attention to my natural tendancies and allow them to guide me rather than trying to override them with positive, self-castigating pep talks. The result has been satisfying, interesting and a little frustrating!

It sounds a bit bi-polar actually. It's not, just so you know! What I haven't yet worked out is how long I take to complete an entire revolution, but I find myself moving, fairly smoothly from highly efficient, motivated, determined and outgoing to demotivated, almost completely inefficient, not bothered and withdrawn into my shell. As I say, this happens fairly smoothly, so I am not bouncing up and down like a yo yo! Nor is it easy to notice the actual time of transition! The motivated phase (P1) moves to some sort of Zen phase (P2) where, though I find it easy enough to do the things I need to do, I am less bothered if they are not perfect or done straight away, this slowly revolves to the whole can't be bothered, don't care, can't bring myself to do anything productive phase (P3), and then I am on the upward curve again back to Zen (P4) followed by highly motivated!

So, what does this twaddle mean, right? It means becoming more intuitive. Listening more carefully to who we are rather than what we want! What it means is that during P1 I can do everything, I can be a great Mum, a brilliant wife, my house is immaculate, my work is finished to a high standard in record time and I am the life and soul of the party. Phase 2 and 4 render me capable of completing all my tasks fairly well, I am perhaps a little less attentive, a little more inwardly focussed, slightly less aware of those around me. BUT. Phase 3, the sucker, makes me desperate for isolation, me time, down time, my housework starts to fall behind, even though I try very hard to force myself to do it, blogging is a no go as my words all seem to dry up, I am impatient with my children and inattentive towards my husband. I have always really struggled with this, thinking things like: what's wrong with me? Why can't I just get on like I usually do? Why am I eating so much (!)?

Ok where are we going with this? So, knowing that the cycle exists allows me to understand where I stand with me! How much I can expect of myself and that overcoming it requires careful reflection, planning and knowing myself a good deal better than I do now. So far I have managed to stop fighting phase 3! But, being a Virgo, and therefore desperate for perfection, I still need to find a way to get things done during the down time! So I am now working on trying to figure out just how long the cycle takes. I am currently emerging from phase 3 I think, I may however have just entered it (not completely au fait with this yet!) as things are still a bit of a chore and I am not feeling very life-and-soul-of-party-ish.

Yes, yes, I know, off on one of my wierd tangents once again. No! Not this time. It feels right! Knowing our natural selves makes life a whole lot easier as, rather than fighting our natural disposition, the mind will (it has to) start working with our intuition rather than against it. Being in tune with who we are must lead to a happier, more content, more satisfying existence, versus thinking that we can make ourselves feel better through eating, shopping or gossiping. Feel better first... then indulge ourselves!

So the crux of the situation is that I am attempting to become more intune with the natural me and take back control from the cognitive me, which is highly dominant! One step closer to perfection! *sigh* (Oh, there's Virgo again!)

Anyone else out there got any fabulous insights in this regard?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I've been away...

...and there was no internet and the dog ate the computer! That's my excuse for not blogging and I'm sticking to it.

Actually it may have more to do with writing other stuff and not having any words left, but there you go. And here I am, back again!

Since my last post my Mum has been to visit... and returned to Turkey... and is, in fact, already packing for her next trip, to another daughter. Mum's visiting all three of us this year: South Africa, England then Australia. What a life! We had an awesome time together. The best we ever have, I think. It was great to have her to myself for once since, though those of you who know me may not agree, I am the least talkative of us three sisters! I love to talk, that's a given but, when in a room with my darling sisters, it can be a little difficult to make myself heard sometimes. Just an observation you understand! Mum spoiled us rotten, as is her wont and we laughed and played at being writers, we shopped, we ate chocolate. The dark stuff. Shannon was a little bemused that her granny doesn't knit but, since Mum devised a brilliant game for Shannon to play which involves learning to read without noticing, she got the thumbs up anyway! It was fantastic, come again Mum, but try to bring Dad with you too!!

Yesterday I made the huge decision, (I say I made the decision rather than we as Sean put his faith in me to choose and left me to it) at least it feels huge to me, of which school to send Shannon to next year! She starts 'big' school and we have chosen a lovely little school about 3km from home which I am so pleased I went to see as I had sort of written it off thanks to some incorrect information about it. Just goes to show you should always find out things for yourself before making a judgement, even if your source is usually very reliable! So Shannon is off to Forest View Primary School next year - just have to sort out all the paperwork. Ugh.

Jordan is growing outwards and upwards but still has only 4 teeth! He is 17 months old for goodness sake! I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't spend so much time trying to grow more teeth! Honestly! Otherwise he is completely adorable and very naughty!

Shannon is all long, skinny arms and legs and seems to be having one growth spurt after another. Just as I've restocked the cupboards after one bout of growing, she's eaten the lot again. A little advice, don't buy tights or trousers that fit a 4-5 year old! Rather buy them for a 15 year old and let them grow into them!

Sean seems to have really found his place in the world with steel fabrication. He has a lilt in his voice and a spring in his step that I have not seen or heard for a long time! He is still under enourmous pressure from a cash flow point of view, but the work just keeps coming in.

And as for me, I have decided to postpone my honours degree for a year (yes, I will have a Bachelor of Arts Degree by the end of this year! How time flies!) in view of being a full time writer! The career of my dreams, let's see if I can pull it off!

Well that's it for now! I think we're up to date! So, 'til the next time...