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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Girl in The Bubble

So, I've been having a few problems with our neighbours. They like loud music played late at night. I don't. We have an arrangement where I ring and tell them to turn it down and they do. And they are usually decent about it. The trouble is, I am beginning to get very anxious about it. My highly stressed nature is anticipating the problems to come. I am already fed up of having to phone them every weekend to tell them what they must surely realise - that they are playing their music too loud. Again.

So, I went to see my psychologist yesterday and I mentioned the problem I was having with my neighbours and how anxious it was making me. We then proceeded to have what I felt was a very combative session. She basically said that I was not dealing with the problem and that I was being 'too reasonable'. I disagreed. I AM dealing with the problem, every week actually, and as I said on many occasions during our session, I had every intention of trying to find a better solution with our neighbours, the next time I spoke with them. I was merely expressing my fears that it could all end badly. I found the session quite stressful. Rather than helping, I felt she added to my already stressful situation.

The problem is that I CAN see things from other people's point of view. From a very basic perspective, it is MY problem because I'm the one that doesn't like the loud music. Sure, they should be aware enough to moderate their behaviour and take other people's needs into account - but they don't. I can't change them. I can only change myself. My psychologist thought it was silly of me to think about having triple glazing put in when I shouldn't have to. Well yes, I SHOULDN'T have to but, as I can't really see this situation getting better over time, I need to think about ways to keep my sanity and not have to move house. This is a solution. It may not be a great one given the cost and inconvenience and it doesn't replace my need to talk to the neighbours honestly about my concerns but what it all the talking doesn't produce a change? What then? That was when she suggested that I was trying to 'control' my environment. (Well, duh!) And that I was living in a bubble.

Personally, I think that whatever gets you through the night (without being adrenalised and upset) is a good solution. Bubble is fine with me if it means I get to live my life undisturbed. I will still continue to dialogue with our neighbours but I have to do what keeps me stable and able to sleep at night. Am I wrong?

I spent all day yesterday looking into soundproof windows and triple glazing and acoustic technicians to help me figure out the best solution for our problem. It could be costly and yes, I do resent having to think about these issues at all. Before they moved in, I didn't have to. All was well. However, I am dealing with the 'what is' of the situation. Or trying to.

This got me questioning the nature of reality. Mine to be specific. Warning: This may rub people up the wrong way.

I have always believed that we have a reasonable amount of control over our own reality in a 'create your own reality' type of way. I have seen it work time and time again in my own life (for good and bad) and I have clearly seen the way it works in other people's lives. I do not, though, believe in Destiny necessarily. I think that we all have free will and that we can choose to work with or against or in spite of, the prevailing winds and/or the gentle ministrations of Spirit. Now, I am a bit of a pessimist by nature. Actually, this is not true. It is not by nature. It is by experience. Anxiety, fear and constant dread were the prevelant emotions for the early part of my life. This has definitely affected the way that I view the world when the shit hits the proverbial fan. I get into disasterising, even though I know it won't help and isn't healthy. Yes. It's annoying. I know. It's also frustrating because it's like I can't let go even though I know I need to. So, the anxiety levels rise and the body gets flooded with adrenaline and I go over and over and over the problem until I want to scream. That is what I mean when I say that I am pessimistic. I know that I can't accurately predict the outcome of this current difficulty. But I can look at it logically and say if it was going to improve, it probably would have with the first of the numerous phonecalls I have made.

I have run the entire gammut of emotions really. I have felt punished by adding yet another noisy neighbour to the two we already enjoy. I have felt totally depressed by the thought that my every weekend will be peppered with stress and anxiety as I anticipate and then deal with the inevitable noise pollution. I have felt unbelievably wronged and angry. I am concerned that my whole philosophy of life is completely wrong and that has caused a somewhat existential crisis. Well, perhaps that's a touch over dramatic, but that's what it feels like. Like I am in crisis. I feel like I should be able to look for the lesson and ask myself what I am supposed to learn by this. Why have I attracted this situation into my life? And I am asking that daily, believe me. Maybe it IS all about sticking up for myself and my needs. Maybe it is all about learning to ask for what I want and being prepared to be unpopular in order to get my needs met. I know other people who would just call the cops. However, I think that in order to get a good result for everybody involved, their has to be dialogue. There has to be at least an attempt to resolve the situation to everyone's satisfaction. I don't want anyone to lose. Least of all me.

Then there is the whole 'what if I'm totally wrong about life, the Universe and everything?' dilemma. What if I AM wrong about the way I view life. What if I am just shit out of luck. If it's just bad luck that I am living in a noisy beautiful area, then what do I do now? My belief's help me to deal with life, the shit and the good stuff, they give me an understanding of things, they help me to make sense of it all. That's normal for a spiritual belief system isn't it? So, if I AM right, I do create my reality, then why did I create this? Why couldn't I learn this particular lesson in some other, less stressful way? Like I said. Existential crisis. Oh deep and unadulterated joy.

So, as Michael directed, we are dealing with it nicely first off. We have met them, we have introduced ourselves and our daughter to them, to let them see the 'real' family that they are impacting. I have explained our needs and asked them to keep the noise down after midnight. I have since phoned on three occasions to ask them to turn it down and they have been sweet about it but it doesn't stop them from banging up the volume every weekend. So, now I have to think about how to approach it when it inevitably happens again this weekend. I have to be much more direct and explain about the impact it is having upon me and upon us as a family. I have to do all of this and it causes me great anxiety. I hate confrontation. I still do it but I hate it. It stresses me out and taxes my already tired adrenals. I don't want any of it and yes, I'm bitter about it right now. Tired and bitter and not very hopeful.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to tackle this problem constructively, i.e. not just reporting them to the police (that may come later!), then I'd love to hear them.

I'll post Day Seven of my 30 Days of Happiness in another post. There's not much happy in this one!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

30 Days of Happiness Day Six & Fifteen Films

Okay. So it's more of a 30 POSTS of Happiness as I simply don't get the chance to post every day. Still, 30 posts is almost as good as 30 days AND trust me when I say I am applying the theory every day, even when I don't show you guys what's making me smile. There. Justification over.

Having said that, many things are making me happy at the moment.

Poetry: I've been dipping into some wonderful poetry books recently. I wanted to share this one with you:

Why I Wake Early by Mary Oliver

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

The hubble achieving his first real win in his new job, which means job security, at least for now. Whoohoo! Plus, because the client fell in love with his ad, they awarded the agency LOTS of new business. So double Whoohoo with a Whoohoo on top! So proud of my creative man.

We've booked our apres Crimbo holiday at the beach with the (extended) family courtesy of moi. Yes, I diligently trawled the internet pages to find anything that wasn't already booked or exorbitantly expensive (just so I can be surrounded by a bunch of schoolies on their annual 'Binge and Barf' New Years migration) and found somewhere just wunderbar, close to the front beach (no being wiped out by surf for me, no sirree) and near Sorrento, (mmmm posh coffee). It's actually very cool and last year my libido came roaring back into startled life, so here's to more of that! On top of this goodness, it's an Eco House, so I can have my holiday and save the world. How good is that?!

Stealthily plotting Sol-Y-Luna's Hen's Party has been delicious. The invites are out so let the games begin! I do love plotting a good surprise.

Today our playgroup took the ankle-biters to an area called Birdsland in Tecoma. It's one of many beautiful picnic grounds in our area and one I had never been to before. As expected, the Beanster got wet and muddy very quickly but boy did she ever have FUN! Almost every child was there and there was a picnic and lots of walking and climbing and running amok. Watching my girl running full pelt through the white blossomed onion grass, with all of her little pint sized pals was simply joyous. I wanted to capture the whole experience and carry it in my heart. There was just something about it that I can't adequately explain, and it just caught me off guard and made me melt.

Also enjoying afternoon naps with the small fry. So snuggly wuggly and warm and cosy. Just delish.

Spring Cleaning. I know. Just the word 'cleaning' usually brings me out into a cold sweat, but there is something most satifsying about clearing out ones crap. And Spring is most definitely, fragrantly, in the air, so it's the perfect time to do it. Watching piles of things to throw out or donate building up by the door gives me a perverse sense of satisfaction and goodliness. (Pauses for a smug smile).

Fifteen Films
Now, I've been tagged by the divine Doc to name Fifteen Films I've watched or that have stayed with me. So. Da rules (as posted by DocWitch): List 15 films that you've seen that have really stayed with you, and that will always stick with you. The first 15 that you can recall in no more than 15 minutes, (gah! I know - it's quite hard, but a lot of fun). They won't necessarily be "Great Films", or even the ones that you enjoyed the most. So it's not a definitive list of best all-time films. How hard would that be? *Shudder*.

So mine, in no particular order are:

1. Snowcake - Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Carrie-Ann Moss - Very good film
2. The Changeling
3. Scrubs - not the funny TV series of which I am a mighty fan, but a very disturbing film about young people in Wormwood Scrubs Prison and starring a very young Ray Winston. It really (unhappily) lived with me for quite a while. (Young guys being buggared in a greenhouse and then cutting off their own penises will do that to an impressionable 13 yr old).
4. Bell, Book & Candle - Kim Novak, James Stewart
5. Shrek one, two and three (blame my 3 yr old who is obsessed)
6. Practical Magic
7. Lord of the Rings - all three
8. Knocked Up
9. Hot Fuzz (are you seeing a pattern here) - this film is SO bloody funny
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (starring the delicious Russell Brand)
11. Never Ending Story
12. Twilight
13. Dirty Dancing
14. Desperately Seeking Susan
15. Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Predjudice (a twofer as I LOVE Austen adaptations and I've been known to watch many, one after another).

So, you know the drill, do your thang and link back to this post.

I've also been questioning the meaning of life, mine obviously, but that's for a longer post.

Until then - adios amigos

Friday, September 4, 2009

30 Days of Happiness - Days Two, Three, Four & Five

Reasons to be cheerful parts two, three, four and five.

Well what a lovely few days its been.

On Wednesday we caught the best of the spring weather with friends down at Mount Eliza and spent a happy two hours on the beach with the small fry. Beanie, being entirely unbothered by sub zero aquatic temperatures, waded into the freezing water up to her kneecaps. I would like to just point out here that the water in Melbourne is freezing even on days of 40+.

Lily and BFF Lana surprise the water with their cheeky barefootedness.

It was a glorious day - one of the best I can remember recently. We spent ALL day outside in the beautiful spring sunshine moving from beach to lunch to park to a different park and finally, with much resistance from my deliriously tired child, home.

Also making me delirously happy this week is the fact that my daughter is finally potty trained.

YAY! simply does not cover it. Think of something super exciting, possibly with a loud and prolonged squeal attached, and then multiply it by 1000 and that's where I'm at. The joy I feel is slightly more than my dark lusty thoughts about Ryan Reynolds. You will note that she is wearing knickers in the above pictures. We've had a few minor accidents and one major incident which I have tried diligently to wipe from my memory, but apart from that, my girl is going great guns. When caught short outside she simply informed me that she would 'squat down here like a dog.' We don't have a dog. Should I be worried?

She is adorable, no?

I love the beach. I think I love it almost as much as my gorgeous beanie-girl. It's so nice to look forward to spending more time down there now that the weather is starting to get warmer.
Mamma and me - wellies

We've also been getting creative in the kitchen. We made gingerbread men from a Steiner snack book recipe (using molasses and honey instead of sugar) - they turned out yummilicious and we then attacked them with a huge amount of glitter gel. As you can see, we got a tiny bit carried away. Ok, I did. Still, it was funny and the gel is surprisingly tasty for something that contains almost no natural ingredients!

Our culinary masterpieces in all their...um...glory.

Also making me happy these past few days is:
Deciding to have another baby.
Discovering new artists including the delicious Bearkat
Buying some cute new swimmers for my baby girl - I may have gone a little bit overboard but damn it she's going to look so lovely when we disappear off to Hamilton Island for five days for a friends wedding. Something else that is making me very happy.
My new funkadelic glasses (photo to come) made me quite smiley. Yes, it's true, my left eye went and got middle aged on me. The right one is a little annoyed to be honest. Still, when I put them on I could suddenly see more clearly. Guess that's the proof in the proverbial pudding innit.
Just watched the second series of Flight of the Conchords and yup, it's just as fandabbydosy as the first. Some highlights for me were sugalumps and epileptic dogs.

And finally, a kiss is not a contract - remember that ladies.

Oh those cheeky boys.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

30 Days of Happiness - Day One

Reasons to be cheerful part one.

Today's Happy is Dancing the Body Ecstatic

Attending a two and a half hour dance/moving meditation class on a Sunday morning. Yes, I did indeed go and stretch forth my mind, body and spirit. It took a while for the seed to begin to poke her head out of the lovely rich soil in which she has been hibernating/hiding these past long years but when she did...boy oh boy was that fun.

I don't have a photograph of the class, so this rather saucy stripey-legged picture of Rachel Brice, tribal belly dancer extraordinaire, will have to represent my ecstatic dance experience. I will be going back for more. Oh yes indeedy.

And there's more...

To fuel my body and give me a reason to barefoot it (not to mention the skippety skip and jazz hands) around the house, I have ordered the divine CD Beats Antique by Tribal Derivations. Check it out at www.lastfm.com for all that's good about tribal belly dance music. Mmmmm it's heavenly, particularly the title track 'Derivation' - all sultry goodness. Plus LastFM is the best place to find new music. So far I've discovered three new artists that I love. Good times abound.

This post is part of my second year of '30 Days of Happiness' blogging. Given how Joni Mitchell Blue I have been on and off recently, I was looking for a reason to focus on all the things that are good in my life and, as usual, BlueBirdBaby came up with the goods. If you'd like to get in on the Happiness action, go visit Erin and leave a comment asking to jump on board, then get posting. You'll get a link to your blog and to your Happiness Posts from her blog. Plus, you get to meet her - one of the coolest chicks in blogland.

ps. If you think that dancing is just for skinny chicks, take a look at the vintage belly dancers postcard below...

Love it.