This year the Enlightened Housewife is confronted by a unique challenge. How to cater for the traditions encompassed (that’s wordy) by three cultures. (“Encompassed”. ¬†Sounds like the state of my wallet before I started Christmas shopping this year. As in. My wallet encompassed a lot of money before I was exposed to the terribly effective marketing processes by the major American Merchants.
To wit, Macy’s flyers came through the mailbox almost daily. In the last two weeks we had a Last Minute Sale. Then a final sale. Then a Last Second Sale!!

Nuts!

So Philip our German Au Pair and I were talking about the different ways of celebrating Christmas around the world. Philip is used to celebrating Christmas Eve. In and aound his village,big hot dinner is Raclette which his family comes together to celebrate.

“The word “raclette” comes from the French word “to scrape.” Raclette makes up a simple meal that was enjoyed by shepherds in the fields. They would boil up some potatoes, and heat a stone and melt a bit of the raclette cheese on the hot stone. Once melted, the cheese was scraped off and served on top of the potatoes. Raclette has a long history and has been mentioned in medieval writings.”
The German tradition is to have the heated grill in the middle of the dining table and everyone takes their own plate or pan to cook a selection of meats, veges and cheese! Yum! The gift giving is on Christmas Eve. And get this folks! Santa visits the young children in person! Knocks on the door Christmas Eve and hands out gifts to all the young children. I look at him amazed! “How the fuck does Santa take time out of his busy schedule to personally visit the children in your village?” And the Villages around, he says,” like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

So far,So Great. Germany celebrates on Christmas Eve and we have a young gentleman from Germany, his first Christmas away from home and now I’m¬†eager to make sure there’s not too much of a disconnect to knock him into homesickness. “We’ll have our hot dinner Christmas Eve to celebrate for Philip I tell the Master of the Domain. Hubby. He looks resigned. “That just means we’ll have all the cooking and preparation for big meals two days in a row”, he says. “I know right!” I bounce.

The Kiwi tradition for a meal is a combo of a hot meal, seafood and grilling (barbecuing) And anything in between. Cooked and devoured with plates on knees or dressed up sitting around a dining table. Which makes Absolutely No Sense given New Zealand celebrates Christmas in Summer. But dress up we must given our Commonwealth ties:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_New_Zealand

So. We subsequent to much forelock tugging, we plan our hot meal for Christmas Eve:

Menu

Roast Pork with Sage and Fennel

Roast Chicken with Tarragon Mustard and Chive Butter Glaze.

Veges:

Squash Casserole. (This is a testimony to the American element of our Christmas. (Squash, Shopping and Starbucks)

Scalloped Potatoes.

Roast Fennel Bulb and Red Onion

Steamed Fresh Vegetables.

Other Sides

Italian Seasoned Stuffing.

Recipes¬†and photos to follow. I will say the roast meat was amazing. I’d cooked roast lamb three nights ahead and left the fat and juices in the pan. When it came to cook the pork I fired up the oven to temp (415′ for 25 minutes then back down to 350′ for three hours. I threw the pork in on the dirty pan. The pork was flavored with a cumin/black pepper rub and sprinkled with Mustard seed and Coriander seed.
The chicken went in 1 hour and fifty minutes out. A mustard chive and tarragon mix to baste while cooking. The fat from the lamb cooked the pork to a state of tenderness and with a flavorsome crust that you can’t get with a pan scrubbed clean.

Only one more day until the next shopping day:

Best Ever Sale ft Macy's

Best Ever Sale ft Macy’s

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This is our Fifth Christmas in the U.S.A. So I shouldn’t be surprised by the level of consumerism as the Big Day approaches. But I am. Every Fucking time. What in New Zealand I knew as a scramble for gifts becomes ritualistic in the U.S.A. Willy Wonker styles. We’re all searching for the last chocolate bar with the magic ticket. Every child is Charlie fucking Bucket. It’s just plastic crap we’re picking over but somehow it’s essential we find the ticket to what we hope will become a disturbing but magical journey in the New Year that finishes off every other child but ours. We have a winner folks and it’s our progeny. Our gene pool!

It’s Naughty and Nice taken to extremes. And none of us are immune to this compulsive consumerism. Don’t believe me? Find yourself elbowing the fuck out of your way through a wall of your¬†competitors¬†fellow Moms, a week out in the toy aisles in Target for the last life size Elsa doll¬†(aisle 22) moving through the human sea like¬†you’re a finalist in Dancing With The Stars, despite your usual reticent shopping style and you’ll soon get the picture.

It could be that or that we’ve had Johnny Depp in our living room every day for a week. Reruns of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tim Burton movies.

Christmas in The U.S. Its¬†the fervor with which the PTA Moms put the annual Christmas lunch together. And don’t get me wrong ours was delicious. Some of the Mom chefs at our school would put Julia Child to shame. I was a little late to ours but have been going long enough to know the patter and ease in : “Hi!! HOW ARE you?” Like she really fucking cares. A smile and move on. Not because we’re bad people folks, but we have to get around the room!
I’m as guilty of the next as this. One phrase I have learned not to use when making my departure during my conversational duties is: “See you later!”. It’s just not commonly used in the States. What’s a friendly common phrase in New Zealand makes you sound like a stalker in the¬†U.S. I try to get a selfie with Celebrity Mom but she ducks. Oh well. There’s always next year.
Then we hunker down for a real heads up with the other Bad Moms! Which is when we realise we’re all bad Mom’s just trying to keep it together for the sake of the ungrateful brats kids. ¬†Home and Hearth. That’s the real glue of the Universe, not the fervent attention paid to divining the meaning of Donald Trump’s latest Tweet.

The funniest parts of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

I hate Chocolate

Christmas in The U.S.A

On the face of it, Christmas here is the same as anywhere else. The guys (sorry Main Breadwinners) work right up until the last day. If the world had any sense it would knock off work (that may be a Kiwi aphorism) a million years ahead of the big day so families could collectively curl up like the Buckets, not to conserve heat but to commiserate about the arduous task ahead of cleaning, decorating, and fighting over who hosts Christmas Dinner. Or better yet, just stopping for a few precious days to enjoy each others company. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Families celebrating the newborn among them. Poignantly remembering those who have passed. Putting a bodyguard on Aunt Mabel so she doesn’t get garrulous on ill begotten whisky from grandpa’s fifty year old stash too early in the day.

There’s always one.

And so Santa would have voted to stay in the EU:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/christmas/2016/12/21/british-public-thinks-father-christmas-would-have-voted-remain/

” This could be because he reaps the benefits of unlimited border control-free travel, or because of the fact he lives in the North Pole and therefore is pretty much a ‘citizen of nowhere’.

There are also claims he lives in Lapland, which is in Europe, so perhaps he just wants the United Kingdom to remain part of the European project, or will miss the benefits of trading with us if a sufficient deal is not met.”

The Human Tsunami: Ft Joshing with Philip.

Did I mention how intense the shopping experience is just prior to Christmas. As in the entire four fucking Months in the lead up to Christmas. It starts straight after Labour Day. Constant and sophisticated marketing techniques. Macy’s is the worst culprit. Don’t whatever you do go through the perfume department from September onwards. They’ll spritz you without permission!! “Do you like the latest scent from Chanel?” Spritz! “Fuck off and get out of my olfactory systems you nose rapist!” You think. You try to prevaricate. “I use…..” looking around and seeing no particular sign of the fragrance house in question.
Philip my Au Pair and companion since August does a great impression of these persistent sales elves. “I use Paco Rabanne”, he says to try and get away. They look like they have a winner and gesture like they’re unveiling a brand new car as a prize, “Step this way sir, we have it over here….”.
And what would be flat out rude in other cultures is self defence in America. “I’m good. Byee.,” you disengage turn and leave. They’re already talking to another customer leaving you slightly discomforted.

If you get a sweet spot during the Christmas shopping period, it’s easy to fool yourself that it must be a quiet day. Maybe the madness is over, you muse to yourself. But what an eerie, eerie phenomenon. You can walk into an empty, Safeway, Toys’R’Us or Macy’s and half an hour later a human tsunami pours in through the doors and you’re weaving and ducking and diving with your trolley. Sorry. Shopping Cart.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Happy shopping Housewives!

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Men's fragrance

Paco Rabanne Men’s fragrance.

 

 

 

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Shit’s real, Housewives. My youngest children, twins Buzz and Kaelyn are at school. They entered Kindergarten, this week, Monday 15th August. And now I have to embark on a new career path. For my own sanity you know? I need a new mission statement for my life. We’re all through the preschool years. It’s been crazy! You spend so long, willing them to grow up so you have ‘free time’. Then if you’re like me, the first time they’re all out of the house, perversely, you’re left bereft as fuck.

I had a taste of this six months ago when everyone was at school or preschool. I felt strangely lonely. So one thing led to another and as if we didn’t have enough Crazy in the mix, I introduced some more:

I adopted a dog. A happy go lucky six month old puppy called Stilts.

Photo to be posted.

Then of course I had all this extra work with crate training our new household addition. More cleaning and washing. More love in the mix but more tiredness. So I did the obvious.

I yelled at my husband about how I was overworked and I was NOT going through another year of abject slavery. Then  I adopted an Au Pair.

Philip from Osterstedt Germany.

Photo to be posted.

Philip joined us end of July for a year to help kiddy wrangle and be my driver. So we’re getting to know each other and having some laughs about the differences in cultures, German, Kiwi, American.

First, heck out that link¬†to the town Philip grew up in!¬†That is one barren Wikipedia entry! So one night, Philip was telling us how he lived in a village. I’m like “so did I man!”. I grew up in small town New Zealand! And he’s like. “No I’m serious! So I google Osterstedt. It has a coat of arms and a population of 700! And nothing else! No photos, no content. He’s absolutely bang on! It’s a village. No shops, nothing! End of the Line!

 

72px-Osterstedt_Wappen

To compare, I google the village I grew up in: Eltham, Taranaki, New Zealand. Population 2010. But there are photos. And eleven famous people. And it has the dubious distiction of having the first tarsealed roads in the country.

I think Philip is a little jealous at this point. So, we’re like, “no way man. Look at the positive side. You’re now the most famous person from Osterstedt! You left the village and are now meeting more people than you could ever have imagined!

I feel struck by the responsibility of it all. It’s like when you save someones life then you’re responsible to them forever! We saved Philip from Osterstedt POP 700!

I’m all out of adoption options. We’re a full house. Five kids. One dog an Au Pair and two harassed parents finding every opportunity to sneak away because all of a sudden we fancy each other like mad. Again.

That’s the sick thing about having kids. You have sex to have them and that’s the last time you have sex, because it right buggers up your desire to have sex. In case you’re new to this, this is the exact sequence of events:

You have sex which results in Baaby. Sometimes this is even planned. Some weeks later you have sex again to prove you still can. Then you stop having sex. Your partner starts to look like Peter Jackson at a union meeting and you can’t imagine ever finding that shit attractive.

Instead, you read Fifty Shades of Gray and buy the most innocuous sex toy ever, which only ever gets used for leaving in the candy basket at the door at Halloween while you go Trick or Treating in nice neighborhoods that don’t have sickos that leave vibrators in the candy. That’s how pissed off you are at being a parent.

What an evil trick of the universe. Once a regular, enjoyable pastime; once kids come along; sex is neglected and ignored.

As for the old adage, use it or lose it, that’s anxiety provoking. I hate shit lying around unused. It makes one unsettled and grumpy. ¬†Whether it’s part of the house or apart of your body. It’s just wrong.

Fortunately, as soon as the youngest is old enough to play with lighters the drive comes back. You find you can get intimate again with your beloved other half. Right up until the dog ruins the moment and pisses on the carpet.

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Club owner devastated by Orlando shooting at Pulse

Barbara Poma set up Pulse in tribute to her brother John, who died of complications from HIV infection  in 1991.
John told Barbara before he died, that more than anything; he wanted to set up a place for the gay community to hang out. A place where people could freely be themselves; a venue free of hatred, bigotism and intolerance.
John held the vision of setting up such a venue to the last and in his last moments, he spoke the words: “My Pulse”. Following his death, Barbara set up the nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, in dedication to her brother’s last heartbeats with business partner Ron Legler. It became a resounding success for over a decade and a half. A safe place for the LGBT community and Dreamers and Seekers¬†from communities around the US and indeed, worldwide.

Did you ever read Enid Blyton books? As a child, I devoured Enid Blyton. I believed in brownies, fairies, speaking cats and the ability to fly in your dreams. The experience of flying to strange lands with friends and companions and gain experiences in lands that could only be accessed by climbing a tall tree in a magical forest or trusting your faith to bewitched furniture.

I found similar trusting souls in venues such as Pulse over the decades. I’m speaking to a small cohort of readers here but if you were on the club scene in Wellington, New Zealand- circa 1993, you were privy to a similar hip scene that could be found in the edgiest communities in Europe or the States. Venues such as Barney’s or¬†Ecstasy Plus.
http://www.audioculture.co.nz/scenes/wellington-nightclubs-in-the-1980s
You’d go clubbing and hang out with people who would suspend disbelief alongside you.¬†It was the best of times and it was the best of times.
And there was no imaginable scenario where your family, friends and acquaintances would be held hostage by a deranged gunman in a sanctuary set up by a fellow dreamer.

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I know right? Happy Mother’s Day ladies. May you realize your inner beauty and reap the rewards of your self expression despite the continual demands of self sacrifice.

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Me too. Just a little. Can’t seem to shut up the infernal noise in my head. I may not know all the answers yet but, fellow housewives, I do know the problem:

How to dampen the overtly negative thoughts? Or the less than helpful narrative that is the jukebox of the mind. Mine runs along the lines of: “Are we having fun yet”? Following this thought, I feel really tired as I’ve got a day of work in front of me. Mostly housework. And then I ¬†sabotage my thinking further by checking social media; “Look at everybody¬†else having fun and being successful or having a party. Wankers”! Then I feel vaguely dissatisfied and sapped of all motivation to breathe, basically.

Let alone throw myself joyfully into cleaning toilets.

You may have the combo deal. As the working parent with work and home life and more arenas for your thinking to take a dive. Bad commute. Bad manager. “Everyone else is getting ahead faster. Wankers”!

It’s all the same. Worrying about shit you can’t change. Or if you can, any change is glacial.

The thinking is capricious at best even if I’ve started ahead of the game. Even if I have woken up of a morning not feeling like shit; I’ll be sitting feeling seven shades of happy not feeling crappy, drinking my tea and all ¬†of a sudden with absolutely NO warning, and right out of the blue, a thought might pop into my head and knock me off course. ¬†For example: “What if I’ve got: [insert incredibly rare and fast moving and invariably fatal disease like cancer and Alzheimer’s rolled together.]

I’m¬†a hypochondriac. I was convinced I had leprosy by the age of eight. Moles drive me crazy.

Where does this come from?! From whence does our thinking originate? There is no foundation to worry. I have no reason to suspect anything is physically awry. This is where I have to employ a sense of perspective. And put my thoughts into proportion. I have to change the narrative to get my head back in the game.

I reflect that I have these irrational worries despite having just passed the ten year anniversary of having  cheated death. 

Ten years ago, I survived a massive stroke that looked like it was going to finish me off. The sequence of events was as follows:

Me. I’m pregnant and at home with a toddler, I get a massive headache one weekend afternoon. Basically I then vomit on myself and pass out while hubby calls 911. In New Zealand it’s 111. (We also drive on the other side of the road. Our pies are made out of meat rather than being made from sweet shit unlike in the States where they are stuffed ¬†full of pumpkin, nuts and cranberries. Squirrel fare. Meat pies are¬†secret of our sporting triumphs, particularly our success in fielding the greatest rugby team in the world:

OMG. yum.

The pies are good too.

I guess that makes  meat pies a national dessert?

It’s all good. (Builds muscle)

Anyhoo. An ambulance arrives and I’m kept breathing¬†by the paramedics while the ambo guns it with the lights and sirens. At the ER a cat scan confirms I am suffering a ¬†intracranial hemorrhage or, a stroke. The fast response team had me at a GCS3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale.

BTW, the scale goes from nine down to 3 then drops off to “Dead”.

Not a lot of hope.

The neurosurgeon tells my husband in the waiting room that he and his team were going in but the chances of me coming out were slim or f*ck all. ¬†I know right? I could have been one of those sob stories the MSM like to plaster all over the front pages and pass off as news. Being eighteen weeks pregnant, the potential for newsworthy tragedy was huge. ¬†At least these days. A decade ago when actual journalism was more commonplace than pages of sob stories taken from social media, it wouldn’t have registered. You just got hard and got on with it.

So. Everybody is delighted that I don’t die in the process of having my skull opened and blood and brain tissue removed. I wake up nine hours later not a vegetable and I’m informed I’ve had a stroke. At this point I discover I have¬†lost all movement and feeling on my left. But I have essentially come back from the brink.

So if I were sitting at a poker tale with Death. I’d be all like: “Death you suck . I win, you lose. Na nah nah nah nah!”

Death looks smug: ” You just wait!”

If I take a different perspective and catch and then change my negative thoughts, every day is a gift. None of us know what is around the corner. I’ve been given an extra decade and counting¬†but the same things that troubled me back then still affect my thinking these days. If I let them.

Acceptance and maintaining perspective are the keys to  taking control of your thinking.

Before I had a stroke I used to take for granted my sense of being in the world. I used to assume I couldn’t change my thinking. The jukebox of the mind was only escapable briefly when lost in a moment. Or booze or food.

A little bit of brain damage changes ones perspective on this matter. For the period of time immediately following the stroke,¬†I used to accept that feeling really, really uncomfortable was normal. I would hang on by my fingernails to get through every day. The narrative in my head and my sense of being wasn’t just negative, it was both detached and flat out cuckoo! Mostly it was invisible to other folks who would say “I never would have guessed (I had a stroke)!” Because I wasn’t hanging off the ceiling and I could conduct conversations and make the appropriate responses. But I actually was hanging off the ceiling. In my mind.
You can’t have a trauma to the brain and not have some dark days. My days weren’t dark insomuch as completely, utterly detached:

Enlightenment’s Evil Twin.

Every waking moment was an exercise in acceptance and maintaining perspective. I could explain to people that I couldn’t recognize familiar faces but I couldn’t explain to anyone that I couldn’t recognize emotions. For months, the only feeling I had was¬†deja vu and it was with me from dawn to dusk.

Days went on and my mind settled down. I went back to good old stinking, normal thinking. My thinking and instincts gave me my sense of being rather than the inverse where I was experiencing a state of not-being. I’d experienced a complete loss of ego perhaps.

I attribute my recovery both to the natural healing powers of the brain that are so much more extraordinary than are given credit for and there only being room in my mind for acceptance and mindful perspective.

Recently it occurred to me that if I can travel the path from detachment to reality then I could do the reverse at will. Remain detached and travel through life.

Which is when the story really gets interesting.

Actually it doesn’t. I’m a housewife. Life is predictable. Housework and when I can, I grab time for these kitchen sink musings.

 

 

 

 

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Recognizing that feeling Crap is normal right from the moment your feet hit the floor and that also a lot of other humans also suffer from the Human Condition and we’re all in the same Situation of: [“Oh Shit. It appears, I’m a thinking, feeling being. I have a limited amount of knowledge of my surroundings. In the meantime I’ll be the best higher level Chimp I can be while I wait until someone figures out what’s beyond the blue ceiling” and “Must do best to avoid pain”!] {!} is important to mastering the art of contentment. (That sentence was possibly too long)

Because then you can 1: put your level of distress into proportion. And 2: By practicing feeling good, even though you feel like excrement you can then master the zen-like air of appearing to have it all together in front of all the other Chimps in your life even if you haven’t got it together because you’re [polishing off nightly; a tub of ice-cream, bottle of wine, an entire series of Breaking Bad; insert coping mechanism of choice that bollocks up your sleep cycle.]

Whenever you find yourself a little antsy, instead of meditating, just practice ‘not feeling like shit’ which is completely possible. It is entirely possible to not feel like shit in most situations, excepting of course when you’re too sick to eat or poop. Not being able to successfully poop registers on the highest personal level of hell.

And excepting in times of War. War sucks. Collective cultural hell. Free choice, huh? Was God like ” hmmm. Do I go for Thor, as a keeper or, for Free Choice? “No”! That mad f*cker Thor is effective but possibly might not be best example in this case. These apes are too warlike. <God scratches chin> “I know, I’ll go for a combo deal. Free Choice and Jesus to set a good example. They’ll work it out eventually”. <Takes a bow>

I attained level two or greater, ¬†‘Not feeling Crap’, recently by deciding to only worry one day in three. As per that whole “live in today”, mindful movement crap spearheaded by the Squirrel Monk¬†¬†Eckhart Tolle. Don’t you just love how he’s melded mindfulness with higher level ¬†cuteness and lonesomeness; and he also reminds me of the comforting feeling I get when I look at a Squirrel. Not too mention his meme is now everywhere. Just like Squirrels are.

Anyhoo. Our family went on a trip to New Zealand through Feb and March. I know right? How did we get let out of the school district for so long? That my friends is a whole another story. Watch this space.

We flew from SFO on a Saturday. We landed on Monday morning. I’d forgotten how astonishingly beautiful New Zealand is but that is not the point. I realised pretty quickly the mental benefits of jumping forward a day. All my problems I’d left behind in yesterday or Sunday in the States. They’d not catch up with me. And I was able to not worry about any matters from home. Well apart from when I received a text one day at 5am NZ time from my housekeeper saying she’d locked herself in the mudroom with the keys in the kitchen. S’kay. She’s pretty resourceful and got herself out.

Likewise when we returned. I’d left all our baggage of the previous month in the past. Our luggage made it though. Which is unreal considering we were on and off planes eight times in thirty days. We crossed ten time zones all up. Jet lag is a bitch. But I now make it a practice of trying to defer any worries to yesterday by putting it in my mental ‘Tomorrow’ and not worrying about it.

Enlightened Housewife. Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in. Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was a pussy.

We all only have today. Theoretically we’ve got yesterday and tomorrow but that is too much shit for anyone’s plate. I mean. I mean three days of Feeling Bad? Do yourself a favor and drop two days off by not not worrying about what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow. If you can.

If you can’t: Icecream.

Big tub.

 

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I came across a good quote recently about marriage being about weathering the good times and the bad times. Which is fantastic and lets one off the hook tremendously. This sets a pretty low bar for most couples!
If this approach was employed in relationships it would eliminate most fights and expectations that the other party would morph into the best version of themselves. An unselfish Sex-god and/or Fart or nag free version of themselves. Awesome! And if marriage can be rendered this pragmatically , then life can be simplified by viewing it as an exercise in mastering: Not Feeling like Shit.

I know right? It’s emotional Hunger Games out there. Actually in there. In that intricately wired ¬†lump of jelly perched atop your shoulders. A game without obvious rules where your bad emotions are roaming around armed to the hilt ready to take out all your good emotions.

I’m entirely convinced there are more negative emotions than good emotions. I will research this at some stage. Until then I rely on my observations. And my opinion. You can have nothing else but you can still have your opinion and own it loudly and at length. ¬†This is the secret of success to the long running Seinfeld show. ¬†A bunch of freaks with nothing but their opinions. And Friends. Fantastic viewing until they ran out of controversy and started to get Stuff. And relationships. All of a sudden Boriing! and the shark is well and truly jumped.

Back to mastering “not feeling like shit”. It helps to¬†start with the premise that our feelings are wholly illogical.¬†It’s entirely possible to feel like shit in the good times and euphoric during disaster. Totally counter-intuitive.

And regular old life is the most confusing of all. Generally you start your day not feeling like crap. Unless you’ve recently experienced grief or significant loss or maybe had a recent breakthrough with your counselor, therapist, sponsor or life coach or dealer. Or you’re merely perplexed and flummoxed by the lack of rules to the point of desperation. The exclusions for starting your day feeling like “not crap”, are endless and experienced by the majority¬†of people¬†a good portion¬†of the time! We can only conclude the majority of humans past puberty are feeling godawful right from the get go most of the time!

Bad mental health is the new normal! But you’re not alone. This how cultures hold together. Misery loves company. This is also how some marriages hold together. Some of the most successful marriages, if success is measured by overcoming the ever present urge to murder one’s spouse for his insert, [annoying inability to take care of his shit; bad habit, lack of appreciation for all that you do]

By and large we’re never honest about our Shit with anyone apart from our life partner. Or partners if that’s your thing. We carry on shining our shit for Facebook and we pretends all’s well.

But it’s unnerving. Ever noticed how you feel after a good lengthy consumption of all the shit on your Newsfeed? Try it. Scroll and read when you’re not under the influence of anything. Even coffee. So you can really gauge how you feel. And so you’re less likely to react. Sometimes you come away feeling unsettled and vaguely soiled. And that my friends is because whatever goes said, there is an awful lot that is unsaid. Unless you’re a guy and you just read the dirty jokes.

And¬†if life hasn’t knocked you before your feet hit the floor of a morning; there’s¬†hormones:¬†The soupy mix of hormones that our brains are awash in has a huge say in our mood and attitude. And they don’t care how good we feel. Evolution has zero regard for our Feewings. Hormones¬†just want to influence our behavior so we reproduce. Hormones are not there to make you feel good. Their purpose is to get you physically ready to have kids. Despite whether or not you are mentally and emotionally ready to have kids.

Is anybody ever? There are just greater and lesser stages of “not-readiness.” And¬†hormones always beat reason every single time. ¬†“Wham, bam. Thank you Ma’am!” And ¬†Thank you Dean Martin for putting it in a song and polishing the turd of the concept that is “true love”.

It may feel like love at first sight, but through every step of the courtship it’s an evaluation of your potential as a genetic donor or bearer of sprogs. Using essentially your nose! We’re a logical rational super species with a¬†greater or lesser¬†comprehension of statistics and we still sniff out our life partners. WTF? Pheromones I think they’re called. Hormones on ecstasy. And once again, reason is out the window.

Naturally once the kids have arrived you have many more reasons to feel like crap on awakening. Your sleep routine is buggered and so is your sex life. Until the kids are totally off your dime and life insurance policies at the age of twenty five.

Yes hormones are a very potent and ever present influence. At least until your forties when they start to dial back and this results in men spending a lot of time on golf courses and/or proving their sporting, fishing, hunting ¬†prowess. Women start thinking less about how they want to be seen as successful and more time being who we are, not how others want us to be. It’s more important to be true to ourselves and not someone else’s bullshit rules with all due respect to their no doubt honest intentions. This does start defining ones circle of friendship especially when we start giving our opinions loudly at dinner parties. And it doesn’t affect how we feel when we wake up the next day. Because there’s a lot of reasons to wake up feeling shit but worrying about someone else’s opinion shouldn’t be one of them.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Basically you got it made if you woke up feeling level. That there folks is the holy grail of success. That’s as close to enlightenment as any overthinking member of a super-species is ever likely to come.

 

 

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I just don’t know what my husband does all day. He leaves the house just as I go to take the kids to school. The worst possible time to depart. If he lingered longer he’d be able to watch the twins (5 in Feb) while I dropped over the other three. Two, to¬†Erstwhile Elementary and our oldest son to Flintstone Valley Middle School. (Apt nomenclature but not their real titles.)

We live in¬†Aspirational California in a good school district. Here it’s more a case of drone-parenting than helicopter parenting. Parents don’t hover so much as parent via e-commerce these days. The latest toy delivered direct to your door! We have seven day a week postal¬†delivery. Amazon will in the not to far distant future¬†drone goods to our door. Parents drop¬†money at will in cherished offsprings’ paypal accounts to keep them entertained. Our two oldest have paypal accounts which we credit with their pocket money. When they get low, they chorus, “Can I have a dollar in my Paypal account Dad”?

If my husband left for work earlier he wouldn’t be able to criticize my childcare decisions of letting my 4th Grader (play Mineraft) watch the twins, while I drive my eldest son¬†to school. Rather than being useful, Hubby is generally¬†underfoot at the most rushed part of the morning routine and often gives me the side-eye while I yell ask rhetorical questions. “Why didn’t you get up when first asked”? “Why didn’t you do your homework last night”? All the while I am brandishing a hairbrush at the kids, impotently. And at this thought, I return the unfavorable glances to hubby.¬†All the stress in my life AKA, Parenthood is a direct result of the lack of said impotency. It’s true. Bald men have more kids. And back in the day, no-one told me to run from the light (reflected by a shiny bald pate).
I’m also simmering over the attention to detail over hubby’s morning routine. Unbelievable. He’s worked out, meditated, had a phone meeting, has another on the way to catch BART into san Francisco. And darned if he hasn’t made himself a coffee in a take-out cup to go. How cute.

A great coffee machine for the home barista!

A great coffee machine for the home barista!

Whereas I, I! got up two hours before hubby and I’m nowhere as prepared for the day. I am ashamed to say I slept in my clothes. ¬†PyjamaGate?

  • Uk Headmistress Kate Chisholm sparked a furor recently after issuing a letter hightlighting the increased incidence of parents escorting (nobby Brit term for dropping the brats to school) in pyjamas. And slippers. Classsy! Darned sloppy Gen X of which I am a member. It’s all Kurt Cobain‘s fault. On news of his untimely demise at the age of 27,¬†¬†a cohort of Gen X decided it was a good idea to wear underwear as outerwear in our college years. It was the era of Grunge. Both the music, and the fashion reflected a tilt to apathy and underachievement. Naturally we are reclaiming this¬†trend in our parenting years. Kate Chisholm can p*ss off. Sometimes we don’t even wear underwear. Panties aren’t flattering after the age of 27. Whereas Commando ALWAYS rocks comfort with the bonus of the invisible panty line! And with mood lighting and no pants we’re more confident than any 20 year old!
  • Possibly our generation never grew up. We embraced responsibility, had children, but still grapple with being censored for our fashion choices by Conservative authority. To hell with that!
  • We’re still alive!


Forget pyjamas. My kids may have slept in their clothes. I try not to think about this possibility. Hubby does the evening shift so if the kids bound out of the bedroom in the morning fully dressed I try not to recall what they wore yesterday. This way I never have to confront the possibility they may have slept in their clothes. ¬†I am deeply suspicious that I never have pyjamas in the laundry but I don’t dwell on this. they look great folded away in the closet. that’s all that counts.

I think to myself, I’ll do the school drop off and come back for a leisurely shower. Maybe ¬†even a bath. Who am I kidding?

I’ll run a wash cloth over and change from¬†my slept-in black leggings to recently washed black leggings. And then I’ll be busy all day combining housework, with social media (it’s important), with my passion (writing) with growing a stream of passive income. Again,¬†important. “A women must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, Virginia Woolf.

And men are unreliable. I just don’t know what my husband does all day. I know I’m busy. It’s totally obvious to my husband on his return that I’ve been busy all day. For one, the house is a mess and I haven’t had enough time to shower, Even!¬†But Hubby? He leaves nonchalantly in the mid-morning and returns after I’ve done a full day of work, and fed the kids innumerable times before declaring the kitchen closed. My husband¬†returns home without so much of a brace of rabbits and nary¬†a plucked pheasant in sight. There’s no shit on his Italian shoes. No singe marks on his suit or any evidence he’s fought with the elements to support his family of seven.

What does he do all day!

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I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. What a waste of time! Where did the concept of New Year’s resolutions spring from? This archaic tradition is totally counterproductive given our perverse and fallen human nature. And a waste of effort. We all know that no matter how infrequently we attend church that Jesus loves us and He loves us regardless of what weight we tip the scales at.

He loves us even if we have a tendency to brood or Rage Quit at large family gatherings.

Furthermore, Jesus can’t see your bad habits for the light that shines from you, even on the occasions¬†you’re side eying bad mannered soccer Moms at the annual Nordstrom sales; whilst simultaneously¬†seeking to get the advantage and surreptitiously stepping on the feet of their ill mannered brats with the stiletto heel of your Jimmy Choos from last year’s sales.

The light that still shines forth whilst Soccer Nan cops a blow to the elbow from your Valentino handbag. Another Ghost from Christmas Past. The handbag that is, not Nan who’s corporeality you have no reason to doubt as she just got physical by kicking your ankles with her Cole Haan riding boots,whilst the eight year old daughter pulls a bait and switch by pretending to choke or vomit, (who cares), before¬†circling around everyone’s concern to snatch the last coveted, discounted Burberry diaper bag. And then the insufferable¬†bairn has the nerve to wink at you. The apple doesn’t fall far from that poorly botoxed tree given the smug look of triumph on Soccer Mom’s face. ¬†Only 365 days to the next post Christmas Consumption fest, folks.

Comfortingly, we all know that even if Jesus isn’t partial; God loves fools and drunks. It’s hard to figure out whether the Father or the Son got the hospital pass. ¬†Jesus gets haters; God the inebriates and politicians.

I think that about covers all bases.

Useless New Year’s Resolutions:

Give up: <Insert here>There is nothing like swearing off something to make you want it right that minute. Or if you get rid of said substance it will manifest itself elsewhere. You have to have a game plan to live well or the fear of the proverbial in you and/or the fear of sitting through another well meaning but tasteless intervention. Cold turkey works the best but be aware you may be in for addiction Whack-a-mole. Or balance your bad habits to cancel them out. Like opposite phase sine waves. Trust me.

Behave better: be a better <Mom, daughter, friend, coworker>, or stop < said bad behaviour> ie biting nails or sneaking an illicit cig, drink, cease compulsive peanut butter cup consumption or other late night self-sabotaging binge. Again. Requires more will power than you or I will ever have to be a better human.

Cease Lusting¬†<after other people; coveting their possessions or whatevs> entirely. Besides which it’s flattering for the recipient getting the glad eye after a certain age. Women from the age of 35 before which it’s merely unnerving and Men from the age of 80 before which they’re confident it’s given they’re young and hot stuff and assume everyones’s perving at them. Sean Connery has a lot to answer for, for this phenomenon.

Flirt but don’t get physical. As a rule it is creepy copping a feel in many circumstances. Not all. It depends on the coppee’s temperament and how long you have known them. Going in for a chest press after the obligatory ¬†handshake cheek kiss is acceptable. Whether it’s the boobs or pecs you admire go for it.

Human touch generates the feel good hormone oxytocin. This is hormone that plays a strong role in social bonding and is responsible for women breastfeeding their babies until they go to school.

And how badly are we behaving really?

If you can get out of bed in the mornings, are kind to fellow humans and hold down a job and or raise a family and follow the path your previous self chose, you’re probably doing okay. Instead of making self defeating resolutions I choose to look at what has been revealed to me about my life over the previous calendar year. New Year’s Revelations.

Enlightened Housewife.  Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.  Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was a pussy.

 

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