Things That Shouldn’t Happen. Ever.

I was sitting at my desk, feeling all annoyed and angsty after a stressful day, and then I thought: ‘Ha! Surely it’s been about a week since I bitched on my blog – I can ease my IWantToKillAllTheThings attitude by writing down words that form sentences which may or may not make sense! Yay!’

And then I saw that it has only been four days since I came up with ‘The weekly bitch sessions’ (which I am having second thoughts about to be honest).

But essentially, fuck it all, I am going to bitch write anyway.

Things That Shouldn’t Happen. Ever. (It felt like all those words needed to start with capitals. They scream I AM IMPORTANT AND YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO ME OR LOSE YOUR LIFE. Or something)

1. Hard-boiled egg shells that don’t come off easily.
Want to feel like a butter-fingered idiot? Just get stuck with a shitty hard-boiled egg. I don’t know whether it’s the water or the time I leave them to boil or the egg-laying chicken but I want to blame SOMETHING.

2. Facebook acting like it isn’t a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of super clever programmer people.
I had to do something important on Facebook today. No, seriously. For work (seriously). And fucking Facebook wouldn’t let me tag any of the people I needed to tag. This shouldn’t happen. And now as I am reading this I realise how ridiculous I am being, but still. Grrrrr.

3. Cling-wrap sticking together.
You know when you’re wrapping up a sandwich, or putting some leftovers in the fridge and you reach for some cling-wrap? You tear off a bit and carefully tip-toe to where you need to go, praying to god there won’t suddenly be a gust of wind that makes your cling-wrap stick together. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a gust of wind; it could be the air from a snail’s fart and the cling wrap sticks together as if you’ve just applied magnetic glue to it. Surely with all the technological advances we have made we should be able to make something better?

4. Pickled onions in jars that aren’t big enough.
This could be extended to gherkins too. You know when there’s only a few left and you reach into the jar with your fingers but you can’t get to them so you end up trying to put your whole bloody hand in the jar but it’s not wide enough and you simultaneously feel disgusted and intrigued by the sensation of pickled water (I know that’s not what it’s called) all over your hand but all you want is the fucking pickled onion? Yeah, you could get a fork and fish it out, but who does that?

5. Children asking ‘why?’ more than three times in a row.
I think I’m quite good at answering my son’s questions. When I run out of facts I start making things up which can be rather fun (it’s harmless I promise), but for the love of all that is good and beautiful, three times in a row is enough. I know asking questions is how we learn *insert-article-from-well-meaning-parent-and-or-sciencey-website-here* but after four years of WHY? Why? Why?! But why? Whhhhyyyyy? I’ve had quite enough, thank you.

6. R19.99. Or R27.99. Or RWhatever.99.
They’re just going to round the bloody amount down when you get to the till anyway, so why bother? So that it sounds cheaper? Nay. We’re long past thinking something-something.99 is cheaper than the 1c more version. Consumers can be quite clever sometimes. When was the last time you said to yourself ‘Hey! That’s a good deal – it’s R999.99!’? No. You say ‘That’s a thousand bucks’ (or something similar).

7. Inserting a USB stick the wrong way round.
The amount of times I have checked the USB to make sure I am putting it in the right way, only for it not to be the right way. And on those extra special days where you check it again but STILL put it in the wrong way. Eventually you’re at the point of breaking your USB stick/computer/someone’s face before you manage to get it right. That stupid little USB port is just mocking me.

On a different note, I am going to add ‘I swear like a trooper’ to my About page. Feels like it would be good to warn people.

The list to rule all lists

One of the reasons for wanting to write a blog is to try and force myself to feel more accountable with regards to some of the things I include here. So, if there’s something I really want to achieve, the idea is to write about it in the hopes of making it more ‘real’.

So there’s a list. A list of things my little three-person family have mentioned we would like to do. There’s no absolute deadline for any of the things included here, and they range from the ‘simple’ to the ‘what the fuck are you thinking’ but if we manage to achieve any of them, I will update the list while doing a little happy dance. And of course if any other ideas/dreams come up they will be added here as well.

This has been sitting as a draft for bloody days actually, but then I figured if I only published it once it included all the things we had thought of , it would forever remain a draft. I don’t want my life to be a draft. Ha. But you know how it is – you discuss something with someone which makes you think of something you’d like to do in future. You’re all like ‘I mustn’t forget this! It will go on the list!’ and then you promptly forget about it. Because life, I guess.

1. Buy a new curtain for the bedroom which matches the other two.
We have two gorgeous red curtains, and then another excuse-for-a-red curtain on the other window thingy. It’s taffeta (I think?) and it doesn’t even deserve to be called a bloody curtain.

2. Keep a supply of puff pastry in the freezer.
It’s a genius idea actually. When I make supper with things like mince or chicken, I want to bulk it up with extra veg/lentils/whatever else, so that there’s leftovers, and then the next night I can quickly make a chicken/mince pie. I’ll be a kitchen goddess.

3. Have a wall of herbs in little buckets.
It’s much sexier than it sounds. Something like this. (Oh. My. God. I just got lost for 30 minutes, looking at the cool things people are doing around this idea on Pinterest).

4. Create more counter space in the kitchen.
Now this is tougher than it sounds, as I am sure anyone who has wanted to achieve the same goal without spending your entire salary or moving house will agree. I would post a picture, but it’s just too terrible.

5. Get bitten by a radioactive spider in the hopes of gaining superpowers.
My son’s request. Not quite sure how to make this happen, but if you’ve any ideas I would be eternally grateful. Unless he turns into a rock monster or something. Then I’ll sue you.

6. I make the best cheese sauce in the world.
At least one person has verified this so of course it’s true. It would be great to keep a fresh supply of white sauce in the fridge, which can then be quickly turned into cheese sauce, mushroom sauce…whatever we want.

7. Repaint the kitchen cupboard and the hall cupboard.
Both of these cupboards are painted with blackboard paint. If you have a child, or even if you don’t, it’s a great thing to have. They’re both looking a little worse for wear though. The hall cupboard is for Kayden to draw to his heart’s content, and the kitchen cupboard is for ‘adult doodles’ and any groceries we need to buy, or any reminders. Admittedly Kayden muscles his way onto this one as well.

8. A desk and a decent office chair.
I work from home at the moment and I am currently using our dining table as a desk. As a chair, I alternate between a bar stool and an ottoman thingy.

9. Purchase something to practice irish dancing on.
As I mentioned on my ‘About’ page, I do irish dancing. I have been dancing on and off since I was 6. Anyway, there are these shoes we use, which will kill any floor if given half the chance, and so I need something that I can easily place on the floor to practice on. I am not sure what this something is yet, but it needs to be thin and flexible and strong at the same time. Something I can roll up and put away when it’s not in use, you know?

10. Watch all the movies of recently dead movie stars.
First we want to start with Heath Ledger. Although technically not recently dead, his passing still troubles me. That man was gorgeous. We have googled a list of all his movies, and we want to watch them in chronological order. We’d like to do the same with Philip Seymour Hoffman. Popcorn will be involved.

11. Go to Cornwall and gorge ourselves on castles and scones with clotted cream.
Right?! Is this not the most epic thing ever? I have been to Cornwall before, but that was when I was a teenager and didn’t appreciate the finer things in life. Like the perfect scone.

12. Take up archery.
Of course this was not partly inspired by watching Brave. Of cooourse not.
There’s a place that offers archery lessons/practice around the corner from where we live, and so when I have more money I really want to try it out. And when I do, I’ll leave my hair down and put on a Scottish-Irish accent and feel all cool and stuff.

13. Offer to manage small-medium companies’ social media accounts.
A big part of my current job is to manage the company’s social media profiles. Although on a personal level I have a few issues with Facebook, I thoroughly enjoy this aspect of my work; building relationships, encouraging interactions, growing brand presence etc. I also enjoy the research involved and keeping on top of new changes, although admittedly lately I haven’t been able to stay as on top of things as I would like. Anyway, I would initially like to do this as an after-hours project, and then see where it takes me. I need to plan it properly though, and at the moment this just can’t be a top priority. And just to note, I certainly wouldn’t swear as much on people’s social media accounts. I wouldn’t swear at all even, I promise.

Screw you, depression.

I’m really anxious about sharing this, and I don’t want anyone who reads this to think I am seeking attention or pity, which could be a natural conclusion to make seeing as I am sharing it on such a public space, but it really helps me. So I guess the worst I could say is that by sharing this, I am being a little selfish. I’m okay with that.

My depression is a soul-eating, self-pitying, hope-smashing bitch. When it decides to make an appearance, nothing is okay. The voice in my head tells me I don’t deserve to be happy, or to be loved. It turns every kind word anyone says to me into a lie and an insult. It reduces me to a hollow sack of skin and bones. Not even eardrum-bursting music can drown out that voice because it’s inside my skull, immediately destroying all the positive thoughts and feelings that I feebly attempt to foster.

Over the past month, it’s been particularly nasty. I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days and I stopped giving a shit about my work, my home and even my son. I didn’t care if I lost my job, or my house, or the love of my life. Well no, that’s wrong, I did care, but I felt so fucking hopeless and powerless, and what’s the point of caring about these things as I don’t deserve them anyway… and if I don’t lose them now, I’ll lose them at some point won’t I?

It’s a terrible state to be in; I’m outside of my own body, looking at myself, knowing the things I am saying and doing to the people I love are so, so wrong, and yet I can’t stop myself. I’m pushing everyone away, screaming at them to leave when in actual fact all I want is for them to stay and somehow make everything better. But nothing they say is good enough. It’s as if I am determined to make them feel just as shitty as I feel, so that we can all stay in bed and discuss the best ways to commit suicide. I float between crying uncontrollably and feeling completely numb.

I know that there are things I could do which may help me feel a little better. I could take a shower, or get out of the house, or call someone removed from the situation. But I don’t do these things, and not doing them frustrates me even more, and gives the voice even more nutrition: of course you won’t do these things Laura, you’re lazy and awful and you like feeling this way because then at least you have some sort of pathetic excuse for why you are who you are. Does it sound familiar?

I think that no one else could possibly understand what I am going through, which is of course bullshit. But everything is bullshit when you have been possessed by depression. I feel so desperate, and so alone, even though there are people right in front of me who love me and tell me what a wonderful person I am. What do they know? It’s all an act anyway; no one knows who I really am. If they did, they would run away. Fast.

And I am even intelligent enough to know that I won’t always feel this way. That maybe tomorrow, or the next day or the next day, something will happen to exorcise me of this hateful entity. But then what? I will feel okay for a while, I’ll manage to convince myself that everything is good, that I am not too bad, that I just need to take things one step at a time. I’ll even remember how good it feels to laugh again, to tell my son I love him, to have a meaningful conversation with my boyfriend. But then something will happen; something small and seemingly insignificant to any observers, and the demon is back again. At first it might be a tiny one, gently nibbling away at all the good stuff, and I will try to ignore it. But then I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and everything cracks, no, shatters, into a million irreparable pieces and my bed and its forgiving warmth will call to me again.

I’m terrified. Less than two weeks ago, when I had just managed to lift myself out of the fog, I was getting dressed to meet my boyfriend’s parents and I looked at myself in the mirror and hated what I saw. That moment. That moment could have sent me spiralling back into what I had just come out of, and it almost did, but then I looked away from the mirror, took a breath, changed into something else and felt better again. The evening was actually lovely, despite the fact that I was initially also terribly nervous.

Yesterday I was meant to go to the office to meet with my manager. We agreed I would go into the office for a few hours every Thursday. I woke up that  morning and I was paralysed. The thought of driving to the office and seeing my colleagues filled me with panic, so I ended up not going. I spent half of the day in bed and the all too familiar thoughts like ‘you’re a failure’ threatened to bring me down for far longer than just a few hours. It was also my 6 month anniversary, and so I felt fucking guilty for being such a cow. But then my boyfriend did or said something; I’m not even sure what, and I felt better. Better enough to get up and do some work.

I know I need help, and I have been generously offered the means to get the help I need. I’m still in a bit of a daze about it to be honest (the snarky little voice says ‘I can’t believe you have managed to con these people! Let’s see how badly you’ll fuck it up this time!’). When not looking at myself through the filter of depression, I can acknowledge (quietly) that I am a good person. There are things that I am good at. There are people who care about me deeply and want to see me succeed. I don’t know if I will ever truly believe that I deserve to be happy, or to be loved, and that’s a problem, but it’s something I am working on.

It takes a really special person to be able to deal with someone who is depressed. I am lucky enough to have someone like that in my life, and maybe, just maybe that means I am not so bad. I don’t know what I would have done without him, and I don’t know how I will ever make it up to him (he will tell me I don’t have to do anything), but I am immeasurably grateful to him. I said some awful things to him, and yet he stayed. He refused to leave even when I demanded that he go.

Today I am happy. It’s a good day. Tomorrow I may not be, but that’s okay. There’s a quote I love; I love it so much I had it tattooed on my foot:

‘Everything will be alright in the end; if it’s not alright, it’s not the end’.

Do you hear that, Depression? You and your friends Guilt, Self-Pity and Hopelessness can go to hell.

Dinosaurs and koi fish.

Pterodactyl

On the way home from school, Kayden asked that we talk about dinosaurs…

This is common. More common than I would like to be. I’m basically making up names of dinosaurs at this point, but they sound plausible (and I actually think a few of them could be correct) and it makes Kayden happy. I apologise in advance to his school teachers and anyone else who may try to educate him on dinosaurs in future.

Anyway, Kayden asked a new question today:
Mommy, how do dinosaurs get to be skeletons?

I launched into a notsogreat explanation of decomposition and something along the lines of ‘they were eaten by other….things’. The words ‘flesh’ and ‘muscles’ were involved and I then waited in silence to see if my explanation was satisfactory…which it was. Thank god.

This conversation about decomposition and stuff got me thinking about this koi fish I once knew.

At my school, there was a fish pond-fountain combo in the middle of the high school quad. Up until some idiot put dish washing liquid in the pond bit, it used to be home to koi fish (why is it telling me that ‘koi’ is not spelt correctly? It’s a thing, right?). One day, my friend Candice and I happened to be looking at this pond and we spotted a dead fish. Some force that was not my own inspired me to pick this fish up, wrap it in toilet paper, put it in my blazer pocket (yuck) and take it home so we could give it a proper burial.

At my house, I put some water in the kitchen sink and gently placed the poor thing into it to give it a wash. It needed to be clean before it was put in the ground and then devoured by maggots and other squirmy things, you see.

At this point it is probably pertinent to mention that we had a dog.

I left the kitchen to go and call my friend so that we could discuss the intricacies of the funeral arrangements. This took some time. I then returned to the kitchen to check on my dead koi fish friend, only to find it had disappeared from the bloody sink.

For a few seconds, I truly thought that it had never actually been dead and had somehow managed to jump its way out of the sink and hop into the back garden. Yes, even while I was suffocating it in cheap 1 ply toilet paper in the school bathrooms, the poor fucker was still breathing and this had all been a cleverly thought out plan for him to relocate to another fish pond. He was having an affair with a red herring or something.

And then I saw its head on the floor.

Turns out, it wasn’t a daring escape plan; our dog had spotted the fish in the sink and decided to make a meal out of it.

I don’t know why that memory has stayed with me, but it was kind of fun to think of it this afternoon.

What is it about getting likes on Facebook?

I don’t think I am a vain person. In fact, I am quite the opposite (and my ‘internet persona’ is very different to my ‘real-life’ persona, but more on that later). If someone took a hundred pictures of me, I would like maybe 0.56 of them? Anyway, you get the idea.

And I certainly don’t crave attention. A little attention in the right moment is fabulous obviously, but the spotlight is not something I strive for, you know?

But what is it about getting likes on Facebook?

About an hour ago I added a new photo to Facebook. I don’t do this often. And then I started reading one of my favourite blogs. But every 5 minutes or so I would go back to my Facebook profile to see whether anyone had liked my photo.

And with each like, I slowly began to feel more and more….validated. As if receiving the completely and utterly ridiculous can’t do fuck all for you stupid little thumbs up image gave my tiny existence more meaning. That I meant something to some people. That maybe they thought I looked pretty.

What would have happened had I not received any likes? Would I have deemed the photo and the happy moment it was taken in as worthless? Would I have deleted the photo and hoped that no one even saw it (no one’s probably bloody online now anyway, right?)? Probably not, but I would have felt a little less valuable. A little less confident. A little more insecure.

All this is total bullshit. Right? I know I could probably go on and on about this, as these stupid ‘validations’ are by no means limited to Facebook and there are just layers and layers of stuff to get through, and I know I am about to say the obvious, but this is completely and utterly ridiculous. Why am I obliterating my worth? In what dimension should how many Facebook likes have anything to do with who I am and how much I mean to those who know me?

I also know I am certainly not the only person to feel this way, and I am probably not the first person to write about it, but I just had to get that out of my system.

You’re fucking beautiful.

I laugh at my own jokes, even the bad ones.

A while ago I had a thought: if Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra teamed up, they could call themselves….wait for it…Oprah Chopra! At the time I thought this was ridiculously funny, and if I am to be honest, while writing this I am having a little giggle.

BUT THEN…what happened next was epic (for me).

Thinking that this ‘team-up’ would never happen, I forgot about my little joke. Low and behold though, a colleague sent this to me the other day:

21DMC_MBO_out.indd

It’s actually a thing!

Ok, so they didn’t call themselves Oprah Chopra (what’s wrong with you people?!) but when I received this I couldn’t stop laughing. You know that laugh that happens at the best of times, where you are no longer making any noise but you’re desperately clutching for breath and all other people can see is your shoulders moving up and down? And then occasionally you give a little gasp which can sound like you’re actually dying? That.

I’m sure this has been around for a long time, and being the internet savvy person I claim to be I should have googled it…but yeah.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against either Deepak Chopra or Oprah Winfrey. Can’t say I have read anything from Deepak, but I am familiar with Oprah. I loved it when she gave away ridiculously exorbitant things like cars to everyone in the studio. And of course she seems like a good person and stuff.