Friday, January 17, 2014

Quiet People Have the Loudest Minds - Stephen Hawking


We dive into the water and breast stroke as quickly as we can to the bottom.  11 feet down.
My ears pop as I reach the bottom and I sit.
The "who can hold their breath the longest" competition has begun.
I close my eyes.
The weight of the water envelopes me. My lungs are burning but it feels good. I can only just make out the muffled sounds above the surface. I push them away.
My eyes are still closed as I focus on the heaviness of the silence that presses in on me.
I wish I could stay down here forever. Weightless. Calm. I smile to myself.
I am happiest here.
The bottom of the Oakey Swimming Pool.
I am twelve.

Ever since I can remember I have been attracted to quietness.
Mummsy tells me that as a small child I was more content to be in my room peacefully reading than running around wildly in our huge back yard.  As soon as I was able, I would climb the tree out the front of our house and sit in the highest branches with my eyes closed. Just feeling the breeze in my white hair & pulling in the hush of the back streets of 1970s Oakey.

When I was in my early teens I would love to wake up at pre-dawn when only the milkman and the paper man were up and walk across the railway lines to the Oakey footy club.  I would sit alone in the grandstand and watch the oval.  It was beautiful.  The grounds would be covered in a layer of fine mist, and be littered with hundreds of galahs & cockatoos eating all the grass seed. 
I would suddenly hear the first engine revs of a car start. Somebody starting work at the meat works, no doubt and a tinge of sadness would prickle at my skin and I would think "and so it begins again".

Today, I become quite emotionally overwhelmed by the sight of mist and fog. I'm not sure what it is but it makes me feel incredibly happy and sad all at once. I see such intense beauty in it.

In my teens I would take great delight in 'sneaking out'. At about midnight, when everybody was snoring away I would quickly duck out my bedroom window. Sometimes, I would meet my girlfriends down at The Big Hole (the creek) for a dodgy Winnie Blue stolen from Dad's stash but more often than not I would just walk around by myself in the night.  This was Oakey so there were no loony serial killers stalking the streets of this small country town. I wouldn't do anything in particular except walk around the back streets, smoking cigarettes and praying that the calm stillness of the night would stay.

When I think back now, it seems obvious to me that I had some sort of 'mental' health issues and the signs of Bipolar are clear to me now.  My daylight hours were filled with noise, chaos, anger, yelling and confusion so I guess it was only natural that I found tranquillity in the emptiness.
These days I believe there is even a term for this.  PRACTISING MINDFULNESS.

I think my most intense experience with silence came when I was about 31.
Just after I had 'finally' been officially diagnosed with Bipolar and there was a sense of relief that I now had a name for what was happening to me and I wasn't just 'bat shit crazy'.
I felt that I needed to address my past and all the horrors that it entailed.  I had tried psychologists but found them to be too cutesy and slightly condescending.
A friend of mine recommended a Silence Retreat at Coolangatta.

For 7 days I stayed in accommodation that was kind of like a school camp. I had my own room but a shared kitchen/dining and communal bathrooms.  For 7 days I had no TV, radio, music or phones. No eye contact was allowed with the 30 or so other boarders and certainly NO speaking to anyone.
Everyday we went to meditation classes. I didn't like these as they were done to CDs of crappy whale song or bird noises with some nasal voice telling me to visualise a blue orb over my face. Yuck.
I would have preferred to lie there and simply listen to the breathing of the other participants.

I was given a large folder of written assignments to do that were based on the 5 stages of loss or grief. Each day was dedicated to one. Then every afternoon I would meet with a counsellor & talk about what I had written.
My counsellor was a tied-dyed purple wearing hippy lady who was wonderful with a very dry dirty sense of humour. She was amazing.
When the end of the week came we could finally talk to one another and each person was invited to speak about why they were there. One was a writer of poetry who just needed the quiet, two were brother & sister who had just lost their parents in a car accident, one lady had terminal cancer, one girl had been viciously raped, some just wanted to get away from life for awhile.
It was one of my favourite experiences in my life and helped me accept my past.
I still remember getting into my car to leave and bursting into tears because I wanted to stay in this bush setting with nothing but the sounds of the birds forever.

Even now, I prefer not to have the television or radio on when I am home on weekends.  My favourite time of day is early morning before the world has stretched its arms above its head and yawned.
As I sit here now at 5.30 on Saturday morning with my cup of coffee, all I hear is the sounds of the crows in my front yard, the hum of the fridge & the occasionally snore from my still sleeping husband.  It is wonderful. Calming.

I close my eyes for a moment & try to pull that stillness into myself & hold onto it. Soon the world will wake up & be filled with the clanking banging revving yelling sounds of movement that is life.

For now though it is just me.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Grow Up Heather. Bulima is so '87.

My Mummsy has had the shittiest 2013. She got really sick and also had a lot of personal relationship stuff going down. She's still not very well so I thought I would head up The Range to The Woombie and give the old dame a hearty dose of  Mother/Daughter therapy.
Things.... did NOT go according to plan....

I suggested to Mummsy that we book in to get a noice pedicure together... you know.. so we can sit together & discuss banana bread recipes and what we will do when we win lotto whilst having our little tootsies massaged into smooth heavenly delight.

Mum booked us into a lovely sounding place at Clifford Gardens called "Feelownas Beauty" (I have changed the name of the place just in case someone tries to sue me for slander).
Alarm bells started blaring in my brain when I noticed that everyone who worked there seemed to be under the age of 20 and some of them appeared to be prepubescent (mind you - everyone under 20 looks prepubescent to me now).

We were taken into a room that we believe was actually the cleaner's closet and they had just quickly chucked the mops & bottles of Pine-O-Clean out the back. It was pretty grotty and TINY.
Instead of having two luscious recliner massagey chairs that instantly send you into a relaxed state of utopia, it seemed like they had quickly ducked out to the food court and stole a couple of chairs from out the front of KFC.

our 'comfy' chairs

The 12 year old blonde (who I will call Heather) instructed us to sit down on these straight backed hurry-and-call-the-chiropractor chairs and pointed to two large stainless steel Caesar salad bowls (also stolen from the food court?) that someone had chucked a faux lilly flower thing into. You know, to make the atmosphere all tranquil 'n' shit.
Mum's water was cold.
The water had some sort of lotion in it I believe may have been Palmolive dish washing liquid (you're soaking in it?)

After about 5 minutes of sitting bolt upright we were joined once again by Blonde Heather and her accomplice who I shall name Brown Heather.
There was no "Hello ladies how are you today?"
Instead, for the next 10 minutes they produced a Parmesan cheese grater each & proceed to shear the flesh off my heels. Then it was time for the glorious foot exfoliation & massage which involved Brown Heather slapping some sort of stuff onto my feet & just rubbing it in for a while.
No attempt at massage at all. I don't know about you but when I get a pedicure I want to be transported to a different dimension of bliss and ecstasy by having my feet rubbed & kneaded in such a way that you couldn't even publish the experience in 50 shades of Grey!

I think the HIGHLIGHT for Mum & I though was listening to the Heathers talk non-stop at 100 miles an hour to each other as if Mum & I were just some lumps of flesh that they were haphazardly mooshing with their little hands
This is just a small extract of the exchange:

BROWN: ERMEGHERD I just saw the totally like best movie like EVER. THE BEST. It's like the best like movie in the world!
BROWN: Whitehouse Down. OH ....MY.... GOD. It is like totally the BEST movie ever made. So like Chatum Tanningwantstotoallybethissecurityguardatthewhitehousebutohmygodheissoliketotallyhotand thenhedoesandhesaveseveryonebuttheyounggirlrunsoutwiththeflagandtotallylikesaveseveryonefromtheblastanditis rad.
BLONDE: Whoa that sounds totally awesome. Did you see that other one? You know the one where the chick dies of cancer at the end? I was like that is so bad.
BROWN: cancer is so like bad
BLONDE: yeah I know it sucks.... a lot.
BROWN: So, EMEGHERD I'm going on 5 weeks holiday around America soon and I can't wait! (looks at me) I am so totally like a mall shopping ADDICT. America has like the biggest malls anywhere. It is going to be awesome.
BLONDE: You know what? (looks at Mum) I totally HATE people touching my hair! I know right! I'll be like. Ewwww get away.
BROWN: I'm going to Disneyland. Is there malls in Disneyland?

Then after about half an hour of them just absentmindedly rubbing our feet they painted our toenails (this part was quite good). Then Brown Heather suddenly stood up and left the room .... and never came back. No good-bye. No enjoy your day. Nuthin. Like totally zero.
Blonde Heather then left us sitting with bits of tissue stuck between our toes. After about 5 minutes she stuck her head back in the door and looked confused. "ummmm you're finished".
Mum asked if she was going to remove the tissues to which Blonde Heather looked VERY confused and muttered "Ummmm o.....kayyyyyyy".

Got to the front counter to see Brown Heather now painting some old duck's nails while nattering "ERMEGHERD I cannot WAIT to see what shops are at Universal Studios".
Blonde Heather: That will be $120.
Mum & I : ..........................!!!!!

Like Gag me with a Spoon!

We paid the ridiculous fee, snorted and continued onto our next port of call...

The cinema, which is yet another tale......

to be continued..........................................................................

Friday, January 3, 2014

I stopped fighting my Inner Demons.... We're on the same Side Now.

HAPPY 2014!!!!
A new year.
A Clean Slate.
A Fresh Start.
A blank page.
A white canvas.
A skid mark free pair of undies

Yes in 2014 I will be continuing to provide the blogging world with outrageous tales, terrible puns and an over abundance of SELFIES.

THIS YEAR, HOWEVER, I will be expanding into even more trivial mundane shite which shall include:

EVEN MORE SELFIES GALORE (you know you love it)

HOW EXCITING DOES THAT SOUND?!!! Wait.... don't answer that.

I don't have many New Years resolutions this year....
As I age I'm becoming more of a REALIST (read: lazy).
I will give you an example:

I thought to myself, I thought "Vicki. I reckon in 2014 you will run. You will BE a runner.  I mean look at Coco Girl Butter ! That chick is freaking amazeballs. You can DO IT!"
So I downloaded Couch to 10K. None of this Couch to 5K shit. Pfft! 5K! Whaeves.

So on January 2 at 5.30pm I started. 1 min jog 1 1/2 min walk for 25 minutes. Friggin' searing friggin heat at bloody 5.30pm!

After 25 minutes I slightly ALTERED my resolution from I will run this year to I will NEVER run again in my whole entire life even if I am being chased by a pack of rabid knife welding ferrets.


I have decided... I am NOT a runner. Yes I know some of you might point at me & declare "Give it TIIIIIIIME Vicki. Take it SLOOOW.". Well I'm sorry but NUP. No thank you very much but you can stick running in ya blurter.

So my REALISTIC resolutions are * :

MOVE. As in walk, get up off my lumpy lilly white arse & move, just do SOMETHING.

YOGA: I will dedicate a whole blog post to this soon but will just say that I started doing it in December and I LOVE it.

SEW: Sewing is like a meditation for me. A bloody frustrating tear my hair out mediation but I love it. The other day I started sewing at 6am and didn't stop until 9pm. I was in The Sewing Zone.

WRITE:  Yep more blogging but this year I would like to do some sort of Creative Writing course through TAFE or sumpthin'. I want to get the ole grey matter fired up again.

PODCASTS: Listen to more of them. Hubby & I have become big podcast fans recently. In addition to "A Word in Your Ear" podcast I also love Sawbones which is all about the weird & gruesome history of medicine. Learning about cool stuff while being entertained! Who would have thunk it?

QUIET TIME:  Go out for nice lunches with the dames, have relaxed BBQs with my crazy friends, go to the movies with Mummsy, night time walks along the pier with hubby, sitting on the front steps with Harvey the Pookah & Binky cats looking at the sunset and sitting on the bed with my husband complaining about how shit today's TV/music/fashion/society is.

EAT GOOD SHIT:  Clean eating bitches. Steering clear of processed crap. Smoothie like a muthafucker! Kick all those nasty refined sugars, preservatives and numbers to da curb.

CHILL THE FUCK OUT:  stop worrying so much about what people think. The world will not collapse if I don't do the 30 things on my MUST DO list TODAY.

MAKE PEOPLE SMILE:  I will continue to post on Facebook pictures of Pugs wearing bee costumes, sarcastic someecards, funny memes and basically anything that might bring a smirk to your cute little smooshy faces.

CONTINUE TO BE INCREDIBLY IMMATURE:  Even though I am 41 I will continue to laugh at farts, dance in supermarket aisles, sing loudly and proudly to Hall & Oates, pull faces at children in cars next me at the lights and talk about poo in social situations.

So there you have it.

I hope yawl will stick around and continue to read about my stuff.
You really are good for my self-esteem. 
I hope you have a total kick arse year with lots of adventure, health, happiness and good bowel movements.


If you can think of anything else you would like me to write about PLEASE let me know.
I aim to please.