Thursday, April 28, 2011

When saying YES also means saying NO - ruminations on compromise

When I say YES to a relationship with a significant other, I am also saying NO to all that has gone before, and all that may have been ahead.

When I say YES to my children, I might also be saying NO to something I would rather have done.

When I say YES to more chocolate, I'm probably saying NO to the skinny jeans in the wardrobe.

When I say YES to a night on the town, I'm (happily!) saying NO to staying in with a movie.

When I say YES to a fabulous pair of new shoes, I'm also saying NO to reducing my credit card bill.

When I say YES to joining a committee I'm saying NO to another evening in front of the TV.

When I say YES to something I'm passionate about, I'm saying NO to the same old stuff I might have done last week.

When I say YES to the unknown I'm saying NO to boring, mundane and predictable.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

facing the future and feeling the fear

A question appeared in my Facebook newsfeed this weekend -
What do you find more scary: feeling as though you are stuck with no options OR facing a clean slate with limitless choices?
It was fascinating reading the responses but what really amazed me was that I was the only person who said that I thought facing the clean slate was the scariest.
Maybe I didn't explain my answer well enough?
To me, being stuck with no options is not scary - it might be sad, frustrating, suffocating even, but there is no fear in it.
A clean slate, now that is scary! The unknown, that yet unseen - that is where the fear lies. And that fear is not even necessarily a bad thing - as I said in my own response, it's good to scare yourself a little every day! It might be exhilarating, imagining that future filled with as possibilities but is also scary moving from what you know (even if it's not where you want to be) to the unknown.

Above all though, the scariest and also the most exciting, the most risky, and the most potential rewarding, is to STAY stuck and do nothing, or worse, to face the future and not move into it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

getting naked
Main Entry: naked
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: without covering
Synonyms: au naturel, bald, bare, bare-skinned, bared, barren, defenseless, denuded, disrobed, divested, exposed, helpless, in birthday suit, in dishabille, in the altogether, in the buff, in the raw, leafless, natural, nude, open, peeled, raw, stark-naked, stripped, threadbare, unclad, unclothed, unconcealed, uncovered, undraped, undressed, unprotected, unveiled, vulnerable

Most of us seek intimacy, a way to be completely 'us' in front of, and with, another. To be, as it were, naked, and still safe in our vulnerability.
And so as we start new relationships, especially second time around (when we are so much older and wiser and more discerning!), the process of stripping away our outer layers to uncover the true inner self begins.
We start by facing each other (or maybe even staying side by side and taking cautious glances. Fully dressed, possibly with even more on than we would normally wear. Slowly, piece by piece we remove parts of our coverings.
Occasionally it happens too fast - one, or both, get naked way to quick - it's fun, sometimes, but is often the quickest route to failure. Vulnerability takes time!
Sometimes we 'take something off' only to find it makes us too uncomfortable, or disquiets the other person, and we either put it back on(and quickly!) or find our selves in a place of having to confront a piece of ourselves, or them, that isn't quite as pretty as it looked covered up (or maybe it's more beautiful than we even imagine - thats the risk!).
Slowly slowly, we become more and more naked and authentic and real. Sometimes what we discover about ourselves leads us to get dressed again! Sometimes the view in front of us is not the one we expected or wanted.

But, with some time, and luck, and patience, and restraint, we can find ourselves together, facing each other, naked and unashamed.

Surely that is the path to true intimacy.

NB a wonderful evening spent with a gorgeous friend who has recently embarked on an exciting new relationship. the conversation turned, as oft it does, to how those of us on the 'second time round' approach new partnering, how our old baggage always seems to be there just waiting to be tripped over, how much more exacting, cynical, picky (read choosy!), realistic we are. he used the analogy of getting undressed in front of your beloved...this blog is my version of our conversation - I unashamedly steal his premise and turn it into my own soliloquy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

pork scratchings

No, not an obscure title to lure the reader to it...actually,yes, that's what I want to talk about today!
one of my greatest discoveries when living in the UK (specifically when visiting Warwickshire, home of the scratching) was this delectable morsel of crispy fat and salt...
and though I have sampled some of the offerings available in NZ, they are just NOT THE SAME!!!

So each week, I hopefully scan the pork section in the butchery, in vain, for a big sheet of pork skin that I can turn into my own delicious wee heart-attacks in a mouthful...

I have the recipe, the will, the time...and no pig...can anyone enlighten me as to where I might be able to get some crackling?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

in praise of friendship

Friendship is an amazing thing to me. We tend to save our best for our friends I think. We might nag or criticise a partner, parent, child or sibling, but almost never a friend. We try to be on time for them, pick out thoughtful gifts for them , treat their children well, remember to ask them how they are (and really mean it...).

Friends are there for you in a crisis and can see you at your worst and still tell you you're fabulous.
They are there to cheer you on at your best, too of course.

Some are lifelong, some are for a season, some are people we might never even meet. The written word, even by way of an online conversation is such a great way to get to know another person. It's an opportunity to be just that TINY bit more honest that you might be in 'real life' I think! Often one of my favourite times of the day, is late at night, when it seems the whole world is asleep, and a friend 'pops in' on skype to chat...confidences can be exchanged, advice dispense (and received!) troubles shared, souls bared.

Much the same with a cup of great coffee, a glass of wine or a particularly delicious piece of chocolate cake - so much better shared with a special friend.

I believe that friendships should be, on the whole, energising not exhausting. that is someone is treating me shabbily they are not really a friend and certainly do not deserve my friendship.

I spent last weekend with 5 of my closest friends - 6 women, 1 house at the beach, an unmentionable amount of chocolate and more laughs than i could count.
It's a special break for us, no kids or significant others, just enjoying each others company - sharing the odd secret or two - and no schedules or plans to keep.

We can, and should delight in our friends company, and them in ours. Now, where is that cake...