Advent Days 23 and 24: A good sense of humour….

… and an easy laugh.

The non-blogging can be explained, I swear. I have spent the last two days paying with my sanity and composure for being in denial in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Toys R Us is NOT a place for timid souls in the week leading up to Christmas, as I discovered recently– too recently for me to have forgotten the high-pitch cacophony of, “this Daddy! Mommy! I want this I want this I want THIIIIIIS!!!”.

But I have a reasonable sense of humour, so I managed to float through the place in a kind of slightly bewildered haze with a beatific smile frozen on my face. The bewilderment came from the sheer number of choices… But! I really must express my profound dissatisfaction with all this cotton-woolly over-cautiousness. Where are all the chemistry sets of old, with real chemicals and things that can go bang if you mixed it up right? Or the little paper-wrapped pellets filled with sand and gunpowder that went SNAP! when you threw them on the ground?

Everything is so tame these days.

I also managed to elbow my way through each aisle, then keep my spirits up in the Very Long Queue To Freedom Beyond the Cashiers, because I am easily amused. I have never before seen a bunch of parents so frazzled and wild-eyed.

I should say that I’m grateful I didn’t have my own screaming brat to deal with, but I was a lot more grateful that I could witness this pre-Christmas phenomenon from the outside with an easily-tickled sense of humour.



Advent Day 5: Lessons in when to walk away.


If you don’t have the courage or strength to walk away when a situation isn’t good for you,
you will always be someone’s doormat. 

These aren’t mine. These are from other people who learnt their lessons earlier than I did. I think, this year, I’ve finally learnt these lessons, too, the hard way.

  • Never lose yourself while trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.
  • Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able to is courage. Walking away with your head held high is dignity.
  • One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to try harder or walk away.
  • When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation. It’s that simple.
  • The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment to absolutely and utterly walk away.

I’m grateful for the lessons in knowing when to walk away. They were awful and humiliating sometimes, but they were largely my own fault (and who hasn’t listened to their own gut instinct or dismissed their own needs at some point in their life?) and they were necessary. Because they were part of my learning to let things go.

Picture attribution: Modified from Elephant Journal.

A football-free zone….


At the moment, chez moi is a football-free zone, thanks to a rather well-insulated, soundproofed room. *hears vuvuzelas and cheering and wearily goes to close a window* Totally grateful.

Although…. please wake me up for the finals. That’s always fun. I like a good, heartily-cheering crowd as much as the next person, just not every d*mn night!

I don’t know who made that meme, but I like him or her already. 🙂

Fries. Late at night.

I try to eat healthily but there’s just something primally satisfying about carbs fried in carbs when one has come from a mingling event and needs comfort food (have I mentioned that I have a special dislike for networking events?). I suppose the equivalent for cool people would be after-party or after-club pigging out, or “the munchies” (in this case, very chilled people). I have no idea. I have never been cool. *cheerful grin*

Anyway, I’m grateful for a portion of good, solid, well-fried fries.

I’m grateful for sabbaticals.

We’re not immortal, not pneumatic worker ants;
But it’s the world; nobody owes you a living.
We thought we conquered the wild, but no.
We took the unfairness of survival
The coldness of natural cruelty
The calculated manipulation
The brutality of cave-dinner hunts
And all those raw-meat emotions:
Fear, helplessness, insecurity…
And we wrapped them in pants-suits
And we baptised them with unholy hours
And we sat them at cursed tables
Imbued with the power to buy and sell.
It’s all so much effort, you see;
And while we weren’t looking
While we were consuming…
The fire in our bellies died.
We lost the fire to electric stoves
And mills that run on human misery.

This is for Thursday, 15 May 2014.

I’m grateful for awareness.

Digging back a bit into the NaPoWriMo days because I don’t feel like doing today’s prompt.

Anaphora is a literary term for the practice of repeating certain words or phrases at the beginning of multiple clauses or, in the case of a poem, multiple lines. The phrase “A time to,” as used in the third Chapter of Ecclesiastes, is a good example of anaphora. But you don’t have to be the Old Testament (or a Byrds song) to use anaphora. Allen Ginsberg used it in Howl, for example… I challenge you to write a poem that uses anaphora. Find a phrase, and stick with it — learn how far it can go.

We were the first on earth to wield the flame
We were the first dancers to music
We were the first to burn the past
To build a breathtaking future.
We were the first to compress time
We were the first to seize control
We were the first to make Her sick,
To build and kill Gods.
We were the first to know ourselves
We were the first to waste our lifeblood
We were the first to poison our children
To build ephemeral luxuries.
Will we be the first on earth to yield the flame,
The first to write our story, then set our book alight?

I’m grateful for every person who has taught me something.

For you

The inspirers, the muses, the brave and the dreamers;

The believers, the optimists, the mad and the fervent;

The ones whose words burn your fears away;

The ones who always know what to say.


The ones who see the best in the others;

Who hold a lamp up in the darkness;

For the broken, the wounded, the grave;

The ones who save and are saved.


The players, the liars, the angelic devils;

For the manipulators, the deluded, the numb;

The ones who force the difficult questions;

The ones who teach us our lessons.


I am grateful to have met you all and learned and lived.