Posts Tagged ‘self-obsession’

It’s a perverse sort of life

October 15, 2008

I had a random itch to call up some christian music I listened to obsessively as a teenager. Thanks to amazon, I can get the likes of Mark Heard and that Brow Beat album from amazon sellers. It’s oddly comforting knowing that. Not sure why.

Further to this, I wandered around youtube. I came across Flood by Jars of Clay, and apart from a flash memory of my sister and dried flowers glued to a fake wooden door, I found it fairly depressing. I lost my faith a few months before I lost the kids’ dad, thinking to start the whole belief in a deity thing from scratch. I haven’t come up with anything in the intervening years between then and now as I sit here feeling fairly sorry for myself for not having any supernatural being to guilt trip me into being productive and to carry me when the mind-angst is at it’s worst. Listening to this music I try to recapture what it was that burned me so. Sardonic fellow that I am, I recognize it all as the natural mental path of a deeply internal person, given the influences at the time. I was honest, for all I knew how to be honest. And now I’m honest in my lack of belief. It’s not for lack of desire, perverse as that sounds. I hope if there is a god, when it comes to the end of it he quirks a smile and falls for my pathos.

I wonder if it’s the normal thing to have an emotional personality that acts as a leveller more than a filter. Apart from a couple of instances in life at the extremes, particularly when I was grief-smacked, it doesn’t seem that I desire to laugh or cry any less, regardless of my circumstances. I think what has changed as I age has been my lessening capacity to internalize things. It’s a bit unnerving, the penchant I now have for getting lumps in my throat and jaw tremors. On the other hand, I suppose I’m also a lot more likely to enjoy something outrageously. Is this my mature self? There are times I would really like that pressure cap back. Tools are good.

So it’s no wonder that my kids are completely neurotic, nor should it surprise me that I’m fairly bemused by it all. The other day Joseph was called to come join an activity of some sort, but, with a worried expression, he requested that he be allowed to finish watching the BBC News report on the financial crisis. Nyssa got out of bed last night because she was having frightful thoughts–apparently in Crieff she saw a kid get turfed out of a corner shop for trying to buy porn. My response? To the former, I let him watch the news and later tried to convince him that the world was not in fact going to run out of money because the concept of money had long since been removed from any concrete thing. To the latter, I attempted to regale Nyn with a story of my once busting a tough teenager trying to shoplift girlie mags and reducing him to tears. Today we were harvesting potatoes and Joseph was getting eaten up by midgies. I consoled him with a stern ‘deal with it and dig’ and tried to distract the kids with an enthusiastic retelling of Stone Soup.

Basically, I don’t know how to do this parenting thing. The above are examples of life just poking at the edges of our composite mental health issues. I try to be serious, but wry, to be deeply involved in my kids’ emotional lives, but give them a fair amount of independence. I just often feel that we’ve got that one deadweight of agonizing, ongoing grief and I have a hard time knowing which of these life choices I’m making are positive on balance or if they’re dragging us down further. Should I have stayed in the States? Should the kids be in school? Is it really the course of wisdom to put all of their eggs in one big flawed mother of a basket? I do my best, but really, I don’t know how well I’m wired for this. As far as being happy and healthy, my continued mantra for them, I certainly don’t lead by example. And don’t all the parenting books hold that as the deadly sin? Regardless of my bouts of pathetic handwringing, I know that there is no perfect homeland, no infallible curriculum, and certainly no parenting benchmark, no matter how much I wish for all these, perhaps even insist that I deserve them.

I suppose the goal for the kids is this–to see them into an adulthood in which they feel equipped to make their own decisions. My goal for myself is to be able to look them in the eye and say, entrusted with their care as I was, that I taught them what I thought was true and gave them the best circumstances I could, given my resources and personal resilience. Well, I have to allow myself caveats, don’t I?

If nothing else, it is interesting to see how motherhood was perhaps the unmaking of the stoic young lady I used to be. Nyssa and Joseph are everything for me. Any fears I have for myself are rooted in concerns I have for how I effect their lives and are perhaps compounded because of this. The tempering effect they have on how I live my life does have a sweeter edge to it though–I adore them and I revel in that. It’s not the 21st century thing for a mom to say, but I’m much more interested in them than I am in myself. Perhaps I’m recalling more primal urges, but I can’t help it and I don’t care to help it. If I live an average lifespan, my time with them under my wing will have been so short. There’s plenty of time to sort myself out later. And maybe I’ll actually have some energy to do it. In the meantime, when I have nights alone I can sit and youtube myself a little soundtrack and have a good think about it.

Am I British yet?

July 5, 2008

I just bought my first pair of wellies:

Thanks to TK Maxx, now I can go splosh about in the creek, sorry, the ‘burn’ at the bottom of our garden. 😀

Getting Joseph to stuff his face is problematic. I let the kids pick where to eat the other day and they, after realizing that McDonalds at that point was yob hell, chose The Pancake Place. We like this place because they do proper american-style pancakes with all sorts of toppings. My waistline dislikes this place for the same reason. So, invariably, we get into the place and Joseph picks up a menu and promptly loses his appetite. Nyssa, on the other hand, orders the biggest, most absurdly piled up plate possible, The Alaskan:

She’s certainly enjoying herself. When Joseph got his plate full of pancake, ice cream, and chocolate, his appetite made a miraculous comeback so it wasn’t all a wash.

I feel the need to point something out with regards to my eating habits; well, one habit in particular as it never fails to elicit weird looks:

I refuse to believe that I’m the only person on the planet who pulls the onions out of the onion rings then happily eats up the breading. In my opinion, the onion is there merely to provide form and flavor. Who actually wants to eat the slimy things??

Um. Oh. (Freak.)

This is me after eating too much pancake and onion ring crust. You can also see that my hair is back to its ‘normal’ red state. It’s got some brown highlights in it as well.

On to some various aspects of our new stomping ground.

There are some ridiculously cute strawberry plants growing along our path. The fruits are pathetic little things, measuring about one centimeter, and more likely to be trodden upon than eaten but they’re lovely. Besides, they might attract bunnies!

Isn’t that nice? It’s a properly old building. Well it would be in the States anyway.

This is our new neighborhood cat. He’s so lazy and lovely. If you coo at him enough he’ll get up and sort of languidly wander over for a cuddle.

The kids checking out the community notice board.

The local shop is pleasantly unskeevy. Well, compared to the other franchise possibilities (*cough*Spar*cough*).

The village clock tower.

Everything is in chaos or in boxes, but the kids have been very upbeat about it, for the most part. Granted, living so close to a public transportation and shopping hub was convenient, but it will be nice to live somewhere where there are fewer than 3 car alarms going off per day and not quite so many drunk people shouting outside the windows.


May 9, 2008

On the way home from the house last week we played in the village park and stopped at Piilars of Hercules organic farm shop.

This excellent park comes with a bonus drowning hazard :D. James likes to show off the waterproofing on his boots. Or something. This will be an interesting place to hang out, actually. Just a quick look and Jamie found some really nifty antique bits of pottery that had been worn smooth. Could make some interesting pendants or mosaics or something.

Pillars has one excellent kid feature–just a pit marked out for digging. James likes it too, as you can see.

Nyssa was tickled to find out that running up and down the fence would result in the chickens running up and down with her.

This would be my new hair color, done professionally. It doesn’t show the highlights really, they turned out fairly blondish, ack. I’m about to turn 30, so naturally I keep scanning my face for signs of eld. So far I just seem more round. Not sure what I think about that :P.

This weekend is going to be mad. James is leaving Sunday for Birmingham and he’s not getting back until the evening of the 15th. That’s right, and we’re leaving for the States the next morning. I’m not impressed. Why his company thinks it’s wise or kind to schedule him away up until the exact day he requested off is just beyond me. They need women doing the scheduling, seriously. Women with kids and animals and lives outside work. Sheesh..

More news of the frivolous

April 18, 2008

So..I was plundering my perfume sample box (yes I have one, pathetic) to see if there was some gem I had overlooked. I’ve purchased two perfumes in the last year (at super discount, James!), Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle and Angel Peony, that seemed great after much testing. However, they did that passive aggressive full-size-bottle syndrome thing and I found them too sweet and too sharp, respectively. It’s irritating, to say that least. I seem to have a remarkable inability to cater to my own tastes (I blame wife/motherhood). Anyway, I found Bvlgari Omnia in the box and remembered how much I liked it, so much as to have bought a 5ml bottle on Ebay. I tried it again, and found it still to be very lovely. A web search found me a good deal–40mls for 15 quid at Superdrug. Sold.

The notes, if the internets are to be believed, include black pepper, mandarin, masala tea, saffron, ginger, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, chocolate, lotus blossom, and sandalwood. Very unsurprising that I like it. I don’t get any flower, which is fine with me. It keeps the fragrance completely smooth and inoffensive. What surprises me is that it’s not sweet or cloying. Most gourmandy frags, even orientals, seem to get loaded down with caramelly crap. I love sweets, but the smell of, say, loukhoum makes me want to ralph.

What I like best is that James likes it *and* I can imagine it in all sorts of situations. Me plopping on a department store’s nicest couches to chat with the kids about puberty whilst waving off salespeople: check. Me nosing about a nice chocolate shop and whinging about the lack of chocs involving lemon: check. Me cooking Christmas dinner and becoming increasingly pissed at how many dishes are being ruined in the fan oven: check. Me sniffing tree branches to the bemusement of passers by: check. Me at the train station with James and having one of those silent arguments conducted solely with eyelids: indeed check.

Oh, and the bottle is seriously nifty (though I wish it were entirely glass and metal)

In other fragrance news, Nyssa appalled me today by dousing herself with Live by J.Lo and lurrrving it. Everytime we go into a drugstore she points and squees, and I have to slap my hand over my mouth to keep the ‘OMG CHAV!’ from escaping my lips. Parenting is hard. For reals.


April 17, 2008

You might know I’m a huge Lushie. As in the shop that about knocks you over with scenty bath delights from several doors away. They’ve very recently started selling ‘retro lush’ items on their website, so I snagged a few things this week. Their ‘B Never…’ site is tied in, so I got a few things there as well. I’ve wanted to try their perfumes for a while and took the excuse to order samples. Disappointingly, all of them have either a strange mustiness to them or too much citrus. The closest to someting I could wear is 1000 Kisses Deep. It’s not quite right though. I stuck a bunch of vanilla in it, and it was improved some. Still, don’t really want a perfume I have to doctor, not at that price point, so I continue to search. I wish they would make a perfume from something like their Figs and Leaves soap.

I was a silly sod in ordering the chocolate lip scrub. I’m always keen for a good lip exfoliator, but I should have saved myself money and looked at the ingredient list rather than ordering–it’s just jojoba oil, demerara caster sugar, and vanilla and chocolate extracts. Well, at least I have a cute pot to stick my own concoction in when this batch runs out :P. ’tis very tasty…

I have discovered the best and easiest bathroom air freshener, incidentally. I just stick all my Lush bubble bars on a tray and pop on the counter. Bubble bar slices are brilliant for a couple more reasons. First, they don’t tend to have the really buttery crap that the ballistics usually include that invariably require that you scrub the tub as soon as your bath is over. Also, you can be a cheap b*st*rd and use a bar for a few baths rather than just the one.

So, in addition to a bubbly bath and lip exfoliation, I dyed my hair and painted my toenails. That’s extraordinarily self-attentive for me. I tend to go for the semi-groomed yeti look in general. What I do need to do is find a way to make the rest of the household members disappear during daylight hours once in a while so I don’t have to wait until the freaking witching hours to pay attention to myself. Last night I dreamt that I had a whole suite of rooms to myself. I just didn’t know what to do with myself, it was grand.