Out and about

At a local cafe called Tootsie!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring

Tanya

Advertisements

Dear ex-husband

Not my ex, but the ex of my partner. The father of her children.

I know it might be hard to see someone be happy when they are not with you. It might even be harder for you, as a man, to see the wife and woman you loved move on to, not only someone else, but another woman. That must be confronting.

However, that was not about you. That was about her finding her true self and being able to live in that self and express it. If you loved someone, would you not want them to be happy, even if it meant not being with you?

However, this is not about your relationship with her. Although she laments that the most you seem to realise after all those years was that she left you. It makes her feel sad and that nothing she did in those times had meaning. All that caring and doing for you.

No, it’s not about that.

What this message is about is you and your behaviour. And that your focus is a little off. I know it may be challenging to look beyond that explosive anger at someone leaving you to see the people behind your ex-wife.

Your five children together. YOUR five children.

Five individuals who need the love and support of both of their parents during these fraught teenage years.

These children are the collateral damage of  your mistaken focus. They are the ones who get shrapnel wounds when you throw bombs at your ex-wife for leaving you.

They need you to move your focus to loving and supporting them, not attacking their mother. They need you to see them, not just what it might mean if you do something that has a benefit also for their mother.

They need you to be generous, much more generous than what you are currently being. They need to know that THEY are your top priority, not getting back at their mother.

They need to know that you are there for them 100 per cent of the time, even though you only see them 50 per cent of the time. They need you to put them first.

I love your children. Very much. I worry for their mental health as they encounter your anger towards their mother in your actions and words. I worry that they will see that when you split up with someone you previously loved, the only thing you should care about is getting back at that person, not moving on and valuing the children of the relationship and seeing that the relationship was good at times. That your ex was a supportive wife and a good mother to your children.

Your children. They need you. Please come.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

Passion vs the everyday

I just read a great post about following your passion and being sucked into the daily grind. You’ll find it here.

One issue I have with the follow your passion thing is that not everyone is meant to be the hero, climb Mount Everest, save all the children or be a successful entrepreneur. We have expectations that everything we do should contribute to our passion but it’s simply not practical or realistic to do so.

However, finding meaning in what you do does divert those issues around depression and disconnection that we feel when we live in only the extrinsic world (getting paid so we can maintain a lifestyle we may or may not call luxurious). You might be a cleaner, but if you take pride in your work and know that what you do makes life better and nicer for others, then you can find meaning in that work. On the weekends, you can paint your landscapes or climb those mountains!

“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” Robert Brault

This quote is great because it tells us that we are, as humans, always tempted by the easy road, despite it not getting us to where we want to be.

Where we want to be doesn’t have to be world famous. Not all passions will lead to financial success. If our passion is for acting, then then joy of acting should be enough and we will work towards that and enjoy the passion that is satisfied by acting in local plays, schools or creating our own projects regardless of who supports them.

I think the key is to know that passion doesn’t always pay, and what pays doesn’t have to be passionless or meaningless. Sure, if you are unethical I expect you will have some qualms at night in bed. This is where you must ask yourself if your extrinsic drives are moving you away from your intrinsic desires and expressions.

Being mindful also helps – doing one thing at a time and being fully in the moment. Finding meaning in the mundane brings contentment.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

My breast reduction surgery – update

It’s been two and a half months since my surgery.

Things have settled pretty well and I’m now onto the silicone tape scar reduction stuff they gave me. The scars themselves are quite red and purplish, although around my nipples they are a bit neater – I guess there is not as much stretch there! Health wise, they are going well and I’ve been quite blessed with no infections.

Although I’ve been quite emotional about how they look and trying to get used to the new boobs, I would not change the surgery at all.

My favourite thing is how I look in T shirts now! I really enjoy cleaning my teeth and checking myself out in the mirror. It makes such a big difference not to have such huge boobs there. Everything just sits so nicely now!

I’m having a few hiccups but am still aiming to lose more weight and hopefully lose some of the side fat under my arms. This is a long term project so not expecting any results overnight. It’s hard to get motivated as I’ve been a bit depressed and it’s hard to push through for that first couple of runs. However, I’ll get there.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

Mental health day

Today I’m having a mental health day. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but in this society, it still is.

Alain de Botton has a short video out on How the modern world makes us mentally ill. He talks about six things that make us all feel crap in 2018 and I have to agree. They are, as he lists them: Meritocracy (everyone has an equal chance so if you’re on the bottom, you suck), Individualism (why can’t we all climb Mt Everest?), Romanticism (relationships should be 100% fantastic all the time), Secularism (nobody believes in things bigger than themselves anymore), the Media (full of utter crud and anxiety inducing bad news), and Perfectionism (striving to be perfect when we could just be perfectly average).

All of these things pull us away from our true self, our ability to be content with what we are and what we have and therefore, our happiness.

It’s hard to admit you’re sad when you seemingly don’t have any reason to be. Similarly, it’s often hard to have compassion for people who act sad when you can’t see why they might be.

With Alain’s description, we can see that everyone, everywhere, can be pulled down by the ideas of the modern world and it’s striving, judgement and self loathing inducing pretty pictures.

Combatting these forces is a little trickier as we go through life, however, as he says, each can be cured with particular activities and they don’t need to be difficult.

So today, I’m having a day off. I’m sitting in the sun eating chocolate and drinking tea. I’m playing on FaceBook. I’m petting my cats. The weather is mild. Our garden is still lush and green from the last rain. I’m taking my time. I’m doing things that I want, like changing the doona covers and getting some groceries. Writing to you. Playing Words with Friends. Eating leftover Chinese for lunch and watching the washing sway in the breeze and hopefully dry.

One of my big things is that I need some personal space, some time alone, to recoup from stress. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to get that space in the last few months. Work is very busy and home is very full. I’ve been recovering from my breast reduction surgery and that’s meant less exercise. My iron levels have tanked and that’s caused fatigue and other malaises that I’m trying to manage. The result is that I’ve not managed my stress or need to recoup very well over the last few weeks. I finally managed to get it out to the lovely last weekend which I’m not sure really went that well, as I hurt her. I’ve put on two kilos in three weeks.

But I did finally recognise it and today is doing something about it. Today is doing nothing in the space we call home all by myself. Today is just being and wandering. Today is taking care of myself, so that I can be there for the people that I love.

We often feel like it’s selfish to ask for the things we need to function. As a parent, as a partner, it’s hard to sacrifice time with others because you need time for yourself. Ultimately though, if you don’t, it takes it’s toll on everyone. Sometimes it’s hard to recognise this is happening though – even though your significant others can tell that something is wrong!

I guess I’ll just have to be average at being conscious, just like Alain says.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

Flowers teach us

Flowers teach us that nothing is permanent: not with their beauty, not even the fact that they will inevitably wilt, because they will still give new seeds. Remember this when you feel joy, pain, or sadness.

Everything passes, grows old, dies, and is reborn.

Paulo Coelho, The Spy

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,

Tanya

Incels and other male challenges in the new world

The latest incident of terror in Canada has highlighted again the issue around male privilege and the struggle they have realising that it doesn’t mean they can have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want.

Incel stands for involuntarily celibate. The whole concept is a little weird to women I think, because why would you even think that way? If you aren’t having sex because you aren’t having any luck finding a partner, you just go home and have a hot milo. And masturbate if you really need to. And want to – masturbation is fantastic. But I digress.

Women have been fighting against their binary role for forty years or more, since the early feminists burned their bras and said ‘fuck this shit’. They were right, the highly limiting roles for women were like being in a prison for so many. That’s not even including the suffragettes who suffered to get women the vote 100 years ago!

Unfortunately at the same time, many men and those in institutions (work ones like government, universities, hospitals, education, society in general) resisted this change because they felt threatened by women ‘taking’ something they thought was theirs alone. Power and authority.

Some men over the last forty years have worked out that women are not the enemy here, but the toxic masculinity and rigidity of societal roles that says each gender can only do certain things is the real issue. The expression of emotion, the caring roles, being vulnerable – all things that men have not been able to do freely in society as women have. That’s not right but the thing is, only men can change this culture for themselves.

Women have had to fight through (and fight is a deliberate term) the misogyny that continues to oppress many in the world today. The #metoo and #timesup is finally a generational shift that I hope will bring about a reckoning that the feminists of forty years ago were fighting for.

We just want to be equal. We want to be respected. We want to feel safe that our bodies are our own.

Self proclaimed ‘Incels’ and men like them need to work through the feelings they have about being rejected and not come out the other side killers and rapists. Or arseholes. They can do it. They may just not want to because giving up a perceived privilege is hard. But that’s the thing – you never had the rights over my body, you just thought you did.

There are many #metoo moments in my life and I don’t want my daughters to experience this. Women have changed and continue to evolve. Men now have to take up the challenge and move into this world. There will always be people who don’t want to change and for women, we need to praise the good as well as condemn the abhorrent. The flip side to that is, duh, be a decent human being and that shouldn’t be something spectacular. It should be the status quo!

However the bigger challenge is with men themselves, to let go of the need to be dominant, the need to be on top, the need to be invincible. They need to put forward in society new roles for them to perform and for women to accept that they will be vulnerable now, that they will express emotions without using violence or anger. That they will not use violence and privilege to hold onto the poisoned chalice they created for themselves. That the new society we all need is one of equality in all ways.

Women are smart and strong. Men are vulnerable and caring. Women are vulnerable and caring. Men are strong and smart. Together we can work on making this world a safe place for all our children. That means as parents, we need to teach both genders about caring, about equal relationships, about being vulnerable. We need to teach both genders that there are not gender roles in cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn or lifting boxes. That neither gender has a better brain or body, just that some brains and bodies work differently than others.

I wonder what a world without gender restriction might look like? Here’s hoping it will come about in time for me to see it.

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya

 

 

My breast reduction surgery – nipples

So the other day I had my surgical review. They took the tape off my wounds so it was the first time I’d seen my new nipples.

It wasn’t until later the next day that I had a good look at them. I’m not so comfortable with the result as it stands right now. Hopefully things will settle and look more natural at some point, but I feel I bit confronted by the way they look.

They don’t seem to be even and they aren’t round. One of them is mostly round but the other is not really at all. The surgeon looked at them and said he was happy, so does that mean they will improve with time? I hope so.

Looking at them myself though, I feel like they really are Frankenboobs. I feel very self conscious around the lovely. Although I’m happy with the size the way they look for me now is not so good. Hopefully they will improve with time and I have scar reduction to continue with once the tape damage heals.

I’m OK with some scars, I’ve got plenty of them. However I guess I have not prepared myself emotionally for how they might look on my breasts, especially the nipples. In a few more months things will settle and then hopefully I’ll be happier. Right now I’m not inclined to look at them myself, let alone let anyone else have a peek.

Meanwhile I still can’t really do too much until the tape damage heals. I did a few hours of gardening yesterday which got a little sweaty and was not so good for it. Another week of lazing around!

Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring,
Tanya