It has been happening to me a lot lately. An overwhelming feeling of conforming and consuming, and what for? What kind of life is this, I ask myself. My husband works six days a week, why? Just so I can spend all the money he earns on making me and the kids feel happy temporarily? It is a cloak, this capitalistic life. It is not living. Well, not the kind of living I want to do. But for now it will have to do. We dream of owning a house and some land. A place we can farm just for ourselves. A place where we can really be. Living with the land, being closer to one another and sharing with our neighbours. A life that sustains us as much as we sustain life.
To be a woman, a curvy one, perhaps described as plump or fat is a paragon. In many cultures, including my husbands, a woman who eats is a satisfied woman who is generous in nature, caring and loving of others. To be a thin woman who is careful of gaining weight is to be a fussy woman who is never satisfied. So enjoy your food and eat, I say, eat and share with one another and feel the satisfaction. The satisfaction of fillings those around you with joy. Be a paragon to others.
I use to live my life in a constant state of panick but I called it stress. I had too much on my plate. But I’ve eliminated those things that took up too much head space, including people. Yes, there were people in my life that sucked the very happiness from it. So I’ve slowly been ridding myself of all that crap that I don’t need. Slowly, I’ve been listening to myself. What my mind, body and soul needs. And really it needs very little. But those little things must matter.
What does knackered really feel like?
I never knew until I became a parent.
Now I do not know anything else.
Of course that is not entirely true, but it is pretty close.
When I am particularly knackered I whinge.
A bit of whinging really helps, I find.
But then I end up whinging all the time.
So, I embrace feeling knackered.
It can really take away a lot of stress.
Stress about the little things.
For instance, my 18 month old continues to empty the contents from the fridge door, freezer ice tray and the kitchen cupboards all over the kitchen floor.
I continue to bake, pushing containers and packets out of my way as I move around.
I step on blocks of ice melting slowly on the lino and soak my socks.
But I am too knackered to clean it up for the tenth time today.
Better just to let it go, I breath.
Sometimes being knackered is the best thing to be.
It is the season of autumn in Adelaide.
One week is hot with clear skies and warm nights, the next it is cold and pouring with rain.
The trees seem confused.
Half green with new growth and half red with the turn of the season.
Some stand near naked.
The coming of winter frightens me.
I do not like cold weather.
The heaters are already on in the house despite the looming electricity bill.
Layered clothing, socks and nanna blankets cover our laps.
House-bound I bake: melting moments, banana cake and apple pie.
Slow cooked dishes of lamb and subtle spices feed the soul.
But when there is break in the weather and we eagerly head outdoors, it is the crisp cold air that embraces us.
Breathing new life into our dormant bodies.
For lunch today we ate our faces.
My daughter is four and she is avid about everything.
Today: Craft, painting, kindy, dress-ups, dance and making pizza faces.
Yesterday: Ice skating, fairies, gardening, bike riding and making pizza faces.
Everyday: wearing fairy winged t-shirts with frilly skirts, drinking warm milk with honey, climbing trees, drawing and crafting cardboard boxes into glittering treasure trunks for her kindy friends.
She only stops to sleep.
She is an avid life liver.
Earlier today she made me and daddy model different facial expressions that she would use for inspiration when she made pizza faces for lunch.
In a cloud of flour she rolled out the dough, spreading tomato paste and lightly spiced mince meat across the surface.
Carefully cutting up green and yellow capsicum and slicing olives she made her faces.
One pizza face for each of us: Herself, her brother (18 months), mummy and daddy.
The smell of freshly cooked pizza was irresistible.
We ate our faces avidly.