I’ve been gone. I’m back. “G’day”.
Firstly I would like to thank Jo of “All the Blue Day” for inspiring this comeback post and for giving me a decent reason to take back the fort. Check out her inspiring blog here, especially this galvanising post…
I could say that the revolution in the title is why I have been gone so long but that would be a fib and as the content of this blog post is ALL about the truth, why not start out as I mean to finish off? I have been living life at an often frenetic pace but most of the time I have been enjoying the heck out of it without feeling like I had anything really worth posting about.
See that’s where it starts… you read “other people’s” blog posts and they are SO much better/more informative/productive than yours. “How I lost 4000 pounds in a week…”; “How I climbed mount Everest whilst still finding time to clean ALL of my house, cook gourmet meals for my family and work a 10 hour day…” you know, “those” kinds of blog/Instagram/Facebook/”insert other social media that you follow” posts. The kind that make you feel “less than” and the kind that make you feel that stirring need to compete and the kind that result in you having a restless feeling inside you that tells you that you are not doing your best and that life is slipping through your fingers while you wrestle your demons, THAT kind of post.
Well my friends, I am here to tell you that it’s time we had an old fashioned, pitchfork carrying, torch wielding revolution. We the masses against the fibbing media. It’s time to start posting pictures of us in the mud after the dog decided to chase a duck in the dark rather than our perfect dinner that took us 4 hours to pose and that was cold when we got to eat it because “INSTAGRAM!” Reality isn’t popular folks. I saw that yesterday when I was watching Martha Stewart who must be about 80 but whose face looks 40 and all of the perfect baking school students that she has visiting her that are also “perfect” in every way. Real baking isn’t that perfect Martha. Thanks to some excellent editing that no-one suspects is going on, Martha appears to turn out perfect baked dish after dish and we all sit there thinking “wouldn’t it be lovely if we could bake like that and wouldn’t our families love us again and we could take baked goods to our neighbours who want to shoot us because our roosters are crowing all night and everything…EVERYTHING will be better if we just bake like Martha (and buy a Kitchen Aid…)”
See its insidious folks and it’s all around us and it’s bloody sneaky! The advertising gurus are employing all kinds of psychological tricks to get us to jump on the bandwagon and buy into these fibs of lives. If we don’t feel like we are keeping up we can always buy “insert such and such here” which will make our lives easier and might get us a little bit closer to that perfection that we all aspire to. But why are we aspiring to perfection? The truth is, life isn’t perfect. We can’t make it perfect. We are lucky if we can get a few lucky breaks in life, let alone have everything our way. We human beings have created such a false society outside of the real world that we are starting to believe the garbage that is being peddled to us and it’s time to take back our realities!
I would like to state here that I am a country mouse. My house is NOT tidy, or clean, or anything other than lived in. If you came to visit me you would soon realise that “Better Homes” ready it is NOT. In fact, it’s more like those before shots that they take of houses that need some serious renovation. The thing is that as imperfect, shabby, grungy and as and dog hair covered as it is, I love it. I can’t count the amount of times that I have wandered around this little hovel running my hands over the back of a wooden chair, felt the warmth of Brunhilda and her blissful ambience in the dark before I am truly awake and functioning, felt the real joy of creating something myself no matter how much flour, dirt, mess I made creating it. The only problem is I would likely die of embarrassment if anyone else turned up here because this is NOT what society considers a “home”.
If you could actually drive up our driveway you would receive a gold star and an extra special scouts badge to proudly display on your shirt for “all terrain scouting”. Once you arrived at the top of the driveway, if you survived the potholes and the feral chickens dashing in front of you at high speed, you would see several “gardens” (I use this term VERY loosely) that were in need of some serious work. Sort of along the lines of “The Secret Garden” work. If you haven’t read this amazing children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, please do so. It’s one of those classics that everyone needs to have read before they die. The gist of it is that there was a seriously overgrown garden that needed work. Frances Hodgson Burnett got the work done in her book. We didn’t. Enough said.
Once you got over the state of the drive and the seriously unkempt and almost jungle like “gardens” and the ever-present feral chooks, you could wade through the mud to get to our gate. After that all hell would break loose and you would be greeted by some serious “woofage” by 2 over exuberant manic dogs that look like the hounds of the Baskerville (you didn’t read that? You seriously need to take that one out as well!) And who will persist in jumping on you at any chance that they can get for your entire visit. Inside our humble little hut it’s all geared towards simple and being as sustainable as we can get it. We are middle aged penniless student hippies with a severe lack of funds so most of what we have/do here is either second hand or we made ourselves.
I have a terrible hoarding habit that I inherited from both of my parents (doomed from the start) that I limit to my overflowing bowl cupboard (I LOVE bowls with a pathological lusting desire) and to ALL of the found things that I discover on my walks with Earl-the-wonder-dog including cuttings, seeds, nuts, stones, sea glass, ALL of the things that I keep in some of the bowls on our rapidly disappearing kitchen table. Brunhilda pumps out a steady stream of warmth and ash and the dogs pump out a steady stream of anal air and hair and although I was once house proud when we lived in the city, I had to give it up for lent when we moved here or I would have had to be placed in the nearest mental home because of a serious mental breakdown that would have occurred should I have even tried. I am also married to a completely lovely man whom I adore BUT who has no idea about taking off his shoes (often covered in chook poo and mud) or tidying up after himself or shutting doors…you get the picture
All in all our house is perfect for us. We love it! I pee in a bucket that sits proudly in the toilet but if you arrived to visit I would have to hide it because it’s not what society sees as “proper”. I use this pee in our garden and I don’t flush ALL of that pure water down the toilet because to me, it’s immoral. I wash my dishes in a bowl in the sink and use the water in my wicking beds. I don’t vacuum because it’s a waste of electricity. I sweep and it’s not perfect and it doesn’t get ALL of the dust and at any given time my home is seriously under threat of being swallowed by daddy long legs cobwebs but I love it. I am comfortable here. It’s “Home” to me and I truly love my life…just not if anyone else comes here!
See the reality is that we are all just treading water just trying to keep up, living our lives hoping that no-one else notices our imperfections or comes to visit (well, some of us are 😉 ) and it shouldn’t be like that. It shouldn’t matter that we live different lives to everyone else because that’s what makes us different and unique and worth the effort to get to know. We can be interesting if we aren’t all the same where those plastic, perfect, polite faces on Martha Stewart are not at all real and can’t be sustained. It’s NOT REAL! It’s what makes a tiny bit of me die every time someone wants to visit us out here. Aside from being serious hermits we don’t want anyone else to judge us and find us seriously wanting.
How can we be SO happy in our own little space and yet so terrified of other people being here? The media is the answer. From day 1 it was selling the “perfect life” to us and it has simply gotten much better at tweaking our psyche’s and pushing our buttons and there is a LOT of money riding on us being perfect housekeepers, perfect mum’s, perfect cooks, perfect workers ad infinitum. The industry is worth billions of dollars and is about as sneaky and conniving as you could possibly imagine and I have a seriously good imagination.
So I stopped posting because I didn’t have perfect things to share with you. Sanctuary looked a bit ratty (metaphorically and seriously…thar be rats!” and Narnia got covered in white fly (again…) and the chooks stopped being “cute” and started being pest species and it has come down to me not feeling bad when Mr (fat) quoll comes to visit in the night because that’s one less chook that will hatch out another clutch of babies and start the whole messy cycle over again. Life is NOT easy. Life is not perfect. Life is just “Life” and if we can find joy in that, whatever we are doing, however we choose to live, whether our gas heater blew up back in 2010 and we chose not to replace it or not, we can class ourselves as truly lucky individuals. I am seriously happy out here in my mess and if the media wants to judge me, first it will have to drive up our driveway, avoid the feral chooks, get past the mud and the gate and the hounds of the Baskervilles AND the pitchforks and the torches and the madding crowd to judge me for it!
Thus endeth this sermon and hopefully, this won’t be the last blog post for the next 6 months 😉
Catch you all soon and here’s to living perfectly imperfect, happy lives!