We’re five months into our Bangkok adventure and I’m asking myself – Where’s my head at?
So here it is, the truth…
My head is up my arse some days, in the clouds on better days, watching the kids don’t kill themselves or get lost in a crowd most days, wishing I was somewhere else occasionally. I’m feeling contemplative about my blog as well as my life. What do I want from it? What do I want from anything? Though really it should be, what can I give. As I write this I’m three page views off 7000, which seems like a lot for me, I certainly don’t have that many friends and I ticked a box to say I didn’t want to count my own page views otherwise 7000 would be 10,000 as I re-read and overly criticise my errors. I once saw an episode of Casualty where an aesthetic monk wore a belt with nails digging into his flesh, I know where he was coming from. I tell myself to chill. This blog post is a thank you and a confession and the equivalent of when a US comedy series goes for a cheap option of an episode montage, which I always love by the way, so do keep reading.
I am trying to find a balance with not giving too much away about my private life and sharing but I feel like I ought to just tell you everything. Jesus, I’ve practically given my National Insurance Number, bank details and photocopied my breasts in the name of blogging. I want to be honest and wear my heart on my sleeve but I do have a reputation for sarcasm. The thing is, I’m actually on a soul search. If this was Twitter I’m sure some of you would unfollow me now and fair do’s.
I’m reading a book you see and completing it’s tasks. The last time I completed tasks in a book was reading Allen Carr’s ‘Easy Way to Stop Smoking’. I was so involved with the book I quit before I made ‘The Final Cigarette’ chapter, only to wind up rolling a cigarette from dimps in the ashtray – pretty grim. It worked for six months and then I was back on roll-ups, until I discovered Allen had written another book for people like me by adding the word ‘permanently‘ to the end of his first title. I don’t smoke anymore, possibly because of Allen but I still believe it to be cool and I miss it like an old friend. However, if you are a teenager reading this my advice would be when you’ve tried it and not liked the taste just don’t persevere – get a tattoo or a piercing, avoid face, neck and hands perhaps in case it prevents job prospects, or go for those areas and never get a shit job you don’t like anyway. I say this from a land where even monks are covered in tats. Kids, do what you like.
Back to this book I’m reading, “Write It Down, Make It Happen” by H Klausser. It’s a good title for me because I intend to write and make a career of it. I know I’m not 21 and I have kids to feed, however I also have a soul to feed and I’m pursuing a dream (I’m practicing saying these things and not feeling like a nob head).
The book suggests by writing it down with pen and paper you will actualise and work out your goals. Then, when you imagine what reaching those goals might look like, you write about them as if you’ve reached them…then you’ll start to make things happen yourself – with a bit of help from the universe and my gratitude aplenty.
My goals are simple: (Oh my giddy Aunt, she’s sharing again)
1.Writing – to pave a career by writing. Firstly through my blog, then through my short stories, perhaps through writing articles and leading to a highly acclaimed first novel (a Booker will do but I suspect a Nobel for Literature would make for a better paperweight for all I’ve written down and made happen).
Reaching this goal will mean I get to spend school holidays with my kids, do the school run and visit interesting places around the world while writing about them. I’d be making a living out of something I love doing – living the dream? Nelson Mandela says our “playing small will not serve the world” and “Who are you not to be great?” and who am I to argue with him?!
2. Yoga – to achieve a body I like through yoga. I’m not keen on diet and exercise, I eat a lot and drink a lot so I know I’m against the odds here but I’ll give myself 12 months to drop a dress size, or for Thai women on the sky train to stop asking me if I’m pregnant.
3. Meditation – I would like to free my mind of it’s racing thoughts, de-stress, relax and channel my creativity. I began this journey many moons ago, a man who resembled Coronation Street’s Roy Cropper at a Buddhist Centre tried to help me, and I’ve used the odd CD, but I can’t stop thinking things like “gosh, doesn’t he look like Roy Cropper” or, “I wonder what he’s got in his shopping bag”, “why do we have to look at a statue of a man, can’t it be a woman?” “Shall I get a bottle of red or white tonight?” And then my back aches. I’ll work it out, I’m sure. “When the student is ready the master will appear” said old Dalai.
I feel the time for me and meditation is now, I’m happy to look my ego in the face and send her back to her box. However the yogic flying can wait, I bruised my coxis at a party in February.
I meditate, the kids bound into the room and my thoughts continue to race. I asked a friend about it, he has given me really caring, personal, thoughtful and considered advice – the best kind. He can be my guru anytime, bullshit grasshopper, you can be mine…(Oh to live in a world where quoting and adapting Top Gun was an accepted norm). Thanks new guru….
4. Family happiness – I’m interrupted by Patti brandishing a magic wand and asking me to marry her so I won’t elaborate here, I’d like more of the same really. Abe just invented a game called ‘Cake and Seek’ where we hide and eat cake. I’m happy with that.
Of course, there is the ‘be careful what you wish for’ school of thought, demonstrated back in Manchester when Abe was coveting a man’s wheels – he was in a wheelchair. I’ll only hope for things that will benefit me, ma famille and humankind.
I’ve been writing these things down for nearly 2 weeks – in note-pads, on napkins, on scraps of paper, while beside the pool, near the sea, amongst the trees, in cafes, in bed when I wake up and before I fall asleep, and while cooking dinner – I cook at weekends alright! Wandi’s “taking a break, she needs a break”, “As long as it’s not an all night break” Oh to live in a world where quoting Dirty Dancing is an accepted norm.
I tell you what though, things are happening that make me think perhaps ‘writing it down and making it happen’ works…..Sorry, James interrupted me to advise that tonight’s episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is called “Mickey’s Big Job”.
My family appear happy. Patti generated a lot of smiles walking to nursery with her sunglasses and backpack on, except for occasionally flicking her hair like a movie star she held my hand all the way. Although when I asked her later, whether she’d been dancing or singing and her response was “I did scratching” – I’m sure she and her classmates were happy. I think she’s the only kid in her class with English as a first language which I love, the teachers are Thai, Laos and Phillipino but sharing and snatching are universal, right? They’re 2 and 3 years old. Let them create!
As for Abe, I found him crying in bed. He said he wants to go back to England, he couldn’t say why but his Grandparents had just left so we talked about that and he said he misses all four of them. He offered to take me back to England with him and we had a little cry together. I explained we were here for good adventures, which he agreed we’re having. He asked where the heart is in the body and he said “can it fall down into your tummy?” I ask if this is how his heart feels and he says no, his feels cracked. How, I wonder? He blames me for telling him off when he attacked his sister, so I apologise for his cracked heart and re-explain rules on hitting (no Grandpa, not “go for the eyes”). Afterwards he invites me to his restaurant, “Laughing Gravy”, on the couch and serves me imaginary blueberries, spaghetti and heart sauce with apple. His restaurant is ‘special’ because it sells dogs and I leave with 24 of them.
The happiness of my family doesn’t depend on me but for my part I vow to listen properly, encourage and shower with love and just be bloody grateful for having such a good bunch. James says he’s happy, he works hard and plays hard (with the kids after work not at ‘the club’) and he responds well when I say things like “How mad is this right? Wandi had a Swiss roll for breakfast and she ate it from the packet with a spoon!”
Yoga wise I’m not winning – my exercise regime comes like spurts from a glass ketchup bottle, currently I’m clogged.
As for writing, after I’d written what I’d like to happen i.e. my future aspirations (I don’t quite understand how Living In The Now and planning for the future work together, I think I’m meant to just make a plan and see what unfolds when I get there, where’s Eckhart Tolle when you need him?) some good stuff happened. My friend Mel sent me a link to a writing competition and inspired me to write a short story. I wrote in my notebook that I will win it, not to be conceited and not to put pressure on myself, or to feed my ego but because I’m trying to act as worthy as the next person despite years of conditioning that I’m average. I hope to quieten the voices that say I’m GCSE level at composition but for now I suppose I’m grateful they’re not telling me to kill, or have a perm. Anyway, off the couch, eyes open, back in the room.
Another ace thing happened, a friend in Norway contacted me out of the blue and offered to ‘optimise’ and ‘syndicate’ my blog. He said he was happy to do it, reading my posts was payment enough. I’m still agog at his generosity and I’m inviting him to my virtual launch party tonight on my new domain. Hopefully, if my luddite tendencies don’t screw it up, you’ll be reading this from a newer, more user friendly, swankier site and I’d be very glad of any comments you might have, I’ll respond to them all. Thanks Matt you rule.
Also, a new friend in Bangkok put me in touch with a magazine and I asked them if they’d like me to write an article for them, which I did, and it’s been approved by the editor. Many thanks Anna
I don’t know if I have the universe or twitter to thank for the extra readers, I wrote in my notepad I wanted more worldwide readership and it’s happening. I had to unfollow one of them for telling a mysogynistic ‘joke’ about violence against women but I wrote down that his penis will rot so lets see if writing it down will make it happen. The fact I’ll never know perhaps makes it spiritual? Nah!
I hope to explain where my head’s at in all my blog posts and I hope it resonates with someone, or is a bit of food for thought, or just causes a laugh. I hope you’re enjoying it as you read it and thanks to those of you who’ve said you “savour” it, or wait for the kids to go to bed before you read it, I feel honoured. Thanks for sticking with me til the end of this post, and importantly whilst I’m working on diminishing my ego, please don’t stop feeding it. Hahaha! (I think I might be too old to write ‘lol’?)