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Posted in environment on May 12th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

2020 – the new ‘1984’?

Posted in life on April 5th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Shopping used to be fun. I enjoyed the weekly shopping trip. Now, not so much.

Over the last 5 weeks I’ve watched things slowly deteriorate and I am now reminded weekly of people’s stupidity. Now it’s eggs. EGGS??!!! What, have the chickens all died? Are they no longer laying?? WHY ARE THERE NO EGGS????

I feel like we’re in some kind of weird social experiment. “How can we control them this week?” asks the faceless puppet master pulling the strings.

I bought some deli. The assistant said “Please stand back from the counter on the green dot.” What green dot? Oh that one, coz like I look at the floor and NOT in the cabinet when I’m at the deli. Thing was I’m now 2.5m from her. “Are you going to just toss it to me?” Joviality… but it wasn’t funny.

Get to the checkout. There are now big perspex guards over the checkout – sneeze guards if you will. And now we have to pack our own bags “for the safety of you and our staff”. Riddle me this Batman: I put the stuff on the conveyor belt, the checkout chick handles said stuff and HANDS IT over to my husband who is dutifully packing the bags. Say what now? So she can’t put the stuff she has just taken from me into the bags? Somehow handing it to my husband to do it himself after I’ve touched it and then she’s touched it, is going to protect her? And us? Can anyone else see the absolute STUPIDITY AND FUTILITY of this particular scenario??

It’s depressing.

I’m usually a pretty go with the flow kinda gal but I have to say this shit is really starting to bite. Never in my life did I ever for one second think that I would be living my life in the pages of an Orwellian dystopia. But here we are. With faceless voiceovers in the supermarket telling us to “keep 1.5m distance from other shoppers” and “Staff, it’s time to wash your hands”. How much longer before we hear “It’s time for your daily exercise Winston”.

For those unsure of, or too young to understand the reference, ‘1984‘ was a book written by George Orwell; a political statement wherein the central character struggles against Big Brother in an attempt to retain the one thing he thinks he still has control over: his own thoughts. But he stands alone. The majority of the population don’t feel the need to think freely.

“His fellow intellectuals have sold their inalienable right to think freely for security and a semblance of physical well-being.”

Edmond van Den Bossche – The New York Times

Sound familiar?

What the actual FECK!!! And for what? 34 deaths. We have turned our lives LITERALLY UPSIDE DOWN in this country and potentially shoved ourselves into a recession for 34 deaths. Not to mention a handful of items cost us $260!!!

How many people die of the flu each year? How many in aged care facilities during gastro outbreaks? No hue and cry. No nationwide lockdown. No drones checking on people; no shutting down of public spaces and sending businesses to the wall; no sacking staff by the thousands (millions?); no GPS tracking-enabled ankle bracelets for breaking the “rules”.

Whilst globally we have had 64,784 deaths (as at the time of publication). and I am in no way invalidating those, we’ve also had 247,000+ recover so far – with over 1.2 million confirmed global cases.

WHAT IS HAPPENING??

And yet we keep away, we avoid eye contact, we avoid ANY contact. Humans aren’t built that way. I really hope this doesn’t last much longer because if it does I’m not 100% sure how – or if – we’ll fully recover from the damage that is daily being done….

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Further Reading: The message for today in Orwell’s ‘1984’

Are we in a time out?

Posted in environment, health on March 25th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

My daughter didn’t have a phone until she was 15 … she got it because she started dating her very first boyfriend and, well frankly, we didn’t trust him. So I gave her my phone so that she could always get in touch with us.

Thankfully it lasted only a few weeks, but the bug had bitten and she wanted her own phone.

While we had some very strict phone use rules in our house (no phones in the bedroom; all phones in the kitchen to charge; no phones at night; certain apps were banned etc) we did notice the way teens were using their phones. Reliance on phones for texting and messaging seemed to lead to an inability to communicate face-to-face – something that is important for reading body language, subtle visual cues etc and a skill that teens of the day seemed to lack.

Fast forward to 2020 and we now have widespread social media apps and COVID19 – which has effectively – for the short-term at least – forced us all into isolation and the only way we have to communicate with loved ones is ‘virtually’ – through Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Facebook etc. 

Workers are going online and ‘teleworking’. Teachers are taking their lessons online and having students ‘dial in’.

So what once seemed to be the cause of the death of communication, appears to have evolved into new ways to stay connected. 

It did get me thinking however. In the lead up to this latest global challenge, all we saw this tech being used for was abuse and bullying online, strangers ripping each other to shreds over the tiniest thing, people being triggered over inane topics, arguments over climate change, Greta, refugees, religion, terrorism, Veganism, gender fluidity, pronouns, identity politics, diversity, intersectionality, walls, black, white, left, and right. Children being used in the frontlines of adult ‘wars’. We were all frankly acting like children. 

I wonder… is this the Mother’s way of giving us all a time out? Perhaps we should use it wisely and take a good long look at what we consider important and to re-evaluate just how we treat each other.

And just like that, all of those things that once seemed so crushingly important, just… aren’t.

In the face of an invisible ‘foe’ we are, after all, exactly the same.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

How to stop men killing their wives

Posted in relationships, women on February 21st, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Jesus the headline!!!! 🤬 This was the headline of a recent SMH article about the recent murder of a woman and her three children in Queensland by her estranged partner who then killed himself.

In the wake of this latest shocking incidence of family violence in Australia, the chief executive of the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, proposed:

“that during the period of separation, every man must be put on a program with mental health checks and scrutinised for signs of violence to ensure he is making the transition safely and not a risk to women, children or themselves. ‘We must target individual men.'”

(Sydney Morning Herald)

This is a dangerous precedent – it’s dangerous to even be talking about it! As much as an horrific event such as this wants us to rush to “fix” things, screening ALL men is abuse in itself!

As a survivor of domestic violence myself, I don’t advocate for screening all men – it’s not all men. It’s some men. It’s insulting to say just because they’re men they’re potential killers – and it’s also a dangerous attitude to have. It also ignores the many women capable of violence (yes overwhelmingly men are the perpetrators but we can’t ignore the flip side because it’s inconvenient). It also ignores the fact that not all relationships end in violence once the relationship ends because they end for a multitude of reasons.

Yes it is the most dangerous time when you leave IF you are with a violent person or one with the propensity to violence – the leaving is what led to my broken nose and eventual AVO – after I dripped blood all over my boss’s office floor.

I think governments have done a huge amount in terms of resources and education (certainly in the period from when I was a victim back in the ’80s when no one wanted to know about it); but it’s now up to us to change SOCIETY’S attitude towards it – and drop the “don’t ask don’t know” mentality.

SOMEONE had to have known what was happening in this case but said nothing, to him or anyone else. I remember the father of my abuser saying to me in the early days of the relationship “If he ever hits you tell me” …. I was flabbergasted but clearly he knew something of the character of his son I was yet to find out.

We have to encourage men and women to speak out when they see friends or work colleagues behaving aggressively, speaking disparagingly etc and to take a zero tolerance approach to aggression. Men AND women. Adults AND children. Between siblings. On the sports field. In sport on TV.

It’s a multipronged approach and we need a zero tolerance position in society to violence everywhere or we are enabling the attitude that it’s okay in any situation and therefore by extension, every situation.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom

Parenting … wtf?

Posted in parenting on February 7th, 2020 by gaiaswisdom — Be the first to comment!

Anyone who is a parent knows, it’s a thankless task.

Do it well and one day you’re out of a job.

We were only blessed with one child … a daughter who is now 20. Whilst a son came when she was 6 that was not meant to be and ended in devastating loss.

I never had a great relationship with my mum. It was okay when we were little and she was always there for us, but as I got older she was having a few issues that strained the relationship. Once we’d all moved out she and my father separated and she very much lived her own life. I stayed in regular touch with her however – in the days when ‘staying in touch’ didn’t rely on apps like Messenger; when there were no mobile phones and you actually had to call or meet up.

When I had my daughter I was (I’ll admit it) actually hoping for a son – for no other reason than my own relationship with my mother and the fact I felt I could, as a result, give very little to a daughter. The universe begged to differ. And so a daughter was born.

I vowed at that moment NOT to be my mother; not to repeat the errors she made.

My mother wasn’t there for me when I became a mum – when I was sick and asked her for help with the baby, she was “too busy”. And “I did it all on my own – three kids under 5.”

I wanted to foster a better relationship with my daughter right from day one. For the most part I was successful. At least, I thought I was successful.

I left my job when I had her and actually started a business when she was 6 months old in order to be available for her. I wasn’t one of those mothers who was 100% about the child, did nothing but talk about kids, acted like I was the only woman on the planet to ever have a baby. But I wanted her to know I was there for her, and would always be there for her. I wanted to be involved in her life and to be a guide for her.

I was not a helicopter parent though – she was taught resilience, responsibility and that she would need to learn to fend for herself – after all one day in the future, she would have to depend only on herself. She needed to be independent and strong. But this was always tempered by so much love and I think she never felt unloved or that she was ever “too much trouble”.

So far so good.

The “Terrible 2s” came and went without so much as a blip on the radar.

The “tweens” were pretty much a non-event.

The “moody, sulky teenager” never really eventuated. It was kind of there but not like others told us their teens were like. Except I guess when we were advised that we should “go inside” after cooking the food at the 18th birthday party we put on for her and her friends.

Every school holidays I would make a point of taking a day off each week to do a special trip into the city with her – window shopping (which always ended up actual shopping) and lunch – catching the train in and out. And always made sure we went to movies, or to the local shops, or just hung out. To stay connected. To stay present. For her to know that no matter what was happening in my life or how busy I was, she was important. Something I never had with my mother. I look back on those times now with so much joy. They were awesome times spent together – we just had fun hanging out.

Friends were envious of my relationship with her – that she would talk to me about anything. Of our closeness. I loved that too. Don’t get me wrong. I never intended to be nor did I ever want to be her friend. It was always clear I was the mum.

“Lead by example” I was always told and so despite the less than ideal relationship I had with my mum I always made sure we visited her regularly, outside of birthday and Mother’s Day; she was always at our place for Christmas. I wanted my daughter to see that even though my relationship was not brilliant with my mum, staying connected was important.

Things began to change as she started university. Not totally unexpected as she began to mix with completely different types of people. In the first year she was home part time and at university living away from home part time. The fights began. Her level of respect for us and our wishes seemed to drop off. “I can’t wait to get out of here” was a pretty regular refrain. We expected this to some degree as she began to spread her wings and whilst painful we knew it was necessary.

Year 2 and she moved out permanently and we stayed in touch with regular Facetimes or phone calls; with messages on Messenger. This was all okay. Actually it was wonderful and we loved how regularly she stayed in touch. I felt our relationship with her was back on an even keel. Whilst the relationship was changing I didn’t feel that it had deteriorated. We were giving her more freedom to do as she pleased; not pressuring her (as our parents had done) to spend time with us; actually sitting back and watching as she chose to spend holidays with her boyfriend’s family. We’d still have the occasional shopping day in the city.

I heard murmurs that we were “pressuring her” to spend time with us or that she was “sick of this only child thing”.

This came as a HUGE shock to us since we were actively trying not to pressure her and become our own parents. Not to mention extremely hurtful since the ‘only child thing’ was not exactly planned…. and how did that then become our ‘fault’? Negatively impacting on her and adding more ‘pressure’?

It seemed like she just wanted to get the hell away from us! We were totally flabbergasted and had no idea what we had done….

Year 3 and things went south with the BF and so contact increased as she needed help finding a new place to stay, help with set up costs, furniture, moving etc. We were reconnecting a bit better over this time and then a new BF came along. Not long after we left our nearby location and moved further away to a beach location. We felt it was time, that she had matured enough and was capable enough to look after herself.

Instead of this becoming what we thought might be an opportunity for her to spend long weekends, or holidays with us, this never eventuated. It seemed that now we were “too far away” (even though when we lived closer we still didn’t see her because “I don’t want to come back there and run into people”).

Any time we called to ask if she wanted to pop up or attend something fun with us, the immediate response was “No”. Too busy, got stuff on, too tired, working, got uni assignments, too far, no money. Eventually we felt like even these suggestions were “pressuring” her so we stopped. Though we would see her shopping, hanging out with friends, arranging trips interstate – spending significant days that used to be ‘family traditions’ for us (eg Anzac Day, Father’s Day) with her ‘new family’ or friends. And effectively we began to wonder whether she considered herself an orphan… We certainly felt less and less involved in her life. Any messages asking what she was up to were met with “stuff” or “doing something on the weekend”. No specifics. It was like blood from a stone – maybe this was the teen angst thing we’d missed?

When I had her at home while I was running my business she knew I was busy but I made sure she also knew I was never TOO busy for her. Even now, I work hard to let her know I’m never too busy for her. So where did this “lead by example” fall so flat?

The calls became fewer and farther between, Facetiming basically became a thing of the past, and calls we did get were fitted in while she was driving from A to B, walking around the shops, or needed something or wanted to vent. There were no real catch ups. Just cursory connections…. that felt like … duty. Communication became almost 100% Messenger messages. Uni holidays came and went and there were no more shopping trips. I’d given up asking because being told no all the time eventually … well… hurts. Plus I never knew what she was doing and previous attempts were always met with “too busy”.

We kept thinking back to our own 20s – my husband’s parents were a 12 hour round trip away but we would still ensure we spent long weekends or special occasions split between them and my mum. Until we were married I don’t think we ever spent a long weekend ‘just us’.

When we raised this we were told quite categorically: “You need to understand I have a life here.” Ouch.

Clearly one we’re not part of though it’s one we facilitate.

We have a life too … but we have never viewed our lives as mutually exclusive….

We don’t need to be involved in every aspect of her life of course, but sharing what she’s up to and how she’s going surely is just a natural product of the relationship we tried to foster… so where did we go wrong?

Is this the result of raising a strong, independent person? A result of doing “a good job”? If it is I’m not sure it’s all it’s cracked up to be!

I’m sure she has a completely different take on what’s happening as all kids do, and doesn’t feel like there’s any problem at all but that shouldn’t invalidate how we’re feeling about it all, should it? Conversely there’s probably a laundry list of things we did totally wrong that she vows she will never to do her kids!

Can you ever get it right? Parenting … sux.

I remember my father saying to me once: “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” Ironic given he was completely absent during my childhood and wasn’t what you’d call a shining example of top notch parenting.

And then it hit me. Despite all the ground work, despite having tried so desperately hard not to have the same relationship with my daughter as my mother had with me… here we are. I’m not sure why. Does this just happen? Is it inevitable?

Of course it’s inevitable your kids grow up, they move away, have their own lives and friends. We did it! But is it inevitable that they share none of it with you? That all of a sudden your trains head off down different tracks? When did we become the family that thinks Messenger messages are adequate for ‘keeping in touch’? I feel like I have no idea who my own child is anymore and worse, that she doesn’t really want anything to do with us. Are we that bad? Did we do such a terrible job of it? Or did we do too good a job? Am I over-reacting? Is it just part of the process?

Is it like this for other parents? Do you ever get it back?

Let me know your experiences in the comments.

We only got one shot at this and to be perfectly honest some days I feel like we just completely forked it up.

© Earth Goddess Wisdom