Autumn winds make me extra allergic to the online world of success coaches with glow in the dark teeth, perky personal fitspo gurus with Instagram famous bodies and shiny women with trout pout lips on an endless loop on Youtube. A generation of children are growing up with mothers who’ve had so much Botox put into their faces that these women cannot express the full gamut of human emotion on their dials. These zombie women scare me but I can’t stop staring, wondering when the fillers will stop working.
Then I get scratchy when I hear the words mastery, motivation, personal best, inspire, disrupt. Show me the leaders in lethargy, excellent examples of ennui, successful sloths, wonderful worriers. These are my people. To mangle Kerouac: the only ones for me are the crazies, the Bukowski drunks, the shabby, the borderline criminals, the drop outs, the dribblers, those grungy, suffering, unshaven cats who get thrown out of the best parties, the ones who always yawn out loud, the rambling, boisterous messes who convey every sloppy human emotion on their cracking apart faces. These are the people who make me feel good about myself, as I hide away at home reading, not wanting to face the world or climb any ladders.
Growing up into a cranky old cat lady, I’m pondering the autumn and winter of my life with a countenance that moves. As I slip under the radar with a face that loses its sheen every day, I think I like my mangy self best.
My oldest childhood friend is about to turn 50 and realising I have elderly friends has made me think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Middle age can be about making time for personal growth and wondering what sort of human you want to become in the second half of your life. Once my kids have moved out of home, I want to inspire people, live well and have fun, so when I grow up, hopefully I’ll still be young enough to:
Care about my fellow humans like Sam Newman
Be open-hearted like Prune Macsween
Dance like Peter Garrett
Have the compassion of Miranda (Not Really) Devine
Pop pills like Ben Cousins
Manage my hair like Donald Trump
Tolerate people like Peter Dutton
Possess the humility of Malcolm Turnbull
Be open-minded like Andrew Blot
Be submissive like Eddie Maguire
Be as sexy as Bronwyn Bishop
What’s on your life goals bucket list?
We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour
Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer
I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw
I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids
Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity
You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far
I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live
I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection
Shakespeare described step parenting best:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom
On October 31st I’m going trick or treating in our PM Malcolm Turnbull’s street in Point Piper. I’m going to wear my lovely signature single mother ghoulish fashion; my statement piece is a T-shirt saying:
Liberal Government Have Ended Negative Gearing
On the back it says:
Tax Rate for BRW Rich Listers Rises to 73%
Hopefully, I will scare the sinister people in Malcolm’s neighbourhood and if the AFP let me stay, there may even be a sighting of the ghost of Turnbull’s leadership. As our Prime Minister will be in Israel, perhaps his servants will join me in the hunt for Turnbull’s spine but I may just end up with a cauldron full of broken promises.
Then on the Day of the Dead, November 1st, I’m going to hop on my broomstick and haunt the streets of Mal’s Wentworth electorate dressed as a bat in a Barnaby Joyce mask. Anyone want to help me trick some very spooky politicians?
My 90 year old mother has dementia. The word dementia comes from the Latin dementiae. In the dictionary, it is defined as, madness, distraction or folly. The mum I knew is slipping away and all I can do is massage her dry skin with rose scented cream, hold her hand and try to bring her some joy.
Some weeks the phone calls from my mother are so numerous, angry, repetitive and bat shit crazy, that I find myself glancing at shite online trying to distract myself while I listen to her tell me stories that I’ve heard 100 times. These conversations become so bad, that reading updates on LinkedIn seems like a good idea.
But this week I found the upside to my mother’s dementia.We had a cup of tea and then she handed me her mail.
“Do you know what to do about this?” she said. I looked at the envelopes and realised that amongst the bills and a letter from Centrelink, was the ABS voting form for the Same Sex Marriage survey. I grinned.
“Yes mum, yes I do. If any of your friends here in the nursing home need help with this, I can help them too.” Helping people, that is what Christians who want to heal the world can do.