Friends, it’s been an odd couple of weeks. It started with a racist clown at the petrol station. I’m not kidding. Two weekends ago, when I went to pay for my petrol, I found a man in his mid-fifties dressed in a clown suit, with white make-up on his face, shouting racist comments at the petrol station attendant. When I said, “Hey! Don’t be so rude!” he turned on me and said, “I’m sick of people who don’t speak proper English and I’m sick of f@%*kers like you who defend them.” He was shaking with rage. As I took a step back I thought, “I can’t believe this. I’m about to get punched by a man in a clown suit.” I was enormously relieved when he stormed out, clown curls bobbing, and roared away in his car. The unsettling tone of that incident has hung around since, really. So today I’m taking stock in an effort to shake it off and nut some things out. Here’s my list:
Living: Somewhere else. I’m not at home. I’m house-sitting and dog-sitting for a few weeks out in the country, which is a bit unsettling. Here’s the rainy day view today.
Every morning when I walk the pups through those paddocks we pass countless kangaroos. They all stand and stare as if they’ve never seen us before, even though we went the exact same way yesterday and the day before. Other wildlife I’ve encountered so far: a shingleback lizard in the laundry, who obligingly got in a box for me so that I could put him outside before the dogs found him, and a mouse in the lounge room this afternoon. Eek! I shooed him out the door. Also, the spiders are BIG out here. And they hang around in doorways.
Reading: The Art of Frugal Hedonism, which is a funny, thought-provoking book that came along just at the right moment, since I’ve chosen to work part time and live on less. It’s making me see how often I buy things, even small things, to try to do away with feelings of discomfort/inadequacy/boredom. It’s also highlighted very starkly how easy it is to forget to be curious, to have a sense of wonder and to take delight in the small things. I feel my attention span and ability to concentrate have shrunk in this fast-paced soundbite world and I want to bring those skills back.
Eating: Shed loads of vegetables and brown rice and fish, influenced by my reading of this book: The Scandinavian Belly Fat Diet. It’s just common sense, not a diet, really. I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in my waistline after two weeks but I sleep much better and that’s worth its weight in belly fat. I’ve discovered that a smoothie for brekky is my new favourite thing. Also, when you’re eating lots of veggies you need something absolutely out-of-this-world delicious to sprinkle on top and it turns out there’s a Japanese spice that fits the bill: togarashi. Go and get some or make some. You won’t be sorry.
Making: Well, that’s another reason for feeling unsettled. I didn’t bring any craft projects with me. My hands need something to do, so today I went to a craft shop and found this:
I’ve got pre-printed sashiko material at home but this kit gives you stencils to make your own patterns. Brilliant! It’s such a slow, satisfying way to sew that I’m hoping it’ll work its meditative magic. I also found some gorgeous fabric, which I’ll go back for in a few weeks to add to my stash. Summer dresses, here we come!
Worrying: That things are not what they seem. Ah, now we’re getting down to it. I could write a whole post on this, and maybe I will when I find out what’s going on. I recently dipped my toes into the turbulent waters of online dating and was contacted by someone who is either exactly what I’m looking for or a total hoax. I’m increasingly thinking it’s the latter, which makes me so angry I don’t have the words to express it.
Wondering: Where to next? With life, I mean. I seem to have reached a point where the things I used to be passionate about aren’t passions anymore and I haven’t found replacements. Has that happened to you? What did you do? All suggestions very welcome. A little brainstorming is in order, I think, to come up with some direction. Everyone needs a star to steer by.