Showing posts with label Introversion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Introversion. Show all posts

Monday, 9 October 2017

No More Regrets


Well howdy doody and how are you? Can you believe I said 'howdy doody'? I don't even know what it means! Never mind.

I am  here to talk about regrets. I have blogged about this before and came up with a whole list which you can read here.

The thing is, I re-read the list and thought about it some more. Because I love to over think things. And I began to wonder.  The root cause at the crux of some of these regrets is my ongoing battle with anxiety.

The question I'm asking myself is this: is anxiety something you regret? I mean, if you have an anxiety disorder it's not really your fault, though it is your responsibility. Fault/blame and responsibility are two different things to my mind. You can't be blamed for struggling with such a thing, but you are responsible for managing it.






Considering that my anxiety is clearly linked to the fact that I'm autistic and that is to do with the way my  brain is wired, saying I regret certain things where anxiety is at play is almost like regretting my entire existence.

I guess I'm not making much sense. Bear with me. I mean, looking at that old list I made a lot decisions based on fear and not being able to manage negative emotions. But at the time, I didn't understand that. Perhaps I didn't have the maturity or the knowledge. I mean, I didn't even know that I'm autistic until I was 40!

And even when I knew that I had an anxiety disorder, I didn't really accept it truly and properly. When anxiety in the form of panic attacks first tapped me on the shoulder many years ago, I thought of it as something more like a broken arm or a virus. Eventually it would clear off and that would be the end of it. But as anyone who struggles with this beast knows, it simply doesn't work that way.

It's only through accepting it about yourself and taking responsibility for managing it can you move forward and live a decent life. And honestly, looking back on it, I wasn't even given adequate treatment at first. It was only through my own perseverance that I kept going and trying things. Nobody ever even suggested that I see some one or pursue any help. It's almost like you're not taken seriously with these things if you're a woman... Especially one like me who has been a stay at home parent for many years. Anyway, I was trying to make a point but as usual I am rambling!

I'm just wondering about the futility of regretting things in life when you're an autistic human who has an anxiety disorder. I can say that I regret anxiety taking over my life, but at the same time, I was never given the correct tools to address it.  Somehow it seems that I've had to be very resourceful in trying to help myself and come to terms with it.







I've had six years to digest my diagnonsense and it still seems like there are often things I have to figure out and try to come to terms with.

I'm not organised. I am not a happy bubbly type. I don't know how to put it into words without sounding really negative. I am not really the person who would ever take off and go trekking by myself or do big gutsy brave things. I am not loud or opinionated or ballsy. And while I admire people who are, I can only be myself.  I am stuck being myself. A lot of times I think I should be things like confident and positive and I'm just not.

It's like if some people work out something they want to do they seem to know exactly what to do and the steps to take and then sustain it. I'm not like that. I can do certain things at times for periods of time, but not sustain it long-term. I can do one thing really well for a while. I can't do all the things.

Having anxiety and being autistic and introverted and all those things takes up a great deal of energy. I am who I am. And it is what it is.

It sounds odd, but I've realised I have to forgive myself for a lot of my perceived regrets or mistakes I made.






Ultimately I have wonderful parents, Mickey Blue Eyes and the boys and a small circle of family and friends who care about me and mean the world to me. And I want to concentrate on that. I did make some good decisions in life. Not that I want to bang on about cancer all the time, but having a brush with it certainly makes you realise you don't want to waste energy on a bunch of regrets.

But I do regret the 'howdy doody' thing. That was pretty dumb.

What about you?

What is your attitude towards regrets? 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Something About Selfies

For some one who can be terribly self absorbed, I am certainly not into the whole selfie phenomenon. I suspect it's partly because I'm shy and an introvert, but mainly I'm just a lazy technophobe with a dodgy old phone. I have no idea how to disguise double chins and add filters. Shrugs.

I don't really understand the whole get your boobs out on the internet and no make up selfies lauded as 'brave'. I must be extremely brave if that's the case... (Almost) no make up is my normal way of life these days.

Anyway, I've managed to take a few over the last year or two, even when I was going through cancer treatment. My bald noggin scared off one or two people. I lost a couple of 'likes' after posting it. But as the saying goes: it's like the trash took itself out.

Apparently it was National Selfie Day the other day. I didn't even know that was a thing. Thinking about it, my boys appear to not be into selfies either. It would appear we are a very introverted family.

The other thing is, I kind of have resting bitch face. Or something. I don't have much expression even when I feel really happy.

Having said all of that, I suppose I do take in interest in other folks selfies on social media. It's always nice to see someone else's smiling face, but  not so much my own resting bitch face (which will henceforth be known as RBF). 

I know I should take more selfies, it doesn't matter what I look like. Double chins, wrinkles, RBF, the whole shebang. Otherwise my funeral will rock around (hopefully many years from now!) and there will only be ancient photos from years ago available for my kids to remember me. 

My mum actually bought me a selfie stick some time ago and I never used it. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure where I put it. Weird. Hmmmm, where is that thing...

Anyway, a quick perusal of my Facebook photos shows me that my selfies have revolved around the sad saga of my hair. My tresses appear to have had an entire life of their own. See below.



THE TRAGIC TALE OF NESS'S TRESSES IN SELFIES


Me with 'normal' hair a few years ago.


Me when I decided to become a Hare Krishna.
Just kidding! Me during chemo last year.

Me being smokin' hawt in a beanie. Also during
chemo last year.


My Nanna Ness look when my hair started to
grow back. 


And finally...

Me a few weeks ago.


Now you can see why I'm not into selfies. They're all blurry and just ghastly and frightfully horrid and all those other expressions out of Enid Blyton books.

Any tips on how to make them less blurry when you have a crap phone? Plus, how do you hide double chins and add filters? Oh, that's right... I could just google that myself. Oops. Will do. As you were.

What are your thoughts about selfies?

Do you celebrate National Selfie Day?

Monday, 22 August 2016

Ten Things I Believe

Today I bring to you ten things I believe. A serious version and a silly one. Because I can never be all serious and deep and meaningful on this blog. Well, not very often, anyway. 


Ten Things I Believe: Serious Version 


1. Be kind. 


You know that internet meme about how everybody has an internal struggle you know nothing about? THAT. Basically just be kind. Don't be a dick also works here. 

2. Introverts are awesome! 

Well, duh. I'm super duper introverted and just look how awesome I am! 




3. When you're dead, you're dead.


I don't believe in God or heaven. I think it's the same as before you were born. You just don't exist anymore. You'd think this belief might give me some sense of urgency to do something with my life beyond EAT ALL THE CAKE. Apparently not. Oops.

Having said all of the above, I still reserve the right to believe in Emergency God. You know, when you're suddenly in a crisis and you start praying "Please god, let everything be okay..." There were certainly many times I prayed to a God I don't even believe in during my breast cancer experience. I just can't say 'journey'. 

4. Family is everything. I am so very lucky to have such a beautiful family and extended family. They mean the world to me. I LOVE them so much. And I'd also love them to leave me alone now and again. See point number 2. Ahem. 


5. You don't have to like or be liked by everyone.

It took me a while to figure this one out. Some people won't ever like you no matter what. You could give them a yacht and a million dollars and they still won't like you.  Although, if you want to test that theory I'm open to offers. I'd prefer a mansion and two million dollars, thanks. I promise I'll like you! Probably. 





6. You wouldn't worry about what others thought of you if you knew how seldom they did.


This one is courtesy of Dr Phil and fits in with the previous point. At least I got something out of hours of my life watching his show that I'll never get back. 

7. Happiness isn't the natural state for human beings a hundred percent of the time.


I read a book called The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris and it completely changed my way of thinking about happiness. Truthfully, happiness is just one of the gamut of emotions that everyone experiences during their lifetime. Nobody feels blissfully happy and contented every single second of every day, no matter what the highlight reels on their social media look like. 

8. What some one thinks of you is none of your business. Related: if  you happen to think my blog sucks I'd prefer not to know. Just click away...


Oh wait. Judging by the paltry amount of folk reading here, this is already happening. Sigh. 

9. I'm in no competition with no one.


This is yet another internet meme. But whatever works, right? This resonates with me. 






10. Letting go of the notion of having high self-esteem or self-confidence. 

This is another light-bulb moment courtesy of The Happiness Trap. The idea is that you stop judging yourself as a person. This is still something that I fall back into from time to time and have to keep reminding myself.  

Upon reflection it appears that I have gleaned a lot of wisdom from internet memes. Who said Facebook can't be educational and enlightening? 


Ten Things I Believe: Silly Version


1. Mornings suck.

I remember thinking that there should have actually been laws invented against getting up in the mornings before you were ready. That's how much my body protested against it. Mind you, I was having this thought in my late teens and early 20's. So you can imagine how eager I am to jump out of bed in my mid 40's. 





2. Cake should be the sixth food group.

Sure, it's fattening and terribly bad for you. Details!

3. Ditto chocolate.

4.  I believe in laughing at yourself and trying to see the funny side of stuff even when life is a tiny bit shit. 

5. There should be Carpenters music piped at a loud volume through every shopping centre and public place. Then every one else would vacate the premises in horror and this introvert would have it all to herself! Genius!

6. Weight should be like height. You get to your most healthy weight for your height and it stays there permanently no matter what you eat. Why didn't I design the human body? 

7. I believe in sleeping-in. 

This is pretty self-explanatory. See point number 1.


8. I believe I can fly. I believe I can touch the sky...

Okay, not really. But I DO believe that's one of the most annoying songs EVER. Says the woman who can listen to Carpenters songs about birds suddenly appearing and every sha la la la ad nauseam. Ahem.

9. I believe there should be a dinner fairy. 

And a washing up fairy. And a housework fairy... And just fairies in general. And unicorns. Basically what I'm saying is I believe in wine. Shut up. 



  


10. I believe I am all believed out. I believe I need a lie down.

Linking up for I Must Confess. 

What do YOU believe? 

Monday, 27 June 2016

One thing I wish I did differently



There was a time when I wished I did absolutely everything differently. Every single personality trait I have, I wished was the opposite.


Everything I wished was different


I'm quiet - I wished I was... not loud exactly, but bubbly and articulate.
I'm an introvert - I wished I was an extrovert. 
I'm shy- I wished I was outgoing, fearless and confident.
I'm scatter-brained and disorganised - I wished I was focused and efficient.
I'm a drifter and daydreamer - I wished I was driven and disciplined.
I'm nonathletic and uncoordinated - I wished I was sporty. 
I'm a night owl - I wished I was a morning person.

Blah blah blah.

Luckily, I don't have any gender confusion. I don't wish I was a man. Except for rare moments in grotty public toilets when the ability to be able to pee standing up would be an asset. But I digress.


Have I come to terms with all of the above?


I would like to be able to say that I've triumphed over all of the above and am blissfully happy and contented with my quiet, scatter-brained, nonathletic, night-owl self. But I can't. Well, to be honest, being quiet and introverted doesn't bother me as much as it used to, (although it often continues to bother others). However, I still find myself wishing I was much more organised, driven and disciplined. 

I guess it's because I'd like to be able to have something to point to in self-defence. People may like to point out that I'm quiet, but then I'd like to be able say "Well yes, I am, but on the other hand I'm really efficient and organised."

Um, no. No, I'm not. And it kind of irks me, to be honest. I get all whiny and pouty and pissed off like a three year old being denied cake. Or a 45 year old. Details. Shut up.

 If I'm going to struggle in one area, why can't I have another that is a strength? Nope. Lucky me, I get to struggle with social skills and executive functioning.


Always be yourself


And to make matters worse, it's not like my Aspie brain decided to fixate on a really helpful special interest like say, math or, I dunno, gardening or something. My mind decides to fixate on Karen Carpenter. I can remember every little tiny detail I've read or heard about her career and life both good and bad, yet I can't remember where I put my glasses five minutes ago or which school notes are due or what day it is. It's probably Monday if I've posted this. Is it Monday?

The only thing this (my Karen Carpenter obsession) is useful for is time-wasting and making people look at you like you have two heads. Winning! 


That's why expressions like 'be yourself' and 'feeling comfortable in your own skin' annoy me. 

It seems like when advice like the former is doled out it really means: be yourself, but only if you're an outgoing, type A, driven extrovert. 

And I don't know if I'll ever be truly one hundred percent comfortable in my own skin at all times. Maybe accepting that I'm always going to be just a tiny bit awkward is as good as it gets. In this way perhaps I'll worry about it less. I can already see this working. I know I'm always the most quiet person in any given situation, but I can still show up and sit there with my resting bitch face on. It's all good. 






The ONE thing I wish I did differently


Of course I'm just over thinking. As usual. 

So I guess if I was going to pinpoint one thing that I wish I did differently it would be that. I wish I didn't over think about stuff. Especially all of the above. After all, people still genuinely like me the way I am. Some of them even love me and would lose a kidney for me if necessary. And they feel this way without me changing a thing. They like quiet, scatter-brained me, complete with a cake and Karen Carpenter obsession. Well, I'm sure Mickey Blue Eyes wishes I'd get over it at times, but I wish he'd get over his soccer obsession, so we're even. 






And some people will simply never like you even if you gave them a Ferrari, and that's OK. Being liked by everyone sounds exhausting to an introvert like me! 


I suppose I could try an experiment George Costanza style and do the opposite of every instinct I have for a day or two to see how it goes? But then I'd have to not eat cakies. Bugger that!

Yep, it's definitely time to stop over thinking. Now if only I could stop over thinking about over thinking....

I'll have to think about that...



Linking up for I Must Confess.

Linking up again for Friday Reflections.






What's the one thing you wish you did differently?

Monday, 22 February 2016

Introverts Are Awesome!

Howdy folks! Here's something I dragged out of the vaults for today's burning question: 

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Quiet and reserved?

Or a bubbly, outgoing chatterbox?

The person sitting sedately in the corner at social occasions?

Or do you prefer dancing on the tables and being the centre of attention?

Maybe you're somewhere in between these extremes? I'd like to know! 

As for me,  clearly it's obvious. It's table-top dancing exhibitionism all the way, baby! And talking? I never stop! 

The fact that this is all a figment of my imagination is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

Oh alright, sometimes I like to pretend I'm the opposite of what I'm really like. I mean, it was okay to sing into a hair brush in my bedroom as a child and pretend to be a pop star. Can't I still play pretend as an adult? The problem is, I have difficulty translating my flights of fantasy into real life 'fake it until you make it' situations. Sigh. 

The truth is that I'm so introverted I make all other introverts seem like Alan Carr Chatty Man on Speed. In addition to my extreme introversion, I am also ridiculously shy. If that wasn't enough, I also have Asperger's Syndrome. Oh yes, I've scored the ultimate hat-trick of excruciating social awkwardness. Yay me! 

Just make sure you invite me to all your parties if you really want to them to just  GO  OFF!  I mean completely, OFF. Literally. I'll bore all the guests rigid in seconds. If my riveting personality isn't enough, all I need to do is whip out my Carpenters albums. DONE. 

Anyway, as you can see, all of the above traits have led to me disintegrating in self-deprecation quite frequently. However, since the publication of the book I mentioned, there has been a subtle shift. Us introverts are finally getting our fifteen minutes of fame. There is even a Facebook group called Introverts Are Awesome.
I absolutely agree. So I stole the title for this post. Ahem.

As mute as I can be in person, I have a feeling that I have plenty to say on this topic. So feel free to skim through to the end. 

Otherwise, strap yourself in, it's going to be a self-indulgent ride. You're welcome.  

Apparently it was some dude named Carl Jung who first coined the terms introvert and extrovert. Although there still appears to be some ongoing debate about the true definition of these terms, the simple lay person's guide is this:

An introvert is somebody who finds too much social interaction over-stimulating and needs to recharge with solitude. Extroverts, on the other hand, are energised and thrive off being around other people. 

This is a pretty basic, abridged definition. Obviously there has been reams of stuff written about the two different types and there can be variables. For instance, not all introverts consider themselves to be shy.  

Personally, I was so sensitive about being shy as a young person that I failed to realise that I was also introverted and that this is perfectly fine. Looking back I can see that I sabotaged myself in some ways. 

After I finished High School back in the olden days of the late 1980's, I studied at TAFE to become a Library Technician. My shyness caused me so much agony, especially in the form of job interviews, that even though I managed to secure temporary positions, I finally convinced myself that I was not cut out for the job.

Guess what? You don't have to be extroverted to work in a Library! Who knew? It never occurred to me to see being quiet and introverted as a positive instead of a negative.

There seems to be way too much emphasis on being extroverted in our culture. For so many years I always believed that being shy/introverted was this bad, hideous, awful thing about me that had to be changed at all costs.



The inference from other people was  always that if only I tried hard enough I could 'come of out my shell'. I have grown to hate that expression. Having people subtly put you down in this way constantly just reinforces all the above feelings. I felt that everything about me was intrinsically WRONG. 

After ditching the Library work, I started working in a call centre. Yep, I'm a genius. This is the introvert's version of Hell. Only worse. Anyway, I used to envy the fact that my co-workers seemed to have all this easy banter and rapport. I'd see groups of women trotting off to lunch together laughing, and wish I could be one of them. 

Then, the rare times that I was actually invited out to lunch with others, I'd find myself feeling....well, frankly....bored. Not shy. Not anxious. Just plain old bored. While they chattered on about how hammered they were on the weekend (perfectly normal for a bunch of twenty somethings), I had nothing to add to this conversation. This is when I realised that I do sometimes prefer my own company. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally anti-social. I just prefer small groups of close friends and family than over-whelming crowds of lots of people. And sometimes I just don't click or have anything in common with some people. I've decided that this is okay. After all, you don't have to like or be liked by everyone


Even when I socialise with close friends and family I suffer a 'social hangover' afterwards. I enjoy it, but I then I need time alone to re-charge. Instead of feeling refreshed and energised I feel  like I've done 50 rounds in the ring with The Rock, then been run over by truck and put through a blender. 

See, I knew that I would ramble on about this subject. Whatever the written equivalent of verbal diarrhoea is, I have it. Ahem.

I  ain't coming out of my shell for anyone! 

Even alcohol doesn't 'bring me out of my shell'. Instead, I just feel sleepy and mellow after one or two drinks. After a third I'll either feel light-headed and sick or slip into a coma. I'm SUCH a party animal!


Fortunately, I never attend many parties. Unless they are children's parties. Nobody appears to have 'at home' parties anymore. Or, if they are, we're not being invited. This means that I may have to sit in a McDonald's/Play Centre/Bowling Alley with a few other unfamiliar parents and make polite chit-chat. Not surprisingly, I suck at it. 

I'll either go with my favourite option: mutism. Or, alternatively, I'll completely put my foot in it and blurt out way too much information. 

Like the time one Mum was chatting away about a friend who had tragically lost a baby half way through her pregnancy, yet still had to give birth.

"I couldn't imagine having to go through that!" she said, almost in tears "It would be terrible!"


"Yes, it is," I replied, without thinking "the same thing happened to me." 

The poor woman looked thunderstruck. Of course there was no way she could ever have known that. I wouldn't say it was exactly helpful of me to bring it up. She apologised, clearly wishing the ground would swallow her. Good one, Ness.

Ditto the time when I used to attend Playgroup with Mr 5 before he started school. One of the Mums there expressed her worry about her Dad who was having a colonoscopy that day. I proceeded to inform her how Micky Blue Eyes has one every year after having had bowel cancer in 2004. Her worried expression turned to one of terror. Well played yet again, Ness.  Way to go with the social gaffes!


As Mr 11 would say in a faux American drawl:

AWWWKARRRRD!

No wonder I mostly stick to what I'm best at. Shutting right up.

Yes sir, selective mutism and I are besties. 


ALL VALE NESSKI: Bringing you awkward silences since 1971!

Another phenomenon that came into play during the Play Group era was my introverted tendency to suffer from a 'social hangover'. I briefly touched upon this before.

Playgroup only consisted of a measly two hours a week of social interaction.  That's nothing, right? So why did I go home every week and feel like sobbing from exhaustion? The next week would roll around and I'd feel barely recovered.


Meanwhile, the other Mums revealed how they schlepped their kidlets to various groups on multiple days of the week. I was STUNNED to learn this. Seriously. STUNNED. 

I couldn't have been more shocked if they'd revealed that they liked to snort cocaine off a hooker's arse while their kids watched. 

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a teeny bit. But it is quite amazing to me how you weirdo extroverted folk like this socialising caper so much. 

I guess I could force myself out of my comfort zone once in while. 

It is quite interesting being a shy, introverted Aspie and being a mother of three amazing but noisy boys! On the one hand, I often crave peace and solitude. On the other hand, my family are my coat of armour against the World.

An oldie but a goodie 


In all my many awkward moments I can remind myself that I don't have to worry about what others think of me. I have Micky Blue Eyes and the boys who love and accept me. We are a family of introverts. The only difference is, my boys are certainly NOT shy! 

Anyway, Susan Cain has a Manifesto for Introverts.


I'd like to make up my own manifesto, but I'll have to think about it further in order to come up with something poetic and wise.

In the mean time, you can always count on good old Grumpy Cat:


Linking up for  IMust ConfessOpen Slather and Mummy Mondays

Are you an introvert or an extrovert, or maybe a bit of both? 


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Introverts Are Still Awesome!

You may remember my lovely little self-indulgent stroll down an introverted lane. Well, I now want to take another wander down this path and present my much anticipated Part Two! I know you've probably been waiting for it with bated breath. What's that? You have no idea what I'm on about? HMPH. You can read it here.

Anyway, as I was saying, I am really quite the massive introvert. Even alcohol doesn't 'bring me out of my shell'. Instead, I just feel sleepy and mellow after one or two drinks. After a third I'll either feel light-headed and sick or slip into a coma. I'm SUCH a party animal!

Fortunately, I never attend many parties. Unless they are children's parties. Nobody appears to have 'at home' parties anymore. Or, if they are, we're not being invited. This means that I may have to sit in a McDonald's/Play Centre/Bowling Alley with a few other unfamiliar parents and make polite chit-chat. Not surprisingly, I suck at it. 

I'll either go with my favourite option: mutism. Or, alternatively, I'll completely put my foot in it and blurt out way too much information. 

Like the time one Mum was chatting away about a friend who had tragically lost a baby half way through her pregnancy, yet still had to give birth.

"I couldn't imagine having to go through that!" she said, almost in tears "It would be terrible!"


"Yes, it is," I replied, without thinking "the same thing happened to me." 

The poor woman looked thunderstruck. Of course there was no way she could ever have known that. I wouldn't say it was exactly helpful of me to bring it up. She apologised, clearly wishing the ground would swallow her. Good one, Ness.

Ditto the time when I used to attend Playgroup with Mr 5 before he started school. One of the Mums there expressed her worry about her Dad who was having a colonoscopy that day. I proceeded to inform her how Micky Blue Eyes has one every year after having had bowel cancer in 2004. Her worried expression turned to one of terror. Well played yet again, Ness.  Way to go with the social gaffes!


As Mr 10 would say in a faux American drawl:

AWWWKARRRRD!

No wonder I mostly stick to what I'm best at. Shutting right up.

Yes sir, selective mutism and I are besties. 


ALL VALE NESSKI: Bringing you awkward silences since 1971!

Another phenomenon that came into play during the Play Group era was my introverted tendency to suffer from a 'social hangover'. I briefly touched upon this before.

Playgroup only consisted of a measly two hours a week of social interaction.  That's nothing, right? So why did I go home every week and feel like sobbing from exhaustion? The next week would roll around and I'd feel barely recovered.


Meanwhile, the other Mums revealed how they schlepped their kidlets to various groups on multiple days of the week. I was STUNNED to learn this. Seriously. STUNNED. 

I couldn't have been more shocked if they'd revealed that they liked to snort cocaine off a hooker's arse while their kids watched. 

Okay, I may be exaggerating just a teeny bit. But it is quite amazing to me how you weirdo extroverted folk like this socialising caper so much. 

I guess I could force myself out of my comfort zone once in while. Speaking of which, I'll be attending Mr 5's school assembly this afternoon. There will be crowds, noise, parents, children and off-key singing. Last time I attended Mr 10's assembly I accidentally sat in the wrong spot in the school hall. This resulted in me being mistaken for a casual teacher twice.

It only occurred to me later that I should have totally went with it Jack Black/School Of Rock style and pretended I was. I'm sure I could have had those kids belting out Carpenters songs before school ended! Shut up, they are rock! CLASSIC rock, I tell you! Oh all right, classic soft rock. Adult contemporary? Okay, so they're bloody easy listening! So what? HMPH. 


I'm rambling again, aren't I? Oh well, this is the only place where I do it, therefore I'm allowed. So ner!

It is quite interesting being a shy, introverted Aspie and being a mother of three amazing but noisy boys! On the one hand, I often crave peace and solitude. On the other hand, my family are my coat of armour against the World.


An oldie but a goodie 


In all my many awkward moments I can remind myself that I don't have to worry about what others think of me. I have Micky Blue Eyes and the boys who love and accept me. We are a family of introverts. The only difference is, my boys are certainly NOT shy! 

I'm still plodding through Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking and finding it fascinating.  See, introverts ARE fascinating! I knew it! I'm totally riveting. So the fact that you're probably nodding off around now is not my fault. No way. 

Anyway, Susan Cain has a Manifesto for Introverts.




 I'd like to make up my own manifesto, but I'll have to think about it further in order to come up with something poetic and wise.

In the mean time, you can always count on good old Grumpy Cat:



Linking up for The Lounge and Laugh Link.


Do you have a manifesto?

What does family mean to you? 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The A - Z Of Me



A is for absent,  because I always seem to be absent from this space lately. Oops.  I’m an absent-minded sort of person as well. A is also for Asperger’s which I was diagnosed with at age 40 in 2011.

B is for boring as batshit. I’m even boring myself with this blog let alone anyone else which is why I’ve been so conspicuously absent. B is also for my three boys aged 12 (almost 13), 10 and 5, who are anything but boring.

C is for cake and Carpenters: my two obsessions. C is also for classy. Clearly I am.  Classy, that is. Shut up.

D is for daydreaming because I’m constantly ‘off with the pixies’ and a space cadet.

E is for effort. I find everything in life to require monumental effort while I’d much rather be daydreaming while eating cake and listening to the Carpenters. It’s weird that people won’t pay you do so. Hmph.  E is also for exercise endorphins. I have to force myself to do the former daily in order to achieve the latter. An even louder HMPH! . Did I mention effort? Why can’t you get endorphins by sleeping?

F is for forgetful. In fact, the only reason I’ve survived on this planet for 43 and a half years is because eating is the one thing I don’t forget. Which brings me to the other F: FOOD.  Some people eat to live, I live to eat. I mentioned that I was classy.
G is for great, galloping, gargantuan, garrulous guacamole. Oh okay, I couldn't think of anything for G, but that's pretty impressive alliteration there, right?

H is for hope. I’m hoping I’ll come up with something interesting. Nope. Sorry.

I is for Infertility. Unbelievably now, there was a time when I thought I’d never be a mother. My boys were all miracle babies. I is also for Introvert. I take introversion to a whole new level. I’m so introverted that I make other introverts seem like loud, exhibitionist extroverts. At least I'm good at something. Thanks to  Susan Cain we’re all the rage now. Introverts are awesome and all that. So ner to all you lowly extroverts.

J is for the juxtaposition of two of my favourite things. Read on...

K is for Karen. Carpenter, of course. I sort of like her a bit. Ahem. I realise this is just repeating part of C but I couldn’t think of anything else for K, okay? It’s ironic that two of my favourite things are food and the World’s most famous anorexic but I like to mix things up. This is what I was referring to above with the whole juxtaposition thing. I'm not really sure if that's a word to be honest but it sounds impressive.

L is for Lego, the evil nemesis in my life. This Cancer of toys seems to multiply and spread to every corner of my house while I run around trying fruitlessly to keep it one area. Sigh.

M is for Micky Blue Eyes because I should probably give him a mention seeing as we are coming up to our 19th anniversary later this year.

N is for noise which I don’t like very much. N is also for Ness which is what most people call me and led to the title of this blog. I’m so original.

0 is for original. See ‘N’ above.

P is for People, those weird, scary creatures. I find them simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. But, as Barbra testifies, people who make people are the cluckiest people in the world. Or something. Therefore, I’m glad I made my little ‘tribe’ of people where I belong.

Q is for quiet. I have always been quiet. If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve heard expressions like: “You’re the quietest person I’ve ever met!” or “You should come out of your shell!” I would be richer than Gina Rinehart.  My greatest skill is the impressive ability to just shut right up. This is a skill that more people should consider developing. Shut up. Literally. It’s not that hard. I do it all the time.

R is for reading. I’ve always been a book worm. I’m happier with a bag full of dollar books from Vinnies than a closet full of designer clothes or shoes. R is also for ranga. I am one. The fact that I need a little..erm..’help’ (hair dye) to remain one these days is completely irrelevant.

S is for scotch which is a favourite drink.

T is for tea which is my favourite non-alcoholic drink.

U is for unicorn because I am a majestic unicorn. This meme says so. So ner. See also: R


V is for Vanessa because it’s my name obviously. Duh. Everyone calls me Ness, though. Except Mick and my parents who’ve stuck with the Vanessa thing. The boys call me Mum when they’re not calling me other things.  Apparently Mum originally wanted to call me Rachel or Rebecca but Dad wasn’t as keen. They briefly decided on the name Monique until Mum saw Vanessa Redgrave in the movie Camelot and thought she and her name were beautiful. Therefore I became a Vanessa. Thankfully, as I don’t think I look like a Monique but I look exactly like a young, beautiful Vanessa Redgrave. The resemblance is uncanny really.

Me



Vanessa Redgrave. It's like we're twins...
 

W is for weird. I’m quite weird. But you already knew that.

X is for x-ray. I’ve had one or two in my time which isn’t very interesting but I’ve never played a Xylaphone so that’ll have to do.

Y is for “Y’s a crooked letter and Z’s no better!” which is something my Mum used to say to my brother and I when we were children in reply to our constant round of “Why’s?”

Z is for the sound of everyone snoring by this point. My cure for insomnia is now complete. You’re welcome.
Linking up belatedly with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.


                                            Who can honestly think of anything about themselves for X, Y and Z??

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Sefish Bogan?

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I  was sitting here in blissful, wonderful silence this morning reading this post  by the wonderful Emily at Have A Laugh On Me and her questions got me to thinking. Yes, that’s what that  burning smell is. I do  occasionally think about  other  things beside cake or Karen Carpenter. See? I waited until the third sentence to mention them! Hmph. 
I love quiet time. I guess it goes with the territory of being quiet, shy, introverted and an Aspie.  Yep, I certainly hit the jackpot there with all those marvellous traits. Apparently, I don't know how to spell marvellous anymore as it has just appeared with one of those annoying squiggly red lines under it. Or spell, period. Isn't that just MARVELLOUS? Or however the fuck you spell it. HMPH.


I also have to confess that sometimes this fervent love of solitude makes me feel like I may be a tad selfish and self-absorbed at times. Which is just plain silly, right? This is a theory that I've actually had suggested to me: that quiet people are selfish. At the time I remember thinking that this was utter bullshit but of course I didn't say anything. After all, I'm quiet (or selfish depending on your point of view) so I kept my 'what a load of bullshit' thought to myself.



The irony was that this occurred in a group I attended to do with confidence building.  Oddly enough being told that you're considered selfish didn't do a great deal to boost my confidence. Funny about that.


Another funny thing is that I before I had children I kind of knew this about myself - that I had an extreme need for quiet time and solitude and that this would probably be my biggest challenge with having children. In spite of this, I still plunged ahead and had three of these delightful creatures, proving that in addition to being selfish I am also a masochist. On the plus side, it's nice to have yourself figured out at this advanced age. Meaning, the wrong side of forty. I’m a selfish, self-absorbed masochist. Nice.



Which brings me to Emily’s question  about volunteering for the school tuck shop, P & C or as a parent helper. As a stay at home mum who doesn’t do any of these things am I being selfish? Even though I feel  like I have  valid reasons, are those reasons selfish or wrong?




Reasons:





I don’t have good people skills:  People are scary. You have to talk to them and make eye contact, which are two things I am simply not stellar at. Should I force myself to do so in spite of this?





I have helped in the canteen at the boys soccer grounds. Once. Shut up. This involved a hatrick of skills I do not  possess. Talking to and serving people,  remembering orders and adding up the money. I was a nervous wreck at the end of an hour and have never wished to repeat the experience.





I struggle with just helping my boys with their homework. This is something I’m not proud of, but there it is. It’s quite humiliating to not understand primary school homework, so  perhaps I do need to  return to school. However, not as a parent helper, but as a student, so I can learn basic grammar (this blog could certainly benefit from it) and maths all over again and how to spell words like marvellous. Plus, I’m sure I’d still look quite cute in a uniform and pig tails. No?


Previously, I took Mr 5 to a Play Group where the interactions between parents sometimes became slightly political while I  tried to remain like Switzerland – neutral – and not get  involved. For this reason I prefer to avoid P&C committees with the same sleuth like elusiveness I employ in avoiding the I Quit Sugar craze. In fact, that is where you would find me at Play Group. In the corner where the morning tea cakies were, shoving them in my gob to avoid talking and, you know, just because I’m addicted to cake. Ahem.  If  P&C meetings involved cake of any description, I’d be a candidate for The Biggest Loser before the year is through.


I did volunteer to help in the library at the boys  previous school. I figured that I do have a Library Practice Diploma (even though it's more than twenty years old - details) and experience working in specialist libraries ( a long time ago, but again- details). I was given a stack of books to take home and cover. I didn't mind doing this. Where other people might find it tedious and prefer social contact, I'd rather work with books than people. I'm weird. So perhaps I could try that again and play to my strengths.


Now I’m back to my original point about LOVING quiet time. I as I stated, it does seem somewhat selfish but the truth is that I desperately, desperately need to have time to myself or, to be completely blunt and honest, I feel that my mental health starts to suffer.  In order to function as a mother of three boys and keep on top of everything that goes with the territory I need time to recharge. I also need to do physical exercise and break a sweat every day. I know everyone needs this, but as a person who has challenges with anxiety requiring medication I need this like I need air. It does seem selfish and a tad self-absorbed at times but it’s the truth.


 And that little myth about having more time once the kids are all at school? That’s what it is: a myth. Sorry to burst that bubble if your kidlets are not at school yet. I personally find that school brings with it much more stuff to organise and remember and also constant socialising in the form of school fetes, assemblies and the inevitable birthday party invitations that arrive. These are things I need to pace myself with. As someone on the spectrum, I have different challenges than other Mum’s who perhaps can handle the whole multi-tasking, socialising, P&C committee attending, soccer Mum thing with greater ease than me.





And ultimately, as I read in the book Power Over Panic by Bronwyn Fox, my mental health  has to be more important than what someone might think of me. This is now my mantra.





Do you need quiet time to cope with the demands of parenting?  How do you recharge? Or do you think I’m selfish?




Sunday, 8 April 2012

Quiet Discomfort

I am, of course, famous for being quiet, introspective and deep.(ie an off with the pixies, space cadet who can't think of a single original thing to say) which means that I do not find myself making faux pas. In fact my biggest faux pas seems to be the fact that I AM so quiet. It seems to bother people tremendously.  This has led to the following situations and observations.

When an outgoing, talkative person leaves a job, their co-workers are genuinely regretful to see them go, not only because of their work contribution, but also because of their wit, conversation skills and general friendliness.  People descend on them with loud exclamations of "Sorry to see you go!" and promises to keep in touch and meet for coffee.  There are lots of 'in' jokes on the farewell card about all the crazy times at staff and Christmas Parties.

This is in stark contrast to a shy, quiet person, (ie. me). When you leave a job (assuming you can get one in the first place) people make such heartwarming comments like:

"Oh well, we'll miss your work, but not you - you're too quiet."

When the farewell card goes around the office, everyone politely signs it, all the while wondering:
 "Who is she?"

Other stuff that has happened:

People routinely talk about me as if I'm not there.

People who would never dream of telling an overly loud chatterbox to just shut the hell up, think nothing of telling me that I SHOULD NOT be so quiet. That I MUST come out of my shell.

Frequent jibes heard are:

"It's always the quiet ones you gotta watch."

 As if being quiet means I am some sort of weird psychopath waiting to happen, who could potentially snap at any given moment. Well, just so you know, I personally keep my collection of sawn off shot guns right in between my collection of Carpenters cds and Lucy Maud Montgomery novels. NOT.

"Stuck up bitch!"

I heard this a lot growing up

 Me? Stuck up? I live in Boganville for christ sakes.  Me? A bitch? I honestly wish I could be one.  Even just for a day, just to see what it feels like.

"You're the quietest person I've ever met/known." 

 Hmph.  Don't they know any dead people.

Other stuff that occurs to me:


People whom I've met several times and by now could reasonably expect they might remember me, look at me bewildered, frantically searching their memory banks and coming up with...nothing...as they have forgotten my name.

I spent decades of my life being nice, polite, sweet and giving to other people who wouldn't even like me if I gave them a Ferrari, only to be informed during a so-called Confidence Building group thingy, that quiet, shy people are selfish and self-absorbed. This didn't particularly build my confidence, come to think of it.

In a recent social situation I was my usual quiet, unassuming self. Meanwhile, a group of young women were chatting away incessantly. The bulk of the conservation seemed to involve bitching about other friends and acquaintances who were not there. At times the comments were not only bitchy but downright racist. I said nothing. Maybe I should have. Nobody else said anything. Then, in amongst all this racist bitchiness, somebody turned to me and exclaimed loudly :

"You're the quietest person I've ever known! You're never gonna change, are you?" Hearty chuckles. How am I supposed to respond to such statements? I have no idea, but I probably gave her look that would freeze hell over.

Apparently being bitchy and racist is far more socially acceptable than being quiet. I don't get it. I never will. Sigh.

Selective mutism is, of course, part of having Asperger's Syndrome. I was just lucky enough to score a genetic hatrick of traits. I'm introverted, shy, quiet AND an Aspie, so therefore, is it any wonder I am so quiet? Maybe I should wear a sign on my chest or something informing people of all of the above, so they won't make a federal issue of it.

Ultimately, the older I get the less I care about what random people think of me. Hallejah! About time. Occasionally, I frustrate the fuck out of Micky Blue Eyes with my silence. I DO care about that. I don't know how he puts up with me, sometimes. But then again, I don't know how I put up with him either. Interesting. Apparently we like putting up with each other.

Okay, I think I'm done.  Back to what I do best.  Shutting up.  Try it some time people.

Linking up with Kirsty from  My Home Truths for I Must Confess.


Are you a talker? Too quiet? Or just right? What's so wrong with being quiet, anyway? Any thoughts?

I Vant To Be Alone

It is Easter Sunday and I now have alone time.  Mick has taken the boys to a soccer match. The house is echoing with blissful silence.  I can even hear a bird cooing along with the wind chimes outside the door. No deafening roar of a PlayStation, combined with the television blasing. No cries of "Muum, can you get me a cup of tea?" vying with "He started it!" to be heard.

 Consequently, I cannot think of single interesting thing to write about.  So I expect this blog entry will be boring as batshit.  Just like all the others then, I guess. Oh well.

Whenever I have absolutely no hope in hell of getting near the computer, then, no doubt I would be bursting forth with all sorts of brilliantly witty insights and revelations (ie. full of shit). Today, I've got nothing.  But since nobobdy is reading this anyway I guess it doesn't matter.

So, now that I have alone time, here is a list of things I could do:

  • Exercise (I do need the endorphins.  No point worrying about burning calories.  I could jog to Melbourne and back and I still wouldn't have burned off the calories I've eaten in chocolate.)
  • Blast Carpenters REALLY LOUD.
  • Write
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Do 20 truck loads of washing up (hmm might actually be forced to, if I fancy a cup of tea later)
  • Read a book
  • Put away 20 truck loads of laundry
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Clear away/tidy
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Stare into space vacantly
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Call a friend
  • Text a friend
  • Ironing ( yeah right)
  • Watch tv
  • Watch a girly movie
  • Eat more chocolate
Right. So far, have managed to read a book, eat more chocolate, stare into space vacantly, eat more chocolate, blast Carpenters, eat more chocolate ,write this boring as batshit blog and eat more chocolate.  Comforting when you can tick stuff off your to-do list isn't it?

On a day when most people would unite with their extended families for a big get together or bbq, I am quite content being alone. I have chocolate. Books. Carpenters. Computer.  Ahhh, heaven.

I guess it seems like I don't really love my kids when I crave alone time so much.  But I really do love them.  I just really love them to go out with Mick and leave me alone sometimes too.  This gives me time to ponder on things like the deep and intellectual thinker I am.  Like my reflections on being so quiet and introverted.  Coming soon.