Today I am tired, sore and a bit over it all. I will very soon be ensconced on a tropical island, cocktail in one hand whilst the other is resting on my belly full of Thai food, but I need a kick up my substantial arse to help me do all of the things that need to be done between now and then.
One of the ways I got myself through cancer treatment, was to create mental lists of things that made me laugh, things that were good and right about the world, or that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Let me tell you that the warm part was easy – hello early menopause – but the fuzzy was a bit more difficult, thanks to the all-over medical Brazilian that results from chemo. I christened my mental recipes for positivity the Not Shit List, and there were many late nights and early mornings, where I was unable to sleep because of a range of crazy drug interactions, where coming up with a Not Shit List served to calm my mind, focus my energies and prove to me that everything I was going through was going to ultimately be worth it.
So, in an attempt to lift myself out of my Turd-day funk, I present to you my Not Shit List for 20 November 2014:
1. The whole tropical island holiday thing.
One day in July, I sat at my computer, hovering my finger over the publish button of a post I’d had drafted for a while. Once again, I couldn’t bring myself to press that bloody button, so instead I went online and booked a holiday to Thailand for the end of the year. The act of doing that – of feeling confident that I would be alive and well enough to go on a holiday in five months’ time – gave me the courage to then go and push publish on that post. Turns out that people liked that post, and they shared it with others who shared it some more, and suddenly my blog, and a photo of me without a top on, was getting traffic from all over the world. Sure, those who arrived at the blog via a search for ‘naked tits’ would have been fairly disappointed, but all the amazing, positive comments made it so worthwhile.
I used to be a voracious reader, but these days I read so much for my day job that I don’t have much appetite for reading for pleasure. But each time we go on holidays, Dave and I get a couple of books each, which we usually end up sharing over the course of a couple of weeks’ break. This year I ordered them online, and when they arrived in the mail, the feel of their shiny new covers smell of the fresh paper made me more than a little excited. This holiday Dave and I will be sharing The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Love Your Sister by Samuel Johnson, Here Come the Dogs by Omar Musa, and Not that Kind of Girl by Lena Durham. We will intersperse these with other assorted short works of non-fiction, including my long-time favourite:
3. Random weirdness.
I arrived home yesterday to find this message from my husband which had been carved into the dirt on our driveway with a high pressure cleaning hose.
Speaking of pies and all things food, you know, when I was single and share-house dwelling in my 20s, grocery shopping consisted of gathering up an arm-load of those packets of dry pasta and sauce mix that you add water to, some tinned corn and a bag of grated cheese. Oh yes, I was quite the gourmand in those days, preferring to spend my hard-earned on clothes, shoes and cans of pre-mix vodka and orange. These days, I am somewhat of a food snob, which I believe stems from my twelve months maternity leave, most of which was spent parked in front of the Lifestyle Food channel with a baby who took 115 minutes to feed and fed every two hours.
These days, I love cooking – it is a passion, a hobby, a distraction and a creative release. I love searching for new recipes, working out how I can convert them to gluten-free (Dave has coeliac disease), and then presenting them to family and friends for their enjoyment. As for those pies? Mea culpa, friends, mea culpa.
It may be shallow to admit that one of the things that brings me pleasure is looking at and sometimes buying stuff, but hey, I’ve had cancer so nobody’s going to call me shallow to my face, are they? Through my random trawling both online and in actual shops (old-fashioned gal that I am), I develop regular obsessions with certain items that I usually can’t afford. At the moment it’s these sunglasses:
Yes, totally Dame Edna but I reckon I could totally rock them with my un-ironed cargo pants and manky t-shirt whilst watching Hugh’s Saturday morning swimming lessons.
5. 30 Better Options Than Tony Abbott
It’s funny, but it’s also true – 30 Better Options Than Tony Abbott.
Not Shit List complete, and you know what? I really do feel better. Care to share your Not Shit List?