TMI Tuesday – Relationships and Attention

1. Compared to 5 years ago do you care more or less about what people think of you?

I would like to say less. The reality is probably that it hasn’t really changed. I still have a pathological need to gain people’s approval

2. What is the last self-help book, article or blog post you read? Did it help you?

In the early hours of this morning I was preparing a blog post and I delved into articles about narcissistic parents and the effects on their children. It was somewhat helpful to explain the behaviour of my own parent which hasn’t always been exemplary but I guess we all have failings. The thing I am coming to realise is that while you may have a reason for your failing I don’t have an obligation to accept behaviour from you that is damaging to me. There is a reason that the word toxic is used to describe certain people.

3. Tell us 3 people you must have in your life.

Mr Jones because he is Mr Jones. I like to think sometimes that I could manage without him but I really honestly couldn’t.

The Unicorn because if there was a mini me in the world it is her.

I don’t have a third person.

4. Does tech interfere with your personal relationships? How so?

I think that tech interferes with living in general. Spending endless hours with your head down scrolling and scrolling. When can you get that time back. How can you connect when you are so stimulated that your brain doesn’t relax into existing?

5. When you want your partner or friend’s undivided attention, how do you communicate that?

Depends on the friend but I find putting my body directly in their line of sight so that they can’t ignore me works well. This applies for teenagers who don’t want to listen to an instruction, children who are fixated on a television and husbands who haven’t noticed you in a while.

Bonus: What is your view of love?

Integrity

Of late I have been struggling to post. Part of the reason for this is some mental turmoil surrounding my job. In an effort to collect my thoughts I penned this.

Photo by George Pagan III on Unsplash

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching. It means even when you know that you are fighting the ocean and no one is going to stand with you that you stand up and say no.

Yesterday a colleague commented to me that I have integrity. Right now I find myself in a workplace where it feels as if most people have stopped caring. They don’t understand what they do. They are teachers. They think because they have that job title they automatically care.

But I am learning it doesn’t work that way. Caring isn’t just turning up for the celebrations and the free food. It is holding the line with Young People. It is having the hard conversations and being the unpopular grumpy teacher. Because you care enough to chip away at the hard surface that is a teenager who has been abandoned by most educators and sometimes even by their parents.

Caring is doing this stuff even if you know your manager is going to overturn your ruling when the pressure is on. Caring is keeping your standards when the company who employs you is all about ticking a box. Because when Young People get out in the world they will benefit from being pushed.

When you stop pushing and use the excuse that it doesn’t matter because your manager doesn’t care you stop caring for those people in front of you. At this point I believe that you need to consider if you should still be teaching. if you still have the interest of your charges at the forefront of your practice.

Of course there is a point where being the only one who does the right thing is damaging to your soul. When you realise that people are just taking advantage and that you are never going to reap the rewards. At this point you are faced with a choice. Stop caring and join the rest of the sheep, or find another workplace that is more supportive. I find myself at this juncture.

There are reasons why this choice is not simple. Many questions to answer. Going back to mainstream school is not an option so where would I take my career? If I wanted to I have the financial stability to retire. My retirement would have to be frugal but it is possible. Is there another type of job I could do? The last and most obvious question, have I reached the point where it is damaging for me to continue in the same job with the same company?

The answer to this last question is not yet but it isn’t far away. There may be some changes afoot in my workplace. Pushing back against the negativity and maintaining my integrity may help this change to happen. In the last few weeks I have been doing this. Pushing back, pointing out to people what their responsibilities are. The wheels are turning. I can see a glimmer of hope. I keep getting asked the question “Are you staying next year?” The answer is yes. For now.

TMI Tuesday Because You Can Never Have Too Much TMI

Yes this is the second instalment for today. You have to ride the motivation when it takes you.

1. Who here plays Wordle? Have you every solved wordle in one play?

Sometimes, and no. I like word games like Bananagrams and Scrabble but when I am idling on my phone Wordle doesn’t just tick my boxes.

2. Any Candy Crush addicts?

I used to be. I just got a bit bored with it. I still have the app on my phone though.

3. Anyone still engaging in Angry Birds fighting?

Wow I suck at these questions!

4. Do you Sudoku?

I actually do enjoy a good sudoku. I have giant book of them that I work on when I am out sailing. Another crazy puzzle in the same book is Kakuro. Addictive and frustrating.

5. Have you ever done an Escape Room? Did you like it?

I haven’t had the opportunity but there is one that is near me. The Unicorn went there with her friend and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am thinking I might drag Mr Jones along.

6. Are jigsaw puzzles your jam? How many pieces was the last jigsaw puzzle you did? What was the largest jigsaw puzzle you completed?

I really do like a good jigsaw. If only they didn’t take up so much space. The largest one we have ever done as a family was 1500 pieces. It took us a while!

Bonus: Is your brain sexy? How so?

Yes. Because being smart is sexy. Because being confident is sexy. Because thinking creatively about sex is sexy. Like this shot I took last night while doing my flexibility training.

TMI Tuesday – I Tripped!

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash

1. Would you rather be attracted to for your body or your mind?

Hmmm tricky one. As women we are strongly conditioned to be ornamental and so feeling beautiful is important. So often my attention is attracted by someone commenting on my boobs or bum or general physical appearance.

That said if that is a s far as the conversation goes or if it keeps focussing on that I will get bored and move on quickly.

2. What would be more embarrassing for you out in public–to be seen tripping or adjusting your “package”?

I fall over in public from time to time. The most recent was a stack in a busy pub last weekend. Not because I am clumsy but because there was something spilled on the polished concrete floor! So tripping is not that embarrassing because I am used to it.

I don’t have a package to adjust. But if I did then I think this would be a more awkward option.

3. If you are going to be famous what is it for?

I already am famous for having awesome boobs!!!

4. Would you rather urinate in port-a-potty or nearest bush?

Definitely a bush. Port – a – potties are for emergencies only.

5. What new beginning are you excited about?

I don’t have any specific new beginnings happening right now but I have recently had a shift in my friendship circle. A long term friend has decided she didn’t really need me in her life. Up until this point I was remaining loyal to her even though it was causing me to become isolated from other people who I had a lot of time for. Now that she is gone it is like I have lost a lot of dead wood. Maybe it is for the best.

Bonus: Burrito or Tamale

Mexican is not a really common street / takeaway food in Australia so Tamale isn’t something I have come across. I do like a burrito on occasion though.

TMI Tuesday – Life

1. What keeps your life exciting?

Having a million things happening and a lot of interests. I just watched an episode of Big Bang Theory where Penny is envious of how many things Leonard gets excited about. It made me realise that like many things in life there are those who do stuff and those who watch. I am a do-er. If I don’t have something to do I feel a bit lost.

2. What is something you do to embrace your insecurities?

I think I have mentioned my Pole Fitness habit. If anything is going to make you feel insecure prancing around in tiny pants trying to do mind bending things on a vertical piece of brass will do it.

3. Where do you find joy on the internet?

The internet is for porn and misinformation. I would rather be making content than consuming it and I would hate to think I make the kind of content that people consume these days. I do like posting images of my boobs though.

4. There is going to be an exhibition in your honor. What 5 things from your life must go on display? Why those particular pieces?

My boobs, because they are something a like to show off and they are hot

My arse, because it too is hot

My lasagne, because it is legendary

My sewing machine because I spend many hours at it and great things come out of it.

Finally my Coca Cola cake. Because how does one explain the way Coca Cola can make a fudge deliciously moist chocolate cake.

5. I do not want to do _____ . Please do not make me _____ .

I do not want to: Be in the middle of a conflict between two people I am “friends” with

Please don’t make me; be in a social situation where they are both present and I feel like both of them are asking me to choose.

There are days when conversations with my cat are more intelligent than some of the rubbish that comes out of people’s mouths.

Every Damn Day in June

Shadows of the Past

Photo by Foad Roshan on Unsplash

In my last two Thirty Dirty Questions Posts I have talked a little about my repressed upbringing and the long term effects that had on how I felt about my sexuality, my body and myself in general. What I hadn’t realised until a few days ago was that something else that has been bothering me is also linked to this ingrained guilt.

For the last little while I have been extremely self conscious about my “number”. When I think about the number of people I have fucked it makes me feel a number of negative things. Things like shame and guilt. Whenever people ask me how long I have been in the lifestyle this shame surfaces and I am reluctant to share an accurate figure or divulge exactly how active I have been. Which many people in my world think is a little odd. Most other women like myself have a similar number. Those I meet who are just starting out are often admiring of the way I have embraced my sexuality and feel so comfortable talking about what I do and don’t want.

A few days ago I was chatting at a gathering with a woman who has a similar longevity in the swing scene as myself. I didn’t ask about her number. I doubt that she really counted and she is definitely not concerned about it. What I realised during the course of the conversation is that this weirdness about my number was linked to the whole Catholic guilt thing. Strange how things from your past that you thought you had left behind can reach their long fingers into your present and push your buttons all over again.

Now that I have had that realisation I am better equipped to deal with it I guess. Although like all things in your head dealing with it is not just a case of telling it to go away. At least it is a step in the right direction.

TMI Tuesday –

1. With whom would you love to sing a duet?

I have some songs I love to sing in the car. In my mind I sound fucking awesome. In reality? Something else altogether. No artist springs to mind. If I was ever to perform with someone this is who I would love to “Make Some Noise” with

He does give lessons. Maybe I should sign up.

2. Have you ever cried over a pet? What kind?

I grew up on a farm. Getting sentimental over animals was strongly discouraged. The first pet I owned that I chose and purchased myself as an adult is buried in our garden. I think I may have shed a tear or two over her.

3. Do you think your personality needs polishing? Why?

Probably. I use the word fuck far too much and have a habit of taking off my clothes. Especially when I have had too much wine.

4. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?

I broke my toe in August doing a simple every day thing on the yacht. It fucking hurt and my toe has still not gone back to it’s previous size, shape or colour.

5. If you had a clone, what part or your life or tasks would you have it do on your behalf?

Make dinner and clean the bathroom.

Bonus: Gifting supermarket flowers–good or bad?

The Unicorn says that she doesn’t understand the practice of cutting off plant genitalia and giving them to people. Personally I will take any flowers anyone gives me.

Or chocolate. Chocolate is always good.

TMI Tuesday blog

Money, Money, Money

Image by Goumbik from Pixabay

1. What is the most expensive thing you have purchased that was not worth the price?

I bought a pair of shoes last week. I still am not in the habit of doing regular land based things so I didn’t check the price before deciding to buy them. Not sure what was happening there but when the sales assistant rang up the price it was higher than I would have considered reasonable at the time. I didn’t have the brain space to argue so I just paid and walked out the shop. They are leather shoes and I will wear them a lot so I am just telling myself that is enough to justify the price.

2. Has money ever ruined a relationship for you?

Not really. Money is something that I use and I am relatively careful with but it isn’t something that drives life decisions for me. I haven’t had a relationship that was dictated by money issues ever so I guess I am lucky.

3. What is a cheap thing you own that just makes you SO happy?

The cardigan I am wearing as I type this. I got it from the sale rack. It was damaged but it is so soft and cuddly. I love wearing it.

4. What is the most toxic quality about you?

I have inherited some of my mother’s passive aggressive tendencies. I am relatively skilled at inducing guilt in the people who care about me. I am super conscious about not turning into her so I try really hard but it slips out sometimes.

5. Why do you not like to talk about money?

Because for many people seeing someone with something they don’t have but think they want causes them to be jealous and negative. I don’t want to be judged or thought of as a snob.

When we purchased our yacht the question a lot of my teacher friends asked was “How much did it cost?” I could hear the unspoken question of “How did you afford that?” as they asked. I never told anyone how much it was. My standard response was “Enough”. Most people were happy to leave it at that. I didn’t want to advertise to my colleagues that I work primarily for reasons other than to pay my bills.

Bonus: What is the craziest thing you have done for love?

Bought a boat that cost the same as a house, took unpaid leave from my job and spent six months sailing the Queensland coast. I got a lot out of it and it changed me for life but ultimately this voyage was about me compromising with Mr Jones.

TMI Tuesday – Take us to Your Leader

1. In what way is creativity just like sex?

There is a concept phase, a working phase and a climax with a period of basking in the delight of what you have just done. However I don’t think that creativity is like sex, it is more a part of good sex. Without creativity sex is possible but the result is very meh. Kind of like the way McDonalds burgers are food.

2. What important successes have you had in life that people just don’t know about?

Well most people in my Gemma life know very little about one of my big life achievements, raising two humans.

Most people in my Mrs Jones life don’t know about my blog / writing. I have published a novella (a long time ago) and I have written quite a body of work on these pages which a lot of people seem to enjoy. For me that is an achievement.

3. What do you like more being a leader or a follower?

In a previous job the company would send all of their front line managers to these leadership bonding / development camps. During one activity the facilitator had to pull out all of his tricks and stops to keep me in line and foil the success of the group. Apparently I automatically get people to where they need to be. Which would make me a leader.

I wouldn’t say I like being a leader all of the time. But I really hate being designated a follower when the designated leader is an idiot.

4. If you could send a message to an alien species, what would it be?

Send another virus. Covid-19 is not killing the stupid people fast enough.

5. Have you ever been happy that you lied?

No. I make a point of trying to keep lying to a minimum in my life. Although sometimes I slip up. I am never happy about it though.

Bonus: What can you do that no one else can?

Mr Jones says that I can fuck a string of guys like no one else he knows. Not sure if that is something I feel good about. For myself I am going to say that I am awesome at coming up with out of the box ideas to solve problems.

TMI Tuesday – Long Showers and Lasagne

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

1. Shower or bath?

Water was an issue when I was a child. We lived on a farm and relied on rainwater and a bore for our water so long showers and deep baths were totally out of the question. That has imprinted on me. To this day I cannot do long showers or deep baths. I do treat myself to a long bath but probably only about once a month and I feel guilty about it almost every time. .

As an aside living on the yacht means VERY short showers. That means when we hit a marina a good long shower is one of the top priorities.

2. Are you a good cook? And if so, what’s your specialty?

I consider myself to be a good cook. Although I would qualify that by saying I am a good basic cook. I am excellent at putting together balanced meals from the vegetables in the fridge with minimal fuss. I don’t do elaborate meals with fancy garnishes, but the food that comes out of my kitchen will nourish you. The dish I cook that gets the whole family going is lasagna. True to form it comes complete with hidden vegetables but this removes the need for a side salad.

3. Is there anything you regret not doing?

Not really. My wedding is a big regret in my life because I let my mother control it far too much. I don’t know how I wanted it exactly which is probably why she was able to take control. But I look at weddings of friends and I am envious that they have their dream day while I feel like I had her day.

4. Who was the nicest person you worked for?

My current Mathematics Academic Leader is one of the most amazing generous patient people I have ever met. Even when he is correcting you it feels like a hug.

5. Do you play an instrument?

Presently I would say no. As a child I learned the piano and was reasonably proficient. These days I have so many other things in my life I don’t have the discipline to practice enough to restore the skill.

Bonus: Do you dream?

In vivid technicolor yes. About all sorts of things. Including sex dreams about men that are taboo.