I am a chronically early person. I arrive 10 minutes early for everything. Even the dentist! I’ve always been early, was even born early. My nickname is early Merly. I find that my anxiety levels rise when I have to be somewhere, to do something. When someone else is dependent on me to be there – even if that is the dentist. I have made an agreement and I will honour that above everything else in my life. For some reason my sense of living in the present goes out the window and I take a step into the future – and surprise surprise, carry some anxiety with me.
I never have allowed my white rabbit to really surface. Just the thought of it causes me stress. I saw how is worked just yesterday on the road – driving anywhere it’s hard not to come across someone who is late, late, late for a very important date…so important that anything that gets in the way is treated with distain and a loud blow of the horn.
I’m starting to realise that there is little difference between that stressed out person who is very late and very important to me who feels just as justified in ‘being stressed’ to make sure I am 10 minutes early.
All that talk about Timey Wimey (Dr. Who ref) stuff is really so irrelevant when we think about it. What perspective am I coming from? If its true that anxiety is always about living in the future, which I do believe, then here is my challenge. To remain in the present. To be where I am now and know that from there I can make decisions about how I want to be. From here I find that I will always be exactly on time – in alignment with other people and knowing that the time is always perfect.
Life is not a business to be managed; it’s a mystery to be lived. My goal is to live more like a sage…a sage always walks, (S)he never runs, (S)he may be in a hurry but (s)he never runs.
What is your relationship with time?
There is trouble brewing…right here in the great southern land…Trouble with a capital T, that rhymes with E; that stands for Election! (Apologies to the Music Man!)
For my non-Aussie readers, Australia is heading for a federal election in September. Our current Prime Minister happens to be female. The gender card is on the agenda and the proverbial S**t is being slung. I’m over the 1950’s school yard antics! It is all a big fat (!) distraction from the lack of policy and real debate. I mean...seriously. What is going on?
I had a teacher once who said that if you think that there is a difference between male and female you are involved in seduction. So it has got me thinking about the difference. We are in a society where the only words we have to describe the gender other than male has reference to man in it…wo-man – the derivative of wifman which is a man’s wife. From what I can find, “female” comes from the Latin femella, the diminutive form of femina, meaning "woman". It is not etymologically related to the word male, but in the late 14th century the spelling was altered in English to parallel the spelling of male (of course!) (thanks Wikipedia!).
I have heard another take on the word female….FE being the chemical element of IRON – so in fact, Females are the ultimate IRON-MAN! (credit unknown)
But back to the difference. Sure we have different genitalia. Other than that I really don’t believe there is much else in it. My partner’s star sign is Scorpio, mine is Piscean. That is about as different as people are. We all bleed, we all ache, we all have different histories, but we all have a history. We all have opinions about things that might not be the same as our neighbours, but to be threatened by different beliefs is just not useful.
A few weeks ago, Victoria's new Women's Minister Heidi Victoria (confusing I know) said it would be naive to think equal gender representation could be achieved in Victorian Parliament because women are generally ''nurturers'' and politics is too demanding. (Read “too bullying to women”!)
We think that the natural state of a women is soft, gentle, yielding (or should be) It's just not true; Women do not need to grow balls to be in leadership positions. We need to be accepted as the same – as not different. We need to be accepted on face value with no preconceptions. We need to be judged by our actions and achievements just like men.
There seems to me to be a real issue here with the concept that we are being governed by a system that is not nurturing. Question – why can’t politics be nurturing? Shouldn’t the very system that is there to support us – the community, also support the people who are brave enough to take on positions of leadership? Surely we need this to be a nurturing support!
Secondly, by implication, this statement is saying that men are not nurturing. Well I have issue with this as well. Some of the most nurturing people I know are men.
So the following day across the world in the UK – Glena Jackson launches a tirade against Thatcherism. One of the strongest lines from her very cohesive speech was when she talked about Britain in war times, when women didn’t run the government, but they did run the country. This made me smile. Reminds me of the old paradigm adage that behind every successful man is a good woman. My hope is that those times are long gone, and that women can stand front of the line now…(sigh!*#).
Why are these men so threatened and think that it is OK to set examples to our community that allow the denigration of someone’s character based not on what they do but by the genitalia they happen to have. It set a scene that allows for sickos to believe they have a right to bash, rape, murder out of a sense of power over. I know that might be a big leap for some, but these are our leaders acting out this stuff and condoning the behaviour that it’s a hoot and hilarious to vilify on the basis of gender…its just another expression of the same belief.
Australian politics has disintegrated to the lowest of lows. Tit for tat, ball for bat; all bully tactics. Come on guys, grow up. Love is all there is! I am imagining a political landscape that came from the basis of love first. I don’t mind seeming naive!
I've been catching a lot of public transport of late which is not something I normally do on a regular basis. And peak hour, which I hardly ever have done. I am not great on public transport at the best of times, and less at peak hour when I invariably have to stand for a good part of the hour long trip from the city to my home. The crush is tricky on my menopausal temperature control...or lack of. I'm not up on train etiquette so am at risk of finding myself in trouble...not swiping off with my card, or trying to get on the train while others are getting off. I feel like I'm not quite in the swing and not following the crowd..slightly out of step...like I’m in a new country. Does everyone else feel like they don't quite fit in?
The protocol of not reading over someone's shoulder even when the article looks amazing. The protocol of seeming to be really interested in the shockingly dribble journalism in the commuter paper that is shoved into my hands as I run for the 5.23. Pretending not to be interested in others conversations and not laughing at their jokes even when they are hilarious...how to stop myself?? Never good at that. Feeling like I am always in a hurry...even when I am not...but trains must be run for.
We spend such a lot of time and energy pretending that we are not interested in each other...and then get home and hungrily devour reality TV, vicious cop shows or read about the latest celebrity carry ons. Is it just me that is busting to know what is so funny between those 2 women speaking in a language I don't understand. Am I the only one who wants to know what kind of art that very colourful woman with the dreadlocks has in the large folio she is carrying.
Have we lost the art of engaging with strangers? Do we need an excuse to meet each other and create a conversation, create a connection? Why do we?
I despair at our isolated lives. That we can feel so alone when we are brushing bodies on a swaying train. That we all take ourselves so seriously that we struggle to even make eye contact and exchange the occasional smile. That our first point of reference when someone does something out of the ordinary is mistrust and often downright anger.
I have another few days of this train caper. I hereby give myself a challenge. To speak to someone new each trip. To exchange a smile with a complete stranger...and see if I make it out alive. What do reckon? Up for the challenge?