Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What to value above all else

A friend posted the above pic on Facebook. It rings true, doesn't it? How many times have you had similar conversations with people? MANY, I bet. Success, it feels at times, is measured by what we have, not how we feel.

I've always known that being happy is worth far more than owning stuff. My parents taught me this. They were the happiest couple I know, and they had what they needed, nothing more. I don't remember growing up wanting for anything, and yet our lifestyle back then was simple. My Dad worked with his hands in various jobs, driving cranes mostly. Mum stayed home with us. Our house had two bedrooms and one bathroom. Holidays were spent driving to various locations in Western Australia with our caravan in tow.

I had the BEST childhood.

Back in late October last year I attended my 30 Year High School Reunion. Funnily enough, I had never been to a school reunion before then. I had no interest. I figured everyone I wanted to see from my high school days, I saw, and I imagined reunions to be where people would do their best comparison checking. Who has the best job? Who has the best house? Who was the most 'successful'?

However during a trip back to Perth at the end of 2016, I asked my friend, Penny, if she was going to organise our 30th, seeing that she'd coordinated all the previous reunions? She said, 'If you promise to come, Jode, I'll organise one.' I bit the bullet and promised her I would.

I'm not sure why exactly I changed my mind about attending a reunion, I just did. Perhaps it had something to do with my parents' deaths in recent years? I've spent a lot of time since Dad died in 2013 thinking about my childhood and earlier years. I guess that's a pretty standard thing to do. I felt my time with the few old high school friends I caught up regularly with had changed over the years. We had become more and more about just having fun and relishing in each other's company. Not that we hadn't had fun before, it just felt as though we cherished our old friendships more, you know?

So I booked my ticket and I flew to Perth for the reunion. I remember saying to Mr A before I left, 'It'll probably be all over by 10pm.'

WRONG. I can't tell you how good the night was! Someone said it was midnight, and I was practically like Elaine in Seinfeld ... 'GET. OUT!' Much to the dismay of the hotel staff, we finished up well after 1am.

I don't recall a single conversation about who had what job and how many kids everyone had. Well, there was maybe a tiny bit of that, but essentially we just enjoyed each other's company. Everyone seemed to be genuinely concerned about how people were doing. In fact, Penny said it was the highest attended reunion of them all to date. Why? Because I think we've all gone past valuing stuff and now we value happiness, and we want to spend time with people who made/make us happy. (We were lucky - we had a pretty good cohort in '87!)

The older you get, the more you realise that happiness is far more important than what car you drive or what clothes you wear. I doubt anyone is on their death bed saying, 'Gee, I really wish I'd bought that Gucci t-shirt I always wanted.'


Friday, January 5, 2018

Writer's block

Last year I posted on this site four times. FOUR. That's a record for me, of the not-so-good type, I guess.

Not that I'm going to beat myself up about it, because as I've said before, writing about having nothing to write about can be so bor-ing. *yawn* I avoid blogs that churn out posts about nothing. I just can't justify spending my time reading about someone cutting their toe nails* or giving advice on how to clean your dishwasher*. Nuh-uh. In actual fact, as I write this, I should be honest and say I rarely read blogs at all these days. There's only a few (okay, probably one at best!) that I read with any sort of regularity. (Actually ... irregularity, in truth, would be a better choice of words.)

It's funny, because I remember back in the ole Mummy Mayhem days I used to read multiple blogs daily. It took up a lot of time, but, you know, to be a part of the blogging world, you have to contribute by reading and commenting on other's blogs. I liked reading the blog posts, and I feel like I followed a bunch of interesting bloggers at the time, most of which don't blog anymore. I also loved the blogging community back then. (Well, most of it. Some bloggers I could have gone without crossing paths with.) These days, I don't know who the 'popular' bloggers are anymore. Not a clue. But nor do I feel a need to 'build a community' like I used to. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I write for myself. That's it. I don't care how many do or don't read my words, hence the reason I'm not FREAKING OUT over the fact I barely wrote anything last year.

I just find it interesting that 2016 was a bumper writing year here for me. I don't know why, I just found more to write about. I guess I suffered from writer's block last year. Every time I opened my Blogger account, I couldn't find the words. I started posts, I just never finished any.

It is what it is. It's a new year. Let's see what happens.

Happy 2018!


* Actually, I've never read any posts about people cutting toe nails (ewww) or how to clean a dishwasher (Zzzzzz). Thank goodness.