Enough.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, etc etc. It's been way too long (understatement of 2017), here we are.

How do I know that it's this time of year again? The new trampoline in my front yard, the gushing tones of joy that my children are still using to describe Christmas, and, oh yes. The bullshit advertising that begins again.

It never really goes away, in fact our entire commerce industry is geared around convincing us we don't have enough, convincing us we aren't enough and convincing us that we need more.

I call bullshit. (Sorry Mum, twice in one post, already.)

I was lucky enough to take some time off work over the Christmas break, at which point the laryngitis I contracted before Christmas never really went away and also brought some sinus problems home to party. The point is I've spending a lot of time parenting from the couch, having a lot of days brought to us by Netflix and spending far more time scrolling on the freakin' interwebs.

Get Your Best Bikini Body. 21 Days to a New You. Be in Shape For Summer. Want to get rid of blackheads easily? YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS.

This style of advertising (shouting?) isn't even only geared at our wellbeing. There's also things like 'Teach your kid to read in two weeks with our special program! Get Ready For Back To School Today!'

I feel like a grumpy old lady when I begin grumbling about how all the pretty young things in their twenties are actually buying into this bullshit (there we go again Mum, sorry)... then I remember that when I was in my twenties I bought into it all. Frequently. Not fast fashion though because I always believed there were no clothes that suited by 5'10, suitably hourglass frame aside from jeans and shirts, but the rest of it - I was there hook, line and sinker.

I get so angry when I see this blatant form of encouragement of self loathing, perhaps in part because I did spent the greater part of my life being completely immersed in it, and conversely, my own dissatisfaction with my own body, and perhaps because I know now that it means NOTHING. Your life doesn't change when you use a new conditioner. Your life doesn't change when you use a straightening hairbrush, nor when you use a mouthpiece that whitens your teeth. A 21 day bootcamp might help you feel great (and tired) for 21 days, but what happens after that? There might be a minority who continue on the journey, but I am willing to bet money that the 99% go back to craving the Next Big Thing.

There are no easy, permanent life changes. All change can hurt a little but, but the long term gain can be so worthwhile. If you want it to be.

However...

No advertising is allowed to tell you that your life needs changing.
That your teeth aren't white enough.
That your hair is frizzy and needs straightening.
That you need a detox after Christmas. (No, you don't. You are uniquely equipped with the perfect detox system. Liver and kidneys. BAM.)
That a herbal pill will help you lose weight.
That you need to lose weight.
That buying your kid a reading program is going to help them be a better person.

No one is allowed to tell you that you aren't enough.

You are enough.

Switch off any social media account that tells you you're not. Unsubscribe. Unfollow pages on Facebook that tell you that you need to Buy This Thing. You don't. Why? Because nothing you can buy is going to make you into something you're not. You're you. And that's ace.

As my own private backlash, this year I've begun taking pictures of myself with the girls and posting them. Just like a polaroid picture. No fifty selfies before I find the right one - not that I ever did that anyway because ain't nobody got phone memory nor time for dat... but a picture. Here's what we look like. Look! Sometimes I have two chins! Look! I have a normal body that hangs over my jeans sometimes because I had two kids. We all look weird sometimes. And by weird I mean we look like people who haven't practiced their poses and done their makeup. So I suppose we look normal and they look weird? BUT WHAT IS NORMAL ANYWAY? Oh my god, the tangents. But frankly...

We are enough.

Poker Face

What's your 'tell'?

I'm about as opaque as a pane of glass - it's rare that emotions don't show on some part of my body. Sad? Eyes (usually leaking). Happy? Bursting out of my skin. Anxious: pasted on smile, crazy eyes. Angry? Tense shoulders, old-lady-smoker mouth. Speaks in short, staccato bursts. Stressed? Pimples, ashen skin, can't make eye contact, angry. See also: Angry.

Now I'm older and I have a seemingly never ending set of stress tests that are aged 3 and 5, my stress tell is what I can only call Snappy Tom. It's not disastrous, but not pretty. I am much more tightly wound than my usual brand of tightly wound and at times the inanity of answering the same question five times in a one minute period wears me down and Snap! There I go.

I like to think I can hold my Tell and let it all ride - because stress will disappear tomorrow after a much longed for great night's sleep and everything going smoothly. Like a gambler who will just take one more hand, this is not a great solution. I will rarely have a great night's sleep everything will rarely go smoothly. It's about being able to bend and roll with the punches.

I recently injured my hand (and documented it at length over on Instagram) and I think my stress levels are a continuation of this, coupled with a highly stressful work situation, a still-fresh going back to work with daycare and school situation and a dark wintery time when grief hits the hardest.

Self care is crucial at these times. Stopping giving all the fucks is also crucial at this time. Sorry for the language Mum, but it's true. Being nicer to myself and ergo those around me is crucial.

When I feel Snappy Tom, I wonder how I let it all unravel. Again. I even wrote songs about this. Again, as I age I realise that these ups and down, they're a part of my life. Being able to weed out the parts that I really don't need (Snappy Tom) is a useful skill to continue my journey. However, Snappy Tom serves as a good barometer for when things aren't going quite right and it's time to mix it up again.

I was re-reading some old posts and I miss Positive Me. She's pretty awesome and she's still there, but she's been hiding. Anxiety is sitting there in the corner, coughing and clearing it's throat most days. Thankfully Depression moved out a few years ago to Change Her Life. Sadness is moping around at the moment. With any luck some sunshine will appear in this wet, cold winter.

This is my new guide for life until I find a better one:

I've also been listening to a lot of great music recently. Music is a huge part of my life, but it takes a lot for a song to break me down. I was driving through the city a few months ago with a sleeping Lady Pip in the back seat when 'Village' came on. Such a beautiful song with haunting lyrics - I think you'll like it. In fact, check out the entire album - there's some absolute beauties on there.