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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recurring dreams or nightmares

A couple of nights ago I had a dream, or perhaps a nightmare. While I was dreaming I realised it was a recurring dream, I just can’t remember the last time I dreamt it.

In the dream I was an abused wife. My husband would regularly beat me and verbally abuse me. I knew this even though it didn’t actually happen in my dream. Although I knew I should leave my husband, it felt impossible. It was as if I could take a step forward, but every step forward sent me two steps backwards. My husband was always watching me from the top of the driveway as I tried to reach the road. It was as if he knew that I knew that I wouldn’t get anywhere. I think he was holding a knife.

I couldn’t see the house. There was only a driveway and a sort of veranda next to it. Everything was quite grey. As characters we seemed to be dressed like the actors in Tennessee William’s play “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

In the end I resigned myself to the abuse and turned back to him, knowing he would kill me. I can’t describe the feeling I had while I was walking back up the driveway, seeing him coming closer. I wasn’t scared, just reluctantly accepting of the situation.

I woke up knowing this dream. I know I’ve dreamt it before, perhaps on more than one occasion. I wish I could remember where I was in my life the last time I dreamt it.

If I was to attempt to interpret this dream, I’d guess it has something to do with feeling stuck in my life at the moment. I’m in a job I’ve outgrown, but it’s a comfortable rut, so to speak. I should move onto something else but, although I often look at other jobs, I never take any other action, always reluctantly returning to the one I have.

I don’t think it has anything to do with my personal life. I’m not in a relationship, my boys and I get on well – in fact I rarely see them on weekends as they are always out socialising.

When I was a child I had a recurring nightmare that scared me. I was walking toward a house that looked like the one the Munsters lived in. It was a dark and stormy night (of course) with lightning flashing. I walked up to the front door and opened it (why?). The front door opened directly to a staircase and I walked up it (again, why?). At the top of the staircase was another doorway. I would put my hand on the door handle knowing that if I opened the door I would die.

I always woke up before I opened the door but I would be so scared that my entire body was stiff and I could hardly breathe. I knew I just had to wriggle a finger to be able to move my body again but it took such a long time for me to get the courage to wriggle my finger.

I stopped having that nightmare when I was about 12 but I still remember it vividly.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


As I sit and watch the latest news from Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Tunisia there are so many emotions flowing through me, it’s almost impossible to decipher exactly how I feel. On one hand I am supportive of people who feel it necessary to rid themselves of regimes which are violent and discriminatory, on the other I’m overwhelmed by the brutality of it all. I especially feel for the women and children. I don’t imagine the women in any of those countries would be particularly empowered or free. I assume they would be somewhat under the control of the men in their families and, if those men are involved in the protests and fighting – on whichever side, their women will be drawn into the unrest in some way.

I feel for the children. In particular those children who are too young to know or even care what is happening around them. They must be living in such a permanent state of terror that it will impact them for the rest of their lives, however long those lives will be. I can’t begin to imagine how the mothers of young children and babies must be suffering. I wonder if they were already suffering so much that this is simply another burden to be born.

I can’t help but think of the children involved in the fighting between Israel and Palestine, the children who grew up with violence until they became adults who now continue the violence.

I hope and pray there is a successful result to the unrest in all of these countries. A result that is successful in the eyes of the people who live in these countries, the people who are fighting for their rights and equality.

I hope and pray that very soon the women of these countries will be able sanctioned to take control of their own lives and that the children of these countries will quickly know peace.

I don’t think I have ever felt quite so insignificant or unimportant as I carry on with my life in a democratic country, whose most pressing issues seem to be whether we should have a carbon tax and which of our sporting heroes have misbehaved.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I don't do "sick" very well

Today I stayed home from work. I have a cold and it has given me a mushy brain, one blocked nostril, one runny nostril, a sinus headache and a sore throat. I woke up feeling like crap and thought it would be best if I rested at home. I’m not a good patient, especially when I’m the nurse. These are some things I’ve discovered about being at home, sick:

1. Once I’m awake I can’t lie in bed. Even if I wake up at 5.30am when my boys get up.

2. Once I’m out of bed I find myself looking for something to do. However I still don’t want to do the vacuuming.

3. I can’t go through the day without turning the computer on – and the TV.

4. I find it difficult to rest. I just have to check my work emails and my home emails and Facebook…

5. I can’t remember when I should take all the pills lined up on the kitchen windowsill.

6. I hate taking pills.

7. Exercising on the spin bike unblocks my nose.

8. I don’t think I can exercise on the bike 24/7, so apart from 45 minutes every day I will have a blocked nose.

9. I get bored being at home.

10. Daytime TV is more crap than night time TV.

11. I actually want to go to work tomorrow, even if I still feel like crap!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

OK Universe - I'm ready now - bring it on!

For the last six years I’ve been dateless. Not only have there been no men on my horizon, I wasn’t even looking for any. My last break up was devastating enough to keep me from getting burnt again. I always enjoyed the company of men in many ways but the last few years I’ve been building such thick barriers around myself it’s been difficult to see the world around me, let alone allow anyone to see me.

However last week I felt that barrier start to crumble. Perhaps the recent earthquakes have undermined its structure. Whatever happened, I’m beginning to feel like being with a man again.

Before anyone out there gets too excited, I still don’t know if I’m ready for a committed, full on relationship. At the moment I wouldn’t know where to fit one in. It would have to be scheduled into my calendar somehow and I daresay that’s not the way to conduct a relationship. I could do with some full on sex though. Actually I’m not sure how I’ve managed to go without it for so long! I read in magazines and articles how women just don’t like sex and I wonder who they have been interviewing because they definitely have never asked me!

Now that I’m ready to start looking for men again, I don’t know what the next step is. Where do I go to look? What do I do next?

As a 50 something female not only do I not want to go out alone, but I wouldn’t know where to go. My taste in nightlife has changed so much since I was in my teens and twenties and I have no idea if anything even exists for the older single woman. I’m also not sure if I’d be attracted to the men who might prowl through there. I’ve tried dating sites in the past and, apart from being a scrooge and not wanting to spend money just to read someone’s misspelled email, I’ve been very disappointed with the men on these sites. Take for example the time I put a profile up where I said I wasn’t interested in camping, fishing or any other outdoor activity – you guessed it, I only got interest from men who camped, fished and hiked through the great outdoors! I am sure none of them could read, or bothered reading the profiles.

I admit it, I’m fussy. I expect a man to look good physically. After all I take pride in the way I look so why shouldn’t they? I make an effort to exercise and eat healthily in order to stay slim, so why shouldn’t they? I try to wear clothes that suit me and are vaguely in fashion, so why shouldn’t they? Oh and I really like nice arms with muscles – mmmmmm.

I also expect a man to be reasonably intelligent. I’m not looking for Einstein, but I would appreciate someone who could converse on global events rather than be limited to the latest sports report. I love certain sports too, but I’m also interested in the situation in Libya and the economic happenings in Europe. I want to debate with someone on those three subjects one should never argue about – politics, religion and sex. I enjoy intellectual stimulation – I find it sexy.

I’ve also had enough of men who are poor. I want someone who can afford to wine and dine me. They don’t need to be a millionaire (but hey, I wouldn’t turn them away) but they do need to have some means themselves.

So where do I start looking? Cmon Universe – give me a hand here!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What if?

I’ve been thinking of the question of morals and morality. Who sets the morals we follow? Do they change over time? Is there some sort of moral etiquette to follow? Does morality matter much any more?

A few weeks ago I was researching my mother’s side of the family who are originally from Russia. Considering the royal family of Russia, the Romanovs, and indeed most of the population of Russia were devoted to the Orthodox religion, I found it surprising that the many bastards of the Tsars were not only tolerated, but almost welcomed. The Orthodox religion is very strict, especially on matters of sex outside marriage, but apparently the advantage of being born into the Romanov family was that one could have as many lovers and children out of wedlock as one wanted. So what happened to their morals?

I remember my German teacher in high school telling us stories of the hardships she and her family faced during World War II. She was quite serious when she told us she would have killed anyone who had tried to touch her children. If you kill someone in order to protect your family is it still a moral issue?

If you lost your job and could no longer make the repayments on your house. If you had spent all of your savings and there was nothing left and the only way you could feed your children was by stealing a loaf of bread, would you do it? Would you stop yourself from grabbing that loaf of bread because stealing was against your morals, even though your children would starve?

If you met a married man whose wife no longer allowed him in her bed or her life but refused to set him free, would you pursue him or would your morals kick in? What if you knew his wife was having an affair, would that change your mind?

Have you ever shoplifted or rode the bus without a ticket? Have you ever ignored someone who needed your help? Have you done anything to break your own moral code but somehow managed to come up with excuses that exonerated you?

I don’t think I’ve ever got on a bus without a ticket, but I have shoplifted. Many years ago as a young teenager I felt the need to take a nail file from a department store. I have absolutely no idea why I did it, but the adrenalin rush of getting away with it did nothing to compensate the guilt I felt. However, at that point of time I never thought of the morality of stealing. In fact morals never crossed my mind at all.

What about you? Do you think of your own morals before you make decisions? Do morals play any part in your life? Or is morality something you only think of when you are about to make a choice that might go against your better judgment?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Wishful thinking...

One of the highlights of my recent holiday to Perth was catching up with two of my friends. The three of us have been friends since the beginning of high school and have kept in touch ever since. When we first left school we still spent a lot of time together then, gradually at first, we became involved with husbands and children limiting our own personal time. Eventually I moved interstate and we kept up communications over the phone and by email. This year marks the 37th year of our friendship. I find that both wonderful and amazing!

All three of us are single again, our children old enough to leave at home without worrying. On my last night in Perth we went out to dinner at a new seafood restaurant right on one of Perth’s most popular beaches. We sat on deckchairs overlooking the water, sipped champagne, ate a very tasty meal and watched both the eye candy on the beach and the sun setting into the water. Later we walked along the beach and, as we wanted some photos of ourselves, we stopped a strange young man who happily took several photos on all three of our cameras. We sat for awhile chatting and watching people play on the beach. It was a perfect evening.

I miss going out with my friends. I especially miss going out with my friends who are single and don’t have husbands / boyfriends to rush home to. There is something special about being both the same age and on the same page as your friends. Not only does conversation never run out but there is no outside pressure to answer to another.

I enjoy going out with my friends in Melbourne but all of them are either married or in relationships, some of them have young children and it’s not quite the same. Unfortunately my single friends all live either in geographically distant country areas or different states.

Perhaps if I were in a relationship I would feel differently. But I don’t feel any strong urges to find someone to have a relationship with. Although I miss the physical side of relationships, I feel as if I wouldn’t have enough spare time to give to someone else. Or perhaps I’m simply still too burnt after the sudden end of my last relationship seven years ago. Whatever the reason, I look forward to the fleeting moments of social life I have with my single friends.

My holiday in Perth and the time I spent with my friends there will always remind me of just how special friendships are. We shouldn’t need any reminders to treasure our friends. We should never be too busy to keep up with what they are doing or too stressed with our lives to listen to them. Friends are people who love you for who you are not what you do or what you look like or how much money you make and they aren’t easy to find. But once you find them, don’t ever underestimate their true value.

To all my friends – thank you for being who you are and always being there for me. I hope I will always be there for you too.

“Even though we've changed and we're all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we'll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we're not all still friends.” Unknown author.