Life Love and Hiccups

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Just A Break... Not A Break Up

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Well hi there you guys...

You guys?

Is anyone still there?

It's been a long time since I last wrote on here... so long in fact that I kinda sorta almost FORGOT how to even get into my blog.

I've wanted to start writing again, for soooo long now actually... but the timing just always seemed kind of... I don't know... off?

So many times in this past 6 months I have made it as far as saying "right, today is the day" but then something happened... something big, like terror attacks around the world, or someone I love had a big thing going on and then I just felt so... awkward about sitting down and writing about my average day.

I questioned myself... like who really gives a fuck if I went to lunch at such and such, or I made over a room or I had some big epiphany about how I don't actually like fennel or some other lame ass realisation. Who cares about my obscure fears or random musings when there is REAL shit going on in the world.

Does that even make sense?

It's sort of hard to verbalise... I lost my voice for a while, and when I found it... I just kinda felt so insignificant in the bigger picture and therefore lost my nerve to speak.

That's not the only reason I took a break from blogging.

On a number of occasions over the past year I have found myself asking.... has blogging changed or have I?

It just seemed that there was a once upon of time when blogging was so much easier. 

I mean, you wrote and I read. I wrote and you read and yada yada.

When we could, we left a comment on each others posts, we chatted on FB or instagram and if you were lucky you got to meet your mates every now and then at some bloggy event.

But then the bloggy world changed.... the number of blogs increased at a massive rate. Sponsorships and monetisation became a viable opportunity but with that came a focus on numbers and stats, and online cliques and comparison. 

Snark sites emerged, FB & insta insights became important, Facebook wanted us to pay to speak to our communities, and follow/unfollow and analytic apps became yet another way for ones insecurities to go to town with an all expenses paid trip courtesy of our confidence and sanity.

Gah!

The more my insecurities grew, the more I withdrew and became private and guarded of my everyday life. I compared myself constantly and I questioned myself and my worthiness.

I lost my ability to share.

And so I took a break from the online world, granted a much longer break than I originally planned.

I stopped reading blogs and spending so much time online. I avoided online groups and social media for anything other than work, and I said no thank you to sponsorships and invites to events and reviews and all the stuff that I had been fortunate enough to experience in the past because of blogging.

I guess you could say I went AWOL or some might say I did an online detox.

Regardless of whatever label we give it, the biggest lesson I learned in my absence was that I miss blogging. I like writing on my blog and I like reading blogs. I enjoy taking photos and capturing moments and recording how I am feeling at the different stages of my life.

I missed sharing those moments and feelings and I missed the community we created together.

I missed my little place on the internet where I found comfort in sharing the randomness that floats through my head at any given moment.

I realised that I like looking at pretty things, making pretty things and sharing pretty things and I like being able to sit down at my computer and confess to my screw ups, rejoice in my wins, commiserate when our worlds are sad, and generally just chew the fat we call life.

And that's ok to like all those things.

I just needed to find my balance... a flow that works for me and that can adapt as my needs change.

Maybe I needed to feel insignificant in this big old world for a while. Maybe I needed my confidence to be shaken so that I could put it back together again in a way that fits me better and maybe I needed to experience all the negative emotions that the online world can conjour so I know exactly what I don't want my blog or me to be or succumb to.

I guess it will be a work in progress, a suck and see and make it up as I go kind of process... not surprising really given I myself have always been and always will be - a work in progress.

Anyways, enough already with my rambling. I have loads to share with you about what we have been up to this past 6 months and  I have lots to catch up on with what YOU have been up to as well.

The good news is, there is no need to rush things... I'm back, it was just a break and NOT a break up and I don't plan on running away again for a while.

Besides, it may be the last day of the year and all that... but we have a whole new chapter ahead of us.

Happy New Years you guys... it's so bloody good to be back!

Ok... so I know we have so much to catch up on, but if anyone is there and reading my rambling, I'd love you to say hello.
Tell me - what's been going on with you? 
What are your plans for the New Year?
Have you ever lost your voice so to speak?

Header Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash



Monday, 17 July 2017

Is The Internet Making Us (Me) Paranoid?

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Social Media and the Internet has A LOT to answer for.

Aside from all the insecurities that are born from comparing our bodies, homes, families and lives to those of all the others that we see on our phones and computer screens, there is also the added bonus of paranoia to contend with too.

Social media and blogging unleashes ALL kinds of uninvited ring-ins into my already overcrowded paranoid mind and I have to admit I am more than a little curious to know if you ever feel this way too?

Apparently, this overwhelm and paranoia we feel are both perfectly justifiable signs of the times that we live given that we spend so much time talking to each other online rather than in person.

Once upon a time, back in the olden days (kill me now cause I said it again), it was very black and white when it came to deciding if your paranoia was justified or not.

Case in point;

You approach a group of friends who are huddled up close with heads together, clearly discussing something or someone.

One of two things would typically happen....

1. They will pause for a moment whilst you join them, briefly give you the background and then dive back into the discussion.

Or...

2. They notice you approaching and immediately stop speaking and so you then oblige them with a response that includes an awkward laugh and an even more awkward comment along the lines of "ok girls, you can stop talking about me now". They in turn respond with something along the lines of an intense interest in the current state of their cuticles or they simply stare up at the sky and ponder the possibility of snow falling in Summer in your beachside suburb..

Case solved.

They were talking about me.

These days, things are much harder to figure out thanks to the subtle passive aggressiveness and vacant jibing that the internet enables.

In fact the internet is a breeding ground for judgement and paranoia, and there is no place more virile than Facebook and The Blogosphere.

So what the hell am I vagueing on about right now?

Hmmm, it kind of goes like this...

You read a cryptic status update that a friend writes on Facebook about how someone has pissed her off and you respond with an appropriate dose of empathy in the form of a comment on that post... but then your comment is met with silence.

Not a single word in response, not even a like to acknowledge your comment.

Nothing.

Nada..

And so (if you are me), you commence hyperventilating as you mentally recount your last ten conversations and interactions with this person to pinpoint exactly what it was that you did that caused her to be so mad at you.

Now don't expect reason to help you out here.

Nope, Reason doesn't even think of coming to the party and pointing out the fact she could be talking about any of the 1852 people she has engaged with in the past month.

Nah ah, there is no room for reason at this party because Paranoia has arrived people and Paranoia has started a big old paranoia orgy in your head and consequently you have already donned your own shackles and you are now far too busy writing your 98 page apology letter... for something you don't know even know what or if you have or haven't done.

But....Paranoia says you did so you must have right?

Gah!!!

Then there's that blog post a fellow blogger writes about blah blah and how she really dislikes it when people yaya yada, or how she thinks that people who yada yada make her feel blah blah...

You get the gist right?

Of course you do, because that post was written about you right?!

Oh wait, oh sweets... you mean you didn't know she was talking about you?

Bless, you mean you actually thought it could have been about any of the other eleventy billion faceless people she could have been referring too?

THAT my dear friend is the point that reason leaves the building and insecurity and paranoia claim squatters rights.

Now short of leaving a comment on that Cryptic Facebook status or opinion post asking the author if it is indeed you she was talking about and in the process of doing so risk making yourself look like a utter narcissistic looney... there is not much else you can do about it.

I guess you could spend the next few days in self imposed exile doing some deep and meaningful soul searching as you question the probability of it being you or not and whether you can you live with yourself it were indeed you she was talking about.

Or... you could attempt a modern day passive aggressive poke in the shoulder by writing your own cryptic Facebook / Twitter / Instagram update / blog post and leave everyone else wondering who you are really talking about too before you realise that you have now completely lost the plot and surrender yourself and your wounded ego to your local Social Media rapid detox and rehabilitation facility.

Then again, you could just get over yourself, turn off the computer for a while and go and get a life.

Who am I to judge?

Whatever works for you I say.

Do you ever overthink what you read online?
Ever felt like the internet and social media is making you slightly paranoid?





Friday, 14 July 2017

Dyson VERSUS The Kids and Their Dogs

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Brought to you by Dyson & Nuffnang

OK my fellow neat freaks… get ready to be enlightened.

We (we as in our family but let’s face it, we are really talking about me - the neat freak) were sent the new Dyson V8 cord-free vacuum cleaner to try out and with the camera aimed directly at us - we set about putting it to the test.



Impressive huh?

This beautiful machine is like the holy grail… in my humble inner Martha Mudgut’s opinion.

OK, so if you were to sit down with my mum for a chat over a cuppa and ask her if I was always such a neat freak - she would probably choke on her coffee and collapse from a laughing induced hernia because her answer would be a big fat resounding NO.

Nope, I wasn’t always quite so fastidious about keeping things neat, in fact I was probably one of the messiest teens that has ever walked this planet… but then something happened to change me.

At 19, I moved into an apartment with my boyfriend (who is now my hubby) and he was hands down the messiest person I had ever met. I’m talking lose yourself for days in his piles of laundry and dirty dishes kind of messy you guys and it did my head in.

Ironically, his messiness was the miraculous cure for my own untidiness and the beginning of a lifetime spent apologising to my mother for all the years of mess she endured with me.

It was also when Martha Mudguts was born.

Since most of our friends still lived at out home with their own parents, our humble beach side apartment became the go-to party house. Hey, I was always one who was up for a good time, so of course I was totally ok with our place being party central. In fact, I was very accommodating (if I do say so myself) when it came to our multiple house guests and bodies that slept off hangovers on our couch and living room floor, and as long as no one minded me putting coasters under their drinks and lifting their lifeless legs so that I could vacuum the morning after (or the night before if my desperate need for tidiness won).

Somehow I managed to convert the hubby along the way… my years of training eventually paid off and he found his own tidy streak… buried somewhere under all the laundry no doubt.

Aaaaaand then we had kids, three boys to be precise.

Three lovely, happy, dirty, messy, loud and adventurous little boys.

Not content with our boisterous trio, I then insisted on adding two dogs to the mix because clearly I am a sucker for punishment.

I know you are probably dying to know… has my insistent need for tidiness waned somewhat over the years… what with a house full of boys and dogs and all that?

Hell no!!!

In fact I would even go so far as to say that I am as fastidious as ever if not more, and further yet I am cunning in the way that I manage the mess and clever in the arsenal of tools I have at my disposal to fight my endless battle… and at the top of my list (ok, sharing pole position with my coffee machine) is my trusty Dyson Vacuum cleaner.

I have been a total Dyson convert since I bought my first one nearly 12 years ago. I still have that incredible machine and it is now used solely on the car after the kids used it in various role plays over the years.

Then I was introduced to the newest member of the Dyson family and I have pretty much now declared my undying devotion.







The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum cleaner takes all the hassle out of keeping our house clean and tidy. As you saw in the video, it is ready to go any time I need it, really handy for cleaning up small messes as they happen. I also love the fact that it has no cords for this self declared Queen Klutz to trip over (or my merry party of mini klutzes for that matter) is absolute winner of a bonus!

At just 2.6kg, it is super lightweight and so easy to manoeuvre. The powerful suction generated by the Dyson digital motor V8 removes ALL the crumbs, dirt, dust and dog hair from our carpets, soft furnishings and tiled floors and the battery now lasts up to 40 minutes (compared to 20 minutes on the previous generations) which is plenty of time for me to whip around the entire house in a my ritualistic cleaning frenzy.

One of the best bits yet…even the kids love using it too. OK, so they probably like to pretend it is a super sucky light sabre or something, but hey…if they want to play and clean the floors at the same time, who the heck am I to argue??!!!

The Dyson V8 Absolute cord-free vacuum retails for RRP $899 and you can buy it here. It is quite possibly the best gift you could ever buy for yourself and your home.

Go on, you self-confessed house-proud clean freak - you know you want to.

I’m curious (because some of my friends think my once or twice a day vacuuming habit is bordering on obsessive - how often do you vacuum your place?