I admire women. In particular the strength they often aren’t aware they have. I admire men too, but I am in awe of women. Right now so many of my friends are going through real life changing shitty times. Weird. So many and at the same time. I do feel sad for them that they are having to suffer. But I have learnt that often that is what is required to facilitate change. To open our eyes. I am so very sad for them and for their pain. For everyone’s pain. But I felt a little bubble of excitement deep down in my tummy.  I couldn’t understand why. And then I realised what it was. Excitement at the strength my friends are finding within themselves. Fuck, it is exciting. They are realising what they are worth and that they deserve better.  They deserve to be treated as the wonderful fabulous vital women they are. Respect. My new rallying cry. Trust and respect. Yeeehaaaa.


I  am grateful for Jem’s kindness today. She was the only one in my family who didn’t snort or giggle or do a mock tennis match sports commentary at seeing my excitement at receiving my first ever trophy today.  So what if it was just for being the 2011 ladies singles champion of the monday ladies group. I bloody love it.


I am embarassed to admit that’s what I muttered under my breath at Kate this morning. That’s because she was being one. I’ve decided it’s better to mutter. The truth is, the minute your children turn 13, they change. Never mind how perfect they are. They change. Some more subtly than others. The tough part is, you don’t.  My views are still the same. But now instead of illiciting fan mail and adoration from her, I get rolled eyes, back chat, walking away, you don’t get it, closed doors. I’ve raged, I’ve ranted, and not my finest hour, I’ve called her names. Aloud. But all I get is that look that makes me feel exactly like that idiotic person I am actually being. That holier than thou look that says she would never stoop so low. And she’s right. So, now, I turn away and mutter under my breath. All with love, of course. And because I do know, sadly, this too will pass.


Is how I felt in the face of someone’s pain. How to be, what to say, how to show I care. We have no idea what our friends are carrying with them. So, I did the next best thing. I poured. A lot. It could all be so easy if we just stopped. Stopped the lies. Stopped the interpretation. Stopped the need for interpretation. Stopped the expectation. Stopped the conditions. Stopped the fear. Imagine how it could be. Honesty. It might hurt but truth always prevails. And then will hurt even more. So lets be brave enough to be truthful. Be brave enough to stop the crap. We are so much more. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Why can it not be one guided by grace and dignity? Why can we not try to be better. Respect. Is that too much to ask for? We are all the same. Lets honour the goodness that truly is within us all. Is within you. My friend deserves so much more. So do we all. Ok, Sunday sermon over. Where is that damn bottle?


I am grateful for friendships.  In all the various forms we find them. Often in the most unexpected of places. I am grateful for the comfort I derive in the sharing and the caring. I can only hope my friends feel the same. I am here. Always. And I thank you for being there. The knowledge that you will always be there no matter what, is comforting.


I was very grateful today that I arrived at the surf club early for my walk. I had time to watch this gorgeous chocolate labrador. Guide dog in training. He sat on this bench alertly watching after his trainer who went in for a swim. He never moved. His gaze never wavered. How committed he was. How committed his trainer was. What a gift to someone he will be. What a gift to me today to just sit and watch and learn.


I am finding this all quite interesting. People’s genuine curiousity, amazement, wierded outness, desire to share and even the complete silence. Actually the complete silence from some is particularly interesting. It takes some doing to put yourself out there. And I don’t mean by blogging. I mean by being honest. And the question on some people’s minds it seems, is why would you. Which has to make me consider. Why am I doing this? Honestly, I was, am, a spoilt brat. With so much to be grateful for, but not honestly seeing it.  Why, why not, why me, why not me, why here, why him, why them, why now. A favourite quote of mine ‘be still. cease your relentless partcipation’ comes to mind. I know I do that. Especially before. Kept myself ever so busy doing ever so important things with ever so important people so I wouldn’t have to spend too much time with me. Now I am in this wonderful place with this wonderful opportunity to simply celebrate what is. And still I so often think about what I haven’t got, not what I have. What is with that. I am a spoilt brat. So, the grateful stuff is my being still for a moment. The other stuff is me experimenting and not being anonymous anymore. Honesty is good. Sharing is therapeutic. Not trying to be clever is essential.


Today I am grateful for my friend Jo. Not only for inviting an efrican into her home for Australia Day but mostly for getting me. She mocks me, she laughs at me, she teases me, she doesn’t let me take myself too seriously. Most importantly she doesn’t make me feel different. And one day, she’ll be grateful to me for teaching her to say fuck off the way I do.