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My Two Black Dogs

I have two black dogs, and I love one of them very much.  She has been an integral part of my life for sixteen years.  Black Dog Numero Uno is my girl Nina Simone:Image

Isn’t she pretty?  My relationship with Nina is deep and visceral, something that people who do not “love dogs” will not understand.  She has been my sounding board and “Go-to-Gal” for all manner of situations in my life.  Since I was 25, she has been my constant companion and her easy manner and wise ways have been a mainstay of my world for so long that as she comes to the end of her life, there is an ever-tightening knot in my throat around how I will fill her void when she is gone.  I am so familiar with her presence that it just seems unbelievable that she soon will not be here.

As for my other black dog, for the avoidance of stereotyping let us call her Depression.  If I am totally honest (which is something I have struggled in my shame to do), Depression has been part of my life for at least thirty years.  Long lived indeed.  I don’t love her but I know her very well.

She/he/it, depending on the form it takes, is a bit of a shape changer and hence very hard to tame, and this mutt is not a very nice dog at all.  To be fair, I have let her stay around, so I am not sure I can fully blame her.  She (let’s call her she for this post, as currently “she” is taking the form of a sort of “Maleficent” type character in my life, although perhaps not as beautiful as Angelina’s portrayal) is what you might call a familiar frenemy.

For those of you who read my semi-regular blog postings, you may recall me mentioning “the coat of melancholy”.  Well, literally speaking – the coat of melancholy was woven from the hair of my second black dog.  No wonder it chafes.

For these past few weeks, as I have struggled with my feelings of shame and humiliation over a forthcoming event, my second black dog has been an all too familiar companion.  She keeps me from focussing, sleeping, and seeing past the date of my doom to beyond.  She scares me, my second black dog, as she does not like me to have hope in my life let alone redemption.  I have not slept at night for almost a week now because my second black dog seems to want to sleep on my chest, which makes me struggle to breathe – which thankfully (or not) wakes me up.  For anyone who suffers from insomnia, I am sure that you will agree that it is after the first week that it gets a really hard to take.  After all, there are only 24 hours in the day and the eight that are “business hours” seem to fall smack bang in the middle of the time that you are the most tired.

The  well-known quote from Stephen Fry is an appropriate one to finish this post – as I make a coffee to try to keep awake today so I can make contact with those beautiful friends of mine who have reached out to me.  You know who you are. 

I love you and I am grateful.

E is for Excited!

Whilst I am not going to go all Sue Grafton (if anyone doesn’t know her work, she wrote the incredibly entertaining Kinsey Millhone series – one for each letter of the alphabet – http://www.suegrafton.com/, but after my last post that featured that damn D word (as in Depression “feat” Anxiety, an album that has been stuck on replay all too often in my life, and of late.  The whole damn D word is more angsty and self-absorbed than Kanye on a bad day (a little bit of a rap lyric there for the taking 🙂 nd even less palatable than his Kim K inspired / infused Magnum Opus “Bound 2″, which I have kindly provided here for your listening and viewing pleasure here (for the masochists among you):

Thank the lord for the James Franco / Seth Rogen version.  As a writer, I can only hope to develop my writing skills to write lyrics like:

I wanna f*ck you hard on the sink
After that, give you something to drink
Step back, can’t get spunk on the mink

(please somebody time capsule this so future generations can admire us)

Anyway, I really only popped in to say I am feeling better and a little bit excited about life again. In this past week, I have had some good laughs with good friends, I have also reached out for some support in order to face up to some health challenges (must do those thigh measurements (said no chubby woman ever – But I will Bec, I will x) and today I begin my feature writing course … which looks like a ton of fun but has actual assignments (note to self – USE the big wall planner that Gael made you get.  There are months after February!), which I had better get started on.  So yeah, E is for excited.

hashtag over-share #over-share

This post is dedicated to all the over-sharers out there … you know who you are.

OK, so I am going on a date tomorrow night.  It is a first date.  With a really nice guy.  Well, it is a couple of get to know you drinks, and hopefully some food (as we all know how dumb it is to drink on an empty stomach right … ) I think that counts as a date?  It has been a while since I have been on a date, which really is no bad thing.

So it’s no big thing, really is no big deal.  I mean it is not a little deal, as I would not want to portray to him that I am not kind of stoked that I am going on a date with him, but so far I am doing really well to play it cool (well my version of it).  Does blurting out that you love Llamas in a text message count as playing it cool?  It took him a while to respond to that one, and I concede that I did for a moment go “Oh Kaili, you idiot as if he cares what you think about Llamas!”  But he did respond, thankfully he did not mention the Llamas…

Llama

You totally have to admit though that baby Llamas are pretty damn cute.  Now although I am an animal lover, people who know me know that I am not one to post pictures of fluffy bunnies, newly hatched chickens etc. on any of my social media feeds.  But Llamas … come on, are they not the cutest little beasts?  I mean, one of the coolest actresses on the planet Kristen Bell … aka Veronica Mars y’all!

Llama sloth

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Mars_(film) has a thing for sloths.  They are pretty cute I have to admit.  See here: http://www.ellentv.com/videos/0-46tiqsmh/

Anyway, this afternoon he texted me with a bit of chit chat about what he was up to… you know, playing it cool – finished work, getting takeaway and watching a movie “Anchorman 2” – as a side a issue I am not sure if I am a Will Ferrell fan, but he is… where do you all sit?

Llama anchorman

http://www.anchormanmovie.com.au/

Personally, I am more of a Steve Carrell fan.  He just seems like a really nice guy, plus he is actually really hot.  And wears glasses … hot people wear glasses right??  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Carell

Llama steve cIMG_0162

Anyway, back to the subject at hand … of course I wanted to send him an equally witty and entertaining reply.  However, let’s just say I was having some “maintenance” done (get your minds back above the waist), and I was SO tempted to text back exactly what I was doing.  Because I am an open book / start as you would continue / no big deal right … anyway … when the (nice) guy I am going on a date with (who may or may not like Llamas)  told me that he was getting takeaway and watching a Will Farrell movie, I was somewhere having … in the words of my fabulous friend Fleur (her blog the hilarious “My Ego and Me can be found here: http://myegoandme.com/) … “a little pampering” … enough said right?

In the meantime, I am writing this post listening to my girls talk about eyebrows!

From Lily “Look at my eyebrow game … how strong is my eyebrow game … !!” as she defines Eden’s newly “threaded” eyebrows with chocolate brown pencil …

Eden is not so sure and thinks they look odd kind of like a “Scouse brow” … maybe it is in homage to our Liverpudlian roots!
http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/lifestyle/beauty/look-away-now-liverpool-ladies-6534813 … and is taking several selfies to prove it … this is not one of them:

llama scouse brow

Affirmations 101

I was never one for affirmations. Despite being given Louise Hay’s “You can Heal your Life” as a very troubled homeless teenager and immediately noting that there could be something in her teachings for me, it took another 25 years before I seriously embraced the power of affirmations. I was the quintessential cinic, the ultimate naysayer.
However, after really listening to the collective message of the successful people I now choose to surround myself with, I realised that they are all firm affirmers…
Was I convinced that affirmations would work for me? Not totally, but I decided to give them a go … on the fake it till you make it principle. I would stare cheesily into the mirror and rattle off something I thought sounded like an affirmation and proceed about my day. Suddenly I noticed that the thing I had affirmed that morning would manifest in some way during the day. It wasn’t huge to start with, but in the past few weeks the good fortune and success that has come my way just makes me want to jump for joy! My latest affimation: Anytime I step up and use the knowledge I have been given in order to be an entrepreneur, I experience open doors and a wealth of opportunities….
Watch this space people … I can’t wait to share all of the amazing opportunities that are coming my way …

Panic at the disco … my Monday Top 10!

Panic

I confess to having a feeling of panic today. I have been writing late into the night and still don’t feel satisfied with my work. I have stacks ‘going on’ in my life also and am finding the juggle a bit much today. The temptation is of course to throw my hands in the air, dive back under the doona and achieve nothing. Which is why I am blogging. Not as a procrastination mechanism but as a meditation technique. If I don’t write what I am worried about down and also the many tasks I have to do, I will just churn it all around in my mind all day and get nothing done. So here goes:

1. Lily’s operation – after months of surgeries, casts, wheelchairs and crutches, my 17 year old has what is hopefully the last operation to remove some screws from her leg. This is exciting. She has to be there for 7.00am tomorrow morning. To be collected by 6.00pm unless they keep her overnight, which based on her last experience may be a possibility. Note to self – other daughter needs somewhere to go for a few hours.

2. Real Estate seminar 8.00 – 5.00 tomorrow – I really want to do this as the topic is ‘options’, which is exactly the strategy that I have spent the past few months teaching myself about and the one I think is going to make me the most money, as I have the skills to make it work. I only wish it was not tomorrow, but I guess Lily will be in surgery so short of sitting at the hospital worrying, there is not much else I should be doing … apart from …

3. Writing up the project sheets for my new client. This job could be really lucrative for me, and I don’t hate this sort of writing, but I would rather be working on my manuscript. But rent needs to be paid and food needs to be purchased…. speaking of my manuscript, it needs to be completed to a standard that I am happy with by Thursday 31 October to make the cut off for two major mentorship programs …

4. Speaking of Thursday, I have another thing to do on Thursday, a not so pleasant thing and this has caused me a certain amount of angst and sleepless nights. But, I am assured by those helping me that things are in hand so I just have to let this one play out. But again it is a time consuming thing.

5. Also for Thursday and Friday, I have my small business course which I have to do to get the funding to get my writing business off the ground. I am finding this tedious and a huge interruption on my time, but nonetheless a necessary evil.

6. House inspection scheduled for Wednesday 30 October – trying to get this postponed until next week as I really do not have time to vacuum the window tracks and clean the oven.

7. Saturday and Sunday, I have my longed for next stage of the self-development course – it is all about tapping into what you are passionate about and making it work in your life. I hope this will bring me some clarity and perspective about where I am heading. I know I am going to be with some very cool people on the weekend at least.

8. My money situation. It is really stressful being almost broke, but I know that this is only going to be the situation for the next ten days. I am a bit stressed about what to do when I get money though. It will be good to pay some long overdue debts to some beautiful friends who have helped me out in my time of need…

9. Speaking of need – must call electricity, gas and other bills up to beg extensions. Gosh darn it. That takes time too. 

10. My Best Friend’s Wedding … in Queensland … that I have yet to book tickets for as I don’t have the money … Thank god she is not on Facebook. I can only cross my fingers and toes that number 8 comes to fruition in time for me to get there.

SIgh … do I feel calmer? Nope. Any readers, please feel free to jump in with some strategies.

Reading Like A Writer

Love this! I am going to do this from now on.

A Dream Come True

Animated-desk-lamp-on-book-goes-off-gif-animation (1)

I once read, I can’t remember where (although I want to say it was Stephen King) that writers should read a book twice.  The first time as a reader…the second time as a writer.

I have found that advice invaluable (whoever said it) and I use that technique with everything I read.  I will read a book and see if I like it.  If I do, I then reread it and find out what the writer did to lure me into their world so effectively.  Most of the time, I’ve enjoyed a book or story because of the characters…I love a good hero or a despicable villain.  The plot is important, of course, but if you don’t have great characters with lots of depth and layers, I find it hard to get into the story.

So, if the writer got my attention, I reread it to find out how they…

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