Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yippee! Back to school tomorrow. Am I the only one who is excited?

It would appear that I am one of the less 'Muesli-like' parents around the place and I am positively rejoicing in the return of my daughter to her school. Added to that, my son is going to be starting pre-school so I will have a little bit more 'sanity time'.

I thought that every parent would be thrilled at having their time back to themselves again. It would appear not. I seem to be in a very small minority of people who can't wait for school to begin again. Every other person I have spoken to seems to be in the doldrums about the end of chaos and return of the school run. But then again, as I have mentioned, the Canadian school holidays is nearly 3 months long.

Am I such a child hating parent? No....
But I do think children are like chillies. A little bit of them adds piquancy to life. Too much is just a brain blowing mess.
Perhaps it is that I love routine. I like knowing that I do blah on a Tuesday, Yadda-yah on a Thursday and thingy on a Friday. Summer holidays are too much like anarchy. And yes, there is the excitement of being in PJ's until 10am if you want, but when your toddler is up at 5.45 every morning, a chance to lounge around until late is not a bonus. He is chewing the furniture by 9a.m. unless we get out of the house. Roll on teenage years when I will get my revenge in hideous fashion by playing '90's music loudly outside his bedroom and hoover in an inconsiderate way at 7am.

How has your summer holiday been? Are you glad to see the wee devils go back, or am I the only one.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When can you officially call yourself a 'writer'?

Lately, I have been flogging a few articles around the place and actually earning money from them. Not much, but enough to have covered this weeks food shopping bill.

In total, I have earned $60 from writing non-fiction this month and $500 from fiction. What does this make me professionally? Apart from still a bit poor?

I look at the website www.babble.com and see that many of the articles are written by 'freelance writers' or 'journalists'. When do they feel able to label themselves that? I would feel incredibly cheesy putting 'freelance writer' on my passport, and yet that is what I currently do to earn pocket money. I have a profession that I can only do once I go back to England which earns me so much more than I have earned from writing. I should label myself with that profession, right?

I only ask because I do think that putting freelance writer on your letters to editor when you are flogging ideas sounds better than 'bottom and nose wiper, dealer in tantrums, cleaner, meal preparing current full time mum.'

By the way, I am honestly writing this sitting on my basement steps surrounded by spiders and winter gear trying to escape from my children. I think they have found me. It's like The Shining....
"Here's Johnny!!!!!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I am so sorry blog for my neglect.

Blame the summer holidays spent with two small children taking me away from you.
Blame my new Mac computer, which I cannot work out how to put photos on my blog, so feel guilty that it all looks a bit dull.
Blame the fact that sometimes I just can't be arsed to write and that watching Jersey Shore 2: Miami seems more appealing.
Blame the fact that I have discovered that I can get paid to rant online. A minimal sum, but if you are going to write about it anyway, you may as well earn some pennies.

But I miss you. I miss being able to splat my thoughts onto you without editing my brain. I miss reading other people's blogs on British Mummy Bloggers, but that has fallen by the wayside as well. I miss the routine and structure of sitting down and writing, but my children are like mini-Paris Hiltons, incredibly high maintenance. And as I mentioned earlier, the summer holiday is now approaching three months long. THREE FRICKIN' MONTHS. WTF?!? It's not like children are being used to bring in the harvest anymore. Although there are a couple here I will lend for some threshing of wheat if anyone takes them off my hands.

I am so desperate for time to myself I have taken to going to the scary bug-ridden basement that the children won't enter and typing away for a few minutes. How and why do people who home school do it? I love my children, but not all the bloody time.

So, as the new term starts, I promise to stop neglecting you. Even if you don't pay me anything.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Are you happiness levels fixed?

I think I am a moderately happy person. Not dalai lama happy, not depressed. I have my moments of sheer joy, and moments of doom and gloom.

But I think that no matter how my circumstances chance, no matter how wonderful my life may, and could be, I cannot change my base-level happiness.

I know this, as I am living my 'dream life'. I live abroad, in a fantastic cheery country, my children are a bit whiny, but otherwise hale and hearty. My husband is my best friend and I love him after all these years. I am finally being a stay at home mum, which is what I yearned to do when I was trying to juggle my job and young children.

Six months of this, and I could categorically say I am no happier than I was when I was stressed at work, not pleasing my husband, and snapping at the children.
You see, other stressed invade the place of the old ones. The new ones involve the illness of family members back at home, the guilt of dragging the children away from their home, the guilt of knowing we will be dragging the children God-knows-where in six months time, the guilt of not contributing money, the guilt of abandoning a hard fought for career. This list goes on.
Perhaps you could say the honeymoon period of the emigree is over. So the bliss of the new for the first six months is over. Perhaps it is biology that keeps our happiness levels at a fixed place, and you have no choice where that place may be.

It is said that happiness is a fleeting thing, not a background emotion. It is slippery to catch and hold onto for long periods.
I have one secret weapon though in the search for happiness. There is a pond near our house where we go 'frogging' most evenings. Hearing the squeal of my daughter as she picks up a particularly juicy big frog and the fruity Sid James laugh of my son as the frog indignantly plops back into the pond is like an injection of sheer happiness.