I thought that if I posted on the 31st of January I just might make the deadline for my new year’s res of monthly posts. So here I am in this familiar space. Although not so familiar because WordPress has changed it’s settings since last I visited, way back in October, which is moderately irritating. This is possibly the most boring introduction to a post I have ever written, however it was the need for perfection that prevented me from blogging in the last place. So here I am.
My new job is in the city so I alight from the tram, an experience in itself, to the city which is a heady concoction of exhaust, cigarette smoke, men’s cologne, woman’s perfumes and, since it is raining, the smell of water on hot bitumen.
A student on the tram got off before me after teasing his friend about rowing on the Torrens on this rainy day. He talked the whole journey, in that way that teenagers do, loudly so that everyone is aware of their existence and peppering their stories with the word “like”. He recounted a student who broke out into song in the middle of a lesson, singing “somebody that I used to know” and it went on “for like five minutes, it was so funny.” The other passengers steadfastly ignored him, scrolling through their phones, reading their e-books, listening to their iPods.
And I felt very old and very small and insignificant! Every person, a life, a story, a million connections. I share the world with others. It felt as though I had been living in a vacuum and suddenly lifted my head to discover I am not alone. And then the tram door wouldn’t close and a woman kindly informed me that if I didn’t step back, none of us would be going anywhere. There my self indulgent reverie ended, with an embarrassed acknowledgement and a step back into someone else. Bumping into humanity, I was suddenly visible, uncomfortable and wanting to disappear instead of challenge my insignificance.
So what lies ahead for 2013? Well 12 tiny, possibly irrelevant, things I learned last year may or may not inform my being this year
1. When I am angry with my leader over various infringements, best not to start with “I am upset you didn’t give me a Christmas card….”
2. When you cannot have your own children and you have been in the adoption queue for 6 years and they change the rules excluding you from parenthood, it is probably best not to immediately call the media. Today Tonight use high definition cameras and this tends to make people look old and fat. Also, it is best not to listen to media reports about pond scum who abuse their children and the privilege of parenthood.
3. Male colleagues in schools seem to be able to do less, receive more accolades and less criticism than their female counterparts but voicing this observation may not be wise. Silence has never been one of my strengths.
4. Drinking 9 consecutive champagnes is not good for your mental, physical or emotional health not to mention your relationship with the side of the bed, the floorboards or your husband. And it results in weeks of non-specific guilt syndrome and paranoia.
5. Weddings are deeply political affairs. Do not make contentious comments, even if you think they are humorous, about anything or anybody, particularly not on social media, it will bite you in the arse.
6. Ham and a protein bar do not constitute lunch.
7. Not wearing thongs in the showers at the swimming centre will result in outrageously disgusting foot conditions.
8. Always finish your marking.
9. Growing your own vegetables is intensely satisfying, but intensely boring conversation.
10. December is the best time of the year for weather and the worst time for your personal well being.
11. Don’t save particularly good sentences for your next blog, write them immediately because they will be lost in the minutiae of living and forever forgotten. Or perhaps they float off and land in a more worthy writer’s mind. Seize the words.
12. Stop trying so hard.
Last year I also decided that for 12 months I would accept every invitation I get unless it’s a double booking in order to broaden my life experiences from lying on the couch reading or watching TV to actually, intentionally bumping into humanity. I’ll keep you posted.