Dumping the Notions…

It is midterm.

Mammy knows that she needs to try to decompress and relax while one has time off the job job.

And so one does the equivalent of booking a spa day for Mammy… one demands a skip from the husband.

No, this is not a euphemism.

A lovely big skip arrived today.

Mammy started with the kitchen. Just a long overdue “spring clean”… nothing major.

And yet 3 hours in, Mammy is questioning why, in fucking fact, one started this… and Mammy is really quite exhausted from the physical exertion of hauling all but the kitchen sink outside.

But therapeutic it is.

So much so, that Mammy has actually learned quite a few things about oneself today; I doubt I’d have had such revelations after an hour of essential oil infused meditation goat yoga in an outdoor tub…

Mammy reconnected with younger Mammy and realised/recognized/comprehended…that pre-C Mammy was actually a naive and ridiculous twatgurl who was full of NOTIONS.

(And Pre-C is Pre-children, not Pre-Covid… that’s a whole other post.😂)

Mammy dumped eleventy squillion tiny little pretentious shot flutes, which were bought on the Portstewart promenade 20+ years ago, when Mammy was not a Mammy, and before Mammy had an actual house to fill with such shitery.

Said pretentious little shot flutes were fablis you see. They were used to serve dainty and delicate desserts and sweet sherry to the very fanciful folks Mammy served in the super posh restaurant Mammy worked in at the time.

They were required, you see, to fulfil Mammy’s notions of throwing dinner parties if and when Mammy ever owned a kitchen.

And they have sat in the glassy glass fronted glass presses of both of Mammy’s houses for the past 20 years.

What have they been used for?

Dust.
Holding dust.
Looking fancy holding dust.

Mocking and scoffing at Mammy’s notions and dreams of being a Domestic-fucking-Goddess…

Until today.

Mammy took great joy in smashing those little feckers. They were too dusty and dainty to pass on to someone else, and in truth, they’d simply have taken up someone ELSE’S notiony notions and humbled them in 20 odd years time as they realised that actually, they never DID get used for those dinner parties that never happened.

And then, Mammy found the scallop shells, which were OBVIOUSLY necessary for all of the seafood delicacies and scallopy starters which Mammy NEVER actually cooks or serves, even on the very rare occasion that Mammy does have/did have actual adult people around for dinner.

Add to said scallop shells, countless ramekins and glass trifle bowls…even though the only trifle Mammy EVER eats is in GannyGanda’s on Christmas day… and one had a very literal representation of one’s utter fucking NOTIONS laid out on the kitchen counter today.

And don’t even START me on the pestle & mortar choppy sets. What was I going to do? Grind my own fucking pesto?
Mash my own ketchup?

Cop my own on more like.

And so yes, Mammy has been humbled and taken down from her domestic goddess pre-C notions.

Mammy is quite content however that these accoutrements are no longer required for Mammy to KNOW that she is in fact, a dinner party Queen.

And Mammy is MORE than happy to admit that since the arrival of my cherubs, any “dinner party” occasion that HAS happened in our house, usually required someone to collect it from the Chilli Shaker.

But you’ve never seen ANYONE set out a takeaway as fabulousitified as Mammy.
And that’s WITHOUT the never used fancy shot flutes or scallop shells.

Notions I tell you.

Same Storm, Different Boats…

Aren’t you lucky you have a job?
Aren’t you lucky you have your health?
Aren’t you lucky you can work from home?
Aren’t you lucky you don’t have to…fill in the blank…

Oh how lucky indeed. 

These days, we really are counting blessings.  The turmoil of the past 7 months has seen us face challenges and fears daily.  And we have all tuned into our own gratitude.  We’re being reminded each day on social media, in staffrooms, in conversations with loved ones, of the things that we should be grateful for. 

I’ve done it myself. 
I’ve bounced the usual cliches around in conversations.
 “Sure aren’t we lucky we have a job” in the staffroom. 
 “Aren’t you lucky you can work from home?” to a friend on the phone.  
“Aren’t you lucky you can still go to college?” to one of the sisters. 
 “Aren’t we lucky we still have a business?” to the husband. 
 “Aren’t you lucky you can go to school to see your friends?” to my daughters.  
“Aren’t you lucky you have family to worry about?” to myself in the mirror.

And indeed we are.
Jesus I do not need anyone to tell me how lucky I am.  I’m fully aware and I’m grateful everyday. 

We all have things in our lives that we are grateful for and appreciative of. 
We are all able to know that we have much to be thankful for. 

I’ve watched people I know and care about lose loved ones and deal with the worst imaginable pain over the past few months.
I feel heart-break for people who are dealing with so very much right now.  
I feel enraged for those who are facing injustices and hardships. 

Some of my friends who are facing incredibly difficult times, seem to be more grateful than I can imagine myself being if I walked in their shoes.  They amaze me every day. I don’t know if I could ever be as positive as they are. 

And I never will, because I do NOT walk in their shoes.

And here is my point.  
The current climate is a difficult one.  It’s more difficult for some than for others. 
And yet it is difficult for all. 
I love the quotation of “We’re not all in the same boat, but we’re in the same storm”. I don’t know who said it first, but I absolutely agree. 

Over the past week, I’ve faltered.  My smile was more forced.  My positivity plummeted.  My rage soared and my frustration got to the point where I cried constantly for more than a few hours. I’ve been trucking on, focusing on all of the reasons that I’m “lucky”, and yet suddenly, MY little boat was rocked with a tsunami of grief and sadness and overwhelm and anger and fear.  We have all lost out.  We all miss people.  We all feel sadness about what we can no longer do.

I spoke to my husband. (well, spoke…sobbed at…same thing right?)
I spoke to my brother. 
I spoke to my sister. 
I spoke to my friend.


And each and every one of them, was able to empathise and comfort me.  In fact, most of the people I’ve spoken to have felt the same over the past few weeks; some more than once. 

So what is it?  How is it that I, who really and truly do know that I’m “lucky” and in the grand scheme of things, fell apart and raged at the world for a few days?

Because I’m human, that’s how.

You might have “nothing to complain about”. 
You might have few financial worries. 
You might be blessed that those you live are in good health. 
You might have so far avoided the virus. 
You might be quite content with your work arrangements.

But you, like the rest of us, are still existing in a new world, where there is a constant undercurrent of stress and anxiety.  


We are all on high alert.  We are all living in that adrenalin buzz of being ready for the next twist or drama that the headlines hurl at us. We are all in fight or flight mode at all times. Even if we haven’t yet realised it. 


Even those of us who think we’re fine and proclaim that we’re not paying attention to it, are entitled to have days where it all seems a bit bleak. 

None of us can claim to be immune from the social anxiety that holds hands with the virus. 


We are all perfectly within our rights to be angry and frustrated and upset at the personal losses and grievances that we are facing. 


And just because the person next to you seems “lucky” and doesn’t seem to have anything to complain about, doesn’t mean that they aren’t feeling the weight of this pandemic.

There is no monopoly on overwhelm.  We must all try to have empathy for each other and look out for each other.

We must never get to a place where “Sure what do YOU have to be stressed about?” becomes acceptable…because we are all entitled to feel ALL the emotions. 

We are indeed all in different boats and we are all simply trying to keep our own boat afloat. 

And everyone’s boat will float a little better through this blasted storm,  if we worry about our own boats.

Check in on your friends.  Check in on your family.  Check in on the last person you would think you need to check upon.

  They might just be glad that you do. And so will you.