I love it when life presents me with new ideas, new skills to learn, new things. While I might get a bit scared at first, I love strapping on my big boots, picking up my rucksack and heading off into the Great Unknown looking for the Next Big Adventure.
Which is why I’m now the proud joint owner of a radio station.
My brother, Alan, and I have never been really close. Actually, that’s totally unfair on Alan. I suspect that Alan wanted to get close to me when we were growing up but I was such and angsty teenaged bitch from about the age of 5, when he was born, that I wouldn’t let him anywhere near me. So, we’ve never been close because I spent my childhood doing whatever I could to make his life miserable. Unfortunately for our parents, Alan soon picked up on how to do the same things back to me and we spent our youth fighting with one another at every opportunity.
Australia is big.
That’s stating the obvious, right, but it’s all very well to know that in an abstract, classroom kind of way; it’s quite a different thing to experience it.
Australia is big.
When we lived in the UK, John and I would get in the car, head down to the south coast and catch a ferry over to France at every opportunity. At that time, The UK had just started the free trade agreement with Europe so there were no import duties on things that you bought in Europe and brought back to the UK, which meant that… alcohol was really, really cheap.
We paid huge taxes on alcohol in the UK and all of a sudden, we could stick the car on the ferry, fill it up with alcohol from a hypermarche in one of the French ports and bring back a car load of booze for about half the cost of buying it locally, even when you included the cost of getting to France and back. Groups of friends (our friends, I have to admit but I’m assuming other people did it!) clubbed together and a couple of them would set off to pastures cheaper (or at least, alcohol cheaper) and bring back the cut price manna from heaven.
A couple of months ago, an old friend, Jane, got in touch with me completely out of the blue. In one of the bizarre twist s that life likes to put on us, we discovered that we were both going through pretty much exactly the same things in our lives. The similarities were really quite spooky. We thought that it would be a great idea to set up a daily call to each other so we could share what was happening for us that day and to keep ourselves on track because one of the things we both noticed about ourselves was that we have all these great ideas, all these good intentions… and we never carry them out. Actually, that’s not true, sometimes I carry out the ideas, but most of the time, they fall by the wayside and life goes on in the same old way that it always has and before I know it, bang! There’s another year gone by and I still haven’t started that project that was such a fantastic idea.
When I was at senior school, back in the dim mists of time as far as my teenaged daughter is concerned, we were given Gerald Durrell’s book My Family & Other Animals to read. I remember quite clearly been offended by the title on behalf of his family. I thought that it was grossly unkind if not downright rude to not only group his family in with the animals they all had but to call them animals in the first place. I mean, I knew that technically we are animals but there’s a vast difference between knowing that and calling someone an animal. That was really not very nice.
Fast forward forty years or so and I’m totally on board with the title of the book. I’ve got four kids and a husband. The title of the book is completely accurate.
I rarely take life seriously…
That’s a complete lie. I try not to take life seriously but sometimes (quite often), I do take things very seriously as they happen, but when I look back, then I see the hilarity in life.
I mean sometimes, yes, I totally get the whole inappropriate giggles that used to get my into a lot of trouble as a teenager. When I first began all this personal development work and had my first stint as a group coach, one of the group members really got offended when I laughed about something that had happened to her. I wasn’t being mean, but it was funny. She didn’t think so. She told me that in her opinion (humble or otherwise) I was a sociopath, unable to relate to other people, and furthermore I should psychiatric help if I was ever going to be able to form solid relationships with people. Right. Well, that little “contribution” burst my bubble for a little while but then I reverted back to my old giggly ways.
As I was moseying through Pinterest today, I came across a post titled “30 Day Challenge – Day 3 – A Picture Of My animals”
I assumed that it was a photography challenge (I think I’ve been tagged in a fair few of those and not realised because 1) I don’t read Facebook notifications and 2) I don’t pick up my Messenger messages very often, either), but it wasn’t. It was actually a blog challenge.
Now, as you’re probably aware, I don’t really need a challenge to make me start writing, but I really liked the sound of this one, so I’m going to do it. 30 days, each day a different topic, with the intention of letting the real me out into the world. Or at least, letting the real me loose on those poor unsuspecting… sorry, awesome people who read this blog!
I was sitting in a gorgeously green & lush garden café in Byron Bay with my beautiful bestie who was happily tucking into her second glass of Prosecco (I was on another kind of fizzy – water- as I had 5 more hours of driving to do that day) when she said something that jolted me like a cattle prod. “It is so good to owe nothing to no one. To be able to do whatever you like and not have to worry about any debts or upcoming bills or anything like that.” She sighed happily and ordered another glass of wine, while I buried my face in my water, hoping to all hell that she hadn’t picked up on the “oof” that came out of my mouth when her words hit me in the solar plexus or seen the flash of envy that turned my eyes bright green for a second.
I can hand on heart say that this was a defining moment for me. This was the moment when I said
'Playful' and 'adult' don't generally go in the same sentence and put together, they might even be considered (by most grown-ups) to be an oxymoron. But here I am, learning how to be just that: an oxymoronic playful adult.
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The universe recently presented me with a very interesting moral dilemma. A big one. It’s really, really fascinating to see what went through my head.
And, by the way, my kids are going to be mortified when they read this, but that happens sometimes in life, doesn’t it?
I don’t want to name anyone or point to anyone here, so I’m going to name the child that I was having the conversation with as W (a letter with is not related in any way to any of my children) (and it isn’t X, it’s way cooler).
I heard the ping of a new text from one of the kids; I glanced at the message on my phone, but decided to answer it on my iPad because it’s easier to type. Only I couldn’t follow the conversation on there because it went like this:
Child W: [the message that I’d glanced at on my phone about our recent phone call]… followed by a string of other messages that didn’t make any sense and which I didn’t remember sending:
Hi! I’m Karen O’Connor, hormonally-challenged, menopausal writer, blogger, self-confessed sarcasm enthusiast, mother of 4, wife of 30 years, destroyer of souls... no, wait, that's just in the mornings...
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