Poop.

Shit, as the quaint old saying goes, happens.

Black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight… Shit doesn’t care or discriminate. It’s an equal opportunities Bastard.

Like unexpectantly rising rent payments, the sudden appearance of a single smug-looking grey pubic hair, and unknowingly walking out of the ladies toilet with the back of your dress tucked into your knickers ( And not even the good “WhooHoo, I’m gonna get me some, peel these babies off with your teeth!” knickers, no… we’re talking back of the underwear drawer forgotten to do the laundry bellywarmers ) Shit is inescapable and randomly thrown at you to test how long it will take before you snap, buy a sniper rifle, and start picking off the seagulls flying past the balcony at 4am.

Now, before I get into exactly why I’ve been absent recently I think I should make it clear that pain is personal and mostly incomparable. Often pain is put on a sliding scale. You frequently see this in action in online forums where disagreements arise and eventually someone plays the “Cancer” card, which as everyone knows is supposed to trump all counter arguments and send the opposition to the Corner Of Shame. And to a certain extent that’s true.( Not the them having Cancer bit, that’s invariably a whopping big fib and reserves the Fibbee a nice stage-side dining table in the Restaurant Of Eternal Damnation ). You would have to be a Grade A moron to genuinely feel that snagging your tights on your nails and having to buy a new pair in any way or form compares to snagging a leg on some heavy-duty machinery and having to spend the rest of your life shoe shopping and saying to the assistant who is pointedly attempting not to stare, “No, I’ll only be needing the one, thanks.”

However, there’s a huge grey area in between Moderately Crappy and Holy Cow It’s A Diarrea-O-Rama! and those in the middle are at the mercy of perception.
I’ve been wallowing in that grey area for a while now. It’s not much fun.

Firstly, I almost lost my eldest son to suicide. Then I almost lost my youngest boy to diabetes. And a couple of weeks ago I almost lost my daughter to pneumonia.
I’m starting to feel like there’s a bit of a pattern developing here. Someone is definitely tuggin’ my chain.

And tuggin’.
And tuggin’.
And you know how that makes me feel?

I feel lucky.
I could have lost my beautiful, smart, funny, caring children, and Lord knows that would pretty much finish me too, but I didn’t. It was a close thing, and Christ it was painful each time ( and still is ), but it could so easily have been end-of-the-scale pain. The sort of pain you don’t recover from. Deep black not-a-speck-of-grey pain.

So that’s where I’ve been, showering off the excrement and feeling very grateful it was just a light shower as opposed to being pushed into a bubbling hot tub of the stuff. You can thank me for the mental image later 🙂

Will not crumble for cookies.

I am a classic underachiever. My life is one very long list of things I could have done but somehow miraculously and against my God-given talents I totally failed to. In fact, I’ve elevated non-achievement to an art form. Or would have if I’d made one last effort. Which I didn’t.

Some days that really ticks me off, but on most days I wallow in a tepid pool of “Meh..” and luxuriate in the fact I never really expected me to get anything done anyway. There’s a certain comfort in having artificially lowered expectations of self, and that’s been both my best friend and my worst enemy over the years.

Sure… I could have been the world’s foremost authority on the Guatemalan Lesser Spotted Leaping Snail if I wanted to, but hey! Here’s an idea! How about NOT?? Less studying time, less effort, less sifting through snail snot. Sure, you miss out on that particular dream, but you’re An Underachiever! That’s what you do! Genius.

So, baring in mind that today’s topic is : “What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010?” then this is going to be a pretty short post, yeah?

You wish 😉

In reality I possibly accomplished something last year that I never thought I could. Something I thought would crush me beyond recognition ..didn’t.
Last year I didn’t fall to pieces.

This may not seem like that big a deal. After all, at any given time aren’t 5 billion other people holding it together just fine? Well, yes, possibly. But I’m not them, and I shouldn’t compare myself, because goals and hopes are personal. They shouldn’t start with “I want to be better than Betty next door with her infeasibly large breasts and perfect teeth…” or “I want to totally crush that annoying guy in class with his oh-so-perfect PhD in Socio-economic Parapsychology In The Middle Ages…” because when you stop competing with others and start competing with yourself you can finally move forward.

Two things happened last year.A situation with my oldest son truly broke my heart, but in respect for his privacy I won’t divulge what, and my youngest son was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 4. I spent a lot of time back and forth to hospitals in both situations , terrified I might lose either. Most people expected me to crumble, including myself.

But instead I took one day at a time. One hard step after another. And in all honesty, I still am. Does this make me better than anyone else? No. Does this make me better? Yes. And that’s good enough for me. Or it will be when I work out some sort of biscuit-related reward system.