Dec 14, 2020

Anyone for popcorn?

Popcorn, it’s a popper! Have you ever noticed that the lid on the popcorn pot is scary and full of pressure and how at any time it could just explode? Hold it down, don’t look, wait for the sound and hold tight, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, poppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppoppop!
It is too much, all that pressure.
Pressure to be successful, pressure to finish school, pressure to get a real job, pressure to lose weight, pressure to gain weight, pressure to get married, pressure to have kids, pressure to finish that project, pressure to buy a house, pressure to cook dinner, pressure to get the kids to school on time… No wonder we are busy! We are busy because we are under pressure to succeed in every aspect of our lives. But who puts that pressure on us?
Well, I am learning fast, the only person putting pressure on me is in fact, you guessed it, me. Does it really matter if the kids are late to school? They are fed and dressed, and I got them to school, safe and sound. So take your foot off the gas and on to the brake and know this, that in the scheme of things, being five minutes late to school is not going to change their world that day or any other day. It’s important to be on time where it counts and most of the time I am, but traffic, a lost shoe, or someone taking too long in the shower, is just life, shit happens. The only family that needs that kind of pressure are the Jones and remember; we no longer keeping up with them, that’s way too exhausting and far too much pressure.

I am the worst. I put so much pressure on myself that I get angry at myself, then I am exhausted from all the pressure and forget to enjoy the moment. A classic example of this is when someone is coming over, the pressure is on to clean the house and if you know me, my clean is not the average clean. I am the cleaner. I have friends who don’t see the mess, they just step over it. I have friends who never clean their space. Me on the other hand, I clean at least one major thing a day as well as the daily cleaning of dishes, and mess and washing. Seriously, who wears all the clothes in the washing basket? I swear the night fairies must fill it up! I am a person who likes a clean space, to remove the clutter, have everything in its place. It helps me think more clearly.
So which one is right: the person who puts pressure on themselves to have a clean house all the time, or the person who doesn’t?
I think somewhere in the middle is probably the best place to land. For me this is a work in progress.
So who do I blame? Well, I blame my mother. Miss Busy Bee herself, always cleaning something.
My mum gets to read my blogs before I post them, so sorry Mum! It comes from a space of love. I definitely got this trait from you.

I have a friend who makes the most beautiful dresses for dancing and she is always under pressure, not from herself but from the customers who need that gown for the next competition. She doesn’t sleep, she doesn’t eat, it’s all, sew, sew, sew. And sew she does, all day and all night until it’s finished and every single time the dresses are spectacular. But hey, I am one of those guilty parties, as I have been one of those customers and hear myself saying “I knew you would pull it off!”. Did I ever stop to consider the pressure I was placing her under? The answer is obviously, NO. We don’t see anyone else’s pressure, we only see our own. We don’t see anyone else’s sadness, or worries, only our own. And we are so consumed by our own pressures that we sometimes forget everyone has their own stuff to deal with. So rather than falling into this trap of putting pressure on ourselves, we should be living our best lives, or at lease giving it a good crack.
The world has gone mad, pressure is everywhere. Companies fighting to have the next best mobile, or the biggest TV, or the smartest house. Really, seriously, how smart? Smart enough to know that I have had a bad day and forgot to activate the smart house app? Smart enough to know that I forgot to turn off the iron and smart enough to know that it’s going to rain and there’s washing on the line?
It’s like that cooking appliance that everyone raves about, the Thermomix. They say do, I say, don’t! Don’t spend all that money for something else to cook for you. Learn to cook and enjoy making whatever it is you want to cook. Put love into the food, it always tastes better. I went to a cooking school recently and had so much fun and we didn’t use a Thermomix, and it tasted great.
If your life is that busy that you need a machine that takes away some downtime to cook, then I say, get a nanny or home help, because it sounds like you need it. If you can’t afford help, then you need to adjust your life; don’t get caught up in that busyness.

Up until recently I ironed my tea towels, and I am not a girl that likes ironing, so why the tea towels? Goodness only knows! I may need to check with my mum again, on this one. And pillowcases on the bed. I now oscillate between it looks better so just do it, to no one sees it except me, so it doesn’t matter. Or does it?
See, that’s the thing about putting yourself under pressure, you forget what is important. My house will always be like a show home and not for the reason you might think. I like it to be that way because of how it makes me feel; no one else, just me.
When I am under pressure I feel like the white rabbit muttering away “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”
Late for what? Has anyone turned up late to their own funeral?
Is the late bride a nervous bride? Or was it just that the traffic was crazy, or the hairdresser was running late?
And does it matter, really matter, really change anything, everything or honestly nothing?
The person is still dead, sadly that won’t change, sorry Walt.
And that beautiful bride on her special day, she will still get to walk down the aisle and say I do to the man or woman she loves. No one will remember she was late, it might be shared over a laugh and a wine, but her friends and family will only remember how beautiful she looked. How she glowed, and that smile, that beautiful smile, that’s it.

Goodness me, it’s Christmas already, it has snuck up on all of us this year. I decided not to put up the tree. (it takes me all week to decorate). Then there’s the food prep and the presents and the cooking and the baking and the competition of who has the best ham, me or Miss Busy Bee.
Oh boy, there goes that popcorn machine again!
Every year I do a different colour, and different theme, so the tree and the table setting must match with all the bells and most definitely the whistles. The tree takes a week and my table setting takes even longer to complete.
All for one day. All for one meal. All for one reason, not mushy love stuff, for Santa, he is watching and he knows. Santa has sat beside my trees over the years since I was 22. He is my favourite part of Christmas, he reminds me that it doesn’t matter if it’s salt free popcorn, or caramel popcorn as long as there is popcorn, for everyone.
So I had to rethink my objection to a tree. Did I not want to do Christmas because of the popcorn?
The Christmas tree will go up. This year we are having au naturale. It’s still a theme right?
So, I say, stop! Yes me. I’m saying put the pressure on, for different reasons: pressure to be happy, pressure to catch up with friends or family, pressure to read a book or watch tv in your pj’s because honestly , as the plaque on my wall says, don’t take life too seriously, no one gets out alive anyway.
Life is a journey. It’s not where you end up, but how you got there. Thanks for coming on mine.
Merry Christmas

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