Tuesday, July 31, 2007


We had a sex date tonight, which I was looking forward to. But apparently, he is just in a bit too much pain.

I am feeling quite disappointed and surprisingly flat. What don't I have a better sense of perspective about this?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

That's More Like It

Tonight, as I was doing our online grocery shopping, my Big Dude said, "When you're ready, I'll be in your bed, naked and waiting for you".

And he was.

Now, that's more like it!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Well, a day or two ago, it was my Blogaversary - yes, it's 12 months since I started this blog!

And this is making me think about my life, then and now.

When I started this blog, I said I wanted to work through three main issues: our sex life, my job and my feelings about being a mother. All of these things seem to have improved.

After a long period in the doldrums, our sex life is probably the best it's been in years. It's not so much the quantity that has improved, as the quality. My Big Dude seems to take a lot more notice of how we are going, I don't feel like I have to "remind" him so much, and he seems to enjoy what we do more. While its far from perfect, I feel a sense of ease in my mind about it.

The job aspect is not really resolved. The job I was interested in hasn't been advertised yet and I still have reservations about changing a job that suits our family life so well. But while I am still expecting to move on, I am also feeling more positive about my job as supporting our family life rather than being at the centre of my identity.

But, oh, so much has changed with my being a mother. Quite honestly, I am surprised when people complain about toddlers. My Little Dude is such a lovely boy. He chats, he laughs (is there any sound more joyful than the laugh of a toddler?) he exclaims, he runs everywhere, he climbs everything and just looking at him makes me glad to be alive. This morning at playgroup, he was playing with about five trucks simultaneously in the sandpit and was just beside himself with excitement. If he was any more beautiful, I wouldn't be able to stand it.

Other niggly problems are also improving. I am about 7 kgs lighter (about 15 pounds for American readers) and quite a bit wealthier through improved financial habits and debt repayment (thanks to all those who gave great tips!).

If you had told me a year ago that I would be actively involved in a church and cooking for a charity, I wouldn't have believed you. I wouldn't have thought that I could get past my feelings about churches, God and the rest. But sometimes it's not a matter of getting past things - sometimes it's just a matter of working with them.

In fact, the one thing that makes me just a little bit sad is that I think the quality of this blog has deteriorated. Now that the Little Dude hardly sleeps in the day, I don't have much time to write often and, when I do, it's all rushed and kind of gabbling. Also, I think the blogs of people who are pouring out their unhappiness, their conflicts and their compulsions are just inherently more interesting. But since my actual real life has improved, I guess I will just have to live with a less interesting blog!

But I would like to thank you all for reading, and for such warm, generous and supportive comments. I feel like I have made some real friends here, and I am grateful.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle

As readers with excellent memory for the detail of other people's sex lives will know, it's been a while (a good five weeks) since our last sex date.

Well, my Big Dude announced his intention to revive them this week and then followed through and initiated last night. I wanted to say, "Who are you and what have you done with my man?"

I thought it best to start slow and low-key, but there were three lovely oral orgasms for me and one slow, relaxing hand job for him.

I think he really enjoyed that hand job. Personally, I think the handjob is a much-underrated art. From what I read on some male blogs, perhaps all women, on the commencement of their relationships, should be given a few tips like (1) Use both hands, (2) Plenty of moisturiser and (3) Throw in lots of sighs and heavy breathing and other signs that you are enjoying yourself. It would definitely beat all those platitudes about the importance of great communication. If wonder if a man has yet been born who leaves a woman with a glow of satisfaction, saying "That was a great... conversation!"

Monday, July 16, 2007


In Canberra, there are not many truly poor people, but there are a surprising number of beggars in the central district. Now, some of these people are homeless through unlucky circumstances, some are mentally ill, but probably most are drug addicts.

As a result, most people in Canberra are quite hostile to the beggars, but I have stopped and chatted to a few of them. Sometimes I give them money, sometimes I don't, but I find that I worry about particular individuals - Where did they sleep last night? On the street? It's below zero degrees at night in Canberra right now. Do they have children? Are those children okay?

And I think this is partly because I relate to them at some level. And this level is at the level of addiction.

Because I love wine. I know that my love of wine is more than average or moderate. I like everything about it. I love perusing the labels on the wine, I love taking it home, I love the glug-glug-glug as I pour it into a glass, I love that pleasant little buzz, that sense of relaxation and wellbeing. But nowadays, unlike in the past, I know where to stop.

I used to be quite a heavy drinker. I had a high tolerance for alcohol - for instance, I hardly noticed any effect on me until I had drunk most of a bottle. And this developed into a habit, in times of stress, of alcohol as a solution. Because when you're drunk, you don't really care. All that anguish, all that over-thinking just kind of vanish in a pleasant haze. I used to drink at least half a bottle a night, and usually several bottles a week.

I actually stopped drinking altogether at one of the most stressful times in my life. It was surprisingly hard. The whole problem with an addiction is that you don't notice it sneaking up on you until it has you in its grip.

Even nowadays, I have to be kind of careful. I might have a drink or two one night and I find that I want some the next night. If I have that, then I definitely want more the third night. As a result, I never drink at all more than two nights in a row and I often deliberately go through phases of no alcohol at all. I think something biological must happen to your body from previous heavy drinking. You would think that the brain would note the damage and make you repelled, but actually mine just loves to light up those pleasure centres.

But one of the reasons I was able to stop is that I really had no truly serious trauma or disaster. When you talk to homeless people, one of the things that becomes very clear is how often they have got this way because of some terrible misfortune - sexual abuse, death of a child, some other piece of arbitrary bad luck that could happen to anyone. And they want and need a release from the pain. It's not hard to understand.

I kind of suspect that, in their position, I would do the same. I might even sink into alcohol with a kind of relief - not more striving, no more effort, no more cultivation of that successful facade. Just a kind of fall into not caring any more.

So, truly, I have a kind of fellow-feeling with those beggars. There but for the grace of God, and a lot of arbitrary good luck, go I.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My sister and I received an email from my dad the other day. Entitled "money honey", it instructed us to send $500 to his overseas account.

I'm sure that this is just the beginning. My dad left us 19 years ago, and we have been through this seven times so far. The first stage is a request for some money. The next, usually a few months later, is the message that he has failed to get back to Australia in time to keep his pension and that he is desperate for money. Then comes the urgent call fom the Australian Embassy telling us that he is in jail somewhere in Asia again, and it will take a few thousand dollars, many hours in negotiations and a good lawyer to get him out.

I have written before about my dad and all my confused, resentful, horrible feelings about him. When I received this email, all those feelings seemed to come out of nowhere so that I was consumed with rage.

I hate the arrogance of that email. I hate the thoughtlessness of it. I hate the fact that he seems to think our relationship is all about what we can do for him. I hate the fact that he can't seem to just get on with his life in a normal way without tormenting everyone. I hate the fact that now I don't want to call my own sister because then we would have to discuss it all, argue about it and dredge it all up. One minute I am trundling along, reasonably content, and then next, everything is poisoned.

The terrible thing is how hard it is to say no. You'd think that, with all that rage apparently stored up, it would be easy, but it isn't. Because he gets himself into situations where the consequences of not helping him are too dire.

If he just stayed in Australia and occasionally ran out of cash, it would be easy to say no. When we know that he is almost certainly in trouble, possibly stuck in some stinking hole of a jail in Asia in which he might well die without assistance, it becomes a heck of a lot harder. Then all those platitudes about appropriate boundaries and leaving him to be responsible for the consequences of his own actions morph into questions about whether you want to be responsible for your own father's death - or, at least, know that you could have saved him and you didn't.

I mostly just maintain very occasional contact with my dad and it has been even less in the last year or two. To be frank, I don't want dad to have much contact with my Little Dude because he's such a destructive influence, and the only way to prevent that is for my own relationship with him to be very low-key and on my own terms.

But I have been thinking about him a lot in the past few months. After a tentative spiritual renewal this year, I have been aware that my bitterness and lack of forgiveness towards my dad are a problem. Every now and then, when I am praying, I think of that verse in the gospels about how "If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15). And it's not just the scriptures. It's about how lack of forgiveness choke up your own soul and keep you tied to that experience, to your feelings about that person, forever.

Several times now, I have almost called him and then decided not to. I sent him an email, but it bounced. I have been intending to make contact with him again, but have kept putting it off. And the reason I can't bring myself to do it, is that I see what has happened to my sister. She stays in contact with him and, as a result, he manipulates and uses her mercilessly. She must have given him thousands of dollars over the past ten years or so and even worse is the anguish she goes through every time.

I hate the fact that you can never win. If you help him, you feel like an idiot with no boundaries who can just be exploited ad nauseum. If you don't help him, you feel horribly guilty and very worried about him and afraid that, one of these days, he will die overseas in terrible circumstances and you will feel responsible for the rest of your life.

To be honest, I really don't know what to do. I feel stuck - stuck, stuck, stuck.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I have been complaining about my job and saying that I need to look for a new one for some time now. I'm bored with it. I would normally have moved on some months ago by now, as I have a pretty short attention span. Usually, after a year or two, I move jobs so that I can keep learning new things. I'm not very happy with the policy directions, which are very politicised. Also, I'm concerned that I have been in this field so long (four years) that I am going to become over-specialised.

But I've been holding off for a few reasons. The main one is that it suits my family responsibilities. A job that allows me to pretty much choose my hours and alter them as needed and lets me work from home regularly is a major asset and not to be lightly abandoned. Also, my department is in a very contentious area of government policy. There are many areas of it that I don't want to work in, so I have limited choices within my own department. But it's hard, at my level, to find part-time work anyway and trying to move to another department as a part-timer would just be that much harder.

The Big Dude thinks that maybe I should go back to work full-time to expand my options. But I really don't want to do that. Our Little Dude is not even two years old yet, and I want to have that time with him when he is little. Also, I really don't think that he is up to more hours of looking after the Little Dude than he does now, so any extra pay would probably just go on childcare.

I confided in a woman I know, a former boss of mine, about this dilemma. She advised me to wait until the election this year is over, because election years are always difficult in government. There is so much uncertainty. And this year, there is actually a possibility that the opposition will finally win government after eleven years, which just adds to the uncertainty and feeling of instability.

Two days later, she offered me a job in her area.

I'm happy she wants me. I'm flattered. And I know that she's a good boss. But I had only just decided to take her advice and worry less about it, was feeling all calm and centred and focusing on enjoying my non-work life, and now I'm in a dither.

I'm stupidly anxious about the whole thing. I do want to move. I'm sick of where I am. And yet, its a predictable environment and one where I am highly valued and able to call the shots about my working arrangements most of the time. I have a lot of control over my work. I like and respect my colleagues. The new job is more demanding, less predictable and, in a way, would be like starting again. And although my small part of the new context would be quite good, I'm not completely easy in my mind about the policy directions of that general area.

Most people would consider this offer to be a good career move, but I can't decide whether it would be a good move for me and my family.

I would probably decide to delay a decision a bit longer, but I'm starting to get the feeling that my current area might be a casualty of looming budget cuts and changing priorities. I'm worried, essentially, that my current job might be abolished from under me, meaning that I would have to find another job anyway. Maybe I should take this offer now, which is a good one, rather than risk having to accept a lesser offer in a hurry in a few months time.

I don't know why I am so anxious about this, but I am!


We were supposed to have a sex date tonight, breaking a three-week long drought after our whole-of-family cold and recovery time.

But my Big Dude just looked at me apologetically and said he isn't well enough yet.

I stuck out my lower lip and said, "This is me, pouting".

And I am pouting - just a little bit.