29 and still a child…

I turned 29 last week. It still doesn’t feel real, which is slightly odd as I usually start aging myself up about halfway through each year. My brain seems to get stuck when I have to tell people my age now. I don’t think it’s a rebellion about being nearly 30, though that does seem bizarre. I remember clearly sitting in my shared flat when I was turning 20, with my flatmate saying we now had less than 10 years til we were 30. She was terrified, I was amused – 30? So far away! Of course, I set myself deadlines and goals to have met by then. One of which was to have a baby or start trying for one at the age of 30, even if that meant doing it solo. I didn’t want to let the drive to fertilise my eggs be the deciding factor when looking for a life mate, so I took the pressure off myself and decided I’d do it alone if it came to that. Now that I’m not alone, Simon knows of my 30 plan and we will probably work toward that. So maybe there is a little of the looming-30 going on in my mind at the moment. I keep getting impulses to do things, like this is my last chance to do them. Which is a little ridiculous, as I have my whole life ahead of me and while having kids will change things dramatically, it doesn’t end my whole existence. Just gives it some different priorities, I guess. So while I’m young and fancy-free, I want to enjoy it.

Last week was enjoyable, despite being really ill with a cold/flu bug that has still struck me down more than a week later (probably my own fault for working through last week instead of resting), so I’m off sick for the second day this week. I feel horribly guilty every time I take time off for illness, but I had to reason with myself that the doctor has given me today off & it is best to take it & get well, and not keep pushing and really make myself sick. Still, I feel bad as I know there’ll be a lot of work waiting for me when I go back!

Aside from the illness, I had a lovely lunch with my mum on my birthday, she spoiled me with lots of unexpected gifts. And Simon & I had a lovely dinner at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try – anyone in Melbourne, I recommend going along to State of Grace, the food was incredible and it all came out very quickly. There’s a lot to look at in the restaurant too, which is a good thing in my books!

Saturday evening we had dinner & drinks with a few friends, which was very nice. Again, the food was amazing – Terminus Hotel is our favourite place for a pub meal, they’re so creative. My friend Lauren and I had a lot of fun imagining what they could mean by ‘textures of strawberry and basil’, with Lauren picturing a chef rolling a strawberry across some cream to leave just the texture behind.

The rest of my week has been spent either at work or curled up on the couch reading and watching tv. Simon & I have finally jumped on the Orange is the New Black bandwagon (mainly because there was a marathon on Foxtel). And I’ve been revisiting some books from my childhood – the Little House on the Prairie series. I loved them dearly when I was a kid, but haven’t read them in years. My local libraries never had the full sets (good ol’ little country town libraries), so some of the books I’ve only read once before. They’re obviously an easy read, so I’m churning through them rapidly, but they’re so delightful I can’t make myself slow down. It’s been making me hungry for beans, cornbread and salt pork, even though I’ve never had cornbread or salt pork before! It also makes me want to bake and sew, so I’ve been feeling frustrated at my virus for making me all weak. At least I can live vicariously through the Ingalls girls for a while. Mum’s also ordered me some more kids books I love – we discovered them while waiting at a pathology clinic once – Poppleton. They’re hilarious, and I can’t wait for them to arrive. I know technically I should be stocking up on these kinds of books in preparation for future children, but I totally just want them because I love them! I never want my inner child to die, so even if I don’t end up able to have kids or something else happens, I will continue loving children’s literature. There are some truly beautiful works out there.

Women – our own enemies and saviours.

Obviously, I’ve been fairly terrible at keeping the promise to myself of posting at least every Saturday. Honestly though, work has been so insanely busy that my weekends are full of all the bits and pieces of things I haven’t had time to do during the week. Poor excuse I know, but it’s the truth.  I don’t think I’ve ever been this challenged in a role, and it’s testing my ability to stand firm on my work-life balance – I did overtime for the first time this week! Trying to keep a tight handle on that, but the next two weeks are critical for the project I’m on, so I don’t have a whole lot of choice!

Anyway, just because work has been consuming the bulk of my time, it doesn’t mean I’ve been completely isolated from the world. The internet remains my friend, and my free moments have been curled up on the couch with Simon. He’s been amazingly supportive of my forgetfulness and tearful confessions of being overwhelmed and exhausted by the brain drain of this new job.

This week has been an up and down one as a feminist also. Early in the week, I became aware of something called the LFL. It’s been around for a while, apparently, but I hadn’t encountered it before. And I have to say, it made my feminist hackles raise up and I got as angry about the world’s view of women as I’ve been in a very, very long time. For those of you who are yet to encounter this abomination to the women’s movement, it’s the Legends Football League. Sounds awesome, right? It’s not. Take a look at this video:

It’s more commonly known as the Lingerie Football League. It’s a bunch of women wearing underwear, playing gridiron. What…the…damn…hell? How on earth are women going to ever be treated as equals when we participate in our own degradation? I’m sorry ladies, no one’s there to watch your sporting prowess. If you were fully clothed, your football league would fall into the same category as every other women’s sporting group. We all know that women’s sport is horribly under represented in the media (Gender in Televised Sport). But taking your clothes off for the visual titillation of the audience? Not the way to get respect, ladies. I’m completely horrified by the whole thing. Simon quipped that maybe it’s aerodynamic. My response – if that was true, why aren’t all the male sportsmen running around in their jocks? The ‘outfits’ these women are wearing are lingerie, pure and simple. They even go so far as wearing garters, suspenders (sans stockings) and ribbon collars a la Playboy. I’m so angry at them for doing this, contributing to the sexual objectification of women. Seriously, are we only worth paying attention to if we’re pleasing a male audience? Have we done nothing to dispel this?

Whilst I was raging about this, I saw a fantastic video trying to change the way we speak about girls and the impact our words can have on a developing young woman. It’s a powerful little video and very telling about how far we still have to go in our society. But it did go a long way to restoring my faith that there are people out there still ‘fighting the good fight’ trying to make things better for women. I just hope the girls in this video never witness the LFL.