Category Archives: Opinion

What I Reckon: Parenting

I have read many an article from psychologists, teachers and citizens alike on the problems we face with our children these days. The reality is, much of it comes back to parenting. And in this world that we live in, where people are very quick to shove things into the ‘too hard’ basket, our children are suffering. So if, as a global citizen, I may have one request, it is this:

“If you decide to have children in this world, please, please, please for fucks’ sake, parent them”. Tell them no. Take their phones away from them at night. Force them to sit at the dinner table and have a conversation with you. Then force them to do the washing up. Teach them how to take responsibility for their own actions if they screw up. Teach them that there is more to life that having their heads jammed in an iPad or taking a million pictures of themselves to post to social media. Teach them the value of money by not giving them every single thing they fucking well want because when you say no the first time and they throw a tantrum, and you decide it is too embarrassing or too difficult to deal with and so you give in. Well done you. Because what you teach your kid when you give them everything is that they have to work for nothing. That anything I give them on loan has no value so they can break it and put it on the floor because ‘who cares?’ That they are amazing and all deserving and that they world will just give them whatever they want as long as they throw a big enough tantrum for it. The other day I stood and watched a kid break about half a dozen pencils on his forehead like he was Chuck Norris or something and then walked out all impressed with himself…. awesome. Now I have no more pencils and when I tell him I want him to replace them he tells me he won’t be paying for them because it’s ‘just 20p’.

In so many kids I see going through the school system right now there is zero respect for adults, other people in general or property. They cannot see anywhere past what they want in the immediate moment. In that second, that is what they want and anything else beyond that is too hard to comprehend. Working for anything is too hard. It drives me insane. And then you meet parents and you realise why. They are afraid to say no to their children. They are afraid that other people will look down on them as parents if their child is behaving like an arsehole in front of others. So instead of getting at them about their behaviour, they let it slide. They let these children speak awfully to them and each other. They don’t have the time to take from their busy work schedules or are just too damn tired to make the investments necessary to ensure that their children don’t become arseholes. Or they are just too busy burying their heads in the sand.

But letting your child turn into a lazy self-righteous arsehole does not do them any favours. Nor does it do you any favours? Don’t you want to sit and look at your young adult children and think ‘wow, you are an amazing human that I want to spend time with that is full of respect for yourself and others and has ambition and drive to do amazing things’. Unless you tell them no and train them to be this way, they won’t turn out this way. Instead they are going to be soul sucking leeches still on your couch at 30 with no job screaming at you to bring them their dinner, and you will still bring it to them because you still don’t know how to say no. And you will despair at the human you raised because despite loving them you probably won’t like them. So do yourselves a favour.  Parent your damn children. Because I am sick of the buck getting passed to the school teacher and I am sick of the daily disrespect and blame I receive from parents and kids alike because it is my fault that your kids are whining, lazy, unambitious brats that are going to turn into a generation of lazy, unambitious adults.

End rant.

What I Reckon: Being Single In Your 30’s.

Being single in your 30’s is shit. Let’s be real here for thirty seconds. You’re at that age where everybody expects you to settle down and get married and have children. And you are confronted with two realities…

  1. You don’t want to get married and have kids because you are perfectly happy on your own and couldn’t care less. (In which case you are going to cop it from all of your friends and family about what is wrong with you because God forbid you want to be on your own, and God forbid you wanting a life without those ankle biting, life sucking midget’s they call children).
  2. You want to get married and have kids but you just can’t seem to find the right person to be with. (In which case you are still going to cop it from all of your friends and family about why you are still single, and why you can’t find a man and how your ovaries are going to shrivel up and die and you will be like Bridget Jones, alone, found dead 3 weeks after passing under a tub of Ben and Jerry’s you were cracking into on your death bed with your body half eaten by Alsatians).

Now while there is a possibility that I will reach the point where I decide option 1 is the way to go…. (give me a few more years of dealing with arseholes on the dating circuit and this will happen believe you me), I would like for this blog to mostly address point 2.

Hello dear friends and family,

I know you are all well and married with kids of your own and have been that way since you were in your early 20’s. The rest of us however are left to suffer with the ridiculousness that society has dealt us.

Dating today happens through online websites and Tinder. Great. Swipe right, meet up, shag, go home with a probable STI. On to the next. Never get called back.

Go out on an actual date with a person. But don’t stress, he has 7 other dates this week and while he is trying to figure out if he can get the super hot boring girl in the sack he isn’t messaging you for a month and ooop! There it is, the message 6 weeks later that says ‘you were not my first choice but since I have exhausted all other options I thought better looking or funnier than you I figured I would be kind enough to message you now’.

And then there is the guy that loves a massive challenge. And so you provide one. But as soon as you take that next step, bam, he is outta there faster than The Flash and on to the next challenge cause why would you want to revisit the destination you have already been when there are a whole world of destinations (vaginas) out there to explore?

And so we rinse, lather, repeat.

In this world of instant gratification that we live in people expect that they will have Hollywood butterflies all the time, every time and if they don’t, oh well, it’s over. People don’t want to work at their relationships. A friend of mine said to me the other day ‘he said this and that isn’t respecting me or my feelings. I asked her how many times in our 17 year old friendship I have said shit that has disrespected her feelings and we’ve managed to yell at each other and get on with it. ‘Fuck loads’ she says. I am like ‘well why is this any different? It is about how your partner behaves after you call them out on something that upsets you and whether they then try and avoid it’. New relationship teething period. But people give up, freak out. Too hard basket, move on. People are too afraid of investing any part of themselves into anything anymore for fear of getting hurt, fear of making the wrong choices, fear of the thing that most people in the entire course of human history have spent their entire lives endeavouring to find.

And yet here we are. 30. With limited choices. A bunch of scared bratty, ungrateful morons hanging about until the next shag because heaven help us if we actually have to feel anything more than guilt, confusion or a slight amount of disappointment at the end of the day. We are a product of technology, society and too much choice. And we are also our own downfall. Until we decide to make some hard choices, we will never find what we are looking for. And even worse, when you are ready to make those hard choices, you then have to find someone that you have that romantic spark with that is also at a point where they are also willing to make those sacrifices and hard choices. Very few people are. And so back to the drawing board we go.

What I do know is this. I am not afraid to be alone if this dismal fucking dating scene cannot offer me anything more than a cheap weekend ride that won’t call me back later in the week. I don’t want games. I don’t want a disrespectful arsehole. I don’t want someone who is only going to message me once a month to see how I am going because their other shags on the go are busy. I don’t want someone who cannot consider my feelings and my time and treat me as a person they adore.  I am not afraid to instead go and invest my time into my friends who will be with me through my whole life and support me through whatever I need because those are my people. It is these people that will stick by me through thick and thin. And if I can’t find these qualities in a romantic partner then there is always the Rabbit and Duracell and the odd Tinder right swipe to keep me occupied.

 

 

 

What I Reckon: About Being On A Diet

*WARNING – Prepare for somewhat rant…..*

A while ago I decided that I was sick of being at the size I was at and that it was time to do something about it. Seven years ago, I was boxing, tiny and felt great about my body. After a glorious bout of pneumonia which cut me out of exercise for a year and then a nice long stint in the bread basket of Canada where everywhere you look is a processed food, I finally found myself in the position to be able to do something about the weight. And so after 3 months of boxing and getting into a decent fitness routine, I started on the Atkins diet (because my body retains water when I even look at a carb). I lost the weight, then under the stress of work and more travel, it happened again and I ballooned. So back on the bandwagon I go. To make myself do it, I booked a cheap Groupon photoshoot for fun.

One of the biggest challenges I have found to weight loss is not even the strictness that is required to stay away from the carbs. I got to that point now where I was 3 weeks in I don’t crave or want them anymore. My biggest challenge to dieting is other people’s attitudes. It is a sad thing to say but for most people, the biggest challenge that they will face is lack of support from other people. I used to have this all the time when I was living at home with Mum and Dad because they didn’t want to eat what I was cooking and I wasn’t being considerate of others. I now cop it from work colleagues who seem to correlate levels of fun with the amount of alcohol you consume. One colleague even finds pleasure in putting carbs under my nose on a daily basis and I want to punch him, not because I want his bread roll (the thought of which now makes me want to puke) but because he is being such an unsupportive turd. Fun also seems to be correlated with excess consumption of not so healthy food also. If you refuse to consume you are then ‘antisocial’.

And so I pose this question… While everybody says that they are happy for you when you lose weight, are they actually? Or are they annoyed that they themselves do not have the strength and willpower to go out and do what they want so they find comfort in bringing you down to see you fail.  And more so, is this not a reflection of society in general and the need to cut down the tall poppy instead of embracing and encouraging the strengths that we have. I see it on a daily basis in the school system with the smart kids getting bullied or attacked for ‘enjoying science’. You will see it in the media with every celebrity attacking each other through Twitter about the clothes they wear or the things they say and do. It makes me angry. And what makes me even more angry is that people tell me that I must be angry because I need a carb. The truth is, it makes me angry that we cannot as people support the positive decisions that others make in their lives because we fear that it somehow makes us inferior or less of a person if we are then not making these same positive decisions.

Truth be told, I don’t want to progress up the chain of command at work. I don’t find the trade off of the title for the extra stress beneficial for me as a person. But I will support those who do because I can appreciate the work and dedication it takes to step up. I don’t want to be an Olympic boxer. But I will support and appreciate those I meet with the natural ability and hardcore work ethic that want to go all the way. Hell, I will support people in whatever positive decisions they want to make in their life. Because it is their life. And whatever makes them happy is whatever makes them happy. Majority of people will support these ventures… but weight loss? Why is this such a different thing for people to come to grips with and support. Why is there such a peer pressure to drink more and eat more rubbish over the peer pressure to avoid clogging your arteries, live longer and be healthy? Is it because we feel less bad ourselves about trashing our bodies if there are others engaging in the activity too? And then somehow we can vilify our behaviour knowing that it is because others do it we can too, guilt free. Therefore anyone who chooses not to engage is labelled a ‘loser’, ‘downer’, ‘spoil sport’ or ‘boring’ and hopefully it will push these people back into the hole of conforming to peer pressure so that everyone can feel good about themselves? So many questions. I don’t know the answers. But what I do know is this….

Please, if you are reading this and you have a friend that is trying to lose weight, please be a good human and support the positive changes they are making in their life. Support the fact that they don’t want to die and early death due to heart attack or obesity. Support the fact that what they are doing is hard. Even if you don’t agree with it. Even if you feel that it imposes on your social life and the things you can do with them. Even if you feel inferior because you think you can’t. Support it. Change your attitude about the idea of ‘fun’ to not include copious drinking and broaden your horizons to include something new. Who knows, you might find something new that you enjoy and feel better about yourself in the process.

And to those on the journey of dropping the pounds, congratulations for making a change! I am with you all the way and we can do this with or without the support of others because we are strong enough and courageous enough to make change on our own. We deserve this. And so we will have it!

What I Reckon…. About Selfies

A couple of months ago while I was roaming around the streets of Sofia, I met a young English couple and we got chatting. Somehow we managed to get onto the topic of his mum constantly being on the soapbox about something. Add to this another conversation about words that people hate. Many women hate the word ‘moist’. I personally hate the word ‘flannel’. My Canadian ex-boyfriend hated the word ‘reckon’. No matter how much I hounded him about saying it, he just wouldn’t.

So from here the English couple and I started throwing around the word ‘reckon’. It was agreed that the words ‘I reckon’ are usually proceeded by a massive rant, in agreeability to the statement of another, or is usually proceeded by a dumb activity and the phrase ‘hold my beer’. We decided that this should become the foundation of a blog post and here it is. The first ever ‘What I Reckon’.

The first thing I want to get on my soapbox about is selfies. I absolutely LOATHE selfies with the fire of a thousand suns. While I can appreciate that there is the odd occasion where one might take a photo of oneself to say ‘I was there’ or ‘this was a special occasion’ to family, friends or not yet thought of grandchildren, there is absolutely no need to take a million photos of yourself and post them to the internet.

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Classic Duck Face

I sat behind a girl on the bus who was dolled up to the nines and took about 25 selfies before she chose one to put on Instagram. ‘Hey guys! Look at me! I’m on a fucking bus! How cool am I???’

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Aren’t I Sexy? Face

I was also warned by the hostel worker in Croatia about taking selfies on the boardwalks at Plitvice Lakes. A person died there falling off the edge of a waterfall being a dumb arse trying to take a selfie. Fact. More people have died this year from selfies than from shark attacks. Most of these people are doing dumb shit trying to look cool for the people of social media. “Hey, I am on the roof of a train! And whoops, I just got electrocuted!” or “Check me out on the edge of a cliff! And oops, I just went over the edge of it!” or “Don’t I look cool posing with this loaded gun! Oh I just shot myself or my friend in the head with it! Oops!” Wouldn’t it be nice if people actually stopped to think about safety first instead of how cool they will look on Facebook.

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“Like, I am so excited!’ Face

While I was at Plitvice, I came down the hill and saw a massive line. Thinking to myself ‘this cannot be the boat queue, I haven’t walked 5km yet’, I asked about it. The woman couldn’t tell me what the queue was for, so I started pushing in along the side. Turns out the queue was for selfies. And there they are, hundreds of people lined up trying to get a million pictures of themselves on their selfie sticks. Here is a novel idea. JUST TAKE ONE and then move the fuck along.

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“I am being silly because I am bored and have nothing else to do” Face

Arseholes everywhere are harassing you about buying their selfie sticks. I personally relate to that Cyanide and Happiness cartoon where the guy stabs the other guy with his own selfie stick. This is how much I hate selfies and selfie sticks.

from http://imgur.com/gallery/ffbbcrj
from http://imgur.com/gallery/ffbbcrj

Other selfie related loathing comes from boys. No I DO NOT want to take a selfie of myself or my tits and send it to you. I HAVE BETTER SHIT TO DO WITH MY TIME. That and I don’t need to be putting that shit out there to the world. I have seen what happens here. Ask all the celebs who’s t and a wind up stolen off of iCloud. I loved it when I had a smashed front camera on my phone. Couldn’t even selfie if I tried and what a great excuse! Stop pestering me about sending you a selfie. I look the same as the last time you saw me and if you want to look at my glorious face, find a picture of me doing something cool on Facebook. Because I am not sending you a picture of my tits.

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Boys, this is the only picture of ‘my boobs’ you are going to get!

And of course to all of you out there who have nothing better to do with your time than take a million photos of yourself, GET ANOTHER HOBBY. I once taught a 14 year old who told me she had amassed 10,000 selfies of herself. I told her the same thing. I am pretty sure everyone knows what you look like by now. Stop jamming up my newsfeed with your face.

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Sullen Face

Anyway, like I said before, time and place. I am not saying that you shouldn’t take any photos of yourself. What I am saying is take one or two, put the lens away and enjoy the moment you are in. Enjoy actually living in the real world. Because in the real world, nobody cares about what the fuck you look like this hour. You look the same as you did ten minutes ago. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually celebrate the minds of people and the intelligent thought processes they have instead of how well their eyebrows are groomed. I am getting quite fed up of all of the selfie bullshit. Might be time to move to a village where people don’t have phones.