Nominally Normal

There has never been a time when I’ve felt anything close to normal.

(I still reckon I could make it as a professional dancer, I’m pretty sure aliens have to exist, I love being blissfully unaware of world affairs and I hate it when my fruit salad and ice cream touch each other in the bowl).

And yes, ‘normal’ is such a ridiculous term to use when attempting to describe the multifaceted, shape shifting, complex creatures we all are.

I’m pretty sure if there was the standard, usual, typical, expected human being, I wouldn’t be able to distinguish it from the rest of us.

I get a kick out of finding those dry leaves that make the textured crumple when crushed in my hand, I’m a 38 year old Mum who enjoys listening to a bit of Bieber, I’m ever so slightly terrified of time ticking by and I nearly always face a wave of anxiety on a Sunday night (although I’m pretty sure I’m not alone here).

Like most of us though, I try to toe the line and play the game of being normal in order to ‘get by’ in my professional, social and even family spheres.

Dame Judi Dench I certainly am not, but I reckon on any given day, the need to act out a variety of roles to disguise my abnormalities, means I’m pushing those boundaries, we all want so desperately to be free of.

Philosophical cool guy Alain de Botton once said “all of us are just holding it together in various ways – and that’s ok”.

Amen to that! When I read this I felt ever so slightly more normal, comforted by the knowledge that we all share this in common. Dancing woman jpg

There are always fears, insecurities and the constant burden of ‘being accepted’ for who we are, but how often are we truly ‘being’ ourselves? How often do these nuisances interfere with our opportunities for release?

More than I care to recall.

Plus, in an age where social media offers us up often only the ‘good bits’ of our lives, it’s easy to forget our collective awkwardness, insecurities, abnormalities that make us the unique individuals we are.

I’d like to say that I’ve tried letting go, just being me but it certainly doesn’t come easy or often.

I’ve been told meditation (or was it medication?) can help and wine works in short bursts on occasion, but both are only band aid solutions.

So in an effort to cultivate a better appreciation of me with all my abnormalities, I’ve decided to latch onto Mr de Botton’s quote, recite it (in my head of course) at all those awkward moments and sanction space and time to just let it all hang out in a ‘safe’ environment.

It’s that Sunday night I was talking about earlier. There’s work to prepare for Monday, lunches to make and that figure of dread just slouched over my kitchen bench, like he’s got nothing better to do.

I could pretend it doesn’t bother me and just get on with it, silent and steady, but that’s not normal (or me). Instead I want to run, screaming from the house and away from commitments and routines, but that’s definitely not practical.

Instead, I turn up the volume on my speaker, throw on my latest funky fav tune (‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ by JT at the moment) and just let it all out……. Totally!

For some inspiration check out ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ video clip.

Now I feel ‘normal’ in all the right ways and surprise, surprise…..I’m happier for it (sigh).

I’ll take that little moment with me in my head, humming, as I pop off to work tomorrow, safe in the knowledge that we’re all just keeping it together


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Everything Is Better With Bacon

There it is!

That enticing aroma of fatty goodness, a scent that nips at your nose and arouses your gut simultaneously. With a scintillating sizzle to boot, the salivating begins.

Damn that Bacon knows how to please.

Like a provocative flirt it calls to you, no beckons you with wilful disregard to claim the only place in your body, mind and soul for even just a few fleeting minutes.

Everything is just better with bacon. It’s solved many a dilemma for me;

The need to make that meal more interesting…. Bacon! The need to trick my working day into a holiday vibe… Bacon!

The need to line the stomach after the night before … Bacon!bacon image and text

The need to forget about the pile of work to do on my weekend …Bacon! The need to feel comforted on a cold, raining day … Bacon!

I used to oblige it sparingly, but like a vice I always have some on hand; in the fridge or at the very least, stored at the ready in the freezer (in portion sized zip lock bags…is that weird?)

But, you know this is just me. Take your pick, choose your vice. Finish the sentence: Everything is just better ……

with Coffee (is also a fav of mine)

with friends (of course)

on holidays.

But for all its glorious goodness, Bacon (or insert personal vice) too has its flaws. We all know what they are, no need to bring the brilliant bacon into disrepute here, shall we just say ‘too much of anything is not good for you’.

And yet why is that? If it makes us feel good, why don’t we use it more often, like everyday?

Tempting … oh so tempting, but for one, it’s probably not going to make us any healthier, richer or happier in the long run. Instead it’s more likely to contribute to our downfall.

Shakespeare explored this philosophical idea in his play As You Like It, when Rosalind says to her heartthrob Orlando:

“Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?”

In typical Shakespearian fashion, back in the day ‘thing’ was a euphemism for genitalia so we’ve really moulded this expression in more moderate ways, but the meaning of ‘excess’ is still there.

In fact, this play prompts us to consider our wants and desires and leaves us with no definitive answer to this moral dilemma.

But then more so lately, I’ve been seeing all the benefits in bacon; protein first thing in the morning leaves me feeling more satisfied, I feel a sense of contentment once I’ve rendered the crispy morsel to near perfection and our household is happier for having it. Or so I told myself.

Certainly some of the worlds greatest works of art and literature (among others) have come about thanks to obsessions.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”
― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

Except to be truthful, I’m just selling that to myself. The bacon is loosing its bite. I love it, but I’m learning it is just too much.

Too much saltiness, too much grease, too much stinking of fried food for the rest of the day. Just too much.

It’s the excess that spoiled it. The dependence, the obsession to exclusion of all others, that pushed me to the limit.

Some things are just that much more special, when used sparingly. We appreciate them because of the ‘occasional’ air about them.

Like bacon, there are only some things that can just make you feel a certain way. So good you want it all the time, but it’s the reservation, the careful consumption, the discipline if you will, to refrain and measure it out in reasonable portions, that makes it so wonderful.

People, places, experiences can be like this, not just bacon.Obsessions

So when I’m feeling like I’m missing out, or longing for that something special, I do it, enjoy it guilt free, but try to conserve its ‘specialness’ in the wisdom that this is what makes it so tasty, I mean special.

I think I’ve curbed the bacon obsession, now to work on the coffee habit… and the travel bug and ……..

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