Feb 20, 2011

Cerebral Sunday.

Out in the She Shed having a snack and a re-read of the Sunday supplement.

I hate to say this, but it usually takes me about 5 minutes to read the Sunday paper.  Even then, it's only because I read the lifestyle and fashion supplements from cover to cover.  Everything else seems to have enough news value (to me) to be flicked through quickly.  Sometimes, there's barely enough time spent on a page for the crumbs from my toast to find a home on the news print.

Today was different.

Perhaps it was because I've been in a pretty reflective frame of mind today and moving through the day much more slowly than usual but a few of the regular columns gave me lots to think about today.

I always enjoy Mia Freedman's 'Life Matters' column.  Mia writes about life with large serves of  humour, intelligence and real life experience.  She has a great web page and sends heart felt replies to fan emails.  Besides having had an illustrious career in the women's magazine industry in Australia, she has also written her memoirs in a sometimes hilarious and sometimes painfully heart breaking book called Mama Mia.  If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.  I think it's a book that will go down as a rite of passage for thirtysomething Australian women.  As a Dolly editor, Mia was that older sister you never had in real life.


In today's column, Mia was discussing the half truths that many a celebrity discloses in those 'intimate interviews'.  On the less serious side, there's the line about 'heaps of water and fresh air' being the celebrity secrets to 'eternal youth'.  Which those of us in our thirties know isn't even half the equation.  And then there's the issue of the 'miracle' baby born to forty something actresses.  Mia's argument is that these seemingly throwaway comments that are now so commonly printed set up women in the real world for heartbreak and constant self doubt and hatred when their own lives don't measure up. 

On one level, I like to think I'm smarter than this.  That I can discriminate fact from fiction, that celebrity lifestyle choices don't matter to me.  With regard to 'cosmetic procedures' and assisted conception, I feel that these are private decisions It's not really my business what anyone else choses to do with their lives.  However, I do see Mia's point about the accumulation of celebrity half truths and its collective effect on women's self esteem.  Perhaps it's time for us to consciously ignore the popular media and simply be happy and content with what our lives hold for us right now.  Isn't that something your mother (and mine) has told you many times?

I also read Sarah Wilson's column regularly.  This week, Sarah interviewed Nick Vujicic, an Australian motivational speaker who has no arms or legs.  Sarah and Nick approach life from two different spiritual realms.  Whilst Sarah interprets life in her own 'secular way', Nick looks at his life from the perspective of God's role in it. 

Nick talks about how he overcame his frustration and pain over his physical condition to not only succeed in life but to also reach out and help many others.  To me, the most powerful quote of the interview was this. 

"If you can't resolve your own issues, be the solution for someone else.  If you don't love yourself, then give yourself away."

I think it's so easy to forget this when it seems that life is just so hard and painful.

I'm inspired to read more of Sarah's work on her blog here.

The last article that made me think this morning was the Cyndi Lauper interview on the back page of the 'life' supplement.  Can you believe it?  Cyndi's been married for 19 years, is now 57 and has an adult son.  I really enjoy reading about musicians and how they've changed as maturity, fame and adult responsibilites have happened to them.  Their perspective on life now is so different to what the lyrics of their songs from several decades ago hinted at. 

Cyndi was discussing the way lyrics from many modern male artists seem to be about nothing but misogyny.  She talked about how she understood that as a young man from a troubled background, those lyrics may be apropriate to their life situation but she questioned why some of these men never seem to move on from this theme once they become established stars.  In her words, they need to "Grow up, move on.  Don't carry your baggage with you your whole life."

Don't worry, I wasn't inside the house all day thinking hard about life.  I had a cup of coffee somewhere.  I like the elongated blurs of this Hipsta photo.

This has turned out to be a rather ponderous post, hasn't it?  It's good to be able to be still in the world for a bit and have a real think about life.  Not just where you have to be next or what you still need to do but about your psychological travels through life experiences. 

Never fear, things don't stay too serious for too long around here.  I'm halfway through a batch of Jamie Oliver's Incredible Baked Cauliflower and Broccolli Cannelloni.  It's food for comfort to accompany a day of food for thought.

Here's to this coming week being a good one everyone.  Take care.


  1. I really want to make that cannelloni!! I think I read about it on VF and have always meant to look up the recipe.

  2. Just been catching up on posts I've missed - been a busy week... Thanks for the info on Mr Porter will check it out! And I think you are so right, it is good to stop and reflect on life at time and slow down...
    That Baked Cannelloni recipe is one of my all time favourite Jamie Oliver's offerings!! LOVE it... and those that are not vegetarian love it too! XX

  3. Hi SSG, I love Mia Freedman too.

    When she first released her book, "The New Black," it was my bible for quite some time - have you read it?

    Must get Mama Mia also!

    The cauliflower and broccoli cannelloni sounds amazing, might try it during the week!


  4. Haven't read Mama Mia. Think I will have to find myself a copy (or see if I can get it on my Kindle)

    It sounds like a relaxing Sunday to me.

  5. Oh i think we have VERY much the same approach to the newspapers. My husband scans them for work & sends me any interesting articles - even better!! Love Posie

  6. Cannelloni sounds delicious - will have to give it a go.
    I always like to read Frances Whiting in our Brisbane paper. Sometimes I lay in bed for ages on a Sunday morning reading the paper, other times I just have a quick glance at it.
    I hear you about simply being happy and content with what our lives hold for us right now. Thinking too much of what might have been or could happen, or what we haven't got isn't healthy.
    Have a good week.

    TDM xx

  7. I downloaded Mama Mia for my kindle during the week - will read it next once I have finished the one I am currently reading. I like Mia and I have to agree with her in this case. I have no objection with people using injectibles and cosmetic procedures so long as they don't lie about it. It makes the rest of us feel inferior no matter how many glasses of water we drink. I am all for staying looking young as long as possible but just don't tell porkies about how it's due to suncream and oxygen facials.

    That cannelloni looks amazing. I might have to give it a whirl next weekend!

  8. And Sarah is so right:)

    Have a great day...

  9. You've got food for thought and a delicious dinner...sounds good!

  10. I completely understand - sometimes something just takes hold of you and makes you seriously stop and think. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog and for following. Will be keeping up with you now too! Have a great week x

  11. Beautiful post, SSG. Thank you. And thanks for the link to the canneloni.

    I linked to a YouTube of Nick V a while back - he's an inspiration.
    I really agree with this part of his quote: '"If you can't resolve your own issues, be the solution for someone else.' I guess I try to live his words in my life through helping others with disabilities and changing perceptions of those without.

    As for celebrity lives - it is difficult when measures of success (sometimes unintentionally) fall to the responsibility of celebrities. It's unrealistic to 'achieve' the things they do - beauty, babies, bodies, bucks, boyfriends... Maybe we have to look to our friends and family for inspiration, or better still, be the best YOU can be and be satisfied with the life you CREATE.

  12. Nice post SSG, you write so well, and have such wise thoughts, also I always liked Cyndi Lauper!


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