The Survivors Guide to Most Excellent News

The Survivors Guide to Most Excellent News

Ponderings Online Magazine The Survivor's Guide to Most Excellent News by Kirsten Macdonald

So you have excellent news? Exciting news? The kind of news where you won tattlotto of the life kind. You found out a life threatening condition just healed, you are going to live! Well, you might have some ideas on how that one is going to roll, so here’s a little help.


1) Not everyone will respond like you. Ok, I am serious, you might think you can fart gold stars, but not everyone will see it that way.


2) Spontaneous dance is completely fine.


3) Going into a flight center and telling a poor young random man that you aren’t going to die anymore is not okay. He cried. Not cool. And you didn’t book the trip to Paris with him, again, not cool.


4) Buying a ballet barre for shits and giggles when it doesn’t have anywhere to go- rethink that one.


5) Take deep breaths. Be prepared for a shock. Hot water bottles will be needed, blankets and a good dose of sister love. A sedative may help.


6) Be prepared for the dreams. Your little red car might turn into an airplane, and you might fly to some REALLY cool places. It might have been the sedative and pizza combo, but that’s ok.


7) Don’t downplay God to anyone. Not one time. You asked for this miracle, and you got it. You don’t ask the chef for the best parmigiana in the world and then double check it’s what you asked for. Also, don’t take claim responsibility for cooking the parmigiana. You are sitting at the table. You might have walked into the restaurant and known which table to sit at, you might understand what goes in it my dear, but you did not cook it. Note: in giving thanks for the miracle you are also giving thanks for self-understanding, for a surgeon who spent 25 years learning about brains and dared to give it a crack. You are giving thanks for listening to your body, and it’s requests.


You are not leaving out modern medicine, but you do however also know that science has not yet caught up to the stunning underpinning cosmos reasons for existence and rapid physical healing. They are 30 years off. It’s a quantum thing. It’s not always rational. The earth isn’t flat people.


8) When you tell your child you are not going to die from an aneurysm rupture, he might say to you we need Weetbix, and the dog crapped in the outdoor area. Its ok, don’t take it personally he loves you. He just loves Weetbix as well.


9) You might be allowed to run now but don’t do it until your lung fills with blood. It feels good to run, but your sciatica needs TLC, and your Foofa valve does too.


10) Don’t grin at strangers when you are in your convertible. You might be telepathically telling them you are so happy you are alive, and your aneurysm just, and they said they couldn’t do anything, and then it just healed…and last night your car was a plane. Basically, you are just going to look like an arsehole driving a red sports car who is very pleased with themselves. Road rage is real. Just don’t.


11) Do not dilute your happiness. You will be tempted too. Not everyone else likes joy. Some people even break out in rashes and may start twitching. There is an epi pen for that- it is called the front door and a foot.


12) People will be joyful with you, they will cry for you and with you, they will send you flowers, messages and may even spontaneously dance with you. Keep those ones, in fact, chain those humans to your foot before they get away. Or pop them in your pocket. You just identified your tribe.


13) Be ready for the rollercoaster. You might have thought a joyful cry, and a high five would be the best, and you would just get on with your life. This doesn’t happen. You will meltdown. It’s what happens when you try and keep your shit together for more than 3 years with an impending rupture of the artery that supplies your entire brain with blood and was hanging on by a thread in a big mess threatening your life and a stroke on a daily basis, causing PTSD for family and seizures, migraines, TIA’s, brain bleeds, blackouts, chronic sleep apnea and the fear of being left in a vegetative state getting Sunday visits from your children while you suck liquified lamb cutlets through a straw- is now a reformed wonder.


There will be tears of happiness, tears of sorrow, tears of grief, tears of relief, anger and gratitude. A whole lot of liquid will spill from your deep internal soul and kleenex might not cut it. Try the super roll of toilet paper and an even a maxi pad?


14) Don’t go into your teenage son’s bedroom each morning ripping open the curtains with gusto and announce you are ALIVE, you might think you are a Disney princess with a bird singing on your shoulder. But you are in fact a very disheveled middle-aged woman with a tracksuit wedgie and yesterday’s eyeliner smudged. There will be consequences. He will tell you to get out.


15) As much as you think every song that comes on the radio is an anthem just for you, it isn’t. It really isn’t. But that’s okay. This does activate that spontaneous smiling and dancing response, this is good for your soul.


Most importantly wake up tomorrow and kiss the ground and give praise to God, because my dear, your life is yours and it will never be the same again.

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The Sometimes Mind of an Angry Pacifist with Skinny Legs

The Sometimes Mind of an Angry Pacifist with Skinny Legs

Disclaimer:  Intricate Blog about Getting Cross, there’s the S word and the BS word in it. I’m not normally a potty mouth but…

Anger. It’s an interesting bedmate. It’s an intricate bad tempered bastard that can be hard to handle. Feeling angry for me is like catching the flu. I know I have it, I don’t want it, it doesn’t feel very nice and I do my best to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Some of my closer friends call me Positive Polly, it started as loving sarcasm, but it generally rings true. I just don’t get angry very often. I’d like to think I’ve a logical brain that is able to compartmentalize appropriately. I try okay?

I do a great job of pushing anger away. At least I thought I did. Realistically this translates into brilliant suppression like a prison in lock down until it erupts 2 months later into either a spectacular verbal spray aimed at the person who has upset the apple cart (this has only happened a couple of times in my life) or a bedazzling flood of tears that make me look like a deranged clown that’s overdone the drag queen mascara, or then of course there is the Egg Smashing Technique, or what we call Doing the Egg.

  Top Tough Titties Tip and for Girls That Wear Their Big Knickers: if you are feeling very cross; smashing eggs at a brick wall whilst yelling in a somewhat primal way is incredibly liberating and an effective safe way to relieve anger. Swearing obscenely like a dirty old Pirate with a mangy parrot on his shoulder as you throw  feels good too. It’s a thing. I think I’ve mentioned it before.

 Then there’s the calm anger. This is the one that makes my family particularly nervous. Apparently my eyebrow develops a will of its own, shooting upwards in a northerly fashion. It’s a subconscious action that signals a smidge of discontent may be brewing. I inherited it, my daughter does it, my sister does it, as does my mother. So if you ever catch an  O’Donnell woman with a  raised eyebrow smashing a shitload of eggs I strongly advise you call the FEDS or Chuck Norris. Its Motley.

As a child I unfortunately witnessed how destructive anger could be when misdirected and inflicted upon others. So I was conditioned to think that anger was bad, a negative emotion that wrecked havoc on everyone it touched.

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”

― Ambrose Bierce

I now know that anger is a natural human emotion, it needs to be directed in a healthy manner, channeled and harnessed with a mighty finesse, transmuting it into a force that would make Yoda blush with pleasure…you get the drift. I am learning. We all are. But it happens.

I actually wish I could swear in a cool language, like German or Dutch, it just sounds more intense and real. Seriously; here’s an exercise: close your eyes, screw up your nose and in your deepest spittiest voice yell this out:

Fahren Sie den schmutzigen Mund

That just means shut your dirty mouth in German but it sounds filth doesn’t it?

So other than wishing for European language lessons and practicing Zen all was well in my world this past month or so. I was in some sweet denial about the health status, I had a holiday break with my childhood girlfriends on a tropical island…it was all going surprisingly superfluous. Until I got a bit peeved.

Recently we were ripped off quite a bit of money. A real dodgy. My philanthropic inner being knew that this money which went into the many thousands could have bought enough food for the local homeless shelter to last them 6 months. It also affected another family member, a  family member that has been doing it tough and this money would have really helped them, so you can imagine losing so much was a hard path to walk. This money could have been utilised in positive ways.  I also wanted to send my child to an amazing super camp, did I mention there are villages that need schools? There are communities that need nurses…you catch my drift. But it did not. It went into someone’s pocket it shouldn’t have.

So then I did what all good placid people do. I swallowed the anger.

The anger went so deep I couldn’t even feel a tickle.

I practiced loving kindness, released the anger in a positive way, sent the person who had done me wrong love. But really, what I did was swallow it thick and chunky. Gone. Like Gappetto in the Whale’s belly. Deep.

Until I went to the Post Office a few days later.

We shall call this the Cardigan Incident.

A simple cardigan. A nice white cable number, knee length. Nice mother of pearl oversized buttons. That’s what I was wearing this day.

On this day, my house was in disarray. I had a migraine the day before that left me with a residue look of a hound and I was getting a bit of attitude from the shorter contingents of the household. The dog had also managed to pee on the rug under my writing desk. Forget the whole Possibly Dying THING; have you ever smelled day old Schnoodle pee? AND I had an ingrown toenail. Now I am the last person to get all FIRST WORLD MARGERY on you, but let us just say I was on edge.

Now I’ve got a heap of parcels to get to the Post Office before 4.00pm. Its 3.55. I pull into a park, dodging all the people that CLEARLY don’t have their license and I am standing in line, puffing, trying to sort of stand on my left foot because of the toenail. Then I realize I am puffing and practice my mindfulness. Deep breathes in. I am holding 4 heavy box/satchel- thingys, eyes closed, doing some inner mantra mumbling.

Then I get this vibe.

You know the vibe when you know someone is looking at you?  I open an eye; the lady in front of me has side turned and is looking at me strangely. We are standing very close to each other.

This makes me feel uncomfortable, I have personal space issues unless its someone I love.  She has the look of a person who knows what her neighbor’s gas bill is and has a theory about dogs sleeping inside. Judgey. It’s a judgey busy body Esme Watson look. I’m not being unkind, I am just trying to be honest on my vibe at that moment.

She flicks her hand in an odd gesture in the direction of my Cardigan, smirks and says “Your jacket’s on inside out”.


Do I smile and say OH THANKS FOR THAT?  Nope.

No. I say in my most polite tight lipped nice voice, (like Poppins on the edge people)

“No, it’s an exposed seam cardigan, but thanks.”

She creases her eyebrows. I internally can’t believe it. She’s going to do it.

She’s calls Bullshit. She calls it big time. She couldn’t just leave me alone.

She looked at me with a bigger sardonic smirk and says

“Really? Then what’s that then?” She points aggressively in a downward pointing action, towards my person.

I look down.


Right there.

Hanging out like a sail in the wind.

A metre long Wash tag saying :  EXTRA LARGE, COLD  HANDWASH ONLY,  MADE IN INDIA.

When in the heck  did clothing companies stop making NORMAL SIZE TAGS? Stretching nearly a meter long was this stupid bloody wash advice tag. WTH? You know the ones. The big mega long humiliating ones that call your bullshit.

Do I go into automatic arrogant kamikatze shit-storm mode? Did Polly crack em?

I went bright red, my teeth grinded so hard I thought I would chip a tooth. You could hear the Spaghetti Western Gunfight theme song.

I said

“Yup, that’s my tag”

Lets make this clear: The referential integrity between two people is complex. Really complex. Like a mathematical algorithm complex. You think that the feelings you have will match the feelings of another person and the value to which you apply it will not be in error and will be mirrored fantastically back towards you. The logical implication between the dependencies is undecidable by reduction from the problem. YUP. This is how tricksy I find Humans and I find anger.

Abort Mission, Abandon ship. Get the firetruck outta here.

I went home. I threw some eggs.

All was well again.

The moral to the story?

  1. Sometimes its better to have first world problems than dying ones. Sometimes they just feel worse. This is a fact.
  2. Don’t call a frazzled person’s BS. Its dangerous. It can go either way.
  3. ALWAYS check your clothing before venturing
  4. If its cold outside, get the dog a jumper. Otherwise he will pee on the rug. Some people will judge this. It’s a fact
  5. Learn how to deal with your anger and release it in a healthy effective way, sending it down the river of love wrapped in silken butterfly wings and rainbow blessings ain’t gonna cut it.
  6. When something in your gut tells you a person should be avoided and don’t give them your money, unless you are paying for their food you’ve already eaten, don’t do it. Always trust your instincts, especially when it comes to real estate!
  7. Don’t start throwing eggs when the man has come to fix the neighbours fence. He will not know what you are doing, especially the loud swearing part. He might call the police. Just saying
  8. There’s no such thing as an exposed seam cardigan. Its not a thing. Its just not. 
  9. ELSA : Fahren Sie den schmutzigen Mund
  10. #TYTP-  Trim your tags People

Peace, love and always good vibes to you beautiful peeps. Xx Kirsten

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