Daily Prompt – Adult Vision – The Arrogance of Youth

Being an adultThe daily prompt question is as a kid you must have imagined what it would be like to be an adult. And now you are one, how far off was your vision?

Last week, I turned 40.

I remember my sisters and I talking about how old our parents were when they turned 40. That was a while ago! We thought they were so old! How can someone live that long?

And I also couldn’t understand why they felt the need to hide their age. We as kids are more than happy to tell people how old we are. 16, 18 and 21 are celebrated with parties and special gifts. Then you have to wait till 50 before you get another one!

But you can’t ask a lady their age! Its rude! Apparently!

As my 40th loomed, lots of people asked how I felt about it. Like it was something to be afraid or even ashamed of. And what’s worse, most were genuinely amazed that it didn’t worry me!

The other thoughts I had when I was a kid were around the capability of ‘old’ people. Because 40 was so old!

I really believe I feel more alive at 40 than I did at 25. I have more confidence and a better idea of what I want from myself and other people.

I spent my childhood mistaking arrogance for confidence. I guess that’s the problem with most of us! As kids, we tell adults they don’t know. Hire a teenager while they still know everything was something my ancient 40 year old father said more than once.

But the biggest lie I told myself was that it was soooooooo much easier being an adult.

As a child, decisions are made for you. You wear what you’re given, eat what you’re given, go where you’re sent or taken. You have to go to school no matter how traumatic that experience is. Then you’re told what you can learn while you’re there. All the peer pressure and bullying – you know no adult would ever understand what that’s like! Your friends get to dress in whatever they want and go where ever they want. Or so it seems!

I remember telling myself and others that adults get to decide what they want to do and don’t have to do anything they don’t want to.

I now find myself doing a very similar job with my kids – they need to dress appropriately, behave appropriately  and no, you will not be walking the streets with your friends on Friday arvo when high school finishes 30 minutes early!

Oh boy! I have figured out how wrong I was about the adult world!

I was well off the mark with my vision!

I am a huge believer in karma. The idea the universe will teach you where you went right and wrong and reward you accordingly.

Well universe, you can stop rewarding me for my arrogance now! I get it!

Daily Prompt – Nosey Delights

From the yeasty warmth of freshly baked bread to the clean, summery haze of lavender flowers, we all have favorite smells we find particularly comforting. What’s yours?

I was lucky enough to grow up in a peaceful, lush and at the time, isolated place called Nowendoc.

Our 900 acres of hilly beef cattle country is bordered to the west by a State Forest. My parents still have a 99 year perpetual lease on 300 acres within the boundaries of the forest where we used to put mature cows to winter. I say used to because they don’t put any stock there now. Too many have gone missing with the only trace being horseshoe marks in soft soil.

When I was a child I was a loner.

At school I spent my lunchtime reading in an out of bounds area which the principal ignored (she got me).

At home I spent my daylight hours on a horse.

I would catch my horse on the weekend in the morning, might come in for lunch, but mostly I’d get home with enough time for my horse to dry off before the cool night arrived.

These are the days that my nosey delights come from.

If I think hard and breath deep, I can smell…

The sweet smell of my horse, slightly sweaty.

The earthy scent of freshly disturbed humus rich soil.

A whiff of musty honey near a native bee nest.

The occasional stench of death.

I think the one I miss the most is the smell of a summer storm rolling in from the west.

I would feel the air pressure change and my excitement would build.

There would be a rumble of thunder you could feel as much as you could hear.

A waft of earthy scent building to the glorious and unique smell of our native eucalypt forest that I’ve never smelt anywhere else.

Slowly, the fresh smell if the rain mingled with the forest, cleaning the air.

These are the smelly memories of my childhood.

My happy place.

Daily Prompt – Now? Later!

We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?

My favorite ‘time waster’ is watching my calves.

No, I’m not super vain!

I’m talking about my surrogate children. Its something I’ve written about before.

I often get in trouble for standing at the gate and watching them playing.

After a feed they often feel frisky. They’ll play tag or they’ll follow each other around, tails in the air and a twinkle in their eyes, running as fast as they can!

They’make an obstacle courses.

Through the hole in the fence, around the big tree, back up the hill and jump over the grain trough! If I happen to be in the paddock, it’s a guarantee they’ll include me!

Anything that goes into the paddock is fair game. Especially if it makes a noise when walked over!

One day my human children kicked a soccer ball into their paddock. They didn’t kick it, but there was a lot of inspecting…

“Ooo what is that?”

“Eeek it MOVED!”

“You touch it?”

“No! YOU touch it”

“Aaaahhhhhh! IT MOOOOOVED!”

“RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

I wish you could see what I see, hear what I hear.

They are beautiful to watch.

I do procrastinate a lot watching them.

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Daily Prompt – Long Exposure

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?

I went to an agriculture college after finishing high school. There’s a saying that goes “It takes all types to make up the world” and I’m pretty sure they were all there!

One of the first people I met was Adair.

She had a friendly face, gentle kind eyes, and a welcoming smile.

And she was a little odd.

We were immediate and firm friends.

Adair was from a life of privilege, though you’d never pick it.  Her parents doted on her, she longed for nothing.

Adair was at ag college to learn about farming so she could run the farm daddy had purchased. By farm I mean under 100 acres in the hills behind the Central Coast of NSW.

From the start, Adair had a different view about animal production for food. She was already vegetarian, and would go vegan later in life.

Adair never said ‘I don’t want to know’. She wanted to know everything. Even when the lesson included some distress to the animal, she was there. She did question the why’s and what ifs, but I thought that was great. I had always struggled with castrating male animals, cutting lambs tails off and intensive pig and chicken farms. It was nice to have someone with the same ideas.

But you could explain the reasons behind these practices, and in most cases she’d accept it.

We would do a lot of very strange things together.

One of our favorite things to do was go into town after dairy duty in two day old dairy clothes.

Another was to put her mums maternity dresses on with our work boots or better still rubber boots and go to the pub.

We were always there for each other. She defended my mood swings, I defended her views and vegetarianism.

After college, she went back to the farm and basically isolated herself. She did have a few friends, most of them living an ‘alternative’ lifestyle. I did keep in touch for a while, but my work made it near impossible.  This was the time before mobile phones.

A lot of years later I found her on Facebook.  I was so excited to find her. Of all the people I’d met in my life, Adair had been one of the few to encourage my eccentricities. I needed that acceptance again.

The first thing I noticed was she’d become an animal rights activist. In my naivety I thought it was great, and wondered how I could get on board.

It wasn’t long, after reading her posts, I figured out not only did I  not want to be involved, I wouldn’t be accepted anyway.

We continued an uneasy friendship for a while. I asked her to clarify some activist positions. She tried to tell me my chosen career was terrible. But we still got on.

Until one day.

She posted an absolute lie. She said drinking milk causes arthritis and brittle bones. I stated that of all the health issues the elderly  dairy farmers I know have, they weren’t among them.

That was it for her. She followed the usual activist line and told me I’m a cow rapist and I force my cows to be pregnant for financial gain, that I rip baby calves off their mothers and murder the boys, and that I personified everything wrong with the world and I should hang my head in shame.

The Adair I remembered with an open, questioning mind and morals, not that much different from me, had turned into a hate mongering member of an agroterrorist organisation hell bent on stopping the use of animals for food production.

I was devastated. Absolutely devastated.

I cried and cried.

It was like she had died.

I knew we’d never talk again.

I knew I’d  never see her again.

That was about 12 months ago. I still have days…

Adair is the person who’s changed the most. And I miss the old Adair dearly.

Daily Prompt

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/frame-of-mind/

If you could paint your current mood on a canvas, what would that painting look like?
What would it depict?  

What an interesting question!

In the centre would be me. A calm, loving, serene, smiling me surrounded by purple and gold sparkles.

To my left, my children in an  ocean blue bubble. Their happy beautiful faces looking toward me for love and guidance.

To my right, my husband, a confusion of light and dark around him.He’d be reaching out for me with both hands while looking away. And probably on his phone.

Above us all, the cows, the farm, our dreams and ambition.

Underneath us though would be a black, boiling, smelly mass representing the jealousy, anger and bitterness threatening to engulf our extended families.

An ocean would separate that horrible nasty mess from us, with a vortex forming under my husband.

That would be my painting.