The defeat of the Howard government
I approached the lead up to the Federal election with caution, trying not to be too optimistic, but hoping and burning offerings to the deities that this time, things would be different. I had approached the last two elections being sure that the Coalition would be defeated, only to be left feeling, more so than usual that I am so very out of touch with the views and opinions of 'average, working Australian families' who parrot along with the Liberal Party that social democratic principles, unions, diversity and peace and non-violence movements are indeed the root of all evil...
I'm not celebrating the ALP's win, as much as I am the Coalition's loss.... I am made uneasy by how much more of a formidable political force that the Religious Right have become in Australia over the last 11 years and that the ALP will still try to bow to this extremist lobby group tht simply have more money and organisation than the left, and certainly don't reflect the viws of the majority of Australians. However, I will maintain my optimism that this electoral shift might mean a bigger shift to the left that hopefully will last at least a decade, in order to reestablish services and infrastructure, and repair some other casualties of Howard's messianic backlash against the social reforms of the 1960s onwards.
About a year ago now, I found myself thinking about some of my adolescent decision making and came to the conclusion that a lot of my significant life directions, including sex work activism and extreme outness was much to do with avoiding becoming my mother, at all costs, and that it hadn't worked. I often find myself speaking in her voice, and expressing a similar set of values, particularly in relation to etiquette, in which I clearly haven' t moved far from middle class Adelaide. Since this realisation, I've been increasingly able to enjoy my home environment, cooking more, including recently, amazing chilli, corn bred and guacamole and maintaining a cleaner environment. It has been amazing to be able to pick and choose which aspects I take on and which I don't. I can take on the living comfortably and cleanly in a home I enjoy doing fabby dinner parties in and playing at being the gracious hostess, without that having to be part and parcel of th fundamentalist judgmental fire n brimstone type my mother was. Hooray! I can play at being the Whore of Babylon and June Cleaver, without either being all that I am, or excluding the other aspects.
Some years seem more like baptism by fire than others. I have being working 3 part time jobs in the last 6 months. It has been almighty stressful, and sometimes, some of the balls I've been juggling crash to the ground. However,my coping skills, work ethic and ability to function have never been so obvious. So while sometimes, everything is just too much, there has been other times,I've impressed the pants, erm, frock, off myself. Growing older does seem to mellow and provide increased skill, knowledge and capacity to get stuff done. I'm at a stage where this far outweighs the gray hairs.