There comes a time when a blogger has a rant and I'm going to have one now so look away if you wish!
One of those words that gets me going is 'busy'. Well, who isn't busy these days but do we have to keep saying it? I had a friend a few years back who, every time I spoke to her would tell me how busy she was. Sorry I haven't rung/e-mailed/seen you, I've been busy. If I called her she would have her answer phone on and I'm pretty sure this was to let you know she wasn't in and too busy out and about doing something much more important with her time -well, that's what I was supposed to think! (Maybe it's just me, but if they have time to paint their toenails and never wear the same thing twice, I tend to be a tad suspicious!) It occurred to me after a while that she was just saying 'I don't value you enough to take a moment to keep our friendship going'.
It's a funny thing about ex-pat women - we are mostly here because of our husband's job. In my opinion we are amongst the luckiest people to experience life in other parts of the world, make interesting friends and have time to spend as we wish. There are literally billions of people living in miserable or unbearable conditions but some of the most miserable must be ex-pats.
If you have loads of time to spare, the very last thing you must admit to is having time! So every day you've got to go to the gym, do breakfast, get manicures/pedicures/facials/hair done, go to coffee mornings (all the better if it's for charity) and try and make 'contacts'. If you have children they must be taken to horse riding, tennis lessons, swimming lessons,music lessons, ballet, and everything else you can put their names down for (unless you have already put them into boarding school). You must have a maid and you must complain about how awfully hard it is to find a good one (cue sharing of horror stories and lots of nodding heads). Your husband must be indispensable to his company who don't realize his worth but he will get lots of perks like good housing allowances, a four by four with all the latest add ons (do you know how important those are? I didn't until I went to Dubai!) and business class tickets for you all to return to your wonderful house (or one of them) back home every summer ( oh! the problems our tenants give us!)
You don't sit around in the evening either, watching the telly or spending quality time with your children, oh no! You leave them in the capable hands of your maid who waters your dried plants and go to the swankiest restaurants for dinner or some important function with other important people.
I was once 'dropped' by one of the mums at school ( in Dubai) because I said during the course of conversation that it was nice to see a face I knew. She was fairly new and I bumped into her at the sailing club. It took me a while to figure out what had happened. It was that I had admitted I had no 'contacts' and was therefore of no use! Still, it was amusing to see her pretending not to see me every single day - Alex and her son were friends in the same class!
This week's Everyday Matters drawing challenge is to draw something you are thankful for. I know I should be thankful for a lot of things but I have found that if you have to think of what you might draw it really focuses the mind. I mention this because I've really enjoyed thinking about it and to pass this on to anyone reading who is not part of the group. Try it!
I've been driving all over the place this week so I haven't done as much drawing as I wanted to, but I've been thinking about the challenge and how lucky I am with so many things, big and small that I am thankful for. Of course, if you live in a marble palace in Dubai with an Aston Martin in the drive you may find this one really tough!