Running away from errands.

Running errands.

It’s amazing how often we mention the phrase. Every time a friend calls, if I’m not at work I tell them I’m either doing chores at home or “running errands” outside.

Coming from a simple, salaried household- as a child I never saw my parents “just chilling”.

Ever.

Hard work was valued above all else. If my parents ever caught me sitting and watching TV or idling reading (reading novels, even classics was not considered a worthy use of time) they would invariably ask “Don’t you have school work to do? Or something more useful…”.

Therefore, it is passive- aggressively ingrained within us at a tender age, that it is criminal to do nothing. Doing nothing means watching a movie, or reading a non- scientific book, surfing the internet, blogging, even running.

Pray tell me folks, why do we relentlessly pursue chores and errands?


 

I spent last night sewing up cut, torn, broken people. Without a break, like a machine.

I was assigned to one of the tiny, surgical rooms in the ER. Triage would send people (bruised, harassed, bleeding folks who have been waiting for at least 4 hours) over. I would take a brief history, get X-rays if needed, assess the injury, sew them back up, fill in a bunch of papers, prescribe medications and send them on their way.

I remember reporting to work at 2150 hours, I remember looking at my watch one last time before I removed it from my wrist and tucked it away at one of the knee pockets of my cool, navy cargo scrubs. The next time I looked at it, it was 0547 hours.

Saying it was an intense 8 hours will be a gross understatement. Eight hours, on my feet, sometimes on my knees or squatting (you wouldn’t want to know why). Eight hours of craning my neck. Eight hours of placating disgruntled patients. Eight hours of concentration. And the pressure of seeing the “next guy” as soon as “this one is done”.

I finish my shift, gather up my belongings, grab a tepid coffee from the cafeteria and head to my car. I can sense summer approaching, the air isn’t so chill anymore and the sun is already on it’s way up. Until recently, it used to be dark at this time.

I open the sunroof all the way back and roll the windows down, my lungs crave some un-conditioned air. I listen to Mike Posner singing about how he took a pill in Ibiza and I lazily drive back home with the sun right in my face.

As I turn the lock of my front door, I already have a minute by minute plan for the next hour. Mr H and Z will have to leave in an hour. My shower will have to be a short, clinical one. No soaking in the soothing, luxury of the warm water or enjoying the citrusy- fresh fragrance of  the new Bath and Bodyworks shower gel.

An hour and fifteen minutes later, the home is devoid of other humans. The bed beckons, but I sense my body has moved on. It has realised, the sleep for the day does not exist and therefore it will make do without it.

I have washed laundry, lying in a pile in the guest room. It is as tall as my two- year old. The hurried cooking session for the nursery run, means a decent sized dish- pile in the sink. There is a long, pending salon visit, the dry- cleaning needs to be picked up, the car needs repair.  Cupboards need organising, make- up brushes are desperate for a cleanse,  some work- related emails need urgent replies. And oh! I need to feed  myself.

The little, salaried-parent’s child, self in my head tells me there is not a second to spare. I will be toddler and work free for the next few hours, and I should make the most of it. Get as much as possible done. I can sleep tonight.

Go on, get to it. She tells me. That darned voice in my head.

Chop, chop.

There’s TONS TO DO WOMAN! She screams.

I fight back.

I kick back, put my feet up on the recliner and settle in to watch a movie. To hell with doing chores and running errands.

Call me an escapist, procrastinator, or whatever else you wish to. I have about 5 precious, free hours, before I make the mandatory trip to the place where they keep little humans occupied till their antecedents come back for them. As sleep declines my proposal, I shall hook- up with youtube and do nothing for a bit.

It’s now 1330 hours. I did manage to fold some laundry and put it away while watching random crap on the tube, and yes I also got some work done over the phone, and I fed myself.

Everything else will have to wait.

For today, I shall hide from chores and run away from errands.

But I do feel insanely guilty about it. And my spunky, lazy self doesn’t appear so cool anymore.

 

Till next time,

Dr J.

Ambre Imperial.

Sultry.

Warm.

Intriguing.

Androgynous.

Quietly confident, subtly sexy.

There, but not quite.

Like the softest, most fluffy cashmere sweater.

Like an autumn evening in the smoky woods.

A woman who is supremely herself, and makes no excuses for it.

A man who doesn’t fit into pre- requisite boxes, yet knows his way around the world and daresay revels in it.

Starts off peppery and spicy, almost oriental. Settles down into a warm, powdery borderline edible character. As the hours roll on, turns into it’s true dark, woody self.

Here’s presenting my current fragrance obsession, and probably signature scent-Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection Extraordinaire, ‘Ambre Impérial’


 

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This is a master creation by talented perfumer Quentin Bisch. His version of the Amber Scent.


 

 

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Amber perfumes, mostly smell the same to me. Or they may all start off differently but end up with the same classic “amber” scent. Not this one. As an amber connoisseur, I can truly say that THIS one is different. Softer, yet edgier. Unique. And I love smelling dark and unique.

If one is generally a fan of sickly sweet, feminine, floral scents; this wouldn’t be up their alley. This is more unisex, and may even smell entirely masculine to some. I love  this on me, and I love this on my man- it is very, very rare for a fragrance to be able to achieve that!

At the pricier end of even the most expensive “high-end” designer perfumes, everything about the perfume- it’s bottle, packaging symbolises understated luxury.


 

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My only grouse with it- I was sure it would last longer. Don’t get me wrong folks, it will and does last a normal work-day aka 8 hours but it sure doesn’t stand up to my 30 hour on call day test. Now, now don’t shake your head in disbelief folks, there really are fragrances that stay that long on me (case in point- Elizabeth Arden 5th Avenue).

It smells best on bare skin and even better in hair. It is definitely a warm, winter fragrance but I’m going to unapologetically wear it al through the year. It’s rich and indulgent but not sickly overpowering. It’s a thin line between the two, and Ambre Imperial does not cross it, but resides confidently on the line.

Do give this one a whiff the next time you are around a Van Clef & Arpels boutique, you too may turn into an amber convert!

Also, me thinks it makes for a fancy gift, for any cool couples that you may know- weddings or anniversaries perhaps?

But then, it’s also a fragrance that is not for the conventional hearted…

Till next time.

Dr J.

The ladies lounge- New love.

I love mascaras. The good ones of course. And though some of the Maybelline ones are good and I’d been repurchasing them for years, I felt it was time to move on.

For a couple of years now, I have been on the hunt for a new “go-to” mascara. I tried several top rated, blogger favourites and magazine recommendations, none really stood out.

Then one day, a lady at an Estee Lauder counter somehow randomly caught hold of me and sold me a tube of this

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This is the Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara, and it truly does stand up to it’s name. A single coat makes a difference and one does not need more than two coats (in my opinion) of this during the day.

I love the big, slightly chubby wand. I am not of the fan of the weird- shaped, gimmicky wands.

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I like the simplistic gold tube and the normal looking wand.The formula isn’t too runny or clumpy, nor is it too dry.

And most importantly, it stays on for over 12 hours with no transfer; but at the same time is easy to get off without needing heavy, oil based removers.

Only con in my book- transfer prone in the first few minutes after application. But then every mascara does that.

On here, I really only mention things that I really like (or really detest!) so go on ladies, if you are looking for a decent (albeit slightly pricey) day-time mascara, this is one to try.

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I obviously purchased 01 Extreme Black.

Till next time.

Dr J.

Being a crappy mum.

I honestly despise the organic, organised- playdate obsessed, daily-trips-to- the- park, let’s bake teddy cupcakes to nursery, TYPE- A mums that are constantly posting holier- than- thou updates on Facebook and asking really stupid sounding (at least stupid sounding to more ‘go-with-the-flow’ mummies like me) questions on the half a billion or so “mommy forums” on the internet. They irk me no end.

I believe these mums and their presence on the web will be the death of women like me. The cause of the death of our sanity and peace of mind.

By their standards, I am an utterly useless, totally crappy mum. Yes. I said it- I am a crappy, crappy mum!

I let my child eat sweets at odd hours- if that is the need of the hour.

I let my toddler sit with the iPad- if that is what it takes for me to get ready for work.

I bribe my baby to the potty, because her being constipated bears far worse consequences.

I sometimes distract my little one while she eats, so that I can get a few morsels into her very active, but grossly underfed system.

Trying to tame my baby’s locks in the wee hours of the morning, long before she is truly “awake” generally puts my little princess in a particularly dour mood, so I sneak a hair tie into her nursery bag, hoping the teaching assistants at the nursery get the hint. And she goes to nursery a little sour faced and looking distinctly unkempt but less pissed off than she would be if I tried to put her in pigtails.

I let her stay up late, if that is the only time I might get with her in the next 36 hours.

I break a LOT of rules from the Guide to Organic Helicopter Parenting Handbook. A dozen a day, maybe more.

'You know at some point we have to stop swaddling him, right?'
‘You know at some point we have to stop swaddling him, right?’

 

I wish we lived in simpler times. I really do.

I don’t recall my parents ever obsessing about things the way we do, and apparently our grandparents were even less “obsessive”. The kids ate when hungry and slept when tired. They went to school to study, did a bit of homework here and there; and frolicked around as they chose for the remaining time. I remember doing that as a child.

I don’t have a problem with anybody raising their child a particular way. To each their own. But this crazy, hovering style of parenting, and it’s very vocal proponents are like an infection that creeps up upon you. Into your system, slowly; without you ever realising it. And if you don’t give into it, you might end up feeling inadequate and miserable.

Once you do give in, there is no end to it. Like a cancerous cell, it multiplies – grows and feeds on you until it consumes you.

My other half/  the father to my child is my vaccine against this disease. One who moderates almost all my parenting decisions, both big and small. One who usually aborts the fanciful, wasteful, gimmicky parenting actions. And reminds me, each day to try and keep things “old-school”.

I can almost hear him say, ” Our parents went with the flow, and we turned out okay, RIGHT?”

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Till next time.

Dr J.

The time of our lives.

I had an epiphany this afternoon.

It wasn’t a particularly extraordinary afternoon; it was in fact one of those mundane, lowly ones. I was driving home after a gruelling  8 hour ER shift and the traffic was uncommonly horrendous.

I had to wait full hog at every one of the nine, painfully long traffic signals on the way to Z’s nursery and the seven damned ones back home.

People driving around me seemed rude, rash and inconsiderate, and I was ravenously hungry- which in turn made my head throb (I have “hunger migraines” as I like to call them).

The joy meter was hovering over the ‘dangerously low’ mark, and the darkness within beckoned with her icicle arms. As a creature prone to odd highs and weird lows, it seemed like an opportune moment to wallow in one’s self- created miseries.

And then it hit me. With a gentle tug though, not a crashing thump like people usually say it does.

The epiphany.

What if these incredibly trying times, are the times that will most impact us.

What if these days are the days that make us who we are truly destined to be.

What if, unknowingly we are actually having the time of our lives?

The best days. The most productive. The fantastic, exciting, alive days.

Doing things and accomplishing goals that would have once seemed impossible.

Heavens forbid, what if these are the days that we would fondly look back upon. Days that we were at our physical prime, honing our unique set of skills to their zenith.

Days that challenge us, tease us and as cliched as it sounds- days that make us better. Sharper.

I am not sure if I believe in pure, pre- determined destiny or in unchallenged, human free-will. I don’t honestly care either way. But I’d like to believe that what doesn’t kill us DOES make us stronger. Once you have been in neck- deep shit and survived, you wouldn’t even bat an eyelid the next time you are in it waist deep! So, dial down the anxiety folks.

This is it. Life.

Take it or leave it honey, she says. And smiles; mockingly. Alluringly. Batting her long, flickery eye-lashes and and gazing at you with faux warmth and affection. She promises much, but beware; for she is a fickle, remorseless creature. One that is in no way indebted to you. You are but given a free gift, one that is not designed to your likes or preferences, so use it the way you deem most fit. For there are no replacements and definitely no cash refunds.

You and I are most likely having the time of our lives. So, let us give in and have fun while being beaten around ragged. Along the way, let us teach Ms. Life a teach or two of our own. For throwing us around and dragging us in the mud like a battered, beleaguered rag doll.

Till next time.

Dr J.

 

P.S. Just realised what must have been the trigger for the general bleakness- bumping one’s car 😦