Month: June 2014

Currently Pondering

Whilst I have other blog posts brewing, the following topics are all swirling in my brain (in a good way) so I thought I’d jot them down for posterity (mine, not yours).

Glastonbury

We didn’t make it this year. I’ve been swithering between not being bothered (from a line-up point of view) and being very bothered and a little bit miffed and upset, mostly though I wish we’d managed to get tickets. Yes it was raining and muddy but I did miss just being part of it.

Tattoos

I received a rough sketch for my next tattoo which starts on Friday, a new artist but her work is great and I’m really looking forward to it! More than a little poignant as the inspiration is taken from a tapestry my Mum did years ago that I’ve always admired which has recently been taken off the walls as they prepare to sell my childhood home.

Lifestyle thoughts

I think it’s safe to say I’m ‘out’ as poly in that everyone I care about knows. I’m in a good place in my life where I’m gently pushing my own limits, testing my own beliefs and challenging myself to find out who I am. Having the support of two amazing women is helping more than they realise.

Glasgow 2014

Picked up my uniform at the weekend, and I’ll admit it’s getting a little exciting. The Commonwealth Games may not quite have the prestige of the Olympics but they are a massive event for Glasgow as a city, and I’m looking forward to being part of the experience. If you are coming along to the swimming at Tollcross, keep an eye out for me!

Simplification and change

With my parents moving house, I’ve inherited a few bits and bobs. Looking around my flat I realise I’ve slowly been cluttering it up with … well nothing much but it feels messy, unorganised, and whilst it’s certainly starting to irk me. Not enough, yet, to do anything about it, but it feels like that time is coming.

Sorting out the physical clutter shouldn’t take me more than a couple of nights here and there but, inevitably it will prompt thoughts about what I want for my ‘living’ space and it will start to echo my thoughts on the digital spaces I inhabit.

For example, I have a two stacks of unread magazines. The subscriptions have long since been cancelled but still they sit there, waiting patiently to be perused. In digital land I use Pocket to grab articles that might be of interest. Over 100 sit unread. Should I ditch it all and get back to zero? Why do I care about ‘zero’?

Or maybe I’m over thinking and just need to have a good clear out.

With apologies

It feels like a compulsion, a nagging itch that I can’t seem to cure buried away deep under my skin. Sometimes I’ll scratch and scratch and scratch at it until it’s raw but the desire is never fully sated.

I’ve tried ignoring it too, pushing it to the back of my mind in the hope that somewhere, somehow, my subconscious will figure it out for me.

I’ve fed it sparingly at times, hoping that would be enough to keep it from bubbling to the front of my brain, I’ve tried to starve it, hoping it might die off quietly. I’ve tried to force fed it, filling it with every tiny moment I can, but that just felt cruel.

I should apologise to you, dear reader, but this seems to be a habit I can’t break. It ebbs and flows but it’s always here, the desire to write and post. At times (like now) I feel like a phoney as I flag you down to sell you my wares only for you to discover upon your arrival that all I’ve got is an old button and a dog-eared copy of Little Women with some pages missing.

Of course I’m not actually sorry, from the outset I’ve always maintained that this blog is for me, no-one is asking you to read it, let alone visit it, and I’m happily resigned to the fact that I’ll continue to post here in the same sporadic quantity and varying levels of quality.

Yoga

yoga class

The room is warm and quiet, a soft glow from the candles in the corner. Scattered around the floor are long unfurled mats each with an occupant, some lie prone, some sit with straight backs, legs crossed.

The atmosphere is one of calm as I pad my way, barefoot, to the far corner and unfurl my mat. I lie down, close my eyes and relax into this new experience.

The instructor enters and in a low gentle voice starts to direct our movements. Hands on stomach, focussing on each breath in and out, slowly and deliberately she guides us through the next 90 minutes of movements and thoughts, principles and reasonings.

My first time

It was my first yoga class, I had some nerves around whether I’d actually be able to contort my body as required, but I was also looking to, finally, trying Yoga. It’s is something I’ve spoken about trying for years, I’ve practised a little meditation in the past, I know a few of the poses thanks to Wii Fit and, unbeknownst to me, one of the techniques I use when I’m having trouble sleeping is the same as the final relaxing routine that our instructor took us through;

Lying on the floor, giving the floor the weight your body, slow steady breathing as you focus on one area of the body starting at the toes, then the feet, ankles, back of the leg and so on up through the neck and head.

I did struggle with some of the poses, but it’s a beginner class and Anthea quietly helped with the movements. My bad knee received a small towel for added cushioning, and a couple of foam bricks made some positions possible.

I left feeling … serene? I’m not sure what the right word is and at the time I described it as ‘floaty light’ which seems about as good a description as any. It was challenging at times, there is a lot to focus on at times between maintaining good form (if the body allows it) and controlling your breathe, and I’ll admit that at some points I was a lot more focussed on my inability to do either! I know that will change.

I’ve only had on Yoga class but I think I’m already hooked. There were some mid-pose moments that had me feeling very centred and quiet, fleeting moments for now but at least I know I’m on the right track. I’ve always admired the grace the Yoga seems to impart, both in body and mind, and I hope I can gain a little of both in the coming weeks.


For those in Glasgow, I’m taking classes at Yoga Healing Glasgow.

 

Serious (not serious)

Isn’t it funny the things that stick in your memory? I have a pretty crap memory at the best of times so when something pops back into my brain I take it as a sign that my brain thinks it’s important, even if I’m not sure why.

Today the random memory was a conversation I had with my first boss. I had joined a small software company as a technical administrator, a wonderfully vague title that ended up with me becoming a technical writer. There were 12 software engineers of varying levels of experience and me. We worked in a cottage (this one) before moving to the converted boat building space next door (now a “Curves” outlet I see).

We would go to the pub every Friday for lunch. Occasionally stay there all afternoon, and on one infamous night end up staying there all night drinking whisky and tequila and someone may have not gone home and majorly pissed off his fiancée. But that’s a different story.

I liked it a lot, it was relaxed and looking back it was here I started to develop my work persona, or at least the part of it that has remained with me to this day. Some would call it being cheeky, some would say I was just silly, but regardless I quickly found I had the capacity to make people smile and laugh. It’s something that has stayed with me to this day, although it feels like it happens less often than it used to.

After my first year of employment my boss at the time took me into his office for a ‘review’. I was nervous and wanted to make a good impression and in the opening few minutes of the discussion I tried to lighten the mood with a few comments.

My boss sat back in his chair. Looked at me and said “ok, so let’s talk about this lack of seriousness”. And so we did, he took some time to point out that perceptions were important and that whilst I was at the start of my career I would maybe be better advised to tone it down a little lest people not take me seriously.

Whilst that all sounds very dull of him, he was right. I am, and remain, too quick to resort to cheap laughs. Over the past coughs years I’ve managed to gauge it a lot better. In truth it’s my go to during times of stress or high emotion (I am Chandler from Friends) but part of me doesn’t mind that.

I wrote a post a long time ago about this (almost 15 years ago) and I’ll admit I was pleased to see that my attitude hasn’t much changed as this is a part of me that I like.

A brush with prejudice

For those about to read, please know that I’m very VERY aware that I’m writing from a position of privilege and that I realise a lot of my shock and horror of this event is largely driven by the fact that I’ve never been confronted with any form of prejudice before. I know this is not the norm.

The event in question happened several months ago and I’ve been sitting on this blog post ever since. I happened across it today, re-read it and in light of other recent (world) events have revised my thoughts.

I have moved on past this but never captured it and I want to, for myself. To those who offered support on Twitter when it happened (and where my first thoughts were published) thank you. Your words meant a lot, even if I didn’t express that at the time.

Read More

Relationships with metamours

Poly Means Many: There are many aspects of polyamory. Each month, the PMM bloggers will write about their views on one of them. Links to all posts can be found at www.polymeansmany.com.

This month, the Poly Means Many crew are pondering metamours; I can still remember my thoughts when I first read that word… “what does that mean?”, I had a rough idea but wasn’t sure so let’s start with a definition. A metamour is the partner of one’s partner, with whom one does not share a direct sexual or loving relationship (1). That means, for me, I have one metamour, Kirsty’s other partner Mark.

I’ll admit I wasn’t sure how this part of being poly would work out. It’s one thing being in a position to explore other relationships that I want, quite another to have to assess a potential relationship with someone you didn’t directly choose to be part of your life. Kirsty and I didn’t set out any expectations of being able to ‘veto’ a potential partner, mostly because we trusted each other to be honest but, perhaps, it was also with a view that any relationship with a metamour only had to be … tolerant? civil? I’m not quite sure what the right phrase is…

For me, I realised early on that part of being polyamorous is being open to new experiences and realising that one person might not be able to meet all of your needs all of the time. We all grow and learn and our needs and expectations, desires and wants, change accordingly. With that in mind, it’s been interesting to see the differences between Mark and I, how they relate to Kirsty, how they translate in my relationship with my other partner Clare, and how that influences the relationship between Kirsty and Clare.

I like Mark, he’s very laid back, level headed and obviously cares deeply for Kirsty. The three of us have chatted through some difficult times recently and he’s usually the voice of calm reason. In comparison my emotions bubble quickly, raw on the surface and I tend to be much more pushed to quick action. Both approaches have their advantages, and disadvantages, and gives Kirsty two distinct voices to consider (which can be an issue in and of itself of course!).

But seeing the relationship between Kirsty and Mark grow has been both fascinating and enlightening. I definitely think it’s made my relationship with Kirsty stronger, prompted me to consider myself in a new light and that, for me, is a huge bonus of the metamour relationship and not one I’d even thought about. Having additional people in your life who bring different views, experiences and expectations has made things richer for all of us.

Other than a few emails here and there, Mark and I don’t hang out together on our own so our interactions are limited to times when Kirsty is around but, like the rest of our poly relationships, we’ve found something that seems to work; this way also means that I don’t feel like I’m overstepping boundaries, I’m aware that Kirsty and I have been together for several years now and don’t want the ‘weight’ of our relationship to have any bearing on the relationship she has with Mark.

As a group, the four of us hang out now and then and that definitely helps, as do the simple things of shared calendars and regular communication. Mark and I will occasionally check in with each other, and he and Clare get on well. We have some interests in common which also helps, and overall we seem to have found a system that works for everyone.

I had some apprehensions about this part of being in poly relationships but I know that any concerns will be discussed and solutions found. I know some people who have very close relationships with their metamours, and others who barely know them, and I guess that’s the point. Acknowledging that the metamour relationship is important, as is defining how it works, beyond that anything else is a bonus.


Want to read more? The Poly Means Many project has touched on this area before.