In classic Claire Style, I finalised my slides at 10 o’clock the night before we drove from Melbourne to Mt Martha to set up our tent and glamp amidst the picturesque Scout Camp on the Mornington Peninsula. The book wasn’t ready, I had no hand-outs, only a few business cards left, hardly any voice due to a super-shit-ly-timed head cold, but never mind, “no one was coming to my workshop anyway”.
I appreciate you. Three words. Just three words, and, to my mind, the very best compliment.
‘I appreciate you’’s cousins, ‘I appreciate that’ and ‘I appreciate what you did’ are always welcome at my place too, but the simplicity and directness of ‘I appreciate you’ carries so much gratitudinous weight and connection. There’s no running away from it, no brushing anything under the carpet, no hiding behind a behaviour or act. No asterix here.
‘I appreciate you’ means all of you. Regardless. Unconditionally. YOU.
My perfect day? Hmmmm let me think…
Have I had it already? The day I got married? That idyllic honeymoon day in Fiji, snorkelling, playing beach volleyball, napping in the sun by the pool with my gorgeous new husband? The day I bawled happy tears sitting beside the Tungabhadra River, watching Lakshmi the elephant have a bath? The day I found out I was pregnant with my first child (or my second)? The day I had my first child (or my second)? The day I bought my first (or second) house? The day I started my business?
I have some opinions. Some of them are uneducated ones and some are more thought-out and rounded. All of them are mine. I generally don’t take my opinions from current affair programs, online forums or people I admire – but these things do help shape them. Except for at the polling booth where I take hand signals from my husband about which box to tick. Because in my opinion they’re all as bad as each other and there are a gazillion things I’d rather spend my time thinking about or researching.
Ages ago, while I was climbing the corporate ladder, I remember hearing a heap of news articles on the radio, the telly and in conversation everywhere – all about how women had to choose between having a career or a having a family. Like, everyone was saying it. It was everywhere. And I thought ‘oh, what a shame’ and went on my merry ignorant way.
And then I decided I wanted kids. Oh dear. What was a girl to do?