The Very Late June Tally

Now you guys know what my professors feel like (and if you’re reading this and are one of my students, that was not automatic licence for an extension).
Life has been crazy this past month, well life is crazy in general. GREAT crazy though – lots of new projects on the go, and wonderful events around the place. But first things first! June weigh in:



Made up of: A sticky plaster, a coffee lid (total brainfart moment while in a hui and someone was taking orders for coffees duuuhhh), the plastic wrap from my mooncup (review coming up next post!!), a latex glove that I’ve had since last year and used to keep the water off my sticky plaster (I’ve reused the glove a bunch of times but now it’s torn), the lid of a gingerbeer, the lid of a cider bottle, and a few receipts.

Doing ok! I rather suspect July will be not as good though – I totally flaked the other day on the way to a hui which I’d helped organise – I thought we’d be able to stop at the bakers to grab a loaf or something to take, you know… kōha, manaaki etc. Except the bakers were closed. There was only the 4square open and as I felt the clock ticking I stood in front of that damn shelf of plastic wrapped biscuits having the MEAN internal dialogue:

“Get over yourself Tina, you can’t go empty handed, that’s just not on”

“But I can’t! Look at them, they’re so… manufactured and plasticky!

“You’re going to be late. Cuz is waiting in the car. Get the damn biscuits already.”

“But… but… what about some mandarins!”

(Walk over to the mandarins, which are dry and also have plastic stickers on them)
(Return to the biscuits)

“Get. The damn. Biscuits.”

“But the plaaaastiiiiiic”

“Get the biscuits, get in the car, weigh the plastic at the end of the month, fess up to it, and I promise from now on we’ll do a heap of home baking just for hui and manuhiri.”

Eventually, on that promise to myself, I reluctantly dragged myself, sulking at myself, to the counter with a packet of Ginger Kisses. Sugary ginger kisses of deceit.

Do you know what really sucks? They didn’t get eaten, didn’t even get opened… and I can’t take them back with me so I’m going to have to just… add some penalty grams or something to the July tally.

I baked like a mofo for the next two days. I’m still baking.

As an aside: When I got into the car with the ginger kisses and a big pout, my cousin was so devastatingly sweet about the whole thing – saying she would have driven us to find another bakery, that we could have gone into town, and yes we would have been late but I could, probably, have called. Lesson learnt – People get what you’re doing, and most of the time they’ll be cool with the little complications it makes. So don’t freak yourself out. And be better prepared.

And mistakes are ok. Really.

Here’s a clip I want to share with you – it’s my very good friend, Ngapaki Moetara. Ngapaki has recently moved here from Wellington, and is on a journey, which she’s sharing on her facebook page TuRongo Rongoā A journey about detoxifying her life, and learning how to grow her own food, and make her own rongoā (medicine) for her and her young whānau:

Gorgeous, nē? And you know what I love about it? I love her openness – that mess of a rongoā station is an absolute heart stealer to me – because that’s what people need to see – the realness of it. We have our messy days – hell we have messy LIVES. But we’re still here, we’re still doing what we can, when we can, however we can. It’s not a flawless story – reality never is – but that’s where the beauty begins. Those beautiful flaws that make the rest of us smile and feel a little bit more comfortable. We make a commitment to do a bit better, and to never give up, and we soldier on.

Here’s another one of my favourite wāhine, along these lines:

Marama Davidson – Yeah I intentionally chose a pic that looks like she’s about to have a bladder eruption from giggling. Cause how cool is that.

Marama is a strong, valued political voice in Aotearoa for women and children, for ethnic minorities, for indigenous rights, and for the environment. She is a tireless campaigner of social justice, a social media BOSS and a devoted mother… but probably one of my favourite qualities of hers is her unstinting honesty about the messiness of life.

A few cases in point:


Here’s her gorgeous maungakakahu.
Which of course set a bunch of us to post back our own growing laundry mountains in support and gratitude:




And here was mine, at the time:

Ah the solidarity when we realise we’re not the only ones with messy couches.

And then there is this, this, this

I can’t say how much my heart sings to hear women remind each other of these truths. The truths of our humanity, the truths of our irretractable divinity, the solidarity, support and understanding we can offer each other.

There’s another aspect to it – KNOWING WHAT MATTERS. There’s a whole lot going on in the world right now. Sometimes maunga kakahu just needs to be there for the day while you sort a few other things out. The other day I had a LONG list of to-dos. A few phonecalls, some unexpected complications, and at the end of the day I looked at the list and not one thing had been ticked off.

But I DID do this:

I’m pretty good with the fact that that’s what I did get done.

Now, nobody’s saying live slovenly. But the bare truth of the matter is – it’s HARD staying on top of everything. People often ask me how I handle and juggle everything – and there are varying responses akin to a) being single b) not having children or c) not really knowing but somehow I fluke it. All of those have elements of truth but the wider truth is probably this:

I don’t, really.

I mean, to say I handle and juggle everything would be to infer that it all stays up in the air and me on my feet and that just isn’t the truth.

I fall over, often. I’m late with stuff, often. Sometimes I miss appointments (I try not to but it happens). My house is… seriously… piled up with books, books, paperwork, books, and laundry… and there’s a LOT of filing to be done. There are days when I feel strong and there are days when I feel incredibly weak and just want to hide from, well, everything. There are projects that I’ve not yet gotten around to that I intended to start a long time ago.
Sometimes I have a good old cry.
Somedays I accidentally grab plastic (as you’ve seen). This month I knowingly did. 🙁

But I always, always, get back up the next day and give it another go.

And that’s the best you can do for yourself, and a wonderful gift to give others, too. Give yourself permission to be flawed, to be beautifully flawed. To learn from those flaws, and commit to working on them. You’ll see… everyone else will post their messy couches too. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “The Very Late June Tally”

  1. You are right Tina, it is those unprepared moments when you end up with plastic packaging. I found that too and it makes me more determined to be more organized. Don’t feel bad, I think you probably pick up much more beach plastic than plastic you actually throw out.

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