Paying attention to good stuff

3am. A little dog panting and jumping on me. ”I need to go, Mom!”
I stumbled around in the semi darkness, finding my glasses on the floor (how did they get there?), reached for the keys to open up, and dropped them… twice.
All the while, little Miss was running in circles… ”Hurry up, Mom, hurry up!”
Thankfully, she was quick. And my brain was just foggy enough still to not want coffee! πŸ˜‰ I slept another hour and a bit, and woke to my 5am alarm.
Yes, I groaned. πŸ˜›
Sipping on my second cup of coffee, my mind started waking up properly, and as it always does, it produced a blog post.
(This is the part where I admit to the following : I write blog posts in my head a lot! They’re usually pretty good, ha ha! Then I find that peaceful gap where I can sit and type one out, and they’re all gone! Disappeared! Bermuda Triangle stuff! Mysterious, indeed!)

6am found me sitting at the computer, determined to type the ‘brilliant’ post in my head, but first I needed to catch up on a few blogs.

The following is not what I was going to blog about!

If we can start our day with a giggle or a smile, a little bit of happiness, it changes things. Well, it does for me anyway. It’s a small thing, a small difference, but it somehow makes something in me a little bit stronger – as if it equips me for whatever might come my way.
Yes, admittedly, when really bad stuff happens, I may falter. But for the most part is helps.

Wic from Letters to Pogue always seems to speak to me in one way or another – soul food and thoughts to ponder! Inspiration and encouragement more often than not! A worthy blog to visit if you have not already done so πŸ˜‰

This morning I was catching up, and it was his Monday Musing for today that made me giggle. (Not to detract from serious thoughts in there – there was definitely food for thought – I’ll be contemplating after this πŸ˜‰ )

Please do go and read it : I think what I am saying is that the things that often make life rich and bring a smile to our faces are the β€˜little’ things.

In the meantime, here’s the ‘little memory’ that made me giggle :

For some odd reason, when I was younger, the Tooth Fairy never visited my house. My teeth were whisked off to a magical place, with a shiny coin to replace them, by the Tooth Mouse.
There were discussions about this amongst my little peers, with the boys being of the opinion that it was simply because I wasn’t dainty enough for the fairy – conversations that took place in whatever tree we were climbing at the time πŸ˜› (My mother eventually stopped sending me to pre-school in pretty dresses πŸ˜› The strange thing was that I liked being girly, and dresses made me feel like a princess, but I simply couldn’t resist climbing the tree! Ha ha!)

When I had a loose tooth, the money I could get did not attract me in the least – I tried hard to hide that loose tooth! Because if my cousins found out (the three girls), they were delighted! My aunt would double check that it was loose enough, and then one of them would sit on my chest, one would hold my arms, and the third my legs. And they’d wiggle it right out of my mouth for me! (looking back, this was definitely a better alternative to tying string to my tooth and a doorknob and slamming the door, ha ha ha!) They’d send me home, tooth in hand, delighted at the thought that soon I’d have a shiny coin!

One day while I was munching on some Crackerbread, alone in our large kitchen (oh! How I miss having a big kitchen!), I caught a glimpse of the Tooth Mouse!
Unable to contain my excitement, I ran out to the garage to tell my dad! He smiled, but I remember some concern too.
We made our way to the kitchen, to find my mother there, putting the kettle on for some tea. I was delighted to share my news with her, and somewhat confused when she shrieked and ran off to her bedroom! (Dad refused to set mouse traps – it would be too traumatising for me.)

But I suspect the Tooth Mouse had seen and heard it all, because none of us ever saw him again!
I did still get a shiny new coin when my next tooth got retrieved though πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

I hope your week is FULL of little reminders of happy memories from the past! Have a great one, everyone! ❀


Feeling dim?

I saw this on Facebook this morning. I had a whole other blog post in mind, but it stopped me in my tracks. It was one of those : ”oh my gosh, this is a very worthy re-share!” And so not to leave my blogging friends out, here it is :

Nobody’s perfect, all of the time. (I linked the song by Mike and the Mechanics because it is one I really like.

In many of my moments of imperfection, I was cast aside by the very people who were ‘supposed’ to love me. I know EXACTLY how it feels to be in that dark place (sometimes even because it really was my own fault that I was there) and be cast aside, judged unfairly, treated as unlovable.

I wasted many years allowing the anger and bitterness of that influence my words and actions. I excused myself with the ‘why should I’ attitude : why should I be considerate of him when he did xyz; why should I be kind to her when she did xyz? And on and on.
And sadly, I allowed it to form a part of me that became the very thing that had hurt me so much. It didn’t consume me, but there were too many times where I sat myself on a throne of my own making, and cast others aside for what I now realise were actually just honest mistakes and poor choices, because the choices they had to choose from were not so great to begin with.

I now realise.

Intensely painful self reflection, and a soul growth spurt that was remarkable in so many ways finds me in a very different place to ‘way back when’. It has been difficult (because my rebellious side still enjoys a little bit of ‘wickedness’ πŸ˜› ) and my thoughts are not always very well controlled! But true changes only really emerged when I put in the effort to feed the right wolf 90% of the time (old blog post linked for the wolf story… if you want to skip the actual post, the wolf story is at the end πŸ˜‰ ) – nobody’s perfect, hence my inability to achieve 100%! πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

These days I choose to dish out my attention, affection, acceptance and compassion. I am happy to help with direction too, if I have anything to offer. Sometimes I even find myself extending this to the very people who didn’t give it to me. (nobody’s perfect though, please remember, so I have to be honest and say that it isn’t always done without some grumbling and if there was someone close enough to read my mind, they’d be shocked! πŸ˜› )

Sharing my light is important to me.

We all know that being the change we want to see in this world does have a positive impact, because the ripple in our immediate area often times gets carried and becomes the most beautiful wave.

But sometimes I think we need to also be who we needed when we were younger (for me, that means the period of my life from birth to my early thirties, ha ha!).

Here’s to a week of sharing our lights! πŸ˜‰

Thoughts Doing Love

That really is how it sometimes goes! πŸ˜› There are even times where I find myself nodding in agreement when I see this :

I remember a conversation with someone a couple of years ago where they made a comment : ”you sure do think a lot!” It was said as a tease, based on the topic we were discussing, and there was not a single bit of malice in it. But it made me pause for thought later in the day πŸ˜› (I am shaking my head at me too right now, don’t worry, ha ha!)

The question that came to mind as I sat petting my dog was : Am I really a thinker?

Right up until my early thirties, I definitely tended more towards being a doer – often times with not so pleasant consequences. While I knew what my next step was, I usually didn’t think much further than that, and had a tendency to just ‘jump right into’ whatever it was that was going on.
As I’ve said many times, it’s possible that life experience has made me the way I am now : a sudden awakening of age (I’m old before my time πŸ˜› ), a dash of wisdom and an abundance of caution have all resulted in some major changes the last few years – most of which have been positive changes, much to my delight!

But had I really suddenly become a thinker, as opposed to a doer? Had the thoughtful side of me really grown enough to be the dominant part of who I was?

Something else I say often is that I am very glad I am not a cat! The nine lives part is great, I guess… but curiosity apparently kills the cat – and I am a little too curious by nature! Ha ha! πŸ˜‰

Curiosity got the better of me this time again, and off I went to do a little bit of personal research! (Because I am not a cat, and therefore I did not die πŸ˜› )

I was so surprised at all the information out there – www. you did it again! πŸ˜‰

Apparently ‘are you a thinker’ falls into all sorts of different categories, and is based upon what the comparisons are. For example : if the choice is between a thinker or a feeler, then I am a feeler, and not a thinker! (Which shouldn’t surprise anyone, ha ha!) But apparently you get thinking feelers too!

I discovered, to my surprise, that I was indeed much more of a thinker than I thought πŸ˜› and that although I was still a doer, my mind won hands down! I found it interesting that being a thinker has its own classifications too! And my end result of that was this :

My natural thinking style leans most strongly towards being both a connector and a coach! As a connector, I like to build and strengthen relationships, bringing people together around shared interests and for mutual benefit. And as a coach, I like to work with people one-one-one, helping them see their potential, overcome barriers and achieve their dreams.
I am also classified as an ‘Intuitive Thinker’. Inner knowledge is apparently what I draw from to guide me. I process information and facts, but ultimately rely on intuition to make decisions and choices. I’m creative, imaginative and emotional – and I can’t be confined to the limitations of logic. I draw on past experiences to develop foresight.

Upon further exploration I was extremely amused to learn that intuitive thinking is a mystery to the science world, but that scientists believe that it happens in a region of our brain that is close to the pineal gland (lines up with the middle of your forehead between your eyebrows).
Two sources of amusement : I am a scientific mystery – insert a VERY loud laugh here! – and I may have discovered the source for one of these daily headaches of mine πŸ˜›
(I am convinced my offspring cause two of the others I experience πŸ˜› )

All of the above may or may not be correct. As far as I know, I am not part of a scientific experiment and there has been no major testing done on my brain πŸ˜›
It could all be true though – especially since I know within myself that a lot of it really is me! That whole ‘I definitely identify with this’ thing that we so often experience in life! (As well as the : ‘how do they know me so well’ aspect πŸ˜› )

Two reasons for this blog post : The first being that I happened to find my notes on all of the above tucked away in the back of a book I just pulled from my bookshelf for a reread (the book, in case you are interested, being : Motive, by Jonathan Kellerman – how funny that I stuck those notes in a book with that title! – well, funny to me, anyway – ha ha ha!)

The second being a theme I have noticed so far in this New Year. We’re only on the sixth day of January, and I have been asked three times by three individuals who have no connection to each other : So, Meg, what are you going to DO in 2022?
To the one I replied stating a goal/dream that I have for this year, and they said ”great, are you doing what you need to in order to achieve it?” (In case you are wondering, yes…. I am. The parts I can do, and can control – the rest is requiring a lot of patience! Ha ha!)
To another, the flippant response ‘same procedure as every year, James’… (if you have not watched Dinner for One, you might want to – I know I laugh, every time! And it’s only the introduction that is in German – the rest is English πŸ˜‰ ) Their reply? Noooo…. you need to add some excitement to your to DO list!

By the third, I had carefully considered this whole DOING thing, and I replied : I am going to love more. (kindness, compassion, mercy, patience, honesty)
The response was a sweet laugh, and ”Oh Megs, but that’s not doing anything! You know what I mean!”

And I smiled and simply said, ”Believe me, it’s DOING a lot of things. Love needs action. I can’t help everyone all the time, but I am sure as heck going to put more effort into helping those I can, and DOING practical things along the way!”

(Speaking of which, I am supposed to be DOING my children’s laundry right now πŸ˜› )

The little things make big things happen, remember?
So here’s hoping you will all join me and let’s DO something together to be that change we want to see in this world! ❀

I THINK I need another cup of coffee before I DO the washing πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Something different

Some anecdotes from the last few days that will hopefully bring a smile to your face at the beginning of this new year – just a silly personal touch to my blog, I suppose πŸ˜‰ :

(Background real quick first : There is a family, who are my friends, but are like family to me. They moved in next door when I was 17, and our friendship has spanned the years – even when we no longer lived next door to each other. They’ve seen me at my absolute worst, but they still love me (and vice versa). We don’t see each other regularly or talk often – but when we do, you’d think we hadn’t missed a day! The friendship started with G as my ‘older, wiser’ friend – and she still is, and more – mid sixties now, but some days I swear she’s more youthful than me! Ha ha!
K was 5 when they moved in – she was the cute, but annoying, kid next door, ha ha! She’s still cute, but not annoying, and is now in her late twenties with a little family of her own. Her and her husband visit me as a couple occasionally – how he puts up with us women is beyond me! ha ha! – and they have the most adorable little 4 year old in this world! I am still baffled at his ability to have a rather grown up conversation!)

Story number one : The not so fun part of this anecdote is that my daughter had Covid for Christmas. And she had it bad. Fevers, bronchitis, a throat infection so bad that they had to inject her to bring down the swelling. (Christmas Day was worthy of celebration in many ways – the most important being that she was a lot better health wise!)
On the 21st of December, K and her little family came to drop off some groceries for us (good old isolation), and the back window of the car opened to reveal her little boy sitting in his booster seat. His request? ”Please can I see her?” We all started explaining at the same time that my daughter was sick and contact was a no, and were all in fits of laughter when he said, ”Excuse me for interrupting, everyone. I don’t want to hug her, but I just need to see her. I have something important to tell her.”
I went to call her, because how could I not? She came through in her pyjama’s and face mask, and his little face lit up when her eyes crinkled their smile at him. He actually brought tears to my eyes when he said, ”Oh! I am so glad to see you, because you look okay. I know you are sick now, but when you are better we will arrange for you to come to our house and then you and me can go for a nice, cool swim, okay? My daddy can make a braai for us! Okay?”
K’s husband laughed and commented, ”Well, I guess that’s decided then!”
It brought a lot of heartfelt cheer to our household that day! ❀

Story number two : (If you have a lizard phobia, I do not recommend that you click on the link.) In my area, these lizard like creatures are rather common…. they’re called Gecko’s. (I know… you get them all over the world…. but the ones that frequent my house look a lot like this! They’re a little bit creepy, but I have lived with them for years and so we’re sort of friends πŸ˜› The only thing that bothers me about them is having to clean up after them, every jolly day!)
I’ve blogged about them before, because some encounters are truly amusing!
At the moment there are about six that live on my outside verandah, two in my bedroom, and one in the bathroom. (there used to be two in the bathroom years ago, until the one ended up in my bath with me… but that’s a whole other story, ha ha ha!) My windows are always slightly open, so more may come and go during the night, who knows!
My little dog often has to be dissuaded from hunting these poor creatures! Unfortunately, once or twice, she has caught them and I find a ‘still thrashing about tail’ in my bed! UGH! Thankfully, the gecko usually makes a remarkable escape!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the gecko’s were cross! Ha ha ha!
I lay in bed, watching my two on the ceiling, clicking angrily at each other as they both approached the same poor moth. The moth flew away just in time, but the fight was on. I said out loud, (as I so often do because I am a communicator πŸ˜› ) ”Come on guys, no fighting, please. You need to both stay on the ceiling. There’s no space on this bed for you, me and the dogs!”
Apparently they’re hard of hearing!
There was a mad scramble a few minutes later as one landed on my leg, which my little dog was napping against! I successfully grabbed her before she could do any damage, but watched in horror as it ran towards me instead of away! I lacked grace as I tumbled from my bed, holding on to my little dog protectively (for her protection and that of the dude that was on me), only to hear Mr. Gecko land with a thud on the floor. I flipped on the light switch and watched him cross the carpet and climb back up the wall before letting little Miss go! She pursued him with a few frantic barks, and then settled back on to the bed and curled up and went to sleep as if nothing had happened. I double checked that he still had his tail and then told them both to behave as I switched off the light and went back to bed.

Story number three : I am a water baby. Not so much the swimming kind… although my insides swim in it, a lot! I love my coffee… but can only drink so much (a sad state of affairs, I know!) Apparently this does not apply to my water consumption. I always have a bottle of water with me, and on the rare occasion that I go out to eat, I will order a bottle of still water to drink along with whatever else I may choose (but most times, it’s the water alone). This has been passed down to my children. Like their mom, their thirst is only satisfied by water.
My adult son spent the night at a friend’s farm on the 31st. He came home late morning on the 1st January, rather tired. They had had about four hours sleep, before crawling from their beds and going out for breakfast. He was catching me up on everyone’s news (I’ve known these ‘kids’ for about ten years now and have had them in my home often), while filling his water bottle from the fridge, and I watched silently with a huge smile on my face. I waited in anticipation as he took a breath and lifted his water bottle to his lips. Then I laughed out loud as that mouthful landed on my kitchen counter and floor! I choked out, in between fits of laughter, ”You are tired”, and he shook his head in disbelief before joining me in laughter!
He had filled his water bottle from the milk carton! (I only drink milk in coffee, or the odd milkshake. If I have had a ‘glass of milk’ more than three times in my life, it’s a lot! This is apparently something else that I have passed down to my children. Strange how that works!)
What a rude awakening for his sleepy taste buds!
(One of those ‘you had to be there’ situations, but if you’ve ever experienced similar, it may still make you smile πŸ˜‰ )

Why share such trivial things with you, you may be wondering?
Well…. once again… it’s the little things that count, right? πŸ˜‰
Here’s hoping your days are filled with ‘trivial’ bits of your own to make you smile, and warm your heart!

Almost time

It’s that time of year again! The very last day of it! Soon we will usher in a whole new 365 days! What will we do with them?

Do you have big plans for tonight? I do – they involve my dogs, my daughter and my pyjama’s! πŸ˜› I probably won’t make it to midnight, again! No matter! So long as I get to wake up and experience the next new day, I’m happy πŸ˜‰
My happiness may be short lived, because we all know that while each day is a gift and full of opportunity, sometimes things come our way and try to detract from its beauty. But this is life. A mixture of mishaps and motivations! Disappointments, and fulfilling rewards!
As the saying goes, ‘you can’t have a rainbow without the rain‘ πŸ˜‰

I gave up on New Year’s resolutions years ago. I decided that life applies enough pressure, why should I add to it and find more ways to disappoint myself? πŸ˜› Ha ha ha! However, yes, I do still have goals and dreams… you just never know πŸ˜‰
But seriously…..

I find myself chanting, ”Little things make big things happen”.
And I’m a sucker for hope.

Being the way I am doesn’t win me a lot of friends, surprisingly. Comments are usually along the lines of me being ”annoyingly positive and optimistic”’, and ”unrealistically hopeful because you’re not in control of those things now, are you?”

Being annoyingly positive and optimistic is what works for me – it keeps me going, and it’s the way I choose to be, because without it I’d be risking becoming destructively negative and hateful. ”Know thyself” – I know me. I know my history, and I know there is the potential for much bitterness, if I don’t try and keep that door closed. So I simply HAVE to keep trying!

As for the unrealistically hopeful part? I agree – I can only control myself, and for most of us our living circumstances usually put us in a position where we’re at the mercy of others (some examples : if you live in a housing development, you can’t just do as you please because there are rules; each country has laws that need to be followed, so again, we cannot just do as we please; if you’re waiting on important documentation, you cannot control the time it will take/you have no say in the process that needs to be followed).
But as dire as those things seem, even when the outcome seems impossible….
There is always hope!
Once again, this is a way I choose to be, because without it I strongly suspect I may cease to be me.
It’s difficult for me to explain, and you could probably only understand it if you have ever felt the same way. It’s not that I am unrealistic. It’s not that I refuse to acknowledge the challenges, or am oblivious to the limitations. I DO see all of those things! But at the very same time there is a flame within that burns, reminding me, ”Don’t give up. Not yet. You just never know!”
I suspect that that is what fuels my journey. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. :

β€œIf you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.Β And so today I still have a dream.”

Returning to ”little things make big things happen”…..

I am going into the New Year hoping for something in particular for 2022. It is not a big thing. It is monumentally huge! It’s going to require little and big things in order for it to happen. And to be totally honest, I am already feeling a little bit frustrated, ha ha ha! Because it’s a goal that is realistic, but at the same time because of time, and my inability to control everything, is also a little bit unrealistic.
Next mantra on repeat : ”Don’t give up. Not yet. You just never know!”

As and when, if it happens or if it doesn’t, I will share with all of you. I am hopeful that it will be a share of celebration! I acknowledge the possibility that it may not. BUT :
Whatever the ‘weather’, we’ll weather the weather, whether we want to or not πŸ˜‰

So very grateful to each and every one of you for reading and commenting and liking over the years – I treasure having you all along for the ride πŸ˜‰

And I’ll end with this :

β€œWe spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.” ― Ellen Goodman

No matter what lies ahead in the year that is coming, my hope is that you will all find the strength to carry on and face each new day with the thought to at least keep TRYING! And my extra special request for each person who has read this is that in that trying, you will be surprised by some ‘supposed unrealistic happenings’ being made real for you in the very best of ways! ❀

HAPPY NEW YEAR, ONE AND ALL!

It’s Christmas!

I’ve been simply dreadful when it comes to updating my blog! The thoughts are there, my mind goes a mile a minute while I perform all other required tasks. But to actually sit down and type a blog post? Nope!
So my Christmas gift to me is this. Typing this blog post! πŸ˜‰

MERRY CHRISTMAS, DEAR BLOGGING WORLD!

I know it’s a bit odd, and not quite traditional, but one of my favourite ‘Christmas texts’ is actually from Dr Seuss!

Image from : Quotesgram.com

I have encountered so many people who, despite trying, just ‘aren’t feeling Christmas’ this year.
And many of us find ourselves stuck in circumstances that are not conducive to our ‘usual Christmas traditions’, thus making it tough to embody our usual Christmas spirit.

And so… :

Despite ‘what it is’, my hope for each and every one of you is that something great will come your way today, and maybe you can pause and do The Jingle Bell Rock with me πŸ˜‰

❀

Brain Train

blankie

I know there are healthier ways to get my brain going in the morning, but there’s nothing like those first three cups of coffee in the morning for me πŸ˜‰

A few mornings ago, as I was dreamily drinking my first cup, my thoughts began to take shape. I am sure someone somewhere has shared something similar in the past, so I am not taking full credit for what I am about to say – I can’t declare it an ‘original thought by Meg’, because it’s entirely possible that it’s stored somewhere in my self conscious :

Instant coffee and filter (brewed) coffee both serve the same purpose (in a way) because they both have caffeine in them. But they don’t share the same amount, and instant coffee generally tends to contain half the amount of brewed coffee.
So, if there is nothing other than instant to drink, you’ll still wake your brain up and experience some form of energy boost…. but apparently it won’t be AS good.
Instant coffee has already been through a process, and all you have to do is add water.
Filter coffee requires some time while it goes through the process to make it drinkable.

It got me thinking….

There are days where I run on instant – do what I have to do, don’t challenge or feed my mind and spirit – basically just get through the day. An autopilot rush of sorts – safety being the only thing I intentionally accomplish in my comings and goings and runnings around.
But there are days (more often than not, thank goodness) where I run on a ‘brewed brain’. I intentionally seek small ways to feed my mind and spirit throughout the day.

At the end of all these days, no matter which course of action I have taken, I am tired. The difference comes in my level of content and sense of accomplishment.
And, to a large degree, how I feelΒ about myself.
On ‘instant’ days, I seem to be more inclined to get into bed feeling frustrated and irritable and disappointed in myself. I feel like I have let myself down and wasted a day – while still being aware that some days are more difficult than most, and as l close my eyes there is a determination to ‘do better tomorrow’.
On ‘brewed’ days, there are no thoughts at all at bedtime! Ha ha! I simply close my eyes, with a smile on my face, and drift off feeling like I am the most accomplished person in the world (and I am not, I can assure you πŸ˜› )

But this analogy has a twist!

In an effort to be a little less hard of myself (which is proving itself to be rather difficult at times πŸ˜› ) I have realised that on the instant days, I need toΒ first stop and considerΒ why my day was like that to begin with! Doing that has brought me to this conclusion :
Sometimes running on instant goes beyond what I can control. It is based on schedules that need to be kept due to my responsibilities and therefore there simply isn’t initial time to brew. My mind then flitters to the memories of small things throughout the day: small things that I acknowledged thanks about, or small things that I may have done even in auto pilot mode… and it suddenly dawned on me!

I say it a lot : it’s the little things that count! We all know that little things can equate to something huge!
And when I stopped myself from thinking I had wasted the day in my ‘instant’ mind, and truly unpacked what that day had contained by recalling the little things, the ‘brewed’ smile filled my soul!

There was also the acknowledgement and appreciation for this small fact : the more we do things intentionally, the more we ‘train our brain’ to be able to do them, even when we are not aware that we are!Β 

Happiness is! πŸ˜‰Β 

And now I need to go and have that third cup of coffee πŸ˜‰ Thank you for reading ❀

You’re never too old…

… TO LEARN NEW THINGS! πŸ˜‰

(unless, of course, you have certain limitations)

Something that I think most of you will find funny because you probably know what you’re doing πŸ˜› ….
I learned last week how to check the brake fluid level in my car, and when to top it up!
The reason behind me having to learn wasn’t pleasant though – my wheel cylinder was busy packing up and leaking brake fluid… and eventually it completely gave up the ghost and I was without a vehicle for a few days!
BUT! Despite the unpleasantness, I LEARNED SOMETHING VALUABLE! And now if any of my friends report handbrake lights that won’t go off, or a softening brake pedal, I can confidently check their cars brake fluid levels, top up if necessary and then send them off to their mechanic!
(and since everyone seems to see me as such a lady this is quite an accomplishment for me, and makes me giggle to think about ‘being under the hood’ πŸ˜› )

I have learned this week that it IS possible to watch the same movie at least 50 times, and still see new things the next time you watch it. I learned that perhaps also, as our hearts change and we mature, those same movies can take on a deeper meaning than before. How very strange!

And then, there was the reminder…

The loss of a good friend was a painfully sad happening in the last couple of weeks. It brought back the heart breaking and gut wrenching memories of losing my best friend a few years ago to cancer. This good friend’s death was sudden though – she had been fine (despite battling cancer and chemo for many years), then suddenly grew incredibly tired that night and her husband called the ambulance. Six hours later, she was gone – a blood clot in her lung.
A horrible loss, but one that carried with it so many wonderful reminders… (based on her) :
*Life is short, and anything can happen at any time.
*Be somebody that makes everybody feel like they are somebody!
*Tell those who have meaning in your life that THEY DO! As often as possible, even at the times when you think they will be annoyed with it, or bored with hearing it!
*You look beautiful when you smile!
*Have long conversations and make happy memories so that others have those parts of you to smile about when you’re not around

And although this seems like a ‘nothing’ post…

I do suspect that each of you reading has found something in here that has made you smile, or given you a reminder you might need.

I am hoping to post more often in the coming weeks, but for now please try and remember (and yes, I adjusted the following from a quote because this way it is a little more relevant to what I have been experiencing) :

GOOD THINGS BRING US HAPPINESS…
BAD THINGS BRING US EXPERIENCE AND LESSONS…
THE BEST THINGS BRING US BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES!

Here’s hoping you all experience good, and the best, this week! (And if you have to have the bad, then my hope for you is that you will have someone to love you through it!) ❀

Unbecoming

Definition : not fitting or appropriate; unseemly

The weeks have flown by, and I have failed miserably at the ‘art of blogging’. I am winning though… more about that to follow πŸ˜‰

The title word, and it’s meaning, is a word I can’t say I am too fond of. Growing up, I heard it far too many times! The sentence usually went something like this :

”That is unbecoming behaviour for a young lady!”

The year I turned five, I had a lovely birthday party at home with all my friends from pre-school. In those days I was not fond of wearing dresses, mostly because they were forced on me. (Nowadays I seldom wear them, but when I do wear a dress or a long skirt it is by choice, and I will admit that at those times dressing that way brings me pleasure.)
My mother had purchased a dress for me for the party, to add to all those hanging in my cupboard, much to my dismay! It was white (good grief, I don’t even wear white now because I still can’t keep it clean πŸ˜› ) with red polka dots. She made me wear my hair in pigtails, with bright red ribbons. The white shoes she purchased remained safe, as I kicked them off just a few minutes into the celebration! πŸ˜‰
There was a stern reminder shortly before my guests arrived that I was a young lady, and should behave accordingly.
And I was fine for the first little bit. Then all us children went outside to my front garden to play.

The girls flitted about, shyly giggling and picking flowers. The boys began a game of ‘touches’, and were soon running off some of their energy. Michael and James had other plans. (YES! I still remember their names – just not their surnames, and I can even tell you what they looked like, but I have no idea what happened to them after we left pre-school, or where in the world they are now!)
These boys were trouble for a ‘lady’, but they were who I chose to spend most of my time during school hours with, ha ha!
Their plan was to climb the Plumeria tree (also known as a Frangipani) in our garden… and I was all for it!
With a quick glance towards the house to make sure that my mother was still inside, I took off running behind them and soon I was climbing…. IN MY DRESS!
The trouble that would come my way if my mother caught me was nothing compared to the trouble I actually did get into in the end!
If only we’d stayed away from that one branch!
It was longer than the others, and we decided that we could all sit on it, in a row, and observe the others playing games and picking flowers. James went first. And all was well. I slowly crept towards him, and giggled when he said, ”We should get on the roof. Imagine the view then!” Safely settled, we motioned to Michael, and he hesitantly scooted along on his bottom. I saw my aunt come out of our house, and disappear quickly back inside. And I whispered to the boys, ”Uh oh, we better go! My mother’s coming!”
I believe the branch was busy dying… and our sudden panicked haste probably didn’t help matters, but the next thing there was a loud noise and we all fell to the ground, branch included!

None of us had any broken bones – but all three of us were winded. And my dress got torn! We caught our breath, and all began to laugh. Until my mother arrived to stand before us, hands on her hips, muttering about my behaviour and my dress! I was taken back into the house, to change and wash my face because it was dirty, and of course receive the stern lecture I knew would come if I got caught. I spent the rest of my party seated on the verandah with the other girls who were then playing with my dolls.
At bedtime that evening it was like someone had pressed play on a tape recorder as the words came again, ”That is not how a lady behaves. I am so disappointed!”

And I remember thinking as that little girl : ”But what if I don’t want to be a lady?”

The irony is that I tend towards being one anyway, ha ha! My friends often tease (and it really is a loving tease, and we laugh together about it) that I am sometimes so ‘prim and proper’, so ‘elegant and correct’, (although they always assure me that it is never in a stuck-up way!) and when I use big words my one young friend giggles and comments, ”Yes, Miss Cultured”. I remember going to a biker’s rally once and having one of the guys tease me that ‘a girl like me is too sophisticated and classy for a joint like this’ – that made me laugh so loud, I think he changed his mind πŸ˜›

There are times when I truly enjoy being a lady these days – but if I’m not wearing a dress and it’s a relatively easy climb, you might even find me up a tree πŸ˜‰

So that explains – in a rather long winded manner, sorry! – why the word unbecoming is not one I am fond of. ALL that said though, there is this :

And I happen to like the word as it is being used in the image above. There are things from childhood, from my teen years, and possibly even things drilled into me as a young adult, that have become, for me, ”limiting beliefs”. These things have contributed to the issues I have with self esteem – and have brought with them guilt and shame in so many ways!
And so, as the word stands in the image above, I have begun down the uneven and unknown path in my journey where I am trying to let go of a lot of those things, and acknowledge that there may actually be a chance that ”they” were wrong.
It’s not easy, and at times it’s quite exhausting. There are things that I don’t want to have arguments in my head about πŸ˜›
BUT…..

Back to the beginning of this blog post? I am winning, everyone! πŸ˜‰

I am not getting everything I want. I am not getting to avoid the hard things. I am not getting an immediate relief from guilt and shame. I am not getting the instant ability of undoing the limits.

BUT I AM GETTING SO MUCH MORE along the way, as I occasionally stub my toe on a rock I didn’t see. πŸ˜›
And this time, I am truly appreciating each of those lessons!

Thank you for sticking around to read πŸ˜‰ Here’s to unbecoming – in a ladylike manner πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰
I hope you are all well ❀

Win some, lose some

Yesterday, I had a one hour wait in my car with my teenage daughter, between her school ending and allotted time slot for dancing. She had some school work to finish, and I was looking forward to spending some time reading my book. It was only about fifteen minutes after we had parked that I was able to pick it up, because of course there is the ”catch up on her day” while she eats first.

Before I opened it, I first scanned the street, double checking our safety (because that is how life is lived here), and a man a little further down the road caught my eye.
And I struggled to concentrate after that, reading only a few lines before needing to look up and watch him for a bit.
Not because he was menacing. And not because he was attractive either πŸ˜›

He had his phone in his hand, and was clearly following some form of workout on it. He would jog a short distance, then jog back to his spot, then do three sets of eight of some form of cardio exercise. Then he’d take a deep breath in and out, and repeat the whole cycle – each repetition of the cardio changing as he progressed.

What struck me was this :

He was a slightly overweight man, who appeared to me to be somewhere in his fifties.
And he was not very good at what he was doing.
But he was still doing it… and on a public street too!

(I have to add that I have a LOT of admiration for ‘overweight, untoned’ people who exercise in public. I always look at them and think, ”good for you! I should be doing that! Keep your head held high – respect!”)

My daughter saw me watching, and told me not to stare. I told her, ”I can’t help it. I should be doing that!” She replied, ”then go do it…. but not here, please! All the dancers and parents will see you, and that’s just embarrassing!” And I laughed out loud!
I tried very hard to prevent him from seeing me watching, but about halfway through his workout, I found myself staring at him as he jogged back up the road to his spot without really thinking anything, and we locked eyes. He gave me a small smile, and lifted his hand to say hi, before turning his attention back to his phone to do his cardio.

Knowing I was watching changed nothing – he didn’t suddenly improve on the exercise, or get an impressive second wind and jog a bit faster…. he continued on exactly the same as before. He knew I was watching, but he didn’t stop! Sometimes, even though we’re in public, we only really get uncomfortable when we catch someone watching us. If the roles had been reversed, I would have stopped.
And the thought that came to mind was, This guy has it right! What other people think of him is none of his business! He is doing this for himself, and is focused on the task at hand, probably knowing that the more he does it, the better he’ll get at it.

A couple of minutes before my daughter went into the studio, I watched him finish off a small stretching routine, chug down some water, and walk back into his house. I was surprised to find that, for a moment, I felt some joy and satisfaction on his behalf! I know… I’m a weirdo πŸ˜›

Unfortunately I was brought up with far too many limiting beliefs, and a lot of negativity about me personally, and I still find myself trying to unpack a lot even now.
And it’s hard. There are daily battles (some come hourly), and I win some, and I lose some. And I think it happens that way to most of us.
But I still believe that the most important thing is not in the losing, or the winning… but the trying. Yes, we need to celebrate the wins. But sometimes I think we lost sight of the fact that we should also be celebrating the ‘TRY’S’.

One of my try’s is to ‘stop listening to the voice in your head that has told you for years that you can’t because what will people think!’

Now… please don’t get me wrong…. I am not saying that we should just do or say what we please because we don’t care what anyone thinks – because that sometimes becomes an excuse for us to behave badly. You can’t, for example, intentionally insult someone and have the attitude, ”Yes, I went there and I don’t care what you think, because this is me.”
Our ‘not caring what other people think’ should never be used as an excuse for us to be rude, disrespectful or hurtful. It should not make us insensitive or cause harm to others, whether they deserve it or not.

But I DO think that sometimes we need to just dance like no one is watching… and if we catch someone watching? Well, we should just carry on dancing.

Yes, I know it’s hard. But we can try πŸ˜‰

Here’s to trying, winning, and sometimes even losing. Because if we’re open to it, there’s usually a lesson in the losing πŸ˜‰ Have a great day, everyone!