People, things, social media!

Life is made up of moments. Some are good, some are bad. And some are worse. The ‘things’ in life are much the same. As are we, as people.

As individuals, we also have ‘our moments’. Sometimes I share something with someone, and then find myself giggling and adding, ”So there it is. The good, the bad and the ugly!”
Naturally, my preference is to aim to have a lot more good to share than anything else! πŸ˜‰

Social media definitely has its moments. I am only really active on Facebook. And even then, my ‘activity’ apparently leaves much to be desired! Ha! I am not very good at ‘stopping to capture things on camera’, so I’d quite possibly be an Instagram failure πŸ˜› It would appear that I don’t do very well with these things either : #

I am relatively comfortable with Facebook though. It was my very first social media account, and I found ‘finding people I knew’ rather exciting and interesting. You’re about to shake your head in horror : but I even found it interesting to find the people I didn’t want to find! (They remained ‘found’ though – not added as a friend or contacted πŸ˜› )

In the last few years, I have had to be very careful when it comes to ‘scrolling my newsfeed’ though. I have almost mastered not even stopping to read 80% of the things that my ‘Facebook friends’ post – I say almost, because sometimes I am so busy ‘scrolling to skip it’, that I miss things I would have loved to have seen! πŸ˜›

My avoidance of those posts is not because I am afraid of confrontation, or because I don’t think other people should be able to voice their opinions. It’s mostly because it is important to me to protect my inner peace. As a highly sensitive empath, I can become quite overwhelmed quite quickly.

This morning I found Facebook to be ugly, for me.

This world has changed so much, and this morning I found myself shaking my head sadly and muttering, ”Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse”, as I saw my timeline flooded with the Russia/Ukraine situation. I think I managed to read three posts, with comments, before I simply had to shut it down!

I found my heart hurting about the situation itself, and about the way people were speaking to each other – zero respect – just because opinions varied, about the amount of hate that was jumping out at me from my phone screen.

I needed more coffee!

(I don’t drink coffee to wake up! I wake up to drink coffee πŸ˜‰ )

A few thoughtful sips had me reaching for my phone again. No, I am not a sucker for punishment! πŸ˜›
My theory was this : Life, as I know it, is made up of moments. There is bad, but there is also good. So somewhere in the bad in my newsfeed, there simply HAS to be a hidden gem of good, and I mustn’t miss it!

My brain kicked in as well πŸ˜› (Okay, yes, I wake up to drink coffee… to wake me up πŸ˜› )

My mind focused on names, as opposed to status updates. And I only stopped scrolling when I came across the name of someone who I knew ‘handled their Facebook’ very similar to the way I ‘handle’ mine – sharing positives, funny things, love and kindness as opposed to news headlines and personal opinions that lead to ‘comment fighting’.

I was not disappointed, because here this was :

I DO need to point out the following though :

YOUR fully, bravely and beautifully are YOURS! The same way mine is mine.
Please don’t ever feel like you’re doing it wrong, or that you’ve failed, or that you’re a fool just because yours is different.

I overheard the guy behind me on his phone yesterday afternoon. I don’t know who he was talking to but I heard him say, ”I live my life to the fullest – that’s why I go fishing and surfing often. It would be a waste of my life if I didn’t. You’re wasting your life, bro!”

I DID wonder why he was making this assumption about ‘the bro’ on the other end of the line, and chuckled to myself : ”Well, Meg, you’re wasting your life! You don’t surf and you haven’t been fishing in about seven years!” πŸ˜›

I could chuckle because I know that fishing and surfing are not my ‘fully’.

So whether it is, or isn’t enough, for others : please go out today and do things fully, bravely and beautifully in the way that reflects YOU!

Thank you for reading ❀
Meg (who is not going surfing, or fishing! πŸ˜› )

Memorable Friends

I don’t remember when Facebook introduced the ”Memories” / ”on this day” page. Google says it was in 2015.
What I DO remember is that there were a lot of memes thereafter, basically complaining about it and mostly because people ‘didn’t want to be reminded’.

I’d love to be able to tell you that my memories of my life as a whole are all amazing and wonderful. But I can’t. I have some really bad memories. (And as I am getting older, I seem to just have a bad memory in general πŸ˜› – Yes, I know… ”ugh, Meg, just ugh!” πŸ˜› )

What I have discovered with my Facebook Memories though is this : because I did not use the public platform to vent anger or hurt (other than the odd post from the first three years I was on there), or share things my older self would chastise my younger self for πŸ˜› , MY Facebook memories actually bring me a lot of joy! Not always, because there ARE memories of a failed marriage, or losing a friend to an illness, along the way etc.. BUT I’d say that 90% of the time, scrolling back through my memories ‘on that day’ in years gone by give me wonderful food for thought, or have me laughing out loud as I remember ‘way back when’.

There is usually a connection somewhere in that memory to something unpleasant. And I find myself sometimes having to be mindful of sticking only to the good parts πŸ˜‰

This morning I had a memory from 14 years ago that had me thinking, ”What were you thinking?” πŸ˜›

It was a status update and I had said this : ”I am ready to go. Not sure how ready I will be when I get home though.”

Confusion reigned in my mind – what on earth was I talking about!?!? I was relieved to see that there were comments! Perhaps that would shed some light? And it definitely did! Because I found myself (14 years younger than I am now πŸ˜› ) replying to someone else’s comment and saying this :
”I just got home. Did a 5km walk/jog to the beach and back. Will be repeating tomorrow. And tomorrow I will have a swim too. It’s supposed to be a daily repeat after work each evening… if I CAN still walk in a few days time πŸ˜› So grateful to have (not their real names) Tina and Paul in my life!”

My heart leapt for joy at the memories that came flooding back! And I suddenly yearned for that couple who were such an active (pun intended πŸ˜› ) part of my life! ❀
(And the days that were a bit safer around here too… sigh.)

Tina was British. I don’t remember if Paul was or not. Tina was simply amazing! Both were about 15 years older than me, and became my closest friends very quickly. Tina had a no nonsense way about her… and she was quite hilarious!
(She’d sometimes read to my daughter if I was still busy changing from work clothes into exercise clothes, to keep my daughter occupied. Tina’s daughter would babysit for me so that we could go exercise! And Tina’s stories were always ‘added to’ versions of old favourites. Example? ”And the Prince found her shoe on the steps.” Tina would then say, as if it was actually written there in the book, ”which was the silliest thing ever because what woman in her right mind leaves a shoe behind?” And she would just continue reading – there was a flow to it all – and every now and then my daughter would accuse me of not reading the story properly because ‘Aunty Tina’ read ‘xyz’ and I had left it out. Ha ha ha!)

Every time I was sad, or upset, or wanted to be miserable, I’d hear, ‘hosh posh, come along then!’ from Tina… and along I’d go, to whatever she was dragging me to πŸ˜›
She also couldn’t be bothered with gossiping, or judging others. Everyone was beautiful to her. She never got offended. If I remember right, she used the word ‘ridiculous’ a lot. Ha ha!

Paul was the exercise driven one. And he was always around. He was honest, and sometimes I’d say to him, ”You really have no filter, do you?” because he’d have no problem telling me, ”yes, that makes you look fatter” when asked, ha ha ha!

Together, they were just magic! We only had about six months together – then life took us in different directions, and they moved away. I guess life got busy for us all… as so often happens… and we lost touch! I vaguely recall an invitation at the beginning of 2020 that if I was ever in their area, I was to come for a visit. It was a quick post on my Facebook wall, and I don’t even remember if I ever responded!

So… I saw the memory this morning, yearned for them, and then began to go about my day. But they were all I could think about, and an hour later the yearning had intensified! I needed to reach out!
We’re Facebook friends, but I discovered that Tina’s profile seems dormant. I popped off a quick message, but it wasn’t delivered. I don’t give up that easily though πŸ˜›

I found their daughter’s profile, and sent her a message too! She explained that Tina is not actually on Facebook anymore. So I gave her my email and my cellphone number, and asked her to please ask her Mum to get in touch!
From what I can glean, they’re all in the UK now… which is very far away!

But not far enough that if Tina and I get on a phone call, she will somehow lovingly hit me upside the head despite the distance πŸ˜› and I get the feeling we’ll be good friends again! (And this time I will make sure that we don’t lose touch again!)

With that in mind, and because I am sometimes patiently impatient πŸ˜› I wondered if Paul wasn’t maybe still on Facebook. So I took a chance, and popped off a message to him. An hour later, I had an inbox! As a result, I am now communicating with Paul, who has passed on Tina’s number but says she’s quite busy at work and will be in touch later today! I wish later would come sooner! Ha ha ha!

I’m sharing this for two reasons.

One (another pun) some memories can be really great to remember!
and two :

I am appreciating more and more each day how much we lose along the way because, well, life! It seems that as much as we try to slow down, the pace of it doesn’t seem to want to let us! It is so easy, even when we have free time, to be caught up in the busyness of everything around us!
A true, good friend is rare. We should cherish the moments we can! ”Life” should never be so busy that we forget to set aside time for those who are in it with us!

That said, I am truly grateful for my fellow bloggers, who not only give me great reading material πŸ˜‰ but likes and comments on my mishaps and motivations too! πŸ˜‰

Yours, counting down the hours, πŸ˜›

Meg x

Rubber Band Potential

I am currently busy putting together a β€˜β€™Survival Kit for Life’’ for a friend. It’s not going to be anything fancy, and I have focused more on the odds and ends I have about my house for its contents.
It is a β€˜helpful gratitude’ gift for her. Helpful, because the little reminders will make her smile when she’s facing a tough time. Gratitude because she has truly gone out of her way to be of great encouragement these last few weeks.

And I know that that is what friends do, and the way it should be. But part of who I am is to pause and mutter, β€˜β€™may I never take it for granted’’, and so this small gift – while it will cost me very little in monetary value – is an expression of the gratitude I feel when she sends me encouraging picture messages, or pauses for a quick chat!

One of the suggestions I found was to include a rubber band in the package, with the wording, β€˜β€™Stretch yourself beyond your limits.’’

And I shook my head and said, β€˜β€™No.’’

Reading that took me back to one of the motivational talks my children and I watched a few years back. It was a brilliant talk – a man addressing a bunch of students, and so very applicable to my two who were both still in school and studying. But there was one thing that he said that I just could not agree with. And I told them both, when the clip was done, β€˜β€™do not do that!’’ It surprised me when both of them told ME why it was a bad idea, instead of me telling them. Although they both ended with, β€˜β€™you’ve told us this before. See? We do sometimes listen!’’ πŸ˜›

It was that concept of β€˜work hard, sleep less’. Β 

For me, it comes back to β€˜β€™KNOW THYSELF’’. (And by extension, know thy kids πŸ˜› )

If you’re the kind of person who can sleep for a few hours and still be fully functional, then yes! That’s great! Do it! Work hard instead of sleeping.

But I know myself! I need 7-8 hours sleep a night. Strange, but true! Occasionally, I can manage a night where I get only 5 or so hours. Sometimes even two of those nights in a row. But then! Oh my! A third night added to that, and the next day even my coffee needs coffee – my brain is lethargic, and I can forget about remembering, or focusing!
I often wish it was different. I know I am not young anymore πŸ˜› but sometimes I feel like I β€˜sleep too much and let life pass me by!’ This may seem silly, but I still have a friend or two who will message me at 8:30pm in the evening and ask me what I am doing, and do I want to meet up?
They already know my answer… I’m either on my way to have a quick shower and get into bed, or I’m already in bed πŸ˜› And they tease, ”Okay, old woman, sweet dreams!”
I get up at 5am, every morning. Early riser means early bedtime, ha ha!

There are plenty of things I want to achieve. And I probably could.
But β€˜working harder and sacrificing my sleep’ isn’t going to help me. Not one bit!

And… bless my kids and their precious selves… it won’t help them either! Entirely my fault, I suspect. I’ve wired them like me πŸ˜› Except they seem to get by quite well on 6-7 hours. But oh my goodness gracious, I can definitely tell when they’ve struggled to sleep the night before!

Which takes me back to the rubber band….

There was someone who once told me, β€˜β€™You think you know your limits, but you can actually stretch yourself beyond them.’’
And so I tried. I pushed myself harder and ended up stretching so much that I nearly broke – that rubber/elastic just got too thin! (and at that point, so did I! A delightful side effect, but not ideal, since my brain pretty much stopped working!)

I had misunderstood the concept completely! Instead of taking it to mean that there is actually great potential within me, and I need to be willing to explore that (stretch my mind) because I AM actually capable of more than I think I am, I almost made myself ill by β€˜stretching myself thin’!

And so, in order to help others avoid the mistake I made, my rubber band note will say this :

β€˜β€™A rubber band to remind you that life holds so many great possibilities, and if you are willing to stretch your mind a bit, you may discover great potential in yourself that you didn’t know existed!’’

Maybe even that isn’t the right way to put it? But I like it πŸ˜‰  

Hot Egg

In 2017, around about this very same time of year, in Queensland, Australia, a policeman fried an egg on his car hood! I am not joking! From what I understand, the temperature that day was around 46Β­Β°C (about 114.8Β°F)!

My country shares the same seasons with Australia, and so currently I am in the hottest Summer month! The town I live in is on the coast, and while I don’t experience the same very high temperatures as my Aussie family, I still think the humidity I experience is a lot worse than what they do!

Plus, I don’t have aircon.

Most houses in my town don’t. Businesses, hotels, offices, most retail stores – yes. But housing is a no. The few who do have are more those who are considered ‘wealthy’. Suffice to say, I don’t qualify! πŸ˜› but I am far from being alone in this!

When February rolls around, even those who hate their jobs can’t wait to go to work! Ha ha! I’ve even known some who have put in unpaid overtime to snatch an extra couple of hours in the company aircon! Crazy, right? But we all get pretty much desperate to escape the humidity!

Typically, it goes like this : your sleep is disturbed around 2am because you need to scratch a few new itches… the mosquito’s have been busy! There isn’t a breath of wind and even though the thermometer clearly says that’s it’s only 27Β°C (80.6Β°F), it feels like you can’t breathe because of the heat. And then you confirm it! The humidity is 96%. No wonder you’re gasping for air!
(AND your area is experiencing loadshedding (where they take your power for three and a half hours at a time), and your electricity will only be returning at 3:30am, and so the small fan next to your bed isn’t even circulating the hot air because it needs power to work!)

OR…

It’s 1pm. Lunchtime. Maybe the shade of the tree will help? You step outside into the garden and your breath is actually taken away – nope, better off inside the house, even without aircon!
Because outside there is still no wind, the sun is beating down at about 35Β°C (95Β°F) and the humidity is 88% – hey, at least it’s dropped! πŸ˜‰

OR…

Oh man! This is great! The wind has picked up and it looks like a storm might be rolling in! That lightning in the distance looks promising! (I love storms, and we have some serious electrical ones here… that sometimes take away our electricity and it takes 7 hours to fix and get it back on! Which is annoying, to say the least!!! But I still love storms πŸ˜‰ )
And then it happens! The first raindrops begin to fall. Your heart flutters with excitement…. but you’re about to get a lesson in disappointment πŸ˜›
Oh…. it rains! Hard! And you actually go out and stand in it because it cools you down! (Yes, we do that!)
But it doesn’t last long. And as the storm passes, the wind disappears.
And all you’re left with is a rapidly climbing humidity percentage!

Perhaps now you will understand why I say I don’t like Summer. I was made for Winter, and the cold! Ha ha ha!

This girl is not designed for the heat!!!! πŸ˜›

It’s also quite a stressful time because of all the creatures that come with it! Moths the size of my hand, other creepy crawlies that I have yet to identify (I probably don’t want to know πŸ˜› ), bees and wasps and hornets that need to be chased as soon as possible because my dogs are forever trying to catch them, and my two big frogs who seem to have taken residence here (although I still can’t find where they hibernate) and produce lots of little babies, who are really small and very cute – and I get to watch them grow up which brings me some happiness – but I also have to be on constant alert for snakes.
I am on call for the kids – my adult son and teenage daughter both squeal, and not with delight, and off I go to ‘catch and remove’ whatever creature they have discovered! (I still think I have a mini heart attack every time I have to catch one of those large moths, ha ha!)

BUT!!!!

I get the opportunity to practice PLENTY of gratitude during all of this, especially when we are given the most wonderful opportunities of experiencing a little bit of coolness. Everyone notices the instant happiness that pretty much floods my being! Ha ha ha!

And the absolute best part of it all?

I truly love butterflies. I once visited a butterfly sanctuary with the purpose of a picnic lunch in the botanical gardens after. I wanted a few more minutes with the butterflies, and before I knew it, everyone had finished their two hour relaxing lunch and it was time to go… and I was still standing with my butterflies! Yes, I was very hungry by dinner time! πŸ˜›

This horrible heat and humidity that is brought by the month of February also brings plenty of butterfly sightings! I sometimes see four or five, all in one day! And a couple of days ago, the most exquisite black and bright blue one followed me in to my house when I had finished hanging the washing on the line. It sat on the wall above my bed, and actually looked more like a sticker than a living creature! I reached for my phone to take a picture, but it was clearly camera shy and fluttered away, back out of my bedroom door (that leads on to my patio). And as strange as it sounds, that just made my day! ❀

Yesterday was just plain strange! I popped in at ‘the shop up the road’, which is a small supermarket, and while I was standing looking at the fruit, I heard a buzzing sound. I looked to my left and there was a bee hovering next to me. I put some banana’s in my basket, and hurried off to the first aisle, only to discover that the bee had decided to go with me! And would you believe it, he continued to follow me, and hover next to me, throughout that whole darn store! Ha ha ha ha!
There was an old lady in the checkout queue ahead of me, and my bee friend was still next to me. She turned to look, and I laughed and explained ‘he’s been following me since I arrived, silly bee’! She laughed and said, ”it’s your brightly coloured aura and the positive energy you exude, he thinks you’re a flower!”
I just laughed even more and replied, ”or probably because today I actually put on perfume!” πŸ˜›

What is my point? (Other than complaining about the heat and humidity? πŸ˜› )

Well? It’s a miserable time for me πŸ˜› The weather we are having makes me sticky and uncomfortable, and sucks the energy out of me. It will slowly begin to move on though, and I imagine that by the end of April, I will be feeling a whole lot better about the weather πŸ˜‰
(And no, I won’t be complaining about the cold!!!)
But I will miss my butterflies!
(And so long as the bees stay away from my dogs, and don’t sting me, I might miss having one as my companion too πŸ˜› )

It’s a very effective reminder for me that even in uncomfortable circumstances, there is always something good to be appreciated, even if it’s as small as a butterfly!

And I also remembered a dialogue… I don’t remember where from, but it may have been something I watched last year :

”Will the storms ever stop?”
”Perhaps not. But neither will the rainbows!”

Thank you for reading πŸ˜‰

Go to the Trees!

I’ve mentioned before that one of my all time favourite movies is ”You’ve Got Mail”.

Whenever ‘bad’ things happen, I can hear Tom Hanks doing his ”Godfather” impression in the movie, telling Meg Ryan to ”go to the mattresses”. ”GO TO WAR! Use ruthless tactics, if you must! But fight fight fight!”

When I get off my mattress in the morning though, I go to the trees! πŸ˜‰ (and I am ruthless about focusing on positive self talk πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰ )

Somebody once told me that their peaceful place is a beach – the rolling waves and the cry of seagulls, the sand between their toes… it instantly calms them.
I smiled, because that isn’t my sedative πŸ˜‰ and told them, ”I’m a forest and waterfall, mountains kinda girl.”

Neither option is safe for me to run to for some solitude in my area. BUT there ARE trees!!!! And I always feel a sense of silent wonderment when I gaze upon them!

I am not a tree hugger in the sense of ‘campaigning for the environment’… but I have been known to hug a tree once or twice, ha ha ha!

And when things go wrong, as they so often do; and when I am feeling sad or angry or overwhelmed…
I go to the trees! Sometimes this means finding a place to pull over in my car where there is a tree, so that I can just look at it!
And most times I am amused when my brain reminds me : you’re feeling down, and now you’re looking up πŸ˜‰

I have no idea where this fascination or appreciation comes from – I do think it’s a culmination of many things, and people. But I do remember that as a child we had a large garden with big trees – some I would climb, and some I would hide behind. I’d use the large trunk to support my back, and read ”The Enchanted Wood” series. Hmmm, perhaps I have Enid Blyton to thank πŸ˜‰

And then there was the garden next door!
It was huge, and the side section was made up of a maze of pathways in amongst the lilies, daisies and clivias, and what to this little girl seemed like giant Weeping Willows!
The couple who lived there were grandparents – not mine – but they might as well have been, ha ha! I would often go there for tea – freshly baked scones with jam and cream, or whatever batch of homemade biscuits/cookies had just been baked! And then I would go and help Uncle Ian in the garden, while Aunty June rang my mother to let her know I was with them (because sometimes I just went there without seeking permission to! Ha ha!) Tea was always after the garden!
Uncle Ian knew how much I loved my Enchanted Wood books, and would let me drone on about the interesting characters, never once getting impatient with me!
And one day when I arrived unannounced, he told me he had known I was coming and he had a surprise for me. Looking back now as an adult, I am still filled with such fondness for that dear old man!

As we approached the Weeping Willows, he put his finger to his lips and whispered, ”You need to be very quiet. Maybe you will spot a fairy!” My eyes were suddenly the largest they had ever been, and they glistened with excitement as my lips made an excited oval! He smiled, and continued whispering, ”I think the fairies have come to live here because of you. Be careful where you step, because they have made little beds in places on the side of the path. Off you go now! I’ll wait here. They might run away if they see me!”
And he waited and watched as I tiptoed along the path, being extra careful where I put my feet, my eyes searching the area for fairy beds, and fairies!
The fairies were afraid of me, and stayed hidden… but oh! I found some of their little beds!!! Tufts of canopy foliage all bunched together – and some even slept with a small daisy as a pillow! (I grew up and realised he had made those little beds, especially for me! I think my heart did cartwheels the day I realised that!)

Inwardly, I squealed with delight upon every discovery – but I remembered what Uncle Ian had said about scaring the fairies, and so I would look back at him with a huge smile, my eyes dancing, and a finger to my lips, nodding that I understood. And he would be standing there, in the same spot under the shade of a tree, smiling back at me.
We had eight magical months of fairy seeking (despite my mother being extremely unhappy about it because he was filling my head with nonsense!) – and my imagination being what it was, I even caught a glimpse of a few fairies in that time πŸ˜‰ And then Uncle Ian got really sick, and a few days later he passed away.
I snuck back into the garden one day, without first seeking out Aunty June because I knew she was sad. I couldn’t find a single fairy bed, and I remember curling up on the path, staring up at the Weeping Willows, and weeping!
I wasn’t there for very long when Aunty June found me. (My mother had rung to say I was missing and Aunty June knew where I would be.)
Over tea and scones she explained to me that the fairies had gone with Uncle Ian, to look after him. And I actually remember that that made my heart happy!
I’m guessing Uncle Ian played a big part in my love for trees too!

Why all the tree ‘bark’ (talk)? πŸ˜›

I saw something on Facebook, and it actually made me cry! Thinking back on the last 40 plus years of my life, I identified with every single word of it! The ending was an epiphany of sorts!

Trees help me breathe! Not just because they produce oxygen! They truly stop me in my tracks… they force me to pause in their magical beauty… they remind me to BREATHE!

I don’t know what works for you…. I don’t know what it is that reminds you, in pain and sorrow and anger and confusion; in moments where you just want to give up…. TO BREATHE….

But my hope for every single one of you reading this is that in the coming days whatever that thing is, it will find its way to you somehow, in immense amounts, so that whatever you are facing, you will be able to remember to ‘just breathe’! ❀

Oh my goodness gracious!

Seriously?!?!?! I had a look at when last I blogged and just shook my head sadly and thought, ”Oh my goodness gracious!” I knew I had been neglecting this side of my soul’s creativity, but didn’t realise how much!

Life happens, and my time gets eaten up by things I have to do, as opposed to things I would rather do. I know I don’t have to apologise for being MIA (if I’ve been missed πŸ˜› ) but it still makes me feel ‘bad’.

The title of this post is my ‘go to statement’, ha ha! I say it a lot, and it’s applied to most things. Sometimes I shorten it to ‘Goodness Gracious’, sometimes I add a ‘Me’ at the end. But it’s all about my tone! I’ll say it sadly if something terrible has happened to someone I know, I’ll say it with a bit of defiance when someone has been wronged, I’ll say it with an excited laugh if it’s something good!

And when it comes to children, I usually express it in an overly exaggerated, animated way in response to them telling me things like, ”And then the cup fell over and there was juice everywhere; and then he found me and it was my turn to get sprayed with the water gun” etc.

My neighbours little boy has just turned eight. I shake my head in disbelief when I see him, and hear him talking, and I wonder where the little 4 month old boy has gone, who once snuggled in my arms (he and his brother are adopted). I spent a lot of time with the two of them in their early years, and so by the time ‘my baby’ was four, he had adopted quite a few little sayings from me! And in true kid tradition where they have their own vocabulary, he would see me and shout, ”Goodness Grapejuice!” πŸ˜‰

Yesterday, I pulled up into my driveway, and the boys were playing in their yard with water toys because it was just so very hot and humid. Their mom called to me, and I went across for a quick driveway chat. She told me a bit of exciting news they had to share, and I responded with an excited tone of my own, ”Oh my….” and there was a little voice that interrupted me, shouting as loud as he could, ”Goodness Grapejuice!” I laughed out loud and saw him roll his eyes and shake his head slowly, so I asked, ”What’s up with you?”
He gave me the most stunning smile and said, ”I’ve been saying it like that forever, and it still makes you laugh. You’re silly!” and then he rushed off to go play with his brother again.

I pondered his words as I prepared for bed last night. I found myself shaking my head and smiling, because once again I was back at, ‘‘it’s the little things that make the biggest difference”!

Please take a moment, pause and think, what little thing from the past still makes you smile? (If you want to share it in the comments, please do!)

Here’s hoping you all have very happy ”Goodness Grapejuice” moments this week! ❀

(off to do what I have to, hopefully this week will present more opportunities for what I want to do πŸ˜‰ )

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!