Follow up post – matters!

I started writing this post yesterday. And then, due to a chain of events beyond my control, I had to stop. By the time 7pm rolled around, I was just too exhausted to ‘be present’, and so here I am…. editing as I go…. finishing what I started ๐Ÿ˜‰

On Wednesday morning, I wrote and published this post.
By lunchtime, in my mind, there was so much that could be added to it, so much more that needed explaining properly, the realisation that I had probably not expressed myself correctly.
And as I lay in bed in the dark, trying to still my mind and drift off to the place where all my dreams come true, ( gee, I wonder why ๐Ÿ˜› ) I concluded that the post should probably be deleted, for a multitude of reasons.

It wasn’t written properly – my posts are very seldom what could be called well-researched though : most of the time, I just speak from my heart.
It would probably be misunderstood because it may have come across as a contradiction to the other things I say.
It probably wasn’t ‘clear enough’ in general – no one would relate in any way, and the lack of clarity (and seeming contradictions) would probably unleash quiet judgements and disappointments in me/my character.

I woke in the morning, determined to log on and delete the post – hoping that those who had already read it would still visit my blog again sometime.
But first, I needed coffee. And I needed to attend to the ‘Mom’ side of life – so I got my daughter going, got myself ready, took the girls to school (my daughter and her friend), put a load of washing on and gave the dogs their breakfast.

I logged on to WordPress, and found a comment on my post that had me reeling, in a good way. From a regular reader whose blog can be found here.
Read. Love. Livethe above is why your words meant so very much to me.
AND…
Your words reminded me of something that has become so very special to me in the last few months – words from another dear friend and blogger :
If you helped one person from their brokenness and despair to the place where they realise their potential your life would be a life well lived.”
(I actually have this printed out and stuck on my bedside cabinet so that it is the last thing I see at night, and the first thing I see in the morning.)
Those words have come to mean so much more to me though than just ‘brokenness and despair”.

They are a constant reminder to me that I cannot change ‘the world’ for everyone, but I might be able to help make it a little easier for at least one person!
That I may not be able to make a difference to a multitude, but I can make a difference to someone, and that matters!

And so my post remained, because Read. Love. Live commented – and the real shocker for me was that they found it the most relatable post thus far!
I probably could have deleted it… because I had my ONE person. But I decided to let it stay, just in case there was someone else… and there was. And then I thought, ”Well, who knows… maybe in a few months someone else will stumble upon it and need it, so I’ll just leave it right where it is.”

Some feedback on all the ”perhaps” parts of the original post :

I reached out to two of my ‘close circle’ – who both live about twenty minutes away from me, but I don’t get to see them very often because our schedules seldom coincide. Ha ha ha! (And of course, there’s currently a pandemic!)

But I reached out to them realistically.
I knew neither one could actually practically help me. I also knew that they probably couldn’t help offer solutions simply because the things I have going on have not been a part of their own personal life experiences.
So there was no expectation that if they responded, things would magically disappear or change.
And I also didn’t expect ‘proper’ responses – because I understand ‘life happens’, being busy with commitments happens and has no reflection on whether or not they are ‘making time for me and love me’.

These two friends are a mother and daughter. They have been in my life for 24 years now. And yes, we have that friendship where we can go a month without talking, and you’d never say it when we do get together, or get to chat – other than the amount of time we spend together because hey, a lot happens in a month! ๐Ÿ˜›

The ‘mother’ friend is in her early sixties. She’s been like a mother to me, but most of all, like a friend. She’s young for her age ๐Ÿ˜‰ In fact, I often ‘forget’ how old she really is, until things happen with her health, or in the case of the pandemic, and someone has to remind me that it’s ‘because she is older now, you know’. On the odd occasion when we get to catch up, she’ll leave her house at 10am, telling her husband she is coming to me… and he’ll ask, ”What is there for supper, because I KNOW you won’t be home in time!” HA HA HA! And he’s right…. she usually leaves at about 8pm that night!
I sent her a message asking if she was free for a call, and she ended up calling me instead of replying. We spoke for just under two hours. We were apparently both on downhills, and we were both cross with each other for not letting the other one know ๐Ÿ˜› Neither of us could help each other with the issues at hand in any way, other than this : genuine sadness about each other’s situations, and then a brief trip down memory lane with a good few giggles.
And the agreement at the end of our chat was that we both felt like we had just had a great big hug.

The ‘daughter’ friend is in her late twenties now – I met her when she was just five years old! Now she’s married, and has a little three year old boy of her own, who my teenage daughter adores. The ‘daughter’ friend is like the sister I never had – and like me, has two much older brothers and so she feels the same way about me. She’s my baby sister, and I am her big sister – I don’t think I ever fully appreciated my role in that until a month ago when she phoned me for advice, and I gave her my honest opinion based on personal experience, and she replied with, ”Well then that just confirms for me what I already knew – thank you. You are someone whose opinion I really value, and I know I can trust what you are saying. It’s so nice having a big sister to talk to!”
I had NOT reached out to her, because she was at work. Her mom got to her first, and that evening I got a surprise voice note from her! It made me laugh out loud :
”If Blake wasn’t sick at the moment, I’d have stopped at your house on my way home and slapped you upside the head! WHY haven’t you told me everything that has been going on? Mom filled me in, and I know I can’t help with the issues, but what CAN I do?”
A few voice notes later, reminding me of things from the past that had ‘worked out’, and made me a better person, and how hope truly never leaves this silly old heart of mine which is something she admires, and well? It helped me get off my butt on that downhill so that at least I was standing! โค

And those conversations were exactly what I needed for yesterday’s chain of events when I got knocked down – because I just got straight back up again ๐Ÿ˜‰
(In my mind there is a medley right now…. ”I get knocked down; I’m still standing; I will survive) ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

Interestingly enough, the song I Will Survive was originally released a couple of months after I was born ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I just copied the link and the last three letters in it are my short version for MY name! meg! (I’m still processing that little titbit! ๐Ÿ˜› )

I’ll end with these words that I have read a few times in the last few days, by a lady named Rachel Martin :

”Your day doesn’t have to be perfect to have meaning!
Showing up matters
Giving matters
Trying matters
Loving matters
Being there matters
Perfection doesn’t matter
YOU MATTER.”

Making Other Plans

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… ”Life sometimes happens when we are busy making other plans”.

The original quote came from John Lennon, apparently. (There has been some speculation, and according to the Yale book of quotations, the origin is attributed to writer and cartoonist Allen Saunders.)

Whoever said it, whoever came up with it? There’s truth to it!

We all know that sometimes ‘life’ just happens. And let’s face it, in an ideal world it would happen the way we wanted it to… but we all know that at present our world is less than ideal. I have many moments (some good and some bad) where I find myself stopping to catch my breath, and thinking, ”Wait! What just happened?”

These days, it’s just too easy to ‘get busy and run out of time’. So many occurrences that dim the light of our passions.
Suddenly we notice that yet another week has passed us by, and in reflecting on it we suddenly become aware of the little things : there wasn’t a moment where I experienced a good old belly chuckle; that great thing happened on Tuesday, but I was so worried about the meeting on Wednesday that I didn’t actually take time to appreciate it; my days were so full of ‘being busy’ that I didn’t stop to breathe, and just be ‘me’. And the list goes on and on.

It’s a never ending ‘cycle of life’ for many of us, right?

In a world where bravery and strength only seems to be acknowledged when you’re doing it ‘out loud’, perhaps we should try and pause for a moment, and reflect inwardly, and try and remember that the bravery and strength that lies within our hearts is far more important than the ones that get ‘shouted about’.

There is power in holding joy in your heart
There is power in practicing restraint.
There is power in giving to others – not only in not expecting to get it back, but also in not needing to advertise it.
There is power in being kind – especially to those who ‘don’t deserve it’.

And the bravery and strength within your heart – if your heart is true and you allow these things to consume it (take time to reflect on THEM and educate yourself/absorb your heart and mind in THESE things) – will give you that power…

To ‘do’ life… when it happens…

To learn to live with grace, for yourself, and especially for others!

And to experience a joy that not many people can actually understand!

Please be good to yourselves this week – and to your hearts! Because you are worth it! โค

‘Twas the season…

Christmas has come and gone. I didn’t do a ‘traditional Merry Christmas to all’ blog post.
And it will seem surreal, but I genuinely did think of all my regular readers on Christmas Day… strange, but very true. It’s how I roll ๐Ÿ˜‰

Christmas Day is over… I know some who have already packed away their trees and decorations. And I am reminded of this, which I thought I would share…

Perhaps we can NOT put away all the things that truly count? Unless you’re filling a box with air that has had kisses blown into it to represent love, and are giving it away ๐Ÿ˜‰

I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas – even though times are hard and circumstances were limiting.

Please remember to keep loving and giving, spreading kindness as you go.

And also remember you are cherished, and you matter!

Big Wins

We all have those moments. The ones where there is a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ moment, and everything just seems to crumble. Staying afloat is a struggle and sometimes we find ourselves gasping for air. More so in the current pandemic – the stress that it is bringing to our lives is something none of us have ever been prepared for.

I was speaking to someone the other day, and laughing (yes, actually laughing) about all the terrible things I have been through in my life, and having been made an entirely single mom with no financial or emotional support 12 years ago, and how I have learned and worked so hard at finding tools for survival and implementing coping strategies and mechanisms that are healthy – and that I felt that I was doing okay and could pretty much cope with anything. And then? Covid19.

It’s a whole new ball game.

No one has ever taught me about what to do in a worldwide pandemic, when you live in a third world country that was falling apart even before the crisis hit. No one has prepared me for it, or offered me applicable coping mechanisms. And I really thought I was doing okay in the beginning. But I think that as with many other aspects in life, my sub conscious needed a little bit of a ‘reprogram’.

And it was in trying to help someone else last week, that I actually helped myself. Which should come as no surprise to many of you. Because isn’t that just the ‘circle of life’ –

showing kindness begets kindness;
giving freely begets receiving;
helping others emotionally begets assistance for ourselves

And I found myself wondering….

What if I apply all I know to this unknown situation as well – whether I think it’s applicable or not? What if I continue to live as I always have, despite the circumstances? What if I do as much as I can, with what I have, and what I am allowed to do legally (I can’t pop in for a coffee with a friend who is struggling)? What if I just keep being me and celebrate each new day without worrying about the next one?

I have always been someone who has an ‘attitude of gratitude’. I try NOT to complain a lot, but sometimes we do just need to get things off our chests. But even after moments of grumbling, I am still mindful of gratitude for what I DO have.

What we sometimes forget is that our ‘small wins’ and the little things, are things of monstrous value to others. I think that taking things for granted is a human condition, and not always something we do intentionally. I slip up many times – it doesn’t make me an ungrateful and bad person. When I realise what I have done, it creates an awareness to be more grateful for that particular thing – which is good! (And I can’t help but wonder if that’s the point ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

In my country there are far too many people who don’t have access to clean running water. I live in a built up residential area and so this is not a problem for me. And although my heart aches for those people, and I get angry at my government infrastructure that has failed them, I don’t think I ever fully understood their reality until we were without water for six whole days. It certainly changed things up for me and as silly as it sounds, I am now grateful every time I shower, am able to flush the toilet, wash dishes, do a load of washing in the washing machine etc. Previously, I would have seen these things as small wins – now I know how big they actually are! (And it has also led to us being more aware of the amount of water we use, developing good habits to not waste ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I can also tell you from personal experience, the small wins that are celebrated for what they truly are (big wins for others) attract something powerful.

In the same way, the small things that we do for others attract something powerful too. In EVERY aspect of our lives. The more we think about good things, and do good for others, the more we invite it to attach itself to us ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Every day is different. Some days are ‘bad’, where everything seems to go wrong. But even on those days, I challenge you to find three good things too – because you WILL find them if you consciously look for them ๐Ÿ˜‰

And don’t forget to give something away every day – even if all you have to give is a smile, or ten minutes of your time. Little things to you may signify big wins in someone else’s life โค

Thanksgiving Thursday

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

In my country we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. There is, however, an awareness of it – probably most of the credit for that going to the wide variety of American movies we feast our eyes on.
(Up until a few years ago, Halloween wasn’t really acknowledged either – and then suddenly our shops were filled with the decor! There is still no official trick or treating though, because of huge safety concerns.)

But because I have an American spirit ๐Ÿ˜‰ it is a holiday I have always acknowledged in my house. Not fully – because there is no such thing as Thanksgiving decor or meals… but I make an effort and make something of my own. We have never tried pumpkin pie though – mostly because my children refuse, so I’ve never bothered with making it. This year, in celebration of this special day, I shall. And although I will force feed a teaspoon of it to each, I am almost certain that my all my meals today will be pumpkin pie – pretty much the entire thing for only my consumption ๐Ÿ˜›

What you may find interesting to know is that South Africans have only recently jumped into the Black Friday traditions. I think it was about ten years ago when I first heard of Black Friday – and I’ll admit it, I thought it was to do with racism. ๐Ÿ˜› I had no knowledge of what it entailed and so that was my first reaction. After some discussion, I understood more and knew better, and so when it arrived in SA I wasn’t outraged like many others.

Black Friday only became ‘a thing’ here about four years ago. Our deals are nowhere near as good as those overseas though. So far, it’s been relatively successful for retailers, and an absolute nightmare for consumers. In a third world country where most things very seldom ‘work’, overpopulation is a problem and crime rates are exceptionally high, Black Friday is now another day where ‘the bad stuff’ just escalates alarmingly. Add to that the pressure of our failed economy and most people having so little and being after deals for survival, it’s more than the usual reported US chaos. It’s no surprise to me that non perishable foods are apparently at the highest percentage when it comes to sales here.

My children are caught up in the hype and buzz, and both wish we had an abundance of money to spend on all the sales – because, ‘we can save 30%’ if we shop tomorrow, Mom’! To which I usually reply,

“We can save 100% if we just stay at home, and don’t visit any online sales.” ๐Ÿ˜›

But back to Thanksgiving….

I found this story and I wanted to share it, because it speaks to my heart and as you should know by now is very much in keeping with the way I feel generally :

When Mrs. Klein told her first graders to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful, she thought how little these children, who lived in a deteriorating neighborhood, actually had to be thankful for. She knew that most of the class would draw pictures of turkeys or of bountifully laden Thanksgiving tables. That was what they believed was expected of them.

What took Mrs. Klein aback was Douglasโ€™s picture. Douglas was so forlorn and likely to be found close in her shadow as they went outside for recess. Douglasโ€™s drawing was simply this:

A hand, obviously, but whose hand? The class was captivated by his image. โ€œI think it must be the hand of God that brings us food,โ€ said one student.

โ€œA farmer,โ€ said another, โ€œbecause they grow the turkeys.โ€

โ€œIt looks more like a policeman, and they protect us.โ€ โ€œI think,โ€ said Lavinia, who was always so serious, โ€œthat it is supposed to be all the hands that help us, but Douglas could only draw one of them.โ€

Mrs. Klein had almost forgotten Douglas in her pleasure at finding the class so responsive. When she had the others at work on another project, she bent over his desk and asked whose hand it was.

Douglas mumbled, โ€œItโ€™s yours, Teacher.โ€

Then Mrs. Klein recalled that she had taken Douglas by the hand from time to time; she often did that with the children. But that it should have meant so much to Douglas โ€ฆ

Perhaps, she reflected, this was her Thanksgiving, and everybodyโ€™s Thanksgivingโ€”not the material things given unto us, but the small ways that we give something to others.

Readers Digest

Here’s wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving, and plenty of pumpkin pie.

But most importantly, I wish you the opportunities to share and care, to express kindness and love, and to be the recipient of sharing, caring, kindness and love too.

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Photo credit : oprahmag.com

be a pencil

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Photo credit : quotesgram.com

Just a little thought for us to consider today…. and yes, sometimes life is unpleasant, so feel free to eat cookies ๐Ÿ˜‰

There was once a humble lady who spent her lifetime caring for the poor in the harsh slums of Calcutta. She lived her life by the words she was often heard to say :

”I am just a little pencil. But God is using me to write a love letter to the world.”

How about today we decide that instead of just complaining about all that is wrong (in our lives, in our immediate surroundings, in the world) we actually decide to make a positive contribution and difference?

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Photo credit : film-english.com

How about today instead of just taking from what is available to us, we also make a decision to give?

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Photo credit : fluerdelyz.com

How about today we walk around in a state of global awareness, not just of how environmental, social,ย cultural, economic and political factors impact the world, but also in a way that helps us see opportunities to love, give, and encourage others – to see how kindness can impact the world?

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Photo credit : PictureQuotes.com

And if you find yourself eating cookies, remember this :

 

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Photo credit : centralofsuccess.com