Bring Your Manners To Work Day

Yes, apparently that is the day that is being celebrated today.

But as with all these days that have their own specific celebratory day, we should be practising them every day! Today is a good day to acknowledge the importance of manners though 😉

My teen and young adult STILL sometimes forget their ‘please and thank you’s’ with me – and it frustrates me to no end.
But I have been told on numerous occasions that they are very well-mannered. And I was reminded of something someone once said to me when I complained about my then four year old’s behaviour.

”Would you rather have them misbehave at home, or in public? Because in public, she is an absolute gem, and you can be proud!”

Naturally my answer was that I was glad she wasn’t that way ‘out in the world’, ha ha ha!

But something I tell my kids regularly is this : it’s just as important ‘at home’, and when you’re alone, to be consistent in your behaviour – and that includes remembering your manners 😉

Because what you keep doing, and thinking, and saying will eventually spill over into all spheres in your life.

Saying please and thank you are basic etiquette, and cost nothing. Such simple words that we sometimes seem to forget.

Such simple words that actually mean more than we sometimes realise, because they show kindness and respect, which are things of great value.

And if we really think about it? When we neglect the small things we start to form poor habits, and the consequences of that can be quite overwhelming.

So for today, PLEASE remember to say please 😉
And don’t forget that a simple thank you can go a long way.

THANK YOU 😉

Spaghetti

routine

Life as a single mom, when the kids have their own schedules etc., means that a lot of the time, my life IS routine based. The above has some truth to it, in that there is definitely less of ‘my’ life and more of ‘dependent’s’ routines. A lot of my time has been based on scheduling what I need to do, around what they need to do and where they need to be.

Our intense lock down in my country, due to the current pandemic, changed a lot of that for the most part. But it also introduced ‘new routine’, that still meant that I had to make adjustments to my ‘living’. Tomorrow another new routine will begin, as my daughter is to return to school for a ten day cycle – and not the normal school hours as these have been adjusted.

But I think that the part about routine that this picture sort of misses is that some routines actually equal a good life. Without some of the routines that I perform, there would actually be ‘less life in me’. Roughly the first hour of my day is usually spent checking my thoughts, my attitude, my heart. It is usually spent in moments of gratitude, and reading through some inspiration. It is an important part of my day, and a routine that I am not prepared to change. For without it (and there have been days where I have been rushed and not taken the time to fully explore the above) I have had some of my worst days – frustrating and slightly miserable.

I really liked the following quote though, and I’ll explain why in a bit :

quotes-about-good-routine

I realised that for me, the key to it all is to let the routine not become routine. When I am grateful for the same three things every day for two weeks, without truly thinking about it and finding other things to be grateful for, then my gratitude has ‘lost its meaning’ – for me anyway. And that too could quickly lead to ‘less life in me’.

(And as a side note – see the different interpretations for that one picture/statement, at the beginning of this blog post? I’ve ‘read it’ differently twice in just this blog post alone – and I am sure if I read it in context with what was before and after, it would have another interpretation entirely. That’s some food for thought in there 😉 )

In my late twenties, I read a book by Bill and Pam Farrel. I don’t know what happened to my copy of it, and it’s one I would actually love to read again. I DO remember that it was quite funny – and oh, so true! 😉
It was called Men Are Like Waffles and Women Are Like Spaghetti.
(It’s clearly a good book, since there was a reprint in 2017 😉 )

The thought behind it was that men’s minds are like waffles – and they deal with one thing at a time – almost like boxing everything. Us women? We’re a bit more complicated 😛 We just unpack everything, as such 😛 Our minds are more like spaghetti – flowing from one thought into the next – we can go from thinking about mascara, and end up talking about scrambled eggs on toast in literally 5 minutes – and it’s our thought processes that take us there. What does mascara have to do with eggs? No idea! But we’re women 😉

So why am I telling you this?

This blog post came from this : I was reading a post that reminded me that it’s okay to not keep focusing on ‘the outcome’. I’ve had two days where I have been running myself ragged – a vet trip, and a doctor’s visit (everyone is fine 😉 ) and the usual household stuff…. and I haven’t got to doing the things I felt I needed to do…. things that would have good outcomes (I hope! 😛 ) and are quite necessary. And I’ve been so focused on not seeing the results I felt I should be and not accomplishing what I felt was important – looking for tangible outcomes and feeling like a failure because there weren’t any. All I could see was two days of ‘wasted time’.
And in that blog post was a reference to faith – ”faith is detachment from outcome and a confident belief in the source of outcome” – to quote it directly.

(And although my ‘interpretation’ is possibly not quite what the intention was behind the post, it made me think all these things – above, and my further explanation below, ha ha ha!)

Then I got to thinking about faith. What it truly means to me. And how I have no choice but to live in it. And I got to wondering when last I was grateful for that – the fact that I have it. And how maybe these days weren’t wasted, because they meant a lot of driving time, and waiting time, where there was little else to do other than sit and reflect. It was time spent with my Source… not wasted then, right? 

And then I thought of sauce! And remembered that I had forgotten to buy the one my son requested from the store earlier today when I was there. That made me think of my ‘pre-pandemic’ normal routine of popping in at ‘my store’ daily, and how that has changed. Which introduced the ‘routine’ side of things, spurred on my by a picture message image, which is the first image I shared here.

Talk about spaghetti! My goodness, it’s sort of exciting to think where my mind will go next – although the rumbling in my tummy is a bit of a giveaway 😉

I’ll end with this : in our lives, we all have routines and schedules, and we make choices and decisions hoping for positive outcomes. There’s a saying that says : Life happens while we’re busy making other plans. And so sometimes our routines and schedules gets disrupted, and we don’t get the positive outcomes we were hoping for. But perhaps we shouldn’t lose heart. Perhaps in that disruption we had the greatest opportunity of all which always leads to the best of outcomes- to feed our souls and practice our faith, and just be with our source. 
May you all always find time for that! ❤

Tessie Tribute

Last night, I tossed and turned in my bed. And it wasn’t because the dogs had taken over and there was a very small space for me to try and settle in. The memories that flooded me, of a beautiful soul lost to this world, my dear friend, Therese, were overwhelming. I smiled for the most part, while my throat burned and tears fell at the same time.

Lock down has had me in a confused state regarding days and dates. Each morning, I have to check on my cell phone to make sure I’m in the right space of time, so to speak. I didn’t check properly yesterday, but I knew it was Saturday.

I woke this morning, after eventually falling asleep sometime in the early hours, to a beautiful sunrise that I enjoyed with my coffee. The memories still flooded me as I sipped and relished in the beauty in the sky, and the ache in my heart was so real that it felt new, like I was living in that exact moment that they told me you were gone all over again.

It turns out that our sub-conscious mind is sometimes a lot stronger than we think or know – but then again, that’s sort of the point of ‘sub-conscious’, isn’t it? I came inside to make my second cup of coffee, and checked my phone for messages and emails. And I noticed the date. Today, exactly two years ago, I got the news that you had succumbed to the cancer that ravaged your body and you were gone. You were in your early forties. And a part of me broke in a way that nothing has ever broken before.

I type this, and I can’t stop the tears. I have to stop typing every now and then, because my vision is blurred and my nose needs blowing. How is it, that after two years, I can be reduced to this much pain and heartache for a friend?

I found the small tribute I wrote to you that day :

RIP, beautiful Tessie bear. You taught me SO much about grace, peace and unconditional love…not just during this difficult journey, but every day in the 25 years I knew you. You loved me so much, despite me being me when it was tough for others to ‘see’. You believed in me in a way no one ever did, and ever has since you’ve been gone. That’s a gift more precious than any other. So many wonderful memories, so much love and laughter. I’ll see you again one day, when we’re walking all the dogs in heaven. Till then, precious soul. Love you always, your Meggie.

I didn’t see you every day. We didn’t talk every day. We didn’t need to.

The amount of ‘little things’ moments of happiness we shared could fill more than 500 pages. Because we were strange like that.
And the tragedies and difficulties, another 500, I’m sure.

I remember the time we were mistaken for a couple. We laughed about that for years afterwards. Nothing could be further from the truth with regards to our romantic interests and sexuality.
But if I could have chosen a ‘partner’, without sex and romance, to live the rest of my life out with, I would have chosen you.

You were the first person I ever saw who brewed actual tea and used a strainer to pour us each a cup. (My mother used a teapot all the years, but with teabags.)
I still can’t get my veggie and feta stir fry to taste like yours did. I have followed your recipe exactly… maybe it truly was you that made the difference.
I am still not persuaded that pink is my colour, just because it was yours 😛 But I wear those ridiculous pink pyjamas you forced me to buy with pride and a smile as often as I can. (You’ll be please to know that I bought a pale pink top last year in the weakness of missing you, and made a pink beaded necklace to match it. My wardrobe is no longer all black. I hope you’re happy 😉 )
I still don’t like spending hours on the beach like you did, but every year you made me spend the morning there for your birthday celebration – breakfast on the beach – and I’d go, in my jeans, ha ha ha! I went last year on your birthday – yes, in my jeans. This year, the beaches are closed 😥 so I couldn’t go. But because I was outside in my own backyard with my breakfast, celebrating you, you finally got me in a pair of shorts! 😉
The weather outside today is windy and overcast – you’d think it’s miserable, and I can picture your horrified expression when I tell you once again how much I love it. You always loved the sunshine and heat. Today, it seems even the sun has disappeared in it’s longing for you.
I remember fondly the lengthy visits where no words were exchanged, other than the occasional offer of something to drink, as we sat in the same room, engrossed in the books we were reading.

Coleske; most books (although mostly crime thriller), Midsomer Murders, Chinese food – as much as possible on our budgets); freshly brewed tea on the veranda in the sunshine; Pharaoh and Age of Empires computer games – oh my gosh, and the time you got my son addicted to Mall Tycoon!; Camembert, Brie and Cranberry Cheese with crackers as a treat; all the scarves I knitted that we shared; love and devotion to dogs; movie nights with ice cream and popcorn and biltong and cheese, whatever we could afford as much as we could afford – these are, but a few, of OUR favourite things.  (How many times did we watch The Sound of Music together, anyway??!!)

I celebrate you and everything you are to me, and the person you were. There are a lot of smiles and laughter in my memories and I promise I still smile and laugh when I think of you. I know you’d be upset to find me crying, but I can’t help feeling this sad. You’d understand though. And you’d love me anyway.

To say that I miss you is not adequate.
Thank you for the memories.
I love you always and forever, my Tessie Bear.
Your Meggie

 

Essential Services Workers

Altruism is the word used for when a person or animals behaviour is unselfish, and they devote themselves to the welfare of others. It’s caring for, being empathetic towards, and showing compassion when you can gain nothing from doing so. 

According to wikipedia : Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual.

Research has shown that us as humans have very strong tendencies to go either way – selfish, or altruistic – sometimes we manage to attain a healthy motion between the two. And so it’s very much a case of ‘having an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other’ – the concept of deciding which voice we will choose to listen to in any given situation.

The purpose of this post is actually not because of the virus that is attacking our world at the moment – and yet it is.

Because today, quite randomly, is ‘Volunteer Recognition Day‘.

Here in South Africa at the moment, even if you can provide essential services as a volunteer, your options are minimal. The lock down here is stricter than anywhere else in the world. And to be quite honest, when I hear some of the ‘rules’ being spewed that are to be imposed on us, my brain becomes quite baffled at the logic behind it all.

But I shan’t complain… not really. It would just be of great help if everyone was actually being forced to follow… and not just a minority of us. Or perhaps I should be thinking more along the lines of if everyone would just jolly well OBEY the darn rules, as ridiculously and stupidly tough as a lot of them are!

Anyway….

I had a conversation yesterday with a paramedic, who reached out to me just to talk. It was a difficult conversation, because sometimes there just aren’t words to offer in response to what is being said.
The gist of it was that he is naturally ‘being forced’ to work during this outbreak, and he doesn’t want to. What you need to know is that he is truly a caring and compassionate man, who does a lot of volunteer work in his free time. Sometimes, I wonder if he ever sleeps? It made my heart sad. Because he has been so unselfish for so many years, and this virus has pushed him to a breaking point.

I know that those who are in ‘essential services’ have chosen their particular career. I know that this is part of their life choice with regards to their futures.
But I also know that they are sacrificing a lot more than those of us who are locked up in our homes… and just because they ‘chose’ to be doctors and nurses and emergency services, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the greatest amount of respect and compassion that we can give them.

So for today, I am counting them as ‘volunteers’ too.

And thanking them, from the bottom of my butt (because it’s bigger than my heart, physically) 😛

Every person on the forefront of the war with this virus : I salute you. I appreciate you. I pray for you. I wish I could help you. I am grateful for you.  

The need to do

Funny-Inspirational-Motivation-Image

Photo credit : askideas.com

I remember reading once that so long as you have inspiration, you will be naturally motivated and push forward to achieve whatever it is that you’re focusing on.

This weekend, remembering what I had read, I was confused.

Because here’s the thing : I am never lacking in inspiration as such, for some odd reason.
And although I experienced and was inspired by so much the last few days, and still feel inspired and excited about a variety of things…

My get up and go seems to have got up and went. 

A conversation yesterday with my not-blood sister in the USA brought a little clarity – no, my get up and go is not with her either. In actual fact, she’s feeling a little bit the same way and asked my to please send her motivation back to her own country when it shows up at my door 😛 😉

I think that the subconscious impact of this virus, and lock down, is playing a part in the feelings I am having – because although I am fine, and I feel fine, and I remain inspired and am doing all I can to help others during this difficult time….

Something is ‘off’.

And it’s not just the rotten apple I found when I emptied my daughter’s sports bag. Ha ha ha!

I’m still me. Still finding humor and maintaining a general well being. I’m nowhere near panic mode, and am still very much a prisoner of something beautiful : hope.

But in the back of my mind, and evident in the projected ‘lack of motivation’, this whole situation is definitely taking its toll. 

My country is taking this virus very seriously, and have implemented very harsh restrictions. I cannot buy wool, or paint, or anything to use for home maintenance. No hobby type things, no puzzles. Because it’s not considered an essential item. Apparently neither is alcohol or cigarettes, because that’s been banned too. People are bored, and can’t help but whine – because, well, they can’t wineAnd the nastiness towards each other in our local little community groups on social media is sad.
That said, it leaves me EXTREMELY grateful that my kettle, fridge, washing machine, and computer are all in working order – because if they break, we can’t replace them, even if we have the money. Apparently these are non essential items too?!?!?!

And forever grateful that I have internet access at this time.

Such confusing times! 

And in the conversation mentioned yesterday, while both of us were seeking something to get us to ‘get going and accomplish something’, (because we both actually have work/ a vision/ a business/things to do) there was this reminder :

It’s up to me. I need to just do it. Whatever it is. Just do it. Because no one else is going to. And no one else can do it like I can. 

Because I have something to offer. I have potential. Much may have been done before that is similar, or the same – but not with my heart, my views, my soul, my effort. 

There is a plan and purpose for my life – and it’s not just to have an inspired mind.

Reflection is good for the soul, and sometimes having a day or two to ‘just be’, and not ‘do’ anything is good too. 

But when it reaches a point where you begin to feel discouraged and dissatisfied, then it’s time to DO!

And so I am writing this blog post 😉 And then I am going to print out some pages of a resource that I have been promising myself I would work on for the past week.

Small things… small tasks… but it’s the little things that truly do count, because I am starting to feel a little better already 😉

Please stay safe, dear readers.

Choosing Wisely

When I was about four years old, I had a cassette tape with children’s songs on it. I don’t remember what it was called, and can only vaguely recall the colours of its little covering. But funnily enough, I still remember quite a few of the songs, and still sometimes sing them.

My search to find some of them online has been futile. And I am sad about that. I have asked several people my age, and have even sung the songs to them, but their knowledge of them has returned a negative result. Then again, while I am sure the tunes I have sung have been spot on, I am not so sure that I have remembered all the words correctly – which I guess may also be why my search results have been zero.

Don’t worry – I won’t be uploading an audio file of me singing 😛

I saw this and it had me singing one of those songs :

Contagion-750x750-1

Photo credit : doppleronline.ca

The words to the song, that I am sure I remember.. sort of.. go something like this :

”Crossness is catchy like the the fever,
Crossness is catchy like the flu,
So send a little smile, spreading mile by mile,
’cause friendliness is catchy too, thank goodness,
friendliness is catchy too!”

In these uncertain times, let us consider all of the above. And please choose wisely.

Today I am so thankful that even though human contact is a no, I still have the wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with people, and spread heartfelt love, support and encouragement through the internet.

focus

new

(I’d hate to think who else’s underwear I could possibly be wearing!)

I’ve had an interesting two days, and there is much that has been learnt.
After my emotional and soul baring meltdown post, I felt guilty and very miserable. Yesterday, I realised why. So before I mention all the things I have learned the last two days, let me say this :

At the very forefront of my mind right now is the reminder that when we are out of alignment with our core values, we not only lose sight of purpose, but we become increasingly miserable and lose sight of everything else too. And that is what I allowed to happen.
The very real lesson, however, was how easily this can happen. And how long it can last. And how increasingly more difficult it makes day-to-day life as the misery descends like a cloud.

But it DOES happen. And we can’t fault people for it. And we also can’t blame ourselves when it happens to us. The important thing, as with many other situations in life, is to acknowledge that it’s happening/happened and work on changing it – changing ourselves – continuing with our journey in alignment with our core values.

The lessons of the last two days have been more reminders – mainly two of them – much needed ones, that have put me back on track and allowed me to feel calm again, despite the storms that continue to rage.

First reminder : Bad things happen, even to good people. Situations and circumstances that are validly negative will happen. And while we cannot ignore that and need to keep ourselves aware and prepared, at the same time we need to ensure that they do not consume our focus.

Second reminder : Honesty about where we are at can not only be a lifesaver, but a life changer. When the cloud begins to descend and the negativity is overwhelming, there will be some people who will shy away from you – and that is okay. But hold dear and appreciate the ones who are there. Listen to their hearts.

As I listened to hearts who reached out to me, I was once again overwhelmed. But this time with a joyous emotion and a comfort that I cannot explain. Nobody held me tightly in their arms and made me feel secure and loved. And yet it was as close as it gets. Distance is merely a physical barrier – and souls can still support each other despite it.

So to those who commented, have prayed, and emailed –

I know that ‘thank you’ suffices, and yet it doesn’t express how truly grateful I am. You made a difference. To me.
I was also completely overwhelmed by a phone call – the funny thing is that it didn’t dwell on the negatives, which inadvertently shifted my focus and served as a reminder of sorts all on its very own.

WordPress World – you are special to me.

Yes, the situation in my country is ”impossible”, dire, worrisome.

But in life? I am actually doing really well.

We have a roof over our heads; we have food to eat; We have people who genuinely care for us; We have clean clothes (although some are a bit religious 😛 ) ; and we all still have a dream.

Shifting focus – thank you again for the love and reminders.

new1

quotemaster.org

Photo credit : Quotemaster.org

 

1 grateful person tag

I got tagged! 🙂 Thank you to herrychiccounsels for the honour 😉

I have to be entirely honest here – I am not one to post about religion or politics. These are very sensitive areas, and best not argued about on any social media platform or blog.

I have been criticised in the past for this, particularly when it comes to religion. I have been accused of being ashamed of what I believe, and that is very far from the truth.
But my own upbringing makes me a little wary of how and when I share my beliefs.

Probably one of the greatest things I have learnt in life (other than the time that I learnt that I will never be able to moonwalk like Michael Jackson 😛 ) is that we are all different and should respect each others differences and embrace them. Being critical and nasty and refusing to consider that others have different views to us doesn’t benefit anyone.

I had the Bible shoved down my throat growing up. It wasn’t about relationship, it was about religion. I promised myself that I would never do that to anyone.
The religion vs. relationship thing also taught me that people don’t care to hear the words if there are no actions to support what is being said.

AND THIS IS TRUE OF LIFE IN GENERAL. Don’t just say it, show me that you mean it.

So if you’re averse to Christianity, you can stop reading. I’m certainly not going to hold it against you. I’m thankful that you stopped by anyway 😉

On with the tag :

The 1 Grateful Person Tag is based on Luke 19 and the account of Jesus with the 1 out ten lepers he healed who came back to thank him. Let us aspire to be like the 1 who thanked Jesus and not the 9 who did not.

The ‘Rules’:
1- Share what you are grateful to Jesus for.
2-Share a passage from the bible about gratitude that means something to you.
3- Tag whoever you wish to.
4- Please share a link to my original post. 1 Grateful Person
5- Use any picture in your post that expresses gratitude
6. Share the intro

1 Do we have till the end of the next year? Could any person really read for that long? 😛
Yes, that is my way of listing that there is just so very much – simple things and complicated things. A myriad of things.
But I guess I’ll share this one : I am grateful for the difficult times. No, don’t scoff. I really am. When I look back at them 😉 When I have been in those dark and difficult places, I’ll admit that I didn’t like them, and I certainly wasn’t grateful for them. But when I look back and see how far I have come and learnt along the way that has made me a better person, I can’t help but be glad that I had them. I still experience difficult times, and I still don’t like them..even though I know that there’s going to be a rewarding change for getting through them. I don’t always tackle them gracefully, and I am definitely still inclined to complain in that dark place – even though I know the outcome will hold valuable lessons. But these days (after years of practice and tough times) I am more inclined to react with, “What am I supposed to be learning from this? I wish there was a better way of teaching me!”
Would you believe, it STILL sometimes takes me a ridiculous amount of time to learn the lesson!!! Sigh!

            “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
                                                    Proverbs 17:22

Wait, what? It’s supposed to be a verse or passage about gratitude?!?!?! Well….to me, it is. I’ll make my explanation as brief as possible. If I can somehow manage to keep happiness in my heart despite my circumstances or the bad situations I encounter, I am more inclined to express gratitude. When I sit in the dark depths, my spirit very much does feel crushed and I am more inclined to lean towards feelings of bitterness and despair – and we all know that those don’t push us towards gratitude.
That doesn’t mean that when something devastating or bad happens that I don’t feel sad or angry, that I don’t hurt. A ‘happy heart’ is not immune to bad feelings. It just has a quiet type of joyful peace that manages to draw on gratitude despite it.
(Okay, so I am not very good at explaining it 😛 )

3 Hopefully there will no offense in this… I’m not tagging anyone. BUT..if you WANT to do it then you are definitely worthy of the grateful person tag. Please tag me if you do – I’d love to read your choices 🙂

4 Here’s the link to the lovely lady who nominated me 😉

5 The image I chose kind of goes with my chosen verse of scripture 😉

images
Photo Credit : soulutionary.com

And I’ve already completed task number 6 at the top of this post.