Mattress Mail

You’ve Got Mail. Definitely a movie that is near the top of my list of favourites.

It’s an old movie from 1998, and it’s a romantic comedy. Which is an unusual genre for me to find a movie in that I could be so crazy about. But I am. The brief synopsis is this : ”Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.”

What it fails to tell you about is the sheer delight contained in the quaint little bookstore that Meg Ryan’s character owns in the movie. I still carry the desire in my heart to one day have a little shop like hers. 😉

I’m a huge Meg Ryan fan…. and Tom Hanks is a firm favourite too. I had watched them co-star in Sleepless in Seattle and kind of just ‘fell for them’. So when ‘You’ve Got Mail’ premiered, it was top of my watch list. And I fell in love with them all over again 😉

All of the above is somewhat strange, because I am generally not a fan of romance – which is even stranger because I am a romantic at heart. Yes, I know, there’s just no sense to any of it 😛 😉

There is a place in the movie where Meg’s character needs advice. And without knowing anything about her business, Tom’s character gives her some…
”Go to the mattresses.”
This particular scene is where I completely fell in love with Tom’s character – in fisherman’s terms : he had me hook, line and sinker 😉 My heart still skips a beat when I watch this scene 😉 See, I have a crazy side too 😉
(You can click here for the YouTube cut of it 😉 )

The phrase, if you don’t already know, means the following :

To enter into or prepare for a lengthy war, battle, or conflict; to adopt a combative or 
warlike position. While the true origin is uncertain, the phrase was popularized in 
English by The Godfather novel and films, where it referred to warring mafia families 
housing their soldiers in small, secure apartments to await orders.

And no, I am not inciting any form of global war with this blog post, so please don’t misunderstand. This IS personal – unlike the situation in the movie.

I have been reminded, yet again, that there is always a conflict within ourselves – the wolves that we feed. That there is always a war in our minds – and preparation for battle is the only way we can get victory.
When we allow ourselves to become complacent and stop feeding our minds with the things we need to in order to equip ourselves to become stronger and better versions of ‘us’, we make ourselves vulnerable to the voices from the past that want to take us to places we no longer deserve to be.

The struggle is real.

I am being kind to myself in that I am constantly reminding the big brown eyes that stare back at me in the mirror that their light is still shining. That I’m not a failure, and that I am allowed to be feeling the way I do. No matter what anyone else says or thinks. 

But the greatest kindness of all is to remind myself that I didn’t get this far by neglecting to prepare. I have been so diligent in the past about devoting time to ‘equipment for my mind’.
With all that has happened and is happening with our lock down, I got distracted. And perhaps some of you have too?

So I’m sharing the above in case it helps : when it comes to my mind, I need to remember to keep ‘going to the mattresses’.
And I’m loving the benefits of doing so the last couple of days 😉

Starting over

I’ve sat staring at this page for about two hours now. I have started a blog post, only to then delete everything I have typed and revert to the blank page. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by other incoming messages – perhaps it’s something that will provide a good topic to write on? Then I respond to the message, return here… and it begins again.

I love how it is so easy to take the blank page and fill it with words… decide against sharing those particular words or topics at the moment…. and just delete it all.
Like wiping the slate clean, which we all know is not applicable to life.

There are no do-overs. But we can always start over. Even in the troubling times we are now facing, world wide. Things have just got a little more complicated… more challenging.

And for me? I’ve grown too used to my comfort zones. My personal development, and growth – the self exploration and changes that needed to be made? All those things have been, and are still, painful and difficult.
What I didn’t realise though was how much my ‘security blanket’ and the general routines and stability around me, were actually helping me – in a way, protecting me.

And being thrown into the chaos of our strange, nonsensical, very strict lock down has not just caused me to stop and move a few steps back. It’s like a tornado arrived sent from the Wizard of Oz himself, lifted and tossed me around for a while, and then dumped me back in my own bed – but not to partake in life as I know it, for everything has changed so very much.

I’ve had to be stern with myself quite a lot lately – I’m a terrible disciplinarian… I’ve reduced myself to tears quite a few times 😛

Here’s what I am working on right now though : I need to stop. I need to start over.

No matter what this virus does, or what my government does, or what the people do in response to both – I NEED TO STOP.

I need to remember that my life still has purpose. That while my windows of opportunity seem to have been nailed shut, they’re not. I am just going to have to push against them a little harder. I mustn’t let the current circumstances limit my potential. 
I am still me.

Filled with purpose and potential.

A self-confessed prisoner of hope.

The circumstances have changed, but I cannot let them change me – not in the way they have been. I’ve worked too hard to be better!

I need to start seeing things differently. It starts with me!

Because We Are Wrong — The Chatter Blog — Peter’s pondering

I logged onto WordPress this morning, feeling a bit out of sorts.

Our strict lock down seems to be getting to me. It’s a little strange that it would affect me like it is, because I am quite the homebody on any given day.
Who knew that the trips in the car for school and extra curricular activities for my daughter, and the odd popping in at the shops I frequent for our needs, were actually so meaningful to my everyday life.

(In case you missed it previously, our lock down is a lot stricter than any other country. Not only have our purchases been limited – so you can’t even buy puzzles, or wool, or DIY things to keep you busy etc. but you’re also not allowed to go for a walk. This includes not being able to take your dog for a walk. I’m not even allowed to walk ten metres out of my house within our gated community. Even if you promise to keep the required social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading. Of course, not all are obeying these rules – some get caught, and are issued with hefty fines. Others? They just seem to get away with it, and the virus is still spreading despite the strict rules, and those of us who are adhering and pretty much finding ourselves under house arrest.)

And so me feeling out of sorts is understandable, I suppose. And I stumbled upon the post I have shared.

My life has been a continuous battle of undoing – undoing the words of the past. The journey has often been difficult, and my self worth has always been the most difficult part to conquer for more than a few hours at a time.
I think the frustration of the way things currently are has led to a little too much self reflection of the negative kind – doubt, fear, inadequacy.

I’ve started taking things personally. Like maybe I talk too much? Maybe I just AM too much. And yet some might argue that I don’t talk enough.
I’m feeling guilty for not being the type of person others may need or want me to be, instead of relishing in my uniqueness and the beauty of my soul – as damaged and vulnerable as it may be. I’m feeling inadequate and unworthy.

My teen daughter and adult son are growing increasingly annoyed with each other, and frustrated with the constraints put on them too. I’ve tried to be the voice of reason, and I’ve tried to be fair, with them both. I’m doing my best to ‘mother’ – being sensitive to their plights, and loving towards them, but still maintaining a disciplinary tone when it comes to situations that need it. I’m used to them pushing boundaries – who doesn’t? But this time, things just feel different.

Lock down is making me feel locked out. 

All very depressing, I know. But it’s the truth of the time and place I find myself in right now.

And then I read the blog post below. I don’t think it was a coincidence that it happened to appear first on my reader.
I have become a lot better over the past few years at accepting good things about myself – at acknowledging that I have worth, and that I am good enough. Being prone to thinking otherwise has lessened. It’s been a terrible struggle to reach the point of acceptance and to be able to acknowledge my self worth in a good way.

The last couple of days have been ‘bad days’.

And as I read the blog post below I was reminded of this :

It’s okay for me to have off days. It’s okay for me to have doubts and fears. The circumstances are seriously tough and if it wasn’t affecting me at all, then I may have started wondering about myself even more!
I’m not complaining about having time – time is something that I have had little of, and I am relishing the abundance of it that I now have.

But it’s okay to be feeling overwhelmed and a little sad.
While gratitude plays a big part in a happier attitude, and I have been careful to continuously remind myself of all that I have to be grateful for (as well as throwing in reminders for my children) … under these circumstances I am allowed to see the sadness and frustration too. Because if I lie, or choose not to acknowledge it’s existence, then how on earth will I go about dealing with it, and changing it.

BUT… I need to remind myself that dwelling on those negatives and allowing them to have such control over my peace of mind and well being is wrong. That I can stop this argument in my head, and the culmination of negative emotions that are threatening to steal my joy.

That I can still allow myself to accept myself.

And that I need to hold on to my belief that ‘this too shall pass’.

Taking it one hour at a time, one day at a time. Still smiling… and feeling determined about the better things that are yet to come. Reminding myself that just because I feel bad, doesn’t mean it IS bad. That there is always hope – and yes, I am still a prisoner of it 😉

I’m searching for ways to see me through this. I haven’t found them yet.. but I am searching… and slowly but surely, something will drag me from this funk 😉 . But I DO know that I have been through some really tough stuff in my life… and I WILL get through this!

 

Some wise words from Colleen. Pop over to her blog to find many more! © via Because We Are Wrong — The Chatter Blog

via Because We Are Wrong — The Chatter Blog — Peter’s pondering

Not quitting

ed mylett

Photo credit : edmylett.com

 

It’s been a strange few days. Our lock down, due to the virus, has been somewhat extreme – but I do realise how serious this is, so I haven’t complained, and I have complied in every way. While I am not completely self isolated, because I have four kids – two human ones and two fur babies – I have felt an effect of self isolation, nonetheless. And it’s been strange for me.

I am quite a social person, for the most part. I have learned to love myself and be at peace with my own company in the past few years. I am good on my own, but I am also good when dealing with people. I tease a lot about hiding from ‘peopling’ but in reality I truly do love the social aspects of others. Communication has always been a big thing for me – not necessarily in person, but somehow finding ways to connect to people.. even if just a brief messaging exchange. People are important to me – their feelings and lives have meaning.

People are important to me – their feelings and lives have meaning. This part has not changed. Not at all. But the last few days I have found myself withdrawing into myself. Naturally, there is still plenty of communication with my four kids and me – and not just about food 😛 😉
But I have found myself struggling with keeping up communication with most everyone else. I am not unhappy – my mood is stable. I don’t feel miserable, and I am not sleeping more than usual. I am really quite fine – I am okay.
It just feels strange for me to be able to feel okay, without the desire to communicate with others. How odd.

Maybe this is a ‘time out to talk to me’? Answering myself is sometimes amusing 😛 😉

I happened to visit Ed Mylett’s timeline this morning on Facebook. And found the picture above…. which had quite a lengthy caption, the gist of it being this :

”There’s probably an area of your life RIGHT NOW where you’re ready to throw in the towel. You’re ready to quit. ….
Decide you’re just not going to quit TODAY! Sometimes that’s all it takes is just deciding that at least for today, you are not going to quit. …
I’m challenging you today to just don’t quit for TODAY! I promise you all of your strength comes when you push past days and moments and thoughts of quitting. Remember, you’re probably on the brink of a breakthrough! ⁣….”

So here’s just a few of my thoughts on this …..

Decide you’re just not going to quit TODAY!
This statement is pretty much how I choose to live my life. There are days where I feel overwhelmed due to circumstances and on those days I make conscious decisions and talk myself through : ”Let’s just get through this hour. Do what you can now. Deal with the rest in a bit – leave it for the next hour.”
I make the choice to get through, moment by moment – and I’d say I am sort of successful… I’m here, aren’t I? 😉

Remember, you’re probably on the brink of a breakthrough!
My not-blood sister and I talk a lot – mostly through messages. Sometimes we do voice notes and calls. The greatest thing we share is based on the statement above. Because we both refer to it when we’re looking to encourage the other. 😉
It’s our go to, when it feels like it’s not just raining, but pouring – when everything seems to be going wrong all at once – when we feel down, or discouraged and momentarily forget to be kind to ourselves.
”Just remember, stuff happens, and sometimes it’s not in our control. Chin up. In all of this, there’s quiet strength building in the background. You’re going to grow. You’re being prepared for something bigger and better. Keep going. I love you.”

A Facebook comment…
Because naturally I shared the Ed Mylett post on my Facebook timeline 😉

Someone commented, ‘Sometimes you just don’t have a choice, hey?’
And I thought about it. And I replied with this :
‘And that in itself is a blessing in disguise, because it forces us to go on… imagine how awful it would be if we all just gave up! How much we’d miss out on! 😉 ‘

KEEP GOING, DEAR READERS! MAY YOU HAVE A TRULY MARVELLOUS MONDAY! 😉

Touching on Success

success

As with many things in life, success has different meanings in different situations.
By it’s definition, it is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.

And although I know that I know this, sometimes I still forget some of the aspects related to the word ‘success’.

I was reading Ed Mylett’s book, and he was talking about when he first started out – the early days of his entrepreneurship. When he wasn’t a successful entrepreneur.

He speaks of how they had nothing. Bills hadn’t been paid, utilities had been shut off. He and his wife had to sneak down to the apartment complex’s swimming pool before others woke up to use the showers there, and then he’d don his business suit and ‘pretend’ to be a successful entrepreneur. He mentions that the showers were open ones, and so he would hold a towel for his wife to try and ‘protect her privacy’.

What struck me, as I read those words, was this :

Yes, he wasn’t yet a successful entrepreneur, BUT in my eyes (based on the story he told) he was pretty successful as a husband.

I don’t read Success magazine, but I liked what I found in Wikipedia…

~~According to the company, the magazine “focuses on people who take full responsibility for their own development and income,” and provides personal and professional development.~~ 

Because here’s the thing : we are fully responsible for our own personal and professional development, and the success thereof. While circumstances may play a part in delaying our ‘success’, I think that a lot of the time the fact that we just continue to persevere is successful in itself!

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a friend who was being poached by another company – according to her she was really happy in her current placement, but the other company was offering her a much better salary package. She asked me what she should do. I told her to speak to her boss, and see if he could perhaps counteroffer. Naturally, she was worried that the other company would still be offering her more – and what then? My reply was ‘to determine what it was she was chasing – if she’s happy where she is, and that is what she wants from life, then she should stay. If her aim was to make more money, then she should change jobs’.
I don’t know that this was the best advice (since then, her current company came in with a better offer and she is staying where she is) but I do know this :

Success is largely about perspective, and it’s personal. What it means to me may not necessarily be what it means to you. 
I found this article about 9 famous people who spoke of what success is – to them. There were some interesting things in there, so I thought I’d share it in case you wanted to do some further reading 😉

aim

Photo credit : quotefancy.com

I love the quote above. It’s something I often refer to, and is a reminder for me to ‘think big’.

But I find that I have to regularly argue with myself. (An article for reference because I am not crazy 😛 )

And I know I am not alone when I say that I am ‘my own worst enemy’ and that the main thing ‘standing in my way is ME’!

I have to argue with myself because I have not yet conquered all those limiting beliefs, and one of the biggest ones that I struggle with is the one that tells me I will never be successful.

do think it is all about perspective though – and it’s personal. Because what I want to be successful at? I think I am slowly but surely achieving. I doubt it’s going to make me famous though 😛

My definition of success is just that – it’s mine. It’s looking at my aims and purposes (goals) and celebrating when I achieve them.

I like to dance… so I think I am going to go with an optimistic view on this :

optimist-someone-who-figures-that-taking-a-step-backward-after-29160354

Photo credit : me.me

For now I will just keep doing my best, work on believing in myself, continue learning and growing so that I can be a better version of me, and keep checking my list of what I want to achieve.

And I will celebrate each small success (my perception of it) along the way!

Feel free to reward yourself now, since you have successfully completed reading this blog post 😉

 

Using My Time

All-we-have-to-decide-is-what-to-do-with-the-time-that-is-given-us

 

Last week, I was invited to meet with someone regarding a project they were considering. They wanted me in on it, which made me feel really honoured, and a little afraid, at the same time. It wouldn’t provide any income for me – but there was a possibility of a small percentage after a year, if the project was a success and actually generated income. In the meeting, their enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. Despite me feeling all fired up though, I knew that I needed ‘time to think about it’. We’re meeting again next week.
But I’m going to have to decline.

I’ve always been quite hard on myself with regards to maintaining a ‘work life balance’. I’ve read the articles and jotted down tips regarding this, and even tried to force myself to comply with ‘rules’ set to ‘ensure work life balance’. And I still seem to fail. 
At one stage, about four years ago, I even kept a ‘time journal’ for a month.
I still failed. 
Most days, I was leaning either one way or the other. Most days, I either seemed to favour ‘doing life’, or ‘working’. And I don’t just mean a 60/40 split. I’m talking 80/20 and 90/10. And it made me feel like such a failure. I’d not only beat myself up for having ‘poor time management skills’, but I’d carry the burden of ‘not being able to achieve something that is so simple’. I had all the printouts, and worksheets, and calendars – the ‘tools for time management’, and I still sucked.

So when the new project came along last week, the first thing that jumped to my mind was, ‘You already don’t have enough hours in a day. Say no.’
But instead, my mouth said, ‘Can I have a couple of weeks to just mull it over, please?’

And it’s been a brain battle ever since. I’ve run through every scenario regarding my current commitments in my head for if I take it on – what I would need to restructure, organise, sacrifice. Up until this morning, I didn’t know that I was indeed going to say no.

This morning, we had no power again for three hours. I did the chores and things that I could do without needing electricity, and then settled in my chair with my new Rachel Hollis book. I picked up where I left off two days ago, and began reading. I turned the page, and actually said out loud, ‘You’re kidding me’!

The ‘excuse’ section that I was graduating to? It was entitled, “I don’t have time.”

Then I just chuckled to myself for a few minutes, before I continued reading.
And she posed some interesting concepts. And an example, that was a bit extreme, but drove home the point. (Her example named a famous man.) But basically, if a famous actor/actress who you really admire and have been dreaming of meeting invites you for coffee, you’re going to write it in pen in your diary. And you’ll adjust your schedule accordingly. And if someone calls who ‘needs’ you at that particular time, you’re going to say no to them. It’s that important.

She mentions that the question is never, ‘do you have enough time’? The question is actually, ‘how are you using the time that you have’? 

A little later on, she addresses the thing I always hold over my own head : work life balance. (Although it’s under a different heading in the book, for me it still qualifies as part of my time concerns.)

Here’s where it’s going to ‘get a bit dicey’ – not everyone is going to agree. I’m not even sure if I agree with her fully. But to alter my perspective a little bit (and the limiting belief I have that there should be a perfect work life balance or you are failing) and try and hear what she is saying actually benefited me somewhat. 

She puts it out there that Work Life Balance is a myth. Yes! She said that! She substantiates why she thinks it too – her own personal experiences.
And I like when people share honest accounts of their own battles.

And she pretty much mentioned me! And I don’t even know her personally 😛

How we tend to look around and think that everyone else is achieving this work life balance thing and we’re the only ones who aren’t, and so we assume that it’s yet another thing that we’re failing at.

lightbulb-vector-icon

Photo credit : vecteezy.com

And then off I went back to the ‘I don’t have time’ section, and started reading again from there. And I stopped again at the end of the work life balance mention.
Then I pulled out both my notebook, and my diary, and got to work in my head and on paper.

I am currently working on a project of my own – and it’s quite a large one. It has required huge effort on my part, and a lot of schedule adjustments, to carve out the time I need to put into it in order to achieve the goal I have for it.
And to be honest, it is my ‘coffee with my favourite actor’ – because none of them have asked yet 😛  I am only prepared to negotiate the time I spend on it if my children have ‘an emergency type need’.

The only other time I could give to this proposed new shared project, without neglecting essential life things, would be my own personal development time. (I know, I know – it’s funny. You can laugh. I actually do allocate myself a certain amount of that type of time. But I have to – or I’d never get to read great books like Rachel Hollis’. 😉 )

If I was to sacrifice some of that personal development time (which already sometimes has to be adjusted because life really does happen while we’re making other plans 😛 )…. IF I took some of that time away to focus on the new project, then unfortunately it would be detrimental to me personally.

Because what is keeping me grounded and at peace, and helping me find stability despite turmoil around me? What is helping me grow and become better and giving me the inspiration to DO better? It’s that personal development time. 

It works for me 😉

And in case you’re wondering… the new Rachel Hollis book that I got is : Girl, Stop Apologizing

Thanks for taking ‘the time’ to read 😉

Know yourself – the never ending journey

Just to recap :
You’re worthy of love – especially your own.

blog

Photo credit : ronaibrummet.com

It’s their opinion. Possibly based on their own limiting beliefs. Possibly based on something you did – but they don’t know your why. 

At the end of the day, try not to make it your own opinion of yourself. Please try and allow yourself some grace – we all make mistakes. It’s what we do after we have made them that counts. Be kind TO YOU!

You can still love you.

And :
Slow progress is still progress!

Please try to not feel discouraged if your pace is slower than those around you.

its-slow-progress-but-quitting-wont-make-it-any-faster-inspirational-quote

And as Tony Robbins has been heard to say :

You’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying!

And today I am going to throw a third thing in the mix :

Get to know YOU!

I went to buy dog food and was chatting with the lady who runs the shop. I asked after her daughter and she was catching me up with regards to her, when she said to me, 
“You know, I am still struggling with that whole irrational fears thing. I even went and bought a book that someone recommended and said would definitely help me. But it hasn’t made any difference.”
I asked her if she likes reading. Her response was that she doesn’t like it at all, never reads – not even magazines. Can’t seem to focus for long enough and gets irritated.
Then I asked her if she likes movies and series and well, pretty much, watching stuff?
The reply was a huge yes! So I suggested to her that she search on YouTube for that author (because I know she has a channel, and have actually watched some of her videos) and find videos that relate to the book and watch those instead.
I have no idea if my suggestion was of any help. But I think you understand why I shared her story.

Aristotle said that to know yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. 

For me personally, this means that I need to pay attention to me – develop my skills of understanding ME! And what works for me NOW!

And it means acknowledging something that is just as important as loving myself and accepting that I may take more time than others : what works for other people just might not work for me. 

We need to be careful with that statement though – and that’s why knowing ourselves is so important. I am not the same person I was last year, last month, even last week. I am growing and changing – and with this comes an adjustment in my thinking, so to speak. What I mean is that there’s been a shift in what works for me as well. 

I’ll leave you with one last story, which is a little silly, but I am hoping it will help make my point :

When my children were younger, and pushing every button they could find on their ‘mommy machine’, I used to count to about 30…. and then give up. Because it didn’t work for me. I got irritated easily, didn’t manage stress as well as I should have, and had such low self-worth that it marred most aspects of my life. ”Count to Ten” was an attainable ‘dream way’ of coping.

I’ve worked hard on myself and over the years have developed really good stress management skills, am actually surprisingly patient, and have built up a mostly healthy self esteem. I’ve managed to supersede what I thought was unattainable. My kids are a lot older, but somehow they test me, (and boundaries) and push buttons, a lot more now! 
These days though, in probably 95% of the situations, I only need to count to 5! Suddenly it works for me!

Because I’m different now!

So if you haven’t tried something in a while, but you know you’ve grown, maybe try it again?

But please be kind to you. Other people’s stories and what works for them are just examples to perhaps give you some guidance. You are NOT them. Keep searching for what works for you, and don’t give up!

And remember,

As we grow, there are always new things to discover about ourselves. 😉

inside the box

As I have been making my way through the book a second time, noting down things that are important for my journey, I was reminded of something that I would like to share.

I thought of the ‘me’ I was twenty years ago, and how she would have reacted had she read this book back then. That ‘me’ was inclined to still be quite naive, and opinionated in a sense that what I believed was the only way and if you didn’t agree, you were wrong.
Oh my! How I missed out on so many valuable things along the way!

It had a lot to do with the belief systems that were taught to me from a young age – passed down to me. (I wrote a post about belief systems here last year – pardon the language.) The thing is that I was never encouraged to form and build on my own belief system. There was no freedom to think out of the box – it was a scenario relatively close to ‘’it’s my way, or the highway’’. And if I didn’t live inside that box, then I was a failure, and unworthy. And I BELIEVED I was!

But you see….

That particular belief system probably originated from the generation prior. Because we build and live according to what we know. And some of us are not fortunate enough to ever ‘broaden our horizons’. I’ve had a lot of life experience in a lot of areas – sometimes I feel like I’ve already done life three times over. 😛

There are studies that have shown that as a child, the more we get exposed to, the more our immune system builds. It gets strengthened by the yucky stuff. I often joke that part of the reason my immune system is so strong can be accredited to gravel (a selection of small stones all together).  When I was 5, our school had gravel beneath the swings. In hindsight, it wasn’t such a wonderful thing because if you jumped off the swing and lost your balance, it hurt! I would sit in that swing and gently rock myself back and forth, sucking stones that I had picked out from the gravel. Ewwww! I know! I also played in the dirt a lot, even in my white dress with red polka dots, much to my mother’s horror. (I ruined that dress on my 6th birthday at my party when I fell out of a tree 😛 )
But I also wasn’t very sick as a child, so perhaps that’s why?

Here’s how I think this relates to my own belief system (which is continuously growing, just by the way) :

I was brought up inside the box. To the extreme. And from a little girl, I fought with that lid.
I have had more than my fair share of bad experiences – some where I carry the responsibility, and some that were circumstantial and out of my control. I have also had some good experiences, and although they have left me with positive emotions and a lot to laugh about, none of them have ‘changed’ me.
The bad experiences have allowed me to grow, and become stronger. The lid has flown right off that box, and I am no longer bound by the way I was taught that things ‘should be’.

I don’t fully agree with everything written in the book I am now ‘studying’. Does that make the author a bad person, a failure in some areas, not worth listening to? NO! Because there is a LOT that I do agree with, and needed to hear. And the things I don’t agree with? I have ‘listened to’ anyway, because it has given me another view of something in me that was ‘concrete’ (no, I didn’t swallow any of the gravel 😛 ). And quite honestly, I need to think about what she has said.

It comes down to a firm belief that everyone is different, and that just because I believe or think the way I do, you don’t have to! And it doesn’t mean that you are worth less as a person, or that you cannot impact my life, or that we can’t be friends.

My perspectives and my beliefs and values? They’re mine. I can share them with you, I can hope that my experiences will help you or just impact you positively. But I can’t fight with you and be angry with you just because you aren’t in complete agreement with me.
Besides, you may have much to teach me if we don’t think alike, and I might miss out of the beauties of friendship and life in general if I build myself back into a box.
(I do have to add this though: I can’t put myself in harm’s way, and so sadly there are some interactions that I am forced to avoid. But these are definitely few and far between.)

We need to embrace what makes us different – celebrate your quirks, and even the things that you can’t do. And then pause for a moment and accept that someone else is probably in the same boat as you : different… trying to embrace themselves.

I’ll end with this : Someone told me the other day (in agreement with me saying that I am a very open person who doesn’t leave much to the imagination) that ‘mystery is not my superpower’.
I loved that! And had a good laugh! Of course I’d like to NOT always be so open, because I love a good mystery and so do many other people out there, but it’s the way I am and it makes me ‘me’. And I have learned to embrace it and celebrate it.

Besides, I have other superpowers 😉 *stands and swoops her cape dramatically and clicks ‘publish’*

 

one step at a time

Last night there was an off sounding violin in my room (a mosquito)! It clearly came from the era of Greek mythology and had my gender completely confused. It mistook me for the greatest, handsomest and bravest warrior of that time, and branded me as such.

It only bit me twice, from what I can tell, for the itches are isolated to those two areas. Both heels – where my ‘Achilles’ tendon begins 😛 😛 😛

As I sit here typing, I realise that I have been AWOL for a few days again – where has the time gone?

Do you ever sit and think about all the things you feel you need to do – ‘and the necessity to get up and go’ – and then you suddenly notice how much time has passed and realise you need to get going, and so you stand up…. and the wave of knowledge crashes over you : your ‘get up and go’ has already ‘got up and went’. 😛 😉

I have accomplished and fulfilled the commitments of the last few days, even though some have been difficult. But there have been other things that I committed to in my mind and would really like to have got done. They’re still waiting. Today is a new day though, and I can always see how far I can get 😉
I DO, however, have a lunchtime commitment that will be a bit exhausting… but I am determined to come home and try and tackle at least one of the things I ‘need’ to do.

Because that is life. There is MUCH to be done. And it can be overwhelming when we take into account the amount of tasks and goals and dreams that come with being alive.

As a woman, and a mother, there is an incredible ability instilled in me to multi task. However, I have had to learn that sometimes that in itself can lead to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Sometimes, even when everything on the list seems to be urgent and a priority, it still helps to focus on only one at a time. Because in order to do it well, it needs your full attention!

This is a battle/lesson in growth that remains on the surface of my brain. I cannot do it all – and if I want to do things to the best of my ability, then I need to give each one its own space and time and attention.

images (1)

 

One more thought before I go : being like a child.
Yesterday I attended a children’s birthday party. It was the party of the boys who live across from me in our townhouse complex (cluster of houses within the boundaries of fencing almost like a gated community).
These boys are adopted. The oldest arrived at about 8 months old. The youngest was only 4 months when he moved in. I immediately bonded with the youngest because I was called on on his first day home to help. The new mom was uncertain and didn’t know quite what to do with this little baby who wouldn’t stop crying. I’ve had a lot of experience, and I also seem to have the ‘baby touch’, so off I went to help. As he has grown, the catch phrase has always been that he is ‘Aunty Meg’s Baby/Child’.

Yesterday we celebrated the oldest being 7, and ‘my baby’ being 6. Time has flown!
As I sat for two hours and watched the fifteen odd children running and playing and swimming and laughing, I was reminded of the joy and pleasure of youth. And the excitement of something as simple as a birthday, which a lot of us try and hide from as we grow older.

And I remembered my own childlike amazement and wonder, and laughter and excitement, when I had the opportunity of exploring the UK with my dad. Even with regards to simple things that others who live there get to see and experience every day.
Yes, everyone could tell I was a tourist in a way – but I also think that some looked at me and saw a child in an adult’s body – my awe and laughter was akin to that!

Of course you know where this path of thought is taking me, right?

Life is really serious when you are an adult. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with being a grown up. Especially when you have children who rely on you.
But you still need to find the moments where you can think like a child – the serious considerations are to not see colour, or status; to withhold judgments and just be kind and see THE PERSON as opposed to everything else.

The not so serious considerations? To remember that there are simple things that can elicit laughter and a happy euphoria.

Today, I shall throw caution to the wind (diet out the window 😛 ) and eat ice cream with my ‘not-so-much kids anymore’ and I might even search out my copy of Enid BlytonThe Enchanted Wood‘, and reconnect with Silky, Moonface and the dear old Saucepan Man. 😉
I wish I still had my Victoria Plum book collection, and duvet/comforter set 🙂

Who Do You Need?

 

mistakes

Photo credit : sayingimages.com

 

“Nobody’s perfect, but some of us are closer than others.”

The above statement about perfection was written on a wooden board sign hanging in my brothers room while I was growing up. Every time he caught me looking at it – which was usually about the same time he caught me in his bedroom (his room was no man’s land, and definitely not a place that I was allowed to be) he would say to me, “Sorry for you, but you’re not some. Now get out of my room.”

I never fully understood until my other brother, the oldest of the two, explained that he was telling me that I was nowhere near perfect. I can remember that for many years, this hurt me. Looking back now, I laugh about it – and regret the time I wasted in my growing up years allowing it to upset me.

Because here’s the thing : while I sound like I know what I am doing, the only reason I can be this way (and sort of know what I am doing) is because of the mistakes I have made – sometimes the same one a number of times. It used to be ”classic Meg syndrome”. Make a bad choice/mistake – say sorry. Get another chance. But everyone knew I would do it again a few more times.

I never struggled with learning at school, unless I was being lazy 😛 And although I don’t think I have a brilliant IQ, I do think that I am intelligent enough to be able to hold my own. A comment I often heard growing up, and in adult life too, was, “You’re a beautiful girl and you’re not stupid. So WHY? It just baffles my brain.”

Unfortunately, a lot of bad choices were circumstantial. And a lot of those frustrated people who made that comment about me were the greatest ‘influencers’ of the circumstances.
Quotes-About-Judging-Peoples-Choices

Photo credit : therandomvibez.com

They say that life is all about making mistakes – there was a time where I was succeeding beyond my wildest dreams! 😛 😉

Perhaps I was striving for genius status – since we learn from our mistakes? 😛

Here’s the thing though : while I have always been a responsible and caring person, with a kind and loving heart, I have not always been very wise – and I have had my moments of my own form of rebellion, and have done and said things that I cannot take back.

In the past few years I have aged greatly. Apparently I still look young – even though I don’t feel it. My son is very complimentary with regards to this, and was not surprised when a 27 year old asked me on a date. I was horrified – as was my daughter, because I am old 😛 And yet, when I say I am probably best suited for a man in his fifties, she tells me I am too young for that. Kid can’t make up her mind 😛 (My son agrees with me though – but always tells me I look younger than what I am. He’s not just flattering me, which makes me feel good. But not good enough to date a 27 year old 😛 )

But I have aged greatly – and not in years (or looks apparently). In the past few years, I have gained a lot of wisdom and insight, and I have grown a lot. 
Much more than many people my age. I’ve always had a bit of an old soul, so that has already sort of set me apart. An elderly lady I encountered a few days ago told me, “You are not like the youth of today. You have a lot of wisdom. You’ve obviously had a challenging past.”

Yes. I have had a challenging past. Yes, I have done things, and said things, that I am not proud of. I have had things happen to me that have caused pain beyond just their occurrence. The things kept coming, and the circumstances wouldn’t change, and I kept making bad decisions. And it made things challenging. And I was too busy playing the blame game and making excuses and wallowing in my misery to face those challenges. 

I’ll admit – when it comes to my physical appearance, I still don’t see anything worth writing home about. I still struggle with poor self image when it comes to my outer being – partly, a woman thing; partly for other reasons. I do work on that, and am trying to change it. I will say that I have grown to love my eyes – I do see, when I look in the mirror, that although they are a boring brown, they are far from boring. I know how expressive they are, and acknowledge that physically they are my best feature. People who see me speak – my friend in the US only on video calls – have always told me the above. I have only accepted in the past few years. And that’s as far as I have got with physical image.

I am too busy with matters of the heart – my main focus is on what is going on inside of me. Who I am. Because on my blog pages, and in emails to distant new friends who I may never meet, who I am inside is what shines through.

I have worked hard the past few years, at facing my mistakes and taking responsibility where I needed to. And learning. It’s been difficult, and I have suffered. The pain has been insurmountable at times – particularly when having to forgive and move on with people who will never say they are sorry.

Because of my mistakes, I am able to counsel and advise others in many areas.
Funny enough, a lot of the time, I learn something new while doing so.

But please don’t ever be under the impression that I have always been the way I am depicted here. While my core has always been good, there have been many moments of bad. When I write here, I write from personal experiences and my ‘wisdom and goodness’ come from having made some awful mistakes. This alone should terrify you a little 😛

And the thing is, I still make mistakes. Thank goodness. Or there would be nothing left for me to learn! Some of those mistakes come from choices I willingly make : being too trusting, and too honest; my willingness to accept, acknowledge and embrace the fact that everyone is different, and that everyone deserves kindness and consideration, and as many chances as it takes for them to heal and ‘get it right’.

Yes, I leave myself exposed and vulnerable. And get hurt. But I’d rather be making these types of choices and mistakes, than be selfish and bitter and wallowing and blaming, like I tended to be in my younger years.

One of the things that had the greatest influence on me (there have been many), and brought about HUGE changes was a picture I saw on Facebook a few years ago – I googled and found it :

be-who-you-needed

 

‘Nuff said!