positive stress

Wait, what?!?

The word ‘stress’ has always held such a negative connotation for me. And 95% of the articles and conversations in my life, that have been read, heard or participated in, have all been regarding the negative side of stress – distress, as some refer to it. It has never crossed my mind that there could be a ‘positive’ type of stress… until today.

I happened to be glancing through a backlog of emails, and the subject of one was ‘positive stress’. So that is the first one I read, of course! 😉
The official term for it is ‘Eustress’. It is defined as being ‘a positive form of stress having a beneficial effect on health, motivation, performance, and emotional well-being‘.

The good stress is the kind that is nerve and hormone driven – it has to do with excitement, even if we are stepping into the unknown. The list of triggers for this kind of stress is very long, and as I read through them, I understood another statement I had read just moments earlier.

The statement was this : ”Many times good stress itself turns bad… because instead of continuing to challenge ourselves in a healthy way, we often tend to overwhelm ourselves by placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves, even though we know our resources are limited.”

One of the triggers for ‘good stress’ was ‘taking on a project that will help you showcase your strengths, which will not only bring you professional satisfaction, but many positive reactions in your emotional well-being too’.

My first reaction to reading that as being an example for eustress was a firm shake of my head. Because it didn’t happen that way for me at all! And as I pondered my reaction, I reread this statement : ”Many times good stress itself turns bad… because instead of continuing to challenge ourselves in a healthy way, we often tend to overwhelm ourselves by placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves, even though we know our resources are limited.”
And I realised that THAT was in fact what had happened to me in my situation!

In my late twenties, I had been offered an amazing opportunity to use my talents and head up a new project that my current boss was considering taking on. It would mean a lot of research, but I was going to be able to not only draft the presentation, but actually present it myself, to a group of influential people in that line of work. I hardly slept that night because I was just so excited, and the ideas swimming around in my head were ‘Olympic quality swimmers’ 😉
By lunchtime the next day, I was sick to my stomach, and convinced my heart was gearing up to fail me.
In our meeting of opportunity, my boss had actually been the one to fail me. He’d handed me the Dessert, before showing me the full menu!

The presentation meeting had already been scheduled – I had three days, start to finish!
None of the presentation work could be done during working hours, as I was already busy all day, handling all the administration for his other three businesses – this included payroll and bookkeeping etc. I was newly divorced with an eighteen-month-old baby girl, and an eight-year-old son, with no child care options available to me.
Eustress escalated quickly into distress. And by the time the meeting arrived, I was physically ill as a result of lack of sleep, and, well, ‘bad’ stress.

And at the end of it all, I was not only physically ill, but unhappy emotionally too – I knew it wasn’t my best work, I was disappointed in myself and felt inadequate…. and my confidence definitely took a knock.
I suppose the lesson in my personal experience with work stress was simply this : to know myself, to be realistic about the resources I have, and to learn to speak up before I get overwhelmed (or overwhelm myself, I suppose).
And, in all honesty, it would serve me to remember to apply that to all areas in my life 😉

I’ll close with this little list, which was provided as ways to include/introduce more positive stress in your life :

• Make an effort to learn something new every day – even if it is something small
• Get out of your comfort zone – try taking on a new challenge in the ‘great unknown’.
• Boost your positive endorphins by getting some exercise!
• Start delving into ways to set realistic, yet challenging, goals and try a new way each week, growing these over time.

And that’s all from me for today ❤
I’m off to spend some time on the new course I signed up for 😉

Because some days…

These last couple of weeks, I have had many challenges thrown my way. Life is not handing me lemons, its not even throwing them at me. I am sure it has switched to brightly coloured yellow cricket balls instead! 😛 The challenges have come by way of every aspect of my life – family, health, friends, financial. The truly difficult part for me is that although I keep having them thrown at me, every single one is at the point of a ‘stale mate’.

There are decisions to be made (some that are VERY important) and I can’t make them.
Because I am waiting.
I am waiting on other people to provide me with concrete answers so that the decisions in some of the situations can be informed ones. In other situations, I am waiting for other people to make choices that will affect the decisions that I then need to make – my heart is with them, no matter what they decide, always… but I can only ‘be of service’ if they are willing and open to it.

In all of this, every moment of the day, I have just felt drained. (The endless hours of back and forth phone calls where no one can give me a straight answer is possibly a big part of that!)

I cannot control any of it. And I can’t help but smile. Because the small challenges along the way in the past year have actually prepared me for THIS time now… where things are coming at me from all angles.
The past year, as I slowly accepted the learning and growing process, I came to a point where I was finally able to say : I will not allow the things I can’t control to afford me unnecessary stress. I need to truly accept that I can’t control them, and find a way to ‘let it go’. I need to focus on what I CAN control, and take it from there.

And no… it’s not as easy, or as simple, as we often make it sound. It’s hard work. And I am willing to do it and keep striving for the ‘unexplainable peace and ability to still have joy’ that exists within me despite all these circumstances surrounding me.

But (such is life) I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that there are times where negative emotions DO make their appearance.

The other day, after an extremely emotionally driven phone call where MY calmness was very much required, I eventually got to hang up the phone… and I just burst into tears.
This would have been fine if I was at home… it was rather embarrassing that it happened while I was sitting in my car, outside of the studio my daughter dances at. Even worse, another mom pulled up and hopped out of her car to come and say ‘hi’.
We chatted very briefly, and she completely understood what I meant when I said, ”If I could tell you, I would. But I just can’t seem to find my words right now to even begin to explain.”
She squeezed my hand encouragingly, and we both chuckled as I whipped out my sanitiser and sprayed both our hands. And then her phone rang, and she needed to rush off again…. but she said to me, ”There is a message you sent me a few months ago. I still have it. I am going to find it and send it to you. Hang in there, girl, you’ve got this!”
And off she went.

I spent the next forty five minutes fighting off tears and sobs, trying to distract myself from my earlier phone call. I felt like I was losing a battle I hadn’t had time to prepare for. And then her message appeared on my phone. A screenshot of my message to her :

”I know you’re feeling sad, so I won’t tell you to try and be happy. I am not going to tell you to ‘go and do things that make you happy’. I am not going to ask you to be a warrior woman of strength and faith (even though I know you are). What I AM going to tell you to do… ask you to do… for now, in this moment of sadness : please eat something, please take a hot shower or bath, please put on some nice comfy clothes. Do the physical stuff that will keep you alive. I don’t know how or when it will get better… but I do know that it will. In the meantime, please just keep trying to stay alive. The rest will follow eventually. I am here, if you need me.”

Dear readers, bloggers, friends… what we put out in this world DEFINITELY comes back to us, and most times the good things come when we need them the most. So keep putting the good stuff out there, and my hope for you is that you will ALWAYS experience the returns on that when YOU need them the most! ❤

Horton heard what?

It’s that day again! 😉

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Photo credit : skiptomylou.org

Today is Dr Seuss Day

”Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known by his pen name Dr. Seuss, was a writer, poet and cartoonist. Though best known as a children’s author (he released a whopping forty-six books for tykes), his career also saw him work as an illustrator for advertising campaigns and a political cartoonist during the Second World War. He was also a true perfectionist, known to discard 95% of his material before settling on a theme for a new book, sometimes spending up to a year writing a single story, and preferring payment upon completion, rather than in advance.

March 2nd is a celebration of his life and works, as it was on this day in 1904 that he entered the world. Having lived eighty-seven years and made an incredible impact on numerous generations, he died in 1991 at his home in La Jolla, California. His many bizarre, colourful and zany tales are still cherished by young and old alike, and, having been translated into more than twenty languages, are read all across the world every single day.” Extract taken from the link provided above.

I owned four of his books as a child (all the others I read came from the library), and I still have them!  I read them to my children when they were younger, and they’ve now been packed away for my grandchildren one day (although I think I will be waiting a very long time for that 😛 Not that I’m complaining 😉 )

seuss 1

Photo credit : northernnatalcourier.co.za

And as I am reminiscing, and looking through all the quote images, I see a lot of the things that I have a tendency to say in them – perhaps he had a greater influence on me than I thought 😉

seuss2

Photo credit : earlymoments.com

seuss3

So here’s my ‘Dr Seuss inspired’ wish for you :

May you find the strength and wisdom for the mountains that you climb.

May you remember that no one can be a better ‘you’ than you.

May your heart not only be open to caring for others, but may you also find opportunities to be kind.

May you be filled with courage to stand out in the crowd – stick to your values and goals and pursue your dreams… no matter who says what!

AND ….

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

May you experience the goodness and greatness of love EVERY DAY that can’t be bought.

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 😉 )

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 😉 )

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 😉 

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 😉

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

Routinely Singing

I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine the other day and she was laughing with me about certain behaviours I have! It was regarding our current strict lock down, and she sort of stopped me midway through our chat, laughing at me and saying, ”I can’t believe you still have those routines in place.” I laughed too, because some of it is just so silly and unnecessary based on the current circumstances. And yet I can’t help it.

One of the things that was taught to me when I was a teen, working as a volunteer with children, was that children need routine. That it helps them to understand what is expected of them, teaches them to respect boundaries and can actually make them feel safe and secure.

I am a fully grown adult, and yet there are so many childlike qualities that I still believe are important to have – things that are actually still quite important to me. I often get teased that I am not spontaneous enough – please don’t get me wrong, I can be spontaneous. But I seem to lean more towards ‘how things fit into the life I lead. How will it affect my children? How does it affect my time? What will the effect of it be on my responsibilities?’

Super boring, right there, right? Same as boring, but I have a special cape for it 😛

But… you see… some of my routines tend to reduce my stress, either immediately, or they’re in place to try and reduce stressful situations that may come at a later stage. I’ll explain it like this : Before lock down, the routine in my house because of school was to get up at 5am on weekdays. Weekends, I would ‘sleep in’ till about 6:30am – because I usually used to have my daughter at dancing by 9am.
Our world has come to a standstill with lock down.
Most mornings now, I allow myself to sleep in till 6am.
And this was the very thing that my friend was laughing about.
”Why don’t you stay in bed and let yourself go back to sleep, silly Meg. There’s nothing else happening 😛 ”

Why don’t I? Because if I break that routine, and sleep later, or go back to sleep after waking, then if and when things return back to normal hours, it will add to my stress : it will be difficult to fall back into the pattern of such very early mornings. I may even oversleep one day.
I know myself, so I need to keep working on reducing my stress, and that’s just one small way.

So many other things regarding my routines, stress management and productivity have fallen to the wayside – but due to factors I cannot control. And so I have accepted those ‘breaks in routine’ and have had to let go of them in the sense of not allowing them to make me feel bad, or unproductive, or stressed out. An example of this is that we only have one fully functional, working computer in the house – I need it, my son needs it for university, and my daughter now needs it for school. We can control the compromise regarding who gets to use it when, but if it means I have an afternoon where I have been unable to work on the computer, I don’t allow myself to feel that I have been unproductive.

Initially, this was not my attitude and it had started getting to me in many ways – all the little things that were affecting my routine.

And then I remembered one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned over the last few years, 

”Can you control this? Is there anything you can do to change this? If your answer is no, then let.it.go.”

It wasn’t easy. I am not a control freak by any means – and when it comes to my house, I definitely don’t have any form of OCD 😛 It’s chaos… mostly organised chaos… but still chaos.

But I have always been a fixer, and I like ‘to know’. I also went through the stages of taking responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me, and allowing sadness and guilt to weigh me down.

Now? I’m just frozen. 😛 (as in singing the Frozen song… ‘let it go, let it go’.… 😉

I still have my weak moments… but I’m hellbent on continuing to sing… and I will keep giving myself stern lectures because I am still me, I am still productive and calm, and a fairly good person 😉

This is tough on everyone – – – – –  but please give yourself a hug. Because you cannot control it. Just keep doing the best you can ❤

How we are doing…

I saw this on Facebook and I laughed out loud… so of course, I have to share it 😉

time men

It did get me to thinking though how blessed we are to have been granted time at home to do the things we never really get a chance to do, because life gets in the way.

The only real changes to my life as I know it is that I am no longer having to be Mom’s Taxi – no school, no dance. And suddenly I am no longer minus four hours in my day 🙂
I did realise, with a small amount of sadness, that it doesn’t actually affect me socially. I very seldom get together with friends anymore. So 21 days with myself? Well, that’s pretty much the norm these days. (Well, technically me, my dogs, and my children – the norm.) This is usually due to a busy dancing schedule that means I have to cancel plans to be the transport 😉 And it’s actually a norm that I enjoy – I don’t feel unfulfilled or lonely. And when I do get together with friends on the odd occasion? It means that I enjoy and value the time a little bit more.

There has been a little bit of tension in my house though – my big dog was grumpy for a couple of days (after a vet trip, he’s been given antibiotics – infected nail), my teen is daughter is grumpy because she misses her friends and dancing, and says that practising at home on her own just isn’t the same. I totally get that! My 21 year old son, who is almost finished his BComm degree which he is doing online, is a bit grumpy because he’s used to us being out of the house for a few hours a day which gives him a little bit of peace – understandable, again. I’m grumpy because I dislike having to do damage control between the two of them 😛 😛 😛
My little dog just carries on with her life, chasing bugs and completely oblivious to the rest of us. Life is good 😉

The virus has hit my town, and as far as I know, we have three confirmed cases. This was still not enough to elicit panic in me. In fact the calm that I am feeling in the midst of all this chaos can only be credited to a Higher Power – Something Greater than me.
Or maybe there truly is something wrong with me?

Our President announced on Monday night that the country is going into lock down from Thursday. And my town went mad. People flocked to every shop, bottle store, pharmacy and emptied the shelves – hundreds of people in small spaces bumping up against each other, not respecting even half a metre distance in queues. Just plain crazy.
I have enough food supplies to last us three days – and I can bake 😉
Thereafter, I will be trying to purchase online for delivery. However, at the moment, our online service (we only have one supplier for groceries) is out of stock – I can’t even buy 2 litres of long life milk for my cupboard. How silly! They have assured us that they will be replenishing stocks in the next couple of days though. And as I said, I can bake – so I have assured the kids they won’t starve 😉
I still genuinely feel calm. SMH. (Shaking My Head, for those who don’t know 😉 )

I will admit, however, that I was extremely angry on Monday afternoon. And here’s why:

Patient Zero (our first Coronavirus patient here in my town) is a 28 year old woman who returned from Germany recently, and tested positive last week. She agreed to self-quarantine in her own home, and so they sent her home. 
However, on the weekend, she roamed the streets  – she went shopping and apparently even went out for a meal. Because, according to her, it is her right. And yes, I am going to say it, ‘What the eff???!!!’

This young lady claimed that she was exercising her right to freedom of movement – how dare they tell her to stay at home. Personally, I feel our government should be exercising their right to charge her with culpable homicide. 

I don’t think what has happened in my town is exclusive. I don’t think she’s the only one with this type of attitude. But because it hits so close to home, it just made me SO ANGRY!

Yes, we don’t need to panic. But I can’t stress enough that we DO need to stop being so selfish. Why is this so difficult for people? Has this world really become such a heartless place? 

I have been very careful to pretty much ‘self quarantine’ the kids and I, even though we have no symptoms of the virus. (Pretty much since schools here shut down, and so I have been ‘legally’ able to.) I have limited my outings to the shops greatly, without panic buying.
I haven’t done all this because I am overreacting, scared or misinformed. I have done this because I need to do my part to protect the elderly, and people that are perhaps sick with pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable. 

Because here’s what I do know : they’re still learning about this virus. I could be a carrier without even knowing it, despite the fact that I have been really careful, and not been in physical contact with anyone who has travelled – to my knowledge.

I know that It’s Not About Me!

Let’s all try to be kind enough to consider other people, please.

Be safe, dear readers and friends. And don’t forget to fix the things that need fixing because now you have time 😛 😉

What are the odds that you’re awesome?

I don’t listen to podcasts – well not really, anyway. And it’s not just a personal thing.

My children love apples – but only the Granny Smith kind, and so there’s always a few on the kitchen counter. When they complain that there’s ‘nothing to eat in this house’ (usually in reference to nothing that they consider worth eating – no sugary substances or other such junk food – and I know you have this problem too), I am able to point at the apple supply with satisfaction and a murmur of, ‘see? you won’t starve’!

But those are the only ‘apples’ in our house.

I don’t know the exact year, but after asking a few friends, and based on my own knowledge, I think Apple only really became popular in South Africa about 6 years ago. And over here, if you have an iPhone, you’re pretty much top-notch.

As I mentioned above, I am only top-notch with my endless supply of Granny Smith Apples. 😛

I discovered midway through last year, due to a friend sharing a link to a ‘must hear’ podcast with me, that my computer can actually access these, despite it not being Apple related. Since then, I have listened to a few. The thing is that they don’t really ‘work for me’. I can’t get on with my day while I am listening – I need to give it my attention and a lot of times I want to be able to make notes to remember things that are important to me. When I half listen and wash the dishes, I can’t make notes… and I miss a lot.

I need to connect. I need to see you talking to me. Somehow words work in written format for me – I am able to connect. But if you’re telling me something important so that I can grow and be a better me, then just hearing your voice isn’t going to cut it. I need to see you. So the better option for me is always video – thus YouTube is my ‘go to’. So now the point of this blog post (gosh, yes! I took a long time to get here!) :

I watched a YouTube video the other day and something that was said has been on my mind ever since. (Thanks, Mel Robbins!) I did check what I heard and saw, and there were tons of other equally astounding odds in relation to this.

“Scientists estimate the probability of your being born at about one in 400 trillion.”

 

Wait, what???!!!!???

^^^Read it again^^^That’s a BIG number, and those odds are mind blowing!

Now I totally get it when someone has gone through experiences in life that has robbed them of their self-worth. I totally get it that sometimes life is hard, circumstances are devastating, peace feels like it’s only ever going to be a sign from the 60’s.

I totally get it because I have experienced it first hand. I sometimes still do. Life ain’t perfect, and neither am I. We can’t control everything.

BUT …. 1:400 TRILLION ???

COME ON! 

Your existence is extraordinary! It surpasses all known human or natural powers. You’re a miracle that breathes! 

You ARE awesome!

And the next time you begin to question why you ever born… or someone else questions it and tells you that you shouldn’t have been – that you are unwanted and unworthy? PLEASE remember the above! Because with odds like that, there is DEFINITELY a reason for your birth – your life definitely serves a purpose!

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, or where you’re at right now. It doesn’t matter what other people tell you, or what you have been led to believe. 

It matters that you let the above sink in, and take a chance to make a change, if need be. Put in that little bit extra… because YOU’RE WORTH IT! With odds like that, stop underestimating yourself!

Go and be the awesome ‘you’ that you are!

You Are The Best!

Each and every one of us are different. And there are days when I look in the mirror and think, ‘well, thank goodness for that!’. 😛
Honestly though….

NO ONE can be a better YOU than YOU! (And it’s in red because it is really important!) And guess what? Your birth was a blessing, no matter what the circumstances. You have gifts and talents, even if you haven’t discovered them yet. And you have a purpose!

You aren’t defined by your past, and that includes yesterday. Because perhaps yesterday you did something that suddenly sparked a much needed change and so today you are a better person, striving towards the greatness you were created for.

And if you feel like you haven’t yet managed to grasp your particular talent, ability, purpose and it’s making you feel worthless? Please don’t lose heart! You will! You’re still the best ‘you’ that anyone could ever hope to be and you’re filled with undeniably positive potential! (Even if it means you need to learn and grow and discover 😉 )
No matter what : you matter!

So having said all that, I am also going to say this : some people can be really mean, and sometimes I think that’s why Noah only took animals on the ark. 😛
They stand in judgement of every little thing, and they’re critical, and they’re a downright hindrance to whatever self esteem we are trying to build. And sometimes, if we pause to explore where they’re coming from, we might find a lot of hidden hurt… and opinions based on the beliefs they have. They can still be quite destructive though. (If we let them be : and let’s face it, sometimes we’re in a place where we struggle to not let them influence us.)
They’re a ball of continuous negativity that just seems to never stop rolling.

The thing is, when I think about it, there are times where my behaviour was exactly like theirs. Those times may have been fleeting, but I’d be lying if I said that I have never judged another, or been critical, or broken down someone’s self esteem.

However, nowadays when that old pattern of self threatens to emerge, I am usually a lot more successful at preventing myself from reacting or behaving in that way, because I have worked really hard to eliminate the beliefs that taught me to be that way and deal with my pain.  And I owned my mistakes – and appreciated the times they were not thrown in my face. There’s also something extra special and extremely uplifting when someone pauses at an action you have taken and wants to know ‘why’ – without just the assumption that actions speak louder than words.

The ‘WHY’ is actually the source of the biggest step towards change and growth. Without understanding ‘why’, or caring enough to ask someone ‘why’, they may not ever get the help they need and may continue on a path of self destruction. I understand that sometimes the why isn’t a simple answer – but growth and change aren’t always simple either.

In a world where we can be anything, let’s not only be kind…. let’s also be understanding.

This was actually all sparked by a motivational speaker who has fed me some truly great opinions and knowledge that have helped me, but has also recently been tarnished in the media for doing something ‘terrible’. And while I agree that ‘the deed’ is in fact a bit questionable, I don’t know why it was done – I have no real knowledge of the circumstances or the emotions, or the struggle that I am sure was happening internally.  Does it mean that the food I was able to glean for my own soul now no longer has worth? NO! 
It just means that this person has weaknesses too – and that the weakness has temporarily won – and perhaps there is a great sense of purpose to it? For who knows?Perhaps there’s a lesson for them and an opportunity for even more growth. Because we never stop growing or learning. Perhaps this is a part of their journey.

They may be a celebrity with a recognised social status and more money than I could ever possibly imagine having or even desire (unless it means I can give it away and help the people in my life who I know so desperately need it!) … but that celebrity is still a person, like me. They also matter. They also need kindness and understanding. They also make mistakes.

And since I didn’t like being judged and criticised for mine, I don’t think it’s fair that I jump on the bandwagon and do the same to them – especially since I don’t understand the situation.

That weakness led to a mistake being made. Celebrities are not perfect, so why do we think they don’t make mistakes? Just like we do. Just like some parents do. Just like some pastors do. Just like some teachers do.

Just. Like. Me.

 

 

momentary presence

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Photo credit : thatsundayfeelingblog.com

This morning, as I sipped thoughtfully on my second cup of coffee and watched a YouTube video, something in me seemed to wake up – and it wasn’t just because of my brain’s caffeine ecstasy.

I’m sure that in my archives somewhere I have probably written a post on ‘balance’ – healthy life balance to boost happiness and productivity each day. A part of me still agrees with that because sometimes we have to be careful about what we choose to connect to – we need to balance things out and focus more on priorities, seeking out positive contributions to our lives as opposed to negative ones.

As a single mom, (and dad – because he’s been gone for 12+ years), breadwinner, head of the household, I have a lot that I need to juggle and balance on a daily basis. Throughout the day, I find myself thinking of the next thing that needs to be done on the list and how I am going to accomplish it, or fit it in, while still attending to the things that require my immediate attention.

BUT….

I’m missing out! Sabotaging myself, in a way!

Instead of balancing my need to be balanced, I’ve focused way too much on it! (That makes sense in my head – hope it does in yours too!)

I’ve been so focused on finding balance and accomplishing it, that I have lost sight of being present in the moment. Completely present. Showing up and being there, just in that moment!

And allowing myself to reflect on that, I can actually ‘see’ where I have missed out on so many opportunities to experience so many wonderful things! 

Moments have always been special to me, don’t get me wrong. Being present is something I push for. But if I am entirely honest? As ‘present’ as I am? My mind is still ‘juggling’, at a mile a minute, the next thing that needs to be done.

I am totally missing out on what can be accomplished, enjoyed and celebrated if I just stop and stay in that moment instead of worrying if I’m balancing things correctly!

After all, the present moment is all I have that is guaranteed – so I need to make the most of it! 

 

Where do you write?

 

“Two friends were walking through the desert. At one stage in their journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything he wrote in the sand, ‘Today my best friend slapped me in the face.’

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to have a wash. The one who had been slapped got stuck in a mire and started drowning, but his friend saved him. After he had recovered from his shock, he wrote on a stone, ‘Today my best friend saved my life.’

The friend who slapped and saved his best friend asked him, ‘After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write in stone, why?’

The other friend replied, ‘When someone hurts us we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.’” 

~story from thoughtcatalogue.com~

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It’s easier said than done, I know. But I read this story this morning, and it really made me pause and think. Everybody hurts sometimes, and we all get insulted on occasion. But what do we do with that?

I realised this morning that there are some hurts from the past that I have ‘written in stone’. They are things that, when I think of them, still hurt me deeply. Some of them are recent, and some of them are from many years ago. Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional. I need to make a choice, and a conscious effort, to pull those stones out, and perform a rewrite. Otherwise those things will continue to hold me back.

If something is written in stone, it is permanent and cannot be changed. However, when it comes to hurt, I believe that we can roll that stone away. And destroy it. With the chemicals of love and desire – a desire to change and move forward in our lives.

I’m going to take a chance and make a change, and try and write the negatives in sand – even do a rewrite, if I must.

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*Personal update*

I am doing a lot better health wise – a little bit tired still, but other than that, all is well.

Weather wise, your prayers (or cool thoughts, if you don’t pray 😉 ) have worked wonders!
As you may know from previous posts, our dams were emptying quickly and we were on water restrictions.
On Friday, it started to rain, and it still is, off and on. HOORAY!
Of course, there wasn’t an immediate change in our ghastly humidity levels, and Friday night was horrific, sitting at 93% at midnight. But by yesterday, it was a lot cooler, and we were even blessed with a cool breeze! This morning, when I got up at 05:00, I had to dig for a lightweight tracksuit top to ward off the slight chill in the air.
Cooler weather makes for a very happy Meg 😉