Follow up post – matters!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Calm in your heart

On Sunday, my friend, Wic, published a post called I Choose Peace.

It was, like so many of the Letters to Pogue, thought provoking, and contained many nuggets of wisdom. This particular statement from that post has sat with me the last two days :

”PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
Anon”

As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, my country is one of high crime, high unemployment, huge issues with corruption within the government, and poverty – just to mention a few.

I wasn’t surprised to discover that South Africa is ranked as the second most stressed out country in the world, losing first place to Nigeria. We gained our second place standing Β based on homicide rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), income inequality, corruption,Β unemployment, pollution and life expectancy.

I found an article from 2019 – which means it was researched, tests were done, and it was written all BEFORE the current pandemic.

There is a meme making its rounds on social media that states that ‘living in SA should be allowed to be listed as a skill on my CV’. And yes, most of us here DO laugh at it – but we know the truth in those words too.

In the article I mentioned above, I also happened to have a good belly chuckle at the following extract – because it is just so true :

Bring out the stress balls – South Africa is a mess! A recent global study has revealed the main factors which have South African citizens living in a perpetual state of anxiety and despair. Let’s take a look at the findings.

It has been said that there are two types of people in South Africa: those who can handle massive amounts of stress, and those who need bail money. As South Africans, we even find it stressful to avoid stress, and end up stressed out in anyway. We wake up screaming, and then realise that we haven’t even fallen asleep yet.”

I knew the info in the article. It’s hard not to when you live it, although it’s worse than when the article was written. I also know that my American BFF wouldn’t know any of what was going on if it wasn’t for me – she doesn’t get to see our ‘true news’ in her country, as such. I send her newspaper article links and keep her informed, and she is always shocked at how they (in the US) know nothing about most of it.
I don’t like politics. I don’t like to be negative. But let’s go back to that statement I shared above –
”PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.
Anon”
Life, for me here, is stressful – not as stressful as it is for multitudes of others in my country – but it’s still stressful. It’s also quite exhausting – constantly having to be aware of every person who moves, looking over your shoulder in broad daylight, wondering about your safety when you’re putting groceries in your car etc. We live in a constant state of awareness – and that’s tiring.

But I sleep well at night (although if there is a report of someone suspicious within our complex, or sirens on the main road outside, or people screaming, or gunshots, then it may take a while to get to sleep) – but I sleep. I wake during the night with my dogs, but I have no problem going back to sleep unless something ails me.

I don’t worry as much as I possibly should.
I still spread kindness and a smile.
I may not have achieved complete inner peace – there are still some things I need to wrestle with – but I certainly think that peace, the kind that keeps my heart calm, is a very large part of me.
My grandparents sang in the church choir my entire childhood. Grandpa had two favourite hymns, and the one was, ”It is well with my soul”.
In the pandemic, with all that is happening around me, I find myself referring to that hymn a lot in the sense that even though I seem to have had physical ailments (not the virus, no), I have taken comfort in the fact that it is still well with my soul.
There are difficult days – where it is an hour by hour motivational talk to myself to get me through. And it is on those days where I remember how important it is to feed my soul, so that it can be well.
I do not bury my head in the sand and not acknowledge that the problems exist. Outside influences DO affect us…. but it’s how much we are willing to let them affect us where the ‘answer’ lies. I also know that there are places in the world that are worse off, and it hurts me every time I think of them.
My hope for all of you is to achieve that inner peace that can help keep your hearts stay calm in the midst of the storms of life. To pursue a path that will give you the assurance of ‘it is well, despite the circumstances’.
Keep going, dear friends. Peace ❀

Vincent Ehindero Blogger Award

blog-awaard

 

I was nominated for the above award by a young lady named Chloe. I visited Chloe’s blog after Vincent Ehindero gave her a stellar recommendation.
What had impressed me most was her age! She’s only eleven years old.
When I was eleven, I loved writing too – but we didn’t have internet in those days. I somehow doubt, even if we did, that I would have had the courage to start a blog though! She describes herself as being a little….. energetic. That made me smile for sure. πŸ˜‰
You should definitely stop by her lovely blog, especially if you enjoy poetry πŸ˜‰

Thank you for the nomination, Chloe πŸ™‚

The Rules:

1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog

2. Make a post of the award (with photo)

3. Post the rules

4. Ask 5-10 questions of your choice

5. Nominate 10-30 other bloggers (or more) and notify them.

6. Follow Vincent Ehindero @Β vincentehindero.wordpress.comΒ (to qualify for free blog promotion and shoutout) and more blogging opportunities

Here is my Q & A from Chloe :Β 

What’s the best thing you like about blogging? And your advice.

It’s a place to express my thoughts and feelings, and enables me to connect with others all over the world.
I guess my ‘advice’ would be to remember that even in the blogosphere, everyone has a right to their opinion, and that most times, if you don’t have anything nice to say, it may be better to say nothing at all πŸ˜‰

Who is your favorite author?

I have no answer. Because I have so many, for so many different reasons πŸ˜‰ As a child, my answer definitely would have been Enid Blyton πŸ˜‰ (and my adult mind still escapes there sometimes) As I have got older, the world of books has opened up and my list of favourites has definitely grown.

What is that one thing you are very grateful for?

As cheesy as it sounds? My life. All of it. The ups and the downs, the good and the bad circumstances, the successes and the challenges. In the bad moments, I may scream into my pillow, or rant at the bathroom mirror… sometimes I even cry! But I am still VERY grateful for MY life, and the fact that I have it! ❀

Why do you blog?

Well…. why not? πŸ˜‰

What is your favorite fragrance?

Another question with a multitude of answers. But I shall give you five since I ducked the favourite author question, ha ha ha! πŸ˜‰
Vanilla
Freshly cut grass
Sandalwood
Pine needles
The ocean

Now unfortunately, as most of you will know from previous blog awards, I don’t nominate other blogs. I feel it’s a personal choice to participate, but also don’t want to put pressure on anyone πŸ˜‰
IF you find the questions appealing though, then please DO participate… consider yourself nominated πŸ˜‰Β 

  1. Is music a big part of your life? How/why? (this question inspired by this fantastic post on Letters to Pogue πŸ˜‰ that you really should check out)
  2. Do you have a sweet tooth, or are you more of a savoury lover? (inspired by Granny1947’s love for Lindt dark chocolate πŸ˜‰ Her blogs are amusing and informative – you should visit her too πŸ˜‰ )
  3. What is your favourite way to boost your mood? (Holly’s question on her latest post – a great blog for tips and advice and general inspiration. Definitely worthy of a look see πŸ˜‰ )
  4. What is something new that you would like to try out? (I keep thinking about Evan’s post on outdoor rock climbing! He has some other great blog posts as well, focusing on a motivational mindset, goals, and life in general πŸ˜‰
  5. Do you have a hobby? What is it? Pictures please πŸ˜‰ (This is just me being curious, ha ha ha!)

 

Here’s hoping everyone is well, and happy! Be safe, blogging friends!

Eat What You Want

As you may have noticed, there are blog posts where I refer to the Days of the Year site, and choose to celebrate along with them. There are a few ‘days’ being celebrated today, but of course the one that I’ve chosen absolutely appeals to me πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Apparently, today is Eat What You Want Day. Do you understand now why I couldn’t resist? πŸ˜‰

I see that this holiday was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy. So of course I wanted to see who these wonderful people were πŸ˜‰ and I popped off to Google. My goodness, then the fun really started.

Their business is called Wellcat – and according to their site :
Wellcat HerbsΒ features fine herbal products and informative commentary on the medicinal, culinary & mystical uses of herbs & spices.

But they also appear to have the copyright, and have published, somewhere in the region of about 80 different ‘holidays’. And I laughed my through the list because there are some really fun ones in there.

Now please don’t misunderstand.
EVERY day is a gift, no matter what. Every day is a day worthy of celebration. I definitely do know that, and I am grateful that I can wake up each morning to a new day, filled with possibilities and potential.

But here’s something I also know, and I’ve been made even more aware of it the past 8 weeks : sometimes circumstances (even those beyond our control) distract us. We still keep our chins up and try to remain positive and hopeful, but sometimes we forget to ‘celebrate’ life.Β 

And for me personally? Having that little push and reminder of ‘something in particular’ to celebrate can actually make a huge difference to my day.Β 

(Just as a side note : I had a good giggle when I saw that my birthday is actually one of those copyrighted days, and it’s so applicable to me. Of course, the days are different here because my seasons are the complete opposite, but it was so funny to see my birthday listed as ‘Stay Out Of The Sun’ day. I’m not a Summer person, I am a Winter gal through and through. I also don’t spend hours in the sunshine, ever! The sun makes me lazy and then I am completely unproductive, ha ha! I’ve always preferred night time and the mystery in the darkness/moonlight. So it’s rather appropriate that THAT day is listed for my birthday, don’t you think πŸ˜‰ I feel quite honoured πŸ˜‰ )

But back to today and eating what you want πŸ˜‰

Here’s the thing : thereΒ are limitations for me because there are some things that I really am not allowed to eat – not because of allergies, but because of a mild case of IBS coupled with some stomach ulcers due to a bacterial infection from three years ago that reappeared in January this year. Β So I do still need to be really careful about what I eat. Especially since I absolutely refuse to give up my coffee πŸ˜›

I’ve decided though, that for today, I am going to eat an 80g slab of wholenut chocolate for lunch πŸ˜‰ I simply have to celebrate this day somehow πŸ˜‰ And just the thought of lunchtime is making me smile, making my heart feel lighter – although I know it won’t make my body feel lighter πŸ˜›
But right now, my heart is more important πŸ˜‰

 

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!’. πŸ˜›
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 πŸ˜‰ )
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. πŸ˜›
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.Β  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.Β  Does it mean that the food I was able to glean for my own soul now no longer has worth? NO!Β 
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.

 

 

today is not your day

attention-i-can-please-only-one-person-a-day-today-14702205Photo credit : me.me

The wording in the above picture is for entertainment purposes only. Well….not completely.

I’d like to draw your attention to : Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.

Those are the words that I am meaning to say to you right now.

Today is NOT your day and tomorrow isn’t either……

It is NOT your day to give up.

It isΒ NOTΒ your day to stop dreaming.

It isΒ NOT your day to dwell on your past and the mistakes you may have made.

It isΒ NOT your day to stop growing and challenging yourself.

It isΒ NOT your day to rob the world of the beauty within you, and all you have to give.

It isΒ NOT your day to stop trying, or believing.

It isΒ NOT your day to give in to fear.

And tomorrow isn’t looking good for you either πŸ˜‰

WUAuPCSLgrPhoto credit : faxo.com