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.”

Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day. The UK celebrates it on a different day, and I often miss that one – and so, today, I will wish my stepmother, even though it’s ‘not applicable’ in their country for today. She became ‘Mum’ the year I turned eighteen. And unlike some horror stories with stepparents, she truly has been an absolute treasure in my life. I am very grateful for Mum, and her unconditional love. It hasn’t always been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

I often feel that I fall short as a ‘Mum’. And to be entirely honest, I probably do in some ways. But isn’t that just life? We never get it 100% perfect.
When it comes to being human, and being me, I am always striving to be a ‘better me than I was yesterday’. To do things differently, to be more aware of how I react, to be kinder, to be gentler etc. And all these things apply to my parenting skills too. I just keep trying. Trial and error. What works, and what doesn’t – especially with a teenage girl in the house πŸ˜›

My children and I are not a ‘normal family’. Our relationship is a different dynamic in many ways – for example, we pretty much almost never eat a meal together. This is usually due to different timetables that can’t be changed, but it is what it is.

At the end of the day, even though my children are not really children anymore, my commitment to them remains the same in a lot of ways. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will always be open and honest with me (even when my teen daughter knows it might get her into trouble, which it sometimes does πŸ˜› ) and that neither one of them will ever have cause to pause and wonder if I love them. And for me, those are the most important things and worthy of celebration!
We certainly are not a perfect family though, and we fail each other – like would you believe that my kids have never made me a cup of coffee or tea? Shocking, I know πŸ˜›
We bicker about little things, and in all honesty, there have been times where those little things have escalated quickly and we’ve almost gone to war. But we always get through it. And although there may be slight injuries, we heal… and we continue to forge forward, together.

And I love that about us.

So here’s to Mother’s Day, and single parenthood, and our ‘not normal/traditional’ little family.

I hope you all have an exceptional day celebrating!

To end off, if you’d like a laugh, please visit this old blog post… the video is for those who suffer from overprotective dad syndrome, which is rather applicable to me since I am both parents πŸ˜‰

referring time…

I have referred, more than once, to posts written by Wic, at Letters To Pogue.

It’s not just because sometimes I find them amusing (and he shares some good music every now and then), or because they are well written (and for the large part, well researched) but also because most of the time I find them to be incredibly thought provoking. And I guess I am a girl who likes to think – especially if it sometimes means being able to avoid doing the dishes πŸ˜›

Now… I have to say… unfortunately there are times where doing the dishes becomes a ‘priority’. And usually it’s because I open the cupboard and there isn’t a single plate to use – only to discover, after washing and packing away, that half the dishes are still missing… and can usually be found in my teenage daughters bedroom! FORK! No, I am not swearing… just reiterating that I also usually find where all my forks have gone too! πŸ˜›
Anyway…
So dishes become a ‘priority’ – but not one by choice, more out of necessity. Which I guess turns them into a commitment/responsibility?
Please stay with me here… the point is coming – like the full fork drawer πŸ˜›

Wic offers up a ‘Monday Musing’ post which is always worth checking out πŸ˜‰ Yesterday’s post was definitely worth ME reading. (Might be helpful to the rest of the world out there too.)

I am pretty sure it was a personal dig at me πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜› Have you ever done that? Identified so much with something that you stop and go, ”hey, should I be offended? I’m sure they mean me!” I am laughing here, because it’s ridiculous! But is it? Here’s the thing – sometimes we identify with something so much because it was exactly what we needed to ‘hear’… and perhaps there are changes we need to make. And some are more drastic than others – and not so pleasant. In this case (and maybe I missed the point – or maybe it is just different for me – or maybe my mind is still processing and avoiding dishes πŸ˜› ) it was very much an ‘adjust your thought pattern and watch what you say and how you say it’ moment.

I am not particularly fond of the word ‘priority’. It’s defined as ‘the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others’. It’s no wonder so many people get offended by it!

And it’s no wonder we are often made to feel guilty and ashamed of what we have ‘chosen’ to do with our time.

By the same token, perhaps we also need to practice a little more understanding and compassion with others regarding theirs?

Not everyone who says to us, ”Sorry, I can’t, I just don’t have time”, is trying to tell us that we have no importance in their lives.
Personally? I would prefer that they keep their job, or give their attention to their children/husband, or spend some time refilling their soul.
It doesn’t mean that I am not important to them, or that I have ‘less value’ in their life. It just means that they have other commitments and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled.

Time is also the one thing we can never get back once it has gone. And I was reminded that I personally need to remember to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ when someone shares a piece of theirs with me. So a big thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my own ‘personal musings’- sorry, Wic πŸ˜‰

So those are just my thoughts on that… and in closing, I found this, which was very appropriate πŸ˜›

And in case you are wondering… I have TWO dogs πŸ˜›

Where are you, Meg?

I am not sure who it was exactly who said it originally, but there is a very well known saying (slightly abbreviated from the original version) :

”Time waits for no man.”

And in case there is any confusion : sorry ladies, it doesn’t wait for us either πŸ˜›

The last couple of weeks saw me reaching a whole new level of being busy, because as I have mentioned before, life happens even when we are busy making other plans. πŸ˜› Circumstances out of my control meant that a lot of things happened at once, and I had no choice BUT to give them my immediate attention – trying my best to juggle a multitude of balls, and yes… I definitely dropped one or two. But I made it through the chaos, and that matters.

There were some friends who I remained in contact with during this period, although not as much as I would have liked to. I was honest with them about the demands on my time, and shared a bit of the ‘busy’ side of things. But I only shared what I guess would be considered the ‘physically’ busy side of things. ”Driving from here to there for ‘x’, meetings and endless phone calls to sort out ‘y’, etc.”

I have one particular friend with whom I am in very close contact – as in ‘every day conversation’ via messaging. I started to share the emotional side, I guess you could call it, that was absorbing my ‘other time/free time’ that I get given every day, and unfortunately it opened a door that caused me a lot of hurt and pain.

But it reminded me yet again that I have been shaped and molded the way I am for a reason.
That we are all DIFFERENT and that it is okay. And that my acceptance of that is not a weakness, despite who may think it is, but ultimately a strength.
That the ability to still see immense value in others just because they approach things differently and do what works for them is also a strength.
That still being able to love them with all my heart and treat them with kindness when they are adamant I am completely wrong and need to change my views, is strength.
That choosing to still treat those who have hurt me so very deeply, and tried to pretty much destroy the good in me, with compassion and respect is also A STRENGTH. And trust me, the fact that there is still a small spark of a love that I cannot explain for them absolutely astounds me.

Regarding that last statement in the paragraph above – a lot of people criticise me for it, and provide a host of reasons for it that link back to abuse. And while I can see the validity in what they are saying, and appreciate that abuse does shape certain things in us and spark reactions that are not natural, my ultimate reason for MY conclusion and my feelings is one that defies comprehension for many (including me sometimes) and is also one that is a PERSONAL thing and not something I can tell you how to do or even begin to properly explain.
My ultimate reason is this : part of this very painful emotional journey from the last couple of weeks has been the realisation :

I have needed mercy SO MANY times in my life, especially in times where I have hurt others in so many ways – even if my lashing out was deserved by them. What right do I have to not show it to others, even those who have done nothing other than to try and destroy me?
If I am willing, and live my life, being kind and loving to strangers who will not always return the same to me, then how can I not be willing to also extend mercy?

There IS a pill that I am struggling to swallow though – something I really struggle to understand. But there is a Voice that whispers to me that I don’t NEED to understand EVERYTHING. I try very hard not to argue. But man, oh man, it’s tough! I don’t fully understand why, when we all want respect and want people to accept that we have our OWN views and opinions, we fight so hard to force others to think exactly how we do… to a level that we disrespect their own views and opinions and choices.
I KNOW it’s a human condition, and something I have been guilty of in my younger years… but it still frustrates me trying to understand the why. , because I can’t even tell you why I used to do it πŸ˜› I really HAVE to just ‘let it go’.

I am hoping that somehow, some way, something in the above has been of help to someone. I don’t expect anyone to take anything ‘away’ from it though, simply because it is MY views and opinions, the choice I have made when it comes to living my life, and you may not agree. And guess what, I am okay with that. You still have value in this world. It’s not up to me to try and change you… it’s up to me to change ME, and just keep loving YOU for who you are.

I DO want a to share an image with you in closing though. Something I have had to remind MYSELF of EVERY DAY for the last two weeks, more than once a day….

Sending love to each and every one of you ❀ Here’s hoping you all get to experience LOTS of wonderful things this week.

the reflection

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? And no, I don’t just mean physical appearance. I don’t know about you, but glancing in the mirror at myself, I don’t just see my physical reflection. For some reason it sparks a quick ‘check in’ with my mind and soul too.

Looking in the mirror can be a tough one for many of us – and it may surprise some to know that the ‘us’ who struggle with it are not just women!

When you’re in a good place in your life, the mirror’s reflection will make you smile, as you will see everything good. For some, this is most of their lives.
But for many it isn’t so.
Especially when there has been a history of abuse.

I want you to know, if you struggle, that I hear you. And I feel you.
Many times I stared in that mirror with harshness. I was truly my own worst enemy, critical of everything about me. I seemed to remember every mistake I had made, and berated myself for all of them. I noticed every line, every wrinkle, every scar – and I felt ugly.
I could feel the anger growing – at myself, at those who had hurt me, at the world as a whole.
And I would walk away from that mirror feeling frustrated and sad, angry and rejected.

It takes time.

I intensely disliked that statement. ”It takes time”. I have always been a fairly patient person, but hearing that always sparked a response in my mind, ”Good grief! How much longer? What a farce!”

But it happened. Slowly, at first.
And it doesn’t just take time. It happened when my attitude began to change. And that in itself was extremely difficult!
I don’t even remember the beginning of the change.
All I remember is that I made a choice.

I had seen, and experienced first hand, the damage that bitterness does – not just to the individual, but to every person they ‘touch’. I also noticed how that bitterness spilled over into almost everything, and because it was not dealt with, it grew at an alarming rate. And it negatively affected all other emotions. I watched that individual for many years (it wasn’t me) and saw how the only emotions that seemed to ‘increase’ along with that bitterness that never stopped growing were dissatisfaction, anger, sadness, misery.

And some of those things ‘latched’ onto me. But I think I was in denial. Or perhaps I was so busy trying to survive my circumstances, that I didn’t give them the attention they deserved.

All I know is that about four years ago, I began my journey with personal growth. It was sparked by the thought, ”There has to be more to life than this”. And as I began to delve into parts of my mind that ‘just were’, I was horrified to discover that even though it wasn’t a permanent state of mind, I was definitely nurturing my own little garden of bitterness, and all the other things that came with it!

And I made a choice. Because I had seen first hand how destructive these things were, and I knew I didn’t want to ‘end up’ like that individual!

The journey has not been pleasant. I still have to find that path sometimes. And I share all this because I want you to know that THERE IS HOPE and it IS possible to break the cycle.

Most days now, I can look in the mirror and be gentle. But it took time for me to get here. And hard work. And a willingness to change my attitude.
I still see the scars and lines and wrinkles, but I also see the strength and courage… and the places that have creased my face from laughter πŸ˜‰
I see the beauty of compassion.
I see love and kindness.
I see a woman worthy of both.
I see a woman who still makes mistakes, but now views them differently. Who now looks for the lesson.

I am growing. I hope I keep growing. Because it gets better and better.

Life has a lot to offer! If we let it. ❀

Here’s what I am doing…

I’m playing KETCHUP…. πŸ˜›
(interesting to note that Ketchup here in South Africa is called Tomato Sauce, and I had to learn when I was younger that ketchup was referring to that condiment πŸ˜› Speaking American… you know πŸ˜‰ )

I am trying so hard to just catch up… on everything. Isn’t amazing how, if you let one small thing slide per day, it can get quite overwhelming?
And it’s not like I ‘put off for tomorrow what I could do today’…. I just couldn’t get to some things because my health needed me to rest….
And I am so far behind that I do not have my ducks in a row… in fact, I don’t even think I have ducks anymore πŸ˜›
(So please forgive me for falling behind on your blog posts… I promise I will get there πŸ˜‰ )

BUT…. I am still my cheerful self, and refuse to be stressed about what I simply cannot do right now, because I do not have full control, and am unable to control everything. One thing at a time (I did a blog post on this one before πŸ˜‰ ) – one hour at a time, one day at a time πŸ˜‰
Pretty much like being stoic – I had forgotten what that word meant… and have never really thought too much about where I am at regarding it….
There is a lot about stoicism that should be applied to our lives… and I read an interesting guest post on my friend, Evan’s, blog that you may want to check out πŸ˜‰

And the guest post took me to the guest site… and I really liked this particular post too πŸ˜‰ Which has some really great tips on living life deliberately, despite anxiety.

And I am going to end this post with a picture that appeared in my ‘memories’ on Facebook. It was a picture that I shared three years ago on there, and I am SO HAPPY to have had that memory pop up as a reminder :

facebook_1598591625301_6704979248367902638

May you ALL be breathtaking this week! Much love sent out into the universe for you all. ❀

 

Spaghetti

routine

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

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

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

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

quotes-about-good-routine

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

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

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

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

So why am I telling you this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How we are doing…

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

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 πŸ™‚
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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›
My little dog just carries on with her life, chasing bugs and completely oblivious to the rest of us. Life is good πŸ˜‰

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 trulyΒ isΒ 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 πŸ˜‰
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 πŸ˜‰
I still genuinely feel calm. SMH. (Shaking My Head, for those who don’t know πŸ˜‰ )

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.Β 
However, on the weekend, she roamed the streetsΒ  – 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.Β 

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?Β 

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.Β 

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 πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

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 meΒ 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.Β 
At one stage, about four years ago, I even kept a ‘time journal’ for a month.
I still failed.Β 
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 IΒ was indeed going to sayΒ no.

This morning, we had no power again for three hours. I did the chores and things that IΒ 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’?Β 

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.Β 

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 πŸ˜›

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.

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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,Β it is my ‘coffee with my favourite actor’ – because none of them have asked yet πŸ˜›Β  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’. πŸ˜‰ )

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 πŸ˜› )…. IF I took some of that time away to focus on the new project, then unfortunately it would be detrimental toΒ 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 thatΒ personal development time.Β 

It works for me πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

Simple isn’t always simple

At least once a week I either cut my finger, or burn myself while cooking – I never burn badly, but definitely enough to get a blister. I’ve decided it goes with my ‘unprofessional chef’ territory, so there is a box of Band Aids that lives in the kitchen and there’s always ice in the freezer. On Sunday I had myself questioning why I even cook! πŸ˜›

I burnt my right index fingerΒ and cut a slice into my left thumb. I dished up dinner with a Band Aid on one finger, and ice held against the other.

On Monday morning, the Band Aid came off in the shower, as they sometimes do. I chose not to replace it because it seemed okay. I didn’t inspect it closely enough though and it wasn’t actually ‘healed over’. I caught it on something at around lunchtime, and it opened up again to being as bad as it was, and bled profusely. I grabbed another Band Aid, and I’ve been wearing one ever since – which is ridiculous because this morning I could see it had closed over…. I’m just not taking any chances. πŸ˜›

If I had given it enough time to heal though, it wouldn’t have been a problem.

The thing is, the healing process is dependent on other things – how deep the cut actually is, and how well your body does with healing itself. So I don’t always know how much time to give it.

And I think we’re kind of the same way emotionally. Our healing is sometimes dependent on how deep the hurt has gone and what the circumstances that followed were; and how well we do with dealing with things.

I know a girl who had an eerily similar childhood to mine – eerily so because she even made some of the same mistakes/choices that I did in my teens, and for the very same reasons I had. Her circumstances changed when she was 18 though –Β  she met the most amazing man who was the complete opposite to the limiting beliefs she had had imposed on her. And she embraced him. He encouraged her, inspired her, and loved her unconditionally. And it had a very positive result. The greatest achievement was inside her – she was confident, and loved herself, and no longer let the lies from her past define any part of her.
By the time she reached 40, she was the boss of her own company and was raising three beautiful children, still happily married, still confident and loving herself. She’s gained weight, and her face has aged quite a lot – and she honestly isn’t even worried.

Things weren’t the same way for me. I met, and stuck with, what I knew. And years of abuse followed. It’s no surprise that that led to even lower self esteem and I lacked self love to a terrifyingly staggering degree. (Which of course, in itself, paved the way for bad decisions and more mistakes.)

It’s only in the last few weeks that I can honestly say to you… Guess what? I love me! I AM worthy! I don’t just have the words to encourage others to believe it for themselves because I can believe it for me! I have the words FOR ME!Β 

About a year ago, someone who knows both the girl I mentioned above, and me, was overheard saying,
”Well, her childhood was pretty similar, but compared to Meg she’s a walking version of success. Guess Meg can’t be bothered to conquer her demons.”
I was devastated. It stopped me dead in my emotional tracks. I pretty much stopped trying. I let myself be defeated.Β 

So the point of me painting the picture above is this :

First of all – please don’t believe any comparisons. You can’t compare people because we’re all different – and we come out of different circumstances and come from different places. And try not to compare yourself either. Just because Peter or Mary got over it quickly doesn’t mean you’re supposed to. They are not you. They don’t feel like you do. They don’t experience things like you do. They can’t compare to you because they are not you!

Secondly, please stop putting pressure on yourself to achieve someone else’s timeline.
Yes, we need to have goals and dreams and aspirations. We have to have something to work towards. But again, we are all different. We work at different paces. Just because you stuck with the plan that someone else laid out, and they succeeded and you didn’t, doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Maybe you just need a little more time than what they did?
It works the same with our emotions. Some of us ‘get over’ things more quickly – and there are those of us who have to deal with the root before we can successfully pull the weed… and that takes time. ‘Simple’ problems are not always simple.
Please try and love yourself enough to give yourself grace – you’re not a failure, you just need some more time.

And remember that it takes time to recover and rebuild… so if it doesn’t happen in a specific time frame that you have in mind or have as an example from someone else, please don’t give up. Keep at it!

Slow progress isΒ stillΒ progress.

And you’re still way ahead of people who aren’t even trying πŸ˜‰