Pressure to Perform

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This happens to me pretty much every morning. Most of my days are usually quite productive though, but I never seem to get through ALL I would like to accomplish on any particular day. Some say that this is because I set ridiculous expectations of myself when it comes to ‘things I need to do’. I like to say that when it comes to what I do each day, I like to make every day a Norman Vincent Peale day! Every morning, with my first big, beautiful cup of coffee, I think about what I’d like to achieve. And although I accept the realities, I still list those many tasks. I shoot for the moon, and then every night I smile contentedly because I know I have at least landed among the stars! (Yes, my house has a roof and no, I don’t live in the sky 😛 )

Admittedly, a lot of these beautiful early morning coffee goals for the day end with me feeling something like this :

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This is partly because of all the running I do. No, not running as in exercise. I don’t run. I don’t even jog. So if you ever see me running, you should run too, because that means something is chasing me.

(I don’t know who originally came up with that quote, but according to the hyperlink it was Kristen Proby. It seems it was used in her book, and the name of the character who said it? Meg! Although that Meg is described as a sexy rocker chick 😛 but having the same name still makes it mighty coincidental 😉 )

By running, I actually mean driving around in my car for what I count as too many hours in my day, playing Mom’s Taxi. There’s the school run, and then there’s the extra curricular activities run. During the extra run, I usually end up hanging around in my car for a couple of hours. I live about 20 minutes away from where her activity takes place, but fuel (like everything else) is very expensive, and I don’t see the sense of driving back and forth in such a small time frame. My daughter is a dancer – she has been chosen three years in a row now to represent our country at World Champs. So I guess I’m a dance mom (just nothing like what you see on that show!) The joke in our studio is that we all ‘live in our cars’.
(We have a non-existent public transport system, and the little of it that exists is far too dangerous to even consider.)
So from the list, I usually select things that I can do from the discomfort of my car.

The reason I am telling you all of this (other than the fact that these were a collection of Facebook pictures I had liked and saved, and discovered and was amused at how they all kind of fit together?)…..

These days there seems to be a lot of pressure to perform. Whether it’s as complex as achieving some greatness and stature in our careers, or as simple as being a ‘better, closer to perfect’ parent, the stresses that come from this overwhelming pressure can be detrimental to our health.
The sad thing is that it is not only society or other individuals that put this pressure on us. We have a tendency to do it all by ourselves, to ourselves.
We push ourselves into overachiever mode, in an attempt to do more and be more. For me personally, this is related to the fact that I am often told I can’t, I won’t, I don’t.
And so there is this itch inside me that often causes an ‘overdrive’ scratch…. the results are usually less than desirable, and I wind up in a place that is nowhere near the achievement goal I had set out for myself.
I don’t go into overdrive as often as I used to, thank goodness.

I have learnt that my brain has limitations and that sleep is necessary. I can never be effective if I am dead on my feet.
I have learnt that it is sometimes necessary to take a step back when I am feeling stressed. To breathe deeply and think carefully. And use the energy that stress can create in a positive way – controlling the stress instead of allowing it to control me.
I have learnt that having a to-do list and planning ahead in certain circumstances does not make me a nerd, or detract from my spontaneity. Instead it prepares me and creates a better environment in which to perform.
I have learnt that sometimes acknowledging the small wins can open doors to greater things.
My biggest obstacle, I know, is to ask for help. When there is pressure to perform, the best thing you can do for yourself, is to ask for help (even if it’s just with menial tasks). For some silly reason (perhaps because I have always been the carer and helper, and it feels weird to ‘have the shoe on the other foot’) I struggle to reach out and ask others for any form of help. I really need to work on that!

I always end my night like this though, no matter how the day behind me unfolded….

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Are there any of these that you struggle with?

 

Your vote counts…maybe vote for me, please?

Darkness had already fallen last night, and I was preparing for some relaxing time with a book when my phone beeped to indicate the arrival of an email.
My heart stopped as I read the notification email telling me that ‘the finalists had been announced’. It was from this blog. You may have seen an earlier post that I shared, announcing a writing contest for a new publishing company that had been established, called Endever Publishing.
I entered the contest, with the help of a couple of very good friends…..

And I made the TOP THREE FINALISTS!!!! Here is where you come in, because you need to go along and cast your vote, please!

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Don’t….just don’t.

Bubbles have been floating around in my head for the past few months.
They started popping about a month ago. But instead of ‘just air’ dissipating into nothingness, they have popped out a vast amount of ideas. Each one of these individual ideas has attached itself to another, as they slowly began to melt into each other and they have come together to build one solid thing : a dream – a wish my heart has made for many years, but has been hesitant to pursue.

The dreams of our futures are the things that we so greatly desire to achieve, and so we pursue them; indulge in them; allow ourselves to become absorbed in the fantasies of ‘what if I achieve it’.
The sad reality is that so many of us don’t fulfill those dreams. We don’t go for them unashamedly. We hold back – and while we secretly dare to dream, we don’t believe enough that the dream may someday come true.

I am from a long line of professionals – dating back to my grandfathers. In ‘my world’, you diligently completed school and then went on and studied for a degree. Once you had achieved said degree, you then pursued a professional career in that field – and only then were you considered to be successful. There is no place in ‘this world’ for the arts, unless you are using the copious amounts of money you have earned professionally to hire an interior decorator for your upmarket accommodation.
There are looks of shock and disappointment when you indicate that your dream is actually to ‘sing on stage’, ‘act in a Broadway show’, ‘pursue a career in dance’,’write a book’. You are considered to be someone who is throwing their life away, because your life is not about talent – unless you’re superior enough to be placed on a pedestal with the greats – your life only has merit if you push your brain to its limits and pursue a professional career, so that you can be introduced as, ‘My sister/cousin/aunt, the Lawyer/Accountant/Doctor’.
Of course, allowances are made, only IF you have followed the first few steps – so if you’ve studied and qualified as an Accountant, then approval may be given for you to stand up on stage at the local theater and sing, and be considered quite talented.

I have failed miserably, on all accounts. I got the school part right, but that’s where my success ended. In the eyes of my family (my father excluded), I have been nothing but a disappointment and a failure, because I have not measured up to their standards. I do understand that I have seemingly wasted the brain I have been given. But my circumstances were different to all of theirs, and because of that they will never actually (despite their degrees and successes) be able to comprehend the place I find myself to be in. Failing on this particular account (their account), doesn’t worry me too much.

What upsets me is that I have failed on the account that is the most important to me. I am well aware that I have a scholarly brain, and that studying and qualifying is something I could do quite well. A part of me wishes that I had the opportunity now to do it.
But that’s only a part of me. And it’s a very small part when I can look at myself as a whole.

As a whole, the one thing that is the most important to me is to achieve success in an area that I am passionate about. It won’t make me rich, and it certainly won’t require a designer, because I won’t ever have an upmarket anything. But it will satisfy my soul, and it will be the evidence of my daring to dream, and will hopefully become a way to give back to others by using the talents that I have.

The dream has been there for many years, but it’s been a bubbling concoction of witches brew that didn’t quite ever change color. Now it has color; each of the ideas has formulated into a plan. Yet I am still hesitant. I have held back for so long, content in only dreaming because reality is harsh : after all, my family has no confidence in my abilities, I have no formal further education, only the worst of me is pointed out, and has for many years overpowered the best of me. But for the past month, I have seen my dream as more than that – I have seen it as my reality. I have been slowly but surely working towards it, excited enough to set myself a ‘date of completion’ just this morning, a date where I will be able to reveal it, even if I am the only who is proud of the achievement. And yet I was still intent on keeping all this to myself.

But this morning. Ah yes, this morning. My cup of coffee in hand, and mindless scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I got a kick in my derriere.
(Hence my setting a date for completion!)
The video that I happened upon can be found here but please take a moment to read what my comments were as I shared it on my page. I said,

“Don’t lose confidence in your abilities. Don’t wait to pursue the dreams you have if you have been blessed with a talent that will allow you to open up the world that dream exists in. There will be people who will see the worst in you, and choose to ignore the small talent you possess. Don’t give up, and don’t let them discourage you. Don’t ‘let a stutter make you wait till you’re in your seventies’ when you could be doing it now!

And that’s all I have to say about that!

Can you speak American?

A year ago, almost to this day, my daughter was watching yet another American movie that had some dancing in it. She again announced her hearts deepest desire: to attend a school like Juilliard and become a dancer. She currently has lessons in three styles of dance, and is very good. But I could never afford a school like that, or the costs involved with getting us there for her to try either. So all I can tell her is to keep practicing, keep dancing, and be dedicated – and maybe one day she will have her dream. She’s ten, and there’s time.

She has added a few other dance schools to her list, and our discussion prompted the retrieval of that list, and a request to google some of them. I didn’t have anything that needed my immediate attention, and my daughter usually trumps all anyway, so I agreed. We spent the next hour googling, reading and watching. And then the question came that horrified me, “But mom, do you think I could speak American?”

In that instant, my heart stopped and I wondered if I was so useless at being an educator to my children that my own daughter didn’t know that English was the language spoken in America, a country I love. Now, in my house, when my children ask questions that I don’t fully understand, I always say three little words.
“Please explain yourself.”
This time though, seeing the horrified expression on my face was enough, and she quickly added, “I know they speak English, mom. Most of them anyway. What I mean is, some words are different. Do you think I would be okay there?”
And then it made sense to me.

I’ve already explained the difference in spelling here, and in that post we also discussed that when you’re in South Africa, a ‘barbeque’ becomes a ‘braai’. We’ve watched enough American movies, and I’ve learnt so much from my American friends – knowledge which I take every opportunity to impart on my children – that I could, in confidence, reassure her that we would be okay. In fact, I often find myself ‘speaking American’ in small ways – but most especially when I speak to an American 😉 So here are some small differences, which you may or may not already know:

Petrol / Gas : I touched on this here, but will repeat – when we refer to gas, we’re talking about the stomach kind. We put petrol in our cars. And we go to the garage, or petrol station, in order to do this – not the gas station or filling station.

Robot / Traffic Light : I have the pleasure of knowing an American who lives around here. She finds this particular one very amusing. She says that when she first arrived, she kept looking around for Rosie the Maid – the robot from the cartoon ‘The Jetsons’ – on our street corners. She actually missed seeing a landmark upon her arrival, because on the drive in someone told her, ‘If you look to the right at the robot, you will see….’, and she spent all her time looking for ‘the robot’. So when we say robot, we actually mean traffic light!

Sweets / Candy : Around here, we all know that candy refers to things like M&M’s and jelly beans and all those sweet things. We also know the saying, “Like taking candy from a baby”, and of course we’ve heard of ‘Halloween candy’. But we still call it ‘sweets’, not candy. When we go to the shop (store) I’ll ask my daughter if she wants some sweets – and she’ll pick out jelly babies or something like that. To ask if she wants candy will take her a while to figure out what it is I am actually offering her.
By the same token, the word dessert is not used very often around here – although a restaurant will offer you a ‘dessert menu’. We refer to it as pudding – and by definition pudding can be either savory or sweet. But where I live, we are always referring to the sweet variety, and whether it be cooked, baked, chilled, served hot or cold, with or without ice cream or cream – it’s pudding 😉
A chocolate/candy ‘bar’ is simply a ‘chocolate’.

Tomato Sauce / Ketchup : The first time I heard the word Ketchup, I was about fourteen. I don’t remember what the exact scenario was, or who exactly said it, but someone at school used it in an oral speech for marks in our classroom, and it threw me. He said, ‘It wasn’t ketchup on his shirt, it was blood.’ It sounded like he said, ‘catch up’, and because I was so unfamiliar with the word it made absolutely no sense why his shirt would be trying to catch up, and have blood on it. This particular guy lost marks for using that word which made him rather angry, because as it turns out his wealthy family had just returned from a holiday in America, and he was very proud of his new word. I was a bit embarrassed to be approaching this ‘cool kid’ and asking what it meant, but I had to. When he explained to me, as if I was the least intelligent being in school, stating that it was the American word for tomato sauce, I was not only fascinated, but relieved that his little speech now made more sense. It helped me greatly when I watched an American movie a few months later, and didn’t need to be concerned about the hamburger and it’s need to have to ‘catch up’.

Costume / Bathing Suit : One morning, I phoned (called) my ‘local’ American friend and asked if she wanted to go to the beach. She did, so I told her to grab her costume too. There was silence on the other end of the phone, and then a big sigh. She told me, ‘I don’t have any fancy dress clothes yet, I have just arrived.’ I laughed and made the adjustment, ‘I meant your bathing suit’, to which she laughed and we hung up – and never did get to swim anyway because the water was too cold that day. We’re certainly weird, because we also use ‘costume’ when we’re talking about dressing up for a fancy dress, or the outfit worn for a part in a production of a show/theater. I guess you have to think about the situation to know which costume we’re referring to.

Washing Powder / Laundry Detergent : I do not do laundry. I do, however, do copious loads of washing. I also spend time hanging washing on the line, and taking it off again, because tumble dryers are not very popular around here. We had one growing up, but I have never had one in my home as an adult. The one we had when I was a child in my mothers house was seldom used, due to its large consumption of electricity and our ridiculous rates thereof – which are worse now. It goes without saying then that I purchase washing powder, not detergent.

Chips / French Fries : Again, we’re weird. If I tell you I ate a packet of chips, I am usually referring to eating a bag of potato crisps. However, I may also tell you that I made chips to go with the meat we had at supper time, and I am referring to something entirely different. In this case, I would be meaning French Fries. If you go to a take-away place around here, and ask for chips with your burger, you’ll get french fries. But if you ask at the local store where they keep their chips, they’ll lead you to the display of countless bags of crisps. Unless you say frozen chips…then you may just wind up in the frozen section where you can buy french fries to purchase for home and cook yourself.

Scones / Biscuits : My new friend was telling me the other day that he needed to eat something, but wasn’t sure he wanted to wait the twenty minutes or so it would take to bake the frozen biscuits he had. Wait, what? Frozen biscuits? Of course, Google is my best friend in cases like this. A quick search revealed to me that he was talking about something we call ‘scones’. Although we don’t buy them with a frozen option, I don’t think. If you go out to tea around here, and you ask for a biscuit, you will get a cookie. Because that is what we call cookies here. It’s a biscuit. Even an Oreo cookie – it’s referred to as either simply Oreo’s, or you may be asked if you’d like an Oreo biscuit with your coffee. So a cookie is a biscuit, and a biscuit is a scone 😉 Tea or coffee with fresh and warm scones, served with jam (jelly, see further down, please) and cream, or cheese, is usually a delightful option when out and about.

Cooldrink / Soda : When we ask if you’d like some cooldrink, we’re not referring to a drink that looks ‘cool’ (although you will be offered ice) and may be sporting an umbrella in a colorful sugar rimmed glass. We just mean soda. Plain and simple. I have to also mention here that if we ask if you would like some lemonade? You’re getting soda, and it’s usually Sprite. I have never tasted ‘proper lemonade’ of the lemonade stand variety – pink or yellow. I really should try and make some one day, just to be able to taste. I think I shall add that to my list of things to do this week.

Serviette / Napkin : There’s a South African comedian who does a very funny example of this – but he can be rather offensive, and so I am not going to link him in here. But I’ll do a brief explanation of the difference in these words, to us. Over here, a napkin is shortened to the word ‘nappy’, and this is what we call a baby’s ‘diaper’. You change a baby’s nappy, but wipe your mouth with a serviette. So you can imagine how this can become strange for us if we buy takeaway food and get offered a napkin to go with it. How bad is your food?

How’s it (Howzit) / Hello : This is a funny one, because many South African’s use it. Although we say it fast and it sounds like ‘howzit’, and it’s usually meant purely as a greeting, as opposed to being a question actually asking ‘how is it’.
We also have a tendency to use ‘is it’ a lot – but not as a question. It usually take the place of ‘really’, or ‘uh huh’, and comes out sounding like ‘izit’.

Jam / Jelly : Around here, jelly is what Americans would probably call ‘jello’, so you can imagine how confused I was the first time I heard about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Google once again came to the rescue, and since I happen to really like peanut butter and jam sandwiches, I was happy with its definition.

Just now / Later : I often confuse my American friends when I use this term. I’ll say it without thinking and mention that I am going to fetch my daughter from school just now. This does not mean now, or immediately. It actually means soon, or later, or in a short while. But never immediately. Yes, us South Africans are a confusing bunch.

There are many more little differences that you may (or may not) find interesting, and I am sure I will come back to addressing some of them in a future blog post. For now though, I am going to give you a break from all the reading, and hope that you didn’t find it too boring. I need to think about going to the ‘shop’ ‘just now’. 😉

Discovering South Dakota

My new friend recently added a blog post centered around some random facts about himself. This is a great idea, and if he doesn’t mind me ‘borrowing’ it to a certain degree, then I may just let you all get to know me a bit better (adding to the info you can already obtain from my past posts) – be afraid, be very afraid 😉 Just kidding. I’m actually not very scary, and not all that interesting either!

*Side note* If you haven’t read any of his blog posts, then please give them a try. You’ll find him here. I thoroughly enjoy reading his posts – his honesty is refreshing, and there’s always something funny thrown in there to make you smile. 

But my blog today is a little unusual, because it’s a very brief review for a place I have never been. What happened was this: In sharing with my new friend the list of places the children and I would like to visit in the USA, the suggestion was made that perhaps I should also look at South Dakota. I am delighted (my bank account, not so much) to say that I have added it to our list. Without further ado, I give you the results of my ‘research’ – although mostly it’s the reasons I want to visit….and the things I want to see.

I’m a rivers and lakes and mountains and trees kind-of-girl. South Dakota has all of this, by the looks of it – and more.
Mountain Lions. There are mountain lions. I’m sold! How amazing to see one in real life – so long as I’m far enough away for there to be no casualties. (There are plenty of lions where I live, and two years ago I was holding a white lion cub in my arms – but there’s something strange and wonderful about a mountain lion, for me anyway.)

I read that along the rivers there are some beautiful trees. I would need to find those rivers – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Cottonwood Tree before, and it looks amazing in the Autumn from the pictures I found. Willows are just one of my very favorite kinds of trees, and they appear to be near rivers too. Rivers may require some hiking – but at least I could then work off (and have a fantastic excuse for over-consumption of) all the delicious ‘holiday’ foods I’d be eating!

Mount Rushmore is a big South Dakota attraction – hey, I’m a tourist, and I’d like my kids to get a little education too 😉 (I suppose I need to brush up on my American history knowledge, because I did not know that Mount Rushmore was in South Dakota *hangs head in shame*.)

Beaver Creek Bridge, and all the national parks, look so very wonderful to me – I reckon I could find my ‘relaxation’ again and just sit there all day!

Native American Indian culture has always been of interest to me – so it’s no wonder ‘Sioux Falls’ sounded familiar – in fact, I felt like an idiot when reading up about South Dakota because there are so many ‘names’ that I recognize. And for good reason too! Of course visiting Deadwood is a must – I have loved the ‘Wild West’ since I was a little girl.

My friend told me to have a look at Huron…
So, moving on to Huron specifically :

Pyle House Museum is a definite point of interest. That house is beautiful – there’s just something about it for me. And not just from the pictures I saw. In the description of it, I think it was the ‘original oak woodwork’ part that really got my attention and confirmed it’s place on the list of things I’d like to see.
Naturally, Splash Central would sell this visit to my daughter, and bring added delight to our travel list for the USA 😉
Godfather’s Pizza – it’s all in the name….it helps that I happen to love pizza too! With a name like that, I simply cannot resist!

There are just so many beautiful gardens, I could spend days there – the scent of flowers in the air, the peacefulness of possibly the buzzing of bees (so long as they don’t decide I smell like a flower or sting me 😛 ) and the distant song of a bird perhaps? Ah, the small pleasures in life!

I think I’ll give the Golf Course a skip, but if you can manage to hit a golf ball without busting up all the turf around it, unlike me, then it may be worth a look…for us, I think Toboggan Hill could be fun. It would be our first time though, so we’d need to be careful – a trip to the emergency room is not on my list!

I found a ‘calendar of events’, and I want to go to all of them, HA!!! I have also found that some of the things are Season specific. So I guess I’d need to visit for at least a year. That kind of messes up travel plans, unless I suddenly win a rather large amount of money, which would allow for a very much extended holiday – perhaps three years might do for all the places I want to visit and things I want to see 😛

And last but certainly not least: the library in Huron has a coffee bar???!!!??? Can you tell by the punctuation that I am not only astounded but extremely excited by this! 😉 I understand that it may be a ‘regular’ thing in the US, but it is non-existent here! A combination of two of my favorite things – coffee and books – can’t go wrong!

Yip. Added to the travel list! 😉

Naming My Days

I’m always looking for new ways to improve myself. Looking is great, and I find so many wonderful ways to improve upon parts of me, in order to make me a better person. The problem is that sometimes I am so busy looking, and appreciating what I’ve found, that I forget to actually apply all the things I am learning and know. It makes it all seem so futile….

But at least these vast amounts of knowledge seem to stick in my head, filed away under miscellaneous, and every now and then something will happen and I’ll remember what’s in that file. I usually need to dust it off, and revisit to a large degree (which means looking at it all over again), but by the time that happens I’ve managed to be concerned enough about it to ensure that I put it into action.

Three of these ‘somethings’ have happened so far this week, and as I lay in bed last night, I didn’t need to remember what was in that file, because the file popped itself out of my memory cabinet.
On Monday, everything seemed to get away from me – including the dog who had stolen the last teabag of my favorite kind of tea, and only surrendered it when he had successfully broken it open and eaten it’s contents (I guess he likes it too).
On Tuesday, my daughter was recounting something that had happened at school and I had been so shocked (although I probably shouldn’t have been that shocked) that I had tripped over my own feet while we were walking – but thankfully was saved by the wall, and managed to escape uninjured. Later that day, I was helping push a friend’s car after its battery ran flat, and found myself with loose sand beneath my feet. I almost fell. Almost.
I lay in bed last night, listing in my mind : Manic Monday, Treacherous Tuesday – and the file all but smacked me on the head (I guess it had grown impatient with holding this particular content).

About eight and a half years ago (yes, it’s been in that file for approximately eight and a half years!!!) I found myself completely deserted and alone, with my two beautiful children. It felt like it had happened overnight, but probably just because it was suddenly so overwhelming. Being a woman, and a rather emotional one at that, everything just seemed so terribly awful. (I guess in a way, it was.)
To suddenly be a ‘me’ (as opposed to an ‘us’), as well as Mommy and Daddy to my then 20-month-old daughter and almost nine-year-old son – well, it just felt like I was in the middle of a football field, with angry teams approaching from either side, and no protection of my own.
I decided I needed protection, because my children needed me, and joined a few online support groups and signed up for enough counselling programs to get me through the year, delivered to my inbox daily. Because I just didn’t want to talk to anyone face-to-face about any of it, and the only place I ever went for that year was to work, and my colleagues knew the topic was taboo. I even changed where I shopped, which was actually inconvenient, just to avoid any mention of anything.

One of these counselling programs spent a week focusing on not focusing. That week was dedicated to being an encouragement to others, listening to others, caring about their problems and offering words of motivation and comfort to them.
It was about not focusing on anything to do with you, but instead pulling into focus those around you. By the following week, I actually felt a little better. Which, of course, was revealed as the point of the week long exercise – and something I probably would have picked up on if I hadn’t been in the place I was emotionally.
At the conclusion of this particular course, they gave me a summary page of points that had been raised, as well as some actions that could be taken to help me cope with everyday life, which I read through and filed away. I was coping by that stage. But I knew I’d need it later.

One of those things was to choose a day, or a week, or a month – in each year – that you would make a commitment to make a difference in someone else’s life, either through inspiration, motivation or encouragement. It was also to make an effort on the days when you felt overwhelmed, to dedicate the next five minutes of your time to doing one of the above as well. I had made a mental note on these notes – how about naming your days?

So this morning, I have. The working/school days, that is, that are the most difficult to get through for me. And here they are:

Moody Monday – Monday is not considered the first day of the week, but it is usually the first working day of a new week, and the first school day for that week. Moody Monday does not mean that there is an excuse to be in a bad mood. All it means, for me, is that I need to make allowance for the fact that this day represents a return to work/school, after a weekend of fun and relaxation, and that the ‘moods’ in the house may not be exactly jovial (which includes my mood). So I need to be a little more tolerant of irritability in my children, or a general sense of impending gloom, and try and be a bit more sensitive with anyone who may cross my path – because I doubt the moodiness is isolated to only my home.  I need to also recognize that I may be irritable and feel gloomy, and so this is the day to making a special effort to check my attitude, and try and change it if it’s not what it should be.

Treat Tuesday – is exactly what it says. I don’t usually ‘treat’ on the weekends – it’s the weekend and you can spend most of the time relaxing and having fun, which in itself is a treat. But Tuesday? Well, we made it through Monday, and we’re all still alive, so we deserve a treat. This usually comes in the form of an ice-cream, or a special candy bar (one that we don’t usually purchase), or kids choice for supper. The treats are all kid-orientated, so for me Treat Tuesday means that I don’t do the dishes 😉

Wonderful Wednesday – It’s halfway through the ‘working’ week, and it’s either been good, bad, or mediocre so far. Whatever it’s been, it’s the day to be wonderful. Because if it’s been bad, there are only two more days left; and if it’s been good, then of course it’s wonderful. Mediocre? There’s hope for a change, and if it’s bad for the rest of the week, well then there’s always next week. And what better way to be wonderful than to make someone else feel wonderful. So this is the day of compliments, inspiration and motivation. (I try to be complimentary, inspirational and motivational all the time, but in particular on this day.)
Although I smile most of the time, this is the day you will be awarded with my best smile – and you won’t even have to earn it. In fact you can be grumpy and irritable, and bite my head off, but I will still smile. It’s Wonderful Wednesday, and I am making a very conscious effort.

Thrifty Thursday – has nothing to do with spending money, because I have none. And while time is also an issue for me, this is the day that I give away the short amount I get to have as ‘me time’. I can be rather selfish with my ‘me time’ and tend to only sacrifice what I would really rather be doing in that time when it is convenient for me. But on Thrifty Thursday, I do it, whether it suits me or not. That half hour that I have where I could be reading my book, or watching my series, or lying in my bath thinking of nothing? I pick up the phone and listen to a friend, or visit with someone – those types of things. I make an effort to give away that ‘time of mine’.

Finally Friday – By this time, I am usually thankful that the working/school week is almost over…and so my commitment is to thankfulness. A day where I utter out loud all the amazing things I have to be thankful for – the small ones and the big ones. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I spend the rest of the week in a state of ingratitude. Not. At. All. But I try a lot harder (although some times I fail) to keep my focus on an attitude of gratitude, and more importantly, try to hardly complain.

So my days have officially been named – it’s on paper now, more importantly, on a blog for the world to see (not that the ‘world’ will see it, but you know what I mean) – so now it’s even more of a commitment! So roll on Thrifty Thursday, as Wonderful Wednesday starts making its way to its end 🙂

Hello World!

In the world of blogging, your first blog post could make or break you. (Or so I have read.)  The pressure is on! Of course, amidst this pressure, there were other important events taking place.

The dog has been stung by a bee, again. According to ‘legend’, a bee in your house indicates that you’ll be getting a visitor – oh hell, I hope there isn’t company coming. My dining room table is bending under all the clean, folded and ironed washing from yesterday – To-do list activated : put away the clean clothes ‘sometime’ this morning.

The glass jar of coffee in the cupboard has been attacked by the Coffee Critters and is now empty. When I have finished this cup, a trip to the store is in order – To-do list paused, shopping list in my head begins.

A quick glance down confirms that I have yet to get dressed – switch lists – priority on to-do list. I doubt the other shoppers will appreciate my fluffy purple pyjama’s as much as I do.

My preteen is hungry. Again. Breakfast was an hour ago. How much food can one little body consume? And how come the body is still so small after all that food?

Without further ado, I bid farewell to you – I need to beat the other human (teenager) to the bathroom if I’m going to shower and get out to refill my coffee jar!

Hello World, indeed!