IMHO

I heard something said the other day that is definitely worth sharing. And although I will share it, it won’t be in this post πŸ˜›

Instead, this post is to address ‘an issue’ of sorts. And hopefully make you laugh a bit along the way πŸ˜‰

IMHO

You know what that acronym means, right? Well… I didn’t!
I was only told its meaning a couple of years ago, when in desperation I finally asked what it meant. (I still don’t know why I didn’t just google it!!!)

I had a friend who used the acronym often… but it was always at the ‘end’ of something she said, and so it made no difference to me that I didn’t know what she meant. Until the day I asked for advice via text, and she replied, ”IMHO?”
It was time for me to ‘fess up!
My text read : ”I know you’re going to tell me I am backwards…. but what does IMHO mean, please?”

She CALLED me to reply… but she couldn’t even say ‘hello’, she was laughing so much! And every time I think of that day, I laugh too…at myself! When she finally choked out the definition, I shook my head in wonder that I had not figured that out!

IN MY HUMBLE OPINION! Of course! (Come to think of it now, she never did give me the advice I had asked for. Hmmmm. πŸ˜› )

Except these days there seems to be more of the opinion, and less of the humble. Especially on social media. And it’s become quite a sad state of affairs. If I did grab a bowl of popcorn every time a ‘Facebook fight’ occurred as instructed by a popular meme, I’d never eat anything other than popcorn! πŸ˜› (And that’s in community groups…not even personal pages! SMH! – I know what that means, but in case you don’t : SHAKING MY HEAD πŸ˜‰ )

I’ve been blogging for about 15 years now. Not always on WordPress though. For the most part, the blogging world has been rather safe….
there seems to be a general knowledge AND RESPECT (because let’s face it, it really does come down to respecting our differences, even on social media) for the fact that if you are a ‘personal blogger’ then the things on your blog posts are pretty much, well, personal.

But after seeing some keyboard warriors at work this morning on a community post, making things personal and pretty much trying to ruin each others reputation, I decided to type this blog post as a form of what my blog means : ‘nopassingfancy in Meg’s mind’. I may even start adding a link to it at the end of some of my posts πŸ˜›

When I research things and add them here, I give credit (unless the author is unknown). And at those times, clearly it isn’t MY opinion. Depending on the post, and what I say about whatever I quote, I either agree or disagree with that research.
However, a LOT of what I write is OPINION based.
And EXPERIENCE based – but it’s based on MY personal experience…

And the aftermath? The things I do, or share, or my opinion of the occurrences?
Well… it’s ALL ABOUT ME πŸ˜›

I cannot stress enough : we are all different. This means that everything : how we respond to things, how we feel about things, what we think about things etc. will also be different.
By no means do I share things as a ‘foolproof plan for YOUR life/to heal YOUR hurt/to help YOU move forward’.
I do know, from personal experience πŸ˜› though, that reading about the ways of others can sometimes put me back on the path, or help me change my mindset, or inspire and encourage me. And so that is why I share.

I respect that what works for me might not work for you. I respect that not everyone shares my faith, or has the same opinions as me. I really do. And guess what? I still value you stopping by and reading, and commenting. You still have worth in my eyes. Even if you don’t agree with me.

You have your opinion, and I have mine. RESPECT says we can co-exist in the blogosphere πŸ˜‰ (It would work on Facebook too if people remembered the word! πŸ˜› )

And no… no one has been mean to me on here πŸ˜‰ (Not lately, anyway)

I just thought I would put it out there, as a little reminder : I’m not selling you anything that is guaranteed to work. I’m giving you ideas based on what has worked FOR ME. (And sharing all my spectacular failures along the way πŸ˜› )

I’m glad you’re here. I’m encouraged, and incredibly grateful, that you take time out to read my words – my mishaps and my motivations that keep ME going.

Hopefully I bring a little sunshine to your days πŸ˜‰

The world needs love. Especially now. Part of that love is to just respect the fact that we all have our own thoughts and opinions. (Well, that’s MY opinion anyway πŸ˜› ) Let’s get out there and be kind, even to those who don’t agree with us.

And if you think what I have said is wrong, you might be right. Who knows?!?!
You matter to me anyway, and I am glad you stopped by my blog and took the time to read ❀

no guarantees

I don’t have a whole lot to say today – but every word in this picture rings true…. especially with this pandemic!

And in case you are wondering, I am grateful for all of you in this very large blogging world! ❀

Important side note : not everyone will love you back. Even the people who are related to you, and ‘should’. Keep loving them anyway, even when it hurts. We are not responsible for others, but we are very responsible for ourselves.
And remember that sometimes the people who are acting ‘unloveable’ are sometimes the people who need our love the most ❀

Be safe out there, please, everyone! ❀

New what?

Somebody shared a meme with me that they thought was hilarious.
It stated : ‘has anyone else noticed that this new year, when you say it out loud, says that 2020 won!’

I could see the humour in it, yes. But I didn’t laugh. Because to be honest, it made me think of war. And isn’t that just what fighting this pandemic has been for us?

The thing is that in my humble opinion, no one wins in war. Because I look at lives lost, particularly innocent ones, and I just see LOSS.

There is a New Year looming… and I struggle to admit this, but I don’t think much will change with the ‘pandemic situation’. My country has put us back on curfew, and we need to be in our houses by 9pm – so my bedtime works to my advantage πŸ˜› They’ve banned alcohol again – yes! I have no champagne for midnight! Not wearing a mask is still a criminal offense – who would have thought that going into the bank WITHOUT a mask would send you to jail over here?!?!?

A young friend of mine shared a picture that said : No one claim 2021 as your year. We’re all going to walk in real slow. Be good. Be quiet. And Don’t. Touch. Anything.
And I smiled at that… because I have never really ‘claimed’ any year as being my year.

In fact, I haven’t had ‘proper’ New Years resolutions for many years – and here’s why : Many years ago I did the generic, ”I’m going on a diet in the New Year”. And I am sure you can guess the next part : 2 weeks later, I went to a birthday party, and my diet was history. But that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I had been so focused on this one thing that would be a huge change in that particular year, and so focused on being a slimmer, sexier me, that when I failed, I was crushed. I was not only disappointed in myself, but despondent in the year that had come to be, and it definitely affected my attitude. I was younger then πŸ˜‰
Over the years I have learned that we all make mistakes, and we all eat that extra piece of cake because life is short πŸ˜‰ BUT when I get given a new day? I am just going to try a little harder – I can’t undo yesterday’s errors… but I can change the forecast for today!

I’d love to be able to say with absolute assurance that this new year WILL be new – that things will change. Sadly, I think it may be a little bit more difficult than the one that has passed. But I want to focus on that word MORE and not the negativity.
This year, I want to meet that more difficult head on, and I want to BE more!
To be MORE compassionate, and kind.
To be MORE aware, and sensitive.
To believe MORE, and hope MORE
To be MORE graceful.
And MORE grateful!

Because like with cake, there is ALWAYS room for more πŸ˜‰

My dear fellow bloggers, and friends, I am sending love and thoughts to the blogging world as a whole :
No matter what lies ahead in the year that is coming, my hope is that you will all find the strength to carry on and face each new day with the thought to at least TRY and be more. And in the words of Tony Robbins, I think it is, even if you make mistakes and your progress is slow…. please remember that you are still way ahead than those who AREN’T even trying πŸ˜‰

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

❀

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!

Survive… an emotional rant of sorts

ernst-quote-ascent

Photo credit : strictlymotivationalquotes.wordpress.com

The last two weeks seem to have flown by. There has not been a lot of productivity within them for me. The message in the picture above is one of great value, for we all know that time is the one thing that we cannot retrieve once it has gone.

For some, passing time in the best possible way is simply curling up in a chair with a good book – for others it involves physical busyness.
Both are correct. It’s about what matters to you the most.

For me the past two weeks? It has been consumed with ‘survival’. I’ve struggled through the most horrific physical pain due to a tooth abscess unlike any other I have ever experienced before. And that pain cameΒ after the visit to the dentist, and an attempt to treat it, and the filling of a prescription for strong antibiotics and painkillers. Thankfully, the dentist managed to solve all the issues on Friday. But it took a full three days thereafter for me to recover physically – from an exhaustion point of view.

Survival has been a theme the past two weeks though. And Covid19 itself has not been an issue. Things in my country are unhealthy – and the virus is but the tip of an iceberg that will destroy many ships before this is over. I will not be sharing details or news articles or facts – or any of the destruction I am seeing happen.

My personal social media has been void of all of it.

Because people are on the edge already. I choose not to be part of the overwhelming problem. And I find it frustrating that I cannot be part of the solution either, simply becauseΒ everything that is happening is completely out of my control.

I have tried to comfort myself, and remind myself daily, that the only thing I can control is my actions, my responses, my emotions, my part that I play where I am right now.Β 
IΒ do know myself well enough to know that the exhaustion and physical ill health makes ‘everything seem worse’ to my heart and mind.
But as I sit here, pretty much pain free (other than a twinge of a sinus headache forming) and fairly well rested? I feel just as frustrated and overwhelmed and sad and burdened as what I did a week ago. As what I have over the past few weeks, watching the devastation around me – happening to people that I am connected to, even if just as acquaintances.

In a country where desperation has marred us for far too many years, circumstances have become even more desperate. In a country where crime and corruption has surpassed most others in the world, it has reached an even more alarming level. I can’t even find the words in my heart or my head to describe it all. And when I do talk about it to the few that I am close with, the advice is always the same : ”It’s not your burden to carry.”

I hear. I know. I even understand that. It is stillΒ extremelyΒ difficult to just only feel heavy concern for my children and I. I know a line needs to be drawn… but how.

I have had the training, I have done the research and I personally know a partial solution that may make these circumstances ever so slightly easier. (And right now, even that ever so slightly could make a huge difference.)
But I can’t do that either. And this is something I WILL share and reveal….Β 
Not to create panic and a sense of hopelessness, but to help put our current situation into perspective in a small way.

When I was in my twenties, I used to joke that by age 40 (I am older than that now!) I would be living overseas in a cabin in the woods, preferably near a forest and a waterfall. Fairly isolated. But I knew, even then, that ‘no man is an island’ and that for the majority of us, human contact/physical presence is essential in some form. So part of the joke/dream was always this : there would be a small town nearby, and I would visit it once a week for the day, to get supplies, enjoy a coffee and a chat at the local, and just be around people.

Our country is currently in the longest recorded lock down IN THE WORLD. It has been declared invalid and unconstitutional – but nothing is being done.
The part I need to share is this : in the beginning, phone calls, online chats and video calls were enough. (And as much as it’s a horror when it fails, I will forever be grateful for technology!) So please don’t get me wrong and think that I am only seeing the problems and am ungrateful for the gifts.

But we are now on day 76 – SEVENTY SIX DAYS – of not being allowed to visit our friends or family. Even lingering too long in one spot in your car (like perhaps trying to sit and watch the ocean) is not allowed. Our beaches are still closed.
Coupled with all the other crazy rules and regulations, people are becoming depressed on levels unlike anything I have ever seen before. And I hope that when this is over, that I never have to see it again.

I am longer afraid of the virus.

Many, in sheer desperation, have rebelled. Thankfully, they have not been caught. And the difference after just an hour with their nearest and dearest is evident in their mindsets. I have continued to follow the rules because of my children. I love my children dearly, and although being cooped up together has been challenging, we’ve only experienced the usual minor bickering – and the sibling rivalry levels have remained the same. I am very thankful for that too. The three of us still have a great glue πŸ˜‰

If you get caught breaking lock down regulations (being in a house that is not your own)….
You not only receive a ludicrous financial fine – you also get a criminal record.

I just want to sit in the same room as one of my nearest and dearest and have a cup of coffee and good conversation in their physical presence. 76 days, and no end in sight.

But I want to leave you with this …

Yes, I am overwhelmed and frustrated. I am sad and angry. I am stressed and worried. I am probably every negative emotion I can even think of right now. There are moments in the day where I feel I am teetering on an edge that is about to break off and just take me.

And yet….

At the same time, there is a flame that flickers within me. The winds of circumstance have blown heavy and hard, and it just refuses to die. There’s darkness that keeps telling me to just give up, but it continues to flicker. They say fear shouts, but terror whispers. My eardrums hurt from both.
That flicker remains. It isΒ that strong.

My greatest lesson in all of this? It IS possible to feel all the negative, but stillΒ know that it’s not hopeless.Β 

As a young lady, when needing to come up with a handle for a website, I chose ‘Prisoner of Hope’. Perhaps I spoke that into being, who knows?

But dear friends, while I ask that you think of each and every person living here in South Africa (and spare a thought for me too, of course πŸ˜‰ ) I also ask that you take a moment and remind yourself that there IS always hope.Β 

May your flickering flames burn a little brighter πŸ˜‰

Liebster Award

screenshot_20200414-215638-e1587054864276

I was nominated πŸ˜‰ Big thanks to johnranjit for the nomination. He has a blog called Managing Yourself, some great soul food in there to go and have a look at. πŸ˜‰

Rules To The Liebster Blogger Award:

1.Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to their blog.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you. (I only got 10 – promise I didn’t leave one out πŸ˜‰ )
3.Share 11 facts about yourself
4. Nominate between 5-11 other bloggers
5. Ask your nominees 11 questions
6. Notify your nominees once you’ve uploaded your post.

The Q and A for me is as follows :

Q1 When and how did you start blogging?
Goodness! I think my first ever blog post was back in 2006, but it wasn’t on the WordPress community. Blogging was almost an unknown in my country back then – very few people blogged those days. A computer whizz who knew I loved to write, and knew my bubbly personality, introduced me to the world of blogging. And so it began πŸ˜‰

Q2 What is your favorite quote?
I generally don’t like being asked to mention favourites…. simply because I have so many of everything. πŸ˜›
And each day is different, and sometimes it changes during the day, depending on circumstances and little reminders. For this morning though, the following quote pretty much describes how I felt.. so I’ll share it πŸ˜‰
“Fear less, hope more, eat less, chew more, whine less, breathe more, talk less, say more, hate less, love more, and good things will be yours.”β€” Swedish Proverb

Q3 Beaches or mountains?
There’s just no question here, and it’s something that never changes πŸ˜›
MOUNTAINS for sure πŸ˜‰

Q4 If you had an extra hour in the day, what will you be doing?
This is such a tough one, because there are just too many things to mention.
So I’ll pick one and go with it πŸ˜‰
Daydreaming πŸ˜‰ I mean, who doesn’t need an extra hour for that, right?

Q5 What is your all-time advice to my blog page?
To be honest, I don’t have any. You are you, and your blog is uniquely you. I enjoy reading what you put out there, and wouldn’t change a thing.

Q6 Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?
Definitely read a book.

Q7 How do you deal with stress?
I breathe. Yes, it sounds silly. But I actually physically and mentally stop myself, and just keep repeating, ‘breathe. in and out. there you go. just breathe.’ And admittedly sometimes I cry – I find that it is a welcome relief and is beneficial to releasing the negative emotions.

Q8 What appeals to you most, soul or appearance of a person?
Definitely the soul! Admittedly, there needs to be an attraction to the physical appearance in a romantic relationship… but for me the physical attraction is often related to the soul. It’s a little strange, I know. Personally though, I have experienced it a good few times. I’ll see an incredibly good looking man, but discover he’s self absorbed, and superficial – and honestly, he loses his appeal for me. I just don’t ‘see’ his outward good looks anymore. Strange, but true.

Q9 What message would you like to give to your future self?
Just eat the darn cake πŸ˜‰

Q10 What are you most thankful for in your life?

Life. In it’s entirety. With it’s ups and downs, and all arounds. I am just thankful that I have it, and everything that goes with it. Even the things that hurt and the lessons that suck. I grow. So they have purpose. I have purpose. Life has purpose.
It’s not always easy… but it’s worth it.
And the opportunities are endless.
So I guess the thing I am most thankful for in my life, is that I HAVE life πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

I’m also supposed to share 11 facts about me. That’s even more difficult than answering questions πŸ˜› Mostly because as you all know I am quite open here, so there’s not much mystery left to share πŸ˜›Β  I’ll try anyway….

  1. I think I am addicted to caffeine – I am at a stage where IΒ have to have two cups after waking for my brain to fully functional πŸ˜›
  2. I am a water baby – not a swimmer. I drink copious amounts of water. Too much, actually. Although it doesn’t seem to affect me, other than seemingly having a constantly full bladder, ha ha ha! (I drink about 3.5l a day – and that’s not including the coffee or tea consumed during the day.)
  3. As much as I love my coffee, there is a time in the day where my body seems to crave my cup of green tea with mint – no milk, no sugar.
  4. I don’t take sugar in my coffee either.
  5. I don’t play on my phone if I wake in the middle of the night/early hours of the morning. I may only touch it in order to see the time. I don’t check messages or scroll through social media. Even if I am struggling to go back to sleep. Ha ha ha!
  6. I don’t eat sushi. And yes, I have tried it. All of it. Even wasabi. But sushi just doesn’t seem to be built into my taste buds.
  7. As chatty and vivacious as my personality is, I am still able to just ‘be’. There are plenty of times where quietΒ is actually just quiet. I once had a friend over, and we were both sitting in my lounge with our knitting, and just kind of lapsed into silence. For an hour. But weΒ are women, so we got to talking again πŸ˜›
  8. I still love to dance – even though I am not very good πŸ˜›
  9. Although I don’t seem to give music enough credit, I cannot imagine my life without it.
  10. I took a kids quiz on a magazine website yesterday, ha ha ha ha! Because who wouldn’t want to know which Beatrix Potter character they were???
    I’m Squirrel Nutkin, in case you’re wondering πŸ˜›
  11. I am totally and utterly terrified of a dentist!

 

I’m not going to nominate anyone as such. Because you’re all awesome. So if you’re reading this, consider yourself nominated πŸ˜‰

BUT, I’d also like to share links to some pretty great blogs (this is off the top of my head, and please don’t be offended if I don’t mention you by name), and give them the award… but there is NO pressure to do a blog post about it if you don’t want to. πŸ˜‰
If you DO choose to participate, please answer my ten questions that I was asked, and for your eleventh, I’d like to know : ”What would you say is your strong point?”

Letters to Pogue is an extremely thought provoking blog, with a lot of humour thrown in. You should definitely pay him a visit πŸ™‚ He’s not limited by language or terminology (his words, not mine) and it shows. I love how when I read, I can continue to think ‘outside the box’. I am often encouraged and inspired πŸ™‚

Evan is not only a talented writer, helping us grow our minds – he is also a talented hobby-photographer. The pictures he shares with each blog post are just as good as his writing πŸ˜‰ You should visit him too πŸ™‚

Holly writes the most beautifully thought out posts that are of such great encouragement to me. Her blog also often contains great tips on ‘whole’ living – natural alternatives and the like. She has a truly beautiful soul and it shows in her writing.

Robin writes some pretty awesome poetry – and he has a great sense of humour. A lot of his stuff is related to mental health, and anxiety – but you definitely won’t be left feeling like you’re struggling with either one. Because even on days when he openly struggles? There’s sunshine in the clouds πŸ˜‰ I enjoy his Tornado of Chaos πŸ˜‰

Will’s Wisdom offers inspiration and motivation for life. There’s always a story. And a question. That gives you cause to pause and think. I kind of like that, you know πŸ˜‰

Vincent is a family man… a WordPress family man. He sees us all as family, and is just great about letting us know that we have value πŸ˜‰ His posts often bring a smile to my face – he truly is making a positive impact on lives.

So now you all have lots of reading to do. And I have a morning exercise routine (a quick one πŸ˜› 10 minute cardio – it’s a start, don’t knock it πŸ˜› ) to get through, because, well, I promised myself I would πŸ˜›

Stay safe ❀