More Questions than Answers

I thought a lot about death over the weekend following Mr. Doeps’s memorial service on Friday.  Even though I don’t know his wife well and his children at all, I couldn’t help but think he was a few months older than The Bean (who is 73) and she’s a few months older than The Toppie (72). My brain then fixated on Psalm 90:10: 

“The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.”

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7 Bad Habits of Highly Effective People

I received this article in my inbox yesterday and thought that it is well worth discussing. 

7 Bad Habits of Highly Effective People

Lili Radloff has made some valid points, to which I would like to add, if I may.

 

1.    Driving recklessly: This past weekend a drunken driver took the lives of two innocent children in the town I live in, leaving the other driver in a coma and another child in hospital.  Not only is it reckless to drive under the influence, but it is simply stupid.  One of my colleagues updated her Facebook status last night saying that this accident has caused many people to think about a number of things, yet the one thing that seems to be lost on some people is buckling up their children, whether it is for a quick pop-round the corner, or for a long trip.  Elizabeth and I saw a little girl (she couldn’t have been older then three) hanging out of the front passenger side window, while the driver was waiting for the light to change.  What is someone had accidentally driven into the back of that car? 

Another form of driving that I find extremely reckless is people who fail to use their indicators.  Seriously, it doesn’t take any effort at all to flip it up or down to show what your intent is.  Yesterday on my way home, I was nearly taken out by a driver who simply swerved in front of me.  Had (s)he put her indicator on, I could have slacked off and not have had to drive on the shoulder of the road.

 2.    Always being connected: I love my Blackberry.  Really I do.  But I also know that it’s bad manners to text in company or talk on my phone in a restaurant.  Nothing irks me more than someone who phones and when I don’t answer, they leave me a snotty voicemail, “I don’t know why you have a phone.”  You know what Bozo, that phone is for MY convenience, not yours!

3.    Not appreciating food: When I read this heading I thought “who doesn’t appreciate food?” but Lili has a point.  In today’s rushed lifestyle, Moms are often too tired to make a nice meal, or sometimes it is simply too expensive to do so.  One thing I’ve learnt though is that any food is good when paired with great company.  So, grab your family and have a meal around the table, not the TV.

4.    Skimping on sex: Our body needs those feel-good hormones that are released during sex.  If more people were getting nookie, there would be a lot less negativity around.

5.    Not sleeping enough:  I got an email from a friend that said, “you life depends on your dreams, so go to sleep now.”  It is quite a true sentiment.  Sleep is important, even more so is uninterrupted sleep – so switch your phone off every now and then and get a good night’s rest.  You’ll be amazed at how good you feel…and you’ll probably be up for some seriously good nookie.  Your partner will be happy…

6.    Seeing your kids as a chore:  I don’t have children yet, but I can’t believe that there are some people who see their children as a chore.  Don’t they realize the gift they have been given?  There are so many couples that would like children, but that aren’t able to have…

7.    Turning into a recluse: Lili is right!  Nothing beats the human touch or the sound of real people laughing out loud.  So, as nice as it is to have 300 friends on Facebook, get out and spend time with the ones who are close by, because the chances are, some of those 300 friends haven’t visited your profile in months.

Random Thoughts

The Afrikaans people have a saying, “elke pot het ‘n deksel”, which, translated means “every pot has a lid”. Alley, a friend of mine has found love in the arms of an older (I’m not sure by how much, but I reckon it is 10+ years) man, after a horribly bitter divorce. I don’t think she’s ever been this happy. I was saying to her and her mum while we were doing the dishes after a braai (a BBQ) about two weeks ago that I still haven’t found the right lid. Everytime I think I have found a potential mate, I become way too intense and it’s like I go mad, and poor man is on the next train out of MTM’s Loony-Ville. Her brother, James, whom I have been friends with even longer, burst out laughing and told me that I pretty much am mad. Thanks for that psych-eval my friend…

Strangely enough this topic came up again at a braai we had this past Saturday for Anita’s birthday. A totally different circle of friends was there and Roma was telling me that when she laid eyes on Jack, she knew that he was the man she was going to marry. They are tying the knot at the end of March. I told her exactly what I had told Alley, James and their mum, but I mentioned too, that I am not a bad person. I just want to be able to express my love with no holds barred. Is that so wrong?

Anyway, that’s not actually what I wanted to blog about – I just thought I’d put the thought out there for some discussion…

I’m very chuffed to be going go dinner at Carmen and Evan tomorrow night. It is
24 days into the New Year and I haven’t yet clapped eyes on her. I saw Evan at the gym yesterday. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to having a good ol’ chinwag with her and just catching up. It is shocking just how fast the time passes as I get older.

This year I am planning to reassess a number of relationships I have. Some friends have fallen by the wayside – not because of ill-feelings or other upsets – life has happened and sent us down different paths. Liza sent me an interesting quote by Pastor Rick Warren, author of A Purpose Driven Life – it read “Sometimes God removes people from your life for your protection. Don’t run after them.” As sad as it is, this reality is true, regardless of whether or not you believe in God. Sometimes your paths no longer cross with another person’s because of what might potentially happen in the future.

In about the last 9 months, give or take, I have met some phenomenally interesting people – ironically enough, most of them younger than I am.

There is Suzelle, a school friend of Anita’s, who has a huge heart, a huge smile and who is one of the happiest people I know. She is always there with a kind word and a listening ear.

Then there is Roma (mentioned above), who is also a friend of Anita’s. She and I actually became good friends over the treadmill. For someone who is about five years younger than me, I admire her – her head is screwed on the right way. She knows what she wants and she knows how to get it, without stepping on those in her way. One of the things I like most about her is that if she isn’t satisfied with something, she makes an effort to change it. She doesn’t wait around for someone or some twist of Fate to intervene. She turns an obstacle into an opportunity.
The other day I was chatting to a lady, Jade, in the gym changing room – she had the most incredible shoes on. She told me that her daughter used to love those shoes, but she died at the age of thirteen. I don’t quite remember how it happened, but I told her that I am taking part in a fun walk for cancer awareness and she told me she wanted to walk too. Her daughter died from it. I couldn’t help but think to myself how strong she is – the Circle of Life is not meant to work anti-clockwise where parents bury their children.

If this is how the New Year has started – showing me who and what I can be – happy like Suzelle, determined and successful like Roma and strong like Jade, it is going to be a seriously self-enriching year. Bring it on!