Day 55: MEH!

I’ve not blogged for a while. I know I should, but I’ve been feeling so meh the past few days.

There have been days when the only time I’ve got out of bed has been to get a glass of water or to pee. I’ve even worked from my bed. I’m emotionally exhausted from lockdown. Fortunately, I still have work to do every day which helps keep the sanity levels just short of the red.

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Day 41: Movies, Veges, Gutter Dogs and Moods

I watched Contagion on Monday night. What a stellar cast! The movie itself was spooky in a sense – how a work of fiction released nine years ago is so close to what’s happening today. I keep wondering if any of the clever people have checked the DNA sequence of our novel virus with the fictional one. With the truth being stranger than fiction, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a match. Anyone who hasn’t seen it, should watch it. It puts things into perspective.

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Losing my Mind this Monday

It was back to work for me today after a three-week break. It was clearly a good one because even though I didn’t go away, I relaxed so much that when I had to login to my PC, I stared at the keyboard in utter horror. I called our IT administrator and told him it’s that awkward moment when you’ve come back to work and can’t remember your password. He laughed, stating my holiday was definitely too long.

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This is so ridiculously funny, yet so accurate at the same time! 😀
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Looking Back on 2015…

And so 2015 is almost over…

 

Once again, as I pretty much do every year, I look back at the year gone by and reflect on both the good and the bad, grateful for everything that has happened because it is all those experiences that mould me into the person I am now, and will need to be to tackle the new year that lies ahead.

January I rang in the new year with some Herbalife friends.  We had a braai, and I learned to play beer-pong.  It was fun.  I got to play it with the same friends just this past Tuesday and have found that I am a very good player when standing on one leg!  January 1st also brought with it the birth of a very special, long-awaited little boy, Richard, born to Carmen and Ewan.  He is such a bundle of joy.

A week after New Year, I was fortunate enough to visit my long-time school-friend, Shayla-Rae at her home in Tsitsikamma.  She and her husband live in the forest.  I took some beautiful photos while I was there – we meandered through the forest.  It is a soul-restoring experience.
January Shelagh Rose
Shelagh Rose
Sadly, as is the case with all things fun, the visit ended too soon, but we have got to see each other numerous times throughout the year, for which I am thankful.
The same month, another school friend, Jessica, aka Wizard, celebrated her 35th birthday, Hollywood style.  The mandate was black ‘n white, with all the ladies having to don red lipstick.  It was a fun evening too, although it was the catalyst to a heartbreak, which I’m not going to get into here.  So, what do you all think?  Did I get the dress code right, or what?
An old boyfriend also got in touch, offering some sound advice, which made the heartbreak process a lot easier and quicker to deal with.  We rehashed some memories and had a few laughs.  It’s hard to believe that 15 years has passed.  He’s married now, with 2 kids, having lived in the UK, but back in SA.  What was great about getting in touch again was that the advice he gave me was from a guy’s viewpoint, but also a guy that knows me.  I look back now, after having followed the advice and realize, the heart-breaker and I would never have worked long term.  I would have got bored soon.  I always do…
Anyhow, onto February, the month of LOVE, or in my case tears and misery.  But, out of that, something really good has come.  Every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.
I made a new friend called Janine.  Or rather, she made friends with me.  She contacted me to tell me how sorry she was to hear what had happened just after the party.  At first I was apprehensive about replying to her message because honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be friends with the the woman that had been portrayed as the reason for the dissolution of a marriage… but I learned, in just a moment, that this woman had more character than her ex-husband with whom I had been friends for almost nine months.  She has been more of a friend to me this year that some of my friends who live in the same town.  She has taught me about forgiveness, compassion, hope and I have seen that she is the polar opposite of a bad mother.  Not a week goes past without us talking and every time she has been in town to visit her parents, she has made time to catch up with me, even if it has just been for 45 minutes, over a quick coffee.  There is a mutual respect between us, even though I sometimes feel I don’t deserve hers.
Valentine’s Day  brought with it some shock as a video clip of an engagement hit FB.  The very heart-breaker had asked the cocktail waitress from Wizard’s party to marry him – a mere three weeks (yes, weeks) after knowing her.

As is custom when tears flow in our flat, my flat mate and her bestie took a red, bleary-eyed me to Eight Bells for a champagne breakfast.  We had some good laughs and I learned how to set my finger alight with alcohol and swallow the flame.  Don’t ask!  Not something I will try again in a hurry, but I wasn’t exactly in my full mind that day, given the circumstances.  Those two girls that “kidnapped” me and had me running around the car with them at red lights like a loopy teenager really made me realize that love is a gift and it was extra special because I got it when I really needed it after that devastating engagement blow.

 

March brought with it a new craze to Mossel Bay – the parkrun.  Dad and I took part with a number of our Herbalife friends.
Parrun March
I don’t remember what my time was, but it was sub-50 so I was very happy.

 I also shared in the happy occasion of my cousin Ashleigh marrying Arnold in the little town of Heidelberg, W. Cape.  Looking back I’m surprised I didn’t melt that day because it was hot as Haedes.  She was a beautiful bride, and had all her children (from her previous marriage) and grandchildren in her retinue.  It was a real family affair and they all looked so beautiful.  Arnold looked dashingly dapper in his Welsh kilt.  They make a great pair and I’m sure they are going to be incredibly happy living in Wales. It was a very intimate affair, which made it even more special.  I got to see my cousin Malcolm after a long time and we did lots of catching up.  I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed him until we actually started chatting and rehashing old times.  I am still thankful that I got to see him.  I only wish I had known it would be the last time.

I also got to meet Janine in person after a trip to Port Elizabeth with my colleague, Carolyn.  It was an interesting visit, because on the way there, Carolyn and I stopped at Tsitsikamma Falls and took a quick walk.
I twisted my ankle and by the time we got to PE I couldn’t walk.  Turns out I tore the ligaments and that put me out of gym training for much longer than the mandatory six weeks, which has snowballed into me gaining weight again 😦  Janine and I had a lovely visit with her cooking up an incredibly Banting “Paptert” for supper and us having brunch the following day at the beautiful Blue Waters Café, which co-incidentally is also owned by an old school friend of mine.
April brought with it Dad’s birthday.  Every time I see him I see that he’s aged a little, but he is still one of my biggest role models.  It also brought with it Easter, and for the first time in 35 years, no eggs *gasp*
May, like April, was a quiet month for me.  I have no photos to show for it 😦
June was a sad time for me.  I lost one of my best friends, my cousin Malcolm.  I read the tribute I wrote here in the church.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  When I got back to my seat, my dad was crying, because my voice had cracked so many times, yet I maintained my composure.  I am still grateful that I got to see him at the wedding; that we got a chance to see each other one last time before he went to live with the angels.  I am still saddened when I think about his parents, his wife and his two little children.  Even as I sit here typing this, my eyes fill with tears.  I miss him.  He was only 44.  I was once again reminded that time with the people we love is limited, so I love the ones that are in my life, and I’m grateful everyday for them.  My parents, my friends, my colleagues…without them my life would be empty. This is how I remember Malcolm – taken at Ashleigh and Arnold’s wedding, with is wife Jana and daughter Mia.
March Malcolm

June also brought about good news though when Elizabeth’s younger sisters both found out that they were expecting!

July I hibernated.  It was cold!  But not without spending time with Shayla-Rae on the farm where she grew up.  I even learned how to bottle-feed a feisty lamb.

July Lamb
August I got treated to an incredible weekend away at a local lodge with my friend Theresa
T Madi madi August
after her beau at the time (who later turned out to be a scammer) couldn’t make it to join her.  It was a weekend that I will treasure for a long time because we had fun, saw incredible sunsets
Madi Madi Sunset
shared laughs, got accosted by a tame Springbok
went wine-tasting

and one evening when we were taking photos in the reserve at sunset, we heard vegetation crunching under animal footsteps.  To this day we don’t know what it was, but it was a big animal.  Theresa still whispered, “Do you think it is a snake?”  My reply, “Very big snake then…”  Needless to say we took very tentative steps to get back to the car, silently praying that we wouldn’t come eyeball-to-eyeball with a rhino or a buffalo.

 

September…the month where I attended training by my amazing Herbalife upline which inspired me not only to start dreaming again, but to dream BIG!  I had to get refocused on my Herbalife business, as well as helping the members in my organization, because if I wasn’t working, they wouldn’t be either. And if I wanted to achieve my dreams, I had to work at making them happen.
Dream Big - september
It was also the month I turned 18, for the 18th time!  I was meant to have a get together, but woke up with a tummy bug, which put paid to the plans.  It was meant to be rainchecked, but alas, the rest of 2015 ran over me like a freight train without brakes and here we are, on the brink of 2016.  I did get to have a family dinner with my parents at one of the best restaurants in town, Route 57.

October had me realizing that It was the best month I’ve had this year, and one of my members moved up in the marketing plan, giving herself a 10% increase.  I was incredibly proud of her because she has really worked consistently at her part time business.  Sometimes I want to tell her that she motivated me to catch a wake up again.

 

November… well, to say it was busy is an understatement!  The first weekend was the annual CANSA relay for life.  I popped in but didn’t stay long seeing as with my ankle, I am not allowed to walk any kind of distance at the best of times, what’s to be said of on unlevel ground.
The following weekend I went to Cape Town to attend my very first Herbalife extravaganza.  It was an experience that I cannot describe to someone who has not been there.  The energy of 5000 people in one room, radiating positivity, wanting to change lives, is absolutely phenomenal. For the first time in years, the company’s CEO, Michael O. Johnson was on stage.  All I can say, besides that he is incredibly handsome, is that he clearly loves what he does and that he is an inspiration!  Wow!!

Extravaganza 2 NovemberExtravaganza 1 NovemberMOJExtrav

An added bonus was that I got to have dinner with my long-time friend, Allan, who at nineteen years old than I am, is often a father-figure, but with a wicked sense of humour.  The last time we saw each other was five years before, also in Cape Town, for the FIFA World Cup soccer game between The Netherlands and Cameroon.
P and ali
The following weekend was a lot more relaxed, with some friends at a local wine farm, with no cellphone reception.  I think every three months a person needs a breakaway from technology.
 The last weekend saw me celebrating my friends Aaron and Mandy as they tied the knot in an intimate ceremony after having been together for ten years already.  Looking back on 2015, November was definitely the highlight.

Remember I mentioned Elizabeth’s sisters being pregnant?  Well, December brought a dual baby shower for them and it was a huge success with LOTS of presents.  The next day I joined Eliza and Nicolas for a Potluck-and-Pollyanna early Christmas lunch which was tremendous fun. There was SO much food.  We sang Christmas carols and had a church service in the house before lunch.  It was really something so special.  The minister preached to us about taking inventory of our lives, and I guess, to a point, this is what I am doing with this post.  It was a beautiful day, blessed with sunshine and a cool breeze off the sea.

I also had to say goodbye to my friend and neighbour, Zara.  She applied for a teaching post in Pretoria and it was successful.  We had one last night of wine-drinking on her patio…a superb bottle of 2008 Rooiberg Cabernet Sauvignon.  Zara also decided that it would be the night that she would braai a fish.  Even though she had no idea what she was doing, it turned out well.

Christmas Day was spent with my parents, over a lavish lunch at Down to Earth in Herold’s Bay (the same venue where Aaron and Mandy got married).

Christmas Lunch 2 Christmas Lunch

And here I am, December 31st, 2015…trusting that 2016 will be an equally good year, in which memories will be made, lives touched and happiness pursued.  To you, my readers, may it be a memorable year for every one of you!

2014 is Here…

Normally when the clock strikes twelve, hailing the end of a year, and the beginning of another one, I reflect on the year past, and more often than not my eyes are filled with tears about what I didn’t achieve.  Last night I didn’t.  Because I’d received a promise from God.  A friend shared this verse on Facebook and it took root in my heart:

Isaiah 43:18-19

New International Version (NIV)

18 “Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

I was quite tired.  If I’d had my way, I would have been in bed just before eleven, but Elizabeth forced me to push through. I spent the night at her place, simply visiting with her, her brother and her parents.  It was probably the quietest new year I’ve experienced in a decade.  This morning we had a proper New Year’s breakfast 😉

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My step-sister is here, spending the night, en-route to visit my other step-sister who stays further up the coast.  While I sit typing away, she and my mom are chatting up a storm in the lounge.  Dad is very happy to have her here.  He has gone to great effort, with smoked angel fish and snoek and oysters.  

I quickly had to pop out on an errand and the radio in the car was off and all I could think about was just how blessed I am.  I have amazing parents, family and friends.  I am moving in two weeks into the perfect place.  My sideline businesses are both doing well.  This is definitely a reflection of what lies ahead.

Anyhow, I am not really a resolution person, but I saw this photo shared by Herbalife, it got me thinking…

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So, here goes…

This year I will:

1.  Be a better listener.  After all, I have two ears and one mouth.  And if I must speak, to speak accurately. And to speak life:

Proverbs 18:21

New International Version (NIV)

21 T”he tongue has the power of life and death,
    and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

2.  Make time every day to be quiet in God’s presence.  Caryn, a colleague bought me this book for Christmas:

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by Retah McPherson.  She has the most amazing story to tell.  If you’ve got time, read their story here.  

Feeling inspired by this, I bought this book (the Afrikaans translation) for Steve for Christmas and the English one for myself…

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Steve told me that the author is a down to earth man, that really serves God, and that he ministers in a way that any person can understand.  I had heard about Angus Buchan before, but it wasn’t until I’d seen the movie, Faith like Potatoes that I really took an interest in his ministry. 

3.  Stay healthy – not only because it is good for me, but so that I can inspire others to be healthy too. 

4.  Read, and blog more.  After all, reading and writing are both passions of mine, and I should be pursuing them…

5.  Make a daily choice to choose life, because it is a choice:

Deuteronomy 30:19

New International Version (NIV)

19 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

6.  Make the most of every opportunity that comes my way and to help people where I can.

7.  To laugh more… 😀

I’m sure I could add more to the list, but for now I think that is enough…

Looking ahead, I am hopeful and happy, because of the promise above, and also because I know God has a plan for me!  And it is a good plan…

Jeremiah 29:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So…here’s to 2014 – bring it on!  I am EXCITED and SO READY!

 

Of Businesses and Books…

For quite some time now, I’ve been selling Avon products to the girls at work and after about six months, the commissions are finally carrying the business! *Happy Dance!*  Now, having a head for business, and the personality for direct sales, I decided to start another sideline business selling Herbalife products.  You’ve all seen the tremendous amount of weight I lost…if not…read this post.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say it was easy – it was damn hard work, both in and out of the gym – especially when it came to drinking my shake on a winter’s morning, but hey, the results speak for themselves.  The extra protein in the shake also helped me build muscle and I’m more focused than I have been for a long time, drinking their Herbal Beverage once daily.  I have loads of energy to do the things I enjoy – gym, work, walking.  At first I was really sceptical about selling when Steve approached me with the idea – but after attending two business opportunity meetings with him, and hearing others’ success stories, seeing the marketing plan, hearing that business can be done in over 80 countries, that they’re listed on the NY Stock Exchange and understanding that I would have an amazing support base, I was sold.  Two weeks into the business and I am chuffed to say I’ve made R625 profit.  I smiled very broadly when a friend sent me this…she gets me!  I made this my BBM profile- and whatsapp profile pic and it has got me some business 🙂

HL

I’ve already got a few return customers, so this is going to grow.  I’m hoping to sign a few friends up, so that they too can experience the benefits of the products, and so my business can grow.  Watch this space people!  Mid-Thirty Misfit is going places – in a stylish, healthy body!!

What’s great too is that there is no conflict of interests because while Herbalife does have health and beauty products, its focus is on good health and sport nutrition, so some of my Avon customers are showing an interest.  I’m super excited, because this extra cash comes in very handy, especially when one considers…I’m moving into my own place next month!  **Another Happy Dance**

The place is fully furnished, with two bedrooms (although with the right amount of shuffling the furniture about, I can make it three!), two bathrooms and a garage for my car.  I get the keys on the 15th of January and will move in the following Saturday.  A number of my friends have indicated that they will come and help me unpack my boxes, so the move should be quick and painless.  One thing I will say is that I have a truck load of books.  I couldn’t believe just how many boxes I have labelled “books”.  I’m quite sure I can start my a new town library! While packing the last bookshelf yesterday, I came across my very first book – “The Wind in the Willows”, inscribed – This Book Prize is awarded to Mid-Thirty Misfit, for the Most Improved Reader, Grade 2, December 8th, 1987.  Exactly 26 years to the day I received it.  I will pass that book on to my son/daughter one day.

Continuing with books, I’ve finished The Shack by William P. Young – it’s been on my shelf about five years already.  I was so taken with his writing style that I hurried off to the bookstore to get myself his next book:

Cross Roads

I only started reading it last night, so I can’t really say much more than, “I’m intrigued…”

I best get back to work…there is lots to be done before the holidays start on the 20th.  And yes, I know I still haven’t blogged about the Peace of Eden weekend.  I must, I know.  And I will.  Promise!

Tring, Tring…it’s Tuesday!

When the alarm clock went off this morning I couldn’t believe that it was time to get up for work already.  Why does that always happen when I go to bed late?  One would think I could trick my body into thinking it sleeps longer.  Maybe I should try Steve’s route – his wristwatch is set 18 minutes ahead, so his body thinks it is sleeping longer than it actually is (even though it gets up 18 minutes early?).  I don’t understand the logic exactly, but hey, to each his own, right?

Oh well, I am not complaining too loudly.  Fortunately things are quieter at the office today.  I’m proud to say I’ve even done some cathartic purging.  I think I’m in love with the shredder…  Those of you who know me know how I just can’t seem to throw anything away.  The result?  A mountain of paper that, if printed on both sides goes into the shredder, if not, then into the recycling box.  I’m thinking that my office needs some personalizing.  I shall have to look for some photos – probably over the weekend.  And a pot plant too, I think.  That I’ll have to research though, considering that there is no natural light in my office (I’m surrounded by three solid walls and my door looks out onto the passage).  Any suggestions?

Today, a very special online friend of mine is celebrating the renewal of her life year.  Cindy here’s wishing you a wonderful day, and a year filled with blessings and God’s Love.  I pinched this cake off the internet for you 😀

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One thing I didn’t put on my 2013 Bucket List was to play more Facebook Scrabble.  As it is a new year, I reset my stats and have already lost my first game, to a bloke living in London.  I am playing a game with Granny1947, but the board is so tight, there is not much place to build.  I’m sure the next one will be better.  I am getting my ass whipped solidly by another player (her name escapes me right now), who has had four seven-letter words in a single game.  I have great luck, but that is something I’ve never had happen to me.  Maybe soon.  Poor woman keeps apologising, as if it’s her fault the computer gives her better letters than it gives me.  I definitely want a rematch!

Elizabeth is having a rough day at work.  One of her colleagues is on leave and the other has taken ill, so it is just her and another lady that have to do all the work.  I sent her a message that says, “Keep Calm and Drink Wine”, but that is obviously not an option right now.  Part of me could hear her cursing me under her breath, and it makes me smile.  She’s a tough woman, she’ll get through it.

On other fronts, Carmen is hosting a surprise for hubby Ewan tonight, in celebration of his thesis-study finally being finished after five long years.  His dedication to his study has been admirable.  He is blissfully unaware that about 30 of his closest family and friends are going to be there tonight to celebrate with him.  I hope someone remembers a camera!  Speaking of which, I must get back into the habit of carrying mine around with me.  I have seen some stunning photo-ops lately and haven’t had my camera with me…grrrrr  Sure, I have my blackberry, but sometimes 14 megapixels are needed to really catch the clarity of an image.

On the menu for lunch – Herbalife shake.  It’s odd, you know.  I kicked my heels in hard when Steve suggested a meal-replacement shake, because “shake” has that diet connotation to it (and besides, I like to chew my food), but I must say, I love my shake – it’s Toffee Apple and Cinnamon (the last one in the country, because it was a limited edition) – it’s quick, easy, nutritious and it tastes good.  I’ve also taken to Herbalife Protein Bars (healthy chocolate!).

Well, I’ll leave you with all these arb ramblings of mine for the moment.  I feel a philosophical conversation brewing in my head, but that is for another time.

Have a terrific Tuesday y’all!