RIP Earth Angel

There are days when you wake up with an outlook to tackle the day; other times you’d rather pull the blankets over your head, wishing (or praying, depending on your beliefs) for tomorrow to come. In both instances there are times you simply take for granted that you’ve been given another day to begin with.

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Day 26: (Apocalyptic) Acceptance

Today has not been a good day 😦

The alarm clocked sounded this morning and upon opening my eyes, my head pounded. Migraine! I’m partly to blame for the headache, what with binge-watching series and movies to not have to think about how lockdown truly is impacting me, the people I love, and those I don’t even know. My head is still sore, my stomach is churning like a top-of-the-range cement mixer, and my heart is heavy.

In an attempt to get some work done, I closed all the blinds in The Cave. Darkness! A slight reprieve from the sandpaper that still scratches my eyeballs every time I blink. Thankfully I can type with my eyes closed. My ninth grade typing teacher would be so proud.

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Frightfully Awful Friday

I was at work today, but I may as well not have been. I woke up to news from Charlie that the ship on which he works has been exposed to COVID-19. Isolation and quarantine are imminent. I am sad, anxious, and unable to concentrate. He was so close to returning home (albeit it to self-isolation here).  

I can only hope that he isn’t infected and that once the mandatory quarantine has passed, the airlines will have resumed their international and regional flights that he can get home.

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This Star is Being Swallowed by a Black Hole

I’ve had a foreboding for quite some time that something is amiss, but I have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is. I’m so out of sorts – a chameleon on a Smartie box doesn’t even come close to me.

I’ve had ridiculous migraines the past few weeks, and insomnia for ages again.  But for the first time in almost two years I had a panic attack on Thursday night during my mandatory sleep over at Erica and Nathan.  It was one of the worst I’ve ever had, but I didn’t want to disturb them or their two boys aged 2 and 5, so I dealt with it as best I could.  The attacks exhaust me physically and mess with my brain chemistry, which may also explain why I am feeling like the world should just end and be over with it.

As a result of the physical tiredness, I spent virtually the whole weekend sleeping as I was able to.  My body and my brain are taking strain and I’m doing the best I can, under the circumstances not to be the proverbial camel.

February is one of the worst months of the year for me.  It has been ever since I can remember.  It brings with it the Hearts & Roses Hallmark Holiday (excuse me a second while I go an vomit in the nearest trashcan, will you?) and with that reminders of how I’m always good enough to be with until someone younger, prettier and less intellectual comes along.  Every year it gets worse, and as the big four-oh looms later this year, I am feeling it extra hard this year.  This month also brings with it memories of loss that make my heart ache with melancholy.

Yesterday Malcolm would have been 48. I wanted to send Aunty Lynn and Uncle Derick a message to say I was thinking of them (I was!), but I was too afraid they’d call and want to talk about him.  June he will be gone four years; his death hit me harder than I care to admit. What I’d give to have one more conversation with him.  I miss him so much. For an entire lifetime he was my cousin, but for a few years he was my best friend.  He’d totally get what I’m going through now.  He’d probably crack some corny joke to get me to smile, but more than that, he’d open his arms and let me cry on his shoulders until my eyes were swollen enough to resemble those of a boxer on the wrong side of a tight left hook.  In this screwed up world, he was one of the few people that ‘got’ me and he loved me with no judgement.

I had been very reflective as a result of the pending date, and already feeling a downer on the prowl during the work-week, I made arrangements to take a walk with Carla yesterday.  We walked for almost an hour and I measured it with the car – 3.2 Km, because the stupid GPS froze and according to the fitness app I was using to map our walk, we did less than a mile.  Argh!  The walk didn’t have the desired effect of physically exhausting me to the point I’d have liked, so I lay on the couch reading The Book of Joy, which I borrowed from Erica.

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I’m enjoying it, although I will concede whatever I read yesterday, I’ll have to reread, because I wasn’t in the right mindset.  The book deals with the very feelings I am having now, and how to still have joy despite them.  I definitely want to get myself a copy because it will be a book I will definitely reread in the years to come.

The heavy cloud that has been following me for the last few days was also darkened by the fact that the guy who I was good enough to see through his divorce four years ago before leaving me for a blond 10 years my junior (17 years his) and getting engaged to her on Valentine’s Day (a mere two weeks after meeting her) decided it would be a good time to try and catch up by following my (very seldomly used) Instagram.  The first thought that went through my head, was Fuck you, Jack and the second one was block.  I had heard rumours from a quite trustworthy source that there is trouble in paradise and shortly after he pulls a (dick) move, thinking I won’t notice.  It angers me immensely when people insult my intelligence and my intuition.  I’m probably one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet, but I can cut you off like a dead branch and toss you into the fire without looking back.

The heaviness I feel is because of many small things all rolling towards me at the same time.  Think scourge of mosquitoes and you’ll have an idea of what I mean.  The only difference is that I could be sleeping with the G.O.D fan on and they’d still get to me.  I have to keep reminding myself that this too shall pass and that everything happens for a reason, but right now those mantras are not grounding me enough to focus.  I’m a mess -Shattered, hopeless and resentful and I hate it!  I’m a strong person, but sometimes I just need someone to take my hand and tell me Everything’s going to be alright.

So, I’m going to do what I must, to look after myself first, because I’ve been too strong for too long and it’s catching up to me.  The best thing I can do for myself is to rest, even if that means sleeping for two days straight and saying NO! when I can’t take on more straw.  I try to get away once a quarter, but I have a goal I’m saving for (the silver lining is already out in The Universe :)), so the rest will have to be at my flat, where I’ll have to fight the distractions that are all over the show.  Another thing I should do is write more, I know, but right now, that in its own is undue pressure.  I’ll get there. Eventually.

I will also remind myself of this every day until I feel better:

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I promise my next post will be more positive.  Who knows, maybe I’ll do something I haven’t done since school and review a book – The Book of Joy

Friends: They Leave Imprints on your Heart

I rant when I’m particularly irritated or feel that there is injustice happening to those I care about – many of you who have been following my blog for a long time will know this. I feel the urge to rant, because I am tired of the same shit repeatedly, but realize that it isn’t going to solve anything; it is only going to steal my joy.

On the subject of joy, I’m going to share its opposite with you for a paragraph or two and then end off on a happy note, because while it’s normal to experience negative emotions, it’s not okay to allow them to take root in our minds – after all, our thoughts become our actions, not so?

Yesterday was an extremely busy day at the office, so when I got the news that a good friend of mine, Frances, had left this world for the next, I felt a pang of shock (although she’d been ill for a long while), but I couldn’t really think about it.  We hadn’t seen each other in a very long time, but for the last nine months or so, we’d reconnected online.  I often chatted to her about alternative things, and she always gave me her honest take –  No holds barred.  Even when she was at her worst, she always gave her best.  She listened without judgement and never hesitated to tell me the truth, even when it was hard to hear.  Now she’s gone, and part of me feels lost.  It’s odd really, because we were close for a short time, then so far removed from one another for over two decades and then close again.  A kind of ‘concertina friendship’ if you will.  She leaves behind an ex-husband, who despite the divorce, I know she loved ‘til her dying breath, and two children, who I’ve not met.  I’m devastatingly sad at her departure.  I’ve lost close people – even family – before, but with her it’s different.  I can’t articulate it, because I don’t know what it is.  The world is emptier without her.  One thing that is a relief, despite the heartache, is that she is finally pain free.

I said to Charlie yesterday that I think I have only a single photo of Frances and I together, and that if I do, it is in a dusty album in storage somewhere. I hope one day I’ll find it and be able to have a proper reminisce over it. Until then though, I’ll remember her for the amazing person she was: mother, fighter, friend.

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Onto a less sad subject, Saskia, who “adopted” me as her big, but thin sister (we met in the gym…) is tying the knot in November and asked Yours Truly a while ago if I would be a bridesmaid. I was like, “is a duck’s arse damp?” followed by unexpected tears, of both joy, and surprise – because she has so many friends, and well, in comparison to them, I’m old.  She and her beau too live far away, but they are here for a few days, and she, her best friend of the past eighteen years (and Maid of Honour), another bridesmaid and I are getting together for dinner this evening to talk about the shindig.  I’m counting the hours because I just know we’re going to have a great time.

As I type this post, thinking about these two incredibly special ladies, I am reminded that making memories is important.  The digital era in which we live affords us the ability to capture those memories at the click of a smartphone button.  Sure, it’s amazing, but we need to caution against being lost in that action, as opposed to being lost in the people we’re with – so tonight, while I know the young ‘uns will be doing their millennial selfie thing, I’m not going to even take my phone with me. This evening, I’m going to imprint memories of this jubilant occasion in my mind’s eye.

Here’s to a night of uproarious fun, hysterical laughter, and most of all, the love of friends!

 

Emotions Running High

The last week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride. In a matter of seven days I went from:

High on happiness after receiving the results of my novel writing course
to
Low because I heard that I won’t be able to carry on because the finance I applied for is not going to be granted.
to
Angry when a friend hurt my feelings by jumping to a wrong conclusion
to
Excited when I heard another friend is coming to visit
to
Confused at receiving mixed signals from a chap I fancy
to
Proud after doing extremely well at my second fitness test
to
Heartbroken when I heard that a friend of mine had lost his mother
to
Surprised when I heard that Julius Malema’s appeal was rejected and that he has finally been stripped of his position as leader of the ANC Youth League.

I told Carmen last week that I’m scared (so another emotion) I’m having a relapse, considering that I just tossed my anti-depressants aside without really consulting anyone. I felt I didn’t need the crutch anymore, so I just stopped drinking them. After all I have so many positive things to focus on. Some days though I wish I could have the crutch back…

Anyhow, I’ve been in the mood to write poetry again – the emotional up and downs seem to have that effect on me, but the question was what to write about. So, I got hold of Suzelle this morning and said, “Help! I want to write some poetry, but I have no idea about what. Give me a theme.” She replied that I should write about dreams…and so, as is par for the course when I want to write poetry, I trawl the internet for some visual inspiration. I came across this picture on Outinleftfield and thought that it is absolutely perfect.

Focused on a goal
Transfixed by a hope
Mesmerized by a dream

Her hazel eyes stare
Into a dark oblivion
Yearning to find treasure

You look at her
But she doesn’t notice
Her mind is whirling

She reaches her dream
Clings onto it tightly
Wanting to realize it
She plans the execution
The intricate battle plan
Her demeanour cat like

You wonder about her
But she doesn’t notice
She chases her dream

At the last hurdle
She stumbles, she falls
Her dream is lost

Hazel eyes are puffy
Staring into the light
Her dream is gone

You speak to her
But she doesn’t notice
She can’t carry on

Focused on her religion
Transfixed by her heaven
Mesmerized by her Lord

Her hazel eyes alight
With a hopeful future
Clinging to His Promise

You look at her
Her smile welcomes you
Invites you to celebrate

She finds her heaven
Enters it with excitement
She wants to stay

Her heart is light
Her spirit is peaceful
Her life is complete

You wonder about her
You question your motives
You finally ask her

But it’s too late
You wasted previous time
Her heart has flatlined…

A Reminder to Say “I Love You, Mom”

Life is strange…sometimes it deals you a Royal Flush and you are soaring high above the clouds, because you know that nothing can beat it, and other times, it chucks the cards aside and changes the game to baseball, pitching you a curve ball so unexpected, you’re not sure if what you’re feeling is right or not.

In my job I don’t get to deal with as many people on the phone as with my previous jobs, but the few I do, I feel I have built a good repore (sp?) with. I heard from one associate that the person I normally deal with, Ray, would be out of the office for a few days as his mother had passed away.

I received a mail from Ray this morning, concluding that he was back at work. I don’t quite know why I sent him this mail, but something inside me kept urging me to do so, so I did.

“Hi Ray,

I heard from Patricia about your Mom’s passing. I am so sorry for you loss. I am not going to say I know how you feel, because I don’t think anyone does. I only hope that with time the sadness and longing will become less and that the good memories will stay with you forever.

With condolences,
MTM”

His reply was short:

“Thanks MTM. It’s tough, my heart is so sore.”

I can understand that – I can’t begin to imagine how hard it must be for a person to lose their mother, regardless of what age they are when the loss occurs. What I wasn’t prepared for was the overwhelming heartache I felt for Ray at that moment, nor the tears that followed. My heart too is so sore – and I don’t know him personally. He is simply a voice on the telephone…

As I sit here, typing this, I am overwhelmed by sadness and gratitude at the same time. Many of my friends have lost their Moms already, mainly to illness, yet I still have mine (and so often I don’t appreciate her enough). I am going to make a point of telling her today and other days too, that I love her. I’m going to stop assuming that she knows it.

What a Wine-y Weekend…

I have drunk more wine this weekend that I have in the last three months, but it is definitely not a bad thing.

Friday night I got to Elizabeth just after six and we went into town to get pizza for dinner.  I wasn’t hungry because I had eaten leftovers from Thursday night.  She was (is) still very fragile after Greg’s memorial service, so I suggested a bottle of wine on the beach.  She agreed to the wine, but not on the beach, so we drank it at home.  Being unemployed I can’t afford the really good stuff, but this bottle wasn’t too bad.

For some strange reason, Elizabeth gave us plastic wine glasses – although it proved to be a blessing in disguise later on when she dropped her cellphone on her water glass, breaking it (the glass, not the phone).  I proposed a toast to Greg early in the evening and Elizabeth chinked her glass against mine, quite hard (again, plastic glasses were a blessing in disguise).

I even shared the wine with Elizabeth’s dad too, nice person that I am 😉 and he was so chuffed that he opened another bottle of red wine (Woolies Longmarket Pinotage) and when that was finished, he opened another (Rooiberg Cabernet Sauvignon).  Needless to say, as long as there was wine, I was having some.  Even Elizabeth, who is not a big drinker matched me glass for glass, become somewhat pensive and philosophical as her intake increased.

After ten she decided that it would be better if we sat on the verandah because it was an incredibly muggy evening.  She talked more about Greg, getting the sadness about her system, and about life in general.  In her philosophical state of mind, she decided to propose a toast, which I actually wrote down because it rings true:

“To histories – the people who have been part of our lives, who have made their marks in our lives, and for just being in our lives.  Without them, we would not be who we are today.”

Having had way too much wine, I ended up staying over there.  We only went to bed at something to midnight (two nights in a row…could this be a pattern forming?!)

Saturday morning broke with Elizabeth’s alarm going off – poor woman had to get up for work!  She didn’t have an inkling of a hangover.  I grumbled at her for putting the light on, but I just turned over and went back to sleep.  I got up at 08:30, with a tiny headache, but after a bath it was gone.

Off to the mall I went to buy a gift for Mary’s baby shower – I shopped up a storm!  Baby clothes and goodies are just so cute.

 

 

Suddenly I was reminded by a grumbling tummy that breakfast might be a good idea, so I stopped at Wimpy where I ordered a full mixed grill, an extra hashbrown and a mega coffee.  Just what the doctor ordered.

After fetching Elizabeth at work we went through to Redberry Farm (a farm where you can pick your own strawberries – not the farm that I used to work at) for Mary’s baby shower.  I had a good chuckle at this sign close to the parking area.

It was sweltering in George!  She was surprised, so the mission was accomplished 🙂 and we all had a lovely time.  Her gran bakes the most amazing coffee cake.  From there I came home to get more clothes (as Elizabeth’s sister and soon-to-be-brother-in-law) invited us for a braai at their new home.

Again, it was wine time – this time it was a bottle of Mountain Shadows Pinotage that Jay bought for us to actually drink on New Year’s Eve.  It went down well.

Tonight Mom and Dad will be back from their week-long outing to Port Elizabeth and we are going to the Ocean Basket for dinner.  There will definitely be more wine drinking 🙂

Definitely a wine-y weekend 😀