#Moodboard Monday: Orange

I can’t actually believe it’s #MoodboardMonday again already.

Let’s talk orange today. This colour has many positive associations and is perfect to get in the mood for the warmer weather (here in South Africa, anyway). I can’t wear orange, it just isn’t suited to my skin tone, but I decided that it might be a good idea to wear different shades of it on my nails. Every time I look at my hands, I feel a pang of enthusiasm and energy. I need both after the downer-week I had last week.

The photo below may not be a #moodboard, but it is the essence of one thing I love: A perfect reflection #nofilter It is also one I took during my holiday to #VictoriaFalls last year. I got up before 04:00 every morning I was there to capture the sunrise. Few things have taken my breath away and calmed my spirit at the same time.

My Own Photo. Taken at Old Drift Lodge, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. November 2019
#nofilter Copyright: Reflections of a Misfit Image may not be used without permission

May each one of you reading this post experience something orange this week – and may it fill you with happiness, energy and optimism.

Platitudes: Toxic Positivity

I wasn’t sure if I’d be blogging on this brisk May Monday, but when this filtered into my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I knew I had some writing fodder.

FB_IMG_1557121309500

A while ago I wrote this post, in which I mentioned the very platitudes that some well-meaning people use because they their intention is to uplift someone who is in a deep, dark pit of despair.

Over the weekend I was faced with a situation where a friend needed an ear.  I’d had a feeling for a while something is amiss, and while I said as much, I didn’t press the issue.  Turns out (s)he has been trying to be strong for a very long time, but things got too much.  I encouraged him/her to just get the feelings out, and while talking doesn’t magically make all the issues disappear into the same place single socks and Tupperware lids end up, sometimes just talking about things gives a little bit of perspective.  I’m wary of offering advice, because my pigs aren’t all in their pen and our situations differ, but (s)he asked me what I would do if I was in his/her situation.  My reply (rather wise, I think) was I’m also not going to try and make you feel better with platitudes because in a situation where one is really hurting, they can illicit a negative reaction, rather than a positive one.  The only advice I do have is to do something daily that is for you and try to keep at it.

I could have given her a whole list of platitudes, which I’ve personally had said to me since my episode:

This too shall pass

Practice an attitude of gratitude

It is what it is

Every cloud has a silver lining

Happiness is an inside job

God never gives us more than we can handle

Everything you want is on the other side of fear

Every one of these old chestnuts has been tossed my way and while there is truth in all of them, I’ve sometimes perceived the person saying them to be insensitive.  I’m not sure if they’ve felt the need to fill the silence, and maybe I’m totally wrong in my thinking, but there is no need to always answer verbally.  Sometimes just a hand squeeze, or a hug is enough; especially in the times we live in, where physical contact seems to be diminishing.

Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox for now.

20150917_platitudes-590x211

On other news, I have my last PT sessions with Steve this week but in five weeks I’ve had results, so I’m seriously considering another ten if finances will allow.  Tarryn cut and highlighted my hair on Saturday and on top of that, she gave me some jeans that actually fit and show that I do indeed have an ass.  I’m rocking my new hair and my smaller body!  The first pic was taken by Tarryn, the rest by Harriet at her place yesterday after brunch and window-shopping.

IMG-20190504-WA0024

20190505_14390220190505_14424420190505_14422920190505_144740

Right, that’s all for now.  Here’s to what promises to be an interesting week, particularly as us South Africans head off to the polls on Wednesday and to Wimpy afterwards for a free coffee.

 

2018: It Did Have Some Highlights

2018.  By far not one of my favourites. It was stressful, challenging and exhausting and the result of that combination amounts to every new hair sprouting on my scalp being grey and many, many tears. But as I do every year, I try to reflect on what was good about the year, even if that means that I had one sunny day in a dismally cold July.

January I know I must have rung in the New Year somehow, but I honestly can’t remember where, or with whom I spent it.  I quite possibly may have been at home on my folks’ couch, blissfully when the witching hour struck, signaling the end of 2017 and the start of 2018.  One thing I do remember was going back to work, enthusiastic and hopeful about what lay ahead for me.

February was the month Elizabeth introduced me to liquorice-flavoured ice-cream.  It sounds gross, I know, but as I tell people about many things: “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it”.  It’s not always available at the parlour we frequent, so when we see it, we treat ourselves.

I also went away for a weekend to Rheenendal, close to Knysna. I did a woodland hike, which is something I love.  Few things restore this Misfit’s equilibrium as the smell of pine needles and mulch on the forest floor. I also love the different types of fungi that grow on the treestumps.  I also had a daily visitor to the cosy bungalow in which I was staying at a place called Fern Gully – the Knysna Loerie.  I also stopped in at one of my favourite places in the area, Jubilee Creek.

20180224_09335220180224_111336

20180224_12201520180224_12115120180224_132720

March was a quiet month, as April was going to be a jam-packed one.  I have gone through my photo archives and can’t find any kind of activities.  This would have been the month that candle-lit baths and early nights were the order of the day.

April was a busy month.

A group of friends and I attended the annual sundown festival at Jakkalsvlei, a local privately-owned wine cellar.  There were local artists to entertain the patrons and the pizza and wine were the perfect fare for one of the sunniest days of the year.

FB_IMG_1546363431017FB_IMG_1546363440237

The following weekend Harriet roped me and two other friends into a treasure hunt which took us to various landmarks in- and around Mossel Bay.  The trio was blissfully unaware of my competitive streak and Formula 1 driving skills.  We got second place, which was a two night stay at a local guest house.  We opted to take use the prize in September given that my birthday falls in that month.

FB_IMG_1546363350392FB_IMG_1546363384510

I also went to Johannesburg to visit an old school friend, Kayla for the final weekend of the month – it was a five day weekend, courtesy of the State due to public holidays.  We went to the country’s largest amusement park, Gold Reef City, which I’d visited over 3 decades before.  We had so much fun.

20180429_09424520180429_09424320180429_095021

20180429_11204420180429_14182020180429_11524720180429_103132

It was also a weekend of firsts – I had a Rocomamas burger, Krispy Kreme donuts and a Starbucks coffee for the first time ever.  I rode the Gautrain and also did a bus tour of the CBD where I spent nine years of my life – so many things were familiar, but sadly, the City of Gold is very neglected.

20180427_13595620180430_07332720180430_07321420180501_09141020180430_07010720180430_08380820180430_09552420180430_110453

20180430_09595720180430_10592220180430_07433620180430_09552720180430_095708

Still, it was a memorable weekend and I left there feeling rested and extremely grateful for the opportunity to see Kayla and meet her son, Trevor, who at eleven is already a fine young man.

May I was pretty much broke after all April’s shenanigans, so I didn’t social much.  It started to get cold so I did many early nights which contributed to much needed rest – both physical and financial.

June my God-daughter turned a year old.  Sadly I couldn’t be with her on the day given work commitments, but her mom sent me lots of pictures and I got to visit a few weeks later.

IMG-20180603-WA0008IMG-20180529-WA0025

As always, Shayla-Rae made me feel so welcome, and allowed me to just relax which is what I always so desperately need halfway through the year.

Elizabeth, Yasmin, Carla and I also did the Moonlight Maze at Redberry Farm in George.  Charlie and I did the maze in the day last year and that was a feat in its own right.  At night it is ten times worse, but we did it, with a badge to prove it!

FB_IMG_1546363409924

FB_IMG_1546363400608.jpg

July I took one Sunday for myself to recharge my batteries and headed down to the local hotel not far from where I live.  I had an alfresco lunch – the most phenomenal surf & turf ever, next to the sparkling pool.  I also devoured one of my favourite authors, James Patterson’s books.

August I got back in touch with an old school friend, Chante.  We’ve stuck to our agreement to have a catch-up at least once a month, despite hectic schedules.  We’ve had some interesting conversations and many a good laugh. I’m very grateful that our paths crossed again after such a long time.

September I got to meet a friend-of-a-friend, Linda in person.  She brought me a beautiful personalized artwork during a visit to a friend of hers, Tarryn who lives here now. It has prize place on my bookshelf.

FB_IMG_1546363274854.jpg

It was also my birthday, which meant the breakaway with Harriet and our other friends, Yusi and Mark.

October my amazing friends Eleanor and Nathan hosted a belated birthday party for me.  It was a film-based theme-evening and everyone who attended went to great effort with their costumes.  Fun was had by all.

IMG-20181028-WA0038IMG-20181028-WA0057IMG-20181028-WA0062IMG-20181028-WA0027IMG-20181028-WA0033IMG-20181028-WA0037IMG-20181027-WA0029

November was also a memorable month.  Charlie was back in the country, almost heading back out again, so I twisted his arm to join me on a weekend away at local lodge in the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn.

20181104_140728

The town is known for its extreme temperatures, but the particular weekend we went, it was even hotter than usual given devastating veld fires that raged throughout the entire region.  As with my April weekend away, this weekend held many firsts of its own.  We both ate crocodile, and Charlie opted to eat zebra, which he still talks about.  We also attempted to fish in the dam, with zero success and we went swimming in one of the lodge’s two chilly swimming pools.

The following weekend, my former roommate, and sister-of-the-heart, Sasha got married and I was a bridesmaid (also a first!)

20181110_151443

I’ve seen many beautiful brides, but Sasha was by far the most breathtaking, and her groom, Shaun looked dashing.  I unfortunately had to be strapped into a corset as I’d injured my back (again!) two days before the wedding.  It didn’t stop me from dancing though.

December I had the privilege of being able to treat my parents to an outing at Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud Farm where we learned all about the Draft Horses of Old.  What incredible creatures – true gentle giants.  The owners of the farm, Peter and Christine Watt do incredible work to create awareness about these amazing animals that are on the verge of extinction.

FB_IMG_1546363198966FB_IMG_1546363192660

I also got to take my folks out for lunch on Christmas Day.  It was good to be able to forget about all the awfulness that has surrounded them (and me by extension) lately, if only for a day.

Shayla-Rae and her hubby Shaun also treated me to a concert at the local amphitheatre.  There were over 12000 people in attendance and the atmosphere was electrifying to say the least.

20181228_18160320181228_18141220181228_211312

So yes, while 2018 was not the best year of the twenty-teens, it did have some good times, and those are what I’ll remember, because in the words of Victoria Holt, “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful; if it’s bad, it’s experience.”

Here’s going into 2019 with a positive attitude and hope that the negative things unfortunately having to be carried over will be sorted out, so that life will be happy this year.  Cheers!

PS. I’ll be blogging more this year, I promise!

 

In 2013 I’m Going to…

Wake up and smell the roses…like this softly scented one I just picked out of our garden.  Isn’t it beautiful?

IMG-20130101-00688

How often aren’t we so rushed to do something, or be somewhere, or see to others’ needs that we simply miss the beauty of God’s creation around us?

Though I said in my previous post, I’m not a resolution-making-kinda-gal, I’m going to resolve to do these five things daily:

1.  Be thankful for everything I have, every day – because this is A Philosophy we all can Live by.  An online friend of mine has an awesome thing – it’s a gratitude jar, and every day she writes something down which she is thankful for and places it in the jar.  At the end of the year, she literally counts her blessings.

2.  Try to speak only positive things into my life, and into the lives of those around me – and if I stumble, to immediately ask God’s forgiveness immediately and restart the process.  I’ve bought Pastor Joel Osteen’s bestselling book I Declare and I’m going to be reading the 31 Promises this January and living them.

3.  Give my best at whatever I am asked to do.  I’m not saying that it will be perfect every time, but that I will give my best – and if I can’t do it on my own, that I will ask for help.

4.  To talk less, (be more patient), and listen more – to God’s Voice, and to those around me.

5.  Walk by Faith, and not by sight.

Right, that’s that…no wait!  There’s two more:

6.  To drink more water and green tea

7.  To not go to bed with my make-up on – no matter how tired I am!

Then, I have a bucket list of things I would like to do this year:

1.  Read more motivational books – I’ve just bought this book which Nianell signed, with a simple, yet effective message “Just Be…” on Sunday evening after her performance which I was privileged enough to attend.  She is an incredible local artist, blessed with an angel’s voice.  She is an amazing ambassador for God too – an inspiration and a true light.  In the 90 minutes she sang and brought her message, I was moved to tears a few times.  After the show, she patiently posed for a number of photos with fans and spoke to each one.  Here we are:

IMG-20121230-00685

2.  On the subject of reading, I want to also read all the books I bought in 2012 that I didn’t get around to reading.  I realize that this means I am going to be sleeping a lot less than I did last year…

3.  Go horse riding at Eight Bells – I’ve told Steve,  my trainer,  that I want to do this and he will ensure that there is enough lower-back strength training in my program for this to happen.   I’m thinking round about July / August – it’s cooler then, perfect weather for mountain outrides.  I can’t wait!

4.  To go hiking at least once every two months – the Garden Route has some beautiful trails, like the Giant Kingfisher Trail in Wilderness.  I think I shall start rallying the troops now already for a hike towards the end of the month.

5.  To save a few Rands every month, because I really do want to do the Advanced Novel Writing Course through the South African Writer’s College.  Having passed the first part of the course with merit, it is a step in the right direction.  I AM going to be published!  And my novel IS going to be a New York Bestseller – just you wait and see :-D!

6.  To swim in the sea more – I went with Carmen and Ewan to the beach on Thursday and swam in the sea for the first time in easily a decade (if not longer) and it was so refreshing.  The fact that I have a bikini ready body now helps too, I’ll admit 😉

7.  See more of my extended friendship circle – I am so blessed to have many true angels in my friendship circle, yet I don’t get to see them all as much as I’d like.

8.  Watch more movies (at the cinema) than I did in 2012 – shouldn’t be too hard, considering I only saw two last year 😀

9.  Take more photos – and share them with those around me, be it through the various forms of social media at my disposal, or here, on my blog.

10.  With that said…I will definitely be blogging more than the meagre 33 posts I did last year!

Pro-Active Approaches

Work has been more stressful than usual the past few days, which besides getting my panties in a knot, has left me extremely demotivated.  Yesterday I hit my first (of many I assure you) 12-hour day.  Add on a twenty minute commute to and from work, and you can call it 13 hours…

I got home last night to literally eat my supper, watch Dr Who and fall asleep.  I was exhausted.

So, I decided to try to do something pro-active to motivate myself and went looking for quotations on the internet about things that are important to me, as well as for me to get a pack on the back for a job well done.

They are:

Vision

Determination

Courage

Success

Achievement

I found two quotations for each heading and have typed them out in bright, happy colours, laminated them and put them up on my wall, to remind me that a positive attitude towards my goals will allow me to reach them.  I thought it would be good to share them with BlogLand too so that the sunshine can be spread.

VISION

The people who constantly rise to the top are those who possess a vision before the prize is won.  They see the triumph before anyone else.  (John Maxwell)

Leaders establish the vision for the for the future and set the strategy for getting there; they cause change.  They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there. (John Kotter)

DETERMINATION

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no help at all.  (Dale Carnegie)

The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.  (Vince Lombardi)

COURAGE

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. (Raymond Lindquist)

Courage is speaking your mind, even wehn your voice shakes. (Maggie Kuhn)

SUCCESS

Success is to be mesure not so much by the position that one has reacher in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. (Booker T Washington)

Most successful men have not achieved their distinction by having some new talent or opportunity presented to them.  They have developed the opportunity that was at hand. (Bruce Barton).

ACHIEVEMENT

All personal achievement starts in the mind of the individual.  Your personal achievement starts in your mind.  The first step is to know exactly what your problem, goal or desire is. (W Clement Stone)

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress. (Nicholas Murray Butler).

Right that is that for the moment.  I have to go and join my team outside for a practice session.  The match is on Thursday.