Day 160: Forget Boarding School’s “Lights Out” …

Yesterday morning I woke up to many messages saying happy Spring or something to that effect. I am a stickler about the true start of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, purely because the Equinox is on my birthday.

I then saw the news that Eskom was once again implementing load shedding. My flowery thoughts did a three-sixty. New season, new loadshedding

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Days 9, 10 & 11: A Three-Way to Meeting my Jekyll & Hyde

Days 9 and 10, Saturday and Sunday, or in my case Eat and Sleep…and Day 11: Moanday…

Aside from the delicious ravioli that I prepared; I made a focaccia pizza in the slow cooker. I was on a video call with Eliza, and completely forgot about the bread, which burnt to a crisp at the base and along the edges, so it was kind of flop-paccia. I think the recipe is meant for a large slow cooker, because mine rose quite a bit more than the picture on the recipe. Still, it tasted delicious. I’ll make it again as it is a superb way to use leftovers.

Before: Dough, Canned Tomates, Bacon, Feta, Mushrooms, Green Figt, Jalapenos, Fresh Rosemary and Grated Gouda Cheese

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Day 2 and Day 3: Already Mentally Challenging

Yesterday was Day 2 of #SALockdown, and I did my nut. As with day 1, I had the front door open, but the safety gate was shut tight. This is the only portal for fresh air, aside from a few small windows.

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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

Emotions Running High…

Nikita and I drove to work amidst the sound of chants & sirens, the smell of smoke and what might have been shots being fired.  You see, yesterday a group of angry residents of one of the local informal settlements decided to protest about the apparent lack of service delivery in the area.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but if you squat, you can’t expect to have services delivered because there is no damn infrastructure in place for said services to be delivered.

Look, it’s not that I am totally unfeeling towards the people – I too have things I am not happy about, but they are small in comparison to the conditions these people must live in daily.  I live in a fairly safe area, far removed from the blue lights, rubber bullets and tear gas, but I am not unaware, nor do I not comprehend that their issues need addressing.  I do feel though that if common sense is a flower that grows in your garden (which it clearly doesn’t with everyone), you would either wait for your state-funded-residence, as so many before you have, and you’d join the ranks of the rest of society that pays (regardless of the amount) for their services.

I am angry though.  Angry that they feel it is okay to damage public property with their tyre burning escapades and torching private dwellings.

Photos from Citizen.co.za and eNCA

Yes, you read right – these criminals razed other peoples’ homes to the ground because they’re not happy about the state of affairs at their own.  I wish I could find these cruel idiots and shake some sense into them, asking them how YOU would feel if someone did this to you, or someone you cared about?!  Where is the logic?  Just this morning we heard from a colleague that had to travel through the hot-zone that a minibus carrying innocent school children had a brick tossed through its window.  Sure, there is a visible police presence, but I think the laws of this country allow the criminals to rape, pillage and plunder while the police have to stand with their hands tied, trying to appear fierce and forceful.  I would even wager that down the line the community may take matters into their own hands because they are also starting to get gatvol.

During the drive, Nikita and I were talking mainly about the fact that we have a compassionate employer, one that empathises with the situation many of the staff find themselves in because of the barbaric acts taking place close to them.  I have a few friends, also employed by local business people and am totally disgusted how they are told “You will come to work or face disciplinary action” or “Fine, stay at home, but just remember, no work, no pay”.  Have these people no compassion whatsoever? Would a better approach to the situation not be “Yes, I know the situation is volatile, but let’s assess it in a few hours, maybe you can come in then?”

Their employees, people I know are often hardworking and sometimes exploited because they are desperate for the pittances they receive as remuneration are now in need, yet understanding from their employers is not forthcoming; these poor souls are not even heard out.  I find myself wondering how such business owners sleep at night.  Is their revenue for the day more important than the life of one of their employees?  In many instances, it appears so.

Again, yes, I get that this protest action is screwing with our already junk-status-economy but being a royal doos to your employees who actually want to be at work but can’t because they fear for their lives tells me you don’t have much wealth in the brain-, or compassion bank.  You should take a leaf out of Richard Branson’s book:

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