Friday Morning Thoughts

For those of you that have just started following my blog, there are two people I often refer to as The Bean and The Toppie – these are my parents, the former being Mom and the latter being Dad.

The Bean often told me growing up that Yours Truly is as transparent as a pane of glass.  Some days she’s wrong, because my condition has taught me how to be like the penguins of Madagascar.  Most days the smile and wave approach to life works, but then there are days like yesterday where I’m visibly not my sparkling, rainbow-farting-unicorn self.

I went to my favourite restaurant in town after work to sit in what has become known as my table, which is in the cosiest of corners, intent on blogging.  I read a few more chapters of my current novel, James Patterson’s 15th Affair instead.  I had zero inspiration to write and I almost always have a real book with me.  Failing that I have a selection of Kindle books on my phone, thanks to Charlie.

Some of the waitstaff who I’ve got to know over numerous cappuccinos and amazing meals came to ask if I was okay – not the standard implied question of are you satisfied with your meal and/or our service?  One even sat next to me for what might have been thirty seconds and asked how my day was (because clearly something was amiss).  They noticed me and that made a shitty’ish day a lot better.

The point that I’m trying to get across here, is that sometimes all that’s needed to life someone’s spirits is a kind word and a smile.  What’s even better about this is that it costs nothing.

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Thanks for reading this post 😊  Have a fantastic Friday!

To Love, or Not to Love…

…Either way, you’re going to end up broken-hearted.

While Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote the poem, In Memoriam A.H.H. about his best friend who died while travelling abroad, it is often mistaken to be about heartbreak following a breakup.  After all Tis better to have loved and lost,/Than never to have loved at all is one of the most famous lines.

I was triggered into a spiral of sadness this morning, by a well-meaning colleague who joked, “is it age that’s making you forgetful?  Or are you in love?” I merely replied, “Being in love brings trouble.” He laughed and said, “Not too long ago you were so in love you were glowing.” I wanted to reply, something witty of course, to hide the stab of immense pain I suddenly felt at his correct observation, but my mouth had turned to the Sahara and my brain was completely blank: an empty, dark void.  In that moment that felt like an eternity, I could feel the burn in my eyes and the longing for being in love with my best friend, who just wasn’t able to reciprocate my deep-seeded starry-eyed passions.  In those fleeting few seconds, I felt like a complete failure, wondering why I’m always the proverbial bridesmaid, but never the bride; why I’m always one of the boys, but never the one for the boys.

I don’t have a bad life; not at all.  I have abundant blessings:

Incredible parents; solid, reliable friends, a well-paying job with decent colleagues, a car to drive, a comfortable flat, food when I’m hungry, my health and opportunities to see new places and experience new things (not as often as I’d like, but still).

I embrace my singledom, because I know many people would love to be in my shoes; not tied down by a husband, wife, kids or even pets, but sometimes it is lonely.  Sometimes there are things that would be so much more enjoyable coupled with a romantic partner.

So today I’m in a mood of reflection… was Lord Tennyson right?  Today it doesn’t feel like it ☹

 

See-Saw Happy-Sad…Am I Mad?

If jam equals sunshine as it does in my vocabulary, then this past weekend qualifies as jam-packed.

Friday night Melody and I went out for what was supposed to be dinner, but it ended up being a scallop starter each, a shared bowl of sorbet and countless Virgin Strawberry Daquiris.  As is almost always the case when we see each other, the restaurant started closing around us, but we just couldn’t stop talking.  It was so great to see her; she is tonic for the soul.  We’ll likely catch up again during the week, this time with her husband, Leonard.  I dropped her off shortly after eleven and headed home, only to be pulled off by the cops.  I’m never fazed because I don’t drink anymore, but it is a schlep, even more so when their handheld scanners are on the fritz.  A regular two-minute-routine-license-check took almost fifteen minutes and by then the Sandman had entered already.  It was too late to drink my meds, so I skipped them.  Not. A. Good. Idea.  I had the most awful nightmares, vividly memorable and upsetting as I woke up crying and covered in perspiration.

I had to be up early too on Saturday as Carla and I decided that we’d take a drive through to George as she was looking to buy some ‘not-blue-because-that-is-all-I-have-in-my-cupboard’ tops.  On the way, we picked up a friend of hers, Arissa, who was house-sitting for friends.  The house is stunning and the view left me breathless.  Shopping went rather quickly and I found myself two cashmere-like sweaters at Queenspark for R99 (about $6.50) a piece on sale.  I also bought a snakeskin-look belt.  So I now have a dress, a bodysuit, shoes, a handbag and a belt in the look, but they’re all different colours.  The irony is I don’t own a single full-quill ostrich leather item, and I’ve been in the industry for almost nine years.  I do have a leg-skin purse, so I’m not a completely bad example.

After shopping we spent the afternoon with Arissa, at the place she’s housesitting, chatting over snacks and freshly-brewed Java.  I immediately comfortable with Arissa – she is an open person, with an extremely warm and welcoming personality.  We walked round the grounds and I got to see adult miniature horses and a foal that is not much higher than the resident border collie.  I also got to see a majestic Waterbuck, some springbuck and teeny-tiny little ducklings.  It was such a lovely experience.

Headed off to spend the night with The Toppie and The Bean.  We had chicken, butternut and The Bean’s roast potatoes – as if my Saturday couldn’t get any better! By something to eight I was pulling amps because of the lack of sleep the night before.  My folks went to bed round nine and when I got couch all kitted out for sleep, I discovered I’d left my meds at home.  Skip night number two.  I tossed and turned and again woke up in a glistening film of sweat.  Aside from that, I didn’t feel off, until Sunday night, but I’ll get to that in a bit.  We decided on a whim to take a Sunday drive to Still Bay and Jongensfontein, which is about an hour away.

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The sky was a cloudless blue and the sun was warm despite the wind.  We stopped at the well-known Lappiesbaai restaurant for a light bite to eat before driving to Jongensfontein.  Seeing the tidal pool brought back memories of a weekend I took away with Carmen, Ewan, Elena and Nick many moons again when Elena was still pregnant with her first-born who is now almost seven.

Sunday night after all the excitement wore off, the lack of medication and restless sleep hit me like a ton of bricks and I sat on the couch, in the eerie quietness of The Cave, with not a single light on.  I was overwhelmed by a feeling of immense loneliness and self-doubt.  I cried.  For how long I don’t know, but at some stage I got into bed and prayed for sleep so that the feelings of no companionship and being the girl that’s always everyone’s friend but no-one’s person could end, even if only temporarily.

What many people don’t realize is that a depressive ‘episode’ isn’t always a case of ‘going ballistic’, or ‘losing one’s shit’ requiring hardcore antidepressants or a stint in a psych facility.  In my case, it is sometimes just an immense moment of immeasurable sadness that has me wondering what my purpose on earth is, and if anyone aside from my parents would really miss me if I wasn’t here anymore.  The smile on my face in the photo is genuine, but in a moment, that smile can be erased as Sunday night is testimony of.

I know this melancholy feeling is something momentary; that it will pass.  I have so much to look forward to, and be grateful for.  I’m just in a dip at the moment.

I have since filled my prescription, and I have back-up meds in my handbag with me at all times now.  What’s that thing we learned as Girl Scouts?  Be prepared!

 

 

I (Don’t) Spy

I seldom dream these days.  I think it has something to do with the sleep meds I’m drinking.  On the odd occasion that I have not, I’ve dreamed.  Vividly!  So much so, that the morning after, I’ve woken up feeling like I’ve had a hectic night on the town.  A while ago, I wrote about a Sleepless Mindfield.  Today it’s all cloak ‘n dagger, except for the fact that I had no idea everyone in my dream was a spook – not the boo kind, but the type that is neither confirmed nor denied.  I am bloody exhausted!  And to crown it, my one incisor chipped.  There goes my fantasy of becoming a vampire.  Damn!

I spent the night at Eliza and Nathan’s place as I do every Thursday night.  We somehow got talking about cults, which is the same thing that set off a post earlier this year.

“I watched an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles on Sunday at Harriet’s place.  It was about a cult called The Church of the Unlocked Mind.  I’ve been told that watching TV is not conducive to my recovery, but I didn’t think forty-five minutes would do much harm. Well, I had nightmares the entire night about being held captive- and attempted to be brainwashed by an inescapable sect that I was quite exhausted when I woke up on Monday morning.”

For some reason the three of us sat at the kitchen counter last night, eventually talking in whispers, as if the house was being bugged by a sect trying to recruit us to do their bidding.  Later the subject changed to foreign words and their meanings, which had us all in stiches.  One in particular that stuck with me is schnapsidee.  I’m sure if you close your eyes and think hard enough, you’ll be able to identify at least one such idea from your own life.

Back to cults ‘n spies.  Almost everyone that is close to me featured in my REM-sleep kopfkino.

In my dream, I’m in familiar surroundings, a house, but it’s not mine.  Like a shitty-B-grade-no-budget-made-for-TV-movie, virtually everything happens in the dark, except one point where The Toppie and I are in search of a manuscript of sorts on a mountain top that is protected by Sumo wrestlers.  I’m thinking this last bit was his ikigai.

I’m alone, unpacking dusty boxes, when I come across a photo album – an actual booklet-type one.  In it are photos of almost everyone I know (in real life), but they’re all in disguises:  The Bean a femme fatale of sorts, her mouth bright crimson and she looks deadly posing with what I hope is toy-gun, but my gut tells me it’s the real McCoy.

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The I come across another photo of my friend Allice.  She’s dressed in a technicolour coat, donning a Ziggy Stardust mullet and pointing at something off-picture with glittery gold nails.  She’s laughing, her mouth open wide enough to see her tongue-stud.  Judging from her demeanour, it appears that she’s at a party.  Halloween, perhaps?

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Just as I’m about to place the Kodak memories in my jeans’ pocket, a weathered note falls to the ground from between the photos.  The ink is faded, and the page is torn.  All I can really make out are the words Nothing seems, but it’s not betrayal and protect you.  Cryptic and mysterious.  Right up this wannabe-Nancy-Drew’s alley.

I head off to share my findings with Eliza.  She’s open-minded, and imaginative.  Maybe she will have a theory.  Turns out when I show her the album, her skin flushes.  She takes me downstairs into a dank basement and insists that we talk there, behind a newspaper.  Every conversation I have with her takes place behind a newspaper.  With Carla, clandestine conversations happen in an ornate, old church and every time we speak, it’s behind The Bible.  With neither do I ever find out what’s going on, but they clearly know something.  The only advice Carla gives me is to go back to where it started.

So, back to the boxes. This time I find a loose photograph of Nathan and Eliza in front of an aeroplane.  It looks like a model one, but upon closer inspection, I see the words In Service.  I swear I see Allan in the shadow too.

It takes me a while to unravel the mystery of the dream, but I realize that everyone in my life is in a cult of spies and I’m in the thick of things but not any kind of agent.  Even as I trek up rocky slopes with The Toppie to find the ancient book, I find myself wondering WTAF is going on.

Good thing the alarm went off when it did, because if it hadn’t, I may have found out that I’m related to 007.

Talk about convoluted…

Here’s hoping tonight’s sleep is deep and dreamless again.  I’ve come to prefer it.

Nothing Particularly Earth Shattering

This is a run-of-the-mill-one about what’s happening in my life.  Some of you might likely find it boring, but I’m trying to write at least three times a week as part of my therapy and frankly, I can’t be witty and all sparkling-unicorn-personality all the time.

Tuesday night I saw Elena for the last time as my nail therapist.  Seeing as I was officially her final client, I decided to have my nails done in tribute to her.  I give you all The Final Curtain, the Encore being the sushi we had afterwards.

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As with Chanté, Elena and I have made a promise to see each other at least once a month.

While the rest of the world refers to May 1st as May Day, we South Africans refer to it as Workers’ Day.  Ironic when you think it is a day where (most) gainfully employed folks don’t actually work.

Yesterday was a day spent with good company.  Harriet treated me to brunch at a place in an obscure little side street that I’ve been wanting to go to for ages called Carola Ann’s. The menu is not extensive, but Oh. My. Word, the food is incredible! And as an added bonus I had the best spiced Chai Latte of my life, which I didn’t take a picture of.  When I go back, I’ll remember.

Even though the selection was limited, I had a tough time deciding what I wanted.  In the end I opted for a Green Veggie Bowl and Harriet for a Carola Ann’s breakfast, and a Mocha.  Few things satisfy this Misfit as much as a properly poached egg and while this one still doesn’t beat The Silvertree Restaurant in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens; it ranks second on my list.

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The late afternoon was spent with Eleanor and Nathan as I haven’t seen them in a while.  Nathan braaied some chicken and chops for us and I made us an interesting green salad.  After we’d eaten (Yours Truly way more than she should have!) Nathan went to play tennis with a mate, and Eleanor and I caught up on what’s been potting the past fortnight while the boys kept themselves entertained with Lego with babysitter Wreck It Ralph keeping a close, watchful eye.  Somewhere during the evening Eleanor also made a quick lemon cheesecake.

Tonight, it’s another legs session with Steve.  After only 6 PT sessions (and this is the only gym I’ve done), I can already see a difference in my arms and thighs.  Harriet says my posture has improved too, which I’m glad about. Next week I have my final two sessions and then I’ll have to take a decision as to whether I will continue PT or not.  I’m honest though, I don’t push myself hard enough and I sometimes give up too easily.

On the subject of giving up… If I don’t stop writing now, I’m going to be late for gym.

Cherio! 😀

Not Even Death can Kill a Forever Love

I’m in a philosophical mood, a little melancholy too.  Chalk it down to conversations I’ve been having-, or the books I’ve been reading of late, being a little tired again, the chill of winter, or simply because my brain needs something to think about.

I saw Harriet on Friday after work.  We spoke about a few things and somehow Paul came up.  I haven’t spoken about him in a very long time, literally years.  It was bittersweet to reminisce about the memories I had made with him. I still listen to Leonard Cohen’s music, Hallelujah in particular, and a memory will escape from my eyes down my cheek.  I know we would never have ended up together, but as I spoke, I wondered what he’d be doing now if Death hadn’t come to take him.

I went to the farm on Saturday to spend some time with Shayla-Rae, her husband (who is jokingly referred to as my skelmpie – which loosely translated implies that we’re having an affair), my precious Godchild, Lily-Rose, and SR’s mum.  SR’s dad exchanged this world for Another four years ago, yet when here mum talks about him, it’s clear that her heart aches still for him.  They were together for forty-seven years. That’s longer than I’ve been alive!

SR’s grandmother, Granny Wood, who turns 100 in October this year (yes, she will be a centenarian!) also remembers her late husband with fond tears and smiles.  She regales tales of their time together with crystal clarity, despite her mind being addled by dementia that is setting in.

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Now, in SR’s mum and Gran’s case, they married young (as was custom) so I’m not sure if they’d had the opportunities to meet more than the one or two men they did before they settled down into marriage if they would have said they experienced love more than once.  For them it was a case of One Great Love, their Forever Love.

I’ve not dated many blokes either (my track record with the opposite sex has been nothing short of disastrous!), but I’ve loved more than once, and I mean greatly loved.  The sad thing though is that as boundless as I can love, it never seems to be enough.

I know that just because it’s what I feel, doesn’t make it true, but it’s on my mind and I’m getting it out because topping (overthinking) about my worth to others (which is a huge thing for me) is not going to do me any good in this state of mind.

In the meantime, I’ll console myself that not even death’s sting can conquer forever love.

Oh, and just a side note, my brain is getting food tonight… Elena and I are going for sushi!

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Who knows what this Misfit’s fed brain will come up with next?

I guess y’all just have to wait and see 😉

A Randomly Obscure Subject: #RestroomSelfies

I’m not big on #selfies.  Of any kind.  I almost always look like a jaundiced bullfrog who had an extra helping of flies from the Lily-Pond-buffet.  On the odd occasion, I’ve taken one and though Oh. My. Word. Is that me?! But for the most part it’s Holy Crap! and then some other scary thought.

Of course, I have friends that are the Queens of selfies; particularly of the restroom variety.  Two come to mind.  I won’t mention names, but the first always shares a selfie from a restroom when she travels, whether it’s to a local retreat, or to The City of Gold or even Beyond Borders.  And she always looks so good.  She’s modest, so will tell me it’s the exquisite light reflected off the bathroom mirror, but we both know it’s because she’s a gorgeous soul, both in and out.  She can wear a paper bag and still look like a million bucks – a million bucks even looks good with hand sanitizer and beige-doors-that-don’t-go-all-the-way-to-the-ceiling-nor-floor in the background.

Then there is another friend, closer-than-blood who I believe on some level is a soul-mate.  She almost always knows when to drop me a text or some random picture of me that she’s edited with I ❤ U written on it.  Shit, when I typed that, I thought that sounds stalker-like but it’s not.  She’s married to an amazing man, but she and I have shared a great deal.

We are both on a constant journey to rid ourselves of the few extra fat cells that cling to our waists, so to motivate each other, images of healthy meals fly through cyberspace faster than plates from the kitchen to the table during a Gordon Ramsay dinner service.  When there is progress with Operation-Flatten-Muffin-Top, she will send me a selfie of her, with her tummy exposed, and I think I have got to eat more protein!

When she was a few days from being a Missus, she sent a group of us a picture of her in some obscure roadside gas station toilet, on the throne, with a rather descriptive caption.  I found myself think I hope she’s squatting, and that her handbag is not touching the floor

Today has not been a good day, yet like a ray of sunshine I just got a selfie from her, characteristic white public loo tiles in the background, smiling like a Cheshire Cat, captioned “I’m peeing”.  My first thought is Really, Sweetpea? but I will admit, I laughed.  Loudly!  Her randomness brought such a smile to my face.

I guess when you’ve been friends for as long as we have, the weirdest things can bring a guffaw from within.  Who would have thought restroom selfies too could bring some joy?

Friends – The Real Family

Cousin Lola always used to tell me when I was younger, “God lets you choose your friends, because you can’t choose your family.” I’ve been thinking about this more and more lately, especially since The Toppie lost his job at the beginning of the month.  Family are nowhere to be seen – and yes, I’ll concede that some of them are estranged because of bad attitudes, stupid feuds and stubbornness.  I keep coming back to the adage “blood is thicker than water”.  I don’t see much of my family, and to me it’s not really a big deal – there is no animosity between any of us (well almost any), it’s just that we move in different circles, and we have virtually nothing in common.  These family members are those that I don’t ask for anything, nor they from me.  It works.

But then…let’s face it – we all have someone with whom our DNA is interwoven that quite frankly we’d rather not be related to.  Others unfortunately join the ranks through marriage.  The upside of this is that the feeling is usually mutual and as a result paths don’t cross that often.  These people are the ones that you might bump into at a wedding, or a funeral. In my experience it’s usually the latter.  I could chalk it up to paying respects, but sometimes attendance is merely to say I’m still around, Fam-i-ly, just in case… you know, my name might be appearing in late Uncle Joe’s will.  I always did love that landscape painting by Obscure Artist that hung in his dining room.  What my hypothetical Wannabe Art Collector doesn’t know is the good ol’ Uncle Joe ended up on the bones of his arse and worked himself into his grave to keep his wife safe and cared for as he promised her a lifetime ago in front of many of the people at this very funeral. It doesn’t say much for my Wannabe Art Collector, but it does speak to the kind of person Uncle Joe was.

Moving away from hypothetically dearly departed Uncle Joe, and back to the reality at hand…

The past three months have been hell for my parents.  The Toppie had a tough time at work (more than that I am not allowed to say at this stage), and he was let go four days into 2019, tensions were (still are!) high because of rising costs and the place they’re living is in an industrial area, so human contact is almost non-existent.  I’ve tried my best to get them to come and stay with me (as hard as the adjustment would be for all of us, and they’ve declined), and they’re both still competent, so I cannot force the issue.  I’ve tried too to get even a little help from some family members who should as far as I’m concerned have a moral duty, but with no success.  It’s disillusioning to say the least. I hate seeing the two people I care about most in this world have to suffer as they are, when there are people that knew where my parents were when a hand or Rands were needed. The only thing I have to console myself is not everyone thinks like-, nor were they raised like me.  Add to that, that God doesn’t sleep and I do feel a little better about things.

But, as I have learned in an attempt to become more enlightened, I look to what I can be grateful for in this situation – and it is for friends.  From the ones that travelled from Cape Town in September last year and brought my parents a crate of non-perishables and some meat, to the one that baked them some biscuits, so that they’d have something nice to nibble on over Christmas, to the one that drew money out of her bond to loan to me so they could pay their car (and yes it’s a loan to me, which is to be paid back), to the ones that gave The Toppie a painting job so the rent could be paid, to the ones that are sharing a post I’ve put on Facebook to try and help The Toppie find a job to keep him busy and bring some money in, to the one that lets me travel with her to work, so that I can help my folks out with some things they need, to the one that sent me money to take The Bean and The Toppie out for their anniversary.  These people have zero obligation to help at all, but they care about me, and by extension about The Toppie and The Bean.

You know who you are, and I just want you all to know that everything you all do for me (no matter how big or small), is valued and appreciated.  I’m grateful to each one of you, and I’m proud to call you all family.

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