Monday, March 27, 2017

Time...

Time....

Something so futile when we are young, free and have no care in the world for what tomorrow may bring.

I see it in my children's eyes, no concern for saving for tomorrow, as the experience for right now is worth spending every penny they have.

25 years later, and all I consider is tomorrow, next month, next year. What will I have, what will I be doing, will I, will we be happy?

Not only that, but what could have, what should have been.

Its been and total of 9 months since I decided to leave the corporate world in search of my hopes and dreams. Dreams I had left in the dust when motherhood knocked my door down at 19. It was a decision justified in every way, it was time, I needed to create, I needed to be free from the pressures of the "regular world".

Yes, the regular, working world.... the place where my hopes and dreams sort of lost their way... and 9 months after having moved on from it, those same dreams still trying to find their way back to me.

I had it all figured out. Or so I thought...

I was going to be a great photographer and business owner, I had some promising opportunities looming and life was going to totally take off.... but then...

As it turns out, those promising opportunites never happened... things were good for a while as everything seemed impossible, I felt young and fearless.... nothing was going to stop me from going to the top... but then....

REALITY...

We were robbed shortly after I had left my job, cleaned out of all of the equipment we were to use to help build the business. That didn't deter me though as I had money coming in which then replaced all that was lost. I kept going.

A few months in, I realised how much paper work goes into a business, and not very much assistance or advice, unless you are willing to pay for the coaching... and that money went into replacing everything we lost.

So I push on, register this, apply for that, hire people to do this and that.... and stop paying attention to the fact that my 'dream' and the money were slowly fading into the distance.

But I go on, register some more documents and paper work, hire an assistant here and there, and end up shooting "part time" as I did when I was in my corporate job. Not realising it of course.

Now, 9 months later, I have hit a brick wall, mentally, emotionally and physically. I still have a lot of paperwork to go through, I have not been able to learn fast enough how to do my own accounting so hiring someone to do our taxes has cost me. Spending money here and there, little bits disappearing, getting paid late from clients, and all that comes with parenting life has now halted any vision or dream returning to me.

Worst of all....the people knocking on my door for money is more than I could ever have imagined I would be facing at my tender age. Stressful does not begin to describe my reality.

NO MORE DRAMA...

After getting all that off my chest, this has made me think about the time that I spent working in the bank. I pretty much learnt nothing in my ten years there and at the same time I forgot who I once thought I wanted to be. So many years wasted.

And Now, after following my heart, I find myself in a similar situation. Of course I have learnt a ton in these few months. A lot more than my previous years. I however have gotten so caught up in the logistics of it all, that I still have not realised my dream, my life, Me.

I have started to wonder what the defining moment for people who are living their best lives were. Who did they speak to, where did they go and what did they experience that told them definitively that this was what they wanted to do or be for a lifetime.

I DO HAVE GIFTS...

They say that you should listen to your life, your gifts, to find out what you should do with your life, but where do I start?
I can dance (used to infact), I can sing, can take a good portrait, enjoy writing, love meeting people and talking about issues surrounding birth and parenting. But what defines me enough to jump into right now,  make up for the gaps in my current finances and make it sustainable?

This post probably seems so negative, and maybe thats just because I feel so negative about what I am surrounded by lately, but its given me food for thought. I lost so many years basically because I felt like I had no other options, and here now when the choices are before me, they are still not standing out enough to make a lasting impression. Unfortunately I can only blame ADD for so long.

If you have taken the time to read through my entire post, I hope that you would make good choices early, don't let life get in the way of your dreams and practice them vigorously even if you don't see the light just yet.

At least I can say this of my dreams, they have taken me to fancy dress up events, singing on massive stages, having articles printed in top magazines and have my images displayed in galleries around the world when I close my eyes.... sure enough, at some point they will come together and into reality as my moment of weakness and uncertainty is here to take me there.
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Simplify your life - Easier said than done

Any parent will attest to the fact that parenting is never easy. Some people seem to have it down to the perfect job and claim to find parenting as the best job they were ever gifted with. All be it the best, it is never easy.

Parents with more than one child or multiples will surely agree that some days are like walking into your worst nightmare. Tantrums, very little sleep and having to reprimand less than nice attitudes can be exhausting. Add to that jobs that require all your free time and family responsibilities, sometimes it just seems down right impossible.

I find myself in that place lately. Homework from grade 1 and grade 3 has somewhat put a damper on our enthusiasm to parent with love. Its like an ungrateful and unthankful job that very rarely pays anything at all. Of course having four kids as I do is naturally exhausting, but school has magnified the exhaustion to a completely new level.

Today I spoke to a young man who said that he has epilepsy. Upon asking him what the cause was, he said it was stress. My response was "simplify your life". As I walked away I thought about that statement a bit, as I have heard it said so many times in conjunction with 'easier said than done'. But on my walk back into the building we were standing outside of, I really wondered what simplifying my life would be. ADD makes everything a lot more complex than it needs to be really, and I know fare well that my coping mechanisms are running dry at this point. Simplifying my life would be a dream, if I could turn my brain off from the tons of things its seems to believe I have to complete. Parenting has of course exhastibated the problem which has now turned me into a walking fuse, ready to short circuit at any moment.

A Simple life would mean one job I loved, children who responded with love and being able to sit on the couch without having something else to worry about next. Instead, I have three active jobs, only two of which pay, my kids respond with screeching no's when we talk to them and sitting on the couch to do nothing sends my entire being into a frenzy. Realistically, its my own fault all of this is going on. When I had nothing to do, I went and found something to do, now I never have nothing to do, ever! For some reason, the tasks just seem to pile up more everyday, and slowly there are things falling through the cracks.

Now, on top of parenting being as hard as it is, standard, there are all these etc etc etc in the way, and I can tell my brain is starting to throw in the towel at what I continue to expect it to do daily. I really do need to simplify my life, not for me, but because parenting is hard, and lately something I pretend I don't have to do; but for
my kids, who need me to be a parent, not a blogger, not a photographer, not a Doula, and not ADD. Parenting will always be hard, but the next few years is the only time I am ever going to get to make it count, the rest will happen when it happens.

Simplifying just means having one focus and letting the rest follow.
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sticking IT to Murphy

I love the word "Misadventure". It makes the bad days seem so manageable. I would love to use that word for the last couple of days in my life, but who ma I kidding. Murphy took out a butter knife to show me he was more coloured than I and I have now just had
to start reflecting and patching the wounds he left behind.

Backstory:
Tuesday was a very well planned day. I was to go in to the office with my Sister in law, take her for her Visa appointment as she will be jetting off to the US in a few weeks. Go back to the office and continue as every other 'normal' day. We had also arranged that hubby take Liam to the doctor as he had been running a fever since Sunday evening, a few meds and he would be on the mend. Well my day was far from the former and I place sole blame on Murphy.

I woke up, tired as usual, decided to wear my colourful stripy tight fit dress and sandals as the heat wave would make anything feel like a steam room. We headed to the office late, walked to the US consulate and to our surprise; 'You have the wrong sized pictures, you need to run into the mall to get the right size and run back, I am giving you fifteen minutes', are the words of the official at the gate. Now, picture me running like a wilder beast, in 35 degree weather, a tight fit dress and sandals all the way in and out of the mall. I am glad I did not have to witness it myself, but I am less than impressed about having experienced it. We got back to the consulate on time and I had to take the long walk back to the office, now hot, bothered and sweating like a waterfall.

While all this was going on, hubby takes Liam to the Doctors office who subsequently freaks out stating that we need get tests done as soon as possible as Liam seems to display symptoms of an Appendicitis. Hubby calls me during my hot walk to inform me that they may be rushing Liam to the hospital and of course that 'mommy guilt' that follows me everywhere starts to whisper sweet nothings into my ear.
My Children affected this day

Obviously a little panicked once I reach the office. I inform my co-workers of my dilemma and that the minute hubby calls with news, I may have to leave them stranded there. I wait for my sister in law to return with news that her Visa was approved, pack up and head out as hubby was already on his way to the hospital at that time.

A quick note here: A year ago I got into a car accident with my mothers car. I have been putting off fixing it as it would be costly but hubby decided on Sunday to take the initiative to go get her car and leave our second vehicle there. So I don't have a car and have to figure out how to get to the hospital which is at least two to three taxis or an expsensive train ride and a taxi ride away with my sister in law in tow.

A good samaritan hears my story in the lift ( I talk fast ) and offers to give me his Uber promo code which would get us to the hospital in a hurry, and for FREE! I  download the app, and miserably fail to read the instructions and cannot understand why an Uber just won't pick us up. We resort to getting on a local taxi, another taxi in the city and then jump onto another one to the hospital. Hubby picks us up half way with Liam in the car. He seems surprisingly well to me so I am a bit taken back by the doctors claims. In any case, we rush back to the hospital and book Liam in.


Chappie Asleep on the couch

While waiting for the doctor to arrive, I get a message from my Sister in law, who at this time was dropped at  home by my hubby while he headed to work. She was with Aspen and our helper and was tasked with helping our live in helper fetch Aiden and Jesse from School and taking care of them for the night; as I was car less and hubby would be spending all night working. Her message went something like: "the dog was bumped, and she is dead". Obviously, this left me confused. Firstly, where was the dog, why was is out and what were they going to do about it?  I switch right back to frenzy mode and call my Sister in law to find out what happened. She says that the dog followed them up the road and got bumped. The driver drove off and they continued walking to fetch the boys.

She subsequently omits the fact that she let the dog out, watched the dog get bumped with my helper and daughter, jumps onto a taxi home and leaves my helper to deal with my traumatised child who needed to go get the boys from school.

I think the wires in my brain got a little bit fried here. I left Liam, ran to find a taxi home. My inner thighs on fire from the rub burn us big girls in dresses get. Eventually I remember Uber, and this time actually send a request for one ( I had no idea I had to actually push the button ), get home and go nuts on everyone involved in me having to leave my sick child behind, sorting out transport, killing my dog and leaving her on the side of the road. Yelling at 3 people on the phone and my helper all at the same time. I mean logically, how do I leave my kids with people who can't use common sense enough to take care of a dog. I subsequently order food for delivery, get my moms car back from the panel-beater and rush back to the hospital.

I sat at Liam's bedside and waited for the paediatric on call who eventually arrived. He so calmly and sweetly walks into the room, with his Sotho accent and says, ' Well Liam has a sinus infection and constipation'. Can you imagine how crazy my brain cells went in this moment.' So you are telling me I went through all of this drama for a damn sinus infection!! REALLY!! I MEAN REALLY!!
The GP could have given us a course of Antibiotics and happily sent us on our way home for Pete Sake! Instead he completely turned our day on its head and we ended up having to pay for completely unnecessary hospital bills.

Chappie's Memorial
When everything died down and Liam said it was ok for me to leave him with the lovely staff at the hospital for the night, I headed home with a plan to find our Chappie and bring her home. I eventually found her in a very dark area, had a long talk on the phone with hubby, put her in the car and drove home.

Murphy really had it out for me on Tuesday, and I am already in revenge mode. In retrospect, things would have been different if I had decided to take the road less travelled by calling the GP the check his facts before Liam's transfer, finding more reliable help with picking up the boys and making sure that there was no way for Chappie to express her freedom by escaping from our yard. So much I could of changed but all I can do now is learn.

So in memory of our dear Chappie, I am sticking it to Murphy, dusting myself off and choosing to change a few things in the way we do run things with our kids and in our home.
Chappie has been buried under a beautiful old tree which I am hoping will ease the pain that my soft hearted Aspen had to endure at the expense of heartless and inhuman human beings.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

South African Politics - Is it worth your Vote?

I have said before that I am not particularly a fan on talking about our government and its issues. Politics is littered with too much ridicule and contradiction and much more people who have something intelligent to say about it. I however have been following the news and all the political drama lately.

Considering that we started 2016 with racial comments of people on Durban's beaches, nonsensical changes within the finance ministry, President Zuma being taken to task for his role in the 'Nkandla Saga' and also his relationship with the Gupta family, Julius Malema and his red clown circus at the SONA last week and now the Sona Debate, I have to have something to say at this point about those who feel they speak for the people of this country, but actually just speak for themselves.

Our government has dealt with a lot of controversy over the years, and even when they do something right, the opposition knows just how to take it apart. They are intellectual and strategic even when they are interviewed in the media and I wonder how much of what they are saying is really understood by the so called poor of his country. Talk is obviously cheap as the ANC so aptly portrayed within these last few years. Actions are blocked by a mirage of red tape, corruption and unnecessary motorcades that push the very people who support this countries foundation, out of the way to protect those who are supposed to have the well being of those same people at the forefront of their political campaigns, but fail miserably.

Image Courtesy of Timeslive.co.za
I read Mmusi Maimane's speech at the Sona Debate yesterday, and must say that I am very impressed
with the words that came out of his mouth. My first thought was that he seemed to understand the needs of the people who forage for a living everyday. But once I came back to reality, It hit me that that was probably the way most South Africans felt when the ANC first came into power. Given a few short years, with Mmusi as president and the DA running the country, will the pressures of the privileged in this country change his ideals too? We all know that the future is unpredictable, and since the DA, Cope or the EFF have never actually run a country, who is to say that they may not take that same dark road once the money and the people supplying it have something to say.


The movies and series on politicians all portray the truth. Politics is riddled by bribery, greed and steered by those who have enough zeros after their names to forcibly make minds change. Its a sad fact that every South African affected by racial slurs, drought, the economy, no education and no jobs has to stare in the face daily. Not one of these politicians who have so much to say about change, growth etc have actually done anything real to prove it. Yes the DA has made strides in changing things where they have municipal rule, but since they are calling for cutting of cabinet which includes cutting jobs to so many people connected to those cabinet members, have they ever considered what there position would be if they were on the other side of that fence. Re- investing into the economy will not create the jobs needed right now.

Image Courtesy of Ryaanonafrica.com
Don't get me wrong, I don't agree at all with what was said in President Zuma's state of the nations address, mostly because he said much of nothing at all. But as was said at the debate, it was to be expected. He was not going to make any real changes to anything because he knows fare well, no matter how much he tries to convince us otherwise, that a call for his resignation is surely on its way by most if this countries residents. He also had to take into consideration that every decision he has made in the last while has had a very negative impact on our economy. This thing of state owned enterprises also boggles my brain. Why would the state want to own anything that is rumoured to be engraved in corruption and further more, their duty is to the people, not to making more money for the wealthy.


Image Courtesy of DavidIcke.com
Democracy has truly lost its meaning, our politics has completely redefined its true meaning. Freedom of speech is not the same thing. If Julias could take all the energy he had and actually invested his strengths and influence in the people he claims to defend, he would not be treated like the class fool by the entire parliament and the rest of the county in fact. If he focused his energy in investing in the people, moving away from lying about his salary and his fights with SARS, how much impact could he have?

Mmusi on the other hand, as a Preacher, should be taking the road less travelled. Beating up the president for his wrong doings and the ills he has contributed to does not make him the better man. It simply makes him the man who had to use someone else's weaknesses to make himself look good. Thats not better, thats just sad, even though thats apparently how politics is done.


Change means, stopping the antics, the parades and the #ZUPTAMUSTFALL protests. It means being around the people you want to help everyday and being present at the point of their need. When President Zuma, Mmusi and Julius all go the their mansions at night, eat at their grand tables laughing with their privately schooled children and Stay at home wives; go to their queen sized Egyptian cotton sheets, what are they thinking about? How happy they are? How to beat the opposition? Or of the man who was so grateful to have finally found a cardboard to sleep under to protect him from the rain that night.

So much has been and is being said from both the ANC the DA and the EFF respectively, but i honestly don't believe any of it anymore. The saying goes, 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me'

South Africa, how many times will we be fooled into believe the same old magic tricks, they are illusions after all.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

30 Throughout 30 - My First Tattoo



So My Valentines Day was spent doing this!

video


I have wanted one since I was 16 and never really got the courage to go through with it, but now, many years later, its done!

I said that it would remind me of God everyday, watch the video to see more.







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Monday, February 15, 2016

I have been giving it quite a bit of thought over the past week and came the realisation that I might be turning 30 in April, but I will be 30 years old the entire year, so why not celebrate it all year long. The 30 Adventures I have set out to this year also cannot realistically be completed within two months considering that I have a full time job and the financial implications. So I have decided to turn this entire year into my 30th Celebration which means I can plan accordingly and also make the entire year count in my life's journey.



I have also finally figured out the rest of Adventures I want to pursue this year are and I literelly cannot contain my excitement I tell you.

So let me recap the first 18 Adventures I set out on. You can go HERE to read them all in Detail:

1. Either Skydive or Bungee.

2. Driving a Super Car

3. Water Skiing

4. Snowboarding

5. Shark Cage Diving

6. Host or Co-Host a Show

7. Adopt and orphanage

8. Canopy Ride

9. Throw a Dart and a map and just go there.

10. Canoeing with Crocodiles

11. Snakes

12. Announcement at the Airport

13. Swim Under a Waterfall

14. Learn to play the Base Guitar

15. Ride an Elephant

16. Abseiling

17. Getting a Tattoo

18. The White Grade R Dress


The Rest of My 30 Over Thirty Go a little something like this:

19. Reaching my Goal Weight

There is no specific number here. My BMI says I should be at a certain place, but my goal is actually to become healthier and more fit which will enable me to do more things. I got to a point where I was unable to tie my own shoes which really was concerning at my age. Not to mention having to keep up with four children and everything they require, life was becoming too exhausting. I have already been and stuck to my health journey over the past month or so, and so far so good. My weight has dropped, my muscles have grown and I fit a little better into my size 42 jeans. Its not so hard this time and I am actually so relaxed into my routine that I don't really deviate from it much at all these days. I hope to fit in to at least a sized 36 jeans by the end of 2016, a size, I must add, I have not fit in since I was 16 years old. Lets hope it rubs off on my family this year too.


20. Running the Soweto Marathon

My health journey will hopefully make the Soweto Marathon 10km run bearable. Honestly, I hate running with all I have but I realise that I have to have some kind of goal to reach toward the end of the year and this will have to be it. If I can finish this race then I can truly say that I have come a long way and that nothing can stop me.

21. Dancing in a Flash Mob

I have seen this all over YouTube and am so scyched to do one. I absolutely LOVE to dance and before becoming pregnant with Liam, Used to dance with a Hip Hop crew in my area. I also used to teach dancing to our Sunday School and must say that I miss it tremendously. I do however hope that I still have some rhythm in my bones and am definitely going to prove it to myself in a Flash Mob.

22. Attend My First Birth

I have blogged about training to become Doula, and it seems because of the industry I find myself in, attending births is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have also been so afraid of my first experience. Would I help the mother as I should or would I be in the way? A lot of things have kept me from actually getting myself out there. This year however, I have to move forward and complete my training to become accredited as I know there will be nothing more fulfilling than helping a mother have a meaningful and emotionally satisfying birth experience.

23. Camping with my Family

We are vacationers, and we vacation well. We work all year to plan for great vacations and make every memory worth it. We have however never gone camping for many reasons. My kids are very westernised and prefer the finer things in life. Its not ideal if we want to instill in them a sense of humility and humanity. The other reason is because I am actually not what you would call an 'outdoorsy' person. I don't deal well with wild animals and unpredictability. I do however realise that my kids need to know what its like to stay in the outdoors and experience vacationing from an entirely different perspective. We have a trial overnight camping situation coming up in two week and if that goes well, a few days at the end of March. I am putting all my eggs in this basket here to pull off the best experience my kids have ever had. That way, when we take our three week camping vacation later this year, they will definitely have something to look forward to.

24. Shooting a Photo Series

I have been shooting now since 2010, and been really too preoccupied to pay any real attention to why I started in the first place. However, I have had an Idea come to me a few months ago about a Photo series that I would like to do. Not for money, not for recognition but rather to fuel my passions. Its a topic that really is dear to my heart and sometimes I get emotional just thinking about it. I can't wait to start at the end of this month and everyday the concept gets a little more momentum in my head.

25. Read 15 books

Yes, for an entire year, this number is low. But let me remind you that ADD makes reading very difficult for me as distraction is a given. I have so many books, bought and gifted to me by friends that I am forcing myself to get through by the end of this year. Television is the devil sometimes and in the way, also with my kids having so much reading to do for school, I have to set the example for them, if not for myself.

26. Get a complete Makeover

Those who know me well know that I have the worst relationship with a clothing iron and my feet. I could care less how wrinkled my clothes are or even how much attention my feet need. Its embarrassing to admit but its something I need to give a little more attention to. The plan is to reduce my insane wardrobe to the things I actually wear and plan what I wear. Sounds simple, but this is like the most mammoth task for me since it is not the most fascinating thing in the world, to me at least. With my health journey, my ugly dry feet need to also be part of that plan, which means daily maintenance, or at least a lick of moisturiser everyday.

27. Learn to Surf

I love those surfer movies. The ladies look so sexy on their boards and their skills are amazing. I most definitely will not look sexy and my skill level is -100 at this point. Having babies can really throw your centre of gravity to the dogs. But this would just be a fun activity I get to enjoy with my family and even if just for one day and one wave, I can forever say that 'I surfed once'.

28. Try vegetarianism for 21 Days

How this is going to happen is beyond me at this point. I love meat, so much that I cannot have a meal without some kind of animal in there. Hubby knows all too well that food without meat is soup to me and bases our meals around the meat of the day. This challenge will test my resolve to the nth degree, so I am going to do the wise thing here and do this in the three weeks that I am not going to see family or attending any event. Lets see how this one goes.

29 and 30.

The last two adventures are still in planning, but they involve doing something special for a stranger and surprising someone in my life. I love surprises, but I adore giving them out even more! These two things I know for sure will top my year off more than anything else I manage to do and I hope that i could forever affect someones life.

30 Adventures are a lot for less than one year and I know that I might be pushing boundaries with many of them but I plan to make the 30 years God has granted me this life worth it and I hope to have you all along to enjoy every single adventure with me.

TA
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

She does not look a day over 17 and yet continues to surprise me with her strength and wisdom. Every time we talk, I walk away with something to think about and I cannot be more blessed to have My Sister.

On Saturday evening I came across an Article called 11 reasons why your little sister is your biggest blessing. I read through it and can honestly say that every single point made is exactly how I see our my sister.

From the time Candy was able to move around I took on the roll of her protector. No matter what happened between us, I always felt compelled to be there when she needed me. I don't know if she would see things the same way, but if there was ever anyone I would always make myself available for, it would be her.

Through the years we have grown apart, and then again gotten close all over again. Both of us now married with children, has drastically changed our relationship but it has made me respect her in so many more ways than I ever thought I would. She has been faced with some very difficult times in her life, but she just keeps climbing out of the ashes, dusts herself off and moves forward. Her strength is very rare these days and I must say that I am proud to be related to someone who carries the drive that she has.

The past few years have been less than rosy for my Candy, but I don't think I have ever seen her get depressed about her situation and wallow in the events that try to take her down. Just this past Friday she took a knock that she handled with grace, as where I would have completely lost my cool and paid the cost for it. She surely does not realise how who she and and why she is is more of an example to me than I will ever be to her.

In a few weeks my Candy will be introducing her creativity to the world and I cannot be prouder. Stuck in life as it would seem to the outside world, her true self, her creativity has awakened an opportunity that I think will gain momentum fast. I know for sure that this year will be life changing for her all because she has tapped into the side of her which is essentially who she is. My sister is an amazing artist. I don't say that because I am biased, which I am
naturally, but she truly is and always has been an inspiring creative. I cannot wait to see where this project leads her, and trust me, I will be the first to announce her Coming out party when it happens.

Candy, its your time, make this life what it was always meant to be, your gallery of indescribable beauty.

PS: Sorry about the pretty pic ;)
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