July is the New January

Remember back in March when we thought we had to get through three weeks of lockdown and then life would be cool again? Yeah that fantasy was lovely for about 3 minutes and then…

Well? It’s July already!

And seriously I need to let go of the “after the pandemic is over” idea. Because guys, this nonsense is eating our lives! Or mine at least.

So I need to force the reset myself a little. I’ve got to accept and move on from the struggles with my business. I’ve got to accept and move forward with making a life within this weirdness. And it has GOT to be a little (lottle!) more balanced than it is right now.

I struggle with life. Balance is the most illusive thing for me. Honestly without my husband I would mostly forget to eat and drink water. Nevermind anything else. Routine? I thrive on it. But i’m so infuriating incapable of cultivating it.

But even the tiniest bit of balance does make a difference. Lately I’ve been forcing a shut off in the evenings and on weekends when it comes to work, and the success of that has actually kind of helped. By creating “boundaries” there (to the best of my ability) I can acknowledge that a little bit of balance might be possible.

Because I do want that balance.

I want to create more. Cook, crochet, write, craft, colour. These things bring me peace and yet I neglect them so much.

I want to read more. I had such a beautiful reading habit going at the beginning of the year and then corona hit and with it came the depression that I’m sure many of us are familiar with, and I fell out of the habit. This thing that I love I deny myself. Consistently. I need to stop that.

I also want to fix my house! I mean really! There are so many small things that I can do now and then and I must. Everything is a mess. Everything is just waiting to be attended. Attending those things would actually put me in a much better headspace.

It can be hard though. My body doesn’t always cooperate. I tend to push myself to breaking point by using adrenalin, which is productive, but ultimately destructive. Because the balance is so non-existent.

Perhaps I should try some balance today…

Fine and Unfine

Anyone else feeling like a walking contradiction these days?

There are some things I LOVE about being in lockdown:

  1. The Predictability

I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to the unknown. I like to have an idea of what my day will look like and anything that falls outside of that idea tends to be a bit of an issue. I get that this is a “me” thing. But I have to admit that I do kind of like knowing exactly what my days are going to look like and that any deviation from that idea will be on my own terms. There’s a real peacefulness to that.

2. The Lack of Guilt

In general I need a lot of downtime. Like an extraordinary amount. I’m a little embarrassed by how much I need because it does seem a little pathetic for the most part. Outside of lockdown this either leads to guilt for not being social enough, or burnout from being too social. Lockdown has taken the pressure off which is quite a pleasure.

3. The Ease of Pyjama Days

In the beginning of lockdown I barely got dressed. I do now. Turns out it is kind of important to get dressed in order to actually start your day. But because we’re isolated, I can take a pyjama day every now and then and not feel a consistent nag that someone might pop in.

Basically a lot of my silly anxieties have been alleviated in lockdown.

But then, some new ones have arisen: (more…)

Some Things I Never Told You

 

My Dearest Aunty Shaz…

The news of your death hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I can feel it trying to get into my bloodstream. The reality and finality of it. Stupidly I got up late this morning because my dogs had me pinned down and my cat was asleep on my back and I didn’t want to disturb them. Then again, what does it matter when I finally surfaced? You’re still gone.

There are some things I never told you. And perhaps I am hoping that there is wifi in Heaven because I’ve always believed that you should tell people the things about them that make your own life a little bit more beautiful. I messed up with you. And I didn’t tell you. So I want to tell you now.

Forgive me if this seems a little self-involved. I know I come across that way sometimes. I tend to understand the world better when I tie it to myself, and I can see how that can be interpreted as making it about me. It’s how I process though. I start with myself and then follow the ripples, watching them collide and intersect. And make sense… (more…)

A fine for what now?

I was scrolling through Facebook the other day when I came across this post by Business Insider that was basically saying that barking dogs could start costing South Africans up to R20 000 in fines. And honestly? I haven’t stopped thinking about the absurdity of it all for days.

Can you imagine? Dear Ms Larter your dog is barking. We know it’s a dog and dogs bark but if you don’t stop it you’re going to have to pay 20K or spend two years in jail.

Sure…

Here’s the thing though: How the hell? (more…)

Six Months Later

I had elaborate plans to actually start writing today. It seemed fitting. It’s a Monday. There are six months left of the year. And I told myself that once I had settled here I would write. No more homeschooling, after all.

Not this writing, I mean. This slightly more fun and kind of play-play writing, considering it serves little purpose other than to vent. To giggle a bit. Perhaps to save a memory or two. No. It was supposed to be book writing. And here we are and it’s after lunch time and I haven’t done the writing. The writing that was supposed to be done before 10. I’m starving but my husband has promised to whip up a spaghetti (thank God for husbands who cook) so at least I will be fed but I’m still just sitting here and wondering how the hell half the year has gone by and I still haven’t written a thing towards that stupid “dream” of getting a second and third and forth and fiftieth book written.

Hmmm… It’s possible that I need not only a permanently employed housekeeper, but a life keeper. Wouldn’t that be nice? A life keeper…

That sounds like a story waiting to happen.

If only Nadine was writing. (more…)

So I’ve been a little quiet lately…

Yes, quiet. I’d say it’s unlike me to be so silent but that might not be strictly true. I have my moments. Since getting back from Thailand in June I suppose I’ve been kind of meditative on the “what next?” question. Before we left I knew that it could very well be that Thailand would have to be our last travel indulgence for a while. This part I do tend to struggle with a lot. Having travel plans actually occupies my mind in this positive way that kind of keeps the other brain worms at arm’s length. This is a good thing for a million reasons. But obviously I can’t always have travel plans to distract myself with. And that’s where I am right now: undistracted and overwhelmed.

I suppose that’s a bit strange. Most people seem to be on a mission to clear their heads, while I prefer that mine be preoccupied with anything I can deem to be harmless.  (more…)

What a Difference a Day Makes

It’s crazy what a difference a day makes. Two or three weeks ago, I made a financial decision that I sort of thought was ok to make at the time. For the first time in a while I was feeling kinda solvent. Or solvent-adjacent at least. Like the potential for solvency was just within my reach. It was the kind of financial decision that spans over a few months and takes a bit of dedicated attention. I felt almost ok with going with it, and decided to err on the side of bravery. Because I have this thing where I am trying to be bolder. Living bolder. Eking out an existence that I can look back on and smile about. It’s hard work. It’s hell on my anxiety issues. But it’s worth it.

And then in a day it all came crashing down. Because what a difference a day makes. Suddenly our rent went up again (seriously: how on earth is anyone supposed to handle a yearly 10% rental increase? Our rent is double what it was when we moved in already! Our salaries have definitely not doubled!) and for March our grocery budget is now half of what is usually is because in addition to the increased rent, overtime on Ty’s part usually kind of makes up the “can we or can we not eat this month” portion of our lives and last month his overtime was a little on the low side. And then our bedroom TV died, which is not that huge a deal except it kind of is because I escape to my room a lot and kind of just do things with the TV on in the background and I find it soothing and it keeps me sane. But it’s dead now. Replacing it is definitely not an option.

So, while two weeks ago, these little glitches would have felt surmountable, this week they did not.  (more…)

With A Little Help From My Friends

My cat is going to be the death of me. Ok, perhaps not the death of my physical body. But the death of my sanity at the very least. Some of my brain cells will definitely die. And perhaps my sense of humour as well. That one will be the first to go.

Without going into too much boring detail, he’s been having severe bladder issues since the end of December. His bladder keeps forming crystals, which I now understand to be the result of his kidneys being unable to process minerals in his food. At first I was under the impression that it was just a cheap food problem that would be resolved by feeding him better food. Alas. He’s just had to go in and have his bladder rinsed (or something) again.

This pet madness is undoubtedly driving me mad. The first time he had this problem the bill was R3600.  At the same time, Angus had to have a surgery on his leg that cost me just under 10 grand.

And the only reason I coped at all was because my friends rallied around me and made it work. Something I still feel completely undeserving of.

The craziest part is this: here I am, not yet done reeling for the last time this happened, and it’s happened again. Again at a frustratingly bad time. But then I guess that’s what credit cards are for, right? Of course. Unless they’re maxed out because sometimes you make bad decisions that seem like a good idea at the time because hey, you’ve got all your financial capabilities worked out, right? Wrong. Because you forgot to factor in The Universe and the fact that she has a dark sense of humour sometimes…

I am, however, super lucky because I have an amazing circle of friends who have rallied around me when I needed them most and even though my anxious mind will never feel deserving of this much love, I am certainly ever so grateful!

Strangely Perfect Timing

Yesterday I mentioned that I had an experience that had me questioning the merits of faith and Godliness after an encounter with a man in the hospital where I was with my friend and her son. Something else happened that day and it took writing down yesterday’s story to kind of question whether they may not be tied together. Probably no, but anyway. Sometimes when you’re a writer you think weird things.

The man that who approached us in the waiting area said these words to us:

“I think God put us in the same place for a reason.”

He seemed to be quite convinced that God wanted him to talk to us. And I thought, that’s a bit of an over-romantic notion, dude. I’m not really of the sort to believe that sort of thing. After all, in the wake of my severed relationship with the The Almighty, I have myself tried to revive my own faith. I even chose to read a book by a Jesus-y woman. A very un-me thing to do, I’ll have you know. And I still go to church. And I still love gospel music. Although I’ve pretty much resigned myself to, you’re broken, chick, just go with it. (more…)

Who is your rock?

Yesterday was a tough one. I woke up to a message from a close friend saying she’d taken her teenage son to the emergency room after he had (accidentally) overdosed on something. They were worried about organ failure and brain damage and she was terrified. My blood went cold.

It’s going to be ok. I should let you know that from the start. Between kind and efficient doctors and nurses and the kid having a mom who hustles to make things happen when they need to happen, he’s going to be just fine. (though he may have a bruise on his ass when he’s well enough for me to kick it)

Something happened though, while we were waiting for him to wake up, that has been on my mind for a while. When I got there my friend poured her heart out to me. And because we were in the emergency room, the privacy wasn’t exactly top notch, so people could hear us. And then as her child was being moved, a man came up to us and asked if he could speak to us. I let me friend follow her child’s bed, and myself and her boyfriend stayed behind to listen to the man. (more…)