How do you recharge…

How many times have you felt the need to recharge? Build back up your strength and energy to be able to move forward again. To take back up the challenge of your many responsibilities. To be able to continue on your quest to conquer the day and its inevitable ups and downs. To become a brighter and better you.

What if I don’t want to recharge? What if I just want to stay exactly the way I am. Spent and exhausted. Tired and in need of TLC. What if I just want to hide from the rest of the world. Make it stop and go away. What if I just want to be.

Will you let me?

My most treasured days are what I call ‘Pajama Days’.  I get up in the morning at whatever hour. There’s no one at home, a critical element to the success of a ‘pajama day’.  And I spend the day in my pajamas, in and out of bed. In and out of the kitchen scrounging around for the easiest thing to eat and drink. In and out of my books, my photography, my blogging, my movies. And then at the slightest sound of someone returning home, I quickly shower and change and pretend that I’ve had the most active day ever.

It’s my secret. It’s my day. I do whatever I want to do, without interruption. And in essence, I recharge. I get back in touch with me. And I can now get back in touch with the rest of the world.

Am I the only one who has ‘pajama days’?

You never …..

At times I over-use the phrase “you never…..”. And that’s being very kind – I probably use these words to lash out more often than I care to admit. And most times it’s when I’m in a mood – any mood other than my happiest – tired, overwhelmed, feeling sorry for myself.  “You never do this… You never do that…”

But really, don’t we often overlook the smallest signs of affection, caring, love. So focussed are we on the bigger things that everyone else can see. The bigger things that are probably not as heartfelt or meaningful as the really small things.

When in fact the simple hugs in the kitchen while you’re washing dishes. Remembering to bring your helmet for you when you go for a ride. Turning off the light so you can sleep. Telling your sons in a round-about way that you’ve worked hard and deserve your rewards. The unexpected smile and a wink that still make you blush. The quiet moment admiring the sunset together. And the list goes on.

These are the moments that you should really cherish and keep tucked away in your heart. The moments that will keep you going when you are tired and overwhelmed. The moments that will keep you from feeling sorry for yourself.

For these are the moments that are real. The ones you can take with you wherever you go.

Do we leave anything behind…

I’ve recently had the pleasure of reigniting a friendship with an old school friend. Actually we’ve been in contact off and on for the past 5 years, in and out of each other’s life, sharing fleeting moments of the intimacy of our long-term relationship. But very recently only just, once again, we’ve begun to scratch the surface, bringing to the fore the very essence of our relationship. Remembering our past schinanigans, and reveling in the fact that, after so so many years, we can still share our deepest thoughts, in the knowledge that these thoughts will be kept safe and sound.

So that when, as an adult, you talk about moving on and leaving the past behind, I always wonder how in heaven’s name can you actually do this. Your past is never really left behind. You may not want to think about it, remember it, or even re-live it, but the reality is that your past – the things we want to leave behind – is in fact what makes us who we are.

It shapes us, it enriches us, and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that we keep our past safely tucked away in our hearts. Easily accessible at any moment. We refer to it in times of need. And I’m not only talking about the good memories we want to live over and over again. I’m also talking about those moments and events that, all things being equal, we would not want to re-live. But when we examine ourselves closely, we realise that these are the moments, the bits of our past, that have made us strong, confident, empathetic, warm, gentle, understanding. In essence the moments that have made us more human.

Yes there are many people in my life that live in my past. Some I would love to meet again, some I don’t really care to ever see again. Similarly there are experiences that I would love to have again, and some that, God forbid, I cringe at the very thought and I still secretly thank God that I’m still alive. But the mere fact that I can still feel and respond to these things in my past, tells me that they will always be with me. That in fact I’ve left nothing behind. What I have done is carefully packaged them and wrapped them up, so that one day when I need them the most, I can receive them again in the form that they were meant to be, as a gift in my life.

For, as my very dear friend reminded me,

‘Everything in my life – the good, the bad and the ugly – is a gift’,

and in accepting this, I will live a happier healthier life.

The big FIVE ZERO

Today one of my younger cousins told me, with some hesitation, that she was 50. My immediate response was “No way! You’re catching up girl.” We laughed. We talked about the changes. And she admitted that turning 50 and more so admitting it, was not easy. Afterwards, I marvelled at the idea of 50. What does 50 look like. What does 50 do and think. Where does 50 go. There she was, as young as I’ve always remembered her, same laugh, same sense of humour, same joie de vivre – only she was now 50.

I distinctly remember the day I learned that my mother was 40 years old. I remember staring at her for a while and then crying secretly in my bed later that night. For at the tender age of 10 or so, I thought my mother was going to die. In my mind, forty was old. So you can imagine what fifty must be like.

Today, having spent some years being both forty and fifty myself, I can attest that growing old is really not so bad. In fact, apart from the reality that your body changes, whether you like it or not, and no matter how much you exercise. That your mind is not as agile as it used to be – you can only store so much data in one brain at any one time. And that you are going to need much more sleep than when you were a teenager,

Turning 50 is like getting a new life.

You become you. You are confident. You know what you want, and you make sure you get it. You have experience to share, and you do so willingly, yet carefully. You are more empathetic as you’ve seen what life can offer. You’ve built strong friendships that have stood the test of time. You’ve learnt how not to sweat the small stuff. You know that worrying is a waste of time (although you still worry some for good measure). Your children (yours and those you’ve adopted) can take care of themselves. You know how to pray. You truly understand the meaning of family.

I look at my children and my nieces and nephews growing up and I smile a broad smile. They are full of energy with high expectations for the future. And, at fifty-something, so am I. For I still have a lot to look forward to and I will do it, with the same fervour and with every ounce of energy left in my body.

I can’t wait for the big SIX ZERO.

 

Being surrounded by water…

Living on an island has its many advantages. As I step into my garden each morning I am greeted by an amazing view of the ocean reminding me always, of eternity. It’s a comforting sight, peaceful and calming. Giving you the energy to face another day. And as I return home on an evening, the sunset both relaxes and excites me as you may have noticed from one of my previous blogs “Listen to the Sun set“.

As much as I suffer from motion sickness, being on the water is one of my greatest pleasures. I love the feeling of movement, the wind against my face. The feeling that you can just keep going. The sense of adventure – and if you let your imagination run wild you can almost imagine that you’re on a quest of discovery – discovery of new lands, treasures, the magic of the sea. And most times you simply discover your longing for freedom. Freedom from the past, the present. Freedom from your everyday thoughts and worries. And sometimes freedom from yourself as you get lost in the moment and just let yourself be.

I visit the beach almost weekly and find it very difficult not to have a quick swim on each occasion. I love the water’s refreshing feeling against my skin – its silkiness always makes me feel as if I’m swimming in velvet. Its rolling waves remind me of its strength and depth. That it’s a force not to be taken lightly, that I’m just a visitor enjoying the moment.

I can’t imagine living without the water around me, without the daily visual glimpse of the sea. As one of my sons once said to me after spending just a few years in the depths of North America, “I’m suffering from continental sickness, mum – I feel land locked and need to be by the sea”.

Long Circular Road…


When you think of a street or road, what’s the first name that comes to your mind? Is it that place with your favourite shops / bars / connection points? Is it that place where you met your first love, or had the most interesting encounter in your lifetime? Or is it that place which conjures up your fondest memories?

For me it’s the place where I grew up. Long Circular Road is that place for me. It’s where I played with friends, got teased by my older brothers and sister, climbed trees picking fruit or just to get away from my pesty older siblings. It’s where I played game after game of cricket with my older brother. It’s where I had my 16th birthday party and kissed a boy for the first time. It’s where I courted my husband.

It’s where I learned the true meaning of family and friends, winning and losing. It’s where I learned about life and love.

When you think of a street or road, where do you go?

 

Where is Home…

Home is where the heart is….

I asked a couple of friends to give me their ‘one word’ synonymous with home and I was able to build the following simple list :-

  • Security
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Relaxation
  • Comfort
  • Love

For me home is all of the above and more. Whenever I’m with family, I’m home. Whenever I’m in my garden, I’m home. Whenever I’m with friends, I’m home. Sometimes when I’m by myself, I’m home. When I watch the sun set, I’m home. It doesn’t have to be a place and it’s certainly not a thing. It’s that feeling you get when you heart is quiet, full and at peace when you know you are home.

Where is home for you…

Dealing with ‘Stubborn’…

If stubborn means fighting for what you believe is right. Then I’m stubborn.
If stubborn means not wavering until your point of view is heard. Then I’m stubborn.
If stubborn means doing what you need to do to get your own way. Then I’m definitely stubborn.

But is being stubborn good or bad. If I had a penny for every time someone referred to me as stubborn, or even commented on my stubbornness, I would be a millionaire. And quite frankly I’ve never minded being called stubborn because most times I’ve gotten my way, and I was happy. So there. As long as no one was hurt in the process it didn’t really matter.

When my youngest son, at the tender age of 2 years, exhibited this characteristic, I paused before taking action. We stared at each other and I attempted to talk through the point calmly. I thought I had won as he succumbed to my wishes, but little did I know that he was playing my game, and playing it very well. He too paused before taking action and figured out that, due to my authority and size, he would probably not win right away. So he conceded in principle, but once my back was turned, he continued on his quest, quickly and with such agility that I didn’t even know I had been duped.

I have always tried to nurture this trait in him hoping that it would lead to a sense of determination and self confidence, of course lathered with honesty and integrity. Praying all the while though, please oh please, ease up on me as your mother. For this is not the easiest trait to guide and develop. As parents we are faced with so many decisions on a daily basis. Dealing with a determined toddler can be quite a challenge, so you can well imagine dealing with a stubborn teenager.

As our children mature however, we can only hope and pray that our decisions were the right ones.

We all want to be Connected…

 

This blogging thing is quite crazy actually. I write arbitrary thoughts about things that cross my mind from one day to the next and I take great care in selecting some of my better photographs to share. I read and re-read every post, several times, and most times I share with my husband – my biggest fan – for his critique. Then, I press ‘Publish’.

I wait. Patiently at first. Then not at all. Wait for what you may ask? I wait for the ‘likes’, the comments and the new followers.

It’s just crazy and my husband laughs at me every day. How many likes did you get today? Any comments on that topic? Read them to me. I laugh too, for it has become such a game for the both of us. But deep down, for me anyway, it really isn’t a game at all.

Being  connected is an important part of being human.

I feel as if there’s a virtual world out there that I’ve connected with. A world where there are people just like me who want to express themselves. People who have arbitrary thoughts about arbitrary topics. Thoughts that resonate with me. People I have made a connection with. It’s almost as if it were my secret world.

And don’t we all want to connect and feel a part of something, something bigger than ourselves. Don’t we all have that special friend, sister, brother with whom we share our deepest feelings and with whom we can happily sit in silence, finish each other’s sentences, or understand very well their every facial expression. With whom we can laugh about nothing, cry about everything. With whom we have a special bond, a special connection.

The very essence of life is about connection.

Travelling, wherever you are…

Thanks to a fellow blogger, who read my recent post ‘Maps’ (see post on right), I’ve taken a different view to my desire to travel the world.  The advice was quite simple :

You don’t have to travel far in order to travel more”

And they further explained that “…a common misconception is that the traveling that counts is the kind that takes you far away. Nope. Think again. What is it that is the essence of travel? For me, the main reason to even go outside in the morning is the promise that there will be new adventures to explore and new worlds to discover.”

And so today I explored my surroundings with my camera in tow, like I would normally when travelling outside of my country, and, guess what, I discovered a beautiful place.  (See pics below)

Thank you “Biveros Effect” for your sound advice.
http://blogg.biveros.se/5-easy-ways-travel