Archives for category: Reflections of a confused me!

SPECIAL FRIEND
For months I have wanted to write something about friendship,about my once in a lifetime friendship, but time and space weren’t availing themselves,even words, until this morning when I came across this post on the “interpretation of true friendship”.

1992, the year I started High School, 12 years of age,  a little knob kneed, shy yet talkative, and wide eyed. The place and year I would meet my best friend. We were in the same Form A class and I did not like her one bit. She was rowdy, naughty and just plain irritating.She was every teacher’s worst nightmare,mine too.And there was not a day I did not go home to my mother moaning about this girl in class who just made my blood boil. I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but she had quitened down, seemed shy, decent, respectful, all the things she never appeared to be at first, and she had become part of my group of friends. Did I mention how pretty she was? She was a lot chubbier than I, very dark and very beautiful, with the smoothest buttery skin I had ever seen. I had a typical teenage acne face, so drooling at her prettiness and perfection of her skin were the order of the day.

Months passed, years went by, and our friendship got tighter and tighter. Both our families loved our friendship and revelled about how mutually happy we were. We were young and carefree, so we would spend hours and hours on the phone, we would talk before an event about the clothes we were going to wear, and always insisted that they were similar clothes, just like twins would dress. And typically, if we were going to a musical concert or party, we would always opt for denim jeans (in the color of the day), white baggy shirts and some high top sneakers or ballerina flats. To our parents delight, we were not typical teenagers, we didn’t experiment with alcohol or drugs, we were not into parties, or rather we were not allowed to go to parties except once or twice, and would attend an awkward one or two music festival, where we would get to see most of our favourite artists of the time perform.

Boys were also some sort of mystery to us.Yes, we had boyfriends but as much as I don’t think we ever talked about it, boyfriends to us were just that….Friends that were boys, who were just “supposed” to enjoy and share in our interests, like going to the movies ,going swimming, enjoying some Saturday or Sunday afternoon ice cream walk, nothing more nothing less. As a result we got disappeared on/dumped a lot, hahahahaha, because we were just “not up to the required standard”, no making out, no kissing (yuck), and obviously no funky-monkey-dance.

After our fourth year of high school (in 1995 I believe) I changed schools, and went to study outside the country, in a town some odd 100’s of kilometres away,made new friends, and if my memory serves we well, that’s when our friendship started to show some cracks. I would be with the new friends sharing our experiences at the time and my dear old friend would feel out of place because she somehow felt cut out from the rest of the group. Something she took time to point out, but when she eventually did, I made a serious effort to acccomodate her.

Life went on, distance still a factor, but our friendship still intact, she met a boy, they were besotted with each other,in love,and they were serious but I didn’t really like his obnoxious tendencies, she didn’t like that I had other close friendships and wanted me all to herself and the cracks became bigger crevices. More distance got added to the equation, and the next thing I know we are not sharing each other’s lives, triumphs, joys, downs, dreams and crazyness as we used to. Both our families were unhappy at this turn of events, because they had seen how much positivity and love we brought to each other’s lives, how genuine and pure our bond was, but alas.
REAL FRIEND

We were very similar, but very different. We shared the same principles and values, but had vastly different outlooks on life and love I suppose. I am a free spirit.I had other friendships which brought different aspects of life, into my life, but by no means at the expense of what she and I had.To me she was a friend, a mentor, a confidante, the sister I never had, and for that reason I never questioned our bond, our love, despite who came in and out of our lives. She and I have never had the time to explore what really happened with us, but I believe she questioned, her faith in us waivered, and she let the comings and goings of other people in my life determine the future of what she and I had, our sisterhood. Had she known and believed in us, she would have known that she was and she still is the sister I never had.

Both married with families and kids of our own, years of possible memories and achievements lost between us, but I pray someday soon I will write a more positive post about the crazyness our now 30+ old selves haven gotten into, like serious-hurt-your-belly-roll-on-the-floor-laughs we used to have at each other’s problems,before we could get to the serious business of playing Nancy Drew, trying to unravel the mistery that is our lives and problems.

GIRL  shenanigans<

Feisty and maddening with her stubbornness at times, I will forever love her and cherish the love,honesty and sincerety we shared……..My once in a lifetime true friendship!

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happiness-Thankful for everythingJust when you think you understand it all.You realise that you don’t.

When we are young, we are encouraged to go to school, study hard and get good grades, so that we can come out of school, contribute to the economy and make successes of our lives.To be able to achieve for ourselves and our families, one, two, and three. In the process, while trying to cheer us on and motivate us to achieving the set goals, whether it be passing grade 1 or meticulously cleaning the dog pen, we are offered rewards.These come in either the form of hard cold cash,some possession, or even an experience. Whatever the case, a child is taught earlier on in life that they have to be a dreamer, an achiever, to be able to attain success, in however many interpretations of it there are.

I have lived my entire life exactly to fit that mould.At first my little life was channeled towards getting good grades, which in turn would make my dear parents happy and they would offer me some reward or other,usually a mega christmas shopping spree or some coveted item or other.Yaaay, success.

As I grew older the reason and motivation to succeed was spurred by something a litle bit more me,and a lot bigger, the need and want to buy myself a fancy house and a fancy little sports car, travel the world and eat in all the fancy little cafes and restaurants.I would be successful and happy, and my life would be perfect.My happiness depended on all things that needed money, and lots of it.Meaning I propelled myself forward, to achieve great financial wealth, to attain financial freedom.
HAPPINESS not MONEY,but PEOPLE

I started working (seriously) in the corporate world, a little over ten (10) years ago.I have achieved a lot,I have seen,acquired and travelled a lot, although not to even half the extent of what I am “supposed” to have financially achieved already, but I find myself content and joyful despite this.

Have I become complacent, lazy, less ambitious,or maybe depressed? This is the question that has come to haunt me a lot of late, especially in light of the fact that there currently is a management position vacant at work, just ready for me to apply and hopefully fill, but I am not one bit interested.

Rewind; Being an only child, when I was in my teens, I suffered bad bouts of depression, possibly because of loneliness I don’t know.But thank God to my best friend, my mother and a great listener, who would always lend her patience and tender care, her two ears and some wisdom, once in a while her hard earned cash, to allow me some retail therapy. She knew that my passion for books and stationery would see me heading straight to the nearest book or stationery shop, where I would eventually buy diaries and journals and learn to document my feelings, discover motivational books, and the most important of all, the bible.

In the end, the bible became my friend, my comforter. I found something solid to stand on,some solid reference point and compass, and with such unwavering conviction in the bible and the Lord came my new found true meaning of success.That joy and happiness is found in the small everyday miracles.That no amount of material wealth can bring one joy. Temporarily yes, but not in the finlong run.I would learn to rejoice in all things, keep a positive mind and spirit and learn to appreciate the small things.As a result, I learnt to relax and take life as it comes, shedding the dreaded weight of expectations and conformism that is normally expected of one. I learnt to be me….I lived a lot more, danced a little and laughed a whole lot more.

Which is no surprise then that after I got married in the year 2011, and the birth of my son 14 months later in 2012, the goal posts shifted once more.My life’s purpose seemed to effortlessly move into making sure that I am happy, my husband is happy, my son is happy and we are all a happy and joyful bunch.Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my two boys happy and in good spirits.Small things like an appreciative husband who loves and respects me make life all worthwhile. We enjoy 95% of the same interests; travelling and all its joys, good food, cars, clothes, most importantly spending time together doing little things. Our paths diverge only at the point where he sits in front of the tv and watches animal programmes, at which I happily take my book and go cuddle up somewhere, to immense myself in the written word.

My definition or dependenceies for happiness have changed and at present I’m at a little crosroads about certain things, especially in light of the fact that, currently the world over, people seem to be glorified and respected for being multitaskers, amassing so much wealth, some even professing to getting only a few hours of sleep a night.Superhuman I don’t know, but what I know for sure is that, that is not what I want for myself.That is no what I want for my life. I want a good life, a good quality life, and not one characterised by how much possessions I have, but by how much peace and calm I have in my spirit and immediate environment.

For now though, I have to forge ahead, run the rat race and be able to provide for all my son’s basics and rewards for getting good grades, until he himself can achieve his own financial freedom and hopefully a well balanced sense of what true happiness entails…..for him.

What defines true happiness for you?

This post was motivated by a fleeting remark I made in the post preceding this one. Read the rest of this entry »

When my son was born, on many levels, I knew my life had changed,forever.Of the biggest and most important changes would be having a stay at home nanny/helper. Both hubby and I are home bodies who love and cherish our “alone” time, and having our space shared with an outsider 24/7 would be something to really make peace with, and fast.

My teletubby will be 15 months in 12 days time and we have been lucky to be “only” on our second nanny. “Only” because I have heard and seen people go through 3 nannies in two weeks, and our previous one only left because she was prone to sicknesses and I had to let her go. She had come into our lives when our son was only 3 days old.Being a little lady in her fifties, who had raised her own 7 kids and around 10 grandkids, we knew she was more than capable to take care of our son. And luckily she stepped up to the challenge. She loved the boy, and the boy loved her in return. She saw him grow from a wrinkly little alien to a feisty grown crawler with 2 very sharp teeth.

Being uneducated, unexposed and from the rural areas with lots of hardships, she at first ecountered a lot of challenges with regard to city living. I always had to teach/show her basic ways of doing things, like how to use the microwave oven, which buttons on the remote control to use in lowering the volume when it was time for the little man’s daytime sleep.And because she could not read in English,we had to device means of how to interpret milk formula numbers/writings to make bottle mixing easy.As much as she wasn’t much of a thinker, she took pride in her Africanness, in the only way she knew how. To affirm herself as a strong woman, she carried things, she lifted and shifted things,because in her culture, that’s what defined her, that’s what made her a real woman….Her strength.

Waking up very early in the morning and diligently doing chores until 8pm daily, was the only thing she knew how to do, and she was good at it, despite my numerous calls for her to take it easy and not overstretch herself. Even in the face of old age and frail health, she would keep on. In the end,I could no longer sit and watch her torture herself with a painful arm or a painful back. I had to ask her to go home and rest, let someone take care of her.Let her many grandkids spoil her, wash her feet.And she was happy I let her go.

Nanny smurf picture from Pinterest.

Nanny smurf picture from Pinterest.

Because of her upbringing, she could not let me down and bail out on her duties. She could not stand up for herself and put her sickness first, instead she was waiting for me to tire of her and fire her.In the end she got what she wanted, except I wasn’s nasty/inhumane as she had thought I would be as home owners normally are apparently.We still get along.We talk from time to time because she misses the little terrorist.

Our second nanny with whom we have only been with for a month is superb too.She is young, energetic, lacking in exposure too but she’s a fast learner.I am even thinking of enrolling her at a distance education facility where my mother works.To give her another chance at a much better life.

My son is very picky and doesn’t take well to strangers, but within minutes of being around this woman, he kicked up a fuss and threw himself in the stranger’s arms.All baby daddy and I did was gasp, give stolen glances at each other and smile.We had a winner…..Kids know best.

On the very first night, minutes after showing her how to clean the teflon pan, she had forgotten and had scoured the life out of it.I was angry and confused, disappointed but laughing.But I had to remind myself that it wasn’t done maliciously,but just a lack of knowledge and understanding, and that soon she would learn.Most importantly, my son’s well being came first and I’m not going to have nannies come and go in my house, in my son’s life.I was going to be patient…very patient.

The past weekend, being month end, she went home to be with her family;her mother,brother, two daughters, 3 and 8 years of age, and her late sister’s 2 daughters.On Saturday the little man and I were left alone, as daddy dearest had gone to a funeral and in our African culture that is a whoooole day’s affair…someone save us!!!!!! #screaming#. By the end of the day I was dog tired, I had forgotten to eat lunch, I was cranky and the only thing on my mind was sleep, and lots of it.

From 10h30 when he awoke from his first morning nap to 16h30, when he finally gave in to the afternoon nap he had long resisted at around 13h00, all I had done was walk on my knees (uncomfortably so)entertaining the boy, run from corner to corner getting him out of one sort of danger or another.Pulling him in his toy car and lots of dancing. I was alone with the boy for only a few hours and I was that beat. How our helper manages to keep the house clean as it is, do the washing by hand (she hates the washing machine by the way), do the ironing and keep the boy out of danger and still remain sane herself is a mystery.

Picture from Pinterest.

Picture from Pinterest.

When he was younger, small and immobile, all I wanted to be was a stay at home mum, but now that he is not so young, super mobile, deceptive and a terrorist of some sort, I am happy to say, that is one dream I’m excited my genie didn’t grant there and then. If today being a Monday, I had spent one more day with and around that much energy, I would have keeled over and died.

The little terrorist.

The little terrorist.


My handsome terrorist....Do not be fooled by the composure!!

My handsome terrorist….Do not be fooled by the composure!!

Much respect and love to my son’s nanny, my helper for all the love,care,patience and dedication with which she carries out her duties. I really cannot show my appreciation enough.She is my hero. My superwoman.The same goes to all the stay at home mummies and homemakers around the world….YOU ARE THE TRUTH. YOU ARE THE REAL HEROES OF THIS WORLD.

“Good morning, how is the big boy doing this morning?”

Me, thinking aloud, “Huuh, on my cellphone, this is the treatment i get? No asking how I, the mother of the big boy is doing?”

“Hai soka uena, ke etsa’ng ka uena”?….literally meaning, “get away, what use are you to me”?

Those were the sweet, kind and loving words exchanged between mother and daughter earlier today.My mother and I have always been on super good terms to say the least, well, except for the days in my childhood when I wished she wasn’t my mother.Those days when she would whip the crap out of me for doing some stupid thing or other (of which there was plenty), back in the day when whipping your own child was Aokay. In fact, the most absolute normal thing to do, to instill some discipine in this little scoundrel, when talking had failed. When disciplining your child didn’t call for the justice and children’s rights court to convene hastily at the Hague #Rollseyes#.

As I was saying, my mother and I’s relationship has had always been cordial and loving. All that seemed to change from the moment I announced to her that I was 6 weeks into incubating the little seed growing inside me.She kind of became apathetic towards me, and started directing all her love and attention towards my tummy. I reaped the benefits of course,as she used to buy me dried fruits, popcorn (my love), fruit juices, all cravings good, emphasising that they were not for me, but for the benefit of the foetus.Huh?

Now that I do not get to indulge in the treats she used to feed MY seed through me, despite MY rather loud protests that “the boy will still get the benefits of the food through breastmilk”. I am nonetheless spared from making endless and expensive trips to the shops to buy baby clothes as granny is always “inadvertently” ready to buy something cute or warm for her little man.Gone are the days when I, the only child used to be showered with a spur of the moment purchase of a scarf or a cute little dress.The little old lady is totally engrossed with the 3.5 toothed man.

Granny and "the other" Teletubby!

Granny and “the other” Teletubby!


I never really thought I would understand,when my parents,  mostly my mother, would utter words like, “you are still young my child, one day when you are a parent,you will understand”.

Yip, that train is here, it has finally arrived and I can now say, “I understand mom”. I understand, that I will never understand the intricate,inexplicable amount of love I have for the boy, or the deep seated fears, anxiety I have of grooming him to be a wonderful and God fearing human being.

What shocks me is the love and pure joy I see on my mother’s face when she sees or talks about the boy, worse the pain etched in her voice whenever she cannot be with him. She is my mother, she still loves me of course, and I am very happy there is someone else who loves my son unconditionally and wholeheartedly, outside of his daddy and myself.

I think I would first have to be a granny, to test-drive the capacity, my capacity for that much love for a grandchild, but hey, I’m not in a hurry.

For every good there is a bad. For every day there is a night. And on the list goes about the yin and yang of life. The interchange and interplay of opposite forces in our lives. Opposite but not mutualy exclusive of each other, in fact one’s existence relies on the other other, yet their balance is very imperative. Such is life.

With globalisation came the inpour of information, ideas, products,views, products,culture and so much more.Some good, some bad. Such is life. We need change and growth to move forward in life, but for change to happen we need to open up ourselves, our minds, and welcome new ways of doing things.

I live in Lesotho, a very peaceful and semi-cultural country, and because of its geographical situation, enveloped by South Africa and all its deeds, good and bad. South Africa has for many years, decades now, been synonymous with violent crime, car hijackings, house robberies,gangsterism and generally just out of the blue unnecessary and senseless killings. Many of which people attribute to the injustices of the past,apartheid. Where non caucasian residents were treated as the inferior specie and deprived of basic necessities, like proper education, right to good public health,decent housing and proper sanitation. As a result, some, if not majority(black, coloured and Indian) had to find means to survive, to feed their families and make a living, thereby resorting to crime.

Apartheid has long been abolished, some correctives measures have been taken to try and somehow bridge the gap and extend a hand to the “previously disadvantaged”, like building houses and removing them from their shack/tin dwellings. With that came a relatively new kind of violence in South Africa. That of protests for service delivery. And for a few years now, I have been hearing and seeing less of news bulletins regarding car hijackings, knife wielding thieves in people’s homes, but more on police brutality agains the very same public they are supposd to protect.

As if this was not enough, of late on a daily basis, we hear stories of children disappearing or dying, only to later have their deaths connected to some satanistic ritual or other carried on by the friends/schoolmates. With the first incident, I thought, “argh, these are just isolated cases of the sick of society”, with the second, third and fourth, I kept flinching in desbelief and fear, but still hoping, that these would just blow over and disappear.But this is not the case.Everyday on South African television there is a news bulletin about some satanistic ritualistic killing or other.

But what got me typing away as I am now, was the interview in one bulletin last night. That of a satanistic priest who was on air condemning apparent satanistic ritual killings, because “they as sanatists do have certain things or rituals they subscribe to, but killing people and drinking their blood is not one of them”.

My head is still reeling, from the audacity of the leader of the religion to make a public appearance on national television. I didn’t hear much of his speech, but what was clear was his condemnation of the drinking of people’s blood but nothing about the killing in general. So if I was to assume and believe that they (satanists) do indeed kill fellow human beings as part of their rituals, where is the justice in that?

The first sentence of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), reads, “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world”

Everyone has freedom of speech, freedom of choice regarding which religion to follow, the right to live et al.But what about the members of society whom in their freedom of religion, infringe on others rights/freedoms to life, by ritually hacking away at them? Do they still have such freedoms and rights, yet they have just deprived others their own? I am not sure what the bulky UDHR says but my common sense says, “if you deprive the other of their basic rights and freedoms, your freedom and rights automatically fall away, naturally!”.

We are born different, black, white, blue, Jews,Christian,Buddhist, tall or short. But we are of one universe,and should be tolerant of one another, of each other’s cultures, beliefs and practices, but I draw the line, where my right to live and be, are infringed upon by someone, in a selfish pursuit of their own rights and beliefs.

Last week Friday was my son’s appointment with the paeditrician, who had requested to see him for his first birthday. A trip for which we had to drive for approximately 150km, and as luck would have it, it was cold and wet on that fateful morning, a very uncomfortable drive.

Me; Oh wow, Dr Murphy, a new office! More beautiful and spacious than the previous office?!

Dr; Oh yes, thank you. I have always wanted to have this but i had to depend on a man to get it done…..on time. Shhhhhh

Myself, the good Dr and my sister-in-law, whom i had requested to accompany us, had a good and hearty chuckle about that. A topic to which we could all relate to and have fun at the male specie’s expense.

I went on to tell them about the car we had come in, driven for about 150km, in the rain, in the cold, with a toddler on tow, which was without the  left indicator.
A few weeks back, my husband and  I both realised at about the same time that the vehicle’s left indicator was not functioning properly, to which he gave me a long lesson about how it probably came about, and how he will go about fixing it. And I thought to myself, “great, I knew I married an intelligent man. He knows  a thing or two about cars, he even knows how to fix them”. Weeks passed, the problem not being attended, and I not saying anything. On the night before the trip, bold this, the night before the trip, only then he jumps to his feet, tool kit and all, in an attempt to fix the faulty indicator. Long story short, the indicator is still faulty and I had to drive all that way with it.I should have questioned the intelligence though when he only tried to fix it in the dark….Go figure.

Anyway, the good Dr. goes on to explain how she has always requested her husband to do the paint job and all the manly stuff that needed to be done at her office, and when she realised that he was not going to attend to them anytime this century, she stood up and did them herself, and “coincidentally”, that was only when he pulled up his sleeves and dug in, quickly and beautifully at that.

We went on to talk about the beautiful men in our lives;brothers, sons,partners and how they seem to truly, seriously and whole-heartedly operate from “the nothing box”. Now what is the Nothing Box? Its a place where men go when there is absolutely nothing going on inside their head. Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Wanna know what men are thinking about? Nothing. We’re just walkin’ around….lookin’ around.” This happens more often than we men would like to think, or even admit. At times, the Nothing Box serves as a valuable tool to focus on the task at hand.www.jimvaleri.com

NOTHING

Truly? I had never heard of the concept but i was astounded at how appropriate the description was. Men really do operate from the nothing box. They cannot seem to be able to think for themselves most of the time. For them to do anything, which you have requested for the upteenth time, you have to nag some more, which irritates them from here to Timbuktu. I have found that what works for me however is writing a list for him, setting out all the things he should have done months ago,and then sit back, wait and cross my fingers, hoping he attends to them.Sometime this year would really be nice#EyesWideShut#.

My baby boy is a perfect specie of a human being,and my nothing box man and I are going to groom him to be a great man,an oustanding member of society, with the help of God.And I would bet my left nut if i had one, that all parents have the same ideal for their children. But what happens to these lovely manly creatures at the end of the parental lessons? What happens to all those teachings that parents put so much effort in, to make sure they groom the perfect specie of a man?

Could it be that the real response to the why’s and how’s about men, really, really lie in the XY chromosomes. The boy girl genes that separate the boys from the girls? If only that Y had continued well down South East on its path to form a complete X, the world would be a happier, more functional place with all the XX’s running it. #Sigh#Just a thought!

TINA FEY