The middle…

Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The story starts where ever you want it to. It could be from your childhood where your formative years developed you, it could be in your later years when you have had children and grandchildren, it could be those golden varsity years filled with self discovery.  The beginning is just the beginning of a much bigger story. The end is also relative, because in a weird way you have the power to choose where a story ends, or rather what parts of the story you want told, however the end is still definitive and there is no more to be told after the ending. The middle is always the part that intrigues me. This is where the story develops and can really be shaped into a romance, comedy, action, tragedy, drama, thriller etc.

Every person’s story  has all of these elements. While you are in the middle of your story you can still change things, and yourself or your circumstance to influence the way the story will be told. Even in times of tragedy you can have a silver lining, perhaps a message that you can learn from. In the middle you can change things, learn things, get better at things, fix things. In the middle we have the potential to grow, ask for help, help each other and we can change to the point where the story is completely different to the one envisioned at the start.

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LoVe… PrAy… Eat

Ramadaan is upon us. Alhumdilullah… The best most revered month in the muslim calendar. Roughly, two billion people collectively embark on a commitment to fast (no food or water) from sunrise to sunset for a month. This is an extremely beloved month for muslims around the world.

Ramadaan is a beautiful time of year. People are calmer and kinder and more mindful of what they say and how they say it. We constantly strive for Sabr (patience), humility, graciousness, and an attempt to be able to have a peek into the life of the poor. This is the month that most Muslims use to reconnect with God and ask God for guidance, forgiveness and express our gratitude through prayer. Most people commonly associate fasting with the body, depriving the body of food, however the month is more attuned to the soul, replenishing the soul with mindfulness, practicing good deeds and fulling our spiritual needs.

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This is how we do it…

Moms of multiples, twins, or even moms of siblings born really close to each other (you know oopsie right after having a baby) we all share a similar experience. Back then people would ask all the time “How did you do it?” Often when enough years have passed people ask less but still ask “how did you do it?”  When this person asks me this question there are multiple things at play here. So firstly, when I was out and about with the kids when they were small, well, lets just say the tiny stature of my first-born  made them look like triplets. This question “How do you do it ?” or statement  “I don’t know how you do it?” Would be from a person who either had kids evenly spaced apart but struggling or someone who had one kid but struggling or someone who did not have any – was maybe thinking about having some – but then my whole situation looked incredibly scary 🙂  So they would blurt out or whisper or try to politely ask, how do you do it?

The thing is, the answer to that question is quite frankly,  we don’t know.  Recently, I came across and read some of my scribbles on random pieces of paper when the boys were little. I hear the sense of desperation I had at the time. Guilt of having to work. The sleepless nights when they were ill. The endless trips to doctors to try to pinpoint the causes and potential remedies to deal with the severe eczema and allergies that they had (still have). The potty training, the dealing with a toddler facing the reality of his world turned upside down while having twin babies vying for my attention, the guilt of leaving said toddler at a school as he shed tears watching you leave him (again), the guilt of phoning home a couple of times a day while at work thinking people are judging you. The time off work to deal with all and sundry. The double trouble of twins at the age of two! The school days when you missed that it was a theme dress up day and sent your child/children to school sans costume?!

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Liberated Silence

In the moments when you are alone with yourself, in between the work, the family, the friends, the errands, the phone calls, the texts, the lists, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the organizing, the packing, the exhaustion, how often do you still look for something to do? We seem to be pre programmed to keep busy and  it is almost automatic to reach for our phones or chat to the person next to us, essentially meaning we are never really alone.

When last have you sat in silence, embraced silence for what it is, perhaps even allowed yourself to be liberated by the silence, by the simple act of being alone and removing the chaos momentarily. Our lives are phenomenally busy occupied with people, family, busy malls, crowded office spaces, bustling school parking lots. Everywhere we go, we bump into someone and engage in conversation or chit-chat. We have interact always, put ourselves out there always. We experience silence or being alone with extreme discomfort, looking around, feeling self-conscious about what someone might think about you being alone. I often do solo shopping expeditions and have a coffee or a bite to eat on  my own. I too feel slightly self-conscious but I do it often enough that the uncomfortable feeling passes quite quickly. I enjoy watching the people or I would have my trusty companion – my book or my phone – which saves the day by occupying me when it gets overwhelming, all the people watching you being alone, thinking you’re lonely – ooh – scary.

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The Gloves are Off

Conflict is something I prefer to not deal with. I have been known to avoid conflict in many situations, I would either submit and be overpowered by the other person or I would choose to be the better person and forgive if I was wronged. In more recent times I have learnt to deal with conflict more head on and face the music as they say. Recently, I have been seen more as the perpetrator than the victim. As in I am the one that the other person feels wronged by. This is unchartered territory for me. I have always liked the passion and fierceness of an argument, the thrill of the debate or being the devil’s advocate. I have a high tolerance for standing my ground on a point by analysing something from all angles and mixed with the passion I have for most subjects it may come across quite strongly. To the point where I have been accused of fighting with people.

So the story goes like this, in recent times I have a had a few altercations with a number of people ranging from the little people who are my children to the big people from all aspects of my life. So I have had an argument or two with a few someones. To me most of these were not anything serious and maybe a disagreement or maybe I saw it as me just expressing myself. Perhaps because there was heightened emotions involved means that my demeanor and expressions were also heightened, meaning that the person interpreted it as me fighting. The only time I am actually in fight mode is my weekly boxing sessions. My trainer is a beast and he makes me work for it. Side note – boxing, I have found, is the most effective way of releasing frustrations and as such has been the one thing that I really look forward to weekly that is just for me!

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We the People

In the context of the political climate in South Africa before this past week, the amount of negative news we were faced with daily, it was impossible to stay positive. We have witnessed people lying to us. They have shirked away from their commitments  and responsibilities. They tell us things they think we want to hear as opposed to the truth. They abuse their power. They behave badly without provocation? They inflict their negative emotions on us. They have addictions that are destructive. they do the bare minimum in most situations. They are lazy. They are lacking in morals, ethics and consciousness.

This sentiment underpinned the state of our Nation. People have become angry and bitter and who is to blame us given the information that we have, the evidence, the real life experience of what has been happening in our country.

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Aaah the month of love…. this week brings with it the extremely over commercialised idea of romantic love and what it should look like or feel like or sound like. The song L.O.V.E from the iconic Nat King Cole incorporates this lovely touchy feely mushy sentiment that’s inserted into many a rom com and aptly fits every time as part of said rom com’s soundtrack. I read the lyrics out loud and had my own take and it goes a little something like this…

L is for the way you look at me…

I am a gatekeeper to my families wellbeing and happiness. I am not entirely responsible for it of course but things like my mood, my opinions, my input into what they are doing or what they need has an influence. As a result there are ways and means by which I can ensure that there is some level of balance.

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