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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Game On

Nothing has reinforced the theory that kids really excel and do well with order and some scheduling like the recent introduction of a new activity to our routine. Routines offer children the much-needed sense of security, establishing a comfort level into their lives. In a world where little is in their control, it allows them to have that sense of control. They are able to understand what follows next or how their day will pan out.

They are growing up so fast and it’s so difficult to keep up with them so the new thing that we introduced was ‘Games Night’. An amazing night of fun and family time. We had no idea how effective this element would be to our little household! The excitement already starts to build up the day before when all the arguments start about what we’re actually going to play. And then, when we finally get to a consensus, choosing teams is the next contentious issue. If I let it get to me I would have a very big head because the boys bicker and banter to be on a team with 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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Through each others Eyes

Often we go through life with blinkers on. We see only what we want to. We see it how we want to. From our perspective. From our point of view. It is extremely difficult to put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Simplified it could be because of human nature and basic survival instincts to think about oneself first.

Like the day we’re at the grocery store and we don’t find the item we’re looking for, perhaps our kids are moody or we’re all collectively hangry. Our irritation spills over to the person in front of us, to the person behind the counter. We might not smile or greet them, worse than that, we might be rude to them. Alternatively, they have possibly faced 20 or 50 other people just like this. The ripple effect will be compounded to the sulkiness we see on their faces as they ring up our groceries. In that moment we don’t see it from their perspective we are blinded by our own needs.

Similarly, we have a thousand events leading to something that ends up feeling like the worst thing ever and then we take it out on our loved ones. So from their perspective all they see and hear is you yelling at them. From your perspective you just want someone to help you, listen to you, it’s a plea, a cry for cooperation, a need for understanding and some comfort. To them they don’t see you needing comfort and this results in you avoiding each other, misunderstanding each other or worse everybody being fully armed and ready for battle. The more this happens it becomes labelled a norm … “You always just get angry and shout at me” or ” No matter what I say you are never going to understand”

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Rose coloured Glasses

I recently read that the 19th December 2017 marked the 20 year anniversary of the movie Titanic and let me just admit I was a fan 🙂  It was a movie that you either loved or despised. The nay sayers said it was the hype surrounding it that was off-putting or many thought that it was over dramatised, with weak dialogue and maybe cheesy. In any case for hopeless romantics like me, its storyline and tragic ending evoked emotions to the extreme. I was a bit taken aback that 20 years have gone by, and I still so vividly remember my obsession with this movie. Jack and Rose, from different backgrounds, romance, drama, disaster and tragedy, what more is there to ask from an epic love story.

We didn’t have instagram or twitter to express our interests in things or our love for things then. Back then your friends and family actually saw your interests and creativity on your bedroom walls. How quaint! I wish I had a photograph of my teenage bedroom wall, it would have made the most gorgeous instagram post. It had poems and sayings some hand written, some printed out, postcards plucked side by side, notes and mementos from friends and little things that I found pretty or had some meaning like a dried pressed flower. The wall if I think about it actually resembled a mosaic expression of me and my interests at the time. Hmm, imagine that pre-facebook I already had a wall that told you about me. I would’ve been a bazillionaire 🙂

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Everyday We’re Shuffling

I wake up in a shock, breathing heavy, flustered, I throw the covers off and suddenly I am sitting straight up. I have had another weird dream, that makes no sense and that is fading away fast, so I won’t even be able to analyse it later. Anyways, the rude awakening is not so much about the dream but more about the fact that it’s a school day. No matter what time the alarm goes off I know the chaos that lays ahead of me.

The crazy morning shuffle with three boys, is exactly that, crazy! Someone can’t find their shirt. Someone else doesn’t want breakfast. Someone crawled back under the covers. “Oi, it’s late! Go brush your teeth,” I yell to the one under the covers. Lunch boxes, check. Water bottles, check. School bags, check. All three dressed, shoes and socks, check. Quick look in the mirror after I’m fully dressed, laptop, handbag and out the door we go. We shuffle our little ones like mama ducks and their ducklings into the lake of life as the day begins.

When you become a mom, you may feel like your identity gets stripped away, not immediately of course, it’s a little piece at a time, slowly and gradually when you look back you don’t even know when it happened. So sometimes when you take a moment to ponder your situation you actually do think it was overnight. Perhaps, you say to yourself… “What happened?” You were this person with wants and needs, goals and ambitions, uniqueness and flare… and now it’s all about being a mom? I recently read some article in relation to this dilemma, then I stumbled on a ted talk on a similar topic and then while watching the comedy series Black-ish something struck me.

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