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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The Trouble comes in Two’s

The trouble with twins is they are so darn cute. The trouble with the fact that they are boys is that they get up to mischief and do the most nonsensical things to the point where you question your parenting skills all the time. When asked about the nonsensical thing, they will in unison start telling the story of how the nonsensical thing happened and you find yourself looking from one twin to the other as they tell the story seamlessly – one starting where the other stops, words overlapping, voices excited. Then they might burst out laughing in conclusion, while you are still processing what they have just said.

Now with the story told, you find yourself faced with two beautiful boys, staring back at you with glee in their faces, eagerly awaiting your response. In this moment I look at them intently. Marvelling at the shape of their faces, the sparkle in their eyes, they way they are so similar and so different. The way they look the same but one is a little more like me and the other a little more like hubby? The amazing gift of human life, the miracle of creation and then being able to see it before your eyes? Alhumdulillah!

They are biologically identical – quick biology note – there are two types of identical twins. The mirror image kind that generally share everything including the amniotic sac and placenta which makes them identical.Extremely hard to tell apart – generally what people expect when you say identical.  Then there are the twins that were from one fertilized egg that split and they shared a placenta but they have separate amniotic sacs. This means that they are likely to look very similar “identical” but not to the point where you cannot tell them apart (for most people). These are what mine are. When they were babies they got mixed up a lot and now when we look at photos we can see why.

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Not much feels New

So something about this new year does not have the newness about it. I don’t have the energy I think I should have, I haven’t made any decisions to start new things. I still feel like lots of things have just carried over from one day last year to the next day this year. So I thought about what made it different or rather not different this year. Do I have an unfair expectation of the new year to change things? or was 2017 just so much that there is a lot to deal with?

Don’t get me  wrong, I have had a wonderful break over december. It’s been festive and relaxing. It’s been the summertime vibes, as a family we have been doing activities and having get togethers’. We have had a little trip to the coast and had beautiful beach days, bike rides and beach strolls. We visited the Aquarium and I marveled at the wonders from under the sea. The colours and textures that just fills you with awe. The quality family time has been lovely but there’s stuff lurking under the surface that feels unfinished? Like the crazy creatures from the ocean that we visited, things felt alluring but weird, awesome yet strange, mystical yet … miserable?

I think part of it is that I felt like this before taking the break from work and I thought that would help but now it seems like it didn’t change much. Somehow, this feeling just won’t leave me. Maybe, I need to set myself free from the burdens I place on myself. Maybe, I need to understand that it’s not me or my responsibility to compensate for all the things I see, for the small injustices and the big betrayals. Maybe, I need to let go.

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