Wednesday, 29 March 2017

friendship is a game for 2

Close friendships require hard work and effort.  

For me this is a statement, not a debate.  They require hard work and effort because most times the reward is great joy and great sharing and the accumulation of great memories over years. 

I know the whole reason, season, lifetime verse and song and yes, this is true for most friendships - some people help us just at the right moment in life, to survive, to find joy, to share, to love.  And then they silently slip away.  Not from negligence, but simply because your work together is done.  The "reason" ones.

And yes, others still come around for a longer while - the "season" people - they fill a space in your life and they give you the opportunity to fill space in theirs, to spend time together, to make your own memories.  And when that season is gone, so are they. 

And then come the "lifetime" ones, and these are the ones that require the real damn hard work, the real effort, and yes, believe it or not, time and effort and interest from both parties.  These are the ones that this blog was inspired by. 

Now I am someone who puts huge effort into this especially when you are in my "friendswhoarefamily" group.  And many people I know and are friends with are like me.  I want to know if you slept well.  I want to know if you are feeling better because yesterday or the day before you were not feeling great.  I want to know how the party / function / lunch / movie or such was that you were at. I take an interest.  It matters to me if you are sad, it matters to me if you are safe and I will check up on you if you are.  I want to simply say "hey, how is your day going".  And I do. I think that must be heartwarming to be on the receiving end. Because real interest is a bit thin on the ground nowadays. 

But the most soul-destroying and heart breaking thing has to be friendships where these questions are always uttered by the one person continuously, whilst the other person thoroughly enjoys the love and attention, but does not reciprocate.  You sick? Well get over it and stop moaning and groaning.  You went out?  I am not that interested.  You sad?  Chin up darling or why are you sulking (Quiet does not always equal sulking.  Sometimes it is simply hey give me a hug because you see I need one).  That is how it feels when you are on the other end.  And eventually after years .... it starts to wear you down. 

So think about your close friendships, think about the effort you put in.  Think about the time you take to say hello, how are you, how is your day going, in fact just something. A few minutes or more a day. Some of the people who spend the most time on their phones, spend the least time sending a message to those who are always there. 

So pause about it, and when you decide which person you are and where you fit, step back from being defensive and take a moment.  To ponder.  To think if you have friends who deserve better. Type that message.  And be thankful that you have people in your life that love you so much. 

till soon
be joyful 

c'est la vie xxx

Friday, 24 March 2017

be brave

To be brave. 

Does not mean you have to save someone from a burning building
Does not mean you have to endure pain without asking for help
Does not mean you have to hide your tears
Does not mean you have to allow others to walk over you
Does not mean you have to endure the lack of right to speak up
Does not mean you have to live your life fighting the reactions of certain people
Does not mean you have to stay in a job / relationship / situation that you hate

To be brave

Means you allow yourself to have an opinion
Means you allow yourself to speak up 
Means you allow yourself to be bold
Means you allow yourself to fight injustices
Means you step up and step out when needed
Means you stand up to bullies
Means you speak your mind even when you know you will get a reaction 
Means you rather stand alone for something, than with a crowd, for nothing
Means you will defend someone when you know it is morally right, rather than worry whether it is a conflict of interest
Means you expect from people the same respect that some demand from you 
Means you understand that bullies sometimes come in the most attractive packages 

To be brave

Is one of the hardest things for some people to do
Is one of the hardest things to do when faced with strong people
Is one of the hardest things to do when faced with hypocrites
Is one of the hardest things to do when "sorry" is in your every sentence
Is one of the hardest things to do when you are afraid
Is one of the hardest things

full stop 

till soon
c'est la vie xxx

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

a matter of timing and Lent

So being Catholic, Lent presents itself with the opportunity to give up something.  To fast from something - to leave something behind. 

I grew up like most Catholic kids, giving up Coke, sweets and a plethora of such. As an adult I still found myself giving up coffee (never again simply for the sanity of both my husband and my boss), chocolates and things like that. 

Then a couple of years ago I changed this, I found that I wanted to give up a habit or behaviour or addiction, rather than a "material" thing.  It has worked for me for the past 2 years.  This year I decided to give up lateness. 

You may think this is a rather simplistic choice.  If you know me you will know differently. I leave for everywhere at the last possible moment.  I lie in till the last possible moment. It is now a habit.  A long standing habit.  And I know it is annoying for my family, particularly my hubby and especially my kids who are time conscious.  Two friends have been quite outspoken about my habit, particularly one, which is strange as that friend is often late with simply no reason at all.  But as this is my "I have no faults so let us discuss yours all the time" friend, I have decided to "keep my side clean". 

It has been quite a challenge.  So as it is my Lenten challenge, I will end the 40 days mid April knowing that is has challenged me considerably.  As our priest says, "we should be feeling the burn of Lent about now".  I was feeling it on day 3 already. 

I do not have a problem with setting my alarm to give me adequate time to get up and get ready.  I have never had a problem with this.  However I do have a huge problem with reacting to the alarm.  The snooze button and I are best friends.  I now set the alarm even earlier so that I can still have two snooze hits and then get up at the time that I should be. I have to practice leaving work on time - it is a major problem which impacts on my son.  I have had great challenges so far in Lent doing this one because I am by nature not a "clock watching" employee. 

I make a habit of leaving the house at the correct time.  If my hair is not finished or anything else, I have to leave.  This encourages me to be ready before the "leave now" alarm goes off. 

During the day I make sure that I am where I should be, at the time I should be, unless it is beyond my control. 

The interesting thing has been my time conscious family.  Because now that I leave on the dot at the correct time, I regularly find myself in the car, idling the engine and hooting for them to hurry up.  They don't like this.  Because now they cannot lecture me.  

Have I failed sometimes?  Yes.  It happens.  We are talking about a longstanding habit. However I keep reminding myself that many people who give up red meat because their consumption is too much, too much alcohol, choc addictions etc, rush straight back to those vices after the 40 days is over, which is fine.   I am struggling now to set the groundwork for what must become a permanent habit after Lent.  So yes I fail sometimes.  And that is ok with God I am sure. 

I have become so used to being a little late, that now that I am making a concerted effort, I get very touchy when someone makes comments about it.  Recently a friend made a joking blase' remark about me and my lateness.  It was annoying and hurtful, even though I know they were very much tongue in cheek.  Each person tries with their Lent. Lord knows I have.  

We all try in our own way.  Some people give things up privately, I know one person who completely gave up their phone and IPad except for Sundays because their behaviour on it is morally questionable.  I know it is a huge struggle for them, I wish this person knew that I understand and know their challenge.  Some people are happy to share their challenge with others. It is not our place to judge.   

Encourage habit changing efforts of others, encourage habit changing efforts that you are performing. 

And find the time to pause.  Before you speak.  Before you act.  Before you judge.  Before you change.  Before you do anything.  EVERYONE needs to practice the pause. 

much love till soon 
c'est la vie 

Okay so lets move to another province

“The company feels that there are great growth opportunities for it in the Cape” says hubby whilst we are sitting on the stoep of our chalet...