Life

The traces people leave behind

Wow, it’s been a long time since I have written anything on here. Returning home after living in another country for almost a year was a bit of an adjustment. The new job and studies have also been keeping me busy with little time for much else.

Also I tend not to write when things are going well. Which I suppose is weird, this blog was for me to share and journal my highs and lows.

Last Friday was a definite low. My uncle passed away at the age of 46. Young, if you think of all the medical marvels and technology at our disposal. I took his death harder than I thought I would. I’m doing the whole I’m strong and putting on a brave face bit but I’m still hurting. This is someone I grew up, a permanent fixture from my youth. He loved spending time with children, I think it’s because he never had any. I clearly remember one day after school he rounded up the neighbourhood children and we spent hours in the park collecting pine cones, leaves, anything that looked interesting to us. He then inspected our ‘treasures’ afterwards. I don’t why this memory is so vivid, maybe because of the look in his eyes was that of a young child, like all of us that day, ready to embark on an adventure.

I’m not going to lie, he was not perfect. He battled with drug addiction his whole life, he did not have an easy life and his living conditions near the end of his time was not great. Why I am grieving so deeply? Could it be that most of life he was not happy? He had his demons to fight, a fight we all have to face on our own. It almost seems like he had a wasted life, but I’m sure that he did experience joy and love no matter how brief or long it might have been.

All I know, the bad stuff, the things he did that disappointed and angered the family has diminished. What we left with are the memories of happier times. How a line from a movie can have us all laughing and thinking of him. Because no matter who or what he was he was loved. He will be remembered. He lives on.

Standard
Life

How to say no

Yes Man is one of my favourite Jim Carrey movies. If you haven’t seen Yes Man than I suggest you do, it’s not a recent movie but you should still be able to get it. Basically his life sucks, he goes to a seminar/conference thingy and then has to say yes to everything and I mean everything to open himself up to new opportunities and ultimately happiness.

There is one flaw in this theory but due to suspension of disbelief in films we kind of just roll with it. In real life however it is not possible to say yes to everything. Yet for some reason people still do so with dire consequences.

Let’s take a look at a few examples shall we?

Work: Your colleague or manager wants you to assist or take on more work even though you already up to your eyeballs in work. Do we say no? Of course not, we take on the extra work, curse under our breath all because we don’t want to be seen as not being a team player.

Home/Family: A family member asks for help. We say yes in most instances only because we feel obliged to help out but all this does is cause resentment and rifts. Not helping does not mean we don’t want to nor does it mean we love our family any less.

Friends/Social: Group of friends dying to try out new clubs or skydiving or basically anything you can not see yourself doing ever. Do not succumb to peer pressure. We are not in high school anymore and you should not have to apologise for who you are. Bow out gracefully.

Relationships: We all know that relationships with significant others are complicated and one person ends up compromising more than the other. Too often we agree to do things that we are not comfortable and happy with. The only advice is to keep the lines of communication open.

A few tips on how to say No:

  • “No, I can’t” –  no need to apologise or explain yourself.
  • “I’d love to but don’t have time/money/ability/etc” – you get the point, just be honest. People can tell when we are being sincere or not.
  • “Can you give me some time to think about it?”  – sometimes we make rash decisions in haste, giving ourselves time to think things through will make it easier for you to say no. It also shows the person asking for help that you are not dismissing them outright.
  • “Unfortunately not, but I am able to assist by doing/giving X – you don’t have to be able to solve the person’s problem completely, any form of help is better than none.
  • “No, but I do know the perfect person who would be able to help”

For some reason we tell ourselves by saying no, we are being selfish. Ask yourself if over-commiting or agreeing to something you do not want to do is healthy. Saying no is not easy but with some practise it is possible, start by saying no to little things that you won’t feel too guilty about and work your way up to the big stuff. And remember to be as respectful as possible.

Standard
Life

And we are living in a material world and I ain’t no material girl

They brag, They boast, They flash, They are all talk, oh you know the type. They grate on my last nerve.

Whatever you own or have just bought, They’ve got a better model or the latest version thereof. They can’t be beat.

They look down on others who are less fortunate, well at least who They perceive as being less fortunate or poor.

They feel compelled to tell you all about how well-travelled They are, even though we all know it was just a business trip.

They seem unable to stop collecting more and more possessions only to upstage everyone else.

They do not like to see anyone else succeeding and will distance Themselves from people who are wealthier than Them.

Belittling people is second nature to Them.

They live way above Their means just to get/keep/stay one step ahead.

They are misers. They are greedy. They are selfish.

They constantly talk about how much ‘charity’ They give. They need everyone to know what Good People They are.

But what They should know is that nobody envies Them because we know Their lives are empty and the only way for Them to feel better about Themselves is to buy more stuff. Sadly what They don’t realise that owning more things will never fill that void.

Life is too precious to value things that you cannot take with you to your grave. Life is too short to not enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Family, friends, sharing experiences, creating memories, doing things that fill us with joy, praying, having faith, believing that we all have a greater purpose and knowing someone up there is watching over us – these are the things that really matter.

Standard
Humorous, movies

Sorry but you’re just not believable

Have you ever noticed how celebs tend to say the same thing when they get interviewed, especially movie stars. Below is some of the drivel that comes out of their mouths that we are expected to believe:

“I can totally relate to this character/role” – Really? You’ve said that for every single film you have been in. So you can relate to being an alcoholic rock star, a deaf-mute, a not so gracefully aging mother in law, a hermit, a soldier, a leper, an extra in a cheesy teen movie, victim # 3 in Scream 5, insert any other character you can think of here______, etc. We certainly are talented aren’t we?

“Everyone on set was really close, like family” – Erm….by close you mean ‘I slept with my co-star’  and basically you were the reason his family and marriage fell apart

“I simply love all his work” – All of it? Even at the beginning of his career when he was nobody.

“She’s a brilliant actress” – Meaning we couldn’t stand the sight of each other, our trailers had to be on opposite ends of the set to ensure there were no cat fights.

“I had to work out 6 hours a day” – We used a body double, stuntman/woman and made sure the camera only ever shot my good side.

“I enjoy doing independent films (where I get no recognition and not a hope in hell of ever getting an Oscar” – I couldn’t get a part in any of the good movies with actual A-listers so it was either this or porn.

“He’s just the best director I’ve ever worked with” – Yeah yeah, until the next movie with this years “it” director comes along.

Standard
Humorous, Life

10 things I have learnt this week

1) Be thankful and appreciate what you have every single day – there is someone out there less fortunate than you.

2) Family get-togethers are fun and important and is a good measuring stick for you to check how sane or crazy you are. Also don’t forget to keep the painkillers handy as headaches can easily be caused by the continuous noise of laughter and talking.

3) The only way to overcome your fears is to face them head on.

4) Try not to get involved in any drama especially with friends, the whole he said she said thing gets tired very quickly. So keep your mouth and let your friends sort it out themselves.

5) Find your passion in life and follow it.

6) There are a lot of family and friends birthdays in August (well I knew this but one tends to forget until the next August rears its head)

7) There is way too much clutter around us – so do a Spring clean it’s almost September and get rid of anything you don’t need or use.

8 ) The more I learn Italian the more I realise how easy the English language is.

9) It’s a blessing not to have to work weekends. Ever.

10) Sometimes staying in bed all weekend watching a tv series is just what the doctor ordered.

Standard
adventures, comedy, Life, travel

One day we’ll see you again Mozambique Pt. 2

The adults turned to their and seeing their crestfallen faces asked them one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make.

“Do you guys still wanna go home?” A unanimous YES was heard and they started making plans to get to the nearest town on the South African side of the border. After hitching a ride they arrived in Komatiepoort. Rody went to the police station to explain our situation and the constable assured us we will not be stranded and that he would arrange a place for them all to stay. Next was a trip to the bank and then the first miracle of the day happened, the balance of Rody’s money was cleared and we would have enough and go home and then some.

They went back to the constable and thanked him profusely for his help but they told him they were heading home. After lunch they bought train tickets to Jo’burg and so the real journey home began. This is where Shay’s love for train rides was rekindled. Everyone was shown to their sleeper compartment and they all decided to rest after the traumatic day that they had. however sometime during the night they realised it was getting colder and had to change from the staple summer Mozambique clothes into something warmer.

Arriving in Jo’burg on Easter was a bit of a disaster we couldn’t get a bus or train down to Cape Town immediately so they had to book themselves into a hotel for the night. First thing everyone did when getting to their rooms was a hot shower which was really missed as you just didn’t take hot showers in Mozambique. The following day we decided to explore as this was everyone’s first time in JHB and our bus was only due to leave the evening. Jo’burg is bustling city something Cape Townians are not used to. At one of the malls there was a Mondoza performance they happened to catch. After a full day of expolring they headed back to catch their bus. Boarding at 6pm and finally this time for real on their way home.

Catching bits and pieces of sleep the next morning eventually came and the excitement of seeing Table Mountain again after so long was a relief and a joy.

They made it back home.

Please note no humans or lizards were hurt during this time there was just one incident where the doctor had to make a house call and miraculously nobody contracted malaria.

Everybody settled back into their old lives but this is one adventure that none of them will forget and maybe one day they will return.

Standard
adventures, comedy, Life, travel

One day we’ll see you again Mozambique

Names have been changed to protect the people in this story.

In 2002 Shay’s mom Rody decided that Cape Town had nothing left to offer her and decided to move to Mozambique and embark on a business venture with her sisters (Sunshine and Sheba). Shay being at a crossroads in her life decided to join her mom for a few months to soak up the sun and enjoy the white Mozambican beaches with its clear blue ocean.

As they were a big group of people (3 single moms with their kids) they decided to drive up from Cape Town to Mozambique, come on who doesn’t love a road trip. Only downside was that the drive was too long and when they finally arrived it was dark and they were all tired and hungry. They were so tired that after eating they fell asleep.

The following morning Rody started finalising the business plans with her 2 sisters and her long time friend Micheal. They wanted to start their own transport company and purchased their first bus. Then they had to enroll the younger kids in school – an international school for foreigners.  They also had to secure accommodation for themselves and eventually found a place big enough for all of them and paid a few months rent in advance. Slowly but surely their days had a routine and every night the adults would group together to discuss how much money was made. Life pretty much just carried on, they went to the shops, sometimes into the city to do shopping there was a Shoprite after all even though the YOU magazines were weeks old. Sometimes they’d go to the beach and do other normal things that families do.

Mozambique is hot. They have insects and spiders the size of lizards and lizards the size of dinosaurs. And it’s perfectly natural for these creatures to walk around wherever they please as you go about your daily business. A little bit of rain has locals running for shelter and covering up with jerseys and coats. And everyday here could be beach day, white sand and clear blue skies was the weather prediction almost every single day.

Unfortunately things started going wrong, they weren’t making enough money and couldn’t purchase a second bus. The first bus started having mechanical problems and kept breaking down and pretty soon they started running out of money. Their visas had expired as they couldn’t get to the border in time to extend it. After 3 months a decision had to be made stick it out or head back home, eventually they decided to head back home. They had just enough to get back home, they bought their bus tickets and were ready to head back to Sunny Cape Town also known as home.

Everyone was excited to head back home and once the bus rode out of Maputo they were all looking forward to the journey home. Then another disaster hit because their visas had expired once we got to the border they had to pay a fine, thing is they had no money. They were then told to disembark the bus and had to watch as the bus, the one that would have taken them home, ride away a became smaller and smaller in the distance. So there they were stuck on the Mozambican border with no money and no way home………To be continued.

Standard