Me-cracy

Early on this week, I headed out in my car to go to work. It was a cold, crisp winter’s morning. The dark night sky still heavily set in place. My heightened awareness attempting to wake up. My fingers and toes slowly thawing out with the warm air of the heater. Coming to a stop as the robot turned red, something caught my eye. I looked twice just to make sure. And there it was!

Just take a moment…

# I apologised for the poor quality of the pictures, only had my phone on hand!

Yes, I know you were expecting a catchy heart thrilling story here, but what I saw was the above sign. The sign that belongs to Menlyn Mall, one of the biggest malls in South Africa. The lights on the sign were clearly not working except for the first two letters. I had to laugh and have to say how appropriate and true it is in today’s day and age!

I call it Me-cracy.

The one that this is all about. The one that wants it all. The one that will use anything to get ahead. I have to wonder how long our society can continue this way. Name brands. Egos. Stuff. Materialism. Greed.

And guess what?

In the end, we die and absolutely none of that stuff goes with us. It sure doesn’t bring happiness. And yet it satisfies and feeds on our greed for more and more stuff. I still believe that greed is the driving factor of most our actions – the intense and selfish desire for something, as the dictionary so aptly describes it.

I wonder what it would take to rid ourselves of the me aspect!

Let me suggest this post for further insight:

In Pursuit of Happiness

The wisdom of the Oracle

The Oracle! Appropriately named by a friend. Consulting the Oracle is free and sometimes overwhelming but certainly helpful at times.

Just in case you have no idea what I am referring to, its Dr. GOOGLE (AKA the internet).

So let’s consider the Lotto and lottery winners. The Oracle has some interesting facts:

  • Approximately 70% of lottery winners blow their winnings within a few years (we dont hear about the other 30%)
  • At the same time those that won larger amounts seemed to retain it much longer (which really makes sense because there is so much more to spend so maybe these ones belong in the 30% group)
  • It doesn’t change overall happiness
  • It does however, change overall satisfaction
  • Some lose it all
  • Some go dilly
  • Some believe what they read
  • Other’s question!

I think the Oracle is confused or just very opinionated on a number of different facets. So you’re probably wondering why I brought this topic up. Well, a lot of my travelling to and from work is on our public train system. Funny enough, one of the things that is working in our country.

This past week on the train, I was sitting next to two Afrikaans gentlemen who started to talk about bank integration on app and web applications that allowed instant Lotto purchases and winnings post the draw.

Obviously the famous question came up:

What would you do with the money? And what would you do if you only had tomorrow left to spend it?

While I was seriously thinking long and hard about it, sure enough, the two men started talking about the latest cars and motorbikes, how cool it would be to have the latest speedster, that cruiser, to have heads turn just to notice. Don’t get me wrong, as lovely as that would be, I found myself digging a little deeper than on the materialistic layer. It didn’t take me long, but I decided what I wanted and shared my thoughts. It really was simple:

I want to buy a large plot in the Drakensburg or in a small town my husband and I love so much, a place called Clarens. Then build a beautiful B&B, prefarably off grid, have the most amazing coffee brewed at all hours, include some really cool outdoor activities (and some other potential options I would love to explore), a droning wonderland, and manage and live this life. That’s what I would want.

No, I’m not that person that would give all the money to a charity or welfare organisation. Given the state that South Africa is in and the amazing criminal leadership role models we have, it just wouldn’t seem fair for me to simply give my money into those grabing hands that take for their own good and greed. My contribution to our country would be to build and manage a home, a place of peace, a place of relaxation, a place where nature is respected, restored and worked with. A place where our children can run free through fields unspoilt by man. What more could one ask for?! That’s what I would want and where I would want to retire. Doing what my husband and I both love.

And there you have it, but of course I have to ask the question right back at you!

What would you do with the money? And what would you do if you only had tomorrow left to spend it?

I would love to hear your ideas!

Strange conversations

Over this weekend I woke up to my husband bringing me lemon juice. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary but he leans over to whisper in my ear:

Good morning beautiful!

I listen in silence, while I acknowledge that beautiful moment and want to express it back in ways we both understand. You know, our own love language so to speak. And so the exchange continues as follows:

Me: Happy birthday.

Hubby: Happy anniversary.

Me: Happy Easter.

Hubby: Happy Christmas.

Me: Hakuna Matata!

Wow what a start to the day. Yes I know you’re probably thinking we’ve lost the plot, but just imagine if every day was Christmas or Easter or your birthday. Imagine if we could experience every day in so many special ways. I reckon our worlds would be so different to what we know today. I mean sometimes you just feel different.

I guess there’s just something in those celebrations that we forget all too quickly. And no, it’s not just another day. All of them are a celebration of life. So let’s celebrate…every day.

Hakuna Matata style:

Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase

Hakuna Matata, ain’t no passing craze

It means no worries, for the rest of your days

It’s a problem free, philosophy

Hakuna Matata!

Whose line is it anyway?

Today I am going to keep it light hearted and share a few examples of those real-life silly things people (#we) say without thinking.

To begin, I have to start with my husband!

Unmistakably a true salesman, often I find myself listening to the most oddest of stories – you know, those ones that really make you sleep better at night! Rattling off in the car one day he was referencing something about butchers. Don’t ask me why we were talking about meat, but he got a little wound up and of course the words just rolled off his lips without a second thought:

What a bunch of chops!

Aptly put.

A few weeks later, I get home from work and he was working in our office. In general, we like to spend a few minutes catching up and hearing about each other’s day, connecting a bit, recentering ourselves. But on this day, he requested to complete an important email and it went something like this:

Sorry babe (he shouts from our office), I’m just doing a mail!

Doing a male! I had to hold my tongue.

#gasp

Just a few days ago, our son jumped in the car after school on Friday. Eager to get going with the weekend and catch up on all the news, he begins to tell us about his science and technology test. He’s only 11:

Papa, we learnt about orgasms…

#oh my gosh

Okay keep it together. What he meant was that he was learning about organisms! I’m grateful the doors on the car were locked closed, otherwise we may have rolled out onto the street in hysterics.

Not so long ago, we headed out to visit some family staying on a game reserve. A real treat for us and quite honestly a breath of fresh air. Needless to say, as we drove from the district road through the electric gate and onto the reserve side of the fence I felt a sense of ease, a moment where the weight just lifted off my shoulders and without thinking said:

Whew…I can breathe again!

Well, my husband literally laughed at me. What was so different to the air on the other side of the fence?! The same air that you can see through the electric fence! Yes, maybe I’m just a little special.

So special in fact that not so long ago this statement truly and honestly came out of my mouth, quite profoudly:

We are who we are and together we become!

I will leave that one for you to ponder!

Food for thought

Did you know that the critical elements of life and nature are basically made up of three components each? For example:

Air

  • Dry air consists of 78% Nitrogen, 28% Oxygen and 1% of other gasses (carbon dioxide, argon etc.)

Earth:

  • Consists of three layers – the core, the mantle and the crust

Fire:

  • A fire naturally occurs when three typical elements are combined in the right mixture – heat, fuel and an oxidizing agent (most commonly oxygen)

Water:

  • As we know it – H2O, is where two hydrogen atoms covalently bond to a single oxygen atom

And what about the following:

  • God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Spirit, mind and body
  • Primary colours – red, yellow and blue
  • Rock, paper, scissors (just for a lighter spin on things)

So why then do we think that a marriage should be any different? A husband and wife in respect of the law, are legally joined to establish rights and obligations between them as spouses. But we tend to leave it there. Marriage isn’t about becoming legal to do as we will, simply by signing on the dotted line. It’s so much more. It’s about committment, it’s about serving, it’s about being a witness to your spouses life, in every aspect, despite the hurdles.

So then, if life and nature comprise of three critical elements, what is the third component for marriage? Some have said it’s the kids factor – the children that come along, to form a family. But the problem here, is that marriage is not just for reproduction, that’s a beautiful by-product that may or may not happen.

What are we missing? For me, I am convinced that for a marriage to be able to fulfill every possible plan and purpose, it must be complete within itself, just like the elements of nature. Husband, wife and number three – your Maker. The third element has to be something greater than ourselves. Only then can it be truly secure and fulfilled.

It doesn’t matter if you disagree. I’m simply stating something that for me is foundational. If the foundations are well laid, the building (aka your marriage) will be strong and beautiful and simply amazing.

#just some food for thought

Social media or Social murder

I came across a blog titled Goodbye to Facebook. It was written in the form of a letter, addressed to Facebook as if it was the ending of a long and intimate relationship. Amusing at times, to the point and cleverly written. I had to leave a comment which went something like this:

Social media maims, and often destroys so many relationships and even lives. If used, it needs to be held within strict and clearly defined boundaries. Used only when required. I love the fact that more and more people are realizing that every now and again if you just raise your gaze up from the screen you are looking at, you will see a beautiful life right in front of you. It may be a garden of roses. It may be your husband who just needs you to notice him. It may be your child wishing for your whole hearted attention, just for a moment. It may simply be a moment on your own, in quiet nature, connecting your soul with your maker.

I spent many years interacting on Facebook and eventually said my goodbye officially towards the end of 2018. My interactions became fewer and fewer over these last couple of years. While contemplating saying goodbye to social media in general, I found myself asking a number of questions:

  • What if I miss out on that one piece of news?
  • What if someone passes on?
  • What if I’m invited somewhere and dont pitch?
  • What would my friends and connections think?
  • Maybe I should just leave a little information available just in case someone needs to find me?

And during all this contemplation, Facebook still waits a period of time before actually deleting your profile, trying to get you to reconsider your so-called rash decision and revert back with your profile.

I’m sure we all have many questions and moments like that. For me though, on a personal note social media became more of a social mine field and any wrong footing is sure to blow you to smitherines. Pink mist! Your soul becoming the story of the murdered life portrayed on the media.

Yes, strong words I know. But I don’t want to miss out on those moments of reality. Maybe blogging is a form of social media too, but here I find myself being more real with no intention to impress. Here, I have a goal to save a life so to say and not be a murderer of social interactions.

I do believe that if strict and defined boundaries are implemented, social media may be an effective tool for corporate involvement and marketing. However personally, I stick to my gut and would rather treasure the reality of being present, in the moment, not worrying about having to get that perfect picture to post on Instagram for the world (who doesn’t really care) to see.

#Just my opinion!

Ring for a kiss

This weekend my husband and I decided to do a Park Run and then have a little breakfast before we flew our drones over a beautiful rose farm (#avid drone flyers).

While sitting at our table in the restaurant, we heard a tinkle (although I much prefer the word ping than tinkle), coming somewhere from the kitchen area. It sounded exactly like a reception or call bell.

Just to put you in the picture, when we got married we had a cow bell hanging from a heart shaped board in our reception hall, that said:

Ring for a kiss!

Of course this becomes something of a novelty during our wedding reception. Every now and then the bell would ring (more now than then!), with one of our family or friends gleefully hanging onto the bell and staring in our direction, waiting for a response. Just before we were about to take a bite of food or a sip of our drink, or trying to slip out inconspicuously to the desperately needed bathroom, the bell would ring and of course the bride and groom would have to kiss. It was fun.

Not so long ago, our dear friends also bought us a reception bell in remembrance of them and our wedding. It looks like this:

Today, the cow bell hangs in our bedroom and the reception bell resides in the kitchen. Should my husband ring either bell, he waits by the bell until I come and give him a kiss. And vice versa should I ring the bell. There is only one rule – the kiss must be given as soon after the bell is heard. Either bell can be rung at any time. It really is fun and trust me, certainly helpful in those difficult heated exchange of view type scenarios!

However, let’s get back to the restaurant…

A bell pings in the background while we wait to order and immediately my husband’s face lights up with glee. It seems that as the kitchen orders were ready, the bell would ping. Big smiles. We take it as a sign to kiss. This goes on for a while, sometimes dishing up three kisses at a time! I’m not sure what everyone thought of us, but I’m pretty sure we got some strange glances and head shakes. However, very proud to say I think we got at least fifteen kisses in! lt was indeed fun, even for us adults!

Moral of the story? Life’s short. Make memories. Have moments of laughter and fun. Who cares about what others think, they simply jealous of what you have.