Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is the 14th (January).  I’ve been working on Valentines Day offers for my cake business.  So my mind is already in February.  In fact, as most business owners will know, I’m already at Easter and on the verge of summer really.

My husband went to the gym early this morning and I thought, oh no! I don’t have a card or anything so I thought it’d just get away with a loving kiss.  He came in just before the school run and I gave him a kiss and said Happy Valentines Day.  He looked puzzled and asked is it?  I said yah, it’s the 14th.  He starts to apologise for not getting me anything then gives me a sceptical look and calls me a ‘419-er’ – which means fraudster in Nigeria.  He thought I was setting him up.  ROTFL 🙂 I genuinely thought it was Valentines Day.  I explained that I was working on some offers and had got caught up in that but I don’t think he believed me.  Hahaha.  Hilarious start to my day.

Although I love that we are at that stage where a kiss is enough to celebrate Valentines Day.  I’ll see if that sentiment is still there in February. 😉

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

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Death Is Instructive

In light of recent obituaries in the press, this old post came to mind.

I have been to too many funerals in the last few years than I would care to experience.  They have been for family members; older friends and much younger friends; some children; colleagues and close friends; wives of church leaders and congregation members; parents of my friends, my own estranged dad – so so many than I would care to count.

I cry at weddings so it will be no surprise to discover that I weep at funerals whether I was close to the person or not. However, no matter the relationship I am always struck by two main things.

  1. Whenever tributes are read I am sometimes struck by how little I knew about the person who I was weeping over. How is it that I never knew x,y and z about this person – especially if we were in close proximity?  Like how didn’t  I know they were so caring or so giving or so wise or so funny or so weird or so interesting?  How is it that I spent so much time ‘around’ them but never know that?
  2. Regrets. If I had known that would be the last time I saw that person, I would have called.  I would have visited more.  I would have gone to that party they invited me to but was too tired to make.  I would have invited them to my home for dinner.  I would have told her I loved her.  I would have thanked them for being a great friend or supporting me through that tough period.  I would have spoken more from the heart and not had superficial conversations. I would have found out how they were really doing.  Were they happy? I would have made our last moment together count.  I wouldn’t have spent so much time being upset about that time they spoke to me in a funny way or how I felt they had treated me.  I would have kept in touch.  I would have taken more of an interest in them.  I would have ……..

Death is instructive

Indeed death is very instructive.  A funeral or a graveside is a great place to start if you want a reality check on how you are living your life.  There were a few successive years when it seemed like the only social functions I was attending were funerals.  I learnt a great deal about myself and the sort of person I wanted to be over those years.

Relationships are crucial to humanity. Even for introverts like mysel,  I willingly admit that I need relationships to keep me alive. The tragedy of life is that we take people around us for granted.  For some deluded reason we seem to think we will always be around; we will always have each other.  We take life for granted, that its electrodes will always course through our veins.  We all live in the eternal hope that we will be sustained with long life.  And so we treat each other like we will always meet tomorrow. However the reality is you never know when good bye means see you on another shore.  And so:

  • We talk to each other without listening because tomorrow we will talk again.
  • We go to bed angry, because tomorrow we will make up.
  • We are unkind to each other, because tomorrow we can make amends.
  • We withdraw our love from each other, because tomorrow they may hurt us again.
  • We do not sacrifice our time to spend it with someone because we can always go there tomorrow.
  • We do not pick up the phone to call because we will have more time to speak tomorrow.
  • We do not visit that person in hospital because tomorrow they’ll be out and we can go and see them at home.
  • We do not say sorry, because tomorrow we can be friends again.
  • We do not say thank you now because tomorrow ……………..
  • We do not say I love you, because they should know and tomorrow ………

I am not looking to score brownie points or fulfil some sort of sick righteousness, but because if, God forbid, I ever have to attend a funeral of someone I care for again, I do not want to regret not knowing them or experiencing a tangible relationship with them.  And so I call or text when people come to mind.  I ask if they are happy.  I say thank you for being there for me.  I laugh with them, cry with them.  I listen even when I feel they have not even thought about how I’m doing – I listen.  I travel longer distances now to share precious moments with them.  I reach out even when they haven’t asked after me in ages.  I bake them a cake to say I care. Just because – just because you never know if tomorrow will come, I’m trying to treat my relationships like there is no tomorrow.  Trying – it is an ongoing personal challenge.

One trick I have learnt, particularly when I feel I have been wronged by someone; I think, what if you hear tomorrow that this person has died, how would you feel?  If I feel remorse or regret and then I know, it’s not worth being upset over. Let it go.

Indeed death is instructive! Learn from it.

Overcoming School Run Trauma

Have I mentioned previously that I hate, with a capital H, the school run? Well I do! I really HATE the pressure it puts on me to get to the school gate at a certain time. The pressure to get to school on time so I’m not late for work. I hate that it turns me into the Wicked Witch of the West as I try to get my children to be compliant first thing in the morning.

As the new school year is upon us, I thought it would be good for me to revisit some of tips that have helped me alleviate the school run trauma.

  1. Iron and lay Out everything the night before – laptop, snacks, clothes, shoes and even underwear. The number of times that I have regretted leaving it till the morning is unforgivable. It’s a favour to myself and my kids to ensure we are prepared the night before.
  2. Wake up and have my shower before my children. If I am ready before them, I feel better prepared to handle their impending slowness in the morning.
  3. Eat breakfast. It puts my brain in gear and gives me fuel for the day.
  4. As they are old enough, let them make their own breakfast. If yours don’t know how to, teach them to make something simple!
  5. Give the children breakfast that can be eaten in the car or on the bus. 🙂 Anything that can be easily packed and taken along with us if we happen to be running late.
  6. As soon as they are home from school, give them a light snack and then do homework first before anything else.
  7. On evenings that they have after school activities, make sure dinner is prepped beforehand and simple.
  8. Don’t forget to check their school bags for notes and homework.
  9. Eat dinner early.
  10. Get them to bed early (not a guarantee that they’ll sleep) and remember to wake them up at the same time everyday so their body clock gets used to the routine.
  11. If you have young kids that share a room, remember to split them up at bedtime otherwise they’ll stay up talking till 11pm.
  12. Go to bed early. No late nights. Makes me cranky in the morning.

      Children Will Never Cease to Amaze Me

      To my shock and horror, this morning as we were about to leave for school, I found out that my son had left his entire school bag at school. I was flummoxed, confused, bewildered, speechless and livid.

      I just couldn’t understand why he would take out his homework and jumper and leave the bag in school. There has to be a logical reason. My brain just can’t process this.

      Several times I asked, are you ready for school? “Yes mummy”. Have you packed your things? “Yes mummy”.  At no point did it occur to him to mention that “oh, I left my bag at school”.

      I just will never ever understand. I’ve long accepted that children are wired to stretch you to your limit and then re-stretch you all over again the next day and the next and the next and the next.

      Naturally, we ended up being late for school because I just couldn’t get over the fact that the bag was not at home so I went looking round obvious places. It really was left at school! Shocking!

      Having dropped them off and  calmed down, I realised that in the process our morning drama that I, the mother, the self-righteous one who always gets it right, who never forgets anything, who is perfect in all her ways; left my bag at home.

      Childhood Memory

      It’s funny what triggers a childhood memory. I was walking past the cosmetics aisle at a supermarket, and came across this.
      Image result for nivea hand cream
      Nivea was my mother’s staple cream when I was a child. She used it religiously. Her beauty regime consisted of eyebrow pencil, Vaseline for her lips, white talcum powder (she started to use brown in her 50s) and Nivea for her body and face. She did the same thing everyday for as long as I’ve known her. It was simplicity at it best and and it kept her looks youthful.

      I wouldn’t dare use Nivea on my face unless I want ‘Acne – The Return’ to be re-released on my face. However, I bought a tub for my hands just a salute to old times and good memories.

      What triggers childhood memories for you?

      -RWW

      Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

      I spent the day with my sisters yesterday and by default with one of my nephews. He is a superhero enthusiast. I’m restraining myself from using the word obsessed so we’ll settle for enthusiast.

      As I was leaving I found a pair of Spidey glasses and I couldn’t resist putting them on even though they are for a five year old. I’m just happy I didn’t break them. It would have been a ‘situation’ of collasal proportions. 😂😂😂😂😂

      Day 7 Action

      The one thing I hate is people being down on themselves. There is kicking yourself for doing something you shouldn’t have done and there is negative, counter-productive, soul destroying behaviour which must be eliminated if the real you is ever going to emerge.

      The action for today is to bless someone with your uniqueness. This morning, I was thinking about how I could go about instigating it. I got to work and to be honest, I had forgotten about the action. Then a colleague of mine emails me about being overwhelmed. It turns out that it wasn’t about workload but more to do with skill sets.  His job had evolved over the past few months and he was being asked to deliver work he lacked the skill sets for. He is excellent at what he does but the evolving role is challenging. What is weird is that this is making him question his competence and confidence as a whole.

      It’s clearly not his fault and I did not need to think about what to say I simply told him three things:

      • ​You are great at what you do
      • It’s not hopeless, you have choices. Redefine your role with management which includes training needs or look for a new job that utilises your skill sets.
      • Incompetence isn’t the issue, it’s making a square peg fit in a round hole. Something will have to give as it’s not a right fit.
      Then he said, thanks for making me feel better. I’ve got my boost for the rest of the day. 🙂
      ​I’d forgotten one crucial lesson, you don’t have to force or fake who you really are. Once a circumstance arises that warrants your uniqueness, you will instinctively act. That’s how you know the real you.
      OK. lunch break over. How are you getting on with your action?