Relationships

FAMILY FUN WITH PICTIONARY AIR

The biggest takeway about the lockdown restrictions has definitely been the quality family time.  As a family we love playing board games and one such game is Pictionary.  Recently we sparked more family fun by discovering a new way of playing the game with Pictionary Air. With the classic version you have to draw quick sketches on a sheet of paper or whiteboard and then guess what it is. No more paper wasting or ink drying as Mattel has taken this classic quick draw game to the next level. The high tech version of Pictionary Air allows you to literally draw in the air with a light pen – which is so much fun. (more…)


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To a remarkable mother-in-law

remarkable mother-in-law

Today has been a day of feelings. I felt broken-hearted, fragile, low, angry, overwhelmed and exhausted. I thought I had this grieving thing under control. After all I’ve been through this before.  No matter how many times you experience grief; it’s doesn’t get any easier. It’s flippen hard and damn complicated.It’s been 2 weeks since your passing and today has really hit hard. I had my moment, I was alone at home, the weather was pretty miserable. As the rain drops rolled down the window; so were the tears streaming down my cheeks. I had an uncontrollable reaction to what I have lost – a remarkable mother-in-law, a woman of strength and courage. I broke down and cold no longer suppress my feelings – I had to let go. (more…)


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Snip the puppet strings of external validation

snip puppet strings external validation

Thinking back to 31 years ago when I was very young and naïve. How I wish I could go back in time and tell that young girl that she is enough, worthy, beautiful and have so much ambition. Having no idea how to snip it; I was once controlled by the puppet strings of external validation.

Ridiculed about my race, my background and my appearances (skinny, tall, flat nose and an array of other names); my self-esteem took a knock from a young age. There is absolutely no truth in the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”.  Those words hurt and it left scars. I never valued myself, thought that I was good enough or beautiful. I was greatly affected by what people said to me or thought of me.  It became my truth as I murmured many uncaring words to myself whilst staring in the mirror.

I was shy and quiet – an introvert. At school I became an overachiever forcing myself to succeed, achieve and perfect. I had no personal boundaries and would say yes for everything. I didn’t know that the power of no existed. My self-worth was based on people-pleasing.  I relied heavily on the opinions and encouragement of others; seeking validation from my parents, teachers and friends that I am competent, capable and good enough.

In my early 20’s I came out of my shell a little bit but the self-doubt continued. It consumed every aspect of my life. Not only when I transitioned into adulthood but being an undergraduate at university, hanging out with friends, being in a relationship and applying for my first job. I would question everything – am I being responsible, am I intelligent enough, what if I fail, do I fit in, am I liked, what will they think of me when I say no, does he think I am beautiful, why didn’t he call me, is he really interested in me, did I do a good job, do they think I did a good job, what if I mess up?

The inner critic never left me. I lacked self-confidence, compared myself to others and constantly strived for external validation and acceptance. Receiving that validation made me feel secure and gave me a sense of belonging. If I didn’t receive it; my ego would be bruised, leaving me feeling rejected. Causing an even harder blow to my self-esteem.

It was only during Brent and I’s premarital counselling sessions when it came to light. We had to address issues that could affect our relationship negatively. Because ultimately you can’t pour into a marriage, with an empty cup. These sessions helped me to practice self-compassion and self-care. It was a process that I worked hard at every single day. It enabled me to stop being reliant on external validation and to slowly snip the puppet strings that controlled me. Today I control the strings as my values and beliefs matter the most.  I don’t have to pretend as I know that I am enough.

So today let me be that voice of reason that says stop trying to measure up. Stop second guessing yourself. You are enough – yes I know it’s a cliché but you are truly enough. Don’t try to change aspects of who you are just to fit in. Don’t showcase yourself to please others. We all strive to put the best version of ourselves out there but remember comparison is the thief of joy.  Focus on what you have, your abilities and your achievements.

Yes people will always have opinions about you but don’t let that become your truth.  Don’t beat yourself up and tell that inner critic to take a hike. It is ok to fail, not to be liked by everyone, to go through stuff, to get angry, to be crazy and to be loud. Be kind to yourself. Internalize it and take up your space because you are worthy, enough, capable and beautiful. You are in control so snip the puppet strings of external validation that dictates you.

 


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Daughter of mine; you’re officially a teenager

daughter officially teenager

My sweet Lea, on Sunday you turned 13. The years have gone by in a flash. You know every year when your birthday comes along I get a bit sentimental. As my first born; your entrance into this world has been dramatic. Needless to say, mothering you for the past 12 years has been easy.  But now you have entered a new phase in your life. I think I prepared you more for this phase than mentally preparing myself.  In all honestly, I was still in denial. Until Google reminded me that you can now have full control over your own account.  That was enough affirmation for me. Daughter of mine, you are officially a teenager. (more…)


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How we made it to 15 years of marriage

15 years marriage

Today Brent and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.  Gosh 15 years of marriage has passed in a blink of an eye. It is exactly 5465 days of continuous sleepovers with the same person.  But on a serious note – we made the commitment to love, trust and choose each other every day for the rest of our lives. (more…)


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The ripple effect of grief

ripple effect of grief

It has been eleven weeks since my father passed away. The phone calls and messages have stopped. No more flowers, cards and visits.  In fact, life has returned to normal as if nothing happened. However, my father’s death did happen which caused a ripple effect of grief.

Life as I’ve known it before 6 April 2019 will never be the same again.  Removing one person from a family unit which has always been a supportive structure; changes the entire dynamics. Although our family structure is not falling apart; the foundation has slight cracks. Perhaps those who don’t have that kind of unit won’t understand. (more…)


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My father’s life encapsulated – A Heartfelt Eulogy

fathers life encapsulated heartfelt eulogy

How do you completely capture 71 years of someone’s life in a Eulogy? When I think of my dad and want to encapsulate his life in one word; then “humble” comes to mind.

On 6 April 2019, my dad passed away. His death was sudden and it caught us off guard. And I know that  death is part of life – it is guaranteed and unavoidable; yet for those left behind it is something that you remain physically and mentally unprepared for.

Writing his eulogy was heart wrenching as I couldn’t get myself to refer to him in the past tense. And as much as it was an honour and privilege to deliver his eulogy; it was at the same time extremely difficult for me to utter those words.

I was approached by many to share what I said at my dad’s funeral in a blog post. Apprehensive at first to write it down as this was something that was private and only shared with friends and family. But then it hit me – that my dad’s life was a gift to us. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather and that his life story should be celebrated and shared with others.

I am still going through the grieving process and some days are easier than others. I have my moments when I just let out. It is a process that will take time and everyone handles it differently. You will never truly understand grief until you lose someone very close to you.  However, typing this post brought a sense of calm over me.

Herewith I’m sharing this eulogy with you in remembrance of my dad. For privacy reasons, I have omitted the personal information from this version. (more…)


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Birthday wish to the most incredible husband

Birthday wish incredible husband

Brent,

I know how you feel about celebrating your birthday. You don’t like the fuss and people gushing over you. According to you it is just another day in your life with an added digit.

I won’t reveal your age – and you are right it is just a number but damn I have to say you are ageing well.

But today, I want you to know that it is indeed a special day. It is not about the gifts we got you or the celebration we planned. What makes this day special is that it commemorates the beginning of your life and your existence in the world.  Your existence has a meaningful purpose in my life, our children and so many other people’s lives. (more…)


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A message to the unapologetic narcissist

message unapologetic narcissist

I spot you everywhere. In the workplace, church, parent groups, in the company of friends and family. Some people cannot handle you. They try to avoid you like the plague.  Perhaps you are not aware of this or that you are a narcissist.  Do you even know what it means?

Let me enlighten you.

You are that person who thinks you are superior and see no one as your equal. Compared to others, you view yourself differently – more important.  Similarly, your ego, status and titles are everything to you. You strive for perfection and constantly boast about yourself and what you possess.

In the beginning you are very charming and persuasive, putting up a facade to lure people into your space. Once you have gained their trust, you become domineering. Making it difficult for them to distance themselves from you.

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Lunching with good friends at the Yard in the Silo District

lunching good friends yard silo district

It’s been a while since I caught up with my girlfriends. Well more than a year to be exact. The weirdest thing is we all live in and around Cape Town. You see we all have busy schedules that is overflowing with work, kids, households etc. So, setting time aside for a meetup with friends is not always easy.

And I get it, hence what I wrote in my previous blog post about finding balance.

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