Friday, 31 May 2019


What a beautiful day it is, a little chilly, but the sun shines and the skies are clear.  Another hectic week has passed.  Do you count the days to the week-end or do you mark the weeks off until it is time for your annual leave?  That's great, we should always have something to look forward to.  However, in the process the ordinary, often hectic days pass us by without much of a memory retained about the day itself.  Weeks and months fly pass in the blink of an eye, and when we look back we can seldom even remember what we have done with the time.  Is this how you feel too?  Then maybe it is time to start celebrating.  No, I am not talking about birthdays or special occasions.  I mean, you only have a birthday once a year, public holidays, weddings and family events only happen so often.  I am talking about celebrating the ordinary, yet, wonderful happenings which fill our lives everyday.  Did you make your deadline?  Celebrate!  Did your toddler wake you up at five this morning boasting a new tooth?  Celebrate.  Is it the first day of a new season?  Yep, celebrate it!  Did you discover a new strand of grey hair?  Oh, what horror!  Celebrate it, you have earned it!
Take out your great-gran's carefully packed tea set, decorate the breakfast table with flowers, bake some fresh scones and celebrate being alive!  What a gift, what a treasure!  Celebrate the people who are alive, but also celebrate the people who have passed on and who have left you with the legacy of their beautiful souls!
Rejoice at the sunrise, toast the sunset, celebrate the heartbeat of your husband or wive there next to you and invite Gratefulness to reside in your every thought.
Yes, life can be tough, terrible, sad and it can leave us mangled, but while we have it, right this moment, whatever the circumstances, look for that little spark of hope, a faint flash of joy and celebrate it. You MAY, but more than that you SHOULD.  Be happy, dearest friends, and may you find something right at this very moment to celebrate.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Take a Chance, Make a Change

People once asked a wise man what is his most important message he would like to share with the world.  The wise man thought for a while before he answered. His reply was simple, but not really what his followers expected.  He answered, "This too shall pass."

Change.  It is the one constant in life.  Yet most of us fear change.  We are afraid of the uncertainty it holds.  We prefer the security of our comfort zone.  Many people, however, dream of change.  They imagine what it would be like if they changed their careers, moved to a different city, tried out a new hairstyle or revamped their image.  Not so many of them actually do it.  Sometimes we might even go as far to share these dreams with others only to be discouraged by words such as "oh no, you would look dreadful with short hair"  or "you won't really be able to make a living as an artist".  Thus we stay stuck, tucking our dreams away.  You see, people are not only afraid of their own changes, but also fear what your change will do to their lives.

I want to tell you that it is quite OK, you MAY change.  You may try out a new hairstyle, paint your house pink or pursue your dream of becoming a dolphin trainer.  Yes, there are no guarantees, and yes, change is scary but more scary is never taking the chance and regretting it forever.  Of course, it does not mean that you must just recklessly take the plunge.  No, it is important that you do your research, make sure that it is what you really want and weigh up the pro's and cons carefully.  Equally important is that you must make sure YOU want to make the change and that it is not somebody else's idea for your life.  You must do it for yourself, for your own happiness.

Change may be unsettling, but it is also very exciting, and you may be amazed where life might take you.  Whatever you decide, I wish you joy and prosperity and a whole lot of fun!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Asking is Free

Most of us are proud and prefer to be totally independent.  In fact, we raise our children to be independent and to be able to stand on their own feet.  Most of us believe that asking for assistance is a sign of weakness.  We fear people will think that we are inept, stupid or not in control of our lives.  We would rather struggle with something than seem incapable or ignorant.  However, our pride can be counter-productive and even sabotage ourselves in the process.
The truth is that it is not the weak who ask for help, but those individuals who are confident, realistic and secure in the knowledge of their own abilities.  They realize that it is not a reflection on themselves that they do not know everything or cannot do everything, but they understand that we need other people, and we in turn can again assist somebody else.
Yes, you MAY ask for help or for a favour.  It is okay not to know everything.  By asking for assistance we also give other people the chance to be of help, and to live out our God given calling to love/assist our neighbour.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Dare to Go Bare

This last week of May has been so hectic that I had no time to connect with my blog, so I am a few days behind.  However, this morning I made sure to clear my schedule to catch up.

A runner's feet are usually not very pretty.  They are often going through various stages- new blisters and bruised toes, black and mangled toenails or regrowth of aforesaid toenails.  Not pretty!  That is why I seldom dare to walk barefoot.  Funny enough, there are many women who feel the same about their feet and constantly keep them covered.  What a shame! 

 A few years ago I have changed my believe that only those with exceptionally beautiful feet should have them on display.  I am now a firm advocate of celebrating ones feet.  After all, they work hard and transport us wherever we wish to go.  They are always at our service.  Thus they deserve our loving care and gratitude.  So, today I want to tell you that you MAY walk barefoot.  Enjoy the feel of the cool tiles beneath your feet, the way the sand wiggles in between your toes and the grass tickles your feet.

Furthermore, there are some very real benefits to walking barefoot.  When we walk barefoot different muscles in our feet are activated, and it helps to strengthen the tendons and muscles of our feet.  Even our ankles, calves and Achilles tendons are being stretched and strengthened by walking barefoot.  Walking barefoot can also trigger the acupuncture points in our feet and improve blood circulation and have a positive effect on our nervous system.

When we walk barefoot we usually enjoy doing it outside.  It forces us to be in the moment as our eyes have to be aware of where we are stepping in order to avoid injury, it makes us aware of our surroundings.  When we are out in nature, when we breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on our skins we begin to relax and our stress levels decrease.

Come on, I dare you, kick off those constraining shoes and set those little piggies free.  Dare to go bare!!!!

Friday, 24 May 2019

Treat Yourself, You May

Most of us understand the importance of a budget.  Each month we carefully allocate our funds according to priorities.  It comes as no surprise that we as parents are usually right at the bottom of the list.  We most often look after everything and everyone else.  Even when we have some spare money we are most likely to spend it on our children and spouse first.  Sometimes we even allow other constraint prohibit us from treating ourselves.  Excuses such as I do not have time, I do not deserve it, I am on a diet or I have to first do this or that are of the favourite ones we use not to spoil ourselves a little bit.
Well, today I am telling you that you MAY treat yourself.  You are worthy of it.  Spoil yourself with a spa treatment or a visit to the hair salon.  Buy that pair of shoes you have secretly been saving money for.  Eat that cake, one slice mind you, and enjoy it.  Take a selfie and for the next three weeks of diet remember how good it tasted and look forward to your next treat.
Treating yourself once in a while can be a great mood booster and can help to alleviate stress.  It means a happier you and that in return will have a positive effect on those people close to you.
So go ahead and indulge yourself a little.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

You May...(3)

Today is a beautiful bright Autumn day in the Southern Hemisphere. The trees proudly wear their crowns of yellow, orange and red leaves.  Yes, today is the perfect day to wear something bold, and to be bold.  It is strange how we as parents encourage our children to be confident and we dress them in eye-catching and cute outfits, yet those same children grow up being afraid to stand out or to take a stand.  Maybe because the sub-conscious message they have received is one of reticence.  We were taught to be more reserved and modest and despite our efforts that is the message we pass on.
Today I want to encourage you to be bold.  Yes, you may wear a bright red coat, you may wear flowers in your hair and you may walk down the street as if you own it!  
We we were all born for great things, and although not all of us can be world leaders, inventors or Einsteins, we can all do little things in a great way.  We have all been created to be unique, to be our own brand of special.
So by all means,go on, live life, and live it BOLDLY!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

You May...(2)

Time.  Most of you will agree that time seems to have wings.  The hours, days, weeks and months just fly past.  We just never seem to have enough hours in a day for everything we have to do.  We are constantly playing catch-up and at the end of the day we had barely managed to clear our to-do lists for the day.

In all this rush there is one thing we constantly neglect and that is ourselves.  We just never have time for ourselves.  Even when we think of making time some time for ourselves we are so laden with guilt that we take no pleasure in that moment and invariably we cut it short, or simply skip it altogether.  The result of this is that we start feeling drained, listless and despondent.
Well, today I am telling you that you MAY make time for yourself.  In fact, you MUST make time for yourself.  It is not selfish to take some time for yourself, but it is actually essential for your overall well-being.

Taking some time for yourself helps to clear your mind of clutter.  It helps you reconnect to your dreams and goals.  You feel happier.  Not only does me-time benefit you, but it also has benefits for those around you.  Your happier mood will impact on your family too, as well as your colleagues.  You will feel more invigorated and inspired at work which will lead to more productivity.
Yes, I can already hear some of you say that it is impossible for you to make time for yourself in an already over-loaded schedule, but believe me it IS possible.

Firstly, take a good look at all the things on your to-do list.  Which of them are the real priorities?  Could some of them be delegated, re-allocated or eliminated?  Could some of them moved to the Not-Urgent/Not-Important Quadrant?

If you are serious about making time for yourself you have to declare your me-time as important as any other important appointment or task.  You have to schedule time for it.  Start small, allocate 15 - 20 minutes for it.  Disconnect from all electronic devises.  You have to guard this time from yourself as well as others.  make sure you tell people that you will be unavailable for the next fifteen minutes or half an hour.  However, it is important that you plan what you are going to do with this time otherwise it will feel to you as if you are just wasting time.  Use this time to get outdoors, or visit a museum.  Treat yourself to a facial or start a new hobby.  Even just visiting your local bookstore and sipping on a cappuccino will be enough to recharge your batteries.  A friend of mine enjoys going to the SPCA in her lunch hour and spending time there.

Putting some time aside for yourself gives your mind the message that you are worth it.  It is an instant boost of your self-esteem.  It will also give you something to look forward to.  It can even act as an incentive to get through your to-do list quicker, upping your productivity. 

Making time for yourself a priority can feel super weird at first, especially to those of you out there who tend to value your worth in how busy you are, but in the end denying yourself this precious time will lead to burn-out and even serious health risks.  Is THAT worth it?

So, go on, re-schedule and re-prioritize your life, you MAY take some time for yourself.  I hope you will share with us what it is that you are planning to do with your Me-Time.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

You May...(1)

Good morning!  So great to see you here!  Today is the first day of the last ten days of May.  Today I want to tell you that you MAY be...SILLY!

Do you remember how you, as a child, would just for the slightest reason burst out laughing?  Do you remember those times when you would be so filled with an abundance of energy and would twirl around, arms stretched out in a crazy butterfly dance?  I still remember how my friends and I would battle stifling our giggles in the back of the auditorium.  What it was that set us off, I can't recall, but I do remember collapsing outside on the lawn.  A pile of laughing teenagers.
And then we grew up, we entered the world of adults where laughter, pranks and silliness were frowned upon.  We became control freaks and we put on the masks of seriousness which was soon permanently melded to our faces.  We have forgotten how to just be ourselves and in the process we have lost our birthright of happiness.  Being yourself is the origin of happiness, and with happiness comes silliness and unbridled laughter.  Laughter of course is the best medicine, it is good for our hearts and minds.
So, today claim your right, you MAY be silly!  Laugh at yourself, write silly jokes and leave them all over the office for your colleagues to find, say hello to random strangers and wish them a happy day.  Wear that crazy tie your five year old painted for you, put flowers in your hair or wear that outrages coat you bought at the jumble sale.  Host a party for your six year old self or invite friends over for a games night, instigate the silliness in them too.  Being silly is a great antidote for stress and the bonus part is that it costs nothing.  What a bargain.  Go on, don't act your age, and infuse today with a bit of silliness!  have FUN!

Monday, 20 May 2019

May you have a Great Day!

Today there are only 11 days left of May.  It is day 139 of 2019.  Now, let us be honest, how many of us have kept up with the plans we have had for this year? I personally am lagging a tad behind.  So I thought that it might be a great idea to just get our momentum going again, and I hope you will join me.  Every day we are bombarded by all the things we should do and have to do, as well as being told what we may not do, things which are not deemed fit for this adult and very serious world we are living in.  We are under so much pressure to perform and to live life as expected by the society in which we live.  We rush from deadline to deadline and we seldom take some time just for ourselves.  In the end we forget who we are, and what dreams we have.  We are so busy with the responsibilities of "adulting" that we have no time to let our inner child run wild.
So for May I put together a list of things which you MAY do.  For the next ten days I will share them with you and challenge you to have fun.  Are you ready?  Then drop by my blog tomorrow for the first thing you MAY do.
Have a great day!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Too Short

This week-end it was Mother's Day in my part of the world.  Once again I realized what an amazing privilege it is to be a Mommy.  I enjoyed every moment I could be with my daughter, and thoughts of my other daughter swirled in my mind all day long.
However, amidst the happy moments I was sharing with my daughter, I was also intensely aware of the how transient life was.  The sadness of life's frailty washed over me as I heard of a friend of ours being taken up in hospital while another friend of mine's mom passed away.  Yet another friend's daughter fell ill. Another dear friend spoke to her son in the morning and by nightfall received the news that he had passed away.   Life is beautiful, it is wonderful to be alive, yet it is fickle.  It never asks us if we are ready for this new direction, it never asks us for our opinion, nor does it consider our wishes or dreams.  It never waits for us to catch up and it seldom gives us an opportunity for a do-over.
Especially when it comes to relationships.  How often do we not think that I must make some time to visit that old friend, call that old colleague or contact that favourite uncle, but we believe we still have so much time.  Maybe tomorrow I will drop by for a visit, make a phone call or send a letter.  However, before we know it another year has passed until there is no more time.
Maybe we should get into the habit of seizing this moment.  Don't wait for tomorrow, do it NOW.  Make that call, write that letter.  Paint that picture, write that poem, use your best crockery and bake that pie.  Life is too short for regrets.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

May for Mums

Today my daughter reminded me that soon it will be Mother's Day.  Again.  It felt like yesterday that it was Mother's Day.  In fact thirty years feel like yesterday when I found out I was to be a mom.  Time is like liquid on a down hill.

Motherhood.  It sounds so grand and formal.  It has a ring of perfection to it, as if you have everything under control, sorted and every little detail in its perfect little place.  It conjures up visions of Supermom, her super-hero cape perfectly ironed and blowing brightly in the breeze and her beaming smile topped by elegantly coiffed hair.
I still remember meeting my friend for a quick lunch.  She managed to make time for me between two corporate meetings.  She slipped into the booth carrying an elegant genuine leather briefcase.  She cast a quick glance at my toddler sleeping in her stroller.  There was a thinly veiled look of pity in her eyes.  We quickly ordered something and then we both did a heavily edited recap of our year so far.  My head spun with all the board meetings and overseas trips she had fitted in over a six month period.  She finally took a breather with "what on earth do you do with yourself all day long?"

I think I still owe her an answer.  Before I could reply, she announced that she had to run.  We air kissed goodbye and I finished my cappuccino as she hastily left, her high heels clacking over the tiles.

Her question stayed with me as I drove home, as I made supper, as I nodded absently while my husband told me about his day, as I cleared the dishes and finally bathed a squirmy and giggling two year old.  As I tucked her in and sleepily read "The Faraway Tree" the answer came to me.  I did Mommy Stuff.  All day.  Everyday.  I was so blessed.

No, I was no Supermom.  I was far from perfect.  My go-to hairstyle was a bun twisted messily on top of my head.  My nails were short and unpainted, but clean.  I could sing, mostly off-key, all the nursery rhymes Mother Goose ever penned and I could give a passable performance as a giraffe, or bunny or whatever animal my daughter dictated I be for the day.

Motherhood.  It has been my greatest achievement, my highest calling and my most treasured blessing.  I gave the best I could, I put in a valiant effort, yet what I received was much much more.  I nurtured my daughters, but they showed me how to love; I was their teacher but they taught me about life;  I raised them but they helped me to grow into the best version of me.

I still remember the first smiles, their first words and encouraging them to take that first wobbly step.  I recall the cuddles of their feverish bodies, drying their tears, and laughing at their silly antics.  I watched them grow from adoringly cute, to awkward and gangling to blooming into beauties.  Then the hardest part of all, to slowly let them go, slipping silently from my embrace into a big big world.  Watching them from the sidelines as they stride confidently into society and carving their own place into life, into new relationships and finally a family of their own, is not easy.  Every step takes them further away, to a place we can only see from afar.  Yet, it is exactly what we raised them to be - independent, capable and confident adults.  Like butterflies we set them free and watch as their wings shine in the rays of the sun.  In between tears of pride there are also tears for the end of an era, a time that has passed all too quickly.  But it was all worth it.  Every bit of Mommy Stuff.  I would do again and again.

For all the moms out there: Well done, you are awesome!  You raised princes and princesses and amazing human beings.