Monday, 30 March 2015

Am I allowed to be disappointed.....?

Many a blogs of mine have been about the blessings I have received and continue to receive in this life. And believe me, I am more than just thankful for all those blessings.

Somehow though, silly as it sounds, I struggle with the emotion -


It feels so ungrateful.
It feels so ' spoilt child' like.
It feels so not christian.
It feels so greedy.

This emotion comes to play when things don't give the desired result.

I try to approach disappointments with a sense of sobriety- test my resistance to find out why I am not happy- not satisfied with something.

Generally I can 'put it behind me'. Realise that sometimes things don't work out according to 'my' plan but the alternative isn't bad either. Then I shed the feeling and it is a thing of the past.

But some things just stay niggling, stay waltzing around in my mind. Keep me unsettled and messed up. I say - it's ok - but it is NOT!

This problem has followed me into our new home. We have radically upgraded this apartment and are extremely proud and happy with our new dwelling. We have spent some time coordinating colours and style. Chose some new furniture and spent hours stripping, painting, wallpapering, tweaking the little bits and bobs.

For the big stuff we had professionals. Electrician, plumber, carpenters etc. We also needed to replace the windows for double glazing. The kitchen, toilet and bathroom needed a total overhaul.

It dawned on us - this may be our last shift, so let's make sure we make a good job of the interior- it has to see us into our old age and end of days so to speak.

This is where the crunch comes into play.

There are certain aspects that I have trouble with accepting.

And that's where I get all mixed up.

I have had to accept some situations that I know are going to be there for ever and the day!

They are not of my choosing.

And I am stuck with this unsettling feeling of dissatisfaction. How ungrateful is that?

But I am grateful for what I have - just disappointed in the things that went wrong.

It will take time to let them go - to distance myself from that feeling.

I won't, I JUST REFUSE let it get me DOWN or get the overhand.

It is my intention to embrace those things that 'bug' me.

Why is it so difficult to 'get along' with disappointments?

Friday, 20 March 2015

Life - what a blessing

To my children
( and all those who read my Blogs)

Today just a wee note to say - Enjoy everything you attempt today.

This moment will not return, there are memories but no re-runs!

And that is the magic of life.

We get one shot at everything we do.

So do it as well as you can with the capability, knowledge and insights of that very moment.

Today I need to focus on all the jobs on my list.

I know that while writing this I am fulfilling a need to just say 'hi'. I can tick the box.

Go for it - go for LIFE.  Go for your goals and dreams.

Doesn't matter if the sun doesn't shine.

You shine and spread your warmth with all those you encounter today.

Be the LIGHT.

Be your unique YOU!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Voting - the process

Yesterday the voting booths were open for business in Nederland.

The 12 Provincial State elections. All politically motivated - all candidates convinced they have what it takes to rule our country.

It isn't my intention to dive into our political arena, do an analyses or even discuss the politics or the politicians.

In fact, I want to write about the voting process. Or at least my vision and insights as I have experienced them.

A number of years ago my husband suggested I volunteer to take my place at a voting booth as official. These booths are manned by volunteers, some with political history and connections others just out of service to their community. It isn't a glamour job - I do however enjoy the event as the people with whom I share this task make the day ( and night) a pleasant one.

The rewards - yes a small monetary deposit in my account, the pleasure of being of service to others, the fellowship with those I undertake the task and the enjoyment and interaction with the voters who visit our booth.

Maybe the place 'our booth' is in makes a difference to the general atmosphere - the foyer of a church. This church being right at the start ( or end) of the township's shopping centre, De Meent. Also strategically placed between two retirement/ care homes, and at the start of a residential area.

Our voters come from all walks of life - from shoppers, office workers, shop attendants, mums and dads, the elderly and the youth. So a diverse section of the community.

At 6:30 am the lights go on, the necessary supplies and settings are arranged, the voting forms hand counted, registered and laid ready. Lists checked, forms signed, chairs and tables placed, coffee and other refreshments provided. Time out moments scheduled, "Voting booth open" signs placed on sidewalks and at 7:30 open for business.

The first voters are generally office staff on their way to work or mum's and dad's after dropping children at preschool or the like.

Those of us seated at the tables are instructed in our task - we are not to influence the voter in any way or form. We take care to wear clothing that doesn't affect voting preference ( no political party colours), but that does reflect our role as voting staff officials. We greet and receive the voters with respect - ensuring our neutrality when conversations tend to involve choices to be made.

I have been part of a team of 4 for a number of elections now - and see some faces regularly appearing when there is a voting 'moment'. I also note that some faces disappear, realising that not everyone is either interested or able to come vote.

There are characters that leave the same impression all the time, there are cheery voters, disillusioned voters ( they do keep coming back though), optimistic voters, well informed voters, curious voters, first timer voters, knowledgable voters, searching voters, and ho hum- who cares voters.

As an election booth official it is my duty, along with my colleagues, to see to it that everyone and everything runs according to plan. That rules are abided by, that people feel safe and protected in their freedom to vote and that their privacy is guaranteed. So no peeking, no rushing, no influencing and certainly no judgement calls.

It is also our duty to see to it that the process is carried out according to the law of our land. That the counting process in without blemish ( no electronic voting here) and the results are passed on to the rightful authority.

A long and (what could be) stressful day - starting when the birds are awakening and ending when the rest of our world sleeps.

We are fortunate to be able to bring out our vote in a peaceful and free country. I believe that many do not realise the privilege and responsibility this holds. I may not be totally politically informed - I do know:

If I don't vote I can't complain or have my say.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Why do you blog?

"Why do you blog?" A friend and I were enjoying a leisurely coffee at a cafe. We hadn't seen each other for a while and it was time for a catch up.

"So why do you?' she continued. Before I could answer she added " I would be ever so embarrassed to let the world in on my life - you just flaunt yourself in pubic and don't seem to care what people think. Do you really believe they want to read about your impressions, ideals and experiences?"

Flaunt, embarrassed!!! I was struck dumb for a moment. Where on earth was this coming from - and where was the conversation going to?

Our, or at least her tirade went on about how privacy, freedom of speech, the written word and the dangers of Internet all had their moment of glory. She wanted me to know how concerned she was and also how negative her experiences had been reading some of the blogs written by these 'so called' experts and their views. Surely I didn't think I was contributing positively to society by being ' one of them".

Well, this was the last topic I thought we would be discussing today. I was completely caught by surprise. My brain was racing trying to discover what had brought on this waterfall of words - gunning for me it seemed and my writing efforts. I tried to make the right noises at the appropriate moments - wanting to hear more while trying to gauge where this was all coming from.

Suddenly it became clear when the item of 'topics' was aired. How did I pick my topics? " I mean", she said " you need to be pretty well informed before you can advise or even pretend to know all there is to know about something". Apparently I had written about a subject close to her heart - winter blues' and this had not been well received. Well, after all, I didn't suffer from it, and where did I get the nerve to write that with the oncoming spring - those negatively affected by the dark months - could now come out of hibernation and enjoy the sunbeams once again. ( in fact that wasn't how I had written the piece but it was how she had interpreted it).

I let it ride - no use defending myself or my writing passion. As we ordered our second coffee my friend leaned over and reached for a weekly left laying on the next table. " Oh", she said, " have you read the latest installment of Anna's Diary - wow, this woman is amazing. I love reading about her escapades".

I suppressed a grin - let's have a muffin with our coffee shall we?

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Letter of farewel to a dear friend

Our last encounter - November 2013 - Waikanae

Dear Colin

I tried to remember exactly what year we met. It was somewhere in the late 70's. Where,  I do remember -  Taradale, Napier to be exact. We had just joined the parish of St Mary's in Taradale. You and your lovely Clare we members there too.

It appeared you were a dutch - kiwi having lived in New Zealand for many a year. That created a bond.

In 1982 you and Clare were blessed with the lovely Anita. A wee daughter to brighten your day. Her golden curls and freckles brightening up any room or space she entered.  

Later Kelly arrived, a playmate for Anita and more fun and laughter for you and Clare as loving parents.

Tragedy and grief wasn't spared either of you as it became clear that Anita's body wasn't functioning as it should.

What a worrying time and sadness as her health deteriorated before your very eyes. My heart bled for you all.

I travelled to Nederland and took with me a video and photos of Anita and you all for your family. An important visit to be able to communicate what was happening in your lives. A double feeling for me. Being honoured with such an important task - and being saddened due to the contents of my message.

Privilege should have it that Easter, when we visited you only days prior to Anita's death. Having a warm and wonderful visit - not knowing how quickly her short life would come to an earthly end.

Colin, in all the years we have know each other, you stayed strong in your faith despite your grief. You and Clare raised a beautiful young woman called Kelly who now, is her mother's support and haven.

The news of your failing health and finally your death has hit me hard.

I mourn for you, for Clare and Kelly and all those whose lives you touched.

It has been a privilege and honour to have had you as my friend

Rest in Peace Colin. Thank you...... for being you.

your friend


Thursday, 12 March 2015

I haven't retired- I will return!!

Hi there trusty readers

Yes it has been a while

Shortly I will be able to pick up te reigns again after a short absence.

Not planned but unannounced - life got too busy

But you haven't been out of my thoughts

Plenty of subject matter to want to write about

Now to get my A- back into G and reschedule my days and activities

After having shifted, visited my (grand) children Down Under and trying to finish unpacking, re-organise my writing space, hanging up pictures and trying to start my plants on the terrace, I am slowly approaching that lovely bright light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Be patient, I will be back - SOON, maybe sooner than I think or at least imagine.