Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Little Meme

I found this meme on Angel's blog and being a sucker for memes........ here it is:
  • Right now, I am: parked off on my bed in my ancient old tracksuit with my dog and my lap-top, couldn't be happier!
  • I’m currently obsessed with: the thought of moving to Hillcrest at the end of next year.  Ch-ch-ch-changes….
  • Cannot live without: Lindt Mint

  • I’m reading: Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series
  • I’m listening to: the late afternoon traffic, a happy little bulbul and the sound of the sea
  • Favourite place in Joburg: Hmmmm – haven’t spent very much time in Jo’burg at all.  Can I change that to Durbs?  My current favourite place in Durban is La Lucia mall.
  • Favourite place in SA:  A toss up between:
the Drakensberg

and

Sun City

Favourite place in the world: How to pick one??  Up there in my top 5 would be:


Burley in the New Forest,

Paris,

London,

Mijas on the Costa del Sol

and Italy in general.
  • I’ve lived in: Springs (as a teeny-weeny little thing) Durban, Greytown, Himeville and the South Coast of KZN
  • Next up on my bucket list: Hopefully it will be to go to the Oktoberfest in Munich in 2017 – but that’s a long way away and who knows what could happen between now and then….
  • The last thing I crossed off my bucket list: was seeing Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in real life.
  • I realized I was an adult when: I held Roxy in my arms for the first time
  • I realized I’d never be an adult when: I laughed until I cried at Damn You Auto-correct.
  • In the movie of my life, I want to be played by: Meryl Streep!
  • Best invention since the wheel: Cell phones!
  • A house is not a home without: a decent dining-room table that just begs you to gather around it with good food, good friends and good wine
  • This week I’m crushing on: Jesse Williams a.k.a Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy!  Man that dude can get my sole surviving ovary in a twist!!
  • I’m currently working on: a packing list for my forthcoming holiday
  • I’m really proud of: the fact that I walked 20 kms in the last week.
  • You’d be amazed if I showed you my: yoh!  Ummm...  I’ve gone blank with this one! Uuuh, my deviated septum?  Wanna see it?
  • I cannot survive winter without: Gluhwein!  And a snuggly blankie.
  • Signature dish: Probably my veggie soup.
  • Guilty pleasure: Reading when I should be doing any number of other useful things.
  • When no-one’s looking: I eat more than my daily allowance of Lindt Mint J
  • In my next life I want to be: Jesse Williams’ concubine.  Just Kidding!  Sort of.  No, seriously!
  • Every morning I get up and take Jackie for wees…. And I thank my Daddy Upstairs that I have the ability to get up and take Jackie for wees and make Paula’s school lunch and read the newspaper…. and all those other silly little things that collectively form my very comfortable and pleasing existence.  Frankly I don’t always remember to thank my Daddy Upstairs, but I darn well should!
  • I believe that life really begins at 44!  It’s only now, at the ripe old age of 44, that I feel like I am living an authentic life that completely reflects who I am.
  • I’ve really got to work on the size of my thighs!
  • Best advice I was ever given:  I feel so sorry for me. I grew up surrounded by women who were very quick and eager to dish out advice.  Trouble is it was terrible advice!  And there I was a vulnerable and innocent young girl who lapped up this advice as though it was the gospel truth.  Bullshit.  I was a strong-willed, prickly young girl who thought she knew better.  Thankfully.  Otherwise I would have grown up believing stuff like “With all that lies within you, keep the peace” – that nugget came from my beloved (mis-guided) Gran.  What a lot of poppy-cock!  Personally, I firmly believe that “with all that lies within you fight for what you believe in!”  And my mother’s favourite was “Husbands are replaceable”  Yes, well she certainly went out of her way to prove the veracity of that, but it’s not quite the adage I want to base my marriage on.  Snigger.  So as far as advice goes… I take it with a pinch of salt and form my own opinion thankyouverymuch!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Introvert

One of the things I love about having a blog is being able to read through old posts, it's quite fascinating to see how some things change over time and other things stay persistently the same.  I was reading through some old posts on my blog today, and I came across this post, one of the things that persistently stays the same! 

I'm still an introvert, I still hate (hate, hate!) meeting new people, I still hate (hate, hate!) 90% of the social functions I have to attend and nine times out of ten, given the option, I would rather stay at home with my dog than venture out of the house.  Sad, but true.
There was an article about being an introvert in a magazine I was reading a couple of weeks ago and, no surprises, I ticked all of the boxes. 

It's a funny thing, when I meet new people for the first time they often mistake me for an extrovert, because I talk so much!  It's a coping mechanism, one of many behaviours I have picked up over the years to cope with my dislike of social situations. 

I used to work in a bank.  Initially I worked in the data processing department, a job that was pretty much made for a person like me - stick me in a corner with a computer and I am as happy as a pig in poop.  Then I became a clerk in the Saving and Investment department and I loved it, more of a challenge than data processing, with only the odd client to deal with.  Same with the forex department, that was great.  And then I got a promotion and was sent to work as the clerk in charge of the Enquiries counter.  Oh my soul, I nearly died!  In hindsight I can honestly say that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I cope with being an introvert SO much better now, having spent a year dealing with the public non-stop, on a daily basis.  I learnt all sorts of strategies and coping mechanisms to overcome my introverted nature and, strangely, I turned out to be really good at dealing with my clients, although I found it exhausting and emotionally draining.


Things I have learnt about being an introvert:

* If you are born an introvert you will always be an introvert, you may learn to cope with it better as time goes by, but you will remain an introvert.  It's kinda like being an alcoholic!  So you might as well learn to live with it in a positive way!

* Being an introvert is not an excuse to be rude.  You may hate having to make conversation, having to meet strangers etc etc, but you need to learn to do it anyway, to be polite. 

* Introverts find social interaction exhausting. The simple social interactions that most people take for granted require effort from introverts and that is so tiring; physically and emotionally.  As an introvert you need to recognise this and deal with it.  I can do a certain amount of socialising and then I have to have some solid, quiet, me-time.  If I try to do too much socialising in a given time I end up burning out and having a bit of a melt-down and then my family takes strain.  I factor this into my planning -  for example I never stay over with friends or family for more than one night at a time, I don't organise too many events in one week-end and I try to intersperse busy week-ends with quiet weekends etc.

* It helps to educate your family.  Grant and Rox find it hard to understand that I really don't want to go to this, that, or the other social event; and that meeting Joe Soap or Silly Susy for the first time is actually a major ordeal for me.  But over time they have learnt to understand it better, because I have explained to them exactly how I feel. 

*Compromise.  I have had to force myself to not give in to my introverted nature ALL the time.  There is a fine line between accepting the nature you were born with and allowing it to impact negatively on your family.  I try to compromise.  I force myself to do certain things that I really hate doing, because I know it's to the benefit of my family; but on the other hand I also expect them to be understanding when I really, really can't face yet another social shin-dig.

Finally, I have to say that there are positive spin-offs to being an introvert.  I think the number 1 positive to come out of being painfully introverted is that introverts are generally sensitive to other people's feelings.  Because you are so often uncomfortable, nervous, scared, awkward etc etc, you learn to recognise these feelings in other people (and animals!)  You learn to be especially caring of other people's feelings and quite frankly that makes you a nicer person than a very large percentage of the population!  So, yay for the introverts!

Random thoughts

  • Paula and I were home alone last night.... Paula and I do "restful evenings" very well.  In fact we have it down to a fine art.  I'm going to miss our "home alone" nights when she leaves the nest! 
  • Talking of which, we are planning a change of nest!  The plan is to move to Hillcrest at the end of next year.  I wish the time would come already, I hate having a big change hanging over me.  Especially when it involves the buying and selling of homes and the relocating of very many animals and the packing of a million or so boxes...
  • I feel so good on my new exercise routine.  Doing the right thing definitely makes me feel better, I wonder why I then have the natural tendency to want to do the wrong thing?!
  • I had to go to the dentist yesterday and got myself into quite a state about it.  Walking to my car on my way to the dreaded appointment (which by the way turned out to be an absolute breeze!) I realised that I had been pushing buttons on my cell phone by mistake, glanced down and the buttons I had pushed had spelt "pooooppp"  I thought that was quite apt!
  • The dentist told me I need to use Sensodyne toothpaste.  That's such an old lady kind of thing to have to do....
  • Seems like I'm fast becoming an old lady.  The guy at the check-out at Game last Wednesday asked me if I have a Senior Citizens card!!!  Can.You. Believe. It?!  My holy aunt, I must look positively ancient.
  • We're all going on a Summer holiday.  Yay!  That should hopefully make me look younger and feel more relaxed.
  • Winter has finally arrived on the East Coast of Africa and I for one couldn't be more delighted! 
  • Best I get some work done.

Dealing with grief

I just read this amazing blog post by a mom who recently lost her baby. She gives real, practical examples of what to do/say to someone wh...