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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Art of War - Surrender at Sunrise

I firmly believe in conserving energy for real eventualities so scant chance of finding me aimlessly jogging, walking or hiking, taking in scenic landscapes. Having worked really tough jobs in childcare, psych wards, trauma counselling and urban living proper, I relish the energising quietude of my darkened room and the coolness of satin sheets against my body. Despite it taking small forevers to achieve a fully restful state, nothings beats that place of dreaming and fantasising, and of course those trigger-moments at which the subconscious does its best work. And it worked very well until recently.

Somewhere between the medication, mood swings related to said medication, attempts at meditation and general life analysis at midnight hours, sleep has been giving me a head-start on some game and then promptly left me to attend to some other sheep auditing programme update! So at some point in the a.m. I surrendered, admitting that my evening from all-light-to-cave-night rituals were rendered ineffective through ... well ... mating and playing-hard-to-get cats, howling at the moon and their unfed state dogs, competitor insomniac drag car racers and the general unravelling of an overachieving, but resignedly tired mind. Promptly at 3am I woke to the sound of my beating heart and the need to remember the dream. My bladder has of late outsourced its alarm function to the Tarantino nightmare folder of horrors and thrillers, many of them scarily recurring, which rouses me at a tremendous pace, searching all the sounds for footsteps, alarms, door-bells, phones, snoring, fridge motors, the list is endless. Mostly though, I just need a quick trip and if I'm really quick can fall back to sleep almost immediately. OK, this is mostly during the vodka and shooter comatose campaign, but doable all the same.

Generally though, that jolt is the trigger for a much-delayed sunrise. So I have time. A time to pray and love and miss the many people who have crossed my path. For loves shared and lost, for lives touched and for memories no canvas could capture. I sometimes marvel at the technology our minds have to protect us and that space where you can no longer remember anything, not even a person whom you have loved your whole life.


Sometimes the forced wakefulness is  like the mother who has tired of speaking to you whilst you offered half an ear, and whose voice is now loud enough to silence any resistance or counter-terrorism or sabotage. It blasts all the regrets and recriminations and To Do lists, and Elimination lists with cymbals. And the Darkness, supposed to protect me,  instead offers no way out, taunting me from all over, reminding me that unless things were swiftly dealt with, they would come back, louder and more forceful than before. That suffices for me to make mental and other notes about what and who really matters, and to face my developmental demons and to cease interrupting myself and to debate with a view to reaching some kind of draft conclusion no matter how pedestrian (as opposed to the existential problem-formulation exercise I've embarked on years ago, so engrossed, I failed to realise the sands have run out of the hour glass and the session is in fact over)

Just before sunrise I am courageous enough to surrender, having fought the internal and external enemy, prepared for normal heartbeat, and to cover my battle scars in well-to-do foundation and double volume mascara. And no-one needs to know. In fact, most often I struggle to remember what the fight was about in the first place. But I know that it waits for me at twilight ... and through each victory I will come closer to wholeness and depth.

So 'Good Night' is just the war cry ... Game On!

Monday, 5 September 2011

GET COMMITTED (TO AN ASYLUM)

My stalker did not materialise. So no closure on that score. He must've hitched a lift to his planet of origin. I am free to loiter on my own corner waiting for my own taxi which I will pay for with my own money.

The weekend was delightful. Lots of rest, punctuated only by midnight panic attacks mostly related to unfiled documents, undumped wannabe faithful boyfriends, tax returns and the return of the crazy, uncommitted (as opposed to non-commital) Hugo. He hovers around wafting of illegal crumpets or pancakes: sweet, syrupy, saccharine poison that fills my everything with absolutely nothing. Not completely convinced of the logic therein, but in my defence, most people get away with being just a little under the sanity radar with books of feel-good therapies that are enriching and lining some pockets and fixing nothing in particular. Red wine, and re-runs of old movies complete the scene. I am now au fait with the soundtracks, scripts and credits of all of them ... Who wants to be a millionaire? I could answer most questions about even the gaffers and the stunt doubles ...

Anyhoo, about Hugo ...
I want him to sign his own commitment sheet, to put on his own back-to-front pyjamas and take his own meds and sit quietly in self-imposed solitary confinement. No resistance. Just an acknowledgement of his unbridled craziness. He cannot be allowed to pretend to be OK, with that sweet smile and those cute words (the easier SMS's he does respond to) and the absent words (all the hard texts that require direct, honest, mature answers which never materialise). He has no airtime / signal? So what are those antennae for? No-one can be such a blue-eyed something of the selective everything gods. He selectively accesses reality and then waxes - all over in fact, but - lyrical about how he needs time to "fix himself up". My God, TIME is not the issue! It's all the other chemical, psychiatric and power-tool resources that we need to call upon. And of all the other roadworthy alter-egos he could chose, he clicks on Victim!!!???  Auto-programmed and dysfunctional, and believes in the way of the criminally uncommitted, that things are fine between us, and that upon fixing of self (other personalities nothwithstanding) things will go back to how they are supposed to be. Now that RED FLARE that so closely matches my pashmina, is my warning sign right there. How are things supposed to be when the foundation is pure unadulterated LIES and we are going to build on it? There's an intensely painful physical picture for me: me, blindfolded in crimson pashmina and whip jumping landmine-style over the cracks.  I'm thinking it's TIME for ME to keep it real for ME. There is always the danger for contracting some of these altered state bugs, and soon I'll be down with a nasty case of the NUTS and ROSES, and believe me, it sounds way better than it is.

This morning however, I was ready to take my power back, telling my alarm clock promptly that I would NOT be beckoned and managed by something so miniscule as to be absent on my bedside table. What with all the novels and the tabbed and colour-coded To Do Lists from the 1990's. The nerve or battery or whatever ...
So I swopped my oats for some marshmallows and winked at the Chardonnay displaying exasperatingly powerful come-hither behaviour as I found the milk carton, and quit playing  peekaboo with my Intray.

And as I started doing something to ease the pain somewhere, the day became lighter. The universe afforded me numerous opportunities to assertively yet lovingly send certain forces to the runway. I will be here when they return, but none of it is automatic or even mandatory. And upon their return, they should be ready and trained to deal with someone a little different.  I can no longer be the ATM, dispensary, shoulder, pillar, wheel-barrow, punching bag or dart-board. I cannot be Every Idiot's Fan Club and rescuer of Post-Traumatic Anything. I have my own stuff, and I can be strong when I've taken care of 'my things' (ironically one of Hugo' favourite references to me!!??) The metallic aftertaste of that irony! And as for the recurrence of unresolved issues, I have a karmic mission to complete. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER HUGO, PIERRE, TREY, PETER, JOHN DOE in another shape or form. Whether he has a butler or can be one, whether he can mix cocktails, sew buttons or harvest healthy crops of  mange tout, he must immediately to another be assigned. I will it so.

I declare the rest of 2011 stress- and stalker-free. By order!

And if signing on the dotted line is misread as earthspeak Morse code for the inter-planetary social network, to each his own. May they find their own (milky) way with strong teeth and all manner of Bones ...

There are many rivers to cross ... and I'm feeling very Cleopatra in a memorable sunset chardonnay on a gondola ... Cheers!

Friday, 2 September 2011

ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE FOR THE STALKED

Onwards my journey to wholeness. Another instalment of the crazy and bored gods at my expense. Problem is it's now a daily occurrence and Bridge over Troubled Waters comes to mind.

Twice this past week I was waiting for a taxi. Whilst I submit to attracting the faulty and the foolish with loads of grace most days, PMS and ruminations of my still fresh seperation from Hugo had me in a pensive-bordering-on-perpetually-pissed-off mood. Thus I was not in the mood when a very scary, bird-like man came to stand alongside me after doing a thorough top to toe scan of my person. First he asked me where the taxi was going, but everything else pointed to the fact that he knew the area. I was also not buying the BS about 30+ boys with a built-in GPS for strip clubs and pubs, NOT knowing where they're going. Accepting too, that asking for directions is not part of their uber-man DNA, he has his whole life to figure it out. BUT, and there's always a but ... I was raised to at least be polite so I told him and turned my back, praying that he had passed the module which confirms non-verbal cues as the strongest indicator. But ALAS - in Wonderland - It comes back asking whether I worked in town. At this point I just ignored him and kept my back turned. 128 seconds later he pipes up claiming that he will pay my fare, to which I gave him an incredulous "Why?" and a part of my stomache ignited the bile and the concise but roadworthy F-word dictionary that I saved for Monday mornings, irritating colleagues and an all of my PMS calendar.

As I turned to tell him where he could shove his kindness (big neighing Gift Horse very close to my Gratitude Journal standing over the flush bowl), the taxi came, and as he held the door for me I realised in an instant that I could not get in. I could not do it. That I would have to diss the universe sending me this gift. That I would be late for my meeting, and through a power I now possess as casualty in Frivolous Hospitality Gods experiment, that he was a griller at Wimpy. From the deep fryer into the gas, it had to end.
Insult to injury, I attend a team building session later that day where we watched a Dewitt Jones clip called For the Love of it, about how feel-good comes from paying the toll fare for the vehicle behind you!!!!! Here someone was trying to do that for me and all I thought of was a tollgate on the Bridge over Troubled water and kidnap and human trafficking not through reputable travel agencies.

A day passed and there we were again. This time I was ready, feeling better about Hugo being further away in the distance - like that bridge, Sooooooooo over him. I was also enjoying Spring Day, feeling sprightly and knowing that sometime during this romantic drought I'd get to do it on the petals, champagne corks being the only real obstacle to floral ecstasy.

He looked a tad unsure of himself as we stood looking across the street. Well, I had been staring into the distance anyway, doing a mental Thanksgiving, when I was interrupted by the voice of It: 'So are you going to work?' and I couldn't help but marvel at the fine line between brave and crazy perfectly depicted by men forgetting that hormonal imbalance and homicide have a history richly documented, and some bodies have not been found because we deemed it so, and not for any other spiritual or medical reasons.
Each one has a season and as I looked at him I thought: Your Spring has come, dude, it is the Spring of your life and you don't even know it.

But I held my thoughts to myself and stared at him quizzically, until he dropped his gaze. And I stared at him still, trying to sense the roots of his incredible ability to irritate, harass and grate. No-one could be that calm, careless or crazy that early in the morning. He looked up again for another line and found me still staring at him. He longed for a taxi, a getaway car, anything. I could tell. Eventually his chariot came and took him off into the sunrise.

But ...
I know it is not over. Our paths  and pavements shall cross and I will get to the bottom of it.  It does boggle the mind. Most of the men I want to see are out seeing other people, spaced out or wanting space. And in true damage control mode, the universe sends me a replacement. A stalker stopper, an interim irritation with a penchant for forced interviews with strangers. When next I hear of billions being ploughed into intergalactic research and life on other planets, I am submitting my request.

This one needs to go home now. Beamed up or beaten up, he will have to go.


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

SCHINDLER GOD - The Lift Speaks

I recently attended a session with a most prolific Motivational Speaker who recommended that to deal with the cosmic tension in lifts, to thank everyone for attending the meeting.
Thinking about how the workers in my building could neither greet others nor their reflections in our very ergonomically out there lifts, hilarity prevailed.

Today, I was ready to call that meeting. Ice Breaker-ready, in fact. I had all the pick-up lines and the pick-me-up quotes to start a small revolution in a very confined space. Our tight group of about 8, all wearing purple and black - not Random, instead cosmically ordered - were a tad more upbeat than the normal crew, predicting weather with layman's palette: cold, hot, windy, uncertain, bearing germs and subtly holding onto the uncomfortable communion that preceded a hesitant disembarkation onto a silent floor with a barking In Tray.

But my rise to Motivational Speaking Glory in a Schindler Creation was shortlived by a very eerie pre-recorded message declaring: "Do not be alarmed; Help is on the way!" It repeated the consolation enough times for us to determine that this was the standard debriefing for elevator malfunction and the concomitant panic that accompanied being stuck for an undetermined period in a cubicle with 4 x 4 full-length, amply illuminated mirrors and companions not of your choosing.

OR ...

It could be that message in a capsule that we all need all day long, with every question and every breath. That God is there, ready to help, fixing things in ways beyond our reason. Reminding me that whilst I had spent a significant amount of my meagre education on problem formulation and consolidation of alternatives (one progressively worse than the former), HE has ALL THE ANSWERS, planet and species solutioning on a meta-everything level that years after, with a rather pathetic post-traumatic optical dependency called hindsight, we are still thanking Him for the things He gave and the things He didn't and the Serenity to know the difference.

Moral of the story: listening to voices is not as cracked up as it's made out to be. May it be the Right One ...

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

I JUST GOT SERVED

There are a couple of reasons why I believe in the law of attraction.
a. I have a visceral reaction to pink Motel signs
b. Most of the food I've ever tasted, licked, read about or eaten are all 
    around me in a very permanent relationship
c. The gods and angels need mortals to prank and miracle practise on (I
    am a channel of their peace and instrument of their trials)

So when I asked the universe to send me a multi-everything  butler named Miguel, there was all of a 12-month delivery period, punctuated with many other men in the hospitality industry thrusted into my life. I didn't figure it all out until I thought about HUGO BOI, the latest instalment in the fast metabolism, smooth talking, too-gorgeous-to-be single Rastafari restaurant manager who really whet my appetite. Well for certain things, and regrettably, for not a very long time. I must admit though, of all the cocktail mixing, cutlery from the outside in group, he was the best. And as I am editing my cancellation request to the universal post-office, in many ways perhaps the worst. Everything about him, apart from his very lean and almost bony butt, was homely. With him I wanted to share everything because he spoke about his mother and sister so much (one would think that strong women would influence his faulty mind, but alas, they worship him just a little more than I do) He ate all the time, loved music and the mirror ... I never imagined observing vanity being great for self-esteem, but try hanging out with a man who considers himself a perfect specimen of the Almighty, who hogs the mirror and smiles at himself with so much pleasure I suspected for a short while my foyer was haunted and that he was communicating with some unseen beings.  

But I digress or regress or whatever ...

Then there was Peter who followed me, wine in paper cup, deeming me the most beautiful woman he had ever seen (He's like 45; has he lived in a cave for the past 44 and half, and how are his eyes reacting to light?) and immediately saw me on his CV. Fortunately I was able to talk him down from the ledge in the restaurant where I was sitting and upon further investigation, discovered that he was recently seperated from his wife (I suspected they would reunite again in their drive-way later that evening) and owned a chain of fast food franchises. Hospitality or hospitalise me!!?? All I wanted was a butler of African descent from the agency, not the mob!

Tony, 58 yr old refugee, another 5-course dilemma all on his own. Loves and stakes out all the restaurants I frequent, and knows the menus of most by heart and price range. He loves food and polishes plates. Literally. Mister Muscle of the Platter. He insists that it has everything to do with his impoverished war-torn childhood,  where often they grated two or three veggies to make a broth for the entire family. And whilst I celebrate his coming out, I cannot help but picture a Macbeth scene with witches and cauldrons and soup regrettably not palatable for the average detox regimen.

Of late, I have 20 year old waiters lingering over the more than 40% tip with promises of clearing my table, my way and temporarily my mind in the most imaginative and delicious ways. 

IT ALL ENDS HERE. I am sending Miguel to Finishing School and thence to my friend Mabel. I feel like I've waited for him my whole career, and now that he's here, there are replicas or at least of similar qualification, with added weirdness, all around. I SURRENDER! Henceforth I will eat simply. Dishes will auto-clean or be recycled. I shall fetch my own mail and do my own shopping from a list not telepathically forwarded to over-efficient, gifted and gorgeous person, but written by my own hand or stored on my own phone, dammit. OK, once own phone is retrieved. I shall queue in all manner of spots by myself and look happier for it. I shall with immediate effect online-everything else as I learn to know all the rooms in my home and master the art of laundry, ironing and sorting by texture, colour or event!
I will live with the silence and pouring my own welcome home drink and pouring out my heart to my very self-absorbed therapist who is decidedly anal about the upholstery on his couch. From Freud to friggin madness if you ask me nicely! Anyhoo, dealing with the matter at hand, henceforth, Accounts payable will be an action and not a filing tab.

I can be that bulb-changing, landscaping, catering and hosting so-and-so with great prospects. 'I have nothing if I don't have you' sings another diva, but I am writing a new song from one of my personal greats: I'm gonna make a change for once in my life ... I will omit the Man in the Mirror chorus which drags me back forcefully and lovingly to Hugo ...

Oh Dears, wish me well. I will have to stand on my own two feet in shoes I've bought and drunkenly retrieved from under the chaise myself, myself.

How treacherous this life!

But I see no way around breaking the food guy spell of really crazy runners, (head) waiters, baristers,  and restaurant managers, owners and Quality Assurers in the dairy section ... who have come in search of 'love' (moist and manic mostly I suspect) and who have driven me round the bend and up the pole...

In the words of my wise, first-time-round divorce lawyer: "be careful what you wish for; you might just get it." And thinking about You Go (Hugo's) vintage Bob Marley collection, it's worth the consideration!

MOMENTARY SUSPENSION - WOMEN IN GREATNESS

It has been a while since I shared a few thoughts. And as my lamps constantly remind me, there is under the spatterings of normality and the layers of post-travel dust, at least some rhyme and reason to this journey. It was also blissfully wholesome to NOT be self-absorbed and distracted, and I must admit Women's month was the perfect antidote to my business as usual diva-esque behaviour.


Being asked to present to some phenomenal women a few weeks ago, it was really powerful and insightful to find that I was more energised and inspired by women who had been through so much - REALLY!!!! Here I was with my deranged-on-account-of-stylist-being-out-of town and howling at the moon because the prayers and fasting week didn't produce much results largely (no pun intended) due to the fact that I was praying so hard for the fast to be over and that restitution came in large bouts of euphoria and even larger bowls of pasta. Here were women who survived violence. Not of the last day of the 75% less sale, but at the hands of the men they loved and despite the odds walk with dignity, spreading the word of courage and encouragement. Young women who have had to make real life-altering decisions, whether to raise their own children or to give them up. Women living positively, fearlessly and with no hangups.

I hung up my suspenders and for a mini-break suspended my issues, revelling in the true power of what it means to be a woman and to be the change I want to see and feel in the world. It was great to trade the I and ME for the US and WE, and to feel the tension of healthy compromise and value creation.
I had been ill for so long that my organs were not even making an effort. My mind needed to meet me half-way. Between the antibiotics and the antipasti I found a quiet place where my faith and love was restored.

We do have the power to change the world, one small 'Thank-you' and 'I Love You' at a time. Appreciate all you have and praise God for all the great women in your life!
I do!

Monday, 20 June 2011

A LAMP CALLED REVENGE

There comes a time in every woman's life when she instinctively, and against a strong research base, KNOWS that there painkillers in the world that parade as other forms: Designer heels, cashmere, unscrupulous divorce lawyers, bonzai, jewellery, the list is endless ...
Mine came as a  magic lamp. Well, two in fact. Red, mosaic, hand-crafted, arty and rich, creating an ambience of mystery and romance. By all accounts Bitter Irony as the romance kinda ended when I realised that sadly, Pierre is one of the The Others.


Playing the field with reckless abandon with whomever happened to be crossing the field at that time. And so one may wonder how he got to be soooooooooo talented and soooooooooooooo charming and so one-of-the-girls in a very masculine way. And the answer to that, such as with many other things in life is: Dedication and Practice! He has been around the block. In fact,  I suspect he owns the block. He's certainly been in every unit on every kitchen counter in every position. Making the naked chef look like an amateur.


I am not trying to reconcile his ability to make me feel like the only woman in his life whilst trying to make my budget balance. I am happier instead to christen my magic lanterns - Rhyme and Reason - and to rationalise their existence every time I think of the cost. Opportunity cost - I mean they really make divorce look Runway Hot or is it a sunken cost as I recall the times I had to go down to hitherto unexplored depths ... or is it simply an investment in ME? That thought immediately catapults me into crazy, euphoric antihistamine bliss. I feel light. I am light and the congestion is all gone.


So I've never been too big on social network sites and could do without the constant logging in, anticipating that someone, somewhere has reached out to me .... but I thank all the e-Gods that made me log into Facebook on Saturday morning to access Pierre and in scrolling down, whilst matching bedcovers to bed runners (irony was beyond me at that time) and then in an instant it felt as if everything was happening in slow motion. I read and re-read the In a Relationship with ... part and tried with as much pre-menstrual restraint and logic as I could muster to  not scream or laugh or curse whilst brides-to-be were eagerly finalising their registries! I double-checked the details in case I dispatched the assassins to the wrong address, and then calmly replaced the bed runner where I had found it. With pure cougar wisdom, I realised that without jumping (or pumping) any guns it would also help that I not be the one to lay Pierre gently down onto a bed or a slab into the near future. For that we have trained medical personnel and formaldehyde ...


But I also realised in that moment that of all the options to action (maim, kill, deceive, suffocate, beg, restrain and interview) all I really wanted to do was walk away. I just felt that if anyone was going to be a cheat and a liar, it could by rights be anyone but Pierre. Everyone was allowed at least one transgression in my book, but he was precluded. I wanted him to be the friend, companion, lover, wardrobe coordinator, domestic so-and-so toolbelt bearing demi-god and not one of Them. And I allowed myself for the briefest of minutes as I waited for the electronic queue manager to direct me to 'Teller 4 to the right' to feel really stupid and girlish and violated and badly in need of truth. And therein was the suspense because as he uhmm'd and oh well'd I saw my resurrection and restitution in the old sage: pure, unadulterated retail therapy. I felt that tingle as my extension was massaged ...swiping never felt that good. I languidly stroked the pin-pad as I surrendered my password and in a moment whilst those rubber numbers opened up under my nails that I was cheating. That I was open to any number of possibilities. And at short notice I tell you. I did not want to go out and drink cocktails I could not pronounce from glasses that reminded me of small intimate island getaways. I did not want to call an urgent and desperate caucus with the girls to share horror boy stories of the Wrong Turn and Hostel variation. I wanted to wonder anonymously from one designer location to another, gently rubbing, prodding and eventually offering up my pin as my trolley filled up and Miguel needed to be on stand-by to carry off all my Phoenix (watch the dog burn) purchases.


I sent him a congratulatory SMS which I admit was a tad Disney, but I needed to let him know that I know and stood with the Persian rug salesman holding my hand as I listened to Pierre telling me that yes, indeed she is hot, but when will I be able to see him!!!!!!?????? In a blind rage or through all this red I wondered!!!????? Or through a sniper rifle?? Just checking....


Anyhoo, I have to go. The delivery guy has just called ...


Life Lesson: Love and Live Fabulously. Don't take it personally and don't expect people to do what you want or need them to do. Everyone is merely doing their level best. Whether or not I am ready to be one of Pierre's friends or just someone to hang around out with (get thee hence image of executor) I cannot say. All I know is that there is no rhyme nor reason to much about love, but it is greater than all of us, and that it was here before we arrived and exists beyond the grave ... so let's not sweat the small things!


And through this revelation, I have walked from the darkness of deception into the most marvellous red light(s) ...

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

EXTREME MAKE-OVER

So I've added to my EasyAccess-Feel-Good list the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition series. It is one of the few programmes that I can watch for hours, re-runs and all and still feel completely inspired and at home, no pun intended. And Pierre would often find me sobbing uncontrollably, consolation beyond even the Haagen Daz as I feel the love and support of strangers reaching out to the destitute. Strangers in blue overalls I tell you! With picks, axes, spades and power-tools not intent on violence or destruction. Only in that moment does wallpaper, ceramics and Italian sanitaryware really look great inside a cardboard box! And last month when I stood in front of the mirror and realised that my detox had in fact Not gone as well as I would've liked or that a reduction in more ample parts was still under construction, only they could help me say: Bus Driver, move that bus!

I think of all the things that need renovation in my life, and whilst I've been told more than once, in varying tone and states of undress, that my staircase does not need human intervention, I cannot but be inspired. A change is as good as a holiday, but Pierre advises that the fare in the local psych high care facility was not much to write home about, even if it is a brand new home with a spiral staircase that costs enough to feed the extended families the building crew for at least a year!

And whilst I haven't managed to convince him of many things, I have found a new vocabulary of opportunity. So Under Construction remains roadworthy for all manner of issues related to To Do or Die lists, Wellness Plans and approach to creepy stakeholders and literature reviews. Everything needs a Project Plan and for hectic weekends, Floor Plans. PMS hormonal ebb and tide has strategically and within budget, been reframed to highlight Scope, range and Customisation of Product



Dramatic outbursts contrasted with smooth, delectable ice-cream may now on a solid foundation, co-exist for the betterment of the community and love and perseverence will never look the same again.

It inspires me to know that all is not lost, and that from nothing comes something so infinitely large and solid. The direct link to small high caloric portions resulting in the same is not lost upon me. In fact, loss related to scales remain Under Construction for imminent future. And  I could go on and on about bony, skinny nymphs cleaning up the buffet at the office party and still looking good to go in 20 knots of island wind, but the scales of justice I've decided are Under Construction too!

Anyhoo, I have to carry on and spring clean and renovate, and instal more vents to let the good stuff in and the toxic stuff out. My neighbours have wind-chimes and that sound helps me to coordinate my wardrobe without even getting up.  I have a mantle-piece to remind me that Santa has never counted points, eaten for his blood type or briskly walked the reindeer and still fits through the chimney! Ever year since before self-help! What a gift!

So every time I come into the bedroom and consider my ample everything, smooth wooden floors, firm and functional headboard, pack-horse pedestals and tool-belt bearing Pierre, all I can say is Oh My G---!

Friday, 6 May 2011

MORE WITH LESS

Culture and society dictates at that a certain point, age, stage, size or level one should be acting in a certain way.
At my age, I should be more serious and have many things bedded down in my life (sexy, talented others inadmissable from Maturity List of course). Status should be on the up and up, and not necessarily "Deliriously Happy"on Facebook or UVFO (Unidentified Very F-ble Object) discovered under coffee table after Ladies Night.
Being of sound and desperate breeding and socialisation, I actually managed to tick off quite a few items on the All Grown Up list and then felt incredibly tired. It was always getting and doing more (instead of being more). There was always another peg on another pole and something more desirable and fashionistic which was an absolute Have to Have. But flushworthy that train of thought as I am reminded by the small, but powerful moments that Less is indeed More.
For instance, all the people stuff I've studied and wrestled with for most of my adult life are nothing in the face of Pierre teaching me Logic and unhormonal reason when I am completely Diva-esque. When my assumptions are neutralised and when a smile, nod or frown undoes my complete-but-faulty thesis on What Men Really Want when the Final is on. Choosing, deliberating and begging the gods of Illusion for an outfit from a heap of possibilities effortlessly negated by a simple: Why are we dressing for bed anyway? So there are letters that define an entire wardrobe and couture is instantly minimalistic without losing the heat. T- and G- strings are but mere samples of the new and improved au naturelle range.
Doing more physical activity means less time to fight with fridge and scale and eating is so last season when you're nibbling and scratching the surfaces of other more meaningful things.
Less stress too as Pierre knows within moments what he wants to do, how badly, how many times and with how little post-performance analysis. Sport, food, cars, his mom, his friends, me, me, me  - a simple enough equation. And as soon as I need to "pick his brain" and "sound things off" I see the donut glaze and the boy-meets-Others shutters come down so I also spend a few more moments on the JOY in the moment, and less on the history and the foreboding of the headlights / tunnel lights or whatever reality light fixtures are available.

Which reminds me: I need to retrieve one of my short-but-sweet clothing items from the chandelier. Oops ...

Friday, 29 April 2011

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

So I may declare that it is indeed true. Just when you submit and get closure and with fake bravery throw in that white thousand threadcount something, someone high up in the universe is having a good day and chucks you a favour. And in true the-gods-must-be-crazy fashion, it's not as random or far-fetched or poor administration related either. It is spot on and in the 'more than I could ever have imagined' cliche filing pile.

Like meeting Pierre the other day. I mean I'd met him a few times and he was always helpful and kind with a killer smile. I mean of the slow death, starting with the weakening of the knees and moistening of other parts variety. Extremely polite and suave, with something courageous and gentle and intelligent and determined and owning-me-without-buying-me Gorgeous. Anyhoo, back to the point. And allow me to say that even as I am reconfiguring my thoughts, I am not ignorant to the chick flick Thurday appeal of this here testimony. But true to the gods I will speak it as I see it and feel it and feel it and ... until the sun comes up.

So with my history of sordid relationships with a Trey bearing all manner of poison and an unburied hatchet between Magnet and Goalie, I was well past my rehabilitation phase as regards matters of the heart and other things that weigh upon one's well-being. But Pierre moves from a different frame of reference and is oblivious to most of the elements that freak me out and cause me to desperately over-analyse lots of things. He is confident and strong enough to be honest and blunt and unself-conscious and just plain REAL about loads of things that guys his age and planet are still battling with. He speaks with wisdom and insight and sensitvity without plakking it on too thick or trying to impress. (The impressions made on my spine and window-seat notwithstanding). No talk about happily ever after and respecting anyone in the morning and none of the hero-worshipping that invariably turns out to be Phase I of the hit-and-run power plays many of the same are accustomed to. He has learnt fast and hard that it is all about ME, ME, ME (quick tutorial from gardener helped immeasurably), but he lives it rather than says it. He makes me laugh and sing ... OPERA ...in the kitchen nogal ... and doesn't talk about my battle (ageing) scars and accepts that the lights are often off cos Eskom can be a killer with their mis-billing and not for any other reason. And when the lights are on, it's all good too.

So here's to the gods who proved that my wiring is faulty, that a Trey can be replaced, and that I can carry around my own joy and that champagne and Colgate do go together. That there is a man more endowed in so many ways, that listens to my mother's favourite song which was a hit in the 1950's (deafening Radio 2000 orchestra and all) and still sincerely calls it spiritful despite being obsessed with the likes of Beyonce, Ciara and Shakira. Who says that I bring joy to his world (I do accept that what people say about me has nothing to do with me, but the gods said I may take this one) and who has a voice I could wake up to every day. Note to self is that what we ask for is given, sometimes not in the exact packaging we specified, but sometimes infinitely better, bigger, stronger with the power to move us in unimaginable ways and angles. And the love we send out comes back but at times not from the person whom we've plied it onto cos they have so many cosmic items to tick off as well, and truth be told, we are all just doing the best we can. It's really not personal.

And while nothing human lasts forever, let's celebrate our personhood by sharing love and peace and chocolate cake.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

TITANIC: A relation- SHIP gone down

Despite being single for nearly 3 years, there are always moments that kind of remind me of a place that I've been - either physically or emotionally. Most often it is with relief and the assurance that I've been blessed and saved from parasitic, energy vampire-type strangulation or more importantly from myself.

Truth be told vile ex, Trey, will be most offended to hear that I am not counting the on-again-off-again 9 months we spent never-quite-together because according to him he Loved and Missed me like Crazy (very telling descriptor in the final analysis), but his actions never matched his words. I was the "Wife of his dreams" (if only I was 20 years younger), kind, a great cook, understanding to the point that I could straighten his thoughts!!!??? It drips and bleeds of irony, but that was just the gods sending me to my room on a cosmic time-out hoping I'd figure it out myself some way, some day, two floors up from anywhere.

So I challenge the maxim around Time Healing All Wounds: does this mean just hanging around long enough makes the pain go away OR is it pretty hard work straightening our mind, body and soul in the time allotted to us??? And so with all my curiosity about forensics and his pathological psycho-emotional demonstrations (bi-polar dependent largely on how his team was faring on any given day) I had to one day pull out my big-girl tool-box and find something to help me bury the hatchet and stash the Trey. The saw, pick and chain-saw looked so tempting when I thought of all the little lies, the lack of attention to detail (I mean even my gardener knows that it's all about ME, ME, ME!), the uncollected gifts and the uneaten treats, the thighs a few sizes smaller than mine, the ignored late nite calls from "stalkers", the defensiveness rooted in desperately poor self-esteem parading as a cool guy, the selective memory, desperate investigative telephone calls that maked autism look like ADHD - slow and painful and no-go. Lots of words and dreams and no depth ... but I'd promised to let it go. 

So after all the Dr. Phil re-runs and re-reads of everything from the psychic to the psychotic, my redemption came from the most unexpected source: Westlife and Brian McKnight waxing lyrical about letting people go whose hearts weren't in it and enjoying one last cry before leaving it all behind. Just like that. Sweet serenity as I replaced the spade and axe, I felt a surreal transcendence. Very un-Goal-like I weighed nothing and floated above the disappointment and failure and complexity that my gut could no longer handle. 
Add to that 2 of the most powerful books I've read lately: The Four Agreements and The Mastery of love (both by Don Miguel Ruiz) and it is as close to human mind freedom as I'll ever get. Interesting philosophy: human behaviour has 2 broad sources: Love and Fear. Actions from love make us stronger, more confident, all the good stuff. Fear does the opposite. So it was less scarific, in fact, exhilirating to find me sending him love and blessings for a great future and of course sincere prayers that he will one day be just a little more action-orientated if only to get his head out of his athletic, fantasy-inducing end and see the Light. Heck, I have a bathroom scale with more verve and determination.

But as my homeo reminded me very crisply last week: So let's agree that this is over and remove the obstacle that is blocking your happiness. Just like that I had my designer booster: Westlife + Brian + Homeo + Don Miguel. Add to that immeasurable portions of common sense, faith and love, and I am set.

Sometimes it's great just to stop and smell the roses that are so close to where you buried the ... bast ... oops, past!

Monday, 4 April 2011

MY LIFE AS THE OTHER WOMAN

So I am back from Cape Town and a glorious visit with family and friends. It is also the morning after the last day of unfocused plodding along (To Do list had since been used as embossed paper towel in leaky fridge from daily power outage). But not unlike my physique I have a notable Back-up plan and have it saved somewhere, to be retrieved at the designated hour.
Caught between my Goal (digital bathroom scale who spent the weekend backed-up against the grass trimmer in the garage so as to not cramp my style) and Magnet (double-door-Vegas-mirrored fridge). It is a love triangle that could make them Triad assassins look  like long-time-no-see-and-dearly-missed relatives. Moving from one room to the other I am vehemently accused of being the other woman. 'Losbandig' as the Afrikaans saying goes, but I cannot even wear a belt at this stage so there goes the 'loose belt' idea. Every morning I look down and face my Goal- affectionately called Goalee when I am feeling particularly big-hearted and big everything and often too many stomachs between me and his number-crunching - I am wracked with guilt as his increasing numbers are a positive correlation to a loss in the Fridge department and of course I have to account for my actions. What he doesn't quite get is the stability and constant hum of my fridge, Magnet, who is my reminder that all is still well and that he has much to offer and that the power is still on without having to fall out of bed over books, laptop and empty bottles. Magnet is also my meditation space for its contents remind me that I am blessed in so many ways. My only way out is to argue that the link is not direct - that less fridge is not more scale, and it's only a matter of time till Pantry gets called in for questioning.

Why am I even entertaining these accusations? Because my Goal reminds me that it can be done and forces me - red flashing numbers like a 66 FONT performance feedback email and voice from unaired Buck Rogers episodes notwithstanding - to revisit pictures of my classic self.

I'll never be the stuff of fantasies and I have Gym, a KFC Barrel and tub of Haagen Daz on my Bucket List. No-one's gonna want to follow my 1st gear diet regime, but hopefully I would lay down one day having touched the lives of a few people in a positive way. I've certainly made great friends over the years and have family who love and cherish me, and some who are the stuff of Tarantino movies, but there is still love.

So until I figure it all out, I am that OTHER WOMAN to the two very jealous men in my life - Scaly Goal and Magnetic Fridge!

Friday, 1 April 2011

ECONOMIES OF SCALE (the emotional cost of deprivation)

So it pains me that most of the most read posts are about trauma related to dieting. Weight loss wars and deprivation oaths, mantras and motives bordering tightly on the insane. Calories and Carbs: Criminal Intent.
My scale aptly named Goal by the soccer-addicted vile ex, has of late been throwing his weight around (no pun intended) spewing out numbers lilke a census dry run. It tries without an ounce of luck to motivate me to go to the place of my youth, and I am reminded that some places are better left in the past. I acknowledge that there is a fine line (milligrams) between love and hate and I have to ask: Do I really need to??? Give up the good stuff, the rich, creamy, delicious reminders of a childhood with custard, ice cream and veggies mashed with  nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and butter.
"I am not prepared to be a LO -OO- SS -- ERRRR!" I screech at the stupid instrument of torture who is lower on my techno-foodchain for not being battery-operated. This fact has always filled me with trepidation as I've often wondered how a scale can be so emotionally stable. I mean a decimal point on its otherwise blank face can mean the difference between a good day and a sordid life, between tight leather leggings and the PMS Marquee-esque floral top that covers all sins. But NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, no remorse, no GPS-type recalculating, recalculating. It is what it is, and whilst I bravely confront it, hands on ample everything, it does force me take stock (mostly reducing cargo) every morning.

"I am not prepared to become a Statistic" was my December mince-pie-and-trifle mantra, and I did well until I hit the first party and everyone, boys included, were on about how we would get it right in January! Talk about living in the moment. Some begrudgingly dished a second spoon of dessert and the ones that were kinda all-or-none languished as all the visuals surely came with a security warning in invisible ink of course. I accept that many things only materialise in consciousness IN HINDSIGHT when we are ready to access the lesson. Unfortunately, in metabolic terms that's about the time I've gained 30kg, put up with too much nonsense, probably dabbled in a very unsavoury relationship, made a very slow turn at death's door, being sent from the pearly gates with 1 unticked box, and with a be-HIND-that was a SIGHT for sore eyes.
Hence the love-hate power struggle Goal and I have been engaged in since the day the vile ex brought him home, wrapped and bowed not unlike a special gift. BUT since vile ex didn't believe in gift buying or sharing anything in broad terms, it was more paranoia than pride as I unwrapped the "something special that will remind you of your passion, drive and determination". And so I often have recurring thoughts of strangling said vile ex (let' call him Trey) with that red bow and driving him most determinedly and with passion into the sea. Oops, this is Jozi, no such romance this side.

Then again, Goal is not a nag. In fact, for most of the day he doesn't say anything, and I can't read his expression from a few feet away. But as soon as I touch him with my little toe and I hear the venom and revenge gears being ground, I can see him scrolling for the "Worst Number" sequence and in no time at all I am beside myself. Ja, OK, looks and feels as if there are two of us, but whose side are you on anyway?

I have 4 days left before I get the verdict of the state of my health, and no prizes for guessing who's Not have Easter eggs and who's Definitely Not taking up any Easter Egg Hunt offers. The last time I played on the health retreat I ended up with Wheatgrass, Multivitamins and Flaxseed carefully disguised as Marshmallows in a festive container labelled Basket Case. No fair ...

Anyhoo, I just read that Celine Dion lost 27kg after giving birth to twins thanks to Breastfeeding!!??? Too complex and sooooooooo not on! I am metabolically and socially challenged. Former = genetic. Latter = friendships based on love and food I can never give up.Goal-setting up against the garage wall for the weekend = Priceless!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

SOUPAHERO

So I've spent a fair amount of time studying the pathology of the human mind and it is very scary to note that the littlest things can cause us to finally Crack, Snap and Pop, not necessarily in that order. Anything from last straws, camels and humping that precipitate the final point where we don't even have the wherewithal to say or recognise that we've had enough. it just happens. For some, it is a red light and humming in the ears. for others who have cracked and popped a few pills too many, it may be the white light and an unfulfilled life flashing before their eyes. for the rest of us, there is a not-so-happy medium. crazy moments punctuated with trips to the pub or the front door if we're lucky enough to have shebeens with Magic Mobile functionality delivering happiness, potions and ice.

It was one of those east meets west weekends when I was hearing noises again. Wind chimes and creaky wooden floors. fridges frosting and cats jumping wildly from trees into garage doors, and on a 9th life policy, changing direction and scramming after birds in the garden. I felt ready to snap. Nothing on my wheel of life was rating anything close to a  perfect 10.while neither was my dress size so I put up a Perfect Life Under Construction sign.
That alone helped me to heal. Just mentally keeping the craziness at bay was already empowering. I posted my cosmic To Do list in the pantry (most visited site at that point)
I also know that the human brain cannot process negatives so instead of depriving myself with "No" and "None of this" I populated a conscious-altering high-tech FROM and TO To Do list!


 
From:
  1. Great, wholesome All Foods within Reach
  2. Obsessive checking of mobile for "I am sorry I am scum" text from vile ex
  3. Sweating (of course not on the treadmill) the little things
  4. Flat, sensible pumps
  5. Laundry
  6. Chores


To:
1.  Food that is Transparent, transportable, pronounceable and digestable. Hence SOUP for the tired soul
2. Acceptance that most of human behaviour is not accessible to the conscious mind thus vile ex has NO idea of vileness. focus on good, long and all-niter capabilities of said ex and the athletic capabilities I developed thereby

3. Living in gratitude and appreciating the little things and feeling that flutter in acknowledgement that there is a Power greater than me that brings all goodness to me
4. 11 inch heels and foxy furs. A small errand CAN be a sexy excursion
5. Airing out the closets and piles of things holding me back. Keeping it minimalistic and clean
6. Finalise Miguel's (sexy butler with 6-pack) job description so that I can live the good life


All in all, a Will do with Passion plan.


Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

NOU SO AKA JUST LIKE THAT

So I figured it was high time (not sure what that means in physical terms) to take stock of my life. I have to date oscillated between good days and bad days which in the final analysis had some arbitrary basis in, for example, hair volume, weight, cravings, texts from dysfunctional ex, hallucinations (about Mr Delivery and chocolate, with a hitherto unconfirmed link to cravings), bank account balance, headhunter hits on CV submission, and a butler who has more attitude than champagne at a braai! BUT TODAY IS THE DAY. So I have a vision board that found its origins on the back of a KitKat wrapper, taking the break to get a pen. i have removed the batteries from the scale, banned skinny nymphs from my neighbourhood (I mean what am I paying security companies for anyway?) and with the last remnants of post-traumatic stress (diet) EQ, banished all negative thoughts from my very tired mind.
My hoemeopath helped me to sleep and I learned to speak to the plants in a more level tone, watching pace and nuance. Hopefully the snails don't think I've gone soft. THAT war is not yet over. Sleep deprivation is a very dangerous condition. after days, well actually, it eventually feels like one 1 long day ... i digress with the same ease at which my mind fragmented and the ESP came on full-blown. for real. I could hear creaks and anticipate rain within 2 weeks of playing No-Sleep-No-Sleep with myself. I could detect BS from a mile away and in some wild divine space, packed away the sharp objects in the kitchen and garage. When I walked passed the mirror and inadvertently told my reflection how happy i was to see her, and to make herself at home, the split second anxiety attack was my sign to get it straight.
Feeling good and living in the moment was not optional. Doing a job I don't enjoy. Reliving childhood issues and carrying the unnecessary burdens of beings on my hips and anywhere else it could slide from, is so last season and if blind ambition is me trying to silence my alarm clock in a dark room from an odd post-margarita nite is the extent of it, THEN SO BE IT!
I am Enough. Just Like That!