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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!