I am humbled, and often surprised to be honest, by who is reading me. And very grateful that my musings, and often my rants strike a chord with some of you in some way. Mostly because whether it’s crap about cancer, relationships, teenagers, children, moving home, moving country, surviving in a new one etc etc, most of you it seems can relate in some way to my venting. Even if it’s not always particularly attractive. And sometimes a tad uncomfortable. And maybe sometimes a little too much. So for you, and for me I’ll continue. But mostly because I have to finish my 365 gratefuls. Which brings me to my next point. It seems some and I have to admit mostly men (sorry) and in fairness those new to me, can’t understand why some of my posts are numbered. And some not. Oy vey. Ok … so, the numbered posts started at one and are currently at one hundred and forty six and are stored under category grateful posts 365. This was the starting point of all of this. For 365 days (aka one year)I need to formalise via this blog one thing I am grateful for. To help me focus on what I have, not what I don’t have. To acknowledge in the down days how much I have to be grateful for, the unexpected, the mundane, the expected. Gratitude is everything. This led to some questions from you about what where and how I am today, so the musings, sharings and ventings started, categorised mostly under stuff, but some also under why, which is where you’ll find this one. The three categories are on the right hand side of the home page (why, stuff, grateful posts 365) but you can also highlight any of the blue tags to see blogs on a particular subject, be it love, friends, wine, breast cancer whatever, whatever. Hope this makes a little sense. I have to say I know this is weird for some of you, confronting for others, helpful to others. But those who get it, who get me and the need for this, I thank you. Because it really is helping me.
We went to a wonderful fresh food, trendy, vintage clothing market cum foody space in Braamfontein today. Wonderful to be there, to see it and to feel the air of acceptance, living togetherness and simply getting on with it air I have felt this visit. But what really made me pause was when a complete stranger asked us what we thought of the skirt she was trying on as her mom hated it, and when another stranger told Kate how gorgeous she looked in the top she was trying on and continued to chat to her about her life for a good five minutes. Kate afterwards said how lovely she was, but wasn’t that a bit odd. That lady chatting to her like that. To me it wasn’t. But to Kate it was, because she isn’t used to it anymore. The funny thing is it’s not odd here. South African women are open and we generally do share, a lot and to anyone. Suddenly it all made a bit more sense, my being ok with my sharing. Because it’s what I’m used to. And why some of my friends find it odd. Because it’s not what they’re used to. Then again, maybe I do overdo it a bit. Just a teeny little bit.
I’ve been accused of not focusing on the big picture. A few times now. And that’s the point actually. Of my musings. Of my grateful posts. That often because we are so concerned about the big picture we don’t see what’s right in front of us. The little picture. Right now. The beauty. And the reality. Yes, in the galah, in the trees, in my kids doing their homework, in me laughing at myself over my reaction to Ikg, in my relationship with B. It is all about the little picture. The big picture is made up of little things. Little picture things that we can deal with. In that way we cope with the big picture. Because often the big picture is just too much to deal with. I felt a little affronted at being judged in that way. Just for a moment. And that’s okay, because then I let it go. Because I know the issue was not mine. And I do feel empathy. And I know this is my story, my musings, my experience. When I was faced with the reality of my own mortality, I realise I did start to focus on the little picture. Equally when I knew we had to come to Australia. Because the big picture was just too confronting. It’s the little things that helped me cope. The little things that really mattered. The stroke of my bald head. Doing homework with my girls. The reassuring smile of a stranger. My doctor’s voice. My children’s smiles. A song. A walk in the park. A cup of coffee with B and yes the 1kg that I could do something about. So, I will continue every single day to find the little picture things that I am so grateful for. I will continue to look at and share the little picture, because I believe, little picture by little picture, that is the big picture.
Another friend, a very supportive friend, commented on how difficult it was for her to share. And how uncomfortable her family would be it if she spoke about them the way I do mine. I respect that. I respect her. She always makes me think.To be honest, Jem has an issue with my posts. Her issue is that I always post about Kate. Actually Kate has an issue too. Hers is that one of her friends saw my drama post and said gee, your mum swears. A lot. And you all do know of course despite my potty mouth, neither of my kids swear. Or probably because of it. So uncool mom. I think I have always been able to share. But I also know I used to censor myself. I used to only share the bits that would paint a pretty picture. And that’s where I’m not alone. But life isn’t very pretty all the time. But it is a journey. And for me it’s been a journey of finding my self respect. Of earning my self respect. Respect is everything to me. I respect you, and that’s why I am happy to share. To be honest. About everything. I know it bothers some of you and I know some of you just aren’t interested. And that’s all good. If only one of you gets some comfort, some courage in my daily (or not ) sharing about my issues, issues we are all confronted with, and some that I pray none of you will be, then I am happy. And I’m especially happy when that one is me.
I am finding this all quite interesting. People’s genuine curiousity, amazement, wierded outness, desire to share and even the complete silence. Actually the complete silence from some is particularly interesting. It takes some doing to put yourself out there. And I don’t mean by blogging. I mean by being honest. And the question on some people’s minds it seems, is why would you. Which has to make me consider. Why am I doing this? Honestly, I was, am, a spoilt brat. With so much to be grateful for, but not honestly seeing it. Why, why not, why me, why not me, why here, why him, why them, why now. A favourite quote of mine ‘be still. cease your relentless partcipation’ comes to mind. I know I do that. Especially before. Kept myself ever so busy doing ever so important things with ever so important people so I wouldn’t have to spend too much time with me. Now I am in this wonderful place with this wonderful opportunity to simply celebrate what is. And still I so often think about what I haven’t got, not what I have. What is with that. I am a spoilt brat. So, the grateful stuff is my being still for a moment. The other stuff is me experimenting and not being anonymous anymore. Honesty is good. Sharing is therapeutic. Not trying to be clever is essential.
I told a friend about my blog today. I saw her think about it a bit. Then she asked, isn’t it odd to have your life exposed for others to see. I responded with it’s me who’s doing the exposing. It’s my choice to share. I suppose it is a bit confronting for some, but for some reason I’ve always been comfortable exposing myself. And any comments about advertising agency parties as a reply to this post will be ignored. By exposing I mean being generous in my response to questions. Definitely over generous. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I’m just self absorbed. I’m hoping it’s because I have nothing to hide.
Honestly, that’s what Kate did when she read my first post. Not a derisive snort, but one that precedes giggles and outright laughter. My newly formalised fragile sense of self took one huge knock. It got worse. Cute. She says. You are so serious, it’s cute. Then she checked out my ‘about’ and then post ‘one’. Ohhhhh, you’re posting about what you’re grateful for. Boring was implied tonally. I thought I had made that clear in my ramblings. Obviously not. So now you know. Then she moved on, leaving her mother in tatters. Just for a moment. Stuff it. I decided to tell her how much I love her instead. I am grateful for my beautiful daughter. I am grateful for the fact that she loves me. I stalked her tumblr and found this. And she doesn’t realise it yet, but she’s cute and serious too. www.precious-bliss.tumblr.com
I’m not good at being a statistic. As in … another woman trying to find herself by sharing her musings on a blog. But realising that’s not the statistic I hate being, it’s actually one of my own doing, that of another person fearful of starting something in case they don’t do it well. I’m 45 and realised I’m finally accepting I’m good enough. And am happy to be just like all those others grateful for life by sharing an image a day of something I am grateful for. It’s a wonderful way of focussing your energies. It is wonderful to realise how limiting it is to only share one thing. Just today I realised how good I am at talking and not so much at listening. How awful. I was still for a bit. The recurring sound in my ears was like a caress from the wind. just listen just listen just listen. I keep telling mysellf tomorrow will be better, wait until you have something to share, who are you and who would want to read you. Today I just listened and stopped telling myself why not. I had already missed the boat in terms of order, as in starting on the first of the year and ending 365 days later. I love order. Or symmetry. And control. And thats enough to stop me. But today, for a moment I just let go and embraced that now is as good as any a time. Right now I am good enough. And right now is good enough. So January 16 2012 is my new day.