USE YOUR VOICE (social media… I’m not kidding!)

A Single Quaver - Gael Turnbull

A Single Quaver – Gael Turnbull

Well, it’s been a while.

Almost a year since my last blog!

Adult life is hard. Adult life is tiring and exhausting and painful. It has also been beautiful and inspiring.

I guess the correct thing to say is that adult life is intense, because while the challenges get harder the rewards also become bigger. As we get older and gain more control and influence of our own lives, we also gain the power to spread out our influence to others. Our elders start to take us more seriously and people younger than us start to look up to us.

Add to this the fact that we now live in a world where anything we say can instantly be put on an easily accessible platform to spread a message to the entire world (a.k.a. social media) and we now more than ever have the ability to exert change.

This is one reason why I hate to see people using social media to post content that is vulgar because they think it is “funny” or “entertaining”. 10 years ago, if you had a chance to send a message to everyone you know, what would you say? Would you say, “look at this funny video of a girl falling over and accidentally flashing everyone!” or “look at this video of someone so drunk they passed out on a bench!!” Do you realise how absurd and stupid that sounds? Have you been living under a rock for so long that you have never ventured out and seen this yourself on any Friday or Saturday night? Anyway, I realise most people who post these things probably would not come across my blog on any of their usual searches, but in case they do, then the above message is for them!

My point is, each of us now has a voice. Each of us now has a platform. Please use it for good! Use it to start conversations that mean something!

I am so pleased to say that the majority of people I have on my news feed use this platform for positive things. They use it to spread awareness of things we should be angry about and also things that should be celebrated. This is why I feel positive change in this world is so imminent, despite whatever horrible things I am hearing on the news. MY generation is displaying itself to be a caring, passionate and conscientious generation, and what we have that previous generations didn’t is a platform!

I hear so many people talking about how terrible “kids these days” are, and how the world seems to be getting worse, seems to be filling up with more and more “sicko’s”. Puh-lease. The sicko’s were always there. Where do you think the terrible “kids these days” learned it from?? The difference is these sicko’s also have a platform, just like the rest of us. We also can use this platform to expose them and demand justice where it is necessary. We can also use this platform to show how amazing our generation really is. But if you don’t use it, then all people will see are the sicko’s!

I may have been quiet on the blogosphere for a while, but trust me, my facebook page is FULL! I intend to keep it full because I have a lot to say!

We have an amazing opportunity for our voice to be heard each and every day. Please do not waste it.

With Love,

S. :)

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Time to be Cheerful Again

In Preparation

In Preparation

It’s been a while – and I realise the year has almost finished and I have only written TWO full blog posts!

Well what can I say? 2014 has been so incredibly up and so incredibly down. I will say that this is the year that I turned 25, and then turned 30. About 5 years of aging… seems about right? Hopefully it was only mental – having a 54 year old mother who is frequently mistaken for 34 means pressure – I have some very youthful shoes to fill (sexy strappy sandals with a 5″ heel, to be precise). And the only things she credits are: sun block, excercise, and plenty of fruits and vegetables! Thanks Mum. :P

A’s due date is fast approaching. We named her. It is a beautiful name and I will tell you that it begins with the letter A. I worried that I would be falling apart this month but really – I have reached a space. Memories of my pregnancy are filled with joy, so I feel joy when I remember. Memories of my miscarriage and the months following are filled with pain, so I feel pain when remembering. I can feel both emotions fully and completely and still continue to feel and experience what is present, whatever that is. Thoughts of the future… well I have so many scenarios in my head with so many different emotions.

I take care of my health more. I’m more paranoid about pills, herbs and meds. I was never a big drinker of caffeine or alcohol but I have cut down even more now. And I feel kinda weird around 2nd hand smoke – like – the Crazy in me starts to yell out “GETAWAYFROMMEYOUAREKILLINGMYOVARIES” even though my logical brain knows that 2nd hand smoke exposure has been found to be dangerous during pregnancy when experienced daily, I think the number was about 4 packs of 2nd hand smoke a day?? YES I have checked the facts. A couple hours outdoors, around smokers, one day a week, is not going to hurt me or any unborn babies – according to the research.

But generally speaking, I am more paranoid about my health. I spent 25 years with a strong sense of trust in my own body and that suffered a major blow. I question EVERYTHING.

The miscarriage and the months following were the hardest in my life so far. I got a crash course in emotional management. That is: cry 1 hour before work – go to work and go HAM – go home and cry for another hour… or however long I need to for the evening. I actually allocated slots of time for myself to just cry non-stop… I had no idea I had that much control in me but it’s what I had to do, so I did it. Eventually, that daily schedule turned into an every-other-day schedule. Now its more like an evening once or twice a week. There were some adjustments along the road as well. Eventually I had to toughen up for my husband who was also suffering but differently. I’m not saying anything very new here but it should be said nonetheless: two different people in a relationship will react to everything differently. Relationships survive when you understand this fact and do not try to fight it. The emotional consequence of losing a baby can be equally as painful for men as it is for women. Because of our macho culture, men can feel very caught off guard to be feeling such pain after a miscarriage (not that we aren’t caught off guard, it’s just that the emotional pain is a little more expected of us), but for many men it is still there nonetheless. They may not all show it the same ways we do, but it’s still there and it still hurts.

To say work was crazy when I went back after my week off is an understatement! Whether this is coincidence or not – I have no idea. But professionally, I have grown a LOT. Once again – out of necessity, being thrown into the deep end and all. My boss resigned days before I found out I was pregnant and for the next couple months it was all easy and quiet despite being the only employee in my department. Then, somehow, I came back and major presentations and deadlines just APPEARED! I worked a tonne of extra hours that first month in order to take part in my first ever presentation as a professional. I’ve been going to fancy meetings, taking control of several projects… I have crossed several milestones in just 6 months… and I am very impressed with myself. I can even say the same for my husband experiencing the same thing! All this acheived while sorting through so much pain. I actually felt like I was losing my mind through all of this and that is not an exaggeration. Seriously considered going to therapy, however that would have meant taking more time off work as NO ONE makes appointments past 4pm. Plus, that sh*t is EXPENSIVE. Husband and I decided to tough it out with friends and family. Whether we would have benefited from therapy, I don’t know, but we have survived.

The reason why I have named this post “Time to be Cheerful Again” is because finally, I feel like my husband and I are in sync again. I feel so loving towards him and I feel so loved by him. After months of distance between us when neither of us felt much of these things towards each other, I feel so blessed to be back here again. We are not perfect, we never will be, but we work and we are in love again.

My parents and brother are coming to visit in 5 days and I cannot wait. I have missed them more than ever, I just wish my sister was coming too but she has a dissertation to write :P so I understand completely, having been there before!

Praying for health and love through the next step.

A’s Mother.

Somewhere to Share

I have been trying to write a post for a while and have not yet been able to finish one.

But.

I read this today and I really want to share it, although I did not want to share it on Facebook. So here it is on my blog:

A Lot Of Hush: Motherhood Lost

Resolutions for 2014!!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!!

So let’s get right into it. For 2014 I would like to expand my brain and give it the confidence and vigour that it previously had when I was 16 and always learning (as opposed to 24 and stumbling through life lessons that I had learned and then completely forgotten years ago) :-s

I have realized that putting vague large or obvious goals isn’t necessarily very effective. What I have decided to do to make sure I get results out of myself this year is set resolutions that are definite, objective baby steps to becoming a better me! I always hope to be a better person, and here is how I am going to do it:

1) Read AT LEAST one good book every two months.

2) Write down my thoughts at least once a week in a personal “journal”.

3) Paint or draw at least one GOOD work of art for the year.

I have decided to do this cos I need to get my creative juices flowing. I often just feel a little bit like a robot, doing the same thing over and over. My brain needs some real excersise to better prepare me for the actual life decisions which, however big or small, often need to be made on the spot and one thing I HATE is making decisions on the spot! I just don’t have the confidence! I have heard it said before that “one can never know the extent of the ripples of ones actions”…. That is probably SEVERELY misquoted by whoever came up with it… But whatever it is true! And it is equally as TERRIFYING as it is EMPOWERING. 

So yea, in order to help myself to become a better person, I need a better brain.

Its the same goal I was hoping for last year, as well as planning a bad ass wedding.

I think that in order to excel in all parts of life, whether it is work, love or life in general, you need to excercise your brain in whatever it was made to do. Unless you are employed in your dream job, then there’s a good chance that the 9 to 5 is not doing this for you. You need to excercise your brain on your own time! The good thing is that is just means picking an activity you love and feel you can be good at. Do not just sit and watch YouTube and Facebook!! Yes I am SO guilty of this. So here I am trying to read, write and draw again. :-) Getting creative so that I can try and be a functional human being!!

Have a wonderful 2014 everyone!!!

Lots of Love!!

Update / Forms of Prayer

OMG I’m getting married in almost ONE MONTH!!

This year went by incredibly fast!

I have been so busy.

I have been hiding from the internet.

I have a lot to be thankful for.

My faith, along with many other things tends to progress in hills and valleys, meaning: sometimes my faith is strong, sometimes it is weak, sometimes I take God for granted. Seeing those last few words on paper just seem so harsh. I don’t like it.

I’m not like some people who’s faith is so ingrained in them that it just seems to come so naturally, that missing church on New Years Eve or on a random Sunday would be unthinkable. Sometimes I have to remind myself to pray and some times it. just. doesn’t. happen. For whatever reason, I could be distracted, I could have nothing to say. Most of the time distracted.

Anyway, I was very happy this weekend because 1. I went to church. 2. It’s time to choose readings for the wedding :)

Reading seems to help me more than anything when it comes to prayer. It just focuses my mind and it motivates me. It gives me different topics to think about and dwell on. I feel/hope that on the days when I don’t manage to lie down and focus on just silent prayer, that my reading and the thoughts sparked by reading are heard by God.

On top of this, I am very thankful when people are willing and eager to talk about faith. You could be Christian, Atheist, Muslim, whatever. We don’t have to agree on everything or even on most things, but I am just happy that these kinds of discussions keep my mind on or around God and that hopefully I am doing the same for you too!

Anyway, time to go and prepare for tomorrow. Tonight that means sleep and pray!

Goodnight and sweet dreams :)

Thought Snippets

Have spotted a couple of gems on my Reader in the past day or two :)

This one encouraged me a lot before starting yesterday’s post as of course I can relate to this whole thing entirely!! Feels like a snapshot of my life, wish I had written it myself. I think every woman needs to read this anyway. So go ahead then get back to me. Do it now!

The other one stated a quote I had not heard before, but I love it so have decided to share.

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.— Frank Outlaw

Don’t know who Frank Outlaw is, have not felt like Googling him just yet as I am sleeepy! But I like this quote anyway, would like to turn it into a painting and hang it above my bed.

I need to buy some paint.

And some paper.

And some brushes… gaaahh!!

Hope that these snippets inspire you as much as they inspired me :)

Small Victories: Acting Out the Honour

So being engaged and all, I now have to open my self up to the responsibility of the vocation which I have to honour that is now staring me right in the face.

I knew it was coming, but it just wasn’t IN MY FACE like it is now!

I didn’t expect the “inmyface-ness” to be so intense, me and my fiance have been together for almost 10 years now. Yep! Our first date was one week before my 14th birthday :-) sweetness! So needless to say, we have had plenty of time to prepare.

I’ve been looking at bridal websites as that is how I do my research on how I’m supposed to plan a wedding, what the etiquette is etc. These websites also have a fun selection of quizzes and articles to help prepare us for married life… pssshhh! Right! These articles and quizzes have all become a big vague blur of shallow bullet points detailing top 10 date night ideas, what our sleeping style says about us, how to win over the in-laws bla bla bla.

Then there is the occasional emphasis on marriage being a lifelong commitment. Which is true. We know this already and we’ve heard it many times before! But that is all that is said. I don’t know why all these articles everywhere can state that “marriage is a lifelong commitment” but never actually dissect what it is they are really saying. It is just a blanket statement! What does this commitment entail? What is it made up of?

So what I want to emphasise today is this: Marriage is not just a “life long commitment”. Marriage is a responsibility and it is an honour. Honour is something that needs to be acted out. It needs to be lived. It is a continuous every day action.

I think this viewpoint is important because sometimes people can view the word “commitment” as simply implying that you are to stay with your spouse til death do you part. That’s not all there is and it’s not that simple!

Marriage is not just staying together.

The actions and responsibilities aren’t just that you do what you have to do just to be with your partner.

You do everything you can to grow together as a unit or a team.

Your partners growth is now not only their own responsibility, it is now yours too. Just as it is now their responsibility to help you in your own personal growth.

You are not there just for the sake of being there. You are there with a job to do! You are there to act as your partners rock, support and empowerment.

This is the action of honouring the vocation of marriage.

For example:

I know the cycles My Dark Side goes through. There are three or four, haven’t actually counted but anyway. I need to put little goals in my mind. This is a good thing because when I am working towards a goal I do my best to achieve it. I have on my best behaviour and I think everything out as best I can. The bad thing is that once I have reached that goal I stop. I feel like I have reached. I can afford to relax. I don’t need to put more effort in! I’ve done enough! So I stop thinking, stop trying, stop my positive actions. Then boom My Dark Side is back again. I slip up and didn’t even think it was that bad because “my previous good actions can make up for that! So I’m still good! I’ve done enough!!”

Then there’s the next cycle. Once I have realised the error I have made in the previous cycle of reaching a goal followed by a big lazy fall from grace, I am now aware of how bad it feels to fall from such a height. With the knowledge that it is human to fail, I become fearful of reaching such a height again due to the “inevitable” fall that will soon follow. So I enter into a cycle where I will follow a short burst of good actions by a self sabotaging burst of mess ups and failure. I know what I’m doing. I would just rather mess up now while both my partner and I anticipate it.

When you think it is O.K. to just be there with your partner for being there’s sake, this cycle is entirely possible. Because even though either of us can mess up and take our relationship for granted, at least we are there with each other and not moving!

But when you are engaged, when marriage is on the horizon, you are no longer just there to be there. You are there to honour your vocation to marriage.

Once again, you have a job to do!

So… when I hear My Dark Side begin to whisper in my ear at the beginning of any cycle it may be going through I have a new motivation to hold it off as long as I can. Yes, a fall from a great height may hurt much more than a shorter fall I chose for myself. But in the end the fall does not matter if I can climb back up again. And I know I can, I’ve already done it many times over the past 9.75 years! And even if the climbs get higher and the falls more so, isn’t that part of growing up? More responsibility? More honour?

And how do I hold off My Dark Side? Well this is just another small victory I have discovered. When I hear that whisper of My Dark Side I pause, nod, then get up and decidedly do something the complete opposite! I will do something nice for my fiance. Not just a hug or kiss because that would be for my own benefit. I get up and either pour him a drink, cook him lunch, massage his shoulders…. just something to say that this is my purpose, this is my vocation. Nothing else comes close!

So there we go, another small victory!

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