Archive for June, 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2012 by tivaniam

For every challenge I endured throughout the years, the life lesson remained the same.

Live life authentically.

For me this translates to living a life true to myself. Adopting the power to say NO, learning to live holistically – devoid of airs and graces, no lies or illusions of living a life other than what is real. My idealism has meant that I am in the minority. People are content to put on facades attesting to a life that simply does not exist.

Case in point one

A couple of weeks ago, the shared kitchen closest to my office at work had a gathering of women, with one in particular, who went on about her wonderful marriage and how she adores her kids and how God has blessed her abundantly and how she lives a life that is righteous and how she hates women that cuss and speak aggressively etc etc. Bearing in mind that I am one such woman who is both aggressive and has a Noddy badge for the use of profanity as a second language – I say nothing and continue to make my way through the chorus of oohing and aahing – intent on making my coffee and leaving, which I successfully do.

Two hours later, the same woman who regaled the audience with stories about her blissful life, was found bitterly crying in the ladies bathroom. Pity for me, I had to be the one to find her! Turns out that she is desperately unhappy in her marriage, has no time and patience for her kids and is far from being financially stable. Even worse is the fact that this story was said to me with vulgarity and profanity thrown in for good measure!

Case in point two

I had a friend who loved money and possessions. She recently discovered her husband was accused of child molestation with every indication proving that he was guilty. Her choice? To remain in the marriage – not out of love or believing her husband was innocent – but simply to keep up appearances and maintain the lifestyle she has been accustomed to.

It is sad that people find comfort in fantasies. Whilst I don’t advocate “airing your dirty linen” to all and sundry, there is a lot of freedom that comes from being honest and transparent. Why spend so much of time and effort trying to please people when you are suffering in silence. It makes no sense to me. You will be judged irrespective of what you do and how you behave. What matters is the peace you have internally irrespective of what is being said. That is living authentically.

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal of life is life itself?” Elemillia Ucselub

 

How to Survive an Imminent Monday Meltdown

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2012 by tivaniam
Monday Monday

Monday Monday (Photo credit: soonerpa)

For most people, Mondays are notorious for inducing feelings of doom and gloom at the impending chaos that a new week may bring. Fridays are more pleasurable – offering a respite from the chaos. However, most working mothers with small babies will attest to the fact that every day is largely the same – Mondays just elicit an involuntary psychological response.

Now usually, I am nonchalant about Mondays. My feeling is, it will always be there, whilst I cannot embrace it, I will have to accept it (or some other stupid affirmation I repeat to get myself going). Today however was NOT one of those Mondays.

It started with me waking up late. Now my built in alarm clock, in the form of my 19 month old son, is usually ready for action by 5am. Today, as Murphy’s law would have it, would be the day that he decides to sleep in. Mr G also usually creates a ruckus when he leaves for work at 5:30am but today he opted to be silent. How thoughtful ordinarily. Today however, all this thoughtfulness resulted in me waking up in a state of panic at 5:50am. In a mad rush to get my daughter to school, I find something to wear that did not involve ironing. As I slip into my (new) pair of stockings, I discover (too late) that I bought the incorrect size. The smaller pair of stockings now end at my thighs which is extremely uncomfortable but with time being limited and in an effort to stay warm I decided to keep them on. Unfazed, I slip into my favourite dress, only to realise that my wonderful proactive domestic helper decided to iron out the (decorative) creases of my “dry clean only” dress now resulting in a lovely hole on the side. With my stress levels increasing, I decide to hell with it, throw on a coat and leave. My efficiency and personality at work should count for more than what I wear anyway!

I get to work in record time in spite of the above, only to discover that my access card – controlling my entry into the building – seemed to have vanished. And today would be the day that the security guard who greets me faithfully every morning, would suffer from amnesia and would refuse to allow me access to the staff entrance. In a huff, I park in the visitors parking and walk the two flights of stairs to get to my office (the luxury of a lift is there for access card holders only), dragging my bag and laptop behind me.

I reach my office only to find THE BOSS waiting for me. He, being in the minority, is a Monday person of the nauseating kind. Enthusiastic to come to work and ready for the week and all of its challenges, he is happy and smug as he tells me to prepare for a four hour meeting tomorrow that starts at 4pm and casually hands me a to-do list of a million odd things to do before midday. My temperature rises and I am ready for a breakdown but my half stockings distract me as they seem to land in awkward places. Wriggling around trying to make myself comfortable, in the privacy of my own office, I turn around to find my colleague waiting to introduce the NEW MALE consultant joining our team. With all decorum gone, no explanation would seem fitting so blatant lies would have to do and I concoct a story about an insect that made its way strategically into my person. Neither of them bought it though, I could tell from the awkward silence immediately after 😦

So, how to survive an imminent Monday meltdown? I don’t have a bloody clue. All I know is that this kind of drama does make for a very funny story when you aren’t on the receiving end.

PS: One ought to really look at the package when one selects pantyhose from a rail that presumably has all of the same sizes!

 

Ruin Is a Gift. Ruin Is the Road to Transformation

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2012 by tivaniam

I was 22 years old when my father died. I was divorced and a single parent of a one year old, a university drop-out, self-proclaimed failure and general pessimist. His death taught me nothing. I did not want to live my life to the fullest. The all-consuming fear that gripped me was debilitating. I lead an existential life for several years. No progress. No achievements. Personal growth – happiness even – was so far removed from my train of thought.

Fast forward four years. I meet someone who is the complete opposite of what I would ordinarily find attractive. Good looking he was, but completely boisterous and unashamedly assertive, qualities that repulsed me. Somehow he managed to win me over. We were married two years later. He was given the option to relocate to Gauteng and he accepted. What transpired thereafter was a period of complete turmoil. Stripped away from our comfort zone and support systems, our life in Gauteng started off terribly. I was unemployed for four months. I blamed him for ruining our lives and threatened divorce a few times. Depression lurked in the shadows. I thought that this was the beginning of the end.

And then it happened. I dared to dream.

For the first time in my adult life, I considered the possibilities. Introspection is a wonderful quality to possess. Amidst the chaos that surrounded me, I felt like the chains holding me down were somehow breaking. The fear that controlled my life seemed to dissipate. I was free.

I applied for jobs proactively, moving up the corporate ladder within three years.

I contemplated studying and pursuing my passion. I enrolled at a writers’ college and passed my journalism exams with distinction.

I dreamt about owning my first car. I am now a proud owner of a gorgeous Audi.

I longed for a nice house that I could decorate. I am now in a beautiful house that my family loves.

Most importantly, I have my children and my husband who fill my heart with love and happiness.

I don’t recognise my 21 year old self. The strong, capable woman I am now is a far cry from the helpless victim I was back then. The moral of the story is:

If you dare to dream, anything is possible.

Elizabeth Gilbert says it beautifully: Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.

The Talk

Posted in Uncategorized on June 5, 2012 by tivaniam
Sex

Sex (Photo credit: danielito311)

After much deliberation, hesitation and gut wrenching fear, I decided that the time had come to give my 10 year old THE TALK. I put on my game face and prepared myself. I was ready for this. I am an evolved, liberated mother right? So really how stressful could this be? My objective is to educate my child and to open up the lines of communication between us. That is what a responsible mother would do in this generation. So kudos to me!

With a clear plan in mind, I try to bring Mr G on board.  Not an easy feat because Mr G is the complete opposite of me. Archaic in his thinking and behaviour, I was in for a struggle. Two hours later after lengthy discussions and negotiations of repayment, he finally relents.  So we sit our daughter down and begin.

It starts of surprisingly easy. A few giggles in between but generally she has accepted all the information about anatomy very well. Cue part two. The WHAT IS SEX question that has lingered like an ominous grey cloud above our heads finally bursts and drenches all of us. Mr G shifts nervously as our daughter’s eyes widen with curiosity as I explain. I manage to get through the entire (age appropriate) step by step procedure (barring some info in between) with little drama. Throughout this entire episode Mr G has done nothing except sit and fidget and stare longingly at the black screen of our TV probably thinking about the rugby match he is missing. So in an effort to make him participate, I moved on to the Q&A part of our discussion where I encouraged Mr G to do the answering. Happy to be reaching the end of this torture – he was enthusiastic to oblige because obviously the worst part was over.

Complete and utter disaster.

Her:        So daddy, if having sex is the way to make a baby, then mummy had sex twice to have me and my brother right?

Him:       [serious tone] No. Mummy has sex a lot. Whenever you hear the bed making funny sounds that is us having sex.

Her:        So…..then the bed was making a funny sound last night???

Him:       [very serious tone] Yes and we had sex last night. Sometimes mummy also makes a funny sound and then you know we are having sex.

I want to die of shame and horror. My daughter is silent as she processes this and Mr G is as proud as a peacock thinking he deserves the “Father of the Year” award. I have no words and walk out of the room shamefully while he switches on the TV and sighs in contentment.

 

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