Monthly Archives: January 2012

Trust your fiancé?? Never!

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Carmen – super mad ninja organization skills.

Mani – super mad ninja procrastination skills.

Add the two together and you have a recipe for disaster. But hey – opposites attract.

So I’ve been on Mani’s case about designing our wedding invites because I need to get them out to people. In true Carmen style, I’ve planned things way ahead in advance and need everything to run in the order I’ve planned it. Only problem is – some of my planning requires Mani to set aside his love of all things delayed and actually do what I ask him to do (or…lately…what I have to beg him to do!)

Last night I entered another pleading-sighing-pulling-my-hair-out stage, begging Mani to work on the invites. (*Note: the ‘deadline’ for completion of the invites was yesterday…..they’re still not done. End of note). Eventually, he said he’d send over what he’d already designed to see what I think. This is what I got…

Yeah, never get a Mani to do a Carmen’s job 😉

And there was more!

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So the 23rd of January was my birthday, but I tell you what – as the week progressed, I was more and more blessed!

Firstly, I was treated to all-you-can-stuff-in-your-mouth sushi with my friend Susan – something which made my heart skip a joyous beat, because – I LOVE SUSHI! 😀

This rather fuzzy picture is just a sample of my first plate of glorious sushi (and there were two other plates that followed. Though..I have to mention, I couldn’t get through the third!) But not only did Susan bless me with one of my favourite meals – nope – she also gave me this!…

A lovely, lovely, lovely necklace with a lovely, lovely, lovely cross on it! 🙂 I remember us discussing the fact that I’ve always wanted a necklace with a cross, and she remembered that conversation and decided to make my wish come true! Thank you Susan!

So that was Tuesday – but it didn’t end there. Nope! I met up with my friend Lauren for a coffee-catch-up and after blessing me with an awesome hug (I miss those from her!), she blessed me with an exciting hamper!

Yes, how lucky can one girl get?! A hamper full of some things that just make me smiiiiiile! Chocolate, muffin mix, chocolate cookies, wasabi rice cake biscuits, pasta sauce, white chocolate coffee sachets, and a copy of Good Housekeeping (I reckon she purposefully included this last item as a way to get me off reading the You magazine!) Thank you La!

Then later in the afternoon, I received a notepad and purple pen from Karrie, much to my delight. I can’t add a photo of this, because it’s in my car and already has many, many scribbled notes on it! Thank you Karrie!

On Wednesday and Thursday evening, I went out to dinner with my (looney) friend Tara, from London, who’d been in Cape Town on business. The two of us crack one another up and it was lovely to be able to see her while she was visiting – there’s nothing quite like a good ol’ catch-up with a friend! Thank you Tara!

So yes, though Mr De Pro is still hanging around a bit – wanting to poke and prod me – I’ve been quite positive this week! I think what’s helped is the fact that I’ve avoided plonking my arse on the couch in an attempt to feel sorry for myself. And also – this week has just proven to me how important friends are and how they really can make such a difference to your circumstances, even if they don’t realise it… 🙂

I want to be a…: Tang yuan

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Yes, a Tang yuan is what I want to be. That’s the thought I had today. Well actually, the original thought was, “I want to be like a glutinous rice ball” – and then I thought about it further and did some research and learnt that glutinous rice balls are called Tang yuan.

So why on earth would I want to be like a glutinous rice ball? Well, these little fellas are rather resilient let me tell you! You take them out of the freezer and they’re really unappealing. If you didn’t know they were glutinous rice balls, you’d mistake them for round pieces of chalk – not appealing at all. But these little suckers are exposed to boiling water and instead of disintegrating, they become softer and more interesting, as they gently float around in the pot.

Not only does their outer consistency change, but so do their contents. These balls are sometimes filled with (very yummy!) fillings – my favourite being red bean paste. The result is that when you lift these little darlings out of the boiling water, blow on them to cool them down, and then bite into them – there’s a burst of sweetness that makes you shut your eyes and try your best to savour the moment forever!

But this still doesn’t explain why I’d want to be one of these little curiosities. Well, I think they’re remarkably brave, and for a little thing that goes through so much heat (boiling water is hot you know…) – to simply just rise to the top and then actually be changed into something better by the heat – is awesome!

That’s what I wish to be like something that – through heat and pressure…circumstances that may not really be great – still manages to come out the other side in a gloriously magnificent manner – even better than before! It’s a challenge, but it really is my wish for myself.

I wish not to disintegrate in the midst of trying circumstances, but rather, to use said circumstances to my benefit – as an opportunity to become even better than before. Easier said than done, I know, but at least I have the right intention 🙂

Birthdays and bars of soap!

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Yes indeed, so 23 January has rolled on and I’m feeling kind of special. Why? Well, yeah, it’s my birthday…but besides that…I just feel completely blessed by all the birthday wishes I’ve received. Has it made me all warm and fuzzy inside? YES, it has!!!

The day started off with my parents picking me up and taking me out to a very yummy breakfast! I realised, however, as I got ready to go out with them, that I wasn’t feeling too well…nonetheless, we went out. Besides taking me out for breakfast, they loaded me with yummy veggies, 2 minute noodles (LOVE THEM!), and peaches. Perhaps an odd gift some may think – but for me – one of love! (And one that’s much needed, being unemployed at the moment and all 😉 !!)

As the day progressed, I realised I must have eaten something dodgey in the past few days, as I really started feeling worse. I eventually got home, put on my pj’s and spent the rest of my birthday on the couch with the telly on. I didn’t watch much, because I was passed out, but I guess it was good to rest! And besides, all my friends were busy anyway, so it’s not like I was missing out on a huuuuuge birthday party!

I also received some luciously lovely nail varnish and nail products from a dear friend who’s visiting from the UK – and these were even wrapped and tied with a purple ribbon – much to my heart’s delight! What also got me smiling ear-to-ear was the fact that these travelled in her handbag aaaaall the way from England – lucky me!

And what did I get from Mani?! Ah yes, well! I couldn’t resist, and I did some poking and prodding of his gifts…and I managed to correctly guess what they were – but I was still so very pleased with what he got for me!

Firstly…some lovely earrings!

Ah but not only did he get me them lovely earrings…nope…he also gave me a gift card from Woolworths (score!) and a bar of soap. Ok let me explain, because really…who gives someone a bar of soap?! Instead of the gift card simply being handed over in a little envelope, it’s presented as part of a little pack, which includes a lovely vintage-looking Lemon and Verbena soap – yaaaay!

Oh I’m happy! Even if I am at home feeling a little sick…I know tomorrow I’ll be totally fine again and besides – some people wissssh they could just spend the day on the couch! It’s been a good day (though it’s not over just yet!); and receiving messages from family and friends in South Africa and Germany has just made it all the more special!

Almost a happy birthday

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It’s my birthday on Monday – I’ll be a whole 28 years of age. Am I looking forward to my birthday…I’m not so sure. I don’t have that childish excitement that lingers in anticipation of a birthday. It’s not because I have a fear of getting older – not at all (or at least, not yet…), but I think it’s because my mind is so preoccupied with other things. Perhaps some of these things are things that my mind shouldn’t be preoccupied with, but nonetheless, these things have slipped through the gaps – and now they’re lodged in my brain.

The one thing about Monday that I’m looking forward to though is getting to open the gift that Mani left here for me. It’s been placed on a table in my living room and I’ve been given strict instructions not to touch it, shake it, or manhandle it. This has been particularly hard for me because I love fiddling around with gifts, trying to figure out what they are. (I still haven’t learnt my lesson – manhandling = guessing = guesses are generally correct = disappointment).

Perhaps my birthday will bring along other presents…some unexpected surprises from above! Oh if only! 🙂

A road of solitude

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I guess it’s sad to admit, but there are so many things in my life I wish I could have done, or handled, differently. It’s only been recently that I’ve been so closely faced with the complete imperfectness of my humanity – with the reality that I am not, and will never be, perfect. And this is hard for me to accept. Not that I want to be perfect (because…really…what is perfect?); but rather, I want to know that the percentage of things I do right is greater than the percentage of things I do wrong. Come to think of it, even this post could be a wrong action – mainly because it’s borne almost solely out of hurt and confusion. I guess it’s my heart’s way of lashing out like a whip of words.

I sometimes want to hit my head against the wall so hard that all the faulty bits contained inside have no choice but to fall out – and fall out they will, because I choose to believe they’re not as strongly routed as the non-faulty bits. Yet still, my imperfections and faults gnaw at me like a rat gnawing at a rope in the dead of the night, in the hope of releasing something. But then I need to remind myself of this concept that I will fail again…and again…and yes…again. And perhaps, the sooner I accept that those times will come, the sooner I’ll be able to deal with the concept and it’s consequent actions more appropriately.

I believe though that part of my tendency to hold on to my past mistakes is the desire to want to undo any hurt I’ve caused. How can I undo any hurt if I don’t somehow stick countless numbers of plasters over the wounds that have been inflicted? Oh but how my soul cries out in desperation for those nearest me to simply understand that my intention has never been as bad as the actions, the words, or the deeds. In most cases, they’ve been mere cover-ups manifesting from a place of wanting to protect myself, guard myself, make sure the wound is not inflicted on me. But the irony of the situation is that at the end of the day, it is indeed me who is wounded. Over and over again. And the cycle of running around trying to fix things just starts from the beginning and ends the same way.

In the past while I’ve faced the darkest time of my life. Perhaps it has seemed to be the darkest, because I have a different insight into things and I can understand things on a different level. Before, I may have just glossed over things and not really understood their magnitude – but lately, the disturbing verocity and magnitude of actions, words, thoughts, feelings, compulsions and intentions have hit me squarely in the face. I can say that I’ve done well to still be standing in the midst of all that’s happened – and I don’t think a single person could ever understand just exactly what has transpired and how it’s felt or affected me – and for that reason, when I close my eyes at night I really can tell myself “well done…you’re getting there”.

It seems to be too much to ask others to be a little more introspective – to examine the things they do or say, to make sure of their intentions or the effects of what they’re about to do. This makes for a road of solitude at times – a sad reality I guess – but reality nonetheless…

 

Coffee, laughter and flowers

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I think I’ve been avoiding posting anything on my blog for some time. Why? Because writing about stuff means you have to think about it, and sometimes, the stuff I end up writing about is stuff I don’t want to think about.

Generally my posts of late tend towards the melancholy side of the scale. That’s been another reason I’ve avoided writing.

But today I was challenged to write about 3 things that make me happy. And yes, this is a challenge for me – give me something depressing or complex to write about and I’ll fire away – but ask me to think about happy things, and I seem to struggle. It’s not right, I know…but I’m working on it – all I need is a little time.

Ok – so 3 things that make me happy. Here goes…

(1) Coffee in the morning

There really is just nothing like waking up to that first cup of good coffee. Even the thought of it excites me. In fact, sometimes I look forward to it so much that I just wish the hours would fly by until that very moment that I’m holding that steaming mug of coffee between my two hands 🙂 Addict? Nope…not an addict – I simply enjoy it!

(2) Making people laugh

Sure ok, I know what you’re thinking. I pretty much spent the first few lines of this post explaining that I tend towards melancholy – and now I’m saying that one of the things that makes me happy is making others laugh – contradiction? Nope.

In fact, I’ve often found that those who suffer the most from depressive thoughts and moods, or who seem to struggle the most with sorrowful emotions, are the same people who can just give others one look, or say one thing, and have them burst out in laughter.

There’s something soul-satisfying about being the source of smiles and laughs – about being able to make people chuckle to the point of tummy ache and tears (good tears).

(3) Flowers

Let me clarify this – it’s not just the flowers that make me happy, but also, receiving flowers that puts a smile on my face. In fact, Mani recently bought me a bunch of flowers, and my heart did a happy-flip in my chest. I don’t know what it is about receiving flowers that makes me happy – but they work! And I just cannot get enough of them – I often find myself standing in the kitchen near the spot where I always place flowers, and staring at them…just staring. And then I turn to walk away, but look back and stare a little more. And all the while, the smile on my face gets bigger.

And so there you have it – 3 things that make me happy. There are other things that make me happy too, for sure, but these 3 were the first that came to mind 🙂