The hidden truth, are you a seeker?

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The hidden truth, flourishing in our neglect, requesting the seeker to submerge in it’s wisdom in order to impress.

There is a world within the world we live in, pure and full of wisdom, the one we are oblivious to. We go to work, play, eat, sleep, populate this Earth and generally live a life that is not cognizant of this veiled truth. Like a dream within a dream we fool ourselves into believing that we are truly alive and in that moment, we conjure up tragedies, triumphs, obstacles, emotional crossroads and everything else that our ever-imaginative minds can emotionally create, just to numb the sensation that we are indeed asleep. Death actually is a circuit breaker that jerks us out of this elaborate illusion that the entire human race has collaborated into existence.

Stories abound of this conspiracy theory, the dream within the dream state of mankind’s existence. For though we have wilfully chosen to bury it, the knowledge of it gnaws in the depth of our subconscious. It surfaces ever so often in paintings, stories, myths, and mad ramblings of a troubled soul.

Religions have tried to ease mankind into truth, first calling one to a more evolved living, then renunciation of all worldly pleasures (the truth suppressors) and eventually embracing ‘life after death’ (the circuit breaker). Jesus had spoken these words, “Let the dead bury their own dead.” To fail to see the truth is akin to being dead, asleep to the reality that exists.

Do wish to be awakened?

The Art of healing: Hoʻoponopono

life quote

Hotmail delivered an email by a troubled soul I no longer consider as friend, refer to my emotional rant in the article ‘A can of worms’. Technology amazes me, how you can still receive emails from a ‘blocked’ person is one of the wonders of modern society. In this instance however, gratitude is the order of the day.

Her email, as always, was a forwarded email that goes by the subject line: “I’m sorry” and “I love you”.  I must be the only dyslexic in the world who just can’t resist reading a well-written email, even if it is from someone I have officially blocked from my life. What can I say? We all have our quirks; curiosity is mine.

This particular email was so intriguing it warranted a post, for those who are familiar with my musings you know that I rather stay silent than write for the sake of writing, yes all you social media marketers, I am guilty of the number one SMM no-no. I have never been one to conform and my viewpoints are different at best but never run-of-the-mill.

Hoʻoponopono is the ancient Hawaiian belief system that offers cures for a world steeped in pain and sickness. According to Wikipedia, “Hoʻoponopono” is defined in the Hawaiian Dictionary as “mental cleansing: family conferences in which relationships were set right through prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness.”

This particular email made references to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, a therapist in Hawaii who cured a complete ward of criminally insane patients without ever seeing them, by improving himself. Total responsibility, the belief that everything in your life is your responsibility and not in a guilt tripping depressing way but in an uplifting empowering way.

I am not completely sold on the technique or the results, nor am I convinced of the authenticity of the claims, however what I am intrigued with is the underlying empowerment message. Yes, I am a sucker for inspirational, motivational and downright simple common sense. As a catholic, I can totally resonate with, ‘prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and mutual restitution and forgiveness’.

For the longest time however, I always thought that all the above were for your own mental health. As a proponent of, ‘You have the power to change your past’ I found it quite interesting that I, me and myself encompasses the universe.

The question, ‘what have you done?’ being posed to the parents when any child was ill, really struck a nerve. The fact that one out of my brood of three is perpetually ill might have something to do with it. My counsellor, as my son might have Asperger’s, is always drumming the circle of parenting principles, one of her favourite being, the solution to all behavioural issues with children is to spend more quality time with them. To rejoice in them and delight in them, kind but firm is what every parent should aim for. Screaming, yelling and generally loosing it is my modus operandi, but Libby and I are working on that.

Apart from the fact that if you are at peace with yourself, everyone around you will also absorb that calming presence (a kindy teacher who is confident and calm always has her class attentive to her), the ability to heal others by taking responsibility for them mentally, seems to make a lot of sense. In this world where everyone is harping on their freedom to curse, insult and abuse, a message of peace, harmony, forgiveness and most importantly responsibility might just be what we need in these troubled times.

To heal the world, our community, our families, by first healing ourselves, makes a lot of sense. Every troubled teenager, criminal and war monger needs to be taken responsibility for, we as a community need to step out of our shells, our private little perfect worlds and embrace the troubled, lonely and even the criminally insane with love, forgiveness and acknowledgment. Distancing ourselves form the problem doesn’t make it go away, doing something about it does.

Now, that doesn’t mean that we all make a beeline to the prisons and hospitals; that would be nice, however what we can do is stop this mental demarcation of them versus us. Total surrender and total responsibility, at least mentally for starters, who knows we might just change the world and save it while we heal and love ourselves.

family quote

Rejection is the new measure of success.

REJECTION

I was reading an article about rejections, Dr Seuss, the beloved author of children’s picture books was rejected 27 times. Just before he lost all hope, an old friend agreed to publish it and it sold 600 million copies. Two things come to mind, one that success is difficult and you should never give up; secondly, the decision makers (editors, publishers etc.) need to find a different line of work.

I have always been a writer and as a child I believed that one day I would see my works published. My educators seemed to doubt my supreme faith, luckily I was never one to blindly confirm. As a dyslexic I can understand their reluctance to envision me at some book-signing event. In retrospect, I must be the only dyslexic who wants to be a writer and loves words; I mean they rarely stay still. However, blessed with an overactive imagination it’s hard not to pen the echoes of strange worlds and capture the spirit of the glorious characters that abound in them. Dyslexia is why you have spell check, and why you enlist the help of friends and family to edit and proof read, not a reason to give up your passion.

For those who have been following my blog, you would agree that my take on life is anything but stereotyped. Some see a glass half full, while others lament a glass half empty, I however rejoice on the glass fulfilling its role and the fact that my thirst can be quenched.

My biggest grouse is with the naysayers of life, the judges, the evaluators, the critics etc. we all cross paths with them eventually to get the joy sucked out of our lives. These qualified analysts claim to have God’s ear, and hence the supreme confidence with which they declare you not fit, not good enough, not appropriate, will never succeed, will never amount to anything in life etc.

They are predictable and spend their lives demanding that we, the free-spirited, conform to their rules and reasoning. How do you pigeonhole creativity, passion, and talent? “Too different and silly” the unanimous reason for rejection is what makes the books of Dr. Suess so loved.

How many stories have we heard, of successful entrepreneurs who disagreed with the experts only to start their own common sense line that took them laughing to their banks? What we need is a little bit of Edison in our lives, ‘I haven’t failed 500 times but I have found 500 ways that don’t work’, this is how I remember the quote from childhood but today Google reports it as 10,000 times. The moral of the story still holds true, never give up and don’t listen to the naysayers. Rejections are the hallmark of the greatest achievers; the one commonality being they never accepted it.

 

Makeup is a woman’s right not a gender privilege.

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Applying makeup is more than just a fashion trend it’s part of being a woman. For far too long women who love makeup have been labelled as superficial and by a fanatical few as dissolute. As a girl I grew up with a mother who shied away from makeup and was the ultimate ‘au naturale’. A devout catholic prayer warrior she was more like a nun than a woman of the world.
I on the other hand loved to paint my nails, face, dolls and once even attempted to beautify a calf in my granny’s farm! My mother unlike all the other religious stoics who tend to shame girls like me, encouraged me saying, “If you’re gonna paint yourself try to do it right!’
Yes, my mother had an extremely unique modus, a sincere matter of fact style that didn’t involve any sugar coated nonsense. For me she was the ultimate woman, she did whatever she liked out of choice, no fear propaganda or social norms that she felt obliged to adhere to. There was only one person to please and that was God, if her actions would shame her in front of her creator then that was all the deterrent she needed.
Which isn’t to say she wasn’t flawed, a lot more than others because she was transparent, she never felt the need to hide or pretend and so was always pointed at. A great learning model for me because it taught me that there is no pleasing anyone and there is only one who truly matters and he is on my side. Armed with that knowledge and conviction I can proudly inform you that I have battled some of the worst traumas one can possibly face in life and you know what? I’m still standing strong, bat ready to face whatever life can possibly throw at me and I do it in style! Fingernails painted and makeup on, I am ready.
So you have a colicky baby that doesn’t let you sleep through the night, an illness that drains the colour out of your face, personal crisis that makes you crawl into a corner and bawl your eyes out, who says you need to look the part. I know I don’t and if you want to it’s ok, I respect that.
I grew up loathing pity; I hated if anyone felt sorry for me, and did all I could to look strong and confidant even if I was falling apart inside. Makeup empowers me, I may not be able to make my baby sleep through the night but I can sure hide those dark circles. Life doesn’t have to win all the rounds.
According to research people have been painting themselves since the beginning of time, it’s a way of establishing control and reinforcing one’s identity. No wonder the first thing most religious dictatorships do is to ban cosmetics. Strip a woman of her right to celebrate her individuality and establish her identity and you have a broken, lost soul ready for manipulation. Allow only women in the sex trade access to cosmetics and you subconsciously reinforce the idea that a woman’s beauty is only for male pleasure.
A research by Dr. Richard Russell, a psychology professor at Gettysburg College, sates that the only way a face gets classified as male or female is by facial contrasts. Women tend to have lighter skin, darker eyes and lips than men. No wonder that the basic elements of makeup consists of foundation, mascara and lipstick. All we are trying to do is stress our identity, we are female and we are beautiful.
For all the opponents of cosmetics I ask, “Who are you?” 9 times out of 10 we all reply with reference to our gender. This is who I am, a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife and a writer. I don’t love makeup or fashion but they are an integral part of my life, I brush my teeth and I apply make up. I am a woman, why shouldn’t I do what I want and look how I feel inside, which is beautiful? There are days when I want to look plain and ordinary, and many, many more days when I want to look gorgeous, why shouldn’t I?

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Is it superficial to enhance your feminine attributes? Do you do courses to enhance your trade? Do you eat right and exercise to look fit and healthy? Do you dress well because you feel good about it? Do you get a haircut and groom yourself to look polished? Most importantly do you smile when you look at a beautiful person? I do and I like to be that beautiful person too.

 

Perception, it’s all in the mind!

Every drop makes an ocean
Every drop makes an ocean

Richard Bach had written in his book Illusions that ‘You’re always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past’. As an 18-year-old I never quite understood what he meant and I shelved it as one of those mystical sayings that are so deep that you float! Today 18 years later I have finally understood what he meant, or in Richard Bach’s words, I already knew it, I just happened to remember. It finally dawned on me that your past is just a memory, yes the events were real and many times painful which is why some events are etched in our memory like stone, which even the waters of time cannot erase. I always thought that forgiveness, like our Lord Jesus preached could change our past and present and definitely our future. Perhaps this is what Richard Bach was trying to imply in different verbiage?

Apparently not, imagine any event that shattered you emotionally (dramatic effect) or even a simple one but something that created a ripple effect in your life. For a bit of drama, imagine Spiderman (yes I love spidey, this is the second time I have mentioned him in my posts.) he chooses a path of the vigilante because a criminal he refused to stop ended up killing his uncle. The latest version spins a new tale in which the criminal was not the killer but an out of luck dad trying to save his critically ill daughter.  Has his past changed? YES.

For a less dramatic version imagine a little girl whose best friend steals her favourite doll then lies about it. She grows up with trust issues and turns into an introvert, years later when she moves to college her parents renovate her room. One of the builders hands over a dusty old doll that they found when moving a heavy wooden cupboard. This little girl is shocked at the discovery and yes her past has changed. Hopefully she makes up with her friend and overcomes her trust issues.

The point I am trying to make is that reality is how you and I define it. The exact events have nothing to do with it. What might seem like absolute, irrefutable truth can in fact be a lie and vice versa. The only permanent feature is our own interpretation of the events, which then translates into emotions, giving rise to either good or bad memories. These memories then shape our personalities, our beliefs, our ideologies and invariably our present, which soon becomes our past.

Lets look at natural childbirth, it is considered as the most physically demanding and painful experience in life. Yet, since the beginning of time women have happily volunteered for it and in many cases undergone more than one in their lifetime. Why? If only the ‘real’ facts were to be taken into consideration, which are intense physical trauma, excruciating pain, copious amounts of blood, loud screams that can curdle your blood, need I go on? For the record, I had three elective caesareans, and in no way lay any claim whatsoever to these multitude of brave women. The entire concept of childbirth is looked upon as a very natural and even beautiful process involving the birth of life through the selfless love of the mother.

Perception, is the difference between trauma and celebrated; routine and ghastly; torture and edification; not reality. So next time life, an event or a person breaks your spirit ask yourself how does nature trick mankind into forgetting the pain and glorifying the end and do the same. Go forth and change your past into whatever you want it to be!

Google

Gangnam style is it the harbinger of doomsday?

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There is a new doomsday prediction floating around cyber space, which has arrested my attention. After the Gulf war way back in 1991, Nostradamus had been revived by doomsday predictors and it remained a hot favourite especially after 9/11 when one of his predictions that

The sky will burn at forty-five degrees latitude; 
Fire approaches the great new city

(The two brothers will be torn apart by chaos was an imaginative interpretation of the actual text), piqued the interest of many.

Gangnam style follows suit with a Mayan prediction that the world will end on 21/12/2012, A Nostradamus quatrain that predicts the world will end when

From the calm morning, the end will come When of the dancing horse The number of circles will be 9”.

The translation goes thus, Psy of Korea, the morning calm; the end, Mayan prediction of the end of the world 21 December 2012; Gangnam style, the dancing horse; 1 billion views, circles will be nine. Needless to say that the previous prediction post 21 December 2012 is now that it has begun, with dead fish washing up ashore and with North Korea declaring war is eminent, they have believers.

As a kid I was intrigued by predictions and end of the world predictions, I remember making a bucket list of sorts to do before I turned 24, because the world was supposed to end in year 2000. Well into 2000 they said that because of a numerological error it would be 2012, today is 2013. The rapture did not happen, no rain cheques for all the people who sold/donated their possessions and are sitting alone in a cave somewhere.

The most intriguing aspect of all these predictions and the ones that will come after they have long been forgotten, is that each one claims to have predicted or base their theory on a line of reasoning that HAD predicted all that has happened. See the funny part about this logic is that it doesn’t take a genius to manipulate data (alphabets in to numbers, numbers into alphabets, vague quatrains of Nostradamus’s predictions etc.) to read into what has happened. The future is another ball game altogether.

Tell me what will happen tomorrow without disclosing it to anyone else and if it does, you’ll have a believer. The irony about predicting the future is when you disclose it you tend to influence it into happening, and that is NOT the same as predicting it. If anyone should know about the ludicrous aspect of predicting the future, it is me. I am a mild psychic of sorts and ever since I was a child I could see into my future in bits and pieces but nothing clear enough for me to make sense of until it happened. I still made the very mistakes I had been warned about making and just because I evaded one didn’t mean I escaped it all together, complicated is the least that I have inferred. The truth is that the future is not set in stone, it is a result of a multitude of choices that we make. Each choice leads to a multitude of options and just like the fluttering of a butterfly on one side of the world can cause a hurricane in another (do not agree with this notion but the underlying principle is correct) the collective choices of the entire planet weaves our present.

A beggar child that begs for alms moves the heart of a man rushing to work and because he stops to check for loose change misses his bus, that explodes a few seconds later. As he escapes his death he goes home a reformed man and starts to spend time with his family, more importantly his troubled daughter. With this extra attention and unconditional love of her father this child, who was earlier destined to fall into drugs and quit school, grows to be a renowned scientist and discovers a cure for cancer. Millions are saved, but they wouldn’t have if that beggar child had not stopped that man on that fateful day. Incidents like this abound in our lives that make us take complete detours in our life. Very few detours are as obvious as in the story mentioned above.

Every time we click accept on an FB friend request or the opposite, we have changed a timeline. As a writer every thought that I pen down and every post that is read changes mindsets or reaffirms one, fate is challenged. Many of the stories I read as a child has shaped me into the adult I am today. Would I be the same adult with the same thoughts and ideologies if those great writers, C.S. Lewis, Jane Austin, J.R. Tolkien, Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne, Roald Dahl, Rudyard Kipling, Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, etc. had failed to pen even one of their legendary works?

How I bring up my children is a direct result of a conscious decision made by every one who has influenced my life starting from great literary writers, to teachers who instructed me, my role models who inspired me, my parents and even the insignificant billboard I happened to read.  The list is endless, every kind gesture, rude encounter, heart break, failure, achievements etc. shapes whether I turn right or left at the next cross road of life. This is just me, there are 7 billion more out there who contribute in some way or another to the fluid, dynamic, concept we call the future. Then how can one be so blasé to claim that they can predict the future? How more foolish are we to believe such a claim?

Academia, why it’s out-dated and why we do nothing about it!

educationSuccinct, concise, to the point please!Everything I am not! I love to talk and you will often find me striking up a conversation with a stranger if they have a few minutes to spare! Chatting with people from different walks of life and different cultures is what I miss most about my old job. What annoys my colleagues is that this trait has seeped into my writing as well, in my defence, have you ever met a writer of a few words?

I walked over to my husband a few weeks back and I could hear him, “Yeah, sorry about that, my wife she just loves to write! I’ll get her to summarise the email in a few points, yeah, don’t bother wasting your time reading it, yeah I’ll get her to send it right away! Nah! No problem, I totally understand!”

Why thank you darling, your support is touching! Honestly, I get it and offcourse I now bullet point my emails and then go into detail, just in case! This incident got me thinking; no, it doesn’t take much for my grey cells to start working. It is our current academia that is to blame. I am a science student; I studied zoology, microbiology, chemistry and biochemistry. I can assure you that you would not pass your course if all you filled in your answer sheets were bullet points. You had to fill pages and pages with the history, the discovery, the analysis, the testing, the reasoning behind the procedure, the result, the inference that you drew form these and finally how all this distilled into your final answer of yes or No. The general consensus was the more you knew or understood, the more you wrote. Only a third rate dummy came up with bullet points!

Enter the work force where everyone is racing against time itself, every project was due yesterday, every requirement even if it’s a skinny latte for the CEO is wanted A.S.A.P. Our education system should empower students to succeed in the work force, we shouldn’t end up unlearning everything we were ever taught just to survive day one. No wonder the global economy is on the verge of a break down and the most successful entrepreneurs are homemakers with no prior experience and college/high school drops outs.
Our assembly line education system is out-dated and detrimental to our survival. Only mavericks that refuse to be magnetised and brainwashed into following the heard mentality are successful in life. Book worms or very knowledgeable people who can only tell you, by rote, what they have read, heard or learnt are not very charismatic and end up back in the very system that produced them, the educational system. Rarely is there a marriage between knowledge and personal insight; enter the pioneers of new thinking.
So why do we still rush to sign our kids to kindy, school and college? For the fundamental reason that we humans love routine. We find security and stability in routine; our DNA is engineered to adapt to a cycle, a system a method. What did you think the Stockholm syndrome was all about, hostages ending up sympathetic towards their very captors and resisting being saved? That’s human DNA working overtime and to ones own destruction. Every dictator, oppressive regime, warlord, king, authority figure, is in power not because they are any better or smarter but because of this innate human tendency to be controlled. It’s how our ancestors survived in the past, we are all sheep looking for our shepherd and lost if we don’t find one.
In light of my tendency to ramble on, this discussion will be continued in the next post where I talk about why abused women and men remain in such relationships, why abusive and powerful men and women are into dominatrix. These are my views and if you disagree, please leave a comment. I love a good intellectual repose!

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why I said, “I do!’ and still mean it.

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I had forgotten the reasons why I decided to get married and have a family of my own. These last few days, since my husband has been off on a business trip leaving me alone in my big bed, I remembered why. I didn’t like the thought of returning home to an empty room, an empty bed and most importantly an empty life. Parents, siblings and friends are a good distraction and fill most of the hours in your day but it’s when you shut the doors, and crawl into bed that you realise why God decided, ‘it wasn’t good for man to be alone.’
I had a fun filled life, as cabin crew I travelled the world free of charge and with strong family ties I always had weekends and special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries to spend with people who mattered. My crazy bunch of girls/women and divas filled my day and sometimes until the wee hours of the morning with laughter, giggles, heart-warming moments and just raw girly fun.
As fulfilling and exciting the times were, eventually everyone retrieved into their own personal lives; boyfriends gave way to husbands, dirty nappies and the joys of motherhood-replaced pubbing & clubbing. Parents and siblings were always a permanent fixture but I was too emotionally attached to them and then I took a look at someone who I was destined to become in another 10 years.
She was attractive, confident, successful but lonely. A cabin crew trainer, looked much younger than her age; all those sleepless nights with a colicky baby really adds to those facial wrinkles! Confident, well dressed, successful but seriously lonely! The highlight of her days was spending time with her nephews & nieces. Her life had the ‘Always the bridesmaid never the bride’ sort of a theme that had lost its initial glamour. Every handsome man she dated was happily married and instead of romantic cards she received invitations to baby showers and weddings. The only guys who showed interest were the Casanovas who just looking for a chase or the straying husband looking for some excitement.
Every time she saw a happy couple she reminisced about that special one she let go off because she was too scared of loosing her independence getting stuck in a monotonous life full of nappies, tantrums and missed opportunities. Men are never faithful she often told herself, after all cabin crew are the preferred target for straying married men who often travel for business for long periods. (Note to self, need to call hubby and remind him how much I love him!)
I know many women who prefer casual flings as opposed to marriage and want a life that isn’t bogged down with family, children, in-laws and a demanding husband; I am not that woman. As much as I cringe and moan about how annoying it is to wake up in the morning to loud wails of, “Momma!” or 3am cries form a toddler who has wet her bed, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Wait a sec; I did trade it for the world! cryin
You know what? I’d do it again in a heartbeat! I have been to the Sydney harbour bridge and I have seen the Sydney opera house many times but to see it through the eyes of my 4 ½ year old, to absorb all that wonder and amazement; there are some things that money just can’t buy. Some things are just priceless and free, occupational perks of being a mom to three kids all below the age of 5!
I have been to exotic locales, sipping ice tea while starring into the cerulean Adriatic Sea but nothing beats three mucky kids splashing water and mud at each other on a hot Aussie summer. Giggling, did I mention that infectious, innocent, pulling at your heartstrings giggling? The one that makes you smile and laugh without your knowing? The one that starts with your lips goes all the way to your eyes and warms your heart? Priceless!

The best of both worlds!

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I’m 36, a mother of three and until today, 9.30 am, I did not realise that I have it all. Until 9.30 am, I was hassled, stressed and like every other woman who has delivered three children in the span of four years, struggling with my weight. I could go on and on about why my life is far from perfect, the dark circles under my eyes from waking up repeatedly at night to tuck one of my toddlers back to bed, my potty training struggles, my husband who just doesn’t understand, my work deadlines that I just can’t seem to meet, my shelved ambition to be a writer, I could go on…

So what happened? Well, I was as usual in my home office, I write articles for my husbands digital services company, when I chanced upon a very loud conversation between my au pair and my youngest, 20 month old Freny.

Merieke: “Oh Freny what did you do, naughty Freny, naughty!”

Freny: “I pretty, pretty!”

Merieke: “No, not pretty, naughty!”

Freny: “Pretty?”

Laughter all around….

Or an earlier incident when I dished up something exotic to entice my 2-½ yr. old to eat. She took one look at it and screamed, “Dangerous!”

LMAO!

How many women can boast of being able to work and still not miss out on the precious moments with their kids? I work and I probably should mention that as an aspiring writer, writing freelance articles is as good as it gets. My hours are anywhere between 6 to 10 hours a day, all subject to deadlines and my workload.

My husband who I constantly label as unsupportive is the one who gets me this fulfilling job and pays me for it! I get to spend this amount on anything I want, mostly clothes and toys for the kids that are not budgeted for, gifts for friends and family that my husband would consider excess. My kids of whom I never cease to complain about how they are demanding, taxing and the reason why I haven’t had a decent nights sleep for four year straight are the highlight of my day. The happiest moments of my life are centred on them, the day they were born, when they cuddled me and said they loved me or when they pass smart comments.

familyI have what most women wish they did and regret missing out on, time with my kids whilst still working (doing what I love!).  I have never missed any of their firsts, so much so that I don’t even remember to log it or keep a digital keepsake; I take it so much for granted!

As far as my weight is concerned, that’s another story, I am a great cook and I love food! Not a good combination if you want to be skinny! As long as my husband finds me attractive, I really shouldn’t stress on it but I do because that’s what a woman of today does.

That’s what I realised today at 9.30 am, I have the best of both worlds, I am truly blessed, praise God, and yet I moan and I complain. Why? Who has implanted this picture of this unattainable perfect life that my already wonderful life doesn’t measure up to? Who wants perfect? If my kids were absolutely well behaved, always immaculately dressed (meaning actually coming home with the same number of clothing, shoes etc. they went out with!), and slept peacefully through the night; then where would the memories be? Actually, in hindsight I would like the sleep through the night bit!

It’s their idiosyncrasies, their strong will and personalities that make every moment so memorable. The house is filled with laughter on account of their adventures and quirky behaviour. I have a really hard time with my 2-½ year old but when I look at her I see myself at that age. Apart form being an exact copy of me, she is an amalgamation of the strong personalities she has inherited form both sides of the family. It makes me realise what a blessed opportunity I have in the moulding of someone who is poised to do something extraordinary in life.

I am a mom, when did moulding lives and shaping personalities become such a mundane task?

Yes, 9.30 am today was an eye opener that my life is wonderful, and I am truly blessed. No, I do not have a model figure (probably never will), my kids are an unruly bunch, my husband is not perfect (neither am I), we are not rich but we are happy! I read somewhere that happy was originally derived form the meaning ‘lucky’ and wealthy actually meant ‘wellbeing’; both of which I am. At 9.30 am I realised I was rich with happiness, works for me.

by Antonia Rapheal