Floss

Floss

How do you even blog about flossing? Yeah, I get it, it is important and all of that, but seriously! When I decided to blog about The Sunscreen Song, I had a couple of ideas as to what I learned from it and what I would say about it. But having to write a post about FLOSS is really above my mental capacity at the moment and I have been putting off this line for quite some time. But I really do want to get to the next line of the song, so bear with me as I share my valuable experience with you.

If I am going to blog about dental floss, I need a featured image, right? Right. And that’s where I got stuck. Instead of sharing a somewhat inspiring message of something I experienced, I decided to share this very random cute drawing with you instead. It is done by kotoffei on Deposit Photos.

Don’t forget to floss! Or whatever.

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

I am still in two minds about which of these is worse. Both leave you lying awake at night. Well, maybe not everyone, but I have had sleepless nights because of both.

I firmly believe in the law of attraction. Which – in a nutshell – means you get what you give. Be reckless with other people’s hearts and other people will be reckless with yours. Simple concept.

Exhibit A.

I had a pre-primary school friend who has only ever been nice to me. Sure, we had our differences, but she was loyal and trustworthy. It was only at the end of primary school when popularity became a thing that we grew apart. I picked friends lacking the same values and let her down. I let her down when she needed a friend most. I will never be able to get over that, even though I have apologised to her as an adult.

Exhibit B.

I remember years ago when I was in first or second grade a boy gave me a bracelet with a heart on it. I did not like the boy and gave it back to him in a not-so-nice way. He insisted I have it, I insisted I won’t. Thinking about it now, I could have said thank you. Thank you for liking me and thank you for spending money on me – which he probably did not have since we were seven years old. I promise you, I sometimes still think about it at night when I can’t sleep. How I wish I could apologise!

Let’s move on to the heartbreaks now, shall we?

Ugh. Confession: I still lie awake because of some of these too. The thing about this though is that I don’t lie awake still being torn or devasted or whatever, I lie awake because I did not walk out earlier. And not just boy-girl relationships, I am talking about friends too. I wish I had. Knew I could. I did not. Perhaps keeping myself up with bullshit relationships like those served as lessons I would not have learned had I walked out earlier. Now I know not to make the same mistakes again.

Exhibit A.

I was asked to be the maid of honour at a friend’s wedding. She turned into bridezilla blaming all her actions on stress and justifying everything because, well, because she is the bride. Of course, being a maid of honour means being patient and supportive and being abused for being that. Right? Right. So, the night before the wedding a final minor detail was not attended to and she lost her shit with me completely. In front of the bridal party. I need to mention, this is now after I have been running around getting all the final wedding stationery and crafts ready for the big day. The logical thing to do will be to stay calm and suck it up and go home and pretend it never happened and attend the wedding in your uncomfortable heels. The impulsive thing would be to throw down your tiara and walk out. To not attend the wedding and go to a friend’s birthday party who appreciates you instead (in flats!). For the first time in my life, I picked the logical route. The friendship would have ended up in smoke and fire either way.

Exhibit B.

I was in a boy-girl relationship when I just finished my studies. I was head over heels and understood for the third time in my life that love is indeed blind. Drama shock and horror – I will spare you the details, – it ended up in a devastating mess of a heartbreak. It took me years – literally – to get over it. Looking back now I understand the heartbreak and that, if not for this guy, I would never have moved to Port Elizabeth where I finally met Hubbles. What I don’t understand though is that it took me so long to (a) walk out and (b) to get over it.

The lesson here: Never be an asshole and never be afraid to call one by the name.

End of story.

Don’t worry about the future

Don’t worry about the future

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

“Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum” makes me realise that I am glad my adult life does not include algebra too. That would have added a whole lot of unnecessary stress to my fairly simplistic life. You know, like remembering you never replaced the paper towel roll that moment an egg breaks in your hands… Or trying to fold a fitted sheet or something serious like that.

We all worry about the future. I remember panicking when my tiny human was on the verge of starting to crawl. My office was one helluva mess at the time with dangerous objects and tiny pieces of who-knows-what and cables and electrical cords draped all over the floor. One morning I sat down and realised that, no matter how much I worried about my kid’s safety, the problem was not here yet. Sure, my office was a disaster, but I had enough time to clean it up and make it child-friendly. I am happy to say – no one who knows me well would ever have thought – that my office is now the child-friendliest room in our house. There is this saying by I-am-not-sure-who:

There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it or leave it. If you can’t accept it, change it. If you can’t change it, leave it.

This was exactly the case with my office. I took the necessary steps, threw out bag-loads of stuff I forgot I even had and found a place for everything I wanted to keep. Sure, there are still piles of things I am in two minds about, but I sort them as I go along.

It gets a bit difficult, we have to be realistic, when these worries include an unpaying client, a tight deadline, a friend who is dealing with a situation you can’t help with, or even something silly like the unexpected rain when your whole wardrobe is on the washing line (and tomorrow is Monday!) We need to accept, there is only so much we can do. Send invoice reminder emails, ask for a deadline extension or gather the courage to tell your client the deadline is unrealistic (hahaha 🤣). Or, when a friend is going through a tough time and you can’t help with the situation itself, send a simple message of support. Sure, you won’t solve the problem, but you did what you could and that is enough.

Every single time when I finally reach the stage and am able to say “stuff it, it is not my problem to solve” my problem ended up solving itself. >SNAP< Just like that. I am not a fan of mind-over-matter. I get lank upset when someone tells me it is a mind-over-matter situation. My mind matters and, in my mind, my problems matter. And I can’t just put my mind over all of my matters. The secret, I believe, is to just stop. Let it flow. Let it go. At the end of each day, the only person you need to put up with is yourself. Pat yourself on the back, say “I did what I could. Let’s try again tomorrow.”

And that is enough.

nogsteedslana_lanaland_lanabreedt

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked…
You are not as fat as you imagine.

Ja, sure. As if we ever manage to do this. There is always something you want to change. Always something unpretty or too something. I remember in my teenage years (20 years ago), I experienced tremendous self-esteem issues because of comparing and competing and never feeling good enough. Of course, this is the phase of your life where your body starts changing rapidly. Your skin bombs out, you get braces, you gain a lot of weight, you lose a little. You go through hair-colour changes, and you smear your face with makeup to try and feel acceptable.

I hated being a teenager. Not only was I 10 kilos overweight (nobody ever believes me when I tell them this! But it is true.) Being artistic and eccentric and always upstream did not help. I never felt as if I fit in. Apart from my body that filled enough space for two people, that is. So you withdraw yourself. Unfortunately, I could not stick to Luhrmann’s advice at this stage.

When I reached my 20’s, things got a bit better. I lost most of my weight and settled with my signature hair colour – black. I blended in with the other freaks from design school and stopped plastering my face with make-up. Being surrounded by people in the same situation as yourself makes it easier to accept yourself. And this is true. Slowly but surely my mind became comfortable in my body, and much of the self-esteem issues were chucked into the cupboard of bad high school memories.

So yes, I suppose by the time I reach my forties I will be able to look back at photos from my twenties thinking it was not too bad. Sure, I still have issues (and it has nothing* to do with you at all. This is between me and the voices in my head.) At least now, as a working person with some ability to budget, I can sometimes go for a Brazilian Blowout because I still despise the curls. I can invest in a mascara that looks natural and a blemish stick that actually works. I wear what I want and when I want to because I am comfortable now to admit that I hate trends. I don’t see the point of buying stuff I don’t want with money I don’t have to impress people I don’t even like. So yes, I might not be able to tell myself “you looked fabulous” by the time I reach fifty, but hell, at least I can say I was sorta comfortable in my own skin.

I hope you find yourself a position where you are comfortable with most parts of you.

Yours in fabulous flaws,

nogsteedslana_lanaland_lanabreedt

 

 

*When I say my personal issues have nothing to do with you, I mean it. It’s a topic that is not open for discussion, and I don’t want to be pitied either. I am sharing it with you with the best of intentions and hope you can gain a little positivity from it when you realise it’s not just you.

Where have all the flowers gone?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Spring Crop at the Roseland Crater by Eugenia Loli

Do you remember, as kids, how we used to support our relatives unconditionally? You know, my dad is stronger than yours? My mom is prettier. My sister draws better than your brother? My granny cooks better meals… Does that ring a bell?

I remember having this competition with a close friend one day. We used to visit my grandparents on their farm just outside of Groblersdal. In the mornings we would all get into their bed drinking super sweet coffee with a lot of milk my grandfather made us. My granny would tell us stories about “the old days”, raising and nurturing wild animals – I remember my grandpa’s protective sidekick crow and a baboon trying to carry a watermelon while a huge smile ran across his face. My gran would make bird shadows with her hands using the bedside lamp and teach us how to read an analogue clock using my grandpa’s metal alarm clock. Also, my granny used to sing us songs, teaching us the words. Her voice was so sweet.

So, this argument with my friend was about who sings better; my granny versus her aunt. I insisted my granny will win this contest without any doubt. I mean, how could you even try and argue with that? I can still hear her voice. Thinking about it now, I realise: This is love. On a next holiday on the farm, my sister told my granny about this argument I had with my friend, and I remember my gran being somewhat embarrassed. But, maybe more so, flattered.

I need to add that my friend’s aunt is the eccentric, multi-talented cabaret singer, Elzabé Zietsman. So there. Try and beat that!

Tannie Absie, it was nothing personal at the time, I promise! I love your voice and even own one of your CDs. I often listen to Where have all the flowers gone; it’s my ultimate favourite. Listening to it now I can’t help but wonder, like the flowers, where has our unconditional support gone? Long time passing… Maybe it is time to stand up more for our siblings, friends and family. Even though they might not be the best at something, at least acknowledge them for they can do well. My middle sister makes beautiful crafts and is, apart from my father, probably the most unbiased person I know. When in doubt, phone her. My eldest sister has a way-above-average sense of humour, speaks sarcasm fluently and is very arty at heart. When in the dumps, phone her. My sisters don’t have to beat your siblings at that, but hell, I’ll give them the credit they deserve.

Much love,
nogsteeds lana_lana land_lana breedt

Where have all the flowers gone |  Pete Seeger

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where
Listen to it. It will change your life.

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