Friday, May 26, 2017

{Friendship Friday} Old friends


Hey, we haven't done one of these for a long time.

I'm in a weird space with friendship. It might be just this time of year but I don't think so.

On the one hand I feel like I'm too busy with friends. That's actually true because I updated my diaries and such two nights ago and with one week left of May, I'd already had NINE socials. And we're not even having book club in May!

Then again, on the other hand, I feel like I'm just not busy at all.

I suspect that this feeling of space in my life is a God-sized hole for ministry! :)


Anyway, as I continue to pray about it, pray with me if you're the praying sort.

Back to the friends.

I've had a couple of old friend encounters lately. Over 9 days, I had 3 "old friend" encounters which was a real blessing.
  • One friend and I met up after two years. And I recommend the fish tacos at Doppio Zero if you're not too hungry - delish!
  • One friend and I ran into each other at church after probably about 4 years.
  • And then while another friend and I were walking to the parking area in a mall after having lunch together, I ran into my old hairdresser after 7 years.

Wow.

It was so nice.

spying on these 3 from the stairs ;)


And the interesting thing for me was that I just held all these encounters loosely. I didn't feel the need to get out the diaries and schedule time together again. I enjoyed the time together and left on a good note. Very unlike me.

We've spoken on this blog before about how, if you see someone in public, some of us will say hello and others just pretend to not see. ;)

For me, I would feel more awkward ignoring (or pretending to ignore) someone than just going to speak to that person.

What about you? Would you go up and talk to the person?
And do you feel the need to invest if you haven't seen a friend for a long time, or do you hold these experiences loosely?

On a lighter note, what do you have planned for the weekend?

PS I have a date with D, and I plan to read and finish our book club book!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Which 3 things are most contributing to your happiness right now?


 

This is the fun thing about podcasts.

There's the topic (which is the thing that's published) but most of the podcasts also have some questions they always ask their guests.

Shauna Niequist (she wrote Bittersweet - still on my Kindle! - Bread and Wine (joint favourite non-fiction of 2014 with the Nesting Place), Savor, Present over Perfect, and my favourite essay about using your stuff) just started a podcast (this Monday was episode 3!) and in addition to the usual stuff, she asks her guests fun things about food, cooking and the question above.

Since I don't have my own podcast, let's just pretend you're all my guests.



The 3 things that most contribute to my happiness right now are:

the gorgeous visuals of autumn (I can't get enough!)
I've been on two dedicated photohunts already and still, I keep driving by trees and thinking, "oh! I really should come back with my big camera to take more pics!"

(Jeanette, if you're still reading, the place where we met for lunch on Rivonia has AMAZING leaves!)

podcasts
I decluttered about 15 in April, and I found a ton more. Maybe I had to let go to find new good ones?

I've discovered a thing - I can actually fast forward when there's too much preamble I'm not interested in. I always knew this could be done but I was too much of a good girl to actually do it.

new jeans
I bought some new jeans at Pick 'n Pay clothing and they are tighter so I don't have to roll the top over. So much happiness!

This is not a "what I wore on Friday" blog so you'll just have to see them in person.

So, tell me.

Which 3 things are most contributing to your happiness right now?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New work rhythms




I've been working from home 1 day a week probably for just over a year now.

This only happens if there is a day with no meetings, so during busy periods there just are meetings every day, which kind-of sucks :)

After one of the holiday weeks, I think it might have been the week after the Easter weekend, we had meetings daily and it about killed me. I was exhausted on the Friday.

It's fascinating to me how quickly I got used to that extra day out of the office. Because whether that day is a Tues, Wed or Thurs, it does mean that I never have to go to the office for more than 3 days in a row.

Before you all think I'm extremely spoiled, let me remind you that a good day in traffic is 45 minutes one way.

Yes, it's long but it's good podcasting or audio book time.



So let's talk about my work rhythms when I'm at home.
  1. I take it super slow in the morning. What I should do and only do about 20% of the time is read. Mostly I scroll Instagram.
  2. I shower, dress, etc. at my leisure (while listening to a podcast) and eat breakfast while reading.
  3. Then I get to work and I make sure I do all my good work until 2.25 til I have to leave to fetch the kids. One of my delights in life is doing the mom thing. 
  4. I walk to fetch them and we chat while walking back. It's very sweet to see their little friends and hear them calling to me as C's mom or K's mom.
  5. I then quickly make our lunch (my love language is acts of service, so I love doing this kind of thing) , take my food back to the computer and eat while I continue working.
  6. I usually end a bit early - around 4. But sometimes it's like a full day and I end at 6ish. I'm task-oriented so I know what I want to get done and I work til it's done.


Today was a work from home day and I went on a quick photo hunt for autumn photos at lunch, and when I finished work, I went to the shops for (more) long-sleeved school shirts. On other days, I might run an errand or two, or meet a friend for lunch or tea. Next week, I need to go get two small things sorted on my car.

It's actually the absolute best of both worlds.

I love being at home because of all the above... and I love being in the office because... people! and stuff going on! and sorting stuff out with internal departments. And if the people there annoy me a bit, I tell myself, only a day or two til I get a break and get to work from home :)

I'm writing this mostly to remind me of how much my current role suits my skill set and my lifestyle, especially as this is the start of Busy Season.

So what do you like about your current job? Does it work with your introvert/ extrovert self?

Monday, May 08, 2017

A complete mixed bag :0



So I'm having a fabulous reading year.

I consciously starting spending fewer hours on social media each day last year, and that habit has thankfully continued so it's translated well to my reading.

And I realised I could actually read much more if I didn't listen to any podcasts or I didn't blog on Organising Queen.

But as it stands, I'm really happy with my reading life at the moment. I'm listening to enough books, and reading a more or less equal number of physical and Kindle/ Overdrive books.

How happy are you with your reading life on a scale of 1 - 10?
 

These were my April books.

I read 12 in total - 1 audible, 7 Kindle and 4 physical books.

Books that received 4 out of 5 * (I have probably given only 2 - 3 5* reviews per 100 books read)

  1. Mad about you
  2. Two Fridays in April
  3. My husband's wife
  4. Oxygen (our book club read)
  5. Little Beach Street Bakery (Jenny Colgan
  6. The Marriage Lie
Most disappointing read
Recipes for love and murder

Books that were really well-written (and that also made me happy - English/ Irish setting?)
Mad about you and Two Fridays in April

There were a couple of books where I'd invested too much time in and would have abandoned if not for that little fact because it's not like you can add up all the half-read books :)

Still, hopefully this month will be a great reading month too.

I already read a fantastic non-fiction which I talked about a little on Instagram if you want to see.

But back to you.

Tell me about your most disappointing read in April, and one that made you super happy.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

So hey, it's May!



We've just been away for 5 days and I feel like I want to write before I forget things.

Driving there was easy-peasy. Still took us 5.5 hours because we stopped at the Dinosaur Park on the way. This was part of our bright idea to make the journey part of the holiday.

This is not my usual style - I really like to Get There and I don't like Faffing Around while travelling :)

Yesterday it took us 6.5 hours to get back. Only one stop but LOTS of roadblocks. Remind me to not travel on a public holiday again.

I'll put up a post with pictures when I finished deleting all the duds :)



April was good, wasn't it?

It feels like it was both busy and relaxing, which is super weird. Maybe it feels busy because of all the public holidays because I don't feel like I had many socials. I did get to see two friends I haven't seen the whole year so that was really, really nice.

Book club is going well. So well I'm seriously thinking of starting another book club - this time for children.

Am I mad? 

I've started a Goodreads account for Connor (I still have to do Kendra's one) and they tell me what they like and don't like. Granted, it's like pulling teeth but I want to get them used to enjoying books. I keep telling them it's the best thing in the world to have time to read :)



Other than socials and reading (which I'll of course write more about), I've been thinking a lot about friendship and such. That post is still percolating but I'll write when I'm ready.

Aside from that, I had a Brazilian Hairdo that didn't work. The lady is cross about it (I was very nice but I whatsapped her 2 videos of my non-straight hair...) so now it's awkward to go back. For the love!

So how was your April? Did you go away? How was the trip? And how's your hair looking?

PS this was the first holiday in years (maybe 6 - 7 years) where I didn't take my laptop!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Yay, it's freedom week!



Three things make this freedom week:

1) my one friend has resigned from work and she finishes on Wednesday - so excited for her :)

2) it's Freedom Day on Thursday. For the non-South Africans, here's a write-up from Wikipedia

Freedom Day is a South African public holiday (its national day), celebrated on 27 April. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994. The elections were the first non-racial national elections where everyone of voting age of over 18 from any race group, including foreign citizens permanently resident in South Africa,[1] were allowed to vote. Previously, under the apartheid regime, non-whites had only limited rights to vote.


3) we're going on a little break this week too - woohoo - our first holiday since moving into this house and high time, if you ask me!

Of course, freedom is my number 1 value so I'm very passionate about the concept of freedom. Turns out it's important to God too. This is my favourite scripture about freedom:

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” NIV


This blog post is short and sweet because it's pay day tomorrow and I need to do my budget recon before all the new money comes in :)

But tell me, what does freedom mean to you? What are you planning for Freedom Week?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!


It's the end of the Easter weekend and it's been a really lovely one.

Relaxing, even!

I had this bright idea to invite D's mom for Good Friday lunch. Well, I said sometime over the weekend, and D said, "let's do it on Good Friday so it's over and done with". He is a keeper and comes up with the best ideas!

So that's what we did and our only people commitments were over and done with.



A few notable moments:
  1. church on Good Friday morning
  2. family lunch afterwards
  3. RAIN!
  4. running around the garden with my camera after the rains - this is my best!
  5. reading, reading, reading my Jenny Colgan
  6. gym as usual on Saturday morning
  7. supreme chilling and pottering
  8. playing with my website for hours and hours and hours (some of this was pure torture but needs must... and the one thing is still not fixed - my picture was linking to an old domain I've let go and I can't find where to change that in the code)
  9. Remembering that Jesus rose from the dead! 
  10. An Easter egg hunt - this is Connor's favourite thing of the whole year - he's been talking about it since January.... and they had such fun. We have a much bigger garden so they were occupied forever.
  11. more chilling
  12. a power outage, short walk and "the best supper ever" (French bread with cheese/ apple slices/ yoghurt and a mini doughnut in case you want to replicate :)) by candlelight
  13. the power came on after two hours so I RAN to the kettle to make tea and jumped into bed with my book 
and here we are - Monday.



We're going to see a movie later - Boss Baby. I adore Alec Baldwin, especially his voice, so I can't wait.

But the best news for today is.....tomorrow Alec Baldwin's memoir releases. Of course I pre-ordered so I will get it at midnight!

How was your Easter weekend?

PS My children have just discovered Siri and it's the most fun ever!

Friday, April 07, 2017

I'm falling into completely bad habits



I once successfully started a good habit of cleaning my face every night before bed. I remember I started that habit on 21 March (of whichever year) because we went to see Michael Buble that evening.

And then in July when we went on holiday, my good streak was broken and I never started up again.

I've been in a great sleep habit for a long time but I do track it which is the magic pill for me.

Anything I track I do well :)

But last week I read past 1 am on two nights because I have no discipline to go to sleep instead of reading.

But I confessed on Instagram on Monday and it's been good accountability for me because I've been in bed by 10.30 this whole week.

However, the weekend is near so who knows what'll happen :0



Last month, March, I had a spectacularly great reading month with 12 books.

I finished my Maeve Binchy on the Wed night, the end of the month was Friday and I posted on Instagram "wondering" if I'd just relax or try to read another. All while I was charging my Kindle. It's like my body knew before my mind had been made up.

So I checked the books available (still 31!) and selected the Lisa Hall, a psychological thriller (I think that's what you call these books). I read and read and read, and finished it outside of work, kids, school meetings and coaching calls, after 1am.

I was knackered the next day but it was great to completely dive in for a long stretch. Like the pre-kids days :)

The stats
12 read
5 non-fiction; 7 fiction
Most books read in one day, 14th March - 2 books (while on flights to and from Cape Town)
Audible: Kindle: Physical = 1:5:6

Noteworthy
I read my first Jodi Picoult and I loved it despite some hot-button topics!
I of course loved the Liane Moriarty, the Hypnotist's Love Story. She writes such great books full of discussion topics, perfect for book clubs :)

I'm currently reading Friends like us, Irish fiction by a new-to-me author, and I'm listening to Jen Hatmaker's For the Love, which I got through the free Overdrive app through my library membership.

What are you reading and listening to?

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Let's talk about comparison

Guys, it feels like forever since we've chatted even though it's not even been a week!

Ha - my standards are low these days.




Anyway, I want to talk about comparison.

This has come up 4 times for me recently:

1. Our podcast club had this come up as a question on our parenting, like do you compare yourself with other mothers in your parenting?

Both of us said no. Great!

Do you compare yourself in that way? How?



2. Then, I listened to this podcast and this guest said her reading had started to feel competitive because of Instagram. Like you start judging the books you read - are they cool enough, literary enough, up to date enough?

I get that. I don't care what Instagram followers think but I realised that I actually don't listen to that very podcast because I compare myself to those guests and feel like my reading is not literary enough.

Then I started listening again.

Really weird.



3. Design Mom linked to this post where he talks about the way to be happier.

Do you know what that is?

To think like a bronze medalist and not like the silver one. The thinking is that when you're the silver medalist you compare up, and say "oh, I missed the gold. I should have been faster" but when you're the bronze medalist, you compare down so you're grateful to place 3rd.

I, of course, thought of instagram, which is the gold medal. Everything is perfect and all are in the top 1% of experiences - perfect holidays, houses, clothes, families, etc.

We look at that perfection and we're unhappy because we don't have that - or maybe you have.

What we should do is think about all the things we do have that others don't. Some people don't even have houses, families, jobs, money for new clothes, etc.

It all comes down to perspective but it's a great reminder.



4. And then this post.

This post says that basically we're confident until we compare. That's also true.

We've all had instances where we were quite happy with a situation and then we found out more information (someone else's salary, job title, what they drive, etc.) and then suddenly we're unhappy with our lot.

Tell me what you think.
Do you battle with comparison?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bookish things a whole month late

I was looking for my Feb post and realised.... I never posted about my books.

February was a great month for reading for many reasons:

  1. We had our first book club.
  2. I discovered Overdrive (free digital and audio books that are actually things I want to read, not the cheap stuff from Bookbub) 
  3. 11 books!

Let's talk about the books:

8 fiction; 3 non-fiction
3 Audible; 3 Physical; 5 Kindle books


  • The one that delighted me the most - Parenting without Power Struggles (but listen at 1.25 speed)
  • New-to-me author that I'll definitely read again - Clare Dowling's Just the three of us
  • Old but loved author - Carole Matthews's A cottage by the sea, and....
  • Our book club read - I let you go, a solid 4* book
My word of the year is GIVE. And yes, I've been giving but I've been receiving a lot too. God is so fun!

One friend sent me a $10 Amazon gift card :) :) (imagine the Spanish dancing girl emoji)


Have you read a new-to-you author lately?
Or an old but loved author?

I'll be back next week with my March books ;)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails