Friday gratitude

Friday has arrived and the weekend is 8.5 hours away.

Instead of focusing on the fact that my parents are excluding me from my Father’s 60th birthday dinner, hand’t told me they weren’t planning a party so I kept 2 weekends open (just in case), aren’t exchanging Christmas gifts with hubby and I but are hosting a Christmas lunch for my Dad’s family…..well there is a lot to NOT focus on.

Instead of wondering for the billionth time what I’ve done to my parents to make them like this I’m going to ponder some positives.

– I have my own car.  Hubby bought himself a new one recently (an awesome Opel Astra) and gave me our current car.  Super exciting.  I’ve driven once this week but really chuffed to have my own wheels.

– The Christmas tree is up and our home is looking rather festive with decorations on door handles, ornaments in the lounge and bedroom and the mistletoe by the stairs.

– Less than one week until bonus time *does a happy dance at desk*

– Taking extra leave this month.  I added a few days to my planned leave and with the public holidays and weekends it amounted to over 2 weeks.  Bliss.  5 more working days left.  CANNOT WAIT.

– Hubby and I are having our 10 year anniversary in a few weeks time.  Gifts have been chosen, bought, wrapped and are currently sitting in the cupboard in our study.

– We ordered a delicious platter for dinner tonight and the wine is currently chilling in the fridge in preparation for a relaxing evening.

– Planning a braai tomorrow evening and we have bought new sand, stocked up on charcoal and bought everything needed last night after work.

– Tea.  I cannot imagine a day without it.

What are you grateful for this week?

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Weekends on ice

I’ve been feeling so out of sorts lately.  Really tired and rundown – which I suppose after losing my Gran is to be expected.  But it isn’t just that.  I’m 33 years old and my parents still have the ability to bring out the bratty teenager in me with minimal effort.  I constantly feel like the hardest thing in the world to work on….is the relationship with my mother.  It is the most exhausting, least fulfilling, most frustrating part of my life and I don’t know why I put up with it.

My Dad is turning 60 in 9 days.  Last year for my sister’s 30th we got the invite 6 days before the party.  I said nothing, rocked up on early on the day and with hubby’s help we assisted my mother in the preparation to feed ungrateful relatives – or as normal families do it – have a party.  Once the guests arrived we were pretty much ignored, when leaving, only my father and sister came out to wave us off.  My mother had a new guest to feed so why stand outside saying goodbye to her eldest daughter?

My mother said she’d be doing the same for my father’s birthday this year and so we’ve been waiting for the invite and preparing ourselves to see some ghastly relatives (the 2 normal aunts, 2 nice uncles and 2 lovely cousins cannot make up for the rest I’m afraid).  Usually upon arrival my mother will excuse her brother’s future rudeness by telling us not to take notice.  It would never occur to her to tell her overbearing brother not to be rude.  Everything is about her family.

So this year we’ve been keeping two weekends open as we had no idea when the party was taking place.  It could be this one – 10th December or the 16th as it is a holiday or the 17th.  All I’ve been told is that they are taking my sister to watch a show on the 18th.  We’ve worked plans around these dates.  I’ve re-scheduled a shopping day with a friend and we’ve put what we’d like to do on ice while we wait.  And wait.  We re-shuffled things so that we could go away this past weekend – couldn’t possibly book anything for the next two weekends.

With 9 days to go, I thought that it was time to ask if we needed to keep the dates open as we were planning on taking extra leave this month.

My mother says there is no party and she is sorry she didn’t let us know (yeah right).  I’d like to know when she thought she was actually going to inform us?  The amount of times I’ve had to tell hubby that we cannot commit to something or cannot put another plan in action until we knew what was happening has been going on for weeks.

I’m relieved at not having to see the majority of my relatives.  But I’m annoyed that I had to ask what was happening (and told nothing was) before I could make plans.

We aren’t included in the immediate family dinner or anything.  I’m allowed to drop the present off the night before.

I guess I’m irritated that I’m irritated because this is my mother and nothing should surprise me.

Yet it does.

xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needed: Another weekend

As I sit typing this on Sunday evening I am absolutely exhausted.  Today was a super hot day so my energy levels feel depleted and it is almost too warm for a cup of tea (note almost).

This weekend passed in a blur with some excitement but other frustrating parts and confusing segments that just drained me.

It started out pretty well.  We got a new car on Friday which was pretty exciting.  Hubby has being eyeing the Opel Astra and finally decided to take the plunge last week.  We went to collect her on Friday after work and she is beautiful.  It also means that I keep the old car as my own now, so I’m stoked about that.  We went out for dinner at our favourite restaurant to celebrate afterwards 🙂

Saturday we decided to go to Home Affairs.  Apparently going on a Saturday isn’t the best idea.  We stood/sat/waited for five hours.  Five.  Enough said.

We then had a couple of hours before going to my parents for the family dinner.  The evening was to honour my Gran and remember her while spending time together.  All my Gran ever wanted was for everyone to get on but some relatives saw having the last word as more important.  As hubby so truthfully pointed out, my Gran’s in-laws caused the most grief for her actual family than anyone else.  But that is another story.  My parents went to alot of effort and I’m grateful to them for the love and care they put into the evening.  After dinner, we sat in the lounge and each shared a story about my Gran and what she meant to us.  One Uncle shared nothing and the other shared the same story (all about him and his rudeness to my Gran – who shares that???) which we already heard when he harped on about it the day she died. Hubby gave me a look which read:  Some of your family are insane.  I returned one which said:  I know.

Apart from my parents and sister, nobody could say anything in the form of congratulations about our car.  One Aunt snarkily asked if it was a company car and raised an eyebrow when we said no, it was ours.

But that is my family.  And my Gran was nothing like them and I miss her even more.

Today hubby and I went out for breakfast and then rushed back so I could go shopping with a friend.  I didn’t overdo it.  Just bought some shorts, shoes for work and slippers for myself.  Christmas cups and plates which looked festive and surprised hubby with some DVD’s.

I’m bushed now, going to go have dinner and climb in early with a book.

What was your weekend like?

xxx

 

She was the best Grandmother

On the 7th October at 10:48am my Gran passed away.  The last few weeks have been spent trying to accept that my Ouma is gone and it feels like my heart has been ripped from my chest.  We saw her the day before and she wasn’t doing great but I gave her the project I’d made and she felt the buttons I’d sewn on and we had a visit with her.

Nothing prepares you for losing someone.  It doesn’t matter how ill or elderly they were – it is still an awful shock and takes time getting used to.  It feels wrong all the time thinking that she isn’t with us anymore and I find myself crying with zero warning.  I’ve had how many desk cries this week.

The support from friends has been very warming and I appreciate the kind words, messages, hugs, tissues and the sweetest card and bookmark from a dear friend.  My parents received flowers and cards and it is clear that my Ouma was dearly loved by so many people.

I had one friend who has not even acknowledged what happened and recently sent the longest Whatsapps ever all about herself.  I gave the shortest reply ever and blocked her on my phone so she has no way of texting, whatsapping, or contacting me ever again.  She lives overseas so no chance of seeing her around Cape Town.  She is not a friend and couldn’t even show a shred of compassion over the most awful 10 weeks I’ve had.

Tomorrow is a gathering at my parents.  Hoping it goes smoothly but not holding my breath.  At my Gran’s burial, two uncles who haven’t spoken to each other in years made the day all about them.  One is rude and offensive.  The other rude, offensive and hugely inappropriate.  Of course my mother is oblivious to their behaviour and not going tomorrow is not an option.

I always felt loved by my Gran.  Safe and loved – two of the most treasured feelings in the world.  Family gatherings won’t be the same without her and to be honest, with some of the relatives I have, I feel safer when I’m away from my family.

xx

 

 

 

 

Friday

Yippee – Friday has arrived!  It has been a busy one here at the office but this afternoon should be less hectic and I look forward to catching up on e-mails and some paperwork with a cup of tea.

Going on leave always means some running around and ensuring that everything is in place before logging off and enjoying a break.  I have four working days left and cannot wait for Thursday 4:00pm to arrive.  Going to visit one of our favourite places and I’m doing a mental countdown with each day 🙂

We are hoping for good weather but since it cannot be controlled, no point in worrying about it.  Just being in nature with hubby, seeing wildlife and relaxing together will be great.  It is a very long drive and we are breaking the trip up with one night in Wilderness and then continuing to PE the next day.  I’m planning on leaving my data off from the moment we leave Cape Town and only switching it back on when we return.  At least family can get hold of me by phoning but no other interruptions are needed.

I’m tired of being contactable by everyone all the time.  It is exhausting.  I’m tired of being added to Whatsapp groups and I’m over being bombarded with stuff.  All.  The.  Time.  Tempted to just deactivate the app quite often!  It will be great picking up my phone and not seeing you have x amount of messages from x chats.

Anyway enough waffling from me.  Looking forward to the weekend and getting my Gran’s project completed 🙂

xxx

 

Mid week date night

Last night hubby and I had a wonderful date night, a spontaneous middle of the week fun evening 🙂

We booked tickets to see “The girl on the train” and did some shopping before the movie started.  I bought a book by Elizabeth George and some DVD’s and hubby got some necessities from Woolies.  The movie wasn’t great – I hadn’t read the book – just went on the trailer I’d seen and was a bit disappointed.

We went to have dinner at our favourite restaurant afterwards and got home quite late.  Having some hot water now and planning on going to the gym after work.  Life is all about balance isn’t it?

xxx

October highlights and November goals

Am I the only one that thinks October sped by far too quickly?  Here one moment, gone the next!  This year is going so fast and I feel shouting “slow down – I’m not ready” or “wait, I’m not done here yet”  So I’ve compiled a list of highlights from the month that ran away from me and a list of goals I hope to achieve in the present one.

Highlights from October:

– My Gran finding a place in a lovely frail care facility that looks after her and makes her as comfortable as can be.   It is close by and the visiting hours are great.

– Sister’s eye operation went well and the Doctor is happy with her eyes.

– Hubby’s amazing news at work.  He has worked at the company for nearly two decades and it is wonderful to know his years of hard work are appreciated.  I am so proud of him.

– I discovered a Vitamin that works for me.  Someone mentioned the benefits of Vitamin B and I decided to give it a try.  3 Weeks later I’ve been taking a Vitamin B Complex each morning and just feel better.  I have more energy and I feel less stressy.

– An out of this world experience this past weekend.  My boss and his wife spoilt hubby and I with a voucher to a wilderness retreat.  Oh my goodness, we were speechless upon arrival.  A weekend in nature, having a personal guide who saw to everything we needed, delicious meals and high tea!  Hiking, biking and cannoeing plus a private picnic which was set up just for us – it was stunning.

– Finally getting around to sorting out wardrobes, bringing down the summer clothes and enjoying the warmer weather.

– Getting over 90% in an annual test we do at work.  Each year staff do it online and I studied this year and was happy with my result.

– Having fun with the instant camera hubby bought me – I love that the photos pop out instantly and I have been putting them on a line with clips in our study.

November goals:

– Continue reading before work (with a cup of tea) to make my goal of 35 books read this year.  I wish it could be 40 but 35 is doable.

– Get my Gran a ‘fidget blanket’ which is a blanket with goodies sewn on to keep elderly people busy.  Zips, buttons and ribbon for instance is sewn onto the fabric and it gives them something to do with their hands.  Battling to get to a haberdashery shop to get it done.  Need to make time.

– Finishing up at work before I go on leave next Thursday.  Visiting Addo again and we cannot wait to see the Elephants and hopefully some lions!  Going to switch my phone off and just soak up nature – this is hubby and I time 🙂

– Continuing our running and trying to eat healthily as much as possible.  Striving for progress not perfection (saw that recently and love it).

– Making me time.  I gave myself a French pedicure the other day and it looks really pretty.  I also went to the spa to get ready for bikini season if you know what I mean.  Painful but worth it 😉

– Decide what to do with my hair.  It is very long now but taking forever to detangle after washing and I’m starting to feel like Rapunzel (with split ends).  I need to decide if I’m going to stay blonde or go with something more natural and choose a cut that suits me and is easy to maintain.  With gym I don’t want to fuss with lots of hair bands and clips.  I need easy – but pretty.  I’m tempted to go with a fringe but know I’ll regret it in 24 hours.

– Continue writing.  It is my creative outlet and I love it.

Here is to a great November everyone!

xxx