Disappointment is the devil’s child, never for your own.

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 One of the most inspiring young bloggers I follow wrote a heartfelt entry that simply broke my heart.

Her blogs are usually hugely inspirational, filled with the love of life, flowers and particularly Paris – her photography is my daily high.

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We both love Paris without ending.  images-39

But unexpectadly, she decided to write from the heart – and her father’s disappointment in her choice of lifestyle and career.  For someone who makes so many happy, wish for some of her experiences, it is still not enough to bring stars to her father’s eyes.  Which got me thinking:

  • Are we as adults expecting too much from our children? We all raise them with dreams of what we want them to become one day … lay the proverbial path down, sometimes with sacrifice, but more with joy and hope, and when they choose another path, do we show our disappointment too openly?
  • I know I am guilty, one hundred percent.  Which is why this post resonated so much with me.  Though my children are all strong and doing well, I riled at a career choice and let it be known.  How on earth would they want to … throwing away your education blah blah blah and it still stings, but I have realised that I come to the edge of the lake as the helicopter mother and must let them sail … with all my support, despite my reservations.  The foundations are strong.
  • Perhaps we are the one’s out of touch with the real world.  Not every child grows to be a CEO, a Scientist or a lawyer – driven with ambition and dollars in their eyes.  The world needs dreamers, creative artists, educationalists, carers … so many other vocations that may not bring the big house, but will bring immense satisfaction.
  • God knows that we have disappointed our children on all too many occasions, even if they stay silent about it, so why do we still feel the right to comment on how they may have disappointed us?  Have we been true to their visions of the kind of parents they want us to be?
  • When it comes to a lifestyle, or career choice, are we so happy with the one we chose?  Too often we complain and berate our choices and those words stick.
  • I remember when my eldest was in Junior School, being told that nearly 60% of career choices available to her when she finished school had not even been thought of yet.  At the time I thought, mmm, and look at the world now.  Do we, the elders, stick to what we know and fail to embrace these ‘new’ options because we cannot understand them.  It’s quite exciting actually, so why do we cling to the past like we do when it comes to our children’s choice of career?

All I know is that I wish her father saw her potential and allowed herself to be.  All I know is that it is a lesson to me too, that although I have born and raised my children, hopefully to the best of it all, they should and need to be supported in their own choices from now on. We have had our turns, now just relax knowing they will be fine. 

Disappointment is the devils child – ours are there for the future – let them live it their way.

Images Rebecca Plotnick – Everyday Parisian

 

 

And then there is that. Those that sort of turn the day into a struggle again.

f731f3b04e88d2c6e3817d0b54ce1c64 It happens.  Always seems to happen.  Human it is.

One wakes up, new morning and all that, plans made, new beginnings like:

  • Today is the day I am going to get active. No more sweeties, less wine.
  • Today earnestly doing to get the plan into action.
  • Absolutely going to get to all those emails and outstanding accounts and admin stuff.
  • Throwing out the old, focussing on the new.
  • Postive thoughts, optimism for sure and drive, plenty of drive.

And it is good, for awhile.  Shower, make-up, a little plank on the floor for added kudos, and up to this point, you have neither had a conversation, looked at the mobile or the computer.  Opened the mail, that sort of thing.

Boom! It only takes one simple … and the person that you hoped for, expected more from, tried to negotiate with or dreamed would really care, dashes the day into armageddon like woe.  Hate that!  Hate that someone has become the single focus of every thought and emotion to the point where one can think of nothing else.  Literally, nothing else.  

Remember when you were infatuated and the day shone with the glow of it?  Everything seemed magical and fairy like – well, this is the opposite. The day becomes cloudy, smudged with fog.  Of course you will never admit to it, how can someone get you so unglued, it’s stupid, it’s not who you are.

Advice to self.

  • Put the music on, right now!  
  • Tell yourself they did not realise the impact of their words, actions etc had on you and there is no point in being upset, letting it ruin your day.
  • Breathe and make a plan to get one thing in the diary done – even if you have to force yourself.
  • Get the diary and plan a good event, even if it ain’t going to happen, imagine yourself in Paris, or on skydiving in the Andes – just remove your mind to another ‘good’ place.
  • Tell no-one, it will perpetuate the mood.
  • Don’t dwell and go back to that place.  It’s difficult.
  • Remind yourself that you are better than being put down.

The positive day may have turned into a struggle – like yesterday and the day before, but remember the feeling when waking?  Hold onto that. And tell yourself:

Rising above is better than sinking below. You are your own pair of water wings.

It’s not about the tips, but the Masterchef you meet in an apron x

 dcc718178f908c47baa96e437af87e9a There are two vivid memories of meeting a celebrity.  Both times, I appeared much in need of ‘ I don’t always look like this, promise’, but of course one cannot say that.  It happened today, the second time.

First time I was entering the sauna at the local gym. The activity required a seriously non-sexy full costume, the black throwback ones to school galas in the Convent. avec slipslops and the obligatory blue cap.  I looked like a blue headed something to be exact. Not glamourous.  Once the steam had lifted, I was the but one in the wooden box, the other, a Wimbledon tennis champion.  He left within seconds. C’est la vie.

Today. Today was the waitron morning. Am loving this stint, although practicality demands a sturdy pair of shoes (and I have only one pair for I am not practical) which are the Converse takkies my daughter received as part of an ad campaign. Comfort is all so imagine me, beginning at the feet, with black and white Converse, ankle socks (not the trendy ones but the fold over school types) and a summer dress.  I was Maria, the novice nun. Julie Andrews without the guitar, or the voice, or the Austrian alps.

7bcb6f0d3b4e943b726a3129a0ac7c05 Hair hastily pulled back in a bun, and the most unglamorous denim apron to boot. Prancing around I was, undeterred by the vision presented as anyone doing a straight up six hour shift tends to be, when I … you know when that feeling descends, stop in your tracks and slowly turn your head towards the table from which an all too familiar voice emanates. 

Is it? Could it be, am I dreaming.? It was. Mr. Masterchef from Down under. You would be proud of how cool I was, despite being literally the only on on the staff who knew this person. Legend in my eyes, relaxed, with family and simply chilling in the London burbs.

Same gorgeous person actually, yes actually came over to the counter to chat to moi.  The accent you see, recognised the accent and an amiable chat of familiar things. The ordinary of it was lovely.  And I was just thrilled to have met him.  Not thrilled that he spied me in my garb (would have been so much better in designer heels and looking less like I lurched from bed this morning), but as they say, C’est la vie. Perhaps he wondered at this Silver Streeter in her apron serving lattes? Perhaps one day, we will meet again and laugh about the lady in the apron.

The day became lovelier. Waiting on a elegant French lady, who spoke no English, I, perhaps for the first time, forgot the nerves and tried to parlez in French. My utterly broken, Duolingo, maybe one day french.

Sel ou poivre?’  I asked.  Oh my word, I got it right!  She smiled and rattling gun replied. 

Whoa!’ I thought, but smiled instead, nodded and showed the thumbs up, grinning profusely and hoping the game would not be up with a shudder of disappointment. But Non! the gracious lady embraced my feeble attempts and soon we were talking of the Luberon, Cote d’ Azur, Avignon and my love of France in general.  Bolstered I asked:

L’addition?’ (pardon my french) I asked.

The elegant French lady threw her hands in the air and uttered, in a few words I captured, that the way I said it, was charming, simply charming.

Cheshire cat happy.  Before she left, at her insistence, she proceeded to pencil on a till ripped piece of paper, all the special, unknown spots she loved in the french area she lived in.  In French she explained each place, each little restaurant, favoured hotel and church I should visit in the future.  Got a few words, but what was more important, is that she said I made her feel special, trying to speak in her language, made her feel welcome. I pray to visit these places, paper tucked firmly in the apron pocket.

images-62 Okay, were we NOT at the Cafe de Flore.  Would love to have been, but it felt like it.

For those six hours, working hard, the hard work paid off.  In a little café in Parsons Green, that I love so much, at St. Clements, I met the most amazing people today.

La vie est belle today. Coffee shops bring the most wonderful people together. The feet are still sore, the back still aching, but the heart is full.

As a dear friend would say, goodnight and good luck.

Images Peintres, trippy drawings

Soft rain on a Saturday night and dancing in the kitchen …

rain-drops-926583_960_720 I have a love affair with rain.

I guess it’s because I grew up in a place where the sound of rain meant everything. Been a week of summer, glorious, but for some, too hot a summer week.  I never complain … all to aware that the winter days are coming after the solstice. So loving the gentle rain this evening.

An interesting week for this diary of the Silver Street inhabitant.  I understand so many at this place, at this time, and I know some of the stories, but I also know mine.  Trying to get on with it, and I am, as I write to you from the office balcony. This week:

  • my gorgeous neighbour is improving.  She wears a wrist band that disturbs me – like an ankle bracelet for those who have to be confined to their homes.  Her carer, she says, gets annoyed with her – it is my mother all over again, and I think of two strangers compelled to live in the same space – one for caring and one to be cared. Frustration abounds and I try to lighten the mood with cookies.
  • still dancing around the other neighbours who share the balcony next to space.  We do not speak but to pretend the other is not outside at the same time. London living.
  • been reminded that my thoughts affect more than is realised.  This was a poignant matter.  Do I voice, be careful as how to do, and be guarded, which means that I am not being true to myself, and perhaps those I know would feel a little less paralysed by my words – or go, this is the time, the place and the making sense of it all?  The lesson is that despite the story, the education, always be aware that others are affected.
  • the world is hurting.  The Grenfell tragedy has led to more accusations, petitions and realising that so many that were affected will not come forward for fear of political status.  How terrified must you be to not mention you exist for fear of being deported, having travelled untold atrocities to get here?
  • How much has it affected me?  Am I willing to get involved with charity, with holding the lost and caring for other so much worse off than me?
  • A friend, also alone for the first time in her Silver Street, is afraid to travel alone.  For so many at this stage, this is the only option.  Tried telling her that it will be ok.
  • Put the courage to the sticking point and launched a new business.  I began with the premise that if I don’t try, I will regret not having done something valuable in my life.  Am excited and a little wary of starting at this age, but determined to prove that age does not limit anyone, so watch this space. Main point to consider? Having fun.
  • Which now makes me master of three little ventures.  Am I up for it? You betcha I am.
  • Formulating the one year, five year and ten year plan. One year in operation, it is the baby steps formula.  On my own, with so much to learn, all I can handle right now.
  • The waitron job is exhilarating and learning so much about others I had never met, their stories and getting more ‘working fit’ so to speak.  Humbling and enriching experience.
  • The travel. Clients are amazing and trusting. Repeat customers do tell a story.
  • The Event business. My new ‘baby’. Have acquired some brilliant clients who trust and the adrenaline is going into overtime. Fabulous stuff.
  • Getting past the past.  That is very important.  Keeping what is dear and letting go of what is crippling the moving on phase.

Which is now the thoughts and the raining on my balcony tonight.  I am never too old  to learn from the younger generation, thinking I know it all when others are doing what they do, where I may have done it differently. We need to listen.

This rain is feeding crops, lands thirsty, growth for next year, and who know where we will all be when the cycle starts again?  It matters not, for we are now, and I am so grateful for the rain, the learning, the tired body and the mind that seeks more, more all the time. Curious, weary little lass she is in the drizzle.

But wait, ’tis the music that pulls me from my chair …

And now, the music is on, one woman is dancing to the tunes (in her kitchen in London with strange moves) and she is loving the rain, not meaning to hurt feelings, and I am sorry, but life is waiting is out there and she is for taking of it …

Higher places we need to be .. am I the fool who is getting this all wrong? Don’t think so. Paris tells me so … goodnight all you special people.

Image pixabay

 

 

 

Public transport and the practical shoes. I’m still standing.

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Ever wondered about those fabulous shoes the famous wear?  They don’t do public transport.

Eddy: ‘We’ll go on public transport, Pats.’
Patsy: ‘Are you mad? I’ve got nothing to wear on public transport.’

There are fabulous shoes in the cupboard, for one day, and then there are the public transport types.  Mostly trainers.  Early morning commuters in suits and trainers.  Mother’s in trainers, school children … in trainers.  Public transport does this to you.  Comfortable is the norm … because … the odds of Not getting a seat, is high.  Like today, stood all the way from Plimlico to home. If I were wearing the lovely stuff, I would be even more stuffed than I am now.  But, public transport is an interesting observation in humanity, and I note:

  • The Silver Streeter boards, and all the healthy, gym rippled men find The Most Interesting things on their mobiles.  They are never going to make eye contact because they know their parents taught them manners and standing up for someone not a step away from death is not getting their seat.
  • We file in and take our place of attack.  Eyes ever observant, legs spread wide … waiting for the slightest suggesting of a rising star, and blow me down, no-one is going to take that vacant seat.
  • Next stop – another threat tries to move past and find the opportune ‘choice’ grabber of first vacant seat. Not on your life sister, will fight you to the death.
  • Bless it. Woman who has a stomach more concave than Tarzan sits snugly. Has a ‘baby on board’ pin stuck to her chest. Visibly pregnant women are always given a seat – why the need I think.  
  • More men than women are sitting. 
  • My heart bleeds for the tourists with suitcases the size of the Empire State building.  Everyone hates them and snarl at the luggage which they try to hide beneath their legs.
  • Alway the one.  The loud conversationalist talking into a speaker wrapped around his neck.  Loud and we are subjected to every comment.
  • When there is no more room, someone will always get on board – personal space is forgotten here.

IMG_5037  It is not that bad – it is the way we live.  And it is interesting.  For one, I take it as a compliment when no-one offers me a seat – they must think I am young enough to stand.  As for the shoes, the standard commuter shoes, they are staying till I can afford to take the cabs and wear the trendy ones.

Only we understand the joy, the pure joy of having a seat on the tube. It’s like winning the Lotto.

 

Please stop telling us to start dating.

firstdate-2Say what?

The bicycle thing does not work here. You know the one about falling off and getting back on again, or is that about a horse and saddle, it matters not.  Meaning well is one thing, but seriously, think about saying this when someone you know has just been through a bad break-up.

Bad.  Break-up. Relationship no more.  Be it through death, divorce or someone going totally bucket list shit on you, it is possibly one of the worst experiences one will ever have to endure.  To be told, ‘you know what you need?’

‘Start dating.’

Don’t get me wrong.  Some of us do in Silver Street.  We just pull up that best friend computer and hit that Tinder button, and for some, after a few serious frog episodes, go voilả, I have found zee mate! Bon chance to them.

d7aca956ef5eae5613aeb48528c9aecb  But for some of us, dating after the Bad Break-up is tantamount to instant nausea.  Looking for red hot needles to stick in the eyes and ‘ugh’ at the very thought of it.  This could be, and please take note, for many reasons:

  • Did it occur to you that we would rather cry into our duvets for a little longer?
  • We, believe it or not, are still in love.  This feeling does not switch off because someone else switched off their hearts for us. 
  • Grief is real, respect it.
  • We are learning to put our feet on the floor, ever so slowly, in the morning.  Getting through the day with bruised egos and deflated hopes.  Listening to some stranger’s shit is not high on the list of our agendas.
  • We have families to repair, not time to flutter our eyelids at another.
  • At our age, there is possibly a long, a very long history with another which needs adjusting to on our own now.
  • It’s not like asking us to buy a new car, or get another puppy.  This is big.
  • Most importantly, we need to find ourselves again.  Re-group the self, plan a future that we may not have contemplated, but find admittedly, a little scary and exciting with fledgling wings, so why invite someone strange to curtail our virgin solo flight?
  • Do you really think that we are only going to heal if someone else is there to do it for us?
  • At our age, we are pretty set in our habits. God forbid we want to take on someone else’s little habits.
  • George Clooney is a father of twins and off the market.  Robert Redford is too old and grumpy.
  • Needs must, be perhaps we are going to evolve into entrepreneurs, artists, speakers or teachers which is something we never thought of, but now, finance and futures and pensions and places are important to us. Dinner for one is fine, preferable to the life baggage of another when we are being a little selfish for the first time.
  • Not inclined for the nakedness of self before the nakedness of another.
  • And there are some of us, foolish we know, that have made our life choices and with or without, would rather be just that.

88c54dd63306b46bb483b04ea74c09f2-8603 Things may change.  Life is unpredictable, but speaking for myself, I had the greatest love.  It is enough for me. Want no-one else thank you, and you do mean well, we singles talk about it all the time, and we are not angry, but please, give us some credit and stop telling us that we need to start dating again.

We are worth more than that.  We loved. We still do and we will look back on the Bad Break-up one day with a sigh and a smile.  Till then … support us for the amazing women we are trying to be, going to be. Are.

Images: Pintrest, 8tracks and Profile wingman.

All in a day’s work – it’s a beautiful one but I am exhausted!

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I have to tell you about today.  Most mornings I am awake with the birdsong – love that in the summer months, sweet chirping outside and the slither of light coming through the windows. Very different to the dark months when even the birds are annoyed.

As I work from home, it’s the coffee express, the hot water and lemon and pulling the computer closer to see all the emails. I am a good girl, a quick thank you prayer, some to do lists and hoping the juices will get the old forgotten metabolism kick started. (Does it really work?)

Luxury travel and events is my main business, but I did let you on in the secret of working in a coffee shop a few days a week to not only ground me, get me out there but also observe.  Love observing.  Anyway, when the text came through with a plea to help at the coffee shop for the morning, I shifted my to do list to the afternoon and off I went.

The thing is, the thing is, in my little mind, if I am not mentally scheduled for something, things go wrong.  I was mentally scheduled to stay at home and work, and it must be karma. Half an hour into the coffee shop and I shred my nails way down, like whoa, that’s sore! Flip and fathom the forefathers kind of F.  Coping till I end up burning two fingers to the point of serving with ice in my hand to ease the pain.  Amazing what you can do with one hand she says. And so it went, but the lesson here is that when one is scheduled. brain orientated to do one thing, doing another brings consequences.  My mind was on my clients, not on my customers and I paid for it.

images-132  Today in the coffee shop:

  • It’s the age thing.  You won’t believe how many customers ask me if I own the business.  For them, a Silver Streeter with an apron in a coffee shop must be the owner, or someone sad who needs the job. Funny that. Can one simply do a job and not be stereotyped?
  • The accent continues to intrigue.  Is is Australian? From New Zealand? South African – wow, always wanted to go to South Africa, or know someone who has.
  • Young waitrons don’t know how to chat. Most customers relish the compliment on the baby (mums struggle here without help), the holiday (tourists on their own) or telling you about their dogs, days and what they do.  Most customers want interaction which the younger waitrons miss. Five minutes of chatting leads to interesting stories.
  • Smiling.  If I could coach on the smiling thing, business would boom.
  • Met a young lady who was at school with my eldest. The ‘oh my word’ conversation was magic and now we are her new customers.  Says something about the old girls school bond.
  • It is a tiring job doing this, but have become the sage of advice for others – go figure.
  • Make a point of not checking my emails or voice messages which is a good thing for when I do, all systems go.

And so it is.  I am discovering a whole new world of people and their characters and they are pondering about mine.  From luxury travel and events to serving smoothies, my world has opened up to so many possibilities and it suits me right now.  We can take our lives and change them, explore them, learn and harness that information into a broader sense of it all.

Am I a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde? Perhaps.  But for now I love it.  Noticing how others perceive me. Observing life, taking notes and if truth be told, loving the experience of balancing high end clients with being, well, just a normal, waitron.  I am learning that I can do it all if I want to.

Know your market. Get out there and find them.  I picked up two new clients today from serving them lattes.

Images: R123

 

A little honesty about my forth ‘day job’ – she is a waitron.

images-129 Hello, what may I get you today?

Some of you may remember my lengthy epistles from the Birdcage last year … oh dear.  ‘Twas not a good time by any accounts.  Reeling from all things depressive, death, divorce, re-locating, abandonment … the list was one that should garner me an Oscar one day (at least in my mind) but it was dark.

To the point of ‘enough.’  Went back to South Africa to pack up my mother’s things, safe guard my family (particularly my children’s) heritage, rent out my house and get divorced from a man I still love dearly but who has another life now.  As they say, shit happens. I had a bull pen full of the stuff but the time comes when you go … dust yourself off and start all over again.

For years I have been a stay at home mom and Kingmaker. Well, I made the kings and now it is time for me to get active.  So, the travel business I have enjoyed as a hobby is becoming a full time business, as is the Event Designer with a diploma behind me and fully accredited for.   Believe me, doing assignments and pretty mood boards when some neanderthal lawyer is telling I am not worth anything is challenging.  But enough.

Returned to my family, and to put it mildly, possessed with the determination to succeed and be financially able which would have even the best saying ‘whoa, this lady is not for burning’, not quite yet.

So why the fourth day job?  Sitting here now, feeling like Mufasa in the stampede, I will tell you.  I sit at home in my flat all day – working on client’s briefs for travelling and events.  I love it, but found myself cut off from the world. I needed to feel ‘in touch’, and learn. So:

  • A chance lunch date with a darling and there was this sign (in more ways than one) asking for help at the delightful coffee shop.
  • I enquired. ‘Of course, we need someone, who do you have in mind?
  • Me. (Hush and astonishment) Unable to argue for the sign is clearly on the window, I was hired.
  • Initial first day.  All around are wondering what this Silver Streeter  doing working in a coffee shop.  Is she desperate? Is she crazy? Is she frigging up to it?
  • Initial first day.  Cannot move after the shift. Broken. Never been so sore or so tired.  This is not how I remember being a waitron during my Varsity days.
  • Persevere. Transpires that I am in awe of my colleagues who work so hard. Come from EU countries and have ambitions for more.  The dishwasher has an Economics degree, others are working three jobs at a time, all are friendly, uncomplaining and an example to me.
  • They think I am forty-four. Love them for this.
  • Minimum wage.  It’s ok for I am planning.
  • The people I depended on have gone.
  • And, most of all, because I can.

I do not want a job that ties me to a desk for hours and hours, summer and winter to the point where I am Miss Havisham with cobwebs and regrets about life passing me by.  I am now, on my own, and doing what I need to live a life I choose.

So, my week is thus: days of business, days of working in the coffee shop and days of travelling. Volunteer days.  And again, for you, why am I telling you this?  It is simple – we are never too old to make exciting lives for ourselves, post whatever, to do what suits, on our own terms and nothing is too small a job, or to great a purpose.

There are stories in all of us – never think yourself above or below what you can achieve.  Start with the small steps, have big dreams and know you are capable.

I am a waitron in My Silver Street.  To learn, to plan, to put it into action. There is no excuse for not getting to where you want to be, you just have to suck up the small stuff and get organised, stop procrastinating and realise, like me, the past of having it all and losing it all, is not all.

It’s you coming out of that stampede and ‘shaking yourself off’. If I have learnt anything in this new situation, it’s that I am responsible for myself and I will make my children proud of who I am, and who I will become.

So if you are in the area, coffee is on me.

Image: Masterfile

 

The ‘when I was a little prancer’ philosophy for Optimism.

Maddie, Callan, Grayson and Zanele at Botanical gardens Go to that Happy Place.

There are days when getting out of bed seems to require elephant strength. Others have literally trampled all over your life, your body feels it, finances are scary and the Optimism factor exploded in your pretty face. 

Everything you do is just not working out:

your-doing-it-wrong Yup, we know the feeling. – fail.

Days when death, divorce, jobs and idiots circle like vultures in a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western.  Optimism is a dirty word and courage, well courage is as distant as your youth.

That’s when you go to your happy place – the ‘when I was a little prancer’ rule. This is how it works:

  • What were you doing in your spare time? Dancing, drawing, playing in the sandpit? Remember how little you cared but for the activity.  Pure concentration, pure bliss.
  • When sit-up’s were you sitting up from lying on the grass.
  • When running was just for the hell of it and you loved the freedom of doing it.
  • Your bicycle, lego, barbie (yes) was your best friend.
  • You didn’t stop to think the dog would bite.
  • Eating was a waste of energy.  When sweets were fun.
  • Going to the movies was a real event and not something to pass the time.
  • The weekend was exciting, rather than time to flop from fatigue.
  • You liked looking pretty.
  • Friends meant everything and you wanted to share.
  • You messed up, got over it and didn’t need a therapist.
  • Loved waking up in the morning.
  • Your small world was everything and travel meant a trip across the road.
  • Climbing trees was natural, as was swimming, jumping and eating mud cookies.
  • You belonged.

How many of these things do you still do?  

True, leaping over a fence is going to be dangerous and the tree climbing thing may have me committed, but that does not mean we cannot aspire to finding the pleasure, and how it affected us, in just being like the little prancer.  Energy and the spending of it took care of the kilo’s, but now we diet and slouch.  Stories were not found on the front page.  Hours of swimming did not mean the day was unproductive.

True, we have to work, pay the mortgage, deal with the things life throws at us, but every now and then, in the moments between, going to the ‘little prancer’ place makes for optimism growth.  Remembering how awesome we were back then reminds us how awesome we are today.  Write something, draw something, do nothing … make it about you, with energy and spirit.

Optimism will follow and that Elephant strength required will be elephant energy. Hold your head high, strip to the basics and get back to feeling that your are still invincible.  You just need to shake off the dust on your shelf life …

Have a milkshake and if you can still do a cartwheel …

 

The Autograph Book. My name is Anne Shirley, with an ‘e’

Autograph book picmonkey

 

‘Some write for money, some write for fame,
But I write for the honor of signing just my name.’

‘When you get married and you have twins
Don’t come to me for safety pins.’

‘A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?’

Anne Shirley comes to mind.  Anne with an ‘e’ that is, is returning to our screens on Netflicks. When I heard this, and as much as I am looking forward to it, the consummate Anne and Marilla of the 1985 version of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ is going to be difficult to top.  Thirty years down the line and I am still addicted.

Today I found myself thinking of my mother’s autograph book.  I found it amongst her things when packing all away.  Little girl with big dreams. I remember having one myself as a little girl, and being so super proud of it, but also how selective I was about who would be invited to write in it. Kindred spirits only.

Anne and Diana were kindred spirits.  Days passed in dreaming of romantic notions; falling in love, getting married, having babies and having your own home, with a vegetable patch and an orchard. So very different today when we text without speaking, stress about success and need a gratitude diary to root us.  Our friends are all over the world, we see their children’s weddings on Face Book and promise to visit.  The pace is relentless, and when I look at my mother’s autograph book, with what seems silly entries, I miss the simplicity of it all.

Life has always been full of challenges.  We just need to stop in the maelstrom for a few minutes and breathe … reach for the simple activities like meeting a kindred spirit of our own,   being ridiculously romantic without fear and embracing ourselves in a woolly blanket of peace. And write our own stories, by hand, and draw, with meaning. Someone will read our version of the autograph book.

Did you have an autograph book?