Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking at 2011


Since this is the last Friday of 2011, I thought today would be fitting for me to look at my recap of the year. 

All in all, I think it went well. Even though I didn't get to all my New Year's guidelines, I thought I could take stop by copy pasting that portion of my very first TCoML post. My comments are in red. 



I want to finish my first rewrite of Doorways by the end of April or the middle of May. 
Done. On 25 April.

I want to do this while working. 
I did that. 

Good to know I at least managed my first two guidelines. I usually don't get that far. 

I want to be back to fluency in French. 
Cough cough. Not yet. Really should start working on that. 
Cough cough HACK cough. 

I want to revise and study Mandarin. 
Same here. Picking up French will be much easier. 
Hack hack cough cough. 

I want to speak Italian at at least a moderate level by next January. 
Probably should start this first, as I don't speak any Italian. At all. 
Uhm... yeah... seems 2011 was a linguistically challenged one. 

I want to have written at least half of Guardian by December, but this is of lower Priority, since...
Good goal, this. I just need to find the character again. And her voice. And her story. I haven't touched Guardian since January.
Never did get to this, but I did finish another book and do half of a third, so I'm not too fussed. Thankfully, only the rewrite to the former was lost permanently. 

I want to start querying Doorways by next year. 
I'm planning to start edits in May, which might make writing Guardian a bit more difficult. 
Optimism. Sheer optimism. 

I want to get back to stabbing people for fun. (For those of you that don't know. I'm not completely psycho. I fence.)
Really still want to do this. But this time slot was taken up by singing. Singing might become something serious, like... a ticket to the stage. 
And so it was. 

I want to be back on my healthy lifestyle by the beginning of February. 
Failed miserably at this. Only getting to it now. 
I did get the hang of it around October. 

I want to stay on that lifestyle indefinitely. Or at least until December. ;-P
Let's get to the lifestyle first. 
It lasted until Christmas. Hey! I'm new to the lifestyle thing. 

I want to finish my degree and get completely out of the previous phase of my life, since this year will pretty much be spent in limbo. 
Amen.
And Hallelujah!

I want to make a stronger commitment to God. 
Amen.
I do think my commitment is stronger, even if it was a lot harder work than before. Maybe God made my life a little more complicated so that I could cling to Him more. 

I might or might not want to read the complete works of Shakespeare... 
I might want to start reading again. Period. 
And I did, but still no Shakespeare. 

It's interesting to look at my goals like this, because it does pretty well to show what I achieved in 2011. Maybe it was a small portion of what I wanted to do, but what I did achieve was important to where my life is headed. The time of those things that I didn't succeed in was spent on other very important events. Such as my singing, so I won't complain. 

I'm going to do next year's goals on MFB, so if you're interested, please go check it out and let me know what you think. 

Now, let me just say: Thank you one and all for coming to TCoML and supporting me on this my first year of the rest of my life. I truly appreciated your love, advice, sympathy and support through the best and worst times of the year. I pray that God will bless every single one of you and that you will find as much meaning in 2012 as I did in this year. 

Stay safe and I'll see you in the New Year! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Birthdays and Good Company

Today was pretty awesome, even though I'm still reeling a little from the Great Back-Up Catastrophe. 

But nothing helps the mood as much as spending most of your birthday with close friends. ^_^ 

I finally got to watch Sherlock Holmes 2. It was wonderful. A perfect follow-up. What made it even better was that I got to watch it with a friend I haven't seen in a year. 

So that's my story for today. Sorry if it's a bit short to your tastes, but I'm bushed. Promise to be back with something more meaningful soon. 

Lots of love! 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend.

Mine was an interesting mix of our family traditions and those of our guest. Everyone enjoyed giving out presents and receiving gifts. 

Mine were awesome: Chocolate, an antique jewelry box and some jewelry (including an amber ring!).

Still, when it was time for me to turn in, I read a few chapters of Matthew, since that's what Christmas is really about. 

Yes, the gifts are good. Being with family is great.

But knowing that our Savior was born a few thousand years ago is priceless. It's always wonderful for me to remember that, since it's something that does get forgotten in all the activities that go along with the season. 

Do you also read about the birth of Jesus over Christmas time? 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Finished by the eleventh hour

Sorry I missed yesterday's post. Things went a bit hectic after we got an unexpected guest, but after a busy few days, I finally managed to finish my Christmas present.

Due to the fact that my brother got a new car from my uncle (and that the above mentioned guest is a Muslim), I decided to give the men key-chains instead. Still, some of the bookmarks still made it to the tree. As promised, my hand-made presents: 


Our Guest's

My Uncle's

My Brother's
My Brother's (He asked really nicely)
My Mom's
My Uncle's Birthday Present
My Gran's
So there you have it. I managed to make gifts for all of my house-guests without blinding, maiming or otherwise impaling myself. 

The branches in the background is our Christmas tree, but if you really want to see what's going on, you better go check out my other blog

Then, I also want to ask you to please pray for a friend of mine. She lost her husband yesterday and is currently fighting a condition that flared up again as a result of the car accident that took his life. 

May you have a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful time with your loved ones.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This post lacks substance, but at least I'm not vanishing for a day

Today I was going to do another serious-ish post, but I'm so tired I can barely think straight. All because I woke up at 4 am this morning to get some writing done.

I did get about three hours of writing in, and then spent the rest of the day either baking or cleaning. I didn't do these things alone, but the house is really dirty. So much so that I'm wondering why my mother even used to hire a maid, since she apparently had a royal time while not doing a tenth that she'd been paid for.

Well, no matter. As soon as we have the house firmly in hand, it won't be that difficult to keep it that way. But it's difficult when something new comes out of the woodwork every time we think the house is under control.

Sigh...

Still, I'm thinking that all this makes for some wonderful exercise, since we have a five bedroom house. :-)

Unfortunately, I can't really see much in the way of payoff, since we have a black Labrador that loves sowing chaos where once there was order.

What about you? Have any pets that throw your housekeeping into chaos the moment you turn your back?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Guilt

This might sound a little weird, but I'm thinking that I might not be the only one that suffers with this, so I decided to blog about it. 

Guilt. 

It's generally easy for me to dodge most guilt trips from people (with the exception of my family, since they know me too well), but I realized yesterday that no one whips me with guilt more effectively than I do. 

Especially when it comes to my relationship with God. 

See, when I failed that economics test, my faith took one serious wobble. In fact, I'm pretty sure it isn't back where it was before I started studying. 

And that made me feel bad. 

I've been a Christian since I was eight, so when it comes to experience, I'm an old hand at it. So, in my mind, I shouldn't let something like a test knock a dent into my faith that God has my best interests at heart. Now that I think about it, I realize why it happened. 

If I hadn't failed, I wouldn't have felt the need to start a study group and by extension, I would not have spent a profound two weeks where the three of us understood each other deeper than most of our best friends do. It was an experience that I don't regret, except that I don't think that something like that will ever happen again. 

But the point is, it happens because I failed a test. 

Which is all very good and well, but for the weeks after I got the results, I was beating myself up because my faith had shaken because of it. 

But here's what I've come to realize after many prayers: 

1) God wants me to be in a relationship with Him because I love him, not because I feel guilty about it.
2) It's better to use every free moment I have in a day (short, but many of them) in prayer, than trying to squeeze in time in the day where I'm too tired, too asleep, or too distracted to focus on God. 
3) I KNEW this for years now, but lost perspective. Was it pride in my own faith? (Maybe.) Was it the devil's influence? (Probably.) 
4) No matter what, no one's perfect. David wasn't. Peter wasn't. Moses wasn't. Jacob wasn't. Why should I expect to be? God doesn't expect it of me. 

Still, it's a bit difficult to let go of the guilt that I've been clinging to, but luckily God is prying loose my hold finger by finger. Soon I will be free of it and stronger for it. 

What about you? Ever feel really guilty about something in your Faith, only to realize that it's not so important that it deserves the focus you put on it? 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Presents...

In the end, I decided to move away from the jewelry idea for now, since I never tried something like that before.

Instead, I decided to crochet bookmarks, since all the people who get presents from me either read or read the Bible. 

Clever yes. 

I'm even doing more than one pattern to keep things interesting for me. 

There's only one problem, though... 

I have very neat, tidy and tiny crochet stitches. To say that this is a pain in the backside when using yarn that's thin enough to fit between pages of a book is the understatement of the millennium. 

For one thing, I've crocheted for seven hours and managed to finish one bookmark. 

On my right hand, I can't feel my thumb and my fore and middle fingers are red. My left hand is cramping for some inexplicable reason. 

I may or may not be going cross-eyed. 

I REALLY hope that people appreciate my presents...

What about you? Anyone else making presents this year? Have you finished them/finished buying them? 

P.S. I'll show pictures with links to the patterns soon, in case anyone is interested. :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm back again (finally)

Sorry for my disappearing act recently. I was actually stuck without electricity for two weeks. Wasn't all that bad, except for the withdrawal symptoms I got because I wasn't on the Internet.

Anyway, I'm really glad to be back. How have you been doing?

As for me: here are the main events:

1) I didn't get the job at the bookstore.

2) I left the church choir after the Christmas Choir Service because I was tired of the three hags that I complained about before.

3) I'm currently being begged to return to the choir next year. I'll think about it in January when I'm not quite as angry as I am now.

4) I'm joining a secular choir in my university town. Next year we will perform with some big names in the local music world.

5) I finally got the libretto that I'm supposed to rewrite. Can't wait to really get stuck in.

6) This Christmas I want to make all of my Christmas gifts. So... I'm going to take up beading for a while. It should be fun to do something else creative. I have no idea what to do for the men in my family though, so I am open to any suggestions that you might have.

7) I am still praying for God to send my the perfect job. He knows better than me what I need.

So... what are your news highlights from the past few weeks?

Any suggestions as to what I can make for the men in my family?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A good reminder

So today is the day of the interview.

And I'm not nervous at all. On Saturday one of my friends said something that I always knew, but that I forget often.

God has my back. He has a plan. He has my perfect job. He's going to take care of me. My end of the deal is to keep my eyes and mind open for new opportunities.

So if I'm meant to get the job, I'll get the job. If I'm not, I won't. Simple as that.

All I know is that if I submit to God's will, He'll make sure that I get only the best.

Still, I want to ask that you please pray for me for this interview and for the wisdom make the right decisions for my future.

Do you have anything that needs prayer?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just a quick newsflash

I got some good news today. Someone phoned me to invite me for an interview for a management job at a bookstore. 

It's going to happen on Monday, so I still have a bit of a wait, but I'm excited to know that my first round of job applications is already getting some nibbles. 

Otherwise, life is a bit quiet, since everything is winding down for the end of the year. 

What's news at your end? 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Something I realized about my Dream yesterday

Yesterday I worked as an extra again, this time for a movie. I'm really glad I did, because it made me realize something. Yes, I love drama and performing, but not for film.

From where I sat, there was something cold and clinical to the way that films are created, with scenes filmed according to where they happen, as puzzle pieces to the story. And then they do it again and again until they're just right.

As much as I love watching movies, I can't see myself making them. I love the warmth of living the characters for a time. The spontaneity of knowing that whatever happens on the stage will be seen and be seen immediately. I missed the energy that comes from  the audience.

So yeah. I'm not going to be aiming to get on t.v. If it's ever offered to me, I'll think about it, but it won't be what I'm hoping to achieve.

Got any interesting realizations about your life?

Monday, November 21, 2011

My first moves forward

Hmm... Today I might be able to get a full sized post out there. After my economics, I've been going through something between shell-shock and self-preservation mode, but now I'm done.

I'm free.

My world and future lies before me without any immediate obstacles.

Another reason why I have been pretty quiet is that I am still settling my plan of action.

And here it is: I'm applying for jobs both in my desired field and out of it with the plan that if I don't get my dream job now, I'll take a job that will tide me over until I can get my job. All my other preparations will continue.

Yes, I do technically have a job right now, but it's working for the family firm and I'd really like to spread my wings again.

After all, I don't want to sit with half a life while I work toward my dreams, because I have a sneaking suspicion that that will seriously damage the joy I will get from attaining them.

So that's me in the mean time.

Anything big happening in your life? What are your plans for next year?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Good news

So... I finally got my results back. I passed! You are now reading the blog of a Bachelor of Commerce graduate! ^_^ Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 14, 2011

And... two more days in limbo

Yep, turns out I got myself up in a tizzy about nothing.

The results will only be out at the earliest Wednesday afternoon.

In the mean time, I'm pretty much stuck between not wanting to get my hopes up and thinking positive thoughts.

And of course, there are two more days to pray, because pass or fail, I know that God's will must come first.

What about you? Anything I can pray for?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Two more seemingly constant things: fear and economics

I think my economics results are out.

And... I'm not looking.

Because I am terrified. The main source of this fear is the What If question. What if I failed again?

You can't even begin to imagine how much I want these results to tell me I passed. Which of course means that if I don't, the disappointment will be crushing.

So, since I don't want to take the risk of crying over the weekend, I decided to find out how I did on Monday. Only thing I regret about this is that it's eating at me. Constantly. What ifs buzz around my head, preventing any sort of creative output.

There's only one thing to do: Mentally prepare, because I have to get through this. I am not letting this subject define my character or put a limit on my life. I am not going to let this course scar me more than it already has.

I have a life to live and I refuse to let a subject like economics prevent me from doing exactly that.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Still finding my stride...

I'm finally coming to that time when the rest of my life should be picking up, but it's not really working that way. 

See, when that economics test results came back, it hit me harder than I wanted to admit. I literally spent the weeks afterwards recovering. I'm finally coming to the point where I'm over the worst of it, but the sting still lingers. 

It's sticking around in the form that I'm not committing to anything until 23 November, just in case the people marking my exam decide that what I wrote was nonsense, whether they read it or not. I think I did really well, but I thought so with the test as well, so the truth is, I don't want to be optimistic, because the higher my hopes, the further they can fall. 

I know it's probably not the best way to think about this, but I don't think I could handle having my hopes dashed again. Because if I don't pass this exam, I REALLY don't know how to pass the subject. 

So because of that, I'm focusing on work and on NaNoWriMo, since these are my fall-back positions. Once I feel OK to venture out again, I will. I just need my battle scars to fade a little more or to get full closure, whichever comes first. 

Ever found yourself struggling to get back to the place you were before a big disappointment? How do you do it? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

That 10% is heaven.

It feels so strange to be back on a regular sort of schedule for two blogs.

I must say I really missed TCoML, so I'm glad to be back.

Now that my exam is finished, there's nothing major going on, except that I decided to cut refined sugars our of my life as far as possible. Next week I'll be 90% sugar free for a month.

That 10%? I'm only human. Give me a break. ;-)

It's a lot less than I've eaten in a very very long time. And now I've found a new appreciation for chocolate, since it is now only something I eat when I REALLY REALLY REALLY feel like it. No longer do I munch on sweet things for no reason unless they're natural.

Current favorite healthy sweet things: Apples.

What interesting changes have happened in your life? Any interesting bits of news?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exam is over. And now...

Hi all! I am finally back.

I think that exams went well. Only one smallish question had me stumped. But the rest of them was fine. I just hope that this time I answered the questions in a way that suited the tastes of the people doing the marking.

If I did, Monday was the last day of my old life. I'm now in my new life.

And it's terrifying.

Because you know those things I said about what I'll be doing after I finished this year? Well, I have to get to doing them. A scary concept, when you think about the fact that my goals are somewhat far from the beaten path.

Still, I'm super excited.

What about you? Are you also on the edge of taking some big steps in your life?

Monday, October 31, 2011

As of now...

For the next three hours after this post is up, I will be writing what I hope to be my last ever economics exam before I get my degree. 

Please think of me and/or pray for me. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good News

Hi all! Because of your wonderful support when things were looking bleak, I thought I'd let you know about yesterday.

As many of you suggested, I went to the lecturer and asked for either a re-mark or an explanation.

In the end, he gave me an extra 2%. Not the biggest score, but it makes a major difference. I now have predicate, which means that anything I get from my projects above the pass rate will make a huge difference.

Also, as far as I have been able to discover, I won't be writing about this particular portion again, so my chances of passing looks better and better.

So thank you again for your sympathy, support and prayers. I ask that you don't stop praying now, because my biggest battle is on the horizon. 31 October is the date for my Final Exam.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

But... I don't understand.

I really don't.

And even when I know that I'm not supposed to, but somehow I really am struggling.

In fact, my hard-fought peace of mind is now pretty much gone.

With all my heart, I wish my last thought before I went to bed last night occurred to me tomorrow. Really I do.

My concert went very well. So well, in fact, that if the fall was physical, I'd probably be dead.

All because I had this spark fire in my mind that my test scores should be out. The test that I'd written that had gone so smoothly that I was actually optimistic about it.

So optimistic that I skipped right over my score because my mind refused to acknowledge what my eyes had seen.

I failed my test. In fact... I've missed my predicate. Five weeks of studying.

For... diddly squat.

Fortunately, I should get predicate for as long as I get above 50% on this upcoming project, but in the scope of things, I hardly care.

Because the stats are stacked against me.

1) Last year I got a big fat 0% for economics because I'd blanked.
2) This year I spent 5 weeks on three sections.
3) I was supposed to have four weeks for the extra three.
4) Now I have to spend four weeks on SEVEN sections.
5) Not that it matters, because I wrote well, remember? I KNEW everything I wrote about. And I still got half marks on every. single. question. (or the equivalent).

So... the basic inference I can draw from this is that unless I can take telepathy 101 in these coming weeks, I'm pretty much screwed. Because it's not as if I can study more than I've already learnt before.

But you know what's the worst? Year from now, 1st October will never again be the night of my first concert. It will be the night I failed.

Again.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tomorrow...

Phew. Had a marathon rehearsal today. Four straight hours.

Luckily my voice held up quite well.

And... I forgot my words.

So annoying, because the one song that I'd think I'd be able to remember is the one I'm forgetting. Now I have to find a way to remember the damned song because if I can't do it for an empty room, how on earth will I do it in a hall full of people?

*Takes a VERY deep breath* But, I will not panic. I know that I know the song. I'm just going to have to repeat the lyrics until they become second nature.

Just not right now.

My voice needs to recover.

What I'm trying to say, though: Tomorrow, at 8P.M. Johannesburg time, START PRAYING. ;-)

Please and thank you!

Anything you need me to pray for?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This just blew me away...

With my recent post about a dose of perspective in mind, I thought I'd post this video of Emmanuel Kelly's first audition to X Factor in Australia.

My mom showed it to me this morning and it had me bawling my eyes out. So consider this fair warning. I hardly ever cry for something I see on TV, so don't watch this if you're without tissues or if you don't want to ruin your make-up...


Monday, September 26, 2011

Wow. That was... easy.

Thankfully, things are quiet at this end. After yesterday, I find myself oddly peaceful. Nothing's going wrong today.

The only slight stressors today would be the recital on Saturday (Come back for that on Friday.) and an economics project due on 5 October. 

Started with the required Data manipulation today, planning to do the graphs tomorrow. Should be done by Thursday. That leaves me with ample time to finish the 1500 word essay. 

So yeah... as grateful as I am, I can't help feeling a little weird. I mean, where's the anxiety? Where are the doldrums? Surely they can't just vanish overnight? 

And yet... here I am. 

Have you ever had your life turn around so drastically overnight that you have this lingering sense of unease? 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When the enemy attacks...

Some days are just rough.

Truth be told, it's probably my own fault. All day long I've been feeling this urging to read the Bible and to just be quiet with God.

But in the end, my mind just wouldn't stay still and by lunch, I stopped trying. Went to church, was great.

The moment I left the building, it was as if there was a firing squad arranged in front of me, waiting for the command to shoot. By the time I was in my car, despair washed over me. Doubts rose to my neck.

By the time I was home, my outlook was bleak, which prompted me to say something stupid about an inane comment my mom made.

Which led to a fight, which led to me feeling any worse, because I've practically been told that I over-react all the time (uhm... no), that I go out to make people angry (really? is that my other hobby when I'm not drowning babies?) and worst of all, the more I deny it, and get angry, the more these apparent weaknesses are rubbed in my nose, because aren't I over-reacting to what she said?

Seconds later I'm stewing in my own juices, because what's the point of externalizing my feelings when it will add another weakness to my list? And the moment I stew, it becomes a problem, because the fact is that I start wondering.

About myself... Am I really that bad? If I don't deny it to myself immediately, it starts a slippery decline down an incline I'm still climbing. See I used to be very cynical, and made things out to be much worse than they were. I used to alienate people by being angry and making people angry. But those days are over. Washed away by God's love and the passage of five years. But if I open myself up...

Fortunately, God gave me a chance to sit back and think. And see. This isn't me and my mother. This is me and Him and the enemy fighting to tear me down. I suddenly see it all....

1) Germinate the seeds of doubt...
2) Divide and conquer.
3) Plant more seeds.
4) Hit the poor idiot who briefly dropped her defenses with everything you have.
5) And then some. Including ALL of the old weaknesses that the fool thought she dealt with.
6) Rinse and repeat.
7) Hope she won't catch on too quick.

So... here I am. Feeling a little stupid that I fell for it YET AGAIN and really wishing that I managed to grind my teeth and shut up before reacting.

Recognize any of the above in your life? Don't let it go on too long. Fight it. Pray about it. Forgive (As impossible as that feels). Love (As more impossible as that feels). Don't be scared to take the enemy on on the Authority that God gave you as His child. And keep doing whatever it is you're doing, because the enemy only tries to nail you when you're doing something good. It's why he does it.

God bless.

Excuse me while I go evil bashing. Good night!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A little dose of perspective...

Today I'm feeling a little down, so I'm writing this post to remind me more than anyone else. Posting it because I'm sure there's someone out there in the same boat as me.

Sometimes we have to do things we don't like. Sometimes it's time to stop, other times it's time to knuckle down and get through it.

Those unliked things make us strong by teaching us dedication and perseverance. Also, they help us to appreciate how fortunate we are when we do get to do things we are passionate about.

Because the fact is, while I sit here complaining about studying a boring subject, there are people working at well below the minimum wage just to TRY feeding those they are responsible for. I still get time to do fun things. They get eighteen hour work days if they're fortunate.

Sometimes, we're just not as rich as we wish we were. Perhaps that's to teach us that material things aren't all that's important in life and to teach us empathy to those who have much much less than us. I heard somewhere that if you have one meal a day and a home whether rented or bought, we fall very high on the global income distribution. How high? 50%? No. 60%? No. Not seventy or eighty percent either. NINETY-SEVEN PERCENT of the world's population is poorer than we are. We just don't see them.

There are children living on trash heaps. Children left to die because no one's there to feed them. There's a food crisis in Somalia. Some countries in the world has an HIV infection rate well above 60% of the population with NO ARVs, NO financial support and NO welfare.

I get to pray about my situation. There are people lost any hope that their prayers will even be heard. Let alone answered.

I'm so thankful that I only have my problems, because they're pretty tiny in comparison. I only hope that God will one day give me the ability to help people who are so much more worse off than I am.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My first performance is two weeks away...

And I'm nervous.

Yeah, sure I'm used to singing in front of people, but there is a massive difference between a choir and singing solo. For one thing, there's safety in numbers. For another, if I screw up while solo, there's no one to cover it up.

I'm up there alone. In front of people. Lots of them. The concert will be for a good cause, so we're hoping for at least 100 people. Eep!

Still, I'm looking forward to it too, because that will be my first step in the direction of my performing dream.

Now I only hope and pray that it goes well...

Anything coming closer that you're nervous about?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Your will be done. Not my will, but Your will, be done.



Easy words to pray. Easy words to say. But do?

No. I think that more than anything, this is something most of us Christians struggle with. Everything goes well, even the way we want it. Why fix something that isn't broken?

And then God says: "Kiddo... I need you somewhere else."

Suddenly the vehicle of your life veers. "Somewhere else? I'm happy where I am. This is where You put me."
"Yes... but I need to put you somewhere else."
And then I remember my dreams. Everything that I want to do. Going somewhere else might make things so difficult. Even impossible. I mean, the commitment required. The people I've connected with... "Lord, are You sure?"
I think if I could see Him, He'd tilt his head as if saying no duh. 
"But..." And I go on listing all my issues. Then as if they get babies, I think of more to add. "I'm inexperienced. I'm afraid. People ignore me, leave me unutilized." and on and on. God listens silently.
Once I'm done, God sighs. "It's OK if you don't do it. I still love you, no matter what."

And then He stops. He doesn't leave to sulk. He just settles in, perhaps reading. Or listening to someone else's thoughts.... Giving me time. I go to church and suddenly my old prayer comes to me. One that I've repeated so many times that I forget how serious it is. What it means.

"Your will, Lord. Not mine. My life is yours, do with it what You will."

Now it took me years just to say those words. I guess because I always sensed their finality. That's a promise. And not the kind you back out with once you make it. You're basically giving your life to God, sort of becoming the passenger while letting Him steer.

All and all, it isn't a bad thing, I mean, who better to trust your happiness than your Heavenly Father? On the other hand, it also means that God sometimes sends little and huge curves on our road. He does this for many reasons. For me a big reason is that I sometimes put my hands on the steering wheel. Another is that I fall asleep in the passenger seat and miss some significant points. Sometimes He just really needs me to do something for Him.

Either way, when He asks me to go out on a limb for Him, He isn't (usually unless it's the second situation) do it to rattle me. It's not my job to know why He's doing it. My job is that I shut up and do what He's asking, because after He sent His Son to die for me, it's the least I can do.

So... Tomorrow I will be applying for a job as the Youth Leader in a nearby church and trusting Him to lead me where I need to be. My dreams are important, but if they stop me from doing His will, I don't want them.

Besides, I know from experience, life as God forms it is a million times better than I can possibly conceive on my own...

Does this happen to you too? What do you do? Do you leap at the chance? Do you sometimes drag your feet? Do you back away entirely, thinking that God couldn't possibly be serious about what He's asking?

If you're in the last group, and really don't want to be, feel free to let me know, leave your e-mail address and we can talk about it.

Have a blessed week!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dilemma

Sometimes, great opportunities come along. Very great ones. Excellent ones. As in $3200 a month ones...

Except for one thing: They'll be dragging you away from your dream. What do you do?

It's a difficult choice that I was almost faced with, but one shot prayer up and it got sorted out with a small factor that makes it impossible for me to take the opportunity. Still, now I wonder. What if the next one doesn't make the decision for me?

Because yes, I love my life and knowing that I follow my dreams, but sometimes I get tired of watching money run out faster than I can bring it in. And that's the sad thing. I'm not poor. My family has a very nice income. But money just goes into food and survival. Leisure is pretty much thrown out. So's saving, come to that. It would be nice to have extra money to put away.

But at expense of my dreams?

Am I selfish to be thinking like this?


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fact is, I wasn't alone...

I realize now that I never did get to my Sunday post. I feel really bad about it, but with my Tuesday Economics test coming up, I just couldn't sit down and think of something to write.

I actually still don't have a clue, except to say that I am so blessed to have a Father that's always there for me.

Seriously, on Monday I was on the brink of falling apart about my Economics again. It was Him that held be together until I could settle down.

He reminded me that I was made of sterner stuff than what I gave myself credit for and that I have more than enough intelligence to remember what I learnt. When I was terrified, He promised me that everything would be fine as long as I trusted Him. And then when the time came, He guided me through the test. Even giving me an answer when I thought I'd never remember. Heck, I was calculating my highest score possible without that question when He said: "Just write."

I wrote the word "The" and all the rest of the words ran through my mind...

Awesome, isn't it?

God do anything wonderful in your life recently?

And maybe this Sunday I will be posting something to do with my Challenge. It just feels like it's something I need to do, even if I don't know why...

Be blessed!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Book: Josh Groban sings Chess...

My First Book: Josh Groban sings Chess...: Hi all! I'm a bit busy to write a full second post today, so I thought I'd direct you to today's My First Book post. See you on Wednesday! X

Friday, September 9, 2011

Economics and life: A definite trade-off

Hello all! 

Funny how the smallest thing can derail the best laid plans. I was supposed to be finished studying today. Except I'm not. Because yesterday a headache forced me to stop early and because a quick check of the Rugby World Cup opening ceremony led to me sitting in front of the screen for three hours (and pitying the poor Tongans who had to face the All Blacks first thing). 

More hours slipped by with me running a few errands. 

And now its four in the afternoon and I haven't touched my work. 

BUT! I have managed to finish Part 9 of my book this morning. And I'm planning to do some book revisions now. (I have learned a hard lesson about me not revising at least five times a week.) So then I can use tomorrow morning to catch up. I'd love to say I'll spend Saturday afternoon on it, but it's my Gran's birthday, so I'm not even going to think about studying then. 

Some might say I could study this afternoon, but with economics, I rather study when I know I'll do it properly than cram in a few hours when I will in all likelihood have to do it again. I am not yet in the danger zone with my economics. 

Or at least I'm pretty sure I'm not. I have six sections left of fiscal, two more essay questions of monetary policy and possibly economic policy, although that's lowest priority, because I prefer to know 75% of the work as well as possible to 100% of it in patches. Learnt that the hard way as well. 

Hopefully this will be good enough, because I really don't want to have to do the rewrite. 

How are you doing? Facing any challenges? How are you dealing with them? 

P.S. I might be back on Sunday night(ish) to post about what I've found this past week during the Challenge...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Could I Leave You? The Miller's Son? Wait... I'll write you a letter...

Hello all! No real news to report, but I thought that since I'll be going to solo classes today, I will share the newest additions to my repertoire.

I've gotten two Sondheim numbers, although, alas, it isn't anything from Sweeney Todd.

The first is The Miller's Son from A Little Night Music. In case you were wondering: The quick bits are called patter and yes, they are in fact a pain in the ass to sing.



The other on is Could I Leave You? from Follies. I'm a bit young for it, but I love the wording and the absolute sarcasm oozing through. I tend to sing it with a bit more suppressed violence, though, because there's this idea in the back of my mind that the lady's in fact deciding between poison and a knife. Not that I'd blame her either way around. Her husband did propose to someone else while still married to her...


It's lots of fun to sing more shady characters after weeks of singing Tuptim from The King and I.

Sadly, as much as I have tried over the years, I never quite managed the doe-eyed vulnerable I'm a princess act. And sadly, Tuptim as written my Msrs. Rogers and Hammerstein is as close to a Mary Sue as I've ever  been forced to become...

Luckily I get to sing the Countess in Sull'aria from The Marriage of Figaro. In it, the Countess and her maidservant plot to catch her husband being unfaithful. They do this by writing a letter together, saying that the servants want to meet him in a forrest when night falls. Of course, it will be the countess that shows up wearing a veil. (Susana the servant is writing the letter.)



So that's me for today. Anyone else share my love for darker characters?

Friday, September 2, 2011

New Challenge!

Hello all!

Not much news today. Just came back from hanging out with the church youth, which was a lot of fun. It's great to get to know everyone a bit better. :-)

The youth leader gave us a challenge today, but one I've been doing almost every day. He wants us to read the entire Book of John by the end of November. So 21 chapters in 30 days.

At this stage I'm reading a chapter out of Genesis and Mark every day, as I want to get through both testaments as soon as possible. However, his challenge brought something home to me that I think that God has been trying to tell me for months now.

See, I need to cover a lot of ground in the Bible, but in doing so, I'm focusing on speed. Basically, Tian (the youth leader) told us to keep a journal of what we read.

I've done this before, and it was very fulfilling, but for some reason I fell out of it again.

This was the reminder that I have to stop promising tomorrow tomorrow and start doing it.

To be honest, I am so grateful for this challenge, as it gives me exactly the incentive I need to focus on my alone time with God. This can only be a wonderful thing.

What about you? Do you believe in God? (I still love you if you don't.) If yes, do you write down what you've read, or anything that you've experienced as God's child?

Also, since I'll be making a point of writing about it, would anyone be interested in reading some of my week's journal?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To think I was going to read...

Yeah, as you know, one of the big wishes of my life at present would be that I had a thirty hour day. That way I could actually sleep and live and have time to spare.

These days I'm mostly studying. When I aren't, I'm revising my WiP. Then I sort of flip a coin in my mind trying to decide if I should be reading books or blogs. Books are winning at this stage, because I'm trying to refill my creative reservoirs in time for NaNoWriMo and the start of my musical.

But today, I just sort of got to the point where I realized that I need a day off. And yes, I took one off yesterday too, but there's a significant difference between a day off to relax and one where you're up to your years under blankets, trying to sweat out a bitch of a flu so that I have a voice with which to practice for my recital.

*Laughs with more than a slight hysteria* I forgot to mention that I have my first recital in the first week of October. And I still have to practice duets with two people, a group number and my solo...

So yeah. Today after class was to by my unproductive glob day. Well, I got the unproductive part right, but it's 7P.M. and I haven't touched any books. It all started with a trip to the library that was closed and ended with bargain hunting among the many cheap stores that share the street with the library with the weird hours. I mean... why keep it closed on a Wednesday, of all days?

Anyway. Hours ticked away, but I'm glad. It was good to be out of the house, just spending time with my mom and my gran. We made some great discoveries too.

Maybe I'll get some reading done now...

How was your day?

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's one of THOSE weeks

Wow. I've been a terrible blogger this week. So sorry about that. It's just that It's been one of those weeks.

At first I was too busy getting stuff done and then suddenly on Wednesday, I got into a funk. You know... those days when nothing you do works. Yesterday I gave up and took a book to read, thinking that I'll get more done today.

Uhm... no. Because the flu picked today to hit me hard. That probably explains the past two days as well, because that was the flu setting in and building fortifications.

So yeah. Unfortunately there's not much of anything to this post, but I just wanted to send out a confirmation of life.

Things will look up next week. I'm sure of it.

How are you doing?

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A necessary reminder.

I had such a wonderful day yesterday. I didn't go anywhere special, just to a restaurant franchise for coffee with a thirteen year old girl.

But wow. The few hours we spent together benefited us both.

Remember I told you that I volunteered to help with the church youth? Well, she's one of the new leaders.

A few weeks ago, I took the leaders to the same place as the above to get to know them, because everyone is still new to each other. There, I got a bit of a scary eye-opener.

This girl was giving her testimony about how she was helping a girl at her school after "God spoke to her for the first time in her life."

When she said those words, something went screeching in my head. I mean, to be strong Christians, strong enough to lead people in a Christian organization, there has to be more to their faith than just reading the Bible every day or doing good deeds. It's about a relationship.

And for there to be a relationship, listening has to go both ways. I explained this to them and the girl came to me this past Friday saying that she's dying to have a closer relationship with God and asked me to help her.

So we spent about two hours just talking about it and an hour where I explained to her what to do to hear God and left her to it. And it worked. This girl is so passionate about God, about doing His work in helping others and about finding ways to become closer to him.

It really opened my eyes to the fact that I sometimes take it for granted. I can barely remember a time where I didn't have God as an active part of my life and where I haven't been in a real relationship with him where the talking went both ways.

Sometimes I forget how amazing it is. It took me spending an afternoon with a girl ten years younger than me to remember.

What about you? Do you have a close relationship with God? What reminds you of its absolute wonder?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Priest Pie

Hi all! I spent most of yesterday afternoon listening to the original cast recording of Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Now I have a rather dark and twisted sense of humor, so this song is definitely the highlight:



Have a great weekend everyone! And do make sure you know what goes into your food. ;-P

Editor's Note: Apparently it is now acceptable for Blogger not to post what it's supposed to. So in the likely event that the video screen doesn't appear after my fifteen efforts to make it do so, here's the link 



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A short update. I get to sing again!

Ooh! Today is is the first time I'm going to solo singing classes in two weeks. I really can't wait.

Maybe it's odd, but there are two activities in my life that make me feel as if all is well in the world. One is writing, the other is singing. I just adore both.

To me it feels vital to do things that I love as often as possible, because when I don't, my emotional condition definitely noses down. Because of that I revise every day. Yes, I know that that isn't exactly the spontaneous creation that comes with drafting, but Doorways is and always will be the WiP I adore. And I really want to finish it so that I can get it out there.

Just like I want to get my voice to the highest quality I can so that I can get myself out there too.

Do you also have a consuming passion like that? What is it?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Paolo Bosco and Silvia Pitton Tango


Hello all! Since economics has taken over most of my life and because economics is boring, I'm going to just show you the dance I'm learning in Ballroom now. I've found more than one vid from this couple, but I picked this one because I love the end.

Anyway I present: The Tango



Which dances would you like to do?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My progress.

And just when I think I wasn't addicted to blogging, I get that pull to my computer that reminds me that it's almost been a week.

I feel terrible that I'm neglecting you guys although that I know I shouldn't.

After all, I can't exactly write about living if I do it at the cost of my living time. I must admit that I didn't realize how much time my Economics would take up. Yes, it's only one hour, but then that doesn't include self-study (something I really should have done last year) and driving to University and back. From where I live, driving alone takes up almost an hour and a half.

Still, there is something about all this that I noticed this year that I didn't have before. Control. I'm in control of what I'm studying and what I'm getting done. Yes, I'm having to sacrifice time that could have been spent doing what I love, but at least I'm not struggling to settle down enough for me to get some studying done.

I'm so glad that this is the case, as I'm becoming quietly confident of my chances at success. Hopefully that success will carry me through when the tests and exams come...

How are you all doing?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Juggling Act

Hi all! As you can see, I haven't done a TCoML in almost a week. Not because I didn't want to, but rather because I couldn't. I've just been too busy with everything.

I remember last year when I was at University with a lot more subjects than just economics and I managed to post almost every day since August. But then, my life was pretty much in shambles and I was able to add blogging to only studying and writing.

Now, I have to study, to work, to sing, to dance, to edit, to write and to be a leader for my church youth. AND that blog I started in August (incidentally a year ago yesterday) now has 606 readers and I'm still posting (except for yesterday) five days a week. My book is done and I have to edit. I still want to get it done by next year.

And then there are the up and coming projects.

So yes, as my life grew, so did my workload to the point where I struggle to schedule anything.

The last time that happened was in my A-level year. Now I'm going to do now what I did then. I'm not going to schedule. I know what I have to do. I have my priority list (as it is right now):

1) Study and attend class
2) Work, editing, Youth, reading and writing
3) Singing, dancing and blogging
4) Drawing

Armed with that, I know what I should choose when I have time. Didn't sit down to study yet? OK then. My blogging has to move. Unfortunately, that means that I won't be able to always post (although I will try). It also means that I definitely can't visit as many of you as I do usually. As much as I'd love to.

That is and always was the secret to my life: It isn't a balancing act. It's a juggling act and sometimes I need to know when I have too many balls in the air. That's when I start putting some of them in my pocket for later.

But it will only be for ten more weeks. Then ball number one will be gone forever and the rest of my life will begin.

And that will be when I'll be back with a vengeance and in the long run, everything will get done. I just can't do everything at the same time.

In the mean time, I want to ask you to please think of me or pray for me as I go slaying one of the big giants in my life.

What about you? What do you do when your time gets limited? Do you juggle or do you balance?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Attacked by fear.

Funny how fast it happens.

One minute I'm at a high, seeing that opportunities are opening for me.

And then... fear hits. Not just something like being afraid of spiders or mice, but rather a fear of failure. A distant memory that becomes more real because I'm repeating exactly the same subject as the one that is without a doubt, the greatest failure in my life.

It takes hold and suddenly all of my thoughts turn in, focusing on the fear.

Then starts the whorl. My thoughts start to chase their tails, running around in circles about one axis: the fear.

It completely paralyses me, filling me with even more fears, because fear breads. Splits and multiplies like a cancerous cell.

I don't know where I would have ended up if not for a little voice. One that said:

"Misha! Quickly, think of a flower." 

My reactions was identical yours now: Huh?! 

And that was the point. God gave me the ammunition I needed to shoot fear down. Because He made me snap out of the destructive thinking pattern to something different. From there I could wrest control back over my thoughts and control how I would think about my worries.

Most of the original thoughts were valid, but the ones that came after weren't. Once I knew that, I could look at my situation and list solutions.

And you know what? The first solution was the best in the end.

Now I feel like I have a grip on one fifth of my Exam marks when I'm writing exams (one third during my test). I will gain the upper hand over this subject lecturer by lecturer. And I won't fail this again. I'll make it a massive success, smile at everyone who says that I should do honors, and walk away into the rest of my life.

Fear is not going to get a lasting grip on me now.

What about you? Ever got hit by fear? How did you deal with it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just like that, things fall into place.

Things are still going insane around me as I try to settle into my new schedule. But they will be better. Especially once I've caught up on the classes I missed because the blasted webmaster put up the wrong dates. >_<

That aside, I now have to take my solo-singing classes on Wednesdays. Which is why I got some awesome news today.

See, I'm still trying to figure out how to crack into the music scene.

And today, the way was handed to me on a platter. I was asked to write the story for a musical. ^_^

I'm so excited! Especially given the fact that the project will only start after I finished my degree. The timing couldn't be more perfect. And I'd love to get a look at how a musical is born.

Still, a lot of things can happen in a few months, but I'm carefully optimistic, because if I can get this experience, it might prove vital to my career. AND it mixes two of my dreams: writing and drama. Perfect.

Now it's just the wait to November.

What about you? Anyone else feeling themselves one step closer to your dreams?

Monday, July 25, 2011

South African Food Part 2: Sweet Treats

After a long wait, I finally have the post on South African Sweet Treats.

Like the braai, there will be more than one opinion on what makes up the basis of our sweets, so I decided to share some of my favorites. Please note that clicking on the pictures will lead you to recipes. :-)

First up is this:



Milk tart is very similar to custard tarts, except that the milk to egg ratio is much higher, which results on a lighter texture and a milkier taste. The consistency tends to vary from recipe to recipe, with the biggest difference coming from the way in which the tart it made. Some milk tarts are made by baking the pastry and the filling at the same time (my favorite), others are made by baking the pastry and filling it with a ready made "custard" and putting it in the fridge. The former results in a fluffy, mousse-like texture. The latter in a smooth, more set tart. The second largest source of difference comes from the crust/pastry. Talk about variation. I have to admit that I'm not a fan of this crust, so if you're dead serious about a truly divine recipe, let me know and I'll send you one.

Next on the menu is Malva Pudding.

Named after Malvasia wine from Madeira. In the olden days the wine and the pudding were served together as dessert. Nowadays we're not that fussy. I like my pud with custard, but it can also be served with cream or vanilla ice cream. All varieties are yummy, because Malva pudding has a caramel taste.

Then there's Souskluitjies, which are dumplings in a cinnamon sauce.


The origins of this yummy dish seems pretty unclear. Some say it's from Persia by way of the Netherlands. Others say it was brought to South Africa by German migrants. I'm not all too fussed. Now when I have the scent of warmed cinnamon wafting through the house.

Now on to my small treats. Starting with my (an almost everyone's) favorite:

The Koeksister. In a way, this is the South African take on doughnuts, except it's consistency on the inside is more like a croissants than bread. Basically it's made by braiding the dough and deep frying them before letting them seep in a cold sugar syrup. The perfect koeksister is neither too sweet nor too bland and must be juicy and crispy at the same time. Now THIS is the one I hope that my foreign blogger friends will try. (And a milk tart.) Incidentally, this is another dish of Malayan origin, although it's less spicy.

Then there are the jam tartlets:

Jan Smutsies, named after Jan Smuts, one of the most prominent statesmen in our history. He was one of the key founding members of the League of Nations and is the only person to sign the charters for both the League of Nations and the United Nations.

Hertzoggies, named after General J.B.M. Hertzog.

Both Smuts and Hertzog were prime ministers in South Africa, but apparently the supporters of each only ate the confection named after them. Fortunately I don't have to make that choice. Basically, the bases of both these cakes are the same, as are the jam fillings (ALWAYS apricot). The difference comes in the toppings. Jan Smutsies have a top very similar to the base, while Hertzog toppings are made of a sugary coconut mixture.

So there you have it. A crash course on South African sweet treats, there are more (we have sweet teeth), but I think I managed to pick out the highlights for you.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Now I quickly want to ask. Are you guys interested in one more food post?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sometimes, life just gets in the way.

Sigh... Looks like the best of intentions sometimes go to pot. I really wanted to post about South African Desserts, but I got busy on Friday and it didn't feel right to pull myself away from my writing. So I said I'd post on Saturday, but then some of my family's friends came for a visit and stayed the whole day.

It was wonderful to see them again for the first time in almost two months.

And that just reminded me of something.

Sometimes, life is more important than writing about it. Just like it's actually more important to write, than it is to write about writing.

I sometimes forget this.

So I'll do the post on Monday and take today off, because I have a lot of preparations to do for my first youth church as one of the leaders.

May you have a peaceful and blessed Sunday! See you all tomorrow!

X

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

South African food, Part 1

Well, today I'm going to do something a bit out of the ordinary. One of my blogging friends asked me to write a guest post about South African food. Unfortunately, I doubt I'll ever be invited to post about food, so I promised him that I'll post about it on TCoML.

So here I am. Unfortunately, South African heritage comes from a variety of cultures, so I can't really do a single catch-all post about it. 

Instead, I might end up doing a series. Not a long one, but one that I can say is a summary of our food. I might even ask some of my South African friends for help. 

Anyway the first point of departure when it comes to our cuisine: Meat is the foundation. As such, I will give you an introduction to one food tradition that actually has a day of its own in my country: 

The Braai. 

If you think I'm crazy, click on the picture. 


Alright then. The above picture pretty much shows what braai-ing looks like. Basically a barbecue, except that we NEVER braai burgers. The only refined sort of meat to feature on a braai is the sausage in the picture above. 

This, however, is NEVER referred to as sausage. 

It is called boerewors. (Directly translated: Farmers Sausage, but it doesn't go by another name.) Recipes for boerewors vary, but usually it's made out of (hopefully) coarsely minced beef with spices. The spices vary. Because of this, we actually have competitions to see who can make the best boerewors, because the difference in spices and amounts can change the taste. 

Then we have the meat: chops, steaks, ribs etc. One can also braai snoek (which is a fish). The picture will take you to a recipe. 


And then we have sosaties, kebabs of Malayan origin. See? I told you we have a varied food culture. Anyway, there are many recipes. The meat can be beef, mutton, chicken or a combination of the three. With or without onions, bay leaves etc. The marinade varies into infinity, but the picture links to a recipe for Cape Malay Curried Lamb sosaties. 



In the midst of all these proteins, we do make allowance for carbohydrates. We have mixed and potato salads, but  most importantly, we have braaied sandwiches (involving cheese in some way) or breads with preserves, or pap. 

Pap comes from the dutch word for porridge or gruel, and comes in various consistencies. My favorite pap is krummelpap (crumble porridge, also never referred to as such). We don't actually add corn to our pap, but this picture leads to a handy recipe - if you ignore their efforts to Anglicize the name. 


In the picture above, the red stuff is tamatiesmoor (apparently also called sheba sauce, this I am willing to accept), a home made tomato sauce with onions and sometimes sugar. The site the picture above links to, also links to the sauce, which I suggest you try with pap at least once in your life. Anyway, the smoor is mixed with the pap and eaten with the meat. 

And there you have it. Our braai main course. If you guys are interested, I'll go into dessert on Friday. 


Monday, July 18, 2011

My new passtime

I've recently decided to take up jogging.

It's a great way to spend more energy and it makes me feel good once I finished it.

Of course, I am using the term "jogging" rather loosely. I'm currently walking more than I am jogging, but I'm following a plan that I found on the Internet, and apparently I'll be running in about eight weeks.

For now, I'm doing three sequences of 6 mins walking and 1 min jogging. I'll do it two more times this week. Next week it will be 5 mins walking and 2 jogging. And so on.

I think it's a great way to start, easing my way into it and building my strength and stamina. Much better than hurting myself in the attempt and not running again for months.

Also, it's worth mentioning that I'm doing a lot more exercise by this run/walk method than when I was running and quitting too soon afterwards.

So, who else took up running? How did you start? How are you doing?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Where I squee like a fangirl...

Today I don't really have much to say, except that they played this on the radio today and I sat up to pay attention. Dare I say it? Yes I can, being as I am actually a rocker.

Here goes. I LOVE this cover more than the original. 




What do you guys think? Awesome? Not as good as Adele?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dream Three

Sorry that I skipped yesterday. On Tuesday, I got hit by such a deep feeling of frustration/melancholy that I didn't know what to do with myself. So on the advice om some of my writing blogger friends, I took some time away from the Internet. In that time, I started with a new knitting project: a knee length cape.

I'm about quarter of the way through, and I think it's going to be beautiful. I'll share a pick when it's finished. 

Anyway... The feeling wouldn't quite go away, so I started thinking, and my thoughts turned to my three dreams, of which I've been neglecting one: My Clothing Label. 

So now I'm putting that into motion. I'll be starting VERY small, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to grow as I go along. 

But I must say, I already feel a lot better now for the fact that I made this decision. 

Anyone else took steps toward their dreams, lately? 




Monday, July 11, 2011

Sometimes I wonder...

I sometimes wonder what it will be like to actually be doing what I dream of doing.

Can you imagine? Years and years of angst finally over, with me doing what I've always dreamed. Will it be everything I hoped it to be? Will it be better? 

I really hope so. 

After all, I already nearly destroyed myself when I went after other people's dreams for me. Now I'm doing things that will hopefully help to make my dreams come true. I pray every day that that will be enough. Still, if it isn't, I'll have to do more with God's, because I have dreams that have to come true. 

But sometimes, I get a bit jittery. 

What if I just miss it? Will I be stuck in limbo all my life? 

Or worse. What if, after everything I've done, I make it and... it's not what I really love. What if my focus is too narrow, and I missed something I really loved?

And then I snap out of it. Because I realize two things: 

1) No matter what, going after my dreams is a much better life than trying to build dreams on other people's expectations. 
2) I've been using the broad focus for years in an attempt to find what please others and me. I found plenty of stuff. But the only things I truly have a burning and constant passion for are the things that I'm focusing on now. All those other things served only to distract and hurt me. 

And knowing that, I find my doubts fade quickly. Because then I know that no matter what, my life is good and I'm once again living through that phase where everything is possible. 

Do you sometimes doubt? What do you do?  


Friday, July 8, 2011

This is the moment...

So... when I discovered that the Hoff played Dr. Jekyll in Jekyll & Hyde, I was intrigued. I mean, I have heard him sing before, but never though of him as the Musical-type. So I went digging around for Jekyll's big song and voila:

I present to you, the Hoff:



Beautiful words, no? It sort of makes me think of my life.

NO... I don't drink drinks that alter my personality into that of a murdering psychopath. *at least I don't think I do.*

No, but my life is coming to a point now. At the end of the month, I will sign up for that one stupid subject.

This time, I will finish.

And then....

And then comes my This is the Moment moment. Then, I will be free to put money where my mouth is. To stop dipping my toe into the water and to dive in.

Strange to think about it, but last year, the thought terrified me. But this year, I can't wait.

This is the moment, 
When all I've done, 
All of my dreaming, scheming and screaming
Become one...


Here's to that moment coming soon. :-)

Anyone else reaching these moments?

P.S. Also want to apologize for my lack of post on Wednesday. Got stuck in revisions again. :-/

Monday, July 4, 2011

Why I now take weekends off

It's amazing how incredibly annoying an inconsistent Internet connection can be. I mean... I replied to the post before last's comments. Think it shows? Uhm... no.

Anyway, I decided to take weekends off. So no revisions (even when I really want to), no singing practice, no dancing practice. Nothing. Just chilling with a book or movie or vegetating in front of the T.V.

I'm lucky in a way. I really love everything that I do. So very little of what I do feels like work. But, I've been noticing that I'm starting to think of these things as things I have to do. I have to practice. I have to dance. I have to revise. I have to work. Etc.

And while that doesn't sound all that bad, it can become a problem when I start seeing the things I love as an obligation instead of a passion.

See, I made a commitment to living my dreams. But wouldn't it be terrible if I succeed and end up feeling like it's just another job?

So now I just vary my lifestyle with other things on weekends so that I can prevent my passions from feeling dreary.

It might sound odd, but it does work. I couldn't wait to revise this morning. Can't wait for dance lessons tonight. All because I took a forced rest.

Anyway, other than that, I don't have too much news... So I'm going to leave you with videos of the newest addition to my repertoire.

And yes... that is the Hoff.



Happy 4th of July to my U.S. Friends!

Friday, July 1, 2011

My progress on the weight loss front

I thought that I didn't really have anything to say today, but then I realized that I haven't spoken about one of my big topics for some time.

How is my diet/lifestyle change going?

I struggled with calorie counting, for the simple fact that it's difficult to keep the discipline. In the end, I only knew by how much I've been over-eating.

The reason is simple. If I eat too much for lunch, I say that I'll eat less for dinner, except I never do... And then it hit me. Food actually has too strong a hold over me. So going on calorie counting is (on a much smaller degree) like telling a drug addict that it's OK to just use a little less. Not going to happen unless the hold is broken.

So I decided to switch to nutritional shakes for a while so that I can snap out of the "must have everything now" thinking. And so far it works. I'm not craving anything, because I can have anything for lunch. BUT I have to watch portions, so I'm finding that I'm more likely to pick foods that satisfy me.

Also, the fact that the shakes are actually tasty helps a lot too. I haven't felt down about switching them in for my meals. Not even in the beginning. Didn't even get as much as a headache.

And the best part? I've lost 4 pounds. So I'm more than a little thrilled.

Anyone dieting/watching weight? How's it going?


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My answers:

Hehehe so, as promised, here are my answers: 


Maria asked: 
It's very easy to decide you are going to change your life. It's another to actually do it. When you hit the low points, how do you keep on going?


My answer: 
Hehehe this was one of the most tricky questions I've ever gotten. My quest to change my life started when I'd come as close to rock bottom as I ever want to go. My only thought at that stage as I crawled out of my hole was that I never wanted to be there again. The question was how to avoid it in the future. 


After a lot of thinking and soul searching, I realized that no matter what, I had to go after my dreams, because when my dreams die, so does my spirit. So I had a deep and long talk about it with God and I struck off on the road of achieving my dreams. 


And you know what? The low points that come from set backs on my journey never come close to where I've been when I was following someone else's dreams. 


So to keep going is sort of easy...


Suze asked:
Strawberry, vanilla or chocolate? 


My answer: 
Strawberries with cream, vanilla ice-cream, milkshakes and milk, chocolate anything else except meat and veggies. 


Claudia asked: 
Favourite flower? 


My answer:
A white orchid. 


Donna asked: 
E book, or print?


My answer: 
To read, print. To sell... anything that gets my book out there. 


Caitlin asked: 
What hobbies do you have? If you have time for any in between revisions!


My answer: 
I also take solo lessons and ballroom classes, read and learn languages. I try to squeeze time in for everything. ;-)


Susan asked:
Do you have any pets? What are their names?


My answer: 
Yes I do: Three dogs (Jill, J.R. and Ben), three cats (Smokey, Lotty and Sylvester) and one African Grey parrot (Robbie). 


Joyce asked: 
I see that you live in South Africa. Upon reading that the word "Apartheid" pops into my head. How do you see the political state of your country as opposed to a few years ago. Is the country more open to people of different races?


My answer:
This is a tricky question. Also one that I will answer in private to anyone who wants me to, as it will take up a blog series of its own. 


So there you have it. A little bit of me in a blog post. 


I am passing this award to all of you who asked me a question. X








Monday, June 27, 2011

TCoML got its first award!



Thanks so much to Claudia for giving me this award. I'm honored to know that this blog means something to her. :-)

The rules are that I have to share some things about myself and to give it out to some people who deserve it.

But... I don't really know what to tell you guys, so I'm giving you the chance to ask me questions. I will try to be as honest as possible and will answer on Wednesday.

I'll also announce the people I want to pass the award to then. ^_^

So people. Ask away!

Friday, June 24, 2011

What happened Wednesday...

Wow... this post is LATE.

To be honest, I already thought I posted it.

Research has a way of addling my brain.

Anyway.

On Wednesday, I finally got my ducks in a row and went to a church small group. I'm so thrilled that I did it. It was as if my relationship with God just bloomed again.

I also met some wonderful people. Funniest thing of all was that I felt at home immediately. It was an awesome feeling to relax with people who share my faith.

And the second most amazing thing was that the girl who prayed for me could pin-point (without a clue) which of the Gifts of the Spirit I move in.

The more amazing thing about that  was that she moves in the same Gift.

So now I'm super excited, because it's been feeling pretty lonely sometimes.

^_^

Anyway, just stopped by to say hi and to wish you a Blessed Weekend!

P.S. anyone know which Gift of the Spirit you move in?