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Category Archives: Feelings

Chinese Curse?

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The Cat in better times, curled up and sleeping.

“May you live in interesting times.”

I used to know this to be a Chinese curse, but reading up about the origin, it has never been proven to be either Chinese, or a curse. But for the purpose of this blog, I’m sticking to it being a curse…oh, and Chinese!

It makes sense, doesn’t it, to be a curse? I mean look at the past two years. They have most certainly been interesting. And I think few of us will see them as having been a blessing. They (the last two years) have been unpredictable, uncertain, restraining, stressful, uncomfortable, depressing, financially unstable, etc. All due to Covid 19. Covid – China? Get it?

On a more personal level, the last while has been ‘interesting’ to the extreme. Besides the virus buggering up a relatively smooth sailing life financially, there have been a couple of other factors in the mix.

My mom, and my cat. My mom’s health has been up and down for years, but lately she has been feeling very sick (while she was here visiting.) The doctors reckon it is because of the sprays used on the vineyards. So, I believe that the two years I’ve spent trying to get her to move down here, has been for nothing. Why would she move somewhere that makes her ill? I’m not a hundred percent sure that is really the basis of her illness, but what do I know, right? I’m thinking it is psychosomatic. Now she is home, 1500km’s away from me, and still feeling very ill, and I can do nothing to help her.

My cat. Remember him? He was driven over by a guest in February (see a few posts about that in February and March of this year) and since then the poor guy has had an uphill battle. It took a very long time for him to get over the injuries from this accident, and he was just on his way to being his old self again, when something happened to him – I’m not a hundred percent sure what. I think it was a visiting tomcat that got into a fight with him. I did hear cats fighting outside one night. And then I found a cut on his shoulder. Since then he has been afraid of everything – Daisy (my border collie and previous best pal), sudden movement, the outside, his own shadow. His health has been deteriorating since then. I did take him to a vet, she said he is fine, physically. I have given him cat vitamins. Still he hardly eats, and lies under a blanket day in and day out. He doesn’t go outside anymore, and pees where he lies. So, I’m thinking it is time to do the merciful thing and put him out of his misery?

It is SO hard to even contemplate. He purrs when I open the blanket and stroke him. But he doesn’t want to come out of the safety and darkness of the blanket. Surely that is not a life for a cat?

Oh darn!!! 😦

I have to end this on a more positive note, or I’ll also crawl under a blanket and stay there.

Thankful for :

  • My health, and that of all my loved ones (even mom – no Covid so far, and hopefully the medication does the trick)
  • The fact that I am busy planning my trip to Canada to see my kids
  • A brand new grandchild due next year 😀
  • The fact that my little guesthouse is doing well
  • A house, food and clothes
  • The fact that I live in a very beautiful part of the country
  • The fact that my son in Ireland is coming to visit in Dec

So, a brand new week, and hopefully some light on the dark areas in my life – I will continue believing and praying. Onward and eyes upward!

Up, up, and away…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I think the time is drawing near…

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m more than ready for travel. It’s been some time since I last traveled anywhere, and I’m raring to go!

And of course, for those of you who have been reading my posts, it will come as no surprise that my first destination will be Canada!!! Today is 2 years 4 months and 2 days since I last saw my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, who was then just under 5 months old. So, I really think it is time.

I am trying to plan a trip within the next month, so pleaaaaaaaase hold thumbs for me that I’m able to pull it off. It does, of course, mostly depend on finances, and I’m really hoping that I can manage to do it.

I am trying to hold back the excitement until I have bought the ticket. No use getting all worked up and then I can’t go. But, oh my word, once I’ve got the ticket, there will be no holding back!!!

Is there anything as exciting as the airplane picking up speed down the runway, lifting its nose into the air, and leaving terra firma for the sky? I don’t think so, especially when you are on your way to see loved ones you haven’t seen and hugged for years…

We are family.

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Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels.com

Go on, open a new page, start typing….

Don’t get me wrong, I want to do a new post! I just have no idea what to write about, so I thought that once I’ve got the page open and I start typing, inspiration will come. So far, no go…

Soooo…I made myself some tea, and then I went out and planted some green beans, washed my hands and here I am, back again, still writing goobledegook.

Ah okay, got it!

Family.

How many families are there where all the members love each other and love spending time together? All the sibs get on well, all the in-laws get on well, all the kids get on with the parents, all the kids’ plus ones get on well, etc.

I suspect not many. (And I’m not even going to go the route of the steps – as in stepmother, stepfather, stepchildren… What the heck does ‘step’ even mean? )

I hope the families that do all adore each other all the time, know exactly how lucky and blessed they are. I am not saying that we have strife and hate in our family, but we are a ‘dysfunctional’ family, if you go by the book. I’m just thinking out loud here.

What probably brought this on is the fact that my mom has been staying with me for the last 7 weeks, and to be very honest, it has not been easy.

I love my mom, but we (or I) can’t be together for so long. The personalities just don’t jell so well. We (or I) love our autonomy, our space. My mom also loves gallivanting. All the time. I don’t, and frankly I cannot afford it. So she is very obviously bored all the time. She wants to ‘go have coffee’, or browse through shops, go somewhere. I am busy – keeping the guesthouse going, doing the endless amount of washing that a guesthouse generates, looking after my own house, cooking, doing a minimal amount of gardening (mostly weeding and planting, with some watering thrown in). When I’m done with all that, I like to sit – quietly – and do some knitting or crocheting.

So now, apart from the frustration that has crept in over the weeks, I am also feeling guilty because I’m not loving every moment of my mom’s presence.

And that gets me wondering whether my kids feel the same way. Because I absolutely LOVE spending time with them, and I always feel like I cannot get enough of them. (Which should make sense since 2 of them live abroad, so I literally don’t see them enough!) Also – would my son-in-law and I have gotten on so well if they lived nearby instead of a two day flight away? Or would my relationship with my daughter-in-law have been so good if I saw them every few days, instead of every few months?

I like to think we’d have been fine, but I don’t know that for a fact.

What I do know, is that families are complex institutions. Those close relationships are always fraught with possible disagreements and misunderstandings. If FB has taught me nothings else, it has shown me how quickly and willingly people can turn differences of opinions into full-blown fights, even amongst people who don’t even know each other.

Whatever the situation in your family is, love and appreciate them, even if the only way you can do that is from a distance.

The truth about getting older.

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OK, so D-day has come and gone…

And nothing came crashing down around my head! My paid subscription ended 7 days ago, and on the surface nothing seems to have changed. Yay!

Things have definitely changed around here, weather-wise. Mornings are still cool, but the days are already a lot warmer than say, a week ago. Nothing one can do anything about – the seasons will come and they will go, and we have to roll with it.

A lot like the seasons of life. I don’t want to spoil anyone’s day, but if you are of a younger generation, you will get old(er). You are getting older as we speak. As am I. Ugh… 😦

It is my mom’s birthday today, she is 86 years old. And although she is healthy and in good physical nick for her age, her age does show itself daily. In the things she says, how she says it and things she does and doesn’t do. It is strange experiencing one’s mom that way, as it is so different to the mom you grew up with.

She says things totally out of context. She makes herself a sandwich and leaves everything where and how she used it. She leaves crumbs all over. She makes ‘jokes’ that only she finds funny. She voices her opinion about personal stuff (mine!) that really has nothing to do with her.

And I have very little patience. I never had a lot. But I’m doing my best to be kind and more patient. Because “Honor thy father and thy mother…”, like the Bible says.

And because – I am at an age now where a few years ago I thought people were OLD. And if I am spared, I will in years to come be the age my mom is now. And I would love it if my kids would treat me with love and respect as well, and even if they secretly laugh at the things I say (which I’m sure they already sometimes do….) just be kind to me.

It is tough getting older. At first your mind cannot get around the fact that you’re not thirty anymore, because you feel thirty. Until suddenly you are sixty and you realize there are things your body won’t do anymore. And the mirror reflects the truth every single day, so you cannot hide from it anymore.

And I see the frustration in my mom, because she’s been relatively active all her life. She still walks at least 2 km’s everyday – not shuffling or strolling, she walks! But she is getting more unsteady on her feet when climbing stairs, even if it is only two. She is very slow getting out of the car. She’s got pains and aches all the time. She can’t hear so well anymore. She tells me things that she’s already told me. She obviously also doesn’t feel her age, but she is 86 – no getting away from it. From here on in, I’m sure things are not going to get better.

So, more as a note to myself, but also to all of you out there – age creeps up on all of us – be kind to old people, they mostly can’t help being forgetful and slow, (Grumpy is something completely different!), and you will be there sooner than you think.

Two sides to emigrating (and time still flies)

Clivias in my garden.

No, it cannot be so long since I’ve posted anything!

It is seriously irking me that I cannot sit down and do a post more regularly anymore! But, at least I had a brilliant excuse for not posting anything last week – my son is visiting from Ireland, and we (my 2 sons, their girlfriend and wife, my mom and myself) spent a few days together catching up before they had to leave to also spend time with friends and family in the north of the country. It was lovely! So, I’m not sorry about not posting last week. But I could’ve posted something somewhere within the last 2 weeks, I suppose…

The weather has turned. The birds are going absolutely ballistic, the flowers I do have in the garden has popped up, and less warm clothing is needed. Soon I’ll be melting in the heat…

My mind often goes to families broken up because of children moving away to live in other countries. I can’t help myself, since I am obviously part of such a family. I am trying my best to cope with it, and when I am very busy and I push it out of my mind I’m okay. When I’m less busy, and things get quiet around me when I’m on my own, it catches up with me. There is also the other side of this, besides the one of the people left behind.

This week a life shattering event took place. Maybe you saw it somewhere on social media – a mother took the lives of her three young daughters in New Zealand. The have very recently moved there from South Africa. She was a practicing GP here.

Now, something like this completely blows my mind – I could never, and probably won’t ever, understand how a mother can take the lives of her children. I will fiercely protect my children from any harm, I will fight to death to keep them safe, even now that they are grown ups. But that aside, she cracked for some reason, and killed her babies, right after they moved from one country to another.

Before you jump on my case – of course that doesn’t happen all the time. Of course I’m not trying to say that moving countries will cause you to start killing. What I’m trying to say, is that it is a huge step to take. I think people underestimate the stress such a move can cause. People don’t talk enough about their real feelings when they do something like this. Maybe the one partner is less into the move than the other one, but he/she keeps quiet so as not to upset the other. Maybe things happen too quickly sometimes, and the émigrés don’t have enough time to work through their feelings of loss. Because they do experience loss – big time. On both sides of this coin – the stayers and the goers.

This new trend of people upping and moving all over the world is exciting. I know, I wanted to do that too, years ago. Aside from the fact that my ex was not in the least interested in such a move, I also had my mother to consider – she would have been left here on her own, which would have caused her a lot of pain and anguish. I do think going through with this kind of move has an element of selfishness attached to it, you have to completely discount and ignore the feelings of the ones that stay behind. I know what you are going to say – everybody has the right to do with their lives what they want to. Yes, of course. It doesn’t alter the fact that when you do it, you have to tamp down the fact that it causes pain.

This was not an attack on anyone who decided to take the step to emigrate. On a certain level I envy you. This is my personal thoughts and feelings put down on ‘paper’, which was in part brought on by this very tragic event that could maybe have been prevented. If the couple talked more openly to each other. If she had more support. If they never moved…