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Tag Archives: relationships

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.

Mental well-being.

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False Bay, Western Cape, South Africa.

Be positive. Be positive. Be positive…

Easier said than done. I can pretend I am positive all the time, while I’m screaming inside. What good will that do? Maybe if I pretend hard enough, I’ll actually become positive? Maybe. I doubt it though.

I’ve written before about how I do all these little ‘things’ to stay busy and positive and happy. It’s not working for me anymore.

Let me tell you why. (You might not be interested to know about my woes, but I’ll tell you anyway…)

I AM happy about the fact that we (my loved ones) are all still healthy, have food to eat, and roofs over our heads. I AM happy that we are comparatively free to live our lives and go about our business (the ones here in South Africa anyway. The loved ones in Ireland and Canada, are much less free.)

But the fact that all of us cannot see the end of these limitations that have been placed on us regarding travel, the fact that a lot of things related to Covid and vaccines are still unclear and uncertain, is really, REALLY getting my goat now!!! And I know I’m not the only one. And it is also not only for the sake of traveling. Thousands, maybe millions of people have loved ones living in other countries – children, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters – and we are forbidden to see them. What does that do to family relationships? How does that impact on people’s mental health? I can tell you – very negatively.

My shoulders and neck are sore and stiff all the time. I don’t sleep well. I’m irritated. I have difficulty breathing properly. And I cry at the drop of a hat.

Maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m just a sugar lump, that melts at the first few drops of rain. But I’m thinking there must be others out there who feel the same way.

The Power of Silence, Part 2.

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Not quite an extension of my previous blog, more of a different angle.

I have learnt through my life, that silence can sometimes be an answer.

It’s a fact.

You don’t always have to get the last word in, although there is some satisfaction to that. Every once in a while, if you don’t agree with someone, or if answering is going to cause an argument, just keep your mouth shut. Easy.

For instance: “Sweetie, I’ve been thinking… I think my mother must come and live with us.”

Silence.

Or: “I’ve been thinking… Don’t you think we need to get a new car Angel?”

Silence.

See, easy!! It’s a bit like ‘do what you want’, or ‘whatever’, only better.

Also, you don’t have to ‘win’ every argument – winning an argument is sometimes actually losing an argument. So, if you think about it, sometimes by avoiding an argument, you win. Does that make any sense to you?

But anyway, I have learnt there is power in silence, and it is wise to use it every now and then.

Try it sometime. 😉

oh yes…

Me time.

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Not what I’m busy with at the moment, but you get the idea…

It is early (ish) Saturday morning. The wind is blowing fiercely outside, with intermittent gushes of rain thrown in for good measure. My kind of weather, because that gives me a reason to not go anywhere, and just huddle and be cozy.

For instance, I woke up earlier than normal because of the wind. I lay, comfy in my bed, listening to the efforts of the wind to dislodge the roof of my house, got up to feed the cat and the dog, made myself some coffee, and hopped back into bed with my laptop. And here I am, sitting in bed, chatting to you. Cozy. Comfy.

I am alone, obviously. My SO* had to leave to attend to some business on the other side of the country, which is fine by me, for now. It gives me the chance to do things one hundred percent my way, like writing a post in bed, or going to bed at one in the morning after watching a whole season of Top Chef.

Being married or in a relationship, means compromise. Which is fine – that’s the way it should be. Give a little, take a little. Argue a bit, give in or let it go. What shall we watch on TV? No, not that, I hate anything to do with gangs and Mafia. No, not that, I’m tired of cooking shows… You know what I mean. Even after years of being together, it doesn’t necessarily mean things get easier. I will try and sneak in cooking shows, and he will continue liking the mafia stuff. And we will battle to find something that we both feel comfortable watching, which is no mean feat in this house! 🙂

Hence the pleasure of having some time out. For the next few weeks, we can watch whatever we want, eat whatever we want ( I love pasta, he loves potatoes), sleep how, when and where we want (he likes falling asleep on the couch). A recharge of the relationship batteries, if you will.

And then, just when I start thinking that this being alone thing is totally crap, he comes back, and we can happily argue over what to eat and what to watch on TV again.

Enjoy your Saturday, I know I’m going to – huddled at home, with my knitting, and the wind howling outside…

Until next time, stay safe. 🙂

About life and lying.

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Sweet little flower of a creeper, creeping all over a dead pile of wood.

The other day I wrote a bit about HOPE, and the importance of hope in one’s life.

There are a few more things (‘things’ doesn’t quite seem like the right word here…) that are very important to me in my life, and I can only hope ( 😉 ), in other people’s lives as well.

TRUTH, for instance. It is very easy to say ‘I always speak the truth.’ Do you? Think about it. Do you always speak the truth? If a friend asks you what you think of her new dress, do you give an honest answer, or do you say what you think she wants to hear, and justify it with ‘it was only a white lie’? If your spouse, who loves cooking, asks you what you think of a new dish he/she has prepared, do you give an honest answer? It has become way too easy to slip into telling a lie, and make an excuse about it, or worse, not to even think about further!

Now, there is also telling lies without speaking. Your actions can be lies. Ever thought about that? For instance – you may be associating with someone that makes you uncomfortable. Maybe they are atheist/Muslim/Christian/gay/wrong political party, and you are uncomfortable because you were raised differently, but you see them anyway because ‘everybody does it’ – it is politically correct. NOT because you really want to be friends with them. That is lying by actions.

Or you are having an affair. And then you go home and pretend everything is fine, and you still love your husband. Lying with your actions.

There are lots and lots of examples of both telling lies and lying with your actions, but I’m sure you get where I’m going with this.

There is no reason to lie. It is always, always better to tell the truth. It might make things uncomfortable for you, because your husband might leave you, or your ‘friends’ might find out what your true feelings are, and distance themselves from you. But if you were truthful from the start, a lot of discomfort and hurt could have been avoided.

If everybody lived the truth, what an amazing world this would be!

Until next time, blog friends! 🙂