“Enjoy life Today because Yesterday is in the past and Tomorrow is never promised…”

Enjoy life

These words are what I’ve been saying to myself on a continuous basis since a few days ago. I am a natural worry-head, procrastinator and generally think too far ahead into the future. I will be the first to admit, this has driven my stress levels up and on one too many occasions, has threatened to leave me at the brink of insanity. If I can’t predict the outcome of a situation, then I don’t feel comfortable. (With that said, I haven’t been too far off the mark quite a few times…just saying).

I normally analyze things to death purely because I feel like I need to be prepared for whatever comes my way (or might come my way).

I recently reminded myself of the words at the topic of today’s post. Why?…well I don’t really know. Maybe it’s God speaking to me or maybe I’ve just reached a point where I’ve really just had enough of the lemons life is handing me and simply can’t take it anymore.

Whichever it is, I’m going to give it a go.

So, here’s what I decided and what repeating these words to myself means:

Yesterday…it’s done and dusted. Nothing I try will bring it back and there’s no changing what did or didn’t happen…I need to accept that. I close my minds door on it and move on. Besides, dwelling on it might just deliver way too much regret for me to live with…leading to a constant downward spiral as I would have added some more baggage from all the yesterday’s gone before. Having this approach, reminds me of the movie 50 first dates with Drew Barrymore. She woke up each day having totally no recollection of the day before because it “never happened“. Imagine that!

Tomorrow
…well that hasn’t happened yet and it’s quite possibly in the “Too far ahead to think about” category. So I’m making a conscious decision not to think about it or plan for it. I might not even make it to tomorrow for all I know, which is why I accept that “Tomorrow is never promised“.

Today…now here’s the exciting part for me. It’s the start of a new yesterday. No matter what I didn’t manage to do yesterday, today gives me an opportunity to start all over. I get to try again or start something new. The way I see it, Today is filled with so much possibilities and opportunities. If I get to do at least one thing of value, then I will feel as if I have achieved something. At the moment, I’m trying to do this with at least every aspect of my life. For example:

At work

I try to do at least one thing that will add value to either the business or one of my colleagues. For instance, I ended up giving my laptop to a colleague as he will be working off-site for the next 2-3 weeks and we only had a Tablet spare. (For context, part of my job is providing IT support/Admin to the members of our greater team). It helps him to do what he needs to for the time that he’ll be away. It also solves a problem for management, no matter how big, small or insignificant.

As an example, I got this, this morning: “Morning, I have to compliment you. Wanted to do it before, but got busy and forgot. When you were handling the phones, I got my new one in two days. Every time I ask something you give a quick and proper response / advice. Thanks for that.
It’s these little “surprises” in my day that adds the value for me. It really doesn’t matter who I helped or what it is that I’ve done but a thank you such as this…warms my heart and nourishes my soul.

My family

I’ve been working on a new idea to improve our lives. It requires that I put in some time, energy and effort from my side to make sure I give it the best chance of success. It’s work in progress though…(I know it sounds a bit vague but if you were to try this, I’m sure you will be able to find something that will be relevant to your own situation). It might be that you do a small act for each member of your household to help them out. The best part is, you don’t even need to be creative when doing this because it’s all about making the next persons life a little easier through an act of love.

Myself

Even though I’ve put this last, it’s by no means least. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Because of this new way of thinking, I’m putting my own well-being first. I am important and as I said before, “I will be the first to admit, this has driven my stress levels up and on one too many occasions, has threatened to leave me at the brink of insanity“. By all accounts, reaching this point is not worth it…EVER!

It requires me to do much needed evaluation of my life in general and make the required changes for the better.

This doesn’t come so easy to me right now but I believe that I can get back on track by purely showing myself some much needed TLC. How often don’t we go through life putting others first and skimping on the love and care WE so rightly deserve? One thing that sticks in my mind is having heard people say “I’ve lost myself in the process” or “I don’t know who I am” or “I need to find myself“. I don’t want to be that person…

The way I see it, I’ve got nothing to lose and only myself to gain in the process.

What do you do to maintain balance and a level of sanity? Have you been successful in holding onto who YOU are?  More importantly, are you enjoying life Today?

 

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Make time for yourself, your life and your loved ones

Time

A few months ago, I read a post (Productivity Tip #2 – Schedule your time (and stick to it)), by my fellow blogger friend, Terence Brown of Help Grow Change

After reading, I set a challenge before myself and decided I would give it a go…In doing so, I found time I never knew I had!

I have always been one to do things for everyone else with never enough time or energy left for myself. I think there is a reason why today’s title is in the order that it’s set out. All 3 these things are important. How many times have you heard the saying, “You can’t do anything for anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first“?

Well, before I took on the challenge, I was of the strong opinion that “I don’t have time to do anything else“. So I made a few changes…

  • I changed my attitude towards not having any time to saying I have time.
  • My mindset changed and so did the amount of hours I had spare. I realized quickly that I was actually wasting time, unintentionally of course. I changed it as soon as I had the revelation.
  • Every spare moment I had, I did something to fill the gap. For example, I would put a load of laundry into the washing machine and tumble dryer and then go do something else. (I no longer wasted time ironing clothes, even though I love doing this while watching a movie). I didn’t need to babysit the machines and they would happily do what they were designed to do.
  • I also, cleaned the house during the week. Vacuuming after or before supper time, making sure not to miss out on the required daily tasks, which took precedence.
  • Things like bathing my daughter, homework, cleaning the kitchen and making the family’s lunch for the next day. I found that things like this is where my time wasting went. So I took a stand against my family and as my son puts it, went on a (permanent) strike.  This has proven to be the biggest sanity saver by far.

My day started filling up very quickly and I’m happy to say that I now have at least a few hours to a day spare at the end of the week. I get to choose if this day will be filled with lazing around, watching a movie or just browsing around the mall. It really doesn’t matter what I do on this day because it’s not predefined.

The beauty of the time I now have spare is, I get to choose who to devote that time to for that moment. Either way, someone (be it myself, my family or my friends) benefits.

I gave this challenge a few months before I decided to write about it. I wanted to test a few things…

  1. Would this be a momentary thing like a diet that starts out with every good intention and falls face first, failing miserably? or
  2. Would life get in the way? or
  3. Would I just revert back to my old ways therefore blowing said theory out the water? or
  4. Along the way, I questioned whether or not I would burn myself out and decide that it just wasn’t worth the effort? I suppose this is a big possibility because I was literally using up all my “free” time in a day.

I soon realized that I needed to have a cutoff time for when I would stop working or doing anything. I needed to still feel human at the end of the day. So, I decided that by 7:30…8pm for the latest, I would literally down tools. I normally end up going to bed between 9 and 10 at night. (If it were up to me, I would be in bed by 8).  I guess I can’t have it all.

The way I see it, before, I didn’t really have enough time to devote to my family. In fact, in time, I loathed the fact that I had to do “stuff” for them. This is not the way I “think” it should be when doing anything for someone you profess to love. However, I also believe that it most definitely works both ways. If my family professes to love me, then surely my happiness should matter just as much to them.

I can now finally think about doing things I love to do…I just need to figure out exactly what that is. Honestly though, making the move towards this feels very foreign to me, hence I haven’t successfully transitioned to that stage yet. But, I most definitely will…

I can see the benefits of the changes I’ve made, especially for my family. I feel better…I don’t have as many emotional outbursts, I don’t fight with the kids about trivial things in the morning. In fact, if I feel like I’m going to, I take a walk downstairs to my room and just take a few minutes to myself. I leave the time management in the morning up to my children. It’s a skill right?

The time I’ve “gained” is well spent doing what I love by either blogging or at the moment it’s devoted to starting a new book project.

In the process, I am finding time to get to know myself a little better. I’m loving the changes and wouldn’t give it up for anyone in the world.
If you are having trouble finding time you “think” you don’t have, why not give this a try?

You have nothing to lose and only time to gain…

Thank you for taking the time to read.

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When mum goes on “Strike”

Mum

This week, I decided I’d had enough. My family life has become draining. So draining in fact, that I no longer found joy in any part of it…my kids, husband, marriage or me. I started feeling very resentful a very long time ago and truth be told, I was just about ready to call it all quits. It’s easy to say you are going to walk out on your family when you feel this way. It was easy enough for me to even envision what my life would be like without them and, even though I anticipated a bit of a struggle or pain associated with such a decision, I could actually see a “better life” for myself.

Needless to say, it’s not so easy to actually follow through. It was great visualizing the lifestyle I so desperately want for myself. A life where I had time to take care of myself whether it be pampering myself or just plain doing nothing, because I can. A life where I don’t have so much responsibility or feel like I’m drowning under the chores that go with taking care of a family of 5.

My days have always felt hectic with no time to spare. It was seriously getting to the point where I felt like I wanted to run away from everyone, including myself.

I’d wake up in the morning, make lunch for everyone after making coffee/tea and at times porridge for the kids. My daughter gave me the biggest uphill battle because depending on the mood she woke up in, it would either be smooth sailing or a “morningmare” (nightmare in the morning).   It was no fun way to start my day, on any given day…and it just felt unfair

At night, when I came home from work, if my husband hadn’t started supper for whatever reason, I would kick into chef mode and without sitting down once, start cooking. Cleaning the kitchen afterward and giving my daughter a bath…by then it would be nearly 9pm. Putting her to bed is not a pleasant experience either because it normally ends in a fight. I would have to lay down next to her as she doesn’t understand “Why does dad get to sleep next to you and I don’t?“. (Oh joy!). She’d wake up during the night, most nights, and either sleep in our bed or I’d have to get into bed with her. Struggling to fall asleep again, I normally end up feeling like a zombie at work the next day.

At the end of it all, I am the one who feels like I’ve been running a marathon for the last 16+ years. And honestly, that would be great if I had the body to show for it, but I sure don’t.

Anyway, this week after losing it with all of them, I had to make a decision on how I was going to handle the situation going forward. It was only after visiting a friend of mine for coffee on Sunday, that she shared a little helpful info with me. She has a system to get her daughter sorted in the morning. 5 pictures sit on the fridge of her little girl doing “chores“.

Brushing teeth, making her bed, packing her lunch, dressing herself and bathing herself. After doing these for the day, she gets a tick on the board in the kitchen. Once she reaches 10 ticks, she gets a treat. For any bad behavior, she loses a tick. I pondered on this for a while and decided, I had nothing to lose and would give it a go.  I have to admit, I couldn’t imagine my daughter doing all of those things by herself…

The system was implemented and all it took was me saying that her little friend does xxx all on her own. She fell for it and soon took over giving herself ticks and looking forward to her treat.

Then it was time to deal with the rest of my household. After eating one night, I thanked my little girl for the good job she had been doing this far on the new system. I thought it best to start with the youngest person on a positive note, to help soften the blow to come.

Next, I turned to my boys (14 and 12), and said “You boys are old enough to sort yourselves out in the morning. Starting tomorrow, everyone makes their own drinks, breakfast and lunch“. My eldest was the first (and only one) to question my decision and protest. (This was to be expected, so I took it with a pinch of salt). He felt I was being unfair and didn’t have enough time to do what he needed to in the morning. I refused to budge or give in, I needed this and my body needed it. The following evening, he said that my “strike” (so funny) was making him do more and he doesn’t “have enough time in the morning” (this from the child who sleeps till 7:30/7:45…yeah right!).

It’s been a few days now since the new rules were put in place and I have to admit, it’s working out well for me. I feel more relaxed and aside from the sleeping routine with my daughter, everyone is pulling their weight in the morning. I have no idea why I didn’t do this sooner…no, actually I do.

I sat and thought about it for a while when I was visiting my friend. My grandmother raised me and I remember her always being in the kitchen. In the morning, she would be up early making porridge, coffee/tea and lunch for everyone. That sounds all too familiar… When we came home from school, we would have a cup of tea and sandwich waiting for us. So after this memory, I was convinced I was heading down the same track and purely repeating what I had seen as a child.

How easy it is for us to repeat the “mistakes“, no matter how good our intentions, of our role-models. Are we really teaching our children the valuable lessons they need to be self sufficient one day? I’ll be the first to admit that there are some simple things I’ve been taking away from my kids by all that I do for them. It’s not tough love, it’s grooming them for their independence and saving my sanity in the process. Besides, at the start of my post, I said:

I no longer found joy in any part of it…my kids, husband, marriage or me. I started feeling very resentful a very long time ago and truth be told, I was just about ready to call it all quits“.

I have no one else to blame for the state of things…yes, they all contributed negatively at some point as well but, there is no excuse for feeling this way. I reckon the visit to my friend was a blessing. I thank God that I can now return to feeling good about my family and my life. There is value in making these kind of changes…I’m sure one day my kids will thank me (even my eldest son who doesn’t understand the wholesome reason behind my “strike”).  If only he understood, strikes have an end…this, is only the beginning of a new way of life for all of us…there is no end.  He’ll realize this soon enough…Lol!

 

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How do I explain to her that I will not live forever…

Life
A few weeks ago, I was mindlessly watching something on TV…the name escapes me now but it was much like CSI.  In the end, some crazy guy shot and killed a teenage girl’s parents and little brother in front of her.  At the time, I didn’t realize that my 5-year old daughter and her 11-year old brother were watching as well.

You see, they had been playing cards so I know they weren’t really paying attention.  However, as the story unfolded, they turned their attention toward the TV.  My daughter asked why the man did that and I heard something else in the sound of her voice, which I didn’t like.  I told her that he was just a naughty and bad man.  She tried to process it and started crying…it tugged at my heart.  I called her over to me and immediately felt stupid for letting her see it (I was too engrossed).

What if some bad man comes here and shoots you!?”  She asked sobbing…I comforted her as best I could and told her that it was just a story and wasn’t real but nothing I said would get through to her.  The damage had been done.  I can’t take that back and yet, I know that’s life…death that is, it’s a big part of life.

In time, she got over it but she’s been very concerned about me dying, on more than one occasion.  She’ll say things like “I don’t want you to die” or “I wish we could stay together for ever“.  The thought of it leaves me feeling a bit helpless.  The thought of dying and leaving her behind, that is.

I’ve always been one to say that death doesn’t scare me.  If it is God’s will that I be taken, then so be it…I accept that.  However, ever since my daughter was born, I feel powerless to the guilt of leaving her motherless through death.  I know I could be a better mother to her on so many levels but the unconditional love this child shows toward me…lets just say it leaves me speechless.  She teaches me so many lessons on a daily basis.

We love as hard as we fight and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way…(well, maybe sometimes).  She’s a highly spirited child, opinionated and stubborn as hell, some of that I know she gets from me.  She’ll be a strong woman one day, no doubt.

The question remains though, how do I explain to her that I will not live forever..?  If there were a button I could press to make death disappear from Life’s equation, I would do so in an instant…just for her.

If only I could live forever and protect her little heart from any anguish or pain my inevitable death would cause her…I would.  Obviously, I don’t want my daughter to feel any kind of pain or heartache that comes with life lessons of death or disappointment…but I can’t.

Negotiating a date and time would also be great just so I can prepare her closer to the time.  But I know that is a luxury afforded to no-one.

Think about it…I’m sure no (majority of) parent talks about dying with their kids…at least not at the age of 5.  Honestly speaking, it’s not a pleasant thing to face or think about.  How can you possibly tell a loved one that the void they will feel at the loss of you…will be OK?  Most of us have been touched by death in some way or another, we know what that feels like.  There is no way to explain it away, you can’t sugarcoat it.  However, I feel sometimes that if I don’t talk about it with her, I would have failed her by not telling her to expect it to happen.  It’s a tricky thing for me…either way, I want to protect her at all cost.

I read a poster some time back with a young woman staring out into the distance, it read “My mother never prepared me for life without her“.  I don’t think I want to be that mother either…I suppose I could always keep on praying and being thankful for yet another day that I get to breathe and be with her.  Another day where her little heart will be intact and all will be well with her world, simply because I am still in it.  And, when the time comes, we’ll have the talk and somehow, she will reach a level of understanding that this is the way of life.  I will teach her to be grounded in her faith so she has something to cling to when the world becomes a scary place and I will teach her to love and be loved…to comfort and to be comforted as the need arises. Being the best person she can be…even if that means – without me.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

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Hot milk and a blog post at 4:30am

Starry night

I woke up at 2:30am. Came upstairs to find my husband sleeping on the couch in front of the TV, woke him up and went back to bed. Problem is, it is now 4:30 am and I haven’t been able to fall asleep. I tossed and turned and just couldn’t find my slumber again. Eventually I succumbed to the chatter in my brain and turned on my phone. Thinking if I read some posts on Facebook, I’d get tired and fall asleep again. That didn’t work. I remembered reading a few weeks ago, that it takes your body about 14 minutes to fall asleep and waited for this to happen. When it didn’t, I prayed and said “Ok God, is there something you want me to know? Is that the reason why I’m awake and can’t go back to sleep?”   I silenced my brain (it only worked for like 2 nanoseconds) and tried to listen…nothing.

I started thinking about a lot of crap. My childhood. Thoughts of times my heart had been broken, thoughts of racism and apartheid, thoughts of war in countries like Syria and little children dying…the thoughts were endless and sounded like a farmers market, buzzing with life. I lay listening to my husband breathing, obviously deep asleep and felt a bit of envy and also a tad bit irritated. He was sleeping when I should be too. If it weren’t for him not being in the bed next to me, I wouldn’t have woken up (For some weird reason I sleep better with him in the bed next to me).

Then I remembered my cousin, Joshua, telling me “You need to write if you can’t sleep”. So…here I am, 4:38am, sitting in the kitchen, hot cup of milk next to me (hoping it’ll help me sleep again) and writing this post.

The human brain…it baffles me. I listened to a speaker once, Robin Banks, giving a talk on MindPower. I remember him saying that we need to learn to control our brains…I’ll tell you what, it’s the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It’s like a stubborn horse that never allows you to break it in…untamable (At least mine is). I wish it had an off switch and most times even a reset switch – restore to factory settings. Now there’s a thought…

Some things I would love to hold dear to me until the day I die and never forget, feelings, special moments, etc. Other things (the things I remember most), I would much rather just nuke and get rid of any trace. These are the things, which bother me and keep me awake most nights. Are they really important? Why does our brain keep such crap alive? Is it really something you can turn off and eventually eradicate from your memory? If there’s a way, I would be front and center, sitting and listening to every trick in the book to apply.

The one blessing about waking up this early, is that it’s a public holiday and I don’t have to be up for work in 2 hours.

Now just to decide, do I go back downstairs to bed and toss and turn some more, or do I turn on the telly or find a movie on Netflix and hopefully pass out on the couch myself. Maybe that would bring this episode full circle, since that’s where I found my husband before waking him up. Let see…

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“Forewarned is forearmed “


I used to think that if I didn’t put every effort into something…that it would be the same as failing…I no longer do.

If I gave up because it was too hard and I just couldn’t see a positive outcome…I’d be failing. Not true…

If I gave a little more than the other person, then it would be enough to compensate for what they lacked and I would be happy…I definitely failed…myself!!!

The reason for my last statement is because unfortunately we cannot make other people feel a certain way or give as much as we expect them to. When we compensate or make excuses, we start taking ourselves for granted. We lower our own self-worth and we settle for less than we deserve.

What’s the use of complaining that life is crap when part of the crappy state is caused by our acceptance of other people’s ill treatment of us?

We only get one chance at life…when we die, it’s over. No re-take, no second chances and its definitely too late to say sorry.

Being in a relationship means hard work yes, but I firmly believe if you love the other person…you would literally be willing to give your left (fill in the blank as you wish) to see them happy. In this case, you would not be taking yourself for granted because if you are lucky enough to have a person in your life who shares this rationale..then it will be sweet as chocolate.

Over the years, I have to admit that my personal view on marriage has changed completely. I used to believe in love, respect and loyalty…I don’t anymore. These are things afforded only to the souls who manage to get it right the first time. I think I missed that boat…

People say things like: “Let your guard down and be open to new experiences” and “you should almost allow yourself to get hurt”.  I guess there’s the belief that at the end of the experience, you’ll have a deeper appreciation for what you have. Like the saying goes… “You don’t know what you’ve lost until it’s gone…

To that I say. Why put yourself in a position to lose it in the first place? We don’t often notice the glimpses in life of the warning signs when things are gonna go belly up. What a gift when we do though…

Subtle signs are what we need to focus on. Breaking points don’t always happen without a crack or two.

If you see the signs…and, you value what you have…then TAKE NOTE!!!

In the words of my sister-in-law “Forewarned is forearmed

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The job description no woman would willingly sign up for…

marriage

When I met my husband, I fell in love.  It was easy enough…so marrying him was a no-brainer.  We were’nt raised in a community where living together before marriage was a norm.  Therefore, what I learnt about the love of my life only came after the fact…that is, the things that matter most.

Marriage and kids were never things I saw in my future.  I did it nonetheless as life progressed.  (Don’t misunderstand…I was not forced to either). I had a good role model in my grandmother who raised me and followed her example of taking care of the household.  I cooked and cleaned, loved my husband unconditionally and eventually had our children…while working full-time.  Life was great when the kids were born…blissful even, but very stressful at times.  I thought to myself that This must be normal so I’ll soldier on.

Since I followed my Gran’s example of being the perfect homemaker, I think I shot myself in the foot.  I now regret having done that and here’s why:

Marriage and motherhood are full-time jobs all by themselves.  Combined, they can be a nightmare especially if you don’t get the support you need.  When I accepted my husbands proposal, I did not expect everything that has gone wrong over time.  Everything that has hurt me deeply to my core or feeling like an insignificant bleh…at times…

I did not sign up for my kids to be unappreciative and be like little leeches after having carried each one of them for 9 months and turning my body into something that resembles a war zone.  (No judging please) Enduring the worst kind of pain imaginable to bring them safely, breathing and healthily into this world.  They have at times the most profound love and affection towards me…these are priceless moments.  But it’s the moments of disrespect and just plain abuse of my good intentions that I cannot stomach.  Just how did that happen?  I never taught them to be like that…and yet, there they are. My sweet little Jekyll and Hyde’s…

I often say “One of these days I’m going to run away from all of you and I’m never coming back“. Their sweet response is always, “We will find you” Or “I’m coming with you!” I don’t know if that makes me happy or sad.

All I need is a little bit of help.  Help enough to not become the raging tyrant who yells and screams, just so that I can get my point across or be heard.  Why is it that I have to sacrifice the person I am to be the person they expect me to be?  And in saying that, I don’t even know what that person looks like because she never gets a chance to breathe.  Always running around doing things for everyone in my household, I don’t even have time to feel sick.  God forbid I should because who would take care of me?  And even if they did, the fact that the shackles of homemaker, I’ve been attached to all these years will still be there when I recover, is just…

Dishes, dirt, bathing, homework, bedtime stories, and cooking are all things, which need to be done daily.  Laundry at least once a week…and not to mention worrying about finances and the future.  But I can’t keep up.  It’s not one person’s job!  I pick up after all of them, clean up after them and try not to complain too much.  I do though…and it’s not a pretty sight.  I’ve asked for help by screaming, swearing or even toning it down to a whisper…arguments are the normal end result.  I give up!!!

fine line

In the defense of my lovely darlings, big and small, there are times when they do help. There are even times when they will say “Sit down, relax or take a bath…I’ve got this” These moments are pure bliss. I love them so much and yearn for more of them, but I am starved like a runway model of everything that is good in this life. Am I ungrateful..? I think not.

How is any woman, in this same situation, expected to stay sane?  Would it really be bad of me to walk out on all of them?

If someone had a crystal ball years ago, and showed me what my future life would be like, I most definitely would have run in the opposite direction.

I have no more advice for myself…(If you do…Please feel free to share it with me).

One thing I’ve always found, no matter what job I do, I end up having to compete with my husband.  His job is more physical and labour intensive so he is more tired and sore.  My job is office based, I “sit in an air conditioned office” and earn more money.  It’s not a flippen competition!  I used to think marriage was 50/50 until I read the poster above.  It immediately made so much sense….perfectly so in fact.

When I agreed to get married, I did not sign up for being made a doormat, which everyone can wipe their hands, feet and asses off on. I am a person with feelings and I have needs and desires too…I matter! I most definitely did not sign up for this.

Hey God…Can I get a refund? I think my purchase is dysfunctional…

refund

Thank you for taking the time to read

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How parents respond to their child being sexually abused is a very fine line

Of all the things I pray for in life, this would be high on my list of things I wish I never have to deal with as a parent.  Granted, parenting is not easy and no matter what the situation, there is no manual for things like this.  Our children are the most precious and vulnerable parts of ourselves.  They deserve our full protection always…Please Lord, may my children never feel this way…

I found the article below and it stirred feelings inside of me so I thought I’d share it here with you.


“Sometimes I think I’d be better off dead than alive.

My life seems to be an endless array of bad misfortune and heartache. What the f*** did I ever do to deserve this miserable sham of an existence? Being born would be my first guess. I’ve always tried to do the right thing…right according to those around me. I have never done anything to please myself first. Selfish was never a part of my DNA…I wish it were though.

I was sexually abused as a child. It took me years to face what I had endured. I literally turned my physical body around and stared my soul straight in the eyes. They say the eyes are the windows of the soul…Well, that would be very true in what happened next. I stared through myself and watched as the years rolled back to that fateful time in my life. A time where I was just a little girl and fell prey to some evil events, which would forever haunt me.  

I looked on helplessly watching the essence of a little girl being taken away. The details are a bit sketchy, yet some parts are very clear. I feel, I smell, I taste and experience the fear, uncertainty and loneliness. I have nothing to cling to, no-one to turn to for help and am left to fend for myself…

Years later you, (mum and dad), read my story because somehow, by God’s strength, I have found the courage to break my silence. My expected reaction from you is one of empathy, regret and maybe an apology for not being there. It would not make a difference but in this case it does because within my soul, it would mend a bit of the damage done unto me. It is not an apology driven by guilt but more an affirmation that you acknowledge the wrongdoing and would from this point forward walk a healing road with me. It does not matter if you say anything or remain silent from this point onwards because what matters most is that I feel you near me and know fully that I can rely on you to be there when I need you.
Instead, I am met with questions that make me feel as if I need to make sense of it all for you. “Where were the adults at the time” is not a question I can answer when you were one of those adults. I almost feel like you are looking to blame someone and this I fully understand…I get it. Statements of “You need to move toward forgiveness” are like salt in the buried wounds. Don’t you think that if I knew just how to do that and if it were that easy, that I wouldn’t have done it by now? 

To be very honest, forgiveness is the least of my concerns when I am just trying to function as a normal person in today’s society.  I am at a loss for words…

I feel guilty for having brought this to your attention at all because it feels like I’ve just complicated your life tenfold. I was better off living with my secret…at least then I didn’t need to worry about how this would affect your blood pressure and live with the guilt of what this could do to your health. So…we don’t talk about the elephant in the room from this point on…

I feel sick to the pit of my stomach…

I carried this crap with me for years and honestly, while it was happening, it was like going to sleep at night, dreaming and then waking up the next morning as if nothing had happened. Only to be repeated again and again and again. When I was awake, the nightmare had ended and didn’t even feel real…this gave me the ill-illusion to carry on and get on with life as best I could. 

To say I feel disappointed would be an understatement for now…I need to find a way to deal with your reaction to a situation that I did not create nor invite into my life. A situation for which I DO NOT have to provide any answers, excuses or apologies. I know that it was not my fault. I know your reaction is probably normal. I know that it was wrong and I also know that I need to be selfish right now and not think about you but for once in my life…THINK ABOUT ME AND ONLY ME!!!

Anonymous”

Here is another useful link to a book worth reading:

Facing the Past

 


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Raising kids is not easy

love

Falling in love is easy.  Meeting someone special and knowing they are the one you want to spend the rest of your life with is a bit tricky but the heart tends to trump in this arena…most times.  Settling down and “nesting” comes sort of naturally, though awkward at first.  And once you’re over the honeymoon phase…the biological clock starts ticking or those nosy friends and relatives start asking the monotonous question. “So when’s the baby coming?” with a look of delight you just can’t get out of your mind because a seed has been planted.  You think…maybe it’s time…yes I’m sure it is.  Let’s do it!

Children are a blessing” is how the saying goes.  I’ve uttered those words myself to other mom’s-to-be.  Pregnancy and all that goes with it is definitely an experience all in itself and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and joy of a new little person entering your life.  It’s a wonderful time.

pregnancy

Babies are adorable, I know all mine were and I loved them beyond my own understanding.  I did not need to know Why I loved them…I just knew that I did.  I used to look at other parents’ kids who were much older than mine and think “my kids won’t turn out like that“.  Funny thing how we go into parenthood thinking we know it all and can already predict that we will have children who will be better than anyone else.  In fact, truth be told, I don’t believe it’s a thought that lingers too long in our minds.

The thing you don’t realise is, these copies of yourself, they come with pre-installed personality, attitude and ideas.  It’s a version of you but a newer you, merged with your partner/spouse.  Great!  That’s what makes them unique.

raising kids

So the truth of the matter is, there will be moments of heartache and moments where your heart feels like it has just been thumped on by the very same little person, you helped bring into this world.  Growing into the person they were destined to become is not an easy road for them and it sure as hell isn’t easy for you as their parent.  It’s a damn big responsibility to guide, teach and even allow the egg on the face moments to happen.  While this is all happening, another process seems to have occurred while you weren’t paying attention.  You have become your own parents combined into one.  Uttering things your mother used to say and seeing how your partner/spouse becomes the splitting image of his father.  Whoa! Hold on…when did that happen?

mother

It’s not all bad.  There are moments of joy.  Moments so special, you wish you could put it into a time capsule for safe-keeping. Moments where your heart feels so full it could burst.

There’s one important thing I need to point out.  Your children will disappoint you.  They will make you feel like you are not cut out to be a mother/father.  You might even end up regretting it to begin with.  (No judging).  The thing to realise though is, it’s not a item you buy at the store and can take back for an exchange.  It’s a lifetime commitment.  So regardless of the good or the bad…you’re in it for the long haul.

Some days I personally wish my kids came with instruction manuals.  I don’t have all the answers especially when they test me to my limits.  I have been in situations with them where I questioned if I were really cut out to be a mother.  I remind myself that I’m doing the best that I can with them.  And, it helps hearing them say out of their own, how much they love me and wouldn’t want any other mother than me.  I guess I must be doing something right.

motherhood

Give yourself a break!  If you believe deep down in your heart that you have done and are doing the best you can for your kids, then that’s a good place to start.  Remember also, you set the example and they will follow.

Raising kids is NOT easy…

Good luck

P.S.  If it’s any consolation…remember the wheel is round.  Your grandkids will make up for all the torture your kids put you through. Lol! 😉

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I sometimes wonder how other people see me…

life journey

When I was younger, I was very shy.  Painstakingly so in fact.  In certain situations and around certain people, especially the dominant, more confidant personalities…I would not utter a word, much less smile.  I found it easier to just shut my mouth and keep my lips zipped.

I outgrew that at some point (not too sure when, how or why) and am so grateful that I did.  I wouldn’t say that I am an extrovert now but, I would say that I am more comfortable to open my mouth and actually say what I think.  I still shy away from the spotlight, every chance I get.  Though, I’ve learnt long ago, that stepping out of my comfort zone from time to time…has it’s advantages.

Comfort zone

A few days ago, a fellow colleague of mine said something that made me laugh and I thought to myself…”oh, if only you knew“.  We were standing at a briefing session and I noticed he looked a bit “deflated“.  Giving him a questioning look, he just shook his head and quietly came to stand next to me whispering “let me stand in the presence of someone who is always positive“.  I giggled and smirked, thinking to myself “Really…Me?“.  At the time I didn’t ask him what that was all about but I got a chance to do so a few days later.  According to him, I am a “Positive person and talking to me in turn makes him feel positive“.  At the end of the conversation, I managed to make him smile…laugh even and he seemed happier walking away.  I reckon sometimes that’s all any of us ever needs, even if it is just for a little while. Now that I think about it, it leads me to the topic of this post.  I haven’t been all that positive lately, in fact, I think I’ve been quite the opposite.  The reason for my negativity is quite simply based on my last post Hydrocephalus…but I’ll keep smiling.  I am however, dealing with it and some days are better than others.  I learnt a long time ago to mask my feelings and put up a facade that would surely win me an Oscar.  My whole life has been about hiding what is actually lingering beneath the surface.  Don’t misunderstand though, I am not a fake.  What you see with me is what you get.  I’m a VERY black and white person and struggle to see the grey most times.  I have however, learnt to do this in certain situations (but still struggle with it at times). On the subject of masking.  I don’t know about you but I feel exhausted at the end of the week by the different “hats” I wear depending on the person I’m interacting with.  I have my husband and kids, who are there at the beginning, evening and end of my day (each with a different need).  At work, I have different people who I talk to…not only about work.  Some talk about their personal lives, their accomplishments, their sadness, their happiness or something they just feel like sharing with someone and I just happen to be there at the right time.  No matter what it is, I am the same, yet slightly different with each person…this is purely because each individual has a different personality.  Truth be told, it can be mentally and spiritually draining…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Always help I guess it really doesn’t matter how people see me.  I have adopted one mission in life and that is if I can effect happiness in another person’s life and bring about a positive change, then that is what I’m going to set out to do.  No matter who crosses my path in one given day, week, month or year…that is what I’ll do.  But just so it’s clear, I too am human.  I have many weak moments.  I need a hug from time to time and just for someone to say, “Don’t worry…I’ll handle this for you” (and actually mean it).  I’m not always strong and confident.  I don’t always feel up to smiling and being happy.  I can become very moody and am probably a terrible person to be around at times too.  I make mistakes and I stumble in all aspects of life.  I’m not looking to be perfect however, I do strive to do the right thing and most importantly, I try to learn from my shortcomings. What you see on the outside of any person, is what they choose for you to see.  It’s a matter of perception.  Bottom line:

Broken

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