For many years I had frequent dreams about trains. In fact, they were more like nightmares. I would often dream of catching the wrong train and going in the wrong direction, or missing the train and watching it pull out of the station, or I would be standing on the wrong platform and see my train on a different platform. Often I would be trying to get through the ticket barrier with no success while watching the train disappear. If I ever had a dream that I was actually on the train, I would often be on it without a ticket, or without a seat, or facing backwards and feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere. Continue reading “Soul Train”
For all the relationship advice I have received over the years, I can safely say that little of it served me well; if anything it contributed only to the fact that I stayed in relationships that I really ought to have ended long before I did. In fact some of them I never should have started!
I do recall my mother’s not-so-sage advice when I was embarking on my first serious relationship where she said, “try living with three different men before you decide to marry as you don’t really know someone until you live with them!” Even when she told me that something in me thought, “But what if I decide it should have been the first or second one and l’ve already moved on!” Continue reading “Relationship Advice”
I have been running a hotel with my husband for the past ten years and over these years have helped out in all departments for maybe a day or two when we have been short staffed or when someone calls in sick at the last minute. However, in the last two weeks I gave myself the task to fully support the housekeepers. I just jumped into the job doing whatever was required from cleaning the toilets, bathrooms, polishing, making beds, vacuuming, to restocking teas and coffees.
What I really got to appreciate is that there is only a short window of opportunity to prepare the rooms from when guests leave to when the next guests arrive, and in that time everything has to be done, from cleaning the room, to polishing, dusting, making the beds, fresh waters and topping up teas and coffee facilities. Once all that’s done, then the public areas need to be cleaned and finally the counting and bagging of all the dirty laundry. Wow, this is a task… with guests leaving at 11am and the next ones arriving by 3pm… not a long time between at all!
In our world, it is common for us to appreciate almost exclusively the ‘big ticket’ items in life – the new job, house or car, the unanticipated windfall, the volunteers who help out in a disaster, the player who scores the winning goal for the team. It is, in my experience at least, rare for us to appreciate what we deem as insignificant or mundane events like enjoying a lovely meal or just a cup of herbal tea, for example. Such moments are relegated to the status of being merely incidental and instrumental in our pursuit of the big-ticket items.
Even rarer is it for us to appreciate qualities, those of others and ourselves, the exceptions involving social rituals like death, marriage, and graduation. Rather, our focus tends to be more on achievements and material acquisitions. Continue reading “The Magic of the Mundane – Appreciation is the Key”
As a child I was frequently admonished for being ungrateful. My mother told me often how good I had it because I wasn’t born during the war (WWII) and that I should be grateful we had food and a roof over our head. In later years, our GP, the ‘family doctor,’ echoed this sentiment when he suggested how fortunate I was and how grateful I should be for studying at university at a young age rather than having to wait for years as he had, and once again because of ‘that war.’
And of course, there was much – and then some – to be appreciated. I remember the sun streaming in through the curtains one Easter morning, bringing the promise of Spring and warmer weather and Easter eggs. And even though I was ashamed and embarrassed at first, I appreciated and loved my godfather for pointing out my competitiveness in a board game. Nobody else had gone to the trouble and I would never forget. Continue reading “Appreciation or Gratitude?”
About 8 years ago I lost 25 kilos. At the time I was using food to fill an emptiness in me, although I now see how I had learnt to control my eating and weight but never really dealt with the issue underneath, so it popped up again in a different form – this time through buying clothes. Continue reading “My Addiction to Buying Clothes”