I have recently started working on some aspects of myself which I have let slide too much over the past few years.
Clearing space for new things, and finally facing up to things I have stuffed into boxes and hidden away for far too long.
A dear friend reminded me that I need to keep my blog yesterday when she asked me, “Where is the blog?” and I realised it has been far too long since I earnestly worked at this labour of love. So I am beginning today with a repost of an old essay I wrote over 13 years ago in response to one of my all-time favourite song’s lyrics.
Resolution – a commitment to myself
Along with this repost, I make a commitment to begin the new year with a plan to blog.
I write and populate a website with content for a living, so why am I not doing something for myself too?
Here is my commitment to do this properly, before, but at the very least, by the beginning of the next year.
Many thanks to the friend who knows who she is for the gentle reminder to do this…
We are by nature hunters…. we seek things we need, then try to catch hold of them and hold on to them, perhaps kill them or collect them for display.
We are seekers, searchers.
There is no end to the lengths we will go to get what it is that we think we need.
But sometimes it is better, fitter, more sane to let go and leave.
Knowing this can make things easier or drive us insane with suffering because of the fact that our “dreams are depending” on something we know will never be.
Sometimes it is so hard knowing that the one you love will never know what it means to love them, and there is no way, no matter how high or low I hunt for me to show or catch something to use to explain it.
I’ll keep “tearing myself to pieces” like hunters crawling through…
Tomorrow is “Be late for something day” and this year I hope to have posted this blog post in time so that I don’t end up being late for the day itself as I have been pretty much ever since I first learned about this annual day of lateness about four years ago.
I am often fighting an ongoing battle against time. There never seems to be enough time to get anything done, so I end up procrastinating and putting everything off until some distant and mythical time in the future where I might have more time to spare.
Except, spare time is like spare chocolate or spare wine, it simply doesn’t exist.
There are many reasons why people procrastinate.
My best excuse is that I want to make sure I do the thing perfectly that I keep putting off, and until conditions are optimal for me to do that I will continue to put off even starting until I’m literally staring down the deadline and panic-stricken….
Once the panic sets in I am superhuman. I normally get things done in an amazing feat of focus and concentration. But after the dust of the chaos that ends up resulting from this frenzied activity has settled, and my co-workers and family are actually speaking to me again, I always seem to find myself wondering why I put myself through such stress.
Imagine how much I could achieve if I worked all the time as if I had the Sword of Damocles hanging over my head – please excuse my misusing this term the way so many have done in the past.
The term is just is so well understood in its incorrect context that I can’t’ think of a better way to describe the sense of impending doom that is needed to galvanise me into action. The inevitable outcome of almost every attempt I take to do anything due to my chronic procrastination.
I have a medical reason for this which I offer here by way of an explanation, but it is not really an acceptable excuse since my knowledge of this deficiency in my own character should mean that I actively work to avoid falling into its trap – and I simply don’t.
I suffer from a mood disorder called Bipolar Affective Disorder, often called by the more descriptive term of Manic Depressive Illness. The procrastination is a characteristic of both my manic episodes – where my mind races to such an extent that I don’t spend enough time on anything to ever get anything done – and my depressive episodes – where I am literally unable to function as a human being and getting out of bed is a struggle.
It is, however, during what the doctors describe as “mixed episodes” where I most tend to procrastinate.
I thought at one point that I had the dreaded ADHD that is so often discussed in educational circles, and does in fact, run in my family – however my psychiatrist says that the disorganised anxious phase of hypo-mania is often confused with attention-deficit, but bipolar patients are not good candidates for the medication which works well for people with ADHD since the medication traditionally prescribed to treat ADHD is a stimulant and almost always triggers manic episodes in bipolar patients like me.
I have self-taught myself coping strategies to deal with this fluctuation in attention and hyper-focus. I make lots of lists, sometimes spending more time on the lists than I do on the tasks I am listing.
I seem to think that if I can somehow list all the things I need to do they will magically get done, but even as I type this description of my behaviour I realise I am fooling myself.
Even right now there are things I should be doing rather than writing this personal blog post.
At the end of the day though all I can do is my best. And somehow I do manage to function well. I have even been described by some clinicians as “high-functioning” although if I am honest there are times when I feel I am barely scraping by.
Perhaps someday I will find the solution to my workflow and end up streamlining the process I employ to get things done. Until then I guess I must just keep going.
Make my lists, ask for people to remind me when I am losing focus, and learn to trust myself to do things even if I don’t feel like I am able to, thereby avoiding my favourite excuse for getting started and simply move forward.
As a psychologist, I once consulted advised me: “Keep moving, onwards and upwards… Don’t worry about the past and don’t worry about the future, just take it one step at a time and you will be amazed how far you have come without even realising it.”
We all have that one friend. That guy who seems fine, until he gets a few drinks in him.
Then it’s as if the flying monkeys have been unleashed as your party goes to hell in a hand basket while you stand by watching it all unfold.
Many smart phone pictures later, that guy has lost much more than his sobriety. Often he has lost friends, his reputation, and in the case of office parties, the respect of his colleagues.
If he then gets behind the wheel of a car, he might even lose his life or those of people he was giving lifts to.
The festive season is a time when many relax, let their guard down and often over indulge in food and drink. Eat, drink, and have a good time, but do so carefully to avoid what could become tragic consequences.
In South Africa, drunk drivers cause half of all road accidents. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says between 20 000 to 25 000 people die each year in drunk driving accidents. Last festive season alone over 1300 people died on our roads.
Here are some tips on how not to become that guy:
· Know your units. Consider how much alcohol you had, and how late into the night it was before you finished your last drink.
· In South Africa, the legal limit is a breath alcohol content of 0.24mg per 1,000 ml, or a blood alcohol limit of 0.05g per 100 ml. It’s important to remember that the strength of different drinks can vary greatly
· South Africa’s legal limit is equal to two thirds of a beer or spirit cooler with 5% alcohol content; 75 ml of red or white wine per hour with an alcohol content of 12% to 14%; Up to one 25 ml tot of whiskey or brandy per hour. Some beers may be 3.5%, but stronger lagers might be 5% or even 6%.
· A good rule to follow is a maximum of one unit of alcohol per hour. Unless you weigh less than 68 kg.
· Our bodies can process only one unit of alcohol each hour. However, if you weigh less than 68 kg, your body will need more time to process the same amount of alcohol.
· There’s no fail-safe way to guarantee all the alcohol you’ve drunk has left your system, so it’s important not to take risks.
· Drink within the lower risk guidelines the night before or rather don’t drink the night before a party you have to attend.
· Opt for lower strength drinks and single spirit measures rather than doubles.
· Alternate the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water, this also helps your body cope, as alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body.
· Stop drinking alcohol well before the end of the night so your body has time to process the alcohol before the following morning.
Single parents often dread Valentine’s Day.
Whether you are newly single due to a break-up, or widowed, or whether you have been single
for years out of choice.
Dealing with a day where the whole world seems to be going crazy with declarations of love,
marriage proposals, sweet poems and gifts, cards, flowers and chocolates, can be a bitter pill to
As a parent, however, you have an opportunity to deflect the attention away from yourself and
how you might feel about the day, and rather celebrate it with your child.
Being a single parent can be very difficult. It is a daily juggling exercise of school, homework,
parties to get the little one to, as well as organising your own life along with the life of your
child. Often leaving very little time for romance.
Children get very excited about Valentine’s Day as they often hear about it at school, and even
pre-schools tend to do arts and crafts leading up to the day where children make gifts and
cards for “their valentine”.
How can you avoid looking like a Valentine’s version of the Grinch when your little one is so
excited about the day?
Here are some ideas of how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your child in a way that is both
fun and meaningful to you both….
Spend time Set aside time to celebrate the love you and your child share, show them how to express love
through actions and take time to discuss the way loving another person feels.
Our children are only little for such a short time. Perhaps this is the perfect antidote to the
cloying overly sappy Valentine traditions that are driving you nuts, and it is a great way to
connect with your child.
You can go through pictures together of your lives and share how each moment felt. Spend
enough time listening as well as talking. Sometimes children have the most amazing messages
hidden in the chatter of daily life, taking the time to listen and hear can be very eye opening for us as adults.
Cook or bake together There is a saying that the quickest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Cooking
together is a great way to spend time in activities that connect you with your child, whatever
If your son or daughter is old enough, let them treat you to a special treat they found a recipe
for online. If they are very young, limit the activity to simple tasks like baking biscuits, which is a little like playing with play-dough, but much tastier.
If there isn’t time or space for actually cooking together, think about making something in
advance that you can just warm up to fill the home with the smells of freshly baked goods.
Get out of town
Think about taking a trip together. We so often find ourselves running from pillar to post with all the commitments of our busy lives, which leave us with little time to spend with the people
we love. Family is just as if not more important.
Sometimes going away can be a good way to reconnect in an environment where we don’t have
to do out usual daily chores and obligations. There is much less chance of our “normal” lives
interrupting our quality time spent with the person we are focusing on. This is why so many
couples celebrate Valentine’s day with a short romantic getaway. Why not do the same with
your beloved child?
You will be collecting memories to share for many Valentine’s to come.
You don’t have to go away for long, even a picnic day trip out of town, a hike in a nearby nature
reserve or an overnight stay in a tent in a friend’s back garden can be a break for you both.
Single parents no longer have to dread Valentine’s Day.
Just look into the innocent eyes of your child and remember what true love really is.
You will find yourself appreciating the day even though you have celebrated it in a different
I have been terribly bad at keeping up my blog. I have been trying with a WordPress blog which I exported this all onto at some point, but I seem to have managed to delete that one entirely and so I have decided to start again.
I will keep this site open though until such time as I can export the content over to my WordPress blog.
Here is the URL for my new blog : https://memoods.wordpress.com/
WARNING! My first blog post on the new WordPress site is NOT for the faint-hearted.
I have been trying for almost two years to write a letter to the father of my child saying all the things I need to get off my chest about the breakdown of our relationship. I still haven’t managed to get that right, but over the past three days I have been preoccupied with something else, someone else I need to write to, so today I finally got around to writing to her.
I have decided that the only hope I have of really getting my blog working properly is to set up a schedule and blog according to a set of times and plan ahead for posts as I go. I am working on what is feasible for me given my life and what I have on my plate with work and other commitments.
For now suffice it to say I am hoping I will get around to another blog post this week, but I do expect some setbacks and problems with getting into the routine of doing it regularly.
If any of you who write blogs have any useful suggestions please feel free to send me advice, comments and everything you might want to add.
And yes Mum, I will try to put more photos in too.
My parents are living in the UK following my Dad’s retirement from the ministry in the Methodist Church of South Africa. Despite the fact that he had served long and hard in his calling he knew God had more work for him to do, it turned out to be ministry to the (mostly elderly) people of Downham Market in Norfolk.
Daddy has a heart for the elderly and has really enjoyed his time in the UK thus far, however he does have a tendency to take on more and more commitments until eventually he bis in way over his head.
People who know me well probably think this must be where I get the tendency from as I regularly get in over my head.
Everytime he goes to any meeting he ends up voted onto some committee or another. It used to be a running joke at home whilst I was growing up that Daddy would get back from conference or Synod and have to sheepishly admit confess to my mother that he had once again got himself elected secretary of synod or the treasurer or chairman of some sort of committee.
Of course this sort of thing was supposed to be less likely in the UK but somehow he still managed to get very involved in all sorts of things that had him rushing between meetings and services with my mother driving him as he has had to stop driving since he developed a problem with his eye sight a few years ago.
On Sunday a fortnight ago he had a minor stroke and ended up in the stroke unit at a hopital in King’s Lynn.
He was discharged this week and is now at home and seems to be getting back to being himself again. Fortunately he can still speak and whilst he is struggling with some things like his eyesight and reading and concentration it is unclear whether that is all to do with the stroke as he has always had some issues with Dyslexia and attention deficiet.
It is unclear as to how much and how quickly he will be able to resume his work but I know that he has lots of work still to do. I feel perhaps his stroke might help him understand some of his parishioners better who have had strokes and so suffer the same sorts of frustrations he has had to endure of late.
God works in mysterious ways and who knows how He will lead my father in the future.
Another thought that cmoes to mind is that sometimes God takes away in order to give. While my father has never been one to try to attract undue attention to himself he is put on a pedastle somewhat by his parishoners. This sort of worship of the man rather than his message is a common problem in many churches world wide. People look for heros and will create one when they can’t find one.
While my father would deny it vehermently I know that at times some people have almost seen him as more important to them in their spiritual lives than God. That just won’t do. I think it might be possible that God has chosen to work through my dad in this way to show people that it is He, not the man carrying his message, that provides the heroism people search for. I think my dad would like that idea. He is very strong in faith and I am comforted by his faith.
It is great to stop by the woods sometimes but a rest is not always an indication that one’s journey is over. As for Daddy I know he appreciates the beauty of the woods, “Lovely, dark and deep” But he has “promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
I must be a terrible person to get this one right.
Or is there more to this than originally meets the eye.
If you know me then you know there probably is.
This is actually a story not about being banned from a mommies forum but about how having a medical condition can paint over your whole life and make it almost as if you have a warning label tattooed on your forehead.
I have taken a while to write this as I wanted to give myself time to “get over” the total and complete and rather shocking feelings this little episode brougt out in me. I ran the gaumet from indiference, to disbelief and shock and frustration and finally complete disgust and disdain.
I feel now a few months after the fact I have come to the point at which I am ready to begin my sorry story.
(Well I wrote this intro a few months ago and never got any further.)
Clearly I was still not ready to write it. I don’t think I ever will really be.
Basically long story short, stupid people will find anything they can to use against you if you don’t stack up to their ideals and expectations. I am just more of a taget because I am open about my manic depressive illness (some prefer Bipolar Disorder, but I prefer the more descriptive term I used before).
I would never accuse a person without a leg of not having a leg to stand on if their argument didn’t make sense to me, or telling someone who is hearing impaired that they are “deaf to reason” that would just be rude. Rudeness is inexcusible, as is stupidity. I have said it a few times before and I say it again. There is no pill for stupid.
I have always (well since being diagnosed and knowing it myself) been open and frank about my illness. I do not use it to make excuses for bad behaviour, nor do I tolerate being treated like an invalid because of it. I take my meds, keep a civil tongue to those that would drive me to drink, and work hard at being the best I can be, everyday.
I even chose my online name, MoodyEve, as a nod to the illness, a way of keeping myself smiling and making light of the darkness that sometimes encloses me.
But the brutally ignorant and very hypocritical will never understand it. Not really.
And so I found myself banned from Calora’s parenting forum. Not for any good reason but because I did not allow myself to to sidelined and ridiculed and would not shut up about things that were, in a word, wrong.
Thankfully those members who I had become friends with have continued to stay in my corner and are still friends on facebook and skype.
Here is the facebook note that I posted following my first “slap on the wrist”, complete with comments and follow up feedback as I ended up banned.
To the SuperAdmin who went too too far…..
by Moody Eve on Wednesday, 02 February 2011 at 07:07
I have been accused of being too negetive and critizising “on a daily basis” on a particular facebook page.
I take great exception to this especially since I have just gone through that particular page with a fine tooth comb (took an hour to go through all the comments and posts) and can only find times where I have “liked” comments or given comments of support or encouragement. Also I have hardley ever commented on said page and certainly not daily.
All I did do though was comment on an article about baby names and suggested that parents use more than one source of meanings for baby names as some sites have errors (hey, to err is human). My child’s name and another of a friend of mine’s is a case in point. That was a comment on an article that had to be moderated before it was published so I figured if what I said caused any offence to the moderators they would just make the alterations they needed to, I also made some other very valid and not critical at all points about naming children. Instead I have been personally and insidiously attacked and the person who has done this has painted a bunch of others with his same brush by saying they too feel this way, however I have found that most of the others he referred to don’t even know what he is talking about.
Obviously someone has a problem.
I was willing to accept that it might be me, iintrospection is a big part of my method of understanding myself. I am forthright and can sometimes come across as too direct.
However on investigation I have come to realise it is not.
You know who you are though.
I can now spend more of my time blogging and being helpful to other parents in other ways.
This is not the last I will say on this subject.
I write this to get it off my chest and to answer any questions others might have about why I have left the forum in question. Best wishes to you all.
So long and thanks for all the fish.
DeliciousMonster a.k.a MoodyEve and Eve
DeliciousMonster, yummy, but not to everyone’s taste.
I almost feel proud. I know my daughter will be when she reads this years from now.
I recently OK, well not recently, actually a few months ago but I am so slack about blogging regularly that it will seem like recently. aquired a Kindle. Loving it. I’m not making excuses but it is probably the reason why I have been scarce on the blogging side of things of late. I spend all my free time reading on it rather than blogging. Not altogether a bad thing. Anyway, back to the point.
I bought a cover for my Kindle from take2.co.za since Amazon don’t deliver things like covers to Sunny South Africa.
The cover I bought was, in a word, rubbish! It isn’t real leather as it says it is, and I noticed last weekend it is starting to come apart. Now I am looking for another cover. I was keen on a Moleskin cover but interestingly although Moleskin make covers for iphones and ipads and Kindles, they don’t make any for any current modles. You can only get a MoleskinKindle cover for the 2nd generation Kindle, and the iPhone 3, although they do have an iPhone App which I just recently started using and am hoping will help me to keep ideas together for future blog posts.
Anyway, back to the point…. The Splash Signature leather Kindle cover. Shocking quality, blatant lies on the product description in both the online stores and packaging, and not really worth the money.
Here are some pictures of the beginnings of the breakage. I have emailed them about it. Will post if I ever get any reply. Needless to say I’m not holding my breath.
This year is the one I plan to make work out the best of all the years thus far. HTFotography is going to grow into something amazing with the help of some of the plans Henrik and and I have been putting together over the last month or so. The first aim is twofold, approach big industry, and micro daycare businesses. Both will be given options that will make working with me worthwhile for them in the long run. We have also added more equipment to our collection to enable us to do the best work possible and provide the most fantastic images to our clients straight out of camera with as little post pocessing needed as possible which in turn will make my workfolow more streamlined and efficient. We recently made a move away from storing out images on disks and began investing in extra external and internal hard drives. Working out the cost of DVDs for back-ups, it became apparent that it worked out way more expensive and was much more prone to fail than if we kept buying extra hard drives. I also stopped providing people with disks of images from their shoots, and instead providing password protected online galleries which they can share with others via a link in an email. I find this helps keep control over print quality. Often people used to take their disks to photo print kiosks which didn’t read different folders and simply loaded up the lower res images more quickly than the high res versions which meant they often ended up making their enlargements from the wrong images with horrifying results which they would then blame me for. No I work in partnership with two professinal labs in Durban, and also do prints up to A3 size at home with my own professional photo printer. The result, much better looking prints and much happier clients.
I might look into taking a part time job sometime this year with a photographer where I can learn more and earn a regular salary enabling me to build up some savings to help me realise the dream to build our own warehouse studio/home. That might take some time, but with a bit of hard work and luck, we will get there eventually.
HTFotography has also recieved a new look with a brand new logo designed for us by the fantastically talented Jürgen Henke of Creative Studios(firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today I lost an old and dear friend. He slipped away in the early hours of this morning and I only heard about it a few minutes ago.
Michael had been fighting pancreatic cancer for some time. He has struggled with pain for much of his life having hurt himself early in his career as a ballet dancer which put paid to his dancing dreams.
This is a man who once danced with Nureyev and spent time with Andy Warhol, yet today one cannot find a picture of him on google so far had he faded from fame and fortune. Michael had faded from my life too, I hadn’t seen him in almost 18 months. I thought of him just last week and wondered how he was. Somehow in the rush and madness of running around getting busy with life and everything that goes with it, I had lost my old friend.
Now it is far too late for goodbyes.
RIP Michael Richter