Doing lockdown like a Kardashian (or not)

https://www.ekurhuleni.gov.za/media-relations/21-day-national-lockdown-covid-19.html

So day 1 and 2 of lockdown came and went and it’s not that bad (yet).

Day 1 wasn’t much different from the norm, except that I got to work from home. Jip, I’ll be working through lockdown which is an absolute blessing. Remember the 11 Commandments of lockdown – find a balance between time spent on your own and time spent with your family. With me being able to work, we are sure to have a very good balance in how we spend our time.

Day 2 – my love decided to bring all the equipment from the bus home and I am super stoked about it. That means I get to have the best coffee while on lockdown. We phoned up the neighbors and invited them over for cappuccinos. Before you blast me about social distancing, we had our cappuccinos on either of the fence with 6 meters between us. Realized again what nice people they are. Spend the day lazing around for the bigger part of it, doing crosswords and watching reruns of Kom on Braai. We watched a rerun of our episode too and felt like a total celeb: watching myself on TV while wearing my fat pants, no makeup, and hair in a mess. It’s fabulous being me 🙂 I wonder how the Kardashians will do lockdown? Finished the day with a chicken braai, roasted veggies and my very own apple crumble, which was delicious, even though it was more apple than crumble. O yes, I also tried out my running track I had laid out in our back yard. Turns out I need to do it 62 and a half times to get a 5KM run in. Yikes. I’m not entirely sure that it is going to happen, but I’ll try it out later today nonetheless. I am really sad at this point that I never committed to buying a treadmill. I’ve been meaning to do it for the longest time. Too late now.

As promised yesterday, my Corona scare

During the weekend of 14 and 15 March, we worked at a bike rally. A rally that was attended by a lot of Germans. Days before that weekend, news of corona increased and (being an overthinker) I started to take note of news specifically on how the virus is spread from person to person.

Well, I’ll have you know that before now I never realized

a) how much people spit when they talk

b) how often we touch our face and

c) how many things we touch that may or may not be infected

Taking a coffee order from a drunk guy insisting on telling you how his “flat white” is supposed to be made while you have a live band to your left and a DJ to your right – spit fest. At one point I seriously contemplated taking off my bra to cover my face. It was THAT bad!

Going to the loo, well that is just simply a minefield of germs and viruses waiting to jump! Seriously, men have it so easy.

Your first challenge arrives as you get to your cubicle. Closing the door with your foot is no challenge at all. To get the latch, however, your options are limited to fingers or teeth….. Mmmmmm I think I’ll opt for keeping the doors closed with my fingertips. Now, any girl will know that you never sit on a public toilet, you squat. Squat done, you wrap toilet paper around your fingertips and keep the door closed with that, hoping that it will offer enough resistance to someone wanting to enter. Do your business and (while still squatting) you use your free hand to gather some more toilet paper and wipe. Done! You feel super triumphant knowing that you’ve managed to miss every germ. Time to wash your hands. fcuk. You have to use your hands to open the tap, get the soap and wash and then use that super clean hand to close the tap. Hello toilet paper, my old friend! (I think I’m starting to see where the world toilet paper problem is coming from) All clean! Yayyy, a 4-year-old who has just managed to lose the training wheels on his bike couldn’t be happier! You turn around to leave, open the door and walk out of there feeling like a million dollars. Your fringe tickles your forehead and you wipe it away, not thinking for a second about the door and latch you touched to leave the cubicle. You take cash from someone who pays for their skinny dirty chai, gives them change and wipe the counter. You have now successfully touched 5 sites of possible infection. I’m not going to carry on, I’m sure you get the message.

So, Monday the 16th of March, our president announced a state of emergency and I started to think about the weekend. All those germs, all those Germans. I have no idea where they all come from. Tuesday meets me with a runny nose and sore muscles. My overthinking topped new levels, levels I never dreamed possible. Turns out I’m OK and there is no need for concern, but I can fully understand how mental health can become an issue in these times.

Mental health is going to be a huge thing in this time, more on that in my next post

How are you spending lockdown? Please share interesting ideas of things to do

Until next time, stay safe and stay home!

The 11 Commandments of Lockdown

As we all frantically prep for lockdown, which is now only 8 hours away, I just wanted to share the below with you. I am not entirely sure who to give credit for this, but it makes so much sense, I just had to share it. It was originally posted on Facebook in Afrikaans, please forgive me if my translation of it is not 100% correct.

Over the next three weeks, the gala is on, and you’ll most likely be sharing very limited space with people you’ve always thought you could get on with very well.  After 5 years in Afghanistan, and countless “hard lockdowns” that sometimes lasted up to a month, I would like to share a few thoughts of my own experience.

1. It’s hard. No, it’s tough! Especially here around day 10, when the newness of it begins to disappear. You are going to have to improve and keep your self-discipline.

2. Quickly develop a comfortable routine where you maintain a healthy balance between your own time and time spent with the rest of the household.

3. Don’t be lazy where day-to-day duties are concerned – do your part.  But also don’t be a spectacular pain in the a$$ with others and constantly order them around.  Nerves quickly wear thin.

4. You are going to learn, see and discover things about the people around you, things that you have never noticed before.  Most of it is not things you will be giggling about. Deal with it, and bite your tongue. They also realize that you are not as perfect as you believe.

5. Keep a close eye on the people around you. The “black dog” has a really bad habit of moving in during these times. And if it is not he, it is that fox we call intolerance. Keep both of them away from you.

6. When you are allowed to travel/move, avoid anything in uniform like the plague (no pun intended). Nothing puts the standard traffic cop/policeman/security guard/soldier on a bigger power trip than circumstances like this.

7. Stay busy, even if it’s just being busy at being calm.  And don’t get yourself worked up with all kinds of worries and stress. It is what it is. The comfort is that very few of us will NOT come through this. Make sure that your relationships are stronger and better. It will be a huge bummer if your first stop after lockdown is the divorce attorney or madhouse.

8. Stay positive. This too will pass. It always does. This is not war. Exploit your creativity. Forge new plans for the future. Dream big and prepare yourself to kick a$$ when the doors are swinging again.

9. Keep a stash of popcorn. You are going to need it when you sit and watch out how the guys who do not follow this council self destructs. Avoid snowflakes – they will make you crazy with their entitlement and claims.

10. You have a lot of time at hand. Talk to your Creator, get to know Him again. Years from now you are going to look back and realize how valuable these three weeks really were.

And then, that eleventh commandment. “Be safe, but have fun.”

Best advice in these times, don’t you think?

Be safe out there, see you soon with the story of my Corona scare…

And so, this is lock down

corona virus
covid-19
SA lockdown
Cyril Ramaphosa
SA Government
Coronavirus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D render

It is with morbid curiosity that I have been watching the developments around the Corona Virus since early January 2020. From the get-go there was something about this virus that made me keep an eye on it. As it turns out, Covid-19 will go down in history as something that united the world, for now at least.

When we first learned of the virus, it was “the black sheep of the family” – like domestic violence, sexual abuse, your best friend’s narcissistic husband – something that happened “over there, to other people”. As it started to spread outside of Wuhan, people took notice and it became the thing you talk about at the water station with colleagues. Soon it was the main topic of discussion, but still not something that will ever happen to us. Even as the first case was diagnosed on home soil on 5 March 2020 people were joking about “whether you have washed your hands”.

5 March – that is just 19 days ago.

16 March – the count is now at 72 and President Ramaphosa urges people to take care

22 March – 274 is now infected – that is 202 people in less than a week. But then…..

23 March – the number of infections jumps to 402 and between day 17 and 18 the number of positive cases jumped by 45%

24 March – 554 infections, 4 recovered and 2 in ICU.

In 19 days it took us from joking about something “over there” to 21 days of lockdown. 19 days for it to jump from 1 to 402. I expect that the number of infected people is actually much higher as it takes about 3 days for a positive diagnosis to come back. If the current rate of infection continues, I am afraid we may exceed 1 500 by this weekend. We still have 3 full days of work and shopping and prepping for lockdown (read: contact with others that may be affected) before we go into lockdown. It is very scary indeed.

Since this is a developing story (not the time for jokes, I know, but I’ve always wanted to say that) and there is too much to say on the topic for one post, for this one I will focus on why it is one of the biggest unifying events to occur in the world during my lifetime.

For the first time in South Africa’s history, that I know of, everyone is united against a common thread. I find it amazing that this tiny little unseen virus has the ability to bring together all races, all religious organizations and all political parties to stand as a united front and fight this thing. Not even Nelson Mandela or the Springboks ever had the ability to unite us like this. I am proud President Ramaphosa and I am proud of my country for the way they have come together to fight this unseen speck that has the power to grind us and the rest of the world to a halt.

Last night our President announced that we will go into lock down midnight on 26 March 2020 until midnight on 16 April 2020, This could not have been an easy decision, and it certainly is one that I am glad I did not have to make. Millions and millions of people will be affected by this. Business will be forced to shut their doors for good, the job losses and economic impact will be massive. It is something that will take a very long time to remedy. Despite all of this, I believe it to be right move, the only move. The economy and the coins in my pocket can never be more important than the value of a single human life.

Governments, organizations, companies, individuals, political parties, different religious groups, millionaires and billionaires – all are rallying to fight this unseen enemy. This invisible threat that is ripping apart families and forever changing lives has caused more unity than anything I have ever seen before.

All of a sudden you see groups of people pop up making donations, looking beyond the “glory” of “I did something good”. Parents are forced to spend time with their children as the schools are closed. The elderly are being looked after by strangers who are concerned for the health of the aged and husbands and wives have nowhere to go but spend time with each other – there are no pubs to go to or golf games to be played. We are forced to slow down and take stock of what matters. Nations are praying for each other and helping out where they can. Unemployed doctors and nurses come in from all the corners of the world to offer their services.

All across the globe, things are slowing down and resetting for one common goal – let’s beat this!

Corona will not touch me or my family, but I’ve had my scare (more on that in the next post)

As we approach lock down and we get everything in place to make sure that we won’t have to pop out to the shop, I stand in awe at the unity this virus has brought. I stand in awe at how resilient we are. I stand in awe at how we can pull together – regardless of social standing or race. Together we can beat this!

On bullies and abusers and getting paid for it

“I’m in an abusive relationship, so cheers to that”

Our weekly girl’s night turned sour very quickly when my friend uttered these words. I froze, my wine glass suspended halfway between the clink of our glasses in the busy restaurant and a sip.

I never, in a million years expected her husband to be that kind of guy. And I mean I should know. I have had my share of bad relationships. In fact, I think I’ve dated them all. Narcissist, Psychopath, sociopath – been there, got the t-shirt (and burned it). Abuse is something that makes my blood boil in seconds and I pride myself in the fact that I am FINALLY able to spot one of these bastards as soon as they cross my path. I was shocked and disgusted and surprised at her statement. Really, T would do this? Never!!!

My expression, as always, must have been a dead giveaway of the emotion washing over and through me. She quickly swallowed her wine and started laughing. “What are you talking about and why are you laughing?? It’s not something to laugh about!” I practically shouted at her

It’s my boss, she said. He makes me feel like a prostitute for abuse. If T had to abuse me, I’d walk away in the blink of an eye. When it’s your boss, it’s a different story. You need that paycheck at the end of the month, so you suck it up. You become a prostitute for his abuse. You know you should walk away from the situation, but every day you go back for more because you need it. It becomes a co-dependent / narcissist relationship. What makes it worse is when your boss knows that there is no one higher than him in the workplace and you need the job and work is scarce, so you’re just going to suck it up and take it day after day after day. That fuels his narcissistic power trip even more and he revels in the fact that he can do and say whatever he wants and you are just going to have to take whatever he throws your way. He doesn’t actually hit me, but everything else…. it’s an abusive relationship. He’s like the bully on the school ground who knows that you can’t stand up to him so he keeps picking on you every day.

I’m so incredibly tired of driving to work every day, not knowing what to expect. Will I get a coffee and muffin from Starbucks or will I get shouted at the minute I enter the office. Worse, or maybe not, I don’t know, are the days when I get the silent treatment and he just sits there, stewing, minding his own business, staring at me as I go about mine. I dread those days. I will literally do anything to avoid going to his office to ask him something. On those days you can feel the tension building with every second he doesn’t speak and when he finally does, it’s like opening a lucky packet, because you have no idea what you’re about to get. I hate it. I don’t have a contract, I don’t have a union, I don’t even have an HR department! It’s just him and it makes me so miserable. I go home at night and all I can think about is sitting down with a glass of wine to relax. And then poor T gets it from my side because I’ll either want to sit in a corner and cry or want to invite a whole bunch of people over for an impromptu braai or I’ll throw a tantrum because there are ants in the dogs’ food bowls! I really can’t do this anymore

I felt so sorry for her. She sat there looking utterly defeated and I can swear her lower lip quivered a little as her eyes glossed over with tears that threatened to spill over and into her wine. What do you do?

When you have no union rep, no HR, no higher power, who do you go to? The Department of Labour has much bigger fish to fry. The CCMA wouldn’t be interested unless you got fired. So what do you do? You become a prostitute for your paycheck. In fact, your bully pays you to come back to the schoolyard every day to take his abuse, and you comply because you simply have no other choice. It sucks

So from today, I am on a mission to find my friend a new job.

Have you ever been in this situation? How did you get out, other than finding a new job? Is it possible to “manage” a boss like this? I’d love to hear from you!

Halala Afrika…

I didn’t need to think hard about today’s prompt.  In fact, the image of my country animal came to me instantly and it sent shivers down my spine

As the sun sets over the savanna, the jovial laughter and joking around the campfire are suddenly silenced by a roar.  The sound rips through the peaceful African landscape and temporarily silences the “hunters” around the campfire.  They freeze for a moment, startled by the mighty sound.  Then they laugh.  The fattest one of the lot very proudly declares “That one is mine tomorrow!  Let him enjoy his final roar this night”

From the encampment behind them, the old and sicky lion roars once more, softer this time – a little desperation mixed with a lot of sadness and surrender to this desperate fate.  The once-mighty King of the Jungle has been reduced to no more than a bag of bones, flies clumping around sores and broken skin.  His big black mane that once stood proud as he roared to welcome the day, now hangs in tangles and knots.

I ran this prompt by a couple of people to get a sense of how they felt and what animal would represent our country.  The responses varied from skunk to (a very generic) Springbok.  One even told me I’m being far too dramatic.  If I am, be that as it may, but my heart aches for our country as it does for that canned lion.

How did our country go from a young, virile, strong black-maned lion to this – a sickly, sad, desperate and hopeless creature sitting in the spotlight waiting for its end as politicians with their corruption and nepotism and fraud circle in to draw the last breath from it?

There is a lot to be said over South Africa.  I don’t like to talk politics, but you don’t need to look far to see the desperate state that is now our State. 

What future  do I promise my child?  How do we restore this lion to health and make it free once more?  Is that kind of restoration even possible?

I don’t know.  I don’t have the answers.

The only thing I know for sure is that my heart breaks for South Africa.  No matter what happens or where I go from here. No matter whether I stay or go find a future somewhere else.  No matter what, Afrika will always and forever be in my blood.  My blood will run green and gold until my last breath.  Afrika my love

As I have this vision in mind, the sounds of Johannes Kerkorrel rings in my ears. 

Halala Afrika – ewig is ons Afrika

#2020VISION

It is said that hindsight has 2020 vision. No, I am not referring to 20/20 vision as a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. That is all good and well, but I’ve learned that after 40 that one goes out the window 🙂

I’m referring to the vision we get when we choose to learn from past experiences and mistakes and successes – everything that made us who we are. We can go through something heartbreaking and get lost in that; or, we can choose to learn – to make better choices, to accept or reject certain behaviors and attitudes, to be different, better, more. The key though is that you have to choose to learn. You have to own up to your mistakes and choose to do things differently. You have to choose to forgive.

On a side note, I am still torn by the concept of “forgive and forget”. I’m all for forgiveness but forgetting…. Remembering what we have experienced and choosing to learn the lesson is what makes us who we are, not true. If we don’t remember the event, how do we remember the lesson? If we forget all the lessons are forgotten with it and we end up making the same mistake over and over and over again. Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps I am yet to learn how to truly forgive and forget.

Getting back to the topic at hand. 2020 Vision, is that not just the perfect way to enter a new year, a new decade even? With 2020 vision comes a lot of peace and understanding. With 2020 vision comes the reward from everything we have been through, everything that made us who we are. If we choose to learn, that is.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have this supernatural excitement bubbling inside of me about this year. It is not the usual “365 blank pages waiting to be filled; 365 new opportunities to start over”, none of that. It is a peace and a knowing that we are about to be catapulted into something new, something bigger. A sense that the reward is here; no more waiting or hoping or dreaming about one day, but now. Our time has come and the universe is about to repay us for everything we have put in. I don’t quite know how to explain the feeling that I have, but it is more than just another new year.

I, of course, approached my friend Google, to find the meaning of #2020vision. WOW! The sense of excitement I had before has doubled and I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this will be THE YEAR.

I am sure all of you have heard of “Angel Numbers”. Simply put, Angel Numbers are sequences of numbers that carry with them guidance and meaning. If you, for instance, keep seeing the number 1234 or variants of this number it is supposedly a sign that you are on the right path and you should keep going. Likewise, 1111 and its variants (1/11/1 or 11/11, for instance, means that you are on a path of spiritual enlightenment and your intuition and insight is at a heightened state. Now, I know that not everyone believes in this, but in a way, there is a lot of sense in it for me. The world, the universe, everything operates by numbers. It is thus easy to believe and understand that each number carries with it a specific vibrational meaning that goes beyond a simple quantity.

2020 in Angel Numbers
This is where the ‘wow’ starts! Buckle your seatbelts, this is going to blow your mind.

You are welcome to go read this article for more on this, but in short, it is all about faith and trust and compassion; about building relationships and developing your love language. It’s about letting go of insecurities and just trusting that everything will be OK. It is about passion and self-awareness. It is about hope and confidence. It truly is the year of calm and serenity and taking a step back to pause, listen and then plot your next step on your journey

The part that really got me going was when I read about the year 2020 in terms of numerology. The year translates to the number 4 (2+0+2+0). It is a year that brings huge potential for personal growth. Very important here: potential. We have to choose to listen and be guided and learn and grow. The choice is always ours to make. Now, you can stop reading now and say you are not interested in this mumbo-jumbo. It is your choice. Or you can choose to just look at a couple of interesting facts I have discovered about my life, pertaining to the number 4

The year 1993 (1+9+9+3 = 22. 2 + 2 = 4) That was the year I discovered that I want to write. The year I discovered that writing is my one sure way of expressing what goes on in my mind, to express the words I can not say. It was also the year that I stood with a cocked 9mm to the head of a drunk, passed out monster and it wouldn’t fire, which I believe to be nothing other than divine intervention.

The year 2002 (2+0+0+2 = 4) That was the year my Luka was born. The light of my life and, if a prophecy is something to go by, the light of The Way to many people. My shining star

The year 2011 (2+0+1+1=4) The year that I left my husband after a relationship of 13 (1+3=4) years. The year I decided to take back my life and take control and live. Sadly it took me another 4 years after that to learn a couple of valuable lessons. I could have avoided a lot of heartache and pain had I learned earlier, but maybe those 4 years were part of my path and it definitely contributed to and made me who I am today. I am in my 4th relationship since then and this year will be our 4th year together. In fact, in the 4th month of this year, on 23/4/2020 (2+3+4+2+0+2+0=13. 1+3=4) it is our 4th anniversary. Add to that that it is a leap year (2 +9 + 2 = 13. 1 + 3 = 4)…

Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn.
North, East, South, West
Earth, Wind, Fire, Water
All sequences of four that regulate our existence
Coincidence?

I don’t know if anyone else will understand my excitement. I don’t know if it is all mumbo-jumbo.

What do I know?

I know that for this year I choose to embrace the fact that the number 4 is prominent in my life NOW in this year that is a 4. I choose the accept that every previous “4” year of my adult life has brought with it a positive change. Not always nice or easy or something that I understood at the time, but with 2020 vision, it was all positive in that I have grown and changed

So I welcome this year with open arms and #2020vision. I choose to stop and listen, I choose to accept and adapt to change, I choose to live to my full potential and make the best of it, and if I should fail, I want you to remind me of these words.

May 2020 be your year xx

The WTF that was 2019

In my mind it still is June. I don’t know where the rest of the year went or what happened to it. It just happened so quickly.

2019 was nothing short of being caught in a riptide. The times I can remember when I had my head above water was few and far between. More often than not I was caught in a desperate gasp for air and space and quiet and rest.

Most of the year was spent in a zombie like state between trying to get from one job to the next while smiling and making small talk, while deep down, all I want is my bed. On more than one occasion I felt that booking myself into a hospital and requesting to be put to sleep for 2 weeks seems a very viable option. Right now, as I’m sitting here and everyone is feeling festive and happy and in celebratory moods, all I can thing of is how long it is till I can go to bed.

But, it’s not all bad. My Love and I have a deeper and stronger relationship than ever before

My son is back home and he has turned into the young man I always new he could be. He makes me more proud with every day that goes past.

I couldn’t be more blessed.

I’m sorry about friends that were lost this year. Getting upset because I again can’t make it to a braai or not liking the fact that I call your bluff on gossip…. Well, do I really want those kind of “friends”? I am grateful for knowing who my real friends are – tho ones who understand and stick around and jump out to help at the drop of a hat, those are my kind of people.

I am healthy, albeit a little overweight.

I have a job that pays well enough

I have a safe, secure, warm, dry home that is filled with love and laughter and crazy moments and friends that pop in at all hours and a garden that gets better by the day

I have grown and healed and walked a step or two closer to the person I am meant to be

I am happy.

Is there really more to ask for?

Besides making me tired (which I intend to remedy with a lot of sleep over the next couple of days), 2019 have made me stronger and wiser. I am not broken or bruised by the year, but instead I am filled with hope and a bubbling sense of anticipation. Next year can really only get better!