Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Happy anniversary!

Posted: July 28, 2014 in Family, Personal
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Quick post – a happy 2 year anniversary to my amazing husband!

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Cherubs

Posted: May 30, 2014 in Friends, Personal, Writings
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A poem for my friends…
Their loss so great, their presence not forgotten.

(Permission granted to post)

***

Mother of dragons you aren’t
Beauty and wonder far more you own
Sometimes you shan’t ever understand
Why you feel so incredibly alone

Such a gift you were given
As swiftly taken away
To walk among the living
Was for them a few weeks of play

Destined for greatness elsewhere
You were the perfect host
How cruel and unfair
You out of all will miss them most

The truth to their existence
We shall never understand
More important lifetimes they face
In spirit, always hold their hands

The pain now
Far too much to bear
In time it will hurt a little less
For a lifetime you will care

The twins of your womb
Enjoyed their brief yet loved stay
You were specifically chosen
To face this devastating day

Only you are as strong
For with this sadness to deal
No other mother on the planet
Could make their lives more real

They know how much you loved them
They know how much you cared
I’m certain that they’re sad for leaving
But know that you’re prepared

Their absence swallows many
Their presence always missed
We love the twins intensely
A soul your soul has kissed

I hold your hand, head and heart
Through this trying time
My friend I’m so sorry
My favorite, mine.

***

Shevy

I am not a a South African.

Keep calm, I’m not an illegal immigrant either. I moved to South Africa when I was 6 years old and legally obtained permanent residence here. This means I’m allowed to work, bank and reside in South Africa without having citizenship. I am permitted to apply for citizenship since I’ve naturalized in this country but sadly, South Africa, I decline your offer. I’ve not been denied citizenship, I just don’t want it.

My ID book reads NON SA CITIZEN… This means I can do everything a citizen of a South Africa can do except the one thing the country needs me to do. Vote. Yes, if I applied for citizenship and took the time and opportunity to call myself a South African, I would be able to offer that one additional vote but sadly, it’s just not worth it for me.

I never completely understood why I didn’t develop a desire to become a citizen of the country. I was so young when I moved here and remembered little of my birth country. Fortunately, I’ve been afforded a few travel opportunities which have, in my travels, led me back to the United Kingdom. I cannot begin to describe the feelings I experience when I travel to London, it’s as if I know in my heart and my head know that I’m home. Suddenly my solitary vote doesn’t seem too important.

So why am I still here? Well, once roots are planted its difficult to pull them from the ground. I have a husband, I have two children and I have family and friends, all here in a South Africa. For now it is my home, yet I’ve made it popular knowledge that I have a desire to relocate my family to England and somewhere in the not too distant future I hope to do this.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate South Africa. I’m not clambering at the embassy doors for a way out, it’s my home after all. What we have here for the most part is a beautiful country, great weather (if you like the weather, though my Anglo Saxon blood tends to favor the cool rainy seasons), good opportunities (I’ve never had a problem career wise, despite my skin color and the same goes for many I know of all races), unity (when a rugby match is on, not football, just rugby) and social media access (the same cannot be said for China). As I write this though, I battle to churn out the positives to be seen in South Africa because based on the recent ‘free and fair’ elections, I struggle to see freedom or fairness.

Of course, I encourage anyone allowed to vote to do so. It is imperative that your voice be heard as a citizen of this country. It is your valuable choice that adds up to a thousand valuable choices and hopefully an intelligent outcome… So, as someone who doesn’t (and can’t) vote, what gives me the right to complain when I cannot provide a contribution to the system that decides our countries fate? Truth is, I don’t generally complain. In fact, I’m still here, as affected by this countries bad decisions as ever. The time is coming for me to make my decision though, shall I apply for citizenship or shan’t I? My resolve remains a resounding no, sadly, I shan’t.

I refuse to be tarnished by the same brush of a country that fairly allows for the lynching of rural residents who choose to break the mould and vote against the existing government. How disgusting that a video of a woman being savagely beaten to death goes viral and shows nothing more than the backwards nature of our political freedom. How free she was as she lay grounded by the axe blows to her forehead, how free and fair was her election? It’s definitely a fair election when parties are going out of there way and taking time from their busy schedules to offer the impoverished communities money (R50) and clothing (branded t-shifts) to entice the masses into a vote. Of course, the illiterate and uneducated understand that R50 will feed their family that day but the bigger picture is in shadow, another vote won by shameless bribery, that’s fair surely but for the tax payer, definitely not free. How sad that the most valuable piece of paper you can mark for the government gets left uncounted, that boxes upon boxes of discarded ballots are being used as fire fuel to the poor, I’d say that’s a pretty free and fair election. The icing on the cake would be the theft of my mobile number to punt your criminal party to me days before and days after the election without my permission, but I guess you assumed you didn’t need this permission did you? Free and fair? Free. Fair. My arse.

So if I was a citizen, posting my thumb selfie, post voting day, would I be truly confident that the elections were free and fair and I can sleep better knowing all that could have been done was in fact done? Hardly, in fact they were probably rigged from the start and Nelson Mandela is churning in his grave at the disgusting behavior of our government and total shambles that is our backwards voting system. It can’t be that bad though right? Because google our elections and ten websites will pop up reiterating how great they actually were, going off without a hitch. Too few links come up with the truth, the anguish and the murder behind elections 2014 and what’s being done to rectify it.

I constantly say ‘our’ when referring to South Africa. The petrol price sucks but I have petrol. eTolls suck but I drive on roads. Internet prices suck but I have a modem. Food prices disgust me but I eat. Traffic is disgusting but I drive to work daily. Education is in the toilet but at least my children have schools to go to. Racism is rife but I’m free to befriend all colors and creeds. Water is dirty, but I can drink it. Eskom goes out more than an old man’s back but I have a power source. So many things here to upset me South Africa, yet I don’t complain. This time, I’m afraid you’ve pushed the boundaries and I’m no murderer nor will I be an accomplice to one. I’m sorry South Africa, citizenship denied.

Shevy

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I didn’t always plan on being tattooed. I grew up as a ‘black sheep’ with very different and unique ideals about life. I have always been headstrong and opinionated and because of this, was bound to stray from the path of the white picket fence… Once I turned 18, I started getting tattoos and never looked back. Here I am today, female, fun and full of ink… And I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

Let me be clear, being female and having tattoos does not mean that I am a Rockabilly chick – Why? Because that takes work. Work, time, effort and creativity. Am I worthy? Perhaps, but I have some work to do before I get there and live this lifestyle that I have fallen so deeply in love with. I curtsy to all the women (and men) living this era, the effort that it takes with hair and make up and the beauty that you exude when out on the town… I have the most respect for the dolls out daily in their dresses with hair in perfect curl and red lipstick on point, in fact, I’m envious.

If unsure about what Rockabilly is, here are a few pages with some information to better educate you on the style and era :

Wikipedia – Rockabilly
How to be a Rockabilly Dollie
Pin up vs Rockabilly

Here begins the road to Rockabilly.

After following a few Pin Up and Rockabilly enthusiasts via social media in the past year, I developed an interest in the clothing, make up, hair and overall attitude of the era. I kept an eye out on trends, accessories and hair color for an overall picture of what Rockabilly was about, though never acting on transitioning to a Rockabilly girl myself. Me? Shevy? The rocker chick that doesn’t even wear dresses, ever? How absurd. Or so I believed.

Last year, we were invited to attend a Rockabilly themed anniversary party which I thought was a great opportunity to try out the Rockabilly style. I donned red skinnies, pumps, a vest and checkered shirt with some red in my hair and make up to match. I spent weeks figuring out my outfit, calling on all contacts for help and making the best go of it I possibly could. The end result, a Rockabilly / Psychobilly hybrid which I absolutely loved! I felt… Comfortable.

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My interest was peaked. I really enjoyed ‘dressing up’ and realized that I wanted this to be more than a dress up. I could do this, as a way life, couldn’t I? Sadly not, life got in the way and before I knew it, a new year was upon us. Then, my dad announced the dates and theme for his 50th birthday party (Theme – Glam) and I knew that the 50’s were waiting to be channeled by no one but me.

The first step, finding a dress. For followers of my blog, you’ll know that my dress search became almost, well, hopeless. Basically, the dress I ordered months ago was stolen at customs (Full Story – Time for a rockabilly rant) and the second dress that my husband drove to Sasolburg and back to collect didn’t end up fitting. A desperate cry for help via social media (Thank you The Tattooed Lady) led me to find this little gem of a shop in Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria called Retrospective. Mondi was amazing, the day before the party I’d already been in contact and on the day of, we arrived to fitting rooms ready with dresses in my size and the hope that I’d be walking away with a dress. Third time lucky. I decided on a Hell Bunny dress (Aztec) with a white petticoat and the first smile about my outfit in days. While not the original nautical style dress I’d planned on, the colors still matched and I think everything worked really well (Red, Blue and White).

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Prior to the dress debacle, I’d planned accessories and shoes for the outfit. I ordered nautical inspired accessories from Miss Happ, a beautiful cameo necklace, anchor earrings, a hair clip and shoe clips – the perfect addition to the ensemble. I bought a pair of cheap and cheerful pumps from PnP in white and paired them with my beautiful shoe clips, the shoes were a gorgeous finishing touch. I wasn’t done, a little white cardigan from Mr Price finished it off and my clothing was finally sorted. Thankfully, my Aztec dress matched all the awesome accessories, shoes and cardigan purchased long before I even had it. Was I throwing myself into this? I think so!

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After all this effort on my clothes, shoes and accessories, there was no way I could let my hair, make up and nails slip. The nails were easy, a blue press on to match the outfit but hair and make up? I was in for quite the challenge.

Nails – Check. Make up? I spent a while researching, chatting to friends following video tutorials and googling. Everything led me to red lips, winged liner, pail foundation and understated blush. I ended up with a tutorial for ideas and a steady hand for the liner, best cat’s eyes I’ve ever done!

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Last but not least, hair! Oh my word, Rockabilly dolls do it with style. I wish I had longer hair and a more lenient job to pull off the colored bangs and Dita waves but alas, my pixie style meant for a little bit of a personal twist. After hours of googling (again) I came across a video tutorial which led my husband being ordered to the shop to buy a curling iron (which I didn’t previously own) and hours of frustration and irritation. After two hours, the end result really did look good and was well worth the effort, how would I do this daily?

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After all of this, my outfit was complete. I was happy. I ordered my photographer husband to take some photos of me (proud moment) with my vintage scooter – yes, it’s mine – and off to the party we went.

What a journey to get here… The frustrations, complications, challenges and expenses involved were many, but the satisfaction with the end result far outweighed all of this. Many girls dream of growing up to be princesses, I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I grew up not knowing what I wanted to be. Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that one girls princess is another girls Rockabilly doll or pin up and perhaps I’ve stumbled on the girly girl I’m supposed to be instead of the ‘mature’ woman I’m expected to be. I spent my life refusing to fit in, moving against the masses. Now I find myself longing to fit in with a group of like minded people who don’t fit into the masses and are happy with that. I bought my first Rockabilly dress and I can guarantee you, it won’t be the last. I look forward to buying more trinkets and accessories, learning different ways to style my hair and play around with this gorgeous style. Suddenly, I find myself caring about how I look (not that I didn’t before, but more so now) and paying more attention to the style I portray. The most rewarding aspect? The positive attention I’ve received after posting a few of the photos, the compliments I received at the party and the amount of people that have told me the look suits me and I do pull it off, well. I know that I must be on the right track…

So, you may ask, do I actually know anything about the 50’s? I do, in fact, Marilyn Monroe is a favorite of mine but in all honesty, I don’t know enough and so I will continue to learn through my journey. I’m a traveller and the road is paved with Elvis and lipstick and beauties of decades past. I know where I want to be, I know who I am, I know where I’m going and I like it.

Shevy

P.S. The final product… Dress, Make up, Hair, Nails, Shoes, Scooter and all.

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It’s not often they I choose to feed negativity here on http://www.theshevster.com but I must say, I’m particularly frikkin annoyed and must rant to keep my stress levels as low as possible.

My dad’s 50th birthday is coming up and the theme of the party… ‘glam’. Being a 50th I chose to dress in a 50’s rockabilly type fashion which I’m particularly excited about.

From Miss Happ, all my gorgeous glam accessories to match my dress – pics attached.

From Pinn’d Up Clothing, a beautiful Rockabilly dress – pics attached.

We’ve since co ordinated the family (daughters and husband) to dress glamorously using the red, white and blue theme carried throughout and their outfits (and accessories) are in the wardrobe, all ready to go for Saturday.

All planned and good to go right? Wrong! Because, by no fault of the supplier, my dress has gone missing. It was made, it was couriered to supplier for quality control, some bastards at customs took a rifle through my package and now my dress is gone. GONE! It didn’t even get to supplier for final courier to me even though the rest of the items arrived safely (including my underskirt, thankfully but no use without the dress). With 5 days to go before the party, I have shoes and I have accessories but alas, I’ll be going naked. While everything is being done to attempt a rush order on a new dress or provide me with another one (pointless really as it won’t match now), chances are slim that I’ll receive the dress I ordered in my size in time for the party :(

I am so angry at the audacity of people in this country! How DARE you/they/he/she open up MY package and take the dress made specifically for ME paid for by MY hard earned money leaving ME without the dress. Quite frankly it’s disgusting that we can’t trust the postal service so we use a courier but heck, you can’t even trust customs to get anything into the country because guess what, someone sitting there clearly believes they deserve it more than you do. For free. I am angry (because this isn’t the first time) and now, I’m also anxious because I don’t know what I’m going to have by Friday (if anything) and what I do eventually receive may not fit or match. What the actual f@#k (French to be excused please) is wrong with the world and the people in it that all morals are thrown to the wind because you see a pretty dress and choose to keep it. Screw you. Screw customs. Screw the government. Screw the country.

Really positive leading up to election time isn’t it?

In case you didn’t realize before, I’m pissed off and now I’m miserable as well… Feeling no better for my rant. It’s such a pretty dress and now I don’t have it and I have such pretty accessories and nothing to wear them with. To add to my crappy few days I’ve lost my Twisp (e-cigarette), gotten a severe UTI, been on horrid antibiotics, broken the UV lamp for my nails and broken out in the worst psoriasis ever. If this is May 2014, I want a do over – truly hope it isn’t a telling of the days to come.

I know, I sound like a spoilt brat but if you spent hard earned money on something you had your heart set on receiving but didn’t actually receive, you’d be a spoilt brat too…

Here’s hoping I have a dress by Friday, or my family may be wrapping me in a tablecloth.

Rant over
Shevy

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You are good enough.

You need to tell yourself that every single day for the rest of your life, because if you don’t no one else is going to.

Happiness. What is happiness? It’s subjective. I have no answer for you, what makes one person happy could make another miserable. What is important to one soul is of little or no importance to another. What troubles and hurts me may have no effect on you but your biggest issue is the last worry on my list….

Growing up we are brain washed. Be thin, you will be happy. Be beautiful, you will be happy. Hey, be rich, you’ll be happier!! Why not get the perfect career, the perfect friends, the perfect furniture and house, the perfect man, the perfect children. All of these things will make you happy won’t they? Won’t they??? I’m sorry to tell you but as good as everything I’ve mentioned sounds, they probably won’t make you happy… Not if you’re not happy with the one thing that matters the most, not if you’re not happy with you.

I’ve grown up trying to people please. I have tried to hide the real me and have tried to conform to the standards I’ve been expected to… The old me anyway. That old me was miserable, that old me was fake, that old me was not truly me. Finally, after years of hiding me, I’m now accepting me. I’m accepting me for the faults I have and the traits that make me the person I am today. I’m not rich. I’m not thin. I don’t have the perfect career. My friends aren’t perfect. My house, my furniture, my man and my children, they too are not perfect. I’m a perfectionist with OCD but I’m no longer striving for perfection, I’m striving for happiness and that starts with me.

How do you not look in the mirror and feel worthless? How do you move past placing the responsibility of your worth on someone else? How do you learn to accept that you are human instead of constantly feeling like you’re a failure?

“Let go of the knife you are holding at your throat, the knife of shame, blame, fear and remorse.”

>No one is perfect… If you’re comparing yourself to others you’ll never feel that you’re good enough for anyone. You won’t be good enough for yourself. The scary thing is that people you think are perfect, are probably thinking about ten other people that they think are perfect. It’s a spiral, a downhill one, comparison will only hinder your happiness.

>When last did you have a conversation with yourself? Ok, not a loopy conversation but a monologue with your mind’s eye. You are good enough. Yes I am. You look great today. Yes I do. Tomorrow will be better than today, chin up. Thanks for the reassurance, I needed that. No, voices in your head don’t make you crazy. It’s one of the most intelligent conversations you’ve had.

>Remind yourself. Who you are, what you have to be thankful for and the people in your life. Before bed, over a cup of tea or lying in the bath, just remind yourself that you’re surrounded by people who love you and think you’re amazing. If they do, why can’t you?

>I say it all the time and I’ll say it again… Allow yourself to feel. Be human. There is nothing wrong with hurting, being sad, being upset but you will be ok and tomorrow the sun rises despite what you’re feeling.

>Forgiveness… There could be many reasons you’re not happy. You feel unworthy. Your confidence or self esteem is kicked in the teeth. Some of those feelings could probably be attributed to various people in your life. Parents, teachers, siblings, friends or exes. Sometime, somewhere, someone made you feel like you’ll never amount to much and that deduction has never left you. It’s time to forgive, it’s time to let go and make your own decisions about your life.

>Make a choice. I choose to be worthy. I choose to be confident. I choose forgiveness and I choose happiness. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.

The key to happiness and self worth is understanding that you’re the only key. No one person makes you feel worthless or like a failure, those feelings are your own. Think of a child learning to swim… They may feel like they’re going to drown the first few times in the pool. The pool may scare the hell out of them. After a few lessons though, the confidence builds and eventually they’re winning races in swimming gala’s. It’s time to love yourself, if you don’t, no one else can.

If you want to let the good stuff in,
stop beating yourself up.
No matter what.

Everyone is different but here is a list of things that could help you love you. There is no harm in trying…

Source

Read on for steps to discover your worth and enfold yourself in affection and appreciation.

1. Begin your day with love (not technology). Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.

2. Take time to meditate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Begin with 5 minutes of meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.

3. Talk yourself happy. Use affirmations to train your mind to become more positive. Put a wrist band on your right wrist. When you’re participating in self-abuse of any form, move the band to your left wrist.

4. Get emotionally honest. Let of go of numbing your feelings. Shopping, eating, and drinking are examples of avoiding discomfort, sadness, and pain. Mindfully breathe your way through your feelings and emotions.

5. Expand your interests. Try something new. Learn a language. Go places you’ve never been. Do things you haven’t done before. You have a right to an awesome life.

6. Enjoy life enhancing activities. Find exercise you like. Discover healthy foods that are good for you. Turn off technology for a day and spend time doing things that make you feel alive.

7. Become willing to surrender. Breathe, relax, and let go. You can never see the whole picture. You don’t know what anything is for. Stop fighting against yourself by thinking and desiring people and events in your life should be different. Your plan may be different from your soul’s intentions.

8. Work on personal and spiritual development. Be willing to surrender and grow. Life is a journey. We are here to learn and love on a deeper level. Take penguin steps and life becomes difficult. One step at a time is enough to proceed forward.

9. Own your potential. Love yourself enough to believe in the limitless opportunities available to you. Take action and create a beautiful life for yourself.

10. Be patient with yourself. Let go of urgency and fear. Relax and transform striving into thriving. Trust in yourself, do good work, and the Universe will reward you.

11. Live in appreciation. Train your mind to be grateful. Appreciate your talents, beauty, and brilliance. Love your imperfectly perfect self.

12. Be guided by your intuition. All answers come from within. Look for signs and pay attention to your gut feelings. You’ll hear two inner voices when you need to make a decision. The quiet voice is your higher self; the loud voice is your ego. Always go with the quieter voice.

13. Do what honors and respects you. Don’t participate in activities that bring you down. Don’t allow toxic people in your life. Love everyone, but be discerning on who you allow into your life.

14. Accept uncertainty. Suffering comes from living in the pain of the past or the fear of the future. Put your attention on the present moment and be at peace.

15. Forgive yourself. Learn from your mistakes and go forward. Use this affirmation, “I forgive myself for judging myself for __________ (fill in the blank i.e.: for getting sick, for acting out, for not doing your best.)

16. Discover the power of fun. Self-love requires time to relax, play, and create face-to-face interaction with others. Our fast-paced world creates a goal setting, competitive craziness that doesn’t leave room for play. Dr. Stuart Brow says, “The opposite of play isn’t work, it is depression.”

17. Be real. Speak up and speak out. Allow yourself to be seen, known, and heard. Get comfortable with intimacy (in-to-me-see).

18. Focus on the positive. Go to your heart and dwell on and praise yourself for what you get right in all areas.

19. Become aware of self neglect and rejection. Become conscious of your choices. Ask yourself several times throughout the day, “Does this choice honor me?”

20. Imagine what your life would look like if you believed in your worth. Dedicate your life to loving you. Make it your main event.

21. Seek professional help. Self-rejection and neglect is painful. You deserve to be happy. You have a right to be accepted and loved. If necessary, seek help from a support group, counselor, or coach. It’s the best investment you can make.

***

I hope that I learn to love myself as much as I am loved.
I hope to be as happy as people think I am.
I will one day be as strong as others expect.
I believe I am worthy of anything I desire.

That’s what you tell yourself everyday and then, only then, when you are happy will others love you as you love yourself. As you deserve.

Shevy*

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Yesterday was an ugly day… In fact, yesterday I was ugly. To everyone. For everything. When texting a close friend, the question I posed to her was ‘Am I having a nervous breakdown or could this just be PMS’? Her response was ‘Are you batshit crazy or just grumpy’? A rather fitting response and on that high level psycho analysis I deduced that I must be having a nervous breakdown, yesterday I went batshit crazy.

We never fully understand just how much we are able to cope with until the over bearing weight on your shoulders forces you to think of all the burdens you carry simultaneously, it is at that point that you’re at risk of the anxiety catching up to you. The moment you realize that perhaps your shoulders cannot continue bearing the burdens you’ve done sub consciously for longer than you remember.

I am human.

As a mother, while you love your children, it is not impossible to wake up and think about what life would be like if they weren’t around. Forgive me if that sounded harsh and I don’t mean it to be but all mothers will know that sporadically you reach that point of ‘enough’ where the stepford mother you try to be disappears and you’re reminded that you’ve not thought about you as long as they’ve been alive. As a mother, I made the choices and decisions to birth my children and their existence is not because of them, it’s because of me. It did happen that they woke up being children, making a mess and answering back, not listening and lacking all regard for the cost of household items. All the same, I am indeed human and yesterday had a day where I was haunted by thoughts of what my life would have been without them. No doubt boring and monotonous but the financial security I’m obsessed in retaining for my family wouldn’t be nearly as important if I was on my own, which means I would not be half as concerned with spending my money and injecting it into future plans that may be quite risky but won’t come to fruition as long as I’m striving for complete financial freedom and stability for my children. Or maybe not. The point is that when these thoughts sneak into my mind I get frustrated and angry with myself and take it out on those around me, eventually having to keep quiet to avoid saying anything uglier than I already did.

As a wife, I chose to marry my husband, he is my best friend after all despite all the baggage he brings with him. I’ve chosen to stand by him and the vows I repeated in front of the Gods and him were lifelong. That said, yesterday I was already in a very ugly space and in that time it’s very easy to resent him for the things I chose to accept. The thoughts of life as a singleton, sans children, are enticing. Perhaps never having doing that (I went straight into relationship and children) means that I’ve never known what that freedom is like and I can’t help but think how much easier it must be (or is it?). It’s easy to get caught up in the ugliness and just want to escape, yesterday all I wanted to do was escape my life. I wanted to turn back time and get a do over from the age of 17.

There are so many things in life that I want, badly and yet I can’t have them. I regress to a 4 year old child and throw the tantrum of a spoiled brat and yet I still don’t have them. (Not for lack of trying may I add but responsibility does dictate my needs to a degree). This weekend, something I was working towards has had to take a back seat for a while and this of course made me angry. I was frustrated with the children, frustrated with my husband from whom I wanted more of (or a better) reaction that the one I was less than satisfied with. I am angry at myself for the thoughts in my own mind as well as the mounting pressure I place upon myself to always do, to always have, to always achieve. I can’t sit still, always planning and coming up with a new way to kill time.

It’s difficult to be a person that others turn to for advice and guidance when your own house is not in order, presently understandably so. It’s not easy to always be the strong, reassuring one when within, you’re uncertain of anything and have to bite back while playing the game of wait. It is tiring to have to always have it together because that is what is expected of you when all you’d like to do is cry and it’s incredibly frustrating to sit back and watch other people make just as important mistakes and it’s not your place to say.

I want to be the perfect mother but realistically, I’m not. I’m the best I can be and I have to hope that that is good enough. I want to be a great wife but I will never be a stepford wife, I think my husband realizes that. I try to achieve in my career but I’m learning that my decisions affect those closest to me and so prioritizing needs over wants is imperative. I want to be an amazing friend but I have to understand I cannot carry the weight of their burdens atop my own. I aim to be financially free but right now, having more money than month is more important than being rich. We have many challenges, responsibilities and numerous waits and tough times ahead. Decisions will have be agreed upon, sacrifices made and hurdles jumped, that’s life.

Am I having a nervous breakdown? No.
Is it PMS? Not even.
I am human and for one day, let myself feel.
I’d say that’s pretty healing.
I’d say it’s rational, understandable and most importantly relatable.
I’m not depressed, I don’t hate my life.
I am just human.

Do not be afraid to feel, you cannot be robotic all the time and no one should expect you to.

Shevy

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What a confusing time :) Surrounded by various religions and their Easter celebrations without much interest for its pagan origins. I found a lovely (non offensive) article on Easter as a pagan and the truth in the spring equinox and fertility celebrations… Bearing in mind, this is as per the northern hemisphere. Again, here in the Southern Hemisphere we should only be celebrating Easter in September but you try getting chocolate eggs in August. Whatever your religion and whatever you believe, have a wonderful Easter weekend and remember why you celebrate…

Source

Easter : History and Traditions

Goddess Ostara
History of Easter Eggs
History of the Easter Bunny
Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection

Easter History : Christian and Pagan Traditions Interwoven

The history of Easter reveals rich associations between the Christian faith and the seemingly unrelated practices of the early pagan religions. Easter history and traditions that we practice today evolved from pagan symbols, from the ancient goddess Ishtar to Easter eggs and the Easter bunny.

Easter, perhaps the most important of the Christian holidays, celebrates the Christ’s resurrection from the dead following his death on Good Friday. . . a rebirth that is commemorated around the vernal equinox, historically a time of pagan celebration that coincides with the arrival of spring and symbolizes the arrival of light and the awakening of life around us.

Ostara, Goddess of Spring and the Dawn (Oestre / Eastre)

Easter is named for a Saxon goddess who was known by the names of Oestre or Eastre, and in Germany by the name of Ostara. She is a goddess of the dawn and the spring, and her name derives from words for dawn, the shining light arising from the east. Our words for the “female hormone” estrogen derives from her name.

Ostara was, of course, a fertility goddess. Bringing in the end of winter, with the days brighter and growing longer after the vernal equinox, Ostara had a passion for new life. Her presence was felt in the flowering of plants and the birth of babies, both animal and human. The rabbit (well known for its propensity for rapid reproduction) was her sacred animal.

Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny both featured in the spring festivals of Ostara, which were initially held during the feasts of the goddess Ishtar | Inanna. Eggs are an obvious symbol of fertility, and the newborn chicks an adorable representation of new growth. Brightly colored eggs, chicks, and bunnies were all used at festival time to express appreciation for Ostara’s gift of abundance.

History of Easter Eggs and Easter Candy

The history of Easter Eggs as a symbol of new life should come as no surprise. The notion that the Earth itself was hatched from an egg was once widespread and appears in creation stories ranging from Asian to Ireland.

Eggs, in ancient times in Northern Europe, were a potent symbol of fertility and often used in rituals to guarantee a woman’s ability to bear children. To this day rural “grannywomen” (lay midwives/healers in the Appalachian mountains) still use eggs to predict, with uncanny accuracy, the sex of an unborn child by watching the rotation of an egg as it is suspended by a string over the abdomen of a pregnant woman.

Dyed eggs are given as gifts in many cultures. Decorated eggs bring with them a wish for the prosperity of the abundance during the coming year.

Folklore suggests that Easter egg hunts arose in Europe during “the Burning Times”, when the rise of Christianity led to the shunning (and persecution) of the followers of the “Old Religion”. Instead of giving the eggs as gifts the adults made a game of hiding them, gathering the children together and encouraging them to find the eggs.

Some believe that the authorities seeking to find the “heathens” would follow or bribe the children to reveal where they found the eggs so that the property owner could be brought to justice.

Green Eggs . . .

…. And ham?

The meat that is traditionally associated with Easter is ham. Though some might argue that ham is served at Easter since it is a “Christian” meat, (prohibited for others by the religious laws of Judaism and Islam) the origin probably lies in the early practices of the pagans of Northern Europe.

Having slaughtered and preserved the meat of their agricultural animals during the Blood Moon celebrations the previous autumn so they would have food throughout the winter months, they would celebrate the occasion by using up the last of the remaining cured meats.

In anticipation that the arrival of spring with its emerging plants and wildlife would provide them with fresh food in abundance, it was customary for many pagans to begin fasting at the time of the vernal equinox, clearing the “poisons” (and excess weight) produced by the heavier winter meals that had been stored in their bodies over the winter. Some have suggested that the purpose of this fasting may have been to create a sought-after state of “altered consciousness” in time for the spring festivals. One cannot but wonder if this practice of fasting might have been a forerunner of “giving up” foods during the Lenten season.

Chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs, marshmallow chicks in pastel colors, and candy of all sorts, most of which are given out as personalized gifts during Easter . . . these have pagan origins as well! To understand their association with religion we need to examine the meaning of food as a symbol.

The ancient belief that, by eating something we take on its characteristics formed the basis for the earliest “blessings” before meals (a way to honor the life that had been sacrificed so that we as humans could enjoy life) and, presumably, for the more recent Christian sacrament of communion as well.

Shaping candy Easter eggs and bunnies to celebrate the spring festival was, simply put, a way to celebrate the symbols of the goddess and the season, while laying claim to their strengths (vitality, growth, and fertility) for ourselves.

The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny

Feeling guilty about arriving late one spring, the Goddess Ostara saved the life of a poor bird whose wings had been frozen by the snow. She made him her pet or, as some versions have it, her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly (in some versions, it was because she wished to amuse a group of young children), Ostara turned him into a snow hare and gave him the gift of being able to run with incredible speed so he could protect himself from hunters.

In remembrance of his earlier form as a bird, she also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but only on one day out of each year.

Eventually the hare managed to anger the goddess Ostara, and she cast him into the skies where he would remain as the constellation Lepus (The Hare) forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter). He was allowed to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring. The tradition of the Easter Bunny had begun.

The Hare was sacred in many ancient traditions and was associated with the moon goddesses and the various deities of the hunt. In ancient times eating the Hare was prohibited except at Beltane (Celts) and the festival of Ostara (Anglo-Saxons), when a ritual hare-hunt would take place.

In many cultures rabbits, like eggs, were considered to be potent remedies for fertility problems. The ancient philosopher-physician Pliny the Elder prescribed rabbit meat as a cure for female sterility, and in some cultures the genitals of a hare were carried to avert barrenness.

Medieval Christians considered the hare to bring bad fortune, saying witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

Given their “mad” leaping and boxing displays during mating season as well as their ability to produce up to 42 offspring each spring, it is understandable that they came to represent lust, sexuality, and excess in general. Medieval Christians considered the hare to be an evil omen, believing that witches changed into rabbits in order to suck the cows dry. It was claimed that a witch could only be killed by a silver crucifix or a bullet when she appeared as a hare.

In later Christian tradition the white Hare, when depicted at the Virgin Mary’s feet, represents triumph over lust or the flesh. The rabbit’s vigilance and speed came to represent the need to flee from sin and temptation and a reminder of the swift passage of life.

And, finally, there is a sweet Christian legend about a young rabbit who, for three days, waited anxiously for his friend, Jesus, to return to the Garden of Gethsemane, not knowing what had become of him. Early on Easter morning, Jesus returned to His favorite garden and was welcomed the little rabbit. That evening when the disciples came into the garden to pray, still unaware of the resurrection, they found a clump of beautiful larkspurs, each blossom bearing the image of a rabbit in its center as a remembrance of the little creature’s hope and faith.

Ishtar, Goddess of Love, and the First Resurrection (also known as Inanna)

Ishtar, goddess of romance, procreation, and war in ancient Babylon, was also worshipped as the Sumerian goddess Inanna. One of the great goddesses, or “mother goddesses”, the stories of her descent to the Underworld and the resurrection that follows are contained in the oldest writings that have ever been discovered. . . the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish and the story of Gilgamesh. Scholars believed that they were based on the oral mythology of the region and were recorded about 2,100 B.C.E.

The most famous of the myths of Ishtar tell of her descent into the realm of the dead to rescue her young lover, Tammuz, a Vegetation god forced to live half the year in the Underworld. Ishtar approached the gates of the Underworld, which was ruled by her twin sister Eresh-kigel, the goddess of death and infertility. She was refused admission.

Similar to the Greek myths of Demeter and Persephone that came later, during Ishtar’s absence the earth grew barren since all acts of procreation ceased while she was away. Ishtar screamed and ranted that she would break down the gates and release all of the dead to overwhelm the world and compete with the living for the remaining food unless she was allowed to enter and plead her case with her twin.

Needless to say, she won admission. But the guard, following standard protocol, refused to let her pass through the first gate unless she removed her crown. At the next gate, she had to remove her earrings, then her necklace at the next, removing her garments and proud finery until she stood humbled and naked after passing through the seventh (and last) gate.

In one version, she was held captive and died but was brought back to life when her servant sprinkled her with the “water of life”. In the more widely known version of the myth, Ishtar’s request was granted and she regained all of her attire and possessions as she slowly re-emerged through the gates of darkness.

Upon her return, Tammuz and the earth returned to life. Annual celebrations of this “Day of Joy”, were held each year around the time of the vernal equinox. These celebrations became the forerunners of the Ostara festivals that welcomed Oestre and the arrival of spring.

A section on the Goddess Inanna (the Sumerian version of the Goddess Ishtar), her myths and symbols, is included with the myths of the goddesses at this website.

Easter eggs, the Easter Bunny, the dawn that arrives with resurrection of life, and the celebration of spring all serve to remind us of the cycle of rebirth and the need for renewal in our lives. In the history of Easter, Christian and pagan traditions are gracefully interwoven.

I’m not alone in the world… In fact, more and more people that I meet suffer from (or revel in) varying degrees of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and suddenly it’s no longer an illness, it’s a way of life.

ob·ses·sive-com·pul·sive [uhb-ses-iv-kuhm-puhl-siv] Show IPA
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to a personality style characterized by perfectionism, indecision, conscientiousness, concern with detail, rigidity, and inhibition.
2.
Psychiatry. of or pertaining to a neurosis characterized by persistent intrusion of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or the performance of actions, as repeated hand-washing, that one is unable to stop (compulsions).
noun
3.
a person having such a personality style.

I have never been clinically diagnosed as having O.C.D and for a long time I didn’t believe I had a problem, in fact I still don’t, but I’m certain that my obsessive ways can be nothing but this disorder even though I don’t believe I need counseling or medicating for it. I don’t display most of or all of the symptoms attributed to OCD, in fact, only a few but at times I feel like those few symptoms are so exaggerated that this can only be an illness, surely everyday people don’t think the way I do?

Order. Symmetry. While it’s not important to my house keeper when cleaning to put things back exactly where she found them, it means that coming home from work I proceed to re arrange the house. The tv stand should be in line with the tiles, the remotes always to the left in height order, the appliances in line with the edge of the shelves, the carpet in line with the tiles, the couches perfectly square around the carpet, the fan backward against the wall, the ottoman centered in the carpet, the tv centered to the picture on the wall and so on and so on and so on… I could continue for ages and when writing it down, it’s all the more real. I cannot sit down in my lounge unless all the furniture has been placed correctly, only then can I relax and let go of the anxiety. I have had to learn to let go of my habits in the children’s bedrooms to allow them to be children but still, it isn’t easy.

Excessive double checking. My poor family has to put up with a multitude of checks before we leave the house, worse if it’s on holiday. I have an obsessive fear that the house will burn down which means I will check every plug, plug switch, stove plate, oven switch, appliance etc to make sure everything is off. We have had to turn back home on a few occasions when I can’t remember if I checked that my hair straightener is off even though I’ve checked four times before we left and hadn’t used the straightener in weeks. Many a night I’ve come home from work and been hit by a mild panic attack because I don’t remember if I did or didn’t send a specific email or if I perhaps sent the incorrect mail. I will put my laptop on and check all of my emails to make sure that I didn’t do that and that the email in question has been sent correctly… It always is, but I check anyway.

Non hoarding. The idea of hoarding freaks me out completely. I’m the absolute opposite of a hoarder and rather than collecting junk, I’m constantly getting rid of things and cleaning out cupboards. The only places I allow for some ‘clutter’ is my clothing cupboard (which is still categorized by item of clothing) or my walls. My walls are the only place I love decoration and have numerous photos and pictures up, but all black photo frames, of course.

Friends generally comment that my home makes them feel messy, only because it’s always ‘perfect’ (their perfect, not mine) and yet if you meet me outside of my home or work, I don’t think you’d ever expect me to have compulsive tendencies, I don’t appear a compulsive person. As we speak, the fact that the curtain opposite me is not closed in a neat manner is irritating the hell out of me. Pause. Curtain fix.

My heart goes out to those thinking obsessively compulsively far more seriously than I do… While most of the time these thoughts are second nature, every now and again you catch yourself realizing the irrationality of it all, providing a little bit of humor to those around you at the same time.

Noel Biderman is a twisted man with a penchant for business. He may or may not be religious but the question is not his faith, rather his personal values and beliefs that allows for his interest in his business and website, AshleyMadison.com.

Infidelity, he says, has been around long before his time, all he did was give an opportunity to keep your affairs a secret. I’m sorry, what? AshleyMadison.com is an online dating site specifically targeted at married men and women looking to have an affair with like minded spouses worldwide. Their tag line says ‘Life is short. Have an affair’ and that should tell you a little bit about this site or this man’s character, the man behind its creation. The site allows free membership to women and paid membership to men, clearly Noel knew where he’d make his money. What’s most unfortunate about the nature of his business is the amount of publicity this website gets through blogs (like this one), articles and newspapers all questioning yet admiring the gall of this business that has taken the cheating world by storm.

I have to admit, he is right about one thing, infidelity is rife sans AshleyMadison.com. He saw a need to work with people already cheating on their spouses to make it a more secret affair, affording you the opportunity to cheat on your husband or wife with someone who is also cheating on their husband or wife and no one will be any the wiser. Because, that sounds good and right and definitely a market I would want to tap into right? Wrong. No matter your race, religion or creed, infidelity is frowned upon in many circles (polygamist circles excluded) and the fact that it’s ‘happening anyway’ doesn’t make a website like this (or the thousands like it) any more acceptable. He specifically says he doesn’t encourage cheating, he is offering a secret platform. I don’t encourage drug use either but if I start handing out cocaine to passers by on the street, you don’t think their would be an increase in drug activity? While this guys business model was fairly intelligent, he is a pretty stupid guy. For users, it’s also not that secret as any hacker or IT fundi will tell you, in fact you’re better off frequenting various internet cafe’s that don’t have video cameras, it would be more secret.

His own take on infidelity is that if celibacy was common in his marriage, he would also feel the need to cheat because he doesn’t want to give up everything he has put into a marriage for the sake of having sex, in other words he’d like to have his cake and eat it too. He isn’t alone. Men and women have been cheating on their spouses (not limited to marriage) for many years for various, insignificant reasons. 57% of men and 54% of women admit to committing infidelity in a relationship which leads me to say, WTF is wrong with people? What happened to valuing your partner? What happened to good old fashioned values?

Allow me to share with you my personal opinion (As that is what my blog is). I believe that the human race constantly strives for perfection. We must make lots of money, look like models, drive nice cars, own a house, procreate etc etc. We think that the perfect relationship means love, agreements, no fighting, lots of sex, always compromise. In an ideal world and if we were robots, those would be great and nothing prohibits us from striving towards a near perfect relationship. The problem is that one or more of these goals seems out of reach and suddenly we feel like we are failing. My husband and I fight, we need a divorce. My wife and I never have sex, we have problems. My boyfriend isn’t affectionate, I need a new one. My girlfriend doesn’t listen to me, I’ll find someone who will. What people don’t understand is that all of those things work hand in hand… For one to work, the other needs to be worked on. It’s all very well to say your relationship is amazing but you don’t have sex, but not to worry you can get that elsewhere. You are mistaken, your relationship is not amazing and you have far more important things to work on than the need for an affair. So your wife nags you all the time because you leave your washing all over the floor but if you spent less time rushing to your 24/7 job or your mistress, you’d have time to collect your washing and perhaps realize your wife is a priority. So you hate your boyfriend because he never listens to you and so you deny him sex because you know it upsets him, why not listen for a change and maybe you’d get better results. I’m no marriage or relationship counsellor but the principles are basic… Sadly, we are too quick to give up or look elsewhere because when it comes down to it it’s absolute laziness that prevents the cheaters from making the situation work. You know what? Why not spare everyone the heartache and end the relationship you think isn’t working instead of signing up on AshleyMadison.com, I’d commend you for being a bigger person about it.

For me, infidelity is a no brainer. When my husband and I first met, I told him that there were three deal breakers for me. 1. Never go to bed angry 2. Always respect each other and 3. Never ever cheat on me (and vice versa). I’m very happy to say that we are still going strong, the relationship isn’t perfect but the fundamentals are there, if he ever cheated on me his boots would reach the door faster than an Ox in potjie season… And he knows it. That said, when the question is posed in the reverse he says that it would be something he’d have to think about and take into consideration the circumstances etc. To be honest, this boggles my mind and I told him he is stupid. If your spouse cheats on you, knowingly, willingly (and didn’t trip and fall onto or into a sexual organ, cos that can happen) then they chose to have sexual intercourse with someone other than you. I don’t remember my wedding vows allowing for that, anywhere. I’m still shocked everyday that people, the victims, choose to take back a cheating spouse or partner and it makes me angry because in my books, it’s a form of mental and emotional abuse. Until it happens to me though (which it wont), I won’t fully understand the logic or thought process behind it…

If you’re a member of Ashley Madison or knowingly cheating on your partner, I think you need to take a long hard look in the mirror – the only person who’s values and morals are in question, are yours. What cheaters do and the damage it leaves in the wake is disgusting, I’ve watched too many people feel the brunt (men and women) of a cheating partner and it’s sickening and hurtful to watch. I can only hope that you see the error in your ways and show that the term ‘once a cheater, always a cheater’ doesn’t have to always be true.