Celebrating my 37th birthday during Covid

I celebrated turning 37 on the 28th April !!! Happy birthday to meee! Before Covid I had this idea that I would do lunch with my family and close friends and call the gathering a birthday party, something I have never had in my life. Alas COVID happened but I still had the best day of my life.

A beautiful story was told by @chrystalhurst about how her late mom showed up for them as kids and through to adulthood . One of the things she did was come up with this idea that on each person’s birthday, she will be serving you your favorite meal on this “special” plate .
This idea resonated so much with me that I even introduced to my family 😄😄😄.As someone who has been celebrating her birthday for the last twenty years only , I am learning each day how important celebration is especially that I have kids. Having unique family traditions is something that I value and this one is staying !!!✅✅


The girls are so excited and looking forward to their birthdays and I think this new tradition will help us thrive on being grateful for one another. #stayhomesa #birthdaycelebratrion #newtradition

So here’s to many years of celebration and adjusting to life as moments present themselves to us !!!

What made this day special ??

  • KG cut my hair !!!! And he had never cut anyone’s hair in the past so this meant a lot to me . I am so grateful for this moment
  • Cooking for the family and just being intentional about my day was quite special and that everyone acknowledged it wa super special for me
  • That everyone agreed and adopted the special plate was super special on its own . Damn the excitement from my kids was out this this world hey
  • I got a cash gift from kg – listen 👂🏽 I am riiiiiccchh 😆😆😆
  • Kg giving me a photoshoot with excitement and so much energy. Honestly this was his best show up moment and kudos to my husband people ! He outdid himself , I changed into 3 outfits in a space of 45 minutes 😃and he was so hyped up about it all!
  • Kg was the dj for the evening and the mood was perfect
  • My friend and family wishing me well and my best friend T sent me cash 💰 I can’t wait to spoil myself !
  • I baked my own cheesecake for the first time – like helooo
  • I just know that this was by far my best birthday celebration ever

In that way , I say I am grateful that I was with my family in this special day. I have grown to love celebrating birthdays thanks to Kg and my friends .

Can’t wait for the after Covid shenanigans 🤣

Matters of the heart – what does Covid take away and what does it bring ?

Like most families , the Covid pandemic has affected us negatively too. We will be losing part of our income and according to the government schedule it doesn’t seem like work will be going on until the last stage, which may be another two months from the date of this blog post. This does make sense because of the nature of work my husband is in , which is travel.

This has affected us as a family , whilst we have faced a job loss before , this experience doesn’t take away the anxiety from the fear of the unknown and I think in part this is what my body and soul needed to process.

My peace of mind is absolutely gone. I say so because I have not been having normal sleeping hours. I doesn’t matter how exhausted I am , I will be in my bed say 22:30 and I will still be up by 1am , can’t sleep. Then I am up by 8am. Something I am totally not used to.

I started having headaches, on a daily basis consistently . All of my sanity would be feeling fine except I would be having this excruciating headache from nowhere. The only way for it to go has been through grandpa powder medication. So I have bee depending on them for about two weeks straight . Then I had a terrible gum infection , it lasted for a good 8 days before I sought help. I finally got antibiotics and pain medication and my life felt almost normal. And lastly I’ve had my arm being badly hurt , and I don’t even recall what happened to cause the scar.

All of the above are signs telling me something is wrong . I need to sit and be quiet . Listen to my body , listen to my soul. Take it in and allow the pain to express itself , the best way it wants . When all of this is done , I will come out like gold.

As a result I have been giving myself a lot of permission slips that read as follows:

  1. I give myself permission to be afraid. I am afraid of being depressed , losing hope and losing touch with the world . Allowing myself to feel this or even write it has been hard
  2. I give myself permission to worry about how our family will cope with an adjusted income or a possible complete loss of income
  3. Allow myself to draw faith and testimony from the fact that we have been through this before and we saw how our faith kept us going . In 2013 , we got pregnant with our first baby, 3months into it , I lost my dad and lost my job. My mentor said to me “ Nomusa , Gods never puts a baby in a womb without a plan to provide” I give myself permission to draw from this testimony that God did provide , we never lacked and our child is now six years old plus we have a second four years old too
  4. Allow myself to worry for and about KG but at the same time remember the vision 35. Agree and believe that this is the age the Lord told him to retire and that it comes as no coincidence should the job be lost . He knew since day one I met him that at 35 he would retire from formal employment.
  5. I give myself permission to allow the experience in its truest from whilst opening myself to the miracle right in front of my eyes
  6. I give myself to doubt and again be confident of the word the Lord gave me. I was told that 2020 is the year of Liquidation.
  7. Liquidation is a formal insolvency procedure in which a company is brought to an end; all of its assets are liquidated and the proceeds from the sale of assets is used to repay creditors.
  8. Give myself permission to believe that God is a way maker. Even though I don’t see Him working , He never stops working . God has this situation in control . Just because I cannot touch or feel it , it doesn’t mean it exists not

I have no doubt that 2020 is the year of liquidation. Something has come to an end. Pretentious life has come to an end . Anything that is not worth pursuing will not be part of my agenda after the lockdown

Clarity – is what COVID is giving to me . I am getting clearer and clearer. For this , I am grateful !!

Everyone that prophesied that’s it’s a year of clear vision was right too. It’s about time I get very clear about myself and what God says about me !!!

See All is made clear !!! What a wonder 🙌🏿🙌🏿

I am a doer – what am I avoiding

I am in my thirties and I have learned that this is a perfect time to put into words the person that I am ? Why so ? Well at 37 I pretty much cannot fool myself by describing the person I hope to be with regards to value systems , beliefs, personality and character . That statement by Maya Angelou finally makes sense “ when a person tells you who they are , believe them “ I never used to talk about myself in any particular context until now. Perhaps it’s because of years of feeling misunderstood and now that I am older I no longer allow that and I come in to save the people the story they might tell themselves about me.

This does not in anyway seek to eliminate the ever available opportunity for growth and change . However it provides a window for one to see themselves for who they truly are . Basically give the facts about oneself

At 37, I am making peace with the following facts about myself :

  • I am a doer
  • Which also means I am very active
  • Action oriented
  • I love to solve problems which I consistently name challenges
  • I find comfort in being busy
  • Which also means that this is how I burn whatever energy I am in in that moment
  • Both positive and good energy
  • I work when I am sad
  • And I also work when I am happy
  • When sad – to burn the sadness , anger and disappointment
  • When happy – to exceed the last performance that I set, did it achieved

This means I am a very good distraction candidate and I honestly cannot point to the exact moment when this began I my life . But I am pretty sure that I was very very young when I started on this journey . I personally find pleasure in doing house chores. I can clean the house , do laundry from sunrise until sunset . This was my past time activity as a kid . Never had TV until I was 16, so I don’t relate very well with the box , had a cat until I was 4 years old and my mom used to make me dolls from her old stockings .

Honestly all I wanted to do when I was a kid was spend time with my mom, as a result I copied everything she did. I cleaned the house and she didn’t allow me to cook until I was in my teens , so I just showed up for the rest. And it gave me some quality time to by myself . Something I treasured , I think it’s because we were always a crowd of not more than five kids at the time in my house. Loved it , but somehow I still ended up laying up under my bed with my stockings doll, singing and telling myself stories .

Anyway back to being a doer. Basically what I have learned is that I don’t process stuff immediately, I shove them or file them in a shelf somewhere and unfortunately never make the time to go back to the shelf to deal with whatever is bothering me . Now we know that’s not healthy

How this came to me during this lockdown- we must have been on day 28 or so , my daughter asked me what happened to my arm , I made up a story and I quickly realized that I don’t remember . Not only was I seriously bruised, but I remember the amount of blood and the pain I felt from this , but just like that , I had shoved that painful experience to some invalid , non important event in my life . I mean there is a bigger crisis right ? Mhhn – wrong

So not only was this an eye opener for me , but I started asking myself what else is happening around and in me that I am not processing . My very first admission was to say within myself and I made a confession about this “ I don’t know how to do this” I whispered a prayer , Dear Heavenly Father , help me.

It would be lovely to look back at this Covid experience with genuine feeling and not fazed memories of not being in the present moment . Especially the pain of it all. I emphasize on the pain because I excel on the grace and gratitude.

And so , this is how this picture came about . Me sitting under the tree , meditating , crying, pouring my soul and allowing all fears all feelings to flood me and be still in the moment .

For this moment , I am grateful

Showing up to feed the family during COVID -19

I have been  cooking and cooking just like all parents out there !!

This is how I show up for my family and after listening to Sarah Jakes about passion, I know I am very passionate about family because of the suffering I am willing to go through for them.

So a few weeks ago , I needed help . I was hoping that KG would give me a 40 and I would come up with another 60 just so we a 100 and get the feeding of the family happening. But I was too ambitious and learned some good lessons . 

Doers like me tend to think the way we show up for others , it’s the same way that others must show up for us . Instead of moaning and being sad , I saw this an opportunity and a practical lesson for me to apply some lessons I got from the books I have been reading.

I was reminded of Dr Brene Brown who uses the analogy I have just mentioned above. Marriage at times one has a 5 and the other has to make a plan to see where to find the 95. Ultimately family must function .

It’s all about showing up for one another. Whilst I got my ten from KG in the food preparation department, those moments that he was able to show up for us like that, meant a whole world to me . And so I am very grateful.

I am grateful for the thoughtfulness and time he took from his work to prepare us a meal. The thoughtfulness of serving me and the girls breakfast in bed. I know it’s not as many times as I wished for but he showed up and what’s what matters right now

And for that and to him I say thank you !!!!

What I am learning through surviving COVID-19 , is that it’s okay when we cannot show up the way that we are used to and it is absolutely okay to be considerate to others even when they cannot show up the way you needed them to do. We go through this differently and it affects us in so many ways .

Doers, workaholics and those of us who seem to be thriving in scheduling must have patience and grace for those that can’t. It’s not that I have it figured out , I am just a doer but I can feel it in my bones , it’s hard.

The amount of work I have gone through for the family , to keep the house clean , to cook, wash their clothes , is fulfilling and very exhausting . These to me are my acts of kindness , a language I use to show up and day to than I love and care for their well being. I also thrive in an environment with a sense of duty and this is what this means to me 

By understanding myself better and being open to others I am learning slowly to give myself permission to rest, because doing must not define who I am . I truly hope I come out a better quality person after al this .

 

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Body detox

After all the eating and dining the body’s needs to detox .

My garden has been my saving grace and I was able to pick up a few good harvests for this purpose. My go to detox solution is as follows :

– Lemon

– Parsley

– Ginger

– Cucumbers

– Mint

I usually blend all these together and then strain the juice out , put a bit of ice and some honey to taste and am good to go. Whilst we do emotional and spiritual detox , our body needs to clean up too !!!

I am still at Gethsemane

Like any other over doer I have my moments and today was one of those days . I am still in Gethsemane, haven’t even made my way to the cross yet , no death , neither resurrection and yes my soul is crushed .

Aaaah the uncertainty , the emotion , the fear , the idea of not being in control, the frustration of letting go , it is all within me . Whilst I am an optimist , today I had to sit and allow the floods to have their way. Had to sit and sob , I couldn’t bring my energy levels up.

It is so lonely 😭 on this street and I feel all alone , I accept that the journey is mine alone I suppose. The word that kept me company was Jesus experiencing the moment of crushing at Gethsemane, a moment of surrender to what was to come.

So today I am just taking this moment to sit with this feeling for a while – your will and not mine , dear Lord

I am an ambivert !!!!

Thanks to Adam Grant I now understand my personality better. Back in 2003 at the age of 19 I experienced what made me know I have two personalities in one. I was living with my best friend on campus at the time and I was a chairperson of a Christian organisation. I would come back to the residence exhausted from either worship or preaching and there’s nothing I’d want to do except to just eat and sleep.

Until one night my courageous friend said “ Nomusa you are a very moody person, one moment you are so energetic at the SCO and then you come here , you don’t want to talk and you look grumpy “ my jaw dropped 😳😳😳 , up until that point I had not paid attention at all towards my personality. All I knew was the fact that I was so tired. Worship used to break every single limb I had in my body , in fact I respect worshipers till today. I can preach any day but don’t call me to worship, that thing will break you and humble you. I just used to say to myself , you can’t lead people into His presence without first being humbled by Him. And humbled I was , each time I led the worship.

I also realized that I had been staying alone for over two years for the first time in my room and it’s only in my third year that I had to share. So I was accustomed to being by myself most of the time and I loved it.

Fast forward to Adam Grant’ podcast. I learned that I have a great flexibility with my personality. I have moments when I am a great extrovert and moments when I am excellent introvert . In fact KG and I agreed that I love outdoors which is why date night is one of my best all time favorite thing to do . In a restaurant full of people, people energies me and I feel alive. I will take that energy and use it to create something powerful and KG usually enjoys those experiences which I named them my “ high” moments

But I am such an introvert when I get home !!! Whilst KG then is a complete opposite.

Home is a place of rest for me and I just get home to rejuvenate and rest from all the talk and energy I would have engaged throughout the day. Come end of the day , I am so exhausted and I need some alone time by myself to rejuvenate !!

The name for this personality type is an “ ambivert” and I didn’t know that until recently !!!

I am excited about it 😊😊😊😍😍🥰🥰🥰

Here are some great resources from Healthline.com . Five signs that you are an ambivert :

1. You’re a good listener and communicator

• Extroverts prefer to talk more, and introverts like to observe and listen. But ambiverts know when to speak up and when to listen.

• An ambivert might open a meeting by giving a brief pep talk, then offer employees the chance to talk about their own challenges or concerns.

2. You have an ability to regulate behavior

• Adjusting to fit the person or situation seems to come naturally to ambiverts.

• Imagine you’re riding in an elevator with strangers. An extrovert might start making small talk, but an introvert might put in earbuds to avoid interaction. You might choose either option, depending on your fellow riders.

3. You feel comfortable in social settings, but also value your alone time

• Ambiverts can feel like they’re in their element in a crowd or when enjoying a quiet evening at home.

• Say a friend calls with a last-minute invite for an evening out. An extrovert will likely accept without hesitation, and an introvert is likely to decline in favor of staying in. The ambivert will probably consider the pros and cons of that particular outing. They could go either way.

4. Empathy comes naturally to you

• Ambiverts are able to listen and show they understand where a person is coming from.

• If a friend’s having an issue, an extrovert might try to offer a solution right away, and an introvert might be great at listening. An ambivert might listen and ask thoughtful questions to try and help.

5. You’re able to provide balance

• In the case of group settings, ambiverts can provide a much-needed balance to the social dynamic.

• An ambivert might be the one to help break an awkward silence, making others who are more introverted feel comfortable starting a conversation.

Am I the only one wondering where was this third personality type all along 🤣

Puzzle Monday

Yep that’s the name I gave my Monday this week. My kids were so exhausted and the struggle to wake up and get ready for the Monday class session was real. I immediately decided to name the day and walked to them and said “ ladies take as much time as you want in your bed , today is puzzle Monday after all “ My youngest had already suggested whilst covered in her blanket that she just wants to finish her puzzles 🤷🏿‍♀️

So what did I do ? I complied . One day off wouldn’t hurt even for a type A like me . Instead of taking the time to rest , I remembered that curtain that has been falling off for the past six months and no one dared to fix it, that backsplash that has been getting all the grease from the lockdown cooking and I was just ignoring it and I also put polish on the worn out wooden floors that had not been touched for the last 30 days …. whhhhheeeewww .

Whilst I was at it , I attended to 15 payments that had to be made , cleared 71 new emails and browsed through the 34 unattended and decided today is still not the day for them and continued to mark them as unread . By the time the clock hit 12:00 I still had not disinfected the kitchen nor had I mopped the floor – eeeeynaaa

Just like that , it was time for the girls to join the Zoom dance class at 13:45 and off we went !!!! They danced their hearts out and it was marvelous !!!

Then it was lunch time . Lucky for me yesterday’s dumpling and stew was enough for today . Munched they did and off I went to attend to KG who had backaches and tension on his body . By the time I was done with bath salts it was past 4pm . I had to take a shower from all the exhaustion then jumped back to work , phone calls and all. I got an hour in front of TV and watched the Penny Heins documentary and that was all.

After that I decided it was time to put my research work on paper and I went right back to work mode . By the time it was 23:00 I was still sober like a judge. Well that’s life during the lockdown .

Some people managed to do five puzzles , from 50 pieces to a 500 pieces – very impressive for a four and six year old !!! They got somethings done ✅

#lockdownsouthafrica

My daughter hated puzzles and the lockdown has built patience in her . So glad she’s enjoying the challenge
The six year old lives and loves indoors and puzzles are her second most comfortable hobby. She was doing 500 PCs for the first time
The zoom dance classes were fantastic!!!!

Joy of missing out (Jomo)

I first heard this expression from Oprah. The Joy of missing out and I listened to Adam Grants’ interview on World Economic Forum and I just love that he encouraged us to look at what are we grateful for , that we are missing during this lockdown?

So the approach says , I am so happy that during this lockdown I don’t have to go through this. It helps shift our attitude towards gratefulness and less complaining.

So I decided to write ten things that I have the absolute joy of missing them out ! It’s another way to say to my brain I am here now in this new way of doing things and I am just grateful that I don’t have to go through this . It’s just another way to maintain our sanity , isn’t it ? Here we go !!

Jomo

I have the joy of missing out on the following :

1. The morning rush of getting ready for work

2. The rush of preparing breakfast and getting the kids ready whilst avoiding an offense for being late

3. I have serious jomo on the morning fights between my kids , the tears and the stress that comes with it

4. I have absolute joy of missing out on the dropping off two kids at two different schools- on the clock

5. Nothing compared to the jomo on forgetting the “dress up” days or photo shoot days at school- laaawd the embarrassment and the feeling of letting my kid down – whheeewwww I don’t miss that

6. Jomo on my child remembering that it’s swimming day , she forgot her swimming pack and I have to drive back home to get the bag and I have to let my boss know that I will be late for work- aaaaah

7. I have the joy of missing out from driving an hour to work everyday and returning back for another hour – it is tense because I must pay attention at all times – we are all on fast pace

8. Jomo on arriving home between 6 pm and 7 pm every evening and not having time to breathe before cooking supper

9. Jomo on mom guilty and feeling I am not being there enough for my family because the pace is so fast . Say I get home at six , they eat by 7 and sleep by 8. I haven’t settled because I have just served supper and ate then off to bed 😭😭😭😭

10. Jomo on missing out the unnecessary spending and negative balance in my account – haaa amen 🙏🏾 my bank balance is happy saving on e-toll and petrol . Gave us a chance to contribute to the national fund 💯

As we say in SA – dark or blue

How I celebrated the end of the first 21 days

21 days was the initial cut off for the lockdown , then we learned that it will be extended by 14 days. I was all in for the first 21 days and I realized I did such a great job showing up and being consistent to my work and family . ….

Mentally I needed a break and my body was aching in all areas possible . So what did I do ? I took a nap 😴 . Four hours in the afternoon and my goodness that felt so good 😊 . Watched my favorite show Fixer Upper by Chip and Joanna Gaines, gosh they are so good at what they do . Plus that farm lifestyle is all me and that’s the main reason I love them 😍

I am a doer , an action person , disciplined all type A and some , I know now that I needed to prove to myself that I can. And I did for 21 days. But my focus in the next coming days are going to be resting, creating idle time and some more. So I will be letting go of a lot of stuff undone , in a healthy way . Good luck to me

Here’s to another 14 days , maybe I can finally give myself decent baths with salts , consistent exercise and maybe the girls can give me a good massage . You can never know right 😊

Not asking for much just to rest a little bit

🙏🏾

Great food for thought from @thrive. This will pass not as quickly as I want it to but it will surely pass.