All posts by Tina

mother, daughter, sister, friend and lawyer. Daring to be different, freer and happy.

Lessons of life

This year  began rather strong for me, I guess being confronted with this life and balancing a career and kids and one going to school, it all became too much. My annual depression visit came a little early, although luckily my anxiety was a bit down.

Its no secret, maybe not widely talked about that I have had such a hard time with feeling like 2014 and in some way first part of 2015 I didn’t learn anything, I didn’t get anything from those years I could apply to my life, it was all confirmation of those things I already knew about myself.

Looking back 2016 was a ride, one that was filled with nothing but anxiety, when 2016 began I was convinced I had to take back my life by planning every detail of it and having everyone around me prove they deserved to be in my life. Did I achieve any of it, no..but I did learn something anxiety will suffocate me and suck the life out of me if I let it.

It’s only the second month of the year and I feel like I have learnt so much, I believe these are very important  things and I guess that’s why I document it, so I can look back whenever things are looking a bit dark.

1. Don’t put a time on it

When I was talking to my mother, God bless  her, she really didn’t know how to handle it, finally knowing the darkness I live with, the only thing she could say was that, don’t put a time on anything. And she’s right anxiety  tells you that everything is urgent  it needs to be done now, depression  tells you you are worthless, all this time has passed and you accomplishmed nothing. And she’s right all pity parties are full of I should have done this and that by this time and that’s how you get in deeper and deeper. That was 2016 for me chasing time, nothing going according to plan because month after month passing by and my plan still left behind.

2. Jump on it and use it

Another friend of mine on two occasions said something that stuck with me about anxiety. He said anxiety is like your body telling you there’s a lion in front of you, now how are you going to react, try to run from a pigment of your imagination? If you can really believe that  a lion is in front if you so well you body believes it then jump on it and use it to get through all the other challenges. He add, be aggressive so aggressive to get through the anxiety just as aggressive as you are when getting rid of cockroaches  in your house.

3. Acceptance can sometimes set  you free.

I remember  telling my mom that my life is what it is,  that was being said in a deep cloud that made me believe that I’m not meant to be happy. I didn’t realize it till today, but its true, my life is what it is, nothing will come to me easy because I wasn’t born with that privilege. Is that giving up? I think not, I think what it means is that with everything I do with my life I will put that much more effort because I’m expecting a hurdle, worst case scenario is i will get as close as possible to what i want and best case scenario is i will get above and beyond.

That’s not such a bad way to live is it?

All things Merry and the holidays

I guess it’s a day to say merry Xmas and wish everyone a happy new year.

This year I’m finding myself question what it all is about, but then again this year I’m questioning a lot of things. Granted this may just be the withdrawal talking (damn lyrica) I’m sitting here and feeling like such a failure. Sure the thoughts have been building up for a while but for some reason today is the day that I just wanna say lord take me, I can’t take any of it, I can’t do anything right…once again that’s not the first time I have thought that, but being that it’s Christmas just makes it a little sad.

This year was technically the first Christmas I’m separate unit from my parents. For days I wondered what I will make of it, maybe dinner, maybe a trip to the beach, maybe just maybe I can start our very own Christmas tradition. Non of that happened, and honestly I’m not sure how I feel about that just yet.

Little A is 6 years old this year, she basically found out Santa doesn’t exist last year…bad mom move I know. So this year was a bit of a challenge for her, and to top it off my mother tells her that Jesus wasn’t actually born on Christmas day, so yeah things just went from challenging to downright bad.

I planned to fall back on Jesus and the concept of giving this year, as part of my tradition, even that failed. The gift I was supposed to give didn’t happen, we didn’t get to bake or cook for those in need and those who are working on this day.

Basically as I’m sitting here I’m just wondering what it’s all about. Why bother if everything I touch turns to stone, falls apart, hurts or just doesn’t workout.

….what hurts the most is I just don’t feel like myself. I don’t know if I recognize the person I am today and while I planned to dedicate the whole of 2016 to finding myself i think I just spent it putting out fires and doing things to make it to tomorrow and somewhere along the way I just lost who I am. And to be honest I’m too old for the who am I dilemma.

Finding my roots

I have to say I’m loving this new arrangement. I always have ideas of what to write about but not the time, then by the time I do have time I have totally forgotten, so whenever I get an idea I write up the blog post and leave it as a draft. I have closure issues, I never start something and not finish it…

Anyway, roots, I’m a roots person always have been, I remember growing up and struggling because I didn’t have enough grounding me. As a child and teenager for me that looked more like family than anything else. And much like most things I got to a point where I wanted to just follow the pack, ‘roots? what roots? Who wants to be grounded? I’m a free spirit.’

I did it pretty well to be honest but it wasn’t me. I remember even more vividly, LF telling me she thinks I want stability, I was offended, wondering how she even got to think that. But she was right, I want stability, for me, being a free spirit can be rather exhausting.

But what does being grounded really mean. I guess for me it means being at a place where I’m settled, in my heart, in my personal life such that all I’m pursuing is the satisfaction in my heart and the well-being of my family. So maybe in short being grounded means having that purpose and knowing that every move i make in life is in pursuit of that purpose, ‘having a house fully built and all I do is make sure it’s warm and fuzzy’

And for me that purpose has become my kids but more importantly touching other people’s heart in a way that they can’t, and for me my career does that, I have to do a post on this some other time. But everyday I work I feel like I’m doing exactly what I need to, I’m fulfilled. So I guess that’s the easy part, well until I can get my dream position, small firm I can stay in long term.

The kids part has become the challenging part. I love my girls with all my heart and they are the easiest set of kids to have, but I just want to give them the world, not spoil them but help them. I believe until such a time I can have a house they can call a home for the long term, a good Christian school they can attend to, a community to be their safety nest then and only then will I feel grounded, and settled.
I guess ultimately I have found my roots, I just need to plant them, I’m so happy and excited about the opportunity and possibility that I actually may have made it, I feel like i spent my whole life searching for this exact feeling….

Indeed the road less traveled has the most fruits…

A whole lot of what ifs

When i grew up, life was simple. We all go to school, get good grades, get married, pro create and work your ass of till you retire. After that your job becomes taking care of your grand children. I can’t really say i ever had an opinion about this, its just what we did. However as the years went by i realised that it wasnt so easy. I do remember once when i was 16, looking at one of the girls in my class, lets call her Sam, Sam was every motswana parent dream daughter She was the perfect student, comes to class everyday, well dressed, and punctual. She was well organised, quite and knew all the answers. Now at age of 27 she’s in a management position at one of the big banks, still the good girl she was in school. I used to, and i think the little girl inside of me still, look at her with envy. Why can’t i be like her? why was it so difficult for me to just follow this set path and be happy?

I struggled with  this set path when i started high school. Being faced with the reality that i have to look foward to couple of years pursuing a science related career when i couldnt even stand the 3 science subjects i had to deal with on a weekly basis. After the end of my first year i was faced with what looked like the best yet felt like the worst thing in this life. Choice.

Having moved to Australia, finishing off my high school education, it started with wondering how i’m going to choose what to wear everyday, yes i missed the uniform. At the registration meeting for my new school l i was handed a long list of subjects and told English and Maths are compulsory, you have to choose 4/5 more to add to that. (Mind you there was 3 different types of English and at least 4 different types of Maths). I was overwhelmed, confused and there began my love/hate relationship with choice.

Before i moved to Australia i felt lost, i felt like i hadn’t found my place with my family in addition to that i wasn’t much of a social person so friendships weren’t easy either. I thought that being and living with my mother would help, i had dreamt of a life with my mother but it was nothing like i expected. Feeling lost became somewhat a part of my life driven by indecisiveness, i never knew what i wanted in my life and the feeling was becoming frustrating.

Until now, that is. I’m in a figured it out position, I got the good, love my kids. I have discovered the Peace of God, that has come with being able to see where I’m going, allowing God to plant in me his desires and plans for my life. I know where I am and where I need to be.

Be that as it may, im now im left with a whole lot of what ifs; what if the pieces fall apart? what if i lose one of my girls? what if i can’t hold us together? What if i can’t make them happy? I have lived with fear most of my life, i had a terrible fear of failure and shame. No doubt this has led to a lot of missed opportunities and wrong decisions. In my experience working towards a fear of failing is easy, i dont know, how does one deal with fear of losing everything she has ever wanted and needed?

 While I may be right in middle of my walk with God, it feels strangely unfamiliar to not be worried and not to be constantly trying to gain control and keep it together.

Surrendering is a challenge. One we must overcome.

Forgive or be forgiven

Once upon a time a man named Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive our brothers and sisters and Jesus replied by saying not 7 but 77 times .  For centuries many Christian have prayed the Lord’s prayer and said ‘forgive our trespass as we forgive those who trespass against us’. Sure everyone knows forgiveness is important in life therefore everyone wants to be forgiven but how easy is it to forgive when you have been wronged?

I must admit I’m one of those people who liked to preach forgiveness and quite frankly believed myself to be very understanding and very forgiving. Recently I realised that its much easier said than done when it matters the most. It’s really easy to ask for forgiveness or really demand it, everyone who has arrived late to a party or not turned up to a pre planned meeting knows that. Sometimes you even have a hard time understanding why someone doesn’t just believe you are sorry, forgive and move on. I have been guilty of hurting people and simply said sorry and expected to be forgiven.

Not long ago LF did something that cut me really deep and I really struggled with forgiving her. I tried everything I knew to do, I understood, I put myself in her shoes, I allowed myself to feel the pain and I even tried to bully myself to doing it. I just couldn’t quite reach it.  In all honesty I wasn’t hurt by what she did, not directly anyway, I was hurt by the realization that after 4 years of knowing her word to always be true, enduring a complete lack of certainty or hope of, because she refused to make any promises unless she could guarantee it, she actually broke a promise. I was mad because I felt now I have to take everything she says with a grain of salt, 50% chance of it being untrue. After 4 years I was used to believing her word completely and now with everything she says there was a voice at the back of my head ‘remember that time when she didn’t do what she said she would? What makes you think it won’t be the same?

I read a qoute somewhere that said ‘forgive easy, anger, resentment,  distrust and jealousy are all negative emotions that hurt the person carrying them.’ No one tells you what it takes to forgive, I have discovered I cannot forgive if I keep the memory of the pain fresh in my mind, I cannot forgive if I focus on the wrong done and the pain felt. It wasn’t until I focused on love that I was able to learn the true nature of forgiveness.

The devil likes keeping you in cycles and chained up to your pain, it’s wonder it’s so easy to remember the one bad that’s happened and forget all the good that existed before.

As the famous wedding verse says, Love is patient Love is kind(v4)….it keep no record of wrongs(v5)….it always protects, always trusts, always hopes always perseveres(v7)

I believe when Paul said in verse 13 ‘and now these three remain faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is Love’ he was trying to teach us that we need to Love first,  then forgiving will be easy.