The power of support

What a week. I’ve been battling mastitis for two weeks now, and despite doing everything right – early antibiotics, cabbage leaves for days, warm compresses, three rounds of ultrasound – it has developed into something nasty that requires a surgeon’s knife this morning. Eek!

I make it a personal habit of mine to look for silver linings in every situation, but this one has been a bit of a challenge… Still, I’ve found two. Here they are:

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A few wonderful reads

As far as I’m concerned, forwarding a link to an article is the highest praise I can heap upon writing these days (aside from waxing lyrical about novels, of course.)

What could be more of a compliment than suggesting that my friends or family – who are all oversubscribed and overstimulated – read something? Here, then, are a few great reads from the last few weeks, and a couple of bloody hilarious ones too.

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The things we take for granted

I just finished re-reading The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver (what an extraordinary book) and there’s a line in it that has stuck with me for the past week or so… I’m paraphrasing because obviously I can’t remember it word for word (I blame lack of sleep for robbing me of this super-power!) but it’s something along the lines of:
It occurred to her that her life, up till then, had been perfectly lovely. It would have been nice if she’d noticed. (more…)

The most important thing…

… In life is your health, right? Then why is it that we don’t notice how important it is till it’s gone on holiday?

I have been feeling under the weather this week. Poorly. Unwell. I have a mild case of mastitis and a severe case of feeling sorry for myself and it blows me away that last week – and the week before, and the week before, and all the many weeks I’ve been feeling well and not taking antibiotics – I didn’t notice. But that’s life, isn’t it? (more…)

A generous spirit

I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about generosity. Hout Bay, where we live, has been ravaged by fires over the last few weeks – terrifying multi-day fires that rage across the mountains and an even more terrifying fire in Imizamo Yethu, the informal settlement, that displaced 10 000 people. That sounds so removed, doesn’t it? Displaced. What it actually means is that 10 000 people had homes on Friday last week, homes filled with clothes and toys and books and TVs and things. And the next day those same people had nothing.

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The art of authenticity

I used to really struggle with being authentic, and vulnerable. I thought – and I don’t really know where this thought came from – that the me I presented to the world had to be shiny and perfect and free of cracks. So that’s the mask I put on: happy, confident, sociable me. And yes, sometimes that’s exactly how I felt. But other times I felt quiet and anti-social and vulnerable, and the more I put the shiny happy mask on, the more the quieter me felt itchy.

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Be easy on yourself

One of the great gifts of motherhood, for me, has been an enhanced capacity for vulnerability. I’m not sure if it’s the sleep deprivation or the sense of common journey, but I have learned the subtle, graceful art of saying how I’m really doing when people ask.

Sometimes they don’t even have to ask! Last week, when I was struggling with why Arthur was acting out so much, I reached out to a school friend I haven’t spoken to in years, because I remembered her writing on Facebook about being exhausted at the end of a day of non-stop negotiations with a toddler. She had such wise and helpful advice for me, and ended her message by saying: “Be easy on yourself. You also need a break.”

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Special Time

Last week was intense. Hardcore. Challenging. Full-on. Exhausting. You get my drift… But it took me until Friday to figure out what was wrong.

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The Happy Song

Want to know what song is playing on repeat in my head at the moment? This one. (more…)

A recipe for the worst night ever

Yesterday, I was tired. Bone tired. Dog tired. Headache at bedtime (which was before 9pm) tired. So of course, we had the worst night ever. Here’s the recipe, in case you’re wondering…

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