Also by me...


Monday, January 31, 2011

Jogging: Attempt no. 1

I  went jogging this morning. This is the first time I have run (voluntarily) since I was 8 year old. I always used to believe that there was no reason to run unless I was being chased. I decided to start jogging because I now (for the first time since Kayla was born) have some 'me time' and I thought it would be a great way to start the day.

However, it was not great, it was not even OK. It was horrible. Two minutes into it I realised that I had made a terrible mistake and I almost turned around. What stopped me from turning around was the fact that I was running down hill and so turning around would have required me to run uphill. It was ridiculous. There I was, just running away from the hill but also realising that every step I took took me further away from home, but I could not stop. I was stupidly determined; I said I was going to do this so now I am doing it.

The problem with jogging in Hout Bay is that, unless you live on a road that is long and without hills, you are almost always going to encounter a hill whether its when you leave your home or when you are returning home. When I finally reached this hill (the one leading home) I pretended that the Boogie Man was chasing me in order to get myself up the hill. This, however, did not work. I ran up hill for about 30 seconds and then stopped and mumbled to myself "f*#k the Boogie Man". I ran about 30 percent of the way and for the rest I walked like a lazy depressed teenager.

When I got home I could barely walk; my legs felt like jelly. They are still tingling and shaky. The question I am now asking myself is whether or not I do this to myself again tomorrow? I know that I should and that it will get easier but I also want the feeling in my legs to return a.s.a.p. Mmm...yes, no, yes, no...yes! I will do it again but I will make the distance a lot shorter and maybe drive a to a long straight road without any hills. Yip, sounds like a plan. My name is Klara de Villiers and I am a jogger.

"When there is no turning back, we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward." The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

"When you travel towards your objective, be sure to pay attention to your path. The path teaches us the best way to arrive and enriches us while we are travelling along it." The Pilgrimage, Paulo Coelho

Monday, January 24, 2011

'How are you?' - 'I'm fine'

If you start to become more aware of the answer to the question 'how are you?' you will soon realise that the answer, almost always, is 'I'm fine'. This is then usually followed by a sigh and the person goes into all the reasons why their life sucks (for lack of a better word) which proves that they don't even think before answering the question.

Yes, it may not be the nicest way to start a conversation -  'how are you?' 'actually, I'm not doing so well, I'm really depressed' but at least you're being honest. Or the other option is to say 'I'm fine' but be conscious to the fact that you are not fine and maybe just don't want to talk about it. I was at a birthday party the other day and it became very apparent that almost every person I spoke to started the conversation with a complaint about their life.

'Oh, I have so much work to do. I'm so busy, its crazy. My child is crazy, my life is crazy. Oh, woe is me.' All I then want to say is 'at least you have a job, at least you have a child, at least you are alive!' But I don't say that, I commiserate with them, adding fuel to their fire of compliance and fall straight into that same way of thinking. For some reason we all think we have to be sad and stressed in order to have a conversation with someone. There was one woman, however, who said she was very busy but also very grateful for the work. This is the right attitude because it doesn't make you the victim of your own life.

I will no longer say 'I'm fine' when I'm not and when I am I will say 'I am great' or 'I am fantastic'. I actually don't want my life to be just fine or for me to be just fine. I want awesomeness and when I feel it I will share it.

"It is important to take from what we see every day the secrets that routine otherwise prevents us from perceiving." Paulo Coelho

Friday, January 21, 2011

To plan or not to plan

I was never someone who fantasised about my wedding day. I didn't have the scrapbook of cut outs of wedding dresses, cakes and flowers. I just met with the people who will be doing my flowers and centre pieces and when asked what it is that I want I actually didn't have a clue. I had a vague idea of the colouring but at that moment I wish I could have lifted a dusty old scrapbook from my bag and plonked it onto the table.

Luckily they are professionals and soon sussed me out and they got a sense of what it is I want. We then moved inside (we met at the wedding venue) and proceeded to discuss where else we would need flowers. The gift table, the bridal party table will need three vases, next to the seating plan sheets, one vase outside and then it was suggested that we have flowers in the bathrooms. Mmm... I don't know. Do people really notice flowers while they wash their hands or check if their make up is still attached to their face? So it was a 'no' to the toilet flowers.

The list of things to do for a wedding never ends. I bought two bridal magazines, which I bought with much pride and with a smile that said, "yes, your quite right, I AM getting married". They were helpful in finding the style of dress that I wanted, the type of flower arrangements, but when it came to the 'to-do-lists' I could only but laugh.

It was suggested that six months before the wedding I need to begin a bridal health and beauty routine. As far as I'm concerned the only thing I am worried about is getting a funny tan line; health and beauty routine? No thanks. With two months to go it was suggested that I check if the groom has his wedding clothes organised. Can you imagine that conversation? "Matt, remember that you proposed and now we're getting married? Have you got your outfit sorted?" I mean, really, how ridiculous! Another lists said that I should create a wedding website nine months before the wedding. Need I say more? Some of the suggestions were really helpful but most of them were for brides who allow the wedding planning to take over their lives. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to be getting married and have really enjoyed planning it, but I am not going to let it consume my life.

Matt has also been so involved; phoning around for cake suppliers, organising the music, and always being involved in any decisions that need to be made. I don't understand how a man cannot be interested in the wedding planning process; he is, after all, the one that proposed in the first place and got the ball rolling.

To plan or not to plan? That is the question. I didn't plan before hand and I must say it has been a lot of fun planning as we go along. Yes, a very out-dated scrap book may have been helpful but I'm sure the things I liked when I was 12 years old would look pretty silly at my wedding now. So here it goes, eight weeks to go and I have no idea what needs to be done next and I love it.

"Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person." Paulo Coelho

Friday, January 14, 2011

Getting out and about

As a mother, I do not get out often. I had my daughter, Kayla, when I was 21 years old (believe me I had my fair share of partying before that) so since then I only go out once a month. For some, once a month may seen like a lot or it may seem like not enough, but for me, it's perfect.

A month is just enough time to forget the terrible hangover, embarrassing moments and the promise I made to myself to never drink again. I am off to my friend, Mathilde's, bachelorette party tomorrow night. Whenever myself and my fiance, Matt, go out it is a toss up as to who will be the designated driver. However, it isn't really that much fun getting a bit tipsy (slight euphemism) while the other person is stone sober.

The bachelorette is in Hermanus so I will be spending the night there and I have been informed that a taxi (the drivers' name is Koekie) will be transporting us wherever we need to go. How fantastic! The theme of the party is 'Cougars, Cocktails and Cabana Boys' so I have a feeling that Sunday morning will be rough and once again I will remind myself never to drink again.

I have my cougar outfit ready and because I don't physically look sixty years old, I basically just look like a hooker. To top it all off I will be driving from Cape Town to Hermanus in this outfit hoping that I don't get pulled over by a traffic officer for indecent exposure on a high way. On arriving in Hermanus I pray that I knock on the right door and not their neighbours' and be greeted by an eighty year old with a heart condition or a sixteen year old with on his face.

What will be will be. This is one situation I have no control over; I need to sit back and enjoy the experience. I am sure that the night will hold many embarrassing moments as well as much fun and laughter - I look forward to happily regretting it in the morning.
"There are moments in life when the only possible option is to lose control." Paulo Coelho

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am Eeyore

Last night my five year old daughter told me that she feels really sorry for Eeyore (in Winnie the Pooh) because he is "a bit lonely and confused... I think he's a bit lost". It was as if my daughter held up a mirror in front of me and I saw Eeyore staring back at me. All of Eeyore's characteristics are mine; I am lonely in the sense that I have gotten used to not having close friends. This is something I will change in 2011 - friendships (and maintaining them) will become a priority. Confused? I am definitely confused. I have just ended a four year career as a Montessori Pre-school teacher and am now flinging myself into the (career) world of writing. I am only who I believe myself to be and I believe myself to be a writer (even though I have not been published).

And then lastly, I am most certainly a bit lost. It is a feeling I feel whenever I begin a new journey. The excitement and the fear combines, leaving me with self doubt and sense that I don't have a fucking clue as to what I am getting myself into. I feel lost.

There is, however, another trait that Eeyore has. He is wise. I have learnt quite a bit in my twenty six years and am continuously taking advantage of opportunities that expand my consciousness. Wisdom is something that can only be gained if we open ourselves up to learning from life. Learning from our mistakes, learning from others and by being open to change. Be aware. Awareness is the key to living a conscious life.

There are days when I am Eeyore (lost and lonely, but still aware) and there are days when I am Winnie the Pooh (blissfully roaming through life with plenty of honey, but lacking the awareness). And then there are also days when I am blissfully roaming through life fully conscious. I will share these days with you and hopefully encourage some of you to join me in making that change (for the sake of happiness). 2011 is a year of changing my mind about my life. Here's to new beginnings, no regrets and a many more wise words from my daughter, Kayla.

"I'm independent; I see life though my eyes and not through other people's. I'm going in search of the adventure of being alive." Paulo Coelho, The Witch of Portobello.