2009 – looking back

1.What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Dyed my hair pink
Got a tattoo
Fell in love

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I made any for this year and if you had told me at the beginning of the year this is where I would be I would not have believed you.
And yes I have a few i want to make for 2010

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Louisa had baby Nicola
feel like I am missing someone else so please let me know if I have missed a really big one?

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No

5. What countries did you visit?
I came home to SA and that was the best thing ever, went to UK for sisters wedding but besides that just enjoying being back home.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A divorce!
Financial independence

7. What date(s) from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
24 January – flew back to SA for a holiday
14 March – decided not to go back to the UK
28 August – a day that changed everything, things could have been very different, but I think it is better that they are not, I never again ever want to be in a situation like that again.
22 October – the offer, who would have thought it could lead to so much happy.
3 November – first time away from the kids, holiday in CT.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Being strong enough to leave and discovering who I am in this process.

9. What was your biggest failure?
There are things I have done which I am not proud of and people that I hurt that I wish I could undo, but from all of it we learn.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I guess buying my own car was a good thing, but the best things were my boobs and tattoo.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My friends and family that supported me through this year – guardian angels
Aequitas for being so calm, dealing with my all over the place chaos and making me so happy.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I think the saying that there is nothing like a divorce for you to see who your friends are – is true.
There was one email about my blog that upset me a lot
My own behaviour at time really made me sad
Ex and I and the way we seem to always land up interacting with each other is not healthy, I really hope we can move past these roles that we so damaging in our relationship. I am as much to blame and I need to learn to react less and be calm in the dealings we have to have with each other for the kids sake.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Living expenses takes the constant flow of money the big purchases were car and boobs

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My boobs – gosh I really do go on about them a lot – forgive me but they have changed my life
ART – I am excited that it might actually work ( sorry to be cryptic about this one but all will be revealed soon)
my awesome boyfriend 😉

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Who I was born to be – Susan Boyle
Just say yes – Snow Patrol

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier
Thinner or fatter? Thinner
Richer or poorer? Financially much poorer but emotionally much richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
You know this year I survived and that is really all that counts, I laughed when I could, I made awesome friends. I am not sure there are things I wish I did more of – maybe just sleep. I get very very little sleep. 3-4 hours a night is not really enough.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
The obvious ones are to wish you had worried less or worked less or been less sad but all these things shaped me this year.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spend with my family. For me it is all about the kids

21. How will you be spending New Year?
With Aequitas at a braai/house party in CT

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
yes

23. How many one-night stands?
pass

24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don’t have a TV so I really did not watch much this year

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, too much effort to really hate someone all it does it take from you

26. What was the best book you read?
Now this is actually something I did wish I had done more of this year, I had very little time to read so, next time this year I hope I have a few to write here.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Just discovering music again, and it has been great. Aequitas put so much cool music on my PC. I really like 30 seconds to Mars and 3 Doors Down and funny enough Disturbed has grown on me. And of course rediscovering how much I like going head banging – just not the neck pain the next day.

28. What did you want and get?
I wanted boobs and am so happy with them
I wanted some happy – I got it just in time for the year to end

29. What did you want and not get?
I wanted a divorce – not happened yet

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I did not actually watch that many but I liked D9 and Zombie Land was so out of my normal but it was fun

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 32 this year, I was in the UK for my sisters wedding and my friend Ghilraen made it a really special day

32.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Financial security

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Gosh I am not sure i have fashion concept but this year I was a lot more me in my clothes and style. I am in love with Big Blue and can spend way way too much money in that shop, there are the coolest trousers there that i covet but can’t afford

34. What kept you sane?
My friends
and I guess, although it feels like they drive me mad sometimes, my kids gave me a reason to get up each day and carry on. I love them so much.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still quite like Wentworth Miller

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
I think social issues stir me more than politics, it is after all like George Orwell says just a different set of pigs.

37. Who did you miss?
Dimity
Ghilraen
My Home school group in the UK, it was lovely to have a group of like minded friends that all got on so well despite being so different.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Twitter and blogging means that I have met so many awesome people this year that have changed my life in so many ways, guardian angel, And of course Aequitas

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
being true to yourself is not always the most popular or easy way to go but it is well worth it in the end.

40. Quote that sums up your year.

I know this one is a tiny bit soppy and I don’t believe in the religious icon kind of angel, swooping and swerving against a bright blue sky. My angels are down here, in the trenches, keeping me safe.

“Angels are the guardians of hope and wonder, the keepers of magic and dreams. Wherever there is love, an angel is flying by. Your guardian angel knows you inside and out, and loves you just the way you are. Angels keep it simple and always travel light. Remember to leave space in your relationships so the angels have room to play. Your guardian angel helps you find a place when you feel there is no place to go. Whenever you feel lonely, a special angel drops in for tea. Angels are with you every step of the way and help you soar with amazing grace. After all, we are angels in training; all we have to do is spread our wings and fly!” Author Unknown

Bring on 2010 – PHG

Christmas done and dusted

I am painful aware that my last blog post was not very positive about Christmas and I really need to add this one as the day was so much better than expected. A good friend, who would have been alone for Christmas, came and spent it with us. I just focused on the kids and they had a really wonderful time. here are a few snaps of our day.

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No need to stop

just keep walking right on by, as I am going to have a little meltdown here. They are never pretty so not worth stopping for. But I know rubber necking can be tempting, so for those that stay and read I am sorry.

– this is our first Christmas post separation from ex, it is not our first alone as he was on the rigs over Christmas before, but this time it is different. It is significant and sad
– I am lucky to have my parents around even if everything comes with a price.
– Ex is going to be alone for Christmas and while we did not make a very good husband and wife team at all, he is a good dad and made such a big effort last year with flour snow foot prints and the works, I am sad he is alone. I feel guilty in a way but know that in the long run it is for the best.
– I have never really had to worry about money before, yes we were always careful and there was not an endless supply but now it is just not there. Dealing with Christmas and no money has not been fun.
– I love my kids more than breathing but Rachel and I are fighting a lot and I am worried it is going to ruin our Christmas.
– I need a few more small things for Caleb, I have a few big things for him but his sister has more small stuff to open. I so do not feel like facing the shops again tomorrow.
– It took 5 shops for me to find Christmas crackers! and then they were crap in the end and I might as well not have bothered.
– This is the first Christmas in my whole 32 year existence that the day has no religious meaning for me at all, it is weird.
– I need to get to bed earlier so I cope better, I am tired.
– I want to read the awesome book Aequitas gave me for Christmas but I can hardly keep my eyes open long enough to finish this.
-I plan to read a lot in Cape Town.
– I did not expect Christmas to be this hard.
– Tomorrow is dedicated to crafts with the kids cleaning and tidying, we will have our Christmas dinner in the evening of 24th but will do presents on 25 as is proper.
– I miss Aequitas
– I want Christmas to be over.

all done, sorry about that, will try be awesome again tomorrow

My first ink – the Guardian Angel

I have wanted to get a tattoo since I was in university about 10 years ago, but I have just never found anything that I liked enough to have as an indelible mark etched into my skin forever. I have searched through online tattoo galleries on and off for ages, but never found anything that inspired me. I always want the tattoo to have some meaning and not just because. I read this quote on Wenchy’s blog and it resonated with me:

[A] genuine tattoo…. tells a story. I like stories and tattoos, no matter how well done, and if they don’t tell a story that involves you emotionally, then they’re just there for decoration, then they’re not a valid tattoo. …There has to be some emotional appeal or they’re not, to my way of thinking, a real tattoo. It tells people what you are and what you believe in, so there’s no mistakes. ~Leo, tattooist, 1993, quoted in Margo DeMello, Bodies of Inscription, 2000

This tattoo tells a story:

The Design
I saw the tattoo name The Guardian Angel on line and fell in love with it straight away.
This is the design ready to take to the Tattoo artist
guardian angel,ankh

So it begins
They first do a line-art transfer and then checked that i was happy with where it was and what it would look like. I must admit to be very very nervous. Sharon and I went in the morning to see if they could help but the first appointment was at 6pm, I had the whole day to be nervous. No matter how much people tell you it is not so bad, not knowing what to expect made me very very nervous.

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During
It really was not even half as bad as I thought it would be, I laughed and joked and smiled through out. It was nothing more than mildly annoying. The guy said I had a high pain threshold but I think 2 natural births without drugs, running comrades for 11 hours, and having my breast implants means that it was just not that bad compared to other things I have been through. It feels like someone scratching you.

Tattoo

After
He told me to get up not turn around and come look in the mirror before I showed Sharon for the final photo.
( it is on my right shoulder but there was a big mirror behind him as he worked so some of the pictures Sharon took of the mirror view so looks like it is on my left)

tattoo,Ankh

tattoo,Ankh

I love it! Totally love it, he asked before we started what i thought of having it shaded rather than solid as it is quite big and he was concerned that solid it would look very dark and heavy on a girl. I really really like the end result.

Thank you’s
A very big thank you to Sharon who came with me, I was nervous and having a friend along really helped and of course having her there to take the pictures was great.
To Cath, Alice,Tanya and everyone who saw the design before and encouraged me to do it. To Wenchy who sms’ed me good luck just before, to André who congratulated me on being brave. And of course to Aequitas for always thinking I am awesome and offering his support. I have the most amazing people in my life – guardian angels.

Things going on

There are loads of little things I wanted to say so I thought a point form blog would be best

– Aequitas asked me to be his +1 to a wedding in January, it made me silly happy, I grinned a lot!
– We only wrote to Father Christmas yesterday but after Rachel had discussed her list with Wenchy on Sunday it was actually quite easy and I think I might even have most of the stuff.
– I found the Tattoo I wanted yesterday and am very very excited about getting it it will be my first one. I have always wanted to get one but just never knew what to get, as soon as I saw this one I liked it and it has so much meaning for me. I want it more on my right shoulder than in the middle. Sharon has agreed to go with me and take some pictures on Monday – Yipee!
– It is my Nanny’s last day today before Christmas and I am not sure how we are going to survive without her, I am not a tidy person, I am always surprised she does not quit. Rachel and I beaded a necklace and some bracelets for her but i need to go buy some other little presents
– I am not ready for Christmas
– The kids and I are going to Sponge Bob next week, we got some free tickets and I think they will enjoy it.
– I wish I had more time to read, I have a new book from Aequitas as I am really keen to get into it. I hope I will have some time during my holiday to Cape Town
– Sharon brought me some Progesterone cream yesterday to try for my terrible PMS cramps and very irregular cycle, I so hope it works. I can’t have to spend 2 days in bed every cycle and never know when it is going to hit as it can be 20 days or 42 days.
– With only one week in CT and lots to do it is a bit of a juggling act to fit everyone in and also get a chance to relax.
– I was going to drive the kids to Cape Town but my mom was just too worried about me doing the drive alone and as part of the trip is meeting with people to discuss a really big idea for next year, she suggested that I fly and that she would keep the kids at home.
– I get to spend New Year with Aequitas 🙂
– I love Christmas cake – just saying.
– Please tell me what sort of foot prints Father Christmas leaves in South Africa? We always did the flour in the shape of a boot in England but I am not sure Rachel is going to buy that in hot South Africa.
– My mom is in England and coming home next week with my Pink Docs – I am very excited.
– I worked something out with a friend and it feel so much better now. It had been really stressing me out before, it was what I wanted to write the blog about but I actually don’t need to now.

Right, I am off to the bank, shop and post office.

About a boy

So there is a boy. In true Sally-Jane style it is not simple and straight forward but it is now far too much for me not to blog about it. One of my friends said to me that she did not need DSTV she had me

So Aequitas (his gamer name) has shaken my world up a little, well okay a lot. It started as a relationship of mutual benefit 😉 I was needing to deal with coming out of a destructive marriage and find my feet financially and emotionally, he is a young game designer not look for complicated but we got on well and we had fun together and enjoyed what we had. Neither of us was looking at it as having the potential to be a relationship. We always said ‘It is what it is’ but slowly we started to realize that we actually really really like being together. We laugh and giggle and chat and discuss stuff all the time. He like to read – this is huge for me. He is smart we discuss and debate stuff and he knows a lot about things that interest me. He loves my pink hair, we go head banging together, he thinks my pink docs are awesome. I am learning to play games – I was even late with the supper the other day as Rachel and I were playing Torchlight.

He is very pragmatic, calm and does not get phased by me being a bit all over the place. He has met my kids and does not in anyway try to take over or interfere but he just gently supports me. He interacts with them and even taught Rachel to head bang. I know me having kids is a big thing for him. But he likes me enough to want to find a way through this. I know that for someone who has never had kids the chaos that is kids can be a bit overwhelming, but he has been calm throughout.

All sounds great right? well here comes the catch, he lives in Cape Town. Bummer! But as a lot of you know I have wanted to move to Cape Town for ages. Now I have extra incentive. So for now it is what it is with distance constraints but who knows what the future holds.

I am going to CT for new year, he has work up here the end of January so some how we will make it work.

P.S. Barbara once commented about how on quite a few blogs people refer to the men in their lives as boys, and she asked if this in some way is not rather derogatory and belittling. I hope not, because as much as I call Aequitas a boy he makes me feel young and like a girl with a bright future.

What to blog and not to blog

To those who blog and even those who don’t help me out here, my blog is a place for me to work out all the things that are in my head but so often I find I do not blog about stuff as I am worried about other people. Do you have this problem? What do you do?

Blog regardless? password protect it? don’t blog it at all? None of these seem quite right but I know that often when my thoughts are all over the show and I have said ‘I don’t know’ for the millionth time that writing it down might help.I am always very careful when talking about others on my blog and I tend to err on the side of vague but this time there is a whole lot going on in my brain.

I think these feelings may result in one public post that will be me sharing more about what is happening now in my life than I usually do, and one password post just to pour it all out.

I would love to hear if other people face this dilemma and what you do about it?

I have everything I need.

Right now I am happy, yes you read right. Sally-Jane’s emo blog has the word happy on it. I am, and you know the strangest part is that I am not anywhere near the place I thought I would be when I typed those words. But events of the past few weeks have brought some clarity.

I know that I need time and space to heal. I need to examine how and why I got my self into the place I did and the events in my life since leaving my marriage. One thing I know is that I am not good at being alone. Luckily for me I am surrounded by the most awesome friends that a girl could ask for, they hold me up. I really mean that, without them I would not survive even one day.

Situations and circumstances mean that I am alone, but at the same time I am not, if that makes sense. I need this time to sort out my life get to a place where I am independent and where I will never again be at a disadvantage like I was after my marriage ended. I realize that I need to learn the difference between being more in control of my life and total bloody minded independence for independence sake. I must not do it at the cost of cutting people off and I need to learn to accept help when I need not do stuff just to prove that I could do it ALL by myself.

So these are the things I need that people give me in my life right now

– I need the single moms who shows such amazing strength and show me it can be done
– I need my amazing business partner and very very close friend Barbara, I have no idea how I will ever cope without her being around
– I need the bench where I can sit and look at the beauty and calm and find a way to bring it into my life.
– I need the happy, even when it is slightly more complicated than intended and boundaries are getting blurred
– I need the awesome, the big dreams and the huge ideas and the art of friendship
– I need people to expect the best from me and help me to achieve it and never settle for mediocre
– I need love

I know that the future is going to be hard and that there are so many things that I have to face and do in the coming year but if I focus on all of that now I think I might pull the covers over my head and not get out of bed. Rather what I choose to focus on are the moments of joy, laughter, comfort, peace and happiness that I share with the amazing people in my life. I will let the happy feed my soul and make the journey ahead a little easier.

Last night

Things have been going well in my life, I have a post in progress about how I am in a happy place with such awesome people around me, and then last night in a gchat conversation with my ex I suddenly felt like I was straight back in that relationship. It felt like all the happy was threatening to come crashing down.

After a big wobble last night I felt really desperate like maybe I could never escape this, but some fantastic people around me that believe that I can get through this and that the other side looks better held me up through the dark time and today I feel ready to carry on again.

You know it is easy to lay blame to say it was all him and easy for him to say that it was all me but I guess the truth is that we bring out the worst in each other. I remember reading on a friends blog about how maybe in different relationship people will not be as damaging, maybe sometimes it is the combination that is bad rather than the people. I know that as soon as ex and I speak 8 years of hurt rush in. We each have our idea of reality and so we spend the whole time trying to convince the other person of our point of view. We never found a way to listen to each other during the time we were together and nothing has changed.

I felt like a caged animal again, I fought and yes I was not always nice and I am sure I said plenty of stuff that made it worse rather than better. I felt cornered like nothing I said could affect any change. I do not want to be that person any more.

For our kids we have to have contact for the next how ever many years but I need to take the power struggle out of this fight. I will become totally financially independent so that money has no power in this relationship anymore. We have fought about money since the start and I refuse to do it anymore.

You know the best part of the conversation was when he said something along the lines of thank goodness it is over and imagine growing old with you. And I answered that there are some that would kill for the chance and he laughed and told me not to flatter myself but you know this time I knew it was true. I have wonderful people around me who really believe in me.

I will survive.

Sunset

I love sunset, it is days like this when I see the sky looking so beautiful that I wish I knew how to really use my camera rather than just use the automatic settings.

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