Bubblegum English

new-word-in-the-dictionary-ftr

I have been writing a lot of listicles of late for one of my online clients. They are the preferred form of article for their website and I have to admit they are quite a lot of fun to write. But I have to admit that while I was mentally mulling over my most recent listicle at the kitchen sink I did find myself breathing a tired sigh over the name “lisiticle”.

It is a real thing, you can Google it, and I suppose real things need to have names. The English language is pretty awesome in its evolutionary ability to adapt and morph with all of humanities changes. I think that is why it is the most commonly spoken language online and around the world. Because of its ability to adapt, it has survived.

But sometimes I feel tired by the constant need for millennials to invent new words. I mean, yes it’s fantastic that “Google” is now in the Oxford dictionary, but does it really need to be?

Are we going to wake up one day and suddenly be over the new-fangled naming new-word-in-the-dictionary-ftrconventions? Like when you love a new pop song, listen to it over and over again for three weeks, and then suddenly never want to hear it again. Are generations to come going to be embarrassed for us, because if how we went around making up names for things the way that we are embarrassed by our grandma’s swim suits?

I am waiting for the day that youngsters and Hipsters start speaking proper English again. I imagine it will be because they are suddenly so over inventing awesomely useful names for things, that, let’s face it, just sound made up. Will we grow up and stop playing house with the English language, or is it doomed to evolving right out of existence, along with the morals and good manners that have kept it company for so many centuries? I suppose only time will tell.

(thanks for the image communitytable.com)

Never stop learning, never give up on your dreams and just keep on keeping on

SheBelievedSheCould_Desktop

I love learning things. I love books, I eat them for breakfast!

Although a university degree in your subject of choice is the obvious winner, Life happens, and not everyone has the opportunity to study.

But it’s not the end.

You are never too old, too broke or too busy to change your life.

It’s down to you. Yip, really. there comes a time when you have to stop blaming your poor family, bad teachers and shitty circumstances for your current state. Yes they play a contributing factor. Yes, it is hard to start from scratch. Yes, it’s hard to study when you are older, working, supporting a family. It’s hard, but it’s not impossible.

With the wonderful cyber world more or less accessible to many of us these days, all you actually need to learn something new is the ability to read and the desire to learn.

There are numerous options for self instruction in cyber space:

  • Online courses – these are great. you actually get something to show for it at the end too, depending on what course you do and which institution you choose. I studied through SA Writers College. Courses are certified but you do have to pay upfront for each one. Support is via E-Mail, so you do need regular E-Mail access.
  • Lynda.com – has a variety of great tutorials available for anyone who is willing to learn. Mostly video content you so will need to be able to at least download videos to watch later if you can’t watch online. You need to open an account with them, but most employers will be very willing to help with this.
  • Bookboon.com – This is a wonderful resource with hundreds of free educational E-Books. As long as you can download a PDF you can take these babies with you.

There are many, many more online sites available to those who want to learn. You can find most of them with this magical tool called… google. Whats more is that when people start to see you taking an interest in yourself academically, they start to look at you differently.

I started in advertising with a Pre-school teachers qualification (WTF, right?) But I discovered my astounding love for Copy writing. I had always loved reading, it just took me a while to realize that I wanted to write.  So what did I do? I found every available free resource and I used it. Eventually my employers realized that I am serious about this, and you know what? They paid for my course! Because that is how the universe rolls. When you put in all you have with 100% undiluted enthusiasm and you expect to succeed, you do.

Don’t give up on your dreams. Invest in your self. often the biggest investment is time. Move your series addiction up by an hour a night, and spend an hour a night reading mind enlarging goodness.

A year from now you will be glad that you started today.

Could Gratitude change the world?

Today is my birthday.

That is something that for many people would automatically mean it is a happy day. For me it doesn’t come so easily. The long sob story of why I generally dislike my birthday does not make for inspiring reading though.

Instead, let me tell you how incredibly blessed and lucky I am to have had this birthday.

Aside from all of the cake, the unexpected gifts from friends and colleagues and the swarm of good wishes that came my way today (in fact for the last three days) I feel loved. I feel like for a moment the world stopped and remembered how much I care about you all and I feel really appreciated. Feeling appreciated is an incredible thing. It changes how you see yourself as a person. It actually makes you a better person, and want to be a better person, when someone sees the good in you.

I can’t help thinking, if feeling this loved and appreciated can alter my outlook on life so much, how much would it change the world we lived in if every positive thing we did was recognized and appreciated?

How could it affect the government, our businesses and out home relationships if every person felt that the good they do is appreciated?

It definitely bears thinking about.

Most of all though I am grateful to feel grateful. Or should I say, I am grateful for what I am grateful for, but I am also glad that I can see the value in those things while I still have them.

For example: I can’t think of anything luckier than having my mom cook dinner for me on my birthday. I am so incredibly grateful to have a loving, doting mom who still cooks me my favourite foods (even if I am a vegetarian) she slaved away all day so that I could bring my family over, sit on my bum, and eat her awesome cooking!

I am so grateful to have her in my life.

I am also so grateful to be able to appreciate her to the extent that I do while she is still around. All too often we realise how lucky we were to have something when it’s gone. I think a big part of being a grown up (nearly there) is to be able to recognize how lucky you are to have something while you have it. I think it’s a big part of being happy and feeling good about your life.

I have been similarly blessed to have a vast and colourful array of amazing people in my life. Too many to mention them all here, but every one of them special and beautiful in their own random way. The good wishes today were felt. I feel as if I have bathed in good energy, love and light.

Today I truly feel as if it is my birthday.

And I think I know why. Because aside from the fact that a crazy number of people wished me a whole lot of joy – I also really appreciated those people.

When I started to feel gratitude and appreciation for the good things people were saying I was forced to accept that the things they were saying are true. How else can you feel gratitude for something if you don’t believe it’s sincere?

When I started to believe in the sincerity of the good wishes I was forced to accept that the nice things that people were saying, the kind wishes of love and joy and good fortune, must be deserved by me.

Being appreciated and feeling that you deserve the kindness you receive is a wonderful thing. It does wonderful things to your outlook on life. It does wonderful things to who you are and who you strive to be.

I think we should all try a lot more appreciation and recognition. I think we might just end up living in a nicer world, if we all just showed our appreciation more easily.

You never know, the world may surprise you. I still believe that someday kindness will change the world.

Rare Day Off

Having a passion for something that is not (yet) your primary income means that you have to burn the candle at both ends a lot.

The only way to work a full time day job, be a single parent and develop yourself in your chosen creative field is to work nights. A lot of nights. Every night. And weekends. It’s not a matter of dedicating every spare moment, it’s creating spare moments that don’t otherwise exist.

You have to make time for what is important to you, because if you wait until you have enough time, you will never get anything done. So weather it’s studying, free-lancing, writing your book, painting your master piece or playing that guitar, it all comes down to you. It all comes down to never stopping.

That has been my modus operandi for a while now. Progress has been slow, but there is progress. Things are happening. And they are happening because I am making them happen, in those long, late hours.

Rod Judkins said, in his book, Change your Mind, “The creative never take a holiday”.

And he is right. When you have a project that inspires you, that burns you up, you are always thinking about it. You can’t stop. You constantly find yourself seeing “usable content” in everything around you. And you will find that you have an extra reserve of energy for working into the night on something that calls to your sense of purpose.

The problem is getting up in the morning to go to work, and trying to carry the same energy and enthusiasm with you through the day that has been come to be expected of you. I find the more late nights I work the harder it is to be subservient. Conforming to the “lowest rung” status in the corporate world is harder when there is so much more to who you are than just who they allow you to be.

The bottom line is, weather you mean to or not, your internal auto-pilot starts to prioritize your energy reserves and allot them accordingly. You don’t deal well with crap, in other words, and you cease to mince your words.

Now this may lead some of you to say “Bravo”! We are constantly hearing about how important it is to express ourselves and all that, and it’s true to some extent. But to me there is another important thing: Class.

It’s important to me that I conduct myself in an honourable, well mannered and kind natured fashion. Not because I am a walk over, quite the opposite, being a bitch is easy!

No I maintain a certain level of civility, even when I am in a disagreement, because I can. Because it’s part of whom I am. To be considerate, conscientious and tactful are part of how I was raised. Having a quick wit and dry humour, notwithstanding. Although the latter are a bonus, the prior three are non-negotiable.

But I realized that I can’t maintain it all, all the time. I can’t work all hours, exercise, study and still be the kind of person and mother I want to be on four hours sleep a night, seven days a week.

So today I did a wonderful thing.

It’s Sunday. It’s raining. And instead of sending the kids to church with my mum by 9:00 so that I can get in a run, shower and an hours work, I decided to SLEEP IN!

I woke in a daze at about 9:00 am with Felix sitting in my bed watching a movie on my PC (Yes my four year old son can totally turn on the PC and find his movie folder on his own) and demanding cocoa.

I got up, made cocoa for the kids and my coffee, and then, wait for it, I got BACK INTO BED!

I dazed to the sound of “How to Train Your Dragon” for a while, and then, Faith climbed into bed with me too, and we watched a movie! In the daytime! I think we eventually all got out of bed at about noon. I don’t even feel guilty.

I made us a great big lunch and then we all went and hung out at my Mom’s place for the evening, still in our pajamas. We didn’t change until it was time to bath to get into clean pajamas.

As sad as it sounds, it was the best day I have had in ages. To decide that I am just going to chill with my kids, no demands, not even getting dressed, just hanging and watching movies and eating too much.

I think it may well have been one of the healthiest things I have done for myself in a while.

This evening I am ready to sit and work for a few hours. I don’t feel like I have to force my eyes open. I actually want to, hey, I’m even finding the time to write to all of you!

Vroom! Vroom! Jaguar Simola hillclimb 2015

_LP07185

A day at the races

I had the fine luck to find myself with a media pass to the Jaguar Simola Hill Climb this weekend. I was the official Twitter feed “girl on the ground” for a local organization.

Off I went, armed with my (let’s face it fairly cut rate) cell phone, my (actually rather good) flask of coffee and a pink arm band declaring me as “media”. It is amazing the kind of access you can get around an event (even a dangerous motorsports event) with a media badge. It’s like the magic wand that opens the doorway to forbidden areas.

Okay so it actually just means that I got to go snoop around the pits and get myself into ridiculously precarious positions for the sake of a photo (all taken with said el-crap-io cell phone).

How was the 2015 JaguarSHC? In a word: Loud.

Seriously loud. Like vrrrrooooom, vroooom, brump brump brump, vrooooom!

That’s pretty much the best I can do to describe it.

That roar of the engines has an amazing effect on the adrenaline levels! I felt like a little girl. I was so excited! Even when I had no idea what was going on around me.

Oh and all the pretty cars! So shiny! So beautiful. Ironically a friend was teasing me before hand saying I was just going to try and bag myself a rich man, whereas I was actually more into the cars than the guys were. I think I may have a bit of a thing for loud, fast, powerful cars. (sshh, don’t tell anyone but they kind of do things to me)

The best was being in the thick of things. It’s definitely not glamorous being a “media” type. You get there early and leave last. You can’t miss a single thing. You are working, after all. But you also feel like you are really part of the action. You are right up close and personal with the cars and the drivers and the organizers. I don’t think I could attend another big event as just a spectator. I would feel left out.

I must give a big heads up to the organizers. This was, without a shadow of a doubt, the best organized event I have attended in some time, possibly ever.

It was safe, it was clean, everything ran smoothly from start to exhilarating finish.

I feel really privileged to have been on the inside track (quite literally) of such a flashy event.

I even managed to take the kids along for part of it, I think Felix has a new love affair : classic sports cars.

My only sadness is that the vintage drive happened on Friday afternoon, before I clocked in for duty, and I didn’t get to ogle my own true love: Vintage Stock cars.

If I had one request for the organizers next year (aside from “please can I run your social media and please can I drive your Jag”) it would be that they involve the classic vintage beauties more for the rest of the weekend. I would have loved a chance to go and day dream over them.

Cyber Flirting

a4bae-computerlove-1

I have been told I am a natural flirt. I don’t know how true that is, but I do know that it is usually perfectly harmless on my side of the game.

So what about having a little flirt with a cute guy over cyber space? Or getting hot and heavy across the airwaves, how bad is it, really?

Like most things, I think its relative.

I recently had an experience of the digital persuasion. It was brief but thrilling. A real pick-me-up. I made a highly unprofessional comment on a picture that had been tweeted by a product. My comment was in regards to the handsome young man in the picture. To my surprise I received a reply from the model himself. I was so embarrassed at first, but then we ended up having a little flirt across cyber space that lasted an hour or two.

It was nothing extreme, and we were both polite, but it still felt kind of naughty. In fact, it was kind of a thrill. And it got me to thinking, how bad is cyber flirting, really?

I mean, we scorn the notion of meeting a spouse via a dating site, but I am meeting more and more happily married couples who did it.

Of course we all understand the dangers of the internet, the fact that it is rife with psychopathic sociopaths who are waiting to human traffic our asses to where-ever it is that they traffic them to. My eleven year old knows not to talk to strangers on whatsapp any more readily than she does to strangers in the street. And no-one wants to stumble into a cyber-nest of porn fiends and weirdo’s (Well evidentially not no-one as they do seem to have quite a community going, but you get my drift)

But what about flirting in a safe and respectful way?

I know my mother would disapprove, but she also disapproves of phoning people after 8pm and being seen in public with bare feet.

That little interaction I had put me on a positive buzz for the rest of the afternoon. I was happy, I felt playful and frivolous and I was more productive than usual for the rest of the afternoon. I am a morning person and I tend to crash in the late afternoon – so this little digital interaction gave me an energy boost. That boost had a positive spin on the rest of my day.

Maybe if it was something I did all the time it would lose it’s positive effect.

After pondering the moral aspect of it for some time I came to the realization that the internet is just another place where people interact (only there are no bad hair days in cyber space). It then follows that all of the usual rules apply to cyber flirting as to regular flirting:

  • It should be spontaneous and never pre-meditated. Pre-meditated flirting is creepy.
  • No minors. Seems obvious but it’s really easy to fake your age on the internet so be careful.
  • You should both be having fun. If the other person isn’t enjoying it, chances are you are a bit of a creep.
  • Keep it clean. Intelligent people can be sexy as hell through suggestion without being explicit.
  • The previous rule may be wavered when dealing with your own spouse, but do be careful of your privacy settings, you don’t want anyone finding all that.
  • Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.
  • Please don’t share your intimate details in a public space – for any reason , ever.

I am not going to launch into cyber safety – I should hope it’s obvious that you should not agree to meet someone you met over Facebook in a dark alley way all alone, give them your banking details or anything else stupid like that.

But if the moment arises and someone shows a digital fascination, I say have fun with it. Just remember that his profile picture is probably as photo-shopped as yours is.

Thanks for the loan of the image https://emagcomsecurity.wordpress.com

Shit could be worse

Dear trusty followers,

I apologize for my general silence of late.

The thing is, this is a happiness sharing blog. It’s a cyber space where I aim to inspire a sense of hope, whimsy or just a laugh. I usually attempt to do this by sharing some random happening that I have witnessed.

But lately, I have been struggling to lift my head out of my deep, dark funk long enough to see the random little whimsy’s. Sometimes I will register that something in front of me is blog worthy, that it’s happy and random and good, but I can’t seem to get through the thick layer of bluish grey glass that separates me from the happy people. I can’t feel it. I can’t write it.

Things have been a tad shitty of late.

It’s almost comical, how bad situations have gotten worse, and then even worse than that. Being an only parent to two school going children is not for the faint hearted. Especially when you are broke.

Like, not just low on cash, but properly screwed, broke.

But, anyway.

I was pondering upon my lack of joy to share when I saw a post by a friend of mine whose eleven year old daughter was going in for a heart op. I realized that all of my problems, and I mean all of them, would be solved by a lot of money.

Once I realized that, I started to see how incredibly lucky I am (well not as lucky as people whose ex’s pay child support, but still lucky-ish)

You see, almost all of my problems can be solved by money.

So they can be solved.

My children are healthy, clever and emotionally a lot more sound than they should be, given my being their only parental influence.

I am healthy.

My Mom is amazing.

I have good friends who really care about me even when I don’t want to burden them with myself. I really do not know what the hell they get out of the arrangement but I am happy to have them so I daren’t ask!

I have a wonderful sister. she is funny and loving and caring and as gay as a cucumber.

I also have a brother somewhere out there.

I have good people.

I can read and write. Those are two highly under-rated skills. Roughly 20 % of the world population are illiterate. That is around 775 million people who will never read Tolkien or write their own name.

I have a creative mind, I have a high metabolism and I am not an asshole. Not being an asshole is also highly under rated. Approximately 47 % of the world population are total jerks, so to not be an asshole is really an amazing achievement.

I even possess the ability to laugh at myself. I also have a nauseating inner optimist. Even when everything sucks. I sometimes hate her.

So yes, maybe everything sucks right now.

Everything sucks and I have big problems. But they are not so big, or so bad, because they are nothing money can’t fix.

And those are really the best kind of problems to have.

I am grateful for my problems, shit could be worse.