A few things about me

Archive for the ‘Life & dreams’ Category

On my mind

On the news today:

After the release of the national budget or finansloven as they call it here, a total of 44,000 Council employees are to be fired by end of next year in effort to meet budget cuts.

On the news yesterday:

A school put out an ad for a maintenance man and recieved 625 applications in comparison to the usual, 15-20 applications recieved when such a position is advertised.

In the news a few weeks ago:

The third largest employer in Denmark fired 2000 people.

Keep in mind the following fact. Population size is 5.5million. Workforce is approx 2.4million making the afore mentioned job cuts a significant knock on the economy.

You’re still wondering how does this affect me.

Here we go.

My plan was that at the end of my maternity leave I would not be returning to my job. (In case you are not in the know I work at a laundry folding and packing away hospital clothes). Instead I would have secured a job more in line with my desires and mentality of “this is the kind of work I am supposed to be doing”  or I would have started my own gig (those plans have been shelved indefintely… maybe one day I will tell you guys about it) These cuts signify that the economy is still shaky even though I thought it was on it’s way up after  house prices had started creeping up . The fact that intrest rates are still  low should have reminded me otherwise. To sum it up things are still shitty economically and I find myself very interested in this meeting taking place in Seoul with all these powerful heads of state.

In the midst of all this depression one little thought/fact keeps me bouyed. I got a job for life, I have an income for life. So for now I just have to ride this tide and keep my plans in focus.

One sure thing is that I am not quitting this gig until I know that I have another source of income at hand.

A part of me feels like I am stuck between a rock and hard place and the other feels.. just thank -God you have work and thus a decent income.

Hello world!

Meanwhile;

I looked at the bank account and almost fell off my chair.  A deeper look at the statement revealed that YES WE have been careless this month, spending on this that and the other. The amount left for the next 20 days is rather appalling. The challenge is on though, see if we can live off it with out going into red. All plans of going into town to manga manga and treat myself to hot chocolate, a waffle and some magazine have been postponed til further notice 🙂

Have an economically sound day.

Six things…..

KK is sleeping in her chair, Nikh is out with his grandparents , expected home anytime soon. Big Al is away on work issues, the pan is heating getting ready for the bacon I am having for lunch and I am here quickly pasting and linking something I thought would be of interest.

It is to me, because I am currently practicsing something in the hope of being excellent. Coming across this article has spured me on.

PS. I told Big Al some time back that I am going to win a Grandslam some time before I am 45 and make into the record books as the oldest woman and African at that to win Wimbeldon…. he laughed and laughed just like you are…

now I can get to say.. read the article … it is a possibility.

Have an excellent day

and below is the link to the article

http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2010/08/six-keys-to-being-excellent-at.html

Moving forward

Today is a good day because today I set aside my fear and get on with living my life.

This is my life.

This is what I have and I am going to work with what I have to achieve my dreams.

I know life will sometimes throw me unexpected curve balls, but that’s alright. Been there, stayed there, wallowed there, got out, moved on, got hit again, but I am still up and running. So fuck you for trying to think you can keep me down again. I am up and running again and watch me fly.

Since I love lists and to-do action plans. (I love them! They give me a sense of control and the feeling that I am progressing towards something cause every so often I cross things off my lists and I feel like Superwoman 🙂

Here is my to-do lists:

Very Short-term to-do /To be done list (by 10th August)

  • Pay the dentist bill today
  • finish tidying up the library/office and clear out that box of baby clothes into the plastic box
  • find a permanent home for the clothes in the boxes
  • sweep the garage and make sure things are away from potential water leak
  • put all books that are in cardboard boxes into suitcases
  • finish the list of all the decorative stuff we need for the  house so that we can budget for what we need
  • buy legs for the box mattress
  • buy the baby pram and clean the baby car seat (like pronto) stop fiffing around on this
  • buy the grass cutting machine (we are the only house on the road that has a garden looking like a jungle… I am not even joking
  • Start ticking things off the list on the fridge

5 Month Goal (deadline Jan 31st 2011)

  • Finish the business plan FINISH IT. ( i don’t know where to start or end….. FINISH IT. You went to school, you know how to research stuff. Finish it. Period
  • Loss all the pregnancy weight – goal is 73kgs. As of today 20th July 2010 I weigh a whopping 95kgs. Pre-pregancy weight was 78kgs
  • Finish the buiness plan
  • Find out about that course … just find out.. nobody said I have to join it.. just get all the details then you can decide what to do next ok.. just find out.
  • Spend 1 hour everyday reading something in danish and write it out. (I swear to God the goals I set myself.. but fuck.. this I have to do if I want to get what I want.. . shit… I already don’t even want to do it.. but I gotta do it..

 So there you have it.

Recorded on cyber space for all and sundry to witness.

Let the crossing begin.

Fasta fasta!

1. I employ ” ! ” way too much in my writing. I know I need to revisit my grammar lessons, more so now that I am thinking of offering my  expertise to  school kids in need of  extra tuition in English. (will let you know more about that once I have got my replies back).

2. We have finally moved and tomorrow will be exactly 7 nights we have spent in this house. My absolutely non-religious husband shocked me on our first night here when he said to me ” so have you prayed for the house…….tonight when we have dinner you should say a prayer for the house.. then later on get the local priest/pastor to come pray for the house”. I was gobsmacked! Thing is, everytime we have moved into a new place; this house being fifth, I  have always prayed and recounted to Big Al, how my mum had the local pastor come to our home and pray for the house I grew up in and that mum still lives in. I remember her telling me that her dad, my granddad, had told her to ensure she did that. The pastors came home, had tea and later we had “maombi” /prayers for the house. The prayers go along the line of chasing away any evil, calling for God to dwell and bless the home etc etc. Since then I have always, always prayed for any space I live in, before I lay my head down the first night.

Even when my dad moved house, the other home I grew up in (and my dad did not do church or religion while I lived with him..  though of late I hear he has been going to church), I went around praying for the house, for each and every room. First time I did it Big Al thought it cute, later he would tease me about it, but I still prayed. So his request to get the pastor he pleasantly surprised me.

3 . We are slowly falling into routine. The house is still a building site and hopefully work will be finished in about 3 weeks. We are of the opinion, things take the time they take. No point in rushing them, then getting shoddy results in the end. We chose to have the bathrooms and hallway redone. We are having floor heating installed and a new floor. That has entailed them digging all the way to the ground, literally and redoing things again. Right now we live in the family room. The builders provided an outdoor toilet/shower container.  So we shower on the main driveway :-). When I get a minute I´ll put up pics.

4. And that’s about all from me. Don’t know when I will be back. There is loads and loads to be done and since money is an object, we are doing loads and loads ourselves.  We got the living room and kitchen painted. We still have the utility room, 3 bedrooms and hallway to finish. Then there grass to be mowed, plants to be uprooted, clothes line to go up, lots and lots of stuff to do, which my middle class African self is saying.. haki ya mungu, I wish I could get someone to do this!

5. I have been thinking about being grateful and at this point in my life I feel I have a lot to be grateful for. My husband loves me and I him. My child is healthy, loving and happy. He brings us much joy. One of my dreams came true. I co-own a house (ok so the bank is letting me live in it till I…eh we… pay them off, cause we all know they own my house). My health is good. My mum, sis and dad are alive and well. Life is tough but they are tougher. No health issues there. I have a few good friends. One who surprised me while we moved, my heart was touched.  The list is pretty long when I sit down to think about it. So I have been very thankful. Praying to the powers that be an offering my thanks. (let’s not even start about who I pray to. All I know is that there is a God/supreme being and that is whom I pray to, if HE goes by the name Allah, God, Jehovah, Mungu, Mukama… me I don’t know. All I know is that I pray.. tosha gari!

So have a thankful day. It may not all be perfect or as you had planned, but you know you gotta it better than most.. hey .. you can read this, that alone means you have access to a comp and internet and that puts you in a better place than many. So give thanks

Be blessed.

Time and Dreams

Just finished watching a movie and a lot of the lines in the movie had something to do with life and how one approaches it.  So sitting there watching it, my mind just went off tangent and I had a period of clarity in which I saw and see my life and realise;

  • I have never watched a sunset or sunrise and I think that’s sad.

 

  • I haven’t really been living life. I have been afraid of so many things. Afraid to just live and ride the wave that is my life. All my life I  have  had a plan B C and D and it is exhausting. So in my process of letting go of all my baggage and stuff, I am letting go of this paralysing fear that has been with me for some time. It has decreased in it’s intensity over the last year and more so over the last few months, but there remains some lingering touches and I am letting it all go. So hell with it all. Watch me fly.

 

  • I have been afraid of failure and have never exactly had a measure of what that failure is. In the process of defining what failure is to me I realise it has all been hog wash. So what if I have this education and pedigree and end up living in my mother’s village tending to my chickens, 3 goats and a cow. (that is how I picture my retirement). So what if I never have the best clothes that cost xyz. So what?? As long as I have my husband, my child grows up to be an upstanding moral, honorable man who is happy in life, I will be fine.

 

  • All the things I have thought were crazy to do like learning to ride those speed crazy yamaha motobikes, taking dance lessons, perfecting my swimming, being a bodyguard… they aren’t all crazy and I am going to try them all.

 

  • The best of all is that I can finally embrace my beast. We all have a beast and I guess part of life is learning to embrace her/him. Sometimes the beast wins and we become evil, horrible people. It’s a balancing act and I am learning it’s alright to embrace her, know her, learn her, then control her but once in a while she needs to be unleashed. The ying and yang that makes us human.

 

  • To finish it all, I am alright as I am. I am totally perfect in my imperfection! Go figure

Brilliance

I hate living in a flat. I cannot wait for when we finally get our own little house. My son can then scream, play, sing, dance and shout as much as he wants withoug me being bothered about disturbing the sleeping neighbours. He woke up early today, so we have started our Saturday earlier than I would have liked, but that’s ok. Gives me the chance to say what I have been wanting to say.

This is the post that I owe.

About two weeks ago when I wrote the post “That that I owe” I was still engaged in mental warfare. Trying to find peace in my soul. Being positive and wondering why the hell it took so much energy to stay positive focused and happy. Then I blogged, you all responded and I went away to ponder what you had all said. I was slightly pissed. My thought was “yeah yeah whatever.. that’s what they think but that’s not the reality for me”.

Trying to be peaceful had been a struggle every day. The constant pep talks I gave myself. “stay positive, stay focused, it will happen, confess positively.. and the most embrassing part.. I became religious (this topic is a post on its own.. coming to a blog near you).

Come Wednesday night two weeks ago. I had returned from school and was catching up on some reading. My husband sat across me doing some work on his laptop. I begun to talk.  Giving voice to my troubled state of mind.  Some time back he had asked me to watch Steve Jobs speech to Standford’s graduating students (available on youtube). We had discussed the speech and during the course of the discussion he had said

“I think that one day, somebody who has failed (who isn’t a 220 shining bulb) should give the speech. Tell the kids what that is like”

Mrembo: Yeah, someone like me.. but here is the thing, what would be the point of it. It has to have a message”

We volleyed back and forth and let it go in laughter cause we could not come up with a positive spin on the “When you fail, When you don’t succeed” speech.

That was what was on my mind when I was talking to him that Wednesday. I then brought up two anecdotes from stuff I had read recently. One  was an interview with the actor who plays Sawyer on “Lost” and another by Oprah.. about how she got the part Sophia in “The Color purple”. My intention at that point was to show my husband that sometimes one also has to know when to call it quits. When to say “you know what, I have tried at this and it has failed. I have given it my all and it has come to nothing. This is it. It’s over, goodbye.. I am not sailing this boat anymore” He begun to disagree with me. We discussed it, dissected it. I wanted him to see it for himself. I did not want it to be me to show him what it is I was getting to. FINALLY he saw it. Finally he saw it.

Sawyer from Lost says that before he got that part, he had been in hollywood 10+ chasing the movie star dream. Nothing had happened in the 10years plus so he told his wife that he was giving it all up and going to get his real-estate license. 4 days after that decision he got the part for Sawyer. Oprah said she wanted to play Sophia so bad. Went for audition, didn’t get the call. Disappointed, crying.. she “surrended” (her words not mine) the dream. A few minutes later she got the call.

2 Wednesdays ago.. I let it all go and boy the peace. The peace!! I am done fighting, struggling. I am not deluding myself and saying.. oh a phone call on it’s way. I am done. It’s all right if somethings do not happen. I am doing my bit. No longer am I chasing the dream.  If that is how hard it was meant to be.. I am not playing cause it was sucking the life joy out of me.

As a result I just feel so much calmer and peaceful and content and happy. I still have dreams but they are no longer do or die situations. I want a house. I want to own a house and I know without a doubt in my mind I will own a house and not in the sunset years of my life.. but at a time when I can enjoy it. We are doing what we have to do to get it.. but not longer is it something that stresses me.

Don’t know if you get what I am saying. But that is how I feel.

With refrence to the Mandela Speech by Miram Willamson “We are greater beyond our wildest dreams”.. to that and all the “you are star” self help quotes etc etc. There is an element of truth in them. But there is also the truth that we can’t all be “Generals” some people are meant to be footsoilders and there is nothing wrong with that. One just has to know where and who they are and shine where they are at.

Some of you may read this and think.. she plain out has failed. That’s ok.

Bottom line is.. I am  GENUIENLY calmer and happier than I have been in a long time and this time, I think I have a handle on the real thing.

peace

That that I owe!

I promised to blog about my self esteem and confidence in relation to my current job and having been jobless.

My career is a very hot sensitive topic in my house. Big Al always approaches with caution, whether he brings up the topic or I do. Why? Because I always always end up in tears and a MOOD!

It’s 6 mins to 2.00pm whereafter I switch off my computer, buzz around the house like a bee doing house work before I go pick the baby at 3.00pm.

I cannot do the post justice and I am not to sure if I want to digout the feelings or discuss them. It’s too close to the heart and there is a tendency for me to come out as self pitying and negative which is currently and has been for sometime.. very far from the truth of me.

What I will say though is this : I think I have lost my ability to believe in the validity my dreams and believe in the rightness of my choices. The Mrembo who used to be very sure of certain things , she who was fearless in her dreams and choices is gone, gone for good and in her place stands a Mrembo who is “less in a hurry”, less steady on her feet.. but moving along.. quieter in spirit and soul”. Sometimes I feel like a very bright bulb switched off  (a false bulb perhaps) and in its place a gently glowing bulb.. that is glowing but has not yet reached its full brilliance. And all around me a these 220 watts shining bulbs.

So there is a hope, a flame….but that old burning bright fire.. that’s gone and I am not sure I am all too sad about that. I miss my daring dreams, my defiant ambitions. I do miss that certainty about things.. don’t know if this is part of growing up.. or it is just part of having lost and  trying to regain..

Like I said.. I am ok with things now.. I have hope.. but not stupid hope. IN the meanwhile I reach out and take what is infront of me.

See I told you the propensity to sound broken, down and out.. is always around when I have to talk about it.

This will have to do for now.. until I gather myself better!

Running 10 mins behind schedule!

Life’s Cards

Life deals you cards and play you must. The matter is how you play them.

This has been the mantra I have been muttering around the house as I did my winter cleaning. Baby was back in daycare after two weeks of being at home, Big Al was off to work, I had the house to myself and a big clean was in order. As I mopped the floors, dusted and moved things around, I repeated my mantra over and over again in its various forms. “There ain’t nothing you can do about it.. just go with the flow” “worrying about it does not change a thing” “it is what it is”.

Towards the end of last year, i recieved some devastating news from my family back home. It has impacted my family in ways I cannot describe. I have cried and cried and finally accepted that what is is.  I cannot delve into the whats and wherefores of it due to the fact that involves someone else’s privacy other than mine.

The new year has started good but “our issue” is with us and it will be with us as long as we live.  There is absolutely NOTHING that  can be done or could have been done. It is what it is.

It has brought a lot of heartache, dissention, denial, change, fear as wellas brought some of us closer. Through all this I have marvelved at the man that is my husband.

He has counseled me, cheered me, allowed me to cry and vent even when it was irrational. He has allowed me to express my inner most fears with regards to “our issue”. Not once has he shown me that “you’re on your own, that has nothing to do with me”. I thought I loved him, now I know I love him enough to do the stupid things people do when in love, ….. you know  like tattoo his name on my boob! 🙂

So here it is folks. Life deals you cards and play you must! It’s how you play that matters.

so go ‘ head and play baby play!!

Prayer

Yes I am a kaffir like that.. when things get ngumu I pray!

While the year is still fresh, may You… God the creator grant us strength, grace and love to face the challenges ahead! May You grant us wisdom and discernment.  And when it looks like we are finished… Lord please please shine the light!

Amen

Motivation ala Nalini Singh

I am at my computer taking a break from writing my CV and cover letters. I have sent them off to Big Al to proof read. They are in danish. So before I send them off, I need his feed back and corrections with regards to language fluency and clarity.

In the meanwhile I have been meandering on the net and ended up at one of my favourtie websites . I have seen Nalini Singh’s name alot and have been reluctant to try her out. This led me to her webpage where I found some really interesting stuff.

Here is her take on Motivation and staying motivated. Right now it applies to me and my job hunting stuff. I have been lecturing myself and propping myself. Telling me not to get knocked down and out after I get the rejection letters. ( a long long time ago, I thought there was a writer hidden in me.. instead I now think there is an editor in me.)

Take it away Ms Singh:

Motivation: Believe

‘Believe’ is the title of one of my unpublished manuscripts which placed in the Clendon Award and got requested by several editors but didn’t sell. Why am I telling you this? Not because I love talking about myself but because it illustrates two things: (1) That I’ve never lacked faith in my work; and (2) That I have the ability to bounce back from rejection.

These two factors are vitally important tools in any writer’s arsenal. They may seem obvious but the simple truth is, many writers don’t have these tools in their possession. How many of you have disparaged your own work, whether to yourself or to others? Perhaps you told your critique partner that this week’s chapter isn’t very good because you had to write around the kids being home for the holidays. Perhaps you shelved a manuscript because it wasn’t up to submission standard. Perhaps you missed a deadline to enter a contest because you were just too busy.

All of those examples could be perfectly true. They could also be the most subtle of lies, damaging your soul as a writer, as a creator. Do you know deep down that the chapter is good, despite or because of, what you had to go through to write it? Are you scared to send out that manuscript because you’re certain it’ll be rejected? Did you miss that deadline because ‘everyone else’ is ‘way better’ than you?

The reasons I’ve listed are fed by fear. And fear is one of the most negative emotions that can hit a writer. Fear sucks away your faith in your work, makes you question the words that you’ve poured out onto that page minute after minute, hour after hour, and stops you from progressing.

That’s not to say that you have to be Superwoman and feel no fear. Fear can be healthy, so long as it doesn’t stifle you, so long as it motivates you to write the best book you can. But when it gets a grip on you to the extent that you put roadblocks in your own path, when you start sabotaging your progress, then it’s time to fight it. The fight may begin with a small scuffle, when you tell your critique partner something good about that week’s chapter, something that makes you proud. Maybe it’s only a line, but it’s a line you have faith in. The scuffle might escalate to a fistfight, when you push yourself to meet the deadline for a contest, not allowing lack of confidence in your work to get in your way. And it might end up in all out war when you post that manuscript to an editor.

Each time you put a roadblock up, ask yourself whether an impartial observer would also see it. Is that manuscript really bad? And yes, sometimes they are. But if you’re not at the point where you can see so clearly, when you’re still too emotionally bound to your work, don’t let fear drive you into making decisions that will halt your growth as a writer. Believe . In yourself. In your work.

What if you have that belief, that faith, but rejection just destroys you? We all know writers who gave up writing after a particularly brutal rejection, completely shattered. I can understand their reactions. A rejection hits you in the most vulnerable part of your psyche, bruising and bloodying your ego. And a really bad rejection has the impact of a bomb, silencing our voices.

I’m no tower of strength. I’ve cried, screamed and sulked after getting a rejection. And then I’ve picked myself back up, dusted myself off and started again. That, more than anything, is what makes me a writer. Giving up is easy. Sticking to this writing gig when every other day you seem to be hit with a rejection, is hard. Incredibly, terribly hard. My motivation comes from the fact that I can’t not write. I can’t not create. Writing is who I am and I’m blessed to be allowed to live my dream.

What’s your dream? Is it to write? Or is it to make millions? If it’s the latter, I have some bad news for you–making millions might take the average writer that many years. The second piece of bad news is that in this business, money isn’t a good enough motivator (especially when you’re not earning any yet), to make you go out there over and over, and lay yourself open to rejection.

Sit down and ask yourself this question–why are you doing this? And then look at your answer and see if it’s a strong enough reason. Strong enough to armour-plate you against rejection. Strong enough to have you skipping lunch and dinner to find time to write. Strong enough to face down the ‘friends’ who constantly ask you when you’re going to get a real job.

Because the truth is, the ability to bounce back from rejection comes from within you. Sure, after a few rejection letters, you might start becoming used to rejection, but that’s not good enough. You need to be more than simply accepting of it as a part of the writing process. Acceptance of rejection is a kind of apathy. You need to be able to deal with it proactively, to bolster yourself back up, and then to send your work out again wrapped by your belief, your faith, in the worth of your voice.

You need to believe.

Personal development part II

I did a thing here on personal development.

Update:

I am not showing off or stuff, but I think I can say I am happy! Its all about attitude (and a whole lotta stuff I am not willing to get into right now). Stuff has continued to happen in my life and I have reacted in a much better way leading me to be happy.

A good friend said to me in conversation “Shit happens all the time…. . the key is not to get paralysed by it. When it happens one just needs to remember it ends”. I modify it a little bit by saying “sometimes the shit does not go away, but is here to stay, the key is not to get paralysed by it, but learn to live with it, work it and keep on keeping on” That has been my mantra over the last few weeks.

Disicpline does not come easy especially when it is stuff that is hard. But I am working it and it is paying off. All in all I am in/at a good place.

Finally the gem that has really held me together. Big Al said it to me about 4 months ago when I was moaning about some family crisis. “Why not you” That stopped me right in the midst of my complaining. ati why not me. I could not even answer. I pondered it long and realised, yeah, why not me! So next time the shit hits the fan in your life, instead of feeling like a self pitying idiot… ask your self why it should not happen to you then get that sucker by the ears, give it a good kick and keep on moving.

Good luck