Thursday, 31 January 2013

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is a very special day because it marks the day that my wonderful mother was born.   And so since I couldn’t be with her on this important day, I thought that I would dedicate this post to her instead.   I’m not the easiest person to live with and, especially when I was growing up, I made life difficult for my mom.   Then one day while I was at varsity everything changed.   I suddenly realised how immensely lucky I was to have such an awesome person who I could call Mum.   As each year has passed, I have become more and more appreciative of everything that my mom has done for me, and I cannot imagine what I would do without her.

Mum is a very extraordinary lady.   Not only has she taught 2-4 year olds for the past 22 years, but her kind nature and big heart has meant that she has made a lasting impact in each and every one of their lives.   She always says that family comes first, and this is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.   There are many things that I question in this world, but one thing that I will never doubt is my mother’s unconditional love for me.   She will always fight for us and will never stop believing in us.   She loves her family so fiercely that it hurts, and I only hope that I can follow her example when I have a family of my own.

So here’s to you Mum.   Thank you for everything you’ve done for me over the years.   You’ve seen me at my best and more often at my worst.   You’ve helped me when I haven’t been able to help myself.   You’ve looked after me when I was sick and dealt with me when I was feeling like a hypochondriac.   You’ve given me a push when I needed it and helped me back up when I’ve fallen.   Most importantly, I know that if I ever need anything you will always be there for me.   Thank you for accepting me for who I am, but also for helping me to grow into the person who I want to be.

I love you as much as the whole wide world and a little bit.   

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Resolutions Revisited

Hello team!   Can you believe that it’s nearly the end of January?   How cray cray is that?!   In the spirit of moving forwards, I’ve decided to revisit my resolutions and see how much progress I’ve made so far.   This way, I can keep tabs on my aims and hopefully won’t forget about them by the time April rolls around!

Ok, here it goes: Resolution 1 was all about health.   Well I have to be honest that I haven’t had a huge amount of time to work on the fitness thing, but I have been eating very healthily and am feeling great!   It’s amazing how eating healthy food really boosts your mood and energy levels – and you don’t feel so guilty when you do splurge on something bad every now and then!

Resolution 2: experiment with cooking.   This is a definite tick!   Inspired by two of my best friends, I’ve started cooking more vegetarian meals and using spices I wouldn’t normally try.   I don’t really follow recipes and basically just chuck in what I think will taste good, and I’ve actually been pretty successful so far!   

Resolution 3 is a tricky one: “Try to see the positive before immediately jumping to the negative”.   I am trying to alter my mindset, but this is going to be one of those resolutions that I am always going to have to work at.   But don’t worry, I am keeping it in the back of my mind at all times!

Resolution 4 is about relationships and I am happy to say that I am really starting to realise who the important people in my life are.   Today I did a purge and deleted a whole load of “friends” from facebook, and it felt AWESOME!   You should definitely try it.

Resolution 5: work hard.   Tick and tick!   I had no idea how tiring it would be working for the whole day in front of a computer screen, but I am starting to get used to it and am really trying to do the best that I can.   Now I just have to put myself out there and try my hand at some different things – next on the list!

Resolution 6 has started to happen – I visited a new sushi (gasp) restaurant last night and tonight I am going to a party where I will hardly know anyone.   I know it’s not much, but I have been working 5 days out of 7 so baby steps people, baby steps!

I knew that I was always going to struggle with Resolution 7, “Live in the moment and move on from past mistakes and regrets”, and I’m not sure whether I’ve cracked it yet.   This is going to be another one of those life-long resolutions I think. 

Resolution 8 is about my appearance and I have to admit that getting dressed up for work every day is really rewarding.   And it’s great when you go to the shops after work and bump into somebody, and don’t have to worry that you looked bad!   Maybe it’s vain, but I feel better when I look better – could be the reason why people call me preppy? – so I’m sticking to this resolution all the way.

Resolution 9: talk less and listen more.   I thought that I’d been holding back, but the other day someone commented that they could tell that I wasn’t from Cape Town because I was forward - ???   But you know what, I’m not going to turn into a wall-flower with no opinion, I just need to work on reigning it in I guess!

And finally, I am waking up earlier than I used to and am therefore succeeding when it comes to Resolution 10!   Yay!  

Phew, that took a while but I’m pretty pleased when I see how much I have achieved (and it’s only 19 January!).   How have your New Year's Resolutions been going? 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

My Incredible Sister

This post is dedicated to my amazing, talented, and beautiful sister Nicky Tennent.   After a gruelling two years, she has passed her boards exams with flying colours and, as of yesterday, is officially finished with her Law Articles.  And I am so unbelievably proud!

Ever the over-achiever, Nix decided to put us mere mortals to shame by studying a joint degree straight out of high school.   After five years, she achieved her Bcom Law and went on to the big bad city that is Johannesburg to complete two years of Law Articles.   It hasn’t been an easy journey, but one of the things that I love most about my wonderful sister is her ability to see the good in people and things no matter what.   Her optimism, enthusiasm, and perseverance are what got her through a tough two years, and it is these traits that will ensure that she will succeed in whatever she does.

It’s funny how when you grow up with a sibling, you don’t realise how important they are to you until they’re gone.   In the early years, Nix and I didn’t ever see eye-to-eye and I never appreciated the great person that I had living in the room right next door.   I sometimes think that I never took full advantage of her wisdom or opinion, being too embarrassed to ask for advice or too cocky to think that I needed it.   Even during the first two years that we were at varsity together, I was too wrapped up in my own issues and never gave her the chance to help me.  

As the years have passed we have grown closer, and I suddenly realise what an important role my big sister has played (and will always play) in my life.   Now that we live on opposite sides of the country we are closer than we have ever been, and I guess it’s true that absence really does make the heart grow fonder.   I am so lucky to have such an amazing influence in my life and I really don’t know what I would do without her.

To my incredible sister: you are stronger than you know, you are kinder than you realise, and you are more important to me than you can ever imagine.   I am so proud of you and all that you have achieved, but I am even more proud to call you my sister.  I love you Nix.  

Monday, 7 January 2013

Life at 24

On Saturday, 5 January, it was my birthday and I turned the grand old age of 24.   I have decided that 5 January is a great date: not only is it the birthday of myself and the oh-so-sexy actor and heartthrob Bradley Cooper, but on 5 January 1950 Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” hit #1 on the Billboard Pop Charts.   There were also some other cool things that happened on that date over the years (like the discovery of the x-ray and work starting on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge), but I think that these 3 events take top priority!

I have been trying to decide how I feel about being 24.   It’s a pretty insignificant age when you stop and think about it.   The two biggest birthdays one celebrates in one’s 20’s is 21 (pretending that you are an adult) and 25 (actually being an adult) – the likes of which are separated by an age-gap equivalent to a badly-behaved toddler.   So I guess that puts me in the stage where I’m finally potty-trained but still wet my pants from time to time.

Since I am trying to be positive this year, I have decided to embrace my age and have compiled a list of awesome things about the number 24:

- There are 24 hours in a day.
- R24 is the average price you will pay for a pack of bacon.
- 24 years is the exact age gap between me and my future husband Robert Downey Jr.
- 24 December is a public holiday.
- The average lifespan of a bat is 24 years.
- The 24th song on Billboard's Top 100 is by Justin Bieber.
- 24 karat is the purest form of gold.
OK, that's all that I could come up with for now, but any list that includes RDJ and bacon has to be good!   I am 24, I am single, I am living in Cape Town, and I am starting work as an intern at Cosmopolitan Magazine tomorrow - so I say that life at 24 is pretty damn sweet!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy 2013!

After finally recovering from an epic New Year’s Eve I have decided that I’d better write a New Year’s post before it’s too late!   Happy 2013 everyone!   I have to admit that I, being the superstitious nut that I am, was not entirely sure that we would make it to 2013.   In fact, when two friends told me that they were hosting a Mayan “End Of The World” birthday party on the dreaded 21 December, I was convinced that they were going to anger the Gods and that we would all fall subject to some seriously bad Juju!   Luckily, I was proven wrong and this crazy world that we love to hate survived the promise of yet another apocalyptic disaster.   So much for never having to worry about cellulite and the signs of ageing ever again!

Flabby skin and wrinkles aside, since it is a new year I believe that custom dictates that I share some resolutions with you.   Last year I took the coward’s way out and decided that New Year’s resolutions were a pointless tradition in which I was not going to partake.   The truth of the matter is, at this time last year I was not in the best place in my life and the thought of writing down a list of things that I hoped to achieve filled me with doubt and regret.   Shrouded by uncertainty and insecurities, I did not think that 2012 would bring me any form of success and I did not want a reminder in the shape of a list that would stand testament to what a failure I thought that I would be by the start of 2013.  

Thanks to my amazing family, awesome friends, and a courageous life-change, this extreme period of self-doubt did not last too long and I now stand before you stronger, happier, and feeling far more positive about the year ahead than I did last year.   So I’ve decided to put on my big girl panties and write down a list that will hopefully help shape my life in the future.   For those of you who know me well – or even if you just want to give me your opinion – let me know if there is anything that you think I should add to this list.   I’ve decided that lists for self-improvement shouldn’t only be a New Year’s thing and so I plan on adding to this post as the year progresses.   Fingers crossed it helps me become a happier and better me! 

  1. Focus on your health: start a regular exercise regime and get fitter.
  2. Experiment with cooking, flavours, and new dishes.
  3. Try to see the positive before immediately jumping to the negative.
  4. Focus on the relationships in your life: value your family, cherish your friends, make new friends, and leave behind people who bring negativity into your life.
  5. Work hard and aim for success in everything that you do. Be proud of your achievements and value your skills.
  6. Get out of your comfort zone and be more adventurous. Visit new places, meet new people, and try to treat each and every moment as an experience.
  7. Live in the moment and move on from past mistakes and regrets.
  8. Make an effort with your appearance every day - it will help you feel more confident and happy.
  9. Talk less and listen more. Think before you speak.
  10.  Wake up earlier and make the most of every day.

Final thought: this evening I had Chinese food and, naturally, I told everybody that we had to end off our meal with a fortune cookie each.   Whilst the rest of the table’s little strips of paper had strange sayings that didn’t quite make sense, I thought that mine was pretty apt:   
“There’s always something good in bad times”.

Happy 2013!