Tag Archives: emotions

High highs and low lows

This weekend was cuh-razy. It reminded me of those first few weeks with a new born – you know when your emotions are just all over the place and you go from feeling completely saturated with love for your new perfect baby, to crying hysterically when the enormity of the parenting task hits you at 3am when a hungry baby won’t latch to your boob, to laughing uncontrollably probably from sleep deprivation but also from the circus your life becomes when you have children. Cuh-razy, I tell you.

So this weekend had nothing to do with newborns but my emotions pretty much matched those mentioned above.

On Friday night we were blessed with an overnight stay at Emperor’s Palace with another couple who we love. The giddy anticipation of a night away from our children, staying in a hotel room with a king sized bed which we didn’t have to share with midget bodies, and the tantalizing promise of a buffet dinner and breakfast was enough to send me over the edge of happiness. And it wasn’t an empty undelivered promise – boy, it was awesome. The food was amazing, the company was lovely, our hotel room was a real treat and we laughed until we cried at one point! Isn’t it great to have good friends to do life with?

On Saturday we attended the funeral of my husband’s cousin who was killed in a motorbike accident. Funerals don’t exactly have me jumping for joy, for reasons I don’t have to explain I’m sure. So already on a low, we then zoomed off to the airport to say farewell to my brother and his family who returned to Australia after a 6 week long holiday. You know what the worst thing about saying good bye is? It’s that uncertainty of whether you will see each other again in this lifetime. If I KNEW for sure that ok yes, I’ll see you tomorrow morning at work, then saying goodbye would be a cinch (even though even tomorrow is not guaranteed) but with the time and distance that separates me from these people who I love, it makes saying good bye that much harder. As I get older and the reality of life and death affects me more, goodbyes become very emotional for me. And yes I’m going to get all sentimental now, and tell you to treasure every moment and live each day as if it was your last  because guys really, we need to be cognisant of the fact that this very moment is the only one you can bet your bottom dollar on. Later tonight, tomorrow, next week – we may not be here! Heard such an encouraging Word at church yesterday. An old and familiar teaching about the power of the tongue and how the words you speak bring life or death. But what struck home for me was how we speak to our children, how we should be affirming them every day with words of love and encouragement and positivity, how we should be prophesying good things into their futures. I want to say the things I need to say while I have the chance. And this goes for everyone else too. I don’t want to wait until so-and-so’s funeral to say and hear nice things about them, I want to tell people everyday  how special they are, or how I appreciate them for whatever reason it is. Down to the lady who comes to collect my used coffee cup off my desk and washes my lunch Tupperware every day – I really appreciate her and I need to tell her that. It’s mind boggling that your words have an effect on the hearer without you sometimes even REALISING the impact. So make your words positive, spirit building and loving. EVEN if what you are saying isn’t necessarily a compliment, believe it or not, you can even pass a criticism in a loving way!

 I digress.

So after all of that I was feeling really bleak. But once again the good people in our lives came through for us and our friends invited us over for dinner. I neeeeed to be more like this friend of mine who is so perceptive to other people’s feelings; knowing the sort of day I was having, she extended this dinner invite and it was just what I needed at that time.   Our friend showed us this really cool app that displayed exactly where my brother was flying over the ocean at that exact time and it made South Africa seem so much closer to Australia than it really is – even if it’s just an iPad illusion, it made me feel instantly better! We could see exactly where they were, how fast their plane was going (going like a boeing is not just a made up phrase, those planes go I tell you!) how many kilometers they had traveled and how far they still had to go. Technology is amazing isn’t it? Again I felt the warmth of good company and true friends seep through the sadness, saturating my sponge-like heart with good vibes again. It’s weird, I always picture my heart like a sponge that expands and contracts with each emotion. Sometimes it expands with sadness, and sometimes with joy. Sometimes it becomes dry and I need someone or something to pour something into it to make it all sponge-y and fat again. Anyway, my love tank was revived and full on Saturday evening, after a rather gloomy day.

Yesterday was a quiet day around the house, my most favourite type of day. Husband and I made homemade pies together. He made a chicken and vegetable filling and I made a lamb curry filling and we rolled out our pastry and filled our pies and popped them into the oven – a total of 10 pies! Although misshaped, and too much or too little filling in some, they were good. I’m guessing it’s the made-with-love ingredient in them! I read my book, the kids pottered around the house, the husband was glued to the end (hallelujah) of the English Premier League and then we went to McDonalds for cheapy ice creams.

What is WONDERFUL though, is ONE thing that remains constant – through the highs and through the lows – and that’s God’s presence and His concern over us. It’s like David said:

Your Spirit is everywhere I go. I cannot escape your presence. If I go up to heaven, you will be there. If I go down to the place of death, you will be there. If I go east where the sun rises or go to live in the west beyond the sea, even there you will take my hand and lead me. Your strong right hand will protect me.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Ps 139 v 7 – 12.

 And that, my friends, is what makes even the highest high better and the lowest low bearable 🙂

Happily Ever After…

I love weddings! I love how they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Weddings make me feel so sentimental, so maudlin! Partly because it’s wonderful to witness two people who are in love, declaring publicly and before God, that they want to be together forever and ever, but also because it always reminds me of my own special day, and it evokes all the emotions I felt on that day, how surreal everything felt, how I felt like I was positively going to float away because I was so light with happiness! My husband is way less emotional (about EVERYTHING) than I am, so he poo-poos my syrupy gushings about how wonderful weddings are and complains about having to wear a tie on a Saturday. Anyway, we attended a wedding of a dear friend last week, it was a beautiful wedding and hit my wedding-junkie sweet spot good and proper!  

We tied the knot on a crisp June afternoon in Durban, it was a huge affair with 300 guests – half of whom my husband and I didn’t know or hadn’t seen for years – but a wedding is more than just the bride and the groom in the Coloured community, it’s a family affair. Nevertheless, it was the happiest day of my pre-kids life, although my memory may be a bit hazy (kinda like how you only remember the good parts of childbirth and forget the bad and the plain down ugly bits). I do remember looking at certain things and thinking “when did I ok that?” but on the whole, our wedding was perfect.

I loved my dress from the moment I laid eyes on it and in fact, I still have it in a box in our garage – purely because I can’t find anyone who wants to buy it off me, and not because I have developed some sort of emotional attachment to it. But when Hannah was born, I did have this weird wistful notion that she would one day want to wear my dress, but let’s be honest, if fashion is anything to go by, in 20 odd years my daughter will not want to be caught dead in my dress, no matter how classic and timeless I think the style is. I had a blast choosing the décor, invitations and party favours, the husband-to-be had very little involvement other than handing over his credit card and nodding yes in agreement to everything I said. In fact it was more like MY party than OUR wedding, he was like my fabulous accessory of sorts (I’ll probably have to pay severely for that comment, sorry babe!!). All the same, he showed up on time and looked dashing in his suit and made an endearing speech that almost caused my very expensive mascara to run off my very fake eye lashes.

The thing about weddings is that, after funerals, it’s the next biggest event that brings a family together. And I think it is this, more than the glitz and glamour, that I really love about weddings. It’s a chance to see cousins and grand-aunts and uncles that you hadn’t seen in years. It’s a chance to meet the next generation (who are only invited to the church, because you do pay per head at the reception!) and it’s a chance to reminisce about the past. I always cheekily say that if I could do it again, I’d have a small affair and splash out on a fabulous month long honeymoon instead; because let’s face it, the two would cost about the same! But truthfully, I believe a wedding should be as grand an affair as your budget allows, with all the bells and whistles – and this doesn’t mean expensive and Top Billing-ish, it means it should be everything spectacular that you’ve always dreamed about, surrounded by the people you love.

It’s an auspicious event, and the start of your life long journey with your life long partner, and it’s something that indeed needs to be celebrated in these times where love, relationships and family ties have become more like fast moving consumable products, rather than like the “cast in stone” relic it should be. Call me a sentimental dreamer and a hopeless romantic if you will, but I do still believe in happily ever after.