Children, Family, Inspiration, Kids, Life, Mom, Parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

From baby girl to lady, Happy 18th Birthday Jaymee – Birthday celebrations

For Jaymee, finally her birthday arrived!  What more can an 18-year-old ask for, than having your 18th birthday on a Friday.  Jaymee had been waiting with much anticipation and counting the days, and I had been dragging my feet with so much apprehension, I was in fact pretending that this was not really happening.  Maybe if I ignore it and pretend it isn’t there then it won’t happen right…?  WRONG! This is the real-world Lulu and you can’t stop this.  As much as I have to be super-mom, stopping time is way beyond my super-hero skills.

Leading up to her birthday from Monday, I was drowning in work and completely captivated with my professional life and putting off discussing plans for her birthday.  Just when I was living in wonderland and hiding from the big “becoming a lady” birthday thing, my gorgeous friend, Natasha, asked me what the plans are as she would be driving 50 minutes from her house to mine to spend Jaymee’s birthday with us.

How excited I suddenly felt, my friend would be driving so far out of her way, just to spend the evening with us.  I discussed what Jaymee wanted to do and she wanted us to take her out.  My friend asked if she didn’t mind the old ladies taking her out.  “Of course not, we are cool old ladies”, I laughed.  Jaymee really appreciates us taking her out and enjoys our company.  Jaymee had one request, that her brother could join us.  I enjoy taking both my foster children out, so I was excited that I would be taking both of them out.

On Thursday afternoon, Keegan (my son, 14) asked me to take him shopping for ingredients so that he could bake her a cake for her birthday.  Off we went to the shop and got everything that he required for her special birthday cake and he got home and got straight into baking.

The children went off to school on Friday morning – they walk, it is close to home and the Whats App statuses started with lovely pics and memories from all of her friends wishing her happy birthday.  My phone started ringing from around 7:30am and messages were pouring in on all platforms, wishing her well for her birthday.  I felt incredibly proud.  Everyone really loves all of my children and has accepted my foster children from day one.

While running around on site, I got a message from Jaymee asking if I could fetch her or send an uber because she would be unable to go out of the bottom school gate because she had so many balloons, from her friends.  I finished on site around 10 minutes later and called her to tell her that I would be on my way shortly to fetch her and her balloons and the boys from school.  When I got to the school, I saw her by the huge bunch of colourful balloons in her hands and I hoped that they would all fit into the car.  The children squashed them into the boot and got into the car.

Jaymee decided she wanted KFC for birthday lunch so we stopped off at KFC on the way home.  I have to say not my first choice, or even one of my first ten choices, but her birthday so her choice.  We left KFC and discussed our plans and what time we would be going out.

Having to wait for Natasha to come after work, we were not exactly sure of how things would play out.  Jaymee’s foster dad/step-brother came to wish her a happy birthday and we decided that we would go up to a nice vibey restaurant close to pass the time and wait for Natasha to come through.  We called for uber and were off.  Once Natasha arrived, she joined us and other friends who were there and then we decided on a total change of plans.  We would be going to dance at a place nearby instead of heading to Fourways, which was a lot more convenient and made sense.  We danced and danced, burning up the dance floor and did 15,000 steps according to my step tracker. The best thing about being at one of the local places is we ran into friends of hers and Trystan’s as well.  Trystan made new friends and fun was had by all as we painted the town red.

We had a great time celebrating, dancing and meeting people.  When the time came to go home, I had to be quite strict (particularly with my friend – the children are quite good at listening, her not so much!) and we went home. We walked to McDonalds at the other side of the parking for pad-kos (a quick take-away).  The thing about McDonalds is it is right there and who doesn’t need food after a long night of dancing?  I am pretty sure that that particular McDonalds makes most of its turn over after midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.  I have actually asked the question if it is socially acceptable to ask your uber driver to go through the drive thru at McDonalds a few times and the general consensus is “Yes”.  This time however, we walked over and called an uber afterwards.

As the uber driver stopped at the house, Natasha was scrambling to pick up all the chips off of the seat that had been dropped, I have to say that I am a bit skeptical that all the chips were actually ours.  She apologised and made sure to pick up every last chip.  We thanked him and got out and went in.

Saturday was Rugby at the high-school, so we braced ourselves for the cold to go to the school and support the Rugby team.  Natasha and her daughter experienced the school rugby tunnel that we do for the first time.  I love the tunnel, it is the best way to see the school spirit and experience the vibe of high-school rugby.  We were completely exhausted after the rugby and as Natasha and her daughter left, we all went to have a nap.

My feet, legs and butt were hurting, and I was exhausted.  Thinking a nap would be fantastic and I would be up in a few hours to go to an engagement was very hopeful.  I decided my warm bed was the better option and I stayed home.  Trystan and Jaymee were both exhausted as well and they both went into hibernation until Sunday noon.  I offered Jaymee to go to the restaurant up the road for the last of her birthday celebrations, where we would meet my long-time friend, Tarin.  We had a wonderful afternoon, laughing and Jaymee insisting on selfies and that was the end of her birthday weekend.

As her birthday weekend came to an end, I could breathe and the world was a pleasant place.  Suddenly the weight was lifted and her being an adult didn’t feel daunting at all.  I had managed to over dramatize the whole idea of her becoming an adult completely in my mind and freak out.  Suddenly, I realised that she is responsible and already a beautiful young woman and how utterly ridiculous I had been.  Letting her become the best woman she can be by making her own mistakes and tripping a few times on the way isn’t as scary as I thought it was.  I will always be there to pick her up and I know that if she needs me that she will come to me.

Today, I am proud of my exuberant, beautiful and compassionate daughter and honoured to be her mom and be by her side as she becomes a young woman.

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Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Know your worth!

Knowing your worth when the world is showing you the middle finger is something that you just have to do!

I know who I am, I am confident, and I know what an incredible benefit I am to so many people. In business, I am strong, people orientated and incredibly hard working. In relationships I give more than my fair share. I am an amazing friend and someone who my friends cherish and admire. But so many times on my journey I have been fed up with the world, over how much I have been done in, ignored and been swept aside.

Knowing my worth in the lowest and loneliest times has been tough but been an experience that cannot be measured. I have always been a popular person, I have always made friends easily and been liked by people. I made one grave mistake…I built my opinion on what everyone else thought of me and so I felt fabulous since everyone liked me but suddenly when someone attacked me and actively disliked me I doubted myself. This is a dangerous thing, stop basing your self-esteem and self-worth on what other people think of you. If they don’t like you, that is there problem and not yours! Get to know yourself, love yourself, respect yourself and know your worth. Work on improving the things that you don’t like about yourself and be the best version of you possible! When you know who you are, people’s negative opinions do not matter to you and won’t knock you down.

Having come from a place of abuse, it took time to realise my worth and find myself. Getting to know Lisa was a fulfilling journey. Suddenly I was standing in the mirror and appreciating the view. Seeing myself for who I am and seeing the value within me. Something I had never noticed or appreciated because I had never really taken the time to get to know me.

Life has a funny way of teaching you, and often you are left shut out in the cold and feeling very alone. Wondering where the people are who you have been there for through thick and thin. When you are at your lowest suddenly everyone seems to fade away. Life is busy, right, people are busy, people get caught up in their lives and so they seem to forget about you. I sit in a dark corner thinking about who loves me and who my friends are and what we have been through, but I am all alone. Where is everyone? Where are the people who are meant to be here for me? I can’t find them, and truth be told, I don’t want to have to. In a way I feel that they should just be there and almost excepting that they know that I need them.

They don’t know I need them and in a way I am too arrogant to reach out. I have always been there when they have needed me but where are they now that I need them? Come on, Lisa, Grow up! How can I expect people to just know that I need them? Silly girl!

Not only do I feel that the people who should be there aren’t, the world keeps on showing me a BIG ZAP SIGN. Everywhere I look, I get shown away.

Can the world see what I am? And if they can, can they see my tears, can they see my worth? Sometimes I feel like I am constantly being tested. I know my worth and I am steadfast in who I am. I know what I have achieved, and I am proud of who I am. Somehow, I feel like no one else sees it.

It is right then when I need to find the strength to carry myself, lift myself up and show the world who I am. If you can’t see me, then I am going to show you who I am and what I have to offer. Sometimes the key is within me, sometimes I have to unlock the door myself and not expect it to be opened for me. It is up to me to show the world who I am and start my new chapter. If I am not going to write my own book, then who will? This is my journey, this is my life and it is up to me to make my journey count.

The funny thing is when I reach out, everyone is there for me. All the people that I felt had left me in the dark, came to my aid when I just reached out. Life has a way of showing you which friends matter, which friends are actually friends and which friends have faded into the past. I am blessed in many ways, but I count my richest of blessings in the people I have who I am lucky enough to call my friends. My family is incredible and have literally carried me through the tough times. Friends and family, the people who no matter what, know my worth and support me no matter what I am going through. I always remember the quote “God doesn’t give you the people that you want, God gives you the people that you need”. And God knows me best. He has never forsaken me when it comes to putting people I need in my life.

Sometimes I have to take a step back, reach out, put my arrogance aside and low and behold, I have an army. An incredible army of amazing and completely different people standing behind me and supporting me. An army willing to fight for me and face the battle head on. But I know that I am the commander of my army and without me reaching put to my army, they could never know that I need them.

If doors are slamming in my face then those are the doors that are not meant to be. The bigger better things are behind the doors which will be opened for me.

If the world doesn’t see me, then I am going to make the world see me.

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships, Uncategorized

Keeping my cool

We certainly are living in interesting times.  People everywhere just seem to be angry and aggressive.  You can’t pull out of your drive way in the morning without someone flying up a residential road and hooting like a crazy person even though they are not even near you yet.  This is a daily occurrence.  If someone dares to actually wait for the robot (traffic light) to turn green, they are hooted at and have all sorts and vulgar language and hand signs thrown at them.  People swearing at other drivers for no apparent reason other than the sheer delay caused by traffic.  Why is the world so angry?  I get it, we are living in stressful times, we are all under pressure and everywhere you look you are hit with bad news.  I personally do not watch the news.  I also limit the amount of time I spend on social media because social media is a great tool for those negative people to ensure that they spread the negativity.  I guess misery loves company and we all those Facebook friends who have to spread misery, the ones that you unfollow to avoid seeing another post bitching about something or other.  There is always something to bitch about, even if they have to dig or stalk the other negative trolls to find something, they will find something to share.  I went off Facebook for over a year for this very reason.  I have become much better at scrolling past the “feel bad” stuff.  Quite frankly I don’t need it or want it in my life.  But as life goes sometimes it comes flying right at you like bat out of hell.

I am pretty calm, even when the taxi cuts in front of me.  My thinking is that me shouting at him makes no difference in his life but it does make me unhappy and probably pushes my blood pressure up so what is the point really??

I am very good under pressure and very good at calming a situation down.  One of the reasons I absolutely thrived in the hospitality industry is just that, I am able to calm people down.  How do I do it?  If I think about it, I always start by apologising and then asking how I can help the situation or the other way around, depending on the situation.

Today was no different, I get a phone call, after I have done more than my fair share of preparation for the event and even gone so far as doing other people’s work.  The colourful words being shouted at me were fun to say the least.  I calmly said, “I am sorry that you are so stressed out but what can I do to help you?”  He was struggling to paste a schedule into a document and getting himself into a complete state.  Obviously a very stressful day!  Needless to say, I asked him to send me both the schedule and the document and I would see what I could do.  While I was working on the task, including fixing errors as I came across them, the phone rang again.  “Lisa, I am terribly sorry about how I spoke to you, it was unforgivable, I am just under so much pressure and I am very stressed.” I responded that it was no problem at all and that I would have his document to him within half an hour.

Following that he called me back to thank me profusely and everyone was all happy and what needed to be done was done and dusted.

A situation which could have spiraled into a nasty fight, leaving everyone upset and offended, was calmed and sorted out and put to bed.

I have to say, this is something that has taken me years to be in total control over, my reactions in situations similar to this.  I will also say that even now I sometimes lose it and blow a fuse.  I always joke about having an Irish temper.  I noticed very young that I had a temper when I hit a boy who pushed my cousin, or threw a boy off his bike who came to beat my little brother up.  But I have to say thought the trigger is definitely attacking someone I love in the most extreme of cases, I have mastered the art of controlling my temper most of the time and in most situations.  This did not come over night at all, it took years of practice and being conscious of my thoughts when a volatile situation presents itself.  Being mindful of my thoughts before they become actions.  Before I react on a thought I recognise it and then I am able to act the way that I choose to.  Of course, I am the first to admit that I have lost my cool from time to time, but I have to say, I truly have come a very long way and I look forward to changing in other areas.  Be mindful in all that you do and you will not only get the best out of life but you will feel great too.

Start small, start with the person who skips a red robot, or the person who pushes in front of you at the supermarket.  The only thing you are in control of is your reaction to a situation and you can either make it or break it.  So, I say MAKE IT! Make your mark and remember to have fun while doing it.

Be someone that people have nice things to say about. 🙂

Happiness, Inspiration, Life, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Personal Development, Relationships

Screwed over by a “friend”

I am a really good friend to all of my friends, I am always there and I don’t ask for much but I am sick of getting screwed over by people who are supposed to stand by me.

A new friend shocked by the behavior of a longtime friend sent me a message saying: “Have you ever been too nice and ended up in a situation that could’ve been avoided if you just would’ve been an asshole?”  YES! I have, time and time again.  I tried to become an asshole and I didn’t enjoy it much.  I like to be nice, I like to be liked and I was told by my psychologist once that I am a “people pleaser”.  Apparently being a people pleaser is not a good thing.  It wears you down and yes, you do finish last.  Being nice makes me feel great until I get used and abused which is actually inevitable for MRS Nice.  I do too much, I give too much and I allow it.  Right, this is what I have to do:  SET BOUNDARIES!

Believe it or not setting boundaries isn’t that hard, sticking to them is the real trick!  I can’t change my personality, I cannot change the fact that I am nice and enjoy treating people really well, but I can change the fact that I allow them to take advantage and then end up being screwed over! Someone once said to me that I should not try and understand why a person behaves in a certain manner because I am not them and therefor will not understand why they behave or think or what they do. The truth is that I will never understand why some people do some things and why some people act in certain ways but I have to say that people disappoint me!

I always tell my staff that when they mess up then they should come and tell me and I will help them to fix the mess.  Nothing drives me crazier than someone not owning up to making the mess in the first place.  I cannot help my staff if they hide the mess or don’t admit to it.  Then the mess gets bigger and the little mess becomes a big problem.  There is always a way to clean a mess but the quicker the mess is cleaned the smaller it will be and the least affect it will have on anything else.  I mess up…a lot!  And I apologize, a lot too.  But if I make a mistake I will ask for help or fix it and admit to it.

Now frankly my friend made a mistake and I pointed it out and explained the way the situation actually works.  Unfortunately, my mistake was explaining his mistake in front of the wrong person.  The person took it out on him and he took it out on me.  Something that was not in any way my fault at all.  I didn’t realize that things had to be kept secret or away from other parties although I had been caught in the middle of an ugly situation and I had only explained the facts.  I learnt a valuable lesson here, clearly there was a chain of command in place that I had failed to see.  Whilst I admit fault in this regard, I am unsure how I should have dealt with the situation since I was the only one who could explain the system and I was being asked to do so, which is exactly what I did.  This is definitely something I need to think about and decide how I could have better handled it.  However, this really is not my mess and I was merely giving the reasons but it became my mess when it was taken the wrong way and a man who I thought of as a friend had his ego hurt and decided to screw me over.

Firstly, I am hurt but almost not surprised but secondly, I have lost so much respect for this person as he took no responsibility for what he did and passed the buck onto someone else.  He made himself the hero to me and pretended that he had nothing to do with any of it when in reality it was all him.  My mind boggles at how someone can stand in front of someone else whom they are supposed to love and respect and lie to their face!  Clearly, I need to evaluate some friendships and decide if I need some so called “friends” in my life.  The answer on this particular friend is that I don’t need him in my life at all.

I am a firm believer in getting what you give and I for one give a lot and get a lot and have a smile on my face and in my heart, most of the time.  He is unhappy and can’t seem to find his place in the world or happiness in anything he does.  He thinks that happiness lies in the bottom of a bottle which makes him smile for a while but never for long and then comes the hangover, the beating himself up, the feeling ill and the absolute sadness.  It is actually a really sad situation, I obviously one upped him on the only thing he has – his little golden egg – and he had to take it back, even though I was an asset to him and his golden egg.  I had made the golden egg grow and shine!  He should appreciate the growth and admire it, instead he snatched it and hid it in the dark.

Now for me to set boundaries, keep them and still be the nice person I am without being taken advantage of.  I smile, not because I have less crap than everyone else, in fact, I probably have more than most, but I smile because I am happy.  I lead a stressful life but a life of the utmost fulfillment.  I am a great person, a person who has changed lives and given so much and I am truly blessed with what I get.  I will keep being the nice person and I will just have to make better decisions on the people I keep around.  Only people who deserve my love should be getting it!

Smile, because your smile can change someone’s day!

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