Change Is As Good As A Holiday

My mother was a very wise person and often I hear her in my mind telling me things when I am looking for answers. Today what rang out was “Change is as good as a holiday!” or vacation as Americans say. We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up and only went a few memorable holidays when I was very young. Luckily we lived by the beach when I was in High School. The point of this story though is that I was having a stressful time at school when I was about sixteen, that’s when my mom shared her wisdom. Being that she believed change is as good as a holiday, she took me to the store and using some of the money I had saved from my waitressing job, I purchased new bed sheets for my room. I had yellow curtains already so I chose a yellow and purple duvet cover to change things up. It definitely worked, I felt much better when my living space was changed slightly. I felt more encouraged to take care of my things and myself.

 

Years later I still use this principle in my life, not to say that I go around buy things to make myself feel better, but rather that by make small changes I have a new outlook. Starting at the beginning of the year I started to go through my clothing and gave to Goodwill all the things that I didn’t love or need or ever see myself wearing again. Clearing out and making space, made me feel free. I also organized my clothes, but still I just didn’t feel like I had enough of a storage system to keep things neat. I ordered a new chest of drawers as reward for all the hard work I have done in my place. Finally after I got it all set up, I had a great sense of accomplishment in bettering my way of living.

 

I reorganized the bedroom and made some changes to the pictures on my wall, as well as gave everything a deep clean. Feeling refreshed in my space that things are not only changed but neat as well, I am already seeing a better outlook on the rest of the areas in my life.

 

What will you change today? 

The Little Things - day 2

I woke up at 2 am with my mind racing, all the different scenarios that haven’t happened but that could happen and how they make me feel. I realize that each of these things may as well have happened because I am feeling them as if they did.

I squirt some nasal decongestant into my nose and hope for some air to start reaching my lungs. I have been nursing this head cold that keeps coming back. I click on the tv and I am greeted by the “are you still watching” page from Netflix, I press continue and Frasier pops up on my screen, immediately cheering me up.

 

I don’t know why now, after all these years I have come to appreciate this show and its clever writing. It is comforting to have the Crane brothers there to make me laugh. Eventually I fall asleep.

 

Waking up again at a more reasonable time I started to think about what I was going to do for myself today being that I am sick and feeling moody. Then I remembered something that always cheers me up, a nice cup of tea. Growing up whenever I was having an upset my dad would make me a cup of tea. Or my mom and I would sit on the back porch having tea together. Not matter what in the morning we always had tea. For the brief period of time that I lived with my father after my mom died, he would bring me tea with 2 vitamins in the morning to wake me up. I think this was his way of showing that he wanted me to be well after going through something difficult. He always gave it to me in a Barbie mug, He says I am his Barbie doll.

 

The comforting flavor of a proper cup of tea, gives me so much relief, there is never a bad time for a tea. As I sit down with my tea and my lap top to write this post, I flip on the tv and there the Crane brothers are to greet me again. A perfect morning to set myself up for the day.

 

Today I will tackle to day from a place of calm and serenity. Today I will treat myself to some flowers for my living room. Today I will give myself enough rest to feel better, and I will treat myself kindly by eating healthy food.

 

My years of anxiety left me with a few tricks I use now when I am feeling anxious. One being that I stand still and look around me and notice five things that are there, that brings me back to be present to where I am and what is actually happening. There is no point in me spending the day stressing about scenarios that are probably never going to happen rather I can notice five things about my day that are happening. Today I am simply a person living in the city of LA,  meeting about a new idea I am working on,  dedicating time to my writing,  doing my laundry, and taking it easy on myself. Being present to the day that is unfolding ahead of me.

 

 

 

My year of joy - day 1

I spent the last 2 years working on myself to live a better, healthier more productive life. Along the way I forgot to have fun and be happy. It’s been easy to berate myself and feel awful about some of the less wonderful things about me.  It’s easy to look at my failures and forget my successes, and the consequence of this is that I am always very hard on myself. Who needs enemies when I am this mean to myself.

 

Over the weekend I ordered a book called “Marilyn in Manhattan – her year of joy” and I decided that I want to make this my year of joy.  I want to do something each day, even if it is small, that makes me happy and brings me joy. It is hard to explain in a blog post why I have been so desperately unhappy for so long, but maybe over time it will become clear.

 

Today being the first day of my year of joy I decided to spend the day with a dear friend. Dominique, just arrived in Los Angeles last night, arranged for me to have breakfast with her at her hotel. I will never forget the day I met Dominique, a decade ago I was a brand new model in Cape Town, and I had met her manager Marlon ( he later became mine too) out and about. He invited me to a party he was having at his house, and when I arrived I realized it was a party for her 21st birthday, with all her closest friends and family. I felt so out of place and like I was intruding on something special. But I will never forget it, I thought wow what an amazing thing to have someone throw you a party like this, she must be very successful.

 

A few years later Dominique and I had not seen each other since, and it happened coincidently that we both booked Sports Illustrated Swimsuit as the first South African models to be in the magazine. I will never forget feeling so jealous that she was so much more glamorous and well put together at all the New York parties that we attended. For every single press event she just embodied an elegant New York model, tall slender and elegant.  I felt like such a country bumpkin next to her. I could barely put an outfit together, and I had no idea what to talk to people about. I admired the ease with which she seemed to move through the city.

 

It was a few years before we began to appreciate each other for our strengths and over time we have become the closest friends, helping each other out through tough times. In her life I was able to contribute with some of my experiences and she showed me the ropes around the city and treated me to things I just could not afford.

 

Now that I live in LA our friendship has been built strong through constant phone calls. And I feel so lucky to have her in my life. We ate breakfast together and then sat on my balcony all day drinking coffee and catching up. Her presence fills me with confidence and her happy go lucky mood reminds me that I have the ability to let go of my stress and be happy too. Happiness does not come easy for me, I have suffered many bouts of depression over the last 15 years and my anxiety has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced. Coming out and admitting this to you dear reader is not an easy thing. But why not be honest, for all I know you suffer in silence too. I have been using my gym routine to help me over comethis, and of course it helps but I don’t feel comfortable at my gym anymore and need to find a new place to find peace.

 

Dominique reminded me today how far we have both come, she reminded me of the things we have over come, and she reminded me of all the great times we had together. It felt SO good to talk about all the fun times we have shared.

 

If you too want to have a year of joy, then do as I do, and spend sometime with an old friend who takes your troubles away. Today I was able to count my blessings, and call myself lucky to have her in my life. 

Here me and Dominiquewere in 2014 having fun racing around in these toy cars. 

Here me and Dominiquewere in 2014 having fun racing around in these toy cars.