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Archive for October, 2018

#FamilyThings #HattinghHousehold #Fun #LifesLittleMiracles #findthegood #ThisOneLife

Video source: Petacular on YouTube: youtu.be/dPi1Bmsy0lU

Let me start at the beginning. So, our trees had the temerity to extend their roots in and around our underground water pipes (the – eeuwww – sewerage pipe). We have this gardener who is also a builder, handyman, painter, you know, your basic Jack (or in his case, Azaria) of all trades. He’s VERY good at EVERYTHING he does.

Last week hubby got ol’ Azaar to fix this root-filled pipe. He came on Saturday with an unhappy helper and dug a hole in the backyard, right next to the water filled hole a.k.a. swimming pool. It rained cats, dogs and hamsters, though, so he couldn’t finish the job and the hole is still lurking there, tempting me to bury something in it [evil laugh].

Anyway, yesterday he came back, installed the pipes, but still did not fill the hole. I figured if we continued digging, we’ll end up in China (yay!), but hubby was NOT impressed.

Now, we have too geriatric dogs. A very, very long Dachshund called Duchess, although I tend to call her Longcelot and a VERY heavy and brain cell impaired Basset hound, Fred. These too oldies were kept behind the gate while the dig-dugging was going on.

Before I continue I also need to add that dear hubby is a bit off-balance. He cannot seem to walk in a straight line or keep upright for an hour at a time. He doesn’t drink, so I think it’s just that he never really concentrates on what and where he’s going so he wanders hither and yon around the house these days, much to our twisted amusement, of course. Shame, I do adore him so much.

Yesterday afternoon, hubby, in his ‘infinite wisdom’, decided the poor pooches need some freedom. They’ve been cooped up in the small dog-run for too long, you see. I understood that he wanted to help, but warned that those two are more unpredictable than the government, so he’d better not. They are bound to investigate the hole and may fall in.

Hubby thought to just peek at the famous hole, just to see if it really poses such a danger as I feared it would. Oh dear, what a mistake! He peeked over, turned around….and around…and around and…KERSPLASH into the pool! Clothes and all. He nearly drowned for he says he laughed all the way down to the bottom! Needless to say, he got no sympathy from any of us. We cracked up! It was just SO funny! Especially since it all happened in silence. He sneaked back into the house, changed into dry clothes and finally couldn’t hold it in any longer….he started laughing like a loon and we almost thought it’s time to call the guys in the white coats. He told his wet tale and, well, I think the neighbors thought: “There goes those batty Hattinghs again!”

Of course it was not the end. He let the dogs out, just like the song says, and they promptly investigated this hole they’ve heard so much about. Fred surprised us, he just went sniffing away, but poor Duchess fell into the hole. Perhaps she thought: “Gosh, there must be a BIG bone down there!”. I heard her whimpering and saw the poor thing up to her in muddy water and peering up to see if and when Superdog will appear to save the day. Superdog turned out to be me, hubby and the two kids and, given the fact that we were still laughing about hubby’s unfortunate swim, it took a while to organize a ladder, ropes and a phone on speed dial to the fire department (or, in our case, the nearest mental institution).  Eventually my son got down in the hole and got hold of the poor, frightened old girl and we  pulled her out, slipping and sliding through the mud. I even got to do the Neo-thing! You know that scene where he dodged the bullets? Hubby was holding on to me and I was holding on to Duchy and then hubby just, kinda grabbed my elbows and started pulling, so I bent backwards, like Neo. Quite something if you considering my inflexibility at this age. It was only later that I realized….what if Pennywise was down there!! It was the sewer after all! Hot damn, and I’m missed it! Aaah, well, maybe next time, neh?

Fortunately our old madam didn’t get hurt, but she was all muddy (good for the old skin, of course), and so were we. I’ll be calling the dog parlor today, she needs more than just a quick hosing off.

I don’t know if you think this is just stupid of me to post or if you are now screaming with laughter, perhaps you had to be there. But at my age, if you don’t write down the fun times, you tend to forget it ever happened.

Life is like this, you know, you need to grab on to the little happy moments when you see them. Have a look at your life today, you’ll see little treasures of good scattered throughout the long hours ahead. SEE them, hold on to them, take a picture, write it down. Because life is NOT all bad, we just have to look without our cynical glasses.

Have a FUN Thursday, my friends!

P.S. You’ve been wondering about the cats in water video, haven’t you? Well, I was obviously not there to film my husband’s non-action hero action, but I suspected he looked like these cats when he got out. I also apologize for not doing the modern thing by first taking a photograph of Duchess in the hole, but, unlike most Instagram addicts, I prefer to DO the saving rather than just filming it to impress my followers.

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Video source: YouTube – https://youtu.be/J3arEmkXZ8s

#InChristAlone #LifeSkills #YourChoice #Purpose #JustBelieve #Faith

I recently updated my playlist on Spotify and rediscovered this gem from the late 1970’s. It certainly brought back a LOT of memories. I used to listen to this song all the time when it was released back in the 70’s, singing along in my usual falsetto, totally off-tune, but singing my heart out anyway. Why? Because I’ve felt like I was looking for ME my whole life.

When I listened to it a few days ago, the reality of what I am, who I am and where I am came crashing down and I realized that I am, in fact, no better off than I was 40 years ago. I’m still floundering around, looking for my ‘destiny’ and I am sure that I’m not the only one.

When we are little we have such wonderful dreams. Dreams of becoming great men and women. People who will MEAN something or CHANGE the world. I’ve always known that I must serve and I did and am still doing it. But, thinking about it now, I wonder whom it is that I serve. I’m not talking about religion, because I serve just one God, but I’m talking about our lives here on earth. We, I, serve others, but would it be so bad to, for once, serve ourselves/myself? This concerns me a bit,though, since I was raised with the understanding that thinking about your own needs, even just a little bit, was selfish. I was nothing, others’ wants and needs and hopes and dreams were more important. This is what’s making this ‘change’ so hard.

I wanted to be a writer when I was little. This idea formed when I was just 3 years old (crazy, huh). These days I still dream of becoming the  next Virginia Woolf (now, don’t you laugh at me, at least I’m still dreaming, despite this gloomy little post), but things interfered back then, changing the way I think about EVERYTHING. Events happened that made me choose between pleasing others or doing what I want. This was to set the theme for the rest of my life. 

Eventually I went through the normal phases: I wanted to be a teacher, a dancer, an actress, a fashion model (I shocked my Mum one time when I told her I want to become a pornographic model. I was 10 and had no idea what it was! Mum nearly had a stroke!). Things got more serious as I grew older and I decided to use my skill for service by becoming a nurse. Mum was not very happy about that, so another choice was made to please….I followed her lead and found a job at a bank. I HATED that job! But at least everyone else was happy. Finally I thought that, perhaps I should try studying to be a minister in our church. I think you can guess how that turned out. 

I finally got my degree in my mid-thirties, but then other things happened and I could never officially open my counselling practice. All the while I was serving, serving family, serving friends, serving complete strangers, helping out, standing firm for others when they had no strength. The past seven years was defined by this while I was involved with welfare work. My life revolved around outreach programs, fundraising efforts, parties for vulnerable individuals and more. It was like I was totally consumed by the thought of making everyone else happy. In the Bible it says that God is the potter and we are the clay. Well, it really feels as if, in my life, everyone else was the potter, pushing and shoving and kneading me into shapes and forms that would suit them. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame anyone for my choices. I’m just trying to explain how one can totally lose direction, how you can forget about yourself in your efforts to accommodate others and how serving others in that way can, in fact, cause you to become something different than you’ve hoped for. 

Today, I sit here typing, wondering who I really am. I accept the consequences of my choices, I even accept this confusion in my mind, just like I accept the wrinkles and the bingo wings that sprung up overnight. But I think it is time I cut the ties that bind me to this selfless identity I’ve allowed others to construct for me. It is time I start thinking about what I want.

A friend shared an excerpt from Diana Appleyard‘s book, “Too Beautiful to Dance”, with me. Look what it says: “I tried to see everything from his point of view so I could filter out the things he did not like, or would annoy him, so his life would be less hassled. How many women, she wondered, experienced this? As if everything around you had to be scanned to prevent potential arguments and create harmony, dirty plates picked up, car keys put back in the appropriate place, television programme details studied to select the ones he might like. It was, she thought with a smile, as if she had viewed the world through Matt-glasses. And now she had to use her own eyes, and rediscover what SHE liked. From the food she wanted to eat, to the way she set out the furniture, the music she listened to, what she wanted to watch on television, even how long she stayed in the bath – all these decisions were hers, and hers alone. It was a kind of freedom, she thought. A compensation for failure?” 

In this story the main character, Sara, leaves her husband, Matt, for reasons I will not disclose in case I spoil the book for any potential readers. This part I quoted though, touched a nerve with me. I could identify with it so much, because my entire existence has been about others. Planning and maneuvering things to fit other people’s lives. For the most part, those people couldn’t care less, so I was actually  just wasting my time. I am most definitely not sorry that I did what I did and I never want anything in return. It just, sometimes, feels as if I have failed at my own life. It feels as if, somewhere along this road that I’ve traveled for the past 51 years, I’ve dropped off large bits of myself, losing my identity along the way.

So, now I’ve made a decision. I will not stop helping, giving, serving, caring or anything like that, because, in my heart, I know that is what God wants me to do. But I am slowing down a bit. It is time that I turn the kindness around and be nice to myself for a change. I don’t think I was a failure, no, and this new ‘freedom’, as Appleyard calls it, is not compensation for a failed life. I feel that every day, every moment that I lived up to now was a learning curve. I had to be that ‘sucker for punishment’, as my husband calls it, to become who I am now.

Maybe it is wisdom brought about by age, I don’t really know. I just know that, from now on, I will seek to find my way back to the road I want to be on. It is time to stop wandering with my open arms and heart on my sleeve. It is time to come back to me.

Like Frodo in “Lord of the Rings” I will ask for a guide, for I know not the way and, like always, I found Him……He has been there all the time.

 

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Img source: ebay.com – goo.gl/DMBVrx

SOURCES:

APPLEYARD, Diana.  2007.  Too beautiful to dance.  Black Swan Publishers.  404p.

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