A travel diary

I don’t know how to start this story, I just know that it has a few parts to it that need to be broken down a bit. By now a few people have written about living in a time of the coronavirus – the lock-downs, the self-isolation and the quarantine. My story is about my observation as a traveler during this time.

We holiday a lot back home but stamps on my passport are scarce – this is my story and travel diary –

I was last in Portugal in May 1995. At that time I had two babies in my arms both in nappies. I was on maternity leave of my second child and when we came back home a month later maternity leave was over and I was back at work.  And just like that 25 years later I was finally going on my dream trip to Portugal. I just wanted to visit my aunties (my dad’s sisters) I was so excited that I think I started packing end of January.

In February I was surprised with a visit from something called shingles!!! And to add to that I also contracted tick bite fever. I have no idea how I got either one of them, and the doctor actually said stop thinking about it. Stop trying to figure it out, what matters is that we have the blood results; you now have the correct medication and you will be fine. At one stage I really thought I was dying and that I would not make this trip at all. I cried in-between fever sweats and lay awake at night sweating and thinking that maybe I should plan my own funeral. Just in case…it was that bad 😦

It was a terrible month. But I did recover and I did get better and the planning and packing continued. I was most excited because no one knew we were coming. Some of my cousins found out in the middle of the month of February, I told five of them about our arrival date, and five might sound like a good amount of people knowing but in a large family like ours that is nothing!

My sister in law found out about our arrival the day we were leaving SA. At the airport after checking in we sat down for lunch and then we made a video. She received this with photos of our bags being wrapped and put on airport scales. Photos of boarding passes and us standing next to check-in counters. I was excited for us and excited for them!!! It was such a good feeling doing that video, sending it to her and saying; Hi, we coming, we will see you Sunday night at around dinner time. But don’t cook we going out for dinner, a place has been booked. Just give us a bed and a good Portuguese breakfast the day after.

And that she did.

We left SA on the 2nd of March for Portugal, on to Ireland, Italy, and then back to Portugal and finally back home to land in SA on the 25th.

Phew that’s a lot of places in such a short time, we were a bit stretched but the adventurous spirit was larger than life.

So exciting I cant even !!!!!!!!!! ♥

Three life lessons from my last work year

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You can never be too prepared
I’m a to-do list person, but I never stick to them. I also don’t know, the day after, what do I do today with the tasks I didn’t complete yesterday? Do I re-write and start a new to-do list?
But I watched some of my colleagues and they taught me how important it was to be prepared for every part of my job. From meetings, to reports, invoices, to creating purchase orders, replying to urgent emails and everything in between. I learnt that being over-prepared could really help me stand out and be present. It’s a sense of accomplishment to finish and cross tasks off that list. Reaching small goals.

Follow your heart
And when I typed this little sentence out I said it really slowly (in my mind), slow motion, like…

f o l l o w   y o u r   h e a r t.

I embarked on a journey that has taken me out of my comfort zone into an unfamiliar space. A friend called me brave and daring when I told her, more than a year ago, what I was about to start. In November 2018, I started with a fresh look and all the wonderful possibilities it could hold. I started a new second job! Was it worth it? For me it was! Although I am not sure how the rest of my team felt about sharing me…. I learnt so much and have added something very valuable to my personal life and my career life. I’m grateful and happy!

Manage up
When you report to so many people, they manage you. Having a healthy positive relationship with all your bosses makes work life so much easier.
I’m not there for the canteen food and the beautiful glass building. Job satisfaction for me comes from enjoying my job, I love what I do. I love the people I work with and having a good boss and good relationship with her (them) matters a lot! It took a whole year to learn to work independently and far from most of them only seeing them once a week and still managing to stay present.

Gain power through positivity, getting through a tough day or year and dealing with a demanding job or project is all about maintaining a positive and optimistic mindset. That’s how we should look at 2020….Only time will tell, I’m going into it with the same positive attitude and I will leave it in God’s hands.

Something else I learned last year I talk to Him constantly and ask for His guidance before every hard task that I have to face ♥

Gratitude Jar 2019

Sometimes I wake up and my first thought is I’m tired, I’m going to be late, I hate traffic, I’m hungry. If I don’t get myself out of this, small negativity (as insignificant as it may be) and really fast I spend the rest of the day not feeling good enough.

I moan and swear at traffic on my way to work, I judge people constantly, I don’t feel good enough or good about anything! Not thin enough. Not clever enough. Unnoticed and unappreciated. And the list goes on and on, so does the mood. It’s a horrible circle.

So I get up, I’m tired, might get to work a bit late and hungry but I climb in the car and I pray out loud. I prayed before, but this year I changed things. I started by climbing in the car and talking to God out loud while I drive. I haven’t listened to radio for a long while, because usually when I’m finished talking I then listen to voice notes on my phone or send some out.

My talks always start with gratitude this changes my drive and my whole day. My outlook changes.

Introducing this year’s gratitude jar – it may look small but it’s filled with lots of little notes and with a great amount of gratitude. So many blessings written in them.

Also folding these notes into that origami finger game thingy was so hard!!! I will never do this again 😊 what on earth was I thinking?

And so I will go into 2020 on a positive note, with hope and confidence….

In everything give thanks.  1 Thes 5:18

Why don’t you add a gratitude jar to your habits of well being for next year? I am sure you will love it. I have been doing this since 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 ♥ ♥ ♥ 

Looking Back on 2019

What a year this has been!! Some days were low some days were high.

But my God on the mountain, was my God in the valley and when things were going wrong…..I prayed and I know he’ll make them right again.

For most part it was a good year and I am looking forward to a fresh new start in the new 2020 century!

What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?

I boxed. Yip I have started boxing. This is huge thing for me

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

No, but then I didn’t make any resolutions at all for this year. Same as last year, it’s better not to make any so I’m not disappointed

How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

Probably at home, family dinner…early to bed

Did anyone close to you die?

Not anyone really close, thank God for that, but I did go to some funerals this year

What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

Do a lot more of this –

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7

I want to do more fun things more me time and little weekend getaways

What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Ed Sheeran concert and weekend away with my cous! It was glorious!

And on my mom’s birthday, our 4×4 caught fire while parked in the garage! Mayhem perused. Luckily Tigs was home, things could have been a lot worse

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Two jobs, I maintained and performed two different jobs

What was your biggest failure?

I failed as a mom, I think I have…it’s something inside that I struggled with. I keep asking God to forgive me for not being a good example to my kids

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Apart from the usual migraines, nothing new or different. They are less frequent but more painful, gradually getting worse with more nausea and vomiting

What was the best thing you bought?

We bought a car. Tigs had the worst car, he deserved something better, he now has the best car in the household

Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills, bills.

What song will always remind you of 2019?

Senorita by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello and Beautiful by Ed Sheeran

What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I had danced more and laughed a whole lot more. More walking and exercising

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worry. I wish I had worried less and prayed a whole lot more

What were your favorite TV shows?

They did not let me watch TV this year

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I still hate the same person of last year

What was the best book you read?

I read a few novels, mostly on loan from a friend and can’t remember any of the names. Started reading Becoming (M Obama), have not finished yet.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Worth It by Fifth Harmony…..yeah I actually felt my car bounce to this on full blast it unusually funny. One by U2 was a second likable discovery

What was your favorite film of this year?

Bohemian Rhapsody in late December 2018 and anything I watched this year could not match up to Queen

What did you do on your birthday?

Most awesome family lunch and lots of spoils

What kept you sane?

ART class and my close and special friends

Who do you miss?

My dad

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019

Sometimes life’s turns are not what we anticipated or planned – “oh, no, this can’t be happening again, what do I do now?”.

Its sudden twists take us on a path we might not like but we always end up where we were supposed to be. God is in control all the time. Pray and have a little faith…♥

May God always grant you a sunbeam to warm you. Happy New 2020.

This has become a must-do-post for me, since Looking Back on 2018, 2017 and 2016. I enjoy reading the old ones too they remind me of how things have changed and how much I have changed over these last three years.

I went to the sea

This is the last of the fish paintings and I thought I’d share the fado music that came to mind when I was painting

Fui ao mar buscar sardinhas

I went to the sea to fetch sardines

To give to my love

I got lost by the little windows

That lurked by the steam

 

Peeking out of the steam

I saw the face of a Frenchman

And which ever way it goes

I am going to sea again….

….a continuation of my previous post Little Fish