{Sponsor:Food & Trees for Africa} Carol Milner's project me story

The problem with humans is that when we have opportunities we in most instances don?t grab them.? By nature we procrastinate and when it?s too late, we come with the ?if only? syndrome.

So I have been watching and reading my cousin by marriage?s blogs for exactly 416 days (with a little bit of envy).? Honestly, if you ask me, I think to bare your soul to humankind every day of your life is not only cathartic but is also truly remarkable.? So Jodene, thank you for inviting me to blog on your blog.

But life is about lessons and the lessons of life.? My own life is a true Danielle Steele novel.? I have not for more than 10 years found anyone to bare most of my soul too.? Until this week, that is.? And suddenly he has taken my life and turned it upside down and inside out.

I grew up in a very disparate home, spending many years being used as the proverbial football between my now absentee mother and a father whose hang-ups are founded on the tragedy of a concentration camp and his suffering.? Nowhere is there any remedy for these hang-ups.? So he found what he thought was the best way to deal with them.? He now lectures tolerance to students all over Europe.? Except I believe he opens the can of worms every time he gives a lecture.

My father lives in France with his wife of many years, has two daughters who live in Belgium with their partners and three young grandchildren.? It is easier for him to have a normal relationship with his children and grandchildren on his doorstep than with the three of us 12?000 km?s away.

In my heart, I cry for his pain. ?Maybe I shed a tear for our relationship too. ?I suppose as the next generation of a survivor, you relationship is sacrificed on the horrors of Hitler.? I promised myself though that I would not perpetuate the pain through my own children.? Instead I hope I have raised them in our new democracy to embrace life, embrace challenges, embrace diversity, embrace culture and religion and very importantly to never look back over their shoulders.

My mother?s pain was more about being forced to marry my father.? So you can ask yourself when did my relationship with my mother finally implode?? It was after I realised and said it out loud, that every time she looked at me she saw the man she hated so much.? Sad but true.

And so I suppose it was expected that would marry the first man who asked me.? Maybe my fear was that no one would love me for me.? That he happened to be Jewish was a bonus.? We married really young and my oldest was born when I was 25.

But happiness is what you make of it.? Part of being happy is realising that your own life is integrally part of others lives.? When Mervyn became sick he could not understand this.? His anger and bitterness was taken out on those he was supposed to love and the revolution began. ?Napoleon move over.? Through a decade of anger came 17 doctors and a constant reminder to me that I was to blame for his sickness.

As the local government elections dawn, I am finally after 15 years of being a city councillor and working two jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, able to ?feel it?.? It?s an ayobaness I just cannot explain.? Suddenly I can feel an energy and spirit inside that I thought I had lost along the way.? To the people who have taught me? - thank you.? To the people who voted for me along the way ? thank you.? To the people who have been kind and grateful ? thank you.? To those who have stuck knives in me, who have gone out of their way to hurt me ? only you can ask for forgiveness.? Ask and you will receive because you have not understood the secret.

Now I suppose the next logical question would be why I am able to put some of my life on paper.? Four days before Mervyn I was accepted at Wits Plus.? This for me was the most frightening step of the next two years.? I didn?t even get to tell him I had been accepted.

So there I was this crazy chick walking into my first lecture with 120 students and when asked to tell the class, by rotation, how old I was, there was this deafening silence.? But I have truly made awesome friends.? One friend in particular, my dearest Joe, comes from central Africa.? His love for his wife and child and for Africa is so deeply touching that just saying his name brings a lump in my throat.? And all the craziness of studying has given me a new perspective on life, love and relationships.? This week our year end 2010 marks were finally formalised and this old crazy woman had the highest year end mark at 96%.? So the ?young ones? will now have to bow in awe of the old lady.

As the academic year begins again this week, my heart cannot help but murmur its grateful thanks to my most awesome lecturers for their patience (I am really and truly a mad Gemini) and guidance.? For showing me the light and being tough on me because I sure needed it.

And so after 15 months, my wings have spread and I have soared about a childhood of pain and misery and a decade of issues of blame, anger and a whole host of other stuff to finally understanding why G-d put me on this earth.? It is so easy when you are in the thick of things to ask why me.? Why did I have a vindictive stepfather who abused my mother?? Why did my parents spend so much time fighting through lawyers?? Why did G-d let me carry a child to give it back to him?? Why did my late husband become a total stranger?? The why?s now just don?t matter.

Today I am woman.? Today I am a vessel of love and understanding.? I have watched and understood the secret.? I have watched and understood the concept of paying it forward.?? I have this week opened my heart and have suddenly developed terrible side effects that I can laugh at.? Where it will go I don?t know.? I only know that one?s fate lies within one?s own hands.? If life gives you a chance at happiness, only a fool would let it pass by.

Finally to my son Russell, my daughter Brenda and whole host of friends and some family who have shown constant toughness to me as an act of kindness and have bitten their tongues on occasion, thank you for letting me now go.? I love you from the tips of my toes.

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The King and I - project me day 424

In the ten or so years of having a very special bond with my bipolar friend, she has never had an extremely bad episode. While I was recovering from my back injury, she was in her space. We have such a treasured understanding that I know she needs to hide away from the world (or certain parts of the world) while she is trying to survive it all.

On Saturday I posted a song about suicide and expressed my relief that she has come out on the other side, alive and well.
I'm tough, but the story she shared with me over breakfast knocked the wind right out of my sails. She knows me well and knew I would handle all the gory details of choosing the best method of suicide. Doing internet searches as then walking through the house to see it that was at all possible.
At least I was conscious of the fact that I was still a little light-headed from the sugar crisis I threw my body into, otherwise I would have been convinced that I was going to pass out from the shock of it all.

She decided that hanging herself would be best and practiced tying the knot around a pencil so she wouldn't forget. She picked her day, her moment and the ideal place. Wrote letters to everyone (a letter I am thrilled not to have received) and went about the very planned and very determined mission of?committing?suicide.
What do you say in between those pauses of sipping tea? If she got that far then how come she was having breakfast with me yesterday. Not that I'm complaining! But what went wrong.

She began to giggle. Of all things ... giggle! She giggled at the fact that not being the most logical of woman, she saved her own life. She stood on the table, tied the rope around her neck ... and jumped! My dear friend attempted suicided!
When her feet touched the ground she knew she had done something horribly wrong ... well two things actually ... 1. She had bought the wrong rope (there's the illogical girl I love so much) and 2. She had been silent for too long.

I had a brief called from Inked who took the edge off the conversation but it went back to the reality of bipolar, depression, mania and suicide all over again. I don't care ... I was having tea with my friend who was very alive and very well.

I met here when I was a Reiki therapist and I ended up guiding her through many meditations and healing processes. Of all of them she told me she never forgot me teaching her about the procession of the equinox ... that no matter what you do or don't do, you will always wake up a little wiser each day. She did that and turned so much around and I had breakfast with a very calm, healing and determined to be happy, friend.

It was still horrific to have to deal with. It was worse for me to know that another friend knew about the suicide attempt and she didn't tell me. Even if she wanted to keep our friends secret then at least have some kind of conversation with me that spurs on a phone call on my part. I know I could have made the call at any time, but bipolar always reminds me that she will call when she's ready.

That threw my day and I got home to noise and cartoon. I love my family dearly, but I have my way of processing things and in the current living space I can't do anything about it. The longing to not be alone then kicked in and I wanted to call just about anyone to distract me from my thoughts, but for whatever reason I decided to fight it out on my own.

It was the Oscars last night and I wanted to see The King's Speech before the day was through. Going alone made me realise that I am alone. I know there is a difference between alone and lonely ... and yesterday I felt as though I were both.

The upside of going to movies on my own is that I can be as punctual as I like and I was there to witness the majority of the movie-goers filtering in. A couple, another couple, a crowd of friends, a single man, a family, a single woman, another single woman ... another single man. I wasn't so lonely after all. Before the movie even started I was smiling and it so happened that all of us singles somehow hovered to the one corner of the theater as it we were a little family of single. The girl next to me kicked off her shoes, another put her shopping bags on the seat. The single man moved to another seat with less crowds around him as the movie started and I took up both arm rests to the full.

I'm sorry to ruin it for those of you who haven't seen the movie, but there were messages screaming their lessons at me. I couldn't relate to the King, except for the girlie wish to find a man as charming as Colin Firth, stutter and all. But I could relate to his tutor. To his unconventional methods and fighting to stand alone in the collective. The turning point and the moment when I shed a tear for my own life choices was when it was revealed that a man with no?credentials?at all was the one who was helping the king. Never studied, no degree, no plaque with a doctorate on the wall. Just a man who knew he could make a difference.
That's me ... the girl without the degree! The one with no plaque on the wall and no certificate because the Universe doesn't dish one out.
That message was for me too ... both messages ... Bipolar's account of what I shared with her that helped (even in the tiniest way) to breathe life into her second chance and the King's account when he told everyone to back off and leave his teacher alone.

I feel totally ungrounded today. I want to do things like go to a park, go to another movie, sit by a lake and blow bubble ... the chewing and the soapy kind. Maybe it's not a bad things because we never do enough of those things ... I might just have to hold my ungrounded day for the weekend and put stones in my shoes to not float away from today.

More than just an afternoon nap - project me day 423

Admittedly, I've felt crappy for days.

Damn, now I have to explain myself!
There is a line of diabetes in my family, so I really shouldn't be messing around with how I eat considering I've been diagnosed with a pretty high level of something. I don't know how it all works but I do know that I need to keep my sugar levels as stable as possible.

Everyone always assumes that means cutting out all the carbs and keeping the sugar to almost non?existent?(including the good ones) and sometimes I get into total idiot space and act like 'everyone'. No offence to anyone who is reading this and knows they aren't being kind to their bodies, but the truth first hurts and then sets you straight.

On Tuesday night when Greggie, my mom and myself get together for our little dose of self healing and honesty I am going to have to deal with the consequences of what I'm about to tell you.
Before my sister's wedding I began to worry that I wouldn't look great in what I was wearing. I know I said that a few times. The truth is that I did the one thing that I thought was the only thing I could do and cut my carbs right down. I mean right down. The most I would have was an odd bowl of all bran every few days. I had no fruit and I listened to some of the worst advice I have ever been fed. Actually, I've been fed it for years and I tapped back into in a total space of fear.
After the wedding I felt great and so I carried on keeping my carbs low. Not completely gone, but I know it's too low.

Then Hustler Girl and I went on that sugar binge and I was sick almost halfway through my carbo loaded lunch. With each crash I had to fuel myself with more sugar and I have been faint and dizzy since Wednesday.

Yesterday was so bad that I literally had to put myself to bed after a lunch that goes against anything screaming balance.
You know I have voices in my head, so I'm not going to go into explaining myself about that. I am going to explain what the voices were screaming at me about though.

Friends, I love you ... but my word, do you mess with my mind and my choices for my own health. I can't believe how everyone has an opinion and I watch your Facebook status's saying you were at gym for 2 hours and you are surviving fine on a tomato smoothie. Here I am trying to learn to listen to my own body and it's screaming for me to eat carbs at every meal. The good carbs of course ... but carbs one the less. It's protein overload all around me and that's not the wisest thing to do for a body.

At this point my best friend, Greggie, is reading this post and rolling his eyes or mumbling 'I told you so' under his breathe, but for some reason I did choose a lifetime of learning things my own way.

Since I was a little girl I never just believed anything that I was told and that has carried on through my whole life. Why would I make it any different when learning how to eat. NOT being told how to eat or following a diet or a plan ... but learning for myself what I need to balance my own body.

With the room spinning around me and my blood levels wavering from high to low, the voices reminded me that I know what I'm doing. I know that there is no one under the sun who can tell me what to eat and how to take care of my own body. Shit, that's a lot of self trust. No one goes inwards at a time like this and the craving to google the perfect diet is haunting me.

I'm not 13! I'm a 37 year old woman who is trying to show the world that we have the power within us to do and be anything. The truth does remain though ... I have an?erratic sugar issue and I should NOT be messing around with it. The only way to do that is grow the hell up and start listening to myself.

So, you can hear I'm being mean to myself and I'm going to have to take some time to turn that around, but in the meantime I have to stop the light-headedness and the room from spinning. I have to trust in myself to balance my sugars myself and take yet another massive 'project me' step.

First things first though ... I admitted it! I told you and me the truth ... I didn't want an afternoon nap, I needed it!?Desperately!

Why? - project me day 422

I don't know if you've ever woken up in?excruciating pain from a calf that's decided to go into spasm. That was my wake up call this morning and I did everything in my power not to burst out cry and start screaming in agony ... it was that sore. After it settled, the reality must have hit and remembered the pain of waking up on the morning when my disk in my lower back had ruptured. I managed to fall back asleep but the damage was done and with an aching calf came a little trigger of fears and anxiety. For whatever reason it's left me feeling depressed and anxious and I'm kinda forcing a blog. Actually, I'm forging everything.

Bless my family for rallying around me. Breakfast was made, my mom is reminding me that my back is never going to go back to what is was and my brother-in-law is obsessively trying to tickle me to get a laugh.
My Uncle and Aunt who came from overseas to see my little sis get married leave today. My uncle is lost without my dad and so we have all decided to take him curry, (just like he would have done with my dad) so the pressure is on to snap out of the is mood.

I'm on my 3rd cup of tea and that hasn't helped.
I'm listening to all my favourite country songs and that hasn't worked yet.
I've played with Saphirah and not even her purring and cuddling has worked yet.
The wacky statements of my Facebook friends don't seem as funny, so that hasn't worked yet either.
My stats weren't as cheery as I thought the would be, so that hasn't worked?particularly?well.
Little sis and brother-in-law said they will treat me to lunch but nothing seems to excite me enough to work.

But ... then I realised ...
Tomorrow I am going to breakfast with one of my dearest friends. I haven't seen her since June last year and haven't spoken to her since our brief call on the day of my birthday in September. The call yesterday was part of her healing process and a sign that she is going to make it through. She suffers from Manic bipolar and there are days, when I haven't heard from her in a few months, when I wonder if she didn't surrender to it.
She likes it that way ... she vanishes out of sight for a while because she can't cope with life at all. She knows when it's time to come but and I hold my breath for the months while I wait to hear from her. This was one of the worst in about 15 years, she told me yesterday. But tomorrow we are going out to celebrate her coming out on the other side of it ... a little braver, a little wiser, but still wondering why?

There are more stories that just my BP friend. I am surrounded by incredible people who survive each day with more than just a fleeting moment of anxiety or a bout of depression.
Then there are those who we will spend the rest of our lives asking ... why?

This one's for you ...

{Sponsor: MyScoop SA Aggregator} Nick Duncan's project me story

It is with bursting excitement and gratitude that I launch the interview section of 'Your Project Me Story' by introducing you to the creator of MyScoop SA Blog Aggregator, Nick Duncan.

When I began the 'project me' blog, I knew nothing of stats, google rankings and aggregators, but I caught on soon enough and the personal challenge began. I am registered on countless blogging communities and blog aggregators, but none has been more impactful for my blog than MyScoop. It is one of the few aggregators where I can track my blogging progress daily. I have targets and challenges and am thrilled to announce that 'project me' has finally made it into the top 100 blogs on this massively popular site. My user engaged ranking is now happily floating in the top 5 and the challenges are only pushing me further.

Thanks to the power of Twitter and my gushing over MyScoop, I had the honour of chatting to Nick. He reminded me of a part of myself when I said how much I admired him for his brilliant concept and his excitement bubbled over. I clap my hands with joy every time I have an unexpected compliment from a stranger, because it doesn't matter what the rankings or the stats show ... it's the unexpected voice that makes it all worth while.

Nick, thank you for taking the time to chat to me and for your creating that is part of my daily growth and motivation.

Meet Nick Duncan and here his project me story through the official introduction of my 10 project me questions:

Nick is the co-owner and creator of myScoop, a local blog aggregator as well as the senior online marketing professional. As a dad of 3, Nick tries to balance work and play as much as he can but tends to spend most of his time in front of the computer, something his better half is not so keen about.? Apart from going into the steel industry straight after school, Nick kept his passion for the online world at his finger tips. He soon realised that like HTML and CSS, computers and steel don't really go together. In 2009 Nick decided to put it all out there (so to speak) and joined Talooma as an online marketer.

Nick started programming from the age of 12 where he developed the well known (m)IRC game, All-Out-War, which is still being played today. He started playing around in many different programming languages and later realised that PHP was the way forward and started developing online applications. Nick has learnt to mix his passions for both online marketing and programming and use them to ignite his innovative mindset to create new online applications that are a first in South Africa.

1. What is your definition of happiness?
Spending time with my family. Family is what makes us all tick, without them we cannot define ourselves.

2. If you could have everyone say one thing to themselves every day, what would it be?
?I'm going to get there? as clich? as that sounds ? saying it will make you believe it.

3. We all need someone to believe in us. Who is that person for you and why?
My fianc? Tamerah. Tam has pushed me in the right direction time and time again. Without her I would never have been strong enough to follow my dreams.

4. What quality do you believe we can never be taught because it is our birth right?
Patience.

5. Describe the moment when you realised that you could achieve anything?
I was 12 years old when my dad came home with my first computer. That night I spent 6 hours programming my own game in Edit in Dos which consisted of a few hundred batch files. From that moment on I knew that if I try hard enough and not give up, I could create almost anything I wanted and that the possibilities were endless.

6. What have you always dreamed of being or doing and have you reached that dream?
Inventing something that will change the way we all see the world. I have realised that the only way I can contribute to the world is through developing innovative websites. I have a great idea in mind and will be starting development of it in the near future.

7. When life gets in the way, what do you always remind yourself of?
Life is short ? make the most of it. Take it by the horns.

8. We all have something unique to offer the world, what is yours?
A mix of ambition, passion, innovation and crazy ideas. Watch this space.

9. How do you deal with the fears that could potentially hold you back?
Cut them off. Your mind is a powerful thing. With practise, choosing to ignore a fear or worry can eventually be as easy as flipping a switch.

10. What do you believe we have lost sight of in the world as a whole?
Kindness.

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Trapped in a nightmare called technology - project me day 421

Yes, I can do the whole batting of the eyelashes and flashing the pretty, big smile. I can also do smashing things violently and potentially bursting a blood vessel in these sparkly blue eyes. What I'm trying to say is that if you come across a blog post with pictures of a smashed up laptop, trampled on blackberry and a slugger lying next to a?mutilated router ... don't be surprised.

I'm beginning to wonder if I'm jinxed. Yep, that thing that I totally don't believe in, but right now the thought that I create my own reality is really pissing me off. Why would I thrust myself into technology hell?

Despite spending most of yesterday coming down from a sugar high and being crabby, I had the added joy of EVERY form of technology showing me the finger. I could work on every site in the world except for 'project me'. Yes, you heard me ... everything else worked fine. So I call the poor host company and crap on them like a bat out of hell and they go "it's working fine on our side, ma'am." WTF ... they were right! Everyone else had 'project me' except me. I then switched to my mobile connection and lo and behold ... same freaking thing. Before you ask, I did clear caches, shut down, remove battery, shake it, unplug it, hug it ... you name it.

So I did what any sane girl would do and went to lie down to bring the sugar to a semi normal state. That's okay because I have my blackberry so I can continue working off my phone. This phone? This piece of tin? This thing that freezes every second minute? You must be joking. I can't smash it into a million pieces before I get a new one, but that's easy enough because I will just upgrade online.

Am I the bullseye for the mean technology gremlins to tease and taunt?

The simple process is to sign up to my service provider online and create a user account. No, I haven't done it in the 12 or so years I've been with them. So I have to type in my mobile number, wait for the One Time Pin and gain access. Don't be surprised when I tell you that the OTP was rejected ... 4 times. No, not the same pin 4 times but 4 different pins that were booted out of the system.
I have to admit that I do love the power of Twitter because after giving in to the frustration I did a nasty Tweet about Vodacom and I had a response in less than 5 minutes. The asked me to inbox my mobile and I had a call in about another 5 minutes. Well done Vodacom ... you were my only ray of sunshine amidst the mayhem.

Here's my favourite one of all ... I'm being haunted by a dating site. Yep ... I have deleted Zoosk countless times and it keeps popping up to show the face of some over aged or?pubescent boy who is winking at me. Stop freaking winking at me and get me off this site. I have deleted setting. Deleted my profile. Unticked every notification box in site and the fucking thing just won't go away. It's flashing at the bottom of my screen now ... It must me deeply hidden somewhere in the depths of the memory of my computer that forgets who 'project me' is but hangs on to dating for dear life. Maybe it's a sigh 😉

I don't wanna hate technology. I love technology. It's given me the platform to share my life with you and live my dream. So why is it being so mean to me? Why can't it just be simple like ... um ... wait, nothing is ever really that simple is it?

PS ... It's what you do with it that counts!!! Laugh and the technology gremlins laugh with you ...

The things you learn from a sugar rush - project me day 420

I'm thinking it's going to be one of those days.
Waking up to the wild antics of a kitten that looks like she should have been named after a princess is my own fault ... I never should have named her after a?mischievous? dragon. It would have been cute were I not coming down from the sugar rush of a lifetime.
Or is it that I'm finally building a healthy enough relationship with my body that I can feel the impact of food on my entire system?

Of course I blame Hustler Girl and in her comment she is going to blame me in return. The bottom line is that our little binge of what we thought was a well deserved 'cheat' meal left me learning things about myself that my poor sugar levels have been trying to learn for years. My body only wants to be fed certain things. My body doesn't like too much refined, oily, sugary stuff that we are used to eating every day.
When I was little one of my favourite things to do was play with a yo-yo. I can't tell you how many I had but one of my best ones had a face on it and I used to imagine that is was a person getting all dizzy as I twirled and spun it. You know that eeeeewww feeling? Well I had that from the moment my sugar spiked for the first time. Hmmm ... lesson learned!

But wait, there's more ... sugar that is!! Don't those biscuity things with the yummy strawberry begging to be eaten just look?scrumptious? I didn't realise the invitation to The Venus Network for some fun and a product research workshop for South Africa's Tea Lovers biscuits would include an array of delicious treats made from the?biscuits ... naive, I know!

So we all know just how?engrossed?in online networking I am. I've mentioned for long enough how I can mingle anywhere online but don't like arriving at venues on my own. Let's not forget that if you spin me around I'm lost. It was also time to meet a 'stranger' that I've only been communicating with via every other means possible except face to face. I've had a few 'project me' stories of connecting with someone and chatting for ages only to never speak again after the actual meeting. This person is really sweet and I don't want them to go away ... so the combination of all of this was like a sugar rush all on it's own.

I liked it ?... all of it ... the personal social networking. Spending time at the gorgeous venue, Life on 3rd in Mellville and putting a gentle face to a very special voice. On that note, it's a great thank you to Life on 3rd for the absolutely delicious sweet treats that were all made with Tea Lovers biscuits. If I didn't stress about a potential sugar coma, I would have indulged a tad more.
I also discovered that I quite like tapping into another creative side of myself. Yes, words flow like water with me but when we were presented with cardboard, crayons, pencils and magazines and asked to be artistically creative, I panicked a little. I can write what I think, but to draw it ... that's not me! Or is it??? Maybe the sugary experience that thrust me into the unfamiliar world of creativity sparked a little more confidence in a few more areas of possibility. Don't panic ... I'm not about to try and sketch a Monet.

I met a super interesting woman there and we were Facebook friends before we walked out the door. When you realise you have 4 friends in common and 3 of them are from a dating site, you know that the world is but an oyster shell. Of course they would have to include both Mr Big and The Jock. I saw The Jock yesterday so I know he's alive and well, but I haven't heard from Mr Big since the day we decided to 'end it' but stay friends. I can feel my sugars rising just thinking about the 6 months that have passed since he made any contact.?Admittedly, I have been worried about him because there hasn't even be any activity on his Facebook since last year. No ... I'm not stalking him, exactly! Imagine my surprise when I received a message from him less than 10 minutes after I made a new friend. My initial reaction was relief that he's alive but then the rest of the emotions came gushing in. The curiosity is killing him ... How do I know this woman we now have in common? How is the house hunting? How am I liking my new hair colour? Am I married yet?? ... The down side of social networking ... but then again it is my choice to announce all of these things for the world to see. Oh shit ... I blog daily too! Right, nothing to hide!

So I learned he's alive and well and that was good enough for me. I chose not to write back, just like I chose not to poke Text Guy back and I chose not to go down any repeated road with The Jock.

Despite the fact that I feel like hell today and am now in a state that I pushed my body over the edge and have diabetes as of this moment on, I had some of the most fun, special and empowering moments all thanks to a shit load of sugar!

Equipped with a plan, lipstick & good reflexes - project me day 419

Today is one of those days that I wished I had blogged about yesterday, yesterday. All of a sudden there is so much to do that I'm feeling particularly frazzled. It's all a good thing, believe it or not, but I do wish that time would stand still for a moment so that I didn't have to prioritize. That's what happens when one has a big Tuesday.

I've mentioned the mission I'm on to get this blog out there and eventually make a living out of it, between advertising, sponsorship and project me talks. That means there had to be a little stepping out of the comfort zone and heading off to a meeting without my business partner.
Have I shared my little dream of being chauffeured around for the rest of my life? I kid you not. It's even made it onto my vision board. So when my sister was planning grocery shopping it was a very cool plan that ended in my brother dropping me at my meeting. A little less pressure goes a long way considering I hate arriving at new place.

Here's another little reveal. I'm not sure if I've mention my addiction before, but when I need to put my best foot forward I NEED to have my lipstick/lip gloss on hand. It sits on the dinner table. I walk around holding it. I have about 7 in my handbag. How totally?inappropriate?to apply lipstick (constantly) during a meeting? You're wondering ... and of course I didn't, but holy moly did I NEED it.
I'm bursting with excitement at the prospects of the meeting though and praise the power of social networking.

You have to hold that thought because my little sis just looked at me with puppy-dog eyes and asked me to make her breakfast. She's got a job interview today and clearly there are nerves ... or manipulation 😉

Right ... sister of the year is back ... and as I was saying: I'm a big fan of social networking and have a little envy at the rest of the world who are further along in the concept and?accessibility?of social networking tools. How could I not burst with excitement at the concept of UCit that best describe themselves as: "Every day, UCit sends you exclusive offers to experience your city in true UCit style. Live more, pay less and have fun doing it. With us, what you C is what you GET."
I have a plan to socially network with this incredible concept ... despite getting all of my friend to sign up, get involved and all go for the same awesome deal so that we do magical things together. Find UCit on Facebook and Twitter.
If you are anywhere else in the world and there is a site that you can share with my international readers, the post a comment.

One day there's mention of needing to move and today I think I'm announcing that we might have found a house. It's been brewing for a while, but I haven't mentioned it because I'm trying to deal with an issue or two of my own.
Firstly, I've decided to move with my mom and at the age of 37 I'm trying not to feel like the spinster with the cat (as beautiful as my Saphirah is). Secondly, and here's the kicker ... the house is next door to Greggie. Like we don't have to swat away enough flies about having an unhealthy codependent best friend relationship.
The house is perfect. I have my own entrance so I will have the privacy I need. The rest will be in pics if we get it. So I kicked into 'project me' mode and reminded myself that there is no truth but my own. I can't be concerned about what others may think or say because I can't control it anyway. I know my relationship with my best friend and I have no one to explain myself to. That being said and done, we are now waiting for the guy to decide if he wants to sell or rent ... hold thumbs!

As for the good reflexes and the odd picture of a lightening bolt ... well yesterday Mother Nature showed me just how resourceful I am. She reminded me that when crisis strikes (like literally strikes) I don't get frozen with fear. I kid you not ... she chucked a lightning bolt that hit the electric wires and snapped them. Sitting at a stop street, my mother and I watched a live wire, sparking and spitting, heading straight for the car. I don't get electricity so I didn't know if that was lethal or not, but all reflexes kicked in and I did a Chuck Norris car swerve?maneuver?that any stunt man would have bowed to. Driving and trembling is quite and experience but then so is living and thinking. Of course I pulled up outside our possible new home, in the pouring rain, and applied lipstick ... a girl needs a good shade of autumn when the world awaits her.

Damn these brainy ideas - project me day 418

Today I feel speechless. I don't know what to say about myself except WTF?? I'm wondering why I didn't get the little girl dream of getting married and having kids by the age of 24. Not that I haven't seen that be an incredible dream for so many. But for some reasons, when I was sketching my dream life I had other crazy idea. Other mad, big and totally magical ideas that would suit my personality down to a T. That doesn't mean I'm not entitled to curse myself for some of the best ideas I've had.

I always cast my mind to an interview I watched with Robbie Williams. I watched in awe as one of the greatest music icons of the world spoke about how absolutely?petrified?he is of his own success. How freaked out he gets before he records a song, sings a song, releases a song, performs a song. He has performed in front of record breaking crowds and felt like a total failure. Imagine thinking that millions of people (who are screaming and cheering your name) all think you suck. Yet Robbie doesn't know how to do anything else. He can't be who he isn't and he would have no purpose if he didn't wake up and do what his soul is yelling out for him to do.

I totally get your Robbie.

I know my friends sometimes don't understand my panic or that you can shove me on a stage in front of hundreds of people and I'll be fine, but send me to a meeting alone and I want to cry. I get what it does to me ... but I do it anyway.

So, I've had some brilliant ideas! You are reading one of them. There are much more where those came from and I am working with my heart and soul to breathe more and more life into them. That doesn't mean I don't curse myself during Lifeology meetings. Usually Greggie smirks and then it hits me ... "holy crap ... now that's gonna take bravery and confidence! $%#& more bravery and more confidence!!!"

The bolder the idea, the more Greg hoses himself and the more pale I turn but there's nothing else on this earth I would be doing.
Last night I shared some of my big scared crybaby fears with a friend who told me to get over myself. He said it?endearingly but he also made me realise something. This girl ain't changing. If I were anyone else beside the girl with the big ideas who got freaked out by those very plans that spilled forth, I would have no driving force.
My power is my very own ability to bring to life those very things that scare the living hell out of me. It doesn't matter whether it's as small as making a phone call to as big as .... don't let me say how big because that might just spark another crazy idea. Let's just say that what's on my plate is big enough ... it's JODENE enough and it scares the living bajeebers out of me.

The Robbie interview:

SA's Mr Motivator, Fred Felton, Interviews me

There are many reasons for social networking but one of my favourites is meeting people who inspire me to do more, try harder, dream bigger. It has become my joy to share those people with all of you and I have been waiting to introduce you to Fred.

Here's his story and my answers to the 10 questions he asked me. I got to ask Fred my curious questions too ... so check them out on his blog (after you've read my answers of course! 😉 )

Fred Felton is 38 years old and lives in Umhlanga Rocks. ?He owns the company Falcon's Cove.
He is an avid writer and coffee addict. ?He has written 4 books among them 100 Motivational Tips and?100 Motivational Tips for Small Business. ? He has also just finished 100 Acting Tips. ? They are available here?http://tinypay.me/s6nXlzj4
They are also available for sale on Amazon.com.
He is busy with his next book a mixture of poetry, short stories and photography.
He is also a motivational speaker and does seminars on Twitter 101, Facebook 101,
Email 101, Youtube 101, how to market online and how to write a blog.
He is also a IT consultant and Business Consultant.
Sometimes you can also find him doing voice over work and acting.
Look for him on twitter: ?@fredfelton
His blog is found here?http://mrmotivatorfredfelton.blogspot.com/

It's Q & A time:

1. ?You are quite the blogger. ?What is your advice for someone starting to write a blog for the first time and which blog sites should they use?

Write about what you want to say and not what you think people want to hear. There are more blogs than stars in the sky most probably and in order to be unique and stand out you have to separate yourself from the collective and shine through with the uniqueness of who you are.
I am the greatest fan of WordPress because it has so many brilliant features that help your blog become very socially versatile in the networking sphere. You don?t have to know much got go far with it! Join blogging communities ? lots of them ? and make friends because you never know who knows who out there 😉

2. ?Sea or Forest? ?And Why?
The sea! I have a very special bond with sea even though I don?t live close to it. My novel (that I am in the final stages of editing) is based on a woman?s journey to self discovery when she moves to live by the after she falls ill! Ironically ? I?m scared of the sea and like to splash in the baby pools that the gods have created for kids and scaredy-cats like me!

3. ?If you could take one book with you to a deserted island which one would it be and why?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It?s the most powerful book I have ever read and there are so many profound statements that I could read it forever and never get enough of the lessons and messages within this incredible story.

4. ?Tell us about the latest film you just saw?
I watched Tangled last night. I?m still in awe at 3D and took my glasses home because I know that eventually we?ll own a pair. Maybe Dolce & Gabbana will bring out a range of them. It was a gorgeous movie, but then Disney always is.

5. ?Why is twitter so amazing?
I have made some of my dearest friends through Twittering. Beyond the sphere of the power that it has a social networking tool, it turns the world into one big cocktail party and I could mingle all day. Well, it introduced you and I, didn?t it Fred?

6. ? What is your advice to writers?
Just write! Don?t ever delete anything you have written and don?t underestimate the power of returning to a piece of writing at the perfect time in your life.

7. ? Why is South Africa such a beautiful place to live in?
As much as I envy those who have white Christmas?s and get frustrated that American Country music is not beg enough here to ever feed my thirst for it, I love being South African beyond words. The vastness of cultures, most beautiful sunshine, rainbow nation and eternal hope of the people are the roots that ground me.

8. ? What funny things have you have seen in your neighbourhood?
I live a few blocks from Wanderers cricket stadium so I have the time of my life after a cricket match. Drunk girls and boys staggering down the road, singing songs that make no sense and shouting for the winning team even if we got our ass whipped.

9. ? What is this Project me all about?
It started as a daily blog that I needed to drive me to never give up on my dreams no matter how tough life got. However, project me has been a part of my life for years. It?s my commitment to myself to live each day with courage, consciousness and a sense of humour. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that the blog would grow to what it is today and that my life would change with each passing entry. We all have a ?project me? and I have now expanded my blog to include a section called ?Your Project Me Story; where others share their stories too because you never know who needs to hear exactly what you have to say. We are all that powerful.

10. ?Give us 10 websites you like and why do you like them?
1. Obviously I?m on Twitter all day and use it as my tool to grow my following as well as interact with some of the most inspirational people in the world.
2. Facebook is my place to escape form it all and enjoy my time with my friends and followers. I can honestly say that it sits open at the bottom of my screen the entire day.
3. I?m a social networking tart and check my stats like crazy. I challenge myself to do better and so I am always on My Scoop which is a social networking aggregator. I can check my rankings on so many different platforms and it inspires me.
4. I use a lot of images for my blog and I?m always on Stock.xchng.
5. I follow a lot of bloggers but have some of my faves and the one dearest to my heart is my friend Nikki who has a blog called Lunatic Cafe. We met on a blog networking site and are the perfect example of the gifts of blogging.
6. My business partner, Greg Arthur, is an incredible writer and through is blog ?Oh God Knows? I get my inspiration to be that individual.
7. If you?re waiting for a news, sports or weather site, you won?t find it. I listen to the news once a day and then I got to my other fave places like Wisdom Quotes. I also like to drop a few of those into Twitter every so often!
8. She?s the geek is a blog that inspires women through technology. It is a South African award winning blog that motivates me daily.
9. Website marketing is as vital as it sounds. It is a blog that keeps up to date on all the tools and information about marketing on the web. With a blog, trust me I need it.
10. Youtube ? I get my fix of Country Music there and have to admit that I listen to a few to many songs a day, but maybe that?s where all the inspiration comes from 😉

PS ... Fred, you're up there with my faves but me thinks the peeps are going think I just said it as a schmoozling marketing ploy 😉