Microsoft South Africa changes my game - project me post 999

I can't believe?it's post 999 ... wow! One more to go to a thousand!

It's 5am and my day was started by the usual gazillion thoughts that flow through my head and have been prodding me awake and into another day filled with hours of work, Tweets and glimpses of remembering it put me first.
When project me began, it was a very interesting time in my life. I was this girl with big dreams. The more I chat to people the more I realise that all they were, were dreams. At that stage I was shy, insecure and faking my success with a pretty dismal attempt.

I dreamed of being a public speaker. Well, I actually dreamed of imparting life changing lessons to the world, and I would take any platform I could get. What started as a few Tweets and one raw, emotional blog post has been 999 incredible steps closer to me.

Along the way, my story has gained momentum and I get to fake it a little less with each passing day. Now I really can speak, I truly am confident (most of the time), but mostly, I'm living my dream. I've done it with most incredible support and people who have stopped me in passageways or cornered me at dinners and thanked me for keeping the blog going.

Amazingly, I could have stopped 999 times.
Of all the things that nearly made me give up on the journey is the drama that I've faced with the actual tools I've had (or haven't had) to keep this blog going. When the story began, I was working on a second hand laptop that died on me eventually a little over a year into the story.
Let me remind you that saying, "you can pick up a laptop for really cheap" means nothing but anguish to a newly born entrepreneur who is battling to find petrol money, let alone buy a new laptop.

So in early 2011, my hunt for a laptop sponsorship began. It also failed! Eventually, my IT support, Biz4All offered to carry the load of the funds because he could see that I literally couldn't function with one, and he got me up and running with a trade exchange. Magic .. I was set up!

No ... wait ... on the 24th of September 2011, the day of my birthday, I went away to celebrate another great milestone in my life and our home got robbed and the laptop was stolen. Oh please, I never claimed to be the smartest and of course I assumed it was insured. It wasn't!
I started the hunt for a laptop again, and eventually, after days of frustration and trying to keep my life going, my mom loaned me her old. Again ... back to a second hand laptop. I hope that doesn't sound ungrateful at all.

Believe it or not, I've been on that laptop ever since. Yes, I am now in a position to get what I like and so the hunt, with a different esteem, began. This is a project me story, so there has to be a lesson in it somewhere and this one is about being patient in the wait for what you have worked so hard for. Nothing comes when you expect it, it always arrives when you are most ready for it. It took me years to understand that and I even tried to trick the universe and affirm that I was READY. We don't consciously get to decide that ... horrid life lesson, I know.

But now I am. Now a functioning device is not because I desperately need it, but because it's a game changer in both my project me journey and living is an entrepreneur with the next level of blossoming dreams.

When Microsoft South Africa called to say they wanted to be a part of my project me story and my online journey, it took my breathe away. The main reason is an interesting one.
When I started in the social media space, I came from nowhere and it was a bumpy ride to where I was going. There were other players and some of them were much bigger and tougher than me, but I kept having to rise above it and get to where I wanted to go, because I believe in myself. Mostly, because I'm driven by passion!
To me, that sounds a whole lot like the world of technology. It sounds a lot more like the story of Microsoft and now the journey of Windows 8.

windows8-logo

Yesterday, I walked into a meeting with a powerhouse of corporates, sat down and whipped out my Windows 8 driven Lenovo ThinkPad. It twists and transforms from?a laptop to a tablet. It's touch screen. It swipes and manoeuvres from all corners of the screen?... and it got everyone's attention. I have to admit that I did wait for the perfect moment to do the transformer move from laptop to tablet ... but that's just because I'm so freakin' chuffed?that I can?confidently walk into a room and my technology meets my space in the world.

I have?a support team when I need it and have become accustom to being welcomed into the Microsoft family, as if I was always meant to be there.

Dear Microsoft, thank you for your belief in my journey and for finding the perfect match with my smart and?sexy?Twist.
I have plans to write incredible blog posts, simply perfect Tweets, create mind blowing presentation and keep in touch with my world, with a new found love for technology. Your partnership with Project Me and my online story has opened up many exciting windows in my life over the past few days and I have no doubt that each day will be filled with new windows opening to my world!

#Gratitude

Microsoft and Project Me

What do you mean I'm normal? - Project Me post 998

Oh crap ... I've regressed!

Okay, that goes slightly against my belief that we can never go back. Well, we can never go completely back, because each day we learn something and should be that little bit wiser and more progressed. That's great in theory, but seriously, I had to admit that I've fallen back into some really bad habits and gotten consumed by things I worked so hard at turning around through Project Me.

Let me catch you up to speed. When I started this project me journey ... way before the blog, in 2004, I was an overweight workaholic without any direction.

Let's get the positive out the way ... I'm definitely not directionless anymore. One place where I have worked so hard and really maintained my focus has been in setting the compass in my life and working, passionately towards my dreams. I'm on track and I'm loving it!

Let's get to the other stuff!
We all have repeated patterns that keep on creeping up back to haunt us. There are dozens of self help books that are supposed to explain it and some are even supposed to help us get over them so that the past doesn't come back to haunt us.

Well, I have managed to get past the two biggest hurdles in my life as yet: The workaholic and the over eater!

I don't have to explain either, but I do have to tell you the space that I am currently in, where I'm finally sitting and staring at my life in absolute dismay.

One day it's all back ...

One day it's all back ...

That picture mortified me.
I've picked up all the weight I worked so hard at losing and if you had to take a glimpse into my average day it would be sadly obvious that the workaholic in me has flared right back again. It's manic! It's late nights. It's binge eating to get surges of energy ... it's a mess!

Every day I have been waking up with the full intention of finding a glimmer of balance. I start off with all good intentions and by the middle of the day I'm drowning in the workload and craving anything to spike my sugars. Then I'm working at night and wishing I wasn't because of the part of me who remembers what it's like to have balance ... so I eat.

I love what I do and wouldn't do anything else, so I canceled out depression very early in the game. My mind then started to play tricks on me (as it does best) and I started to watch the determination and then the desperate craving for starch and my NBF .. cappuccino!
I wasn't finding time to do anything I want to do. I just bought a mountain bike at the beginning of this year and have ridden it 3 times. I want to go to yoga just once a week and have not been able to get there once. I plan to wake up early in the morning and get a touch of exercise done, but I'm too exhausted to even think ... I must be sick!!!

Yep, that's what I did. I convinced myself that something was out of whack and I took myself off to the doctor. Interestingly, and not to be dramatic at all, he did find a slight heart fibrillation, that he said a little asprin should keep in check.
But back to the drama of the blood tests and the fact that I had totally convinced myself that the cravings were either linked to diabetes or low blood pressure. I was so ready to pop a pill that would stop all the cravings and help me to calm down to half of the manic energy I run on all day.

Yep ... I'm normal. Every test result came back clean as a whistle. My sugars surprised me most, because of the weight I'm carrying, but Murphy's always a sneaky bastard!

So this is the doctor's diagnosis: I work like such a crazy person that my body thinks the surges of energy are equivalent to me running a marathon. Then I crave things, just like an athlete who would want to replenish their body, except I'm not doing much moving besides running to meetings.
When I asked him what he could give me for that ... oh yes I did!!! He told me to take natural calming tablets to take the edge off and CALM MY LIFE DOWN!!!

That's so much easier said than done!
I have no idea where to start!
I could list a dozen thoughts right now ... but I have to end this post because I have work to do.

But, jokes aside, something has to give. I pride myself in encouraging others to live their project me by being conscious, telling themselves the truth, facing their fears, doing something different and living with abundant happiness.

That was my biggest frustration when the doc filled me in ... because I am happy! Well, for the most part!
I look at people who publicly do these days of gratitude or their countdown to their eating plans and I think it's the last people want to see. I don't see the need in making it public (despite my life being so public) but then I think that maybe getting through each day with a touch of exercise and no crazy eating will be encouraging if people support me along the way, because I'm really feeling like I can't do it on my own right now.

It's scary! I'm miserable! I have big opportunities ahead and it throws me onto stages and into the public eye ... and not one thing in my cupboard fits me ... so I'm turning to you for some guidance. Not on what to eat or how to stop working, but on whether it helps to put it out and get the encouragement as one day at a time I begin to reclaim my project me journey?

The warm embrace of Tsogo Sun - Project Me post 997

I'm doing the every thing I said I wouldn't do to myself this year.
While sitting with a dear friend a few days before New Year, we chatted about what we wanted to do differently in 2014 and mine was (is) very simple. I just want to make time for me.

I have one of those addictive personalities and run the risk of falling back into old patterns very quickly. If you've been around here for a while, you'll know that I have workaholic written all over me. Simple things like getting to yoga once a week or actually having time to pack lunch for a day at a client's office is completely necessary but something I just haven't managed to do at all since the beginning of the year. All I really want to do is love me enough to take some time out and just relax.

Okay, so I'm not getting that self loving right, but I've also come to learn that sometimes nurturing from others is the best trigger to help turn your attention back to yourself.

A gentle smile, a cup of tea, a loving embrace ... all the things that body, mind and soul craves the most. Okay, the body craves the occasional glass of bubbles, but that's for later in my story!

Twice this year, I've had that all encompassing reminder of how important it is to just stop, relax and reconnecting. Twice I've had the smiles, the tea and the embrace, because twice I've been a guest with Tsogo Sun this year.

 

About 15 minutes from home is the hustle and bustle of Sandton City. There's construction and traffic and the reminder that life is intensely fast passed. But then the door is held open, silence falls and the world of the Tsogo Sun, Sandton Sun welcomes you in.
The San Deck, on the roof top of the hotel, has the most spectacular view, with the added bonus of the air filled with quiet.

There is a perfect variety of a full menu and a really trendy bar type one, with a variety of cocktails that are begging to be tried.

tsogo sun san bar lunch

A little of everything at lunch

Because taking a breather isn't complete without a little pampering. I was treated to a pedicure at the gorgeous Sandton Sun Spa and am a firm believer that having your toes pampered is like a spoon full of happy.
I'm not sure how many of you know, but I used to be a spa owner for many years. Before that, I taught beauty therapy and event went as far as eventually opening a recruitment agency for the industry. I was obsessed with refining graduates straight from college and putting them back into the industry. Because of that, I usually work my way through a treatment with a slightly critical eye, but didn't manage to do that at all. The experience was too perfect, from being greeted at the door, having my shoes removed for me and placed into a gorgeous box and having my feet treated to a perfectly heavenly experience, in the lap of luxury.

Happy toes with a foot mask on

Happy toes with a foot mask on

The spa really is amazing, with each room being bathroom en suite and having it's own unique theme. There a little hideaways everywhere, to just relax and unwind. The extra touches don't stop, with even a coffee machine nestled (hahaha ... slight pun there) away in the chill out room. My whole body was grateful for the quiet lazing on the couch while my toes took their time to dry.

A glimpse at the Sandton Sun Spa

A glimpse at the Sandton Sun Spa

 

I was supposed to have Valentine's plans, but as life goes, plans change. Plan B wasn't looking too fantastic until I received an exciting invitation to be whisked off to Durban thanks to Tsogo Sun with Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani

Launch of the Sky Venue happened 31 floors up in the Maharani, Southern Sun

Launch of the Sky Venue happened 31 floors up in the Maharani, Southern Sun

Way up on the 31st floor is an old venue brought back to life. After many years the Sky Venue was relaunched and it truly was an honour to be among the best of Durbs in the most exquisite venue. Everything is breathtaking from the decor to the view and Tsogo Sun sure know how to throw a party.

The perfect party at Sky Venue

The perfect party at Sky Venue

Parties end and it's time to go home. That place to rest my head and wake up on Valentine's day was a gorgeous room in the hotel, on the 27th floor. I must interject and say I'm so proud of me for getting over my lift phobia. I have a beautiful love affair with the Tsogo Sun beds and slept safe, waiting to awaken to day that had the potential to be pretty bad as a single girl. Well, that can't happen when pulling opening the blinds and the windows and waking up to this ...

Tsogo Sun SSEM sunrise

I might not have woken up with a valentine, but the warm embrace of hospitality and service made me feel the love.

And wherever I go and enjoy the moments with the Tsogo Sun family, I'm always so grateful to have the most amazing host. Sheena Gates is the awesome @SheBeeGee in the Twitterverse and I can't thank you enough for giving me the most special opportunities to share in the hotel's passion and pride. You make me feel like the luckiest girl under the SUN!

Thank you for your amazing hospitality and perfect hosting, Sheena

Thank you for your amazing hospitality and perfect hosting, Sheena

Lost in a month - project me post 996

I hate that feeling of leaving something too long and then having to make the call, face the friend, respond to the email ... blog!!

Yes, it's been a month!

Amazingly, it wasn't because I have been contemplating whether I want to continue this journey or not. I think a lot of the time I have kept on stalling as I creep toward this 1000th post. I sway between wanting to do some kind of event to celebrate the milestone and then not. I've even had meetings with places about throwing some kind of bash, but for some reason, something has shifted within this month and less of me wants to throw some kind of event, while more of me just wants to keep on sharing my story and simply do what I love and what I know my readers have been accustom to enjoying ... my project me story!

So here I am, a month down the line and I feel more dread about this post than anything else. I haven't not blogged because I've been trying to stall for a party. I haven't blogged because life has been so much in the way. This post is kinda like pulling off the band aid ... the one where you don't think and you just do to get past the pain. Then I feel like the process will start to flow again.

What's been happening, you ask?

Well, in a nutshell, I've managed to get myself to that place where you can't see the wood from the trees. Okay, I have no idea what the statement even means, but I know that people who feel overwhelmed seem to use it a lot. So ... I'm overwhelmed.

Yep, I've finally figured out how to describe it. I get the feeling I will touch on a whole lot here and then re-visit some things over the weeks to come. Things like ... oh, let's see ...

Not managing to get around to putting myself first. At the beginning of the year I had one simple plan ... exercise 3 times a week, ride my new bike once on the weekend, go to yoga every Wednesday night. That meant managing my time, which people seem to think is so easy. Despite having a network around me, which is supposed to have freed up my time, each day I have found myself more trapped in my world than managing to free myself for a little time to myself. I'm not the girl who wants to wake up at 5am to get going. I want to live the life that is plastered on my vision board.

Of all the things to tackle along my 2014 Project Me journey ... I think this is going to be the biggest.
Every girl love makeup and I mostly love a brand called Bobbi Brown. Yes, the product is amazing, but the woman behind the brand is even more phenomenal. Just Google her and see why she's such an inspiring business woman & down right cool chick. That's what I want to be. How she lives her life is so much of what I strive for. Now to figure out how to get it right ...

My friend has cancer!
Crappy ... the sucky kinda chemo ... I have no idea what to expect or how to support her kind of cancer. It's my special @Liesldb and I've watched her blog through her process, while I have been completely stuck in writer's limbo. She tells her story much better than I can and I do hope that you share her journey along the way, in her blog

My incredibly brave and special friend L!!

My incredibly brave and special friend L!!

I let someone into my heart maybe just a little too much. Of course, I don't go for the simple option of boy meets girl, blah blah blah ... unless every girl out there can relate to mixed signals, being like for the wrong reasons (I'm more than just a social media girl who can make some trend) and getting the talk about being too intense and wanting too much. So I made a few crazy choices, threw myself in, invested time, money and self ... and I'm still licking my wounds a little.

There is the other odd guy floating around, but it seems everyone wants to adore me from a distance. Yep ... I think that's a whole blog post on it's own. So I had exciting plans for Valentine's and now I don't. Well, that's half true. I'm being whisked off by Tsogo Sun for an event in Durban on the 13th and I will be back on Valentine's. A touch of dread ... that's the truth.

I finally surrendered to the fact that I need a little help with my eating issues. Big issues ... this lose, gain, lose, gain is beginning to weigh me down (excuse the pun). I started with an amazing dietitian last week and she's literally helping me make friends with food and exercise. I don't know if it's only me, but all this stuff that my Facebook friends post about their exercise routine that half killed them and resisting the cake because *insert OTT motivational quote here* makes me think that my little attempt at just moving a few times a week is futile. So we are working on rectifying my perceptions and I'm thrilled to not be feeling like the tough girl who can figure it all out on my own.

The cats are good!
My country music is keeping me sane!
I'm planning to go overseas this year no matter what!
I'm still grateful for every moment ... even the frustrated ones!
My dreams are big!
My heart is happy ... sometimes really deep down inside!
... and I feel like I'm back! Even if it's just one blogging step in the right direction.