Travel, tea and turning older
I can't believe I didn't get time to blog before I left for Europe. I can't believe I've gone and am back already, a year older. It was a bit of a whirlwind trip to start off with, deciding to join my client (who has blossomed into a very dear friend) on her travels through the world of theatre in London and Vienna.
The countdown to leaving was crazy, with clients needing things finished before I left and having landed 3 social media publicity events, all for the first two weeks of October. Chat Factory had it second, exciting growth spurt and I also hired an assistant community manager just before leaving. Showing her some of the ropes to hang onto while I was gone and leaving everything in the hands of my very capable and super special team of B and M (with my business partner & bestie, Greggie, ever in the wings) I flew out last Saturday afternoon.
London has a special place in my heart. I have memories of when my sister left there and it was also my first overseas experience straight after I matriculated. I have dear friends there too and it was special to get to see two of them. It was also even more special that they paid for tea, because our plummeting South African Rand makes for less fun times in Europe. We took Rooibos with us and I made a big cup everyday and shamelessly refilled my Starbucks mug to carry around with me!
When we weren't converting our Rands to much stronger currencies, we were at the theatre. That was the reason for the trip and I spent every night counting my blessing that my social media career led me to the experiences of theatres around the world. I was most proud of myself, that I was able to see what would work for our SA audiences as well as how our stages worked in comparison to the oversees ones.
I got to see Gypsy and Miss Saigon in London ... just wow!
I've wanted to see Miss Saigon for countless years and it was so worth the wait. I was mesmerised and swept away.
By the time we had spend our pounds and made our way to Vienna, it was one day away from my 42nd birthday. It was thrilling ... but it was also freezing cold! We hadn't expected the weather to turn so quickly, but that was naive of us South African girls. That's the story of a European spring. We made it through the cold and got to see the opening night of Mozart Das Musikal. That's the way to turn 42!!!!
The following day was the long trip home, which give me so much time to think. I had bought gifts for everyone, including myself and was longing for the SA sun.
During my trip back, I kept thinking how lucky I was to have had the experiences I have had. I wasn't only thinking about this trip, but about my one earlier this year, my businesses, my friends and family ... the list goes on. I thought about the tea I had bought in London and how I didn't care to convert it, because chocolate tea must never be left behind. How lucky am I to have such a great relationship with money.
Then the lights were turned off on the plane and everyone started to fall asleep. As I drifted off, I thought about all the exciting things and people I was heading home to and how lucky I was. But then reality shook me awake for one moment. I'm not lucky ... what is luck? That's something random, that happens per chance, like the roll of a dice. This didn't happen by luck ... this happened by hard work, passion, belief in myself and faith in my beliefs. This happened because of years of working on my self worth, my business, my dreams!!
This was 42 years of Jodene, waking up and going to sleep, each day in gratitude!!!
I can't believe the time. It feels like 5pm, but 9pm is drawing closer and I can't say I've completed one thing today. It's been one of those aimless ones, where contemplating life and wanting sit and talk to the ones smarter than me and ask them what the hell it's all about, has occupied most of my hours.
I've dodged blogging about life for a while now, because I'm never great at telling my story in the midst of a life lesson. I'm one of those teacher types, who needs to have experienced the answer, to not look the fool. But then on Saturday, when it was the coldest day of the year and I was on Aunty Duty, I managed to convince my nephews to watch Eragon, a very special movie to me. I'm not sure if I've told you that my cat kids are all named after the main characters in the book (movie) about Eragon, the last dragon rider and Saphira, his dragon. For as long as I have had a belief system of my own, only confirmed by my own imagination, have I known and loved dragons. This movie is as close to any imagination I have had of them and I needed that to get some clarity on life. At one point in the movie, Brom says, "one part brave, three parts fool". I've watched the movie a dozen times and each time I hear that, I have an intentional burst of bravery ... which fades away soon enough.
Today, my baby sister got the news that she's needs to prepare herself for her best friend to lose the fight to cancer. If I could, I would wrap her in the most protective bubble imaginable and save her from the worst kind of letting go, but I can't. Needless to say, I sobbed for hours.
There's no preparation for that, even though everyone has told her to. I, on the other hand, told her not to. How do you? What does that statement even mean?
Candles, fairies and dragons ... great helpers in letting go, foolishly!
I've been so sick over the past week. If we don't vocalise it and deal, it comes out in the body's forced letting go. I've been sick, because how do you let go of someone who wasn't brave enough to just let go and love?
I'm not a fool (okay I am) ... let's try that again. I'm not blind to what I do. I conveniently forgot to mention to most people in my life and certainly didn't find time to blog, while I was seeing someone for nearly 6 months. The whole time there was this war between us, of me being brave enough to throw myself in heart and soul and him being cautious and unwilling to leap. Surely at 41 I should know that the right one wouldn't have those convenient excuses. It's nearly a month down the line and where's the textbook now, for just letting go??
One part brave, Three parts fool ... that gave me enough of a shake up to realise it was time to physically let go, so at 3am on Sunday morning I was deleting pictures, connections on social networks and removing the other easy ways of letting go. Again ... buckets of tears!
I'm in the midst of the lesson. I don't have the answer for myself and my aching heart and I certainly don't have the answer for my little sis and her harsh waiting game and a letting go that no one wants to have to do.
That's all I have. Broken and incomplete!
"One part brave ... Three parts fool" will be tattooed under my dragon & wolf
Clean Eating Tomato Sauce Recipe
I absolutely love tomato sauce and have it nearly every day, so I've been using a "diet" option for a while, but that's still loaded with sugar and far too many preservatives. This has been my most exciting clean eating recipe for me and it's basically fool "in the kitchen" proof.
1 box chopped tomato (avoid tinned products)
1/2 cup of water
1 clove garlic or 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
5 pitted dates (or a tablespoon maple syrup)
4 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (pure)
1 teaspoon all spice mix
1 teaspoon clove
1 teaspoon paprika
pinch of salt & pepper
Heat a pot, then turn it to low just before adding ingredients
Add water first, to heat up a bit and then add the tomato.
Add all the other ingredients and let it cook slowly for 20 mins (stir every few minutes)
Don't worry about the chunky bits until late end.
The sauce should thicken, but don't over cook it if it seems too runny.
After 20 minutes, take pot off the stove and let it cool to room temperature
Throw the mixture into a blender and blend well.
If it's too runny, add a small tin of tomato paste (make sure it doesn't have sugar or preservatives) and blend again
I kept some in a jar, in the fridge, as it lasts about 3 to 4 weeks and I froze the rest in ice tray portions.
Let me know!