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A decade of me

A decade of me

As tagged by SheBee.

This may seem a bit emo but then, that’s just how things have been for me …

I was 27, my beautiful boys were 7 and 4 years old and I had been happily married for 5 years. The X and I had built a house in Table View, we each had our own cars and great jobs.

Things were going pretty well back then until I got horribly frustrated at work. I was running the studio for a magazine, working hideously long hours and started bumping heads with the owner’s son who arrived on the scene and took over as Operations Manager. I stuck out his incompetence for as long as I could and then I just *had* to move. So much so in fact, that I went for a lower paying job!

My dear, dear gran passed away in this year at the age of 88. I still miss her. (She was my mother figure while I was growing up.) I remember going to visit her for the last time in frail care and saying to the X as we were leaving the building: “That’s it, I don’t think I’m ever going to see her again.” I was heartbroken.

I took a job at Hirt & Carter, training people to use Macs, Photoshop, FreeHand and Quark. I shat myself when I started there – I was so afraid of standing up in front of a group of students and teaching them and I was even more afraid that they would ask me something I didn’t know. So I worked my backside off to be the best damn trainer ever!

Then H&C decided that they wanted to start offering a Web Authoring course and yours truly did all the investigation and put the course together for them. The Web Bug bit. Big time. I loved every second of my new online adventures. But I was working stupid hours – teaching three 4-hour classes a day and then studying and putting the new course together in my “free” time. I couldn’t keep up with that kind of schedule AND still be a half decent wife and mother. So I had to move on. Again. And amazingly, at exactly that time, I was head hunted by Sanlam, who offered me a brilliant position in their Health division’s IT department and a great salary w00t! I thought my dreams had come true.

And then, my boss turned out to be a disgusting, stanky pig. Although I loved the work and the money, I could not handle working under that man (he literally nauseated me), nor could I feel comfortable in that big corporate environment. Being a number and being confined to a little cubicle was soul destroying and I became desperately unhappy and once again started looking for something else. (As a result of my resigning, my boss’s sickening shenanigans were exposed and he was demoted.)

I landed up at Electric Ocean, where I was initially hired as an HTML coder but soon progressed into managing some rather juicy international projects. I was in the proverbial deep end but it was thrilling! The environment was fantastic, the people were awesome (gosh, I got to know some incredible talent and razor sharp minds at EO) but I was horribly overworked and stretched beyond my limits. I was spending insane hours at the office and felt that I needed to make a change, for my sake, and for my family’s. The X was still studying at this time and things were very hectic!

I had been thinking about going solo for a while but it really wasn’t an option for us financially until I got news of a huge performance bonus that I had been paid out from Sanlam. That gave me the opening I needed – totally made up my mind for me. I decided to buy my own decent computer to start my own business and use the left over money as a buffer while things were getting off the ground.

Hard times struck. It was very difficult, but I was doing what I loved and working from home. I was able to spend time with my family and I was happy for the first time in ages 🙂

We had sold our house in Table View by now. With the X working in the Southern Suburbs and the boys going to school there, and with me having to drive long distances to see clients, we decided that it would be more practical to live this side. So we sold up, made a tidy profit and bought this house. It was only supposed to be temporary though, just for a few years until we could buy our dream home. Sadly, that never happened. What did happen? The big Three-oh, that’s what!

I was actually stoked to turn 30. Seriously. I thought that people would start taking me seriously at last, stop asking for my ID at bottle stores and stop calling me “little one” and all that kind of crap. (To this day, if people call me “sweetie” or “honey” or “cooks” or anything else remotely patronizing, I want to smack them! Urgh.)

Business was tough. We went through some very lean times, what with the expense of the new house, my business struggling to get off the ground and other things. But then the X wrote board and qualified. I was so proud of him. He studied for eleven years part-time while working his butt off. But I never saw him. And neither did the kids. Our family life was starting to show some serious cracks. We thought that would change when he qualified – no more studying, less financial pressure, all that kind of stuff. Things started to look up again!

But nothing improved. Actually, everything got worse as X got more and more wrapped up in his work and I became increasingly lonely. His father passed away in September of this year and that traumatic event changed him into someone I didn’t know anymore. I felt neglected and miserable. Son#1 started having problems at school and his younger brother just wasn’t at all interested in the whole school thing. I was getting more and more stressed and unhappy as the days went by …

So I drowned my sorrows in my business. I worked like a woman possessed to make it a booming success. And I did it. THIS is the year that the tipping point was reached and I started to fly. I began hiring people to help me out – I was no longer working solo, I had a team working with me.

It was also the year that I began my Body For Life training, and it awesome. I had really struggled to lose weight after my pregnancies and even though Weigh Less helped me lose scale weight, I never felt fit or particularly healthy. BFL changed that for me completely.

The X won an award at work and the prize was a 7-day Caribbean cruise which we went on in July as a couple, together with other prize winners from his work. It was *the* most incredible experience of my life! I am determined to go back there and take my kids with me. One day.

It was coincidentally, also the year that we planned to have a family holiday in Mauritius. Very odd timing but we literally got back from the cruise, had a couple of days to unpack our suitcases, get the laundry done and re-pack our suitcases and then we were off to Mauritius! It was a lovely holiday – the kids had an awesome time but there was a very uncomfortable undercurrent between the X and me. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly what the source was.

Later on in this year, our marriage fell apart completely. I was living in emotional hell but too afraid to take any action …”if you ever divorce me, you’ll never see your children again” … those words immobilised me.

Crunch year. This is year I found about about HER and all the pieces came together for me. I felt like the world’s biggest tit ever. He told me that he was planning to leave in the next few months, and that he had no intention of concluding his relationship with HER. I couldn’t live like that so I gave him an ultimatum (stay, and reconcile or leave now, and it’s over). He left. I felt betrayed and abandoned and utterly broken. 15 years together tossed aside with no effort to try and reconcile. I couldn’t get my head around it and I didn’t (couldn’t) see him again for 2 years.

I lost my will to live. I lost my appetite (my weight sank to 48kgs). I lost my self esteem and every shred of confidence I once had in myself. The strong, independent woman who founded a business, stood by her man while he studied for 11 years, and raised 2 beautiful boys was gone. I lost all interest in everyone and everything around me. I couldn’t function at all and I certainly couldn’t work. Fortunately, thank God, I had a brilliant team working for me who kept the business going while I lived inside my black cloud of depression.

I became a recluse. Not that anyone really missed me – I was “discouraged” from having my own friends and going out … I had been told years before: “I’m not your fucking babysitter!” … and that was just that.

This year is a bit of a blur for me. I really can’t remember very much at all, but what I do remember is that it’s the year Sir G and I got together. He helped to bring me back to life. He slowly but surely let me know that I was not a piece of shit.

The highlight of this year: I went to my first concert! It was a birthday present from my staff 🙂 12 hours at Green Point Stadium with Sir G and Cosmo Tit watching some local bands, The Rasmus, Seether, Collective Soul, Metallica, The Audio Bullies and Fat Boy Slim. I loved every single hot, sweaty second of it w00t!

Divorced. It took 2 years for this to happen. And I did not do well out of it. At all. Enough said.

So here I am … I’m starting to come right, I can work again, I’m not as angry as I used to be and I don’t think I’m broken anymore.

I could write a whole lot more about the last decade, but it wasn’t that great (understatement of note) and I actually don’t want to dig up all that shit right now.

As for the next ten years? Who knows?

I am rebuilding myself and my life, bit by bit. I am beginning to take my power back.

And I think I’m winning …

Current addictions

Another meme thingy.

This time I’ve been tagged by my angel-wing-wearing-poetic-beauty-always-in-my-thoughts-friend, Cath (mwah xxx)

This here meme’s rules are as follows …

* Post at least five current addictions and why you’re addicted to them
* Link to the creator of the meme (Being Brazen) and to the person who tagged you
* Head your post with “Current addictions”
* Tag at least two people and pass on the above rules

WARNING: I’m sorry, but my addictions are not fun and entertaining – they are very much not-so-good things that I, rather shamefully, either cannot live without or have no control over.

Mmk … here goes:

  1. Cigarettes. The most obvious I guess. I am never without my Kent Menthols.
  2. Sleeping pills. I have to take a half a sleeping tab each night or I don’t sleep.
  3. Liviton. I absolutely cannot wake up in the mornings without taking a few swigs of this stuff. No 2 has an annoying hangover side-effect.
  4. Panado. I think I would die of pain without these.
  5. Binge eating. Yip, I have a serious problem with night time “snacking”, induced by extreme boredom and loneliness.

Yeah, that wasn’t too amusing, hey? Meh.

Right, I’m tagging Sir G and linda

Tagged – my workspace visuals

So this my 3rd taggy thingymajig …

The first one is here – 8 Personal Facts (TMI warning)

And the second one is here – 7 Interesting Things About Me (x 2 ‘cos I was tagged twice)

[ I was tagged for Rocking the Daisies, but I think the poor daisies are long dead! ]

Now, here’s the latest, via Cath

My Workspace – what I look at everyday:

I work in the house, in the dining room. My team is in the office outside.
I have to work alone – I get way too distracted otherwise.

My mug – Sir G gave it to me. My smokes are always within easy reach …

My ever-present bottle of water that I refill about 4 x a day, my purse and
my new CD, which turned out to be a waste of time.

My desktop.

The view just past my iMac, through to the lounge.
Those are my printers and one of my backup machines on the left.

Looking to my left. Note my gym equipment being used as a drying rack haha 🙂

And over to my right. That goes through my kitchen and the backdoor.

One times plant, in desperate need of some H2O. That’s my heater – I’d freeze without it!

Another very parched plant …

Mmk – that’s it! I’m not tagging anyone with this – it’s already been around the block,
I was just a bit slow on the uptake.

Double tagged!

Hmmm … tagged again. Twice.

This time it’s the “7 Interesting Things About Me” game and I got hit by both Chris Mills and Wogan May!

Does this mean I now have to come up with 14 things??

Hoo Boy … this ain’t gonna be easy – between my About Me page and being Tagged for the Very First Time by SheBee, I’ve just about exhausted the topic of Me! But then again, being an Aries means I love to talk about me, so I’m sure I can manage … wahaha!!

Alrighty then, before I begin, let’s take a look at that word … INTERESTING.


A quick check on reveals the following definitions:

  • engaging or exciting and holding the attention or curiosity: an interesting book.
  • arousing a feeling of interest: an interesting face.

– Synonyms

absorbing, entertaining. Interesting, pleasing, gratifying mean satisfying to the mind.

Something that is interesting occupies the mind with no connotation of pleasure or displeasure: an interesting account of a battle.

Something that is pleasing engages the mind favorably: a pleasing account of the wedding.

Something that is gratifying fulfills expectations, requirements, etc.: a gratifying account of his whereabouts; a book gratifying in its detail.

– Antonyms



Tough one … I’m supposed to come up with Interesting Things that are NOT dull, will please and gratify you, occupy your mind and fulfill your expectations … YIKES!!

Oh well, I can only do me best hey? Can’t please all of the people all of the time and all that =)

  1. I learned how to fly on a trapeze when I was in high school.
  2. I have no formal tertiary education … I always have to choose the “some other college” option when completing questionnaires. Although I matriculated with an exemption, I just didn’t feel the urge to waste my time on some arb degree or diploma that I would probably never actually use. So I landed up doing a secretarial course straight after school in ’89 – figured it was something that would always come in handy. I sucked! I still can’t type =) The only thing I did (ridiculously) well in was Word Processing. After that, in 1994 I did a 3-month DTP course.
  3. Everything I need to know, I teach myself.
  4. I have taught others though – I used to be a lecturer, if you can believe that. Yes, me. The Shyest Person On Earth used to make her living by standing up in front of a class full of students and teaching them how to use Macs, FreeHand, Quark and PhotoShop (waaay back in the day, before PS even had layers LOL) … and get this: I was pretty damn good at it!
  5. I designed and developed the first accredited Web Authoring course in the country.
  6. This is my the first website I ever built, the result of my very first dabble with the www … on good old Notepad =)
  7. I am good on a stage, I actually love performing =) (or I WAS good, should I say – haven’t done that for goodness knows how long!)
  8. I have double jointed fingers and I can move my eyes independently of each other – cool party trick haha
  9. I was well on my way to becoming a ballet dancer until sometime in high school, when Art kinda took over … I still miss dancing.
  10. I can’t remember the last time I went to the hairdresser.
  11. I don’t have any tattoos – I’ve thought about it many times and still do … and then I rapidly change my mind when the rather revolting image of a wrinkly old hag with body ink pops into my head.
  12. I absolutely ADORE dried mango and raw almond nuts (together) as a snack. I buy mine from Gabi’s in Access Park – Lekkerbek rules!
  13. I forget absolutely everything about a movie right about 5 minutes after I’ve watched it – damn frustrating!
  14. I am fascinated by people who are “different” – people who look different or think differently. I welcome the opportunities to see the world from another perspective, although I’m really stubborn so “different” also has to be “smart” to get my attention.

*whew* I did it!

There are no rules, so I’m not going to pass this one on to a whole bunch of folks … if you want to do it, be my guest. Pop your link into a comment on this post when you’re done.

I’m only tagging one person – Sir G! Welcome to the blogosphere Dude =)

Tagged for the very first time


I got tagged! By SheBee =)

Gosh, what to come up with that’s not already on my About Me page … hmmm …

Mmk, well here goes:

8 Random Personal Things About Me:

  1. I suffer from panic attacks. Sometimes, quite out of the blue, an intense fear grips me, my heart starts racing, I start sweating, I get hot and cold flushes, I feel dizzy and I can’t breathe. It’s really scary!
  2. I’ve never had a facial – I’d like to treat myself to that sometime but I’m a bit nervous about letting someone slap gunk all over my face and I wonder if it’ll be worth it. I’ve had manicures before, but I always feel like I’ve wasted my time and money, that I do a much better job myself. For free. Not that I ever get time to fuss about my nails anymore, so these days I just keep them short and clean. I can’t type with long nails anyway and nail polish doesn’t last 5 minutes on me, I’m a bit rough on my hands.
  3. I’ve never had a wax either, come to think of it! But I do practice Daily Hair Removal … everywhere =)
  4. I recently came to the rather disturbing realization that I am older than 95% of the people I know. Yikes!! I don’t like the thought of getting old one little bit. My ego rather enjoys being mistaken for Son#1’s sister hehe … (I know it’s not going to last forever, I’m just milking it while I can, mmk?)
  5. Even though I am a smoker, I can’t stand other people’s smoke or dirty ashtrays around me. Is that weird? I think I’m a really considerate smoker – I’m always really careful not to smoke near anyone who may get offended. I don’t have a problem with not smoking for a while if need be. Otherwise, I normally get through at least 20 of my Kent Menthols a day. Yes, I’ve tried to quit before … I think if ever did manage to became a non-smoker, I’d probably land up being one of those really irritating ex-smokers who’s always in your face about how you should give up. You know the type, right?
  6. I look like absolute HELL in the mornings – you do NOT want to see me when I wake up. Take my word for it.
  7. I’m a 32D – I had an “upgrade” about 2 years ago LOL – unfortunately breastfeeding two hungry boys and my over-the-hilllness left me a bit deflated, you know =) Now I’m thinking about having a lift done, but limited finances plus the idea of being scarred is preventing that from happening any time soon. Perhaps I’ll do it in a couple of years, for my 40th or something. We’ll see …
  8. I’ve always wanted somebody to throw me a big fat surprise birthday party!! I think that would be so cool =) I absolutely LOVE birthdays.

SheBee is wonderful! (I was told to say that wahaha!!!)

No, really, she’s one of those crazy extrovert people who regularly call a spade a shovel. And I love that =)

Like most of those I’ve hooked up with, The Bee has warmly welcomed me into the South African online community with no elitist bullshit or painfully annoying symptoms of a superiority complex. That totally turns me off. She’s not into any pissing contests; she just has no skaam and calls things how she sees them, irreverent as that may be. Sure, it gets her attention, but it’s not in a (bad) way that makes you think she’s showing off or trying too hard. She’s just simply being herself, the Crazy Bee.

For me, interacting with SheBee is refreshing and very worthwhile. I read her blog every day, have done for a while now and recently started leaving a few comments – it took me some time (and a few deep, fear-swallowing breaths) to de-lurk =) She always manages to make me smile and sometimes her vulnerability and depth of perception about life and people takes me by surprise and makes me think about stuff I would otherwise disregard. I would really like to meet her one day and talk shit over a Pina Colada or 6.

Mmk, according to The Rules*, I now need to tag 8 other people.

There are loads of people I am REALLY curious to know more about and I *wish* I could tag them all, but I’m limited by numbers and obviously I have to choose bloggers who have some kind of personal element to their writings …

  1. Cluckhoff
  2. Po
  3. Stii
  4. Linda
  5. Kat
  6. Shaun
  7. Brenton
  8. B

You have until Friday =)

* The Rules, as per SheBee:

  • Name 8 random things about yourself personally that your readers wouldn’t otherwise know
  • Tell me how wonderful I am before you tag 8 other bloggers
  • Think long and hard about if your random 8’s are personal enough.  If I tag you, you know how curious I am, so judge it by my standards, not yours.