2016…..

2016 has been a rather interest year for many reasons. Work has been crazy…although to be fair I suppose my work/life balance always goes just a tad out of whack in terms of the work craziness. I am a workaholic and while I don’t measure my success on how busy I am and how little time I have outside of work, the facts are that I love being busy, I love my job and for the most part I don’t mind the extra hours.
2016 has however taught me to focus on the rest and relaxation and on the “life” part of work/life balance too. To invest in quality, happy time with the people I care about more often.

If all goes according to plan, 2016 will also be the first time in 10 years that my little family gets to spend Christmas all together….My parentals, my bro, my SIL, my two beautiful nephews and myself all together for a crazy cold and *hopefully* white Christmas. I CAN’T WAIT!

2016 has also been the year where (hold on to your horses) I started cycling. It’s a crazy thought…me on a bicycle…but it is true. I got dragged along earlier this year on a cycle and since then I’ve actually grown to love my Saturday mornings in the saddle. I’ve grown to appreciate the tender nether regions after 2.5 hours in the saddle, grown to appreciate the stiff muscles and the aching wrists. Because once I get to the end of my ride I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And not only that…I’ve been afforded the opportunity to be healthy, to completely zone out from everyone and everything for the time that I was on the bike and to be grateful for what I am able to do.

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And last but not least 2016 has been the year where my romantic journey with The Gypsy began. I’ve been alluding to his existence on twitter for a while and if you follow me on Instagram you would have seen his face creeping into my timeline. There isn’t much to the story really. Fact is I’ve known him for a few years but I’ve never even considered a romantic relationship because I’ve always had someone else. And I am one of those people who never even consider or think about the possibility with anyone else when I’m with another.

But somewhere between breaking up with the Guy Person and grabbing 2016 by the horns, The Gypsy once again popped into my story….and this time he appeared to play the role of the potential leading man. Once he became aware of my newly single status he simply asked that once I am ready to move on I give him a chance. And due to the circumstances around the breakup and the 6 months preceding it I was ready a hell of a lot sooner than I had anticipated. And somewhere in between the cycling and laughing and late night chats and dinners and random whatsapp conversations he became more than just a friend.


He’s weird…I’m weird…and we are completely and perfectly weird together. My relationship with him is so different from every other relationship I’ve ever had and his European frankness is refreshing and in stark contrast with most other guys I know, let alone guys I’ve dated. A spade is a spade is a spade and no topic is too awkward…apparently.

I love how we can passionately and heatedly debate on different sides of an issue the one minute and laugh and hold hands the next, not allowing a difference of opinion to cause anger and irritation. I love how he appreciates the fact that I am opinionated and independent and how he isn’t threatened or intimidated by my personality, independence or my sometimes scary and hectic job. I love how he respects my faith, beliefs and choices. I love how he is constantly encouraging me to grow and do new things and how he not only welcomes but insists that I always speak my mind. I love how he chooses the moment I probably look at my worst to stare at me in wonder and tell me how beautiful I am…it’s all really lame and really corny and really awesome.

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And while I have absolutely no idea what the rest of 2016 will hold I know that this year I have chosen to live in the moment and that so far, despite the fact that it hasn’t always been moonlight and roses, 2016 has been good. It has been filled with new beginnings and adventure and challenges and it has presented me with a million ways to make new memories.

P.S. So subsequent to this blog post 2016 got even better when a LOT of hard work, all nighters and mentorship resulted in a promotion announcement on Thursday *grin*.

I don’t do weepy well

I am generally a very upbeat person.  I’m not prone to feeling sad or overly emotional and something I definitely only experience on very rare occasions is loneliness.  I mean sure, I can bitch and moan along with the best of them when I’m having a bad day.  But I’m rarely reduced to tears, and having a complete and utter pity party is a concept that is mostly foreign to me.

So you can imagine my absolute horror when my day pretty much went something like this. Work…..burst into tears for no apparent reason….totally annoyed with emotional reaction to seemingly nothing…..work…nobody loves me….totally annoyed with emotional reaction to nothing…..work….bursts into tears….totally annoyed with emotional reaction to nothing….feels completely alone in the world…more tears.  It’s DUMB!

I’m not prone to being emotional due to hormones (before anyone asks) and well…i’m just not very prone to negative emotions and sadness in general. Which means that my reaction not only surprises me, but also annoys me.  I don’t do weepy well…it’s just not my thing.

I finally gave up on work for a bit and had a cup of tea. I had to get to the bottom of this. I’m generally under a lot of pressure workwise, but this week has not been the greatest ever and brought on meetings with news of even less sleep and even less of a social life for at least the next month.  I’ve been given completely impossible deadlines…and while i generally have an attitude of “BRING IT ON”, this time round I’m doing my absolute best but I suspect that I might not make it.  Being down in the dumps was counter productive and I was counting on my cup of tea to help me get to the bottom of this.  And then, as I was sitting there getting annoyed with my emotions’ inability to comprehend the pressure I’m under, it dawned on me. My emotional wobble is most probably  completely and utterly stress related.

My solution to this problem? I’ve given my workload the instruction to kiss my ass, at least until Sunday.  Tonight i plan on watching series and drinking wine, tomorrow I’ll be having coffee and cupcakes for breakfast with a good friend in town while she takes professional pics (she’s a photographer) and i tinker about with instagram:P, followed by a hopefully fun and inspiring late lunch with some fabulous girls. I’ve also decided to stop hmmmming and aaahing and just go ahead and book my holiday in August…I also spent a delightful hour researching my options on how to make it 2 weeks instead of just one and all the lovely places I can go see.  And just like that the tears are gone, I feel loved and cared for again.  I told you…it’s DUMB.

Work isn’t everything.  Having a life is important.  But at the same time….I refuse to admit defeat. I WILL make this deadline. It will probably mean little to no sleep for the next 3 weeks, very little down time and well…pulling a bit of an MIA in all aspects of my life. But I’m starting it off right. Taking the time to rally my forces by spoiling myself and then pulling yet another miracle out of the hat.  Because you know…I’m a superhero:P (just kidding!) I’m probably more like a magician anyway:P

Love
Ruby
xxxx

Dear SAPS

On Saturday evening, on my way home from the Clifton Shores launch at Movida, I was pulled over in a roadblock…..exactly 1 block from my house.  As I knew I was driving I had been epically responsible with regards to my drinking, but the situation was stressful none the less.  I was subjected to a breathalyzer test for the first time in my entire life.  It’s scary, regardless of whether you had been drinking or not.  I “scored” a proud 0.00, but that’s not the point of this letter.

I’d like to compliment the officers who were part of that night’s roadblock.  They were extremely friendly, professional and calm.  They explained the process to me and even cracked a few jokes while I was waiting.  I was escourted back to my car by an officer as he was wearing a reflective vest and my car was on the other side of the road.  Kudos also to the two officers who handled a rather explosive and crappy situation very well.  Two other ladies had been pulled over and were quite obviously VERY drunk…their breathalyzer tests proved this…they were far over the limit.  They refused however to go quietly.  They were screaming and swearing at the poor officers who were really only doing their job…and I have to say that the fact that they remained absolutely calm and professional throughout was good to see.  There are still good cops out there.

It breaks my heart when all I hear about the force are negative things.  But what annoys me more are the people who complain most about the corrupt police officers and how corrupt our government is, are the same people who tell stories about bribing police officers to get out of fines and being arrested for drunk driving.  I’m sorry…if you partake in bribing to get yourself out of trouble when you actually rightfully deserve that trouble…then you are part of the problem..and you are no less corrupt than the police officer you paid the bribe to.  So my opinion on this: If you pay bribes in order to “get off” you have NO RIGHT to have an opinion on corruption in this country, for you are no better.

So here’s a high 5 to the awesome officers that manned the road block on saturday evening…you guys rocked!

Regards,
Ruby

A Competition!!!!!!

A winner is you

Right…..so this week has been a crazy mixture of too much excitement, too many meetings, feeling overwhelmed, feeling stressed, being thrown into the deep end and being expected to not only swim but to win the race, 16 to 20 hour workdays, hardly any sleep, more excitement, happiness, feeling overwhelmed, etc, etc, etc….you get the general picture right?

The point is it’s all really for a good cause and it’s all really exciting and it all relates to something I adore and something I get totally excited about….which means that it’s all totally worth it:)

I was chatting to a friend earlier today and a part of the conversation went something like this:
Ruby –> hence….i’m currently an over excited zombie that’s stretched too thinly
Ruby’s friend –>  If I had any artistic talent, that’d be worth a cartoon

And then an idea hit me square in the face.  A COMPETITION! The plan is that it will work something like this.  I’ll be giving you a phrase that you have to express in a drawing of some kind.  This drawing/painting can be either seriously artistic or cartoon like or a comic or whatever you want! Then you scan your picture and e-mail it to me ( rubyletters@gmail.com ).  I’ll do a post with all the entries after the closing date and the readers get to vote for the best drawing.  The winner will be announced on the blog and I’ll make sure to send you a little prize.  I’m not sure exactly what the prize will be just yet…I guess that will depend on who wins and whether it’s a boy or a girl and how old you are etc etc etc.  But I promise it will be something nice:)

Right….so for this COMPETITION:
Phrase to express in drawing –>  I’m feeling like an over excited zombie that’s stretched out too thinly
Closing date to e-mail entries –>  9 September 2011 at midnight
Send entries to –>  rubyletters@gmail.com

I’m really looking forward to seeing what you guys can come up with:)

Love
Ruby
xxxxx

Dear South African drivers

I’ve noticed recently that there is some genuine confusion around the whole concept of driving.  What is it? What should you do? What shouldn’t you do? How should you do it? When should you do it?

So I’ve decided to set up a bit of a ‘Ruby’s tips to drivers’ list to guide you through the very basics.  Please, for the love of apple pie, USE IT!

1.  Driving is much the same as colouring in.  If you’re not purposefully changing lanes you need to stay in-between the lines

2.  Should you decide to change lanes, whether it be on the highway or while passing a slower moving vehicle, ALWAYS check your blind spot.

3.  If you’re the one screwing up and someone hoots…don’t be an ass and flip them the bird or shake your fist at them.  You’ve already acted like an idiot, a disarming gesture will be of better use.

4.  If someone gives you a gap.  Don’t, for the love of all things nice, take 5 minutes to take it or become all flustered.  Just GO GO GO.

5.  If the car in front of me is driving slowly, driving on my ass will NOT solve the problem.

6.  If I’m driving the speed limit or slightly over there is absolutely NO reason for you to be driving on my ass.  I have no obligation to move over to the slow lane if I’m keeping to the speed limit.  In fact, driving on my ass will probably ONLY cause me to slow down a little, or strategically make me hit the brakes for a milli- second to make you back off.

7.  That being said…if you’re not keeping up to the speed limit you have NO business driving in the fast lane of the highway and probably deserve someone driving on your ass…move over!

8.  Now, the cute little sign below shows you where your indicators are.  If you’re going to turn or change lanes…use them to INDICATE where you’re going.  It’s amazing how much less stressful driving becomes when all the people around you aren’t shouting at you for not indicating.

9.  If your lane is the one ending and you have to move into another lane…YOU DO NOT HAVE RIGHT OF WAY. The guy in the lane you’re moving to does.  So if there isn’t enough space you need to wait your turn.

10.  Aaaah….the infamous traffic circle.  People, it’s not that hard.  A circle is NOT a four-way stop.  In a circle you yield to the right.  This means that if the person on your right went over his yield line before you did you have to wait for him.  If you guys reach your lines at the same time and bearing in mind that you should BOTH be traveling at the speed limit, you should technically both be able to enter at the same time.  And for crying out loud…it is impossible to signal right in a traffic circle…if you do that means you have every intention of turning into the circle and causing severe damage to your car.  You have to exit the circle to you left and will therefore indicate to your left as you near your exit.

11.  A solid line on a two-way road means you are not allowed to pass as it is dangerous to do so.

12.  If you are driving on a truck’s ass the driver can not see you…not with all the blind spot and mirror checking in the world.

13.  Just because you drive a stupidly expensive car does not mean you own the road and everybody needs to get out of your way.

14.  Parents of little children –> I don’t care if your child is screaming blue murder because he/she hates sitting in the safety seat.  YOU are the parent.  Strap your child in.  It is incredibly dangerous to let a child stand on the back seat/front seat/sit on your lap/move around freely in the car.  If you love your child you will strap him/her in.  My first thought when seeing an unstrapped child in a car is –> you should be charged for negligence and put in jail.

15.  My safe little following distance is not an invitation for you to shove your big ass car right in front of me.  If I wanted to give you a gap it would be clearly visible.

16.  If someone clearly gives you a gap/helps you out of a jam/ moves slightly over the yellow line to let you pass more easily thank them.  You’d be surprise what a difference it makes.

17.  Do not even get me started on a set of rules for SA minibus taxi drivers.  I’ll be busy for the rest of my life and STILL not finish.

So my lovelies, there you have it.  Ruby’s list of helpful tips for South African drivers.  Please feel free to add any others you can think of:)

Love
Ruby
xxxxx