A few days in the life of..

So the past few days have been pretty interesting. Life has a way of coming in swings and roundabouts, but the truth is: it ALWAYS evens out in the end, and we have to learn to take the good with the bad. I know this better than most and have a rather amusing set of stories to add under this little file divider. I’ve also long since established that some days I can only say “this shit ONLY ever happens to me” and count on the fact that at least half the people who hear me tell the story won’t believe me….I’m OK with that. I don’t particularly care about your opinions anyway, so if all you take away from it is an amusing little story, that’s fine by me.

So here are a few things that happened during the course of the last 10 days:

  • When I returned from a 2 week out of country work trip the Friday before last, the Gypsy kindly offered to bring groceries and cook me dinner. While he was busy in the kitchen and I was happily sipping on a glass of wine I decided to switch on my “media setup”. This consists of a TV, PS3, Apple TV, Speakers and a laptop. So I plugged everything into the socket and flipped the switch and BAM! Flashes of light, smoke, loud exploding noises and a few shrieks from me before the electricity tripped. GREAT! I had no idea what exploded at the time but had been convinced that all of the above equipment would need to be replaced after that. I followed the smoke and found that the laptop’s charger had quite literally EXPLODED O_o How? I have no idea…but i’m very grateful that I’m pedantic about unplugging and switching off everything except the most essential things when I leave the house. Could you imagine the chaos and potential fire hazard if this happened while I was away? The explosion burnt my floor *facepalm* and the laptop is no longer usable (fantastic) but surprisingly enough everything else seems to have survived the onslaught.
  • On Tuesday I paid a little visit to my dentist as my dental implant (a long story in itself but it cost me a fortune, involved several bone implants and a piece of my jaw removed) felt slightly loose. It wiggled….like a loose tooth about to be pulled. The dentist very kindly tightened my screw and then indicated that he would like to replace the screw as it may have suffered some metal fatigue as a result of the wiggling….I made a follow-up appointment for the Friday.
  • On Friday i returned for a half an hour appointment to replace the screw. Let’s just say it did not go according to plan. DID YOU KNOW: A dental implant can experience a mechanical failure???? The dentist had to completely break the “tooth” of the implant apart in order to remove it. At this point I didn’t know whether i was supposed to laugh or cry. I had paid thousands of rands for that thing and here the dentist was kindly breaking it apart. Not to mention that this whole process took 3 hours. And trust me after 3 hours of someone messing about and “rukking” and “plukking” your mouth in order to try and break the “tooth”, your jaw and mouth in general is pretty damn raw, tired and sore. Then I learnt something new AGAIN. DID YOU KNOW: A dental implant comes with a warranty? I couldn’t stop laughing when the dentist informed me that it was definitely a manufacturing error and that I would no doubt be able to replace it under the warranty. The entire tooth has to be remade, so I will be returning in two weeks to have it replaced….at zero cost to me or my medical aid.
  • On Monday morning I had to head out of country again for yet another business trip. I always use Uber to take me to the airport and I’ve never before experienced any issues with the app or the service. I usually go online to request the uber about 10minutes before I have to leave home for the airport. I also make sure that, bearing traffic at that time in mind, I have more than enough time to get to the airport and drop off my bag etc. I generally don’t cut things close when it comes to flights. But the app had a problem. It simply refused to process payment, which means it refused to get me an Uber. I restarted the app a few times and even downloaded the 163MB update in an attempt to make it work. By now it was already well past the time I was supposed to leave home. I decide to add a different card as payment, but the app wouldn’t even let me do this and just continued to tell me that there is a processing error. In desperation I even tried to pay for the ride in cash…NO LUCK. So I finally gave up (by now running very late) and called a metered taxi service (which I HATE using). Unfortunately they wouldn’t be able to reach my home until only an hour prior to my flight. I would NEVER make it. As a last resort I loaded my suitcase in my car and drove myself to the airport….this will mean an astronomical parking charge, but what else could I do. By now I’m stressing about missing my flight as the traffic at that time is way more hectic than when I was supposed to leave home. I finally got to the airport and dropped my bag off with like a minute to spare prior to check in and bag drop cut off time. PHEW! And then the super nice lady behind the counter says “oh shame mam, you look so stressed. I’ll tell you what. I’m cancelling your online check-in and moving you to a business class seat.” Bless her cotton socks! I managed to make it through security and immigration and walked onto my flight with a few minutes to spare and then I was spoiled with excellent service, WAY better food and a ton of space.
  • When we arrived here the airport had another surprise for us….the immigration queue was literally running outside of the terminal building. Three international flights arrived at exactly the same time due to delays and the airport is simply not geared for that kind of traffic. It was going to be an incredibly long wait. Then a sweet old man in front of me starts asking the officials where the SADC line is. From experience I know there is technically a separate line for the SADC countries, but that when it’s this full nobody adheres to these rules and the immigration officers don’t enforce it either. But the old man spotted my SA passport, grabbed me by the arm and told me to follow him. And within minutes we were right in front of the queue and we sailed through without any hassles.
  • But without a doubt, the highlight of my day was last night. My SIL sent us a little photo of my littlest nephew in a superman shirt looking grumpy and miserable. Apparently the little man was also having a bad day, just like his aunty. So I asked my SIL to give him a big hug from me.  A few minutes later I get a message from my SIL saying that superman asked her to tell me that the hug made him feel better. *heart melts* That right there tops EVERYTHING. Nothing that happened in the last 10 days could spoil or top that moment….nothing. Family is everything.

So life comes with its ups and downs all the time. It’s up to us what we choose to focus on.  All I can say is…life with me = never boring.

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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*.

Weekend roundup

I found this on Instagram over the weekend and it made me laugh. It is exactly how life should be:

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So my weekend was filled with a lot of awkward, some mucking about, a lot of awesome and even a lot of chilling.

It all started off with a last minute visit to my hairdresser on friday afternoon for a trim. SO….in November (and I still blame this on the crazy emotional time I was going through) I decided to completely change my hair. Essentially I gave my hairdresser free reign to do what every she wanted within 3 simple rules:

  • Remember I work in a very corporate environment;
  • You can play with the length all you want but please make sure i can still tie it up; and
  • Just show me a picture of your plan before you actually go ahead and do it.

She was super excited and I ended up with an angular long bob and a balayage. And I love it! The reason I had to go for a trim is because my hair grows SUPER fast and it had grown too long for the style and no longer hung nicely.  She ended up taking a bit more off too…so it’s still the same style just quite a bit shorter…which is taking me some time to get used to…but I love it none the less.

The chop was followed by drinks and snacks with my colleagues at the Slug & Lettuce.  We had a ton of fun and we ended up only leaving around 19:30 only. I proceeded to go and watch a movie at a friend’s house there after.   By this time I was in agony. (Let’s just travel back to 10am when i went for 5 difference vaccines shots for an upcoming work trip into Africa…Yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus, polio, Hep A&B, etc etc, etc). I was unable to lift my arms and by then i was unable to touch my arms and they were throbbing. By the time i got home i was in tears and my attempt to rub them with arnica oil (as advised by the nurse) ended in disaster as they were too painful to touch. Thankfully painkillers helped a lot!

Saturday morning was spent at a baby shower for a very special little boy who will be making his appearance in March. But this is where the awkward comes in. It was my ex’s sister’s baby shower. I know I know…you’re all thinking i’m completely mad for going….but here’s the thing. After the breakup his sister kindly contacted me to let me know that I’ve been her friend for so long that she desperately wants me to attend despite not dating her brother anymore. HOW COULD I SAY NO TO THAT?

His family has always been amazing….and I love them all dearly. I couldn’t say no…so I went. Her entire family (including my ex) was there. This i hadn’t quite expected. The family was super excited to see me and i was showered with hugs and chats and stories….heartwarming stuff really. Until i ran into my ex and we exchanged a really super awkward greeting. It was at this point that I decided that we weren’t 5. We weren’t angry. We didn’t hate each other and therefore I refuse to let the awkwardness rule whatever form of relationship we choose to have post breakup (i.e. whether we choose to ignore each other completely or eventually become friends). So I put on my big girl panties and went to have a chat to him. It was slightly awkward at first but as we started catching up the awkwardness faded completely.

But I realised one very important thing as I stood there. I don’t regret my decision to step away one bit. In fact…it served as confirmation that I absolutely, 100% made the right choice. And even more surprising was realising that there was absolutely no tug a my heartstrings while I spoke to him. I have moved on completely and I was in a much better place. It was as if my closure process had come full circle…and it’s amazing.

The baby shower was followed by mucking about with a mate taking silly, lame and completely chop like photos (See exhibit 1 below) and a movie marathon. It was awesome.

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EXHIBIT 1

Sunday was spent with family. I visited my aunt, uncle, cousins and godson and swapped stories (since I haven’t seen them since like October).  We’ve also come to realise that my godson LOVES the taste of my hands. He whines if i dare take my hands away and refuses to accept anybody else’s even when i’m not the one holding him. It was highly amusing really. Silly little boy…stolen my heart and now shares it with my two beautiful nephews.

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Speaking of which…how adorable are these two dashing lads in the epic snow they had last weekend?  There is no way to explain the love i feel for these two little boys who live so far away. There is NOTHING  i wouldn’t do to keep them safe and happy. I can’t even begin to imagine how much more insane it is when you’re a mother!

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Dear Baby B

As with yesterday’s post, I can’t believe it’s been a year.  I can’t believe that today a year ago was when you finally showed us your gorgeous little face. Happy first birthday little man:) I wish I could be there to give you a big fat hug and to see your excited little face as you get to tear paper and bash cakes:)

I never thought it would be possible to love someone you’ve never actually held this much. My closest physical interaction with you was when I visited your Mom and Dad a year and 5 months ago and I got to hear your little heartbeat and feel you kick. Lucky for us we live in a world of technology and we have been able to interact with you and see you grow via Skype. Seeing how you’ve started interacting with us via Skype brings happysad tears to the eye.

So happy birthday little man:) I look forward to seeing you (hopefully) later this year, to watching you grow (even if it is via Skype) and to be a part of your life.

Much love
Aunty Ruby
xxxxxx

P.S. I’m adding one or two pictures so you can all go awe and agree that he’s gorgeous!

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Dear 2012

I can hardly believe that I’m sitting here writing my annual “end of year” blog already. It feels like just yesterday that I was jetting off to the States to see in the new year in Times Square with my closest friend.  But here I am, looking back and reflecting on the year that’s been.  My initial reaction when thinking about this year is that it was a really really tough one…but it wasn’t all bad. There was a lot of good contained in this year too…a lot of happy moment shared by myself and the ones I consider dear to me.

Every year I write a little post listing big events or things I’ve learnt and this year shall be no different.  Please feel free to add anything I’ve missed in the comment sections…since you guys share such a big part of my life anyway:)

  • I kicked of the year with a massive party in my favourite city in the whole world.  My close friend and I traveled to the States to conquer Washington DC and New York and to party in Time’s square along with millions of other people.  It was one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life, and to be honest when I think about it I can almost not believe that I was really there:)

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  • The rest of our holiday in the US and I extended my stay with a week to go visit my brother and sister-in-law.
  • I get to spend my brother’s birthday with him for the first time in many years

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  • I felt Baby B (nephew) kick for the first time and I accompanied my sister-in-law on one of her visits and was able to hear his little heart beat.  I’m not broody at all…never have been. But hearing that little heart beat…my eyes filled with tears and that little baby stole my heart right then and there…even though he was still a few months away from being born.
  • The Italian somehow managed to squeeze over my walls and swept me off my feet…sadly it didn’t last and later in 2012 we broke up.

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  • After months of waiting (having ordered it in October 2011 already) and secret keeping (very few people knew) my gorgeous and epic car arrived in January. My little MINI, spec’d to a level of crazy and exactly as I wanted it:) MINI FTW!!!
  • For the first time I was faced with the harsh realities of being self-employed. It’s a scary world and I’m grateful that it was only a small scare.
  • My gran became seriously ill and was admitted to a hospital in Durban.  I flew down for one night as we were all convinced she wouldn’t make it thought the weekend.  I return to Jozi broken-hearted, convinced I’d never speak to her again
  • My gran makes a miraculous recovery from the pneumonia and is sent home…but the cancer is back with a vengeance and we all know it won’t be long.
  • My close friend got engaged to the girl who stole his heart:)
  • Early one morning I ended up in ER with everyone convinced I was having a heart attack.  Biggest SCARE EVER! I made hospital art after the ECG.

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  • I move into a new home.  I LOVE it! probably twice the size of my previous place and I have a little garden.
  • I meet the neighbourlady…which in the few months that I’ve lived in the new place, has become an amazing friend.
  • My gran passed away peacefully while taking an afternoon nap. I think this was the one single event that shaped my opinion of this year. It broke me. Utterly and completely.  She was the strongest most amazing woman, she was my best friend and just like that she was no longer with us.  I still feel my eyes filling with tears just thinking about it.  I miss her so very much.
  • Baby B is born the day after my gran passed away. The most beautiful and perfect little boy and despite not actually being able to hold and cuddle him he has stolen my heart:)

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  • My mother receives my grandmother’s Ruby ring that my grandfather gave her on their 40th wedding anniversary and she decides to give it to me. Ruby being my birthstone and all. (happy tears) I wear it every single day:)

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  • A rather scary event (work related) forces me to reconsider my chosen profession.  I love my job…but is it worth the danger I put the people I love in?  It took weeks of prayer, planning and a lot of personal analysis to figure this one out.
  • I took my parentals to see my dad’s all time favourite band when they were in SA – The Moody Blues…what an awesome concert!

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  • I turned the big three oh.  Most other people I know had a little episode when they realise they were turning 30…me not so much.  If nothing else it has brought me to a place in my life where I’m less concerned about what others think and more about the happiness of myself and the ones I love.  It’s brought a new confidence and a happiness all on its own.  So I’m 30..so what…age is just a number:) It has also brought along a new motto: Some will, some won’t, so what, next.
  • I went to see Madame Zingara and became part of the show:P

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  • My mother had to go for a really big operation and I was a complete wreck.  Grateful that I was in a position where I was able to work from their home for a week and look after her.
  • Christmas 2012…our first without my gran…a joyful and sad event.
  • It’s been a year of incredibly long hours and hard work and a lot of pressure work wise. I still haven’t quite figured out how to relax…I’m trying my best to master this art though:P  But I still tend to go overboard and work myself to the edge of a burnout.
  • I’ve learnt that no matter how hard you try, for some people nothing will ever be good enough.
  • The ones who hurt us the most are the ones we trust and love the most, because it is to them that we open our hearts, our dreams, our desires and our weaknesses.
  • I’ve once again realised that you can make really good friends in the most unlikely of places.
  • Not everyone who proclaims to be your friend will treat you as such.
  • True friends are worth more to me than any riches
  • People will judge and oppose that which they do not understand.
  • It has been a long year…I’m beyond tired and I’m still working.  No holiday plans for me yet and it was with shock that I realised that I haven’t been off since returning from the States in January.  Not a weekend away, not a weekend off, mostly work work work and more work. But it has been a good year and despite some events that made it seem like a yucky year I have been blessed.  I realise that a lot of people who read my blog do not share my beliefs when it comes to God, but how can I say goodbye to a year without including the most important part of who I am and what I believe.  God has provided me with a lot of grace and love and understanding and comfort this year.  He has also blessed me in ways I can not even begin to explain or even comprehend.  He is my Rock:)

Well my lovelies, I think that about sums it up. My 2012 in a nutshell.
As far as 2013 goes…I think this is going to be a big year all round.  There are many exciting things in the pipeline…weddings, engagements, work things, friend things, family things and hopefully some epic holidays and fun times with the people dear to me.  I wish you guys all the best for 2013.  Make every single day count.  Do what makes you happy. Take responsibility for your actions. Tell the people you love that you love them as often as you can…they might not have a tomorrow. Laugh a lot. Dance and be silly.  Work hard.  Do your best in all you do. 2013…look out, we’re coming for you!

Love
Ruby
xxxx

 

#6of365

For the last three weeks I’ve been doggy sitting for the parentals while they went about the task of meeting and getting to know their grandson, my gorgeous nephew Baby B:)
Sally, the dog, is one of the most remarkable animals I’ve ever seen and over the years she’s literally become a part of the family. She was so beautifully behaved and I absolutely loved having her:) The parentals and Sally returned home today…my house seems so empty and quiet without her:/ So today’s picture is of my darling doggy Sally:)

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My dearest Gran

Happy 86th birthday!

As I sit here writing this wee little blog post I can’t help but shed a tear, give a little sob and just cry.  My heart is just so full when I think of you and all that you are and what you have overcome that I don’t even know where to begin.  Less than two months ago we were all convinced you wouldn’t ever come out of the hospital, let alone walk around the house with only a walker as aid. You’re a little miracle all on your own:)

You’ve overcome so much in your 86 years…fighting and surviving aggressive breast cancer, the loss of the love of your life, the death of a son, a hip replacement and heart failure to name but a few.  And yet here you are…a fighter, a survivor, a never-ending source of wisdom and love and teases and hugs and one of my closest friends.

There is so much I can write here to say what an amazing person you are and how much you mean to me and truth be told I’ve written and deleted this post about a million times…because no matter how I try the words just don’t come out right and they sound hollow and don’t do justice to you.

So instead I will offer you just this.  Thank you for being such an amazing grandmother, mother, sister, child and friend.  Thank you for loving us so much that it feels like our hearts will explode. Thank you for teaching me how to make traditional ginger beer and how to bake bread.  Thank you for being the perfect example of child like faith in the midst of darkness.  Thank you for being a fighter and for showing me where I got that pig-headed tendency from:P Thank you for believing in miracles and sharing them with us.  Thank you for believing in us.  But most of all thank you for the role you played in my life.

With more love than I could ever explain

Ruby
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