The Chronicles of a Rep in Ibiza and Charlie the cat

 

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View of Santa Eulalia from the apartment balcony

My favourite destination in all my years being a holiday rep was Ibiza!

Prior to going, my only image was of huge nightclubs, dancing til dawn , Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs, Paris Hilton and tons of other celebs who frequented the island during the height of summer.

Ibiza is the one place that would be considered a reps dream destination! Who doesn’t want to drink and party until sun rise…or watch the world’s BEST sunset sipping sangria with hundreds and thousands of people from all over the world? Ibiza is pure heaven…and I recommend any newbie to consider a placement there at least once in their career.

All of that partying is truly wonderful…all of that sunset-watching is enjoyable…but there comes a point where all of that becomes monotonous and all you really prefer to do is rent a dvd and snuggle up with your cat….

As a rep you are definitely NOT allowed to have a pet in your accommodation. It is one of the rules that is clearly stipulated…right next to “No smoking” and “NO chewing gum” in uniform. But there are ways to get away with smoking in uniform, or chewing the odd gum or two…and strangely enough, there are ways to get around the whole “pet” thing too. *cue mischievous smile*.

During this particular season, I worked in Santa Eulalia in Ibiza and it was a great location that was a little bigger than a village, but smaller than a town. It was a mix of modern, contemporary and old. It had a great marina, cute little beach bars, fabulous restaurants from Thai to Italian, unique bars and overall, it had a wonderful feeling about it. Because there wasn’t anywhere for me to live that particular season, I had to share an apartment with the team leader in the area. For anyone who doesn’t already know this, the team leader accommodation is literally 1 step down from a manager’s accommodation…so yes…for the first time since becoming a rep, I was living in what most would call the “lap of luxury”. A 6th floor apartment overlooking the marina and the sea, within easy walking distance to all my hotels and amenities – and close enough to KFC/Pizza Hut so they could deliver!! Thats right people…KFC delivered!!! Talk about landing in paradise! My dreams had come true that season for sure – I got Ibiza as my placement (which, along with Cyprus, was damn hard to get), I got the area where I wanted to work…and as an added bonus, I got to live in a fabulously furnished apartment with a proper kitchen, comfy sofas, a TV and DVD player and the perfect view! Oh….and did I mention that the DVD rental store was 2 doors away from my apartment – right next to the little shop where my roomie and I bought all our snacks and drinks for our continual movie nights? Yeah…thats right people…I WAS IN HEAVEN!!!066

Finally having an accommodation that felt more like “home” instead of a prison cell, was certainly a refreshing change. But as anyone knows, a home never feels quite right without a pet. Do not get mistaken, I was definitely not going to go out of my way to break any rules by purchasing a pet…and I certainly was not actively looking for one under rocks and in bushes…but if one happened to stumble upon my path, I definitely wasn’t planning on thinking too hard or too long about calling it my own.

As luck would have it, this one fateful morning I headed to my usual duties in a hotel which had approximately 4 guests, and it was here that I simply sat and stared at the walls hoping and praying for the time to end. As I saw the time drawing to a close, I breathed a sigh of relief and quickly packed up and rushed out the entrance. Lo and behold, there he was! He was the sweetest, friendliest cat you could ever imagine. He was just sitting there, waiting for any random person to show him affection…so I obliged. Now of course, I did not immediately think about claiming him as my own since cats have absolutely no loyalty, and this cat probably wandered off because he was tired of his owners. I petted the little creature and I headed off in the direction of my next hotel – not giving it another thought.

After the usual afternoon siesta, I made my way back to the hotel where I had seen the cat – and as I walked up the stairs of the entrance there he was again. Just sitting there, looking all lonely and sad. I bid him hello, gave him a courteous rub on the head and walked into the hotel. My interest was piqued now…why was this cat hanging out at the entrance of this hotel that barely had any guests in it…especially any guests that would even give him the time of day. Strange I thought. And even stranger when I asked the reception staff if anyone knew who the cat belonged to and all of them said they didn’t know. Hmmmm.

Once my shift had ended I knew what I had to do…I was going to commit the ultimate sin…I was going to kidnap the cat! I knew that this was what I had to do…the cat was probably looking for a new owner…and I decided I was up for the task! I scooped the cat up, and since I didn’t have a box, I stuff the cat into my work bag…which was pretty tricky. The cat was very friendly on the ground…but funnily enough he did not take too kindly to being kidnapped and stuffed in a bag that was certainly not suited for catnapping purposes. Now this is where it got really tricky – the walk from that hotel to my apartment was a bit of a distance – about 20 mins to be exact. Try adding extra weight to that distance and having to fight with a wriggling bag and look normal in the process…that 20 minutes felt like hours! The other part of the plan I forgot to factor in was that I had to visit one more hotel before the end of my evening shift. YUP! A cat screaming from my bag, trying to act normal and praying to god that a manager didn’t decide to “pass by” had me on edge. I was obviously NOT about to finish my duties for the evening…instead I was headed back to the apartment with my furry captive and help him settle into his new home instead!

How I managed that 20 minute walk without appearing insane I am not sure…how I made it into my apartment building and in the elevator without encountering my neighbours I have no idea…and I have no clue what was going through my mind when I finally sat on the sofa and opened my bag to release my captive. All I knew is I was SUPER excited for my roommate to come home so that she could meet our new pet for the season!

Yeah…good question…how was I so sure how my roommate (my team leader, by the way) was going to feel about breaking the rules and having a cat…in an APARTMENT on the 6th floor?? Yeah…potato patato, tomato, tamato…who cared! What was there not to love about a purring ball of fluff!

Thankfully when my roommate returned home that evening she was so excited! We set about naming our new friend and eventually decided on Charlie. Charlie was our new pal and he accepted us as his new owners, friend and family. Charlie was a well trained apartment cat. He had no desire to run through the front door and make a bolt for the outside world. He was happy chilling on the sofa or perched precariously on the balcony ledge…which really made my stomach lurch. Even when the other reps came around, they were totally not bothered about Charlie either. It was as if Charlie was meant to be with us…and that was the routine of our summer season. 098

Now, the downside of any season is that it must come to an end…but before it does, certain things can occur:

  • Your roommate has an accident and the manager comes to visit
  • The owner of the apartment is selling it and must show potential buyers around

 

Ahh yes…the 2 most agonizing occasions, especially when one has broken the sacred commandment between rep and company, which of course means the company has broken that rule outlined by the owner of the property! I knew I was well and truly FUCKED! Now any sensible rep would probably have done the obvious…thank the cat for the happy memories and wonderful cuddles and then dump its ass on the street and hope that another kind soul finds it. Well, I did not do that…instead I bribed the cat with food and snacks and locked its ass in my wardrobe and prayed that it did not get frightened and start mewing. As my luck would have it, it started mewing and I started coughing! I think the owner of the apartment thought I was a frigging nutcase…or seriously ill…he did grab his potential buyer and bid a hasty retreat out of there before either of them caught my cooties.

Despite those 2 incidents, it was a happy occasion and Charlie was great comfort to me especially when my roommate had to return to Scotland for about a month and a half due to her illness. Charlie kept me company and for the first time as a rep abroad in a strange country, I finally felt like I was “home”. Saying goodbye to Charlie at the end of the season was VERY emotional, and my roommate and I made sure that he went to a good home. I still think about Charlie, and thanks to him, I will always remember my adventures in Ibiza. 068

 

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Captains of change…where are you?

As I mentioned previously, there will be moments that I have a good old rant…usually because I witnessed something, read an article or engaged in a heated conversation, that made my blood boil. This blog this morning – (considering I haven’t been to bed and its 3am *face palm*) – was one of those Facebook statuses that attracted 0 attention. It fell as flat as a pancake and definitely didn’t spark any witty or insightful conversation. So…my wonderful blogging community, I share my rant with you all, and you can either agree or disagree…

Some sit at their high place and tell anyone who will listen that we are instigators for change. Lifestyle change, health change, mental change and even behavioural change. Some tell others that they are the catalyst for change, and through them, things will be done differently.
But when it boils down to it, everyone is a one track pony riding a
bandwagon that sounds and appears “trendy” in that particular moment. Every word uttered and every thought had within that moment, is pure air and full of false promise because they just like to hear the sound of their own voices. People talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk they falter and waiver, and with petrified looks, the “ums” and “aahs” are the only sounds you will ever hear them utter if you listen close enough.

I say this…get down from your high place, put on some gloves and don your boots, because the real change is physical, its dirty, its tiresome and its thankless. Don’t expect praise and to be exhaulted upon high… I am not a Jesus fanatic…but for the first time I get it…I get him. He was an ordinary man trying to make a change , trying to make a difference by himself. What thanks did he get? None! All the bandwagonists turned their back as soon as they realised hard work and effort was involved.
As a nation, as a society of people, who cry about making a difference and wanting to see change…stop talking!! Just start doing! This isn’t the Jesus era…you won’t get nailed to a cross for what you believe in. And you can guarantee once you start, there are others waiting for the natural born leader to make the first move.
Go on… Don’t just talk about change…be the change.

Namaste, fellow captains of real change.

Small town living trumps the big city perils

There I was back in my small town, living the small town dream where I knew everyone and everyone knew me. It sure did beat living in the big city and being approached by horrendously vile characters who wanted to do unscrupulous things…like paint me nude! Yuck! Lets just say I was pretty relieved to be back where I belonged…for now.

After my 5 day stint in London I was teased rotten by my friends. They thought I was dumb for even going in the first place – but what did they know – they had spent their entire lives in the small town living the small dream. Half of them hadn’t even been out of the United Kingdom, much less to London. At least I can say I tried it, and didn’t like it…for now I was going to find a job that I liked that didn’t call for me to pose nude or befriend gold riddled short men with minions as followers.

I was back in Smallsville for about 2 weeks when I found out that my boss at the nightclub was opening a tapas/wine bar. I could barely contain my excitement – because I knew that he would have to hire me – it would only make sense right? Yeah exactly, that’s what I thought – so I approached him with a positive attitude to ask about a job. He wasn’t very forthwith in responding. He nodded and smiled. I never did get confirmation that he would hire me for the role of bar supervisor – i just prayed. I guess I hoped he would assign that position to me considering I was one of his top bartenders. I knew then and there I would have to leave it up to Life. It was out of my hands. A month later I got the call to come by the bar and have a walk through and meet the new staff, and to sign my contract as supervisor! Woohoo! I was overjoyed! This was going to be THE job! The job that gave me the responsibility I craved; the job that allowed my personality to shine and the job that would allow me to finally move out of my dad’s house!

From the moment I started, I enjoyed every moment of that job. I met so many people from all walks of life and I had a whole new appreciation for long hours and sore feet. But it didn’t matter, because everyday was a laugh and we had a fantastic team who knew the value of hard work. We had our fair share of ‘situations’ from time to time though…which I guess kept us all on our toes. One night we were super quiet and we were going to lock up early but there was a couple finishing up their drinks. We left them alone until they were finished and then we were going to advise them we were closing. The bartender and I went into the kitchen to tidy up, and after about 10mins we heard really strange noises. Thinking that it was the coffee machine acting up, or the pinball machine doing something it shouldn’t, I darted back into the main area of the bar and the sight that confronted me was nothing short of pornographic. I won’t bore you with details, but let’s just say, to this day my eyes still feel sensitive. Thank goodness that those moments were certainly not common place – unless of course they occurred when I wasn’t on duty – but I am pleased to say there were no further incidents of that nature. We did however, have a horrific ‘accident’ (for want of a better word), which as the supervisor, I was gladly able to delegate responsibility to someone else (wink). One late afternoon, we were preparing for the evening customers to arrive. We were prepping the bar stations, shutting down the coffee machine, restocking the fridges, and checking and cleaning the bathrooms. Considering this was a Friday, you can imagine it was all hands on deck to ensure by 5pm everything was ready for the Friday after work crowd. By 4.30pm things were going great. Shift changeover had gone smoothly and we were eagerly anticipating the rowdy after work crowd to kick start the Friday nights fun. Just as the team and I were about to do a quick debrief, a young lady who had been quietly finishing up her coffee in the far corner of the bar approached us, as she was leaving, to let us know that the bathroom needed sorting out. I was a little taken aback, because I was the one to restock it and give both the male and female toilets a good clean. I was confused by her statement and I ran upstairs to have a look. WOW! Probably the only word I could use to describe the scene that I saw. I was so stunned I could barely move. Shock gave way to horror, and I just screamed as if my life depended on it. My scream scared my team, but I heard them racing up the stairs and they were shouting at me to make sure I was alive. As they came screeching to a halt and surveyed what my eyes could not process – the severity of what we were facing sank in, and so did the short amount of time within which to rectify it.

The entire team enjoying a little celebration together.

As the supervisor, I was not opposed to being the boss in that precise moment, and I walked away muttering that I was not going to be responsible for that mess – I had a bar to run. I know your imaginations have all started going wild, and you have created all kinds of scenes in your head – maybe you’ve even conjured up a dead body – whatever you imagined, multiply that by 1000, and maybe,  just maybe, you would have a basic gist of what we saw. But let me just finish by saying this – it was EVERYWHERE! My wonderful, sweet staff member pulled on those gloves like a true professional and in the nick of time she had scoured and buffed every nook and cranny – it was like the horror scene had never existed when she was finished. Needless to say, to show my gratitude, I let her go home early that night – but not until after the entire team and I had a great laugh about what had happened. That was our defining moment which unified us as friends and as a team. To this day, we still keep in touch with each other, and I know if, and when, our paths cross again, it will be like we were never apart.

How my wanderlust adventures began

never give upEveryone decides to travel for many reasons. But usually the main reasons are they are running away from something or someone. Sometimes they are running from bad relationships, bad debt and maybe just a bad life. Sometimes people travel because of genetics – their DNA is comprised of the travel bug. Whatever the reason, the eclectic hodge podge of persons that end up becoming friends thanks to their mutual interest and a similar lifestyle, makes for amazing memories and great stories.

My adventures started after living in the United Kingdom for 5 years. I was working two jobs – one was a typical 9-5 preparing personal pension plan annual reports, and my evening job was working behind the bar in a nightclub. I really hated my day job. It was so boring. It was so boring that I had the most sick days ever – so much so, I was summoned to head office in London to explain if there was something wrong with me. It was at that point that I knew I was not destined for a life behind a desk, behaving like a robot. Every other day I was being reprimanded for being too loud, laughing too raucously or talking too much.

I decided it was time to quit! Enough was enough. I wasn’t going to allow my personality to be beaten out of me. I would find a job that would allow my personality to shine…problem was…there was none! I had to move back in with my dad to try catch my feet in the meantime. While I was home I was still bartending at night just to keep me going, but I was actively job hunting on the internet. I applied to hotels in London, I applied to be cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic, I researched working in the US as a camp counselor, and I was even tempted to try my hand in a travel agency.

After a couple of weeks of actively trawling and emailing CV’s to no avail – I finally got a response! It was as an assistant concierge in a VERY affluent hotel London. The job requirements sounded pretty snazzy and it definitely suited my personality – I could talk, laugh and be personable and engaging – that was after all, the job of a concierge. My family was pretty thrilled that I found what was going to be my dream job. I would be in the heart of the city, meeting and greeting, schmoozing with the big wigs and generally having a blast as a 20 something young woman just starting out in life….one small problem though…where was I going to live?

In that instant of trying to figure out where I would live, my beautiful dream started to unravel. Something so simple as a roof over my head was quite a daunting idea. Where did I begin? How could I afford accommodation in London plus transportation costs and food ? Oh dear – it wasn’t looking very promising. Until my knight in shining armour swooped in and saved the day….ok, well he didn’t swoop in, he definitely wasn’t wearing armour…and he wasn’t a knight…he was my grandpa! He called to tell me that he had a friend who lived one commute on the tube train away from the hotel. It was a great location. I could lodge with his friend and pay her a little sum for a month until I found my feet and found somewhere of my own. This was it! My dream was back on! I started seeing myself touring museums, eating in trendy restaurants, meeting famous people and simply feeling like a Carrie Bradshaw out of ‘Sex and the City’. Heaven!

The day had finally arrived! I was going to become a real woman! I was going to live the dream in the city! When I turned up at my temporary new home I was thrilled. It felt like something out of Oliver Twist – and not the slum part where Oliver lived with Fagan – but where he lived with the kind old man who ended up being his grandfather. Oh yes! Talk about landing on my feet – great location, nice comfortable house – I could have gotten used to that lifestyle easily. It was certainly where I felt I belonged. As I lay in bed that night – I was excited about my first day – I knew was going to be just perfect!

I woke up the following morning bright and early to catch the 6am train. Luckily the train station was around the corner and the hotel was one stop away. It was all really convenient – I couldn’t have asked for anything better – or could I?

I was taken on a tour of the hotel, and shown the ropes as best as possible in a couple hours. Little did I realise I was about to thrown into the deep end…without a safety device. Until that moment, I had no idea that the bowels of a hotel was where it all happened.

Beneath the hotel it was a sea of passageways, exits and entry points, where hundreds of staff traversed on a minute by minute basis. It was a whirlwind of faces as news traveled that there was a ‘new kid on the block’, there was ‘fresh meat in the market’, or whatever term of reference was used. I will be honest, I felt very intimidated – I felt like I was the freak at the circus that everyone wanted to look at. I didn’t realise I could have felt so alone, lost and frightened. The first couple of hours were daunting – my immediate thoughts were – “if this is how I felt now, how was I going to get through the rest of the day, much less the first week?”

My first day was certainly eventful. I answered questions, booked reservations, delivered packages and newspapers to rooms , and I was sent on a mission to find stockings, insoles and some kind of perfume. I accompanied the concierge assistant manager – who I was shadowing – and he was quick to warn me that next day, I was on my own. As result, I was told to pay attention to the road signs, the landmarks, the stores and above all, I was to make special note of where the hotel was so I didn’t get lost. Now, if anyone knows London (which is similar to New York), every road looks the same, there are people, more people and cars. If you don’t keep your wits about you, you can go for a stroll and end up MILES and MILES away from where you really need to be. My first day was definitely filled with lots of movement. By the time I got home at 6pm, I was pooped…no trendy restaurant for me…a box of Kentucky Fried chicken and bed was as trendy as I could manage that night.

Day 2 and 3 took on a similar feel. Concierge I came to learn, is actually a nice term for a ‘slave’. A concierge does nothing except be at the beck and call of the guests 24/7. Concierge must have a permanent smile plastered to their face and they must always be at their station and paying full attention. They can’t be seen idly chatting to other members of staff. There were a ton of rules and regulations to adhere to, and even though I didn’t feel like my personality was being stifled – just yet – I was beginning to wonder if I had made the right career choice after all.

The hotel staff was comprised of a rainbow nation – there were Africans, Serbians, Russians, and tons of eastern Europeans. On this particular day however, day 4 to be exact, a pretty high profile guest needed a job done urgently – a job I thought was VERY simple, but turned out that no one volunteered for – either because they didn’t know how, or because they knew something I didn’t – either way, I volunteered.  Even though I had to stay 5 hours after my shift had ended to complete it, I got it done –  and I was given a tip of 100 pounds (US$145) – not bad I thought.

By day 5 I was starting to feel comfortable maneuvering through the underground passageways of the hotel, and had even made a few friends in various areas – from housekeeping to maintenance. I was definitely feeling more ‘at home’ – for want of another word. But day 5 was not going to start out as an ordinary day – and it sure wasn’t going to end like one – it was going to be the catalyst for change!

I woke at 5am as usual, to catch the 1st train to work. As I had said before, the hotel was only one stop away from where I was staying. Which is great, because there are same crazy whackos that seem to venture out at all sorts of hours – and the longer you are trapped on the train, the more opportunity they have to approach you. I guess this particular morning was just not my morning to escape the loonies. As I was sat on the train that fateful morning I was approached by a very friendly young man who told me I was very beautiful and if I had ever thought about modelling. I thought to myself this could be my big chance to be discovered by a model scout – I would become the next Naomi Campbell, or someone equally as fabulous. How wrong was I! This young man kept going on about the virtues of a beautiful woman and asking me if I would model for him – in my naive mind I thought he was probably a new up and coming designer, trying to proposition potential models to work for free – be broke my meandering mind when he  said – ‘I’m a student, and I am looking for models to paint… posing nude’.

Gasp! Shock! Horror! I think he saw the look on my face which was one of complete disgust because he laughed, and told me in a very assertive tone I shouldn’t look so shocked. Thank goodness my stop was next – I darted out of that train and ran as fast as my little legs could carry me. My day had got off to a rocky start but little did I know it was gonna take a turn for the worse.

I had finished work at a reasonable hour that day and after such a shocking start, I decided I was feeling very homesick and missing my friends. I had been in London 5 days and I hadn’t seen a museum, spotted a celebrity or had a drink in a fancy bar like the girls on ‘Sex and the City’. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself so I decided that I was going to pop into the internet cafe near the house and catch up with emails and hopefully if any of my friends were on instant messenger, I could have a little laugh and a giggle.

I was in this nice internet cafe for about an hour – I had sent emails and I was gossiping with my friend, and feeling much better than I did earlier. I started to notice that the noise level had intensified a little, and I looked up from my computer and scanned the area. There were a group of guys by the door and they were laughing and joking around, but their decibel level was a little on the high side, especially for a quiet internet cafe where heads are bent in concentration. I was a little annoyed that they didn’t have much consideration – until it happened….

I looked down for what seems like a split second and the next thing I knew, 25 guys had circled my little cubicle and they were leering at me. After what felt like an eternity, the crowd parted like the biblical reference to the Red Sea, and this short guy (not a midget), with gold chains hanging around his neck, gold bracelets around his wrists and gold rings on almost all his fingers, came and perched on the end of my table. He looked me straight in the eye – considering that wasn’t too difficult given his height – and asked me what a beautiful girl like me was hanging in a place like this. Please remember that while this gold-dripping-short-man had cornered me in my cubicle, this friends/bodyguards/minions were still surrounding us like a protective barrier. My first thought was I needed to escape, while my second thought was not to offend goldman in the process. I will admit, I turned on my charm and I used the timeless classic , “I’m sorry, I just need to pop to the bathroom real quick. I will be right back”. The only back he saw was mine, as I hightailed it out the door and ran as fast as my little legs could carry me (for the second time that day).

Lets just say that my time in London was short-lived. That night I called my dad and told him the city life wasn’t for me – I was a small town girl, with small demands. Who needed trendy restaurants and cool bars anyway.

Wanderlust on the brain

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The journey may be unknown, but that is what is exciting

I have been searching high and low for a way to make money while fulfilling my ultimate dream – travelling! I want to travel while my daughter is still young enough to be a sponge and absorb the languages and the culture, and while she is young enough to be out of school without it being too much of an issue.

I have been eagerly scouting the internet for various ideas of the kinds of jobs I could do in order to still live, but which would afford me the luxury of travelling and being a mummy. *Sigh*…there are some jobs out there that I wish I had seen in my 20’s – various backpacking, trekking and even volunteering organizations. All these fabulous companies take care of everything for you  – but then again, when I was in my 20’s I doubt these organizations existed.

But I digress…so here I am scouring through Google and pages and pages of internet to get some idea of what I could be doing which would allow me the freedom, and access, to live the life I enjoy while travelling. I came across many pages about being a travel blogger and a travel photographer – and I thought to myself – “how exciting would that be. People who end up doing that are so lucky” – but then I was hit by a eureka moment! When I was 24 I decided that I had had enough of the 9-5 lifestyle. I had  had enough of shuffling papers and living hand to mouth. If I wanted to live hand to mouth I wanted to do it in another country where the sun shone everyday and I could see all kinds of different sights, learn new languages and be immersed in a new culture.

Lo and behold, I became an overseas travel rep for a British holiday company and I was travelling twice per year and stationed in different parts of southern Europe (Spain, Balearics, Greece, Canary islands). I know!!! How could I have forgotten that I had spent 7 years fulfilling my ultimate dream!! I guess because I had to withdraw from that life for the last 5 years to immerse myself in the challenge of being a mummy, the whole concept of rejoining the 9-5 life, the shuffling papers and the mundane existence that surrounds being stationary had consumed my brain cells. Until now… I am ready again to pack my bag…and my daughters bag…and head off into the unknown again. This time however, I will be fully responsible for another humans’ well being, so whatever venture I embark on it would have to be safe and provide peace of mind.

Wish me luck bloggers!

Namaste

New Year…New Me?

Can you believe Christmas is over already, and 2015 has officially begun?! Where did the time go? Where did the year go? Everything feels like a blur and it all seems to have happened yesterday as far as I’m concerned.

My daughter and I had a lovely Christmas holiday – actually, let me rephrase that – my daughter had an awesome holiday, and I just feel even more tired. Christmas really is for children. They eat chocolate, stay up late, watch copious amounts of tv, play with friends until late, and generally have no care in the world. Parents on the other hand, have to be constantly on the move – picking up, dropping off, heaving through Christmas shoppers, stuck in Christmas traffic, spendIMG_1521920524988608 3 hours wrapping presents until our backs and necks are in complete pain…and if you are a real supermom, you will be slaving over the stove to prepare the best Christmas feast EVER! Yeah…that part I opted out of! I chose the easy way out, and got someone else to cook instead. I figured I already had enough on my plate without adding the stress of cooking for a 5 year old who will only look at it and say ‘YUCK!’

All in all the 2 week break came and went, and so did the whole excitement of the ‘new year, new me’. As I see it, it may be a new year, but it’s a continuation of the same things that have been happening from the previous year. I am all for new ideas, fresh starts etc, but whats the point of promising yourself that you will start that diet or you will eat healthy and exercise …you had 365 days prior to this to start those fads at least once. A new year simply means growth. You will never be the same person this year, that you were last year. So much happens to alter your way of thinking, your choices, even your lifestyle. Funnily enough, despite what happened the year before, you will always change for the better. The new year is a chance to reflect on all the crap that hit the fan – which you believed you could never get over – only to realize that here you are…still going strong. The new year is a momentous occasion – not to shun the past, but to embrace it and press ahead with the knowledge and the skills you acquired along the way.

As we enter into 2015 take stock of who you are, what you want to do and where you want to be. Have you changed? Do you feel stronger and more in control than you did a year ago? Those are the questions to ask yourself.

Namaste

Is this ‘real’ love that I’m feeling?

wonderful

What does romance and love mean? To me, It feels like romance and love died a million years ago. All I see is failure. Failed relationships, failed marriages, cheating secrecy and hatred. Love and romance seems to have died an unspeakable death. I was lying in my bed the other night trying to meditate and the concept of ‘Love’ popped into my head…

From the spiritual perspective, if we are all here in these ‘earthly’ bodies to experience love – love thy neighbor, wife, father, sister, dog, fish, plants etc, why is mankind consumed with so much worry, fear, greed, envy, lust? When did we stop serenading and start maiming?

I feel lost in a fog trying to figure out this whole ‘love’ thing. I met a really wonderful guy recently, and I told him that on paper he is a woman’s dream come true. He says and does all the right things, a perfect gentleman in every sense of the word. But why is it that nice guys finish last? Why is it that no one wants an attentive, sweet caring and loving man who will love them until their old and grey? Why? Is it because Life seems to be about having to fight and struggle… struggle to get a job, build a home,  start a family or even find the right person. Is it because we have got so used to struggling and fighting and compromising that when perfection falls in our laps we overlook it as a mistake or accident, and even question the validity?

He then said the most profound thing – “we have become a ‘throwaway’ society. Nothing is built to last. Once it’s broken, don’t fix it…just get a new one. No one makes an effort anymore”. I am convinced there are many of us trying to wake up from this reality we have created for ourselves. We are yearning for a different way of thinking and doing. How do we differentiate between the wholesome true love and the ‘physical gratification’ love – which would appear to have become the accepted norm?

After much research, meditating and discussions I have drawn the conclusion that love is twofold – both physical and spiritual. Everyone has, and can attain physical love…that’s easy. It happens every day… say the right things, do the right things, touch the right spots. However, the hardest love to attain is spiritual love. That’s the love that surmounts all obstacles. That’s the love that binds and holds the pieces together. That is the love that is hardest to achieve – because it is forever and cannot be ‘thrown away’.

Right now, relationships are all about instant gratification…immediate satisfaction. It is so quick and easy to say ‘I love you’, but have the souls made a connection that requires no words? When those two souls connect that to me would be the essence and construct of real love.

My question to the universe is this…is spiritual love instant or is it something that grows and develops over time…or does time become irrelevant? How do you know this connection has been made? Do you hear trumpets and angels singing? Do you see fairy dust falling from the sky? Does your heart swell and skip a beat? How do you know?

Giving Thanks…or not really?

black friday

I am a little stumped by this whole ‘Thanksgiving’ tradition. What does it really mean? Does it mean that no matter how crappy you have felt the entire year, and no matter how many times you have moaned and complained about Life and all its failings, or how often you pulled the ‘woe is me’ card, this is the one day out of the year that you can put all your issues and indifference’s aside to thank Life for blessing you with all the wonderful things…such as friends and family, and the air we breathe, food on the table and the roof over our head?

Or has Thanksgiving only really become about how much food you can consume at however many houses in one day? Does it mean you are now allowed to walk with your empty container to take away as much food as humanly possible so you don’t have to cook for a couple days? And while siphoning food like a squirrel, you are truly thankful to the person for slaving over the hot stove so you didn’t have to?

But after spending one day eating until you pass at, the following day becomes a massacre…an all out riot! So right after giving so-called ‘thanks’, the following day is all about waging war. It is a war over possessions to see who can grab and hold on to the first thing that catches the eye.

I have seen some crazy videos this morning that had me quite frightened. Grown men were pushing women to the ground, children where being trampled, women were in all out battle with each other – and what was the prize?… Smart TV’s!! Huh?? So after giving thanks for everything you already have, now you are having a tug of war shouting expletives over a TV!?! I am so confused. Is this what the entire holiday season has come to? We forget our morals, our principles, our basic common decency because the dollar has been reduced to something more affordable?

I give thanks that I still have a sense of dignity.

Just Breathe…

Fear will cripple you. Fear will destroy every organ and cell in your body. Fear drives you to the brink of your own sanity. Fear will laugh at you, mock you and taunt you. Fear haunts you in your dreams and surrounds your movements in the day. Fear plays games with your mind and pretends to be your friend.

What is fear? Fear is your own worst enemy….YOU! You are the only one in control of fear. You are the only one who can open the door and welcome fear into your home and allow it to take up residence in your mind.

Fear is nothingness! It is a state of being afraid of the unknown. If you are unsure of something you are fearful. If you have no control over a situation, you become frightened. Breathe. Relax. There is nothing to fear except fear itself. Let go without reservation or intrepidation…let go of the fear. You might be quite surprised at the outcome.

Namaste

trust and let go

Never Give Up!

“Never give up! Keep on chugging!” Isn’t that what people tell you all the time? Try telling that to someone who hasn’t given up and is still chugging, but no matter how hard they try, they are still fighting, still struggling and the light at the end of the tunnel is like a mirage in the middle of a desert. What happens if they decide to give up? Does that mean they lost? Does it mean they stopped caring? Or does it mean they opened their eyes and realised that greatness was always around them…but they were looking for it in the wrong place?

never give up