Tag Archives: life

Books read: January – April

I happily enjoyed all of these books that I would happily recommend any of them.

Is goodbye possible if you have their number crammed?

lulu

When we first started dating, the Mr had this theory about how girls shed friends in their 20s. Shed. His word, not mine. And always, I would scoff at him and state how I am too loyal a friend to ever lose a friendship. See, I know of myself that I am a particularly loyal friend. Loyal to the point of abuse or pain.

As a result, I am fairly ready to make amends and walk a mile in someone else’s shoe, try and be there for them, and basically to be the type of pal that I would want to have and the type of friend that they also talk of wanting in their life. As a result, I often struggle with when to let go of a difficult/ trying/ unfulfilling relationship. To be honest, I always start with never, you can try a bit more, come on, give it another go.

However, I currently find myself  pondering over this issue with a friend that I have known for over 10 years. In truth, the struggle was to allow myself to walk away and I am now at that place.

The best part of this friendship has always been the fact that we are two peas in a pod, kindred spirits in a sense. She and I have the same outlook in life. She has that gentleness in her that I know I can trust and that she will never take advantage of me. Which I totally loved and will always cherish about her. Having said that there has always been this doubt of my motives, what I say or don’t say and this has been the undertone of our entire friendship and led to many instances of not talking to each other or a lot of misunderstandings/conflict. This has been tiring and taken an overall toll on the friendship particularly now that we live in different cities and often rely on texts and emails that often don’t generally convey true meaning.

Another element of a great friendship is that as both parties get older, there is natural room for both parties to grow, experiment and come to terms with themselves in the new phase and both parties have to allow for this to naturally play itself out. Friendship cannot be rigid or imposing or it naturally dies away. As we have gotten older, I have also struggled to embrace all her choices and some of the decisions she has made have made me quite uncomfortable and I am struggling to be the friend she needs in this phase of her life.

More than that however is the fact that our friendship is steeped in the past. We are not generating new memories, we are hanging onto old memories but none of us is invested in going forward. In fact, if we did not have friends in common, we wouldn’t really know what the other was doing or what they were up to. I honestly think ten years has been great but we truly don’t need each other that much any way and so although painful, its probably the right thing to do.

Making friends as an adult is tough

{sisters} #PardonMyFro #freelancer #digitalart #blackgirlmagic #illustration #afroart #naturalsisters:

This post on friendship has been doing the rounds which got me thinking about friendships in general. I love this quote:

What I’ve been telling my daughter is this: Yes, pray for and hope for new and closer friendships. That’s a good thing to want. But also don’t be so idealistic that you don’t see the opportunities for friendship right in front of you. The person in your life that you least expect might end up the answer to your prayer.

It looks like taking the initiative when we’d rather wait to be invited. It looks like pursuing that person already in our life instead of waiting for someone who might not exist. It looks like looking out for who might need a friend more than me. It looks like keeping healthy boundaries when we feel particularly vulnerable about all this (I’m looking at you, social media).

It looks like continually keeping our eyes peeled for someone who fits our bill, but it looks even more like keeping partial solutions at the forefront of our mind when we desire companionship.

In turn this got me thinking about my friendships and I would like to reflect on this over a couple of posts.

The Promises of God

Today is not an easy day, but I will choose to focus on the following truths about God:

  1. He is the Creator and Sustainor of Life. He made all things, visible and invisible for His pleasure.
  2. God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He will change His mind.
  3. Our greatest need is for salvation, and that He has already finalised on our behalf.

Yet, I will focus on God. Even today.

 

 

No. Not today. I just can’t.

Some days never make sense and the more we try and make sense of them, the harder the truth we face is.

Today is one of those days.

I can’t.

I find comfort in the following: God is our creator and the sustainor of all life and in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). In the song “What I thought I Wanted” Sarah Groves talks of wanting to get to heaven so she could go and ask Job what he knew about faith and being able to remain focused on God through tough and trying times. Today, I wanna ask the same hard question. Thankfully, we worship a might God that we can directly approach with such questions.

 

Sunday Reads

  1. Quick lunch/snack recipe: Chickpea “tuna” salad 
  2. Cooking with lentils & beans
  3. Don’t really like vegetarian burgers but these lentil meatballs sure look yum!
  4. This article made me realise why people do not share the names of their babys before birth, but clearly once they are born, the name is not safe either!!
  5. Pics of the beautiful Cape Town.
  6. Beautiful pics of the Festima Festival in Burkina Faso.
  7. Some non-traditional baby gift ideas.
  8. Breaking up is hard. Breaking up in the day of Facebook, is something else altogether.(NY Times Article)
  9. A better way to think of your to-do list.
  10. Get Tested. Be Faithful. Remain Faithful. Otherwise, always use protection.
  11. On buying friendship in Japan. Read this and thanked God for my genuine (free) friendships.
  12. This lady did what I always say to my single pals about putting themselves out there in order to meet a guy!
  13. Sad that the recently legalised Marijuana business in the states has a colour preference.
  14. How do you feel about motherhood?

null

Book Review: Happiness is a Four Letter Word v Men of the South

Following this summary of what is currently on my to-read bookshelf I have a couple of books that I would like to review.

Happiness is a Four Letter Word – Cynthia Jele

I loved this book, it deals with two things that I am particularly passionate about: Johannesburg and female relationships.

  • The book is what would happen if Sex and the City had been cast in a cosmopolitan African city. If you would love to see that, check out the YouTube series, An African City.
  • The themes are easily recognisable: love, family, beauty, work/ career advancement, marriage, female friendships.
  • The book is a really easy read, I started on Friday at 7 and finished the next day by 12.
  • Having said that, it is definitely a conversation starter and will have you thinking deeply about some of the issues dealt with for instance, what would I tell a dear friend that was cheating on her husband because she did not exactly marry him for love? Or a friend that rekindles communication with an old ex?
  • Only concern and I guess because of my personal views, I feel like the author portrays a very negative view of (Black) relationships and someone that is not acquainted with any Black people might take it as a given that this is how our love dynamics play out. Yes it’s a novel, but their portrayal is definitely very one-sided, what happened to “normal“?
  • Would I recommend it? Definitely yes!! I actually cannot wait for the author to release a second book.

Men of the South – Zukiswa Wanner

A bit of a preliminary disclaimer is that I read this book on the back of Happiness and the after-glow it gave me.

  • The book’s main theme is love and relationships (gender dynamics, hetero- or homosexuality, family and friendships) and it definitely deals with each of these in turn.
  • The book is set in Johannesburg and Cape Town, cities that I can safely say I am familiar with which makes the reading that bit enjoyable when I can understand the physical setting.
  • The book provides an entry point to have some difficult conversations for example, being a Black homosexual in a culture where one is expected to get a wife and settle down or what if I earn more than my husband and can take care of him, should he stay home while I work?
  • However, I think it attempted to do too much in a few pages and fell short. Hence, it was not as memorable as it could possibly be. I also felt that the first person reportage was not too helpful either.
  • Overall, the book was quite predictable and I would not recommend it unless you maybe had a few hours and did not want to be wowed but wanted to tick a book off your reading list.

Rachel’s Blue – Zakes Mda

I tried to read this book and failed to get into it despite trying. In light of my recent advice on how to read more books, I am giving up and will mark this is a non-read on my part. My biggest issue I suppose is that I love it when he writes about various aspects of South African people and the setting of this book was too different for me to adjust my expectations accordingly.

 

 

 

 

Each one help one

LiftEachotherUp_libbyvanderploeg.gif

Source

We all have those days when we need a little boost, each one help one!

Happy Human Rights Day South Africans.

Late Sunday Reads

  1. Google for kids? Kiddle
  2. Yummy tamarind chicken.
  3. Yummy Lemony Cream Cheese Pancakes with Blueberries.
  4. This colour thesaurus is so beautiful to behold.
  5. On how female friendships change with time.
  6. This is what it means to truly love someone. It’s a verb.
  7. Of the first AIDS patients and how most of them are now are in their late 60s and 70s.
  8. Oatmeal latte, anyone? REALLY not sure.
  9. Carrot cake for two?
  10. Welcome to poaching fruits.
  11. I happen to live with someone that could eat eggs for three main meals and as snacks in between. Here are some lovely dishes to try out.
  12. Sometimes our best motivation is external.

    Often, our best work happens when we’re in a situation we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. The hard part is choosing to be in that sort of situation in the first place, the uncomfortable one where we have no choice but to do better work.

  13. Which would you want in a job, freedom or responsibility?

    Freedom and responsibility aren’t given, they’re taken

  14. I have friends with whom I share goals.

    A common trait among successful people is that they have friends who expect them to move on up.

Sunday Reads

Afternoon me

Some lovely reads this week as you can see below.

  1. Goodbye Downton Abbey
  2. A Vietnamese coffee cake
  3. Cooking with cauliflower. Ten recipes.
  4. … specifically this cauliflower risotto. YUM!!
  5. Go big or go home in relation to Nigerian Weddings. Thank God we did not have that pressure way back when …
  6. Restoring the world’s oldest library.
  7. This broke my heart this week. Teenagers who kill in order to become famous or get a following. JUST SAD!!
  8. I am really keen for Fuller House. Nostalgia, much?
  9. Again, why women friendships are the bomb diggity!

Historically, friendships between women provided them with attention, affection and an outlet for intellectual or political exchange in eras when marriage, still chiefly a fiscal and social necessity, wasn’t an institution from which many could be sure of gleaning sexual or companionate pleasure.
For many women, friends are our primary partners through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. Even for women who do marry, this is true at the beginning of our adult lives, and at the end — after divorce or the death of a spouse.

Enjoy and have a lovely Sunday.

xoxo

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting read on how running a cartel is similar to a legit business.
  2. Another premie story that also broke my heart but is so well written.
  3. Well documented studies that argue for mindful eating and some common blinders to look out for.
  4. Grown up milkshakes anyone?
  5. How we can learn to be more frugal from the poor.

Did my parents know the answers to all of life’s lessons at my age?

Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.

  1. Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
  2. Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One,  I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
  3. Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.

And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!

Question time

What I’m listening to: NPR’s Hidden Brain. Haven’t really gotten into any new music of late. So happy to take any suggestions in the comments.

What I’m reading:  Introduction to African Religion by John Mbiti; The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna.

What I’m wearing: Blue nail polish on my toes because nothing says summer quite like that.

What we’re watching: Just finished Shameless Season 5 and waiting to continue onto season 6. Trying to get time to get into Billions.

What I’m struggling with: My inner critic particularly professionally. Also, trying to maintain my theme to stay connected to some of my friends and acquaintances.

What’s making my heart happy: BSF, Downton Abbeys’ last season, Woolworths Spicy Chai tea

Inspired by Joy at Frock Files

Sunday Reads

Also known as what happens in the real life that almost always constricts a great blogging schedule!

  1. Upcycling old kitchenware beautifully!
  2. Weep for this generation 😦
  3. Great (and practical) ways to teach your children about money.
  4. Yet another lentil recipe.YUM!!!
  5. Another chai recipe – cupcakes this time.
  6. Vegetarian biryani. YUM!
  7. Something we also learn about marriage on the grind.
  8. Because she is that bit close to John Legend.
  9. On testing teenagers for AIDS.
  10. I know someone whose Dr could not tell her the right size of her baby. Very scary and confusing for the mom-to-be.
  11. Some things to do for yourself this year. I like the bit about having therapy, kinda feeling that vybe this year. Also, exploring your new city or going to a totally new place.
  12. Five strategies to get your academic writing “unstuck”.
  13. Youngest person to buy a Gulfstream Jet is a Malawian Pastor. Will leave that there.

Happy Sunday and reading!

 

Sunday reads …

  1. If you would like to incorporate more vegetables into your diet/ be vegan. Here’s how to go about doing so.
  2. Recipes to enjoy your grains.
  3. Such a beautiful and poignant story of motherhood.
  4. And this post on surviving after losing a mother from one of my most favourite bloggers.
  5. Creative ways to counter the rising pay gap e.g. publish pay info by gender, make an offer that ignores past salary levels, teach women how to negotiate.
  6. The Mr and I have the same and different takes to this Saturday dilemma.
  7. I so DO NOT endorse people that believe in presenteeism.
  8. This is the kind of meaningful stuff I want to do with myself.
  9. But what is this now???????????? Virginity testing, school only for virgins? Madness!!!
  10. Because who would not like poached pears with tea?
  11. Another tea recipe (tea-infused lemon tart)
  12. What Obama carries in his pocket  … (Lemme know what you think?)

2016 Theme Verse

Source

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,  rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

In the last couple of years I have started to look at a theme word and then gotten a verse for the following to keep me grounded. As 2015 drew to a close, I started to look at the last couple of years and the word that came to mind was “centred” or “rooted” as it felt like the previous years had been in some kind of flux. An alternative word was abide which always calls to mind being at peace and being deeply connected to something or someone as it were.

I love this verse above because besides so many other things it connects being established and rooted in Christ while at the same time talking of gratitude which was something else that I felt about 2015. God has been so good to me and mine in this year that I want to begin another year reminded of this and almost saying to myself to count my blessings, each and everyone of them every day.

So I look forward to a calming year with my focus on my Lord and Saviour as well as a spirit of gratitude!

Sunday Reads

  1. The pitfall of comparing yourself with others Sad smile 
  2. More on female economists and their returns to solo vs group publishing of papers (Hint: publish solo or with mixed genders)
  3. and a follow up of initial thoughts and opinions on the article.
  4. A healthy alternative to eating wraps!
  5. Slay Taraji, slay!!
  6. As a follow up to last weeks post on what the Brady/ Bundchen bunch eat, here is a list of recipes to adopt.
  7. Free downloadable calendars: one and two.
  8. The NYT recently published a list of 100 Notable books for 2015.
  9. Good to know that Uganda doing well on the front of palliative health care – effectively and cheaply.

First Sunday Reads

Welcome back and I pray that your new year has started off with a bang!

  1. I always knew the Russian Maffia doesn’t play!
  2. Clap back of the century! Pow!!
  3. Because mothers greatly influence their daughters sense of style. I certainly know mine did!
  4. Did you know there are surrogacy agencies and they have annual fairs? Well there are …
  5. I can actually taste this dish 🙂
  6. This one too!!
  7. The Atlantic lists their 50 best episodes for 2015 and has quite a few goodies.
  8. Wonder what the cause of death by age and country would reveal for Africa.
  9. Thoughtful reflections for anyone contemplating a PhD.
  10. Fantastic seeing how a doodle artist does her work.
  11. This article proves to me how women perpetuate patriachy.
  12. Wonder whether this niche, sells a single book at a time bookstore will take.
  13. What’s it like to be a private chef?
  14. I have never really thought about the professionals that have to work on rape cases. Till now.

 

Last Sunday Reads of 2015

  1. A simple way to think of writing, in three parts.
  2. Now I am even more confused about Westgate,Nairobi (37 minute audio recording)
  3. Ten ways to help you improve your eating habits. Particularly #1 on doubbling up on veggies.
  4. A quick tuna chickpea salad.
  5. Light quick read on the history of Vlisco making fabrics for Africa (Won’t talk today about my feelings of appropriation where this is concerned)
  6. A longer history of Vlisco here
  7. So Rachel Dolezal does not get it at all! Still, six months later and with a baby on the way!!
  8. “​what’s the danger of not training the people who stay?” Another classic Seth Godin post.
  9. The NYT’s best pics for the year
  10. Pleased to hear there are measurable and positive benefits to the show 16 and Pregnant coz I really like the show!

Reviewing 2015 through posts

I have enjoyed posting so much this year and pushing myself to write more, write in different formats or on different topics than the typical ones I would. Thanks for the reads, sharing and comments!

  1. My theme this year was on obedience.
  2. Listened to great music too!!
  3. Took care of myself!!
  4. Really got into podcasts.
  5. Ten little things I enjoyed this year (the first of many similar posts)
  6. I hurt when the Xenophobic attacks broke out! In February. Twice.
  7. Read a lot about women struggling with infertility.
  8. Cooked some nice things.
  9. Read some good and bad books!! The invention of wings was easily my book of the year.
  10. Made a personal announcement too!!

Enjoy and looking forward to 2016!!