Quotes To Live By: Henry Louis Gates

β€œIf you don’t tell your stories, other people will tell their story about you. It’s important that we nurture and protect these memories. Things change. Existence means change.”

Henry Louis Gates
Image: Canva

My sanctuary

Solitude is my happy place. I can be alone in a crowd and be happy much like a couple newly in love that creates their own world whereever they go. I used to be anxious about it when I was younger but not anymore. I love being on my own but within limits.

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My favourite place to be alone is in my home. It’s my haven. It’s where I can just be. No judgement. No minding my p’s and q’s. I just am. I love pottering around the house and the garden and then curling up with a good book. Now and then I will dedicate a weekend to a series on Netflix. I have to watch a season at a time or it will bother me. I can no longer survive on one episode a week. πŸ™ˆ Netflix has spoilt me. My son is at that age where he is glued to some form of a screen at any point in time but when he needs to take a break, he knows where to find me.

I also like enjoy chilling in my little garden. There is a bush behind my house that houses, what sounds like, a lot of different birds and there are lots of beautiful butterflies that flutter about. Even though I live just above a busy main road, the bush helps drown out the sound of traffic so I am able to focus on the birds singing in the trees. I never see them. I only ever hear them. I also enjoy watching the kittens have a blast chasing whatever insect crawls or flies by. They think my irises are their own personal jungle where they get to play hide-and-seek with each other. πŸ˜‚ They are the cutest. Being in the garden is also my opportunity to ground myself.

So while I can happily be alone anywhere, my favourite place is definitely my home.

As much as I love solitude, I do need my daily dose of people though.

Ageing Gracefully

At least that is what I tell myself😜. Today’s prompt requires that I write about my favourite part of myself. Well. Since I have done quite a bit of soul searching over the course of this month, I think I will stick to the physical today. In which case, my favourite part of myself right now is my grey hair!

Embracing my greys

I made a choice to embrace my greys about 2 months ago and I am so glad I did. It felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders. God decided that I would start sprouting greys in my twenties. I was having none of that. If He had blessed me with a ‘distinguished’ grey patch in the front like my mum had I might have considered it but noooo…He decided that mine would sprout up at random. So I made box colour my friend instead. (I don’t have the patience to sit in a salon every month and have my hair done). Such has been my life for the past 20 years.

In November my cousin became a gran for the 1st time. She is 4 months older than me. While my son is only 13, and will in all likelihood not make a gran for at least another 10 years (fingers crossed), it was a milestone that made me take a look in the mirror and ask myself who I was kidding. I am getting older (never old though, just older. There is a difference. 🀣) and I need to embrace it. With people dying at younger and younger ages thanks to covid, I decided it was a blessing to be the age I am and it’s time to embrace it. For me, the symbol of my ageing is my grey hair so I embraced it.

I don’t know about you but I find that once I make a decision to accept something, especially something that I have been dreading, I find that I actually like whatever it is. Does that happen to you too? It happened when I became a non-smoker. It happened when I began intermittent fasting and now when I chose to accept my hair. I no longer look at myself in the mirror in horror. Now I give myself a big broad grin every morning and blow myself a kiss because, gosh darn it, I deserve it. 🌷

I am because We are

Today’s prompt is: “Write about something that makes you feel strong”. I looked up the word in the dictionary and was amazed at all the things that strong could mean. When I hear the word, I either think of physical strength or strength of character. Since I definitely am not the strongest person physically, I’ll talk about the other definitin that comes to mind.

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People call me strong and have done so for most of my adult life simply because I have always been single and appeared to do everything for myself. Becoming a single parent and raising what I would like to call, a well-adjusted son, just amplified this idea in everyone’s mind. The truth is that I am not really that strong. I do however have a support system of friends, colleagues and family that gives me the space to do what I need to do to take care of my son and myself. My network is small but it is big enough for me. My network though is not the main reason why I appear strong.

The main reason is because I have faith in a God who always has my back. This means that I can lean on Him all the time. I will not fall. He will not fail me or my son. I am by no means a church-going somebody. I do however believe in God because I see the evidence of all the good things He has done in my life. I often point out the evidence of it to my son whenever I become aware of an example. It blows both out minds to see God in action. On of the more recent examples is that of the kittens that came into our lives. He wanted a pet so badly that God sent them to our door. He was so dissappointed when neither of the kittens seemed to want his attention initially and now George is about the clingest cat I have ever come across πŸ˜‚. I was just saying to him today that he clearly has a special line to God because God is always answering his prayers.

So in a nutshell, “I am because we are”. My network of family and friends together with my God, make me look strong. Without them, I would have nothing and be nothing. I am grateful for the wonderful network that God has blessed me with.

A 20 year old bitter sweet dream that came true

There is only one dream that really stands out in my mind. Strangely enough I had been thinking of it lately and then today’s prompt popped up about a dream I remember. I found most of this dream distressing yet I was at peace by the time I woke. The peace that I felt at the end is a feeling that I go back to time and time again when I need to feel safe. An even crazier thought is that the dream was almost prophetic.

The Dream

I don’t remember all the details of this dream as I had it about 20 years. The parts I do remember is that my sisters and I were chilling on the verandah (porch) of my mum’s house. My older sister’s 2 children were with us. There were about 2 and 8 years old at the time. Suddenly dark clouds started gathering rapidly and a vicious storm broke. For whatever reason, my niece and nephew ran off and my older and younger sister ran after them. I stayed with my baby sister who was barely a teen at the time. We were both terrified for them. My parents were not home. My two sisters and my niece and nephew disapppeared from our sight. We had no idea what to do. The rain lashed at the house. Lightening flashed. Thunder crashed. It looked and sounded like God was very angry at the world that day. There was nothing we could do so I turned to take my baby sister inside. Suddenly I noticed the door to a room on the side of our house that I never knew was there. I couldn’t understand it. I tried the handle. The door opened.

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To my surprise, there stood my late Granny Molly. My dad’s mum. She stood next to a single bed and was folding clothes. (One of my fondest memories of her from when I was a kid was when she spent some time at our home and she would make us fold the laundry while she told us stories of her childhood so I guess that is why she was folding laundry in my dream.) She looked absolutely serene and beautiful. She did not say a word. She just smiled at me and it was at the moment that I knew that everything would be ok. I felt such a sense of peace come over me. I can’t explain it. I immediately woke up still feeling that sense of peace and knew that no matter what, my gran was watching over us all and all will be well in the end.

The strangest thing is that, and it only struck me this past week, those two sisters and the kids have gone their separate ways since my mum has passed. My mum’s death was pretty sudden, much like the storm. My baby sister and I did not see the split coming and initially were competely thrown. We have since made peace with it and have moved on with our lives as we don’t have any choice. It what it is and, ultimately, all will be well. When I feel disturbed by it or anything actually, I go back to the memory of seeing my gran and the sense of peace she gave me. She watches over them as she watches over my baby sister and I. And now we have my mum watching over us and walking with us as well.

It was a crazy dream then but the emotions it stirred in me, ensured that it will always stay with me. The fact that life has played out in much the same way that the dream did actually blows my mind. I truly do believe that my gran still watches over me and has actually surprised me around her birthday for the past 3 years. Perhaps she has done it more often than that and I have only become aware of it because of the gratitude challenge that I do every December. Get this…about 2 years ago, on the the 12th of the 12th, at around 12pm I stepped up to the till at a store with a pair of jeans for my son. The size was for age 12. There was no price tag on the jeans and the lady and her manager could not find it on the system so they gave it to me for free! My gran’s birthday is the 12/12.😊 How cool is that!!!! I chose to believe it was her doing something special for my son and I on her birthday.

Thank you for reading my story.

An interview with a Sock Elf

Me: Oh boy, oh boy, I am so excited to have ‘Fluffy’ (not his real name) the Sock Elf on my podcast today! Thank you all for joining us. Fluffy has agreed to let us in on the secret behind where our missing socks go hence the pseudonym. How cool is that! Thank you Fluffy and Welcome!

Fluffy: Thank you Michelle. It’s great to be here. As you know, no sock elf has ever revealed this secret before but I see the human’s distress and, even worse, I how the socks that get left behind are treated and my heart breaks for them.

Me: So tell me, how do you choose which socks to take and why?

Fluffy: Well, it depends on how the sock will be used in Elfville. Rule of thumb is to only take a sock that has been worn a few times.

Me: hmmm…well…sorry to interrupt you there, appears someone didn’t get that memo and took one of my brand new socks not so long ago. I was crushed!

Fluffy: I am terribly sorry to hear that. We will have to investigate. Anyway, as I was saying, the type and look of sock to be taken is dependant on the purpose it will serve.

Me: That brings me to my next question. How are they used by the Elf community?

Fluffy: I am so glad you asked!! There are so many fabulous things you can do with odd socks! That’s why I came on your show, I wanted to teach your listeners about the wonderful ways they can use sock that gets left behind. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Mittens: I know that is bitterly cold in the northen hemisphere right now, so I would encourage wearing your odd socks as an extra layer under your mittens to keep your hands warm. They do keep ours nice and toasty. We elves use the smaller socks to keep our ear tips warm as well.
  • Feet moisturisers – I love this one and you can do it all year round. We apply some vaseline to our feet or a nice thick cream and then put on our socks for soft smooth feet. We do it on our hands as well!
  • Keep your game pieces safe: we keep all our buttons, gameboard pieces, etc in our socks. This also helps us use less plastic as we are not using plastic bags anymore
  • Cleaning odd spots: we use socks to clean those odd spots like blinds.
  • Toys: The kiddie elves love the sock puppets that we make. We keep them entertained for hours with those!
  • Stinky shoes: our elf shoes are closed so it can get a bit cluncky in there if you know what I mean. We place some bicarbonate of soda in socks. Tie it up and place the sock in our shoe over night to absorb any odours.

Me: Wow! You guys really know socks! Thanks for the tips!

Fluffy: That is just the tip of the ice berg! We decorate our pot plants with socks and make colourful scarves and the like with them. Hmmm…Elfville should actually be called Sockville now that I think about it.

Me: Haha. There’s an idea. Thank you for coming on the show Fluffy. I don’t think I will ever look at an odd sock the same way again. I have to admit that I will always miss having a pair of socks coming out of every wash though.

Fluffy: Thanks again for having me. I know this doesn’t solve your initial problem but I hope that you and your audience will start having as much fun with your odd socks as we do! Bye!

The Quotes I live by

If you follow my blog than you know that up until this year, I posted quotes almost daily. I find that they have the ability to uplift and motivate me and a lot of my friends and followers.. I have chosen the quotes below because they remind me to:

  • Have faith
  • Be present
  • Be grateful
  • God/The Universe is constantly working to fulfil my desires
  • Prayer changes things
  • Be still.

What are your favourite quotes? What quotes keep you motivated?

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