Tag Archives: life

Life-lemons and lemonade-lessons

17 Feb

One year ago, a life so perfect started to take a few bumps and beatings. A lot of loss,hurt, panic, sadness, anxiety , anger and stress made its way into the Queen’s castle!

And when my mom passed away in November, I took only a few items from her house. The most precious one of them all…this little sign….

It is such a cliche, right?!  But, what is the recipe for making the lemonade in real life?

Today, I am sharing my recipe for coping with all of this. I have to admit that I am not yet at the stage of adding the sugar and chilling it…but I am slowly making my way there..

Sharing makes me hope that you will find some wisdom in this recipe for yourself or identify with how I do it or you will be able to help me by adding a few ingredients that has worked for you and might do the same for me…

So, to reflect on what I do with my lemons…….

1. PROCESS / REACT to what is happening…do not be in denial….allow it to absorb your mind….clutter your thoughts…talk about it…cry about it….yell about it….but acknowledge that it is happening…so you can deal with reality that the lemon has hit you…..be BUSY with it…do not ignore it. You can freak out if you have to… for a little bit… I tend not to…but I have other ways in which my system responds… I start talking about it..to everyone and anyone…untill my husband falls asleep on it…untill such time I feel that I have talked so much about it, that I don’t want to talk about it..only then I stop talking…

2. THEN…  STOP for a while and forget about the rest of your life….sometimes when the juice squirts in your eyes you have no choice but to take a moment and gather yourself together…do not feel guilty that you have missed out and dropped the ball in a few other areas while you were busy dealing with the crisis…let it be the most important thing in your life for a day or three…. I am sure the school forgave me for not signing up to come see the teachers for parent conference day and I am not going to feel like the worst mother ever… I just went back, said sorry and will see them tomorrow….I simply can not have my mind everywhere it needed to be….

3. Think about things that came as a result of this….ponder some thoughts on side -effects this created (not neccessarily good things that came out of it – because that is very hard to see in a time when there is really no good thing in it for you…??! ), but for eg. be reminded of how wonderful your support network is, who your true friends are, who you can trust in situations like this, how making you stop made you realize some things that has nothing to do with this…. for example…when a bad thing happened to my nanny, I got to do a few things with my little one that I have not done in a while and I really enjoyed dressing her and giving her breakfast whilst I dont always get to do that anymore because there is someone helping her with that….I am still not happy that this happened but it made me think again of other things that came as the ripple effect…..

4. Do NOT  ask WHY this has happened. This is counter productive and makes you go back and forth as if on a swing… you do not get anywhere because we as humans are simply not equipped to anwer that question. For death, illnesses and tragedies we do not know and will not know. It is exhausting to do that.

5. Return to your Source of inner strength and calm…. the place or Person that can help you pull through a tough time….. If you are a believer, let go and let GOD. If not, find your source of comfort and go there for inner strength. Sometimes it is too difficult to pray during your own suffering. Ask others to do that for you…or just be still and He will know about it anyway…ask for Peace and you will receive it. You might not get the answer or a solution, but you will find peace in accepting your circumstance. And if you are not strong enough to pray, be quiet and put on some beautiful music…and don’t panic. Your stamina will return.

6. Get back to basics in taking care of yourself….eat well, go to bed early, drink a lot of water, get some exercise…….getting overtired and stuffing yourself with junk makes you feel even more miserable and does not help the situation at all… I am very guilty there…. I tend to stay up and do comfort-eating, give up on exercising and soon enough I have even more things to be depressed about !

7. Get dressed and dolly yourself up a bit ! Take a good look at yourself. Again – GUILTY. I find something sloppy to wear and hang around the house. It feels like everything, including me is  a mess ….. Do not get me wrong…. I LOVE hanging out around the house without being all dressed up – I can stay the whole day in pj’s …but, what I am saying is that in a time of crisis, it is not the right time to do that…do that when you are on top of the world, feel like you can achieve anything and in control of your life and emotions…otherwise…. get up and get dressed…so you can face your sad face in the mirror !!

8. Find a creative outlet...yes, like blogging…or baking…or whatever it is that you love to do and that gives you energy….In times of crisis, we often don’t allow ourselves to do the things we love because we are absorbed in the thick of things…but force yourself to spend just a little time on your hobby or something that gives you joy..something that will inspire you from within yourself….that will take your mind off things even just for a moment….that will force you to make an attempt to light the fire that life just blew out…so you will feel that you still have the ability to give even though it feels as if all has been taken from you….

9. Think about a list of ten things that you still have that you can be thankful for…and you will surely come up with a list ten times ten. Yes, even in death..there is some thankfulness… a life that was good…a suffering that has ended…. in terminal illness, there is still….the fact that are you are still alive with time to make right…extra time with loved ones….even in sadness….there are other things that bring you joy…. having a devastating diagnosis and a young child to care for is a heartbreaking situation but having the young child that you are thankful for, helps you to focus and hope for a solution, to push through and to look forward….to not get stuck in one place…

10. And then – go DO something – go DO something with your lemons….be pro-active, come up with plans to make things better, take action and move on from your place of sadness and insecurity and sickness….if you have nothing else to do……go make some real lemonade !! For the recipe – see the bottom of this post.

If it is cold and you don’t feel like a refreshing glass of lemonade..how about some lemon tea.

In Korea, you get this lemon preserve. I love it.

You spoon it into your cup…and just add hot water… It is delicious and heart-warming and is a good alternative for hot chocolate or coffee…..

So, here again – my recipe of making lemonade from life-lemons:

1. React and let it ALL out when it happens

2. Stop and take stock

3. Look beyond the border of the burden

4. Dont ask WHY

5. Pray for Peace

6. Back to Basics

7. Face the mirror

8. Create and Conquer

9. Fill your thankful tank

10. Go DO something productive

So……I bought the lemons, got my juicer out, making the lemonade….and found out that my honey spoon is missing…:-(

But, in the process of looking for it, I found this glass in the cupboard….

It must have been a little Corona marketing stunt..but it came in handy and so I share with you what it says:

“Enjoy with Lemon  – Corona represents the ultimate reprieve from and the rejection of the pressures of life. It’s an invitation to kick back and not take life too seriously.”


So it need not be lemonade. There are other things to do with the lemons you got in your life. Everyone’s situation is different and everyone responds differently. The important thing is to make something with YOUR lemons.

But for those of you who really read this blog for inspiration on design and decor, I did after all find something to share with you when I went to get the lemons. It is the fruit bowl that I bought on my recent trip to South Africa.

It is from the South African designer Carrol Boyes. She has AMAZING things !!!!! and I am a true admirer of her work.

 

It consists of two bowls, a small and medium, size which you can easily pass around the table if you want to hand out the fruit. It is not neccessarily for fruit but anything you can think of, of course !

If you do go to South Africa, be sure to look for her work. Just ask around and anyone will direct you to an outlet in selected malls. You can find it in selected international stores and now also online. She constantly comes out with new designs and they are a feast for the eye ! Remember – Carrol Boyes.

If you go to the site, there is also a competition going at the moment for new designers. So, if you happen to be one or aspire to be one  – go see the METAL MESS AROUND competition at her site. There are great prizes to win and a promising career for the lucky winner!

Right now…. I so wish that I could blog more about design, decor and detail as this was the intention of my blog….but reality is that life has thrown us these lemons …and they have been coming at a bit of a steady pace over the last few months….

So, here is to you, Sam…for inspiring me to write a blog post despite dealing with little one’s diarrhea, dialysis and other dilemmas in life right now !

If you have a few ingredients for lemonade, do not be shy to share them in the comment section below!

If you want to know how my lemonade is tasting so far…go follow me on Twitter (idodetail or click on the blog’s sidebar), as I will be posting my progress on steps 1-10 in the coming days.

And if all else fail – go grab the Tequila and Salt… I have no further advice for you !!

Take care

Ilze

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Take the plunge

27 Jan

I have wanted to change my blog from wordpress.com to wordpress.org for months now.

That way I will have a lot more freedom and control over my blog. That’s my kind of thing – freedom and control. There are many other reasons.

It’s a long story. I won’t bore you.

But it involves a few steps…a few things I need to do and know…that I don’t know.

And another thing you might not know about me, is that I don’t really want to do something unless I know what I DON’T know…and right now there are a number of things I DON’T know….but I will only know once I have moved the blog….yes, it’s complicated.

So, earlier tonight I saw this picture of my daughter diving into the pool at the Swim Challenge.

I have not seen it before but I love it.

My husband took it while I was out of the country and life got hectic so I never had the time to go through these.

Okay – so how does this relate.

Simply this.  It reminded me that I need to take the plunge…just dive into the deep end and start swimming.

I need to get in the water and take on the challenge.

I don’t know how it all will work out….but if you keep on living with so many “what IF’s”..you get stuck on the IF in the middle of L(IF)E for too long and loose valuable time.

That is where I am right now…stuck and not moving forward or backwards on this issue.

I am not quite ready to do this…but the sooner the better.

I will keep you posted. I will need you in this process to follow me when I leave this spot. The statistics on readers of my blog have become very rewarding and I don’t want to loose that link moving to a new place…but here I go with the long story…boring you…. I will stop.

Just keep coming back. I will keep you posted. I will need you to … Okay, I will stop. I just need to do it first, right!

I need to take that plunge !

Good advice

24 Jan

Last week my daughter had surgery.  It was minor. For me – a big deal.

Seeing your little one being pushed into theatre makes all sorts of things go through your head.

I think it makes you slow down a little bit and it makes you think more.

About life and how you live it, what you have and what you take for granted, what is important and what will be  more important in future. Yes, it definitely makes you ponder on things a little bit more than on your ordinary day.

You cut out all the other things for a while and focus on the one thing at hand…

Untill it is done. Successfully. And you are relieved. Very relieved that all went well.

During this process I went to get a coffee at one of my favourite shops and noticed this sign on the wall.

On another day it may have gone by unnoticed.

But that day, I noticed.

It made me stop.

It made me think long after I left the place.

It made me want to follow their advice.

I think you would like it too…

It is good advice.

It sounds simple.

But it says A LOT……

Here is to a happy, simple life. I am certainly going to strive for that.

I have a problem saying no to nonsense..how about you? I am going to work on that…

But hey – if all else fail – I guess we can all keep up the smile – part ?!

Have a happy day everyone.

Ilze

Sharing our burden

8 Dec

Life was so different since I got that call in Vietnam about my mother’s health… and I have not even shown my pictures to my lovely husband since I returned.

But today I looked at them…and spotted this one that I took the day before I got the news. Before it would have been just another picture, but given the context of my life the past few weeks, it got new meaning…. as life-changing events make you see things differently.

It reminded me of how we carry our heavy burden during a time like this while life around us carries on….

In fact …things around me whizz by at top speed, while I have felt a heaviness and have been moving at a slow pace.

We all grief differently, but I decided to share my load…. by sharing my pain, my photo memories of my mom and by blogging about her  passing away.

It is wonderful how each and every one of my friends responded and took that burden off my shoulders…by sharing my feelings, acknowledging my pain, even shedding tears for me, offering help and support, by listening to me and simply gave me the space to be who I am and to just make me aware of the fact that they are all there for me….

Imagine this woman’s load taken off her shoulders and be carried further by 97 strong people …. it almost starts to seem ridiculously light in that scenario…..which would totally allow her to start to focus on other things again and to be able to bend, stretch and reach out to others again. How much lighter my load became when almost a hundred friends each personally sent me a note, a mail, a facebook message, called, visited….some whom have never even met my mother…but they know me and they care….

I feel blessed beyond measure…

I want to thank each and every one who stood by me and my family.

I will miss my mother every day, but I feel every day how my spirit is lifting and how the people around me are helping me to carry on….without the load on my shoulders alone.

I feel inspired to start blogging again   – and that is a good sign.

I hope to write a few posts before the year ends…and I am looking forward to the New Year, hoping to bring you some great posts from all over about Life’s little details!

Ilze

A Comfort Queen

11 Nov

I have a very generous husband when it comes to ME.

He has never denied me anything with regards to indulging myself  in ME needs, ME treats or ME comforts (within reason goes without saying !).

Tomorrow I am off to Vietnam with a few girlfriends and he will look after the kids over the weekend. How lucky am I ?!

While I’m off I leave you with a little insight into ME and what I try to live by.

This I decided just now while I was packing and  discovered one of my old notebooks – (at least 10 years old) . I hardly ever throw away my notebooks – they are almost like the diaries / journals I never got to write. Mainly because I usually buy books and stationery by their looks as much as their purpose!  An ugly book needs to be award winning for me to buy it !

(Told you I have a thing for form & function combined !!)

But this book in particular I have kept (it has a special place in my closet) because on top of being cute and whimsical, it personally appealled to my outlook on life. Right when I picked it up, I knew – this is SO ME !!!! And today it rings true for me as much as it did then.

It is late in the day and natural sunlight is nowhere to be seen…so bare with the photos as I shot them in my bedroom while packing, grabbing the first “comfy” thing I could lay my hands on…so I will quote them below too:

 

LIVE BY WHAT YOU TREASURE:

harmony
comfort
spirit
grace
wisdom
simplicity

Opening the front cover there is a sort of ” declaration” of a COMFORT QUEEN:

Do I even need to TELL you that I TOTALLY declared myself a Comfort Queen way back when??!

And I am not ashamed to say that I have lived by that credo ever since.

Did you get that ?……

A Comfort Queen:

Rules her own life.

She treats herself with the same kindness

and respect as she does the people she loves.

She has a healthy sense of humor about herself.

Rest, self-nurturing and harmony

are her imperial rights.

She keeps her eye on the unfolding path of her life

and lives by what she treasures.

Or at least she tries.

And then the page header that further sparked so many ideas over the years as I filled the pages…

 

It’s hard to read but it says:

What one thing could I do today to become the person I most want to be?

I wonder what your answer would be to that ? Anyone?

And finally on the  back page:

Each one of us has an inner feminine voice – your Comfort Queen – a voice that will soothe and befriend, strengthen and support, helping you to treat yourself with the same kindness and respect as you do the people you love”

Created by the best-selling author: Jennifer Louden. And today after all these years, I went to her blog and website to see who the lady is to whom I owe so much in finding a piece of my own self many years ago when I bought her notebook ! You can visit her blog and website for many more wonderful insights and inspiration at The Comfort Queen. Thank you Jennifer !

I AM LOOKING FOR ALL THE COMFORT QUEENS OUT THERE whom these treasures and life philosophy ring true for ??? Are you with me ? Let me know !

If you have a different philosophy or comfort I would love to hear that too.

It is important for us women in the world to keep on discovering ourselves and share it with others so we can constantly better ourselves.

For those who love to share, do so and I will check on your comments upon my return from Vietnam.

In the meantime I wish you a happy, comfy weekend with your loved ones

Ilze


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