Tag Archives: healthy life

Double Mastectomy Heroism

So news broke today that Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy as a preventative measure. Yes. She voluntarily had her breasts removed just in case she got breast cancer. Sounded crazy to me when I heard it. Almost like removing your eyeballs in case you go blind. But when you read her story, it all makes sense.

This story has been on my mind all day and I can’t shake it, especially after being Mother’s Day in South Africa this past weekend. For those of you that know me personally, you know that my mom recently died after a long and heartbreaking battle with breast cancer. She got to meet and spend time with her grandchildren from my two siblings, got to attend 2 children’s weddings and play a part in their families. My kids will never know their grandmother. They will never know that she was the most selfless human being. They will never know her dry sense of humour and never get to feel her gentle touch. My future husband will never experience being welcomed into the family over a glass of wine (that used to make her nose go red). They may, however, know what it is like to lose a mother to cancer. They just might know what it feels like to hold her hand while she takes her last breath and the numbing shock that follows.

Her cancer does not seem to be the genetic kind. Lucky in that there is a good chance I won’t get it, but unlucky in that there is no way of knowing whether or not I will.

I admire Angelina Jolie for what she did. If I was in the same position as her and had the financial means to do what she did in prevention, I would do it in a heartbeat. It is amazing to see such selfless acts that restore my faith in human beings.

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Nice? Can you spell that?

It struck me this past week, when I was being email-attacked by a client’s vendor, that people have forgotten how to be nice. Are the days of friendliness and adult conversations really gone? Have people forgotten their manners and what their parents tried so hard to teach them? We’re all fighting our own battles out there, granted, but there are these WTF moments in life that take my mind into a world of sharks and villains and downright nastiness.

So the big question is: WHY? Honestly, why? Why do people feel the need to take out their anger on other people? Why do they feel the need to mask their insecurities with accusations of blame? Why do they feel the need to push people into the mud-pit for challenging them?

I can’t actually answer those questions, but I can tell you that despite the way that I have been treated on occasions in my life, I do believe that people are inherently good. For some, it just lies a shit load deeper than in others.

So I challenge you! Soul Pancake shared a video late last year that inspired people on the street to compliment each other and I thought it was really cute. And relevant to me right now. What if we were to compliment someone, instead of berating them? What if we told people the good things we thought about them instead of focusing on the bad? (Yes, some people really are just assholes, but I’m pretty sure that there is something in them that is good, you’ll just have to look really really really deep.) Don’t you think it would change their lives in a teensy weensy little way that can create a bigger positive change as a result?


The one constant in life is change

The one constant in life is change

The universe, from atom to galaxy, is in a perpetual state of flux
We humans, don’t like change
We fight it
It scares  us
So we create the illusion of stasis
We want to believe in a world at rest
The world of right now
Yet our great paradox remains the same
The moment we grasp the now, that now is gone
We claim the snapshots, but life is moving pictures
Time forces us to grow
To adapt
Because every time we blink our eyes, the world shifts beneath our feet.

– “Touch” Season 1 Episode 12

*Thoughts to those in the US affected by Hurricane Sandy


Today I learnt…Fast fasting

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have noticed some moany-moany tweets about starvation and wanting to eat a vegetarian. I am on a 3 day juice fast, people. Bear with me!

Why?

We put so much food through our digestive system day in and day out, without a break. Imagine all the gunk in there!

The theory behind fasting is that it permits the entire digestive system to rest while ridding the body of toxins. It cleanses the body and the energy that is usually used for digestion is available for the repair and healing of the body.

People also fast for spiritual reasons, in that it gives them an opportunity to focus their thoughts towards God/spirituality/whatever they’re into.

I just felt like I needed a bodily spring-clean.

How?

I chose a 3 day juice fast. Detoxification programmes and fasting can be dangerous, if not done properly and for long periods of time, so a 3 day juice fast is a safe and relatively fast way to get the job done.

So all it is, is 3 days of only fresh fruit/vegetable juice and water/herbal tea. Sounds easy enough. Ha ha ha ha!! I laugh so!

A fridge full of apples, pears, carrots, lemon and ginger and motivation on Day 1.

Today is Day 3. The fridge holds a few carrots and a cucumber. I nearly ate my roommate yesterday.

I feel amazingly light and energetic now, though…

And?

Day 1 and 2:

Mornings were fine. Afternoons filled with starvation and detox headaches. Juice fasts tend to detox you quicker than normal fasts and the toxins released cause intense headaches. This is apparently a good thing, though. But Oh My Soul…they hurt like mad. Sweating it out, drinking lots of water and peppermint tea helps though.

Day 3:

I’m still alive! I don’t want to kill or eat anyone. Whew! I feel great. No hunger. Glad that it’s nearly over!

So?

Again, I have realised how much I love food and wine and the social aspect of eating. I chose a time when there was nothing really going on socially, and I could relax and take it easy while my body does it’s thing, but I would have struggled a lot more if I had to decline a meal out or a glass of wine with a friend!

I am impressed with my own willpower and inner strength.

I’m sticking out the last few hours on a positive note – Gold Stars to me…


You know you’ve made it when…

I came across this competition yesterday from Oudemeester:

[Cool idea for a campaign. The winners get a bottle of Demant, Crystal glasses and a diamond. Pretty sauve. See their Facebook page or Twitter for more details.]

Diamonds aside, this got me thinking.

How do you know when you’ve made it? 

I posed the question on my Facebook page and expected my numbnut friends to come up with some ridonculous ideas of wealth and success. I remember once paging through a lifestyle magazine (yes, once upon a time there were things called magazines and they were printed on paper), and saw a house with a beautiful wild forest garden. In this fairy garden paradise was an open air kitchen and dining area. I cut out the picture and stuck it on my fridge and told myself that you know you’ve made it when you have an outdoor kitchen in your forest fairy garden.

Although that would be bloody marvelous and I wouldn’t say no to having one if I had the means, in all honesty there are much deeper and more satisfactory signs that you’ve made it in life.

Here are some of my Facebook friends answers to my status “You know you’ve made it when…”

  • you don’t need to brag about your ‘achievements’ on Facebook anymore
  • you have a penis butler
  • ‎……. you’re happy
  • you can look back and actually be proud of what you have achieved and how far you have come…
  • you get back to the stable and your T-shirt isn’t full of dirt at the back (from falling off a horse)!
  • …you no longer need Facebook to complete your sentences.
  • all the things you dream of come true… It is an ongoing thing for me, not just a single moment
  • people don’t judge you for doing arb things like eating a bacon, asparagus and mayonaise salad. They think you’re starting a trend.

Okay, so besides the penis butler comment (not sure what that is all about?) it looks like I have some pretty sensible Facebook friends. Nobody mentioned a forest fairy garden kitchen, though. I must be wrong.

So, Oudemeester, although I haven’t entered your competition as I don’t have a bottle of Demant in my hand, here is my answer to your question:

Question:

How do you know when you’ve made it?

Answer:

  • When the things most important to you in your life have never been bought
  • When the greatest joy in your life is seeing pure joy in the face of someone else and knowing that you helped make that happen
  • When you look into the face of fear and say “Yippeee!”. No matter how bad the situation, you know that there is always a way.
  • When you find happiness in every day

How do you know when you’ve made it?


My week in the black hole – is the digital world changing the way we live?

I, of all people, have spent a week (almost) without a Smartphone. I’ll pause while you gasp…

I am what people would call a ‘superuser’. My phone is with me 24/7. Well, until the Durban July happened and my phone stayed in Durban while I flew back to JHB. I’m now using a handset that I’m sure was made in China in 1994.

I decided to treat this temporary break from my heart and lungs as an experiment.

Here are my findings:

1. Life goes on without a smartphone

2. Going places isn’t as fun when you can’t check in and make your friends jealous (okay that one is not actually true)

3. Talking to people on the phone is not only novel, but also quite pleasant

4. I had to remember how to spell again

5.  My brain has become a lot quieter

6. People annoy me less

7. My true friends revealed themselves

Granted, I did still have access to social media sites via my laptop and iPad, but the constant presence of the digital world became mild and more voluntary.

It has really been pleasant I must say.

This bears plenty of philosophical questions…

Has society transformed into online memes? Have we lost our touch with humanity? Can we still differentiate between real and digital? With the online and offline world fast merging into one social ‘being’, is it possible to still separate the two?

Back in the day, we used to have personal personas and professional personas. Is this still possible today?Are we actually at that point in social evolution where we can no longer put on the ‘decent human being’ mask for one crowd, and let loose for another? Is the digital world forcing us to be more honest and more moral?

My personal feeling is that the digital social world is not actually isolating us from real life, it is just creating another facet of it. A facet that demands honesty and integrity. Is that really bad?

What are your thoughts?


Learning to love yourself

This is possibly one of the most difficult things to do in life, but I’m slowly getting much better at it.

It’s so easy to focus on other people and to target your affections outside of yourself, but it’s way more difficult to do the same for yourself.

We need to do this more.