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Puddles & Mud

6 May

Following on from my earlier post about the rain…

(forgive the archive of photos, but me and my photoshop – we had a passionate moment!!)

After the downpour, Adam and I donned our winter woolies and went in search of puddles (a Caroline inspired one-handed photo, hence the off-centre):

The monkey in full winter regalia – you would think it was 15 below!

We found a few puddles outside, splashy enough, but not what I was after… I wanted MUD!

Off we went to the vlei to look for MUD… and boy did we have fun!! Dirty, dirty mud + permission to play in it = heaven for little boys:

A Running jump

And yes, the pants were soaked up to the thighs and there was more water in the wellies than out!

And I got in on the action too. I was barefoot the whole time…

Gooey, squelching, oozing mud. Between my toes.

I was dreading having to do it. It was one of the things on my list that I really thought I could do without. But now I would tell everyone – take off your shoes and walk through mud puddles. Do it now, do it tomorrow. There is something primal and elemental about walking in the mud barefoot.

# 8 of 101 Walk barefoot in the mud

Getting Stuff Done

20 Apr

By  now most of you have heard that I have this little annoying list that I have promised to get through by the end of the year. Every now and then I re-read the list and seriously question my sanity. But it’s there and I’ll muddle my way through it.

I have been a little preoccupied lately and haven’t really had a chance to report back on how things are going with The List. I have been just a tiny bit obsessed with a girl who has a dragon tattoo. She also plays with fire and even goes on to kick a hornets nest. Distracted to say the least! But in between my eye-strain, I have managed to squeeze in a few to-do items. I realise that I need to kick into high gear if I am going to come close to finishing “The List” (insert suitable shark music).

#43 of 101 – Create Order in My Closet: I unpacked my entire closet, gave away half the contents and put it all back in neat piles. I discovered that I have 8 handbags that I no longer use. I also have 18 scarves I still use and can’t possibly part with. They take up about half my cupboard space! Who knew I had a thing for scarves…?!

#28 of 101 – Another Picnic: Adam and I took advantage of one of the last days of summer. We packed some sandwiches, some grapes and some chocolate and went off to have lunch outside. Such a simple way to make a little boy happy!

#34 of 101 – Donate Blood: I finally plucked up the courage to go back to donate blood. I went regularly before I fell pregnant, but could never muster the enthusiasm to go back afterwards. Even though I know it is for a good cause, and even though I have done it 15 times before, I still hate the whole process.  I hate the prick into the finger to test your iron, never mind the actual needle going in. I hate the blood going through the tubes, the little bag that fills up with your blood. I hate the feel of the needle pulling out. But I know that someone is going to benefit from my blood, so I look the other way and send lots of loving vibes into the blood and hope that it will help someone, somewhere.

#15 of 101 – Save Electricity – Turn my Geyser Down: Okay, so I fully intended to turn down the geyser myself, but I mentioned it to Dave, and he offered to do it for me. He roped in Adam to second him and they went about sorting out the geyser together. And every day since then, Adam has asked to go back into the roof – I am running out of ways to explain that it is not a good idea (he is not convinced, and thinks I am a serious stick in the mud). The geyser went down 10 degrees, and I can’t tell the difference. I could probably turn it down more – maybe next time I will go up myself!! (note the dirty, dusty face on the apprentice).

#61 of 101 – Oh, ye of little faith…

18 Apr

Whenever I mentioned to someone what I was going to do this morning, I didn’t get many encouraging responses. The most common response was a gentle we’ll-see-eyebrow-raise with an occasional more daring she’ll-never-do-it-roll-of-the-eyes. I don’t think anyone (who knows me) believed that I would get up this morning at 6:00am (bleh!) and pull on my running/walking shoes.

But that’s exactly what I did! It was cold, dark and way too early (practically the middle of the night, people). But I put on my walking gear and made my way to the Belville Velodrome for this:

It’s the “Most beautiful Road Race” because only women are allowed to enter. (Men are tolerated and can take part if they dress in drag, any other man is disqualified). Let me stress, I did NOT want to do it. My cosy warm bed was where I wanted to be. But I made a committment on that bloody list of mine and I promised I would be there. So I was there. And it was wonderful.

The day was crisp and clear and cool (unlike me at the end!). There wasn’t a breath of air and we got to see the sunrise on the way to the venue. The dawn drive through the vineyards to get there was worth the cold, cruel 6:00am wake-up!

The race itself was a lot of fun and there were over 16,000 entrants which included plenty of men in drag who kept us entertained along the route. Considering that I started complaining about a sore toe on the way to the starting line and had my exit strategy all mapped out in my head, I surprised myself by finishing the 5km in exceedingly high spirits.

And, best of all, I got one of these:

(excuse the grainy photo, my flash was warping in the mirror, so this was the best I could do without flash)

Complimenting A Complete Stranger

10 Mar

Continuing the spirit of doing things that scare you…

Today, when I dropped Adam off at school, the lady who landscapes the gardens was outside doing some early morning maintenance. And she was wearing the most adorable wellingtons.

I was admiring them and was about to get into my car, when I thought that I should tell her how cool I thought her boots were.

So I did. Totally against my usually reserved nature. And it felt good. I hope I made her feel good too!

I did some surfing to find some examples… How cool are these? I gotta get me some funky wellies for winter so that I can splash through puddles with Adam!

These are my favourites:

Actually, I think these are my favourites:

And these for my non-floral moods:

#45 of 1001

7 Mar

I have just re-read my spur-of-the-moment lists that I created and comitted to. And I am a little freaked out. And just a tiny bit intimidated by some of them. What was I thinking…?

Anyway…

As I am typing this, I am getting ready to cross off something off my list. As I am typing this, it is the hottest night of the summer. The house is like a sauna. But I have a gentle breeze blowing over me. The night is sweet and cool and precious.

And I am sleeping outside.

Here are the stars, not the best photo, but they are there… I promise! If you look carefully, you will see Orion’s Belt (3 stars in a row)

My son is lying spread eagled next to me and went to sleep counting stars and reveling in the novelty of setting up a bed outside. Sorry about the fuzzy photo – it was hand held and it’s dark dammit!!

I am about to take him inside to sleep in his bed. Also, I hear thunder… so maybe I won’t be out here for much longer.

Yup, there’s lightning. The air is taking on the scent of a thunderstorm… it is incredible!! I can’t help thinking that I would have missed all of this if I had decided to spend the night indoors.

Oops, more lightning and thunder. I guess I can’t cross it off if I don’t actually sleep? Ah, well… next time!

Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.  ~Ada Louise Huxtable

 

(p.s. I’m now indoors and we are having an awesome thunderstorm. I am literally awestruck. The beauty of this day and night is incredible)

Caution, Meet Wind…

7 Mar

Even though my dare/challenges only officially start tomorrow, in the spirit of “do something that scares you”, I conquered one of my fears today.

We are having a heat wave in Cape Town at the moment (it is topping 35 degrees as I write this). Today was one of those glorious days with no wind and an enveloping, baking heat. One of those days where the only sensible place to be is at the beach (or in a freezer).

We went to the beach. And the beach was p.a.c.k.e.d. Normally I would sit and envy all the people swimming in the waves. I would get my toes wet, but not much more. Not wanting to expose my white wobbly bits, I would have sat on the sidelines, wishing I was out in the water.

Today, I thought about it, and then threw caution to the wind. I stripped down to the white wobblies and waded out into the water. In front of a p.a.c.k.e.d. beach.

***There’s the wind, and there’s caution flying in it***

Those waves in the photo up there? … I swam in those waves. And it was freezing. And it made my arms and legs numb.

And it was wonderful.

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And
when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. 

Dance….  , I hope you Dance!

~Lee Ann Womack

Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing

6 Mar

(Hellen Keller)

I am tired of living half my life. I know that my life is happening right now, whether I am present to it or not.

I may be sitting here, making plans, dreaming and hoping about the future. But in all that dreaming and hoping and planning, there is one crucial factor that I have ignored… [That life] is the future and hasn’t happened yet (or may not even happen). The only life I have to live is the moment I am in right at this very moment.

I want to make this moment the very best possible one I can. I don’t want to look back in 3 days, 3 months or 3 years and regret not living each and every moment. I want to take risks, be passionate, be excited, challenge my comfort zones… I want to live my best possible life.

This moment is as perfect as it is going to get. I want to embrace it. Love it. Savour it. I want this moment to be the embodiment of the future that I am hoping for, wishing for and dreaming of.

That’s not to say that life is not complicated or hard. But now I want to choose my attitude in the challenging times. I want to choose my outlook and create my future right now. I can choose to stay stuck in the moment, or I can choose happiness, passion and excitement.

I choose to risk it. I choose to live my best life.

To help me along in my living, I have created a list of things to do. With two deadline dates.

In the spirit of making this blog about #7 (see post below), I will be posting each time I cross something off the list and sharing all my stories as I make by way through the list.

Any and all encouragement welcome. Because even though most of the things on the list are relatively simple to do, the majority of them scare the shit out of me…

🙂

Here’s to being fearless!!

“To me, Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. Fearless is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. Fearless is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again…even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s Fearless to have faith that someday things will change. Fearless is having courage to say goodbye to someone who only hurts you, even if you can’t breathe without them. And when someone apologizes to you enough times for things they’ll never stop doing, I think it’s Fearless to stop believing them. It’s Fearless to say “you’re NOT sorry”, and walk away. I think loving someone despite what people think is Fearless. I think allowing yourself to cry on the bathroom floor is Fearless. Letting go is Fearless. Then, moving on and being alright…That’s Fearless too. But no matter what love throws at you, you have to believe in it. You have to believe in love stories and prince charmings and happily every after. Because I think love is Fearless.” ~ Taylor Swift

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