Tag Archives: Father

There is enough time in a day

Here are two facts:

  • The more you do, the more you get done
  • The less you do, the less time you have even for little things

When my drinking was at its worst I hardly functioned.  Everything seemed like an insurmountable mountain, so I just shelved it.  Which meant I had to do the same with every new task after that.  It all just snowballed.  I copied what I had to do today into tomorrow’s calendar, then into the day after and so forth until even re-writing it became too much.  The guilt and worry over all my unfinished business haunted my nights.

Under normal circumstances though, I find that even when I have a lot to do, there is always a bit of time to tackle something else.  Because it is true that each day has enough time for the things of that day.  And you will be rewarded with that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you have completed all you had set out to do.

Your body produces adrenalin when you are busy which propels you forward.  It helps you do and achieve more.

It is so easy to get home tired and be unavailable to those who love you most.  A good rule is to allow yourself and/or your spouse thirty minutes from when you step in the door to unwind.  To do whatever you want.  Afterwards it will be easier to face and listen to your family.  We are not a chatty household.  But we always know what is happening in one another’s lives.  When there is a problem, I set the table and we discuss the issue at dinner.

I am always so pleased when I complete the evening’s cooking because it is the very last thing I have to do.  After that I can officially wipe out the “5th of February 2012”. There is a great sense of relief in retiring to my bedroom.  It is also the time that partners talk and enjoy one another.

Getting through each day without worry or stress requires faith.  It also requires staying in the moment and not running ahead of yourself.  When we were tied up on the floor during our armed robbery, I had the pleasure of realizing the concept of staying in the moment.  There was no point in thinking about what they could do to us.  What use would it have been had I considered that they could gang-rape me?  And that they probably had AIDS?  Or that they could shoot us?  Instead, I stayed focused on what was happening at that instant, so that I could do whatever was best for that moment.  The preservation of our lives outweighed all scary future scenarios.  I was fully anchored in each exact second.  Which created a sense of calm in everybody and ultimately saved our lives.

So, make a list of everything that needs to be done today.  And don’t stress about it.  Tackle them one at a time without worrying about the next one.  And if there is something that you cannot get to, put it under tomorrow.

Because, tomorrow is a brand new day.

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I wish I had my Grandparents with me for longer

I adored my paternal Grandparents.  They were wise and loving people who gave their best to their six children, and grandchildren to come.

My father was 29 when he died of thrombosis, and it almost killed them.  He was their favourite.  My grandparents lived about an hour’s drive away but not long after, when I was about 7, they were posted from the Transvaal to the Cape.  From then on until they died, I saw them only once a year.

When they moved they wanted my mom and brother and I to go with them.  But my mom decided that it would be best for her to try making it on her own.  The only thing she accepted from him was money for a gravestone, which we visited once.

When I was a child, and reasoned as a child, I deeply loved them.  Initially, we would drive the 14 hours to visit them but when we got older, we went by train.  My grandmother would read Dr. Suess’ books to us.  She acted it out till we held our stomachs laughing.  The only time I ever saw her angry was when we, with my two cousins, made a game of jumping from a bedroom window into her daisy bushes.  Her garden was her pride and joy.

When I was a teenager, and knew everything, I loved them still.  But I did not have much time to spend with them then.  I had parties to go to, friends to hang out with and boys to meet.

They never reproached me, or asked me why.  They quietly accepted it with all the love they had for my dad.  Their love was not the gushy, kissy kind.  It was a love that brought me my favourite breakfast in bed every morning.  It was a love that wrote to me often, exhorting and teaching me.  It was a love
that wore out its knees for me in prayer.

When I became an adult, and thought like an adult, I wanted to spend time with them because I loved them deeply.  I caused them joy when I chose my God, or rather, when He chose me.  I was 23 when he died.

I had my grandmother for another 14 years before she too left me.

Ouma, I want to be like you.  I want the kindness, patience, forbearance, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, laughter and love
that made you so beautiful.  I want to be able to give of myself as unsparingly as you did.  Thank you for your letters and books.  For the phone  conversations, I wish there were more.  Thank you for your faith.

Oupa, thank you for the arm of protection you folded around us when we were a little family adrift, you owed us naught.  Thank you for providing for me so that I had a good start in life.  Thank you for your wisdom in allowing me to make mistakes.

I so look forward to the day that I shall be with you once more.