The general buzz fills the air as the questions flow between each person in the milling group. The pertinent question everyone wants to know is “how was your weekend?” I watch as a silent competition starts between the assembled group. Everyone seems to require to have a better weekend, a more adventurous weekend, a more exciting weekend. At one stage that would have been me. Trying to “fit in” and be part of the gang, be accepted, have space and group to call my own.
It wasn’t that long ago I would have been part of the group feeling awkward about having nothing exciting or life-changing to contribute. Being scoffed at because my life as a single mother revolved around my son. In contrast, others attended parties, or entertained groups of people, or going off on some great outing. Today I realise it for what it is a soft form of bullying.
The need to harass someone who is different or doesn’t come up to someone else idea of perfection or expectation. So what is to be done to bring the different person in line? The world currency of ridicule, scoffing, belittling, making fun of, making them doubt their decisions. Call it what it is. Abuse.

I was one of those different people. I knew how those being tortured were feeling. I had lived with the “kids being kids” all my life, unable to defend myself and not knowing how. Adults telling me that one day it would be better or being punished because I reacted by punching the person.
Today I still feel that anxiety just thinking about being put in this position over and over and over again as I lived a single mothers life. Breathing in, I hold my breath a moment, picturing all that tension gathering into the breath. When my body doesn’t feel any more stress or anxiety, I let it go, and my shoulders relax, my mind clears. I tell myself that my choices are my own. If I decided to spend my weekend in my PJ’s with my cats, my family, eating leftovers from the Friday night cooking spree, watching movies or TV shows, playing board games or watching the sunrise and sunset. That is my decision and it is what I needed at that moment.

The inevitable question comes from the group bully as the swaggering egotistically form makes its way to me. Stopping just in front of me, demanding my attention, which I ignore and continue preparing for my day. I see the shuffle of feet in my peripheral vision and still, I ignore the pretentious tormenter. Eventually, the courtesy of addressing me by name is extended my way. Only then do I give my attention to any enquiry made. The weekend question is asked with a prominent sneer.
I do not answer immediately.
Instead, I pick up a stack of papers and move to the nearby drawers to put them away.
“I asked you a question,” is drummed into my space and my hearing. I refuse to buckle under the intimidating way the words are spoken.
Finishing my task, I turn to the furious, presumptuous, overbearing person expecting an answer worthy of sneering. Slowly walking toward them, I keep eye contact. Today, enough is enough.
“I heard your question, but I also heard the sneer,” I stop a little way from them, “I can answer any time I like or not at all. You will be patient for my answer should I choose to give it. But I don’t think you deserve to know what I did with my time in the past two days as the only thing you want to do with it is pull it apart to make yourself feel better or more superior. What I do on my weekend has nothing to do with someone like you.”

Closing my drawer, I continued to gather the required items for the first meeting of the day. A feeling of liberation and relief running through my veins as I realised what I should have years ago. Information about my life is privileged and only needs to be known about by those who care about, are genuine in their interest and love me for who I am … nerdette deluxe.
Walking past the gapping, staring, blustering person, I walk into the meeting room and find a chair.

Through the years, I have relived many moments when someone tries to manipulate or intimidate another they perceive as weak or gentle or an easy target.
When life gets tough, and I feel obligated to buckle under the bullying of an intimidating manipulator. I remember that moment when I defined who and how the story of my life would be told. There are moments which stick with you forever and then there are the moments when you stand up for yourself. Making yourself proud of the person you are. If you can stand up for yourself, you can stand up for others who have not yet seen they can do it for themselves.
Part of my mission in Saving Me is to stand up for the areas in me that are overwhelmed, feeling bullied, intimated or manipulated. Regions that are crying out to be heard. This journey is about giving myself a holistic voice to be heard.

How does one go about being heard and by whom?

I decided it was time to start looking into the “how-to” and see what needed to be done. In my research, I came across some bizarre names that people like me are called. Such as hypersensitivity personalities or empathic personalities or emotional-hypersensitive personality. Wading through the articles and surveys, reading what one so-called expert has to say and another expert has to say it all boils down to something so simple. I see things, understand things, can predict things that others don’t or won’t and basically feel everything around me all the time. Someone like that should be living in a quieter world than we have at the moment.

I am more practical when tackling issues in my life, so I took to doing what I do best.  Make a list.

Step One:

  • Listen to yourself.  
  • Understand yourself.  
  • Know yourself.  
  • Be with yourself.  
  • Learn who you are.
  • What you like and dislikes? 
  • What are your boundaries? 
  • What do you want to do with your time

Step Two :

  • Address all of these points in step one individually and spend time getting to know who you are. 
  •  If you feel you already know who you are, test yourself. 
  •  Write down everything you think you know about yourself. It doesn’t have to be an essay or thesis simple bullet points with one line sentences will do.

Step Three:

  • If you have any doubt about any of the points in the previous step, take the time to answer each one thoroughly. 
  • You cannot move forward if you do not know yourself.  

Some of the articles I read added that you need to know how strong you are to accomplish this journey. Pondering this I couldn’t help but wonder if this point was correct. How does anyone know how strong they are?

Then a quote came to me: “You never know how strong you are until it’s your only choice.” Bob Marley

Take the time you need for yourself. Learn who you are and love yourself. In the words of Helen Keller.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”


I woke this morning with renewed energy. Yesterday the enormous job of hand washing our Rogz Cat beds was accomplished. The achievement feels … liberating, energising, affirming in the accomplishment of one of my goals. On my percentage rating of yesterday, I would give it a solid 100%. Holistically it was a perfect day.  

My eating habits stayed within range: alcohol and junk food consumption 0%.   

Pacing my activities so my body could keep up with what was required – 100%. 

Asking for assistance – I did. 

Asking for help may not seem like a big thing to some of you but independent people who have had to do it all for themselves for a long time, find it hard to ask for help. It almost feels as though asking for help is admitting you are a failure and weak. I came to learn that if you ask the right people for assistance, it can be a strengthening experience. 

Getting to bed on time – I was a few minutes late, but I was asleep by ten. I noted it an area needing work. 

The funk I was feeling when waking in the last week has slowly lifted. Today I have a plan, and I’m working through it.  It is time to put on music and get moving on working through my frustrations. Today I choose to be procrastination free.

Its nine in the morning and I smile at myself in the mirror of the bathroom. I took this area and decluttered.
Starting in the shower and getting rid of all the empty shower gel containers, rusty razor blades and random nonessential shower items that somehow get into the racks hanging in the shower.
I pondered how empty shower gel containers in the rack in the shower was any help to personal hygiene instead of being in the recycle bin. Never the less I added these items to the toilet roll inners lined up in perfect military style on top of the drawers standing between the bath and toilet. A quick rinse of the bathtub had revealed more recyclable goods and the pile grew. Finally, all stacked together, I picked up my armful of literal junk and deposited into the recycle bin.
The bathroom felt more open, as though it, as a room, could breathe. After cleaning those necessary items, shower, toilet and basin, I mopped the floor and voila. The bathroom was less frustrating than it had been. Inspiration hit and I pulled out my set of shell accessories that had been in storage since the middle of December last year.
New beginnings required new inspiration. They would go beautifully with my blue walls, beige tiles and white sanitary equipment.
It felt good.
It felt rejuvenating.
It felt wonderful.
It may be a bathroom, but it had become a space I would want to be. An area I wouldn’t mind hovering a while to relax or unwind. Ideas flared through my mind of what would make it better. Time to write it down. Time to allow my creativity to flow.
Hugging myself gleefully I close the door on the creative space I have made and make ready to tackle the next one.

Beauty is what is needed all around

The Kitchen naturally became the next room as I feed the household, load dishwasher and washing machine with the items for each appliance — dishes into the dishwasher and laundry into the washing machine.
Hunger flares and I find leftovers from last nights dinner. Hooray! Bruch it is. The concocted salad from the night before is delicious cold and hot — a recipe for the family recipe file.
Now to remember what I did.
An idea sparks as my Grandmothers words float through my head, “waste not, want not”. I smile in remembrance of the hours of baking, cooking and food prepping. At the tender age of seven, these “menial” tasks were mine to do, but I remember her voice as she instructed me in the creative art of cooking and baking.
Right now, I smile and get the Sh’zen Hand wash containers I emptied into my shell hand wash containers. The Sh’zen plastic containers still have some hand wash in, fantastic. Filling them with water, I shake and Voila!! Handwash available for use at the kitchen sink. It may not be the thick, luxurious handwash before the added water, but it does the job and smells so good. The idea is to work around the room decluttering and cleaning as I go.

The ankle tendon begins to ache. The nerves twitch and twinge. Pulling out my ankle guard in the form of a sock, I pull it one and relief sighs from my lips. The added support helps, and I find the next thing to attend to is the veggie rack.
Food wastage is something I dislike, and before frozen vegetable are used in food, I go through the fresh veggies. Sadly some of the veggies I cannot use and dispose of them. Those I can use I find a recipe for and make a list of everything I do not have. A quick to the store for only those items and one, two, three … soup for dinner is cooking.
The idea for each room is to work through everything on the counters, floor and bags and either use, put away, throw away or give away. Although I could skim over the cleaning of each room, it would not serve the purpose of making a space that held no clutter and made room for creativity.
Dinner is cooking, and I return to the dishwasher, to unpack yet another load and refill with more dishes. It has always astounded me how many you can find when you clean up properly. I’m sure they hideaway waiting for your remark that everything is done and then show themselves.

Reminding myself to pace myself, I look at the to-do list, marking off everything accomplished today. I am amazed at how much has been completed. It’s three in the afternoon, and I need a cup of coffee. Checking my water app, there is a reminder from me to drink a required amount, and my body agrees. Its time to sit, write and rest for a while. I look at the list and work out what can be down over the weekend. It is achievable. The journey of Saving Me will continue, later on, today or tomorrow.


Sitting in the cool of the morning, predawn and today that would be just before four in the morning. My mind roams, thoughts ramble while I stare at the open space in front of our complex. The wind gently bends the growing green-brown grass, while rustling the leaves of the small plants growing and that is when the plan fell into place.
Taking stock of my journey to this point, I inhale deeply before releasing the breath into the silence.
So far, I had control in the area of what I drink and eat. I have control over what I’m attending to during the day. I’m taking time to rest and allow my body and mind to be and I’m making my body move.
So far.
So good.

Now, to address the creative dampening clutter.

Today I sit in front of my laptop, my choice as my brain works faster than my fingers can write, open a clean word processing page in Libre Office and head it.

Thursday 23 January and Friday 24 January 


Starting with the least overwhelming room, I write everything that needs to be seen to, fixed, organised or cleaned. For instance, the Bathroom, the bath overflows with cat beds needing washing, I have an A+ for the procrastination course which has been running over for a month.
Hand wash only puts a damper on getting to the project, but today and tomorrow that is what will happen. Any laundry lying around is meeting the washing machine, and the quick general clean of the Bathroom will happen. Once I have put down every overwhelming thing I can think of I move onto the next room that is foremost in my mind and make a list of what needs attending in that room.
The lists for all the rooms stare back at me from the page. Its time to feed me and get ready to visit a friend. Time away from everything also clears the cobwebs and refreshes the soul.
I have a to-do list set for the next two days. I remind myself to pace the activities and make sure that the required tasks happen without draining my energies or pushing myself too far too fast. Taking a room a day is acceptable as long as whatever is on the list gets done.

These lists for each room is like a living thing; they can be added to or diminished as life goes on, and tasks need to be added and get finished.
At the beginning of each month, I am starting a new list, carrying over anything unfinished from the previous month, this may be frustrating at first, but in doing this, it is easier to see what tasks I am procrastinating over and avoiding.
The idea is to address the old tasks first before going on to anything new. In this way, there is no chance of “missing” anything that needs completing.
Who knows new categories may even be found such as “fixing items” or “household maintenance”.

Putting everything on paper is the first step to gaining control over the environment I live in, some of it makes me want to hyperventilate, some of it is frustrating, but I know that all of it will get done. One item at a time. Who knows perhaps I’ll be able to do two at a time. For instance, wash the cat’s beds while washing the laundry. Technology rocks!!
My list is in an electronic format which keeps me from adding to the clutter I’m working through; it inspires me to scan all my necessary but non-essential paperwork such as receipts, bills etc. This way, I only keep what is required.
With anything new, starting somewhere is crucial. Tackling anything as a whole will make the most determined person run from the hills.
Making lists helps to see the actual tasks to be completed, allowing me to recognise the bite-size chunks to work through toward the end goal. Making it manageable is the first step to SAVING ME.
During the early hours of the day, it helped to determine what I needed to make my environment suitable for better creativity. That determined decision is what will drive procrastination from the game and bring a renewed energy to the process.

When doing one item entirely before moving to the next, the overwhelming feeling of drowning in things to do disappears. At this moment, I am doing one task, and I have complete control over this moment.
My water app drops a drip, letting me know its time I need to hydrate. Although it gives me a small amount, I need to drink my body tells me something different.
Another step in taking back what is lost, listen to your body. I decide to drink a full 500ml, and my body sings with appreciation. My task for today regarding food and drink becomes clearer, only water, tea and coffee, while eating as many veggies and salads as possible. Pulling up my task list again, I add “find tasty fun looking salad recipes”.
Doing this feels good.
Doing this feels right.
Strangely this feels creative.
Now off to do the necessary shopping, visit my friend and return to tackle a task on the list. I think the bathroom is an excellent place to start. Manageable. Least overwhelming and the results are tangible.

Its one in the afternoon and I have done two of the three tasks from the paragraph above. I need to have some sustenance, and the third task will begin. I spot some Morrocon Sweet Potatoe Salad and grin. Yummy.
Today will be a good day, and I have a choice in which way it can go.

Delicious. Can be made in advance and keeps for 2 to 3 days.


In any process, we are told acknowledgement of the issues at hand is the first step to solving, resolving or recovering.
What is it we need to solve, resolve or recover?
Looking at my list, I found it covered several issues and challenges. In moments like this, all the self-help advice thunders through your brain and in minutes you have a tension headache trying to wrap your head around everything that needs attending.
In my minds-eye, I look up seeing myself back at that space on the well-used road in the feel-good, don’t care world. Strangling the feeling of fear and anxiety welling up inside and making me want to reach for a crutch, I breathe. Deeply. In and out. Close my eyes and repeat until I feel in control.
No, that technique is not just for yoga classes. It helps.
Looking at my list once more, I recite my rule list. Reminding myself to take one day at a time.
Live moment by moment.
Take one challenge at a time.

I look at my list again

Always being sick or injured
Frustration with constant clutter and mess
Overweight and feeling self-conscious about myself
Unorganised and continually trying to get organised
No fun or inspiration – bored
Feel unsuccessful with my passion
Need to earn enough money

One challenge at a time.
Picking up my clipboard, I look at my form with three columns.
Problem. Solution. Daily Tasks.
On my laptop, I open the table. Date it. Then I look at my list of overwhelming challenges. I only have to pick one, just one for today.
Around me is clutter, every surface has way too much on it. It’s a practical place to start, and it will give a sense of having control.
In the modern age we live, households should be beyond the archaic view of the woman does everything, or since you work at home, you can keep everything clean and tidy. The overwhelming task of ploughing through the constant housework, washing and cooking of meals leaves very little time for my passion, Writing. Deadlines loom, and the creativity that needs to flow disappears under the constant drudge of the daily requirements of being left alone in running a home. The consistent expectation of serving with a smile and not complain. Seeing the laundry and dishes pile up unattended because you don’t get to it, meals not cooked because you are busy with other things or trying to get to work that is so behind you push yourself until you have nothing left.
You find yourself sitting alone, on the living room couch, sipping a drink that is not always non-alcoholic, holding tightly to your emotions and swallowing the tears of frustration. Your Super Woman cape hangs shredded, and you are so tired you are wired. Sleep and food don’t seem to make a regular appearance in your daily life. You feel their absence and reach for a crutch to help you through the moment.
Just the thought of this makes me want to hyperventilate.
Again, I breathe deeply, long and allow the tension to evaporate. Procrastination is a constant companion as I look at the frustrations and challenges that need attending.
Today I need to put together a dairy or work plan or calendar showing what needs to happen at what time during the day.
My problem for today … Balance.
It is necessary to be restoring balance while I get to the long list of everything that makes my life overwhelming to live, to cope with and to enjoy.


We hear about it in life-work-balance. It becomes a quest to find it when we’re in School, College and University. The saying “everything in moderation” is flung around in all areas but no one explains the “how-to” of obtaining the tricky art form of balance.
After reading articles on the internet and reading medical blogs all about balance, which give me a headache, I came to a conclusion finding it for me is up to me.
To begin with, I wrote down everything I do during each day over a week. Remembering I needed to rest and breathe, have time for fun I left out Saturday and run my week from Sunday to Friday. Now for the tricky art of finding enough time for everything on the list that needs to fit into six days, remembering I need at least nine hours of sleep. Time to try it out for a week or two.

It didn’t go well.
I was doing a lot, which felt fantastic, but I was either starving all the time, thirsty or exhausted after eating. The rollercoaster either made me wired or too tired to function.
Now that I had the “to do” part sorted out the quest for balance continued into the menu, types of food, and when I ate.
During this time of finding my feet with this journey for balance, I realised we need it in every area of our lives. Not just those that society dictates.

Every area of my life. That sound like a few projects I could jot down.

Reminding myself of the rules once more, I begin with Sunday and start with the time I wake up. In Cape Town, South Africa, the sun rises as early as 5am and goes down as late as 8:30pm. Keeping this in mind I slowly going through each hour of the day before moving to the next day.
The weekly calendar/planner looks ready for use with the addition of food options for meals, including times for enjoying.
Yes, it does sound profoundly anal. You forget life to this point in my life has been a chaotic rush from one point to point with little to no intention.
Looking at the list once more, I highlight the issues addressed today.

Finding more balance in:
Daily living
Food – what can and should be eaten daily
Organising the time available to me for attending to matters which arrive in my life.
Finding control for what I put into my body and how
Making time to exercise even though recovering from a torn ankle tendon.
Looking at possibilities and opportunities to better my environment and reduce the clutter

Taking one day at a time is important. Make it count.

It’s terrific to address the subjects above, but the follow-through is in the day to day living. Other things need to be worked on and maintained.
Knowing how dedicated you are to the journey.
Follow through.
All of these are necessary to keep you going through the hard times ahead. Even while procrastination sits on your shoulder like an evil version of yourself telling you all of this can be done tomorrow. Perhaps it is time to put him or her back on the train back to where you came from.
Determine what your goals are … find a way you can achieve them that is obtainable and stick to it.
Yep, that is my chant for today … I’m going to make a song out of it somewhere along the line, I have no problem with that. It’s creative. I need creative.
Today I have control over the process.
Today I can make some changes.
Today I can look at myself and affirm my beauty, my brains, my determination and resolve.
Today I shall succeed.

During the day, I waver a little. Breathing deeply, I remind myself that a journey such as this is a path to be found in the jungle of life. It is uncharted waters or a forest requiring bushwacking. A scene from those movies where the characters take a “wrong turn” and need to go back to find their way.
This journey is mine, and I shall find ways to make a path to the goals I require to a better me.


Life is never sterile. Be authentic in reaching the better version of you.

In everyone’s lives, there comes the point in time where you look at yourself, literally or figuratively and know there is a better version somewhere out there. Some call it a resolution starting a new year with new intentions. It could be at a certain point in your life. Others may say they are affirming their lives and changes that are needed. While others look at themselves and say “I don’t like what I’ve let happen here. I can be better. I can do better. I can feel better.”
Regardless of where you’re looking from the reality is you want a better you, a healthier you, a sweeter or kinder you. Whether that is in the physical, the mental, the psychological or simply feeling better. Whatever you decide the journey to be, you start from where you are, moving to that point of where you need to be, something like this is not for the faint of heart.

Ending the Gregorian Calander with several issues piling on from mid-September different frustrations and challenges seemed to find me. Not shy to generously spend time with me. I found myself working through many things, from immobilising injuries keeping me from my daily life, routines and enjoyments, to business issues and the dreaded writer’s block.
One early Summer morning, I found myself sitting in the early hours, sipping a hot cup of green tea watching the sunrise over the horizon. My mind kept going in circles, pondering where the life-loving, bubbly, gentle soul had gone.
Somewhere along the line, I had lost … me.

At that moment, I knew that something needed to change. It is easy to follow the path everyone else has, its wide, well used, full of bad habits everyone condones. It’s effortless to be in this area, no one has to be held accountable for their bad choices and decisions made. Nor do they need to care about themselves or the effect they have on others around them.
The selfish highway of life seems to be fun, but it really is not. Its noise sounds like everyone is having a good time and the endless feel-good events never give you an opportunity for silence.
In the silence, you can hear your heartbeat, your soul speak, and your body tells you what it truly needs. It is in these times we can connect once more with ourselves.
My early morning pondering made me realise I had not had the opportunity for any of this. If I didn’t like what I was looking at within myself, it was up to me to make the changes. It is up to me to look at my immediate world and craft it to what I desired and needed it to be.
Purpose bloomed. Instead of being frustrated and finding a crutch to get through it, it was time to throw the crutch away and define my way forward.

Firstly, when coming to a decision this monumental in your life, there are a few things you need to do.
One is, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Start the process of finding your way immediately.
Reaching over I picked up one of my ever-present notebooks. On the plus side of writing, you are never short of something to write on or with. Some girls buy shoes, Writers buy notebooks and stationery.
By the light of the rising sun, I jotted down everything I found a frustration, hinderance or something I needed to improve.
When doing something like this, take your time. Allow yourself to think, formulate expressions, notice and comprehend emotions and where they are coming from. Once you have the source, find the root and jot everything down, including what it is that makes you feel the way you do.
Recognise your crutches and examine and understand why you have them. Jot down the areas of your life where they are needed and what needs to be done for them to be unnecessary.

When the immediate task is done. Hug yourself. Love yourself and let you know that things will get better, that you will be able to work through all that is wrong to be a better version of who you presently are. 

Make a list of daily rules. 

  1. Be gentle on you. 
  2. Love yourself unconditionally
  3. Accept yourself as you are … right now.
  4. Do not judge yourself. 
  5. Live one day at a time.
  6. Live moment by moment to get through and address challenges.
  7. Speak to yourself daily. Tell yourself how beautiful/handsome you are. Tell yourself today is going to be a good day. Today you shall succeed in everything you do. 
  8. Remind yourself this is a process and is obtainable. 
  9. Rest and breathe. Disconnect from the world. 
  10. If you fall, get up, dust yourself off and determine to do better tomorrow.

Looking at my pages of negative information I had written about myself, realisation slammed into me, leaving me breathless. My mission this year is to save myself from destruction.
In my writing genre, every mission needs a plan of execution to change the negative into a positive. Depending on the enormity of the task, the method of execution differed.
It was time.
Time to look at what needed to change in every area of my life and plan my mission in chewable daily bite-size chunks.

A sense of renewed life flowed through me. I held the power of change for my life in my hands. This was something I could control. Something I could define, mould and be proud of. No longer did I feel limited by another’s expectations of who I should be. No longer did I sense I needed to be someone else’s idea of perfection.
This journey, this mission of saving me was for me, by me and no one else had a say in anything I did on this road.
Stopping on that wide road of everyone being and doing whatever supposedly made them happy at that moment. I stepped to the pavement hailing a ride to the entrance where I lingered a while, looking around at what it was like not to conform, not to follow the crowd. It is much less noisy and crowded. Much less travelled.
There is no need to hurry anywhere. The false sense of “needing” to do something or be somewhere or always thinking that success is in as much as you do, or what you wear, or who you know, or what car you drive. All of that fell away. Leaving me to breathe, feel, think, be, and look around.
I have time. Time to decide what is best for me. What is it that I need to be the best, happier and more centred version of me?
What is needed for me to blossom into a more beautiful me?