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The Heartsongs Blog

On this side of the world, as I type this, there are another 19 days before November takes its place in our lives. November, the month when writers from all over the world go a little, shall we say, (creative) crazy?

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We can fix society, one story at a time

The screen is cracked. The screen of my cell phone, which I’m currently using to create this post, that is. Like a hideous spider web, it obscures my vision. Already used to the broken fragment, I swiped on.

With cell phones being so fragile, I’ve seen many a person walk 🚶 around with the same kind of blemish. Odd how quickly we adapt. We accept as normal. And I’m not just talking about the inconsequential cracked cellphone screen. Obvious. Maybe not.
After all, if everyone is doing it – then it is perfectly acceptable. I’m not just talking about drugs here. So if everyone comes to work late, it becomes perfectly acceptable to be late, each and every morning. Before your boss has whipped out his eyes, the company culture has changed.

child blowing bubble earth

What’s the big-y about culture?

Culture is something which governs our actions. What we find acceptable. What shocks us. How we react to things. This is why buzzwords such as ‘rape-culture’ are so big in our online discussions. What’s more, culture is formed by the collective experiences. I.e. What we believe, how we react to life is filtered by our past experiences. 

Did you know that storytelling creates experiences? Yes, and not just from a writer’s perspective. It only takes two different stories with a similar outcome to convince someone to rethink how they react towards that type of outcome. Two similar tales spun, and someone has gained a different experience. This in turn will not only determine his own perception, but changes the way others in the community think and act.

Think about that, for two tics.

Your stories, whether written or spoken can influence how someone else perceives the world. I’d like to hope all of us aren’t that impressionable. While stories may be used for the force of good, often they are used for the dark side.  How quickly your mind can change really depends on our point of reference. Your upbringing and your experiences.

Let’s say you are a woman. You hear from a friend about a guy whom you have never met, let’s call him Joe. Joe charmed your friend out of her socks, but got bored pretty quickly.
A few weeks later, another friend tells you she went on a date with Joe, but after a great night he never returned her calls. A random night out, you meet this Joe. Would you not approach Joe with caution? Perhaps avoid Joe altogether? What about if you met someone completely different who reminds you of Joe?
You get where I’m going here. Your friends shared experience, has become somewhat your own.

See how easy stories influence us?

If one guy gets away with a certain conduct, the next one will try a similar thing. Soon it becomes common.
Like my cracked cellphone screen, as a society we all too conveniently find some things acceptable.
I really don’t want to go into all the heartbreaking things this world has found acceptable. As mentioned, it’s sometimes the little things, such as coming to work late which rob us.

Sometimes, it takes some real strong-willed determination, not to do what everyone else finds perfectly acceptable.

The impact these stories of such strong-willed determination have on our society is sometimes the only thing that stands between us and degradation, impoverishment of the human condition.

Why? Because these uplifting stories give us a new point of reference.

While I’ve been terribly philosophical with this post, which certainly would have benefited in me being more specific, I hope it has at least given you some food for thought. Now, go forth and shine.

This post has been the tenth day of it does not need to be perfect a series I’m currently writing on this blog.

*child blowing bubble picture courtesy of pixabay.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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If we were having coffee, it’s a little bit funny

What a strange day of the week to invite someone over for coffee. I don’t know about you, but I drink coffee every day, so I guess it does not matter. Welcome in.

If we were having coffee, we’d reminisce on how long it’s been since I last wrote a coffee post. I’ve been concentrating on writing my one blog post per month, which is not related to any link -up. In the process I’ve overlooked the ‘personal blog’ aspect of this blog. Time and energy to write is not on my side these days. It is frustrating when you are too tired to string two words together, never mind a whole comprehensive sentence, paragraph, blog post.

So I don’t sweat the mundane. Who’d want to read it, anyway? You? Well, you’re still here.

Many of my friends and family have been much too busy, also. There’s so much on our mind.  As a society, collectively that is. With words such as “nuclear threat” and “World War three”,  being thrown into many a casual conversation–it is no wonder.

“Oh, you’re on Twitter,” I asked a colleague.

“Of cause. It’s a lot of fun. I follow Trump,” she replied.

“Yea, he’s such a clown.”

“Did you hear government is in secret negotiations to sell weapon grade uranium?”

“It does not surprise me. They are all so corrupt.”

I live in a country, which is one of the worlds largest uranium exporters. We have our own conspiracies, and hope that the people at the top are at least not that dumb. What could we do against a nuclear threat? And since we rely on imports, what would we do if the world put sanctions against us?

It seems so insignificant, to read or write a random blog post. Bla, Bla, the world keeps turning–Bla, Bla.

Yet, here I am, using what little time I have to spare to share a bit of trivia.

I’ve been quiet. Not just here, but on my What’s App groups and other Social Media. Withdrawn. Sometimes I look at these groups,  Facebook and Twitter and notice that some people are forever sharing mundane Meme’s or jokes.

Someone in one of my groups is lying in hospital, literally on her death bed. I read several of shared Meme’s or jokes of hers every day.

The truth is sometimes just too hard to face. Without a little humor we’d break under all the weight.

I dislike all those automated DM people send on Twitter once you follow them. But this one stuck out so here it is. I hope it at least makes you smile the way it made me smile.

***

A writer died and was given the option of going to heaven or hell.

She decided to check out each place first. As the writer descended into the fiery pits, she saw row upon row of writers chained to their desks in a steaming sweatshop. As they worked, they were repeatedly whipped with thorny lashes.

“Oh my,” said the writer. “Let me see heaven now.”

A few moments later as she ascended into heaven, she saw rows of writers, chained to their desks in a teaming sweatshop. As they worked, they, too were whipped with thorny lashes.

“Wait a minute,” said the writer.

“This is just as bad as hell!”

“Oh no, it’s not,” replied an unseen voice. “Here, your work gets published.”

***

Credit goes to Jeanette@Polar_Bear_Edit for this bit of sunshine. Now here’s an idea for a DM which is a conversation starter. Just sayin’.

Ha. Ha. . . Let’s lighten up and remember that God / the universe / whatever you insert here–has the best sense of humor.

If we were having coffee, we’d talk about the economy.  We’d mention the crazy weather and crazy politicians. We’d share cute baby pictures and videos. But mostly, If we were having coffee we’d laugh.

I’m linking this post up with the next #WeekendCoffeeShare hosted by Part Time Monster.

If we were having coffee, what would we laugh about? Let me know in the comments or write up your own coffee post.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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In the age of Social Media, is the fear of rejection keeping us from genuine friendships?

I have a love-hate relationship with Social Media. On the one hand, I realize how toxic Facebook, Twitter and their comrades can be. On the other, used correctly Social Media can be a tool to help us grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. In this ever-speeding society, Social Media can help us keep in touch. It can help us make new friends.

Some time ago I was surfing Facebook when I came across a post in a group, by one of my high-school friends. We are not friends on Facebook. In contradiction to my better judgment, I hoped over to this woman’s Facebook wall. Since I was not ‘friends’ with her I could only see what she has shared publicly.
What I found was some stunning array of profile pictures. Damn! After some ten plus years, she looked even hotter than before. There were some pictures of her skydiving and others of her looking good in some stunning scenery.

I admit that the big ugly green-eyed monster immediately assaulted me. I’m carrying around 30 plus kilograms from when I was in high school. I hardly ever leave my dull monotonous spaces and apart from that one time – I defiantly don’t go around doing extreme sports. Sh*t, to anyone looking in from the outside, my life is pretty much mundane and boring.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t go sharing much of the mundane and boring things online. In all honesty, since I’ve starting using What’s App, I’ve shared very little of anything personal on open sites such as FaceBook and Twitter. While there is certainly a measured degree of vulnerability to the things I write on this blog, it is camouflaged by the persona behind which I hide.

To make it as a good writer, it takes a certain type of finesse and courage to be vulnerable in a genuine and especially non-attention seeking manner.

As Paul Gallico put it:

“It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader.”

Perhaps this is why so many of us, writers, hide behind a pen name. While writers hide behind a pseudonym, people, in general, hide behind an invisible mask. A façade.

How many of us are governed by our fear of rejection?

In today’s society, we want to it appear we lead the ideal life. We would like to say; “Look at my FaceBook hall of fame.” Thus, we share only that which would gain us the validation we seek from our family and peers. Whether on or off-line, we talk about and share only that, which would entice, entertain and solicit amazement.

“I patted an ostrich on the back.”
“I went skydiving”
“My kid/pet did the cutest thing”

We share only life’s highlights. We make it seem that our life consists of sparkly high notes. Forget those mundane, gray things. Erase those downright dark and dreary things. It is almost as, if there were no public record of these things, they did not exist.  We somehow hope that people who were friends or lovers in the past look at our timeline with a certain longing envy. This is my life! This is me!

I am a liar.

Because life is not perfect. I am not perfect. Nobody is perfect, not even Tom Cruise, J.K. Rowling or the Queen of England.

This mask only comes off, when we really get to know someone. Underneath their perfect, we find an authentic human being. Underneath their perfect, we can see someone as they are. Only when we choose to love each other underneath our perfect, is a friendship or relationship worth having, genuine and beautiful. Underneath our perfect is where the true connection lies.

Ironically, we often seek this connection when we venture out into the world of Social Media, when we go sit in a pub, or when we try to impress someone at school or work.

We fear to say, “this is me, accept me as I am.”
We fail to realize, “I am enough.”

 

p.s. This post has been the ninth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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I was a bully!

No, I did not mistype that heading.
The topic of bullies is an ongoing concern in today’s society.

One of my friend’s social media threads recently read as such:

“This is the reason why teenagers commit suicide.”

While there would always be other factors, such as mental health concerns, being bullied is certainly a contributing factor to teenage suicide.

It is freighting horrible how children treat other children. I’d like to add ‘these days’, to that sentence, but I can’t. Minors have bullied and been horrible to other minors for centuries. Knowing someone who recently tried to end it, partly because of being bullied has me paying attention to this behavior.

Quite frankly, it’s not just children. Adults can be mean and horrible too. We usually go about it differently. We don’t call it being bullied. We call it being targeted. Nepotism. Favoritism. Slander. Internet trolling. You get the picture.

It’s a cruel, hard, world. At some point, we need to learn to navigate the shark infested waters we share with both sharks and starfish. Navigation lessons, start very early in life. You can choose to be a shark.

shark infested waters blue

Early on, other children mistreated me. They’d tell me I can’t play with them. They’d say I’m too weird. Seven-year-old I was left to play alone, while the other kids laughed at me. While here it was uncommon for children to form gangs and beat other children up, words can do much damage.

This behavior went on all through until my seventh school year, when we had to go to the next level. My brother convinced me that if I would ever like to fall into the ‘in’ crowd, I should stop being friends with one of the two friends I did have. For the sake of narrative, let’s call her Angela. It all seems like childish nonsense now.

You may ask, why in the eyes of my older sibling was I to unfriend her?

She was a nerd. A bookworm. Even weirder than myself. I’d like to tell you that I told my brother he was an idiot. However, I heeded his counsel. After all in my eyes, he had friends, was cool, and was a rock star. And, he was already attending this new school and knew how to be cool there.

I’d like to tell you, it was the last time I was unkind all in the name of, fitting in.

At first, my plan worked. There were some kids from other schools there too. I’d made friends with one of them.  Let’s call her Betty. Betty was pretty. Betty was cool. Betty soon found herself in a situation with a younger girl, let’s call her Camila who transferred there from out of the country. Betty could not stand Camila, who followed her around everywhere.  A plan was hatched and I was to break the poor girl’s, heart.

Why I had to get involved in this situation at all .?!  Well, I guess some things you learn only from making mistakes.

Camila ended up crying.

“Why are you always so mean to each other,” one of my teachers asked. I felt terrible, but by the time I realized the effect of my actions, it was too late.

Camila ended up flunking the year and was put in a class with children her own age. This once sweet and bubbly girl started dressing and acting like a slut. All in the name of fitting in. I later heard she had become mean and cruel. While you can’t blame yourself for other people’s actions, much of me thought that this was my fault.

If this was the price of having friends, I’d rather have none. A sequence of other events eventually leads to that outcome. By that time I no longer cared. 17-year old I, was pretty happy to sit out the school break on my own.

Now you may ask, why at this point I did not decide to befriend Angela again. Several years had passed and Angela had always remained nice, to me. However, I would have felt like a hypocrite.

I’d like to say my actions had no effect on Angela’s life. 17-year-old Angela, however, fell pregnant. The child’s father was a 34-year-old man. Angela had to drop out of school because pregnant girls got expelled. Since all her marks were exemplary, she was allowed to keep all her subjects, dropped to a lower standard and still write her exam. She would not make it into University, however, she would be able to complete her high-school education.

It may seem like a stretch, to say that the horrible manner in which I treated Angela at age 12, would still have an effect on her life today. However, Angela may have made better choices had I been nicer to her. She is such an intelligent person. She could have been a doctor, saving people’s lives – for all I know – had things not turned out the way they did.

It is strange. All these years later, of all the people who were mean to me, I remember very little. I, however, remember very clearly the two people whom I was cruel.

Many of our choices are formed by past experiences. Especially in the formative years, we seek validation from our peers. Even as adults, we seek validation in all the wrong places.
If I could give my thirteen-year-old self some advice I’d tell her to stop trying to impress all these other people. In the end, it matters not how many friends you had, but to how many you were a friend.

What would you tell your thirteen year old self? Did you have an experience being bullied?

p.s. This post has been the eighth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Learn to be more #mindful with a free online tool – #Instagram

Have you checked me out on Instagram? Not? I’ve been finding this Social Media platform most useful. Although I must confess, when I first joined I did so solely that I can ‘online stalk’ someone there too.

I mean that (online stalking) in the most positive light of those two words. Cause let’s face it; some online personalities literally ask you to follow them everywhere. Most of these people, who are obsessed with the collection of followers, usually label themselves: blogger, writer, social-media-butterfly or all of the ‘above’. You get the type?

Any-hoe, I decided why ever not? After all,  Instagram was the perfect platform for my new endeavor, which was to post one motivational picture per day. Alas, it was yet another New Years resolution I could not keep. Here we are a year and some months later and I’ve been getting back on Instagram. You could say I’ve newly discovered my cellphone camera. The truth is a bit deeper than that.

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

Inspiration is all around us. Instagram is a free, fast and easy tool to share that inspiration with the world. In a mission to have something to share on that platform, I’ve become more mindful of my surroundings. It is often the small things in life that we overlook.

As I sip my morning cuppa, I'm reminded to enjoy the small things in life. #mindfulness #coffee

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

Sometimes the inspiration does not come in a neatly wrapped photogenic scene. Sometimes a little editing or creation of a picture is required.

One crisp morning the very first words I heard as I switched on my car radio were these: “What are you waiting for?”

It is quite amazing what happens when we merely pay attention to our present tense moment. Yes, mindfulness.

The little angel figurine which hangs on my bedroom mirror ‘prompted’ me to share something, after I’d not done so for a few days. A newly discovered photo-editing app and a recently watched You Tube video lead to this snippet:

Perhaps this post is a change of perspective, you were not expecting.

Life is a journey.

A post shared by Sarina (@shiningseeds) on

No, it’s not all selfies up in there. As I said on a recent post, it is all about how you use a platform. In an attempt to look for the beauty in the mundane, some of my friends post stunning landscape, city-scape and nature pictures.

So, what are you waiting for? Come check out @shiningseeds on Instagram and let your own surroundings inspire you.

*This post has been the seventh day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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10 Inspirational movie quotes to make your day

“I see dead people”, whispered the little boy, in the movie ‘Sixth Sense’ to the shrink played by Bruce Willace. If you were watching this for the first time, you are practically on the edge of your seat. Popcorn is flying in your mouth. Perhaps you have the unhealthy habit of chewing your nails, as the scene changes.

Stories have a real impact on how and what we think. They become part of us. They teach us. They inspire us. I’ve said this before, inspiration is like food for the brain.

Hence, in no particular order, here are 10 inspirational quotes from the big screen.

1. Titanic (1997)

“I’m the King of the World”

Screamed Jack Dawson, played by Leonardo Di Caprio as he leaned on the tip of the Boat. Somehow, this dirt-poor artist had made it onto the most luxurious ocean liner of the time. It is a declaration of triumph. The line has been quoted so many times, it has become a cliché. It’s the line to use when we overcome our struggles.

2. The Terminator (1984)

“I’ll be back”

Oh yes, baby! This is way motivational. It is the ultimate line to use when something has gone wrong and you need to pick yourself up and try again. This was originally spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his role as the Terminator.

3.  Gladiator (2000)

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

All the times I’ve seen this movie, this particular line gives me goosebumps. In the scene, Maximus is forced to pull off his mask and reveal his identity. He claims his truth and declares his purpose.

To conquer this thing called life we must journey to find out who we really are. It is only then when we find our truth and calling. This is the line, which speaks to us to become masters of our Destiny. It is beyond inspirational.

4.  Finding Nemo (2003)

“When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming”

Sometimes, we need to remember to just move on, to just keep it together for the next few seconds and the next few seconds after that and so on. Take it step by step. Moment by moment.

5.  Dead Poets Society (1989)

“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Robin Williams starred in this 1989 movie about an English teacher in an all boys school. The above quote is not only a good summary of the movie but one of the most inspirational lines in moving picture history.

6.  Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

Lord of the Rings is one of those movies, which are played repeatedly on TV. The above line comes from a scene with the Elf Queen Galadriel and Frodo. Moments before she said:

“This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will.”

Talk about epic, inspirational movie moments. Not only does this tell us that even everyday people, ordinary people can change the world, but also that there are certain things that only you as a person can achieve. Only you can become the master of your destiny.

7.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

This is one of Dumbledore’s savvy insights. Who am I to argue with the great Wizard?

8.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

“Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

Sometimes a shift in perspective can shed much light on a situation. Things may not seem as dark and gloomy from a different angle. A solution may just be around the corner. And like a butterfly which can not see it’s own wings, so some people can’t see how amazing they truly are.

9.  Lion King (1994)

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it you can either run from it or learn from it.”

I vote you learn from it.

10.  The Matrix (1999)

“There is no spoon”

 

I’ve saved the best for last. You may think what is so inspirational about this specific quote? In the movie, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) is told the above quote by ‘the spoon boy’. It is fundamental in Neo’s realization that the ‘computer created reality’ is not the real reality. Anything is possible, and he starts creating his own reality.

In the same manner, ‘the real’ for you may be quite different from ‘the real’ for the Dali Lama for example. Much of what we perceive to be real has been shaped by society. The way we think about everyday things is governed by societies rules and expectations.

It’s a hard concept to explain. It’s something you need to get. While I’m on my way, I’m not there yet.

There you have it, I hope you enjoyed this list of movie quotes. What are your favorite movie lines?

*This post has been the sixth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect‘, a series currently running on this blog.

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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What a bird thought me about opportunities

“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Bishop.”
“Bishop who?”
“What do you mean, Bishop who? You seem to have a birdy loose up in here. To be more precise a Southern Red Bishop”

Lately, I’ve been getting a visitor. He’s been knocking on my window. How odd, I thought. A stunning bird that I’d not seen in these parts has been knocking on my window. The fellow seems to have built a few nests in my husband’s fruit tree. So I took out my husbands Roberts Bird Guide (that’s a book to identify birds of the area) and found that we have a Southern Red Bishop who has decided to make his home here.

It is somewhat odd because this specific bird’s natural habitat is marshy grassland and wetland. Since I live in an urban area, not close to any dams or marshy grasslands it’s quite odd that this fellow seems to have found a home here.

Then again, we are experiencing a terrible drought in the area. Watering plants have been made a felony, so to speak. Thus, we have been giving our trees water from the washing machine and shower (which is not a wrongdoing). We also have four pet birds, whose chirping attracts quite a lot of wild birds here, including my new ‘knock, knock’ friend. The leftover bird seed also serves to feed the wild ones.

It gives an entirely new meaning to the phrase, ‘when opportunity comes knocking’, doesn’t it? The little Bishop has had to adapt to new circumstances due to the drought.

It gives me pause to think. Can I identify new opportunities in my life?

His appearance certainly seems the right opportunity to write a blog post. I’ve also taken the opportunity and snapped a few pictures. You’ll need to excuse my poor photographing skills, the little fellow takes flight when I get too close. Armed with only my cell phone camera it has been hard to get a better shot. But, at least I got a relatively nice picture. Considering that the first rule of good photography is that you need to photograph with the light not against it, I’ve not been able to take any good pictures from within the house.

southern-red-bishop-on-wind
There you go. Sometimes the universe gives us the most subtitles of hints. The small reminders! The little things, we so often overlook. The wind whispers. Do you hear it speaking? This time it has asked me to not overlook the opportunities that come knocking, even if it are only the small ones – such as natures prompt to write a blog post.

What opportunities have been knocking on your window lately? Have you opened that window to let the opportunity in?

p.s. This post has been the fifth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect’, a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:


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April , April, it will do as it will

One of my teachers in school had her birthday on April first. She was a well-loved woman, already quite old by the time I had gotten there. Being as it was her birthday some of the kids decided to give her a gift. It was also the ideal opportunity to prank the poor ol’ lady.

Some of the boys took a matchbox and put a giant armored ground cricket. Now, if you ask me that is one of the ugliest insects to crawl this earth. And while it may be argued that I’m most defiantly not an insect person, this was an ingenious way to prank someone (I would be jumping out of my socks if it was me)The boys’ then gift wrapped the matchbox and gave it to the woman as a birthday present.

Unfortunately, I was not there to see her reaction – but she seemed to have taken it in good spirit. Maybe it was not the first time someone had thought to prank her on her birthday.

cow-sticking-out-tong

Over the years I’ve witnessed many a practical joke on April first. Some of them weren’t so funny. As I guess it really depends on the point of view if something is funny or not.

Be that as it may, laughter is really the best medicine. So here for April Fools is a video for your enjoyment. I’ve gone to look for a video from South African prankster Leon Schuster.

(Taken as there’s always someone who finds something offensive on the internet these days … This one is relatively safe and hopefully not offensive to anyone.)

Enjoy!

P.S. This was the fourth day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this here blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

Find her here:

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Why blog? The answer may surprise you

They say that life is a lesson, you’ll learn when you are through. Similarly, they say, life is a journey. Blogging can take you on a journey too. I’ve often been asked why I spend time doing something that earns me no money. Sometimes I ask myself that question. After all, by now, it seems like wishful thinking that I will ever earn an income from blogging.

How I started blogging:

It was the year 2013. The economy had started seriously slumping as too my emotions. Mother to a toddler, finances weren’t looking so fabulous. When do finances ever look fabulous?

When you raise a child, you really start noticing the cost of things. More than anything, I wished I could somehow supplement my income. At the time, getting another job was out of the question. Parenting will do that to you. Where will a new employer understand that your toddler is sick and you need to take her to the doctor, again? For a woman, I receive some good benefits and should not complain. I earn better than many other women I know. Then again, some more women I know also earn much more than me, but those are the ones who actually had the opportunity to go and study at a University outside the country.

Making money online, is all too easy – or is it?

Life is hard when you feel anxiety at the mere thought of going out and doing new things. Earning an extra income on the internet seemed like such an easy thing. After all, all those online adverts were telling me it is so, so easy making bucket loads of cash if I just sign up here or there.

Online surveys – yay or nay?

Even then, I was not that naive. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Most likely online swindles! I was looking for something legitimate. At some point, I signed up with several websites for doing online surveys.
While this may be an ideal supplementary income if you live in the U.S. of A. or Europe, none of the offers was for my region. I was never what they were looking for. I soon found out that each and every survey I clicked on was not one I could get paid for doing. How frustrating!

Eventually, I signed up with another website. This website was a bit different from the others. Among other things, they advertised that if you put their button on your blog, they would pay you for that. The idea was born. Blog!

What is a Blog, anyway?

First I needed to figure out what a blog actually was. Yes, I was that green. I googled “what is a blog”. At that point my idea of a blog was some famous person such as an author or actor, telling their fans all about their life. After all, I was already following the ramblings of one or two of my favorite authors.

Who would ever be interested in reading my ramblings? Ordinary, not famous girl, living in Africa! What in the heck, would I even blog about? My life is not all that. So I researched ‘blogging’.

I read that a blog was similar to a website and that many websites I visited were actually blogs. The blogging professionals told me to find a niche. A topic I knew a lot about. At the time there were two main free blogging platforms. One was Blogger and the other was WordPress.

So, in February of 2014, I started a blog on Blogger. It was about Office Administration. At that point, I’d been working in the field of Office Administration for ten years. I thought I would have several things to say on the subject. Indeed, coming up with content was easy. However, I was not the only one blogging on that subject. Many established blogs already existed in the field of Office Admin. I soon started thinking; how can I be more interesting than all the rest?

A month later I also started a blog on WordPress. I mainly wanted to see the difference between these two platforms and promote my Blogger blog on WordPress and build better Social Media connections.

As they say, the rest is history. Both of the blogs I started have since been shut down.

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Blogging is a good teacher

While I’m yet to earn anything from blogging, I’ve found it to be a useful tool for personal growth. Apart from the obvious expansion of knowledge that looking up information brings, reading and writing blogs opens your eye’s to many a thing you’d before not taken notice of.  Experiences by other people can teach you many things while documenting your own is very illuminating. In a world where personal growth is a multi-million-dollar industry, this one free tool really does wonders. Of cause it all depends on how you use the platform, and like anything in life what you make of it is up to you.

You learn the strangest things about yourself and the world you live in. In my opinion, this is priceless.

I’ve learned that I don’t really like Google’s ‘AdSense’ nor the WordPress counterpart, ‘WordAds’. While there are other alternatives, none of the ones I’ve discovered work for my country (typical).

The problem I have with these programs is that you have little control over what kind of ads are placed on your blog. I’ve come across ads for fake news websites, fake celebrity gossip, diet scams and other websites with dubious intentions. Rest assured that if you see an add on this blog, it is because I’ve not upgraded it to a premier account. In case you have not read my disclaimer, in no way do I endorse any of these ads.

In trying to figure out how others monetize their blog,  these days I approach new websites differently. I evaluate a site by what it seems to be trying to sell me. I also find that I’m doing the same with new people I meet online and offline. Trying to figure out if someone has a hidden agenda was never something I used to consider. In this way, blogging has made me a little less naive, which in my opinion is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, people still tell me that I’m very gullible – since I try to see the best in everyone, but still … a little less green.

I’ve learned that there are some posts, that, even if you paid me, I’d never publish them. For example, I can’t endorse a money lending business on my own blog. I hate debt. While I do find that it is necessary sometimes, we often loan money for unnecessary things.

I’ve found websites and social media platforms, which I’d never have used and visited on my regular surfing trails. I’ve learned that especially on social  media platforms we ought to not forget our manners (even though many do). You can’t really erase anything you have published online.

I’ve learned that while I may be good at Office Administration, writing about it on a regular basis is not mentally stimulating enough. On the other hand, I’ve found that writing as a creative outlet is something I enjoy doing. It was a discovery that really surprised me, about myself.

Among the millions of bloggers out there, I still wonder how I can be fascinating enough for anyone to follow.
It is still beyond me that anyone would be interested in reading anything this girl, who lives an ordinary life in Africa, would have to say. Regardless, I love the voice blogging has given me.

What about you, what has blogging thought you?

P.S. This is the third day of ‘it does not need to be perfect,‘ a series I’m currently running on this blog.

 

About the Author

profile-pic-2Sarina often sat on the peaks of the dunes of Southern Africa watching the ocean tide drift in. A daydreamer, often dreaming up stories for lands somewhere over the rainbow. She is a mother, a wife, a blogger and an overall creative spirit. Above all, she is a human being.

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writing myself into wellness