Be your own accessory!

When I had long hair, my biggest problem was finding a hair band to tie it up. Every morning, I would search through my room for a hair band. I would spend a good fifteen minutes each time I had to go out. I would look absolutely EVERYWHERE! Exasperated, I would finally take a moment, sit on the edge of my bed and painstakingly retrace my steps from the previous night. Some days, this wouldn’t work and other days I’d get a lucky break as I headed out the door.
These days, I wear my hair short. Way too short to tie up. You’d think, as I did, that I would be freed from the hair band madness. But, no, it continues to hover around…mocking me. As, I am now flooded with hair bands. Every single corner has a hair band; every drawer; every shelf; every sleeve in my hand bag; every room, even the car.
My question: “How did they get there?!” “Where have they been?”
The answer is possibly (but I must declare highly improbably) me.
Seeing as the culprit won’t make him or herself known, I must go with the dreaded third force. Yep, creeping around like a hungry leopard in the wild; slick and agile, striking without a sound. Surreptitiously placing the hair bands where they need not be, on days when I need them, and where they need be when on days when I don’t.
I even bought a small, wire basket with the intention of storing the hair bands until my hair grows long enough to tie up. However, I am somewhat reluctant to put all the hair bands that I find here. Something about, not storing all your eggs in one basket? In any event, I’m quite certain that should I place these bands in one place, they just won’t be there when my hair needs them.
So, since it looks like my strategy of planning ahead is being thwarted by the unknown participants of this “third force”.  I guess I’ll just have to take life and its madness as and when it comes. After all, just like a pair of silver heels… you’ll never find them when you are looking for them.
The next time I plagued I’m by the presence (or lack thereof) of hair bands. I will not lose my mind, third force or not. Variety is the spice of life, each day is an opportunity to change it up!
Be your own accessory!

“it’s not how you fall but how you get up”

Wise people say: “it’s not how you fall but how you get up”. If you too are on this journey called life. You’ll know that this is very true. You’ll have no doubt experienced disappointment, loss and heartache. Following which, true to the phrase above you’ll have experienced: delight, success and joy. In its figurative sense, this phrase proves true each time.  It is also most true in its literal sense… as I discovered yesterday…
I have a beige coat with an extraordinarily large hood from Zara. This coat is my favourite coat. When I wear this coat, the words: ‘fabulous’, ‘gorgeous’ and, ‘rocking’, among other equally descriptive words, comes to mind. The only problem with this coat is that it can be somewhat complicated to button up, especially if you do so while you are walking. Yet another thing I discovered yesterday…

I hate being cooped up in the office so I often take a walk around the block. It’s a cold but sunny day.
The road is my ramp as I saunter down the road.  
Suddenly, a harsh brush of wind sweeps across my face and body.
I try to button up my coat but I can’t quite find the corresponding slots and the hood is thwarting my efforts.
A group of people call out to me… I ignore them.
I’ve been stopping to speak to people all day and at the moment I’m just too preoccupied to stop.
If I had stopped, I would have probably heard them say “Hey sisi, mind the pole!”
I didn’t stop.
Well, not until a few steps later. Not until, a tall, misplaced pole halted my fabulous strut down my ramp. The words: “ouch” and “****” came to mind but I said neither. Instead, I recovered.
I smiled, Flung my massive hood back, twirled around the pole and posed, to laughter from onlookers and thunderous applause from the people of my mind. They rock up there.
Yes. Indeed. You’ll trip and fall in life but it’s oh so true:
“it’s not how you fall but how you get up”.

Most days

Most days my morning excursion to work is uneventful. Most days the fifteen (sometimes sixteen or even seventeen) people in the taxi are lulled into a trance-like state as they bop their heads to the “rhythmic” sound of the morning madness. Some of it comes from the sounds of the radio. But let’s be honest, a lot of it comes from the hooting and swearing directed at the taxi as it weaves through (over) the traffic.
Most days, everyone sits in this calm, habitual trance unmoved by the madness.
But some days… some days aren’t like most days…

It’s a bight sunny day, I sigh as I look at the time and realise I have 20 minutes to get to work. It’s alright I tell myself, I’m only three traffic lights away. If only this one would turn green. Finally, it does and we are on our way.
Halfway down the hill we are thrust out of our trance-like state as the taxi abruptly slams on the brakes. Like a bear whose hibernation has been rudely interrupted, the man in the back seat curses vociferously at the driver. The rest of the occupants soon follow suite. I’m startled by a cold hand gripping my arm. I turn and look at the lady sitting besides me. She’s gripping the seat in front of her with the other hand. She turns to me with wild eyes and SCREAMS! I’m vaguely aware of the hooting and shouting of other road users. I’m confused. I’m annoyed.
Why are you screaming? What’s happening?
I look out the window and notice, with horror, the speed at which the billboards, trees and posters advertising Sipho’s moving services are passing me by. Then it hits me. The taxi is speeding in reverse up the road. The calm in the taxi is replaced with pandemonium.
“Hey, hey, uyenzani?” (What are you doing?)
“Whoa! Whoa!” (Stop! Stop!)
“Ag, Voetsek man!
“Haai!” (No!)
I should be screaming mad but instead I am incredulous and I cannot resist the urge to laugh! So, in the midst of the swearing, screaming and the tight grip on my hand, I am laughing.
Oh, some days……
After what seems like an eternity, the taxi stops.
Relieved people reach for the door.
But no.
The taxi has not stopped, it’s simply changing gear because as it turns out…we are turning right into a maze of side streets. It then turns into a petrol station.
“Hold on everybody, we are turning!”
Everyone is screaming; the lady’s nails are digging into my skin as she tightens her grip. Almost as if stuck on a merry go round the taxi drives round and round the petrol station, round and round. We can hear the screeching wheels. We’re all squashed on top of each other against the window. We are all thrown forward when the circling stops.
Finally, the taxi driver stops the taxi. He gets out and runs away!
We let out a collective sigh of relief. The lady finally releases my now bruised arm and says: “Don’t worry sisi, it’s alright” (I’m thinking, um who are you trying to convince?). The door is thrust open by a metro police officer. He takes the key out of the ignition, turns to us and says: “This is the last stop people. This taxi is going nowhere.” I later learn that there is a road block up ahead. And our brainy daredevil of a driver doesn’t have a valid drivers licence!
I make my way back to the main road. I sigh as I look at the time and realise I have 5 minutes to get to work. I’m still only three traffic lights away.
Most days my morning excursion to work is uneventful.
Most days, everyone sits in this calm, habitual trance unmoved by the madness.
But some days…oh…some days…
Some days just aren’t like most days at all!

A Visitor Called Opportunity

Sometimes opportunity will come knocking on your door. Like an unexpected visitor in the early hours of the morning, it will politely knock for a respectable amount of time and then pause hoping you heard it. Then it will knock a little harder, incessantly ring the door bell and then once again desist. At which point you relax, go back to sleep and think the moment has passed. Then like a raging thunderstorm, it rattles the walls, violently shatters the door and “ROARS!”
You’d think that such a performance would guarantee access but no, not always, unexpected visitors can be ignored. Often we just sit in the room staring at the shattered door wondering what happened; wondering whether it was all a dream. All the while opportunity hovers above us – watching and waiting, watching and waiting – before it finally sighs and gently floats out of the room.

A good host will invite her guest in and provide them with a comfortable place to sit. She will offer her guest some refreshments and attention. A good host is kind, patient and understanding. She will engage her guest in meaningful conversation revealing the reason for the visit. She’ll make her feel welcome and eager to return. Like a visitor, opportunity needs to be invited in. It needs to be nourished and refreshed and most importantly, it needs communication. But if it is ignored, then like most visitors, it will just leave. And if treated too badly it will never return.
Like love and possibly UFO’s (who knows), opportunity manifests itself to individuals in its own way. Some people see it and some people don’t; some believe it while others rationalise it away; it doesn’t mean it’s not there. No ones experience is the same, all the challenges and triumphs are different. It makes life spicy and interesting. If this is the case, then why do we insist on only embarking on journeys that have been tried and tested? Why do we turn opportunity away?
I guess sometimes we are just frozen in fear. On the one hand, we are afraid that the opportunity will be great and lead to us realising our dreams. On the other hand, we are afraid the opportunity may defeat us and leave our dreams in ruins. We’re afraid to win and we’re afraid to lose, but mostly we’re just afraid. It’s okay to be afraid but you can’t stop moving.
All visitors are unique; some are funny, nourishing and uplifting; while others are sour, negative and destructive. Their stay can be a blissful yet fleeting visit reminding you life’s special gifts or a drawn out visit that teach you about the power of saying: “No”.
Standing frozen in fear cannot help you know how to handle this visitor called opportunity.
So, the next time opportunity knocks on your door, in whatever form it chooses to take, at whatever time it chooses to arrive; don’t be frozen in fear. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Simply open the door, smile and say:
“Hello there my friend … Welcome home”.