Remember by Joy Harjo; 1951


Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.

Make My Day!

Courtesy of Shutterstock 🙂

Anyone know what a busy day is like? Stupid question. We all do. We all know what it is like to be run off your feet. Can I tell you something I’ve tested? The tip I gave you earlier about starting your day off on the right foot and disconnecting even if for a bit–guys, it works! I listen to music during the day and I start it off with music, too. It’s not completely disconnecting, but I try not to stream and I’ve managed to keep my socials off for a hour before I get up. Otherwise your morning starts off with feeling the urge to answer someone. Going to bed at 9 also makes a big difference. I was told that I had to be at 9. I thought to myself, “I’m not a child!” Turns out I was mistaken about the whole point.

Another thing that makes your day great is exercise. I’ve been doing sit-ups (or at least when I remember) and it makes all the difference as well as putting on music and just laying on the floor staring at nothing. Sometimes you just need lay on the floor and stare at nothingness. Also, I want to start doing my devotions at 6 am. Sitting on my chair in my room with all my pillows and just reading the Scriptures and staring out the window. The rain also makes all the difference, if you can watch it in all its beauty–DO. I know a lot of people get depressed by the rain, but nothing makes me happier than waking up in the morning to a beautiful rain. It makes a clean crisp air that makes you feel alive.

There are many things that can make your day. Mine is singing, dancing, writing, early mornings, chatting with old school friends and playing with my doggies. If you follow me on Instagram, you will see I post often about my girls.

Whatever makes your day, make sure you do it often. Some people love gardening, others love drawing (I love colouring in) and some people just love going out for a latte and reading a book. My mother reads books when she wants to relax and my father watches YouTube videos that teach him Photoshop logo designs. I also find doing certain housework brings on a peaceful monotony allowing you to focus on the moment–nothing before, nothing after. Doing laundry and washing dishes (if you can get me to do it) is my tranquility. Cooking is something else that can relax you since it can bring out your more creative side.

I’ve given a few things that make my day. If you have any other ideas, share in the forums or in the comments. I’ll be waiting 😊☕

God bless all of you, my precious avidReaders. Go long and go strong!

Oh, Rain

I stand in the rain,

Let it touch my face

With its cold embrace.

I can’t believe how beautiful it seems,

The rain, so clean, as it falls,

Making all clean.

I feel it as it falls down,

I feel sorrow and heartache.

Tell me rain, when will this stop?

When will I be clean?

Will it ever end?

You clean the earth, but if I stand in your cold embrace,

Will I, too, be made clean?

Oh, rain, please, fall on me, make me clean!

I hope you enjoyed my poem. God bless you, my precious avids and please keep safe in this very dangerous time.

Stress and How To Cope

image provided by IdeaScale

Well to be honest, how do any of us deal with work? Well, we just move on, don’t we? We take our calming pills, drink coffee (which we really shouldn’t, but we do anyway), take up smoking or drinking and sometimes even take a break in the bathroom where we just cry our hearts out. If you start to over-eat, it can be a problem, too. All of these can be healthy or unhealthy.

Something else that can also severely affect your stress and coping mechanisms–chronic stress and anxiety. When you’ve reached this point, it becomes harmful to your physical state and your emotional state. Some people can’t deal with the stress and have to go onto medication to deal with the stress. Turning to drugs or even suicide is something that is not impossible for people dealing with this problem. I know of at least person I’ve met who actually ended up developing a severe mental problem.

Now first off, don’t think you can do this alone–you can’t. We all need someone to help us. There’s no shame in needing help.

There are a few things that can set you up for work-related stress. These things are low salaries, unreasonable work expectations, few opportunities for growth or advancement, a boring job, no social support from co-workers or your boss, having a lack in control in your work decisions and being unsure of what your job is.

If you have any of the above, don’t be surprised–we all do. These stressors can cause a variety of physical issues such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep disturbances, short temper and lack of concentration. When I go under extreme stress I get stomachaches and nausea; I know how you feel it’s not something to sneeze at.

Stress can set off a vicious chain reaction causing a host of problems such as chronic anxiety and a weakened immune system. Ever wondered why you get sick when you’re stressed? Stop wondering, now you know. However, there are ways to deal with these stressors. Before you can deal with them, ask yourself “avidWriter, why are you stressed?” Once you know why and how you respond to it, you can do something about it. Whenever I get stressed my mother chases me out the office and says to go walk or get coffee, just as long as I’m out and moving around. I’m also recording and keeping track of how I feel or how I responded to someone or something.

Among the various ways to deal with stress exercise has proven to be useful in dealing with stress. Yoga is a good way to deal with stress as it teaches you to breathe and thus calm yourself down. I do sit-ups to chill out. Exercise helps. If you have a hobby (like I do blogging and playing Sims) that can also be a means to help you deal with your stress. Sleep–good sleep can also aid in dealing with stress. If you stop drinking coffee in the afternoon and stop using all electronic devices in the evening you’ll also find you have reduced anxiety and stress levels and it also helps you sleep. Also setting boundaries such as “I’m available from 8:00 – 16:00 and not before or after” is also a good way to reduce stress. Take a break; relax and just be. Living in the moment can reduce your stress because in the end all the work stress is going to be pointless.

As scary and hard as it may seem, play open cards with your boss/supervisor. Afterall, any changes made to your environment whether emotional or physical can make you feel less stressed and thus make your boss happier since you will be more productive. Starting your morning off on the right foot is another very important. Look in the mirror and maybe say something positive about yourself or listen to a song that immediately cheers you up. I’ve started a new technique where I don’t stream anything in the morning instead once I’m up and properly awake I play music (my Jack Russell loves my music, too) while I get ready and sometimes even sing along. It really helps to start my day off right.

There many other things you can try such as avoiding conflict. In my previous job I did my utmost to stay clear of drama. It did nothing for my well-being to be either causing drama or actively trying to get involved in it. I don’t care what your motives are, getting embroiled in others affairs definitely contributes to your stress levels. Sometimes you can’t avoid office politics, when this happens be careful how you deal with it.

Clutter, the bane of my existence. If you’re like me, nothing irks you more than being in a messy, cluttered environment. It inhibits your ability to think clearly and may make you feel claustrophobic. Being comfortable at work, more specifically at your desk, can also make all the difference in the world. If you are uncomfortable in your office space, this will cause you to be unsettled and can cause you to feel stressed. Another thing to avoid is multitasking. This was always a praiseworthy trait, but it has now become something that only makes you feel frazzled and can cause severe detriment to your mental sanity. There is, however an alternative called “chunking”.

What is chunking? Simply put it is the grouping of data into larger sets we can remember for example license plates and phone numbers. When phone numbers are put together it makes it easier because instead of having to remember individual numbers it can be remembered by its grouping together with other numbers. 072, 082, 012 and other older numbers are all remembered easily since you will always remember that certain numbers go together in pre-determined patterns. This enables us to hack our brains and increase our memory. Another way to keep track of what you have to do is to write it down–EVERYTHING. It sounds annoying and time-consuming, but trust me when I say this forgetting something is worse.

PRIORITIZE! I can not stress this enough. When you have multiple things going through the mind all the time you go into crisis mode. This crisis mode causes even more stress since you are no longer in control of your situation and have now forgotten most of what you had to do.

You can do all sorts of things to remain stress free such as taking walks, listening to music on the way home and so many more. “Stress is a killer” is not just a phrase. It’s a sad truth.

In the immortal words of MIKA, “Relax, take it easy.” Don’t let life get you down–you got this.

God bless you, all my precious avids. Keep well and safe 💖

Auld Lang Syne; Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I’ll be mine,
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

Chorus:

We twa hae ran about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d monie a weary fit
Sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne!

English

For days long ago, my dear,
For days long ago
We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago.

And surely you’ll have your pint tankard
And surely I’ll have mine.
And we’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago.

And surely you’ll have your pint tankard
And surely I’ll have mine.
And we’ll drink a cup of kindness yet
For days long ago.

We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine
But we’ve wandered many a weary mile
Since the days long ago.

And here’s my hand, my trusty friend,
And give me your hand too,
And we will take an excellent good-will drink
For the days of long ago.

Disconnecting your Tech

So what is the benefit of disconnecting? A friend of my mine has broke away from social media for the past few weeks and she doesn’t seem phased in the least. In fact she is completely breaking from any and all until the 30th. Honestly I couldn’t be prouder, but why do so many opt for this route? Why unplug? Well, as always, let’s get digging.

So what does it mean to disconnect?

Cambridge.org describes it as follows:

To unfasten something, especially to break the connection between ….. a device or piece of equipment.

Why unplug?

A lot of people get gittery at the thought of leaving behind their phones, but let me tell you something–YOU WILL SURVIVE. How do I know this? Quite elementary. It happened to me on a young adults camp and it was actually the best thing that could have happened to me. I actually became social. I spent time with my friends and even made new ones.

Tech can also cause what is called ‘screen addiction’ as well as causing anti-social behaviour. I’ve seen it myself over and over; I will mindlessly pull out my phone with no specific purpose in mind simply to look at the screen. As a blogger of almost 3k subscribers (thank you for your support by the way 😊💖) it is often difficult to disconnect as I need to keep a constant presence on my socials. If I could, however, I’d do it. I’d leave my phone in my room and spend time on other things. When I’m with friends or family, I try my best to disconnect from my phone.

Will it ever replace human interaction?

The short answer is “no”. Having social media like Facebook or Instagram can never that special time you spend someone else. Texting a friend may help you keep tabs on how they are, but actually visiting with them will always win first prize. Sometimes we can’t do that, though, as they may be far away from us. For example I have a friend who is overseas as well as cousins who are also living outside of South Africa, so texting them or phoning them is the only way I can chat with them. I have family all over South Africa as well as friends. So many of my oldest and dearest school friends live so far away that texting is the closest I get to them. So there are definitely pros to social media, but there also cons. Keystonecorp.com calls it a necessity. They go on to say that people have traded their precious time with their family to attend to an email, answer a call or simply to text back.

Who’s to blame us to or tech?

Is it me or the phone? Again. a short answer–YOU. We want to blame our tech for our addiction. I think it’s time we woke and smelt the the coffee. Tech has many pros and cons, but it boils down to two words–“self discipline”. Do I have enough discipline to spend time with someone? Where are my priorities? Are they with my loved ones or the person who calls me when I’m watching TV, playing board games or having dinner? What about people who wake up and stare at Youtube? Or maybe they stream a series or movie or on Netflix, Showmax, Amazon or many other streaming services? Before you think I’m speaking as though I don’t do the same thing, believe me I have just as much of a problem as anyone else. My presence as a blogger has nothing to do with it, when I’m working I don’t sit on my phone I work. When I get emails to my personal email, unless it’s important, I delete it. Wish emails–deleted. TakeALot emails–deleted. Any other emails I see as spam–deleted. More often than not I end up deleting alot of emails and just clicking through Instagram stories while talking to someone. When it comes to music or online games, I have a problem. Sims kept me glued to the PC for much of my childhood. Every morning my routine includes Youtube and music or watching a movie I downloaded the previous day. My dog waking me up some days at 4.50 doesn’t help either. when you’re lying in bed you are bound to get bored.

The saying is “All things in moderation” and nothing is more true than that. Nothing done with a gluttonous spirit will ever be to your benefit. So put your phone away. If you need to answer an important call, then answer it. You just need to tell the difference between important and unimportant. That game that’s become an addiction delete it. Change your life to suit your priorities and if your priorities are your phone then ask yourself why? Remember technology isn’t bad, how we use it or let it use us makes it bad.

Keep that in mind the next time you pick up the phone, my avidReaders.

God bless you and I wish you all the best for your adventures in the new year 👏

Christmas

There are many stories about the origins of Christmas. Some say it’s an occult celebration, others say St. Nicholas was a perverted old man. Regardless of its origins, if you choose to celebrate it, it doesn’t mean that to you. To my father it is an opportunity to spread the Gospel and honestly when else do people go to a church except maybe Easter? To me it’s about spending time with my family. It is also a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for all of mankind–this is the most important thing to celebrate.

It’s not about gifts. It can never be about gifts. Gifts we can sometimes get bored of or they may break–they are temporal. Christ, however, is forever. Your family may turn on you. Your friends may leave you or abandon you, but God won’t ever!

I know this is a short post, so I am giving you a poem to remember today.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blixen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too–
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes–how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight–
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Bob Dylan; ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all of you, my precious avids. God bless you all on this very special day✨💖🎄

The Beautiful Gate; Acts 3.

He sat in the sun as it burnt down on his face. It was a hot day and all these two men could do was think of their next town. Perhaps they were thirsty? Tired maybe? Whatever their condition it wasn’t enough to keep them from feeling a man tug on their robes. The men looked down and saw a lame man. The men looked at each other.

“Sir? Please, sir, if you have just a little bit of money to spare for a poor lame man?” One of the men, Peter, smiled and shook his head. This man didn’t need money. Peter knew it. John knew it. The only one who didn’t was the beggar.

“I don’t any money for you, but I’ll tell you what I can give you. Get up, pick up your bed and walk.” The man looked at Peter and thought, ‘What have I got to lose? I’m sitting here lame’ he tried to get up and instantly he did something he hadn’t done since birth–he walked! He got up and looked at Peter and John as tears poured down his face. He thanked Peter as he wept, but Peter said to him, “It isn’t me that healed you, but Christ the Lord Who has worked wonders for His glory. I am just the one He used.”

The man then ran away leaping and praising God!

A short, but beautiful story of the power of God. If you sit in the presence of God and wait in prayer, He can use you and others around you to work His glorious wonders!

God bless and keep all of you, my precious avids. 🧡💖 I wish each and everyone of you a blessed and very merry Christmas!

The Best Gift

We’re sitting around the tree. It’s small, but no one cares. It’s not about the tree or the size/number of the presents underneath it. All that matters are that you are here. I could spend all day here by this small tree as long as you are, too. I will always love you. We fight and words are said, but I know that when I need you most all that doesn’t matter–you still love me. You’re the only gift I’ll ever need. At my feet sits my little Jack Russell and snores. Her snores soon turn into little barks and kicking. You’re all the joy I’ll ever need.

We tear our gifts open and smile with joy as we see what is hidden beneath the wrapping. All the love we have for each other gets lifted up and we immediately know that thought and effort was put into each gift. It is then that I burst into tears as I realize that I am loved. It wasn’t the gifts or the tree, it was my family.

If I had to count the times in the year when I needed them, the real gift was the patience and love they had with me. After all, the best gift is your family. Love them. Treasure them and watch as your bond grows.

Merry Christmas, my precious avids. God bless all of you and remember second only to God is your family. I have been blessed this year by all of you.

Carol of the Bells!

Hark! how the bells
Sweet silver bells
All seem to say
“Throw cares away.”
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old
Meek and the bold

Ding, dong, ding, dong
That is their song
With joyful ring
All caroling
One seems to hear
Words of good cheer
From ev’rywhere
Filling the air

Oh how they pound
Raising the sound
O’er hill and dale
Telling their tale
Joyf’ly they ring
While people sing
Songs of good cheer
Christmas is here
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas
On, on they send
On without end
Their joyful tone
To ev’ry home

[Repeat from the beginning]

Ding, dong, ding, dong

All credits go to Christmas Songs