On Bucket Lists and Dreaming Big

I’m really stressed. Two very busy and demanding jobs, being a mom a wife a friend and a nice human being are all taking its toll on me. That and the daily financial stress of life, revolting Johannesburg traffic and wondering what the hell I’m destined to do on this earth have left me feeling severely Eyeore’ish. So much so that yesterday I even had a driz in the office after a long and frustrating phone call with my bank about home loan rates and the fact that I’m literally being bent over and rogered on a daily basis by their fees.

Speaking of traffic; my daily 3-4 hour commute and back to my offices means I have a lot of time to listen to shitty radio. So I don’t. I listen to inspiring podcasts and Internet radio stations and interviews with people who climb mountains and jump off buildings and follow their dreams. And ultimately I feel inspired for just a little bit until my actual life takes over and I’m knee deep in admin and invoices and editing and earning a salary.

The other day one of the interviews turned to a discussion on bucket lists, and while the radio crew rattled off their wish list I found myself completely stumped. The biggest thing on my agenda at the moment is ‘surviving’ so I was completely taken back by what these other folk had on theirs.

I haven’t stopped thinking about this since that day, and I’ve been thinking long and hard about what really makes me tick, what my dreams are and what my bucket list would be. It’s been quite a fun time letting my mind push through the mental constraints I’ve had and to conjure up a dream book of ‘what if’s’. It’s also been very hard to let myself think big and I challenge you to do the same, come up with your own list ad share it with me.

So, what is on my bucket list?

  • A photographic safari documenting wildlife ala National Geographic style. Think the Great Kenya migration, tree frogs in the Amazon and lemurs in Madagascar. I want to get up close and personal with everything from wide-eyed bush babies to the wrinkled and calloused skins of ellies. Naturally this means using only the best equipment and gear and sleeping under a ceiling of stars with my camera set to a long slow lazy exposure to capture them as they wind themselves around the night sky

  • Speaking of photographic safaris and all things National Geographic: remember this photo? I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I painted it for a matric art class project. I adore taking photos of people and something I have always wanted to do is travel the world and take portraits of locals in small unknown towns. Black and white head shots of ladies in the dusty streets of India, solemn faces of praying Monks in Tibet, curious kids on steps in Stonetown, fresh faced ladies at Croatian festivals and thin lipped, toothless ladies in China. I would travel with a guide who could speak any language and who would help me communicate with these people so they trusted me enough to take their photos and step into their personal space.

 

  • A complete house renovation with unlimited budget. My décor, my design, my dream and my space. Glossy dark wood floors, white open airy windows, furniture found on Pinterest and a garden so lush you could lose yourself in it for days.

  • A collection of rescued and abandoned farm animals. Sheep, a cow, a chicken or two. The money and space to take them on.

 

  • To write my book. Have it published, be wildly popular. Make fuck tons of cash dollar.

 

  • To do a photo-shoot in the snow

  • To learn how to design my own logos, brochures, adverts and more.

 

  • Have a ‘yes’ day. Don’t tell anyone but agree and say ‘yes’ to every single thing thrown at me. This one terrifies me a bit as well, I mean, what I someone asks me to go camping. Or dancing. Or eat meat.

 

  • Visit the pub/restaurant I was named after ‘Kate Kearneys Cottage’ in Ireland

  • Win an award for a photo I’ve taken. Any photo, any award

 

  • On the subject of photos – have someone buy a photo of mine that they have fallen in love with. And I’m not talking a family member buying a photo that I took at their family session, I’m talking random stranger loving something I’ve created and wanting to own it.

 

  • Finding the perfect foundation and the perfect bubblegum pink blusher.

 

  • Achieve a body weight that makes me want to run around naked. Buy an expensive bikini and put it on said amazing body.

 

  • Understand a little bit about every single thing. I love learning, but to be able to contribute to a conversation on anything from politics to propagation, without reaching for Dr.Google, must be a hell of a cool feeling.

 

  • Be office and traffic less, and when I do have to be in traffic have a driver so I can find more productive ways to while the time.
  • Be the voice of a character in an animated movie.
  • Get veneers for my teeth, and transform my smile into this:

 

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2015, You've Got This. (15 Totally Achievable New Years Resolutions)

For creatures of habit, human beings are funny little things. Why, every year, do we insist on making drastic changes to our lives in the form of new years resolutions? I’m talking huge, life changing decisions that we make at 11:55pm on 31 December, as we drunkenly reflect on the year that was and how we absolutely must do things differently in the year that’s about to be.

We make crazy promises to ourselves, promises that are unrealistic and promises that deep down we know we can never ever stick to. I mean, when last did you ‘get rich quick’ or ‘lose those 5 kilograms’?

New Years Resolution

I gave up on the new years resolutions a few years ago, when I began dreading seeing them through. This year, I’ve decided to take a on a much easier and effective approach.

I Instagrammed this motivational the other day, and it was met with such a positive response, that I figured – why not elaborate on it slightly, and make a list of 15 actionable, manageable and (most importantly) do-able things for 2015 (because, let’s be honest, with a baby on the way a lot of things may just have to be pushed to 2016…)

1. Find 3 hobbies you love.One to make you money, one to keep you in shape and one to keep you creative.

(FYI, I picked voice overs, trail running and Pinterest/gardening,photography and home decor)

2. Sign up to become an organ donor. I’ll make it easy for you – click here.

(If you need some motivation, watch this)

3. Read 1 thing of substance once a month. It could be anything from a novel, to a white paper to a web article. (Start with this, it’s amazing)

4. Give back. Make a sandwich for the beggar you see every morning, collect dog food at your next dinner party and donate it to a needy pet rescue place or pop your spare change in the charity tin at the till. No gesture is too small.

5. Plant something you can use. For me, its herbs and vegetables. There’s something wonderful about eating what you’ve grown.

6. Learn 1 new skill. I am desperate to do a woodworking course – so I can make all the things I find online (instead of begging my husband to do it for me). With this bulging belly, that may be a project for 2016 – so for 2015 I am going to do a self taught photography course and find a course to teach me design and Photoshop.Your new skill needn’t me a huge investment – it could be as simple as learning to knit, or changing a plug.(Hint, Google)

7. Change one thing about your appearance. Cut your hair, invest in a red lipstick, buy a push-up bra. A small change can do wonders for your self esteem and is the cheapest way to get a makeover without the effort.

8. Eat 1 meal at the dinner table. Bringing a child in to this world makes me yearn for the days when we as a family would eat every meal around the table (also, it was in the stone ages, so technology wasn’t yet a distraction).

9. Don’t waste your money on shit things. I am a huge culprit here – I buy a lot of R200 things here and there instead of saving up for one big feature item. A bit like putting lipstick on a pig.

10. Make time for you. Work is work, and apart from those days we all have when a crisis pops up, leave it at the office, go home and make sure you have a balance. Not one Facebook post celebrating 2015 started with ‘I worked more than 8.5 hours a day). No-one cares. (That being said, work hard, make an effort and give a damn)

11. Fix those things that have been bothering you. I have created a Google doc as long as my arm with everything that needs to be done around the house. From things as small as changing a lightbulb, to complete house renovations. It’s amazing how much easier it is to tick stuff off, when you have a list.

12. Remember the good things. A rad chick I know kept a jar in 2014, and ever single time something good happened, she wrote it down on a slip of paper, and popped it in the jar. At the end of 2014 she had hundreds of awesome memories that reminded her just how amazing the past 365 days had been.

13. Find something to look forward to. Remember September? September is the ‘quarter to 5 on a Friday’ month. It’s revolting, and everyone gets in to a slump and starts panicking about the new year and what they have and haven’t achieved, and then makes DUMB NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. (Do you see where I’m going with this?) This year, plan something fun for that time – a weekend away, a party, time off, whatever. Make sure you dont get to quarter to 5 on your Friday with no plans. You will be suicidal.

14. Save. My scariest one of them all. Put away as much as you can every month (even if it’s a little).

15. Clear your crap. We live in one of those old houses where cupboard space is tiny and scarce (seriously, did families in the ’80s not have things?!). A rule I (try) live by is that for every new thing I buy (be it clothes or makeup) I have to throw out (or donate) the same amount of existing pieces. Its the only way to prevent hoarding, and also prevents years of rubbish and useless things piling up.

So, that’s it. My list of 15 easy peasy resolutions for 2015.

What are yours?

Find three hobbies you love

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The January Resolution

I’m not a huge one for New Years resolutions as ultimately my ideas are too ambitious for my brain and I end up failing most of them before the month year is out. This is not to say that some resolutions aren’t valuable; a mate of ours has been waking her hubby at at 4 am every morning to go running (she’s been eyeing out those skinny jeans), a colleague has finally taken the plunge and decided to start his own company, another friend of mine has decided to do the Half Iron Man in 2013 (hopefully inspired by my buff bod in a tri suit hey Tash? – I joke) and Barry, my fiance has decided to start studying to further enhance his skill set. And to make loads of money and buy me shiny things.

All very do-able goals, and ones which I approve of. But what about me? I find lately I’ve become that person who gets home and grumbles about the bad stuff – traffic, deadlines, workload, horrible people and taxis and I’m beginning to think that if I had nothing to complain about, I wouldnt speak much at all. I realised that a resolution doesn’t have to be something huge – it can start with the smallest action. So, with that in mind, here are several of my 2013 resolutions that I would like to achieve and stick to, not only in this year, but for all the rest.

– Do one good thing a day. It doesn’t have to be donating a hefty sum to a charity, or volunteering your time at an orphanage – although thats really good), it can be something small such as replacing the toilet paper for the next person (I have a habit of folding the loopaper into a little triangle, hotel style), bending down to retrieve something that someone next to you has dropped, letting someone in, in traffic – even though you’re already late, complimenting a stranger on their perfume/top/smile. Returning your food purchase to the shelf when you decide you dont want it anymore, instead of leaving it the trolley, starting a conversation with the bank teller, even though you hate the bank, politely declining a telesales call or reminding a friend about another friends birthday (instead of wanitng to take the friendship credit for yourself). Not huge things, right? But all (hopefully) guaranteed to bring a smile to the recipients face.

– Do something physical every day. I have realised, I am a grumpy b*tch when not full of endorphins, and even though it’s hard to hit the treadmill seven days a week, it’s not hard to walk the dogs, clean the house (jokes, thats very hard), play with a toddler near you (in a non creepy school drive by kind of way) or plant in the garden. Keep moving, Keep happy.

– Cook more (interesting and new dishes) then invite wonderful people to come over and eat them whilst drinking good red wine.

– Buy an SLR and learn to take magic photos. Then learn to edit them

– Learn design and actually make what I pin (personal PR – follow me on Pinterest here)

– Save money.

– Dont let bad habits rub off on me. Someone I know snaps at me when I make a comment or a suggestion. What do I then do? I snap back. I’m going to train myself how to smile and be the bigger person. I THINK THIS IS THE HARDEST OF THEM ALL

– Lastly, ask more questions, get more involved and be curious.

Resolutions
Resolutions

What’s on your to-do list for 2013?

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