Tag Archives: happiness

The Relationship Masks Are Slipping, But What Can You Do If You Don’t Like What’s Underneath?

The early days of a relationship are always a show of sorts. We put on our best faces for dates and try to paint ourselves in the brightest light possible. If we really like someone, we may even change our views to please them or tell white lies about our true natures.

But, when the relationship gets underway, that mask has to slip. In many ways, this is a good thing. When you let down that guard, true love can come in. Sure, the promise of your ‘perfect man’ might have caught your attention in the first place. But, you may not know he’s ‘the one’ until you seem him at a weak moment.

That said, this slipping of masks is often a painful process, and can be fraught with unpleasant surprises. It may be that there’s a habit or quirk to your partner’s personality which you really don’t like. When you think about it, it makes sense that they would hide this. Who goes on a date and grandstands their worst personality traits? Over time, you may come to realize that your seemingly gentle boyfriend has a nasty temper. Or, perhaps that attentive man spends more time on his phone than you first thought. The issue which makes itself known may be even severe, like a gambling addiction, or something like depression.

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Picture Credit

Sadly, this period is where many relationships end. And, believe it or not, that’s rarely due to the realisation that Mr Perfect is only human. In fact, most of the time, our attempts to change our partners put the nail in the romance coffin. You know how it is; you look past his temper because you think you can cure him of it. You assume that, because he’s with you now, his depression should evaporate.

But, here’s a horrible truth; love isn’t an instant fix. While it is a crucial part of life, it can’t just clear the way of problems. What’s more, approaching a relationship with thoughts of changing a person is the worst thing you can do. It suggests that you love your idea of them, not who they are. And, we all know that love is about accepting someone for their true selves. In fact, the only real time change would be the best route open to you is if this bad personality trait puts your partner at risk. Otherwise, you should attempt to help your partner when you notice these issues. It isn’t easy, but it may be the only way to keep your relationship healthy. And, we’re going to look at a few of the ways you can achieve it.

Recognize their triggers

For the most part, traits like these come with triggers. It’s likely certain things set off that raging temper, for instance. Equally, there may be certain situations which drive a gambler to hit the casino. As their partner, it’s your responsibility to notice. Do this without comment or judgement. Observe and accept the situation. Then, do what you can to help them avoid situations like these where possible. If you see your raging man getting mad, grab his hands and do a quick dance around the room, or something equally fun. This will distract his attention, as well as reinforcing your relationship. You may also notice that he’s more liable to gamble when worried about money. If you’re at the stage where you’re living together, do what you can to keep finances in check, or discuss ways to make more money. Again, this will help with communication, as well as distraction. It may be best, though, not to outwardly tell him about the triggers you’ve noticed. Making him aware of your observations could turn to a trigger in itself. He’ll also then be able to tell when you’re distracting attention, and that could drive him further towards the places you don’t want him to go.

Point him down a better path

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Picture Credit

This step is tricky. Get it wrong, and you could slip into the territory of trying to change your partner. But, if you take your time here, you may find that you can point him down a better path. The trick here is not to speak in definites. Merely make suggestions which you think would improve a situation. Do this subtly, so that your man doesn’t feel you’re preaching to him. It could be that leave a program on television discussing ways to deal with anger. Or, you may want to look at sites like Casino Guru which could at least recommend reliable casinos if he is going to gamble. If mental illness is the issue, talk to him about his treatment options. Through discussions, he may find he settles on a new approach which could work well. And, you can achieve all this without ever directly attempting to change the way your lover behaves. Instead, he’ll come to associate you as a reassuring presence who helps him make his own decisions.

Focus on the future

Focusing on the future is always a good idea in a relationship. If things start to stagnate, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment. But, it becomes even more critical in cases like these. If, for instance, your partner is depressed, a focus on your plans as a couple could be a considerable incentive for recovery. If it’s a mutual decision, a determination to have kids in the future could be all it takes to encourage your partner to get help. Equally, this could encourage them to face up to addictions, be they gambling or anything else. The knowledge of future parenthood could even help with anger management problems. After all, no one wants to be that parent who shouts all the time. Bear in mind that it’s essential you let your partner lead conversations like these. If they aren’t ready to discuss this kind of thing, pressure could push them further into a negative place. But, if you’re both in the same headspace here, the future could be the best tonic.

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Engagement Day

For many, the 19th of May meant nothing but the marriage of Prince Harry to Megan dsc_5108.jpgMarkle. To myself, my partner and our families, it was the day of our Engagement Party. For us, it was a very important day, not just as a milestone in our relationship but also because we wanted to share this with our closest family and friends. We wanted them to be present and share with us the happiness and love such an event brings.

It was also the first time my partner, Daniel, met with my entire family – with all my uncles and aunties. I thought it is a very important step before our wedding day next year to get to know where I’ve come from.

Since we planned the party ourselves, the months which lead to our party were busy; we spent a considerable amount of time planning it out. Not just the food, but also the music list, the guest list. Coming up with the invitation, and the decor. Needless to say the decor was for me the most exciting and challenging part. Thinking about what we might need on the day, creating and customising props and buying decor. Although I did most of the research, we chose everything together. Daniel also worked on building a wooden box from scratch, in which we put the cards the guests brought us on the day.

The party itself was filled with smiles and happy relatives and friends. It was also a get-together, as some of the guests we did not see for a good number of years! I thought, it was great, that we managed to do this. Especially for the fact that it was the first time in 24 years that my mother’s siblings were all under the same roof! Having family living overseas, makes it difficult for all of us to meet for every occasion, especially those who live as far as South Africa!

The blessing of the rings, and the cutting of the cake, were the highlight of the evening for us, mainly because of what they symbolise. The joining of two, who have the same outlook and dreams in life. To love, and to cherish. Now onto the big day next year!

 

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Full-Blown Wedding Preparations

Last November, my partner and I decided on taking the next step in our relationship. Both being on the same page with regards to what we want in life, we started discussing on the biggest level of commitment two adults can show towards each other: marriage.

I would not get into the topic of a relationship vs marriage, as this is a topic for another blog post.

When we went to the wedding fair, which was coincidentally the next weekend after our “big talk”, we wwedding dayere so unprepared! We had no idea on a date, venue, or setup. We walked aimlessly in the fair, stocking up on leaflets until we saw the stall of what would be our venue of choice. We knew right there and then, this was it. We did not have to discuss it, we did not have to argue. It felt right, the one.  Upon deciding, we made a list of its availability in June and July 2019. It was then that we were told that couples have already started booking for 2020. That’s 3 years before the wedding. Wow!

The next day, early Saturday morning we made our way to our ideal chapel, which is in close vicinity to the venue. Luckily, the chapel was available on the same day of our preferred wedding day, the 19th of July 2019. Feeling like this was meant to be, we quickly made our chapel reservation and phoned the venue to confirm.

We did keep our wedding date a secret for a whole month, before we got our parents together to tell them the news! It was one of the hardest things we had to do… Keeping the most exciting and most important day of our lives to ourselves. But it was all worth it when we saw our parents cheering and hugging us. They kind of knew something was up, but they never thought this was the news we wanted to share.

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Don’t Assume A Girl Wants A White Wedding When You Can Have This Much Fun

Just Married

Any avid fans of this blog out there may well remember a blog I did about assumptions you should never make about a girl. There were things on there about how pink isn’t every girls favourite colour, how every girl doesn’t love wearing heels, how some girls love football and that the only genre of films we want to watch are chick flicks. It’s nonsense, as is the belief that all girls want to have a white wedding.

We don’t.

Sure, white weddings are beautiful and elegant and timeless, but that doesn’t mean the classic white wedding is every girl’s cup of tea. Nah ah. Not when there are so many ways to dot some personality around and add a splash of pizzazz and have some fun with the one day that will be remembered forever.

And with that in mind, we have pulled together a list of impossibly fun wedding ideas for all those girls that want to step away from the white wedding thing:

  1. Pre-Wedding Sports Day Party

A lot of the time, the big day will be the first time your guests have met one another and that means there will be a lot of shaking hands, air kisses and testing the waters before people get really loose. Well, why not get past all of this by having pre-wedding sports day party where your bridesmaids and groomsmen can get to know each other in the most fun environment possible.

meet up

  1. Request A Dance Floor Classic

Another great way to make your big day the best kind of riot is to have space on your wedding RSVP cards for song requests. But don’t just let them have free reign, specify that their choices have to be from the naughties. That way you will get some real dancefloor fillers. We’re talking Snow Patrol “Chasing Cars” and Rihanna “Disturbia” and “It’s my Life” by Bon Jovi.

  1. Break Invitation Convention

When it comes to wedding invites, most people think they have to choose a white card with silver writing and then a pretty flower illustration. But that’s nonsense. You can do what you want. You could pick blue wedding invitations if you fancy, or have a scratch card sort of thing where the date gets revealed, or you could invite everyone to a multi-storey car park and then chuck the invites down the stairwell like you would an American house party.

  1. Flower Girls From A Different Generation

Think of a flower girl and you probably imagine your cousin’s daughter’s wearing pretty frocks as they sprinkle petals down the aisle. But just imagine how amazing it would be to break convention and have your grandma’s play the role instead, skipping along with baskets on their arm. Amazing.

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  1. Hand Out Them Sparklers

Okay, so this modern trend is fast becoming a wedding mainstay, and for good reason. The sparkler exit is just the most epic way to leave your own bash; each of your friends waving sparklers in front of the night sky as you and your love leave for your new life together. Trust us, this will be the photo you cherish more than any other.

  1. Midnight Feasts, Yes Please

Everyone tends to get a little peckish late in the night (when those signature cocktails of yours start to kick in). Well, instead of having cheese and biscuits or whatever else, you should hire a food truck to come and save the day. Come on, how cool would it be to have a burger van show up as everyone starts to feel hunger rumble away in their bellies.

  1. Liquid Confidence

There are two things that will get most people on the dancefloor; great music and a glass of wine. That tends to do the trick. If, however, there are still people that aren’t quite feeling confident enough, you should give the classic chalkboard a makeover using some quotes like, “Trust me, you can dance” – Vodka. You’ll be amazed at how much it works.

  1. Colourful Bridesmaids

Traditionally speaking, bridesmaids all wear the same dress in the same colour. And it looks nice. But we would much prefer to be supported by an array of friends rocking different shades. Have them look stunning in the same dress, just let them rock different colours. It looks soooo good. It really-really does.

  1. Order Of Service

We love how personal people get with their order of service programs. They have a so and so is going to speak and such and such a hymn is going to play and then this poem will be read. But why not just keep it short and simple. “Music will play. We will get married. The party kicks off.” Done.

Favourite things

We all have our passions and our favourite things in life.

I think I have always made it clear with all those who know me, that nature and medieval / gothic buildings are close to my heart; my inspiration. It kind of ties in with why I enjoy traveling so much, and why it is one of the few things in life which relaxes me and make feel at ease.

Fact: at least two thirds of my photos on social media cover these topics,  so don’t act surprise on what you are about to read!

When I bought my 300 year old house,one of the things I fell in love with is the courtyard. Although not huge in size, it is very homey and it had one gorgeous tree which flowers so many times a year. It felt like it was my own private garden. I was so happy to have found such a serene and beautiful place.

In the past 3 years, I have kept the yard as green as I could, considering that I work full-time and my gardening knowledge is not the best around. I have maintained and kept alive all the plants which came with the house and added a few new ones too!

Too many times, I have had tea outside, admiring the calm and peace of my safe place. At times, even birds came by.  My little peace of heaven!

bougainvilleaBut this week, the unthinkable has happened. My beautiful bougainvillea tree was snapped from the bottom of its trunk due to the winter winds. And now, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I must say, it has been a shitty start to the new year. The courtyard feels so empty now, and what’s worse is that I have spent three days chopping down this gorgeous healthy, full grown tree. It’s painful that I have to do this; putting it into boxes for the bin-man to take away in the morning.

And for those who think I am being dramatic, imagine that your favourite thing in the world is broken and is irreplaceable. (you will not find the exact replica) How would you feel then?

Take the leap

I have probably wrote about this topic about a gazillion times, but hey ho… I am trying to understand myself better… and at the same time I am wondering if it is just me who’s like this, or whether it is something which is more common than I realise.

I am the kind of person, who puts others before her; be it their needs, their happiness… you name it. I try to always be there, to listen, to help, to support, to give others my two cents. To help them on their way to goodness, fulfillment… joy to the world they say!

And in return, I neglect myself. I put myself through shit.. through disappointment, through pain… just in the name of seeing others doing better. No, I don’t regret being there for friends, I love putting a smile on people’s  faces. But what about me?

Yes, what about me?

Okay, I don’t want to sound selfish… but this is definitely not right. I feel stressed, worn out… at times beyond repair.

My guess is, I am the problem.

I need to learn how to let go…. let go of people and things which are bad for me, who don’t deserve half the time and attention I give them. I need to stop people from abusing my generosity. I need to learn to be okay with just being me, and in my own company and shoes.

I should stop hiding behind other people’s problems and dive into fixing what is wrong with my life and myself. I have been here before, I take on more than I can keep up with, just so I don’t have to think about what needs to get done in my life; to stop focusing on what I am scared to face… to stop working on my dreams, just because I am scared to fail… yet again.

I know that, everything I want is on the other side of fear.

So, why can’t I take the leap?

I know what I want, so why do I do this to myself? Why do I punish myself so much?

More on this topic, here.

 

Christmassy?

7 years ago, back when I used to write a lot of poems, I wrote the below. It still makes a lot of sense to me… How do you feel about this time of the year?

Winter weather Nov 30thChristmas is near –
Some hold it dear
Others regret it
They can’t bare it.

Celebrations
are on their way,
Finances
go down the drain.

Everyone spending
Everyone drinking
either out of pleasure
or depression.

Christmas spirit
I can’t feel it,
Where did it go?
Not there anymore.

All it is to me
Is holidays and booze
I should let it be,
How about you?

2009.12.23

Car-Rant

Are you familiar with those days when you are extremely happy, like so happy, you could die? I have had a good number of those in a row. So much so that they freak me out. I believe that for every action there’s an opposite and equal reaction… Meaning, that for every day I am excessively happy, I have a pile of shit waiting for me around the corner.

Boy was I right.

It all started with a slow puncture. Then, my car key decided to stop working on the driver’s side (it still works on passenger’s door, so I have been able to make due until I figure out where I need to take my car to fix this). Yesterday I woke up feeling poorly, and my allergies so bad that I could barely see from one of my eyes, and it would not stop watering! It also was a rainy day; so much so that I do not recall hearing it stop at all during the day. This morning, since I am being ultra-paranoid about everything, I decided to go check on my car. Slow puncture again, and water inside my car. Lovely. As if that is not enough, I learned that the slow puncture is not due to the tyre’s fault but due to the car’s rim. So, 2 days – 3 mishaps.

If this was not my real-life story, I would laugh so much – I mean, this could turn out to be quite the comedy plot.

Dear God, I hope this is enough for now. I have to figure out how to sort all these things out, on top of being in work 9 hours a day. What makes it worse is that I have no clue on how to even begin! I guess, it would have made things easier if I had a man in my life…. Although the feminist in me wants me to chill and take it one step at a time… at least when it happens again (hopefully not), I’ll know what to do. >_>

PS. Why was I so eager to grow up?

What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

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The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

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Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

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When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

Style Your Fridge for a Healthy, Organized Space

When you travel a lot, having a beautiful home to return to is more important than ever. And if you love to maintain a healthy diet, your kitchen is one of the areas of your home that matters most. Not everyone gives a lot of thought to what their refrigerator looks like. They consider what’s in it but perhaps aren’t as concerned with style. However, there’s something satisfying about looking into a perfectly organized fridge. Paying attention to the contents of your fridge could help you eat more healthily, even when you’ve just got back from your travels. Sort out your refrigerator with these design tips.

fridge.PNGSourced from Kathleen Franklin

Choose the Right Fridge

If you want to style your fridge, choosing the right one is the first step. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you might not be satisfied with your current one. Perhaps it isn’t big enough, or you feel like it’s not modern enough. You might want to choose one with an ice maker, or even one with smart technology installed. Some newer fridges can remind you when you need to buy things or if something is about to go off. You should take a good look at the layout of the fridge to make sure there’s enough space.

Use Stylish Drinks Containers

Many people might have cartons or plastic bottles full of drinks in their fridge. However, if you want it to look more organized, you might consider other containers. You could keep your drinks fresher and, of course, make your own drinks too. For example, you can use sleek glass containers to hold your fresh juice. You could also add a WillowAndEverett Coffee Maker to your fridge so that you always have fresh coffee. It uses the cold brew method which allows you to make both iced and hot coffee. The coffee maker looks great in your fridge door, as well as on your table.

outside.PNGSourced from Eloise L

Separate Containers for Organization

We can have a tendency to simple put our food in our fridges without much thought. This can end up with a messy and disorganized space. It might also mean that you forget about some of your food and it goes to waste. Make your fridge smarter by using different containers for your food. Put your butter in a covered dish or your eggs in a smart tray. You can use a range of containers that look stylish and help to keep your food fresh. Make use of jars, paper and string, or cheesecloth bags.

Group Your Foods

Your fridge will be easier to navigate if you group foods together. Keep your vegetables in the crisper draw (and not beer) and group your dairy products together. You could also organize things by the date on them. This will help you keep track of when you need to use them. Everything will look neater and be easily accessible if you arrange things with some thought.

A stylish and organized fridge can help you eat more healthily. It will look good and be a welcome sight when you come home.