Musings

Because life’s too short

Because life’s too short

Watch the sunsets, smell the flowers. Smile at the world.
Life’s too short not to. After a while you’ll find that life is better simply because you’re taking the time to appreciate it.
It worked for me and I’m grumpy as fuck.

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The Subtleties of Change

The Subtleties of Change

The funny thing about change is that most of us immediately think about all the big things – weddings, funerals, divorce, drama. What most of us don’t realise is that change is in everything. It’s so subtle that one day we look up and wonder when all this change snuck up on us. Those new wrinkles appeared overnight and so did the slightly jaded outlook that comes with aging. Okay, maybe that’s just me. I’ll admit to being a bit cynical. But not when it comes to change. More

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A small update (to the tattoo)

A small update (to the tattoo)

I got my first tattoo when I was 19. A friend drove me through to Jo’burg to one of the few reputable tattoo parlours that existed in Gauteng back then. It hurt much more than I expected but I was thrilled by the result. I showed it off whenever the occasion permitted. I had been planning that tattoo since I was 7. Reaching goals is a good thing, right?

Fast forward through large amounts of living to the present day (add a music montage if you like) and my little tattoo is looking more like something you would find on a sailor. Blurred lines hint at what used to be a pretty awesome tattoo (at least, I thought so). I told my mom that one has to repaint one’s house every once and while. And boy, my paint job needs maintenance, so tomorrow I am going for a touch-up. I found a tattoo artist that does beautiful work and after facebook stalking his page for more than a year I finally made an appointment.

Tonight is the last night of blurred lines in this house. Tomorrow will hopefully bring some awesome ink. *tries not to bounce too much*

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On the significance of birthdays.

On the significance of birthdays.

Ever since I can remember I have loved celebrating birthdays. The quiet sulking of apparent old age was not for me. Instead, I would start planning my birthday (which is this month) in May. It used to drive my mother round the bend. She forbade me to start planning anything sooner than July. I ignored her of course. You can never start planning your birthday celebrations too early.

But this year the birthday doldrums made an appearance. They snuck up on me when I wasn’t looking and leapt in front of me with their anti-birthday signboards. I’m turning 40 in three weeks and somehow I’ve managed to avoid all planning and thoughts of celebrations since May. You can imagine my mother’s surprise when I said there was no party. I blamed it on being overworked and tired, as one does. The truth it that for the first time I’m taking a look at what I’ve done with my time so far and I can’t help but feel that I should have crammed more into it. I’m not sure where exactly but the feeling remains. Perhaps the older one gets the more one is aware of how fleeting life is. Perhaps I’m just having a pity party.

I don’t feel much older than 20 most days. When I look down at my feet it seems like nothing has changed. However, when I look in the mirror a lifetime gazes back. It’s hard to ignore how vulnerable we are to the passage of time. I phoned my Aunt for her birthday on Saturday and she set me straight. Never mess with Aunts – they don’t put up with silliness. She informed me that after 40 you only have a birthday once every decade because you won’t notice how quickly life rushes by, so best throw out the pity party and invite some friends over. She has a point. Birthdays remind us that we are alive and kicking and if that isn’t worthwhile celebrating, I don’t know what is.

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The difference between having and getting

The difference between having and getting

I was handed a portable hard drive this week. You know the kind – filled with all kinds of illicit goodies. This particular drive was filled with books. All the cool sci-fi and fantasy books you could dream to get your hands on. On one drive. I have been handed these before and for some reason, once I have this unimagined literary loot in my grubby little paws, the excitement fades.

The thing is, part of the joy of books for me is in the discovery of them. Finding a new author through careful searching (this includes trawling second-hand bookstores), reading reviews or simply being handed a worn, well-loved copy of a book by a friend accompanied by the phrase “You’ll love this”. I know for a fact that I may never look at any of the books on that drive simply because I didn’t discover them. And there’s a part of me that believes that if you’ve enjoyed the story, you should recompense the author.

Yet, I hate the idea of DRM on my electronic books. Once I have discovered a book and paid for it, I want the option to share it, just like I do with my paperbacks. To me the joy of books is in the sharing of them. When sharing a book you are sharing more than a story, you are sharing ideas and memories. Books are viral and I believe authors benefit from this.

Some of my favourite authors became favourites because somebody lent me their favourite book. The Magician by Raymond E. Feist was given to me by a school pal. Frank Herbert’s Dune was a loan from an ex-boyfriend. Each book has it’s own memories tied to it. Both of these are still in my bookshelf along with everything else I could get hold of from each author. I now have them in electronic format too because it’s easier to have all your books with you at the same time when they’re on one device. *rubs hands gleefully*

Will I refuse the next hard drive that is handed to me? Probably not. Will I repeat the process of disappointment at not having found all those books myself? Definitely. This is the difference between having and getting. Getting is so much more fun.

 

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