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A Cuppa Flo

Empty your mind in the best way possible – spill it like ink, on paper, online, or whatever.

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On my mind

Gym 101 for beginners

Every time I’m adjusting the speed on the treadmill or trying to continue to pedal when my legs feel like jelly on an exercise bike, I think to myself that being at the gym feels surreal.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.Instead, I like to improve on myself constantly in small ways as opposed to making big decisions for big changes which are usually so overwhelming, that you’d probably give up anyway.

In saying this, I made the decision to join the gym and I have to say…

I’m just a girl standing here looking sweaty, ridiculous and out of place, but I’m here to tell you…It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.

And I’d like to share my gym story so far, along with a few tips.

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Ask how to use any strange looking machines

The treadmill is pretty basic once you figure out the intensity levels, then it’s just a matter of pressing buttons.

There are machines that are a bit more complicated though and if you come across one, feel free to ask one of the trainers or someone close by. People are helpful, I swear.

You might think you’ll look silly by asking, but believe me, you’ll look sillier exercising backwards on a machine like me…

 Bring a towel- it’s a lifesaver

As much as we’d all like to just be slightly glossed over while working out for that ‘ I’ve been exercising look’, I’m sorry, but you’re going to sweat and if you’re doing it properly, you’re going to sweat a lot.

Dab up constantly not only so you can keep dry, but so that you won’t make the machines damp from your sweat for the next person. Be nice.

Wear what you’re comfortable in

Honestly, I did wrack my brain about what to wear the first day, but I realised that although there are people who like to dress up for the gym, most people are sporting an old T-shirt and gym tights. Wear a good pair of takkies/trainers though for extra comfort.

 Bring along some tunes

Music is important during a workout because it helps you to keep a constant pace and it distracts you enough during ‘not so enjoyable’ sessions. If you really want to get the best out of music during a workout, make your own playlist and jam to your own tunes. It will make it more enjoyable and you’ll be too distracted by your need to boogie, to cringe at the pain.

Drink up

While you’re sweating it our, your body is losing water. Bring along a bottle of water to quench your thirst and to keep you cool throughout your workout.

Take it easy…

While I’m huffing and puffing, I’m usually looking at someone in awe at how they’re effortlessly lifting weights or at how they are STILL running, while I’ve run out of steam. Slow and steady wins the race, guys. You’ll get there, but for now, get comfortable with a routine and slowly increase the intensity of your workout.

Well, there you have it, I’m not a professional in any way, so be sure to ask a personal trainer if you are unsure of anything and have fun! Gym should be all about becoming fit and healthy, with lots of fun in between. Here’s to sweating it out for great results, Adrenalin all the way.

My mind- the movie I cannot pause

My mind is like my room lately (well, mostly). My blanket is always in a bundle. My books are scattered everywhere and like my mind has to fight with my thoughts to let me fall asleep at night, I g…

Source: My mind- the movie I cannot pause

My mind- the movie I cannot pause

My mind is like my room lately (well, mostly). My blanket is always in a bundle. My books are scattered everywhere and like my mind has to fight with my thoughts to let me fall asleep at night, I go to war with all the junk barring me from climbing into my bed at night, so that I can finally have some peace.

 

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Source: https://josephdrumheller.files.wordpress.com

I’ve been feeling lately like I need a vacation. Like I need to drive and drive (if only I had my license already…) and just keep driving. What I only realise now is that I don’t have the urge to run away from anyone or anything in particular. What I want to run away from are my nagging thoughts, the swirls of images, worries and series of possible events in my head-good or bad. The what-ifs, the calendar embedded somewhere in my brain and the ticking clock, telling me that I’m running out of time to achieve anything.
I used to be able to switch off and have peace of mind. I would turn the pages of a novel and become completely lost in it for hours and my thoughts and worries would be at a stand-still. I would sit and write short stories and happily become lost in whatever I was writing at the time.

Now, I can barely get through the chapter of a book or write more than a paragraph without my mind wandering to the point where I give up on the book or whatever I was trying to write. I’ll be at a driving lesson or in a lecture and I swear it’s not boredom, but I’ll completely zone out and have a mind panic about something, even if the ‘something’ isn’t a reality.
When you love something or enjoy something, it shouldn’t be like that. I’m an introvert by nature and I used to love being alone with my thoughts but now, I’d rather be chatting with someone, working a long shift at work or making mindless conversation with someone, just to get away from myself. Now I’m making myself sound like I’m terrible to be around, but not to blow my own trumpet, but I am not terrible company.

 

In fact, I used to enjoy my own company and I would very much like to get back to that feeling again. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s feeling this way or will feel this way, so I wanted to share this and tips that I’ve found to conquer this in time and how to shift between your worries and ‘mind vacation time’. Let’s clear our minds together… Here’s what I’ve learnt, what has helped me and what I hope to learn.
1. Futurama drama
One of my biggest stressors and I’m sure many of your stressors is the FUTURE. That big scary word that could either make you the happiest human being alive or well, ruin you. I might be in a slump right now, but I am still a realist at heart. The future is not certain, but what is certain about it, is that it is inevitable. It will happen whether you jump up and down and scream or just let go.

 

Don’t get me wrong, though. Even though it is inevitable, what you do with your life will affect what is going to happen in your future. Know your goals. Know where you want to go and even though it might not turn out exactly as you want it to be, at least you’ll know that you worked hard and what was meant to happen- happened.

 

2. Maybe, maybe not?
One of the most annoying things that clogs the mind are thoughts that involve the scariest things to human beings- other human beings.
“Does he or she like/not like me?”
“Is she/he mad at me?”
“Will my lecture kill me if I ask a stupid question right now? Is my question stupid?”
“Will I sound desperate if I tell so-and-so that I miss them?”
“I wonder if she/he will say no this/that.”

 

The thoughts are endless. What I’ve learnt thought is that it’s not best to ask and share EVERYTHING, but in the long run just asking or saying what’s on your mind is a lot more easier because it saves you time, clears one thing off your thought chart list and before making a ‘to ask or not to ask decision’, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?”
3. Tick, tock.

 

I’m pretty sure I blinked last year and then it was 2016 all of a sudden and now, it’s March 2016. Could I please have a pause button? I’m sure many of you, like me, feel like you need a stopwatch at times because time is moving so fast! Did you ever wonder that maybe, just maybe it’s not that we’re running out of time, but maybe that we are all so busy procrastinating because we are afraid of what really needs to be done in time?

 

Lately, what has really been helping my anxiety levels is writing everything that I need to do in a notebook and then when I’ve completed a task; I get the satisfaction of being able to scratch something off my list. A list on a page is also less daunting and makes your tasks less than it does when it’s just swimming around your mind.

 

4. Be smart and switch off your Smartphone

 

Ever found yourself laying up at night waiting for a text message, scrolling through twitter for hours or mindlessly sharing posts on Facebook? Well, I have…Lately I’ve stopped putting my phone next to my pillow or on my bed and I actually put it far away, in a drawer or on a side table.

 

I put it on silent and I close my eyes and even though it still takes me ages to fall asleep, I fall asleep a lot faster without my phone inches away. Switching your phone off sometimes is also a good idea to give yourself break from everyone and everything because honestly, these days, everyone and everything is on your Smartphone. Sigh.

 

 

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Source: http://c.fastcompany.net/

 

 

5. Forget social-networks and socialise.

 

Last night I spent hours with a close friend of mine, just talking, laughing and sipping really good coffee and I think that it was the best detox and it was exactly what I needed. As human beings we crave the company of other human beings. Whether you’re an introvert who prefers to only have one or two close friends or an extrovert who loves having a big group of friends, at times we all just need to talk to someone and let it all out.

 

Whether you’re telling a story about what happened at work or venting about how frustrating men are ( I’m not hinting at anything), it’s healthy to just let go some times and share what’s on our mind with someone who you trust enough not to open your diary and who you’d allow to read your diary aloud too.

 

 

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Source: https://w-dog.net/

 

We don’t all have people like these and at times, we all feel lonely, despite being in a world that has many people who love us. In times like these, writing things down really helps or even talking to yourself or the All Mighty, whichever religion or faith that you may follow. Whatever you choose, you must find a way to empty those thoughts, before they consume you.

 

I mostly wrote this blog post because I needed to empty these thoughts from mind and also to give myself a 1000 word pep-talk. I hope that whoever feels this way too will take something from this . Here’s to finally having a vacation from our minds, or at the very least, a pause button.

When death comes knocking, you can’t lock the door.

living
Living- linkedIn.com

*The names in this blog post have been changed for sensitive reasons
I counted out my float as per usual, trying not to lose count of my ten cent coins (like I usually do), when my supervisor called me over. “So, I’m going to tell you something because you won’t be here for an announcement, but you can’t tell anyone else, OK?” I nodded my head, curious as to what she had to share with me.

“*Christopher passed away this past weekend. That’s why he hasn’t been at work the past two days. Apparently he fell, had a concussion or something…and well, he never woke up.”

I swear, it took me a while to respond and all I could say in response was, “Christopher? How? I saw him two days ago. We teased each other; he grabbed my glasses and wouldn’t give it back-It can’t be. He was my age…”

My supervisor’s face must have been a mirror image of what my heart looked like at that very moment and soon, my face was painted in tears. I will be honest, I wasn’t close to Christopher, I had trained him on the tills alongside my other colleges, we shared a joke now and then and he took to calling me Aquella (like the water), instead of my actual name whenever he passed the tills to go to reception and that was it. So why was I so sad? Well, it was because I hadn’t given death much thought before.

You see, I’ve never even been to a funeral or a Jannazah (The Muslim version of a funeral but I’ll go into detail about that again). People always find it strange when I mention this and no one close to me has ever passed on.

So, this was the first time that someone I saw everyday had passed away and it just blew my mind to think that I would never see him again, his family will never see him again, his friends will never see him again and that was a terrifying part of death that many of us take for granted.

My tears were of course symbolic of my sympathy for his loved ones and the future he thought he would have but from my tears also flowed the truth of my own fears…and the realisation of what mattered and what didn’t matter much.
1. Remembering the All Mighty was important in all aspects of my life ( whatever religion you may follow)
2. My ten-year plan didn’t really matter all that much.
3. Wondering whether I was going to die alone- really didn’t matter at all.
4. Customers being horrible to me didn’t matter.
5. Money didn’t matter.
6. Grudges were ridiculous.
7. Going to bed with unresolved issues with your loved ones- was not ok.
8. Being kind was very important.
9. Being genuine was very important.
10. Treating my parents with gratitude, love and kindness is a must.
11. Being a decent a person in general was very important.
12. Worldly things were just- worldly things.

 

I could go on and on with my list, but basically, I think that we would fear death less if we were living our lives as if it were our last moment. I’m not saying that we should all start bungee-jumping right now or spilling our guts by being overly honest.

 

All I mean is that we should try to live with as few regrets as we possibly can, so that time won’t be like a noose around our necks, or hope that we can make a change the next day or the next. No, time should be seen as a blessing to do more and be more and experience more, but it shouldn’t be what we cling to.

 

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Time- SJmagazine.net

 

Nothing really matters…I mean it does, but it also doesn’t in the end. It’s OK to have your 10-year plan. It’s OK to wish and hope and plan your life away. But, it’s important to remember that death exists and I’ve been trying hard not to make this post terribly depressingly, but- your last moment could be at any moment. So, while you’re making plans, remember that your BIG plan has already been written and that time could be your best friend or your enemy, depending on how you choose to use it.

 

I’ve been reading a Novel by Lena Dunham called Not That Kind Of Girl and in one of the chapters she depicts her childhood and specifically when she was eight-years-old and she was too afraid to fall asleep, for fear that she wouldn’t wake up. So, her parents would have to trick her into sleeping by promising that they they would wake her up before the sun rises every single day and she only stops being afraid once they let her sleep till sunrise.

 

I love this chapter because it makes you realise the link between life and death, not being afraid to live so you won’t be afraid to die as much. In reference to this, would you rather go to sleep at night wishing for another day, but knowing that although you’re afraid that you might not wake up that perhaps everything will be OK anyway?

 

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Not that kind of girl- Novels and Nailpolish.com

Or, would you rather toss and turn, try to fall asleep at night, your thoughts ridden with what ifs, buts and “There’s always tomorrow.” But is there a tomorrow? Let’s not take that chance.

“When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.”- Tecumseh

The ‘adulting games’

adulting failures

While I’m sure that my driving instructor was holding her breath as a bus drove towards us, I flicked up my indicators to turn right and the realisation of who and where I was came over me. Twenty-two years old, working two jobs, nearing my final year at University, finally learning how to drive and barely having my act together- yet, I was ‘adulting’ as best as I could.

I’ve read many witty and quirky articles at the back sections of various magazines depicting the woes of those in their early 20s embarking on adulthood awkwardly and/or with their eyes shut.

I may have sat snorting with laughter when reading such articles, but it isn’t funny beyond those glossy pages. There are so many things between the lines of those articles that no one can ever tell you about because everyone’s story is different and more so, after the gates of your teens are shut behind you and you get pushed out of the proverbial nest of your comfort zone.
Firstly, imagine having to pick the career you want to do for the REST of your life. Easy, right? You choose what you love, study, get a job and get paid for it. Then, you live happily ever after doing what you love. Oh, honey, it isn’t that easy, unfortunately. I spoke to a friend the other day and he just finished his degree in Information technology and guess what? He doesn’t want to work in that field so he starting all over. I know that that sounds like a nightmare, but it’s very common.

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I studied Psychology for two years before I started studying journalism and for a while, I was angry at myself for wasting my time, but looking back, I don’t regret my detour, because it aided in my growth.

Straight out of high school, I was only eighteen-years-old, so studying Psychology was great because I learnt so much about myself as it made me look deeper and to see things, people and most importantly, myself better. I honestly think that the only bad outcome was that sometimes, I still diagnose people in my head…but other than that I have no regrets.

So, you see, ending up in your ideal career and where you’re meant to be takes time, lots of time and what they don’t tell you is that you’ll need to come prepared with plan A-Z and endless patience on the road to discovering yourself. If you take a bit longer that others making your way across the map, don’t become negative, your journey is just different.

One thing that you’ll have to become accustomed to are many job interviews and being asked, “ Why do you want to work for us?” , many, many times. And, no, “because I need money…” is not an acceptable response.

funny adult

Speaking of money, you will learn to budget, by choice or by default. You will eventually learn that R300 means ‘monthly train ticket’ and not ‘partying or social money’. Some of us will learn later than others…A friend of mine firmly believes that banks are not to be trusted, so he puts any money that he makes in a cardboard box…Each to his or her own, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with a savings account, friends.

OK, so this may be a ‘first-world’ problem but many of us were so used to being chauffeured around in our teens that we’ve never thought beyond the warmth of our parent’s cars or the breezy air-conditioning. Going from that to jumping into a train (that’s been delayed for a hour of course), then into a taxi or bus is depressing, but at one point or the other, until you can afford to use your Uber app or a car…shame, you will have to jump into any means of public transport.

On the upside, if you don’t eat too much junk food, (which you probably won’t be able to afford anyway), you will at least be able to fight the early twenties weight gain, with all the running and walking. That’s about the only public transport upside I can think about besides the fact that it gives you a sense of independence and teaches you time-keeping ( thanks, Metro rail). Also, if you can afford to, going for your learner’s license and drivers license ASAP is a great idea, don’t wait as long as I did, if possible.

nopenotadulting

Now, let’s move on to relationships. When I say relationships, I don’t necessarily mean ‘boy-girl’, because even your friendships are complicated, very complicated from here on out. The best friends to have during this period and onward though are those who can understand that you have a life, they have a life, and that life goes on. We all need a little reassurance from our significant others, but really, no one has the time while they’re stumbling through life to remind someone that they care 24/7.

Actions speaks louder than words, someone doesn’t have to tell you how they feel all the time if they are constantly showing you that they do.

‘ I got one less problem without ya.’

OK on to men and women…let’s this put it this way ladies, if you’re sitting around wondering if he likes you- he doesn’t like you. If you are close in proximity and you’ve been pining over him for months and he hasn’t asked you out- he doesn’t like you. If you’ve read all his texts to your sister (No, I haven’t done this) to try and decipher whether he likes you- he doesn’t like you.

He’s just not that into you, but hey, statistically speaking, you probably met your future ‘person’ already’, so don’t be sad, what is key is patience in the heart tug-‘o-war.

To the guys, if she doesn’t respond to your texts, she doesn’t like you. If you get anything shorter than a paragraph in response- she doesn’t like you. If she says she doesn’t like you, I promise it’s not playing hard to get, she doesn’t like you. All that I’ve said may sound mean, but hey, no one told me these things and I wasted lots of time with ‘crushes of my life’ for no reason at all. ( this is just touching base, signs could be different)

Lastly, sleep. Sleep will become a magical world and space where you get to reboot and shut out the scary world for a while. Mind you, it will become even more magical than a night out with your friends slowly but surely and the introvert in you will pay a visit!

If you have a question, you will learn that Google and YouTube is your best friend. You can literally read lifestyle blog after lifestyle blog and yell, ‘ OK Google’ for just about anything. You will learn that Googling is the ‘how to’ manual of adult life. Google and strong coffee.

Overall, learning to ‘adult’ is a process which takes time.

coffeeadult

One day you’ll be watching reruns of SpongeBob Squarepants and tweeting about ending 2015 as a ‘Belieber’ and the next; you’ll be standing in line paying your monthly clothing account payment. It all takes a little time, no need to rush.

My twenties has been heaven and hell so far and as I sit on this pillow in the driver’s seat because I’m too short to reach the steering wheel, the realisation that I’m actually driving and learning in this scary journey called life, is more important than how many lessons it’s going to take me.

Good luck, to those embarking on this journey and to those who’ve still to come. And please, wish me luck too, I really need it.

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