Yesterday I told My Lover I was going to title this post “Taking Stock.” Yesterday My Lover looked me dead in the eye and told me he hated the phrase. Today I’ve decided to show him I’m clever by switching things up and showing him how versatile the English language is.
I’ve spent the last couple of days reflecting on 2017, which I can confidently say was my best year yet. I ate (a lot, yay pregnancy), I prayed more consistently than I had in the past (there’s something about prepping for the birth of your child that leads you to prayer), and I loved fiercely.
I grew up more in 2017 than I had in the 30 years before that, the sum of all my stupid, stupid youth-fueled decisions mostly watered down by the adulthood that was thrust upon me once I accepted that I was really going to be a mom. I didn’t choose to adult, adulting chose me, and if I could summarise my feelings about 2017 in one word, it would be: thankful.
I know I whined about it, but I’m thankful for a relatively smooth pregnancy; thankful for my perfectly chunky, healthy, attention-hoarding Gong; for a husband whose support and wisdom helped me keep my sanity and retain the little vanity I had left in me after pregnancy and childbirth did a number on my body and mind. This is a man who didn’t hesitate to tell me how sexy I was, even when I squeezed my heavily pregnant body into a cute little black lace negligee in an attempt to look nice for him and ended up looking like an overstuffed mutura. Bless him.
I’m thankful for an employer and a boss who made it easy to work while dealing with the shittiest morning sickness and crazy emotions, and topped it off by allowing me to enjoy many, many weeks at home with my baby without interrupting my maternity leave with work-related conversations. And I was on full pay too, allowing me to hone my professional Instagram shopping skills.
I’m thankful for the community of women (and a few men) who cheered me on as I navigated the scary new world of motherhood; who shared their own experiences, tips, and encouraging words. Women who didn’t judge me or force unsolicited advice down my throat; who made me realize that the world is filled with kindness despite the despair and darkness that often threatens to drown us.
I’m still in awe of how genuinely nice people can be, and will forever remember how I one day DM’d @Kishantito after watching one of her IG stories. She was shopping on Amazon and had posted a picture of some beautiful, black and gold makeup brushes that I decided I had to have. She not only purchased a set for me, she delivered it to my house at night and left it with our watchie after I missed her calls while attending to the baby.
Then the other day, while wondering where to buy a swimsuit for Gong and posting my questions on IG (like I do any time I need something these days), a babe called Shiku DM’d me and offered to give me a brand new swimsuit she bought her daughter and never got to use. I’m a sucker for a quality freebie, so of course I agreed to take it. All I had to do was pick it. But my rider happened to be out of town and for some reason I didn’t want a delivery made to my house by a random boda boda guy so I told her I’d get it later. This doll actually offered to get it to me; she hand delivered it to me at home, and wouldn’t even come in for some tea or tambi or both. I wanted to cry!
I’ve had so many good things happen to me in 2017 that I want to carry that spirit of gratitude into 2018. To be consciously thankful for everything in my life, including all those pairs of shoes that still feet me despite my foot growing by half a size post-baby (Jesus is Lord!).
Now I want to complement that gratitude with something I’ve always lacked: discipline.
I need to be disciplined for a few reasons, top of them being:
- I’m overweight and I can no longer blame my baby. I’ve been eating and drinking anything and everything I want to, because I was told breastfeeding would help me lose weight. Breastfeeding for weight loss is a lie. OK maybe not a lie, but it turns out that breastfeeding only leads to weight loss if you don’t spend your entire day stuffing your face, watching Modern Family and chilling on your ass. Nobody told me, and now I’m convinced I’m beginning to look like the sheesha-smoking caterpillar in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Between my pooch, back fat, flabby arms and feeling like I’m doing squats with 20kg weights every time I have to sit down or get up, I don’t need a doctor to tell me that I need to lose weight for my health. Though a judgy-judgy doctor did tell me that when I went for my annual physical last weekend. Enter “new year, slimmer me” cliché.
- I’m. Always. Late. Whether I have three hours or 30 minutes to get ready and leave the house, chances are I’ll be late. Now you can imagine how late I get trying to leave the house with a baby to think of. I’ve never been good at keeping time; my watches are more accessories than anything else (I think I look cooler telling the time from my watch instead of my phone even if they tell the same time). But I’m committing to using them to keep time, not just tell it.
- I cannot keep living hand to mouth. I must learn that those budgets I spend time drawing up each month are not suggestions; they are guidelines. The six months I spent at home were the worst for my budgets, because I kept myself busy by shopping each opportunity I got, and I’d be broke by the 13th day of each month. I’ve become the modern Yellow Pages for anyone looking for stuff to purchase on IG, and I have to change my ways because poverty will not be my portion in 2018. Ergo I will embrace minimalism lite (baby steps please) and strangle the need to buy every pair of shoes or house accessory I like. “One in one out” is my new mantra, so I’ll be selling and giving away stuff every so often.
- I want to grow The Cultured Cow into something I can be really proud of. I feel like there’s so much I want to do with it, and only discipline will get me there. So I hope you’re all ready for more posts on everything from motherhood to random stories to my favourite recipes/places/books to interior décor collabs and everything that I’m about. I’m especially excited about pursuing more interior décor projects and working with more people to turn their homes and small offices into beautiful spaces, so if you want to work with me just drop me an email or DM or text or call me.
Let’s make 2018 everything we want it to be!