Life Happens

I Do!

And I Did! On 28 July my bride and I walked down the aisle and consummated in Spirit, what had already been consummated in the flesh. We were married.  In hindsight, the journey from resolve (in April) to exchanging vows (in July), was short and painless.  Once I had made the choice, it became a fixture on my life path as certain as my next birthday.

Image

The real challenge for me was financial.  How to fund an elaborate, out of town weekend wedding, in such a short period of time.  I was determined not to go into debt.  But I was also determined to get married.  There was much pressure from friends and family to “just get married in Court”, but I wanted to give my Slinky a wedding she would never forget.  One I would never forget. And so the Universe conspired to make it so. Counter-intuitively, I began to give money away.  I began to sponsor a community Church from my childhood days, supported other people in their needs, and determined that mine would be as easily met. And they were. The clients came, the work rolled in, and I have had more work to deal with than I could handle (but I did). I have set new standards for myself in work throughput, but more importantly, in manifesting that which is good and desirable into my life. Into our lives. Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. Today that door is wide open.

Surprisingly, the Vows make a difference.  Being married feels different. There is a solemnity about making such deep promises to one other human being. I can imagine no greater sadness than to fail to live up to those vows.  Seeing her walk down that aisle towards me – radiant like the brightest star on a moonless night – I felt complete. Accomplished. Something magical was happening to me. I was being transfigured into something new. A part of me was dying, but I willingly shed that solitary, single self to become a Husband to my bride.

A new Adventure begins.

Image

Our superb photographer: Rinus Viljoen  https://www.facebook.com/rinustgf

Wedding Venue:  www.verlorenkloof.co.za

Love’s Labor’s Found

Never say never.  Or perhaps, DO say never. DO reject, cast out and abandon. it is amazing how taking a stand, even if it is the wrong stand, helps to focus the mind.  “I will never get married again” I said.  But what I was really saying was “I don’t ever want to be hurt like that again”.  After deep thought and deliberation about moving forward in my relationship, I had decided that marriage was not for me.  Little children were not for me.  And that was that.  But something interesting happened. “What was next?”  I wondered.  If I was not to marry, how could I ask … expect …. her to stay?  Beyond the defiance, there was a part of me that really wanted her to stay. But it was hidden. Buried underneath bravado, anger at my own past, resolve never to be vulnerable. And yet being vulnerable, I have discovered, is the only true path to love.  We cannot love unless we make ourselves vulnerable.  We cannot receive love, unless we tear down the walls that keep us safe.  There can only be true love when we are naked inside, exposed. To love and be loved, truly and without reserve, we cannot make ourselves safe.  No, our other makes us safe. The irony is that love lives in the same place as fear, but love overcomes fear.  Love is the opposite of fear. And in my defiance, my emphatic NO! , I had closed the door to love. to being loved.  In separating myself from what I had, I was able to find what I always wanted, right in front of me.

This love is very different. There is not that hovering fear of not being “good enough”. No uneasy suspicion that perhaps, just perhaps, there may be another, waiting to be met. Some other to sweep me away, or sweep my other way. No. Rather there is a resoluteness, a “matter of factness” that this is as it should be. It just is. I am.

And so, with new clarity about what it means to love, I have committed to a date. The 28th July 2012.

A venue: http://www.verlorenkloof.co.za.

And a bride, my Slinky.

Love’s Labour’s Lost

It has been about a year since I switched to a regime of medication to deal with my so called AADHD.  What a change to my life! Where last year was a bitter struggle to make ends meet, and to hold on to my sanity … and my relationships, it feels like now, someone threw a switch and life surges forward at pace. I’m  happy again. Work flows, opportunity hammers at my door each day, and I struggle to keep up with myself (in a good way).  My partner and I have a renewed desire for healthy living.

I am fortunate to be able to afford personal trainers, and this has made all the difference in our training regimen. We’re becoming fit and lean.  Runnung, cycling, gym – we’re really enjoying the active lifestyle, and each other.  And so, with every new life comes new challenges. That eternal question that all men – especially divorced men – have to face: Do I Get Married?

I’ve been with my partner for close to 6 years now. The first three years could have been lifted from a Soap Opera Novel – Sex, Drugs and House Music – the roller coaster ride of a love quadrangle.  But that’s for a different Blog.  We’ve lived together for the last three years and a bit, and have been engaged  for two. Its been really good for me, even though i didn’t think so at the time. There is a self destructive part to me that yearns for the passionate turbulence and intrigue that comes with being involved with someone that is wholly unsuited to my personality. That same part forgets, quite easily, the toll that such a relationship has on ones life, one’s relationships, one’s soul.  And so I find myself with a woman who is beautiful, calm, supportive and far too patient with me for my own good, and I’m bored. And now she wants to get married.

The idea terrifies me.  More so because she wants to have children.  There she stands, tapping her foot impatiently to the rythmn of her biological clock, waiting for me to get my act together. But sixteen years – 21 if you include the marriage – of emotional blunt trauma by my ex-wife, using my daughters as the instrument of revenge, preclude me from ever again going down that path. Never again will so much power over my life be given to one person, where children become the Trojan vehicle of my destruction.  And that in itself is my ex’s ultimate victory, that I shut myself off from ever getting that close to someone that I can give them my most precious gift, the trust that allows them to bear me children.

2011 in Perspective

Almost a year down the line and no blogging! I just cannot let go of pen and paper! My study is littered with A5 Moleskin notebooks. But then again, I struggle to keep my pen on the same piece of paper, let alone in the same notebook.  I write in several at the same time, although on different themes. One for dream interpretation. One for contemplation. A daily planning and recording journal  that helps me get things done.  A felt and leatherbound, handmade book for poetry. Even an A4, leatherbound journal with handmade paper, intended for recording the profound.  Needless to say my scattered writings have yet to manifest something profound enough to record in that  journal.

What a year it has been. From January onwards a longstanding relationship with a key client ended, and so did my income. this has been an incredibly tough year, financially, mentally and emotionally. Yet strangely and most satisfying, it has been a purifying and healing year. My dream life exploded with inciteful, prescient dreams that have guided me throughout the year. Some dreams providing insight into relationships, career, money matters. Others being of a prophetic nature, giving exact information as to what was to happen with whom and by when.  it is ironic how money, or the absence of it, drives one to look inward. Or upward.  How the extra time available through being underemployed leads to a “cleaning out” process. Letting go of the old.  Dealing with matters long postponed. Examining ones health and seeking solutions to long unattended problems.

Probably the single most important action I took this year, was to recognise that my ongoing depression was unnatural, and to seek help.  I am not one for chemical medications, particularly antidepressants, as a result of an unpleasant experience after my divorce in 1996. I chose St. Johns Wort as a natural antidepressant and within weeks noticed that my mood started to lift. Having plenty of time  to contemplate, I considered how I could deal with my ongoing depression that I had been carrying with me for years. I decided that the one thing I could do, that would make a difference, would be to find someone to talk to.  Not just anyone, a professional who would really understand me.  I sent up a silent prayer and contacted two therapists that I had dealt with in the past.  The first refused to see me (was I that bad?) and the other was on maternity leave.  She however, referred me to a man practicing from Mosaic Health Centre (www.mosaiek.com). Dr Johan Ferreira.  Over the next 3 months I visited him every two weeks in a series of encounters that have changed my life. We would sit in his rooms, ensconced in couch or reading chair, and just talk. At first, my intention was to deal with my dreadful track record in relationships. Not just with women, but men as well.  I struggled to maintain healthy, non-sexual relationships with my female friends (if it wasn’t about sex the friendship faded). I could also not maintain close male friendships, particularly not when that person became involved in a serious relationship. Something about me was too intense. But in this process, as we dug deeper into my behaviour and what motivated me, it became apparent that a core underlying issue, was Adult Attention Deficit Hypertensive Disorder.  At 44 I discovered I have ADHD. Of the 16 symptoms identified, I have 15.

A lot began to make sense, with that revelation.  Appropriate medication brought the world into sharp focus for me.  Where before everyone around me seemed to be so slow, finally I was able to slow down.  And smell the roses, so  to speak (or suffer fools gladly).  The single biggest effect was the absence of anxiety.  where before I was constantly haunted by a sense of dread, now I was able to focus on the task at hand. I could plan ahead.  I could prioritize and get things done. I was able to obey the First Rule of the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy: Dont Panic! No more mood swings. My two personalities (yes, we all have at least two) have become closer to each other than ever before, and finally, my Holy Grail of personal growth, that the man I am on the inside is the man I am on the outside, seems to be within reach.

A bizarre side effect of the anti-depressant was that it solved the “sex based” friendship problem. As a result of the medication my interest in sex fell from hero to zero in about two weeks. Now most men would not think that a good thing, but for me it was a blessing.  All of a sudden I was no longer sending the kind of signals that got me the kind of attention that could get me into trouble in the first place. Don’t get me wrong.  I was not philandering with every young thing that came along.  But I was definitely getting the attention.  I could not seem to establish and maintain a friendship with the opposite sex that did not, eventually take that turn.  Either way, no matter which way I turned, that friendship would fade.  But this social problem was solved by a pill!

It did however, cause me to look at my partner in a new light.  Where once sex was fulfilling and regular,  it now became a chore.  Not through any fault of hers, but rather because the underlying reason why I was with her, was based on sexual attraction. Not intellect, not conversation, not personalities that sparked each other off. Just sexual adventure. Not a healthy place to be for any relationship.  This revelation was motivation enough for me to seek out a new anti-depressant that does not affect the libido (yes it does exist!) and to reexamine if and how, I can find other aspects to her and us, that are worth staying together for. This process is ongoing. If you want to find out what living with your wife is going to be like at 60 or 80, try going on antidepressants for a few months.

And so, with my new-found lucidity and calmness, I was able to reconnect with my children. My youngest daughter (15) has been living with me for about two years now.  The older one has lived with her mother despite an extremely tumultuous home environment.  And just as I began to settle into my new (improved) personality (iamwill 2.0), my  18 year old daughter pitched up on my doorstep with all her belongings and moved in.  Now I have both my daughters living with me. A happy, calm and peaceful home.

My mid-life christmas is over.  But something else, much more precious has taken its place.  I finally get to be Dad.

Introduction to Digital Life

So this exercise – joining WordPress – is part of an effort to digitilize my life, the way I live my life – how I plan it, record it, share it – so that others can peer through their virtual windows and see whats on going on in this life.  Naturally it flows from my (very short) list of objectives for 2011 – to digitize, integrate and socialize my life more. Hopefully I can keep it up and it will become a habit, if I can wean myself for long enough off the romance of pen and paper!  Knowing myself I will probably keep writing in notebooks whilst exploring this medium. Nevertheless, the idea that I am writing what others might read satisfies a long held fantasy, namely to be a writer.

I am already a writer of sorts … I have been for most of my career.  Business Plans.  Strategic Plans. Reviews. Reports, and lately of course, dissertations.  But everything I have written up to now is about facts. Trends. Key Issues.  My (humble?) opinion of what the industry issues will be for the next five years Or ten.  But I never write about what really grabs me. Life. Love. Religion. Culture. God. I hope to now. And interact of course, with others who agree or disagree.  I hope disagree! There’s nothing like a good debate!