Shameless plug

It’s night time and I’m sitting in the braai room doing a bit of work, but looking outside the big glass sliding doors from time to time. I can’t see stars because it’s cloudy and rainy – though every now and then I see a flashes of lightning. I hear the thunder and the rain coming down. I also hear the strong wind. And it’s so warm, yet it doesn’t feel humid to me. This weather is simply amazing – Gosh I am totally loving Cape Town’s current weather right now. As I’m sitting here experiencing the sights and sounds I have this funny fuzzy warm feeling in my tummy. And no…. it has nothing to do with the dinner I had earlier. Just a sense of being happy.

Ahhh but wait, there’s another Capetonian variable that might be adding to this mood. Listening to my new found crush – Craig Lucas at the moment. Gosh, he is such a cutie pie but more than that: What acoustic aptitude! Man, this boy is so very talented. I am in love.

So like, I don’t watch TV, therefore I missed that he was on the TV show called The Voice. But I heard him on the radio few weeks ago. Not only was I surprised to discover he is South African, he is Capetonian and from none other than Elsies River (one of my neighbouring suburbs!). Have a listen…

Another great local artist. I’m extremely and seriously impressed. I really hope he goes places…

For now though I’m quite happy that he is rounding off a delightfully charming rainy thundery blustery warm Thursday evening for me. #It’sAllAboutMe

 

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Here you go Margaret… You can have your tiara back 👸🏽

Guess what peeps… the latest update of WhatsApp was developed with me in mind!

https://www.google.co.za/amp/amp.ewn.co.za/2017/11/01/whatsapp-finally-allows-users-to-recall-messages-sent-by-mistake

Awesome super Rocking cool. I haven’t made a blups like that one which happened just short of a year ago again: What would Margaret do? 

If I do now though, I’m very comforted to know, that I have seven minutes to fix my bad 👌🏾🙌🏾🌺🦋🌈💃🏾💯🎉🥇 Hurray to WhatsApp

Pleasure, derision…. amusement? Bring it

Yeah me gots to laugh. If I don’t laugh then I’ll probably become depressed, and hay nah, that ain’t gonna happen.

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So I’m in Durban for a few days consulting with my supervisor. Landed at the airport armed with two bags of books, laptop, tablet, bare minimum clothes, wearing jeans and red chucks – no stilettos even though I’m here for work! 😱🤔😔 Hmmmmn …something about my mood and this trip.

Gosh, this PhD journey is a tough one but thankfully now and then, I’m blessed to be able to see the funny side. Like today, supervisor asked me why haven’t I finalised Chapter 1. This confused me. See I wrote Chapter 1, sent it to her over a year ago. She looked at it, made a few comments and basically told me it was crap. I made a few changes and I agreed, it actually was crap. Very crap. So I parked it temporarily.

The work wasn’t focused. In my defence, who on earth actually really knows that they doing when they start anything? (This is why I feel for my own masters students. Being a student myself makes me a little bit more compassionate when I work with them).

Anyway, I went on with rest of the work, have drafts of the next few chapters. I figured I would go back to Chapter 1 once I knew what I was doing

Today she says there was nothing significantly wrong with Chapter 1… I is “like what?” (There is though – biggish crater sized issues with my Chapter 1 – which I can fix but only now that I am more focussed and have a better understanding of the problem). But I was certainly not going to correct her. ….Smile and wave Private… Just smile and wave. 🐧 🐧 🐧 🐧 👋🏾 👋🏾

Fellow students out there, keep your faith. Don’t lose heart. Academia is an upside down place. There is a reason we started this in the first place. Sometimes, most of the time on the journey we forget why we even started – well I do. It’s a comfort though knowing that besides being challenging, ‘learning’ is an interesting space to be in. Some days enjoyable and stimulating, some days sad and downright bitterly lonely – especially if you doing research. But every now and then a day pops up which is just so incredibly funny. Cheers to those days!!!

.***I actually realised as I wrote that, it probably sounds odd to people not so familiar with research. Generally, as is the nature with research, you learning all the time. So when you start whatever you write will look like rubbish by the time you finish your final chapter. This because you know more after actually doing some research! But you need to start somewhere. Sounds oxymoronic I know. My truth though there is no person that I know, who did not go back to make changes to their Chapter 1 after they finished writing the final chapter. It’s just the way it is.

#ComingSoon

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Quality Rocks! Super stoked about a new idea I have. Been toying around with doing a vlog post (video blog) as opposed to a text post (web log or ordinary blog post) for a little while. The tricky thing was to identify something interesting but also relevant to my blog. So in a ***cough cough*** business meeting / teambuilding dinner I had with my Bespoke Business Services partners last night, they gracefully conceded to do the vlog with me.

For those who don’t know, I am a business partner in a quality consultancy called Bespoke Business Services. We started the venture 4 years ago, with the idea of consulting with organisations in terms of their quality management system – whether it be implementing a new quality management system (QMS) or improving on the existing QMS or presenting training in quality management. There is always room for improvement.

A quick background is my business partners and I met when we were classmates studying toward a degree in quality. During the years we were students, we became really good friends. Our ‘classmates clique’ is actually comprised of six of us. After graduation, of the six of us class friends, Hein, Shaun and I decided to start a company. I am really proud to have these two amazing business partners. Between the two of them, there is an absolute wealth of quality management experience. Shaun is a walking encyclopaedia of everything related to quality management, and in addition to Hein’s in-depth knowledge of auditing and quality management systems, he is by far the greatest trouble shooter in the world. They are the unchallenged Kings of Creative, Sustainable and Streamlined Quality Solutions. If you spend time around them, you clearly see and understand that effortless quality management is not really that difficult. In most cases, it just requires a change of perspective more than anything else.

Some people ask “Who needs quality anyway?” or state “Not required in my world!” or “It’s just extra and unnecessary work“. Interestingly, I believe at Bespoke, we do not even feel the need to counter such opinions whatsoever. Everyone who has those ideas of quality will either eventually come around when they get tired of making repeated mistakes that affect the bottom line of their organisation, so in other cases ignorance is bliss, – they’ll continue believing the above, and never see proper ROI for their effort.

For others who are able to recognise the value of quality in an organisation though, if you get to spend time with Hein and Shaun, a new insight opens. As serious or even boring as quality management might at first appear to be at first, it’s magical watching them work. Like sparks igniting a fire. A passion for quality that is contagious. And the best… you will end up seeing that doing things right first time round, designing your system properly first time pays off. Not only good for your wallet, but good for your reputation and renders a good sense of winning…. Who doesn’t like to be the winner? and winning is fun!

Yeah quality is flipping super awesome rocking cool. Yeah… Watch this space. I’m very excited that guys agreed to do the Quality vlog which will be coming soon, ….and knowing Hein and Shaunie, who knows what other adventures they might sneak into the vlog too!

Unapologetically me

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Uncomfortable spaces force us to evaluate our lives. Tough as it seems while you in it, the process of self evaluation presents a tremendous opportunity for growth and change. This is what I’ve been doing the past few months. The conclusion: Perfectly imperfect – this is me, I’m laying it bare.

I don’t feel like writing a long boring blog post. No one cares much anyway, my ramblings are more for me than anyone else. So I’ll try to summarize the thoughts (brain farts) that I believe are most salient.

I am conceited. A guy I recently dated made this comment about me. I was seriously tempted to dismiss it because I know that isn’t true from my perspective. Yet, I still wondered if there is any merit in what he said. People close to me have described me as humble, so how can I be conceited and humble at the same time? I exude confidence in certain settings – so maybe he confused my stubborn passionate confidence with that? Thinking about my confidence, it dawned upon me that it can come across as egotistical if someone does not know me well. And true story, knowing me well isn’t something 99% of the human population cares for…

If you know my history, my ‘I’m Wonder Woman’ attitude makes sense, but the truth is, my life experiences really is no one else’s problem or business but mine. On that premise, I have no right thinking I’m better that everyone else because of what I have endured or gone through. I probably could try to defend or justify my attitude, but you know what – enough already now. It’s something I’d rather change, certainly not for what that guy thought (who’s he?), but because this is my journey. And when I reach my destination at the end of my journey, I want to be the best possible version of myself. Because I can. Because I want to.

In recent months I have felt pain and discomfort, trying to understand myself, what I have done, what I thought I should be doing and what I want. The pain was good because it indicated the areas of my life where change was required. I have learnt to embrace pain and the emotions that come with it. The pain is valuable and the emotions are transient if you work with it – not against it. If you allow yourself to feel and accept it, acknowledge the reason for it being there and then act accordingly to address the source of the pain. My latest realization is, after this is done, any pain I hold onto is not worth any more time in my one single precious life. Each person’s one life and their journey is so valuable. So incredibly valuable. I took the decision that pain will steal no more of my life than necessary.

Once you followed the pain and discomfort to the end of its usefulness, it actually feels ok to let it go. Letting go is not easy though. And what I found, which sounds counterintuitive but works to get rid of the last remnants of pain is, instead of focusing on letting go, you focus on letting in. Then, what you let in forces what you want out, out. I’ve focused on letting love and the things that make me happy into my life. It may be different for other people, but for me that works. Pain, guilt, shame, embarrassment Out. Love and happiness, even joy In. Love lives here.

Finally I’m listening to the little voice in my head that says Bronwyn you are the only one accountable for your life. And responsible for your life. The world owes me nothing…. and it is in fact I who owe myself certain things. I owe myself love, respect, care and forgiveness. I owe myself the effort it takes to get up, to show up, to go on and experience life to it’s fullest. Only I owe myself happiness.

So now I am unapologetically me. Be what I want, what I’m good at and what I think makes a difference and serves a purpose to the people around me. The beautiful lively contradiction, the chaotic mess of organized disarray that is Bronwyn.

Shall we?

10 December 2017…

Majozi at Kirstenbosch Gardens Sunset Concert? Yeah Let’s….

🎉🎼… Hey now…. who cares what they say now, keep dreaming;

When you stuck in the middle and your life is just a riddle, well darlin’ just keep breathing;

oh oooh oh ooh oh oh, oh oooh oh ooh oh oh 🎶🎵🎶  🇿🇦 

Can’t wait – It’s so Gonna Rock!!!

Dear CPUT student

Specifically, dear aimless, thoughtless, uncaring and unruly protesting CPUT student… What the hell are you thinking!? You and I are connected in the sense that we both belong, not only to humanity – but the higher education institution known as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

It is an undisputed fact that our university is the underdog, both in resources and in reputation when compared to the others in our geographical area, the Western Cape in South Africa. The only thing we can boast about is we are the biggest. We are the biggest though, an result of amalgamation of two technikons and a handful of colleges – which in itself means we aren’t sure of our own identity. But this path, this “identity” you are leading us to adopt is just downright wrong. What you are telling the world to believe about us is wrong. You are wrong – not by university level thinking standards – just plain old common sense. We are not what you are reflecting, and it has no place at university – any university. You do not belong with us.

This above dear CPUT student, is plain criminal. That bullshit idea that you convey, that these actions you’ve taken (aka causing this kind of damage) is a way to get your opinion articulated, is screwed up. Period.

You and I know, this is merely one incident, insignificant compared to burning buildings and cars – something you’ve also done, which is arguably far worse. These cars dear student, do not belong to the university though. These cars are the personal property of people trying to etch a decent living for themselves and their children, just like you and your parents.

I admit, I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry and have to study for a test. I don’t know what it’s like to grow up in a rural environment and then at tertiary level have to adjust to living in the city. I do actually know what it’s like to be taught in a language that is not my first language. I do actually also know, what it’s like to move to another city, from Cape Town to Pretoria in 1995, I would argue two completely different cultures. To feel isolated and alienated, homesick for the first 6 months in a place where I just did not fit in.

Also I know what it’s like to sit in a class and have the lecturer refer to “you people” (me being one of “you people“), a marginalized group of students who were expected to fail. In 1995, I was expected to fail simply because of the colour of my skin. (This incident among others…. one being walking home from class one night when three policemen in a marked police vehicle verbally sexually harassed me – a lone coloured girl, simply because who is going to come to the aid and defend a lone coloured girl in the middle of Pretoria city in 1995… come now. It’s just the way it was). I didn’t even tell my family about it – what was the point? Shit happens.

Besides that, I also know what’s it’s like to have to get a loan to study, knowing that when I get my eventually earn that degree, I’ll spend years paying that debt off. My point is adversity is no stranger to me. I admit, maybe you think that still, I was buffered – because true story I have a supportive family, but dear student…. with this little insight that I do possess, I boldly am telling you is that you have no right. You have absolutely no right whatsoever to threaten me and try to intimidate me or any other staff and students at CPUT, because of your inadequacy. Yes… I said it, your inadequacy, not ours.

We all have a choice, and we all have the right to stand up for ourselves. You dear student have crossed the line though – because you are selfish. You have taken only your needs and your situation into account and assume it gives you the right to bully the staff and other students. It does not!

You feed off fear and tension. I will no longer empower you with that.

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning vibes…

Basking in my own space. Life is beautiful. A dedication to all the other independent beautiful women who touch my life.

But now it’s time to rock ‘n roll. Taking my boy and nine of his (not so little anymore) friends to go paintballing. Time to pack the burger patties and what not because I’m going to be braaiing those for them while they do their paintballing thing.

Burger buns? Check. Burger patties? Check. Condiments? Check. Cooldrinks? Check. Sunscreen? Check. Braaiwood and blitz? Check. Ice and ice cream? Check. Supermom mode engaged…

Happy Sunday y’all💐🌈🦄🦋❤️

Lost love rediscovered: Guess who’s back?

I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to report that I have rediscovered my long lost love. Well this love never ever went away… to be quite honest, it was I that got tired of it and was dismissive of it. Thought there were better things to do than read, since after all, since 2009 tons of reading was mandatory and no longer for pleasure.

Basically reading became associated to work, and not pleasure in my mind. Thus without realising it, I lost one of the greatest loves of my life. I would always feel guilty reading something for enjoyment knowing there were other things on my to-do list to read. Until now…

I don’t know how it happened – I suspect it has to do with this period of rather deep introspection I’ve been navigating. Asking myself, what it is that I’m consciously and subconsciously doing, and what it is that I really and truly want. So like I still don’t have final answers, but I do know what I definitely do not want, one being to continue the completely unbalanced approach to life that I’ve maintained in recent years. There was a time and purpose but no longer. You know that “Go Great or Go Home” mantra that I’ve preached for so long, That has got to Go.

There’s a new concept, funny enough the Swedes are the masters of it, called Lagom – or moderation. I am tired of not training at all for two to three weeks then deciding to run a half marathon. Or working quadruple time to meet some crazy deadline, because I scared to disappoint someone including myself. Or just darting around like a headless chicken or stretching myself to keep up with my own unrealistic, sometimes even crazy goals. Look, I won’t deny that I am really happy, even rather proud of many unbelievable things I managed to pull off but that seriously needs to become the exception, not the norm. True story. I have nothing left to prove to anyone.

My introspective quiet time forced my to face and not resist my fears, all of them. Some of this was very painful, but worthwhile. Lagom. See, one can only do that much thinking, and since I don’t enjoy watching TV, I picked up a book and compelled myself not to feel guilty about it. And I enjoyed it, so I read another, and another and another for pure enjoyment, on topics completely unrelated to work. I’m still on not reading any fiction titles…maybe I will eventually or maybe I won’t. I’ve started running only 5km only two or three times a week. Stopped drinking so much red wine. I sleep more and I put my work away after hours, sometimes… OK more than before (big smile – old habits die hard). Lagom.