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17 Things I learnt in 2017

As 2017 comes to an end, I can reflect on this year and just how quick it flew passed me. Still, quick or not, there is always something I can take with me into the next year. Some things that I learnt.

“Smart people learn from everything and everyone. Average people from their experiences. Stupid people already have all the answers.”

Here are 17 things that I learnt in 2017.

  1. If you ask someone how they are doing, do it with the sole intention of genuinely wanting to know how they are.
  2. You don’t know everything.
  3. Be kind to animals and people older than you. Always!
  4. Nobody knows anybody completely and that’s okay.
  5. Be gentle, but be aggressive. Take a stand for what you believe in.
  6. Accept Help…
  7. When in doubt, wear black. Black will always make you feel better about yourself.
  8. Always give tips. Whether it is a couple of extra Bucks to the waiter or a piece of mind to a friend. You never know how much you could be helping someone.
  9.  A good skincare routine is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
  10. Nothing worth having comes easy and life doesn’t give handouts.
  11.  Everyone has days where they don’t want to get out of bed. And it’s good to listen to your body on those days.
  12. Your body is merely a shell. Look after it. Decorate it. Keep it healthy. It is up to you.
  13. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t allow yourself to hate anyone. Forgive them. Wish them well. Hating someone only harms your own heart and soul.
  14. I have amazing friends!I always thought I was terrible at making friends. I convince myself that everyone won’t like me before they’ve even met me. What you do need though is good people and I learnt how fortunate I am to have the girls I have in my life already. The girls who knew me when I was even more embarrassing than I am now. The girls who have been there despite me not having a great social life due to my health but still messaged me every weekend just to check in.

    I realised that my heart is full and my circle is amazing.

  15. Don’t allow the opinions of others to choose your destiny.
  16. Sorry… It’s hard to say it but it’s even harder to accept it and move the hell on.
  17. Live for yourself. Breathe for yourself. Do everything in your life for nobody but you. This is your life. This is it

 

 

Writing this was incredibly therapeutic.

Thank you to everyone who religiously read my posts and who supported me on this journey. I hope 2018 brings you joy and happiness to your heart’s content.  Happy New Year! xxx

Goddess Revolution #4 Christmas Traditions

Christmas Time! My favourite time of the year. To be honest, I’m really big on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. But this time of the year just feels special. Getting together with friends and family, seeing kids get excited, all the food, listening to Christmas carols and of course, all the gift giving and receiving. Our house gets decorated and the tree goes up on the 1st of December, just so that we have a whole month of holiday festivities. And who can forget all the traditions? The ones we grew up with and the ones we created with our own partners and families. So on this lovely day in December we are sharing our favourite Christmas traditions.

 

Christmas Traditions

 

Relene Croukamp

I love the whole holiday season. And we have a few traditions that I wouldn’t change for anything. On every Christmas Eve night, after spending the day with family, my husband and I make a Christmas bed in the living room and sleep with the Christmas lights on. On Christmas day we open gifts and spend the day with family again. We also started a new tradition this year. We will be buying one ornament each, to add to our tree. Something that represents us, how we feel that day. Be it fancy, funny or just plain silly. This one I love, because for the last 10 years our tree had a theme, and in years to come, our tree will be full of memories and funny ornaments, each with a story to go with it.

Lizle Van Der Westhuizen

Christmas Holiday in the Van Der Westhuizen house means relax time and appreciate each other’s company. Every second year we would pack up to go down to the coast. This year will be very different.  We will spend our holiday at home and I actually prefer it that way. This will give me time to bake some cookies and treats. Spend some time with my 13-year-old daughter and also do gardening. I usually go on leave from the 13th, so that week I will clear out my cupboards and clothing. Spring clean as we all know it…

I enjoy having my family over for a lunch on Christmas Eve and after eating we will open our gifts. I just enjoy relaxing on Christmas day. Eating everything I shouldn’t eat. Decorating the tree, putting up all the lights and placing the gifts under the tree are something we all get excited about. Our dog and cat also get a gift in the Christmas Stocking, so everyone is looked after.

I just love the Christmas holidays, it is so special to spend this time with your loved ones.

 

Tiffany Prinsloo

I know it’s not really what Christmas is about but, o my word presents, food, Christmas carols and fairy lights… I LOVE IT!

On Christmas eve my dad puts on his Santa hat and hands out everyone’s gifts, we usually try to stay up as late as possible before we get our gifts, but with age, it gets more difficult. We still manage to make it to 10pm at least…haha!

On Christmas day the whole family gathers back at my parents’ house to stuff our faces with all the delicious food my mom made, afterwards vowing we won’t be eating for the next month we’re so full, only to find ourselves back the next morning for a massive brunch!

 

Simoney Vosloo

I love Christmas, it is my favourite holiday!

It is a time for family and friends to meet up, and when no excuse is acceptable. We all have a get-together, usually on my dad’s farm having a festive feast and exchanging small gifts between one another. After all the food and gifts, my favourite tradition happens, giving gratitude! We each take a turn to say to the person that is on your left what you grateful for about them. Most of the time we all end up in tears, but they are happy grateful tears. When life happens, we tend to forget to give thanks to each other, and what better way than to do it on Christmas?

 

 

Marie’ Venter

Christmas Traditions! On the 1st of December we always put up the Christmas Tree and lights around the house. To get into that Festive Mood you know! Since I moved out – that has become my own tradition as well! Every year my mom decides who gets to decorate the Christmas Tree, Christmas Eve table and then Christmas Day table. With three daughters – that love doing this she had to come up with some kind of plan! WHAT A FEAST we have!!!

Our special day is Christmas Eve, we were never big on giving “big” presents – it’s more about the thought that counts! We “try” and wait for 12 o’clock on the Christmas Eve to open up the presents, but this does not really always work……you know not everyone is that young in my family anymore hehe!! Everyone comes and sit around the Christmas Tree and my Dad will take out the Bible. He always reads out of the book Lukas 2 – This is the part of Jesus Christ birth and he will talk to us about the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it. This is a tradition that we always have done and will keep on doing it – something very special to us. After that – PRESENTS!! Whoever has the Christmas hat on is Santa Claus for the evening – that would usually be me and I get to hand out the presents and take photos!

Christmas Day for us is just as special! We have a great feast after church and veg out for the rest of the day with the family! The Christmas time has always been one of my favourites, not just because I am a December Baby 🙂 but because of the meaning of it and the time that I can spend with my family!!

 

 

Madelein Ackermann

Christmas Eve we go to the Christmas Eve Church Service and at midnight we open our presents. My favourite part of the day is visiting family, eating way too much and having trifle pudding. A day with the family – even though it’s a lot smaller the last few years – has always been my favourite part of Christmas.

 

 

Mieke Botha

Since my family wasn’t much of a huge Christmas family, we never really had a memorable tradition during December. One thing I do remember was that we were allowed to relax to the max. Nobody felt guilty for doing absolutely nothing all day, and we were allowed to have a restoring holiday. My mother would sunbathe and swim all day, and my dad would read and swim all day with snacks. Then we usually made a great roast on Christmas evening and opened our presents. It was almost a “see how lazy you can get” tradition which included great food the whole time. Definitely my type of Christmas.

Jacqueline Bosch

To me, this is the best time of the year. As a kid, I enjoyed decorating the tree, and my sister and I would always fight to put the star on top of the tree. We made a list to our mom and dad for what we wanted for Christmas after we went through the newspaper advert of all the toys.

But now that I’m a mother, I think Christmas is so much more fun than when I was a kid because I get to see my sons’ reactions to Christmas. Getting excited to decorate the tree and writing letters to Santa.

Something sweet that happened last week was that my one of my son’s had Santa come to their pre-school and giving out gifts. His class was scheduled to receive gifts on the Friday. But from Monday to Thursday Santa was going to all the other classes which stressed out my son. On the Thursday my son came home and told us that he hasn’t received a gift yet. He went into the kitchen and got some cookies and milk to put out for Santa. After a while, the cookies and milk were finished. And when I asked my son what happened, he told me that Santa is taking his time and that the milk will become sour so he had to finish it. That night he asked us to pray and ask Jesus to please remind Santa not to forget him. The next day he got his gift from Santa, and when he got home he told us that the prayer worked as Jesus told Santa to bring his gift and he did! I just think this is priceless!

Christmas is about faith and Jesus, and sometimes we forget what we should be thankful for.

 

I loved reading this. It warmed my heart. As we all know that people spend Christmas with family and friends. But just what special traditions everyone has is not something that gets talked about often. It’s kind of special to have these traditions shared for everyone to read. What is your favourite Christmas Tradition? Share it with us in the comments below…

I hope that everyone has the best Festive Season and remembers to cherish those with whom we get to spend it with.

Merry Christmas!

Herxing… Say What?!

So a lot of you may be wondering what that weird word means. I remember the first time I heard of it was when I read an article about the treatment I was receiving. I was never a person to google any medication or the side effects of said treatment and medication. I don’t feel the need to, as I take it as it is. I need the treatment, so why scare myself into something that may or may not happen while I am on treatment.  But when I came across the article about Herxing, I finally knew what my body was going through.

So let me explain.

People who know me know that I always get sick when on treatment. And some of them are under the belief that it is just the side effects of said treatment. But in reality, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Herxing is also known as Herxheimer Reaction. Herxing occurs when injured or dead bacteria release their endotoxins into the blood and tissue faster than the body can handle. This creates an exaggerated response from the body and this treatment can be nearly just as harsh as the illness itself. This can start almost immediately after the medication is taken.

 

All you need to know about Herxing

Essentially, the body is trying to get rid of the released toxins much faster than it is able to. The bacteria also live inside the white blood cells and killing these bacteria through treatment also results in the death of the host cells. In turn, the immune system releases a response to everything that’s going on inside the body. This is especially rough on my liver, which is a storehouse of drug and poison residues.
The more severe the infection/illness the more severe herx symptoms are likely to be. But this is not such a bad thing. A lot of people may think that feeling extremely bad is a sign of the antibiotics’ side effects and then stop taking the treatment. When in fact, it is a good sign in regards to the amount of bacteria it kills off. Yes, you suffer a great amount for 7 days, sometimes a week after that too. But pushing through is just something I keep my focus on.
Some of the symptoms that I have personally experienced:
  • Migraines
  • Muscle and Joint pain: this is a hectic one to endure because I normally have muscle pain on a daily basis but it gets a million times worse during treatment and the week thereafter. 
  • Weakness: Like I need more of this, haha!
  • Dizziness: To the point of feeling like your about to pass out.
  • Short-Term Memory Loss: I started noticing this when I wanted to tell my husband something and he replies with “you already told me this”. It was so scary to notice that there have been days that I only remember waking up and going to bed. Nothing in-between… I haven’t told a lot of people about this one. 
  • Night Sweats: Waking up and feeling like I got out of the shower. But I’m freezing cold… 
  • Chills/Feeling cold all the time: I have my electric warm blanket on my bed through the whole year, and switch it on when I need it. 
  • Metallic taste in mouth: I have no way of even explaining this one.
  • Vomiting
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Fever
  • Heart Palpitations: I hate this one. I get scared when this happens. 
  • Uncoordinated Movement
  • Pain in Neck and Shoulder Blade Area: This is also very painful. Think along the lines of being 6, growing up with a sibling and having that fight where you hit each other with a fist and they knock the wind out of you… hahaha! Can’t think of a better way to describe it.
  • Emotional: My emotions go crazy. If I’m angry I’ll probably overreact and snap. Commercials make me cry. You get the idea.
  • Extreme Tiredness
  • Sinus

How to detox from a herx

 

Usually, I try to take a really warm bath and I add some Epsom Salts too. I drink water with a few slices of lemon. Resting as much as I can, which consist of staying in bed. I have also heard that drinking Indian Tonic Water helps a lot. My Specialist advised to always eat a big meal before taking those strong antibiotics, even if I feel nauseous. One of the things I do when I feel that it becomes unbearable is to take a pain tablet with half a sleeping tablet and also having my electric blanket on, then taking a long nap. And on some days, after a few minutes of begging, my husband will massage my sore muscles. Some people have recommended that relaxing inside a steam room will also help flush out the toxins from your system. Mostly there isn’t anything you can do to avoid it, but doing these small things can make a difference.

I wish there was a better way to explain this. But there really isn’t. And at the end of the day, hopefully, this helped at least one person understand the whole I’m on treatment and feeling horrible saying.

As a human being fighting this battle almost every day of my life, I ask you to join me in making a kind gesture to someone every day, because everyone you meet is fighting some battle you know nothing about. Educate yourself and remember your kindness goes a long way. Together we can make a difference.

If you are new to my blog, you can read my full story HERE.