A Year in Review – Forty @NocturnalWenchy Questions

I haven’t done one of these in a few years now…

  • What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
    Had a Christmas without my son…?
  • Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    I never make them. I know I won’t keep them.
  • Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Nope. First time in many years!
  • Did anyone close to you die?
    Yes… ?  My Granny darling in January, and my Daddy darling in August.

  • What countries did you visit?
    I didn’t cross any borders.
  • What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
    Money! And yes, I know what that sounds like!
  • What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?
    January 3rd and August 7th ?

  • What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Puppy Patrick graduating as a Guide Dog, and having a few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page!

  • What was your biggest failure?
    My own laziness.
  • Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I spent a week in hospital with asthma complications, and I had sinus surgery.
  • What was the best thing you bought?
    I got several new cake decorating tools!
  • Whose behaviour merited celebration?
    Our knucklehead! ? He’s a PADI Dive Instructor now working at a resort! We are unbelievably proud of him! 

  • Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
    I invoke my right not to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me. ?
  • Where did most of your money go?
    The vet… ?
  • What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    A few of my cakes make it to the CakesDecor.com home page! ???
  • What song/ album will always remind you of 2016?
    I can’t think of one…
  • Compared to this time last year, are you:
    • Happier or sadder? Sadder
    • Thinner or fatter? Fatter
    • Richer or poorer? Poorer
  • What do you wish you’d done more of?
    Visited my parents.
  • What do you wish you’d done less of?
    Bingeing on junk food.
  • How did you spend Christmas?
    My Glugster and I spent it at home with the animals, after I had a bit of a meltdown and bailed on my family.
  • Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
    My family, via WhatsApp group.
  • Did you fall in love in 2016?
    I fall in love with my darling Glugster every day! ?
  • How many one night stands in this last year?
    Are they still one night stands if I’m happily married to the guy? ?
  • What was your favourite TV program?
    There are a few that I watch – Game of Thrones is up there. And Orange is the New Black.
  • Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    I can’t think that I hate anyone, as such… I do have a very strong loathing for a couple of people, and that list doesn’t change.
  • What was the best book(s) you read?
    I didn’t do a lot of reading… I miss it.
  • What was your greatest musical discovery?
    Deezer!
  • What did you want and get?
    A new ring! My darling Glugster got me a gorgeous ring with three bands and Swarovski crystals to wear on my ring finger! ?

  • What did you want and not get?
    A car… Renting a car certainly makes maintenance easier, but we can’t have the car we would like.
  • What were your favourite films of this year?
    I saw Fantastic Beasts with my Glugster on the big screen and that was awesome, and I saw Finding Dory with my mommy darling and my sisters and that was great fun!
  • What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I stopped counting at 40, but I got to sleep in, a clean kitchen, breakfast in bed, and a chilled day at home with my Glugster and my furchildren.
  • What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    Not having to pinch pennies… I grew up being frugal, I have no problem with that. What I hate is panicking when the petrol light comes on.
  • How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? *snort* I have no such thing. I wear whatever fits me.
  • What kept you sane?
    My husband. My precious Glugster.
  • Which celebrity/ public figure did you fancy the most?
    I don’t really “follow” celebs or read gossip magazines so by the time I find anything out its old news.
  • What political issue stirred you the most?
    I am frequently rendered speechless by the antics of the South African government, but I still can’t believe that Trump is the president of the USA!
  • Who did you miss?
    Nathan… My Granny darling… My daddy darling… And my knucklehead, who works far from us now.
  • Who was the best new person you met?
    Hhmmm… We spent the year fairly closeted at home, but I met a few new Guide Dog puppy raisers and they are such incredible people!
  • Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
    Everything matters. Everything.
  • Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. 
    All I Want For Christmas Is New Year’s Day.

Clearly I’m Getting Old.

I must be, because I’m reminiscing about “The good ol’ days…” and muttering into my coffee about “Thats not how we did it back then…”

I’m talking about blogging. And heaven knows my blog has gotten quiet since my son grew into an adult and said I couldn’t write about parenting him anymore.
I still write about my animals, and my cake art, but those are on seperate blogs to this one.

Seeing Facebook group posts like “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get 10K readers?” or “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I make money?” and one of my favourites “Hi! I’m new to blogging! How do I get free stuff?” makes me want to ask them if they can even write worth a damn.  🙁

Ugh. I miss what blogging used to be.

Make no mistake, I’ve had my share of some AWESOME freebies. I still get invited to an event once in a blue moon and I blog about them. But I got lucky because I was there when SA businesses started asking bloggers to talk about their products, before you had to be an “influencer” with an audience of thousands.
But that isn’t why I started blogging.
I STARTED blogging because I wanted to share my life as a single mom.
I DISCOVERED I could make friends – many of whom I treasure some eleven years down the line. Hell, I met my darling Glugster, my husband, through our blogs!
If I remember correctly, there were easily fifty local and international blogs I was reading on a weekly basis at the very least back in the day. I loved reading them and leaving comments*.
Very few of those blogs even exist anymore. And now there are only a few blogs I still read, and I can’t remember when last I started reading a new one.

In the early days, before Facebook and Twitter (and and and), we didn’t use our real names, and we were super neurotic about people discovering our identities, and being stalked and murdered by the weirdos on the internet.
Now the weirdos are loud and proud, and everyone uses their real names.
Bloggers I got to know long before blogging was a business, or social media was a career in South Africa, have succeeded in turning their blogging into a business. These people are incredible writers and/ or photographers, and their work is worth paying for.
I am not a writer, not by a long shot. I am a blogger. 😛 And there is a big difference. I have seen my writing turned into a masterpiece when edited by a writer, so I do know the difference. And I am a happy snapper, not a photographer.
IMHO, if you want to blog to make money and get freebies, then you had better be a good writer, and at the very least a half-decent photographer, and work on your blog daily, to get and keep “influencer” status.
It takes WORK.

But I do miss the days of reading about each other’s adventures just for fun.

*I am a serial comment leaver, I will comment if I read your blog. It never occurred to me to lurk

Errmmm…

Can I even still call myself a blogger!?!?

There’s been a lot going on, the last few months have been rough… And a few years ago I would have blogged it before I even thought twice!

I have to do something to get back into some kind of routine… I miss it!

Is There Such A Thing As Mommy Limbo…?

I read quite a few mommy blogs.
I have many friends who have young children, and they blog frequently about being a mom to those children.
I belong to a mommy bloggers Facebook group.
I am a mom.
But I’m a mom to a grownup who doesn’t live here anymore, and most of my blogging is now about my dogs

There’s no more school run, homework drama, PTA meetings, parents evenings, or doctor’s visits.
There’s no more OT, fundraisers, play dates, speech therapy, or fighting with teachers over my son’s ADHD.
There’s no more arguments with him over taking his meds, us fighting over everything, or panic when the phone rings (well… almost).
His school life and growing up was hard. His ADHD diagnosis complicated his school life, his home life, his friendships, our family life… Beyond comprehension for people who don’t live with it. Everything was hard work.

And now I feel like my mommy duties have been suspended.

My son is doing really well at the moment.
He’s matured so much in the last 18 months, and he’s worked his backside off – on his own – working and studying! He’s doing an internship where he’s getting an internationally recognised qualification and he’s learning the business around it. It’s really hard work, and the final leg he’s in now has him stressed, but he’s doing it. On his own.
We pay his rent, we buy his groceries and we’re paying for his courses, but unlike the school fees I felt like I was wasting, he’s actually thriving and he wants to do this and do it well.

I only see him a couple of times a month, when I insist on getting a #mamalove selfie to try and make up for how few photos I have of the two of us together, and he doesn’t need me right now.

He needs groceries, but he doesn’t need me to take on belligerent teachers who refused to accept that he had a special needs diagnosis and required extra attention and was allowed extra time during tests and exams.

He needs cigarette money, but he doesn’t need me to take on the bullies who loved to pick on him because he gave them the kind of reactions that feed a bully’s ego.

He needs electricity money, but he doesn’t need me to drive him to endless doctor’s appointments for prescriptions and therapies, that sometimes made me feel like I was stabbing myself in the eye.

He needs us to pay for his trips, but he doesn’t need me to help him with his homework and stock up on stationery.

He’ll probably come back and live at home once he’s finished his internship, while he looks for work and a place to stay, and we’ll probably fight like cat and dog while he’s here, but I will never again be a mom to a little boy who needed me for everything…

Edited to add:

Make no mistake, I am a very happy mom.
I have time to indulge in my hobbies and learn new things. I have learned how to crochet, I have a few grown-up colouring in books. I can be a full time wife to my darling husband. I can work with my dogs.
And I love seeing my boy! We have actual WhatsApp conversations! I miss him like mad, and I am so proud of him.

Twenty One Questions

I pinched this from a bit of this a bit of that, since I could use some blog fodder!

  1. What is your current fashion obsession?
    I honestly cannot think of one… unless you count my never ending love of wedding dresses? I adore the bohemian style of dress, tassels, fringe, lace, beads, the soft outlines are so pretty and feminine.
  2. What are you wearing today?
    Jeans and a long sleeve grey T-shirt
  3. Hair?
    As it is pretty short and curly I’ve just got an Alice-band in.
  4. Do you nap a lot?
    Not typically. I battle to stay asleep in the daytime unless I am absolutely exhausted.
  5. Why is today special?
    I can’t think of any particular reason. My Glugster is home, which I love, but he’s not well so it’s not ideal.
  6. What would you like to learn to do?
    I finally knuckled down and I am learning to crochet! It has been a long time since I tackled a new hobby and I am rather enjoying this!
  7. What’s for dinner today? Chicken burgers!! We aren’t making the patties or the buns, but we’re making our own burgers.
  8. What are you listening to right now?
    The TV is on, as usual, the movie “Open Season” is showing. I am also listening for Guide Dog puppy-in-training, Nimble’s, collar. She’s asleep now, but if she moves and I can’t see her I have to listen for her so I can make sure she’s not up to mischief.
  9. What is your favorite weather?
    Winter! I love the cold! It’s the shortest season, but I revel in it.
  10. What’s the last thing you bought?
    I got some baking supplies, some wool, and some groceries yesterday. Nothing terribly exciting, but I do love any kind of shopping.
  11. What are your essentials when traveling?
    I like to have a pillow so I can nap, and I like to buy one or two of those ridiculous magazines like Hello or People. It’s the only time I buy them.
  12. What’s your style?
    I don’t think I have one… Right now I am so badly overweight that I have very little in my closet that fits me, and I refuse to buy new clothing while I look like this.
  13. What is your most challenging goal right now?
    I have a few, but putting money aside as savings is a big one. I have absolutely no self-control. 🙁
  14. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
    Fourways! 😀 Yes really! It would be closer to my Glugsters’s work, closer to the knucklehead, closer to my baking supply shops and closer to SA Guide Dogs!
  15. Favourite vacation spot?
    I like heading to the Cape on holiday.
  16. Name the things you cannot live without?
    My Glugster, my son, my dogs, my cats, my phone, ice cold Coke.
  17. How was your childhood?
    Big family Christmases, Easters, birthdays, holidays, any special day warranted a celebration. It was torture… 😛
  18. What would you like to have in your hands right now?
    A tall glass of Coke Zero with ice. Ooh, maybe a KFC Oreo Krusher! No! Fresh orange juice with pulp and a sprinkle of salt!
  19. What are you most excited for?
    Ummm… Our 5th anniversary is coming, and I am hoping to be able to have a party for my Glugster’s 40th birthday, and the knucklehead will qualify as a Dive Instructor by the end of the year!
  20. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
    Just an hour? I’d go to see my parents! I miss them terribly!
  21. Which countries have you visited?
    I have only once left South Africa, and that was on holiday to Oz to visit my dearest friend.