My vreugdes en frustrasies

A - Z (2018)

#AtoZchallenge (2018) C is for feeling Confused

My theme for this challenge is “feelings” of a sexagenarian and the influence of social media.

My tema vir hierdie uitdaging is “gevoelens” van ‘n sestig-plusser en die invloed van sosiale media.

English (Afrikaans below):

Confused: (of myself) unable to think clearly, bewildered; (of my world) lacking clear distinction of elements, jumbled. I spent the greatest part of my life in a state of confusion until I realised that I am the only constant in this equation; the problem lies in my bewildering external environment.

My world kept on changing around me as I progressed from a 15-year-old hormone driven missile to a 20-year-old student ready to get out there and change the world, an obedient wife at 25, a young mother trying to balance a career and raising three children in my 30s, a disillusioned career-woman in a man’s world in my 40s, battling to feel comfortable in my own skin in my 50s and finally, getting my life together in my 60s. Somehow, I just never felt comfortable in this world or any of my changing roles, before now.

What is different now from what it was then? My attitude. I no longer feel that I have to dance to any music but my own, I stopped being apologetic about being a bad wife and an even worse mother. I retired and all my agonies about my career, my competitiveness and my fierce loyalty to my corporate employer disappeared like smoke from a chimney.

The role of social media: social media is what gave me a voice and changed my life. With the event of Facebook and every other successive platform, I finally discovered other women established and settled outside my own comfort zone, and I started to follow. I really feel done in by the fact that I was born at least half a century too early to start enjoying this mental clarity in a world that makes no sense half the time. The world around me is still in shambles, but me … I am whole. I no longer try to fit in, instead, I expect my world to fit in with my desires. Today’s emoji: 😳


Verward: (oor myself) kan nie helder dink nie, verbouereerd; (oor my wêreld) ‘n leemte wat betref ‘n duidelike onderskeid van samestellende elemente, deurmekaar. Ek het die grootste deel van my lewe in ‘n toestand van verwarring deurgebring totdat ek besef het dat ekself die enigste konstante faktor in hierdie vergelyking is; die probleem is geleë in my deurmekaar eksterne omgewing.

My wêreld het voortgegaan om rondom my te verander soos ek gevorder het van ‘n 15-jarige hormoon-aangedrewe missiel na ‘n 20-jarige student, gereed om die wêreld in te vaar en te verander, ‘n gehoorsame vrou van 25, ‘n jong ma wat probeer om ‘n loopbaan en opvoeding van drie kinders te balanseer in my 30’s, ‘n ontnugterde loopbaangerigte vrou in ‘n man se wêreld in my 40’s, die stryd om gemaklik te voel in my eie vel in my 50’s en die uiteindelike koers kry in my lewe in my 60’s. Op een of ander rede het ek voorheen net nooit gemaklik gevoel in hierdie wêreld of enige van my veranderende rolle nie.

Wat is nou anders as toe? My houding. Ek voel nie meer verplig om op die maat van enige musiek behalwe my eie te dans nie, ek het opgehou om verskoning te vra omdat ek ‘n powere vrou en ‘n nog meer powere ma was. Ek het afgetree en al my sielsangs oor my loopbaan, my mededingende dryfkrag en my vurige lojaliteit teenoor my korporatiewe werkgewer het verdwyn soos mis voor die son.

Die rol van sosiale media: sosiale media het my die stem gegee wat my lewe verander het. Met die geboorte van Facebook en elke ander daaropvolgende platform het ek uiteindelik ander vroue gevind wat buite my eie geriefsone gevestig is en ek het hulle begin volg. Ek voel regtig dat ek tekort gedoen is deur die feit dat ek tenminste ‘n halwe eeu te vroeg gebore is om hierdie geestelike duidelikheid te begin geniet in ‘n wêreld wat die helfte van die tyd nie sin maak nie. Die wêreld om my is nog in ‘n warboel, maar ek … ek is heel. Ek probeer nie meer inpas nie, ek verwag eerder dat my wêreld inpas by my begeertes. Emoji vir vandag: 😳

Read all my entries for the #AtoZchallenge (April 2018) here.

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  1. Amen Hester oor die wêreld wat nou by jou aanpas.

  2. Sosiale media doen dit ook vir my. Ekdink wat gebeur het, was dat, deur sosiale media, ek ander gevind het met net sulke buitengewone idees as ek. Ek het besef ek is nie die enigste ‘vreemde’ wese hier rond nie. 😁🥂

  3. Ai, daardie uitmergelende sielsangs – dankietog vir aftrede!

  4. Wow, Hester! I am so excited to meet you and feel like we’re on the same page whatever that is. I have also found my self and acceptance of my own beat through writing my blog and connecting with such a great group of people. So often these days, the so called real world is a disappointment and people can be so rude and don’t see me as anything but a benign excuse for a living, breathing human being, where I come alive through my writing which they can’t see. Well, they can’t look at me and read it anyway. They can’t see the works of art on my walls or my photographs, which are largely on my hard drive. I don’t want to flaunt these aspects of myself, but at the same time a bit of respect and acknowledgement would be nice. That is a constant in my blog and I constantly encourage people. It’s my gift.
    I think you would enjoy my theme. I am writing “Letters to Dead Artists”. Today’s artist is Australian Grace Cossington Smith.
    Best wishes,

    • Comment by post author


      Hi Rowena, well met. I just popped over to your blog for a “quick” visit and I stayed to read your A to C entries for the challenge, as well as your About page. You are an amazingly strong woman and a gifted writer. Your remark to Grace C. S. – “I can hardly imagine that a little thing like dying has dampened your fervent love of painting” – had me in stitches.Your theme for this challenge is very original and I am looking forward to reading more.

  5. Ek is absoluut mal oor jou selfvertroue met self en die wereld daarbuite, ek beur nog vorentoe in daai fase, partydae kry ek dit reg ander dae bietjie minder en dan kom die dae wat ek dit glad nie regkry nie, maar ek is sitl tevrede want ek begin dit so effe onder die knie kry.
    (jy is voorwaar vir my een van my rolmodelle in hierdie virtuele wereld en ek sê dit glad nie ligtelik nie)

  6. Brilliant, dear Hester!!! Brava!

  7. Nilanjana Bose

    Good for you that you found yourself. Attitude is all. More power to you!

    The net has been gobbling up my comments – trying again.

  8. Jy gee my sommer baie hoop! Nou kan ek nie wag om sestig te word nie.☺ Dis interessant om te hoor hoe jy elke lewensfase ervaar het, Hester. Ek dink ek wil ook nou op ñ stukkie papier ñ opsomming sit en maak. Dink dit is baie goed om dinge so bymekaar te bring.

    • Comment by post author


      Dis nogal interessant om soms so ‘n terugblik te kry op jou eie lewe, maar daar is soms dele wat jy (ek, in elk geval) liewer wil vergeet.

  9. drkottaway

    Now, see, you are one of my role models and people I admire (and writing in two languages to boot) so I would not have guessed all that confusion! Anyhow, joy to you!

    • Comment by post author


      Now you know, and thank you for the compliment – you are the second person today to tell me that I am a role model. Goodness, I’d better watch where I’m leading my people to 😄 Jokes aside, it is a wonderful truth that we all learn so much from each other.

      • drkottaway

        I wrote about emotions for the last two A to Z April contests. I think all emotions are valuable: they are all information. And how could we love if we could not mourn, how could we mourn if we could not cry?

        • Comment by post author


          True. Unfortunately, in my younger days we were taught to suppress our emotions (what will people think when you cry or lose your temper?). As a physician you know how unhealthy that can be. I taught my children that it is healthy to express your emotions, as long as you are considerate of other peoples’ feelings.

  10. We got to fit in or make it fit! Confusions, they need to be clear.

    The circumstances bring them and we learn along. Well put post for c. 🙂

  11. Donna B. McNicol [@dbmcnicol]

    I can appreciate your path, mine having some similarities. Married at 18, mother of two by 21, divorced at 25, remarried and a mother again by 30 but fell into my career. Career zoomed, marriage failed. Remarried to a long-time friend and career really took off, my confidence finally soared. Only one child at home, the other two on their own. Mid 40’s to mid 50’s was an amazing time! Then cancer came and took my husband.

    All alone, new house in a new town in a new state, I took my Harley (at age 58) went cross-country motorcycling. I managed riding through 42 states, across 27k miles as well as volunteered on the Blackfeet Nation Reservation for three weeks.

    At age 60, I sold everything, bought a used Class C motorhome and became a full-time RVer. That’s how I met my current husband – also widowed, a full-time RVer and a Harley rider. Fate….

    We’ve had an amazing almost ten years together before finally settling down in a house here in Tennessee. I turned 70 last year and realized I don’t care what others think. I’m me, I’m happy!

    Donna B McNicol, author & traveler
    Romance & Mystery…writing my life
    A-Z Flash Fiction Tales:
    A-Z of Goldendoodles:

    • Comment by post author


      Wow, what a life you had, but then – what a strong woman you are to rise again after so many falls, and then getting onto a Harley riding forth! You deserve the life you have now.

  12. By your 60’s, you finally figure out that it’s okay to be yourself and do things your way. It would have been nice to know that at 15, wouldn’t it?