It seems I am my own worst nightmare

After putting my own weird dream to screen, I realized that my own subconscious is trying to screw me over.  I’m not really that weird or confused.  Or am I? I decided to do some research.

And by research I mean activate Google.  We all know the Internet is full of people who run sites and blogs where they post random, crazy, somewhat interesting and otherwise wonderful things for the rest of us to read.  Unlike this page off course!  This page complies to the highest standard of entertainment.  So it should be no surprise  that I found a site. And no it’s not that kind of site. Nor is it a Game of Thrones episode.  Besides I’m so pissed off for them killing Jon Snow that I might never watch another episode again. Continue reading

It was only just a dream.

I consider myself to be average.  Definitely nothing as exotic as a spornosexual male.  Just your pretty average middle-age kind of guy.  Some might say I’m pretty AND average.  But they would be wrong.  I’m taller than a Hobbit, shorter than Groot.  I have grey-blue eyes, short hair and a wannabe body.  ‘Cause I wanna look like George Clooney.  Oh yes and let’s not forget, I have the weirdest dreams.

Some of my dreams are truly extraordinary in that they don’t make any sense whatsoever. When I was younger I had cool dreams. Like the one where I was Indiana Jones or the one where I could fly.  And let us not forget my evening with Jennifer Aniston.  Wow.  Now that I’m slightly older, it seems my dreams have given up on me.  They are much less adventurous and much more confusing.  I reckon my subconscious mind is pumping out random, weird shit in the hope that it might make me more interesting. Continue reading

The female mind

My wife had the weirdest dream last night, so strange that I cannot fathom anyone contemplating it’s meaning on any level.  Not even theories of subconscious thinking can motivate the sequences she had last night.

This is the scene.  We were sitting on a beach somewhere.  (I was grateful to still be part of her dreams, never mind how weird they might be)  She was sitting in the sand waiting for me to finish something.  Don’t know what, but it obviously had to be something one would do on a beach.  Like tanning?  Building sand castles maybe?  Not sure.  Whilst waiting for me to finish whatever mysterious activity I was busy with, she started thinking about people losing money in the sand.  Maybe she can find something?

She started digging, right where she sat and as per her dream, she hit the jackpot.  Not just a few measly coins, but cold hard cash and heaps of it.  My wife basically told me that with every scoop of sand she had notes in her hand.  She did what any sane person would do in this situation, she tucked all the notes in her shirt.  After a while she looked up, with a shirt stuffed with cash, waived at me to come over and then, to her utter surprise, saw the person who left the cash in the sand, looking at her.

Before I continue, I need to check if all my readers are still on board,  I wouldn’t blame anyone for re-reading the paragraphs just to avail themselves of the facts.  It’s only just a dream. (Thanks Nelly!)

I don’t know who the person was, neither did she. (Obviously some stupid prick who hasn’t heard of banks before.)  But this is where it becomes interesting.  As law abiding citizens we generally stick to the right side of the law, maybe with a speeding fine here and there, but we don’t even litter!  Depressing isn’t it?  No, we are just domesticated.  In any case in this dreamscape version of us, we turned into a regular Bonnie and Clyde; you see we didn’t return the money, we decided to make a run for it.

I like to think that we got away with speed and agility and that I was the hero who made all the right choices during the chase.  I see the movie: Modern day thieves running from a beach; chased by a crazed lunatic who hid his cash in the sand!  And do you see the notes flying from the wife’s shirt whilst we run?

So we made it to the family car (I said we were domesticated, didn’t I?) and sped off.  We stopped at some random building, ran in, hiding amongst corridors and offices to eventually evade our pursuers, cash in hand, or rather in shirt…

As the wife was retelling her dream, I was anxiously waiting for the final scene, but alas like all great dreams, I never heard the ending, thanks to Mr Alarm Clock who started screaming @ 05h15.  But I can always try and write an ending… Nah.

There are so many questions I had for my wife, but I was so entertained by the dream, I didn’t ask a single one.  There might be some good reasons for the dream, some macabre meaning to it, but sometimes we should just do what the writer in Life of Pi did: Just enjoy the elaborate story, because like that movie, this was a good one.

Oh and one more thing, this dream is proof that the female mind are complicated and fascinating 24 hours of the day, not just when they interact with men.

The dream effect

The woman was sitting on the bleacher looking down at all the kids in their swimming costumes, ready and jittery for the event to start.  The anxiety and anticipation hung heavy in the summer sky.  The kids were chatting excitedly, non-stop in the bottom two rows, all looking exactly the same with their bright orange swimming caps.

Then she saw it.  At first she thought it was just nerves, but then it happened again and again and again.  In the first row, one of the star pupils of the team developed a twitch.  Not just a nervous shudder, it was like she was connected to an invisible electrical outlet and someone was playing with the power supply.  The woman tactfully shared her observation with the mother, whom seemed oblivious to the condition.  After medical consultation sometime later, this condition was confirmed to be the result of stress.  The girl in question was 7 at the time.

A man was walking along the beach during an annual summer break, hoping to catch the sunrise.  Three people were exercising on the beach, sprinting along a marked area just beyond the water line.  The two coaches, who stood on opposite ends of the marked track, were really pushing them hard, forcing them to run up and down.  The athletes were not enjoying this gruelling session so early in the morning.  The man really felt sorry for the three, but decided to mind his own business and strolled away.  Half an hour later when he returned to the same stretch of beach, the athletes were still sprinting, obviously exhausted, driven by two shouting, threatening coaches.  The athletes were between the ages of 8 and 14 and the coaches were their parents.

These are two examples of parents are employing the dream effect.  It is a term I use to describe the sad situation when parents enforce their own hopes and dreams onto their children.  It is when parents confuse the dreams and aspiration of their children with their own.  You have two types.

The first version of the dream effect is when the parent was a successful scholar or athlete or musician, and thus becoming a parent; drives their children to be the same, most of the time totally oblivious of the required talent, or even worse, ignorant of the kid’s own desire for wanting to learn to play the friggin violin.

The second version of the dream effect is when parents who were not successful in reaching specific goals they set for themselves growing up, now as parents, use their kids to reach those goals and claim the blue ribbon.  Again without consideration or acknowledgement of what the kids own dreams, desires or goals are.

We see this often, where parents either forces their kids to do every single activity that is on offer, resulting in case # 1 or other parents realising their kids has some potential talent for a specific activity and then pushing their kids to the edge of insanity to pursue optimum success in the chosen field, case #2.

Don’t get me wrong, if your kid is good in soccer, motivate him to reach his full potential, teach him to never quit and be the best that he can be.  But accept that your prodigy might not be the next Lionel Messi and don’t allow your own dreams to cloud and later consume the aspirations of your own kid.

We like to think we know what is best for our kids, we like to think the choices we make only benefits them.  How many times do we stop and consider the truth of our actions?  I saw an episode of The New life of Old Christine once, where this exact situation was brilliantly portrayed.  Unfortunately not all kids live in a sitcoms, where the characters learn a life lesson, correct their error, reconcile and move on; all in the space of 25 minutes.

There is nothing funny about a little girl who has started twitching at the age of 7 due to stress, or seeing a 9-year-old boy crying on the beach because he cannot do another sprint on the sandy shore at 6 in the morning.

I feel so strong about this issue, that I believe that when parents employ the dream effect, it is border line child abuse.

Kids should explore, experience new things.  They are individuals with their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes and their own talents and interests.  They should be allowed to discover those at their own time.  Kids should be loved, cherished, fed, guided and supported.

A parent’s dream should be to have a happy, healthy, loving, all rounded, laughing children, who loves life, have a positive attitude and grows up to be a well-rounded adult.  A parent’s dream cannot be for their  kids to achieve the same things they did or even worse the things they didn’t.

If you don’t see it, it’s not there

Stewards kuier 008a

I know a little girl, the prettiest little thing you will ever have the opportunity to meet. (Only second to my daughter.) Again, being her godfather, I might be slightly biased.

Many people display resilience in the most unexpected way. They motivate other people without even knowing it. They carry on with life oblivious to the cards that was dealt, they play whatever it is, like a Royal flash. This little girl was born with a birthmark on her face. She is going on three and it has been months of tears and sadness and hospitals for all involved. This is the result of a few treatments she received to reduce the intensity of the birthmark.

The family visited over Easter and after a few hours the conversation turned to the treatments. It was in that moment that I realised, I didn’t notice her birthmark. What surprised me even more was that the mark was still visible. How come I didn’t see it in the first place? It’s an easy answer, because she doesn’t.

This little person ignites everything she touches with her bubbly personality. Her joy ensures that a smile is the only natural reaction you have. Like all two-year olds her excitement and courage is only limited to what her parents allows her to do. She is a happy, bright, sunny little girl. She doesn’t walk, she runs; she doesn’t hug, she embraces and she doesn’t giggle, she cracks up.

One specific moment I cherish was when our doorbell rang and she came running after me. After assisting her down a few steps, she yelled “Fanks” and was skipping ahead. She passed a chair in our study that requires some renovation. She stopped, pointed at the chair and said: “Broken”, before she continued skipping further down the hallway. I was filled with amazement and wonder. She understood that the chair required repairs and attention, yet this wonderful bundle of inspiration is oblivious to her own situation. Other people might feel pity, but this little one doesn’t see the mark, therefore it doesn’t exist to her. And when you are in her company, her spirit boils over and the lightly coloured mark disappears completely.

If we were oblivious to our mistakes or our inabilities; how much more confident would we be? Would we feel more alive? How much more freedom would we have to really exist and achieve our full potential? Society reminds us constantly of our constraints, our inabilities, our defects. Celebrities, adverts, magazines and a million products are constantly bombarding us with their perceptions of beauty, success and happiness. We feel inferior if we don’t conform. We are placed in boxes and expected to live in some kind of paradigm, to accept that we are not as great as the next person.

Well screw that! I pray that our kids maintain their innocence and excitement of life. I wish they stay ignorant of how other people might perceive them. I hope that their confidence are cemented and strengthened so that they attack life with vigour and passion.

Children shouldn’t have to see their inabilities, because then it wouldn’t exist to them. We have to allow them to dream big, let them focus on the things they can do, and not be constantly reminded of the things they can’t do.

So you go girl!