Post ID: 2094

A few weeks ago I wrote a post “I feel you Maleficent” This post was about my challenges in being organized as a primary caregiver while working-from-home. This is an excerpt from that post:

“As an autistic person with physically complex needs and as someone who is struggling to come to terms with the reality of her life, Savannah largely lives within her own time zone. Some days she might wake up at seven o’ clock in the morning and the next day she might wake up at two o’clock in the afternoon. Sleep is a fluid thing for her. On a good night she will wake up twice. On a not so good night we may get four hours of sleep. Of course she recovers the lost sleep …in her own time. We don’t.

When she is awake she needs some physical help. She also tends to perseverate on certain topics and may ask me the same question a few dozen times or may tell me something a few dozen times. She has some medical issues for which neither her doctors or I have worked out as yet when to expect a flare up. Thus being flexible, patient and kind is the mountain I already knew I would have to climb all day and everyday from here on out.

That is not easy for me. I’d love to tell you that I follow some programme on how to maintain my peace but sadly I am still a work in progress. I am frustrated sometimes that I am limited by what I can do.”

So that post somewhat describes the hills and valleys of my weeks. Last week being both a hill and a valley. It was one of those weeks when managing my commitments and time was tested. I was looking forward to a visit from friends from overseas as well as Talisa’s sixteenth birthday celebrations. We also had a fiftieth birthday party to attend that same Saturday before our friends were expected to arrive.

I love entertaining and I am energized by people. However being a caregiver and being self employed means that sometimes the grandiose ideas I have in my head don’t always make it to the food table in exactly how I planned it to be. When I was younger, I would become annoyed that I could not create exactly what I wanted. I would be cross and moody, yelling at my family to help me to lay tables and finish off dishes, usually resetting what they did.

Over the years, as I’ve learnt to accept that I am in fact not Wonder Woman, I asked myself what was the point of all this drama and self inflicted stress? What exactly did I want my children to remember about their home life and how we entertained? I definitely did not want them to dread entertaining or to remember my Maleficent personality.

I made a choice then to just take every opportunity to live in the moment when possible. I know better than most, that no moment is guaranteed.

Someone once said I overthink too much. Well on days like last Tuesday, I was glad that I did. I had already arranged with my mum to prepare parts of the meal before I went to Durban. Therefore I am fortunate that my mother, who is an excellent cook and baker, lives on our property and she enjoys cooking far more than I do. So together, we compliment each other’s skills in entertaining. For the other parts of the meals, I knew I could rely on my repertoire of food ideas that were easy to put together with the ingredients I had in my kitchen.

We had an amazing twenty four hours of food, laughter and friendship with our friends. I was energized by their visit, and by the time they left, I was inspired enough to turn my attention to Talisa’s birthday celebrations. She did not want anything at all, and eventually I only made a few easy to prepare dishes like samoosas, when our families visited Talisa to acknowledge her sixteenth. My sweet corn bake is pretty yummy and I’ve added the recipe below.

The point of this post though is not to provide you with recipes, but to remind you that life passes quickly. I used to think that I will entertain when I have the right dining-room table, a better patio set, when I’m less tired, when I have more time and the list goes on. Then a few years ago, I realized that life may never be what I want it to be and before I know it everyone I love will have moved on. So I decided to make the most of every moment, with simplicity and honesty.

After all the festivities, I made Chocolate Fudge cupcakes (recipe also in comments) for Talisa to take to school for a celebration with her friends. It is my tradition that I never buy their cupcakes, and always make them myself. This year was no exception because my Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes are so easy and quick to make. With the children off to school and Savannah still asleep, I made myself breakfast with a white cappuccino, and sat in my favourite spot while watching the movie “The Light Between Oceans”.

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