Friday, 11 January 2019

18 Lessons learnt in 2018

Hello lovely readers!

I have been back home for just over 10 days and this week I started getting fully into the swing of things. After travelling for 3 and a half weeks, with 6 flights in between and a few long bus trips, I really needed to catch my breath and process all that we had seen and experienced on our journey. So I took some time out to come down from the constant high I was on during my trip, and was quickly drawn into reality by the release of my second-born's matric results last week. 

Before leaving South Africa, I was literally sprinting towards the end of the working year, which came to an abrupt stop when I boarded the plane. I still had a few things I wanted to sort out for work, so with all good intentions, I took my laptop along. I even started writing my final 2018 blogpost in the taxi after landing in Jeddah. Alas, my plans were thwarted when the laptop battery died, and I could not charge it as I didn't have my three-pin adaptor along (and none could be found in Makkah!). About a week later, my emails stopped working on my phone and iPad, so I really had no choice but to let it go.

I therefore had lots of time for introspection, and take stock of 2018, and the lessons, some of which wacked me sideways...

  1. I learnt to listen to and trust my intuition, this extends to relationships, work and my kids.
  2. I never have the parenting thing pat down, no matter how grown up my kids are, I need to be prepared for anything. The challenges are bigger and more complicated as they get older.
  3. January 2018 taught me to pay really close attention and to listen to the inner voice where my kids are concerned. If I feel that they need me, even if they look as if they're managing, it means they really do need me. It may not necessarily look the way I anticipate it, or what I think they need. I trust and know that they will tell me what is needed. 
  4. This was a big lesson: "In my world there are no bad kids,
    just impressionable, conflicted young people
    wrestling with emotions & impulses,
    trying to communicate
    their feelings& needs,
    the only way they know how." -
    Janet Lansbury
  5. Truth is key. Again, I learnt to be completely honest with my kids, even in terms of my shortcomings as a parent. This theme of truth carried through to all relationships, personal and business, and actually made life less complicated.
  6. I have very little tolerance for pretence, I chose not to participate in maintaining false pretences. It's disingenuous and makes a fool of me and others, as the truth always makes an appearance.
  7. Allowing others the space to grow and not to insert myself where I'm not needed. My control freak means that I have a tendency to want to 'fix' all problems. I learnt to let things be if it wasn't my place to get involved, I learnt to allow others to work things out in their own way and on their own terms. 
  8. To engage with everyone judgement-free - this at times becomes difficult, especially with our conditioning, what we've been taught since birth and our own issues. I fully accept that mistakes are part of my human experience as well as for others.
  9. Being mindful and taking my time to respond when dealing with volatile situations. It's always easier to react impulsively, but this is usually not the best way to for me to respond,  as it's usually from a place of anger, which just exacerbates the situation.
  10. 'Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend.' It has been an eye opening year, where people have revealed their true feelings towards me. They may try to keep it a secret, and again, intuition is an invaluable asset, so I see you! I get that am not everyone's cup of tea. This is ok, I have learned to accept that I will not appeal to everyone. I choose to live authentically, regardless of others' opinions and expectations.
  11. Embracing myself entirely, the good, the bad and the ugly. And every year, I learn a bit more about myself, see things I haven't wanted to before, and work at embracing those not so likeable things about myself (again). 
  12. My experiences on Hajj were really profound life lessons, and filtered through to every single element of my life last year. It also takes work to live your Hajj, as everyone says, but ultimately it has filled my life with so much Grace and Blessings, algamdulilah
  13. The Power of Duah (Prayer). There were so many trials during last year, many of which I did not how to handle or navigate. I believe that my prayers got me through the really trying moments.
  14. The importance of Tawakkul (reliance on, or trust in the Divine). Apart from carrying me through difficult times, the faith in my Creator has also meant that I was blessed in many ways. I am clear that only He knows what's in my heart and that is all that matters.
  15. Being thankful, and giving thanks is essential to my happiness and attracting more positive energy.
  16. To be very aware of my impact on others and to be responsible with my actions. I am a role model to my three young men, who will very soon be venturing into the world with all that they have learnt and seen.
  17. Focusing on my own journey will mean I do not have time (nor do I have the inclination) to be concerned with what anyone else is doing.
  18. Respect for my fellow human being is crucial, this extends to children, those from other cultures, religions and those with differing beliefs. Making others feel 'seen' and 'heard, and just being kind makes a huge difference.
I have documented a lot of these lessons in previous blog posts throughout 2018, but seeing it one place just cements the year for me. I don't do new year resolutions, except that I will continue to improve on myself, my interactions and most importantly focus on my connection with the Almighty InshaAllah. Hope you guys have all had a good start to 2019 ♥️

I have not yet taken the time to do a lookpost this year, and life very suddenly went into vacation mode last year. So I have put together some of my 2018 looks, most of which can be worn into this year; the importance of investing in classic pieces!

These looks were put together using so many existing pieces, with very few new purchases.
The Chimpel bag, sunglasses, suede boots, wrap dress and Vans sneakers were the only new additions in these looks. As always, buy smartly darlings!!

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Thoughts on Hijabi Blogger Shaming

Hello Lovelies 😊

Without realising it, my year officially ends in two weeks, that means I have decided to take a break from work and the blog at the end of November for a well deserved break. I'll still be around occasionally on social media, but I am seriously in desperate need of some leave! Something I don't have the luxury of, unless I am out of town. This realisation dawned on me this week and put me in a flat spin, I have so much to wrap up before then! 

I have changed my topic of today's post based on a conversation in one of my watsapp groups which got me pondering. The topic was the removal of hijab by some huge hijabi bloggers. I have followed the journey of a few public figures who have decided to take this step,  a hugely controversial one clearly. And I am not going to go into the merits of the various cases, or the why; but it brought to the fore the issue around cyberbullying. I have written about this two years ago (read post here).
Whilst we only see the publicly shared information around this topic, the respective individuals would clearly be dealing with their own struggles, or just perception and outlook on life.

This brings me to my topic for today. I understand that the removal of the hijab is a highly charged topic, which will be fuelled by emotion, religion and personal opinion. However the first thing to consider is that these public figures are people first. They are human. And therefore experience struggles and trials like everyone else. The fact that they are public figures means that they cannot step out of the public eye to deal with issues, nor should they have to do that. The reality of being an inspiration or role model to others goes both ways, being an inspiration encouraging women to embrace their hijab stylishly especially the youth, is one. The other side of the coin is being an inspiration to those who struggle with it, I am not foretelling that they may return to hijab, but I believe that they will. And in this journey, women around the globe who struggle with this issue will find some kind of comfort in knowing that they are not alone. That a public figure may be grappling with the same stuff - who knows, it could touch them in a way which encourages a journey to hijab.

I see all the negative comments aimed that these young women, the hate that's directed at them and cannot help but feel empathy for someone having to navigate that landmine of negative energy. Noted, it would have been expected. I am also very aware that making the decision to do something so controversial, with the world watching, takes a lot of courage, and hard work to be completely clear with the inner self. It requires knowing yourself intimately, trusting yourself and your inner voice; which is something very few master in today's society. Whatever decision they make is based on their own life journey, and that's exactly what blogging is about; being able to express yourself in your own space. It feels empty when content is aimed at what's popular or acceptable at the expense of authenticity. I would much rather read about a real journey; and whether they share their struggles or not, is also their prerogative. It has been said that they are influencing young women to follow their lead and abandon the hijab, which I believe is highly unlikely. Any person wearing the hijab would not (or should not) do it because of anyone else, as this is a highly personal decision.  

These young women are no different to celebrities who go through their struggles publicly. And relating it back to someone like Demi Lovato, who has publicly struggled with alcohol and drug abuse as well as bulimia and an eating disorder. All the negative comments, and cyberbullying rants were peppered with encouragement. Her story has been publicised to inspire and encourage those going through the same struggles, it has not been publicised to encourage substance abuse. I am not saying removing the hijab is a struggle as I do not purport to know the motivation despite what is being shared, but in exposing negatives one can move to a place of healing and improving on the self. I choose to look at life in this way, I cannot stand in judgement of any of these individuals as I live with my own faults. I know and experience my own struggles, and not all of them are blogged- but they filter through many decisions and in the way I navigate the world.

With this post I would like to urge you to look at these young women, consider how you would react if she were your daughter, sister or friend... Would you find some understanding and empathy in your heart instead of rushing into immediate judgement?
This was a quote I shared in a post earlier this year on the trials of raising teens (read that post here), and I believe is appropriate to share now:

"In my world there are no bad kids,
just impressionable, conflicted young people
wrestling with emotions & impulses,
trying to communicate
their feelings & needs,
the only way they know how." -
Janet Lansbury

Todays look features a vintage nautical blazer, sequinned t-shirt and jeans- a definite holiday mode look.

Outfit details:

Vintage blazer
ZARA t-shirt (old)
WW jeans
Superga sneakers
Accessorize floral scarf
Earrings old
Chimpel leather bag
Zulululu sunglasses

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 16 November 2018

Diamond Studs Giveaway with Basel Gems

Hi Lovelies!!

To celebrate the approach of the start of the festive season and the holidays, I have partnered with the newly opened jewellery boutique, Basel Gems. With their origins dating back to 1984, Basel Gems have grown into a high end jewellery store which has been trading in Tanzania (the only place where the Tanzanite stone can be mined) since 1998. Their in-house designer, R Nanda, and one of the family members who manage and operate this family run business has designed bespoke pieces for the African elite & celebrities including the Obama family. They have recently opened a store in Cape Town (based in the Icon building) and have brought their designs to our sunny shores. Since they obtain their stones from the source, their prices are exceptionally reasonable. All pieces are manufactured using 18k gold, diamonds, tanzanite and other semi precious stones. 

'Basel Gems is a unique jewellery boutique which is located in the heart of the mother city and is in the only store in Cape Town to be associated with Tanzanian Chamber of Minerals & Energy. Ensuring our certified Tanzanite gemstones are ethically sourced and of utmost quality.'

In addition, if you use my code ‘RUBESCLOSET’ you will qualify for 30% off all pieces in their showroom. So if you're thinking of gift buying for someone special, head over to their boutique!

We are giving away a stunning set of 18k white gold diamond studs, with diamond weight of 0.32ct valued at R13,800 with valuation certificate. Every woman needs a pair of elegant diamond studs, don't you agree?

To enter:
  1. Like RuBe's Closet Facebook page here and follow my Instagram account here.
  2. Like Basel Gems Facebook page here
  3. Follow their Instagram Account here
  4. Comment on my Facebook post or Instagram post telling me who you would spoil with this gorgeous prize, and tag 3 friends (no tagging bloggers or influencers)
  5. We will check if you have followed steps 1-4 😊
  6. Competition will close at 12pm Saturday 1 December 2018
  7. Winner will be announced on my Facebook page on 2 December 2018
  8. The winner must be available to collect the prize at their showroom and provide identification, within one week of the winner announcement.

Caio for now, 

Rube xoxo
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Saturday, 3 November 2018

Tapping out when life gets too hectic

Welcome back lovelies!

I did't get around to finalise my post last week, with work and my Summer Soirée event looming, I was seriously functioning in overdrive. Apart from work and event things, school obligations and music concerts peppered my diary. My middle son started his matric finals, my eldest started preparing for university finals and my youngest was his usual busy self! I have literally emerged from weeks of working 24/7, 7 days a week, which was catch up after my stint of looking after my nephews. 

And what becomes very clear is that when I am in this overdrive mode, my home reflects the same busy energy and the boys are all over the place.

So after my event this weekend, I felt like my tank was depleted, and I made a conscious decision to have an 'easy' week. So I chose to tend to my admin work, seeing to the boys who were studying this week, and ensuring the availability of food and snacks. I took time to go the salon, visit a few sick patients and had a lunch date with my eldest, after weeks of having no space in my diary, I did a long overdue Home Affairs visit, a breakfast date with hubby and really just recouped my energies. I went in store to restock my face products, as opposed to buying all my supplies online and started to feel more grounded, I even managed to attend an unplanned lecture on the last minute. Just by performing mundane errands, I started feeling like my old self again, energies restored and ready to get back at it. It's important for me to constantly be aware of an empty tank, as the consequences of this affects more than just me and I could see a settling down in my home once I was feeling restored. 

My home is an ecosystem, and one little thing affects every single member in my home. It may not even be conscious, but every nuance is felt, every moment of tension is sensed and in turn affects the behaviour and feelings of those in the ecosystem. This is why it is imperative for every single member of my family to be able to take their time out when necessary; we get it, we respect it and actually all benefit from it. It is understood that everyone needs different things to feel whole and engaged in the world, and that is ok.

We are currently in the midst of exam stress, and our home goes into quiet mode while having a muted bustling energy. Each of my kids also know that I advocate breaks and down time in between studying to keep them balanced, it's all about knowing when to recover the energies. It's the same concept as me having to take a time out when I felt that I was not able to function at optimal capacity and that my energy was running low. Letting the kids see that it is necessary, even for adults, to recharge and take care of themselves is a valuable life lesson. It's not something I was ever taught, and had to suffer burnout to realise the importance of self care. In today's world, kids are so busy, with jam-packed schedules, that there is very little opportunity for them to be carefree. Anxiety disorders and depression is a common reality which creeps into their lives and becomes chronic conditions they need to manage into adulthood. So it's critical to remember that self care is an important concept for young and old alike. And providing the space for that in the home is the start of teaching them this, as well as modelling this in our own lives.

This lookpost is a carefree, summery one, put together from my past season's pieces. The sneakers are new, gifted to me (because it's no secret that I'm a sneaker junkie!). It's a representation to not take ourselves too seriously, to tap out when we feel like life is too overwhelmingly busy and to prioritise self care. The old saying rings true: 'that you cannot pour from an empty cup'.
Take your time out when life gets too crazy, it's as important for those you nurture as it is for you ✨

Outfit details:
Shop, Style & Snap Kimono
A Sense of Style Skirt
Forever New Lace t-shirt
Old Scarf
Adidas Sneakers
French Connection bag
Opulence sunglasses

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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