Friday, 12 October 2018

Another phase ended ...

Hi lovely readers, 

Shew! This week has been a rollercoaster, the most notable event was standing at my sons Valedictory ceremony, recording the entire matric class's rendition of 'End of the Road'. Firstly this song was released when I was still at high school, so it brought back my own school memories; of my youth; and in stark contrast, here were these young kids animatedly singing their hearts out to this song. And secondly, it was such touching scene seeing them perform their last unified act as Matric 2018.

In that moment, the reality hit me, that I now have another young adult on my hands, and even though I've been through it before, it landed like a ton of bricks. I witnessed the end of his childhood years in that ceremony, as they put twelve years of schooling behind them, banking those memories and experiences which have shaped them into the young people I see today. I listened as the speeches covered memories from the beginning of high school, significant moments which are etched in their very beings; thanks was given to peers, teachers, parents and grandparents. As they talked, all my memories of my second born, Ameer, filled my head. From his first day at grade R (and some of his current classmates have been around since then) to his grade 7 farewell, the highs and lows and how much he has flourished during this year.

As a parent, this year has brought many challenges, navigating the parenting landscape with a 20 year old and an 18 year old, has resulted in countless sleepless nights. I have had to embrace the reality that these young men have developed into strong, capable and headstrong individuals. I am thankful that they still seek our advice, that they heed our guidance and I can only hope that the foundation we set will steer them on their way in life. Today, I stood there and absorbed enormity of having another son entering a phase which leads to adulthood. And leaving behind the carefree days of a carefully designed learning environment, detentions, leadership camps and drama productions. My heart skips a beat as I realise this means that childhood has officially been shelved in favour of adult choices, career options and less structured learning environments. I realise this past year has partially prepared me for this young man and his journey into the world. And it is vastly different to the first time I experienced matric with my first born. Our children are individuals and therefore cannot be painted with the same brush, nor can we have the same expectations upon them or expect them to deal with things in the same way.

I have always been conscious of each of my sons personalities, their likes and dislikes and the way they orient themselves; and as such I am 'prepared' to handle each of them differently. Each one is unique, with their own respective love language, which I aim to 'speak' in the hopes of supporting them developing into whole human beings. This was something the principal mentioned in his address today, that they can only hope to have contributed to whole individuals leaving the school. Being whole means so many things, although ultimately for me, it means that these young people know themselves intimately. That they understand, and can embrace themselves entirely: weaknesses, strengths and what triggers they travel the world with. 

Today, I am sitting with all the emotions, happiness, nostalgia, love, joy and pride. 
Happiness: for my son who has arrived at this long-awaited moment 
Love: for the Divine gift  bestowed upon us in Ameer
Joy: for all the moments of pure delight he brings into our lives
Pride: for the young man he has developed into

The principal ended his address with this Gaelic blessing, which spoke to me and spurred the tears streaming down my cheeks:

"May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields 
and until we meet again, 
may God hold you in the palm of His hand."

Today's look features a bold Opulence silk embroidered pashmina, for those days when you're not sure of the weather. Paired with a wide legged pants, crisp white shirt, raw silk scarf and finished off with a pastel pink leather bucket bag and gifted leather sandals. A preppy look for the office, ladies brunch or lunch date.



Outfit details:
Opulence pashmina & bag
Old Raw Silk Scarf
Striped pants (old)
White shirt (old)
Mimco heels (gifted)
Earrings (old)

Ciao for now, 
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 28 September 2018

What does it mean to be 'authentic'?

Welcome back lovelies!

The end of the year is rushing towards us, and again I am completely swamped with life and everything around me! And as usual, in my manic times I still have to take some time out for reflection, to give thanks and introspect. The thought that has been bouncing around in my head has been ... 'What does it mean to be authentic?'. The recent buzz word has been all over the place, this is my take on it...

The one thing I strive for is to be the best version of myself I can be, in reverence to my Creator, to honour the Divine in my life and serving in the path of my purpose. My intention is to be open to whatever has been decreed and for me to accept it with Grace. So each day, it is with the consciousness that the only way to serve my Creator is to be authentic, to be true to how I was created, to embrace my weaknesses and accept my strengths. For me, being authentic means not being concerned about others' opinions of me, it means living my Hajj every day and not getting caught up in unnecessary drama. We are so accustomed to drama, and inauthenticity that we do not even blink when confronted with it. Authenticity means being the same person in every space, in every interaction and knowing full well that there is no other way you can be. It means knowing my orientation to the world, my  tendencies to get caught up in this world and how to bring myself back in line. It means taking off the masks we journey with each day.

I believe that for me to be authentic, is to accept that I am human, predisposed to making mistakes and having to learn from them. I cannot believe that I am infallible, or always right, and need to constantly check myself and my intentions. Being authentic brings me peace in most of my interactions, it does not mean there will not be confrontations, or disagreements; but it does mean I'll deal with it in a way which will please my Creator. This is my benchmark for authenticity, if my actions will please the Almighty then I'm on the right track. My quest for authenticity does not entail pleasing other people or going against my own values and beliefs. It does not change from day to day, it is a constant way of living my life, being the same each day, taking responsibility for myself and my actions.

In the same way when I engage with others, I accept that they too navigate the world from their own perspective. I understand that like me, they too have been created a certain way, and that they are on their own path to their purpose. So there's no room for judgement of others, or for dictating how others should live. Instead the biggest realisation is that I am a role model, setting the stage for how my children journey through the world. My only hope is that they receive the message and take it forward... That this ☝🏼is what authenticity is.

This does not make me any more enlightened than anyone else, as I am on my own eternal journey of building scaffolding within myself. It is a continuous road I walk, with my loved ones as cheer leaders (and sometimes first aiders), being very aware that being 'authentic' is nothing more than just being comfortable to be yourself. Just being able to show up as you are, sometimes with bells and whistles, sometimes without and always with flaws- and being ok with it. Knowing without a doubt that I work as a package 😊

In today's lookpost I pair a sequin pants, with a casual top and silk bomber, paired with sparkly sneakers. This is a perfect representation of me, sparkly, imperfect, unconventional, seemingly uncomplimentary, and yet it all works when looked at holistically.




Outfit details:

Sequin pants (old)
Superbalist top
Huemine Image silk bomber (old) 
Adidas Stan Smith sneakers (purchased abroad)
Forever New pearl embellised bag
Giorgio Arman Sunglasses (Old)
Make a Statement earrings

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Kindness is a Lost Art

Hey lovely readers! 

This past week has been a tough one, and since I'm not one to walk around with my whole life showing on my face, I tend to go through life with a smile and bounce regardless of what happens behind the scenes. I don't lament my fate or things that happen for too long, my motto is "where to from here?". And this is why I am so grateful for my family- my hubby, boys, my sister and bestie- they get me, they know what goes on behind the smile and know how to perk up my day. One would not guess at any distress behind the game face; I blame this on my tumultuous childhood, hence loads of practice at keeping things to myself.

So when I found myself sitting in the waiting room at the hospital to visit a family member this week, having just had a hectic day, feeling a bit low; and two strangers shared a smile and some kind words with me, it just brightened my day. It brought the sunshine into my day ♥️These were two sisters who recognised me from Instagram (this is how we started chatting), and we ended up having a really uplifting conversation. What struck me most about this interaction is that they showed up at just the right time to brighten my really gloomy day; and despite going through a rough time themselves (with a family member having had emergency open heart surgery), they were still really kind. It was not difficult for them show kindness to a stranger, in fact it seemed to be the way they engage with the world generally. As I made my way home, this conversation played in my mind and I realised a couple of things:
Kindness is a lost art, we go through life forgetting what it means to smile or share a kind word- and yet everyone we meet will be going through something we have no knowledge of. Everyone has their own story, everyone has bad days, and it is not necessary to know what their difficulty may be to offer some sunlight. 
It has become the norm to encounter kindness with strangers instead of within your immediate circle, in fact, your immediate circle will feel it ok to dump their bad days/feelings and frustration onto you. This is not ok, speaking about or discussing my issues calmly, is nothing compared to dumping onto somebody by venting anger and frustration on them. 
I live with the premise that everyone is human first, and therefore deserves respect as a human being first; before all the other roles, religion, status or whatever separation we perceive is presented. If I just look at every person the same, and treat them equally with respect and kindness, what harm is there in that? What do I lose? What does it take away from me? 
Absolutely Nothing!
By doing this with others, I know that I deserve respect too, and that respecting myself first is a critical piece in being able to respect others. It's also fundamental in being able to stand up for myself and to not allow myself to be disrespected.
More importantly, my behaviour and the way I engage in the world becomes a template for my kids. They see and learn by my actions and behaviour, so I have a responsibility to teach and raise young men with empathy, respect, consideration, tolerance and kindness. 

My chat with these two women, followed by a conversation with a friend about struggles she's having with her kids furthermore highlighted how unbeknown to us, others are going through some pretty hectic difficulties. They sometimes pale in comparison to ours. Some people are just trying to get through each day alive, and yet are still able to offer someone a smile. 
We don't always know what our purpose is on this earth, and we don't always need to know how we impact people, but what I do know is that we were not placed on this earth to abuse, belittle, gossip, attack and kill the spirit of our fellow humans. 

"Every Act of Kindness is a Charity"
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Today't outfit features pieces which have been in my wardrobe for a while, I have been digging out oldies to recycle this past month to rejuvenate for Spring. And then the rain cam along and demanded some layers!

Outfit Details:
Mango Skirt
Trenery Polka Dot Knit
Trenery boots
Pauls Boutique bag
Forever New Shawl
Jo Borkett Scarf

Ciao for now,
RuBe xoxo

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Friday, 31 August 2018

It's a Wrap! (Almost)

Hi Lovely Readers!

The time for me to say goodbye to my temporary charges is almost here, a few more sleeps to go and they'll be back with their parents. It's been a chaotic 6 weeks, whilst also being extremely enlightening. I have learnt so much, there have been so many lessons I've had to learn and I've had to draw on resources within myself which I didn't even realise I had.

The biggest lesson I learnt (again) is that I am certainly not in control of my life, and I say this with a smile on my face; I had always stated emphatically that I was done with babies, sleepless nights, nappy changes and baby throw-up all over my clothes. My baby is at an age where he is independent and I am able to move about without restriction. And then bam! ... My Creator decreed that this was not for me to decide and gifted me with two little ones to caretake for a few weeks. And there we were, back to nappy changes, bathing a baby and toddler, feeding them via trial and error (I could not remember what to feed the one year old!), baby throw up, sniffles, and teething and so on...
Lesson: Watch what you say... you never know what life will hand you 🤭

When people heard that I had accepted the honour of looking after my brother's babies, they were sympathetic, wishing me well and saying I was brave. My response was that it was really a no-brainer, they were going for an ibadah, to fulfil the final pillar of their faith. How could I not embrace the privilege of looking after our esteemed pilgrims dearest kids? I also held fast onto the belief that Allah SWT would not place an insurmountable burden on me, especially if it was in the way of an ibadah. So while it was really busy, and a shock to my household, I also realise that it was so much easier than I had anticipated. And this taught me the lesson that having faith in my Creator is the best way to deal with any situation I may find difficult. HE will bring me through any difficulty I may face. ♥️

Furthermore, I was thrown in the deep end, so to speak, and having to navigate my way through having 5 kids overnight. However, as crazy as it was, these little ones brought a lightness into the home, a busyness to our lives and kept us on our toes. 
Lesson: with every trial there is a positive outcome, whether it's just the life lesson or an actual tangible advantage (like the kids laughter, the toys scattered around the house and the liveliness at the supper table).

During this time we were very restricted as a family, as a couple, and so was I. My time was no longer my own, my sleep was frequently broken, and I was constantly picking up after the little ones. But despite this new landscape, the sudden change meant I had to draw on resources deep within. I needed to access a well of patience (with myself) and learn to accept that things wouldn't always happen when I need them to, or on my terms. My (now infrequent) control freak had to be put to rest completely if I were to remain sane. I had to learn to not be too hard on myself when a day passed and I didn't get to do everything I had intended to. Or when my work suffered, or when dinner was late... I started off trying to keep my life as it had been before and this was a huge mistake. I had to learn to integrate my independent life with my now restricted life- which was hard for me. Learning to say no to dinner dates and suppers, putting birthday celebrations on hold, managing an even crazier Eid were all things I had to manage. It may have been unfortunate, and it meant that I was unable to connect with friends as I usually do, unable to attend early bridal showers and events. It was a time to be still and absorb the beauty of this time, the pilgrimage. 
I am thankful for the gift of this stillness, as I was able to reflect on my Hajj of the previous year, and be in touch with this years Hujaaj. It was a gift to relive my experience, while there were so many pilgrims keeping me and my family in their prayers, Algamdulilah.

Today's lookpost is therefore a celebratory one, wrapping up my lessons of the past 6/7 weeks. It is appropriate that it should feature the classic wrap dress, a classic silk scarf and classic leopard print pumps. 

Outfit Details:

For U Clothing Wrap Dress 
Opulence Silk Scarf
Nine West leopard heels
Sunglasses old
YSL Vintage bag
H & M Stockings 

Caio for now, 
RuBe xoxo
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