What makes you beautiful?

What makes you beautiful, unpretty, media, what makes you beautiful, grooming, personal, opinion, family, important, priorities, beautiful
What makes you beautiful? There was a brief time in my life when I thought I’d feel better about myself if I did what the magazines and ads told me to do. Personal grooming, you know? Because heaven forbid you actually like the way you look!

Highlights, hair extensions, Brazillian treatments and a GHD. That’s what you need. Everyone knows straight hair is great hair. And lets not even start with facials, waxing, skin care treatments and make up.

I’m all for having fun and experimenting with different looks but when you’re doing it to fit into societies expectations of “what a woman should look like” then there is something seriously out of whack with this picture. (To be perfectly honest, if I could afford it, I probably would do all of the above and more. Which sort of makes me glad that I can’t afford it). I wish my hair was light enough and straight enough to try the mermaid trend. But dark hair just doesn’t colour as well as blonde.

What makes you beautiful?

What makes you beautiful, unpretty, media, what makes you beautiful, grooming, personal, opinion, family, important, priorities, beautiful

Short hair don’t care

When I visited the St James tidal pool the other day, I was so pleased to see old and young, skinny and not-so-skinny frolicking around in their bikinis. That’s the way it should be. There were more lumps and bumps than I could count but, you know what, theses people were embracing life. And why not?

It made such a change from what I saw while living in Table View where, even women who were in the best shape of their lives felt the need to cover up with a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Ever since I’ve moved to the Southern Suburbs, I have found people to be so much happier, friendlier and more satisfied than what I experienced in my 11 years in Table View. It’s quite amazing how you don’t notice it, when it’s the only thing you know.

The time to “smash the patriarchy” has come and gone. It’s time for the patriarchy to no longer be given an ear, let alone the time of day. Enough! Question what you feel is expected of you then, find your happiness.

Outdated Education

I remember my first business meeting in my first real job very clearly. As I had only started working for the company recently, I really didn’t know much about the business but I was eager to learn. So, what was the first thing I did? Well, first I tried to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. I’m mean, that survival skill worked for me at school, right? It’s one of the cardinal rules. Never, ever be different and stand out.

So, with a fresh sheet of paper in front of me, I carefully wrote the date in the top right hand corner of the page, and waited for the principal, I mean boss, to start talking. Can you tell where this is going? I walked out of that meeting shell shocked and overwhelmed with information. What just happened in there? I felt like it was the first day of school and I was the tiniest fish in the pond.

In the months that followed, I never questioned what management said and I did what I could to obey the rules. I mean, you wouldn’t dare cross a fellow student in a higher grade than you, right and heaven forbid you did anything but obey your teachers and the principal? What they said was obviously right because they are older than you. And, with age, comes respect, right? One day, when I’ve been working in the company for as long as they had, I too would have people who would listen to my instructions without any room to be challenged.

It made me think about what school actually prepares you for. As I try and wrap by head around writing a book about our road trip around South Africa, I have absolutely no idea where to start. I can write you a 1500 word essay on Robert Frost but I can’t get past the blinking cursor to start writing my own story.

Smile FM often has a talk show program on the radio at 10pm when I drive home from work where they interview people about various topics. A few nights ago they were talking about Matriculants who didn’t make it and how it’s not the end of the road for them. There are people who do well at school and people who struggle, but neither has any guarantee of success just because they can wave around a piece of paper.

Which made me wonder, why is “finishing school” held in front of us like this massive golden carrot. “When I finish school I will…”. It eventually becomes, “When I retire I will…”. What’s the point? Why!?

Some of the most successful people in today’s economy didn’t finish school. Why is there this big push towards their kids to finishing their schooling, like it’s the be all and end all of their problems?

So you make it through 12 years and have a National Senior Certificate to show for it. You and 600 000 other people in just that year. Now what? What makes you different? What makes you stand out?

I had the opportunity to work with a young woman who had literally just finished writing her Matric exams, before starting her first job. What an exceptional example of a mature, well rounded, teenager. But honestly for the first 4 weeks at work, she was clueless. Everything had to be spelled out because she literally had no idea how to get the job done. This is a child that excelled at school but she couldn’t compose a simple email. Don’t get me wrong, I would have been FAR worse than she was. I really admired her diligence and, by the time she left at the end of her 6 week stint, she was just starting to get the hang of things.

My question is this…what does school prepare you for? If school doesn’t turn you into a functional member of society then what, pray tell, is the point? You can write an essay on the works of Shakespeare? Awesome, that’s sure to come in handy at the next budget meeting! (Again, I love literature and I would happily read for the rest of my life but reading books all day, doesn’t pay the bills for the majority of us).

School would be far more worthwhile if it taught you how to write a letter of proposal, or how to start your own business, or how to prepare a presentation worthy of something that, even the judges of Shark Tank, would be willing to listen to.

In it’s current outdated format, school prepares you for nothing. At all. If it sounds like I have something against the content, you are missing the point. Obviously reading and writing together with Science, Technology, Economics and Maths (I think that’s what STEM stands for) prepares your child with the necessary tools to handle much of what life throws at them but honestly, that is only from an academic perspective. There is a mountain of skills that children need, in order to excel at life. Very few of which is taught at school. And that is a very big, very concerning problem!

Virtual Reality

what is real, life, questions, think,personal thoughts, status quo, live your life, media, virtual reality

9 year old Zoe set up the tripod, and took this picture

What is real? Face to face relationships. That’s what is real. Aside from that, pretty much nothing else is. And that is something that is pretty difficult to wrap your head around. Without sounding like a conspiracy theorist, that is.

Virtual Reality

Basically any information gleaned from a book or a screen has been carefully packaged for your consumption. That includes the news.

I often wonder if I am the only one who can no longer get emotionally invested in supporting sports teams, since Hansie fixed those matches. Since that day, I am sceptical about everything. Who cares who wins or loses? The match outcome was probably pre-arranged anyway.

The hardest thing for me to come to terms with is, the news. My parents watched the news and believed everything they saw and heard there as truth. Honest to goodness objectivity. Today, not so much. When something is reported as fact but only certain parts of the story have been shared, it’s not the truth, is it?

How do you know what a relationship is supposed to look like, when your favourite book to read was the Twilight series or 50 Shades of Grey? Who taught you how to love? Was it your family or The Days of our Lives?

How is it possible that we spend more time on social media than we do actually going out and socializing. Talk about neglecting the people you interact with face to face on a daily basis, to “spend time with” those who you only hear from, on your birthday. (If you think people are sharing the whole truth about their lives via social media, you are very, very wrong).

We will never be satisfied with anything in our lives, if we live to emulate what is portrayed on screen or in a book. Drink this/eat that/smoke this/buy that, if you want to feel good and be accepted. Heaven help you if you can’t play charades with your friends, because you haven’t caught the latest series on DSTV.

Maybe it’s time we stopped allowing other people to do the thinking for us. Conquer the status quo. Live your own life. Make your own choices about what makes you happy. Life is too short to do anything else.

Memorable 2017

making memories, family, kid friendly, memorable, cost effective, priorities, life, learn, love, what is importantHappy New Year! I thought I’d better get this post out before half of January is gone but, as it’s stands this post will probably go live on the 16th. Sorry about that! Since the last time we spoke, my temporary card writer position at Yuppiechef has taken on a permanent vibe in the form of me as a customer service agent. What can I say, they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Praise the Lord!

What this means in reality is that I work the 2-10pm shift from Sunday to Thursday. It has been a period of adjustment and learning for me while we find our new home school rhythm, which has taken on more of an online focus. I was relieved to learn that the first 9 months of home education is basically just getting to know your kids. When you add this to the 11 weeks we road tripped around South Africa, it pretty much adds up to 2016, in a nutshell.

Memorable 2017

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this blog and what it has become since those early days of sharing baking recipes. To be perfectly honest, I am so bored! I have so much more to say than just baking and food and, the nature of blogging allows a for a change of focus,So I’m going to grab that with both hands.

making memories, family, kid friendly, memorable, cost effective, priorities, life, learn, love, what is importantThe obligation to commit to a post every day/week/month is not one of my priorities right now. As it stands, I finish with home school at around 11am after which I get dressed, have lunch and then go to work. That is the pattern of my life at the moment. When I’m not at work, I’d like my focus to be tickle fights and cuddles, heart to heart chats and new experiences with my family. Screen time and blogging is pretty low on my list of my “things to do”. Heaven knows I spend too much time on my phone as it is.

If I had to pick a theme for 2017, I would like it to be, making memories. Between work, school and errands, there is never enough time or money left over to embark on anything too dramatic but making memories doesn’t have to cost money. Money definitely helps but there are ways around it.

Think back to your own childhood. Was your most memorable experience something expensive? Probably not.

Anyway, enough about me. Do you have a theme (or oh that dreaded word, resolution) for 2017?

Life changing 2016

On the road again, this time we’re heading to #clarens

A photo posted by Tami (@rumtumtiggs) on

“Everybody dies but not everyone lives.” – William Wallace

This was the reason for why we decided to turn our lives around last year. We took a risk and, for the most part, it looks like we failed. Except we didn’t. Not really. The difference between how we were living last year, in comparison to what our lives look like now, is pretty huge.

Life changing 2016

Last year this time, we were home owners and were drowning in debt. Our kids had just attended their prize giving ceremonies at school and we were waiting to see their report cards. This year we are living with our incredibly generous in-laws, the kids haven’t written a single exam and we have explored 7 of the 9 South African regions on our 11 week road trip around South Africa.

While my job in government gave me financial stability, it made me sick. My job made me so anxious that I literally felt nauseous every, single morning. You’d think that after 11 years I would have acclimatized to the open hostility I worked with every day, because I managed to complete projects that were lying dormant for years. People saw me as a threat. Their excuses looked ridiculous when I made it look easy. (And no, it wasn’t easy. It just took HARD WORK).

Becoming a parent is hard. Raising children is even harder. Zac was not coping with being bullied at school. It was killing him inside, and something had to change. It’s pretty hard to home school when you’re not home, so this year gave us to chance, to find out feet in home education. Of course, at some point the bills need to be paid, which is why working at Yuppiechef from 2-10pm until 23 December is working for me. It gives me a chance to teach the kids in the morning, and then go to work in the afternoon. Since this position is just for the festive season, I will still need to find a job for next year, but I know God is in control. I will keep hunting and trust that the right position will come up.

We are so grateful for all the travel opportunities we’ve had this year. It has taught us so much that we’ve managed to collaborate on 3 sponsored posts with the intention of writing many more next year. It would have been pretty hard to get to know South Africa, without taking a chance and hitting the road. We have a lot of family travel content that can be written about the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal, Free State, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and Gauteng. So if you hear of anyone looking for content, we’d appreciate it if you point them in the direction of TazzDiscovers.

Thank YOU for all your support. Even when I neglected this blog, many of you followed the other part of my life on our family travel site. THANK YOU!!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you the most incredible festive season shared with loved ones and a New Year full of possibilities. Jesus was God’s gift to us, when we didn’t deserve it, so that we could have eternal life through Him. He is the reason for the season.

Social issues: Mainstream School

Ever since I started on this home school journey, I’ve found myself noticing how outdated the concept of school is. When we visited Ihla de Mozambique, it looked like there were more school aged children, out of school than there were, in school.

Some were fishing, while others collected shells to sell. As we walked past the local school during their break time, I wondered what a different life these kids in uniforms would have, from those who were earning some money so that their family could eat that night.

Social issues: Mainstream School

School is a privilege in Southern Africa, not a right. There are so many social issues around going to school, that it isn’t a possibly for many children. School requires not only expensive uniforms and shoes, but also transport that ensures you get there on time for an 8am start. What about stationery and access to learning support like libraries?  It demands time in which to do homework, and a home environment that is conducive to getting work done.

It doesn’t take children into consideration who need to look after younger siblings and family members. School expects an adult presence to, if not offer some help, then to take on the adult responsibilities required of a home.

The reality is that for more and more children, this kind of social structure is just not possible. When your parent leaves home before sunrise in order to get to their job and arrives home after dark, you are the “adult presence” for the younger members of the household. You have to manage the logistics of feeding them, getting them to school and helping them when they get home. If you are a parent of a school aged child, picture everything you do in a day, done by an 11 year old.

South Africa’s economic and social climate means that you cannot assume that the people, who you are competing with in the job market, finished school. And you cannot arrogantly assume that the fact that you have completed your schooling, means that you stand a better chance, at getting that job.

The way things stand at the moment, it is far more useful to have a driver’s license, than it is to have a Matric certificate. A driver’s license means that you can work for a courier or food delivery company. It means that you can start your own taxi business or sign up to work for Uber.

What does your Matric certificate guarantee? When half our matriculants can’t read or write, nothing. It guarantees nothing.

What I wish I knew: Finding your passion

what i wish i knew, finding your passion, passion finding, school, balance, talents, perspective, growing up, life, personalAfter my last post, I tossed around the idea of in what order I should tackle the topics. Should they follow a chronological pattern where, after I dealt with curly hair, maybe I should tackle make up next.

This idea held absolutely no appeal to me because, heaven knows if I start heading in that direction, someone may think I’m trying to style myself as a beauty blogger. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are beauty bloggers, but as someone with a 2 product make up routine, I don’t think I would ever manage to keep that one going ;).

But there are so many topics I want to cover in this “What I wish I knew” series and, the topics are so diverse, that no real pattern is evident. So you know what, let’s just deal with one subject at a time and maybe there will be some sort of order, by the end of it.

Passion Finding

How much time did you spend trying to find your passion when you were a kid? I spent most of my time avoiding confrontation in a corner, because I faced teasing on a daily basis, both at home and at school. This meant that no matter how tempted I was to try something new, I didn’t because no one wants to become a target for bullies at that age.

Fortunately, after gaining some perspective, I shrugged off that fear over the last 15 years because, now I know that, LIFE IS TOO SHORT. Let me offer up an example, my primary school started offering Chess lessons after school when I was about 12. After asking around, I established that while a handful of boys had signed up, no girls were interested. Despite being very tempted, the last thing a pre teen girl wants to be is “different”. The fact that I was short and chubby had made my life, sufficiently hellish. And so, I never learned to play chess.

After 12 years at school, I seriously had no idea what I was good at. Which meant that when I chose what to study, I had to pick from what I wasn’t bad at. Too many daydreaming sessions in Maths meant I dropped the subject when I reached Grade 10. And what happens when you drop Maths (and Science)? Well, your channels of study trickle to basically nothing. At least they seemed to back in 1996.

To make up sufficient credits to qualify for a Matric Exemption, I then completed my schooling with English, Afrikaans, Geography, Fine Art, Graphic Art and Biology. I didn’t excel in anything except maybe Afrikaans. I ended up completing a 2 year Diploma in Multimedia Design before realizing that the course was too general and, since I didn’t specialize in any one of the subjects, didn’t have employers lining up at the door.

Maybe if I had realized that my passion actually lay in the writing arena, I would have studied Journalism at Rhodes. I know I was tempted at some point before I finished school but my broken self esteem didn’t recognize my writing skills, as a passion.

My daughter took ballet lessons from the age of 3 until she turned 7. She is a wonderful dancer and she loved it. However, 2 things made me think twice about placing too much emphasis in her future dance career. For one thing, I was sitting in the waiting area while she was at her dance class, and I heard a handful of older dancers talk about their eating plan…in detail. These girls were 10 years old. I’m sorry but 10 year olds shouldn’t be counting calories, when their bodies aren’t even properly formed yet. These were the same girls that I had watched dancing in 6-8 categories in the ballet eisteddfod, where their first dance was at 9am and their last dance took place at 7pm. They practically lived at Sea Point Civic Centre, for that month.

Which brings me to the second thing. They gave up everything to pursue their passion. Literally everything. They didn’t seem to have much of a life outside of dance class, it sounded like they didn’t socialize with anyone outside their close knit group of fellow dancers and they focused their entire lives on becoming a prima ballerina, when they finished school.

Now, in principal, I have no issue with following your passion to this extent. But what happens when something gets in the way of your dream. If you spent your life dancing 6 hours a day for 16 years, and then suddenly you get injured, how to you recover from that? Or you grow up and find that you don’t enjoy living from one audition to the next, where there is always someone younger and more talented than you, nipping at your heels. What do you have to fall back on? If you’ve given up everything so that you can be a ballerina, what happens when, for some reason, you can’t?

I’m not writing this post as a criticism of the arts. I adore the theatre and I would have spent my entire life singing on stage, if I was good enough to make a living from it. My concern is about finding your obsession, to the detriment of everything else.

Every single on of us, has 5 or 6 things we are talented at. Whether it is singing and dancing or just making beds with perfect, hospital corners. What we need is to have the time to explore our passions, and find a way of turning it into something we can earn a living from. This needs to be done in a balanced way though. Forget career guidance, what we actually need is talent scouts at schools. No, obviously not the ones who work for modelling agencies. We need someone who can look at what we’re interested in, channel us into the appropriate extra mural activities so that we can improve our skills, and help us choose a career that we would actually enjoy.

Am I asking for Utopia or do you think I’m on to something here? I’d love to know what you think.

What I wish I knew: Managing fine, curly hair

Every time a birthday comes and goes, it leaves me feeling reflective about what I know now, in contrast to what I knew 20 years ago. I felt like maybe it was something that I should start documenting, because the memory isn’t what it used to be, and it would give me something to look back on, when I’m 58.

Instead of this just being a mind dump, it may turn into a series, but I’m not sure whether this would be something you’d like to read about. However, in order to know that, I’m going to start by putting it out there, and waiting for your feedback.

What I wish I knew: Curly Hair

As a coloured woman with very fine hair, I spent my first 25 years, trying to find out how to work with it. I would wash it over the weekend, let it dry naturally and then spend the rest of the week, fighting frizz, after I brushed it (which ultimately led to a LOT of breakage). Growing up in a house with very little money and even less knowledge about hair products, I was absolutely clueless about what to do.

It is only after the internet and Google came around 18 years ago, that I started to learn. I now know that my hair needs to be fed everyday. What this looks like in reality is, I condition it after I wash it twice a week.

Managing fine, curly hair

Every day after that, I apply a mask to my dry hair, just before I shower and then rinse it out, after leaving it on for as long as possible. After towel drying my hair (or doing a rough dry with a hair dryer, if I’m feeling energetic) I apply a leave in cream to moisturise my curls, for the rest of the day. You pretty much can’t go wrong by moisturising curly hair, too much.

Oh, and NEVER BRUSH out your hair. Only use a wide toothed comb while it’s wet. Throw away the brush.

Disclaimer: My hair is very fine. It has never been relaxed because it isn’t coarse. I tried the Brazilian treatment twice and, while it helped, I chose to embrace my curls rather than chemical the hell out of them.

Straight hair isn’t the “best” hair. Curls can be beautiful too. No matter what the shampoo ads seem to imply.

Common Courtesy

humanity, common courtesy, perspective, manners, human behaviour, stress, frustration, kindnessMaybe it’s just me but when someone has to ask me to quiet down, I am mortified that I’ve disturbed someone’s environment. The last thing I’d do is respond with a zap sign and some choice words.  That doesn’t seem to be the case when you interact with people today.

Common Courtesy

The more in the wrong someone seems to be, the more likely you are to get told to “eff off”. Someone cut you off in traffic? They’ll flip you the bird as an added bonus. Someone accidentally ram into you with a trolley, you’ll get glared at like, “how dare you shop where I am shopping” as you try and apologize. Common courtesy? What the hell is that? If you slow down to allow someone to merge into your lane, you’re unlikely to even get a thank you gesture.

People are so highly strung and it’s making them aggressive. Somewhere along the line, people have adopted the belief that their life sucks, and everyone else must pay for it. What they don’t seem to acknowledge is that everyone is struggling. Sometimes you can see it, in their appearance or the state of the car that they drive, but more often than not, you can’t.

No one knows who is being given a hard time by their boss or is facing retrenchment. What if it’s someone who is being physically, mentally or emotionally being abused somewhere? What about those who are grieving or coping with a sick family member?

Is it so hard to be kind? When you dash around the grocery store with your trolley, no one is having any fun. Most of us are wondering how we’re going to pay for our basic necessities. We’re all in this together. Take a deep breath and force some perspective on yourself.

Stop believing the lies you’re being fed by the media. Only 0.1% can afford to live the Top Billing lifestyle. They aren’t shopping at your grocery store. The people you are rubbing shoulders with are also tired, stressed and overwhelmed. Get over yourself.

Mainstream school issues

parent, parenting, Mainstream school issues, mainstream, school, schooling, homeschool, ADD, ADHD, Ritalin, occupational therapy, there's something wrong with your child, physical therapy, why mainstream school didn't work for us, south africa, family, kidsI was chatting to a mom the other day who, after finding out that I home school, had a number of questions about who, what, why, when, where and how. After a fairly lengthy discussion, she expressed interest in investigating further, as her son is currently struggling in mainstream school.

Mainstream school issues

One of the issues that I could relate to was the endless correspondence that she received from the teacher, about the “problem child”. I could relate to this straight away. The year before I removed Zac from school, I used to receive a note from his teacher at least 3 times a week. We got to the point where I dreaded receiving an email from her, as it would inevitably end in tears when I got home.

Zac started worrying about what he would be in trouble for when he got home, and anxiously started asking me if I’d receive an email from his teacher. When I didn’t receive an email and he asked this question, I would then lovingly ask (interrogate) him about what had happened at school.

Want to know what kinds of emails I was receiving? Was my child trashing the bathroom or hitting other kids? No, it was “Dear Mrs Magnin, Zac was playing with his pencils and I don’t think he was learning anything. Regards, Miss #######”.

parent, parenting, Mainstream school issues, mainstream, school, schooling, homeschool, ADD, ADHD, Ritalin, occupational therapy, there's something wrong with your child, physical therapy, why mainstream school didn't work for us, south africa, family, kidsNow, as any good parent knows, the parent-teacher relationship means that you will then chat to your child about “the problem” and persuade him as to why his behaviour was bad, and why he had to change. Every second day, I received a note about my “bad child” and obviously, it started affecting my relationship with him. If I was a perfect parent, it wouldn’t have affected my relationship, but I’m anything but a perfect parent.

Since school stretches over a period of 12 years, I decided that I wasn’t happy with the way things were going and, after an emotional discussion with his teachers, the head of the phase and his occupational, speech, physical therapists and his psychologist, I couldn’t handle it any more.

My child is awesome. These people that spent 6 hours with him per day were trying to turn him into a mindless robot who conformed to “the norm”. That wasn’t okay with me. This was a school that specialized in working with children who had “learning disabilities” like ADD, ADHD and dyslexia. In theory, it was a great school. It wasn’t for my kid though.

There is a lot more to developing a person than just their school life. You can suck at school in terms of grades and turn out to be an awesome human being anyway. In the same way, you can excel at school in terms of grades and turn out to be a jobless, homeless, direction less human being. I wasn’t willing to jeopardize my child’s emotional state of mind, in exchange for a “perfect student”.

It has taken us 9 months to get to the point where Zac has a self esteem again. After 5 years of emotional bullying by both his peers and his teachers, he honestly believed that he was stupid and that he “couldn’t do anything”. No matter how much he tried to conform, he wasn’t good enough according to his school and his teachers.

parent, parenting, Mainstream school issues, mainstream, school, schooling, homeschool, ADD, ADHD, Ritalin, occupational therapy, there's something wrong with your child, physical therapy, why mainstream school didn't work for us, south africa, family, kidsWhen you look at the school environment and the real life environment, there are very few similarities. But maybe I’m wrong. Do any of you have a job where you deal with one subject at a time and then have a bell ringing before you move on to the next one? Does your boss sit you down at a desk the whole day and expect you to sit still and be quiet while he or she speaks at you?

There are many different ways to learn and waving around a matric certificate hasn’t been the key to anyone’s success, for a long time. There is something very wrong with the curriculum when half the kids in your class are on Ritalin and the others have weekly appointments with occupational, speech, physical therapists and psychologists so that they can “cope”.

If mainstream school is working for you, then cool beans. I’m happy for you. It didn’t work for me and I got sick of being told that there was something wrong with my child. Just because your child learns differently, doesn’t mean that they need to be “fixed”. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Disclaimer: I’m not writing this to judge. I’m writing this for parents who are equally frustrated and feel like they’re alone. Maybe this will assure you that you are not alone and many, many parents feel equally distraught. You are not alone.

I have nothing but appreciation for occupational, speech, physical therapists and child psychologists. Zac benefited from all the support he had access to in the Foundation Phase and, for a while there, we were fine. When we hit the Intermediate Phase, the therapies fell away and the mindless drone conformity began.

If you child needs support, get it for them. When it hinders rather than helps, reassess and decide for yourself how you feel.