Blast from the past, how things have changed since 2011

Searching for IntelliCred videos, I came across this video uploaded on the 19th of April, 2011 (although recorded prior to that) while working on the Old Mutual “Do Great Things” campaign. How things have changed.

We went from a 2 partner software development company, to a 4 partner software development company with 40 staff by the time I left in 2011. In addition, I am onto my third business, product, not service business this time and three partners with a smaller team. I am a mom now too, oh and married. How much has changed since 2011?

2011 vs. 2015

  • Single vs. married
  • First business vs. third business
  • Childless vs. mom to a wonderful toddler
  • Based in Cape Town vs. based in Johannesburg

How things have changed yet stayed the same. I still work really hard, love technology and connecting people and want to build a product that will take the world by storm. That’s all.

Nothing else matters when the fundamentals of life are challenged…

no-waterIt all began last week on the 26th November 2011. We spent a wonderful day of Thanksgiving with family and friends, but earlier that day arrived home to no water.

We could not understand why this was the case. Now until it’s happened to you, the impact of going without is tantamount.

  • Cleaning yourself
  • Washing dishes
  • Doing laundry
  • Using the loo
  • Washing your hands after
    • the dog has licked them
    • you’ve been to the loo
  • Cooking
  • Ironing
  • Vaccuuming
  • Drinking water (us and animals)
  • the list continues …

The biggest lesson learned this week is “assumption is the mother of all fuckups”. We assumed that because there was a Department of Water (JHB) tape around the neigbours water meter that we had to resolve the problem through them.

  • Two phone calls daily
  • Same story:
    • we have escalated the problem
    • the problem has highest priority
    • the technicians are on the way
    • the issue will be resolved today

A colleague recommended I call a pumber and Friday, after 7 days of no water, showing between friend house, gym and using the pool, the he solved our problem.

Thank goodness. I was about to crack. When all of the above cannot be done, I started obsessing about water which led me to sympathise with kids who have no food at school. How can one think about anything else when the fundamentals of life are challenged?

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Shelter
  4. Security

I sympathise with orphans and children who attend schools who are starving through the day. The 7 days have taught me to be patient, think out of the box, and think about those who permanently have lack.

Great lessons making the festive season a lot more giving. Think about it and hope it never happens to you.

H20 is life.

Water is life.

Water makes you clean.

Cleanliness leads to …….. getting some action. The past 7 days, sigh, no one was getting any anywhere.

And just like that, life ends …

My grandmother died at 11am on 14 October 2011. I was in the air, flight delayed and had not made it in time to see her before she died, but at least I saw her the week before. My mom is the strongest woman I know. She has kept it together for the family, even though my grandmother lived with her most of the time.

I don’t do funerals. I may have attended three in my life. One, my better half’s grandmother, my ex-business-partner’s mom and now my grandmother. I was enmeshed in this funeral. Supporting the sisters, drafting the funeral program, speaking at the funeral and being a pall bearer.

The past two weeks have been draining to say the least. One of the closest of my family members died, travelling between Cape Town and Johannesburg and being a strong, supportive one for the aunts and mom as their mom dies. Heartbreaking.

Death is a selfish act.

When someone dies, I am always thinking about my closest family (mom) and my passing.

Selfish is the act of death, always.

So I bought flowers, food, travelled up and down, did whatever the aunts and mom needed and all I can say is that the sadness of losing a loved on is ……. devastating.

Seeing the dead body, and then the open casket, is jarring. Everyday I feel a little less sad, but the sadness is there. I cannot fathom the day my mom goes and this is the thought that jars me the most. But one thing is certain, life is short and we have to make the most of it while we can. My grandmother was a positive, always encouraging, smiling soul. I will always remember her, especially in the light that I am taking her name. I am now Shana Kay Bailey, a little closer to forming the identity I was unsure of.

October 2011, a month of sadness and reality …

It all started when I checked Facebook and saw this messageMiss you too beautiful one :) u ok? Just heard the news,really sorry :( xx”

I immediately called my mom, who then gave the news of my grandmother being ill, organ failure and the like (details are too graphic, I can’t share just yet).

The love of my life Kevin, bought (as a birthday gift), tickets to Coldplay in Cape Town and I had planned on going on Wednesday 5 October – red eye flight, but due to the latest news, started contemplating changing my flight. My mom, who would never admit to wanting me there earlier, initially said – see you Wednesday, but thankfully I called her again and she actually asked me to come. My mom never does that.

So there I was, spending 30 mins on the line changing my flight, booking new accommodation and a car to get there sooner. This week has been crazy. The idea of working from there was soon scrapped due to my disabled aunt (who has Usher’s Syndrome) needing to speak to me – which involved her having my face in front of hers, at all times.

My grandmother, more like the mother figure, has been the one, who when my father, sister and family disowned me, always maintained her beliefs of “doing what makes you happy” and “accepting me as I am”, irrespective.

And today, after days of being in and out of consciousness, told me “I happy you are here”.


All the while I am there, I have to be strong for my mother, who has been taking care of her mother as she lives with them. My role? Feed them, grocery shop, and listen. Thankfully I have my own place to retreat to since my aunt from London and other aunt (and grandmother) stays with my mom. A haven is needed when one needs to be strong.

My grandmother is 86 years old. Next month is her birthday. Will she make it, I doubt it. All I know is that this sudden realisation that everyone dies makes me question the “important” things in life. Have you called your mom/dad lately? I haven’t spoken to mine in a decade. His choice. But my mom and gran are still around and although we never had a close relationship before, me being here this week has brought me closer to them. I cannot bear the bad news on the way but I know that my gran and I are tight.

Love you Ma Brenda. You will always be my hero. Be strong.

Sunday – day of mixed feelings …

crazy-stupid-loveI woke up this morning to work on a personal project, help a friend plan a book launch in October. Doing this kind of thing, is “kind-of” what I do.

Where the mixed feelings come in to play, was when my “lunch date”, took me to watch the movie “Crazy stupid Love”. All I can say, without knowing why, is that the movie left me feeling … a touch of sadness.

Even though I can honestly say that there were times I laughed out really loud, the movie has a tinge of sadness to it. How can a movie leave one feeling happy and sad simultaneously, I am not sure, but this one has.

My official rating for this movie?

  1. Story line: 8/10
  2. Comedy: 7/10
  3. Drama: 7/10

Overall movie rating: 7/10

All things considered, this is a movie I would consider buying and watching again.

Week 19-24 September 2011, what a week …

Meetings, product launches, conducting interviews, running around in an office which looks like a construction site, dinner with partner’s family, dinner with friends and let’s throw in a photo shoot for Cosmo (Fun Fearless Female: December 2011 Edition), what a week it has been.

Its easy to slip back into the madness that is everyday, but a good friend of mine keeps reminding me to hold that “holiday” feeling I had not too many weeks ago. In attempt to hold on to that “good” feeling, I have to remind myself of the great things that have been happening to me. The latest ones are:

  • first non-working holiday in years (Phuket, Thailand)
  • being nominated as one of the Fun Fearless Females, hosted by Cosmopolitan Magazine (article to appear in December 2011 Cosmo)
  • going to see Coldplay LIVE in concert

I am a very lucky woman, I acknowledge this. From today however, I need to remember that I am where I want and need to be at this point in time. It may seem frivolous to have gone for a photo shoot, but being reminded of my achievements is something I don’t actively do, and it was humbling to see my blurb of achievements and know that there is still so much I can do.

Thanks to Cosmo for selecting the ladies they have and congratulations to us all!

Dress shopping … oi vey!

Atypical woman I am. Am woman who dislikes shopping. I usually do when the need is there, know what I need, get in and get out quickly. I know, it’s crazy :). Now take me to a gadget, DVD or stationery store, I can linger for hours. (Stationery, don’t ask!).

shanakay-blue-dressThis week, my partner informed me of a black tie event for which unfortunately I was not ready for. My motto in life is to give clothes away whenever I replenish my wardrobe and as a result, I have a tiny one.

Thankfully, one of the girls I work with led me into the direction which would secure my newest addition to my sparse wardrobe.

Well, I guess I should wear dresses more since it makes me feel, well …  good.

Good news is that I now have a new dress for another occasion, the bad news is that I probably did not really need to procure a new one. False advertising, bastards.

On the bright side, I felt pretty for an evening and found a new place to find dresses (should the need arise for another shopping stint).

Why I don’t have a full photo of the dress, is due to me leaving work slightly later than usual and rushing through the “readiness” process. The formal event may have a decent one of my partner and I, if they send it, I may share :).

Phuket, Thailand – fookatylor …..

It started on 27 August 2011 and ended on 9 September. Twelve glorious days in Phuket, Thailand was one of my birthday gifts this year. Top that with not having to check email or read text messages. Bliss was my name.

I even managed to read 3/4 of Shantaram, what an amazing book, based on a true story.

The holiday was amazing.

My partner and I went shopping, swimming, sight seeing, for massages and facials, tried new food and experienced new places. It was such a lovely, peaceful, happy and loving time. Traveling with your loved one can be trying, however, this trip, our first since we started dating, was a great indication of how accommodating we can be to each other. This is not always the case, thankfully, we are a rocking, travel-couple.

More to follow on our favourite places as well as recommendations. I leave you with this thought, it is easy to leave all our worries behind and even easier to pick them up on our return. How can we turn this around?

Try and keep that holiday feeling as long as possible and recall all the fun times, it really does make a difference when returning and the same shit happens on different days. It makes everything just a little more tolerable.

Yup, I’m going to be testing this theory, starting tomorrow.

Month of July review ….

Well another month has come and go and what a month of July it has been. Two new experiences happened this weekend, these included:

  1. Midas Historic Tour – Zwartkops | Times Racing
  2. Watershed Family Day
    1. St. Andrews School for Girls

Some of the other exciting happenings in July were that one of my best friends moved to Joburg and my other one may move up as well.

Exciting times.

I also lost a friend this month. Always difficult since I am one who tolerates much and is mostly empathetic, but finally years of making excuses for bad behaviour finally took its toll. These things happen. I am okay.

On the stuff side, my boyfriend was AWOL (not really) for two weeks (business) in LA, Vegas and Denver (I know, don’t even go there), but on his return, the winner gift was a box set of Police Academy DVDs. Yes, it does not take much to make me smile :).

So, another month bites the dust. Living in Jozi gets better every day and I am starting to get into a groove. Thank goodness for friends visiting though and for making new ones.

Sunday, 24th July 2011

It’s been an insane week, then again the past month has flown by in an instant. Today however, the love of my life returns after a two-week stint in the USA. Now two weeks is not a long time, however the time difference made it challenging to have a decent conversation since either I was about to hit the sack or go to work when he called or vice versa. But …. it has shown me the following:

  • long distance, she is not for me ….
  • glad to not be single
  • I too … can pine ….. blagh there I said it!

Okay enough sappiness, time to get into Sunday ….. catch up with social media and then……. ADMIN (runs away screaming …).

(Comes back to complete the blog post …. you know what “she” is like!)

Time for some coffee and breakfast, lets get this day started right …….. whooohooo!! Oh wait, look, its a penny ;).