In 2013 I’m Going to…

Wake up and smell the roses…like this softly scented one I just picked out of our garden.  Isn’t it beautiful?

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How often aren’t we so rushed to do something, or be somewhere, or see to others’ needs that we simply miss the beauty of God’s creation around us?

Though I said in my previous post, I’m not a resolution-making-kinda-gal, I’m going to resolve to do these five things daily:

1.  Be thankful for everything I have, every day – because this is A Philosophy we all can Live by.  An online friend of mine has an awesome thing – it’s a gratitude jar, and every day she writes something down which she is thankful for and places it in the jar.  At the end of the year, she literally counts her blessings.

2.  Try to speak only positive things into my life, and into the lives of those around me – and if I stumble, to immediately ask God’s forgiveness immediately and restart the process.  I’ve bought Pastor Joel Osteen’s bestselling book I Declare and I’m going to be reading the 31 Promises this January and living them.

3.  Give my best at whatever I am asked to do.  I’m not saying that it will be perfect every time, but that I will give my best – and if I can’t do it on my own, that I will ask for help.

4.  To talk less, (be more patient), and listen more – to God’s Voice, and to those around me.

5.  Walk by Faith, and not by sight.

Right, that’s that…no wait!  There’s two more:

6.  To drink more water and green tea

7.  To not go to bed with my make-up on – no matter how tired I am!

Then, I have a bucket list of things I would like to do this year:

1.  Read more motivational books – I’ve just bought this book which Nianell signed, with a simple, yet effective message “Just Be…” on Sunday evening after her performance which I was privileged enough to attend.  She is an incredible local artist, blessed with an angel’s voice.  She is an amazing ambassador for God too – an inspiration and a true light.  In the 90 minutes she sang and brought her message, I was moved to tears a few times.  After the show, she patiently posed for a number of photos with fans and spoke to each one.  Here we are:

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2.  On the subject of reading, I want to also read all the books I bought in 2012 that I didn’t get around to reading.  I realize that this means I am going to be sleeping a lot less than I did last year…

3.  Go horse riding at Eight Bells – I’ve told Steve,  my trainer,  that I want to do this and he will ensure that there is enough lower-back strength training in my program for this to happen.   I’m thinking round about July / August – it’s cooler then, perfect weather for mountain outrides.  I can’t wait!

4.  To go hiking at least once every two months – the Garden Route has some beautiful trails, like the Giant Kingfisher Trail in Wilderness.  I think I shall start rallying the troops now already for a hike towards the end of the month.

5.  To save a few Rands every month, because I really do want to do the Advanced Novel Writing Course through the South African Writer’s College.  Having passed the first part of the course with merit, it is a step in the right direction.  I AM going to be published!  And my novel IS going to be a New York Bestseller – just you wait and see :-D!

6.  To swim in the sea more – I went with Carmen and Ewan to the beach on Thursday and swam in the sea for the first time in easily a decade (if not longer) and it was so refreshing.  The fact that I have a bikini ready body now helps too, I’ll admit 😉

7.  See more of my extended friendship circle – I am so blessed to have many true angels in my friendship circle, yet I don’t get to see them all as much as I’d like.

8.  Watch more movies (at the cinema) than I did in 2012 – shouldn’t be too hard, considering I only saw two last year 😀

9.  Take more photos – and share them with those around me, be it through the various forms of social media at my disposal, or here, on my blog.

10.  With that said…I will definitely be blogging more than the meagre 33 posts I did last year!

Quick Reflections on a Year Past, Resolutions for the One Ahead

Last night I sat, chilled Chardonnay in hand, on the comfy chair in Elizabeth’s lounge chatting about 2011.  Personally it wasn’t a bad year for me, but many people close to me lost someone important to them.  Every time there was a loss, even though it didn’t directly link with me, it made me more and more aware of my own mortality.

I remember a post Aunty Carol put on Facebook – “Children, be careful of growing up too fast, because you forget that while you are, your parents are growing old.”  This really touched me because I realize every time Dad comes home from a month at sea, that he has aged.  Mom told me one night that she is ready to die and I burst into tears.  She looked at me tenderly, “We’re all going to die sometime, my girl,” she said, “it’s the one thing no-one can escape.”  Tears streaming down my face I said, “I know Mom, but I don’t want to think about it.”  

I started a new job in April and I am so happy – I have been blessed with wonderful colleagues, an understanding boss and enough stimulation for my mind.  Even more importantly, this job allows me to spend time with my family, my friends, do my writing and enjoy a good book every now and then.

I stopped drinking my anti-depressants (cold turkey) in mid-October and towards the end of November, I hit a very bad downer, but with the help of mostly my friends, I got through it. 

Also, something I never thought I would ever do was exercise every day, let alone join the gym, but I did – and that too has made me a better person.  I have made new friends there and even though I go for only an hour every day, I come home feeling energized and positive.  

All in all, as I reflect on 2011, it was an okay year for me.  I’m looking forward to 2012.

I don’t have any major resolutions for this year, but a few things I want to achieve are:

1.  Submitting a complete manuscript to my tutor for proof-reading and editing and then rewrite it well enough to submit it for publishing consideration.

2.  Practicing a random act of kindness every day – after all, there is a saying that says “be kinder than necessary to everyone you meet, for everyone is facing some kind of battle.”

3.  Walk through the night at the annual CANSA Relay for Life.

4.  Go on another cruise holiday (for my leave in December).

5.  Blog daily – even if it is a short post, or simply a wordless photograph.

6.  Be the best friend I can be to my friends.

7.  Leave behind the past and focus on the future.  

8.  Reach my goal weight of 61 Kg by the end of June.

A friend of mine sent me this message this morning – and I believe that it is perfect to end this first entry of what I KNOW is going to be a great year…

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters to what lies within us.  We all have questions about what this New Year will hold for us, but we have courage:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28