Hello! Long time. I won’t apologise for being absent because that is part of life and how it ebbs and flows. But here I am. I’ve been up to lots lately – here is a round up of my latest thoughts, discoveries and favourite things:
On myself. Remember I wrote about cultivating resilience? Well I’ve recently been on a resilience retreat with The Resilience Factory and it was a huge eye opener – what an incredible weekend (it was in Yzerfontein). Most of it is private stuff , but some I’d like to share revolves around completing the strengths finder test. I’m sure many of you have completed tests like this but because I’m not employed by anyone (nor do I have an HR department!), I haven’t done anything like it in a long time. It’s very empowering to know your strengths because it can help you use them to your full potential, plus show you the gaps you need to fill (maybe with others who have strengths that you do not).
Anyway, my number one strength (out of all 34) was ‘Intellection’: the ability to explain complex subjects in simple terms, an appetite for reflection and introspection. Words describing who I am: thinker, muser, loner, writer, blogger. I would say that is pretty much on the money;). There’s a whole lot of other stuff that is probably only interesting to me (!) but I did like the demotivators/things I hate: a thoughtless approach to anything, know it-alls, a lack of diligence and flying by the seat of one’s pants. Ha – so true.
It’s that time of year when I go for all my checks. Pap smear, breast exam, dermatologist, dentist etc. So this is your annual reminder to do the same! To be honest I booked my dentist appointment a bit earlier than usual as my one filling at the back cracked off over the weekend (joy). My eyes watered at the cost to get it replaced though. Jeez. But it’s really great to be given a full bill of health – every day I appreciate my health even more.
Related to the above, and in the spirit of it being Spring (apparently, but not in Cape Town), I’ve been trying a sort of reset, with minimal alcohol, saying no to caffeine, avoiding sugar etc. I must admit, it’s quite dull, but I will persist;). I’ve had a few headaches from the caffeine withdrawal and then when I had a sip of morning coffee today it tasted weird (too strong). It’s interesting how your body and tastebuds respond. I was motivated by Ash from FitMom who was doing it with a bunch of ladies – follow her on Instagram to find out more. I’ve also been doing her power workouts at home which has been great – and very hilarious with the family looking on (and sometimes joining in!).
This week Shine Literacy celebrated ten years of working at the school I volunteer at in Woodstock. It was wonderful to hear about all the progress they’ve made, and what good work the school does, against all odds.
I was shocked to hear that 60% of the parents at the school are unemployed, and 45% of the pupils are refugees from other African countries. Life starts out SO hard for most of these kids. But Shine is doing an incredible job at improving literacy in places that need it most – if you’re thinking of giving an hour a week somewhere, I can fully recommend working with this amazing organisation.
I’m still loving doing work on our house, although it’s slowed a bit lately because we have run out of
money energy. We bought this light for Gareth’s man cave bar and I REALLY want this for the study, but I’ll have to hold off until I can pay myself a bonus or something. We’re also trying to find nice wall planters for the bathrooms (like this) and matt black bathroom fittings – like dustbins and toilet roll holders. It’s actually the little things that take up time!
I’m not reading them yet but I plan to buy Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly – can you believe I have not read one of her books yet? I also want to buy Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama’s Book of Joy – it was highly recommended on our retreat. I’m also reading Little Fires Everywhere at the moment but it’s too soon to provide a proper review, although I am intrigued by the characters so far.
I recently got sent the most amazing box of fine wine from Wine Cellar Insiders, a new online wine club. This is the perfect gift for any wine fundis you know, people that like the good stuff, but don’t necessarily have time to discover new labels.
James and Roland, who are behind the new offering, have 35 years of combined wine experience and taste over 5000 wines a year! (sounds like quite a job). You can order on subscription or buy a once off box as a gift for the wine lover in your life. Each box includes 6 amazing bottles and tasting notes – we’ve only savoured one so far but it was top-notch. They also do a bubbly box every second month – sign me up! Prices range from R900 per box.
I hope you’re all well and gearing up for this busy time of year that’s coming. It seems that work gets busier as we freefall towards the December holidays, and social calendars fill up too. So take it easy, and remember you can say No to stuff, if you just want some time to yourself (I am totally talking about my own plans here;).