On the 31th of December each year a lot of us make promises of how we are going to act, re-act and change in our lives.
We set impossible and realistic goals on this one fantastic evening. Oh boy if I had kept some of the promises which I had made to myself and anyone who would listen I would be a 15 kg’s lighter, 30 000 bucks heavier, bond free, debt free, non-smoking, hands off Mom, super-fit, self-enriched Super Person.
However, in reality, what am I? Well, to put it mildly a super non-achiever – well according to my promises which I made in the heat of the moment, on a stoep, in front of a braai watching the illegal fireworks exploding all around me.
Did I lose the 15 kg’s on a super no-carb diet – NOPE
Have I got a R30 000.00 nest egg growing in a Swiss Bank Account – Didn’t even open the Account.
Smoking? – Oh hell yeah!
Bond Free – Debt Free – NOPE!
Fit and mentally stimulated – HUH!!!!!
BUT, in the big scheme of things, am I making this world a better place? I hope so.
Let’s look at some of the things. I reconnected with some old friends, that to say it bluntly we didn’t leave on good terms 20 odd years ago. Why did we disagree ………… to be quite honest I really can’t remember and I really don’t have the energy or time to rehash the problem. The connection which we initially had must have meant something because the friendships are blossoming – step 1 the world is becoming a better place.
I have had arguments with some of my less than 20 year old friendships – but – we have kissed and made up because it is just too dang hard to carry on fighting. We have also learnt that being true friends is about good and bad times and how we deal with these times makes us better people – step 2, the world is becoming a better place.
I have learnt to let my children, to a certain degree, live their own lives. Through this they will grow and become better human beings. Every now and then I will nudge them in the right direction, but I have learnt not to make their fights my fights and their dislikes my dislikes. They have their own decisions to make of what they find acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in others, they have to learn how to judge people within the realm of what they think is right and wrong. This has been an extremely hard lesson for me to learn, and it is a work in progress ……. but I am getting there. Step 3 – the world is becoming a better place.
Money has been the centre of our universe since the recession klapped us in the teeth. I have learnt to do with less, actually I am loving buying and owning less. I am loving teaching our children that if you save your money to get something you really want you will appreciate it more. I am loving only taking out 1 video on a Friday night and really enjoying choosing it and watching it, instead of taking out 3 and battling to watch one and return the others the next day unwatched. I am even enjoying taking on a second job to make my personal ends meet – I have met some truly amazing people and re-learnt how to work as part of a team. Step 4 – the world is becoming a better place.
I have learnt that “meat-free” Mondays is good for the planet as well as my pocket. We do not have to drink 2 litres of coke a day and packing your own school lunch can be fun and healthy. Getting Tuck-money only on a Friday is a treat. I have learnt not to buy 12 bread rolls just because they smell lekker – when in actual fact I only need 6.
Re-cycling, re-purposing and re-gifting has become a fun necessity in our lives. We do not “buy” plastic bags at the supermarket and where possible we do not buy anything in polystyrene and covered in plastic. All boxes, empty toilet rolls, tins and jars are re-used and re-used again. We seem to collect stuff to be sent to churches and schools. Last years ½ empty school books are just fine for using for notebooks. Leftover cooked veggies are delicious addition for the dogs on their food – cats don’t do veggies. A used but still in good condition DS game is an absolute winner for a gift to a friend who has just got a new game station. Step 5 – the world is becoming a better place.
Step 6 was surrounding myself with people who make me laugh (about myself and things) and who are able to laugh at themselves. Laughter is catchy, it makes you look and feel younger and …… well ………….. happier.
I have learnt that box car racing in your pyjamas on a Friday afternoon at the local supermarket is one of the funnest things you can ever do.
I have learnt that accepting second best is simply not good enough. I return “bad” merchandise to suppliers, to service providers who do not clean up after themselves – they get a phone call to come back and complete the job properly. If I get bad service from a shop or service I “complain” with my feet and don’t go back, and not with my mouth which makes me sound like a moan-gat. I reserve the right to change my mind about a place and go back if I want to. If I haven’t moaned publicly about a place then I don’t have to explain why I am giving them a second chance.
I have learnt to accept that Multichoice, ABSA, the Government, Local Municipalities and a couple of Uber- corporations just give down and out shitty service, but hey …………. I need them more than they need little me – so I will just suck it up.
No I didn’t enrich myself financially this year, but I am overall a richer person. Bugger New Years resolutions – I am into Mid-year reflections and a minor tweak here and there can make me and the planet a better place.