Sweet Desire…

I know I’ve been slacking of late in my blogging and I humbly apologise. If I thought 2015 was an insane year, 2016 took off with a bang and I’m still trying to find myself!

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The Wilderness

My day job has been keeping me quite busy and I’m incredibly grateful having employment that pays the bills, however it makes it so much harder trying to squeeze in time for writing. I recently got the opportunity to travel to the Wilderness for a short stint as part of a strategic planning session and it felt like a sin to be working in a slice of paradise and not having time to explore its beauty. On a free moment, I took a leisurely walk along the shore and I was in awe of the timeless splendour of the Southern Cape. I could see myself living there – in a cottage close to the beach, cuddling up on a swing chair with Neil, soaking up the surroundings, without a trace of stress on the horizon. Ah – if only my dreams could turn into reality, how tranquil life would be?

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The garden route highway skirting the coastline

But alas here I am, still running like a hamster on a wheel, thinking I’m making progress, only to find I’ve stayed in the same place, dishevelled and utterly exhausted! I only got around to compiling my goals for the year towards the end of February instead of them being New Year’s resolutions! But no matter, promises made then tend to be too idealistic and fizzle out anyway.

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The lagoon and sea intertwining

I recently came across an insightful post on the Change blog  on how to achieve what matters the most and why resolutions never pan out. Many of us tend to list too many goals to achieve, being brain-washed by society into thinking that we can have it all. The longer the list, the greater the failure as we’re too busy juggling them in the air, dropping one at a time. The post recommends focussing on one goal at a time, making it a priority, investing enough time and energy to ensure it materialises. This was an A-HA moment for me – one that has worked well in the past, but has been watered down due to a growing number of goals I want(ed) to achieve. I emphasise the word “want” because they’re nice to haves… I want to run a marathon, I want to lose weight, I want a six pack, you name it, I’ve wanted it all! These wants are great to envision, however none happen overnight, some taking months even years to take shape. Patience is not my friend and we’ve been having an on and off relationship for years now!

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Malini and I 🙂

But the message sunk in. I needed to streamline my goals, I had to be real with myself and ask what held a burning desire for me to achieve. Last year carried a fair share of disappointment and made me realise that although it’s great to plan elaborate goals, life has a way of knocking the wind out of your sail and steering you on a course you had no intention of following. Instead of focussing on the same goals of yesteryear, I decided to attempt something I never thought I had the guts to commit to.

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My number one priority this year isn’t running, nor is it shedding five kilograms… drum roll… it’s to write the first draft of a romance novel!!! The mere thought of it makes me feel like a public speaker about to address a roomful of people.

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My fellow writers have enquired when I plan on joining them for NaNoWrimo (a month when they commit to writing a 50 000 word novel) and I’ve always evaded it, saying I needed more time to learn the craft and develop as a writer. However, I could procrastinate forever and may never be ready! But if I have the courage to take the first step towards making it a reality, then I would have learnt from trial and error.

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It takes me back to a time six years ago when I knew I had to turn my life around and find help to overcome my alcoholism. I’d researched the AA for a while, stalking them via phone for advice, sought ways and means to curb my drinking, to no avail. Until I had the courage to face my fears, to step into a meeting with nobody holding my hand, uttering the words “I had a desire to stop drinking” and forced myself to sit it out without running away was the day my life changed!

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For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be a writer and now that I’ve been pursuing writing seriously for the past two years, I’ve finally reached the stage of taking the next step of penning a story from my soul. The past few months has seen me sitting around Meg van der Merwe’s table learning the art of creative writing. I could ask for no better mentor, she has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities, pulled me out of my comfort zone and pushes me to face my fears. I also form part of small writers’ review group who are happy to provide me with guidance as I take on this mammoth mission.

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So what does this mean for my blogging? Sadly, fewer posts 😦 although I will fill you in from time to time on how the process is unfolding. I vow not to abandon my blog and humbly ask for your support as I have a “sweet baby” on the way. The time has arrived to nurture it, give it my undivided attention and fulfil my dream of writing fiction 🙂

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Belated New Year Greetings…

Happy 2015 everyone!!! I KNOW I’m incredibly late with my well wishes and extend my deepest apologies, however since I became mobile again, my time has been filled with pleasures I’ve missed staying cooped up at home:-)

At this time of the year I cannot help but reflect on the previous year, what worked for me, what needs to be sharpened and fine-tuned to improve the quality of my life and what needs to be crumpled and burnt to embers! 2014 was a tough year – it started full of hope and promise, meandered through disappointments, battled through acceptance and finally surrendered to peace and love. Yip – it proves once again that although we love to plan our year ahead with all good intentions, it does not hold us in good stead, for life has a way of knocking the wind out of our sails. Nevertheless we pick ourselves up and soldier on for we never know what adventures lay on the horizon.

I am a firm believer in Resolutions. Every year I write a list of goals I wish to attain, compare it to the previous year, analyse them and pull those I still want to achieve, placing them on a brand new list. I am always bursting with energy when I fuel my resolutions for I tend to come up with bigger and better goals. Some are achievable; a few are far-fetched while others scare the hell out of me!!!

I type my resolutions out, print it and stick it on my vision board. That’s another nifty idea that has stuck with me for years ever since I read “The Secret”. Reading that book was like discovering a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it truly ingrained in my mind the notion of what you believe, you can achieve! My resolutions are the focus point on my board, hanging just above my head in my study and whenever my eyes stray, it finds its way to back them. Over the years I have crammed my board with pictures and mementos I wish to bring into my life. I have a picture of a runner (ta-da, I’m a runner), I have one of a swimmer (yay – I started swimming five years ago), I have a picture of a brunette stunner with to-die-for-abs (I’m afraid I might never look like her *massive sigh* but I refuse to let her go), I have the word meditation sprawled on my board (double yay, I started meditating) and I have an array of medals from my unforgettable races reminding me how far I’ve come. All these small tokens catching my eye during my writing time, slowly materialises in some unexplainable manner, perfuming my life with a sense of satisfaction.

Last week, a friend of mine, Angelé Wells wrote a thought-provoking post on choosing three words that mean something to you, which can be applied to your year ahead. I considered this marvellous concept and decided on BALANCE, ACCEPTANCE and GRATITUDE which has been included on my resolution list.

The reason I chose BALANCE is because I’m a Libran and I’m always in need of it. I tend to overspread myself in everything I do – whether it’s working, running, writing, I pack on far too much and believe I’m superwoman, capable of saving the world. I am NOT and NEVER will be – therefore I must strive to find my middle ground, asserting myself when it comes to tasks stealing my time and leaving me overwhelmed. Yip, I desperately need this one!!!

The next one is ACCEPTANCE. This word and I have found ourselves in the boxing ring time and time again. I always believe I know it all, it’s my way or the highway and I refuse to back down and surrender. I must keep up the fight even though I’m bleeding and whimpering, I need to prove my point and win the match for there might be a small chance I can throw a hook and acceptance might be knocked out. Argh – my hook escapes me and I have wasted all this energy and have been beaten into a pulp – why OH why didn’t I surrender sooner and declare acceptance! My goodness, if there is ever a word I need more than anything else in this world, it’s to accept things the way they are and not the way it could be in my fantasyland *jeez*!!!

My final word is GRATITUDE. I love this one for no matter how many hardships we endure, no matter how stressed our lives become, no matter how many people let us down, no matter how many times we fail, there is always SOMETHING to be grateful for. A beautiful sunrise marking the beginning of a new day, a colourful bird serenading you good morning, a new bloom in your garden, a butterfly fluttering by, a cup of tea with a good friend, a sing-a-long-song on the radio, a sweaty workout, a hug from your loved ones, a rambunctious welcome from your pet after a long day at work, a scrumptious meal or a peaceful sleep. Yes there is an abundance of beauty in this world and I need to allow gratitude to seep into my soul bringing the gifts of light and hope to my life.

To all my followers out there, I hope 2015 is a SPECTACULAR year for you, I hope all your aspirations materialise; I hope you continue to grow, change and flourish every step of the way. I hope you remember those who guided you along your path, who moulded you in the person you are today, who believed in you when you ceased to believe in yourself. I pray you stay close to your Higher Power and never feel that any mistake you make cannot be forgiven in His eyes and I hope with all earnestness that you find the peace you crave in this world. These are my wishes for you this year:-)