It’s the end of January and there have been no New Year resolutions in our house but this is quite fortunate because the thinking is that we shouldn’t have a resolution we should have a plan. A strategic plan but I prefer just a plan. Less scary and intimidating and therefore possibly more achievable.
Having a plan means that you have something to work towards and there has to be movement, improvement and growth. The first thing we realised this year was that we’d blown the refurb budget so we are holding on until May to do any more improvements, but we are pleased with where we are and have loved all the positive remarks about the bathrooms and the walkways and the gardens.
So what is our plan?
1. Batten down the hatches
It’s an election year which will always bring about much unease, fake news and instability. We have to remain steadfast in who we are and what we do. Our special Drakensberg Cycad, Encephalartos ghellinckii, has sprouted for the first time in 10 years, and no matter what, we are taking this as a sign of positive happenings to come. Focus on the good, see the kindness and help where you can.
2. Try new things
Recently we had a family break in the Nambiti Game Reserve. We booked into Cheetah Ridge and I have to admit that the last thing I really wanted to do, after a busy season with family, was holiday with them all again! But, sometimes you must be truthful and also admit that you couldn’t have been more wrong. What an absolute treat to be the guest, to enjoy each other’s company without worrying about the business and just to absorb the peace and tranquillity of the game reserve. We saw the Big6… no leopard but gorgeous cheetah, magnificent elephant, brave buffalo, lion and the incredible ubhejane – black & white. Sundowners and sun-uppers with the chirping of birds and friendly insects, good laughs and fabulous meals. This reserve is over 12 000 hectares, easy to access, no malaria and a wonderful retreat with many accommodation options. It is a must-do.
3. Gather the loose ends
Our projects have been running for more than 10 years and this year we are going to gather the loose ends and tie them firmly together. Royal Drakensberg Primary School will provide mentorship for the Khanyisela pre-school teachers and we will embark on building the BabyBoost programme into something we can all be proud of. We’ll be focusing on the first 1000 days and our plan is to create a continuum for growth so that our Amazizi children have every chance of succeeding in an ever-changing modern world. They all need to learn to read so that they can read to learn!
This is a tough one. In our house no man (or woman) should be idle! Help! How do we switch off and restore our selves so that we can be better people, kinder mums and great friends? We all need time-out. Holidays are important but so is just an hour each day. Park the guilt. Feet up, quiet reflection and restoration. We are going to give this a bash.
Living in what is the most pristine valley in the Drakensberg makes this relatively easy but the practice of gratitude makes us all better people. Last week I walked out from the Games Room and soaked up the view of Surprise Ridge with the agapanthus all in full flower. The mountains were majestic, the afternoon light perfect and then the dogs caught a baby chat and I felt shattered…. Lesson, I think, is that there will always be bad news and hard days but if we are grateful we have capacity to endure more.
So, here’s to 2019. May it be a blessing….