Monday, January 04, 2016

A Blessed 2016 To You

A blessed 2016 to you. I hope the year brings you good health, peace and prosperity. The past year was good to me. It had its big wobbly moments, of course, but it started and ended very well for me.

Health and wellness

My body feels the best it has in decades. In September I finally got back into jogging/running after abandoning it decades ago, and do around 7km every other day or so. I'm slower than snail most days, but it's lovely to be out and the endorphin are addictive, so overall, I'm satisfied. I also eat better (no diet!). So for 2016, I just want to learn more about nutrition and refine what I've been doing.

Client Work

It's necessary, of course. But I'm learning not to stress too much about it, not take on too much and to live below my means.I'd like to see consistency and more long-term contracts, freeing up my time to increasingly focus on my own projects.

Own Projects

I wrote A LOT! I even have some finished projects that have been edited, typeset, proof-read, have covers etc. These include a non-fiction ebook and some children's stories. But, I was also feeling like a bear in winter, just wanting to hibernate and seemed counter-intuitive to launch ebooks I was not 100% confident I would promote adequately. So I continue to write... and the finished stuff can wait until I can do them justice.

The Writing Life & Hobbies

I'm still based in Phokeng and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But 2016 will see me spend more time in Johannesburg, maybe even do a 50/50 split. I love that city and its creative vibe.

I'm also still growing food, though the past Spring and Summer were a complete failure due to drought and water shortages. I had plenty of water for my own use, but it seemed cruel to use it to water my garden when some people don't always have drinking water. So on dry days we ration the water out to those in need. Grey water and rainwater harvesting systems will be necessary, I think, to allow me to garden and not feel it's inappropriate to water it.

I also plan to continue with the volunteer work. Currently I work with a local NGO in the village to help them access existing services and create programmes they need. The work is done 100% by volunteers and every family in the community contributes R10 per month. You'd be shocked by how far R10 can go if managed very frugally. This Christmas we managed to buy 70 elderly families with Christmas hampers on a budget of less than R8k, including transport. We initially budgeted for R10k, but our goods came in way below that.

I'm also chairperson of the Royal Bafokeng NGO Forum. The forum is made up of 93 NGOs located in the the greater Phokeng (29 villages). Again, it's helping them set up governance structures that allow them to access resources available to them and providing them with training on how to run NGOs effectively. In the great scheme of thing, for this pretty much involves using my professional skills set to benefit local communities.

I take so much for granted, just by virtue of how I've lived and what I've learnt, and doing the volunteer work has shown me the value doing admin work. No matter how just your cause, how talented you are, very little can happen until all the forms are filled in and signed and the supporting documentation is attached. Urgh!

Again, the volunteer work will continue into 2016.

So what will be different then?

All things going well, I want to write more, and this time, make an effort to get it published. I want to communicate more. Not like my pre-Phokeng days, where my online life was as busy as my offline one. But, I want to do it more often; make it meaningful.

I'd love to hear how your 2015 went and some of your plans for 2016.

1 comment:

Joss said...

Wow, it sounds like you live a pretty busy life and give so much for others, which is so great to see. If only more people were so giving. I would love to find away to help in the community, but at present I struggle just trying to help my own son. Well done you and I wish you an amazing new year, you definitely deserve it. :)

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