Posted by on December 26, 2013 | 0 comments

The Day After

It’s the 26th of December and every year this day feels the same. I devoted so much energy to preparing for Christmas day, and when I woke up this morning it all felt like it had gone by too quickly. It was a great day, of course. The children were thrilled that Santa Claus had remembered them, and especially that he brought them what they had asked for. By mid-morning yesterday the house was a cacophony of charmingly off-key tunes played on new musical instruments, shrieks of laughter from discovering what some nifty gadgets could do, and at times sobs from the frustration of not being able to figure out how to balance on the new skateboard. All the effort I went to scouting toy shops over the past weeks was well worth it. Now it’s all over. We’ve come down from the euphoria of Christmas day, we are tired, and the inevitability of the New Year looms ahead. In just a few days we’ll be in 2014 and the...

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Posted by on December 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Untried Wings

When a butterfly first exits its cocoon it doesn’t know for sure that it can fly. Yet it spreads its wings with perfect confidence and discovers that the delicacy of its wings allows it to fly with grace. May we all trust in our untried wings and go forth to participate gracefully in the dance of...

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Posted by on December 11, 2013 | 0 comments

Big Shoes

We are in the 10 day period of national mourning following the death of Nelson Mandela on the 5th December 2013. Everywhere you go there are reminders of the great man, and just about every television channel is showing features of his life and work. Today was particularly poignant as the state memorial service was held in Johannesburg and beamed around the world. The occasion saw an unprecedented gathering of world leaders, monarchs and celebrities, all paying their final respects alongside ordinary South Africans. I’ve spent hours over the past few days looking back on the life of a man who is admired all over the world for his commitment to a free and democratic South Africa. One thing that stands out for me among all the glory and admiration is the simple humanity of the man. Over and over again he told his admirers that he was not a saint, that he was not without fear, and that he didn’t bring about the demise of apartheid single-handedly. He...

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Posted by on December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

The Art of Less

  Many of us are juggling frighteningly long to-do lists in preparation for the upcoming festive season. This is the season of more: more activities, more parties, more family, more food, more drink, more… Is it any wonder that this time of year is one of the most stressful of the year? My daughters are now on school holiday and yesterday I was in the process of working myself into a frenzy of planning holiday activities. I could feel the headache coming on and I stopped to consider what I was doing. The festive season is meant to be a joyful time, but the length and complexity of my to-do list was far from joyful. The only way I saw to rescue myself from certain festive burnout was to practice the art of less, and to ask myself some simple but critical questions: Which items on my long list can I eliminate? Is there anything on the list that I can simplify or outsource? How do I carve out...

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