What’s New?  — Lionesses of Africa

by Brigette Mashile 

It’s a new year (grin emoji), and I honestly cannot tell if I feel it or not. I just feel like last week was December and today it is January. What I know for sure is that I am exhausted and need a new way.  Those are the two things I am sure of. I need to rest more, no matter what is happening; and secondly because the world has changed and is changing every day, I too need to change. This is not a list of ‘what I wish for in 2022’, 2021 taught us to relax on the wishing and just hope we live to see the 31st of December. 

My ideas for this year:

1. Rest (bafowethu…)

Please rest.  No, you cannot rest in December. Show me one person who has ever had a silent, peaceful December…ok in South Africa?  You may be alone in your house but the business at the mall will get you agitated; don’t even mention at the salon to do your hair. So I think we need to plot in resting weekends, or resting days as we go throughout the year.

Another reason is we have no clue what is coming in the year ahead.  If we keep busy all the way to June, and in June some big thing happens (whether good or bad); and it keeps you busy to December, you will wish you had rested in March a bit. I once read that it is better to do things while you can rather than when you have to.

2. Save

Something. This has not changed at all; we still need to keep saving regardless of where we are and what we think tomorrow brings. Saving is just a way of buying yourself ‘softness’ in the future. You are saying ‘ if ever there is a disaster next year, I will have something to help’.  Many of us did not expect 2020 and its happenings; we now have no clue what 2022 will bring; but we have learned it is good to always be ready.

Another reason to save? Many of us withdrew from a lot of our savings this year. We have to start again or continue but from less income. It is a tough challenge but it is better to put away R50 than totally nothing.  And the feeling you had when you realized you could withdraw from your savings must have been amazing; let’s ensure we can give ourselves this again.

3. Diversify

I think we can all agree that ‘doing the job you studied for’ left the room a long time ago! Right? Yes, except for jobs of specialization, health and maybe spiritual positions. But if you studied a Bachelor of Commerce straight, you are winning, the field of work is bigger today.  Some jobs are disappearing but many are showing up.  Birthday parties may be more challenging with the new Covid regulations, but party packs are picking up; even for 40 year olds!  People are still growing and having their special days in between the challenges of corona, so why not sell a 35 year old an individual party pack? Again, we are challenged to think further and deeper. We need to find ways to solve human problems today. It may mean diversifying or narrowing your business/job model; either way, take the opportunity.

4. Work

When you are done resting, work. Don’t think too much about everything because you honestly don’t know what is coming. We can lose our ability to work again in June, so work today if you can. Make that money, save some and grow yourself with the rest. Most of my friends eventually became frustrated with staying home and doing nothing during lockdown. They simply had enough of waking up, breakfast, tv, lunch, nap, supper, sleep…the mind needed some work, some activity.

5. Help

I know that if you are experiencing a challenge, one way to deal with it is to give your attention to someone who also needs attention. Helping will give you a break, give your mind time to rest and recoup. Obviously, human contact is not possible now, so we need to help differently. There’s always someone needing the bit that you are able to give. Covid is a worldwide problem, but humans need humans to survive.

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