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4 things 2023 taught me

The end of the year and the beginning of a new one always presents an opportunity to reflect. For the past three years, I’ve gotten into this habit of doing an in-depth reflection of how my year went and to kick-start planning for things I want to achieve and work on in the New Year. Listen, gone are the days of mindlessly creating new year’s resolutions with no plan to back up any of the things I have on my list. Such a waste of time!


Anyway, this post isn’t about that but some of the lessons I learnt in the past year.


Let’s get to it:

1.       Be active – stop procrastinating!

If it’s not money I lost, it is the time and energy I wasted on things that didn’t bring me any returns. Let’s start with life admin! Why is this important thing so dreadful? I guess my negative attitude towards life admin had me procrastinating and this cost me so much in the previous year. From cancelled flights not rebooked on time, thus forfeiting the money; to delaying submission of complaints to service providers who kept debiting my account after I cancelled the service.

 

There’s so much more I procrastinated on and I feel this topic alone needs its own blog or even a workshop on “how to win over procrastination”. Listen! I got burned and I plan to do better in this new year.

 

2.       Don’t be afraid to try out new things or what may look out of the ordinary

Even if something looks out of the ordinary, don’t loathe it. Try it our first and then have an opinion about it. Last year I tried out a peanut butter and banana sandwich on brown bread for the first time ever. The taste blew my mind in such a freaking awesome way! I used to judge the combination but I guess I’m the one that’s been missing out this whole time. Why do we tend to have opinions about things we are uninformed about?

 

3.       Be obedient to God’s call

How many times has God spoken to your heart, asking you to do something and you didn’t? I am so guilty of this! I remember one particular event vividly. In the morning I’d asked God to walk with me in spreading His joy and light to whomever I needed to, that day. Upon arriving at work, I went to our work IT department to seek help with my laptop. Because the time spent there is always super long, I took my journal with so I could do something productive with my time.

 

As I was journaling, I got a prompting to ask the technician about his kids and family. When the prompting came, I rationalised and questioned a lot. I felt it was too personal because I didn’t know him like that. I had a whole internal debate, which of course eventually led me to doing the opposite of what God had whispered to me.

 

Moments later, the technician’s supervisor then came and asked for permission for him to step out a bit. I’d been there for very long, so I reluctantly agreed – I could sense that something wasn’t right. After he left, she told me that he was going through a rough time with the family – the wife was in hospital, kids weren’t good, etc. So he was super stressed, trying his best to cope.

 

You can imagine how I felt for not listening to God’s prompting. Being obedient requires us not to question but to act on instruction. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, it does to God and you just need to oblige.

 

4.       Live more

2023 was the year where although I didn’t have much, I did so much more. It is the one year where I can proudly say, I LIVED! How many times have you put things off because “one day when I have enough or when things are settle, I will…” This has been my mantra all my life, up until my mom passed away in 2015. Realising that I put off things I wanted to do for her to “when things fall into place” was a stark reminder of the limited time we have. A reminder that a life worth living, is one that’s lived in the present because the future is unknown. With this in mind, I always endeavoured to LIVE, and I only got the courage to do this last year.

 

I did a lot more things that excited me and brought me joy. The times when I wasn’t hung up on fear and contemplating the “what ifs”, I lived to enjoy life and got up to some meaningful things like travelling, going out with my family, buying myself clothing pieces I loved, and the big one for me was the skydiving adventure I went on for my birthday.

 

Living more also meant putting myself out there and raising my hand for projects that would stretch me out of my comfort zone. I participated in four speaking events, one at work (something I’ve never done before). I entered a blogging completion hosted by SA Mom Blogs and my parenting blog came out as the most commendable.

 

If there’s one thing I want to continue to do this year, it’s to LIVE MORE, without fear but in faith.

 

What about you? What are some of your lessons from the previous year?

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Love it. It is so true what you said about waiting until "you have enough" to live your life. I plan to enjoy my life and live in the present moment, as much as it is good to have future plans, but living is just as important. I resonated also with what you said about being obedient to God's call. We are spiritual beings, we are connected in so many ways. Thank you!

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So inspirational, you are! I like what you said about how we don't have to have much, but we can still do a lot. Happy 2024!

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Refilwe
Refilwe
Jan 09
Replying to

Thank you Heather. Yes we can 🙌🏽

A blessed 2024 to you too.

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Well done on living your best life Fifi ❤️ These are great lessons that also sum up what I want to do differently this year. Disobedience to God’s instructions being top of the list, I hope the IT guy and his family are doing well now. I have wasted so much time wanting to do things but never doing because of fear, now when I pray to God for assistance He says to me ‘stop praying and just do!’ He goes before us in everything, we need to just move out of our own way. This week I received some stuff I bought on line, in true procrastination style that box almost gathered dust sitting unopened for a few day…

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Refilwe
Refilwe
Jan 09
Replying to

“We need to move out of our own way” period! I absolutely love that. The passivity needs to stop. Thank you for sharing Shoodz. Let’s do better this year 🙌🏽🙌🏽. I have hope that the IT guy and his family are doing well 🙏🏽

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I love this! Thank you for sharing, Fifi. Congratulations on LIVING! I'm so happy for you.

For me, it was trusting that everything does work FOR my good and learning to navigate the "downs" and periods of feeling stuck or feeling like nothing is happening. I learned to be patient, compassionate and kind to myself. I learned that building is a process and I need to be patient as I learn and grow along the way. I learned that I can influence my environment as much as it influences me. I love this last lesson because I learned it by introducing a gratitude practice at the start of my meetings. This earned me an accountability partner and that deepened my…

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Refilwe
Refilwe
Jan 06
Replying to

Thank you so much. Also for sharing your lessons. I must say, I relate to them too. Knowing and practicing something (living it out) are two separate things. I’m so glad you found your rythym - I believe everything good begins with a heart filled with gratitude. I’m definitely taking this one with me - it’s so easy to forget that the same thing one is complaining and moaning about is something to be grateful for. Gratitude changes perspective 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

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