As 2016 draws to an end, we all begin to reflect on the successes, challenges and accomplishments of the year.  It is always overwhelming to think back on a year and to realise all that was achieved.  This year a lot was learnt, challenges were met with courage, and a lot of fun was had.    Most of my clients indicated to me that 2016 was one of the most challenging years ever, while this sentiment was echoed by politicians, economists and the media (not only in in South Africa, but worldwide).

As time runs out fast and quickly, I have come to the realization that ultimately time is all we have.  BUT time usually implies a balancing act between work, friends, family, leisure, relaxation, responsibilities resulting in a fast-paced whizz-buzz of events, all rolled together. The Festive Season provides time to become single-mindedly focussed on re-grouping; recovering soul and spirit; taking simple steps; and savouring each moment.   This is the time for “going nowhere slowly”.

As I am about to embark on the holiday of a lifetime with my friends and family, I want to take time to think about every person that played a role in my life this year; and to take time to be grateful for all of them.

For a short time, time is on our side.  It is now here….so let us saviour each day like a box of assorted chocolates.  Take time to relax, to unwind and to revel in the beauty of our African summer. The beauty of enjoying our summer over the festive season is all the opportunities and time we have to enjoy the outside life.    For me it will include horse riding, which is one of my passions.   I view this as a mirror to our management of life’s stressors. I often use this as a metaphor in informal meta-coaching sessions with clients.  Riding horses provides certain challenges that when overcame result in personal growth, as well as new skills to deal with life’s challenges.  Strange, but true. Learning to manage your own mental states while riding translates into new techniques for managing life.  There will be an article next year on this.     This is a passion that I share with one of my daughters and helps me to slow time and to stop the multi-functioning and mind-chatter.

And then my children are my best past time activity ever!   The festive season provides time to enjoy another favourite past time of mine eg cooking.  This means a dining room table full of friends, family and children, creating atmosphere of festivity live and joy; and of course cooking pasta – which is my choice of food.  It is fun to share and always results in high energy and shared laughter.   Not even a braai can compare to lazy candlelight, wine, music, friends and family and cooler evenings on an outside stoep.

So as the year closes and everyone disperses in their individual directions, I hope that you take time to celebrate your life and the year; but even more importantly use the time to slow down; to recharge and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.   Really go slow and simple; become centered and anchored, instead of flighty and multi-functioning.  Use this time wisely, we seldom have TIME to disperse as we want.   My wish is that whatever “down-time”” may mean to you, you will end up doing just that, and that you end up refreshed, invigorated and full of positive energy for 2017!

Thank you all for taking precious time to share in my life and my business.  Time is all we have…spend it wisely and collect your own string of pearls. Memories are pearls. Collect them, treasure them and when 2017 arrives wear these memories proudly.