"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Sunday, 22 December 2013

time to check my gratitude journal

I know I am not the only one who has found this to be a roller coaster of a year.  December arrived and is already nearly over and while it seems that this year has flown by, now as I sit and think about all that has happened this year right back to February, when Helen died, it all seems like such a long time ago.

It is typical of me to now decide to write a blog post when there is so much to be done.  I have not bought a single Christmas present, the cupboards are bare...It will get done at some stage (I hope).

Thinking (like thirst) can be a dangerous thing and somehow so much of this year has merged into one that it makes it hard to put things in order.  It is good to reflect as the year comes to an end of all that has happened and to count your blessings.

I am feeling fit and strong and loved the quote I read the other day "strong is the new thin".  I started walking in March with my friend Fay and our short half hour walks around the neighbourhood have progressed to nearly two hours of walking, four times a week.  I have learnt to cut off, leave the phone at home and my working day starts at 10 in the morning after my walk and shower.  We walk the neighbourhood, climb hills and stairs, chat incessantly and marvel in the beauty of where we are so lucky to live.

Gratitude for good health, friends and the beauty of our surroundings

Wine Time is doing so well and when I think back to July, when I was wondering if I had made the right decision, I am now so happy that I made the change.  I no longer feel guilty about my morning walks.  I love the time on my own, driving, listening to new music, popping in to see my mom and Rob for lunch, taking a walk on the beach when delivering to Camps Bay or Hout Bay, popping in to chat and have a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) when delivering to friends.  The business is growing (we have money in the bank and a warehouse full of wine) and "Wine Time is going to "fly" next year" (words of my positive partner). Plans for next year include a proper website and expanding the database to Johannesburg.  Busy and exciting times.  This I could not have done without the support of Mike and my family and friends.

Gratitude that my change of direction was a good one, for my wonderful, supportive husband, crazy family and wine-drinking friends.

Nic's injury at the end of August opened my eyes to so much.  From the initial emergency doctors appointment when there was talk of him losing a limb, to the nearly 5 hour operation and re-construction of his knee, the pain and trauma he went through, the last six weeks of his university lectures missed and through it all he was so brave and positive.  The leg is healing, he is getting stronger every day but I cannot help but tear up when I see my gorgeous son making his way down the passage, now with a cane, his one leg so strong and the other skinny and wasted and his foot still dangling because of the nerve damage. The nerve will repair, the muscles are busy re-building and he will run again. His graduation earlier this week was one of the proudest days of my life.  Four months ago I would never have thought that he would be able to write his exams, nevermind pass so well and make the Dean's Merit List.

Gratitude for the amazing doctor, physiotherapist and support from so many people.

Gratitude for a son with a sunny and positive disposition 

Through helping and nursing him, I often wondered how mothers with seriously ill children manage.  How lucky have I been?

Gratitude for healthy children

Matthew has been away from home for most of the year, playing rugby in the USA and now Hong Kong. Plenty of travelling, new people, new places and stories to tell.  He is back in town for Christmas (unfortunately not for long enough).  

Gratitude for opportunities that are grabbed and that technology makes it so much easier to be in touch and keep in touch with loved ones far away.

Nic and Matt will both leave Cape Town on the 28th - Nic for Pretoria to do his articles with a law firm and Matthew back to Hong Kong for the second half of the rugby season. Forget about the goodbyes for now, how quiet and empty the house is going to be, how you are going to miss them and enjoy the moment.

Gratitude for special times when the whole family are together.  

Some pictures for the Gratitude Journal:-

Walking at Kirstenbosch
Climbing at Kirstenbosch
Neighbourhood walk
Birthday celebrations in the garden
A new addition to the family - Alfie - Gareth and Hayley's 
brand new, ultra cute Boston Terrier
Big Day
So proud
Awesome original oil hanging in a friend's entrance hall
Good times
and what about a song?
Andy Williams - my Dad's favourite

Have yourself a very Merry Christmas!!


  1. Wonderful post Jenny! never mind the no presents or no food…. those will happen in time, this post will endure!

  2. so weird annie - i have been writing this for a couple of days now and on reading yours this morning realised how much we think alike. loved your post - you sure have had a hectic year!

  3. My friend Annie's blog - http://anspired.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/no-ordinary-marmalade/

  4. Tears in my eyes reading this - loads of love to you all from Fluit-Fluit, Voëlklip xxx

  5. What an amazing year! I very much hope that 2014 is as filled with laughter and fun and challenge for you, but rather less full of stress and worry.