Reflections on 2019

2019 was, well… it was a rough ride. Filled with different challenges, change, promises of things that did not work out quite how I imagined it and revelations. People are going / have gone and others are coming back or new people are charging into my life.

Time went by so fast in the last few weeks I barely had time to reflect on how or what or where. Irrespective of a short holiday break over Christmas I still don’t feel as if I have gotten the chance to come back to myself… and Monday the craziness of life will take up again.

There are a few things that particularly stand out for me of the past year:

People come and go – I usually was the one going so I did not pick up on it to the extend. But it is ok and it is good because it allows you to open up new space for different or new people. It is also ok to be sad when things change. It is part of our very human need to belong and our duty to let go and move on.

Winter / Autumn – a time to let go, and slow down

You never lose where you come from – in the last year I have met more South Africans, who made the same move I did, took the jump into the big unknown. It is ironic that the first thing one talks about is what you miss from home. Whether it’s not finding a specific ingredient or navigating the insane German Bureaucracy-Machine.

A typical S.African trinket – tea light holder

Treasure the resting and the quiet times. I find December, especially here in Germany, to be a profound reminder to take it a little slower. It gets dark at around 4:30pm in the evenings and your body starts shutting down, wanting to take it slower… revel in the coziness Winter offers and the warmth of hot soups and tea.

Do what you say and say what you do. In our world where Hypocrisy is rampant – just take the ˋsave the planetˋ craze – how many wittingly or unwittingly commented and shared on social media how terrible it is to lose the rain forest during the deforestation fires… how many of those people consciously went and planted trees or donated to an organisation that focuses on the reforestation of certain areas… ?? I guess as long as it happens somewhere else it does not really matter… or we take the second it takes to read it online to emphasize and then move on to the next cat video. It is so rare to meet someone true to their word and it is up to each of us to start by setting an example.

So in the new year I would like to do something different, I would like to start by being an example of being true (or impeccable) with my word. Instead of complaining about an issue or not agreeing with it, I would like to focus on what I can change to make this world a better world.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi

With this in mind, I wish everyone a blessed new year.

At one of my favourite Christmas markets in Cologne – Stars hanging in the trees