Friends, 2018 was a cracker of a year! I mean, as a family, we experienced a whole bunch of not so lekker situations. But, we were also blessed beyond measure… we still have each other and our health and a roof over our heads… how terrible could it have been, seriously? As always, I focus on finding the lesson in the stressin’ (ha, see what I did there). So, if I had to write a memoir about my 2018 findings, they would include the following bits and bobs:
10 things I learnt in 2018 that probably won’t blow your mind but it did mine
- I love being a mother
Yes, this is number one on the list. But you guys, I love being a mother so much that I totally wouldn’t mind having another little bebe suckling at my breast. (Graphic much? Whaaat, I paint with words). Our accident the other day made me realize how short life is and how much I love being a parent to our kids. I love having a big family!
- Maybe you need to love yourself more
You know how you’re always convinced that people don’t like you? Well, sometimes they do. Sometimes you just don’t like yourself. Give yourself a break, man! As a wise man once said, “we’re just ordinary people… we don’t know which way to go.” We’re always instructing people to love on people. Well, in 2018 I learnt that sometimes I need to work on loving myself, yo!
- Money is lekker, but it’s not everything
You guys, I have a lot of children and I want to have a couple more. I need money to do this. We need it to pay for school fees and medical aid and food and, you know, the wifi and other important stuff like that. But, you guys, I’ve learnt that I would much rather live with a very poor Hubstopher, in a shack, while our kids wear hole-bedecked clothing than live in a huge mansion with fancy bedazzlement, and no Hubstopher or kids. What I’m trying to say is that your big pay cheque isn’t impressive if you hold it up against love, family and contentment.
- You can’t make them love you if they don’t want to
Yoh, you guys, I am a self-confessed people pleaser. Just love me forever and I’ll be the happiest person in the whole world! But hey, sometimes you have to accept that you can’t win them all… some people are committed to misunderstanding you. Love them anyways, and move on with your life.
- People talk
Also, I learnt that people talk about other people. Heck, you talk. I talk. We’re good at exchanging information that is irrelevant to our own lives. It’s lekker. It’s exciting. It’s like watching a series, without having to spend the data. With that said, 2018 reminded me to rather not be that person. I don’t find it particularly exhilarating to have a group of people discuss me, my life or my decisions. So maybe it’s a good idea to not do this to other people too, right?
- Being healthy is better than being psychotic
This statement is loaded, so allow me to break it down: I spent 2018 hating my appearance. I had picked up a lot of weight, after having baby Jo and this – accompanied with diastasis recti – kinda made it hard for me to “bounce back” physically, as I usually do, postpartum. It drove me crazy you guys. Like, mentally crazy. Like, I wanted to not be me anymore. I know I’m saying this all jovially and casually now but believe me, the struggle was real. I had to learn how to be okay with my mom bod. My goal for the new year is to be healthy (not skinny) and, you know, to rather not let my lack of a six pack drive me cuckoo.
- Have a plan
I often brag about my spreadsheet brain, but to be honest, I’m not always as organised as I’d like to be. I mean, I can plan your party, no sweat. But I don’t know a darn thing about my life insurance, or the size of my retirement annuity or if I’m banking with the right people. Tis a boring lesson to learn, but it’s one that I did ponder upon, many times, in 2018.
- I’m only as tired as I let myself be
What does this sentence even mean? Well, I think that I’m tired (hahahah) of being the “tired mother”. We own this title like a freakin’ medallion, you guys, wearing it proudly to social events to compare with other moms. It’s almost as if we want a pity party and a standing ovation, all at the same time. I don’t want to be tired in 2019. I want to be well rested and satisfied and I want to know that I am spending my time wisely.
- I am capable
I learnt that there’s a lot that I can do. Sometimes we need to own up man, and be like, you know what I’m pretty bad ass! I often downplay my brilliance because I’m afraid that other people will be threatened by it, or you know, be jealous (hey I’m here to be real) and not like me anymore. I learnt that I am capable and I am amazing and I know a lot of other capable and amazing women and we should be a source of inspiration to each other, not envy.
The most important lesson learnt in 2018 is that God is fighting for me… on my behalf. He is the one who makes every crooked path straight. I learnt that I often try to do things in my own strength, and then I wonder why on earth I’m exhausted and going nowhere slowly. I’ve seen Him move things along that had been stagnant for years, and fix things that had broken beyond repair, in an instant, after I simply surrendered control.
And even now, as I sit and reflect on all that I’ve learnt in 2018, I am reminded that God has the ability to use every stumbling block as a building stone. His promise is to turn a troublesome circumstance into GOOD and to use your hurt and pain for glory. He can turn your mourning into dancing, friend. And through Him, you are able to achieve so much more than you fragile human mind could ever comprehend.
He’s never failed me yet. And that’s what I’m taking with me into 2019.