Some homeschooling gems

The one thing that’s guaranteed when listening in on grade 1 homeschooling calls is that you’ll either be annoyed or amused. Honestly, if it’s done my head in, these poor poor teachers. I wonder if this is how it goes in the actual classrooms??!!!!

The constant comments…

“…when is break?”

“…when are we finished?”

“…can I go to the toilet?”

“…I didn’t have a chance to answer.”

“…I can’t see the video.”

“…I can’t hear you.”

“…when can we eat?”

“Teacher, you didn’t ask me…”

“I’m still busy.”

“I have no more space on my whiteboard.”

“Teacher, I madea mistake.”

“I’m done, I’M DONE, I’M DOOONNNEEEEE

From the teachers…

“Grade 1s, please put your microphones on mute”

“Grade 1s, please only speak when I call your name”…[everybody continues to yell out]

“Grade 1s, only one more lesson, please sit up straight”

” xyz, can you tell us the answer” – ABC YELLS OUT THE ANSWER INSTEAD

“Grade 1s, please don’t shout out the answer, others are still busy and need more time. Let’s wait until everybody is finished”…[everybody continues to shout out the answer as soon as they’re done]

*Poor teacher*

The true pearlers…

[said to someone next to the child] “Your breathe smells”

[when asked what the word Hlala means in English after having sat down correctly every time the Zulu teacher said Hlala] “I don’t understand because I’m not isiZulu”

[on a Maths bingo game where you need to cross out numbers called out on the call, number 8 was called] “Teacher, I have number 18, can I cross out my 8 from the number 18?”

And when the teachers says 1,000times to PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU’RE ON MUTE, there are still children talking on volume 1,000.

Last day of homeschooling today, one more hour then I’m cracking open the champagne! #missionaccomplished

Hey

Hey there! February…yup, December is almost here. Kidding. But wow, this year is already moving at an unbelievable pace.

Well, I’m just checking in to say hello. Grateful to be healthy and alive. So super happy to see the sunshine and blue sky in Jo’burg today after weeks of rain and grey skies. Also, 2more days of home school, but who’s counting 😉

Hi there from moi

My boys are officially back at school on Monday next week – Grade 4 and Grade 1 – I cannot wait for them to go back. I still have some things to wrap up before school starts…like Riley’s uniform (I’m not joking!!) and a few items of stationery that I ordered online with Takealot, which arrived and are nothing like I expected so so much for shopping online. Now I need to get to the shops for these two items! I can’t even do a currently post guys. The energy. I have a lot going on in my life right now and there are days when I don’t even want to get out of bed but we carry on right?!

I am teaching myself to play the guitar (a Christmas gift from my folks) which is at least giving me something different to do. I’m also doing the 12 Short Stories challenge and have even registered this year for 12 poems. I wrote my first poem last week…I have never written a poem ever in my life. Well actually, I think I wrote a very short one unintentionally over here, but also, I don’t know what makes something a poem as opposed to a paragraph or short story. Anyway, I’m learning as I go along, and that’s the point right?!

On the work front, I’ve registered for an online Business Analyst course starting on the day of my birthday for four full days. Since finishing varsity 16years ago, I’ve done ONE course about 6years ago so I won’t lie, it took a lot to register for this and I’m really hoping that it’s worth it. I work as a business analyst, but have literally landed up doing this job per chance (I have an Accounting degree), so I’m picking this up to upskill and empower myself. Maybe open more doors, increase my earning potential etc. We’ll see how it goes hey. 1more month.

I’m so tired to reading and watching tv, baking, cooking – I just don’t have any lis – even posting a blogpost is a mission. But this too shall pass. I’m just popping by to say hi. How are you all coping? I hope that your year has started on a good note and that you’re in a good frame of mind. Again, let me remind you…BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You matter!

That time our house flooded

So…long story short…we left on a Saturday afternoon in October to go away on our annual family holiday (usually, we do this around May/June, but it was moved to October last year due to…COVID).

Before leaving to Harties, we switched off the geyser as we usually do when we’re away for a long period of time, made sure that all taps were off as we had had no water all day in our area that day and the kids kept opening the taps to wash their hands forgetting that there was no water, and then we went on our merry way.

We were all so excited to get out of the house and spend some quality time together!

On the Sunday morning, I was busy in the kitchen making a full breakfast for the family, when I happened to glance over at my phone and see three missed calls and a message from my neighbour, a neighbour who I hardly ever see or talk to let alone receive calls from. I immediately knew something was wrong. I very cautiously redialled her number, already having serious heart palpitations awaiting the bad news. Turns out that they had heard water running on our house side of the wall [side note: we live in a complex and our units share a boundary wall – our bathrooms are close to the wall at the back wall, which is how they heard the noise] from the night before, but paid little attention to it as they assumed we were around. It was only after they were pulling out the next morning that she noticed that our car was not there (we now only have one car – have I blogged about this??? – so easy to spot if we’re not around!!) and wondered whether we had in fact been there at all since they first heard the water running. She asked whether her husband could jump over the wall and turn the water off at the mains. Of course we said yes! She also said that he’d look through the window and try ascertain if there was any damage so that we could decide if we should come back home or not. Well, I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves…

Needless to say, we decided that we wanted to see the damage with our own eyes, well aware that it was a Sunday which meant nothing could be done anyway! The hubster decided to make the trip home on his own and the minute he opened the front door, water came gushing out. It was not our geyser that burst, but the valve on the outside of the geyser – the geyser sits in the ceiling above our bedroom though. Our entire bedroom was gutted – ceilings, floors, skirting boards, sleigh bed, mattress, to name a few things – the whole passage cupboard and every single thing in it from linen and towels, to electric blankets, board games and books. The passage skirting boards were badly damaged, and both the boys’ room and the spare room bedroom floors were badly damaged.

You know how they say that every cloud has a silver lining. Well, when the hubster reported the full extent of the damage back to me having seen it for himself, I was really upset. All I could think of was what else could go wrong in 2020??!!! Fortunately, our body corporate insurance and household insurance covered every.single.item…down to the smallest box of puzzles and boardgames up to the repainting of our entire room and passage, new skirting boards in all rooms, a brand new linen cupboard and new laminated floors in all the bedrooms – floors which were on our list to be replaced in the near future, finances permitting! The admin was a nightmare and the replacing of the ceilings was absolutely horrible – fine dust for days – but when I think of this experience, I count this as one of the unexpected blessings that we had in 2020. If only the water had damaged the kitchen too 😉

How old is old?

Many years ago, my mum called my ma (her mum) and my ma was retelling a story of one of her sisters who was refusing to be put into an old age home by her kids even though they were battling with her suffering from dimentia. My ma proceeded to tell my mum that when she gets old – this at the age of around 85 – she doesn’t want to be arguing about going into a home. My mum and I were rather amused…not at her adamant that she wouldn’t argue which we pretty much knew would happen if we ever suggested that, but that at that age, she was still saying when I get old.

When does one start to think they’re old?!

The funny thing is that I can actually understand how she felt… I am 2years shy of 40, and there are days when I still feel like that pimple faced skinny teen (although I thought I was really fat then…oh how I wish I wish I could go back to being that fat!) who thought she was cooler than school drinking in taxis with loud music, smoking around corners and sniping (slang for kissing when we were growing up!!) boys in bushes in the park, hahahaha.

OK, maybe I don’t feel that young, but I often think that I don’t feel old enough to be adulting. I mean, my baby is going to grade 1 this year. I sometimes feel like I was in grade 1 (sub A in my days) yesterday. I still remember my teacher punishing a little boy in the class, Geoffrey, by making him kneel in the corner facing the wall while the class continued. I can’t recall for what, but my point is that I clearly remember starting a new school mid-year having moved to Durban during the school year, and at times it seems like just the other day.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine popped over to drop off some lunch boxes of mine, and while we were chatting, the hubster commented on how we were chatting away like two old ladies about our kids and we both commented… but we ARE old!!! I mean, surely 40 is considered old? I guess it’s all relative right… When we were 10, 40 seemed ancient, but as you get older, your definition of old changes.

So how old do you think old really is??!!!!

300days and counting…

So I saw on social media this morning that apparently it’s been 300days since the president announced the national lockdown in South Africa. 300days???!!!! In some ways, it feels like 300years and it’s no wonder the vast majority of us are completely over it! Not to say that we’re ignoring any of the rules or protocol, just that this pandemic must end already.

I chatted to two colleagues – guys funnily enough – who actually got me thinking a lot about the mental aspect of this, and when one of them stated the obvious…nobody could have actually realised/guessed/estimated the mental impact/challenge associated with lockdown…I completely agreed and it hit the nail on the head of how I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks. It’s the mental aspect getting me down.

So again, I ask the question, the same question I asked a in a blogpost a few months backHOW ARE YOU REALLY DOING??? Because I won’t lie, I am struggling.

And if I am struggling, I cannot imagine how people who suffer from depression, who have lost parts of their immediate families, who live on their own in their apartments and cannot leave, who have co-mordities and have literally sat indoors for 300days (just some of the scenarios I can think of that are very different to my own) are feeling. I mean, I can’t complain really. As I blogged about here, we really were blessed in 2020. And please don’t think that I’m trying to take the limelight here or seek attention or looking for sympathy, I am merely sharing how I feel…

I.AM.MENTALLY.EXHAUSTED…

No amount of sleep will change it. I am all Netflix’d out, I’ve read so much that I find myself skipping whole lines in books now due to lack of interest in reading. My house is my whole life – not only my family within its four walls…but it’s my work, my resting place, my holiday place, my waking up and sleeping place. Every day rolls into the next. Every weekend is the same – minus my laptop. Even cooking, something I did every day pre-lockdown anyway, seems to be a chore. There’s nothing to look forward to. There’s no end in sight. I feel like I’m in such a funk and I just don’t know how to get out of it.

The End.

On spoilers

Don’t you just hate it when somebody spoils something for you – the ending of a movie, a book, what happens in a series, a surprise even (I’ve ruined this numerous times, just saying!) …arggghh, I hate it! Especially when I tell the person not to tell me when they’re explaining something then BOOM – they spoil it.

I’m not sure how many of you use the app Goodreads. A friend recommended it a few years ago when I joined her bookclub, and ever since then, I’ve used it religiously to track my reading. I mainly use it as a tool to record what I’ve read. I’m the type of reader who easily forgets a book and I really don’t like rereading books especially because inevitably, I only realise a few chapters in that I’ve read it and then I’ve wasted a whole lot of time rereading something that I’m just going to put down! Occasionally, I read the book reviews on Goodreads when I’m looking for a new book to read, to see what other readers have rated the book and get their views on the book. On the app, readers are able to – on their book reviews – tick the “has entire reviews because of spoilers” box, essentially warning readers who read the review of these so as to stop them from reading the review and literally spoiling everything! I really think that it’s a nifty function. In fact, I wish that everybody writing online would include this in their articles/reviews.

In the past week, I’ve read two articles that have spoilt things for me! And these are shows that I am following eagerly waiting to find out who the winner is (Masterchef Australia) and to find out who the “whistleblower” is (Bridgerton – yes, I’m hooked!!!). The Masterchef spoil came about when I was reading the news. I read a lot of Masterchef articles because I follow the series and Google has picked up my Masterchef pattern, hence the articles just pop up all the time…but then…BOOM, an article popped up which started with Masterchef winner xxx, so I literally could not avoid it. Then this morning, I opened an article that wrote about whether the main characters from Bridgerton are dating in real life. The article opens with a video with the supporting actresses being interviewed and again, BOOM, how do you feel about xxx being Lady Whistledown???…arrrgghhhh. Why.do.they.do.that??!!!! No warning, nothing. Series just about ruined…

How do you feel about spoilers? Do you still continue to read the book or watch the movie or series or does it just totally ruin it for you??

Happy New Year

Going into 2021 feels so strange. You know all those 2020/2021 memes that went around…I’m not starting 2021 until I see a trailer, nobody make any plans for 2021 – just walk in without touching anything and I’ve had the 7-day trial period of 2021 now, I’m ready to hand in my subscription…??? Well, my brain has clearly been in that sort of mode (of maybe I just read too many memes) because it just feels like it’s in limbo.

I have spent the last few days thinking about my word for 2021. I started with a word for the year about 2/3years ago and I really like the idea. Last year, I even had a Bible verse to support my word. But I just cannot for the life of me come up with something that I think will fit me or where I am in my life right now. I guess I’m probably not the only one right? Other than my life feeling a bit topsy turvy right now, the world kind of feels like that. Most of us wanted 2020 to end because, amongst other things that happened during the year, COVID was just insane and then BOOM, 2021 starts in SA with another strain, so many more cases and deaths than in the previous months, and I think that just about everybody I know has lost someone – either family or close friends – to the virus. If they haven’t lost anybody, they at least know one or plenty more people who have had or currently have it.

On New Years Eve, after the kids had seen in the new year with us, the hubster and I sat on the verandah reflecting on the year and I once again said – probably for the hundredth time – how bloody bizarre the year was. I mean, who would have ever imagined that something like this would happen. Nobody alive today has been through anything remotely similar to this! 2020, the year of plenty…plenty of weird and horrible things happened to many people. For us, we lost my brother-in-law which was a devastating blow to the family. But then, the weekend before Christmas, we also lost my father-in-law. In spite of these two deaths – and I am not by any means trying to minimise them as we are still reeling from them months and weeks after – when we sat back and took stock of the year, we both agreed that we had really been blessed. God remained a constant focus in my life and through prayer, reflection, and even a women’s Christian course that my mother ran online for my sisters and I, I really cannot complain. We all had really good health, the kids managed to pass the school year and adapt to the absolutely insane world of homeschooling and online classes with mum being the teacher (I’m not sure who suffered more with this to be honest!!), both the hubster and I kept our jobs as well as our salaries, we were able to stay connected to the broader family via online apps and social media and we really got to spend quality time together in our own home. As my sister said a few days ago, 2020 was really one year that we got the most out of mortgages, haha. We also managed to travel down to Durban to spend Christmas with my folks and my sisters. We spent a week in Durban where we even got to the beach twice! We exchanged gifts as we usually do and started Christmas Day off with mass together (the kids and I haven’t been in a church building since March 2020, so this was very special for me) and had lunch as a family at my parents’ home. We spent the next week of our leave at home in our own house. It gave us a chance to rest and unwind fully. I read, watched series, did arts and crafts with the kids, braai’d and we continued to spend time together of a family, cognisant of the many families who have not had this opportunity for a long time.

As the 2021 year kicks off, I want to remind you to be kind to yourselves. That COVID fatigue we all complained about a few months back?…well, I don’t know about you, but I think my brain is still experiencing it! And unfortunately, I think it will continue for months to come. Every conversation I have ends up going that way. Even if we start with a normal “hi, how was your new year”, it keeps coming back to COVID. You see, even this blogpost is going there!! I stopped following SA’s COVID numbers ages ago as I just felt that it added to my mental stress. I am plodding along cautiously in the hope that school is going to start this month as expected. I know we’ve done this before, not very long ago, but guys – homeschooling – with a grade 1 and 4 this year…I don’t know hey, really. I’m not sure if I can cope with it. But we are all in the same boat. One of favourite sayings applies here: it is what it is.

At any rate, I wish all of you and your families the very best for 2021! May it be a year of good health, peace and love. May you be blessed beyond your wildest dreams and may all your wishes come true even in these uncertain times.

The year would not be the same without adding in a very special birthday wish for my little (not so little) sister Lauren. Once we hit the 8th of January, my year is officially underway. Once we get to celebrate you! Today, Lauren, I wish for you all of your hearts desires. I know that 2021 is going to be the best year for you yet. Thank you for being the special person that you are in my life. I appreciate you and I love you tremendously xxx

2020 in review

I came across this blogpost this morning, and it’s just too much of a good read not to share: https://www.coffeeandcrumbs.net/blog/2020/12/16/explaining-2020-to-my-grandkid-someday

To think that I had a lot of the same “feels” as this blogger all the way in America! It made me think of my own anxieties, fears, frustrations, happy thoughts and blessings during this year and so, for posterity sake, I thought I’d blog about it. Who knows, maybe one day my little grandies will be reading this too 🙂

The first we heard about COVID was from my sister-in-law. They had been in China for a few months – her hubby took on a contract for work in Jining – and they were talking lockdown, pandemic, words that I don’t think anybody alive today would have ever expected to hear in their lives…well, definitely not in the year 2020…the year of promise, bright lights and dreams like no other at the start of a new decade. Yes we’d heard of it over the news, but China felt so far from home. And so between updates from them and on TV this side, we kept up to date with the virus, more and more concerned as to where this was going! Then it started spreading. I remember the first time I heard there was a case in SA, I felt a bit worried and then just like that, we were on 9. Ah 9…remember those good old days??!!!! My sister-in-law and her family hopped on a plane back home the minute they could, so suddenly, that they didn’t even have a chance to tell us about their return plans. I wasn’t too perturbed by this stage…but then we were called into a team meeting in the office on the 11th of March. There had been whispers around the office prior to the meeting about the impact of the virus on work, but I clearly remember in that meeting breaking out into a sweat. I felt petrified. I was concerned as to what they knew that we didn’t. I mean, here we were plodding along 2020 quite nicely and then BOOM…WORK.FROM.HOME.AS.OF.IMMEDIATE.EFFECT. In the 15+ years I’ve worked, nobody has EVER told me to work from home and for an unlimited time period, no end date. Never. I remember leaving work rather unsettled. Of course, I had sent the message out to family and friends while IN the meeting – as one does when your whole world feels like it’s turning upside down – and by the time I left the office that afternoon, I was already in conspiracy theory mode. Is it the end of the world? Are there going to be zombies on the street soon? When is this going to end? And so the numbers climbed – we watched and we waited. We did stockpile, I won’t lie. Not on toilet paper funnily enough, but non-perishables and basic essentials. Like, we thought at least we could make bread if we had 1,000kgs of flour (okay, I’m exaggerating…maybe not 1,000!) and that was the only thing in the cupboard. We bought canned food until they were coming out of our ears and lots of packets of 2minute noodles. I still have cans of tuna…I’m the only one who actually eats tuna so I have no idea which of us made that dumb decision but it was probably be ME, as food is my number 1 thought constantly, hahahaha. We started acting more “adult”, like I remember cancelling a braai we had scheduled that weekend because it was the responsible thing to do! And then, our president announced level 5 lockdown. Yes we anticipated it, but I remember clearly that that’s when my panic levels skyrocketed. I sat in the room in tears. I was convinced we were all going to die. I shed a tear for my child who would never ever start grade 1…like anybody would be focussing on that if we all died but anyhoo. I was mentally distraught. I’m not even going to pretend I wasn’t. I drank. Lots.

The past few months have had their ups and downs. There’ve been lots of challenges – all of us have faced them – but a few for the blog just so I don’t ever forget!!…

  • Living at work (let’s not kid ourselves, it was definitely not working from home)…not great despite what we thought before this. Well, not for me anyway. I missed the adult company, there were no boundaries, iffy internet is really frustrating, going to the toilet takes like 2seconds and really doesn’t constitute much of a break. I could go on but seeing as I seem to be just about the only one who is happy to return to working from the office (for like an hour a day or so 😉 ), I will stop right here on this one.
  • Homeschooling…not.ever.again!! Between trying to explain concepts not the way teacher taught us to do it, teach new concepts, some of which – even at grade 3 level – I didn’t quite understand myself (yes, YOU Zulu!!!)…let’s just say that homeschooling did not highlight many of my strong points. The patience levels once must display with a grade R and grade 3! Finding a sharpener or eraser, or orange crayon then being told…I left the sharpener right here (ggrrrr…yet somehow it mysteriously disappeared), this eraser is the only one I have (about the dirtiest eraser that leaves marks on the page when I know there are at least 5 others floating around) and being told that’s not orange, it’s red…#defeated.
  • Being with my husband 24hours a day…guys, I love my husband, but there are things I don’t like about him and I’m sure he has an endless list of things he doesn’t like about me! In those first few weeks, maybe even months, I was sorely tempted to get an affidavit from the police to go and spend the rest of lockdown in Durban with my parents. I wasn’t even worried about the kids – they could come or stay, whatever! – but for my own sanity, I felt the need to leave. I was convinced one of us was going to be murdered by the other soon, and I had my boxing gloves prepared so I highly doubted it was going to be me 😉
  • Exercising during hard lockdown…I am definitely not the fittest person you’ll find, but I like to exercise at least 3-4times a week. The first few weeks, I resorted to online videos. Taebo was a hit, until it wasn’t. Once I was over that, I started running 20 metre laps in the parking outside our unit averaging 3 – 5kms on each run. It.was.horrible….
  • Not seeing my family…this was probably the hardest for me as with a lot of people. My folks live in Durban but we usually see them every 6weeks or so. My middle sister lives in the Westrand and we see her just about every week. For months, we saw none of them face to face. I wanted my mother to come and cook for one night, give me a hug and watch movies with my kids. I wanted to drink with my sister (okay, when the alcohol ran out, she had and I didn’t, hehe, so the want was even bigger then), catchup on the week and relax together.
  • Spending time with my kids…having small kids, this was probably the highlight for me, again, until it was not. Most days, I made extra time for them. We arts and crafted, we watched movies together, I did treasure hunts for them. And then I…and they…got tired of it. When they mentioned schools going back, my husband was very hesitant. I made it clear – in no uncertain terms was I prepared to continue as we’d done for the first few months of lockdown. He is their parent as well and as such, is entitled to make decisions for them, but I was not prepared to homeschool for a single.day.more!!

And on that note dear friends, jokes aside, 2020 has really been good to us. We’ve lost one loved one in a car accident and it took a lot out of us, but otherwise, we can truly say that this year has been a good one and certainly one to remember.

2020 Birthdays

For those of you who know me well, or have been following my blog for a few years, you’ll know that in these parts of the hood, we are BIG on birthdays! Not necessarily on big parties, but on big celebrations. Even as a 37 year old adult, when it’s my birthday, my family will call multiple times a day, send gifts if they’re not with me and send tons of messages and videos. It’s our family’s “thing”. In fact, on my birthday – as big, fat and old as I am – my mother calls multiple times and sings happy birthday to a different tune on.every.call – how special??!!!! Anyway, I digress.

With the boys’ birthdays being 6days apart – the 5th and 11th of December (how’s that for planning…), I usually start thinking about birthday parties in June already. I know, I know, I’m weird like that! But I like to plan in advance especially when it’s something that will need to be factored in to the budget. We already decided in January (I’m not even joking!!) that they were both getting new bikes this year for their birthdays, and new bikes they got 🙂 This year was of course very different with COVID and all specifically where parties were concerned. We were not really sure if, by December, we’d be allowed to do anything what with extended lockdown and all that. But alas, December came, and to make the boys birthdays special, we ended up with two very low key events. In the end, the boys were extremely happy…as were we.

Ethan had the complex friends over plus his bestie, we ordered individual pizzas and put out a whole bunch of sweets, crisps, popcorn and fizzy drinks. They swam and played TV games, and I made a cake which he took to dance class on his actual birthday and the other half of the cake, they ate at his birthday party at home the next day.

Homemade by moi

For Riley’s birthday, I got Minecraft cupcakes made by the talented Olivia over at Bake my day, Livy which he took to school. They came out so great and they tasted awesome as well. He saved some for his brother and the complex friends, so we sang again when he got home and the kids devoured the leftover cupcakes. That evening, we took Riley’s 4 friends from school to the movies. It was a drop and go so the parents arrived 20minutes before the movies. We were the only ones in the whole cinema, and the kids had a blast! Plus the movie was 3D…so much fun 🙂 I must just say at this stage how I had no idea that looking after 5 6year olds could be so exhausting! By the time we got home at 8pm, I felt like it was midnight, hahahahaha.

Minecraft cupcakes…the latest “in thing” with the Grade Rs!!

Overall, I think the kids felt very special again this year #missionaccomplished. From a budget perspective, I wonder how they’d feel if we started celebrating their half year birthdays instead. December be tight y’all!!

Are you going on leave?

2020 has been one hell of a long year for most of us. Between the homeschooling, domestics away for extended periods during lockdown, working from home (at some unimagineable hours, just because you can!)…most of the people I know are not only experiencing the usual tiredness that this time of year brings, but even more so this year. As we approach the festive period with a virus that is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon – meaning for most of us that our usual social plans will perhaps be curbed – I’m curious to know whether you’re taking leave?

At the zebra, we have an annual 10day leave policy meaning that it is compulsory to take a minimum of 10days consecutive days leave (including public holidays but excluding weekends) every year. I usually take mine over December. This year, I must admit, I was reluctant. We are going down to Durban for Christmas and New Year and where in previous years, I’d have to carefully plan my leave around my workload and that of my teams in case I was part of the skeleton staff over the festive period, this year is a bit different as working from home means we can work from anywhere at any time right?! Having said that, I do feel that there’s great value in literally switching off your PC and doing nothing, even if it means watching series at home, spending time with your family or going for a drive and ice-cream because not only is it necessary to “refuel” after a long year, but I think 2020 has taught us that it’s all about the little things…the quality time spent together, and not about the extravagant things.

As I finish off the year with the boys’ birthday parties (another post for another day), teachers gifts, travel plans and Christmas gifts, I must admit that I am really looking forward to switching off and unwinding. I can’t wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus with my family and I have definitely been spending time reflecting on how blessed we have been this year. Amongst the chaos – a year in a virus with so many unknowns, loved ones lost and jobs lost, I have constantly been reminded over the last few months of the blessings our family have had this year.

So as you hopefully wind down!, I hope that you’re also able to reflect on your blessings. And I hope that you’re going to be kind to yourself. That you’ll take that well deserved break. That you’ll reconnect with loved ones, some who you probably haven’t seen in ages. That you’ll be able to look past petty arguments that have caused rifts in your relationships. That even if you’re just alone at home, that you’ll be able to look at the blessings in your life. And most importantly, that you are able to focus on Jesus, the reason for the season.