48 Years and #48Lessons

#48 Lessons


It’s 1 January 2021. My mom’s birthday and the beginning of my birth month.

Outside of it being my mom’s birthday, I can’t recall ever fussing over New Year. It’s just a bit too arbitrary for me. My birthday, also no biggie for me. In fact, I have on a few occasions been unsettled by friends who have a ‘go-big-or-go-home’ approach to their birthdays. Now I have kids who start planning their birthdays the day immediately after their birthday. Go figure!


This year is different somehow. Not rah-rah different. I’m definitely not looking to paint the town red. Different in the sense that the symbolism of renewal and remembrance feels significant to me. The rigors of 2020 have certainly shifted and softened something within me. At the onset of 2020, I set the intention to embark on a journey of self-love. I claimed the year as my Self-Love Revolution and remained steadfast in my quest despite the chaotic disruptions of the year,


The rituals that shaped my revolution were simple, yet profound. They are my ‘new normal’ and have become the ‘how-to’ for my life, and of my day. Through noticing, reflecting, deliberately and intentionally attributing and recording, my silent revolution rewarded me with clarity and cause.


And now, as I settle into my birth month, on this New Year’s Day, I contemplate what I will claim for myself this year. I suspect that it is a Reinvention Tour. A continuation and an integration of my revolution, and an embodiment of my cause. This year, I mean to matter. To make each day a material thread in the fabric of my life and my contribution.


I start today by reflecting and recording the lessons of my 48 years. I have this vivid memory from 30 years ago. I can see and smell and hear the backdrop in which my aunt proclaimed that she had been out of school for 30 years. My then 15-year old head spun. Out of school for 30 years? Holy moly! This was inconceivable to me. And now, in a flash, I am out of school for 30 years. My aunt is with us no more. Once immortal, I now ponder the time I have left on this side of the soil. Has the time spent mattered? How do I make it count? Perhaps a record of my learning aids someone in the deliberation of their life? Perhaps that someone is my child? My nephew? My niece? My friend?


This birth month, I look at 48 lessons in 48 years. Some of these lessons appear simple and easy on the surface, and yet for me, they may not have been. They challenged my egoic self, and in many instances continue to do so. Sometimes I appear to be in perpetual motion, learning, unlearning and relearning the same lessons. Sometimes I am a willing student. More often, I am resistant, and I have to reshape who I am in order to receive the lesson. So please don’t think me foolish as I share what may be obvious to you. Most of these are obvious to me too. It’s not the understanding that challenges me. It is the adoption of the lesson that tests me; and that ultimately rewards me.



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Fairland, Johannesburg

South Africa

Tel: +27 83 258 1251  makeshifthappen@newhabits.co.za

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