It may only be February, but I must say, it feels like we’re at least 5 months into the new year and -decade already!

Looking back over the past 50 days, I can quite confidently confirm that 2020 did not – I repeat – did not come tiptoeing in gently.

There were those few peaceful post-New Year’s days with my family in Tergniet, but since then, it’s pretty much been a whirlwind of change and excitement.

Here’s a little rundown:

Goodbye, Jessica Court

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At the end of January, I moved out of the sweet little Sea Point flat I’d been living in for almost eight years.

With only two months to go till Guillaume and I tie the knot in April, I’m now dividing my time between Betty’s Bay and Cape Town. Since we’ll be getting married in Betty’s and will be making use of many local service providers and suppliers, this little arrangement has been perfect for planning purposes.

It has, of course, no been ideal as far as petrol money and any form of feeling settled is concerned, but hey, it’s not for long. Plus, there’s something quite special and ethereal about these kind of ‘in-between’ times. In retrospect, I think many of my fondest memories have been cultivated in these kinds of conditions.

It’s also given me the opportunity to spend a bit more time with my parents than usual, for which I’m extremely grateful. Once I’m married, opportunities like these might be rare.

Oh, and my stay has also coincided with the presence of a truly delightful houseguest: Tamara Suede, my 16-year-old cousin from Canada. It’s been a treat getting to know her a bit better and, boy, am I blown away by how talented, independent and confident she is. If I could go back in time and be 16 again, I’d want to be just like her!

Wedding planning in full swing

As I mentioned above, the wedding is less than 2 months away now – 44 days to be exact!

We’ve tried to keep things pretty low-key and laid-back, but even so, it requires an immense amount of planning and admin.

But, you know what’s truly wonderful? Not a day goes by without offers of help and support from family and friends. Since our engagement back in June last year, we’ve just received a constant outpouring of love and interest from everyone around us. It’s been such a special time and my heart is just bursting with love for my tribe.

I’ve been sharing a few peeks behind-the-scenes over on the Merwe Wed blog. If you’re curious, go check out the #MWBrideJourney posts!

I got a yoga teaching side-hustle going

As you might know, I completed a 200hr yoga teacher’s training last year. I’m still going to write a full post all about it, but in the meantime, I’ll just say that it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever given myself.

While one of the motivations was to deepen my own practice, the other was to equip myself with a skill I can use to supplement my income. Preferably something that didn’t involve even more hours plastered to a chair in front of a screen.

Just before I finished the training last year, I got in touch with Om Revolution, a mobile yoga company offering corporate and outdoor classes, and asked if they had any teaching spots available for the new year.

Amazingly, they did!

So, if you ever happen to be in the vicinity of Century City on a Wednesday evening at 6pm, do come and join me for a fun hour of movement!

We launched the Happy Health Collab

On a related note, one of the most exciting things to come out of the beginning of 2020 was the launch of my and Nikola’s Happy Health Collab.

With Nikola’s health coaching background and my newly-acquired yoga teaching qualification, it just made sense to collaborate.

We held our first event on Saturday, 1 February in Green Point Urban Park. I led a 45-minute yoga flow, followed by a health talk by Nikola. She also made some of her famous vegan treats – banana bread and cupcakes, as well as some delicious iced-tea to keep everyone hydrated.

A lovely group of 12 ladies joined us for the morning and Faithful to Nature sponsored some goodies that we could gift to each of them.

Being our first event, it came with its fair share of stress and uncertainty, but it turned out so well!

Keep your eyes peeled for our next one, which will hopefully be happening in March.

A work adventure with my dad

Amid all the wedding planning and yoga, I’ve also been working on a few exciting projects for various clients.

One of the most fascinating, so far, has been to find out more about the Swellendam Winter School (SWS) and assist in spreading the word by writing a few stories.

My dad and I headed to the picturesque little town – if you’ve ever driven along the garden route you may have spotted it along the N2 or even stopped off for some refreshment at one of the many lovely restaurants – about two weekends ago to meet some of the facilitators and gather all the information we need for a couple of good stories.

The SWS team put together a jam-packed itinerary for us and we had a ball interviewing such a diverse range of interesting people.

While I’ll also put a more comprehensive post together about SWS soon, the long and short of it is, that from May to August, Swellendam will be transformed into a vibrant, living classroom. There will be 50 short courses to choose from, covering everything from yoga and meditation to writing and gardening presented by facilitators who are both deeply knowledgeable and contagiously passionate about their subject matter.

Many of the courses will be taking place in the homes, studios or gardens of local facilitators, offering a truly personal touch.

Visit the Swellendam Winter School website to find out more.

discovering the Enneagram

One last interesting thing before I go: in lieu of a marriage course (highly recommended by most married couples I know), Guillaume and I signed up for an Enneagram course with my church, Invia instead.

If you’ve never heard of it before, in short, the Enneagram is “a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people conceptualize the world and manage their emotions. The Enneagram model describes nine different personality types and maps each of these types on a nine-pointed diagram which helps to illustrate how the types relate to one another.”

We’ve completed one full weekend, which served as an introduction to the concept and will be delving a bit deeper this coming weekend.

It’s been a very interesting journey so far and has certainly shed a lot of light on the fact that most of us are just trying our best to navigate this confusing thing called life as successfully as we can with the cards we’ve been dealt. That’s obviously putting it quite crudely, but it kind of sums it up.

After a lot of deliberation and research, I’ve come to the conclusion that I am most likely a Type 4 (the individualist) with a strong Type 5 (the investigator) wing. Knowing this about myself will hopefully enable me to recognise unhealthy behaviours and habits associated with this type more quickly and work toward more wholesome expressions of myself.

Well, that’s it for now, but I hope to knuckle down and write a few more in-depth posts about various aspects mentioned above in the coming weeks. Anything you’d like to hear about in particular?

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