If there’s one thing I’d like to take out of lockdown with me, it’s the ability to go about life unhurried.

While not being able to gather around each other’s tables, share hugs and cuddle the tiniest members of our clans sure has sucked, the gift that has come with ‘shelter-in-place’ is a slowing of pace.

The realisation that the constant rush leading up to March, 27 had been eating away at my soul.

Continue Reading "Learning to amble"

It’s safe to say that, right now, none of us is probably where we thought we’d be at the beginning of the year.

Maybe you were meant to be heading off on a long-awaited overseas holiday. Or perhaps you were gearing up to cheer your matric class on for their June and September exams. Chances are, you were planning some sort of special family gathering – whether around Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or a birthday.

Me? Well, you know where I was meant to be. Married and living in our new home.

Alas, lockdown entered and none of that happened.

Continue Reading "Snaps: Lockdown morning walks"

In this time of a novel coronavirus wreaking global havoc and the equally novel responses to this crisis, I have one of the least novel thoughts in the history of thoughts to share with you today.

A cliché even.

But as Terry Pratchett once said: “The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”

They’re basic and rudimentary, but essential instruments in the construction of our reality. Especially in such strange and uncertain times.

So, the thought I want to share with you today is this:

Continue Reading "In retrospect, freedom"

For the past few weeks, I’ve been plagued by a recurring nightmare.

While each dream plays out slightly differently, they all follow roughly the same pattern:

I suddenly remember/discover that, in order to pass a course/graduate, I need to hand in complex assignment/sit for a lengthy exam/attend an important class.

The deadline/test day is upon me, but I’m both empty-handed and empty-headed. In a last-ditch effort to cram all the information I possibly can into my brain before it’s too late, I set out for the library to find the prescribed book/document containing all the answers.

Continue Reading "Resting in the question mark"

If all had gone as planned, we would have been on day five of a blissful honeymoon somewhere along the Garden Route (I think…).

Instead, here we are on day 14 of a 21-day national lockdown, hunkered down in our homes, movement restricted to only the most necessary excursions. The government’s noble effort to help flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections in South Africa.

Continue Reading "Love in the time of lockdown"

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:

Continue Reading "2020 Life Update"

With all the Bok-related patriotism in the air, it’s hard not to think about being South African. I’ve caught myself softly singing our national anthem a good few times since Saturday and, without fail, feel my eyes well up when reaching those last two lines.

Earlier this year, I wanted out. I wanted to pack my bags and move somewhere safe. I wanted to escape the violence and the tension and the feeling of always looking over my shoulder.

But what good would that do? In the name of safety, I’d lose so much.

I’d lose living in a country where:

Continue Reading "On being South African"

I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately and how each of us seems to have a blueprint for how it should manifest in our lives.

We collect moments and images and places and carefully constructed ideas of perfect people to create a bright and colourful collage against which we constantly compare our own lived experiences.

Of course, it rarely measures up. Yet, still, we wonder why.

My thoughts on this topic were sparked when a much younger friend – who at a glance seems to be living his best life, travelling, exploring, meeting new people, the whole shebang – expressed concern that he was not doing enough to fill his time with true happiness. That, somehow, despite his best efforts, happiness continued to elude him.

I sensed the anguish in his words and felt like I was having a conversation with my own 18- or 22- or 27-year-old-self. That wild-eyed girl for whom nothing was ever enough.

Although she still surfaces every once in a while, I dare say I’ve gotten better with age. Like crossing over into my 30s has allowed me to loosen my grip. To hold my ideas of happiness – everything, really – a little more loosely.

While I certainly wouldn’t lend myself out as a guru on the topic and – at 33 – still have a lot to (un)learn, I do believe I’ve come to understand a few things about happiness that I might as well share:

Continue Reading "A few thoughts on happiness"

I recently had the opportunity to cover an event at the University of Cape Town, where Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng (aka Fab Academic on Twitter and Instagram) shared some career advice with postgraduate students.

While I long ago closed the chapter on pursuing any kind of academic career, I found a wealth of wisdom in the VC’s address, which can be applied to any professional path you choose to follow.

Here are my top five takeaways:

Continue Reading "Career advice from a Fab Academic"

Every so often, when my schedule allows and deadlines aren’t coming at me as thick and fast as they normally do, I spend an hour or two volunteering at an urban farm close to my home in Cape Town.

Sometimes, I help place tiny seeds in polystyrene planting trays and other times I clear weeds from the veggie beds. It’s nothing fancy and I love it precisely because of this. A couple of hours away from my laptop, feeling the sun on my shoulders and inhaling the scent of earth and soil.

Continue Reading "Random Thought: Of Our National Anthem and the Ones Who Love It Most"