I looked at all of the New Year messages that came through on Facebook.
Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, people want 2018 to be not only a fulfilling year but a year of change!

I considered my beautiful ‘shit-hole’ country, South Africa.
A diverse land made up of beautiful towns, mountains, rivers, deserts and forests. This place of untold beauty is being ruined by one man – Jacob Zuma, the President of our country. It is impossible for this land of ours to move forward with this man in charge. There is only one way in which things will improve in South Africa and that is by the removal of the country’s King lynchpin – President Zuma. Recently I looked at the Sunday paper and the headlines seemed to tumble over themselves, crying out for Jacob Zuma’s removal.

And yet, this pompous, manipulative, illiterate little man is quite content to remain strutting his money grabbing way over this beautiful country of ours. I am amazed that he is still in power! Look how quickly Mbeki was replaced. The fact that Mbeki was manipulated out by non-other than Mr Jacob Zuma gives one some idea of the type of creature we are dealing with. I think of Zuma as a bloated puff adder. He lies fatly content in his place in the sun. His eyes, non-blinking and missing nothing. Sleepily he watched as his prey drew closer and then like a flash of lightening, he struck. Mbeki was no more. Zuma was in power.
And so the decline began!

I give so much thanks for cartoonists such as Zapiro and journalists like Marianne Thamm. They have furnished the truth for us South Africans, disregarding the repercussions that could come hammering down from on high. Cyril Ramaphosa, you have now been voted in as the head of the ANC. Please, for the sake of our country, get rid of our dreadful President. Banish him to Nkandla or better yet, prison. Give our country the chance to draw in her breath and begin the normal process of breathing once more.
“We are in this fight together,” says Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, “We dream of a better South Africa. To dream by night is to escape from your life. To dream by day is to make it happen.”
In 2018, I plan to dream by day!

What will I get out of 2018 is the wrong way to approach things. I should rather think: What can I put in to 2018!

I used to love to dance. I was no ‘dancer’ but once I knew the steps in a show, I danced and sang with a wild, dizzy abandon. After my fall, my dancing days were over, but, I still sang beautifully. According to me. But hopelessly according to everyone else. Which is just too bad because I love to sing. You can often see me and my dog walking around the town of George, belting out in my off key voice:
I could have danced all night,
I could have danced all night
And still have begged for more…..
In 2018, I do not intend to quieten my singing. No, I intend to add a little dance step to my squonk walk to add to the singing (click ‘here’ for a world preview!). I figure it will make people smile and we all need more smiles!

Photo – Andre Roux

I look around me at the beautiful mountains outlined against the blue of the sky. There is a bird carolling in the tree across the road. A soft breeze ruffles my hair. I am unable to go hiking in the mountains as the terrain is too rough but I am able to walk around the miniature paradise of George. In 2018, I must not lose sight of how lucky I am. I remember being stuck in bed when I came home from hospital in 1990. I wanted to move with the ease and grace that I was used to. I wanted to put on my takkies, whistle the dogs and laugh at their mad cap antics as we gambled across the fields towards the dams. Indeed it would be a long time before I could walk again and gambling was a thing of the past. What was once a vital part of my life was suddenly no more. I found my self asking: What actually is important?
People, I have discovered, are an essential part of my life. Far more important than gambling across fields!

Too often I look at people but I don’t ‘see’ them. The other morning, I saw a person that I knew from church at the dentist. We sat and chatted together. I discovered that her husband had an early form of dementia. I realised that this sparkly, gregarious person had a quieter, indeed sadder side to her that I had never dreamed of. People often feel that because I ‘know’ that darker side of life, they can tell me of their visits to ‘unheralded places’. I realised that I had previously thought of this woman as totally different to how she actually was. So, don’t judge people from outside appearances. Rather ‘See’ people from the inside. Every one of us is unique.
I was amazed to discover that traditionally Jewish people used to say to guests on entering their homes: “I see you!”
How all embracing is that.
In 2018 I look forward to the different people I will encounter and truly SEE.
People who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world……
I need people in my life. Aren’t I lucky!!!

I love receiving presents. Who doesn’t? And yet, don’t you find that you get more pleasure giving than receiving? How I wish that I had more money to spoil those people dear to me and to give freely to those so much less fortunate than myself. And yet, it often isn’t expensive presents that are needed. In 2018, I will spoil my family and friends by cooking them meals. And, I can also cook an extra portion that I can give away to a stranger in need. And with me, cooking is quite an accomplishment! No Woolworths specials. I have discovered meals that I can cook that are great. It takes me an interminable amount of time but my joy on completion is intense. Recently I made the most delicious cold cucumber soup. And, watching that meal being devoured was so utterly satisfying. So roll on 2018, this girl is going to cook superlative meals for her family, friends and complete strangers!

Apart from dancing and ‘seeing’ people, I think the major thing I am going to concentrate on in 2018 is: being grateful!
There is so much to appreciate. Everybody has things for which to be grateful. It’s a wonderful antidote for feeling down and depressed. Just look around you and look into you.

Whenever I chat to God, my right shoulder drops two inches. In this next year, I must have lots of God conversations. It’s tremendous for my shoulder and soul!!!

And so this Zuma protesting, singing and dancing squonkly, ‘seeing’, cucumber soup maker, incredibly grateful and God-conversationalist wishes you all an amazing life changing 2018!!!