My blog has been silent and yet I have so much to share!

My blog has been pretty quiet lately. It’s not that I have nothing to share. Quite the opposite in fact! I’ve been busy. Very busy!

Here’s what’s been happening:

  • We bought a small business. What an eye opener this has been! It’s taken us ages to sort things out. From bank accounts, merchant accounts, web development, ordering stock, waiting for the stock to arrive. It’s been such a learning experience, full of ups and downs. We wanted to wait until we were ready to start telling everyone and sharing our news, but that seems to be taking forever! So here it is: We’re officially the distributors for CW-X in Southern Africa! *Squeal*
  • Running your own social media content plan for your own business takes time! Most weekends and weekday evenings, I’m sitting down writing posts and creating content. The Instagram account is live (go check it out!) but we’re reluctant to get going on Facebook until our website is ready & people can purchase stock. Want to help me? If you do wear CW-X and have any photos showing the running kit, please can you share those with me. I’d much rather show real athletes (that’s you!) than posed models in the kit.

    This is us both in our CW-X clothes at Parkrun. We might need to work on our posing. LOL

  • Like almost 90% of Jo’burgers, I got bronchitis and was out of action. It took forever to heal, two visits to the Doc, daily nebulizing, lots of sleep (read: Allergex). Then out of the blue, I get shingles. On my face! WTH? 3 weeks of misery has taught me two lessons. One: listen to my body. Read bullet point number one. It’s been a stressful time! Lesson number two: when you can’t run, your body had no way of de-stressing. You get even more niggly. I acknowledge the huge role running does play in my life & will try not complain about my running again.
  • I have been on a mission to help an after care centre in Kliptown called Izanokhanyo Community Based Project get SnapScan so that donations can be easier as well as kickstart their social media so that we can start telling their story. Let me tell you, it’s made me incredibly happy inside to help. It’s early days but here’s holding thumbs I can help make a difference! I’d love your help! I’ll let you know how soon!

    Helen, who runs Izanokhanyo without a salary, handing out sweet to the kids.

  • I’ve been successful in my application to be part of a pilot project kicking off at work. All new. Unknown. Virgin territory. Exciting as hell but I’m also nervous. But after climbing in & assisting with some of the project management for the last couple of weeks, I’ve proven to myself that I am capable of learning & trying something new. Doing this nowadays at work needs to be the norm.
  • My Dad’s partner Rina passed away too. It’s funny how you think you have time and you discuss illness and old age and plans on what to do if this happens and if that happens. But when things do happen, no one is quite prepared. Everyone grieves differently. Each person says goodbye in their own way. I’m glad we’re spending more time with my Dad. I wish my parents stayed closer.

Everything I’ve mentioned above happens for a reason and at the right time. The delays in getting our business up and running gave me more time to spend with my Dad. Getting sick slowed me down and forced me to rest and take stock of what mattered. What mattered was helping Izanokhanyo in my spare time and not using that time for reading work emails. And yet I was rewarded by getting the job at work.

I’m going to make more time to blog too. This one was long. If you made it to here, the key take out is that I’m fine, I’m excited and yes… I’m still running! We’ve got Run-The-Berg (or in my case with limited training Walk-The-Berg) coming up, Kaapsehoop and Otter.

Can’t wait for that purple carpet to line the streets!

By the way, the jacarandas are starting to bloom. It’s the most beautiful time to be outdoors! Go for that run!

Is the sun going down on you?

Call it a midlife crisis, inspiration from a TED Talk or just mid-year review, but I've been on this mission to make time for more quality in my life. Notice that I said "make time" and not "find time". You will never find time, trust me on this one.

In order to make time, you need to do a combination of the following:

  • Plan your day. Make sure you know where the gaps are and which meetings at work will be productive or not.
  • Be selfish with your time. When you say yes to every meeting, every interruption and every invitation, you don't have anything left for you.
  • Make sure you're allocating enough quality time towards doing the things that enrich your life and make you happy.

To force myself to make time, I've been committed to getting home before the sun sets. I've taken a photo every day to prove that it's possible.

I've made time to bake in the middle of the week.

I've walked the dogs when I've arrived home from work.

I've even ensured that I look after myself physically and get my hair done on a regular Friday afternoon. There's no better feeling after a busy week to kickstart the weekend feeling fresh and beautiful!

More importantly I've made time to run and stick to my training programme. That's the single thing that I didn't sacrifice. Guess what? I ran a race on Saturday and was thrilled with my time! Just 2 minutes off my PB!
It pays off and the rewards come.

Make time for yourself and the things that matter in your life!

9 to 5 emails

When I returned to work at the beginning of January, I made the decision not to receive work emails on my phone anymore. The switch off during December had been wonderful and I decided it’s exactly what I need going into 2015.

MailboxI’ll admit it was hard in the beginning. I would randomly click on the envelope, more out of habit, and remember that my mailbox was not connected. But I stuck it out.

The first realization has been how much time I was ‘stealing’ from home-life by reading my mails. I sit on average 45 – 60 minutes when I get into the office in the morning, catching up on reading emails (that I could’ve read at home). Yes, so it may have saved me time at work, but it ultimately stole time from family and other things around the house.

The second thing I realized is that I needed to start re-prioritizing the important emails. I don’t know about you, but as that email pops into my mailbox, I tend to respond immediately and action it. Almost 90% are not even urgent. So then which are?

Having the support of my boss and team has helped and also encouraged a culture of true work-life balance. They know that if they need to get hold of me (and no, I’m not a Doctor on call so not even necessary) they can Whatsapp me. I also don’t expect of them to be online once they’ve left the office and prefer that they rather spend time doing non-work related activities.

But again, it is their choice, not mine. I know it’s not for everyone. Some people like to be connected and have the flexibility. But it was something I needed to do.

Does not reading my emails after hours make me forget about work? Surprisingly no. I never switch off. I’m constantly thinking about projects, ideas, goals, my team. Do I feel like I’m missing out on some major announcement or important information? Yes, all the time. But I am enjoying switching off more.

It’s been a good decision and time will tell if I’m able to stick to it. Ironically, I’m not alone. It’s becoming legislation in some countries, such as Germany as early as next year. What are your thoughts? What works for you?

The empty desk

The ‘Old Man in the office’ has retired. Most of us thought this day would never arrive as he seemed to re-invent himself and move to different teams every time his retirement date drew near. He delayed his departure for a couple of years until he finally made the decision to leave for good.

On his last day at work, he walked the floor and said his goodbyes (taking full advantage of the hugs from all the ladies). As he neared my desk and I watched his face, I saw real sadness. I guess after working at a place for so many years, you do form a bond and a strong connection with both people and everything around you. It becomes your world. Saying goodbye is hard.

I always lecture myself about work life balance and ensuring I am not too ‘attached’ to work. But I saw this quote the other day and it kind of made some sense to me.

Balance

Yes, work life balance is important but I’m surrounded by some individuals who give it 110% every single day. There’s a passion and a drive about them that’s highly contagious. It keeps me coming back for more, thirsty for that next challenge.

I’m going to miss the Old Man, especially his terribly rude corny jokes he used to tell. I’m going to miss hearing him complain on the phone and getting upset in meetings when people talked at the same time. I’m going to miss him asking what I’ve got in my lunchbox. I’m going to miss tweeting about his silly mannerisms. In a weird way, I’m even going to miss him asking me, “Brony, would you like some coffee, tea or me?” Awkward. 

Goodbye Old Man.