The year that was 2018
A new year has started, for many, it represents a fresh start, a chance to pursue new opportunities or it may even mean time to finally get training for that big race you’ve always wanted to do. As the saying goes “new year, new beginnings”, and boy are new beginnings exciting! My question however is, have you taken a moment to take a step back in order to reflect on the year that was? To appreciate your successes and be thankful for the obstacles that taught you some great lessons?
Looking back in order to move forward
The minute the clock struck 12h00, on the 31st December 2018, my brain went into automatic mode planning and thinking up all the things I want to get done in this year and I was full of adrenaline, ready to take on 2019. I kept saying to my myself – “This is going to be “my” year”, which considering I am expecting my first child in a couple of months, is already making this
year AMAZING for me. I quickly saw however, I was not alone in saying, this was going to be my year – numerous family and friends shared the same sentiment, combined with the fact they were glad 2018 was over with. This got me thinking was 2018 that bad? I mean, it was the different challenges and life lessons that I experienced in 2018 that had fueled my ambitions
and plans for 2019. I then remembered a quote I had read not so long ago by an unknown author that says “If you want to move forward, often look back. Otherwise, you’ll forget where you came from and where you need to go” Reflecting on 2018
All of this got me thinking, and I decided to take a step back and really reflect on my life during 2018. 2018 had started off quite roughly with my fiance being hospitalized for a lengthy period of time, I was in a work environment that I did not enjoy, was in over my head with assignments due for varsity and was planning a wedding amongst other things – a true mix of highs and lows.
Giving new perspective on life
But looking at all of this carefully, these very things that had me experience a mixture of emotions both negative and positive, turned out to be the best possible things that could have happened to me in 2018. Why? Well, On the 14th April 2018, the most beautiful and magical day of my life thus far surrounded by the people that mean the world me, I married my best friend. My now husband who thankfully is back to full health, learned to take a step back every now and then, now lives by the motto YOLO – you only live once, something that rubbed off on me. His new outlook on things gave me the courage to make the changes I wanted to make in my career, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but was always too scared to take the risk, in
June, I took that risk and even though it’s been challenging, I am now my own boss, doing what I love daily. The hard work on my studies during the year last year will allow me to make my dream of graduating this year a reality. Above all, I rediscovered the power of faith & gratitude and how lucky I am to have the family and quality of friends I do in my life.
Grateful and Blessed
Personally, I am glad I reflected back on the amazing year that was 2018, I am so grateful for all the lessons and blessings I received during the year. Looking forward to 2019, I know I am going into it a stronger, happier, healthier and humbler person and for that, I say thank you to the year that was 2018.
Celebrating Everyday Heroes as a Daily Inspiration
“Celebrating the Women in your Life in Honour of Women’s Month” WOW, what a topic.
There are many Women in my life both alive and the dearly departed that have made a huge impact on my life and impact of the direction that my life has taken.
The woman who made the most impact in my life
Let’s begin with the most amazing Women that has made the biggest impact, my Mom.
What a truly remarkable, inspirational and caring person she was. My Mom brought me into this world and taught me the value of life, love, happiness and most importantly time. My Mom always used to say, “make the most of every second in your life, every second that has been wasted on the trivial matters in life and things that don’t matter is a second you will never get back”.
My Mom taught me the value of work ethic, the value of working hard in life for what you want. Nothing gained in life is for free. What you put in, is what you get out! Remember what your mother taught you, it came from the most sacred place of love that exisits.
The reason I get up in the morning
Then I have my daughter and granddaughter. What a combination these two angels are. These two angels are SO special to me. The tinkle in my eye, the reason I get up in the morning and the reason that I live life to the full.
The biggest blessing one could ever hope for is too be able to bring a child into this world. Melissa, my daughter, is such a wonderful young lady, she has brought SO much joy and happiness into my life. She works hard, focuses on the important things in life.
I truly see so much of my Mom in her. Melissa is such an inspiration to me. I am SO very proud to be able to call her my daughter.
Then we have little Mia, Mia has taught me the biggest lesson of all, LOVE, LOVE and more LOVE. Just when you thought you couldn’t love someone any more than you do, along comes a grandchild. Have you noticed the admiration they have in their eyes when they look at you and everybody around you? So much love.
How does a child spell L O V E ……. They spell it T I M E! My little Princess, your Nanny is SO lucky to have you in her life. I am constantly amazed by your beauty and the love that you portray for the little things in life.
If I could turn back the clock to when my kids were much younger, there are so many things that I would do differently. First and most important of all, I would spend more quality time with my kids. Embarking on adventures together and loving life. When my kids where younger I found that I spent far too much time working and I kept telling myself that I was doing this FOR them.
The Entrepreneur that inspires me the most
The next lady that has come in too my life, teaches and challenges me on a daily basis. I mention her now, but not last as in order of importance, Karen Wessels. Karen has taught me the value of doing what you love and doing it with all your heart. Such an inspirational lady. Karen has brought back into my life the importance of why I do what I do and to love, grow and feel challenged by what we do in our lives. Walking alongside her is such an honour.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the very special Women who have made an impact in my life. I love you all SO much!!
I stick by the philosophy in life, “Do What You LOVE, in order to LOVE What You Do!” Take time to smell the roses for want of a phrase.
You only have ONE life, LIVE IT!
VA Connect has a team of Virtual Assistants just waiting to be of service to you, to lighten your load! To FREE up some of your time!
You Teach People How To Treat You
We do not have any direct control over the actions of others, and therefore cannot directly change how they treat us. What we do have control over is our own thoughts, speech and actions. That’s where our power lies and that is always where our focus should be.
Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries – It Begins with You
A boundary simply refers to a specified limit set by you of what is and what is not acceptable behaviour and treatment by another person towards you. The process of setting personal boundaries begins with you first accepting that you not only deserve to have boundaries but they are a critical element of self-care. Secondly, you must accept that you have the right to set them. Your boundaries act as filters permitting what is acceptable in your life and what is not.
Define Your Boundaries
Your BOUNDARIES are what lets people know how you want to be treated. They are your “NO’s” of life. Things you will not allow people do.
If we give our power away by allowing others to control our behaviour, make choices for us or treat us less than we deserve, we are giving away our power.
What we don’t realize is that by not saying anything and keeping how you really feel bottled up inside, you are not hurting anyone else but yourself.
When things go wrong in life, it’s common for us to look outside for a solution to the problem. But the first place you should look is inside. Remember, what you allow will continue in your life. What you don’t allow, won’t.
One of the biggest misconceptions we have about relationships is that others should know how we want to be treated. However, in order for people in a relationship to be on the same page, they need to have access to the same instruction manual.
People will get away with what you let them get away with. You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce. It’s really that simple.
It’s about knowing what is acceptable and unacceptable. It’s about knowing what we need and want and being able to communicate it effectively to others. Those you surround yourself with should be on the same page. With EVERY interaction you have with others, you are teaching them how to treat you.
When anyone in your professional life treats you in a way that upsets you, it is vital to take a breath and remember that no one you ever meet knows how you like to be treated, just as you don’t know what they expect in return. Sometimes we need to actively explain certain ways in which we want to be treated. Standing up for yourself is important, especially if you know you don’t deserve someone’s negative behaviour.
In closing, remember to treat yourself the way you’d want others to treat you. By focusing only on our self-perceived faults and flaws, we’re basically giving permission for the rest of the world to focus on them too.
Five Of The Best Things To Do In Mtunzini
When given this topic to write about I was very happy to have the opportunity to write about the little coastal paradise I am blessed to live in called Mtunzini. The name of the village is taken from the Zulu word emthunzini which means “a place in the shade”. In the history of the town it is referred to as the place under the Milkwood trees near to the Mlalazi River where the White Zulu chief named John Dunn would meet with the tribal elders of the area.
Mtunzini is truly a nature lover’s paradise that offers a variety of activities that can be enjoyed outdoors.
Walking & Running
Through the Umlalazi Reserve runs the Umlalazi river and there are several walking trails which take one through mangrove swamps, coastal forest and on a long sandy beach. One can enjoy taking early morning walks or runs on the beach and experience magnificent sunrises and enjoy watching the whales when they pass by. You can choose to walk or run on your own or join a group of locals. It’s a great place to take your dogs for walks around the peaceful neighbourhood or on the beach if you have a permit.
There is the Raphia Palm monument which has a lovely wooden walkway through an avenue of palms. You can read more about the Raphia palms here:
Wildlife and bird watching
The Umlalazi reserve have zebras and red forest duiker that can be seen frequently and there are also bush buck and grey duiker, although not seen as often because they are shy.
There is an abundance of birdlife bringing people from all over the world to see the rare Palmnut Vulture that feeds from the Raphia Palm. We are also very fortunate to have many African Fish Eagles that soar the sky above the village and their distinctive call can be heard daily. Just a few other birds to mention are the Trumpeter Hornbills, Purple Crested Louries, Oyster Catchers, Natal Robins, Violet Back Starlings and Giant Kingfishers.
Many people enjoy cycling in the area and many mountain bike events are run in Mtunzini. There are many trails through the forests, sugar cane fields and the reserve. There are even organised moonlight bike rides from time to time.
Mtunzini has a large lagoon which attracts many boating enthusiasts that enjoy fishing, skiing, sailing and kayacking as well as sunset cruises up the river. One can even moor their boat and enjoy a picnic on the river bank.
The perfect place for lovely outrides, walking through the bush and sugar cane fields or having an exhilerating gallop up a hill. It’s such a lovely way to start or finish the day.
Next time you are heading north on the N2 freeway, keep your eyes open for Mtunzini, you will be surprised to find what is on the other side of the hill.
Virtual Assistants are also known as Super Heroes. Here’s why.
A P.A. on call? I think not… We are Super Heroes!
Being a Virtual Assistant is not doing whatever you want whenever you want. It’s really hard work to schedule your own time, schedule your client’s or your contractor’s time and still get everything done.
If you thought anyone can do it, it’s a piece of cake… It’s not.
Being a VA entails you being a Jack/Jill of all trades. An all rounder being able to transcribe studies on factory processes, to organising a year-end function for your client. I can’t stress the diversity of our skills enough. We really are a lucky packet, and not the R5 kind, the cool ones with the colourful stickers inside.
We sometimes get second guessed, especially when you’re trying to explain to someone that has never heard of a VA before. No, we are not a PA on call, we are not mobile secretaries. We are business people, making sure the back-end of your business doesn’t fall flat when you’re out there doing what you need to do to grow your business. We are your support structure, your go to person behind the scene that remembers that important client’s birthday when you forgot.
Most people don’t realise that we work 16 hour days to meet our client’s deadlines. We don’t get sick leave days and holidays, because if we don’t work we don’t get paid.
Before I put anyone off of becoming a Virtual Assistant I would like to point out what I love about being a VA.
I love that if I don’t feel like working from the office today, I can stay at home and no one would know the difference. I love that when the plumbers need to fix the leaky tap at my house, I don’t need to ask anyone permission to pop home for an hour so that can be done. I love the look in people’s faces when I tell them I work for myself, I set my own hours and my own salary. If I continue to receive the blessings I am, I will probably never go back to working for a boss ever again. The freedom of being a VA is indescribable. It’s hard work, but if you put in the time you’ll reap the benefits.
For a potential Virtual Assistant reading this I have the following advice: be true to yourself, don’t second guess your abilities. You wouldn’t know if you don’t give it a try. Work hard, remember you’re doing this for yourself and no one else. Never stop learning and never sit still, you might think that customer service course you’re doing won’t help you get any clients, think again. Learning a new skill isn’t always about the skill you’re learning, the fact that you decided not to become stagnant and keep moving says a lot about your character.
All in a day’s work for a Virtual Assistant… We are the little oompa loompas that keeps the cogs turning but don’t underestimate the powerful position we are embracing – we are not just VA’s we are Super Heroes!