All the while, between writing songs, singing, and swanning from coffee shop to coffee shop, here are a few benefits of being retrenched that I’ve noticed. Yes, they’re all a bit tongue-in-cheek, because nobody wants to wonder whether they can pay their bills, and nobody is poking fun at being financially insecure or losing your job. I’m just trying to see a few rays of light while I’m here…
1) I get to spend a lot more time with our sweet pooches, Jazz (a.k.a. Fatty/ Sneaky, Beardy/ Jazz-Bum/ Schnackles) and Nibbles (a.k.a. Queen Nibbles/ The Niblet/ Little One/ Fluff-Bum/ Nibble-Stinks).
On a chilly winter’s morning, there are few things better than having a cup of coffee while these two give me some serious hugs! It’s been such a pleasure being able to spend more time with them. Nibbles loves to run and fetch the ball (she could be a little mental though, because it is a lawn bowl and could easily crush her, but that is the only ball she hasn’t been able to shred…). Jazz loves learning new things, like basic agility. The only downside to all this fun Furchild time is that I realise they bark ALL THE TIME (Hey, don’t look at me!)
2) I get to be a tourist in my hometown
I went to have an exploratory chat with a company in Centurion about a week ago, and I used the Gautrain to get there. Once I was done, I had lunch in a centre I’d never been in, came back to Rosebank, bought a beanie (it was that really cold day, and I didn’t pack very cleverly), and came back home on foot. People think I’m crazy, but it really isn’t that bad. It’s about 7km, and there really aren’t as many ill-intentioned, crazy criminal types on the sidewalks as you may believe. My little Mouse-with-knapsack walking adventure was great – I got to see and notice so many things about Johannesburg that I would have missed while driving.
One such example would be the the love locks on the Emmarentia Dam wall. Despite being past there on foot at least once in the last six months, I hadn’t noticed this quaint though potentially nauseating touch (for some, no doubt!) on the metal grid along the dam wall. A simple and interesting feature which made me start making up stories behind the initials on the locks that were present there… <insert daydream here>
3) I can go to the gym when it’s quiet
Having finally made regular exercise a part of my life, I enjoy being able to go to the gym and swim or do my workout while it’s relatively quiet. It’s really quite pleasant when then aren’t hordes of people sitting on equipment sending messages on their phones or chatting and hogging machines with their towels… <sigh>
4) I notice that it’s colder in the house than outside, and hence enjoy some fresh Vitamin D
There’s a certain magic to the late morning sunshine… we need a bit of it daily to survive, and for our bodies to function properly. I’m truly thankful for the ability to sit and eat my lunch in the sun and peacefully watch the birds frolic in the trees. Nature is magical.
5) I get to cook lunch and dinner every day and try out new healthy recipes
I’m a firm believer that reducing intake of refined carbs and processed foods improves health. When working full-time, it can prove tricky to fit in adequate grocery shopping from trusted suppliers, food prep, recipe-finding expeditions, cooking, training, sleeping, actually interacting with other humans and my darling Furkids, and not being a miserable cow to everybody all the time.
Hahaha! OK, I’m probably a cow anyway, about 10% of the time… my humblest apologies. I just prefer to say things how I see them.
I may not be an amazing cook, but I’m trying! I have gained a few fans along the way.
The idea behind this post was just me thinking that being retrenched often brings one to the knee-jerk reaction of drowning one’s sorrows, sitting in a corner and hating the world. I’m not saying I didn’t do that (there was a fair bit of sorrow-drowning the first few days!), or that it’s bad or wrong, but there are other ways to deal with such change. I believe we should all try to view such obstacles in our way merely as the potential for greater things to come.
All the best to you all! I know there are many, many people in South Africa going through the same thing. Hang in there. Better days are on their way!