A Timely Tale – as told by “Uncle” Norman
“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife?”. By all accounts a befitting snippet from Tuks Senganga’s song 525 600 Minutes.
Don’t worry if you are not familiar with the song or even the artist. Fact is, it is admittedly a better selection for the proudly multilingual South African audience, from what would have been the alternative choice: “Otro año ya se ha ido. Cuantas cosas han pasado. Algo hemos aprendido. Y algo hemos olvidado” an equally suitable verse from Marco Antonio Solis’ Navidad sin ti.
It would seem, as they say, that the year 2020 Too is upon us. For many, this is a time to step back and reflect on the year gone by – for those who are not afraid of their past, and a time to march on or lay out a new path into the future – for those who still believe in a better tomorrow. Either way, we have all come to accept that time waits for Norman. (Yes, we already did the spellcheck)
In the event that you find yourself struggling and could do with a little more time to live up to at least one of your new year’s resolutions or a personal life goal, here is a little reprieve for you or an alternative way to go about pursuing your future plans. Remember, “Life is what happens while you are planning other things”. Try something amazing (no not Debonair’s pizza… well, not yet anyway). Try choose a different path or foreign lane to run on. Your own “Get Out of Jail Free” card (obviously it won’t get you out of Estcourt prison).
Here it is: Change when you celebrate your new year.
If that’s confusing, worry not, there are many other people around the world who for legitimate and alternative reasons celebrate the new year on different dates, other than 31st December/1st January.
(Urgent disclaimer: it is not our intention to persuade or ask you to abandon your current way of life or belief system. You are just being invited to be kinder to and more patient with yourself).
If while reading this, you somehow feel the sudden urge and the temptation to object or reject this alternative way of realigning your habits/goals/targets (so as to distress and disconnect yourself from the regular year end/new year social pressures), solely based on divergent identity, cultural or any other differentiators; please note that as a consequence of living in a globalised world, you are probably already guilty of many cultural assimilations.
In fact, rumour has it that some amongst us already partake in more than one new year’s celebrations, look forward to Black Friday sales, celebrate Halloween, take or teach salsa classes, have a black belt in some martial art form. What is more telling, is that some of the superior and celebrated human beings/talented athletes amongst us have and will continue to participate in the summer Olympic Games, (slap bang!) in the middle of the South African winter. How ludicrous. Right?
In the event that you find all this overwhelming, then relax, take a minute (you still have 525 599 to spare) and appreciate the fact that you are blessed with the incredible privilege of choice and have limitless options.
Tackle life one breath at a time – with or without your mask, one step at a time and one day at a time. Just take your time.
Remember you have your (whole) lifetime to live and make choices.