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Friday, 21 February 2014

'Happy' to have met you

Every morning when I drive to work, I drive along the traffic-thick Jim Fouche to get onto Beyers Naude just before I join the highway. If anyone is familiar with this route in the mornings, you may have noticed a particularly chirpy young man selling newspapers.  I first noticed him late last year, so he hasn't been there for so long.

Daily and without fail, you will see him waving at every passing car, with such honesty and earnestness, that it will just warm your heart- and this is whether you happen to buy a newspaper from him or not. I must confess my mornings don't feel complete until he's flashed me one of his megawatt smiles.

I don't know if I am just becoming particularly soft the older I get, or if I am just simply becoming more and more aware of the random acts of kindness from people around me, because it's a welcome change from all the violence, pain and despondency we see all around us.

So this morning I decided that instead of just giving him some coins, I'd speak to him to find out more about him. His name is Happy (a special name to me because that's also my Mother's name) and he comes all the way from Daveyton every morning to be on Jim Fouche before 05h30. I was shocked to hear this, so I asked him what time he had to wake up to be at 'work' on time? His answer brought a lump to my throat. He said, "Eish, sister if I tell you it will ruin your day. So let me rather not say. "

Not a lot is written about the other Happy's out there, I tried to Google more about their working conditions, how much they get from each newspaper they sell etc...but they do account for approximately 15% of all informal non-agricultural employment nationwide, so do help them out when you happen to pass one by.

If you are ever in my hood and you happen to drive past my boy, please say hi to him. I think he also gets joy from spreading his!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

That thief of time...procrastination

"Procrastination is like a credit card: it's a lot of fun,  until you get the bill"- C. Parker

R. Kelly once sang that he wished he could turn back the hands of time, and at the time we all sang along to it because it spoke to something within us. (Well, it did for me...even though I'm pretty sure I sang it off-key every time. Hahaha)

For so long, almost every year I have put ; 'be more proactive' or 'stop procrastinating' on my list of resolutions and yet at the end of every year, there were still things that I had started but did not see to fruition. I plan for that to be different from now on, and I've been doing it with small but significant things, this is also teaching me to start celebrating small breakthroughs.

Like I finally started those drumming lessons I've been threatening to do, and even though I'm a long way from playing a full melody that sounds like a song, I'm enjoying channeling that kid in me, who was never afraid of learning something new. (I bought ear-muffs for my drumming teacher so no need to worry for his ear-drums.)

I read a cute story that illustrates very simply the dangers of procrastination.
"When the ship, Stephen Whitney struck on an Irish cliff and clung there for a few moments, all the passengers who leaped instantly onto the rock were saved. Those who lingered were swept off by the returning waves and we're engulfed forever."

I'll always keep this in mind , because all I keep thinking of is how much I would have hated seeing people jumping to safety, while I waited to be saved by someone else. I believe that the more we leave things to chance, the less chance there is for us.

"Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible. "-George Lorimer