The magic of sunset on the Chobe River…
The Festive Season is (in theory at least) a time of the year filled with magic. Then you have the strange time between Christmas and New Year where one is in limbo, followed by a wild party celebrating New Year’s Eve. Shortly thereafter, you’re back to the every-day slog, and all the magic is simply a fond memory… It’s a bit like enduring an entire week, to make it through to the weekend. For many, this is a SOP (standard operating procedure). Which is incredibly sad… Whilst the magic would obviously last much longer if we were permanently on holiday, this is obviously unrealistic. What is NOT unrealistic is finding ways to sustain that enchantment throughout the year (and/or the week), of finding ways to unlock the magic in everyday life…
Stop and smell the flowers! (Namaqualand).
Wonder. Get a little curious. Question like a child. It will open up previously unknown worlds to you. Life is too short to stay stuck in the mundane responsibilities of life all the time. Shake things up a little. Travel to new places. Try new foods. Research a topic of interest. See the world through the eyes of a child – it’s often enough to put the spark back into your seemingly dull life.
Connect deeply. Engage. Skip the superficial life. Commune with nature. Go there. Listen to the wind. Don’t be a spectator in your own life.
Prefect asparagus served with Hollandaise Sauce at La Colombe d’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
Live with purpose. If you cannot find that purpose in work, create it elsewhere. Plan a trip. Plant a garden. Join a charity. Register for a sporting event.
Embrace the mystery. Not everything requires a fully confirmed explanation. One can simply appreciate something for what it is, without having to allocate it to a defined box, drawing neat lines around it, with a perfectly constructed definition of exactly what something “is”.
The mysterious “Fairy Circles” in Namibia.
Follow the sun and the stars. Sunrises and sunsets are good for the soul – whether they are in some exotic place or simply in your backyard… Get up with the sunrise. Celebrate the sunset. Star gazing is a little more challenging in the big city – but there are plenty of getaways close enough to pop to for a weekend.
Dare to dream. Figure out what would truly make you happy. Plan that trip. Then go and do it!
Appreciate the street art. (Cannes Cinema).
Build a better world. Remember being young and on fire about some cause? Excavate that conviction that still excites you. Then go find something you can actually do about it as an adult. Your feelings of accomplishment throughout the year will be worth the effort…
Play with possibilities. Cut loose. Have fun. Be prepared to ‘frolick’ on a regular basis. Embrace the child within, who enjoyed flying high on that swing. Create a bucket list and start ticking things off. Do something age inappropriate!
Do something age inappropriate! (Carousel in Cannes).
Be present, like a child engrossed in their latest toy. Savour every bite of a meal. Enjoy the sun on your skin, the wind in your hair. Read a great book. Feed the birds and observe their enjoyment. Smell the rain on African soil…
The pure magic of play…
So, may I politely suggest that in 2023, you choose to go down the Rabbit Hole to Wonderland on a more regular basis? Your year will be more memorable. Celebrate and enjoy life more frequently. The MacMillan Dictionary defines MAGIC as a “mysterious power that makes impossible things happen”. Be the magic. Open up the boundaries beyond your current experiences, create space for magic to enter, and allow for strange twists of fate to bring you unexpected joy.
May 2023 be your best year yet!!
Jacqui Ikin & The Cross Country Team