So… I have a confession to make. I am an All Black supporter. Last weekend I knowingly buried myself and my son deep in the heart of Bokke territory at the Crusaders Rugby Club in Durban to soak up the full experience of watching a World Cup Final in the country that was actually playing and won. I’m not sure which part of that is the confession – I suppose it depends on whether you affiliate yourself with the Silver Fern or the Green & Gold – but either way, it was an experience of mammoth proportions.
I feel grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the incredible “being of team” that the All Blacks have displayed in their endeavours over the past years that speak to sportsmanship, integrity, personal and team strength. I am also grateful to have had the incredible opportunity to be a part of and feel the passion, determination and unity of a country like South Africa – brought together in this victory despite a multitude of divides and obstacles, to wrap their arms around each other and celebrate their success. I am also hugely grateful that I’ve been able to share that whole experience with my son; a Zimbabwean All Black Supporter currently at school in South Africa.
At this time of the year, we’re all wearing a little thin. Regardless of your industry, business or personal journey, the chances are good that you’ve weathered, participated in, instigated, driven and achieved “some” this year. This year will have brought its changes, trials, wins and losses – all of which will have had their requirements of you, demanding their pound of flesh.
Before we reach December and Silly Season starts to take over; whilst we are still in the month that requires the most effort from us in terms of a final push towards the achievement of what remains in 2019; and whilst we’re still trying to figure out how to keep going mentally in order to deliver that final push – let’s take a brief moment to stand back, and to count our blessings and experiences this year.
Pause briefly, even just for the length of this read. Take a deep breath in and breath out. Count how far you’ve come. Count the hard bits and the growth they brought you. Count the losses and grieve them. Find a way to thank them for their service in their addition to your character. Count and acknowledge your achievements on every front and celebrate every win – the “noteworthy” ones as well as every small and unseen win that got you there. Stand in the pride you feel for the achievements of your loved ones and pause in that pride for a minute. Soak it up and allow it to replenish you. Feel anticipation for the miraculous way that the experiences of one year have of readying you for the next year coming.
Acknowledge that we’re looking at the closing days of a whole decade and consider what that decade has meant for you. Everything that has changed; how far you’ve come; and what you now stand ready for. Feel gratitude for the people who’ve journeyed with you this year. Those who have come along side you, and you alongside them. For better or worse, you have influenced and added to the experience you each have to draw on and you’ve banked something of value that will stand you in good stead as you move forward.
Acknowledge gratitude for the physical spaces that have served you this year and the provisions that mean you’re still standing. Acknowledge the knowledge you’ve gained and shared, and the emotional intelligence you’ve further developed. Acknowledge the confidence you’ve grown and appreciate the few things you may know for sure.
And, with that gratitude, confidence, strength and appreciation, may we move gracefully through what remains of 2019 and finish in a way that does it justice. May we allow our gratitude to ripple outwards and encourage others to take stock of their own. What you have achieved this year has been monumental, and on its foundation will you build the next decade.
by Christen Killick
November 11th, 2019