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"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Earnest Hemingway.


Glancing back as I go forward.

Racing car drivers have a saying, "you have to slow down to go fast", I like this advice and it is true in our lives and businesses as well. I wrote this article last year in my last newsletter and I had no intention of it turning out the way that it did, but as I glanced back so much made sense and it has given me the courage to face this year with a fresh perspective, hope and excitement. I hope it encourages you.

Every year I do this thing where I name the year. 2020 was to be my year of mastery. I have
been doing this since about 2013, and its a "gut call" on what the name will be, there is nothing strategic about it, it is more of a curious intention.

I just checked my folders:
2013 The year of breakthrough
2014 The year of awesomeness
2015 The year of fulfilment of all things
2016 The year of New things
2017 The year of promise and potential

And then there is a gap as everything went into my OneDrive and I didn't record the name of the years. I get that because if I look back I would probably name them The Lost Years because I was recovering from a few hard knocks, disappointment and the grief of losing my mum. I probably did name them something hopeful, but they are not recorded so who knows. I remember 2018 being marked with turning away work because I started sticking to with my guns to how I did things. Making a decision to not compromise comes with a cost.

Then towards the end of 2019, I got my bearings, started saying no a lot more and yes to the kind of work I really loved. I reconnected to my Assignment and things started to change rapidly. I doubled down, with clarity of what I needed to do and whom I wanted to work with.

So 2020 The Year of Mastery......

What blows me away is that as I looked at each of those years in hindsight, what I was hoping those words meant and what actually materialised often were worlds apart but man oh man, were they ever
prophetic! And on a much deeper level than I could ever imagine.

2013 was a significant year as I realised the breakthrough came through the breaking of a dream which released me for something much better and that is the year my roots were loosened to make it possible to eventually leave SA. I was one of those people who said I would NEVER leave SA. And I meant it.

2014 was when I realised that I didn't have to be what others wanted or needed me to be and learned to love myself for who I was. Fearfully and Wonderfully made by design, on purpose for a purpose. That came with significant losses as we made the decision to leave SA leaving everything that had once defined us behind. I laid down Connect Magazine and the identity of being an Editor
that went with that.

2015 was full of excitement, I finished my first book, sold and handed over my businesses, started the immigration process and by the end of the year sold up everything we owned and as a family of 5 moved to New Zealand, with a few boxes of tools, books, my great granny's rocking chair and a goldsmiths desk to start a new life. It felt like everything was coming together. Little did I know so much was beginning to fall apart.

2016 was a hard year. Cancer came back to mum with a vengeance, and she decided not to do Chemo again, I felt every single km we were apart. I managed to get back to South Africa to see her while she was still well enough for us to enjoy two weeks of amazing coffee's and meals together, but it cost me going back for her funeral in 2017. That trip back to New Zealand was one of the hardest trips I ever had to take knowing that it would be the last time I would see my mum, best friend and cheerleader this side of eternity. I have no regrets, we had no unfinished business.

2017 should have been called the year of the curveball, things that happened were unexpected, but just like a seed that carries promise and potential, many of my dreams were buried, and felt like they died. I stepped into survival mode and did what I needed to do and put one foot in front of the other as I tried to make sense of it all. We lost my mum at the end of that year to add insult to injury. Why was I even here? Was it a mistake to have come? Was the cost too much? The little seed of starting a business with what I had in my hand, in a land I hardly understood required hope, focus and direction. I did get to do what I love. The busyness of 2018 and 2019 buried and nourished that seed nice and deep, what I didn't realise was that the dirt that was being pushed up -was being pushed up - by a strong and sturdy tree whose roots had been spreading deep and wide to carry something really worthwhile that will one day shade and feed others. 

Queue, 2020.  The year of Mastery, again not what I thought it would be but oh my goodness, it has been the worst of times and the best of times. If I was measuring for comfort levels, this would have been an epic failure of a year. I have long since learned that comfort and growth do not travel on the same road. The growth of the dark days of 2017 - 2019 broke through the surface and in the midst of hardship, I grew and gained strength. It has been a phenomenal year of growth and yes Mastery. It
has been a year of consolidation and in reflection, now everything makes sense.

Now just a note, for many of you who know me would have seen a smiling happy Tracey and I just want to say I wasn't faking any of it. The reality is amongst the hard stuff, so much wonderful good stuff happens.

So when I filed a document into a new folder for 2021, I smiled as the word came.

2021 The Year of Impact, and I won't even try to figure out how it will actually play out despite well-laid
plans. What I do know is, no matter what life brings, I am standing on solid ground. My roots are firmly placed in my restored Faith is the only One who is trustworthy. 

As I started this article, it was supposed to be a sum-up of one year that has been hi-jacked, but I think the message is no matter what you were expecting and hoping for this year or even previous years, may I encourage you that there is indeed a long game and my prayer for you and yours is that you would find a solid rock to stand on and that your heart would be encouraged by people who make you belong for who you are and that if the future seems very dark and dismal, there is always hope.

I am sensing a new way of doing things, there will probably be a change to my branding as so much has changed, so there are new things coming in 2021. I will be sharing more of the work I have been doing with leaders and their teams and the incredible wins that have been happening


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