2021 has been the year that I’ve been intentionally conscious of my days and experiences. The year started with an elation that as a family, we not only survived but thrived despite the pandemic. It was, however, hard to see the varying levels of social and economic degradation evident in different communities - serves as a wake-up call and it is like Groundhog Day for many. Despite all that awareness of time, the days flew by and we’re now at the tail end of 2021.

I discovered with many of my clients (and myself) that there was a fatigue of body, mind and heart, caused by the uncertainty, frustrations and ripple effects from Covid-19. In January, I set my intention as a coach to be like the lighthouse that stands tall and humble, through rain or shine, shining forth, giving hope and direction. This is how I supported those around me and professionally, my coachees. By being stable and inspiring, I guided and supported them to make their way towards where they need to be while building courage and hope. Personally, I sought to gain ease and focus on holistic growth of self and in service to others -  with hindsight, I did achieve this and choose to continue in this direction into 2022.

Continuing from 2020 into 2021, I found that the positive and growth mindset was often tapped to support my clients. In addition, the importance of communication and building trust via different channels while working from home. Our ongoing ability to connect well virtually, being in different locations and also as a group enabled them to see that meaningful connections are indeed possible. Many of my clients have successfully improved their relationship with their colleagues and fostered bonding between their teams in today’s hybrid word environment.

My biggest career win this year was the sales and leadership training I led for ZIM’s South China sales team. It was  fully in Mandarin with participants from multi-locations and across topics of Agility, Collaboration and Hybrid. Over 18 sessions of 2.5 hours each (and many more prep hours), I learned so much from the 70 participants and honed my Mandarin skills to the extent that I can now say that I’m comfortable training and coaching in Mandarin too. Brought back so much memories of me learning (and struggling through) Mandarin as 1st Langauage in Dunman High School. With so much gratitude to my Secondary 3 and 4 teacher 刘汉生Mr Liu Han Sheng and dear tutor and family friend 郭仁滨Mr Guo Ren Bin who believed in me and kept me going with their teachings. This is what I hope to continue doing for Kira and Erin, both who say they hate classes at Cape Town Mandarin School and it’s largely due to the lack of environment and speaking opportunities here in South Africa. On a happier note, Kira just achieved her 600 days streak and Erin is at 560 days streak of learning Mandarin on Duolingo. Persistence and Hope comes Mastery and Passion (I hope!).

We started January 2021 being in the second wave of COVID-19 in South Africa and end 2021 in the fourth wave with Omicron discovered a month ago by brilliant South Africa scientists. This progression is a reminder to reflect and leverage on what we’ve learned and experienced (just as the virus has mutated) ; and continue doing good and keeping well.

4 more sleeps to turning 45 and 5 more sleeps to 2022.

Thoughts at a 45 degree angle