Jackie Wilson Asheeke

This year has been a difficult one, not just for me personally, but for the world that is still reeling under the weight of COVID-19. 2021 will bring a new normal. We can survive that change if we face it with love and fortitude. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to work harder than you ever have before in 2021.

Most families face New Year’s Day celebrations by saying what they are thankful for in the year that has passed. We all should do that to find the strength for the new normal.

I thank God for my three healthy children doing well in their lives. When I am at my lowest, I let my mind remember the day I first held them in my arms. I had never known joy until that moment. I recall it and my soul sings!

If you have reasonable or good health, know that you are blessed. I think of songs I love, beautiful sunsets (thanks Helen, for the partial eclipse sunset photo from Walvis!), and great food. I love wildlife and playing with my pets. I enjoy long walks and editing great stories. I read books voraciously and love the many worlds unfolded in books. I have fun playing computer games. I have finished my first novel and love getting it ready for publication. Hugging my mom is a blessing. I thank God for many things, you should too. Everything is never all bad.

And yet, being sober about the downside, helps us all learn lessons. The trick is not to let the downside drag you under.

There are so many things that hurt Namibia in 2020, that I will not recount that litany here.

People shake their heads in disgust about Fishrot, SME Bank losses, poor service delivery, rape out of control and increased prices for basic goods. I must say, I am finding it hard to be upbeat for 2021, but we must try. We cannot lose hope.

Start small and do small things better in 2021. Don’t set the bar too high. Plan to do better at work and at school in 2021. ‘Better’ can be as you define it. If you are coming in late to work, pledge to be there 10 minutes EARLY every day in 2021. If you have a 67 percent grade average, raise it to 70 percent in 2021.

If you have a job, be grateful for your good fortune and work your ass off to keep it. Focus on performance and service delivery.

If you are beating your spouse, STOP IT. Pledge to walk away when you feel your need to feel powerful by stomping on someone else’s head. Each punch into your partner’s face bleeds the joy from your soul.

If you are stealing, cheating, and telling lies. STOP IT. Make up your mind to live day-by-day putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. How would you feel if someone treated you the way you are treating others?

If you have not hugged your kids regularly and spent quality time with them, plan to do that in 2021. Our kids make wrong choices as they grow up due to low self-esteem because they feel unloved. Stop judging them and preaching at them.

Use time at home to self-improve. Take a class or two. There are online classes and study sessions on millions of topics. You are never too old to learn.

If you drink too much, STOP IT. There is help for those who are alcoholics. You are destroying your life with each drink. But you are murdering the lives of every single soul around you. There is nothing more disgusting than a stinky, sloppy drunk. Decide to not touch a drop for one month in 2021.

The same above paragraph goes for those who are hooked on drugs. No one can make you stop – you must CHOOSE to stop.

STOP comparing yourself to others. When God made you, he threw away the mould. There is only one like you. In 2021, kick jealousy in the butt.

Save money and spend wisely. Buy only what you need, not what you want. Make it a goal to pay off one debt per quarter.

Make certain you donate to those less fortunate than yourself. It need not be a lot, but make sure you give away gifts of love.

Finally, may your new normal in 2021 be better. Do your list of what you are thankful for. It will lift your spirits.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.