An African mum living, learning, and documenting the process.

Marcy Madzikanda: On gratitude

The one overriding feeling I had entering 2021 was being thankful I had survived 2020. Such an incredibly painful year.

I was able to slow down, spend quality time with my child in a way I was only able to do when I was on maternity leave. I am very grateful to have had this time with her.

Maternity leave was different, we weren’t in a pandemic and babies only sleep, feed and have poonamies! I found that time mesmerising yet mind stifling boring. (The blog was founded towards the back end of this). I was grateful to spend a year with her as I rediscovered myself, her, travelled, and still received a pay cheque – a luxury not many women get to experience.

During the pandemic, she was her own person able to say what she wanted and didn’t. We spent time on long walks, exercising, gardening, cooking and baking. We did crafts, watched movies, cuddled and cried together. She also learnt to ride her bike using this simple technique in under 15 minutes. Is it possible to become even closer with your child?

After a few minutes ‘scooting’ she was cycling perfectly. Not too sure who was more excited. She had a balance bike from about 2, never used stabilisers.

Without the pandemic and lockdown we’d have been in our regular routine: school, work, home, and rushed to find quality time (my love language and words of affirmation). I am immensely grateful.

Lockdown meant I could process my grief at home. This was a blessing. I could grieve in the privacy of my own home and not ‘have’ to ‘deal’ with people. I truly believe God in His infinite wisdom timed it like that because how I else would I function?

I’d later find out that not many places of employment offer compassionate leave. I was able to take two weeks off after my sisters death. I thought I could still work but I wasn’t able to function.

I am grateful for having a job when so many have had anxiety about finances during this pandemic.

As an introvert, being in lockdown, has been good for me. I need a break after human interaction to recharge. Now that ‘recharging’ is a lot faster.

I am grateful for my physical and mental health and that of my family at a time where our ethnicity and lifestyle choices could have disastrous consequences on how we survive this if affected.

Being out in the cold is good for the soul

I am so grateful for my family. We are scattered across the world. We shared significant losses in 2020 but we supported each other in our grief. Closer bonds were struck.

I have never appreciated my siblings more and love them fiercely.

I am grateful for my partner. ‘Lockdown relationships’ probably needs a post of its own (maybe a whole series 😂🤦🏾‍♀️ do send me your requests and I may do a PG version). But seriously, it has been tough and not just during lockdown.

Relationships are difficult. Not being able to just ‘get away’ forces you to confront your true selves. I used the five why’s methodology to get to the root cause: of why I need to get away so much? This enabled me to take stock of my relationship. I learnt this Lean Methodology tool during my MSc in 2005 and apply it in my personal and professional life.

He does a lot for me. He gave our child all the attention when I was an emotional wreck and did so when I returned to work. Working as a freelancer gives him (us) the flexibility that families need with young children.

I am grateful he has been able to work this past year when so many in his field have not. I can count the number of times I’ve been to the supermarket during 2020 on one hand. Usually for non essential items as he has got all the provisions we need.

He is present in our lives in a way I’ve not seen before. His love language: acts of service.

He is consistent and he is kind. He tends to us in a way I could never truly repay. (Are relationships transactional in this way?) He knows when I’ve had a bad day and will cook my favourite dishes. He cooks for us a lot.

It’s not all perfect and social media has people believing in fairytales. Remember we share highlights. There have been significant lows which are natural in relationship and learning about someone is hard, more so from a different culture. Being in lockdown, homeschooling, grieving, no vacations made this harder and I know some relationships haven’t survived the pandemic. This is a gratitude post.

I am so grateful for my friends especially those who lifted me up when I thought I would never be whole. The daily messages and calls. The thoughtful and unexpected gifts in the posts. My cousin who’d meet up with me on Friday for long walks. Those who motivated my fitness journey and encouraged me to be physically and mentally stronger than I have been in a really long time.

I am grateful for the desire to still want to work on my ‘little’ blog, started with the aim of inspiring just one person.

(Thank God for the analytics behind the blog)

I am grateful for all the people who take the time to read and share this blog. This inspires me to keep working on it.

My two angels. RIP 2020

Above all, I am so grateful for life. I am so thankful for the life my grandmother lived. She was blessed with long life and got to see her children, have children and produce great grandchildren (one hundred combined) with her mental faculties intact until her last breathe. All her lessons, how she loved, a pillar in the community.

My beloved sister, words fail me every time. I am so grateful for the life you lived. How you held yourself together. How you loved God and your capacity to not hold grudges. I hope to honour your life like that. I know I can be petty and hold on to grudges. (The North remembers).

There is so much I am grateful for and the journey 2020 forced upon us. I started this post with the aim of posting by New Years Eve. We are now in February.

Constantly aiming for consistency. Maximising potential & Pursuing excellence (If you know you know).
To a better year ahead!
Love and light.Mx

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