Lockdown Lifestyle Changes
Lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to reflect on what is important in our lives, as well as what no longer serves us. Some of our clients used this time of reflection to make small lifestyle changes, while others made big ones. Either way, the changes have had a positive impact.
Kobus and Elaine Joubert
Breaking bad habits
When lockdown initially began and the government announced that alcohol and cigarettes were banned, Elaine and Kobus decided they weren’t going to source cigarettes illegally but rather give up smoking. Having both been smokers for close to 50 years, this was no mean feat. Anyone who has ever tried to give up smoking knows this decision is usually preceded by months of agonising over the how and when. Kobus and Elaine bravely decided on the spot, with Kobus even going cold turkey from the word go.
To keep busy and their minds off smoking, they spring cleaned their house, sorting out cupboards and even cleaning their carpets by hand. Elaine dusted off her sewing machine, and they spent time gardening.
Another bonus after stopping smoking was that they both started to exercise, something they now do six times a week. Elaine walks up and down her driveway 25 times, equating to two kilometres, and Kobus trains in his home gym while listening to music.
It just goes to show, it’s never too late to break bad habits and form healthy new ones.
Patricia has always loved music. Her daughters don’t recall a day of their childhood that didn’t involve music. She woke them up singing and sang them to sleep. As a result of her love of music, it was a given that she thoroughly enjoyed the online events with The Music Guru, Sean Brokensha. After each event, she would call her daughters and gush about his knowledge, expressing how it was on her bucket list to one day have dinner with Sean, where he could dedicate a whole evening to telling her about Leonard Cohen, the history of his music and the inspiration
behind his lyrics.
During hard lockdown and not seeing her family, Patricia, like so many of us, realised that it is people and memories, not things, that matter the most, something she would tell her daughters often. As a result of her desire to make memories, her daughters, much to her absolute delight, helped her celebrate her birthday differently this year by not buying gifts but instead making memories by arranging a dinner with Sean. It was an intimate affair held on the patio on a beautiful spring evening. The presentation was peppered with videos, captivating anecdotes and biographical information about this amazing artist.
It was a beautiful evening and one that was filled with love, laughter and most importantly, family.
Mike and Natalie Pennel
In 2019, while visiting family in Melkbos, Mike and Natalie decided to take a drive to Paternoster, however, they never made it that far. During a breakfast stop in Langebaan and while on the phone with their son in New Zealand, the idea of moving to Langebaan was born.
And then Covid happened. With lockdown and travel restrictions, many people would have put their dream of moving to a different province on hold.
Despite the uncertainty, Mike and Natalie decided to go ahead and put their home in Johannesburg on the market. All viewings were by appointment only, and much sanitising was required after every viewing. Two offers they received fell through, and then finally, third time lucky, they sold their home at the end of June. Leisure travel was still not permitted, but they managed to get a permit as you could travel if you were buying a new home. They flew to Cape Town and spent three days searching for their new home. They knew that if they were going to move to the coast, a non-negotiable had to be a good view. Natalie knew before she had even walked over the threshold that she had found her perfect home.
With the wheels set in motion, the next challenge came when organising movers to transport their worldly possessions plus two dogs and three cars to the Cape. Mike is a firm believer that if something is meant to be, and you plan properly, then you will make it happen. And he was right, even though it was rather an unconventional solution with Mike and Natalie travelling down to the Cape in the moving truck. According to Natalie, it was the longest 48 hours of her life and one she will never forget.
Natalie and Mike have been in their new home for a year now, and they couldn’t be happier. Natalie walks rescue dogs a few times a week and has also joined a group called Lagoon Ladies, who meet once a month to listen to a guest speaker and have a catch-up. Mike loves anything to do with cars and boats, and word quickly spread that there was an expert in town, so he spends much of his day helping locals with advice about their boats. They are both grateful that they weren’t deterred and followed their dream despite the uncertainty of the past year.
Finding purpose and choosing happy
After a career spanning 43 years in the hospitality industry, Karen was excitedly preparing to retire in September 2020. Unfortunately, the last six months of her working life were ones she describes as awful, mainly since the hospitality and tourism industry was so severely knocked by
Covid, with events being cancelled and hotels being closed.
Karen had a clear vision as to what her retirement would look like. Having time to do things for herself was important, as was pursuing activities she enjoyed, such as travel. Karen had planned to spend the first six months of retirement giving back through helping a sports organisation with their events, but this fell through as all sporting events were cancelled.
This freed up more time, and she began to reflect deeply on her purpose in life now that she had made the transition into retirement. After much reflection, she decided that her purpose was simply to be happy, and she only pursued activities that helped fulfil her purpose. She never imagined that exercise would become such an integral part of her life, yet now she does aqua therapy and pilates five times a week, both of which have become activities she loves. She also spends time playing online scrabble with friends, learning bridge and socialising with the people she treasures most in her life. While she has some plans for the future, she firmly believes in grabbing every bit of happiness and good that you can each day. Karen describes herself as the happiest pensioner she has ever met—keeping herself busy being happy.
Russell and Audett Dixon-Paver
Let the music play on
Russell and Audett have been in retirement for ten years now, leading full and busy lives pursuing activities they enjoy such as sewing and aviation photography —and more recently, learning to play the ukulele.
Music has always been a part of their lives. As a youngster, Russell played the trumpet and Audett the piano and organ, so it’s no wonder their youngest daughter, Robin, inherited their musical genes. Robin is a music teacher and is passionate about the ukulele. She believes that the ukulele is a wonderful instrument for children to merge the theory with the practical side. She runs the Tiger Valley College Ukulele Society and has entered her group in eisteddfods where they have excelled.
When lockdown happened, all of Robin’s lessons went online. As it is Robin’s dream to teach the ukulele online, she enrolled in an online course. As part of her training, she needs to teach pupils how to play the ukelele, and her pupils came in the form of her parents and sister, Gaelyn. Each week, they spend a few hours learning to play the ukulele, and they are all loving the experience. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill while having fun at the same time. Most importantly, they have found music to be a therapeutic tool in dealing with the stress of the times we find ourselves living in. It has also sparked a new passion for Russell, and he plans to begin building ukuleles in his workshop.