Reflecting on 2023, learnings, challenges, focus

EQ in Action Durban, Avril Kidd, Reflections on 2023
Written by: Avril Kidd
Category: Life Skills
As we head into the final chapter of 2023, I'd like to reflect on the highs and lows and the learnings that I have taken from the past year.

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. HAL BORLAND

Empty nest

Firstly, I survived the empty nest, after a few early bumpy months, and have just welcomed my son back home from his first year at Stellenbosch University. I am proud to say he showed resilience, adaptability and commitment with some steep learning curves along the way. For me it was a lesson in stepping back and giving him room to grow and find his own path and motivation, not always easy when you’re a nurturer and rescuer and want to micromanage like I often do. I am grateful to my husband who gave me the support, love but also space to navigate this challenging time.

Losing loved ones

A definite low was the people we lost during the year. I wish these families courage and strength as they face their first Christmas, without them. In our home, we lost our beloved Furbaby, Kink, at the end of October. Our Kink, a beautiful male ridgeback, was a unique, larger than life character who has left a huge void in our home and hearts. I miss the unconditional love and loyalty that is so unique to dogs and particularly to our Kink. The numerous nicknames that he had, spoke volumes of his character; our Circus Pony, Professor, Kinklesteen … he is so hugely missed but we are grateful to him for 11 and a half years of beautiful, often comical, memories!

Even in the saddest and toughest times, we can experience gratitude and I am extremely grateful to our amazing vet, Dr Judy Ratner, and her compassionate and dedicated team at Glenashley Veterinary Clinic for the kindness and care they showed Kink and our family.

Professional Privileges

From a professional point of view, I have been privileged to work with an incredibly diverse client base of multiple cultures spanning Africa. From South Africa to Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia, and virtually, online, as far as India and the Middle East. My nervousness around some of the aspects of travelling has been largely replaced by an anticipation of what awaits me in each country. I continue to learn so much from my clients and the people I meet on my travels for which I am hugely grateful.

Having found my purpose more than a decade ago, I am so fortunate that I get to live this purpose every day. I try and live by the Dewit Jone’s ethos of, “being the best for the world, as opposed to the best in the world.”

The Trust that my clients place in me is so appreciated and valued.

Some of my biggest learnings during 2023

What were some of my biggest learnings over the past year?

  • Becoming aware of and managing the stories I tell myself.
  • Realising that I can’t fix everything as much as I may desperately want to.
  • The barriers to communication are bigger than I realized and as a result people only see things through their own lenses, which can be hugely challenging.

My biggest challenges during 2023

  • To not dwell on my failures and beat myself up for them.
  • My continual struggle with navigating my emotions.
  • Learning to let go.

My focus for 2024

  • Live more in the moment
  • Worry less as worrying doesn’t change the outcome.
  • Continue to strive to be the best version of myself.
  • Focus on what is good in this world.

What did I get right?

  • Better work-life balance.
  • Growing the number of people practicing EQ.

Take time to reflect on YOUR past year

As Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”, so I encourage you to take time to reflect on these 4 aspects like I have done above. It is in understanding ourselves that we will achieve more growth.

Finally, as this is the time of giving, consider what your gift to the world is and share that abundantly. This is a time of giving and there are so many people feeling lonely, isolated and in need of the most basic need to belong. Consider how you can use your gift to make our world a better place this festive season and going into the new year.

Even if you have changed one life, you have changed the world forever.