Mistakes, insights, questions, new vocabulary, and advice


Two mistakes I made in 1998 [during my experimental return to South Africa]:

1. My preparations were insufficient.

2. I buckled in a moment of uncertainty thinking it would give me a little security and … accepted an offer for a job.

And an insight:

The reason why many ordinary working people in the industrialised “First World” is not rich is because they have “good jobs”, and they are satisfied with what they earn. Also, because their lifestyle grows as their income grows, or in many cases even exceeds their income.

What do you do …

* if you are two months behind on your mortgage payments,

* if the water and electricity bills are more than a month in arrears,

* if the kitchen shelves are empty,

* if your bank account is depleted,

* if your car has been repossessed, or will be repossessed by the bank any time in the next week or two,

* if half of your furniture has been repossessed, and

* if the children are getting quieter by the day?

What, at the end of the day, are really your options?

Today I learned some new words:

* atrium – the central court of an ancient Roman house

* niche – a suitable and satisfying role, job, or way of life; an opportunity in business; the conditions in which a species can live successfully

* ethereal – extremely delicate and light, and seeming to be too spiritual or perfect for this world

* translucent – allowing light to pass through but not transparent

and finally …

* colander – a metal or plastic bowl with many small holes in it, used to drain water from vegetables

And one last piece of advice:

Surround yourself with people. It’s much easier to break away from people for a few hours or a few days if you need to spend time on your own, than to try to get people together when you suddenly experience a need for companionship after long periods of isolation.