A word of advice. If your sim card in your cell phone suddenly stops working, call your provider right away, and ask if an illegal SIM swap was performed. On Thursday it took me six hours and five phone calls to MTN to discover that an illegal SIM swap had taken place on my phone. I took it in my stride. Cancelled the SIM and thought that was the end of that. Until I discovered, thanks to a tip off by a gentleman who heard my SIM swap fraud story, that I should check my bank account. Low and behold he was right. My internet banking was blocked. Upon phoning the bank I discovered that ALOT of money had been transferred out of the account the previous day on which my SIM had been swapped. With access to my phone number this fancy syndicate not only stole money from my account but managed to draw a loan of 30, 000 rand from the bank. Bizarre!

What does this little story have to do about gratitude. Well usually when something like this happens that costs me a whole morning at the bank and a whole afternoon at the police station I’d feel pretty sorry for myself. I’d fume at my precious lost time, cancelled meetings and in general feel very hard done by. But I practiced a bit of composure and looked at the big picture. Things could be so much worse. There are so many sad, terrible stories circulating. The community even called a half day fast this week. In the big picture a stolen SIM card and a broken into account and probably identity theft (that really is freaky to imagine someone has all my details – anyone with advice about what to do about this, please give it), doesn’t measure up to the real tragedy that can and does happen.

And this is where gratitude comes in. Life is so precious and yes we squander it in our small worries, finger pointing, inner critiques, and general unconscious living. We forget to breathe and feel the rise and fall of our chests, to hear when our child speaks to us, really hear and be present for them. We forget to look into our partners eyes and see them as they are, as we first saw them so long ago. We forget to walk without shoes on the grass and feel the earth as we once did as children. Feel the sun on our face with pure joy. (This is a recommended daily practice for at least 20 minutes before 9am and after 3 or 4 pm.)

With every tragedy I hear I don’t want to enter into a miserable, helpless zone. Because that’s not helping anybody. Instinctively I want to run and hide and not face life, but that’s not the response to tragedy. It’s to take note and see, how can I have gratitude for what I have and more than that, as Mano Naidoo says, how can I honour the thing I have gratitude for. If it’s your children, how can you honour them, spend that extra bit of quality time with them. How can you honour your house, spend more happy times in it. Honour your body, take care of it. Honour your friends, family, staff, work, world. There is so much blessing and so much to honour. The more we focus on our blessing, please God the more blessing we will receive and spread to others.

On a whole other topic – although it’s something I’m very grateful for. This week we got a puppy labrador, whom Prince No. 1 has called Blitz. He’s been with us a week and it’s been very FUN, FRUSTRATING and LOVING. On the one hand he hasn’t been crying that much at night, actually not at all. So that has been a big blessing, especially for my husband as I told him, it’s his job at night. Meanwhile I’m afraid to admit that the house reeks of Bolo Blitz, he thinks the rugs are his place to make his business. So I go around closing doors and carrying this puppy outside as much as possible. The Princes LOVE him and wake up to feed him and play with him, although they are scared of his biting (which he does a lot of). Prince No. 1 has been super responsible with Blitz, as it is his dog, and is like a mini man as he wipes up after him with a vinegar and water concoction. It is like having a baby and every other moment one of us says with a rising anxious note, ‘Where’s Blitz?’ Often he’s just lying in a corner fast asleep. So the adventures of Blitz has begun, and never a dull moment shall reign in this house again.