• Atisha Sooklall

Moments and Memories

It was mid-December 2019 once we got back to South Africa, and we had to wrap everything up by the end of Jan 2020. Whilst emotion ran high, difficult decisions had to made. Do we sell our house? When do we sell our cars? If we put the house on rent, how would we manage the renters? What about all our furniture and belongings, would we have to sell it all or could we take it with us? I guess we thought this would be a simpler process, jump on a plane, get to the destination, and start afresh. But the whole process was quite draining.

There was so much admin to sort out, like subscriptions to cancel, debit orders, cell phone contracts, clothing accounts, medical aid… the list didn’t end. Every time we ticked items off the list, it seemed like more items appeared. We quickly learned that we needed a plan to divide and conquer if we were going to get through everything.

A few months earlier I had just started a new job. In September 2019, I started working at Mpact Plastics as the Logistics manager. Filled with motivation and a strong will to improve things, I quickly got caught up with daily fire firefighting while still finding my feet. Just 2 months later, I had to let my manager know that I would soon be leaving. I managed to get a few small wins but before I could complete any of my big projects, it was already time to leave. In January 2020, I had to bid farewell to my colleagues and team. I felt sorry for leaving, as I joined intending to add value and stay, but my circumstances justified my move and the company supported me.

We finally started to see the end of the list. We advertised our car and by the end of December, it was sold. We decided to put the house on rent and luckily for us, my sister-in-law was looking for a place, so we got a trustworthy, reliable renter. My husband's company agreed to get our furniture and belongings shipped across for us. But this also came with the admin of getting quotes from three furniture shipping companies.

We had limited time, and the reality of the move started to take a toll on us emotionally. Since I had started a new job and had just been on leave for the first 2 weeks of December, I had to work for the rest of the month. This meant I missed out on lots of “moments” which resulted in a severe dose of FOMO “fear of missing out”. It only made me cherish the moments that I did have even more. Friends and family started inviting us over for lunches and dinners, wanting to spend as much time with us as possible. It was hard to pick and choose, but we managed to fit everyone in, even if it was just over a quick cocktail or coffee. We also had a big send-off party at the end of December, which was great as we got to see everyone before we left.

It was a sunny day, perfect to be outdoors. There were red checkered picnic blankets on the green grass, pink lanterns to provide light once it got dark, lovely outdoor couches to lounge around, a fully stocked bar, and as much food as you can think about. There was a food truck with gourmet burgers, as well as our favorites, from chicken livers to samosas and breyani. There was chocolate cake, brownies, ice cream and so much more. Heartfelt speeches were given, tears were shed and drinks were shared. We partied the night away, danced till our feet were sore and took selfies to remember the precious memories that we had just created with everyone dear to us.

December in South Africa is always magical, for some reason, everyone forgets the bad stuff that happened in the year and comes together. Schools and universities are closed, people are on leave and families reunite. It’s the one time in the year, where you can freely pitch up at someone's house to visit without an invite because everyone's house is always full of food, love, and laughter. December 2019 was probably one of the best for us, we spent each day making memories that would last a lifetime. Everyone being together over Christmas and New Year meant so much to us. As much as we realized that we would soon be leaving, leaving all of this behind… the true reality hadn’t set in yet, as December still felt like one big party.

Catch up soon, another day with another story...

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