Why I’m just a ‘tween’ at life

2008, was an Annus horribilis year for many people on a global scale.  It was also the year that my husband and I arrived on the beautiful Dolphin Coast in the small town of Ballito in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa to begin the next phase of our lives.  We had packed up our entire home and left Johannesburg on the 18th of August and along with our two dogs began the trip that would change our lives forever.

We were full of hope and excitement about making this move as we had spoken about living on the coast for a long time and for me time was marching on, as it was the year I also turned 50 and I didn’t want to wait any longer.  All our plans were in place.  We had solid work and an established business; a beautiful home to move into and a few friends we had made during the 18 months we commuted from ohannesburg to Ballito in preparation for the move.

It was an exciting time and we couldn’t be happier.  Just a few weeks later, one of the biggest global meltdowns began and the world went into a financial crisis with the markets crashing and people stressing about how they would survive.  We were those people.

In a fairly short space of time, we had run out of money, our business was failing and we wondered how we would manage and the fear set in.  It was a stressful time and I am giving you the shortened version, but I am sure that you either experienced something similar or knew of people who were going through a very similar experience.

We had to begin again.  That was 10 years ago.  It didn’t happen overnight, but we knew that if we worked together as a team we would work things out.  It was hard.  We almost ran back to the ‘safety’ of Johannesburg where people said the money was, but we had started to really enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and Rob my husband, started surfing again and this made him very happy.  I also attempted to surf… but that is a story for another day …. ho-hum!

We tried several things, made many mistakes, fell down more times than I can count but we got back up many more times and that ‘s what really counts.  Today I can honestly say that we have come a long way, learnt many lessons but we are not done yet.  We have a willingness to learn and a love for life that keeps us fearlessly looking for ways to enjoy life even more!

So now I find myself on the brink of turning 60 years old, and society would have me believe that I should be much better at this thing called Life.  But as Confucius puts it in “The Analects of Confucius” “The Master said, Give me a few more years, so that I may have spent a whole fifty in study, and I believe that after all I should be fairly free from error.”
So my question to you is how long does it take to master this life? if you’re really good at it and super committed to it? (Like, say, as good as and as committed as someone like Confucius?)

A month? A year? A decade?

How about a lifetime?

Here’s how: Fifty years and he’s getting close.


He says: “One who will study for three years without thought of reward would be hard indeed to find.”

And THAT was 2,500 years ago. Everyone was in a rush to get instant results back then as well!

So my maths isn’t that far out – I’m only 10 years old if Confucius is correct. In the 10 years that I have lived on the Dolphin Coast in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, I have learnt, I have grown and I have had to stretch myself so much to the point that now I have to make some tough choices about what the next phase of my life will look like because there is just so much opportunity. I know so much more about living a life of freedom yet I still fall down because sometimes I take on too much for fear of not having enough.

I still have so much to learn.

I think Confucius would be proud of me because I intend to be a student for life – now that might take me another 50 years but that’s ok because then I’ll only be 20 – I can’t wait to be an adult!!!



My next Focus on Your Future Programme starts on 14 August and will run for 6 weeks until 18 September.  To book your spot now, email or call me – sharon@sharoncastle.co.za or 083 449 5670. If you want more information click here Focus on Your Future.

  • Jamestaw

    I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

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