Power failures and gratitude

Sometimes it’s easy to be grateful. An unexpected blessing, a gift…stuff like that. Some other times though, you have to choose to be grateful. A deliberate,conscious action to thank God for the things around you. Even though it doesn’t seem like there is much to be thankful for

I had a zero power situation for 4 days. No gen, no PHCN,no inverter. It was frustrating. Depressing. I gave out and threw out food. Cooked food and threw it away. And just griped. Till I remembered that there are parts of my country where this is normal. Where people do not have gens. Where power comes when power comes and they are grateful for it

I don’t know why exactly God allowed me to experience that, but I had to make myself say thank You. For an office to charge my phone. For breeze. For food that didnt spoil overnight. For somewhere to go. For the life I have lived. It sobered me. Humbled me. Silenced me.

I am reminded anew to be deliberately grateful. Thankful for all I have, all I am given and all I can expect.

I am grateful.

Tonight, as I droop off to sleep, cooled by the fan blowing on me, I am doubly grateful.

Consciously grateful

Actively grateful

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OF BAGGAGE TOTING TODDLERS AND THE WONDERS OF COPY AND PASTE

One of the ways I aim to write more frequently on this blog is just to write as I think. Yes I know I said this last year but Maybe this will be the year of change. Haha! So I have 3 thoughts that I want to share…stuff that made me think

1. Last week, in the airport, I saw a mother with a toddler. His older brother was carrying a pull along kiddie bag, and so the toddler wanted one too…problem? The only other bag was Mummy’s weekend bag. Toddler didnt care o! He insisted until Mummy gave it to him. Funny thing is, toddler dragged that bag all the way to the plane, and from the plane to the arrivals terminal.

Now, with people we love and care about, we want to do the same thing. Shield them, stop them from doing the work, make life easy for them. Noble, but not always the best. Sometimes, we need to show our love for people by letting go and letting them do the work themselves. When we do, we strengthen them and give them the skills they need to do what they need to do themselves, we actually build them. Mummy helped, she carried the bag up the stairs, but that toddler felt like a G pulling that bag all by himself, and it was a learning moment for me.

2. I had a convo with a friend of mine last week, and it came to people who need to be treated badly to behave well. Commonly encapsulated as, ‘Treat em mean, keep em keen”.

I thought about this and I have decided that I want nothing to with this kind of behaviour. It is dysfunctional for someone to have to be treated badly before they know they appreciate you. I choose to be kind, giving and loving to the people I surround myself with. To be emotionally responsible to myself, I will only extend this behaviour to people who I know will value the gift of my spirit. Biko, if anybody decides that I am too nice to be appreciated, they should carry their wahala and go. I cannot and will not dishonour myself by becoming less than myself so that someone will not take me for granted. Guys, if a particular person only behaves whenever you release your personal demon, it’s not you, its them. Give yourself the first gift of the year and set them free.

3. I was walking past someone’s table when I saw her laboriously copying something from the computer to a sheet of paper. Curiosity made me stop and ask what she was doing. Her answer, she was copying down something to type for another file. 3 minutes later, she had learned copy and paste and I had learned a lesson.

Isn’t life so much harder when we don’t know HOW. How to make things work easier and better. Imagine how many years that girl had spent writing and retyping stuff that she could have copied and pasted in the flash of an eye. Ah, this year I want to learn how to work smart. I want the keys in my life and its various aspects. I need to be sure that I am not wasting time and energy to do the long way what I can do much more easily. Lesson learned

There guys, I’m off for now. I have one post I scheduled that didn’t post, so let me find it and post it.

See you guys soon and thank you so much for reading

A Sense getting note

Like the title suggests, this note is for those times when you’ve just had an experience you’re still coming to grips with. How do you deal? Enjoy reading. And be sure to share anything you’d like to add

1. Leave logic first. How do you FEEL about this issue? Sometimes we focus so much on THINKING about stuff, figuring it out, that we forget to listen to what our spirit and God are trying to teach us. So leave the mental gymnastics. Open your spirit and FEEL it out.

2. You’ve identified how you feel. Now explore why. What does it make you feel like? Remind you of? What do you feel like doing. Follow that emotional and spiritual journey to an answer.

3. Wait. Pray. Talk to your circle. Don’t suffer in silence; you don’t have perspective right now. So talk to people whose values and logic you agree with. And whose judgement you trust.

4. Remember that you were fine before. You’ll be fine again

5. Forgive yourself. You’re not superhuman or omniscient. You will miss it sometimes. Important thing is, now you know better, you can do better

6. Allow yourself feel bad sha. You made a mistake. Bad stuff happened. Mourn that. Accept the pain. Cry the tears. Punch the wall. Then bandage your hand and get over it

7. Don’t fall into the trap of changing your personality. Every nature has its good and bad sides and you are the way you are for the purpose you were born for. Don’t allow a bad experience make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Don’t decide to become a different person totally. Keep that blame squarely where it belongs : with the situation

8. What did you LEARN? Everything I’ve just written is pointless if you can’t pick ONE thing you now know. Or gained. Or dropped

9. Guess what? You’ll screw up again in future. Or something else will happen. That’s why life is a learning process

10. You know what? You go dey ok. Maybe not immediately. But definitely

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SINCE ITS NEW YEAR’S AND ALL

I’m not a New Year’s person this year, which is weird because I usually am…but perhaps it’s because for me, my New Year started on the 3rd of September…my birthday. However, it is, with or without my cooperation, the last day of the year. And seeing the retrospectives from others has made me reflect on this year and what I want for next year.

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1. This was my travel year. I went to Mauritius, passed through Dubai and holidayed in Zanzibar. Me, the same girl who would spend 6 months every year poring over Trip advisor visitors to Ghana, and then conclude sadly that I couldn’t afford it for yet another year. That same me bought a ticket and travelled, on holiday, on my dime. Everytime I think of it, I smile. God is awesome guys, leave it.

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2. I stretched at work. 3 shows this year, I produced and presented in all. Looking at them, I learned so much in the process, I have developed so much in the last year. I learned to work smarter (I still dey learn that one sha), learned to delegate better, learned to go with my instincts and TRUST that I know what to do. My show got expanded to 30 minutes and I am so wowed by God’s goodness. And the comments – social media, real life, the random people who walk up to me and say “EL right? Good work”. I don’t know o. I don’t know. I’m just humbled and grateful and so determined to do better.

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3. I lost…hmmm, this year I lost a mentor and adopted mum. The same woman who looked me in the eye one year plus ago and told me I would do well. Sometimes she would look at me and say “Hmmm, this my daughter is going to be great. And when I come to visit her, they’ll say – Who are you please? And I will reply, Come on! Tell my daughter that her mother is here to see her”. She believed in me…she scolded me…she nurtured me…wept and laughed with me…she gave me the privilege of being one of the many children she held in her large heart and my heart still breaks, my eyes still fill with tears when I allow myself to realise again that the woman I called “Mama” has gone. I know she’s in heaven, I know she’s probably looking down at me and going “Hey…this my daughter is at it again” I know, but still I miss her so much.

There were also other losses, of friendship. Some fell from my hands, others I let go off. Some were hard, some were easy. But at the end of the day, looking back, all I am is grateful

4. I learned…guys if there is nothing else I did this year, I learned, and those are the lessons I will carry with me into 2014.

a. I learned to be less apologetic about who I am; my quirks and my flaws…I have been commanded to become Unapologetic. I’m still working on it, but we shall reach it one day.

b. I learned to listen more. To ask questions before I give advice. To hear. I realised that, in a bid to say the right things, I was listening less to the ones opening themselves up to me, so that will change

c. I learned to pause, that sometimes, inactivity is not a sign of ignorance, but patience. I will find myself rushing less into things.It’s ok to say “Let me get back to you on that”

d. This year saw me suffer the worst health I have had in ages…and it is because I didn’t take care of myself. No sleep, no food, no rest, no pausing to be. I have agreed that I am not a cyborg, and so, when my body says, “No work today”, I will learn not to fight so hard. I have started working on it, I’ll keep on it.

e. I learned, in various places, to say “No, this decision does not value me”. It was hard, because I am one made to please, but the resentment of doing things I didn’t want to, it’s pointless. Let me say “Yes” with excitement, or else “No” with grace. The world will not end.

f. I am learning to step away from convention in my faith, and to step into authenticity. Honesty, nakedness before God. It’s easier sometimes than others, but He is an ever present help.

g. I am learning to also seek authenticity in my friendships. My friends had better all be people who aren’t afraid to speak and hear the truth in love. It’s also my responsibility to ask the questions, look beyond the “Fine”, be a friend. I will do my best

h. Finally, I am learning self acceptance. I will never go to bed at 10pm, I tend to grouchiness and anti social behaviour, I spend more than I should, I do all these and more. But, I will stop trying to fit into a mould of who I think I should be. As long as I follow God’s heart for me, and I am doing this, I will grow, evolve into the person He created me to be. I need to accept that I am already all I am meant to be, and trust His process to bring the best me forward. I will live life in full, glowing technicolour, play my tune no matter how discordant it might sound. actively practice gratitude. I will laugh, be silent, take time apart to be with me. I will enjoy 2015, I owe myself no less.

To you my wonderful readers, who patiently wait for my irregular posts and comment so kindly and generously. May God bless you. May His storehouses open richly to you and may He pour you out such an abundant blessing that you will have to call neighbours to share it. May your mouths be full of laughter and testimonies. May your hearts be filled with joy. May your souls be at peace. And may He never be farther from you than the reach of a whispered thought. God bless you, and thank you

3. I lost