Happy New Year!

2018

It’s half an hour to April 12th, and you’re probably wondering what New Year I speak of but as they say, It’s your morning whenever you wake up and I am only just getting my New Year resolutions vibe on.

The last few months have been those where my goals and motivations were locked away in my head. Now I have finally got to the point where I make a list (hallelujah!). Don’t cringe just yet – I’m not about to do that right here and share all my hopes and dreams and deepest darkest fears, but tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about just how much we dream of, and how little we actually do. (I should say me, but because misery loves company I’m making this sound like you and I are in this together as partners in bad behavior :p ).

I know without a doubt that there is so much more we can be if we put in a little more work. (Okay, maybe a lot!). And why in the world should we be less than we could be? There should be no excuses, no weak surrenders. To quote someone I do not remember “…we are young. Now isn’t the time to live the dream. It is the time to build it”. This shouldn’t be the year we sit in the bleachers as spectators of our own lives. It’s time to play. Hard. Write your script and direct your life. While you’re at it though, be nice. This should not be the year you’re an idiot. Kind is the new cool. Shine some light everywhere you go. Spread good energy. Lend a listening ear. Offer to help. Be genuine. Be selfless, and put yourself third.

Cheers to a blessed 2018!

Go ahead, share:

Just Do It!

One fine weekend I went out of town to visit family and jointly bask in the joy that God’s special blessings bring. It was a short, lovely trip, but the subject of this post is neither the indescribable warmth that the unconditional love of family can envelope you in, or the mischievous antics of my lovely little children (allow me to claim them in peace please). Rather, today’s gist is of how I got to my destination.

My brother with whom I was to make the trip decided that rather than take a taxi, we should drive.

Ha!

For a bit of background, I’m that girl who thought she’d never be able to drive. It probably sounds silly, but the thought made me nervous. After putting off the purchase of a car for a while, one Saturday morning I was on my way out, waiting at the gate for transportation when it suddenly started to rain. Luckily for me, my sister had suggested I carry an umbrella just because. Even though it helped, it didn’t stop me from getting half drenched from the slant rain drops; neither did it stop the keke Napep that drove past and splashed dirty water on me. While laughing at myself and walking back home, I decided in that moment that I had stalled enough and it was time to buy a damn car.

Not long afterwards, I was lucky to get a good deal and so I got it, and got tarpaulin. After the car got a nice wash and I had taken a few pictures to share with friends who had teased me about my ‘carlessness’, I covered it up. After all it wasn’t going to be leaving that spot anytime soon. Only then did I enroll in a driving school, and I spent the next few weekends taking classes. Even after that, I always had one reason or the other not to – expired learner’s permit, no licence, bla bla bla, before I finally, finally ran out of excuses and got on the road. Hallelujah!

Thanks to Apapa driving, Danfo drivers and trailers have got nothing on me now. However driving out of Lagos on a highway was nowhere on my bucket list. And so when my brother suggested that we drive out of town, my first reaction was hell no! When I mentioned that I was travelling to a couple of my friends and they immediately assumed I was driving and were struggling to understand what my scruples were, I started to think it probably was not such an alien idea. By Friday night, I had made up my mind to just do it (Hello Nike!) and on Saturday morning I made an early visit to a service station to replace my four tyres and get my wheels balanced and aligned, and after a quick stop at a store to buy snacks for the kids (today’s equivalent of “Mummy Oyoyo!”. If you were born in my generation, try yourself and lie that you don’t know what that is!), we set out on our merry way.

Although I claim to hate driving, rides are actually nice. In the 1 hour 30 minutes or so it took us to get to our destination, we chatted about the randomest of things. From updates on the latest social media scandal to Big Brother and the issue of consent and consequences (or the lack thereof), to business and money, we succeeded in making the trip without any proper cursing of errant drivers. And after a lovely, lovely weekend, I did it again in the opposite direction, heading back to Eko with my bro in the front seat making sure we don’t take the wrong turn to end up in Benin City, and notifying me of when I need to “mash carbon”. We had a comfortable trip, got back home in one piece AND with bragging rights just because I grew a pair.

Here’s what that episode taught me: That thing you’re afraid of is probably not a big deal. If it won’t kill you to do it, go ahead and bite the bullet!

Go ahead, share:

Know Thyself

woman-591576_960_720pixabayA while ago I met some boys who played sports, went to the gym and had six packs. I felt like those packs will look just as good on me, and there began long, unsuccessful journey to sculpt my abs.

At various times in the last six years I’ve gone through several bursts of inspiration where I start one routine or the other in a bid to achieve this goal – from sit ups, planks, crunches and butterfly kicks at bedtime, to early morning mini-workout sessions, with each of these lasting only a few days at the maximum. I do remember one time when my core was noticeable firm, and my bodycon dresses were popping – no sucking belle needed – but that’s the closest I ever got to my six pack abs.

To get to the (free) gym and trainer so graciously made available at work, all I really have to do is leave my desk and climb a flight of stairs but those are a few steps too many. I’m that girl who comes with her gym bag to work, gets done for the day on time, picks the bag up and takes it right back home where it is most useless! And the times I do make it in, few and far between as they are, while obeying the trainer all I can think of is when the session will be over.

Now the interesting part: I always assumed everyone felt the same way in the gym – that working out is a necessary evil. I only just realized, in the course of a conversation with a ‘co-gym struggler’ this week, that people actually do enjoy working out. Like really, truly enjoy it. It may not sound weird to you, but it really was a light bulb moment! You may not understand the gravity of this realization, but to me it was like suddenly realizing that Benue people are from China. And what this means is that I can now finally embrace the reality that the gym is not for me.  And silly as it sounds, it was such a liberating moment. I suddenly understood rather than struggling to be this other person, I can stop feeling guilty for all the times I plan to resume working out and end up procrastinating. I am free!

And you can be too.

Reach for the skies, but know thyself. If you’re 29 and have never ridden a bike, you will never become a 28 year old MotoGP champ. Choose your battles wisely, but don’t make excuses. Challenge yourself, strive to push your limits and break down any barriers, but stay true to who you are and come to terms with your weaknesses.

…but really, this long story is just because I don’t want to go to the gym?!

Go ahead, share:

New year, new me… or not :)

2015 was meant to be the ‘deliberate’ year. I started out by writing a long note in what was supposed to be my journal, detailing what I felt I needed to achieve, documenting my objectives to be whipped out to track my progress and ultimately appraise my performance as the year progressed.

I am a ‘faffer’ by default, and at the start of the year I finally decided to change things. Fuelled by feelings of underachievement, I decided to act on what I have always known – that if I actually made an effort and applied myself rather than just chill, lay back and laugh everything off, I will be a much better person. It was supposed to be the year I stepped away from my usual, and purposefully took steps towards becoming better. It was meant to be a different year. It was all meant to be intentional.

But was it?

Old habits die hard.

Even though I know I should take a look at my goals again, I keep putting that off. And even though I keep putting it off, they’re loud and clear in my head.

I still don’t read my Bible every day. I still (almost) involuntarily swear under my breath too often. I still started all those ‘projects’ that I never finished. I still haven’t read all those books and journals. I still haven’t built those relationships and networks. I still don’t have those extra lines and extra numbers. I still speak only English.

But really, who cares? Life is so much easier when you laugh it all off. Nothing is ever so serious. No one should be taken too seriously. I may not have ticked all the boxes, but I look back at the year with tons of gratitude. So so many reasons to be thankful. 2016 is right around the corner, and quite frankly, I haven’t decided yet whether to pen down any goals. I know it sounds stupid, but right now I feel like there’s no need for the pressure. I’d stick with last year’s, try to tick them off, and include any new lines as I go along.

Right now all that matters is focusing on all that there is to be grateful for. And there is a whole lot. Family, friends, life and all its blessings…

And you have those too. In spite of however the year may have turned out, even if you’re not where you thought you’d be, all you need to do to find reasons to be happy is look around you. Don’t over-think anything. Just laugh! Stay grateful for your blessings, and here’s to more happiness (and more posts here) in 2016.

xo

Cheers

Go ahead, share: