“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” Max De Pree
Just some quick thoughts about the New Year, what we want to do/be/achieve and how quite a number of us erroneously believe that wanting a thing (even bad enough) is all it takes for us to do/be/achieve that thing.
I found this quote yesterday in the course of fulfilling a committment to an organization and it literally jumped out at me. How do you want to see different if you don’t do different? My dad says it’s insanity to plant corn and pray to reap strawberries. Lol. But really. Think about it.
*Let’s not be like the Nigerian government who want to increase the quantity of rice in the country and decide the best place to plant the rice is on rocks. Without irrigation or watering of any kind, fertilizers, nothing. Yet the plan is to increase the quantity of rice for everyone. Sigh.
So do you need to change a habit, eat better (read as less, lol), sleep for longer (or less), get a hobby (or hubby – gosh I’m so silly); do you need to get closer to God, hit some milestones at work, be a better friend/partner/parent, make money so good you’re not swayed by any of the exchange rates in Nigeria at the moment? Nice!
So, what’s the plan? What are the concrete steps to getting there? In a conversation very early this year I figured I have close to no knowledge of project management and it is something that can smoothen the processes for a number of things I am involved with. So, off I went to register for a course, classes start in a bit.
There are a couple other things I need to work on, sort out, and be better at, and we’re on the road to that. Amen to God’s help and strength, and grace to stay the course.
So, away from me, what are you doing? Better yet, what are you doing different?
Happy New Year.
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Tags: Being better, Doing different, Growth, New Year, Nigeria, Nigerian Blogger, Nigerian Blogger in Nigeria, Resolutions, Technology, Things to do
My mother loves eucalyptus oil. Like she loves it with every fiber of her being! And she, just like a lot of other moms, believes it is the answer to a multitude of illnesses/symptoms. So when we were younger somehow I believed eucalyptus oil was that panacea that could cure everything because momma had a different method of application depending on what symptoms you presented. So cold/stuffy nose? Put some behind your ears, on your neck, pulse points basically. More intense cold? Use some for a steam bath. Period pain? Put some on your belly and massage it in. Tooth ache? Put some in a hanky and dab…okay I’m going to stop messing with you… momma I’m sorry, I love you! Ha ha ha!! I always had a good time teasing her about eucalyptus oil, still do! God bless you Momma!
For my late aunt, fried rice was the answer. Like, it was the ‘weapon’ of choice when the situation was mild, serious or grave/super, and the ‘application’ depended on that too. Ha ha! So, let’s say I had a bad day at work and I moaned about it a bit, we would buy fried rice and chicken wings from Southern Fried Chicken. When I got my heart broken in the middle of 2010, she bought me fried rice from Chopstix, an upscale Chinese restaurant. When I got my job at the BBC though, we cooked the rice in the house!
The reason why buying fried rice was a smaller ‘medicine dose’ than cooking was the amount of effort that the latter came with! Proper labour of love. Like cooking fried rice in the house was an activity that EVERYONE partook in, from the nanny to the security man. Lol! I can still picture her sitting on the stool in the kitchen, mixing the rice. Wait, let’s even back up a bit.
First there’d be the conversation preceding the “make we cook fried rice” proclamation. Boom! Then it would be nanny and driver to buy chicken, vegetables and whatever condiments we didn’t have (including a big tub of Blue Band butter), and then every soul in the house getting involved with chopping or peeling something. I remember that the guys were excluded, but not every time.
I remember her micromanaging the process every single time, like each time was our first. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. If she didn’t ask, we would pile into the living room one after the other to ask questions, silly or relevant. Because aunty was the king and queen of the business of cooking fried rice!!
I remember us laying out all the blanched, steamed, chopped, boiled, plucked ingredients out in separate bowls strewn across the kitchen floor, surrounding the big pot (very big because everyone was welcome to aunty’s pot) with her stool there in the middle too. I remember her nonstop conversation as she mixed in all the ingredients, whether it was giving advice, singing, scolding whoever for whatever reason, or gisting us of a number of things, maybe even the last time we all cooked!
I remember she would insist the onions be blended because she knew I can’t stand seeing them, and I remember her asking me to taste. I remember always scooping rice onto a plate just to taste, her protesting that, “na only this pikin must chop half the food to taste am”, and the laughter that would always ensue.
I remember the laughter. Gosh I remember her laughter. With her gap teeth, mischievous twinkle in her eyes, and absolute love of God and man in her heart. It was loud, it was rich, it was welcoming. Aunty invited everyone to laugh with her laughter, regardless of your state of mind. If she was laughing, even if it was at you, you would laugh too. I promise.
I remember sitting down to eat our finished work of art with her white tray, big purple cup of Fanta and ice. Aunty loved life abeg! And we would pair the meal nicely with a Yoruba film, because we could never eat fried rice quietly. Nah, it wouldn’t go down well that way, there had to be extra activity.
Meal over, your problems were either over, or in the midst of the preparation or cooking we would have discussed or agreed on the way out of the issue. And if we were celebrating, there would be a small, off handed prayer of thanksgiving for the joy, and a word (or two, or two million) of advice on how to manage it.
Meal over, it would be time to retire to her room or ours, to “fire sleep.” I remember her in any of her wrappers, room temperature mirroring the Arctic, and her giving any of us her phones so she wouldn’t be disturbed. Sometimes we would cook fried rice on a Sunday after church, for Easter, Christmas, any of the Muslim celebrations in a nod to her Northern upbringing, birthdays, or just because she felt like the whole house needed something to do. Lol. What a woman.
I would give anything to cook fried rice with you again aunty. Maybe because it’s Christmas, maybe because there’s so much to talk about, maybe because I miss you ordering us about, maybe because I want to hear you laugh one last time.
Sleep well aunty. I love you forever.
This month two people very close to me have birthed gorgeous, healthy children; a boy and a girl. Well, one person on the 31st of October and the second born on the 2nd of November. I’m excited I’m a god mother to both of them and for the honour of filling out the birth certificate for my bestie’s son!
I’m also happy to not be doubly pregnant anymore (lol) because, believe me, I joined in incubating both babies, more emotionally and spiritually than physically but just as demanding trust me!
Can we take a minute to think about how great God is? Like nothing says we couldn’t have been able to pick our children off shelves at a supermarket or mould them from sand just like Adam and his babe were made. Nothing also says we couldn’t have had to be pregnant for two years like , or five days like … It’s just really amazing, this whole birthing process, and I’m so grateful that two cycles started and completed without incident, and without any evil reports. Not because we’re extra righteous or deserving, but because He’s a good God and forever in the business of finishing what He starts. Glory!
I remember when I got the call about both of them being preggers. Both times I was reduced to mush (because I have excess tears I’ve been told), both times my heart was bursting with joy and pride (believe me, I understand that pride is a weird emotion to feel here but allow me enjoy it thank you very much). Both times I imagined what they would birth, but being an aunt to the most gorgeous nephew and niece, I knew I would be grateful for whatever sex we were given. Long as they were healthy, happy, and chubby (I have a thing for chubby babies – my late aunty Pat used to say it was harder for them to cry because of all the weight, lol).
So, babies are here, and a new phase opens for everyone. The parents (including Godparents thank you very much), the families (nuclear and extended), and indeed our society. I look forward to spoiling them, lots of kisses and cuddles, and watching them grow. I also look forward to sending them on tons of errands o, we’re not African for nothing!
Here’s to you my latest prince and princess, welcome. God bless you today, tomorrow, and always. You will not disappoint destiny, you will not bring sorrow to your parents; you will excel in everything your hands find to do. We will not bury you, you will live long, healthy lives and be everything God has destined you to be. I love you two, loads! Hurry back!
Tags: American History, Donald Trump, Fairy GodSister, Feminism, Google, Hilary Clinton, Hypodermic Needle Theory, ImWithHer, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Jamie Foxx, Make America Great Again, Michael Jackson, Nigeria, Nigerians, politics in Nigeria, Republican Candidate, Stronger Together, Technology, United States, USElection, voter education
So, the first part of this post published a few days ago talked about me going to Lagos for #TechPlus2016 and all the interesting things around that abi? That post is here if you missed it (you’re welcome).
I remember saying that the journey back home was a different story in itself, and I am here now to share it! Ready? Let’s do it!
So, we had been so well treated by the organisers, so well taken care of, I was fresh from church and that really lovely message by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, and I was looking forward to returning to Abuja, excited and refreshed and getting back into the arms of family and loved ones. Sounds simple abi? Lol… I don’t think I’ve been more mistaken in my life!
Our flight was for 3pm, we left for the airport at noon. Got there about 1.15pm and we sashayed to the Business Class check-in counter. To be fair, I noticed there was a crowd and wondered aloud about the efficiency of the staff and why people weren’t getting catered to quickly. Only for us to be told at the Arik counter that they weren’t checking anyone in, and that we should wait.
Huh? I made the mistake of mentioning to the staff that we were flying Business and then she said, “And I’m telling you that no flights to Abuja from Lagos have left here today; there is no aviation fuel”. My heart sank so quickly I felt it would take my stomach with it. Brethren, that was the beginning of what I will now call ‘drama in the highest’.
Nana and I took ourselves to a restaurant within the check-in area to get a seat, apparently seats were only given to paying customers. So we bought the most ridiculously priced jollof rice we’ve ever had, and we got seats. After we’d spent an hour there, we got in touch with the organizers for #TechPlus2016 and they said they’d send a car for us, and we’d just fly back to Abuja the next day. Bless them.
We decided to go to the other terminal to see if we’d catch a flight back (you can tell how eager we were to get back home abi) and it was even worse there. Airlines were pulling flights off their websites, touts were reselling tickets for passengers who couldn’t wait hopelessly for hours on end; it was a hot mess.
Funny story. One guy bought a ticket for a 5.10pm flight and then called his friend (maybe in the next terminal) to come get a seat on that flight. Friend rushes in and goes to the counter where he is told there’s no flight for that time. His friend comes to the counter and asks how that is possible seeing as he’s just purchased a ticket for that flight and then he’s told to hand over the ticket and get his money back, that there’s no flight at that time. Lol! Funny but not funny at all I tell you.
We spent another hour at this terminal and after turning down the touts who wanted us to buy economy tickets for about N45, 000 each and we wouldn’t fly with our names but the names on the tickets, we decided it was time to take our hosts up on the offer to stay in a hotel close to the airport and try to fly early the next morning.
By this time my spirit and soul was ruffled; I was tired and the fact that all of the discomfort we’d endured hadn’t produced a flight was even more frustrating.
We jumped in the car and headed out of the airport when we got a call that two Arik flights had just landed from Abuja and they’d be going back. Whattttt? We sped back to our original terminal and circa 40 minutes of pushing, pulling and shoving later, had our boarding passes. Phew!
Then the queuing began. I stood on a queue for about 50 minutes straight, brought us to about 7pm or so, and then it was time for everyone to board. Arik officials suddenly said they would board folks from the 11am and 1pm flights. God bless the two young men who insisted that they board all their flights or none of them. The simple question was, how do you ignore the folks who’ve been waiting from 7am and pick and choose who gets to fly?
That argument took another 30 minutes or so and plenty more pushing and pulling. There was a woman with a little baby who started screaming about wanting to get home; apparently she had been stuck in the airport since the wee hours of the morning (or was it the day before) because there was no flight to PortHarcourt. I heard she’d just come into the Lagos from having the baby in South Africa and had gotten stuck there. No showers, nothing. My heart went out to her.
We finally took off about 8.10pm, and touched down in Abuja past 9pm. God is a great and merciful God. And Arik is an absolutely rubbish airline.
PS: Did I mention they had threatened to call security because we were being ‘unruly’? Lololol. Jokers.
Tags: Airbnb, Apartment, Bathroom, Bathtub, Daily living, Environmentally friendly, Light fixture, Mop, New experiences, Nintendo, Retrogaming, Shower, ThinkGeek
So I bought a mop recently… needed to get a new one for my bathroom.
My sister, Francesca, Wumi, and another friend say I shower like an elephant, leaving puddles (and oceans) anywhere I shower. Whatever!! Jesus loves me like that! *shakes off the criticism*
Anyway, so the mop in my bathroom which I’d use to wipe the little drops of water that might occasionally get on the floor when I shower (notice I’m choosing my words V-E-R-Y carefully) seemed a bit old and not as enthusiastic at cleaning like it was when we first got it.
So, to the market I went, to get me a new mop. And I got one, for N500 (not bad abi? If you think I was had just keep it to yourself biko) and I was excited to try it out. I did, and it soaked up the water like a piece of bread dunked in tea (I hope you left that behaviour in your childhood by the way). Whoop!! My new mop is everything! I love it!
Made me think a bit though, and those thoughts are the essence of this post.
When we make friends or get into new relationships, new marriages, new jobs, whatever ‘new thing’ you can fit into this bracket, we’re like my mop. Soaking up everything – promises, joys, memories, everything, including the unhappy moments. And we take it in stride, drying out and coming back the very next time/day (not saying I need to mop my floor every time I shower, SMH) without batting an eyelash.
As we go/grow/progress, sometimes it feels like we can’t take ‘it’ (whatever negative you want to fit in here) as smoothly as we would normally. And so resentment starts to set in, simply cos we don’t absorb (read as wipe the floor as quickly or as thoroughly) as we used to.
Obviously we cannot change marriages (except of course there’s violence of any kind then you have me solidly behind you asking you to save yourself) and some relationships need work instead of changes (again read earlier caveat).
That said, sometimes it’s time for a change.Change is good (obviously not the *unprintable* we’re dealing with now… sigh). A good old dunk in the trash of the old, and the entrance of new life, new experiences; a new mop.
Like mine, and I’m loving it.
PS: I don’t like shower curtains so please don’t advise me to get one. 🙂
Tags: #God, Bebe Winans, Change is Coming, Coping with death, Coping with depression, death, Encouragement, Everything will be alright, Fairy GodSister, Hang in there, Heather Lindsey, Hold On, Nigeria, NigerianBlogger, Sound of Blackness, The Winans
Children of God!!
How have you been? Good? How’s work, your family, your life?
Greetings from Leamington Spa, green, quiet, quaint, serene, providing such a connection to my spirit.
Nope, I’m not going to apologise for not being here for a bit. I needed the time away. The past few weeks have been difficult, and I decided that instead of masking the things I was going through with activities (like climbing trees, lol… that story will be told soon), I wanted to drop everything, go away, think, cry, pray, workout, jump (happening soon); everything to bring myself back to myself, if you know what I mean.
In a few days it’d be another anniversary of my aunt’s death. My darling aunt, who we still talk about everyday, who I still feel very close to. Puts to shame all the ‘time heals all wounds’ talk people say, except two years isn’t classed as time. I miss her. Yesterday, today, everyday. Some days are hard, some others are harder, some days are a damn blur.
Keep resting aunty. I love you so much. So damn much!
So I woke up about 4am this morning, couldn’t sleep anymore. Maybe cos I left the curtains open and summer means the sun rises about 3.50am, maybe my eyes were tired of sleep (like my aunt would say, lol), dunno. I just couldn’t sleep.
Anyway, so I started catching up on emails, articles, all those kinds of things, and then I remembered two songs I heard in like 1995, maybe I even danced to one of them in a group, don’t really remember. And so far I’ve played both of them back to back like 10 times each, and they’re so uplifting I thought I’d share with anyone going through a rough time/patch.
This is from an era when music was truly uplifting, not the rubbish we have to endure now. Sigh. This is ‘Count it all joy’ by The Winans.
And then there’s this one by Sound of Blackness called ‘Hold On’. Fun, really great song. Check on it!
I’m talking to myself as I say this. You will feel better. That pain will pass. You will want to get up and work again. Your morning will come. That heaviness will lift, hard times will pass. Just keep holding on, keep working at it, hanging in there, keep looking up, to the One who has our manuals and the perfect story of our lives.
Today’s a great day, whether you like it or not! God’s got you!
Light, love, and God’s great blessings,
PS 1 – God bless Ruona for me today. Not tomorrow. Today.
PS 2 – I stumbled on this website yesterday, and I haven’t been able to close it. Such a profound story, such a representation of the absolute love and mercies of God. Have a look, you’re welcome! http://www.heatherllindsey.com/?m=1