Archive by Author | jacquelineobyikocha

3 things challenge – mistress, expectations, anywhere

her expectations as mistress aren’t going anywhere

he steals into her chamber in the cover of the dark

silently, he leaves in the wee hours of light

lonely, her heart never knows respite

sea, waves, boat

our expectations become the mistress of life

guiding us from shore to shore

from here to anywhere

we keep sailing.

It’s fun to take part in challenges again. I came across the ‘Three Things Challenge on Pensivity101’s blog‘ and decided to give it a go just to get the writing juices flowing again.

Monday’s Mental Chatter…

This excerpt is from my mental chatter.

The Voice: “You try to cover up your true self to appear acceptable to others.  You make it seem like you’ve got it all together when most times you are falling apart silently. Why do you put on that costume of gaiety and false calm, hoping that others are not suspicious of the truth that lies behind this facade of positivity and courage, of the turbulence that brews beneath your seeming still waters…”

Me: “Shussh! I hiss in disgust at The Voice. By the way, you are free to mutter all you want and to state your unfounded opinions, you don’t get to tell me what to do.”

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Oh well, I must say that a lot of times we have to hold on to our facade to survive the onslaught of another day. As a supposedly intellectual being and an educated mind, I am learning to entertain the many voices that forage in my mind without accepting their submissions. I daresay that each of us wears a costume; either of gaiety or otherwise and whichever outfit you may don as your outer appearance, never lose the authentic you.

….the Prince is Dead!

her fairytales of life
no more Princes are there to be had,
and the knights in shining armour
perished with Arthur.

rather,

there’s just her,
an ordinary woman
riding her own steed
and slaying her own dragons.

long live the dragon slayer!

Little Moments…

We often sit around waiting for big moments, big shifts in perspective, big things to happen, failing to understand that these little moments, these little shifts and these small things of these days are most certainly the big ones.

Don’t forget to make each day count. Look back on your day, reflect before you bed down for the night and think of at least five things that made your day brighter. 

Shalom!

The Passage…

Spring stole in when I wasn’t looking – much like everything else around me that happened while I was in a haze of grief and if it wasn’t for Doreen’s push, I would still be wrapped up in my age-old floral housecoat wallowing in deep cups of self-pity and stale packets of Batchelor’s minestrone soup.

Doreen was right, and as much as I hated my sisters’ cheerful countenance, sage counsel, and witty remarks, she was right. ‘You ought to do something, Gloria, you ought to go out, do things, meet people, get your life together.’

‘I really ought to do something,’ Gloria thought for the umpteenth time as she tried to organize her thoughts on her life – or the semblance of her life. A fresh upsurge of panic made her heart race, and her hands grew clammy. ‘Failing to do something is like dying while still alive,’ Doreen’s words echoed in her mind. ‘But that’s how I feel.’ ‘I’m dying alive,’ she argued. “Stop it. “Just stop it,” she muttered. “You’ve got to get back your sense of perspective.”

 ‘Maybe getting organised or a holiday would be a good way to get started again,’ Doreen suggested.  She knew Gloria too well and knew how her sister had enjoyed a predictable and efficient life. For Gloria, everything was planned, in its proper place and therefore she rarely lost control of things – not until the miscarriage, not until her husbands’ sudden death. He was forty-one. Micks’ death appeared to have taken their plans to the coffin – a plan to buy a house, to start a family, to support Gloria’s fledging home-based business till she got off the ground and now she simply floundered.

To be continued…

21 Things

A warm welcome to the new year. It is a great relief to step into a new calendar year albeit a continuation of the previous 365 days. It is amazing what the thought of a new year does to the mind. The elation and relief, the sense of new hope, new beginning, new expectations, new challenges…. the festive sense of new.

I look back at the truly difficult months of 2020 and my spirit knows the untold sense of joy and relief and the lessened burden of trepidation that hung over my mien all this time. I make concerted effort to shake it off and to keep forging ahead and the only way to do so is to stay thankful and grateful for the much that I have and for who I am. Gratitude is my new currency because gratitude is the seed of abundance.

I am deeply grateful for life and time

For my sound mind and body

I am thankful for my loved one’s

For wonderful and supportive friends

For a new dawn today, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets

For favour and not famine

For gratitude and no grumbling

For hope for a better tomorrow for humanity

For bigger dreams and new beginnings

For small achievements

For the beautiful buds and cool weather of this Winter season in UAE

For my awesome colleagues

For having a job that I enjoy

For unbridled laughter

For safety and security

For expanded horizons

For the opportunity to teach

For the ability to pause, refresh and restart

For music and the fresh song in my spirit

For beautiful, heart-tugging memories

For finding joy and contentment in small things

Embracing change…

Most of us who have hit 40 and beyond have most times become hardwired in our ways that change does not come easy and is often worse than pulling teeth, however, if we fail to embrace change both internally and externally we will slowly decay, grow out of touch with times and very well become stubborn, doddering old coots. 

Some may say that after all, we are not going to live forever nor get out here alive – they do have a point – so why bother to keep up with change? There are boundless reasons why change is not only good for your body and soul, your mental health, your business – whatever that may be – and it may not only elongate your life but perhaps make your life more interesting and ‘you’ a less of a stubborn doddering old coot 😉 Change quote, Challenge, Life, Pushing Forward, Inspiration, My Thinking Corner

We know that change is constant and even when we don’t seek it, it is thrust on us that we are not left much choice; you either fight it to a bitter finish, or you embrace it with flourish. The choice is yours.

The many benefits derived from change range from:

Personal growth: you will learn new things, discover new insights and perspectives every time you experience some change. Sometimes the outcomes and lessons learned may not be your initial expectation and could be much better.

Improvements: No situation in our life improves by itself without making the necessary adjustments; be it our finances, health, job, relationship, home…We need to take those vital steps required to improve that circumstance that we are struggling with because without making the effort things will continue to stagnate.

Life values: Mere looking at the present conditions of our existence and how a pandemic has made most people reevaluate their lives and reinforce those important life values is an easy example. From time to time we need to assess our values.

Flexibility: Embracing change helps us adapt easily to new situations and even thrive whilst at it. We become far more supple.

Ripple effect: Making big changes in one swoop is extremely difficult, but taking those little steps of change surely lead to bigger ones and hopefully better results.

Strength: A lot of change comes with attendant challenges and overcoming them only makes us tougher.

Progress: Progress is the child of change. Your vehicle will most certainly not move forward when the gear is constantly in neutral. To get where you want to be, be prepared to change the gear and move forward.

Opportunities: Change brings opportunities – both expected and unexpected – and they could present you more fulfilment, happiness and growth. To illustrate, nearly two years ago I flipped my career pursuit and started a journey in the educational sector where I started out teaching French in a new school here in the UAE and within a short space of time, I was promoted to a head of the section. My initial goal was to keep my French sharp and not lose it the way I have lost speaking Spanish, here I am now, not knowing for sure where the ride is going but enjoying it and hoping to make the best of it all the way.

Exciting New beginnings: Change brings that much-desired excitement that we need in our lives. It puts a spring in your step when you close a chapter that should have been closed way back and open a new one that leads to greater things.

A more interesting life: What would life be when it becomes one monotonous, boring and uninteresting routine? As dull as dishwater. Resist that temptation to stick to predictability all the time and aim to initiate little self-evolving steps of change that will lead you where you need to be.

Enjoy the butterflies!

 

Pressing the reset button…

So far, it’s been a tremendously hard year all around the world for many. Our general sense of normalcy and everyday routines, that feeling of taking charge and being in control of our actions and surroundings – which are things we all took for granted, is at very low levels. The anxious have become more anxious, the depressed are more depressed, the lonely feel more isolated and the angry ones’ simply grew worse with their anger mingled with hatred.

Laughter seems far and few in between with frustration and financial crisis dogging many of us night and day. Emotions are all over the place these days and all it takes is spending a few minutes online to witness meltdowns, emotional combustions here and there, all decorated with colourful expletives.

Yet, there’s hope and there are many lessons to be learnt from this difficult experience and our focus shouldn’t stay hung up on all the stress that we have and possibly still experiencing at present. I have searched within me to see what I have felt, what I have seen and what I have learned. My thoughts are not coming out in any particular order, just a free flow of some of what is going on in my head at present without editing.

This situation has shown us that a virus can be a unifier because it doesn’t choose boundaries. It can affect anyone irrespective of background, race, religion, culture, financial status etc. Standing alone as individuals we are fragile, but as a community, we stand stronger, hence, since death is always over one’s left shoulder as is commonly said, we must remember our humanity and the importance of treating each person right especially in the face of our temporal existence.

Everything that you know can end today, ‘cos tomorrow is promised to no one, therefore, it is absolutely essential to focus on the right things and be fully present in every given moment. Value the preciousness of your existence as well as that of others.

Learn to enjoy your life and appreciate what you have. Just think about the fact that there are people out there with far less and possibly in more dire straits. Things may not be going as smoothly for you as they did many months back – know that this time too shall pass and these days which have been spent slowing down is not a waste of time. Our focus has shifted a lot more from material things to things that matter – the bare basic needs of life.

Don’t be reluctant to embrace those little things that will work miracles in you; don’t be afraid to live each day as you deserve and to help others when you can. If you are unable to be of help, the least you can do is not to spoil someone else’s day

If you didn’t do so well yesterday, PLEASE, don’t be afraid to press the reset button and start again today. Saying YES to a refresh is far better than going on a long trip down guilt lane.

Sometimes when life presses that pause button, it is simply asking us to slow down and to take a good look at ourselves. My hope is that these days has taught us to love, to care, to listen, to help and to respect others.

How are you doing? I hope that things haven’t been too rough?

Stitches… 3 things challenge

He never could keep his buttons on. They always seemed to dangle at the drop of a stitch… she knew that she ain’t no fancy designer, but she managed to stitch his pants real good…

I did some blog hopping today and found the Three things challenge on pensitivity 101 ‘ real, button, designer’

What Will You Accomplish This Year?…

I took a second look at this blog that I started at the beginning of the year before COVID came to town, and I realized that some of the things I had wanted to achieve almost bordered on ‘being vain.’

I rewrite my list and wish as below…

  1. Staying Alive… that will be top of my list.
  2. Loving and showing more love to those around me.
  3. Being thankful and grateful for each day and the opportunities that I have.
  4. Staying in touch with loved ones near and far.
  5. Giving more of me – ‘cos there’s an ample lot of me to give 😉
  6. Quitting the complaining and worrying less.
  7. Staying hopeful that ‘all things will work out for my good’
  8. Focusing on the absolutely necessary
  9. Laughing a lot more than I am at present.
  10. Dancing a little each day.
  11. Applying the 2-minute rule in trying to get things done. (I will expand this further in another post).
  12. Eat healthier meals and savour every bite.
  13. Taking back charge of my blogging and writing.
  14. Keeping the right momentum with my studies and getting my homework done on time.
  15. Approach change and challenges with a positive mind.
  16. Stop letting the thoughts of financial struggle dominate every breath that I take.

I refuse to continue to mount pressure on myself and guilt trip myself over the failure to achieve all the high-achieving goals that I had on my previous list. It doesn’t mean that I am settling for less, rather I am pressing the ‘REFRESH’ button and allowing myself to exhale in order to inhale better.

See you around.

© Jacqueline

By the way, what was on your list?

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