Blogging · Life · WordPress

Connecting the ancestral dots…

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I truly come short attempting to dig into my family tree and see how far back I can go. I recall my maternal and paternal grandparents very easily as I got to know them well enough before they passed on. I only have a fuzzy recollection of my great-grandparents on both sides, a couple of great grand uncles and aunts who were already long in tooth and wizened in age when I was still pretty young.

It does make me wonder what I would find if I embark on the journey of tracing my family tree/ancestry several generations back. I am doubtful if any concrete information will be there to guide one’s search or if any one amongst those living will remember. A lot of one’s history does get lost with the passage of time and honestly speaking, this exercise truly brings home the thought that when we die, our loved ones mourn us for such a time, but within decades or less, we become mere memories that fizzle away like the mist and some may never even recollect who we are at all.

This also makes me realize that one day when the sun sets on our lives, we will also become the ancestors, and though it is sad that our progenies may never get to know who we are, we can leave indelible marks behind that will make them proud if and when they discover that we shared the same roots.

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Blogging · Family · Personal · WordPress · Writing

Their absence leaves us bereft…

As treasure connotes something truly special, my lost treasures are intangible and irreplaceable. Three people come so easily to mind: my dad, my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law.

Death can be so final even when it comes slowly like the way my dad and my mother-in-law lost their battle with Cancer after a valiant battle. It was a heart wrenching and intensely difficult time for our family and what amazes me till today is how graceful these two humans were in the face of such debilitating illness. I loved and still love my dad to bits and his passing hit me really hard. Just writing this makes my heart flood with sadness. I have grown to bear the pain of his loss and to ruminate in the beautiful memories that he left behind and appreciate him over and over again. I think one of my regrets is not telling him often how much I loved him and that my kids did not have enough opportunity to really get to know him. He was a gentleman and a good man. I believe that I was in a state of denial and had kept hoping that God’s mercy would prevail and that he would win the battle with cancer. Till his last moments I stayed hopeful, but death robbed me.

My mother-in-law and I grew close especially considering how much my husband adored her. She was not just the matriarch of the family, but became my ally as well. Her name was Grace and indeed she was such a graceful and beautiful soul. Although her passing wasn’t sudden as she fought breast cancer for several years but her last day with us is forever etched on my mind as I was there in her last moments when she transitioned.

You truly never understand the enormity of what you have until you have lost it, more especially when the loss is sudden. My brother-in-law’s passing was like a bolt of lightening. It was a rude shock. He drowned. Till this moment, the circumstances surrounding his demise in Toronto is still unclear to us. He was quite a gregarious young man and his absence is felt.

If I could turn back the hands of time, I would love to have my family members back and relive all the beautiful moments with them. These people were gems and to know them was simply to love them.

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Blogging · WordPress · writing challenge

Toddling down memory lane…

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Well, today’s prompt took me a few minutes or so to give my memory a jig and I must say that as I meandered through lanes of memories of yester-years, searching the nooks and crannies to see if I can pinpoint my earliest memory tucked away neatly in the recesses of my mind, waiting to be discovered as it jumps out at me and says ‘hello there, here I am and good to see you,’ I find fuzzy memories melding into each other and I am not quite sure again what happened when and which one came before the other.

Images of my childhood home, of close family members old, gone and alive; of lovely frocks, of sunny days and smells of the soursop, mango and cashew fruits, of the various sounds of music playing on my dad’s Grundig turntable, of the cries of younger siblings, the laughter and soft scolding of my mother, the pounding of the mortar and pestle – preparing native foofoo – the cosy smell of my grandmother and her shea butter, the drizzle of the rain and images of running out in the rain with neighbourhood friends as our mothers yelled at us to come out of the rain all flip through my mind like a TV series. Dainty echoes of yester-years wrap itself like gossamer across my mind and like the spiders cobweb, they all interconnect.

I do have some recollection of early days of kindergarten and some of the nursery rhymes learnt have stuck with me all these decades. One particular memory of having being left perched on a fence where I sat and cried so badly sticks out like a sore thumb. The boy, who happened to be so much older and bigger refused to put me down and I was unable to come down by myself. I think I refused to go back to the nursery after that incident and my mother was rightly concerned. I can’t remember how she resolved the issue and I don’t know why I have held onto this memory and why it didn’t get lost in the annals of my life.

I wish I could say that I have extra – ordinary – recollection and clarity of my toddler years in sequence, but I daresay that I truly don’t recall as much as I would have loved. Maybe, if I had an encounter with a hypnotist, who knows what one will discover under the intense state of concentration. I am not so sure that I really care to know as I doubt if delving so deeply into the past at this point in time in my life is truly worth the price. After all, the past is simply a memory trace of time lived and as whimsical or as eager as we may feel, we can’t go back there as we are living in this present moment.

I do understand that the exercise of reliving one’s memory can be essential as they not only teach us important life lessons that we can apply in our present and possibly the future, they also give us a sense of continuity, identity and purpose. Indeed, our memories shape us and make us who we are.

Keep making beautiful memories.

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Blogging · WordPress · Writing

I am brave or am I?

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When we think of the word ‘brave’ our minds automatically switch to the endurance of pain, performing daunting tasks and facing danger without fear. Our minds go to the images of brave soldiers at the war front, selfless, daring, heroic and protecting us from intrusion at the risk of their own lives. I am not that soldier, yet, I daresay that I am brave. Yes! I am.

Not to thump my fists on my chest, belting out a war cry, I can puff up with a little sense of pride that I do stand up to daunting and unpleasant situations – often with trembling knees and trepidation. Most times, in all the places that I have worked over the years, I have been that voice that speaks out for those who don’t know how to or feel too intimidated to speak up.

On a regular basis, I am not afraid to question the status quo when my perception of rightness prompts me to do so even if it means that my voice is the only dissenting voice in a crowd of many. What that has achieved over time is not only to draw the attention of those in positions of authority to review any ‘questionable circumstance’ but has served as a catalyst for positive change and gradual inculcation of healthier work cultures.

As much as I like being comfortable, I have also grown to understand that the space of comfort stifles personal growth and as such, I endeavour to try new things – albeit sensibly – and to push my boundaries in many ways. Taking such steps brings a new sense of power and exhilaration and also takes some level of bravery as most of us are creatures of habit who find changes unsettling. Those things that we fear can keep us bound in invisible chains and as is commonly said, ‘you don’t have to be fearless, doing it afraid is just as brave.’

Personally, putting myself out there on social media through videos, baring my thoughts in writing for others to read sometimes feels as if I am exposing the inner parts of my soul to friends and strangers alike, because we live in a world where people are far more at ease to criticize and judge than to empathize and to keep an open mind. ‘

However, the sense of freedom that comes from doing so daily propels me to keep showing up, to keep being brave in my little world and I am not about to stop anytime soon.

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Blogging · Networking · WordPress · Writing

This year I want to achieve…

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Happy New Year to you and your dear ones! So, I joined bloganuary and the first prompt is what-is-something-you-want-to-achieve-this-year, which I think is appropriate given the fact that most of us tend to think of new goals to accomplish and new resolutions for the year.

The general idea for me is to use this opportunity to connect with a wider blogging community and friends as well as kindle my writing zeal which went into some sort of hibernation most part of 2022. My expectations this year is to continue to grow stronger spiritually, practice mindfulness and staying in the present, staying happy and centered, actively tapping into the law of attraction and living it, achieving my writing goals, sustaining the healthier lifestyle that I have been aiming for, increasing my social media presence, growing multiple streams of income, venturing into new things and becoming more financially independent. Each of this aspect is broken down to short term, medium term and long-term goals and I sincerely hope to stay focused and diligent.

The truth is that we can wish all we want for our dreams to become actualized but without matching our wishes with actions and of course faith, it simply remains wishful thinking and thus unattainable.

I will surely share my journey here as a way of holding myself accountable and hopefully inspiring others. I believe that you and I will be seeing more of each other in this space in the coming days and I do wish you the best of 2023.

Stay healthy. Stay happy.

Lots of love from Jacqueline

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@beyondexisting.j

Declarative prayer #fyp #foryoupage #christiantiktok #Prayer #jesus #Godsplan #nigeriantiktok #faith Declarative prayer speaks out loud the truth found in God’s word and in God’s being. We boldly pray and then walk in faith.

♬ Omemma – Judikay
Blogging · Monday Motivations · Quotes For You

Tuesday Thoughts…

There are many gateways that lead us to our individual pleasures but there’s only one true pathway to happiness and the track runs through you.

The key that unlocks our happiness lies within us and can’t be found elsewhere.

When we fail to settle down and dig deeper to unlock the essence of who we are, we tend to fill our days with activities, going through the daily motions of surviving and are left feeling listless and dissatisfied with life.

Now, that’s the time to start searching for the missing link and hopefully, the answer will click. You can improve the experience by surrounding yourself with positive and happy people, value yourself and your relationships, keep the beautiful memories and positive experiences closer in mind, achieve little goals and appreciate them.

I found this oldie sitting in my draft. Still rings true.

Blogging · life skills · Self Help · Writing

Awakening My Creative Consciousness…

love-pen-bed-drinking-writing-reading

Finally. I believe that I have succeeded in crawling out of the doldrums. There are days that run into weeks and then months when creativity flows freely through your fingers and mind and feels like the easiest thing ever, then there are those days… that seep into weeks… and then months… when you are lost and in a total stump.

When this happens, we deeply feel that something is amiss. Things generally seem harder and somehow the rudder of our direction stagnates or at worse will be over the place. How do we re-center ourselves? How do we reignite our passion to continue doing those things that we most enjoy? How do we declutter, distill the disturbance, and climb out of the miry bog?

Most certainly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to such a dilemma. However, we can prime the pump and flow of inspiration in our lives by taking some simple steps and these steps are what I am trying to retrace. Not so much to find out where I fell off the track but to attempt to get back on track and fall in love again with those things that bring me joy.

I can’t even explain to you how the past few days of getting back to blogging, making my short videos on Tiktok, YouTube and Instagram makes me feel. I feel better. I feel less pained and guilty. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and I intend to keep it that way; so help me God.

Here are a few practical steps to apply should you ever find yourself in such a rut.

  • Be grateful for where you are at the moment and thankful for the potentials that the future holds.
  • Seek and find joy in the little things happening around you. Find laughter. It matters a lot.
  • Declutter your mind. Ask yourself what you are really feeling and try to understand why.
  • Define and refine what creativity and inspiration means to you.
  • Remind yourself of those things that you really love.
  • Revamp your thought process and approach where possible.
  • Don’t make big plans, take baby steps one day at a time.
  • Take time to reflect and let your imagination flow. It may be jumbled and rusty but just go with the flow.
  • Be humble and keep learning.
  • Make your creative moments fun.

What self-help tips and suggestions do you use and recommend to others to try?

Blog · Blogging · Hope

We can make still make it Happy…

A real belated Hello and Happy 2022. It’s the 6th of April, a quarter is gone and I am just getting round to wishing my dear friends the best of this year. Nothing stopped me from hopping onto my blog on the eve of the new year and simply throwing some words together whilst clicking a glass of bubbly (in this case it was water; my favourite drink of choice at present) and joining the bandwagon to exchange perfunctory greetings that lacked the necessary spice.

It isn’t that I wasn’t happy to see the new year or the months that have sped by; because I was most certainly tired of 2021. It had drained me to limits and left me feeling tattered. I thought 2020 was rough but had such a bumpy ride the last 365 days of 2021 that by the time we got to the 31st I was limping across the finish line. I didn’t feel like racing to say happy new year and to share platitudes and lukewarm resolutions that barely makes it to the 10th of January.

The idea was to be in a more reflective mode and to process my thoughts in more depth; if that makes any sense. The exigencies of life had taken over and cluttered my mind with so much debris over these past 2 yrs that they needed and still need to be decluttered, analyzed and classified. I feel a bit more centered as I keep on rediscovering myself and getting in touch with who I really am. Honestly speaking, one would have thought that by this beautiful age of mine that I would know all there is to know and understand about myself, yet, I keep making new discoveries that makes me realize that truly we never become finished products and are constantly under renovation, embellishment, maintenance et al 😉

Is it possible to say that I am at peace, not sad yet not happy? Does that sound confusing. I am at peace because in trying to know myself better, I am getting more in tune with my spirituality, physical state and mental state of being. I have an optimistic view and hopeful expectations for the year unlike the previous where I was too stressed to see beyond my nose much less engage others.

Now I am dipping my toes back into these waters and I hope to get into full swing without much ado and with sufficient gusto. For real, I miss this place and will be visiting all my cool folks in this blogosphere. I know that I joined the new year party a little late in the day, but we can still make it happy nonetheless. What have I missed? I know that there’s a lot to catch up with and I am here for it. See you in your neck of bloggywood.

Blogging · How To · How To Tips · This Is My Life

Key Notes…

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Getting back to blogging, I have found myself at a certain loss. It feels so familiar yet strange, because like everything that changes over time, a lot seems to have happened in blogosphere. I feel like a newbie, albeit with some jaded sense of know-how. I am tip-toeing around my blog trying to find my way once again, afraid to click on unknown features just in case I break something – not literally, but you get what I mean.

I recall that when I started blogging I could plug away for hours on end and derived such joy from putting my thoughts in writing. The joy has not gone though it has ebbed a bit. The hours to plug away on the keyboard has gone with the vagaries of life, since bills don’t pay themselves. Back then, I jumped in with such gusto and gumption and decision to make it work; to eke out a living doing something that I truly love. Things got in the way, life happened so much so that it made me question my trueness.

I have questioned my authenticity and second-guessed my passion for written and spoken word. I have found myself comparing and wondering if I am really true to my art. If I really want to be a writer as passionately as I had supposed? Because, as we are told, if you want something badly enough, you will do what needs to be done and you will find the time to make sure that it works out. It may sound romantic being a hungry, starving artist, but the rude awakening and harsh reality of life makes such aspirations a near impossible feat to achieve in this part of the world and in most parts I daresay.

NOT paying your bills can land you behind bars in my neck of the woods. As valuable as words may be, mine are yet to land me that goldmine and to present the peace of mind that money can buy or rather being able to sleep without your landlord hounding you for rent. I derail.

I have had to revamp my mind. To remember that often times the key notes of our life’s story might be out of tune for a bit, but once our fingers glide over the keys, like the gentle caress of a cherished old lover, we kindle with familiarity.

My thoughts are on how the blogging field has changed though my keyboard remains the same. How there are now many icons, bells and whistles here and there. I almost feel as if I should enroll in learning how things work here once again. Sadly, the course is paid for and I most certainly can’t afford such finesse. What do you think? Is going to WordPress University a worthwhile investment or do you think that I can find my way just by tinkering around?

Blogging · Challenges

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’