I love traveling. It is one of my hearts desire to visit to as many places as possible at leisure and enjoy the splendour that our dear planet has to offer before one gets too old to do so. I have been opportune to travel to many countries and for sure the experience has taught me a lot about people, culture and diversity that I may otherwise never have had the opportunity to learn if I hadn’t been to and stayed in these places.
Having had to travel by different means, air, road, train, I love road trips because I feel in control of the pace, stopping where and when we want to grab a bite, take a photo and take in the scenery. I love going by train as well as this also gives me some sense of satisfaction especially a long distance journey where I get to people watch and observe a microcosm of humans traveling together. Lest, I forget, there’s this romantic flavour and feeling of relaxation about train travel. One of such train journey’s that’s etched in my memory is my trip from London to Paris, Geneva, Luxembourg and Amsterdam. It was a trip of a lifetime and one that I would love to do once again but probably add other routes this time around.
For me, traveling by air is for expediency sake and is only taken as an option when the other options won’t work. The hassles at the airport, sitting in a flying object for hours on end and looking at nothing but clouds and inhaling other people’s fart is not so much fun. You are literally squashed into a germ-ridden cylinder for hours on end, in an uncomfortable seat with hardly any legroom or the possibility of reclining to create more comfort. If you are lucky, you end up saddled with a bunch of grumpy, smelly strangers, whiny kids and all sorts of humans who are enduring the same hardships as you are. The food is basically nonexistent the entertainment options are limited. You have no choice but to put up with all manner of inconveniences, discomforts, and indignities to say the least.
The peak moments for me are the take off and landing when I get to have a bird’s eye view of the landscape and city that I am going to.
My prayer is that in the nearest future, I will have positioned myself in a vantage point where I will get to go to the places that are on my bucket list without worrying about funding, work et al. Something to look forward to…
Money, money money…I ain’t gonna lie, if per chance I find myself blessed with a billion dollars, I would hibernate for a little while to take it all in, to pray for direction and wisdom on how best to utilize the money. There won’t be any rushed spending.
My first step would be to engage experienced financial advisers and create channels for multiple streams of income such as investing in real estate, diversified portfolios (stocks and bonds) and trading investment streams. I would buy into a renowned food franchise (because people will always eat) and any other worthwhile franchise that will employ people while generating a steady flow of income. I would love to set up an institute where people can acquire skills that are not only transferable but would help to give them a good start in life. Money can gain wings and fly away, so I will try my very best not to go overboard and splurge on foolish things that have no return value. I don’t want to wake up suddenly and find myself down and out of funds.
Other key interests would be to sort out those essential needs like shelter. Paying off my home will be a priority on my needs list, so that I no longer need to fret about mortgage and the likes. For sure, knowing what putting children through school means, I will set up a trust fund for my children’s education to whatever level they choose to aim for, set up a better life insurance than the one I have at present, set up an endowment fund which will be primarily to support vulnerable folks and those in need and to empower women in the rural areas.
Most certainly, I will have a thanksgiving and sow seeds into worthy charity organizations. I will bless family members with some funds to help them take care of necessary exigencies. After taking care of all these aspects, then I will sit back and exhale a bit.
Without thinking twice, doing the laundry is not a chore that I am fond of. Thankfully, washing machines are in existence and we can cut ourselves some slack.
I remember my growing up years back home, we washed tons of clothes by hand and it was not a task to sneeze at. Every Saturday morning, would find me seated on a stool in the backyard of my parents big compound, with a big basin filled with soapy water and bales of clothing in the cloth basket waiting for my fond attention. As I didn’t know better then, it was absolutely fine and helped in domesticating me and my siblings – except my brothers who always tried to escape washing their clothes and would rather go through their entire wardrobe till there’s no clean stitch left to wear.
Now that I recall, I think my mother wasn’t fond of washing either and as soon as she could lay her hands on a top-loading washing machine that had been imported by a friend of the family, she quickly committed her finances into acquiring one. We were elated! We felt like the bourgeoisie and that we had climbed a rung on the social ladder. Not only did we have a landline telephone, we now had a washing machine to boot! I was the envy of my friends for a long time to come.
Fast-forward to my adult years, one of the household gadgets that I promised to buy myself was a washer-dryer as I didn’t want to spend valuable time washing tons of clothing items. My husband is still has an old-fashioned approach towards washing especially his inner whites as he believes that the machine does not do justice to the job. I made it understood that from the get-go when we got hitched 23 years ago, that ‘moi’ cannot be doing that handwashing.
He wasn’t particularly enthused at my obstinacy, but I stuck to my guns, fed him good meals, kept him happy in bed, gave him beautiful children, supported him in many other ways, kept our home warm and welcoming. I wasn’t about to start something that I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain doing and I refuse to do things that I will only do reluctantly and grumble about. We came to an understanding pretty quickly and living happily ever after, thanks to the laundry machine.
I am aware that most would define success based on the amount of material wealth someone has and will consider those who are struggling with poverty as unsuccessful especially in today’s society, but I dare to disagree with this one-dimensional point of view.
Success is quite subjective depending on who is defining it or experiencing it and my thoughts about success might differ a bit from what others and society may consider as success. Success for me is checking off my to-do list at the end of the day and realizing that I accomplished all my outlined tasks. It gives me a great sense of pleasure and morale boost when I stay consistent in working towards achieving my goals and those daily tasks eventually culminate to achieving my bigger goals.
Success comes in many shapes and sizes, small or large. For instance, I deem it success when parents raise children who become responsible, empathetic and productive members of the larger society. Encouraging someone who is probably struggling to get through a rough day, getting out of bed and getting things done when my state of mind is only asking me to stay under the duvet and do nothing, a toddler taking those first steps without falling down at every attempt, getting a promotion at work, reaching your set financial goal for the month, a middle school kid being able to finally understand a mathematical concept, a homeless person finally being able to have a place to call their own, and so forth.
People are living their success each day in their own way and it is truly important that at each point in time, we set parameters of success that agrees with us and our circumstances. To each his own. May you find your success small and large.
At various stages in my life, books that I have read and some that I recently discovered have impacted and shaped my life; including my own poetry books, and I know for sure that there are many fabulous treasures and invaluable words tucked away in many pages of books waiting to the discovered.
My childhood days were shaped by fairy tales and Enid Blyton books. My teenage years was a time of voracious and eclectic reading, from Harlequin Romance, Mills & Boon, James Hadley Chase, John Grisham and to anything legible and so forth. I soaked up many fictional literature like they were going out of fashion and spent a better portion of my pocket money on books.
It is said that knowledge is power, and the more we know, the more we can better ourselves. Now that I am well into my adulthood, many books have impacted my life and are still doing so. I find myself reaching out these days for books that don’t only help me to introspect, but serve as catalyst for change and growth in my life. Books that promote self-awareness and development, spiritual awakening, living purposefully, mindset, health, wealth and harnessing my potentials have become my staple although certain novels have tugged at my heart strings of late such as ‘And the mountains echoed by Khaled Hosseini.’
In recent times, it is no longer strange for me to be reading multiple books within the same frame of time and in the past few weeks, I revisited The Alchemist by Paul Coelho (previously read it because it was a rave at that time and now, reading it once again and discovering all the hidden gems/omens), No more Excuses by Brian Tracy, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, The power of positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I can credit the Bible and these books for the positive changes and growth that I experience each day
Writing and publishing two poetry books have played a major role in helping me heal from past traumas and given me an invaluable sense of self that was gained during the process. Right now, I am caught in the middle of authoring two books (well overdue) and what I have discovered so far in this writing journey is that words are living and breathing. They become you. They shape you.
Can one’s children be considered as memorable gifts from God as I always feel so delighted to have mine in my life – except when they are driving me up the wall 😉 I recall the birth of each one with clarity and I also remember the fullness of heart each time I received each bundle of joy.
As most parents, I cherish my kiddos to bits and as I watch them grow and mature into independent young adults, I feel an enormous sense of pride and gratitude. They are my world and my life will not be the same without them. I can’t even begin to picture life without them.
Now in reflection, I realize how we tend to take the beautiful gifts that we have received for granted most especially when they have become part and parcel of our lives. How much we value them often gets lost in the doldrums of running after the daily needs of life. This serves as a reminder to ALWAYS stay grateful and mindful.
Another gift that comes so readily to mind is my engagement ring and the spectacular way that it was presented to me by my husband in front of family and friends. I knew that he wanted to propose based on all the indications from him and thought he would do so privately as my husband is reserved by nature and not as gregarious as I. It was quite a surprise when he proposed in front of a gathering of family and friends and their words of prayers, approval and encouragement made it all the more momentous.
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.
I write because I do not know how not to. As far back as I can recall, I owned diaries and in them I would scribble my deepest thoughts. It was primarily a way of finding release, venting and setting free those expressions that ran around in my head. It slowly became a way to have my voice heard. It gave my thoughts a medium and ever since I started blogging and writing on other social media platforms I never stopped. Writing is my super power. It energizes, rejuvenates, helps me to refine my thoughts, gives me a sense of visibility and permanence.
The feeling and pleasure that I derive from writing is indescribable. To say the least, it is cathartic. I have been through extreme crisis situations that voicing my thoughts through writing has been a healing process. It helps bring more clarity to my thoughts, ideas and perceptions and I hope that it also gives the reader a better understanding of the messages that I share. One day, I hope to own an old traditional typewriter and will type beautiful letters and send to the people I love.
For me, writing is life and asides for all the other obvious reasons why writing is important, I believe that writing has been my sense of relief, a healing tool, a friend, a passion and purpose.
Joy. A simple word, yet it carries a whole lot of weight in it for far too many people are constantly in search of joy and many fail to find it as often as they should. I think the fault lies in having great expectations and waiting for things that are exceptionally good before they can have some iota of pleasure.
Connecting with my spiritual side and aiming to grow more spiritually aware, diligently practicing gratitude, choosing to have an optimistic and positive mindset, staying as fully present and living in the moment are conscious steps that I take daily and these have helped me to continually create more positive emotions for myself.
For me, the simple every day things of life bring joy to me and helps enhance my sense of wellbeing. When the work day is over, the thought of going home to my place of comfort consistently brings me pleasure. It’s not that I don’t like going to work, but knowing that I get to return home to my place of refuge where I can choose to lounge in my pajama’s, relax, exhale, be with my family etc. makes those hours spent pursuing the daily bread worth the effort.
My children are a constant source of joy for me. Listening to them share their dreams and work towards them, watching them grow into independent young adults and experiencing their wins in life brings me an immense source of wellbeing and accomplishment.
At the start of each day, I make my to-do list and set little goals that ultimately contribute to achieving my bigger goals definitely makes one feel good. There are many days that I am unable to do all the things that I set out to do, but I have also learnt not to guilt trip myself, to be thankful for the things that I was able to do and not to dwell inordinately on the things that I failed to do.
As adults, we get bogged down with so much in form of rules, responsibilities and life that we often forget how to feel that unadulterated sense of bliss. I truly believe that living mindfully helps us to create, recreate and really experience that sense of happiness and bliss that we deserve.