Tag Archive | Plans

Every Little Step I Take – personal

Life, Gratitude, Higher Calling, Goals, Aspirations

The ring tone of the mobile cut into my reflection. I was just coming to the end of my evening walk. Answering the unknown number, her sweet Indian accented voice carried through and in a voice that I will place at 26 years, she chirpily informed me, Ms. Jacqueline, blah, blah, yadda, yadda… unfortunately, due to our employment policy, we can’t offer you the coveted position of events Manager since you are above 35 and too antiquated in my 4o’s (okay, I added this bit about antiquated).

Well, that gave me pause for mere minutes as I trudged up the bridge in front of me but the greatest emotion that I realized was that of relief that flooded me. An odd emotion I must say. I’ll analyze it later.

Let me give you a brief background. This is the latest venture in my attempt to find full-time gainful employment. One of the greatest challenges of being an accompanying spouse or should I say spice is the ‘not having a defined career and dependency on your spouse for periods of time that might cause discomfort.’

You could spend the better part of the time/if not all the time spent abroad searching for something suitable in the form of employment and yes, you learn frugality to the last letter y.

Except when one is up and pushing like I have to do each day – searching for freelance opportunities that come far and few in-between or occupying myself with things that enlarge my scope in the pursuit of my dreams to be a successful writer – one would probably end up a frustrated, emotional bag of chocolate cookie eating monster.

Over the years I’ve learnt to manage on what we can afford and sometimes squeeze out a bit for some side attractions but not having a strong earning power (yet) has stunted some things that I seek to do for myself.

If truth be told, my major interest for seeking this job is to earn in order to fund some self-development life-coaching programs that I want to attend and to save up to return to school next year without burdening my husband whose plate is full right now.

In my head, I was already trying to see how I would fit the job around my life that’s surprisingly full without a 9-5 job and was feeling somewhat stressed at the thought. Now, this explains my odd sense of relief when they informed me that they would rather seek a person with perkier body parts than mine, irrespective of the wealth of experience that I have to bring on board.

As a matter of fact, instead of feeling disappointed or upset about the rejection, last night I felt a deep sense of inexplicable peace and understanding. A quiet voice came to me with the verse of Jeremiah 29:11 saying:

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

By the time I went to sleep last night, I was all excited and grateful. I have no idea what lies before me, but I know deep inside me that God’s plans over my life are exceedingly bountiful.

I woke up this morning and quickly checked my emails. A notification I saw simply made me burst into tears and laughter. Tears at my foolishness and human sense of worry. Laughter at the beautiful surprise.

Gift and Gratitude

A voice said to me, go back to the work that you are doing. Go back and finish the book that has been dropped in your heart to write. It’s a book on ‘finding wisdom and purpose.’

The interesting thing is that I never had a plan to write such a book. I have novels that I am working on, but ever since the instruction to write this book came to me late last year, it has not allowed me much sleep and has taken precedence over the novels. I am several days behind due to neglecting it during my trip, but all things being equal, it will be ready by March.

All that I can say is that even when things are not looking the way we want them in our human eyes, keep your eye’s looking up. Be grateful for the much that you’ve been given, for out of it shall abundance flow.

To the sister who gave me this surprising gift, may your circle of blessings never run dry. May laughter fill your mouth and may praise remain your portion.


If you wish to participate in a gratitude challenge, there are several gratitude/thankful platforms in the blogosphere that you can tune into and get your ithankful going on. I can’t express in words the enormity of Joy and fulfillment that comes from having a heart of gratitude. Please check out Maria’s blog, Colline’s blog and Bernadette’s for thankful/gratitude challenges.


Tuesdays Trickles – My Thinking Corner


How many times do we catch ourselves making plans for months to come when we’ve not finished living in the day that we are given?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan for the future, but my question is, how much of the present are you living or are you simply existing and planning for a future that would most likely not occur as you planned?

It’s how we live our today that determines our tomorrow.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

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Robert Doyle. The Charming, Talented and Wonderful Blogger Friend of Mine.

There’s something to say about a man who loves and has good taste in music and that’s what I first noticed when I met Robert in this space.

His posts not only give you a glimpse of the beautiful soul of the man behind the blog, they are equally rich in knowledge and the way he spins his posts around selected soundtracks is just awesome. He simply doesn’t spin just any vibes, but the post always reaches in and grasps me and leaves me better for it.

I’ve enjoyed following Robert since we connected over a year ago. Thank you, Robert, for taking the time to answer my intruding questions. I appreciate your friendship and support.

A Bit About Robert

My name is Robert Doyle, and I live in New York City along with my wife Jennifer, and our two cats. I grew up in and around the NY area and had a normal life with my parents and two older sisters. In college, my major was Foreign Affairs, which explained why after college I worked for 14 years in a Garden Center and Plant Nursery! In terms of likes, I love photography, baseball, and hanging out with good friends. In terms of dislikes, I dislike how difficult it is to find a meaningful and good paying job these days. I have dreams…but it’s tough. My general outlook on life is to always find something to smile or laugh about. There is always something silly or funny (even in the darkest moments) on the surface, and it helps to remember that.

Soundtrack Of A Photograph and it’s purpose

My blog is called Soundtrack Of A Photograph, and it explores the connection between my own photography and the music I love.When I started it almost three years ago I was having a bit of a personal crisis. I wasn’t happy with a lot of things, and I saw a video on Vimeo about some guys who made a documentary about a remote island. I read their story and thought…why didn’t I push myself to do those sorts of things. I had scrapped an earlier attempt at a blog a few months before, because after writing it, I realized there was no hook to it. So I took a day off from work, got out of my apartment, and sat in a coffee shop doing some research and writing things down. I decided to write my passions down on paper to help guide me. At the top of the list were music and photography, my true passions. A few moments later I had defined it as ‘soundtrack’ and ‘photograph’ and the blog was born!

I had no set goals in mind when I started, other than hoping that people would like it and that my concept made sense and would draw people in. The long form description of my blog is- Have you ever looked at a still photograph you have taken and had a song pop up in your head? Something that fits the mood of the photo, the season, or maybe even the weather? Just like with a movie soundtrack, I think music can really fit nicely with a still photo.

As to the blogging phenomenon itself, the reason I think it still is vibrant and growing is because unlike other social media, you really interact in a more meaningful way with a blog. So much goes into a blog, be it a travel, cooking, photography, or lifestyle blog that you tend to take your time when reading it. Blogs are a way to slow down this fast paced, short attention spanned World, and it is a big reason why I continue to do it.

My Blogging Experience

It has been wonderful, interacting with fellow bloggers from all over the world in a big shared community. Stats are great of course, but I’m more tickled by the fact that my posts have been read by people in over 80 countries now. It’s the coolest thing to know that someone in Guyana liked something I wrote. Or Norway, or Argentina. It doesn’t matter. The meaningful conversations I have not only on my own posts, but by so many others is perhaps the best thing. Its hard to pick a favorite post..I think of them all as ‘my babies’ but here are a few-

The Soundtrack of A Photograph – My First One

The Vinyl Edition

The Greenlands

Soundtrack of a photograph, Part 12

Motivating Myself To Keep The Blog Going

This is a tough one. Because of the dual nature of my blog; music and photography, I get stuck sometimes. I might have some great photos I want to show, but I can’t find the right musical match for it. Or I have an artist I really want to feature, but don’t know how to accomplish that with my photos. What has helped is to continue to take photos. All the time. Even of the most simple things because I found I never know where the inspiration will come! That is the big reason why I always keep my camera with me if I can now.

My Challenging Moment So Far

I think this was probably when I wrote a 4 part autobiographical series called My Four Seasons. It was a massive amount of work, and I wrote it while we were in the process of moving. I had spent the previous year photographing trees using a new technique. I realized I had these shots in all four seasons, and decided to use them as ‘markers’ to describe my seasons of life-spring for birth, summer for growth, fall for change, winter for a decline. Aside from the writing and layout work, the actual emotion behind the writing, about my youth, the worst period of my life, and then the happiness of meeting my wife was an emotional and exhausting journey. But it was still worth it!

My Typical Day

Oh! A typical day for me starts with an early morning run, which depending on if it’s a work day or not might be anywhere from 3-6 miles at the moment, though I want to get back up to 10. Then a cup of that magical elixir coffee, before I hop on the subway to go to work, where I typically read the newspaper, and then whatever book I’m reading while listening to music. After work, or on the weekends, I like to meet my wife for dinner and a drink or to sit out on our little balcony and watch the world go by. In between any of these moments, I may spend time thinking, or actually writing a new blog.

Going Forward

I am currently planning on a few options which are all directly related to my blog posts. One is that I have been urged by several people to produce my own photo book. I have massive self-doubt about my work, yet I know people do enjoy my work, so I do plan to have this happen some day.

I also am thinking of using the My Four Seasons idea and combining some of my other posts to become My Musical Autobiography. Key moments of my life, defined by the music that means the most to me. In some cases, I will expand my existing posts, or trim them back, but writing a book has been probably my number one bucket list item, and after three years of writing over 100 posts and thousands of words, I think I have a good head start!

A Word To Others

I absolutely encourage others to blog. If you have passion, you should blog. Be it music, cooking, poetry, travel, crafting…whatever. If you are passionate, you should blog!

Thank you so much, Jacqueline. I feel deeply honored to have been selected by you for this.

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Midnight Motivation and Musings # 60…


It’s often interesting how we keep putting off things that our heart is set on doing as we wait for the right time to arrive.

When is the right time? How do we identify it? Will it come knocking on our door to announce it’s arrival? Will it ever arrive?

Some say it’s when they’ve got enough money set aside, some say that they are waiting for the children to grow up and there are yet many more excuses.

The whole glaring truth is that there will never be the right time except we make it happen. Excuses will always be bountiful and they cost several dozens for nothing, however, the cost of using excuses can be quite expensive.

Let’s start seeking that right time today. Today is it.

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha