HAPPY LIST

 

I was going through Pinterest this morning and I remembered reading in passing a line somewhere where which talks about “things that make you happy”…well, considering I was not in a state I will define as happy this morning, I skipped past that line without giving it a second glance.

Shortly after, my phone buzzed and the display showed it was a Facebook call from my brother-in-law. I walked out of my shared office space to receive the call.

While we were still exchanging pleasantries, my phone buzzed and the Facebook call was abruptly ended by the call coming through…caller ID showed “dad” calling. I received the call and we chatted some. He had dreamt about me last night and thought he should call to “check on me”…well I am fine and so the call came to an end…

I called back my brother-in-law and we continued…

When I got back to the office, I suddenly realized I felt happier and while thinking what could have caused the change in my mood, that line from the Pinterest flashed back to my mind and then it clicked…I became happy because I just spoke to family!!  Then I thought to myself why not make a note of what makes me happy so I can refer to it next time I feel the need for a boost and lift in spirit…

As I made the note, another thought came to mind…why not just make a post about it and who knows, it might put a smile on someone’s face or someone might read it and be happy/happier or better still someone will get challenged to make their own “Happy list”.

So here is my random happy list…It is by no means exhaustive. It is also not listed in any order…just a list of the first 10 things that came to my mind which makes me happy.

 

  1. Family – Of course you know I had to start here right?

 

  1. Companions – They are friends…but more than just friends. This is a small, crazy and tightly knitted bunch at church who meet every Wednesday for a very informal meeting. It creates a platform to open up and be vulnerable without feeling judged. I am a happy dude every Wednesday cos I am sure to get a full refill of my happy-tank.

 

  1. Kitchen – (Disclaimer: I am not an excellent cook!!) I don’t cook often…I sometimes could go on for weeks without cooking a meal. But I have found out that whenever I step into the kitchen to make something – could be simple stuff like a cup of tea or a complex like a new recipe – I get a shot of ‘happy steroids’! so every now and then when I find myself in the kitchen, I am a happy Z. 🙂

 

  1. WritingI mean informal writing, I not only love writing but I get a ‘happy pill’ in my system whenever I do. I sometimes wonder why I don’t get the same thrill when I have to write my thesis and other scientific/academic stuff that I do often…topic for another day? maybe? maybe not? 🙂

 

  1. MusicMusic is life!! Let me just leave it at that… I love music and music loves me. Music kinda gives the bro an overdose of “Happy hormones” which hits me straight at that spot and takes me to cloud number Z! Oh and let me through you back a few years. by inviting Pharrell Williams to say it musically..HAPPY!!

 

  1. TravellingI am on an ‘adrenaline rush’ each time I start planning for a trip, it does not matter if it is to a new place or somewhere I have been to before, just the act of planning for a trip and mentally knowing I will be packing and going away for some time is all it takes to hit my “happy buttons”. I count down to the day and I am like on a sugar rush when the day finally comes. I love travelling and so glad my wife also share this love with me. We’ve got lots of happy memories we share on our trips. The happiest me is the travelling me!

 

  1. Looking good – “Looking good is serious business” who said that? I don’t know but I do agree. I don’t always look good because sometimes I think it is too much work and effort, but when I take the time to try look good, it gives me a shot of happiness. One of my favorite radio personalities Pearl Modiadie is fond of saying “If you look good, you feel good” I couldn’t have said it better!

 

  1. KidsI usually walk around with a serious, sometimes scary face I have been told. If you observe me out there and all of a sudden see my face break into a wide grin…look in the direction of my eyes and you most likely to see a kid. That says it all! 

 

  1. DogsI have written about my love for dogs before, if you missed it, you can read it here… I can live in a world of dogs and I won’t miss a lot. Not sure there is any creature that comes as close in cuteness and ‘pure-heartedness’ as a dog. Dogs, especially puppies give me what I call the ultimate super turbo-charge of happiness.

 

  1. Social MediaThis post started from my visit to Pinterest this morning right? need I say more? This appeals to my inquisitive side a lot more…I regularly pop into Twitter and smile away. I have gained a lot from my time on social media. I am still learning a lot though and with each day, I find out new things…one thing that has remained constant in my learning curve on social media though is it makes me happy.

 

So here are Ten random things that make me happy…I have made a note and next time I feel like in need of a happy pill, I know where to go…I will keep building the list in my journal too…it is my responsibility to keep me happy! You should do same… drop a comment of what makes you happy…I am always open to learning new stuff and I just might pick a new happy pill from you.

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 7: It’s getting Real : god-parents and a “surprise party” – 25 days

Yeah its 3 weeks 4 days left and it’s really getting real. I now have this feeling of “can’t wait for this day to come and go” whether that is a good or bad thing I don’t know. But I think it is more as a result of having put in so much into planning for a day and now you get to the point when you are just waiting for the day to arrive…yeah that is where I am at the moment.

Two things happened this past week both pleasantly surprising. First Valo, Tendai’s cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Iyvana on Friday the 20th of March.  It came as a surprise to both of us when she whatsApp Tendai to say she just gave birth, Tendai laughed and said yeah nice joke, you still have a couple of weeks to go. Then Valo sent a picture of the baby and Tendai still thought could be someone else’s baby then she send a picture of herself and then we knew it was true. The baby had come a couple of weeks earlier so took us by surprise but it was a pleasant one.

IMG-20150320-WA0015
Baby Iyvana

On Saturday 21st, the happy parents made a request of Tendai and I. They want us to be the god-parents of baby Iyvana. I love the name and its meaning which a little research made me understand has Russian and Hebrew origins and means “Gift of God”(Hebrew) or “God is Gracious”(Russian). I am so specific about names…I think names do have a great influence on how the kid will turn out in life. So I was glad with the name choice by the parents…Iyvana is just an apt name for this princess. We both were so humbled by the request to be god-parents of Iyvana. It was one we could not say no to. Valo is one of Tendai’s sisters who I sort of clicked with even before we met. We connect on level higher than I do with most of Tendai’s relatives. She is also really close with Tendai. Nkulu, Valo’s husband is also very good friends with Tendai so we already had a very good relationship between us prior to now.

When I first heard the request I was quite for a while. I walked into the kitchen and found a couple of unwashed plates and proceeded to wash them…as the water run through my hands into the sink and my hands went through the motions of sponging, scrubbing, rinsing and cleaning the plates, my mind switched into processing mode and I was weighing the implication of saying yes, the responsibilities that come to saying “yes we accept”. I don’t take such responsibilities lightly. I can be that serious sometimes.

I thought of my own god-mother and how she cares for me like her biological son and doing this on a consistent basis, daily…praying ,caring for, encouraging, cautioning me. Now If I say yes then this is what I will expect Tendai and I to do same and even more to Iyvana. It was an emotional moment for me. I know I want to say yes but I had to contemplate carefully all the responsibility that comes with that and also make Tendai understand same before we give a yes. If we know we won’t be able to do that to the best of our ability then there is no point saying yes.

Tendai understood the weight of what we were considering and agreed with me it was immense but confessed her willingness to accept the new responsibility. With this, we called Valo and Nkulu to accept the responsibility. So officially guys I am now a god-father and coming at this time. 3 weeks to my big day only made me realize how real this new territory I am walking into is. Am I excited? absolutely!! I am thrilled and so is Tendai…and so is Iyvana who is so cute by the way…just like her parents and god-parents 😉 I will keep you posted on here on her development. I won’t be seeing her in person for another few months though which is sad as they are in Zimbabwe and with all the plans we have ahead of us, getting a free slot to visit Zimbabwe will take a few months.

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On Saturday the 21st, friends of Tendai in Cape Town decided to throw a surprise bridal shower for her. Since it was a surprise, they needed to rope yours truly in the plans 😀 so that is how I got involved in the plans which began a few weeks ago. My ultimate plan was to deliver Tendai at the venue and make sure up until the last second she remains completely unaware of the plans going on.

Now Tendai has always bragged that I can’t lie to her. She is certain she has known be so well to tell immediately I tell her something that is untrue and to some extent she has proved it to me and I had vowed to prove her wrong at the right time, a promise she had laughed off. So this was a perfect opportunity for me to prove my point and men o men I did a good job! I had to give myself a pat on the back. I sold her a story which she bought easily and swallowed hook, line and sinker!!

Bride to Be
Bride to Be

The day came and it was a very successful event. Tendai is still talking about it. She had no idea that was planned and she loved every bit of it. She gave me a 10/10 score for my role too by the way so I have redeemed some of my pride in that department. I understand the friends and family in Zimbabwe are also organizing a bridal shower for her next week when she is suppose to be in Zim. Well, I will keep you posted how that goes.

But on Saturday after dropping Tendai off at the venue and left. It again got me thinking…this is getting real!! the final balls are falling in place and the final phase in this journey has started, its 24 days to go and Bridal shower down. The décor of the venue had “Future Mrs. Wala” written…when I saw pictures it made me smile. For real this thing just got real. I love Tendai and I can’t wait for that day when I shall stand before God and men to declare my love to her and take those vows that will bind us for life!!

Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES : Episode 3: One of those times!! – 56 Days!

As my fingers click away on the keyboard and my eyes follow the sequence of letters that print out on the screen to form words that make up sentences which grow to paragraphs that eventually crystallized into this article, my mind is in a different spaces now…I am trying to join the dots and make sense of how it began, trying to weave a story out of it so I can use it as my Episode 3 or this series but I just failed to join the dots, there were no dots no join…If I picture can perfectly describe the state of my mind now is the picture of a duck on a pond. On the surface, it looks all calm and serene, but underneath the water the feet paddle furiously….yeah that’s me now.

Duck on a pond

I still can’t make a story of it but I will try say it as it is. Tendai and I had a bit of misunderstanding…it was nothing big but it still left me feeling bitter and upset. Tendai was telling me about some plans she had for the future, it involved some brilliant business ideas she plans to pursue, she wanted input from me in two aspects, first she wanted to know what I think of it, secondly she asked if I know of any potential source of funding she could exploit for the business.

Now a bit of background about the biz side of me. I am not in any way an entrepreneur. I am just not wired that way. What I think I am is an excellent manager or what I call secondary entrepreneur. Present me with an idea and I am you man to trouble shoot it and execute it to your specifications. Tendai seem to be the entrepreneur – one of the reason I love her really. As she talked me through the biz plan she mentioned she had done a lot of thinking about it and it was obvious…she had even made a potential move on an investor which looked promising.

It was obvious to me that she had invested a lot of thought into it and as I soaked in on everything she said and tried to think it through she popped the two questions…first that caught me off guard then my zero entrepreneur mind started to boot and come up with an answer…the first answer was easy and I told her it is a great idea and yes I believe it can work. Next question I told her what I thought and maybe that was not what she expected of my response. It was a short answer really, I told her I think we may be faced with a greater challenge getting funding because not many people or companies out there exist that will be keen to invest significant amount of money into a start-up biz. I said the risks are high and it will need a bit of re-strategizing.

She thought I was not supportive enough and my answer was too brief, I thought she was unreasonable I need some time to think and also research and I said that in few words before I felt upset and clamped my mouth and said no more. As I typed this we have spent half of the day not saying more than a few words to each other. I looked across to her on the sofa as she watched one of the many versions of master chef programs on TV. I don’t follow any so not sure which it was. I looked at her and though I still was bitter I still felt love for her. I looked at her and looked at my calendar and saw the reminder than it was exactly one month and 28 days left before she becomes my wife and my heart warmed up and I felt like walking up to her and gathering her up in an embrace to tell her how much I love her and how blessed I am to have her in my life but I quickly put off that thought and embraced my bitterness as I typed even more furiously, if only the keyboard can talk they would have complained.

As I reflect on what we were going through I asked myself will such misunderstanding occur again in future? yes I knew it would…I still have misunderstandings with myself and I will only be fooling myself to think no misunderstanding will come up again. This is one fact about marriage many may not realize or want to accept. Misunderstandings are part of any relationship even the best of couples do have their moments of misunderstanding. So I learnt something new from this latest experience. Misunderstanding does not negate love. The fact I was upset didn’t make me love Tendai any less. I would wish we never have to go through a misunderstanding again but I am grateful for the lesson I got from this instance. I am still convinced that come the 18th of April I will be as excited to take the vows and promise my eternal love to Tendai.

One more thing, Pride is a big giant which is always close by and when allowed can wreck utter destroy the happiness and joy that has been laboriously built with love over the years. For those periods I held to my bitterness and looked at her as she watched TV, I told myself I love her and wanted to reach out to her but pride held me back and I embraced my negative spirit. I now look back and regret those moments which could have been spent doing something fun together but now those periods have been lost forever…stolen by that thief called PRIDE.

Well, we are all cool with T now…. 🙂 yeah i could only be proud for so long…I rather love than get bitter…the doctor said that’s good for my health.

NOTE TO SELF.

  • Swallow your pride, never allow a misunderstanding drag longer than reasonable.
  • Look out for the positive in every unpleasant situation. Focus on the good and hold onto sweet memories.
  • The longer a misunderstanding is allowed to linger, the more complicated it will become and the more difficult it becomes to solve the misunderstanding.

SIDE NOTE

Have you listened to the song Sugar by Maroon5? Have you watched the Video? If you have not now is the time and well…that’s one song that must be on my wedding playlist. 😉

My name is…

What exactly is there in a name? We all have names…wonderful names. Lately, I have found myself thinking a lot on significance of names and what actually goes into a name…what factors guide decisions in picking a name or nick name? I grew up in an era where there was a tide of English names been preferable to native African names. I know a few of my friends who dropped the native names given them by their parents and picked up an English name because it was considered almost a shame to bear a native name.

What-is-Your-Name-o

It was the norm then when you meet a new person and introduce yourself by name(a native name) the first question that comes your way is don’t you have an English name? This led to many picking up English names while others who didn’t have the guts to completely drop off the native names resulted to adding an English name to their native names.  They then only use the native names on official documents like certificates while they introduce themselves to everyone with an English name which in some cases is the English translation of their native name. I remember a friend whose name is “Sarki”…a name which in Hausa language means “king”….on paper Sarki remained Sarki but to his friends and everyone else, he was King.

Back then I found it really hard to make sense of such decisions to desperately need an English name. Recently, however, with me thinking a lot about names…I am beginning to having a rethink. This morning my usual quite/meditative hour was interrupted by my friend laughing hysterically…I wondered by the laughter in such an early hour and I asked why. She passed me her phone and I saw she was on Facebook…looking closer I see she was looking at a picture posted of someone’s ID card…I looked back with this “and then” look on my face and she asked that I look at the name…the name was “Stages of War” and that is someone’s name !!!. I shared in the laugh and that ended my quite time…

That thought has been on my mind all day and I was wondering if my parents had named me “Stages of War” what will I do? Now I also was wondering why the parent gave him such a name? could there be a history behind it? yes most likely but could it be worth giving a child such a “herculean” name? It led me to thinking of some names…names I consider either strange or outright funny which I have heard or seen lately and it was even more weird that all these names come from the same country…which led to me wondering even further..what goes into name giving in that country? What was going on in the minds of the parents when they give names like “Perpendicular”, “Acknowledge” and “One day” among others?

I somehow believe we all in one way or the other live out our names…hence when I hear a person’s name, I am keen to ask more or ponder about it….the name “Art of War” has defied all logic and I only wish I get a chance to ask the parent why the choice of this particular name…

So again…what is your name?

I Was A Child

child-abuse-1I just read this very touching and moving post from a fellow blogger Sandi…I feel the least i could do is to share it…I thought I could write a few lines preceding the post but I am so caught up with my emotions now that I know better than to write more…I believe the post and poem that follows explains enough…Everyone who was once a child will no doubt identify with this… 😦

I Was A Child.