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.

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WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES : Episode 9 : New Home. 12 DAYS

Its 12 days left from today and as I type this piece my mind is singing “12 days of Christmas”. I think I can sing my own remix version of the “12 days of my wedding” today thus…for these 12 days to wedding, my true love said to me, I love you and all will be fine… 🙂

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 I moved into the new flat. Tendai still isn’t here and will only see the flat for the first time on the day she is moving into it and that will be on the 26th of April 2015…yes in case you still haven’t caught up…we will be officially Mr and Mrs then!!! I have been in the flat for 4 days now and only about 5% of the boxes have been unpacked. I have thought about unpacking but after thinking of how much effort that will take and the high possibility that Tendai may have a different opinion with mine when she comes in so I decided I will rather wait for her so we can unpack together.

In the meantime, I have the couch and bed set up, I also have the TV and DsTV working then in the kitchen, the fridge, kettle and microwave are up and running. This means activities that I can do now includes watch my favourite TV programmes and catch up on news, sleep and yes keep my tea flowing.

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I am a believer in the scripture that says “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord”. I have indeed found favour from the Lord since I started my walk down the aisle and as I approach closer and closer to the stage and alter, I look at the pew and all I see is friends and family who have stood by me and supported me and us all the way. They have been part of this very eventful walk down the aisle and I certainly will remain eternally grateful to each and every one of them. Their names are being scribbled in gold in my personal hall of fame.

In addition to these great people, I see favour and favour and favour. Indeed this scripture has come alive for me especially these last few weeks when things seem to just crowd my plate and a lot of responsibility needs attention. I still can’t tell how I have managed to meet all the datelines and catch up with all my responsibilities. I have slept less, spent more and still remain fresh and sharp as well as saved more. I keep spending by account balance does not seem to be going down in correlation with the expenditure. I can attribute it to God’s favour. I have found a wife and God has favoured me deeply. Sweet Jesus!!

So as I spend my final couple of days in Cape Town before I commence my trip to Nigeria for the wedding, I am at peace. I am excited and I know that it will be a happy day not because of what we have planned and accomplished, but more because it is a decision I have made. I have decided to be happy come what may. It is my OUR special day, God has blessed it and so long I have Tendai happy and by my side along with friends and family all else can pale into insignificance.

12 days to go and I count my blessings and name them one by one, I am surprised at what the Lord has done and still is doing for me…One week five days to go or 288 hours and I can say I am favoured by God.

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 6: Bonnievale & Broken pieces of my heart – 31 DAYS

I could not post over the weekend as usual as I was away on a camp somewhere in Bonnievale in a farm called River Goose Camp. It was fun being out in nature, away from internet and electricity and all the noise and “comfort” of city life to just spend time with friends and family.

I was there last year exactly at the same time. The 14th of March is the birthday of Mel who I have come to take as my mum. She loves nature and has always returned to the farm to celebrate her birthday so last year we were there and returned this year again. I made a post here last year when we went. If you missed it, here is your opportunity to catch up, see the post here.

This year we had more friends and family so it was fun. I had a great time and enjoyed the long drive too. Highlight of my weekend was the time spent with the little angel Nina who is just 2. I have not seen such a sweet kid in a long time. so adorable and she is so intelligent, engages in such meaningful talk that left me wondering if she is not way older than her age. Everyone who came for the camp fell in love with Nina.

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It’s exactly 1 month to the wedding. 31 days!!! I am excited about what lies ahead and I write with joy but my joy is not complete. I write this with some pain and half a tear. Perhaps it is the way I am made, maybe it’s a man thing or maybe I am yet to just understand it fully.

I had a chat with a dear friend last week and told her about the wedding (I think she already heard from some friends). I told her and she went quite for a while then said congratulations and later told me things will change and said she is warning me “in advance” to anticipate a weird reaction. She said she was “shocked” by the news and later admitted it’s difficult to remains friends with and watch me build my life.

The discussion left me feeling sad and broken. I love my friends and will always hate to lose any. I spent a lot of time reflecting on my friendship especially with her and kept hearing the word “unfair” ringing in my ears…that was what she said I was…unfair to her…always have been unfair to her.

So as I take my walk down the aisle, I will take these thoughts with me. There will be friends I will love to see around but will see them no more. There are friends I will love to have around in my life but they are leaving and maybe never to return. Life is funny, such a happy phase in my life laced with some bitter flavour. In the course our relationship and planning for the wedding, I have met new friends who have come into my life and made it better. However, I am not faced with the flip side…just as friends come, some are changing and some are leaving. A sad truth which I must accept no matter how unpleasant it sounds. It makes me sad and if only I could change things and keep all my friends happy I will.

I love my friend and it will hurt to see her change and start acting “weird” but for now it is out of my hands. I can only wish for the best…I have searched my conscience and I still can’t figure it all out.

Walk me down the Aisle series I – 70 Days : Once a week for 10 weeks

I am about to take a plunge into a world that is unknown to me. I am about to embark on an adventure that will last the rest of my life. The feelings I have about the whole new life and what it holds for me and the future is a true cocktail of feelings…runs through the whole range from extremely excited on the one extreme to a little apprehensive at the other extreme.

In Exactly 70days I will be walking down the aisle with the one I love and call my “soul-mate”. I will be getting married to Tendai Musvuugwa( I will teach you how to pronounce that name though after 5 years of trying I still have not perfected it…I have to doff my cap to Zimbabweans)

This will begin a series of post I will be making over the next 10 weeks as I count down to this big day of my life. I will be addressing all the issues I have encountered and will encounter leading to this big day. I will also tell our story or rather some more of it…previously I had told you abit about us..if you missed it, you can read it here. I will also in addition to writing about my thoughts also share the thoughts of others I find inspiring or insightful on this subject. I will also share some of our pictures, some songs I love and more…it will be a new thing for each post for the 10 weeks leading up to April 18, 2015.

So why the big deal about writing anyway? well, because I want to write about it! I have seen a lot written about weddings and the married life but mostly by ladies so I thought I through in something different into the mix…and here you have it…a wedding and married life from the perspective of a man.

 I read somewhere that there are three most important days in a man’s life. The day a man is born, the day he gets married and the day he dies. Everyone gets the chance to experience two of these days – the first and the third. Others are privileged to experience all three. It went on to say of these three days, one stands out as most important…the other two are not as important and the reason being that on the two occasions(the first and last), one is helpless and can do little about the when and how of it.

The first day one is born you are an infant and totally dependent on others for everything, you also have no say in when or how you are born. On the third day when you die you also have no say and your body will be interred the way the loved ones you leave behind go about it. The 2nd of these three days however is most important because you are alive, an adult and call the shots on what and how things will be done. This therefore makes it the most Important of the three hence the need to cherish it most and make it as memorable as you can.

I am moved to agree with the story so I plan to have a great wedding and plan to enjoy every bit of it as I plan to have only one wedding so it’s a one shot at making it work for me hence the big deal about it.

WEDDING DAY

First interesting fact about is if you have not noticed is we are from different countries, different regions and traditions, same continent and share the same heart with a Love that’s tailor-made in heaven just for us. She is Zimbabwean and I am Nigerian. We met in Madagascar and now both based in South Africa! Now let that sink in…I will give more as the weeks roll by.

So for the wedding we decided to have two functions. One in Nigeria and another in the mother city – Cape Town. We wanted having the second function in Zimbabwe but really couldn’t pull it off for some reasons….ermmm let’s say being a Nigerian comes some with a lot of free add-ons and I have had my own share of it J. By virtue of our being an “international couple”(I wish I know what that means), we are expecting both functions to be a reflection of that. As at today I can confirm the wedding will have guests from over 13 countries spread over 3 continents!!

Ok…that is it for the first in the 10 week series…stay with me as I return next week with the next episode in the series. If you have any particular topic you will want me to address in the course of this 10 week marathon, You can drop a comment  and I am sure to address it.

That’s it for now folks….CheersMe and her

ONE FOR THE FATHERS AND MOTHERS

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

“No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed.” – Godfrey Winn

Today I write one for the fathers…

father+3

…and the mothers too…

mother

I have had one of those weeks…tough and difficult. Exactly the type of week I thought I had waved goodbye to with 2014.

I found myself thinking of how difficult it is to cope with the loss of a loved one especially a parent. I still don’t remember what triggered that thought but I found myself getting depressed with that thought especially as I have not experienced that with both parents still alive.

The following day I was chatting with one of my close friends who had lost her mother about a year ago and I asked a question which perhaps sounds selfish and insensitive (now you can give me the stick now…I think I deserve it). I asked her “Does this pain ever go away?” and I immediately apologized and asked her not to answer but she smiled and said she does not mind and she would answer. She said “No…it doesn’t go away, but there are better days and not so good days” then she added.” While you have the chance, enjoy live with your loved ones and make every moment count because there are no words to explain the pain of losing a loved one when they are gone”.

family-silhouette-

Two days after that I woke up to my alarm and picked my phone to put off the alarm then saw my BBM notification icon blinking….I checked and it was a message from one of my best friends…the message had just two words. “Lost daddy”… that was it. I immediately felt pain and sadness…I tried to reply but was loss of words…we had chatted 2 days earlier when she told me dad was not doing too well and I had told her I will be praying with her.

Yesterday, another of my friends posted on Facebook how he missed his dad who passed away 20 years ago to the date yesterday and he wrote what I think was a great tribute to a great man…I also read his sister’s blog where she also wrote on the vacuum created since the father passed on 20 years ago…she was a toddler then and had no idea what was going back then but today as a young lady she feels that vacuum that was never filled and never will.

Today I woke up still thinking of the pain and challenges that many face with the loss of a parent. I again remembered that all my close friends have either lost one or both parents (coincidence?) my best friend is an orphan. So I decided I write something down especially for my dear friend Ngunan whose loss is still so fresh and the hurt of losing a father still indescribably deep and almost insurmountable. As well as to other friends who have also lost a parent. I salute these friends who are experiencing this pain and have been battling this challenge of living without one or both parents.

candle

I still don’t get it completely though I have a slight idea of what you are going through. I salute your strength and character. You all are my heroes today and I celebrate you. I am encouraged by your strength of character to forge ahead and keep your heads up and walk through life…through the difficult days and through the lighter days you have come through and still matching on. I salute you.

To my friends who like me have not experienced this phase of life yet, may I offer you my friend’s advice to me…” While you have the chance, enjoy live with your loved ones and make every moment count because there are no words to explain the pain of losing a loved one when they are gone”. You can never tell when it comes but the reality is it does come and what better way to try to ease the pain when it comes than to spend quality time with Dad and Mum…listen to them…build up golden memories of time together while you can.

Photo credits: All photos Google Images

BACK…again!!!

Yes..It has been 98 days away…that is long I know and if you read my “about” page you will see I confessed I am not a regular writer (though I am working on becoming one)…I am more of a “therapeutic writer”…I wonder if there is any such term…anyways I think that is the term that bests describes me when it comes to blogging…I write to keep me sane and alive…now if my last post was 98days you can only imagine how close I am to a full blown insane man…actually I think if you will rate insanity on a scale of 0-10, I should now sit comfortably between 5 – 6…or maybe higher….hehehehe…now you know my current state…and after seeing my state on the insanity scale, I had to jettison my initial plan to make a return after 100 days!! A lot can happen in 2 days you know…so yeah it’s time to let out the steam and return to a more decent frame and state of sanity.

I spent the last weekend camping with friends and family….it was at the camp that I realized and decided it is time to return from my break… The camp was at the River Goose Camp site..the bit I will say about the camp is if you are planning a vacation in South Africa and you are an outdoor camp freak like me…you love to be in the farm, close to nature, treated to a serene star filled sky at night and an all-day orchestra of bird calls and songs around you, paddling, kayak-ing and just leaving the hustle and bustle of the busy and noisy city life then Goose camp is your destination…you won’t find a better camp!!! see more about the place here and let my pictures do the rest of the talking…
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“Finally”

I joined fans and foes of Dbanj to await the release of his latest single…the hype was high and the social media was going wild with frenzy. Last week, we were finally hit by the single “Finally” and the lunch of the dance competition that accompanies the song. While I was happy we have a new song, I could not hide by dismay for the release of yet another “ordinary” song by an “extraordinary” Dbanj. The song was at best flat…the beats are danceable alright but there is nothing more to the song…the beats did not sound original…it came across to me as a poor attempt to create a model patterned after a Don Jazzy hybrid with Gangnam style spiced with some African skank…nothing really original.

I have been a long time admirer of Dbanj’s music and I have noticed the change in fortunes that have characterised his career in-between what I call the two phases of his musical life.

Phase 1: Dbanj-Don Jazzy, MoHits Records.

There is no doubt Dbanj is an extremely talented artist and performer. We all fell in love with the Kokomaster and could not wait for his next song to drop and he did not disappoint us as he dropped hit after hit…we went crazier and danced with wanton abandon to hit after hit from ‘Don Jazzy again’. The match between Don Jazzy and Dbanj was almost perfect…like one made in heaven as everything they touched turns to gold.  And so rose his fame, and fan base just as his bank account grew fat and shapeless. The world watched in awe at the best art to come out of Africa…African Micheal Jackson…a trail blazer. That was Dbanj of Phase 1.

Phase 2: Dbanj- Kanye West – G.O.O.D Music

Then came the year 2011 and the news filtered in…first as a rumour …Dbanj wanted to part ways with Don Jazy and MoHits…later it was confirmed…Dbanj has left Mohits and is now signed to G.O.O.D Music by Kanye West. This news was met with mixed reactions both for and against the move. Over two years down the line and we really are yet to get any big hit from the kokomaster. What is happening? We don’t know…one thing we know for sure is if he was still with Don Jazzy, we would have heard more from him in-between this time as Don Jazzy has gone on to release more hits with the other members of his New Mavin records. Maybe there is really nothing good about G.O.O.D Music for Dbanj.

Finally….

Isaac Newton during an interview was referred to as a giant of the time, but he quickly corrected the interviewer that he was no giant but indeed a dwarf who has only seen further by standing on the shoulders of giants. So while he may appear to be head and shoulder above all his peers, Newton was quick to recognize the importance of TEAM in his winning formula. This can be a lesson which Dbanj has failed to learn or maybe he is about to learn.

Talent is important, but talent is not all it takes. Just like a tree alone does not form a forest and a single broom does not sweep a room, we need to learn to identify, acknowledge and keep in place the support structure that enhances our talent.

Messi is the Messi he is today not entirely based on his talent alone but also on his team which played a game patterned to his strength. Torres is one guy I love to hate…his talent is also undeniable and he was at his best when he played for Liverpool. He played in a team that played to his strengths and enhanced his talents which made him grow into the best striker he is. He moved to Chelsea and the rest is history. His talent is still there no doubt (he scored 4 against Tahiti right?J) but Chelsea does not play around his strength.

When we taste success in life, we are tempted to grow and to out do our best. In our efforts to do so, we easily forget the foundation on which we stand, we forget the giants on whose shoulders we stand. We can decide like Dbanj to leave MoHit for G.O.O.D or like Newton to acknowledge the giants on whose shoulders we stand.

Take a look around…identify the support structure in your life…your true friends? Family? Hold onto them…I love the quote “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” I think this may not be true in all cases but in this case, it surely does fit.

Flight 101

Yesterday I watched the movie “Flight” featuring Denzel Washington…and I loved it!! Now before you rush off to go grab your copy, Let me confess…when it comes to Denzel my opinion is biased :-D… I love every movie which stars Denzel…I think he is among the top best actors of all times so Please do get a second and maybe a third opinion of the movie before you go for it but if you have watched it, you will either agree or disagree with me (which is ok)…It will be great if you can tell me what you think of the movie 🙂

It is true that we are captains of our destinies. Like Captain William (Denzel) we are both in charge of the flight to our destiny and it is important we take responsibility of our actions or inactions. This was more of a reminder lesson to me. Others can at best try to advice and help us at different points in our lives but the bottom line is it all falls back to us as individuals what we make of this life…if life throws lemons your direction you can chose to make lemonade or fuss over the lemons.

Our destinies are also invariably interlinked to the other people in our lives. We all play a role –sometimes little roles but of immense significance to the destinies of people we come across in life and a careless move, an irresponsible move on our part can change, tarnish, derail or even kill the destiny of these people.

William thought he had it all under control, he thought he can drink and get high on cocaine and still manage himself…yes that was true to some extent but the realization hit him hard when the plane he was flying crashed killing 6 out of 120 people aboard…6 might have sounded like an insignificant loss out of 120 considering the usual fatality associated with plane crashes. He was hailed as having managed an excellent crash landing the way none or very few pilots would manage. William was hailed as a hero – A great pilot.

Conscience however is such a cruel and unforgiving jury. William had a firsthand experience of this as he was tormented by his conscience, he knew he was drunk, he knew he was high on coke, he knew he had little sleep from the day before so had to doze off abit. Though he had the best legal team and had a great chance of walking not only free but as a hero, he choose to take the unpopular path –owning up to his fault and taking responsibility for his action. He had not only wrecked his destiny, he had also changed the destinies of the passenger and crew on that flight…6 of them died…with unfulfilled potentials and destinies for no fault of theirs. In the same way as we captain our destinies we need be careful and take responsibility not only because it is our destiny but also take responsibility for those people in our lives who take temporary flights in our “plane of destiny.” It is bad enough if we fail in living out our destiny. It is even worse if we wreck havoc on the destinies of others in our life.

The movie ended with William’s son Will (Justin Martin) visiting him in prison…it showed the now sober and repentant William has begun the process of re-bonding with his family. On this visit the son told him they have been asked to make a research in school and write an essay on the topic “The most fascinating person I NEVER met.” He said he wanted to write his Piece on his dad (William). That sentence simple as it sounded carried(still carries) a huge weight with it on my mind…How often we deny our loved ones the chance of meeting this most fascinating person that is inside of us? Our actions and inactions, failures to take our responsibilities seriously, messing up and crashing the flight of our destinies and in the process wrecking havoc on the destinies of others in our life has resulted in denying that most fascinating person in us from blooming; so instead of that most fascinating person, what our loved ones and others see is the ‘kill-joy’ person, the irresponsible and grumpy parent or sibling, the uncooperative colleague, the unkind neighbour, the lazy and annoying staff, the wicked boss, the irresponsible official and a lot more negative persons that are not truly us.

In the final scene, Will asked William “So, who are you?” Yes, that is deep again…William never got to answer the question, but he thought deep and was silent for a sometime, he smiled, shook his head and said “That is a good question son”. I am sure he knew the question was not who is William, the drunk addict, or the failed husband and father or the disgraced pilot…No, it was more than that…it is deep, who is the true you…I mean that “most fascinating” you? I agree with William…that is a GOOD QUESTION.

So I ask…who are you?