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 10: The finale – Ringed

How time flies hey!! The last time I made a post was April 6th…in another two days it will be a full month!! And yeah this last 4 weeks will definitely go down as one of the most if not the most dramatic, event-filled and action packed month in my life.

This post is the final in the series. It was meant to me a countdown to my wedding…I missed one post which was supposed to come one week to the wedding and I initially thought I should post that now but again I thought why hold back? The aim of the series is the wedding anyways, why waste more time talking count down while I can as well talk about the big day?

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So on the 18th of April, I walked down the aisle and got ringed to the love of my life Tendai. It was a beautiful and well attended ceremony. It held in a small town called Gindiri about 120km from the city of Jos, Nigeria. This was followed by a second event in Cape Town which mainly was organized for the family and friends here who could not make the long trip to Nigeria for the wedding. The event in Cape Town was held on the 30th of April and it was sandwiched by our birthdays with Tendai’s birthday on the 29th April while mine came up on the 3rd of May. Now you see what I mean by an event-filled month! 🙂 …yes I can’t dish out all the juicy details in one post so again take a chill pill, sit back and relax as I take you through another series…this time shorter  than the 10 episode Walk me down the aisle. In the new series titled “Through the eyes of the Groom” I will tell you about the wedding days (Nigeria and South Africa) and the “after drama”.

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How does it feel to be “finally” married? Is one question I have heard many ask me a lot over the past two weeks. My response has always been two fold, maybe three fold, the first is non-verbal (A Smile), the second is verbal(It feels good) and the third is a silent and secrete response which is not seen by anyone because it usually is in my mind…In my mind I wonder why “finally”? It was no prolonged battle. It was just a matter of “when” and never “if”. But how can I start explaining that to the countless people who ask the question? I know it will lead to a long essay and sermon none of which I was ready for… 🙂

I am happy, I am married to one who I love and I know love me too so dearly…at this moment in time nothing else really matters. Every time I look at her, my heart warms up and I just smile, I know that come what may everything will be fine….and this is not a feeling based on some fleeting sensation of newlyweds, it is a deep conviction. I have known Tendai for 4 and a half years now and have seen enough of her to know she is right for me and these words I speak are borne from all the experiences of these years leading up to 18th April when we stood before God, family and friends to profess our love and exchange marital vows that will bind us for as long as we have breath in us. That is my conviction. That is my feeling. That is where I stand. I love Tendai and she loves me too.

🙂 ❤

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WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 8: Tired…but the Journey has begun. – 17 days

I guess I am permitted to feel tired. I have always had deep respect to all those who have planned and executed a wedding but now more than ever before my respect for them has shot right through the roof and now sits at an all time high.

It is exactly 17 days left between now and MY our wedding day. That is two weeks and three days. To make me feel better, 1,468,800 seconds or 408 hours to the day. I feel drained emotionally but my heart beats with excitement. The whole planning period leading up to the day has been a huge emotional investment on my part. It is a very special day and I am determined to make every second of the day a memorable and happy one for me but more especially for Tendai. I know it will mean a lot to her.

As my fingers softly tap on my computer’s keyboard, my mind is still contemplating on final plans and going through all that needs to be done, what has been done and what I need to check up on again. That seems to be the sequence of thoughts that my mind has had on replay recently. I know can understand why some hire wedding planners to plan and execute their plans for the big day. While I can understand why, I thought I can’t do it. I think the wedding day is such a hugely significant and special day in the lives of the couple that the least they can do is to enjoy it fully and this includes the planning phase too and all the excitement and stress that comes with it. Having some stranger or anyone else plan for your wedding robs you off this very significant and part of the wedding. I feel tired and almost spent yes but I won’t have it another way 🙂

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Our trip to Nigeria has started! Yeah…Tendai is currently in Zimbabwe, she will spend time with family while she applies for her visa to Nigeria, I will leave Cape Town to meet up with her at Johannesburg next week then we proceed to Nigeria together for the final 10 days that will lead to the big day. So Tendai is gone this means the journey truly has started…and this is only getting more real.

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Finally I am moving into the flat that is going to be home for Tendai and me. It has been physically tasking for me…so add to the guy low on emotional energy fuel the stress of moving and you have an idea of the state I am now :-). Everything is packed into boxes now thanks to Tendai who saw to it before travelling. The bit that was left unpacked I have used the last few days packing and now I am all but ready to move into the new flat…this flat will be “our home” now that’s new terminology if you get where I am coming from. We even signed the lease contract in both our names!!

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Yes, this indeed is getting more real…

I am still tired….

WALK ME DOWN THE AISLE SERIES: Episode 4: A HOME – 46 DAYS

The days are really rolling fast hey! February has gone down in my personal records as one of the fastest 28 days ever! It is already March!!! Here is to a very happy March to you all. I do hope March doesn’t roll as fast as Feb did though :-).

At the top of any couple’s marital plans especially after a wedding is to move into a nice house which they can call home. For those who have ever had to do some sort of house hunting for whatever reason, you will agree with me that this is no small deal.

Tendai and I also have as one of our wishes to move into a nice place that we can call home and we have since started a gradual hunt for such a place in November 2014. Nothing turned up and by January we turned up the heat a bit especially as the lease for where I am staying was due to run out in February 2015. The end of January came and we still had not found a place despite our spirited search.

The agent of my current flat had written to ask if I am renewing the contract and I tried to delay responding hoping to get a place first to avoid the awkward situation where I don’t renew and the contract runs out and we have not found a place. I eventually came clean and told her of our plans and she was so supportive and offered me an option of a monthly contract at the expiration of the 12 months lease I had signed last year. This was such a huge relieve and took off some pressure from our over burdened shoulders.

We kept on with the search though and prayed that God will favour us with a nice place which is affordable too. We got a few rentals advertised and most of them fell either in the category of “too expensive” or “too far” from the area we would love to settle in, those that fell within our bracket of “affordable rates had massive competition. After several hours of drive time, emails, calls and appointed viewings of several flats all ending in rejects or not meeting our specific requirements of our dream 1st flat, we were beginning to get a bit worried.
All this however changed last week Wednesday, two days before we had fixed two appointments for same day to view two different flats at two ends of the city, one in the northern suburbs and the other in the southern suburbs. We started with the Northern suburb…it was a north facing flat on the 10th floor of a complex and had large glass windows opening to breath-taking ocean views. I fell in love with the flat immediately! It was quite far from the area we had in mind and we will have to battle heavy vehicular traffic daily if we end up there though and I thought if that is the price to pay then I will happily do so. Tendai however had issues. She just can’t handle heights and living on the 10th floor with such massive glass doors is a nightmare she can’t live with. So we had divided opinions of the flat but agreed to put in an application anyways.

After filling the form and getting all required documents faxed to the agent we headed off to the second viewing which was at the southern suburbs. Before leaving Tendai was tired and suggested we stay back as she remembered our many other applications in the southern suburbs which all didn’t favour us. She was certain there will be a lot of competition too as the rate at which the flat was going for was almost too good to be true. I encouraged her we just go give it a try as we have nothing to lose. As our GPS announced to us “You have arrived at your destination,” Tendai said something is wrong this may be a wrong address because there is no “crowd” as expected. I also thought it is strange as we usually see at least 6 couples waiting at each of the other flats we have viewed. I parked anyways and I looked up to see an elderly looking woman smiling at us. I asked Tendai do you know her. She said no, and we said maybe she is also here to view the flat so we got out and greeted her. She asked if we are here to view as she is the agent. It was the first time we have arrived to find the agent waiting alone.

We went in and this time the flat was on the 2nd floor and was also a lovely flat. Tendai loved it from the door…it also had a balcony which Tendai had always loved as she wants to grow her potted plants and some vegetables.  So yes we put in an application too…this time we did right there and then as the agent waited…Tendai just didn’t want to lose this flat as I could see from her eyes she would be deeply pained and disappointed to miss out on this. For the rest of that day all we spoke about is that flat and Tendai was already elaborating on her plans for when we move in. It was an older building so had lots of space and Tendai can think of a million ways to utilise all the spaces.

The following day at 12:24, my phone rang, I looked and it was a strange number, I picked and it was the agent for the 2nd flat…she had been in touch with the owner of the building and the flat is ours if we are still keen to sign the lease contract.

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WOW!! I thought so this is how it is…I smiled and said my million thanks and reminded her again how keen we were, we fixed a time and date to meet so we can sign the papers.

This afternoon at midday, we signed the lease contract so come April 2015 we will be moving in to the flat which Tendai and I will be calling home for the foreseeable future. We are both very pleased with the flat and now all the stress of emailing, calling, driving and receiving rejections seem to be a very distant memory.

With one month 15 days left to our big day, we have struck out one more item on our “to-do” list. A home is now sorted and we look forward to the next item to be accomplished.  There is this joy that comes with achieving something…anything, it does not matter the size…just that knowledge and feeling of sharing the victory of achieving something with someone you love is so exhilarating.

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Little Things

Recently I got the excellent opportunity to visit Israel for the first time. I had always looked forward to visiting Israel so this was a dream come true for me and the 10 days I spent in that very tiny country definitely marks a highlight in my life. Thanks to DEISI who sponsored this all-expense-paid tour (Topic for another day!! 😉 ).

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On one of the days we spent in Jerusalem, we had a free night and we decided to take a walk out to have a feel of the night life in Jerusalem..we have heard there is a very vibrant and active night life prior to arriving so we were already looking forward. One of us had a friend who was serving in the IDF and she was also coincidentally off duty that day so she volunteer to come and take us out.

While we excitedly walked the streets of Jerusalem that late night we were all excited and chatty as you expect of any typical South African group – Yes we are a proudly happy, loud and colourful bunch here in South Africa….that name The rainbow nation was no mistake!! If you doubt just come visit South Africa. So while we walked, we got to a traffic light which we call them robots here in SA (yes ‘cos that’s how cool we are! ). There was a Zebra crossing for pedestrians but the lights were red, however, it was very late and there was virtually no vehicular traffic so we did what is the norm here….look left, look right, look left again, no approaching vehicle? ignore red robots and cross!

After crossing we looked back and our friend from the IDF was standing still at the other side of the road. We wondered what was the problem and called out to her to cross and join us but she smiled and said no…after waiting what seem like hours to us( it was about 3mins) the lights finally turned green and she crossed along the zebra crossing to join us. We asked her why she had to wait even though there were no cars and was “safe” to cross…she told us it was the law that pedestrians only cross when the lights turn green and she can’t break the law especially as she was in uniform.

Now this might sound like a non issue or insignificant but it got me thinking deep and it reminded me of a verse in the Bible “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities”.  Little wonder the nation of Israel has been able to succeed greatly inspite of the overwhelming odds against them. This is a trend I found occurring again and again as we travelled through Israel. Everyone is faithful in his/her responsibility and everyone holds himself accountable and is determined to excel in whatever they find doing. It is mindset that has become the norm amongst the Israelis.

What can we learn from the Israelis? Anything is possible… the change we desire in our society, the growth and development we yearn for is not beyond our reach. Let us learn from the character of this friend of ours who chose to do right even when there was no one there to caution her if she decides not to wait for the lights to turn green. If she is faithful in such little things as waiting for the lights to turn green even when the whole group crossed when it was red, there is little doubt she will be faithful in greater things and when she is given a greater responsibility she will deliver.

Make a decision to do right even when it means standing alone. Let your conviction drive you to seek excellence in your responsibility. Decide to do right not because of any expected reward but because it is the right thing to do.

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BABY STEPS…**50 LIKES**

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“Each day we add to our personal wisdom.  We crawl before we walk, we learn our abc’s before we read, we even gestate for nine months before we are born.  Many of our greatest life achievements are the result of little steps.  A step at a time, one foot in front of the other as we learn the ways of life.”…

So yes I make a habit of taking time out to identify my daily and periodic ‘little steps’  ‘cos I know these apparently ‘baby or little steps’ of today all add up to result in the huge success and great life achievements of tomorrow . This post is all about that…celebrating another little step.

When I started this blog a little over a year ago, I did not envisage how far I would come. While I would not pretend to say I have put in my utmost best…I am proud to say that I have and still am reaping the benefits of my effort. I remember when this blog clocked one year, I made a post where I highlighted my story and journey so far… if you missed it, you can read it here.

Yesterday, I got a notification that I have hit 50 likes on my blog!! yay!! So proud of my 50likes and I cannot say thank you enough to all who have visited this blog over this period, read my posts and added to the likes that has built up to 50!!! So it is 50 likes in the kitty now looking forward to the next 50. 🙂

Achieving 50 likes feels good and I am excited…but I am even happier and more excited that the person whose ‘like’ brought up the total to 50 is one person who I have come to know personally and have huge respect for. This is one person who has had an immense influence on my life and has contributed a lot in making me the better person I am today. Thank you to PurpleDiva whose like was number 50 on my blog. She is a blogger as well guys have a look at her blog here and see for yourself what a dynamic and passionate lady she is.

As stands today, My blog boasts of 636 views, 60 comments and 46 followers….baby steps…for which I am deeply appreciative and humbled. Thanks to all the 46 followers, the writers of the 60 comments, the 636 viewers and of course the 50 ‘likers’!!! I am still thinking of what to do to mark this feat…any suggestions? I just might do that which you ask me to 😀

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Celebrating Nigeria

Birthday time…Yay!!!

Ok wait a minute…I have to confess I am not the birthday party type…I most times mark my birthday low key (by my standards that is 🙂 ) usually with a few friends and family…but I admire those of my friends who throw all stops and pull down all barriers to party and party HARD!!!  I agree birthdays are milestones that are worth celebrating…they only come once in a year unless if you were born on the 29th of Feb then I will say you have no excuse at all but to celebrate real hard each birthday.

Over the years I have attended and witness birthdays, a trend has always been same in all instances…happy times!! From the social media to birthday cards, flowers and a lot of other presents…birthdays are full of fun and merry every year…friends and even the not so close friends make an effort to make the celebrant feel good…Now that is one reason why I think many look forward to their birthdays.

The fact that everyone aims to please and make the celebrant happy does not mean to say the celebrant is perfect in all sense…no one is perfect…we all have our flaws …when I chat with the celebrants and ask if they wish to have any change in their lives…they list is always non-stop…there are always wishes and some regrets from actions, or in actions in the past…but all that does not stand in the way of having good times on our birthdays…that I think again is a significant importance of birthdays…though things are not all perfect and 100%, we chose to look at the positive and appreciate the gift of life…the mere fact that one is alive is worth celebrating.

Today marks Nigeria’s 53rd ‘birthday’ or as they call it Independence Anniversary…and unlike our personal birthdays been happy times, in recent years, the independence day is a day Nigerians wear sack clothes and mourn…it is a day the most populous ‘black’ nation in the world come out enmasse to condemn the leadership of the country and count all the evils and failures of the years the country has gained her independence from its colonial masters. Nigeria’s Independence Day now resembles a day of mourning especially on the social media as well as radio and TV.

I however choose to be different…I won’t dwell much on the flaws of my beloved nation. I am not denying that things can be better…I chose to optimistic instead. I chose not to weep and cry and label the 53 years as a waste. I am making a decision to see the positives of the 53 years that we have spent as a nation. I chose to celebrate a country which bounced back after a full blown civil war and still manage to have a semblance of one nation…a feat that many nations have tried to achieve without success. I choose to celebrate for been a part of a nation that is as different and diverse as any other nation can be and yet with all the difficulties and challenges that this diversity comes with, we have spent 53years and still counting as a nation and against the prediction of many we are still one nation.  I see reasons to celebrate…reasons to look into the future with optimism that we will eventually get it right and infact, I already can see us getting it right.

Yes, I see the positive in what we have…I choose to see the silver lining in the dark cloud…I choose to see the rainbow instead of dwell on the cold and wetness of the rain. So I say this is to a happy 53rd Independence anniversary Nigeria my beloved country.

Here are a few songs I love…national songs which I think all Nigerians should not only listen to but imbibe the message and lift our heads high as we match into a future…not a future which is a “time zone” but a future which is all we can be but is yet to become…a future which is bright…a future which has been in our dreams way too long and is time it comes to reality…enjoy and celebrate Nigeria with me.

Fumni Adam’s “Nigeria my beloved country” a golden oldies, TY Bello’s “The Future” and finally Banky W and Samsung’s “More than a star” a song they just released today…. 😀

365 days and still counting…Its a “blog-a-ver-sa-ry”!!!

ImageI was pleasantly surprised when I got the happy anniversary notification from wordpress.com a few days back. I was tempted to hurriedly make a post immediately but I paused for a few seconds to think and those few seconds grew into minutes…the minutes also gathered and became hours and the hours rolled into days…well the days added one to another and I am here today….still reflecting on my first anniversary as a blogger.

My reflections brought up the good and some not so good memories…luckily for me there was no sad or unpleasant memory (yay!!! 😀 ). If I am to summarize in seven or eight words what my experience has been  I have this to say: “Without regrets, it has been an excellent experience”. However since I have more than eight words to summarize let me build on what I have squeezed into those eight words.

The inspiration to start blogging came to me not out of the blue but sort of built over a long period of conversation with me. I was encouraged by a few friends who believed in my budding writing skills a while back to start blogging but I declined…I felt I was not ready yet (maybe I was too scared to step out of my comfort zone, maybe I was afraid I would fail…so I held back 🙂 ). Well a year ago I took the bold step and spread my wings, took a leap of faith off the cliff and started flapping my wings to fly. I looked around and smiled…it felt good I looked up and smiled, it was beautiful…I looked down and was shocked at how far off the ground I was…I looked back and was alarmed…I had left my comfort zone behind…fear set in and I panicked and started falling down.

That was when God sent my first ‘blog angel’ to the rescue. In came Nuala, the Bluphoenixrebel…now I cannot say enough about her in a few lines..maybe a complete post will suffice 🙂 She gave me that support I needed to overcome that initial panic attack….she had the the time and patience to edit some of my early posts. She encouraged me by posting some of my pieces on her blog like this. That was the confidence boost I needed at that time…I felt the energy rush into my literary wings again and I flapped and flapped and flapped and gained heights again flying higher. She has a brilliant blog….make out time to have a look here…you won’t regret it I promise. 🙂

Through the months that followed up to make the 12 which gave me the anniversary badge, a few more angels came at appointed times to give me the push I needed to keep going. For want of time and space, I won’t mention them all today. My post on “literary angels and demons” will be dedicated to that and more. Watch this space 🙂

Looking back now, I really have no regret…I have had a wonderful experience. I am not yet the best writer I can be but I know I am enroute that destination. If I have one wish, I would say I wish I had written more often 🙂 I have a tight schedule and though my mind gets loaded with ideas almost always, finding time to pen them down is proving more challenging than I anticipated. One big lesson I have learnt is never to give up on a good cause…so I will keep writing, keep making time…keep putting in my best till I arrive at that place where I aim to be.

This post will be incomplete without due mention to all the guys who have taken time to visit, like or comment on this blog, you give me reason to write. Those who follow this blog…thank you, I keep trying hard not to fail you and to pay back your trust and believe in what I have to offer. You encourage me. Finally to the bloggers I follow, yes a huge source of my inspiration and believe comes from the encouragement and challenge I get from your talents and rich blogs (more on this in my literally angels and demons post).

Osisiye thank you for making sure I get a good laugh every time for free…but beyond the laughter I also gain from the lessons that are never ended coming from you. Lahmeet…I still call you my pastor…thank you and now I can say this thank you is a double portion so share some with drepayne my latest source of inspiration…

Now I am beginning to mention names…I got to stop…thank you everyone. One year down and yes, it has been great…Above all I thank God through whom all I do or say becomes a success. 365days and still counting…I am just doing the ‘blogging jog’…yet to start the sprint…this isn’t even the beginning. 🙂

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Cheers