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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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…. 😀

Making Love at the Edge

Two days ago I received an email from Marta…now I am not sure what prompted her to send me the email (I should make a note to send her an email asking why). She said she just returned to Portugal from Greece where she had gone to meet with her boyfriend’s folks. Perhaps that may be the reason why she sent the email…maybe not.

Ok, I met Marta in Madagascar in 2009…I still remember the day we met…it was October 30th …we met at the airport in Antananarivo. She had the most amazing smile I had seen and she was so chatty from the word go…you know one of those people who are sanguine to the core? Yes that is Marta…we both had arrived for a Tropical Biology Association (TBA) course along with 16 other participants from 13 countries spread over Africa and Europe. We had participants from Benin Republic, Germany, Cameron, Ireland, Rwanda, the UK, Nigeria, France, Netherlands, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Portugal and Madagascar.

It was love at first sight for me and Madagascar. It was my first time on an island, I had read a lot about the country and yes I had also watched the cartoon and have fantasized long enough for the day I will get the opportunity to also sing and dance  “I wanna move it, move it”.. :-). My dream was finally coming to reality. Geographically, Madagascar is located off the south easterly coast of Africa. I call it the other edge of Africa. We became a family and formed a strong bond. Its been over 3 years now since the course ended but our bond has only grown stronger, we exchange emails and have kept in touch since. There at the edge of Africa, I found love, and there love was made; A new family was born; a family that included Marta and all the other members of the TBA family.

Yes, so while love was made and a family was born, a bond which was more special to me was also developing in Madagascar…I was bonding with the entire participants and other staff of the course but I experienced something more than just an ordinary bond with one of the participants. I still am not sure when it started, but I all of a sudden discovered that there was an angel within our midst I felt my heart beat quicken each time our gaze lock. I was falling in love and for all the right reasons. The participant from Zimbabwe has captured my heart…I felt the chemistry and other participants also saw the magic.

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Marta’s Photo of Tendai and I
2009
Kirindy, Madagascar

Marta also saw the bond and never wasted an opportunity to tell us how good we look together. We seem to be everyone’s ideal couple. In Marta’s email, she attached a photo…I was completely unaware the picture was taken…Now Marta has a way with words….so since she took the photo and sent it to me…I will allow her do the talking  as well…this is what she had to say in her email. “…I was looking at the old book of memories and found something I wanted to share with you… 🙂 I took the picture attached when we were at kirindy. You were so deeply connected in one of your thousands conversations that you didn’t even noticed my presence inside the room. I still remember my thoughts while I was taking the picture. “I have to immortalize this moment. What a deep connection of souls. This is the beginning of something beautiful. I am happy I took it…I am happy I am sharing it with you… 🙂  A big kiss for you both!! And Love…Always love…”

I can’t say more…thank you Marta for immortalizing that moment…I will forever cherish the photo. Indeed that was a connection of souls and the beginning of something beautiful… today, three years down the line, Tendai and I are still exploring the world of love together…I love her more even as the years go by and each day we spend together, is a reminder of the great privilege God granted me to meet Marta and the other beautiful souls in Madagascar in 2009. That year, at the edge of Africa, love was made; a new family was born….but more importantly to me, a bond was formed, two beautiful souls were eternally connected and I found Tendai…the love of my life.

From that Madagascar to the other coast of Africa, the south-western coast of Africa, actually the most south-westerly point of Africa continent, The place called Cape Point, South Africa, another of my/our giant love stride was taken in April, 2013…Seems, my love story has always been made on the edge… 🙂 I will tell you about that in my next post…for now I got to go…need to call Tendai who is currently away in Kenya for a few days…another edge of Africa 😉

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?