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 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 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

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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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.

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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?

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?