Reflections

1
November in review: The best laid plans
2
Remembering Nkiru
3
I don’t get it but I’ve accepted it
4
October in review: comme ci, comme ća
5
The beast in our breasts
6
A toast to all …certified and otherwise
7
Nigeria’s 57th: Independence day thoughts
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September in review: Still recovering
9
In my own company
10
August in review: Knackered

November in review: The best laid plans

If October didn’t do justice to all the plans I had mapped out for it, November fared even more dismally. It was the month of NaNoWriMo, the highlight of my writing all year long. All those posts, the practice runs of everyday scribbling was leading to 30 days of excited, enthralling, frenzied writing. In anticipation, my adrenaline levels rose; I even jotted out various plots and storylines for each scene I intended to expound on, with the intention of adding onto them as I completed each one. But alas, it was not to be. Most of the month was spent fending off the onslaught of nausea, fever and weakness in my body. Harbingers of an ailment I couldn’t afford to entertain at the time ( or any other time!) My gallant efforts were unsuccessful. Malaria hit me, like a hurricane with ample warning, from all sides, and rippled into other areas of my life as expected – my workout routine, my writing and, to an extent, my reading.  

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Remembering Nkiru

I’ve heard it said that ‘we do not remember days, we remember moments.’ I remember so many moments now that Nkiru is no longer with us on this side of eternity. I remember the seemingly little things and the big things and hold them close like the priceless treasures they now are. … I remember, not to mourn as before but to celebrate the life of an amazing woman who gave us so much to remember…and emulate. I remember the wise, the wonderful, the wacky and the witty. I remember her loud peal of laughter. It would break out without warning and ring clear across the room and if it was based on something I’d said, I remember the way she would manage to say while still laughing – “Chineze you’re very silly”. I remember her way of shrugging and saying ‘Ama m’, the Igbo equivalent of ‘I dunno’ if you asked her something she hadn’t figured out. I remember the painstaking way she painted her nails in the morning to match each day’s particular outfit, when we shared a workstation in our Tequila days. I remember the impossibly high heels in someone already so tall and statuesque. I remember[…]

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October in review: comme ci, comme ća

This 10th month felt unfulfilling to me. In terms of my plans for it. Yes, I did read books – three of them – The Islamist, The House My Father Built & Burma Boy. Yes, I did my work out, quite diligently too, save for the time an upset stomach halted me temporarily in my tracks for a couple of days. My 9 – 5 was humdrum, snail – pacing along. No private jobs were bagged this month either. No, I didn’t blog in the manner I’d have preferred – more posts about books read than insights on other everyday events – but I attained my target for the month. It didn’t feel me with any form of satisfaction. Somewhere in the month, I prepped (inadequately too. Let’s see the outcome of that this time next month) for NaNoWriMo. If I can call the three pages of plot notes that! Then I began and completed several editing tests in a frenzy of 14 days for self- improvement and career development. I am yet to attempt any more in the last week or so. Life happened but I intend to return to them and include in my weekly or monthly learning[…]

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The beast in our breasts

The call came through on one of those days when I had the second dose of malaria medication flowing in my veins; the time when I was hovering between sickening nausea and weakened limbs. The last thing I craved was answer a call and expel the last vestige of energy I had left. No, I’ll pass. I picked it up. What the caller (a former colleague and friend) had to say made my sickly situation grossly inconsequential. My response, instinctive as it was, was equally news to her as her pronouncement had been to me. A former supervisor (a truly beautiful soul who morphed into a friend, sounding board, co-conspirator and big sister) had died…of breast cancer. I had been aware of her condition and her subsequent relocation to the US for better, further treatment. The reports of her situation sounded good. Last I heard, she was in excellent health. Not anymore. The cancer had won. And I thought she had won.  Going to the States and all. Getting the best of care – chemotherapy, constant monitoring, mastectomy even. I thought she had won. I was not privy to the prognosis of her affliction but whatever it had been (early/last[…]

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A toast to all …certified and otherwise

If you’ve held a child and jogged along as s/he learnt to ride a bicycle on your instructions… If you’ve pointed out words and painstakingly pronounced them properly for another to repeat and remember and read… If you’ve effected an attitude adjustment where there was once deviant behaviour… If you’ve trained a child, a sibling, a protege in the way s/he should go and s/he is yet to depart from it… If you’ve inspired confidence, kindness, gratitude and a pay-it-forward way of life… If you’ve nurtured and mentored a dream, a passion into full-blown tangible reality… If you’ve instilled discipline, obedience, respect, courtesy, empathy in another… If your guidance, nudging, support and frequent yelling have resulted in a better human… If after reading the following quote: “The mistakes of a doctor are buried underground, the mistakes of a lawyer are locked behind bars but the mistakes of a teacher walk up and down the streets ” you think of all the other possible options you’d have taken to instruct, impact effectively… Then raise your glass with mine in a toast to us. However, if you’ve done all of the above (and so much more) as a calling, in a controlled[…]

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Nigeria’s 57th: Independence day thoughts

This time last year, I wrote a laundry list of Nigeria’s faults and foibles, dwelling on our various disappointments and disgraces, reliving the country’s shams and shame. It was basically a scorecard with a large X mark in bold and bright red colour. The question I asked was: If Nigeria were to be likened to a person, would s/he be considered successful at 56? This time yesterday, God knows. I was geared up to reprise the incident on a larger scale, replete with caustic remarks and snide sides. It was already in the works; use the words of the national anthem or the pledge (or maybe, the coat of arms) and take them apart, line after line. An hour – long radio progam interrupted my dangerous intentions. A special in commemoration of the nation’s independence anniversary. Both anchors of the show – male and female – urged listeners to call in and mention any national achievement that made for personal pride. The first person started it off with Nigeria’s first world cup appearance in ’94. Then the female anchor chipped in with hers – the GSM revolution and the ease it had brought into our daily activities. The next couple[…]

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September in review: Still recovering

It’s amazing how at the end of last month, I looked forward to the prospect of this one.  30 days have come and gone, and I am not twirling in delight; neither am I signing with relief or laying down in exhaustion. Instead, silently, I am seething with contained anger at one aspect of my life – blogging. Besides this post (and one other), I can be described as going awol on this month. That’s because I spent most of the month trying to get up to speed with August’s posts (and yet to complete them, by the way. * covers my face in shame. *) They are taking longer than expected, and so is my recovery period from the four – week holidays with four energetic little humans. The only meaningful writing I engaged in can be found in my journal; even that took quite an effort to achieve at the end of every day. And I wish I could say that was the only blip in a month which seemed like a very smooth ride from the beginning. My reading took a severe beating as well. From a fantastic – four – books- in – four- weeks last[…]

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In my own company

There comes a time in the life of a mother when all she desires is a little peace and quiet. This can arise several times in the course of her day but actually making it come to pass can take many months, or years even. I do not refer to 15 – 30 minutes to catch her breath, hear her thoughts or some her -time. It’s more in the range of stretches (big blocks) of solitude (hours, or if you’re lucky maybe days, a week or two) away from the motherhood and marriage madness that is her life outside of her career. I reached that point a few days before my birthday which was just as well. Realistically, taking days off wasn’t on the cards. Remember the cheerleaders in the house? Their sounds seemed to increase with every passing day that drew the date closer. For some erroneous reason, they envisaged the day with loads of sweets, more sweets, an outing and excitement. Fat chance! When it finally came, my birthday was a quiet affair alone with my thoughts for company in a movie theatre where I saw an action – packed, many shooting – sequences and high- speed car[…]

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August in review: Knackered

With this being my birth month, everything – and I mean, everything- was supposed to be perfect. My 9 – 5. Blogging. Workout routine. Reading. Healthy eating. All culminating into one big, celebration at the end of the month – on my birthday. Fantasy. Pipe dream. Wishful thinking. Four children put paid to most of my plans, and I found myself throwing my healthy eating resolve out the window. Snacking on almost everything I bought for the children and unashamedly drinking load of my calories. Ice cream, shakes, sodas. You name it; I downed them all. I assume half of the blame and the fact that “I’m hungry” became my middle name; knackered the only feeling I experienced. When I woke up. In the middle of the day. And collapsing onto my bed at night. Until then, I couldn’t fathom any one being that exhausted every day and night for that long. I’m wiser now. Taking care of four little humans, all pre – teen, is no walk in the park. Thumbs – up for my mum who had six of us and to every other mum with more than two offspring. You are all super mums, super wives and[…]

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