Reflections

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A toast to all …certified and otherwise
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Nigeria’s 57th: Independence day thoughts
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September in review: Still recovering
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In my own company
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August in review: Knackered
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Siblings speak
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I pledge to Nigeria my country, I think
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July in review: Best month yet
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August: The bridge, the break
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June in review: Almost

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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Siblings speak

Tight. Strangled. “I’m almost done. Just this strangled part left.” “Look at the tight thing I want to iron!” These twin words sufficed for size. Usually the tiny, minuscule or little kind in the context of the conversation. Occasionally it could be used for food. Here it refers to clothing.   Gauge. Standard. Like the set above, it is closely related to size but in food matters only. They denote the desired quantity as dictated by the intensity (or lack thereof) of hunger pangs battering the user. “I said standard, standard! And you gave me gauge!” “Sorry.” Erring party taking the plate away to adjust appropriately. Sometimes it was difficult telling the terms apart.   Bus stop. Unlike other words, this was inferred. Occasionally it found its way into conversations but wasn’t as popular because it meant more to non-family members. Growing up, our house was smack in the middle of the city. One bus/taxi – ride brought you within walking or viewing range of it – depending on what area of town you were coming from. This meant many things to many of our friends and family. A shoe mishap, car malfunction, insufficient transport fare, a sudden attack of[…]

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I pledge to Nigeria my country, I think

Long ago, I stopped comparing and wishing Nigeria would attain a second – world status; first (world) is stretching my fantasy beyond its elastic limit. A couple of weekends past, in the middle of work, I overheard the children singing the country’s national anthem. Probably an off shoot of the IAAF championships; all those different anthems played in the course of the games must have sparked something in them, stoked their tender, patriotic streak and they inadvertently burst out into it. As I listened to them, I was reminded of myself at that age – the tune was no problem but the words, those were a different ball game. Those I knew I belted out loudly, confidently; others I didn’t, I murmured and stumbled over. They were my children all right but they weren’t going to make some of my mistakes if I could help it. My mission, if I decided to embark upon it, would be elocution classes for the national anthem. We had been at it, every day for about a week (and I could hear progress) when my pride was deflated by some seemingly unpatriotic Nigerians as various groups began to threaten to declare: Biafra Republic Oduduwa[…]

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July in review: Best month yet

Because I have mentioned some of the things which occurred in this month in previous posts, I’ll keep it short and sweet. July was, perhaps, my best month yet. The weather added nothing whatsoever to the success recorded. It was anything but fine most of the 31 days contained therein. At least two rainstorms wreaked havoc on human lives and property. The water they left behind turned buildings to mini dams and major roads to major rivers. The children’s long vacation commenced fully and it has been cartoon binging since July 1, with some home assignments thrown in between screen time. And so far, I’ve been able  to work undisturbed, focus and achieve daily. My reading practice received a boost to three books this month. Adding one or two more is next on my agenda. And I completed a 31-day  writing prompt challenge. For the first time in a while, I wasn’t scurrying around at the end of another month in an attempt to reach my required posting target. Happy anniversary, my workout routine! It has been one year since I began exercising three/four days weekly. The changes are minimal and only just obvious; so are the practices which have[…]

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August: The bridge, the break

August called. She said she’d be here tomorrow. It is uncertain if she’ll come along with the break she’s famous for. With changing weather patterns and global warming, anything could happen. This year has taken its toll on her too, and she’s contemplating allowing the perennial rains to continue in order to wash away her disappointments and failures. We can go ahead and keep our fingers crossed though; no harm in it. Hope is a good thing to have. However, there’s no doubt about that breather she’d provide before the -ember months come banging in. That is a given. Well…until she arrives. Until tomorrow.  

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June in review: Almost

Despite June commencing on a beautiful note – reading on course? Check. Writing in progress? Check. Workout routine on track? Double check – the combination of dreary weather, everyday rain and an unexpected bout of sore throat quickly turtle-slowed down my momentum. Save for just one routine, I almost made the perfect score I aimed for this month. And after meticulously planning my writing schedule for June (and beginning and continuing with a bang), I almost avoided scrambling to meet up with my target number of posts per month. Almost. But almost, like Brandy Norwood sang, doesn’t count. So those are counts against me. Or are the standards I set for myself impossibly high? Cut yourself some slack, girl, it wasn’t all doom and gloom (like the weather) this month. Noteworthy and not a near – miss were the two books I consumed in four weeks or less, comfortably reaching my a-book-a-fortnight goal for the first time in months. Hurray! Then there was this 30 – day, water – only challenge I set for myself in June which was hugely successful; smack in the middle of juices, sodas, shakes and loaded ice cream cups I bought for my beau and[…]

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