Tag Archives: life lessons

I Knew I was Married When …

  1. Definitely when we unpacked our wedding gifts and as we reminisced about the little parts of the wedding.
  2. I went back to living with my sister and nephew and something was missing and I knew it was the Mr.
  3. My family would ask whether I had checked with the Mr before doing …
  4. His aunts would thank me for all sorts of things.
  5. His family would ask after me when he went for family stuff solo.
  6. It just made sense to clarify our plans before committing us socially.
  7. We hosted our first set of people at our first place.

Some days are better than others but most times I do feel married and I can’t even say what it is that makes it more than just when we were dating.

 

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Dear Future Daughter

I generally hate letters written to future whatevers but today being Women’s Day in South Africa and because I just watched an advert of ladies giving advice to a younger self, I thought I would give it a try.

  1. Stand tall and work on fostering positive self (body) image. There is so much advise to women today about how they ought to look/ weigh/ what they need to do and this piles on the pressure. Filter out all of these and work with your body type, your likes and bring out the best in yourself.
  2. Work hard at school. Push yourself  extremely hard and do not dim your light so any guy around you can feel better about himself. Keep learning and challenging yourself to greater and better heights.
  3. Surround yourself with female friends that push you to your best and that you can do life with. Female  friends rock! FACT. We are not all in competition with each other (female) and do not all like to gossip and bring down a fellow sister. Work on being a good  friend.
  4. What makes you tick and brings out your inner feminine self? Don’t worry it varies from one lady to the next, find what works for you and foster that. If you wanna be like mummy, I love to read and to get my hair done.
  5. Work on your relationship with God. That’s the most important  and constant relationship you will ever have.

Overall, be confident. There is nothing as attractive as a woman who is confident in her skin and who draws out the best in the different people she encounters in her day to day life.

All the best!!

Failed relationships bring us such great music

Sunday Reads

 Recipes:

Sunday Reads

  1. Interesting take on development in Africa through the tale of the seed industry in Uganda.
  2. Even I got punished for speaking an African language at school.
  3. More women than men in Lesotho are in school.
  4. Technology is definitely making life easier for refugees.
  5. This seems like a simple DIY even I could do.
  6. As Christians we do not look to our circumstances but the hope of Christ and His promises!
  7. A mistake is just a moment in time.”
  8. Be ambitious for life and not just work. Yes!
  9. Ten places to visit in Nairobi.
  10. Six hot podcasts on and by Africans to listen to.
  11. Yummy lemon cake.
  12. What is a PhD?
  13. Awwwww at this cute child‘s response to her mom. Oh dear for this old man.
  14. Lime zest and cardamon mandazi.
  15. Some really inspirational girls!

Sunday Reads

  1. This article on that tragic election.
  2. This lady trying to make sense of that election (1,000 comments but good).
  3. An education on the for-profit education sector in Kenya and Uganda.
  4. Extra-judicial killings in Kenya. HEARTBREAK!!
  5. Undertaking a life audit/ preparing for your 2017 New Years’ Resolutions.
  6. Why it is important for adults to give back in their community.
  7. I am definitely a sampler. I used to be a compartmentalizer before I got married and had to force diverse groups of friends to meet 😦
  8. Simple items that you can turn into a gift by framing them.
  9. Yummy vegetarian meals.
  10. Debunking the myth of a biological clock.
  11. Who are the middle class in Nigeria? PS: This is not a direct economic answer.
 

Where did July go?

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Cooking Sukuma Wiki (Kales) for the first time at 31.5 years old

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Sunset over Stellenbosch

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Dinner at Asara Boutique Hotel, Stellenbosch

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Trying to finish gloves before the worst of Winter is behind us.

Also read this book, didn’t really like it … 😦

LOVED THIS BOOK!

Finishing this up now too …

More great Seth Godin

The Saying/Doing Gap

At first, it seems as though the things you declare, espouse and promise matter a lot. And they do. For a while.

But in the end, we will judge you on what you do. When the gap between what you say and what you do gets big enough, people stop listening.

The compromises we make, the clients we take on, the things we do when we think no one is watching… this is how people measure us.

It seems as though the amount of time it takes for the gap to catch up with marketers/leaders/humans is getting shorter and shorter.

Source

 

Did my parents know the answers to all of life’s lessons at my age?

Adulting never gets any easier the longer you keep at it. I recently got thinking on three things in my life where I certainly needed my parents to come through and tell me what to do or how to do it.

  1. Finishing high school and having to decide what career I wanted to pursue thereafter. Then having to visit the different Universities and make my application and everything else. Coming on the back of completing high school and being told everything I needed to do, this freedom was quite sudden and frankly overwhelming. However, I oddly always knew what I wanted to do and so all I had to work on was finding a school to study Economics.
  2. Dealing with my first job. So many different things. One,  I put in an application for a Work permit and this took over seven months to finalise and eventually I had to decide whether to stop working while I await my permit or go back home and either look for a job or start the application all over again to come back and coninue with my old job. Two, dealing with a difficult boss and having to decipher honest feedback against being bullied. The hardest lesson ever that I had to go through. Three, deciding to quit and wishing I could ask my folks to take care of me again.
  3. Moving house across cities. Urgggh!! I thought of my mom for months in the build up to it and for weeks after and secretly begged that she would offer to come help me.

And this is only up until now. I cannot imagine having a first baby, bringing up kids, losing loved ones, sickness, marriage stuff. Oh dear me, please can I just go back to being twelve!

22. On relationships, what I know to date

“I met John in India while studying in a Hindi language program. He did all sorts of exciting things. He was from San Francisco and worked for all these super lefty politicians. In his twenties, he pretended to be a teenager so he could go back to high school and write an article about it. He did philanthropic work in African rain forests. Life with him was like a long vacation. Every day was an adventure. He’d literally wake up every morning and say: ‘Today’s an adventure.’ We dated for nine years. But he didn’t want to get married. He didn’t want to have kids. And even though he wanted to save humanity on a macro scale, he just wasn’t that warm. I never felt like I could come home in a way. So eventually I ended it. I met my current husband online. He was ‘all in’ from the very beginning. He doesn’t live in a rainforest, but he feels like home. If my sister sends me a picture of my niece wearing huge sunglasses, he doesn’t roll his eyes. He laughs even harder than I do.” Source

Last evening I was speaking to my high school pals and we got talking relationships. In particular, one of the ladies was talking about a friend at University that dated this guy for three/four years and then then she called things off because he just wasn’t ambitious enough for her liking. Fast forward to three years later and his bit jobs have gotten him loads of recognition and he is now doing that much better than when they were together.

What I know?

  1. Sometimes you can be with a great guy, but he is not good for you but could definitely be great for someone else. And that’s OK. The guy in the HONY story sounded great, but he was not good for her and she has much better now.

  2. Also, someone can be great for you but the timing is off and you break up only to pick up the pieces years later and get on and your relationship advances.

  3. You can always see if your partner has potential – I believe that certain traits that are indicators of success or stability (emotional and mental, included) can be determined in the course of dating.

  4. In a bad situation, no external person can tell us what to do. We may get advice but at the end, the decision to stay or not must come from the individual.

  5. Slight contradiction to four above, I still tell people if something is off. My personal motto is better a broken engagement than a broken marriage. So I ask and I prod and heartily welcome it from my friends.

What I know for a fact is that relationships are not linear and they do not develop in this way at all.

They take time.

They are nuanced.

They vary from pair to pair and time to time.

And that is even in a committed relationship, people change as do the couple’s needs and it is important to be frank about these and keep re-committing or choosing to stay put.

20. And now for an announcement

Seems like October is the month when I announce or detail changes in my personal life and this year is no different!

The Mr and I are headed to Cape Town and while a part of me feels meh! about it, I am also looking forward to it because I feel it will be a lovely time for us in this phase of our life. So packing, moving and getting used to a new city!!

15. Some fashion advice I live by ..

That I have gotten mainly from my dad and my stylish first born sister. Also, stuff that I have picked up over time.

  1. Always be comfortable in whatever you wear. Otherwise you get awkward and it shows.
  2. Dress appropriately for whatever the function / occasion.
  3. Fit, fit, fit …. pick the right size of clothes. Always.
  4. My sister always says wear a belt with any pair of trousers/skirt that has belt hoops.
  5. Carry a handbag (When I was nine, ten, eleven, she would already try and impress this on me and I would look at her like huh? and now look at me!)
  6. From my dad, don’t mix black and brown. I NEVER DO!
  7. If you wear something chunky at the top, balance it out with something fitting on the bottom.
  8. I NEVER wear skirts with shoes that show my toes. Just eeks me out!
  9. I prefer round toe heels because  feel like they are kinder on my toes.
  10. In general I am a very conservative dresser – not too loud prints, very dark tones, sensible and comfortable shoes.

Any fashion rules you live by?

On adulting

I Can't Adult Today shirt | A Girl Named PJ

Been talking with a friend the past week about being a grown up. I guess both of us are at a crossroad making us feel a bit vulnerable.

I read this blog today (also the source of the pic) and I just screamed internally! Finally someone that gets this adult business.

  • How did my parents manage to adult so successfully? Did they ever feel the sheer panic at some of the decisions they made? How did they hide it when/if they did?
  • How did they know that it was Ok and how did they not panic when they went ahead to have five children and therefore have to make life adult decisions for them too?
  • It’s so weird because I know I am an adult (hello, 30!), I do adult things and have adult responsibilities but most times, I feel out of depth and scarily much like a 16 year old.
  • At 16, I was so driven by the desire to finish high school and weirdly, not so much about growing up because I felt I had all the freedom and some as well as  money and I was cool. Just get out of high school.
  • And then now, it’s like decisions galore and every time you ask for help, people throw it back at you like, what do you think and all I want is do this and then that.
  • So frustrating sometimes y’all. But however much it is, I sometimes look back and think, I haven’t done too shabby with myself and the few decisions I have made for myself so it’s not too bad. Not at all.

Let’s just say I am not successfully adulting today!

*PS: I love how adulting has become a verb in this post but I really saw it on Facebook earlier today so I can’t even claim this genius!

Theme for 2015

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@Banksy

My theme verse for this year is:

I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

This is the year for me to step out in faith and step out of the proverbial experience and open myself up to new experiences in life, greater depth in my relationships, loving more and living fully AND being present. The only way I can proudly say ” … be it unto me …” is if I review every experience as it unfolds and choose in that moment, what I shall do or not do and why.

In line with this, I also saw this quote from Seth Godin:

Fear is not the enemy. Paralysis is the enemy.

I have been too scared about so many things and this year, I am trying not to fall into that trap because when I ventured out, even a little, the returns were so much better.

What’s your theme verse? Word? Or quote for this year?

(2014 Theme)

I wanna be friends with this little girl in the centre

little girl centre

Source

She seems so confident, so unique and happy in her skin. Like how we all are as kids and then we grow up and find out that there are no quick guide books on how to do life and all things grown up. A couple of friends and I were speaking about this yesterday and we all lamented the fact that we are almost 30 years and still trying to figure stuff out and no one had any firm or definite answers on life. Urggh! How did the other grown ups looks so well put together?

Theme for 2014

Last year I spent much of the year trusting and waiting for the Lord that it is only fitting for my verse this year to be a continuation of that and of the lessons picked or learnt.

Isaiah 43:19

  • This verse speaks to me because it urges me to forget the past things and look at the new things that God promises to do for me and mine.
  • While He will do that, I need to look out and be ready to receive and recognise it or it will pass me by and I will chalk it down to luck, goodwill or something I could have done.
  • Also, that the new stuff will be exceedingly abundantly above what I can imagine or think of.
  • The new and exciting thing are not limited to one area of my life only and will traverse every part of it. And I think its fitting for me in this year!!

So I am just going to hold on, learn, look and wait to receive.

What about you? Have you got a word, a theme verse or some guiding principle for this year?

Fear no more!

The thing that holds you back from learning and growing!

A promise daily from God that we must fear not/ be not afraid!

The emotion that in the last year I had to work double hard to overcome, not give in to the critics BUT be bold enough to step out of my comfort zone.

Today, what is fear holding you back from achieving in your life?

For my sisters

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a girls’ girl and I firmly believe in the strength of women and the beauty that is women’s friendships. This is hardly surprising as some of the best lessons in life I learnt from my four older sisters – who are family and as I have gotten older, my friends.

From my first sister, I have learnt about kindness and generosity – genuinely giving things from the bottom of your heart and not expecting anything in return. Maybe its because she is the first born and long accustomed to having to share with the babies, but she is  the kind of person who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. From her I have also learnt the importance of tithing and giving that 10% of your income to God – this from the time when she gave me pocket money to now when I earn a salary. She is also very funny and never once treated me as a baby. My best memory of her was when she left for University, at an institution four and a half hours from Nairobi and she would write letters home to me telling me about school. Obviously part of it was to me, but some parts I had to relay the information to my parents. But what stood out was she wrote to me not as the 7 – 11 year old I was at the time, but as an old enough sister.

From my second sister, I have learnt the soft professional skills  –  my CV and cover letter are modelled along hers, she has sent me all sorts of articles on how to conduct myself at the office, how to behave at interviews, how to speak to my boss and make certain requests, verbally and via email. I have also learnt how to laugh and just savour the moments with her being able to listen and laugh at anything I tell her, often making the story more than the humorous event. She is truly my biggest champion with my two best memories of her being the day an older girl bullied me and she matched out a friends house (having heard her small sister cry) and slapped her across the cheek. SCORE! Also in Primary school, she used to sign my school diary and check my homework on behalf of my parents and a particular teacher did not like this and called her stupid just as I was stupid – I rushed home and reported this and first thing Monday morning, she was at school coming to do battle with him. My best moment was watching him slink back to class after being chastened in her presence. DOUBLE SCORE!!!

My third sister and I can laugh.  Growing up, we spent so many hours just cracking up and laughing and annoying the other three who often did not get it. We have the same sense of humour and often, just need to say it once when the other would double up in laughter with tears rolling down and sides hurting. I owe the direction that my post-graduate studies took entirely to her, she got me to send in my application in time, she went to the school, followed up with them continuously until I finally got admitted. For two years, she stayed on at work until 7/ half 8 in the evening to pick me up as I did not drive at the time. On a lighter note, she also taught me how to make rice and we all know much how I love the stuff. She also greatly inspired a lot of my musical and reading interests with us jointly reading and discussing so many books over the years.

The sister whom I follow has an uncanny sixth sense – she can read someone and however long it takes, her initial instincts will be proven right. And so I tend to depend on that at times, I can go in and get to know the person but also allow for the fact that she will be right about them eventually. She is also entirely protective and of all my sisters, she definitely makes me most feel like the baby of the family. She also taught me how to drive and through her son, has shown me what it is like to bring up a child and how it is to have someone to be responsible over.

Do you also have sisters? What have you taught them or what have they learnt from you?

Strength to pick up the broken pieces

We all deal with failure or loss in one way or another. What I have learnt in the last few years. (In no particular order)

  1. Acknowledge it. Ride that boat, allow yourself to grieve and mourn and lash out and just acknowledge that its happening to you.
  2. Think back to a previous success and recall how you made it through. What lessons did you learn that you can apply now.
  3. Make some kind of a plan. With me, it helps to come up with some kind of a plan and to have actual steps to overcoming and getting out of the present darkness.
  4. Get on your knees and PRAY. Over the years my Bible has all these different dates against verses that have encouraged me and sustained me through past difficulties and the thing that helps me is the faithfulness of God. In times past, I have been through darker periods and always, without fail, HE has come through for me.
  5. Talk to others. It doesn’t have to be the whole village but you have to have some trusted people that you can let your guard down with and draw on their experiences and help yourself.
  6. Guard against unhealthy lifestyle practices. I am scared of falling into the “comfort eating” trap and so I closely monitor my eating patterns, opting to drink a lot of water, juice and healthy drinks ; eating fruit and fibre and highly balance meals and just watching on the junk and oily foods.
  7. Get active or you won’t sleep at night and will just keep mulling on the upset or set-back. Do something so physically demanding, you will be forced to sleep through the night.

How do you deal with life’s setbacks?

on friendship and its dynamics

So I have a friend, who is dear and loved by me, but of late I feel like I have allowed the relationship balance to tilt so that all I become is a listening and/or sounding board for her stuff and mine just bounces back. I feel really bad for saying this but I have thought about it long and hard and questioned the feelings of hurt and I arrive at the same conclusion.

I read this post recently, and it struck a chord with me.

I feel like last year I had a lot of stuff happening in my life, the permit, starting work and the paper, oh the paper. And maybe I bent my friends ears with them having to listen to me and encourage and comfort and so this year, I knew, that a lot of it would be about listening and doing the same. I suppose that’s the thing with friendship – its a cycle, and the roles keep changing between all the players involved. And I guess, I would do well to roll over and read this new script for the moment.

Sadly, I really dont mind doing any of this, I just wish, that she would listen to my stuff and just acknowledge it some of the time.