It’s all in the view…

On Tuesday evening I was on my way to Kiki’s school to pick her and I was running late. All the traffic demons had come out to play and Lagos traffic was showing itself as usual. I suddenly remembered a sitcom I used to watch as a child. Rent-a-ghost. Who remembers it? The Rent-a-ghost peeps could disappear by just squeezing their noses. I desperately wished I could just squeeze my nose, disappear from all the mad traffic and magically appear at Kiki’s school

Heaving an exasperated sigh, I looked out the window to see a gala hawker briskly selling to hungry commuters. The guy was handling his business like a pro and a huge grin was on his face. He was obviously happy to be making sales. His mood was the complete opposite of mine. He was in no hurry to rush off to attend to any pressing business. As a matter of fact, that traffic jam was his office. It didn’t matter that there was no fancy mahogany desk in sight, he was earning his daily bread right there and then.

A single word came to my mind. PERSPECTIVE

Here I was cursing the traffic but the guy was blessing it. I was fervently praying that the traffic jam would ease up but the guy was hoping it lingers. See? Perspective…

This made me think of how many opportunities I may have unknowingly overlooked all because they came wrapped up in challenges and difficulties. Sometimes, when faced with challenges, our first reaction may be resistance because let’s be truthful, nobody likes stress, nobody enjoys difficulties. So it’s natural to back up a wall when faced with same.

I don’t know if it would have been possible to view the menacing traffic in a cheerier light… maybe, maybe not… but what I do know is that most times situations that present themselves to us usually come bearing options and most times we choose unconsciously, more like unthinkingly… There are usually different perspectives to situations…

Ha… there’s that word again… PERSPECTIVE… let’s break it down, shall we? *switches windows to consult Google*… Aha! Perspective means a mental view or outlook, i.e. a way of perceiving or looking at a situation.

What does this tell me?

It tells me that I have the power to choose the way I wish to view situations. I have the power to choose how to see or regard any circumstance I encounter in life. If a perspective is not working for me, if it threatens to drown me in fear and negativity, I have the power to change my perspective and thus swim and float on positivity and possibilities…

So at work, when assigned a task you have zero experience in, instead of embracing the perspective of impossibility why don’t you open up a world of possibilities by viewing the task as one that can add a feather to your career cap?

So you grew up in a dysfunctional home? Your parents’ marriage was not the best model for you and it marred your views on marriages which is perfectly understandable. But the fact remains that great marriages do and still exist. Instead of holding on to your marred perspective, why not learn from your parents’ bad marriage…learn how to have a bad marriage…learn what to NOT do if you want a good marriage. Sounds simplistic? Well, I believe it’s really that simple if you change your perspective.

I believe the way we view situations and life in general determines our thoughts. Our thoughts then determine our actions and behaviours. Our actions and behaviours then cumulate and produce our habits which then produce our successes or failures.

Here’s hoping we choose wisely…

But first of all, let me know your perspective on this post 🙂

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Thursday Two-Liner #44

Believe in yourself and all that you are…

Be your own biggest cheerleader

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Thursday Two-Liner #43

If it is important to you, you will find a way

If not, you will find an excuse

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Lessons learned from a bride’s ruined dress…

I was in a Financial Modelling training and was feeling like a fish out of water with all the Microsoft excel jargon flying over my head. To kill the boredom, I logged into Instagram and began absent-mindedly  scrolling down the pictures on my home page. However, a particular post by Bellanaija weddings got my attention. It was about a bride whose wedding dress was ruined just 5 mins before she was due to walk down the aisle… yeah you heard me right, 5 mins!

The dress was a very beautiful tulle and silk dress (probably very expensive too). The gist is that an overzealous videographer in a bid to get a good angle of the dress mistakenly hung it on an emergency sprinkler and within minutes the dress was ruined by sewage water! Wow! I cannot imagine how the bride felt. It was reported that she broke down weeping. Me sef that was reading the story felt like crying. I tried to imagine the same thing happening to me on my wedding day… *shudder*.

But you know what? The lady still got married that same day (after being consoled by her mom and fiancé). She wore iro and buba and also wore the veil she would have used for her gown (somebody say trendsetter!!!). Her husband wore agbada… and they exchanged their vows and were pronounced man and wife… If a roll call of married women is made today, she would be on that list (notwithstanding the drama surrounding her wedding ceremony). Now this was possible because all the important elements (read “important elements” as “bride, groom and officiating minister”) for the wedding ceremony were available. That the bride wore iro and buba instead of a sparkling wedding dress didn’t stop her from becoming a wife that day.

I learnt so many things from this situation…

I learnt that there are things I give my attention to that really do not matter. That focusing on the urgent can make me neglect the important. That the energy and resources spent on trivial issues can be channelled to cogent matters

I just wonder what would have happened if the bride had decided to postpone her wedding because of the ruined dress. True, she may have gotten married on a later date in a wedding gown, no doubt… But really, would wearing a wedding dress have made her more of a bride/wife?

So I asked myself, “Lahmeet what are you focusing on?”

Is spending all my time and energy at work with none left for my family really wise? Which is more important when push comes to shove? Or should I wait until then to choose?

Having a fancy and glamorous wedding bash is great. But is it really worth being in debt for? Will it make sense for me to start my matrimonial journey hiding away when angry creditors come calling? How about saving all the money I would have used to throw that wedding bash for my future kids’ education or something? Or maybe investing it? Which is more important- the wedding or the marriage?

OK, my colleague just bought the latest Peruvian weave and my eye is chooking and I am longer throating for it. But at the same time, my rent is due. Please my people, advise me. What should I do? Shebi I should just buy the weave? My landlord will allow me owe him till next year- he’s a nice guy. I know I would have to figure out how to pay the enormous rent next year but I will cross that bridge when I get there…

Or when faced with a rude shop attendant that totally lacks basic customer service skills, what should I do? Shout and hurl insults at her? And then she would probably serve me with her own verbal venom and we would both get down and dirty with fists flying… Would I leave with my dignity intact?  Or would I regret not choosing the “a soft answer turns away wrath” route?

We make choices every day and the options available are a mix of the urgent and the important, the necessary and the unnecessary, the useful and the useless… It’s just like sieving flour for baking. The aim is so separate what’s needed (the flour) from what’s not needed (the stones). We all have a mental sieve which works just fine in separating the urgent/important, useful/useless and necessary/unnecessary. I think the problem is that sometimes we tend to choose the urgent over the important, we overlook the useful and settle for the useless or we busy ourselves with the unnecessary and become too drained to attend to the necessary…

So, I ask you- What are you focusing on?

 

fill your heart with what's important

 

 

 

 

 

May all your dreams come true… xoxo

Share your thoughts below 🙂

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Thursday Two-Liner #42

Sometimes you win

Sometimes you lose learn…

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He is not a mind reader

Is it just me or do most people, wives especially, expect others (their husbands) to have the extraordinary ability to read their minds?

Last night when I got home from work, I walked in expecting the usual exuberant welcome home hug from Kiki, my 19 month old daughter. But what did I get instead? She ran away from me and cried when I tried to get close enough to hug her. It was puzzling and I felt hurt. I was like “which one is this one again?”. I tried to figure out what I had done to warrant being treated like the wicked witch from the west. I couldn’t pinpoint any wrong I had done. When I dropped her at crèche in the morning, we parted ways on a good note so I couldn’t understand this sudden serenre

But my daughter’s cruel and heartbreaking rejection (melodramatic, are we? 😀 ) is not what this post is about. My reaction to it is…. Minutes after the mini drama, Kiki was back to being her usual clingy loving self. So that wasn’t the issue…

Like I said, I felt hurt and in trying to find out what the problem was, I temporarily shut my husband out instead of sharing my concerns with him. This was how it went down:

The Hubs: *Calling out from the bathroom where he was giving Kiki a bath* Kiki just squatted to pee… *excited* Its the 1st time I’ve seen her do so
Me: *Silence… Does he not realize I’m feeling sad about Kiki’s rejection? What’s this pointless gist about?*
The Hubs: Jay (that’s my sister) said I should greet you
Me: *More silence*
The Hubs: Babes? Did you hear what I said
Me: I heard…
The Hubs: Babes are you okay?
Me: *Seriously???* Do you think I am okay?
The Hubs: *Silence* No I don’t… (I’m sure the poor guy was thinking “this woman has started her wahala again”)
Me: *Peeved* Why do you think I’m not okay?
The Hubs: I just sensed it
Me: *Trying to decide if i should ignore him or just be plain about what’s upsetting me* Well, I’m upset about what just happened… You know, with Kiki…

And just like that… choosing to share my thoughts with him made a huge difference. The truth is that I was mad at him for not realizing how I felt. Essentially, I was mad at him for not being a mind reader…

Newsflash: My husband is not a mind reader!

Yes there are moments he may figure out exactly what’s bothering me without my having to spell it out for him but majority of other times, he may have no clue and it would be up to me to just tell him

This simple act of remembering that (most) people are not endowed with the mind reading ability would avert misunderstandings and unwarranted “silent treatments” . I dunno about you, but these things sap my energy and Lord knows I need my energy… How about just voicing out your concerns and saving yourself the stress? Certainly makes life much easier…

 

Here’s wishing you a super duper 2016! xoxo

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I am NOT my hair!!!

So this post was inspired by a couple of articles I just read about certain hairstyles defining a group of people. The articles point to the fact that some black Americans believe that they own the sole right to braids and cornrows and every other “natural hairstyle” (feel free to guess what natural hairstyle means… me I don’t know)

Well I can’t claim I understand where these women are coming from. I have never been or lived in America among whites. I am surrounded by people that majorly have the same skin color that I have, so I can’t assume I understand what it feels like to be a minority. Maybe they have a point. Maybe not…

However, what I want to address here is that my outer make up or what I look like should not be ALL that defines me. I pointed out something similar earlier on here … but it seems 1 post (or even 29) will not be enough to address this issue. In fact I dare say, what I look like should not be my major defining factor.

I know this is hard to swallow in the image conscious society we presently live in, where people are accepted based on how they look. This mind set is what has led to low self-esteem in people, especially the teens…

People put themselves in harm’s way and face near death situations just to be accepted. I exaggerate? Well, what would you call bleaching the layers of your skin which exposes you to skin cancer and unsuitability to undergo a potentially disaster averting surgical operation (say Cesarean Section)? Is that not deliberately putting yourself in harm’s way? All for what? Because you heard that men prefer yellow girls? Like, seriously??? Sister, you want to be with a guy who’s with you only because he’s interested in the shade of your skin? Really? *sips cold water to calm myself down*

It’s not even just the bleaching palava. This keeping-up-with-the-Jones’ syndrome has led some down the rabbit hole of debt. All for what? Just because they want to buy the latest designers or pay for that aso-ebi that costs their 3-months’ salary! All for what biko? Acceptance shebi?

But come o… these people that you are clamouring for their acceptance sef, should they be the ones you should be hustling to be accepted by? I mean anyone that will only befriend you or “love” you based on your clothes and the price tag on your bag… Tell yourself the truth, is that person really worth the trouble?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it’s wrong to invest in how you look. I am not saying that you should not wear fine clothes. I am not saying that you should not use make up. I am not saying that you should not fix weaves. I am not against your dreams to own the latest car or phone.

I am saying please do not become OBSESSED with all of these things that only fix you on the outside!

Have you invested in your mind? When last did you read something that developed your mind? Or engaged in a mentally stimulating discussion that led to you learning something new or unlearning some old debilitating thought patterns and lifestyles?

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather be described with words that qualify who I am on the inside than what I look like. You can call me beautiful… but I would want that beauty to ALSO be an adjective for my mind not just my body shape. I’d choose to be known for my integrity any day over being known as the girl that has the “on fleek eyebrows or weaves”. I would want to be known for my kindness than the lady that has the baddest Louboutin heels or Chanel bags…

Abi? How una see am?

Now whistling India Arie’s *I am not my hair…*

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