January 30th. After almost 5 full months of not writing a single word I have shamefully picked up my mantle. The sudden death announcement of the legendary 96 year old actress Cicely Tyson earlier yesterday has once again shaken the Black community. She just released a memoir “just as I am” https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/cicely-tyson-memoir/2021/01/27/3e633d02-60a9-11eb-9061-07abcc1f9229_story.html She was blessed with a long and fruitful life. Her story, her life and her words still resound the need for authenticity. You have to be true to yourself, do not settle. Know your roots. Especially for women (people of color are emphasized). It was this same time last year we lost Kobe Bryant( a professional basketball player)and his daughter to a helicopter accident. May their souls rest in peace.
2020 I do not need to mention. The corona virus is still spreading worldwide(or at least in the US), there is now a vaccine and Biden is now president. Meanwhile conflict in certain AFRICAN countries like Cameroon, Sudan and Congo are still ongoing amounting to thousands of deaths and nothing is being done about it. We will not delve into those details right now. Just know that however your 2021 begun, remain thankful that you are here to witness it.
2021 Welcome. Even though the enthusiasm is dampened by events of the past, believe it or not we remain hopeful. A few words of encouragement to everyone out there either having the best time of their life or a low moment…keep pushing and holding on to your peace of mind. It is easy to be overwhelmed by external factors so much so that you lose track of who you are and your purpose. Social Media is becoming a dangerous outlet for expression these days with most people working from home and children doing virtual learning it is difficult to control what the mind consumes. Keep doing the work and putting in as much effort as possible with no space to quit. Choose wisely.
Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew. They’re what make the instrument stretch — what make you go beyond the norm.” Cecily Tyson
Planning. Almost everything revolves around it. A plan is a method for achieving an end. Simple. If you want to achieve something, you’ve got to plan for it. Some things come unplanned, but majority of those things are because we allowed it happen.If you set your life on ‘ maybe’ ‘I don’t know”Let’s wait and see’ then you’ll be prone to ‘accidents‘. Here are a few ways you can set long-term and short-term goals.
I cannot over emphasize this step. Write it down, your brain is unreliable. There are so many things going on in your life, you’ll need a place to always refresh and refocus. Assess where you are now(in your life) and where you would like to be in a few months or years. Write your dreams,desires,hopes,and goals. After writing, it becomes clearer what it is you want to achieve;and almost immediately you will see the path you need to take. A vision board is also a good way to start especially for more visual effects.
After writing, we do not just toss it aside. We take immediate action. I have been blogging very poorly for a year now, even after writing my blogging goals down. I have decided to be better. I have decided to write, even when I am not ‘inspired’. I have decided to write even if no one reads it. I have decided to write because it is what I love doing. Even with your passion or talent, you need to polish your skills. If you love cooking,makeup,singing,science,whatever it is do it everyday and enjoy yourself.When the opportunity comes to do it for people you will be so good at it people will wonder where you had been all this while. Keep working on your craft.
You cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. You cannot have a manifestation of your dreams if you have not changed how you look at it from the inside. Think positively and always try to see things from another persons point of view. Stop being judgemental and close minded. Read widely, never stop learning. You should know that change comes with rebellion, your old life will want you back but you need to keep fighting against it. You will have to sacrifice a lot, but at the end of the day, you’ll be just fine.
No matter how the year is going, whether as planned or not, just know you don’t control the tides. After you have done everything humanly possible, leave it to God. It’s easy to slip spiritually especially when things are a bit rough.Do not try to rush or push if your instincts tell you not to. Meditate.Slow down.Reduce the noise.
Finally, all I can say is be patient. Your time will come. Believe that. You have set your goals, await manifestation.
Lets face it, there are times and days when you just want to lazy about doing nothing. That is what most people call boredom. They will tell you they have watched all the movies and series available and they so not know what else to do with their time. Really? Like really? As an advocate of the simple life , we should stop complicating every little thing just because we are not willing to try it, for reasons such as fear or pride or just outright unwillingness to unlearn anything. You choose not to take interest in other activities because you feel you do not directly benefit from them. .How to STOP Procrastinating , read till the end so you will not need to worry about your free time!
READING. yes. Anything. Literally. You must always learn something new from any book, be it fiction,inspirational, nonfiction,historical,romance, autobiographies or even a children’s book. You can visit the library and read there if your house is too noisy and besides you will have a wide collection to choose from. Reading takes you to so many different places, broadens your imagination and thoughts and improves your vocabulary. Plus it usually puts me to sleep at night especially when i am having a hard time falling asleep. Read more by clicking on this link why reading is important
WRITING. Obviously. You don’t have the skill for just copying and pasting notes in class or during exams do you? Write down what your day was like, the highs and lows. A few things you would change if you could. A bucket list. Anything. tips on writing a diary.
TRY OUT A NEW RECIPE. My Uncle can go from Cameroon to Chinese real fast! Save some money, and try the dish out at home by following the recipe and why not customizing it to suit your taste perfectly. My Dad cooked for us so much that my first meal of hot pot potatoes he threw into the farm. It was that bad he could not even give it to the dogs. smh. But I have come far, and I don’t mind my first try being tasteless, I will learn and improve. I have tried Lasagna and oven roasted a full turkey. Well , my mum helped. Try with a small amount first , then as you get better you can increase the quantity. recipes afrocaribbeanrecipes
GET BETTER AT ONE OF YOUR HOBBIES. Not watching television. Hobbies like swimming, cycling, painting, drawing, dancing. Try getting better at it, you love it does not mean you are good at it. Learn in details the structure of your passions and strive to excel in it. So many people out here saying they love doing this or that , and you ask them how many times they have actually done it, or any proof that they actually invest any time or money in said venture and the result is always zero. Do not be one of them.
PLAY WORD GAMES OR PUZZLES. There are all sorts of mathematical and english game apps now. You can buy yourself crossword puzzles and you will amazed how ignorant you are!Video games are definitely addicting! game apps to try.
CALL A FRIEND, VISIT A RELATIVE OR WINDOW SHOP, Lol yeah it’s not that serious. Make sure when window shopping you do not have any money, or you might be tempted to spend on what you do not actually need. Works of mercy too are important, visiting the orphanage or just being nice to an older person. Call your friend up, go hang out with them and de-stress. Go babysit a friends baby and give the parents a break, kids are such a blessing but can also be backbreaking. Get out of the house by all means, look at the sky, touch the grass, walk barefoot. You will dead longer.
WATCH A DOCUMENTARY. One of those days you feel like listening to an audiobook download audiobooks instead of reading, or watching shaka zulu and learning about animals you never knew existed! That is so much fun. Knowing how your country emerged to what it is today. Cameroon on the other hand will need to have its history rewritten.
TRY LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE. English,French,Spanish, Chinese. Well i am definitely not learning chinese but do not let me discourage you, “nǐ hǎo” is probably all my brain can take. While learning a new language you learn the cultures of the people and it will astound you the similarities we all share. Did you know in Spain most households buy fresh bread every day. Traditionally, they are long baguettes called barras or pistolas. Bread is present (and required) at almost every meal. Just like in Cameroon, some people have taken bread and tea to a whole new level.
EXERCISE. Why do people hate exercise? The voluntary action of moving your limbs is so dismal. After childhood the thought of playing is farfetched, how will we when we have all become so heavy and view everything manual as a chore. Exercise is a form of de-stressing, a form of fun, health improvement, and your body looks better. So why not do it? By the time many of us get to 40, we experience pain on all our joints because of lack of exercise. Just like you exercise your body, exercise your brain, read, write, solve math. You can start with at home stretches and workout like this workout.
SEX. Talking about exercise, sex is a good sport. Please forget the quickies and after 5 minutes its over types. I am talking about the process of sex, from the excitement stages all through resolution. From most stories, females usually end at the plateau stage, never quite fully attaining orgasm, which is why masturbation is good. Betty Dodson still has much to say on this in her BLOG and I cannot help but agree with her that we do not even know our own bodies, therefore we do not know how to touch it. No one can give you an orgasm. This is diversion , i am here preaching instead of staying focused on the matter at hand. During your free time, have sex, good sex, so you can rest as it does improve your sleep, if it was good.
READ THE BIBLE, PRAY, AND, OR MEDITATE. Improving your spiritual life means lifting burdens and being aware of the greater powers at work in your life and in the world. It means remaining positive that everyday will be better because you know God sits on the throne. Meditation is another form of intense prayer, but it involves clearing your mind of everything, and just being in the now. Cancelling out all the noise, which is so difficult in this day and age of technology where something is always on. But how to meditate is all a matter of practice. Praying, meditation, bible study, are all a means of connecting to our higher self and thus the Almighty.
ORGANISE YOUR PHONE. Seems easy, but girlfriend has more than a 100,000 photos in her phone and over 10,000 videos and she has not watched or viewed up to a quarter of them, and it is unlikely she will because they will keep adding. Take your time, go through your file manager and delete all those whatsapp pictures and videos. Go through your camera and delete pictures that you took that are not as nice as others and back the rest up in the cloud. Your phone is crowded that is why it is malfunctioning. Your brain is crowded that is why it is malfunctioning. Clean it! You do not actually need the pictures as much as you think you do. Clear you chats , your messages, your phone call log, your voicemail. Go to Facebook and instagram and twitter and all that and delete old posts, especially those that do not support your current viewpoint. Delete useless apps and while you are looking at contacts you have not contacted in a long time be sure to try doing just that. Contacting them. Your yahoo or Gmail accounts are probably overflowing, clear those out too. What the heck, just reset the damn phone!
REDECORATE. After organising your phone, your home needs some renovation too. These apps can help you sell old stuff online while you redecorate. Your house is your little sanctuary, always strive to make it as comfortable as possible. Put up new decor, or if you cannot afford it, rearrange existing decor. Just create a PINTEREST account and you can look up hundreds of designs, DIY and much more! Throw out old stuff, there is no need piling up all those things you hold on to , probably because of sentiments. Read my previous blog post on HOW “MATERIALISTIC” ARE YOU?
PLAN SOMETHING. Why are you afraid of taking risks? Why do you feel you will not be able to accomplish something just at the mere thought of it? Why do you cancel your dreams out so fast before they can think of realising themselves? Plan something big this time. A trip…start saving towards it, start focusing all your energy on how much fun you will have. A surprise party for your mother or your friend, imagine how happy they will be! A new field of study, or specialising further in your area of expertise. Visiting the zoo perhaps? Write a bucket list,try visualizing and writing down how you plan to accomplish each task and face it fearlessly. Will Smith is now doing everything he had on his bucket list,( crazy, scary things though) just so you know life is short and time is not your friend.
SPLURGE ON YOURSELF. Is it a waste of money to have a spa day? Is it a waste of time to just soak all day and listen to music? Body, mind and soul needs rejuvenation , and how else do you relax and unwind if you do not devote time and space to yourself? If you have a full house, wake up before everyone, make a cup of tea and just enjoy the sunrise. Get a pedicure or an acupuncture. Do some facials.Go on a date…with yourself. Go somewhere fancy, dress up and eat some crazy stuff. Go to that hotel and spend a soothing weekend. Your memories will always thank you for that. As generous as you are to others be as generous to yourself.
TRY SOMETHING NEW. Fear will definitely get the better of us if we do not learn how to overcome it. You cannot be lukewarm , you are either hot or cold, in or out…no sitting on the fence. Wear that dress that is way out of your comfort zone, Try on different lipsticks or nail varnish.Fear of heights? Take a flight, or do indoor skydiving. Every chance you get to try something new, do not miss it or you will always end up telling people the story of “I ALMOST”. I swear I could have told you the story of almost but seeing that it was almost finished but unfinished, i rest my case.
I did not say if you see anything with more than two legs you should not run for your life before thinking about how stupid you will look when someone asks you what it was and you say it was a termite. I will flee from cockroaches day, night and another day, those things(i do not mean to offend those who consume the pest) make me depressed and do not even think of smashing that squishy body around me. Anyway, back to the topic on less stress and more jest, I have a few tips to calm your nerves whether you are a parent trying to cope with a child, or a worker finding it hard at work (or both), or just a person trying to be less…well just less.
” Reading can seriously damage your ignorance” An anonymous quote. I am hardly ever in panic mode because i read alot. When you read, or research you expose yourself to different things and situations beforehand, and believe it or not you will subconsiously form a reaction to that. When you are actually faced with such an incident it will feel like a dejavue due to the knowledge previously acquired. Isn’t that fun? Just gliding through life like a pro because you had already lived it in another life, although I am quite sure I was a monk in my other life.
Another helpful tip is to breathe. Breathing is not only to keep you alive , but to keep you sane. People with anger management issues are always taught to breathe, women in labour are always told to breathe, athletes need to learn how to control their breath in order not to run out of energy. Learn to breathe. As a new employee, or leader or parent, you need to breathe it out. When directly confronted, take a deep breath before reacting. Make sure that you are assessing the situation correctly and if not breathe up some patience and do that. When you are on the road and you need to react quickly, you can breathe after you just swirled away from that oncoming truck. But when someone just pissed you off and you need to grab something and break(like a neck), that is when you need to breathe. This will separate your emotions from your reasoning,because you will definately need your brain.
FEAR is the number one cause of heart attacks. We are always worried, anxious, nervous, afraid, depressed and stressed. This is because we are trying to control things that are beyond our control instead of just adapting. How will you stop the seasons from changing? How will you stop the sun from rising or your best friend from dying? Or trying to stop your child from becoming a painter because you wanted them to become an engineer. You have served your purpose, now let them serve theirs. It is not your master plan, it is Gods master plan. As a leader, do not let the fear of failure make you fall, it should instead make you rise.
This cannot be repeated…AVOID WORKING UNDER PRESSURE. Many people always wait till the last minute to accomplish daily tasks. As i mentioned in my last post about writing down your goals and always having a vision and mission, because the earlier they are accomplished the calmer and more relaxed you will feel. How to STOP Procrastinating
Lastly, do not panic. You are not the first nor the last person to face or be faced or who will face that incident. Will screaming put out the fire? No, water will. Will putting your hands on your head when you failed your test make you pass it? No, but reading hard, and preparing way ahead of time will. Even when you lose a loved one, no amount of grievieng will bring them back. None. An African proverb says ” while crying, keep walking”
THE WORLD (LIFE) ISN’T A PRARIE WITH ONLY ELVES AND FAIRIES.
THE WORLD IS A DESERT WITH HUMANS WHO HURT AND CAN TREAT YOU LIKE DIRT. Nahlesu.
60 the new 20, I open the post and the first thing I see is a tree, this girl is crazy.
How old do you think the tree in that picture is? Obviously older than you are, and it is still rooted there strong and sturdy. It has withstood all forms of weather and still shaded people and animals, aging yes…but still alive. Maybe it is still there because it was not cut off by some human,(thank God) or maybe because it chose not to wilt away. Whatever the reason it is here now and it is here to teach us a lesson.
How old is too old to be able to do anything? Am I too old at 30 to still be in the dating game? ‘go settle down’ ‘you are irresponsible’ ‘you need to build a family’. Am I too old at 50 to have children? ‘your ovaries are dried up’ ‘you need to relax and enjoy your grownup kids’ ‘all your friends will have grownup kids by then’ ‘your time has passed’ Am I too old at 60 go to a bar or dance? ‘go drink oolong tea in your backyard grandpa’ ‘your bones are dead’ Am i too old at 70 to wear a bikini? ‘your skin is wrinkled mama,cover it up’ ‘accept that you are worthless and move on’. Am I too old at 80 to enjoy sex? ‘eeww, how can that happen?’ ‘That man surely takes viagra’
Older men and women go through this everyday, slowly killing their drive to live another day. The feeling that they do not have much physical or mental strength as they used to, the fact that they have to retire from their regular jobs , the constant reminder that they are old and everyone feels sorry for them from the pitiful looks on the faces of youngsters who are flaunting youthful skin and running on strong legs. At the end of the day is age actually just a number or is it a state of mind? Just like the tree in the picture knows what it has to do , it deepens its roots further into the ground to be able to withstand each season and still serve its purpose in every age. Be like the tree.
Society has set its timelines as to when everything is supposed to happen in our lives, and it is up to us to make changes and stop sheepishly following the crowd for fear of being left out. In a world like ours, it is generally not easy moving on your path because of the heavy pressure asserted on us by family , friends and the society in general. Plus in a place like Cameroon where you will need a job, and money and connection it is not as easy as I say it. Most people have had an encounter with disappointment so great that every dream they can conceive is contaminated with the toxic anxiety of failure. S for the rest of their lives they prefer to always play safe.
I have been swayed left to right before and having kids does not make it better but you need to keep fighting for you. Nobody wants to be seen as odd or uncultured. All parents want their kids in the same spheres as their classmates, and children start feeling unaccomplished when they have no job at 20,are not married by 25, no kids by 35, no house at 45, and to crown all that with what nobody actually cares about is sense of self. At 80 or 90 when all is said and done, you look back on your life and is that a tinge of regret I see? A stain on you presumed perfect life? You followed the crowd and they left you on the sidewalk with nothing but your damaged core they took and played around with. You woke up from your slumber 30 years too late.
I have friends who tell me they cannot wear certain clothes because they are parents now. They cannot do certain things because they are spouses now. We are the ones who end up setting our own limitations. Your mind is not free and you are trapped in this prison of guilt when all you are truly afraid of is what someone who does not even care about you will think of you.
How many times in your 20s or 30s or even 40s did you actually choose to put effort in something you wanted to do? How many times did you put something off because you thought you were too old? Your sex, or marital status is not an obstacle. You are the one using it as an excuse. You are older now and you feel old because you have never renewed your mind and thought process, you have given in to your fears and you know that you had the chance when you were younger but you just did not take it. You have refused embracing change. Society’s dictates had their way.
Glenn Close,an American actress just received a Golden globe and she said this “…I’m thinking of my mum, who really sublimated herself to my father her whole life. And in her 80s she said to me,’ I feel I haven’t accomplished anything’. And it was so not right and I feel what I’ve learned through this whole experience is women,we’re nurturers-that’s what is expected of us. We have our children our husbands…but we have to find personal fulfillment.We have to follow our dreams.We have to say ,’ I can do that . And should be allowed to do that.”
In Cameroon we had old people over 90 that were riding bicycles and going to the farm and people will say that their children were probably not taking care of them. *LAUGHS* When your mind does not constantly renew itself, no matter how educated you get,or how much money you make , the different aspects in life will never be in tune with each other because of the internal conflicts you have everyday with yourself in your little cocoon of pretense and role playing.
My mother whom I love so much is never afraid to be who she is. She wears mini skirts and goes for meetings and after the meeting she becomes the topic for next meeting on dress codes, and guess what! She goes to the next meeting in a shorter annd tighter skirt. It is who she is and what she loves and if you are uncomfortable then that is your problem to deal it. She will not change for you. Why do old people frown? Someone said they are just angry for being old, angry at the young ones perhaps, gravity. It is not true, they are angry at themselves because they did not have the courage to do what you are doing when they were younger and they still do not have the courage to do it now!