Friday, 24 May 2013

A Lunch Time Encounter

A while back I was sitting down in Nandos with a workmate waiting for our orders. It was lunch hour and it was packed.  Three women came and stood next to us. Without even communicating both of us stood up offering our seats to them (from my estimate they were all in their mid or late fifties). One of them  suddenly exclaimed,

“Oh no, don’t stand on my account, I am young and can manage to stand”.

On seeing the expressions on our faces she began to laugh.  She then went on to explain how she chooses to live her life to the fullest without letting her age be a hindrance. She said she saw no point in crying about getting older and succumbing to it with resignation instead she had made a decision to be young at heart despite getting older each year and to embrace life with a passion as if her life was just beginning. I was impressed by this woman’s attitude towards life and so was my workmate. As we walked back to the office my workmate and I could not help but reminisce about the lady we had just met. We were both excited and inspired. What had been a boring day suddenly turned into a beautiful day.

I love and always look forward to such encounters were I meet someone who says or does something that wows me and makes me re- evaluate my way of thinking or life in general.  My hope and prayer is that, even without my knowing it I have done or said things that have touched people (strangers or not) and changed them in some way – and that I continue to do so. Such is what I would call one of life’s’ priceless pleasures.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Dreams, Expectations and Reality

One of my favorite authors is M.C Beaton. I am a great fan of her Agatha Raisin Series. I am someone who likes to have a good laugh when I am reading a novel and I am never disappointed when I read M.C Beaton’s books about the adventures of Agatha Raisin, a woman who has a complex personality and is simply hilarious. Below is an excerpt from M.C Beaton’s book Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley which I found very interesting:

She (Agatha) remembered a typist called Fran she had once employed at her PR Agency. Fran had mooned and talked about a man she fancied who worked for another PR firm. At last Agatha and the rest had pointed out that it was the 20th century and there was nothing to stop her phoning the man up and asking him out for a drink. They had all stood over her until she had picked up the phone and done just that. He said he would meet her for a drink on the Friday evening after work. They told her what to wear right down to the under wear and scent. They told her what to talk about and how to behave and then sent her off on Friday.
On Monday morning Agatha stopped by Fran’s desk and asked “How did it go?”
“I didn’t meet him” said Fran.
“What!” exclaimed Agatha “Didn’t he show?” She remembered Fran’s little resigned sigh and how she had said “I went right up to the door of the pub and looked in and he was there at the bar, waiting. So I turned and walked away. You see, I’d dreamt and dreamt about him for so long that I realized he could not possibly live up to my dreams and expectations. I am not into reality”

I felt very sad when I read this passage. It is a very sad thing to be stuck in the dream zone being afraid of living those dreams. Whilst we have to be realistic in life I believe that the realities of life should not stop us from dreaming big and thinking big. Yes, we may not necessarily get to have or do exactly what we have been dreaming of but just doing something and giving it a go never hurt anyone. At least one can learn and find out that maybe what they thought they wanted was not really want they want after all. Personally, I would get satisfaction knowing that although things did not turn out the way I thought  or expected at least I tried. The thought of never having tried would drive me crazy.  Nothing can be lost in trying; fear is a disease that can hinder us from taking steps that can transform our dreams into reality.  I like the words of Joyce Meyer, in one of her sermons she said that it is better to ask God for 50 things and get half of them than to ask for only 4 things and get all of them.

Maybe it is a matter of being more daring and fearless when chasing our dreams. One can never know what they can do and achieve unless they try, so why not give those dreams a go. Move from the dream zone where dreams remain dreams and make a move towards making those dreams a reality. As for me I am ready to make a move.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Enough of Excuses

"How does one become a butterfly"…she asked? "You must want to fly so much that that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar".

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about dreams and ambitions. I used to pride myself as an ambitious person who dreamed big and pursued those dreams relentlessly. I used to set goals, put myself out there, take chances and refuse to quit.  I have to say I lived some of my dreams; some which I never thought would become a reality either because they seemed too unrealistic, too silly and crazy – but come to pass they did.
To be frank it has been a long time since I sat down and re-evaluated my life, where I am, where I want to be and where I am going. It’s like I have shelved some of my dreams for one reason or the other. Yes, life it too hectic, there is always so much to do and sometimes this busyness runs me down leaving be too exhausted and lazy to do much. Then there is the issue of procrastination – it never seems to be right time or the right way to do it. Then lately I have been thinking that it is simply too late to do some of the things I have always wanted to do – for instance simple things like learning to swim or ride a bike. Making too many excuses that is the problem.

Then a few days ago I watched this film called the First Grader, which is based on a true story of Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge  a Kenyan man who holds the holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest person to start primary school. The story of this man stirred something inside of me and lit again that fire and zeal I used to have when it came to my dreams. He reminded me that it is never too late to pursue a dream or desire. Marunge at the age of 84 in 2004 enrolled to be a first grade student after an announcement by the Kenyan government about free elementary education in 2003. One of his dreams was to be able to read his letters himself; he wanted the empowerment that came with education. This man faced much opposition but he refused to be denied the opportunity which had represented itself in the announcement of free elementary education for all (his argument being that no age limit was given).  In the remaining 5 years of Marunge’s life he achieved things he would not have done so had he just accepted that he was too old and it was too late. He was appointed head boy at the school he was going to as he was a model student and in 2005 he went to New York where he addressed the United Nations Millennium Development Summit on the importance of free primary education. It was also the first time that he boarded a plane. I believe that when Marunge died in 2009 he died a fulfilled man having lived his dream and so much more. 

Thank you Marunge for leaving behind such a powerful piece of history that reminds us who are on the verge of giving up thinking it is too late or what is the point . How wonderful it would be get to the end of our lives and be able to say we lived a full and fulfilling life – either having chased our dreams or lived them or at least having had a go at them.

The Good Changes

Perhaps I am a person of contradictions but here is the thing – I like doing new things but I am not a huge fan of change. I like planning ...