Seasons

Each passing day signals something. For one to see and understand these signals, one needs to be paying attention. Each day marks the beginning, the end or the middle of something. With each passing day, you have grown a little more, learned a little more or lost a little more. The seasons of our life slip silently as one moves from one job to another, from one relationship to another, from one stage in a relationship to another- either growing closer together or further apart.

Life as we know it, is not so much about how much money one can bring home although that does make a marked difference in one’s level of comfort; nor is it about how famous or entertaining one is even though that works wonders for the ego. These too are seasons in life as one who started out broke may work so hard to accumulate heaps of money and forget what it was like to be  without. They may even deliberately forget those who were with them during the lean times and may have left them behind as they climbed up the ranks of wealth in an effort to leave those days in the past.

The thing with seasons is that they come and go. The rains come, water the land, cause traffic jams in the city, make the beautiful jacaranda tree flower and spread its purple carpet at its feet, then the rains go away making way for the hot and dry season. The scorching sun beats down, and the dry winds leave us drained and worn out at the end of a simple day.

The seasons of life are similar. There are times of plenty, times of lack and times of extreme lack that can be related with times of famine and drought. During times of lack, the horizon has nothing to offer except the dawn or dusk of yet another long day filled with futility no matter the amount of effort exerted. The times of plenty can be so bountiful that one can afford to throw away what they do not need rather than reuse and recycle.

The irony of life is that when one person is going through a dry season, another may be going through a time of plenty. The challenge in either season is not to judge or point fingers at the other person. During times of plenty, it is very easy to look down on those who lack where we would be better placed to share with them. It is also very easy to gloat during these times forgetting that all that we have is given to us by the Almighty. We might want to tell ourselves that we got here by our own strength, but the truth is we are where God wants us to be. It would do us good to remember that He who gives can also take away. On the other hand, in times of lack it is easy to envy those with plenty and feel that they ought to help.

In each season of life there are lessons to be learned. And if we are keen we will be able to take note as to when each season draws to an end and the next one begins. To give thanks for all that we have learned in that season and prepare for the next one … be it one of even more plenty or one of lack. It might save us from staring so long at closed doors wishing for what was instead of looking ahead and around to see which window or gate has opened.

Advertisements

Normal!?

Recently I found myself wishing for a “normal day”. I was not until much later that I asked my self what a normal day was. To be honest, I am still wondering ….

Is it a day with the boss in the office firing off order non-stop and still expecting each one to be met? Is it carefully planning my day in the morning, then at the end of it finding that I did none of the things on my list? Is it the kind of day that is the same as yesterday and the same as last week? What is a normal day?

What do people mean when they say “I am not feeling myself”? I can usually put a finger to what I am feeling at most times; happy, sleepy, hungry, angry, anxious. I believe “feeling myself” should have some sort of definition especially since it is used so often. The answer is probably in understanding oneself and one’s emotions …

Hmm… looks like I answered my own question …

Pending question … “What is a normal day”?

Fish Eye-view

Walking through the streets of Nairobi at a time when pickpocketing was the norm and there were street children on every corner, I learned a way to look at who was behind me without completely turning my head. I would pretend to be looking at something on my side and make use of my peripheral vision to get an idea of what was going on behind me. I like to think of it as a “fish eye-view” of sorts.

I found that I can also use the same technique as I walk through life. Rather than focusing only on where I am headed or on what is going on in my life at that moment in time, I can keep abreast of other things that are going on around me, things happening in other people’s lives around me.

Walking around town without caution can cause you to lose valuable things. In your rush to get to the next place , or in your preoccupation with your thoughts, you may forget to close your bag properly causing things to fall out, or tempting someone to pinch your phone or wallet from your phone. The same in life. In rushing to achieve to next goal, or wallowing in self-pity over one thing or another, a lot of valuable things are lost.  Time is lost – time that could have been spent building relationships or rejuvenating oneself is wasted. Contentment is lost – enjoy that which you already have rather than dwelling on that which you don’t have or are unable to change. If you were to count your blessings, from the mundane to the mind-blowing ones, I doubt you could fill less than four pages! New things – when we focus too much on things in the past or things to come, we tend to miss the new things happening around us. Things that would impact us in a good way, things that would leave us in awe at what God can do, opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives.

In real life, the fish eye-view is knowing as much as possible about what is going on around you and in the lives of people around you. Be it at work, at home, at play or at church. In this day and age we tend to be focused on ourselves, those in our close circles that we like, and those who are more like us. There are a lot more people that we come into contact with on any given day … the shopkeeper, the security guard, the tea lady, the quiet girl in accounts department, the neighbor who always seems to leave about the same time you do in the mornings. It does not mean having in-depth twenty-minute discussions,  just the casual “hello”, which could gradually lead to more, or in some cases remain at the casual “hello” everyday.

Some people will welcome your fish eye-view, other’s will be suspicious of it, some not even notice it. You gain personally because more often than not, interesting things, people and places catch your eye.

If you ask me, it is a whole lot better than tunnel vision…

Other People’s Advice

I have always known it, but sometimes it is more apparent … people are always so ready to give you their advice! Sure I give into the temptation to (at times) give advice, but I try (and sometimes fail) to give the advice only after finding out what the person has in mind.

Mention that you want to quit your job to start-up a business that you are passionate about. Most of the responses are a mix of shock, disbelief, doubt, out right negative, a bit of envy and very rarely a thumbs up. More often than not, the person leaving their job has a plan in mind, or on the other hand, a very rich uncle or husband. They have their plan B’s and C’s all worked out.

When you are pregnant … wow! After the excitement or shock has passed advice on doctors and hospitals, what to eat or not eat, how to deal with cravings, which on-line pregnancy sites to visit, what so and so did, all come flowing. No one tells you about the other little things that catch you off guard, like when your stomach decides that no matter how much food you put in it, it is not going to let anything out for a couple of days; or about bouts of insomnia that are so energy-filled you can find yourself cleaning the house … You may think that it is because these are individual cases, but you find that it is relatively common. So why don’t they tell you about the important things?

Relationships are the other area where people shower you with advice ” … your boyfriend did what..?? Heee, if it were me, I would …..”, or ” .. when my husband ……, I usually tell him …… and after that things go back to normal”.. whatever normal is.

There is no blueprint for life. Much as we can learn a lot from other people’s experiences and advice,  we do need to decide whom to listen to and even then, we still need to make the hard and easy decisions on our own, for our own good. At times, even though we have been told over and over, and seen others burn and survive, we need to take the plunge ourselves to really understand what it is really all about.

For those who love to give advice, give it in small portions. More often than not, people really don’t care for what you have to say unless they actually ask you to say something. And even then, keep it short, objective and without any expectation that the person will pick your advice to follow through.

Hello world!

Hello!

I’ve finally decided to attempt to put down all these random thoughts that pass through my mind every so often.

Sugar & Spice, because life has it’s sweet moments as well as it’s bitter moments. Under the tree (at the top of the hill) … quiet moment in nature are when we actually get to hear the heart speak.

Enjoy and keep coming back