Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What would make you consider suicide?

If you have never considered, planned, or even deeply thought about suicide, you are blessed. Millions of people are ‘suicidal’…all for pains they could not endure, depression, abuse, guilt, failed relationship, dashed hopes and expectations…all sorts.

Sometimes, we think we have gone too far to make a come back. Sometimes, we think there is no hope for us, sometimes we think that all and everyone has forsaken us, sometimes we give up at the last lap of the race. No matter what pains we have buried, secrets that we cannot share…death of a loved one or loved ones…pains and sorrows we cannot comprehend and least of all explain…always remember that God’s arms are outstretched and His love is unconditional and His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.

Here is a story I stumbled on today and I thought I’d share it. The strangest part is that while people are getting ready for Christmas…some are contemplating suicide…two very opposing happenings…celebration of a gift of life and taking away of another life…

As you get ready for the festive season, do not forget to stop and say a prayer for people in pain, hospital bed…your prayer could be just what will stop one suicide attempt. Our life is precious to God…or He would not have taken the time and effort to make us.

Here is Virginia's story
It was the morning of December 24, 1998 and everything was almost in order.
"Hi, my name is Virginia and I called this morning," I said. I was so ready for it all to be over. I had no idea what was about to happen.
"Hi, Virginia, my name is Cheryl," the funeral director replied. "I will be helping you today."
I had no idea at that time just how much she would be helping me. This attractive, little 40 something-year-old lady was about to take part in a miracle, my miracle.
"I want to take care of my final arrangements," I said. "My husband and parents have already been through so much," I said, holding back tears. "I want you to know how much I appreciate you coming in this morning. I am only in town for a short time and wanted to get this taken care of while I still can. I know you must have been busy getting ready for the holiday."
"It's no problem, Virginia. I am glad to be here for you," Cheryl sweetly replied.
For the next hour we went over my choices. I chose the pink one, nothing fancy, just your basic casket. Then the dreaded question came, "May I ask what your terminal illness is, Virginia?"
"Cancer," I immediately responded.
Now comes the part I still have a hard time grasping. If you were a funeral director and a lady walked in claiming to be terminally ill with cancer, could you look into her eyes and say, "I want you to know you aren't going to need this, but I will write it up for you if you wish?" Cheryl did.
I was in complete shock. After a few moments I said, "What do you mean I am not going to need this?"
Meanwhile, I thought to myself, I am dying, and this is what dying people do. The only difference is my disease is depression instead of cancer. Everything was set for me to kill myself. I had been planning and storing up pills for months.
Cheryl looked down for a brief moment as if to prepare herself for the statement she was about to make, "When the secretary called me at home this morning and said someone was coming in to make their final arrangements I knew it was not necessary for me to come in; one of the others here could have helped you. But as I went on preparing for the holiday, the Lord was speaking to my heart. He let me know that I was to tell you that Jesus loves you, Virginia. He isn't through with you yet. You are not going to need this right now, but if you want, I will write it up for you. And I want you to know that I will be praying for you every day."

Monday, December 18, 2006

Husbands and Gifts

There is just so much I want to write about that I do not know where to begin…but first let me make good on my promise about gifts from hubbies…not everyone will agree with me…if you get the diamonds and perfect gifts…this piece is not for you but I have discussed this at different times and there seem to be a general consensus of some sort that hubbies just don’t get the gifts right even when they have the thoughts are right. Personally I have once told my hubby never to buy me any gifts…he should just give me the money…okay…that also has not worked.

Truly as boyfriends and fiancĂ©es…they are better…they put some thoughts to it, actually they know exactly what you look like…for some odd reasons, when they become husbands…they forget what size you are …yes…these guys live with us…they should at least look at us very well right? NO? They downright get it wrong all the time. When it is not bigger size, it is smaller size. But as boyfriends they can even call your friends and ‘conspire’ with them to get the right gifts but as hubbies…they cannot call your friends , first they do not even want your friend to know what they are getting you because it is now a “private family affair” and they get it wrong.

Now I love my husband to death (after all that was what I vowed in church…to love him till death do us part so…I love him right?),…if anyone directs him to this blog site, I will ‘kill’ the person. My husband has really tried a number of times and while I want to look at the intentions…I get really angry and very unappreciative…how come I know his shoe size, his boxer size, his shirt size and all his sizes and he has no clue about mine? It really infuriates me so these days…he has resorted to ‘consulting’ his sister to help him out and so far we got through last birthday very happy and the gift very appropriate (only I knew ahead of time when he went to his sister and she called me and then we agreed but I also agreed to be very surprised and happy when I got the present…truly I was).

If your hubby gets it right all the time…the kind of bag you will buy for yourself not like my sister whose hubby will go pick a bag that she will not be caught alive with…maybe thinking he is buying it for his ‘old mother’ so now she asks him for a gift voucher.

Actually, last xmas we were in the US on the 24th everyone hit the shop for their gifts…we first stopped at the toy shop for the kids and them proceeded to other shops and then I saw a pair of shoes that I wanted to buy for myself …at the counter, he took the shoes and said it will be in his own basket so I knew what will be sitting under the xmas tree with my name on it but I did not mind because it was my size, and a pair of shoes I really liked…the brand that I would wear and that is important…you agree don’t you? The designer/brand is important in addition to the thoughts…cheapies?...I have issues with. So no matter the thought…hubbies should get what the wives would have bought for themselves or even up it a bit…what do you think? Jewelries from Argus is a ‘no go areaooo!!!! for those of you in the UK…you have a right to disagree by the way!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Things I don’t tell you

I know I said I tell you guys and gals everything but sure you would have figured it out by now that I do not say everything but everything I say is true. That is the difference…I will not sugar coat it, minimize it, or exaggerate it…if I chose to say it…then I say it as it is after all no one is forcing me to say it right? Yea!!

I did not tell you guys that I finally tendered my resignation a couple of days ago from this wonderful place that I have worked for two years come December 31. I have three months notice period which I will serve out and them move on to another phase of my life.

I mentioned that a couple things are going on here and I have been having one those conversation with my big boss and bla-bla…anyway thought it was best to have the conversation before the holidays so that I can be free to have fun…sleep well, eat well, exercise well, and read well…even blog well. You know how it is, once your mind is at peace, you have some sprint in your steps…okay…the sprint may disappear when you look at your bank account but truly peace of mind is priceless…you agree don’t you?

Now that I am writing this, I am trying to remember if there are other things I have not spilled yet. Oh yes but that can make a topic on its own. Be sure to come back and read on the uselessness of gifts from hubbies and if anyone directs my hubby to my site after I had written that…I will send EFCC after that person!!!

When I leave this place, I wonder how I will be getting my gists since the lounge is the best source for gists and gossips…oh well, I do not listen to the gossips but the issues I pick up really quick…some visitors to my site (they know themselves) will heave a sigh of relief…maybe finally I am going somewhere where they do some real work…I can hear them say. But I have not said what I will be doing next…anyone with a good guess out there?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Behold the new Maestro

The last time I told you guys that my son is really a genius, everyone thought is the ranting and ravings of a proud mother …which I am by the way

Last Saturday was the year end music concert at my son’s music club and he was playing the recorder in the orchestra, doing a piano solo…and also providing the acrobatics for the ballet (yours truly did no know this)…he is a funny chap that boy, he never discusses what he is doing even when he is acting drama part in school…and he is only 6…when will he start telling us everything or maybe never right? That is already giving me the jitters and you should have seen him in his black tie outfit for the orchestra…dashingly handsome…he is really a good looking guy and I have bought the dog already to chase the girls away…

So the entire family (no hubby had business engagement) trouped out to see and support the super star…only there were more surprises. Like I said, we know about two performances but when the girly ballet group came out and did their thing...we suddenly saw them take a freezing pose and who came out…the acrobatic dancer and that was Pappee in his element. Okay you can ask anyone who was there (how will you find them so you are better off believing me)…he did his somersaults and got the cheers and the clapping…no he got a standing ovation.

The best is yet to come…you know orchestra is a thing for all participants so I will not tell you guys that he took the show…it was a group effort but they have been practicing and rehearsing for months and weeks now and yours truly I have had to buy alto recorder, tenor recorder, I did not buy treble…maybe there is nothing called treble anymore…in my days the music parts were in three part…no that was only church and school choir…never went to a music school or learnt to play any musical instruments.

He played a classical piano piece…your truly I cannot remember now whether it was Mozart or his brother but sure it was classical and we are not meant to really love them except you are classical music person…I was more impressed with the flow of his fingers and the standing ovation. Then came the awards…he got two awards…one for being the most consistent member of the music club for 2006…my son will never miss a lesson except he is out of town…if he has a birthday party will be late sand will not go until the class is over on Saturdays. He even takes extra lessons to perfect his part…that is being really focused if you ask me…only he is also a bit restless. The second award is the one that completely blew me off…he was the best drummer for 2006…I had absolutely no clue that he drums. I have been to a couple of his shows and performance and it was always the piano and the recorder but when he displayed the drumming skill , I too was impressed…now you see what I mean…he never said anything to us about drumming at home. He is multi talented…let us face it…what else can a mother want plus did I tell you guys that he had straight A’s in his exams…???

So it was a very rewarding experience…the fees…the drop off and pick up and all the ‘related stress’ of the music club demands and requirements. His drumming award is to be placed in the music club’s hall of fame and the most consistent award is proudly displayed on the shelf in his room. He was very proud of himself and is learning first hand the joys of success…plus that hard work comes first before success. I must say that he only practice, ‘study’ that Pappee never needs prodding or reminding is music practices. Each time he learnt something new on the key board; he practices so hard and tries to replicate the tunes with his recorder. Another thing I found out is that Pappee practiced almost everyone’s solo piece …as they all played their piece at the concert; I realized that I heard all those tunes in the last couple of weeks. Now don’t you just think as I do that the new maestro is born…the best is yet to come!!! Say Amen!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

My Christmas List

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that it is Christmas season again and time to give and I even asked what will you be giving? Your truly, my list is getting too long and I have been slaving over this list with possible gifts and costs for the past 2 weeks or more, now it looks like I have to edit it…you know what I mean and it may take me another week to edit this long list…who knows by the time I finish with all the paper work for the gifts, it will be Christmas and I would not have had the chance to shop. They say it is the thought that matters…ever received one of those gifts that you wonder what was going through the person’s mind when they picked that for you or what in the world you are supposed to do with the gift? If you have not received, I am sure you know someone who has received one and then the rhetoric comes “you know it is the thought that counts?”

I think this year it will be the thought that will count …what do you all think? The fact that I have thought about them and included them in my list…is that not enough? But how do I let them know that I thought about them but could not get them the ‘perfect gift’. Come to think of it, it really does not make a lot of sense to give gifts that people will not appreciate…it will be best to just think of them since that counts as well. I will continue to work on my list and I am sure that before Christmas, I would have figured out how to let them know that I thought about them but could not get the perfect gift…so I will keep searching and who knows before the next Christmas, I would have found the right gift and at the right price. I also think it should be a year long project…one has to believe that she/he will see Christmas each year so each seasonal sale…you can buy stuff for Christmas gift recipients instead of waiting until November (after thanksgiving for the Americans…not sure when the others start their holiday shopping spree).

Talking about shopping early, 2 Septembers ago, I was in a shop in God’s own country and this upscale shop was having a sale and when they have a sale it is real sale…I had gone to the boys section to see what is available for my boy and this old woman had packed up all the Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren shirts that were brought out for sale…I mean literarily packed the entire thing and I was so angry I even asked her if she was going to buy them all or should I wait until she’s been to the payment counter…I actually followed her to the counter and the old woman packed everything and paid…the prices were rock bottom and she said she was buying them all for her grandchildren for Christmas…in September? This woman has the right formula…I thought she was whacko but nay…she is smart.

Back to my Christmas list…I sure have to trim it down…remove some nieces and (his and mine), some cousins (his and mine)…uncles (definitely mine)…get the picture? Wish me luck and pray that at this rate I do not delete everyone’s name.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Providing Wifely Support

It is one of those weekends when 24 hours seem not to be enough…when wifely duties call, motherly duties call and personal needs pull and thug at you…

This weekend I have been running from pillar to post…funfair at Pappee’s school, racing to get some household need sorted not and racing to the music club for Pappee’s concert and I will tell you all about the music concert, Pappee’s performance and awards in another piece.

So I was saying that yours truly has been up and about for wifely support duties. It is end of the year and this weekend it is hubby’s bank activities all the way…Saturday night …CEO’s award night to deserving employees…No, no…hubby was not nominated this years so he did not win…have to keep my fingers crossed and pray for him so that he can win the award next year…who knows maybe he will give me the accompanying check since behind every successful man is a woman…which means that I am really his key to success right? So if he gets the hefty award check, he should simply hand it over to me right? This is a must prayer point everyday for next year…he had better won it …it will not be fun to pray for him for 12 months and nothing happens.

Then it is CEO’s dinner for directors (ex-director)…in all these yours truly had to dress up…really dress up and since I am not the going out type so I have has to think seriously about what to wear each day…I even have one very suitable outfit for the dinner but it is slightly big and I have not had time to adjust it. See what I mean…I have made a resolution come 2007 I will have a well equipped wardrobe…not jeans and tee’s or shirts and pats for work. I cannot be caught unawares anymore…I will even be asking when the dinners and the awards are scheduled months ahead…that is how ready I will be going forward…wish me luck!

Okay gotta go now and see how I can adjust my outfit because it is Sunday and it is almost time for another wifely support business outing and I have to be polite and make little conversations…only they starved us yesterday…too many speeches and the dinner was not until 10.30pm…your truly I almost starved to death…today I have eaten, had a glass of wine and ready for long speeches, little polite conversations and even plastering a permanent smile on my face as if I have no issues or problems all evening.

Did I mention that it did not stop me from the other duties…kitchen…bedroom…oh boy...those of you that are not married I am sure that you think it is all fun dressing up and hanging on the arms of hubby or better half as my husband has chosen to refer to me this whole weekend…not sure where that is coming from.

Oh I almost forgot that I had a piece in one of the major newspapers today and it was not properly edited. They used the first draft and not the latest version…not he greatest piece I have written and I am hoping no one mentions it tonight because I really do not feel up to discussing it…it was a poor outing…well that is the life a writer…remember I said I am a writer right? Some are good, some pieces are great and some a down right below par…boogey as they say in golf.

Something sad today too in the papers…faces of the little boys and girls who lost their lives in the plane crash a year ago. It has been very sad looking at those faces and as a mother my heart is broken…

Friday, December 08, 2006

Making a Difference

Yesterday I went for one of those thought provoking, soul searching events. An NGO focused on “wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurial development among Nigerians” had their annual celebrations Entrepreneurial Awards and yours truly had volunteered as a resource person and facilitator for the foundation’s programs…you know bringing my expertise and passion to the budding entrepreneurs…you will hear more about this mission in the coming year.

There were two speakers…brevity and punctuality were well displayed by all attendants and speakers. However, each speaker left me dumb and numb. As I listened to the speakers, each an entrepreneur of good repute and successful professionals…I was awe struck and even when people will clap…my hands could not move…actually no part of my body could move…they held me spell bound to the point of feeling like my hands were tied…if you have never experienced this…it will be hard to explain…the eloquency, the courageous steps they have taken, the risks and the focused vision that kept them on their track were worthy of emulation.

If you were there (of course you were not), you’d leave asking yourself what difference can I make? I was challenged! I was humbled!!

We seem to think that success in so many ways especially in this part of the world where wealth and money seem to be the ultimate measure…it was motivating, inspiring and sheer ecstasy to think and to see that there are still visionaries who think beyond themselves and move on to build a legacy and all in their ‘youth’. They embark on missions that do not enrich their bank accounts but enrich their souls and the lives of others in the society…some of these are very noble endeavors indeed but they have results to show for it.

The recipients of the awards talked of their challenges but more than anything their resolve and holding on to their dreams. One thing running through all of them was doing things ethically and with the right values.

I often ask myself, ‘why am I here?’ What gifts do I have to enrich my life and the life of the people around me and the society as a whole? We all have a purpose in this life no matter what you believe in and as the new year approaches, maybe it is time to reflect and ask yourself…”what contribution can I make to add value and leave something for the generations coming behind?”

Think about it!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The evil and goodness of Google

I was going to say that no one is safe anymore and we cannot run and hide as we used to...cut all communication, erase people from our phones and delete their email addresses and we are safe...no more! What is new? Everyone is aware of now technology and its spiderweb connectivity is liking us all up...

But I have changed my mind ...I am entitled to changing my mind right? Right. So I decided that I will talk about how the spiderweb connectivity and google cannot only mess up your life ...they can also make you smile and help you find your long lost friends...as long as they are still alive and use the technology (of course)...google is yet to develop the virtual search engine which will locate people even if they are not hooked on any computer or blackberry...but they will get there I am sure then I can reach my uncles in the remote villages...please do not ask me how...I am not paid to think into the future. Talking of thinking into the future, I was very impressed the other day to learn from one of CNN's program that some people are paid to think into the future...some people have it all made!!! And they are paid handsomely...I think I like that job. I can lie on my bed all day long dreaming into the futre the money is deposited into my account. I do not even mind if they do not want me lying on my soft bed with luxury sheets...I can wear my suit and sit in the office and stare into the empty space...and get paid very well because I can imagine all sorts of things in the future and then they can take it and start desigining ...oh boy! Won't that be great?

I was talking about search engines helping you find lost friends...a friend just found me through google or whatever after so many years spanning over 10 years... My sister said the other that she saw an old friend and it made her day and now this friend found me and is happy for it.

The one thing I must say though is that google helps me do my job...I am forerver googling stuff and getting useful information although it has also taken me to some whacko sites from very innocent information search.

Okay...did I appologise for not writing for a few days now? I guess I should. I have been going through one of those professional periods where you need to flex some muscles to get what you want...mental muscles and relationship muscles...if you work, you know exactly what I mean...having the make or mar discussions...where did it get me? Watch out...I will spill all on the blog.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Lasting...Lifetime Impressions

Today is Friday, usually I look forward to Fridays because of the weekend when I always think I can do everything workout...eat...rest...read...write and then more often than not, I do not get to do half the things I would have planned.

There was just so much I wanted to share today, everything that has been going on...Pappee preparing and writing exams which he is so relieved is over now and he can play his nitendo games...preparing for his music concert this christmas...he will be playing in the orchestra. I will definitely update you guys about that one.

With everything I have planned to write today, nothing compares to the story that I read this morning. I know we kind of get all sorts of mushy mushy stories but somehow one or two stick in our memories and even affect us (hopefully positively) and spur us to help make this world a better place. I have never prayed to be able to change the whole wide world, I have always prayed that the people that come my way are better of and are blessed just by meeting me. I have often prayed to be a channel of blessing. This story below touched me and I hope it helps us be patient and nice because those virtures go a long way. Enjoy it:

The Old Phone ... How Do You Spell Fix?
Author Unknown
When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach thetelephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked toit. Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived anamazing person. Her name was "Information Please" and there was nothingshedid not know. Information Please could supply anyone's number and thecorrect time. My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. "Information, please" I said into the mouthpiece just above my head. A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. "Information." "I hurt my finger..." I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. "Isn't your mother home?" came the question. "Nobody's home but me," I blubbered. "Are you bleeding?" the voice asked. "No," I replied. "I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts." "Can you open the icebox?" she asked. I said I could. "Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger," said the voice. After that, I called "Information Please" for everything. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, Information Please," and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, "Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families,only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?" She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, "Paul always remember that there are other worlds to sing in. "Somehow I felt better. Another day I was on the telephone, "Information Please." "Information," said in the now familiar voice. "How do I spell fix?" I asked. All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. "Information Please" belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle.I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, "Information Please. "Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well." Information." I hadn't planned this, but I heard myself saying, "Could you please tell me how to spell fix?" There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, "I guess your finger must have healed by now." I laughed, "So it's really you," I said. "I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time." I wonder," she said, "if you know how much your call meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls." I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. "Please do", she said. "Just ask for Sally." Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered,Information." I asked for Sally. "Are you a friend?" she said. "Yes, a very old friend," I answered. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this," she said. "Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago." Before I could hang up she said, "Wait a minute, did you say your name was Paul?" "Yes." I answered. "Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you." The note said, "Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He'll know what I mean." I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. Never underestimate the impression you may make on others and whose life you have touched today!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Would you leave your children an inheritance?

Would you leave an inheritance?

Would you leave an inheritance for your children…another lounge topic today. Actually, the topics drifted from co-education or same sex high school (secondary school it is called in this part of the world) and them moved on to Unity schools and what has become of them. I will not bore everyone with this unity school thing…it is a local national issue and one that does not merit a lot of attention …at least on my blogsite…I have the absolute control (do I really?) but for the sake of this argument, let us just believe I have.

All of you out there who insinuate we do not do any work in my office because of all the lounge talks are mistaken…we work really hard and when we are in the lounge we talk really hard…we are professionals. We live a balanced life, once we are in the lounge we try to explore life matters and social issues as they emerge. Anyway, I hope I have laid the no work thing at rest…today the topic was will you leave an inheritance for your children? As usual everyone present had something to say but I dare say there were only two schools of thought and at the end of the day it looks like there was really no different school of thought…everyone ended up in a hybrid…

One group said they will definitely leave an inheritance to give their kids a ‘leg up’ in life. Another group said, all they owe the child is good education, values and the morals that will help the kids survive in this turbulent world. If you had an inheritance, would you be better of? I do not know. So the conversation continued. I will like to leave a legacy for my children…legacy? Now that is slightly different from inheritance. We did not explore the legacy end but we accepted it for the sake of the conversation to mean “an inheritance with values”.

So would you leave an inheritance for your children? Will en-masse wealth even if you have hurt, bruise, defraud, kill others in the process of building this wealth? Is there anything wrong with a man who toiled to build a business that outlives him, we see the Italian empires…Salvatore Ferragamo going over 3 generations now…did their father leave them an inheritance? The answer is a resounding yes? Have they built wealth for other generations and also expanded the net of inheritance to include others? The answer I will say is a big yes not to talk of people like the Bill Gates, the Bloombergs, the Trumps and the Hathway empire…whose inheritance will span more than three generations. One guy put it succinctly, “If I think that if I leave my children one million dollars and they will in turn make three million for their own children, I will work hard to leave them an inheritance but if I think that if I leave them this one million dollar they will squander it, then I am inclined to do something else or the money to other causes”. I think that it is easier said than done. If we live long enough, we can see what they make or likely to make of the inheritance but we never know when we will pass on.

The example that quickly came out was Paris Hilton…is that a good example of leaving your children with a ‘leg up’ in the world or is that a ‘leg down’? But you know how it is, we are always critical of what we do not have. Personally, I would have loved that my parents left me a huge inheritance and I did not have to work so hard…wake up so early and go to bed so late...I even had to suffer through school. With a ‘leg up’ in the world like most kids…I would not bother graduating from school…okay I would have, just so that I do not get cut off from the inheritance. One lady said that she would like leave her kids quite a bit, a home in London and else where so that they will not worry about where to go on holidays and if they want to be social workers, then they will not worry about money.

My answer? If the kids want to be social workers then they should learn to live on the salary of social workers…me I just want to eat, sleep and wake up…maybe go to the gym and look good just like Paris Hilton and with a little luck I release one track CD and call the entire world to the launching…please what is very wrong with that?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Spring Wedding or Winter Wedding?

I was told that spring is the wedding period …not sure I was told…I must have read it but hey! What is the difference…being told or reading it…even if I read it, someone wrote it and that person told me right? Okay so I was told that spring is the wedding period or rater the most preferred wedding period…come to think of it, who cares when anyone weds…or rather why wait for spring when you can wed in winter, summer, falls, autumn, harmattan, rainy season…you name it. Whoever told me this was definitely dreaming of spring wedding…new life, new flowers, new plants springing up and now that I am thinking about it (and writing about it) it is actually a good time to wed then you can align your dreams to nature…just remember though that they all wither in winter and hopefully if the thought was to begin a new life when nature is springing to life…hopefully spring weddings will survive the winter…keep your fingers crossed.

In this part of the world…(find me in the world map or ask google), the wedding period is the Cristmas or Holiday period…everyone must wed in November and December…not early November…late November just as the Christmas air or wind starts blowing. Yours truly for the past 3 weekends have had weddings to attend and I have not managed to attend any. I think they are all the same and it is summed in one wedding which the bride was having a hard time with her relations (this is another story…the involvement of relations in weddings)… anyway, this bride had had enough and she bluntly told them “whether you all come or not, the wedding will hold”…now that is my kind of bride. It is your wedding, it is your entrapment, it is your life…it is your decision. My conclusion is whether I attend or not, the wedding will hold…they will not even notice…there are so many willing attendants, so why bother. Okay, that may not be a nice thing to say. Friends ought to attend friends’ weddings etc. I agree but I am not even sure on what status or pedestal that I get the invitations.

Also weddings in this part of the world like in most part (I will not say all parts…yours truly is yet to make it round all parts of the world even electronically) weddings help you get new apparel …oh come on what is going on today…apparel? Sounds like a link in Amazon.com and you have to belong to generation “w” to know that they are talking clothes and accessories. If you get invited to a wedding…the first thing you think of it I guess “what am I going to wear?” right? Wrong…here if you are invited to a wedding…you are given ahead of time what you are going to wear…and then you get to pay for it whether you want it or not…that is not fair (I will talk about that another day)…you can refuse and be counted out of the “friends list”…it is your choice…in this part of the world, it is a social disgrace to be removed out of the “friends’ list”…your story will be told long after the wedding and even the marriage expires. I am getting inspirational…expired marriages are more like it not divorce and marriage ending…those carry negative and sad perceptions. Like mixture (medical, chemical, organic)…they expire right?

The past two weeks I have been so sure each Friday that I will be attending a wedding and today is another Friday and I have another wedding to attend tomorrow. I am very sure I will attend only I am not sure that I have any shoes to wear…oh yes, I have the clothes to wear…and I am not about to go to my favorite shop for last minute wedding shoe…I did that two weeks ago and I had to return the lovely turquoise sandals since I did not make it to the wedding and I am not sure I want to build a ‘collect and return’ reputation with this shop. What do you think? Wear whatever I have right…whether it matches or not…after all I am not the one getting married and no one will even notice…but it is not about anyone noticing , is it? It is about me really feeling well dressed and confident right? I am not sure about the link between well dressed and confidence…I want to explore that another day. You can be ‘worst dressed’ and very confident…Should really leave such topics for the Oprah show or Tyra Banks show…which I am not sure what she talks about the few times I have stumbled on her show. Never knew she could talk…you know what Imwan..with the microphone. I know what I thought her strengths were…they did not include her mouth or tongue but …C’est la vie as they say.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

When will you make your next slip?

Today I was just reflecting on how much we like to read news about celebrities, successful top executives, movie stars etc because we want to see where and when they have slipped. The media (print as well as electronic) are usually sniffing out these information, juicing it up and presenting it to us who eagerly and earnestly lap it all up.

A number of ‘busy executives’ do not read soft sells because they are busy, the younger folks like their pictures on the glossy magazines and some of us will flip through channels at the end of the day while unwinding, whether we are deliberately seeking these info or not we ‘bump into them anyway’ because it is plastered all over. The busy housewife now known as a homemaker also cannot help but see the headlines at the glossies en-route the check out counter and takes that piece of news with her. We do not seek it, we get it and we use it.

Why is it that their errors and mistakes are important to us? Why is it that they make enough lounge talk, bar conversations, blogging topics and gossips? Why is it that their mistakes are the gain of others? Someone said that is the price of being a celebrity? Why do they have to pay more than you or me? And that bring me to the real gist of what hit me today…in the little worlds of our own, our homes, our community, our office, our church (if you have any), our circle of friends, someone is looking up to us…a sister’s son (nephew), a brother’s daughter (niece), cousins? They are all looking up to one person in the family or the other or one of their parents’ friends and what would we like them to see? Our mistakes? Our slippages? Our errors? Our sins of commission and omission? I am not sure that will really be the picture we want to present.

I guess you can easily say you are not a celebrity or a movie star but you are a role model to someone and our mistakes we will like to hide from them and when we get it right we will want them to know about it. Same goes for our leaders and other people in authority over us – probably in the office …our managers and supervisors. Let us not focus on their mistakes, let us not watch like the paparazzi taking pictures and setting them up so that they will fall or feeding the wrong information through ‘the grapevine’. There must be some good in them, there must be some strength they possess…let us talk about those and let us build people and not tear down.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

When I grow up…

Today I think I will write something very different but not unrelated with our daily lives and our work lives which aren’t necessarily separate.

One day I stumbled on an article written by a girl who would turn thirty (30) in less than 2 months and she was saying that a few days earlier someone asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she thought ‘grow up?” The last time she thought she was still growing up was fifteen years before.

We all had dreams in this life about what we want to be or wanted to be when we grow up. I remember as a young girl of eleven and twelve years, feeding my mind with all the “Mills and Boon” romantic novels and thinking, by the time I am twenty years the prince would have sought me out and we will live happily ever after. I am not even sure when I got to twenty; all of a sudden I was up but not sure when the growing happened.

Life presents different types of pressures and even if we do not have people – parents, friends, colleagues, relatives, society (which is rather faceless), name it, hounding at us, the pressures mount anyway. Pressures come from within, expectations, comparisons – pressure to follow in the footsteps of our chosen heroes, parents, role models, and the list is endless.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The older you get the more you begin to ‘disregard’ the chronological dates and cycles apart from the wisdom (or sometimes foolishness) that comes with it. We then begin to make ‘peace’ with who we are and as disappointed as we may be with where we are, we find some contentment in being alive. Age is one of the ironies of this life, when you are young, you cannot wait to ‘grow up’ and ‘growing up’ has a different meaning. Growing up could mean, financial independence, moral independence (you can do what you want when you want), independence from parents again the list is endless. I have a sister who wanted more than anything else to sleep in late every morning when she grows up. She hated that she had to wake up in the morning to do any chores before going to school even if the chores are only to take a bath (which she really really hated) and going to school. I will like to ask her today how many hours of sleep she is now getting in a whole week as a ‘grown up’.

I have a son who by all standards is very smart and intelligent (even if I say so as the mother but he truly has a very sharp mind). At 5 years, he seemed to be very sure about what he wants to be when he grows up and the list has been growing ever since. However, in their ‘creative writing’ exams, he was asked to write about what he wants to be when he grows up and he again wrote a list but this time the list is slightly shorter and they include Super hero (so that he can save the world), a Pastor (because he wants to preach like the pastor of his church), a soccer player (because he wants to play like David Beckham), and the President (because he wants to rule the country). This was all he wrote. The teachers had to let me know because most kids chose one or two things and they wanted to be what their parents are or sisters or some relatives but not my son (now that I am writing, I am beginning to think that he must be very disappointed with his parents) because we are not any of those things in his list and I doubt that we are aspiring to be any of those but you never know!

I hope he knows that the clocks are ticking and before he knows it, he is up and grown. But he can be all of the above and even more.

When I grow up, I want to be and that time is now. If you missed the opportunity at 20, grab it at 30 or 40, you can still be what you dream to be but do not die not ‘growing up’. Better late than never as they say. Procrastination is the thief of our lives and guess what? Your best life could be now no matter what the chronological clocks tell you.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Taking the blackmail route

I have to redeem my image …my son has a poor image of me or maybe on a second thought this could be a blackmail…but if it is =, it worked. It is Sunday evening and I have just taken Pappee to get a much needed haircut. He was due for the hair cut a week ago but he had the flu last week and was in no condition to make the trip to the barbing salon. I am not always the one to do thin but I get to do it sometimes since his daddy travels quite a bit but when he is in…they usually do this together and can go off to do some men things afterwards.

So today after so much struggle within me to postpone it again, I mustered up energy after a late lunch of beans and veggies (not he lightest meals you can imagine) all I wanted was to head for my bed and crash out but sense of responsibility got a better hold of me and I had to take him to get a hair cut. As we approached the salon I just heard “my mummy never takes me anywhere but the barbing salon”. I pretended not to hear and did not seek clarification or explanation or where else he would like me to take him. I hushed him off the car into the salon because we were minutes away from closing time. Even as late as we got in, we still had to wait. Waiting for a service with Pappee is not one of the most exciting things because I will be shouting and screaming from the minute we get in to the last minute before we go…he will run through the glass doors as if he is immune to injuries and pains and my heart is always in my hands.

As soon as we finished from the barbing salon, and heading to the car, I heard the same sentence again “My mummy never takes me anywhere except the barbing salon”…again I ignored the comment and this time he went on to say “my daddy will take me to Chocolate Royale (ice cream parlour) and even when my auntie takes me, she takes me to chocolate royale for ice cream…considering I did not have nay extra money and was not about to head to the ATM to get money at 7pm on a Sunday evening when the next day is Monday and you all know exactly how I feel on Mondays…and the panic that set in within me on a Sunday evening…Oh my God! I thought “this is not good” I need to make going to the barbing salon exciting so that he can jump at the idea.

Anyway, I did not acknowledge this observation or make any promises…I just drove him home to give him a hot dinner that must be healthier and better than ice cream. What do you all think? Now that I am writing, I am sure that it was a simple plan of blackmail which worked only it will be at a future date…

I wonder what stunt he will be pulling next to get what he wants… No matter what anyone tells me, the generation z kids are way smarter that all of us.

Monday, November 20, 2006

15 Minutes of Fame in my office

You know I said I work. Okay it is not as if there is anyone who does not work. Some people work from home, some are home makers and some others get up and go work for somebody or a group of people even if it is a corporation we can narrow it down to a group of people at the end of the day. I guess it is wrong to say “I work” or “I go to work” because everyone works even if they just beg in front of grocery shops or along the traffic. The difference is in the type of work we all do. And that reminds me of a ‘friend’ of mine who works. It is important to mention this because, this friend of mine will tell you that the reason she cannot lift a finger at home or is even able to drive a car is because she works. You will think she is the only worker alive today. She does not cook, clean, tidy or do any house work because she works. Any other mother-worker who meets her will be upset because her hubby understands and will do these other things and I am always so angry with envy when I visit them because hubby tidies the room, washes, helps iron and COOKS. Can you beat that? My ‘friend’ is a very nice and kind hearted person in addition to working. She is really fun to be with and I am always intrigued at her life being just about working.

So I was at work on this Monday morning and we are doing our quarterly review which usually in a pain in the neck as everyone will sit through all the units’ presentations and ‘enjoy’ it, look interested, ask some dumb and smart questions but boy! You have to be interested and keep focused. This review is also good because we get donuts, chocolate chip cakes, and other nice evils that increase the waistline. Not that I touch any of these things…you guys must know by now that I am a disciplined eater and I only for quality not for taste(whatever that means). This particular quarter we were sampling out the new presentation format which the Finance and Strategy unit has been slaving and sweating putting it together for a while and are very happy to show it off. This new format now has a slide for “knowledge sharing”.

Have you been in any of those sessions where everyone is giving time for 15 minutes of fame? Do something to shine kind of thing? This is what this part of the presentation turned out to be so each presenter had a 3 -6 minutes of fame but it turned out in some cases to be fifteen minutes of fame. Human beings naturally crave the opportunity to display prowess or ‘to shine’ as they say in this part of the world. So we sat in this session today listening to all sorts of lectures. Yours truly was not left out, I usually do not miss an opportunity to have an audience for my motivational speaking job so here was an already made audience and I spoke on ‘staying focused to your goal’ for five minutes. I guess this is a topic that can not be fully exploited and one that is relevant to us at every stage of our lives.

Over the past two years we have looked and tired different ways of holding this session so that it is ‘more lively’, ‘more interactive’. Every new person comes with ‘a great idea’ and we try it but none so far has solved the ‘boredom’ popularly expressed by employees at the end of the session. It used to be monthly now quarterly yet we have the same problem. There must be something fundamentally wrong with it but we are yet to find out what. Everyone who works (back to the same controversial phrase), as if we do not all work even if we only surf for 2 hours, download music and listen for two hours, have lunch for an hour, have a couple of coffee breaks of 15 minutes at the lounge and leaf through the newspapers, the fact is that we all work and we all have come to work. Anyway everyone working in such ‘corporations’ have expressed the same feeling about these quarterly business performance reviews. No matter what anyone says, this knowledge sharing slide must be scrapped because it is now the focus of the presentation and people just cannot stick to the 3 – 6 minutes of fame but must talk an infinite deal of nothing for over 10 minutes.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Please Dress up Before You Talk to Me

Ever heard “we are defined by what we wear”? I am not sure I have but that is very true. I have certainly heard “Image is everything” and “First impression matters”. The first time I heard that “first impression matters, it was meant to go beyond what you are wearing…it included it but it was a lot more than that. Recently, I was reading a book on public speaking and presentations and scientific survey showed that “what the audience sees” account for 55% of your effectiveness…so dressing is important ..isn’t it then? But this goes on to say, your posture, body language etc…and the content of your presentation? Guess what? 36% (very demoralizing for people like me who think that people should look beyond what you are wearing and hear what you have to say)…that notion is wrong! wrong!! wrong!!!

No wonder all I hear about is what we are wearing or what bags we are carrying and whose shoes and sunglasses we are acquiring.
Earlier in the week, I walked into the lounge in the morning for that life saving cup of tea which gets you focused for the first time on what you need to do that day and these young boys and girls were in an argument about one designer whose bag cost up to Four thousand pounds sterling or $8,000,000 and counting the number of people (society celebrities and politicians wives who have the various designs and models from this particular designer. I was curious and I asked who this designer is and they mentioned something (have never heard and have never seen) now you know what I am talking about. I know the Gucci’s, the Fendi’s, the Pradas of this world but not who they were calling. I guess they may also look at me strangely if I say “Oh my God this is a Hermes scarf”. Is there any thing like a generational designer? Truly, this is not a subject that I know so much about. I am a very basic person and life is a lot more than what you wear (so I believe) but I have nothing against designer outfits… come to think of it, I own a few Gucci and Fendi shoes and a couple of Hermes scarf (no, I got the scarves from my late mother in-law’s drawers but I am sure she would have wanted me to have them). What do you think? I own then period!!

Back to the lounge discussions, the same day I went in for lunch and the discussion was on bags and designer make-up and perfumes. Now I was sure I was beginning to lose it or rather, I go in to the lounge at the wrong times. Just before you start wondering, we actually do some work in this office in addition to being at the lounge for breakfast and lunch. On this afternoon, I was hearing the different voices some affirming how much they will never spend on a bag and others countering and making a case for splurging every once in a while. Again, this seemed a little mundane to me but hey! There must be something like “generational discussions and topics” because I thought this was really becoming a problem, is there nothing more that we talk about and I can adequately participate in?

It is not that I have anything against such discussions, actually come to think of it, I had a similar discussion albeit somewhat different with a friend and my sister but we were at the mall where we had gone to see a movie and we had sometime to ‘kill’ before our movie starts so we were ‘window shopping’. My friend mentioned that she bought a channel bag (how could I have forgotten to mention channel in the list above?) on her way back from a recent trip for £1,500 at the airport (this is duty free purchase) which means on high street it will cost more and my first reaction was “Whoa!!, this is impressive” but how can you be buying such bag when there is “A” “B” and “C” to be done with money (my friend is doing a DBA”…she is one smart person and she will kill me when she reads this piece…yes she is definitely going to read it). And we went back and forth on how much we can spend on bags and shoes and I am not sure where we left this discussion. Now you know that I am not averse to designer or fashion discussions.

My problem is how can this topic dominate discussions at breakfast and six hours later it is still being discussed although from a different angle. What has happened to the era when people discussed national issues, books or articles they just read in the papers or in the magazine or their contribution to humanity? Again, I am convinced now more than ever that there are generational topics if not, how can I find it a bit unnerving?? I am also aware now more than ever that values may also have a generational inclination and that is where I will begin to question things.

Someone was writing or speaking (whichever one) about how materialistic the American society has turned and I believe it is not only the American society, it is the entire world. We are now described but what we wear and where we live and the car we drive. People are looked up to not my the virtues they espouse and live by or contributions they made to society but by how much they have in their bank account and the how many designer bags they have. Fancy this headline “Society Lady who owns 60 pairs of Prada shoes” and people spent their money buying this magazine. No wonder, designer and fashion topic will dominate discussions morning and night among young workers. I am sure no one will be shocked to find out who their role models are likely to be.

Recently I saw a bag that I talked about for days and it was for a whooping $700 and no one around me would hear anything else from me and it did occur to me that I may have been beaten by the same bug. Only I tried to justify my one crave and said that at least I try to own one at a time not one for every outfit…come to think of it, I wear mostly black so one will definitely be enough. I even went further to say that I want people to take me serious when I come into their office to pitch for a job or meet with an executive since we are measured by what we are wearing before we have a chance to prove that there is something else upstairs (brain)… all to justify purchasing my $700 bag.

The society does not wake up and make a conscious effort to define the rules and set new boundaries, but they evolve and then they become the norm so before you open your mouth to say anything about your wonderful invention or scientific finding and breakthrough, we have to deck you up in Armani pinstripe suit and tie so that we can even pay attention to what you want to tell us. According to Karl Lagerfield…the only thing that can make people make lasting changes to their lifestyle is fashion not even a health scare…the first time I saw it in prints I thought…what rubbish…you know what? I am beginning to believe him …what a world?

So what are you wearing? You want to be heard? …What are you wearing?...You want to make an impression?...what are you wearing? …you want to talk to youths in a youth program? …what are you wearing? If they analyze you (what you are wearing remember) and you are not close to what they have on, there is little chance that they will hear you but then this can be an urban lifestyle thing…maybe we need to all head to the villages but you know there are no cities and villages anymore…technology has taken all that away. Did I forget to ask what phone handset you are carrying? Or what car you drove to the event? It all counts!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It is Christmas/Holiday Season…What are you Giving?

It is end of the year ...you mean in November? You may ask and my answer is yes. Every direction I turn it smells and sounds like the holiday season...what other proof do we need to announce that year end is here?

Holiday season has different memories and invoke different attitudes and disposition from different people but no matter which planet you come from or reside in, no matter what faith you profess (if you profess any at all)…believers and non-believers alike agree that the mood of people is somewhat different albeit for different reasons at this season. For children like my son who still believes in Satan Claus at 6 years, it means loads of presents and a time to really make effort to behave well since Santa has a way of knowing how kids have done over the year…how he does not think of Santa’s observation and punishment all through the year beats me but that is why he is a kid. Isn’t it?

Talking of Santa Claus, my son wrote his Santa list since April, I think April 06 to be precise and pasted it on his door, of all the things that he wants Santa to bring this year. In the years past, Santa has managed to bring almost everything on his list but this year…I doubt that Santa will be doing that because he is asking for quite of expensive things …PSP, Play Station, …if Santa brings even one, Santa would have done great.

Back to the season of Christmas, as I drive out I see the stores and shops have suddenly changed, decorations and very lovely items (very enticing) are now stocked to the roof top. How come it is only during the Christmas holiday season that people feel like spending without a thought? What is it about Christmas that gets us into that spending spree mood? The season is a season of joy because of one very important gift. The bible says, “for God so loved the world that He gave…”this giving has become so contagious. It is amazing to see how a seed grows. Someone has said that God is the foremost capitalist but that is in a different sense and I will not pursue that claim right here and now.

So we have no qualms then to brand this season “The Season of Giving”? There are three main words that get thrown around with the Christmas season…Love, Peace and Joy. So many cards will be saying “Joy to the World”, “Peace on Earth to men of Goodwill (the last part is usually omitted) and the Love a full word on its own…it does not need addendums. We have all started out on our list of Christmas gifts (I have started and have even edited it once so far in the last two weeks). We have gifts (and limits on the amounts if you are like me …with limited income) lined up for our loved ones, families, friends and co-workers. I am sure that for some other people, the list is longer than that. We may also be looking at the ones that gave us last year (if we are that meticulous) that we may want to reciprocate the gesture this year and add to our list.

I have two very nagging questions that are tugging on my mind:
What are you going to be giving?
Who are you going to be giving to?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Puppy in Distress...Vet to the Rescue

Zidane was in obvious distress by Saturday morning and by late that morning pointing to mid-day Zidane’s life was hanging on a very thin thread. There was pandemonium only Pappee had left for music school and missed deperate calls for emergency. Luckily, the vet was just a phone call away and was ‘free’ to attend to Zidane. Apparently Zidane was running a very high temperature and needed intravenous fluid to help her out and her strength was failing by the minute.

I was running around the pharmacy shops trying to get all the prescription for Zidane and as you can imagine most of the shops did not have what Zidane desperately needed but we eventually located a pharmacy shop and got the fluids and set to get her going. As if that was not enough, an hour after Zidane had been placed on the dextrose fluid intravenously, the vet discovered that Zidane had swallowed something … a toad… Oh my God! A toad...there was trouble…Zidane’s system has poison and we needed a neutralizer…off to the pharmacy shops again…since the vet is on a home call…she did not have everything …optionally we could take Zidane into the clinic but revival and survival was key and time is of essence. After several searches again we could not find the antidote and the vet had to rush back to the clinic to get from there. Long story short, Zidane pulled thorugh and is currently on antibiotics for three days to help fight the infection as a result of the decaying toad in Zidane’s system.

Can we get Zidane to leave the toads that jump out of the flower garden lone? Does Zidane know that her agony was fro toad? I doubt it. By the way, did I ever tell you all about the puppy’s naming ceremony…old gist now since Zidane has been with us for 3 weeks so I am sure I did. If not, the puppy is named Zidane after the great French footballer renowned for head-butting…(no one will forget the dramatic scene of the 2006 world cup when Zidane displayed the head-butting skill before the entire world.

The name for the puppy was agreed well before we even got the puppy and no one least of all the owner of the puppy thought of the puppy gender…when we eventually got the puppy a few weeks ago and it was female…there was some confusion as to whether a female puppy can be named Zidane. Pappee settled the matter by saying “male or female it does not matter…the puppy’s name is Zidane and so it was.

Puppy’s like babies are very delicate but Zidane is one of the strongest puppies I have seen (this will be our 4th dog and Pappee’s first so we know from experience that the first 3 months are typically very dicey but so far there has not been any reason to worry about Zidane. We even got her out of the house after just one week because she adapted and was very independent not clingy at all except when she is hungry. You do not want walk in when Zidane is hungry…she will hold your two legs and not let you walk. All in all, she is a very good dog with excellent temperament. Hopefully, Zidane will stay away from the frogs and toads …if she does…she has a bright future and we will have very little to worry about..please keep your fingers crossed …

Friday, November 10, 2006

Open day

It was open day in Pappee’s school today and again we (parents) had our chance to tell the school and teachers what we feel about the school curriculum so far in the term and what the kids have been coming home with. Most mothers said parents interfere a lot in the child’s school projects and the argument went on and on. How would any mother know that another parents interefered? I did not ask ...It may be true but every parents should know it is the child's project and we only help in research and provide relevant materials

There was a bit of commotion when it came to religious studies…anything religious tend to be explosive. Why do we have to teach the children about all the religions in the world? Any parent or parents who want to send their kids to faith schools should do that so to now introduce other religions in a presumably faith school is bound to cause some ripples. I do not think we have heard the last of this. This is being introduced and parents are definitely going to be on the look out to see how this progresses. Public schools are allowed to teach whatever the government allows in the Education curriculum but private schools are definitely going to get a big fight.

I had time to meet with Pappee’s teacher to discuss his school work and look over his school work and assessments. One thing is clear…Pappee needs to pay attention to details…the teacher said when he is in a good mood everything is okay…how do you get a 6 year old to be in the mood all the time? I am going to be working with the teacher to on some activities that teach concentration and patience to help him. Another hurdle is mental maths…the school encourages mental math but then give problems that require some working approach, my dear son wants to do everything in his head. We are treading softly on that one.

There are behavioral and disciplinary issues. I am of the old school and believe in strict discipline especially at the early formative ages. I just believe that the boundaries need to be firmly set up and my experience is that these boundaries continue to be tested by children and they never give up.

I have been a bit tired in the last couple of days and have not been able to write much. Plus it has really been quiet all around except that the Christmas holiday season is just beginning and the buzz is begging to be felt…decorations and shops stocking up. We are all always excited about and during this season.

Halleluyah! It is Friday and I am so excited as always…Fridays are my best days. It is going to be a quiet weekend (fingers crossed)…a friends wedding but I may not be able to make it after all…hubby traveling…bags already packed…Pappee and his puppy? They will do well without me and me…bed, bed, sleep, sleep, food and gym…what could be better? Oh, I think I will read a little bit. Need to always sharpen the saw especially in my business.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How old are you?

If you are reading this, there is a good chance you fall into this category (please I am looking for a term for this category but I can describe the attributes). This is how you know how old you are…when you do not understand the “slangs” and have no clue who the designer being discussed is and yet you think you are young. Lately, it is either I have been going to lunch at the wrong time or I have totally lost “it”…’IT’ being a part of the ‘happening group’. Put simply, it means that I am definitely part of the aging generations (this is sad if it turns out to be the truth honestly) because I have no clue what the young ones are talking about. My sister in-law actually hit the nail on the head a few days ago when she said that “coming first in school is not a good thing” and she will not ask her daughter to aim for first position in academics (first position in dancing is good enough). I was curious because I came from a home where you have to explain yourself for coming second and I do not know any better than that and my son already knows that “A” grade is the only acceptable pass level. My sister in-law said that it is because of I buried myself in books that I have no clue what else is going on around me. Who knows maybe she is right but we shall leave that topic alone for now.

Recently, I have been struggling to understand the conversations around me…I am lost most of the time (I mean social conversations) so if you are feeling young and hip your vocabulary is sure to give you away no matter what you have stated your age to be. I find out that I am constantly asking “what does that mean”…Jan means London…”my bad” means my error or my wrong judgment…and a host of other ones ..they have escaped me now as I write so where are these words coming from?

The office is not immuned to this jargon or rather evolution of meaningless words or phrases. When I started working over 12 years ago, you will get a memo saying “ASAP” but I have never heard anyone speak it. Today I hear, “please could you “asap it”. “Put the docks in a row” …It took the grace of God for me to figure that it means “let us get organized around here. Definitely, language is a generational thing. It has huge implications…as the baby boomers are aging and people like us in between that generation and the generation Y who is internet generation with words from Mars and Venus planets, we must try to understand them or we are cut off entirely…

The slangs you use, the phrases you use (at work ) in social conversation is sure to give away your age + or _ anyone will guess it right just like the style of your clothes or the cut of your jeans …no not the cut, the name brand on your jeans. I will be wiring about what we are wearing in another piece.

This whole language or rather vocabulary change makes me wonder why I am trying so hard to get my son to write the established letters of English alphabet the way we have been taught when he seriously wanted to invent his own. It seems like everything goes these days as long as you have one or two people willing to copy it from you and believe that what you say it means is what it means.

Have I said anything about the contents of younger generation discussions? Hardly is it about one book, or one social issue (except plane crashes) (sometimes and most times yes, it could be about one movie or the or the other) but then it degenerates to the movie actors and actresses and their private lives are the hottest discussions and any one wonders why paparazzi can go at any length to get the scoops and juice it up about the celebrity private lives? You wonder why people will die running away from paparazzi? Their stories are hot, it sells and the world laps it up because we have found ourselves with a generation that have no thoughts for anything else but mundane things as my pastor will put it. The net helps circulate “gists’ within seconds so you are even hot being the circulator of mundane gist…people flock to you and you are termed to be happening or hype

If such discussions do not hold your attention then you are old and belong to my generation no matter what date you quote in your birth certificate…the real young ones are caught up in these frivolities as my father will say…unfortunately they are no longer frivolities dad, they are the “in things”!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The great guys we married

My husband is a very wonderful man (You can forward this piece to him and he would wonder what I am up to or rather what I want…) but he truly is…no doubt about that. Not forgetting that he is also a very smart guy who knows when to leave town and when not to be available. A couple of weeks ago, a colleague of mine moved to their new plush home and she was lamenting how her husband, packed up his gadgets and his clothes and drove to the new home and did not come back. By the time she got to the house eventually after making sure everything that needed to be moved had been placed in the moving van (they did not have to pack a lot of things because their stuff has been in storage), this good husband of hers, had ‘set up’ the study with the chairs that were available (they were still expecting the furniture to be delivered that day) and was having drinks with two of his friends. She came in fuming only to be greeted by three cherry merry hearts…and she had to smile as a good wife.

I broke out into a big laughter and she did not know what was funny with her story (considering she was obviously still angry at this whole thing) and was expecting some sympathy. She really looked bewildered with my reaction and then I told her that her husband is actually a very good and helpful guy but not anywhere as great and wonderful as mine. I told them (at this time we have increased to three wives) that mine took off to Dublin the day we were moving and at this, everyone joined the loud laughter. The laughter even got mre rib cracking when I told them that the first time, we moved house, he carried his laptop and his suits put them in his car and simply informed me that he is going to the new house and will sleep there (we were supposed to move the next day). I got a bit confused with the one night early move so I asked if he would be coming in the morning and he said no…I got even more confused. So the next day I got the things loaded (they were packed in the garage) and headed there to find Mr husband relaxing there. After this, my colleague could not agree better that her hubby is truly a very helpful guy even if it is to ensure that the wine rack got moved to the new house…that is help enough!!!

But I can tell you this is not a general trend with guys, this morning, I got an email from one of my senior managers (a guy!!!!) taking a 2 days vacation to move house. I got curious and called him up to say “Why do you need two days to move?” He said that their shipment will need to be unloaded and then I said “you do not need 2 days to unload your shipment” plus there are handy men out there to help . Believe it or not, he said that he will need to help his wife put things in place the second day, plus he wants to make sure that the handymen put things were he wants them so that there will be no complaints. He also said that it will be too much for his wife to handle alone. Sometimes, handymen are difficult and if he is there, they will behave themselves… He must have married the wrong woman…don’t you think? We (wives) can handle handymen, we can supervise unloading (we can even unload it if we do not have handymen)…our hubbies can be having drinks while we do this or be out of town and then they have plenty plenty rights to complain about the positions that we have placed the things when they come back.

If we ever have to move house again, yours truly will be out of town a week before and will return a week after only the house will not be moved…because my great husband must have house moving phobia which is a very rare disease.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Monday Blues

Whose idea is this weekend thing and going to work on Monday? It is Sunday night and I am already tired. I am already thinking...I am too tired to wake up tomorrow morning...I have not gone to bed yet(can you beat that?) but I feel so drained that there is no way a one night sleep will get me to the point where I'd be pepped up and zesty to face the office for 5 straight days.

How come Sundays have this effect on me...really it is not the whole day it is only Sunday night as it gets to 6:00pm and the night quietly creeps in, I get this phobia to even sleep because when I wake up it will be Monday and that is very demoralizing...

Is it just me or is this a general feeling? I am sure that some people just cannot wait for Monday so that they can do what? I love my job but truly..mondays give me the jitters. First there is the meeting...what happened last week and what we are doing this week...same thing week in, week out...truly can we extend the weekend and start work on Tuesday and still break off on Friday? That cannot be too much to ask the world to do or is it?

I think I will stop lamenting and just go to bed...maybe ...just maybe, I will feel like climbing out of bed...did I mention the crazy Monday morning traffic? You cannot even begin to imagine it and then you have to race through everything in the morning to get to work before 8:00am. One thing is sure, I will have to depend on my body clock..I will not be setting any alarm because I am sure to break my phone when the alarm goes off and that will be a calamity.

This has nothing to do with what I did all weekend because even if I stayed in bed all through (which I did not), I will still feel the same way or at least I think I will... what do you think? What is the point of thinking, I just need to try it...lock myself up in the room...banish hubby and son and even the puppy...oh talking about the puppy...ikt must be what drained my energy...no not really...that will not be true...

Great week everyone and I am sure I will be happy again when it is Friday.

Friday, October 27, 2006

And the puppy comes homes

A couple of months ago, over summer, Pappee wanted a puppy and we went to the vet and pet shop to place an order. Obviously, we were informed that it was a long list especially for the German shepherd breed or Alsatians as they are popularly called. This is a very common and popular breed over here in this part of the world. He had no clue which one he wanted – Alsatian, Rotweiller, Pitts bull or whatever, he just wanted a puppy period. Because I have has dogs earlier in my previous life (my life before marriage and motherhood is a previous life…please do not ask me why I term it that…it simply looks like it was in another age and time).

Over the weeks and months we have called the pet shop intermittently to find out where we are on the list and we were told each time to be patient (as if we had any choice). Yesterday, the dreaded call (for me) and the most exciting call (for Pappee) came and they have a puppy for us. There are three of them and we will need to chose first. When I told Papee, he could not contain his joy and he woke up and 6:00am this morning for the trip to the pet shop which is not to be until 10:00 am but that excitement is understandable. Pappee had written list over list of what he will need and have told stories over and over again of what he will be doing together with the puppy so finally his dream is coming through and Christmas came two months ahead.

Last night, we had a meeting to reiterate our earlier agreements on how the dog will be taken care of and whose responsibility it will be to clean the kernel (he was not excited about the dog “poopoo”), he truly wondered if he would be able to do that. He had no issues with the feeding and cleaning of the bowl, giving the puppy a bath (he was really looking forward to that) but the dog mess? No way!! So I said, then it means no puppy. He thought about it for a few seconds and says “mummy I will clean it. Lets get the puppy”.

Eventually it was time and we got to the pet shop. Pappee looked at the puppies in the kernel from one mile …maybe half a mile away and could not even get near. This is trouble if you ask me. So I said, maybe this whole dream for a puppy is not a good idea after all. I went in to talk with the shop owner to get more details about the puppies…when they were born, how many in the liter, the vet the owners used and last de-worming date (puppies are to be de-wormed every 2 weeks). Pappee still had not gotten any closer to the puppies yet we are going home with one. However, by this time, he was already in the pet shop and selecting the leashes and collars and feeding bowl (he had his list) and he identified everything he wanted.

Now time to choose the puppy. As I mentioned there were 3 puppies and one was particularly very aggressive, I liked that one. He would not stop, he would climb over the other ones, bark at the closest figure to the kernel and they are only 5 weeks old. One was so quiet and very pretty (they were all females…we had asked for females) and all through the period we were at the shop, this particular puppy had not made a single sound. I never would dream of taking that puppy in the midst of these other 2 and guess what? That it the one Pappee pointed to and nothing I said will make him change his mind. He said he wants a quiet dog…and I thought…you should be going for poodles and not an Alsatian…besides what he is dreaming of is a big aggressive dog like the ones our neighbors (two houses away has) and he is getting the quiet but beautiful one?. But since this is his puppy, he will be the one to take care of it and whatever it becomes…it is his, I left him with his choice. One thing is sure, our lives have changed with the arrival of this puppy, there is no doubt about that. I hope it gives him and helps him develop a strong sense of responsibility although I pity the puppy, I think if she survives the next two weeks when she will be dragged, pulled, tugged then she is destined for a long life…stay tunes there is bound to be more puppy gist coming…

Oh did I mention? By the time we were leaving the pet shop, he has now touched the puppy a couple of times and now sitting with the puppy at the back of the car…happily.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fulfillment, Happiness …illusions

How often do we say, imagine, day dream and wish:
If only we can get this or that or achieve this level of success or the other or land one job (which we picture in our minds) or get involved in a meaningful relationship or if our boyfriend would show some commitment and propose and the list goes on and on.
Did I almost forget to mention the child syndrome …if only I could have one child or two (in my own case) and then life will be so complete or if our spouses will love us more ( am not sure what this means…you know love more), be less controlling, less selfish, less insensitive…in short very often, we are in the wrong relationship…there is a picture out there that is more promising…

How can I forget lose weight and be a size 1 or 2 (now that they are banning skinny models from some runways, we may increase our expectation to size 4 I guess), wear sexy and fashionable clothes and not always look at the thighs and hips when we test clothes., then we are on way to happiness and fulfillment… (the weight thing is a real problem. I think we need to rethink fashion…I do not mean the plus sizes…I mean one size fits all but lets talk about that another day.

How about we have some trust fund (like Paris Hilton) and we never need to work (although we can sing and release a CD that only our parents and publicist will buy) we will be so very happy and what about the kids not getting into the wrong groups…believe me the list goes on and on…I can even include shoes and bags (at least I have been thinking of buying one bag in the last few days but I attached no intrinsic value to this bag) but I am sure that there are people out there, having the means and access to designer stuff will be the ultimate (actually there was a girl like that in the “Devil wears prada” movie and movies reflect real life situations). One of my friends once said that “is only she could buy one bag that had $1,400 price tag on it, she will not need another bag for a long time…she did not say, she will be happy for a whole day at least.

There is nothing new. We all know that material things count very little (okay, we can do with the very little I guess) but our source of happiness and peace and fulfillment will not come from all these things. They are not physical and cannot be attained through any physical thing. I do not think that they are entirely up to us however, the decision to seek what give these ultimate desires is entirely up to us.

Here is a piece I read today that got me thinking and rattling away. I did not write it. Although it is only about relationship...my point...no human being or anything has the ability to provide these desires for us.

When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.

Tom R

Monday, October 23, 2006

Long Weekend Plans gone haywire...

Remember that I said that I will take this holiday one day at a time since Pappee's school had decided to 'mess up' the great holiday plans and dreams that I had?

Today, I woke to give the entire family a special breakfast...you name it...pancakes (to kill), omletes, sausages, bacon...just a spread. If you saw the plates it is like a full breakfast at Ihop. Everyone ate and were very satisfied. My son said he needed to go on treadmill because he was so full and could hardly move. I was happy to see everyone devour their meal but that was after two hours on my toes straight from the bed. Now you can imagine how the rest of the day would go.

As breakfast was finishing, my sister-inlaw brought her lovely daughter and friend and with three kids...I felt and talked like a kindergarten teacher. I also made up my mind that I am never going to teach children (something I have always known although some days I think I'd make a great teacher). No way!! I'd be none lousy teacher and may end up screaming out of the school if anyone makes the mistake of not seeing through me and give a class to teach. After, I had succeeded in getting them to tidy up we headed out for lunch. Thank goodness for nannies, I went to lunch with 3 kids and 3 nannies. I had no intention of going crazy as you can imagine. I left them at the kid's friendly section and sent off to get some sanity in another section and when they were done sreaming and yelling and playing...we all went home.

It was not the end of the day. I had to gather more materials for Pappee's school project and then cook dinner for hubby...I thought after that heavy breakfast that no one will look for food again but alas...by dineer time they had all forgotten the sumptuous breakfast so yours truly had to fix dinner again.

Dinner done, son tucked in and now I am writing this bit with a big bowl of popcorn and a big glass of water. Obviously, gym did not make it into today's scedule but lots of food made it which is a good alternative to working out. Tomorrow, we are going to start our scrap book on Hawaii and I will tell you all about it. For now, I thought, there is no way I am going to go to bed without telling how great today was and how I was celebrated for living in the kitchen. Now the bed beckons and who knows I may have other responsibilites to carry out there but do not expect to hear it all when I share my day tomorrow...or would you like some details on that too???


Sunday, October 22, 2006

What are you Handing Over?

It is like a relay race, you finish your stint and then another person takes over… you hand over the baton. Relay racers learn how to take and handover the baton successfully so that they can avoid the baton dropping. Once the baton drops, the race is disqualified and none of the participants is rewarded. If this happens in the last lapse, then all the previous runners are all losers. This is how life is.

What are you handing over? If you have children, it is important for us to understand that our lives will affect theirs (even if you do not yet have children understanding that the next generation in your lineage when they come will be affected by your action is of utmost importance). As parents we must be fully aware of what God expects and how the children are linked to the vision that He has given to you today…the promises that He has made to you.

Today in church my pastor was teaching on Headship and he was taking his text from the book of Genesis chapter 24. Abraham understood the importance of the next generation towards the accomplishment of God’s will and fulfillment of the promises which He has made to him and did not take chances. Every little decision was important because he understood God’s mind and would not take His words lightly. He asked his servant to make a promise about how and where he would get a wife for his son. This he knew was extremely important in continuing God’s instructions to him and in fulfillment of the utmost promise that He (God) has made to him.

Some of us as we get older we look back at the actions and behaviors of our youth although it is filled with vigor and passion but often we all sigh and say “Oh how foolish I was then”. The Psalmist in Psalm 37 verse 25 was reminiscing and telling the younger people that he has been young and now old but he (David) has never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread. What are you telling your children today about whom God is or who he is not? Even if it is not about God, what are handing over to your children?

To a lot of people, they were born and they grew up in abject poverty and they made a decision that for their children it will be different and they set out to en-masse wealth or build something so that they can give their children a better life and even more. There is nothing wrong with this, this is actually a good thing but what are you handing over to them that will keep them firmly anchored when the storms of life toss them around? What legacy are you leaving to them?

Once God has given you children, He has given you an enormous responsibility to nurture and teach them to live…you are to hand over the baton to them and the baton you hand over is as important as how you hand it over. In our lives each day, the little things we do, the little decisions we make will impact not just our lives but the lives of the next generation. We must think it over, we must pay attention to our actions and our words because we are handing over something to the next generation (God has already started dealing with them even when they are yet unborn) and decide what we want to hand over to children to continue the race with.

What are you handing over? Who are you handing over to? Will the dream die or will the flame continue even when your days are gone? Will the baton drop as you want to hand over when your own lapse of the life race is over or will you teach the next person how to take it from you successfully? Think about it!!!
So much for holidays

Immediately the email went out that we were having a Monday and Tuesday off as holidays, you could hear the joy and sounds of “oh my God, this is for real. For days (actually a week) there has been constant buzz about this holidays whether it is going to be one day or two days to mark the Muslim end of Ramadan…see in this part of the world we love holidays and time offs and we like to be paid for them. We observe all the holidays…Christian calendar holidays, Muslim calendar holidays, national holidays and even some unfathomable ones…any level of government…state, federal even community can declare it and we are just as happy. To vote we stay home, To get counted we stay home…employers and entrepreneurs are usually furious about this but we the workers , we love it yet we love our work with unquestionable passion…(you believe that you believe anything) but that was what we exhume…unparallel passion.

So this holiday news came and our truly started reaming up all the things that I was going to do, how much weight I’d lose because I will have time to go to the gym without rushing out and who knows I will even get my waist line down by two inches just this long extended weekend.. You know how they say it “If you can dream it, you can achieve so why not? I am dreaming it so who says I can not achieve it. While I am thinking of this “lose 3 kg in 2 days” I am thinking of the exotic foods that I am going to eat…okay may be I will not eat them all but I am certainly thinking about them…oh boy, I will just eat the fat free versions. First I will order a tray pf peppered chicken then I can eat that with big bowls of salad all weekend.

Anyway, these were all my thoughts about the holidays and then of course I thought that I’d read a looooot and write a bit, go to church and just sleeeeep (now that is a tough one because I am usually way too buy to sleeeeep but nevertheless I thought I’d do that only to get home and find out that my son’s school had their own agenda. They too had decided that they will combine the holidays with the midterm break so school will be off the whole week too. They claimed that this will minimize interruption since the kids were not meant to be on midterm until the following week, they thought that it will be way too much to be off two days one week and off the entire week the following week. What they did not know was that my son was happy and would have been happy being off the whole two weeks if it came to that. So I got home they has sent the boy home with tons of home work for the entire week and as if that was not enough, the school term project that was originally scheduled to be submitted on October 30 is now due on the 27th …these were all a total disaster. Not only will I spend the entire long weekend doing home work with Pappee, I am also going to be finding project materials and putting the project together with him. As I read the entire newsletter from school I saw all my plans go through the roof. I went to bed thinking…I will just take the holiday days one day at a time…anything goes now…I almost thought of that Aesop fable moral…”Do not count your eggs before they are hatched"… tra-la-la (another sad love song).

Today is day one – Saturday and I spent it going to the gym (thank God) then going to the doctor with the boy who has had some skin rashes for days now to check it and driving to and picking him up from the music school. I also had time to run some errands for a friend and going to the dry cleaners…certainly not a lot of fun except now that I write about it, I think it has been a real useful day…what do you think?

Friday, October 20, 2006

Is People Management that tough?

I was at a forum yesterday morning and it was meant to be a breakfast session of "select HR" people ( I only had a miserable cup of tea and they had some muffins on the table, I was actually expecting a spread and I almost starved since I will not touch the muffin with a long pole) and some entrepreneurs (you know entrepreneurs are also HR people since they manage their little group). But all in all, it was a good gathering of real professionals. Anyway, one guy expressed so much frustration at managing people and how he spends 70% of his time sorting out people issues and not have time to face his 'core business' which is bringing in the deals/sales. My heart went out to him that I even made a personal commitment to hear him out and maybe help during the networking break. May be he does not have so much of a problem. Besides, they say that a problem shared is half solved.

However, my encounter with a number of entreprenuers from this part of the planet show that thier major problem is that they have no well thought out people management philosophy when they start their business. Truly, they do not think of it at all. I have met only one person who said "I planned ahead of time the kind of people who will work here and how they will manage themselves" and today, that company is a point of reference for others. I even have one or two things to learn from them when I start my business (keep your fingers crossed). A major flaw that I have noticed is that they seek and employ 'workers' and truly there is nothing wrong with that. So they get workers and from my experience 'workers' demand your time because they need a lot of supervision and they 'work for you'. I usually tell SMEs to seek and employ partners and that way, most of their problems are eliminated. The other ones can be handled by coaching and mentoring and normal people management processes. The idea of 'worker' is also a mentality. If you think that people should be grateful to work for you simply because you gave them a job...you get just that but if you treat them as part of the business and communicate (in action and words they also bring something to the table) and they understand that if the business goes down, they also go down, there is a shift in their mentality. Once you can get your employees to think as business owners and given the autonomy to act as one, productivity is higher, there is a higher level of commitment and the bottom line which is the focus is in green not in red.

I have always said that my professional bits will not be showing up here but this was part of my day yesterday and I thought I'd share it. By the way, I gave this gentleman my card and before the day was over, he called me and rattled on a heap of disjointed issues and programs that he has thought that will solve his problem and when I asked him how what he was willing to commit to this employee development of HR revamption for his company, he said he is willing to pay and I said I am not talking about money, I am talking about time. I asked if he was willing to sit with his employees to talk (not to bark) and if he has time to spend in ensuring that what the HR person recommends gets implemented...he said that he will like to pay the HR person to come up with the suggestions and implement them for him and at that point I knew he will have that people problem for a very long time...tra-la-la.

It is another weekend and I am looking forward it. It promises to be very interesting and I will make up for lost time. I will write everyday....I promise!!!!