Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy 54th Independence Day Nigeria!

I dropped off the lil one in school today, all decked in native attire. His school is celebrating October 1st; Nigeria's Independence day. The day where we told the British to sod off, and they did. Quite quickly, if I may say so. Of course, we have our founding fathers to thank for fighting for our independence. But there is someone (or something) we always forget to thank - the mosquito!. Lets face it: if not for the mosquito, the British may have stayed for longer. But thanks to the famed anopheles, they were all too happy to leave. I jokingly tell my friends that our national coat of arms should feature the mosquito and not the eagle/horses... (hehehe).  

As I drove through Isaac John street, I saw that all the kids were dressed up as well. They all looked so happy and cute. It took me back to my childhood days, the good ole' days where Independence day celebrations were a BIG deal, and was second to Christmas. Literally. 

We always went to the stadium (Ogbe Stadium) for a fun filled ceremony. There were speeches, cultural displays and of course the much anticipated March Past.  We would rehearse for months on end, until we got every step right. And then we would go to sleep the night before, quivering with excitement. 

When the day dawned, we would greet everyone and anyone - Happy Independence Day!

We would get dressed in a hurry. No one wanted to be late to the stadium. It was the same outfit every year - firmly starched dark green uniform with a matching cap, the bright yellow neck-kerchief, glistening white socks, pulled up to our knees, and shiny black shoes. This was my uniform (I marched for the Adventist Youth Society, the youth arm of my church). 

We would line up in the stadium for hours, patiently waiting for the march past. As usual, the governor would arrive late. But it did not matter. We would practice our moves, chat with friends who were participating in other schools/societies; and we would dream of the ice cream we would have after the ceremony. 

When the governor arrived and all the speeches were done, the police band would strike a tune, so musical, so rich, so wonderful and so loud, our hearts reverberated in unison:  

Oye sa la ze bo. Oye sa la ze bo
Oye sala ze, Oye sala ze
Oye sala ze bo. 

If you have anything to do, 
Anything to do, anything to do...
If you have anything to do
Better do it right!.......

And we would wait for our commander to scream: "By The Center, Quick Time!!!!
Left, Left, Left, Left. 
Left, Riiiiight.
Left Riiiiiiight, 
Forwarrrrrd March!!!!"

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

So, I finally took up the 7 day challenge! And with a bit of consolidating, I made it to Day 7!! Its my birthday and I am quite happy with myself. Overall, I think I am in a very good place, spiritually,emotionally, physically. And I have a lot to be thankful for. 
So, in honor of the gratitude challenge, I am sharing my Facebook posts! Enjoy!!!

Day 1: I am grateful for Life. And all its ups and down. The highs and the lows. Heartaches and Happiness. Failures and Successes. Trials and Triumphs. Rejection and Restoration. Disappointments and Achievements. Sorrow and Joy. Chaos and Calm.. All these and more, I am grateful for.

Day 2: I am grateful for my parents. My Dad (aka Elder), who raised me as a capable woman, and gave me a strong sense of self worth, of independence, of confidence, of dedication and of disciplined work ethics. My mom (aka Mamaloo). My 'Shero', who raised 7 kids brilliantly, who instilled in me the spirit of excellence, and taught me hospitality, empathy, and the true meaning of practical Christianity. For these and more, I am eternally grateful for. 

Day 3/4: I am grateful for my sisters. I got three of you, and you guys have been my Rock. Friends. ShoulderToCryOn. ArmsToRunTo. You are TrailBlazers. Awesome Moms. Fantastic Wives. Professional Women. You are a constant source of Inspiration. Dedication. Determination. Thank you for being great Role Models. Thank you for loving God so much, it was only natural for me to love him too. For teaching me Respect. For teaching me Empathy. For teaching me Patience. For proving to me that I can be Anything I want to be. And for Cheering me on.

The Doc, The Banker, The Nurse.
The Playful, The Reserved, The Thinker.
Igwe d 1st, Igwe d 2nd, Igwe d 3rd.

For Loving me and More, I am Eternally Grateful For.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Of Gratitude......

Today, I was taught a critical lesson in gratitude. I have been meaning to commence '7 Days of Gratitude' as a prequel to my birthday next week.... .. but I have been putting it off on the pretext of being too busy. Then I stumbled on to a post on Facebook today and I started bawling like a baby. The post is about a lady who knew she was going to die. And she handled it with grace and dignity. And she lived life to the fullest. You can read about her story here. And So There Must Come An End

More often than not, we forget the most important thing we have - Life. The ability to wake up in the morning, the ability to get up, brush our teeth, take a shower, wear our clothes, all without help. The ability to eat, to laugh, to cry, to work, to play, to live and to love. To cuddle under the blankets with the spouse on a chilly night, to have the little ones race to the door and greet you with a beaming smile as you return from work....... the list is endless. 

Thankfully, something comes along to shake us from our reverie, and we are reminded of how damn lucky we are. To be alive. And as long as we are alive, we know the future is bright.  

As we countdown to the end of September and the end of the year, let's challenge ourselves to live life to the fullest. Enjoy every moment. Take a vacation. Stop to chat with someone. Give your long lost friend a call. Smile at a stranger. Be grateful - express appreciation for what you have, not for what you need or what you want. Never stop counting your blessings. 

Celebrate Life. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. Every Second. 

Happy Living Folks.  


This Thing Called LIFE. Vanity. Upon. Vanity

Cynthia. Cynthia Amaize Cynthia Ovuede. Federal Government Girls College. 1989. We liked FGGC Benin because at least we could make ou...