I Want To Be That Guy!

I love TV. I love the stories. I love the acting and when it’s George Clooney, I literally love the actor! :). I digress. I am drawn into the make believe world that writers create and actors bring to life. I am often in awe of the talent of the writers because at the stroke of the pen they instigate an avalanche of emotions. I have cried, laughed, screamed, danced, fumed and even had sleepless nights over something I’ve watched. I credit amazing writers and exceptional actors for that. My husband makes fun of me because of how drawn into it I get and often reminds me that it’s not real life. Whatever! Everyone needs an obsession right? 😉

And so like many others around the world, I look forward to watching award ceremonies. The Golden Globe, The Oscars, The BAFTAs and of course The Emmys. I watch them for the same reason I love going to a concert or the theatre – I am unequivocally inspired. And this year’s Emmys did not disappoint. I must mention that I have not been as into TV so much as I would have been say five years ago. There is just so much choice and very little time to watch them all. So I must admit that I have never seen an episode of Scandal, House of Cards, Game of Thrones or True Detective and a few others. *covers eyes*. Looks like I have a lot of box sets to get through over the Christmas holidays. However, despite my lack of knowledge of most of the programmes, it was nonetheless inspiring.

In retrospect, given my lack of viewing experience, perhaps I shouldn’t have introduced this post by saying I love TV. Maybe I’m inspired by TV would have been better. ROTFL. I digress again.

Anyway, as I was saying, I find award ceremonies inspiring for a number of reasons. It’s the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice. It’s an honour for your peers to recognise your gift – the moment when others see in you what you’ve secretly thought about yourself. It’s the joy. The dresses – oh my goodness the dresses. The dodgy speeches. But every now and then, someone says or does something that sets me aflame and makes me determined to be THAT guy or lady on the screen.

This year, it was Bryan Cranston, winner of outstanding lead actor in a drama series. In his acceptance speech he said the following about discovering his passion:

I did happen to stumble upon finding a passion that created a seed and bloomed into something so wonderful for me. I love to act, it is a passion of mine and I will do it until my last breath. ……………………..Take a chance, take a risk. Find that passion, rekindle it, fall in love all over again. It’s really worth it.

Yep! I want to be THAT guy!

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Living Life Passionately

I think I’ve said it numerous times and in numerous ways, I hate football. I absolutely abhor it. It does nothing for me and thankfully my husband has been kind enough not to let it overtake our lives so I’m only subjected to Match of the Day. I thought I had escaped a life consumed by football. I really thought I had. :(. How could I have known that my sports addict of a husband and I would spawn an ultra football mad child. 😦 😦 :(. I could not have known. Truly I must have been bad in another life. I blame the World Cup and his school friends. They are solely responsible for the football fanatic that now resides under my roof. He has two hundred and three Panini football cards. I know because he counts them regularly and lays them out with the same ardour that one would use to polish a brand new Ferrari. He can tell you absolutely every player on every team represented at the World Cup. He knows how many duplications of each card that he possesses.  He knows all the managers. He knows the colours of all the flags. I am constantly amazed at how he can connect every conversation to a football fact. I’m like, really??? Now he watches the sports channel all the time. So I didn’t escape the madness it would seem. 😐

Despite my angst and moans, I am fascinated by how a boy who only played football during lunch break, was never awake late enough to watch it with his dad and only knew teams that his friends talked about at school could be so easily consumed by it. It has raised his confidence so much that he’s chatting up random people on the streets and telling them about his cards and players he likes. Also because he is so knowledgeable about the subject, he can boldly have conversations with friends and strangers alike, His geography has improved immensely and he now has a desire to travel to other countries. He drives his sister round the bend with football card games and faux swaps (he always finds a way to get his cards back). I was even forced to become his agent during the World Cup when I inadvertently found myself teaching him how to negotiate with his friends so that when they swapped cards, he got a worthy exchange. :).   It was a funny moment really because he had been convinced by a friend to give up a rare card for one he already had.  Well, I was wasn’t having that.  Negotiation is a life skill that he will eventually have to learn so he might as well learn how now.  So when all is said and done, I have to admit that it’s a wonderful sight to behold. Watching his growing passion for football has been a real revelation for me.

The way he lights up when talking about football is inspiring.  He gets so excited and has to slow down to catch his breath because he’s forgotten to breathe. When he describes a goal, the joy splayed over his face is infectious, you can’t help but laugh. It is just priceless. Every child should have an obsession. Heck! We should all have an obsession. Truly!

I’ve worked with so many people who come to work day in day out and you know they would rather be somewhere else. I’ve also been one of those people. And I’ve worked with people who can take the most boring subject and turn it into a spellbinding subject. I’ve also been one of those people too. I’d rather work with the latter any day. And the moment I begin to feel like the former, it’s time to run for the exit. Whilst there is no such thing as the perfect job, I need to at the very least like what I do.  If most of my living moments are going to be spent in an office then they have to be meaningful moments.

Observing my son’s new found fanaticism has put me in a very reflective mood so I might have a couple more posts on the subject.  If you ask me, I want to be obsessed, consumed, subsumed and imbued by a passion that has my DNA all over it.   It may not necessarily be my day job, although that would be so cool, it might simply be a hobby or interest.  I think it’s a richer and more fulfilling way to live life. Even if it’s for a moment. It will be well worth it.

 

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Eeek! The End Of The Year Is Nigh!

I don’t know about you but I can’t believe that August is over next week and the last quarter of the year is upon us. It’s scary that I’m about to purchase a planner for 2015. Eeek!

If you are like me, you’ll be thinking ok – what did I set out to do this year? How far along am I? What have I left to do? Did I make any impact? Did I waste time and resources? Am I bothered?

As I said at the start of the year, I don’t believe in resolutions because life is one huge continuum. So I’m going to start from where I am now and refocus where necessary; give myself a pat on the back where deserved and just move along.

People tend to wait till the very last moment in the year to think about their plans for the following year. But that’s not good enough because you could lose another month trying to suss out what you want and then before you know it, March 2015 is upon you. OK I might be scaremongering a bit but you get my point.

There is no use is getting upset about what you haven’t done this year so far.  By all means reflect but move on!  Life is a continuum- a series of experiences that will eventually culminate in achievement. Our bit is to plan it to the best of our ability.

So we’ve all got three months and a bit to devise a focus for next year.

Let’s get planning!

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Picture credit: Organised Mum Family Planner

Another Rant

I noticed a theme developing in some of my post.  They are simply rants!  So I have a new category for rants as it would appear I am turning into a grumpy old woman.

I really do not like it when someone assumes that just because you are friends or you have a relationship of some sort, that gives them the right to add you to their business mailing list.  It is really annoying.  Friends or not, it is still an invasion of privacy and you should ask permission before doing so.

An Attitude Of Gratitude

Sometimes you’ve got to shake yourself and realise that though you feel a sense of ‘lack’ in certain areas, you are undeniably blessed. I started my day being thankful for the things I take for granted and once again I realise I have a lot more than I appreciate.

I am grateful for good health.
I am grateful for nine years of marriage
I am grateful for a husband who was a stranger and is now my friend
I am grateful to be blessed with two children who keep me on my toes
I am grateful for my mum who has outlived her ancestors
I am grateful for my sisters who are my A-team
I am grateful for my job and the opportunities it brings
I am grateful for a faith that ensures I do not drown in the issues of life
I am grateful for good friends
I am grateful that the sun is shining this morning

Can you come up with ten things you are grateful for today?

Lest We Forget How Fragile We Are

Encountering judgemental and insensitive people is the bane of social media.  I really don’t care your religious or personal beliefs but when someone dies, you keep quiet as a mark of respect.  It is called social decorum.

The irony that THE Mr Funny Man, Robin Williams, was suffering from depression can’t be lost on anyone who has heard the news.  You think how?  But he was so funny.  He made us all laugh.  I watched his films and felt better after.  That was the magic of Robin Williams – the actor.  For very few of us were privy to the life of Robin Williams – the man.  So I truly wonder on what basis we choose to pass judgement on his committing suicide.

It is an inimitable tragedy when someone is so overwhelmed and shrouded in despair that the only option they see available to them is taking their own life.  It must be the lowest and dimmest point of such a person’s life.  We can be shocked, distraught, angered, upset, dumbfounded but judgemental?  I don’t think so.  If such news doesn’t elicit compassion within you then I am speechless.

Depression is not as distant a reality as many would like to think.  Something that happens to ‘certain’ people.  It is a clear and present danger in the daily reality of many of our friends and family.  I too, remember when after having my first child, the pressures of being the ‘perfect’ mother who instinctively knew what to do began to cave in around me.  I remember the moment clearly.  I hadn’t eaten that morning.  I had not had my bath. Having decided to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months, I had an interrupted night’s sleep as I had had the night before. My mother and I were giving my son a bath earlier and she made a suggestion which I interpreted as criticism.   My husband was at work and I felt alone.  As I placed another set of soiled baby clothes in the washing machine, I felt a cloud of darkness begin to seduce me.  It was not a literal cloud, more like an invitation to dance with a masked dancer whose true nature would only be revealed once caught in his clutches.  I am grateful that I had the clarity of mind to say no thank you to that dance.  And I know without a shadow of doubt, if I had entertained that sinister dancer, I would be telling a different story today.  Post-natal depression is simply what I would have been told.  I was able to derive strength from my faith that day and escaped the clutches of depression but not many are so lucky.

I Corinthians 10:12-13

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

My faith was my way of escape.  It is a faith that I wish for all but such is life; not all will believe it.  However, I also strongly believe that we can all offer one another a way of escape from the burdening issues we may face and make it easier to bear burdens.  I’ve blogged about this before in Too Busy to Care.  And I think it requires mentioning again.  Let’s be attentive to one another, particularly people you know who are suffering from depression or going through a tough time.  Let’s just care a bit more and not forget that it could have been you in their position. You never know, you might save a life!

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Counting The Cost

Can you ever really count the cost associated with a decision? Organised humans will know the costs associated with a decision and the super organised ones may go as far as having contingency plans in place as well. But can you really know what it costs you until you are going through it?

When my husband decided to embark on adult education and we agreed to move to Cambridge, it was a very ‘romantic’ notion. Starting a new life, achieving a long awaited goal, having a second chance – all those sort of emotions were stirred up in us. It was a very exciting time but probably not fully thought out :). We grew to find out that the cost of the move was not the financial pay cut we both took. It wasn’t our kids starting at a new school. Or making new friends in a place where we had no friends or family. Or moving house. Or losing clothes and stuff to decluttering before the move. Or starting a new career. It wasn’t any of those obvious things.

We looked forward to the opportunities that the ‘new’ offered and looked at the financial implications and the effect it could have on our children. Yet we overlooked some vital questions – how will our daily lives change practically and how will it affect us as individuals? I don’t think we really broke it down. We were too excited!! LOL

We didn’t really think about the practical day to day stuff. Like the fact that he would be away at school a lot and that would mean I would be at home with the kids more; during exams he would hibernate and bury himself in studies again leaving me alone with the kids :-|; that although he had to study he couldn’t shut out his family and would have to balance the two. Nothing could have prepared us for the feeling of being along even though we were surrounded by people. Sometimes I couldn’t do my own thing because he had an evening lecture. I wasn’t prepared for the feelings of resentment or wanting to run away from it all. From his perspective, though he knew it would be tough, he couldn’t have imagined how much independent study time he would have to put in – it was onerous. Or the relentless daily schedule of his college. There is no way you could absolutely count the cost of the unknown.

Maybe the flip side is if we were anal about it we wouldn’t have moved. Then we would have robbed ourselves wonderful experiences and growth! The thing is you can never know how much it’s really going to cost you.

So if you have travelled down a path that’s making you wonder how the heck did I find myself here? You just might be on the right path; it’s just tougher than you thought it would be. Hang in there.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Flaws

I don’t think anyone one could tell me anything about myself that I would be surprised to hear.  I am fully aware of my strengths and my flaws.  Like everyone else, I am a work in progress.  My children are also works in progress but it is my responsibility as a parent to challenge them to grow; not necessarily change, but grow.

For example, my son is two years older than his sister and has always doted on her from the moment she was born.  I think she is quite aware that he has a soft spot for her and gets him to give up a lot for her – like T.V programmes, food, sweets, toys- you name it.  He is nine times out of ten more willing to sacrifice for her.  As the younger sibling, I cannot say that she is as willing to sacrifice as much as he does, to put it kindly.  She is six times out of ten more likely to be coerced into giving up something for him.

I try to teach them to negotiate when they disagree on say, what to watch on TV and the number of times I’ve heard my son say, “oh OK.  You can watch what you want”, is sadly not a rarity.  And like most people oblivious to their flaws, when she doesn’t get her way, she comes crying, “He NEVER lets me watch what I want”. 🙂  At those moments I marvel.  If I wasn’t present at most of those times, I would accuse my son of being selfish.  However, she is five – it’s my role to point out these tendencies to her and also create opportunities for her to be more giving, or force her if necessary.  She may not get to nine times out of ten like her brother but she can get to a seven and a half or eight, plus the added advantage of being self-aware so she can watch out for it herself as she grows older.

Parents can understandably get very sensitive about their children’s flaws.  Criticism about them is taken personally because it is interpreted as personal failure – being a ‘bad’ parent.  As there are no instruction manuals for parenting each individual child, and we are all trying our best to make the best of it, then it is right that we should take personal responsibility.   However, as tough as it may be to hear negative reports about your child, assess it.  I can’t tell you how to react to it but in your quiet moments assess it because it is your responsibility to ensure that they are equipped with mental, social, emotional and spiritual tools to cope with adulthood.  There is nothing worse than an adult who still acts like a child.

I Want To Get Married Again

This song makes me want to have a wedding again just for the sake of dancing to it.

Thinking Out Loud
When your legs don’t work like they used to before
And I can’t sweep you off of your feet
Will your mouth still remember the taste of my love
Will your eyes still smile from your cheeks
And darling I will be loving you ’til we’re 70
And baby my heart could still fall as hard at 23
And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

So honey now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
Maybe we found love right where we are

When my hair’s all but gone and my memory fades
And the crowds don’t remember my name
When my hands don’t play the strings the same way, mm
I know you will still love me the same
‘Cause honey your soul can never grow old, it’s evergreen
Baby your smile’s forever in my mind and memory
I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it’s all part of a plan
I just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you’ll understand

But baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are, oh
(Ah la la, la la la, la la la, la la la la)

So baby now
Take me into your loving arms
Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars
Oh darling, place your head on my beating heart
I’m thinking out loud
That maybe we found love right where we are
Oh maybe we found love right where we are
And we found love right where we are

Songwriters
AMY WADGE, ED SHEERAN
Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I Am Not A Boy!!!!

I understand that Tomi will be pronounced as Tommy by most people around the world. I get that. However when I add Mrs to my name or state clearly that my gender is female, I do not expect to be mistaken for a MAN! It’s absolutely ridiculous that professionals will not take the time to read correspondence accurately.

After primary school, my parents received a letter confirming that I had passed my Common Entrance Exams, the then national exams to gain entry into State secondary schools in Nigeria. It stated that I had passed my exams and I had gained entry to King’s College. Spot the difference? Yep! King’s! I was sent to an ALL-boys school! Some clever person in the administrative office must have thought, NO– the parents do not know the sex of their OWN child, Tomi must be a he! Mind you, this was in Nigeria, where they should have known better. So you imagine the sort of stuff I’ve encountered living in the United Kingdom.

Since then, I have received interview letters, employment rejection letters, business letters – you name it- referring to me as MR! when I have clearly signed my correspondence as MRS! I just received another one this evening. I am not happy!