Monday, December 27, 2010

Becoming a Mrs.

Can't believe it has been this long since I blogged. Hello is anyone out there? Not sure if anyone is still listening, but I won't stop writing...How are y'all doing?

Lots of great stuff have happened since I moved back to Nigeria. Most recently and significantly I got hitched to my knight in shinning armor! Wohoo!

It' s been a period of learning, loving and laughing. How does it feel to be married? It feels...natural. Like this is how I've always lived, even though we dated for just over a year. Perhaps it's because we've been best friends for several years?

I love waking up beside him everyday. No more agonizing good byes at the end of a fun-filled weekend and no more marathon phone calls. Since the wedding day, we've been asking ourselves "So we're really married?"

I was reading the book Saving your marriage before it starts months before we got married and one statement really stuck out to me: that marriage is a lifestyle - aka a way of living. You remain who you are - you've just chosen a different way of living out your life day-to-day. Where most of us get it wrong is when we expect the marriage to be the almighty solution that will save us or deliver us from all of life's woes.

The authors (Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott) say that the love, bliss and healing that we all look forward to enjoying in marriage comes. But it's a by product of a healthy marriage where two partners invest in each other. Not one where the partners are looking to just receive and receive. I certainly found the authors' advice practical before our wedding and now that I'm living in the lifestyle of marriage I certainly understand.

I bless God the Father and thank Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for leading me into all truth and for the gift of my husband. He is truly a gem. A man of honour. The Lord who knows you and who knows who you will become in the years ahead will only give you the best for a life partner.

Our path to the altar was a real journey which I'd love to share once our year-long honeymoon is over...ha ha ha.

Thanks for stopping by! Now back to the business of leaving, cleaving and loving...(wink wink)!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Marriage Talks 3: Mindset

My attitude towards marriage has slowly evolved through the years. As a bullied teenager, I often dreamed of my future husband and imagined the conversations we would have and the way he would make me feel. Marriage was still at least 10 years away, but I was sure that it would wipe away the pain and loneliness that haunted me back then.

In my late teens to early twenties, those daydreams fell to the background as I threw myself into the depths of books, American college life and…online shopping (well, more like browsing – I was a college student !). I wasn’t looking for Mr. Right; even though I wouldn’t have minded being found by him.  But I was conveniently preoccupied with exploring and spreading my newly-acquired adult wings.

Friends and classmates got engaged and I didn’t feel any stirrings. Once, my best friend called from Lagos to encourage me to take a closer look at the men around me. “ Isn’t there anyone you are interested in?” he asked? 

He had never heard any boyfriend tales from me and had specifically called to discuss my love life.
 
In return I told him that I wanted to focus on the season of life that I was in and assured him that God would send the right man at the right time But the concern in his voice stayed with me. “Did he have a point?” I later wondered. 

Truth was, I liked my single life the way it was. No drama, no pain, no heartbreak.  I was the feature attraction and I knew how to handle me. After all I had been living with myself for 21 years. Ten years before, I couldn’t wait to be married, and now that it was finally within reach, love, relationships and marriage had become an abstract concept.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Something is Lurking in the Dark

I was leaving my house at 6:20 a.m and for some reason, I decided to take the back door. Why? I kept asking myself, what if something happens? What will happen? I shot back at my fear.

As I get to the bottom of the back stairwell, I see a black shadow moving and realize there is a creature standing by the gate near the last step. I summon up courage and forge ahead vaguely thinking it's a cat.

I loop around to get to the last step when I suddenly see, running at top speed, and across my path a HUGE rat! It darts beneath the step I'm standing on.

I don' think.

I immediately long jump from the last step to the ground and begin to run blindly - screaming of course - all the way to the street.

I burst out laughing when I am safe on the street, but fear returns when I realize my phone is missing. Eh? I would rather leave the phone behind than go back and meet cat-rat. I have never seen a rat that big in my life. Isn’t that what they call bush meat?

I eventually talk myself into retrieving the phone from where it was waiting to be rescued (on the last step) and report the rat to all my colleagues in the office.

My boss laughed and asked if I would pass the back door in the pre-dawn morning again. Yes ke! How can a rat terrorize me in my own territory? (I haven’t passed the back stairwell that early in the morning since than sha), but I’ve seen the rat from the corner of my eyes twice when I’m passing the front.

My sweetie finds it all hilarious. He says the rat leaves for its workplace, Ratcom, when I leave for mine, that’s why we’re always jamming on the way, and he said it even has a name - Ojorat.

Can you imagine?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eating Well in Nigeria

Why do I have to wait until I’m approaching 40 or when I’m pregnant with my first child to start paying attention to what I put into my mouth? We are truly what we eat. The first time I personally witnessed this was in 2003.

I had just moved to America and was a freshman in college. I was feeling a bit off so I decided to take advantage of the medical insurance and run blood tests to make sure I was okay.

Days later, the nurse was reading through my blood tests results and I noticed a particular column indicated red because it was about 200% more than the average level! I panicked and asked about it. She said it was good cholesterol - “you must eat a lot of fish right?” Mmmh, not anymore I told her and went on to explain how when I lived in Nigeria, I ate fish almost every night, and I’m not kidding - 5 out of 7 nights for about 1 year!

At first my sisters and I loved ithe round smoked fish in stew with rice, eba, beans. One whole fish to ourselves, yum! But after a while, we began to beef the fish: fish fish fish all the time. Ahn Ahn!

So you can imagine the irony when I found out that that very fish had kept me healthy and was still present in my blood even 3 months after I had stopped eating it!

We are truly what we eat.

So I’m trying to put quality items into my body now. To teach my body to crave the good stuff. It’s not been easy though because while America over processes its foods, over here we love to overcook and fry ours.

Some weeks ago, friends and colleagues kept telling me I was glowing and wondering what I was doing?! I had no idea what! It wasn’t until I had ended my fast did I realize that it probably had something to do with the lack of food! I had read somewhere that human beings over eat in general and that these days we put more toxins than nutrients into our bodies. But shouldn’t I be looking gaunt and miserable if I was skipping meals? I am still trying to figure that one out. I must glow again oh!

In the past few days, I have instituted 3 healthy to do’s on my list. Here’s a synopsis of how I’ve been faring:

#1: Say no to Coke - I haven’t bought a coke for the last 2 weeks, instead I’ve been drinking other beverages (Lucozade, Swepps heh heh I know it’s cheating) but my colleague gave me an ice chilled canned Coke today. I let it sit on my desk for an hour then… drank half a can before I chided myself and dumped the rest in my abandoned cup of water.

#2: Eat 1 piece of fruit a day – I had two apples for dinner yesterday because I was bored with the alternative: eba and vegetable. But for some reason, my stomach ran all night! Was my body having a reaction to the sudden infusion of healthiness?!

#3: Cut down on fried foods – I just finished eating boiled plantain and stew for dinner. I don’t fancy plantain in general, but I found the boiled taste a refreshing change.

#4: Take top quality supplements – Not the kind that adds more chemicals to your body. When I was fasting, I accompanied my evenings meals with a glass of water and vitamin C – perhaps that’s the secret behind the glow? Because our foods are so altered and overcooked, it often lacks the nutrients that our bodies need. If you’re an inconsistent eater like me (think feasting during the weekends and snacking during the week) supplements can make all the difference.

Am not doing too badly don’t you think? Oh and my cold is gone and the subsequent cough is finally breaking. Thanks for all your concern!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nigerian Wedding Planning

My people, besides eloping, what do you think is the best way to pull of a small wedding reception in a culture that calls for large, loud and lavish weddings ?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dirty hands, Dirty girls and Dirty boys!

When I lived in Israel, for some reason I always caught colds in the summer. Regularly. Does the flu spread faster in hot weather…?

I’d be miserable because Israeli summers and freezing air conditioners go hand-in-hand. Every mall, bus, office, classroom greets you with a blast of ice-cold air. For a chick with a sniffling nuisance of a cold – it meant blocked noses, nasal voice and congested sinuses whenever I stepped into a public building. And the tissue! My trademark was wads and wads of used tissue everywhere. Shout out to my mum for being so tolerant when I left them on her dining table! My misery blocked out all sense of propriety. Ahh, those were the days.

I still dislike having a cold in hot weather. Fortunately for me, it hasn’t happened much since I moved back to naija. I wash my hands and keep them away from my face. Works for me. (It’s either that or my immunity is looking up).

I can’t count how many times I’ve seen ladies jump out of the loo without washing their hands. (Don’t even get me started on this topic!)

Unfortunately, those of us who do wash our hands still have to use the same door handles and we have to shake their hands and share the germs…. Kai. Ladies, ladies, ladies! How many times did I call you? Wash your hands whenever you are using a shared loo! Ahn ahn.

By the way, MEN, just because you can, does not mean you should stop and pee out in the open! Nobody wants to see it. Put it away! Lagos walls and gutters have seen wonders!

Apparently…having a cold on a hot Monday in a smoggy city sets loose a cranky blogger. Abeg, let me go and I blow my nose…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marriage Talks 2

But things are getting more practical and more personal these days mmmhh.... My interest in marriage is at an all time high, and it has extended beyond fairytale considerations. I’m intrigued by certain questions about marriage. Is “love is all we need?” or is it more like “ love is not enough.” What makes 60 marriages years ago longer lasting than marriages of 20 years ago? Or perhaps they weren’t stronger and it just appears that way?

Is physical attraction the main differentiating factor between marriage and friendship? If so, what happens if you lose that attraction once you get into marriage? Do high expectations aid or hinder the success of marriage?

P.S: This once a month posting that I'm doing is not it at all oh!!!!!!!!
P.SS: Check this wedding website out - Na my wedding - Fun and useful info for those planning a wedding in Nigeria...mmmhh!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Marriage Talks


I’ve been thinking about marriage these days, and I’ve observed that my attitude towards it has slowly evolved through the years. As a bullied teenager, I often dreamed of my future husband and imagined the conversations we would have and the way he would make me feel. Marriage was still at least 10 years away, but I was sure that it would wipe away the pain and loneliness that haunted me back then.

In my late teens to early twenties, those daydreams fell to the background as I threw myself into the depths of books, American college life and…online shopping (well, more like browsing – I was a college student !). I wasn’t looking for Mr. Right; even though I wouldn’t have minded being found by him. But I was conveniently preoccupied with exploring and spreading my newly-acquired adult wings.

Friends and classmates got engaged and I didn’t feel any stirrings. Once, my best friend called from Lagos to encourage me to take a closer look at the men around me. “ Isn’t there anyone you are interested in?” he asked?

He had never heard any boyfriend tales from me and had specifically called to discuss my love life.

In return I told him that I wanted to focus on the season of life that I was in and assured him that God would send the right man at the right time But the concern in his voice stayed with me. “Did he have a point?” I later wondered.

Truth was, I liked my single life the way it was. No drama, no pain, no heartbreak. I was the feature attraction and I knew how to handle me. After all I had been living with myself for 21 years. Ten years before, I couldn’t wait to be married, and now that it was finally within reach, love, relationships and marriage had become an abstract concept.

To be continued…

Friday, January 29, 2010

Beyond the Paycheck

Gasp! I’ve just received a pay cut. Yes due to some interesting mathematics my take home pay has decreased by a nice comfty chunk. But it’s all good though, the difference will be paid in bulk sum later.

It’s even better because God is my provider. I don’t have to fret. He’s my chief employer. He owns my talents. The way I see it, if he’s going to direct cockroaches and rats to shelter and food so that they don’t die of starvation then I don’t think I’m going to be starving anytime soon.

But this calls for serious rebudgeting oh…I will have to slow down on impromptu N3,000 Chinese lunch takeaways (oh how I miss my $5 Chinese lunch deals) and my daily box of Lucozade Boost!

You know what? Forget about nixing the Lucozade. That’s my N100 naira guilty pleasure. My simple reward at the end of my 8-5. When I really want to splurge, I also throw in a packet of shortbread. (Yummy!) The wise thing to do is buy a cartoon of Boost at wholesale value and stash it away from the reach of four legged/winged (ewww!) tenants.

But seriously, just sitting down and thinking about money won’t make money appear. Those ideas have to jump onto paper and then into a bunch of heads and a team of hands. Move those legs, share those thoughts and burn that night oil. Everyday is another opportunity to increase the value of my net worth.

I was reading about twitter on wikipedia today and there was a picture of the founder’s earliest thoughts on twitter as scribbled on a lined notepad some 3-4 years ago.

Ideas. That’s where wealth begins. Words and ideas become flesh. Just look: everything you see today - the appliances, technology, clothes, food, cars, they all began in one human being’s head. A human being like you and me who is now sitting on major patent/intellectual property royalties because of an idea that caught like wild fire.

God what about me? Me too, I want to contribute. There must be a winning idea somewhere in those funky movie-like dreams that I dream at night.

Just think: if you could just create and sell N50 brushes to 1 million Lagos residents, you would be a millionaire!

The question is how can I provide a service or meet a need for thousands of people?

* * *


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Rat Disappeared!

It’s been a few days since I laid eyes on the mini rat! No one else has seen it and it hasn’t left any marks behind, thus my fellow housemates are a bit skeptical that I saw one in the first place!

As for me, I’m writing this with both eyes, but at the same time my peripheral vision is very sensitive to any side movements. I remember that it was about this same time in the same mode– quiet, darkened house at dusk - that I first spotted rattie.

I’m not afraid anymore, just determined. In fact, I’m comfortably eating my left over jellof rice and moin moin on the same bed I jumped on when I first spotted rattie more than a week ago. I’m sure I did not imagine it. I’m sure.

During the week, I thought I heard the rat eating grains from the bag of raw rice that was stashed near my headboard. It was 4:40 a.m. and I froze. I didn’t have to get up until 5:30 a.m. I didn’t want to be scared and I wanted more sleep so I turned my ear lobes into my ears to drown out all sounds including the crackle crackle crackle of snapping rice grains. All to no avail. Dawn would not dawn fast enough.

My rice eating theory was however debunked during daylight when my aunt went to get some rice from the bag and didn’t see any evidence of sabotage.

MmmHhh? Okay o!

Well y'all talk theories, I’ve banished the 60kg bag of rice to another room.

Let the rat go and have its full there while there is still time. The exterminator is coming for it this weekend.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

No longer entry-level


This is the view from the top of Mokola Hill, Ibadan as taken from the nostalgic Premier Hotel.
This May, it’ll be four years since I graduated from college. Oh my goodness. It means I’ve left the realm of entry-level. Yikes! And here I am still screaming and jumping and running away from a mini rat that walked into my room. I screamed so hard, I dropped my cell phone while talking to my mother.
Then I remembered she was still on the line and grabbed the phone to put her mind at rest. She was quite sympathetic considering that my mother grew up with all boys on a farmland – things like cockroaches and rats don’t intimidate her. In yesterdays, my scream fest would have warranted a hiss from my mom.
My voice is still a bit tender from the scream. Even the little rat was confused. It twirled 280 degrees before finally deciding to head out of my room. You better!
Of course I had to report the yeye rat to my sweetie. In fact, I would have ordered my knight in shining armor over to my place (yes ke, I was a damsel in distress!) were he not smack in the middle of a meeting when I called. Nonetheless, he has this way of convincing me that the rat and (or any other object of terror) I will not cross paths anymore. And I believed him. At least enough to dash to the kitchen to switch off my burning pot of rice.
Now I’m tiptoeing around my own house. What utter rubbish. In my late 20s! The injustice of oppression! I must overcome this fear.
First thing tomorrow morning, I’m calling the fumigator. I’ve already placed cloth under my door - yes the rat is small enough to crawl under.
But in the meantime, I’m going to sleep my fears away…
Good night.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Your money or your time?

Happy New Year y'all!

2010 is here.

Like play like play - my 20s are passing by oh!

Oooh, which reminds me, I went into a car rental (I'm vacationing in the States) and enthusiastically announced that I'd like a car. The attendant obviously forgetting all the training that was laboriously bestowed on him gives me a side glance and blurts out: "Are you 21?"

What? My sweetheart and my dad both chuckle beside me and I gleefully retort to the attendant that I am in fact several years older. Yes ke!

Now there was a time when I'd be genuinely upset at that slip up, but not this time - does that mean that I am becoming age conscious?! Well even if so, I still don't feel my age at all sha.

On the subject of time, let's continue the very important and juicy gist of my previous post:

My sweetheart says that his greatest gifts in life are time and love. Ofcourse I understand the love part but thought it odd that he would lump ‘time’ in the category of greatest gifts.

But it makes sense because My time is my life. A minute is not just another minute, it’s a fraction of my life passing by. Never to be recalled. Time is a resource but it’s also a gift, because we only have a certain amount of it. We can’t create it. The only people who no longer have time are those who are no longer alive!

So can I say that in cherishing my time, I’m cherishing my life? And when I waste time not doing anything or doing something that isn’t adding value, can I say I’m wasting my life away? Or is this too drastic a statement?

If given a choice, what would you rather part with: your money or your time?

And if so, what would it depend on?