A New Year missive
It was towards the end of 2016 that I wrote this column last after writing consistently for about eight years. I went away to take stock and boy did I need a break? A column is like a boyfriend with whom you are constantly in bed and with no break or a holiday by yourself. Sometimes without that break, it can be somewhat suffocating. I did go on a break as you might have noticed but the boy friend’s friends kept calling. Where are you? We miss you. We miss your jokes and your excellent double decker chicken sandwich, your egusi soup and that mean goat pepper soup you offer when we watch football at your end. After a while and major stock-taking and a well-deserved break, I am back with this boyfriend with whom you are all connected at the hip. I am pleased to be back on the page and it is my hope that some of the knotty issues on the platform will be resolved so I do not have to second guess my relationship with all going forward.
I have truly missed you all, your response to us and your many letters, contributing, approving commenting and sometimes disagreeing. The relationship I have with my teeming fans nationwide is humbling and I would never take it for granted. Therefore, it is New Year for us as the year has only begun with February coming to an end. Our New year just began as we have neither spoken nor shared this year. I am pleased to be back and I hope you are all as chuffed as I am to be back on the page.
So much has happened while I was away and I just want to let you know that I see them all but today we will focus on all those things we often talk about in this column at the crack of a new year and more.
1) So what was your new year resolution? Let me suggest that if you have been giving up something for years and years every year for five years, it should now be clear to you that it is never going to happen. To give something up needs commitment and if smoking is your Achilles heel, for instance, and you are not committed to quitting, then you will never quit; so give whatever you want to give up this year your 100% if you mean it.
2) Happiness is a much sought after thing these days and those who make it happen are all around us. When there is a dearth of happiness, it is easy for depression to set in and it is very difficult to overcome. So in 2018, wear your happiness hat and do those things that make you happy to release the serotonin in your system. In addition, be a happiness giver, a burden bearer as well and you will be surprised that you may have saved a life. With suicide rearing its ugly head all around us, we cannot afford to feel guilty for not listening to a friend, sister or brother who ended up in a bad place. In doing all of this remember that being mean, slanderous, and impossible when we could have been kinder is a 2018 no, no. What reward do you get for being a mean boss, for driving your friend to tears, for being rude to your boyfriend, wife or relation? Your name is being written in a spiritual book that says “does not deserve mercy” and honestly you do not need that. It’s theLenten season, come on… be kinder, be nicer, be gentler; you get stripes for these, and guess what, you are lighter and happier yourself.
3) Do not be the foot mat and stop being a people’s pleaser. Believe me 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive. At one point in my life, I could not say No to people who asked me to do things for them. I did it even when it was hurting me. It made me unhappy and also made me resent the people. No one forced me to say yes but I was not doing it from a heartfelt point of view. I hated the things they were asking as favors and I did them reluctantly with resentment in my heart. so I went on a Yes fast because you see if people know you say yes to everything they ask, they take you for granted. It was truly a defining moment in my life. I would often give a friend my car and driver for different days and she would overstay the two hours she requested for and then will strand me and I would begin to be inconvenienced because she would keep the car for five hours with no care for how I felt. One day in her usual breezy manner, she asked for my car and I said,” Sorry, you can’t have it today” Then she asked if she could have it the day after or the day after. I said, “Sorry, I am busy all week” and you know what, I got my life back. Since then, I have never looked back. This 2018, get out of that toxic relationship where the other person is just using you for what they can get because you are kinder and more giving. Be brave. Tell yourself this year, I will be happier and do only what makes you happy. Start by learning to say No. It is possible.
4) This year, get closer to your children, your siblings and be kinder to each other. The children are critical, no matter how impossible they are and millennials can be. Tell them you love them; how proud you are of them or going forward you may never get the opportunity. Do it even if they doubt if you are genuine or even if the response is a grunt.
5) Hold your faith tightly. It is scientifically proven that people of faith tend to deal with the world better. They find some calmness which those without faith do not have and spiritual exercises are recommended for people going through depression. More importantly, it helps us make sense of an increasingly difficult world.
6) Volunteering and Charity. Need I say more? Do for others for free. Be amazed how it completes you and gives you a sense of purpose.
I thank you all for staying true to the column and I wish you a purposeful 2018 with God’s choicest blessings. Amen.
– Contact me on an alternative e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to reading from you.
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