It’s been over a year since I’ve written a blog post and to say I’ve been busy is an understatement. Since then, I’ve become a mother to a beautiful baby girl who will be three months on Friday 26th May, I’ve moved to another home and I’ve been lecturing in a Masters programme at the University while keeping my full time job.
My daughter was born on Sunday 26th February 2017 and it was an experience like no other. No description anyone can give can truly express what carrying a child for 9 months and giving birth feels like and how it changes you. Your spouse can try to understand what you’re going through and how you’re feeling but there is honestly no description that can make him fully grasp the essence of carrying life and birthing life. I constantly felt as if my body was not my own but I was still responsible for taking such great care of it and prioritizing its needs. My pregnancy had its ups and downs but for the most part it was great. Of course I gained weight, more weight than I ever expected but right now I’m about 5 to 10 pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight.
I will always remember the first glance at my daughter and my first thought towards her…”Wow I have a daughter and she has my nose”. My daughter was past her due date and was taken away from me as soon as she was born due to medical complications. About 5 hours later I held her for the first time. I wish I could say it was what I expected but at that moment I simply felt hugely responsible yet blessed. I felt that it’s no longer about me and that I was responsible for providing for and taking care of another human being for as long as she couldn’t provide for and take care of herself. I also felt extremely blessed that God would entrust one of his children to my care and raising her in his ways was of most importance. I constantly remind myself that I’m taking care of one of God’s children.
The Cosmic has aligned things in such a way that my contract for my full time job ends tomorrow and I am only lecturing part time. This would allow me to spend more time with my baby girl. I do miss the work hustle a bit but “Baby is Boss”. Being home with her has allowed me to give her a night time routine that ensures she is in bed by 8PM and this works for everyone in the household, especially her. Her evening routine usually starts with a walk around 5PM, either by me, her dad, or both of us. We get in around 6:30PM and she relaxes for at least 15 minutes. She is given a bath between 6:45PM and 7:15PM, then a feeding in her room with dimmed lights, which lasts as long as she would like it to. Then it’s off to bed…on her own. I learned quite a lot from my grandmother about taking care of babies, so I knew early on that rocking and singing would not be part of her bed time routine. It’s important to let babies figure out how to fall asleep on their own. Once singing and rocking are associated with sleep, it’s hard to break that habit. I also learned that a night time routine will help to provide cues for her that are associated with sleep. Babies thrive on routine because it helps to avoid chaos and it insulates the baby from huge, unexpected changes. “They’re a necessary part of socialization,” says Larry Shapiro, PhD, author of The Secret Language of Children: How to Understand What Your Kids Are Really Saying (Sourcebooks, 2003). “When a child learns that it’s time to go to bed, not play, she’s beginning to understand that she has to follow rules.”
Her morning routine is also coming in quite nicely. She usually gets up between 6AM and 7AM, gets a bath about an hour to an hour and a half later, gets her feed in a dimly lit room and she is off to bed for at least 3 wonderful hours. This is the time I try to make the most of. I’ll get work done, chores done and anything that requires my complete focus and attention. Her day time routine from 11AM to 5PM is still a work in progress but I’m observing her to figure out what works best for her. I have always been an advocate of keeping a daily routine as an adult so it’s wonderful to pass that on to my daughter. While my daily routine in the past would have been mainly focused on my goals, I now prioritize my daughter and structure my daily routine around her.
My both grandmothers always said that God is a jealous God. I didn’t quite understand what they meant growing up but as I experience more of life, that statement means more to me. It’s tempting to put so many things before God, like our jobs, our possessions, our relationships, our spouses, our friends, our children even our debt. Once we begin to do that we can eventually find problems in those areas of our lives. Set your mind, your heart and your everything on God and all else will fall into place. If there is a problem, focus on God and the solution will come, focusing on the problem does nothing to alleviate it. I’ve been reminded of this lesson so many times in life and for some strange and yet stupid reason I am yet to understand, I keep making the same mistake over and over by focusing on the problem.
I focus on God, I pray, I fast, I meditate, I give of myself to others, I drown myself in the Lord and when I’m blessed with that thing I so desire, I focus so much on it and it becomes so important to me that I lose focus on the God who blessed me with it. Over the past year a lot has changed in my life. Unfortunately, so has the time I would spend praying, fasting, meditating and devoting to God. I’m more concerned with my relationships and work that God’s importance in my life has dwindled. It’s quite evident with the challenges I’m currently facing that my priorities are not in order. I’m not proud of this and I’ve been making changes towards correcting it. I hope the measures I’ve decided to take will help me get back on track and keep progressing in the direction where I’m putting GOD FIRST in my life. Where attention goes, energy flows and things grow.
For personal reasons which I cannot disclose at the moment, I will be unable to produce any blog content for a while. Thank you to all my followers and I hope to return with greater content in the future.
Today I decided that I’ll be taking a two week break from my blog posts. It’s been six months since I’ve been writing every weekday and while I do enjoy sharing my thoughts and feelings, I think it’s time to pull back and take some time to reflect on new things. My next blog post will be on Monday 30th March 2015 and until then, I will repost content from other bloggers.
We are trained from childhood to associate negative emotions with failure. This leads to the desire to disassociate one’s self with that outcome that was deemed a failure and therefore lose incentive to examine the situation carefully in the end. The greatest lessons are truly learned from failure. The greatest people in history have talked about their failures and what they’ve learned from them. As Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire always asks his entrepreneur guests about that great big failure and there is always a lesson to be learned from it. Those entrepreneurs have also attributed the success they have now to that great big failure they experienced. However, in the society we live in, the need to appear almost always perfect is causing us to miss out on life’s greatest lessons. We don’t push ourselves too hard or set goals that are seemingly unrealistic due to our fear of failure. To aid in my goal of getting out of my comfort zone for 2015, I’m setting goals that seem somewhat impossible. I need to test myself. It’s not only about the success of it but it’s about becoming comfortable with the concept of failure and understanding the true joy of it all. It’s about being able to look back on experiences and pull as much knowledge from it and use that to move forward in achieving more success. I am giving my all to accomplish my goals but knowing that the process is about learning and building character, makes me feel as if I’ve succeeded regardless of the outcome.
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”…Michael Jordan
Happy New Year to All and I hope you’re having a great start to 2015. As 2014 was ending and I started to make some plans for 2015, I found myself at a quandary with respect to certain decisions I needed to make. Decision making is one of the hardest things we have to do both personally and professionally. Some of my medium and long term goals were placed on hold in 2014 and I started to adapt to my current situation a bit and forget about some of my goals. However, as the cosmic would have it, help was on its way.
I came across some information about a process for decision making called “10/10/10” by Suzy Welch, a business writer for publications such as Bloomberg Business Week and O magazine. Welch describes the system in the book 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea.
To use 10/10/10, we think about our decisions on three different time frames:
- How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
- How about 10 months from now?
- How about 10 years from now?
The three time frames provide an elegant way of forcing us to get some emotional distance from our decisions and helping us to focus on what may be important in the future. With less emphasis on the current situation, a decision may become more obvious. 10/10/10 forces us to shift our spotlights from the present, asking us to imagine a moment 10 months and 10 years into the future with the same “freshness” that we feel in the present. It’s not that we should ignore our short-term emotions, because often they are telling us something useful about what we want in a situation but it’s very important that we not let our emotions control us.
Through life experiences and observations, I have become more mindful of my thoughts. During my teenage years, I found a quote that stuck with me, I believe it was from Margaret Thatcher.
“Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.”
It’s easy to become preoccupied with the chatter in our heads about issues that may have affected us, especially when we feel very strongly that we’re in the right. It’s also easy to create scenarios in our minds where we get back at someone who we are convinced has done us wrong. This is an urge we must resist. Becoming aware of our thoughts is the first step, then understanding that everything that is, was once a thought, helps us to understand the power that lies within us and realise that we’re not simply thinking but creating. Why spend time thinking about scenarios or people who you really do not want to be a part of your life. Focus on what you want and who you would like to spend your time with.
With the understanding that we can use our thoughts to create our reality and become who we truly want to be, we can see the things most people think about by simply looking at the quality of their character and the life they live.