Friday, June 24, 2011

This inspired me today and I know you can pick something positive from it too!

IT'S A MATTER OF CHOICE-A short story about positive attitude!Enjoy and be inspired!
Jerry is the manager of a restaurant. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I'd be twins!"
Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs, so they could follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.
Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it."
"But that's not always easy," I protested.
"Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or a bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."
Several years later, I heard that Jerry left the back door of his restaurant open one morning, and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.
I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. "The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room, and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
"Well there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything." 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'
Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'."
Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day you have the choice to either enjoy life or to hate it.
The only thing that is truly yours that no one can control or take from you is your attitude, so that if you take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This past weekend...

I knew it was going to be a hectic weekend. But I was determined to go through with my driving lessons come what may. I had got used to ,making excuses of doing chores(which never really ends anyway).And since hubby’s away on a trip, I figured this was the right time to commence, afterall, the person that’s offered to show me the ropes volunteered and I am not paying a dime (Learners’ Examination isn’t free for your information). Finally, amidst the office’s lack of activity, while resolving issues with disgruntled clients, I decided to go to the Traffic and Licensing Office on Tuesday-I broke the jinx. I had my eye test (I think I partially flunked that! Rolling my eyes now! Never mind). And my learners’ Examination is scheduled for 29th of August. Yes, another date, but now I know better. I shall not repeat my mistake, God help me. And am somewhat looking forward to writing the exams. I believe am ready. All I need do before the date is revise, unlike before where everything seemed so confusing and didn’t really make any sense. Having taken driving lessons on Saturday, it even made more sense. What’s been making so much sense and becoming more meaningful are the Road Signs. My first preparation taught me a lot on that. And knowing the various motor parts has been of immense help. They would seem so ordinary to an experienced driver, but for a novice like myself that’s still learning to balance between the Brake Pedals and the Clutch it feels like teaching a child to eat decently using a cutlery than just clearing the dish on ten fingers. I can’t say I have got the confidence to see me through to the ‘expert’ stage at this moment. I’m going to just take it slowly and one step at a time, God help me! I was composed and not as nervous as probably expected. So, I think I’m going to end up surprising myself (that’s because am doubting my ability to drive a Car)…Time will tell, God spare our lives.
The thing about motherhood is that, as cliched as it sounds, it comes naturally. Some things happen that you would not need a guide for, or even query anyone about. Child upbringing is dynamic and you will find that, what works for you might turn out to be a taboo for someone else, especially where there are different cultural backgrounds. Before now, I have been treating my kids like” the kids that they are” and I never really though that I could hold a conversation with either of them. I have been wrong! Recently, my five-year old daughter has made me see clearer and proved me wrong. I wouldn’t mince words in saying that, the new school she commenced in January further reaffirmed her self esteem and boosted her confidence (she’s never lacked in that department though). Her brother on the other hand is the shy one, not reserved, just shy. He sometimes gets moody, an habit am not condoning because he wasn’t that way three years back. He’s very warm, very affectionate and fun to be around. My emphasis on him growing wrinkles before he grows old, if he continues to frown has been working wonders            (I mean that by the way). He’s regaining his confidence back and I keep reminding him that he used to be a very happy and loving toddler…He then asks more of what he did as a toddler; imagine that!
Since he likens himself to ‘Spiderman’, as a Super-Hero, I try not to indulge him by reminding him that, it’s just T.V and that it’s not real. He’s getting it now. But on Saturday evening, he wasn’t doing his stunts when he got hurt. It was an innocent accident, caused by his sister, his very restless, energetic and hyperactive baby sister. I had to call the Ambulance Service because I knew it was beyond me. He had cuts on his three middle fingers, the left hand thankfully. But the middle finger had a deep cut and that was the reason for the ambulance, I didn’t need a doctor to tell me would need a stitch. Everything happened so fast and so unexpected because they had been fine the entire day and I never foresaw that coming. There’s always ‘something’ to be grateful for, if only you’d look closer. So I was grateful that his fingers were still intact and that it was his left hand, since he’s right-handed. I was weary of sending him off to school today but he’s too active to be restricted. I know my words would still ring a bell in his ears since they were announced in his own interest. I cannot imagine him playing as rough as he’s used to, without getting the sore fingers bleeding again…Kids will be kids!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Things happen that shapes us and give us a new outlook on life. My Uncle’s death was another lesson for me. For obvious reasons, haven’t been able to picture him as weak as he had been in the last few years his sickness started. He was so full of energy, a workaholic, whom to me, also suffered from insomnia. I believe he didn’t sleep adequately and I often wondered how someone could live an almost isolated lifestyle, reclusive, as my Uncle did. To me, I actually thought someone of his unusual nature would be a ‘hermit’, no family, no association with anything social gathering and all. But no, my Uncle got married, had children, worked (he was an Architect), he was a member of the Lagos Country Club, he attended the Mass at his Catholic Church and even went shopping for food items and his needs. I can recall his smile as I type now. One would be surprised he had a smile on his unusual serious-looking face; an expression that he had become associated with, more than a smile or a “laughter”. But he laughed too, for those of us who were privileged to be close to him and some other, for different purposes. There was something about him that couldn’t be given away-his thoughts. You would never be able to guess what was going through his mind. I must tell you at this juncture that, his sense of responsibility and impeccability had a very positive role to play in his life. He was a perfectionist’, he was highly organized (a little of the European touch here), his brilliant mind would want you to know more than you already did, if you were anywhere around him. You may be subjected to scrutiny, depending on your academic qualification. He would engage you in a conversation to test your knowledge on the subject or see where your intellectual capacity would fail you. Once he’s able to figure out the limit of your ability, he’d select carefully the subject matter to discuss with you in the future. You would feel intimidated if he began to explain something you are expected to know, which unfortunately you happen to be ignorant of. The bottomline is, you’d be pushed to improve yourself either working with/for him , or if you’re going to find yourself in a conversation with him. Outsiders I believe related with him better than we his relations. I think a lot of us would easily see him as ‘secluded’ and just leave him to his presumably sadistic life, than try to figure out if there was more to him than the serious look on his face, his dissociation and detachment from almost everyone and everything around him. You’d be surprised how much he notices and observes, when he questions you. I never underestimate his sense of observation, which is usually being misconceived by those judging him from a distance.
Since the inception of his ailment,  I had spoken with him on the phone a few times. The tone of his voice did not give his ill health away, as I held a conversation with him, and I heard him as loud and clear as years back when I last saw him. Do not get me wrong, I wasn’t having a sweet vacation while I used to go assist with house chores those years as a teenager. But I did learn a thing or two from him. When ever I find myself doing those activities, I usually remember him. I had my own comic version of the experiences I had going to his place over the weekends and on holidays. It wasn’t your “typical” holiday. There was no one to play with, I hardly saw anyone else, except I get sent on errands. Looking back now, I honestly felt like I was being held against my will and my hands were tied that I couldn’t hesitate. It was like an ‘open cell’-where I would eat, answer to call of nature, do chores, but all behind the fences, seeing no one else but only hearing voices. I would long to be sent on errand, in order that I could get to see and be reminded that, there was another life behind those walls, that secured the house from unwanted visitors and buglers. I had a companion, a dog named ‘Bembo’. I wonder if its still alive now. I would chase the Dog out of my room (the guest room downstairs where I stayed in the Duplex) without success. It seemed to understand I felt lonely, and needed a living thing (besides the plants, that is). I would wake up early in the morning and once I leave the room, I don’t usually get back indie until later at night (except if I had to iron). On weekends when Uncle would leave for Church, I would be glad he was leaving because it meant my anxiety would subside. I was good at cleaning, but I fidgeted because I never know what am going to do next, that would make Uncle scold or query me. Madam was easier to deal with, she would send me on errands countless times, but I had no problem running her errands. She wasn’t as difficult to please like my ‘perfectionist’ Uncle. I often imagined how she was also able to live the life that was thrown at her, not by choice; but by circumstance. Fate had it all planned out for her before she came to Nigeria with my Uncle. She would have an accident in her home, that would leave her with a lifetime disability. She would often recount to me,  how optimistic she was in the beginning and how that turned into frustration after unsuccessful attempts to get an employment. She said she was often refused for being ‘over-qualified’ (being a White lady and having an International Masters Degree qualification in her field). This I believed coupled with her unfortunate incident resulted to her being a full time home-keeper, eventually. 
What I know and have taken away from my Uncle's demise is not to condemn anyone completely. I just do not believe anyone would come to this world and make no impact whatsoever in someone's life. It could be the midwife that delivered the child, the nurses, the relations, playmates, neighbours, schoolmates, colleagues at work,acquaintances, anyone, anybody. At some point in that child's life, before he or she becomes a full grown man or woman, someone must have had something good to say about the child.Each person has left an impression good or bad, even if it survived for a few minutes or hours on earth, that's a statistic and if someone witnessed it, then it's been recorded, offhand or written; and that's an impression!