On being thankful…

On being thankful

The year is stealthily coming to an end! It feels like every month was shorter than the last.
September was different for me though. I made a conscious decision to enjoy it. Most of my feelings were intentional. I let happy moments linger and ensured that negative energy took a back seat, way back! I am happy to report, it worked!

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This month, I picked up one of my countless notebooks and started a page titled “Thankful September” Here, I jotted down at least one incident that brought me joy on any given day. Some days were more joyful than others but that’s a great thing so the lists could be as long as possible.
Some days brought out the best of mundane moments, others were truly special because people went out of their way to ensure this. Sometimes, I went out of my way to milk that happy ending out.
I am hoping that this can become a habit. I remember Kathy asking me how I was a few weeks back. I replied that I was great and would be the same for the foreseeable future. A few days later she asked again. “Yes, I am still great, just like yesterday and the day before.” “I like you like this,” she remarked. Me too! Me too! I thought…
There is no such thing as a perfect life and of course there are many depressing moments that have come my way. The only difference is I chose to count it all joy because it can always, always be worse!
A good friend of mine has a patient in hospital whose condition has been deteriorating daily. She called me last night and I gasped before I could pick up the phone. I feared the worst! When I heard her tone, I let out a loud sigh of relief. I explained that night calls give me palpitations but this particular one came with an even bigger scare. At this point, I could only cry out to God. I have faith that it will get better and for life, we are thankful. That there’s hope means there’s even more to be thankful for.
I shall pick out one day from my month of thankfulness.

Last week I visited a couple that welcomed a beautiful angel into their family. I had been ‘on my way to visit’ for the longest time and the guilt was ripping me apart. The moment I got a few free hours, I made my way there. It rained heavily that day, as if to mock me. Thankfully, by the time the taxi reached their stage, only drizzles could be seen.
I called my friend, ‘Tim’ so that he could pick me up but he was on a boda boda so he did not hear it. I decided to wait near a supermarket. I noticed a lady, probably in her late 30’s staring at me and figured I just looked like someone she knew. She slowly walked up to me and said “Thank you for all the work you do, we appreciate it.” I shrieked! She walked off before I could start my ‘what, where, when, who…?’ By the time Tim showed up, my cup was already full but the day wasn’t done with me yet.
We got to the house and I finally met the little (now grown) lady and Tim’s business partner. The lady of the house joined us later. Now, I would not say Tim and I are close friends. We went to the same school, and were acquainted then. We have probably met a total of 5 times since (unplanned) but I keep tabs on his work and he does the same with 4040. I have invited him for pretty much all our events but he almost always has work. Nonetheless, he makes that known and applauds our little milestones.
We got to talking about work and life and then something happened during the course of the conversation. He stopped saying “4040 should….” Or “You need to think about….” Instead he was saying “I think WE need to consider a,b,c…” Now, this might not be a big deal to everyone but it was to me and I am not sure I can illustrate why.

See, I stopped seeing 4040 as ‘my thing’ a while ago and try to, (in both word and action) ensure that those who work with us can feel like they have a huge stake in it. That one person’s failure is our failure and any success is ours too. I am the first to admit that it is a lot to ask but, I do it anyway. The few who get sold to this are…enough.
Additionally, there are those days when you feel like you need new blood, new ideas to increase your momentum. You know that you need to innovate but you have been at the frontline of things for so long that you doubt your ability to sit at the side-lines and sincerely critique your very foundation. Do you eve get that feeling?
Well, Tim had some great ideas and seeing as he has a tech background, I was even more intrigued. We had a mini brainstorm and it took everything in me not to pull out a notebook and give timelines. Gosh, this was meant to be a casual visit!

He beckoned his business partner, ‘Ivan’ and asked that they dedicate one of their sessions to some of these ideas. Whhhhaaat?! As if that wasn’t enough, he named them in order of priority and even set his own targets. My little heart did so many backflips, I thought they could see them.

Later that evening, I had a ‘post birthday’ dinner with my uncle and spent my journey home humming with glee.
It’s a few days to our event and I am a nervous wreck, as I often am. There are several hurdles that need to be overcome. Nevertheless, I am thankful because it means I have something that I care about. How incredible is it to love so much that you literally feel the passion on your skin, in your heart and everywhere in between? Yes, there is always something to be thankful for!

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I am hoping I can carry my September challenge on for months to come. Try it?

 
XX

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Celebrating Life :)

September! Oh how the months have flown by!
I am always excited about beginnings. If you tell me you have got a new job, or started a new project, I am going to blow it out of proportion. If things don’t work out, well we celebrated when we could.
New months are no different. My insomnia helps me ‘watch’ them begin, as the clock strikes midnight. No, no glass slippers, just lots of glass dreams.
I begin the months with hopes of unforeseen goodness. Surely they sometimes backfire, but the glass is always half full. *Goodness, the overuse of this glass analogy must stop* Okay. The mug of tea is always half full 😀
This month was no different. I was chatting with a few friends when I noticed one rare addition to my chats at about 23:58.. Gloria is always in bed and offline before 10:00 pm. I instantly asked her what was wrong. She said she was waiting for September. Caught the bug, have we? I thought. Two minutes later I told her we’d made it to the ninth month that happens to be our birth month. Yaay!
On twitter, I noticed she was replaying some of our conversations with the hashtag #CelebratingEsther. I simply ‘favorited’ and went to bed. The next morning I noticed a few of my friends  were doing the same. Oh well, no one will know which Esther it is. Except, a few quirks were uniquely me so it would be difficult to deny. I hid in a corner and waited for the day to end thinking they were doing it because in was the 1st of the month. Alas! it was not to be. It has continued and it is mostly sweet and bittersweet. Some experiences I actually have no recollection of. The beauty of friendship 🙂

So here I am smiling my way to ‘old age’ because everything that might have made it to my eulogy, I get to ‘hear’ while I am alive. That can only mean at the funeral, everybody will just sing and dance as they celebrate life. Oh wouldn’t that be fun?
Speaking of celebrations, last week I got a message from a gentleman who commented on one of my blog posts. It turned out he wanted to invite a few people, including myself to dinner. This invitation to dinner at Endiro coffee came with some coffee tasting too. Yes, even with my sworn love and dedication to tea, I can sip coffee. I noticed it was happening on a Thursday (which is 4040 meeting day) and almost cancelled on Cody but instead I decided to multi task. I attended the meeting for a bit then made it in time for dinner. That day I got soaked twice by the rain until it just became funny.
The guests were all female bloggers except for one gentleman who works on television. The conversations were engaging and the atmosphere pretty friendly. Being a slow eater who is often slowed even more by ‘kaboozi,’ I was shocked to realise the pork ribs and rice on my plate had disappeared in record time! I looked around and noticed almost everyone was still eating. *high fives self* The food was great, as was the company.

Cody explained that he had called us all to celebrate the positive messages in our blogs. “I want you to know that someone out there appreciates you. That is why I called you here today.” Normally, I would have broken into a loud ‘awwwww’ but I kept it silent. I was shocked when he made reference to one of my blog posts.

To be honest, I started to write because I needed to, hoping my story or those of people I know could touch a life or two. I only just recently changed my theme after a long time and don’t even know how many people follow my blog. I think sub consciously I believe if I put so much effort into numbers and appearance, it will become work. That would take the love out of it. For now though, it is just honest and I am glad someone out there appreciates it.
It was an unexpected experience which I loved. It reminded me of a time last year when I got a group of my female friends and told them we needed to give ourselves a treat. Everyone would buy their own dinner. The only condition was that they had to dress up or make up, generally do whatever else they needed to do to impress themsleves  and then have a good time. It ended up being a beautiful night where we got to know each other at a deeper level and share laughs. It coincided with a good friend’s engagement. She had been proposed to just a couple of days before. We were left swooning as she narrated her love story.
It cost us Ugx 30,000 tops and at the end of the night each one of us hitched a ride with whoever was going to our side of town. Seriously, you need to consider celebrating every milestone even in the tiniest of ways. In the absence of one, create it. “Just because it’s Tuesday” sounds doable…no?

This morning I woke up to a sweet message that ‘celebrated’ my belief in love, in people and kindness. I have read and re-read it and I can’t stop but wonder where it all began. I think it has a lot to do with all the rain and clouds that brought beautiful rainbows at the end. Where would we be without faith or love?
This month I committed myself to write at least one thing I am grateful for every day. I am hoping the 30 days will become 365 days and then life will just be an all-round celebration!
I don’t know about you but I am going to celebrate the life out of September and if you don’t do something about it, I might consume your sun light too.

celebrate

 

Carpe diem.