So most of 2020 is behind us now yet there is a part of me that is still waiting for things to normalize so I can actually begin the year. It has been a confusing time coupled with a higher level of anxiety. That is how I am feeling.
I have gone through stretches of staying home to periods of going into work and in both settings I have been uneasy. Staying home gets monotonous and occasionally lonely. Then the idea of leaving home after being safely cocooned from potential exposure to covid creates further anxiety. There is a bit of relief in getting some fresh air and getting dressed to go into work. And then worry over being in closer (social distanced, of course) contact with coworkers whose movements and choices I have no control over. Like I said, these has been a confusing time for me.
I hope that your experience is less jumbled than mine seems to be. Or if it is like mine or more complicated, I hope you have an outlet to help keep you sane and calm. I would like to know what your days are like and how you are feeling.
Sending you much love and well wishes as we continue to navigate a rather unusual way of being.
One of the biggest lessons I have learnt in my life is to do it now. I am usually a procrastinator with just about everything I do. I always have the plan to get things done but somehow tomorrow always seems like a better day to get started.
In October of last year a cousin of mine and I exchanged the books we were reading (after we both finished reading our own books of course). She gave me what I later found out was a book that’s she reread many times because she likes to remind herself to take action now-and to always start with the thing that she dreads the most. The book is called Eat That Frog. I know right? I thought it was a strange name too. I still do actually although now I get it. The author, Brian Tracy, is arguing that the things we are most resistant to do should be the first that we work on mostly to get it out of the way. Also when you complete the most dreadful or most complex task it gets easier from there.
“Please, please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man” – George Floyd
“No, I don’t think there’s systemic racism. I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans … but there are some bad apples in there… Where were the local prosecutors and where was the police commissioner? That guy, I’m told, had a long record of this sort of conduct. Why was he still on the force?”
Richard Nixon, in his ultimately successful bid for the presidency, saw an opportunity to win the elusive southern votes that had so consistently gone to the Democrats. In ‘The New Jim Crow’, Michelle Alexander is clear: “H R Haldeman, one of Nixon’s key advisors, recalls that Nixon himself deliberately pursued a southern racial strategy. He, President Nixon, emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”
Ronald Reagan, who remains a darling of America’s conservatives today, picked up the baton of Nixon’s thinly-veiled war on drugs during a time of declining illegal drug use. Again, Alexander is blunt: “the drug war from the outset had little to do with public concern about drugs and much to do with public concern about race” and that it was an“… odd coincidence that an illegal drug crisis suddenly appeared in the black community after, not before, a drug war had been declared.”
My Commentary on the Book Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Joan Didion’s Year of Magical Thinkingaffected me so deeply that the words to express it seem insufficient. I will do my best to explain. Didion writes, “grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it”. She continues by saying that we anticipate death and we expect that when it comes, we will be melancholic. We however fail to see past the few days following a death. We think only of the loss in the moment it occurs and the ritualistic events that follow like the gathering of guests at the home, and the funeral. Didion suggests the mourning and grieving process after the demise of a loved one does not follow the ideals we have bought into. You do not necessarily mourn their death, then grieve for a month or so as you gradually heal. We are incapable of imagining or understanding wholly, “the unending absence that follows”, “the void” when we lose those dearest to us.
A Self-professed Nice Guy Grappling With Self Image
I have subconsciously constructed an identity around the belief of my niceness. It is the only quality that made me feel exceptional with any consistency. Sometimes, I feel exceptionally clever. This perception doesn’t usually survive daily interactions. Sometimes, and this is rare, I feel exceptionally funny. The very next attempt at a joke will almost always bring me back down to earth. Feeling exceptionally nice, however, has proved a very tricky perception to shake.
Hello ladies and gentlemen! I hope you are all doing well despite the current state of things. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing my mother who has been kind enough to write the following article for us. She is Meg or Maggie. She was born and raised in Kenya then raised us ‘young ones’ there for a while. She moved to Winnipeg, a city she has come to love. She loves the outdoors ‘even in winter’. Becoming a writer is one of the things in her bucket list. ~Enjoy the read, Valerie.
Successful businessmen and women say there is an opportunity in everything. When the Market is up. When the Market is down. We have all heard the adage ‘there is a silver line to every cloud’. This is what I decided to adopt for this season of enforced home stay during the Covid19 pandemic. But I am getting ahead of myself.
When the lock down commenced, the first few days were exhilarating. It was the impromptu holiday I always wanted. I could sleep in, watch videos till all hours of night, eat whenever and whatever I wanted. That was back when we could still run to the store as often as we wished :). Well that lasted for about three days. Continue reading “Love, 6-feet Apart”
When I was a child, my father worked for the land arm of the Kenya Defence Forces. As a military member, he was relocated to different parts of the country every few years. This meant that there was never one specific place I called home. Continue reading “Home is Where We Are”
I was at Dear + Almond sometime in the summer and was pleasantly surprised. My girlfriend and I had often walked or driven past their establishment without giving them much thought. The clean white exterior with Deer + Almond in black did not do much to lure us in. We were curious, but not enough to take than next step until one day Saturday afternoon we decided to drive to the Exchange to try something new.
Looking at the menu was like reading Greek to me. Thanks to my able assistant Mr. Google, I settled on grilled romaine with feta, sikil pak and pumpkin seed vinaigrette. Sikil Pak, Google told me, is a delicious thick pumpkin seed dip used in place of guacamole. Google wasn’t wrong to call it delicious. It was a smooth, smokey and sweet thick paste-a delicate taste. I would choose it any day over guacamole. Although I should probably learn how to pronounce it.
Over the weekend I went to a cabin in riding mountain, Manitoba. It was fantastic.
My family, along with some of our family friends made plans for this trip and travelled together for the weekend. We planned on having dinner at the cabin, going to a concert and having a bonfire later that night. Then going to Clear Lake for the day the following morning. Continue reading “Budgeting As a People Pleaser”
February is my birthday month. I’m turning 30 in nine days people. I’m so excited. I’ve been on this earth for three whole decades and yet there’s still so much to learn. When I was kid I remember looking at adults and thinking ‘must be nice to know and have everything’. Ha! Little did I know. Continue reading “Birthday Month, A Day from Hell & Banking Fees”
Yesterday I visited a law firm to start the process of getting a will and a POA in place. I know you already have many questions about why I’m preparing a will now, considering I’m single and without kids or assets -aha. Continue reading “This is My Year”
Last year today, I published an article that highlighted the lessons I learnt through the year 2017. As I went through 2018 I carried those lessons with me. My instincts became my best friend. I made a point of listening to them. I took each day in completely and lived it without holding back or focusing on the day after. Everyday became a new adventure. When I faced challenging situations I remembered to keep on breathing. I made an effort to keep most of those lessons in my mind each day. Because of it, 2018 was a very productive year for me. Continue reading “2018 in Review”
A long time ago when I was maybe six or seven years old an old toothless neighbour passed by our house on his way home from an evening of fishing at a nearby river. He often passed by to say hello to my father who was his tribesman. Onyango was not concerned about his appearance. His clothes were often tattered as if to represent the passing of time. On his feet he wore akala sandals made from old car tires. Continue reading “The Fisherman’s Gift”
The past couple of weeks I haven’t written anything because burnout. I am working two jobs, day and night. So yeah. But I doubt you’re interested in hearing all about that. That’s my problem, not yours. Here goes a little something…
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Many years ago there lived a girl in a small little neighbourhood in Nairobi, the capital City of Kenya. We will call her Trish.
Trish was a lovely happy little girl. At the time she must have been about nine or ten years old. She longed to play with her friends after school although her mother was quick to reprimand her for roaming about the neighbourhood. Continue reading “Mothers Are a Gift”
The other day I was talking to one of my closest friends, I call him my voice of reason. I was ranting, actually. I was not happy about how some things turned out. I was also afraid of what was going to happen. I told him that I had a potential solution to the problem. When he asked me why I thought my solution would help I said that I kept feeling like my current situation was contributing to the issue. He then said three very simple words to me.
I have lived in Winnipeg for eight years now. The one thing that I hear people say literally every single day is how this place sucks. If we are being completely honest, I too have said that on several occasions. Many times, in fact.
Winnipeg is small. I find that most people live in their little cocoons connecting with only the people they’ve known all their lives. I am guilty of that too. I mostly stick with my family, and friends that I met when I first arrived.
But when I go out to explore different events and interact with people outside of my usual circle, I find that Winnipeg has so much to offer. I have decided that the reason why a lot of us complain about this cute little town we live in is because we don’t give it a chance. And we definitely don’t go out to explore it.
Lucky for y’all I connected with an amazing photographer @gyk26 who is bringing Winnipeg right to your screen. The Peg is beautiful and it is full of life. Enjoy these incredible photos today. Tomorrow, step out and explore for yourself -after all the winter is behind us.
Also tell us about your favourite spots at the Peg in the comments section.
For the past little while money has been on my mind. I want this year to be the year that I focus on saving, growing my emergency fund, completely getting rid of debt and investing more than I ever have before. So far its going really well. The other day I was reading up and learning about credit card debt and stumbled about a very simple detail that got me super excited.