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Irreplaceable Values in Friendships

I have been silent, guilty as charged. I’ve also felt it. It wasn’t by choice as the other areas of my life were seeking pretty much a huge chunk of my attention. The remaining 10% of which I could have stolen a chance to write, mostly in the evenings, I dozed off, watched a movie with the mister (which means, dozed off) or hosted friends over for dinner (which means, mini-party). However, I’m 100% well, which I’m thankful for, and so are the people dear to me. It feels like we should say AMEN already.

In other news, remember the What Next post. Well, I’m planning to make sure I have answers to your ‘what next’ questions about my life plans. You know things like, “when’s the wedding”. Now that we’re starting on the traditional bit, that’s some good progress. Truth be told, I never imagined that I’ll be thinking such big things (like marriage and a wedding) this soon. I smile every time I remember that we have a wedding to plan, yet I have no clue how to go about it. But that should never be a bother, we have a wealth of experience around us – to think we already have a designer and wedding planner in the family.

I remember the mister once telling me that I was the 1st girlfriend to actually take him to a wedding or traditional wedding (ruracio). Sometimes I have goldfish memory, but that one stuck in my mind. For once, when he told me (I must’ve just aww’ed then, however this is the real feeling), I felt like I have made a difference in my partner’s life. In an insignificant way to me (because to me, it was just another traditional wedding or wedding) but in a significant way to him (because to him, it’s something he’d always wanted to do but an opportunity had never presented itself). On the upside, at least he never got an old person poking him and telling him “you’re next”. Now, he has a person to point to if that questions ever comes his way.

Just before you wonder what I value in our friendrelationship, let me tell you just one before I drop down a long list. He was my first cooking and now baking buddy. He taught me how to grill (or basically use the oven) – at least I’d mastered the pan, so food-wise he was sorted out. We also baked our first cupcakes together – Google was the teacher. No pans or sufuria’s have been thrown to the other in the process so far. That’s a good thing, considering we still cooperate even when the recipes get confusing or when one thinks they can do it better than the other but figure how to accommodate each other’s expertise.

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That got me thinking of values. Do you ever think of what value you add to the person(s) you meet or the people you spend your days with? Because what’s friendship if you don’t add some value to someone? If you don’t feed off each other? Yes, friendship is a symbiotic relationship. I usually say that if I meet someone and we hit it off, at least let us have a conversation that will somehow build each in one way or another, even if for humors sake. Like leave someone laughing their guts out or happy about themselves or what they do.

What makes someone irreplaceable is not who they are or seem to be as individuals, but the value they bring to your life, even if for the moment you interact with them.

There are people you meet and you feel like they’re sucking the life out of you, like you’re offering too much of yourself yet you’re getting nothing in return. While there are others you meet that speak life into you and the moment you part ways, you feel reenergized, and given a chance, you’d not want to let them go. What are those things you value in your friendships?

Happy Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

What Are You Doing For Others?

Just imagine you’re on traffic and you want to join the next lane, but this person keeps on blocking you from joining his lane. Annoying right? Well your mind goes on an overdrive, “*throws some curse words their way* stingy blocker, they just don’t want me to prosper.” That’s what runs through your mind, no? At least that’s what we say about the people who just can’t bare seeing you ahead of them or successful.

Then, there’s this person that just paves the way for you. You indicated that you want to join his lane and he just gives you way struggle-free and life moves on. Not that you deserve it, they’re either just generally courteous or they felt that desire to momentarily put their needs aside and give you a hand in handling yours. Sometimes you’re the road hog and you think that your business is more important than the other persons’, or that you are more deserving (which means, at that moment you think they’re not).

We forget to then that reason we get through a couple of circumstances is because someone somewhere paved the way for you. Not necessarily giving you way in traffic, but that counts too. Like going out of their way to make sure that you’re sorted out if you had an issue; taking time out of their tight schedule to be there for you, it could be through a visit, a call, a text saying “hi” or simply, liking their Facebook status; finding out what disturbing your friend/acquaintance and giving them your ear even if for a moment; biting the bullet for your team-mate and walking with them through a tough situation.

This may go unnoticed. Actually, in most cases it always does, at least by the public, but it makes a humongous difference for the person directly impacted. You that feeling when the person in traffic paves way for you and you want to; get out of the car and shake his hand, or wave frantically, or give them a big “THANK YOU” shout out. Now imagine if we generated that kind of feeling in all the places we grace or the people we rub shoulders with?

Kawi Snippets, Paving The Way

Doing something for someone (small or big) without necessarily expecting recognition or a return of the favor, but just because you want to see them ease-up and smile, even if for a moment. Those are the things that keep me awake at night. Most of the time.

Happy Hump Day!

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

Of Treasures and Girlfriends

It’s been crazy but beautiful. I’ve been working, working really hard, like the good girl I am *toot toot*. So you can imagine when I want to write a captivating post and well, the only thing going on is work and the personal life I pick up over the weekends. I have come to that point where I look forward to the weekend like never before. It feels very well deserved with just 2 days to live it out. There should have been a day slotted between Saturday and Sunday, someone slacked on the day naming job.

However, I’d like to tell you about a treasure I found. Late last year when I did my big chop (aka BC, I’ve become one of them already), my excited friends led me into a series of groups that would induct me through my natural phase, lest I relapse. Kidding, but I guess they knew how natural kinky hair needs a lot of TLC as well as a couple of girlies that have your back when the mane gets tough.

That’s how I found this group of beautiful online girlfriends called “Kurlly Diaries”. You know how you end up loving people you’ve never met, because somehow even as you communicate virtually, there’s some realness that manifests itself. And it’s through that realness, that they’ve managed to play an important role in my life. Such that even when the notifications are in excess, I open them gladly in my free who lied and told us there’s free time? time, just to see what someone has to say. I learn a lot of girl stuff from them – especially when it comes to managing my small mane – hair and body products, and referrals on where to get legit and affordable stuff.

They come up with challenges that sometimes I’m too lazy to take up but one thing I admire about them is the effort they (some ladies) put in their day-to-day operations to better their life and that of their loved ones. It pushes me to stop being lazy and get going too. From health & beauty regimens, fashion, DIY’s, food, to financial & time management. They share information, help each other out & let you be. They think of fun ways to make these difficult tasks manageable. They encourage each other with every step made to achieve the task or challenge presented and at the end sometimes even give small rewards to the most engaging person.

The one that recently caught my attention was “emptying your stash”. The idea is to take a picture of the stash you have (whether full or half way done) and then aim to first finish them before purchasing others. I’m the kind of person that can purchase a product just because … someone told me it works great, serves a purpose I intend to achieve even though not necessary/urgent or it looks good, it’s affordable and I can own it.

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With this challenge, I now feel the need to question the necessity and relevance of things before I purchase them. To the extent that I have the good against evil conversations with myself at the store, and talk myself out of an unnecessary purchase. To make sure I make use of what I have first before greed gets the better part of me.

“If I don’t need it, then I don’t buy it. If there’s something else that serves the same purpose, does it well & I still have it stashed, then I don’t buy it.”

It’s now as simple as that. That so far has helped me become more conscious during my purchases, which will in turn help me save a shilling or more in the long run.

On the same note, just after claiming how clueless I am about weddings, which I really am for real, not kidding, I got some girlfriend offers from Flo Ngigi (she could possibly be my twin), Wangu Yann (mentor in my teen years, now big sister), Njeri Olang (new God-sent friend) and Elizabeth Njeri (my best of friends, she must’ve been a wedding planner in her other life, she reminds me of 27dresses) – telling me they want to be there for me. I shall use up that offer, so don’t withdraw it, but the thought, just that feeling of wanting to be there for me, that counts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, you’re my treasures.

Signing off ~~~ *Kawi*

Co-ed Baby Showers

It’s amazing when I’m invited for a baby shower, it shows my friends are doing things right no pun. It’s been known that baby showers are a thing for the women folk but I’m starting to think otherwise the more I go for them. I think that both the women and men should be involved in it, because both parties are just as affected by this tremendous transition.

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For baby showers, the girlie’s organize a surprise shower for the almost popping mommy-to-be. They buy gifts and meet up at someone’s house or agreed relaxed place. There are lots giggles and excitement, frills, drinks and just good vibes. The girlie’s give the mommy-to-be tips on how to be a good mommy as well as the horrific and beautiful stories that come with motherhood. It’s actually a lot of fun. For the mommy-to-be, by the end of the shower and presentation of the gifts (and explain why they chose to buy that gift and its purpose). At the end of it, there’s a load off her back in terms of what to expect when the D-day reaches. At least the girls have given her a sneak-peak of what she’s bound to experience based on personal and over-heard experiences.

Well, as I sat there chatting with my buddies, I thought, “what about the men?” Who gives them tips on how to be a good dad? Fatherhood is a challenge too, just as motherhood is. The changes that come with it are a force to reckon with – and sometimes it catches them unawares. The only difference is that they are not carrying the child, but mentally, they are. Aren’t they the ones who have to deal with the demands of the almost popping mommy-to-be? This got me thinking of co-ed baby showers.

When my time comes, I’d like to have a co-ed (Oh,I mean, combined – that’s how they say it) baby shower. Where both our female and male friends are present, those who’ve experienced motherhood and fatherhood and can tell a tale or two as well as offer some advice that could be of great help.

I feel that it’s about time we shifted focus from just the mommy-to-be and accommodated the expecting dad as well. I mean we want our kids to have good fathers, so why not include them on the shower treat as well. Especially now that men are taking a keen interest in their wife’s pregnancy and giving her support at every stage of pregnancy, it is only fair to include them in the shower-treat.  What do you think?

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Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

The Million Dollar Question?

Even after I said “YES”, the first question that ran through my mind was, “how did you know the size of my finger?” I was too curious, because that would have been my only selling point.

The story, now that’s the question everyone has been asking of late. I’m not the best at narrating the same story over and over. But it seems for this season that I’m in, I need to get used to it and, that this bling sure does bring a lot of attention. I didn’t see myself in this phase this soon, and maybe that’s why the mister managed to sneak away with it. I was being very futuristic, I didn’t want to give him pressure in as much as all of you out there gave me pressure *looks at you, you and you*. I just wanted to go with the flow.

And with the flow I went. He’s a sneaky one, because on that Saturday 19th April, it was my turn on the rotter to work. He diligently dropped me at work, no signs whatsoever except him booking me for the day and night. All through work, I felt like I was in a daze, which made me think with the weather change I could be in the process of catching a cold. However, I wrote a post too, it was too pressing, I had learnt a couple of things that week through him and with him. Time to go home, I call him just to give him a heads up, and he offers to come back and pick me up. He’d done this a couple of times before so again, it felt normal.

When he picks me up, he hands me a gift bag and inside is perfume. WOW! He had chosen a yummy scent that I immediately adopted as My Scent. I was still in a daze. Let me explain the state, “happy and floaty for no reason, so it just feels a little awkward”. Does that make some sense?

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So we go grab something to bite and go home to watch some flicks looking forward to dinner. This Easter was pretty chilled out with no out-of-town plans (contrary to what we had earlier planned). So I was looking forward to the food, he was clearly looking forward to other grander things. If only I knew. I would have bought a new dress…lol. When evening reaches, he nudges me and tells me to dress-up. With his special line “we can’t be late for this one.” You know we women and our delaying tactics, I got it from my mum.  I was on time this time round, funny enough I didn’t even  give him a hard time getting dressed up. Normally I’d be in jeans but that day, I was very willing to dress up.

Out we went, where? “It’s a surprise,” he says. We check in to Serena and I’m like aha, but the “Captains Table at The Mandhari Restaurant” AHA! I only see all that attention in movies. And the attention is from when you check in to when you’re leaving the building. God bless those lovely waiters.  With a whole bottle of Moet to ourselves, if I knew what was going on, I’d have had a photographer on speed-dial. We just had make do with what we had by ourselves and the new fad – selfies to make memories. I loved the privacy, he knows me too well.

KawiSnippets, Engaged

1. I, very clueless  2. The Mandhari Restaurant Menu 3. Moet, 4. So sparkly, champagne ain’t the yummiest beverage at first but the taste grows on you. 5. The Master of selfies, takes us one. 6. Healthy starter – with wheat, nuts and all things healthy. 7. Mushroom Soup 8. Chicken Soup, 9. with a Quail egg to compliment (even with all the hype, I’d never eaten one yet, there’s a 1st for everything) – It had a name, I can’t remember. 10. Chefs special – Shrimp (with things in it) – I could have eaten more of those, too yummy for just one. 11. Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes – Pure yumminess in a cup plate. I’m now a potato person – being the person who hated potatoes in her food, but with cheese & butter anything is possible. 12. Pork Ribs. 13. Lamb Chops. 14, 15, 16. Those are two happy & grateful people.

It looks like my main word is yummy. It’s either yummy or not yummy. In a nut shell that’s how the evening went down of course followed with a nigh-out with a couple we look up to (not the parents haha, Mr & Mrs Ngigi). I was overwhelmed with joy. Too overwhelmed that we forgot to take pics of the dessert which the waiter said “comes served very hot.” Eh it was hot when she flung open the lid and I saw petals, a box ring and my boyfriend down on one knee.

No, I didn’t cry, not just yet. I think I was too surprised that he decided that it’s about time he “put a ring on my fatty-fatty finger”. I had asked God to give me someone I’ll be ready to spend the rest of my interesting life with. And with him, I felt that this was it. We have been together through the murks and the light as well, we’re growing together, we try up lift each other when either of us is down, we share the same values, beliefs and principles, he loves me all the time, even when I get to his nerves – like when I give completely wrong directions. He’s my all-weather friend. What more could I ask for? I am thankful to God that he’s taken his time to bring closer to me my life partner and we’re on the same page.

Engagement

For the next chapter, there’s no pressure. We’ll arrange it how we know it best, with the help of those who want the best for us. In all honesty, I’m the most clueless of bride-to-be, but we’ll sail through with God’s blessings. Can’t wait for that day and the lifetime to follow though.

To him,

Have a lovely week, now won’t you? To a wonderful journey we’ll have on here. Lot’s of love, light & peace from us to you.

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*

 

A Small Gift, Mini-Afro and Big Lesson

Of those gifts you receive and appreciate because its the thought that really counts, but at that moment you disregard it’s function. I’m sure you’ve received such a gift, no? It’s value is not felt immediately. You probably get home and stack it away in your closet hoping that it comes to be of use. Sometimes you just keep it because it’s a gift and it has some sentimental value.

Well, I don’t receive too many gifts, and especially not at random times of the year. This time, when I chopped my hair, my former colleagues gifted me with a metallic afro comb and a flower hair clip, that was a first. My hair was at base level, so the gift didn’t make sense then. I was all grins because it was a gift and which girl doesn’t love gifts? Whether big or small or if it makes sense or no sense.

Then my hair grew to mini-Afro level and my finger combing tactics were getting a little out dated. It just wasn’t working any more and my hair would get tangled up or look pretty untidy. Then one day as I oil my hair, stacked at the back of my made up “dressing corner” I see the that thing we can equate to “an oasis in the desert”, the metallic Afro comb. Then Arufeni’s wise words came to mind, “you’ll need this sometime” and the time was then.

Afro, Gifts, Blessings, Life Lesson

Moral of the story, sometimes we receive our blessings way ahead of time and they don’t make sense then. We have to go through a phase or a season for the blessing to reveal itself and make itself useful in your life in its time. Don’t trash or undervalue gifts given to you just yet. Receive them, keep them and give them time to mature. Give them time to bring value to your life, because that’s the intention of the gift-giver. While you receive physical gifts from loved ones, blessings are your gifts from God. That’s how he shows you some love, most times, it’s through other people.

Thank you Arufeni and Lydia, now I see the value of the comb. It might have been a small gesture, but it has taught me a big lesson.

Signing Off ~~~*Kawi*

If You Want To Feel Rich

You know the interesting thing about life? I also don’t. Ha ha kidding, I do. It’s that at the end of the day it’s about your endless dreams and how you can make them happen. It’s about those people you care about and how you want to see them happy. It’s about you and how you can achieve your happiest state. You work to achieve something, something that will make you feel complete, an absolute of sorts. The other day someone asked what can’t money buy? That’s a difficult question seeing as some of us haven’t experienced extreme richness to know what exactly it can’t buy. But with the much I have, I can say those things I am pretty sure it wouldn’t buy me.

You know those things that whether you have money or not, you can still experience them. It’s not money that determines whether you can or cannot get them. Digress, I remember in the course of my first job, I was confident enough that I deserved a raise and off I walked to my ex-bosses office to request for one. With full justification as to why I deserved an increase, we chat away. He’s the kind that could talk you out of what you want and convince you otherwise. So to say the least, I was fully armed. His office, the battle field. Everyone knew that. By all means I deserved a pay rise, so I was going to fight for it. As we chat, he goes like, “Mercy, you know if I decided to start paying you a million every month today you would go crazy”. Ha ha, joke right and I say, “I would be happy with that. Maybe we can try.” Then being the smart man,  he of course tells me the story of how he started out and how he got to where he is.  You learn to manage the little that you have as it’s added in progression, not just pap! Otherwise you won’t get a hold of yourself. I see he was doing my parents a favour, parenting me at work.

Oh boy, I was just seeing my plea go down the drain, somehow disappearing in the horizon as he went on and on. The he goes, “I will add for you this *small amount* first then we see how you do, and you can come back *after this duration of time* for a review”. Not what I had initially asked for, but at least it was something to get me going then. This always gets me looking back and thinking how it is I survived with that money, somehow I did, comfortably. Now back to those things, those ones that make you feel rich even when you’re not money rich, those ones that money cannot buy;

Happy Relationships

With God, with your family, with your spouse. You can’t buy their love or affection towards you and vice versa. Their willingness to do things for you and with you when you need them to, when you don’t need them to or when you least expect them to. The respect that you hold for each other. It’s a world of competition out there, so having this people cheer lead for you and be your front runners. That at the end of the day, you have people who can be held accountable for you and you for them, this is a blessing, not a purchase.

Good Health

It’s by the Grace of God that you’re healthy. That you can do things that other people only wish they could or that you have features that others wish they had, even if just for a day. They may look simple and easy for us, but it’s a blessing that we shouldn’t take for granted. Walking, eating, talking, sleeping, pooping, thinking, hearing, seeing among other things. That you’re not sick and bed ridden. You could have the money to go to the best doctors in the world, but not necessarily get healed. So thank your almighty for good health and long life.

Time … A Really Good Time

Money can enable you to go to the most beautiful and tranquil of places and do things that you’ve only dreamt of. But chances are that you might not even have a good time while at it. It happens. You think this place could give you absolute happiness even if for a moment, then it doesn’t. It probably even stresses you when you think how much you’re spending and what you’re going back to or it could be the company, not withstanding the luxury provided. It gets you whining to no end.

It’s all about having a good time, a great experience, a genuine smile on your face and hearty laughter, the kind that stems from your tummy. Ain’t it? You can have a good time wherever you choose to go or be, not necessarily in the islands or desserts or five star hotels whose décor and furnishings are out of this world. If you can’t afford that right now, you can afford a walk in the park … it’s free. I know I’m pushing it *because I want to go to those islands, desserts and five start hotels*, but a really good time knows no place and no amounts of money. You make it, with what you have.

True friends

There’s the family that’s given to you by virtue of being born into this world, and then there are those you personally choose, your true friends. Money can’t buy you these ones and if it does, the ‘true’ in the ‘true friends’ fizzles out. The love, trust and commitment you accord this ones with and vice versa is miraculous.

The brain and mind

Oh your mind. That there is one powerful object, in case you were searching for super powers. Very powerful, I’m even thinking when people say it’s the heart ‘a bullet to the heart‘, I think they mean the mind. The heart just pumps blood and enables the brain to get blood and oxygen for you to remain sane. It’s the mind that thinks, hurts, feels, cooks things up, makes assumptions, loves and so on. The mind leads you to believing what you want to believe and helps you make your choices, good or bad, whether you have money or not. It’s the source of great ideas and innovations that eventually lead you to making that money.

Money can’t buy you brains, but it can help you make up your mind, when you have them. So the brains came before the money, unless you’re a trust fund baby, lucky bustards … lol

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There’s no better way to look at it. This will give you so much peace especially in your mind and help you put some things into perspective. Sometimes we get so drained trying to get rich, that we die trying. Because we see riches as just having money and lots of it, but riches do come in other forms too. What are some of those things you have that money cannot buy?

Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*