First off, I am dead tired, worn out! I have been up and down the past four weeks, work and other obligations. It does not help that I am also experiencing a loss I truly had not anticipated. It caught me flat-footed. But being a grown up comes with such, you just deal as best as you can.

In the aforementioned ups and downs, I missed spending quality time with my son. I am riddled with guilt. Life and work balance they say. I might have to call bullshit on that. You just do your best I think. And focus on the quality as opposed to quantity. Make every second count. I am trying to remember the exact words a friend used to describe this, something about the sum total of work and of life that then makes the balance. I truly am exhausted, I can barely think, remember, I doubt I can find my elbow with either hand and a flash light. But I need to write, it is my therapy. So stubbornly I will continue, hopefully it goes well, my musings on totally unrelated topics, this and that.

I learnt some, doing my other non work related obligations. That you can give your time and skill to a cause, you do not necessarily have to give money. That in my own small way I can bring change. And that it feels so damn good when you do this. Giving of your time and knowledge and other resources disposable to you is the ultimate goal. You could go to your old primary school in the village and get involved in some activity, mobilizing the parents and wider community to do some improvements to the classrooms for instance. Visit your college Alma mater and give a talk to the continuing students in your former faculty, explain to them the realities of the work place so they are able to translate the knowledge they learn in class and be better prepared for the marketplace once they graduate.

Have you ever met a total stranger in the most random of places, who then becomes a good friend? A supermarket for instance. You are queuing at the till in Nakumatt and you start talking to the person in front/ behind you. Maybe about the cashier and how friendly he is (because a friendly human in this Nairobi is a strange and rare thing, when it happens you gawk, speak about it. Have you ever said hi to a random person and they just look at you not responding? I do this a lot and usually wonder what triggers the lack of response, they were not anticipating a greeting?) Or the trolley ahead and how full it is, how long does it take to go through all that cereal, you ask each other. Maybe they have it for dinner too? Then the chit chat morphs into a serious conversation.

You go through an aha moment, a change of perspective, an awareness or understanding of subjects in a way you had never thought of before. Totally makes you reexamine your life. Like the story of that Uber driver that was doing rounds a while back, how the experience he went through made him make some changes. I guess that’s why we are told to travel, mingle with people of different cultures, class, read. We pick so much, that hopefully makes us better people.

Change is difficult. When you decide to do something different, that is actually good for you, but out of the norm, what society and culture perceives as acceptable, you best be ready to rub people off the wrong way. People close to you, your family even. Change makes people uncomfortable. And as much as they know it’s good for you, the natural way to react is object? I still can’t figure it out. I guess once you have made your mind you just go on and do it. And pray it works. And if it does not, learn from this and try again a different way. Now I see and understand why people stay in comfort zones however uncomfortable. Change is too much work.

Djasiri asked how I got him out of my stomach. I told him they cut my lower abdomen and got him out. He then asks what they used to cut my stomach. I said a scalpel. “You are lying , if they cut you, you would be dead”, he says. I am tempted to tell him I got him off the shelves of Carrefour, or I wrote a letter to the Storks, and the birds dropped him home just like in the movie. I strongly suspect he would believe this version than my truth. I also wonder how you could possibly explain a vaginal birth to a six year old?

It’s school break, grandma and Easter are here! Wish you a good one. Be kind to one another.

xo, mamadjasiri

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4 thoughts on “This and that

    1. I think this is up for debate. The raison d etre for the tree is to grow, bear fruit, survive droughts etc. But if the river completely runs dry, where does it get necessary nourishment?

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