8

Ode to a playground.

Growing up was fun, whenever I go to Lagos Island, sweet memories still flood my mind, memories of a clean sparsely populated and breezy neighborhood which encompassed streets like Bishop Street, Olowogbowo, Elegbata, Koseh, John Street, Daddy Alaja, Tom Jones, Idumota, Alakoro Marina, Balogun Street, Broad Street and the main Marina.  Everywhere was our playground including the gutters and right in the middle of black well tarred  roads, cars hardly passed by, it was only a few people that had cars, commuting was not common then,

5

Resolved

“Have you ever made a New Year Resolution that you kept?”

There is something that usually follows the new year, resolutions, new year resolutions they are called. The tag ‘new year’ is supposed to set them apart, is n’t it? Resolutions, goals, plans, they have different names but mean the same thing, that is, what have you not been doing that you now decide to be doing in the new year, or what have you been doing that you still want to be doing but doing differently? Or what have you been doing in the past that you decide to stop doing. I am not a ‘new year resolution person’ I have discovered that over time. I am that kind of person that has long term goals in my mind but don’t really have clear cut short term goals to get there and so far in spite of  that, things seem to fall into expected places for me. Was it not Tai Solarin of blessed memory that said, don’t look before you leap, because if you look too much you might end up not leaping, so in most cases, I go on and leap and later sort out whatever the consequences are.

However towards the tail end of last year, I took stock and I reawakened my self to the fact that the only main ambition that I have always nursed and not yet done anything about is to start a school. I have always wanted to start a school, if there is anybody that I envy, it is those in the education provision sector. It is one thing I would regret if I end up not doing, and as the clock ticks and I get older, I become afraid and think what if I get too old to start and I can’t start any more? It has become a fearsome fear that I have to overcome.

Since the first step to solving a problem is realizing you have a problem, I have identified this problem, it is the only want that I have that has refused to go. So it has to be satiated, but what has been keeping it from being satiated, a few reasons I identified are: 1. Fear of failure? No, definitely not, along the line I have delved into some other projects and businesses and they have been successful, so what  can it be? 1. Indecision on whether to start small with maybe a daycare centre/ crèche or a full blown primary school ? 2. Location, 3. Other businesses/ distractions that have made me loose focus along the line. 4. Family considerations. 5. Capital.  And 6. Perhaps lack of support from expected family quarters.This Daily Post Writing Prompts by wordpress is a good thing, it has made me realize how fearsome the fear has become.

I have therefore decided that I will go on and leap although this time with a little looking, I will start by drawing up a long term plan and this time made up of short term goals to aid it, wake up that giant sleeping inside of me and get to work. I will keep you posted about how far I have gone by the end of the year. And oh, I almost forgot, I will also learn how to bake.

What are your own plans for the new year?

7

Stroke of midnight

Where was I when 2013 melted into 2014?

I was in church, just as I was in church last year, two years ago and for the past  Zillion years or thereabouts. I have always made an habit of ensuring that when the clock strikes 12 am on the last day of the year, my family and I would be in church. There is nothing as soothing and reassuring as being in church on the last second of the last minute of the last hour of he last day of the year. I am one of those people who have preference for a particular area or specific seats in church and if for any reason, I do not get that seat, my “spirit does not flow”. So this means I have to make an extra effort  to get to church earlier than most people.

My family in church, early birds for the  cross over service.

There is no crowd like the crowd of the last day of the year, the church is usually filled to overflowing, there were seats on the streets for people to sit, there were more people standing than those sitting, no matter the number of chairs provided, they are never enough.

There was a festive feeling in the air, everyone was gaily dressed

Me, in my Sunday best (what our people call “bottom box”)

and the atmosphere was charged, there seemed to be a general realization that we were there not of our own making, we were there because God granted it that way. We danced like never before, we clapped, we sang at the top of our voices, solemn hymns and gospel songs. Hugs became the new hello, we were eager to exchange greetings, to trade back thumpings, to laugh whole heartedly for the smallest of reasons. The lead chorister, a friend of mine loosened up, she was not her usual shy self, all her songs were favourites, the way she led us was different, it was as if her life depended on it or that she needed to show appreciation for what God had done for her that year.

End of year or what we call “cross over” service is usually not a time for long sermons, it started with thanksgiving, the Pastor echoed the reasons why we should be thankful, reasons that were obvious already. This was followed by alter call, cross over service alter call is like no other, loads of people, mostly youths came  out in their hundreds to give their lives to Christ. Serious  “back to sender prayers” were said. The service ended with thanksgiving, prayer points were used for the countdown into the new year.As soon as the clock struck 12, there was a loud chorus of happy new year accompanied with moving around the church auditorium, hugging friends, family and  even complete strangers, perceived haters and enemies alike and wishing one another a happy new year

. There were loud bang, bang, bang sounds of fireworks from outside. Because of the fireworks and traffic jam, a journey that would take about 5 minutes from my church to my house took about an hour, but we did not mind, in fact we enjoyed it. Back home, the smell of a new beginning was in the air. It was a new year indeed. We all exchanged another round of “happy new year” and talked into the first day of 2013.