A Dad’s Crazy Four Hours

I have had many crazy moments in my life. Especially since I became a parent. The craziest day of them all may well be the one that took place on February 28th, 2014.

It was a Thursday, so you could say this post is a throwback Thursday post.

The time was 8:09 AM. I saw my chic and primly dressed wife, Njeb to the door – she was on her way to a four- or five-hour meeting. After she stepped out, I closed the door to witness, not as a spectator, but an actor, a frenzy of activities that put my ability to multitask to shame. That day I corrected the notion that I am good at multitasking.

I stepped into the living room to resume the work I was doing on my laptop before I stopped to see Njeb out. The deadline was that day. But ShanNom, our son is in my arms, lying comfortably with his head on my shoulders. He was enjoying my cooing, but refusing to fall asleep. So here I am, my left hand numb from balancing and holding my 8.5kg son, and my right laboring over the laptop’s keyboard.

As if the situation was not bad enough, electricity was interrupted.

Thirty minutes later ShanNom slept off. With arms numb and aching, I placed him in his cot and prayed desperately that this sleep will not be the snooze he is typical of.

Furiously, I continued my work, hammering at the keys to produce the financial report that was due that day. Even with two hands available to work with, only little progress was made – the battery ran out. I couldn’t turn on the generator for power since the fuel was exhausted the night before. I could go out and buy some fuel, but ShanNom should not be left alone.

As the reality of an unmet deadline was dawning, my mind torturously dredged up another deadline: finish reading Francine Rivers’ As Sure As the Dawn. As part of my personal development, I read two books per month. The goal was met in January, but that February it seemed failure wanted a tie with my previous success.

The mental torture increased as I remembered I offered to help Njeb cream margarine and sugar in preparation for a cake meant for a meeting that will hold in our home later that evening. I got up to start creaming, then noticed my untouched breakfast.

So with a plastic bowl balanced in the crook of my left arm, and with a turnstick in my right, I mixed the sugar-margarine content using circular motions, and managed to eat. With the cold breakfast out of the way I picked up Rivers’ book, opened to where the page marker is and resumed reading while creaming. I managed this by holding down both sides of the book with sugar and milk containers. Phew!

Its 10:47 AM. Creaming is done. I continued reading until 11 AM. Reluctantly, I stopped to start making lunch. As I stepped away from the cooker, I froze in midstride. I thought I heard the sound of a baby’s cry.

It’s a baby’s cry alright. I wished fervently that its not ShanNom but my neighbour’s baby. I heard the cry again, the unmistakable wail from my boy. Muttering under my breath I picked him from his cot, not as gently as I normally would. After five minutes I had him squealing in delight by throwing him in the air. Baby’s having fun while daddy’s arm muscles are worn.

My lady came back from her meeting by 12:15 PM. Oh thank God! That was my delightful response when I got the door and found it was Njeb. Mercifully, it was not a visitor who wants a slice of the time I do not have.

She relieved me of ShanNom while I focused on fixing lunch.

At the end of the day, my Accounting deadline was unmet, we enjoyed a tasty lunch, the meeting in our home held (we had a quality time!), I finished the book and my arms no longer hurts.

This may not be my craziest moment, but I remember it vividly.

I bet you’ve had crazy moments. What was your craziest moment like?


Imperfect, But Valuable

‘The world is quite skilled at assaulting us with countless messages—overt and covert—about how to measure our worth.’

I couldn’t agree more with Michele Cushatt, when I read the above words on her blog post recently. Moment by moment we are told to define ourselves by:

  • Where we live
  • What we wear
  • What we drive
  • Who we hang out with
  • How much our net worth shows.

Unfortunately, ‘too often we listen, we buy in. And we frantically try to do what is demanded of us.’ We do our best to fit into the mold, foregoing things that matter most. Only to discover the mold is not what it is cracked up to be – satisfaction sought, not guaranteed.

Sadly, instead of gaining wisdom from experience, the frustration birth by wrong choices is masked and suppressed by a renewed resolve to attain the perfect life ‘against all odds’.

Life, yours inclusive, is imperfect. In spite of all the enhancements man cooks up it can never be perfect. That is why the ‘perfect life’ is always redefined.

But who says imperfection is not okay?

‘Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.’
– Annette Funicello

You are imperfect but very valuable, even if it is to just one person on planet earth. Your achievement may seem insignificant; you may even see yourself as a failure, yet you can add value to another.

It does not take lofty pursuits and grand achievements. Value is added mostly through seemingly insignificant actions and words. Their impact is far-reaching because they are carried out and uttered in love.

The task may be menial, and seem unimportant.
The gesture may be trivial and insignificant.
Provided it is done in love, It’s the wisest investment;
Based on the greatest commandment –
Birth in us from above.

Anyone is capable of adding value to another.

A penniless beggar can offer a smile. (This can achieve much more than you know).

You can offer a listening ear to a friend even though you are broke.

It does not have to cost you a kobo to be kind.

Don’t define yourself by what you have achieved or amassed for yourself. Decide today to make your life count by adding value to others. Intentionally. That is what gives life meaning.

‘Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.’
– Jesus Christ (Luke 12:15)

How do you define yourself?

5 Kindness Inspiring Quotes

One way to make the most of your day is to make another person’s day better through acts of kindness.

The ability to give and receive kindness, as we travel through life, makes the ride more fulfilling and rewarding. For you, and others.

Last week I shared three ways to go out of your way to be kind to strangers. I figured a follow-up post will not be out of place.

Kindness is not overrated.

In this post, I have curated five quotes that will egg you on to spice up your day with kind acts.

“Kindness goes a long way lots of times when it ought to stay at home.”

-Kin Hubbard, American cartoonist, humorist and journalist

My take: Kindness is a choice. Make it daily.

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as you can.”

-John Wesley, English Cleric & Theologian

My take: There is always a way, place, time to show kindness, and person(s) to be kind to.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet and philosopher

My take: One way to live in the present is to do a kind gesture when it occurs to you. It can hardly be too soon.

“Kindness has more converted sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.”

-Frederick W. Faber, English hymn writer & theologian

My take: This one really got me musing.  Kindness beats effort in getting the job done; it is more expressive and persuasive than charismatic speech; it clarifies issues more than knowledge.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

-Dalai Lama (Lhamo Thondub), Spiritual leader of Tibet & Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

My take: You can always be kind.

The least you can do is give a genuine smile. Yes, even at a stranger in a foreign place.

A smile, it is said, is the same in every language.

Which quote did you find most inspiring? Which quote will you add?