Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Many Thanks, Other Stuff

Thank you everyone for your kind words and prayers about my mum. I'm really grateful and I pray that God will bless you in return! Mum is doing much better now and I'm trusting God to fully heal her. She has already improved a lot since she arrived and I can see the difference. Hubby and I are going to see her tomorrow and we are going to her physiotherapy session together. I'm glad I can go with her, we may even have a small bonding time by going shopping afterwards! That is if she feels strong enough to brave the shops on the high street. I'm excited about that, I must admit.

Well my writing's been going well so far. I'm working on a short story at the moment and it's harder than I thought! I thought you know, it's just a short story of no more than 5000 words - how hard can it be? But I've realised it is hard. I have to tell the whole story and come to a conclusion in a short space so it's not easy at all. So that's my first learning experience about writing a short story. I'm still working on a novel as well so my head is full of different characters and story lines right now, really cool! I've actually started dreaming about the characters too, is that weird?

In the past week I've "met" and spoken to some amazing people who are writers and I've been awed, challenged and inspired. I feel like I've got so much to learn about how to continually improve my writing, how to carry out research, seek out inspiration and overcome writer's block. I formed the "Nigerian Writers" group on Facebook and I've met more writers that way and it's great! I'm developing a new obsession: stalking other Nigerian writers and their work. I'm not just interested in Nigerian writers though, I think I'm just particularly curious about how they express themselves through their writing.

Speaking of Nigeria, I've just heard about the currency reforms the Central Bank is proposing. They are proposing a revaluation of the naira so that the current denominations will be a hundredth of their value ie N1oo.00 will be worth N1.00, the N20 note will be the highest in circulation etc. I've read about the supposed benefits the revaluation will have. It will reduce the amount of notes that people have to carry around, it will make the exchange rates with the Dollar and Pound Sterling more comparable and so on. But I just can't help wondering: Did they not change the Naira notes a few months ago? Why didn't they reform the value then? Why do the new notes need to be phased out again? Are there not more pressing economic problems to sort out first? How about lowering inflation and creating more jobs? Would revaluing the naira make any difference to the average trader in the market or the average salary earner? I very much doubt it, but we'll see.

I know I shouldn't look back and regret things I can't change, but sometimes I can't help wondering why I had spent all that time at uni studying the wrong degrees, and then graduating and doing the wrong career. I feel as if all those years were a waste and I'll never get them back. An acquaintance of mine called me recently, we went to uni together and I knew her through a mutual friend. She was calling to invite me to an event and then she just asked: how is work? I told her I had left my job. She asked to why and what I did now. I told her I was now a writer and she was like wow, just a few days ago, she was thinking of leaving her job to follow her dream of starting her own business but she was afraid. I told her not to give in to her fears anymore because further down the line, she could end up regretting not taking the plunge earlier. She said she would think about it, I really hope she goes for her dream!

This summer has been such a dampener, it's so annoying. Imagine, it's raining in the middle of August! Hubby and I had planned a day out last week, but the weather forecast had predicted rain so we decided to move it to this week. Well it's been raining this week too, so we've had to cancel our outing. Sigh. I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I should think of the green grass and the lovely flower hedges enjoying all the rain. Hope you are all enjoying the summer where you are.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Mummy, Health and Writing

I've been away from my blog for a while, I know. It's not because I didn't have things to say, and not because I was stranded on a remote island somewhere. I didn't have the inclination to blog for a reason, or maybe a few. I got a phone call recently that my mum was ill. My aunt didn't want to tell me what was wrong with her, all she said was that my mum had fallen ill and had been taken to hospital. I asked how mum was doing and my aunt said she was responding to treatment. I was quite worried because my mum is never sick. She is one of the most active and hardworking people I know. I can't remember the last time she was ill and had to go to hospital. Initially I thought maybe it was a fever or something, so I told hubby and we prayed for her. I called my dad and he was being very vague as well, he just told me that she had been admitted into hospital and she was getting better. But he wouldn't let me speak to her. So everyday all I could do was pray for mum to get better. It wasn't until a week later before he told me that my mum had had a stroke. A stroke?! I was stunned and I couldn't speak for what seemed like several minutes. The first thing I asked him was: why did you keep it from me all this time? There I was thinking she only had malaria or something! After I had recovered from the shock, I calmed down enough to ask more important questions about her health and how her treatment was going.
Well to cut a long story short, mum came around two weeks ago. I had been so scared that she would be permanently disabled or something, but to God be the glory, she is recovering well and she is able to walk and talk almost as normal as before. I spent the last five days with her and I'm really glad she is improving everyday. She told me what she could remember of when it all started happening and how she was rushed to hospital, how she was unconscious for many days, how she herself didn't believe she was so ill until the doctors told her. She is undergoing physiotherapy now, so she will be around for a while until she fully recovers. I'm just really really really grateful to God for sparing her life and I pray she will be perfectly healed - amen. When she gets better, I'm going to tell her that she must not stress herself again, she needs a long holiday.

That got me thinking about how much we take our health for granted. It is so so vital, something that cannot be bought in the market. I mean, for me that I had never seen my mum being in hospital, it did come as a shock. I had never imagined it could happen. I now thank God for my health everyday, it is a precious gift. I now appreciate life itself a lot more as well. My mum's friend said that after my mum got ill, she started appreciating that life is short, so she has started wearing all her nice clothes that she used to keep for "special occasions"! I thought that was funny but there is an element of truth in there. Why wait for another day to start enjoying your life? Who knows how long we will be around to live our lives anyway? I've made up my mind to live my life to the full everyday, because I don't know if I will be given another day.

I'm glad I could take the time to be with mum last week since don't have to be "in the office", but that does mean though that I've fallen behind my writing target for this week. I was hoping to have written a short story and another chapter of my book by Friday but that didn't happen. I couldn't do any work during the weekend either because I had to attend a wedding all day on Saturday, and I was so tired on Sunday. I'll have to adjust my deadline now but I intend to work extra hard and have something substantial to show for it by the end of the week. I'd better, otherwise my friends could start ribbing me like Brian in the funny clip below.

I hope not! LOL, have a blessed week everyone!

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