Thankful and introspective

THANKFUL
This week I am thankful for my own health. It’s one of those things I take for granted until I’m at the doctor’s office, ill from a mild illness or having an annual checkup. I am thankful that I continue to be in good health despite some unhealthy choices I make, and I have committed to a healthier lifestyle. Not having a car and having to walk to some places I’d normally drive to helps, and so does cutting down on the ijekuje (hi aloted!).

I’m also thankful for my parents and their great example when it comes to money. I don’t like talking about money but I want to point out YNC’s week-long series on money: investing it, saving for the future, stuff like that. Even though some may know a lot of what she’s sharing already, it’s a good review. I posted a long comment on her first entry about how my father begged encouraged me to invest money when I was around 18 years of age. Even before that, when I was 11 years old, my mother took my sister and I to the bank and we opened bank accounts, even though we were not really earning money at that time. The idea of how interest works and how important it is to save for future big purchases such as a camera or a portable cassette player (this was the early 90s sha) was explained to us.

With the investing, I started small on a monthly basis, and the original plan was that I would increase the amount within a year’s time, once I started working more hours at my part time jobs or once I started making more money. I reached these milestones but I didn’t increase the amount I invested for seven or eight years because I liked having more money to spend (and I enjoyed spending it). When I increased it, I didn’t even increase it by a lot because I wasn’t sure I could get used to not having that extra money. More years passed then I started thinking of buying a house so I had to increase my investments again to be able to put down a good downpayment on a house. If it wasn’t for my dad’s early suggestion that I start investing, and the example my parents gave with the way they handle their own finances, there is no way that I would have been able to have the discipline to save, to be frugal and cut down on the junk I was purchasing without thinking. Now I have reaped the rewards of this discipline.

INTROSPECTIVE
As I get older, I find I worry more. It’s partly because as the eldest child, I feel more responsible for my entire family as I get older, but also, as I get older, I just feel less in control and believe less that everything will just work out. Maybe it’s cynicism, maybe it’s the examples I’ve seen in my life that show that things don’t always happen the way you hope, wish or pray they will happen. I worry about my parents, in particular their health, I worry about my siblings and their futures (school, career, spouse) and I worry about how everything can change in a flash: you can wake up and think it’s going to be a regular Thursday and one phone call can change it all. It’s scary! We have no control over what each day holds, only God does. I can’t add a second to my life by worrying as the bible says, in fact worrying so much over a long time period will surely shorten my life due to stress. So I’m trying to do something useful instead of worrying: if I’m worried about a family member, I’ll call them or send them a text message to see how they are doing, or just say a quick prayer for them. I am learning to turn to prayer when I am confronted with something I can’t handle. I can only do something about the factors that are in my control; the rest I must leave in God’s hands.

I used to think that if I could just know, life would be easier: if I could know that my parents will live long, healthy lives; if I could know that I will meet my good (Naija?) guy before the end of my life; if I knew that my siblings and I will live long, happy and contented lives, I would be able to live life to fullest. However, that’s not the way life goes. Instead we have to live life to the fullest anyway, by faith, not knowing what the next minute will bring. We have to live hour by hour, day by day, and give thanks and recognize that we are privileged to wake up again, ready to face a new minute, hour, day.

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15 thoughts on “Thankful and introspective

  1. Yeah! it's all by faith. Most of the time we only receive just enough light to take the next step and that's how go and grow, step by step.

    Your parents did well, training you guys on investing. Not many parents bother with such 'serious issues'.

  2. As always–very beautiful and dont think your askin for too much just like i would also have wanted for a peep into my future as well so there would be less worries and weight hangin on my neck…but that, we’re not given..we only have to appreciate the moment we have and hope that the future holds a brighter day…Nice post GNG…

    Have a blessed weekend..

  3. Interesting

    Thank God for your parents, I took a note there to teach my children to learn to save from an early age.

    Life, in fact living itself is by faith, we sleep and beleive we would wake up the next day…..we really cannot know all those things you wanna know ( I also wish I knew so many things right now…God help me!)

    We only have to live by faith, even though we do not know what tomorrow holds, trusting the one that holds tomorrow.

    I admire your open approach to blogging, one can really touch your spirit, your mind, your person from your posts.

    Cheers

  4. Of course…..that is our tragedy and our saving grace. That we dont know so we can be comforted in his grace because we know that whatever happens his grace is sufficient for us. I need help with my finances so bad….I am just terrible with money and my sister(ur friend) had to buy me a book about worrying and the like because I worry for the entire World. I have imagined anything terrible that could possibly happen to any one happening to me and it gets so bad that I am sometimes paralyzed by fear. Its really terrible but little by little I am begginging to learn that he has made everything perfect in ITS time. Not my time or even his time but the time when that thing is beautiful, it will happen and before then we just reat on his throne.

    XOXO

  5. I am enjoying every single paragraph, phrase, semi-colon, sentence style, structure and composition –i am enjoying it all. thanks for sharing this was the post that provoked me enough to leave a comment. I swung by from Ayesha’s photo blog.

  6. Babe,

    Saving money is a lot easier when there is money to save. What happens when you spend the money before you even get it? *SIGH* Honestly, it hasn't been easy @ all. I concur with everything you have said. I, too wish I could KNOW that everything would be okay. Wish I could just KNOW, but there's no way to know…

  7. Phew. Honestly some days I feel so neurotic, but you are right worrying is so counterproductive and I am also trying to channel my worries into prayer. Take care.

  8. Thanks so much for spreading the word on investing, it sucks that a lot of people don’t care for topics related to finances…the reason while people keep spreading the same money problem from one generation to another. For me and my family, we have decided to keep saving and investing wisely for our future…happy you are one of the lucky people already investing wisely.

    You know I love your thank you post, love it so much. I share the same worries as you, the worry over my parent’s health, I know you will meet that dream guy for you. Keep praying and God would keep everyone and guide your family. I know that feeling, it is well by faith. Thanks for always being you, you rock. You will surely meet that Mr Romantic for you. I pray so for you.

  9. I agree with Vera. Money is so hard to come by these days. Good message you gave, though. How are you?

  10. I’m so thankful for your thankful posts! i can only imagine all the good things that you unknowingly or knowingly open the doors for in your life because of your positivity. Thanks for the reminder to invest…I use to do that alot when I was younger…now is actually a good time to invest…thanks for the reminder…

  11. â–ºTrybes
    Thank you so much for the wishes for a good weekend. I did have a good one.

    â–ºEnkay
    it’s all by faith. Most of the time we only receive just enough light to take the next step and that’s how go and grow, step by step.

    You’re so right! You put that really well.

    My parents are really fantastic. They came here as immigrants and took a good look at what they could do ethically to get their meagre savings to grow and they made sure we were aware of those options as soon as we started earning money.

    â–ºolufunke
    You’re so right: I’m always thankful for another day but at the same time I go to bed believing that I will wake up the following day. God is so good!

    Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. I am glad you feel I am coming through in my posts because it is definitely my intention.

    â–ºtiana
    Thank you so much for your comment. I spend a lot of time editing my entries because it’s just the way I am so I’m glad it shows :)

    â–ºTemite
    All we can do with our worries is put it in HIS hands. It isn’t easy but we have to realize that our worrying does absolutely nothing.

    â–ºpinksatin
    Aww, thanks girl! I hope all is well.

    â–ºogonna
    Thank you…and you take care too! Turn powerlessness into prayer abi?

    â–ºYNC
    I think it’s a great series so it was my pleasure to mention your blog. Your family’s plan sounds perfect to me: I am trying to convince my brothers to undersand the conceptof saving.

    â–ºVera Ezimora
    When you don’t have money just lying around, waiting to be saved you have to find that money somewhere. Personal wealth isn’t determined by how much you make but how much of it you save. I used to think that I didn’t make enough money to have savings but taking a look at your lifestyle, to see areas where you overspend can be very helpful. Maybe your cell phone plan has more “goodies” than you actually need, maybe you’re paying monthly for a gym membership you don’t use, perhaps you pay extra for channels on the cable tv you don’t watch, or you buy books instead of seeing whether the local library has them, or you don’t wait for sales when buying expensive items, or you eat lunch out every day….there are lots of little vacuums in this world that suck our money out of our wallets. Phew! I think I will post a bit more specifically on this.

    â–ºButtercup
    I agree that money isn’t easy to come by but you don’t have to start off saving a lot of money, even a few dollars each month will help…you have to look at the big picture: over time, your money will gain more power.

    I’m doing very well thank you. I will have to head over to your blog to see if you and Chari have any news for us. :)

    â–ºMiss Health Diva
    Thank you so much for the comment! And Amen: I do hope that the positivity that I feel when writing up the thankful entry and planning for future entries leads to good things in my life. I am thankful for you: you’re sharing a very important message through your own blog.

    â–ºtigeress
    Thank you, darlin’

    â–ºBSNC
    Awww, thank you very much. I will have a great week; I hope you will too!

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