This month’s thankful post falls on the last day of the month so if you signed up to receive love notes from me you’ll receive an email from me later, and in it will be a picture from the event that I spent the end of June and all of July working on—more on that later. I’m waiting for the professional pictures to come in to see how things looked because it was all a blur. I only snapped one picture and it was of my friend Ves trying iyan (pounded yam) for the first time.
Every July for the past 10 years I’ve sold beverages at a local music festival as a volunteer. Ten years is a long time to do anything but I love freebies: in exchange for my time, I get access to concerts. Thanks to this festival I’ve seen King Sunny Ade, Femi Kuti, Drake, Kanye West, India.Arie, Lady Gaga, and Rhianna perform, to name a few. Asa was supposed to perform a few years ago but she didn’t—I’m still vexed with her.
On to this month’s thankful items:
- I’m thankful for the opportunity of this festival: one of the reasons I had initially started volunteering was to “get out there” more and meet people. Though I haven’t made any new friends from volunteering, I always run into people I already know at the concerts (mini reunion!) and the experience in general has improved my ability to interact more confidently with strangers. I also get to see the generosity of people—like the guy who tried to give me a $50 tip (very flattering!).
For my 10 years of service I received a gift card and a glass award with my name on it—the Nigerian Blog Awards must take note!
- My mother celebrated a milestone birthday this month: her 60th! God has been so good to her, to us. I’ve been reflecting on our family this entire month, especially during the last two weeks of July. How two young Nigerians, both children of farmers, traveled from Nigeria to the USA, back to Nigeria, then to Canada, managed to raise four children without familial support, and dealt with so many curve balls in between, especially these past 29 years in Canada, well, it can only be God. In my mom’s case the curve balls I refer to are health challenges…through it all, she’s been resilient and cheerful, often putting us (her family) to shame. I really can’t say enough about her—I’m thankful that God has kept her for all these years and I’m trusting him to keep her for many more decades.
We celebrated her 60th birthday with a party this past Saturday. Everyone in the family did their part to make the event a success and it was nice to come together to work toward a common goal (we had lots of fights and tense-filled moments though!).
- I’m thankful for friends who make me feel welcome in their lives—their graciousness is something I treasure, because I can compare it to others who either tell me a long story about why we can’t hang out or who tell me what they’ll rearrange in their schedule to accommodate me—it’s so ungracious! This makes me appreciate the friends who I can make plans with quickly and easily, despite their busy schedules.
Now the challenge is to be as gracious to others as my friends are to me.
- I’m thankful for the way God guided my words during a meeting with the new head of the organization I work for. My written communication is better than speaking, but during our meeting I wasn’t as nervous or awkward as I usually am, and I was brave too: I brought up a sensitive situation that has been bothering me for a few months. With God’s continued guidance it looks like Workplace Jummy 2.0 will be more assertive and confident than she’s been in the past.
- Finally, I’m thankful that even when I don’t make dinner from scratch, there’s always food in my house that I could eat—I always have choice. When you’re not that inspired by your options it’s good to remember that some people don’t even know where their next meal is coming from.
Your turn! Name one person and one thing that you’re thankful for.