Along comes the two thousand and seventeen

Twenty sixteen began yesterday, now its all gone. Twenty seventeen has started with a bang, at least at my end, and like its big brother and sister years before, this too shall pass. Slowly, but steady, the minutes and hours will become days, then weeks, then months and eventually, the top end of the yearly circle will start again and like a gate inching its way shut and open, next year will awaken.

I give this analogy at the start of every year. For many, it is a time to whip out the pen and paper and mull through a never ending list of New Year’s resolutions that will probably not get past the first month in practice. If you are like me, we pretend not to make resolutions. I keep promises in my head but try not to same them out loud, for fear of jinxing my promise to myself.

For many years I have promised myself to watch what I eat, procrastinate less, spend more time studying my bible, do more of the things that make me happy, worry less, keep my house tidier….duh duh duh, and for as long as I have made my promises, I have lingered in keeping them.

So, within the last few minutes of inching into 2017, as I have watched the fireworks light up the athmosphere somewhere far beyond my back garden, I have had a moments thought and now decide not to have a New Year’s resolution. Rather, in twenty seventeen, I promise to live life and love life.

Yep, you heard it…..I promise to live life and love life. I know it sounds easy, but this borders on being disciplined, doing what I need to do when I need to do them, being thankful for the little things and being content about everything, making time to do the things that make me happy, be concerned less about what people think about me, spending time with people I love and learning to love as much- I promise to live intentionally. I guess it will be easy once achieved. The thing is, life itself is too short to spend on things that don’t matter.

So, 2017, here I come !

 

 

Counting my blessings!

Every year on the 31st of December I think a lot about the events of the months past and I count my blessings. I remember what I achieved, what I missed out on, I think on how much I gained in building up myself (not necessarily in materials), how much value I added to the lives of others and above all, I thank God.

2016 has been a great year!

I learned to love myself better, to stop and part myself on the back, reminding myself that ‘gurl, you’ve done really good’.

l learned to show my appreciation for the people I love; my husband and children and the beautiful people around me that blessed me with kind thoughts and words.

I learned to plan my time better and prioritise. Yes, with the never ending workload of motherhood and having a newborn and juggling with my responsibilities as ‘super woman’, I learned to place things in order of importance.

I learned to not be superwoman- to let my hair down, let the kids be kids, let them play and scatter the house. I’d always make them put things back in the right order afterward….hehe!

I constantly fall in love with my husband over and over again. It happened again in 2016. I learned to love him even more.

I spent more time with the kids. We got dirty in the mud, cut up papers, scattered the house, went nuts over nuts, encouraged one another….I love my babies to pieces.

I learned to speak my mind- a little. I learned to communicate better, speak up when I’m not satisfied and give kudos where it is due.

I picked up new hobbies that I enjoy and that make me happy. I learned to sew and garden and still practicing my French. My blog at http://www.nonosays.com was launched- hey I’m writing again.

May the new year be blessed!

I grew yet a deeper relationship with God- It still goes deeper and yet, there’s more  and more to learn from and about God.

I bore and brought forth a most beautiful beautiful child- Sammy! The highlight of my year!

….and now, here I am, 6 minutes to 2017, alive and well and so expectant of beautiful things for the new year. There may be challenges but, I know God is in control. Everything will be alright.

May 2017, bring joy and peace and fulfilment.

Happy New Year!

Carrots, Beans and Lettuce seeds

My first new found hobby, gardening, has gone really well. Since sowing our first seeds of carrots, green beans and lettuce, its been a great time of learning about seasons and how to prepare the soil, plant nursery and transplanting. Great!

At the end of September we had our second harvest, a lot bigger than the first one. This time, the carrots came through, and more lettuce. For someone who had never grown a bean stalk for more than 4 days in the past, I think I’ve done very well. Of course, I mustn’t forget all my helpers, the kids for telling me when there was a slug feeding on our green leaves, Cristina for all the lessons on gardening, learned from precious grandma, for watering the plants and all the lovely pictures.

A few weeks ago, I harvested the bean seeds from their dry pods which had been saved for sowing next season…..and yesterday, my first lettuce seeds were picked, ready for planting next March. It’s been an amazing vegetable planting journey. A journey whose reward has not been measured by how much food was produced, I got just a bowl full of carrots and beans and a handful of lettuce, but by how much fulfilment gained from growing food.

I recommend gardening for relaxation after a stressful day, for winding down from work, for bonding with family, for learning something new, for getting a bit of fulfilment and getting to say to oneself, ‘hey, I done real good’.

From May till now

So my last post was in May.

A lot has happened in my life since then, as would be expected. I’m assuming the average everybody else  would have had a fair deal of experiences  within the last five months too. So in hope that I’ll be covering a multitude of unwritten and unpublished posts which would have been put up during the past five month period, here is my almighty diary of what I’ve been up to from May till now.

  1. In April (yes I know it’s before May), we started a vegetable garden, the kids and I. It started out as a child’s play thing. We had taken a walk to the grocery shop, then pound land, then we got talking about growing carrots and I thought, ‘hm, this would be a good way to keep them busy over the Easter holidays and perhaps make them responsible for a project’. I bought some compost, a few carrot seeds, and lettuce  seeds and green beans- cost me about £6. At home, we rummaged for some old biscuit tins and ‘voila’, we were getting muddy fingered already. Watch this space for how we got on.
  2. In May, my little man Sammy arrived….whoop whoop! Welcome sleepless nights and noisy days. I hadn’t realised how much I’d forgotten about caring for a baby. I had so many questions during those first few days- how long should he sleep during the day, I panicked when he slept for five hours straight and found myself trying to wake the little man up- ‘unbelievable’, how do I hold  him during bath time, how long should he feed for….? At the end, I got the hang of most of it, so we are trudging on.
  3. I think I slept through most of June.
  4. We harvested our beans and lettuces in July. It was just a few leaves and pods really, but the pride and fulfilment that came with that little harvest was immeasurable. They tasted….fresh too.
  5. I took up a new hobby in August- sewing. It all started when I decided to watch The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC. I’ve always had this belief that I can do anything when I set my mind and heart to it. Thanks to  Phillipians 4:13! First I dusted and oiled my old second hand unbranded sewing machine. Then I practised sewing on a straight line using old clothes. It took about a week and my mum’s help to get my full body measurement, I was my own model. I somehow got the hang of cutting out my patterns, then….
  6. In September I made my first dress. It was supposed to be for a friends birthday party and my first project looked quite good. Mum thought it was very well done for a first try….yippee! The rest of September saw me planning new sewing projects, trying to cook up new menus in the kitchen and I harvested more of my vegetables.
  7. Oh wow, it’s October already! I read my first book since last September. Yes, believe it or not, I haven’t been able to read a book since I found out I was pregnant last year and five months after having my baby. That’s another story. But last night, the curse of the brain block was shifted and I finished a book I started reading last week- The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. I highly recommend. Be warned though, have a good chunk of tissue paper to sniff into whilst you are at it, but it will be worth your while.
  8. Still in October, I started weight training. Absolutely unbelievable! You’ll hear more about this.
  9. Guess what! For the one hundred and fifty fifth time (or so), I’ve decided to write a book. I’ll see what happens in November 😉

So that’s a brief summary of what I got up to, whilst my blog swung it’s slender legs, waiting for me to write something new and the middle of 2016 sped on. In the hope that I’ve caught someone’s attention, please come back again and again.

🙂

The truth of the matter…

I just can’t help but laugh in Igbo. Yes, I laugh at myself, for all the promises broken, all the hopes dashed, all the sleepless nights that I have invested nothing into, for all the ‘shoulda’, ‘woulda’, ‘coulda’s that have dotted the free times of my every days.

I can clearly remember, all my enthusiasm in the moments while I wrote my last post, Just Do It!. Yeah, it has been a while. Then I ended the content with a promise to write more and publish over the weekends, followed by that familiar phrase of uncertainty that gushes its way out of my mouth when I probably won’t do something, but at the moment, I’d rather not mention, for fear of reprisal by my sensible other me. Oh, the phrase? ‘Fingers crossed!’

That was a while ago. a lot has happened in the time between 19th January and 9th May, 2016. I’ve had crazy ideas, worked on some of them, chucked the rest into the bin, I took some time off work, did I mention I was preggers? no I didnt…..haha, exciting (that’s another story), I’ve spent some good time with the kids, we started growing our very own vegetable garden, turned the family room into a workshop for everything, I’ve been tutoring the kids at home, I started reading about 4 books at once and not gone past page 2 of any and err, I have actively begun my minimalist journey. I’ll try to write up on some of these in . It has been a full on four months. Yet, I think I have achieved little.

The truth of the matter?

Well, while I’ve struggled with the guilt of not keeping my promise to write more, I must confess, ‘it’s not easy maaaahn‘- Chai! Some things always have a habit of cropping up and then I imagine that I just have to deal with them else the world will come to an end, slowly melting away into vast nothingness. I mean what has writing up blog content got to do with planning an early dinner? Yes, this really happened. Once I woke up at 6 in the morning, fired up, I rushed through a few house chores. The plan was to write about 200 words from 7 am, then suddenly I had this inexplicable urge to open a recipe book and plan Monday’s dinner. That was the end of writing for the day. I spent the entire time thinking of whether to substitute sweet potatoes with plantain (which I obviously didn’t have) in beans.

I’ve been through worse still.

Now, let’s get back to the round table and discuss the truth of the matter. If you are like me, you’ve had something waiting to be done, a hobby you’ve always wanted to get better at, that job application form laying to waste on your laptop whilst deadline approaches, a skill you hope to develop someday, a blog you started but haven’t quite gotten round to writing in or that something something you’ve always pushed aside to tackle later, I implore you to get on with it. They say time waits for no man. I agree! Here are a few tips I think will help. I’ll probably be doing these at the same time as you reading.

  1. It is 5 am already, but wake up sleepy head. That last scratch at sleep is probably the best, but that’s the best time to do some good work too.
  2. Turn off the TV. You’ve been at it for hours already, glued to the tube….c’mon! I am so anti-TV series. I think it is a ploy to get people more attached to their TV sets or tablets.
  3. Tune down the social networking. It is absolutely ridiculous how social networking, yeah all the facing booking, twittering, snappy chatting (whatever that is) has taken the place of real life interactions. There’s really nothing wrong in social networking to be honest, but the time spent on it completely destroys the whole idea for me. I’d say, it’s better to do some good work for yourself first, then take a few moments off to make phone calls, meet with friends, spend quality time with loved ones, then GET BACK TO WORK!
  4. Don’t overwork yourself, its kills all the fun. Rest when you need to, eat well and try to enjoy what you do. It work/task shouldn’t be a chore, you should have fun whilst at it.

I’ve run out of ideas now. You know what, I think it’ll be good to hear what tips anyone else has tried that worked. I’ll add more if I think of anything good and I’ll be sure to highlight what tips have worked best for me.

Nono out!

Just Do It!

Nineteen days ago I made the executive decision to start a blog. To be honest, this ‘ambition’ had been lurking at the back of my mind for so long it had become a bit of a nightmare. So, backed by the support and an almost physical shove by some of my ‘correct’ pallies (pals+allies= friends), Nono says… was born.

That was two weeks and five days ago.

This was supposed to be my unspoken, unwritten New Year’s resolution. But nah wah o, it’s been hard, gosh! Three days after launching the site, I’ve only managed to write an ‘about me’ page and ‘the journey starts here’. Fact is, the nightmares have got worse. I must confess, the thought of turning on my computer these days has left me swallowing hard. I have written and lined out a truck load of blog content in my head, but when I hold a pen and paper, yes I am old fashioned- I still  write on paper first before typing out, I freeze. The words just don’t come out.

Anyway, that’s the past now. I’ve decided to start on a new page. I’m making a new New Year’s resolution. I’m taking this blogging thing seriously from now on. So every evening when I get back from work; tired, feeling like I’ve carried my VW polo the 10 miles journey back home, preferring to take a long nap into tomorrow rather than follow up this new found hobby, I will sit in front of my computer and write something, anything. I will ‘just do it’. Then on Saturday and Sunday of that week, I shall post some content on this here blog.

Fingers crossed!

So all ye supporters and fans of Nono says… watch this space. Mwah!

Good old days start with good new days like today- Denise Settle

The journey starts here…

Allo nu!

Welcome to Nono says…

Need help getting around? This is probably the best place to start, until you get used to being here. I’m trying to get my head around this place myself. I guess we can call this page the ‘reception room’.

Click on any of the featured posts below to give you a head start, or better still you can go through each of the menu categories. Whilst you are at it, don’t forget to smile. If you have anything in mind you would like to read about on Nono says…, then give us a shout (find out how on the contacts page). I would love to hear from you.

Oh, by the way, I love this old  Nigerian proverb:

If your face is swollen by the severe beatings of life, smile and pretend you are a fat man.

….. very random indeed.