I’ve had the strangest day. Yesterday, I had a long conversation with a good friend and decided to make some changes in my life. It wasn’t so much about starting things or stopping them. The plan was to simply change my mind frame, my context. To go with my renewing attitude, I dressed fully in purple today. Well not fully – just my shoes and hat and armbands. Also, my hair. So it was really quite annoying when the morning threw me 27 curve balls.
My morning routine includes walking my baby to school, and it’s the best part of my day. She’s often asleep when I get home from work so if I don’t see her in the morning, I won’t see her at all. The ritual is important to both of us, and on the days I’ve had to skip it for an early morning meeting, her teacher has called to ask why she’s so moody and upset.
The only downside with our ritual is it sometimes makes me late for work. Traffic in our hood is so erratic that I get to work anywhere between 7.30 and 9.30, even though I always leave the house at the exact same time. I’ve been late this whole week, and that reflects badly on my record. That and the office lateness rule …
This morning we made it pretty early … but then I realized I’d left my ATM and ID behind. So we had to go back … which cost us about ten minutes. Once I got to town, I had to decide between fruit salad and a doughnut. I picked the unhealthy choice. The salesman convinced me to throw in a chicken pie and Afya Apple Juice. I got to work with barely seconds to spare.
Then I popped my food into the microwave. The plan was to warm the chicken pie. But about 30 seconds in, I noticed the icky brown goo and realized I’d put the doughnut in instead. How now? It was a mushy puddle of sticky white and brown and wasn’t appetizing at all. My first instinct was to throw it away, but I decided to grab a fork and see what wheat flour mush is like. Luckily, it tasted a whole lot better than it looked.
I got back to my desk to make an M-PESA payment. I even wrote it down and sent a text confirming the number. But the recipient made the same mistake that I did – we read what we thought was there. Seconds later, I got a confirmation text with a distinctly alien name. WTF? Luckily Safaricom sorted it out before the damage was done, so phew! Less luckily, I proceeded to key in a second wrong number … this time I noticed it before I hit send, so phew!
I went to M-PESA to make a second deposit, and ED decided if I could be moody, then so could he. He swallowed up the toolkit menu! Stupid Ideos. The agent had deposited the money, but since I had no menu, there was no confirmation on my side. The agent suggested I try putting the phone off and on again. *insert rolling eyes* Since we all know how long an Ideos takes to boot up *insert second set of rolling eyes* she was quite panicked by the time ED had coughed himself awake. But at least the SMS came through. Finally. I treated myself to chocolate and some ice cream, even though my lactose issues will be bugging me for days.
I suppose I should explain. I love milk. I mean, I really love milk. I’ve been known to drink two litres a day. But after 3 decades of excessive consumption, my body had enough. About two years ago, I ended up lactose intolerant. The doctor says the lactase in my system is depleted, so every time I feed myself some milk, butter, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, mala, or Maryland cookies, I experience three days of debilitating cramps. Sometimes they last for just a few seconds, sometimes they go a full three days. I’ve learnt to pace myself, and I even know which brands of lactose aggravate it less. The only thing that gets me is no more Weetabix! Sigh.
In the middle of my ice cream binge, I bumped into an article about Queen Elizabeth II. It’s her 60th anniversary, so of course it had pictures of her in her 20s. Pictures like that always make me sad. As I look at the shots, I can barely see any resemblance. It’s like looking at two different people. It makes me sad that one day I’ll look into the mirror and wonder where my face went. It would tear me up not to recognoze myself. It’s almost like having alzheimer’s, which is another thing I fear. My mind is my greatest treasure. Losing my memory would have to be the worst form of torture. It’s why I’d like to die at 65.
I’m rereading one of my favourite books, Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. Each time I read it, I wonder what the purpose of life is. For me, life is about having fun. Yes, I have responsibilities and obligations, but I find it hard to do anything if I don’t enjoy it. I’m blessed to be getting paid to write, which is my first passion. My second is reading, and I’ve neglected it for years. I’m glad to be finally leafing through books again. I had to sacrifice my Twitter time to do it, but in the past two weeks, I’ve done a handful of tweets and read four novels, which feels really good.
I love getting lost in music, and ever since I got my iPod, I can do that 24-7, another blessing that I’m grateful for. And my little girl is growing into a woman, which makes me terribly proud and terribly frightened. But she’s happy and healthy and loved, so we’re just going to play it a moment at a time.
I need to make some changes in my life, some drastic shifts in context, as my good friend Samsam says. So I’m going to take a Landmark class next week. I’m still not sure how I’m going to pay for it, but I’m claiming it by faith. I suppose that’s a strange thing to say seeing as I don’t believe in God. But I do believe in some higher power, and I know it gives us miracles sometimes. See, Samsam gave me advice. He said I should focus on getting the 2K to register first. I had no idea how, but I said cool. The second I put down the phone, I checked my Gmail inbox … and found a new 3K payment from a long forgotten client. Sweet! Since it was money I wasn’t expecting, I used it for my class – thank you George! That’s 2 down, 13 to go.
Meanwhile, rumour has it there shall be an office koroga later. I rarely drink at office parties. In fact, I never drink in public. I have this condition called FODOT. That’s short for Fear of Dancing on Tables. Anyway, the last time I drank at work, it was only because Bharat, Vimal, and Kevin insisted. I had one glass of wine. Well, okay, two half glasses. I ended up confronting a matatu driver for leaving us at the wrong stage, making a phone call on a wobbly River Road [yes, the River Road was wobbling] and threatening to kickbox anyone who tried to grab my Ideos. Please note that it was 9.00 p.m. and I was walking alone. I then got home and cried over the sad thoughts in my head. And that was two half glasses!
So today when I was asked if I ever take alcohol, I said no, and asked for Malta Guiness instead. Or Mountain Dew. I wasn’t really thinking about my answer, because I was twiddling with my phone at the time. But it might not be a bad rule to implement. Usually I only drink at home, with the doors locked and no chance of doing any damage to anyone. My preferred drink is Baileys, because it tastes like chocolate. But because it’s a cream liqueur, it affects me pretty much the same way ice cream does. I don’t get hung over. I’m just stuck in bed with cramps for the next three days. So, starting today, I am teetotaller, both in public and in private. It’s safe, it’s healthy, and it sets a good example. Besides, what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?
♫ What goes around ♫ Justin Timberlake ♫