Being a perfectionist will work against you

Something interesting about progression in life is that you become more and more pre-occupied with the need for happiness. You have struggled, worked hard, so you deserve the good life- right? You deserve a well-paying job that you enjoy and that can earn you respect, you deserve cool and faithful friends, a man who treats you right, a house that compliments your style… the works.

But what if these things do not come? What if even after your prestigious Masters degree the job you get is still crap? What if even after doing everything possible to be the prime catch, you end up attracting less than the most appealing choice for a spouse? What if you have done everything right and you are 37, fabulous and single?

Do you set the bar a little lower or do you continue believing that because you are a prime catch, you can only end up with the prize job, car, house, man, may be even kids and in-laws….

I just think we are becoming a society of perfectionist that expects nothing but the best from everybody including our employers, mothers and children. And we are becoming less and less patient with weaknesses. A child who is a nuisance is spirited to boarding school. An annoying mother is prohibited from coming to your home, ever. A lousy husband/boyfie is dumped like a hot potato.

Do we ever sit to ponder on the gaping holes we have in our characters and personalities? Who said we are perefect? Someone else has to put up with our perfectionisms anyway? And truth is every great trait can also be irritating to someone else. Your great education can make you aloof. Your great job can make you a busy body who never has time for others. Your great body can make you proud.

Let’s extend grace if we want to receive the same.


I’m not ready to be big mama yet

I live in a typical African society in the 21st Century where it is difficult to draw a line between what’s cool because that’s what we love and what’s cool because Westernisation says so. Take weight issues for example.

Where I grew up, the bigger you were, the better of you were thought to be doing., I grew up a skinny kid- it was assumed my mum didn’t feed me well. I went to high school then college and maintained my stick-slim figure- everyone thought books were stressing me. Then I got a job and there, I started piling on the kg’s. I got stressed. My tummy was no longer flat, cellulite was marring my once cute boyish figure and I could no longer fit in my size 10 clothes! What can be more distressing than kissing your cute top bye because you are overflowing out of it!

But some men (those who still the African mentality that big is beautiful) were all over me. I could not make up my mind. Did I want the big bum that drew attention whenever I walked on the street, or did I want my stick-slim figure that allowed me to wear almost anything. IO have always admired big mamas. Not big in the sense of size 16’s and 18’s but more in the sense of a healthy rotund bum, some chubby cheeks, some boob room.. busty and booty- you get it.

But if the cost of that is love handles that no crunches can get rid of and stretch marks that make you look like a human Zebra, then no thanks… So I am hitting the gym, even if I feel like it is gonna kill me but scrimping on meals is easier… city market fruit salad parlour, here I come.

Until… baby fat kicks, then menopause, then welcome big mama

Real life isn’t perfect, Stepford Wives

Stepford Wives. Photo: Courtesy

I am one of those people who consider watching a movie [at home] a treat. I mean, no dressing up, no pop corn and coke, no date even, but I still enjoy my 90 minutes or so of uninterrupted bliss. So having recovered from the hell pit that sickness is, I decided to celebrate. And with me was a Nicole Kidman DVD and here comes Stepford Wives.

A nice movie really… but I suspect the script was written by a man. Why else would anyone expect bimbo who looks gorgeous, is good in bed, not a hair out of place, is able to manage the kids, is a whiz in the kitchen[bakes cookies for 50 people?], courteous, attends book club meetings.. jeez. Like- what’s her name, Kidman, said, that is not the real world. In the real world, people are not always smiling and happy.

In the real world, people fight, people cry, people get bored… your heart gets broke, you break people’s hearts, you disappoint and are disappointed; other times you just don’t wanna be happy because life generally sucks. You see a sick kid suffer and know there is nothing you can do to ease their pain, you get broke, your car breaks down at the most inopportune time, you lose friends, family or stuff you like… And that is life!

Wisdom for women in all stages of life

I have been unwell lately. First a problematic third molar, then the after effects of a dose of anti-bios… plainly said, I have not been on the best shape to go to work.

Today as I coiled and resisted the waves of nausea threatening my sanity, I came across this post, someone had left opened on my desktop.

It is for all the women out there trying so hard to be superwives, supermoms, superbosses, superemployees, supercolleagues, superdaughters, superwomen. You got one life to live. LIVE IT.

To all the awesome women out there, In honor of women’s history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer. Here is an angel sent to watch over you.

(Written after she found out she was dying from cancer.)

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘go
od’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when some one wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have sh
ared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car wind
ows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn wit h my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried
and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never ha
ve bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids
kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love
you’s.” More “I’m sorry’s.”
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it … live it … and never give it back.
Stop sweating the small stuff. Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what. Instead, let’s c
herish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Let’s think about what God HAS blessed us with. And what we are doing each day to promote ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Life is too short to let
it pass you by. W e only have one shot at this and then it’s gone. I hope you all have a blessed day.

Beautiful Women’s Month

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an Ugly Sister (Mum I can’t go to school looking like this!)

ge 20: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly”- but decides she’s going 
out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” – but decides she doesn’t have time to fix it, so she’s going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees “too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly” – but says “I’m better than ever” and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees “I am” and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can’t even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter and ability, goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn’t bother to look, she just enjoys the little things of life that she missed before.
Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to watch the sunsets and enjoy the world.

Maybe we should all grab that purple hat earlier.

No, I’m not a feminist – I just want women to thrive

I recently had an interview with a woman who told me that she is always looking out for the affair of the woman. People call her a feminist and she doesn’t like it.

I understood her. I love women too [no, not that way], but one of my bosses thinks I am a feminist. Do I think of myself as one? No.. because I did not consciously choose to look out for the affair of fellow mamas. I just discovered that overtime, I care how the woman is viewed, treated, spoken to. I care that women are educated, get access to quality health care and information they need to make quality decisions; I care that women have healthy self esteem and they instill the same in their children; I care that women have equal access to opportunities, justice, the rights to pursue their dreams and passions, whether those are traditional or more bold or even outrageous. I care that women make healthy choices, are independent, are successful, are happy.

The view most people have is that if you are pro-woman, you are anti-men. All very wrong. Men make up most of my friends list. I guess I find the sub-species easier to get along with, so no, I do not hate men. I will marry a man and be a real good wife to him.

However, I realise most people who are considered feminists [read the list of pro-women lawyers and leaders in human rights organisations and the strong society leaders like Martha Karua, Njoki Ndungu, Wangari Maathai-likes] are single.

One mama told me that she would rather be single and achieving her dream than live with a man who was always clipping her wings whenever she attempted to fly. I guess that is why the high flyers in Kenya [not just- I am thinking of Condoleeza Rice and Oprah Winfrey] never marry or end up divorced.

Is it that the women-sympathisers end up loving the girl child so much they begin to revile the man as the source of all injustice?

Not everyone who is pro-woman is a feminist. We can attain a right balance in first, knowing that our strength as women is in taking our place, filling our roles, doing that which only we can do so well. We are mothers, we are sisters to each other. We nurture, we feed, we foster, we dream, we inspire,we believe and spur others to do the same.We create opportunities for others to thrive, right from the homestead.

Second, we need not let people fit us into their mould. Suppose you want to head the Central Bank? Go ahead and pursue your dreams. Don’t let people tell you Africa will never have a female Central Bank governor. May be you just want to be a stay-at-home mom; that’s fine too. Fit your own mould. You alone knows what brings you joy. Pursue that which brings you joy.

Third, we need to respect our men. There is no need for competition. We all have things we can do and things we’d rather let the other gender do.I’d rather he changes the tire while I am on Facebook posting pictures of us stuck in the middle of nowhere. Id’ rather he checks out the leaky plumbing.

Women, we know can do whatever we set our minds to anyway- even if its get to State House. After all if we have achieved all that we have with the glass ceiling still on, what about if it wasn’t there? Just look at Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.