Uh-huh, it’s my birthday…

 

My birthday cakeToday marks the day I was born, many, many, many, many years ago – or so it seems! When I look back on my life, I feel like I’ve lived many lifetimes. And I’ve loved each one of them. Maybe not necessarily while they were happening (for some of them), but certainly after the fact.

It was a quiet day, spent at home with the family (not counting the couple of hours at the gym), with good food and good company. Plenty of time to ponder my many blessings, take all my birthday phone calls and respond to each of the umpteen Facebook birthday greetings I got (yes, I’m weird like that). I feel so blessed! Sure if I had it to do over, I’d script a few things a little differently. For example, I’d have washboard abs and better hand-eye coordination. I’d have my son home for the weekend from college. When my Dad called from Nigeria, I’d get to also hear my Mom’s voice, instead of sending her hugs and messages through God. I’d have answers to some of the questions I’m asking God during this season of my life…you know, stuff like that.

For now, though, there are many things in the script of my life that I am most grateful for. Things like good health. A family I love, that loves me back. Friends who care. A car that’s old, but paid for. A nice roof over my head. Food in my fridge and pantry; a fridge and pantry! Nice clothes and shiny, pretty things to wear with them. Oh, and the shoes…yeah, I’m a shoe girl and I like my shoes. For these, and so much more, I am truly thankful.

On top of all of that, it’s Friday – booyah! 🙂

Lessons on the beach

beach shells

OK, can I just say that I found out this morning that sand dollars are false advertising? I’ll elaborate in a second.

My family and I spent the weekend at Fort Myers Beach in a beautiful beach condo, courtesy of some lovely friends of ours. I had an idea for a craft project (does that make me crafty?) that required me to collect some shells, so I hopped across the street to the beach bright and early, kicked off my sandals and made a beeline for the shore, armed with my camera (you never know what sights you may come across), cell phone (you know, in case of emergency) and a ziploc bag (to store aforementioned shells).

First, let me digress a bit. Whodda thunk that you can get a pedicure just walking along the shore? Just occasionally grind the soles of your feet in the combo of wet sand and shells as you walk, and let the water wash over them repeatedly – bam! free pedicure, courtesy of nature!

OK, back to what I was saying. I found quite a few treasures along my walk, some really pretty shells, including a rather large conch and some bits of what looks like mother-of-pearl (well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it until some mother-of-pearl connoiseur can prove otherwise). As I walked, I spotted something large and round that was washed ashore. Let it be a huge shell, I prayed silently. I picked up said object and inspected it. A sand dollar. Only it looked nothing like the pretty white ones I’ve seen in stores and framed art, the ones that are in the picture above (which, by the way, is a stock photo but could have been a snapshot of my collection, minus the sand dollars). This one was brownish-black with fuzz all around the edges. When I flipped it over…ewww! The backside was completely covered with gill-like stuff that reminded me of the underside of a portabella mushroom. I noticed that there were a few others around me and they all looked like that. I dropped it, stepped away in disgust and kept steppin’. A little further up, I stopped to indulge in a beach pedicure. As I dug my ashy heels into the sand/shell pumice, a lady walked up to me. She had noticed me picking shells and proudly held out her hands, with 5 sand dollars in them. “Ma’am, would you like one? I found these back there!” (pointing in the direction I’d come from). I marveled at her enthusiasm. She looked like she’d found a treasure and was eager to share. I tried my darnedest not to poop on her parade and so I nicely declined, thanking her for her generosity.

As she walked away, I marveled. The same object that I had dropped in disgust and walked away from, she had found and gathered like a prize. My trash was her treasure.  What a reflection of life! It made me begin to second-guess my rejection of the ugly sand dollars. Then I thought ‘nah!’

Imagine with me that that sand dollar was a person who had feelings. It would have suffered rejection and a blow to its self-esteem by my insensitivity. I saw no beauty at all in it because I was comparing it to an ideal, commercially appealing image. But then right on the heels of that rejection, God sent along someone who did not see it through the same filter that I did. Instead she saw the raw, natural beauty in that sand dollar and ascribed value to it, pouring salve on the bruise inflicted by my repulsion and restoring its self-esteem.

Who knew that my simple quest to gather shells would end up being a gentle reminder from God about the power of love and checking the lenses through which I see? I love how He can get my attention even when I’m not paying any!

The darnedest thing…

college fund

So…our son Demi came home from college for the Independence Day weekend last week.  After the hugs and squeals of excitement at seeing him again, we resumed our activities around the kitchen. I was braiding Temi’s hair and Bimi was at the computer. Demi was opening cupboards and checking out the pantry to catch himself up to speed on the things that were obviously of major significance to him – food and all things related! Noticing the snack items in the pantry and the brand new rice cooker on the counter (our old one had recently died), he said, “I see you guys waited for me to leave and then went on a shopping spree.” To this Bimi replied, without missing a beat or looking up from the computer screen, “Yeah, we have more money now!”

It’s been a minute…

…but I’m back! Took an unplanned hiatus from blogging, but here I am now.

I’ve got a renewed approach to the whole blogging thing and it’s been quite liberating. I used to blog being somewhat consciously aware of other people reading my blog, but now, frankly, it doesn’t matter to me. Now if there IS anyone reading this, don’t get me wrong. Not that I don’t care about YOU, but I’ve decided that I will blog as an outlet for some of those thoughts that clutter my mind. Kinda like an online journal, rather than a platform from which I must write something cute, profound or clever. This means that sometimes I’ll make sense, and other times I’ll ramble incoherently. Either way, I’ll give those words that pop up in my head (ok, some of them) freedom to roam without restraint in the vast abyss that is cyberspace. After all, I’ve gotta make room for the many, many others that are vying for stage-time in the grand theater that is my brain.

So if I choose to, I can blog multiple times a day. Or I may not blog for days or weeks. I may include a nice graphic or photo. Or I may not. I may be deep in my musings. Or I may be shallow and blog about…oh, I dunno…nail polish! Pressure-free, expectation-free, authentic expressions of thought.

Ahhhh….my kinda blogging!