I wrote this post at the beginning of 2018. It seems to be coming late for reasons you will understand as you read below and if you read my 2018 review yesterday! I just wasn’t ready to share that infertility journey at that point! I guess it’s easier after you have come out of the trial to talk about it, to connect the dots backwards. One thing I never want to be on my blog and in life is inauthentic! I would rather not talk if I cannot share the truth or what matters to me! So here! Enjoy my 2017 recap in 2019 and be a witness to how God answers prayers. To how the hopes of our hearts matter to God and how very easily, He can turn mourning into dancing:
2017: My Year in Review
Hmmmm, the thought of reviewing 2017 is almost daunting for me! I learnt so much! Grew so much, had to hunker down a lot (just “stay” in the place of prayer and weather different storms)! If I entered 2017 an Officer, I graduated from the year a General! Really!!! But, let me not scare you with all those details, enjoy my 2017 in Review below:
1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Oh, 2017 was a year of many firsts for me. With hindsight, I see I was always taking leaps of faith last year. It seemed like I was propelled by purpose and just had to “go, go, go!” So some of the interesting things I did last year were, travelling to Europe on my own to take a Course. I would normally seek company or go with someone, but this Course was essential for my business and I “forgot” to seek validation! I just did it!
Another first related to this was, I used AirBnB Services for the first time. For the 3 weeks of my stay in the South of France, I stayed in people’s homes! This was really interesting for me and made the experience so different. I actually got to live with the locals, experience life from their perspective, see the cities through their eyes, I walked everywhere because they mostly did and so every description of how to get somewhere was of a walking route. I also got to eat like they ate and to enjoy the ambiance of their homes instead of the overdone environments of hotels which I would normally stay in. I now recommend AirBnB’s to all my friends (of course, check the ratings and reviews and be sure it’s situated close to areas you would be planning to visit), because it makes the travel experience richer!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for 2018?
I don’t make resolutions. I just set goals for different areas of my life and last year, I really worked my goals. 2017 was sort of a silent season for me. It was my year of fixing it- so where I felt I had structural or foundational issues in my life, I worked at changing and repairing them. That kind of work is an ongoing one… into 2018, I am building on the progress and processes I have put in place since then.
3. Did you or anyone close to you give birth?
This is one question I wasn’t looking forward to answering in this review! LOL! The answer is No and every year, it becomes a more painful “No” to say! My Prince turns 11 in 2018 and his conception and birth were nothing short of miraculous… You see, the Doctors had said I wasn’t likely to conceive without help! And 6 months into being married, I conceived! We didn’t even know it! My Doctors being familiar with me, didn’t check and treated me for typhoid, malaria and a host of other things. It was one day on a call to my Mum, that she insisted that they check if I was pregnant. I remember saying to her “Mama, you know my history (my first diagnosis came at 18), so let’s not waste time hoping”. She insisted and I in turn insisted at the Doctor’s and the rest is history! My Prince is 11!
But after miracle no. 1 nko? There have been many years of praying- praying alone, praying with friends! Of hope, of anticipation, of crying and of giving up and getting angry with God! Many years of answering the question “when will you have another one?” Or in the way that Nigerians are prone to speak “better do quick and have another one, be doing yanga there”… My Prince and I started praying for a Sister for him since he was 3 and half (then, he would always ask me “Mum, give me a sibling” and because I know it is God that gives, I said, let’s pray about when we pray at night). So we prayed consistently about her in our nightly prayers till he was almost 6. In that year, close to Christmas, I noticed he had stopped asking for a Sister when he prayed. After sometime, I asked him why, Prince said “since God is not answering, I have asked Santa Claus!” My heart literally fell into pieces! Of course, like Mummies sometimes have to do, I kept my game face on, and told him about faith, told him about Abraham and Sarah and of God’s timing and sovereignty… I also told him we don’t want a baby that Santa Claus brings o!
So the answer is No, but as always, I hope to have some news in this regard, this year!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. I will not have news in this regard anytime soon- maybe for another 90 years… (LOL)
5. What countries did you visit?
I visited France again! That country has my heart! This time I went to the South, so I did Grasse, Cabris, Biot and the oh so beautiful Nice! See posts about those here and here!
I went to America again, this time I did Chicago where I’d never been. Other visits were to Vegas, Los Angeles and Nashville. I had the best hosts in Chicago, Matteson actually so a suburb. It is the most peaceful holiday I have ever had! They had a 3 year old daughter who melted my heart totally, following the question above, she was like a breath of fresh air to everywhere there had been pain in my heart! It also helps that she loves me right back! She says “Aunty Haj is my best friend!”
I also went to Turkey very briefly… I loved it, didn’t do a blog post about though, need to go back! Hubby, if you ever read this, this is a hint!
6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
Hmm, I am growing up, now thinking of roots and things that last. So maybe more investments, real estate and all…
7. What dates from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
17.07.17, I started a new job! I have the best colleagues but what makes the date memorable is that I wrote a prayer of thanksgiving that day and prayed specific prayers that day and by the grace of God, I have received very specific answers in the areas I prayed.
The Hallelujah Challenge by Nathaniel Bassey, was also memorable for me. I loved the sense of a community doing the same thing at the same time. It also refreshed my prayer life so that was really good!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Staying alive? Staying married? Staying hopeful? Standing up for myself where I needed to? Growing my business to recognisability and greater heights? LOL! So many things! Like I said, 2017 was a year of building and I was focused on just that! Removing the distractions and building.
9. What was your biggest failure?
No failure! Only feedback! What sticks out to me though, is the more I grow, the more I see how much of a need I have to grow! Continuous and Never Ending Improvement (Kaizen), it’s a process I am committed to, no matter how painful or how much of me it reveals to me!
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
-Books? My favourite ones this year were “Don’t Settle for Safe” by Sarah Jakes Robert and “The Story of Green & Black’s” by Craig Sams & Josephine Fairley, this is a fantastic book on growing a business from ground up, with very little cash but a lot of common sense!
As I said earlier, 2017 was different for me. I didn’t have the need for any material purchases… just travel and investments…
12. Where did most of your money go?
My business, family, travel. My tithe is also scheduled, I don’t consider that portion of my income as mine.
13. What did you get really excited about?
My trip to the South of France! I had looked forward to it in advance when I visited Paris earlier. France & Greece have my heart… I would like to explore them even more.
14. What song will always remind you of 2017
Please see intro! I didn’t publish this early 2018, I am actually publishing it at the beginning of 2019, so I don’t remember. The answers in this post are as I found them in the “draft” post I’d written in January 2018.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
– happier or sadder?
– thinner or fatter?
– richer or poorer? (Ditto the answer to question 14 above)
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Ditto 14 above
17. What do you wish you had done less of?
Ditto 14 above
18. How did you spend Christmas?
Quietly, with family.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
I am ashamed to say- I like brain numbing reality TV shows, Big Rich Atlanta was particularly entertaining. I also love The Apprentice, but on DSTV, I am not sure how recent the series I watched was.
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I liked ‘Lean In’ by Sheryl Sandberg, “how will you measure your life?” by Christensen (I’ll check that) and I really loved “My Vision” by the Sheik of Dubai.
21. What was your favorite music from this year?
I enjoy mainly classical music and ironically rap. I loved LeCrae’s album – Gravity.
22. What was your favorite film of the year?
This I can’t remember. I am not a big movie buff.
23. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. I love life, with its issues and all. And in try to max it out, live in the moment every-time. (Same answer all the time).
25. What kept you sane?
My family and prayer. And reminding myself of what was true/what mattered. Not getting carried away by the hype of a Lagos.
26. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017?
To speak my truth, clearly and early. And that, what I want matters- to speak up for myself, it is not being nice when you are nice to everyone but yourself.
Again, may 2019 be beautiful for you!