By Debbie Olujobi
Natural consequence of growth, every breath we draw is another step in the ageing process, things change when they get older; that much is obvious in our appearance.
Youth in my view is highly overrated, it’s a time of turbulence and high charged emotions, I wouldn’t do it again for all the tea in China. At this stage in my life I strive toward calm and acceptance of all facets of my reality. I try to change what I can and accept what I can’t.
One of my greatest treasures is my library. I know everyone will be conjuring images of dusty books on shelves and they would be wrong, I talk of my mental library. Being a very shy child and a stammerer to boot, I spent a lot of time reading and over the course of my childhood; I became a reservoir of information.
Unsurprisingly I wasn’t supervised and I read anything and everything that came my way; some of those choices would have horrified my parents but they wouldn’t have expected the very timid child I was to have such an adult appetite for the written word.
Later on in life, I came across what till date remains one of my favourite books and its author; a lady called Katie Byron titled it “Loving what is” it’s helped carve out my preferred state of mind; calm acceptance
In a few weeks time my company will celebrate 18 years in business and I am amazed at what God did through me. I cant for a minute take credit for doing much as I fully confess to having won the grace lottery; nothing else explains the consistency and diligence I am given credit for.
By my own admission and confession, I have a short attention span and I lose interest in things very easily, so paying attention and showing up for work for what seems like a life time is a major thing.
During the week, I granted an interview to a friend who was there at the beginning and it was made sweeter because he also started his own magazine 18 years ago. To be honest we spent half the time catching up on gist and reminiscing, he may not find much on his recorder when he transcribes.
One of the questions he asked me informs this week’s column and it was simple. “How have you coped with all of the ups and downs of business and thrived for 18 years?” It wasn’t a difficult question to answer, nor is it strange; I get asked the same thing a lot. Brings me back to Katie Byron’s book.
Suffering really is what happens when you refuse to accept reality; by Loving what is, we don’t suffer; we just deal with things as best as we can and live lives that are at peace and entrenched in harmony.
I choose to hold on to my peace by all means possible, I calmly accept my present reality without suffering to change it. I am nobody’s fool but age has taught me to choose my battles with wisdom and when you do that you end up having very few battles.
At a certain stage in life we all must learn to hold on to our peace, to be calm. I have learnt this the hard way; rage is destructive, anger is unproductive and all resentment and negativity makes me less of who I should be.
Please don’t get me wrong I am not on the fast or slow track to sainthood, what I am evolving into is a being who is aware of her limitations, shortcomings and capabilities. At this stage in my life, I am no longer offended by jibes and jeers, I know what I am and what I am not, anyone trying to define me is pursuing a rather useless venture, even I cant define myself.
I turned 45 this year and the one thing that I know for sure is that I don’t know anything for sure!! I am a student of life, I learn everyday, I am constantly seeking knowledge, so what I said yesterday may change today if I receive new knowledge today and for that I have no apologies.
It would be impossible for anything not to grow, even pieces of plastic that are as inanimate as they come do so and I thank God for growth. Physical, emotionally and spiritually I have had to grow and the process has been liberating but also sometimes excruciating.
The quality of life we have boils down to the choices and I personally cast my vote for calm; joy would be a better option but its often impossible to hold on to so I settle for calm, and I am happier for it. I don’t spend my time stewing in negative juices of malice and failure as I don’t believe in malice, negativity, or even failure.
This is not to say I have never failed, in fact on the contrary I make mistakes very regularly but they are not failures because I just make the corrections and try again and again till I get it right. One thing that has served me in my quest for calm is faith, my total dependence on the Holy Spirit to lead me and guide my affairs.
We suffer when we try to do God’s job and I have personally come to the conclusion that doing it God’s way is way more profitable than my way.
I am thankful for a major milestone for Everywoman (my company), its like birthing a baby and watching her grow and thrive.
I thank God for life, grace and opportunity; its been an interesting run and I trust all will continue to unfold as God ordains, I am not the star in my life, God is, He gets the glory, I get the blessings and that is perfectly fine with me.
Its a relief to just surrender to the omnipotence of a Higher power and just do the best that I can, I cant do more than that. I will be judged or lauded no matter what I do and thats fine but I remain determined to be calm and accept all that life has to offer.