After taking up his last name as mine, my Prince Charming and I galloped away into the beginning of our forever. The home we rode away to was somewhere in Ikorodu. Being the new bride that I was, I was too giddy with excitement to be bothered about anything else.
Alas, I woke up from the many honeymoon days and nights and reality hit me. I didn’t like my location! I began to take in my surroundings and the more I did, the more I detested the place. I was so far away from friends and family and the sights of Lagos I had been used to over the years.
Everyone around me seemed content with just shuffling about from day to day, basking in whatever life handed them. Oh, did I mention that I was such a lousy goal keeper because my husband hit a home run almost immediately after our wedding.
Pregnancy hormones charged at me with such vehemence that working was out of the question for me. Journeying the Ikorodu distance in that state in the name of working was a big no no. For 16 weeks, I spent my mornings, afternoons and evenings heaving into the white porcelain bowl in the wash room or on the floor or whatever happened to be the recipient of the content my upset preggy tummy needed to hurl out. I’m still looking for the person who named those queasy moments morning sickness because for me it was an all morning afternoon and evening thing.
The phase passed, I enjoyed the rest of the second and third trimester, and we were blessed with one of the most beautiful baby girls I have ever seen. From the moment I saw her, all of me screamed “Ain’t no nanny gonna take care of her for me!” I swung into mummy mode and mentally shoved aside any plans to work.
So the story of this new phase of my life began. I was excited about motherhood but somewhere in my heart lurked this constant feeling of wanting to do more and be more 😩. Don’t get me wrong, I was thankful to God for the great privilege of motherhood and that the babies didn’t have to come after countless vigils. I was and I will always be thankful.
Baby number two followed quickly and with every passing day, the cry for more grew louder in my heart. I felt like I was living in the back side of life and grew more and more concerned that nothing “extraordinary” was happening to me career-wise. I was either pregnant or nursing a baby. I didn’t want to leave our kids with a house help but wanted to do more with my life while I took care of them. The question was, I did not know how or what.
This feeling of discontent continued until 2015 cross over service. After my pastor announced the theme of the year that night, everybody jumped and shouted and rejoiced into the New Year, but for me it was not shouting time. I pulled out a chair, sat down and said to myself, “Babe, which way? How many more happy new years will you hear and your life is still just the way it is?” Then I faced me and asked myself what the problem was. Other women who were living out their life’s assignment had 24 hours just like me. Some of them had children but were still adding value to their world one step at a time.
My eyes became open to the truth that my life was the way it was because of the activities that made up my day. Oh, did I mention that my husband is a Pastor? So we had Church in the mix of my daily life. I knew how to kick up into my church roles, do something here and there that made people say, “Wow, I was blessed.” But the truth was that it was not my constant place.
As we stepped into 2015, I began to look at my life closely. By January of that year, I had a three-month-old baby boy; our third baby. As I dared to look at my life critically, here was what I came face to face with:
I was not reading any book to improve myself. Even if I did read any, I was inconsistent and I hardly ever finished it.
I wasn’t intentionally doing anything intentionally that aimed at sustainable growth.
I also assumed being married to a pastor meant I will just receive a transfer of the anointing by osmosis😩 so I just wasn’t pressing into more of God like I did as a single.
I had pleeenty of time to watch Africa magic.
I had TV shows that I watched on a clock work schedule.
Ooh, I played games a lot! Crazy Kitchen was my addiction. But lesson from this game: I played every day because I hated to lose. I wanted to clear each stage and move on to the next. I later realised that that was my life! I hated to lose. So why was I spending so much time trying to win at something that didn’t have any eternal value, something that didn’t add value to my world?
Let’s not even talk about scrolling through Facebook endlessly.
I decided to cut down on TV time. Ouch! It hurt but I mopped that time and started putting it into writing. Writing is one of the things I love to do and I know God gave it to me as one of my life’s assignments.
So I would write short stories and post on Facebook. I got such great feedback! So many readers kept asking why I had not published books yet. They didn’t know I was busy watching feem (as in movies 😪) and pressing phone all those years.
The responsibilities and challenges of motherhood and married life didn’t go away, but then I had identified places my productive time was going into. Next in 2016, I deleted games from my phone. I decided to pour that passion into winning at things that would count for all time.
By the way, it’s December 2019 and I am celebrating 3 years of no games on my phone! Three years of not playing games! Kindly gather here for cold drinks and asun! 💃🏼Oh I had no idea how much time I had been losing. 2016 was the year I began working on my first book. Our baby was off to school and I had 8 AM to 2 PM to myself from Mondays to Fridays. In 2017, my first novel was published.
When the book was published, I didn’t go to sleep. I kept writing. I pulled out long abandoned, dusty manuscripts and began to develop them. I stuck to specific times of the day for writing.
I gave myself targets of words to write daily. That way I was not loafing around on my laptop. I knew I had a certain number to reach. When I exceeded it for the day, it made up for the days when there was an emergency and I had no option but to attend to it.
My prayer time became non-negotiable as that was where I drew my writing inspiration from. If I wasn’t fired up from times of intimacy with God, my pen was dry.
I stopped entertaining visitors at home during weekdays from the hours of 8 AM to 2 PM. I waved goodbye to being available to guests who would spring a surprise on me and say “I dey your bus stop.” I was done with that. That way I bought myself more and more productive time.
I plugged into authors and mentors who daily spoke life to me. That was the season I came across Terry Savelle Foy’s YouTube channel. Oh what deliciousness it was to my hungry heart! In the course of this new phase, there was not a month where I wasn’t reading or listening to a message.
I began to use alarms to time myself a lot on tasks. If I’m reading a book, I set the alarm for that time. When it goes off, I move to the next item.
These helped me and became the anchor that led to the birth of my second book this year, as well as ghost writing and editing jobs. In 2017, I also landed work from home; customer service jobs that paid me so well during the time it lasted. See? Good began to gravitate my way when I decided to stop fellowshipping with mediocrity.
Now don’t get this wrong, every single day was not always perfect but the beautiful thing is that I now have a system that calls me to order when I slip. I have a system that I snap back to.
When there is no structure to carry your dreams and visions, you will always have idle times in your hands and time to invest in unproductive things. It is time to stop shouting I receive in church and going into Monday without the structures to receive.
If you want harvest, plant the right seeds, build a barn. Prepare for it. Prepare like someone who really prayed yesterday because God is always willing to deliver your answers to you. The question is are you prepared?
Written by Meekay Writes