Friday, December 30, 2011

Just Relax… #2012

Ojota bus stop, Lagos. Photo taken on Dec 24th 2011

 It is a New Year. As you sit to count your blessings, take stock of last year and launch into the New Year, remember to punctuate your goals with plans to celebrate and just relax.
I sent lunch invitations to friends and acquaintances last week. Some of the first responses I got asked, “What is happening?”
Really? Does something have to happen for everything? Including a friendly lunchtime? Are we forgetting how to relax, without any strings attached?
Okay, I have to admit it is my own fault. Most invites I sent out last year was a lot about serious events. So the invitees easily stereotyped all invitations to such nature.
This year, I am going to learn to take things easy and also encourage all my very hard-working and smart-working friends to relax and learn to let their hair down. Once in a while, let down the pressure from the rat race, feel the earth under your feet and be aware of other things around you, like the color of the sky.
It might be very difficult. Thinking too much about the gloom and doom predictions of Nigeria’s economic and political landscape might mar an initial attempt of learning to be. So keep your mind clear of those.
You can take some time off and draw a side list of fun things to do every day, draw a map of safe recreation spots unwind.
We are often told to celebrate every success. I think we should not wait until big or small breaks to celebrate. When we fail, it is important to give ourselves a pat on the back for the attempt. And then, sit to reflect, re-strategize and learn from the failure. To do this, you need to be relaxed :-)
Here are some sports to re-kindle:
·      Read a book or Listen to good music :-) My friend, Chioma, is excited to join me in blogging on The idea is to make reading a fun habit by writing one-page response about every book we read this year. Reading is a fun sport. If you don’t like books, try e-books. Or good music.
·      Take walks on the beach. Many of us who live in Lagos sometimes take the beach for granted. But honestly, it should top our list of places to unwind. Taking a short day-walk on the beach can be really therapeutic.  
·      Talk with friends and families, over lunch or dinner. Chat (online or face-to-face) with your close friends and family members. Share, learn and unlearn things about one another. Sometimes, the rat race and ambitious goals we set to achieve keep us from really knowing those around us. But, don’t allow familiarity diminish your ability to appreciate one another. Treat your relationship well and see your value appreciate.
·      Travel to new places or re-explore places you have been to before (in-country or out of the country).
·      Develop a healthy Cinema culture: a movie with friends (or alone) is also fun.
·      Or just do other outdoor activities that won’t put a dent in your savings (or wallet).

If you have been doing all these in the past years, well keep it up! Happy New Year!!
Image via

Jahan Choudhry Blog