Happy Holidays!

It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiime… of the yeaaaaaarrrrrrr……..

Picture me wearing a Santa hat, jumping up and down an imaginary ice skating ring. I don’t skate, neither do I ski but a girl can dream. Picture me falling down a couple of times because I am all wobbly. Continue the journey with me sitting in in a corner with friends, family and loved ones, sipping on warm cider and cinnamon-banana bread. Yum!!

I am a foodie. My name is Toyin and I am a food-a- holic. Compliments of the season! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! I have not done any Christmas shopping. It is okay. I have guests coming over and I am not sure of what I can going to serve them either. It is okay too. Like my naija people will say “I cannot come and kill myself”.  It will figure itself out.

2019 is rolling away. I have a lot to be grateful for. I hope you do too. I have been listening to conversations amongst friends and the theme I keep hearing is that 2019 was “hard”. For some, expectations were partially met, for some the challenges were just unbearable, for some it was finances, the list goes on and on. I have my own list too. 2019 was no cake walk but I will be an ingrate if I do not count my blessings.

A lot of us are going to be appraising our “goals, visions and strategies” for 2020. It is that time of the year. Money goals, weight loss goals, health goals, career goals, business goals, family goals… list goes on and on goals…. 🙂 As you sit back and reflect. I want to encourage you today and I want you to take these truths to heart as we enter 2020. I am taking them for myself too:

  • You are more than complete. I was cleaning the mirror section of my armoire couple of days ago and stumbled on a picture of myself. I was probably 5 years old. My hair was low cut, I had socks to my knees, my Mary Jane shoes were nicely polished. My cute self was standing next to a decorative orange tree. I was all smiles. I hear of people writing letters to their young self. This time I felt the script had flipped. The picture was looking at me and saying “Toyin you got this, the future is bright”.  It felt like my 5-year-old looking at me and asking me to “Trust the process”.  A cancer diagnosis has a subtle way making you feel empty. When you finally come out of the woodworks of aggressive treatment, it is easy to crawl back into fear mode too. I have been there. Whatever 2019 threw at you, I want to tell you there is life at the end of the tunnel.  I do not know what 2020 has in store but I want you to wake up every day and chin up. Tough times do not last. Tough people do. Do not let anyone shame you. We are all running our races at different paces.
  • Take care of your mental health.  Depression is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. Despair is on the rise.  It is affecting kids. It is affecting adults. As you take care of your physical health with diets and exercise, take care of your mental health too. It is okay to not be in control all the time. It is okay not to have all the answers. It does not make you a failure. There is nothing wrong with therapy. I repeat, there is nothing wrong with therapy. Keeping up appearances will only cause more pain.  Analyze your relationships. Get rid of toxicity. If you are married, analyze your marriage. Your mental health is tied to your relationship to your spouse. Something brought you two together in the first place. Go back to that place. There is power in agreement. Use it for your good in 2020.
  • Beware of who and what is “influencing you”. I want you to be deliberate about 2020 in EVERY facet of your life. At the end of 2020, you should look back and ask yourself if you saw improvements in your relationship with God, your relationship with loved ones and attitude towards yourself. The internet is a black hole of all sorts. Do your research! The secret of men is in their stories. If you cannot trace consistent growth that gives peace of mind in your “influencer”, dear reader run and take cover.
  • Breathe. Exhale. Repeat

xoxo, OEMA