I’m writing this on the eve of 2019, the final day of the awesome year that was 2018 and I must confess, I’m reluctant to see this year end. Reason: it has been my best year ever.
In fact, I considered not doing a review this year cos of the probability of writing an article that would end up more or less a humble-brag.
But if I get to share and review the awful years, it’s only fair for me to review the awesome years as well, right?
Got a raise at work!
I thought I was crazy the first time I turned one down. Like, why would you turn down money, Ibukun? But then I wanted my weekends back. For 5 years, since I began freelancing, I have rarely had my weekends to myself. However, this year, I took it back!
Now I have more time to read, study, visit people, attend programs and events, or just literally have a lazy day and sleep in.
I. Love. My. Job!
Have I said how much I love my job? Ok, I reeeeaaally love my job. My boss, my colleagues (who are fast becoming like family), getting paid to write, seeing my name in national newspapers etc. But at the top of the list is the fact that what we’re doing at SIDFS matters in really practical ways to millions of people. I also like the fact that I get to work on really diverse and interesting projects.
Speaking of projects, this year, our team organised and hosted an art exhibition at the Lagos Business School. It was a classic “fish out of water” moment for me. I was responsible for PR and ensuring people attended the event.
But thanks to that awesome team I work with everyday, we pulled it off and it was a blast.
Got my own apartment!
I learned quite a few lessons in 2018.
First and perhaps most important on the list, is the difference between guilt and responsibility.
I’ve always felt that when my friends made bad decisions, it’s a reflection on me – that I’m a bad leader and friend. Like, why would my friends or students make bad decisions when they have me?
I’ve held onto this mindset for years so it’s a blindspot. But then one day, God flashed a question across my mind.
“Who do you blame for your own bad decisions?”
The question stopped me in my tracks.
I replied, “I dont blame anybody for my bad decisions. It’s all on me.”
The voice went, “Exactly”.
Basically, my stance meant people make bad decisions because their friends allowed them to. And as a person who has a library of bad decisions, that means I should blame people (aka my friends) for my own bad decisions.
That’s not true. And since we’re supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated, it means I had to let go of that belief. It’s not only wrong but harmful.
Secondly, spending less time on social media gives you so much time for other things. I drastically reduced my social media usage in November and, well… I had even more time to read (my first love), study, pray, and genuinely connect with people. That last part, connecting with people, means practicing mindfulness which was a really healthy exercise for me last year which I plan to continue next year.
In 2005, I embarked on the greatest adventure of my life. I committed myself to Jesus and resolved I’d spend the remaining years of my life chasing Him. Trying to become like Him.
I knew it would involve a lot of sacrifice but I had no idea just how much it would demand.
However, I’ve traded a life of fear, selfish pursuits and ego for a life of beauty, peace and contentment. It’s the best deal I’ve ever made.
Except for 2005, every year I usually spend more time down spiritually than up. This year, that trend was reversed. I spent more time up than down! And while there’s still a lot of room for improvement, I’m really happy about 2018.
2018 was supposed to be the “I do” year. But in what is becoming a yearly trend, 2018 had its fair share of disappointments and heartaches.
I obviously still have a lot of growing up to do. So I’m grateful for a new year, another 365 days to become more selfless, generous, kind, patient and wise.
I’m still growing. I may know how to talk a big game but I’m still figuring a lot of stuff out. So is everyone else. So please give me (and everyone you know) some margin for error. We’ll need it to excel in the next 365.
Hope you’re ready do it all over again, this time, even better?