Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day and my Heart.

 pic source: google images

When February is mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind  is Valentine Day, sharing love with others, listening to love stories etc. That is okay, but I will like to take a moment and think about something else this Valentine. I am thinking about my heart and the hearts of everyone.

My dad died after a heart attack many many years ago and we noticed a change in the way my mom did things around the house regarding what we ate and exercise we got. It became very important to her. My mom who would not eat without adding extra salt to her food, almost stopped using salt to cook. If she hears that you sat down all day watching tv or reading a book instead of getting active, you had to run round the compound till you broke a sweat. I thought she was a bit mean then. My young mind rationalized that daddy had little or no rest that was why he took ill. I am resting well, why couldn't she just let me be?
Then I had a colleague who at 26 had a stroke. She just woke up one morning and couldnt move any part of body.

February is  America Heart Month. Heart disease is the highest cause of death in America so there is so much awareness going on about prevention of disease and care of heart this month than ever. Though hereditary factors play a role in heart diseases, there are other factors that can put people at risk. These include but are not limited to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, alcohol abuse, smoking. These other factors can be controlled.

As we prepare for Valentine day we should not forget our hearts. We should remember to make balanced and nutritious meal choices, maintain a healthy weight  and be active. We should try to take even a little step in living a healthy lifestyle. Instead of soda with that delicious rice and chicken, why not have water instead? Walks though seemingly little will go a long way. Afterall, it is the heart that is alive that can still love.

Last year Valentine day, we stayed indoors, enjoyed one of our local delicacies with a bottle of wine and watched nollywood to our heart's content. After putting the kids to bed we enjoyed some adult time. This year, we are joining a group of church members on a heart walk and we might include some african club music to our dance instead of just the blues.

How are you spending Valentine's day?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hi all,

Happy February. February is considered the month of love as Valentine day is celebrated on the 14th of the month. As for me, I just like new beginnings. I love fresh starts. This is another time to look back on what happened in January, take stock, set goals and re-strategize. Boring , right?

A special thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post. I am sure I wasn't the only one who enjoyed reading them. There were a lot of opinions and lessons shared. Thanks for taking out time to share.

I was at the hair salon the other day and  a lady came in to make her hair. You know how african salons are. The gists are always loud. So this lady was talking about her son who weighs 40lbs at 12months. Everyone oohed and aahed at the baby's size and different  subtle gists of "my child is bigger than yours" to "my child hit developmental milestones before yours" hit the salon for a while. This got me thinking. Is having a child bigger than his/her age child a good thing? Is it something worth bragging about?

My 3 year old daughter looks like a 5 year old in height and size and it worries me sometimes. People expect so much from her* I am guilty of this too sometimes* and I am like she isn't that old enough to speak that well, think like that or coordinate her activities like that cos she is just 3. I find myself explaining to strangers. Some days i just wished people would see her and see her age. 

Sometimes I feel like when it comes to children's growth, parents are infatuated with speed. We want our children to grow up fast. We are bothered if other children their age can do something and they can't. Why not just let them grow at their God given pace? Sometimes I see myself stressing my kids and probably pushing them unnecessarily, I have to catch myself and scream at myself to stop. In a bid to raise exceptional children, I am subtly saying that normal is not good. My actions sometimes scream "grow up faster and better so that you will not be left behind". I am gradually stealing their freedom.

Note to self: In as much as I want the best for my children, I should let them grow at their God given pace. I would encourage them, appreciate their childhood and values while still maintaining reasonable discipline.