Finding some soul food in Nigeria

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jnr


There is a common but erroneous belief among many Nigerians that relaxation is for the wealthy. A large percentage of our working population toil throughout the year without a break. And when some of the privileged ones take a break or vacation it is often used for shopping to display affluence and bragging rights. It is a little wonder then that we have a very low life expectancy at 53.

Some argue that it would be complacent to rest on your oars when there are still mouths to be fed, fees to be paid and blocks to mould. However, a friend had always queried that since human beings are born into the struggle of life until six feet what harm will it cause to pause occasionally and stretch those weary feet?

With the hustle and bustle of an increasingly restless and irritable populace trying to eke out a living under the scorching sun, Nigeria can hardly be described as your ideal environment for recreation.

Starting from the blaring horns to the generator noise down to the church and mosque loudspeakers it is indeed a sweaty task to find some time to relax in the real sense of the word. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be so. It is said that if you create time then time will be available. Better put by acclaimed writer Anne Lammot: “We don’t find time for what matters, we make time-and the priorities we set, define our destiny”.

Even though tranquillity is a scarce commodity in Nigeria we can at the very least create for ourselves if we really desire to do so.

Every now and then take some time out and embark on a digital detox to reduce the huge but mostly unnecessary consumption of media materials.

Pick up a novel or two and lock yourself in, shut down all communications and don’t let yourself out till you close the last page.

Take a break from the usual evening hangouts and go to the cinema with a loved one.

Work out in the night and take a long hot bath. Then sit out with a bottle of wine, marvel at the beauty of the night. Try counting the stars while listening to some serenade.

Go for a weekend getaway in a rural area where there is little or no network. Fall in love with the fresh air and natural surroundings devoid of urban pollution.

Savour the lush greenery, walk to the stream and watch the tadpoles. Kick up some clay, stop by an anthill and check our the organisational behaviour of the wonderful colony.

There are a million other cheap ways to carve out some tranquil time here. Try one today and you’ll be glad you did because most of the fears you nurse are unreal.

Your business will not collapse. No matter how much you hug your money it will never hug you back. But the good thing is that money is always there to be made if we do the right thing.

That opportunity you fear could pass you by is only one among many. Time will keep ticking away and the world will not stop whether you are at work or chilling.

As a matter of fact, you will find out that you missed nothing but rather gained much because you would have enriched your soul and refreshed the very being that will be better poised to attain greater heights.

So take some time of the clutter and relax. A clear mind is a healthy asset and your most productive tool.

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