Taking Stock of 2020
A True Story
on Dec 20, 2020
Wa! I can't believe the year 2020 will come to an end in less than two weeks time. It seems to me like it was just the other day when I was praying and wishing that 2020 would be a terrific year for me, yet about a year has passed since that December day last year when I envisioned what I hoped to achieve in 2020. Exactly where does time go?
Well, 2020 didn't turn out to be a terrific year for me as I had prayed because I didn't meet the woman of my dreams, get married and leave the nest. I also didn't earn enough money to buy myself a car or get an opportunity to travel overseas as it has always been my dream. All the same, I had a fairly good time in 2020 because God provided me with all my needs and nothing catastrophic happened in my life. For that, I am truly thankful.
As I reflect on the year 2020 and how it has been for me, I feel victorious that I came up with a routine that works for me - victorious because for quite a long time since 2008, I had struggled to be disciplined in the way I conduct my affairs. I would, for instance, set a goal of rising early in the morning at around 5.30am but after a few days, I would fizzle out and give up on the goal.
In the course of this year, I developed the discipline of waking up not later than 7.30am. On waking up, I have been making my bed, uttering the Lord's Prayer, taking breakfast and then settling down on my desk to meditate and read as well as play the piano. At around 12.30pm, I have been brushing my teeth, cleaning my room, showering, washing my clothes, eating lunch and settling down for more hours of reading. And at around 4.52pm, I have been going for a one-hour walk to my hometown of Kiserian.
That's the routine I came up with in 2020, and it has worked for me as I have told you. As a result of that disciplined routine, I have lost weight to my desired level and grown more peaceful. I am now no longer the flabby fuddy-duddy I used to be. And this year, I have not been as much plagued by boredom and neurotic guilt as I used to be in the previous years. My dear reader, there is freedom in discipline!
Also as a result of that disciplined routine, I was able to cut down on the time I spend on social media. Believe me, there were times in previous years when I would keep on checking my Facebook and Whatsapp accounts as if my life depended on them. This year, I ceased that habit by checking my social media accounts only in the evening after coming from my one-hour walk to Kiserian. I am proud to report that in 2020, I have spent as much time on Twitter, Linkedin and Goodreads as I have on Facebook and Whatsapp. That's something I am proud about for shizzle given how addictive I had found Facebook and Whatsapp to be.
Due to my reduced social media involvement in 2020, I was able to create more time for reading books, magazines and newspapers. This year, I broke the record, my personal record, by reading more than 40 books. That's another achievement I am proud of because I consider reading books to be the best exercise for keeping our minds in tip-top condition.
Besides reading and playing the piano, the other hobby I consistently indulged in this year was blogging. For quite some time, I had struggled on my blogging hobby since I was unsure on what a bloggable story entails. Imagine I would post an article on this blog, then delete it and then post it again - all because of my lack of insight on what would interest my readers. It dawned on me this year that a story is good for blogging if it is truthful, inspiring or entertaining and as long as it doesn't hurt anyone or reveal information that should be kept secret.
The stories I shared this year on this blog must have been truly entertaining and inspiring judging by the donations and feedback messages I received from my readers. I intend to keep on that trajectory of generating great stories and videos that my blog readers can relate with and draw a lesson or two to implement in their lives.
Perhaps the greatest deed I did this year was growing in my relationship with God. I became a prayer warrior to a point of communing with God even when in the toilet (I kid you not!). And I have prayed not only for my needs but also for wisdom and for courage Like whenever I have felt disturbed and lowly in spirits, I have asked God to restore in me the joy of His salvation. I have also expressed gratitude in my prayers, and I am making it a habit to thank God whenever I am alive with joy and peace.
Enough about me. How about you, my dear reader? How did your 2020 unfold? What goals did you accomplish? And what did you learn from the blessings and challenges that came your way this year? Over to you!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on my reflections on the year 2020, you might also enjoy another story I wrote last year on "A Season to be Jolly". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
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How Alcoholism Can Ruin
A True Story
on Dec 15, 2020
While walking home from my hometown of Kiserian last Sunday but one, I passed by a young man I frequently see during my evening walks. He was drunk as always and seemed to have drank like a fish that Sunday given the way he was hurling insults and obscenities at motorists. As I walked past him, I was careful not to get too close to him since I feared he might vent his frustrations on me.
The alcohol the young man had taken on that Sunday had given him the false feeling that he had conquered the world. For how else can you explain the way he staggered onto the road, forcing motorists to stop their cars to avoid hitting him? Unbeknownst to him, the alcohol the young man had taken and which made him feel on top of the world was actually ruining him. And he has reminded me of other youths who have also been led astray by alcoholism.
Like there is this cousin of mine called Gachehe who I hear goes binge-drinking and becomes violent towards his family. Sometimes, his drunkenness and violence worries his mother so much that she has had to call my father and ask for his help. My father has seemed at a loss to offer guidance on how Gachehe should be dealt with. He once suggested that he be taken to the police.
Then there is a farmhand by the name Wambugu that my family once employed in 2018. I liked Wambugu because of the way he laughed at the way I threw things at him. You see, I like tossing things at people probably because I played volleyball in high school. For instance, when a farmhand asks me for a matchbox, I go get it and throw it to him from a distance. Wambugu used to take my tossing of things at him in good humour. When I threw something at him, he would smile that big smile of his.
During his first days at our home here in Kiserian, Wambugu narrated to Mum about his experiences in a rehab where he learnt to cook a variety of meals such as chapattis. After I heard him say he had been in a rehab for over-drinking, I assumed he had recovered from alcoholism. But alas! A week or so later, my father found him lying by the roadside. He had drunk himself unconscious on liquor.
On finding Wambugu lying by the roadside, my father had someone help him to carry Wambugu back to our home. The following day when he became sober, Wambugu asked my father if he knew the whereabouts of his phone. Luckily for him, it was my father who had taken his phone when he was inebriated. And my father being a kind-hearted person, he gave Wambugu back the phone. If the phone had been taken by someone else, he would never have gotten it back.
A dutiful and obedient fellow, Wambugu would have made a great employee had it not been for his drinking. He continued drinking during his stay at our home, especially on the days after he received his salary. And whenever he came home drunk, he would be overly talkative and then skip his duties by going to his room to sleep. That behaviour bothered me and my father as well.
Later on when I realized Wambugu was addicted to alcohol and would never change, I repeatedly suggested to my father he be sacked from his job. At first, my father was reluctant to lay Wambugu off probably because he was a dutiful and obedient fellow. But eventually, my father acceded to my demands and laid him off.
Wambugu was crestfallen when Dad instructed him to pack his things and leave our home. He told my father of how he had come to feel at home here in Kiserian. As he was packing his belongings and getting ready to go away, I could tell from his mood that he was feeling sad to depart from our home where we had tolerated his drinking habit for several months.
And Wambugu wasn't the first guy I know who had lost his job due to alcoholism. A couple of years before, my neighbour Mama Kuria also had to get rid of a farmhand who drank too much. The farmhand Mama Kuria sacked was always friendly to me and I had come to know him by name. I guess he was also hard-working like Wambugu; it was just that alcohol had gotten the better of him.
Alcoholism, as you can see, is a disease that I have seen ruin the lives of young men. So if you are under eighteen, I urge you to avoid alcohol like the plague. And if you are already an adult and have to drink as St. Paul advises us in the book of 1st Timothy, I beseech you to drink in moderation lest you be led astray by a fondness for the bottle. That's all I am saying.
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story on how alcoholism can ruin, you might also enjoy another one I wrote last year on "Developing Good Sleeping Habits". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.