33 Life lessons @ 33 (Part II)

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12. Serve humanity wherever and whenever you can. Start with your time, skills and worthwhile input before looking at monetary assistance.

13. Save money from your first salary/paycheck. Start small…save every 20sh coin or every 50/100shs note then gradually increase etc. Discipline and self control ni kila kitu.

14. Surround yourself with colleagues/friends from various fields/professions/interests. They broaden your perspective and sometimes crash your “rose coloured glasses”.

15. Enjoy life…don’t just endure it.

16. Death leaves more questions than answers. They mostly go unanswered.

17. Disuse atrophy is real. If you don’t challenge your mind, you gradually lose it.

18. Wishing to have children, having children and raising children are 3 different “ballgames”. You have to put in the work. Quite literally.

19. Children come fully packaged and equipped to pull at your heartstrings and sanity in equal measure. Truth be told, why else would a kid be a cuddly angel one minute and a miniature raging bull the next?

20. The boy child is an endangered species. The girl child is an empowered species. Boys are lacking ethically sound role models. Girls are increasingly getting spoilt for choice when choosing role models. Purposeful mentoring at home, in school and in church is paramount.

21. Have friends who are of the same age, younger than you and definitely older. You get to be the cool aunt or teacher who knows the latest gadgets and info plus you shangazaa them when you talk about old school stuff. Older friends tone down your ego and help you realize the universality of human experiences.

22. Social media…partake of it with a pinch of salt. Define yourself before you the world defines you. Stick to your lane.

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SPICE UP YOUR CONVERSATIONS

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Times have changed. We all know that. We have felt it and witnessed it happening and this isn’t the end…nope. There is more to come. (Quite shocking isn’t it?) 😉

Sometime back I realized that every time I met a child or children I would ask them the very same questions and it felt like I was reading from the same script each and every time. It goes something like this:-

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Hi. How are you?

What’s your name?

Oooh! Such a sweet/unique/cute/pretty name

Which class are you in?

That’s a lovely dress you are wearing. (For girls)

Mmmh. What’s up these days? ( For boys)…my brain gets kind of fuzzy when I try to connect with boys kwanza teenies coz you have no idea where to start without looking outdated or bila swag.

Then once the niceties are over and done with, that’s it. The child walks away hopefully with a smile and not a smirk on their face and I am left wondering. Wondering if I could have asked a different question to know more about who the child is aside from what they’ve worn or how fancy their name sounds.

I then challenged myself to be more creative with my one-on-one conversations.

So I sat down and thought and thought and thought. Notice I haven’t mentioned any writing. 😉 That’s when I decided to unashamedly make Google my best friend. You should try it out sometime. It’s quite the invention/creation! Trust me.

It seems I am not alone in the quest to spice up conversations, which is quite comforting coz it would be a lonely existence if I was to deal with this “gap” as a one “man” army. Here are a few of the questions I found interesting and some of which I have used and others that are lying in wait for the perfect victim situation.

  1. What is your favorite thing to do?
  2. If you could design a t-shirt, what would you draw or write on it?
  3. Do you have any jokes to tell me?
  4. What is the funniest thing you saw today/this week?
  5. If you could change anything about school what would it be?
  6. Who is your favorite TV/book/story character and what do you like about him/her?
  7. If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?
  8. If you could have any 3 wishes granted, what would they be?
  9. If all your clothes could only be one color, what color would you choose?
  10. If you could change the lunch menu at (school/home) what would you change?
  11. What is your biggest worry?
  12. Where is your favorite place to be?
  13. What is something you never thought you could tell me but maybe want to tell me now?
  14. Is there anything you have always wanted to ask me but didn’t? Do you want to ask me now?
  15. What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?
  16. Do you have a lucky number? Why is it lucky to you?
  17. If you had your own country, what would it be called?
  18. What rule is the hardest to follow at home/school/church?
  19. If you were a cartoon character who would you be?
  20. What makes you happy/sad?

Well, these are some of what would be relevant to me within the social circles I find myself in. what about you? Do they make you think what your own answer would be? Well I hope so. It’s a moment of bliss imagining how I would answer these questions if anyone asked me. So go out there armed to the teeth with a new conversation starter aside from the usual:-

Auntie umeniletea nini leo?

Or

Have you been a good boy/girl?

Have fun getting to know the little ones around you now as time waits for no one.

IF YOU GIVE A MOOSE A MUFFIN

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If you give a moose a muffin,

He’ll want some jam to go with it.

So you’ll bring out some of your mother’s homemade blackberry jam.

When he’s finished eating the muffin, he’ll want another.

And another…

And another.

When they’re all gone,

He’ll ask you to make more.

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You’ll have to go to the store to get some muffin mix.

He’ll want to go with you.

When he opens the door and feels how chilly it is,

He’ll ask to borrow a sweater.

When he puts the sweater on, he’ll notice one of the buttons is loose.

He’ll ask for a needle and thread.

He’ll start sewing.

The button will remind him of the puppets his grandmother used to make.

So he’ll ask for some old socks.

He’ll make sock puppets.

When they’re done, he’ll want to put on a puppet show.

He’ll need some cardboard and paints.

Then he’ll ask you to help make the scenery.

When the scenery is finished, he’ll get behind the couch.

But his antlers will stick out.

So he’ll ask for something to cover them up.

You’ll bring him a sheet from your bed.

When he sees the sheet, he’ll remember he wants to be a ghost for Halloween.

He’ll try it out and shout,

BOO!

It’ll scare him so much; he’ll knock over the paints.

So he’ll use the sheet to clean up the mess.

Then he’ll ask for some soap to wash it out.

He’ll probably want to hang the sheet up to dry.

He’ll go outside to put it on the clothesline.

When he’s out in the yard, he’ll see your mother’s blackberry bushes.

Seeing the blackberries will remind him of her jam.

He’ll probably ask you for some.

And chances are…

If you give him the jam,

He’ll want a muffin to go with it.

By Laura Numeroff