Monday, January 29, 2007

A Friend in Deed

I gave the ultimate sacrifice to a friend this weekend - my entire Saturday. Bola moved to Nigeria 2 years ago with her sons (one of whom is my godson) to join her husband who had relocated there earlier. They rented their house in Stevange while they were in Nigeria. Now Bola is pregnant with their 3rd child and called me from Nigeria to let me know she was arriving on Friday to my house and could I please give her my Saturday to take her to Stevenage, shop for the now vacant house and generally help her settle in. She was going to be living in the UK until shortly after she had her baby in May.

She's a good friend and I could not refuse. I got into London from Leicester on Friday in just over an hour and a half. My baby was on excitement overload... showing me everything he had done during the week at dizzying pace. He can tumble, he can jump from the second step, he can get in the bath himself (demonstrated while fully clothed), he can jump from his tricycle, he can cycle and pedal himself... and lots lots more. Bola arrived in a taxi from Heathrow 2 hours after me. We were gisting in the kitchen when Tunji came back. I don't know what it was but I had to do a double take. He was looking especially cute in cream chinos, a cream shirt and a black cashmere vest-thing. I was on my period so nothing was going to be happening that night but 'checking out' my husband like I would that cute guy on Prison Break was not something I'd done recently.

Bola and I set out about 11am on Saturday, she was worried the house would be a mess but it was actually very clean and well cared for. We then went to Tesco and 3 full-to-the brim trolleys later we were back in the house. We'd bought everything from cutlery, to beddings, to bleach... everything! By the time we finished unpacking, it was 4pm and we were starving. We still had to go out and get a TV after which we went for a meal at a Chinese buffet restaurant called Aroma. Quite nice actually.

When we went back to her house, another friend of her's joined us with her nanny and 2 year old son. We quickly put the nanny to task making stew, fried chicken and jollof rice, while we lounged in the living room watching Naija movies. It was not until midnight before I was finally able to leave. I had not seen Kitan or Tunji the whole day and felt guilty. Even though I was helping a friend, it was also helping me re-connect with another part of me. Ofcourse Tunji was cross with me for being out the whole day and returning so late, but he was also proud of me for being a good friend and giving her so much of the precious little time I had at home.

Sunday was good, the reknowned Pastor Kalejaiye was a guest minister at church and as always his sermons were rib-cracking humourous as well sharp and to the point. He preached on the 12 representatives of the tribe of Judah sent to scout out Canaan for invasion. The 10 who 'saw' giants and 'said' it was too hard a challenge to undertake, did not enter into Canaan. Pastor Kalejaiye said "When you look for the worst and confess negatively, failure is inevitable". We have to focus on the positive and confess victory to succeed.

After church, Tunji offered to take us all out to lunch, but I was tired and just wanted to chill, so we went home and I made fried rice and beef stew for lunch. I also made authentic Naija meat pie for Tunji to snack on during the week. I told Dominique to pack 2 everyday for him to take to the office. I packed 4 for Leicester.

He was still looking quite scrummy to me and I found myself glancing at him from the corner of my eye when he wasn't looking - trying to figure out what had changed. The problems I had with his family after I had Kitan definitely affected the way I felt about him. I could have done with more of his support and he seemed to sit on the fence over several issues that came up. We have prayed alot about our marriage, especially him, and the way I was feeling about him this weekend was God putting love back in my heart towards my husband. It felt good!

p.s. I almost forgot to mention I had a car collision with someone on Saturday. I was on a round-about, reversing whilst on the phone - not very clever. It was a lady with a baby in the car and she was quite rightly very agitated. There was no car damage, I just clipped her driver mirror but we exchanged insurance details all the same. I also took a picture so I don't get slammed with her car refurbishment bill when I didn't cause the damage.

Friday, January 26, 2007

12 weeks gone - almost half way

It occured to me this week that I was more or less half way through my Leicester Life Adventure. Instead of a recap or even a plan for the remainder of my time here, I thought I'd just record a typical week for me here. What will happen to this blog at the end of my time in Leicester? I expect it will close or maybe transform into a different life story?

Left London later than usual at 7:15am, I'm now based at the HQ which is on the outskirts of Leicester and not such a trek into the city centre as the other office. I pulled into the office at 8:50am - not bad, the drive was less than 2 hours. I was supposed to be training today but last week the 'business' decided they did not want so many of their staff out at training at the same time so the courses have been cut back for 4 weeks by about 80% and I only have a 3 hour evening course to train on Wednesday. So instead, I spent loads of time on the internet, generally surfing and updating my blog. At lunchtime, I went out to the shops with my colleague, 'HR', the 21yr old (she sticks to me wherever I go now). She's getting married and wanted to pick up some whisky from Asda. She's only known the guy for 2 weeks before they decided to get married a month ago. Maybe that's the Indian style. She really wants me to attend and has given me a beautiful hot pink and gold embroidered sari to wear at the engagement in March. Me in a Sari! Should be interesting. I'm not showing my fat tummy that's for sure. Left work at 5:40pm after an end of day meeting for 'meeting sake' considering most of us trainers did 'jack all' all day. The HQ is only 15mins from home so it was nice to get back home before 6pm. Had a jacket potato and beef mince sauce for dinner, chatted with my house mate, watched a bit of telly, updated my blog and browsed online for a bit then retired at 7:45pm.

Monday's are usually hard for me because I wake very early (5am), drive 90 miles, do a day's work before getting home so I tend to be ready for bed by 8pm. However I got on the phone with my friend Kemi and ended up chatting for over 2 hours. Then Tunji called. I prayed and read my bible a bit. I finally got to sleep about 11pm.

Due to the cut back in courses, I had nothing specific to do today. I'm training for 3 hours tomorrow eveing, so at some point I'd have to get my act together and go over my materials. Strangely, I've been on the verge of tears for most of yesterday and now today. Almost like I feel I need a good cry to get stuff out of my system... only I'm not sure what the 'stuff' is. After lunch I settled down to do some work when I noticed bride-to-be HR and another colleague CG discussing the 'cry baby' from a few weeks ago, AR. They were saying how terrible AR's training was, what negative comments were coming from her delegates and how useless she was in a nutshell. AR and HR are supposed to be best buddies and had no problem ganging up together against me when I first started. I was disgusted and asked both CG and HR how they expected their 'feedback' to help her if they were going to be discussing her behind her back. In short, what was the essence of their conversation and what exactly what it supposed to achieve? They have both been in training with AR and are best placed to offer legitimate feedback so she can improve on her flaws... but what do they do? Snip and Snipe...backbiting with abandon. I imagine that is the last time they will backbite anyone in my presence.

Got home nice and early, had a Spaghetti with King Prawn and Spinach frozen meal for dinner. It was nice but I could have done with another pack to be honest. Watched the repeat of American Idol with my housemate/landlady Louise which was hilarious. We are slowly building up a friendship which is nice. Slow is good. I'm not in any rush. She's invited me to come along with her, her Mum and sister to watch the latest Judi Dench/Cate Blanchett film. How nice... I'm planning to be up late tonight because I don't need to be in work till 1pm for my evening training class. I'm obsessed with downloading music for my phone media player (Nokia N73) as well as discovering the fascinating world of other bloggers and spent a good few hours doing that. A few long phone conversations with Tunji, my sister and friends and I finally dragged myself off to bed by 2:15am.

I woke just after 9am and was about to jump out of bed in a panic when I remembered I was not due into work until 1pm today... ahhhh! It reminded me of my good old days as a stay-at-home Mum. Kitan was my alarm clock, he'll come into my room about 8am, we'll have a cuddle in my bed for 30 mins or so, maybe read a book, play a game then make our way downstairs about 9:30am for breakfast. Oh well. I popped my eyemask back over my eyes and settled in for another snooze. I woke up again about 10:30am to find my period had started. Drats! That's why I was feeling so weepy and touchy about the gossipping yesterday. I had to get up, take a shower and after faffing around a bit, having breakfast, I got into work by 1pm. Everywhere was white with snow.

I was training today so I was all suited up and focused on getting all I needed ready. The last thing I needed was a 2pm meeting about how we needed to improve our communication as a team. The one hour meeting was still going on at 4pm! I had training at 6pm and still had lots to do. I make an excuse to go to the loo and never returned to the meeting. 15 mins to 6pm, I realised I had not yet been given the manuals the delegates were supposed to use. I went to one of the managers, Karen, and asked her for the manuals. She asked me when I needed them for to which I replied "Now". She said "Oh, I told Fran (the senior manager guy) that the manuals for course 5 and 6 would not be delivered". I asked why and she said "Because we thought the course was next week". I was furious! It's all well and good for him to have a two and a half hour meeting about communication but how hard was it for Fran to check the schedule (that he designed) see who was training and COMMUNICATE to me that there was a problem with the delegate materials? They made the schedule. Why would they then think the course was next week? I have never seen a Training Programme organised in such a shoddy and incompetence manner. There are more managers than are neccessary, they don't do any actual real work and no one takes responsibility for everything. I made my views very clear to her and to my manager - "This is just not ON". "If I was half way to London instead of being here for training and gave you the excuse of I thought the course was next week, how would they like that?" Anyway, I calmed down and went into my class to train.

HR, my little puppy, had offered to be in the class with me incase I needed anything. Before we started, I said to her "Let's pray" - she was surprised, but I said "You're marrying a Christian aren't you, you need to learn how to pray", so we prayed. The training started and went really well, the evaluation forms received gave excellent feedback and I was very pleased. As we were packing up, I said to HR "You see, prayer works".

I got home about 9:30pm, watched the last 30mins on 'Five Days' with my sister (she was on the phone), ate dinner - sausages with mash, steamed veg and gravy - chatted with friends, Tunji and my other sister on the phone, went online for a bit and went to bed about midnight.

I was supporting HR in her training session tonight so I was not due in till 1pm again today. I woke up with a splitting headache. I thought I was going to die. I could not move in bed and lay there until I felt able to get up. It was almost 10:30am. I knew I needed to pray. My prayer life was deteriorating from bad to worse and I was allowing anything and everything distract me from spending time in prayer. I struggled out of bed and tried to pray but could not. I could not form the words, my head was banging so much. I got my phone and went online to the MFM website. They have a list of prayer points and I selected the prayer "For Spiritual Growth". It was like being drenched in cool refreshing water. I still was not feeling 100% but felt well enough to get ready for work and drive in. When I got in, everyone was asking if I had calmed down from the day before. Obviously someone had exagerrated the whole incident and it looked like I had had a raging fit. "Ofcourse I'm calm" I replied sweetly. I was still feeling very ill and spent the day quietly. My manager came to me and asked how last night's training had gone. I said "Very well!" He said the feedback he had got was that it had not gone well and the delegates felt they had not interacted enough. I said "Really?" Luckily, I was holding the evaluation forms from the night before and gave them to him. One of the delegates had specifically written "It was really good with lots of time given for interaction". My so-called helper, HR, had gone and given him a bad report of the night before. I went to her and asked her, when she had a minute, to give me the same feedback she had given the manager. She went all flustered saying "He just asked me how it went and if we went on the system and I said No we did not go on the system and when he asked me why I said because there was not enough time" - I said to her "the reason we did not go on the system was because they did not have the right log ons to access the system not because there was not enough time". I was too tired and too ill to care really. I leave them all in God's hands. I struggled to stay the rest of the evening, I sat in with HR during her training as agreed but had very little input. Thank God tomorrow is Friday.

I woke up feeling even worse than yesterday. I had a pounding headache, my mouth was bitter and my ankles, knees and legs in general were aching. I called Tunji for some TLC but had to rudely cut him midway through his 'sweet nothings' when I saw a call from my Mum in Nigeria trying to get through. I know he will stress me about that later. Anyway, considering I'm being paid daily for the days I do work, I'd have to be pretty close to death to be physically in Leicester and call in sick. If I was already in London, yes, no problem calling in sick but not when I'm in Leicester. Plus, I still had to find the strength to drive back home that afternoon. I took my shower following my usual Friday shower routine - Luxurious Shea Butter body scrub vigourously all over my body then Clinique face scrub on my face and neck. This routine leaves me with silky soft smooth skin ready for my weekend at home. I was on my period but I followed my routine anyway. I had breakfast then headed for work getting in at 8:45am. Due to the hiccups with the training schedule and despite being paid for the whole week, I've only had to do 3 hours actual work. At this rate, David Beckham and I will be on the same hourly rate! Oh well! I'm not complaining. I wasn't feeling very well anyway but slowly getting better, so I took things easy, went over my training for next week - only 3 hours scheduled again! Surfed the internet, had a long lunch, larked around with my 'little girls' - HR and AR. Then at 3pm I asked my manager if I could leave, he said yes and off I went. Like last week, I stayed on the motorway throughout instead of getting off at Junction 12 and going through the back roads. Again it paid off and I drove into my drive an hour and a half later at 4:30pm! As I got out of the car, I could hear my baby crying from inside the house. Home Sweet Home.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

i've disappeared - a poem

I sometimes write poetry and this one was written a few months ago after a long phone conversation with a friend. I had just gotten this job in Leicester and she was telling me how she'd lost touch with who she was and what she wanted out of life. I could relate to that because I'd felt like that for a long time and so I wrote the poem. I told her about this poem I'd written for her but did not show it to her because I thought it might depress her. I think it's okay for her to read it now, hopefully it will be motivating.


i've disappeared
no more the me i know
my heart and soul hidden
a false mask on show

it happened so slowly
a tiny bit at a time
a different person i became
the face in the mirror not mine

where did i go
who stole me
how did i lose my essence
and be this person i see

i grieve my loss
i want me back
i want another chance
to return to the start


Maybe I might post some more of my poems from time to time.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Manic - weekend 11

The weekends are really manic but this one was a record breaker…

I was mid-way through training on Thursday when I got a call from my cousin who lives with me. She was crying violently and could barely talk. I thought she’d been attacked… She eventually got the words out that Dominique had collapsed!

Dominique had been complaining of cough, cold… the usual winter aches and pains the week before but this was obviously a turn for the worse. I asked her to put Dominique on the phone if she was still conscious. After a short wait, Dominique got on the phone and I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital and she said yes.

I got off the phone and called my friend who lives in the area to please go to my house. I then called Tunji to ask him to call a doctor friend of ours and make his way home.

Why my cousin did not call Tunji who was 20mins down the road calling me instead 90 miles away in Leicester is one of the mysteries of life. I think all women have that… no matter where you are or what you ‘think’ you’re doing, home is your number one job.

I went back in to finish my training class then told the managers I needed to get home ASAP and would work from home on Friday. I did not realise how much of a challenge it would be to get home – with the bad weather, there was a general transport shut down across the country.

I tried the train company and the person on the phone in a thick Indian accent said “We have been told not to accept any more passengers” when I asked him why, he said “Well, you may catch the train but you will not get to your destination” – Ah! Can you imagine saying that to a Najia Spiri babe like me – “I will get to my destination in Jesus Name Oh!” On the BBC travel website, all the major motorways were blocked off – M1, M6, M25 – all of them. And the death toll from the storms were rising. First it was 4, then 6.

I finally decided to brave it on the roads by 6:30pm and prayed to God for His protection. As I drove down, I pondered on the fragility of life… some people woke up that morning like any other and due to a bit of a storm, that was it – life over. On the radio, the news reader was talking about the latest fatality, a 2 and a half year old who was crushed to death by a wall falling on him in the storm. I switched over to my CD player, I did not want to hear any more bad news.

Thank God for His mercies, I arrived home – in one piece – 2 and a half hours later. Dominique was feeling much better and had eaten. My friend had cooked rice and fish stew. Thank God for good friends.

Friday was uneventful – apart from the house looking a tip because Dominique was off sick – it went okay. I popped out with Kitan to the pharmacist at Boots because he was getting discharges from his left ear. By the time we got home, the mess had gotten to Dominique and she had dragged herself from her sick bed to have a quick tidy… bless her! I was going to do it myself – eventually.

Saturday was a special day – my baby was 2 and a half years old! I spent the morning at the hair dressers and regaled them with excerpts from my blog – my friend Nneka was there too. They were particularly amused at the ‘broken down door’ incident. Later that day Kitan and I had a couple of kiddie birthday parties to attend but when we got home in the evening, we all had our own little family celebration. I am totally besotted with my little boy obviously but I once read somewhere that “Apart from good manners, the next best thing we can give our children are good memories” – Kitan was thrilled to be blowing out his candle on his cake. We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for him and took a few pictures. It soon went pear shaped because he then wanted to use the camera himself and cried when his daddy won’t let him, then he wanted to cut the cake himself with the huge kitchen knife I had used for the pictures. Oh well… it’s about the memories right.

Because he’d slept late, I told Tunji to go ahead on Sunday to church and Kitan and I will follow later when he wakes up. When he did get up, the ear discharge looked worse and he would not let me touch the ear or anything part of the left side of his face. I called my friend Bernie, whose son had had grommets put in too and she suggested taking him to A&E to be safe (thanks Bernie… said through gritted teeth). – thus began my 5 hour visit to the A&E department at Royal Free Hospital Hampstead. Tunji came to meet us there after church and we finally left with a prescription for Paracetamol and some ear drops. I even had to make a fuss before an ENT doctor would even come down and see him. The NHS is rubbish!

Anyway, again God stepped in for us… Monday morning came and for the first time I was looking forward to getting back to the comparative peace and quiet of Leicester. What a weekend! Tunji called me on my drive in to say Kitan had woken up and there was no ear discharge whatsoever. Super!

The Good - Week 11

I was reading over the last few weeks of my blog and felt I could highlight the positives a bit more. This adventure so far has been harrowing but there have been some good bits especially now that it’s been 11 weeks. As we say in training speak – let’s have a recap…

1. I’ve actually settled into a personality that is authentically me. The ‘tough black amazonian’ perception is still out there and there is not a lot I can do about that. I’m fairly comfortable in myself and succumb much much less to the pressure to ‘belong’.

2. I’ve made some friends – mostly from amongst the Naija contractor community here –there are over 400 people on the project I’m working on and the only black people, 8 in number, on this project are us contractors – there are no black permanent staff. This Shilpa issue on BB has brought racism to the fore – but it’s being reported as ‘alleged racism’ because people don’t recognise racism is much more subtle than a bunch of KKK zealots with flaming torches in their hands.

Explain why the company I work for right now does not have any black people in management or why in the largest SAP implementation project in Europe so far, there are only a handful of black people and none of them permanent staff? When you work in such an environment, you don’t need to be told you are not welcome, you can feel it in the air – it’s in the way they operate as an organisation. I don’t think my senior manager Fran has ever said a voluntary word to me in the last few weeks. He happily responds to my ‘Good mornings’ or ‘Had a good weekend?’ but he does not greet me first or even ask of my weekend – and this was the person that was gushing down the phone during my phone interview as to how great the company was and how they will accommodate my family needs to ensure I’m not away too much from my son – does he even ask how the son is? No! Is this racism? prejudice? Well, allegedly eh?

This post was supposed to a chronicle of what’s been good so far… but you know what, no matter how good it can get here, I’ve had better. My friend Emma says, you can’t keep throwing in the towel anytime things go right, and I agree with here, but where do you draw the line? The longest I’ve ever worked anywhere was 18 months – and even that was a fantastic working environment – the rest started okay as they always do but have ended up being one crap situation after the other. At least I had the choice to work or give up some luxuries and stay home. Many ethnic minorities all across the country are stuck in their own BB situation that is their work places… who is saying STOP! This bullying, exclusion, name calling, career suppression etc… has to stop.

I started off wanting to write about the Good - but ended up writing about the Ugly that is working in the UK today.

Is anyone out there having a better experience? Honestly? What are the alternatives? Is working for church one?

By the way, I was bowled over by the respones to my Church work 'dimela' (I watched that episode of BB too) - no one is in the middle - most absolutely think it's the wrong thing to do and the others think it's a good thing...

I'm still not sure, I just have to pray about it some more.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Super Mummy

After such a intriguing week, I was looking forward to the normality of home. My manager kindly allowed me to leave at 3pm. I hung around for another 10-15 minutes before setting off home. As I hit the motorway, I was mentally preparing myself to get off at Junction 12 whilst at the same time listening out on the radio for any traffic information on the M1 motorway. There were no adverse traffic reports and I decided to stay on the motorway all the way home - as a colleague had suggested.

It was the best move ever and I pulled into my drive at 4:32pm - only an hour and a half after I left work. A true record and I was very pleased - it was still daylight even.

After playing with Kitan for a few hours, I was really tired and went up for a nap at 6:30pm - I'd told Dominique to wake me at 7pm because I wanted to bathe him and put him to bed. I woke up at 8pm groggy and confused - I knew I was home but not sure how I'd gotten into bed - and I could hear Kitan crying. I came downstairs and he was being bathed by Tunji. I'm not sure why he was crying so I left them and went down to the kitchen to find something to eat. While in the kitchen, I heard his cry go up an octave, I rushed up the stairs to find out what was going on... and Tunji hearing me come up, locked the bathroom door - as a joke he says. When I got to the door and found it locked, I positioned myself and broke it down. Yes! I broke down the bathroom door - all of this without a word said. It was not superhuman strength coming upon me or anything like that and the door is a light interior door but I only realised what I'd done when I saw the shock on Tunji and Kitan's faces.

"Omara!!!" Tunji screamed - "What is the matter with you?" - Kitan that was screaming his head off a minute ago was deathly quiet - probably thinking to himself "She certainly looks like my mummy".

Anyway, we concluded that I was probably more tired than I thought, heard my baby crying and went into an adrenaline-fueled "Lioness saving baby cub" mode.

That was Friday. Saturday was a lot of fun - I took Kitan on the tube for the first time. We went to Trafalgar Square for the annual Russian Winter Festival. He was excited to be on a "choo-choo" and the entertainment at the event was spectacular (see pictures). Tunji met us up there and we all headed back home together sitting at the front on the top of the double decker bus. Another first for Kitan and he loved it. We went through Oxford Street and through Finchley so there was lots to see from the bus. It was a great family day out and quite cheap actually - just goes to show, sometimes we don't need the Legolands and Alton Towers to entertain the children.

On Sunday, after church, we went to my sister's while she and her husband were away on a romantic four day break to Dubai to visit her children, Kitan's cousins. The boy is 4 and the daughter is 2 and a half. They love Kitan to bits and they all had a wonderful afternoon/evening playing to their hearts content. Watching them made me feel like being small again. The delight and joy they felt being in each other's company was sweet - plus ofcourse, they haven't a care in the world.

Not so for me as I reflected on returning back to Leicester first thing the next mornining.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Office Politics

This was my first full week of work since the Christmas holidays... and it was tough. Not only did I have the daily grind to worry about, office politics began to rear it's ugly head in my direction. One of
the things I liked about contracting was; it was simple, you go in, do a job and then get out. No point over-exerting yourself as there are no promotion prospects plus if you do what you were employed to
do, your job is safe for the duration.

I had already established that I was working with a lot of unprofessional people who see in their work here not just a job but also a substitue family support system. One of the young-girl trainers, the 24 year old, spent the greater part of the week crying, refusing to come into work and threatening to leave all because whilst she was training her own colleagues, somebody said something 'not nice' to her. Please note, nobody insulted her or abused her or even threatened her, they just did not speak nice to her. This is the same problem I had with them when I first started and now it was happening again, only with someone else. This time, it was clear to all that they were dealing with a very immature human being. She sent text to the manager that everyone was a back-stabber including him. I later found out that she had propositioned him saying if she did not have her current boyfriend, she would be with him in a shot. I'm probably naive but I did not believe this was going on in a professional I.T environment.

By the time the week was out, after much negotiations with the manager and the support of her sister, who actually came into work with her to make sure she was okay, she went round to every member of the team apologising for her behaviour. Fair enough... I'll just sit back and wait for the next 'House of Tiny Tearaways' episode here at work.

When mothers returning to work joke that working with their children has given them the skills to cope in the workplace, they aren't actually joking...

The course I specialise in is BW, it is a specialist course only trained out to senior management and it seems someone is not happy about that and wants me to train it out to a few of my colleagues so the knowledge is not monopolised by only one person - me. My friend, Sandra, is not happy about that... she wants me to hold on to my skills and make myself invaluable. This is the sort of wheeling and dealing I do not want to do. I have always believed that as it is God who got me into this role, it would be Him that would manage things in my favour. The minute I go to take control of it myself, I would make a mess of it.

I contemplated on this as I drove to the other work site for a meeting with the BW Senior deployment team. I really wanted to find out from them when the BW material would be ready so I could train it out to my colleagues. However, when I got there, they were furious that the Training Manager was planning to have trainers inexperienced in BW train it out. They made a long list of this and other issues they felt were a problem and told me they would take care of it. I believe this has taken the matter out of my hands and I can focus on what I need to do my job.

Talking about work in general, I had been pondering about the other job offer I had received, working with the Church Office and I do have a dilemna on my hands:

1. If I leave this job before May to work for church:
a) Benjamin would be upset and never find me a job again should I need him in the future
b) I would be broke earning much less money
c) I.T career would go off the rails – again!

2. If I leave this job before May for another job:
a) Church would be upset
b) Benjamin would be upset and never find me a job again should I need him in the future

3. If I wait till end of contract in May to leave this job then get another I.T job in London:
a) Church would be upset

4. If I wait till May to leave this job for church
a) I would be broke earning less money
b) I.T career would go off the rails

What a situation?

I've only highlighted the negatives because whichever option I choose, the positive would be living in London and being at home with Tunji and Kitan again.

When I sent this list above to Tunji for his comment, he had some really good suggestions and insight into the situation. If you do too, please share.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Year? What's New?

Well apart from the date? What else is new? I figure it will take more than the 24 hour change from one year to the next to make a significant difference in my life right now. I'm still settling into the newness that is my life at the moment with working and living in Leicester, I resisted the urge to make any New Year resolutions.

Change is good, but change takes getting used to and the process of that is sometimes not so good.

In the 2 weeks before Christmas, Tunji was in Nigeria so I played single-mum for a bit. It meant getting the train mid-week from Leicester at the end of the working day to get home for 6:30pm, playing with Kitan for a couple of hours before he went to bed, then catching the train out back to Leicester for 7am to get into work by 9am. I had to do that twice and this is apart from driving home on Friday and returning to Leicester Monday mornings. It was hard!

By the time it was Christmas, and Tunji was back, we just wanted to spend time together with our son for Christmas - none of the usual full house with my sisters, cousins and their families and friends, none of the usual Secret Santa present buying we do and no visiting of friends.

We did decorate the house with Kitan, we had a fully loaded Christmas tree with presents underneath, we had lights inside and outside the house and we had decorations from the ceiling and along the walls. We did it for the baby but it was nice actually, it made me smile anytime I walked back in through the door. Thank God for Tesco shopping online... my initial experiences with them years ago were horrible but now, they provide a stellar service and they saved the day for my Christmas shopping. I only had to pop in to pick up the duck we were having, everything else was delivered. Since I've been in Leicester, I use them every forthnight and so far so great!

After a nice, long, relaxing Christmas break, I was dreading returning to Leicester... the thought was giving me nightmares. I did not want to go back, bottom line, but I could not see anyway out of it.

I often act by how I feel rather than what is the right thing to do and it was a real test of the strength of my character to feel like not going but go anyway. I was proud of myself.

I got in on the 3rd of Jan, driving straight into work and as I suspected, no one had their act together and we faffed around the whole day. It was impossible for me to fall asleep that night as I had not been there for almost 2 weeks, the bed felt strange. I finally fell asleep at 2:30am and of course over slept the next morning, waking up at 9:10am - I'm supposed to be at work by 9am!! I finally got into work at 9:50am only to find out that the senior manager, Fran, had decided to have a 9am - 10am meeting with all the trainers and ofcourse I missed it. Oh well! That night, again, sleeping was a problem and I fell asleep at 2am. I got into work that Friday morning on time but I knew it was crucial I adjusted quickly to being back in Leicester because not only was I too tired for work during the day, I was too tired for the drive back to London that afternoon... but I drove anyway. Thank God for His mercies!

I was grumpy the first weekend back... biting everyone's head off. I guess I was back to my snatched moments at home and wanted to blame everyone for it but myself. A job opportunity then presented itself, doing something totally different, working for the church... but I'm not 100% sure it'll be the right move for me. For the moment they are prepared to wait until the end of my current contract and I can only see the benefits - flexible hours, more time lunching with friends and at home with Kitan, Spiritual growth, working 5 mins from home with the occassional international travel. It is also giving me an option - whether or not I take it - it means there is something at the end of the road after Leicester. I have options!

France, Italy, Spain - here we come!

Omara's Weight loss progress (started diet 17th March 2007)