I haven’t blogged in 2019 at all and I hadn’t planned on writing a year end/beginning blog post. And then I got an email notification on the last blog I posted and it reminded me of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place. Mostly to share my journey but along the way I learnt so much from the people who took the time to post comments and advice and the virtual friendships extending my tribe of people. Had the internet connectivity been better, I might have posted more, shared more. There’s certainly been no dearth of things going on to blog about.
Over the past few years, my life has been dominated by change. Change that I have sought actively in order to live a life that is more in line with the things that make me a happier, better human being. That has often meant taking a long hard look at myself and the things I am doing or allowing myself to be influenced to do. I read this somewhere and somehow it just clicked and made so much sense:
“When things go wrong in your life, always take a look at your inner circle. That’s all you have to do. Take a hard look at the people you are allowing to influence your life. Ask yourself if they are a positive or negative influence in your life. When you have your answer, make a change. You can control this situation, or stop it, by changing your inner circle”
Over the past years, my inner circle has changed radically and that momentum continues. In 2019, I have deliberately let go of more people and grieved their loss. I gained people and rejoiced. I battled my own demons and PTSD and came back from the brink of one of the worst episodes of suicidal depression that I have been through so far. I learnt that it’s possible to live my best fucking life while at the same time also not want to live another day or take another breath. I learnt that help is available when I am willing to be vulnerable enough to ask for it. I found my tribe of people rallying around me like a solid wall of love at my lowest moments. If that is not a blessing I don’t know what is.
The blessings when we look for it are all around us. I was blessed at work, with great project teams that somehow kept things moving even when the bureaucracy threatened to stall all momentum. I was blessed with friends who accompanied me on grocery shopping trips and end of the week drinks and we laughed and cried and bitched and moaned and soldiered through our weeks of mindless drudgery. I was blessed with teams of healers, mentor and life coaches who worked with me to re-define what ‘thriving’ means for me and then get me on track to do just that. Thrive.
My dream of living completely debt free finally came into fruition through hard work and strict financial management. Going broke and homeless, stuck in a seemingly endless debt cycle, almost a decade ago was the best thing that could have happened to me. Being broke taught me invaluable life lessons and my mistakes were the bricks that built a better financial foundation. It also opened my eyes to the inner circle I had accrued at that point.
In all of these what I have learnt in 2019 the most is probably that – there’s no end to learning. Life keeps on teaching the same lessons until we have mastered it. Then we move on to new things. Me being me, every time I was challenged, I read books on it, researched it, analyzed my problem until I had a plan of action to tackle it that works for me. And as long as I kept putting one foot in front of the other, things kept moving, even when it seemed like nothing was happening. The waiting between the doing to reaping the fruits of my labor is probably what tests my patience the most.
I am still working on identifying new passions and goals that I want to pursue going forward. I am still working on learning to rest, to breathe, to just exist in the pause, to thrive even if I don’t always know what ‘thriving’ looks like. I am still learning to give myself the love that I keep trying to give to others. I am still learning to say ‘no”to others, so I can say ‘yes’ to myself. I am still learning my lesson on not having to be responsible for everyone around me. I am still learning to let go, to let people walk their own path and learn their life lessons on their own time.
Letting go of that endless sense of responsibility for everyone else around me has led to an unprecedented level of freedom that I could have never anticipated. I have more money in my wallet and more head space to follow my heart and passions. This year, I want to team up with an NGO to start a shelter for victims of domestic violence. I want to travel more widely and have more ‘first time ever’ kind of experiences. I also want to go back to university at some point and change my career into a completely different field from what I am working in now. There’s so much to do and at the beginning of the year now it seems like I have endless time to get it all done 🙂
So here’s a toast to a fabulous rocking 2019 and an even more wild 2020 coming up!!! May your year be blessed with whatever makes you thrive!
A few snaps of the big cats at Masai Mara. They were so freaking gorgeous!!!! Absolutely stunning!
I have not blogged in over a year, mostly because words are not enough to express all the things that have been going on. 2018 has been an incredible ride, a roller coaster of upheavals, of soaring successes and deep despair over losses. 2018 has been life, just being life.
I moved, finally, to my favorite continent, to one of the most beautiful country, Ethiopia. I fell in love when I worked here 3 years ago and I jumped at the chance to live and work here again. So I moved and settled in and I am looking forward to spending another beautiful year in this place I now call ‘home’. I have been lucky enough to be able to travel to nearly every corner of this country so far and I cannot wait to tick off the last of the national parks off on my list 🙂 This country seems to have more UNESCO world heritage sites then some continents. The 3000 year old history, the culture, the diversity, the landscape, the animals, the large number of endemic bird population, makes this unique place a total paradise for me.
In 2018, I got to travel more, to experience diverse societies. I got to read more, sometimes as many as 3 or 4 books per month. I was fortunate to go on a ‘farmer’s home stay’ where we get to live with a farmer and work their lands with them to gain clarity on the hurdles they face. I have been working in Agribusiness and Markets and while it’s easy to get lost in the policies, we never forget that at the end of the day, its the small-holding farmers that must benefit and share in the wealth of opportunities being created with access to markets in both home and abroad.
I turned 40 in October of 2018. I have been looking forward to turning forty for years now and I was super psyched to be forty. Yes!!!! Finally!!! So yeah, I have lots of grey hairs which I don’t bother with dying. Some days I wake up feeling 80 years old, some days I wake up feeling 18. But baby… I am there! I am fucking fabulously 40 and owning it 🙂 Yes, even owning the fact that I too have fears, insecurities and feelings of not being good enough. End of the day, I love where I am in life now, I love who I am becoming and I love the tribe/clan of people I am lucky to call my friends and share my life with. I am grateful for the ability to foster close friendships no matter which country or society I am in. To see another person as they are, to be yourself as you are, to speak your truth, to be accepted and loved for it, is probably the most beautiful gift that anyone can give or accept.
Last year two of my friends went into remission. One is finally free from her abusive marriage. One welcomed a second child, two more added third ones to their broods. Two of my friends mourned the tragic losses of their children and we wept with them. One had a teen hospitalized from bulimia and we worried what brought it on. Rebellious teenagers, aging parents and demanding careers leave no time to breathe, to just be. On top of that the world went crazy with political instability, divisive political rhetoric deliberately inciting violence, emboldening racists sexists pigs, and women’s right is under assault in every front. Yet here we are. Still here. Life just marched right on and always will.
So the trick for me is to keep speaking my truth and stay true to my values, in my work, in my relationships, in my daily life. Sometimes its easier to not look back since it can make me cynical, angry and bitter. Better to look forward, to new things to come. Not sure who said this, but we do have two hands – one to help ourselves with, and the second to help others with. And while the world goes mad, we can still spread kindness and compassion to those we come in contact with in our daily lives. We can each do our own part in improving another person’s life, in changing their whole world. We can keep speaking up for others whose voices are being silenced. We can each do our own bit in combating climate change by being more conscious of our own carbon foot print.
So for me on to 2019, more books, more travel, more kindness. More consciously existing in the moment, may the philosophy of Ubuntu and Ikigai dominate. Let the games begin 😉
How did your 2018 go? and what are you looking forward to in 2019?
Life has been amazing! Simply amazing! There’s so much war and strife and loss and pain that it reminds me over and over again to be grateful for what I do have. Simple things that I take for granted, a cup of hot tea, waking up early morning to watch the dawn break, the sound of birds waking up. There’s always so much to be grateful for even as I strive for more.
That’s human tendency isn’t it? To want more, to always be seeking and searching? Only as life flowed, the things I seek and value changed. The way I experience life continues to change and that is totally okay. It’s okay to not want the things that we wanted yesterday. It’s okay to dream a new dream each day. It’s okay to give up pursuit of things that do not contribute to our growth. It’s okay to say no to old dreams and come up with new ones that are more in line with who we are becoming every day.
I am watching a friend struggle with declining health, with only a few more months to go, maybe. And while I cried buckets of tears, he reminded me simply that he is grateful that we met, that we got to become friends and his only regret is that we haven’t met earlier. If only’s… how many of those do we have in life? Yet here it is. We did meet. We did strike up a friendship that is honest and raw and beautiful. Maybe we met now because this is when our inner selves have drawn to a parallel, our values matched, we vibe on the same frequency. And if nothing else, he now has a tight group of friends to lean on, to argue with, to laugh and cry with. Could we ask for more?
I wrote out a list of 5 things that I want out of life now. And I believe that I will get them. For better or worse, they will come true. They always do. Anything that I have wanted, truly wanted, I have received. These are things that I want now and I will get them too. Its only a matter of time.
To the universe and every living breathing kind creature out there – Muchas Gracias for vibing with love and kindness and spreading the joy of simple existence.
- The grass is greener where you water it…
- The grass is greener because it’s fertilized more…
- The grass is not greener… it’s fake..
- Whoever always looks for the greener grass on the side will never be able to appreciate the green grass that was right under their feet the entire time…
- If every body else’s grass always looks greener to you… then its time to consider that you might be the only one who is green in this situation.. green with envy. Nothing kills joy faster than comparison and envy.
When it comes to work situations, I do support going where the grass is greener, but is it always right to quit? No, specially if you what you are experiencing now could just be a phase, so how do you know if you should stay in your job? If most days you can tick off most of the following, you should stay and work through your phase.
- You’re Happy (genuinely, most days, most times, happy)
- You’re Learning
- The Company Is Hiring
- The Company Listens to Its Workers
- The Company Has a Plan
- The Company Fixes Its Problems
- The Company Promotes from Within
- The Company Is Open About Its Financials
- Your Accomplishments and Contributions Are Noticed and Valued
- You Look Forward to Monday (most of the time)
If it’s just a phase, then you will start seeing changes within a matter of weeks or months. Every action has a reaction. Smile more every day and the world will smile right back at you.
However, word of caution – no matter how hard you have been trying, IF you tick off all or most of the following points, then it is definitely time to cut the chord and move on in search of greener pastures.
- You’re miserable every morning.
- Your company is sinking.
- You really dislike the people you work with and/or your boss, or the general office culture/environment is tainted with extreme toxicity.
- You’re consistently stressed, negative, and/or unhappy at work. Your work-related stress is affecting your physical health.
- You don’t fit in with the corporate culture and/or you don’t believe in the company anymore.
- Your work performance is suffering.
- You no longer have good work-life balance.
- Your skills are not being tapped.
- You can’t outgrow your reputation
- Your job duties have changed/increased, but the pay hasn’t. Especially true if the company is performing well, but it’s not reflected in your salary or other rewards.
- Your ideas are not being heard.
- You are experiencing verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or are aware of any type of other illegal behavior.
- You see no opportunity for advancement in your company, no matter how you try to stretch your job description and show your managers what you’re capable of.
- When you walk into your workplace every day, you adopt a persona that you would never take on when you’re with your real friends. You can’t be yourself at work — they wouldn’t like it if you did.
- You look forward to weekends but on the weekends, you stress about work and even go into the office to get a few things done before Monday.
The grass can be greener if you water it but it does take effort and time and the cooperation of those you share your life with, whether at work or at home. When it comes to relationships, I love this anonymous advice and in my opinion, it goes both ways:
The reason why other women look attractive is because someone is taking good care of them. Grass is always green where it is watered. Instead of drooling over the green grass on the other side of the fence, work on yours and water it regularly. Any man can admire a beautiful woman, but it takes a true gentleman to make his woman admirable and beautiful. A successful marriage doesn’t require a big house, a prefect spouse, a million dollars or an expensive car. You can have all the above and still have a miserable marriage. A successful marriage requires honesty, undying commitment and selfless love at the center of it all.
In the age of social media, where we only see snippets of lives highlighted in their best moments, it’s easy to fall into comparison and envy. Someone else’s relationship will always look better, until you scratch beneath the surface. Personally, I feel that people who are always showing off on social media are either insecure or narcissistic, neither trait attractive or desirable. So while it’s tempting to drool over others, I suggest giving your own partner a good thoughtful lick instead 😀
1. Learn to take compliments simply and without complication. You don’t need to berate yourself in order to ‘deserve’ a compliment. 2. Remember that you deserve to be treated with dignity, love, and respect – but that you are not entitled to anything and everything you want.3. Let yourself have a few minutes to be annoyed with someone…
The only person you will spend your entire life with is ‘yourself’, not even your parents, spouse or siblings will be there for the entire duration. So for me, it only makes sense to devote time to myself and invest in my own development. We only get one life to live, why not live it well? 🙂
I always felt that the whole hype around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day was just another marketing gimmick, until I became a mother myself and started looking forward to the sloppily made cards that my son would make for me. I haven’t received those cards in years and nothing beats those hand made, full of spelling mistake, colored outside of the lines cards.
This year though, I am thinking of all the people who feel differently about this day. What if you are a mother who miscarried, lost a child or children to illness, to war, to poverty or senseless violence? The jagged edges of that loss remains for years to come. How do they feel about this day? Do others still wish them? Do they want to be wished? Or would they rather forget or not be reminded of their deep loss?
What of the parents who lose their children in custody battles and eventually see them less and less or not at all? How do they cope with their loss specially on days like these that are suppose to celebrate their parental status.
What about children who hate their parents? Grown adults who are still struggling with childhood trauma caused by selfish, narcissistic or just plain malicious parenting? How do they feel on this day? Have they found forgiveness or a sense of coming to terms with what was and will never be?
On the other side of the glitz and glamour and facebook feed flooded with tributes to mom’s and dad’s, there’s also the grim side of loss and jagged edges of wounds that run deep for both parents and kids. May I never forget to be kind to others since no one knows who carries around these unseen wounds.
If you are in the development aid or cooperation field, I am sure you have heard of the North to South cooperation – the one where developed countries tell developing countries how to do to solve their problems. Then came the idea of South-South cooperation, where developing countries talk to each other to find solutions to their own problems and learn from each other.
Well given that for the better part of last year, the workings of the supposedly largest democracies in the world has been like watching car crashes in very slow motion, I think it’s high time for another kind of cooperation – South to North.
Given the rise in developed western countries of populism and nationalism, which are really very vaguely veiled terms to hide the rising tide of hatred, political rhetoric’s feeding fear and misinformation, intolerance of diversity, denial of responsibility to the crisis and misery caused by these countries direct military actions in other parts of the world, I believe its high time for the Western countries to use some of their own Development Aid to implement programs on Governance, Rule of Law, Right to Information, overhauling of a failed education system, reformation of justice system, social security, medical coverage etc. Programs that improve their citizen’s right and access to information on their government’s activities in order to be able to make informed choices and decisions. Projects that bring the political machines closer to the people by opening that feedback loop that is clamped down on by despotic autocratic rulers.
In the South we have a lot of experience dealings with autocratic rulers, dictators, pathological liars and narcissists who will say anything to gain power and then do anything to hold on to that power. Perhaps its time to turn those experiences into case studies to be taught to our Northern partners in development.
Cutting down on Development Aid budget in my view is not a total bad idea. If you think about it, most of these aid money flows back to the countries that give them. The money flows in through NGO’s that are based in their own countries, which then proceed to recruit their own nationals, paying them exorbitant salaries and benefits for working in hardship countries with every comfort imaginable provided at their finger tips, including frequent fully paid R&R’s because life continues to remain so hard even with all your bills paid.
Then there are the restrictions on procurement, spending, collaborations that can only be done with their own businesses. Even if you want to fly in to headquarters for meetings, company policies will make sure that you book an airline of their choice. I am not even going to get into how development loans and grants ensure that any money generated continues to flow back into their own coffers through long term high interest rates even for those so-called ‘soft’ loans.
Now, when the citizens of our Norther partners are murdered in racial hatred or domestic terrorism, homeless dying on the roadside by hundreds of thousands, millions living outside of any social or medical support safety net, that spending really should go into taking care of their own people. Who wants their tax dollars going abroad into god knows what activities when the problems in your own hood are so overwhelming that you fear for your own safety and move your families out of your own country. This migrant outflow from the North should be stemmed before the floodgates open and the rest of the world (read South) is overwhelmed.
The UN is dysfunctional, a puppet in the hand of its masters, denying the genocide being committed by Israel in Palestine, persecuting it’s own whistle blowers, dismal failure in ensuring women’s right and access to reproductive services in ‘developed’ countries, failing to respond to the biggest humanitarian crisis of our times in Africa and Middle East caused by its biggest financial contributors. The Bretton Woods Institutions, NATO, UN etc, need to take a close hard look at what is going on in their own backyard and put their own house in order. It will require formulating policies and programs to tackle these very real, very urgent crisis to bring about some modicum of stability and potentially avoid a third world war. The North really needs the help of the South, we have enormous experience in these matters and we stand ready to assist in every way possible, including being a Watch Dog to your every action.
p.s. Totally irrelevant (or not) for GoT lovers: Winter has set in and the white walkers are ruling, it’s time to bring in the dragons and reclaim the north.
Waking up at 4 am in the morning to a full moon that shines through my curtains. So I open the window up and breathe in that moonlight and silently watch a world awash in silvery light.
Waking up around 5.30 am in the morning and watching the dawn break. The dark becoming lighter, the clouds in the horizon tinged in red. The chirping of birds, announcing a new day ahead.
Making myself a cup of tea and sitting in my Buddha corner, enjoying the mug of steaming caffeine. The world is still asleep and I get to welcome the new day in utter silence.
Going out for a walk, knowing that about 35 minutes in, I am going to run into a pack of 4 street dogs. The mom is going to jump all over me, taking my hand in her mouth as she tries to lead me to places. The puppies will be playful, chomping on my clothes, shoe laces, fingers, whatever they can get their teeth on. The dad would be reserved but loving. He will stay close by like a badass bodyguard, to be seen and petted but with no overt expression of loving.
If I am lucky and I find a shop open that early in the morning, then I get to bring them treats and watch them devour it. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching a bunch of dogs eat the food right off your fingers yet somehow never really touch them with teeth. Passerby’s tell me to be careful to not get bitten. I tell them that dogs don’t bite, humans do. Dogs are too loyal and loving to cause harm for no reason. The expression on the human faces are quite something to watch.
The sight of groups of black Cormack flying in and landing on the water. The way the group fishes and the patterns in which they flock, its quite fascinating.
Individual storks fishing. They have a habit of finding floating debris and claiming them as their perch while patiently waiting to fish. Fascinating how they silently stand there, very still, very intently watching the water around them and suddenly ‘whoosh’ in they have gone to catch their prey. While they sit, all I see is the grey color of their bodies, when they fly off, the span of white wing is a sight to see.
The pair of mongoose who are always chasing each other. Playful but weary, they have a tendency to disappear into the bushes if people get too close to them. But watch them from a distance and the interaction between the two is just lovely.
Meetings that have agendas and half way through, you realize that you have covered all of them. Short meetings are the best.
Ideas that get shared around and improved. People who are not afraid to be questioned and grilled and open to suggestions for improvement. Learning from innovations made elsewhere and getting to localize it’s implementation.
People who don’t just love making money but have a real passion to create and add value with their products and services. Its a zero sum game. I guess that’s how a socialist-capitalist would feel about it.
Working through the weekend, not because you have to, but because you want to. And getting to do that work on your time, at your own pace. With no disruptions and no one else looking over your shoulder. The freedom to create as you see fit is just mind blowing.
Taking days off whenever you need it. Not feeling well, crawl back into bed. The work can wait, or one of your team members will take over, no questions asked.
Getting to take days off in the middle of the week. Deciding your own vacation schedule and days off with no bickering over the number of hours that you are entitled to etc. I still thinks its ridiculous that companies give their people paltry number of hours off and then make a big deal if someone actually wants to use all of their days off. Or makes you run through hoops just to get the time off that you actually need & is owed but is apparently at an inconvenient time so you are made to wait. So glad that I am not on that boat anymore.
Waking up early, watching the sunrise, then deciding that you still want to go back to bed for a couple of hours and doing just that. Sleeping in or napping whenever you need to. Life cannot get any better than that for a chronic insomniac.
Eating well and eating light. Watching the number on the scale going down. But better still its a celebration when your high risk cholesterol just goes down all the way to normal.
Being able to walk for 8-10 km without going out of breath, cramping up and wanting to die.
YouTube videos of rolling thunder storms and rain, zen water falls, native flute music and even Chopin playlist. I was obviously lost before all these became available at the tap of a button, right on our finger tip 😀 I may not know Latin but Gregorian chants are the best tracks for insomniacs to fall asleep to 😀
When Bubu makes me crispy parata for breakfast with my favorite sauce made either from chicken or beef and then hands me a steaming big mug of tea. Can life really get any better than this? Nope 😀
Something that I read today and it stuck in my mind. Deeply. Mostly because the post that I wrote before this one about “People who require your silence” was about victims of domestic violence even though I never actually came out and said it. Stating it seemed too obvious, so now I will wait while you go back and re-read that post again 😉
A lot of people approach me on a regular basis – both men and women – who are stuck in violent, degrading, abusive marriages. They are unsure about getting out. For the women mostly, the fear of getting out outweighs the fear of staying in the marriage. They know that getting out means losing social standing, family support and with no viable financial income or even an education that can be used to build a career, they will fall into the mercy of their families. If they have kids, its even more complicated with custody laws in line with religious laws and ugly fights that drags on in courts.
Funnily enough … the families know what’s going on. They know for years but still they tell the girls to suck it up and stay in it, to salvage it if it can be salvaged, to try to their last breath if needed. Even in scenarios where the person fears for their own life, the advice remains the same. I get that no one likes to see their investment go to waste. What I don’t get is why more people do not invest into the daughter’s education, career, instead of saving it all up to hand it over a complete stranger.
Maybe I have become cynical or just too practical from too many decades of having to take care of my own shit despite having been married. My advice usually depends on whether it’s a life threatening situation or not. If there’s a threat to life, then I advice to get out and handle the rest as it comes. I put them in touch with organizations specializing in victim support.
If its not a life threatening situation, then I tell them about the mistake that I made. Divorce blindsided me and I walked out of it with my savings drained and struggled to keep food on the table. So I tell them to wait, to keep a distance, to get a job, a career if they can, start saving up money, to build a cushion for when they leave.
Leaving a marriage anywhere in the world is unpredictable. Some families will take you back in, blame you for the breakdown and generally make your life hell since now you are less than a person with a huge failure tattooed into your forehead. Others don’t just take you in, they cushion you, they protect you from the blows of others, they rally around you and support you through this most difficult time.
Did you know that the death of a long term spouse and divorce ranks nearly the same in grief? You mourn the life that could have been but will never be. You mourn the life that was, the parts that were good. Outside of the institution of marriage, women suddenly find themselves to have become fair play to men at their work and men within the extended families.
The daily annoyance and gaslighting will drag you down. It will be the icing on top of your cake … the grieving cake that you got smashed into your face. But here’s the thing… this has not happened only to you. You are not alone in this. This is not your fault alone. When people say that, don’t buy into the guilt. It’s hard but as people hand them to you, like a gift, do not accept it.
You will find your way. Even in the darkest of nights, you will find a way. There will be guides and unexpected angels. There will be people who have gone through the same things and genuinely empathize with your pain. Go out, find your tribe, find other people who have gone through the same, ask for advice.
Most of all, go within yourself and find a way to get over the bitterness. To let it all go if you can. It might take years but carrying all that anger and hurt will bring you down more often than anything else. Let it go, lighten your burden, hold your head up high and move on. There is a life after all, there will be days ahead full of sun shine, there will be rain but also rainbows. You will get through this and you will find that you are stronger than you even knew.
If you can’t find that light at the tunnel, then set that tunnel on fire and light it up yourself. You are never alone in your journey. Find your tribe and let them help you get through this.
For all those still stuck… I hope you find the courage and the support you need.
Questions on a dark story night that go through my head.
People who require your silence, your unquestioning compliance to themselves, to situations, to social norms, in the face of personal tragedy and heart break…. do not walk away from them… just run and run in the other direction.
They don’t have love for you, they don’t care for you. Their presence in your life is dictated by whatever need they feel for you and as their needs change, so do their requirements. You will be never be enough but you can easily spend a life time trying to reach that elusive finishing line that says you have made it, into their hearts or their inner circle.
Was the struggle worth it? Is your entire life dedicated to pleasing these people worth it? Those never ending demands with no respect of the amount of time and energy it saps from you? That it leaves you empty inside, until you are a former shell of who you used to be?
Evaluate your relationships often and I use this for myself a lot. If someone, whether related by blood or by friendship, require me to silence my voice, to live a life that is unbearable, then that person who ever they maybe are not my tribe of people. They maybe my oldest friends or even family, but their loyalty lies only with themselves and in your ability to cater to their selfish needs.
Recognize these vampires and run away. Cut off all ties if you have to. Yes it will hurt for a while and you will be left out all alone in the world. But the universe abhors emptiness, in the end, that empty space in your life will be filled with people who carries the same values as you and will care for you regardless of everything else that has gone on in your life.
Find your truth. Live by it. And you will find your tribe and your life will become all the better for it.