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Archive for April, 2009

Trusting

Revelations 3:8

“I know your deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name”

When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go, only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He’ll catch you when you fall, or He’ll teach you how to fly!
‘The power of one sentence!
God closes doors no man can open & God opens doors no man can close.

I received the caption above from one of my friends and it actually is one of those that made sense to me. Maybe because I am trying to sift through a lot of things right now, but most because this year – yes, the 4 months that we have been into it – I have seen so much of my plans actually translate into results!

I am a Christian and I live my life that way – I simply believe there is a God out there! I believe it is my belief in something that is Greater than I am that I am able to be Who I am….But I shall write about that maybe some other time.

As we approached the end of 2008 – actually around my birthday in November, I sat myself down and WROTE down what it is that I want to get done in 2009. My list had 5 things – that’s it. Because I believe that most of the things I wanted to get done were mere details in the 5. And I have actually seen the “things” happen. Some are already off the list – signed, sealed, delivered!

I could have said – it is because I am such a meticulous planner (which I am), focused about what it is I want to do – long term and short term (I am that too) or whatever else; but seriously, there was and still is something at play that gives me the strength to fly all over without getting weary, give my all in my work and current research, realize when some things are not working, be brave enough to venture off that path and embrace new things etc

Some call it, I don’t know – I don’t know! I call it Divine Intervention. I call it God’s favor.

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This is going to be a short post because I am still composing the long form of what I want to write.

I have been having very interesting conversations with a group of friends on this Forum, at work and elsewhere concerning all things: Futures and Commodities Trading, Equity, Inflation, The Fed Reserve, Mortgages, Foreclosures, rising levels of unemployment, the TARP ( Troubled Assets Relief Program), FX etc.

Myriad viewpoints, similar consesus; things will tend to get worse before they get better 😦

Why? Because of the cyclical workings of the economy – You see, JP, Wells Fargo, BoA etc, may report better than expected earnings ( yes its earnings season), but if the very core that should continue supporting the reportedly improving economic conditions, i.e people remaining employed , is not yet sustainable, then the recovery will also be very cyclical and sporadic in the long run. Foreclosures are still going to go on, credit card default is going to keep going higher etc.

We have also been talking about the pressure that listed companies have as concerns short run returns; volatility on the NYSE is forcing such companies to go to great lengths if only to somewhat keep their stocks at a “decent” level – whats going to be the long term effect of such reactive policies?

My colleagues and I also sat in on a conference call exploring credit ratings agencies, fixed income options etc. It was interesting, but not shocking to learn that most companies these days are not really relying on the the standard company ratings. So , you firm may be Aaa, by Moodys, but that will not necessarily translate to a favourable credit standing with potential business partners. Made me wonder what extra due diligence would be done by firms in the future – or even right now!

I hope to write up something more comprehensive about this soon enough…..

But as one person did aptly observe, do not put all your eggs in one basket – It just might happen to be the Lehman Basket! Have a wise Investing day!

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The Preface:

In 2005 – some day, something happened and I was thinking about stuff and I found myself thinking out, silently at first, then loudly, then on paper and it went something like this:


I may not always be the quintessence of focus, but I am clear to make it plain where I want to go

That then became the “official mantra” of how it is that I had been and continued to live my life. That has become a statement that has enabled me keep my head above water, if I may. It allowed me the freedom to put myself out there and live my life with renewed panache. So interesting what bold declarations can do about one’s thought processes and options then embraced! Imagine, just by thinking about what I was doing and not doing in that little one sentence, I have been able to easily (very relative term), sift through the I want and I don’t want in my life.

My late Dad used to tell us the most important thing in one’s life is owning it – mistakes and all. When we were younger, we felt he was being overly over the top, then as we grew older, we began to, gradually, appreciate the power that’s in truly and fully owning your life. That means being in control of those things in life that you can actually control e.g. how you spend you money, who you choose to date, religion, work ethics, attitudes towards relationships ( family, colleagues, strangers, neighbors etc). It also meant, being in stride about those things over which you really cannot fully control – we all know those are a subjective list.

Dad was the kind of person that would have the heartiest conversation with our next door neighbors farm worker about cows, fertilizer, weather, etc then drive off a few blocks and have a very spirited discussion with the next door politician (and actually be politically correct), go to work and chair a meeting on the current energy/oil woes and what the company would do about it then meet up with one of our friends and talk “young people lingo” just like that! Like he got the picking up the phone and saying “ni Fathe”!

Dad always said, not in so many words, and usually through my mum, if you have boyfriends, I need to meet them. I guess that’s a smart way to keep tabs of which little boys are trying to lie to your daughters. That applied to my brother – who also needed to bring his girlfriends home. You see with my Folks, the story applied to all four of us, the three girls and the boy! In the many years of growing up, Dad has only kicked out one boy from our house – and it was someone that was trying to “declare” what he thought he felt for me – the nerve he had, but I have to admire him being brave. Lol! My Dad simply got tired of seeing him at our house and one day he simply told him “ young man, get out of my house and don’t come back” – sounds mean – but I still am glad many years later for that! Some people just don’t get it!

So my Dad got to meet a lot of our friends, and the people we dated. And actually, he became very good friends with a lot of our friends. I didn’t know how much till at his funeral, when a lot of our friends showed up from all over the world!

I think in writing or thinking about the quintessential self – it has to begin with what is important to you – which is what I do.

Seriously, most times when you actually sit and roadmap what it is you want to get done – it seems to be a lot more manageable – maybe it’s just me? I like to plan that which I can plan for and I even cater for contingencies e.g. in my yearly financial plan, I know what I want to spend each month and on what and I also have a “miscellaneous category” with an amount in it. But suprises do happen ( over those things you have control over) along the paths of life – and when those come around, at least I have a feeling of what the anomaly might be – Thank God for Excel and Access!

There is this quote from e.e Cummings that I like:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you just like everyone else, means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting”

I think I want to explore my quintessential self and yes – I choose to do it on a blog, my blog! Why? Because I want to and I can! 🙂 If along the way, someone finds it a good read, the more the merrier. I believe the world would be a better place if we all strive to be who we are, not what the other person is, or what the other person thinks we should be.

The quintessential self – that’s what should be the focal point for all – I believe, and I am sure a lot of people out there share this sentiment.

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Dad’s Legacy

Next week marks 4 years since Dad passed on.

This year is different though, it is the first year that we have thought and talked about it without feeling sad; Not because we are now used to it or we don’t miss him anymore, but because we know it is well. We still don’t get the “why then”, but we have been able to move beyond him not being here to even higher echelons that are the legacy he left behind 🙂

Like we always tell everyone – you don’t get over it; rather you learn to live with it…

The core of what Dad was and still is, at least according to us, is embedded in the illusion that so many people held about him. You see he came from a “lineage” that was not supposed to “make it” – BUT, Bless the Lord, that he defied ALL odds, all doubts, all cynicism, all lineage protocol, all that bunch of whatever he was supposed to conform to and became his own man!

He became his own man that got himself an intelligent, resilient woman a.k.a Mama 🙂 , to run the race that is life with. Together, they weathered the storms of life and raised 4 kids that turned out pretty good I must say. They raised us to believe that we are the masters of our own destiny, that we can become whatever it is that we want to become and our lives are solely in our own hands. I strongly believe that we are what we are today because of that. Even in the times when we were in the doldrums, our faith did not falter.

Forget the faltering of purpose, forget the missteps; together we always, always found a way to eventually step together in sync. Heck, we are not infallible and what counts in life is the ability to step right back out there – which we have done!

At his celebration of life, 4 years ago – my friend asked me to write something that he would use to finish up the DVDs of the celebrations. I was jet-lagged, exhausted from the myriad preparations and things that had to be attended to, and had to get back on another 28 hour plane journey and back to work, school and my Sis P just a few days after the funeral.

So, what I wrote was very spontaneous – I think I was perched on one of the street benches along a street in Eldoret, writing on some scrap paper from a snack I was eating, but this is what I wrote:

A life lived to the fullest
A Kaleidoscope
That God can turn around
To build to that state that epitomizes His excellence
To cherished affection, wisdom, warmth and a firm foundation
To a life well lived
A Testimony
That God reigneth

That of course, doesn’t begin to adequately summarize the life we celebrate – but it give a hint of what we are saying!

Through out we played this song, Redeemer Savior Friend – Link at the bottom of the post.

All, we are saying is this – We forever Thank God for the time He allowed us to have with Dad – and for the man he made him to become!

And – most importantly, for the biggest lesson we learnt from it all – that it is always the right time to do the right thing, that you have to live life on your own terms, that people’s opinions sometimes matter, but God’s will should always prevail, because that is what counts.

I guess for me, that’s why I find it so easy to walk away from things that are not edifying my mind, body and spirit, it is in that truth that was engrained in me that my life, is my own – period! That I shall make mistakes – but I will learn from them, that crap will be swung at me – but I don’t have to take it, that if I decide to win – I shall win! Now tell me if that isn’t the greatest lesson of all – instilling confidence in your “people”

And I believe that’s one of the many reasons why this year, as we celebrate his 4th memorial, I am not sad, I am very happy for the lessons he left with us and for allowing us to become the strong people we are today.

Cheers to Dad’s legacy 🙂

Listen to the song if you have time 🙂

Redeemer Savior Friend

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