All posts filed under: Thrive

on living life, from the mundane to the exceptional

Book 5: Half of a Yellow Sun–Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It should come as no shock that I know nothing about Nigerian history. We barely learn anything about American history beyond the anglo/christian/hetero/male perspective, so why would I expect to learn anything about the continent of Africa in general, let alone the history of one country in particular. Although Half of a Yellow Sun is fictional, Adichie did considerable historical research, using her family and friends, in addition to other documents, as sources. So for an introduction to the history of a newly independent Nigeria, this book was really interesting. But for the characters that she developed and the tale that she wove into this history, this book was fantastic! Admittedly, it started kind of slow. Not uninteresting, but not gripping either. She had to construct the setting, develop the characters, provide context, let you learn who/what/where/when/why.  All of a sudden though, this book becomes a page-turner. Of the 500 some odd pages I read about 350 of them over the course of a day and a half.  I haven’t sat and binge-read a book …

Book 2: Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person-Shonda Rhimes

I just finished Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes, and it took me all of a week to do so. I probably could’ve sat down and read it in a couple days if it weren’t for those pesky responsibilities like classes, running errands, walking the dog…But the point is, IT WAS EVERYTHING! I read this book at just the right time, as I’m just starting my own “year of yes” of sorts. It’s not really the same thing, but I decided to make the end of my twenties a journey to the start of my thirties, and I set some benchmarks for myself. So really, it’s nothing at all like Shonda’s “year of yes,” except in the regard of saying ‘yes’ to myself more often–as in prioritizing myself and the things I want and need. But one of these benchmarks is to read 30 books by 30, all Black women authors, hence the title of this post (I should probably go back and write something about Book 1, because it too was excellent). Anyway, I …

That time I KonMari’d My Life…

In February 2016 I came across The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, aka the KonMari Method, reading it during my ample daily down time. I don’t remember now what compelled me to try it, but doing it was absolutely worth it. First of all, I don’t think I realized how many things I had. I live in a pretty small house and it’s not as if my belongings were all over the place, but I still had far more things than I actually used, and many that I really didn’t like once I had to actually consider her central philosophy: does this bring me joy? I followed the directions almost exactly as they were laid out: looking through clothes first, then books, papers, and miscellany/komono in the designated order  (CDs/DVDs, skin care, makeup, accessories, valuables, electronics, household equipment, household supplies, kitchen goods, other).  And I also did as told, to collect all the spare change I find and put it one spot to count later. The discard/donate process went fairly quickly, it was reorganizing and …

Day 78 & 79: Homeownership

December 30, 2014:  Buying the House We spent Christmas in Destin. We knew we were supposed to close on the house before the new year, we just didn’t know quite when and what the entire process would look like. In retrospect, we really didn’t have a great realtor. The entire process was poorly coordinated and rushed, in order to finish before the new year. Our realtor, who should’ve been on “our side” was incredibly flippant with us as clients, cursorily explaining things to us, not making crystal clear the timing and deadlines for making requests from the seller. It was probably because we’re young, first time homeowners, who she wasn’t going to make a lot of money off of, so she just didn’t really care about doing a good job. Maybe we should’ve done our homework better–we thought we were doing our due diligence, and we discussed things with my parents as we went along, but New Orleans is a special place in terms of issues that come up in houses so we realized after it was all done that we definitely should’ve …

Day 63: Back to School

December 15, 2014 After much mulling over the situation of how we would get Efrem’s college transcripts verified by any of those companies requiring they be sent directly from the school (which was really the issue given how uncooperative the officials at the school in Joburg had been in the past to students that weren’t South African), we decided to go check out Delgado to see what we could do there. We figured he’d have to enroll in Delgado regardless, because he hadn’t taken college-level English or Math in Johannesburg, which was a requirement to enroll at SUNO as a transfer student. We got to there and were directed to the international office. The lady was rather dry, but at least she had some pretty good news for us. Efrem could enroll as a freshman and avoid the entire issue of the transfer student confusion, and with his Visa status, would be eligible for an in-state tuition waiver! We would still need to get his high school diploma and transcripts verified, but she told us …