This is an exciting week because today this blog starts its third year. I can’t believe I’ve posted something every Friday for you folks for the last two years. (Well, apart from the Christmas and New Year Fridays where I blamed lack of Wi-Fi for the location I was at those times). It has been a journey with highs and lows. Highs when the creative juices are on overflow and low when it seems there’s an airlock in the creative pipe and I have to embrace boredom and blankness.
Sometimes I worry about how long I will survive. Writing till the end of my 40s and maybe even having enough inspiration to share my journey on the fifth floor when I get there. Perhaps I should ask my friends Bikozulu and Charles Gacheru of the Golf Talk column on Business Daily who have written for more than ten years for their siri ya urembo as far as writing goes. My consistency hero is Dr. Yusuf Dawood who recently retired his pen after having his Surgeon’s Diary article on every Sunday Nation for forty years. I think Nation should deliver a paper to him daily free of charge for the rest of his life as a small token of appreciation.
The other reason why this week is special is that it’s my birthday week and I am now halfway in my forties. As I look back over the last five years I see mostly confusion, desperation and intense discomfort. It’s like I was being buried so as to be resurrected as Lucas reloaded (or more like reprogrammed). I have shared with you folks what that has been like. Thank you for allowing me to vent on and on with no end in sight. So far, the anxiety has been slowly replaced with hope and excitement for what lies ahead. All the dots are not joined yet but that does not bother me as much as it used to before. I feel I can trust the process more now and that enables me to be more present.
of acceptance that I don’t have and can’t be in control all the time. It has also taken that long to be sure that my future is in public service though I’m still not sure what exactly that will look like. It will unfold fully this year. That’s my position and I stand by it. I recently heard that one’s calling is hidden in plain view. I think the view becomes plain and clear in hindsight. From my journey that calling has been hidden far away. At least identifying what it is. All I sensed was what it might involve but not what it is.
Now that I have five more years to exit the fourth floor, I can’t help but wonder what the second half of my second half transition will look like. I now appreciate the wilderness I’ve been through. It’s been the military training I needed. Now I can prepare to graduate and get into the war zone of life and impact.
All I want for the next five years (or less) is to get clear, get free and get going. I’m pretty clear on what I want to spend my life doing going forward but I long to finally identify exactly how it will come to life. It’s like being sure I want to go shags but I’m at the bus stop wondering if it’s a matatu, bus, cab or even truck that will show up to take me there. As I look back I can now admit that going through the wilderness was the preparation I needed to qualify for a life of deep significance and meaning. Life has more meaning when we loosen our grip on it.
William James said, “Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for the practice.” Hate is a strong word to describe being involved in my events business but I haven’t enjoyed running it as much as I did pre-40. The exit from my business has been much slower than I anticipated. But as my mum has reminded me severally, until I get a better source of income, I have no choice but to keep my shop open. My staff has stepped up and that has allowed me to put one foot outside as the other remains inside. To my surprise, this period has allowed me to look at my business through different lenses of using my networks to get work while the team executes. I think I’m finally working on my business instead of in the business. Let’s see what unfolds in that space over the next few years. I hope to get free very soon.
Thirdly and most importantly is to get going. I believe I have been going over the last five years but for the next five, I want to get going faster. I want to be more intentional on sensing and following the opportunities that come my way as far as my public service calling is concerned. Some people have asked me if I want to be a mheshimiwa when I talk of public service. I had those ambitions once but not anymore. I want to use my speaking, influence, and experience to impact and serve with the sole aim of improving people’s lives and communities. And of course, make a living from it. That’s my mission statement going forward.
Folks at halftime, especially those of you have chosen to dig deep in search of your reason for being on earth, I salute you this day. If life was a meal you are the aromat that enhances its taste. I honor you for resisting the temptation to give up and retreat to mediocrity corner. If you did that you would have denied us the opportunity to be beneficiaries of the treasures deposited in you by our creator.
I look forward to the next half of my forties and allow me to invite you to join my clarion call going forward; let us not trade what is priceless for what is valuable.