The past two weeks have had transition highlights for me. Last week I moderated the silver fox event at Karen country club. I still get nervous when holding the mic but maybe that’s ok to keep me grounded and open to continuous improvement. I took some medicine from one of John Maxwell’s books to reduce the nervousness. He says that we get over ourselves by being ourselves. Folks, we cannot be authentic if we are not being ourselves. I tried to push away the imposter syndrome that was threatening to mess up the vibe for that evening. I even had to wear some brightly coloured happy socks to keep me in the zone hehe.
This was the first of such events. The club GM and his team felt we should try it to increase member patronage. Transitions being my pet subject, I was asked to moderate. It was a runaway success. Kweli men don’t have many safe spaces where they can fungua roho. If we got forty foxes (not wababaz please) to attend then we will have done well. Guess what? Eighty-three men confirmed attendance and seventy-three showed up.
Men hurt privately so this was like a therapy session for many. It was a deep evening indeed and I was delighted to use my gift of speaking and my knowledge of transitions to serve others. The guys asked for more of such sessions and that was music to my ears. Why? because I get excited when folks react to the smouldering discontent within them and give their next season a chance. And conversations on handling transitions nudge us to consider what’s next and hopefully get out of our comfort zones.
This week was another huge transition in my household. My baby sharks are growing fast. We had two graduations at the end of the last academic term in July. One from kindergarten and her sister from prep school. When they were born I named the first one the heir to my estate and my after-40 baby now in year one is the pride of my estate. I was a proud dad when I returned from Kili. We even had to take photos in their gowns to remember both milestones. Plus of course, as evidence that they graduated should they seek public office in future hehe.
New levels new devils, the saying goes. But I’ll change it here because it relates to my totos. New levels new requirements. We spent the last few days before school opened shopping since they are going to a new grade that requires a different uniform. They have grown over the summer holidays so my son’s school pants look like he is going for a Michael Jackson concert with white socks haha.
I remember the day I became a dad like it was jana. And here we are advancing in school and life. Mummy shark and I are trying to revive the school holidays as we knew them. We shipped the kids to shags. Well, theres is in Nairobi with hot showers, Wi-Fi and a mall nearby. Lucky fellows. Whenever we went shags with my siblings we would return to the city like legends from war. Smelling of smoke and red soil, eyes red and sore stung by the smoke in grandma’s kitchen and scars from safari ant bites on our legs. But the feasting on red plums, kienyeji chicken and full cream cow milk made up for the tough times.
This last school holiday our home had an eerie silence when the kids were at Cucus. Just me and mummy shark in the house. Initially, I missed my small people because I find us a good mess. But after the first day, I was happy about the break. I remember telling my best man recently that I’m looking forward to them leaving the nest and flying off to make their dent in the universe. Then I can finally move to Nanyuki and live a life of coaching as I do photo safaris in magical Kenya. I’ll just need to upgrade my camping to glamping for my dear wife to agree to come along hehe.
Getting my baby sharks new school uniforms got me thinking about how we need to have a new look when getting into new seasons of life. Hardly will past uniforms or practices do in a new phase of life. They will be worn out at the least and we will have outgrown them. New levels will require new uniforms in form of new thinking and skills.
Good transitions also involve handing down stuff we no longer need to those behind us for their benefit. Successful transitions therefore should benefit not just us but others. Bob Buford defined success as using your knowledge and experience to satisfy yourself. While significance is using your knowledge and experience to change the lives of others. That was the case at home. Bobo got some stuff from her sister that fitted her when she was younger. The small-size uniforms are useless to my older girl but come in handy for my little princess. Do we have skills or knowledge that we no longer need, use or find important? Maybe it’s time we passed them on to those who need them thus creating space for new thinking and abilities. That’s what a successful transition looks like in uniform. It helps us grow and help others at the same time.
I look forward to the next graduation.