Yearly Recap: 2018- The One Where Everything Changed


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I did my first yearly recap in 2013 and it is with great excitement that I rummage through my mind and distill the beauty that 2018 brought for me! 2018 was certainly a year where I grew a lot- literally, figuratively, in every way. I also became so much more mature… I feel like it’s the year where I finally knew and accepted myself… warts and all!!! And for me, that makes it excellent! Enjoy my journey through 2018 below:

Here goes! My Yearly Recap for 2018

1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?

I lived in a different country for 3 months! It was amazing!!! I always say in my ideal life, I will work actively for only 6 months in a year! The other 6 months in the year, I will live in my home in Tuscany, sit on my table which overlooks the beach and write my books. In those 6 months, while I am not actively working, I am consulting and doing advisory work for the Boards of Fortune 500 companies on which I sit and promoting the work of my NGO which focuses on the plight of disadvantaged children all over the world!!!

All of these will happen but it’s not yet my reality. I haven’t actually had the privilege or financial muscle (yet) to take 6 months off work and travel, but 2018 afforded me the chance to take 3 and for me it cemented the reality of my dreams!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

If you know me at all, I am a goal setting person. Not necessarily resolutions. I set goals and know what I want to achieve when. BUT in 2018, I didn’t set even one goal!!!! You know why? In November 2017, I found out I was pregnant!!! This was after almost 10 years of hoping for another baby, being diagnosed with things like secondary infertility, being told by Doctors that my hormonal profile was post menopausal and suffering great heartbreak at the thought that this child I so badly wanted, I would never get!

So imagine my “fear”, not joy, when I found out I was pregnant! I had gone to the Doctors because I was unwell. The Doctor had mentioned stress, said I wasn’t sleeping well, was going to put me on lexotan and the like. It was at that point that the medical director of the hospital I use walked into our consultation. He asked if we had done a pregnancy test. In my usual, I know it all way, I said “nah!!! It’s not that, I have secondary infertility”. The younger Doctor mentioned my age and hormonal profile and the M.D. said, I should humour him and take the test. I actually did it only out of respect for him, but I felt he was wasting my time! Only for 30 minutes later, the results came out and Yaay!!! I was pregnant!

You would think I’d be elated! I was! But it was like a flash! Immediately, the Doctor started to use words like “geriatric pregnancy”, started to prescribe rest and the like… and of course my own mind went into orbit, I had suffered a miscarriage in the past, so in self preservation mode (instead of faith), I thought “don’t get your hopes up, you may have gotten pregnant, but you may not stay so”… and I would really like to say this feeling was fleeting and I arose in faith like the “child of God” that I am, and celebrated the miracle, but no… it would take almost the first 5 months of waking up from sleep in almost a cold sweat to check that “it” was still there to come to terms with the fact that “it” was still there!!!! Except you saw me, I didn’t say. I was afraid to get my hopes and that of others up… In the photo in red above, I was 5 months pregnant. My friend Ugochi John took the photo and it was one of the only photos I would let someone take of me in that time, I wanted another child so badly… so that when the promise of it came, I couldn’t release myself to enjoy it!

Don’t judge me o! So that I don’t get all up in your business too! Don’t we all do this to different degrees? You hope and pray for that great job, you spend time looking for it and when you do get it and get the offer you are hoping for, you start to feel like a “fraud”. Like they will find out you are not good enough! Or after several bad relationships, Mr. Right Guy is now here, he has nothing but great intentions, wants to treat you like a Queen but your brain immediately starts to ask “what does he want?! He must be too good to be true” and you start to sabotage the very thing you wanted…

Okay, that’s settled, we all do it in various degrees! But I am so glad God is merciful, I prayed so much… “God forgive me, I love You. I am grateful, please help me preserve this gift you have given me! I promise to be a good Mummy with Your help… please keep us”… no long prayers, just small hopeful ones daily!!! And God did exceeding abundantly…

About 5 months in this photo! Pregnancy glow up!


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I did!!!!!! Yaay!!!! If you know that Nigerian song “pop pop pop, pop champagne”, stop and sing it here! LOL!!!!! I did!!! God is a promise keeper! He gives beauty for ashes!!! When He answers prayers, all the years of waiting and of pain become like nothing! You even thank God for them because they make the answer sweeter!!!

My amazing first born son! Prayer partner- he had been praying for a younger sister since he was 3! He was with me when I went into labour and stayed in the ward till he was asked to leave! No body wanted the poor kid traumatised, LOL!

Babe! She was stunning from minute 1! I prayed for a daughter and God gave me a Princess!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no. I will not have news in this regard anytime soon- maybe for another 90 years… (LOL)

5. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?

After dealing with that fear in 2018, walking the tightrope of balancing between hope and fear… in 2019, I want to have and enjoy more joy! Truly my laugh is easier now, I sing more!!! I have let go. In all that time I really learnt that most things are not up to me! This is not in the sense of not taking responsibility! It’s just, life happens and I have come to know that life always happens for my good, in spite of the delays, pain and unmet expectations. In fact without them, how will I grow?! I am so grateful for all my pains now, so I laugh easier and louder! I am joyful and I don’t worry or plan as much… I have always believed but now sort of know it with every fibre of my being that “all creation is working to favour me”…

I want to hold this feeling and be aware of it as long as God gives me life!

7. What dates from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 2nd! It’s the day I had my daughter! But also because my son made it so interesting. I woke up in the morning and started to get breakfast and then my water broke! I told my son who was with me in the house, my Mum was in her room praying! The next thing I see him zig zagging the house, ran from my room to hers, ran back to me and said what do “we” do. I said we have a plan remember?! He brings me my phone, and together we start to send messages to his Uncle, the Doctor, his Auntie Tomiwa and all the people we had said we would call. He moves my hospital bag to the door, checks my handbag for my passport and keys. Tells me to have breakfast because I wouldn’t be able to eat soon and generally becomes a little super hero.

By evening after I had put to bed, he could be heard in several conversations referring to it as “our labour!” LOL! God is awesome and I was blessed with the most special most considerate Doctor, friends, family and circumstances around this birth experience!

2nd June is also special, because post birth, I had a life threatening haemorrhage and had to be rushed to the ICU… so I feel like I also got another chance at life! And I am determined to live it fully and love it thoroughly!!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Everything!!! LOL!

9. What was your biggest failure?
No failure. Only feedback. And because it was such a contemplative year for me, I focused on me. I focused on solving the problem of me, not others. I took a Bible class called “Masterlife”, which helped me examine issues like pride, anger, resentment, unforgiveness and where I had relied on me, my own understanding and my expectations instead of God, His timing and His plan. 2018 was humbling for me- I had no goals or grandiose plans, but in terms of provision and God taking care of me and mine, He did it in outstanding ways! Is there a word such as splendiferous? (I don’t know what it means, but it seems like the right word for how majestic the year was). I say humbling because I finally saw how little all my strivings contributed to anything! God did amazing and took care of me without any of the usual help I so eagerly gave Him in the past!

Even regarding my business, having been the way I was in the initial stages of being pregnant, I thought, I will enjoy this child! I won’t start worrying about provision for her, won’t spend too much time pursuing money, I will just “hold” her close! That year, business thrived! My friend Ayotomi asked me to join her in a collaboration, we took a store with 5 other female owned businesses! It was amazing! Someone else was relocating, she wanted to sell all her imported candles supplies and packaging materials (this is me who didn’t import a thing for my business that year) and she wanted to sell them off to me at give away prices because she said I had helped her when she was making mistakes with her candles, I had shown her what to do. I don’t recall the incident but there I was totally sorted by God when I couldn’t sort myself out!

I guess in 2018, I finally understood grace!!!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Thankfully no.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Masterlife Course. I did it at Guiding Light Assembly. It was worth the time and money (a very small amount for the books which is refunded by GLA if you finish the course). I continued online when I was away.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Travel and keeping a home away from home. I wanted to add cute baby girl clothes but I honestly got such an avalanche of gifts for this Princess that I can’t claim to have got them myself.

13. What did you get really excited about?
Life itself!

14. What song will always remind you of 2018?

So so many. Oceans and What a beautiful name by Hillsong. Hosanna by Israel Houghton and of course “In my feelings” by Drake… I was trying to get my son to do the Kiki Challenge (is that what it was called? I forget, geriatric and all… LOL)… I was trying to get him to do the challenge with me but he kept saying “no” which made me dance to it all the time to annoy him. So that was fun!

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

– happier or sadder? Happier! Thank God! Though I prefer joyful to happier…
– thinner or fatter? Hmmm, a little slimmer…
– richer or poorer? Let’s put it this way, I have created value.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Enjoyed being pregnant. Done a pregnancy photo shoot. Though my friends ensured I got great photos by organising a baby shower for me.

Dear Ugochi doesn’t have her wig in this picture because I literally snatched it off and put it on my head! These ladies surprised me! My eyes were swollen from uncried tears!
My Sister who somehow raided my wardrobe and got me to the venue without giving me a clue.
I was shocked! If you know me, my shock is calm… I am not overly dramatic but these ladies touched my soul! And I am a loyal person. I don’t forget a kindness! I am forever in their debt!

17. What do you wish you had done less of?

Worried less! I wish I had kicked fear in the butt! My current favourite song is “no longer slaves”. It says “I am no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.” It says God split the sea so I could walk right through it. My fears are drowned in perfect love…

I step boldly in 2019, boldly, gracefully, easily, without fuss! Ain’t no body got time for fear! God has got this!

18. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly, with family.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Billions! Big Bang Theory!

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
My Story by Jo Malone CBE

I loved the book so much, I made candles to complement it!

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Every thing from Hillsong

22. What was your favorite film of the year?
Black Panther for all it represents and Crazy Rich Asians, because now I have to visit Singapore.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was at work. I actually treat my birthday as my personal new year, so I spend a lot of time being quiet before it- praying listening planning! It’s my last birthday in my 30’s so I kept trying to enjoy it and not let my joy at the thought of 40 and all the things I have hoped for concerning it, over shadow this birthday!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing. I love life, with its issues and all.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

I don’t know, I was pregnant and hot jo!!!

26. What kept you sane?
Hope! My son! Hope! My Mum who took 3 months out of her life to stay with pregnant me and help with the baby when she came! Great family and friends! Finding a good church family while we were away.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.

God loves you! Rest in that!

Shalom people! May 2019 be beautiful for you.

I would like to say a big thank you to my younger sister, Iesha Momoh who saw this recap online, on the blogs of  Rage Against the Minivan and  All and Sundry and thought I should do a re-cap, myself. It has always brought me a sense of enjoyment and that after reading mine, you could also do yours and share links to your post with us!

9 replies to “Yearly Recap: 2018- The One Where Everything Changed

  1. Hello Hajara! This post is truly inspiring. I kept wondering why your musings weren’t coming regularly but this re-cap explains it all.
    Your 2018 is a testimony of God’s faithfulness. I was blessed while reading it and I refuse to be ungrateful and walk away without leaving a comment.
    Thanks be to God for your bundle of Joy and your heroic first born son and everyone who supported your journey.
    God indeed loves us and that’s all that matters. I rest on this knowledge.
    Have a splendiferous (I luv the word) 2019.

    More grace!!!
    Celine.

  2. You’re such a wonderful writer, with great command of the language, whether used formally or loosely. Like daughter like mother. May the Lord’s countenance continue to shine upon your family. I enjoyed every line of the Recap. Wondering if I can really sit down to do one someday. Lol. Wishing you a blissful action packed 2019.

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