It's practically the end of the year already! And I imagine our New Year Resolutions (or whatever we call them these days) with their exciting, pop-music-style-highs have started to morph into a Reggae-like limbos. When current realities set in and the holiday/ new year exuberance gives way to everyday busyness, the euphoria tends to wane. With each passing day, those lofty goals start to seem like mountains needing more exertion than we think we can muster. Take it easy, it's only normal. When I started this blog towards the end of last year, I was psyched, still am. Lots of ideas coursed through my mind and sleep, repeatedly. But these days,like you, I'm looking at my schedule and wondering how I could fit in all I have to do. I started to grumble to myself about how exhausted I am already. I have, however, realized something in the last few days. That something is likely to set the tone for the rest of the year. It's simple really, and it's no revelation. It is, in fact, a reminder. If you are stressed, check it, you are most likely blessed! If your schedule is overwhelming leaving you no time to rest and catch your breath, you must have a whole lot going on. What's more, those things are good. You have a lot going on, because you are blessed in diverse ways. Truth be told, not too many people can make this claim. Think about it, your current realities are, thousands of miles from those of the Syrian refugees and displaced persons. A respected speaker once said, every level has its devils. Simply put, each of us live with his own unique set of challenges irrespective of his station. You may walk past a BMW and think : "Wow, the owner of this ride is on top of the world". Maybe. But can you imagine what it must cost him to maintain that ride? From the initial capital outlay to the regular servicing, to the purchase of parts when the unexpected happens. I can't even imagine the level of care he needs to take in driving it. Don't forget the necessary top-of-the range security system installed in the car and the one in his subconscious at all times. He would think twice before driving it to his hometown or stopping by the roadside to buy and enjoy some of Africa's simple pleasures - roasted corn or plantains! What's more, he cannot even afford to buy fuel just anywhere (especially if he lives in this part of the world). Substandard fuel has been known to mess with such cars. Do not even get me started on private jet, mansion and yacht owners. Initial purchase, maintenance, staff, utilities,security, and insurance are only a few of the things to deal with. It's not enough to own these luxuries, there are financial,mental,physical operating costs attached. So, their blessings come with commensurate levels of pressure! Have you ever wondered why marriage can be so tough? It's simply because it's a hugely beneficial venture, so is having kids, so is anything worth doing or having in life. So, here's my point really... Suck it up, you are blessed man or woman,one way or the other. If you don't have a car, you have a job,if you don't have a job,you have family,if you don't have a family, you have a life, if you don't have a life...... you are reading this,aren't you? God always blesses us with something and each of those things come with responsibilities. To whom much is given, much is expected. Blessings come attached with an amazing phenomenon called RESPONSIBILITY. So what do you do? Create a coping mechanism for the responsibilities that come with your blessings so you can make the most of them. If you practically live in traffic because you reside in Lagos, New York or London,get some Bible on CD, motivational CDs and Audio books playing. Drive time can become learning and empowerment time. Or just listen to some music,it's always refreshing. If you are a career woman/busy mom like me, get a system and a routine that works for you. Learn to let some things go at each phase of your life. You may not be able to work full time, get an MBA, lose weight and take salsa classes when your child is still a few months old, you will need to pace yourself. You can mope under the pressure all you want or build a lifestyle that allows you achieve your goals. If your new year resolutions are looking like impossibilities, build a CONSISTENT system around them, shed some activities E.g non-stop snacking, watching TV for hours daily, chatting on BBM for no reason. Please, sell your house on Instagram, some people live there! If you SINCERELY don't like something about your life and you believe it is at variance with your destiny, change it (Not your spouse ohhhhh!!!!). Remember, the scariest, most difficult and painful experiences make the most inspiring stories (wink) for people to learn from. Get a system and enjoy your blessings to the fullest. Sorry, this post isn't about beauty but I did say,at the beginning that life is made up of many beautiful things beyond the typical definitions we are used to. Your many 'stresses' are blessings showing up in form of responsibilities. Embrace them and realize your life is beautiful, because someone out there is desperate for what you are complaining about. Thank you for visiting God Bless Ayodotun

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