We have worked hard throughout the year. We have woken up early and paid school fees and kept roofs over our families’ heads. We have taken care of our mothers and supported our fathers. We made time in our busy schedule to travel to bury relatives after contributing to the funeral arrangements.
We voted and paid our taxes to the Government of Kenya. We have not stolen anyone’s property or dipped our hands in anyone’s cookie jar. We have respected the rule of law and tried as much as possible to walk away from evil. We have been good men. Largely. The sins we have committed, we have committed only because we are flesh and we are blood, humans with faulty parts as only humans can be.
Now we are here and it’s December and the period of hedonism is upon us, gentlemen. It’s time to reward ourselves because if we wait to be rewarded it will be another December and then another one and before long, we will have younger guys stand up to offer us seats. The world keeps taking from us and it’s about time we replenished our bank. Here are things you can do to reward yourself for being a trooper this year.
Yes. The first rule of fulfilment is to give someone who has much less than you. Give to a children's home and not just one near your shags. In fact, give to a children’s home in an area that isn’t of similar political persuasion to yours. The smiles they will give, the joy they will exude is a lot more fulfilling than the joy you will bring to a table when you offer to buy another bottle of whisky for the boys who will slap you on the back and call you “mkurugenzi.”
Now take what’s yours. And what you can take is time. Women now go to spas and on out-of-town retreats with their girlfriends where they drink and have afternoon naps and get massages and gossip at sunset with big goblets of wine in their hands. In contrast, our idea of a treat is to sit in bars every weekend, eating nyama choma and drinking beer. Obviously they are getting much more from life than we are. So, take time and spend it without someone shouting, “Na hiyo nyama inatolewa Laikipia?”
I saw a friend’s FB picture of him camping near Lake Naivasha and I texted him, “Are you doing research?” He said he was camping. Camping?! “You have become an Oreo!” [Black outside, white inside.] He said, “You will all go through this life in resounding loudness, but the day you will discover the beauty of nature and outdoors, you will discover what peace is.” I rolled my eyes but deep down I know the white man in me will try this out this December. Have you?
Prayer of gratitude.
He’s gracious. He’s generous. He’s kind. But He doesn’t need to be. God doesn’t owe us anything but he keeps giving and looking away when we are being ungrateful and undeserving and pompous and whiny and entitled and selfish. So take time to at least step into a place of religion this season and say thanks before the year ends. Any place really, but preferably the type where people kneel down because I always find the humility of going on your knees for the God authentic. But you can also go to those that dance lingala. I suspect that God is a great Lingala dancer Himself.
Purchase something that only makes sense to you. Our women never understand the things we buy for ourselves because they want us to buy things that make sense (to them). I once bought a sporty blue and red wallet that I thought I’d use for the weekend. I did that twice and got bored of changing the contents of my wallets. I felt like how women always say, “Oh, I must have forgotten it in my other bag.” That purchase was questioned, mocked and misunderstood but it didn’t matter; it was a bad decision but it gave me a good feeling. It’s like eating chocolate. So get yourself something this season. It could even be a walking stick with a golden handle. You will never use it but nobody said you should. You bought it because you wanted it at that time and it brought you joy. So do something for yourself and show the world the finger.
Yes, in the afternoons. Door locked. Phone off. Pants off. Leave the window open, and feel the curtains flatter in the breeze. Research shows that a daytime nap that lasts between 15 and 90 minutes can improve brain functions ranging from memory to focus and creativity. God knows we all need a better brain function, as a nation.
Clear your calendar.
I was looking at my calendar on my phone from January to now and it’s amazing how busy and important it looked with not so much to show for it. We wake up and we even before we have tied our laces we are already running to make ends meet and we never stop to catch our breaths. Even when we are asleep we are awake, thinking of the next thing to do, the next money to make, the next idea to pursue, deadlines, debts, bills, fears, insecurities... hamsters on a wheel. Clear your calendar for two weeks and you will discover, rather shockingly, that the world will not crash because your calendar is empty. Wake up and have no plan at all.