By Uche Amunike
Just a few weeks ago, the entire country was agog with preparations for the yuletide. It’s really surprising the way Nigerians prepare for the Christmas and New Year Holidays. No matter how tough the times are, there’s always enough space made for these preparations.
In the metropolitan city of Onitsha, the traffic situation was something else. There was this craziness about the entire highway and streets in the town. As a matter of fact, a lot of people stopped leaving their homes with their cars during that period because of the frustration experienced while driving.
Again, going to the major markets to shop for either food stuff or other things was also very frustrating because of the number of Christmas shoppers and how the enormity of the shopping made prices escalate. Shopping malls became an alternative for most people who didn’t have the energy to go through the exhaustive ordeal of shopping in the major markets.
So whether you shopped in ShopRite, or Roban Stores in Awka, or even the New Radopin Supermarket commissioned during the peak of preparations for the yuletide, you were definitely sure to meet a long queue at the payment spots. Yeah!!! It’s all about the Christmas holidays!!! I almost forgot to mention the crazy traffic at the Niger Bridge that connects Delta State to Anambra State.
These are some of the major problems encountered by the Igbo People who come down in their numbers during the yuletide to spend Christmas in their hometowns. Most times people drive all the way down from Lagos and make it to the bridge in 6 hours only to spend another 3 hours just crossing over from Delta State to Anambra State.
A whole lot of other travellers avoid the hazards involved in travelling by road these days, especially concerning the fulani bandits who attack travelers and then decide to travel by air. Funny enough, they end up making it to the Asaba Airport in 45mins, only to spend hours on the Niger Bridge just to get home.
God bless the outgoing Governor of Anambra State for building the gargantuan airport in Umuleri, thereby saving lots of people from the stress of being stuck in the crazy gridlock at the Niger Bridge on their way from the airport.
In all, I thank God for his guidance and protection throughout the holiday. I also thank him for providing for many families who lost hope of having a memorable holiday, owing to the hard times. It was really nice seeing people share gifts to the less privileged in society, thereby giving them the opportunity to have that feel of the Christmas season. May God bless them and refill their purses, through Christ our Lord, Amen.
Thankfully, the holiday is over and life has gone back to normal. Most schools are to resume on Monday and that of course means that by now, their school fees should have all been paid. Major markets in the state are also to open for business from Monday. Officially the holidays are over!
This is the time to start life all over again in the year 2022. It’s time to begin saving again for the rainy day. It is a time to take stock of how the Christmas Holiday was spent to know if wise decisions were made or the other way round. A lot of people borrowed money in order to ‘enjoy’ the Christmas Holiday.
It is now time to pay back. Since today, is not a time to make money, I hope such people have found the means to raise such borrowed funds and fulfill their promises of paying back after Christmas. For men who committed one atrocity or the other in order to make money with which to show off during the yuletide, I’m just wondering what’s the way forward for them now. Was it worth it? Are you filled with regrets? I really do wonder!
I believe this is that time of the year when we all look back and see how we made bad decisions and decide to be better people in the new year by correcting them. It’s not enough to make New Year resolutions that we know we are not ready to keep. It’s best for us to be filled with the determination to be better people in 2022. For me, that works better than making resolutions I won’t have the power to fulfill.
It is the time to build on our strengths and make our lives and society better. This the time to decide how to carry out our tasks at home and even in our workplaces. It’s also a time for us to decide to be better wives, husbands, friends and siblings in our different families as the case may be.
It is a good time for us to decide to be better Christians. One of my cousins told me just yesterday that her 2022 new year resolution is that she will never miss morning Masses ever again. I told her it was a good plan but that it is also better always better to have achievable resolutions.
What would have made more sense was to say that she would try to have a relationship with God than she did in the previous year. When you have a better relationship with God, you are better equipped with the Grace to do the right things in your spiritual life which includes attending morning Masses as regularly as possible.
It’s also good to pray together as a family every day, visit sick people in the hospital and pray for them, as much as possible, giving alms, etc.
On my part however, I have decided to improve in my prayer life, smile more, complain less about bad situations, call my friends more than I do, presently. You know, just give my friends a call, just to ask them how they’re doing. I haven’t been doing well in that area and intend to improve on it. I also intend to forgive more and stay more positive about the things that bother me.
The best things in life are free. That shows you the simplicity of life. Life should really be simple and lived with no worries, because God always has a way of taking care of everything. I also intend to shine my light wherever I find myself and not wait for perfect moments to shine them. There shouldn’t be perfect moments because of how short life is. Every moment should count. That is why it’s necessary to live everyday as though it will be the last.
This is the time to find out your value. Do an appraisal, if u will.
It’s a time to set standards and raise them every day in other to be successful and gain significance. Personal standards are principles on which we build our expectations. This means that if you do not know your value, you will end up selling yourself cheap.
It’s a new year and life goes on, so when you set your standards it helps you harness your potentials so that people will meet you at that point. It’s time to do something new. It’s time to identify yourself and your purpose. It’s time to create a legacy that will leave you with no choice than to make the conscious decision to destroy limits and fulfil your purpose.
This is a new year and we are lucky to have crossed over, unlike so many people who died in the year 2021. Life is worth living well. Remember to define how you want to live the Year 2022. It’s a personal decision.
I want to wish everybody who is reading this piece all the best, as we begin the year with all the hope and determination it deserves.
We shall all be conquerors in the new year and we shall be impactful in our families, society, workplaces and business areas, by His Grace. We shall continue to encounter favour and destiny helpers through life’s journey. We shall not mourn this year. We shall live to testify the goodness of the Lord in our lives and families. This is my prayer. This is my song!!! Welcome back to the year 2022!!!