Smiles. Laughs. Dances.

“My 2019 is going to be about Smiles. Laughs. Dances,” I declared to myself on the 6th of January. The declaration was part of the #BuhleAt44 countdown.

So today I turned 44. A whole four decades and four years. I’m excited.

I’ll try to reflect on my life and the things I love. It’s not every day that I get to do this but my birthday is extra special to me. It is one day of the year where I am super excited about the gift of life. By the way, I don’t know anyone else who takes her birthday as seriously as I do. I am a January baby. I was born in the one month of the year where people are recovering from the festive season and trying to find their feet. It’s certainly not a popular month but it is my special month and the14th is my very, very special day.

What better way to celebrate my special day than to do the things I love?

I love camera-photo-pictures. They are my way of making memories. They are a reminder of one thing, person, event or other. Growing up our family tradition was to have photo sessions during the August holidays. I looked forward to wearing my Sunday best dresses with my white socks that had dolls on the side. I enjoyed dressing up. In my next life I am going to work in the fashion business. One holiday the film developed a problem (“Ifilimu itshile”, the cameraman said) and we lost all the photographs. Needless to say, I was devastated after all those poses where I was holding my waist. I felt like I had invested a lot of time in preparing for the shoot.

I have decided to carry on my family tradition by having birthday photo shoots. My 44th birthday shoot was in Bulawayo. The talented @kbmpofu created magic with his magic lens. The shoot made me happy. Just like dancing does.

I love dancing. I am happiest when I am dancing.

I keep saying I will dance whenever I have the chance because some day my feet won’t let me. Now that I’m well on the other side of 40 I am all too aware of this possibility. As far as I am concerned, I am a good dancer because my mother says so. I believe her. I mean she has no reason to lie…

Dancing is a significant part of my #HappinessCorner. This is my personal space, which I go to when I need a break from it all. Just the other day there was a fuel price increase and I immediately said to myself we are on our way back to 2008. The thought stressed me out because 2008 signified hyper- inflation and shortage of basic commodities. I do not want to go back there. So my #HappinessCorner helps me to escape, even for a moment. It allows to come up for air when I feel like I am about to drown in life’s numerous ups and downs.

As I turn 44 I have made a conscious decision to celebrate and be happy. I’ll be in my #HappinessCorner the whole day and I’ll only leave on the 15th or the next day. Why should I rush to face the realities of Government policies that appear to be designed to make my life even more difficult than it already is? Or deal with the life lessons that I am not always willing to learn? I have the rest of the year to do that. Today I will smile, laugh and dance.

Any words of wisdom from this 44 year old?

Not quite, but I would like to share a few things with younger women (it feels really good to say younger women, by the way. I’m one of the adults).

  • You deserve to be happy.
  • You are the main actress in the story of your life. Act like one.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself/ Be kinder to yourself.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith sometimes.
  • Don’t have a pity party that lasts more than two days.
  • Learn to forgive yourself.
  • Learn to put yourself first sometimes. It’s worth it.
  • Sometimes your best is just not good enough. That’s ok.
  • People change and so do you. Live with it.
  • Always tell your truth. Own it.

I am excited to be at the crease with 44 not out and still going. I’m ready to face whatever life bowls at me. I am ready to face both fast and spin bowlers. I don’t want to be run out just yet.

I am grateful to God for my life. It is not perfect by any standards but I do have some good days. I pray for more good days in 2019. I pray for more smiles than frowns.

When I die, may they say “Here lies a woman who smiled, laughed and danced.”


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