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Living Quarterly Reviews

How I Have Had The Best First Quarter, Despite The Pandemic

Sometime in the middle of January 2020, a heartwarming thought coursed its way through my mind: ‘If I live every year the way I have lived this year so far, I would have a consistently great year and life.’ At the time, I was moving in the direction of my goals for 2020 and it was a delight to see and feel.

By the end of the first week of February, however, I found that I did not feel as great anymore. I had failed in some areas and was beginning to beat myself up and feel like a failure overall. Thankfully, I took on a little exercise of self-appraisal, documenting in ink and paper my wins and losses regardless of their size. My failures were evident and so were the wins that stood gingerly beside them.

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There is a philosophy for living that works when you think about your limitations, and I applied that. I asked myself for each of the setbacks, ‘Can you do something about this?’ and went further to ask ‘What?’ then outline them and begin the steps. Shifting my attention to my wins and the possible solutions to my failures lifted my spirit. In areas I fell short, I accepted my failing and resolved to do better. You can tell that at the start of March, I ensured I didn’t repeat the observable mistakes of February.

Some Wins

Passing IELTS: I should have written my IELTS in December of 2019, or early January 2020, but delays I couldn’t help came into the picture and that goal could not be checked until February 2020. Thankfully, I wrote the exam once and aced it, and was glad that I could move onto the next thing.

National Service: My NYSC year went into full swing on my return from the Christmas break. Rather than focus on all the less pleasurable things about it, I resolved to find something to commit my time, passion and talent to and get some satisfaction from. This has been successful in some ways, and in some other ways, it’s still a mission in progress.

An upside of NYSC is how it is rekindling my interest in and love for Public health. I spoke on the radio to sensitize Ondo state residents on Lassa fever and joined my colleagues in the market to raise awareness for same. I found it both sad and shocking that people do not believe sicknesses that are of public health concern and would rather attribute them to “our sins” and “enemies.”

Annie Ejiofor Radio sensitisation for Lassa fever in

 – Orange FM, Akure.

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Annie Ejiofor creating awareness for Lassa fever

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– At the largest market in Akure South L.G.A, Ondo state – Oja Oba (The King’s Market)

Spirituality: My Christian life has been on fleek! I could count on both hands the total number of times I went to church last year. Having to work on Sunday or overnight on Saturday could explain my absence on some days, on the others, my excuses (if I had any) were not plausible. The few times I went though, I was reminded of the importance of fellowship – it can keep you on course and strengthened. I am glad that I found a wonderful church in my new city.

Finances: My most important goal for 2020 was probably related to finances. I may have mastered the art of making and managing my money, but I needed to take it to the level; to learn about and invest my money in order to multiply it. Up until now, this has been successful but I am yet to and need to create an additional income source for myself. I am hopeful that I will succeed at this l before the year is half done.

Exploring: I visited Idanre hills, Ondo state like I hoped to and had an exhilarating time. The same way I was fatigued a few steps up Erin Ijesha, the time I visited it, was the way I was a couple of minutes into our ascent up the Idanre hills. I considered it thoughtful that there were rest points at strategic locations. Slowly but steadily, I made it up and down the hill. I was ecstatic to get an aerial view of the town that is Idanre and visit some of the historic points within. We met some chiefs who still live up the hill and read some rules we thought odd, like how men and women were not supposed to hold hands and persons were not to go in dressed. For the latter, I think one needed to tie a white wrapper. Most of the sights were breathtaking and you will marvel at God’s creativity displayed in nature. It was a memorable experience for me.

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A Failing

Developing my leadership ability is one of the areas I hoped to volunteer for this year. I felt bad on a certain occasion last month where one such opportunity was presented to me and I shied away from it. It seems to me that I prefer to lead from the background. While we may not always lead from a positional platform, it’s vital that as individuals we demonstrate leadership always by taking up responsibilities and speaking up when we should. As little as these actions seem, they can make a significant difference in our lives and that of those around us.

The Ugly

Did anybody see COVID-19 coming? I doubt anyone did, but here we are – in the middle of a pandemic, holding on to our dear lives and the hope for a cure; that it would all go away like a bad dream without leaving us too scathed.

Please, stay safe, practise good respiratory and hand hygiene, and stay at home – if you have no business being out. With God on our side and our adherence to protective measures, we will pull through this, deo volenté.


How are you? How is life at your end and how has the first quarter of 2020 been for you? If it hasn’t gone much as planned, don’t beat yourself up too hard, there is still a great deal of time to make the most of it. Make it count.

I presume that life feels stalled, different, and somewhat uncertain for everyone this season. I listen to worship songs (Dunsin Oyekan’s songs are great) when I feel overwhelmed and with Youversion’s daily prayer prompt, I am reminded of areas I can pray for this period. I also have a couple of (e)books to keep myself company and can send to you at your request – simply state your preferred genre. Other things I fill my time with include: Learning French on Duolingo and taking up online classes, such as the course on Leadership and Management in Health that I enrolled for and which kicks off in April. If I can learn graphic design too, I would be thrilled. Do share your thoughts with us in the comments and keep the conversation rolling.

Love,

Annie.

By annieejiofor

Hello. I'm Annie, a Nigerian, medical doctor, IELTS coach, freelance editor and the voice behind the writing.

I blog about life within and without medicine and other lifestyle topics like books, travel and helpful advice for medical professionals.

14 replies on “How I Have Had The Best First Quarter, Despite The Pandemic”

It’s been a trying year.
My approach so far has been a lil too casual I assume. Hoping to be more intentional with how I live life in the coming months. Fortunately the second quarter begins today, so I get a clean start!
Wishing you more wins in the coming months.

Liked by 1 person

Hey Annie..thank you for this beautiful piece..oh well about the first quarter..all I can say is God has been good and it will get better..but I wont fail to acknowledge some wins like Learning French on Duolingo, kickstarting my blog all thanks to you..Becoming a corper wee sef is a win(because all the stress it takes one as a medic post housejob and getting permanent license is not beans)..lol..May God keep us all through this pandemic..Thanks for encouraging us..Keep living darling..more wins

Liked by 1 person

Hey booboo🥰… you’re doing so well. I’m really proud of you. I remember our talk about this NYSC year thing and I’m glad to see you winning at it. Weldone♥️

Liked by 1 person

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