One of my favorite stories is about an old man whose name is Cliff Young, a farmer, who had ran an ultra marathon and won at 61 years of age. It has since been removed from the blogger site but I have it printed somewhere and every now and then I go back and marvel at what that man has done.
Cliff young took part in his first ever ultra marathon, which is basically 875 km, the trick is you run for about a hundred kilometers, sleep and repeat for a few days. Standing at the starting line were all these runners half Cliff Young’s age, wearing their ergonomic sneakers, having trained for months on end this man though he’d received no such training, he had no experience whatsoever, he hadn’t run a short race or a full marathon. All he had done was shepherd sheep, that’s it. It turns out in the end he won the ultra- marathon, you see when the other young runners had taken a rest for the night, when the lights had been switched off, this 61 year old kept going, he didn’t stop, not through the night, not through the rain, not the scorching heat not in anything. He didn’t just win but he broke the record. When he received the prize money he waited at the finish line and gave all the runners an equal share of the prize money, said they all worked hard and deserved to receive something, no matter how small, and so he left the world beaming from within and reminded us of just how much good there is out there.
This story recently reminded me of a woman who is my very own Cliff Young, she isn’t a runner, she isn’t a farmer but my goodness, she is a force to be reckoned with, her name is Sylvia Musoke. We call her Mama.
A few years ago she announced to us that she wanted to pursue her degree in education. It was surprising at first but we all showed support and what she taught us are lifelong lessons that we’ll carry with us for years to come. So grab a chair, or find a nice warm spot in the sun and lean in here, I pray this inspires you and that in the end you may see all that seemed possible glimmer with hope. Here we go!
It is never too late to pursue your dream
Who told us that dreams can be achieved within a certain time frame? That is only in your 20s or 30s that you can go for it? Who gets to decide that you’re too old to pursue any passion? Well Mama taught us there is no such thing, you get to dream big and actually have your dream realized whether it is in your late 40s , early 50s and at any age you decide you’re ready, if you my friend are concerned that too much time has passed remember this verse. All things in their time can be made beautiful, so dream on, work hard and find new passions it is never too late, never!
Time management is essential to reach your goal
How well do you manage your time? Most people can spend hours on social media but cannot make time for what really matters, I am most people, sigh, this is what I do, I will scroll through my phone and tell myself that I wished I had more time, more time to pursue my passions and more time to do what matters even though I sometime waste so much of it, I am slowly changing and prioritizing, you can too.
Managing your time can be defined as:
“the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work but not limited to a working environment”
I watched Mama do away with most things as she focused on her goal, she spent less time on social media, she would cook and arrange chores accordingly so she would have enough time she would even wake up really early so she could focus on her books, when were all snug and getting those extra few minutes of rest she was already up and about and this has taught me that time can be made for what matters.
Whatever you, do it to the best of your ability
Mama wasn’t going to be satisfied with just obtaining her degree, I told you in the beginning she is feisty, she has always taught us to do whatever we put out minds to, with great effort, she has always spurred us on in whatever field it may be, she worked hard to make sure she got it with distinction, you don’t manage your time well, sacrifice all the fun, whilst juggling the expectations from your job, so you can just get a qualification, you do it so that you can get it with distinction and that is exactly what she did.
Cum laude is Latin for “with praise” or “with honor” and represents an academic level of achievement. Educational institutions use the phrase to signify an academic degree that was awarded with honor.
Unsurprisingly her children, my siblings all have inherited this, not only the beauty but the brains, but as we all know brains alone can only take you so far, you also need the grit, the strength of character. Don’t be satisfied with just getting tasks done, do them well, do them with honor, do them with all you have the results will show in the end.
Whilst Mama was still studying, she celebrated not only us, but others who were obtaining their qualifications. She encouraged us and she showed up for us whilst we were in our winning seasons. It is easy to side- eye and care nothing for others who seem have reached the peak you are still setting your eyes on. She has taught me that showing up for others does not take anything away from the goal you are aiming for. It is why in the end she was supposed to get a huge party, bigger than all the ones she has thrown for us, but she kept it simple and intimate and we love her all the same. She prayed for us and kept us going even though she had the same workload if not more, mothers are truly amazing. This particular woman is exceptional.
No matter how upset you are, it is never a reason to burn down UNISA
In the end when we almost did jail time for arson. UNISA kept giving Mama a run around and I was just a prayer away from setting that building alight, I know, I know, crime doesn’t pay. Mama reminded us of this, if came really close though, they had better be grateful Mama knows the Lord because we were not playing any games not at all.
Thank you for practicing what you preach so well, thank you for speaking with your life more than what you could have spoken with your words. Even when in the end there were a few obstacles that arose you kept going, you always kept going, through Covid, through winter, through tiredness through it all you just would not stop. You never ever stopped. Thank you for teaching us the power of prayer, I know how much you prayed through it all, even in the end when we almost burnt down UNISA (Jesus knows our hearts) you kept us all from jail time. You are truly remarkable and it’s a pity some people will only read about you, I wish everyone would encounter you. We are so proud of you and may God grant you all the desires of your heart. Congratulations again, I hope you change your mind about that massive party because you deserve to be fully celebrated, for all you have done for all you are and all you have been to us. We love you deeply.
You have taught the art of perseverance and courage.
Life especially Mamas is Art in its truest form is art and her life has been the most beautiful display.