Love Your Life or Change It

You can start today.

Michelle Okafor
5 min readMay 4, 2024
Photo by Nik Shuliahin 💛💙 on Unsplash

I was up before dawn this morning, as I am every other morning. As it was a Saturday I knew I could lay in for a little while. I was trying to remember what the plans for today were, basketball matches. I knew the older one had to be at the courts by 10h00 am for a match at 11h00. The younger one was only playing at 15h00 and also needed to be there an hour before. My day was pretty set, I was going to spend it next to the basketball courts.

I knew if I wanted to get some exercise in, I had to be ready to go out by 08h00 so that I would be back by 09h00 for a quick shower and the 25-minute drive to the school where the matches were hosted. I decided that instead of going to the gym, I was going to walk around the neighbourhood. It was a warm autumn morning, so a walk would do me great.

A few streets on I passed a stall where a running club had set themselves up. I have known them since I passed them and their runners before. They are called Run Walk for Life. I knew that they had 5h00 am runs twice a week and a 07h00 am run on a Saturday. I am probably more of a walker than a runner and I also knew that even though I woke up a 05h00 during the week, it was to get the kids ready for school and that we leave the house at 06h30 to get to school in time.

I won’t be able to fit in a morning run unless I leave them to get ready by themselves and try and be back by 06h00 for a quick shower so we can still leave on time. I decided to take a pamphlet anyway because I knew that one had to register. The mental gymnastics were a bit much so I decided to leave it for later.

Since a few runners were out and about I thought about the 5km run that I completed in 36 mins a few weeks ago and thought that maybe I should spice things up and I got on a steady jog. Since it was early my head was clear, and it was a beautiful morning, I jogged for the first few kilometres and was surprised that I made it to the halfway mark without stopping. The run or shall I say walk back was lovely too, albeit a bit slower because there was a slight incline and I thought let’s take it easy since I’m not used to running long distances.

I got back in time for a quick shower and my older son was also getting ready to leave for his match. We left just after 09h30 to the high school where the matches were played. A few other parents came to watch as well and we had a great morning talking and cheering on the boys. They won their match. We left the school about 12h45 and on our way back to the house we stopped at the grocery shop to get a few things. It was about 13h30 when we got back home. My other son was getting ready for his match.

I made sure my older son had something to eat while the younger one was almost ready for us to leave for his match. We left at 14h00. We were almost at school and he let out a huge groan and looked at me. I asked him what was wrong. He said he left his basketball shoes at home. In my mind, I was like, so if you know you are going to play basketball, why don’t you just put your shoes on when you leave the house?

I said to him calmly, my boy if we have to turn back now you will miss the first quarter of your match. Can you play in those shoes I asked him. He had his trainers on. I was just elated that they were not crocs. He said he guessed so. Well, that was enough for me. We continued driving and got to school just in time for his warm-up. Now the sun was high in the sky and it was quite hot. There was no shade to watch the game from unless we went up above the stands. It had to do.

We were playing the Oilers and from the get-go, I could see that those boys knew their stuff. The Oilers’ moms and dads were sitting close to us, we were all trying to fit into the small piece of shade and there was some friendly banter going on. It was a lovely game once again, even though we lost to the Oilers.

There was a team talk afterwards and at about 16h15 we were ready to start heading back home. So besides my early morning exercise, the rest of the day was spent next to the basketball courts. Would I have liked it differently?Maybe.

There was a padel tournament organised by the company and I really wanted to go, but I had to decline because of the basketball commitments the boys had. Sometimes I feel like just lounging on the couch in my pyjamas the whole day. But I can’t. There are sports and other social commitments for the boys most weekends.

Luckily, most Sundays we take it easy. The coach wanted to do private lessons on Sunday and I asked if we could fit that in during the week. We go to church on Sundays and if there are other commitments we tend to sacrifice the church services.

The boys are 13 and 14 and a half and between both of them, there are about 5 and half years of school left. I know some empty nesters and some young people without kids and they are the ones who work late, who can take holidays whenever they want to and who can play padel on a Saturday.

I don’t have that many options. Do I sometimes wish that the school and sports programs were not so busy? Yes. Would I like it any other way? No.

I think we all have made choices in our lives to bring us where we are right now. Some good choices and some not-so-good ones. If you are not satisfied with the way things are right now, then change it. The worst is being unhappy about your life and doing nothing to change it.

Some things are within your control and some things are not. Take action today to change the things that you have control over. Don’t lose another day not living the life you want. Guess where I’ll be next Saturday? You guessed it right, the basketball courts!



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Michelle Okafor

Writer of short, inspirational pieces. Make the most of your time here, for we pass this way only once. See the good in yourself and others.