The State of the Family Address

In which witty George Appiah presents a cryptic pontification of what's really going on in his little nest

We’re already 28 days into the new year. I thought it’d be fun to give a little update on what I’ve been up to, what’s going on in our little nest, and more importantly, what’s to come in the coming weeks and months. For fun, let’s call it the State of the Family Address.

How The Mega Tribe Of Three Came Into Being

As the folks who have lingered here for a while will surely remember, nearly 3 years ago I did the abominable: against my own better judgement, I put my signature to the deed that I knew was guaranteed to permanently erase every trace of the simple, quiet and tranquil life that I so much relish. That’s how I’d always perceived marriage anyway, and tell you what, I’ve never had a single day of disappointment in that regard.

As if to protest my silly decision, my father passed away just two days before the wedding. That should have shaken me up and brought me to my senses. But, it didn’t. And thanks to, in my own opinion, our silly customs that cherish the dead over the living, a new breed of trouble was out of the production line before I could even say my final goodbye to the old one.

And there you have it: the short story of how I let go of the very simple life I’d always cherished and ended up with this little tribe and a whole lot of troubles and responsibilities. Below I’ll now present to you a brief state of affairs.

Mother’s Daughter-in-law

Here’s a little riddle for you: what is it that those in want desperately to get out, while those out want desperately to get in? (If you need a clue, read Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Church at Corinth.)

The past three years of marriage life have been, let’s say, challenging. Indeed, very challenging. From my perspective, it’s absolutely obvious what the problem is and the reason our kids are ugly. But as anyone who has ever had an argument with another human knows, those ‘retards’ never see what’s so blazingly obvious to you.

Yeah, I know.

I won’t get into the itsy bitsy minutia here, at least not in this post. Except to say, mother’s daughter-in-law has decided to return to the classroom, the very place I’m working like crazy to keep little Elvis out of (more on that below).

She’s convinced the keys to her happiness in life (and her acres of diamond) can be found in there. What’s a broke like me got to say? “Go, girl, go”, I tell her (and silently to myself: I hope you don’t quit halfway.)

Expect a heck lot’a drama in this column soon 🙂

The Little One

Little Elvis is 25 months old now, and proudly wielding the “terrible twos” moniker day and night. As very little talking goes on in our nest (blame the screens and gadgets!), his speech has delayed a tab bit. But what he’s unable to say, he certainly overcompensates with what he’s able to do.

He was sitting fully by his fourth month, and by his sixth month he was climbing up and down the stairs (we didn’t install any fancy safety gates — #badparenting), using the wall or rail for support. By the 8th month, little Elvis was pretty much running everywhere independently, including up and down the stairs!

Elvis Appiah

I don’t remember seeing him crawl even once. In fact, by the time a baby crawl mat I ordered from China (via AliExpress) arrived here in Accra, Ghana, the little one was already walking briskly.

Elvis Appiah

When Elvis was 6 months old, he tried jumping out of his crib and ended up with a big swelling on the side of the head where he landed on the floor. This scared the bejesus out of us! Thankfully, God sent an angel far smarter in the field of parenting than all three of us combined to come to our rescue and save the day. That is — after the very pinnacle of Ghana’s healthcare system had failed us completely.

Though just 25 months, Elvis is already the kind of the nest. He’s usually the first to get up in the wee hours of the mornings, and won’t get to bed until, well, until he’s made to. We recently got him his very own Amazon Kindle Fire tablet, along with Amazon’s FreeTime Unlimited subscription, and now even getting him to eat is a tough battle!

Elvis Appiah

For his education, we’ve decided to pursue some alternatives. To paraphrase Mark Twain, we’re being cautious to not let his schooling interfere with his education. Stay tuned for more on this when I finally resume publishing regularly on this website (and on little Elvis’ own website, www.ElvisAppiah.com).

The Poor Old Buttler

And then there’s me… your poor old butler. Other than struggling to pull the bits and pieces of this near-dysfunctional little tribe together (and apparently doing such a terrible job at it!), there isn’t much going on that’s worth talking about.

But if you don’t mind me boring you with the ordinary, here are a few random happenings and thoughts:

  • I’ve assembled a whole lot of gadgets and accoutrements now, but I’m yet to publish a single video. I even read Stephen Presfield’s War of Art, but that didn’t do the trick. Resistance is still here with me.
  • My WordPress book and course are practically done, but I feel very strongly that they’re not good enough, and that I should re-do the whole thing. Perfectionism, just another face of resistance?
  • In December last year, I shut down the “shared” and “reseller” segments of my hosting business, sending all customers away to other providers. But that self-destructive move wasn’t enough. I also parted ways with all, let’s say, ‘troublesome’ VPS and dedicated server clients, leaving me with just two clients and two VPSes under management. In essence, I killed my entire hosting business. Maybe I’ll start over. Maybe not.
  • Having shut down my hosting business, I’m now finding myself with way too much time… that I don’t know how to use. I don’t know how to not be busy. And oddly enough, I find this far more tiring and stressing than the days when I was busy day and night fixing clients’ sites and servers.
  • With my hosting business dismantled, I’m also without a source of income now. And with a mountain-high pile of expenses quickly approaching, I need to replace this income immediately. Trouble is, I’ve got too high a pile of ideas to sort through.
  • With Mother’s DiL returning to school, I’m going to have to take on the babysitting business. On the one side, little Elvis and I get to have a whole lot of fun together. But on the other side, I… help… I can smell something!

George and Elvis Appiah

As you can see, your poor old butter has a truckload of stuff on his mind and plates now. Should he re-build the hosting business he dismantled himself? Should he develop any one of the dozens of new business ideas on his mind now? Should he (finally) embrace what he’s always considered his true passion and calling, TEACHING? Or should he, but may God and all the angels launch and offence to forbid this, return to the corporate world he ran away from more than a decade ago?

Gotta roll the dice, plan and act now!

So, there you have it — the perfectly accurate account of the true state of affairs in our little nest. And, here’s my promise to you big and little critters: this will be the very last of my silly, witty, cryptic, self-serving pontifications. You’ll soon realise there’s always been a reason to my madness.