Today, while driving home, I heard a word on the radio that resonated with me – “I’m overflowing… not overstressing!” After an eventful day, almost getting into a fender bender just as my vehicle had returned from the garage, I realized that there’s no shortage of things that can go wrong or push us to frustration these days.
Taking a deep breath, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, especially as my birth month ushers in a new year of life. Can you believe it? I’ve made it here! A whole 20,075 days around the sun, 55 years already? Though my facial lines might say something different, I don’t feel a day shy of 45. It is the incredible grace of God and my unstoppable human spirit that keep me going.
Stuck in traffic, I’m immediately transported… I can hear the waves of the sea crashing against the rocks, the sun beating on my face, and the wind blowing my hair. All I see is infinite blue waters and a never-ending blue sky filled with white cotton candy! The beach, in any country, is my absolute favorite place in the world – the more pristine, the better. In this moment, I am overflowing, just like the waters of the sea, with gratitude for several things…
Who I Am
I make no apologies for the formidable woman I have become. “I AM NOT (just) Louise Agyeman-Barning” – my first identity is a daughter of the most-high God, and everything else follows. I know my path, I understand my journey, and I am comfortable in my skin, confident in my abilities, and humble about my shortcomings because no one is perfect. Radiating both inside and out brings me immense joy, and nothing fulfills me more than making others happy. I’m a realist who may think of the worst-case scenario, but I’m always optimistic, hoping for better. While I may naturally tend towards being brutally honest, I’m also working on cultivating diplomacy. I believe in letting go of grudges and strive to make a positive impact on the lives of others, no matter how small. Traveling and sightseeing bring me bliss, as does nurturing my garden – a passion inherited from my mom, who also passed down her calm disposition and appreciation for privacy.
My Family and Friends
The most important combination of people: those you don’t choose and the ones you do. They have brought me to this point where I’m more appreciative of life, love, and laughter, and have helped me understand what’s worth holding on to and what needs letting go of. My kith and kin are my cheerleaders and my reality check. They are the ones that always make it into my prayer requests, and I count my blessings as I lift them up. My husband, Kwabena, and I are reaffirming our love and commitment to each other after 28 years. Is he annoying? Yes! But in the words of Luther Vandross, “I’d rather have bad times with you than good times with someone else. I’d rather be beside you in a storm than safe and warm all by myself… I’d rather have the one who holds my heart!” My very opinionated 27-year-old Kwame and feisty 25-year-old Serwaa… do they give me palpitations? Yes! But I respect and love them to the moon and back, and they’ll always be my babies.
With over 20 years of experience in HR Strategy and Planning, driving organizational development, talent acquisition and management, I have pioneered the establishment of HR departments in some organizations in Ghana and Zambia. I have worked in various capacities in Human Resource, Logistics, and Project Management, including the deployment of a warehousing management system, driving change in 7 countries across Africa.
I have an insatiable appetite for self-improvement and learning. After obtaining an MBA in HRM and an international certification as Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHRi), and a certification in Project Management, my latest craze is Alternative Conflict Resolution, which I’m enjoying, although sometimes writing assignments are an uphill battle. Who knows, maybe in another year or two, I will be learning to fly a plane! It could be the green and yellow blood that flows in my veins (being a Gey Hey girl) – either way, no end to the mid-life crisis on this side.
The work of giving back never feels like work because it isn’t. I love my Rotary family and the amazing work we get to do in the community. I was humbled to be sworn in as Rotarian President (RP) of Accra-Airport East a couple of weeks ago, and I’m overflowing with ideas and zeal to serve and be a blessing to others.
What do I wish for?
Isn’t it fitting that we are in the wet season, and aside from the potholes on the roads, everything else is lush, green, and beautiful, with the weather at its most pleasant? Aside from the showers of blessings, I wish that God keeps me, my family, and my friends safe and healthy. I wish for more opportunities to overflow, to be closer to the source of abundance, and to have an intimate knowledge and understanding of my Jehovah Jireh. I wish to continually feel calm, even when the billows roll, and to have my heart smile perpetually because of the company I keep on my boat in this amazing journey of life. Then maybe… let’s take this boat to the Hamptons!
Thank you all for being a part of my life and making it so meaningful. Here’s to the next chapter, overflowing with gratitude and joy!