life starts while you are single

Life starts while you are single, Live.

Recently, a classmate of mine walked up to me beaming with smiles. “Hi dear, I would like to inform you about my wedding coming up in October. I know it is still months away but I just want to ensure you are carried along.”

Of course, many congratulations and hugs came up as I received the news. It was great news that finally, someone from our class was getting married. It also brought to mind many other friends, in different courses, who had gotten married or were also about to.
It was interesting and also a bit sobering.

I wondered, did they really enjoy the single phase of their lives? Did they find fulfillment in those years of being independent and alone? Or were they so occupied with life and the scurry to walk down the aisle?

The Hustle 

I once mentioned to a friend that marriage is not compulsory. His response made it seem like I just blasphemed. He is not alone in his school of thought. That school of thought that considers marriage the highest form of fulfillment and a do or die affair. I am not anti-marriage but I am not hinging my life on ensuring I get married at all costs. Neither should anyone.

Marriage is beautiful and so is all that comes with it; spending your years with that person you delight in so much, having a great home, wonderful kids, growing old together and being loved. Awesome! Caution though! This picture should not be so highly exalted in our minds that we cast a dark and dull luster on our bachelorhood and spinsterhood.

Being single is amazing if you make it so. It is that period when you can discover yourself, engage in life building activities and make friends, connections, real life world wide webs that always come into play later on.

This is the time to explore the world or at least places you have never been to. By yourself. Not waiting till there is someone else who may or may not be excited by the things that excite you on these trips.

Self-Evaluate First

Also, ask yourself, what am I bringing to the table of marriage if/when the time comes? This applies to both male and female. A holy writ talks of iron sharpening iron. If you are made up of just wood and you are looking for iron, I wonder what sort of sharpening is to be expected.

You want someone mature? Be mature!
You want someone financially stable? Be financially stable!
You want a funny person? Find your humour!

These things and others are done and gotten while single and even though they can continue when one is married, a foundation built while single will go a long way to make things easier and better. You have to also realize that it is that ‘YOU’ from your being single that you are carrying into the marriage. Yes, there are opportunities for upgrades but that default operating system still holds some sway.

So, while you are single, live life. Fully. This does not give a license for a reckless life.
Make life count! Being single is part of life, make it count!

 

Join the designed life Academy courses and let’s get you busy on being that wholesome single that you are.

hallucination

Could it be Lilliputian Hallucination?

Lilliputian as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary means, ‘small’, ‘miniature’, ‘petty’. Put together, Lilliputian hallucination refers to abnormal visual perception. Things, people or animals seem smaller than they would be in real life. Quick scenarios where this came up would be the “little people” who lived on the island of Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver Travels, 1726. Also, Alice in Wonderland and the Israelite description of their grasshopper like look beside the giants living in Jericho.

It is okay to use the word Lilliputian when something is actually small or tiny or little. You may only come off as a possible custodian of great grammar and a challenge to others to devour their dictionaries more often. The problem comes in when one starts hallucinating or has delusions in that regard. Delusions are strong beliefs that are not in keeping with the individual’s sociocultural state.

The Hallucination

The actual medical conditions of hallucinations and delusions are quite serious disorders. For the purpose of this write up though, I would like us to examine pride and low self esteem. So, if you start seeing others as little and believe strongly that they are little, relative to yourself, it sounds like pride, right? And the reverse is what sounds life low self esteem, when you see and believes others are bigger than yourself.

These two, pride and low self esteem, are two extremes of a spectrum and are often confused with confidence and humility respectively. There is no thin line between confidence and pride, neither is humility a close sister to low self esteem.

Pride or Confidence?

Pride comes with constant achievements, it is what makes people go into things thinking they would always win or get it right, seeing no limits for themselves and while they are it, they see limits in others. A confident person factors in mistakes and the lessons they learned from them, they are not obsessed with winning. When you find your confidence you know your limits but you are not tied down to them.

Low self esteem makes a person think he/she has nothing to offer and also has no right to receive anything. It is what makes people see nothing as their achievement and everything as their mistake. This makes them think they deserve any attitude thrown at them or even worse. Humility is knowing your value but knowing when people need you and being willing to help. It is being willing to set aside personal convenience for the good of others. Not self loathing or debasement.

It is pertinent that these differences are clear to people. That is the only way lilliputian can be used appropriately.

bad attitude

Bad attitudes are just there like a bad tooth

Waking up daily, we barely pay attention as we move the bristles of our brush over our teeth. Sideways and vertically, rinse with water, smile at the mirror (yes, I do that) and get on with the day.

The only times you remember your teeth is when you have to smile or open your mouths for inspection.

We know we use the teeth to chew, bite and tear. Ladies know guys like it when our teeth are white and complete. Guys don’t mind having breath that does not send people scampering off or raise people from the dead.

Apart from these, the teeth are just there. The end.

Until, one day, you notice a hole in a tooth. You keep ignoring it but you know it is getting bigger. You are not bothered, not until a sharp, continuous, throbbing pain associated with a headache wakes you up from sleep and keeps you awake. A toothache has been described as worse than labour pains. It is that moment you realize that those teeth are not just mini statues in your mouth.

It is the same with bad attitudes.

Bad Attitudes are just there. The end.

We brush them daily, use them when necessary and forget them. Other times you pull them out to buy or force your way through a queue. We know we have them and are sometimes wary of close inspection. As long as they do not cause us personal pain, it does not matter.

One day, these attitudes go the wrong way. It is unexpected but you let it slide. I mean, it did not cause much harm, right? It is like a tear in a fabric, a teeny weeny tear. You keep wearing the fabric and you are aware that the tear keeps elongating. Still, you ignore.

Not much attention is paid to bad attitudes until they cause real personal pain; Not until that ability to talk back at people backfires, not until your dishonesty puts your life on the line, not until your disrespectful attitude starts hindering access in life, we keep brushing and putting them aside. When the pain hits, it hits hard. That is when we realize the significance of these ‘minor’ things.

This is when you would definitely have to major on the minor. Actually, they are not minor which is why they have to be majored on.

Many people notice the fine details about the deficiency of others but take little or no time to examine theirs. Get a mirror.

 

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allergy

5 Allergy types you should know about

Some months ago, my sister developed some annoyingly itchy rashes. She visited our family doctor who, suspecting an allergic reaction, advised that she stay away from groundnuts. Well, mum was also forbidden from taking groundnuts years ago, so, we were not bothered. Genetics and inheritance would explain it.

Fast forward to barely two days after the visit, my dear sister was enjoying boiled groundnuts and contemplating how much groundnut she should buy to take with her garri (roasted cassava) later on. I reminded her of the doctor’s instruction to stay away from groundnuts and her reply was something akin to staying away from groundnuts would kill her faster than the rashes.

I told her it is because her allergy does not come with respiratory problems that would make her cherish every breath she could drag in.

Not this type of Allergy

By allergies, we do not mean the frequent visits to the toilet after eating poorly cooked beans or after eating from the canteen just across the road. Those would qualify more as food poisoning. We also do not mean the sad feeling you get when food is more salty and peppery than you would like. Neither is it the uncomfortable feeling that comes with being around certain people. That is when you will hear things like, “I am allergic to that guy.”

We are talking about overwhelming reactions the body has to harmless substances that can lead to distressing and sometimes life threatening symptoms.

So here is a list of 5 Allergy types:

1. Asthma: in reaction to things as ‘harmless’ as dust and animal fur, asthmatics come down with a serious difficulty in breathing often associated with a wheeze. Most times, they need inhalers to widen their airways and aid breathing. They sometimes need oxygen too.

2. Allergic Rhinitis: for this, the nose starts running a lot and is itchy on exposure to things that other people do not even notice.

3. Allergic Conjunctivitis: people with this usually have watery eyes that look brown or red most of the time. The reaction is evidenced by severe eye itching that could go on for a long while. So the next time you see a friend whose eyes look perpetually brown and starts watering or scratching the eyes, you might want to think “allergies” before “twas just a fly”.

4. Allergic dermatitis: this is probably the one my sister has. The reaction here is breaking out in rashes, itchy ones. This can be annoying and disfiguring especially if it has been going on for long and resulted in scars.

5. Food allergies: these are genuine, distressing, sometimes incapacitating reactions to certain foods. This is often depicted in movies, especially with sea food.

These are just a few of the allergies. It is advised that one looks out for the others if one allergic condition is found in an individual. They like moving together.

 

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Vengeance is not an option. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Vengeance could be very tempting when business partners betray sacred trust

I have been hurt and taken advantage of by people because they were in the position to do so and because I put them in the position to do so. It was my choice that gave them the power. I allowed them. When they hurt me, I would sit back and analyze things from when I allowed them some power and position up to the point they took advantage of me; stabbing me in the back, looking me in the eye. Sometimes I would think of vengeance.
Of course, not all had to do with love and a broken heart.

Can you relate to this?

As an aspiring businessman, you set out to launch something big. You decide to bring in a friend who says he can be of much help in the success of the launch. You agree, you bring him in, show him your ideas, give him your trust. One night, you slept with the thoughts of clinking wine glasses with him soon. The next morning, you woke up to realize your friend was only ‘tapping’. He left. With your ideas, framework, and schemes. He made them his, got all you dreamt of. In the twinkling of an eye.
You go through all the stages of grief, blaming yourself for being too open, gullible, stupid maybe. You then comfort yourself that everything that goes around, comes around. If you are a Christian, you hear yourself saying, “God will judge” many times.

Then Vengeance

Until you start thinking of revenge. Sweet, slow revenge. How karma would use you to get back at this person. How you will get the position and power needed to get back, to collect your portion of the person’s skin.

These are fleeting thoughts at first. Then, settling thoughts. Dominating thoughts. Disturbing thoughts. Choking thoughts.

For some, these thoughts remain just thoughts that eventually fade. For others, they translate into actions. Vengeful actions. Some well planned and accurate. Others; erratic, widespread and beyond control. In both cases, there is an initial satisfaction of getting back. You congratulate yourself for the feat accomplished. You smile. But that upward curve does not last. It eventually curves downward or becomes a flat line.

You know why?

Revenge does not undo the hurt. It does not bring back what was lost.
It does not prevent future hurt and loss.

healing Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Healing must start from the inside

Wounds at different parts of the body heal at different dates. When doctors stitch injuries, they take off the sutures at different times depending on the location of the injury. For instance, sutures on the face are removed after five to seven days while those on the extremities (arms and legs) stay on till about fourteen days. The difference in blood supply to these parts determines this. The blood provides the needed nutrients and constituents for proper healing.

Some wounds aren’t physical, yet, they share similarities with the physical wounds. They are located at different recesses of the mind/soul/heart. Some are located deep within, where the light of healing might have a hard time reaching. Many things bring about such wounds; betrayal, the death of loved ones, relationship heartbreaks, business fold ups, etc.

A physical wound that goes unnoticed may or may not cause any trouble. If it does not get contaminated or infected, it would heal and close up without the person even knowing. Same applies to situations where others have taken serious offence on your behalf but you don’t even take note of it. You are not moved, you are not affected. Your life goes on, uncomplicated.

Some wounds need to be opened up, cleaned and allowed to gape for a while. They are called dirty wounds because they contain debris, germs and other things that would prevent healing if not attended to. These wounds are usually not fresh as they would have been ignored for a while. Psychological and emotional trauma need to be recognized and accepted as hurt. This is the first step to healing, else, the wound is buried and it begins to fester. Opening up to someone is usually helpful. Although, doing so to the wrong person can make things worse. It has been found that just talking about the when, where and how of hurtful situations help many people heal faster.

Any open wound, especially if it is quite large, has to eventually be closed up. Thus, it does not pay anyone to dwell indefinitely on psychological and emotional wounds. Eventually, closure is needed. This may include a relocation from where the hurtful event occurred, discarding clothing’s belonging to dead loved ones, starting a new job, a new relationship, anything that closes the door to the past.

Sutures have to be removed unless they are the absorbable type. Whatever or whoever helps you get over non-physical wounds should not become a crutch. You still have to let go. Unless the person is absorbable. For instance, the person can become your new girl/boyfriend. Although, it is advisable to rise above such hurt, be sure you are healed and clear headed before taking such a decision.

Wounds should heal. It takes a lot to heal. It takes letting go. Let go of the hurt. Let the offender off. Surrender.

You can take this a little way further, join a series of faith challenges that would bring you a step closer to healing. Click here to start.

how to enjoy your traveling road trips

Traveling: How to do long road trips in style, enjoy!

We still had not gotten there. I blinked my eyes awake. Unlocking my phone, I saw that it was some minutes past 4 pm. We had been traveling for 6hours. From what the driver was saying, we still had close to 12hours to go. My eyes were tired of sleep, my legs and back tired of sitting and my mind frustrated at the monotony of sleep and non-sleep, with no mindful thing in between.

Yes, most of us have had something similar to this. So, what things can make such seemingly non-stop journey lively and less killing?

1. Traveling with friends:

Believe me, this is the best favor you can do yourself. It is the cheapest and surest way of keeping yourself entertained on a journey. Especially when these are true friends, playful and adventurous. They are the type that would disturb you about the weird looking sight on the road, the fellow passenger that has been winking at you and that unfamiliar food being hawked on the road, urging you to try it out. Unfortunately, you might be journeying solo, not due to any fault of yours.

2. Reading/jotting:

for most people, this would mean reading anything apart from academic/school books. It would include novels, inspirational and motivational books, religious literature, magazines, etc. It is highly recommended that it be a novel you have not read before but has hopes of being interesting. It is at this point I’ll also advise you have snacks with you. Proper food should be put into thought too but be careful, an angry stomach on this kind of journeys is a lot of bad news. Jotting is for people who like to take note of places they travel through and document interesting moments of their journey. It is especially good for writers who find their muse with wheels beneath them…on the road. Many best selling books were written on long journeys.

3. Socializing:

don’t even think of it! I don’t mean being social in the virtual world; facebook, twitter, WhatsApp, et al. I mean, real time social! Make friends. Start with the least serial killer looking, friendly and closest person. No one really knows what opportunity or connection is sitting right next to them till they find out. I don’t mean you totally discard your phone but you just don’t get lost in it. There are living and breathing people around you who you can learn from and also impact positively.

And you know what, if you don’t reach out first, somebody might reach out to you. This can be good. Although, it also means you don’t get to select anything physical or even mental/psychological about the person. Remember, when we worry what people may think or say about us, we limit ourselves. That’s not the way to fearless fun as we encourage through the #21 days of faith challenge, also on DesignedLife.

A long journey does not have to be ‘Let Our Naps Go-on'(LONG).

Photo by Amanda Sandlin on Unsplash
Photo by Amanda Sandlin on Unsplash
child delivery without pains

Child Delivery: I just do not want to feel pain;

Once a couple is pronounced husband and wife, especially in Africa, the blessings or prayers for children start rushing in. Twins. Triplets. Quadruplets. And people keep shouting Amen to the prayers. Although, the number and loudness of the “Amen” start reducing once it reaches quadruplets and quintets. The economic implications of feeding four or five mouths at the same time outweighs the desire for such multiple blessings. Even though breast milk is free, there is a lot more needed in taking care of a baby.

There is more

Something else that the wife is considering as the prayers resound in her ears. These children will not be printed out of a computer neither would twins be gotten by photocopying one baby to get another. She would have to carry the pregnancies and deliver the babies. That is no joke! The best any husband can do is be in the delivery room and fake-push along with her. But everybody knows who is doing the actual work.

The mode of delivery, in generations past, was not an issue. It was the pride of every woman to push, grunt and sweat through labor. The cry of the baby is her final comfort. It did not matter the age or height of the mother and no baby was considered too big to pass through the birth canal. Besides, there was even no way to decide how big the baby was seeing as most pregnancies stayed at home and were delivered there. No antenatal care, no ultrasounds, and no investigations. So, both the tall mother with a 3kg fetus and a short mother with a 4.5kg fetus were expected to rise up to the challenge and make their husbands proud. Many pulled through. And many died too.

ella-jardim-220672
This went on till the time of better awareness and acceptance of antenatal care and surgical delivery of babies, also known as caesarean section (C/S). It soon became obvious that certain conditions and circumstances call for C/S. These include certain medical conditions in the mother; heart disease, heart failure, sickle cell anemia with crisis, eclampsia, and pre-eclampsia, then, low-lying placenta (placenta praevia) or conditions in the baby; macrosomia (big baby), breech presentation, etc. These are conditions that require C/S.

Things are Changing

Now, there seems to be a rise in pregnant women opting for caesarean sections just because they prefer it to vaginal delivery. Caesarean sections are painless as there are anesthesia and adequate analgesia, they are fast and free of cramps, pain, stress and pushing and with no risk of vaginal/cervical tears or getting an episiotomy. It is clean and simple.
But, it actually carries more risks than the usual route. The woman can react to the anesthetic drugs, she might bleed a lot, get infections or adhesions post operation and if she has C/S twice, her subsequent deliveries would just have to be the same way.
So, which would it be?

family involvement in relationships

The Extremes of Family Involvement in Relationships: Up to this Point and no More.

‘Our Family Wedding’, a 2010 romantic comedy film is a must watch! Apart from the funny scenes and face off between the fathers of the bride and groom, there are many lessons to be learnt about the involvement of parents and family members in the life of the couple. One statement I can’t forget from the movie is, “it’s your marriage but it is their (the families) wedding”.
There are two extremes to how involved the extended family could be in the affairs of a couple, newly wedded or not. They could be over involved and they could be very much uninvolved.

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Pre courtship:

the over-involved family dictates the specifications for the type of person their daughter or son can date and/or marry. Some families even decide who the wife or husband would be without the knowledge or consent of the child. They select the one they think is best and present him/her to their child, expecting their decision to be accepted with open arms or otherwise, forced down the child’s throat.
On the other hand is the family that really does not care. They say and show you that it is your life, do whatever you want. Even when the child needs their input or some encouragement, they get none. And if things do not work out as the child desired, they don’t say, ” I told you so” because they actually never said anything!

jared-sluyter-226830

Courtship:

the extremely involved family wants to know the timetable of the courtship or they would gladly draw one for you. They want to know when you and your fiancée/fiance argue and when and how you made up. They want to know how often you go on dates. If you have not gone on a date recently, they start asking questions. They are curious about your sex life, whether you are enjoying it or not and if you are using any form of protection. They can even give you condoms as birthday presents. Seriously!

Meanwhile, the family at the other end of the spectrum do not care if you are making babies under their roof. They do not want to know off your boyfriend is beating you every other day. Other times they are nonchalant to your excitement and they ignore the mention of dates with your sweetheart. They may not even know if you broke up with the last guy. It would still be, “hey Dave” even though Dave was your secondary school crush and you have dated four other guys since then.

The wedding

The wedding day for the extremely involved family belongs to them. They are in charge of what happens and what does not. They dictate the motions of the day. All you have to do is make an appearance with your bride/groom. In fact, they do not appreciate any input from you. They just want you to sit back and enjoy, whether you like their choices or not.
But for the other extreme, you are definitely on your own. You are lucky they even contribute financially to the wedding. They leave you to decide on everything pertaining to the wedding. And unless you insist on them doing certain specific things, you can be sure they won’t lift a finger. This can be really frustrating.

After the wedding:

This is where the extremely involved family can actually get on your nerves… Unless you are a mummy’s boy or daddy’s girl. This is the point where they should acknowledge your independence as a couple, able to make their own decisions. But, no, they still don’t get it. They would tell you where best to get a house to move into. Some families would indicate which room is best for the husband and wife, the type of furniture to buy, the type of interior decoration, etc. They want to know when you are getting pregnant and how you are preparing for the baby. If after a while, you aren’t pregnant, they start asking questions and seeking solutions for you, with or without your answers.

They set up panels to discuss your issues and settle your arguments once they get a whiff of them. One would say, they become a pain in the gluteal region. As for the uninvolved family, at this point, one might actually just appreciate their non-involvement and distance. Although, it might seem your ship has been abandoned but it still feels safe.

The extremely involved family is a common feature in African countries. This is because the extended family is eager to establish their presence. Developed countries often have more of the uninvolved family types. There is an emphasis on the nuclear family more than the extended family. It is more like, “no branching, no rooting”, every couple and family stand on its own.
Of course, there should be a balance. Everybody knows that. The issue is, how many families can find that balance

obesity could make a girl sad

Obesity is Not always a Choice, Little Known Facts about your weight.

” fatty, blown-up ball, round drum…”
The words kept echoing in Kate’s head as she rode the bus home. Tears stung her eyes. It was her second week in the new school and the taunting had already begun. Her parents had changed her school every time the taunting had gotten serious.
“Excuse me”
Kate looked up at the tall, slim blonde talking to her and wondered why she could not be like her.
“Excuse me, you are occupying extra space. Do you mind shifting just a little so I can sit?”

Despite the politeness, the tears still came. Kate could not understand where she was supposed to shift her 80kg body.
Back at home, Kate took note of the extra wide doors, large sofas, king sized beds and realized they were not there just because her family was rich but also because all of them in her family were either overweight or obese. Her mood worsened when her mom greeted her as, “chubby little angel”.
This is the same story for the 43million obese children worldwide as at 2010. The number should have increased much more seven years later. These ones suffer from obesity, a term now officially a disease.

The cause of obesity is multifactorial;

1. Genetics
2. Environment
3. Developmental processes

Genetics is probably one that most people can’t escape from. This is why most children of obese parents also become obese. Although, it is not always the case as some children actually escape the obesity gene and with efforts on their environment, they retain a fit stature. Meanwhile, some others get obese outside any genetic influence. This is acquired obesity, which could be physiologic or pathologic. That is, it could be because of some environmental factors (diet, physical activity, lifestyle) or some ongoing disease. Developmental processes include formula feeding during infancy and this is because of the high protein content of formula feeds,

Developmental processes include formula feeding during infancy and this is because of the high protein content of formula feeds, a diet rich in fat and fast sugars and sedentary lifestyle. These factors are often within your control and can be dealt with. Conscious effort to be mindful of your diet and taking out time to exercise daily are good preventive measures against obesity. They are also the first steps to take for those who are already obese.

Diseases that could induce obesity include certain syndromes (e.g Downs syndrome), tumors in the brain, endocrine problems (e.g Cushing’s disease) and use of some drugs (e.g insulin). With treatment/management of these diseases, there is often a reversal of weight.
There is no need to be anorexic or extremely thin such that the wind would blow you off. But, shedding excess fat would do a lot of good physically, psychologically and socially.