By Oludara Ogunbowale
Society has already conditioned our minds to believe that if certain things do not happen at expected times, then there is certainly a problem!
‘When are you getting married?’ If you are between the years 25 – 40 and not married in Nigeria, then this has become a constant playlist in your life’s music library. At every turn, friends and family especially family look at you with pitiful eyes like you are living a failed life. Then, if you are above 40 and not married, they sigh and shake their heads like you are a ‘living corpse’
A number of great couples did not have their babies nine months after their wedding ceremonies; and even though for some it was intentional, people start to wonder what the matter is and even start recommending medical counselling.
A few testimonies:
“One of my friends told me she was accosted by someone who said ‘My dear, God will do it. Pray against every spirit of delay.’ Immediately, she said ‘Ma’am, there is no delay. Thank you.’
“I was in church a week ago trying to assist a younger lady about how to put together her resume in a more attractive way when one of the mommies came and tapped me to say in yoruba ‘When are we eating rice? How many of your mates are here? Look around truly. Do not waste time. Just get one of those guys around you. Be fast. I am just joking o. Are you angry? Alright. Take care.’”
But here’s the #fact, everyone’s got different time lines and we’ve got to be comfortable with that. Sometimes, measuring our growth, success or improvements against those of others can make us ungrateful about all that we have. Things might not line up the way you want them to, but they would eventually, so why worry?
Here’s how to escape all these pressures from the so-called ‘time watchers’:
Do not take these comments or nuances very seriously
My friend Maureen told me. ‘Even after my first child, people are still asking me when I am having the next one. I have learnt to be comfortable with myself and what I have. People would always talk but I do not let their comments dictate my move.’ A lot of people are depressed because of these kinds of comments and societal expectations of these kind. But the truth is people who say these things do not even mean them deeply.
Know that things are not as bad as you think
There would always be time watchers…They saw you as a baby, they have watched you grow. They think they know better but maybe they don’t. You have to decide for yourself to be happy for yourself whether or not external indicators abound because deep joy flows from the inside…from that quiet confidence that you are where you should be and you would have it no other way. Do not let people project their fears unto you. Be happy, be hopeful.
Be satisfied with where you are and what you have
Being satisfied or content does not mean being complacent it just means you are at peace within you with your life at the moment. I heard for the first time Lee Ann Wormack’s ‘I hope you dance’ and I learnt from that song that we should stop to appreciate the little things around us. Life is really truly sweet. Someone wants to be you because they love your personality, where you are and also what you have while you are doing the same with those around you too. You are awesome and you have all you need at this time. Focus on them. Hope for what is yet to come and prepare yourself for it. You know why? It would definitely come!
Beware of Bitterness or Gloom
Bad blood is what we call it. Going around feeling bitter or sorrowful about anything or anybody will not help make you feel better. When you are happy and you glow, it is harder for anyone to think anything is missing in your life. I am not advocating that you should not open up to people about what your concerns are, but only to someone or very few persons you can deeply trust. However, being composed and in control of your emotions when you are out there. Appreciate other people around you who have what you desire. A quote says ‘what you appreciate increases in your life.’ Appreciate and enjoy the success or achievements of other people.
Smiling brightens up your face and relaxes you.
‘Smile… it would either warm their hearts or piss them off, either way you win’ Anonymous.
Photo credit: Oluwatoyin Adeleye/Accelerate TV
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