Focus

Donโ€™t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.โ€ โ€”Sam Levenson

A lot of times we get overwhelmed by everything going on in our lives that sometimes we just want to give up. From experience I have learned to take things easy by slowing down a bit and living each day as it comes. Normally I’m a planner, I plan my life years ahead. It makes things easier for me most times though it doesn’t always go as expected given the time interval of planning and the actual events.

I’m presently at a point in my life where I feel I can take over the world ๐Ÿ˜‚, however I have realized that I can’t do everything at the same time. Actually that has been my main problem over the years. I have too many ideas but usually get frustrated and give up during the implementation process. Especially when it’s taking longer than expected.

That being said, one must never stop trying to be better regardless of how tough the road seems. Life is never easy but with determination and perseverance many have conquered every limitation they encountered on their journey.

If you’re like me, I advise you slow down a bit. Don’t stop just ensure you have a priority list that serves as a guide so you don’t get burned out by taking on too much responsibilities. Nigerians would say ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

Have a fabulous week ahead people, keep working on that dream of yours!

Major lifestyle change

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โ€‹I stated in one of my previous posts that I was ready for a lifestyle change especially because my main goal is to lose some weight and be fit. So guys the time has finally come. I decided to do it the ketogenic way. This means that my daily meals will consist of mainly high fat, moderate protein and low carbs. A lot of people may already know about this lifestyle but for those who don’t,  normally our bodies burn carbs as its  main source of energy but a ketogenic diet helps your liver to produce ketones that burn fat as your main source of energy. 

I have done a lot of research on living the ketogenic lifestyle and I believe it’s the best for me. Hopefully I will take you all on my journey to a new improved version of myself. I say so because when you feel good on the inside and your healthy, everything about you changes positively; from your self esteem/cofidence to how you live and take decisions. 

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I started yesterday, allow me to emphasise that it’s been very challenging because I used to eat a lot of carbohydrates and sweets (I have too many guilty pleasures), but all that is about to change. I am however doing a gradual transition as opposed to suddenly switching to very low carb intake, my reason being I want to be committed this time. I don’t want to go from one extreme to another because I tried it before but couldn’t keep up, not that I wasn’t seeing results on the scale. Now its different,I saw it as a diet before but no its a lifestyle. 

I created a page where I will be posting photos of my meals at the end of each day, this is a way to keep me accountable for whatever I put in my system. I know that some days I may fall off the trail but I want to be as realistic as possible so people can know the challenges i’m facing on this journey and hopefully get inspired. 

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I didn’t weigh myself before starting because it’s not just about what the scale says, I got obsessed with my scale the last time I tried this diet I could literally weigh myself five to six times a day. I intend to weigh myself eventually but I want it to be a surprise. I know I weigh between 100kg to 105kg. So I will know how well i’m doing when I decide to check. I also have recent photographs that will serve as ‘before’ while I work on the ‘after’.

Is there anyone of you currently embarking on a journey of change you always wish you started , still hoping to pursue a dream for a while now but still procrastinating? Leave me a comment or email and let’s encourage each other and make things happen. 

The time is NOW.

Love, Valada!

Career goals; Stuck and confused!

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Recently i have been worried about the direction in which my career is going. If you have read my bio already, you would know that i am a University Lecturer, and that means studying ever ends for me if i intend to continue in this profession (i love my job and i have a passion for teaching by the way). Surprisingly i grew up to discover i enjoy being the student, it’s funny considering i hated school as a child needless to say i was an above average student. In other to grow to the peak of my career (Professor) i need to publish a lot of academic literature in reputable journals and get a PhD while i’m at it. It isn’t an easy task, it takes a lot of dedication, commitment and perseverance to achieve this. I know because my Dad is one and i have learned a lot from him over the years.

I never believed that after getting good grades while undergoing my masters from a UK university i would encounter this much problems with getting admitted as a PhD student. Well that has been my predicament for a while now. I am qualified for  most of the positions but the application process can be very daunting, especially with various schools having different requirements and admission processes. Some universities give you research topics and some do not. Others ask for a research proposal while others do not, some ask you to get a supervisor by yourself while some don’t. Some ask for GRE/GMAT test scores while other don’t. And the list goes on.

I assume you get the picture i’m trying to paint. Sometimes i get frustrated especially because i have a personal deadline to meet. I’ve set out tons of emails to various universities and prospective supervisors around the world. Sometimes you get a reply (positive or negative) but most times you don’t. Well i have decided to use this vacation wisely to continue with my search and not get discouraged regardless of the disappointments. The end result is all that matters to me for now and i’m well aware of the fact that quitters ever win (i am aware because i would have had a PhD by now had i not given up years ago). I could really use some motivation right now, seriously.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in the course of your studies/careers and how were you able to overcome them? Please share in the comments section.

Thank you for reading.

 

Life update

Feels good to be back after being MIA for a few weeks, I’ve missed blogging a lot. A quick update though on what I was up to while I was away.

So I am on break from work and came to be with hubby in Lagos. We’d been apart for a couple of months, I guess you understand that a lot of catching up was necessary ๐Ÿ˜€. Did I mention our arrival (my son and I) was a pleasant surprise? I had our flights changed so could come earlier than expected and I must say I got him ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜˜.

I have also been out and about a bit but the most memorable was the first ever Baileys bake fest in Africa. I’m glad I was there, it was fun filled. Lots of Bailey’s infused treats to try, games to play and friends to make. The icing on the cake for me was meeting with top Nigerian celebrities I’ve watched and admired for a long time, it was amazing. My husband took it upon himself to make it a special date by pampering me to some goodies there and even after we left the event as a pre-birthday groove ๐Ÿ˜.

Yesterday was my birthday and le hubb organized a small house party for me with few family and friends. I had a good time and I truly appreciate him for that gesture, i’m also thankful to all that celebrated me in one way or another. I felt happy and blessed turning 30 years old. God has been good to me. I’m so excited to see what this next phase of my life will be about. I am believing God for breakthroughs that will move me to my next level in life. I will be working on achieving my dreams, it won’t be easy but I know i will succeed.
Finally my son just began to walk/run today, what a pleasant birthday surprise. I am so happy.

I will be more consistent now, thanks for reading. Until next time, stay blessed and safe!

Tips on how to cope with disagreements in relationships

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Source: Google images

Over the years i have found that a lot of times married couples or those in committed relationships like to pretend about the struggles that they face in their marriages, thereby misleading singles into believing that there are no tough days. It is important to be prepared mentally and otherwise before venturing into any serious relationship as it will either make or mar you. Being married for two years has taught me a lot more than i was ever taught in my marriage counselling classes, and it has made me learn so much about attributes i never believed i had (which is a good thing if you look at the bright side of it). I am more understanding and patient now, and i try not to act on impulse especially when i am very angry or happy. I believe these issues should be discussed more instead of just sweeping them under the rug and acting like they don’t exist.

Religious marriage counsellors tend to give you a glimpse of what is to come but do not actually paint the whole picture (not to discredit pre marriage counselling please). Conflict or disagreement between married couples is normal and does not imply that there is no love lost between the two, if anything, it makes you realize how much you mean to each other especially if both parties understand each other. That being said, the good days should be more than the bad days not the opposite (do not ever condone violence or abuse of any kind, run for your life while you can!)

Based on my experience and that of others i’ve observed, i would like to share some tips that have helped me cope during my challenging times in the two years of my marriage.

  • Communicate and be active listeners while you’re at it; this point cannot be overemphasized (sounds cliche i know but it is what it is). A lot of times we get carried away by life’s events that we forget how important it is to talk to each other. And please not necessarily about serious issues, sometimes keeping each other updated about the day helps keep couples connected and feel more involved. This is more crucial for those in long distance marriages like myself. When there is a disagreement, it is better to discuss it and get it settled. Many marriages have ended over trivial reasons that could have been resolved if both parties had been reasonable enough to talk and hear each other out. Showing lack of interest when the other person is talking leads to more disagreement. Avoid dialogue when any party is angry or furious.
  • Honesty is key; Be honest about how you feel when conflicts are being resolved in marriage. When you lie or withhold information, you end up making matters worse because sooner or later the truth will be revealed and will eventually lead to distrust. On the other hand, if you’re not real with your partner about your likes and dislikes, you will keep getting hurt as a result of your partner not being aware of the reasons for your getting hurt. So be real.
  • Be willing to compromise: When a disagreement is being resolved, it is mandatory that both parties agree to compromise on whatever the reason for the controversy. Being selfish in marriage makes both parties bitter and may subsequently lead to divorce or separation.
  • Let bygones be bygones: After matters have been settled, it is only wise to forgive each other and move on with life on a happy note. Constantly making reference to past conflicts will affect the relationship negatively. Just learn from past mistakes and be better next time.
  • Go on dates occasionally or as often as possible; This last tip sounds so simple and predictable but i assure you that its one of the things most married couples hardly do. Spending more time together helps you create sweet memories that you both will cherish when your aged and it brings you closer together in love and friendship. If you have to schedule date nights or days please do so. Besides, that’s what most ladies desire but hardly ever ask if the men do not offer. The more time you spend with each other, the better for your relationship. it does not have to be expensive.

I hope this write up is educative and inspiring enough to make someone in a committed relationship going through a tough time feel better. For those who are single please learn from those who are experienced so you don’t end up making decisions you will regret later.

If you have more tips to share please do that in the comments section, thank you for reading.

Until next time,

Love more and worry less!

Counting down to 30

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Source; Google images

There is no greater feeling like looking back at your life and realizing how far you’ve come. I reminisce a lot, not because i have a lot of time on my hands but because counting my blessings gives me joy. Often times we get carried away by our troubles and frustrations which eventually lead to depression. The world is already full of sad events, let’s not make things worse. We all should take a chill pill, relax and enjoy life. Be happy regardless of our individual circumstances.

There are so many reasons to be happy, for example; the gift of life, family, friends, laughter, good health, shelter, food, water, peace, love, career, etc. they are too many to be listed here. If you are depressed, sad or going through a tough time, please drop it and look forward to brighter days ahead. No one will make that choice for you except you!

It is normal to get upset sometimes but at the end of the day we should not let that rob us of the excitements that come with being happy people. I have experienced terrible times of betrayal from people i hold dear to my heart, and i threw the longest pity party for myself till there was no strength or tears left in me. One day i asked myself if it was even worth my energy and time, as you know the answer was and still is an obvious ‘NO’. That was the moment i decided i would live a fulfilled life and keep being the cheerful happy-go-lucky girl i was when i was much younger.

So far it has paid off, i’ve lost so many friends but i gained few others that i wouldn’t trade for the world. One thing i cherish in life is loyalty and that is because i am loyal to a fault. I however, learned over the years not to expect such an expensive virtue from people who do not understand its concept. One of my aunts would always say ‘blessed are those who do not expect, for they shall not be disappointed‘.

20 days to my 30th birthday and i say ‘NO’ to every form of negative energy around me. I choose to live, love and laugh in peace like never before. It is time for me to take good care of myself for me and my family, i intend for my son to have happy memories growing up (so help me God). Memories he will take with him for life till he starts his own family.

I still have a lot  to accomplish as long as i am alive ad healthy. That is, new people to meet, new places to visit, achieving my career goals and so much more. This is just the beginning for me, i have never felt so fresh and driven to succeed like i do now. I hear 30 is the new 20 (LOL, I wish).

On this note, i wish to announce that i will be embarking on a ketogenic lifestyle journey soon. I have been overweight for so long, i feel this is the best time for a change or rather, a transformation from the inside out. I will be updating you on my progress and i will also try to post recipes alongside photos of my meals. So stay tuned for that, i will need all the encouragement and motivation i can get.

Did i also mention my son and i will be going home to hubby soon for the summer break?! We are so excited to be reunited after almost six moths of being apart (some of the sacrifices families of military personnel make, but we do it with love). Thanks for reading guys.

Until next time, stay safe and happy. Remember YOLO!

i-Care Support Foundation: Maiden outreach

A journey of a thousand miles they say begins with a step. 
Finally one of my age-long dreams came through. My charity organization is now up and running to the glory of God. 

Last Saturday (3rd of June) was  our first outreach to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in a small community called ‘Sangere’, in Yola – Nigeria and it was amazing. They were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and had fled their villages with nothing but their lives. A lot of them lost family members and all their property. So they are starting all over again, with nothing. Sad, but those of us that witnessed it first-hand understand what they went through and still trying to recover from.
A very humbling and fulfilling experience it was, I must say. We didn’t have a lot to give, but the little we presented was with love and it was well appreciated. We took some fairly used clothes for men women and babies, shoes, bedsheets, and food items.
I am so thankful to those that donated and my wonderful team of volunteers, they did a good job. Looking forward to our next event.

Peace๐Ÿ˜‡.

Note* I tried to upload photos from the event but I wasn’t successful due to poor internet coverage, I will update the post when I get better network. Thanks for reading.

Finding my career path

Truth is I was never impressed with the idea of having a mentor when growing up. However, over the years i have realized that no one knows it all and we all could use a little bit of guidance from people who have had more experience in whatever we need help with. Some of us are either too scared, shy or proud to ask for help. Why? If you hold on to those, you will never learn.
Many young people feel that because we are in the digital age and they have access to the Internet and other media, they do not need any guidance from more experienced people. It is sad because a generation of lost and confused youth is being groomed to take over from our parents.

Working with young people as a lecturer has given me access to some of these promising young men and women, whenever I converse with them about their career path and plans for the future I discover that most of them are just waiting on what time and chance have in store for them. I remember when I was much younger I had an issue with being asked what I wanted to be in the future. Not because there is anything wrong in asking but because I had no idea what I wanted to be (surprising i know, but its true). 

I was totally confused and clueless about if I wanted to go to University or not, even though it wasn’t an option in my family but a MUST. My parents were so strict that even the thought of being a failure wasn’t an option. I desperately wanted to succeed and impress them in whatever I ended up doing with my life, so much so that I let them make most of the important decisions about my education (I don’t regret it though, considering how clueless I was back then). 

Funny enough I turned out fine and i’m loving every bit of all i’m doing at the moment. To be honest i’m still learning new things about myself, the things I have passion for and i’m descovering new talents I never even knew I had everyday. 

I never thought I had a mentor but thinking about it now, I realize my parents were and still remain my main mentors. The decisions they guided me to make helped turn me into the responsible young woman I am today and they are proud of everything I have accomplished not just career wise but also in terms of the content of my character. I couldn’t be more thankful that I was obedient and patient enough to let them guide me aright. Let me quickly add that i’m aware not everyone gets to have parents that should be looked up to as role models. I am so blessed. I try in every way possible to live responsibly so my students and other youths around see and learn from me. 

I am constantly working on being the best version of myself because as much as I want people to be inspired by the way i live my life, I most importantly want God to be pleased with me even though I am only human and can never be perfect. Secondly i want to be the kind of mother my son will forever be proud of. These are some of the things that motivate me to stay driven and focused.

Most of the new generation youth are not humble enough to even admit that they need assistance in certain aspects of their daily lives let alone take advice. I believe we have people who came to this world before us for a reason. So we can learn from them. Personally I don’t agree that I have to make every mistake in the book in order to gain experience and wisdom. I talk to a lot of people, I observe and pick attributes and words that would make me better than when I met them. That is how I have been living and will coninue to live, I am however open to new ideas. I encourage my students to listen and learn at every given opportunity from everyone they encounter on thier journey through life. One may never notice the repercussions of living a life without direction until it’s too late.

In Nigeria there is a saying that ‘words of elders are words of wisdom’. Elders here does not necessarily mean aged people, it could be a young colleague at work who got employed before you. Another saying goes “opportunity comes but once”, in other words make hay while the sun shines.

For those that are interested in hearing the actual story of how I found myself in the world of academia, let me know in the comments section or via email. It’s quite interesting I must say, considering it was one profession I disliked with a passion (LOL).

Until next time, keep living your dreams!

Life lessons

I guess we all know what a rose flower looks like. Beautiful as it is, it has thorns regardless of it’s colour and beauty. That is how life is, not everyday is going to be happy. Everyday comes with surprises, the pleasant and not so pleasant ones.
Ever wonder why people get hurt each time something doesn’t go as planned despite knowing from the beginning that there’s only a 50/50 chance of a positive outcome? One never gets used to disappointment, it’s a natural phenomenon.

The thorns on a rose doesn’t stop it from being beautiful so why let disappointment hold you back from being your best?!! I have learned some lessons from my few years of life, I hope it helps someone realize they’re not alone.

  1. People you trust will hurt you in the worst ways you can imagine, deal with it. It’s your decision to make as to wether to stay away from the negative energy, keep enduring or let them know how you feel and make peace.
  2. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Personally I believe whatever terrible experience I go thorough teaches me lessons I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. And every challenge I go through is an opportunity to learn something new. This realization helps me stay sane ๐Ÿ˜€.
  3. People tend to make promises they can’t keep when they are happy. Try not to get your hopes up, else you end up disappointed. Keep an open mind always and ensure you have a plan B just in case ๐Ÿ‘Œ. Remember to be as realistic with your expectations as possible while you give room for error.
  4. Never ever assume, always ask questions. Verify your facts before acting on them. Being silent about issues affecting your peace will only get you depressed. Speak up no matter how controversial the topic is and save yourself some stress. 
  5. They say forgive and forget. I say forgiving is the easy part, forgetting is where the work lies. Just try to be patient with people, you’ll get over it someday somehow but don’t lose yourself in the process.

Life is a journey we all are opportuned to go on only once. It’s important to make it count, occupy yourself with things that make you happy. Make wise decisions. Be kind, you never know when you’ll require to be treated as suรงh. How we behave to others has a funny way of coming back to us when we least expect it. 

Until next time, be happy!๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ