Category Archives: life

Resolve to be Joyful though Single

Trying to meet an individual, who you can cultivate an intimate, God centred relationship with, is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. It can wear you down and steal your JOY. Don’t let it.

It’s quite normal to want to get married and build a life with someone.

It’s ok to have moments of frustration and impatience.

We are humans after all. Waiting year after year and not seeing our dreams and hopes realized in this regard is indeed jarring.

Some may ask or pester you repeatedly about why you are single or about when you are getting married. My favourite response is to ask them, to point me to the store where I can find a husband.

We are more than our singleness.

If you are putting yourself out there: socializing in different places, exploring dating sites and such, you are doing what you can.

Live your life while doing all this:

  • Join with other singles and do stuff: dinner, movies, karaoke, travel and whatever works for you.
  • Encourage yourself with the fact that God is faithful, he sees you and is really in control of your life.
  • Travel solo and explore new or old familiar places.
  • Do some online courses and or go after further education opportunities.
  • Blog
  • Give of your time and talents in different avenues.
  • Be still and learn to enjoy your own company.
  • Date but don’t settle out of desperation. The cliche makes sense – it’s better to be single and happy than married and miserable.

I don’t know about you but I am content with my life. There are some triggers. I think all singles have their unique triggers. It pays to know them and circumvent them where possible.

Keep hope alive, have different goals for yourself as an individual. Get out and spend time with others, eat, drink, laugh and make merry. Create an oasis in your place and practice basking in the wonderfulness of it all. Embrace feeling sorry for yourself sometimes. We are humans and that happens. Don’t dwell in that place though because we are more than our single status.

Guard your Self Esteem as you date Online

You are putting yourself out there. It takes guts to know that people view your profile and move on. You do it too, we all do it. It’s not personal, keep reminding yourself of this. It is part and parcel of online dating.

Remember we all have our preferences

Nothing is wrong with us. We are not for everyone and it is best if those without a genuine interest keep scrolling or swiping etc. Do the same and know this is fine since you have no malicious intentions.

Waiting is a part of the process of online dating

Online dating isn’t a magic world where the one suddenly connects with you as soon as you sign up. It doesn’t work like this. Some people make a connection soon and others wait and wait. Go into online dating knowing that it may take some time to connect with who you desire. You may also still meet the person in real life and not online, we never know. Take the pressure off and take it day by day. It’s not that something is wrong with you. It is a part of the process.

Block and report people as needed

Don’t allow people you meet on online dating sites to speak to you out of turn. We don’t allow this in our daily lives, why put up with this online? Block and report the person if needed. Do it the first time and don’t feel bad. The people online are the same as those in society, so there are people of every ilk. Know this and proceed with caution.

Know what you want and proceed accordingly

Ask the right questions to get at what you want. I don’t feel you should have to lower your expectations to meet those who reach out to you. Please don’t feel bad or less than because who catches your eye may overlook you. Keep it moving and stay hopeful.

Take breaks to live in the real world and connect with those in your life

It is easy to make online dating sites into a mini world. You wake up in the morning and log on then come home and do the same. If you do this day after day without making any good connections it can affect your self esteem. Remember to keep up with people in your life. These are your people who are there for you. Let them love on you and you love on them. See online dating as a small part of your life, where you put yourself in a space to meet who you are seeking. It shouldn’t be all consuming. Go out, be with family and friends, live life while dating online.

The Blessing of Singleness

If you dwell on it singleness may feel like an albatross around your neck, forever dragging you down into the pit of despair.

All the social media platforms show everybody else finding love, dating, marrying, having babies and living life. It is easy to get so wrapped up in the life of others that you cultivate lack instead of nurturing joy.

Single people of whatever age please, let us be joyful and happy. Life is brief and we have so much to be thankful for. Stop, think and bask in the many blessings of singleness you enjoy. I know there are single people in different circumstances. Some may believe life would be better if they were in a relationship. This may or may not be the case. Celebrate where you are now.

If you have the financial means to do so and want to travel, research and go travel solo. This is something I am blessed to do and will share more about.

Volunteer at church, different organizations, mentor some youths and use your time to serve your community. This is a great blessing to others and yourself.

Another blessing of singleness for those without children is being able to go to bed whenever you want and also sleeping in. This is blissful! Don’t take it for granted.

Remember all the times when you just get up and go do whatever you want. Yup, that’s another blessing of singleness.

We are programmed to believe, that if we don’t get married by a certain age our lives are less than or that we are worth less than others. Shake that off and carve out a life that is joyful and fulfilling.

I believe it is important, to be hopeful to meet my God ordained spouse, while enjoying my time of singleness. Enjoying knowing yourself more and more, building skills, forming relationships and immersing yourself in worthwhile experiences.

As singles we are blessed and being content while waiting is a blessing.

Don’t Keep Dumping Stuff on the Strong Friend

Everybody has good days and bad days.

Some people focus a lot on their bad days, amplify them and stretch them on and on. There are others who have their moments and manage them without sounding an alarm.

The latter is the ‘strong’ friend. We all have one or more or we are that friend.

The strong friend goes through the roadblocks of life, faces them and manages to keep an even keel, even in life’s greatest storms. This friend feels, manages these feelings and gets through them often without saying anything. This often means that those around him or her get the impression that this friend’s life is perfect.

As we all know, no one has a perfect life. Some people complain about every obstacle, while others focus inward and keep pushing as they go over these again and again.

It is easy to keep dumping stuff on the friend who is handling his or her baggage and not shouting about it to the world. Personalities differ. This does not mean he or she should always be bombarded with every crisis from others. People often forget to ask that friend, “How are you?” The perception over time is that he or she is always fine.

No one is always fine. Some talk about their problems over and over again and others work their way through them silently.

Hence, if you have a strong friend who you never think has a problem, stop and think again. Ask how he or she is doing from time to time and really listen.

It’s nice to bear each other’s burdens; let’s be conscientious.

Pick your Battles

There are times when I instinctively want to fight but then I stop and think and choose flight.

In the rashness of my youth fight I would. Fighting takes so much energy, wounds you up and most of all steals your joy and peace.

Now, I take the time to ask myself, is it worth it? Is it worth disrupting my equilibrium? Is it going to help make something better from now on or is it just to get my way for now? How is it going to affect my relationship with those around me? I think long and deep before I fight these days.

Am I getting wiser, possibly, but I sure am tired and often don’t have the energy to expend on trivial things. There is power in letting some things go and pursuing peace.

Something came up today, something important that thinking back, I would have fought for before. No, today, I decided for my peace of mind to go with the other option, not my first choice, but the one that will not see me wasting time in a pointless discussion. Once the other person started sharing their illogic, I quickly ceded before my mood could shift.

I am interested in fighting battles that will see me whole and well, help others who are powerless, who I can advocate for.

I am working on not getting riled up about the little things. I am storing up my verbal artillery for when it’s really needed. I am no longer allowing my emotions to have me shoot off at the mouth just because I can. I am picking my battles more carefully and it feels good to not get into the fighting stance at every threat.

Pick your battles…this is good advice.

We all need a Budget

We sure do. If a person earns a dollar or millions of dollars, having a budget is essential. There is this feeling for some people, that budgeting means depriving yourself of things.

To a certain extent this is true. However, a more positive view of budgeting is seeing it as a tool, that allows you to spend and save accurately as well as realistically.

How can you spend in a smart manner if you do not keep track of what comes in and what goes out? This is why it is important to have a budget. I like seeing my budget listed out to see how I am spending my hard earned cash.

Tip 1 – Prioritize Expenses as you put together a Budget

These are my priorities: tithes, rent, bills, food, recreation,travel, miscellaneous and savings. I budget from what is most important to what is least important to me. This visual representation with the relevant amounts for each, helps me to live a debt free lifestyle.

I further sub-divide the ‘food’ category into groceries, lunch (this includes a portion for buying things to make lunch and also setting aside money to buy lunch at least once a week). I use envelopes for the different portions of money – I have been doing this since 2001 when I started working. I learnt this from my daddy. I chuckle now to see it’s a thing in the debt free/finance community – I also do something similar for recreation. I have an envelope for planned events and one for anything that may arise. The miscellaneous category is my catch all. This means whatever unplanned events come up I can use this for that. If anything is left in each category then it’s rolled over to the following month.

There are some times when I may add other categories to my budget. For example, when I was saving up for a new computer, I put away the equivalent of a $100 each month for a year. I have that now for when this MacBook gives up the ghost. I have also done that when I was saving up for a new phone. They key is to start saving a year or more before big ticket items die. I have such peace of mind from knowing that when my phone and computer die, I can go out and replace them using cash. This is essential to fuel my debt free lifestyle.

Tip 2 – Budget to save for those rainy days

Life throws stuff at all of us. I believe it is important to build up some savings for different eventualities. Every little bit helps. Sometimes we have to delay immediate gratification to free up more money for savings. For example, if you by lunch every day and or even a cup of coffee that is quite a sum of money over a year. I sometimes buy a halfway decent salad, an onigiri and some nuts for lunch. That is around $8 or more. I buy ingredients for salad for $10 and get enough to have it everyday of the week. With this in mind, I plan my lunch menu, grocery shop accordingly and meal prep to stay on track. As we know, when we are busy or rushing in the morning, it is so much easier to just buy lunch and breakfast.

My life is about balance. My budget isn’t militant because I don’t want to feel like I am punishing myself. As a result of this, I set aside some money to buy lunch once of twice a week, which is a good compromise for me.

Tip 3 – Set some short term and long term goals as the object of your Budget

I like to give myself different challenges so budgeting is like a game. A short term goal for saving would be like saving up to go shopping in a few months. No, I no longer just shop on a whim. I have too much crap I bought on sale and wasted money. I have others like putting together a certain sum as a gift for someone or a project. Then there are long term goals like saving for retirement. We are never too young to save for this. There is quite a bit of satisfaction in setting some money goals and seeing your accomplishment bit by bit.

Tip 4 – Budget and live within your Means

Many of us have certain mindsets that cause us to throw away our money. Do we need to buy new clothes for every event, trip and so on? Do we need to say yes to every meet up, event and things of that nature? If your phone works, why upgrade it and have to pay money on a new phone for a few months? If your car is in good shape, why take out one on credit and go into debt? I am sounding preachy but I am baffled as to why people make these choices. Yes, we are all free to do whatever we want with our own money, I know. However, I am that friend who will ask others to think about these things and not just act on impulse.

There is much fun to be had and goals to be attained on a budget. If we give ourselves time to save up and be patient we can circumvent so much financial frustrations and headaches.

Tip 5 – Try Budgeting for 6 Months before writing it off

I challenge you to seriously try budgeting for 6 months. Go to YouTube and watch the myriad of content on budgeting. You can see everything from how to make one on paper or using different apps. It’s also incredible to see testimonies of people getting out of debt once they start budgeting and sticking to it.

All companies, countries and organizations have a budget that they operate within for a year. Clearly, this is an essential item. I hope everyone would find the joy in budgeting and do so to live a debt free life. It’s a beautiful thing.

Oh! Death Stings so Hard

I heard the news; tears flood my eyes.

I was expecting it because the doctors told us, her time was fast slipping away. Still my heart jolted, I was numb and my mind is stilled scattered by the news – she is no more.

My sister friend of 48, breathed her last and ended her battle with that beast cancer after 15 years. Gone too soon indeed. We cherish her memories and her legacy in her two brilliant girls, now young ladies of 18 and 20. Words can’t describe the loss of a mother much less losing her days before Mothers’ Day. Sigh!

She lived life out loud. She inspires me to do the same. My friend walk good as we say in Jamaica. Gone but never forgotten.