The popular saying on Pinterest quote or on Instagram reinforcing the need for consistency and achieving great results is constantly slammed on our faces that we get nervous when we encourage the idea of taking a break. As a creative, I barely hear other creatives in my niche talk about taking breaks and I find that it is one essential tool if we need our creative juices flowing.

Sometime last year, I thought about a list of things I had to achieve especially with the blog. I remember stating one time on the blog that in this new month this is what I hope to do. Fast-forward to 2019, I almost beat myself up for not having reached the height I had set for myself.

What I failed to realise is that, with other pressing needs and more responsibilities, I sometimes will fall short of hitting realistic goals. After realising this truth, I no longer beat myself up if I feel mentally tired. I now take breaks while plotting my next move because I am now clear that taking a break every now and then enhances the development of my strength.

I find this does not necessarily have to be when one has set a goal and is struggling to achieve, it also applies if a person has worked himself so damn hard and find he/she is slowly running out on themselves.

Rest comes in several forms, it could mean taking a break from what you are doing at the moment to rejuvenate, it could be going on a vacation, or ultimately could come in form of sleep or talking a nice jolly walk in the field to clear your head, and to enjoy nature, and the peace it brings.

It’s ok to take breaks every now and then as they help with productivity. Don’t beat yourself up if you do not achieve the goal you have set for yourself. Take a break, go back within your inner self (your reservoir) and come back ready to tackle the world again.

What other ways do you prefer to distress mentally?

Mother’s day is here. Another time to celebrate the mum figure in our lives-

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A few weeks back, I was having a conversation with my friend. Our conversation was initially centred on movie producers and she said: “hey, do you know they even choose an actor based on the number of social media presence they have?”. I was taken aback as I felt choosing a cast should be base on talent and not the number of followers.  We went on talking about why movie producers do this and the benefits it holds for them. Whilst having this conversation, my attention was immediately  drawn to those who haven’t got as much online recognition as they would love and the pang in their hearts when they compare their small growing number of followers to someone’s else’s  thousands or millions of followers on Instagram, Facebook including the number of views, likes or comments these people receive on a daily basis when they post a new picture. This is particularly prevalent among teenagers but there is also an alarming struggle among youths.
Now consider this; if an adult could worry about such things,  what do you think the average teen who is only starting to find his feet around and understand how the world works feel?
Don’t get me wrong, I use to worry about Instagram (did I say use to? I mean I still worry sometimes) and for such a long time it left me feeling sad when I see people’s pretty picture and the effort put in before a picture is posted. But I have a few things that keep me going and I hope it helps you.
  1. Knowing the purpose for joining Instagram? Knowing this would help you figure out where you stand i.e I didn’t sign up to NnekasChronicles Instagram to compare myself to others. On the contrary, I signed up so I can make an impact in my little way. I also have a personal account that helps me save my pics and connect with old friends. So even if I am not getting so much from there, it doesn’t bother me and this is because I understand the purpose for which it was created. So understanding this could help. You might have signed up to reconnect with old friends and relatives.  So knowing and understanding your purpose is important.
  2. What value are you adding? This is a powerful question.  What value are you adding to the 50 followers or 20 followers or 1million followers you’ve got? If you aren’t adding value to your few loyal fans, why should you then be bothered about having millions of followers if you aren’t impacting something meaningful? Ponder on this one.
  3. Who are you following and how do they make you feel? I am aware people do something called follow for follow (F4F or FFF) which is simply following back a person who follows you on instagram. So when you follow these people or stare at a picture or profile for so long, what impact does it leave with you; does it leave you feeling sad, happy or inspired? Sometimes after going through a picture, I find myself taking note because I have just learnt something new that I can’t wait to implement. So if your followers don’t inspire you or add value to your life or make you happy, it will do you more good to unfollow them. Trust me I have done it before (I still do)
  4. My last point which I believe is the most important (it doesn’t mean scrap the other 3 though😁, they are equally important). Is: everything is for show. No one can boldly say they have the perfect life however everyone claims so on Instagram or on social media. Remember the perfect picture had to undergo ‘surgery’ using different apps so don’t worry much if your pictures are not up to standard just work on your operating skills and like magic you will be there :). Mind you some of the people who claim to be the happiest on Instagram or any other social platform also have moments of sadness but hardly do you ever see anyone post their sad lives. Haven’t you heard of those who post up the nicest pictures and take their lives the next minute? My point is, we all struggle so don’t let anyone’s Instagram curated life make you feel like a failure or that you’ve got nothing to offer because you do.
  5. If nothing sticks out to you, remember what you see on the gram is not often a true reflection of the person’s reality. (remember the surgery I mentioned earlier?)  As I sometimes say, it’s all packaging.
I hope you leave here feeling positive and see Instagram in a different light.

Growing up I was taught to save and I did this by putting money (either the ones gifted to me on my birthday or by my parents) in a wood box built by the local carpenter. It was an exciting time for me as I get to put every naira or kobo in the box. What’s more exciting was, I could also include notes in the ‘safe’ or ‘Kolo’ as it was locally called in Nigeria.

My favourite moment is when I have to go withdraw cash from my ‘safe’ either to give my mum to get something for me or go to the shop to buy sweets for myself. I did this with a lot of excitement, sometimes desperation and anger on my face if my broomstick refuses to pick out the notes I want or picks nothing at all. Those days, when I look through the safe hole, I get excited at the green and red notes (N10/N20- 10/20Naira)staring back at me as back then, these notes were a lot of money and I could get new stuff for school or simply treat myself.

When I got a little older, I was gifted with a beautiful piggy bank with a lock. Oh how I cherished it. I kept it safe and wouldn’t let anyone touch it. By now I have mastered the art of saving and understood the need to invest.  Understanding this was priceless.

I remember travelling out of the country less than a year after I got gifted with my fancy piggy bank and had to part ways with it. That was one sad day for me- I had to give out this gift. According to my aunt, I wouldn’t need it in the country I am travelling to and since she needed something to remember me by, the bank came in handy. As painful as it was, I unlocked the bank, removed my money ( of course I had to )and gave her my little piggy bank.

Here is a very close sample of my fancy piggy bank. Mine was a square shape

Now as an adult, even though I have a bank account, I still find myself going shopping for a piggy bank to drop my 1p,50p, £1 and every change I can gather because I am sure, a time would come when I need to cash out. I remember having a chat with my friend last week and I said, rather than getting rid of my 10 and 5p’s, I will keep them in my piggy bank (I no longer call it safe)  and that will sort out the shopping bags and 17p water as you know in the UK, you no longer get shopping bags for free, you now pay for your bags when you go shopping in most supermarkets and if you haven’t got a 5 pence to complete your purchase, you won’t go out with it. Now see why every penny counts.

Here is my little piggy bank.

Another thing I do when it comes to saving is to randomly put cash in any of my bags. According to my mum, having spare cash at home helps for rainy days. Let me share this story.

One time during my undergrad, I travelled to a different city on holiday on my return, the taxi driver didn’t have change and it was a Sunday so shops were closed and I didn’t want to walk to the cash machine. Luckily, I remembered I had some cash and I paid him off. What my mum said was exactly true as having cash to lay aside saved the situation.

Another example was when I went to a restaurant in January this year. I opened my bag and saw the extra money I had randomly left. When it was time to pay, I realised the money i brought initially wasn’t enough. Rather than paying with my card, my random note paid off. Indeed laying money aside helps save for rainy days.

What are you into, do you still save with a piggy bank or do you randomly put cash away?

Let me know from the list mentioned what method you prefer to use when it comes to saving those notes and pennies or would you rather put all in the bank?

Now get your favourite drink with you as you are about to read one interesting story you hardly hear me talk about.

For some who aren’t aware, I was born in Nigeria. Back in the days, we had this child star make waves in the entertainment industry in Nigeria with her hit song ‘Osemudiamen” pronounced Ose-Mu-Di-A-Me and this is where the story of me being deceived comes into play.

When the hit ‘Osemudiamen’ by the young ‘Benita came on, the kids in the street, including myself and my neighbours were in love with the song. We will sing to it every time and our favourite moment was when it comes up on our television screen as we loved to watch Benita perform. As I come from a different tribe from Benita, I obviously didn’t know the lyrics to the song but I ‘chew’ my mouth in tune anyway.

My big sister knew how much I loved Benita and longed to see her so she capitalised on this and then one day, together with our neighbours who were twin sisters, conspired [yes! I say conspire because she knew I love to go to bed early and wouldn’t stay up late at night with them so it was indeed].  to lie to me so I could stay up longer rather than go to bed the usual time I did.

Back to my story.

So my sister conspired with the twins to lie that Benita came visiting with her parents and when I wake up in the morning, this is how the conversation goes:

My Sis: Ah!! Nne, you missed o

By the way; ‘O or Ah’ are a few among many Nigerian clichés we incorporate in our everyday conversation. I mean you hear people speak to their bosses at work or lecturers in universities like “Ah, excuse me sir  I can’t handle this course o” lol.

Come to think of it, if you haven’t included ah, o, abi, shebi in your conversation (Especially with your fellow Nigerian), are you truly Nigerian? **Food for Thought**

Again back to my story, apologies, getting distracted.

When she says that to me in the morning, me with the sleepy eye and hungry tummy, trying to find food to eat ignorantly replied ”

ME:  What happened?’

MY SIS: Benita came here yesterday

ME: It’s a LIE!!

MY SIS:  Ok, then, ask the twins

On hearing ‘ask the twins’ my eyes  will lit up and I screamed like:

ME: ‘Oh my God!! why didn’t you wake me? *Already on the verge of tears *

MY SIS: I was trying to wake you but you refused. You said I should leave you alone so we (Herself, the twins and Benita) ate puff puff and she sang her song to us”

*Puff Puff is a Nigeria snack.

I would be so upset and I’d run to the twins. Their story was always the same. So I pleaded with them saying

ME: Please, when next she comes, wake me up

TWINS: Don’t worry, she (Benita) said she will come today, we will try waking you up

On the night of Benita supposed arrival,  I stayed up, fighting sleep until nature eventually called and I gave in. This continued until I figured they were playing tricks on me but we laughed it off. I stopped being gullible.

Now reflecting on this, I decided I will make my nephew and niece pay for their mum’s shenanigans by making them stay up late. Or would I? Since I really want to be their favourite auntie. I guess they won’t have to pay for their mama’s sin.

Moral of the story???

Why not tell me what you deduced from this story yourself?

Till I write to you again, enjoy reading and enjoy the video below.

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