Throwback to when I misplaced my wedding gown…for one month🤦🏾‍♀️

I’m glad I can laugh and blog about this now, ‘cos it wasn’t even funny at the time.

This is how the story goes…

After the fanfare of the wedding ceremonies, I was eager to get out of the pretty but uncomfortable gown while hubz was having a field day catching up with his hommies. Time finally came to get out of my wedding gown and I packed it away. After all, I won’t be wearing it again. In fact, the thought of spending so much on a gown to be worn for just a few hours and never again, tempted me to want to rent a gown to use. But the snag was, I was sentimental about wanting a new gown ‘cos well, I’m new too. Story for another day. Anyways, Mr. O. – le hubz, gave me the funds to buy the gown. My champ🥰

Time to check out from the hotel to our place came and my darling aburo (meaning younger sibling) came around to help stow away heavy load so we could travel light. Yea, we had to ‘bolt’ our way home ‘cos our car chose that wedding period to misbehave. Story for another day too.

So gown packed, I handed the gown to my aburo to keep with my parents and bolted with Mr. O. to our home without any thought. I had initially wanted to pick up the gown at my parents’ after our church thanksgiving a few days later to dry-clean and stow away but then I thought…what’s the hurry? There kuku still wasn’t any private car of ours to use.

Thanksgiving came. We went to my parents’ to greet them and headed back to our place. I didn’t even bother to check on my darling wedding gown while there.

One month down the line, car had finally gotten repaired – gulped a very tidy sum🙄 – I went to my parents’ to pack my wedding gown and other personal effects. I didn’t find the gown in my room. No worries, I thought; it must be in my former room or aburo’s room. Surprise! checked there. Nowhere to be found. We checked all the nooks and crannies in the house. No show. I began to wonder whether the gown was so small – like me – as to be easily non-conspicuous.

No jokes, it started getting not funny. ‘Cos you see, we live in a superstitious society where the common belief is that people wish to do you bad at iconic events like wedding days – especially if they can lay hold of the groom’s traditional wedding cap or the bride’s wedding gown. Sigh. I’m generally not a careless person, so this was a bit huge. How could I have been so absent minded as to not notice my wedding gown was missing for one whole month. No, it had nothing to do with the starry eyedness of wedding night paroles. There was kuku none in my case ‘cos monthly hormones had a mind of their own. Another story for another day – maybe.

At this point, my mum was getting a bit worried – cos superstitions. My aburo was getting a bit worried ‘cos the gown was left in their care. Mr. O was not particularly worried ‘cos we can tackle any superstitions spiritually. For him, it was more of smh that I could get so carried away with the festivities as to not pay attention to the little details of my wedding gown whereabouts. Couldn’t even roll my eyes that sebi I wanted to pick the gown a few days after the ceremonies but the steer was why the rush? It was our problem and we had to solve it.

Then we think to ourselves, ‘could we have left the wedding gown in the hotel?‘ ‘It’s not possible’ – we say. We saw the gown when my aburo kept it in the car that day. But for whatever it’s worth, my aburo calls the hotel and voila! There the gown was, sitting in its majestic glory for one month. Apparently, while arranging the car on our checkout day, the wedding gown had been placed on the floor beside the car and forgotten there. The hotel staff, took it in and kept in a safe place. Don’t even ask me how it is that the hotel didn’t think to call. Instead the issue, is how could I not have fathomed, for a whole one month that my wedding gown was not on my bed in my parents’ house.

Anyway, I’m glad the wedding gown was found in one piece. At least one less prayer point to have to kabash about not letting wicked village people get hands on the wedding gown and do us dirty.

The wedding gown’s now dry-cleaned and sitting pretty, without a care in the world.

Cheers,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Emotional Intelligence and Business Collaboration🤝

The point of this short post, is to remind us about how we need one another to survive at work – never mind the esoteric header. Another point, is to remind us not to be smarter than ourselves or think that we’ve scored a point when we give a quick comeback. How do I mean?

I was providing absence cover for a dear colleague one short period. This means that I had to do both her work and mine during this period. Because it was only a short cover, it meant, that I could afford to give some slack on work that came in for her except where urgent.

Well, a client of hers sent in some work at midnight without a background to guide review. The note was something along the lines of ‘please find attached for your comments.’ Because this wasn’t my client, I had no feel of the facts or what our aim was in responding. Anyway, I was still up when the mail came in and because I like to press phone, I saw the mail and noting the gap in context, responded that this client should let me know what the context was and what we aimed to achieve to guide review. Client in this context, means in-house client i.e. we all work for the same organisation but in different departments. This is not the external client situation where the ‘customer is king regardless of bullshit‘ slogan reigns supreme.

You know what this client did? They responded in the morning that I should read the documents and I would find the answers there.

I was already too busy with my own work. So I took the view that this document was obviously not important to this client and could wait till their primary business lawyer who had the background, returned to work to review for them. After all, there was just one business day separating the return and the heavens would not fall within that time. I didn’t bother pointing out the obvious – that if I had the facts, I won’t have asked for them. I carried on with other tasks.

Which brings me to the point – that in the work environment, no one is an island. Basic courtesy is required to thrive. In fact, there are some who are of the school of thought that a nice person at work is likely to be promoted ahead of a more competent but not nice person.

Sometimes, the difference between getting a positive response or silence to your request, is your attitude.

Cheers,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

On misogynistic stereotypes and living alone as a single lady in a third world country…🙄😒

So, this is 2021 people and we’re counting down to #iwd2021, yet I kid you not; the header above is still an actual thing in a third world country like Nigeria.

I mean, it grates on nerves to think that the double standards meted out to male and female children is very visible even by parents. You have a male child out of school not yet married but the parents can’t wait to boot him out of their home ‘cos well, he has to become a man and fend for himself. Yet, generally, when it’s his sister in the exact same situation, the story changes. Of course, all sorts of excuses are bandied of wanting to protect her etc. But we know the real fear, don’t we?

That a lady staying alone, would involve in all sorts of sexual orgies and cap it up by perhaps getting preggy outside wedlock, thereby soiling the family name. That’s the real fear of parents – forget all the paparazzi. That and the related issue that if the lady is known to live alone, no self-respecting family may want to marry her because she may be seen as errhmm loose and of easy virtue.

Guys, can we wake up please! What has living alone got to do with adding or subtracting from loose morals!! She who would engage in sexual orgies would – whether living alone or with her parents. After all, it’s not like her parents would be with her 24/7. Even if they were, whose business should it be, the sexual activities an adult chooses to engage in?

I lived for seven years alone as a single lady. And my life is the best for it. The career/professional/social growth/emotional maturity I garnered in that period, won’t have been gotten if I hadn’t stayed alone. And no, I did not soil my family name during the period – howsoever you may wish to interpret ‘soil.’

Guys, it’s 2021, can we please get over ourselves and let adults live their lives???

The flip side is that with freedom, comes accountability – for those that may be smiling in glee at this post. If you want trust, you must earn and not breach it.

Cheers to #iwd2021,

#ChoosetoChallenge misogynistic stereotypes

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Dear Feminist – what if I told you it’s pro-feminist to change your surname to your husband’s own?😉🤥

E shock you?😁

Caveat: Fairly long post.

So I suppose you may have been expecting me to refer to ‘your maiden name’ in the header rather than ‘your surname?’ That’s the point, it’s still your surname even if you choose to change it to hubby’s own. Like the records are clear to see. Including the most foundational of all – your birth certificate. Same way your marriage certificate lays the foundation to change your birth surname to your husband’s surname. This is assuming you wanted to eventually shirk hubby’s surname and go back to your birth surname. It may just take ‘swearing’ to an affidavit, making a newspaper pub and maybe a few fights with nosey third parties like your bankers. But I digress as that’s not the point of this write up…

So I know feminism sometimes is about ‘I shan’t gree‘ and belligerently proving a point. But it should not always be because wisdom has always been profitable to direct. Besides, who says you cannot achieve your aim without making noise? Consider Princess Meghan of the Prince Harry dynasty. Imagine she had played the feminist card – even though we all know she was self-accomplished ergo justified to do so – and refused to move to be with Prince Harry after marriage. Honestly, the media backlash on the rights and wrongs of her decision would have been a bit too much and distracting for the family. Besides, without that ‘submissive’ move would her Prince have been resolute to drop all his vestiges of royalty and relocate to Canada? We may never know the true instigator of that move. But bottomline, it pays to stoop to conquer as Meghan Markle did. Anyways…

So, the common resistance of feminists against name change is that ‘Oooo, I don’t wanna change the identity I have known for years all because of marriage.’ ‘I am already well know by that name’ etc. But perhaps, in making such assertions, they overlook the little issue that no one can ever remove your accomplishments from you simply because you changed your surname.

Have you considered that by building social capital with your husband’s surname, you are helping him to build his empire which is what marriage should really be about in’it? Building together.

Besides, if you are like me, that loves the idea of having another alias – you get the best of both worlds. Known by your birth surname in some quarters and by a new identity in others. Until people catch on…after a while. But it just drives home the point that people get to associate you with your husband’s surname without taking away the social capital you have built with your birth surname. I won’t say I am endorsing having a split personality but hey – for argument’s sake.

And yes, we all know it is a thing of pride and an ego boost for hubby when you start using his surname. Yea, I know many millennial men would say it doesn’t matter but darling – he’s lying! Especially when you are a woman of extreme value. It’s an add-on for him and helps his name to blow more. You, just change your surname to his and watch his unveiled excitement when he realises it. And you know the thing with happy husbands, you can press their mumu buttons easily – if you were into all that. Now, how is that not a win for whatever feminist tendencies you may have?

Name change helps your new family integration – married remember? You committed to leave and cleave remember? Need I say more on this? Besides, you don’t want hubby self-reflecting that perhaps if he had a Dangote-type name, you would have heartily changed your surname to his to curry favour with the name. This can trigger subconscious resentment that how different are you from a gold digger? Darling, it’s not wise to trigger resentment in hubby. In life, sensibly choose your battles.

Being a feminist or even a self-accomplished woman – particularly if you are vocal, is even a double edged sword. I kid you not, hubby and his clan would be watching your moves closely even if they say nothing. It’s very possible that because you are seen as a feminist, if you fail to do this simple rite of passage after marriage i.e name change, you would be seen as too difficult and they may subconsciously want to show you pepper. Never mind that if you were an obscure woman who simply failed to change her birth surname to hubby’s own, they may not think anything of it.

One of the more mundane reasons to change your surname to husband’s surname is to avoid having to shalaye to nosey in-laws and friends who bug you about why you haven’t changed it. Frankly, this was the least inspiring reason for me and I could probably have refused to change the name just to prove a point to people – in-laws inclusive – to mind their dang business. Never mind the standards society tries to impose on women in countries like Nigeria. Anyways, this is probably not a consideration for a feminist.

So, what if you’ve changed your surname to hubby’s and he annoys you supremely? Do you need a constant reminder such as his surname to show you are yoked to him? Well, when your parents annoy you supremely, do you change your birth surname?! Next question please!

What are your options in doing this name change sef – let’s even say you are interested?

  1. You could opt to change your surname on social media fully to husband’s own without indicating birth surname: If you are into the split personality thing I mentioned earlier, this is attractive.
  2. You could change your surname on social media to husband’s own and indicate your birth surname: If you are worried about loss of identity, you could opt for this as any search with your birth surname would lead searchers to your new identity.

You could opt to do points 1 or 2 above without changing your birth surname legally. Not sure many men would like this but at least it’s better than nothing. The whole world knows your new identity and nosey in-laws and others can go to rest. After all, there’s absolutely no reason they should see your legal documents, to know you have only made a change in form but not in substance🤥🙃

In addition to either point 1 or 2 above:

3. You can choose to change your birth surname to your husband’s surname in your legal documents. The most straight forward change would be for your bank accounts when you provide your marriage certificate and (for oversabi banks) change of name affidavit + newspaper publication of name change. If you are still undecided as to whether you are ready to take this drastic plunge – for your government IDs like driver’s licence, national ID card and international passport – you could wait till the expiration window of the current IDs and then decide if you wanna change the surname upon renewal or maintain status quo. If you choose status quo, rest assured, no one can beat you – not even your hubby😉

4. You can choose to use a double barrelled surname i.e. your birth surname hyphen (-) your husband’s surname. Similar cycle with point 3 above. Would only add that you should talk to hubby before toeing that path to be sure he’s down with the idea. Mine was open to me retaining my birth surname but insisted that if I wanted to change to his, there would be no double barrel. A double barrel with my birth surname and his is not pleasing to the eyes or ears anyways and was never part of my consideration, so I wasn’t even inclined to argue that with him (choose your battles remember?). Anyway, the point is discuss with him first and don’t just assume.

How can you change your birth surname to your husband’s surname? In some cases, all you need is your marriage certificate, some would also request for an affidavit of name change (you can get this done at a court registry or by a notary public) while some overzealous ones would also request for a newspaper publication reflecting the name change.

What if God forbid, the marriage ends? Are you stuck with his surname for life? Your choice. You can retain it for life and he can’t even force you to drop it. Or you can go back to your birth surname.

Bottomline, it’s all your decision to make, and whatever you choose, own it with your full chest. But IMO, you have more to gain than lose in changing your birth surname to your husband’s own post-marriage even as a feminist.

Happy Val’s btw.

Best,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

The Paradox of Time⏰⏳

A paradox is something that sounds strange but is true…nkan be as is said in Yoruba land in Nigeria. In the case of time, there are quite a bit of paradoxical facts about it. Brian Tracy muses that, ‘time management is a vehicle to take you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.’

With that in mind, here are some sobering facts about time:

  • Everyone is getting older by the second. Time waits for no one;
  • An often inevitable way to be late is to have plenty time;
  • Time is indispensable…every action requires time;
  • Time is perishable, you cannot save it;
  • Time is consumable, you can only spend it;
  • Time is irreplaceable, you can never bring back time;
  • Time is sufficient…you have all the time you need. It depends on how you use it;
  • You cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself;
  • Generally, only about 20% of what you do daily accounts for 80% of the value for that day.

As Shakespeare says...’better three hours too soon than one minute too late.’ Every second counts – in life, one tenth of a second could be the difference between success and failure. In the Women’s 100m final race – Barcelona 1992, the difference between the winner and 5th position was 0.05 seconds.

Ultimately, time management is life management. As we say in Nigeria, time na money…if you waste time, you squander money. Time wasted is opportunity wasted. So, schedule your priorities not your preferences and make adjustments for interruptions. As a colleague put it, ‘there’s no need catching butterflies when there’s a hippopotamus in the room.’ Identify your most productive time then do your most productive tasks at that time. Be strong to say no and let your money work for you as applicable to free up some time for more important tasks.

The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, it is to schedule your priorities.

So help even me!

Cheers,

Fola👩🏽‍⚖️

*image credit: http://www.google.com

My Busy Mind…🤯

It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks. What with work pressures, concern for loved ones, COVID-19 & travel restrictions/immigration concerns and societal unrest culminating in an almost inevitable mental health pressure. I believe many can relate with these…

What does one do at such times? I mean how do you keep your sanity when it seems like everything is closing in on you?

If I said I have it all figured out, I would be lying…big time 🤥 😒

At these sort of times, my palliative has been to take it one step at a time and each day as it comes, not overburden my mind with ‘what ifs.’ ‘Cos trust me, the mind can be a fragile thing and once it tips over the edge, getting back to status quo becomes that much more difficult. I speak from a wealth of experience on this🙃

Bottomline, the worries of a day are sufficient for that day in’it? Why add more worries to the day and keep yourself busy doing nothing?

One thing is clear, worry has never solved any problems. I choose to focus on what I can control and using that to influence/change the things causing worry. And I would rather spend my time busying about actively impacting my environment in the best way I can and becoming the best version of me while at it, than staying busy moping about what could have been. Or engaging in mere academic discourses.

Suggest you do same bearing in mind that if we each did our bits, we could (positively) change the world one person at a time.

Best,

Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com

The Beauty of Strategy

Away from the #endpolicebrutality convos for a minute…

Guess what? In the workplace, strategy is a growth enabler. Not manipulation, mind you *side eye. I see strategy as arranging the pack of cards which fate has dealt you with in a way that projects you in the best possible light or gives you the best possible results. What do I mean? Let me illustrate…

At some point, I wanted to upgrade my membership status for one of the professional organisations I belong to. One of the requirements was to have at least three years experience – and on an ongoing basis – as a senior manager. Well, I had the three years management experience quite alright. But you see I changed roles and my new role though infinitely more managerial, did not have a managerial sound. Dilemma.

Since I wasn’t gonna be given an opportunity to explain myself when the council was considering applications, I had to think up a solution. I recalled that I had a dormant partnership position in a family firm all along which spanned way more than three years and had not been terminated at the time. So, I’m sure you know what I did? I used that as one of my roles with the revered sounding ‘partner’ and supporting documentation as testament to my ongoing senior management role.

Suffice to say, I clinched the upgrade. I could go on and on about several other similar tales. But let me not bore you☺️

Generally, if we would just look beyond our temporary misfortunes, we can think up legal avenues to turn a seeming disadvantage into an overwhelming advantage. It’s pretty much a case of what can you do with what is in your hands? Or better still, choosing to see the same glass as half full rather than half empty.

Use strategy to turn your threats to opportunities and blaze a trail!💫🌟✨⚡️

Best,

Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Why Emotional Intelligence is ‘Lit’💥💫

I suppose by now, we’ve all come to terms with the fact that in this life, we cannot avoid interacting with people – both the pleasant and the boorish. That being the case, we may also have realised that just as with work, we require skills to navigate the uncertain waters of human relations.

That’s where possessing emotional intelligence comes in.

To my mind, emotional intelligence is just a fancy word for wisdom and we may have heard that wisdom is key right? Emotional intelligence is what enables us to season our words with grace or diplomacy before speaking them. It also enables us to know when to be assertive and firm. Sort of like knowing the right dosage of medication to apply to the same illness in different persons taking cognisance of their body mass and peculiar genetic situations…a real science in’it? What you say to Mr. X to get him to do your bidding is not necessarily what you say to Ms. Y to get her to do your bidding on that same thing. That’s why we all need emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence requires an awareness of self and an awareness of one’s environment (including the people in it) amongst others.

You see ehn, you do not conquer everything in this life only by book knowledge and the fact that you are the most educated person. There are softer skills everyone needs to triumph in life and emotional intelligence happens to be one of them.

Now you see why wisdom is key ergo emotional intelligence is ‘lit.’

So, if lacking, go get you some.

Cheers,

Adefolake

image credit: http://www.google.com

Don’t Panic!

Easy for you to say…you may scoff under your breath at the topic. Well, the truth is everyone has at one time or the other had a bout of panic attack. My point with the topic is that panic often paralyses us from dissecting and distilling issues properly. As such, we should be intentional about avoiding if even if we come up short once in a while.

I mention come up short because even I who tries to be intentional about not giving in to panic still had a panic attack of sorts a few days ago when my deliverable timeline was looming, yet my materials were not ready…But that’s not really the point of this post.

You see, about three years ago, a few of my colleagues and I enrolled for an international tax certification. I had my first shot at one of the courses and failed. Again, panic attack in retrospect. I had thought the questions to be so difficult that I got disorganised in my time planning. By the time I got to the last question which was to take about 45 mins to answer and discovered I could actually answer it relatively easily, I had just 5 mins to ‘pens up.’ Failed the course by 2 marks. Of course, I immediately gave myself a self-motivational speech on the power of 1 or 2 marks. *laughs.

Anyways, teeth gritted, I re-enrolled for that course and did my darn best to prepare, re-wrote the exam and it was a breeze or so I thought…

But when the results were released, I did not see my name in the pass list. Panic and depression mode set in. You see I did not even contemplate that there could have been some logistics issues. In my head, I had bungled the exam yet again and perhaps wasn’t any good after all.

I got talking to one of my colleagues who also took the exam and boy! I loved her spirit. She did not see her name in the pass list too but immediately said that she was sure that there was some mistake somewhere ‘cos she knew what she wrote in the exam. See confidence…! But, could she be right? I wondered. Well, being the oldest in the pack, I took it upon myself to reach out to the examiners. After all, s/he who is already down need fear no fall in’it?

Bingo! We found out our results were withheld without any notification to us on the mistaken belief that we had not paid our exam fees. Of course, we provided evidence of this and our results were released. My confident colleague and I both passed our exams.

You see, my panic mode had prevented me from seeing this glimmer of hope and but for my more confident younger colleague, I may have been shattered into thinking I was no good, either giving up the exams outright or perhaps re-enrolling for yet another retake.

Bottomline, don’t panic.

Oh by the way, I now have the international tax certification😍

Best,

Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com