For most women going through separation, or who are divorced or widowed, keeping body and soul together or making ends meet can be a big challenge. With mouths to feed and bills to pay, making money sometimes becomes a major focus. In cases where the woman was totally dependent on the man financially it can be really tough as she is now left to fend for herself (and the children as the case may be.) This is further worsened by the Nigerian legal system which does not really mandate the man to do anything for the woman in the case of separation or divorce
The first few year after separation was a bit rough financially for me. Yes, I had and still have a business, but I had never had to depend solely on it. Before marriage I had a job and was living with my sister so I was already used to getting one form of support or the other. But with the separation everything changed. And because I knew I couldn’t afford to fail and was to dignified to beg, I threw myself fully into the business. I began to do business as business. I gave every brief that came my best shot. I was determined to cross this hurdle and be as comfortable as possible. Over the years, things began to ease out financially. However I had grown accustomed to working with my teeth clenched and had no social life at all. My itinerary was office, church/fellowship, visits to family and few friends. Before I knew what was happening, I started having a deep sense of sadness in my soul. I couldn’t place it. Yes, I was going through separation, but I had made progress emotionally. It took a while to realise what the problem was. I was sad because I had no time to have fun and catch my breath. I wasn’t doing things that would make me laugh. In short, I wasn’t feeding my positive emotions.
I decided to make adjustments. I began to recollect the things that I loved to do and that brought me joy such as watching cartoons (especially Tom and Jerry), reading Christian fictions, going out with friends to eat or just chat. I started to incorporate these things into my life. I invested in Tom and Jerry collections and I must tell you I always have a good laugh each time I watch. I also bought and borrowed Tyler Perry’s Madea collections and create time to watch. I have also gone back to reading Christian fictions and once in a while, I go out with friends. Today, my soul is lifted and there is sunshine again. This experience has since taught me the importance of living a balanced life As much as I have to work hard, I also have to ensure that my joy tank is full. Yes, I have bills to pay and demands to meet, but not at the expense of life, because as I have recently discovered, JOY ITSELF IS LIFE!
So here is my advice, work hard and give it your best shot. But also don’t forget to create your own happiness-daily. Don’t just make a living, have a life. Deliberately do things that make you happy. Have fun, throw your head back and laugh. Feed your positive emotions and create joyful memories.
For the woman out there who has no support and must make ends meet, I feel you, seriously I do. But always remember that you still have a life beyond paying bills. Work hard but play hard and be joyful as well!
…helping you find the gains in your pains.