And So She Saved Herself – Time Goes By, But Not Oh So Slowly

Yes, that is a Kylie Minogue reference which I am making as I am currently half asleep.

I have finally managed to write another post after starting law school on 1st October (apologies guys, but it’s a lot of work and that’s all I’m going to say for now).

One thing that has been important to me though is the opportunity I have to value my time. Right now I am juggling possibly more than I have ever had to juggle. 

There is no down time and I am pursuing so many of my interests and passions and goals.

This is all great; sometimes it can be hard, and things can be less enjoyable that others, but I am seeing the fruit of my labours bit by bit and that is very rewarding.

The best part of it all though, is that I am learning to value my time. When I have so little of it that is free. I am now considering what I should be allowing to fill it.

When you start to do this, you are essentially taking control of your space, your mental space and your social battery. You are deciding how you want to use these things.

This is all another part of saving yourself

Have a think, which friends are taking much more than they are giving, what business/job/occupation is not reaping what you have sowed into it, what things in your life are bringing you stress or sadness and not any joy? Write a list if you have to, and once you have figured it out – CUT THEM OUT. Time goes faster the older we get, and part of me thinks that’s because we should know better, and so we need less time to make the right decisions when it comes to certain things in life.

Our gut instincts are never wrong, so follow them. As often that not, I found that when I have not followed my gut instincts, the result has been that I have wasted my time.

Time goes by, but not slowly enough for you to allow into your life what makes you unhappy.

Don’t Stress Mama, Tomorrow is Here

That thumping in my chest has had power over me too long

I know you far too well demon

You drink up my insecurities and leave me dry

My mouth dry, but my palms sweaty.

You have left me with the door closed

You have left me with the lights off

No care if I am afraid of the future I cannot see

The future that I cannot control

Who allowed you to come here and wrap your familiar arms around me

Certainly not I

As I badu you farewell

I will untie you from around my thoughts

Tur banned from me

I saw you in the reflection of my bags this morning 

But I saw that you did not help me carry them all day

So why do I need you to cripple me?

I have the world trying to do that already

Don’t tell me it’ll all fail

I won’t fall for it again

My inner self was not born yesterday.

©️Zahrah Kazim 2018

Thank you for reading. If you are a poet/writer and want to share your work then please feel free to direct message the instagram @andsoshesavedherself

AND SO SHE SAVED HERSELF – TIME TO THINK

It may seem like a little thing, but sometimes a little alone time can make all the difference.

Time to think and reflect is so important. This world is so fast pace and especially when your working or in education, you can spend so much time consumed with that, you don’t even take the time to ask yourself:

‘How am I doing?’

Sometimes it makes the difference to just look around you and think about how you really feel about all the areas in your life. Are you happy?

When I ask that, I don’t mean happiness in the superficial running through a field of daisies happy. I mean that intrinsic deep happiness, that really can also be called contentment.

That happiness that makes sure than even when you do feel sad, you know deep down that it’s going to be alright and that happiness that means that you are okay with life right now and how it’s going.

In a way I think that true internal happiness is when your emotions are balanced on the inside, nothing mentally tips to the side of unhealthiness.

A complicated concept, but a vital one. As true happiness comes with contentment.

To change things up. Here’s a new piece of work titled ‘The Stage’.

The Stage

 

We live our lives on this great big circle

Surrounded by the wishes and desires of our audience

We live to make them smile

Dancing, bowing, promenading, cowing

Our movements tell the story we wrote before

Don’t risk going off script

There applause gives us life

We are the cast

Casting down our smiles beam bright

Shining out against our dark skin

We are not clowns

For the joke is never told by us

Only to.

 

by Zahrah Kazim (Author of ‘And So She Saved Herself’)

©️ Zahrah Kazim 2018

AND SO SHE SAVED HERSELF – THE BALANCING ACT

 

Life is created of so many different facets. I kind of see it like a pizza right and a special one where each slice has different toppings. Then let’s say that each slice of this pizza has to be kept warm, so you have to keep warming a slice up individually and you’re constantly trying to make sure that each slice is the perfect temperature and about the same.

Wow I really could have used a much better simile, but the point is that life’s different slices all need to be balanced. They require your time and your energy and need attention. They can be your family, education, work, friends, spirituality and more. There could even be different sections in each of these areas. For example, work might include your own business that your trying to build and also your 9 – 5.

The older you get, the more slices there seem to be and that’s the reality. So I wanted to think about how can we learn to balance. Sacrificing one thing for another can sometimes seem like the easiest thing to do, but you don’t want to let go of something worthwhile just because it’s hard.

Sometimes life and these different slices of life can be easier to balance, but for the harder parts where time seems to slip, like sand in your hands, (oh yes, a much better simile) I would recommend time allocating and being very strict with it. Decide how much time your going to give to each slice and why; don’t waver from it. Let your yes be your yes so to speak. Obviously it may be unavoidable sometimes for something to slip from your attention. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just pick it up again and work on filling in the gaps.

Another key piece of advice, is to prioritise, and think about the long term. Think about what you want to be flourishing in the future. What is important to you and what will give massive returns for the energy that your putting in. Then focus in on those areas and decide which areas (if any) that you need to cut.

 

Here’s what some other women, currently saving themselves, had to say:

 

TOYIN (in her twenties) – “if you’re religious pray, God knows what’s in store for you and how to heal you and what to do in all circumstances. If you not religious there are other angles for example if you’re at work and stressed/under pressure, speak to your supervisor or manager and be honest.

Be honest with your friends. They may not always appreciate what you say but be honest. Don’t force anything just be yourself and don’t apply too much pressure to your relationships.

Take time out. Go to the gym. Exercise is good for your physical and mental health.

Also have fun! Eat chocolate, go for a walk and listening to music can make a difference.

Try and organise as much as you can. Make a provisional plan for the week, just try your best. Even if you don’t get everything done.”

 

DEBORAH (in her twenties) – “its important to have a strong support system that you can talk to and offload on. A work friend to talk about work struggles and friend to talk to about relationship struggles can ease the pressure off as sometimes we can get caught in our own head.

Find things that work for you to relax, listening to music, cooking or going out with friends can help to clear my head. Find a routine for you that helps to ease stress.

Easing pressure from relationships comes from communication and knowing yourself more. As much as you build relationships, build yourself in the process. Know your hobbies and who you are outside of the people around you.”

To summarise here are some of the key steps to the balancing act of life:

  • Plan your time and stick to it as much as possible.
  • Think about what you want to prioritise.
  • Talk to someone; have a support system.
  • Do things to help you relax, whether that’s listening to music or going out with friends!

 

Thanks for reading,

Zahrah (Author of ‘And So She Saved Herself’)

AND SO SHE SAVED HERSELF – C.R.E.A.M.

In case you are unaware of the hip-hop reference C.R.E.A.M stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me, which can often feel very true of this society we are living in currently. We need money to travel, eat, drink, live, enjoy and often our mental health and personal happiness can be greatly affected by our monetary limitations.

On a personal note I have found that in this capitalist society you can always feel like there are more things that you can buy, more clothes to wear, more things to financially invest in and this can make your budget feel consistently inadequate. However, the best way to deal with this is contentment. It is absolutely fair to have goals and to want to reach a great level of financial stability, but to prevent your personal happiness from being dependent on this you must go through a constant process of revaluation and contentment.

I can break this down further. Firstly, check in on yourself from time to time and think about what you have achieved financially perhaps this month that you didn’t last month. Even if it’s that you stayed within your travel budget this month or managed to save £50, this can really help you to feel like you are on the right track. Contentment then comes in to counterbalance the feelings you have when you haven’t achieved what you wanted financially that month. Appreciate the things you do have and that you have made it through another month with all the necessities in check. If the necessities are not in check, don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether this is through government assistance, or by asking a family member for a loan. Don’t be super reliant on these aids, but if you need help desperately to get back on your feet – ask.

Nevertheless, wealth is about so much more than just money. Coco Chanel once said “There are people who have money and there are people who are rich”, and this quote sticks with me, as it highlights that if you have friends, talents, knowledge, these things can make you so wealthy in other ways (socially etc.). This can then lead to making you happier and more self-assured than money ever could.

In my anthology ‘And So She Saved Herself’, I wrote a poem titled ‘Live Now’ and it says:

After school we run around the play ground

Then after work thoughts run around our minds

As we become bogged down with bills, men,

women, children and bills

Bills, bills, bills

Money, money, money

Must be funny

When capitalism becomes your

God”

I was connecting to that emotion of getting caught in the slog of working in a job that you don’t enjoy and letting your world revolve around money. There is definitely more to life, which is short and precious, so don’t stay in a job you hate just for a wage, always search for areas that inspire you more.

In researching some ideas for financial management advice, I talked to some women about what they thought were key things they had learned about being responsible with their money.       Here are some of the things they had to say:

DORCAS (in her twenties) – “I say to myself that there’s always a sale, you might think ‘oh that’s really nice and its on sale!’, but remember there’s always another sale.”

 

ALEX (in her twenties) – “I have four key tips. Firstly, definitely budget, in university I had a spreadsheet budget and I’d put everything in there (even buying softmints) and added everything up at the end of the week and then do the same thing for the whole month to make sure I was staying on track!

Separate your income (loan, money from parents, wage) and expenditure (costs), and try and stick to a weekly budget.

Secondly, invest in your savings. I use 80% of my pay-check to live off of, 10% is my tithes which I dedicate to God at church and the last 10% is for my savings, and I transfer it to my savings account.

Thirdly, think of other ways to earn money. Don’t just stick to my 9-5. I found that tutoring part time helped me to supplement my income. You can do odd jobs or do online surveys. I had four part-time, flexible jobs at university.

Finally, try and think long term, as women we need to not just look at that misguided dress and buy it, but think long term perhaps you want to save for something more worthwhile.”

 

TAIWO (in her forties) – “SAVE! Put some money aside and save and do it as consistently as possible. Set a sensible saving target per month and do your best to hit it.”

There are some great pieces of advice here and to summarise here’s some ideas for being financially responsible:

  • Don’t just buy because there’s a sale, think rationally about your purchases.
  • Budget! Get a spreadsheet, or there are phone apps such as ‘Wally’ or ‘Yolt’ which can help you to budget and look at your income and expenditures.
  • Save! Get a savings account to help you and put a target amount of savings away each week or month etc.
  • Think long term, what are your goals?
  • Be content! There is more to life than money and so many other ways in which your life can be enriched. Focus on the positives.

Thanks for reading,

Zahrah (Author of ‘And So She Saved Herself’)