Monday Reset

Good Monday morning.  I know its hard to start your week off right on days when you don’t feel you are at your best.  Today is one of those super soaker rainy days when all you want to do is get in bed.  I right now want to be curled up in my bed with my laptop and a few magazines but life calls.

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I remember on days like today when I want to escape that Mondays are the beginning to the end of the week. I can’t get to Friday without starting my Monday off right.  I have a lot on my plate and that means that I need to push forward and pass how I feel.  I have to reset my thinking to crush these goals.  I still have to show up.  Above showing up on a Monday, I need to be clear.  As much technology that we have, I still thrive on to do lists.  I still thrive on writing down goals so when I complete them I can go to the next goal.  So with that being said, reset your thinking. I looked back at things that didn’t work last week and made changes according to what will set this week on fire. Is it getting up earlier and getting things done?  Is it preparing things differently?  Whatever that looks like for you, you have to do.  Your week and life depend on changed attitudes and mindsets.  So set yours on fire by shaking the Monday blues and getting clear on what you want to do and what it will take to get there!

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Women History Month: Everyday….We Stand Strong

Women aren’t to be celebrated only during the month of March.  They should be celebrated everyday.  We are the giver of life.  We hold things down.  We are strong. We are beautiful and complex. We are love in its best form here on Earth.  For that you don’t limit such celebrations to only one month.

Ladies celebrate yourselves daily.  I have been saying this and I mean no matter what degrees you have and what accolades you get, if you do not take care of yourself you are no good to anyone around you.  You will wear yourself thin operating from an empty cup.  Keep your wits about you. Say no to things when you can’t add another thing to your long to-do list.  You are not a yes woman.  It’s okay to let a few text messages go unanswered.  It’s okay to let a few calls and emails wait.  You are doing yourself a disservice if you feel you have to be ON all the time.  Take a bubble bath, take a 10 minute break, whatever you need practice some level of self-care daily. Yes there will be times when money is tight.  I haven’t always been able to sit at an expensive spa but I sure now how to turn a trip to the Dollar Store, Wal-Mart or Target and turn my entire bathroom into a spa for one while my kids slept to recharge.  I have had times when I turned into my own beautician and did what I had to do.  There are hard times.  Sometimes when your world feels like it’s crashing it gets difficult to look within.  However if you don’t everything around you will attempt to take you over. Say yes to you.

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Go after that degree that you have been putting off. It’s okay for you to be well-rounded. Will it be easy?  Absolutely not.  We get so excited when we read stories of women who are seasoned and still going after their educational goals.  Yes you could be the oldest in the room, but your degree will hang just like the young 20 something.  Go after it! Will it be hard as you strive towards that new career?  Possibly.  Imagine going to interview after interview only to be told no.  You invested, exerted time and energy only to feel like every door you touch is closing. Keep on going!

What about the woman who doesn’t want to have children?  The pressure for women to be life givers is crazy.  There are some women happy and content single or married not to have children.  What about the women who in our stories for this month lost a baby at 20 weeks.  I need you to understand that is devastating because at this point you are well showing, you have told people and on top of that you know the sex of the baby.  People are hurting all around us.  We are women have the power to really affect change in ourselves and our communities that goes past a #metoo movement.  We can make things easier for the women around us by what we accept, give our voices to, or stand up for.  Be wise.

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You are strong. You are beautiful.  You are confident and a force to be reckoned with! Celebrate yourselves and all that you have done in your life.  The good.  The bad. The ugly. The failures. The insecure moments.  The embarrassing moments.  The moments of regret. The moments you felt inadequate.  All of your messy moments. All of you for all of you and all of those crazy moments are going to push you to your best moments if you are open to it!

 

The Gift of Friendship

When I was deep in my postpartum depression I would cut off my friends.  Right after the birth of my son after moving from Lancaster to Philadelphia I felt isolated.  I was isolated because in my mind I had told myself that this move was only less than 2 hours away and that it wouldnt’ change anything. I was wrong.  I was blinded by having my family under one roof that I didn’t consider a few things.

One of the biggest things was the lack of support. I had my immediate family and one of my best cousins and my friend that I didn’t think that would change. I thought I have a car I and I could get in it and see them anytime I wanted.  My oldest was super easy in how I traveled with her that I never took into account how much more harder it would be to travel with 2 kids would be.  For a day trip it took me the day before prep and an hour just to get them into the car with everything that was needed that often times I elected not to travel.  That in itself also made it hard on me because then I would be upset that I couldn’t travel as often.  So after getting past that blow I would get the kids together and go. Trust me the come back was harder.  I felt comfortable being in Lancaster and I would take a day or two to adjust to the pressures that I was under and having these little people who needed me.

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The other issue is that I didn’t have a network of my own friends in Philadelphia.  I love my husband’s friends but they were his not mine. I didn’t want to have them as my friends on the strength of them being nice to me because of him. He and his friends had history that I didn’t have.  I didn’t want to be the wife of his and they extend some type of olive branch because we were together. I am the type of person who has friends on mutual respect, great closeness and I no longer felt that way since my access to my network had changed. I pushed the long distance ones away too because it didn’t feel the same.  I learned through this season that this was the wrong way to approach things.  Not only that so was sitting in the house day in and day out wasn’t the best way to meet anyone. So I was stuck and miserable for years like this.

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Thank goodness my friends were forgiving and understanding as only one ever knew what was happening.  Only one of them had the sense to address me on it and call me out. I appreciate that.  That isn’t a dig to anyone so don’t take it as such.  Not many of them saw me when I would have outbursts. I did well in open environments and to this day this is one of the reason why I do NOT like pop ups.  I need to prepare for visits.  It’s not personal it’s that I know what I need and I make others respect it even if they don’t like it. I am not ashamed of that.

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I learned how to love myself, how to show love and most importantly how to let others in.  I learned that I didn’t have to carry everything alone and that support looks different when you don’t hold on to the ideologies of what its supposed to be.  Change is hard but in change you find that the ones who have your back won’t change.

Cherish your friendship.  As you progress through various stages of life, some friend will drop off.  There’s nothing you can do about that.  Show love and support no matter how far and near your friends are who have been in your corner through it all.  Know that disagreements and bumps in the road are to be expected.  Remain respectful at all times. If a friendship does end make sure you try to work it out.  Don’t throw a whole friendship over an emotional off the bat without calming down, talking it out, and attempting to make peace.

To all of my girlfriends who have nurtured me and have stood the test of time, I salute you!!!!! Thank you for being amazing women to me during these years.  I pray I can continue to sprinkle the same love your way for the years to come!

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I feel a Whole Lot Better

Today I had the honor of attending the Black Girls Run brunch where we celebrated our 2017 accomplishments of run, health, and fitness. Many of the women ran themselves from needing medication to control diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Some ran themselves into smaller versions of themselves and even ran past other complications as I did the same.

I posted on my personal Facebook how I was over 225 pounds this time last year. I was awarded for completing the 5k today! I still feels the chills of that race. That race although smaller in comparisons to triathlons or marathons signaled how I made a decision to be a better version of myself. I didn’t give up, trained, worked hard and completed that race!

When I was in high school and college I ran to reduce stress. I was already super active. My weight was never an issue. Shopping for clothes was a breeze until after college, life and my second child. With my first child I lost more weight than I gained and was already smaller than my pre-pregnancy weight before my 6 week check up. It’s the second child that I ate just to eat. Add the stress of moving, being a stay at home mom and laziness I didn’t drop the weight. I then lost weight at one point, got a new job and guess what? Got pregnant with the 3rd. I was devastated if I’m honest. Not at the new baby but because I wasn’t ready to embark on the journey because I didn’t feel I had attacked my emotional reasons for my eating.

Depression and not caring for myself led me to being over 225 pounds. I hadn’t seen that weight since being pregnant and here I was at this weight with no one to blame but myself. I kept saying after I would run into someone from my past and they would say Girl what happened that I would lose but I didn’t. I had a few older church members staring me down at almost 225 and instead of using it as a wake up call I just said well I’m still smaller then you. I was so misplaced. I should have been able to work hard instead of trying to compare myself to anyone else.

Fast forward to stepping on a scale at work at the end of 2016 and being humiliated. I had to come to terms that honey, I was big. I wasn’t pregnant and no longer nursing and there was no more excuses. It was hard! For the first month I struggled. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror naked and saw the weight loss for the first time like wait, girl your little dimple is back! You do only have one neck that it became easier to push even when the workouts got harder.

Today at the BGR Brunch I’m like whew you saved your life! You took your weight back and gained confidence. You ran, enjoyed food right, and you worked and continue to work harder! So although I’m still toning my body and continuing to push myself, I’m grateful for meeting the women in BGR. Although they came at the middle of my journey they will forever hold a special place in my heart. I have yet to meet one mean member. On runs they push you. If they see you get tired, they encourage you to finish with no short cuts!

So as 2018 continues to show itself, I plan to work harder, eat well, travel, attend more events and step it up from the 5k to the 10k!! Why not?! I can do anything!!

Check On Others

So it’s that time of the year where people are hurting bad.  They are sad, depressed, angry, struggling and all kind of negative.  Check in on others without having to wait until you get the tea of someone’s life.  You know the type that wait until you post that your world is not right then all of a sudden they want to be captain save em…

Now with that in mind keep in mind a few things to watch out for as well when you are the one who is going through and wondering where others are:

  1. Others are going through at the same time.  You may not be strong to recognize that however don’t do passive aggressive and say if you support you would…. This can only be said if you have told others what you need and if they are in the same position to assist.  Sometimes we put pressure on others that we don’t even put on ourselves.  Everyone doesn’t have enough to give no matter how fabulous their life seems.  Another issues they may not be lead to give.  Just cause you have money or resources doesn’t mean you should be made to feel bad into giving.  Some things are meant to go the way they need to be.  I recently had a friend ask for money.  I may or may not have had it but I didn’t feel lead.  I got called all kinds of shade for it. Listen, everything ain’t for everybody. Understand that when you ask, it’s not a definite and not all have to give for your cause.  If you believe in it, it will work out.
  2. Sometimes seek help for what you need in someone qualified to assist. If you need a therapist stop getting mad at your cousin, friend or family because they didn’t take on that role.  They can only do but so much.  We need to learn that life is hard and this pressure is making things worst.  Call a professional.
  3. Stop the blame game.  There are factors that are making you the way you are no doubt, but realize that the salvation of what you need is up to you. Not you and your spouse, not you and your mom, not you and your friend simply you.  This isn’t being insensitive. Yes it would be nice if your man held your hand but it’s not up to you to make the determination that if it don’t look like you want it to that they aren’t.  You may really need to focus on some underlying issues that are making recent situations seem worst.  Dealing with your own stuff makes you better equipped. Not dealing with it can make you expect more than what is even possible.  An example of that is being super sick and only dealing with the symptoms but not the initial issue, you sir or ma’am will have temporary relief but not be healed. You need healing.
  4. I know everyone says talk about it, but there are professionals available to you even if it’s a hotline that are equipped to be better than your already drowning love one as they aren’t able to pull you both up.  Even on plane rides they instruct you to secure your own oxygen before you can assist a fellow passenger.  There are many folks operating on empty cups, empty wallets, and full of pain and brokeness.  They can’t help you.

Now even with all of that above we still need to check in on others.  Do so without needing a hook up.  People get tired of having to always give from depleted places.  Now with this statement comes responsibility.  IF you are allowing others to always take for the sake of relationship no matter what relationship may be then you are to blame for how the cycle of negativity is going on.

Yes you may have someone in your life that don’t want to assist you cause they simply don’t like you or don’t believe in you.  Trust me that one situation will not be the tale tell of that. They would have been getting consistent behavior that tells you so.  If so, is it their fault that you consistently knew it, felt it, received it but stayed in this going no where situationship?  No, its time to practice self-care and self-love as well as its time to know what help you need and who is equipped to give it.  Its time to check in on even the stronger ones too, they have issues going on in the inside that show up differently than the outside than most. Be your brother and sister keeper but sis and bro know that everyone can’t alway save you.  You bear a huge responsibility to make an initial step and focus on the right folks instead of all of the folks coming in your corner.

 

Now I know that are some that are broken who are reading this and thinking how insensitive this might come off but in reality is that we all have to be about our mental health.  It is real.  There are some at different levels of understanding and openness. If you’re at the place where you can help yourself but just feel entitled, please stop.  Read all of the above again.  IF you are so hurt with pain this is going to come off as not caring and its the furthest thing. this is simply reminding you that YOU have to make a step in getting the right folks.

Let me help you, have you ever been going through and been so disgusted at everyone that any sound, look, etc will set you off.  This is the wake up call because I too have been here before.  Getting mad at others and driving others away and then blaming them for walking away cause your place in life has pushed them away when you really needed help.  This is the time to be strategic and get the right help.  Sometimes the ones you pushed away will be there and will understand, but in reality the ones you taxed with saving you won’t.  YOU are the only ones who hears your thoughts, that feels what your pain, if nothing else open yourself to getting help in the right arena. No sense in you being in a cardiovascular doctor office for a broken bone and then raising hell in the cardiovascular office because they can’t mend that bone.  Tax yourself like you are hoping someone will see you mentally drowning and say what can I do right now.  Let me take my eyes off of people and see what the meat and potato is of my issue.  OR if I can’t then let me call a professional to help me sort. Let me call the suicide prevention line, to talk.  Let me call the depression hotline at my job and get someone on the line to assist. Let me take a break mentally and stop going a thousand on worrying about gifts and focus on my mental health.  Not let me keep buying, doing and hope along the way someone will catch me.  Sis, Bro you are your best help.  When that doesn’t work lets out source to the right place!  Here are a few resources that need to be in your phone on speed dial.  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.  Don’t let a soul tell you that!

National Suicide Prevention

Abuse Hotline

Mental Health Hotline

My Review of Disney Pixar CoCo

So because I am for sure certain that others haven’t seen the movie yet, I will not give out any spoilers.  I will instead tell you how the movie affected me and my family.  We went to see it on Saturday night (December 16).  We had a full day that day.  My son had a play date over that day, and just with some running around, we were looking forward to some family time.

Well one of the first things you will notice is that the movie is super colorful.  Its eye-catching and that alone kept my 3-year-old engaged.  The movie is about a young man named Miguel who wants to become a singer. His family has banned music and all of its influences.  He wants to sing so bad that he ends up in the Land of the Dead to get a blessing from his family.  So the beat marches on to see how this will end for Miguel. The adventure is all over the place. I loved it.  The kids loved it.  Now to the part you need to know:

  1. There is a lot of reference to the dead.  If you are not comfortable and wanting to have this conversation with the little people you may take with you, this isn’t the movie for you.  It can still be enjoyed beyond death but since the whole movie is around it, just be on alert!
  2. If you or your child has recently lost someone this can be a movie that helps or aids in healing. It really helped my kids in expressing the pain of losing their grandmother. I didn’t expect that response but crying is good for the soul, right?!
  3. It was good to see Mexican culture in a positive light.  I loved everything about it
  4. It was long enough to catch my attention and hold it but not too overwhelming long.
  5. It got standing ovation and the movie came out Thanksgiving day, and it’s still has a great impact on the crowds that are viewing it.

Now I am not a big crier but I will tell you this, seeing my 8-year-old with so much emotion got me. I mean she was crying and she doesn’t cry that often either.  I could not help but to be moved.  It helped us as parents as we were overcome with emotion to openly discuss her feelings.  This is why I have to say if you have kids that are of age but don’t want to open this emotional well, then be cautious, view it yourself first.

All in all this movie was solid, it had romance, drama, adventure, and culture.  This is a must see with the right audience.  My younger daughter didn’t tap into the emotional parts of the movie.  However my older two, ages 6 and 8 definitely understood.  We all needed to keep Mom-Mom continually in our hearts.  I have a feeling that her memory will be here in our hearts forever!

Never Forgotten; Year One….

Well as many of my readers and followers know a year ago today, my mother in law transitioned from Earth.  It was such an experience.  This blog is dedicated to the memory of Deborah Ann Wilson-Storr.  We have lost a piece of her and we are trying our best to hold it together. This year has had so many ups and downs.  These are the things that I have personally noticed:

  1. Time right now hasn’t healed our hearts. My kids are still visibly moved by my mother in law’s passing.  My oldest will go to the gravesite but will not get close.  My son is still missing her and asking for her, but then will remember that she’s not here. My youngest was only 2 when she passed away but will say things like momma said….. Trust me it’s really spooky and the things that she says really sounded of things she would have said.  We were super worried that she was the one who didn’t have a close relationship because she was so young.
  2. Holidays and birthdays aren’t the same.  I try to still keep in line with what we would have done if she was here, but you can feel it.  I can’t think of a holiday where we as a family haven’t talked about her and what her presence not being here has meant.  She died right around Halloween and before Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s been hard.
  3. I notice that I didn’t cry as much as I did when she first passed but now I do more and its overwhelming.  I never thought what life would be like without her here. I always thought she would be a part of whatever we were doing and not having her here has been unbearable at moments.
  4. I include her memory in everything. I do not want my kids to loss her memory.
  5. My youngest still inter changes my mom and my mother in law’s name.  They call my mom Hanmom and her Mom-Mom and she will ask to go to mom-mom’s house but she really means my mom.  It’s not just a little slip up, we correct her and she is convinced. She has been asking to go to my mom’s house more lately.  It’s hard to know what a 3rd year old means all the time.
  6. Her passing has made me think of my own parents, and the relationship with my kids.  They are now the main grandparent here on Earth. I want them to be closer. However on grandparents day because of distance we had were honored to ask my mother in law’s best friend to stand in but I remember my son being upset and stating how unfair it was his grandparents weren’t there.
  7. As a mother I want to be sure that my words towards my kids are better.  I do not want any words between me and them to be in left field that when I am no longer here, they don’t have to heal from anything negative.  Her death makes me want to be as honest, right, and more loving to my own children.
  8. Lastly anger.  It has been weird and I try not to bother my husband about it, but I have felt angry at times. Like why there wasn’t more that could be done to keep her here with us a little longer.
  9. Not to take life for granted. I remember my mother in law had this list of these great things she wanted to do like take a trip to the Bahamas, buy a new car, or take her grandkids to Disney and sadly those things never happened. I remember when she was in the hospital and telling me what she was going to do, I told her that I would hold her to it.  Now she can’t and I will forever use that energy to do all of the things I possibly can. I don’t want to wait until later, etc.  I want to be sure that I live my best life daily.  So now I move differently in how I honor myself.  In this, will honor her and be a great testament to my kids at the same time.

Like I have said our interactions between my mother in law had intense moments like any other daughter in law and mother in law could have.  However it was always my desire to be closer to her.  What I enjoyed about her was her ability to handle her money and save.  She has taught me that. I know for a fact that I am a better shopper, a better woman of my finances as well as better at ruling my home because of her.

She taught me how to love my husband. My husband is an only child.  You can imagine above all else of what I have learned, how I may be mending, or how our children are doing is his emptiness.  She showed me how to love unconditionally. I always thought that was something that was so natural but it’s not.  She showed me how to handle people mistreating you, talking about you and still being yourself.  EVERYONE knows how it is to be in “Debbie’s world.”  She never wavered in who she was, how she felt, who she like, or who she didn’t like.  She was her, and she didn’t try to change.  She showed me how to love through people.

Whenever I hear my youngest talk, I say okay little Debbie.  She looks like her too.  My 3-year-old is the most sassy but not disrespectful child I have ever encountered.  She reminds me of my mother in law and I just look at her with a side eye at times just like I would my mother in law if she was here.

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One thing I would say with anyone who has a in law, to speak up for yourself and not be disrespectful.  I know that at times I came off as disrespectful and I have always admitted that there were things that I could have done like leave etc.  However I can say with 100% certainty is that I was in her full corner when it came to making sure she had the BEST care possible.  It was after I moved from her home that our relationship got back on track.  Also at the end of the day there isn’t anything that was done that I felt like I feel guilty about now that she is gone.  That comes from working things out and learning how to work it out.  I am not saying things were perfect at all, but we left things on the track it should have been on way before she passed.  Also keep in mind that regardless of what is done you can be cordial to an in law.  This is a respectful hello and good-bye especially if children are involved.    Do you know how hard it is to explain to a child while you were “being mean” to that grandparent?  Kids watch what you do regardless of what you say. However even in kidless marriages, it will still matter in how you interact.  You can put distance where it’s needed, I am for that. I did the same for a while too, but when you come back, try.  Always find a try within you.  How you handle those around you matters.  Also keep in mind, that just because you don’t like your in-law, they are the root of your significant other.  The love relationship they have regardless of how many times they complain to you is always going to be there. When that in-law transitions they will resent you if you have treated them any less.  They will not care what was done on the opposite end because the in law won’t be there to speak for themselves.  So be truly careful in how you talk, act, and handle this very delicate relationship. I am telling you it WILL matter.

Deborah, I know you are watching over us, making sure we give your grandbabies anything they ask.  I know you know we will not but you would want us to.  You would want us to give them as many kisses for you. I try daily to do just that and more.  The way you loved those 3 grandkids of yours was nothing more than I could have given and I am their mother. I pray that as we continue in this life, that your memory will burn bright everyday. I pray you are honored in how we move and live daily.  Until you can give me another side eye, I love you!!