Ask Toi: How Do you Tell your Friends to Watch their tone with you?

You have to just tell them.  This notion of allowing folks in the name of friendship speak to you anyway suggests that you are keeping them even in an unhealthy state just to keep them around.  That’s the same notion used in some romantic relationships just for the sake of not being alone. I know you want to preserve relationships and of course blowing up at everyone is frowned upon but real friends should be open enough to speak the truth in love.  I think sometimes we forget that keeping real can go left sometimes and you must have a little finesse when you deal with other humans.  People have things in their life and on their heart that not everyone needs the in your face approach or the let everything happen approach.  There is a balance but you are the ONLY one who control that.

From what I gather you have allowed a build up go on way too long and you need to address the relationship as a whole. It sounds more to do with if that friendship should stick than it does with tone.  As adults you aren’t going to necessarily get it right all the time, but friendships are a choice unlike family.  If you choose this relationship in more than one way, then you need to find out what attracted you to it in the first place.  Keep in mind that not everything can remain.  So that means that there are times when relationships can run its course.  You don’t sound as if you are just someone in a tiff with a friend but more you are recognizing the unhealthy part of the relationship.  You have two choices, keep some control of how you allow folks to speak to you, or let it continue while you get frustrated and mad that you didn’t speak up.  I would suggest you speak up when things are being said and if that doesn’t work, you may need to figure out the extent of the relationship and let it take its natural course.  Also you have to own some responsibility.  I have had friends who for various reasons have crossed lines, but it’s not the habitual line stepper that was the issue it was my issue for not making others respect me.

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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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Off Days

I know we all have them.  The moments when things don’t line up just right.  The laundry you thought you had gotten out of the dryer is still in there, wet because you forgot to turn it on.  The days when you feed your kids and pour juice into someone’s bowl instead of milk.  Off days are crazy.  I feel like it takes 2 on days to compensate the one-off day you may experience.  However even in the off days you can look back laugh and thank goodness that you have your wits about you.

Off days are there to throw us to be honest.  They help you figure something that you may need to change especially if you are the A type personality such as myself.  It humbles you and lets you know you good but you could be greater.  Sometimes off days make you rest because I have had off days so bad that I say you know what, that’s it let me stop and take a break.  On those days I find myself just looking around trying to not be upset and quickly gathering my thoughts.

So if you are experiencing one of those days or will experience one of those days, try to take it in stride.  Try to allow some time to not be as frustrated.  Whatever is not done can wait.  Even for the type of person like myself who thrives on being on point, just know things will get done and things will pan out and you are going to be okay.

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We stress out over a lot of things and I get it.  But eliminate the pressure and stress you place on yourself and take things one at a time that you can.  You will have enough grace to get through.  Take a deep breath and you will get through!

 

Daily Women Crushers

As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, I want to shout out all women who are crushing their dreams.  Wednesdays are designated as #WCW or women crush Wednesday.  However daily women are failing, dusting themselves off and getting back out there and making it all happen.

Single women who are lonely and longing for relationship and finding ways to enjoy their single days and taking trips, starting businesses, becoming sound individuals without someone in their company. Those are daily women crushers.  They want to be with someone but aren’t allowing the lack thereof to stop them.  Until love finds them, they are out here making life happen for them under their own guidance, salute.

To the married woman who gives daily to her husband and attempting to be united, you are a daily woman crusher.  People think that marriage is a cure-all but it’s not.  It’s hard work to put someone else above your own.  It’s a union that actually makes you confront a lot of who you are or who you think you are.  Marriage is being there for someone and trying to keep the spark going regardless if that woman is tired or not, salute.  FYI the same should be done from her husband towards her.  If you find you are in a one way marriage, there are a few talks you and your husband need to have.

To the mother who is tired and feeling overwhelmed and still continues to get up before her house, getting things in order, and making it look effortless, you are a daily woman crusher.  To the days when those around you takes you for granted, and forget to say sorry or appreciate what you done, salute to you.  Salute to you when you lose yourself and literally have to pick yourself up before you can give again, salute to you.  Salute to you as you endure your body going through hell and back to deliver, salute to you.  Salute to you as you almost sometimes die on those tables waiting to hear that first cry, salute to you.  Salute to the women who have lost life many times and feel like their worth is tied to being a mother and can’t.  We salute you.  Just know that is a real pain. A real fear.  A real cry.  A real emptiness and I stand behind you and with you.

To the business woman who has to have her work checked twice just because she doesn’t have the same “member” as those on her team, salute to you.  Salute to the woman who is making moves after she was denied financing, salute to you.  Salute to the woman whose ideas failed many times before it took off, salute.  Salute to the woman who while accomplishing her goals, had the very folks who now want to stand with her after the fact and those same ones laughed, talked about, and ridiculed for that venture to pop, salute!

To the woman who has or is facing many demons and finding herself alone as she pushes towards getting her life together.  The ones that seem and feel like constant failures while others around her is flourishing.  The ones who say why not me too but they seem to be saying this only to themselves and there is no one around who understands you.  We salute you.  We get it.  We understand because as a woman regardless of what we have all accomplished we have all been public goals and secret failures.  Trust the process, understand that it will work out. Even in the dark, there will be light.  At the second you go to fail, you find a solution. At the moment you decide today is the day you will give up, light shines.  You are purpose and you were created for purpose.  The world has something that you have inside of you.  We salute the process of growing in the dark with limited water and resources.  The best flowers sometimes have thorns but are the prettiest in the end.  Don’t give up!

What to do in Your Weekends to Prepare For Your Upcoming Week?

Weekends if you work a Monday-Friday type of job should be used to get your mind right, spend time with family and friends and have a break from the mundane.  If you are an entrepreneur you know there is no such thing as a day off, work is all the time.  If you are in the nursing field or are the type that has to be in public office such police, fire etc then time off is a blessing.  Regardless when its time to break, break! Overworking even if it’s for yourself is crazy.  None of that money you will take with you.  So learn to balance your life so you can make a little living and be here to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

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What you should be doing is simple:

  1. Relaxing-yes this is not a curse word.  Relaxing.  I used to try to jam pack so much into the weekend and slowly I am learning that less is best.  I don’t need each second filled with something to do.  I do need to find activities that everyone needs in my house but more specifically I selfishly need to make sure I am good to.
  2. Rest-I have 3 kids  and a pretty busy schedule and used to feel super guilty about taking a nap or going to bed early or resting.  This is human nature and a right. Take it.  Do not feel guilty.  Crawl in that bed, put your feed up, get your rest and get some sleep.  Successful people know how to turn it up and they know when to turn it down.
  3. Renew your mind-you see the pattern. It starts with choices and you must make a choice to renew. Some people go to church or other spiritual filling exercise.  Some do yoga.  Whatever you choose and there are plenty of choices do it and do it regularly.
  4. Plan and work their plan. Sometime I sit and look at the week before and find out how I could have done things differently.  It could be something as simple as making snacks bags the day before whatever it is find it, do it.  Any time saved is enough to shave off stress throughout the week.  This is why my crock pot is sacred.  Shout out to my husband who got me 2.  I ain’t hardly mad. I will turn them both on and that’s at least 2-4 days worth of food per crock pot meal.
  5. Have some fun.  I mean my goodness let your hair down a little. Grab you some adult juice or a mocktail.  Go find a party and dance or create a party right at home.  Do you know how many times a dance party for me and the kids has been a workout and fun?  Plenty.  Lighten up.
  6. Go on an outing. Please do not tell me about how broke you are.  Broke is a mindset.  Yes your account could have cobwebs but be inventive.  Do you know how strong my Google fingers are?  Hella strong.  The amount of free I have found could hurt someone’s feelings. Get out. Go to the park and get some fresh air.  The winter is tricky times but can find something to do.  Even doing some walking around at the malls on a rainy day is fun. FYI, the malls and movie theatres are the most busy during these times.
  7. Create.  I find that I use my Pintrest the most on the weekends or sometimes during the end of the week to find activities that are super fun, cheap, and did I say fun?  Yes there are somethings for everyone.  You could have a movie in night where you invite another family. Make it fun by creating cute little movie themed snacks, and it can be simple and rewarding.

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Whatever you plan to do this weekend-actually do.  I hate going into work and people talk about how boring their weekend was.  I am thinking to myself, they themselves may just be boring people.  Life is about living. Get out and find out what life has to offer. There are a thousand events to go to, things to do, places to be. Whatever it is get out there and find them!

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National Compliment Day

Today is national compliment day.  I am sure you knew that right?  Well let’s talk about them.  I know we all love to get them.  They make you feel warm, beautiful and confident.  However there are a few things to consider:

  1. Be okay with receiving them. If someone says nice shoes, don’t say oh, these old things. This is taking away from the compliment.  You are worthy of it. Do not deflect and bring in any negativity to overshadow the gesture. This is harder than you think. Notice how often you do this.  Your special someone in your life, you can’t just say thank you.  You have to say thank you and deflect.  Things like you have to say that, or you’re playing games, stop this behavior.  This 2018 and everyday accept compliments.
  2. Be okay with giving them. Ladies especially it doesn’t take away from you to give another woman a compliment.  It doesn’t matter if you are alone or in a crowd, show another woman just how brilliant and beautiful she is. If you’re going to rally about women’s rights and I truly support that movement then be okay with being a little more sisterly in how you treat others around you at ALL times. We as women especially are connected in some way whether you want to receive the message or not. What you are going through someone else has so we don’t have time to look down on others.
  3. Give them often.  This doesn’t mean you have to be extra with it, but a compliment does something to the receiver AND the giver.  This world is already filled with so much hate, you don’t need to add to it.  Show love
  4. Be courteous to your fellow-man/woman. This should be common place.  Slow it down.  Do not think that it takes anything away from you. Did you walk past someone and not say hello?  Stop that, it don’t add or take away from your credit score to say hello.  Did you not allow a person to cut in front of you while driving?  Stop that.  Be courteous.  If you’re that much in a hurry you should have left the day before.  Slow down. Did you hold the elevator for your co-worker? No, stop that.  You aren’t that much in a hurry that you couldn’t wait.  Be courteous, give compliments to whom they are due and spread love!

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Everything isn’t What it Seems

I want to highlight a few things.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, things on social media can look grande and be filled with so much smoke screen.  Yes that is how life rolls.  However keep in mind that everyone tries to put their best foot forward.  This is why the age of filters is so amazing. You get to hide behind real life scars and traumas.

The pic used in this blog if I uncovered it was great.  We were having the best ice-cream at one of my favorite spots.  Everyone is all smiling and seemingly happy.  We look like the model family. If I told you that I could still feel the pain of that day, would you believe me?  That was a hard day.  It was a few years ago and we were set to go to the African-American museum.  We were ready to go and our plans got diverted.  Why they got diverted I won’t speak on but I will speak to the nuggets that can be learned from that picture.

In it you see my husband all smiles.  He was under extreme amounts of stress trying to do the best he can.  I was depressed and I believe if I had gone back to work it was short-lived due to the fact that my youngest was nursing and wouldn’t take to a bottle and I had to take her to work with me.  That worked for a while until it was time to put her in daycare and then I had to stop working again because again she wouldn’t take to anyone but me and still no bottle, no cup, just me.

Here is what I know now AFTER that storm of life and what I wish someone had told me:

Dear Toi,

You are stressed out but a lot of your stress is coming from within.  You haven’t quite found your space, your voice, or what you want.  Maybe its the feelings of not quite making your mark in this world. Maybe its the time that you had to take off due to taking care of your kids and the guilt that you feel losing the independence of a working woman. You are fighting those around you but reality is the fight is in you. Use that negative energy not to worry about what others will think, but to know what you want.  Should you leave your husband because it was so rocky?  No! Leaving isn’t the answer. The answer isn’t in your husband. He will never make you happy.  Happy wife, happy life is a bunch of bologna.  You have to be a happy person, and work from that happiness.  You will have many more moments when you are ready to throw the towel in. Don’t stay for the sake of the kids.  They can’t heal you.  How about you deal with some of the let downs you face.  Get out and get a hobby.  Get out and get some fresh air.  Know that as a mom you are at your best when you take some time to practice self-care.  The kids will thrive better with you even if you had to walk alone.  Take a mental time out. Take a deep breath.  Do your hair, get dressed, put on a little make up because its going to be okay.  You don’t have to look a mess while you figure out your messed up life.  Your life is blessed you just have to use this time to rebuild.  Don’t worry down the line you figure it out. Down the line you don’t have to wait for your husband to go with you all the time.  If you like it go do it on your own. It doesn’t make you less married to do a few things on your own.  He isn’t and never was your source for everything stop giving him that power.  He didn’t ask for it. He was attracted to your hustle and your ability to keep it moving.  He saw that hunger in you, you got this!

Sincerely a stronger Toi

Lesson one: Happiness is YOUR job.  Not of your spouse or anything that you own.  Happy people don’t have it all they just know how to keep moving and make the best of their situations.

Lesson two: self-care is a daily thing. It is not okay to have meltdowns if you’re not going to use the meltdowns to get better. What have you done today that made you feel amazing? You should be doing all you can to make it feel like its your birthday everyday.  No one will celebrate you like you.

Lesson three: Marriage is beautiful when you put in work and your spouse does the same.  When that stops the marriage will have a pit stop.  You aren’t responsible for him/her you can only do what you want him/her to do.  Don’t say that because you have done one thing, this is in ALL areas.  No one can receive as much love and listening as you claim you give and treat that person badly.  Remember they need from you what THEY need not what you THINK THEY NEED!

Lesson four: dress up everyday. I don’t mean you have to be in heels, but if you want to knock the sloppy look, you have to get up and get dress and be present. Every time you zone out and don’t care you look it.  Don’t be mad at another woman who shows up and shows out. You both were supposed to.  Don’t say you don’t have the time or money. Admit you didn’t take the time! You can look fierce on any budget.  You can look fierce in pajamas if you want to.

Lesson five: get the hell out.  You can not live your best life cooped up in the house.  Get you a few dollars and go to a bookstore and have a ball, find some Groupons and live! Do more action than talking.  No one cares that you talk about a dream, the doers are finding ways to make the dreams a reality.

Lesson six: for my moms, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.  You don’t have to mirror everything you were taught.  You are in control of what you want motherhood to be.  Even if you grew up in the worst conditions, the dreams you wanted your childhood to be can be made with your own kids.  Be solid for yourself and them not perfect. Dance around the kitchen while making dinner. Make folding into a game.  Be there for your kids and most importantly be there for yourself! They are watching you!

Lesson seven: be okay to lose.  Take a chance on life and yourself. If you fail it won’t be in not making the mark, it will be in not taking the chance to make the mark.