Welcome to Your 40’s shaken but not stirred!

Hello. Welcome to my blog, Your 40’s shaken but not stirred.  If you are here, it must mean that you have an interest in what I have to say or  you are just nosey! Either way, I’m glad you decided to visit my blog and hope that you become a frequent visitor.

So let’s get right to it. Why did I decide to start a blog? Well, I did a self-assessment to figure out what I was doing with my second book that I’ve been working on for the past four years. I realized that while the content was good and contained information that I wanted to share with my readers was it purchase worthy? Meaning, was I going to make any coins? You see, my first book Laid off but not Laid Out, was successful because there was a need. My second book that I have been working on…well, there isn’t really a need.  However, I didn’t want my writing to go to waste and I decided to put a different twist on it. So….I started this blog that will be about me as a 40 something woman dealing with various issues in life.  Issues such as relationships, finances, parents, friendships, religion and a host of other fun topics.

I look at my 40’s much like a martini.  When you shake a martini, you want to ensure that every ingredient is fully integrated into the finished drink’s flavor.  Shaking will create a strained drink with a cloudy, effervescent look at first that will clear up within a few minutes after straining. Due to the more violent nature of the shake, shaking will also break down more ice and add a greater amount of water to the drink, which is desirable for getting a well-balanced cocktail. This reminds me of all of the situations, challenges etc. that you experience in your 40’s that all work together that may shake you up, but once the dust settles, you are a well-balanced stronger women.  On the other hand, stirring a martini is a more gentle technique for mixing cocktails and is used to delicately combine the drinks with the perfect amount of dilution from the ice.  When you are in your 40’s, you are no longer this delicate flower that needs to be handled gently. You can handle being shaken, because you know after it’s all over you will come out stronger.

I want this site to be a place where you can laugh, cry and be inspired.  Think of this site as “Sex in the City” meets “There’s Something about 40” and runs into “Insecure”.  You like how I did that right? Anyway,  I have four years of content coupled with a few other surprises that will be included in this site.

With that being said, I hope you sit back and enjoy reading “Your 40s Shaken but not Stirred.”

 

 

 

Unhindered in the New Year!

Happy New Year!! I know we celebrated New Year’s a few weeks ago, but it’s still the New Year. Of course, with every New Year, folks want to start making New Year’s resolutions. You know those resolutions, like “I’m going to lose 10 pounds” or “I’m going to get off social media for a month.” Or “I’m going to delete some of my Facebook friends.” Or “I’m going to do a dry January.” And then when you don’t follow through with those resolutions, you beat yourself up. Since I’m not into inflicting pain on myself, I let go of New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. Instead, I look at a New Year as a new beginning. Time for me to set new goals for myself. It’s a time for me to perhaps finish things on my list from the year before that I didn’t accomplish. A New Year for me means going harder for my goals. Harder than I went the year before.  So, stepping into 2022, I decided to have that “unhindered faith.” I bet your saying, “Wow Kim you are so profound.” I’m not. I can’t take credit for that. The term unhindered faith came from my Pastor, Dr. Craig L. Oliver. He was spot on with that term. This is what he said should be our theme for the New Year.

Let me break it down for you. Unhindered means not to slow, block or interfere with. Basically, we can’t allow anything to interfere or block the faith that we have in God. God wants our faith to be fluid. The faith that you have has to influence and impact every aspect of your life. Even in your period of waiting, you must have unhindered faith.

Having that unhindered faith is not easy. You must put in work. You must nurture your relationship with God to get to that point where you have unhindered faith. Believe me I don’t have all of that figured out. There have been plenty of times in every aspect of my life that my faith was fragile. And it wasn’t until I learned to really let go and trust the process, that my faith got to a place where I was able to stand on its foundation with confidence.

There have been times if I’m honest, in my period of waiting for things to happen outside influences crept into my mind that tried to make me doubt my faith. Can you relate?

One of the goals that I set for myself last year was landing a new job. I have some financial and entrepreneurial goals that I am trying to meet. And having a new job would put me in a better position to achieve all of my goals. My job journey was not easy. During my job waiting period, I allowed thoughts in my mind to make me think that I could just stay where I was and remain comfortable. I even had moments when I doubted myself and the goals that I set for myself. However, the more that I applied to various positions and the flood of interviews kept coming through, made me realize that I was doing the right thing. God told me that I was going to get a new job, but I needed to lean on him. I just needed to be patient. It took about five months before I landed the role that I wanted. However, it was worth the wait.  I got everything I asked for. A promotion, a salary increase and 100 percent remote. And here’s the thing, I interviewed with so many companies, that I stop keeping count. But the company that ended up hiring me, was not my first choice at the time of my interview. I wasn’t sure it was going to be a good fit for me. But I told God, “Put me where you want me to go.” And he ended up putting me with the company that I wasn’t sure about. Now, I’m so glad that he put me there. What a great match.

At one point when I thought the job was in the bag, there was a glitch. See, I had to do a background check and a drug test. Apparently, there was something on my background that gave them pause. And no, it wasn’t those times where I got arrested. LOL. If you don’t know then you don’t know. I will have to talk about that in another post.

On my background I had a misdemeanor for blocking an intersection. Side Note: who knew that blocking an intersection was a misdemeanor? I digress. The blocking the intersection happened about 3 years ago, and when HR called me about it, questioning me I honestly couldn’t remember what she was talking about. Luckily, I was able to go back into my memory files and recall the events of that day. I told her what happened, and she was like, “Ok great. I can explain that. Don’t worry this incident won’t prevent you from getting the job.” Whew, I was relieved. But let me tell you, that was a time when doubt came in. However, I just reminded myself about what God promised me. Now, because of that issue with my background check I was not ready to tell anyone that I landed a new role. I wanted to wait until my drug test was cleared. I mean I didn’t want them calling me talking about, “um…we found some mysterious drug in your system.” I just waited until I got the official clear. Thankfully, my drug test came back clear. I was all good to tell the important people in my life that I landed a new role. This role was perfect for me. It was designed just for me. No, for real. It was designed just for me.

My new company really wanted me to work for them, but the role that I originally applied for, well they thought it was not good enough for me. Instead, they created an entirely new position for me. That’s right, read that again. They created a new position JUST FOR ME!  I was getting ready to leave a company where the VP told me,“Kim you have a certain set of skills and we just don’t know what to do with you.” Excuse me? That’s like a man telling me, “Kim you have a certain set of qualities, that I just don’t know what to do with.” Well, I tell you what I will find a man who does know what to do with my skills. And that’s what I did. I found a job clearly that knew what to do to the point that they created an entire position for me. God said he had my back. And he did.

I’m telling you when you trust the process with unhindered faith watch how God will blow your mind!  It may look finished to us from our vantage point but remember there’s still room for God to make things happen in your life.

I am here to tell you to stay the course – no matter what it is. And let go of what didn’t work or what didn’t go your way last year. This is a new year. You are HERE. You are blessed to see another day. Walk in your purpose this year!! Happy New Year!

 

Sisters in the City!

Sisters! Some of us have biological sisters and some of us have sisters who are not related to us at all.  I am blessed to have both. I have a biological sister and I have women in my life who are more than just my friends. They are my sisters. Two of my sisters who are not related to me, I’ve known since I was 16 years old. In this relationship I am the baby. And they have always treated me like the baby sister. Meaning, they are protective, they give me tough love even when I don’t want to hear it. And they have taught me a lot of valuable lessons about careers, friendships, parenthood, and relationships. I have to say that these two sisters have been a major part of my life and have assisted in shaping me into the woman I am today. 

When I was a teenager, my mom really trusted these two women. She always allowed me to go off with them because she knew that if I was with them, I would be safe. And here’s the cool thing about my sisters. I was younger than them so when I was in high school, they both were in college. I still had a curfew, they didn’t. But guess what? They always got me back home in time for my curfew. Now, that I think about that…wow that was unselfish of them. They easily could have been like, “Um we don’t have a curfew so we will have to figure out a way to sneak you back in the house without your mom knowing.” Instead, neither one of them tripped on the fact that I needed to be home at a certain time. They just did what they had to do because they respected the boundaries or rather rules that my mom had set for me.  Hey, that’s what sisterhood is all about- respect and love.

Celebrating Sisterhood

I’m sure you all have seen the new shows that celebrate sisterhood like Run the World, Harlem and of course the reboot of my all-time favorite Sex in the City (And just like that). Well, these shows got me really thinking about my sister circle and how much they mean to me. Having a strong sisterhood with one woman or even several women can be a strong connection that last a lifetime. Also, this special bond brings out a sense of belonging to people who might feel isolated and alone at times.

Having a sense of belonging is so important to all women and girls, and the acceptance from the group can help individuals show acceptance and growth within themselves. I think you can see that in all the shows that I just mentioned. All three of these shows have a set of 3-4 women who are all very different in terms of personalities, careers, styles and even looks. However, they all have strong connections and are all mirrors to each other. They can’t hide who they really are. They are their authentic self’s when they are with each other. Being authentic is important in a sisterhood. Being your authentic and vulnerable self is crucial to the bond of sisterhood. Not being afraid to take off that wig, weave, lashes, and makeup and just be YOU around one another is the foundation of sisterhood.

And Just Like That!

Now, everything I just said is a bit serious, but having sisters is also fun too. As part of my sisterhood tradition with my two sisters at least a few times a year, we all get together for a sisters weekend. A weekend of just US! One of my sister’s flew in from Kansas City to Atlanta and met myself and my other sister who also lives in Atlanta. We had an awesome time, but let me tell you, just like that we are no longer in our 20’s. LOL! Meaning, our definition of going out and kicking it has changed. When we got together on Friday, our agenda included us going to lunch, getting foot massages, heading to the mall and doing an early dinner and drinks at a sushi restaurant.  Now, we each had about 2 drinks and finished with dinner by 7:30 p.m. You would think that we were ready to hit up the next spot. Instead, we were all like, “Whew, man we can go home put on our PJ’s pop some popcorn and watch movies.” LOL.  We got back to my place around 8:00 p.m. and were in our PJ’s by 8:15 p.m. with popcorn popped. And just like that- Friday nights look a bit differently now.  On Saturday, I cooked breakfast for my sisters. We had quiche, home fries and very strong mimosas. Of course, everything was good because well…I cooked it. Anyway, we watched a movie while eating breakfast. After breakfast, we did some retail therapy and decided to grab a pizza for dinner and take it home so we could watch movies.

Now, as we were heading back to my place, traffic was crazy people were driving reckless. Suddenly, we all said at the same time, ‘Man it’s time to get off these streets and stay in the house.!”  Hilarious, at this point it’s like 7:00 p.m. Once again, we were not looking to go out we were excited to be at home eating pizza while watching movies.  And just like that, home on a Saturday night with my sisters.  We all joked about how when we were younger, we would be trying to kick-it to the next bar or club, but honestly when you want to spend quality time with your sisters, kicking back at the house with libations, and good food is priceless.

In this season of Thanksgiving!

In this season of Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. However, this may not be a popular statement, but I also have some things that I’m sad about during this season. Hey, that’s a part of life. You know the ebbs and flows.  As my pastor, Dr. Craig Oliver stated a few Sundays ago, life is about trouble, trust and then triumph. In other words when we go through trouble, we find ourselves trusting God through the process and he brings us through and then there is triumph. So that’s basically, what I mean that in this season of Thanksgiving I’m thankful but a bit sad. At the same time though, I triumph with what God has done in order for me to still enjoy this season of Thanksgiving.  

One of the things that I enjoy about this season of giving is…GIVING! Giving all throughout the year is something that I love to do but giving during the holiday season is extra important to me. Let’s face it, anyone of us could find ourselves in a position where we don’t have food to eat during the holidays. Or we could find ourselves without having anyone to spend the holidays with. So, I like this time of year because I get the opportunity to put a smile on a person’s face despite what they may be going through during this holiday season.

Last Saturday, I participated in the Barrel of Love outreach at my church. This is when we turn the gymnasium into a grocery store with all the items that a family needs to have a nice Thanksgiving dinner. On Tuesday, I had the opportunity to hand out turkeys, potatoes, and canned goods to families for an organization in Cleveland, Ohio. This outreach took place outside in like 30-degree weather, but it was well worth it to provide families what they needed for a Thanksgiving meal.  And today, my family and I will be delivering Thanksgiving meals to family’s door-to-door in the afternoon. We are doing this in partnership with my church in Cleveland, Ohio.

This is what Thanksgiving is all about for me. And I am truly thankful to be able to volunteer my time with all these organizations. Volunteering during this season allows me for even just a few hours to take the attention off myself and put it on others. You see, while I enjoy the holiday season there are parts of it that give me pause. Over the last few weeks, several families that I am connected to have lost loved ones. One through a tragic death and the other two due to illness. And one of the three deaths was a friend of mine who was only a few years older than me. The news of his death really took me for a loop. I didn’t realize how sick he was. Since he was first diagnosed, I was staying in contact with him. And I last communicated with him on Oct. 23 and when we spoke via text, he said he was feeling good, by the grace of God. Then on Nov.12 he passed. His death trigged my feelings of another friend of my mine who was like my brother – who passed on Christmas morning last year.  He was a year younger than me. He too was sick, but I just had hopes that he was going to get better. Why am I bringing up the deaths of these two men? Well, they were both phenomenal men with characters that were out of this world. They both left a mark on the lives they touched. And they both touched many. All of that was made evident at both their funerals by the way family and friends spoke about each of them.  The other reason I am bringing these two men up is because they were my friends…my brothers. And they both were instrumental in helping me to launch my first self-published book. One of them took my photo for the back cover of my book and the other one wrote the forward of my book. I find it interesting that these men both died almost one year apart. It dawned on me that not only did they die a year apart, but they both were an important part of making one of my goals come true. And now my first book is even more special to me because both men are gone, but they will forever live on with my book. They are etched in my book and in my hearts forever.  I won’t ever be able to look at my book the same again. So, in this season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful that God allowed me to know these beautiful souls and I am glad that they will always be apart of my life.  Happy Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?

It just hits differently!

A few months ago, two to be exact I turned 49. Yep, that’s right 49!!! I am standing at the door knocking because 50 is on the other side of that door.  OOO weeee!!!!  Now, don’t get me wrong I am happy and blessed that I made it to 49. Because with COVID and just life itself, there are many who can’t say that they made it to 49.  I mean I know folks in my age range who passed away from COVID, cancer and even suicide. You see 49 is young, but it’s not that young. Therefore, you can’t sweat the small stuff and cherish the moments that you have with family and friends.

For my birthday this year, I wanted to do something low key since I had a birthday party/anniversary book release party last year. This year my birthday fell on a Saturday, so I basically spent the entire weekend doing things that I love to do.  I got a mani/pedi, I went to one of my favorite tapas restaurants, I watched movies with my favorite movie snacks, I got some avocado toast from one of my favorite breakfast spots, I did some retail therapy, and I ate at one of my favorite Italian restaurants. And of course, I had some libations and some cake. Basically, I had a great birthday. I mean I knew that 49 was coming and I was ready. I was okay with turning 49. I knew I was going to be cool with it.  So, I thought.

When I woke up Saturday morning, my actual birthday I got in the shower. As the water came down all over my body, my mind went on a journey of reflection. And when I say a journey of reflection…it wasn’t like I was contemplating my life looking off into the distance. It was more of an ah ha moment.  I mean if I can be honest, I was NOT okay in that shower. I think I just couldn’t believe that I was 49. I mean I didn’t look it and I didn’t feel like I was old, or shall I say more seasoned.  But what I was trippin on was that man what a life I’ve had so far. I mean, I have accomplished so many things that I had on my list of things that I wanted to accomplish.

I’ve been blessed to work in my career field for my entire career. I’ve worked at some of the top corporations which most folks dream about. I have bought a house and I’ve lost a house. I bought my dream car – although it took me forever to get it, but I got it. I travel wherever I want to, I have an awesome family who I know loves me. I have a great group of women who I call my eagles in my life. I am a self-published author, I have my own show, a great relationship with God and I pretty much can do anything that I want to do. I have freedom. And no, I’m not really talking about financial freedom, I’m talking about FREEDOM to move about the earth the way I want to. I say all of that to say that I’ve done a lot, been through some storms, but by grace I am still here. And yea I want to be married, and it hasn’t happened YET, but if I am honest with my 49-year-old self I’m not sure I would have accomplished the things that I have done if I was married.

Letting the water wash over me, was kind of symbolic. It felt like the water was washing away all of disappointments , the hurts, the frustrations, the fears, the sadness just anything that just didn’t always put me in a good head space. While in that shower, even though I was looking over everything that I had accomplished up until 49, I also thought about the next chapter in my life. The goals that I have for myself moving forward. And thinking about the next chapters in my life make me excited and a bit anxious. But if I wasn’t anxious or excited there may be something wrong with me, right? Life is full of swift transitions as my mom always says. But I am so excited about this next chapter. There are so many things to look forward to.

Not Everyone Can Have a Seat at YOUR Table

In every category of your life, there are transitions.  I feel like that at each age range there are transitions that take place. Transitions can be defined as a change from one thing to the next, either in action or state of being.   One of the transitions that I find myself dealing with at this stage of my life is the transition of friendships.  I can recall in my 20s and 30s that I would roll deep with a bunch of young women, I mean my click was huge. When we would go out, it always looked like a funeral procession because we would all be driving and following each other. You see back then they did not have Uber or Lyft and for whatever reason we did not always carpool. If I can be transparent, I often wonder how we even made it home at times. Nope, I know how, God’s favor because I am pretty sure that I should not have been behind the wheel more times than I want to admit.

Anyway, now that I am in my late-40s (sidenote: that sounds crazy) but now that I am in my late-40’s I don’t roll with a huge click anymore and I definitely utilize, Uber, Lyft and even car service at times.  In my late 30’s I started taking stock of my relationships and I realized that I had different categories that my friends fell into:

  • Category 1 – Friends I have known since high school.
  • Category 2- Friends I have known since college.
  • Category 3 -Friends I have met along my journey of maturing into the woman I am today.

I know some amazing women who all have a special place in my heart. However, now that I am in my 40’s some of these friendships have definitely changed and unfortunately, some of these women no longer have a seat at the table of my life. Now, that is not a bad thing.  Just because you have longevity or years with some people, does not mean that they are to be around for the long haul. And that is one of the things that I have been wrestling with. I say to myself, but we have been friends for xx years, I do not want to remove them from my life.  The reality is that everyone cannot go where God is trying to take you.

 I believe I talked about this in another post, that during COVID I have been able to peel back the layers of friendships and through peeling back the layers some friendships flourished, and some have not. And the crazy thing is that you can be minding your own business and God will show you on more than one occasion who is for you and who is not for you – meaning who will be able to go where God is getting ready to take you. How does HE show you? He will usually show you by revealing their behavior as well their actions to you. My experience has been that people demonstrate a consistent type of behavior and I tend to ignore their behavior and their actions. I would just chalk it up to, well maybe they did not mean it. Or well they did that to that person, but they did not necessarily do it to me. However, as I am going through these specific transitions in my life right now, I realize the type of people I need to have in my life. I often think about what value do they bring to my life? More importantly, I think about can I TRUST them? And once I have answered those questions, I determine who can have a seat at the table of my life and who can be a passenger on the journey that God is taking me on.

Thinking Clearly

Here is the thing by ending certain friendships, we think that it is over, but as long as you can recall a memory of your friend, the relationship that you had with them never really goes away.  The relationship just morphs into something else. Whether the person remains in your life or just in your mind, you can make it a peaceful or painful relationship going forward.  It is totally up to you.

You are the architect of your friendships

When we begin a friendship, we tend to create a relationship box or category as I mentioned at the top. In that box, we put the definition of the relationship, characteristics, and agreements that we have created.  However, when a friendship feels stressful, it is usually a sign that the box that the friendship is in needs to be re-structured to better fit the needs of the people who are involved. The thing is when that friendship no longer fits the needs of both people and heck for even one person, it may not be necessary to re-structure it to make it fit. That all depends on you. It may just need to stay as in, and you move on.

Do not avoid the transition!

If you live long enough you will experience all kinds of transitions on this journey, we call life. Some transitions will be good, and some will be challenging. I do not want to say bad because I believe that all transitions make you stronger and build character. My advice to you is not to avoid the transition of friendships. Use this particular transition to learn more about yourself and what it is that you need as you step into what God has next for you.  I will never completely cut someone out of my life, but like I said ALL of my friends have a special place in my heart. I wish them well, I will wave to them from a far but I am ok knowing that where I am right now, and where I believe God is taking me not everyone can go along with me for the ride. And that is ok.  

The 40’s is the new 20’s really?

I’m sure by now you have heard the expression, “The 40’s is the new 20’s”. Well, why I believe that I don’t look a day over 25 and I don’t feel like I’m in my late 40’s I am going to go ahead and say, my feet disagree with that saying all together. I mean, let’s face it, I’m young but I’m not that young.

Well, I have to share with you my experience that I had recently.  For the last two months I’ve been on a serious, and I mean serious weight loss and fitness journey ( I will talk to you more about that when I’m closer to my goal) anyway, because of the intense cardio workouts like sprints, walking on a very high incline, running, jumping rope etc.. it has put some additional pressure on my feet and my knees. Now, please understand I’ve always been working out, but if I’m honest with myself I was just doing enough to maintain. Now, that I’m even more serious about making a body transformation, my cardio game and intensity had to pick-up. So, because of that, the bottoms of my feet and my knees were getting to me a bit. I mean I stretch I bought like three types of tennis shoes that have great support. I got Nike’s, Asics and Ryka’s. Don’t get me wrong all three brands of tennis shoes work pretty good but I was still having issues with my feet and my knees.  Therefore, since I am not a doctor and I didn’t need to self-diagnose, I decided to go to the podiatrist. 

The Visit

This was actually my first time ever seeing a foot doctor because I always felt like, well I didn’t need to see one. My feet were good.  Because I was a new patient, they had to take x-rays of my feet. They took the x-rays and boy did I get a rude awakening. Like I said, my feet are not in their 20’s. 

After reviewing the x-rays, the doctor first told me that I have flat feet.  And then she said that I have Plantar Fasciitis. Apparently, I’ve had this condition for a long time.  When I first heard that I was like “ok…wow.” Then she went on to show me the X-rays and said, “You also have a few bunions.” I almost fell out the chair. All I could think about was the scene in Boomerang when Eddie Murphy was sleeping with Lela Rochan and he pulled back the covers and her feet were HORRIBLE.  And then the next day he told his friends about his experience and said, “When I pulled back the covers, it was like hammer time on her feet!”  To the naked eye my feet are pretty, even the doctor said so. I said, “Bunions? Are you serious? I thought only people in their 80’s got bunions.?” She said, “Um…no. You have flat feet so you have all of the aliments of a person who has flat feet, but don’t worry there are things you can do to help treat your feet.”  As she went over the various things that I can do, like taking Turmeric, using a special inflammatory cream called Voltaren Gel, taking ibuprofen, stretching exercises and soaking my feet, I was just in a daze listening to her. She also recommended that I get some insole inserts for my shoes. Ok, now I need inserts to go in my shoes? What is happening at this moment!  After we went over my treatment plan, I asked her why my feet would get numb after I run or walk on the elliptical after about 30 minutes? She said, “Oh that has to do with your circulation!” I wish you all could have seen the look on my face when she said that. “Circulation?” She said, “Yes. Now what you do for that is get some compression socks.” This is when I almost fainted. “Compression socks! So now I’m 80? I’m really old now!” The doctor started laughing and said, “Kim you are not old. I have on compression socks (she’s in her 30’s) and the nurse has them on too (she’s in her 20’s). They will help with your circulation when you are working out.”

 I was officially DONE!  Let me get this straight, I have flat feet, Plantar Fasciitis, bunions and poor circulation when I work out?  I can’t!!!!!!  Before I left the doctor’s office, I got fitted for inserts and paid for the one’s that they had in stock. However, I plan on purchasing custom fitted inserts for my shoes. Seriously, I’m glad that I went to the doctors because I didn’t want to really injure myself to the point that I couldn’t work out for a bit. Now, I know what to do for my feet. However, I’m sorry folks the 40’s is not the new 20’s. You know what they are? They are just 40’s and that’s it.  What ailment have you discovered now that you are in your 40’s?

From Backing that up to Birkenstocks!

I know this is a funny title, but it is so appropriate. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love the Christmas holiday season.  It’s a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and spend time with family and friends. And let us not forget the lights, the smells and most of all holiday treats like cookies and those special holiday cocktails. 

Speaking of treats and libations, for more years than I can count I have always hosted a small gathering of my closest girlfriends to celebrate Christmas before some of us get enthralled with the hustle and bustle of the season with our own families. The evening usually consists of appetizers, desserts, and a signature holiday cocktail. In addition to the food and libations, we play games and have a gift exchange where the limit is usually $10.00.   Well, after not having a holiday gathering for the past few years, I decided that a girls gathering was needed. Like you, everyone has been through a lot during this pandemic and I wanted to bring some fun and cheer into the lives of my girlfriends.

Because of COVID my guest list had to be paired down a bit. I only had six ladies in attendance.  An intimate gathering indeed.  Do not worry everyone was masked up and there was plenty of hand sanitizer on deck.  The evening was filled with music, laughter games and, the best part of all plenty of conversation.  These conversations that me and my friends were having was pure comedy. I mean I could not stop laughing and taking notes of course. I mean, the stuff that these ladies were saying was hilarious. Ok I will not keep you in suspense. Here we go!

Leggings vs. Heels

Ladies, in your 20’s and even your 30s the conversations you were having with your girls when you were getting ready for a night out on the town, consisted of which heel should I wear? The stiletto pump, the wedge or should I wear flats with my pencil skirt, or skinny jeans? Now, at over 40 the conversation consist of which leggings should I wear? The fitted ones or the loose fitted joggers and my UGG’s  ? This is what my friends and I were talking about in terms of what we were going to wear for my holiday gathering. LOL!

Bag of Doritos

Where I live depending on how you decide to come up to my place based on where you park outside, you can either take the elevator or the stairs.  Most of my girlfriends parked right in front of my place so it just made sense for them to take the stairs up to my place.  As my one friend was walking up three flights of stairs, she said she suddenly heard a crunching sound, she immediately thought someone was opening a bag of Doritos. But to her surprise, it was not a bag of Doritos it was her thighs rubbing together as she walked up the stairs. Hilarious!!!!

Comfortable Footwear

I love heels and I despise ballet flats in a major way. The only flats I wear are tennis shoes, sandals and UGG’s.   We all got on a conversation about comfortable footwear. Really? Is this what we are really talking about. One of my friends was trying to sell us on Birkenstocks. She said that they have a certain “swag” to them. Do they really? As she was pleading her case she was like,” Them shits are comfortable!” She was like, they come in a variety of colors – black, metallic, and pewter. I  just could not get with it. Then another one of my friends, who has always been known to have a mean shoe game chimes in and says, “Clarke’s are comfortable too! They have some dope sandals Kim, you would like them!” Would I really?  We are the chic’s that typically stomp around in some bad shoes, and now we are talking about how dope Birkenstocks and Clarke’s are?  When did this happen? I guess somewhere between 40 and now.

Just another “Lit” Saturday afternoon

I remember a time when Saturday’s were reserved for grabbing drinks, going to the mall, hitting up a club, perhaps a date or something. Now, it seems that Saturday’s are reserved for grabbing a Starbucks coffee beverage and a trip to HomeGoods or grabbing a nice salad from Panera bread, all while wearing your favorite flats and leggings. My how times have changed. One of my girlfriends said that a male friend called her on a Saturday morning saying, “So what are you all getting into today? Let’s get it.” She was like, “Oh we are out in these streets headed to HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Target and then we are grabbing something to eat at Panera Bread!”  See Saturday afternoons have a new meaning when you get over 40.  

I just remember simpler times when we lived for the weekends were trying to figure out which club or party we were going to back that thang up on some fellas! LOL! Now, we are trying to figure out which show we are going to binge watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime.   Whelp! I love all of my sister friends and believe me we all know how to kick-it provided we have a nap first.  Seriously, we always have fun whether we are chilling our kicking-it hard! What kinds of conversations are you having now that you are in your 40’s?

Happy New Year everyone!

What COVID taught me

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week, and it’s even more hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner.  The crazy thing is that this entire year has been going in slow motion and then right after Halloween, poof we are almost at the end of the year.  I know many of us are really looking forward to a new year. In fact, have you noticed that all things Christmas have been popping up everywhere? Some folks have already put up their Christmas decorations and lights. You can’t get through a television show without seeing all kinds of ads about Christmas. I have to believe that the ads started running earlier to give folks something to look forward to.

Christmas is my favorite holiday and it always brings a smile to my face. From the holiday beverages from Starbucks, to some of my favorite Christmas movies, The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, the chocolates, the cookies, the lights, I can go on and on. However, for a lot of people the holidays are hard because of the loss of loved ones. I must admit that the holidays can be challenging for me too as I miss those I’ve lost. But for some reason seeing decorations, the smells, the baked goods just make me feel a bit warm inside.

Let’s face it we could all use a pick me up. One of my friends posted on social media this – “So many people were saying that 2020 was going to be clear vision. The year has most definitely been showing us all who is who. I can see clearly now!”  I felt like that post was right on point. Do you remember when we were all so excited about 2020 and everyone was saying things like, “2020 vision” “2020, seeing more clearly.” “2020 – this is MY YEAR!”  Well, for some of us 2020 did not disappoint. We were able to have much clearer vision.  

A Global Pandemic

This year was unlike any other that I have ever experienced in my lifetime. A Global pandemic pulled the rug out from all of us. COVID-19 touched the lives of many people we all know in some way. Whether it be they got COVID-19 and lived or got COVID-19 and died. And let us not forgot that while a global pandemic was happening, real life did not stop.  Social injustice was still happening, people experienced job losses, financial losses, relationship losses and even deaths of loved ones not due to COVID. COVID put a damper on vacation plans and forced us to stay at home and not see our loved ones.  Life and COVID had a lot of us in our feelings mentally and emotionally.  Unfortunately, some of us had a hard time coping.

If I can be honest, I had some rough patches during COVID too. It was and is hard being away from my family for long periods of time.  Like many of you, I was tired of seeing the social injustice that was going on in our country. It was also a  challenge having to adjust my lifestyle from doing the things that I normally love to do, like going to lounges, going to concerts, going to certain restaurants/bars, getting massages, going to the gym, having social gatherings at my house. Now, I must be very selective on where I go and who I am around all while being masked up of course.  There was a time during COVID that I was tired of looking at my place, I needed a change of scenery I actually thought I was going to have a break-down. The isolation was taking its toll on me. So, I sent out a 911 to my friends and said, “I’m not in a good head space, I need to get out of here.”  We ended up doing a weekend staycation at a little villa not far from Atlanta. Let me tell you, that was the best three days. It gave me time to relax, relate and release.  I was able to escape mentally and physically. It felt so good.  

COVID-19 taught me a lot and helped me think about things differently. It allowed me to recognize what is REALLY important to me and it help me to understand that I really have to find time to take care of my mental health no matter what. Working remote every day, I have to make sure that I switch up my scenery.  Switching things up can include taking my laptop and going to a coffee house, taking a quick walk or sitting outside with my favorite beverage (Starbucks) while listening to some tunes in my ear.  It really does not matter as long as I take the time to decompress. Sometimes, I just like getting in my car and driving with no destination in mind. COVID-19 also gave me the opportunity to strengthen my spiritual relationship with God, being more intentional about the time I spend with him. Everyday I make time to read my daily devotions and pray. I have never felt closer to God than how I feel now. I find that being consistent with my relationship with Him has made our relationship stronger and made me understand what it means to trust HIM. And not only trusting HIM but trusting the process while on this journey we call life.

Peeling back the layers

Also, during this time, it forced me to peel back the layers of some of my relationships with family and friends. Some of the layers were good and some were a challenge to embrace. However, what I discovered through those layers were not deal breakers, they just showed me who they REALLY were. Now, I know how to navigate my relationships with them going forward.  Again, what I learned about some of these individuals was not bad, they were just eye openers into who they really are. Through that, I learned the art of accepting and meeting people where they are.

 I also peeled back the layers of myself, my character and how I want to move about the earth.  Often, people are afraid of digging deep and doing self-introspections because they are afraid of what they may find.  I can tell you, that you may be surprised at what you will discover about yourself.  I feel like my self-introspection forced me to be honest about some things in my life and recognized that I am stronger than I thought. I realized that I have a lot more to offer to the world and to the people who are in my life.  Another thing that I learned during COVID is that it is never too late to make your dreams come true, it is all about timing. During COVID, I re-launched my book from 10 years ago, I started writing a second book, started a merchandising line, and I helped jumpstart an online talk show. And not only am I the co-host of the show I am one of the executive producers. So, you cannot tell me I have not been productive during COVID. The last thing I learned about COVID that I am thankful for, is that it allowed me the opportunity to foster new relationships and make current relationships even stronger. 

In the end I cannot say that 2020 was a bad year, I am going to say that it was a challenging year.  Now, I still pray for those who lost loved one because of COVID and those who are still suffering from the after effects of COVID. However, I also feel that if this pandemic did not happen, we would not take a pause to reflect and take stock of what is important.  What did you learn from COVID?

COVID-19 A Disruption or an Opportunity?

If you are like me then…wait a minute! Of course you are like me. Just like me, you are at home staying safely indoors due to the COVID-19.  Boy this is something that I’m sure you all can agree that we didn’t know was coming. I tell you I’ve been walking around my house, and man I feel like we are in the Twilight Zone. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind staying indoors to recharge, refresh and regroup but that’s usually because it’s my choice. Having that choice made for me is another story.

Many of you may not know that I am a Change expert, as well as a communication and marketing professional. I like to call myself a triple threat! Okay, enough about my credentials. But I bring the Change expert part to your attention because I’ve been trained and certified to assist others on how to deal with Change. So, one would think that as a Change Professional I should be able to handle this COVID-19 crisis like a champ right? Well, let’s just say that it is a daily …mmm.. I don’t want to say struggle, but I have to push myself every day to be in the right mindset. I have to as my pastor said last week, “Feed my faith and starve my fear.” I have to do that every day.

Here’s the thing. Change is inevitable. You can’t avoid it. You can try, but you can’t.  Change happens every day. It’s how you choose to deal with it. Over the last few days, I’ve had candid conversations, email exchanges and text messages where on the other side of those messages, people are fearful, uncomfortable and feeling challenged.  And you know what, they are entitled to have those feelings. This is a “Change” that has disrupted the entire world.  Let me say that again, the entire world!  This is not an easy change to deal with. But believe me, this too shall pass and it will. We just have to be “obedient” and do everything in our power to get through this together. Change helps you grow. If you let it, it can stretch you to do mighty things. It will force you to step outside of yourself.

Let’s face it COVID-19 is a huge disruption. And what is a disruption? It’s usually something that you didn’t see coming. And it is difficult to accept. Why? Because you are uncertain of what your future state will look like. And then cue in FEAR.  But you can’t let your FEAR get in the way of your future state. You have to look at this disruption as an opportunity.  You see there are three stages to change:

  1. Current state – Where you are today with COVID-19
  2. The transition state- This is when you begin to process the change. Processing the COVID-19 Quarantine
  3. Future State – Where the change requires you to be. This the outcome of COVID-19

Most of us should be somewhere in between the current state and transition state.  Meaning, you have accepted what’s happening and now you are dealing with a bunch of emotions because your life and the way it used to look has now transitioned and morphed into something else. Something, that you may not feel comfortable with. You may be uncomfortable with how things look now because perhaps they are a bit messy, disorganized, less productive and you are emotionally charged.  I do get that.  But during this transition state, you have the power to control your messiness, your disorganization, your non-productiveness and your feelings.  You do…for real.  You can use this time to pour into yourself, pour into your family/friends, pour into your work. Basically, take this time to invest in yourself – whatever that means to you. But you have time to do that. You can come out of COVID-19 with an entire new outlook on life and I bet you will be surprised the lessons that you learned during this time.  You still not convinced? Okay, well here you go. Here are some tips to help you manage this change:

  1. Maintain a positive attitude
  • Be optimistic Maintain a good attitude regardless of what changes are going on
  • Your new situation might not be perfect. Find ways that you can best leverage your skills, experiences and network to maximize your situation in the midst of change
  • Being negative is not good for you or the people around you. If you have a negative attitude, your family and friends will notice (this includes your social media followers) We have to lift each other up with positive vibes.
  1. Recognize that change is constant
  • Adopt an attitude of anticipation and excitement. See the change as an opportunity. Be an influencer and driver of change – that way you feel empowered.
  • Accept that change is a reality. Change happens whether you like it or not.
  • Change is good. Change prevents you from getting bored in your current situation and challenges you. If you aren’t challenged, you don’t grow.
  • Acknowledge the change. Recognizing and accepting change is one of the first steps towards managing it.
  1. Take the time to learn some new skills
  • You are naturally forced to learn new skills. Were you interested in getting a certification? What about writing that book or blog? Starting that online business? It’s your time to do all of that.
  • Make a list of new skills that you’ve always wanted. Use this time to work on and develop these new skill sets.
  • For each new skill, give yourself a deadline to master it so that you can quickly become an expert and increase your knowledge and value.
  1. Communication is key
  • Take the time to reach out to family and friends. Call them, text them or utilize FaceTime, DUO or Zoom to connect with them on camera.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get lonely. Connection is key and it does help- especially if you live alone.

Well, I hope that I was able to help you all out during the COVID-19. Keep the faith, stay in prayer and remember God’s got this. We just need to be obedient. And more importantly….stay home!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Love Affair with Valentine’s Day!

You made it through Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Some of the biggest relationship holidays. However, there is one more holiday that you can’t forget which will give you the trifecta of relationship holidays. Yep, that’s right Feb. 14 otherwise known as Valentine’s Day! Honestly, Valentine’s Day is my least favorite holiday. I mean I dread Monday’s, but I really am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Why you ask? I mean how could I not love a holiday that is about love! It’s typically associated with the color red, hearts, flowers, romance, the exchange of cards and candy. Well, wait a minute the candy part I love because I’m a lover of chocolate…candy that is.

Anyway, I’m not a big fan of this holiday because people put so much on it. They put so much pressure on the other person and themselves for this one day during the year. If your “significant” other doesn’t’ get you a gift, then your relationship is doomed or that person doesn’t’ really care about you or even like you. Give me a break, just because you didn’t get a box of chocolates on this one particular day, your relationship is in trouble? What about the other days of the year? Like Janet says, what have you done for me lately?

For me, Valentines’ Day has just not been that awesome, but to turn those negative feelings around I choose to celebrate this day a bit differently. I celebrate the women in my life. My mother and myself. I usually send my mom flowers, candy and a card and for myself I usually go to the movies or watch a movie, grab one of my favorite meals from a restaurant that I like and big box of chocolates. Then I go to sleep and when I wake up, poof! Valentine’s Day is over.!!! LOL. Hey who better to love myself than myself.

Ok, enough about my love affair with Valentine’s Day. This day of love got me thinking about some of the worst and memorable dates that I’ve had in the past. And not necessarily on Valentine’s Day. I could write forever but there is one particular date that will forever stand out in my mind as part of my hall of fame worst dates ever. Here we go!

You can only order one leg

Back in the late 90s in Atlanta there used to be a popular gym in Buckhead where one of my college friend was an employee. Because she worked there, I was able to work out at the gym for free. There was a certain trainer who made it very clear that he was interested in me. Every time I would come to the gym, he would flirt with me. Of course, him flirting with me was flattering, but I really wasn’t sure that I was that interested in him. He wasn’t bad looking, but I wasn’t really attracted to him.

Anyway, I guess he was tired of flirting with me and decided to take his chances and ask me out on a date. When he asked me, I was hesitant because like I said I wasn’t sure if I was interested in him. Instead of telling him no, I told him that I would get back to him. After careful thought and consideration, I decided that I would go back to him and say yes to a date. I figured, why not? I may feel differently about him after our date. Side note: I did feel differently about him after our date!

When I returned to the gym the next day, I told him that I would go out with him. We exchanged phone numbers. When we spoke on the phone later that night to plan our date, he said that we would go out to eat and then go bowling. I thought that was a cool date. Because I didn’t’ really know him, I didn’t want him coming to my apartment to pick me up. Therefore, we agreed that I would meet him at the gym, park my car and I would ride with him to our destination.

Here we go:

It was finally time for our date. I drove to the gym and parked my car. He met me in the parking deck. As we started walking toward his vehicle, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Do you remember the Geo Tracker? A mini version of a Jeep? Welp, he had a GEO Tracker and not just any GEO Tracker, a purple one. Now, you are probably saying, Kim you are so shallow. On the contrary. I just imagined him in a different type of ride. Back in the day, you typically saw females rolling around in a GEO Tracker dipped in the various crayon colors not usually men. But hey, if that’s what he was rolling in– no problem. I get into the car- no he didn’t open the door for me. Well, actually he did, from the inside. LOL!. We begin to pull out the parking garage, he turns on his radio and puts in a cassette tape. He turned up the volume on high. Tunes were blaring out his booming sound system. Do you all remember the group Troop? Whelp, he was blasting the song, “Spread my Wings!” he was singing loudly and was like…”oooo this is my Sh…..” I was confused! In my mind I was like, “That’s his song???” ok! When he finally took a break from singing, I asked him, “So where are we going to eat?” He said, “You will find out in a few minutes.” I said, “Ok…” But what could I do? He was driving so I guess I had to wait. A few minutes passed, and we end up in a packed parking lot. And as I was trying to figure out what restaurant we were going to, I looked to my right and to my left and…oh, there it was. BW3’s at Greenbriar. Those of you who live in Atlanta, remember that spot? In fact, BW3’s at Greenbriar was jumping during the weekend. I liked BW3’s so I was cool with getting something to eat from there. I mean their onion rings and those honey mustard chicken wings…makes my mouth water just thinking about the good eats there.

We parked the car and headed into the spot. It was jumping. We ran into some of my date’s homeboys. They were all very nice. We sat down and got menus and he asked me what I wanted to drink. I asked for a Vodka and cranberry. He said, “Um.. I don’t drink so you can’t have an alcoholic beverage.” Umm, I’m sorry, am I being punked? I gave him this funny look and said, “I don’t understand.” He said, “I don’t drink alcohol so, I’m not spending my money on you drinking alcohol when that’s not what I do.” I just responded by saying, “ok.” One of his friends, overheard our conversation and quickly chimed in and said, “Bro. let her have a drink!” My date said, “No man I’m not buying her a drink.” The friend started laughing and looked directly at me and said,” Sweetheart what do you want to drink? It’s on me.” So I said, “Aw thanks. I will take a vodka and cranberry.” I don’t think my date like that. Anyhoo, then the waitress came over to take our food order. My date asked me what I want to eat? I told him that I wanted the two honey mustard legs and an order of onion rings. He looked at the waitress and told her that we are going to have one order of honey mustard legs (they came in two) and one order of onion rings. The waitress wrote down our order and then said, “Anything else?” my date quickly answered and said, “no that’s all.” I was so confused. This fool was only going to give me 1 leg and we had to split the order of onion rings? I mean why couldn’t I have my own order? So far, this date was not going too well. Our order finally came…and there was absolutely no conversation between us. We ate our “snack” because it wasn’t dinner and we were probably out of BW3’s within 25-30 minutes. We did not stay long at all. We got back into the car, and my date popped in his favorite song by Troop, but this time he wasn’t as animated. I thought we were headed to our next stop, bowling. However, he had other plans for us. I noticed that we were headed in the direction of the gym. I was confused. I asked my date, “I thought we were going bowling?” He said, “I changed my mind. I’m taking you back to your car.” I was speechless. I had nothing to say to that. As we pulled into the parking deck, I couldn’t help but think, that I wasted my time getting dressed just to have a 30-minute date with someone who I wasn’t all that interested in. Wow! I got out the car and the dude didn’t’ even walk me to my car or make sure that I got in my car ok. Instead he just rolled up out of the garage and I never spoke to him again.  There you have it! I guess he didn’t like the fact that his friend bought me a drink and that I was not happy with my one chicken leg dinner.

That folks is one of the worst dates that I’ve ever had. Mmm…I wonder what ever happened to that guy and who he ended up with? However, I actually think that God was protecting me. Clearly, he was not meant to be in my life and for that I’m grateful. What are some of your bad dates?