Mother’s Day, What to do?

So, the other day a photo popped up in my Facebook feed.  It put a big smile on my face. The photo was of my grandmother Laura Beck, myself and my cousins.  My grandmother is no longer with us, so seeing a photo of her pop up in my feed did something to my heart and my spirit. You see for as long as I can remember, every Mother’s Day weekend we would hop in our cars and make that journey down the road to a little town called Pembroke, Virginia.  I looked forward to those Mother’s Day weekends. It gave me a chance to spend time with my mom, my grandmother and at times some of my aunts and cousins if they chose to come to Virginia during that time too.   When we would get to grandma’s on that Friday late in the afternoon we would make that trip to Walmart for groceries and other goodies. You see Walmart was exciting, as that was like the only real store in Pembroke.  And this was the Walmart Super Store, not the regular Walmart.  So, it was indeed one of the highlights of the trip!GbeckJPG

Of course, the other highlight of my trip was spending quality time with my grandmother.  I just enjoyed sitting at the kitchen table eating meals with her and having great conversations.  I especially, loved our morning talks over a cup of coffee. My grandmother was a beautiful woman on the inside and out. She had the best sense of humor. And her favorite word was “Shit!” yep I said it. I think I inherited that word from her, as I find myself saying that all the time.  Another thing that I loved about my grandmother is that she paid attention to me and cared about what was going on in my life.  One day I remember her saying to me, “You know what Kim? I like your style!.” That meant the world to me.  I also loved sitting with her on the couch and laying my head on her lap. She would rub my hair and just be still. That was the best.

My Grandma Beck is gone now…she lived to be 103 and it’s that time of year when I really miss her.  But in keeping on with the tradition of Mother’s Day weekend. I make sure that I spend every Mother’s Day weekend with my mother Sarah.  And that is the best!  Speaking of Sarah, she will be in town for Mother’s Day and I can’t wait.  Which brings me to this? What do you have planned for that special Mother in your life? Well, I got some ideas for those of you who live in the Atlanta area.

Breakfast or Brunch

Have you been to Gochas Breakfast bar?  Well, if you haven’t been you need to make it there this weekend. The food is fantastic. My favorite meal is the Avocado Toast with home fries.  The food there makes you want to slap yo mama…but don’t actually slap your mama!  Their pancakes, fried fish and shrimp & grits are also good choices.  And if you want a breakfast cocktail, they have everything from Kahula & Coffee to mimosas.  You choose because they have a full bar.  Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Did someone say manicure & pedicure?

One of the things that my mom likes to do when she comes to visit me is get a mani & pedi. One of my favorite places to go is Sugarcoat .  You and your mom can have a girl’s day out where relaxation and pampering is the theme for the day.  Unlike most places, the team at Sugarcoat will allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy time by yourself or with your girls – meaning, there won’t be a lot of talking. Because let’s face it, when I go for services I like to be pampered and left alone so that I can relax. You can even bring your own libations to sip on while enjoying that nice foot massage.

Take a flight!

I’m sure the mother in your life, would love a flight to a destination of her choice…but that’s not the kind of flight that I’m talking about.  If she likes wine, take her to this nice spot located in the Battery called Cru Wine Bar.  You don’t necessarily need to sit at a table, you can just take a seat at the bar.  They have light bites, like cheese, olives, Bruschetta, pizza etc.. to go along with your wine flights.  The atmosphere is nice and the service is fantastic. Cru is where I fell in love with Port Wine, so you never know what wine you and your mom will fall in love with.Wine

Shop! Shop! Shop!

Yes, you read that right. I didn’t mean Shots! Shots! Shots! I meant Shop! Shop! Shop! Now, I got the shopping gene honestly. I enjoy shopping. I especially enjoy shopping with my mom. So instead of hitting up the malls, we will take a relaxing road trip to Dawsonville, GA to the North Premium Outlet . They have all kinds of stores where you can help your mother spend her money or better yet, you can spend your money on her!

Did I spark any ideas in your head for that special lady in your life? Now, I plan on doing most of these things on the list that I mentioned including taking my mom to see the handsome Brian Mcknight at City Winery. Unfortunately, tickets seem to be sold out for all shows but you can be added to the waiting list. And we probably will take in a movie, church and brunch on Mother’s Day. Now, I can tell you that if you haven’t made your reservations for brunch you may want to put it in soon. If you don’t know where to take your mother, google best brunch places in Atlanta, and you will get an entire list of restaurants.

Well, I hope that I helped you all in coming up with ideas to spend time with that special woman in your life whether it be your mom, your grandmother, aunt, godmother, sister, etc. whoever you want to celebrate Mother’s Day with.  Remember, spending quality time is really the best present that you can possibly give, it’s the gift that is priceless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Intentional!

Happy New Year!!! I know I’m a few months behind on saying that. Yep, it’s been a minute since you’ve heard from me.  Where have I been you ask? Dealing with life. There have been some ups and downs since we rang in 2019.  But that’s a part of life.  While the beginning of the year started off with a bang, who knew that in just a month later or so, a tremendous blow would hit our family.  My cousin who was only 40-years-old passed away suddenly.  Even writing that sentence is unbelievable.  I chose not to post about his passing on the social media outlets because it was just different…meaning it just didn’t sit well with me to post it on social media. I think because if I posted about him, it would make it more real. And quite honestly, for the last month I felt like I was walking in a fog…just going through the motions.  My cousin’s passing was a tremendous blow to our family.  There are only five grandchildren on my dad’s side and he was #4 in the lineup. My brother is the youngest. So, as you can imagine, we are more than just cousins we are like siblings.  Now, don’t get me wrong I’ve experienced loss before, but this was a bit different. It was different because he was young, and it happened suddenly. Even today as I write this, I still can’t believe that he’s gone. In fact, when friends or family ask how I’m doing, I reply “It’s the new normal.”  Life still has to go on. I can’t crawl up into the fetal position and just let life pass me by. I have responsibilities and I am still here, and I have to live my life, because one thing that I am certain of is life is precious and short.

When I have moments of disbelief that he’s gone, I choose to go to that place in my mind when I saw him last. The memories that I have of him make me smile and at times they make me laugh. I am thankful for the time that I spent with him. I saw him a few short months after he came into this world and even held him in my arms, and although I didn’t see him leave this world, I was glad I had time with him before he passed.

I opened this post by saying that the beginning of the year started off with a bang. It did indeed, but another reason why it started off with a bang is because I chose to embark on a new term for my life that is better than any New Year’s resolution. However, I can’t take full credit for what I am about to write.  I have to credit my pastor, Dr. Craig L. Oliver. His word for the New Year is being intentional. What does that mean you ask? Being intentional. Don’t just say it, do it. Unlike, New Year’s resolutions I believe that if you are intentional, it won’t be fleeting. Meaning it won’t just be something that you say you are going to do…but don’t really mean it or don’t really do it. You know when we make New Year’s Resolutions, we say things like, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds,” or “I’m going start that business” or “I’m going to stop eating meat!” But often times, we start on the path of honoring the New Year’s resolutions that we set for ourselves and then something happens and we don’t complete that resolution. However, with being intentional – I don’t think it has to be so final. Here’s what I mean. You say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” OK, living the life of being intentional goes beyond that of losing 10 pounds. Be intentional about living a healthy lifestyle. Don’t just focus on losing the 10 pounds. Why put so much pressure on yourself? Focus on living better. Changing those bad eating habits, incorporate better sleeping habits, add some physical activity several times a week (walking, taking a yoga class, do some cardio etc.)  that to me is being intentional. It’s not a one and done. This is something that can carry you through the years.  You say you want to start that business? Again, don’t put all that pressure on yourself. There are several things that need to happen before you get that business off the ground. Be intentional about setting reasonable goals for yourself to start your business. For example, do you have a business plan?  have you done research about the business you want to start? have you set up your business legally? Do you have any money? Like FOR REAL! There all kinds of steps that need to happen, so be intentional about putting your plan in motion. Once you’ve taken care of all of the steps then you can start your business.

Without going into too much detail, I decided to be more intentional with my time with God; and more intentional with how I spend my time and who I spend my time with.  My time should be spent doing things that I like to do -whether that may be  spending time with family and friends in my circle, traveling, working out, writing and also working on the steps to having my own business, but my time is valuable and wasting it is not an option.

I will say this, losing a loved one really puts a lot of things in perspective for me, but losing a loved one who was younger than even me really got my attention. While my cousins was on this earth for 40 years, he enjoyed his life. He was a son, a father, a brother, a nephew and a cousin. He will forever be missed.

It also hit me that by me saying, “I’m living the new normal?” what I realized is that I’m actually living with peace. God has given me peace. And not that my grieving has ended or that it’s not painful, but while I’m dealing with this lose, God has given me peace that surpasses all understanding to get me through my bad days. As you are aware, God didn’t say you weren’t going to experience pain. But what he did say is that he will be there while you are going through it. And that my friend is called PEACE.

The lesson today, don’t waste your time. Live a life of being intentional.  God has blessed you with the strength and ability to shine brightly in this his world, don’t miss out!

 

 

 

Surviving Homecoming

Well, homecoming season is coming to an end. Boy,I love this time of year. My homecoming  – Clark Atlanta University, CAU!!!! owes me nothing once again. I tell you, there’s nothing like an HBCU homecoming. It is the best! Homecoming is much like Vegas. What happens at homecoming stays at homecoming. Let me tell you, in case you didn’t know, a lot of things go down at homecoming. For example, the married folks or those who have  a significant other who didn’t attend their school, tend to leave their better half’s at home.  They leave their significant others home because they have been granted the Homecoming Hall Pass.  This Hall Pass is something that they usually work on a few months prior to actually going to homecoming by way of being extra nice, handling those forgotten chores etc.. All this so that they can “live their best life” at homecoming.  (Side Note: I’m about tired of hearing that saying!)

I’ve also found that during homecoming, you might run into your old flames from back in the day who think they still look like they did back in the day. More often than not…they don’t look the same  AT ALL!!!  However, they still think that they have that hold on you like they did back in college…ummmm no! There is a reason why you and that old flame aren’t together anymore.  Heck, isn’t that why they call it an old flame? You will also run into folks who may have liked you back in the day and they use homecoming every year as an excuse to try to kick it to you …even if they are MARRIED!!!  Really?? They will say things to you like “It’s still complicated?” or  “ Between me and you, we are co-parenting” well, if it’s “Between me and you” the chances are the spouse doesn’t know that you all are just co-parenting.  And mind you, you don’t hear from this person any other time of the year except during homecoming. And i’m sure you all can relate to getting a flood of DM’s or Facebook messages from interested parties trying to get their flirt on  behind the scenes right? Anyhoooo… all in all homecoming is a blast. It’s that time of year when you can relax, let your hair down and really get loose and don’t feel bad about it. However, if you are 40 something…the recovery time is no joke. You definitely can’t do it like you did in your 20’s no way.  In fact, the 40’s ARE NOT the new 20’s. For those three days of partying which started for me on that Thursday, it took me like a week to recover.  But I have to admit,  I can’t just blame it on homecoming festivities. I find that since being 40 something,  if I hang out for more than just one day, I tend to get a bit tired. The good news is that, it’s not just me. Most of my girlfriends who are in their  40’s say the same thing. Listen, I just got back from spending the weekend with my high school and college bestie and we kicked it hard that first night, and then the next day we were in our pajamas ALL DAY until it was time to go to dinner. And then we went to bed early the next night because we were still recovering from the first night. Really!!! Well, I did some research and found out that there is an actual name for what we over 40’s are experiencing. It’s called “The Fatigued 40’s.” It’s everything from stress to hormonal fluctuations during pre-menopause to the changing seasons. Additionally, I found out that tiredness among women tend to peak in the autumn…which guess what? it’s that time of year now.  Also, let’s add managing a career and or raising children, having a husband/significant other, being involved in the community, working out etc.. all of these things contribute to being fatigued. So here are some sure fire ways to help you get through being fatigued:

  • Curb the sugar- and wine – Ummm……..I don’t know how this works for me since I LOVE Chocolate and  I am a fan of wine.  Apparently, the sugar from candy and  those sweet coffee drinks from Starbucks spike your blood sugar which leads to you crashing at your desk.  And wine…well it can deplete your energy levels. I believe that, because when I drink wine I get sleepy and um….well a bit frisky!! Experts say instead of wine opt for Vodka, Tequila or Gin. I think I can handle that.
  • Calm the voices in your head – If you are like me, you are always thinking. I have a million and one things on my mind and at times I can’t seem to shut it down. It can be exhausting and overwhelming at times. To help with the voices in your head, take a few minutes and just breath—woo sa!!! Or in the evening take a warm bath, read a good book, take a yoga class, get a massage or perhaps go on a nice leisurely walk.  You can also binge watch some of your favorite shows that you’ve missed or catch a movie. Just do something to quiet those thoughts for even just an hour or so.
  • Break a sweat– Not my favorite thing to do, but I love the results. You got to keep moving. Working out increases the blood flow to your brain and helps with awareness. You don’t have to do two hours of cycling or anything high intensity, a brisk walk 30 minutes a day will do just fine.
  • Get your sleep on- This is the hardest thing to do. I typically only get about 5-6 hours of sleep at night. However, it is important to stick to a routine. You should try to go to bed the same time every night. No matter what, I try to be in the bed by 11:00 p.m. or 11:30 p.m. Bottom line,  you have to find a time that works best for you.

I hope some of these tips will help you out with “The Fatigued 40’s” syndrome, because let’s face it we aren’t as young as we once were. The 40’s IS NOT the new 20’s! Don’t believe the hype!!! LOL!

 

Get out!

 

GetoutimageHow many of you have seen the movie “Get out?” If you saw the movie then you should be familiar with the term “the sunken place.”  What does the word sunken mean?  It can mean having sunk or been submerged in water. It can also mean at a lower level than the surrounding area.  So why am I writing about the “sunken place?”  Well, I thought it was important that I be transparent with you. Remember,  I told you that if  I don’t have some real content to write about, I’m not going to write it.  So here it goes.

About a month ago I found myself being in the sunken place. And what I mean by that is I was drowning.  I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  I was overwhelmed with things happening in my personal and professional life, and on top of that I was approaching my 40 something birthday.  Normally, I don’t trip on my birthday but this time it was different.  Honestly, I hadn’t had one of these mental breaks in a VERY LONG time so I guess it was overdue.  I found myself in a position that I didn’t know how to navigate through on my own. Additionally, my faith was wavering and I was at a crossroads.  I realized I was moving so fast, traveling, spending time with family and friends, working out, work etc… that I really didn’t have time to stop and just breathe.  And then it happened. One day a small event that I was a part of triggered what was going on inside of me.  I found myself having a hard time breathing and all I could do was cry.  And I just couldn’t stop.  Once I pulled myself together, I realized that I needed help.  I immediately called my mother and I said, “Mom, I’m about to lose it!” And she said, “What’s going on Kim?” and then I went into detail on how I was feeling about getting older, my job, my faith, my personal relationships and where I was in life compared to where I wanted to be. I am so grateful that I had the strength to pick up the phone and call my mom and talk to her candidly about how I was feeling. You may think what’s so hard about picking up the phone to call your mother, your BF, your father, a sibling, your significant other etc.? Well, there are a lot of people who have found themselves in the sunken place and are afraid to pick up the phone to talk because it will make them vulnerable.

As women, we don’t want to admit when we are afraid, overwhelmed, angry, hurt, lonely or insecure.  We handle pressure by going into “survival mode”, we tell ourselves and others we are okay or fine when we just simply aren’t.  This means we have to do a better job about being honest with ourselves and honest with our loved ones when they ask, “How are you doing?” Now, while being in the sunken place or pressure can feel like a bad thing, at times it’s what we need to give us a bit of a refresh, a re-boot a cleansing per se.

Pressure is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can be looked at as a gift, kind of like feedback. You know what they say, “feedback is a gift.”  Pressure can help us grow into the kind of people we are meant to be.  Pressure can make us stronger, more mature and give us the jolt that we need to ultimately reach our goals.

I found that not only talking to my mom was very helpful, I also used this time to talk to God. I used this moment in time to lean on him for support, comfort and understanding.  I mean I felt like I was emotionally cracking up for a minute there.  So, I took the time to go into my prayer closet to have a one-on-one conversation with God. I was able to be open and candid with him about my truth and how I felt.  Once I did that, I felt the pressure lifted off of my spirit. The circumstances didn’t necessarily change in that instant, but the pressure was lifted and I felt better equipped to navigate through my issues.

Often times, when we feel like we are in the sunken place, we forget to stop and pray or even read scriptures in the Bible. We forget about God.  We forget that God is consistent.  He is a friend who can help and give us the power to handle the stress in our lives and give us that inner peace.

During my time in my sunken place, I decided to just disconnect for 72 hours. And the only people I spoke to was my mom and God.  I was SILENT. I just focused on myself.  By taking a step back to just focus back on myself and disconnecting was very therapeutic for me. By the time Monday came around,  I felt renewed and in a very different head space.

When you find yourself in the sunken place, you have to consider having leisure time. Leisure time needs to be considered as a necessity, not just a reward for doing more.  Personal time for rejuvenation is key to navigating out of the sunken place.  Yes, I know you have a lot going on, but you have to plan leisure time for YOU! It is critical for peace of mind.  Also, you can’t be all things to all people all the time. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. Delegate if necessary. And of course learn to say no!

 

 

So this is us now??!!!!

Many of you may have noticed that your girl has been MIA for a few weeks.  Well,  there’s been a lot of life stuff that has been going on, with myself and with people who I love. As a result, I found myself being in supportive mode and in prayer mode for myself as well as for my loved ones.  However, most recently the reason why you haven’t  heard from me is because your girl suffered from food poisoning after I had lunch at my job.  And boy let me tell you that going through that….I don’t wish that on anyone. Needless to say, I was out for the count for a few days and then while I thought my body was ready to resume regular programming, I found myself in the ER while visiting my BF in DC.  Talk about a way to spend a vacation.  Then when I got back to Hotlanta, I found myself relapsing a bit and I was out of work for like 4 days.  But man…but God all of my labs and blood work came back clear and basically it was just my body getting rid of what was in my system. I had not eaten a real meal for 10 days.  Now because if this experience,  I find myself carefully re-introducing my stomach to regular foods. But I tell ya…my brain can’t seem to really wrap the notion around eating meat or even poultry.  So this may be me embarking on a semi-stricter diet. Of course, that’s what I’m saying now. But seriously, I may be limiting my intake of poultry and I’m darn sure not eating at my job’s cafeteria anymore.

OK so back to the title of So This is Us Now?!!While I was in DC getting my sickcation on, my BF and I had the wonderful opportunity to spend serious quality time with each other. Now, she of course didn’t submit to a non-alcohol free weekend like her BF..but  I digress. Anyway, on Friday night we found ourselves sitting on the couch wrapped in blankets, catching up on some of our favorite shows while she was eating chips and dip, your girl was eating soup and Jello.  All of a sudden I had this taste for a nice cup of hot tea. Now, mind you it was about 8 p.m. on a Friday night and I looked at my BF and I said, “Hey, you want some hot tea?” She then looked at me and smiled and said, “Yes! I would love some.” I was so excited that I got up and put the tea pot on for some hot water and I got our cups and honey ready.  Making tea is not hard, but my BF really puts her special spin on tea.  Once the water was ready, I asked her to come in the kitchen to fix the tea. She got up from the couch, headed to the kitchen and made us our tea.  As we both were stirring the honey in our tea with our spoons, we looked at each other and broke out in laugher. What the hell?!!! What are we doing??? It’s 8 p.m. on a Friday night and we are in the kitchen sipping on some hot tea.  Now, ten years ago we would be sipping on a martini or some shot. So…. this is us now? tea? really.  Of course, because of my health situation….having a cocktail was not a good idea so tea was about as much alcohol I was going to get. But still we were excited about having a cup  of tea. And to make matters worse, the next day which was Saturday, we decided to go for a nice walk since, I really couldn’t work out just yet.  We walked about seven miles with no problem.  The walk was good for me and being out in the fresh air was fantastic and getting some of that Vitamin D was much needed. Anyway, we got back to her place took showers and put on some lounge attire and got ready to cook some breakfast. Now, while I was sitting at the counter in the kitchen, I realized that I forgot to bring my multi-vitamins.  I asked my BF did she have some multi-vitamins that I could take.  In true BF fashion, she said, “Of course I do.” She went back to her bathroom and came back out to the kitchen with a boat load of all types of vitamins. She took all of the bottles and spread them out on the kitchen counter like it was some kind of buffet.  There were all types of vitamins; multi-vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Melatonin, Vitamins for your heart, probiotics ….you name she had it.  I was so excited to see all of those vitamins. We opened them all up and began to have a Vitamin party.  And then I was like wait? “What’s wrong with your heart? Why are you taking vitamins for your heart?” My bf was like, “Girl nothing is wrong with my heart. I just want to keep it healthy.”  Again, the fact that we were popping vitamins like they were opiates was ridiculous.  So this is us? This is what your 40’s boils down too? Tea and vitamins and sitting on the couch underneath some blankets?  I’m not ready for all of this  AT ALL.

However, on a serious note, the only reason we had that type of weekend was because  I was sick. But actually, it was good to have a low key weekend to just relax. With all of the hustle and bustle and work etc.. it’s nice to just take a minute to just breath.  And sometimes your body shuts down to a point to get your attention to say, “It’s time for you take a minute and just breathe!!! Trust me, your girl enjoys going out and having a good cocktail or too so don’t let my sickation fool you!

 

 

 

Feet, a blanket and a book!

I know you are wondering what in the world is Kim talking about this week.  Yes, it’s been a minute since I’ve written something to you, but it’s been a crazy few weeks. You know it’s that time of year for weddings, graduations, celebrations etc…  And plus, I really didn’t have anything to write about…if I’m being honest.  I pride myself in being authentic in making sure that I have something to say. Something that you, my readers will enjoy. Ok, enough of that. Now, on to the subject at hand.

As women, we sometimes feel like we can’t pause and rest.  It’s true.  We spend too much of our time running around and taking care of other people and if we aren’t doing that we are running around trying to be “a boss!” or figuring out ways that we can spread our “Black Girl” magic. Listen, all of that is fine and good. I mean, I’m guilty of doing all of that myself. However, life is too short for us not to take time out for ourselves and do the things that we enjoy or do the things that will just make us laugh and breathe!!!!!!!!Woo Sa! In keeping with the spirit of taking time out for myself…….

The Blanket & the Feet

I decided to link up with one of my “girls” to see if she wanted to catch a movie and then some dinner. We haven’t seen each other in months, so an outing was indeed in order.  We decided to go catch the new flick “Book Club” at AMC Parkway Point.  I chose that spot because you get the best of both worlds. You can lean back in reclined seating, while sipping on your favorite beverages. Our drink of choice that night was a Margarita and a Long Island.  And they were mmm…..good.  Ok so, my friend and I get all nice and comfortable in our reclining chairs. As we were getting situated with our drinks and snacks (popcorn and M&Ms) I couldn’t help but notice a weird image to the left of us.  What I saw made me want to cringe. Yep, this woman was reclined all the way back with her shoes off and her feet were just sitting there naked with no covering. Toes out and everything! YUCK! This lady really thought she was in her personal own home theater.  After my friend and I got over the shock of the naked feet, I then looked over to my right and noticed another women next to me with a very large bag with her. I figured that she had her own snacks in the bag.  I mean, I’m guilty of bringing in my own snacks to the movies. But what she took out of her bag was something that I did not expect.  The woman had on a sweater and as soon as she sat down, she took off her sweater and pulled out a Coke from her purse. Then after she did that she leaned down to her big bag and pulled out…wait for it….a freakin blanket!!! That’s right a full-on blanket.  Then this chic wrapped herself including her feet inside this blanket like she was cocoon. What in the world is happening right now? My friend and I looked at each and started laughing.  If the naked feet and the cocoon woman wasn’t enough, as we were watching the moving the cocoon lady would talk to herself and laugh real loud. The naked foot chic also made some crazy sounds. Honestly, I feel like I need to see the movie again, because I don’t’ think I really had a chance to appreciate it.

The Club

Ok. Let’s talk about the movie “Book Club” starring Jane Fonda,  Diane Keaton,  Candace Bergen and Mary Steenburgen (click here for the trailer). I would like to say that this movie was like the white older version of Waiting to Exhale, except it focused on a book. I’m not going to tell you which book in case you haven’t seen the move yet.

Anywhoo…if you are over 40 this move is right up your alley. In fact, it probably is more up your alley if you are over 60.  The movie touched on real life topics that women deal with especially after 40; Divorce (well that can be at any age) and dating again, Widowed and dating again, Single and not wanting to get married or be in a committed relationship for fear of losing “self” and being vulnerable; and then there is being married a long time and not having enough sex or sex at all. These are all topics that women shy away from discussing with each other for fear of embarrassment or judgement.

What I found refreshing in this movie was that this group of women have been friends for decades and they all were transparent with each other about any and everything; from plastic surgery, to Spanx, to being sexy to getting older etc.. they were each other’s mirrors. And when one was honest with the other about their behavior or their situation, the woman who was on the receiving end, didn’t get offended or get mad and storm out, or even stop talking to her friend for doing what she was supposed to do….be a friend. Often times, we as women are afraid to open up to each other and be vulnerable. You will be surprised that when you open up about situations, you may find that you are not alone (key in that Michael Jackson song). And perhaps that woman can give you some advice or some ways in which you could handle that particular situation. Now, here is the caveat. Obviously, if you are over 40 you should REALLY know this by now. Everyone you hang out with is NOT your friend. Therefore, you must choose wisely who is in your inner circle. Those who are in your inner circle are the ones who you can be vulnerable with.  Case in point, I was hesitant to share something personal with a good friend of mine the other day, for fear that she may judge me.  What I found out is that I could confide in her and she had NO JUDGEMENT. In fact, she reminded me of the time when she shared something very personal with me and she said that I was so supportive and that I didn’t judge her or the situation.  You know what? She was right. I didn’t’ judge her at all. She is my friend and I got her back regardless.

So, ladies, don’t be afraid to open up to your inner circle, you will be surprised on what you get in return. In the meantime, grab a few of your best girlfriends and check out “Book Club.” Let me know what you think!

 

Reset!

The definition of “Reset” is to set again, to set adjust or fix in a new or different way.   Sometimes you just need to hit the button and reset, reboot, re-jigger…whatever word you want to use. The bottom line is that in life you sometimes have to reset.

In the last week, I’ve had the pleasure to sit down and talk to several women. One was in her mid 20’s, one was in her early 40’s and one was in her early 50’s. All of these women, while very different physically and chronologically, had one thing in common. What you ask? They were all finding themselves at a cross roads in their lives.

One woman was dealing with transitioning from being the girlfriend to being an engaged woman living with her fiancé. Another woman was dealing with working at a company for 17 years and now all of sudden she found herself laid off. And yet the last woman, was dealing with being unjustly fired from her job, still single in her 40s and childless and now wanting another career but feels that she’s too old to start over.  And she still wants to be married and have children.

Yes, all of these beautiful women were indeed at a crossroads in their lives. We’ve all been there indeed. Their stories are not that different from yours or mine. In case you didn’t know, I’ve been laid off about seven times in my life. I am in my 40s still not married and still don’t have any children, and I do want both…still.  I’ve wanted a career change, and now I find myself trying to become more financially comfortable where I can get out of debt and give back to my community in a philanthropic way. You see, we all have different “crossroads” that we are dealing with.

Now, what kind of advice do I have to give you, myself and to my girlfriends?  Here it is.  Come closer.  You ready? Ok. What you need to do is take a step back, push the button and hit “reset.”   Just take a minute to yourself and just breath.  Take a minute to think about what you can do to change your situation or make your situation better.  If you want a new career, think about ways that you can reinvent yourself. For example, get that certification that you always wanted, go back to school and take a few extra classes, job shadow someone who has the job that you would like to have…do whatever it is to help re-ignite that passion, that sprit inside of you.  It doesn’t matter how old you are. You are never to old to have passion.

If you are out of work, use this time to figure out what you are passionate about maybe this is your opportunity to start your own business. Perhaps, this is God saying to you that you need a minute to just relax and take a break..”Reset!” Go on that much needed vacation that you’ve been putting off.

If you are single and find yourself still wanting to not be single anymore,  take this time to “Reset” figure out what you want in life. Figure out what you want in a partner. And more importantly, use this time to figure out how you can be a good partner for someone else. But mostly, take this time to “do you!”  Enjoy yourself doing the things that make you who you are.  You attract what you put out.  While you are doing you, you will be surprised at what will come your way.

Ladies, the bottom line is this. You can’t let your situation get the best of you.  Yes, sometimes what we are going through can be very stressful, overwhelming and we don’t know how to cope. What you don’t want to do is bottle it up inside.  To help you “reset” think about going on a nice leisurely walk,  or perhaps sitting outside sipping on your favorite beverage, workout or sit in your prayer closet with a lit candle and just talk to God. I do all of these things on a regular basis, and they help me to “Reset” my life when I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed.

It is important for you to take a minute to “reset” and get yourself back on track to face your situations.  And it’s OK if you have to hit “reset” a few times.  There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you get back on course to being your best self, living your best life!

 

 

 

 

Rollin Solo!

I don’t care how old I am, my father thinks that I am forever 12 years old or maybe even younger.  He hates when I go to the movies by myself, even at the age of 40 +.   He just doesn’t think it’s safe. Oh and don’t let me travel on an airplane by myself going to visit folks, he expects me to touch base with him when I leave, when I land and when I finally arrive home.  Most recently, I went on an adult Spring Break with my besties and I made the mistake of not notifying him when I made it back to the A!.  He sent me a text message stating that I broke the rule of not letting him know that I was back in town.  I guess I could complain, but it is nice that I have a father who is still around cares about my well-being.  All this leads me into talking about “Rollin Solo.”

Going to the Movies

Now that I’m in my 40’s, I have a certain sense of freedom and outlook on being by myself.  Basically,  I like me! I enjoy spending time with me.  If  I were hanging out with me, I would be glad that I was, why? because I love myself and I enjoy myself. There is rarely a time when I am bored.  I mean,  I can always find something to do.  For example, I don’t mind going to the movies by myself. In fact,  I tend to go the movies  by myself about 75% of the time.  You see going alone to the movies means I don’t’ have to worry about if the person likes that particular show, or going at a time and a place that is convenient to them etc.. And I don’t’ have to be sitting next to someone who may feel the need to talk to me during the good parts or all the parts for that matter.  I go to the movies often because the movie theater is not far from where I live. Therefore, it is nothing for me to get up and go to the movies whenever I feel like it.  Additionally, there are times where there is a movie that I want to see, but no one I know wants to see it.  Hey, it’s just a lot easier for me to hop in my car and go when it’s convenient for me!

If you have NEVER gone to movies by yourself, chile you are missing out.  If this is something that you haven’t done before, then I suggest you go during the morning or maybe take in a matinee, purchase your favorite movie snacks and sit back and enjoy. One thing to note though, make sure that you go to one of those theaters with the luxurious reclining seats, libations that you bring into theater with you and food that you can order.  Hey, it’s a date night with yourself. And there is nothing wrong with that at all.

Eating Out

I love Saturdays. And one of my favorite activities to do on a Saturday is walking to Starbucks and sitting outside (if the weather is nice) while sipping on my favorite beverage, soaking in the sights and just being blessed. Sometimes I bring a book, or catch up on some phone calls usually to my “pops” or my mother. Then there are some Saturday’s when I like to go to one of my favorite restaurants and sit down with a good book and order breakfast. Yep, by myself.

A few weeks ago, I went to one of my spots and I found that I wasn’t the only woman who decided to dine alone.  And ironically, the hostess ended up sitting us right in front of each other in the middle of the restaurant. It was like we were on display as two lonely chics for the entire restaurant to see.  Hey, I didn’t care.  Why didn’t I care? Because I am secure with who I am and I enjoyed spending time with myself having a great breakfast, sipping on some hot coffee.  I don’t make it a habit to dine alone, but I have eaten breakfast and lunch by myself. Now, if I’m honest I haven’t eaten dinner alone…yet!  My advice to you is if you have NEVER eaten out by yourself, you need to try it. It is so liberating and empowering.  And you do get a lot of attention, so make sure you looking cute! LOL.

Black Tie Event

Picture this you are all dressed up in your beautiful gown, hair done and face beat to the gawds! Yas! as you stand by the door waiting for your handsome date dressed in a tuxedo to show up and pick you up. Where are you going? You two are headed to a fancy gala.

Unfortunately, that was not my situation a few weeks ago, my date had a conflict and one of my besties also had a conflict. I wanted to attend this gala, but I didn’t want to go by myself. Therefore, I had a choice to make. Number one, I could stay at home and see all the wonderful photos on social media, wishing that I was there; or two I could step outside my comfort zone and go by myself.  Mmmmm, I’ve never gone to a black-tie affair by myself EVER! So, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and pamper myself and go to the gala like I was Cinderalla.  I got my hair done, my face professionally beat and I ordered my own pumpkin, I mean my own car service. I arrived to the gala alone,  and looking fabulous, but I knew a lot of people at the event and I had a blast going solo!! And when I was ready to go, I called my “pumpkin” to pick me up and he was right on time. I had a fantastic evening and it was nice stepping outside of my comfort zone.  Stepping out on faith, knowing that I was not really alone… I had God with me and looking out for me the entire time.

So why am I writing this post on Rollin Solo? Well, in life there are times where you have to roll by yourself. Some people just can’t go with you.  Think about it, you came into this world solo and you will leave this world solo.   You will find that you have to take a leap of faith and not be fearful of getting out there on your own. You will be surprised at what God has for you.  And like I said, you are never alone because God is always with you no matter what.  Think about it right now, are there areas in your life that you are afraid to pursue because no one believes in what you are trying to do? Or no one wants to do it with you? What are you waiting for? Life is too short FOR REAL. Take that leap of faith. Don’t be fearful. No matter what it is, going to the movies, dinning alone, going on a vacation, starting that business, purchasing that house, getting that degree, writing that book, etc… step outside of your comfort zone today. You will be glad that you did!

Ah ha Moments!

What is an “Ah Ha Moment?” Well, it’s just another saying for an epiphany. What is an epiphany? It is a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something.  It is an intuitive grasp of reality through something such as an event. Something that is simple, but yet striking.  It’s also a realization or a revealing scene or moment in time.  Now you know what an “Ah Ha Moment” is. Glad I could help.

Since being in my 40’s I’ve come across many “Ah Ha Moments.”  They don’t always  occur in an instant, but when they occur and finally get my attention, I can’t help but laugh because I finally GET IT.  Ah ha!

This past weekend I came across a few “Ah Ha Moments” that helped me to see the light on a few things in my life.

Ah Ha Moment #1

I was working out on the elliptical machine listening to some music. Anyone who knows me knows that I love music and I listen to all kinds.  My play list consists of jazz, R & B, Rap, Gospel and soft rock. As I was working out those glutes, one of my favorite songs on my play list came on., “Yes you Can” by Marvin Sapp.  In summary, the song talks about believing that you can (no matter what ) because God says, “Yes you can!.”  As I’m getting my work out on, the song reaches a crescendo, where the drums come in hard and the background singers are singing their heart out and Marvin’s voice is real strong to the point of almost yelling…where he sings, “He said, I can, I know, that I will triumph over the enemy.” In that moment, something came over me and I just started crying and lifting my hand up and shaking my head as though I was sitting on the front pew waving my fan at church.  The feeling was overwhelming.   It was like the Spirit just took over my body. In that moment, I had no idea why I was crying.  I mean I didn’t have anything that I was really going through that I would be crying about.  It was weird, but yet refreshing. This moment lasted for only a few minutes. When I was finished crying, I felt a warm sensation take over my body and I felt somehow…cleansed and renewed.  I wiped my tears and finished my workout and headed back home.

The “Ah Ha Moment” for me was that I realized that God finds various ways to tap us on the shoulder to remind us that he’s there. And even though, I didn’t feel like I was going through something, I realized or rather was reminded that we don’t just call on God when we are going through something.  God is there even when we aren’t going through something.  For whatever reason, God wanted to remind me that he’s there for me and in that moment, he just wanted to stop by to let me know that. Part of God stopping by was to give me a spiritual cleansing by way of letting me release and cry.  You know, crying is good for the soul. Sometimes you just need a good cry to clean your spirit out. I believe that is what God did in that moment.  My day was so much brighter after I left the gym. It reminded me of how much God loves me and not to take that for granted.

Ah Ha Moment #2

I am far from being a millionaire. However, if I made some better financial decisions who knows where I would be at this point in my life.  Are you saying the same thing to yourself?  You probably are.  Have you heard of a man named Dave Ramsey? Well, if you haven’t click here.  He’s a financial guru and was once a millionaire to being broke, to being a millionaire again. My church is partnering up with him to launch “Are you Ready to Shred?” program to help all us get rid of debt so that we aren’t living pay check to pay check.  Mr. Ramsey spoke at our church on Saturday and Sunday. He dropped some nuggets on us that made me say, “Ah ha! “ and perhaps I’ve heard some of these tidbits before, but I don’t think that I was really listening.  But let me tell you, I’m listening now for sure.  Here are five points that he told us:

  1. Get on a budget
  2. Get out of debt
  3. Foster high quality relationships
  4. Save $$
  5. Be outrageously generous

 

Now, point #1 shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s finance 101, get on a budget.  That really didn’t spark anything inside me because I already do that. Point #2 is also a no brainer.  I mean who wants to be in debt? Not me.

Now, #3…well that did give me an “Ah Ha Moment.”  Mr. Ramsey said that it is important to foster high quality relationships. This reminds me of what I said a few videos back on social media where I talked about having people in your life who will ignite your fire, not put it out.  This is very similar to what Mr. Ramsey was talking about.  He mentioned that he had a group of male friends who he calls “Eagles”. These men along the way have helped to change his life. He credits some of his success to his relationships with these Eagles.   The Eagles exposed him to various things from books, to words of wisdom, experiences etc.. to help get him to where he is today. They also are of like minds with similar goals and dreams.  He told us that we needed to get us some Eagles.  Do you have some Eagles in your life? I definitely, do. However, I have realized that over the years I have some folks in my life who are not real “Eagle like” but I will not end my friendship with them, I just learned to put them in different categories.  Hey, everyone is not meant to go where you are destined to go.  Real talk!

Point #4 – Save your $$. Sometimes this is easier said than done. This actually isn’t really an “Ah ha for me either. However, one of my friends hipped me to a cool app to assist me with saving money automatically without knowing that I’m actually saving.  So, for me, this app was an “Ah ha! ” What is the app called? Come closer…. It’s called Digit.  Digit is the best thing ever.  It monitors your daily spending and if finds ways for you to save money.  Digit pulls the money from your account to your special Digit account.  I’m telling you, you won’t even miss the money that leaves your account.  Digit also give you a daily update on how much you saved.  You can use Digit for a rainy-day fund or for when you are saving up for something special. Check it out. It works.

Point #5 Be outrageously generous.  This was an “Ah ha” for me because I’m always trying to find various ways to do nice things for other people. According to Ramsey, when you pay off your debt you will then have extra money where you can be a blessing to others.  I am from the mindset that if I have it and I can bless someone, I will. It’s such a great feeling to surprise someone with an unexpected cash blessing.  One example that Ramsey gave was that on Thanksgiving as he was headed to grandmother’s house, he decided to stop by a local Waffle House.  His kids wanted to know what he was doing, and he told his children to just wait and see.  He left his children in the car in the parking lot and went inside Waffle House and put down three 100 dollar bills on the table as a tip for the waitress.  The waitress did not see him. Ramsey got back into the car and he and his children sat in the car and watched the reaction of the waitress once she noticed the $300.00 on the table.  She was stunned and she kept looking around to see who could have left her the big tip. She grabbed the money put it towards her heart and looked up, as though she was thanking God for this unexpected blessing.  I loved that story.

See those are things that you can do for others when they least expected.  God blesses us, so we need to be blessings to others. Sure paying for someone’s coffee in the Starbucks line is indeed a nice gesture for sure…but think about if you said,” I’m paying for the next 50 cars that come through, whatever they want, it’s on me.” Now, that is outrageous!  That’s where I’m trying to be with mine.  So, this was an “Ah ha moment” indeed for me.

I’m sure I can tell you many other “Ah ha moments” but then I may be here all day. What are some of your “Ah ha moments” that have happened to you in your 40’s?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate You!!

Have you seen this quote before? What will you do? Celebrate yourself, find pastimes that make your heart light and your spirit sing! – Sarah Ban Breathnach Well, if you haven’t seen this quote, you need to live by it.

What she mentions in this quote is something that I try to incorporate into my life on a  regular basis.  Often times as women, we are so busy taking care of other people that we lose ourselves. We forget how extraordinary we are as beautiful women.  There is no other creature out there on earth like a woman. Besides the fact that we are uniquely designed…well…I’m just going to say it we ROCK!!  So because we are fabulous women we need to take the time to celebrate ourselves.  Now, I don’t mean only on your birthday, your anniversary (if you have a significant other) or Mother’s Day (if you are mother). I’m talking about any other random day on the calendar where you celebrate who you are.

For example, I am blessed to work at a company that likes to reward their employees by way of a yearly bonus.  And I’m not talking about an extra few dollars in your account. I’m talking about the type of bonus where you could really do some things, like pay off some debt or make that big purchase. like buying a pool. Lol!  Some of you know what I mean.  Bonuses can be very rewarding to the point that most folks work the entire year just to get to that bonus.  It’s like Christmas during that second week of March every year.

Anyhoo…… for a good portion of my career I’ve been a consultant so I never really received a bonus before.  Last year, I started working in the middle of the year so my bones was pro-rated.  Now, mind you it was not the full bonus but it was indeed a blessing to have that extra change in my account.  So this year, I was really looking forward to see what this bonus  thing was all about.  Needless to say, my full bonus did not disappoint AT ALL.   Our company bonus is not only based on company performance, but it is also based on your individual work performance.

About a month ago I had my performance review and I did exceedingly well..to the point that I was recommended for a promotion (the promotion is still pending due to a re-org within the company).  Therefore, my bonus was even better than expected because of my stellar work performance.

On the day that I received my bonus, the weather was picture perfect. It was a bit chilly, but the sun was shinning brightly.  On this particular day, it just seemed like I was on cloud nine.  Not only did I receive my bonus, but I got a glowing report at the dentist.  My report was so good,  that the dental assistant gave me a gold star sticker to go on my jacket like I was 12. LOL!  Hey, I was proud of my accomplishments with my teeth.  As I was driving around, I decided to call my mom to tell her my news about the bonus and my dental report. As I was talking to my mother about my day, the bonus and the good dental report,  I said, “Wow! just don’t know what to do with the rest of my day and evening.”  My mom then went on to say that she was so proud of me and that I really worked hard and that I deserved everything that I got. She then said that I needed to enjoy my day and evening and go celebrate myself.  She said I should go buy my  favorite chocolate, get some wine, cheese and crackers and then go sit up in my loft, light some candles and put on a movie and just exhale!  Because I deserve it. I was like..”Really? you think I should do that?” She said, “Girl! of course”.  Because I am obedient, I did just that.  I went to the store and bought all of those items.  However, a wrench got thrown into the plan because one of my besties invited me to meet her out at a happy hour.  I decided to meet her at the restaurant for happy hour and save my goodies for the next day.   But being at the happy hour with friends was still celebrating me! because I was doing something that I enjoyed, spending time with friends over good food and libations.

The moral of this story is that you have to take the time to celebrate yourself. Do things that make you happy – whatever that is. There are times when I will just walk to Starbucks and sit outside with a book or just sit there and people watch.  Then there are times when I will go and get a great foot massage ( Sole Spa- shameless plug) just to relax.  As you all know, life is too short and while you may enjoy taking care of other people, don’t forget to take care of yourself and celebrate all that you do and all that you are!! You are woman, hear yourself ROAR!!!!!