Yay!! I’ve been nominated! I cannot believe it. I want to thank One Flawsome Momma (https://oneflawsomemomma.wordpress.com) for the nomination. I really admire her open and honest approach to life. Give her a look.
Here are the rules:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Write a post to show your award.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
- Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How I got started:
I grew up an introvert. I was kind of shy and had a hard time getting across what I wanted to say to people. As I got older it translated into a lot of misunderstandings. As a result I turned to writing. It became my saving grace, my mediator and my voice. To put it short, writing is therapy and a band-aid for anytime a conversation with this introvert went wrong.
Fast forward to adulthood. What can I say? I still have introverted ways but I have a lot to say. My personality is loud and in charge. I decided to write about all of my mishaps when trying to get it right and all of the times I wanted to be heard. I even wanted to write about the mother and wife as a human not just in the role.
- Be yourself! Seriously. Life is too short to find yourself a clone of someone else or living a life that you don’t want.
- If you think it, write it. I don’t hold back. Also, if you write it own it.
- Popped Black Woman (https://poppedblackwomanblog.com/). I am forever lifted by her inspiring posts.
- Chronicles of a Gen X Mom (https://chroniclesofagenxmom.com/). We are all thinking it. Some of us just say!
- Build a Dean (https://buildadean.wordpress.com/). I love his blog. Talk about living what you say!
- Beauty Beyond Bones (https://beautybeyondbones.com/). I feel like I am reading parts of my life with her blog.
- Fable Farms (https://fablefarms.wordpress.com/). I am this fabulous in my head!
- 1 On Purpose (https://1onpurpose.wordpress.com/). If you really want to change, read her blog. Once you’ve read you have no excuses.
- WeeOhana (https://weeohana.wordpress.com/). I love this blog! She reminds me of myself when I was a younger (I’m NOT old) mom.
- Cooking is My Sport (https://cookingismysport.com/). Because I am soooo greedy!!
- K.E Garland (https://kwoted.wordpress.com/). Wisdom and advice.
- KamalaThompson (http://kamalathompson.com/?i=1). Be about the business!!
The other day I was sitting in my office writing in my journal. I was reflecting over 2016. I had a lot of highs and some lows. I have even had journeys I’d rather not have taken. Yet I made it through. While writing and recapping my life something stuck out to me. It was a faint thought and if I were doing anything else I would have bypassed it. But there it was quietly sticking out waiting on me to grab it: Nothing is more important than the reason we were created.
The more I thought about it the more I analyzed my life. What was the reason we were created? If you are like me, Christian-ed down to my socks then this was easy. To worship but also to love. How many things “created” by us take precedence over the real reason we are here? I am not saying go out and quit your job or put off goals. I am asking you to consider your life with this thought in mind. Have you taken your eye off of what truly matters? When you are done with the things we create to be important what will be left? I get it, you strive for better or to protect but don’t make the object more important than the purpose.
Last year around my birthday I started exploring the idea of Self-Keep. What I mean is prioritizing myself and considering my interest with the same care and importance as my family. As mothers we are taught to take care of everyone else first and then yourself. In some cases and in some families motherhood is seen as your cross to bare. You are told that if you struggle it’s what mothers do. You are told that if you sacrifice it is what mothers do. And we have! Oh how we have. But motherhood is not a sentence. It is not a cross to bare. It is an addition to a life already in progress.
In the African American community the stigma is very strong. Once your children come into your life you pause. You pause everything about yourself: the woman and give your all to your children and your spouse. There is nothing wrong with the role of mother and wife. I wear it proudly but there is often more. Just because you’ve become a wife and mother it doesn’t mean that you stop existing. In our community you give until there is nothing else to give and then you dig even deeper and give some more. It is the smile of happiness and achievement of any mother to see their children succeed and the grace of any wife to stand beside their husbands in honor but what is behind it? What is in the eyes? Missed opportunities? Untold sacrifices?
I have seen the women in my family strive to be better mothers for their children and in many cases stand alone. It is tiresome and often the source of so much frustration. I used to sit back in my early adult life and frown on mothers who would lash out at their children in the stores. I would turn my nose up and think, I’d never do that. But as a mother now, I get it. I totally get it. I don’t go full Rambo in the store but I understand the caving in of pressure.
Just last night I was having a late night chat with my mother. Everything was put up and nice and neat. My children decided that bedtime was not on the schedule. I could hear them from downstairs get out of the bed and chase each other around. I could even hear the new Christmas toys singing in the night. I really needed their sleepy time more than they did. It was my time finally to hear myself think. I remember pleading with them to go to bed and then finally to quiet down before I separated them. Little did they know my frustration was the final straw in my attempt to have some me time.
Eventually, while exploring the depths of what it meant to self keep it became more. In order to grow myself and to enjoy all parts of my life I’d have to have more than just a few quiet moments. I needed to develop myself again. The misconception of motherhood is that we are grown. Of course in age we are but we’re not grown. What I mean is we haven’t grown to our fullest potential and will not have grown to complete capacity until life is over. So don’t stunt your growth!! Only at the end of the road have you grown and completed development. But most of us are stuck. We are stuck on the hamster will of doing for others or as I say putting out the same fires daily.
Now I don’t mean stop being mom and wife but I do mean start your self-keep. Think about yourself and your goals for your life. Consider you the woman as she pertains to your life. Are you the weak link spouse? The overly grouchy mom? When did having children and developing them mean to stop developing yourself?
I will be the first to admit that I hate New Year’s Resolutions. The whole idea seems like a setup to fail from the beginning. With everyone around you trying to do new things there is an unheard mantra of how long can I keep this up instead of declaring it a new lifestyle. This is also the reason that I never make them anymore. There is a good pressure to keep up the resolution. Its usually how new things become habits. But when you stop there is no reprimanding frown, no heralding of the accountability committee. Why? Its expected of you to fail. It’s actually one of the things that makes it easier to quit. No one likes to admit that they follow others around them. We learned in grade school that we aren’t to do everything Tom, Dick and Harry do. However, without realizing it we do. When they fail we are watching them and before you know it we fail. It gets lonely to stand in the gap alone. Part of the desire to make a resolution is to change your current state of being not to subscribe to a trial version of how life could be.
I am more of a birthday wish type of person. It’s more personal. Unlike New Years resolutions where there is a culture of breaking the habit a birthday resolution wish relies solely on you. When you fail to achieve the desired goal you feel the weight of your unwillingness to see it through. This doesn’t mean I’m any better. I have been known to experience a shame or two when blowing out candles reminiscing over a past wish. In fact my current birthday wish was something I had promised myself I’d do the year before. I aim to get it right this time. By my birthday 2017 I should feel pretty darn proud of myself.
Regardless of which way you decide to go here are a few tips to help you keep up with your resolutions.
- Be realistic. I am so serious. You have to be realistic in order to achieve the goal. There is nothing like saying that you will lose 50 lbs in 4 weeks to make you give up quickly. Know yourself and then make a goal that you can aspire to. That doesn’t mean making it so small it doesn’t count.
- Break it down. If I make a goal of losing weight or something equally as long term I break it down. This is the only way I am going to feel like I have accomplished anything. If there are no benchmarks to look forward to then how can you reflect on your progress.
- Reward yourself for any progress. Yes I said it, any progress. You should be glad to achieve any success you have on your resolution or wish. This is after all a new step in your life. It is an attempt to change your state of mind or state of being. Any thing you’ve done to chip away at the old self is a step in the right direction. Smile and then reward yourself.
- Keep a journal. Keep a journal to monitor any progress you have made. This step is important because you can always look back see how far you’ve come. You can also write about the people around you. Take note of how they notice your changes and what doors have opened for you since the change.
- Beware of triggers. Don’t go where you used to go if it kills your progress. Don’t do what you used to or hang with people that promote a lifestyle opposite of what you want. There is a misconception that you can still keep certain things in your life that are contrary to your changes. Theses things, places or people will eventually penetrate your atmosphere. Don’t fall behind by keeping some of the past with you.
- Above all, have fun! While it is important to be serious about your lifestyle changes don’t suck all the fun out of it. If you aren’t having any fun then you won’t look forward to it.