On Germs: Butt Kicked By Flu

Everyday I’ve wanted to post since my last entry but I tell you the flu aint nothing nice. There is almost nothing worse than your mind wanting to jump up and fly and your body saying ‘whooaaaaa there grasshopper sit your ass back down’

Some incredible things have have happened since I last posted:

My son graduated from Navy bootcamp. I am so proud of him and it was a beautiful ceremony. #proudmommaIMG_0424

I’ve gone back to school for my degree in psychology. Over 45 and back to school, career changes…I have a lot to write about.

I’m looking forward to blogging again and feeling healthy.

On Life: Close Doors

New beginnings often start with an ending. Doors must be closed. Trust there are times that whatever is behind them is not for you, anymore. Move on.

I hate to come off as preachy but sometimes I have to be that friend. There is nothing wrong with leaving things and even people behind. Things that brings us more stress than happiness need to go. People that bring negative energy need to go. It is hard  slamming doors on things we feel we must have and on people we think we cannot live without but everything is a process and eventually other doors open and we are guided to something better.

It really isn’t hard to know when something is not for us. When we have to talk ourselves into it everyday…not for us. When we have to convince everyone else around us that it is good…probably, not for us. If we wake up everyday dreading the hours spent doing things we don’t love and with people who consistently bring us pain and bad energy then we need find a way out… there are other doors.

To begin again we must find an ending.

Let it go. Close the Door. Move on.

 

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Beautiful Closed Doors

On Movies: Skinned- Bleaching

I’ll be honest despite all the compliments I got as a child about my looks, I was always told I was a pretty girl, there was moment in the sixth grade I felt I would be prettier if I were lighter. I bought the cream Esoterica to fade dark marks left by breakouts but I secretly hoped the cream would make me a little less dark. I never voiced this out-loud, I felt I didn’t have a legitimate right to hate my color when no one else did. I was ashamed of myself for feeling this way. I eventually worked through those feelings of childhood insecurities and although I still have a love/hate relationship with my skin it is not because of my dark skin. Some girls and women have not been so lucky.

Despite my teenage feelings I am still really shocked to see how many dark women suffer emotionally with hating the color of their skin. It has been estimated that 77% of Nigerian women bleach their skin. An incredulous number  considering Nigeria is on a continent of black people. I would think in a country where you are majority there would be better control of positive images of your blackness but obviously not. The issue is a bit more taboo  amongst Black Americans than it is in Africa, Caribbean Islands, India and even Japan.  The belief that your life would be better, happier, and richer if your skin is lighter is a psychological and sociological one a lot of people of color, regardless of ethnicity, suffer with in a world brutally colonized by Europeans.

I’m grateful for the many Black American women who consistently uplift our girls with acceptance of our skin and hair. The hashtag #blackgirlmagic is real and needs to be felt around the world. It’s struggle to feel beautiful when the media is owned by people who do not look like us and quite frankly try to destroy our self image in favor of theirs.

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https://vimeo.com/ngendo/yellowfever 

This weekend TVOne is airing the movie SKINNED directed by LisaRaye McCoy. I’m interested to see how this movie deals with this issue.

 

 

 

On My Life Right Now: Empty Nester

I used to joke that I could not wait for my three children to leave the house. How wonderful it would be to only have to worry about myself. I made plans of how I would drop everything and move to England or Paris for a year. How stress-free life would be not worrying about homework, grades,drop-offs and pickups, dinners, doctor visits,who has my car, etc, etc. Life would be about me again. Why were all these other people whining about an empty nest?

Life would be okay when they were all gone and then…my youngest son, twenty years old, who needed some direction after a not so great two years in college decided he wanted to go into the Navy. Great! Maybe the navy would give him the accomplishment and direction he needed at this point. He signed up in August and got a March enlistment date. I was happy although apprehensive. College is where I wanted him to be, safe in a dorm studying not far away from me on some military base. I was okay with it and decided to make the best of the six months he was home then his recruiter called him in October and said it was possible to get him in sooner, like November sooner. He was thrilled. Great! Uhhhh, no wait…not great.

He was now scheduled to leave November 19th. I can’t say how hard I cried leading up to that day. The emptiness of him leaving was a shock to me. I thought I would be skipping like a happy pre-schooler but I was feeling sad and lonely and he was still in the house. Before he left we went to see Spectre, we are both huge James Bond fans, I teared up in the theater. Of my three children he is my movie buddy. He understands and indulges my love of foreign film and everything BBC. When he was little we would watch PBS on Tuesday nights and catch the British comedies. I cried everyday. I couldn’t believe he was leaving. My roaddog. My boobear.

Reading this you might think he is my favorite child, he is not. I used to tell my children when they asked me who did I like more that ‘I do not have a favorite, I dislike all of you equally’  I would walk away laughing. I do not remember where I heard that line but it worked for me. I don’t have a favorite, I have such distinct relationships with each child and love them according to that relationship.

Before my youngest left my other two children had forged on with their lives. My oldest son is in a committed relationship and they have a beautiful child together, my first grandchild who I love to the moon a million times. My middle child, my daughter is a world traveller and I consider her one of my best girlfriends now. She is truly one of the smartest women I know and she like my oldest son doesn’t need me as much. My youngest still did and him being in college another two to five years would ensure that need. With him leaving for the navy although my house would not be completely empty my role as a mom would be diminished.

I wouldn’t have to come home after work and be mad because there were dishes in the sink, food on the ottoman, and lights on in every room. I wouldn’t have to give the speech about respecting others, eating all the cereal and turning-off-the-damn-lights-because-you-don’t-pay- the-light- bill-I-do. He was the last one to make me feel needed as a parent.

I always said I was more than a mom and when the time came for my children to be on their own I would celebrate it I just thought I would be a little more giddy about it.

I’m looking at my life differently now and I know I have to consistently do things to keep myself happy till I am really used to being a mom of adults and not children. I see very good things going forward but the past few months have been an adjustment and a wake-up call. Although I daydreamed of this moment and knew it would be sad I didn’t expect the deluge of emotions to be so hard as we all moved on to new roles. I’m still mom and I’m still here for them but I am missing being mommy for the moment.

I received a letter from my youngest today letting me know he will definitely graduate bootcamp January 15 and after seventeen days additional training in Pensacola, Florida will be deployed to Japan. I am truly excited for him. If nothing more I want all of my children to experience the world and he has had dreams of visiting Japan since he discovered anime.

Ha! Who’s laughing now?

empty-nest

 

On The New Year: Helping Hands

Happy New Year

First Monday of the year and after a long break it is time to get back into the grind of things.

I’ve taken the last few days to figure out what can really be different in this new year for me. I’ve made all the same old resolutions before- eat healthier, exercise, socialize more etc. etc. etc. I start off well but by March I fall back into lazy habits and its a seesaw for the rest of the year. However, there is one resolution I am vowing to take this year and that is to ask for help.

I am a person who goes it alone much of the time. Maybe I suffer the only child syndrome but it is very hard for me to ask for help especially when I am drowning. I usually save myself but there are many times things could have been simpler if I just reached out to people. In this instance I do not communicate what is really going on very well.

2016 I am opening my own business and the prep is excruciating. I have endured many sleepless, anxiety-filled nights. My days have been filled with self-doubt and tears but my reasons have remained sound. My passion has only grown but in order to get where I want to go successfully I must crawl out of my shell and ask for help.

Connecting and relying on the expertise of people offering their skills is paramount in any business, no matter how high you think you can soar solo you will need help, eventually.  I am seeing this as a part of the big picture.

My goal this year is to seek out people who can reinforce ME and my goals. I am always available to help the next person but I now realize I have to be available to receive help.

learn-how-to-ask-for-help-in-this-weeks-spark-from-women-on-firec2ae

 

 

On Dresses: Party Style

The ONE thing I love about the holiday season is the holiday parties. I prefer dresses because it takes the guess work out of finding a top and a bottom…all I need to obsess over is the proper shoe which usually turns into a major meltdown.

There have been many times when I tried to step out of myself and buy a dress that I felt reflected a more creative side of me but it never ended comfortably. It is hard being beautiful if you are constantly wondering if others like a dress you are not even sure about. I’m a firm believer in wardrobe reflecting your comfort zone and then adding accessories or smaller bits that may create a bolder side.

Last week I discovered the stylewe.com site and I have been on it everyday since.  Here are a few of the dresses I am spying…

 

 

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The dresses selected here are in my cart. I picked them  because they are simple which fits my style. As much as I love prints and really bright colors on others I can’t seem to pull it off. These prints are pretty basic and grey is just my go-to color, even more so than black.

Hopefully they will get here on Tuesday  and I if I’m feeling bold I’ll add some pics of myself in them…I’m really camera shy.

Now to find the shoes…

On Kick Starting Your Day: ACV Detox

My mom drinks  Apple Cider Vinegar/Lemon/Cayenne Pepper combination everyday. Granted we both have great genes, that melanin thing, but she swears this is the drink that keeps her skin glowing, gives her the energy boost she needs, and keeps her blood sugar low. Win/Win/Win.

Although there are no direct medical research this drink works for clearer skin, weight loss or as an energy booster a lot of people swear by it. I drink this juice when I start to feel mentally sluggish due to bad eating habits and the need to do a detox. It is my goal starting the first of the year to drink this everyday for three months to see if I see the results I see in my mother. She really has flawless skin and I do notice my face a little clearer. By taking it for a continuous period I am hoping to see more of a change in my skin and mental clarity. I’m really looking for something to combat this dragging lethargic feeling. I don’t want to try any pre-packaged over the counter concoctions I see in the store. I’m trying to stay natural.

Apple Cider Vinegar– is a ph balancer and helps restore alkalinity in the body which can boost metabolism, strengthen immunity, and slow the aging-process to give you clearer, wrinkle-free skin.

Lemon Juice– Helps to flush toxins, helps to prevent acne and premature skin aging issues, plus aids in weight loss. Lemons contain pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to help with weight loss.

Cayenne Pepper– A metabolic booster that aids the body in burning fat and boost immune system. Also helps with headaches. I suffer with migraines and I’m definitely going to watch to see if this helps alleviate some of those symptoms when hormonal balance is completely off key.

Honey -A natural energy booster as well as helps with memory. It is not sugar and much healthier to add to your foods. My mom uses it in her coffee. I love honey but have not elevated to adding it in my coffee

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Combine
1. Eight ounce glass of warm water.
2. 2 tablespoons of ACV
3.Half a lemon (some people do 1-2 tablespoons)
4. One pinch of cayenne pepper. In an effort to get an immediate kick once I added three pinches. I DEEPLY REGRETTED THAT. Cayenne pepper is strong and hot, very hot. Trust me just a pinch is all you need.

tumblr_lu8zhb0oeb1r0t52g5. Half a tablespoon of honey for taste. I love raw honey, its in a solid form and it is delicious. I don’t have any in the house right now so I am drinking this without honey this week.

My mom drinks this detox drink once a day but I’m going to drink it twice. Once in the morning and the other around midday when I start slowing down.

If you are looking for a natural pick me up with great skin care benefits you should try it.