I can’t wait to get to the other side. I want to go through all this learning stuff and come out a better version of myself already! But I have to remember that life isn’t about rushing through the moments; it’s about living every moment, whether those moments are good or bad.
I started this new position four months ago and it’s had its fair share of challenges. Though I have varied skills that have prepared me for this moment, I’ve flat out never done it before. As a Manager for three Walk to End Alzheimer’s events, I’m working in this cycle of fundraising.
Though I’m becoming very comfortable in the role, every month is met with unique experiences or phases of the cycle that I’ve yet to go through.
Today as I sat to write this post I couldn’t help but see the parallels between my career and my personal life. I’ve never been here before, personally either. I have never been 26, back home, single, learning a new career, family sickness, issues with my own illness, friendship struggles; everything that culminates this particular moment is a new challenge.
Most days I’m up for it, and others I whine. I throw a good ol’ fashion temper tantrum.
I scream(usually to myself) how unfair it is that my body won’t cooperate or I yell about how I need more hours in the day.
On Saturday I had a great talk with a friend, though we aren’t close we have stayed connected throughout the years, much more now that I am back in town. She is even a member of my planning committee for one of my Walk events. Saturday, she gave much of her day to help raise funds for this devastating disease. We decided to grab dinner after. We talked about men, school and career. This conversation reminded me that many of us in our mid twenties are going through the same life struggles. The circumstances might be different but we are all trying to figure it out.
Others might seem like they have it all together but most likely they don’t. Even if they do, its not about comparisons anyway. It’s about living your life and following your true path.
After having this great conversation, I became motivated to write again. I want to continue to share my story in hopes of connecting others facing similar battles.
But there has been times that I have been motivated over the last few months but I just haven’t put pen to pad. Sunday, I woke up feeling nauseous and just plain sick. We had sushi for dinner so I texted my friend and asked how she was doing. She said she felt fine, so ruling the sushi out, I thought maybe it was the cold stone ice cream I had after sushi that was my problem. No Cold Stone after sushi, note to self!
Forced to stay in bed, I started to write. So the above rambling is just a long winded way of saying, I’m back. See you here every Monday morning 😘
A Woman in Process
Bob Marley famously sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” I can picture him now; guitar in hand, locs flowing, the sun beating down on his face as he thought about those words. They are simple but difficult to master. I think we all have this incessant need to worry. We worry what our boss thinks of us. We worry how we’ll make it through this fight with the bae, bestie, or whomever. It is something that happens to all of us but when it does, do we have to give in?
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book, Fearleass by Max Lucado; well, I’m still at it.It’s a great read but I have this terrible habit of starting a few books all at once, naturally it takes me a while to finish.
About fifty or so pages in, he shares his “worry-stoppers.” I’ve put most of these strategies into practice, I am not worry free but it no longer rents space in my mind. Here are a few!
Pray, first. “Don’t pace up and down the floors of the waiting room; pray for a successful surgery.” Here he says, don’t let worry consume you, take it all God in prayer. I understand, not all of us may be at a point where prayer feels comfortable. For me, it wasn’t until August of last year that I reconnected. Or maybe, you’re not a believer. Whatever your reason, it does not stop you from shifting those moments of worry to that of meditation. Stop, breathe, control your thoughts and let positivity guide you.
Easy, now. In this one, he urges us to slow down. Many of us are going a mile a minute. It is no wonder that we are worried about this thing or that thing. What if my car breaks down? What if I don’t get that promotion? All these thoughts running through your head. Easy now, and assess the problems as they arise.
Act on it. “Be equally decisive with anxiety.” This one has been the hardest for me and requires constant effort but its been the most rewarding. Lucado says, as soon as a moment of concern surfaces, just deal with it. Don’t sit there and let worry take over. “Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.” Why waste time?
Compile a worry list and Evaluate your worry categories. Write down all the things that take up space in your mind. What troubles you? As you compile this list, “highlight themes of worry.” This will allow you to gain insight into where exactly you put your concern, then you’ll be able to deal with them specifically. Is it, “what people think of you, finances, global calamities, your appearance or performance.?” What are you spending your valuable time worrying about?
Lastly, Focus on today. I would even argue, focus on the moment. We have no control over what is coming. All we have is this moment. When you focus on being gracious and appreciative for every moment, there is no time for worry.
I leave you with Bob.
A Woman in Process
I pride myself on being an open book, believing that my story will be an inspiration to others. But at times my transparency is met with unwanted questions and unsolicited advice. When I feel my truth will be ridiculed, I run. I enter my zone usually taking a step back from those around me, unless I feel that they have proven themselves to be unconditional in their love. There is good and bad to this. The good being that I have to protect my dream and my truth. When one chooses to do things that are against the grain or something that may seem far-fetched; the naysayers will be the loudest voice you hear. Protection is necessary. But I’ve learned that by running, I’m protecting myself, yes but I could be hurting other people too.
Running is a natural reaction. Walter Bradford Cannon described it as the fight or flight response. I think we all remember this from high school or our freshmen year psychology class, the one we took only because it was Gen. Ed requirement. “The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” During this time the body naturally does things that prepares you get out of harms way as fast as you can or buckle down and fight. We’re talking increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels and liberation of metabolic energy sources for muscular action!
It makes sense that when I feel someone is attacking me, my dream or my plan; I’m out! I’m not a fighter, so I’ll just walk away. There is nothing wrong with removing yourself from situations that are fruitless. But if it is not yet fruitless, it is worth a conversation not a fight but a productive dialogue. I’m working on doing that. I have a long way to go. My friends call me a turtle, because going into my shell is what feels comfortable. But life isn’t about doing what is comfortable. It also takes maturity to know the difference between an attack and warranted criticism. If I am hurting people with my running or my isolation, I do not want to do it anymore. I’m working desperately to live my life in Christ and hurting people, no matter how inadvertent, is not something that I want to do. Not to mention, constant running is not necessarily the best way to solve any situation.
A Woman in Process
Today’s blog post was originally suppose to be about fear. I’ve been reading Fearless by Max Lucado. A Christian author, he uses stories like Jesus on the Sea of Galilee to exhibit the faith needed to as Jesus put it, “worry not.” This book has been a saving grace as I journey through these life changing decisions.
But I was on Facebook last night, scrolling down as I do ever so often. I watched a few videos because Facebook always has a way of sucking you in. Then I came across a story and decided that sharing this with you all would be more worthwhile then my initial post.
The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised, and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.
Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.
After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on her window.
“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.
“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”
“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.
“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind.
“I already decided to love it … It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away … just for this time in my life.
“Old age is like a bank account–you withdraw from it what you’ve put in.”
So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.
Remember the five simple rules to be happy:
1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2003/01/Happiness-Is-A-Choice.aspx#1OHMFUhF9T2PCAuv.99
A Woman in Process
Smiling on a good day isn’t hard, the struggle is finding that same resolve on a day when everything seems to be going wrong. Tuesday and even into today seem to be just that.
I woke up in a pretty decent mood. I had late meetings Monday night, so I slept in a bit on Tuesday. When I finally got going, my roommate told me that potential buyers were coming to see the house. I didn’t love hearing that and pretty much had a breakdown in that moment. I don’t think I’ve fully dealt with all of it; her passing and them selling, it just seems to be going so quickly. All that frustration came out yesterday.
I stormed out the house vowing to never come back. But all I did was walk around the corner to get bagels. I did slam a door or two on the way out, so the world could know I was angry!
I started my new job which I love by the way. I got in, sat down and I went to adjust my seat. I hear this sound, I look down and my pants ripped. Ripped in that area that leaves nothing to the imagination. How embarrassing is it to rip your pants on Day 2. I mean ripping them in general isn’t an ideal thing but I haven’t gotten to know my coworkers yet, it’s just far too soon.
I make my way to the restroom to make sure things are okay down there. A fellow bathroom user noticed my concern and assured me I could make it through the day.
I felt better and made my way back to my desk. They day continues pretty uneventful until I feel this tickle in my throat, I start having cold and hot flashes. I’m thinking this is a cold setting in. I get pissy all over again because my colds don’t just last a few days they are weekly spectacles that usually require doctors visits and me being out of commission.
I dread the possibility of that. Today I woke feeling much of the same. I had to make some administrative calls, which are never fun. You’re on hold for 20 minutes just for somebody to say you have the wrong department.
I said, “you know what, that is it!” I’m not doing this again today. I put my gospel music on! I have a playlist called “feel better?”. I refuse to have a day like I did yesterday. Those things that happened to me were not major, in fact some are funny! But the attitude I had during them is what determined the result of that day. I let those moments get the best of me. Today regardless of how I’m feeling, I will smile!
A Woman in Process
They’re selling the house. A three family home in Park Slope, Brooklyn sure goes for a lot of money. This entire process has really opened my eyes to the amount of wealth that is truly in the world. In a matter of weeks we’ve had people ring our doorbell and literally propose cash offers. My mouth usually drops and I tell them I’m not the owner, but I wish I was. God knows that these days I could use the money.
Even though I am more at peace with my life and I am healthier. Life isn’t perfect, I am facing challenges. Since the house is up for sale, we have to think about finding another place to live. This couldn’t have happened at a worse time because as you know I just resigned from a position that gave me a pretty decent living. I will be starting a part time job today. It is a great role but it doesn’t bring in nearly as much as I received before. I’m blessed to say that with my freelance work, it will be enough for me to be okay.
J. Cole is one of my favorite rappers and I was listening to his song “Love Yourz” as I wrote this post. In the song he profoundly states “no such thing as a life that’s better than yours” Here he is reminding us to simply appreciate life! I speak a lot on gratitude and I don’t want to be repetitive in my posts. But this is heavy on my heart. I was moments away from being sad, sacred and pissed off at the fact that I couldn’t make the financial decisions wanted. But I remembered quickly the things that I do have.
I have battled headaches for the past few days, but I’m healthier! I really feel better, if you’ve been on this journey with me, you know how remarkable that is. You know how much I have wanted to wake up and feel “normal”; now it happens all the time, like all the time!
My point is that things change quickly in life but regardless of your situation, you have to love yours. I think it starts with that overall appreciation of where you are. I know it’s hard but it’s necessary. There is nothing wrong with wanting more, in fact that is literally what ambition is but appreciation is a worthy complement.
A Woman in Process