Monday, November 7, 2011

Focus on You

At some point in time, we all play the fool.  It's true..and anyone who says they haven't is probably lying to themselves.  We enter into situations that we think we can handle and advise the other party that we are okay.  When in fact...its the total opposite.

Just like men, women like a challenge. We tend to think that we can make that man who has other women choose us over them.  But honestly, why would he choose when he is getting what he wants out of the situation?  Yeah, he likes you.  You get some great conversation, great intimacy and some gifts along the way. Unfortunately, that's where it ends.  Very seldom does this "homie lover friend" become your life partner or husband.  

If you are honest with yourself in the beginning, it will always be what it is.  Even if you catch feelings, there is very little chance that the two of you will become an item.  Especially if you expect him to be exclusive.  He has shared all of his other relationships with you and you happily accepted them.  So think really hard on why he would wait until now to change. And in most cases, when you express to him that you want to be exclusive, he is gonna agree to work at it.  He is gonna say whatever you want to hear.  He doesn't want to lose any of his options, so the goal is to appease you by saying anything to please you at that moment.  

Don't be upset with yourself when have that aha moment.  It happens to the best of us.  After all, who doesn't want exclusivity?  Most women don't want to share, but we tend to settle and dream up all the possibilities in our heads.  Pick yourself up.  Stop accepting his calls, stop letting him stop by.  Don't make excuses for anything and move on.   

Instead of dwelling on how hard you fell for him, turn that energy into something positive and productive.  Work on you.  Try and figure out how you won't get into a similar situation in the future.  Spend some time with your child.  Find a new hobby if that helps.  But don't spend anymore time worrying about a man who isn't worried about YOU!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It could happen to you, Part 2

Statistics show that every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman is abused or beaten.

Even though the month of October is over, Domestic Abuse still occurs every day.  My previous blog post was written from an adults perspective.  This blog post will reflect an interview from the child of an abused woman.  Unfortunately, Aqueelah's mother did not live to tell her story.  It was through this unfortunate turn of events that I met her and we shared a common bond of recently losing a parent to violence back in the 80's.  I could not imagine having to grow up without my mother.  Its such a tremendous loss. 
S: Did you know your mother was being abused? 
A: When it was happening, no I did not. Once she was killed then I knew. She would lie to my brother and I and tell us that her black eyes came as a result of a bowl falling out the cupboard and hitting her in the eye. And anything my mother told me I believed so I never thought twice. And to mention I was only 10 years old at the time and my brother was 6 years old.     
S: Did your family ever try to intervene? 
A: I remember a time of my uncles coming over to set him straight but he wasn't there and my mother assured them that everything was fine and she could take care of it. But other than that there was no other family intervention to my knowledge.  

S: How has the loss of your mother affected your life?  
A: The biggest thing I wonder about my mother is how differently would my life be if she was here. Thanks to my grandmother and family members I had an excellent childhood and upbringing. But in the back of my mind I always wonder how my life would have gone if my mother was here to raise me.    
S: How do you feel about abusers?  
A: Abusers are the scum of the Earth. Any man that puts his hands on a woman is a coward. 
S: What advice do you have for children of abused parents? 
A: I know that it is a heavy burden for a kid to bear but please tell someone. Unlike me, I was totally oblivious to the situation but had I known then I would more than likely said something to a family member or told my teacher at school. You may get in trouble for telling but you may also save the abused parents life.  
I understand its hard for the victim to be abused, but imagine what a child goes through.  In my friends case, imagine what she felt as her family explained that she would never see her mother again.  Thankfully, she had wonderful family members to step in and take care of her and her brother, but no one can ever take the place of her mother.  To all the women out there in an abusive relationship, please remember that every life is important.  Don't be afraid to tell someone, they may help build you up to leave the situation.  Mothers if you have teenagers or young adults, please stress the importance of recognizing when their friends/boyfriends/girlfriends have abusive tendencies.

For more statistics, check out:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It could happen to you

The month of October is famously known for breast cancer awareness,  but rarely do people recognize it also as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  This subject is one that I have been aware of for some time now.  

Just the other day, I was having a telephone conversation with a friend and she witnessed an argument between her neighbors.  She wanted to intervene, but was afraid that he would retaliate if she reported the incident.  I am sure many others can recount numerous "lovers quarrels" that we omitted to tell someone about.  

Domestic Violence has seriously affected some of my very close friends.  I am grateful that they are here today to speak on their experiences.  

Check out my brief interview with Tiffanie.  She was victim of domestic violence as a teenager.  

S: When did you realize that you were a victim of Domestic Violence? 
T: The first time I was hit/abused by my partner.

S: How has this experience affected your life and decisions? 
T: This experiences has totally affected my life. I vowed that once I got out of that situation that I would never subject myself to that anymore, I became more careful about the kind of guys I would “date” or become interested in. I learned to LOVE myself first. Since having children of my own I make it a point to talk with my girls especially about domestic violence. Also that experience made we want to help others that maybe going through the same thing.

S: What advice do you have for young females in denial about their situation? 
T: My advice would be to understand yourself worth. Love yourself first, and be aware of all the signs of domestic violence. You don’t have to deal with it, chances are if he does it once he’ll do it again, best option is to LEAVE. Also the victim has to realize that “they” cannot change the behavior of the abuser, and they have to understand that it is not their fault as to why they are being abused.

S: What signs should family and friends of victims look out for?
T: If the victim becomes distant, always making excuses for the abuser, apparent bruises or marks. Just basically if the victim doesn’t seem like their self, always sad, crying etc.  

S: What advice do you have for family and friends of victims to help the victim leave their abuser? 
T: Make sure the victim can trust you, contact local authorities, abuse hotlines, continue to encourage the victim, most importantly stay involved. Don’t give up, Victims sometimes shut down from the outside world, family and friends should always be supportive and show their genuine love and concern for the victims well being.

Reading back over my questions and her answers took me back to that time when this affected her.  As a friend, I wish I was more cognizant of what was going on.  Its so important for young girls to have a support system to help them know their worth and to show them that hitting isn't love.  Today, she is a wife in a healthy marriage, mother to three beautiful children and a friend to many.  Tiffanie is planning to pursue a career mentoring and helping young girls.  I am certain her story will help others.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

After the storm

My eyes have been opened. And I don't think I like what I see. Its funny how the most difficult of times bring about clarity. I tend to care too much for others and think of others feelings. And its upsetting when that empathy is not returned.  If I can't depend on someone when times are tough..what good are they to me? People should be more thoughtful and caring.

Especially during natural disaster. I could never imagine not offering my food, my home and my comfort to those I claim to love. Maybe I was raised differently, but my mother always showed she cared with what little she had to offer.  Times like this make me question every opinion I had of those I hold near and dear. 

Thank God for those who care.  This time has taught me to prepare and be kind and even more generous of myself.  You never know when you could be the one in need.  My heart has been heavy the past day or so..and I have to come out of this gloom and thank the Lord for keeping me. For keeping my home.  For allowing me to escape harm.  Sometimes we have breakdowns and sometimes we have breakthroughs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A girl's other best friend

Last week I took a quick trip to the mall..not for myself.  I hardly do any mall shopping for myself.  I prefer Target, Marshalls & T.J. Maxx to name a few.  My son wanted to purchase some overly expensive socks for Wacky Tacky Day at school.  He was purchasing with his own money so I didn't object.

I came across a few new stores and I love to window shop.  I tend to be an impulse buyer and I'm working on that so window shopping is a new requirement of mine.  I was able to keep my funds in my pocket while perusing a few stores, but then my eyes happened upon a new store.  It was accessories only.  And they were inexpensive.  I tend to not purchase many accessories..not sure why.  Sometimes I think accessories are too trendy.  I usually stick to my main staples such as hoop earrings, bracelet and necklace.  But I notice more and more, that having a cute, trendy pair of earrings every once in a while can spruce a simple outfit right up.  I really enjoyed my purchase that day. I bought a few funky pairs of earrings, a cute necklace and even threw in a couple of things for my mom.

Another reason, I tend to not buy lots of accessories is because after they aren't in style anymore, they kinda become junk or clutter.  I think I enjoyed the mall more than my son that particular time.  I got home and realized that I didn't have a fancy jewelry box or accessory tree to hang my new items I found some packaging that came with a portable heater and reused them.  It had lots of little compartments which is what I needed and they costed me nothing, zip, $0.

I got to digging in my nightstand which is where I usually throw my jewelry and started organizing.  I had even forgotten about the earrings and necklaces that my neighbor bought back from her trips home to Punjab, India.  Although, I'm not done organizing and sifting through it all, I still plan to find something cutesy to store my pieces on or in, for right now my solution is on point.  And now I realize that accessories really can make or break an outfit!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Neither hair nor there..

Every year around this time, I become obsessed with what to do to my hair.  I have generally nice hair. Its not long, probably from too much processing.  Its not super short, otherwise I wouldnt be able to maintain it.  I like my hair at neck/shoulder length.  And I tend to wear it in a straight wrap or roller set.  I love my roller sets, but despise sitting under the dryer. 

Last year, I was into wigs and sew-ins and it really made my life easier.  But at the end of the summer, I had a patch of hair missing.  Not exactly sure how that happened.  So I got over the sew-in really quickly.  I chose to start fresh on New Years Day and left the weave in 2010.  Now I miss it!!

I have been taunted with seeing so many people going natural and loving it.  Unfortunately, I wait until the summer to start trying the natural thing.  I always end up here.  So...I am going to try and stick with the no relaxers (maybe just a edge up).   Jill Scott definitely has had a few styles that I have loved over the years.  This one being my all time fave!
I need a little more length on the sides and front to pull this off.  Anyhoo, I love that as a black female I have so many hairstyle options.  But it can become stressful and costly.  I used to be a braids girl and would easily drop $250.  I tend to be a little more frugal these days. 

I also love color.  Streaked, tipped etc.  But bleaching can be brutal on your hair, especially if you don't condition it.  I generally stick with reds, burgundy's and any shade of brown.  We could talk all day about this hair thing..I mean really what girl doesn't obsess over her hair???

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer's in session!

Here in Richmond the weather has been HOT to say the least.  I even have a heat rash to prove it (I know TMI), but oh well.  Just getting over the Memorial Day weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I cooked out at home, didn't visit family or friends..just chilled at home with my son and we had a friend or two over.
Due to my poor planning I didnt have my own pool cleaned out and ready in time to enjoy it, so we visited the pool at Pocahontas State park. It was crowded to say the least.  Then of course someone had an accident in the pool, which made for a perfect exit.  My little menu consisted of baby back ribs, beef sausages, hot dogs, cheeseburgers, potato salad, squash & zucchini, macaroni & cheese, chips and watermelon (you can't have grilled food without it). Ended the night, watching TV and drinking daiquiris with one of my best friends. 

I usually head to the beach for a quick getaway, but I couldnt muster up the energy to sit in traffic or splurge on gas.  Even though gas prices dropped a little something..I still wasnt feeling it. 

My summer plans are still TBD.  I have to do better with having a plan.  I got Myrtle Beach, Orlando, and Miami on the brain. Hopefully the family can pull together and make a nice vacay out of one of these places..if son and me will make a road trip of it!  And I definitely have to make it to Atlantis in the Bahamas, that is definitely a dream vacation. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm not your friend

Some events that occurred today compelled me to blog about parents and the relationships they have with their children.  More often than not, one parent is the disciplinarian and the other is the friend.  I tend to play the disciplinarian and I am so okay with that.  But what happens when the friendly parent doesn't like the dynamic that they have created?? I think that line is very thin for a parent and child and sometimes it becomes blurred. I think a boundary has to be set.  I love laughing and joking with my son..but he knows when mama ain't playing anymore.

Most children especially those who have reached their teens will try to push the boundary.  We as parents have to stand our ground.  Make them show respect and make them earn our respect.  As the disciplinarian, I still do fun things with my child, we shop together, I watch video games & television with him and even horseplay. We play basketball together etc.  I do the horseplay to let him know that we can have the best of both worlds.  And I don't ever want my child to be afraid of me.  But I want him to have some fear (and I say that lightly) for what the consequences will be if he ever disrespects me.

I own this throne, I run this house and I earn the money.  So its my way.  I agree that parents should back each other up when it comes to disciplining the child.  But when the parents live in separate households, you have to have a mutual respect for the other parent and any punishment when the child is in the other's care within reason.

My advice to my son is to always respect your mother/father.  And even though you are going through puberty, etc., there is no excuse for mouthing back.  I also remind him to be conscious of the choices he makes.  Don't alienate us, because we are in his corner.  I gave him so many scenarios where teens got out of control and thought they knew better than their parents did.  I told him where these people ended up.   An older woman on my first corporate job gave me this much treasured advice: Choose your battles honey.  I told him the exact same thing.  This is my first go round with a teenager and its only just the beginning.  Let the fun begin!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This is the day

I love Sundays. It is my official chill day.  Not really doing anything other than laying around, watching television or reading a good book.  How cool is that?? When I find a church home it will also become a day when I worship my maker.  I find peace, calm and often reflect on Sundays.  I also look forward to my huge Sunday paper with all the sales ads and coupons!!

I finally got out of my lull and hauled my behind to the gym.  Worked out on the elliptical for an hour.  I thought my body would be aching so badly from neglecting exercise for almost a month.  But I made it through with no incident.  Thankfully Pandora Radio got me through it.  I have to listen upbeat tempos to get me through that hour.

En route to the gym I realized that today was the last day to take advantage of Happy Hour at Starbucks.  I got there about twenty minutes before it ended.  I'll have a Venti Mocha Frappuccino please.  And it was yummy!

Then I got home to discover that I lost the key to my outdoor shed...I guess my neighbors will give me the stink eye until I get a replacement key so that I can get the lawnmower out to cut the grass.  And I hear its supposed to rain all week.

Sunshine on a rainy day

Unlike most Spring weekends here in Richmond where the sun is out, today was actually muggy, a little warm and storms were a brewing.  I slept in (how lovely that felt). Chatted over the phone with one of my oldest friends for a long time.  It amazes me how times have changed.  Some of the things that were allowed when we were kids...our own kids would never be allowed to do.  I guess I'm a little sad about that.  The world is sometimes a crazy and dangerous place.  We would all love to shield our kids from the harsh realities of it.  Although our ways of parenting are very different, our main goal is to always protect our children.

On my way to pick up a birthday gift for my other friend, I got caught in the rain.  Good thing I keep plastic bags in the back of my car (from shopping of course).  Because I surely didn't think to bring an umbrella.  Hair catastrophe avoided. That wouldn't have faired well to have had to show up to dinner with dripping wet hair.

My girls and I have a birthday tradition.  This year we skipped on the chain restaurants and headed out to Mama J's.  I did very minimal research, due to hearing several good reviews.  And we loved it!! Cute and quaint.  Clean.  Good food. Decent prices.  And very friendly staff. I really loved the decor.  Cutest restroom too.  A return trip is very necessary.  I have already recommended them to friends.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What in the world is going on???

I logged onto Facebook earlier today and saw a link to a news story about two 14 yr old girls who committed suicide at a sleepover.  How sad I was to hear of such news.  What is going on with the youth today?  I've encountered a very small number of incidents where I was the butt of a joke or someone voiced their dislike of my appearance.  But I never wanted to take my own life because of the way those hurtful things made me feel.  I had to ask myself, had I addressed those types of behaviors with my own soon to be teenager.  I recall a time I had to speak with my son a few years ago when he was being taunted by some girls in his classroom.  I reminded my child that no matter what other people say, he comes from me..he is important to me and that he is beautiful inside and OUT to me.  I can't imagine what was going through the young girls' head to actually go through with the act.  And how cruel are those who made them feel that way?? How do they feel now knowing what their words and actions have caused?  My prayers go out to the family and friends of these girls.  As parent's we must stay involved, ask questions, snoop if we must to know what our children are going through day in and day out.  The bullies themselves have low self esteem and issues within..their parents need to get help for them also.  This has to stop..

Mental Vacation

I guess you can call this a mental vacation..more like a break from the 9 to 5.  I was almost burned out.  Do you know that feeling?  I am using this Spring Break to relax, refresh and rejuvenate just a little.  Not much, but a little bit.  Hanging around the house, doing a little shopping and lots of time with my loved ones.  Even took a long walk on the beach.  Not that beach in Paradise, but I'll take whatever sand and breeze I can get.  I had a plan for this short time off, but then some things changed (as they often do).  So getting some spring cleaning, minor home maintenance and errands are on the agenda.  Took a little road trip to visit my sister whom I don't see as much as I should.  As soon as I get off this thing..I am gonna put some things on my to do list for tomorrow..and I plan to actually complete them (laugh out loud).  I once read that to be productive, you should plan out your schedule.  I have a really hard time doing that.  I like being a little spontaneous. And my memory doesnt quite work with the schedule thing. I need to at least get back to exercising.  I was doing really well with that...the elliptical is calling my name.... Anyways, what is a mental vacation?? I don't think I can stop thinking...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sometimes its better to realize all the things you want to achieve in life when they are right in front of you.  I am reminded each day, that I have not accomplished all I want. There is this thing that I think about, dream about, speak about.  It's not even about success.  Its a need.  I need to write this book.  I have a story to tell.  I don't know what that story is, but hopefully this blog will get me one step closer.  So on that note, I am focused and stay tuned!