So I haven’t posted since the brief series about leaving my job of 23 years to pursue a new beginning. That’s not because I haven’t had anything to blog about. I decided to do something a little different, more real time, to chronicle this journey—Vlog. I like this raw, authentic process of recording this journey. Check it out. Subscribe if you like it or not. Lol.
I was trying to craft some words for this post to go along with this picture, but I concluded that the words say it all.
I have three of these notes taped around my cubicle at work. Whichever direction I look in, these words are in my line of vision. They remind me to use my down time, specifically at work, wisely. Instead of chatting it up with coworkers or watching a series on Netflix when work is low, I should be preparing what I’m going to write in the evening on my manuscript or planning my social media marketing plan to promote my blog and my books, working on my online graduate course, reading a book, or updating my resume.
If you’re laid off due to CVOID-19, or at home with nothing to do because everything is closed, I encourage you to take heed to this words.
When you see these words, what comes to mind that should you be doing with your time? Tell me in the comments below.
It might be too late in January to say Happy New Year but it’s early enough in the year for me to share with you some things in my life that I left behind in 2019. Check them out…
My response to the question”Do you drink?” The answer to this question will always be yes. I will no longer fumble my words for an answer that says, “I drink, but not that often”, as though I need to explain that.
Trying to fit into old clothes that I’ve outgrown. I have a grown woman body that I damn proud of. I’m done with the obsessing over the number on the scale or my dress or pants size. I will continue to be fitness focused, limiting my sweet treats, and engaging in exercise that I enjoy as often as possible. Whatever clothing doesn’t fit my current size will be replaced with new clothes. That’s the whole purpose of all the inventory at retail stores!
Telling Men that I’m not interested in a relationship. It was eight months after my husband passed before the reality of being single really hit me. He was my friend, my lover, my husband for 10 years. I’ve been out of the single game for quite a while. So when started having conversations with men I was trying to be clear that, at this stage of my life, being widowed after 10 yrs, having a teenage son to raise, I wasn’t trying to jump into a relationship. What I didn’t know was those words were communicating to them that I just wanted to have sex with them. 😩 Noooooo. I’m interested in engaging in interesting conversation, taking in a movie, going to breakfast or dinner with a nice guy. IF our chemistry leads to sex, then it does. BUT, that’s not my first intentions. Interestingly, a male friend brought this distinction to my attention. Now I say, “I’m interested in dating that could lead to a long term, serious relationship.”
Spending time with men that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. Ever heard of rebound sex or relationships. Well I’m my life, I’ve had both! Married the man and had two children, who are the joy of my world. However, I learned my lesson. And, now, I’m this time of singleness and being a real grown woman of 44 years old, I’m not hanging out with any man that I don’t thoroughly enjoy. Enough said!
Who in the world would want to run a 26 mile race? Quite a few people, judging from all the participants on my FB timeline with #freepmarathon in their posts. This past weekend, my birthday weekend, was the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon event.
The first time I saw this event with my own eyes was on my birthday about 5 or 6 years ago. My husband had gotten me room at the Holiday Inn to enjoy a quiet night of writing. On check out day is when I saw the crowd of people and learned what was going on.
It wasn’t that day that I considered participating. That day came when I came across women in my personal circle, people at or near my fitness level making the decision to do it and training for the big day. A few of them accomplished their goal this year!
My father participated in a marathon once. He trained hard for it. As a little girl watching him jump rope in our backyard and complete his Saturday morning with an impressive backward jog down our street, I didn’t know that’s what he was preparing for. Matter of fact, I don’t even know when he actually did it. He wasn’t the kind of dad that shared stuff like that with his kids. What I do remember him telling me years later was that one time was all he needed. Just to say he did it.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to train that hard to do something only one time. Then again, I could never fathom running 26 miles. Interestingly, I have since learned that the event consists of more than 26 mile race. There are events for everyone at all fitness levels: full marathon, marathon relay (a team of 2-4 complete designated sections of the race), 1/2 marathon, 5K, and a Family Fun Run. There’s even a race for people with disabilities.
Now that’s something I can put on my bucket-list. What about you? Do you want to run a marathon (or some other race event)? What’s your plan to make it happen?
You know…you must have a plan, right?
Am I really doing this? I thought on the 5 minute drive from my job to the campus of Wayne State University. While I know students of all ages attend the multi- cultural institution located in the heart of Detroit, all I could see were the people who looked young enough to be my children.
Here I am, weeks away from my 42nd birthday, attending my first upper level undergraduate English course. But it’s been a long time in the making. Approximately 10 years.
For the last several years I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Wayne State University and Oakland University’s graduate English programs. And, if I’m honest, their Journalism and Communication programs, too. Indecisiveness played a big part as to why it’s taken me so long to make this move. But fear was the biggest obstacle.
Why do I want to do this? What benefit will I gain? Will my life improve? What am I going to do with it? Do I have time for this?
These questions and more had me like a mouse stuck on the spinning wheel. Like that piece of cheese the mouse is chasing, this desire has remained dangling in front of my eyes, within arms reach. It was just a matter of reaching for it and grabbing it.
At this stage of the game I’m not sure if I’m going to pursue another graduate degree. I already have one of those…an MBA. According to my aunt, Dr. Wilson, “In education, you keep moving forward.” I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a simmering desire to earn such a distinguished level of education.
Before I can seriously entertain a doctorate in English, I need to get some upper level English courses on my record and recommendations from recent academic sources, hence, my Intro to Rhetoric & Writing class this fall semester.
I can’t tell you how excited I am. An item crossed off my 2017 goals. We’re only on the second week of class and I’ve already plotted out classes for 2018.
When I was introduced to the character of Jalessa, the oldest student–a recently divorced, mother ( I think)–on campus from A Different World, it never crossed my mind that that could be me. In retrospect, that was clearly a major purpose of her character, to show that although life circumstances can knock us of course, we can always make our way back.
Not a do over, I like to say, but a do now. There’s no time like today to pursue a dream.
What dream are you chasing? Share in the comments below. If you can read this post, there’s no time like now to take that first step.
Til Next Time,
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My husband and I have a bad habit of falling asleep with our television on. He has a bad habit of putting it on a news channel. Why is this a problem? Mainly because I don’t want to be awakened to stories of carjackings, fatal car accidents, and senseless murders. The other morning this is exactly what roused me out of slumber sleep. I called out the name of Jesus for mercy on the world we live in, and then I immediately began questioning why I was stressing myself over the numbers on the scale. Blaming my previous day’s activity–eating an entire row of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies after lunch–for why I’ve been stuck on this roller coaster of gaining and losing 1.5 lbs.
When this life is over will those numbers matter in the least? Certainly not to those who love me. Heck! Not even to those who don’t.
Still I longed to condone my over indulgence in sugar and carbs.
“It’s nothing wrong with eating a row of Girl Scout cookies in less than ten minutes. You only eat them at this time of the year.” I told myself the same thing I say every year around this time.
“Gaining weight is a fact of life. It’s not your fault that your metabolism is slowing down. How much you weigh has no bearing on the impact of your life in the world at large. Plus, you still have a cute shape that many women would love to have.”
Sure, the above statements bear some truth. But the whole truth is that while I am living this life, I want to look and feel my best. And that really does go beyond the numbers on the scale. So while I do have a number that I’d like to see at the end of my weight watcher’s journey, I have some long-term goals that far outweigh that number.
I want to look 40 when I’m 60 and 60 when I’m 100.
I want to master hula hooping tricks because it’s fun and looks awesome. Guess I’ll have to keep going to hula hoop class and burn those 300+ calories an hour.
I want to get out of the bed every morning without achiness which means I have to work my body for strength, endurance, and flexibility.
I want to be able to choose from a larger selection of swimsuits.
I want to participate in “ride your bike to work” day every year. At the very least, I want to be riding my bike at 60 yrs old like my dad.
These are just a few non-weight related goals for me. What are yours? Share them in the comments below.
Til Next Time,
Weight Watchers: Beyond the Scale–Week 2
The excitement from the first week rolled into nervous anxiety for this week’s weigh in. First, I feared the dip that I mentioned in my last post about slacking off during this week and picking up some of the weight I’d lost during the previous week. Well, I guess my mind wasn’t set firm enough on achieving this goal. I gained 1 lb. Granted, I could say that those 1 lb may have been the weight of the clothes I was wearing—a long cow neck sweater. Maybe. However, when I look back over the pages I’ve been jotting down my daily food intake since the beginning of the year, I know different. In the two days before this weigh in, I indulged in cake. A few days before that, I had a scoop of ice cream (NOT low fat or light) on a cone. And the weekend before I wasn’t as prepared with ideas for fun healthy weekend food and ended up with Chinese food. To my credit, though, I did abstain from the fried rice but my beef and broccoli, soaked in gravy, I’m sure didn’t help.
I say all of that to confirm the importance of tracking with any goal that you’re trying to accomplish. Most of you already know of all the different apps and online tools available for tracking but just in case you need some suggestions, here’s a list of the best ten. But for those who don’t always want to be regulated by your phone or computer a good ‘ole fashion notebook always does the trick too. I do both. What I like about logging in my notebook is that I’m free to not bother with ounces, cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. I simply want a reminder of what I ate. My memory isn’t so bad that I don’t remember how much of it I ate.
Lack of categorization is the biggest advantage for tracking in a notebook. Sometimes you just want to write it down. On one page I write down what A.M. exercise I had a chance to do before leaving for work. Lately I’ve been doing seated waist twists with my 8lb medicine ball. This morning I did a few minutes of hula hooping and 15 kettle (15lb) ball swings (whew! on the latter). Shortly after arriving at work I write my breakfast down, and then follow that with whatever exercise I do during the day. Next is lunch, snack, and then dinner. Near the bottom of the page, I jot down any money that I’ve spent during the day (yes, I’m tracking that too).
Keeping track of what I’m putting in my mouth is helping me become accountable for the numbers on the scale or judging from how my clothes are fitting. I definitely recommend some form of tracking to keep you on track on whatever you’re trying to improve in 2016.
Are you a tracker.? Share your preferred method.
Did I wish you all a happy new year? I don’t think so. Well, I’m sure I’m still within the New Years grace period to do so…Happy New Year!
I’m excited about so many things for 2015.
For starters, I’ll finally be publishing my second novel in the spring! Check out my literary site http://lajefferson.com for more info. That’s been so long in the making (2010) I could stop there–but I won’t. As a multifaceted woman, my to-do list doesn’t stop there.
This week I’m attending a Christian education class at my church. It’s actually my second one but the first one was cut short. I’ve been chasing after the Lord in a way that I never have in recent months. I love God’s word and I really want to know it intricately–for myself and others. Increased prayer and study time more and eventually fasting ( not for weight loss purposes). Continuing on the education segment, I’ll also be enrolling in an advanced English course at a university.
You see, I have this little saying, you can say it’s my personal theme: As long as I have breath in my body, I have time… Time to do whatever I set my heart to do. Although I’m gainfully employed at a technology company and have been for close to 20 years, it’s wise to have a backup plan. Since I love reading and writing and I desire more time for writing a career in education is the way to go. College English or creative writing is my preference. However, my educational background is business. So after 5 years of turning this idea over and over in my head I finally took a step in that direction. That’s on my schedule for the summer.
Lastly but far from least… I’m turning 40 this year!!! And I’m in the works of planning a 5 or 7 day cruise for family to celebrate with me.
There’s more but I won’t make this post all about me 😀. What do you have planned for your 2015?
Disclaimer: This post was composed before my natural hair meltdown in the previous post. After reviewing the goals in this post, I feel renewed.
I’ve got a lot going on this year: new book coming out (prayerfully I stay on track), daughter graduating high school (Wow..Time flies!), centennial celebration of the BEST sorority (DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY!)
If that’s not enough to be excited about, I’m also excited about my natural hair! This first six months of my natural hair journey has been interesting–to say the least–but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
With transitioning from locs to loose natural hair, the most important lesson that I’ve learned is to only “do” my hair when I have adequate time. Watch any natural hair “wash-n-go” video on YouTube and you’ll quickly see what I mean. Just about everything you do with natural hair takes some time, even when the YouTuber claims it’s something quick. BTW, that’s not a complaint–at least, not at this moment–it’s just a fact of life for my natural hair life.
My 2013 goals include:
1. Length retention–Naturally my aim is growth, but I have to, first, retain the length that I have.
2. Learn more–While I want to stay as far away from being a product junkie, I have to try different products to determine what produces the best results for my hair. For example, after months of suffering from flaky scalp, I realized that it was Herbal African’s Best Oil that was causing the flakes. It works great on skin BUT not my hair.
3. Straighten Less, Protect More: On my YouTube channel (http://youtube.com/mslabooks) you’ll see what brought me to this point. Breakage! Yikes! Before this you couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t taking care of my hair. Yet, something went awry. And I can’t have that!. I didn’t take ALL that time (2 or 3 wks, I can’t remember) combing my locs out to have my hair breaking from only God knows what! Therefore, this year, I plan to get back to more two strand twist styles. That worked wonders for my hair pre-locs so to them I shall return. I’m also going to put it out there now–I may even try a weave or braid extensions. Mainly because I want some color but don’t want to damage my hair. Scratch that, actually it’s because sometimes I don’t feel like doing my hair.