Friday, December 28, 2018

Proverbs 19:21

So, here I sit once again, nearing the end of another year and wondering WTF happened, while also praying, please God let next year be better!
I entered 2018 full of hope.

I was excited for the future. 
I had PLANS! 
But when we make plans, God laughs at us. 
God has a strange sense of humor though.  I mean, I can see him watching over me saying, "Silly child, don't you know by now?" Or better yet, "You gone learn today!"

I had moved into my new place a few months prior to the new year, work had me on the go and I was finally in a place where I was comfortably navigating my way through the job.
My salary wasn't the greatest and I was struggling to make ends meet, but I had hope that if I continued to work hard and show how committed I was, an increase wouldn't be too far off. 

I truly loved my job and what I was doing.  I felt I finally had a sense of purpose and enjoyed the people I worked with.
Then one day an email was sent out saying we would be getting a new boss and just like that, everything changed.
He was an outsider and came in with his own ideas.
He immediately set his sites on me and my coworker.  By summer, my coworker was the first to go and was transferred to another department, leaving me alone to handle everything by myself.  Things got really bad; to the point that I was so stressed, I was hospitalized.
Suddenly, nothing I did was right.
I went from having a perfect performance evaluation to being criticized for every move I made.
A few months later, I was told they were letting me go.
It hurt. A lot.
What hurt most (and still does) was knowing that I was damn good at what I did and I did nothing that warranted me losing my job. 
My position wasn't protected like my coworker's and I live in an at-will state.  
They didn't have to have a reason to let me go. 

While all of this is going on, I am still working my way towards a divorce while also digging myself out of a deep financial hole.
So, here I sit on December 28, looking at 2018 like, WTF?
Things didn't go as I had hoped, but 2019 is around the corner! 
It's a new year, right? 
I don't believe in that "new year, new me" crap, but I do try to enter the new year with hope and the belief that it's GOT to be better than the previous year.
I consider myself a very spiritual person, but also superstitious, which don't go hand-in-hand, but I kinda feel like the way my life is set up, I need all the good juju I can get! 

My New Year's Eve is spent at Watch Night Service in church, praying for better things in the New Year and letting go of troubles from the past.  
I also cook the traditional collard greens and black eye peas and place coins over the doorframes. 
This year, I'm hosting a burning ceremony and invited friends over.
There's a few things going into the fire this year, but mostly I'm making a list of things that I hope for in 2019.
I try to stay optimistic and not dwell on the negative.  Throwing myself a pity part does me no good.
When things are going bad, I try to praise God and celebrate the good in my life.
When things are good, I praise God and thank Him for all He's done for me. 

I've learned over the years that there's going to be struggles and even though mine come in bulk, I know that I'll get through them. 
I'm grateful for the challenges that I've had in life because it's only made me the strong  woman I am today.
One of the many values I've tried to instill in my sons is humility.  
It's important to remain humble at all times. No matter the level of success you may think you have accomplished, it can all be taken away from you. 
If you don't humble yourself, God will and it won't be good.
Your job, your home, your car, your relationship, your loved ones... whatever it is, can be taken away.
Just like that.

My problems won't magically disappear when the clock strikes midnight, but I have a new year to look forward to with new hopes, new dreams and new goals. 
Like I said, God has a strange sense of humor.
After leaving my husband, I said more the once that the only reason I was sticking around was because of my job. 

God said, okay and took the job away!
For the first time in my adult life, I don't have kids at home and I'm not someone's wife.  I can go anywhere in the country... hell... the WORLD! 

I don't like to make resolutions, but I promise you this; wherever this journey takes me, I will keep writing and bring you along. 
Here's to 365 blank pages. 
Happy New Year!

Friday, September 21, 2018

The Stress Diet

Some of you know that I have been dealing with some personal struggles lately.
Although my life is pretty much an open book and I generally share a lot of my world with certain people, there's a lot going on that I'm just not ready to talk about. 

In an old blog post titled, "Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop," I wrote about how I kind of walk through my life waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Things can be going pretty damn good, but I'm usually looking up waiting. 
Waiting for that shoe to come falling from the sky and knock me square in my head. I say this because it's true.  
It happens. All the time.  A lot. 
You can call it self-fulfilling prophecy or putting negative energy in the air or bad juju, but it is what it is. In my world though, it's not usually one shoe that drops. It's the whole damn closet. 

I've grown accustomed to it. Sad as that may sound. 
"It makes you stronger," they say.  Well, I'm so strong, I can bench press a damn Buick. 
"To get to the testimony, you have to go through the test."  I've taken so many tests, I have a PhD in Life. 
"It's always darkest before dawn."  I think I live in Antarctica. 

So, right now I have the entire inventory of DSW falling from the sky and I must have some Kyrptonite near me because I am weak.  I'm tired. I just can't dodge the shoes right now. 

A couple of days ago, call it serendipity, divine intervention, fate or whatever you like, God sent a wonderful woman my way. She reached out to me because the spirit told her something more was going on with me. 
We talked. She shared her life with me and I shared mine with her - a complete stranger.  
During that talk, she suggested I find ways to manage my stress. 
She asked what I do to care for myself. Does wine count?  I didn't have an answer.   

Right now I am so focused on all of the wrongs in my world and how to make them right, that I haven't been able to take the time for myself. 
I told her that I write and she asked when was the last time I did.  
Writing for me has always been therapeutic.  

I've lost a lot of weight. 
That stress diet ain't no joke! I'm a little woman, just barely under 5 feet, four inches and I've lost eight pounds.  
What pisses me off to no end is when people guffaw or scoff at me when I openly discuss my weight. 
I always compare it to ground beef.  Most of us cook and most of us shop for our own groceries.  Look at eight pounds of ground beef. That's a lot of meat, right?  Now imagine that eight pounds of ground beef on my body. 

So, on my way home today, I stopped at Popeyes, ordered myself a three piece - mild, dark meat, with red beans and rice and a sweet tea.  Hey, I live in the South. 
I got home, ate two pieces, half of a biscuit and half of the red beans and rice and sat down with my sweet tea to start writing, but before I pulled out my tablet, I owed my best friend Jelly Bean a phone call. 

I promised her that I would call today to finally share my struggles and also confessed that I had just polished off two-thirds of that Louisiana goodness in the orange box.  

"I'm trying to get my booty back," I bemoaned. "I lost my booty! Not like I had that much to begin with, but what I had, I want it back!"

"I understand," Jelly Bean consoled. "I'm shorter than you and losing five pounds is like losing two dress sizes." 

"Yes! My shorts are sagging on me and don't even get me started on Thelma and Louise! The girls are gone," I cried. " You know I love my girls. The three of us have had some adventures. They were my ride or die, but they just LEFT me!" 

"Not Thelma and Louise," Jelly Bean laughed. 

"I think they drove over the cliff," I whimpered as I pulled my tank top forward, looking down at what's left of my cleavage. 

Even though I've always been petite, I've always been curvy, but there's a cup size missing from the front, and the back - well Bell Biv DeVoe won't have any trust issues with me. 

Some people eat when they're stressed, but I lose my appetite.  I'm also taking thyroid medication, which I believe may also be a suspect in the disappearance of my booty and my girls. 

I'm thinking about posting lost flyers or putting Thelma and Louise on milk cartons. I miss them and I'm gonna be doing squats and eating a whole lot of red beans and rice. Sir Mix-a-Lot is an expert on the booty, right? If red beans and rice can bring the booty back, I'm down. 

Well, while I work towards rebuilding my life, I'm going to also take more time for self-care and healing. Writing is the first step and tomorrow morning I'm going back to the African dance class I once enjoyed. 
My problems aren't going to magically go away, but at least I have an outlet to help me get back in fighting form and instead of dodging those shoes, maybe I can grab a pair or two.
Hey, high heels help lift the booty, right?  

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Before I get into my newest blog post, I have some housekeeping matters that must be taken care of first. 
Let me begin by saying that I truly appreciate the large number of followers that have recently discovered my page on Facebook.

At the urging of my friends, I started writing The Single Mom Saga because my dating life had become something of a dramedy. My friends said that I should write a book, but I felt like I wasn't capable of eating the elephant in one bite, so I decided on writing a blog. 
I have been writing the Single Mom Saga since 2007 and have been posting to Facebook since June 30, 2009 and no matter HOW much I begged my friends and family to share my blog, the numbers just weren't growing.

In 2014, I stopped writing and pulled my posts because I had gotten involved with an insecure and judgemental person not capable of accepting the fact that I had a life before them. 
But the STRANGEST thing happened! I slowly started getting Facebook notifications that I had new followers. 
Weird, I thought... 
Then the numbers started doubling and I posted my conrfusion to my page. 
A "follower" explained to me the situation and it all made sense. 
I'd just like to say THANK YOU for the follows, but I am not the woman you are looking for. 
The only thing she and I have in common - that I know of - is that we are both single women with two sons using the same blog name. 
I am a Black woman from the Northeast, currently living in one of THE REDDEST states in the south.
My sons are grown.  Hers are young. She has blonde hair.  Mine is purchased from the Koreans. 
I've seen the other blogger's posts and I can tell you, she's a woman, but she's not Black. 
We are two different people! 
Sooooo... if you want to keep following this page, welcome!
If not, no hard feelings. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Home Alone

As I sit here in my 912 square foot apartment, sipping a glass of Apothic Red and munching on cheddar cheese Bugles, I stop, sigh and take in the silence. 
It's quiet.
The only sound is the ratlle and hum of the air conditioning unit and furnace tucked inside the utility closet of my one bedroom apartment. 
Zoe, my dog, sits at the foot of my chaise, waiting for me to show her a bit of attention. 
I moved into this apartment last August after a purposeful and well thought-out decision to leave my second husband. 
This is a topic and future blog post to be written after the divorce is finalized. 
There are so many things that I want to share with you all, but most importantly, I want you to know that I AM BACK! 
Somewhere over the last three or four years, I lost myself.  It's not a good feeling. For someone who has been pretty much an outspoken, free-spirited and independent woman, I was lost. 
Trapped in the Matrix.
In the Sunken Place. 
In the process of losing myself, I also lost my blog. 
Seven years of writing. 
Hundreds of posts. 
In a moment of emotion and helplessness, I deleted seven years in an effort to keep the peace. 
I no longer live in my hometown. I am in a new city. A new world. Quite different than anything I have experienced in my lifetime. In a 912 square foot apartment.
It's my new home. 
For now. 
Shortly after moving in and getting situated, it dawned on me - this is the FIRST TIME in my life that I have EVER lived alone!
I have always been somebody's mother or wife, giving birth to my oldest son when I was nineteen years old, getting married, divorced, raising two boys, and getting married again. I have never had a place to myself.  The boys going off to the military or college doesn't count because they were home on leave, breaks and moving home two or  three times afterwards. 
My cousin, Dee, a single mother with two adult children still at home, asked with wonderment and  longing, what it was like to finally live alone. I couldn't find the proper adjective, but told her that I can come home and find my house exactly as I left it, with the exception of Zoe's toys scattered throughout. 
It's MY mess! If I don't want to make my bed, I don't have to. 
I walk around my apartment in my underwear a LOT.  
If I left a drinking glass on the island, I know that It's my glass. 
If I am thinking all day about that leftover macaroni and cheese and can't wait to get home from work to eat it, I know It's still there in my refrigerator waiting for me. I'm not coming home to the empty casserole dish in the sink that couldn't find it's way to the dishwasher and I am not hearing, "oh... I'm sorry,  I didn't know you wanted anymore."
"YEEESSSS," Dee cried out. "YEEESSSS!"
I pictured her waving her hand as if the pastor just preached the word to her and touched her soul! 
I am enjoying this new chapter of my life and will share more of it with you as time allows. 
In the meantime, I'm back and so happy to be on the road to self-discovery! 
Here's to the Single Mom Saga - The Reboot!

Proverbs 19:21

So, here I sit once again, nearing the end of another year and wondering WTF happened, while also praying, please God let next year be bette...