While walking down the hall at work recently I caught a glimpse of myself. My black and red, belted “shirt” dress adorned with stately looking, little connected squirrels (yes, you read correctly) was pleasantly in place. My comfortable wedge sandals were the perfect mix of fashion and comfort allowing the hot pink on my toes to be tastefully shown. Much to my chagrin, I noticed that from the time I’d arrived dark and early that morning to the moment I viewed my view in the glass my wig had shifted. It wasn’t too bad, but still, I’m certain that it was noticeable even to the eye unskilled in hair accessory placement. Plus, I knew it wasn’t right.
Knowing it wasn’t right, and knowing that there were several yards and three floors before my destination I debated as to whether to fix the wig or leave it as is. Maybe the wig shift challenged my sanity, but something in me felt embarrassed about fixing it in public, even though what was required wouldn’t have been much. For a brief moment I contemplated leaving the wig wop-sided as if correcting the problem was more of a problem than the problem. That’s a problem. You feel me?
Why is it in life we are sometimes fearful of or embarrassed by fixing what is wrong? As if we think people don’t know what’s wrong is actually wrong, we often would rather ignore the problem like it’s not there than take the time publicly or privately to make sure it’s not there. It’s up to us to recognize our issues and address them. The alternative, after all, is usually no secret. We know what’s wrong. People know what’s wrong and the longer what’s wrong stays wrong the worse it gets.
That day, as I strolled in my squirrel shirtdress, I decided to fix my wig. Right there on the first floor of my job, under the beautiful crystal-like chandelier I wiggled that wig to the right so it would no longer be wrong. Chile, I’m glad I did! I see now that the wig is more than a wig. It was what was representing me and anything less than fabulous locks laid in place simply wasn’t right for me. The same is so in life. There are some things we have to fix no matter who’s watching us fix it. I’m sure you will feel the same the next time you take the bold steps to correct something that’s off course, mend something that’s broken, change something that’s not working or fix something that’s out of place. Fix your wig (and your life) if you have to.
I haven’t written an original blog post in weeks. I know. That’s so not my style. I’ve been busy with work, travel, family fun, family matters and enjoying an occassional ray of the sun. I’ve been busy like this before, busier in fact, but never to the point of not being able to put finger to key and chime out whatever thoughts were stewing and brewing in my mind.
Lately, my thoughts have been all over the place. There have been a lot of thoughts about how to better use my thoughts, including with my blog. I’ve been wanting to write to talk about how I feel it’s time to take my blog to the next level and actually pay for an upgrade, or perhaps break it down into two blog sites with streamlined focuses for each. I’ve been wanting to write about how, for the first time in a long time, I’m clueless about what’s on the horizon for me in some key areas, but that I’m confident that something great and God-sent is on the horizon for sure. I wanted to write about the amazing volunteering and service conference I attended, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, sneaking in a civil rights museum and being reminded why what I do and need to do even more of is so important. I’ve wanted to write about these amazing conversations I have had with friends making me all the more appreciative for them allowing me to be in their life and for them being in mine. I wanted to write about a recent R&B concert I went to and the mystifying display of degrading dancing I saw from women who looked just like me. I wanted to write about how I haven’t danced since January and once earlier this month at a camp for teens (not dance like those lovely ladies at the R&B concert), but good, old-fashioned, hair-sweating, but clean dancing. I wanted to write about wanting to hop on a plane and go somewhere warm, fun and with the scent of eucalyptus and spearmint wafting through the lobby near the spa. I wanted to write about a dear friend who is going through challenges, feeling like she’s ready to give up, and offering her some words to comfort and encourage her to hang in there. I wanted to write about the most recent women who I’ve come to know more about who are experiencing the pains of divorce, and charting their path to healing. I’ve wanted to write about an assortment of different delicious foods I’ve been able to enjoy the last several weeks, and the three pounds that have disappeared despite my palate-pleasing options. I’ve wanted to write about a beautiful, regal, classy, faith-filled loved one named, Ann Turner, whose name I speak of often to the Lord praying for healing and restoration for her and strength and faith for her husband, and my family.
There’s been so much I wanted to write about, reflect upon, read for myself and share and I didn’t….until now.
While watching one of my guilty pleasures, also known as reality TV, I heard one of the starlets ask another, “Girl, it is really over between you two?” The starlet in question batted her lengthy lashes and said in an unconvincing southern drawl, “Yeahhhhhh, gurrrl. It’s ova.”
I thought about it. How do we really know when it’s over? “Over” is a process that’s often a long journey to take. Anytime we invest our hopes, dreams, prayers, money, energy, family, our own lives and our time into another it simply takes time to get over.
Forty-two years of living have provided me with one sure-fire way (amongst a few others) of knowing when we’re over what is over. One way to know we’re over it is when our actions aren’t begging for a reaction. What do I mean by that? Glad you asked.
A few ways to know we’re over what’s over is when:
- We don’t strategize ways to entice. (In other words we don’t have to dress up when we know we’re going to see him, bathe in the perfume he liked, flaunt our new “boo”, cook his favorite casserole when he comes to get the kids or spend time entertaining that one friend who is capable of coming up with far more crafty ways to entice him than we are with hopes of luring him back in.)
- We don’t strategize ways to infuriate. (In other words, we don’t press his buttons to provoke an angry response by withholding the children, speaking badly of him privately or publicly, contacting his new “boo” or definitely not by spending time entertaining the thoughts of that one friend who is capable of coming up with far more cunning ways to infuriate him than we are with hopes of ticking him off or firing him up.)
- We don’t monopolize our conversations with details of the situation. (In other words, we aren’t trying to garner sympathy or soldiers to join us in our personal battle.)
- We don’t challenge him in a game of “memory”. (In other words, we don’t always remind him of the good times we had every chance we get hoping it will reignite that extinguished flame. Note to my girls: If the times were so good they would still be.)
- We don’t wake up or spend our day thinking of him good, bad or that muddy-ness in the middle. (In other words, we aren’t monopolized by thoughts of him one way or the other that often cause us to do something, think something or feel something we shouldn’t.)
- We can function at functions. (In other words, the thought of seeing him at a wedding, class reunion, birthday party, church or Church’s Chicken on 3rd Avenue West doesn’t send our stomachs into a tailspin or our minds spinning out of control.)
- We don’t desire bad for them because they are without us. (That one speaks for itself.)
- We don’t align with their enemies or the casualties. (In other words, we know and accept that joining forces with the boyfriend of the girlfriend who stole our boyfriend eventually adds nothing but more pain to our plate. We stay away from partnering up with people who feel negatively about him knowing it will not help us feel positively about us.)
- We can sincerely pray for them, regardless of how those prayers will benefit us. (In other words, can we pray for their personal advancement, prosperity, health and finances to be blessed regardless of whether they owe us alimony, child support or half on Junior’s Christmas list?)
Fear can be a monster. For real! It can be like a big, hairy, ugly, stinky, towering monster!
As a child growing up in a loving home with my parents and siblings, I had a brief encounter with the monster known as Fear of the Dark. As a young girl, I just knew that there was a monster behind the brown, wooden doors of my closet and under my cluttered twin bed that only unleashed his frightening powers when the lights went out at night. I’m supposing, in an attempt to scare the monster, irritate my throat and frustrate my parents I would SCREAM like my life depended on it!!!!! Needless to say, my daddy or mama came to the rescue. I got over that fear, and now relish rest in the dark.
Fast-forward many decades, and here we all are today grown, or growing up, possibly not dealing with fear…
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I woke up late this morning after staying up late last night being empowered, entertained and stretched (in my dancing skills) by the most amazing teenagers at a leadership camp. We laughed, we cried, we learned and we shared. Instead of my usual 4am rise, I rolled over only to see 5am staring back at me. Still, in my delayed rising, I didn’t rush. Something in me didn’t want to rush, but simply embrace the moment and all of its unfamiliarity. I took my time pulling out one of the best older sundresses I have and a blazer to match. I took my time applying my Wet n Wild coordinating eyeshadow, while taking great care to make sure my coif was cute. I made sure my oatmeal was ready to go, got in about 15 minutes of worship with my Pandora “Richard Smallwood” station and I proceeded to head to another day doing what I…
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