The Return of the Lady

Recently I had an opportunity to spend a Saturday morning with some young girls from Grace House and young women from the University of Montevallo’s Mu Mu Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. who were my captive audience for a training on Dining Etiquette.

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It had been a while since I’d done any group talks and quite honestly I didn’t realize how much I missed it until sharing that time with the ladies and little ladies. Like, I really miss speaking regularly. Their questions and responses were thought-provoking, sincere, hilarious, encouraging, hilarious (I know I’ve already said that), gasp-inducing and inspiring all at the same time. They all participated and were engaged, and sent a clear message to me that, regardless of what the media says or what we might see regarding girls and young women, the return of the lady is inevitable.

Yes, we debated who was better, Beyoncé or Kevin Gates (who? what?), but we also talked about which fork to use, what’s appropriate to discuss at the table, how to slice a bone-in, fried chicken breast with poise and elegance (and still get all of the skin and juicy, meaty goodness) and how to engage in effective networking at “fancy” functions. Sure, we talked about why it’s not a good idea to place gum behind our ears or on the rim of our plates, why “smacking somebody” is not the answer or why we can’t take crab legs from a buffet, but we also embarked on a stirring dialogue about the fact that each and every one of them will be someone BIG someday and deserved a seat at the table, and not just a seat at the table, but some undeniable influence as to what was being served, and preferably positioned at the head of that said table. We absolutely laughed out loud, when teaching each other how to gingerly bite a green, frosted cupcake or cut it with a fork, then sip tea with or without a pinky up. We discussed at length how not to pull out the hot sauce in our bag (swag) to saturate our food at a fru-fru function, and talked about how it’s okay to be classy and respectable and unique and still cute and noticed even in this bare as you dare, be angry, be loud, frown all the time, forget manners, and pop off at will world.

That time with the girls was the perfect balance of what makes a lady. A REAL lady is a woman who is able to put her best foot and best face forward, regardless of her setting or personal circumstance, regardless of her upbringing, regardless of what media or social media says and regardless of what she might have seen before or hasn’t received from others. And a REAL, REAL lady can do that while feeling comfortable and confident never forsaking that fact that she belongs.

So, here’s a snippet of what we discussed. Want more? Email angelamoore316@gmail.com

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Table Talk in the Business World

  • Avoid: religion, politics, sports team talk, inappropriate jokes or topics of conversation.
  • Share the conversation (Don’t be a talking hog).
  • Plan to talk. Know what the topic of the event is and have conversation ready to share.
  • Know the organization or product you’re representing or supporting.
  • Take a deep breath and breathe, especially if feeling out of your comfort zone.
  • Just say no to the telephone while at the table. (That includes snap chatting, texting during the event, answering your phone during the event, not turning off or silencing your phone and any other things we think we can’t go without for that brief 2-3 hours.)
  • Know that you belong at the table, and the head of the table is always for the taking.

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@AngelaMMoore316

I’m Not Feeling It

Here’s my truth…
Sometimes I’m not feeling it. I mean really. Sometimes I don’t feel like talking. I don’t feel like smiling or being nice. I don’t feel like helping or hearing other people’s problems. I don’t feel like remembering what Jesus said do or don’t do. I don’t feel like taking the high road and being silent about tomfoolery and things which are unfair. I don’t feel like squashing the feisty part of my #35211. I don’t feel like looking at the bright side, looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or even looking for the rainbow at the end of the storm. Sometimes I’m just not feeling it.
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But in those times you shouldn’t know it and it shouldn’t show because my feelings and not feeling it are between the God who can fix them and me. So on those days like today, in addition to prayer, I blast my William Murphy Demonstrate (Deluxe Edition) on Spotify really loudly in the morning before work. I search for the motivating posts and scroll quickly through the ones with complaints and bad news. I purposely think about the great things going on or coming up and think of them often. I get a dose of 90s-themed Hip Hop, usually with a Miami or Atlanta-inspired heavy, bass background. I fight back the urge to stay in bed, but I do leave my linen pulled by just enough for me to motivate me to hurry up and get back home. I fluff out my hair accessory (my wig), pull out my FINEST Kmart couture and take great care to make my lips pop with a bold red or rich purple.
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Sometimes I’m not feeling it, but in those times I do whatever I have to do to look and feel better because looking and feeling bad is not a good look for me.
@AngelaMMoore316

Divorce 101: No Money, Mo Problems

****LPA…Long Post Alert

Let’s just be clear. For many, money is a large part of divorce. It’s about as large a part of divorce as it is the engagement, the marriage and possibly the myriad of reasons which lead to the divorce in the first place.

Six years into this thing called divorce I’ve witnessed firsthand in my life and at a glance through the lives of others in similar situations how the needs, requirements and mandates following divorce can wreak far-reaching havoc on the lives of those who have already experienced havoc in their life at the figurative hands of the divorce. From paying to divorce, while possibly still paying for the wedding, to paying for the divorce when you still wanted to be married, to child support, to shared responsibilities with the children outside of the ordered child support, to joint business and financial obligations, to alimony, and more, again, for many, money is a large part of the divorce. This is especially true when the one with lingering financial obligations to honor the divorce decree fails to oblige and honor.

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Let’s just be even more clear, money becomes a more heightened matter when the one with the legally mandated responsibility to provide short-term or long-term support stops it, reduces it or does both while going around flossing in Gucci, Gold or Gators, all the while knowing he or she has not done what he or she is legally and morally supposed to do financially.

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If you’re the one on the receiving end hear me clearly. I know it’s hard. I know it’s hard and unfair and another blow to whatever you’ve already experienced to have to juggle and finagle, and go without, and explain to children, and borrow from loved ones, and beg creditors, and down-size, work two jobs, and stay up late, and wake up early to try to provide or merely make ends meet while trying to keep your Christianity in tact and a smile on your face. Get rid of blame, anger, bitterness, people in your ear telling you unwise and ungodly things, or punishing the ex-spouse by not allowing him or her a role in the children’s lives when in fact you are punishing the children. I know it’s hard, but keep doing right. In the words of the late, great Whitney Houston, “It’s not right. But it’s okay.” In the words of the even greater Philippians 4:19 from the Bible, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

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If you’re the one on the legally and morally mandated giving end hear me clearly. I know it’s probably hard to feel like you’re still connected to something or someone you wanted to be permanently disconnected from and to have to do right by that which, in some way went wrong or you might have been wrong. I know it might seem unfair. I know it might be hard to balance your present life while still honoring the requirements from the past. I know some might feel like you don’t “owe nobody nothing else”, or you’ve already “done enough”, or you’re “tired of this”, or you just want to be “done with this”. I can only imagine what your mind or other influences might be telling you as to the reasons for not doing what you’re required to do. I’m not one to judge. However, the best way to be “done with this” is to do right and see the decree to the end. The best way to not be “tired of this” is to change your perspective on the ex-spouse and whatever hindrances might be overruling your wise decision making regarding him or her. The best way to “do enough” is to do everything you’re supposed to do, especially when children are involved. The best way to “owe nobody nothing else” is to give them what they are owed. The best way to balance the present while honoring the requirements from the past is to handle your business in the order in which it came so that God can bless you with more. I could quote the late, great Johnnie Taylor right now and his perspective on divorce/separation, but I won’t. (Google it if you want seriously catchy tune about divorce/separation in your head.)  Instead, I will again go to the Bible and remind you that the same Philippians 4:19 which will work for the one waiting on you to do, will also work for you. Use it! Get rid of blame. Get rid of being angry at yourself for your actions which might have resulted in these decrees. Get rid of being angry at your former spouse for having to still provide. Get rid of people in your ear telling you to dishonor what is required. Get rid of thinking you’re punishing the ex-spouse when you could be punishing the children. Get rid of avoiding responsibilities. Get rid of stubbornness and bitterness and simply do right please ma’am or sir, so that something beautiful can grow for you too from the seeds you’re still planting in the life of someone you once loved.

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@AngelaMichele316

I Don’t Want to Be Here

I don’t want to be here. There, I said it. I said it for you and me too. I know you might not be able to publicly say that sometimes you don’t want to be at your job, with your spouse, in your family, around your kids, among your friends, involved in relationships which might have ended but the common ground  like children or court remain, in your current physical condition and especially in your current financial position. I get it. I’ve been there. I am there in a few areas. But we’re here.

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We’re here for a reason, peeps. Why, you might ask. I don’t know for sure, but I do know:

  • We’re still where we are to grow, and GROW UP for where we’re going.
  • We’re still where we are to receive help from those assigned to assist.
  • We’re still where we are to help others, even while we’re still where we are.
  • We’re still where we are until we meet, see, do, get or give exactly what we need to specifically and purposefully turn the page to the next chapter.
  • We’re still where we are to be able to have things to look back and laugh at sooner than we think. (And I’m talking those cheek-stretching, eye-watering, stomach-hurting laughs)
  • We’re still where we are to build up some spiritual fortitude which we will need later on.
  • We’re still where we are so that others who see us can see us when we get to where we’re going and know where we’ve been and be inspired that they can get there too.
  • We’re still where we are to show the world how to feel stuck , trust God, exemplify a positive attitude, still smile…and mean it.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Life Goes On

The beauty of life is that it goes on. No matter where you are, or what you’ve faced… be it death, divorce, sickness, setbacks, mess or mistakes as long as you’re still living there’s still LIFE left to LIVE. Like, for real. There is still life left to live.

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Sometimes the world’s view, our thoughts, our circumstances, the media and generational mindsets might try to convince us that our worst days were God’s final curtain call. That is the furthest thing from the truth! The show must, will and can go on and get better! So can you. You simply have to choose life daily despite your circumstances. In fact, it’s from those unbelievable, heart-wrenching, unwanted, uncomfortable, and downright unfair trials of life that our God shines, and allows that same shine on you and through you for the world to see allowing you to grow and glow at the same time. He’s that GOOD! And the icing on the proverbial triple chocolate, seven-layer, mega-moist, and surprisingly low-calorie cake is that you don’t have to wait for the pain or the process to be over before you live. You can can live life as if it were its BEST even on its way to becoming just that.

@AngelaMichele316

Work is Not Your World

A recent conversation with a loved one sharing work challenges (i.e. inter-office drama) called forth the simple statement “Work is not your world”. As I listened to the story and shared my spin those words rang true at that moment as they have for me so many times before, “Work is not your world.”

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One of the things which can disturb us like few is discord on the job. Whether it be being unappreciated, not being compensated properly, inequity in titles or treatment, being treated unfairly or viewed unfavorably, being overworked, not being heard or well-received, lack of support for advancement or plain ol’ mess with groups and/or individuals, a lot of us spend a LOT of time at work hopefully because something we do is something we love to do. To have drama in the midst of having to do what we researched on, applied for, interviewed for, prayed about, told our loved ones about, posted on, prepared for and committed to show up to do is a bummer, a real bummer.

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The good news is, “work is not your world.” It’s as simple as that. Yes, the environment might be uncomfortable. Yes, the people might be “interesting”. Yes, people might be paid more than you for less work than you do. Yes, you might have envisioned yourself being further along or somewhere else way before this point in time. Yes, your boss might be totally wrong in his/her actions. Yes, systems might not be in place which need to be. Yes. Yes. Yes to all of that which might be going on, BUT “work is not your world.”  So with that said:

  • Pray before you go to work, while there and when you leave.
    • Place your “challenges and challengers” at the top of the list in a sincere, God-approved way, of course.
  • Do your best, especially in times of challenge.
    • There is never a good time for slacking, but when trouble is brewing is certainly not the time as you want to maintain your excellence and perception of excellence at all times (in other words, don’t give your challengers or challenges any proof that they were right.)
  • Get a life…outside of work.
    • Be sociable, but don’t find all your friends at work. Don’t put all of your eggs in the proverbial job basket.
  • Learn all you can about what to do and what not to do in leadership while there.
  • Avoid the water cooler or coffeepot talk about the negative things going on as to not let it further frustrate you.
  • Don’t get caught up in the unprofessional actions or reactions of others.
  • Ask God why you are still there and be open to the wonderful reasons why even if they don’t feel like it.
  • Go home when it’s time and leave work where it belongs.
  • When challenged by situations revolving around co-workers or work-related scenarios think of your loved ones and who and what really matters.
  • And MOST IMPORTANTLY….
    • Do not, I repeat. Do not ever forget that your job is just a resource. There’s a Source so much bigger than your 9am to 5pm, 11pm to7am or 4am to 4pm. God’s got you! He knows what He’s doing, why He’s doing it, what He’s allowing, how it’s working for your good and when He’s going to move you up, move you out or move you right on up out of there.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Am I Being Punked?

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Have you ever had one of those pop-up periods in life where life makes you desperately ask one of four questions:

  1. What in the world is going on?
  2. God, do you see what’s happening?
  3. God, when are you going to stop what’s happening?
  4. Am I being punked?

A series of conversations with a co-worker confirmed that sometimes in life life will make you ask one, all four or even more questions as things jump off seemingly out of nowhere, problems pop up seemingly with a vengeance, people change seemingly for no reason, circumstances stack up seemingly with no end, challenging posts, emails and unexpected text messages flood you seemingly with no stopping and tomfoolery or its close cousin confusion seemingly reign supreme.

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So the question may be asked in a dire plea for relief or comic relief, “Am I being punked?”. I don’t think that we are necessarily being punked. I’d like to hold on for dear life like a screaming child on a high-flying, fast-paced roller coaster that we are being prepared. Prepared for what you might ask? I haven’t a clue, darling. But at the rate of the madness some of us are facing whatever is coming must be pretty darn fantabulous!

@angelammoore316