The Gifts of 50

On March 16, 2022, I’m officially in the Fab50 Club. I’d always wondered what I would be like at 50 and dreaded the thought for years until I had an epiphany around age 40. I was thinking of things I’ve learned along the way at different stages in life and lessons I can hear the little girl, young lady and semi-grown woman speaking back to me. While most of these memories didn’t feel like it at the time, I consider them gifts.

I’m grateful for the gifts of invaluable lessons 50 has sprinkled through my life.

Age 5+ Naptime is a privilege. It’s truly the snooze you can use!

Age 10+ Thank God for the biggest conflicts in your life being who would hold the “Double Dutch” rope and which “Candy Lady” had the best bee-bops. They call you skinny now, but it won’t be that way always. Relish in it, girl. Relish.

Age 15+ You are not grown enough for love. This is especially true since you had to drag a 50-feet phone cord to sneak and talk past 10pm and most of your “romantic” memories involve getting a high school “Candy Gram”, trips to Checkers and Quincy’s, hanging at George Ward, Eastlake and Bessie Estell Park, and lots and lots of tears. Devasting heartache is on the way. But hearts heal. Yours will eventually too. So know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 20+ You should have been studying more. The Citizen Club (your club of choice) is gone and so are your chances at a high GPA. You should have been diving into those books a bit more than scrubbing the ground and oogling over boys in crimson and white.  It’s all good though. God had plans and people in place to get you to where He meant you to be all along. (On another note, GIRL, the ones you didn’t want were the ones you needed. And it’s okay to put on a few more clothes…ijs!) And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 25+ Make the most out of connections. God granted you wonderful opportunities to meet amazing people from all walks of life. At this age, you’d interviewed stars, worked for an up-and-coming star and rubbed elbows with influential people from all around the country. Never pull the plug on people meant to be prominent in your life. You made some dumb mistakes. No sweat. You’ll use them to your advantage soon. On another note, crying won’t make the wrong ones come back, but it will make you have bags under your eyes, and by the time they try to come back (and they will) it won’t matter. Dry up those tears girl! Know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 30+ Always be on guard and ready to defend your destiny. Whether it’s your health, finances, personal life, or calling, stay ready to (spiritually) rumble and look remarkable while doing it then teach other women how to do the same. Stick to God like Elmer’s glue! Cherish friends and look for the angels on earth each chance you get. You’re gonna need them sooner than you think. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 35+ Change is good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Look for God in everything, even if it doesn’t make sense. Put your pain to work. It cost you enough, you might as well make it pay restitution. Share what you know. Learn to laugh again. Open your mouth and speak.  Stay positive. Put God and family first. Be grateful. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 40+ Starting over stinks but you’ll come out smelling like the Botanical Gardens. Unexpected blows will be thrown to knock you off your feet, but you are a certified winner. God has stacked your deck with some heavy-hitters in the field of family and friends. Let them love you and help you. The sun is getting ready to shine again. Don’t run from it afraid it will burn you. Instead bask in it and soak it all in. And learn to relax and not take things or yourself so seriously. And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 45+ Get off the bench and be who you were created to be. Just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck. You thought God had forgotten about you. Nah. Impossible. You thought it was too late for you. Nope. Not so. Everything isn’t perfect. In fact, nothing is. Many hurdles you’d already jumped will challenge you to a rematch. But just like all the times before over the course of your life, you’re already victorious. It’s just up to you to stay in the game and practice your victory dance. (Which, by the way, you can’t dance anymore. I guess the Lord knew you might use it for evil and not goo…LOL. Bless your two-stepping heart.) And know that EVERYTHING, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING will be alright.

Angela Abdur-Rasheed

PS…Age 50+ Come on in here and behave. Act like we’re best friends and be extra, extra good to me.

Farewell, 44!

One week from today I turn the BIG 4-5. Woohoo!!!! I’m looking forward to it and all that it has in store, especially with 44 being a year to remember in every way possible.

I don’t know about you, but my idea of 45 based on 45-year-olds I saw growing up was nothing like my life now. Call me childishly misinformed, but based on some examples of the women I saw on TV like Florida from Good Times or Mable from What’s Happening, or like some I observed in different places (none of which were related to me by birth I might add) I would always think of some women 45 and older as tired all of the time, out of touch with modern times, wearing wrinkle at the ankle stockings, going to work, going to church, taking care of home and that’s all, possibly with a cigarette dangling at the end of a trembling lip because hopelessness and “this is as good as it will get” had set in. I remember seeing women with worlds which appeared to be entirely defined by their husband or lack thereof, their children, their job, or their role in the church or not so much on them as a woman.


I know now that not all women were that way. For that, I am grateful. But I wondered, how do others see me, those younger, growing up and coming up behind me. I hope I share and they know enough about my past to see why I’m so life-set (not dead set) on enjoying my present. I hope they know that parts of my life, at least to me, have been tough as the dickens, but so am I. I hope they’ve seen a pep in my step even when my (far too many) medical issues tried to get the best of me. I hope they don’t see me as trying to dress young or not act my age, but know that I’m going to stay as fashionable and fresh as long as my body and budget allow. I hope they know I work really, really hard and take pride in caring for the ones I love, but I also purposefully plan vacations, girlfriend get-togethers, spa trips, naps, and self-centered escapes whenever possible.

When I turned 40 I felt I was grown. Turning 45 has me feeling like I’m for real, for real grown. With the approach of 45 comes an excitement and simultaneous sense of mystery regarding the future. I’m cool with that as long as I remember that I’ll always be a young as I feel, as wise as I ought to be, as strong as I need to be, as involved as I can be and as ALIVE as I should be. So farewell, 44! It’s been real, but it’s time to take life to the next level!

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Party on Pause

March 16th marks the BIG 44 for me. WooHoo!!!!!


This past year has been a blessing in disguise to say the least, as I’ve seen life happen at a jackrabbit’s pace, and still managed to come out of it with a smile on my face, a New Edition song in my heart and too many good days outweighing any not-so-good-right-now days.

With that said, birthdays are often major for me. I’m talking MAJOR! After all, a girl only turns whatever age she is turning once. So each year I’ve been fortunate enough to have multiple parties, too many cakes, lots of memories, great food and gifts galore. This year, however, is different, and surprisingly it’s my preference and I’m good. So I’ll pause for a moment to relish in the birthday blessings of years past. #grateful

I’ve decided to celebrate my March birthday in April. Yep, you read correctly. I’m putting my party on pause. There’s been so much going on that to take time to party seems to be a misuse of my time, plus I simply don’t have much time to offer up. Those 24 hours get zapped up like a mosquito in one of those outside bug zappers. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely plan on thanking God appropriately for another year, eating something blog-worth in honor of my special day, and accepting gifts as offered, but the biggest gift is seeing my daddy home from the hospital and on the road to healing, frantically gathering family and friends to pack my house to sell after being on the market for six WHOLE years, even more frantically searching the city (as in Alabaster, Hoover, Pelham and Helena) for a rental house within a certain small budget with a garage and at least two bedrooms in enough time to make my April sell date and starting a new part-time job so I can afford said new rental home. I got tired just typing all of that!


So as you can see, while my heart overflows with gratitude at the thought of 44 and all the AMAZING things it has in store, my plate overflows with things more pressing right now. I’m uber proud of the woman I’ve become. 34-year-old Angela would possibly have pouted on th einside at the thought of putting off partying. 24-year-old Angela would have gone into full-fledged “why me” mode. But not this sophisticated lady. I’m growing, and that is the best birthday present I can give to myself. So… Happy Birthday to me and see you in April with belated-birthday bells on and pictures as PROOF!!!!!


A Taste of Baltimore

A Taste of Baltimore

Recently I had a chance to visit Baltimore, Maryland to celebrate the birthday of a dear sister/friend. Braving the 17 degree temperature, and snow all around was no big deal, but no small feat for this southern girl born and bred. From Thursday to Sunday, as if we were high school teens again, we laughed until we cried, cried because we were actually crying, we celebrated each other, we caught up on things old and new, we posed for pictures, we had our faces made up, we enjoyed ah-mazing spa treatments and we ATE!!!! Boy, oh boy did we eat.

I won’t waste my mere words describing the delightful dishes we indulged in and engulfed from famous Baltimore spots like Shell’s 365 Deli where they specialize in a $5 meat and two which will make a southern grandma wave her flag in food defeat or Ships Café Restaurant and Crab House where the seafood is as hot, perfectly seasoned, abundant in portions and fresh as the staff is friendly. I wouldn’t whisper a peep about the hot, moist brownies which greeted us after completing our massages, facials and Blue Grotto mud baths at the Pearl Spa (Google it, honey!). I won’t tell you about how we visited the local P.F. Chang’s and literally ate a sampling of everything from land, air and sea. I won’t even mention the 12am late-night breakfast fest at Double T Diner where the portion of pork sausage was so large it would make Miss Piggy run for cover, or the Cinnabon trips which were right on time. And I certainly won’t tell you about ending our final meal at Fogo De Chao just near our East Harbor Marriott Hotel where we didn’t take many pictures of the food because, well, we (as in I) was embarrassed at how much meat (leg of lamb, lamb chops, chicken, sirloin steak, filet mignon, ribeye steak, and some other steaks) made its way to my mouth…over and over again.

What I will tell you is that we were blessed to be there and even more blessed to share this experience celebrating a true angel on earth, my sister Karla F.M. Reid Young.

Baltimore, I’ll be back and I’ll be ready for MORE when I return. #feedmeBaltiMORE