Guys.  My guys.  My peeps. 

I have been so busy. 

So busy – In such a good way.

First, I have been super busy at work, and I am so grateful for that. I would much rather be busy than bored, because let’s be honest – the day pokes when you are slow.

Secondly, I had the bright idea to take four classes over the summer.  What Is wrong with me?  A lot apparently… LOL.  My oldest son told me it was a bad idea.  Did I listen?  Nope.  Was he right?  Yep.  But, I am over halfway done now, so I am super grateful for that.

Third, I went on vacation.  It was amazing.  It was needed.  And it was nice to get out of town, get on a plane, and feel some normalcy post-covid.

Lastly, been launching a podcast, nbd.  How we launched this, I don’t know.  How we figured out how to do it, again, I don’t know.  But did it we have – and I am literally floored at the success.  And I want to thank every single person who has taken the time to Rate, review, and subscribe.  We launched in on Shaun’s death anniversary – in honor of him.

If you want to find the link and know a little more, hop over to my Facebook (feel free to add me!), but my page is also public, so feel free to read the posts and find more information there.

I will still be over here, though. Don’t you worry.  I just wanted to give you a little update.  And guys – be safe this weekend.  Don’t drink and drive.  Have a great cookout.  And enjoy your friends and family.  I can’t wait to do the same!  Love you guys!

You know what I hate? When people say – “choose happiness”. It’s not that simple, guru. You don’t know what I have went through. You don’t know they pain I have been subjected to. You don’t know my health struggles. So guess what? If I was capable of simply “choosing” happiness – I would do it! Right? I mean, I think I’m right. Am I right?

Of course I am – but I am also completely wrong.

Choosing happiness, doesn’t mean that you won’t have moments of sadness, anger, fear, dread, or embarrassment. I think, that choosing happiness means that you literally acknowledge those moments – and choose to move on from them. You know I am going to give personal examples, right?

I am going to talk about two separate friendships. One male. One female. And for about two to three years, I was close to both of them. Me and the female? Never had a real spat or disagreement. Me and the male? One disagreement, but we both moved on from it. Before the pandemic, I had lost touch with the girl. She literally ghosted. I still to this day don’t know what happened. I know she was going through a lot of personal things in her life, and maybe she chose to focus on that and only that. The guy, made a move during the pandemic. And during the pandemic – my life went into chaos. You all know. Freaking chaos. Not making excuses at all – just stating facts.

So, as far as the female goes – I don’t know, and I probably never will. And I hope all is okay. But there is nothing I can do about it. So, I see pics of us every now and then – and now I choose happiness. I choose to smile, and I am grateful for the fun times and laugher. And every time one pops up, I say a little prayer for her. I believe that she was doing the best she could at the time.

With the guy? It’s a little different. There were things I wanted to tell him, but I couldn’t. Things I wanted to confide, but I wasn’t sure how to. Things I was scared of – so I acted tough. I wasn’t a good friend to him. Not near as good of a friend to him as he was to me, looking back. But I also know, that at that time of my life, I was doing the best I could. I was fighting my own insecurities. My own demons. I am still so grateful for that friendship, though. I called him to apologize once, but no answer. He could have blocked me, his number could have changed, I don’t know. What I do know, is that I choose to look back at our fun moments, and be happy. I choose to pray for him often, and that he becomes brilliantly successful – because he is super talented! And I pray, that if our paths ever cross again, that God gives me the words so he can hear how grateful I actually am to have known him. Because I believe I was doing the best I could at the time.

Now, you may say to yourself, “Self! Those are a lot easier to choose happiness over – You don’t know my struggle, you don’t know what I’ve been through.” You are right. I don’t. And I am not saying that I choose happiness in each situation. I don’t. Not at first. But I get there. I had someone close to me steal from me. They literally stole my money from my account. It caused a big financial issue for me. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I dreamed of beating them about the neck and throat. But… I didn’t. And it took some time, but I am so glad that I am not filled with so much greed or irresponsibility – that I would put myself before others. Or feel like I had to steal to survive. You see, if she would have asked. I would have just given it to her – what I could. And then, I would have looked for help elsewhere. It hurt, yes. But I choose to be happy despite of that. I believe that she was doing the best she could at the time.

I’ve been cheated on. That sucks. Big time. I was big mad. But through therapy – I realized that cheating was a symptom of a bigger problem. We broke up, cause I couldn’t get past it. Now, I look back and smile. And I am actually friends with him and we have seen each other a lot since then. He is married – has two beautiful daughters, and is a great husband and daddy. He has apologized for it – and although that was tough and it hurt, it was his issue – not mine. So I choose to be happy for the fun memories, and happy that he is happy and such a good person to his family! And again, I believe he was doing the best he could at the time.

I found my husband dead. That was tragic. And scary. I mourned. I grieved. But I found happiness. I am happy that he is in heaven. I am happy that I got to bear witness to himself turning his life around. But his death taught me something. Live well today. Forgive, today. Don’t go to bed angry. I think that’s why so many people struggle, because they forget that this is all we have. This life, this moment is the only guarantee we have because tomorrow the doctor may tell us we only have a few weeks to live. Tomorrow, a drunk driver can kill us. Tomorrow, our world could end. But TODAY at this moment, we are alive, and if we really believe that we are going to die, how much better can we live today? We can live so much better. When we really hold onto the truth that life isn’t going to go on forever, we can believe it and savor every moment. I think this is the gift of death. Death can remind us to live well today. When we forget, we struggle. When we forget, we hang onto fears and anxieties, hopes that preclude us from living here and now well. The one thing that is guaranteed is that this life on planet Earth will end. If you knew, that tomorrow could be your last I bet you would behave differently, I know I would.

Again, I am not some saint. I am not some perfect guru. (See Facebook video from a month or so ago, the mimicked Britney 2007). My page is public, feel free to go watch. And no, I haven’t taken it down, because that is part of my story. No need to delete, and it reminds me that I am growing everyday – because I have yet to physically assault the said insult thrower. (Yet, keep praying for me ya’ll, cause I wanna. I wanna hit her hard.) But I am growing everyday. Speaking of that – “Hey girl, you are probably reading this – I appreciate all the hits. It really helps me in search engines. But FYI, posts about my husband who passed away, and my son – should be off limits. Those weren’t a “crazy lady” – those were broken hearted. Girl, choose kindness and quit being a gossip and spreading false info. Grow up – I mean, you are literally an adult – I’m an adult – and you are older than me! Quit making kids uncomfortable. Quit hurting people – because you are hurt. Think of the dangers of your mouth. And remember, you with all of your claims of loving Jesus – You are gonna have to stand before him one day for this. He knows about your gossiping. He knows that you gossip to give yourself an elevated sense of importance, because you feel unheard. He knows what you do, why you do it, what you say with your lips, and what you do with your heart. Don’t ruin your testimony. Find happiness in your day today. Like I am doing. Feel free to send this one to your friends, too. And, I forgive you – albeit I am still angry by it. Feel free to contact me. I am willing to talk. You don’t have to mock my writing looking at insights to my soul. You can ask. This is really who I am. That’s the difference between us. What you see is what you get.

So again kids, be happy. Choose it – even if you feel like you can’t. And if you can’t in that moment – maybe you can in an hour. A day. But one day – choose it. Don’t waste your days with resentment and hatred, we only have a few – and they will never be enough. And be grateful. I am loved. My kids treat me like a princess. My parents are hilarious. I am on a waitlist for a puppy. And my gel main/pedi is still fly, three weeks later.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Of course, something stems me, and I write a blog.

I was made fun of. I cried – hard – after I saw this woman make fun of me.  She made fun of something she assumed I wrote. She made fun of my face. What affected me the most? Making fun of my face.  I’ll tell you why.  One, I am confidant in my writing and my skills.  That’s math.  Numbers don’t lie This week, my blog was read in 15 different countries, and in 41 states. This year? It was 54 countries and all 50 states. United States #1 – England #2 – Australia and New Zealand tied for #3.  Another place that my blog is read and followed a lot? Nepal.  So crazy.  

Two, I am transparent.  My Facebook page is public.  I hide nothing.  So everyone can come and see what they want to see. Of course, I use filters.  I also retouch.  I get pimples.  I get dark circles. I never hide that.  I’ve seen this woman numerous times in real life. Her profile pic is beautiful. It is also retouched.  And why in the world would you not put the best photo of yourself out there.  Be clear – I am not throwing shade.  I am saying if you like your pic filtered and it makes you feel better? Filter it!  I often say, publicly – that my makeup routine mimics that of a successful drag queen.  And I love it.  I also love my face scrubbed and clean. ? There are a ton of photos out there of me with no filters and no makeup. Again.  My Facebook page is public.  I don’t hide a thing about my appearance.

Another transparent moment? I hate the fact that I don’t have eyebrows or eyelashes.  I hate it.

But I was called ugly.  That I filter my pics.  I was told that I write on a third-grade level. The third-grade level comment didn’t phase me.  One – that is just false.  If she isn’t capable of reading it – that’s on her – but I have been published numerous times, (twice in two scientific journals), along with this blog-so that part didn’t hurt me.  That’s like telling Pavarotti he can’t sing.  You might not like it, but that does not mean that he isn’t talented.

But I am self-conscious of my face.  I have clear eyebrows and they are few.  I also do not have eyelashes.  After I had chemo, they never came back in.  So yeah, that hurt me because she literally took the one thing that I can’t do anything about – the thing that I can’t help – and made fun of me for it.  To be fair, she probably didn’t know that I had cancer.  But key point – you never know – so don’t be mean. Below is a slide show, click through. Two filtered. Rest unfiltered. All on Facebook or the blog. Scroll down though guys, there’s more.

All of this done, by a woman that I had done nothing to but been kind.  And why? Because I won’t crucify or slam someone.  I am made fun of – because I give grace.  I am made fun of – because I will not girl gang up.  There were so many other assumptions, that were completely wrong.  It was gossip.  Literally it said, “I can’t confirm” – well if you can’t confirm, you shouldn’t be speaking. If you want to know – you can email me. Call me.  I will tell you everything. And let me tell you something – it was so apparent that this woman had focused so long on my life, and trying to figure it out, it blows my mind.

And in the big scheme of things, by her being a “mean girl” – she literally helped me more than she can ever know.  The outpouring of love and support was huge. I have a great group of women that are around me and build me up every day. But this went way beyond that.  I knew that Michelle, Tamara, Rachel, Crystal, and Jenn – those girls got my back.  This was over 300 – READ THAT – 300 PEOPLE.  Over three hundred people took the time to comment, text, or dm me.  I am so grateful.  So freaking grateful.  

Unfortunately, through her selfish comments – she hurt a few people. But the ones she intended to hurt, she actually lifted. Funny how that works.

Now, lets get down to what I want to say. This woman speaks Christianity.  Offers prayers for others. She does not look like me.  She does not talk like me. She just does not.  But please do not judge a book by it’s cover.

I have bleach blonde hair.  Sometimes it has looked like a rainbow. I have tattoos.  My clothing style is just that – MY STYLE.  I like what I like and how I like it. I know people talk about the way I dress.  Talk about my hair.  Ask anyone who has ever been out with me in public, every single time, this is said, “I love your hair”,  “I wish I had the courage to do that”, or “You look like Pink!”  This past weekend, I literally had a guy run up to me, because he got excited because he thought I was.  And I love Jesus. Why? Because I have made mistakes, and I have been given grace.  I have not known how I would function the next day, and he got me up.  Jesus is the one who got me here today. Jesus is the one who has taught me radical grace, and radical non-judgement. And my number one goal, it create a life, and a story – of just that.

I promise, I will never judge you.  I will always be a shoulder to cry on.  I will call you out on your trash.  And I accept being called out on mine.  And I will grow and learn from it.  But my only request, is that people need to be more accepting. People need to be more accepting of others growing and learning from their mistakes.

It’s one thing to call people out on their crap, but once they accept it and begin to learn and grow from it – you we need to be accepting and lift them up. So right now – publicly – I am calling her out on her crap.  And at the same time, I want to lift her up.  I believe she is better than this.  Maybe she doesn’t have enough friends.  Maybe she was excited to be involved in gossip.  I don’t know.

I have all the photos of the messages. And it being Facebook, it shows the name, and the profile pic. I could post it.  I could send it to her employer. I could say this is the way this person talks about parents and people she whom she does not know.  I could cause pain and hurt in her community.  Complete shock in her community. 

But I won’t.  Why? I don’t want to ruin her testimony to others – the way she ruined her testimony to me.  I do not want her family to be hurt by my actions, the way she hurt mine.  I don’t want to ruin her reputation.  And the meanness, just would.  Six people (besides myself) – 5 who know her and one who doesn’t – has seen the messages. (Well seven, but I don’t know that person).  The five who knew her – were floored.  Floored. Michelle, the interceptor, was shocked.

So as a person who loves Jesus.

I don’t team hate.  Ever.  I listen to people.  You want to know why? I have been on the other end of mean girls over and over.  You don’t know what someone has been through.  You do not.   In the past few months – I have been called so many horrible names. Made fun of. Had my intelligence insulted. And every night, I go to bed with peace. Because I know I have loved as I am called to love, I have given as I have been called to give. I have been real. I have been factual. And I have been transparent. I have never been a victim of my own choices, I have championed all my mistakes into growth.

That doesn’t mean, that I don’t want to punch some people in the face. It doesn’t mean, that I don’t struggle with literally posting everything and I have, and say let’s go.

What that means though, is that I won’t.

Romans 12:19 says, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

So, today I choose happiness. I choose productivity. I choose to love people and lift them up they way they did for me. I choose love. I choose peace. And I choose prayer for those who hurt me. I added some more stuff for you to see, some texts and dm’s from some amazing people. Let’s find the positive in the negative.

And to tie in the title and image? Google that crow.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/05/27/the-oddly-sweet-story-of-a-crow-that-stole-a-knife-from-a-crime-scene/ He meddled in a murder scene.

Don’t be that guy. LOL!

Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

I am going to be real transparent here.  I have never “unfriended” anyone.  I have blocked them. Of those I have blocked, I only personally knew five of them.  When I get super weird requests, inappropriate messages, etc. – that equals a block.  The only people I have blocked that I have known, were toxic to me in one way or another.  Not saying they are all bad people, because to be honest, they aren’t.  Three of the five, mentally put me in a dark spot.  Not of their fault – just of that time in my life. Two of the five?  Yeah, kinda garbage in my opinion.

You know why I titled this I wish it was Nov. 16, 2009? Because it was Nov. 17, 2009 – when the word “unfriend” was added to the New Oxford American Dictionary. Unfriend is a sad word. To me, anyways.

That being said, I have been unfriended – and I was unfriended recently.  The second I realized it, I reached out.  I am never confrontational or opinionated on social media, to be honest I am quite vanilla.  So when I saw that I was unfriended, I was concerned.  I never want to hurt anyone, and if I do, I want to apologize.  So, I reached out.   

I sent a message letting her know I noticed and asking if I had done something to upset her.  What I received back was a “No, I just have unfriended people that I haven’t talked to in awhile.”   Whether that is true or not, is between her and Jesus.   But, I did the right thing for me.  And now I move on.

Here is why I am writing this.  I am sensitive. But the last “unfriending” I went through, made me think. First, my feelings were hurt. We wouldn’t walk up to someone we know and just slap them, right? When I realized I was unfriended, it stung.  Then I thought about it again.  All relationships evolve.  Some grow into beautiful and lasting connections, some end.  This one ended.  I trust that it evolved into what it was meant to be. She was right, we hadn’t talked in a while.  Why?  Because as we say in Tennessee, “I have nothing against her, I just don’t have anything to say to her.”  I wish her well.  I hope she has a lifetime of happiness and success. 

And that was just my personal example. I am sure you all have yours, too.  If you really think about it, you can get unfriended for a million reasons. We live in a society where people throw other people away for something so small. Many people also feel powerful on social media.  You know, the keyboard warriors. Keyboard courage allows us to behave in ways we would never behave to people’s faces. Can you imagine going up to someone and telling them you do not want to see their guinea pig photos anymore so you are not going to be their friend anymore? Sounds hilarious when you think about it.

And to close this out, I advise you all – be politely discreet.  I hide nothing, but I also don’t broadcast everything.  My personal and familial relationships matter more to me than anything.  So I keep a hedge of protection around those things.  I do this, so this garbage doesn’t get into my home.  Social media is a great tool, use it as a tool.   

And if you haven’t read  The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, I strongly suggest you do.  One of the four agreements is :

“Don’t take things personally. “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

So chin up buttercup, and keep being the awesome person you are.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Everyone is talking about how terrible this year was. And I will say, there were times my heart felt like it would fall out of my chest. Times where I couldn’t stop tears from flowing. And times where I felt like I was failing every time I turned around.

On the other hand, there has been some amazing things that have happened in 2020. AMAZING. So I decided that instead of discussing the negatives, I am going to write what I accomplished and learned in 2020, and maybe you can do the same.

  1. In 2020, I read (well listened to, thanks to Audible) 28 books. By doing this, I cut down my tv time a lot, and I learned a great deal!
  2. I have learned that I have to quiet myself, and recognize how magnificent it is to be alive. And be grateful in each individual moment. And when things happen, I know I can go back to the moment I am in, and I am surviving.
  3. I was blessed to be able to stay employed, and able to pay some bills off – and also my Jeep! It was such a great feeling to see that title!!
  4. I learned forgiveness. Forgiveness of myself, and forgiveness of others. Forgiveness is not condoning. Forgiveness is not ignoring the pain you inflicted on yourself or others. Forgiveness is freeing yourself and others, from that pain.
  5. I have learned to play. I have intentional playtime. Whether it’s a day at Disney, or walking through the neighborhood and laughing, I make intentional time to play with my kids and my guy.
  6. I am a very Type A personality. If you aren’t familiar, a type A personality is defined as “A personality which is characterized by a constant feeling of working against the clock and a strong sense of competitiveness. Individuals with a Type A personality generally experience a higher stress level, hate failure and find it difficult to stop working, even when they have achieved their goals.” Guilty. And I want to add to that, have a hard time asking for help. Well, this year – I allowed help from everyone. My kids, my guy, my co-workers. And as much as I love helping them, they were excited to be able to return the favor. I am not a person who needs someone to take care of me. Not the way I am wired. But it is so nice to be comfortable enough to allow someone to help carry the load at times.
  7. I changed my hairstyle. And I am letting it grow. Because I am ready to do so. (Don’t get it twisted, it won’t super long, just not a shaved mohawk.)
  8. I have successfully had a date each week since about June/July. Whether it was a walk around the neighborhood, or a trip to the beach for a day – we made each other a priority.
  9. I went back to school. Full-time. 4 classes. 12 credit hours. GPA? 4.0 – Not to toot my own horn, but “Beep! Beep!”
  10. I learned I love to decorate other people’s spaces – and do it as cheaply as possible. It is so exciting!
  11. I kept my kids alive. LOL! I mean honestly, especially with my little guy – that sometimes seems to be feat.
  12. I learned to vocalize gratitude. It’s good to tell others that you love them, appreciate them, and want to spend time with them.
  13. And then, my actual kids – not just my mad skills of keeping them alive. I am so proud of the people that have become. I am talking about them as people. I am proud of their souls. My oldest is comedic, always joking – and always wanting to make people feel included. Just like his momma, he can get heartbroken easily by folks, but he will try to laugh and act like he’s okay. He is kind, and will help anyone if they need it. Then my daughter. She is a little ball of fire. She is so sweet and kind, and really cares about everyone feeling included and loved, too. She prides herself on her customer service skills – and if I wrote about her and didn’t mention Publix – she might disown me as her mother. She loves her job at Publix, and she is such a hard little worker and talented artist. Then there’s Jacoby. He is forgiving, but he will fight somebody. He gets that from his momma. He is ready to fight – because he is fiercely loyal. And I admire his loyalty. He also speaks his truths. If he thinks you are wrong, he will politely disagree. And he has never met a stranger – this boy has personality for days. So what I am saying, it isn’t “stuff” that they have done, to make me proud. It is their character and personality that makes me proud to call them mine.

So, to me? Twenty/20 was good year. With a lot to be proud of. A lot to feel good about. Sure there was some bad moments, but here we are still breathing. Still here. And the worst moments? Well, they made us so much stronger.

That’s a wrap!

And if you made some mistakes this year? Well, never be a prisoner of your past – it was a lesson. Not a life sentence without parole. And if I wronged you in someway this year? I am sorry. Deeply sorry. And if you wronged me? It’s done, forgotten, and forgiven. I hope you have nothing but success and joy in your life (albeit, I hope we can both have happy lives and not run into me ever again, LOL! I forgive you, but I am not crazy nor a glutton for punishment). I’m Woke, Not Weak.

And if you wanna share this? Please do. It helps me out when a blog is shared. I hope you enjoyed it, It made you smile, and I can’t wait to see your list!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I know. I know. It sounds rude, and pessimistic. Well, today I feel a little rude. I’m kidding. I don’t really feel rude, but I do feel anxious. So as I was talking this morning, I figured out why. Thanksgiving is coming. Three days away.

People love holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Those rack up a lot of points when I ask what is everyone’s favorite. And I love decorating for Christmas, and Valentine’s has adorable hearts – and Thanksgiving, well who doesn’t like to be with the ones they love the most, and have a great meal?!?

Let me roll call this for you in my perspective. Valentine’s Day this past year was good. And it was the first one and I am 43. I am not saying the rest were terrible and heart breaking. But this was the first one, that was good. It has been a day in the past where I hoped to feel special, but was let down. Where I tried to make others feel special, and they didn’t care. So, for years, I chose to just scoff at it and not acknowledge it. Lame, but survival mode kids.

Christmas. I still look forward to it. But often times, the desire to give my kids the best Christmas and make sure that they had all their little hearts desire, stressed me out. I felt like they were so good, and didn’t ask for much, I wanted to make their day magical, just like my parents did for me. So, it gave me so much anxiety, but it always worked out. But still, Christmas gives me some pangs of anxiousness.

Thanksgiving. We all want to be with those we love right? Enjoy a great meal? Sure we do! But this year, due to Covid, I won’t get to be with my mom and dad. Not to mention, when you are a split household, there is stuff that goes along with that too. So thanksgiving, isn’t traditional at all. To avoid anxiety? I order it. You heard me right. I order my thanksgiving meal from Publix. Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious. The kids love it. But for years, It was me and the kids for thanksgiving. That’s a lot of work for 4, especially when the kids are picky. And not to mention, when you are dating someone that has a child also, you have to take their traditions into considerations, their timescales – so guess what – Thanksgiving day might be Cinco De Mayo – you gotta be flexible, even when you want to be selfish.

Maybe it’s one of the reasons I love Halloween. Halloween is just fun. You can celebrate with kids, or without. You can do it with your friends. You can do it alone. Just sit outside with a big bowl of candy. Costumes and candy never let you down!

So right now, I am glad to know, that this time next week, thanksgiving will be done. And I am going to be honest, I don’t need thanksgiving to be thankful. What I need, is exactly what I had yesterday. Yesterday, I was cared for so well, and so sweetly, and for that – I am thankful.

Another pro tip – do something fun. Saturday, I felt frumpy. I hated my hair, and felt the blues – dreading the holiday, missing my parents, etc. So what did I do? I got my hair cut and colored. And I did a blueish -silverish color, that I love. I did something fun. It put a big smile on my face. And to be honest, my kids love it, my fella loves it – what more can you ask for. I love the fact, that my people love me enough, to love me how I am. And you know what feeling good makes you do? Eat better. Exercise more. Put on your make-up in ways that would make the best drag queens envious. Get out there and slay it.

“So, Listen up here’s the story… About a little guy that lived in a blue world..”

So, this Thanksgiving, if you dread it or feel sad, be glad that Friday isn’t Thanksgiving. If you are looking forward to it – cherish it and have a fantastic time! What I am saying, is make the best of each situation, but don’t beat yourself up, if you catch yourself in a struggle. Give yourself some grace, but in turn, give grace to those around you.

Is there a holiday that you love or hate? How do you cope?

Kids, make good choices. Have a great day. And most importantly…

Love Fully. Live Fully. And Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Not original, I know.  But for me, 2020 has been that year.  The year to wake up.

Everyone keeps talking about how excited they are for 2020 to be over.  And to be honest, 2020 has been tough.  I agree.  Covid-19, politics, everything in the world got cancelled.  It has not only been annoying and scary – it has been inconvenient and stressful.  Along with a lot more adjectives I could throw in there.

I had plans.  I was going to New York. Chicago.  I was going to see Hamilton.  I also was gonna see Lizzo in concert.  I did none of those things.  

Here is what I did do.

I have had deep and heartfelt conversations. And have become a better person because of it. I have learned forgiveness. For myself and others.

I’ve hung out with the people most important to me. 

I realized that I work with a bunch of folks, who do what it takes to keep our company opened – even when there are companies shutting every time I turn around. I always loved my job, and the folks I worked for – I loved it more after this.

2020 has taught me a lot though.  A lot that I am acting on.  A lot that I am changing.  And a lot that I realize that I am doing just fine with.

There were things that I always wanted to do – but I was lazy.  Things I wanted to do and see around here.  In Orlando.  But, I always had a reason to put it off.  Not now.  No way. No how. 

I have been to Epcot.  Animal Kingdom. Orlando Eye.  I have went on amazing walks.  I have stayed in and watched movies – that I always said I wanted to see. And for transparency, I have watched even more that I didn’t want to see…LOL! But the company made it completely worth it.

 I have danced.  I have laughed. 

I have calmed down. 

I have realized that any problem can be solved through conversation.  I have realized that I love being with my people, and sometimes that can just be sitting together quietly.  Sometimes it’s a walk.

And to be honest, a lot of the stuff that I used to get angry over – just doesn’t matter. 

I am intentional with my time, where I hadn’t been before.  I enrolled in college (got straight A’s, btw).

Listen, there were parts of my life that weren’t working before.  I see that now, and I am fixing it.  I have thought about what I want my life to look like, and I am working to make it that way. 

Hang on, my friends.  74 days left in 2020.  What have you learned this year that’s positive?  That you are gonna carry into 2020?

Wanna see pics from 2020 lessons? Follow me on Instagram @kristiegreenberg

Love Fully.  Live Fully.  Shine On.

Sat Nam.

Forty-three. Shocks me to even say it. I don’t feel it. Not even close to it.

But, I am every minute of it. So, I’ve been busy, and sick – so I haven’t written for a couple weeks. I figured, what a better day to write than my birthday!?!

So where am I at 43? How do I feel? Well, I am stepping into this year feeling loved, cherished, supported, grounded, and grateful. From Covid, to acquaintances, to friendships, to motherhood – this year was tough. It brought me out stronger than ever before.

I learned, that when you trust someone, your truths aren’t scary. I also learned, how forgiving I can be – when given the truth. I have learned that parenting is harder than anyone could think. Also that parenting is the best thing ever.

I learned I love evening walks, holding hands. I learned I love holding hands, actually.

I learned that jokes from my oldest son, are actually the funniest out there. His comedic timing is perfect. And I can’t even stand it.

I also learned, that when your child’s heartbreaks, so does the momma’s.

I learned that my daughter has a huge heart, and feels more than she ever lets on. She is so loving and kind. One day, she will be an amazing momma and wife if she chooses.

I learned that my little boy feels a lot, and hears even more. He expresses sadness through anger. That’s tough to parent, but so much easier when you recognize it.

I learned that parenting takes a village. All good villages have soldiers. I am the Colonel of the village. Try to attack my village, I will cut you. (#kiddingbutIamnot).

This is 43!

I learned I not to take on other people’s issues. I lost a friend this year, I’ve written about it before, and I still don’t know why. I have just decided – it was God protecting me from toxicity. And for that, I choose to be grateful.

I have decided, I will forever be, unapologetic about being me. I will not allow others to critique my hair, my body, my clothes, or frankly – anything else about me. If I want your opinion, I’ll ask and listen. Otherwise, stay in your lane. Unless… You are a some type of fashion icon – then maybe I’ll listen… But probably not. I like what I like.

I have learned how to let someone take care of me. I have learned how to lean on another. I have learned, not everyone will let you down. I have learned, that grown folks talk out differences. I have learned, that no one is perfect, myself included. I have learned, that mistakes can be forgiven, laughter is contagious, and peace is priceless.

So going into my 43rd year. I am happy. I am loved. I am grateful.

And for everyone who made my day so special, I love you all.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.

I have.

And it’s scary. You can be attacked in so many ways. Physically, Emotionally, Spiritually. Family can attack you. Friends can attack you. People you don’t even know or care to know.

Have you ever been called names?

I have. I have been called everything from fat to a whore. Sometimes the words hurt – sometimes they don’t. The day I got to where ‘name calling’ didn’t affect me, was this. There is a young lady that I have known since she was 5 years old. She is beautiful. Inside and out. And one day, during high school, she came home upset because some girls were being mean to her. (We all know how mean high school girls can be). We were talking on my porch, and she said through tears, “They called me fat!” We both burst out laughing. Why? Because there is nothing fat about this girl. She weighed about 85 lbs soaking wet and was around 5’4″ tall. Now? She might be 110 as a grown woman. But what I saw in that moment was childlike name calling. They called her fat – because they are insecure – about their body. So to them, calling someone fat was the worst insult – because it’s the worst to them.

So from that point on, name calling really hasn’t affected me, unless it was by someone I actually cared about. And that might have happened 10 times in 10 years or so. And five of them were by the same person… LOL! So, If you are called a whore, maybe they aren’t proud of themselves and actions they made, Fat – they have body issues, Ugly – they are insecure about their appearance.

I have my own insecurities, of course. But I what I don’t do, is project them on others. If you are a person who does that – stop and go to therapy. I used to do that, I hope not externally, but I am sure I did internally. I regret that.

Now, people who don’t know me – often say I am “scary and intimidating”. This makes me laugh, because for those who do know me – know that I am private, loyal, and caring. I will go above and beyond for anyone who needs help. I care too much about others at times, which is a reason I don’t let too many people into my life. Only those I trust. Now, you try to mess with my inner circle – don’t feel intimidated. Feel scared. That’s when it will get real.

Have you ever had someone try to force you to lose faith in a person, thinking that they could rock your world?

I have.

In all of my relationships, I create a safe space. With my kids, my family, my friends, all of them. I will never judge you. You can always tell me the truth, and it’s safe. Perfect example is my kids. I remember one day when my middle baby was acting weird in elementary school. She came home from school, and was awkward – but what fourth grader isn’t awkward? So- I didn’t say anything. Then, she came at me in tears, and told me she had messed up at school that day. She had an altercation with another kid on the playground and had spit on her and called her ‘stupid’. She felt guilty and didn’t know what to do. We talked about it, and we came to the conclusion that she should apologize the next day.

Fast forward two hours. Knock at the Door. And for those of you who know me in Fredericksburg – you know who this person was. And I hear this, “Do you know what your daughter did at school today?” I am definitely not thinking about this spitting/stupid thing, because I am a mom with other stuff going on. “What?” And she went off. Like an actual lunatic. Twice in my life I have had to shut the door in someone’s face. Because of crazy. That was the first time. I had to shut the door to protect my child. She didn’t need to hear the ugly that was happening. She just didn’t.

And let me tell you, when you sit in honesty and non-judgement of someone. You sit in the mirror – and choose to love people through their ugly. You will experience freedom and peace like never before. Threats mean nothing. Name-calling, means nothing. Because you work and create an honest environment. When she tried to put my child on blast, but I already knew – I just gazed in shock that she was actually at my home embarrassing herself. Self-righteously not knowing the other side. Believing – that she was right, and everyone else was wrong. And she even called me names. Who does that? Like for real?

Anyway, I say all that to say this one thing. Give grace to people that you love. Give them a safe place to talk and be authentic. Tell them all your ugly – and let them tell you theirs, and sit in non-judgement of that. I am so grateful that I do that with everyone that is involved in my life. Because when you do – it’s beautiful. Now, I am going to give you some basic advice for life.

  1. Make peace with your past, so it doesn’t affect your present or future.
  2. Time makes everything better. What hurts today will probably be less tomorrow.
  3. You aren’t going to know the answers to everything, and that’s okay. You will figure it out when you least expect it.
  4. What other people think about you – is not your concern. Who cares. You know you. That’s what matters. Make sure you are a person that you are proud of.
  5. Don’t compare your lives to other people – and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is about.
  6. Only you can control your happiness. No one else.
  7. Smile. The problems of the world are not all yours to own. And when you smile, it makes people wonder what you have been up to.

I am so happy in my life right now. I feel loved and important. I feel prioritized. My kids are hilarious and hard workers. My parents are the best. I mean, life isn’t easy – it never is, but goodness – life is amazing. I am so grateful for every single aspect of my life.

And what made me write all this? I encountered some crazy, to be honest. And have you ever encountered something so crazy, that you just sit back and breathe a big sigh of relief, that it isn’t your issue? And it makes you reflect, hug, kiss, and say extra gratitude prayers for all those you have? It made me grateful for proper upbringing, the way my family taught me to handle conflict, breeding, and class. It made me thankful for training, also. And for being with people that openly communicate and talk. One day, there is going to be a guide book on this – and I am going to co-author it. Because, we got this down.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine on.

Sat Nam.

So, I get quite a few messages asking me questions. So, I figured, I’d come through and answer some of them for you!

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? Brene’ Brown. I love her work. I think she’s hilarious. And it would be great conversation!

Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? I mean, maybe – but if so – rarely. Like maybe if I am calling a business or something? But still – probably not.

What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? I don’t know what a perfect day would look like. It would need to be with the people I love, and also productive. So either doing something that I could check off my bucketlist or being with those I love. So I guess, all my days are perfect days, at least in one way or another.

Are you afraid of dying? Since you have been through it? Well, I haven’t been through it – because I am here. I have experienced loss just like everyone else. But am I afraid of dying? Yes and no. I am not afraid of what it means to die. Like I know that I will go to heaven, and live with Christ. But I am so happy in my life right now, I am afraid of dying and not getting to experience my future. And, I am also afraid of how I could die, in a way. Like, I don’t want it to hurt. But, I think that’s pretty common.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful? This is going to sound so hokey – but right now – everything. I keep telling you people. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life right now. Ever. In my life. For real. So, I am grateful for love. And isn’t it crazy, that in this crappy year of 2020 – I am still the happiest I have ever been? I know. Amazing.

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it? Yes. I want to zipline in Costa Rica. I want to dance in Greece. Both require money and passports. Passport is in process – money, well – it’s in process too. Give me time. LOL!

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? I’m not going to say kids, because I don’t see my kids as an accomplishment – they have accomplished their own selves. Well, Jacoby is in process… LOL. But, maybe this blog? I don’t know. I am proud of everything I accomplish. From making dinner, to putting a smile on someone’s face. I cherish them all. So, I really can’t pick one.

What do you value most in a friendship? Honesty. Realness. Loyalty. Communication. Courage.

What roles do love and affection play in your life? Roles? I don’t know what that means, exactly. But it’s super important.

Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? Yes. I really do. I know that it is something to be grateful over. My life was made up of riding in wheelbarrows, running through the grass, building snowmen, waiting for the ice cream truck. My mom was a stay at home mom, and my dad was the breadwinner. They were both active in everything we did. I was loved. Cared for. And to this day – I speak to my parents almost every single day. I have stressed my parents out – I know it and I wish I hadn’t. But my goodness – they are the best ever and I am so grateful.

So. Now you know a little more about me! I hope you enjoyed it!

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.