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
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).
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.
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?
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.
Make peace with your past, so it doesn’t affect your present or future.
Time makes everything better. What hurts today will probably be less tomorrow.
You aren’t going to know the answers to everything, and that’s okay. You will figure it out when you least expect it.
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.
Don’t compare your lives to other people – and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is about.
Only you can control your happiness. No one else.
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.
As you may already know, I have three beautiful children on this planet. The youngest of which, is Jacoby. Let me tell you about Jacoby. He’s 10. He’s wild. He’s full of energy. And sass. Jacoby is one of the sweetest most loving people I have ever met. And he is definitely the hardest of my three to parent.
Our word of the quarantine is “boundaries”. Why boundaries, you ask? Because this little guy doesn’t know any.
He’s ten, and this little guy will walk into my bedroom like he owns it. He gets grounded from YouTube (yes, I grounded him from YouTube) – and I catch him watching it. I ask him why he was watching it when he knew he was grounded? “Because I was bored.” He is remorseful. He tells the truth when he is wrong. But in the moment – this kid does what he wants to do. And it’s maddening. It’s brutal. It makes me want to pull my hair out from the literal root.
I have yelled. Cried. Screamed. Prayed. Phoned a friend. And did it all again. And again.
I have now enlisted a checklist for him. What his expectations are morning, midday, and evening. We talk about personal space. We talk about earning privileges. We talk about what it means to have to wait. We talk about the law, the speed limit, rules, and why they exist. We talk about being a good human. And, exactly how that looks.
And, he seems to like the structure. Knowing what is expected. I actually took photos of his room – clean – and laminated them. So he can have a visual as to what it means. And I also added three times of exercise. No just playing outside. Intentional exercise.
We talked about him being an adult. Being a father. A husband. How he would have to take care of other people like mommy takes care of him. That you have to understand the biggest gift you can give is your respect and being trustworthy. Then, all things will fall into place.
So, do you struggle with this whole “I am a mom, teacher, breadwinner, care-taker, disciplinarian, and please don’t let my child turn into a felonious nightmare…. ” all while maintaining a good hair style, make-up on , clean house, etc. It can be a lot. But let me tell you – when I kiss that little guy good night, he is worth every single grey hair on my head. I mean, that’s what bleach is for , right?
So, Frank and I were talking this morning at work. And of course, we are talking about the virus because everyone is. Anyway – He told me that one his daughters saw some remove their mask, lick their finger, to then thumb through their money.
So, I ask this question to bring some smiles, some venting, and maybe some clarity on something if folks don’t know. What is the most “Covidiot” thing you have seen? Mine was probably this past Saturday. It was the first time I had been in the grocery since all this. But, I needed to pick some things up. I get stressed in crowds – and especially now. It skeezes me out. Well, anyway – I am going down the chip aisle. And literally – 8 people follow us down the same aisle. Feeling your breath on my back is not the definition of 6 feet.
The other? A woman in the same store, advising her children, we don’t need to wear a mask. “I’ll breathe whatever air I want. People need to protect me! ” Ummmm. Not exactly how that works, but okay. So tell me something you have seen – that just had you shaking your head.
Hi! Been a few weeks, I know. I’ve been busy. Don’t judge me.
Alot has happened. My position at work has shifted. My bestie moved into a new place. My kid went on a weekend trip. And, I went to IKEA. So, it’s a wonder you are getting a post at all. It’s shocking that I am not still in IKEA.
That being said, while I was at IKEA – I experienced panic. True panic. And not for the great deals – or sytlish swedish furniture with their fun names. Nope.
I thought my nine year old was kidnapped. Literally. Scariest 45 seconds of my life. And I’m a widow. And that was scarier.
I asked Jacoby to return the shopping cart to the cart corral, (because we aren’t lazy people who leave carts all over the parking lot. It was literally 10 feet from my jeep. I put the last bag in the car, I get in the car, and I don’t see him. Back out we go.
I yell for him.
I full on scream for him. To the top of my lungs.
I am now walking quickly, and then break into a full on run – yelling for him. And then I hear, “MOMMY?”
This boy, is walking out the front door of the store. He took the cart to the front door. You see, he didn’t see a way to get the cart off the sidewalk. So, while I was arranging the bag in the car, he walked by me to the front door. I never saw him. He returned the cart inside.
He thought I saw him. I thought he was kidnapped by a pedophile rapist. What I am saying is this.
You never know what a day will hold. I had a happy ending. But my goodness – it gave me that “lesson” that your whole life can be turned upside down in an instant.
A few weeks back, on my personal facebook page, I posted the below :
You wanna know why that’s funny? Cause it’s true. This new year, I have been quieter. Well, this whole holiday season, (see the last blog). But I was still here, reading, and lurking… LOL! And I saw a little bit of everything from folks. From “New Year, Same me” to “Almost time for the gym to get busy” to “Make New Year’s Resolutions- but not about your body!” (I really saw that one, too!) And all of this made me think, about my own take on the new year.
I like it. Is it just another day? Sure. But is it a block of time? It is. I also like the beginning of a football game. I am a huge Baltimore Ravens fan, and there was nothing I used to like anymore, than Ray Lewis coming onto the field and doing his chicken dance. I loved it. And why? Because you knew that the game was about to start. Race on. It’s my starting line.
I am a Virgo. Competitive by nature. So it was no shock to my own self when I realized I was making baby goals in my mind. And some were big and some were small. Then I was thinking about how to achieve them, and then it hit me. Like a ton of bricks.
Last year was a tough year for me – mentally and physically. I realized in late September/early October, there is a difference in being a doormat and standing up for yourself. I am so lucky that I have some amazing people around me – who supported me – and talked me through this – and even encouraged me. Now, although I am not comfortable with it, I am trying to do it more often. It isn’t my nature, you understand – my nature is to be a people pleaser. So often times, I shut up and take it. Just not to make waves.
Sis, that’s just ridiculous. I have learned that you can stand up for yourself without being a raging lunatic. You can say “Stop.” You can say, “I am not going to allow you to speak/treat/talk to me that way.” You can create boundaries. And you can forgive the whole time you are doing it. I am realizing that disagreements, along with standing up for yourself, doesn’t mean the person hates you – or that you are killing a relationship. It just means, you are saying, this doesn’t work for me.
I am not a ‘wave-maker’ now, but I am heard. There’s a difference. I feel like, I have a right to be heard, as do you. And we should be able to express ourselves, exactly like that. I also believe, that if someone is doing something good, we should be supportive, right? As humans, all doing this life thing together, we should be nicer. I literally just said, we should be nicer. Why, oh why, aren’t we nicer!?!?
Well, and there was my answer. In 2020 – and from this point on – I am going to work on being more consciously grateful. Consciously Kind. And also, maintain respect for myself. And if I can do that? Well, I would dare bet – a lot can change, right? And notice, I said that I am going to “work on it.” I might not do it great, I might have days where I fail miserably. But what I do know is this – I can always do a little better than I did they day before.
So, join me on this gratitude journey. Try everyday, to think of a few things that you are thankful for. Big or Small. Then write it down. And here’s the key- don’t make it the same three or four things. Because then it becomes reciting, not feeling and thinking about it. And I am making my own rule here, My top two – will never make the list – and I say that because consider it unspoken. I am thankful for God and my faith, and for my kids.
So, I will start us off.
Love. I am grateful for love. Being loved. Loving others.
Modern Medicine and Alternative Medicine. When you have some of the health issues, I have had – you learn to appreciate both.
Having my best friend. A tell all. Another human to do life with – that gets you without judgement.
Coffee. I love coffee. I love the habit of it – the way it starts my day off.
So, big things, little things, and things in between. Tell me, what are you grateful for? Maybe, I am taking something for granted, that I need to appreciate a little more!
August 5, 2019 we lost an amazing writer. Toni Morrison passed away at the age of 88. And to be honest – he words changed me in a lot of ways. Her words encouraged me to write
The first time I ever heard of Toni Morrison, was back in my college days. I took a class called “The Nobel Laureates of the NorthWest”. Well, my mind figured it would be about the winners in the Northwest United States. Nope, not exactly. Northwestern Hemisphere. Just a smidge larger.
Anyway, in this class, we were assigned to read 5 books from 5 Nobel Laureates. One of the books I chose, was Beloved by Toni Morrison. And I was hooked. (Fun Fact, that novel also won a Pulitzer Prize.) But the story, was just – entrancing. I couldn’t put it down. Sethe, the protagonist of the novel, will break your heart while standing in awe at her resilience. That’s all I will say so I don’t ruin it. Fast forward to yesterday.
I had a blog post written, and I pulled it down. Because I knew I wanted to write about Toni Morrison, and I wouldn’t have time to do it justice until late tonight. So, you are getting it a day late. Sorry about that. But today, I got a blog notification from Brene Brown, and she was talking about Toni Morrison. (If you aren’t aware, this is just further proof that Brene Brown and I are supposed to BFFs… LOL!) Well, she was talking about how much she loved her also, and she brought up an Oprah interview. Of course, I google it – and I watch it. Below is from Brene’s blog, quoting Toni Morrison. I just can’t word it any clearer.
She asked, “Does your face light up?” She explained, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?” Her advice was simple, but paradigm-shifting for me. She said: “Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”
Boom. Wow. Quake. Think about that. And I thought about all the times that I have pulled into the garage, and little feet come running out the door excited to see me – and what do I say? “GET IN THE HOUSE! WHAT IF I HADN’T SEEN YOU AND HAD HIT YOU!?” Little feet scurry back inside. Ugh. I would give anything to turn back time to those moments and change it. All I can do, is apologize now – explain why – and try to change it. They are my whole heart. I never want them to think for a second that I don’t want to see them. I can’t let fear, bad moods, sickness or anything else – come between them knowing that they have a strong and powerful purpose.
Take it one step farther. Your boyfriend or girlfriend. Husband or wife. Parents. Does your face light up when you see them? If you hadn’t seen them for a month, would it be any different? A year? If you thought you would never see them again, but you got another chance? Listen. I ain’t judging, cause I am going to tell you the truth. For YEARS of my life, my modus operandi was this – If I liked a boy, I played it cool. If I was excited to see him, I played it cool. Don’t show that you are happy or excited. That will make you weak. Then they have the upper hand. And apparently everything in my life was some type of crazy display of power.
Until the day I decided that I just don’t care. If I am happy to see you – I am going to hug you and show it. Simple as that.
So today, take a second, and look lovingly at your kids. Really, do it to anyone you love. But hey, they are little. Start there. And read a book. Or get on Audible.
I know, a lot of parents get excited for back to school. They look forward to the structure, the schedule, the whole nine. Not me, though. I really hate it. I felt this way when I was a stay-at-home mom, and also as a full-time working mom.
For me, it seems as if the school years fly by. Once the it’s August, in a blink-it’s Christmas. After Christmas – end of another school year.
One of my kids has graduated. One will be a junior. And my little guy is going to be in fourth grade. Funny enough, the all get along. I am going to miss hearing them laugh. I am going to miss seeing them all pile out of my oldest’s car because they took a trip to Twistee Treat. I am gonna miss the ‘no structure’.
Granted, I do have a hippie vibe, agreed. That being said, I am also quite structured for myself. I like things tidy and orderly. It calms me. But I love the chaos and mess the summer brings. You wanna know how many times there were tears this summer? Maybe 20. Divide that by three kids – that’s a good number. You wanna know how many times there were tears during the school year? Probably 25,134. From over-tired, to not understanding homework, to mommy not understanding homework, kids being mean, my kids being mean – you name it. Tears. I love the peace that the summer brings. The laughing. I love it.
I guess, I am sad over knowing, that soon – way too soon for me – these kids are gonna go. And I am going to be in a house where the only differential between summer and winter is the thermostat. I dread those days, because I love these so much.
Are you excited for back-to-school? Why or why not? And if you got any tips for a momma to feel less sad, and try to act excited – I am up for suggestions!
This week. I got furious. You wanna know why? Because I made a blog that had a photo of Michelle Obama in it, and the hate mail began to pour in. I am not kidding. Now, ovbiously, if you read this blog, there was not a thing that was political about that post. I said I like her style of dressing. Which I do. She always looks classy. And she is also more my build, something I can relate to. And guess what? I think Melania Trump dresses beautifully, too. Don’t get mad at me – I like fashion.
But like for real, people made something not political – political. And guess what I don’t talk about? Politics. Until today. The only time I ever discuss politics is with my closest friends and family. One of my best friends, has polar opposite political beliefs. It doesn’t change my opinion of her, and I love her a ton. She respects my opinion, and I respect hers. Imagine that. In this climate of “Us Vs. Them” – two people with different political beliefs get along. And it isn’t just getting along – She is one of my best and closest friends.
TRY IT OUT PEOPLE.
When did our country become so childlike? On both sides? When did name calling become acceptable? It makes me absolutely sick. I have seen both sides, be so ridiculously ugly in their posts – it makes me wanna be sick. From Calling Obama and his family racial slurs – to making fun of Donald Trump’s little boy? When is it going to far!? Why can’t we just discuss the issue of our differences without childlike name calling? Why try to insight hate and anger?
Hillary Clinton is no supermodel, nor is Donald Trump. Why are we making fun of the way they look? They are politicians. Both ran to be president of the United States. And you are making fun of their appearance? How about discussing what you do and don’t believe and why?
Now, I was born and raised a Southern Baptist in Northeast Tennessee. I love Jesus and Sweet Tea. And I am now speaking to people who profess the Christian faith, as I do. I am talking directly to you. And I know a lot of you. I want you to picture yourself, sitting in front of Jesus. And him scrolling your Facebook page. Remember… If you are a christian, you have the knowledge that he loves every, single one of us. Would he want you mocking one of his kids? Making fun of a race or religion? Would you have shame for anything you posted if Christ himself was in front of you? Does your politics line up with your religious beliefs? Do you express it in a loving and Christian way? I bet some people are uncomfortable right now. And if you aren’t, you should be. Also, if you are a Christian, and you post a lot of political stuff – you could be alienating people from talking to you. What does that do to your testimony?
If you have gotten caught up in the frenzy of trash talking, hate mongering, and straight up consummation – you can stop. Tell your friends and family, that you are stopping. That doesn’t mean your beliefs change. That means the way you present your beliefs change. And I can promise you this – people will listen to you, when you can present yourself intelligently and they don’t feel attacked. Think about your political beliefs. Now, how do you feel when someone says that you are “A moron for thinking that way”, or “Left wing baby killers”, or “right wing baby prisons” ? You take offense. Your blood pressure raises. You feel attacked and insulted. Because if someone trashes your belief – it feels they are trashing part of you. Don’t take part in that. What a difference a conversation can make! It can really change everything!
And trust me when I say, I don’t care if you are democrat or republican. Be classy. Stop the name calling. And let’s try to make this nation stronger rather than ripping it apart at the seams. If you have strong political beliefs and want to share it, write it out and share it. Also remember, once you share something on Facebook – it never really goes away.