Never Too Late

On Friday in a sweltering heat my sister-in-law marched down the aisle among a sea of fellow graduates to receive her long-coveted bachelor’s degree. Cloaked in a black robe with gold cords draped around her neck, hearty cowboy boots, and her signature smile, her crowning glory was a cap adorned with pictures of her and her children, sunflowers and the words, “Mom it’s not too late”. As she puts it, “I can now check this off my bucket list”. With her youthful looks and carefree smile, my sister-in-law could pass for the average coed but she’s a little more “seasoned in age” than your most recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree. However, this was something she wanted for herself, so along with all the responsibilities of a fully grown woman with a job, a husband and three kids, she decided it was never too late to dust off this dream deferred for decades and turn it into a reality.

Now, while this is my sister-in-law’s story there are many of us with dreams delayed, plans set on a back burner and things on a bucket list whose bottom has long since bottomed out because we have decided it’s too late. The good thing is, life has no script and there is no prescribed wrong or right order of doing most things, and my kids are probably looking at me all side-eyed right now for even having the nerve to write this out loud. But yes, I will admit that for some of us the conventional way of doing things might not always be the “right” way. Sometimes we get so preoccupied with doing things in a specific order and by a certain age that when life happens, and our order is disrupted we automatically assume our moment has passed or that we have missed out on the opportunity to strike.

My sister-in-law believed it was never too late and her encouraging kids behind her made sure she didn’t forget. All that was needed to get back on track was recognizing the right time, a little rearrangement, some reprioritization and the realization that sometimes we just have to work a little harder and maybe longer to finally get to where we would like to be. So, she graduated this year along with two of those kids, one from high school and the other, her eldest, with her own bachelor’s degree.

So, to my sissy and those of you who hung in there and never gave up, I say congrats and kudos to you for realizing that when it comes to your dreams it’s never too late.


Season of Silence

It has been a while since my last post. A few friends and family members have even commented that I seem to have gone silent. These days the battle between life and blogging always ends with life as the victor and I guess I shouldn’t be mad at that. Normally my life experiences inspire a post, but not as much lately and since my blogs are better when they flow organically, I won’t force it. Unfortunately, I’ve also not been very good at keeping up with your posts either, but it’s not for a lack of trying. I am so far behind at this point I have conceded that moving forward with your latest posts is probably my best option for now. So, please forgive me if I don’t get to most of your older posts.

So, what has been keeping me away? Simply put, life and admittedly my lack of desire to write or read. I have been reminded twice in recent days that life has its seasons, and that we arrive in stages. I would like to think this lack of desire to blog is strictly because I’m fully committed to this season that I’m currently in. It’s the season of family, graduations, celebrations, travel and a wedding. It’s a season for some good ole family time and sometimes just doing nothing. So, if you’re a regular follower of mine who has noticed my absence, I’m still here and I promise you’ll hear from me when the season is right.

A Mother’s Perspective

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I have had the honor of being a mother for over twenty-seven years. These days it’s not often that we get to spend time with all three of our sons at the same time, but Mother’s Day does have its perks and yesterday we all came together with family in the woods of Pennsylvania. There was something about nature and the sun and the breeze and the shade of the trees that had me thinking.

Being a mother is like being a gardener, they both start out with the planting of seeds. I’m going to assume that by now we’ve all mastered the art of “planting seeds” so I’ll skip straight to the garden. Gardening takes time, patience and love. Once in the ground, those seeds will need watering, nourishment and lots of sunshine for them to grow. If neglected most will probably never sprout, and sometimes even if they do, from the start they will be weak and compromised with a high possibility of falling by the wayside. Then there are the dangers of weeds that eventually do threaten every untended garden. Their sole purpose is to take over and run rampant all throughout, and if left unchecked, they will choke the life out those seeds and any new seedlings before they’ve even gotten the chance to grow.

On the other hand, if we care for and nurture our gardens, those seeds will be given the opportunity to grow to their full potential and when they do, we will be happy and content and able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. There will be times, if our produce is bountiful enough, we will be able to share them with our friends and family. Later, those plants from our gardens will be used to start other gardens that too can flourish and grow. We have to be aware though, that sometimes even after all the tending and watering, there still exists the danger of weeds getting in and ruining those beautiful gardens that we’ve worked so hard at and have become so proud of. Those weeds will wrap themselves around those tender shoots and sometimes they will be successful at snuffing the beauty and goodness out of them. Alternatively, there are dangers in over-tending our gardens. A garden must be free to absorb the sunlight and blow in the wind. If we overwater or try to over-shield it from the sun and other elements of nature, they too will likely not fare well.

So, be purposeful and determined with your gardens. Do not give up on those plants because they will always need our love and attention. We’ll find we might need to use a little weed wacker, but not too much, or add a little fertilizer every now and again, but that’s gardening. Take pride in being the great gardener that you are, if you stay committed, it will all be worth it in the end.

A Little Friday Inspiration

It’s Friday and you’ve made it to the end of another week. Sunday is Mother’s Day, and although we don’t need a special day to recognize our moms, let’s use this day to show them an extra appreciation anyway. This little Friday inspiration though, is for everyone. I know there are times when we push ourselves way too hard while over-emphasizing our failures and underestimating our accomplishments. The way we see it, nothing is ever good enough and success is always just beyond our reach, something we’re always striving for. No doubt there are some who have mastered the art of success and being satisfied, but there are those who need to learn how to just relax sometimes, enjoy the milestones, big and small, and not take ourselves too seriously.

Here is a little inspiration from Motivationwishing that I would like to share.

You’re doing better than you think!

Too often we take for granted another’s final success without acknowledging all the hard work and determination that made it possible.

…and finally, we need to tune out every once in a while from the constant flow of social media and other external influences and just allow our natural creativity to flow.

Happy Friday and be kind to your mom on this weekend and every day!

Sleep Finally

With these last two post you can tell I have sleep on my mind. My husband has gotten into the habit of photographing me while asleep. I’d wake up on random mornings or whenever to find texts on my phone of me sleeping. Now, I know there are tons of arguments against taking pictures of someone while they’re sleeping ranging from superstition to the whole correctness of it all, but for the record, I adore them.

Sleep is such a vulnerable state where there is no controlling of your facial expressions, or posture, but in these photos, there is something so raw and honest about the candidness and peacefulness of it all. Truth be told, my husband is terrible at taking pictures and he’s last person we call upon to take a picture on any given day. But he has a knack for capturing my essence while sleeping. I think he understands that peaceful sleeping is not something I do easily so when I do manage to capture a few, he feels compelled to memorialize them for me when he’s awake to witness them.

Normally I keep these pictures private, but this sleep came in the middle of the day after nights of crappy sleep. It’s a few hours after a medical procedure so I still had some sleep assistance pumping through my veins, but it was such a much-needed blissful sleep I wanted to share. Thanks to my husband, this picture captures it perfectly.

Now I promise, this closes my chapter on sleep.

Elusive Sleep

Have you ever gone to bed way too early then suddenly you’re awake feeling like you’ve been asleep forever? A quick glance at the clock however reveals, it’s barely after midnight and as the time ticks on you begin to realize it’s going to be another one of those sleepless nights.

You toss and you turn, and you turn, and you toss with a million thoughts streaming through your head. You close your eyes and try to will yourself to sleep but still the sleep eludes you. Inconveniently, you feel the need to solve the world’s problems with questions of how, when, where, and why. Thoughts of him, thoughts of her, thoughts of us and them all clouding your brain. You try to coax and cajole, reason and beg your mind to release it all but it refuses to succumb.

You try not to think, you try not to move, you try to ignore all the sounds in the room. You’d do anything to quiet the mental noises holding you captive in bed but soon they fill every unoccupied space in your head. You fret at the clock whose digits have now gone from two to three all while you were still awake. You write a blog, one maybe two, this one for sure, but still, the sleep doesn’t come and at that point you’re not sure what else you can do.

Suddenly unconsciously and magically the sleep comes, and you awake the next morning wondering, exactly when and how did you capture that elusive sleep, because somewhere in the details you hope you might, find the secret to cracking the code should sleep elude you again tonight.

April Brought Solitude and Sushi

It’s safe to say the highlight of my April was Sushi and if you haven’t already guessed I’m a huge fan, you would have guessed it by the end of this post. I’ll go further to say the only thing better is enjoying it with someone who loves it just as much or maybe even more since my Sushi partner kinda indirectly got us cut off from ordering more at the Sushi joint. The nerve of us to assume “all you can eat” meant just that.

April was an insanely busy month for me, seems I’ve adopted the craziness of the nine to five without the actual nine to five, but even among the busyness there was strangely a satisfaction in the solitude that accompanied it. I spent most of April holed up at home alone for the most part of each day, head down busy plugging away. Still, I did manage to get out a little for church, a funeral, a bridal shower, a walk among the cherry blossoms and of course a couple of trips to the Sushi restaurant with my son.

May promises to bring a whole lot more free time as we look forward to Mother’s Day and graduation season and hopefully some more exciting days with more to say. For now, I’ll share some of my memories of April.


All you can eat sushi

Just dinner

The makings of a smoothie

A resting place

Such solitude

Cherry Blossoms, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Sowing and Reaping Generously

There is a verse in the bible that encourages us to give generously. It says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Now let’s be honest, when most of us hear this message in church on a Sunday our thoughts automatically go to our pocketbooks and our wallets and for some of us, generosity is not always the feeling in that moment. I have even heard arguments accusing the pastor, who by the way is simply the messenger, of being a swindler with the sole purpose of relieving folks of their hard-earned money hence they argue, that justifies their reluctance to go to church. Now, besides the fact that the church really does rely on our offerings and tithes as one of its primary sources of income, there really is some validity in this verse.

The thing is, this scripture is not only true in the giving of our financial resources, but one could say it’s the blueprint for just about every aspect of our lives. We can’t deny that when we freely give of ourselves and devote quality time to our relationships, they are more fruitful and satisfying. We are also more successful in our professions and in our own businesses when we go above and beyond the status quo to invest valuable time and resources into them. Children who study hard and do well in school add value not only to their lives but also to the communities and companies they grow up to represent, and people who give generously of their time through volunteering and other philanthropic efforts make huge differences in the lives of those they serve.

So, the next time you’re in church or wherever and the topic of giving comes up, think of all the different ways in which you can sow generously, and yes, cheerfully give some to the church, it’s for a divine cause and a little given willingly, goes a long way.

Good Day to Indulge

Today is Friday, the sun’s out, my plants are happy, some of my busyness have subsided and it’s looking to be a great day! I haven’t done a lot of writing this month and I’m still trying to catch up on some of your blogs and get back into my normal groove. When I’m overextended my mind has a way of purging itself of all creative thoughts.

I got up this morning and ate my last three strips of bacon. I don’t know if this is you, but some of us have some foods that we have designated bad for us. Not sure what it is that I have against bacon, but this was it for me. Maybe it has something to do with the high cholesterol I mysteriously developed a few years ago, or maybe the pig just always gets a bad rap, but prior to this last month, I had not eaten bacon in almost five years.

A friend reminded me through a video, life is short and whatever you feel like eating, just eat! It is most important to be happy. So, for this entire month I have been chowing down on some bacon, sopped clean of grease with a napkin of course.

So happy Friday and if there are some foods you have stayed away from because you’ve deemed them “bad” for you, today is a good day to indulge. Go have some!

Enjoy, and have a happy weekend!

We Are Human!

I am a black woman, I’m married to a black man, I have three black sons and there are millions of other black people living in this country and we’re all human. As humans we have eyes and ears just like our counterparts, most times we’re blessed with a darker shade, wider noses and thicker lips. Yes, we look different, but we’re the same, still very much human. Like all humans we need air to survive, our blood bleeds red and if you cut us it spills into the streets, on doorsteps, in supermarkets, in churches; wherever you cut us we bleed. Our hearts beat for our survival. It beats with love, love for country, love for self, love for our children, for our brothers and sisters, and for our God. We hope, we dream, we desire, we think, we worship, we grow weary, and we expire.

We’re humans so there’s no need to fear us or despise us just because of who we are and how we look. Our sons and daughters aren’t natural born killers, so your first instincts shouldn’t be to shoot them or Taze them or gun them down in the streets for not being “obedient” or for being in the “wrong” place at the “wrong” time. As black parents we shouldn’t need to give our children “the talk”, but out of fear for their lives we are forced to. You shouldn’t have the freedom to “stand your ground” or kneel on our necks or deploy your weapons simply because we rang the wrong doorbell, triggered your “bells”, jogged through the “wrong” neighborhood, or for whatever, just because it displeases or pleases you. What gives you the right to discriminate and terminate or feel the need to put us in our place? It hurts when you clutch your purse or roll your eyes or call us monkeys or animals, or niggers, or black bitches just because we look different.

It seems hate is increasingly becoming the latest rave in this country. We live it, we breathe it, we support it, we promote it, we campaign on it, we legislate it, and I dare say, we even relish it. God forbid if you’re perceived to be “different” you could be in the crosshairs, and I can’t help feeling like our black bodies are hate’s largest target. Being a black woman in this country, there are days after consuming all this hate surrounding us that I feel like I just can’t breathe. Listen to me, there is no need to fear us, or hate us simply because of the color of our skin. Regardless of what some tell you or would have you believe, we are human.

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