There are two sides.
Side A: You believe that a new year means a brand new you, along with the opportunity to re-invent yourself, possibly make a few necessary changes that you weren't able to in the previous year. It's a fresh start, your goals are prepped and ready for full implementation. You love everyone and your new profile pic is an image of a cute furry animal!
Side B: You are the same exact person you were before the clock struck midnight and there is absolutely nothing you want to change about yourself. Simply put, it's just another day and you are ready for the weekend so you can be left alone. Your profile pic is the same as it was last year, because once again, nothing has changed!
The new year is upon is, goals have been set and are perfectly in order however there is still so much disruption and unbalance that we continue to be thrown off. Adjustments are necessary in order to set our lives back into a forward and positive motion. It's as if we were hired as extras in a movie we didn't ask to be in. How do we escape what seems to be a scene straight out of The Matrix? Watching the world unfold is heartbreaking, terrifying and absolutely discouraging.
I grew up in Gary, Indiana at one time known to be the murder capital of the nation. If you calculate the number of residents against the number of killings the statistics might frighten you. It was and still is the place I call home. Hearing the news of another killing was just another day in the life of a girl from the hood. Moving away from my hometown in my early 20s I truly had no idea of the differences between two sides, the race wars that were brewing and the fight for justice and humanity that will forever be an ongoing battle. I was young, I had not a care in the world. I grew up, I started listening and my views changed which is the natural progression of most. So we hope!
The events of the past year were heavy which made it understandable that the world was ready for a fresh start, a new beginning and hope for a better outcome. Re-building as a nation is long overdue and it starts with the men and women who were deemed worthy enough to lead this great place of The United States of America. The stakes are high, the people are watching, the people are nervous and in high anticipation of a day when we can exhale and get ready for a much-needed woosah!
We all know what's going on in the world, there is no need to call out names and put folks on blast, they did a pretty amazing job of doing that all on their own. With all things there is a little rain even on a bright and sunny day. I'm highly optimistic however I would be telling a tale if I wasn't wondering where the silver lining was in all of this. The dawn of a new day brings about hope for change. Hope that the great people in this world can come together and join forces instead of continuing to widen the gap with confusion and anger. I choose to smile through it because frowning causes lines I am not ready for. And I pray because I believe in the power it brings.
Be good to one another, learn from the mistakes of yesterday and let's pick up the pieces and push forward. ☀️
I've spent the better part of this year trying to simply figure out the agenda behind it all. What direction will I travel in, what do I do now and what exactly do I say. While those are clearly questions, they are also the boldest statements and facts of 2020. It firmly goes without saying this is the year we all want to forget, and for many reasons. The year of unknowns, heartache, new revelations, fear and dismay. A barrier is defined as a fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access. I think you catch my drift by now.
One of things people hate more than anything is being told what to do, how to do it and when they should do the things they have grown to love each and every day of their lives. Some of us conformed and some fought back with the stubbornness of a toddler who was just forfeited play time. You can turn it upside down, sideways, look at it through rose colored glasses, the picture remains the same. This isn't the time when you get to change the narrative without adjusting the plot twist just a bit.
🎶 Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear momma, Happy Birthday to you! 🎶
If I could scream from the highest mountain top I would let the whole world know that today is your special day and just how much you mean to me. It's not everyday that angels come to greet us here on earth but I know that is just what you are. A smile that can light up a room, a heart made of pure gold and a spirit that is unmatched, you are truly one of a kind. As I took time to have a moment with God this morning I thanked Him for you. You have selflessly been our nurturer, provider, care-giver and shown us the meaning of compassion, love and humility. What do you give a person who has all of those things? Any and everything that puts that beautiful smile on your face.
When you admire a person so much you can't help but wonder every little thing about them. Did you always know you would be a wife and a mother? What were your dreams? Where did you tell your friends you would go when you graduated? What music did you dance to? Who taught you how to draw? Do you know how much your are loved?
This year seems to have been a blur at times. The challenges and obstacles placed before us have only made our faith stronger and our testimonies worth hearing. May the flowers brighten your day, may the gifts serve as a token for how much we care and may the love shown to you on this day overflow into the next, and so on and so on.
Wishing I was there to celebrate with you this year. Even though the miles separate us I carry you with me through every single step I take because you showed me the way. I honor you, I adore you, and I love you from this side of the world all the way across this magnificent universe, right back to you. Happy Birthday to my favorite person in the world, my Mom! 🎁
I love you always and forever...Your Lisa
From the looks of it, I have it all together, I'm centered and focused, my zen zone is at an all time high, my elbows are perfectly even and I have mastered my at home workouts. If you glance over to the right you will see my strategically placed five pound dumbbells with the mood lighting glowing ever so softly in the background. You are probably thinking I am listening to a Mongolian chant while brewing a fresh pot of ginger tea. While some of that is spot on, let's just say my workout music is overflowing with words I cannot say around my mother accompanied by copious levels of bass.
Any workout session worth your time is going to be painful, sweaty, and it will have you running to the mirror to see if you acquired a six-pack after twenty abdominal crunches or taking a picture something like this. Gotta start somewhere so set the timer and post up!
Seems as though Christmas was just yesterday. Plans to travel home were made, prepping to spend hours in the kitchen cooking for family and friends and the only care in the world was to remember to get everyone a gift to put under the tree. The events of this past year have caused quite a shift in the atmosphere and proven to be a challenge for most. Learning new ways to entertain yourself, keeping your children occupied and thinking outside the box is essential if you want to re-introduce the feeling of normalcy back into your life.
If I had to describe this year there are a few choice descriptions but the most accurate would be likened to a 5000-piece puzzle with 1000 of those pieces missing. Seems quite hopeless right? You can't return it or exchange it for another because you got the very last one in stock, so then begins the challenge of dealing with it and attempting to make the best of a baffling situation.
Singing, "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good". As I woke this morning to my cats meowing because they knew it was time to eat, I fed them, opened the blinds, asked Alexa what the temperature was and felt a little offended when she didn't say or at least sing Happy Birthday to me. I mean she should know me by now seeing as though I talk to her every single day. Gotta research the newer versions because that is just unacceptable!
Once I got over that minor setback I spent a little time talking with God. Thankful for the past year that has shown me so much, tested me in ways I would have never imagined and pushed me closer and closer towards my dreams, all of which have brought me to the exact place that I am in today. Trusting in Him to direct my path to lead me to what is next. Reflection is a huge part of my life as it allows me to adjust as needed and forever remain thankful. Make changes to anything that doesn't naturally flow and allowing myself to acknowledge that I deserve all the good that has come my way and all that is to come.
No one ever said it would be easy, that the road ahead would be absent of obstacles and no one knew there would be a force so strong that things would start to gravitate in a reverse direction preventing forward motion. We often try our best to avoid change because of fear of the unknown and the uncertainty that comes along with it, however it's best to embrace that change because quite honestly what is written is what shall be.
If this year held a scorecard 2020 would be in the lead and the entire universe would be trailing behind with a huge loss and disadvantage with little to no hope of taking the lead. As things continued to unfold we watched and waited as if it was playing out on television as the most dramatic year ever. The continued need to have something to smile about, something to make us proud to hold our heads high and to finally see a brighter day is just the dose of medicine this world needed.
Dating is absolutely nothing like the good ole days when a guy in class would slide you a note and inside it simply read, check yes or no if you like me. If you checked yes, you instantly had a boyfriend who would possibly hold your hand in between classes. If you checked no, well, prepare for that guy who liked you enough to write a sweet and endearing note with cute little check boxes to ignore you as if you were Casper the Friendly Ghost. You suddenly become invisible as if you never existed. Funny how that works! Maybe it seems a bit over-dramatic seeing as though hand-written notes were happening somewhere around the 7th & 8th grade. To the person on the receiving end of that note it felt like you were living out a scene in your favorite love story that your parents forbid you to watch.
By no stretch of the imagination does writing a note signify the beginning of a relationship, however everything has a starting point so just maybe this is how your destiny begins. Without having a crystal ball and the ingredients to make a special love potion to make him or her fall madly in love, you just have to stick it out and deal with it like the rest of us. Sure, beginners' guides are great to read if you are making a gingerbread house, but they are quite lackluster when the topic is dating and relationships. Get down and dirty with it and do it the old-fashioned way, the new millennial way or whatever way moves you and gets your heart pumping. It's all up to you, but make it fun, exciting and something to remember!
It's one of my favorite times of the year. The fall weather, the leaves changing colors, the cooler temperatures, the ghouls and goblins and of course the pumpkin carving. That time of the year when you can dress up however you want and no one will look at you weird. Doesn't matter if you want to be your favorite super hero for the day or a princess it's perfectly normal and actually kinda cool. Growing up I always chose a costume with a mask and by the time I made it to the end of the sidewalk it was quite hot and uncomfortable, but to remove it would mean you wouldn't get the full effect that was my costume, so the mask remained.
I never quite understood the chant of 'trick or treat smell my feet, give me something good to eat' because the only thing we were after was candy, lots of candy and more candy please, and thank you. The amount of candy we would collect was unbelievable. It was almost too much to enjoy. My parents would inspect the candy and make sure it was safe to eat, no open wrappers or anything that looked suspicious. Afterwards my mom would let me have a few pieces, and then she put the candy away which of course brought on the crocodile tears and confusion as to why I couldn't just keep it under my pillow in case of emergencies. Seemed like a version of torture at the time but I now know they were just keeping us safe.
So many memories of that fall day and the excitement it brought to dress up for a few hours and just be a kid. I can't think of this day without instantly smiling.
With all the challenges of 2020 parents have come up with creative and different ways to celebrate the event while remaining safe. From pumpkin carving at home, celebrating in your own neighborhood, having a virtual party, to planning an all day dress up complete with Halloween music and themed movies to keep that spark going for your children there are so many ways to make it completely safe and fun.
Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it, be safe and just be a kid again! I promise it's perfectly normal and it will actually make you feel good.
Happy Halloween 🎃
AJ writes & blogs from her home in Atlanta, GA. You can also find her work as a contributing writer at www.groovmagazine.com
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman