Black & Bossy Pre-Motherhood…This Ain’t Cute.

I have been a solid Dog-Mom for the last three years, and like a Black small-footed Peggy Hill, here I find myself pregnant with a son that I never imagined would be. Yes, I know where babies come from. No, I didn’t think that I was in the danger zone. I was wrong.

Now I’m 34 weeks into this deal, and I’ve finally landed on a solid feeling about this whole situation.

This Ain’t Cute!

Don’t get me wrong, I can intellectualize the fact that this is a beautiful scientific process, but I need someone to articulate that to my hips and my plans for the future.

Seriously.

I was the kind of girl that collected horror stories along the way to help me stay on the kid-free path, despite the ticking of my biological clock. While that helped create a nice callous around my heartstrings, trying to undo three decades worth of opinion is harder than it sounds, especially in such a short time frame as 40 weeks.

I’m shook.

Even with my Rolodex of easily accessible worst-case scenarios, now that I’m in the go zone of this “journey” I’m finding out new and unnerving things.

Here’s where I get graphic and say things that my family and church folk shouldn’t read. If you’re trying to keep me in a certain light stop reading right now.

I mean it, it’s about to go down. Go read the post about Grandma.

Ain’t cute thing #1- 

When you really have no idea what you’re doing, and you have no desire to start a new dynamic in your immediate friendships in which you start discussing bodily functions; you get on the Internet like a respectable nerd and find out things from strangers. That action leads me to the realization that there’s such thing as a “pad popsicle”. The young lady on the post (not the article I just linked) had concocted a menagerie of aloe, coconut oil, sage, bitters and wheatgrass (who knows, I zoned out) for the purpose of freezing the mix on a huge sanitary napkin, to place in her panties after giving birth.

I had to scroll to the comment section to see if there was anyone else completely confused with me. Nah. Everybody on the thread had their own recipe ready to rock and the old school moms had stories of how there’s a contraption at the hospital that you just twist and it gets cold like something out of a hiking kit.

Do you know what kind of beat up your “purse” has to be for COLD to feel soothing? I’ve had some… “oh Lord just leave the hot rag in place” moments in my life, but NEVER in the history of this kitty box have I been so swollen and that I have ever even contemplated an ice pack.

Help, God!

Ain’t cute thing #2- 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmfcRaQAcZo

I’m out here trying to take over the world. Same thing I do every day, Pinky. So there’s not a lot of room for dramatic emotional shifts. As a person that has dealt with anger issues that reach as far back to the age of 5; hormonal imbalance, physical changes, and mouthy people just don’t mix. I’ve found myself having to pray aloud to keep the urge to heel kick someone in the mouth at bay.
The fact that I’m not in prison is proof that prayer works. I’ve found myself feeling levels of mad as hell that rival my years as a brand new teenager. Who has time for that? Remaining sociable and acceptable in public is probably draining more out of me than this huge baby inside of me that likes to boogie to music and wiggle when the food I eat is tasty.

Between that and moments of crushing sadness, I’m ready for this kid to get done cooking and come on out, so I can establish his LLC, schedule his music lessons and teach him how we roll. I’ve lost and missed out on enough things that I generally don’t spend a lot of my normal time being sad. So, this whole tear act is beyond annoying because I absolutely know that whatever it is, it’s not that deep; and with the emotional swings comes the act of faking like everything is just fine. I honestly don’t know the answer at any given time. Sometimes I’m cool, sometimes I break things that I don’t care about. This is stupid.

Ain’t cute thing #3- 

There’s apparently a protocol to doing this whole thing, from pictures of my waistline disappearing gradually to inspirational quotes and deep shit I’m supposed to be spewing to the masses about how I’m transforming as a woman. I’m 33 years old, at this point I’m as grown as it gets until I start going through the change of life. Since the beginning of my pregnancy there’s been a wave of articles on how black women are the most likely to die during and after childbirth so excuse me if I can’t give a damn about all the mushy stuff until after I get through this thing I’ve feared and avoided my entire life, alive. Thanks. Not to keep talking about the emotional piece, but with that, I check my blood pressure on a regular basis, especially after a mood shift. I also weigh myself twice a day, in the beginning, it was to be sure I didn’t lose too much, and now it’s to be sure that the gain is within reason to my height. I’m much too busy trying to be my own advocate, watch his seemingly rapid growth (his ass is over 5lbs already) and be sure that there’s absolutely nothing else that I can do to create the best situation. I don’t have time to be cutesy. Sorry.

Ain’t cute thing #4-

I don’t ever like to be touched in places beyond my hands and shoulders. There’s something about a pregnant belly that makes people feel like they need to reach out and put their possibly washed,  but more likely to have just touched a doorknob hands on your good clothes. I don’t even remember who it was that did it, but I’m at my Grandmother’s funeral trying to be all dignified and comport myself in a manner that wouldn’t embarrass the deceased if she saw me, and missed a belly touch dodge. I let it ride on the strength of time and place, but I was visibly upset according to my Sorority sisters that caught my body language from over my shoulder.

If you wouldn’t rub my belly to admire my work in the gym, randomly touching my belly because I’ve been screwing just seems weird to me, but hey, let the spirit move you as you see fit… it’s creepy. That’s my uterus. If you’re not directly connected with what’s on the way out, what’s the obsession?

Ain’t cute thing #5- 

I’ve been doing Kegels since the age of 15. So imagine my surprise when I find out that sometimes when the moon is just right, a gag or a good joke can undo over a decade and a half of pussy power and send me into peed in panties.

You’re talking about one disappointed woman.

I take joy in the small things in life, not stinking, being clean, having control over bodily functions. Here’s the conundrum, I’ve doubled the exercises but this baby’s head has an 8cm diameter as of last Thursday so there’s a piece of me that can’t put together a loosening and tightening routine that will soothe my paranoia.

All jokes aside, I’m looking forward to what this little life is going to do to the rest of my world. However, freaking out about strangers being around him to not knowing exactly how my leave situation is going to work, as a planner I have way more questions than answers and that sucks the last little bit of what could be fun right out of it all.

Even more, I’m bringing a brand new Black male into the world and if my Punnett square analysis is accurate, he’s going to be big and chocolate. I’m preoccupied with determining the balance of making sure he’s exposed to multiple cultures and hoping that he has a healthy understanding that everything that this world has to offer isn’t necessarily for him in the same way that all people enjoy them.

Can I afford to try and skip all of that, and if I do, will that allow him the maximum room to grow, or will it get him killed? See…it ain’t cute.

Black Alzheimer’s

I’ve been holding on to this thing for a while now, and I think that I’m ready to discuss where I am in the process. Keep in mind, the experience that your family may be having may not be anything like the account I’m about to give you. Hell, my perspective of it all may not reflect how anyone else in my family feels right now… but I know that I can’t be the only one that feels this way among the community of people with family members that have Alzheimer’s.  As a community (I’m talking about Black people now), we don’t share these stories so every time one of us goes through it, it’s brand new and none of the information available has our cultural context applied. For all these reasons, and the fact that my Grandma is in no shape to make me pick a switch for a whipping, (I think she’d laugh at that) I share this story.

Watching your loved one lose their mind is a frustrating, borderline infuriating process. There’s one side of it where optimism lives, and you go on as if everything either is or will be ok. Then there’s the side of reality where all of that is a lie. Everything is not ok, and also, there’s nobody to blame, nothing to protest, and nowhere to boycott. You just have to live in that thing. Each day is an additional goodbye to what’s left of the person that you once knew.

People talk about waiting for the “lights” to turn on, and how exciting or happy it is when they have a lucid moment, but it’s excruciating… why? Because they seem to have those moments just before you come to terms with the idea of them not being all there.  It’s also extremely sad because you know that just as quickly as they came back to you, they’ll be gone again.

Then you think about what they would want you to do in these situations. I can’t help but think back to when my grandmother would travel to see her brother that had Alzheimer’s and Dementia and how she refused to give up on him no matter how long he sat without recognizing her. The whole family would be dead dog tired after riding in the everlasting heat of Alabama for hours and we would just wait until she’d had enough of asking him if he knew who she was. Then she would get in the car and say

“He’s not a throw away. We don’t throw our family away. There’s still something there.”

So now that it’s time to walk this road with her, every moment of considering giving up, is haunted with her words… so you rip the band aid off and try to get her to come out again. I’ll admit that I don’t believe that I’ve been the best grandchild that I could be. It’s so hard for me to come back to the world if I see her on a bad day that I double-dutch the contemplation of each visit. “Well, how’s she doing today?” “Is anybody with her right now?”.

Visiting was easy when she was in the super-plush tricked out rehabilitation facility after a recent fall. Grandma is not a fan of strangers, so while she didn’t warm up immediately, she eventually established a routine and became comfortable. Now, she’s back home and we had to make improvements to the house to assure her safety. This means her environment is different AND there’s a bunch of strangers around the clock to keep her safe. Strangers that she’s ready to fight to get them to leave her house.

I want to cry so badly because I know that she’s scared (because when she comes out, that’s what she tells me) but I am so grateful that the strangers are available because I promise she couldn’t have picked a worse time in the life of the family to be ill. Everybody is booked to capacity. From people making professional and personal shifts and transitions, we don’t even hang out like we did in years past. It’s nearly impossible to get us all in one place on a non-holiday.

With the family dynamic comes the frustration of wanting to be able to effect more change. I’m the only grandchild, which in many times puts me in the placeholder as the 4th kid. When I was living with my Grandmother trying to get my life back, I couldn’t wait to use my Paralegal degree to help organize her estate prior to taking the information to an Attorney. Now that we actually have to use some of the things I helped locate and file, I have to fall back and just hope that the kids make great decisions about their mom… even though I owe my life as I know it to her and Jesus.

The up-side is the fact that we’re all forced to figure out how to work together while Grandma’s still here. I’ve been through the death of my other grandmother and watched how it shook my other side of my tiny family out of socket. From petty fights during the grieving process to a complete overhaul of the order of dependency. I know that facing the hard times, while there’s still work to do is going to help us be a tight unit whenever Grandma goes to Jesus… but that requires us all to kick in where we can so that nobody gets the flake title.

In all, I’m just scared, and not for myself, but for my Grandma that once ruled the family with an iron fist and would strike fear and reverence into all who dare cross the threshold. She’s no longer in charge of the house that she was able to help her husband purchase by using coupons and saving the money he gave her as allowance while she took care of the children. She can no longer tell me the stories of how she dreamed of making it out of her hometown, and made it happen despite not having the approval of her father. Our times in the kitchen, have come to a close as the knobs have gone away from the stove to make sure she doesn’t forget to turn off the pilot. These changes are the ones that I don’t really believe anyone could have warned us about, the emotional shifts that happen inside of handling the business that needs to be handled for the safety of your loved one.

I walk away feeling like I know exactly where she is, but it just takes a while to find her.

No matter how sad we get, how long we can keep her home, or how difficult the road may be ahead.. she’s not a throw away. We don’t throw our family away. I just miss her so much already.

Life After The Big A$$ Deal

Here’s what they don’t tell you about life after you’ve hit a number of your goals:

http://lemerg.com/881846.html  

Just when you think you’ve made it out, life is going to draw back and hit you square in the mouth. The trick is, it’s not about the punch… it’s about how long it takes you to wipe your face and get back in the fight.  Because life doesn’t need a timeout, and it’s going to keep swinging. So while some may learn to block and weave, the ones that really “make it”, learn how to take the blow and just keep going.  It’s because they know that getting hit is inevitable when you’re trying to get the title. They aren’t surprised, they’re prepared.

If it hurts, that means you’re still here to feel the pain. Figure out what it takes to get you back in your stance and let loose on that #%. Now is the time to get comfortable with the fact that you have the power to turn a thought into a thing. It’s a strange pill to swallow. You can’t let that freak you out, and you certainly can’t look at this as the end of the road. There’s always something new that you can do. There’s always a next thing.

People always push you to dream big and chase after them, but nobody really explains that overwhelming feeling of “What now?”. It’s normal, and there’s nothing wrong with you, however that energy is going to bring into orbit a lot of people and situations that were once kept at bay when you were completely driven. Whatever you do, do not get back into the rotation of that low vibration nonsense.

I know that I started talking in “Shea Butter”, but follow me.

You do not have any obligation to get back into a toxic groove just because those people and things have been waiting on you to finally take your eyes off a prize. But here’s the trick…you only need something new, you don’t have to try and top the last thing, you don’t have to make a bigger splash. You just need to continue a positive and healthy path.

I finished my MBA and everybody’s like “When are you going for that Doctorate?”, but if I know that what I want out of life is to own my own business and help other people achieve the same thing, I know it does not require the next degree to make that happen. If I didn’t have a firm grip on what I’m trying to accomplish overall then I can see how I could easily fall into the what’s next trap of trying to achieve some undefined next level.

So back to the fight analogy.

Roll with the punches, stay in the fight, and know that endurance, strength and speed all have a place in the match that they need to be deployed. Very rarely is it all at the same time. Chill. You got this!

Manage your own Subscription

There are so many things that we subscribe to on a daily basis…Gym memberships that we never use, streaming apps, news feeds, podcasts and the like. All things that we initially engage in an effort to create an increase in our lives. Either more entertainment, health or knowledge. These things all have opt-out terms. You always have the option to suspend or cancel these connections. Some of us are so good, that we can subscribe and opt-out before ever getting charged.

Not so much as it pertains to the constructs and imposed norms of society. These subscriptions have cancellation fees that seem too high for us to ever gain the courage to complete the un-subscribe process. Many of these all too high fees reside only in our heads.

Let’s get on the same page:
By a show of hands sitting right where you are reading this, how many of you believe that you should own a house by 30? How many of you believe that you should have a degree by 25? How many of you believe that you should be married by 28? How many of you believe that you should have about 2 kids by 35?  How many of you believe that you should be independently wealthy by 40?

Now I know that not everyone raised their hands at all of these things, but I’m going to guess that one of these got you. Now my next questions are; What happens if that doesn’t take place? Are you any less “you”?  Do you consider yourself a failure? Do you even want any of the above?

Finally… Who told you there’s only one way?

There comes a time in all of our lives to make an assessment of what we value, which goals are worth chasing, and which things we pursue that we qualify as actual goals and not just stops along the way. Do not allow someone else to put a clock  and ruler on your life. Do not allow anyone else to opt you in on what’s in store for your life.

Last month I got a chance to share a portion of the long story of how I got to college with the MSJU Upward Bound youth as part of a panel. Some kids had concerns about job availability after their years of hard work in school… I thank God that He opened the door for me to get on my soapbox about jobs but as I write this I want to apply this to the whole rest of life.

So what!?!?

If you have a skill that you are willing to provide to a company to help make them profitable, you can take that same education and energy to create something for yourself! If you feel like people won’t give you a chance,  MAKE YOUR OWN CHANCE! The same goes with every other life-happening that your experience a setback. Detour as needed and don’t ever devalue yourself, just keep moving forward and if you get a chance to catch-up or get ahead, simply be grateful.

Rejection/failure is just an opportunity for a different type of success so do not be afraid of hitting the un-subscribe button on things that don’t apply to you. Don’t hold yourself up to the thoughts and ideas of other people, and know that if you keep waking up, you’ve still got a chance to make great things happen, whatever that looks like.

Be Strong out there people.

They don’t want to see you moving at your own pace. They don’t want to see you reaching your own goals! -(inspired by DJ Khaled

Inheritance… (reflective motivational journal entry)

Many of you that have taken the time to get to know me on other platforms know that I’m about my paper. But today’s post has very little to do with money. Today I’m talking about the inheritance that you don’t have to talk to the IRS about. The other day I got called “older people” and as much as it stung, it was a call to action and a realization that I am now being looked to for an “inheritance”.

WHAT YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT MAGGIE? 

When I was a kid, I studied with my parents. What do I mean? I mean, my father would give me the book/ paperwork for his advancement exam to become an engineer on the fire truck and have me read back his highlighted sections. My mother would do her homework all over the house for getting her Real Estate license and even when she took a few classes towards finishing her BS before she officially “went back to school”. It mattered whether or not the tests were passed. It mattered how high the scores were, yet nobody really checked my report card during high school. Why? Because they were secure in the fact that they had given me my inheritance early in life. I had learned that the difference between me living the life I wanted and failing was as simple as failing to do the un-fun part.

One of the first things that my Grandfather taught me was how to read things for myself. He showed me how the bus system worked, and took me to the library as soon as I was old enough to get a card of my own. Some of his last words to me when I came to visit him the Thanksgiving before he passed was “Not everything is fatal.” This was in response to me feeling an enormous amount of shame after having introduced him to my first husband. He didn’t judge people, and even though by the end of the trip we all knew that I’d made a huge mistake… he wasn’t worried about me because he knew that he had given me my inheritance early in life. I can read anything in English, to comprehension. That came in handy when it was time to complete my divorce without a lawyer as well as finishing my BA in Paralegal Studies once I finally gained my freedom.

My mom’s mom (Granny) was extremely credit conscious. She paid for most things in cash, and anything that she bought with credit she did so with a solid repayment strategy. She taught me how to save my change for big purchases and be patient when filling a want rather than a need. She also taught me how to learn to do things for myself. She could fix a toilet, some broken concrete on the stairs, switch out spark plugs, put a new p-trap on a sink. All of the things that she learned to do herself helped her save money even when she wasn’t able to do them anymore because nobody could pull the “lil lady” routine on her and overcharge. She signed up for all of the warranties, so she never bought the same thing over and over. I did my best to inherit all of these things, but Granny was a different kind of tough, so while there are some things that I need to pay other people to do, I make sure that I learn what the job takes before I make the call.

Now the above are just the good things. There’s some not so great things that I’ve inherited as well. Without naming any specific sources I have a fear of germs and most activities that could be considered “thrill-seeking”.  I beat up on myself if I don’t win. I love shiny new things, I have a hard time buying outside of my preferred name brands and I hate inconsequential chit-chat with strangers just to name a few.

THE BIG PICTURE: 

Think about the examples that you set in the lives of the young people around you on a regular basis. That’s their inheritance. I have God-kids in which I hope to instill the spirit of entrepreneurship and reading everything, especially before they sign. We go through this life and we do our best to make it to the next level and all the while, the young people are watching. So if we never try to be great, or if we try again after we fail, they inherit the byproducts of our actions.

There’s a unique situation in the Black community when it comes to what we pass down. Not to say that there aren’t many of us that have things in place in an effort to create generational wealth, but we (broad sense of we) tend to ignore the positive impact that good habits and solid strategic planning can have on sustaining anything that we create monetarily. If we are sure to pass down not just cash and words of wisdom, but acts to follow, we can see an increase that can’t be shaken by an “-ism”.

The Grandparents of our parents invested in land and passed down trades. Many of us have decided that the ways of old are no longer sufficient or we got tired of having to continuously rebuild (*cough Roswell, Rosewood, Black Wall Street cough*). But if we just keep in mind that we are going to leave behind something even if we don’t try, we may find ourselves trying to do/be better in the name of the ones that will follow. Because they are totally watching the… “older people”. 🙂

DISCUSSION: 

Tell me what you think. Am I way off base with this one? I’d love to hold that discussion in the comment section as usual. Just an interesting aside, I usually try to add some pictures to the posts to keep you engaged, but I Googled “inheritance” and there were no stock pictures of black hands passing anything between one another. Then I modified my search to “black inheritance” and “inheritance black” only to find the logo of a death metal band and this link….

http://theblackinheritance.com/featured-post-black-health-matters/

Sooo…. maybe we can talk about that too.

Silver Lining Finding (another reflective travel piece)

The metaphor of life being a journey is one that everyone uses when they hit the rough spots and need to remind themselves that there’s more road ahead. This past weekend contained every emotion humanly possible. The physical manifestation of the journey of life via the American tradition of the road trip.

 I’m not huge on boring time-lines, as you know so here are the highlights.

The Feels

For the first time in 7 years Mr and all his siblings were under one roof. I had the honor of riding down with him and all his brothers to meet up at their sister’s house to surprise his mother for her (over 40)th birthday.

  This makes for two weekends in a row for me in celebration of the life of our respective mothers. This time the backdrop was Charlotte, NC. which I have calculated as: ( Charlotte= Atlanta + Nashville + Ohioans) or Chat-la-nati.

We all shared food, drinks, stories, laughs and even tears. The look on Mr’s mom’s face and her impromptu speeches throughout the weekend made everything else that I’m about to share below so worth it.









Girl Whet? Moments

Moment 1. Winding the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in an old school Chevy packed with four grown men and a fabulously not skinny yours truly, a cloud appears on the road in the distance. The light of the sun extinguishing for the day, it’s absence made more prevalent with the canopy of trees overhead. I find myself at the wheel of the vehicle being charged with the duty of the safe arrival of the precious cargo (all these great big men) to the given destination. When from the back seat I hear “Just follow the lines and go.” Rage welling up like a storm I assert my apprehension. “Can I just be really honest, this is terrifying right now and everybody out here is up.” Pseudo-brother-in-law (PBIL) was on my ACTUAL nerves. I kept it cute, but he was about to meet “Marri” right there on the side of that mountain.

 We finally make it through the fog just in time for the next turn. Still in a fiery rage and coming down from the anxiety of feeling as though a death of being smacked in the face by the unseen back of a broken down semi- was eminent… I miss the turn.

Don’t you know Mr had the nerve to suck his teeth?
I was so damn mad that he said. “Now it’s going to take an extra 5 minutes.” I contemplated the cost of a last minute one way ticket back home both financially and socially. I went into perpetual eye roll mode until I could find a hot rag to wipe the road off and get into the festive mood of the party.

Moment 2. It’s been a while since I booked on Priceline for several reasons but since we had to work until nearly the last days prior to driving down to sort out the details of the trip we refrained from buying the good non-refundable deals ahead of time. FWD to me riding down the highway after the gas stop (guys always have to pee) knowing that we’ll be much later than normal checking in, we call the hotel in an effort to secure a King sized bed… not a suite upgrade, just a bed change.

Don’t you know the individual on the phone tried to get us for $10? I just said ok on the phone so that they wouldn’t release the room (I’m nearly 6ft tall, I ain’t sleeping on a double & paying money to do it). Luckily when we finally checked in I was able to appeal to the common sense of the manager on duty and got that $10 fee waived. Never in my life have I heard of such a thing, and if that’s something new that the hotel industry is trying to roll out, go ahead and stop that nonsense now. I promise to goodness I was just about to buy a sleeping bag from Target and catch some floor at Mr’s sister’s house.

Moment 3.

http://car.mitula.us

Shake, rattle and roll.- In the beginning I thought I was being a car snob. As the proud driver of a VW Jetta with a Turbo engine, I’m used to a certain type of ride (Didn’t that sound horrible? I laughed at myself.). In an effort to sort out the logistics of transporting 5 adults and luggage we took Greased Lightening the 2000 Chevy that has never let us down… until this trip when it decided to do the stanky leg all the way to Charlotte with varying severity. There was a time while we drove that I just knew that the tire was going to fly off and we’d end up dead in the Smokies, to be eaten by the local wildlife prior to our retrieval. Fortunately Mr and I believe in the power of a warranty and we cashed that ticket several times with Firestone to be sure that we could make it home. That story is next.

The Twirl
1. Firestone Liars- I used to think that you only got tried at the mechanic if you were a woman walking in alone. I was so wrong. We stopped at one location only to be told there would be an insanely long wait and to try another location after they did a safety check on the lug nuts.

We get to the second location and they give us a list of free services that we can have that come with our warranty. In the interest of safety we agree to them all. One trip to the coolest little nerd heaven ever, two naps and a discussion about politics later we’ve invested 2 hours to determine that there’s an oil leak and a bent rim.

Through the center aisle we walk over to the car and see a puddle of oil and the bottom of the car looks like a fresh piece of chicken. Nevermind the fact that this has NOTHING to do with a shaking front end, these fools then proceed to tell us that the bent rim is the cause for the shaking and they have rotated it to the back. “Is everything OK now?” we ask. “Yes everything is fine, just check that oil” they lie.

Two more trips to alternate locations and we find out from a strong looking woman named T (I trusted her with my car immediately)  that the issue has nothing to do with the tires and the problem won’t kill us on the way home.

Don’t you know T didn’t say a damn thing about oil?

Children Reading
Mr and I live an alternative lifestyle apparently. We are over 25 living together, unmarried and without children *GASP OUT LOUD & CLUTCH YOUR PEARLS*

Although we are not the only ones out here freestlying, this past weekend ended up featuring one of my favorite little kids to hear talk, Mr’s nephew, accidentally reading us both for filth in 2 seconds.

Kids are generally honest and common sense driven, and when you hit them with something that simply does not compute, some hold it silently and ask their parents later… others hit you right in the mouth with it. Simple exchange:
“Say hey to Margaret, Auntie Margaret.”-Mr
“Are y’all married?”- Mr’s Nephew
“Ask him again baby!”- Black Maggie
Later on for those battlefield promotions, I need some pinned on brass to charge that hill Cap’n. Needless to say that kid didn’t have to beg for a high five out of me the whole weekend, I was showing up for every single one.

6am

We finally made it back to the hotel to sleep for the night after kicking it hard with the family. Snuggled up and cozy after finally getting my Afro twisted down between exhausted spurts of work I start dreaming about being asleep, so you know it’s good. Then out of the silence the fire alarm goes off at 5:58am.

I’m a firefighter’s kid, for my newer readers, and anything fire safety related has been drilled in my head repeatedly throughout my entire life…not just my childhood. We move like the wind and are able to put on enough clothes to be legal and not freeze, grab the keys to the room and get out.
   Problem 1- The map on the door is supposed to tell you your path and meeting spot. It did not so I had to devise the plan that put us in the least danger. I determine walking through the outdoor courtyard gives us the most options without putting us on an unmanned side of the building.

On the way out we walk through the workout room into the courtyard and there’s a lady on the treadmill tearing it up at about a 6.5 nonstop. I notice the deafening silence in the room and the absence of the alarm. She has no clue what’s going on. So being the good citizen that my parents raised, I wave my arms and alert her to the alarm.

Don’t you know that heffa said yeah and shrugged without breaking stride.
“Die then, hell..” I walk off.

According to the lady that supplied the hot cookies and breakfast coupons for my inconvenience, there was an incident in the boiler room. To the credit of the Charlotte FD, they got there in a hurry and in an orderly fashion. I was beyond tired, but that free breakfast was everything I needed for the day that lay in wait.




Nerd-gasm

The only thing better than the smile on Mr’s mom’s face and the laughs that everyone shared in fellowship was finding this little store during our TWIRL at the second Firestone. Sound, lights, retro memorabilia, funky pieces of custom furniture. If only they had a shipping solution to get the items to Cincinnati; I would’ve bust a dent in my credit card buying trying to buy all the things that I loved. Enjoy the photos because there’s no amount of words that will do the store justice. They aren’t on any social media right now, but I told the guy I’d make sure that changed after this weekend.

Final Thoughts

This journey was a trip indeed. I can’t remember a time that more things went both so wrong and so right all in a 72 hour window. We didn’t win the Powerball, and the Bengals let me down again like they have my whole life, but we won several “Effective Adulting” points for refraining from acting up the whole weekend. Life will send you through the ringer on some days, and as we’ve seen, maybe an entire weekend.

Yet, the key to making it to the other side of the fog is keeping your eyes on the silver lining, and just go. Turns out PBIL was right.

The Art, Science and Agony of Adulting

They should really stop the normal rhetoric at both high school and college graduations. Although not in my case, that is where most of the new wave of responsible people hear some motivational speech about taking risks and enjoying the ride. While many of those speeches provide the hope and optimism needed to brave this whole new lifestyle that will never end until the day that you die, they usually miss a fey key points. Today I present to you that missing piece, in the Art, Science and Agony of Adulting. 
The ART
The art is in the understanding. Social constructs are like grammar, you have to know the rules first to break them. Here is where you can know that it’s polite to bring a gift to the baby shower, but bring cash instead and still be celebrated as a timely and thoughtful gift giver. This also includes knowing just how late to be for church so that for you it only lasts an hour and a half. There’s no right or wrong in doing what you want to do because you’re an Adult…and nobody can stop you. 
The Science.
When you’re an adult, you’re in charge of several things; when and what you eat and how much, what time you go to bed, how many friends you can have over at one time, how many things you can buy in the store. You are also in charge of funding, sourcing and coordinating all of the activities of your life. The science is in measuring your lifestyle with your income and the obligations required to maintain both. This is where lots of people fail. This is why there’s such thing as credit and even more why people deal with “bad credit”. Adulting is not cheap when you try to live a life like the music videos and reality TV shows that you grew up watching (unless you’re strictly a Survivor fan) and most of the time you need a job to do half of the things. That means that you have to figure out what you need to know in order to qualify for the job that aids in creating the lifestyle you want followed by a coordinated effort to secure it through proper networking and application of the acquired knowledge. 
Yeah, I know… 
#THEAGONY
Here are some things that can happen when you do too much of one and not enough of the other between The Art & The Science:
Weight gain, Alcoholism, Homelessness, Joblessness, Drug Abuse, Loneliness, Depression and in extreme circumstances even Death. 
Heavy right? 
I remember the first time I got out of the house and out of intense supervision. I was in the Navy and even though we had fitness standards, I’d just spent over 10 weeks only eating food that was provided. When I got the chance to eat at a restaurant again it took me years to stop. I even found a way to go on a diet with restaurant food… why? Because I was grown and nobody could stop me. As I embark on this latest fitness journey, I just wish that somebody had, but that’s not how Adulting works..you’re supposed to just know. Why? Because you’re the adult.
Lately my entire life has been revolving around school and work. I have to literally schedule and budget fun. The stinking trick is, that’s not really how fun works. You can plan a trip to Vegas, but it’s the spontaneous decision to sit through the timeshare presentation that gets you free tickets to see Tyson Beckford naked.
 But bills and future money take precedence over right now fun because that’s the formula that we’ve all been taught that keeps us from sleeping on the park bench. So the Agony is in knowing that even though you are totally in control of what you actually do, nobody is going to stop you and also nobody is going to bail you out. It’s a tough pill to swallow this whole Adult thing, and just think, it lasts the rest of your life.
Until next time… may your coloring not rely on the placement of the lines. 
This post is dedicated to my Sister Kristol who’s Birthday I’m missing tomorrow because Grown-Up…