Body, Soul, Spirit

Body

When people say they’ve had an out of body experience what do you think they mean? I’ve always thought it meant an experience where they actually saw themselves outside of their own bodies, like in a dream or vision. I’ve learned over time out of body experiences though often quite unusual can also be just unexpected situations. It’s safe to say I experienced one the other day while visiting my father and his family. The unexpected definitely occurred and it was only my intention to give comfort to (what then I called extended) family after the loss of their mother. With all things considered, we are a part of an eerie club, one that no one applied for membership. Club inevitable…of deceased parents.

A bit of background for you, my parents divorced when I was eight and my father would go on to eventually remarry. Like many children, I loathed my stepmother for a myriad of reasons as a child, but once I became more mature I realized many of those reasons were silly. I would learn to put issues aside and see that my stepmother wasn’t all that bad and her family inclusive of her mother (that just passed away) treated me with such kindness. I began trying to find ways to put the past aside and find valid connections and through Christ, we overcame a lot of situations and ill feelings to where I could actually say I generally liked and even loved her. The progression of our relationship lead to more than a mutual respect but a love that I can truly say I worked hard on purpose to develop. Out of this, her family became my family and endearing family titles were traded as expressions of the relationship. When I had my daughter she was there and in the formidable years of her life she was a great grandmother to her as if I were her real daughter. However, over the years there were some major blows that would peel away the relationship’s progression and later affect the integrity of everything we’d accomplished.

Soul

Seemingly in a matter of time, that love became hurt and grew to hate. Over time I would work on my emotions trying to represent my Christ-like nature as best I could but it grew ever difficult. Every time I’d make it close enough for it to matter something else would occur and grow yet another weed to choke out the love that would blossom the rose. Until most recently while my mother was in the hospital, she expressed her desire (as she had many times prior) for me not to hang onto unresolved issues. Asked me to either resolve them or just give them to God and allow God to mend the broken hearts, hurt feelings, and wounded relationships. I knew if I’d do it for anyone I would do it for my mother and my daughter who suffered in the balance having lost the closeness she was once had with my stepmother and probably all of her family as well.

I went from frequently visiting and including my father’s marital family in every aspect of my life to slowly but surely only including my father and never visiting them unless it was Christmas. By this time I was ok or so I thought, I had mastered the ability to be cordial and not ugly. I would complain at home or on the car ride for the ugliness that I would receive always knowing in my “knower” that something would occur negatively (and it ALWAYS did).  Now standing a more mature thirty-something in Christ I’ve grown to understand a bit more that I cannot ask for forgiveness if I myself don’t extend that same grace in return. With that in mind and part of my mother’s “last wishes”, I knew once she did pass even my level of casual cordialness had to be kicked up a notch.

Recently, having a conversation with my father, I learned of his wife’s mother (the woman I have in many times past and still loving refer to as grandma) being on hospice in their home. I began seeking inner strength to plan a visit (if I did) to make my peace with her as she’d been nothing but kind to myself and my daughter. Within merely a few hours on that very same day, my father called yet again and I learned of her passing. It was at that very moment I resolved to go visit and just be a help in any way that I could. I knew what that felt like all too well, to not extend myself. Unbeknownst to me, a door was opened that I wouldn’t know until much later for another of my mother’s final wishes to be met.

Spirit

I finally make it to my father’s house two days later with a fruit tray, some granola, and a sympathetic heart. God took those ingredients and made something amazing and if I wasn’t present to authenticate the experience myself it would’ve been unbelievable. As I announced my leave we exchanged hugs as we concluded laughs and swapped old stories over tea and granola my stepmother’s sister (once called my aunt affectionately) stood up and just began esteeming me in a way that was almost too much for me to accept. She told me she loved me and that she was so glad I’d come to be with them during this time. She also spoke of my being one of her favorite people and her long admiration for the person I was and had become along with my accomplishments as a mother and a woman. She then also asked if I noticed I didn’t call and ask if it was ok to come by like in times past but that like true family I just drove the hour to come and see about them, because that’s what real family does they don’t schedule or ask permission to be family it’s just something that you do.

I just wept because it was so unexpected but something I knew was genuine because of the genuine and compassionate person she’d always been towards myself and my mother. As she held me seemingly like a mother would her grown child and rubbed my hair, I then feel another body coming toward to hug me and it was my stepmother. The one who I hadn’t had a good relationship with for years she then agreed with what was said and continued to say how she loved me and she still only viewed me as her daughter. She also began along with her sister just to praise God openly (an experience I’d never witnessed from her) and they just openly thanked God for bringing their niece/daughter home. My aunt then said how she was so sick and nervous and how my being there had calmed her in a way she couldn’t believe to the point where she could eat and felt much better even after shedding a couple tears.  Also reminded me that I am loved, accepted by them, and needed in their family. As I continued to weep at the words I was hearing and taking in all that was happening my own father sat distant just watching and also praising God.

I knew for him it hadn’t been easy being married to a woman who didn’t get along with his children and over time may appear to have driven a wedge that he had no clue how to dismantle. I thought on how awkward things must have been for him and how he probably had to take stands for both of us to show where his loyalty lied. As they continued sharing kind words and openly thanking God I then openly shared my mother’s request for me to move forward in forgiveness and they began to thank her for sharing me with them. At this point, I was seemingly drowning in my own tears and thanking God because I knew it was only Christ that could do something like this. My father then joined this circle and hugged us all and praised God. It was just an epic time, as I think back on it now it’s just all so unbelievable that it occurred. I imagine my mother smiling down on me and all of them really as it was her constant prayer that her children received the best and God’s favor with everyone. My thoughts immediately wished that my youngest brother and only son to my mother was present and that he too could be esteemed in a such a way that healed some of his wounds as he has many. I shared that he too needed to hear this and I remain confident in the God I serve that one day he absolutely will but that particular day God reserved and knew that my soul needed healing.

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Hey Good Looking

This week I tried my hands at something new…cooking. Before you begin getting all judgemental because I have a family and should know how to cook, well I do. I’d like to think it’s evolved from my college days, as early in my friendship with my now husband I explained, “I’m not sure if I’m the best cook but hey…I like it, hope you do too.” Turns out unless he’s lied for 11 years and counting that he didn’t mind it at all. Well, all except my take on vodka pasta with ricotta cheese and shrimp, he told me that it was horrible after I slaved over a tiny toaster oven 7 months pregnant (and it was) but you don’t tell your pregnant emotional wife that but I digress. Working at a boarding school or just having days off and working nights makes it difficult to prepare meals if you don’t have the forethought to prep them. I’m not a “meal prepper”, I’ve seen the pictures on Instagram and videos on YouTube with those that are about that life and think to myself gosh that’s cool but I’ll pass. Some days I want to pay someone to do it for me then I remember that those coins are best spent elsewhere and the thought passes.

With my husband now back in school and no longer having to run to the city as I used to, it seems I have more time on my hands. As I’m developing my “next”, reworking this blog, and trying to fill up my time I’ve decided one of those days will be dedicated to creating dishes from Pinterest that I’ve saved. There was a crockpot honey garlic chicken recipe that had my mouth watering in the morning on Monday! I thought to myself, “I’m going to the store and purchase those ingredients stat!” When Tuesday rolled around my enthusiasm was curbed and before you know it, I was on the couch reading a book. It wasn’t until I became hungry that I remembered and so I started taking out ingredients to use in my crockpot.

1. Chicken thighs (check)

2. Honey (not enough)

3. Fresh garlic (all out)

4. Onions (out)

This recipe is looking bleaker and bleaker gosh! Anyway, I went online to one of those build a dish from ingredients you currently have at home websites, everything it populated was mouth- watering yet each one I lacked the full list of items. I then decided to use what I have and call in the flavor cavalry (my father) for seasoning advice, he suggested that I blend both curry and ginger together instead of just using one. Here’s what I came up with.

Curry Ginger Chicken w/ Mushrooms in Butter Sauce

Total prep to late time: 40 minutes

1.Chicken Thighs

2. Curry, ginger, garlic and onion powders

3. Sea salt and cracked black pepper

4. 1/3 stick of butter

5. 1 container of mushrooms (sliced)

Coat skillet with coconut oil spray and seasonings and place chicken in on medium heat constantly spoon butter and spices over chicken

Once both sides of the chicken are cooked thoroughly and seasoned throw in 1 container of sliced mushrooms and continue spooning the butter and spices over as they saute. Trust me you’ll want all those brown bits!

My final result placed over prepared salad surprised even me…DELICIOUS!

View from the top (no camera tricks or filters here) 

The funny thing about this dish is that it was the sequel to my original dish I was preparing the one I originally tried to put together with ingredients from home after not buying what I needed for that tasty Pinterest dish I saw. That dish that ended up being a chicken and couscous eye sore still taste pretty good, but my lunch above stole the show so I dare not post pics of anything incomparable. If you decide to make this dish comment below.

Mornings Like This

This morning alike many, my family and I are headed in different directions. As of late, my husband is back in school and like many college students has an 8 am class. Our daughter “munchkin” has to be in school at 9 am. This basically means they both leave home by 7:30 am and I get up much earlier to make sure I can properly facilitate this production with ease. Nevermind the fact that at 6 am I also check to make sure all of my students are up, finishing their necessary details, chores, and are ready for school. As well I’ve added a new nugget to my morning routine, which is prayer and reading my devotional scriptures and even a cup of coffee or tea if I so desire, with all of this beginning at the best timeslot for a night owl such as myself; 5 am!

After getting the students out to school and my husband following them out of the door, I head back into my personal home (connected by a door via the student’s hallway) and wake up munchkin for school. I turn on her light and ask her ever so sweetly to get up careful not to get her attitudinal response. This approach almost never works and I either have to a) rush her by telling her she’s already late or b) remind her that dad has to go to class, or c) yell about my not being late for my Monday morning meeting. Usually the second of the three works, but when it doesn’t, elevating my tone (after 5 sweet attempts) makes it abundantly clear it is 7 am. I then race to get dressed and pack munchkin’s lunch. With one shoe on, as I button my shirt and check the time, I start doing my mental/verbal checks to ensure munchkin has met all the checks on the “mommy tasklist”.

You know the basics…
1. No crusty eyes or stinky breath (check)
2. Used deodorant & lotion (check)
3. Cute clothing w/ no leggings and short shirts (check)
4. Eat something for breakfast that’s not junk food (check)
5. Hair isn’t all over her head (check)
6. Packed bookbag & grabbed lunch???

This morning #6 on the mommy task list had not been met but munchkin was already having a mini meltdown after I popped a pimple that was calling out to me (pimples at 10?) and fixing her hair. With my praise music blasting and the clock ticking I’d done my part for her and was returning to do my own finishing touches. Like actually putting on both shoes and correctly buttoning my blouse that my husband noted in its current state would have given more than an eye full at my Monday morning meeting. As hubby prepares to leave with munchkin racing behind, I must ask the dreaded question. This question separates the munchkin’s from the tweens in my world, this question reminds my child that mommies are still needed many times, and ever so often gives space for the occasional apology or joking “Ha!” response from the munchkin when she’s got things all together. In the sweetest tone as I’d awakened her I inquire, “Do you have everything?” She replies with her smug tone, (mad at the world that she’s still sleepy, doesn’t like her hair style and so wishes mom would stop babying her with these checks) “Yes mom!”When she then realizes she actually doesn’t have her lunch she looks up at me and see’s this expression as I swing her lunch from my pinky finger.

martin-told-you-so-faceI L-O-V-E me some Martin Lawrence but what I love more is how this meme fully captures my facial response this morning! Munchkin soberly looked at me for a minute and said,”Bye mommy.”

 

 

My 3rd Worst Nightmare

I don’t proclaim to have nightmares and in real life, I don’t have many if rarely any at all (praise Jesus). However, if ever I ranked nightmares or scary life moments last night was top three for sure! In the midst of a regular busy night working with my students, I was being pulled in multiple directions with homework, and signatures, and chore checks, and being asked permission to do this or that but I knew I would need to walk away to attend to my munchkin as she had some portion of homework due the next day that I would have to assist her with. The problem with this was Monday is typically the busiest day of the week for us in general and yesterday I also ran my junior high girls group prior to returning from dinner at our campus cafeteria. On days like these, my husband takes the remaining students with him to basketball practice, (if I never mentioned it here my husband coaches the basketball team in conjunction with us family teaching).

This busy schedule is something that we’ve become accustomed to over the four years we’ve worked here between Jesus, love for each other, and the desire to do our best job we make it work. Last night as I mentioned, my munchkin had homework still in the balance and not just a sheet here or there, we allowed her to ambitiously take on the 5th grade science fair and it wasn’t the science fair that you or I may have known this was the real deal APA format, association paperwork style science fair. We honestly were two extensions behind on her actual paper and single conclusion page. I planned on just biting the bullet and typing the paper for her as she researched and spoke in her own words. Seemingly there has barely ever been enough time to work on more than an experiment a week of which she was to do six total and now here we sat in need of a conclusion.

Being the academic that I am, part of me wanted my daughter to fully experience this project head on and learn from it and experience what she may and the other part wanted her to win and see her smile bright from finishing the process. This process the time kept eclipsing for last week’s harsh cold I am still coughing from, and the week priors long weekend in which we took downtime to enjoy, and the week prior recuperating from the holiday break. All of which are excuses but when you basically work 24 hours six days a week the excuses hold more validity.

As I enter the kitchen to pull my daughter away from her tablet as she finishes a late dinner of pizza with no fruit or side salad (I’ve continuously asked my husband and munchkin to please include) I glance at the clock and notice it’s almost 9:30 pm one full hour past her bedtime and one full hour away from the two hours of time I mentally dedicated to finishing any due homework for the next day. Everywhere in America, I’m sure parents are met with great resistance when they ask their children to step away from electronics or television, and don’t let it be a coveted item or favorite show, game, or social media app (so entirely grateful my munchkin is phoneless and ten) things can get majorly intense. When munchkin looked up at me from said tablet with the eyes of disdain my inner mommy thought about taking the tablet (Christmas present from grandma) and breaking it into a million pieces to teach her don’t you ever look at me with slow disdain as to think I’m interrupting you!

Part of the backstory to this is my munchkin (seemingly munchkin not often) has been having issues with her attitude as of lately. Lately being more like last year she started her cycle at the tail end and tender age of 9, I hoped and prayed it was a fluke and faded into year 13 but I’d later find out that Allison women (the family to which I’ve married into) have early onset periods! I didn’t get my cycle until I was 15 years old, but I digress! So the early menses makes for a very moody Judy anyway, insert this new “tweendom” we’ve entered that my daughter screams from every proverbial mountaintop and that she has entered the stage of a different level of desired independence and opinion and well…there you have it folks, a recipe for mommy-daughter issues.

After I reminded myself that I and a church member prayed this morning in preparation for moments like this I remembered putting on my whole armor and that the enemy was just waiting for a chance to test me. I tried to keep calm, reminded her we won’t be doing that and had her turn the tablet off in preparation. What happened next couldn’t have been expected in my version of a New York Times bestseller, but maybe just maybe it lived in the back of my mind in that weeded area I allowed to grow. Hoping that if it stayed hidden it would never become reality. We had a discussion about her attitude and I asked her why do we always have to deal with this and reminded her of the time (all in mother tone) invited her father to join the conversation and stated that I was no longer doing the science fair project because it was too much work for me and it was not what we discussed when munchkin and I went over the science fair contract (yes contract) sent home from school months ago.

With that said there was a $35 fee that needed to be paid in the event a student didn’t resign from the project prior to December 1st. My husband spoke on how we have been back and forth with saying the project was on and off and extensions had been granted, and he didn’t understand what the issue was with us as it seemed the project should’ve been fun and not stressful and so it was official he was putting a stop to it. That’s when my daughter burst into tears admitting she’d planned to do science for three years and win an award in 8th grade that would propel her into a good high school and a good college so she could be just like mommy and get into good schools, and have options, scholarships, and be featured on tv for being valedictorian. As I type this out I am more impressed with her having actually been impacted by something I shared about my life that in her little ten-year-old mind she’d mapped out this metaphorical road to success if-you-will. Last night I couldn’t see the forest for the trees in that area but my motherly instincts just knew those tears she cried weren’t just about the science fair.

Sooo, I did what every mother would do and asked a comparative question. “Munchkin, why are you crying what’s really the issue?” She replied, “Well, I don’t know, the tears just keep coming and coming!” I then responded with, “Munchkin look at those pictures of us and you and your dad (on her vanity) what do you see?” Munchkin then replies, “I see me smiling and happy.” I take it one step further and ask, “So what’s different now and then? Why are we always in disagreement lately, why do you always have an attitude as of lately?” Munchkin then replied with a straight face after talking to one of the younger students (11-year-old 6th grade) that we’ve allowed munchkin to become close with. The same student I’d earlier reprimanded for blatantly lying to my face who, unfortunately, had tiny manipulative ways beyond her years wrapped in the cutest 11-year-old smile and voice to match. I, unfortunately, need to mention this student is adopted and we meet with the opposition of her past as described by her adoptive parent often. (This doesn’t help my case of wanting to adopt and trying to get the hubby to buy in either may I add.) This student asked if my munchkin thought that we treat her (munchkin) differently or treat the students better than we treat her. Munchkin’s response? Sometimes.

Enter…my ugly gut-wrenching cry for the next 10 minutes with intervals of I quit this shit today (I’ve since repented), I can’t do this, I never wanted her to feel that way or say it, how dare this kid (my student) just ask this &*^%$@# question!

All time stood still as I heard what I hoped I’d never hear, always tried to balance, every working mother’s nightmare on steroids due to the position I currently hold. Meanwhile, everyone with mics dropped them, the world stopped spinning, healthcare became free for all citizens, and everyone’s debt just had a jubilee experience. How, why, where, when, for what purpose would this student think to ask this question? I would later find out my munchkin thought it was really random too. Dealing with what just took place we all cried, as we immediately tried to banish the notion and munchkin got up to hug me looking at me with what weirdly seemed like smiling eyes in the midst of a tsunami and reminiscent of the mother I won’t be able to call directly after this madness. It was slightly comforting but I was mad at her attempting to lightly pat my back and comfort me as I should’ve been doing for her first.

It became more apparent that my recent linking up with a new church member to pray for 5 minutes each morning that felt called and was really random was definitely timely and on purpose. I’ve suffered bouts of anxiety in college and seemingly all my life, it was never diagnosed but as I look back on my life that wasn’t a popular diagnosis in the 90’s especially in African-American culture. My new prayer partner was battling similar as well as issues with her daughters, health, and employer. Before I could think on it when she shared her current prayers the words jumped and escaped my lips, “Do you want to pray sometimes?” Who knew I’d need it just as much as if I didn’t already…hashtag denial.

After our family intervention and my meltdown, I spent the next hour lying in bed with my daughter professing and explaining my love, our love, our hopes, desires, wishes, plans, rationales, and everything else. In-between falling asleep munchkin spoke honestly and admitted she did think that sometimes but not often and more still liked being at our company but finds it hard to deal with the behind the scenes pieces we’ve failed to fully realize. The awkward glances and stares by students who didn’t like reprimands, or the questions they ask of her to try and get to know us without asking us directly, the general child-like questions all kids may find easier to ask about someone else other than their own families. She spoke about how she dealt with that wanting to give people knuckle sandwiches ( my interpretation) and wanting things to be over quickly so making the judgment not to share things with us in fear it would simply perpetuate those stares.

I exclaimed, “my baby!” As to sum up all I’ve ever felt, feared, hoped, prayed for, was proud of in two words. I really meant, I was uber proud of her resolve, she better not ever keep anything from me and we are a team, and I’m watching her grow right before my very eyes. As we lay and talked more, eventually we’d both fall asleep as we once did when she was much younger. She is now almost my exact shoe size and height in the 5th-grade mind you. I would later be disturbed again at 2 am only to find on top of all this madness a student regurgitated all she’d eaten that day somehow right on the brand new carpet in her dorm. When I came to see (half-cocked and dizzy with a major headache) she sat cleaning up her own vomit with a smile saying simply, “Hi Mrs. Allison.” After all the dealings that would follow we sat until almost 4 am awaiting the arrival of her mother to adhere to school policy to pick up any sick child when medical staff isn’t on campus. As I got back to my couch to finalize the barrage of awaited paperwork for the occasion, I thought about all that had just occurred in the last seven hours and somehow knowing that I wasn’t getting up for prayer I text a small prayer to my church friend and allowed Jesus the only one that could allow me to slumber to ease me back to sleep at 4:45 am.

Lord help us mothers, and children everywhere…

 

Much Ado About Nothing 

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Just in case you haven’t noticed or wondered just what exactly was going on over here, yes I’ve changed the name of the blog. It was a decision arrived at over the course of 8 years. Yup, that’s right I began The Wifum Chronicles eight years ago when I was much younger and a new wife and “mum” hence the title. As I look back I realize how writing was my sweet spot then and has always been my therapy. I’ve been writing and sketching alike in diary-like notebooks since I can remember. I still have many notebooks that hold a collection of my doodles and daily notes tool this very day. One thing that has blessed me during this grieving period of my mother is a collection of her writings as well. There are prayers, task lists, notes of wisdom and scripture, as well as her heart basically on paper between her and God. My brother and I are blessed to be the recipients of these private notes and can review them in quiet times when we desire to know her heart, remember her voice when it feels our ears cannot connect to traces of sound memory, or just want to be encouraged as she was a great encouraged! I too hope to leave my notebooks for my munchkin once the Lord comes to whisk me to join my mother in the heavenly places  (tears). Ahem…Jesus let me make it emphatically clear that I like the old folks say, still have a lot of living to do and am no longer so far outside of my own mind and body with grief that I find leaving this earth to join you sooner than my appointed time. No time soon in Jesus name!

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Have you heard the title phrase before? “Much ado about nothing” Originally written by Shakespeare in 1598, the comedy was later adapted into modern books and films. Though this idiom is noted to the earlier 1500’s it has always meant what it does till this day, much worrying about nothing. How many times do you worry about well…nothing? In my experience seemingly too often (I’ve gotten better over the years but still a work in progress) though usually you never realize it until it’s too late or after a specific event or issue has passed. Ever cringe and think my goodness I wasted so much energy on this and it ended well or wasn’t that bad of a situation in hindsight? And don’t actually leave a situation you worried excessively about and actually learn something from it! You end up appreciating that same experience hitting your head like Homer in a Simpson’s episode.

I’d like to assume that happens to us all and probably too often. We worry, draining our daily energies, creativity, or even a good night’s rest. Don’t look at it from a spiritual perspective, “Oh Lord I’ve prayed and worried and still you have blessed this situation with an outcome that was in my favor?” You immediately repent if you’re like me and feel like you’re sinking so low you’ve become a part of your wood flooring. 😔😂 You learn your lesson and go on living to fight another day hoping you’ve tucked the biggest part of your last lesson away so your next trial doesn’t take so long to get through. Oh yes! You know those refresher courses you never sign up for but always seem to repeat until you can wipe the sweat off your brow and have peace in the midst of a trial?  Sometimes it’s not even a trial, we make momentary lessons turn into elongated tests.

I have been sharing this next testimony quite often as it fits but yet when the lesson repeats itself I’ve still yet to realize it until I’m about fifteen minutes of wasted time and energy in. My munchkin God bless her is a “tween” (her words not mine) and with this “tweenship” comes her unadulterated opinion on well…everything but mostly her hair and clothing. She wants her hair in only three ways, all down, in a high bun, or a low ponytail.

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My munchkin prefers jeggings over jeans that she almost always needs assistance pulling off her legs, and shirts or tees that come ever so slightly past her waist otherwise she’ll label the shirts too long and the jeans too big. What@$#&%! These two areas have caused us both much grief in the morning and seemingly this new territory of preteen attitude that turns into defiance and down right disrespect. Initially, it occurred to me after being late to my weekly staff meeting for a month straight that I’m putting my foot down on the clothing but if she wants to wear her hair the exact same way for a month even if I don’t like it, allow her. So I took her to the side and taught her how to brush her own hair and put it in a basic ponytail. Every day for three weeks or so she wore a low ponytail and though she needed some assistance with the sides of her hair she just threw on a wide headband and all was solved. Until one day she realized she needed mommy to help her and had to humble herself. I knew the day would come and as much as I rehearsed my lines to tell her no and mean it, I helped her smooth down those edges and gave her that look like yep mommy’s ARE useful. It soon switched from the hair to her clothing and again I’d find myself spending 20 minutes of our morning right before an important meeting, deadline, or errand lecturing her with us both leaving in a tizzy. It wouldn’t be until later that I’d realize oh gosh there I go again worrying much about nothing. Now it’s a given as my munchkin grows up she has become even more independent and wants to show that and I try to reel in some of that independence back as I see my munchkin becoming a munchkin no more. The Lord gave me yet another remedy. “Tonisha, play praise or worship music in the morning,” and when I say it calms things down oh my goodness does it make a difference! We are both singing and dancing away and statements that should end in my preferred “yes mommy” do and we smile and giggle each morning as we get dressed.

So as I began this post, my blog has been a labor of love for me since 2009 and it began titled “The Wifum Chronicles” and has been renamed “Tdswali Tells All”. I used the later title when I blogged about my small business and others I would find on many nights of research and late night website design for clients. I always thought the title could encompass a lot more but was drawn to my Wifum title’s distinction. I feel this title really completes my blog and the direction as I added a few more areas of discussion and I’m just sharing all aspects of my life and not just motherhood or tales of wifedom. I surely hope you enjoy the reading and that you will share it with others that may enjoy it as well.

 

Life To Lyrics: Can’t Stop Me Now

“Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)”

Hey
All those feelings of depression and doubt
You gotta tell them
Go away
You’ve gotta say get out the way
And let them know
You can’t stop me now
And you throw up both hands wave bye
And then you sail away
You’ve gotta ride away
Let them know
You can’t stop me now

Yeah
Last year I was feeling hopeless
I just wanted it to end
People stealing money from me man
I swear I thought that we was friends
And I was so depressed
I was such a mess
I couldn’t shake it off
Another murder on the television
Man somebody go turn it off
I spoke my mind
I got attacked for it
Thought these people had my backboard
Then they telling me I asked for it
I guess I’m just another black boy
And then they killed Tamir Rice
And they just go on with they life
They telling me shut up talking about it
Like I should just talk about Christ
But the truth is I started to doubt God
I started to question my purpose
I started to act out
I ain’t wanna sign another autograph
Or give a fake smile
Doctors told me that my man died
I almost had a breakdown

So tell depression it can fly away
Tell my doubts that they can die today
Imma catch me a wave, sail away
Can’t stop me now
Tell depression it can fly away
Tell my doubts that they can die today
Imma catch me a wave, sail away
Can’t stop me now

Hey
All those feelings of depression and doubt
You gotta tell them
Go away
You’ve gotta say get out the way
And let them know
You can’t stop me now
And you throw up both hands wave bye
And then you sail away
You’ve gotta ride away
Let them know
You can’t stop me now

Hey, hey
And recently I found a peace to be
Everything that I was meant to be
This my identity
This what he give to me
This what I’m made to be
My daddy still on that crack
And he might never come back
But I still love the man
I don’t judge the man
I could be on that track
I’m glad that Jesus ain’t American
And that’s the reason why I care again
People started praying for me
And homies telling me I was being arrogant
I quit popping them pills
And even though we get killed
I know that God got a greater plan
For the death and blood that we spill

So tell depression it can fly away
Tell my doubts that they can die today
Imma catch me a wave, sail away
Can’t stop me now
Tell depression it can fly away
Tell my doubts that they can die today
Imma catch me a wave, sail away
Can’t stop me now

Hey
All those feelings of depression and doubt
You gotta tell them
Go away
You’ve gotta say get out the way
And let them know
You can’t stop me now
Then you throw up both hands wave bye
And then you sail away
And you’ve gotta ride away
Let them know
You can’t stop me now

#ColoringOutsideTheLines

Can you recall when you were first taught how to color? I can… I had to be about two or so and I can recall my mother explaining to me, “Nish when you color stay inside the lines so you can be ready for kindergarten.” Of course, I’d try to oblige but it never failed it seemed as though those darn black lines kept moving prohibiting me from following instructions. Finally, I would come to master those darn lines only for the same mother who taught me to stay inside the lines to later admit she wished she never told me to stay in the lines as it may have prohibited my creativity based on a study or something she’d seen or read.

I pride myself on being very creative, fairly open-minded, and willing to try many things at least once. There are still levels I have yet to attempt, however when it comes to my hair I am NOT open-minded, I DO NOT try anything beyond my comfort zone and when I’m considering any changes it’s always on MY TERMS and comfort level. About three weeks ago my hubby was scrolling through some pictures of light-skinned women with red hair and showed me a few pictures suggesting he thought I should try the color and thinks it would look nice. This isn’t the first time hubby has suggested a hair color as a few years ago he requested I dye my hair black, let’s just say I never really entertained the idea.

I recently shared with my husband during a trip to the mall that I thought it was time to switch up my look and just reinvent myself overall and that it had been a few years since I’d done any projects on myself. Of course, he conveniently reminded me of this and for the first time, I actually didn’t immediately dismiss the idea. Deep down even though I showed interest I figured that it would be just enough to convince my husband until his desire would pass.  That very next day two of my best friend’s were visiting and they just so happened to agree that I should revamp myself after such a difficult 2016 AND deeply consider doing something for my awesome husband. “It’s only dye Nish, and you’d totally look cute!” I think I neglected to mention they too are “RED-HEADS” (pictured below).

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They both look beautiful with their red hair and it so matches their complexion and personalities. I would never really consider getting red hair because in my mind on my lighter-skinned self it would not look nice no matter what anyone thought or other women of similar complexions wore it well. Eventually, I decided I’d try it and that decision led me to my friend’s beautician who of course was also a freaking red-head! Am I crazy or as it seemed all roads were leading to this red color? With lumps in my throat the size of frogs, Wednesday, January 4th at 10:30 am I allowed the stylist to began the process. By 2:30 it was official, I was a member of the red hair club! I couldn’t deny the style and color were dope! I just wasn’t sold on revealing my new self to the world and if the color itself was right for me. I knew one thing for certain, my husband better LOVE IT because I did this for him AND I never do anything this drastic to my hair.

I couldn’t wait to get home, the travel time was only 40 minutes yet it felt so far and even in the comfort of my car it seemed that eyes from outside were all looking and I was on display. I texted my two friends and aunt a pic and just as they believed it looked great, they were so proud of my courageousness and called names that would boost anybody’s self-esteem. Unfortunately, I was still not feeling it and it was there when I decided all of social media would not be privy to my new change. I had the stylist guarantee in my back pocket as well that she could reverse the process if I didn’t love it. Finally, I would arrive home and immediately enter my room where I found my groggy husband waking from his nap. Giving him seconds to come to himself and say something, anything! I finally said, “And soo…, this will cost you to get redone.” I didn’t receive the type of immediate compliment I thought I would from him and tried to hold back tears so I became angry. Talking to myself as I reminded myself of the sacrifice I made for his desire for spontaneity and how dare he not love it and appreciate it. So much so that as he left for work we barely said goodbye to one another, I’d decided within myself it had gone too far but attempting to shield my feelings I didn’t reach out to him. Instead, I sent him a text only after securing a Friday appointment to recolor and several texts to both my friends and aunt sharing what I thought was just utter gall.

I would later realize he didn’t like the multiple curls and though it was his request the bright red where my blonde streaks once were, took a minute for my sleepy husband to wake up and digest. We both apologized to one another and I dried my tears as I was in my feelings thinking I’d become an ugly duckling. It was then that I decided I would post my picture on social media and come what may I needed to get over whatever the fear of rejection was that I carried. Every day when  I allow my daughter to decide her clothing or hairstyle choices I inquire who may have given her compliments at school. She comes home many days saying none of the students only adults or just her two closest friends. So kind of in her mind she’d receive compliments by default. I remind my munchkin that if you make a decision that you feel good about or was just your choice without anyone’s assistance you should feel good about it and not look for agreement from others to make you remain confident in your choice. In other words, if you choose it and no one else likes it so what it only matters that you the person who wears it likes it most.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. -Who created this quote anyway…?

20170108_151948I digress…I put this picture up and little by little others would comment that they thought the color looked nice. You would think those compliments along with my husband and munchkin’s approval combined would be enough to make me walk a bit more confident but alas…that was not the case. I started thinking about my initial discussion with my husband about revamping myself in conjunction with what a hard last year I’d had and how there are sooooo many different changes that have happened in my life. As I continued to reflect on this I realized that if I could only change my perspective I could really view these changes (though many quite saddening and others more drastic and unexpected) from the cup half full perspective. The next morning I called the beautician and thanked her for her flexibility and her hard-work coloring my mostly virgin hair and decided I will live with this color for a few months. And not only that, but I will embrace it from the perspective of coloring outside the lines the journey to revamping myself in 2017!

How many of you are embarking upon new territory? Have any major changes in 2016 that almost took you under but arose in 2017 with a renewed sense of self and a reminder even further more of who your God is? Have you made a decision to color outside of the lines in your own way in 2017? If so comment below or where you read this post and share your story with the #coloringoutsidethelinesin2017 Feliz Ano Nuevo people, and cheers to all things new!

Sir Brownlie approves this post by the way :0
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