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I’m not big on birthday celebrations and if I can, I like to receive my congratulations from afar.  Facebook wishes or text messages are perfect but don’t throw me a surprise party because my social anxiety will crack under the pressure.  Generally, I don’t have too much difficulty avoiding people or social engagements on this day since it falls so close to Christmas and New Year, most people are already tapped out emotionally and financially.  My friends, the stars were aligned on the day I was born.

I’m really starting to feel my age lately.  I think it’s accentuated a bit more because I don’t drink anymore and because I’m a parent.   I appreciate my sleep a whole lot more and I need it to happen during regular sleepy time hours or it legit doesn’t count.  When someone asks me to go out, I assume it’s a play date or doesn’t require me to be out of the house past 9pm.  If either of those isn’t the case then I assume you’ve asked the wrong person or you’re simply asking me to be polite (I LOVE polite invitations with no expectations). My muscles ache a lot more than they use to and, as far as I’m aware, my body make a lot more noises when moving from bending to standing.  I marvel at how quickly time passes to friends, acquaintances and strangers far more often than I’m proud of, and I legitimate enjoy discussing the weather outlook with family members.  Also, I have a lot of conversations “with” my dog (he responds with his eyes, the looks say it all) about his eating habits and how neither of us is to ever die.  Now that I think about it, that might be akin to something other than my age but let’s just keep moving.

Birthday’s tend to start off with reflection, on myself, who I was, who I’ve become and who I’d like to be.  Now, if you add in New Year resolutions and Christmas gratitude and you’ll see I’ve got hella thoughts happening right now.  So, this year I’m going to (trying to) keep it simple. Write every day. A specific medium is not required.  Whether it be writing here, on a scrap of paper, in my journal, or something thoughtful on Facebook, doesn’t matter.  As long as I write.   Writing generates thoughts I didn’t realize were in my head which in turn, forces reading, research and reflection.  Pretty decent cycle, covers a lot of bases and makes me sound smart. Check – check – check.

Now that I’ve admitted my “new year/birthday” goal, publicly documented it, and shown that I’ve committed to it (the proof is in the pudding baby!) I think i’m allowed to proceed with my old lady birthday enjoyment.  A massage, a nap and a movie are in my future.

I better get moving, it’s already almost 8:30am and I intend to be in bed 8pm.  Cause i’m gonna party like it’s my birthday.

 

Another One Bites the Dust

Another holiday season has come and gone.  I hope it was a lovely one for you and went the way you wanted, whether you hoped to be surrounded by family and friends or you just needed to get through it.

Christmas is such a big holiday for most people (at least it is here in Canada),  the pressure of the season is so overwhelming that it can take away from the true sentiment of it.  When I was in junior high, I remember feeling stressed and worried that what I received wouldn’t compare to friends and classmates.  My clothes wouldn’t be the right brands, I didn’t get the coolest toys and most of all, did it look like enough money was spent on me.  I always knew these things didn’t matter, Christmas is about the people you’re with, but the holiday message is most often overshadowed by the dolla dolla bills y’all.  So, I’m here to publicly admit that I’m not a big Christmas fan. Old news if you actually know me but this is my blog, so keep reading.

My favorite national holiday is Thanksgiving by a landslide.  The sole purpose is to have a day off of work, spend time with loved ones, and eat delicious food while reminding each other the many reasons that you’re grateful. You can’t go wrong with that.  The commercialization of Christmas and the pressure to spend-spend-spend is too much for my cynical and poor-at-heart self.  I generally keep that to myself (except to my Mom and my boyfriend, sorry guys) until the holidays are over because no one likes a spoil sport.  Plus, I have kids now so I have to pretend to like a whole slew of things.  It’s in the parental contract.

All that being said, my holiday was wonderful and my family felt immense love. I’m forever thankful, appreciative, lucky, and grateful – regardless of what the date on the calendar is.

 

Detox Recap

a.k.a.  – I love Twizzlers

In a post, I wrote a couple of months back (Trying to say bye to the haze) I tried a cleanse to help clear my mind and kick my sugar addiction.  I chose the Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox and I gotta say, it wasn’t terrible! That’s my version of a glowing review, FYI.

Without getting into the specifics of the detox, HK Love Bites has a good overview here if you’re interested, I found that the recommended diet helped me get back to basics, and determine which foods worked well for my body and what didn’t.

One huge change for me was noticing the effect the sugar had on my overall mood. I was happier, less moody, less sluggish and my circadian clock got itself back on track  It was only a week but the changes were extremely noticeable to me. Please note, I generally eat hella sugar. More than normal, more than what’s right or okay.

This cleanse managed to make me change my overall diet, make better food choices, become more conscious about what foods I like, how I can cook healthier and what makes me feel best. (For instance, dairy, and peanuts make my gut say, “no, no, no”. Guys, I feel like we’re really bonding.)  A bonus to the whole thing was losing roughly 10 pounds!  Well, partly the cleanse and partly the multiple times I had the stomach flu. I’ll still give Wild Rose some of the credit.

I’d recommend trying this out if you’re looking to kick sugar for a little bit/system restart (we aren’t meant to live without licorice forever), you have time on your hands to prepare your meals and snacks, and don’t really have anywhere to be.  I did this while unemployed and home with my kid all day. If I had to do this while working in an office, I wouldn’t last 1 day because office snacks, potlucks and lunch meetings are designed for us all to fail at healthy eating.  Add kids and my laziness in the mix and you’d find me eating chips at my desk for breakfast day 1.

That’s enough healthy eating talk for 2016.  Now, let’s embrace December for all of its full-fat, sugary and carbolicious majesticness. Eggnog french toast, here I come!!!

Predetermined

Last night, I stole a muffin that was meant for my kids and I ate it. Once they were out of sight, I seized my opportunity and gleefully stuffed the gigantic chocolate chocolate-chip muffin into my mouth while watching a PVR’d episode Big Bang Theory.  No less than 2 hours later,  nausea kicked in. The porcelain god began to play his siren song and I was drawn to the bathroom.  All night long, I suffered. Paid my dues. Karma is a bitch and she got her revenge.  Never again will I steal a muffin given to my kids by their grandfather. Please pay attention to how specific that “never again” was…. I may borrow a muffin from my children in the future, just not in the scenario mentioned above.

There is the possibility that it’s simply the stomach flu and it was a random bug I picked up along the way,  an occupational hazard for being a parent.

I’m too dramatic for a simple bug, so karma it is!

While I lay on the couch, resigned to my fate, I opened up a little package I’ve received in the mail. Three great books with a lovely note that said, “you deserve these. Get reading and writing, make this time count”.

I’m inspired! How thoughtful! So kind!

Just another twist of fate.  While I am in the process of starting my own business and writing with focus and purpose, I get this motivation at my door!

If you haven’t already, please re-read that last bit in a sarcastic tone. Now, you get it.

I sent this package to myself.  Surprise!  I was surprised when it arrived, my memory is terrible and I forgot I ordered it online.

I bought myself a book to improve my writing style, another to try a new author and the third to visit a well-known one.  At the checkout, I added the note because I think I’m hilarious.

I’m a believer of fate but sometimes you gotta make your own destiny, or at least push it in the direction you want.

Am I right? Or am I right?

 

 

Evolved

For the past month and a half, I’ve written more than a dozen posts that have been saved to drafts.  Trying to figure out “who I am” and “what I want to say” has been a challenge.

BTW, I purposefully put those in quotes to emphasize the cheesiness of both phrases.

My inner battle has a name and it goes by Hypocrite.

I’ve done things in my life I’m not proud of, some I’m even ashamed of.  I feel like I’ve lived 6 different lives as 6 variations of the same person.  Part of my past, the person I was and the things I’ve done I attribute to drugs and alcohol,  immaturity and just being an idiot.  At what point can I grant myself forgiveess and allow myself into a new phase of life without worrying I’m a phoney.  Is it at the point a lesson is learned?  When apologies are made, regardless of whether or not the offender is forgiven?  When a person can honestly admit to themselves that who they were wasn’t who they should have been and make efforts to no longer want to live that way?  How long do these life changes need to be in effect in order to say the change is real?

When I read the news and see the human suffering happening everywhere, every day, my perspective on life is challenged.  Can I cry for the soul of a young black man murdered in front of his family, a soul I never knew, and then sign a petition and share it to facebook as though I’ve made a difference.   Having a strong moral opinion on the horrific atrocities happening in Aleppo doesn’t change the fact that I’m still sitting safely in my living and haven’t done more than shared articles to facebook or donated money.

I’ve been far from a perfect friend, girlfriend, daughter, sister, auntie, step-mother and mother. Made many mistakes, both intentional and unintentional.  Trying to come to terms with who you are is a struggle at any age and phase of life, for most people (I think?)  Honestly, it just plain fucking sucks. It’s painful and embarrassing and not a quick journey. I hope owning my past and feeling remorse for the person I was and the time I wasted is part of my path to redemption. Or, at the very least, I hope I’m balancing out my karma with all the sleepless nights with Theo,  cleaning up poop from every surface area in his floor.

xx Rascal

So don’t matter how much I say I like to preach with the Panthers
Or tell Georgia State “Marcus Garvey got all the answers”

Or try to celebrate February like it’s my B-Day
Or eat watermelon, chicken, and Kool-Aid on weekdays

Or jump high enough to get Michael Jordan endorsements
Or watch BET cause urban support is important

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street when gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?
Hypocrite!

Kendrick Lamar – The Blacker the Berry

I forgot and remembered my Mom’s birthday

Yesterday, as soon as I woke up and gathered up my kids, I phoned my Mom to wish her a Happy Birthday. She laughed and said, “You’re a day early, call me back tomorrow”.  My step-daughter thought that was ridiculously hilarious.Her birthday is October 22nd, I know that, but I either thought Friday was the 22nd or that

Her birthday is October 22nd, I know that, but I either thought Friday was the 22nd or that I woke up and it was Saturday.  I’m not really sure.  This is small potatoes when you consider that my mother once threw my Uncle a surprise birthday party a month early by accident.  This got me thinking about how it seems I’m quickly turning into my mother.  Glasses, Fro and the ability to sleep any and everywhere.

In honor of my beautiful Mom’s birthday (October 22nd, in case you’ve forgotten), I thought it would be fitting to recognize some of the traits I’ve picked up on my way to becoming my mother.  A more crass, much louder and severely unstable version of her.

I am always mixing up my children’s names with each other, the pets and my partner. When I was a kid, it drove me nuts when my Mom would call me by my brother’s names.  Of her 3 kids, I’m the only girl, so I deserve some sort of special place in her brain.  I’ve kicked up her mo a notch by throwing my own name into the rotation, gets me some street cred.

I notice IMMEDIATELY how loud music. In a store, at the playpark, in the car or in my house. Why is it so loud? Who is loud for? You? Me? The neighbors two blocks away?  If it’s past 10pm, not a song that I regularly listen or poorly mixed with techno you better believe I’m turning it off/down or walking away.  Unless it’s music that I’ve put on, then there are no rules.

I love to tell my step-daughter that I’m funny.  I make jokes, she rolls her eyes, I bust a gut laughing and she says “that’s not even funny”.   To this day, my mother’s response to “you’re so funny, Mom” (sarcasm font) is, “thank you! I’m glad I have you kids to remind me how funny i am!” And I still roll my eyes, just like I did 20 years ago.  Well, the torch has been passed and I proudly carry on her legacy. My children may not laugh but I will for I am the star stand-up comedian in my mind.  And that’s all that matters.

When I’m pissed as hell at my kids and I’m telling them they better get outta my face before I beat them (jk I don’t’ say that…) I can feel the essence of my mother circa 1988 rise up from within and take over.  It’s as though I don’t have a choice, I can hear her words coming out of my mouth, “That is NOT how we behave or how we treat people.” I even spit a little when I yell. *sigh* Just like she did when I was a kid.  I appreciated the spittle, though, it’s how us kids knew what level of anger she was at and how long we should hide out in our bedrooms.

Baking with my kids is pretty much one of my favorite things to do, partly because I love eating and because it reminds me of being in the kitchen with my mother.  I loved baking with my mom, she would always invite us in to help with whatever it was she was working on.  Being ever so kind, she would let me mix the cookie batter and pretend not to notice when I stole some from the bowl to eat.  I can’t publicly admit to letting mine eat the mix because of our current knowledge of salmonella and the internet police/judgment but you know (wink wink).

I love Mariah Carey’s Christmas album.  I know other people love it but we ain’t talking about them.  Our love for that album runs deep, passed down from generation to generation.  If my kids are lucky, they’ll get to dance around the kitchen, listening to the great MC sing “All I want for Christmas” while  waiting for the biscuits ( a recipe passed down from Great-Grandma) to come out of the oven.

Just like Mom and I would do.

xx