Reflections on 2022
Life is precious. A common sentiment on Sunday morning in the sanctuary is, “If God woke you up this morning, you should give him praise!” I used to roll my eyes (internally) because I felt like this was such a cliché … but if I could take back all of those eyerolls, I would! Taking life for granted is not a good look. There are people who went to school/the grocery store/around the corner/the park/the hospital … etc. … and never made it back home. Every day that I draw breath is a blessing from God.
Be specific with your prayers. My soror and very good friend Tiffany talks a lot about how she prays. She says to be very specific. It’s not enough to say, “Please Lord bless me with a good job.” She would encourage me to spill the details in my prayers in order for God to truly hear what I have to say. Tiff is a praying woman and I admire and respect this about her. Thank you, B! (our nickname for each other)
Take your meds. Look, life be life-ing. And sometimes, you need help. Prayer, water, exercise … and medication. I do not know how I was doing life before I got on a specific medical regiment. (See the first paragraph …)
Drink your water. If you think you’re drinking enough, drink more. I’m just gonna leave this right here.
Move. I love working out. I also love Domino’s pizza and those hot honey wings … so gym time is a necessity. But in all seriousness, I enjoy this time because it is MY time. I listen to my music or a podcast and get in a great workout for 30 minutes to an hour. I feel good and I am seeing results. (I WILL invite you to feel my quads!) I also know it’s great for my mental health and I love the community at the gym. I’m part of the early-riser crew, and Planet Fitness is a godsend. It’s a lifestyle, and I’m here for it! I pack gym clothes on vacation, okaaaay!
40 is great. I turned 40 this year … talk to me nice! If you google the following – what happens when a woman turns 40 – you’ll probably need a glass of wine to digest all of the doomsday content. But here’s what happened with me: I became more grounded in who I am, which means I do what TF I want with no regrets. I have no time for tradition and respectability politics … and I love it here.
Confidence is free. And necessary. Speak power into your life and you will manifest great things. It’s just that easy.
I still hate to lose. And “lose” is subjective … I’ve had a couple of setbacks this year. From my comprehensive exams (receiving a conditional “pass” until I rewrite one part of a question) to a rejection from a Black Feminist Thought summer institute, I felt knocked down. I allow myself to “feel my feelings” for 24 hours, and then I keep it moving. I can’t wallow in what I feel like is failure. As I tell my students, you will sometimes experience a shift in what you thought the outcome should be. And that’s OK. It’s not a failure. It’s not a loss. It’s a lesson to be learned and a chance to seek solutions and different opportunities. And that’s why confidence is so important. You can’t truly lose if you recognize the winner within.
I stopped cooking like I used to. Look, Kroger’s rotisserie chickens and premade side items are just fine with me. I might hit the stove and/or a crock pot occasionally, but I realized that I don’t HAVE to cook everyday. I like to save money and know that cooking at home is cost-efficient, but there are still ways to save myself time.
My mama still cooks, though. I needed my mom earlier this fall, so I drove to MS to get her. She stayed with me for nearly 3 weeks. I’d wake up in the AM to breakfast sandwiches. I’d take my lunch break and there was a hot meal for me. Dinner was ready before 5. I couldn’t have made it through November without her being present and helping me when I was completely burned out.
Relationships are important. I’d been talking with my therapist about my close friendships and how I want to do better with nurturing them. I realized that I was taking these relationships for granted. More specifically, I was making an assumption that people would always be there and that’s just not the case. I can’t use “I’m always busy” as an excuse because being busy is a choice. So is picking up the phone, making a trip, sending a gift, and reaching out. Tell people how you feel about them.
Last but certainly not least … always tip. Maintain your boundaries. Believe in love. Wash your face. Don’t touch my hair.
Here’s to 2023! Let’s do this …
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