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Don’t wait for retirement

Last Friday as I waited for my Jeep to be serviced, an elderly white man started a conversation about how cold it was in the building (it really was freezing in there). We then compared complaints about the servicing of our vehicles. My ‘appointment’ was at 5pm and here it is 7:10pm and tensions (well mine anyway) were high. He was there before I was.

I observed this man as he talked. He walk with a cane because of his noticeably, uneven limp. His shoulder was awkwardly uneven as well. With all of this deformities, he was in great spirits. He then told me the story of how his misfortunes happened. Everything was great, he retired from his job in 2017. About 9 months later, he had hip surgery. And because of the surgery it started a chain of events… from the metal corroding in his hip to the corrosion poisoning his blood. From leukemia, to a cyst rupturing, to 4 surgeries in less than 2 years… all after retiring. These are supposed to be his days to enjoy the fruits of his labor. These are the times when he should be enjoying playdates with his grandson. Now, it is hard for him to keep his balance or to walk a straight line.

He paused for a moment as he stared out of the window. Then he said, “I won’t live like this too much longer.” I said, “Ohhh, don’t say that.” He replied without looking away from the window, “Nah… I am a realist.” His response hit me like a bolt of lightning. 1) I say that very phrase all of the time – I am a realist. 2) It was an “AH-HAA” moment – a moment of reckoning, if you will. It was as if God was speaking to me through this man, a man I have never met before and probably will never see again.

I learned through him that I must not ‘wait’ to enjoy life. I don’t have to wait until retirement to do the things that I have always wanted to do. At one time when I was single, I used to be afraid to travel alone. But now that I have a travel partner (my husband), we both promised to visit different places if we have the opportunity. And I recommend all of my friends (solos and couples) to not hinder yourselves from enjoying this life God gave you. Because in a split second, it could all be taken away from you. Do it now!

As the old man walked away when he finally got his truck back from the technician, I couldn’t help but smile and be thankful for the reminder that despite all of the things going on in this world, life truly goes on. And we must take it upon ourselves to live like it’s our last day. From the window, I saw the man waved good-bye to me as he drove away. Thank you, God. And thank you for this man you sent your message through.

Until next time … be blessed!

Live like you could lose your life…

Everyone has thought about death at one time or another. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, a death of a celebrity or even one’s own death – it has been thought about. The question that turns in my head is which is worse – a sudden death or an expected death?

First… this post isn’t supposed to be morbid. I am just trying to realistically evaluate the ideas that are swarming around in my brain. I promise, it’s just a thought-provoking question.

In 1996, I encountered two deaths in my immediate family. My grandmother, who was my heart, died unexpectedly from a heart attack. She was all alone when the tragedy happened. I was told how that afternoon, she was talking and laughing with family members. There was no indication that anything was wrong. But by the time I went to see her, she was lying on the floor. Gone.

My father had been diagnosed with leukemia three years prior, going in and out of remission. Whenever it seemed the end was near, he always pulled through. This last time, though, it seemed like he wasn’t getting better – sleeping all of the time, requesting more pain meds – he just wasn’t himself. We knew it was inevitable, but I wasn’t ready. He had a granddaughter on the way – literally due in one week. But he didn’t make it. Gone.

Two deaths – one unexpected, one expected. Honestly, I can’t say which one hurt the worst? Two of the most significant people in my entire life were gone in the same year. And both just about shredded my heart into pieces.

There are millions of people who are diagnosed with different medical conditions where you know the outcome will be death. Whether you have years, months, days, hours – you know the end is near. There are millions of people who are murdered, killed in accidents, etc., and their life has ended unexpectedly. Their life was snatched away with no option to make decisions.

On a personal note, I have a mass growing inside of me that is followed closely by an oncologist. Does this frighten me? Of course! However, in the meantime, I choose to grab the bull by the horns and ride until it is time to get off (or thrown off). Today is the day to live like you could lose your life at any minute. If no one want to go on a trip with you, go solo. If you have a dream of owning a business but you have no support, do it anyway. Always do what is best for YOU! Sometimes, I fall short and forget how blessed I am to be alive. I get caught up in every day life as any other normal person would. However, I need to remember to stop the merry-go-round every once and awhile so I can stand still and get my balance back. With that being said, I am going to get ready for DATE NIGHT with my husband.

Until next time… be blessed.

Good Stress

I AM STRESSED! The kind of stress that makes your hair turn grey sooner than it is supposed to. The kind of stress that makes you lose the much needed amount of sleep that is required on a daily basis. The kind of stress that has you drinking more coffee than the body is used to. Yes… that kind of stress! However, it’s a GOOD STRESS!

First off, my apologies for being M.I.A. for the last few weeks. I’ve always tried to write on my blog at least 2 times a week. In that time, I’ve changed jobs, went on a cruise, painted inside the house, moved furniture, redecorated… the word busy is an understatement. The next few weeks will be more moving of furniture for phase II of inside renovations. And I am ok that. Remember, this is GOOD STRESS.

I was a little apprehensive about changing things around in my husband’s house. The colors he was used to seeing would be changed. Moving the things out that were cluttering the inside to the garage or sent to the Thrift Store was a relief. Changing curtains to give a little bit of life to a gloomy room. It is amazing how colors can effect a room and/or mood. I am truly thankful that my husband is pleasantly pleased with the transformations. His approval means so much to me.

I tried to be mindful not to become too anxious with the modifications. I, for one, believe that [some] change is good. But I also wanted to make sure I didn’t upset my (step)son by rearranging (for instance) a picture that his (deceased) mother may have hung up. Things like that. However, he has been very receptive of the change.

I am still going to have busy weeks ahead doing other things. I have other ‘plans’ for my book. It’s just that priorities are taking precedence over what I want to do. In the meantime, I pray I won’t lose focus of my dreams. I’ll take one day at a time and enjoy this GOOD STRESS!

Until next time … be blessed!

Haunted

I am haunted by the past.

As much as I try to forget, it won’t leave me alone. I go about my day, not bothering anyone, not saying anything, yet … I am reminded. I am constantly reminded that I am no one special. Not as special as I hoped to be. I ask myself sometimes, how can ‘I’ change? What can I do to make myself feel worthy ‘for’ the change?

For the most part, as with any adult, you hope for change. As you get older, your mindset changes significantly (hopefully) to better oneself. Whether it be physically, financially, spiritually or mentally. The majority of us want to do better in life. We want that assurance that we, our significant other and/or children don’t have to struggle like we did. So we do whatever need to be done to create a stress-free life. Right?

Speaking for myself, I have failed. I let my mind disrupt my happiness alot of times. And I know that my lack of happiness can be sensed by my family. My thought process can be brutally harsh to my esteem. Yet, I always manage to be able to support those all around me. Honestly, and this may sound a little hypocritical, but my spiritual gift is being a comforter; to inspire motivation to others. I know how it feels to be depressed. I would NEVER wish my disruptive mentality on anyone. The only problem is … I have a hard time motivating myself.

I just wish that I had enough strength to not let the past bother me. It is supposed to be behind me and not flourish into my future. However, it is a battle that I know I won’t win. I won’t. I am not being negative, just realistic. I can’t cover it up or throw it away. And it surely cannot be erased. Therefore, it will be a part of my life forever. The goal is to accept it for what it is and move on. This is why I am so grateful for my biggest supporter… my husband. Somehow, he seems to know when my mind is getting the best of me. He does everything in his power to brighten my dark places. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he doesn’t. Either way, I am still so grateful for him.

Until next time… be blessed.

Bondage in my own mind

Sometimes… no, alot of times… my insecurities get the best of me. It’s not like I go searching for reasons to feel this way. Unfortunately, it already has a home embedded in the far back corner of my mind where I try to keep it hidden. But quite often, it makes an ugly appearance.

You know the old cliche, we are our own worst critics. Well, I believe that to be true. Sometimes I see more bad than good. Seems like the bad is always enhanced into more than what it really is. It gets to a point where it is believable (why wouldn’t it be true?). I try to shake this feeling but sometimes I start choking on my thoughts – suffocating and praying to be able to breathe. Other people don’t see what I see. They will never understand how much it hurts to be in bondage of your own mind.

Yet and still, I go on. Despite my inner battles with my thoughts, I manage to get up and put one foot in front of the other. I have have too many things to do and too many people depending on me. It is then that I try to encourage myself and change my thought process into something positive. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Right now, my negative thoughts are winning. With that being said, I’m go to bed so I won’t have to ‘think’ the rest of tonight.

Until next time… be blessed.

LoveNHappiness — markshipmansr

🥰❤❤❤ HE LOVES ME ❤❤❤🥰

It’s been ALMOST a year. It’s fitting that our anniversary will this year fall on “Resurrection Sunday” because this woman resurrected in me something that I thought was dead, the ability to love again. I felt that I had already received way more blessings than I deserved. I was thankful for what God had given […]

LoveNHappiness — markshipmansr

I need a little solitude

I’m tired. I can’t quite put my hands on why, I just know I’m tired. Mentally, I am drowning in my own thoughts. It’s not even a specific thing. It’s several things swirling around together. Physically, I feel like I am not getting enough sleep. I have no problems with insomnia. I just can’t seem to function with 6 hours of sleep anymore.

I’ve actually had thoughts of somehow ‘getting fired’ just so I could go home (cussing out a patient came to mind). lol But as rude as some of them can be, I digress. Yes … it’s that bad. My tolerance level sucks as of late. I’m not ‘cheerful’ and I don’t feel like smiling. But day after day, I manage to show up.

When I get like this, I miss writing. I miss being able to sit down and write my thoughts when they come to my mind. Now those thoughts come while I’m working… while I’m sleepy. How nice it would be to win the lottery? If only Alabama had a lottery system in place, but you can’t win if you can’t play (deep sigh). Maybe I need to make that 2 hour trip to Georgia every other weekend? But I need money to play, so that’s where the job comes in. Can’t miss work, right? Geez. Such a vicious cycle of reality.

I think I’m in need of a quick getaway from ‘everything’. A little solitude from the every day norm, like a nice beach setting or a long ride through the mountains. I was hoping for an anniversary weekend getaway with my husband but because of unforeseen circumstances, we can’t. So we’ll make do and spend time at home. Maybe I can spend some time in my PEACE SPOT – light a candle and turn on some ‘ocean waves’ music. I can reminisce about our honeymoon on the beach. Or I can find a spot on the couch and eat ice cream – my new personal indulgence. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, but my Lord… there is something about this ice cream. 🥴😛

Well, I’m going to try and go to bed early. I have one of those headaches that a Goody’s powder can’t help. Let’s see if I can surpass 6 hours of sleep tonight.

Until next time … be blessed.

“Fake”ships

Friends. You gain friends starting in elementary school. Where you all shared missing teeth and childish adventures. Those are the same friends who grew up with you all throughout middle and high school. At 18, it was time to travel other paths to possibly leave old friends and create new ones.

During this journey called adulthood, you really should take inventory of your real friends. Really, you should. As you grow older, you should become wiser in your selections. You should hang around like-minded people. People who like to do the same things you do. Or… maybe you can get along with people who may not believe in the same things you do, but you both compliment each other despite oppositions. Either way, during those conversations and interactions, you should be able to see just who is for you and who is against you. A sense of discernment, per se. Really, you should.

Think about this … have you ever thought that a friend, a real friend, could one day turn their back on you? Betray your trust? Do the unthinkable while still trying to hold on to a ‘fake’ship? How hurtful it must be to trust someone all the while being lied to about how they really feel about you? Or worse … what they’ve done to you? How would you feel? Whether it’s someone you knew since kindergarten or someone you’ve been friends with for 6 months, the hurt is still the same. The sting of betrayal is a different kind of pain. And once that seed of doubt is planted in one’s mind, there is extra caution when it comes to allowing others to try to get close. However, you cannot judge another person because of someone else’s errors. That’s not fair.

This is why my circle is very small. Intimate. I know just as much about them as they know about me. I’ve been betrayed over the course of my years by people who claim to care. But I consider it a ‘learning experience’. I learn from it then I move on – unbothered. No need in dwelling on something you can’t control at this point. My focus is to love those who love me – nothing more, nothing less. And I am thankful to God for my gift of discernment. In hindsight… that means just because I didn’t say anything doesn’t mean I didn’t know. 😏

Until next time… be blessed.

I lost my ‘strong’

One of the definitions of the word strong is able to withstand great force or pressure. My daughter recently told me that she is the strong woman she is today because she has a strong mother. The truth is … I am not as indestructible as she thinks I am.

I promised God when or if I had children, I would do everything in my power to make sure they wont EVER have to wonder how much I love them. They will never feel worthless or they don’t matter. They will always succeed way beyond anyone’s expectations. They will always have me in their corner cheering them on. They will always know how beautiful/handsome they are. Why? Because they are EVERYTHING beyond that. And I wholeheartedly believe I (and God) have instilled in them that they will always matter. No matter what anyone says to them or make them think otherwise, they will believe what I taught them.

But by doing all of that, does it really make me ‘strong’? I am their Mother. I am supposed to teach them about life and lead them in the right direction. At a certain time, though, it us up to them which path they will ultimately take. But I don’t feel strong. In fact, whatever strength I managed to keep together, I gave it all to my children. In these last days, they need it more than I do. Even with my bonus son. I always stress to him the importance of education, doing his chores, a little ‘pep’ talk here and there… you know, Momma stuff. But somehow, somewhere, I lost MY ‘strong’.

Sometimes, I wonder does it even matter anymore. Age is slowly gaining speed. My thought processes are slowing down. And my tough skin has lost its elasticity. I’m weak. Much weaker than I have ever been. 😞 But I do thank my daughter for the compliment. Who knows? I might believe it one day.

Until next time … be blessed.