Monday, December 29, 2008

Some things I learned about myself in 2008

1. I need to pray and read my Bible daily.
2. I'm physically stronger than I thought.
3. I won't die if I'm alone.
4. I'm worth my weight in gold and more.
5. I am a good ballroom dancer.
6. I enjoy blogging, tweeting, uttering and being part of the online conversation.
7. My patience is rapidly wearing thin for stupidity.
8. I want a loving, supportive, nurturing and mature relationship.
9. I don't want to ever share a man again.
10. I want what I want and I don't want to compromise.
11. I am blessed beyond belief.
12. DNA doesn't determine my true family.
13. I decide who is sitting in the orchestra seats of my life.
14. There are some things better than sex.
(I didn't believe it at first)
15. Today's decisions determine tomorrow's consequences.
(already knew this, thought it was worth mentioning again)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Text for Sex


I've seen the future, it is now and I don't like it: an ex sent me a text message for sex.

What happened to the booty call? I miss the 2am wake up call, the witty banter and the negotiations.

Now its a text message, which I usually miss because I keep my mobile in my purse when I'm home. I don't wanna type, have pithy repartee or negotiate at 2am in the frickin' middle of the night.

Damn, guys...call a sista!

I promise you'll get better results.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I want to have sex

I want to have sex...

with a man,
a tall, intelligent, humorous, kind, well-spoken man

in a bed,
that has been freshly made with a new set of 600-count Egyptian cotton sheets

on a cold day,
in front of a roaring and crackling fireplace

when the rain is beating against the window,
to the beat of our hearts

while listening to soulful, sultry sounds.
and having him whisper naughty things in my ear

No need to say anymore on the subject.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

1st post

This is my 1st posting since turning 40. I don't know why I haven't posted. I've been online; I've been tweeting and I've been reading & commenting on others blogs.

It's been interesting so far. Since turning 40, I've been diagnosed with a form of arthritis; had some sort of stomach virus; at least 10 folks have been laid-off from my job; and I can't seem to get laid. I was supposed to have birthday sex; however, the asshole forgot to bring a condom, thus I only had birthday foreplay. By the way, I'm DONE with online dating, details to follow later.

I did hear from Marvin on my birthday; I had had fantasies of him surprising the night of my party. He called to wish me a happy birthday and we chatted for a few minutes. It was the first time we had spoken since I ended our relationship in September, and we haven't spoken since then and we won't. I miss him and think of him daily.

Fuck it. I'm 40 and I'm here, which is better than the alternative.

Note to self: Remember, I'm making better decisions now.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Seven Days & Counting

I will be 40 years old in 7 days (God willing).

I am not married and I am not in a committed relationship.
I have loved and been loved by wonderful men, who I am glad I did not marry...one of us would be dead and the other in jail.
My next relationship is around the corner; I can feel it.

I do not have my PhD.
I do have my Masters degree and I have finally found a doctoral program that I'm interested in pursuing.
Georgetown is calling my name; I'll be there in August 2009.

I have not been to Africa, Asia, South America or Australia.
I have been to Canada, Europe, throughout Caribbean and across the US.
I'm going to back all of those regions, plus Africa in 2009 woohoo!!!!!

I can not speak another language.
This is a project for 2009.

I have not bungee jumped or ridden a zip line.
I jumped out of an airplane at 14,000 feet and I took 2 helicopter rides, one over the Grand Canyon.
Not sure if anything daring is in the plans for 2009.

I have not seen a bullfight.
I have been to a Washington Redskins home game.
I will go to Redskins next Superbowl game (hopefully I won't have to wait until I'm 50.

I have not won an Oscar, Emmy, Tony, Obie or Grammy.
I have won top regional ballroom dancing awards.
My first national competition is next month -- OMG!

I have not lost the weight I thought I would have by now.
I have not gained any weight this year.
This a project for 2009 (and beyond and beyond and beyond).

I have not begun journaling.
I started 2 blogs, have 20+ online community profiles and am meeting all kinds of intelligent, interesting and entertaining people.
I want to make these efforts profitable in 2009.

I do not have a best friend.
I have lots of fulfilling relationships with men & women around the world (thanks Twitter).
I love my tweeps.

I am in debt.
Who isn't?
I will be debt free in 2009.

I have built a strong Shaklee business.
I have Shaklee-ized my home, attended the conventions and have all the tools to explode onto the scene.
I will at least be a Director by June 30, 2009.

I have not run for political office.
Yeah, considering my first 39 years, this is coming off the list.

At a glance, I would say the first 39 have been pretty good w00t!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've lost my fantasy

I'm tremendously irked!!!!

I'm having trouble taking care of my needs (hint, hint) because I've lost my fantasies. Since I've let go of the men, who were physically or emotionally unavailable to me, I have also mentally let go of them. This is an unexpected consequence and I ain't happy 'bout it.

I know some folks can fantasize about movie stars, co-workers or strangers they see on the street, none of which works for me. I use memories of past liaisons, all of which have seemingly been suppressed by my frickin' inner need to move on from them. WTH!

I want them back (wah, wah, wah). I miss my fantasies; I long for my memories and I'm craving an orgasm!

This doing the right thing stuff is for the birds.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Does it ever end

Being alone isn't bad.

Being lonely isn't bad.

Being alone and lonely isn't bad.

The gut-wrenching fear that you'll be alone & lonely forever is dreadful.
This is where I am as I approach 40.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Everything in my life is excellent...

Everything in my life is excellent, loving family, caring friends, job I enjoy and a warm home.

Question: Then why am I feeling soooooo blah?????
Answer: I don't have anyone to share in my life's blessings.

Let me clarify a few points.
  1. I'm not referring to sex or sexual partners.
  2. I'm not referring to a husband.
  3. I'm not referring to good girlfriends, sistagirls or BFFs.
I am referring to someone with whom I can enjoy the theatre or a good movie, go out dinner or cook dinner with, travel, sight see & explore, sit home and watch Boston Legal, cheer on the Skins, discuss politics, current events and celebrity gossip.

This past week I was in one of the most romantic areas I've ever experienced. There were quaint towns, charming villages, beautiful scenery, spectacular art and I was utterly alone and simultaneously lonely in the midst of our tour group.

It was a palpable loneliness, which I've previously experienced. It is suffocating, physically painful and at times seemingly unbearable. As an only child, I've been alone all of my life and I'm clear on the difference between being alone and being lonely. Most of the time they are mutually exclusive and at other times they collide into tsunami of emotional overload.

This is where I am right now, in a tsunami of being alone and being lonely, and it is becoming unbearable. What am going to do?

I Hate This

I hate this feeling...being lonely.

I hate traveling & vacationing to wonderful, romantic, exciting & exotic places around the world by myself.

I hate coming home to an empty house after being away, having a long day at work or going through a tough dance class and being by myself.

I hate how often I have to use my vibrator because none of my regulars are available when I want to fuck.

I hate that I can't call my friend to share any of the great stuff happening in my life.

I hate I'm turning 40 in three weeks and won't have a special someone to be there with me.

I hate what I see in my immediate future because it holds more of the same, more time alone & lonely.

I hate feeling like this, like I'm whining and being ungrateful for all of the truly magnificent blessings I have and focusing on the 1/2 empty portion of the glass.

Fuckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cold Turkey

This was the first time in a llloooonnnnggggg time I haven't spoken to Marvin on a weekday/weeknight. We have our patterns and habits and breaking them is awful.

I want to talk to him. We make each other laugh; we discuss politics, current events, movies, etc.; we yell, holler and cuss at each other; and we always talk to each other about our lives. The worst part, I can't call him. I deleted his numbers from my cell phone (to avoid falling into temptation, this isn't the first time I've tried to leave him) and I don't have them memorized.

I want my friend!

Turning 40 is becoming a pain in my fucking ass with all this self reflecting and self improvement bullshit. I was perfectly fine in my imperfect state of delusion, denial and self-destruction.

Damn, damn, damn!!!!!!!!!!!!! (throwing punchbowl on the floor)

It is finished

To quote the Bible as my post title, it is really over between Marvin and I.

Good news: We laid in bed together and he held me as I cried. For the first time in our relationship, he gave me what I needed, it was just too little and too late.

Bad news: This is temporary, it isn't me being melodramatic or him being chivalric; this is for real. It is finished and I hate that it is.

I can honestly say that my pain has nothing to do with the sex, rather it has everything to do with the loss of a loved one. Now to deal with this in an equally mature is the next feat.

Damn it all!!!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I've been such a flippin' idiot!!!!!!

For 16 damn years I've loved Marvin and he doesn't love me. I've been waiting, hoping, believing he would come around. What the hell was I thinking!?!

Marvin doesn't love me. He really doesn't love me. He likes me a lot, we have fun and interesting daily phone conversations (he lives in CO), good times together when we see each other and great sex and he doesn't love me, at least in the way that I want and need. He isn't going to be with me under any circumstances, especially since that would require him leaving his wife and two children.

STOP!

Before y'all get all judgemental, I knew and loved Marvin before he got married and for several years at the beginning of his marriage, we only talked on the phone. No, his wife doesn't know about me, our friendship, our conversations, etc. I know it was and is wrong, very, very, very wrong. Let's move past this point, shall we.

Anyway, over the last four years, we've been able to see each other a lot, almost quarterly because both our jobs allow us to travel and we can arrange things with little problem. For instance, Marvin's here, in Vegas for work and I'm here for #BWE08. He begins work on Monday, so he came a couple days early, easy to arrange. AGAIN, I KNOW THIS WRONG, JUST HEAR ME OUT!

Well, this time it's different. It's as though I had an epiphany of sorts, like I woke up from a dream. I have finally realized he doesn't love me. He has told me as much before and I shrugged it off as stress, thinking he needed more time or something else equally ridiculous.

I have been such a fucking idiot!. OMG, I thought I was smarter than this; I never saw myself as "her," the dumb girl. I used to kid myself into thinking he loved me because why would he sustain a friendship/relationship with someone who didn't live in the same city; it had to be about more than the sex; there are easier ways to have an affair. Right? Wrong, dumb ass!!!!!

When Marvin leaves for his hotel tomorrow, it will be the last time I will ever see him. I don't want to talk to him anymore; I don't want to be his friend any longer and I definitely refuse to be his ho' from this day forward.

I'll beat myself up on the inside for the rest of the day, then start the healing process of letting go of someone I have loved for almost sixteen years to the day. Marvin can't and won't give me what I want and need, so why should I hold onto him and this completely & utterly fucked-up relationship.

I turn 40 years old in 6 weeks and I fucking REFUSE to turn this corner of my life with the same dumb shit that has held me back, held me up and held me hostage for the last 16 damn years (sooooo stupid).

I'm making better decisions this time around, beginning with this one. Good-bye Marvin.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Walking the walk I talk

A few weeks ago I made a decision and less than 3 weeks later, I abandoned my decision and fell back into old habits. I still believe in the decision I made; it was a good decision and the right choice for me.

The only thing stopping me from achieving my goals is me.
The only person who can make my life better is me.
The consequences of my life are in my control.

I'm choosing life. I'm choosing to live.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Decision made

Let's see, from Sunday morning through Friday morning, I'd lost 6.5 lbs. The holiday weekend was tough, I stuck to the program on Friday, somewhat on Saturday and gave in on Sunday. When I weighed in this morning (week after I started), I had gained 4 lbs. back. Considering I'm still 2.5 lbs. lighter than my starting weight, I'm not upset. I know I got off track; I know how I got of track; and I know how to stay on track. I was on track today and will be on track until we reach the station.

My 2nd decision was to never diet again, I've made a lifestyle change and mental adjustment (1st decision is further down). If the doctor said I had to take insulin shots everyday for diabetes or else die, then I would. I look at my lifestyle change and mental adjustment in the same way, if I want to live a long and healthy life, then I have to do what is necessary and make the proper changes.

While looking good is important, it really isn't a motivator for me. To be honest, I'm attractive, look good in my clothes and can still get men's attention; therefore, "improving" how I look isn't incentive. Being healthy enough to enjoy my life is the motivation.

I was in Denver a couple of weeks ago; it is a beautiful city with mountains all around. While there, I took a couple of hours to visit Red Rock Amphitheatre. There wasn't a show, so visitors could walk down the steps (looked to be 1,000 of them) to the stage. Being that I was already a mile above sea level, then the thought of walking back up those steps turned me away from going to the stage and that did it for me.

My 1st decision was that my physical condition was not going to stop, inhibit or restrict me from doing the things I want to do or living the life I want to live.

I've made decisions and I'm not looking back. My body is only going to get stronger, healthier and better.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Theatre of Life (Step 1)

Picture a theatre in your mind's eye, the orchestra seats are the most expensive, then the rear orchestra, first balcony and second balcony. Who is in the orchestra seats of your theatre, taking the best seats in your life...are they worthy of that position? For purposes of this demonstration, my theatre does not have box seating.

This idea began running through my mind as I've begun putting the guest list together for my 2nd 39th birthday celebration. I love all of my family, but I darn sure don't like all of them, want to party with all of them or spend money on all of them (y'all know I'm telling the truth, don't front). The term "friend" has become so ubiquitous that I had to consider and reconsider who is a friend, a sistahgrrrl, an associate, an acquaintance, etc.

How would make these decisions?
How could I make these decisions?
Was there a way to avoid these decisions?

In the end, I had to make the tough decisions because my budget wouldn't allow me to invite any and everyone I know or had ever spoken to in the last 39 years. And as we all know, most things like this come down to finances. So I developed a unbiased process and defined some criteria, which seems to have worked (keeping fingers crossed).

Step 1: Define the categories

1. Family: these are people with whom I share DNA, plus a few super-close family friends we call "cousins." The delineation is clear, blood relations are family, and in a lot of Black families other assorted "cousins" is the norm. These are the ties that have bound me for almost 40 years; these are the ties that keep me grounded in who I am and whose I am; and these are the ties that may get a little weak from time-to-time, but they have never broken. To put this in perspective, think of the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," and you get the idea.

Note: As a Black woman, I probably should have used the movie "Soul Food" as an example; however, my family is closer in size and composition to the aforementioned. This is why folks are always tryin' to take my card...I represent when it's appropriate and salient.

2. Sistahgrrrlz: these are my good grrrlfriendz. In my mind they are a very specific group of women, who I've known for 16 years. We talk, eat out, share, go to movies, discuss and most importantly pray for each other. Together, we have celebrated successes, mourned losses and rejoiced in triumphs; we have a bond that was knit in the Spirit and it is the Spirit that keeps us together no matter how far apart we may drift. We are a group of 5-6 single, never been married, professional women with no children. Within the last 5 or so years, 2 of us have gotten married, not yours truly.

3. Grrlfriends: these are my friends. They are women who I can depend on and who can depend on me. We do stuff, we talk and have fun together. These are women I first met while working and have maintained contact since leaving the organization. They are intelligent, all having multiple degrees, politically astute and active, and have strong family ties. We collaborated on our jobs and supported each other's work. I would gladly work with any of them again.

4. associates: these are folks who I enjoy spending time with on occasion. I don't have a lot of folks in this category. I try to focus my energy on my existing relationships; however, this group is fun and keeps me laughing.

5. acquaintances and new folks: I have developed some tangential relationships with online "friends," and who's to say those relationships won't grow deeper and stronger.

Now, for the most part, these delineations don't change much, especially groups 1 and 2, though group 2 has had some deletions in the past. Group 3 has grown over the past couple of years as I moved to a new organization a few years ago and began working with more women. Groups 4 and 5 are the most fluid, with the ebbs and flows of people coming and going; however, a few of these people tend to move into 3, even if only for a short time.

More steps will follow as I get closer to mailing the invitations.

Oy!!! It's not a perfect system, it's a work in progress. As long as there are empty seats in my theatre, then the process will never be complete...and I'm glad about it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Too much weigh, just enough time

Okay, I'm off and running, well not physically, it's a metaphor. Anyway, I'm taking it one day at a time.
  • I had Cinch on Monday and Tuesday and ate sensible dinners and no snacks.
  • Working on getting my water consumption up to 8 glasses.

Monday - starting weight (none ya)

Wednesday - 1.2 lbs lighter

Movin' on up (down)!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Which Sports Car Are You?

I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!



You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life is...(part 1)

Life is comprised of a series of choices and consequences. How we act and react to the decisions we make each & every minute of our lives determines our lives. Even as children, while most decisions are out of our control, the reactions we have to the decisions elders make for us is paramount to who we will be as adults.

I came into the realization of this a few years ago and began making decisions for my life about the kind of life I wanted to live. It is a life filled with love, compassion, service, adventure, fun/laughter and respect for each person's humanity. Once I decided to live that kind of life, living became a bit easier as I began making decisions that will bring those attributes to me or allow me to share those attributes with others. As I have been "searching for authenticity" and preparing for my 2nd 39th birthday (yes, a small bit of denial is implicit in my philosophy), I've acknowledged and faced many of my bad decisions that lead to negative consequences, and I've also acknowledged many of my good decisions and their positive impact.

As I move towards November, I feel as though I've gotten better at making good decisions, my goal is to make better decisions. Good decisions aren't good enough anymore.

I'm on my way, still have a ways to go, gettin' there, one day, one step, one prayer at a time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Circuit City's customer service disaster

It has taken me a few days to be away from the situation as to where I can now write about it without using too many 4-letter words.

On Thursday evening, May 9th, I decided to take my laptop downstairs and tweet, blog, serf, etc. while watching TV and having a cocktail. I mean, this is the point of a laptop, the ability to take it with you and free you from a desk; however, my cocktail and my laptop didn't play well together, suffice it to say, I blew-up my motherboard. After several panicked phone calls to IT friends, the Geek Squad and God, I resigned myself to purchasing a new laptop.

First things first, getting the data off of my hard drive and onto a flash drive. The nice, albeit non-miracle working techs at Dell, suggested I take it Circuit City. They have an in-house "geek-squad" that could assist me. On Saturday I tootle down to CC, expecting this to be relatively painless; the ordeal I endured for the next two weeks was worse than getting my wisdom teeth pulled.

I give the Fire Dog tech (Circuit City in home geeks) my motherboard and they suggest an expensive large capacity flash drive, not knowing how much information will be transferred. Let me put a pin in that...I am an end-user. I don't know the difference between rams, gig, bytes, etc. and I don't want to know. I want to turn on my frickin' computer and have it work...They tell me to come back in 2 hours and everything will be done. So I leave, feeling satisfied and expecting a job well done because of the confidence they exuded and claims they made that they could do the job properly.

I come back in 2 hours and the data isn't finished moving from one to the other. The FD tech said I had of information and it was taking a long time. Another pin...this is my home laptop, not work, there were less than 100 word or excel docs, so I couldn't imagine what was taking so long...While the hard drive & flash drive continued to do their thing, I looked for a replacement laptop. While I was wholeheartedly disappointed that all of their computers ran Vista, and only Vista, I was able to find one at a reasonable price, plus the software, cost me less than the one I had drowned. However, to have them install the software would be another 2 hours, so I left excited about my new purchase. By this time the flash drive is loaded; I told them to keep everything together and I would get it all at once when I picked up my laptop.

Upon my return 2 hours later, the FD tech informed me the laptop wasn't ready and I should come back in about 45 minutes. I rolled my eyes and went next door for a sandwich. I went back picked up the laptop, hard drive and flash drive. When I asked about other equipment to use with the laptop, my air card, printer and wireless mouse, the tech said that I could load the software onto the machine and if it wasn't Vista compatible, then I could just download it from the appropriate web site. Cool, let's go home.

In case you lost track, I have been to the store 3 times in one day.

I always check my answering machine when I first get home. There is a call from the FD tech that they forgot to give me the software Cd's and that someone would bring them to my home tomorrow. Foul ball.

I get home, plug it in, turn it on and we're cooking with gas. I attach the flash drive and notice that NONE of my files I need are there. I don't know what they transferred from my hard drive, but none of it was my files. Strike 1.

I proceed to load the AT&T air card software, follow the steps and then restart. Nothing happens, I mean nothing happens. The machine came on and the screen remained black. Strike 2.

I have to call the store 3 separate times to finally get someone to assist me; I'm determined not to go back to the store that evening; it would not have been a pleasant experience for all parties concerned, not to mention the next day is Mother's Day and I'm having guests for brunch, including my own mother. Finally after having me do several unsuccessful things, the FD tech says I need to bring the machine in and I quickly respond that since someone is coming by tomorrow to drop off the software, he/she can take the machine back. The tech is amenable to my suggestion. Ball 1.

No one showed up on Sunday to deliver or pick-up a frickin' thing. I was home all day; I didn't even go to church because I was preparing for brunch. Foul ball.

On Monday I take the laptop, original hard drive and flash drive to Circuit City. I tell them that none of the files transferred and the laptop isn't working. First I had them exchange the pricey large capacity flash drive for a smaller less expensive one as the files took less space than they anticipated. Second I wanted them to fix my laptop; the asst. manager tried to give me grief about loading a non-Circuit City (aka Verizon) broadband software and I gently (ha ha) reminded him that I would not have done if the FD tech hadn't assured me that if it didn't work with Vista, I could download upgrades/patches from the web. He finally relented and said that it would take a few days because they would need to use recovery Cd's (do I know, no; do I care, no). I was going out of town, so I left it there for a week. Ball 2.

I returned home over the weekend and on Wednesday, May 21st I go to pick up the laptop, software, hard drive and flash drive. Before I take a step away from the counter, I have them check the flash drive. Low & behold, the files still aren't on it. They swear they have transferred everything, and quietly (ha ha) let them know they haven't. The FD tech plugs in my hard drive and I showed them the files I want. The tech said, "oh," then he transferred those files, which was a simple copy/paste, in 20 seconds. They assured me everything was fine with the laptop and that I should take it to an AT&T store to have them load the software properly. I walked out. Ball 3.

As I can't get online, I do other things. I set the laptop date and time; I set up the display and screen saver; and I do some other odds and ends to make it more mine.

The next day, I go to an AT&T store to have the air card software properly installed. I have another customer service saga about AT&T, which I'll go into later. The rep opens my computer, turns it on and it isn't working. He can't get to the connection manager; seemingly the laptop is again malfunctioning. I go home, have a cocktail and watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. I couldn't go back to Circuit City in the state I was in or else folks would have been physically hurt, including myself. Strike 3.

Friday morning I awaken feeling refreshed. I've come to a decision. I have my files on the flash drive; I'll just use my work computer. I was returning the laptop and software and getting every dime of money I had paid.

Circuit City and Fire Dog had struck out. I went there for the last time, determined never to go there again or spend another dime with them. Note: Ask JC Penney if I can get my goods & services from another store, I haven't been there in almost 20 years because of lousy customer service and I'm sure Target is very happy with my decision.

This makes a total of 5 times to the same store for the same unresolved issue.

I walk in, immediately ask for an operations director and tell them I'm returning the laptop. He gives it to a FD tech, who was able to get to the connection manager, at which time I let them know they can load the AT&T software onto the computer. The manager begins to hem & haw about loading it and I let him know, do it or keep it, the decision is his. He decides to do it and says it should only be 10-15 minutes and I can wait for it. Upon completion I test it before I move from the counter, and it still wasn't working. The manager says they will give me another computer and I can pick it up tomorrow. Do I have to tell you my answer? Using my indoor voice (ha ha) I told him I would gladly take it, but I'm not coming back into this store. He said a FD tech would deliver it to me tomorrow.

Well, I can say that on Saturday, May 24th, 2008, two weeks, 5 trips, untold hours, unmentioned & numerous 4-letter words later, I received my new laptop in working condition.

I am pleased that they continued working to get it right; however, I am still never going to spend another red cent there. It shouldn't take that much dang work to get it right!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Starting Over (again!)

Yes, I've said it before, I've done it before and I've "meant it" before, but this time I really, really, really mean it.

According to my widget, I have 5 months 18 days until I celebrate my 2nd 39th birthday.

CAN YOU FRICKIN' BELIEVE IT!?! I'M GOING TO BE 40 YEARS OLD...OMG!!!!!!!!

This year, my 1st 39th year, is supposed to be about self-reflection, self-assessment and self-improvement, getting to the real Me, the authentic Shannon. As the year is a bit more than half gone, let's take stock at what we've learned or accomplished.

Spiritual
  • I am attending church regularly (again). It is difficult with my travel schedule to make every Sunday and I'm still making excuses when I don't attend. Needs some improvement
  • I haven't begun reading my Bible again. Needs a lot of improvement
  • I'm preparing meals for Calvary Women's Services monthly and I've taken a more active role on the board. Meets expectations

Intellectual

  • I haven't picked up a book in months (years). Needs a lot of improvement
  • I am back in grad school, but I haven't been diligent about doing the work. Needs some improvement

Professional

  • I've all but abandoned my Shaklee business and the goals I set for this year. Needs a lot of improvement
  • I'm knee deep in social networking/media (obviously). Exceeds expectations
  • I am still looking for FTE, and I have not been as aggressive as I could/should be. Needs some improvement
  • The investment property has been challenging; I have a new focus on retaining tenants for the long term. Meets expectations

Personal (if I must)

  • My circle of associates and contacts is growing. Exceeds expectations
  • I have been asked to serve on a couple of other non-profit boards. Exceeds expectations
  • I got out of the habit of taking my vitamins. Needs some improvement
  • I have not started exercising and I have not lost a single pound. Needs a lot of improvement
  • and to top it all off, I'm not in a meaningful relationship. No improvement necessary

Now, so as not to fall into a deep depression of failure, I can say that some of these are in progress and are in need of nudging or consistency to meet expectations; however, there are some bullet points that have not progressed an inch in 6+ months.

The good news, in fact the best news - it's not too late to get started and keep moving forward. For instance, I've done Cinch for 2.5 days (will finish 3rd day tonight). Yeah for me!

I'm gonna celebrate the baby steps, as well as the leaps of progress.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm out there & I'm loving it!


Catch on a variety of social networking sites.

Mobile post sent by ShannonRenee using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Morning Blessing



Wishing everyone wonderful day.

Mobile post sent by ShannonRenee using Utterz Replies.  mp3

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back in the Saddle (AGAIN)

Yes, I've said it more than once. Yes, I've told y'all a couple of times. And yes, I've done it a couple of times.

I starting Cinch. My birthday is in 6 months, 24 days and I've got be at my fighting weight. I've gone a week and done okay. No, I didn't weigh myself when I began last Monday. I'll do it tomorrow; I have to buy a digital scale.

My motivation this time: I saw my video of my dancing at the beginning of the month. My dancing was great; my makeup was perfect and the dress was nice; however, I looked like I could have given birth at any moment. I was embarrassed and ashamed at how I looked on screen.

Oh hell no, I can't, I won't and I will never look like that again as long as I can help it.

I've been working the Cinch plan and walking a bit more, which is my weakness - exercise. Now that the weather has seemingly broken, tomorrow I'll start walking in the mornings.

Continue to pray for me, my spiritual and mental well-being and for the strength to become what God would have me to be.

Thanks.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Blog Relaunch - Name Change

You may have noticed that I changed the name of my blog. As I mentioned when I started this site, it's about finding my authentic self, and while my weight is a big part, it is only a PART of the journey. So, to be true to the journey and to myself, I had to change the title. I would have taken this one down and started a new blog, but I didn't feel like it. This is a perfectly good site and I like what I've done with it so far, just needed to update the name.

I come to a couple of realizations about the journey, I thought it started when I started the blog, actually it began when I was born. I know, deep; I can't stand folks who are deep all the darn time, so I'll try not to be one of them. Further, I will speak in the 1st person. It would be easy to speak in the plural and generalize, but that isn't authentic. There isn't a "we" or "us," there is only a "me." Also, I won't be speaking of myself in the 3rd person. Why do people do that? It is finger nails on chalkboard annoying. Finally, I will always tell you the truth, not because I want to, it is always easier to fudge, skip, delete or "forget" details; however, you deserve the truth. As someone on this journey with me, taking the ride, seeing the sights and buying souvenirs, you deserve the unadulterated truth at all times. Now, that being said, I may change names to protect the innocent, the guilty and to avoid being sued, but the facts will be true blue.

Thus, the real journey to myself is taking place every second of minute of every day and it's gonna be a hoot. I'm on my way world, look out!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Houston, we have a problem

OMG!

I've eaten an entire box (13 pieces) of chocolate covered macadamias. I didn't do it at one sitting or in one day, but still, it's a shame and a sin. My mother has this great way of excusing certain behaviors, which I'm about to employ.

It's okay to eat whatever I want because I'm on vacation. Not being on vacation is gonna suck.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time Out

I'm taking a time out.

I'm on vacation in Hawaii and I want to enjoy myself, and yes, that means eating what I want, when I want and prepared how I want. I'll regroup when I get home on Wednesday, April 2.

Talk to you in a few days.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

D-Day is approaching

My birthday is 7 months and 26 days from today, and I haven't done a dang-blang thing to get to my authentic self. I'm not eating right or exercising on a consistent basis. I've fallen off the wagon with my vitamins and water intake. AAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!

Well, it isn't all bad. I'm blogging a regular basis, which is first for me. I've tried keeping journals and diaries for years with no success. I have stopped watching as much television as I was a month ago (thank you writer's strike for helping me break the habit). I'm dancing 6 times a week (3 double lessons) and am ready for my next competition in a couple of weeks. BTW, I'm ready to publicly admit that my ballroom dancing is one of my passions. Yes, I love it and I don't ever want to stop doing it. I know that "admitting the addiction" is the first step to a cure, but I don't ever want to be cured of this.

I leave for Honolulu in a couple of weeks and I have to buy a swim suit. I had hoped to at least be down 1 dress size by now, but to no avail. I'll have to get one in my size, which is "healthy." I'm told, "I carry my weight well," what the hell does that mean? I'm fat, but it's okay because I'm not sloppy or smelly or I'm fat and you know to dress for your size so as not to draw attention to access pounds. Whatever the meaning, I don't want to carry anything more than I'm supposed to as a 5'7" woman.

I'm trying to convince myself that it will be easier in the spring and summer because I'll be able to walk outside...b***sh**! I won't do anything about how I look until I'm sick & tired of looking the way I do. This is where the problem lies, I look pretty good for a fat chick. I do dress well to cover, hide, camouflage, etc. those problem areas. I keep my hair done, know how to wear make-up and put out a positive attitude of self confidence and self assurance, regardless of my weight.

So, what to do? How do I jump start my determination, invigorate, motivate and agitate my current state of mind?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weighing Me (us) Down

As part of getting to my authentic self, I'm getting healthier, losing weight, exercising regularly and paying attention to what I eat. One of the easiest ways to lose some unwanted pounds is to put down some of the baggage I've been carrying. It is harder than it sounds; like my hips, I've had some of that stuff for a long, long time.

Just like extra body fat, we can get used to the emotional baggage. When our bodies expand horizontally, we buy bigger clothes with spandex to offer the "comfort fit." In the same manner, we create comfort fits in our minds as well, to the layman they're known as excuses. However, our hearts never fail to feel the effects of our outwardly appearing emotion comforts.

Physically, our hearts work harder to pump blood through miles of arteries, traversing fatty tissue along the way. Emotionally, our hearts work harder as we expend it's most precious gift loving those who don't, won't or can't love us back.

Well, I'm getting rid of ALL of my excess weight; the physical and emotional pounds are holding me down holding me up and holding me hostage to a dream of comprised of wouldas, shouldas and couldas.

All I can say is watch out for what is coming this November. My authentic self is going to be AWESOME!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stumbling block

I was in Jamaica last week for my cousin's wedding, read Shannon Sez So for information on that event, and I did "okay" on my calorie consumption. The food wasn't the problem, it was the rum punch, Bob Marleys and Blue Moons that caused the hiccup (literally & figuratively).

All-inclusive resorts are similar to cruises, food and beverages flowing close to 24/7. I did pretty well on the food side. I ate my Cinch meal replacement bars for breakfast, had healthy lunches and dinners, paying attention to eat vegetables foods full of color and lean meat or seafood. The sun was beaming its warmth on the beach, the tropical breezes were blowing and the drinks were just so darn pretty and tasty. However, I did drink A LOT of water because I've learned the hard way that alcohol, sun and sugar (punch, grenadine, etc.) don't make for a fun vacation.

I did find a new way to enjoy my workouts, the Cupid Shuffle. It's a line dance, similar to the Electric Slide, only to a much better beat, better moves and all-n-all, more fun to do. While I seem to be coming into the knowledge of the CS after everyone else, no worries mon. I have it now and I'm gonna shuffle my way to a healthy me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back on the wagon

So, while attending a conference in Palm Springs, I kinda fell off the wagon. I did okay with my eating, thanks in part to the resorts horrific cooking. I kept up with my daily vitamins and learned from this experience to keep my Cinch bars and meal bars nearby at all times. And I'm extremely proud of myself for some of the hurdles I leaped while there. I didn't have any of the complementary Frito-Lay snacks that were offered; I drank lots and lots and lots of water; and I didn't eat all of any of my desserts. Small steps, yet steps forward all the same.

On another note, I some interesting and insightful conversations with some women. One of the things I'm pondering is a question and realization that came to me after Reverend Dr. JoAnn Browning spoke on "Finding Your Purpose." If slave traders stole the best and brightest from the shores of Africa, then are we to be surprised by the chaos, confusion and inhumane activities of those left on the continent? Moreover, now that I have that consciousness, what am I supposed to do with it? How does this enlightenment help me get to my authentic self? How and/or is my authentic self tied to the continent?

I've been planning my trip to Africa for over 2 years and it has been a source of excitement, motivation and anticipation. For as many positive feelings I have about my trip, I have just as much trepidation. My brothers on the continent kill, maim and rape for seemingly no reason. My sisters are surviving, trying to thrive and have families in the midst of an unyielding hell.

Everyone I know, who has been to Africa, has been changed in some way. Some have changed in obvious outward ways, others in a less public fashion. How will my trip, my sojourn there change me? I'm open to the change, to the growth of my spirit and the revelations God has for me at the cradle of humanity.

Monday, February 11, 2008

One Day at a Time

While it was a good show, right now it is more relevant to me as a daily slogan. I remember that the race is won by taking one step at a time and that even baby steps move forward. So, I'm moving forward, step by step, some strides are longer than others.

I did pretty good this weekend. I ate the right things and got exercise on Saturday. And on Sunday, I went out to brunch and had a crab & tomato omelet with a side of fruit and potatoes, which were baked, instead of being fried. The breakfast was delicious and my ONE mimosa was the perfect compliment. For dinner I had my Cinch, an apple and some baby carrots. I also took my vitamins and drank plenty of water. Those were good days.

Today was decent as well. I had my Cinch for breakfast and dinner and took my vitamins; it was lunch that was not my best effort. I had a half of tuna sandwich, but I ate it open face as to only eat 1 slice of bread, and I had a half of ham sandwich, this time I ate the meat sans all of the bread. These were not bad in themselves, (drum roll) it was the 10 bar-be-cue chips I had that did me in for the meal. I'm not going to beat myself up about the chips because I had worked-out
this evening and 1 divergence isn't going to deter my efforts or distract me.

It happened, it's over and I've moved on...to my next step, tomorrow.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Getting Started

I have a lot to do this morning. I'm going to Reveal for a treatment, then I have a dance lesson, go to the hairdresser and finally, I have to pick up the temp who is helping me get organized. It isn't the most hectic day in the world, but it is busy. These are the kinds of days that make it difficult to be healthy. Running around usually equates to driving through or picking up, neither of which is good for my waistline.

So take some time, breath and make a plan:
1. Weigh myself - it sucks and I have to do it
2. Have a Cinch shake for breakfast, take my Shaklee vitamins and drink 1 glass of water
3. Have a cup of Cinch tea and an apple for morning snack
4. Plan on Chicken Out for lunch - a grilled chick salad & 2 glasses of water will do
5. Take a Cinch bar and 2 glasses of water for a mid-day snack
6. Have a Cinch meal replacement bar for dinner - gives my jaw something to do
7. Dance class will serve as my exercise for today.

Okay, this plan is reasonable, healthy and possible. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Getting Ready

Thus begins a journey back to my authentic self as I prepare for my 40th birthday in exactly 9 months. On my way, I hope and pray to discover the wonderful woman that is Shannon. I want to get to know her inside and out. What is she like in the privacy of her home; how does she portray herself in public, at work, with her family and friends?

It's a bit weird talking about myself in the 3rd person, but I feel I almost have to in order to distance myself enough to do the kind of reflection I want to do. As you can read from the my blog title, part of my discovery has a bit to do with weight loss. This is as much a part of me becoming as any meditation, reading or praying I could do.

So, I begin (yet again) to lose weight and like most of us. I've "set myself up to succeed" with the right foods in the house, a motivational photo of me at my goal weight and an outfit I want to get into by my birthday. The difference this time is that I have you all along for the ride with me. I have no idea where this is going to take me. I only know that the journey is far, far more important than the destination.

It's gonna be a fantastic ride...hold on tight.