So I was thinking about the debacle I was part of last week. It was a mess...
I had just gotten home from a bit of Christmas shopping. I was pleased with my purchases and the wind down I had planned before bed was to sit and admire what I bought while going over the remainder of my list. But first things first, I had to do my last social media scroll of the night. When I got to my room earlier, I sat my bookbag on a shelf next to my bed and the store bags on the floor. As I was sitting on my bed, scrolling contently and basking in the after glow of a successful shopping excursion, I began to hear a faint rustle. I thought maybe there was a plastic bag under my bookbag and everything was settling, but I glanced and that bag was just on top of a couple magazines. The rustling persisted and I thought maybe it was my biggest shopping bag settling on top of my smaller bags, so I moved those bags and as I did, I noticed a small mouse stuck on a trap, but still wriggling around!! Now, this sticky trap had been under my bed for the longest and I guess when Mickey Jr got stuck, but didn’t die, he was able to scoot itself out😩😩.
Y’all. I screamed, dropped the bags on the bed, and hopped my big grown self up there all in one fell swoop! I was standing on my bed having a complete conniption fit! I didn’t know WHAT to do! My landlord lives in the building, so I called him twice and didn’t get an answer. I even texted him in all caps, to no avail. Then, I called my brother who lives like 5 minutes away. I was hollering in his ear like, “IT’S A MOUSE! Help me!! HELP MEEEEEEEEEE!!” I was hysterically yelling at him to come get this mouse all while bouncing on my bed in fear and disgust as I watched MJ try to wriggle and climb his way off the sticky trap! My brother refused to come because he claimed to be just as afraid as me. He’s actually friends with my landlord’s son, so I asked for his number since I was all sorts of discombobulated and couldn’t find his name in my phone. I called and texted him, NO ANSWER! Keep in mind, that everything that you’re reading is happening as I simultaneously stand on my bed, bouncing around in fear, with sporadic outbursts of screams, tears, prayers, and cussing. 😩 I’m sure I was quite the sight to behold. I made one more call to a friend, she knows who she is, lol. I have no idea why I called her because she couldn't come to help, but I think I just needed someone to share in this horror I was experiencing. I'm so grateful to her because, even though she laughed at me, she allowed me to cry and scream, and cuss, and call Jesus without (much 😆) judgment. She even tried to give me tips that I dismissed because that would mean me getting close to MJ! Somewhere during our call, after I discovered that 24 hr exterminator services are just to give quotes and send somebody out during business hours, my landlord's son got back to me.
Now let me see if I can make a long story shorter. I finally got in touch with my landlord's son and he graciously came over to help me. He caught me just in time because I had packed a bag to go to my mother's house for the night...or the week if needed. He laughed at me too, but graciously came and scooped lil MJ up and carried him into the night, which took all of 2 minutes after about 45 minutes of me LOSING it!
MJ was finally gone, my heart rate slowed down to normal, I sanitized the area, and the fear and panic left just as quickly as it came. And honestly, I felt a bit foolish. MJ was trying to get himself off that trap because he was probably way more afraid of me. He was also pretty small and unless the glue of the trap was going to mutate him into some sort of human sized rodent, I really didn't have anything to worry about. Now don't get me wrong, critters make me feel violated, burglarized even. They're disgusting, but nothing to spaz over. I got a couple revelations from this experience.
So I was thinking about some of the stories I share on social media. Sometimes things that happen to me seem so ridiculous or like something from a sitcom or movie, that I just HAVE to share. And depending on the nature of the experience, sometimes writing about it has a calming, therapeutic effect (affect?? I still can't get that right. 🤦🏾♀️) I thought I'd share one of my favorites with my blog readers. I hope you enjoy!
Nothing wakes you up in the morning like some pitbulls barking and charging at you. I swear my life flashed before my eyes. Then, I had like 12 other thoughts all at once: I envisioned myself running and trying to jump fences and I don't even know why I had that thought because there was only like one fence nearby. But I thought about how people say running is what makes a dog chase you and I'm wondering if I can out run these dogs. The answer I came up with is hell to the naw to the naw naw naw. It was a mama pit and like 4 pit babies. And I'm like oh LAWD I don't wanna be dog food!! All the while I'm standing in the street and these dogs are running toward me and I have my keys in hand kinda like stuck in a walk/run/bounce panic stance, quietly exclaiming, "OH JESUS OH JESUS OH JESUS!!" Then the babies are kinda just going in circles, but the mama is still barking toward me but not running. So I take a step to the left, I don't know where the heck I was gonna go, and mama pit starts running toward me again. I take my keys like I'm gonna throw them, MP (mama pit) pauses, then runs toward me again and I DO throw my keys this time. I thought maybe the lock on my keys could knock the MP out. But, of course I throw like a girl so the keys don't even graze MP. So now all of them are running toward me, my keys are in the grass by them, and I run in this yard behind me, ducking behind the gate and tree like they couldn't just take a couple steps to see me. Finally they just turn around running down the block barking like some dog gang or something while I'm still ducked in these folks yard, hoping they don't come shooing me out of their yard, trying to figure out how I'm going to get my keys, and realizing the last bus I need to get to work on time rolled by at some point during this whole ordeal. I frantically called my mommy to come save me. As I type I realize how much this sounds like a scene in some slapstick comedy, lol. I KNOW I looked ridiculous. Anyway, I'm safe and sound heading to work now. MP and the Dogg Pound didn't get me!
I remember that I was still nervous and trembling as I typed this on Facebook. Sharing and laughing about it relieved me of any anxious residue and allowed me to go on with my day. Laughter is always great medicine for me. I was also writing with gratefulness in my heart, because I am aware that there are more unfortunate stories when it comes to people's encounters with loose dogs.🙏🏾But chile, nothing makes your life flash before your eyes like being chased by dogs or slipping in the shower! LOL!! And being chased by dogs has always been one of my biggest fears! One of my other fears is having someone vomit on me or in my car. I pray I never get to write about that...lol! So what are you thinking? Has anything happened to you that was not amusing at the time, but funny in hindsight? Please, share with me in the comments. I LOVE to hear from you!
So I was thinking about how this blog post almost didn't get written because I just feel icky...not physically, but emotionally. For the last 2 days or so, I've been feeling pretty melancholy and slightly anxious. I can't pinpoint what brought this on. As I think about it, I'm sure there isn't ONE thing that sent me spinning. My mind is cluttered with a plethora of thoughts, so it could be a number of things that got me here. I'll share a few. Lemme see how transparent I wanna be...
So I was thinking about Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow. Of course we all know the devastating history/origin of the holiday and how it's actually nothing to be thankful for. We were taught lies in school and since then most of us have been awakened to the truth. If you haven't, do your own research. That's not what I'm here for today.
Regardless of Thanksgiving's history, I never turn down the opportunity to express my gratefulness, on a holiday or otherwise. Anytime I'm afforded an extra chance to count my blessings and love on my family and friends, I'll take it. I've already talked about gratefulness a couple times on the blog this year. However, this year has been HEAVY and at times has made it difficult to focus on having that attitude of gratitude. Personally, I've experienced some good things this year, but at the same time I feel overwhelmed by all the disappointment and loss. 2020 has been a roller coaster to say the least.
Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season is going to look strikingly different for most of us. We'll need to actively stretch beyond our dismay in what we are missing or have lost and center our sights on all that we still have and are gaining in the midst of the turmoil. When the negativity and weight of life starts feeling unbearable, I become intentional about shifting my focus and dwell on all that's good. I've also begun to take special notice of things I once took for granted and now realize I need to have more appreciation for. Here's my "Thanksgiving" list.
Happy Thanksgiving!! Let's strive to make the most of it.
So I was thinking about blogging and entrepreneurship. Since my relaunch, I've had a few epiphanies that I'd like to share.
So I was thinking about you. This letter to you is going to be a long one. It might bore my subscribers, but I HAD to get this out. My thoughts have been filled with you often since you left us back in 2007. I'm consumed with even more thoughts of you at this time of year. November-March is ROUGH. Every Thanksgiving season I think about how Thanksgiving 2006, your last Thanksgiving on Earth, was the BEST Thanksgiving our immediate family has ever experienced. The memories from that day make me smile and I feel grateful that we were able to share such holiday joy with you one last time. Reminiscing of that day also makes me feel melancholy, because I don't want that to be your last Thanksgiving.
I constantly vacillate between feelings of happiness and sorrow for about 4.5 months. After Thanksgiving, we prepare for Christmas, another holiday that focuses on family and is a harsh reminder that yanks off another piece of the scab that covers the hole that you left in my heart. I think about how we got up on Christmas morning and exchanged gifts. You gave me the Four Brothers and Juice DVDs, lol. I want to say that's the first time you ever gave me a Christmas gift. Then, you left and did your own thing for the day. After Christmas, it's time to enter another new year without you and another little piece of that scab over that hole in my heart is ripped off. At the end of January, I remember that you gave me and momma Valentine's Day gifts and I KNOW that was your first time ever giving me a gift for V-Day...and it was also your last. I think about how I said to you, "Thank you, but why are you giving this to us so early?" I remember you saying that you wanted to make sure you had money. Then, I think about how I said to you, "But, we get paid again before Valentine's day" And you just shrugged. What did you know that we didn't, brother?? I mean you had to have been feeling some kind of way, because I think about how a few days before you gave us that gift, you dropped me off at the Smith's house. I remember you walking in behind me and me telling you that Isaiah wasn't there and asking you why you came in. I remember you standing at the foot of the stairs inside and just looking around. Did you feel it?? Did you know you wouldn't have these opportunities again??? How did you know? What did you feel?
February comes and that last piece of that scab that covers that hole in my heart is snatched off and it begins to bleed and throb again with such unbearable pain. As long as I live, I will NEVER forget February 2, 2007. I think about how it was Friday and I got that call while I was at work. I'll never forget momma's words, "He gone. Cheryce Don is gone!" I cannot erase my memory of the sound of utter horror and despair in momma's voice as she told me what happened, as she told me that you died in a car accident on your way to get a haircut before work. I think about my reaction, the calls I had to make, the ride home, the cars that filled our driveway and our block when I got home. I think about the look of emptiness in momma's eyes, how it looked as if her soul had left with yours. I think about having to pick your casket and your burial plot and writing your obituary. I think about having to tell your nephew that you went to heaven. I think about your funeral and all the people there and all the things that were said and all the wonderful things I learned about you. I think about your last moments, I wonder what you saw and if you said anything and what you thought about. I think about whether or not you felt any pain. I wonder if you know how much you were loved by so many. I think about how I wish I could have told you how much I loved you one more time. I think that you knew that I did though. I think about how it has been almost 14 years and I'm actually still in disbelief. Speaking and thinking of you in the past tense still seems surreal. When I look at the pictures that I have of you in my room, I literally shake my head and say out loud that I can't believe you're gone. The times I have gone to your grave feel like a dream, a nightmare where I keep seeing your name on a headstone...a HEADSTONE! Even though it has been so many years, it is still hard for my heart to grasp the reality of you not being here. You're my LITTLE brother and I feel like you left right when we seemed to be catching up in age and were going to get closer. I think about how I changed your diapers and rocked you to sleep and watched Barney and Teenage Mutant Turtles (which I HATED) with you. I think about how I would make you think you were playing the video and how you got hip to my trickery and would restart the game RIGHT when I was about to kill Koopa and rescue the princess, lol!!
After we get through the hell that is February, we make it to March. I think about how the family had been planning to go to Red Lobster for your 20th birthday, because you kept talking about how you had never been. I'm pretty sure you had been before and just forgot, but we had so much fun talking about it and planning to go. I think about how you never made it to your 20th birthday or Red Lobster. Every March 21st since 2007, we go to Red Lobster to celebrate you and mama makes us eat a shrimp in your honor. She says it was your fave. Was it? I don't remember that, lol. That day we talk and laugh about all the good things and I usually notice after that day that the bleeding and throbbing pain from that hole in my heart has stopped and I realize that scab has covered that hole again. I think about the healing that time brings about and how, in my experience, the healing isn't deep or permanent. The hole in my heart is big and the scab is ugly and it never lets me forget you or the pain of losing you, but I'm able to live and cope and find happiness in the midst of my pain and confusion and unanswered questions.
Brother, there are so many things I wonder and so much I want to tell you and talk to you about. I think about what my world would be like if you were still here. I think about how so much within our family would be different. Your nephew is 18 now! He was only 4 when you left, but you all were extremely close. You were his person! I think about the different path he might have taken had you still been here with him. Do you know our baby brother has a fiance and 2 beautiful baby girls?? And our niece has a beautiful and smart 10 year old daughter! You would absolutely love them all and I know they'd adore you! And as you see, I'm a blogger. I've done a lot of different things since you've been gone. It would have been so cool to share them with you live and in person. And I know you would get an absolute kick out of me still not being remarried🙃 Daddy got really sick a couple years ago and we thought he was on his way to be with you! He had colon cancer! Can you believe it?? I bet you can guess that his faith never wavered though. He was comforting us from his death bed! They got all the cancer and he's fine now. God gave us more time. Momma is doing better than she had been, but she still misses you beyond words. And daddy misses you too. He cries about you and Junior often. Yes. Daddy CRIES!! He's become very emotional in his old age and especially since his brush with death. The world is a mess. I don't even have time to go into all that. You'd be happy to know that your bestie has never left our side. He has kept in touch with the family since you left. He is family. He is my brother and I'm thankful he didn't forget about us. As a matter of fact, our baby brother's fiance is your BFF's cousin! He's married now and has a new baby. Bro, we won't even talk about who he married though...🙄🤐He's very "woke", basically a 21st century Marcus Garvey, lol. I wonder if you would be married or have children and what your career would be and where you would live and if anything would ever come of you playing basketball. Is Kobe where you are? Were you surprised to see him?? I always think about how good of a dancer you were with your big tall self and how you would probably be killing all these lil funny looking dances that are out now. One last thing because my feelings are plentiful, but my words are running low. You know how momma thought you were THEE funniest person on the planet?? I can make her laugh a little bit now! Lololololol, but she is a TOUGH crowd.
I love you brother and I really hope you knew that when you were still here. I see you in my dreams from time to time. It always seems SO real and I wake up sad because it isn't. Anyway, I miss you tremendously and I'm thankful for the time we had. I try not to overwhelm myself with all the shoulda coulda wouldas, although I still wish this was all a dream.
So I was thinking about the Coronavirus. "Rona" has issued a devastatingly unexpected blow to the world. I have personally experienced loved ones who have been infected and/or lost their lives to the virus. On top of the physical effects, there has also been a drastic decline in our economy, we've had to become uncomfortably creative with how we work, educate/learn, socialize, shop, worship, and simply live! Over the last several months, anxiety, worry, and disappointment have been high, while peace, joy, and faith have been low. From what I see, the majority of us have had to put extra effort in being hopeful and seeing the bright side. We're squinting, using the highest wattage bulb we can find, slapping on our bifocals, and pulling out the old BluBlockers just to get a glimpse of some light. And I must admit, there are some good things that have come about as a result of COVID-19. Here are the top 5 things I'm grateful for.
So I was thinking about the election. Aren't we all? 2020 has been an extraordinary year. It has been filled with much loss, fear, disappointment, confusion, anxiety, and much of that has been in the last few weeks! The presidential race has been a LOT to process. The last 4 years have been a lot for that matter. This administration assisted in bringing to light America's true colors...
In addition to what we have been experiencing collectively as a nation, many of us have also encountered personal adversities that have caused us to more actively, intentionally, and creatively seek and hold on to peace. I'd like to share with you a few things that have kept me sane this year and continue to do so while we wait on the outcome of the election.
Sooooooooo...I was thinking about how I had an almost completed post and thought I saved it but I didn't. And it's too much to even try to do over at 5am. Yep, 5am. I set my clock for 5am on the day I'm supposed to have a new post, so I could finish up. I know I'm not going to work on a quality post to go out later, so alas, here we are. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a lesson on procrastination, time management, and consistency.
So I was thinking about this year's presidential election. Ya know, I was about to make up a fake acronym for STFU because my mother reads all my blog posts, but I'm 41 years old and super grown, so it is what it is at this point...HEY, MA! Lol...anyway, I've been thinking about the election and I cannot WAIT for it to be over. Please don't take this the wrong way. I am well aware of the dire importance of this election. I even plan on getting out early to vote, but I REALLY need people to STFU. Let me see if I can get you to understand where I'm coming from.
Admittedly, I am NOT the most well versed in the area of politics. I know the bare bone minimum, the basics! I can engage in a political conversation for a good 10 minutes. Beyond that, I'm zoning out and thinking about what I'm going to have for lunch the next day, deciding whether or not I should get tickets for Usher's Las Vegas residency, or trying to remember why it's 180 degrees and not 360 degrees. I also know enough to discuss with my 18 year old why he should vote for the first time (which he did already...I'm so proud!!) and why his vote does in fact count. But, I KNOW my limitations. You won't hear me quoting stats about the Trump/Pence administration vs the Obama/Biden administration. You will not catch me debating on social media about tax policies or healthcare. And there most definitely will not be any persuasion blog post about why one party is better than the other or why they actually all suck. I wish more people were like me though and stayed in their lanes. Who knew I was acquainted with so many political pundits and poli-sci majors?? Hey, sharing knowledge is fine. Some tidbit of information you have may help in the decision making of someone who is undecided about who they should vote for or whether or not they should vote at all. Or it can assist people in understanding the election process better. I really don't have a problem with people sharing facts or even their opinions. What grinds my gears are the people who think they know so much that they condemn others for not knowing what (they think) they know or for not agreeing with their stance. It irks my soul when a person tries to force information on another in a judgmental and condescending way. And it makes my skin crawl when someone has just discovered a documentary on Netflix or just realized that CNN or MSNBC is in their channel line-up or watched a debate for the first time in their 53 years and now all of sudden they are experts spewing hate, stupidity, or misinformation in the most obnoxious way possible. Those are the cases when I wish that a person would just vote and STFU! People, especially adults, should be able to voice their opinions and state facts without attacking a person's intelligence or character.
Then, you have the other extreme; folks who pretty much mirror the techniques of the people mentioned above, except they are NOT voting! But not only are they vehemently explaining why we shouldn't vote and why most of our votes don't count anyway, they are also plentiful with the complaints! Complaining about the inadequacies of the candidates, about what politicians have or have not done, about the state of our government, and the list goes on. All of this without offering any logical solution or having/implementing any alternate action plan. Truth be told, I don't think the powers that be are too interested in what a non-voter has to say. How do the kids say it? I thought somebody who don't vote said sum'n! Lol...but seriously, things are set up so the main way to be heard is to exercise your civic duty and vote...not just in the presidential election, but in your local elections which have more of a direct effect on you, your community, and your everyday life. So, this case is when I need people to vote or STFU! If not voting is the best decision for you and your household, fine, that's totally your prerogative. But again, leave other people alone if they don't agree and shut your complaining face up if you have no solutions or intentions to make any moves toward change.
As a Black woman, I'm ALWAYS going to vote. There have been too many who fought and suffered before me, just so I could have this right. If for nothing else, I feel like I owe it to my ancestors. I respectfully encourage all who can to vote. Become as informed as you can. Do you your own research and fact checking. We literally have all the information and resources we need right at our finger tips, right in our pockets and pocketbooks!
Use this link for any voting questions you may have. No matter where you are in the country, you can use this link to check your registration status, find out early voting times and locations, absentee ballot deadlines, and more.