Middle Me

Middle Me

I have a confession: I haven’t been to the gym at all in 2011. I know. I know! What the heck right? Not only have I been wasting money, but I haven’t been focused on my health as I should. And what am I doing? I know I gotta get fine for two summertimes–ours and S. America’s in November! (Well, methinks I’m already fine–but I definitely need to maintain my sexy.) So before I get into what I need to do, I’ll share what I have been doing.

I have taken the Dress Challenge seriously–last week I wore a dress every single day (partially to make up for the week when I didn’t wear one at all because it was so cold and rainy). I’m on #3 for this week today, and I’ll likely wear a casual dress tomorrow to the Natural Hair Show (which I’m so excited to attend). So on the very outside, I’ve stepped it up a notch. I’ve taken time to apply makeup most mornings, wear accessories, and just do a little more than look decent.

On the very very inside, I’ve been working on managing my energy–redirecting anger instead of lashing out, praying, making positive reminders about who I am and whose I am. I’ve added to my life a little aromatherapy, scheduling relax time for myself and sticking to it for the most part, stuff like that. And I’ve started an active search for a new church home, so that’s exciting as well.

So just in time for May Day (shout out to the lady who thanks God for slavery because she was saved from being in Africa worshiping a tree, triple side eye and a back hand slap), which really just signifies that the earth is fertile again because of the increasing presence of the sun (I wish I could join in with the folks planting gardens but I don’t have a green thumb. :-/ I’m still thinking of attempting to start a container garden on my deck, but we’ll see what happens. Eek.), I need to work on Middle Me. My physical health. Not the very outside or the very inside. Here are some things I plan to implement.

1. GO TO THE GYM and get my money’s worth, lol. I also am going to do this cross fit training thing. I think I’m going to do that to start me off, really get me going and back in the habit (ain’t it amazing how our habits really define us at the end of the day??). I have at the very least spent longer walking Smokie than I used to, so that counts, right? 🙂

2. Start back doing hot yoga. It ties the inner me to the middle me. While getting centered, I also work on flexibility and balance. Some things that both inner and middle me need to get down pat.

3. Drink more water! I definitely don’t drink enough water, and there’s no excuse. It helps with skin, hair, and overall health. So… I’ll be right back. Lemme go get a glass.

4. Ok, I’m back. (I really did go get a glass of water. 🙂 ) A health guy at this smoothie place my friends and I visited a couple of weeks ago told us that we really should get in the habit of eating breakfast like queens, eating lunch like princesses, and eating dinner like bag ladies. (Ok, he didn’t say it exactly like that, but that’s the NadaJo interpretation.) I’ve done that ONE day since he told us that. LOL But I do need to start. He also said we need to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up… It’s been almost 2 hours since I woke up, and I still haven’t gotten breakfast. Don’t worry, I’ll go downstairs and grab a bite when I wrap up this post.

5. I’ve been cooking (and grilling) a little more, but I want to amp that up too. I actually want to get back to my 2007 days when I made everything from scratch so that I could be extra vigilant about what was going into my body. You have no idea how much more vibrant I was, and I lost like 2 dress sizes in the process!! I’ve done it before, so I know I can do it again (but I need to ease into it, lol).

Since I haven’t shared any music in awhile, here’s the Beyonce “Move Your Body” video for First Lady Obama’s Let’s Move campaign!

Well, happy Friday, folks. Make it an extra great day!

Lemony Snicket… with a Happy Ending

Lemony Snicket… with a Happy Ending

When some random object flies off a truck on a busy I-285 and you can’t do anything to avoid running over it and then your tire as predicted begins to get low and you have to make your way across three or four lanes to get to the shoulder where cars and trucks are zooming past, you come to a juncture in the road where you must decide:

Do I panic and let this tear form? Or do I stay calm?

Yep, that happened to me Sunday. I chose to stay calm even though my eye was tingling with the thought of a possible tear forming. But as soon as I made that decision, I stayed in good spirits for the rest of what would become your run of the mill Lemony Snicket and a Series of Unfortunate Events kinda day. Now, this is the second time I’m writing this blog post–I lost it the first time, and I’ve decided to stay calm and just retype it–but this time, I’m leaving out some details, lol.

Alright, so after calling Roadside Assistance, I called the office where I was headed for an appointment, then texted the two people I had plans with later. One asked had I called the hero truck, to which I responded “what is a hero truck?” After getting over the initial disbelief that I have lived in Georgia for 9 years and didn’t know what a hero truck was, she told me to call 511 and they would come help me for free. By then I had the dispatcher State Farm referred me to on the phone asking me questions about getting a tow, so I asked her how much it would be, took down the number, and said I would call her back. I called 511, and sure enough, they asked where I was, what kind of car, and all that. (Read: God’s plan, step #1) Then the fateful question: “Do you have a spare?” It really is a long story, but suffice it to say that my daddy took my spare out and I had no idea if he had ever replaced it, so I answered “I don’t think so.” Why? Because I just didn’t want anyone coming to help me if I didn’t know AND as I was on 285, I wasn’t getting out of my car to clear out my trunk and lift up the mat and see.

So I called the dispatcher back, and she put me on hold to locate a tow truck to take me to where my tires are under warranty. Then she came back on the line and told me that it was taking longer than usual to find someone open on Sunday, and she would call me back in 5 minutes because she wanted to make sure she didn’t drain my cell phone battery. During this time, I asked my friend to come get me because I hadn’t eaten all day, and I would just make sure I was back in time to ensure that my car got to its destination. So about twenty to thirty minutes later, I see a yellow truck pulling up behind me… Hmmm, I think to myself… Tow trucks aren’t usually yellow… Then I see State Farm on the truck. Hmmm, State Farm sent me to the dispatcher service, so I’m confused… So a lady gets out of the truck, comes to my window and tells me she’s with HERO and she’s here to help me. (Read: God’s plan, step #2) I told her that I was told they wouldn’t be able to assist because I didn’t know if I had a spare. After telling me they sent her anyway, she said, “Well let’s see.” After together putting the contents of my trunk in my back seat, sure enough, I had a spare. (Read: God’s plan, step #3) As she changed my tire, I called the dispatcher back, who is sounding really stressed and worried. As soon as I told her that I was canceling, she replied, “Oh my God, I’m so happy because you wouldn’t believe I called this entire list and either they’re not open or they don’t have a truck they can send to where you are today.” (Read: God’s solutions ain’t got nothing on ours.)

When I tell you at that very moment, all I could do is think about how blessed I am, I’m understating how I felt. I immediately called my mom to share, and of course, I love sharing with her AFTER something has happened because she worries herself into oblivion. (Love you, mom!)

That’s not the end of my Lemony Snicket day though. Here’s the rest:

1- Went to tire place to get a new one

2- They didn’t have the tire I needed, so they called the next closest, they were putting their last 4 on a car at that moment. They then called the next closest. They had it and put it on hold for me.

3- There was construction on I-75 so I drove all the way up Marietta, which was fine because I needed gas. I pull in, swipe my card, it reads “SEE CASHIER.” I go inside, they say my card went through. Manager had to go outside and reset everything. I got gas.

4- Finally got to tire place, get it changed. End of debacle. Finally.

The other component of the day that made it a happy ending was the people I encountered. There are really good people in the world, even in Atlanta. (Kidding, y’all! (kinda, lol))

  • The dispatcher I talked kept telling lame jokes as she was processing my request. She knew that there was a good possibility I could be stressed out, so she was trying to lighten me up.
  • Before anyone got to me, a guy stopped and asked me if he could change my tire. Of course, this was before I knew if I had one. Thanks, Mister, for letting me know people care!
  • The HERO lady was soo nice and way diligent. That was my first experience with them, and I’m very pleased that we have that service here. Thank you, Georgia Department of Transportation!
  • The people at the gas station were very patient, and it rubbed off on me. Well, at this point, I figured the day was just what it was and if I hadn’t been upset yet, no need to start over a gas pump, but still. I appreciated them. The manager even pumped my gas.
  • As I was walking out of the gas station, a guy stopped me just to tell me I was beautiful. No pick up lines, no asking me for my number. Just wanted to give a compliment.
  • The mechanic on duty at the first tire place I went to recognized me from when I was there to get my oil changed, so he came over to speak and to look at my tire, and he assured me everything would be taken care of.
  • The manager at the place that put the tire on hold ended up being an AKA from Cheyney in PA (’82), and we had a great convo about politics while I was waiting on my car to get its new shoe. She was so nice and a great person to meet as I ended my journey.

So all that to say, you can’t see the rainbow unless there’s a little rain. And one of my favorite quotes is

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.

Sunday could have been a monsoon if I had treated it as one. But it turned out to be a little blip in the road. I mean, yeah, I missed my social plans of the day, but I still got to my (rescheduled) appointment and ate dinner with my friend (who got to me at almost exactly the same time the HERO truck did and then followed me all over the place to make sure I got to the tire place–another person who was in that list of people who made my day). But the perspective is that things could have gone in a number of different ways, but they didn’t. And I still enjoyed the day because I allowed myself to, and because I trusted that everything would work out as they should. Now, I guess I’ll finally let my friend teach me how to change a tire, just in case that happens to me in another state. 🙂

The Colored Museum

The Colored Museum

A group of us went to the True Colors production The Colored Museum.

First, it was great to see the new Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center. Great venue!!

The play was very interesting–after an introduction that consisted of a flight attendant giving us directions about flying on the Celebrity Slave Ship, which was partly funny and partly informative, each scene was an “exhibit” in the museum. The flight attendant, very eager for us to assimilate to the times we were traveling to, asked us to repeat after her: “I don’t hear any drums, and I will not rebel.”

That was funny in itself because I’ve had conversations with friends about how drums and music have always been so integral to the African American culture. I think unbeknownst to many, rhythm has been a means of communication beyond the obvious–our souls are tied to certain sounds and we react to them subconsciously. So as an aside, I definitely agree with those who say we have to be uber cognizant and picky about what we’re listening to.

Anywho, my favorite “exhibits” were one that I called the War of the Wigs, where two wigs, one a proper long and straight and one a spunky afro. At the beginning of the exhibit, the woman who owned the wigs wasn’t aware of their conversation about her and her need to drop her zero boyfriend. They talked about how she switched her hair depending on what he was interested in or where they were going. Then, the wigs began to argue about which one of them she should wear to the break-up lunch. That’s when it got super hilarious. They eventually made their ability to speak and observe her life known, and of course she was floored. It’s amazing how our hair is so tied to our emotions and thoughts and even interests.

The other exhibit that had me completely rolling on the floor was the Tyler Perry-like episode, where everything was way overdramatized. The usual suspects were there–the mama sitting on the couch, her overly angry 30 year old son who can’t get ahead in life no matter how hard he tries, the wife who is miserable and has a dream of more but is stuck, and the sibling who has traveled the world and has a different outlook. These times 10. Eventually, “the man” shot the angry black man, and the cast began to sing him back to life. The lyrics went a little something like this:

If only he had been born into a black musical… no one ever dies in an all black musical…

Another one I enjoyed was of a man who was trying to throw away his blackness. He threw away his albums, including some Stevie Wonder!!, certain clothes, etc. Then “the kid,” presumably his childhood spirit, fought with him over it. After a long, funny battle, he ended up throwing “the kid” away too. It really made me wonder what some will do to “fit in” into mainstream majority–and if doing all that actually works. If they ever feel like they “arrived”–and if they do on the surface, what they feel when they go to bed at night.

There were also a couple of exhibits that I didn’t quite understand… Maybe they were too deep for me? One was of a soldier who died (I think) at battle and realized that no matter what, the soldiers who would make it back home would never find happiness. So he proceeded to kill them all.  Yeah… I dunno, folks. Shrug.

The other one I really didn’t get was about a little girl who gave birth to a bunch of eggs. I thought I got it–she was a poor black girl whose mother never told her anything positive about herself, and she ended up getting pregnant by a delivery boy or something. Well, I thought I got it until her mom locked her in a room for several days and she laid an egg. After that, shrug.

Overall, though, The Colored Museum made me think. About all the different “stereotypes” and truths of the African American culture, and how many things seem opposite but all apply. And even how some things that seem positive can really be negative, and the other way around. The play runs through Sunday. You should totally get tickets and check it out. Then log back on and tell me what you thought (and explain what I didn’t get). Enjoy the weekend!