A Tribe Called Mine

After countless internet searches, I found the entire Lifetime series “Any Day Now” on DVD a few months ago and purchased it. I always loved that show and was very excited to watch it again. At the end of every episode, I found myself saying; “I don’t have friends like that”.  The bond between Rene and Mary Elizabeth is incredible and I was sometimes a little saddened by the lack of that same relationship in my own life.

Several weeks ago, I was talking with an older gentleman about life experiences and he was talking about the amount of unkindness he encounters in what he refers to as his “circle” and how badly he has been treated by that same circle. I questioned why he chooses to surround himself with such negativity and suggested that he find a new circle.  He explained that when he referred to his circle, he was not referring to people around whom he chooses to be, rather people he encounters in his business dealings, etc.  He asked what I meant when I referred to my circle. As I described my relationships with people who I don’t see or even talk to on a regular, consistent basis, yet we know where we stand in each other’s lives, I realized that while I don’t have the talk every day, just show up at each other’s house unannounced, involved in every aspect of my life kinds of friends (thank God, because I couldn’t take it), I do have an amazing “circle”.  As I explained my relationships to this gentleman, I began to feel unexplainable warmth and excitement. I told him that they are more than my circle, these people are my tribe.

When I think about my friends, my people, my tribe…I think first and foremost about the sincere, genuine love we have for each other. It is fierce, that love.  It is intense, it is solid, and it is sure.  It allows us to pick up right where we left off no matter how long it’s been. My tribe has a rhythm.  I’m not exactly sure what that rhythm is, but it attracts us to one another.  It’s like there’s something under the surface that we can feel, but can likely never explain.  I think about the way we communicate; the numerous inside jokes we have and the fact that every person who is a part of my tribe is not necessarily a part of the tribe of the others.  We can speak volumes to each other with no more than a look, a meme, a gif, an emoji or a smirk.  We know what’s coming when one of us starts a sentence with “Girrrrllll” or “Baaaaby”.  My tribe ranges in age from several years younger than me to older than my parents.  My tribe consists of various religions, ethnicities, levels of education, incomes, marital statuses and any other variation of which you could possibly think.  I’m extremely introverted by nature.  I fought that for years and became overbearing in my attempt to maintain relationships instead of just letting them happen naturally.  As I matured and got tired of the “work”, I stepped back and just let things happen.  Let me tell you, the results of that have been beautiful.  I have made unlikely friends and developed totally unexpected bonds.  I have let go of some relationships and begun new ones.

My tribe is not large; it is most often not popular. But, it is powerful and it is mine.

New Beginnings

It’s August, 28, 2017.  That probably seems like an odd time to talk about new beginnings.  Most often, we do that at the beginning of a new year, around our birthdays or in the Spring.  Truthfully, any time can be a time of new beginnings, especially when those new beginnings are the result of a wake-up call.  I’ve been dealing with multiple issues over the past however long… Even a couple of health concerns, which I’ve largely kept to myself.  However, my personality is such that in order to take control of a matter, I have to out it.  I’ve shared my health concerns with a few people close to me and have solicited their help in overcoming them.

I’m rebranding my business, The Majestic Women’s Group, LLC as well.  MWG was started with a business partner a couple of years ago.  Due to my business partner’s own health issues (she’s older and they are much more serious than mine), she opted out of the business, but still functions as a consultant for me, which I greatly appreciate.  In 2017, MWG partnered with Soul2Sole Wellness, LLC in doing a series of talks/open forums/workshops entitled Healing in the Pews, which focuses on bringing awareness and solutions to social issues largely ignored by the Church (at large).  Even with this amazing project, I’ve felt something was missing.  There was so much more MWG could be doing.  So, I had some come to Jesus talks with a select few people who are friends, business advisors, mentors, fire lighters and butt-kickers.  I put everything out on the table, including my frustrations with the current (basically non-existent) status of MWG’s work.  We talked, cried, laughed and came up with solutions.  Now, I’m gung-ho and ready to move forward.  Scratch that…I AM MOVING FORWARD.

When we agreed to dissolve the business partnership, but for me to keep MWG going, I opted not to keep the website we’d been using.  I decided I wouldn’t renew it.  I went to look at the site today to see if there was any information I needed to pull from it and it was gone.  I was actually happy!  I didn’t like the web service we were using, so I’m glad to be out from under them.  I have business meetings lined up to plan the next step for MWG, we’re working out the 2018 schedule for Healing in the Pews (HITP) and I’ve made an incredible contact (gotta keep that a secret for a bit, though).

About those health issues…I’ve started eating Paleo again.  I did it for a while last year and had FANTASTIC results, so I’ve decided to go for it again.  Three days and I can feel the difference already. I have more energy today than I have in a long time.  I didn’t wake up exhausted this morning and I am feeling positive about what’s coming.

Now, if I could just find a new church home, everything would be amazing! I’m trusting to have that worked out in the next 60 days as well.

Love and Light!

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

These were the words of Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), as she read a letter penned by the late Coretta Scott King in March of 1986. The letter was written by Mrs. King in opposition of the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as a Federal District Court Judge in the Southern District of Alabama.  Yesterday, February 7, 2017, Senator Warren read Mrs. King’s words in opposition of Jeff Session’s confirmation; this time as Attorney General. Yesterday, February 7, 2017 is the day these words were spoken about a woman who basically “didn’t stay in her place”.

 That statement sounds just like the words used to justify: the beating of Civil Rights protesters, Police Brutality, the shooting of unarmed citizens, Domestic Violence, Child Abuse, Sexual Assault and any other misuse of real or perceived power.

 On the other hand, it speaks of a boldness, a courage, a resolve that many of us possess. It speaks to the fortitude of activists like Fannie Lou Hamer, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Amelia Boynton Robinson, Coretta Scott King and countless others who have marched and fought and spoken before us.

 I choose to take it as a call to action.

 I‘ve been warned. I’ve been given an explanation. Nevertheless, I persist.

 How about you?

#becauseofthemwecan

About That Sisterhood

I find myself reflecting on the truth in “I Feel Something” quite often.  Some days; days like yesterday, I feel that something even more…

I had a rough day yesterday. I mean a really, really rough day. It probably doesn’t seem like as big a deal to her as it was/is to me, but a friend helped me through it more than she knows.  She gave me a safe, nonjudgmental, believing place to unload and she didn’t insist that I say more than I wanted to.  She handled me perfectly. That is rare and it is valued. When I had finished unloading and revealed to her that I had retreated to the bathroom at work to cry, she told me to get myself together because “they already think you’re crazy”.  I literally laughed out loud when I saw that message. I won’t name my friend here, but should she read this she will know exactly who she is.

~ Thank you

 

Answers to Random Questions

I found these on the internet…

Do you wish on stars? Not anymore

 What CD or album are you most embarrassed to admit to ever owning? Boy George and the Culture Club – the one with Karma Chameleon on it. It was in the 80’s what can I say?

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Not if I can help it

Do you think that you are strong? For the most part

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk, but I haven’t eaten any in almost 9 years

Red or pink? RED

What is your least favorite thing about yourself? My incredible ability to procrastinate

 Who do you miss most? Living – Charity Rose. Deceased – Karla, Grandma and Pastor Betty

 What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Black pants and red boots

 What are you listening to right now? Bishop Iona Locke preaching “Praise Ye The Lord”

 Last thing you ate? A mini York Peppermint Patty

 If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Black

 What is the weather like right now? Cold and deceptively sunny

 Favorite Drink? Water (I’m soooo boring)

 FAVORITE SPORT? To watch – Ice skating, gymnastics, tennis or men’s basketball. To play – Racquetball and Galaga (when you’re as good as I am, a video game becomes a sport.)

Favorite Food? Teriyaki chicken

 Last Movie You Watched? On TV – Grave Halloween. At the theatre – Sully (I totally forgot it had ties to Clint Eastwood until it was over)

Favorite Day of the Year? Christmas.

Scary Movies or Happy Endings? Scary movies

Summer or Winter? Winter, I’d rather be too cold than too hot

Hugs OR Kisses? Depends on who’s doing the hugging or kissing

What Is Your Favorite Dessert? Yellow cake from Tarsha’s Sweet Sensations Bakery and vanilla ice cream

What Books Are You Reading? The Preacher’s Daughter by Beverly Lewis and Competent to Counsel by Jay Adams (for a class)

 What’s On Your Mouse Pad? Random stripes of different colors and a lot of doodling

 What Did You Watch Last night on TV? Dance Moms (I’m so embarrassed)

 Favorite Smells? A freshly bathed, lotioned and powdered baby

 Favorite Sounds? My fingers flying over the keyboard when I’m inspired

 

My Incredible Grandmother

(This is old.  It was originally written Tuesday, June 16, 2009. My grandmother is 95 now and showing some signs of slowing down.  That said, she’s still with us, still getting around, still talking smack and still absolutely incredible. A lot has happened since I wrote this on my old blog, but I still wanted to share it here.)

I went to hang out with my grandmother last night. I don’t say visit because I don’t visit her. Her house is my second home and I’m in and out of there just as freely as I am my own house; with keys and all. Anyway, I’d called to make sure she was going to be home. She was very happy to let me know she had left over chicken she’d made for my Father, Stepmother, Aunt and Uncle on Sunday night. She likes to cook, but only for people. She hates to cook just for herself because she doesn’t like leftovers.

So, I got to her house around 5:30 to find my Grandmother (Nana) coming up her basement stairs wearing Reeboks, some blue crop pants and a Rod Stewart t-shirt. That’s right; my 87 (88 at the end of this month) year old, black, Catholic grandmother is a rock n’ roll fan. We hugged and talked for a few minutes and then I heated up my food. She’d already eaten dinner, so she had ice cream and talked to me while I ate. When I was finished, she went outside to finish the gardening and washing of porch furniture she’d been doing earlier in the day before it got too hot out. I asked if she needed my help and she said no. She probably rolled her eyes, but she was in another room, so I couldn’t see to know for sure. She and my Mother both think I’m a “poor excuse for a country girl” because I’m not an outdoor person. I don’t know how to properly rake leaves; I’ve never cut grass…NEVER. I hate bugs and I’m very allergic to mosquitoes. I’m terrified of granddaddy longlegs; I think they’re the spawn of satan for sure. I’m allergic to pollen and I HATE to get dirty. That’s beside the point…but I know she rolled her eyes; Nana’s spunky like that!

After I washed the dishes, I grudgingly went outside and stood on the porch while she watered her flowers. When she was finished with that, she started telling me about these new trash bags she’d purchased and how she hoped they were big enough for her outside trash cans. Did I forget to mention that she bought the trash bags when she drove to Wal-Mart earlier yesterday? Yeah, she still drives. She bought herself a new car when she turned 80 and she keeps it in the garage which is detached and across the yard from her house. She does not like to leave that car out overnight. I offered to put the bag in the outside trash can (I’m not a total outdoor loser), but she again refused.

I did follow her outside again and joined her in sitting on the porch when she said she was finished for the day. We talked about the cherry and black walnut trees in her yard and how the birds and squirrels rob them of their bounty before she ever has a chance to pick anything. We watched a few blue jays and cardinals eat the cherries and laughed over my father’s joke that Nana is prejudiced because she hates for the huge black birds to eat from her bird feeders. So she said she wouldn’t complain about them anymore because she doesn’t want to discriminate. We talked about the varicose veins I’ve recently discovered on my leg. She says they don’t look like varicose veins to her because hers are a lot bigger. I pointed out that mine may be bigger than it seems, but is probably not totally visible because I’m a good bit darker than she is. Her response? “Oh yeah, maybe so”.

When I swatted a few bugs and announced that I’d had enough of the good outdoors, she decided to go in as well. We talked for a few more minutes and I said I’d better get home and get on the treadmill. She said she was going to take a shower and reminded me to let her know when I wanted to cook the turkey I’d left in her freezer. She said she’d take it out and let it thaw in her refrigerator two days before I’m ready for it. I told her it wouldn’t be before the weekend, kissed her, locked her doors and left. On my way to my car I couldn’t stop thinking about how this time last year Nana was recovering from her first heart attack and using a walker to get around. She had a second heart attack in August and underwent quadruple bypass in late September. Other than her heart problem, there were no issues with her health. Granted the heart problem was a big one; but it was correctable and she’s back to her usual “piddling”, as she calls it. I call it incredible!