Four sets of Grandparents

My new grandboy has four sets of grandparents. Obviously, this means that his parents have two sets of parents a piece. I wonder how blended our blending will blend.

I am proud to be part of the only set that is not estranged from one or both of the new parents. It makes me joyful that I can love on him with no restrictions or misinterpretation. I can examine his beautiful features with no dismissal or distain. I can just be his Sweet (that’s what my grandbabies call me)!

His four sets of grandparents have given him a modge podge of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. What a lucky grandboy I have! To be all of us in his own unique way. How lucky for those of us who will watch him grow and see all of our similarities and differences diffused by the fusion.

I feel sadness and compassion for the grandparents who couldn’t see him born. Some of it was the distance of miles; some the distance of hearts. I would build a thousand bridges to get me over a great divide. My love of new life would motivate me to hold my tongue so that I could open my heart. But I’m not every person or grandparent. I’m just one of the ones that he’ll know loves him freely and his parents unconditionally.

My new grandboy has four sets of grandparents. He is the perfect blend πŸ’™

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I’m not 24 anymore

I’m not 24 anymore. I don’t know exactly when I grew old enough to see distance between who I was and who I am, but I know I’m not 24 anymore.

If for some reason I deluded myself to think otherwise, this Zumba class I took tonight was designed to correct the errors of my thoughts. I look like a 24 year old if you blink fast enough to overlook my grays and disregard the dark circles around my eyes. There I was much older than I remembered. When I shook my hook, I realized it had gotten rusty. I can’t sashay like I used to do. I dropped it low and almost couldn’t pull it back up. It made my hip hurt and my booty doesn’t pop.

My little cousin insisted that I go with her to this class (she is 24). My small frame makes me look fit. It’s so deceiving (50% genetics/50% diet/0% exercise). When we got home, my foot was swollen. And my hip still hurt. My sweet loving hubby brought me some BC powder and said, “I knew it would be too much for you. I didn’t want to tell you. I just figured I’d let you find that out on your own.” He’s not fooled by my thin thighs and perky breasts; he knows why I have gray hair and dark circles under my eyes. He’s fully aware that I’m not 24 anymore.

I don’t want to be 24. There wasn’t anything so remarkable about being that green to the things of life. I did have fun though. I always pursued passions, but looking back now I’m critical that my philosophies may have been superficial. (Shut up older me! 🀐 That’s why 24 year olds don’t want to hear middle-aged opinions) 24 is where I really embraced my authentic self. I didn’t understand limitations or barriers; therefore, I had no fear of failure. I was unapologetic for not being stereotypical in my looks, thoughts, or ambitions. Back then I danced all night. My hip never hurt, my feet never swole up, and my hook wasn’t rusty.

I’m not 24 anymore. I’m 47. And I don’t think I like Zumba very much. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

Acquaintance Zone

Relationships of all kinds are tricky. Some establish themselves quickly; others take many seasons. There is a subconscious selection process that determines the significance of the connection.

There is a wife of a relative that I recently decided can’t be my friend. There is nothing major wrong with her and she’s a pretty okay lady, but after many years I have not grown in my affection for her. I never think “OMG I need to call so and so!” I never want to do lunch. I don’t not hold her close in my confidences (aka I don’t tell her my personal business). She has been relegated to the perpetual acquaintance zone.

Before you start thinking I’m mean for the sake of meanness, let me try to explain. The connectors are not connecting, because our conversations are quite plain. There were no “aha!” moments. Not once did I walk away feeling refreshed or renewed. I can barely recount what subject matters we skirted around, but I never left feeling good.

We don’t have many similarities other than our birthdays are in July. I think initially we both thought that would be enough to understand each other’s wit or avoid each other’s limits. It just wasn’t so. I didn’t find her very funny; truthfully, I can’t recall a single joke. I don’t like to talk bad about people, yet I participate in gossip and venting to pass the time until our husbands are ready to part ways. When I behave in a manner that I don’t approve of, I get frustrated with myself. I get upset with myself. I get angry with myself. And if my conversations with someone else consistently ends with me not liking that I was a party to it… then it’s better that we don’t conversate at all.

Oh I’ve tried to broach a variety of topics. From politics to parenting to religion and back. But you know how it goes. Patterns. Two or three sentences in, things deteriorate to complaining or indifference. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but my brain enjoys some stimulation. I long for alternate perspectives. Our talks provide me none. And maybe that’s the other part of the problem.

How does she judge how I interact? She may not be overjoyed to be paired up with me either. I may be the boring one. That is completely possible. I may not be as engaging as I think I am. She may have already acquaintance zoned me. And I’m okay with that. Let the relationship die peacefully.

Two things that I am very aware of: I might be the jerk in this equation and I don’t need to express my tolerance limitations to her. You can’t tell people that they’re conversations are basic and dry. How arrogant would that be? And really what would that profit her or me? Nothing, so I’m telling you instead. These are the things I think in my head while I sit there listening to her talk. And that bothers me enough to insert a wedge.

I promise I won’t be rude. I’ll always be cordial, but I give myself permission to excuse myself from such uncomfortable small talk. I don’t have to be friends with everybody. I’m not trying to save face with you or her. I’m being as honest and gracious as I can. I know you may think I’m wrong. I’m actually willing to be wrong, but if I am than my growth will take a dialogue above what my acquaintance has to offer.

My mind is made up. I’ve reconciled it in my heart until God moves me otherwise.

All That You Deserve

“How you doing today?”

“Pretty bad. How ’bout you?”

“Ummm…I was doing good ’til you said that shit.” πŸ€”

No lie. For my cousin this is his standard hello. The first few times it kinda fucked with my mind. Like what? Pretty bad? Who says that? Evidently, my cousin.

His retort to such a benign greeting is not circumstantial. He answers this way on a sunny day or a rainy night. When we’re dressed to go out or cracking a beer in the garage makes not a matter to him. He’s always going to say, “Pretty bad”.

I’ve wondered if the point of “pretty bad” was to make the inquisitor feel pretty bad. I mean how can you say you’re doing pretty good after being confronted with the idea that he’s equally as bad as you are good? Like that’s pretty fucked up. Without a doubt, since I know for a fact, that you’re so use to good following pretty that you almost miss the bad.

You’re standing there with no other option than to reply, “I’m hanging in there.” Which is a lie. You’re doing a hell of a lot better than just hanging in there. You’re great! You’re fantastic! It’s been confirmed that you are all the business; consequently, you’re an egotistical bastard if you admit that to someone doing pretty bad.

Ummm.. Now here’s an interesting scenario. What if you didn’t hear the “bad”, because your mind filled your ears with “good”. So then you’d say, “Glad to hear it! I’m pretty good too.” Damn! You’re not good too cus he already said he was far from good. There is no too. And why are you glad to hear he’s bad??

His conclusion: you were never interested in how he is.

You were asking an intrusive question never expecting an answer that would force you to engage further. Ain’t that some shit?! Such twisted jacked up logic that it actually makes sense.

My real answer: “I’m glad your day has all that you deserve!” He’s not the only asshole in the family lol πŸ™‹πŸ½

The Contract

Confidence. It can really be a tricky thing. Sometimes you feel invincible; other times, invisible for sure. How is it that we shrink and grow in the value of our surety that we can meet the demands of our destiny.

I mean it’s imperative that we maintain the conscious thought that we can succeed at whatever we do. Even when doubt creeps in, it must be swat down like a flying roach (extreme panic that can later be relayed as a vengeance). Visions of greatness matched with adequate skill. Grandiose plans reined by an unimposing coin purse. Never forgetting that whatever contrary evidence is presented against our masterful strategies, we must know that we will triumph.

Hey… There are actually times we go into things knowing that we are gonna suck. I assure you that every time this happens there is someone else that we believe can fulfill the team’s dream. They can take it to the top! Mistakes happen, but the supporting cast is their to keep the plot from flopping.

This is the source; the root of confidence. We believe that an outcome is guaranteed, because we want it to be so. It has little to nothing to do what other’s think of our next scheme. It’s either harebrained or revolutionary and it’s always according to what we think it is. We get to decide what lives and dies from out of our minds.

The covenant of self preservation was designed to keep us from denying ourselves the promise of greatness. We must believe.

Houston Strong

Sorry that I had to keep you waiting. All around my city, people are wading to reach higher ground.

The downpour has been torrential, not like a jungle but like an apocalyptic movie scene. The constant sheets of rain have left my thoughts soggy and soul drenched by salty tears.

The winds have whistled just shy of a train booming down on us. My muscles are frozen from dozing with one foot on the starting block; ready to flee.

You feel blessed that you were able to gather above the basics, food, warmth and dry shoes. Your stockpile seems worthless as comfort let’s you view people on roofs, in boats, swimming for a refugee and the watery expanse sealing your dry land was created by mere luck or fate.

Each one has their own experience. If you cried through this storm, then at minimum that same grip of grief is shared by us all.

The work of putting each life, family, and community back together is going to be heavy phase by phase. Each thread you add is needed to cover us all in the long haul.

My business is located on this street. This is the closest that I’ve been able to get to see it. To the right of that railing is a ravine that is about 20 ft deep. (I do not own the rights to this image. Courtesy of Google Images).

If you’re first responders, we thank you! If you are organizing food and clothes drives, we thank you! If you are volunteering at shelters, we thank you! If you are helping displaced employees find new jobs and housing, we thank you! If you are passing out hot or cold meals or MREs, we thank you! If you are helping people who lost paid off vehicles apply for relief, we thank you! Anything you do to help us make it all the way through is what makes us #HoustonStrong #TexasStrong #BuiltToLast #HarveyWasAMuthafucka

We ❀️ You Rockfort, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Brazoria, Galveston, Dickinson, Spring, Fort Bend, Baytown, Port Arthur… And every town, city, and town in between!

Storms lift me higher

I am thankful that I can prepare for the storm. Not everyone has the survival skills or resources to know and obtain what they will need. I am truly fortunate to have an ear that hears and believes that when storms come so can freedom.

There is nothing new under the sun, so trouble is not a surprise. It comes. And then it goes. Like the sun rises and sets, so does calamity. I cannot predict when exactly it will come, but I know in time it will. So I prepare myself to stand and do in the time of trouble. With guidance, I aim towards an outcome that will lift me higher.

I rest my head at night knowing that if I wake to flooding waters, I have learned to swim, climb, and row my way to safety. I’ve allowed myself to have those choices. I close my eyes with the thoughts that those who ride the storms with me have a friend that will be dependable and sure. I dwell with fellow soldiers. I’ve given myself permission to ride the currents towards liberation.

I’ve taken inventory of what I need and what I lack. I may not be able to fill the gap before the alarm sounds. I’m okay with that. I know one thing though. I will not waste precious moments looking for things I don’t have when I can improvise with what I already possess. I have been equipped to bare down against the winds and forge ahead to sovereignty.

I know that even when my fortress falls, I can rebuild in the spring. No rationale can truly prepare me for the loss that comes in the night, but my grief will wash away a wonderful past that was training for my future. Even in strange lands, I was created to survive and thrive.

Thank you Lord for your powers that work in me.

β€œFather, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” β€”John 17:24

Commit Everyday

I completely lack the ability to commit once I’ve lost interest. I know it. I see the patterns. For the most part, I’m ok with my noncommittal ways. Things aren’t suppose to last forever anyway…. Are they?

I love watching good movies and shows; unfortunately, I am not a loyal viewer. I cannot watch an entire Netflix series without skipping some episodes, even when I’ve dedicated my Saturday to binge watching. I cannot remember to rush to the TV on a certain day at a certain time to catch season premiers or finales. I guess to me every episode five is just a story filler and recaps always take place when seasons begin or end. That mic button on the remote has become my friend. The greatest of all inventions! All I have to do is say a network or name a show and walah! That button was made for lazy viewers like me and I embrace it.

As much as I love to read, I do truly enjoy reading, I get bored too easily. It is not the fault of great authors; masters of subjects. They spin tales so fantastic. The problem is that my mind creates some of the most asinine subcontext that I will undoubtedly follow down a damn rabbit hole. The truth is I just prefer to skim pages. It could be that I messed up when I learned to speed read textbooks. It’s a helpful tool when you’re taking a full load of courses and have to absorb hundreds of pages of dry knowledge. The downside is that it also promotes self-induced literary attention deficit disorder. My brain would implode if I tried to read a romance novel. I tell myself to read every word, but I don’t listen to me. I try to figure out meanings within the first few words of a sentences. I see the fallacy in this logic, yet I scan pages to the literary death of me. I am an unmotivated reader.

Music? Ha! My hearing is my least devoted sensory input method. It tunes in when my brain thinks it’s curious and then tunes out as if there were no sound at all. I am that person that drives with the radio off. I never ran out and bought albums when it dropped. I’m sure I’ve never downloaded MP3s (Wait! Except audiobooks from the library app). As a matter of fact, some random U2 songs are on my iPhone and I have absolutely no idea where they came from. Eh. Whatever. I made ’em my ringtones and alarms. Why? No other reason than it was the path of least resistance for selections of musical accompaniments. I am an unimpressed musical novice.

Let’s not get into all of the half filled journals. Precious trees gave up their lives (unwillingly) so that I could dedicate the first 20 pages to a new life plan that reads quite similarly to the plan in all the other preceding notebooks. It’s like, come on! How much can you plan to plan a plan? Evidently, quite a bit over decades of journaling. I get just as tired of reading my thoughts as I do thinking them. Oh well. I am an uninspired word smith.

Wait! I can’t be that bad. Surely, I have committed my skills, thoughts, and passions to something for more than a season. I need to think of some pastime that I have done consistently and persistently over time without overlooked reminders or habits of failings that has enriched my existence like a new present everyday. Oh! I got it!

I live.

Everytime

Hold that line!

Everytime! It's imperative that you hold that line tight! When you thought that your victory was to draw it bold and bright, you were only half right.

It is good to have boundaries that are secure. The best first step for sure. Be mindful that the freedom of self preservation is protection, not a cure.

You've got to hold that line!

Don't get in your feelings for them testing the firmness of your stance. It's not by happenstance. If there's a crack, then there's a chance.

Being a sucker should not be confused with being meek. The latter takes patience that's not given to the weak. Whatever's reserved for you they seek.

Hold that line!

Everytime. Protect the path you choose. Endure every bump and bruise. Without commitment to yourself, your just rewards you'll lose.

You really think after compromise that you will be just fine? It will mar the essence of your soul to know that you lack spine. If your really want to live in peace that is divine, then hold that line!

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