What Are You Waiting For?

Dear Readers,

This may appear to be a picture of an expensive handbag, but when I look at this handbag it represents waiting for a special occasion, the perfect outfit and broken promises. I purchased this handbag March 1, 2021, I carfully stored it away and promised myself that I would use it on my birthday trip March 25, but the trip didn’t happen. Then I said, I’II wait to find the perfect outfit and special occasion to use my beautiful new handbag. Needless to say, I never made it to the mall and the special occasion didn’t happen, so I thought.

What I am getting at is this some of us are guilty of putting things off waiting for the right time, and making promises to ourselves or others breaking them because we dont think about the conquences of not keeping our word. We wait and wait for that big occasion to wear a specal suit, dress, shoes, piece of jewelry or in my case to sport a handbag. Each time I went to my closet and looked at this handbag, I didn’t feel the same excitement as I did when I purchased it. I thought about the price, and how I had to make special room for it to sit on the shelf, with its matching wallet and key chain. When I purchased this handbag I imagined how all eyes would be on me when I walked into the room.

That was nine months ago and today is the day that I wasn’t going to wait any longer to use my handbag. You see I already had the perfect dress, shoes, and place to flash my handbag. It’s Sunday, I visit my of worship and afterwards I usually meet friends for brunch or an early dinner. How foolish of me to put so much importance on a handbag that I could have taken to the market, on my trip to visit my mother, girls night out, and to the nail salon. I forgot that the reason why I purchased the handbag was to use it. After all it’s just a handbag.

Bottom line. Stop putting off living in the moment when the time is right. No material item is worth worshipping, and each day that we live is a special occasion, especially since this pandemic continues to hold the world hostage. Tomorrow I will take my handbag to work and be thankful for being employed.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Happy New Year.

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

The year 2021 is coming to an end and some people are very vocal about this year being another wasted year due to this on going pandemic. I agree that this continuous mutating virus is ignoring. No matter, I am thankful for all that I have been blessed with throughout this year. I am in good health, emotionally, mentally and physically. Most thankfull for employment, and that none of my family or friends have died from this virus. Our family was blessed to welcome a new addition to the family, my great niece MeMe. I accomplished a long time dream to drove cross country, and published another book. My apartment was flooded by hurricane Ida, I am blessed to have an amazing landlord and my apartment has been restored better than new. I was able to visit my mother in South Carolina for Thanksgiving we had an amazing time just the two of us. I can go on and on, but I won’t. I choose to see the good that happened this year. We have had enough of the bad. I hope when you taking a look back you will count your blessings.. Merry Christmas and hope your looking forward to another wonderful New Year.

Thank you for supporting dragthepen ❤

J R Floyd

WHEN YOU ARE BLESSED.

My great niece MeMe

Dear Readers,

I stopped taking my blessings for granted.
Think about all the unnecessary complainting people do about what they don’t have or the things they think will make them happier. May I suggest you take a moment to think about the Millions of people who are struggling to meet their basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

I was one of those people who felt that a better apartment in a rich neighborhood would make me happier. But, my reality is I am abundantly blessed to have a beautiful, affordable, clean, safe, peaceful, and warm apartment in a quiet neighborhood, where people respect their homes, and an excellent landlord who cares about his tenants.

I am employed at not one but two places of business, my dream job as an educator and writing consultant, in addition to my part time gig as a counselor in a group home. Both allows me flexibility with my schedule, thus blessing me to be financially self sufficient to meet my other basic needs of food and clothing. The extra added bonuses such as travel, girls night out, buying good wine, and recently upgrading my living room and refurbishing the kitchen is all part of the amazing ways I am blessed.

Thus far I am deeply grateful to have made it through this pandemic without losing income, or more importantly friends or family to this virus, and none of my family lost their jobs or their homes. And in January 10, 2020 our family welcomed a new addition my great niece MeMe.

It doesn’t take much to look in your own back yard, so to speak to see the blessings. Think about this the next time you walk past a person sleeping on the streets in the cold, rain, heat, and snow. Don’t judge them we don’t know what lead them to their circumstances. And there might be some truth to the saying, ” we are all one pay check away from being homeless.” The next time you are in the presence of a person begging for food and he or she might be genuinely hungry. Think about how easy it is for you to purchase food using instacart, grub hub, doordash, and Uber or the tons food we throw away. While others are digging through garbage bins, grateful for food banks, soup kitchens and the SNAP program.

Dropping money like its hot shopping like the millionaire your not. Do you need to purchase another pair of designer shoes when the ones your brought last month haven’t been worn yet. Hand bags, outfits, shoes, boots, and jewelry piling up cluttering your already cluttered home, but you claim not to have anything to wear. I remember when I was a kid living in my parents house I had to eat what my mother prepared without complaining. Fast food, Chinese food, the corner Bodega, Dunkin Donuts, or 7 eleven wasn’t an opinion. My parents where thankful that they could provide hot meals, clothing and shelter for me and siblings.

I complain about not having a car, the reality is that I live in the greatest city ” The Big Apple” where mass transit operates 24/7, in addition to Uber, lyft, and other car services, I don’t mean to bragg, but I am fortunate to have a private car service, so why am I complaining, when I see people sleeping in trains and in train station for shelter and warmth.

The bottom line is regardless to all the crap I’ve experienced, and how bad I think my life is, as the old saying goes, ” there is someone out there who would change places with me in a heartbeat.” I am learning to practice gratitude daily. I am thankful for my life, and all that I have.

Me and my cousin

Question. Are you thankful for your life and all that you’ve been blessed with?

I Don’t Miss The Chaos

Dear Readers,

People often say, ” it’s the little things that matter.” I say the little things become the best parts of our lives. I often write about how grateful I am to experience living in peace, and for some people experiencing peace might not be such a big deal. On the contrary, for me reaching a level of clarity and understanding of how drama from outside and inside my home contributed to me sinking into depression is a very big discovery. As long as I have known myself, my life have been one long tragedy, and I didn’t know how or when I was going to get off the wild roller coaster of one traumatic experience after another. It seemed like I was a magnet for chaos. But I digress, today’s post isn’t about the emotional damage of depression, but how I’ve achieved inner peace, maintain a healthy emotional and mental balance, and why I am determined to protect the peace in my life.

I use to mistake the peace in my home as loinliness and a punishment for not settling for abusive and unhappy. relationships. I thought that the peace in my home was the costly price I’ve paid for choosing my emotional healing. I took for granted that the peace in my home was a means of me being selfish because I didn’t want others, especially a man to intrude, so I shut my doors keeping them out.

Some people think of me as being odd, an introvert, difficult to get along with, secretive, strange, and some say sneaky. I make no apologies I’ve changed, no I have been transformed, and I can’t run with the same pack anymore. In the presence of peace my creative mind is free of chatter and distractions of other people’s needs. In the moments of peace I soak in the presence of my own company, kicking up my feet and enjoying the sound of my own laugher because there is no one around to tell me that I am too loud.

My peace means freedom from the burdens of being criticize for being too much or not enough. My freedom means that I can choose to be or not to be. My peace is healing making me stronger, self reliance, and in my strength I am capable of achieving my goals, and to create the life I deserve without the burden of him or them reminding me of my limitations or should I say the limitations that others were placing on me. I respect and own my peace and freedom because I know the burden of living and only knowing chaos and dysfunctional environments. At my worse I know that there was another way to live, but I didn’t know how to get to the other side.

I write and share about my experiences because I know that there are others out there who are struggling to find peace in their homes and in their lives. There are people who claim to have it all, the home, career, money and the perfect relationship, but that’s only what we see on the outside. I personally know people who are glad for soical media to use as a means to fake and escape their unhappiness. I can’t tell you the countless times people have said to me, ” they wish for a little peace and alone time” or that ” they should have made better choices” and the big one,
” if they could turn back the hands of time they would live life differently.” Today, I am overjoyed that I am not one of those people, and l and don’t take for granted that I have the chance to live a better quality of life.

In the presence of my peace, I take my time making well throughout decisions. I don’t open the door inviting everyone into my life because I think that they are good people. My home is not just walls and floors it’s sacrificed. Everything in my home has meaning the colors, smells, the food I cook, and even the manner I clean my home represents me on the inside and outside, and all the people who I chose to enter my home will be a representative of my peace.

To be honest I never thought that I would see the day when I would be in a position of peace. And from where I sit it’s a beautiful place to be.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen.

Photo by Ekaterina Belinskaya on Pexels.com

What Just Happened?

Dear Readers, 

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation with another person about problems that you’re experiencing, but the other person completely disregards your concerns and makes the conversation about them? I was talking to a sister friend about my decision to join a gym to  focus on my mental and emotional health and at the same time addressing my physical health. I made this choice after several sessions with my therapist who helped me to understand that I have been suffering from pandemic fatigue, a term unknown to me. I thought I was experiencing simple depression, and with the threat of another virus I’ve become  increasingly concerned about the quality of my life. My therapist helped me to understand that this was brought on by the pandemic. I missed working out and homeworks is not helping as much. So, I put my fear aside and joined a gym.

Anyway, out of my excitement I called a close friend of mine to meet me at my favorite coffee lounge to share my good news. However, during our conversation she completely caught me off guard by her lack of compassion and listening skills. It seemed to me that she was condemning me for the choices that I made to regain some balance in my life, and she dumped all of her issues on me. The Conversation went something like this. . 

Me: Thanks for meeting me for coffee. I needed to get out of the house and just breathe.

Sister friend: I felt the same way glad you called.

Me: Since the cold weather is setting in there aren’t many places I am willing to go in doors.

Sister friend: Indoors or outdoors no place is safe. 

Me: Well, that’s true, but at least here they are checking for vaccine cards and the staff wears masks. I did feel better during the summer when people could spread out. I enjoyed the outside dining. 

Sister friend: Inside or outside, if the virus is going to get you it won’t matter where you were.

Me: Sipping my coffee in silence.

Sister friend: What have you been up to?

Me: Doing my best to be productive, positive and stay safe.

Sister friend: Stay safe, stay safe I am so tired of hearing people say that.

Me: What else do you expect people to say, and with the news of yet another variant of this virus people don’t even know if what they are already doing is keeping them safe.

Silence..

Sister friend: Anyway, is anything new happening? 

Me: Yes, I am so excited! I stopped procrastinating and joined the gym. I am done with the pandemic weight. I needed another place to connect to people. So, ready to get my workout on.

Sister friend: Girl are you crazy? You talking about staying safe and you’re going to a gym? 

Me: Yes. I thought about it. I need to start rebuilding my health. I’ve been feeling off balance. I did my research, the gym is near my house, they only allow 25 percent capacity, fully vaccinated people only, they take your temp, there is a mask mandate, and it is clean.

Sister Friend: Girl, I wouldn’t dare go in a place where there is so much sweat and germs, people breathing out God knows what. And what do you mean your off balance? 

Me: Before I could answer-

Sister friend: From where I sit you’re doing great. I’ve been dealing with creditors calling me, still behind on my rent, squeezing pennies to buy food, and I might not have cable next month. To make matters worse, Christmas will be here soon and I don’t have money to buy gifts, so this means I won’t be getting anything. You know how some people are if you don’t give, you don’t get. And it’s been a long time since I had a professional mani-pedi. And the only thing you’re worried about is a few extra pounds? Here is a suggestion that will save you the gym membership, stop eating. ( laughing ). Girl you know I am only kidding.

Me: Smiling.  

After that rant I didnt go into details about my conversation with my therapist, and how I’ve been feeling depressed more than usual, and my fears about going through the winter shut indoors alone. I wanted to ask her about all the unemployment money she received on top of the stimulus checks. I dare not go there. I left the coffee lounge feeling like the bad girl who’d  been chastised for getting caught with my hands in the cookie jar.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

Healing in the Presence of Peace

Dear Readers,

I didn’t want to be alone so I spent years in dysfunction relationships and situationships because I was afraid that being without a man meant that something is wrong with me. As a result, I accepted degrading treatment from relationships and friendships that only brought pain and suffering. For most of my life I felt I wasn’t good enough, so I tried to fix what I was told was wrong with me. The more effort I put into changing to please others they continued to point out my flaws. The first time my therapist asked me ” what did I want” I didn’t know how to answer. The truth be told my life was a sum of feeling unloved, disconnected, and beaten down from being a people pleaser. I spent years allowing the whisperers of loneliness and the judgment of others to drive me into situations that burden my life deeper into emotionally, mentally and physically depletion….until the day came when I had nothing to give.

Fast forward….. I took Action

It’s been a four years journey of understanding why I remained locked in a patterns of self sabotage and unloving intimate relationships, friendships, and attached to Self- centered family members. Regardless how painful it was I had to deconnect from dysfunctional situations in order to connect to self. When an individuals like myself decides that enough is enough and being sick and tired isn’t helping this is a defining moments of discovering the truth of who is for or against you.

During my isolation I discovered how to hear and trust my own voice. I learned that I deserved to live in a home where I don’t have to walk around on egg shells, and adjust to other people’s moods. Being a people pleaser only makes me weak, a doormat, and disconnected me from being my authentic self. I am learning to be patient and to trust the process of peace, healing and being in the presence of my company. I know that not having an inmate relationship isn’t a punishment, but time to love on me. I understand that’s having a hand full of faithful friends is better than being lost in a crowd of fake friends.

I’ve discovered that I am capable of more than anyone thought I could accomplish. During my isolation and deleting negative people from my presence cleared the way for building a better networking system that works for me. One of the best part of healing in the presence of peace is how valuable I treat my body. In other words, I no longer offer my body up as a sacrifice in exchange for happiness that won’t come. I immerse myself in self care because of what I asked of myself mentally and emotionally, not because I am running from the burdens of the baggage others dump on me.

My life use to be the sum of mostly negative choices, but today I know that it’s never too late to learn, heal, and start fresh. I don’t know who needed to hear this, but to the individuals who are listening and my experience speaks to you, I say, seek your healing in the presence of peace.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

The Other Side of Love

Goodreads Choice Awards 2021

J. R.  Floyd

The Other Side of Love

 Dear Readers,

 In 2017, A Different Flavor of Love, introduced the unconventional love story of Desiree Hancock and Leslie Lambert. Desiree a young single mother fighting her way out of poverty, she meets the love of her life, Leslie Lambert, who gives up her career at a prestigious New York City law firm to follow Desiree to start a new life in South Carolina. After five years living happily ever after little cracks chip away at their fairy tale, when Leslie encounters the handsome and mysterious Benjamin Harrison he challenges everything she thought she knew about herself.

I decided to write the final chapter in the lives of Desiree and Leslie because of a comment posted by a reader on Amazon. The reader said she hoped that A Different flavor of love wasn’t the end of my characters journey.

It’s 2021, and I am feverishly work on The Others Side Of Love, stay tuned….for more updates.

J. R. Floyd

  • Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️





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From Disappointment to Opportunity

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Dear Readers, There is a saying that goes, “stuff happens” sometimes the stuff that happens results in disappointment. Over the year’s, I have learned that although being disappointed may lead to feelings of anger, resentment that causes some people to shut down, and put up protective barriers, however,  in my case I have agained more than I lost because of being disappointed.

What I’ve learned.

1.Due to my experiences I have learned to be prepared to handle the outcome. People say, keep a positive attitude, but let’s be realistic being prepared emotionally and mentally helps to handle being disappointed.
2. I am careful of the people who make promises to me. Actions will always speak louder than words.
3. I had to think is it the promise that was broken or I am disappointed  by the person that I placed  confidence in.
4. I depend on myself more than I do others. This can be quit difficult, however in the end if something isn’t done I only have me to blame.
5. I began to reflect on why I was disappointed, did I act disappointed as an excuse for something I could have done, instead of placing the burden of shame and blame on others?

A life Experience

In 2015, when I published my first book, The Waiting Game, people made all kinds of promises to me. They pledge to purchase a copy, attend book signings, and book discussion. These people helped me to understand that becoming an author and publish speaker is my vision not theirs. I have to show up every day and put in the work. I  hired a professional editor rather than relying on friends who promise to read my manuscript and give me feed back. I hired a beautiful and creative graphic designer for my books covers, and a photographer. I am thrilled with my team because they are professionals who understand deadlines and  the creative process. The people who disappointed me I hold no anger towards, they helped me to push harder to achieving my goals.

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The Cherished Second Chance

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Dear Readers, by now the world has become desensitized by  personal stories of lives that’s been effected by the pandemic. I felt the need to share my friends story as an example of how people can easily be influenced by misleading information and the opinions of others.

My friend who I will called Dawn was a beautiful, funny, intelligent, energetic, creative person. Noticed I said was. Her  life was destroyed by the Corona virus. Dawn’s fiance has strong opions about the virus being a hoax. Dawn allowed herself to be influenced by his theory he convinced her that submitting to wear a mask shows weakness. Needless to say she contracted the virus and was hospitalized during the second wave. She struggles through for 42 days, loosing 25 pounds, suffered weakened muscles from being in bed, lost her beautiful red hair, and she presently doesn’t have a sense of taste. She describes her experience as being in the twilight zone.

She lost her much beloved job as a buyer for Nordstrom, a position that took her five years to earn. She is a fashioneaster and working in retail was her passion. After her release from the hospital she returned to her parents home in Delware. My friend continues to suffer  from some medical effects from the virus. She left the fiance and is doing her best to rebuild her life. We don’t talk about the what and why because in her words she is thankful to be alive and have family and good friends to support her during this difficult period of her life.

I am happy to say, Dawn is progressing well. She is working part time customer service for The Pottery Barn. She joined a gym to continue to regain her strength. She decided to remain in Delaware surrounded around her family. She holds no bitterness towards her ex, as she says, she made choices and didn’t think about conquences even thought death was all around her. There is no need to relive the past, She is thankful to have a second Chance. 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.