Are You in Over Your Head?

Dear Readers,

Photo by Rifqi Ramadhan on Pexels.com

Balance is a simple word. It means to distribute weight evenly. Recently I forced myself to slow down by rearranging my schedule due to feeling overwhelmed.  Each passing day I began to declutter my schedule and gain a better perspective on how to solve the issue of rushing, and not getting enough rest.  The rest I am referring to isn’t about the recommended 7-8 of sleep. I mean resting from that never ending To Do List. 

The last two years I’ve examined the quality of activities in my life, and made some changes. First, I do not volunteer my time for anything unless I am benefiting from the activity. I no longer say yes to any requests unless I review my calendar. I stopped cramming my calendar with activities. In other words, what I did not need in my schedule is more activities, instead take the activities I do have an add Balance. 

I am preparing for retirement and I need the time to explore and research my plan to relocate and build a tiny house. At this stage of my life I no longer feel the need or have the energy to Grind. I have noticed as I am advancing in age my mind and body are no longer willing to cooperate with me working 16 hour days. What I need more of is Balance and Consistency in making the quality of my life a priority. 

I do not need to add more tasks to my To Do List. I need to practice Balance. Being busy doesn’t mean productivity. Have you ever stopped to question what you’re busy doing and why? I have recreated my To Do List into five areas of my life: health, worship, finances, rest, and retirement. The goal is to  prioritize these five areas and Balance my time to give equality and quality to the goals I want to achieve in these areas. For example, in the area of Rest, I have been traveling more and taking weekend mental breaks by staying at an airbnb. The more I take weekend breaks from the same routines I feel energized, refreshed and I have more clarity. 

It’s so easy to lose sight of the demands we place on these human bodies. When was the last time you paid attention to how mentally and emotionally drained your feelings? Society tells us to be positive, push through, be strong and that multitasking is good. What I observe is a population of people who are exhausted, angry, eating poorly, rushing from one activity to the next, not enough quality time spent at home, and taking less and less time for mental breaks and vacations. 

Declutter your schedule, home and workspace. Throw out that never ending To Do List. Cancel the bucket list. Create a Life List. Take time to critically think why you’re feeling overwhelmed. How do you rest?  How is your mental and emotional health? Don’t you think it’s worth taking time to slow down and practice Balance, Consistency and adding some peace and joy into your life. 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

Relationship Experts. True or False

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Have you noticed the new movement of motivational speakers and relationship experts who claim their sole purpose is to help people discover the hidden secrets of how to have a loving and lasting intimate relationships. There are thousands of books and videos posted on soical media by these self proclaimed relationship experts who earn income form speaking engagements, books and relationship workshops all at the expense of broken hearts and lost souls searching for love.

Women are pouring into relationship conferences that charge a fee to hear what they are doing wrong in their relationships, and how to attract the right partner. I’ve been unsuccessful in love, so I began to pay attention to these relationship experts, and invested money in books and workshops. For the most part I found some of the information useful and discovered areas in my life that needed improvement. But, I am not going to shoulder all the blame for not having successful relationships. Why? Because overtime while attending these relationship workshops I began to notice a trend, most experts heaped the blame for failed relationships on women.

The ideology of these experts seems to centered around advising women to be better, raise their standards, don’t date out side their league, stop chasing men, stop making life easy for men, stop having sex, stop wanting marriage, and wait for the man to make the first move. There theory is that It is the duty of women to guard their virginity because men don’t women who’ve been around the block too many times. Men want good girls, you know the saying, ” sugar and spice and everything nice.” While being a nice girl, women should concentrate on securing an education, building a career, and a solid credit score, and finances in preparation for Prince Charming. And when he comes all her aspiration should shift to serving her family and creating a happy home. I say, most of their expert advice is ” B. S.” and sexism.

Most of the dating resources and advice claim that woman are not supposed to change the rules of dating. A womans position is to be meek, humble, submissive, and attentive to her mans needs. Some relationship experts explain that women contribute to the deterioration of a relationship due to them pursuing careers over a relationship, marriage and children. The experts also suggest that most men leave their homes or have outside relationships because their current partner is not meeting their needs.

I won’t bore you with a list of books, YouTube channels, and podcasts focused on educating women in the ways of how to get and keep a man. I don’t want my readers to think that I am discouraging women from seeking advice to help them find a partner or to save a failing relationship. I am suggesting” let the buyer beware” before dooming themselves to a life of being a spinster. Ladies decide for yourself the information that will or will not be helpful because the bottom line is it takes two to tangle.


Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen ❤️

Sisters who date outside their race

Dear Readers,

Sisters inspiring sisters

I knew as soon as I posted on my Facebook page about sisters who date outside their race that I was opening the doors for a wave of negative comments. Let me be clear that I am including all the sisters of the rainbow. I am speaking out because I am tired of sister’s being harassed by a society standing in judgment as to why sisters are “selling themselves out” by seeking men outside of their race.

First, should race be a deciding factor when a women is seeking love, devotion, monogamy, compassion, respect, and equality in a relationship? I say no, however, the naysayers are unwilling to own up to the truth about why sisters are seeking companionship with males who are not ” brothers.” Here is the bottom line strong sisters of substance are fighting against the mindset of the double standard. Sisters are toiling and making sacrifices while suffering under the negative feedback from an unforgiven society constantly bombarding them with messages of being ” barefoot and pregnant”. Another point I would like to clarify when I say women of substance, I am not referring to the media seeking, gold diggers seeking a sugar daddy or who stalk celebrities, professional athletes, and rappers by sexualizing themselves to gain wealth and social status. I am speaking in support of sisters who have a vision for their lives and grinded while staying grounded and live by good moral values to established a foundation for themselves.

Sisters are done with being beaten down with the images and messages of the stereotypical gender roles associated with being female.There are sisters who are Judges, Lawyers, Doctor, Politicians, CEOs, Scientists, Professional Athletes, Entertainers, Business owners, and high ranting Military Official, who are seeking partners of equal status within their own race, however, they are not finding the quality they desire in a mate among brothers. The voices of society encourage sisters to settle and lower their standards and expectations. NewFlash!!! Sisters are no longer willing to settle. So, why not step out and seek men from other cultural background?

People pretend that they don’t hear sisters telling their stories of being weary of the lack of love and respect from brothers. The other side of this story, is when a brothers voice his displeasure about sisters who ruin relationships because they won’t ” submit” he receives valadation. The main reasons why sisters are stepping outside of their race it’s due to the deplorable treatment by brothers. Let the truth be told sisters desire the joys of celebrating black love or love within their own culture. I will be the first to confess that their is nothing better when black love endures. It’s unfortunate that no one is paying attention to the shift that is happening women no longer desire to play the traditional roles and they are excelling in areas of life where women have been held back for years. At the end of the day, women desire that special partner to stand with them and celebrate their success. Sisters are exhausted by brothers who hold them back and drained them with their foolish behavior, lack of maturity, and responsible. Sisters no longer want baby daddies, or men who are undecided about marriage, and unsupportive of putting them out front to follow their vision, sisters are done with wasting time waiting for a brother to get some act right and get his life in order.

I often reflect on how much time, energy, money and emotions I wasted on brothers who treated me as something to do for that moment. But I hold no grudges, at the time I didn’t have a clear direction for my life, so I was just going along with the program. However, when the light bulb went off and I began to understand why I wasn’t successful and happy as I desire to be. I discovered it was the quality of the brothers I was entertaining. They did not see me as the college graduate, writer, speakers, media influencer, but I did. I changed the path of my life and that meant the quality of my intimate relationships had to match the progress of my life. However, when sister’s like me think in this manner we are told that it’s wrong because sisters are abandoning brothers and we are not being true to our race

I would just like to end with this. It was a black man who abandoned me when I was a teenage mother. It was a black man that emotionally and mentally abused me and my only escape was through domestic organizations. It wasn’t a black man who stood in support of me while I was working three part time jobs and earning a college education, they were too busy being self center. And I can go on and on but I think you get the point. I have been single by choice for four years, and I don’t desire to be alone and if a non brother shows interest I am all in.

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

The Journey; just getting started

Dear Readers,

I started out in 2015, not sure where the road would lead me. My dreams was to become a public school teacher work 20 years and retire. Well, life had other plans. Sometimes we can think too small and play life safe. Here is the short version, I survived an abusive childhood, domestic violence, bankruptcy, homelessness, and 2 years ago, the man who I thought was the last love of my life tuned out to be another abuser, so I left to start life over from ground zero at the age of 54. I survived it all and not only did I survive, I am victorious in my come back, while ;earning valuable lessons.  Above all to you my readers, you must believe in yourself. Take that dream out of your head and make it a reality. Through all the betrayals, disappointments, bumps. twists, valleys, and ditches, I didn’t develop thick skin, I learned the gift of compassion, and life humbled me. I found my purpose, and the last two years of my life have been the best.

Instead of becoming a public school teacher I am an adjunct English instructor. One blog in 2015, developed into Dragthepen and 600 blogger mates. I currently manage a You Tube channel, Conversations with J. R. Floyd, a platform to dedicated to discussing the issues that impact our relationships, empowering men and women to be better and to explore the failure of family, especially, in the African American Community. I truly believe that through conversation people can begin to heal their brokenness and learn to love themselves, and their family. I am living my dream of being a classical singer, and in June 2019 I performed at Carnegie  Hall, with the BMCC  New York City Downtown Chorus.

Almost five years later I am on my third book. They are no grand novels, but they do teach valuable lessons. The most valuable lesson put me first, and to surround myself with people who support my growth. Prince Charming might be out there, but at this time I am no longer interested in being some ones MRS. I am going to continue on this road its quite remarkable.

Join me on my journey.

my story about how relationship myths can lead to dyfuncational relationships.relationships.

the choice is yours.

This 90 days of reflection, discovery, and renewal is a personal journey of deep contemplation and a search for answers to a life in a constant battle with tragedy, depression, and hopelessness. For some people hitting a brick wall knocks the life out of them. My collision lead to a level of clarity to understand how unnecessary distractions and being unaware caused my life to veer of course. My experiences have taught me that sometimes a second chance can lead to a new beginning. ( SOON TO BE RELEASED )

ALL BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

thank you for stopping by dragthepen

This is not the time for Foolishness

Dear readers,

I have noticed an increasing number of people on social media posting negative comments about the government stimulus package. I’m not trying to be a hard- ass, but these are serious times and joking about a financial resource that’s going to help some people through this crisis, isn’t funny to me or did I miss the memo. So, while people are posting negative comments about the stimulus checks think about how many children are hungry, people being threatened with eviction, large number of homes with both parents out of work, women who are suffering from domestic violence, children living in home where they are being abused, families who are loosing husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and other members of their family to the Virus. People are afraid and living a day to day of uncertainty. Please show some intelligence and compassion.💖. Some people really need this money.

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.

 

The Joys of Parenthood

Dear Readers,                                          my son and my two granddaughters

 

This is just a matter of opinion and not intended to advise parents how to raise their children. Have you noticed that modern thinking parents no longer believe that it takes “ A village to raise a child”.  I am a baby boomer raised in the South by two parents who were very much disciplinarians. My father was a soldier and he believed in “ spoil the child, but use the rod” when necessary. My mother used a different approach when disciplining her children, she took away privileges, withheld allowance, and removed you from participating in important family events like birthday parties and BBQ’s. Above all my parents communicated with me and my siblings in a loving manner and only displayed displeasure by the frown on their face or the tone of disappointment in their voice. I have recently taken to observing the manner that modern parents verbalize displeasure towards their children and it is shocking. I have heard parents threatening their children how they would cause them physical harm for misbehaving. No, I am not talking about a minor spanking on the bottom, I have heard parents threatening to slap, kick, and punch their children.  And they do so by using the utmost foul language to describe their disapproval because their child is “ acting out”. Children will be l children, and what I see is parents who are getting younger and younger, and lack the patience, compassion, and the understanding that their world as an adult changed the moment they chose to bring a life into the world, and parenthood is a 100 percent 24 hour, 7 days a week, 356 days a year responsibility. Most young people become parents without a solid foundation, in other words, they are not emotionally, mentally, or financially prepared. They stumble through parenthood not grasping that true parenting means sacrifices, being opened to learning, and the understanding that being a parent means that life revolves around the needs of their children

Most young parents still feel the need to “ have a life” . Here’s some new information: your children are your life. Once you made the adult choice to bring forth life you do not get to choose which days you feel like being a parent. Your first allegiance as a parent is for the safety and welfare of your children. If nobody has told these young modern parents, let me have the pleasure to be the first to inform them that being a parent is a true gift, and children are the best part of our society, they remind us what’s important and they show adults that we are never to old to nurture the child that will always be in our spirit. Children encourage us to laugh, be silly, playful, and they give the best and sincere hugs. I don’t profess to be the world’s greatest parent. My one and only son ( who I called my one true love) was born into a world to a young unlearned and naive mother, and a father who misled me to believe that I was the love of his life, and that we were going to be married and live happily ever after. Well, he abandoned us when my son was 10 months old. I failed as a young parent because I lacked adult guidance and a support system. My mother was disgusted with me for getting “ knocked up”, my father did the best he could, but he was aging and illness took over his life. Every other adult in my life was dealing with their own chaos. I had to work to support me and my son,  and I never truly understood how to bond with him. He paid the price for being born to young parents. Today, he is a proud father of three, and he often tells me that he will never leave his children, and I know this is because of the manner that he was raised, by a strict grandmother, and absentee parents. 

 

my son

I am grateful today that my son, my one true love, has taught me a sincere lesson of unconditional forgiveness,  and at the age of 39, he allows me to be the mother that I always wanted to be, but didn’t know how. It’s like I said, children can teach us lessons, my son taught me that it’s not what happened, but what we will do now. I hope that many people will read this and tuck their children in tonight and let them know that they are loved. 

 

Thank you for stopping by dragthepen

Let the truth be told

Let the truth be told. 

 

People  say that we are  the sum of our experiences. But what happens when the majority of your experiences have lead to a traumatic life?  My childhood was a combination of fear and punishment. Children look to their parents for protection, love, guidance, and  assurance. I was raised in a house with eight siblings and I felt neglected and abandoned by a mother who was busy with kids and housework. My father was not a warm and  loving father he ruled his house with an ironic fist keeping his family in check was his main goal. The fun times in my house where very few due to my father allowing religion to be the center of our lives. One of the major mistakes my parents made was that they didn’t teach their children about the true facts of life. My mother was busy turning  me into a domestic diva making sure that I didn’t have time to be a child, teen nor did she help me with my transition into womanhood. 

At the age of 17, I was desperate to get away from home so I gave  my virginity to the first boy who said he ” loved me” this lead to years of yearning for the need to be loved,  protected, cherished, provided for, and to feel that I mattered. Not such luck. Just like my childhood in my relationships I was abused, confused, ashamed, neglected, made to feel worthless, undeserving and invisible. My family watched while my life was devastated  by relationships after relationships. I experienced being put out in the street by live in boyfriends, infidelity, and foolishly being financially responsible for some of the men in my life because I didn’t know better. 

The years of searching for a place to belong was tremendously painful. Walking through life and never feeling secure that at least one person had my  back. I put my trust in the wrong people and I made poor relationship choices. I spent eight years in therapy, yoga, meditation, disciplined eating, education……blah, blah only to be haunted with a heavy feeling of emptiness. People tell me that I should be proud of all that I have accomplished. I am told that I am strong, creative, intelligent, beautiful, energetic, and powerful. I have fallen more times then I care to count. Each time pulled myself up using my strength, creativity, intelligence, and energy. During the most stressful events in my life, I have had minimal support from family, but thank God for a few die hard friends. 

I recently began to understand why I disliked the men from my past relationships. Due to my lack of relationship knowledge and experience I opened myself to be stepped on like a doormat and used like a pit stop. None of the men in my past had the decency to have mercy on me, so they took advantage of my lack of experience. So,  part of my new healing process is to hold them accountable instead of me shouldering all the blame. To the men from my past please remember a woman gave birth to you, you have sisters, aunts, and daughters, shame on you for mistreating women. I am moving forward healing myself of the pain you caused me. This time around I know what I am healing from and why.

To my deceased father and living mother I no longer wish to take responsibility and carry around the shame for what you didn’t teach me. It was your duty as parents to share vital information about the dangers of this world.  I know that you couldn’t protect me from every bad wolf, but you could have at least warned me before you just pushed me out into the dark abyss. I am going to dig deep and heal from my lost innocence. 

To all the people who have betrayed me. I am moving on with the awareness that I can’t go through life shielding myself by staying behind the walls of my cocoon. I know everyone is not out to get me, but I will move with caution. To all the people that I caused pain with my words or deeds,  I seek your forgiveness, whether you want to grant me pardon doesn’t matter because I am not that person anymore. 

2020, will be the start of true healing. I know the work I have to do and I

I am ready. I will love myself  unconditionally, I will protect, provided, have my back, keep promises to self,  engage in activities that bring me joy, and build towards my future. For my future friends and husband, when you cross through the threshold into my life please be aware that if your not truthful, trustworthy,  have honorable intentions, willing to respect, love, honor, have my back, be my ride or die, protect, support, show compassion and just be authentic with your intention, I am reminding you that I am emotionally better, mentally aware and most importantly I am paying attention. 

My hope is that for every person who reads this to sit down to write a letter to self,  and talk to the people who have caused you pain, read the letter out loud, burn it and heal. Your happiness matters. 

 

 

my journey back

Dear Readers,

My journey back.
I spent a lot of time confused as to why I couldn’t bounce back. Two years ago I almost found myself on the edge of being homeless. The events in life that you think couldn’t happen to you like, unemployment, illness, homelessness, no saving, and worst the people who declared and sworn their undying loyalty to you, when the shit hit the fan they were out of sight out of mind. You wake up in the middle of the night and it finally hits you. Your alone. Alone in the battle to reset and regain your life.

How do you do this?

I had a plan my journey began when I was 30. I broke away from an abusive marriage, received much needed therapy, and I though the ghosts from my past were gone. I was wrong. I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t learn anything. I didn’t stay focused on me or my goals. I made the to do lists, made plans to do better and be better, but year after year I failed. I failed because my major distraction was running after relationships that I wasn’t ready for or men who just wasn’t good for me. I am not placing blame on the men they were doing what men do take what’s being offered to them. When I think about how I suffered through year after year in unless relationships, my heart cringe.
Mistake number two not making me the number one priority. I spread myself too thin trying to play super women. I gave so much of my precious time to people who are no longer in my life because I was just a means to their end. I was busy being a savior. I gave away money that I should have saved for a rainy day. I was too trusting of people who claimed me as their ” friend” for most of my life I have been blinded sided by these so called ” friends”. Paying attention has never been my strongest trait. Its taken me from the age of 18 until 50 for the light bulb to come on in my head. Currently, I am 55 and the last five years of my life have been about me finally letting go of what hasn’t worked in my life. The toughest part of this new journey loosing my apartment and the fear of not knowing. In one year I moved 4 times, each move I lost personal items, money and time. My last stupid mistake believing that I had finally found the one. Not. He was the straw that literally broken the camels back.

I have suffered through childhood trauma, being a single teenage mother, and becoming a high school drop out. I spent one year on the welfare system before I gave up and got my first job as a home health aide, and  I survived 7 years of an abusive marriage. When I fought for my independent I did not understand that independence comes with a price. When a women desire to walk the road less traveled she become an outcast. I worked my way through college it took ten years complete three degrees. During this time I barely kept my head above water, and I experienced some of the worst relationships. What devastated me the most was the lack of love, compassion and support I needed from my family. July 2017, I lost my apartment at the same time I published my first novel a short memoir, followed by a short story. I had no idea that there was a writer inside of me. I turned to writing as a means to escape the pain of feeling unloved and abandoned. I auditioned for a classical chorus and with dedication and practice, practice, practice June 2019, I performed at Carnegie Hall. I created a YouTube channel Conversations with J. R. Floyd, a forum where I talk about relationship issues and everyday life problems that effect our ability to be who we truly are. I kept writing as a result I have two more books to be published in 2020.

In the last three years I have paid attention to old patterns that keep me trapped in cycles of being unproductive and distracted. Now I am the number one priority. And I am happy that I took the time to understand why my relationship weren’t successful. Its feels amazing to finally have my feet planted on firm ground. While on this journey back I reflect on something Virginia Woolf once said as she described the conditions necessary for a woman to unleash her full potential: privacy (a “room of one’s own”), and money (self-sufficiency). Woolf argues that, if women are to explore their potential, they must be allowed to pursue these basic necessities. In my case my own space.

December 1, construction of my new living space will begin and move in day is December 28, just in time to pop the Champaign and celebrate my new beginning with a new year ( 2020) . . I have opted to have a roommate living alone doesn’t appeal to me now that I am aging and my roommate is a perfect fit. This journey back has been difficult, scary, enlightening, stressful, disappointing set backs, tearful, hopeless, feelings of brokenness, confusion, and there were days that I just couldn’t understand why?
I am moving forward with the smell of fresh paint, new carpet, every single piece of furniture is new and I can’t wait to be back in my own kitchen. I decided that I will settle in for a while before I open the doors to invite people in. I am thinking Spring will be a good time to cook a family dinner and open the doors to my new space. Moving forward with the information I have learned I have 5 years until retirement. I will continue on my path of emotional healing, spiritual balance and immerse myself in my mental and physical well being. I have plans to spend my 56th birthday in Vegas, and I have two more trips planned for 2020. And for my retirement finale I am building a tiny house. Please believe the saying, ” life is what you make it”. This half of my life is certainly going to be my best life.
Thank you for taking the journey with me.