Tag Archives: victory

Freedom from Addiction

Overcoming an addiction of any type is never easy. You always hear that the first step is to admit that you have a problem. I couldn’t agree more.

Hi. My name is LaKeisha, and I’m addicted to being busy. I don’t know how to relax, enjoy spare time, or not multi-task. Help!

I’d say that’s a pretty good admission.

In my last blog, I said I’d tell you how I am making steps to overcome my addiction. That’s exactly what I’m doing – making steps. It doesn’t happen overnight. And boy, is it not easy! I can’t tell you how many times in just a few short weeks, I’ve been tempted to just add one more thing to the calendar, or swing past this event (really quickly of course), or stop by this happening. I realize that resisting my own self imposed pressure to “just keep going” is going to be harder than any external force could put in place.

Blog - freedom-307791_640

 

So how am I doing it? Here goes ….

First, I’m putting myself on a schedule. I will put in set times for homeschool, set times for writing, set times to have fun with my husband, set times to enjoy the kids, and set times to relax. To some of you, a schedule might sound like more stress. But as a person who likes structure and wants to stick something in every spare moment, making myself take several hours or a day to relax is necessary. At least at this stage of the game.

Next, I am cutting down my to-do list. My lists were epic. I could have twenty items on a to-do list, all of which I expected to accomplish after a full day of homeschooling, making dinner, spending time with the family, and getting everyone off to bed. I’m laughing now – it’s insane, really, that I operated like that. Trying to keep each day to five items, max. I’ve already broken my rule several times, but at least the boundary is there, to reel me back in.

Third, I am really focusing on prayer and devotional time. I have to remember that God created rest! It’s something that’s good, beneficial and necessary for us. As I stay focused on Him and His Word, I find it easier to remember what’s important, and why.

Which brings me to my next point. I’m doing a better job of prioritizing. I’ve always thought organizing and putting things in order is one of my strengths. Well now I’ve turned it up several notches, because I have to prioritize my top priorities, if only five are going to make it on the list. This is really hard. But the more I do it, the better I’m becoming at succeeding.

And the all important learning to say no! When I first started blogging, my first blog was devoted to learning to say no, so I didn’t destroy myself and my family with my craziness. I learned that lesson, and proceeded to undo all I’d learned by getting crazy busy again. So, this also has to be turned up a notch. I’ll be saying no to several good things. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you, it doesn’t mean I don’t want the best for my kids, it doesn’t mean I don’t want my husband to succeed. And it sure doesn’t mean I don’t want success! But everything just can’t get done. Not humanly possible. So that’s that.

Lastly, it is one step at a time! Seriously. So I added too many things to my to-do list today. Okay, breathe. Be patient. Start over. Tomorrow’s a new day. Man, before I knew it, that “yes” to accept that invitation was out of my mouth. I should have said no. It happens. Regroup. Do better next time.

Here’s to victory. And staying free. One “no” at a time.

Through Fresh Eyes

October - MLK blog

I took my boys to the Martin Luther King Jr Center last week. My oldest has been before, but it’s been years. I’ve been many times. I’ve learned the facts of those who struggled for civil rights, seen the pictures, and internalized the anger at their pain, as well as pride in their victories. But because I’d seen it before, I didn’t expect it to be such an emotional experience. It became that way by seeing it … through fresh eyes.

My boys couldn’t understand why black people had to eat and drink separately, use separate restroom facilities, and deal with the separate and extremely unequal school experiences. Being an education lover, my oldest son took particular note of this. He was appalled at the extreme intimidation used to keep black children out of certain schools; saddened at the thought of people needlessly brutalized; upset at the second class citizen treatment … and ultimately proud … of the non-violent fight, the legacy and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Give It Up, Turn It Loose ….

When does an opportunity become a burden?

I was wrestling with myself over this question. I’d been given an opportunity that seemed perfect for me … doing what I love, writing, for an organization whose interests are perfectly in line with my own. I really enjoyed it … the topics, the interviews, the work itself. And plus I got paid to do it. For the moment, life didn’t get any better on that front.

Then … the pace slowed down. My calls weren’t being returned. They weren’t answering emails. It was disappointing and frustrating. I couldn’t figure out what I’d done. It was something I wanted to do, and in some respects needed to do. But the consistency had vanished, and confusion had entered in. And I was stuck.

This “opportunity” was causing me stress, anxiety, I wasn’t being respected, and even getting paid was becoming an issue. I was sad … I didn’t want to let go, but had to. It had, in essence, become a burden.

Time to turn it loose ….

And Still I Rise

Like many of you, I was deeply saddened by the death of Maya Angelou. Tears welled up in my eyes; I felt like I lost a member of the family. As I grappled to come to terms with her passing, and why she meant so much to so many of us, I attempted to put some of what she meant to me into words.

Dignity and Grace. Head held high, a smile of knowing and wisdom, she was an elegant mixture of dignity and grace. Somehow you felt as though if in her presence, you would have stood up a little taller, walked a little straighter, and felt a whole lot prouder.

The Beauty of Transparency. She said what she meant, and meant what she said. In her writing, her words, even her actions, we saw the truth of humanity. She shared with us her existence, and all that it involved – the pain, the suffering, the embarrassment, the losses … and also the triumphs, the victories, the discovers and the joys. She lived. She laughed. She loved. And she took us along for the journey.

Grit and Determination. Nothing seemed to stop her. When there seemed no higher honor to achieve, yet another was bestowed upon Maya Angelou. I love how she rose to each challenge, and left an indelible footprint on our culture, and on humanity.

While her leaving us pains me, the essence of who she was is still here. For that, I am grateful.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise…..

At the end of 2013 I made it all about me …. so it can be all about them…

There were times this past year I thought I was losing it. There we go. Blunt. To the point. Straight no chaser. And the truth.

It started earlier this year when I realized the household income was not what I thought it was. After all, it takes a lot of work to live a “the” American dream – husband, house, cars, kids, nice schools, decent standard of living. But I was wearing blinders. Once I took them off, I realized some fixes were in order. So I started working. Hard. Two jobs. Often 7 days a week. I knew within myself it was too much – activities with my sons at school or the library during the day, followed by errands, household chores, then working each evening into the wee hours of the morning. It was a grind; one I told myself I could handle. But one I knew I really couldn’t.

A couple of months into my journey to insanity, symptoms started to crop up. A pit in my stomach here, nausea and dizziness there. I shrugged it off. Guess I should slow down, I’d tell myself. Then I’d remove a few hours from one of my days of work – and went right back at it. One morning in particular I was sleep driving (ie barely awake), taking my oldest son to school, and severe dizziness started. I looked like a pirate, minus the patch, with one eye closed to finish the route. Okay, I thought. I hear you Lord. I’ll take a day off from working per week.

Yep, that’s all. One day. Still being hard-headed. Not listening to His voice nor my body.

I went to the doctor and got the dizziness to subside by taking one day off consistently. But I replaced it with more activities – you know, the never-ending to do list – to achieve more, to climb higher, to be the consummate wife, mother and career woman. After all, I could handle it. I then had guests in town back to back to back, and took it in stride.

Welp, my body had enough. I started having internal problems. The knots in my stomach never left – a mixture of nervousness and nausea that rested like a literal rock, right below my rib cage. I cried for no reason. And was always always always perpetually tired. I’m not talking normal mom-running-after-two-boys tired (and believe me, that’s already tired enough), but crazy, can hardly move tired. I broke. I’d had enough. Forget holding onto the house … the car … the bills. If I don’t make some changes soon, I won’t hold on to me.

So, finally listening to God, my hubby and my body, I made it all about me in December, with a few necessary steps:

1. I decided how much of the working was about what we needed, versus what I wanted. And trim the fat. Thus, I stripped away the second job and additional hours. Worked less, rested more.

2. I let the kids just … play. Okay I know that sounds strange. I’m the type of mom who always wants the kids doing something, never bored. So I’ll think I have to help “make” that happen. But hey, they’re kids. Let them do what they do. Play. Together. Alone. Without me.

3. I gave myself permission to not achieve every goal I had for this year. Yes, I took pressure off myself to complete the next great screenplay or produce the next wonderful script in 2013. I’d aimed high, done all that I could, and will pick it up again next year.

4. I put career projects on hold – temporarily. I turned down a few lucrative projects I really wanted to do (sorry – you know who you are and you know I wanted to do it!). Yes, it was hard as I love writing, and I love tv/film production.

These weren’t things I wanted to do. But I had to. For my health. For my life. For my sanity. And ultimately, for my family. I can’t be who I want to be for them, if I’m not taking care of me.