happiness

Accountability 101


When things go wrong in life, as an adult, we figure it out. When things go wrong in life, as a child, we look to our parents. As a child, we are not expected to figure out the hard things. we are only expected to be a child. Sleeping, playing, learning, growing, and eating a vegetable every now and then – the good life, right?!

We all grow up, and with adulting comes accountability. We become accountable for our actions whether they are right or wrong. We are taught to tell the truth, and that what we do when no one is looking matters. Somehow in all of our daily walks in life we forget. We forget that we have to be accountable for our own actions or inaction, even if no one is there to remind us of what is right or wrong.

The problem with not remembering to hold ourselves accountable is that we allow ourselves to make excuses for the actions or lack there of in our lives. It starts with a commitment to do something. Day one, great! Day two, momentum is still there. Day four, a struggle – but still committed. Day 10, why are you even doing this? Day 14, give up. The cycle continues, because every time there is a push within for change, something has to happen to force that change.

We are not meant to simply grow up, and stay the same from whatever age it is that people think they have arrived at, for life. Life doesn’t work that way. However, it can. It can work out that way, if we allow our selves to stunt our growth with excuses. It can work out that way, if we stop holding ourselves accountable. Imagine how your life would be if no one expected anything from you, including yourself. Imagine if you only did the things you wanted to do, and only when you wanted to do them. Sounds like a very selfish and lonely life. And, I can only imagine how healthy mentally and physically you would be living this way.

Take account for your actions today and everyday. We all seem to move away from this concept when there is no one there to point out what we are or are not doing. It doesn’t matter whether or not someone else will hold you to something. It matters whether or not you will hold yourself to your own actions. We all have goals and dreams. Some of us will hold ourselves to personal growth, and some of us will make excuses and bury our talents in the sand. You see, without accountability, we aren’t able to fulfill the purpose God has for us. There is a purpose on each of our lives. Sometimes we forget to listen to the small voice inside that is holding us to a different standard, because it sounds like something you’ve never heard or done before. Know that all the talent you need is already there to accomplish your purpose. It may just be buried under all the excuses and sand. Let today be a day where you hold yourself accountable for every action you take today. Mentally shift your thoughts with a sand shake off. See yourself buried in the sand. Then, see yourself trying to lift your legs and arms to get up from the sand. Finally, see yourself breaking free from the sand. Watch as all the sand is removed, falling to the ground, freeing you. Every talent within you is at your disposal. Shake the sand off, and take on your purpose one day at a time.

 

 

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Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself…

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The Skinny Plus needs to be reintroduced! The blog has been silent for so long, and in this silence I’ve been taking time to sort things out with the direction of this wonderful blog. The key word is “I.” I’ve been trying to figure out the next move, what to do, and questioning how to transition this blog into something greater. I’ve been doing all this thinking, but I’ve gotten no where in the silence. I’ve gotten no where, but I’ve continued to hear a voice inside say, “just begin again.” I’ve heard that same voice say, “just start.” My moments of prayer have lead to me hearing God say these things, but shortly after I heard… I questioned. I asked: “what am I going to write about, what if no one wants to read the things I write about now, what if I can’t encourage anyone, what if people see all my flaws, can I really start again without a new logo or a new site, how can I write about the hard things when I haven’t overcome some of them in my own life, and so on and so on.

These questions have flooded my mind every time I sit down and get ready to write. Naturally, after I go through all the doubt in my head, I leave another draft unfinished. Days have gone by. Weeks and months have passed. I have felt that during all this time, I have done nothing but question the talent that God gave to me. Each day that passes, I bury my talents in the ground waiting for that perfect moment. I wait, and I wait, and I wait. Each day that I have waited, is a day that my perfect moment passes. I could not tell anyone exactly what I was waiting for, because the perfect moment I was waiting for was unattainable. If you have ever been around someone who has an excuse for every solution given to start something, you know exactly what I mean by saying my perfect moment was unattainable. I would have moments of clarity that supported the need to start The Skinny Plus again; and they would range from comments of encouragement from my husband, to a co-worker saying an encouraging word, and to random individuals making a comment about something written ages ago. Nonetheless, I still had an excuse to support my continued silence on this platform.

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The feeling that you are and need to be doing something greater than what you are doing, but doing nothing is the most frustrating feeling ever! This feeling is what I had been feeling over and over again. I was still stuck in my head, and I was still trying to figure out the perfect plan. I have since left “I” behind, because truth be told… I don’t know everything, but I do know how to live! I do know that we all have to give God something to bless in this world. If we don’t put forth effort, even in our moments of doubt, He has absolutely nothing to work with. I intend to keep living, to gain experience and wisdom to add to The Skinny Plus and to my little world. I pray that The Skinny Plus becomes little pieces of somethings that God can bless and make into big things that impact our families, women, and children for years to come. Our purpose is not to simply wake up, work, and die. We are meant for so much more! Allow me to reintroduce myself: This is The Skinny Plus. A blog that WILL be transformed into something more that will empower our women and families, and will bring light into this world. Please follow me on this journey, and I hope each of you start your own journey too!

 

 

Back to Reality – Post Election Reflection

Thanksgiving is over, and now it’s back to reality for most of us. Starbucks better be ready today!

I rarely share anything about my political views on social media, or in any setting outside of the confines of my personal circles for a number of reasons. One, being my job. I just can’t. I work in a position that somewhat reports to, connects with, and networks with elected officials. There will be no blue, red, green or whatever party colors displayed on any of my posts intentionally to support a political party. And, you will never get any rants about which side is better or about what crazy thing a politician said.

However, I will comment on the fact that history was close to being made this past election. A huge glass ceiling was about to be broken, and I was feeling all kinds of blessed to potentially see a woman make history. Side note: I feel this way about any woman who has broken a glass ceiling in any area of professional success (Shirley Chisolm, Patricia Roberts Harris, Patricia Roberts Harris, Madeleine Albright, Maya Angelou, Misty Copeland, etc.). Now, one glass ceiling was broken this year for sure! Hilary Clinton is the first female presidential nominee for a major United States political party. However, I think there were a number of women along with their friends, daughters, sisters, and moms hoping for the big win on election night.

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Our daughter looking on as I completed my ballot. The actual ballot is not in the picture. I don’t want no problems behind this innocent picture.

My husband and I took our daughter with us to vote, and in the back of my mind, I thought this is a moment I want to capture for her. I want her to look back and know that she was a part of this election, even though she was not the legal age to vote. I still feel this way, but my thoughts on why I felt this need so strongly are more clear post election hype.

Raising a girl today is a little different.Women are less focused on sitting still, legs closed, and being pretty. We are more focused on empowerment, equality in the workplace, equality in education, more opportunities in education with programs for girls focused on STEM courses, equal pay, and so many other things that move toward a more empowered woman no matter what her path in life is. Then, we want our girls to hold to some moral standard on top of all this. Knowing this, I really wanted my daughter to have a win like this one to reflect on in her future. Today, it seems that no matter how much more empowered we become as women, men seem to still dominate. Even in areas where women are dominate, such as non-profits, men seem to hold more leadership positions.

We can continue to empower our girls. However, the reality is that we only have a limited number of examples to show to our girls. I may be able to look up a Forbes list, but I doubt my daughter will know those names in our discussions later in life. Or, will she even be interested? And heck, will I even be an example to her or not?  I believe that more glass ceilings will continue to break. But, will it be enough for the generation of women coming up today? Will it be enough to shatter the thought that you can not have a family and successful career – one has to suffer? Will it be enough to shatter the stereotype of what a true leader looks like? Will it simply be enough to encourage our daughters to lean in, be present at the table, speak up, and all those other actionable phrases we use to coach women today?

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I wanted a win for my daughter. Honestly, I really needed a win myself. Women are making big moves everyday, and we may or may not hear about them. I’m hoping we start hearing and seeing more of those wins for women today, and the women of tomorrow. So, here we are, back to reality before the Christmas holiday. There is still time to make some moves before the year ends! You may not be running for president, but at least be running for something that makes you a better woman/role model. You never know who’s watching you break your own personal ceiling.

 

 

Mom Shaming is Not Ok, Love and Support is

Special shout out to all the first time moms out there! Another special shout out to moms of multiple children that range in toddler years! Let me not forget the moms of multiples, triplets, quadruplets, etc.! Wait, l can’t forget the single moms! We also have to shout out those moms working to develop careers and maintain home! And, what about those moms who thought they were done parenting, but God decided to bless them with another little one – 10 to 15 years after their last child. The point is, the list can go on and on with the different lifestyles that a lot of moms are working within while trying to raise the next generation.

We all know this, and we are all aware of the fact that we are all working with different situations. So, where does the mom judgment and shaming come from? We are all doing the best we can out here, right? But, for some reason some moms feel the need to make comment on how other moms are out here just trying to survive! Trust me, I see you moms out there! I know some of you are really hanging on by that last chicken nugget your kid didn’t eat! And, I support you!

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There! I said it! I support you! How hard is it to show, in our actions and words, support? It isn’t very hard, but time after time we judge instead of supporting. I remember talking to another mom about my process for making our daughter’s food. And, as soon as I started going into detail about how I pick fresh organic veggies and fruits from the store to puree, the subtle eye roll happened. Now, I understand that it sounds so extreme to go through that process for some moms. I also understand that time is not on your side when you are doing this. I can recall the many nights up making food for our baby, and wishing I could let go of the need I felt to make our little one’s food. Reality took care of that for me. I took a more demanding job, and the days/nights of making fresh pureed foods went out the door. I settled for the best organic brands I could buy. Then, I settled on the best rated brands organic or not. Now, I am thankful if she decides she likes chicken enough to eat some frozen Tyson Anytizer’s. Don’t judge, Tyson does wonderful things with chicken. And, Publix is always making my life so easy with the buy one get one on Tyson and Purdue products. But, back to the eye roll. My dialogue about my process for Leyah was in no way a jab or dig at the other mom. The reality was that I was tired as all get out doing all that I was doing – working full time, and caring for our home. If she had even given me the chance to finish talking before her eye roll, I would have went on to ask her about what she does to make sure her family is fed. And, I would have gladly welcomed some new suggestions. You see, I am a first time mom. We all know that first time moms do the most. It’s only because we think we have to, and because the judgement is real. I didn’t need an eye roll that day. I needed some support, and I needed a mom secure enough in her parenting skills to say, it’s ok.

Support means saying, “it’s ok.” Those words mean so much to a mom who is suffering from whatever unrealistic expectations that some magazine or baby expert site have put in her head as the only way to ensure your child is perfect in every way. It’s easy to judge, but hard to accept. You see, saying, “it’s ok,” means that we accept whatever is being said or done. It’s ok, means that I may not carry my infant in a Moby wrap, but I accept and appreciate the moms that do. Those children may grow up to be the true lovers and peacemakers of the world. It’s ok, means that I may not let my child cry it out, but I accept the mom who does.

Truth is, every mom needs to hear “it’s ok,” you’re awesome,” you are enough,” you’re doing a great job,” and any other supportive phrase you can think of. Even if we don’t all agree on the how, we all agree on the outcome. The only outcome most of us are expecting is that our children feel loved. It’s ok to show love in different ways, and it’s ok if we don’t all agree, but it’s not ok to shame another mom for simply trying to love the best way she knows how.  Next time you talk to that new mom, check yourself. Are your words, tone, and body language supportive; or are you passing judgement?

I got the inspiration for this post from a post from Parents Magazine (Found Here). I will leave you all with this wonderful video from Similac. Please watch it until the end. It will not be a waste of time.

Share A Little Happiness

The world is filled with so much negativity. It is so hard to simply say yes to life when fear continues to show up. Every positive speaking person will tell you not to live in fear, but is that even realistic – especially with children? I’m constantly thinking about the world today, and the protection of my family. I do not have to list all the reasons that show up on the news or on my social media timelines daily that fuel these thoughts. But, I don’t let my constant thoughts keep us from living.

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Our Little One Giving Daddy a Flower – Photo Cred @goodfella_t1k


I’m hoping that everyone reading this post today has a feel good morning, day, and every day after today. There was no intent to post a really long blog with some self affirmations today. However, I wanted to leave everyone with a little happiness. Live in Faith and not Fear today and the next. We can not control what others do, but we have ultimate control over ourselves and our own actions. Faith, Love, Peace and Blessings. Share a little happiness today! Happy Monday everyone!