See this face?
This is the face of a woman, who awakened with a start, looked at her phone, and realized she was getting some weird message to update her payment information, because her icloud something-or other, failed to process.
Not sure how her account is overdrawn, she quickly slips on a pair of grey yoga pants, a red tank top, a pink jacket and then donned orange striped flats to zoom out the door to the bank.
She knows she looks crazy but simply didn’t care. She gets to the bank and in the middle of transferring funds, it dawns on her, she could have done all of this online and she throws up her hands at her foolishness, which draws the attention of the bank manage.
“Whats the matter? You seem out of sorts.”
This woman looks the manager dead in the eyes and says one word-
Thus began a conversation between them both about all the radical changes happening in their bodies.
In the middle of the bank.
This has been my life in recent months and l am only now speaking about it, because, well, it needs to be done.
I assumed menopause would be simply hot flashes and calcium deficiencies.
Oh were it that simple. I am teary for no reason. Feeling overwhelmed and second guessing things l would plow right through.
My body LITERALLY aches like l have been lifting weights non-stop for years. I am easily irritated. Total loss of appetite.
It scared me.
I called my momma, and while l dissolved into tears explaining that l was going crazy, she gently said, it was menopause and began quietly guiding me to speak with my doctor, run some tests and get on a treatment plan that will help me to navigate these unknown waters until the symptoms subside, which could take a while.
Its nice to know l have not totally lost my cotton picking mind. Not yet any way. But this can’t be life forever because the world will not survive with me like this!
But hear me- there are legions of women navigating through their days with not a hair out of place and battling the symptoms that emerge with this new phase of our lives. It is different for each one with some similarities, but have mercy on us, if we do not seen like our normal selves on any given day.
This thing is a beast.
So if you see me out in the streets looking crazy, give me a hug and point me in the right direction. I probably will need it.
Deuces and mad love,
Lord have mercy.
We must find something better for us “older” folks to do beyond dipping our crusty toes in the lives and business of young people.
Whatever do l mean you ask? Allow me to elucidate.
Miss church mother mary, walks up to young sister Carmelita with a knowing glint in her eyes.
Mary: how you doing baby girl? How old are you now?
Sister C: l am doing well Mother M! I am 29 now.
Mary: You still dating that fine young man l see. Seems to me, you all should be taking that next step by now. You not getting any younger. You young people just be giving the whole cow away for free. Set some expectations on him and yourself now.
Sister C: we have only been dating for 11 months but we are okay and no, we are not talking marriage.
Mary: uh huh. I see. Well good to see you.
Now. Sister Mary has done left the poor young woman twisted in the wind and wondering why there is so much pressure to find a man, hook him and get married because her eggs are drying up and something must be wrong with her.
Or maybe not.
While most adults are well intentioned, some of you are just nosy as hell. There, l said it.
I get that we carry collective wisdom as we get older and may have gems to impart but sometimes wisdom is knowing when to stay quiet too.
There are pressures that young people face today that we haven’t and it behooves us to listen and learn sometimes so we don’t end up doing more harm than good.
So the next time you want to approach with “advice” take a deep breath, say hello, give a hug and then walk away.
That is appreciated
Deuces and mad love,
We have all heard the saying- “You can’t trust everybody with everything” or “everything ain’t for everybody,” and yet, out of guilt, fear or just talking too diggety dang much, we often shoot ourselves in the foot by over sharing goals and dreams with the wrong people.
The painful lessons that results from said over sharing, often comes in the form of losing friends who despise your drive and determination, and counter it with negativity and intended sabotage of your dreams and goals.
So what are we to do?
Learn to move like a ninja.
How you say?
Allow me to elucidate.
I am fiercely protective and careful of that which is near and dear to me. My children’s names are not uttered online, I almost never share the scope and depth of my work and most importantly, that man I now call husband was a phantom for the entire 5 years I dated him.
I wrote and spoke about him all the time but he was known as the mysterious “Mister.” It became pretty easy to see who the ones would be to quickly judge and began whispering behind my back (so they thought) that he didn’t exist and one very brave somebody, called my mother and told her I was making up stories about some non existent man.
By the time I unveiled my man and on my own terms, it was exactly 30 days before we got married. Mouths were dropping all over the place because all the assumptions that abound were dead wrong.
People are always looking to criticize that which they refuse to put their own work into. Relationships, careers, raising families and simply being a decent human being, takes WORK.
I have also experienced putting my entire neck on the line to help large swaths of folks only for me to keep getting feedback that some people thought this and that about me. I had to shut that mess down because if the people bringing the bones to bury me didn’t have enough sense to shut that down, they didn’t deserve to be in my most sacred of spaces.
As a direct result, I continue to move like a ninja in certain aspects of my life because I know not everyone will be happy that I work my fingers to the bone to enjoy the fruits/rewards.
And do not allow people to guilt you into dragging them like luggage to your fruits party. They too must work hard and sacrifice something or you take their rocks out your bags and lay them gently to the side.
So what are you over sharing in your spaces sacred or otherwise? Take inventory, see who the detractors are and then cease and desist. Your very success or failure, may depend upon it.
Because love bugs, everything truly ain’t for everybody.
Dueces and mad love,
So my husband and I spent 10 blissful days in Hawaii over the holidays to not only rejuvenate our souls, but to shore up and reconnect as a couple because our collective work schedules can be brutal.
We often would carve out Saturday mornings for our weekly catch up if I am not traveling and we work as one vibrational team, which means we pick up where the other isn’t able to in the moment. So imagine my shock when he sat me down after watching me frolick in warm waters at sunset in Honolulu … and what he said, made me take a pause for the cause.
He said his greatest WISH when we first got married, was to NOT move me into his current home because it needed all kinds of TLC (he ain’t NEVA lied) and he knew I had lived in this great place for over 25 years raising my own two children. Frankly, he said he was embarrassed and just wanted to do a quick sale, move on to a place of my choosing and start anew with another mortgage.
He was shocked he said, when I looked him dead in the eyes, told him it made NO sense to start another mortgage at our ages and while the house needed a ton of work, I was willing to put in the time, energy and money with him to get it done.
He said I shocked him FURTHER when he offered to at least upgrade my car and I cackled with a thanks and said I would much prefer to keep the one that is already paid in full.
I am silently listening to all of this with my heart full because I truly loved him enough to get in the trenches with him and didn’t realize he struggled with what I opted to do.
He then said that he had never seen that kind of unselfishness and that many other women would have taken him up on the offer to move pronto with their nostrils turned up. It was that unselfishness however that solidified his love in a way that made him say if anyone dares to hurt me, he would take action in ways that would stun them because no way was he jeopardizing what we have built together.
Our home isn’t just beautiful to LOOK at now, it’s also filled with warmth and LOVE. These things are important. Flashy things bring temporary joy- it’s who we are at the core that matters.
When we say we care about someone, it should not come with a bunch of superficial conditions. Rather, we should work together as a team to reach where we desire to be together and if the core of our love depends on where we live, the square footage of our Homes and what we drive, it’s only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show.
If we want a full manifestation of goodness and light, we have to be it in all we say and do. If and when my husband and I decide to move from where we are currently, it will be a decision we make together and not for the benefit of anyone whims or fancy. Because at the end of the day? All we TRULY have to depend on? Is that core love we walked in the door with. We know enough to understand that life is cyclical and when hard times come, without the core in place, trouble is not far behind.
I love my nerd y’all. Believe that.
Dueces and mad love,
So I think my husband is over me. But I swear, I am slowly becoming my fathers child with embracing all that is natural for our human bodies.
In that order, I quietly got this thing below and when it came yesterday and I removed it from the box, he looked at me like 😳😳😳
What is it you ask?
It’s called a squatty potty.
You simply put it at the based of your potty and hoist your legs to use it as you handle your necessary business.
I gently explained the instructions were on it and only western civilization embraces sitting the other way which leads to colon cancers and blockages.
Again he looked at me like I lost my marbles but undaunted, I set it up in the bathroom.
This morning after taking his shower, he says to me, “my darling wife, I love you with all my heart but I cannot get my legs high enough to use that contraption, so I guess I’m going to stay uncivilized and do this the regular way.”
I looked at his pitiful face and cracked up!! The squatty potty is the absolute truth people. We eat so much of the wrong things and our intestines can’t fully rid itself of the excess as it should.
As a child growing up in the islands, I used to marvel when I would visit family in the rural areas and watch as the squatted with ease to relive themselves… they stayed thin too and I didn’t realize that was the natural order of things.
We often scoff at what we don’t know but opening our minds could save our lives. Literally.
Dueces and mad love,
Steve Jobs was an eccentric dude who had a dream. He was laughed at, ridiculed and often scorned for his out-of-the-box thinking, and even lost several Jobs and failed at business ventures a few times. He kept at it and what he left behind in these apple Products through his ingenuity with a partner that believed in and joined him, is priceless, has forever changed the way we use technology and forced other companies to step their mediocre games way up.
Oprah Winfrey- the little “black gal” who was too ambitious for her britches, was told by the station manager that if she moved from her “cushy” job in Tennessee to Chicago, she would most certainly fail. And yet, she followed her gut and kept going through her mistakes by remaining authentic and sharing herself fully, which connected her to billions of people eventually. She dared to dream of owning her own network and had the balls to shut down her successful show, close HARPO studios in Chicago and took her entire life to Los Angeles.
All kinds of obstacles were thrown her way and people she thought would stand by her side, judged her for doing what her heart said. Because why did she have to be so bold in wanting a network? Didn’t she know what a mistake that was? Why wasn’t she yet married? Why did she share so much of her personal life? Why, why, why? She hunkered down and kept moving with the few who believed.
Today, she has a successful network, studios larger than the one she had in Chicago, and has given us one of the BEST pieces of programming in “Queen Sugar.” Her boldness has created jobs, launched people to become their best selves and on and on. Imagine if she had listened to that station manager and her daddy who thought she was just out of pocket in following her heart.
These are just two examples of many who dared to actualize their purpose.
Why am I saying all of this? When people don’t understand YOUR dream, or they feel uncomfortable with what they can’t possibly visualize, they WILL try and derail it with their opinions.
You will feel hurt and angry and discouraged but what you must NOT do? Is give up. The world deserves what is inside of you because you never know how you are impacting mankind in your bravery and determination to follow your PURPOSE.
To the naysayers who can’t seem to help themselves with their doomsday comments and judgements of those around them that are daring to explore what they dream about, please understand that you are only fuel for dreamers to keep moving and growing and doing.
The cemeteries are already too filled of people who died with their dreams within because they were told to keep that “stable” job or whatever the thing is said to deter people no matter how well intentioned you may be. Just because it doesn’t make sense to you, it does not make you right.
Failure is also not a bad thing. It teaches us the lessons that will create the solid foundation as we move to higher heights. So allow people to fail UP instead of talking them DOWN to your level of comfort. Be unselfish enough to get out the way of the ones who carry the fire within the pit of their bellies to live beyond the pale.
We all aren’t designed to simply exist in the boxes we allow others to create for us.
So while you keep judging, we will keep those high hopes. No matter what.
Dueces and mad love,
So I had to get an Uber for several Days in a row and I have come to the conclusion that many of those drivers listen to people confessing their souls while giving up a few confessions of their own
Chile listen… it ran from the ridiculous to the scary but this one dude made me gasp, smile and shake my head all at once..
When he got to my door and saw my infirmities, he hopped out his car, got my crutches and bags and was just wonderful in a way that told me he was special. His Hat was on backwards and when I got in his car, I noticed the back of his seat was almost reclined to a sleeping position.
He slid in and sat up with his seat just that way. I didn’t question because I have seen it way too much with young guys driving around in Philly.. they will keep chiropractors in business with that mess but I digress..
After asking if he could call me Miss Andrea and my answering in the affirmative, he proceeded to tell me that he was originally from Ohio but was transplanted to Reading at a young age and after feeling like he had too few opportunities, he moved here after meeting a young lady online and had been here in Philly now for a few months.
As he shared his life story, he said “you know, people judged and asked why I was making these moves and taking these risks and I told them I am the author of my book. I didn’t ask for editors and I am writing the story the way I see fit.” I damn near high fived the back of his head for those profound words of wisdom!
He went on to say, he was filled with nuggets but had a hard time taking his own advice.
Then it got real.
He said he would always choose women for their bodies and what was between their legs instead of what was between their ears and that he realized he was choosing Shallow intimacy over substance because he didn’t want to put in the work it required to have a good relationship.
He is so into this new woman who, from all accounts is so smart, he wonders Why she is with him, that he made a pact to NOT have intimacy with her for a year. He is coming to the end of that year and swears he loves and appreciates her all the more because they spent time learning about each other and doing things beyond the bedroom.
Well I’ll be.
His lesson and the way he chose to go about changing his habits, showed up this way and who am I to judge? He truly believes in the power of intention, following ones passion and hard work, after he met the owner of a Car dealership while being his waiter and the owner found him to be so personable, he offered to train and hire him to sell cars.
He went from making $7 an hour to 60k per year AND he Ubers on his days off! I love it!!
The tenacity of the human spirit is something else.
When we got to my destination, he took my stuff to the door of the building, shook my hands, thanked me for listening and odd he went.
I learned so much from him, not the least of which is to not stay stuck in your circumstances and to take bold leaps even if you can’t see where you will land.
We don’t get to judge people in their journey because it’s different from our own- our oath is simply that. Ours.
Dueces and mad love.
When my brain is full, I take comfort in finding the places that bring joy to my weary soul in an effort to rejuvenate myself.
Today that place was the Rangoon, which is still the only Burmese restaurant in Pennsylvania. Go figure. But the food? Made from scratch and is sinfully good.
So there I entered with my lunch companion, who roared when the owner chirped out my name in a warm welcome, said she missed seeing more of me and told me which friends of mine had been in recently!
It’s like that.
I told her I would be celebrating my birthday with her food in a few short weeks and no less than 10 of us would be there to liven up the place. She giggled and my friend and I settled down to eat.
Here is where it got interesting.
A brother came rushing through the doors, dropped his jacket at the table next to ours, ran over to the owner and began ordering food. He began with. “I will have 2 L9’s, a soup and two of the chicken and broccoli dish!”
It took me a minute to realize he was eating in because he seemed to be in such a rush and of course, I had to mess with him.
You had a doubt?
He shared he has been visiting the restaurant for almost 20 years to my 14, and it’s one of his favorite places to eat. He was so personable, we kept chatting until his woman walked through the door. We said hello to her and went back to our respective lunches until my dishes showed up and his woman got my attention and asked what was I eating.
I looked at him and said. “Wait a minute. YOU have been coming here for 20 years and haven’t tried any of the things in front of me? Dude, you killing me!”
He laughed and replied no, so I promptly scooped a little from each of my dishes she was curious about and put it on her plate to try and while telling him he didn’t deserve any for slacking like this!😂😂
Of course, she loved it and I admonished him to stretch himself beyond the one dish he had been eating for 20 years and actually ask for a menu and allow his lady to choose next time.
Can you imagine? All those delightful dishes and he stuck with one. For 2 decades. I ain’t never heard of such!
I ear hustled as I ate and learned she was frustrated with his flirting and crossing the line with some women they both knew and he became squirmy when the topic of his phone and texts came up.
Lord. A player from the Himalayas.
Limited in menu choices and thinking too, I guess. He so needed another brother or person to sit and discuss a few things with him about life and choices because we could tell he didn’t have the right tools to deal with what was in front of him and that sister looked like she was at the end of her rope.
I don’t know what happened after they left, but I learned a lesson about really meeting people where they are. It was enough for him yo have discovered this place that he never thought to go beyond what he was comfortable with. I believe after his encounter with us though, he may change his choices next time around.
My lunch partner and I looked at each other and cracked up because we could see our husbands at his age probably doing some of the same things..
Whew Chile.. every day is an opportunity grow and learn should we choose to expand our minds. The alternative isn’t always pretty.
Dueces and mad love,
What a week this has been. I am still recovering from Hosting Thanksgiving dinner in our home and all the shenanigans of love that took place within.
My husband was feeling especially mushy for some inexplicable reason and at one point, sat on the porch with me saying how grateful he was for us. I reminded him we had guests after telling him I was grateful for his love too and so as we walked back into the confines of the house, he says from behind me to the entire family, “we have news to share, Andrea is having a baby.”
I kept walking to the kitchen as his crazy family members clapped in glee and without turning around I replied ” what the hell is wrong with you?”
He cracked up and told them he was playing and I thought that was the end of it.
Later on that night, I learned from his mother that she would not be opposed to us having a child and in fact, she was looking forward to it.
Now see here.
Did they forget I was a clapback of 50?
When I reminded them of my not so tender years, I heard ” Janet Jackson is 51 and she’s doing it!”
Ummm… my name ain’t Janet. It ain’t Jackson if you nasty either. Not to mention I am sane enough to know these eggs have done their final drop some two score and plenty years ago and they fitting to scramble and retire for good in these Fallopian tubes. And I have an excellent retirement plan called menopause awaiting their arrival
I spoke about it at length with my husband this morning and it seems he seriously has been thinking about it. I refrained from asking him to get his brain checked as we are now grandparents and instead worked hard to see and connect with his sentiments.
He agreed the baby-ship has sailed for us once I laid out the facts but was happy I heard him out.
Lawd have mercy..
Men should be able to get pregnant. I bet you it would alleviate some of this baby talk. Women aren’t toaster ovens who pop out little humans on cue. This is a lifetime thing and honey, our “baby” will be 21 in 3 months and seeking to live abroad once he finishes college.
I seee the horizon and it has no wailing babies that I can’t send back to its parents in it.
Hell does indeed go with no.
Dueces and mad love,
So A week ago, I went to a new place with my diva daughter to get our toes done (convenience) and somehow, the woman cut my heel with the machine and I didn’t realize it until I began to feel twinges of pain a day later.
And I ignored it.
I literally thought it was a surface scratch until two days ago when I climbed out of the bed, put pressure on the foot and winced. It only got worse and so by Thanksgiving morning, I had a gangsta limp but kept it from my husband so we could get through the day and all the company we were expecting.
Yesterday though? Chile listen. I was over talking the funk and asked him to take a look.
He was horrified at what he found and gave me that look while he collected all the things he would need to clean and add neosporin. He fussed at me while I was gritting my teeth, especially when the cleaning agent hit the wound, but I kept my mouth shut.
Once he got it cleaned, I stepped down and my foot felt so much better, I hugged him with pure gratitude.
I thought that was the end of it but this morning, he brought out his “doctor kit”again and proceeded to clean and dress the wound after I bathed without my asking.
It touched my soul watching him gently slide my sock on and then looking up to ask if I was okay..
These are the things that matter long term in a relationship- not the car we drive, the house we live in or even how many degrees we do or don’t have. Common decency that transcends what people sees every day really matters in ways we don’t always fully appreciate until we need it.
My husband can take my last nerve and pluck it for miles some days but guess what? I still wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in china.
Dueces and mad love ❤️