Emotionally, Physically, Spiritually and Mentally. So tell me, How ya doing?

Featured Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Hey, Friends. It’s been a cool minute since my last post.

Is this quarantine life crazy or WHAT! I guess I really didn’t know how or what to expect from the now “social-distancing” mantra that’s hit the WHOLE WORLD by storm. As I stated in my “Rona Post” – I’m one that really doesn’t take things too seriously? But in this case, things are VERY much serious indeed.

I believe more serious than any of us can or would have imagined. It has me asking questions like, “How did something like this get SO out of control?” and/or “Can this virus really be killed by heat?” it’s so many conflicting information going on in regards to this virus, it’s hard to believe anything. I literally quit looking at the news – it’s just wasn’t good for me mentally. Feel me?

I’m about DONE with this whole virus talk and who got it and who died from it. It’s just so sad, my heart literally breaks. I heard a case recently of a child that had it and was turned away by the hospital because he didn’t have insurance, that child later died. See, that’s the reason why I stopped looking at the news and it’s not only that but my heart breaks for all the doctors, nurses, staff and essential workers who are still grinding during this pandemic – putting themselves at risk.

My prayers are with them and the families that have lost beautiful souls and the ones who have tested positive for COVID-19. I’m sure by now we ALL must know someone who either tested positive or died from the virus. My heart and prayers are with you as we all move forward with the hope that this will end soon and uncertainty as to what’s next.

In the midst of going through things like this, it can have a major impact on your Emotional, Mental, Spiritual and Physical health in which is what I want to talk about. So how are you doing?

I thought this would be a great post to check-in and give an update on my status as well as give tips or even listen to yours. Because with all this social-distancing going on as we push further and further away from even “touching” each other, it can feel socially-lonely.

Emotionally:

Well, I’ve already stated how this virus is making me feel emotional and that hasn’t changed. As stated, I had to quit watching the news. However; I get these rapid news breaks on my phone which doesn’t help BUT I decide what I “choose” to click on and what I “choose” to read. There’s a lot of conflicting information going on from stimulus checks, to who died of the virus and etc. Does the word DOOMSCROLLING ring a bell?

You have a choice in what you choose to hear and what you choose to read, we all do. Instead of putting your emotions towards the loss, we’ve had; try focusing on the stories of individuals going out of their way to help others and/or the survivors including some elderly people who have conquered the virus. Where there’s bad news? There’s also good news – choose wisely.

Mentally:

Mental and emotional can sometimes go hand in hand with one another but one deals with the heart while the other deals with the mind. Your mental state during a “pandemic” can be very daunting. For instance, before things really “tightened” up concerning COVID-19. I went into the grocery store to purchase a couple of things AND while turning to go down the beverage aisle, I saw a purse on the shelf, like yes – someone literally left their purse on the shelf. I’ve been there before, I’ve put my keys and wallet on the shelf before and “out of sight, out of mind” just left – thank God every time I’ve gone back my items were still there (angels watching!) Without even thinking, I quickly grabbed the purse and took it to customer service. They had sanitizer up there, so I squeezed some in my hand after handing the clerk the purse and went on by my business. It wasn’t until I got in the car that I thought, “What if that person had COVID?” – My mind immediately went crazy! I was thinking about all types of weird, negative things. What if I had it? I thought.

And we ALL know that when we “think” things – next thing you know you feel like you have symptoms and etc. Well, that was well over a month ago and while a little tickle, sneeze or cough makes my mental psyche go coo-coo. I have to believe that God has me and I have to put my trust in him. Which brings me to my next emotion.

Spritually:

I will start this off segment off with this scripture – Isaiah 26:3 NIV “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! that scripture is fitting mentally as well. In this time of crisis, it’s good to have an anchor. For me that anchor is God, for you, it may be something else such as meditation or listening to mindful podcasts. I’ve heard quite a few people say that this pandemic is God’s way of getting our attention. His way of making sure that we spend more one-on-one time with him and I agree. Before this pandemic, I’m sure you like myself have maybe mentioned about there not being enough time in a day to do anything including spending time with the big man upstairs.

Well, this is the time. The time that you need and I need to do that. Prayer in times like these is very essential, needed and important. Prayer, time with God and meditation keeps you centered and “in perfect peace” as the scripture states. And we all need a “peace” of mind right about now. I’ve been doing the FIRST15 app. It’s an app that has a devotion, prayer, scripture, and song all in one day. It even allows you to journal your thoughts. It’s been really good, outside of the bible app to spend time with God for the first 15 minutes of your day. We all need something to keep us sane, so why not vamp up your spiritual mood.

Physically:

There’s a reason why I put this one LAST! It’s seriously HARD for me to get on a schedule. And what I mean by that is EXERCISE! I’ve downloaded a couple of workouts to my YTube playlist including one by Massy Arias – who is a personal trainer, she makes her workouts look so easy but the way her body is set up? I can tell, it’s definitely NOT! AND of course, it’s not just all about the workout but you have to EAT right as well and you would think since we’re all “quarantining” that I would have this figured out, but sad to say, I don’t! I guess it’s because exercise is not something I have been heavily involved in even prior to this pandemic. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a stranger to exercise and when I’m in, I’M TOTALLY ALL THE WAY INNNN!!! However, the saying is true – the first time you stop exercising, it’s pretty much downhill from there, so let’s just say – I’ve been trotting downhill for months now! I’ve been trying to get on the bandwagon, although “quarantine” has me seemingly thinking about food ALL the time. I mean, it’s literally right in my lap now. LOL

BUT, I’m going to get it done. I feel like I need to get on track as we all could be out of quarantine in a couple months and I wouldn’t want this time to be wasted; that would be a REAL bummer. So pray for me that I stop being lazy and get back on the exercise track!

Well, outside of my kids being out of school and the online learning they now are subjected too and me making sure they stay on track with that. This has been my COVID-19, social-distancing, and quarantine LIFE! So, what’s been going on with you?

How are you doing emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically? Let’s talk! You can email me at rblackmon58@gmail.com or tell me how you’re doing in the comments. I’d love to hear from you! Because in times like these, we all NEED each other.

In the meantime, Stay Well, Stay Safe, Follow the Directions given & Stay INDOORS as much as possible, this is also a great time to stay connected to loved ones & friends!

I Need Help! Can Someone Get Me A Counselor, Please?

Featured Image Credit: Defendernetwork.com

Okay, say it with me…
THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH GETTING HELP!

Now that you’ve said that, let’s dig into my topic above. March in my mind is Mental Health Awareness month, now before you get all technical with me, I know there’s a mental health awareness day somewhere during the year but if you ask me? It can be anytime you realize or come to grips that you seriously need to talk to someone.

That’s the realization I came to last month. I’m always there for other people, I always take out time to listen to them, their problems, issues, hurts, habits and hang-ups and I really do listen. Once their through talking, I give my two cents on the matter, in most cases I’ve prayed with them or include them in my prayers once the convo is over and they go on their merry way. NOW, how does this all play out when I need someone to talk too???

Do you hear the crickets??..

Yes, that’s usually what I hear OR if I do talk to someone, it’ll start out being about my issue and somehow it reverts to their issue and I end up helping them through theirs without getting my issue dissected. I once was friends with someone who did this on MORE than one occasion. I’d always love seeing them and hanging out, they’ll ask me about my day and how things have been going with me and I’ll respond and the next thing you know, there on themselves, their life, their goals, their family, their business and their this and their that and the list goes on and on and on. Most times by the time they’d work their way back around to what I had to say, I’d be too exhausted to answer them and all I can get out is…

“Everything’s Just Fine” but in my head, that was a LIE!

Anywho, that’s been my life with friendships and unfortunately personal relationships as well. I’ve always put others before “ME” and last month I found myself doing that yet again and decided that enough was enough. I have to talk to someone and if I can’t find people around me that’s willing to listen, I’d find a counselor that will.

Here’s what I found out with my insurance plan in regards to mental health and some tips on how you can put yourself FIRST starting now in 2020. Because It’s never too late…

Check your insurance plan

Image credit: Quicken Loans

Mental health is on the rise and I’m so happy that more and more people are discussing it, the more we talk about it the less taboo it’ll feel. It’s nothing to be ashamed of either, hey – we can ALL use a mental check. In pursuing a counselor, I googled my insurance to see what counselors/offices accept it. Once I went through the list provided, I then called my insurance company to see if these doctors were in-network or out of network. Luckily the one I chose was in-network. Out-of-network is okay just know that you’ll be paying a little more in co-pay. I also found out that my co-pay was $25 and that my plan came with unlimited visits for that amount. Now that’s a win-win, so don’t be afraid to reach out to your insurance carrier, after all – that’s what you’re paying for every month. Might as well take advantage of it.

Realize Your Limits

Image credit: Lifedaily.com

Maybe seeing a therapist is NOT on your to-do list at the moment and that’s okay. However, you need to realize when you’ve reached your limit in a conversation. In the past, I’ve talked to people and have gotten the worst headache/migraine afterward or just felt like – BLAH!! We have to realize and I totally believe in this, people transfer their energy onto you. While you want to help a friend, you have to think about your sanity and your Feng sui as well. It can be thrown completely off if your friend is going on and on and on again about the same old drama you gave her or him pointers on months ago. Self-care is the best care. Sometimes you just have to say, “Look I gotta go” or “I just had something to come up – can I call you back?” learn to give yourself a BREAK even in the midst of a convo. And you better believe, your sanity is awaiting to applaud you.

You Better Get Selfish

Image credit: Sadhguru.org

This goes into the “Self-Care” regimen. I’m learning this even now, you don’t have to respond to every text or answer every call (unless it’s life or death) at the drop of a hat because someone needs you. You need you, your body and mind need you to be able to think clearly and focus on you and your needs. If you give EVERYONE in the world your time or what little you have after a long day of work. Then what’s left for you? Oh, my bad – THE BED! because that’s exactly where you’ll be going and nobody has time to work, do family, put out fires with your friends and etc and NOT be able to stay awake for at least 2 hours to do something for yourself. Life wasn’t set up for you to be that way, but you know how life works – it goes in the direction you lead it. Think about it.

Truth brings — CHANGE

Image credit: Bing

I’ve had my share of toxic friendships and relationships, the thing is I didn’t really know they were toxic until they left me broke, dry and questioning my own sanity. Our life lets in what we put out – if you keep talking to people that just don’t get it or that keeps you in a box, everything else that comes your way will be the same way. We have to learn to speak up and I’m preaching to the choir on this one, I don’t speak up enough. I let things go on and I accept people’s “ish” because I either don’t want to lose them or afraid I’m being too pushy with my standards, so I digress. The one thing I have to constantly drill in my head is, to be honest with myself as well as the people around me. If it means they’ll leave me, then let them. It just means they were out of place in my life anyway. If it makes me uncomfortable, say it. If I feel as though I’m giving 100% and only getting 20% in return? then leave! And you know what? you don’t have to give ANYONE an explanation for doing so.

** ** ** ** **

Life is ALL about making the right choices that will push us forward into being the GREAT and AMAZING beings we were created to be in the first place and if that means being a little selfish and/or getting a little help along the way to accomplish that? Then, by all means, DO IT!

Do you have a counselor or go to therapy sessions? How do you handle a convo that pushes you past your mental limit? Sound off in the comments!

So, What is “Gal-Entines” And Why Should It Be Celebrated?!

Featured Image – Bing

Let me share what Gal-Entines is ALLLLLLLL about take it away Leslie!

Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Thank you my Gal pal, Leslie. I’ll take it over from here.

Yes, there is such a thing as Gal-Entines! WHICH is to be celebrated today! So happy Gal-Entines to ALL of my ladies out there. As you can see per Leslie (Amy Poehler), it’s a celebration with your gal pals whether you’re married or NOT! Now I know V-Day is officially tomorrow and it’s a day where all the single ladies are either celebrating themselves or a little pa-turd that they’re not getting the roses and the chocolates. I get it, I used to be that way too but hey, why not celebrate ourselves right? After all we deserve it, whether you’re boo’d up or NOT!

Check this post out 👉👉👉 Beware of Coupling Season! Are You A Victim?

I don’t know about you but for the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve always treated “V-Day” like any other day. However, to celebrate the occasion, I’d always go and grab my favorite dish from the Olive Garden, get me a piece of cake from my other favorite place (Confection Connection) and go home to watch a good movie. And there you’d have it, Valentine’s Day was over…

This year, I wanted to do something a little different. After talking to other single gals, I realized that I wasn’t the only one that celebrated this way. There were a plethora of “single” ladies who weren’t boo’d up just like me. So why should I have to stay in the house? My sentiments, EXACTLY!.

I’m unsure how it’s all going to go down, but I’ve planned an event for our singles ministry this year all themed around the “Gals” – there will be arts and crafts, games, food, spoken word and hopefully a lot of laughs and a lot of good times. So, we’ll see how it pans out. I am asking for a small fee for this event (i.e $7) but you’d pay more than that eating out! The event is tomorrow although I know the official “Gal-Entines” day is supposed to happen the day before V-Day I just couldn’t let a Friday go to waste.

Another Good Read 👉 5 Common Mistakes Women Must Give Up, To Get The Man of Their Dreams

As women, we need to celebrate each other, even if you do have a boo. Gal-Entines is all about celebration and good times, something that women don’t do enough of, especially in regards to one another. I don’t know what your plans are for this Gal-Entines day or even tomorrow, but whatever you do, make sure you show the special “Gals” around you, some love and appreciation!

Plan a party, an outing or go to the movies….they have this new movie entitled “The Photograph” starring Issa Rae (Insecure) and Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) that looks amazing and it comes out tomorrow on Valentine’s Day! (Can someone say, GIRLS TRIP!!) Anywho, no matter what you decide, make sure you get out with your best gal pals either today or sometime during the weekend to check that out or just have a really good time. Andddd It’s not too late to plan…

Listen, us gals just want to have FUN and why not do it together!! – As that’s what “Gal-Entines” is truly ALL about!

Marietta Sangai Sirleaf, better known as Retta – Parks and Recreation

It’s A Super Bowl “FOOD” Fest!!

Featured Photo: Cocina Delirante

Are you ready for the Superbowl?

Super Bowl LIV will be this upcoming Sunday, February 2nd, 2020 at 6:30pm ET/3:30 PT it’s the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Kansas City Chiefs! Now I know I’m talking right now as if I’m a HUGE Football fan but in reality, I’M REALLY NOT! – HAHAHAHA!! I mean…

Iyanla Vanzant – Fix My Life

YASSSS, I mean. I just learned what a 1st down was like two years ago…. I know, I know. So, I’m really not the fanatic fan, however, I have watched the game and have learned to cheer along when I saw everyone else cheering, you know I just didn’t want to feel out of place. I will watch it, just know that I will be asking quite a few questions if we watch it together – I warned ya!

So, what could be better than the Superbowl? THE FOOD!!!

I usually go to football gatherings/parties for this reason and this reason alone. The food is amazing and guess what, it’s lots of it. So, while everyone is cheering for the touchdown. I’m touching down in the kitchen to get another plate of wings!

Do you have Superbowl parties at your house or do you like going to them?

If Superbowl LIV is going to be at your house this year and you’re still trying to figure out what to cook up, I have a couple of old and new football party favorites recipes that will get your crowd cheering for the team as well as for the FOOD!

Recipe #1 – Barbequed Lil Smokies

These are very easy to make and one of my favorites, they’re good, small and don’t take up a lot of room in my plate while I’m feeling it up with other goodies!

Recipe #2 – Slider Burgers

Who doesn’t love a GOOD burger? I know I do and when they’re small enough to fit in your mouth, that’s even better for a Superbowl party. I mean you want finger foods and these little minis are not only the perfect addition but the perfect size. I substitute for turkey, but you can fix them however you like.

Recipe #3 – Wings and More Wings Please!

I’m a HUGE wing lover. I absolutely love chicken wings, wingettes, turkey wings – okay, just about anything with a wing, lol! You CAN’T have a Superbowl party with out wings, like it’s just not common and I’m going to have to take your chicken wing card if you do, lol. Wings are the staple for any party, I especially LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the flats. Do you love chicken wings?

Recipe #4 – Loaded Baked Potato Dip…Yum!\

This is a new recipe that I haven’t tried but I’m sure will win your crowd over. I love a good loaded baked potato myself (I mean, I’m just a foodie anyway…sigh) any who, this will be a great addition to any party.

Recipe #5 – Where’s the Chocolate Footballs!

No party is good with a little something to satisfy the sweet tooth and these chocolate football cookie balls looked so delicious. If you wanted to get super creative, you could decorate the outside to display both teams that are playing. Your crowd will be amazed at your talent but most of all happy that you’re not making them choose a side, in which you can just make them generic, that’s your choice as well.

No matter how you choose to celebrate the Superbowl, whether it’s by way of a party or a party of one OR two, it’s all about enjoying the moment and seizing the present with special friends and family. And on that note…

I want to give my heartfelt, sincerest condolences to the family of Kobe & Gianna Bryant, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Christina Mauser, Ara Zobayan & Sarah Chester. I know a lot of the news has been mainly on 5-time NBA Championship/MVP Kobe Bryant, 41 and I get it, he was the best (outside of Michael Jordan) basketball player of all time. His work ethic, mamba mentality and love of basketball garnered him much success and it looks as if his 13-yr. old daughter, Gianna Bryant was going to carry on that MAMBA legacy in the future for the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) before their sudden and unfortunate demise this past Sunday, January 26th.

Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant

However, there are 7 other families that are hurting as well and from what I’ve been reading, they received the news like everyone else of their family’s demise by the news outlet and not a police official. To hear about your love, one dying through a news outlet, is beyond devastating. I can’t imagine what any of these families must be going through at this time, although I’ve lost a mother, so I know about loss and the dredging feeling of hopelessness it brings. Husbands lost wives, Wives lost husbands, Children lost siblings and friends lost best friends. It’s a tragedy that no one saw coming or even imagined in their wildest dreams.

Tonight, say their and their family’s names in your prayers – it’s going to be a LONG road ahead and they’re going to need every well wish possible to keep forging forward as they all take one step at a time towards healing. Allow this unfortunate tragedy of theirs help you make peace and get closer to the special ones in your life. No more grudges, No more hard feelings. Show peace and love, even if it’s not shown back to you. We only get one life and what we do with it is our responsibility.

May those 9 hearts, Rest in Heaven & In Peace.


2020 & Lemon Meringue Pie – OH MY!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!!

I pray your holiday was a good one and that your new year got off to a good start, well it’s here. Another year, another goal, another decade! Wow…

Before I can move forward, I must take a step back for a moment.

The ending of my year turned out to be quite a scary one, the last post I wrote in December – you can check that out below just in case you got too busy and missed it. It was my last post of the year, it was also a week before my daughter was to go in and have a heart procedure done.

December’s Going Already? & Safety is KEYYYYYYYYY!!

I knew this day was coming, my daughter, I and the Cardiologist had, had the discussion for months and in August of 2018 we got a date as to when the surgery was going to happen. I wasn’t worried, I had prayed; however, as the months and days came closer. No lie, I was a little nervous. The doctors stated that the procedure was “non-life threatening” and the procedure had a 95% success rate. So that was nice to hear. My faith was strong…and I put her, it and them into God’s hands.

That was until I got some devastating news from the nurse

Surgery day came and we were all set, I had to be at the hospital by 7:30 a.m. meaning I had to get up at 4 am to be out of the house by 5:15 am as the hospital was about 2 hours away. Talking about tiredness…but we had things to do.

Once we got to the hospital and all the preliminaries were done, my daughter was whisked away to anesthesia. I wouldn’t see her again for 4 hours…

I sat in the waiting room for quite some time, I had my books, blanket, and phone so enough to keep me occupied. As a protocol for anyone going into surgery I received a phone call every hour letting me know what was going on when the surgery started and the process in between…when I didn’t get the last call but looked up to see the nurse coming towards me instead. I immediately thought, “Cool, they’re done” but little did I know that was far from what she came to say.

“We ran into a problem, she said”

Sitting on the edge of my seat, she had my undivided attention – with eyes glued securely on her and every word that was now coming out of her mouth, I held my breath a little…

“While the doctor was completing the surgery, your daughter’s heart began to bleed out; blood surrounded her heart, which contracted the heart muscle. We don’t know what happened; we’re trying to stop the bleeding. “We had to perform CPR on her”

My heart stopped and for a brief moment, I stared at her in a daze — as if what she was telling me was something she was reading out of a book of grim fairytales. Before I knew it, I broke down…

My daughter, if she had not been at the hospital she was at, with special doctors that know how to handle cases of this matter in a matter of seconds – my daughter would’ve died a week before Christmas. Just the thought of that makes me cringe with fear, my baby girl. BUTTTTT and a BIG BUT, God is SOOOO AWESOMELY GOOD! She had to stay in ICU for a couple of days after that before she got moved to a regular floor but as of right now, she’s doing better and can resume her regular activities according to the cardio on Monday. I give God praise.  

While the year ended with a little turbulence, 2020 came in as sweet as pie, literally!

Over the holidays, I looked forward to spending time with my sister, brother-in-law and my nieces. Our children are around the same age, so my kids always look forward to being with their cousins.

The weather was favorable and I got a GOOD dose of Christmas movies, I even got a chance to catch up on Season 4 of Greenleaf (If you haven’t seen this show, what in the world have you been doing??? Please check out Netflix and catch up!!) I promise, it’s one of my favorite shows, so I binged.

I also read a book series by Lexcee Reel – Lexcee is a self-published author on the RISE!

She has a fourth book entitled “Undying Past”- The book series detail the story of Caroline Peatree Gibbs a confused, mean and downright sassy woman who finds herself caught in a love triangle with her dying husband, a flame from college and a new business suitor that has an eye for her. Lexcee’s four-books entitled, The Caroline Peatree Gibbs Series were full of action, suspense and chock full of drama and revenge!. I read ALL four books and can’t wait for BOOK 5 (In which I would like to do a FULL review!). Once I finished one book, I was trying my best not to read the next one –but I foiled, that’s just how good they were, I couldn’t put them down and you won’t either. If you’re looking for a FEW good reads, check her out. You won’t be disappointed!

During this much needed time of rest and relaxation, my sister bought me a piece of lemon meringue pie from the hospital in which my brother in law works. This hospital has the best lemon meringue pie ever!! Now, there’s a back story to this pie. When my mom was in the hospital back in 2016 –outside of seeing her beautiful face, I always looked forward to going to the cafeteria and getting me a piece of lemon meringue pie. It was a sweet indulgence I looked forward too. It somehow took my mind off of seeing my mother in pain and hearing all the negative doctor reports we received daily in regards to her declining health.

When my mother passed away that year, so did that lemon meringue pie. They stopped serving it. So, when my sister stated that she was stopping by there on New Year’s Day to visit her husband and asked if I wanted anything, I quickly said no.

When my sister got home, I was lazily slouched within the cushions of her couch with covers over me, she came in excited and said “Guess what, you’ll NEVER guess what I got” – her Styrofoam container smelled of some good hot fish, so I didn’t even attempt to guess. As she sat down swiftly on the coach, she began unraveling the bags and what she brought out next made me sit ALL THE WAY UP!

She looked at me and said, remember this?

Lemon Meringue Pie!!! –To be honest, I almost cried and I know that sounds super silly over a piece of pie but it had been 3 years since I had a piece and for some odd reason, when I saw that pie? A really good and positive feeling fell over me as if to indicate, this was going to be an EPIC 2020 Year! I just looked up and gave my mom a little wink…

So, no resolutions – no wishes for 2020, just a lot of God and a little lemony, sweet and tart meringue pie leading the way and guess what ——— I’m all game…

Cheers and Best Wishes to a Fantastic Year Ahead!

Did you have an epiphany or a little something that spurred your 2020? Share in the comments