The Tale of Two Journeys – Going Completely NATURAL and Working Hard in Prayer & Exercise…

Whew!!! Okay, so the title is a little long; Well, really long….even for me but I have a lot going on and I want to share it with you today, maybe it’ll inspire you to do something out of the ordinary or take a leap of faith and finally do that thing that you keep putting off. So without further ado, let me tell you about the tales of my two journeys.

First, The Backstory:

Mid 2015, I had beautiful hair – noticed I said I had. I remember getting my hair done August of that year and leaving the beauty shop feeling so good about how far my hair had come and being in love with how soft, silky and shiny it felt. I, of course like anyone else who just got their hair did; took care of it, made sure I washed it once a week and gave it a deep condition when needed. All things were good, at that time. By the time October came, I noticed my hair had taken a shift – it no longer looked healthy, as a matter of fact, it began to shed extremely bad. What was I doing wrong?. By December of 2015, the beautiful hair I once had – was now washing down the drain of my shower and clumped in my hand, so much hair came out until it looked like I had a glove on my hand. What happened was STRESS! Without going into details, I had started a new job and the turmoil I went through with that, finding a place to stay and “life happened” moments, caused my hair to come completely out. I was devastated…so, when I went back to work in January of 2016, I went back wearing a wig – A wig that had become my new look, my new signature style, my new me….

Fast forward to July of 2017 – I had worn that wig and a couple of others (because they were now my new mantra) up until about almost two months ago. I no longer wanted to wear the wigs anymore but because they had become such a part of my lifestyle, I was sorely afraid to go without one. My hair up under the wig was in no better shape than it was months and months prior and no matter how much I washed it, it still shed like crazy and continued to come out. So, on July 8, 2017 I woke up that morning (without giving it a second thought) took off my scarf, picked out my hair and CUT IT!

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Bye-Bye Hair – 7/8/2017

I felt liberated, relieved but scared all at one time. Okay, so I’ve never been that great at doing my hair – I failed miserably at the task. I was the one that by the time I went to the beautician, they would have to cut all my hair off and I would have to start from scratch all over again. After multiple times of this happening, I gave up on trying to style, curl or do anything to my hair. So when I cut it off….I was thinking, okay – so now what do I do. After, I cut it – I washed it and used a couple of products that I had. I could do this, I said to myself as I looked into the mirror….I really could DO THIS!!

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After the Big Chop – 7/8/2017

But that was short lived, I didn’t wear my hair like that to work because I was afraid of what people would say or think. (I have a story about that) so, let’s just say my first BC (BIG CHOP) didn’t go over so well with everyone as I was labeled as liking women…another story, for another time – let’s keep trucking along…

So, that was the stigma that I was facing and because of that – while I felt liberated in the bathroom behind closed doors – I felt trapped by the thoughts of others. And then, from the help of my daughter – while the front of my hair was looking good, I had totally shattered the back (see below), this was another reason for me wanting to keep the wig handy.

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Uh-Oh, YIKES!! 07/17/2017

But, while I was feeling self-conscious – my daughter said “Mama, do you like it?” after I told her Yes, she then proceeded to say “Well, who cares what other people think” Now while I know this for myself and preach it to other people, I had to get that little lesson from my 13yr old daughter whom made me realize, It’s okay to be me. Within 3 weeks of taking the picture above, my hair had began to grow back a little. (see below).

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Okay?, I See Progress!! 8/08/17

Let’s just say YOUTUBE, is the bomb and has helped me with my styling techniques. Some things worked and there were some that didn’t but Hey!, it’s all about experimenting, finding your own niche and making it work for you. Going Natural is hard work because you have to complete styles for your hair that are not “chemically” based. It’s sort of like taking your natural hair on a journey of discovery and finding out what works best. So far, I’ve come up with some pretty nice styles (see below)

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I will post every other month “maybe” about how this hair journey is going – It’s definitely a process but this time when it grows out, it’ll be healthy as well as strong.

So, now onto my other journey of exercise and prayer…..

Back in 2015 (seemed like the year of unfortunate events), I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. I had developed gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with my son, I was told by doctors that because of that; my chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future was very likely. So when I was told that I was pre-diabetic at a check-up, it didn’t come as a surprise. However; I still continued to eat what I wanted. This year, I was still diagnosed with pre-diabetes (Short Lesson: this means you’re not diabetic yet but a cupcake or a cookie from becoming a full blown one – okay, back to the story) and while I had the goal to exercise and do great things – I completely feel off the horse….BUT! for the past month, or well almost month (he he he, wink) I have been eating good things and have decided to do what I call the “Treadmill Chronicles” – This is where I get up at 5:45am in the morning and walk on the treadmill (that I literally begged God to give me, but really never used it) along with prayer. So while I’m walking it out for 30min, I’m also talking to God and praying for others in the process. Well, that’s my other journey….to get in good health and put the right things in this almost (clearing my throat) 30-something yr old body. PRAY FOR ME PLEASE!!! LOL!

Now that’s the tale of my two journeys – What new journeys are you on? Have you tried anything new? Are you currently thinking about doing something? Well, whatever it is and wherever your journey takes you too – Just remember, it’s your journey. You can’t do it for anyone but yourself and WHO CARES what people think or say. We only have one shot at life, so why aren’t we living like it.

#TakeAChance

#BeBold

#YourLifeIsCalling

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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Sunday’s Thought: Dust It Off And Get To Work

What have you put off recently or maybe last year that you promised yourself that you would re-visit. Was it a great Idea, A book, The Promise to finish school and further your career, Did you tell yourself that you were going to do that demo, but life picked you up and carried you away? How about that savings account, last year you said that you would have such and such amount saved by this time this year, but your account is still showing the same amount it did last year and that amount is only to keep it active and open.

Has your GREAT ideas been collecting dust?

dust

Yesterday, I was going through my flash drive and came across something that I started but did not finish, I started a book in 2013 and never revisited it until just yesterday, and THIS IS THE YEAR 2017!! Something that I told myself that I would work on consistently for a year fell flat about a month in and I had not picked it back up until 4yrs later.

What have you put off on the back burner and either forgot all about it or told yourself that you were going to achieve it or complete it and got half way in only to GIVE UP! on the goal you so eagerly wanted to complete. “Why continue putting off tomorrow what you can do NOW!!” Listen, life is short; too short for us not to complete the task that was put before us. I challenge you today to dust off that computer and get to writing that book, Dust off that treadmill and run again, Buy the tickets for that long awaited trip, Pick up the phone and call that person that you keep putting off calling, Lose that unwanted weight, follow your dreams on becoming whatever you want to be. Push yourself to the limit and make it happen..

No more should ‘a, could ‘a, would ‘a’s, I wonders, I wish I had of or where would I be right now, If I had only STARTED!. No worries because we all have places that we need to revisit, especially if they will push us forward to success.

leftover food

Revisit that place of stagnation, the place of “leftovers” and commit yourself to not only achieving but eating up and digesting the golden nuggets you left behind, It’s something good there, it’s just waiting on you to finish it up. I promise you’ll be glad you did. So while I dust off this book and continue to write until I finish it. What do you plan to do?

SIMPLE TIPS FOR GETTING BACK ON TRACK WITH YOUR PROJECTS

  • Set a Timer for yourself. We have these smart phones that can do almost everything under the sun for us, why not schedule a time (with a buzz) sort of like an alarm for yourself to work on your goal or project daily or monthly.
  • Sticky Notes. Okay, so they’re not small and yellow for nothing and their name fits them correctly “sticky” – meaning you can write down your goal or project and stick them all over the house, especially in the places where you visit the most or frequently. (ex. The Bathroom)
  • Accountability. Hey, if you have friends; put them to work! You’ve heard the saying “Teamwork makes the Dream-work” and if they’re really good friends they’ll help you remember your goals and push you toward completing your project.
  • Reminisce. Think about where you would be, the goals you would crush, the lives that would be changed only if you START & COMPLETE! Do you really want to go another month, year or years still stuck with the same mindset of “I wonder?”

We’re the Only Ones that Keep “US” back, You can follow the first 3 tips all you want but if you don’t pursue and take charge of what you want out of life, then it’s not those things fault; but yours.

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

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Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

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Vacation or Not – Ideas for the Small Budget

So, it’s officially summer and while the kids are out of school and you are off of work (or maybe not, if you’re like me) the question is “What are we Going to Do Now?”

At least that was my thoughts when my two children got out of school a month ago. Being a single mother of two children and one income, it’s hard to try and find outlets for not only yourself but for the kids to do during the summer on limited funds. Every camp sounded great, but was highly expensive; some were asking for more than $150.00 a week for only one child….YIKES!!!

And might I add, I started late this year in looking for summer camps for them to attend this summer (should’ve started in February), but there I was in May trying to get my kids in the local clubs around town along with a non-profit organizational camp, only to find out that they were already full and had a waiting list, that was as long as my grocery list (With having two kids, sometimes I feel as if I have to do two grocery list, one for them and one for me) long grocery list - helpeveryone knows that kids eat extremely more over the summer, especially if their just sitting at home with nothing else to do.

While my goal of getting them “active” this summer failed miserably, I had to come up with some common sense things that were fun and didn’t cost a lot of money for us to do together this summer. I don’t know about you, but I always want my kids to go back to school to talk about this “great” summer experience they had with their friends, I don’t want them to say “Well, I didn’t do anything this summer” because it’s the first thing people ask you, when you return either to school or to work whether from being off during the summer or taking a vacation – Everyone wants to know “How it Was” So, I set out to come up with economical ideas (a.k.a FREE) of things to do with the kids, so they’ll have a good story to tell their friends, it may not be the “I went to Disneyland or Six Flags themed story line” and that’s okay, because summer stories are all about having fun, no matter what your budget is or what you decide to do.

If your piggy bank is broken like mine, don’t fret – mend it up, because those pennies can and will come in handy or not. Listed below are the current things that I and my children are doing this summer – to make memories and maybe you’ll find either some humor or ideas for you and your little one’s or yourself in the mix. Let’s Go!!

INSIDE IDEAS

LET’S GET COOKING

Okay, so when I was younger my uncles, sisters and my aunt used to all get in the kitchen and make what we called “doughy cakes” we just took any ingredient that we could find in the cabinets and all tried to create the bPineapple drinkest tasting, I guess you could call them pancakes or flapjacks. We were in competition with each other to see who’s tasted the best. As I was growing up we didn’t have a lot of money and with Food Stamps only coming once a month – we didn’t have much food either to work with. So we became creative with what we had…needless to say, I never won those competitions but it was nice to just hang out with the family and create something special, even if it didn’t’ taste good. Maybe you can do this with your kids or yourself, find things to cook with minimal ingredients and cook it, I just made this wonderful drink with the help of my kids last week , I got the recipe from here – I just added mango in with the pineapple with the ice and Viola! We were instantly taken to the beach, it was also very delicious. This week we’re going to do the pineapple with blueberry and another with kiwi.

BOARD GAMES, ANYONE?

I can’t tell you how many board games we had growing up, from Chutes and Ladders, to Life, Monopoly, Jenga and the list goes on and on. Make time to have a game night one night with your family. I loved it when we would all gather around the table for a good game of Bingo and to sweeten the pot, my mom would go to the dollar store and pick up candy, in which she would reward to the winner if they won that round. She would put the prize in the middle of the table and if you won, you won that prize. It was fun and something I still cherish and remember today. So, dust off those games and get to playing.

NEED A HOME MAKEOVER?

While being inside can be a drab, it doesn’t have too – If you’re like me, I love changing my house around every season. I don’t go out and buy new things because I don’t have it like that, but moving a picture from one wall to the next and moving that couch around and re-arranging where everything is, can be exciting and refreshing. If you have kids, you can challenge them to change their room around and offer a prize to the best look or let them in on giving their opinion as to where and how the living room should look, you might be surprised at what they have to say or how creative they may be.

CHECK OUT THE COMMUNITY

While at home, you can hop on the internet or your phone and check out your community’s calendar and see what’s going on. Since it’s the summer time, you’ll be surprised at what things are happening just around the corner from you. And most of those things are “FREE” of charge (which is my type of language). I’m taking the kids to a free event in Raleigh, NC this weekend.

OUTSIDE IDEAS

GETTING WET

So, when I was a tween; we had the slip and slide. This was a long, yellow banana looking runner that when wet, you could run and just jump on it and slide down all the way to the end. We loved that thing, until we left it outside one summer and the neighbor told us he seen some kids running down the street with it. But that didn’t stop us, we would put on our bathing suits and just go outside and get wet, chasing each other down with the water hose. This was fun and exciting and may pose to be for you too. Give it a try…

LET’S TAKE A WALK – A TRAIL WALK

It wasn’t until this year that I got a chance to walk a walking trail and I loved it. It’s great to do by yourself or with the kids, walking through the woods or the veered path just made you feel one with nature. The kids loved it as they discovered funny looking rocks and turtles. It was also nice to sit on a log and look at the pond together. If they had their skates and/or bikes…you could make it a family event and walk or ride the trail together. It’s a great form of exercise as well as socialization, “no electronic devices allowed.” Try out a trail in your local community, you can even pack a lunch and sit and eat together.

A TRIP TO THE LIBRARY

I didn’t realize how many people actually go to the library. This is something that I love doing with my kids, in which is a good thing for them to do with being out of school to keep their reading going even during the summer, but the library has a lot to offer doing the summer such as book readings and other special projects and it’s all “FREE” of charge. Of course, my kids also like to go to use the Wi-Fi but it’s a great outing and while you’re there, you could find a book on something that you always wanted to do such as improving your business or making your life more simplified or your next great read – while the kids are doing their thing, you could be doing something for you too. Check out your local library and see what they have in store.

SAMPLE SHOPPING

Okay, so I hate to admit this but a lot of times me and the kids go to the store and look for samples to eat. (Don’t Judge Me). They love doing it and so do I, just recently we visited our local Publix Store in which just opened up and while I did want to look around the store, I was also checking out the samples. It’s just a little fun event that we do – we search for stores that have the best ones and off we go. No money required and you get a little treat. Can’t beat that…

There are also museum, aquariums and theme parks in which you can visit as well – Most are free to get in; there’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking and browsing. A little gas in the car and you can go anywhere you want, sometimes for FREE.

Whatever you decide to do, make the most of your family time. Enjoy the small things and don’t fret about the big ones. So, get out that phone and start taking pictures of the small events that you do with your family and make a scrap book labeled “Summer of 2017” – Looking back on those pictures will bring a smile to your face a year from now and create family bonds that will last a lifetime. Remember, it’s all about making memories and that doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you’re having fun with the ones you love the most. Now that’s #PRICELESS

For even more deals and Ideas, Check out the links below:

Free Eats for the Kids! – If you put where you live in, it will populate local eateries where the kiddies can eat for free. I found out that both my kids can eat free at Captain D’s everyday as long as I purchase an adult meal.

Still Bored? Check out this list for even more ideas to plan your summer story…

For Even more deals – Check out Groupon, it’s the BOMB DIGGITY BOMB! (Don’t know if people still say that, but it sounded good)

 

Roshonda N. BlackmonCreator of JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud & Love Hard!

** ** **

Feel free to comment or email us @ justsuminspiration@gmail.com

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