Social Media and Politics

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Today is September 1, 2020 and the USA has 62 days and counting until the election of the next President of the United States. This is not going to be a political post, as to which candidate is the best for the job, this blog is about “US” the ones that suffer thru the endless political rants and memes that clutter our social media feed.

I can not possibly be the only one – no it has to be many more people like me that every 4 years there is a “Purge” of your Social Media contacts during elections. Now, I am a little older so I don’t have an endless amount of people as my Social Media “Friends” and, out of those, about 30 percent are actually really close friends or family members. These “friends” are the same ones you see at the office each and every day and sign up for the office pot luck to bring your very best dip, talk about your kids, the antics of the family pets and share vacation pics. What about the long lost high school classmates that you share the fondest memories of your school years, the cheering of the football team, sharing the news of getting your driving license, prom and all of the funny stories that are stored in your memory box and year books. Let’s not speak of the church friends that you see weekly, join small groups with and have the best of times uplifting each other. How can these same people turn into theses radical commentators about their opinions on the elections, the candidates and political parties????? What in the world happens during election time????? Now, do not get me wrong, it is nothing wrong with having political opinions or any others and having the freedom of sharing it via your own social media account, not what I am eluding to at all BUT does it have to be so vicious and nasty toward others just because we have a difference of opinion and do they not realize that we can see their feed.

OK, I have just finished my day of errands, work and dinner preparation and I just want to click on my social media feed, scroll and catch up on people lives…. you know the normal stuff…funny kids pics, who dared to update their status to single, in a relationship, engaged, vacation pics, critic your friends as you shake your head at the screen thinking “bless their little hearts they had no one to tell them that all outfits in the store are not made for everyone” before they posted that photo that we can all quietly, in our homes, pass judgement on Before you head over to Tik Tok to get your evening chuckles and then THERE IT IS one of the friends that, YES, I accepted their friend request saying that the second coming of Christ is going to happen on November 4th if we elect this or that candidate, that if you are a part of one or the other political party that you must be an idiot and is a part of the “Left” that well have your name sketched in the Books of Hell that you assisted in the ending of the world. These are the same people that you have been out to dinner with and you assume that they have some small idea of the person that you are. These same people are posting memes stating that “ALL” people of a certain race, political party or gender should be placed in one giant category together. What happens every 4 years???

Sometimes, I think that the innocence of our beautiful kids should be allowed to make the rules. Everyone that has been “good” gets to vote. There is a rule that the ones that have been placed in time out (jail) can’t vote depending on how many stars you have on the teacher’s board. The popular vote wins!!! It does not matter if you are in Mr. Jones’ Math Class (live in the city) or Mrs. Turner’s Science Class (live in the suburbs) you can still vote. None of the students from Mr. Jones’s Class (city) will venture out to Mrs. Turner’s class (suburbs) and destroy the classroom – all the kids are the same. If you were absent because you tricked your parents into believing that you were sick, but actually you didn’t completed your science project, you can send an absentee ballot via the office (mail) and it will still be counted. We will not allow the students that have the honor of wearing the coveted yellow sash as the hall monitors (Police) trip or push (police brutality) students that they do not like because of the color of their t-shirts (race) get away with it without being sent to the principal’s office (authority) to be handled which also included the dreaded call to your parents – while they are at work, to say the least, to let them know you are in trouble. Who wants that!!!!

I truly know that this is a very important election and maybe one of the most important votes that our country has had in a long time. I know the power that each and every one of us have in voting, I urge you to take advantage of it, but I just wanted to take a brief moment to make light of how behind the key strokes of our smart phones and laptops that we find it necessary to tear down our fellow man via social media. Can it be that this is how one truly feels and just afraid to say it to someone’s face. The bigger question is why are we afraid and, most importantly, of what and maybe…….just maybe, if we just spoke to each other, we can work thru those feeling of fear. I find it necessary to fast from social media from time to time to keep my mind on what all is good in America and also the things that are wrong and how we can work together to make it better.

May you have a long and blessed life.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Tricia

Masks

strong black woman mask – Randi B.

At about 4:00PM, I realized that I had not started dinner but most importantly, I did not have, want or had the energy to chop, diced or stand over the stove to prepare dinner before my husband got home. My go-to meal when I am in this mood is a delicious rotisserie chicken from my local grocery store and bagged salad, placed on the plate, like I did it myself (smile). It is quick, easy and always turns out great. As I parked my car and hustled inside the market, I am not sure why but I was taken aback by all of the “masked” face shoppers that I saw (I am very appreciative, that in my area – everyone is  complying with wearing a mask). For some reason, I had an overwhelming sense of sadness as I pushed my cart to gather my items that this is our “new normal”. As I walked thru the Market, I could not see any smiles on faces only a mask of what is to come.

On Friday or Saturday nights when it comes to our Family movie selection, I seem to always get beat out. My idea of a weekend movie night is a great heart wrenching romantic movie….OK, we don’t have to go as far as the Hallmark Holiday movies, which by the way, I am that Chick that watches them from November to the end of December. But my husband and daughter seem to always select a Zombie movie or some apocalyptic dooms day movie where the cast, who is is dire need of a hot shower and shampoo/condition treatment, spend the entire movie raiding the now empty super markets and fighting zombies or some alien that wants to take over our world. I say all of this to say I miss seeing smiling faces along with all the other simple things that unfortunately we took for granted like the summer concerts, eating out, travel. etc.

But what it really made me think about is the Mask that we wear daily. The mask that “I am well” when really we are screaming with every fiber that we can muster that we feel alone and sometimes it it too much to bear. We wear the mask of trying to compete with the “social media lives” of our “so called’ Facebook or Instagram friends, which by the way is shot with a lot of filters – which is just another term for masks. What about the mask of hiding dark secrets of childhood abuse, date rape, not feeling that you are enough. I am guilty of wearing a mask to my former job, smiling in the endless meetings, when really I could see myself literally walking out, throwing files on the conference table as Johnny Paycheck sings loud and clear “You can take this job and shove it” but instead I worked for a paycheck so that I could have all of those “things that is SUPPOSE to make me happy” instead of actually enjoying my life and family. The mask of “If I could only” lose weight, make more money, live in a certain neighborhood, have the right friends….that maybe, just maybe, everyone else would THINK I am enough.

It is time for us to remove all of the masks and show our faces. If you need help, call a trusted friend or a professional to seek help. Mental health is so important and especially today even with our precious children that may not understand or how to verbalize what is going on. I am not afraid to say that I get a little depressed sometimes, when I see the tally of the deaths that keep rising from Covid-19, racial unrest, unemployment and families on the breaking point of having to swallow their pride and ask for help for food and money due to the unemployment from Covid-19. The Moms and Dads that are homeschooling their kids, they are challenged with the unknown of how to ensure that their children will receive the proper education. When will this be over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let’s not even get on the topic of the upcoming Presidential elections and the postal service debacle. Sometimes I have to turn off the news – take a deep breath, pray, meditate, read a great book and listen to music to find my way back to me.

Let’s be brave and start to peel away the mask.

Don’t Be Afraid to Let Go

letting-go-hands | Ethereal Wellness Counseling

Today is a brand new day! Another opportunity to start fresh. Before I start my day, I awake with prayers and reading both inspirational and from the Bible. Today, I had a great sense of relief on the thoughts that it is OK to let go and walk away. It is always hard for a majority of people to “let go” of relationships, friendships, careers, material things etc. As, I am trying to figure our my path in our “New Existence” I realize that some of the routines of what was is a big relief to walk away from.

  • Working for someone else or a company that doesn’t really respect all of your talents with the deserved financial rewards. I worked in Sales in an Industry that you given a Million Dollar per quarter sales goal for “some one else / company” and receive a bonus check of a fraction of that and I mean a very low fraction. If I could do this successfully for a company – I could do this for myself and not be subject to hours and days away from my Family.
  • Friends or what you wished and hoped to be friends but when you take some time away you realize that true friendship does not go hand in hand with negativity, bashing others and competition….I am happy to run away from them and focus on my true friendships and family.
  • I truly believe that more entrepreneurs are going to be born out of this situation and work from home opportunities. Studies are in that we as a people have been just as or more productive working from the comfort of our homes and spending more time with our families.
  • Stronger Families – although at times you may find yourself thinking “I have spent more time with Family to hold me over for a few years”. I get so much pleasure seeing my neighbors on a random weekday having picnics on the front lawn, neighborhood ride thru birthday parties and graduations. Yep, we are the neighborhood crew that decorate our cars to celebrate 8 year old birthdays and our graduating seniors. I have actually meet more neighbors and had enjoyable “social distance” conversations from the lawns….by the way, I have been in my neighborhood almost 2 years and while working so much did not know anyone by name. I also LOVE my husband more and more each day…it is hard to explain but with me working so much, I must admit, I did not come home daily and cook, do his laundry and all the small things that our Mothers did for our Dads. Now do not get me wrong..I am that modern, college educated, six-figure making Woman and proud of it. But, I also remember as a little girl, my Mother would come home each and every day to prepare my Daddy’s dinner, pack his lunch for the following day, and just took care of my Daddy and her seven kids….yes! I said seven, I a come from a big Southern Family. I love that my husband did not even flinch when I told him I was laid off due to Covid-19 and not sure when I would go back to work. I am very grateful for him and for this – he deserves to be taken care of.
  • Material items – I realize that I do not need another article of clothing or makeup, to be very honest, in my quest to organize and purge I am somewhat embarrassed that I have so many clothes, of course, I chalk it up to being in Sales and always entertaining clients and traveling for work….I have an excuse for my online shopping. I have not had on a pair of heels since March and for some reason my Senior Sales wardrobe is now comfy work out clothes (to be more specific – I have a set of 4 comfy selections that I really love and will turn the washing machine on to just wear my favorites). We eat-in and make some creative meals that we sit at the dinner table and enjoy “together” actually having conversations with each other. My husband is still working as an Engineer and within a few months without our travel (which I miss so much we had to reluctantly walk away from our Hawaii trip among others this year) and not eating out – we may just pay our house off in another 1 – 2 years. WHAT!!!??? THAT IS INSANE that we spend that much money.
  • Compassion – my prayer is America and all other nations have compassion for all of the Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, brothers, sisters and children that we have had to say a distant good-bye to due to Covid-19. To the many families that are facing hardship due to the lost of wages, the parents that are working so hard to home school their children with no to little guidance. I hope that we empathize and help our fellow man more.

Letting go can be scary but sometimes necessary.

Starting Over

I can’t believe that it was March 2020 that I was notified that the World as we knew it would be completely turned upside down due to Covid-19. Like a large number of Americans, I was in the casualty of losing my job. Now, I am going to be completely honest, the job that I lost was the same job that I have dreamed of leaving for the past few years; full of high demands and held my life hostage from 7:00AM to 7:00PM Monday – Friday. To say the least, I needed a change.

I am so ready to to start a new career but this time I want to enter the world of entrepreneurship. I have been using this time wisely, working on myself, strengthening my Spiritual walk with God, eating better and working on being a better wife and mother. I have also taken a Real Estate class and will be taking my class final the end of August. I am very excited about becoming a Realtor, I actually studied and received my real estate license 16 years ago and being a single Mom at the time, I needed a more reliable income. As I look back over that period in my life, I think I was afraid of the challenge of relying only on commission and to be completely honest – I did not believe in myself that I could do it. In other words, I talked myself out of following my dream. Now as I am older, more confident in myself and capabilities I am going to “DO IT” this time around. I just need to buckle down and study to pass my class final which will then be followed by the State final.

I would love to hear if during this time if you are starting over and making changes in your life…whether it is career, home, family, spiritual. I am sure I am not the only one that is going to be “successful” at Starting Over.

The Day I lost my Mother

My Mother holding my daughter’s hand a few weeks before her death

All this week, I have felt such a heaviness in my heart and spirit coming up to May 6th – this was the last day that I spent with my Mother. May 6th of 2017 was on a Saturday, it was such a busy week and I was exhausted mentally and physically. My Mother had been ravaged by Alzheimer’s  for about 5 years and it seemed to attack with such quiet calculation with the goal to completely engulf my Mother’s whole being of the Woman, Wife and Mother that she once was. It may have begun before the 5 years when it quietly and ever so gently began letting her forget names, places and key events and we of course chalked it up to getting old and then it slowly started creeping into her precious memory bank and quietly taking days, weeks, months and then years away – erasing her seven children from her mind. At last, that was not good enough for the this unwanted visitor and adversary, Alzheimer,decided to ravish her frail body taking her ability to walk, talk, swallow and lastly to breath…..

On this Saturday morning, I received The Call, the one I had been expecting for a few weeks. It was around 7:00AM and the phone rang. The sound was so loud that it seemed as thought it could be heard throughout  the house. I wasn’t frazzled as people get when they have an early or late night call. Before I could even grab the phone that lay on the nightstand beside my bed…I knew what it was about and what the message would be. It was my oldest sister, that had so graciously moved back to our small south Georgia town 3 years ago to be with our Mother because she could no longer live alone anymore. She was speaking but I only grasped the words that I felt was important,; the nurse, it is time and everyone should come home. I remember saying I am on my way and will be there in 3 to 4 hours – the time I needed to grab a few things and drive from Atlanta to my childhood home. I called my baby girl, all of 24 years old but still my one and only baby, who usually provides me with 2 choices for early morning calls either to not pick-up or a snarling growl. This morning was different – she answer on the 2nd ring and her voice was so clear. With as much calmness as I could muster up I stated we have to go home to say good bye to your Grand Mother and with such strength she said “Mommy I will be ready in 15 minutes” no questions just I will be ready. The next call was to my “sister niece” we are 6 years apart so we have more of a sister relationship. This girl will be late for her funeral, I actually think she invented the word late. This morning like myself – I think she was also waiting on “The Call” with a calm voice she just stated I will be ready when you come over – let’s go.

Our drive home was as normal as we could make it. We were entertain by my 4 year old niece – the daughter of my “sister niece” who like any other 4 year old – talked insanely too much with such innocence and joy; a stop at Chick-Fil-A for breakfast; discussions on the entertainment and current politics and sing alongs from the radio and my R&B selections via CD. All of this was a large mask to keep us from breaking down – we knew we would have several opportunities for this upon our arrival. We just needed to be calm until we could make it home.

I had visited my Mom and sister about 3 weeks earlier but upon opening the back screen door that had that distinct squeaking sound I was not prepared for the vision of my Mother laying in her hospital bed that resided in the Family den. My oldest sister greeted us at the door with exhaustion all over her face. As I hugged her I could tell she had lost weight due to the stress of caring for my Mother – she was doing her best to keep it together. In just 3 weeks, my Mother’s already frail frame had reduced to skin and bones, her mouth did not completely closed as thought this was the only way that air could engulf her body. Her skin color had changed and what I will always remember is the sound of her breathing, which was a low rumble. That was it – I could not hold it together any longer, the pretending was over from the drive. My Family was in the thick of it…it was her last day and we had to say good-bye. We just cried and cried, I so hated to see my daughter crying and experiencing her first death of someone from her immediate family but I could not hold or console her because I had reverted back to a child and was aching from my soul.

We all took turns talking to her, rubbing her hands and whispering with all of the confidence that we had the strength to say that “we will be fine, go ahead relax and let go – join Daddy”. I prayed for God to send angels to comfort her and make this a smooth process but she held on throughout the day. We all gathered in the Den and watched movies, sent a family member out to grab hot dogs and fries from our favorite hometown shack because it certainly isn’t a restaurant, but the food is so darn good. We reminisced over old family stories of Mamma and my Sweet Daddy that left us in 1989. I felt as thought she could hear us, that she laughed with us….I am confident that she knew that we were there. As the darkness of night came upon us and our bodies and spirits allowed exhaustion to settle in. Our den became a girls sleep over we put on our pajamas and rushed to claim a sofa or comfortable chair to sleep in the Den near Mamma. We watched Lifetime movies, emptied the cupboards of junk food to try to stay awake and we all took turns staying awake while the others slept. I am comforted that my Mother had her last duty as a Mother….she just quietly waited us out as all good Moms do….she knew we would eventually lose the battle to sleep. At 3:13AM on Sunday morning, my sister woke to go to the bathroom but as she passed by my Mother’s hospital bed. She touched my mother’s still warm hand and placed her fingers to her nose and mouth and realized that she was no longer on this earth with us. My Sister’s voice with such calmness said “she’s gone”. I envision that my mother’s spirit rose up and she smiled as she saw us sleeping like little kids on the floor, in the sofa and in the big chair and she let go. She let go of the pain, darkness and feeling of being in the world of strangers. She walked in the arms of God and in my mind my Daddy .

May 6, 2017 was the last day I spent with my Mother.

The lost of a parent can be so devastating and leaves a hole in your soul. Please feel free to comment if you would like to share your comments or thoughts and I hope you enjoy the read.

Loving Myself

I can only speak for myself but it has been 45 days since I have been home and not working due to Covid-19. I am only one of the millions that has been thrust into the pool of unemployment. I am surprised that I was not as upset to be laid off. After the initial shock of realizing that it was not a dream or should I say a nightmare, I have adjusted like a summer rain…at first the droplets of my life seem to fall slow as I stayed up late watching movies and woke up at 11;00 AM with no guidance or plan for my day. After a few weeks the rain started to come down slowly as I began to at least considered all the things that I could do with this time that I have never had the luxury of enjoying, I started taking walks about 2 or 3 days a week and coming up with a plan. For the past 2 weeks, I feel the summer rain on my face as I am in full bloom – I began to increase my walks to daily and now I have a jog thru out the neighborhood and have lost 7-10 pounds; planted peppers, tomatoes, a variety of lettuce and herbs; organized my closet and prepared donation bags. Funniest thing I have started a YouTube channel (secretly – I have always wanted to but was afraid). My next goal is to start reading and writing more. I love music and I have discovered some really great jazz artist like Robert Glasper to relax and dream to.

I realize now that I am very lucky to have this time to recharge and refocus myself. Yes, that is what I just typed – focus on ME. I do not have to worry about work, making my clients or Director happy. I can just run thru the summer rain freely. Like those cute social media posts of the 3 year old jumping in the puddles….that’s me. It took me a few weeks to realize this but now that the light is on. I am really enjoying my cup of coffee in the morning – not guzzling it down rushing to drive an hour to work. I am perusing book titles to cuddle up and read or play the audible versions while I am playing in the soil planting vegetables and herbs to mix with my “chef like” meals that I am creating. I am smiling and enjoying my runs while my body becomes stronger and healthier. I am enjoying picking up the phone and actually talking to Family and Friends instead of the occasional text.

I am wrapping my arms around myself and falling more and more in Love with the Woman that I am today.

I do not take this gift lightly, I once was the young single Mom living barely paycheck to paycheck so my prayers are with them and all of the precious lives and Families affected by Covid-19.

Would love to hear how you are loving and being my thoughtful and caring to YOU during Covid 19. Please drop a note via email or comment.

P

Recharge

It is 12:00AM on Monday, April 13th, lavender oil diffuser sending relaxing and calming breezes thru out the air aiding in me to relax and prepare for another day. Since I have not been going to work I have been staying up later (I am somewhat of a night owl anyway).

I am amazed that I have spent Easter Sunday all day in my home. I am a Southern Girl, from South Georgia, where Easter is a major event. Annual church Easter Egg hunts with colored eggs donated by each Family. A southern cookout that makes my mouth water even as I think of it today. Barbecue chicken, baby back ribs (as I have updated my diet – I no longer eat beef – OK with the exception of when I have a overwhelming desire for a great beef burger), southern potato salad (there is a difference), Angel eggs (you may call them Devil eggs), delicious cakes and everything that a southern barbecue has to offer. Sunday Church serviced with the ladies in their big fancy hats that you have to make sure that you do not sit behind them in church or you will not have a good view of the Sunday service. This year it was Church service online in my pajamas with coffee.

I always try my very best to see the glass half full instead of half empty. I am really trying do this in our new era of Covid-19. I am a Christian and I hope that this does not turn some people off and make you stop reading. I don’t apologize for this but I realize in the world that we live in today tht some people do not believe in God or a higher power. I have to and need to believe that this is the time that God has given me and our world to Recharge and renew our focus. I am in Sales and what comes along with that is that I am always on the Go. Up at 5:30 AM to read and meditate followed by two cups of coffee, getting ready and jumping in the car to make the 50 minute (this is on a good day – I have had days that I have been in my car for 1 hour and 30 minutes or more) drive to the city to make sure that I am ready for a daily 8:30AM meeting followed by contract negotiations, prospecting, conference calls, site visits, client entertainment events, meeting and then leaving the office around 6:00 or 6:30 PM or later for the 45 to 50 minute drive back home. On top of this, second quarter is also my busiest business travel month – I usually have 3 or 4 travel trips to D.C, Chicago and and an array of trade shows to try to secure clients. To be very honest, I am taking a very deep breath and I am so glad that I am not on the road, not attached to my work cell phone, not rushing down the expressway to get to work and not having the pressure of achieving a million dollar quarterly goal. I am actually relieved. Please do not think that I am happy about Covid-19 and the tragic effect that it has caused to our country and world. I pray for the families and friends that have lost love ones and I cannot respect and appreciate the doctors, nurses and essential workers that have been on the front lines making the sacrifices to ensure our safety.

I do feel like this is a time for ME to love myself, take time for myself, relax ( this is the most time I have been off since the summer of my 15 year of life. I got a summer job at Wendy’s at 16 years old and I have been working ever since) focus on what is important to me and my life. My Faith, my husband, my daughter and Family and Friends….I actually want do something in this next chapter of my life that I really really enjoy and feel like I am impacting the world. I am recharging……….

Please send me a note or email if you have similar feelings or even contradicting emotions on this topic. I would love to hear from you and start a conversation, until next time.

Stepping Out

Monday, March 16, 2020 was a normal day, at least I thought it would be.   Alarm going off at 5:15AM, snooze until 5:30AM…not sure why I don’t just change the darn alarm until 5:30AM but I always have this grand idea that I am going to wake up to do yoga (Ok, I don’t actually do yoga but I watch it online with high hopes that I can get smaller without doing a lot of cardio).  I grab a cup of coffee cuddle up in the “She Room” and read my online Bible to get me prepared for whatever the day has in store for me.  I get dressed, listening to my inspirational Pandora station, makeup and business suit and jump into my car for my 50-minute drive to the city.

This morning I have a Breakfast meeting with a Client, we will call her Gloria, that I really need to secure to get closer to my enormous Sales Goals.  On a separate note, the world as we know it has quietly been changing in the past few weeks by COVID-19.  I have had client’s cancelling their contracts and by watching the News – either the world is ending, or I woke up in one of my husband’s horrible movies that he is always watching.  My Breakfast meeting went very well, I felt good about my chances of securing this account. We had great chemistry, we discussed business but also COVID-19, our Faith, Family and what will be the fate of our wonderful, not without blemishes, world as we know it.   I finished my meeting went back to my office to prepare a nice note and send some follow-up responses to Gloria before I could press send on my laptop the General Manager came into my office, which he rarely ever crosses my office threshold. and said “Tricia, I am sorry – we are going to have to let you go.”  In my head, I am trying to decipher if he is joking or being serious, unfortunately when he mentions that the Director of Human Resources would be by shortly it sunk in that I was the next casualty of the economic downfall that the US was suddenly in and I was truly being furloughed.

I have not been without a job since I was 16 years old since my first job at Wendy’s.  I am a mature (we will talk about age later) woman without a job!!!!! This is real, what the heck am I going to do.   But, after calling my husband and finishing out my day at the office, yes, I worked until 5:45PM and drove my 50 minutes back to the burbs.  Waking up the next morning, I thought how could this happen to me and by the time I had my coffee, watched the news and received messages from my industry colleagues…I realized that I was not the only one in this sinking boat.   The upside down of my world in just a matter of short days made me think about what my next steps in life would be.  I have a gentle calmness about me that I draw from my relationship with God so I am not worried about bills or losing my home, thank goodness for my husband and recent desire to save.  But, what if I actually Stepped out and did some of those things that I always wanted to do, afraid to do, didn’t think that anyone would listen if I tried to do them.  What if I STEP OUT.