The Season of Cancellation by Chellyz View

Canceled

The Season of Cancellation by Chellyz View

I woke up one day and felt like major events disappeared. Can you believe it? At this moment, there will be no proms or send-offs, graduations, senior trips, baby showers, weddings or receptions, shopping for that new Easter (Resurrection) Day outfit, most likely the school year, and the Auto Show. Ok, you know what I am trying to say. Canceled!!!

What a difference a day, a season, or a whole moment makes! I was excited. Not one, two, but I had three trips planned this year, not including the one recently taken in the ATL. In February before the widespread pandemic, the children and I went to Georgia to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 40th and nephew’s 17th birthdays!!!! Feeling a little nervous at the time, we still took the trip with prayer in my heart and hope in my head that the Holy Spirit would protect us on the journey. Thankfully, we made it, but the war on Covid-19 is still raging.

The enemy is attacking, and the number of casualties on the battlefield keeps rising. I keep hearing Hot Spot. Hot Spot. Detroit is a Hot Spot. Not too long ago, we were becoming one of the hottest spots as it related to regrowth in certain areas. That’s up for another discussion. Cobo Hall, now known as the TCF Center, is being transformed into a temporary hospital to house the sick and shut-in. I am trying to shut out the news and my addiction to scrolling through social media because a Sistah is getting Anxious.

As this goes on, I am thinking about how I keep hearing canceled. What about people who need treatment for ongoing illnesses? What about people who might be experiencing a Heart Attack, Stroke, or need immediate attention. You can call 911, but they ain’t trying to take you to the hospital. They stress you don’t want to go if you don’t need to. So what happens when you are sick, but it may not be related to the Cov?

What else is going on in the world? Did all other situations, crimes, and so on and so on stop? What about bills? Don’t worry! Right? I hear you need to call and make payment arrangements. Evictions are temporarily put to a halt. Cell phones and internet services are not being disconnected at this time. Utilities are not supposed to be touched. What will happen eventually? Will are debts be canceled, and we start from zero?

Businesses are closing. Will many survive? For example, damn the ones that did stay afloat on Detroit’s Westside Avenue of Fashion from the recent construction feel like they are drowning once again. Who will make it through? Employers are laying off. That means some paychecks are canceled. This is some historical ish, and I don’t like the look or smell of it. Hey, we don’t want to face tough times, but it’s something we must go through to be more humble, rediscover our purpose, and understand the Divine Plan.

Well, though this is the season of Spring, it feels like the Season of Cancellation. Right now, I am canceling out Corona and demanding once it’s gone that it never returns. I know the clouds are hovering over the universe, and people feel this is a losing battle. However, I need you to cancel those negative thoughts. Those of us left are soldiers who must continue to fight!!!! Affirmative!!!!

New beginning

After all of this, please believe There’s a Higher Power!!!!! All that is happening is going to be canceled out. If you need to break down and cry out for a minute, please do so!!!!!! Hell, the Earth is hurting, but we must do our part to ensure this thang gets canceled. This is the Season of Cancellation!!! However, once it’s over, be ready to welcome the cycle of New Beginnings. Be Blessed!!!!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

What the Hell You Mean Stay Home? by Chellyz View

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What the Hell You Mean Stay Home! by Chellyz View

A few weeks before the “Stay at Home” mandate, which means only leave out for essential business, I was feeling too busy! Every day after work, there was something to be done. My son had rehearsals, and my daughter had appointments. I attended meetings here and there for personal development, the new semester of my weekly Biblical Bible Class was beginning, off to an empowering event, outings with a few friends, and there were extracurricular workshops for the kids on an early Saturday morning. That’s the shortlist. I told a few of my co-workers; I needed a moment to rest and take a break from all the extras in life. Who knew it would happen like this! Suddenly, the whole world was disrupted. This terrifying nightmare isn’t what I imagined, planned, or ordered.

When I had the opportunity to work remotely from home and slow down a bit, I wasn’t bothered. I am at a place where I love being in company with myself.  I enjoy streaming and watching a movie or mini-series with the help of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime with or without the Fam. I act a fool while having my private dance parties jamming to Classic R & B, Trap Music, the latest hits, or Old Skool Hip Hop. I debate with the online radio as I consume the information. Let me not forget my participation in Praise and Worship services by watching Kingdom on Facebook, googling a sermon online, or listening to some Good Ol’ Gospel Music to Lift My Spirits. As you can see, I didn’t have a difficult time adjusting because I can be an introvert at heart. However, this is not the case for everyone!

The Stay at Home Order could be a life sentence for many. The order can be very depressing and challenging for those who don’t know how to rest, deal with loneliness, trying to escape abuse, or may not have a place of their own to call home. Yes, some people don’t have a home to stay in.  This order can be overwhelming by not being able to socialize with others in the outside world, and you may feel isolated while working from home. Seniors who are homebound may feel helpless. Students are missing their teachers and peers. Well, maybe not the students who felt bullied at school or the personnel suffering from burnout. Young folks want to be young and live their best life. In times like these, we must be creative and obedient when the order is to “Stay Home,” if possible!!!!

If you need fresh air, open a window. I am going to sit on my back porch (not in a large group). If you feel lonely, phone a friend, start a group chat, or contact a distant or elderly relative. Keep a journal. Color. Do a crossword puzzle. Read a magazine or a book. Oh, you can talk to other members of your household. Exercise. From a spiritual perspective, read the Word!!!! Play board games. Organize. Find a free online class. For those who live alone, find virtual meetings that might pique your interest. Call a hotline if you feel you can’t cope. Ask for resources. Senior apartment building managers develop a phone buddy list for neighbors to check on each other.

I know there are many activities we can do to keep our minds right, but follow the rules and only go outside if you must. I know there are the front line and essential workers that don’t have the option to stay home. I am praying for your safety. I am forever thankful for your service. Too many precious lives have succumbed to this devastating illness.

Doors Closed

Yes, I know this is not going to last forever. I have hope. I try to be as cautious as I can when I must go to the store. The hub doesn’t have the option to stay home, and he still must go to work. I replace Fear with Faith. Yet, let me be honest. I have moments when I feel afraid or burdened with grief because I hear of an individual dying, a loved one is suffering, or someone else sharing a story of how this disease invaded their lives. I fervently pray that Covid-19 doesn’t show up at my door.

Many lessons are being revealed. We must learn to listen, pay attention, and guess what? Do something many of us don’t know how to do. Stay Home! We will find out how disconnected we are in our lives because we have been connected to what we thought was important. As stated in an earlier post, this lesson is more profound than just washing our hands. It is a lesson about how the Earth is being cleansed from selfishness, greediness, disobedience, and understanding we should not idolize material things.

Our biggest enemy is ourselves. Many of us don’t want to follow the rules. We want to be above the law. How dare anyone tell us what to do. Many continue to congregate in large crowds, people are coughing on produce as a joke, some megachurches are still holding Sunday Services, and there are other examples where we won’t stop moving. We won’t listen. The Holy Spirit, or what you believe in, is trying to tell us to be still, take heed, and become more disciplined. Once we learn how to do this, then the process of true healing will begin in this nation!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

RESOURCES:

https://detroitmi.gov/departments/detroit-health-department/programs-and-services/communicable-disease/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.mi211.org/get-help/crisis-services

https://psychcentral.com/lib/depression-hotline-numbers/

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/03/15/list-food-services-provided-for-children-students-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Featured Image:  Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

My Mane Journey as a 4C Girl by Chellyz View

 

Pic Earrings

My Mane Journey as a 4C Girl by Chellyz View

Changing the Narrative as a 4C Girl 

The journey of being a natural hair girl in the D has been a roller coaster ride for myself. My hair has been described as coarse, think, and untamed. Several years ago, I learned the category for my hair is 4c, which means I have very tight coils. In my younger years, being a 4C Girl led to being teased for having unmanageable nappy hair. Thankfully, the negative connotation of that statement is transforming into something beautiful. 4C Girls are embracing their hair across the nation! From the workplace, pool, gym, and beyond, we are representin’ and lovin’ on our hair more than evahhhhhhhh!

The fierce war of battling and embracing my kinks over the decades had me feeling emotions of imprisonment to appreciating the joys of hair freedom. As a young girl, I had my woes of getting my hair done. I collected countless tears that left a bucket full of fond memories from breaking multiple hair combs to having my hair straightened by pressing combs.

 

One of my spiritual sisters stated, “I must be related to Jesus.” Her reasoning behind the statement was my hair felt like wool. One of my cousins who used to French braid my wild mane told me my hair was thick enough to cut her fingers. Also, hairdressers have said my hair would burn the tips of their fingers because it held an abundance amount of heat. At that time, I didn’t realize the Holy Spirit designed my hair to match my strength for the challenging days ahead called LIFE.

Taming My Head as a Child

 

Who ensured my head was combed daily as a child? That lucky person was my aunt! My mom had already realized doing hair was not her gift. It was neither mine until my late 20s. My aunt had her hands full because I was a tender-headed child who looked like cousin “IT” from The Addams Family after a wash and blow-dry. For many years, she was skillful at taming my wild hair. My coils would be brushed and parted by my aunt then decoratively styled with colorful barrettes and ponytail holders.

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Getting my hair pressed as a child wasn’t always Cheerful!!!

Eventually, my mom and aunt decided to take me to the long-gone Debbie’s Beauty School on Gratiot near East Seven Mile Road in Detroit. One day they found a beauty shop just for kids known as Some Place Special on West Seven Mile Road near Evergreen. They had toys, baby dolls, and patient beauticians who had the magic touch to keep my coils under control.

The Culture of Hair in the Community

As I grew older, I realized hair was more than a culture in our community. It’s an experience. Hair has always been a “thing” in Detroit. My city is called the Hair Capital of the World. We hosted many infamous “Hair Shows and “Hair Wars.” Detroit is where people emphasize the phrase “Fried, Dyed, and Laid to the Side.” We are well known for the vast amount of local beauty and barbershops that are a few miles apart from one another. You can always find a neighborhood beautician or barber beautifying or cutting hair in their home with their workstation situated inside the kitchen or basement. I had my share of trial and error of trying to find the right beautician to style my head or accommodate my schedule due to balancing work, children, and extracurricular activities.

Oh yeah! I was always trying to figure out what I should do with my hair. I cut it a few times, let it grow back, permed it, rocked braids and wigs, wore sew-ins, braid outs and twists outs. Over 13 years ago, I decided to go natural. However, one summer, the humidity won, and I asked the hairdresser to dump that creamy white substance in my head asap! Weeks later, I felt guilty after perming my head. After that incident, I vowed to stay natural forever. That was several years ago.

Deciding to Initiate the Loc Journey 

Well, it’s a new century! What’s happening as I continue to discover my hair passage to independence? After contemplating for at least eight years, I decided to Loc my hair! Before making the decision, I had randomly asked 100 strangers, read 200 articles, spoke with several people I know who have Loc’d their hair, watched 75 YouTube videos, browsed Pinterest and Instagram for 1,000 hours, and made the ultimate decision. Most people know I exaggerate, but that is how it felt.

Anyway, it was time to Loc these Locks! At first, I was going to have Sisterlocs installed, but that ordeal fell through. I lost $50 from a consultation fee, but that is another story. I reached out to another Loctitian on Facebook Messenger and left a phone message. I never received a response. Therefore, I stopped reaching out because I didn’t want to feel like a stalker.

Embracing My Loc Venture

New Locs

After finishing My Locs with two-strand twists

I was eager to start my Loc journey. So, on Sept. 22 through Sept. 23, 2019, I joined forces with one of my good friends known as Netflix to keep me company. After watching six movies and taking 20 breaks, I installed two-strand twists in my hair. The two-strand twist style wasn’t new to me, but this journey was different. I knew in my heart I wanted to loc my hair. My parts were uneven, and my hands were unsteady, but my intuition assured me it was essential to love on my Locs.

After locing my hair, there were small bouts of doubt that crept in. Did I make them the right size? Should I have paid the astronomical price of having Sisterlocs installed professionally? Should I have gone to an expert to interlock my hair? Should I this? Should I that? I was excited, nervous, and grateful at the same time.

Hair is the Inspiration

Hair Inspiration

My Auntie aka The Hair Inspirationist

On this journey, I am thankful for all those who keep me inspired!  I learned that I shouldn’t utilize the phrase “ugly phase” when referring to my newly installed Locs. Yes, my hair is frizzy, the shrinkage is real, and some of the ends unravel when they feel like it. However, I contribute this phase in my life as “awkwardly beautiful.” My mane source of “Hair Inspiration” comes from my Auntie Sherry, who, as stated earlier, used to tame these locs when I was a little girl. She has been growing her locs for over 15 years!

My hairdresser, who used to press my hair, schools me on how to remain calm during this early process of allowing my hair to loc.  She also does a phenomenal job retightening my Locs as needed. After twisting my hair, I found out she installed locs.  I guess that is what I get for not asking when I changed my mind about not getting Sisterlocs!  Also, I follow a few groups on Facebook that keep me encouraged. One Facebook group that has been instrumental in me keeping my faith during the process is Braidlocs, Sisterlocs, Microlocs, Interlocs, & More! I recommend you check out the group or find a supportive page or person to help keep you sane if you decide to loc your hair.

Experiencing Hair Freedom with Locs

Excercise Day

Prepared the Locs for a Moment of Exercise

I don’t know how long I will wear my Locs, but at this moment, I will describe my hair journey as liberating. No additives such as perms, brushes, or combs needed at this time. However, wear your hair as you choose. I can only speak for myself. The societal constraints of what defines beauty no longer confines me. I am a Detroit Girl with 4C Hair who has found contentment by deciding to embrace my crown with Locs. No matter where you are from, I hope you recognize and find what brings you the happiness of hair freedom as well!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Reference:

Facebook Group:  Braidlocs, Sisterlocs, Microlocs, Interlocs, & More!

What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

Woman Thinking

What’s going to keep you going in the New Year? Chellyz View

It’s a New Year!  I know you have seen and heard all the Hoopla.  “New Year, New Me.”  “2020, is my Year.” “No negativity in the New Year!”  So forth…so forth… and so forth.  What happens by the fourth or fifth of January or maybe even on the first?  We made a ton of resolutions then have a heavy heart because we don’t live up to them.  Well, I am going to keep this post plain and simple.  Stop throwing all those resolutions out there that you can’t handle.  Don’t you know they will return like a boomerang and hit you right in the face.  Booyah!  At that point you are feeling the burdens of self-defeat and depression.  What should you do instead?  Hey, I’m no expert but I would like to share three quick tips that have been helping me over the years.

Just try to be the best version of you!

I know it sounds cliché, but it’s so true.  You’ve read about this phrase in other articles.  Life is not perfect.  Neither am I or You.  Lord knows throughout my 40 plus years the life I have lived has not been stellar.   I haven’t always been the best daughter, mother, wife, sister, friend or well you get the picture.  Kodak moments haven’t always been displayed on the mantle of the fireplace or in my mind.  However, what I have decided to do is be the best version of myself.  No imitation.  No fakeness.  Just me.

I will strive to make wiser and better choices moving forward while packing plenty of prayer, patience, hopefulness, understanding, and positivity.  Most definitely, more common sense.  Hey, Donnie McClurkin sang it best, “We fall down, but we get up.”  I don’t care how many times you must repeat the cycle.  Learn to get back up and stand tall each time you may fall or fail.

Don’t stay in a place of Darkness!

Whether we want to admit it or not, life goes by quicker than we expected the older we become.  What happens?  Losses.  Loss of jobs, loved ones, self-confidence, wealth, social status, relationships etc…  Sometimes it feels like there are more losses than gains which may lead us to a dark place.  I don’t know if you are in a spiritual place or not.  Over the past two years, I had the opportunity to participate in a wonderful Biblical Bible class at Zion Hope in Detroit, MI.  Looking forward to year three!!!!   One of the recurring themes I have learned from the classes is if you have ever felt defeated in life or if you feel the enemy is always on your heels, don’t stay in a place of darkness.

Yes, it is alright to feel sad, it is alright to cry, and it is alright to go through the motions.  However, there is peace waiting for you. You must be the one willing to accept and welcome the light in your life.  Find what brings you solitude and solidifies your faith.  It might be through meditation and/or prayer, finding a support group, yoga, or finding a hobby that brings you joy.  Discover what brings you a sense of fulfillment to remove the emptiness and get out of the darkness.

Positive Affirmations over Resolutions

I probably wrote about this last year in another post.  I know some of you may have heard me say this time and time again.  It is only a suggestion, but it is a method I have adopted over the years.  Try writing positive affirmations over swearing to adopt disappointing resolutions.  Make a list of positive affirmations. Believe in them when you read them out loud.  Here a few of my affirmations:  I will be a good steward over my money and reduce debt in my life.  I am purposeful and will utilize the gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed upon me to make the universe a better place for myself and others.  My temple is valuable, and I will commit to participating in activities that will keep me healthy and strong.  Now you make your own and revise as needed!  No pressure, and no race to the finish line.  Just believe in your worth!

We are Human

I hope these few suggestions have encouraged you.  Remember, we are HUMAN.  There will always be trials, issues, and a battle that will try to knock us of our game.  The key is to establish ground rules, and develop coping mechanisms that will help you survive throughout this year and the years ahead.  I truly hope you have a peaceful and successful New Year.  Thanks for your support throughout the years. If you ever need a conversation and a pep talk to keep you going, A Heart Full of Conversations is here!  Until next time…

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Reference
McClurkin, Donnie.  “We Fall Down.”  Live in London and More.  Verity Records, 2000.
Photo cred:  Photo by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

The Trendiness of Looking Like Everyone Else by Chellyz View

urban wear

The Trendiness of Looking Like Everyone Else by Chellyz View

Ummmmm, let’s just state wearing designer labels isn’t a big deal to me.  Now, I am not saying I haven’t or won’t purchase name brand items for myself.  However, I am known for being frugal.  As a child, I stated I would never shop at thrift stores.  Hey, things have changed.  I am my momma’s child and I get along very well with popping tags at second-hand stores.  I have been teased at times for being “cheap.”  So, you must think I have quite a bit of coins in my pocket. Not. (That’s a post for another time my dear readers).  Anyway, my children probably have more brand names in their closet than I do.  At the same time, I have taught them that there needs to be a balance.  Everything doesn’t have to be designer.  Create your own style.  I remember stopping at a red light and everyone at the bus stop looked the same.  What do I mean?  Same furry boots, same hoodies with a swoosh sign, same kicks, same jackets with the fur, same lashes, same length hair, same, same and same…  I believe everyone had different names but looked the same.

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I recall my younger years.  The styles consisted of Guess, Fubu, Apple Bottom Jeans, Colored Levi’s with the matching denim jacket, Eight Ball Jackets, Nautica, Coogi Sweaters, Herringbone Chains, Big Gold Hoop Earrings, Nikes, Swatch Watches, Adidas, Triple Fat Goose Coats, and Motion Rings.  Come on. I know there are some other middle-aged folks out there who can recall the styles.  One of my favorite stores was Merry-Go-Round found at the infamous trying to hold on Eastland.  I also shopped at Hudson’s located at the forever missed Northland.  Fellas I know some of you shopped at 4 Men Only at Tel-Twelve Mall which has been reassembled to house other stores.  Oh yeah, if you weren’t feeling the prices of the mall there were boosters (who sold clothes out of their homes) and the flea market (Country Fair on Dequindre).  Come on. Y’all know of some other stores.  When I think about it, many of us looked the same back then as well.  We were all shopping at the same place at the same d@#n time!

Northland Mall

Generation after generation.  Yes, we’re all trying to fit in where we can get in. Even my Momma and aunt had their own style which consisted of high waisted jeans, platforms, and bell bottoms during the 70’s.   Back in the day, I was one of those teenagers spending their whole part-time job check for one pair of pants.  I remember when I paid almost $70.00 for a pair of jeans known as Used.  Yep, I spent most of my check on a pair of ripped jeans.  My granddaddy at the time looked at me, shook his head, and said, “You crazy for buying a pair of jeans that are ripped.  We HAD to wear ripped jeans when we were growing up.” Also, I was blessed to have a cousin that wore the same size as myself.  She had all the colors of Guess Jeans.  We would swap clothes since we attended different high schools.  It seemed as if I had various colors to choose from also at home!

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Now, there were plenty of times when I couldn’t afford the latest styles.  I was teased, because designer clothes weren’t in the budget.  It was a privilege when my aunt or momma gifted me with the latest gear.  In high school, I worked at Kmart. There were plenty of times I purchased the matching 2 items for $20 jogging suits (included pants and sweatshirt on sale), because I didn’t have it like that.  I also worked at DOTS in my 20s and I would look C-U-T-E in my $10 items.  I was teased when I had my own children because, PAYLESS with the Buy one Get one ½ off (BOGO sale) was my spot.  I would purchase my daughter a pair of light up princess shoes and my son a pair of light up character shoes, and still get me a pair of shoes.  What?  Three pair of shoes for the price of one!!!!!

Ok! Ok! Ok!  You’re probably wondering, where is she going with this story?  What is the relevance?  Well, keeping up with the Harrisonsssss, Simpsonsssss (oh yeah, I did purchase a pair of overpriced Bart Simpson jeans), or whoever can be costly.  Parents spending more than they should on designer labels.  I am one of those guilty parents.  Literally, I told myself I would never purchase my child a pair of overpriced Jordans but…. Imma plead the fifth.  Wearing designer labels can cause us to lose focus of our priorities.   Bill money spent so we or our children can look like everybody else.  Who wants to be teased. Some children rather not go to school or have dropped out.  There’s even an issue with school uniforms, because one child might wear a Ralph Polo school shirt with Carhartt or Dickies pants while the other child is wearing French Toast (which is very affordable).  Everywhere we you look, we are looking alike!

Designer items can be dangerous and deadly.  Some individuals have robbed and killed our own brothers and sisters.  Yes, because we needed to blend in and look like everybody else.  Longing for designer labels have costed us our freedom.  We will slang substances that harm others to have bands of money to purchase what we want and when we want.  Unfortunately, too many of our people are behind bars due to illegal activity because we are trying to keep up with the latest trends.  I don’t think I have ever seen any of these designers posting bail for any of our kinfolk.  There is a whole generation of our people looking alike with orange jumpsuits behind bars carrying the weight of lost dreams, because they wanted to look like everyone else.

shopping

What is the solution?  Well, I am not saying don’t wear designer items.  I’m always waiting for my daughter to get rid of her old gym shoes and clothes.  It’s still in style to me even when she states it is not in style!  Do as you please but remember the costs.  Don’t blast me when you see me with a trendy item on, but buying those items isn’t my prerogative or priority.   Most of the time, I create my own style.  I enjoy going to boutiques, and supporting entrepreneurs in my neighborhood, because I don’t want to look like everyone else.  Search the internet, find up and coming local designers who are setting their own trends.  Recycle dollars in the community.  If you have any suggestions or ideas, please share.  It’s time we show and express our creativity!  You know, you don’t have to look like everybody else!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Creating Priceless Memories or Endless Debt for the Holidays by Chellyz View

Christmas gifts two

Creating Priceless Memories or Endless Debt for the Holidays by Chellyz View

Disclaimer:  This post is not for those who have it together and have always been financially responsible during the holidays.  This one is for those who are trying to do better.  #help

All Those Gadgets and Toys

toys

It happened just like that.  Two years ago, my Lil Pocahontas reached the ever so “mature” age of 13.  Throughout the years, she had accumulated at least 100 dolls including the ones given to her during Christmas.  Alright, there’s a little exaggeration but it seemed as if she had that many fashionable dolls. Let’s not forget about the ultimate dream house, horse and carriage, and remote-control (you know the infamous doll) car.  Some of these items were given to her by family members including grand mommas, godparents, her hardworking parents, and aunties (blood and spiritual related).  Also, some were dropped off by the mysterious character known as Santa (please let this conversation be addressed during a future post).  Anyway, she took a few large plastic garbage bags, and dumped the dolls inside while stating, “I’m donating these dolls. I am not going to play with them anymore.”  I was informed to take them to that place known for its red and white logo. In addition, her dad assisted her with selling a few items. Huh, she didn’t even treat this momma to lunch.

Let me not forget about my Lil Superhero.  In his designated space, you will find countless miniature cars of all colors in three separate boxes that have compartments to store them in.  Look around and you’ll witness toys collecting dust in storage bins. At least I can tell you he enjoys the 1,000s of colorful block pieces (you know the company that rhymes with saygo) which can be used to make people, small cities, or whatever your heart and mind can imagine.  I usually find these small items under the couch or beneath my feet.  Ouch!!!!  Also, there’s always a few games he “must have” each year.  These video games must be played on a stand alone device or handheld widget which is sold separately and usually a new edition is introduced every other year.

The Holiday Tradition

Every holiday, I found myself shopping at the last minute. I would get all anxious trying to find that “sold out” toy.  Year after year I made a speech to myself, I shouldn’t wait until the last minute to go shopping.  I made a promise that I would not overspend.  I knew I would get upset when I heard the words “I’m bored” once the fanfare of the holiday season was over.  There was no way I would allow them to see me get angry because I had flashbacks of standing in long lines.  Hey, I was just following tradition whether it was right or wrong.  My momma, aunties, and grandparents ensured I had the best holiday every year as a child.  I had declared I must uphold the same tradition for my children.

For several years, I wrapped every single gift starting at midnight until five am in the morning.  The hub and I would argue, because his gifts were never wrapped as a child.  My response would be, “That was boring.  Didn’t you want to tear open the wrapping paper and be surprised?”  Literally, we had the same dispute annually.  Anyway, my ritual was to wrap the gifts all night, and binge watch holiday movies while sipping wine, or drink a few cold Pepsis or glasses of Kool-Aid or maybe consume all the above.  I would cop an attitude cause the hub wasn’t able to help me wrap as many gifts, because he was the chef of the house preparing the feast for the next day. However, as time went by, I had to question what was I spending all this time and effort for?  I watched myself get in debt, get holiday loans (more than I should have borrowed), and spend that holiday fund that was taken out of my paycheck for 10 months to make certain the holiday was “perfect.”

statue

As parents and caregivers some of us struggle, because we delighted in seeing the smiles on faces of our child(ren), nieces, nephews, lil cousin or maybe that family the office adopted.  I can’t beat myself up.  I am trying to “mature.”  I must realize I got to live after the holiday.  All those dollars could be invested in purchasing stock as a gift, placing funds in a savings or college fund, or taking a fun-filled family trip. That’s what we did in 2017.  We went to Disney World, and made it clear: Don’t look for naaaan (not one) toy!

Create Meaningful Inexpensive Moments

My point is do what you can this holiday season.  Let’s not forget why we celebrate during the season.  Whose birthday is it really (don’t answer if your birthday is actually on Christmas) ???  Spend, think, and strategize wisely.   I can’t say I regret those days, but I can say I am learning.  I will do what I can with what I have and not let the holiday giving stress me out.  Make the best memories you can by spending time with loved ones even if you are not able to purchase the “perfect gift” or find that “sold out” toy online (miss you Toys R Us).  Create homemade gifts such as soaps or candles. I almost fainted when one co-worker told me that was their family tradition for years. Then we got into a discussion about was it a cultural experience.  Also, someone else stated they have a large family, so they pull names every year to reduce stress.

All those tangible items can end up in a garbage bag or collecting dust.  Though I have spent my share of dollah bills, my household have created some inexpensive memories as well.  We all get new holiday pajamas (I always find them on sale).  We wear them on Christmas Eve and either make homemade or bake precut frozen cookies (don’t judge).  After the cookies are ready, we choose a few holiday movies to watch together before the children were told to go to sleep to get ready for the excitement for the next day.  Now, they stay up as long as they want!

For this holiday season take a moment to have memorable conversations and heartfelt memories that won’t leave you wrapped up in debt.  Stop for a minute and reflect on why we celebrate the season for those of you who do.  I will continue to be thankful for my support system.  I will only borrow what I can afford to pay back and not extra to spend frivolously.  Make the season bright by knowing you can create more meaningful cost-effective traditions instead of going into the new year with the gift of debt.

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Trying to Stay Content in the “D” When its Not Your Season by Chellyz View

 

The Snow

Trying to Stay Content in the “D” When its Not Your Season by Chellyz View

It was Monday, November 11, 2019.  I don’t know why the situation that occurred appeared to be foreign.  I was a grown 40 plus aged woman who was birthed and raised in Detroit aka the “D.”  However, I wasn’t ready. There it was accumulating inch after inch. SNOW!!!!!!

Some people love and sing about, “Dreaming of a White Christmas” or “Let it Snow.”  It wasn’t December 21, 2019.  According to the calendar, winter wouldn’t be welcomed officially until that day.  Huh!  At least for those residing in colder climates.  Due to global warming anything is bound to happen.  Even the warmer states during the latter years of my life have been greeted with….that word?  SNOW!

I dread getting stuck in the snow every winter.  I am embarrassed to tell you on Thursday,  November 14, 2019 my car was temporarily stuck in an unplowed parking lot. I knew I shouldn’t have parked there, but I was in a rush. Thank you to the kind Samaritan who helped me maneuver out of a frustrating situation.  I don’t look forward to slipping and sliding on unsalted roads.  Oh yeah!  I think my tires are good for now until the potholes emerge.  Boots, scarves, hats, and gloves which I do love, always disappear from me.  Once the season is over, I have unmatched sets of gloves left in my vehicle or designated bin in my house.

Oh!  I was supposed to purchase a new winter coat.  My current coat is over nine years old with holes in each pocket.  Hey, I know I will find at least $5.00 in change, a stale piece of candy, and an old piece of tissue floating in the lining. I don’t know about you, but I am never prepared for this season.  Maybe, I am in denial every year about the coldness approaching.  However, just like clockwork, I know the seasons must change.

My question to you is how do you stay content when its so cold during this season?  Well, here are five ways I keep my heart happy during this time of the year:

Live to Give

That’s right give back.  Grab those old coats that are in decent condition and donate.  My children have outgrown several of their coats that can be donated to keep another child warm.  Also, donate items such as hats, gloves, scarves, and socks to a non-profit, school, homeless shelter or local charity.

Find a moment to Volunteer

Volunteering can make you happy! Believe it or not.  I enjoyed reading an article that was posted on a very conscious sister social media page.  It truly examines the importance of how giving can make us happy.   The article is entitled, “Happiness Comes from Giving and Helping, Not Buying and Having.”  Read the article for yourself: https://wakeup-world.com/2015/01/21/happiness-comes-from-giving-and-helping-not-buying-and-having/?fbclid=IwAR3yB8hhJTwY3EhHwcVprNrDAYtekGMKK739h97FtSniZi1oLCND3jO8weo

Also, I am looking forward to volunteering this holiday season.  I have been blessed to cross paths with a group of selfless sisters who are spearheading a volunteer venture.  If you have a few moments to hit that like button or scroll through the social media news feed, then schedule the time to unselfishly make a social impact.  Check out the website: https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=DETROIT%2C+MI%2C+USA  There are plenty of opportunities waiting for you to volunteer.

Talk on the phone

Wait a minute!!!!!  You mean you can use the phone for dialing to speak to someone. That’s right!  I am guilty!  I prefer texting any day.  However, somebody would love to hear your voice especially those who are home bound. You remember the lyrics by the Legendary Mr. Wonder?  “I just called to say, I love You.”  Tell someone and mean it from the bottom of your heart!

Escape the Cold

Yep!  We can escape the cold by reading.  Find a good magazine or book that will allow you to travel to another dimension.  Block out everything around you and have an exciting time vacationing without spending the cash.  If you prefer, there’s always audio.  Let someone read to you while you close your eyes and imagine going far away from the harsh elements of the cold.  Don’t know of any good books? Check out an inspiring sister  social media page who loves books and has a substantial amount of recommendations: I Aspire Books @ www.facebook.com/groups/iaspirebooks/

Gratitude can change our Attitude

Some of us can become scrooges at this time of the year.  We work overtime to overspend.  We become stressed about what we can or cannot purchase during this season. Remember there is more to life than giving gifts we may not be able to afford.  That’s a whole post I can testify and write about on another day.  Instead, capture the gift of gratitude and share it with others by simply saying encouraging words or speaking thoughts of positivity to someone who needs an ounce of hope.

The Snow and Me

This season may bring some of you down.  You might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which usually triggers depression during the colder months. The cold weather might not agree with your bones and causes you to fight a little more to keep moving due to aches and pains.  Or you might be like myself and not a fond lover of the colder season.  As you are going through the motions pause for a few seconds.  Try to generate a helpful list that will aid you in surviving the movement of brisk air and visitation of snowflakes abruptly causing havoc in the “D.”  Be mindful of what keeps your soul warm during this time of year.  Always seek professional help when self-therapy isn’t enough. Share with me how you cope during these cold and dark months and start A Heart Full of Conversations!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!
-ChellyzView

 

References:

Taylor, Dr. Steven.  “Happiness Comes from Giving and Helping, Not Buying and Having.” Wake Up World.  https://wakeup-world.com/2015/01/21/happiness-comes-from-giving-and-helping-not-buying-and-having/?fbclid=IwAR3yB8hhJTwY3EhHwcVprNrDAYtekGMKK739h97FtSniZi1oLCND3jO8weo

 

www.facebook.com/groups/iaspirebooks/

https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/index.jsp?l=DETROIT%2C+MI%2C+USA

 

 

 

What in the World are We Walking for? by Chellyz View

Woman Walking With A Fitbit

What in the World are We Walking for?  by Chellyz View

It’s amazing how we are tracking our steps around the world. This phenomenon is contained on our wrists and the apparatus is worn faithfully by many. Personally, I’m too frugal to purchase one. Therefore, I downloaded an app on my phone that records the number of movements I make each day. The problem. I don’t always have my phone on my possession. So, I probably made 5,000 steps in one day instead of 250. Alright, I am stretching the truth a little.

The steps we take are more important than we know. Not because it improves our health, but it provides the directions of how we should live. It shows how productive we can be or become. It gives us the opportunity to choose a path of development or destruction. If you adopt a spiritual voyage, you may be aware of the verses found in Proverbs 3:5-6 King James Version (KJV),” 5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, he shall direct thy paths.” If you look to an African Proverb it tells us, “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.” Oh yeah! I’m sure you have been told, “Always walk with your head up, not towards the ground.” You can also conjure up your own sayings about walking. I know that my everyday walk won’t always be pleasant or easy, but I am thankful for the journey.

giphy

Throughout the years, I recalled being lost. There were instances where I couldn’t find my sense of direction. I was preoccupied with everything that was in front of me. I wasn’t preparing myself for the days ahead.   Who really cared about the future?  Not me.  At least not all of the time.  It seemed too far away.  I didn’t focus on how those uncalculated steps would shape my future which left a negative impact on my life.

As I matured, I noticed the footprints of a distorted and disturbed generation. People rather be led by devices that only count the amounts of steps they take. I observed we feel a sense of accomplishment of reaching our walking goals, but what about our lifetime goals. Our ambitions have become limited. Our drive has dwindled to being excited about the brand of shoes we wear on our feet or chasing fast dreams that leads to disappointment.  We want to walk in other people’s shoes.  We concentrate on someone else’s journey instead of being content with our own.

Wait, maybe I should design a gadget that would track the movement of how many steps it takes to accomplish our personal goals and dreams. Oh, that exists already. All we need to do is use our hearts, minds, and the visions that are within us to walk towards success. There’s more to life than recording steps that will take us on a journey of becoming elated about numbers. Let us take strides to becoming better human beings and establishing a better society. Does anyone have time to take a walk for that? Take a count!

 

 

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

dining table

Reflections of the Dining Room Table at My Grandparent’s House by Chellyz View

I was scrolling through the gallery in my cellphone and the picture featured above held my attention.  A table.  Not just an ordinary table, but a decorated table that reminded me of one of my maternal grandmother’s tablecloths.  Some childhood memories are clear like looking through a freshly wiped window cleaned with window cleaner.  I accurately see the reflection of dinner time at my grandparent’s home.

My grandparents resided in a small modest home with a round dinner table. Dinner at my grandparent’s house was a ritual.  The main course of the day was done by 4:00 p.m.  My grandmother enjoyed working for a brief time, but life circumstances summoned her to become a stay at home mom.  I admired my grandma for watching over me while my mom worked.  I am displeased with myself because I didn’t pay attention to her nor my paternal grandmother’s recipes made from scratch.  I felt cooking wasn’t my calling.  Therefore, cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches became my specialty as I grew older, but that’s another story.

Yes, the dinner table at my grandparent’s house was sacred.  Hands washed.   Fresh produce.  Homemade Ingredients.  Life was at a slower pace back in the day.  At least that is how I envision grandma’s kitchen.  I can recall the aroma of greens, black eyed peas, the snapping of peas or green beans, and sweet potato pies (no strings found).  Watching flour and yeast being rolled by hand with a wooden rolling pin then left to rise a few times before being baked in the oven left me amazed.  The scent of roast beef or a whole chicken that appeared to be roasted without the rotisserie machine contraption lingered in the air.  This was a time before anyone thought or knew the definition or lifestyle of veganism or gluten free.

The most important part of the dinner routine was setting the table.  My grandpa would become irritated at times because I would start singing at the table.  I didn’t sing on key, but I always had a song.  I don’t know if this was a habit because the food was so good or I just felt like hearing him telling me to stop all that sangin’.  I knew we were to sit down at the table together.  No eating in the room.  No preparing separate meals.  Whatever was cooked you ate or you starved. Currently, I don’t know if that would be considered unfair treatment to children or not.  Paper plates, and plastic ware was not allowed at the dinner table.  Cups made of foam, oh no!  My grandma said she felt like she was about to choke when she drank out of a foam cup.  When she did finally break down and accepted paper or plastic goods at her dinner table, you were only to purchase Chinet or some other brand that resembled resilience.

Today, I feel guilty as a mother.  Don’t get me wrong, my children don’t starve.  However, they didn’t experience the same dinner time rituals I did as a child.   I am thankful their dad has mad skills in the kitchen.  So, they always get excited when dad prepares the meals.  We don’t always consume our dinner at the same time due to work schedules or extracurricular activities.  I am known for stocking up on paper and plastic goods because it’s an “easy” way of life in my home, but I know it isn’t good for the environment.  There are times when we have carry-out meals a little too often or the frozen section in the market conveniently saves time instead of having everything freshly prepared.  Electronics such as tablets and phones are supposed to be banned at the table when we have an opportunity to dine together.  The children ask, “Why?”  I respond, “Cause my grandpa said no singing at the table.”  Also, I tell them it’s important because it gives us a chance to talk about life.

A few years ago, before I realized the impact dementia was having on my grandmother we got into an argument.  It was about the details of the dining room table.  I wasn’t folding the dinner napkins correctly.  Grandma exploded and I left the room muttering, “I ain’t having another holiday dinner over here.”  I think she felt it would be one of her last holidays preparing a home cooked meal at the sacred dinner table.  A sadness overwhelmed me because I knew grandma was changing and this portion of our lives wouldn’t be the same.  Now, she enjoys the meals my mom and aunt prepare for her. She always sit by the window in her comfy chair.  Her dinner table consists of a small foldable wooden dinner tray.  Of course, she asks what time it is throughout the day, because she never wants to eat dinner after 5:00 p.m.

As families we need to find time to gather more at the table.  Even if time doesn’t allow for it to occur every day, we should commit to making the time at least three to four times a week.  It might not even be dinner, but maybe you could enjoy preparing an evening snack or dessert together.  Have at least one “good tablecloth” and a set of nice dinnerware you can find on sale.  Maybe even splurge on the fancy paper ware but remember to recycle.  LOL, I even invite singing to the dinner table as long it is a song, we can all sing and is appropriate.  Yes, our schedules can be rigorous at times.  Yes, we often find ourselves overworked and trying to manage the bills.  However, try to find a few moments to create some reflective and comforting memories at the dinner table .

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

tim-marshall-H9K0fOYlFVA-unsplash

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

 

Finding Waves of Hope to Stop Drowning in Sadness

Your Thoughts Can cause You to Drown in Sadness

It was the evening of Sunday, June 9, 2019. I don’t know if this feeling has ever happened to you, but I felt uplifted and exhausted at the same time. It seemed I had received enough fuel to sustain me for another week, and motivation to rebuild my faith. However, for some apparent reason a wave of sadness washed over me. The weekend was biding me farewell, and I had to prepare myself for the forthcoming week.  As usual, I continued to stay optimistic about positive changes for my city in spite of the disturbing news that blasted across the airwaves.

Earlier that day, I had attended kingdom service at my home church. Later that evening, I went to a gospel concert at another church located on the east side of Detroit.   Well, after the concert, I dropped my mom off and headed home. It was around 6:30 p.m. when I drove down Conant towards the Davison Expressway. There were a sea of people standing on both sides of the street. My first thoughts were to have my car float in the other direction, but I was too tired to attempt to steer my car toward a side street. I patiently passed by a slew of individuals standing on the side or front of their cars in party mode.  Suddenly, the green light quickly flowed from green to red which caused me to stop.  At that moment, I decided to call my aunt. I informed her something was going on, but I didn’t have a clue what event was taking place. I also told her I needed to hurry and get on the expressway as soon as I could.  My soul felt disturbed. Later, I learned a car show had occurred.

As usual I started to overthink.  I headed down the Davison Expressway and connected to the Lodge Freeway, and began thinking about the crowd.  I vividly remembered seeing faces of all ages. Suddenly, I felt a rush of sadness fall upon me.  I thought, why can’t we gather in large crowds often to start a movement, spark a positive revolution, or activate a call of action to demand peace in our neighborhoods?  I wondered did any of them know they could use their footprints to walk towards building a Detroit filled with promise?  I know many citizens have taken oaths and organized rallies to battle gun violence, blight, and embrace community development. However, we need to do more.

My mind continued to think, think, and overthink.  Finally, I exited the freeway and I arrived home. Suddenly, my mind shifted, and I became consumed with other concerns. I questioned myself about how was I going to make my home better if it was destined for me to stay in Detroit?  As I turned into my driveway, I watched my 11-year old son play with the neighborhood children, and noticed he was having a disagreement with another child who lived down the street. I asked him what was the issue, and he reassured me it was resolved.

Again, I began to overthink. Is this where it all begins?  Do we participate in disputes as children that we fail to learn how to resolve in a healthy manner which leads us to become angry teens and adults? Will there be an ongoing concern with children getting along on my block and the warm days were just starting to grace our backyards? Once I got my emotions under control, I shook it off just like I shook off the wave of sadness earlier while driving through the crowd a few moments earlier.

Well, Monday, June 10, 2019 was upon my doorsteps and to my demise I clicked on a popular local news site. The heading stares at me, taunts my thoughts, and haunts my feelings leaving me feeling despaired. Four people dead, several people had been injured, and this was a result from 9 different shootings that happened throughout Detroit. Now what? Over the weekend a gun violence rally was held in Downtown Detroit. I was drowning in emotions from the feelings of yesterday of observing a crowd of people who had familiar faces, but I didn’t personally know.  Unfortunately, one of those shootings occurred in that vicinity near Conant leaving a young man dead.  It was news I didn’t want to hear, but was imprinted in my thoughts.

Continue to Believe in Hope

I was sinking in sadness from the feelings of wondering what kind of world will this be for my 15 year old daughter who anxiously awaits to live out her dreams one day in another city while aspiring to become a physician?  I didn’t want her to be attacked by unwanted tragedies.  What would be the outcome of my young son who longs to be an actor but could be disruptively placed in a horrific story as a troubled child, because he is a young African American male who loves to wear hoodies?  I don’t want to live in fear every time I see a group of people standing outside longing to enjoy life become victims of violence. I don’t want to live in sadness, fear, and anger wondering if my children will have to fight to prove their dignity when they want to just hang outside and have fun.  Neither should any innocent child, adult, or citizen.

Now what? Businesses, churches, community groups, organizations, individuals, families, parents, friends, mentors…..What can we do? What shall we do? What can be done? I know we are trying and incidents will happen that will continue to test our faith. I can’t just shake this off but I won’t hold onto all this pain either.  I will not drown in my sadness.  You must not drown in this sadness.  I will tell you what I must continue to do.  I hope you will join me, and grab your life jacket of faith and hope in this journey.  We gotta keep rebuilding and fight for our communities.   I will share hope by continuing  to write thought provoking articles, share uplifting stories, post community events, volunteer, and take mental breaks as needed.   Please share your solutions and get the crowd to join a revolution to cease the violence and unwanted pain. We will not drown in sadness.  We will strive for and believe in better days.  We will not lose our hope in Detroit!!!!!!!!!!!