Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Laws Of Power

I dealt with much internal turmoil in the first half of 2016. How did I get there? I'm a reasonable person. A forgiving person. A generous person. Maybe that's how. I allowed someone who had hurt me repeatedly back in to my life. Not without hesitation but I feel like we all make mistakes and we all grow from our missteps. I mean, if someone has the courage to come to me, admit how they were wrong, and apologize, who am I to continue to shut them out?

Fast forward to September 2015, I found myself in a position where I had been betrayed by the person. Betrayed and hurt again. But this time, I wasn't surprised by these antics. After all, I invited them in. EYE put myself in the position. I trusted again when I shouldn't have. I learned a tough lesson that cost me. Not only time but money as well.

I know that I can't expect everyone to treat me the way I'd like to be treated. I know everyone wasn't raised the same, but to be slapped in the face with that reality by someone who has been in your house, breaking bread with your family is tough. I had literally been defeated because I wasn't dealing with honest and reasonable person but, deep down, I knew I wouldn't have felt any resolve even if I had won. I typically have no problem cutting people and situations off with the swiftness but this situation really bothered me. I couldn't figure out what the REAL issue. So, I did what I always do. In true scientist fashion, I went to gather data from everyone who knew the details.

I started by immediately re-listening to "The 48 Laws of Power". I would say reading but I've read it already so I listen to it on YouTube while in my office. Multi-tasking. LOL! After listening, I realized what I did wrong and how the situation could've been handled differently for a more positive outcome. When I say positive, I mean, how I could've gotten what I wanted. *shrugs* No shame. The lessons taught in "The 48 Laws Of Power" teach that while you have to be strategic in your actions, sometimes you also have to humble yourself and lose a battle or two in order to win the war. So, I checked myself. It didn't have to end that way but I was more focused on what I thought was right instead of by any means necessary in order to win. BOOM!

Then I talked about it in therapy because knowing how I could've handled the situation differently still didn't fix that nagging feeling. Like, why did this bother me so badly if I saw it coming eventually? Well, my therapist was able to get me to see how I was tying this situation into some other unsettling relationships in my life. It was my "lightbulb" moment. Once I figured that out, I was able to drop that nagging feeling like a hot potato. The biggest weight was lifted from me. It was literally like storm clouds cleared the sky and the sun came shining through, complete with a rainbow and angels singing.

This situation taught me some valuable lessons about myself and human nature. Sometimes people just don't like you. Don't try to figure it out. Their poor taste doesn't diminish your value. It doesn't make you a bad person, a bad friend, a bad sister, a bad mother, a bad daughter, a bad wife.....none of that stuff. Sometimes you don't get closure and you have to be okay with that. Leave it alone. Going back will only result in more hurt. Sometimes you just have to take the gut punches in order to get what you want. Man up. Take it.

That's it. That's all.

That "Ah Ha!" Moment

My life has become so jam packed that I no longer have time to sit down and read. So I consolidate activities. I listen to books while I'm doing activities that I'd normally require music. Exercising, folding laundry, whipping shea, etc. Right now, I'm listening to Russell Simmon's book, Super Rich. He talks about meditation and becoming a business yogi and it has me doing some serious self evaluation. Yes, I am "Fancy". How'd I get that name anyway? To me, I'm just a hippie who is very particular about some things and does not care about most other things. LOL! Where am I going with my business ventures? What direction am I taking my professional life? I do what I do because I'm good at it, not necessarily because I have a burning passion for it.

At 21 years old, I decided that I'd be a blood bank boss. I did the training, got the certifications and BOOM! By 29 years old, I had accomplished that goal. I perfected blood bank bossing by the age of 32 and was ready to move on to another challenge.What's next?

Direct sales. Direct sales is AWESOME SAUCE!!! But only if you're up for a challenge. It requires a hell of a lot of personal growth. Only the strong make it to the other side. The other side being residual income. You also have to inspire that in other people who may not be ready in order to maintain and grow your team, which also maintains and grows your income. What I got out of it? I learned that I am an entrepreneur at heart. I am a creative. As an employee, I need flexibility in order to flourish. I learned that I will see exponential growth and feel success beyond my wildest imagination if I put the same passion and consistency that I put into managing a blood bank behind my own product. My imagination does not have any limitations. EYE have the power to make what I visualize in my head into a reality. The personal development required to be successful in direct sales helps you see that if you can believe it, it can be yours. I visualized my successes in my career. Direct sales got me visualizing what success as "Fancy Free" looks like and it looks like a lot of time in the pool or a beach. Nothing too fancy but definitely free.

The words of "Super Rich" made me realize that I already have it all. I already have it all. I am enjoying the process of becoming. In becoming a business yogi. In becoming a mother. In becoming a wife. Just becoming better all around. I have material success and titles but I know that titles do not define me. As a matter of fact, whenever I'm engaged in a conversation that starts with "So, what do you do?", I usually say I'm a stripper or wet nurse. In my mind, if the first thing you're asking me when we meet is about my line of work and we're not in a work environment, I don't necessarily want to talk to you anyway. In my mind, we ain't got nothing in common. LOL! Now I'm ready to take this life to another level by being even more focused and operating on an even higher level of consciousness.

With that being said, I did a self check. I looked at my proverbial stove. All of the burners are going. I'm turning the heat down on 3 of the 4 burners and turning it up on just one. Everything else will have to blend in with that thing. If it doesn't mesh with my vision, I ain't doing it. I'm sooooo excited about this new clarity. I wasn't sure what was holding me back from going all in. Now I realize it was because I was unsure about something. Now that I'm sure, I'm going for it. Full steam ahead.

It's so amazing what reflection and self correction can do for your life. The day that I had this moment, I had an opportunity waiting  for me in my inbox. If this is not affirmation, I don't know what is. When you chase something, it will run away. When embrace your purpose and your passion, you will attract your heart's desires.

The Fancy Life just keeps getting better.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Twelve Weeks A......Mom

I often find myself stopping in the middle of whatever I'm doing just to stare at my son. If he's awake, I'll talk to him, read to him, sing to him. If he's sleeping, I'll stare at him, rub his cheeks, kiss on him, rub his head. To me, he's perfect. A perfect combination of his father and I. A perfect culmination of what my life has become.

Adjusting to life with my perfect little prince has been interesting. I'm learning a lot about myself. I don't care about the same things I used to care about. All I want to do now is make sure he gets every opportunity I had and more. But I'm also struggling to find balance. Taking care of a newborn is VERY time consuming and I'm also working toward building a financial portfolio. I want to leave him with a legacy not bills.

Me trying to "find balance" is me saying I need to manage my time better. When I say "I don't have time." now, it means something completely different than when I used to say it a year ago. A year ago, it meant more so "I can't be bothered". LOL! You know, being shady. But now, I really just don't have time. I have stuff to do. I'm constantly moving. Straightening the house. Doing laundry. Running errands. Making shea. Shipping shea. Talking to people about Thrive. Looking for properties to invest in. And allllll of those things come AFTER I perform wife and mother duties. Because, to me, those things are most important.

You see, I am blessed with a very supportive husband who has enough faith in my abilities to agree for me to give up my full time salary so that I can spend more time working on my entrepreneurial ventures and raise our son. The last thing I want to do is make him feel like I don't have time for him. And my son. He's such a joy. I really just want to play with him all day but I have to "adult" also.

In short, I've been a mother for 12 weeks and my whole world has been turned upside down. I couldn't be happier with the way my life is set up. I find myself close to Beyonce "I'm so blessed" tears. But I'm a thug so I don't cry. LOL! I'm focused on conquering time management and balance while I try to fit everything I need to do in between snuggling and loving on my son and husband. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Gift Of Life

Mother's Day 2016 with 16 day old Prez & Qilla Quenton, the cat
So, it's Mother's Day. My first Mother's Day as a real mother. When I say real mother, I mean, as a woman whom has risked her life to bring another life into this world. You see, I have a rack of god kids and I consider myself to be a sister mama cuz I helped raise my younger sisters but this year is special. I gave birth to a man child of my own. It's even more special because I nearly lost my life doing it.

That's right. I came very close to the very thing I was so anxious about with childbirth, dying. So instead of basking in the joys of watching my son sleep peacefully while my husband naps, I am getting my will together cuz life is short, it happens fast and I don't want my family to be like Prince's family if I were to pass away suddenly. Not that I have $300 million to fight over but I got a little something something that I worked hard for and I want it to be distributed properly. It doesn't hurt that our financial adviser has been hounding us for it ever since we told him we were having a baby.

But back to how I almost died giving birth to my son.....

My due date was April 26, but I had a dream that my son would be born on April 23. I was certain it was Jesus telling me to prepare so I decided that my last day of work would be April 21. That way I'd have 2 days to relax and do some stuff around the house. I know, I know. A planner to the end but if you fail to plan.....
39 weeks pregnant in my office
On my last day of work, I went in having contractions that were about 5-10 minutes apart. They started at about 2 am, so I figured I'd get my morning meetings out of the way and see what was going to happen. I packed my hospital bag and went into work around 6:30 am to try to get as much done as possible before I HAD to leave. Well, it was a false alarm. The contractions subsided and I completed my last day of work as a full day. Even straightened up my offices a little bit. Then at 8:30 pm, the contractions started again and they didn't stop. We made our way to the hospital and my cervix was 5 cm dilated. I was already 1-2 cm at my last doctors appointment, so I was thinking "3 cms in 2 hours. I think I can do this natural thing." And by "natural thing", I meant, no epidural. My son had a different idea.

3 day old Prez in Daddy's hand

Everyone who see's or holds my son says that he is so calm and peaceful, but that caused a problem when I was trying to get him here. Supposedly, natural labor is not as long as labor with an epidural because you can move around and the baby descends faster than when you are confined to a bed. But they wouldn't let me move or walk around because his heart rate wasn't increasing when I had contractions. He was just chilling. Heart rate was steady. Straight across the board. Like another day at the office. So I had to stay in bed with a monitor attached to me, like I had an epidural. This made natural labor miserable. And even though my husband was a great coach, I began to think "Why am I torturing myself? Just get the epidural." So, I did. I made it to 8 cm without one but my son wasn't descending or responding to the contractions. I felt defeated but I was exhausted with no sleep the night before. So, my husband and I took a nap. LOL!

But we didn't nap for long because something was happening. I had one looooooonnnngggg contraction and my son didn't like it so his heart rate started to drop. They broke my water to relieve pressure, gave me something to stop my contractions and stabilize his heart rate. He came back around. But my contractions were losing steam AND I had regressed from 9 cm dilated back to 8 cm *deep sigh*. Meanwhile, my son STILL was not responding to contractions or moving down. What did the doctor do about that? Gave me pitocin to make my contractions stronger and faster. Then they put me in this weird "pretzel" position to try to get him to come down. 

After being in the pretzel for a little while, I started having back labor. This is was worse pain than regular labor. It was HORRIBLE. I broke down. I cried like a baby. And I do NOT cry. I might shed one thug tear but there is no crying in the "Fancy Life". They showed me how to work the epidural bolus but that wasn't relieving any pain. Finally my doctor came in asking me the big question "What you wanna do?" She explained that I could start pushing to see if I'd dilate some more OR they could do a C-section. My response..."Just get the baby out." I was defeated, in pain, exhausted and I just wanted to meet my kid. So they began the emergency C-section prep. The anesthesiologist comes in to put in the spinal nerve block and asks if I want something a little stronger for the back pain. YYYEEESSSSS!!!! It went down hill from there.

3 day old Prez
While in the pretzel position, my epidural line had moved from my empty spinal space to my vascular space. Meaning, it got inserted into a vein. The anesthesiologist saw how much pain I was in and immediately gave a dose of lidocaine into my epidural line, not knowing that it was in a vein. That lidocaine went STRAIGHT to my brain and I was out. I passed out. I threw up. I started seizing. I had no detectable pulse for about 3 minutes. I coded. They were trying everything to resuscitate me. The whole time, my son's heart rate was steady. Unbothered. I came back like I never left. Like I never skipped a beat. That little episode scared my husband. He said it was the longest 3 minutes of his life. He never gets scared, so I knew it was serious. He said he just kept praying and focused on our son's steady heartbeat until they found my pulse. 

The anesthesiologist fixed the problem with my epidural line and inserted the spinal nerve block. I had no problems with my C-section. My son came out with a nice healthy cry. He got quiet after they cleaned him up and spent that time with us in the operating room just looking around and observing with his calm and peaceful spirit.

During my recovery, the anesthesiologist came to check on me and explained how he should have tested the line but saw how much pain I was in and just wanted to give me something. I understood that. That episode reinforces why we can't skip steps in medical care. He also explained that had it been another medication, other than lidocaine, I could have went into cardiac arrest and passed away. That is scary. The thought of my husband raising our son alone brings me to tears. I had "epidural" guilt. I was thinking that I was selfish to not want to endure the pain of childbirth and it could've cost me my life. But it didn't. I'm healthy. No side effects of the lidocaine, so we think - my husband says he's keeping an eye on me. My son is healthy. No worries. 

It's funny, but not funny, how a near death experience that you don't even remember can put life into perspective. Life is too short not to enjoy the little things. Stop to smell the roses. Be in the moment, where ever you are. Be patient with people and situations. It's never really that serious. Life comes at you fast, so make sure you're happy with it. Quit the job you hate. Jehovah will take care of you. Leave that relationship that makes you miserable. You can do bad by yourself. Focus on the good and good in your life will multiply.

As I receive well wishes on my first mother's day, I have a greater appreciation for the day and being able to give life. 
Mi Familia

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Did You Ever Think That You Would Be This Rich?

Haha! Well, from our point of view, we aren't rich....YET! BUT we have come a loooooooonnnngggg way.
Last week, we finally purchased dining room chairs for our formal dining room table. A small purchase but the significance of that is we went almost 3 years with no chairs. Like, we had this fancy a$$ table and would pull out folding chairs for dinner and company. And guess what? I ain't care. LOL! We did that because I am a firm believer in waiting on the perfect thing instead of rushing into buying something just to say you have it. AND...remember that budget thing I've been talking about? Well, based on our budget, dining chairs just weren't an immediate priority.

Sunday morning, I made myself breakfast and sat at the head of my dining room table and started singing R. Kelly's "Did You Ever Think?" to myself. Which essentially asks someone who's finally "made it", did you ever think that you'd ever accomplish all that you've been working for all these years? Now, we are no hip hop stars or don't claim to be rich or well off or anything like that but we are just now getting to a space where we are starting to see some of the fruits of our labor. It's a great feeling.

To put things into perspective, we purchased our home from a prominent defense attorney in our city. Now HE has made TONS of money in his career. We aren't there yet but life has a funny way of coming full circle. The previous owner is also one of my really close friends' mentor. In 2005, when my friend graduated from law school, his mentor, the previous owner of now OUR home, hosted a white party, which my husband and I attended as boyfriend and girlfriend. Me, maybe a year into my career and my boyfriend had just finished his second year of medical school. We were still thinking in college student budget numbers and hadn't started any businesses so we were, for lack of better terms, thinking small time. We always tell the story of us sitting in the corner of that very same dining room at that party back in 2005, looking across the house thinking "Wow! Do you think we'll ever be able to afford something like this?" and laughing at ourselves for asking such a ridiculous question. OF COURSE NOT!!! But look at God, 5 years later, we purchased that VERY SAME house that we thought we'd never be able to afford.

Buying the house was not the epitome of our accomplishments, it was a symbol of all the hard work we put in within those 5 years to be in a position to do that. We were proud of ourselves. Our parents were excited. Our family felt blessed as well. Yes. The house was empty for a good 2 years after we moved in. In fact, we had a church fellowship hall folding table that was left there for us as our dining room table for 3 years before we actually bought a real one. Hahhahahahahahhaa!!! So to sit in a real dining room chair at my formal dining room table that is decorated with Marshalls, Home Goods, thrifting and traveling finds felt really good.

It made me think about Beyonce's HBO documentary, "Life Is But A Dream", she said something about
taking it all in that really resonated with me. Imagine being Beyonce, a legend, a business woman, a true talent, and a wife with strong family values. It's sooooo easy to get caught up in the next opportunity or figuring out what your next move is going to be because you want to make sure your family is taken care of. So much so that you don't even enjoy what you're doing in the moment or even what you've accomplished up until that point.

I'm a woman on the move. Like Beyonce, I'm always thinking of the next step but I'm learning to just take it all in every now and then. It's ok to pause and pat yourself on the back. I had a busy day on Sunday but I took my time to eat breakfast and sent my husband, who was at work, an affirmation text. I thanked him for his role in my life and being a blessing to me and my family as well as our unborn son. It felt good to just take it all in and just be thankful.

While we never settle and are always looking to improve and grow, your blessings only increase when you are grateful for what you have. We have seen much increase in our 13 years together. We are grateful. We share our blessings. We are thankful. We are just getting started!