For the last two years my life has been fairly routine (for me) with a part-time job and my family living our lives to the best of our abilities.
Barring illness I’m up at 4:45am every day. Not because I have anywhere to be that early but because my body, mind and spirit tend to work together better when I’m up before the sun and my family. The first thing that I do is take my thyroid replacement medication, Synthroid and Cytomel. It has taken me years to get used to the fact that every day for the rest of my life I’ll need to take these medications to live. Living with surgically induced hypo-thyroidism is not something I’m going to go into detail about in this post, I’ll have many more details in my upcoming book; Un-4Ceen, How returning to Natural changed my life. Understanding how my health challenges inspired me to open my eyes and look at things more in-depth and with a greater application of critical thought will hopefully help those facing the same issues and choices.
After I take my medication, I have to wait 30 minutes before I can eat or drink anything other than water. During that time I journal, stretch and put on my work out gear. I used to head out the door to get to the gym by 5:15 but since we’ve moved things have changed a bit. Now I either walk our subdivision or hop on my treadmill. We’ve finally gotten the weight bench, roman chair lift and punching bag set up in the garage so I’ll be using those as well as body weight exercises, battle ropes and ladders. I typically work out 1-1.5 hours per day. For inspiration and work out routines I tend to use the resources of body building.com. I love Joy Diggs of Digg Deep Fitness, but alas I live too far north to see her as often as I like, plus she gives me really good advice that I don’t want to hear (I LOVE LIFTING HEAVY!!!!) My sister is also a kick-butt motivator and inspiration.
I typically work 6 hours Monday – Thursday and then 2 hours on Friday. My afternoon schedule varies based on if I take the bus home or not, which I tend to do when I’m in a Fitbit challenge with my family because I’m not going to let them beat my steps without a fight. Our competitiveness could probably become a blog series filled with a ton of laughter and “are you serious” moments.
Depending on my master plan for the month I may have done things for my business before work or I’ll have scheduled time after work. With our grandchild’s school not having homework anymore, I get to spend time reading and playing a little basketball or board games with him after school.
I’m adjusting my schedule to deal with additional business opportunities as well as learning and creating otherwise I’d post a picture of my actual master schedule. Knowing what I’m going to be doing on a consistent basis helps me get back on track when life throws me a curve ball.
I love my master schedule and my organizer, how do you stay on track?
If I had to share the why of my blogging journey I’d have to say that a large part of what drives me is finding my voice and making myself heard. As a child I suffered abuse on multiple levels that left me feeling unheard and unprotected. As I got older I decided that I would never allow myself to be silenced again.
While I endured more than any child should, I did have moments of happiness and good memories and I am fortunate enough to come from a highly talented gene pool. There were always opportunities to learn things outside of what a lot of people thought a little Black girl from the hood should know. Even within the confines of respectability politics, there was a family mantra passed down from my Nana who used to frequently say, “Every day is a good day to learn.”
From my natural curiosity, above-average intellect (I’m SOOO articulate), and soul deep love of reading I found ways to escape and to amass a fairly large collection of interesting tidbits of information and talents. I am also a semi-reformed craft-a-holic (I no longer have back-ups of my back-up crafting items) whose body does well on about 6 hours of sleep a day which is more time to create, which in turn serves as a consistent way to stave off serious depression.
Blogging allows me to share what I know, what I feel, my experiences and perspectives on many intersecting points of living as a descendant of the enslaved in America. It allows me to provide a virtual shoulder and to increase my empathy and understanding of those in the Black community living with chronic illness. That journey alone could fill a blog with posts for a lifetime.
Blogging serves as a virtual diary of as much of my life experiences as I choose, living as transparently as possible while pursuing the things that matter most to me.
Lastly, it provides an opportunity for me to generate income to be used to invest in my family and my community, strengthening and empowering with what I have where I am.
I always love learning the “why” of what I do and this challenge prompt helped me clarify a few things for myself. If you blog why do you do it?
I am. A powerful and declarative statement. When I say “I am” I am declaring that I have looked inward and weighed my own thoughts versus the opinions and suggestions of those around me. I have looked at myself, through a lens of truth, and have discovered myself. Who I am. What my purpose is. Where my passions lie.
Learning about what motivates me and why is just the beginning. I must keep learning, questioning and seeking the information that will help me to make the choices and live the life that I want to live. If I’m not evolving I’ll drown in stagnation and mediocrity. I don’t want to live my life from a position of less than the best that I can be.
A large part of living in my truth is the acceptance of living with chronic illness. It affects every part of my life including my entrepreneurial efforts. I’ll be transparent and say that this part of my journey has not been easy. I hate the physical limitations that I experience and have had to learn/acquire tools to help manage the mental stress.
There have been positives from navigating this reality however. I’ve learned (OK in some areas still learning) to set and accept my own limitations and boundaries. I no longer try to be super woman or all things to all people. I’ve become better at processing stressors and avoiding unnecessary ones. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who are not only like-minded, but who trustworthy enough for me to share the sometimes embarrassingly intimate details of my illness.
I’ve learned how to be a more honest and open wife, mother, grandmother and friend. The love and support of my family has been a tremendous blessing and I truly appreciate them. They support me when I’m down and cheer me when things are going well. They provide listening ears and shoulders to cry on. They see and encourage me when I don’t clearly see a how or understand the why.
One of biggest and most surprising aspects of navigating my life now is being able to more accurately define who I am as an entrepreneur. I found that I couldn’t follow someone else’s business structure or approach, but needed to know what would work for me. I learned to define what success looks like to me. It wasn’t what I thought it was. Success means to me that I possess enough capital to reinvest in my community making a positive impact. It means that I leave the lives I touch better than when I entered. It means that I live in truth on a consistent basis and live it unapologetic and unafraid. It means that I reduce the burden I put on the planet we all share to leave a better legacy for those to come. It means that I teach, support and empower the Black community in every way that I can. It means that I hold space for those I can when I can.
I appreciate your interest in my journey and hope that something I say, create or share touches your life in such a way that you feel empowered to pay it forward.
I also possess enough curiosity for two people (OK occasionally I’m down right nosy) so I’d like to know If you’re an entrepreneur what does success mean to you?