Happy Hour at the Creek. . .

TGIF family! I don’t know how your week has been but I didn’t think I was going to make it. When you are a working mom and wife, it seems that you are always going. Every morning I rise at 5 to make sure I can prepare hot lunches for the family and a hot breakfast before we all leave. DMV traffic alone is no joke and between taking my son to daycare and then fighting to make it to my job across town by 8 am, I spend a good three hours each day stuck in traffic. Work can be just as taxing, for as a high school teacher, I am always on my feet. Life does not slow down at 3 pm for as soon as work ends, I jump in my car and zoom to the gym which luckily is only ten minutes away where I work out hard for 45 minutes with an amazing trainer. I then jump back in my car to pick up little man. Thank God dinner is always already prepared for I religiously cook the night before while everyone sleeps. As soon as we are done eating and describing how our day went at the dinner table, I bathe, read him a bed time story, and then pass out shortly after putting him to sleep. Doing this five times a week is tough. And despite the fact that I am a true early bird, for some reason I woke up in the absolute worst mood today.

Needless to say I was overjoyed when my husband said he was going to pick up my son this afternoon. I almost did not know what the hell to do with the extra two hours! I thought to myself “Mom’s love getting their nails done so maybe I should get my nails done. ” As I looked online for salons near my house, I thought to myself, “I really don’t feel like sitting in a confined space and then being stuck not able to do anything with my hands that might mess up my polish.” Believe me, four hours later, I will ALWAYS find a way to mess up the polish. Then I thought to myself, “My husband and I are going out for date night tomorrow and maybe I could surprise him with a new outfit. A lot of moms love to shop.” However, I really did not feel like spending money or dealing with a crowded mall. Truth of the matter, the one gift every mother and wife wants is to be left alone and allowed to take a nap in the middle of the day. This last option was truly enticing ,but I could not ignore the amazing weather outside and in the end, I settled my self down and finally listened to what I wanted to do.

I dusted off my bike, hooked it to my car, and headed for the creek. I come here all of the time in the summer when I am out of school and my son is in daycare. Peaceful is too weak of a word to describe how I feel when I ride along this creek. It was just what I needed. I returned home, energized, and ready to show my family love.

Today taught me two lessons: (1) Stop following the crowd and trying to fit into a stereotype. I have never been the chic to spend hours in a salon or rush to get my nails done every week. When I truly feel the need to do that, I will but I will not attempt to use activities along those lines as a one size fits all for my happiness and (2) Make time for activities I love. I thought the fact that I rode almost every other day during the summer when my son was in daycare and I was out of school was a great way to stay true to who I was before I became a mom and continue doing that which brings me joy, but today the only event that gave me happiness was my ride through the creek. I would never have been at peace and rejuvenated to be the mom and wife I want to be if I had not made time today for that ride. I truly found my happy hour at the creek 🙂

One of my favorite spots. The sound of the water helps to clear my mind and silence any worries and insecurities.

Feeling like a bad ass because I had the courage to make time during the week for me 🙂

A Lesson on Beauty

Forty is knocking on my door and I have always been intrigued and somewhat suspicious by people who claim that entering into a new decade brings forth some sort of deep reflection or ground breaking awareness. Once again, 2019 has yielded another incident where I have been forced to eat my words. In a couple of months when I cross the threshold into my fit ,fly ,and fabulous 40’s, I will have transitioned with a new understanding of the definition of beauty. Beauty is not starving oneself to maintain a size two or saving up a year’s salary for liposuction. Beauty is not bathing in fade cream to erase one’s sun kissed melanin skin or going bankrupt and becoming a victim of alopecia to cover the natural crown of coils that grows directly from our heads. Beauty is not becoming a slave to designer brands that make mockery of our culture but will gladly claim our dollars. Beauty is not denying our self worth in hopes of proving our worth to others. Above all else, beauty is not dimming your light to make others shine.

I have always been teased for my angular chin from my childhood to my adulthood. I would never let it bother me because it is the same chin I inherited from my Bahamian great grandmother aka “Big Mamma” who was a bomb ass chic. When I look in the mirror, I see history and a direct line to a woman who was strong, resilient, kind, and full of life and laughter. I see beauty…..

While recently visiting the Smithsonian African Art Museum, I came across this 20th century Angolan mask of a woman who is supposed to be the epitome of beauty. The craftsmanship was breathtaking but even more beautiful was the fact that she possessed my angular chin! Coming across her during my museum visit momentarily led me into a moment of self reflection where I came to the resolution that I need to celebrate every inch of my body and I can no longer allow anyone in the flesh, on social media, or in Hollywood set my standard of beauty.

I was hot and sweaty but in my element . I love D.C. museums 🙂

I also loved this 19-20th century Nigerian mask of a young woman. I also interpreted her larger than life crown as her glory and not something to be ashamed of.