“Hitting A Pandemic Wall? Remember To Show Up For Yourself” – #NPRLifeKit podcast @NPRLifeKit

Up to not so long ago, I used to scoff at that “putting on your own oxygen mask first” saying because it was not my reality, nor how I was conditioned.

“If I don’t do it, how is it going to get done?” was the ongoing question in my head.

I couldn’t apply this concept, not even in the smallest of ways, without feeling guilty or even better, being considered “selfish” if I made the mistake of saying something to a less than positive person.

Then, I fractured my hand babysitting someone’s puppy for the day (long story) and that experience was the beginning of understanding just how true that concept was.

With only one hand at my disposal, I either had to ask for help, postpone things I had planned to get done or simply cancel them altogether.

And because I don’t like asking for help, do you know what happened when I chose to postpone and cancel a bunch of things on other people’s priorities?

The world kept turning without me.

For the first time, I realized just how much time I was spending on keep other people’s oxygen masks intact while being too busy to realize that mine was dangling dangerously around my neck.

I was forced to focus on myself and the small things I could accomplish within a limited scope of one hand and in my own household. With a fractured hand, there was no guilt to be had because I had no choice but to stop. And with a fractured hand, the label of “being selfish” had no choice but to disappear.

I’m still not great at it but I’ve come to realize that “putting on your own oxygen mask first” in stealth and even if it’s just for a few minutes, is the best way to take a little time for myself.

Just for a few minutes can be as simple as taking a 20 minute nap right after work or spending an extra 10 minutes in the shower with some old school R&B blaring in the background.

In stealth can be as simple as buying an overpriced coffee and sipping on it in the parking lot after doing your essential pandemic shopping.

All of this is just to remind you to put on your oxygen mask first whenever you get the smallest of opportunity.

Are you putting your oxygen mask on first?

I’m a podcast junkie so this quick post was inspired by “Hitting A Pandemic Wall? Remember To Show Up For Yourself” – Life Kit podcast. #NPRLifeKit @NPRLifeKit

“This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like”

Black women have had to rely on wizardry to make it through this tumultuous life. We must harness magic to succeed and thrive through this bullshit. After all burnout for black millennials is not just tiresome, but deadlyTiana Clark from “This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like

When I stumbled across this article a few years ago, this passage resonated to me. It may focus on millennials but it speaks to most Black women, including older ones like me.  

How we continue to succeed though we often carry the weight of the world on our shoulders…

The level of stress and burnout that we go through…

How we can get ish done and keep going without missing a beat…

Like I read somewhere – if you want to get something done, give it to Black woman and she’ll figure it out (think Stacey Abrams).

In my early twenties during my second university degree, I remember getting into a conversation with a guy living in my dorm. I don’t remember how we got onto the topic but I do remember him complaining about something foolish enough for me to explain that the life of a Black women was, at a minimum, three times harder than his.

His privileged existence wouldn’t allow him to understand that as humans, we are all born into the world with at least one strike against us but that as a Black woman, issues of racism and sexism triple our challenges.  

It was clear that he was choosing to not understand what I was saying and since I’ve never had time for fools (unless I have time to waste), I wasn’t about to waste my precious breath on him.

That conversation was almost 30 years ago, back when we as a collective didn’t talk about or even consider our stress as…stress.

But I’m happy that in these modern millennial times, more and more of us are speaking out about these challenges and taking self-care more seriously, no matter how much others try to turn a deaf ear.

This Is What Black Burnout Feels Like” is a good article to read. It even mentions one of my favorite podcasts, “Therapy For Black Girls.”

cheap thoughts

I love it when I stumble onto something useful (and cheap) at Dollarama, kind of like this calendar of daily quotes.

It was definitely worth the $4.00, especially after I realized that I could use the quotes to fuel broader topics for this space.

I haven’t kept a longhand notebook since I was a child but that’s on the plan now.

Emptying my thoughts on a daily basis with a pen and paper before I start my day into some Morning Pages could only be a good thing for 2021.

What about you? Do you keep a journal or write out your personal thoughts on the daily?

#journaling, #morning-pages, #writing

What’s up with the blackberries?

I thought long and hard about how to explain the title of this space – Blackberries Are Sweeter.

Its’ meaning has a few layers that will reveal itself over time.

For now, this space is to drop random posts and riff off of interesting podcasts, blogs and other great reads that resonated with me. It will also be a place to ask questions that spark conversations.

Let’s see how this goes!

Thanks for stopping by.

M