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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Karyn's Self-Care Solution

Some times you need a reminder!
Without going into too many details, the past few months (the past year really) have been trying, stressful and often overwhelming. The past few weeks especially. Financial problems, career stress, even the home that is usually my sanctuary has become a major stressor.

So what does a Get It Together Girl do when the going gets tough? She rolls up her sleeves and works that much harder. But (and this is a big but) there are limits. When you reach those limits, cracks begin to appear. Things fall through those cracks and as the stress continues, those cracks become bigger and more perilous.

Stress manifests in different ways. This is what it looks for me.

  • Insomnia: All week I lived off of 2 to 3 hours a night.
  • Poor Diet: Sleepy and stressed, I went to my go tos: caffeine (Cokes and coffee), junk food (potato chips and Snickers bars) and fast food (Quarter Pounders).
  • Emotional: Irritable, weepy and culminating in a major panic attack
  • Forgetful: I had to record an interview for my podcast and I forgot to turn on the recorder, so I lost an hour’s worth of an amazing interview.
  • Withdrawal: I slink into a corner when the going gets really tough. I don’t reach out to friends or use my support system like I should.
  • Poor Judgment: After a series of air conditioner issues, the unit was running but I noticed there seemed to be water damage in the ceiling of my garage. After several days of progressive worsening damage, I decided to check it out. I climbed up to the space over the garage, slipped off of a beam and almost fell through the dry wall, ending up bruised and creating a big hole in my garage.

I knew I needed to do something to get back on track. So here was Karyn’s Self-Care Solution:
  • Social: Friday night had a girl’s night out. We met for dinner and say Magic Mike: XXL. It felt good to be around friends. I needed that.
  • Rest: When I got home, I ran a warm bath and went to bed. 12 hours later, I woke up. I needed that.
  • Diet: After a good night’s sleep (finally) it was time to deal with my diet. I went to the grocery store, loaded up on fruits and veggies. I had a big salad for lunch and a green smoothie. For the first time in over a week, I actually drank water.

For the rest of the day, I am catching up on some TV, journaling, hanging out with the dog and resting (and getting off the computer after I post this). Not up for fireworks tonight but it’s okay. I feel like my old self. Sure, I have things to do for my podcast. I have chores to take care of. But you know what? All of that can wait.

Going forward, I am going to make sleep and diet a priority. This week I plan on getting back to 9Round and working out too. You see, self-care at its most basic level isn’t about mani-pedis and bubble baths. It is about doing what you have to do to take care of your needs. I’m taking care of me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Heritage, History ... and Hate?

Fly it over your own house; just
don't fly it over the statehouse.
I live 10 minutes away from South Carolina. The grief, confusion and anger over the nine people who lost their lives in Charleston is real. While we wait to see how this saga plays out, it has reopened the discussion of removing the Confederate flag from flying atop the South Carolina statehouse. I believe it is time to take it down.

Proponents of the flag cite ‘heritage’ as a reason it should continue to fly. They say, it isn’t even the Confederate flag. It is a battle flag flown by Confederate troops in Northern Virginia. I’m not going to dispute the history of the battle flag.

However, since that time, it has been appropriated by racists and Klansmen. It has been draped over lynching victims and used to terrorize Black people. For many South Carolinian and black people nationwide, the heritage it represents is one of hate, intolerance and violence.

With so many constituents offended by it, it should not be flown over a government building. Sell it in stores (I think Walmart, Sears and eBay should continue selling it). If it represents Southern heritage, then fly it proudly on your cars, over your home or even your churches, just don’t fly something so divisive over the statehouse. It is a slap in the face to a large portion of South Carolinian.

Here is the thing. Symbols change over time.

For centuries, the emblem known as a swastika was a symbol of prosperity for several Eastern religions. It was a positive symbol. Then Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party got a hold of it. And now? No one really cares about the heritage of that flag anymore. In Western society, it is synonymous with hate and Antisemitism.

I am not equating Confederate flag wavers with Nazis. I make the comparison to show that for a significant number of people a symbol of heritage has come to stand for something else – something darker, more sinister and even deadly.

Out of compassion, out of empathy, out of love, it should go.

NOTE: This topic comes with strong emotions. Notice, I did not insult or curse when stating my opinion. If you plan on stating yours, please show the same respect.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Get It Together Girl Blog - The Reboot

This glass is half-full - but the good
news is that it can be refilled!
July 10, 2008 is the date of my very first blog post. Back then, it was called, Lose the Excuses. I have been blogging faithfully ever since to inspire, inform and share my life with readers. At this point, I’m almost 800 posts in … or at least I should be.

I changed my blog host last year. Due to an issue with the host, I have just lost an entire year’s worth of blog posts. I was annoyed yesterday as I talked with tech support. I was infuriated when I was told they could recover my posts … but it would cost me. I passed on that and decided to take the loss.

I went back to my old blog host, about 100 posts lighter, but that is okay. I had to redesign this template to reflect my new website design and it took me about an hour but now I’m back in business.

The Get It Together Girl Blog continues.

Actually, I think this will be a good thing.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Lessons from Jake: Dog Fight!

I spent last week back home in Cleveland, and I took my dog Jake with me. If I didn’t think Jake needed a dog trainer before, I know he does now. He and my dad’s dog Bentley were natural enemies from the start. They were kept in separate sides of the house. It was crazy! What’s a poor pet owner to do!

I’ve had Jake for just a few months but he has taught me a lot so far. His ‘issues’ with Bentley made me think, “What happens when we humans encounter people that just rub us the wrong way?”

I’m a chronic (and recovering) people pleaser. I really, really, really want everyone to like me. However, as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that some people just don’t like me … and that’s okay. There are also people (not many but a few) that rub me the wrong way … and that is okay, too.

Here are four things to keep in mind when you find yourself dealing with someone you just don’t like.
  1. Functional, not friendly. You can be cordial. You don’t have to be besties but acting respectfully and making basic conversation should be possible.
  2.  Don’t share your dislike. Everyone doesn’t have to know how you feel about this person, this is especially true if they are family members!
  3. Limit your contact. Chances are you’ll have to see this person at some time. However, you don’t need to sit right next to them on a 12-hour road trip or rub elbows with them over Thanksgiving dinner!
  4. Don’t do the drama! Yes, you aren’t crazy about this person. Yes, they probably aren’t crazy about you either. However, do not dissect their every move or comment, looking for dirt. Looking for ways to dislike the person even more isn’t productive or helpful.
You might be oil and the other person could be vinegar. It's okay. Dislike doesn't have to descend into disgust. It is what it is. In the meantime, Jake will have a seat in some training program very soon!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Talkin' BlogTalkRadio!

There are as many reasons for having a BlogTalkRadio show as there are BlogTalkRadio hosts. The overwhelming majority of host get paid little to nothing to do their shows. However, a quick listen and you’ll find a lot of people with a lot of passion coming over the Internet airwaves. On tonight’s show, I’ll be talking to two members of my BlogTalkRadio family about their shows and why they do what they do.

Tekneshia Day is the host of The Bright Side with Teknesia which airs daily at noon and handles a myriad of topics. A trained journalist, BlogTalkRadio is part of Tekneshia’s way of branding herself as a broadcaster.

Myra Hunn is the host of Endless Encouragement. After a life filled with ups and downs, Myra knows first-hand how important encouragement is. Her show is perfect for people looking for a dose of positivity.

I love talking to passionate people and tonight’s show will be great because I’m talking to two passionate women.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dads Rock!

Sure, it's the day after Father's Day, but it's never too late to celebrate dads. Tonight's show is dedicated to great dads. While we always hear about the absentee and dead bet dads, there are a lot of men who are doing a great job raising their kids and quietly take care of business. Saladin Davis is the oauthor of Life 101 and became a dad at the tender age of 13. Glenn Chester is one of the founders of BMRGA, Black Men Raising Girls Alone. Hogan Hilling is one of the co-authors of Dads Behaving Dadly.
Join us tonight, it will be a great show. In the meantime, here is a big of a tearjerker from Dove about dads.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Life Just Got Awesome!

A week ago today, my job ended and I set out on the journey of entrepreneurship. My workplace had become toxic and hostile and was only getting worse. As my work environment worsened, a  small voice continually whispered to me, “If you step out on faith and leave this job, you will not fall.”

As bad as things were, I had a reliable paycheck and benefits. Things were comfortable. Yet that same voice said, “Sometimes you have to give up good in order to move to great.” I had been preparing for this transition and when it came, I was neither surprised nor saddened. In fact, I was ready. I had planned for it.

I woke up Thursday morning to a whole new world. Gone was the stress and frustration. I worked out for the first time in a long time. The desire to ‘stress eat’, which I’d been doing daily at work, was gone. Just like that, I left it all behind. Immediately, I started working my plan.

If I feel any pressure, I feel the pressure to produce. I don’t have the safety net of a guaranteed paycheck. But, that’s okay. I move forward everyday with the confident assurance that things will work out.

I have the incredible opportunity to create my life my way and on my terms. I can do what I love and create a career that reflects my skills, my desires and my personality. Corporate America was not for me and if I have my way, I won’t go back to it. Every day, I heard, “Karyn you talk too much,” “Karyn sit down at your desk, you don’t want to be seen walking around too much,” “Karyn, don’t say that or tell that joke,” “Karyn don’t sing,” “Karyn, for goodness sake, stop dancing!”

Now, working for myself, I’ll talk as much as I want. I’ll walk around if I feel like it. I will tell as many corny jokes as I want to and my work day will have singing and dancing breaks built-in, thank you very much!
I am looking forward to growing my show, selling my books and becoming an in-demand professional speaker.

Last Wednesday, my life got awesome and it is only going to get better!