Friday Jr and The WKND Weekend

 

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Well, I had such a busy weekend I am just now getting a chance to sit down and blog about it. It was Thursday, also known to many as Friday Jr. (smile), that I got up the nerve to show up at a Memphis Bloggers Exchange Happy Hour. It was sponsored by the Nashville Bloggers Exchange. The place we met up at is new to Memphis. It’s NOT a club, but a place where you come to hang out, have great drinks, great conversations, good food, relax and unwind with friends or you can fly solo. Service was top notch from our entrance to our exit.

First, let me tell you when I walked I was nervous. Why? Well, if you have followed my blog for a while you know I have been through a rough few years. I was worried about meeting new people. Something that use to not bother me as much before Rheumatoid Arthritis came out of remission and brought fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and diabetes with it. Long story short, it changed the game as far as friendships, my social life, and the how I deal with people all together. Well, after walking into therapy with anxiety on level 8, giving myself all the reasons I should not go, I left with anxiety on 2 and all of the reasons I should go. I am so glad I did! I made so many great connections and diversified connections at that. These are just a few of the bloggers, writers, vloggers and photographers that were at the event. These wonderful group of ladies and more are right here in my city and now we are connected via social media.

We were invited to not only meet up, but to take photos, blog about our experience at this new hot spot in our city. We were able to try their entire menu! And everything was delicious! The cocktails were worth the money and I say that because if you are going to pay $10-$15 or more for a cocktail, you want your money’s worth. Tiger’s Blood Cocktail is what you see pictured above. I liked it so much I had two!

We were able to explore the venue and take pictures. You can reserve the booths we are in and they have several packages to chose from. They are also now serving brunch on Sundays! I love a good brunch! The patio was my favorite. It was very chilly that night, but the fire kept us warm as many of took advantage of photo ops. We were snapping it up and especially with a photographer on hand we got some great shots of our selves!

This was definitely a busy evening. I left there and drove across town to meet another group of ladies and we had karaoke, food, and wine. You know that had to be filled with laughter and great meet and greet. It was all positive vibes.

As the weekend rolled around, Friday I was invited to a movie. Saturday I purchased a small bookshelf from Facebook Market. I drove downtown to get it. I stopped by the Mississippi River to finish up my coffee from Starbucks and then off to ACE Hardware for paint. This was going to be an easy, less than 30 minute project.

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I painted the faux cherry wood bookshelf a dark espresso color that matches my new furniture in my room. It was the perfect size.

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And for the finale, Saturday night was epic and crazy fun. I went to a tribute for Bob Marley performed by some amazing reggae, funk, soul bands from my city, Memphis. It was a friend’s birthday week and I invited her to get out and enjoy herself. We met up with two others and it was so much fun. Too much fun lol! We ended up at iHop and I haven’t been there in about 15 years. I made it home safely and Sunday I slept in. I was home all day recovering from a very long week as I was at the hospital every morning with my dad and then coming home to do my own personal business and parent. Add the weekend to that and you have a run down chic! I was feeling the pre-pain before the big earthquake that landed Monday evening. Serious pain and mental drain. I have a heel spur I think from walking the long walk daily last week to and from my dad’s hospital room and serious back and hip pain radiating to the thigh. I know for sure my back and shoulder is a fibromyalgia flare. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade that wild and crazy weekend for anything and it brings me great joy to be there in the mornings for my dad to help or keep him company until he can home.

~Nikki

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Prepared To Be Myself

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Prepared to be myself and only myself. I have done the ground work in the previous years and now I am building upwards. Who I thought I was, I was not ( I discovered this when I turned 26 and had my daughter. But, that was all I did. A shocking truth, but it would take another 10  plus years to ACT upon that revelation). And that is the case for most of us living in this world. We really believe we are who we are. But, I am here to tell you unless you have taken a real journey within yourself you may be surprised to find out you are not who you think you are. You’re more than likely a product of what you have been taught and what life has shaped you to be. I am not saying all of that is bad, but I am not saying all of it is good either. How about it can be neither bad or good? It just “is”. You can take the journey by force or by choice. And even by force you still have a choice not to examine yourself and the situation. There is much more to you than you know. Much more authentic power. Much more than a body. Much more than a religion or not.

Question your actions, examine your choices in life, and ask what was my part in this situation? If you did that and answered yourself honestly, you may not like who you are  or you may discover something wonderful. It takes work to discover who you really are and for me it took Divine guidance from the one I call God or Creator. I am talking about REAL HARD WORK. UGLY, DIRTY WORK. GROUND BREAKING AND HEART BREAKING WORK. BEAUTIFUL and AWE INSPIRING WORK. HEALING AND REVEALING, REFLECTIVE WORK. STILL WORKING. It takes faith, courage, and strength. It’s why some don’t like me and why others don’t know what to think about me. HA! Prepared to be called not a real Christian by my peers and prepared to be welcomed into a circle by those who “get me.” Michelle Obama said in her book, Becoming, “You have to learn to live with the doubters. The great ones always do.”  (Something like that).

But let’s talk about this pretense. The ability to walk into a room without pretense means you are not pretending to me something or someone you are not. You are the same in the room as you were in your car, on the job, at home. You are not trying to impress anyone by being something or someone that you are not. The best impressions are made by being yourself. If not, you will have to be that other person each time you are around that group and it is exhausting. I’ll never forget the day in recent years I thought I knew someone and was developing a good friendship with them and was shocked to see another side of them once we were in close quarters with another group. I expected the bitchy behavior from the others, but not that one. I was more disappointed and honestly hurt. I got over it. If I don’t know who you are, I just don’t deal with you because I don’t have time to figure it out. So, be who you really are. If you are not a “mean girl” don’t become one in front of other women who are. If you are not a gossiper, then don’t become one in front of others. If you are any of those things, seek help soon. (hahaha).

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From the movie “Analyze That” 

I am prepared. Even with fear, anxiety, or what ever emotion moves through me, I am prepared to be me. Unapologetically, nice. Kind. Emotional. Sensitive. Chill. Weird. Artsy. Nerdy. Sexy. Spiritual. Open. Closed. Reserved. Wild. Quiet. And more. Dispensing those sides of me however and whenever I feel comfortable or necessary. I think that harmony with one’s own spirit is a merger that is sometimes out of focus. I hope to become completely in harmony with my spirit. I use to think that meant being a certain way all the time. It doesn’t. It fluctuates sometimes as you learn and are presented with situations to grow. And that, too, is okay. You can always come back to the core of who you REALLY are. You can always refocus or re-center and ground yourself.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Physical Limitations, Anxiety, & Will They Understand?

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“Nicole, you need to get out. You need to get with people that like to do the things you like to do. You need to go places you like to go and maybe you will meet people that like to do the things you do.” -Therapist

“Sounds like a plan. I am on it.”- Me

And as I began to search for a group, so began the anxiety. “Nicole, you never come around. Nicole, you hardly ever show up. Nicole, why can’t you go here, there, and everywhere. Nicole, I am tired, too. Nicole, I have done 20 things this week and you have only done 5 and you are exhausted? Why don’t you try ginseng, turmeric, more exercise, go gluten free, try the Keto diet, the Mediterranean diet.” Oh-My-Gosh would you please leave me alone is what I think, but I just nod my head. After all, you are just trying to help I suppose.

I joined a few groups and I started a group in spite of these concerns. I don’t know how it’s going to pan out. I don’t know if they will be like most people and “just don’t get it” or if finally, someone will get it. Either way, I will still be who I am with what I have and on a continuous path to growth. Hopefully, I can make some new friends along the way that enjoy the things I enjoy, too.

~Nikki

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: It’s Not Personal?

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Before I saw this quote the other day, I received a phone call from someone and they were telling me about something very important they misplaced. This person misplaces numerous things on a regular basis. As I began to try to have a conversation about them needing to slow down, pay attention, which is something even strangers have said to them, they did what they usually do to me and a few others they don’t “seem” to value much, they got offensive.

I continued to make my case in a non-threatening, caring way and I got off the phone. I almost became irritated. I almost took it personal, but I remembered what I have been drilling in my head for the past year, “It’ not me, it’s them.” “They have the problem. I can honestly say I didn’t do anything wrong. I am going to continue with my pleasant morning.” Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes it’s not. You just have to know when and decide what your response will be. I read this quote over and over until something else stood out, “compulsion to react.” I’ve been compulsively reacting to this person’s madness, with madness, ever since I realized I was old enough to do so. I reacted with madness and anger because that is all I knew. It is what I was taught to do by this person. (I didn’t even know that until therapy). You hurt me with words, I hurt you with words. Especially, since no one can stop me or I can’t be punished for talking back. In that moment when the person became defensive, I could have became offensive, but I didn’t. I didn’t compulsively react. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PRACTICE and it was effective that day for me. In other attempts, this person would get more and more belligerent and obnoxious. And I would explode!

As I navigate this complex family dynamic, with more knowledge and practice, I hope to gain for myself the peace I have so rightly deserve from childhood until the present moment. I hope to be able to not compulsively respond, not take it all personal, to rightly respond, to insist on my boundaries, to protect my peace, and to not beat myself if I don’t “always” get it right (another burden placed on me by the same authoritative figure).

~Nikki

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