• It seems like just yesterday.

    When you lose someone you love the loss changes you.  It’s not anecdotal, a piece of you dies with the person. The same thing that weakens you, strengthens you.  The thing that took your breath away also gives you reason to breathe.  Early on in my grief I read a quote, “you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”, I remember thinking whoever came up with that must’ve been through a valley at some point in his or her life.

    On this date, 9 years ago, I said goodbye to one of the greatest persons I have ever had the privilege of knowing. People always tell me I’m doing so well but the truth is I’m fighting to live and not just survive. Yeah I laugh from a deep place again, my smile is genuine, I’ve even loved again. I am committed to living until I die but that doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments. There are days where I wish I could close my eyes and all of this would become a distant memory, days when the world seems so dark and lonely, days when I wonder how in the world did God decide that it was his time to go when there are sooooooo many eligible and viable candidates that do not deserve to walk this Earth.  On those days I stare into eyes that look just like his and remind myself…he was here!

    Always clinking,



  • Invictus:Unconquerable

    If you are a member of a BGLO, an avid reader, and/or attended a school that encouraged literary work in its assignments the word “Invictus” brings up certain feelings/memories for you.  I love this poem but in my youth I found it difficult to reconcile some of its sentences with my faith.  There was no way in the world I was going to recite, “I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul“.

    What in the blasphemy?

    My faith teaches their is only one God and in my mind repeating this line would be blasphemous and lead to damnation.  As I grew older, I developed and realized that there was a whole meaning behind the poem that did not involve asking monotheistic followers to “sin their souls”.  It wasn’t merely written for a rhyming scheme, instead, the author, William Ernest Henley, found himself in a situation that many would have allowed to pull them under.  I am sure as he sat in the hospital, suffering and dealing with challenges, diagnosed with tuberculosis, which deteriorated further, requiring amputation of one of his legs, Mr. Henley surely felt overcome by his situation.  Life had come at him hard and fast.  I can only imagine, the ways in which isolation led to depression and thoughts of suicide. Not being one to fold, Henley penned Invictus in what must have been his darkest hour.  My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Mr. Henley penned the way in which his life was to unfold.  He was still here and in the face of tragedy had decided to live until he died.  He was becoming the architect of his destiny!

    In Promised Land by President Barack Obama he discusses his mom being the architect of her own destiny.  He describes how she was not one to let people or society dictate what she should do, how she should act or how she should feel.  His words resonated with me.  I have on more than one occasion fallen victim to life happening to me.  Of course I’ve risen to the occasion but it wasn’t by design.  I defaulted into my architect role, acknowledging God as the master architect.  He knows my ending and everything in between but He won’t force me to follow.  It’s time for me to get on board, to begin designing and creating the life that I want.  I am happy.  I am loved, but I want more.

    In 2020…life happened, to all of us, and we rolled with the punches.  We dealt with what we were handed.  We made lemonade out of lemons…but today is a new day!  The end of a year many did not anticipate and the beginning of a year full of promise. So like I do every year, I welcome 2021 with open arms and I encourage you to do the same.  Grab your pen, your hammer, your chisel, your brush and begin designing the life you want.  I can’t promise you there won’t be any hiccups along the way but I promise I’ll be right here with you.  We are the master of our fates, we are the captains of our soul!

    Invictus–the invincible, the unconquerable!

    See you in the new year!

    Always Clinking,



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    Diagnosis: COVID-19 fatigue

    I am an introvert.  I love spending time alone, it is how I recharge.  But even as an introvert, I am growing weary.  Traveling is my solace and one of my coping mechanisms.  I need the beach.  I need to be beside blue water but while people are still traveling and as my mom would say “spreading joy” I have not brought myself to that place.  I want to travel without restrictions.  I don’t want to stay on the resort.  I don’t want to leave the restaurant by 8pm because of a curfew.  I want to be free!

    Trust me, I am not one of those cabin fever people.  I don’t get cabin fever.  How could I not love staying in the house that I pay for only a few days while the snow purifies the air?  However, this is taking cabin fever to an all new level.  I’m weary of this indoor life.  I’m tired of going out and feeling like the first cough I hear could be from a person infected with the virus.  I am tired of telling my child she can’t visit her friends or go to birthday parties because the truth is…mommy can’t lose her.  So I came up with a term for what I’m feeling.  I call it COVID fatigue (I didn’t really create this term but go with me).

    Being tired is one thing but being fatigued…that’s a different beast. When you are fatigued your muscles ache, your reflexes are slowed, you experience brain fog, you’re chronically tired and you can become moody.  These are just a few symptoms of fatigue but those are enough to make you want a cure, and fast.  2020 has been quite the year.  When the semi-lockdown first started I knew it was going to be a while before a treatment was developed.  I was prepared to stay inside for a few months if it meant that summer would be mine for the taking.  Never did I imagine that we would be less than 45 days from the end of the year and re-entering semi-lockdown.  I was certain that Pooh and I would travel for Christmas.  I was sure that I would be able to get together with friends and family for our annual celebrations.  Instead we are bracing ourselves for holidays apart from loved ones, at least 3 more months of virtual school, and lots of Netflix watching.

    2020 is out here throwing a temper tantrum and knocking everything off the table.  Yesterday I found myself saying, “yo, this is a mess”!  I’ve never seen a world like this.  I feel like Ernest Hemingway, “people are dying who never died before”.  That quote may seem funny because it is ridiculous but that was Ernest’s truth.  Things were so messy in his world, at the time, that the description, to him, was accurate.  Ernest wanted to fix things, put it back the way it was or make it better.  Ernest failed to acknowledge that he was trying to fix life.  But you can’t fix life.  Life is a mess!

    So how do you stay sane during the mess?  What is the treatment for this type of fatigue? I wish I knew but, like Sway, I don’t have the answers.

    The only real solution is to embrace the mess.  Many have found excitement by attending virtual brunches, sip and paints, meetups, happy hours and dance parties.  Fitness instructors have taken their workouts online.  Families are spending more time together, eating dinner together, talking more, and playing games.  People have found many coping mechanisms but even those mechanisms aren’t hitting like they used to.  So what is the answer?  The answer is pivot.  Find something new that brings you joy.  I have started decorating my house.  I’ve been in this house for almost 8 years but was always on the go.  I never realized how many things I wanted to do in the house until I actually spent more time inside than I did in the streets.  I’m taking my time with decorating, it takes me at least 6 weeks to make up my mind anyway.  Decorating is new to me, it’s exciting.  I realized that was the key to my sanity.  I needed something new and fresh.  Something that would allow me to take my mind off of all that is going on in this world.  That’s how you maintain your sanity.  Escape from the mundane, if even for 30 minutes a day and doing something that is new.  If it’s yoga, meditation, designing, coloring; whatever it is…

    Grab your vision board or make a new one.  Figure out something that you want to go after and do that.  We always say what we would do if we had more time.  Well now is your chance.  You have nothing but time.


    Still clinking,


  • Post Image

    If Only I Could Unhear it

    Don’t worry looking up the word “unhear” it’s not in the dictionary and it makes spell check angry (it puts up the squiggly red line).  It may not be in the dictionary but it is definitely a verb I wish I could do.  We’ve all heard the saying if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.  I must admit.  Sometimes I ignore that saying but for the most part I try to abide by it.  The person who first said that knew EXACTLY what they were talking about.  Words are sooooo powerful.  They can be used to uplift or tear down.  To make someone happy or sad.  Even Stevie Wonder said, three little words can kindle an aching heart.

    Well last Friday a few words caused what I can only view, in this present state, as irreparable damage.  For the purposes of this post and to protect the not so innocent dates and names have been changed.  I will call this person Johnny.  Johnny and I have been friends for a few years.  We’ve shared good and bad times but last year we decided that the bad times were beginning to outweigh the good.  In order to allow room for happiness in each of our lives we agreed to end our friendship.  We stayed away from each other and only spoke when it was extremely necessary.  Now there’s something you have to know about Johnny.  Johnny was my person.  Johnny has seen me at my worst and has watched me evolve and grow.  Johnny met me at a time when I was team no new friends but truly won me over.  I loved me some Johnny.  Deciding to part ways with Johnny wasn’t easy but I believed it was best for both of us.

    A few months ago, what I thought was a good opportunity arose and I thought “this would be perfect for Johnny”.  I reached out to him and he was on board to give it a go.  This opened the door for
    “no communication” to go to “limited communication”.  Johnny and I would speak ever so often to settle away this business opportunity but for the most part our dialogue was limited.  Last Friday, while trying to get food for the impending lockdown Johnny and I had a little spat.  Maybe it started as a spat but it surely ended like


    In the course of the argument Johnny said something that I never imagined he would say.  Something I could never imagine saying to him. I had to do a double take.


    I felt hurt and betrayed.  I knew we weren’t as close as we used to be but I never imagined that we were that far apart.  After hearing it I must say it probably took me 5 minutes to get myself together.  I was in a state of shock.  I must’ve heard wrong.  Johnny? My Johnny? Not my Johnny..he would NEVER! Oh but he did.  Johnny knew I cared for him.  He also knew that I was slow to let people in but once you were in you were in.

    I think we both knew in that moment that things had taken a turn for the worst and we needed to be away from each other.  As we were driving a song that we listened to over 5 years ago came on and it was at that moment that I felt the shift in the atmosphere.  I felt the shattering of a special love between my former person and I.  It felt like a breakup but Johnny wasn’t my boyfriend.  No, Johnny was more than that.  Johnny was the person that had signed the imaginary friendship contract.  Johnny was the no backsies friend.  Even though we had been on friend hiatus (facepalm) there was an unspoken rule…we were still riding for each other.  I would never and still could never say what he said to me to him.

    Johnny did apologize, more than once, claimed he spoke out of anger.  I heard Johnny’s apology but I could only reconcile two things…1) You meant it!  You were sorry you said it but you meant what you said or 2) You said it to intentionally hurt my feelings.  Either option didn’t sit well with me.  A friend commented today…I’m sorry that person didn’t think twice and spoke once.  That was it.  That was exactly what this was.  Had Johnny spent 15 more seconds thinking about what he was going to say we wouldn’t be here.  It happened Friday but it still hurts today.  I hope it doesn’t hurt tomorrow but it probably will.  For however long I feel this pain one thing remains true every time that conversation creeps into my memory a tinge in my heart will hurt.

    This isn’t about unforgiveness because forgiveness liberates me, not Johnny.  Johnny probably never even gave the argument a second thought.  This is about recognizing how damning and damaging our words can be to someone.  This is about making sure the people we love never doubt that we love them.  This is about realizing that matters of the heart is always at the heart of the matter.  I would be lying if I say that I instantly stopped loving and caring for Johnny.  I could say it but no one would believe me.  I wouldn’t even believe me.   But what I can say is “the best way to appreciate someone is to imagine life without them”.  Unfortunately, Johnny and I no longer have to imagine life without the other because

    Until next time…Always Clinking,


    Tee (I need fancy script for this)

    As always, feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section.


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