Wednesday, August 8, 2012


If you've been Keeping Up With BFly (which is not hard to do, since my posts have been few and far between), you know that I've been battling the bulge and telling all my business  documenting my progress, or lack thereof.  Since my last progress report, I've had to deal with some heartbreaking and life-shattering events, including the death of my beloved baby brother. After my brother's death, I stopped going to the gym and I ceased following the Weight Watchers program. I just didn't have the energy nor the desire to participate in much. However, I did keep in mind that I am on a journey to change my lifestyle and in life, tragedies happen, changes occur and courses abruptly change without warning. So, I constantly reminded myself, I must be able to navigate those things and not be thrown too far off my path. So, while there were definitely times I turned to food for comfort, I had some good days and some not-that-bad days. Despite me not following a rigid exercise/eating regimen, I'm glad to report that I have not gained weight as a result. In fact, in my last report, I was looking forward to getting out of the 220s and, guess what?  I DID IT!  I am now 219 lbs.

I recently started working out again and actually enjoyed the kickboxing class I took last night. It was tough, being one of the few big girls in the room, but it only made me want to work harder and keep going. I was sweating, feeling the burn and even had to skip while they jumped take it down a notch a few times but it only let me know that I wasn't just going through the motions, but actually putting in work. My body and mind are getting stronger; that, coupled with the recognition I get about my changing look (I get at least one compliment a day), inspires me to continue working hard and making the changes I need for a healthier, slimmer body.

Now all I need is a savings account set up for me to shop from when I reach my goal size/ I have any sponsors???


There’s been a lot of talk about our golden girl, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast, Gabby Douglas, who, at just 16 years old, not only led the U.S. women to Olympic gold in gymnastics but she has also landed magazine and cereal box covers. So why are people – black people, mainly – talking about Gabby’s unkempt hair instead of her achievements? Some would argue that ‘that’s our problem now’, we are always focused on the ‘wrong’ things. We would rather talk about hair and other superficial matters than important stuff like, a young black girl accomplishing her dream of becoming an Olympian instead of somebody’s baby momma or the fact that dedication and hard work paid off in Olympian gold for Gabby not celebrity-inspired gold bought by a drug-dealing boyfriend or the fact that Gabby is more concerned with keeping her body fit and healthy in order to perfect her gymnastic moves and not ‘drop, stop and poppin’ moves. While I agree that sometimes, we (black people) do get caught up in appearances, material things and glitz & glamour, we're not the only ones (hey, fellow Americans!) and I think there’s another perspective to this hairstory.
First of all, we are taught, from an early age, that one must put forth their best appearance as first impressions are critical and appearance does matter. A person who is neatly dressed and coiffed will have the edge over someone who isn’t. A person who is fashionably dressed is received better than, say, a plain jane. Not that any of that has a darn thing to do with the skill it takes to become an Olympian, but I’m just saying (our obsession with appearance didn't just come out of nowhere). Secondly, I am a woman and mother of a daughter. Throughout my life, if ever I had some place to go (or not), my mother kept my hair done. If there was a special occasion or an extra-special destination I was going to (say, London for the Olympics as an Olympian), my hair would be extra-tight. Not extra tight in a painful way but extra tight in a way that every hair would be perfectly in place and shining like the sun. I was taught that you should always try to put your best face forward and when out in public, you are representing not only yourself but your family, too. So, when people started saying, ‘Why wasn’t Gabby’s hair done?!’ I thought it came more from a familial, loving and protective place than a place of misplaced focus, unordered priorities or hateration.

I’m not gonna lie. When I saw her on the Olympic floor, I said, ‘Now why is her hair like that?!’ This was while beaming with pride from seeing a black teenaged girl doing her thing on the Olympic floor, instead of somebody’s club floor. I know nothing about the Olympics, their schedule, if/who was responsible for getting Gabby’s hair done – maybe she missed her appointment, maybe the stylist didn’t show up – but what I do know is that, in her most glorious moment, she should’ve been coiffed to perfection – just like all the other girls were. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say ‘all’ because I haven’t actually seen them all but all the ones I did see had their damn hair done. I’m not suggesting she should’ve had a long, wavy weave, 40 inch ponytail or bone straight tresses blowing in the wind. But I do know that the ‘do she was sporting could’ve been done much better than it was. A little bit of gel and a few – okay, maybe more than a few – jewel-adorned bobby pins could’ve turned that ‘who didn’t do it’ into a pretty, perfectly pinned pony. Hopefully, instead of taking the complaints as just a bunch of grumbling black folk, Gabby and her parents/team will take something positive from the backlash and put more effort into the golden girl’s future appearances. In the meantime, we are proud of you, you done great and we look forward to you doing, being and looking even greater. Keep going for the gold GABBY! We do love you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sunshine After The Rain....

Life has been pretty gloomy since April 26; the day my heart was irreparably broken by my baby brother’s suicide. Every day is a struggle…..yet it’s also a blessing. It hurts to know that my brother is gone but I am glad that I still have my life, other relatives and friends. Despite the pain, my family and I have been able to find ways to inject some fun, joy and laughter into our daily existences. One blessing we have all enjoyed is the gift of my granddaughter……A’shari, the gran’diva. Not only does she represent life, hope and future for us, but her personality is like a contagious sunburst.

A’shari is inquisitive, intelligent, independent and inviting. She’s quick on her tiny lil’ feet and her pretty miniature hands are fast & sometimes furious (she’s always pulling my hair or my earrings). At just 17 months old (yes, you have to include months, but that is a whole ‘nother post), she poses for pictures without trying to. She has no idea what ‘strike a pose’ means……but she does it every time. She’s a natural (check out her album if you’re a FB friend of mine).

Although A’shari’s vocabulary is very limited, she can ask for what she wants using words……some are spoken in English, others are spoken in Shar’glish. She’s such a girl…..but a tough girl. She loves to bathe and play with her dolls yet she favors her male cousins over the females; she will rumble & tumble with the boys and get right back up without a tear in sight. She loves to dance and she loves music; she actually has a few signature moves and can sing some words from her favorite songs. She’s got a liking for Strawberry Shortcake (‘CakeCake’) but Barney (‘Bodney’) is her boy. She likes what she sees in the mirror and in pictures; she always gives herself kisses & hugs in the mirror and when she sees a photo of herself within her reach, she will carry it around to show it off and kiss it constantly. I can say so much more about my precious gran’diva but I’ll keep it short & sweet. A’shari truly is a wonderful little girl who makes life more enjoyable just by being in it. The past six weeks have been quite stormy for me and my family, but she is our sunshine after the rain……….

Thank God for rainbows and little girls.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Terryn Clevon Pringle: 11/09/1987 - 04/26/2012

Two weeks ago, today, my 24 year old brother committed suicide. He took his red do-rag, looped it around a small pipe (that I never even noticed before) that ran across a small divider wall which separated the dining area from the living area in my mother’s house, tied it around his neck and hung himself. I was at work when I received the frantic call from my cousin. At the time, she didn’t have the facts. All she knew was that somebody said something about someone hanging themselves and she was calling me to find out if I knew what happened.  I hadn’t a clue.  I was just returning to my desk when she called and had missed calls from my sister and mother. I calmly told my cousin I would call my mother back to find out what was going in then I’d let her know. My mother was sobbing when she answered her phone and all she could tell me was, ‘Get Home….Now!’ Although I never imagined this would happen, I knew it was my brother. My mother wouldn’t give me any details and I knew, if something bad happened to any person other than a child of hers, she would have said so. It took 45 minutes (and assistance from my coworkers) for me to gain enough composure to get to my mother’s house because, although I did not have the story, I immediately broke down with the mere thought that something was wrong with my baby brother. When I arrived on the scene, I saw police officers and members of my family outside my Mom’s house, all in tears or with looks of despair on their faces. I ran to the closest cousin I saw (which happened to be my cousin who just lost his brother in March) and he confirmed what my gut told me already – Terryn is dead. He hung himself. He’s gone. Oh. My. Lord!  The news took my breath away and even now, as I think about it, it takes my breath away. My baby brother. My beautiful baby brother. My beautiful, respectful, loving, funny, courageous and strong baby brother committed suicide. 

Being B.A.D (black and depressed) is not something the African American community talks about in public, if at all. For the most part, in the Black community, therapy is frowned upon, thought to be unnecessary (‘just go to church, talk to your pastor….handle it’) and a waste of time and money (‘Why pay somebody to tell all your business to?  Tell a friend for free!’).  Women often form friendships with other women in whom they may confide (some of) their secrets, dilemmas and struggles. Sometimes, though, the things they choose to share are sugar-coated, taken lightly or even brushed off, while other things may not be shared at all. Usually, women who are depressed find ways, other than talking about or dealing with the issue, to ease their pain: shopping, eating, sex, gossiping or engaging in some other form of self-destructive behavior. Men are even worse. They usually deal with their problems by themselves and when they can’t come up with a solution or remedy, it often comes out in aggressive, destructive (to themselves or others) behaviors. As a ‘rule,’ men don’t talk about their feelings: not with friends, not with family, not with a spouse and certainly not with a therapist.  But gone undiagnosed and/or untreated, in men or women, depression can be…..and has been…..deadly.

According to Mental Health America:
Clinical depression is not a personal weakness, gracelessness or faithlessness—it is a common, yet serious, medical illness; a “whole-body” illness that affects your mood, thoughts, body and behavior.
Clinical depression can affect anyone: Anyone can experience clinical depression, regardless of race, gender, age, creed or income. Every year more than 19 million Americans suffer from some type of depressive illness. Depression robs people of the enjoyment found in daily life and can even lead to suicide.
Myths about depression: The myths and stigma that surround depression create needless pain and confusion, and can keep people from getting proper treatment. The following statements reflect some common misconceptions about African Americans and depression: “Why are you depressed? If our people could make it through slavery, we can make it through anything.” “When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable.” “You should take your troubles to Jesus, not some stranger/psychiatrist.” The truth is that getting help is a sign of strength. People with depression can’t just “snap out of it.” Also, spiritual support can be an important part of healing, but the care of a qualified mental health professional is essential. And the earlier treatment begins, the more effective it can be.
What causes clinical depression? Many factors can contribute to clinical depression, including cognitive issues (e.g., negative thinking patterns); biological and genetic factors; gender (it affects more women than men); other medications; other illnesses; and situational factors. For some, a number of these factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor can cause the illness.
Clinical depression is a treatable illness: The good news is that, like other illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, clinical depression is treatable with the help of a health care professional. In fact, over 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully.
Symptoms of clinical depression: Due to cultural backgrounds, depression may be exhibited differently among African Americans. To help decide if you—or someone you care about—needs an evaluation for clinical depression, review the following list of symptoms. If you experience five or more for longer than two weeks, if you feel suicidal, or if the symptoms interfere with your daily routine, see your doctor, and bring this sheet with you.
  • A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood, or excessive crying
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning waking
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
My family and I knew my brother was ‘feeling down’ about some things in his life and that he was stressed about other things but……aren’t we all?? We didn’t recognize that his normal laid-back demeanor had turned into withdrawal and disengagement. He made negative comments about himself but we didn’t see them as anything life-threatening. We just continued to encourage him, uplift him and offer our support to assist him with whatever endeavor he chose to improve his life. He was a hardworking young man who, seemingly to us, kinda had it made. He lived at home with Mom, she paid all of the bills, he had an adoring girlfriend and many friends. He was handsome, well-dressed, well-groomed, well-respected and well-received by most (if not all) who knew him. He loved his family and spent quality time with his nieces & nephews. In hindsight, though, I see the signs clearly. He had become less willing to participate in activities, he was losing weight and he was dealing with a few very serious, personal dilemmas. One glaring memory that says it all to me (now) is that, for my mother’s birthday in January, my brother, sisters and I planned to go out to dinner and have our family picture taken. Up until the day we were supposed to go, my brother was on board. But when I called him that day to make sure he was all set for that evening’s plans, he told me ‘No.’ He said he wasn’t going and that we didn’t need him in the picture anyway. I just brushed it off to him being a brat and not having what he always thought he needed (a pocket full of money and the 'perfect' outfit). I later learned that he told my mother his being in the picture would only mess it up. WHERE he got that idea and WHY he would ever think that is way beyond any of our understanding. My brother was the baby in the family….and my mother’s only son. He was showered, smothered and covered in love & attention every single day of his life. Unbeknownst to us, what we gave was not ‘enough’ to sustain my brother and his emotional/mental health. He had negative feelings that were too strong for any amount of love and attention to dispel. He apparently was suffering from mental illness and we had no idea; I'm not even sure if he realized it. But, even if we had known, we didn’t have the power to change it. I just hate that, having dealt with depression myself, I didn’t recognize it in my brother. I was so busy trying to make him believe what I thought of him that I didn’t take the time to listen all the times he expressed how he felt and what he believed about himself. I did not realize he needed much more than words of encouragement & inspiration; I did not hear his cry for help…..and it hurts like hell.

I can (and sometimes do) torture myself with the ‘Ifs, Ands, Buts, Whys, Whens, Whos and Hows’ but it will not bring my brother back. All I can do is cherish his memory and keep it alive by sharing his story….my story….our story. In doing so, I hope that somebody, somewhere will learn something from my family’s experience and be encouraged to get the help they need.  If you take away anything from this blog post, please recognize the seriousness of depression and the importance of not only recognizing the symptoms of depression in yourself or a loved one, but taking action. Hold on to hope, hold on to health, hold on to love and hold on to life!
My dearest baby brother……My heart literally aches for you.  I wish you were still here to talk with and laugh with, spend time with and hold hands with…..I miss your great big hugs and sloppy, baby brother kisses and most of all, I miss hearing your voice & seeing your gorgeous face. I miss you so much.  But you are gone, forever and I must find a way to accept and make peace with that….and with God’s grace, I will. Now that you have your wings, may you Rest In Eternal Peace, Terryn……I Love You.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


As I’ve stated before, this blog started out in one direction then I decided to switch lanes. I thought it would be better…….more interesting……if my blog didn’t have a theme….if I just talked about different things & various topics.  But I didn’t take into consideration that I am very much an organized, theme-oriented person.  Whenever I contemplate hosting any kind of event, whether it’s a last-minute, friends & family gathering or a monumental occasion, I have to think of a theme for it. For me, things just flow better that way. Everyone has their own way of doing things and organizing their lives. Some people haphazardly navigate through life with no plan or half of a plan, no clear direction or particular grouping.  I can’t operate like that.  Most, not all, things have to be done in a particular order or with some semblance of uniformity.  When I go grocery shopping, all of the cold things must be bagged with similar or like products, household items with other household items, boxes & cans with other boxes & cans, etc. etc.; when I take a shower, I must begin the body cleanse with my left arm and end with a cloth-free facial wash;   When I watch TV, I prefer to sit in a particular chair or position on the bed with a drink or snack beside me (I know, that’s badbadbad); When I plan a vacation or major event (such as moving, a party, life-changing habits)  the dates & times must coincide with another date/time of some significance (i.e., beginning right after or ending right before a pay period, surrounding & including a birthday, holiday, milestone, etc. or the beginning or ending of a week, month or year).  Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying I can’t be spontaneous. That I can do and is entirely something else.  Being spontaneous usually doesn’t include doing something that involves a major expense, extended time investment or long-term commitment.  There is no planning in spontaneity so that is not what I am referring to.  I am talking about making major moves or doing something that involves quite a bit of personal commitment.  To do something like that, in a randomly fashion just. doesn’t. feel. right. to me.  That being said, I will be taking my blog in another direction.
For years, I have thought about writing an article, short story, book series, novel, screenplay…..and blog about my experiences as a girl, as a young adult, as a woman, as a Black woman, as an overweight Black woman, as an overweight Black woman who is also a mother……a lover, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a daughter, an employee, an employer, a leader, a follower, a teacher, a student, etc. etc.  Yet, I kept telling myself that ‘nobody wants to hear about that sh*t.’  Well, I’m silencing Negative Nancy and I’m going to do just what my heart has always desired. I am going to blog about, write about, talk about my life experiences and the effects they’ve had on me.  If you want to read about it, good……if you’ll read & respond, even better……if you don’t care to read about any of it, that’s fine too.  Whatever your choice, it won’t stop me from doing what I truly want to do.  So, for those who want to stay with me, please have a little patience as I work on the technical aspects of bringing my new blog to life.  In the meantime, please read, comment on & share what I’ve written thus far. Those, for whom the journey stops here, well, I thank you for coming along.  In either event...
The Buttafly Diaries will continue………

Friday, March 16, 2012

Watch Your Language

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit”
(Proverbs 18:21, NIV)
Our words have creative power. Whenever we speak something out, either good or bad, we are giving life to what we are saying. Too many people go around saying negative things about themselves, their family, and their future. Things like, “I’ll never be successful. This sickness is going to get the best of me. Business is so slow I don’t think I’m going to make it. Flu season is coming. I’ll probably get it.” They don’t realize they are prophesying their future. The Scripture says, “We will eat the fruit of our words.” That means we’re going to get exactly what we’ve been saying.
Here is the key: you’ve got to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go. You cannot talk defeat and expect to have victory. You can’t talk lack and expect to have abundance. You will produce what you’ve been saying. With your words you can either bless or curse your future. Make sure your words are what God says about you so you can move forward in the life of blessing He has in store for you. 
Speak goodness, peace, health and wealth into your life today (and always)...........enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In Memory Of.....

 I haven’t blogged lately because, within the past 2 weeks, I have had to deal with the deaths and attend the funerals of two of my beloved relatives: one connected to me by blood, the other by marriage, both by a strong bond of love. I could say a lot about Nessa & Jamel and the relationship I shared with each of them but if you know me well enough, you’re already aware of it and if you don’t, well, you probably wouldn’t really care to know. That being said, I want to give them their space on my blog, to let the world (well, the small portion who pay attention to BD) know who they were and what they meant to me.

April 21, 1961 – February 23, 2012
My older cousin, Vernisia Eaddy, best known as Nessa, was the mother of one and an outspoken, funny and fun-loving diva. She moved to California more than 10 years ago but stayed in touch with family on the East Coast and made several visits back home. Each time she was in town, the family carved out quality time together that was always filled with love & laughter. Despite the fact that the marriage ties that originally made us family had been cut years ago, the bond remained and we never ceased regarding each other as relatives. She loved me as I loved her and her effervescent presence, bold fashion sense & big laughter will be sorely missed.

 January 10, 1972 – March 4, 2012

My first cousin, Jamel M. Tarver, and I shared a special bond. Not only were we blood relatives, born less than a year apart but our fathers were close brothers who practically raised us as siblings. Jamel was the kind of cousin/big bro who was endearing yet annoying. He was there, whether you wanted/needed him to be or not. He expressed his love with action not just words and was genuinely concerned with his loved ones well-being. He loved to be with his relatives and was determined to keep his own family (that included his wife and four children) together. Jamel had some struggles throughout his short life but he found solace in his relationship with God and his faith was strong. He was a committed husband, an involved & doting father, a loving and beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. Over 1000.ONE THOUSAND..people attended his wake & funeral to pay their last respects. That, in itself, speaks to the kind of person he was. Jamel was not just my cousin, he was someone I could count any time for anything. If what I needed was within his power, hed have made it happen for me.
Im going to miss his big smile, gregarious personality, belly-deep laughter and insane protection.but I will forever hold and feel in my heart, his everlasting love.

Rest in peace, my loves………

Friday, March 2, 2012

There's A First Time For Everything


1. Who was your FIRST prom date? QUENTIN

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? YES

3. What was your 1st alcoholic drink? RED BULL MALT LIQUOR....anybody remember that?? lol


5. What was your FIRST car? PONTIAC GRAND AM.....THANK U TRINA! : )

6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today? TWIGGY

7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? THE GRAN'DIVA

8. Who was your FIRST teacher? MRS. F (can't think of her full last name) @ DOWNTOWN DAY CARE CENTER

9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? CALIFORNIA WHEN I WAS A TODDLER....don't remember it, but as an adult, ATL BABY!

10. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk? SHERIDAN AVE CREW...KIM, TWIGGY & CAMILLE....INDEED WE DO!

11. Where was your FIRST sleep over? IDK...KIM'S, TWIGG'S OR CAMILLE'S

12. Who was the first person you spoke to today? MY DAUGHTER

13. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? MY MOTHER'S

14. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? USED THE BATHROOM

15. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? I THINK LL COOL J


17. First piercing? EARS

18. First foreign country you've been to? JAMAICA

19. FIRST movie you remember seeing? SOUNDER


21. What was the first state you lived in? NY

22. If you had one wish, What would it be? MY BROTHER-IN-LAW WOULD BE RELEASED FROM PRISON

23. What is something you would learn if you had the chance? HOW TO DANCE LIKE MY SISTER, NACOYIA.....LOL

24. What's the first purchase you'd make if you won $1M??  A VACATION FOR ME & THE LADIES

25. Who is the first person you'd call to share good news with?  ONE OF MY SISTERS  Bad News? ONE OF MY SISTERS

What Are Your Firsts?

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I used to love the sitcom, Half & Half (starring Telma Hopkins, Valerie Pettiford, Obba Babatunde, Rachel True, Essence Atkins & Chico Benymon) which aired on the CW from 2002-2006. It was a show about 2 sisters….half sisters……who shared the same father, Charles Thorne (played by OB). The sister had 2 very different upbringings and led completely different lives which, of course, let to some conflict. Mona was the eldest sibling and raised by her mother, Phyllis (played by TH) and Dee Dee, the younger of the two, was raised (and spoiled) by her married parents. Throughout the series, the sisters and their mothers had numerous disagreements and confrontations. Mona often felt neglected and treated ‘lesser than’ while Dee Dee seemed to be oblivious to her ‘higher position’ on the Thorne family tree. I loved the show because, not only was it entertaining, but some of the situations presented were real; things people actually deal with in those kinds of situations.  It reminded me of my own family tree except mine has many more branches than theirs; and where Mona & Dee Dee referred to each other as half-sisters, my siblings and I never, ever use the word ‘half’ when describing each other. I am the eldest of both my parents’ children: my mother’s 3 daughters and 1 son and my father’s 9 daughters and 1 son. I am going to break it down for you so please, pay attention. With my mother (Mom #1), my Dad had 3 daughters; with Mom #2, my Dad had 2 daughters, with Mom #3, he had 1 daughter and with Mom #4 (who became his wife), he had 3 daughters (one of which passed away as an infant) & 1 son.  After her 10 year relationship with my Dad ended, my Mom got married and had 1 son with her then-husband. My maternal baby brother shared a special relationship with my Dad and although he is no blood relation to them, all of my father’s children claim and treat him as if he were. So, in all, there are 10 of us (living).  Got it? Okay……moving along.
All of our lives, my father emphasized to my siblings and I the importance of family and of sticking together, no matter what. He didn’t care what the argument was about or who had done wrong, we better have each other’s back at the bottom line and that’s that. So, we lived by that, for the most part. There have been violations of one by another, in varying degrees and we have managed to survive them all.  Yet, there does lie an undercurrent of resentment and jealousy that hasn’t really been dealt with. Thing is, that undercurrent wasn’t sparked by anything my siblings and I did towards each other; it was ignited by the relationships between our parents and the emotions of our mothers. In the early years, at one time or another, each of our mothers was guilty of speaking negatively about either the other mothers, the other children or both. My Mom, in particular, wouldn’t allow us to claim 2 of our sisters who were born ‘on her time’ (while she was with my Dad).  Anytime we’d mention ‘our sister, so-n-so,’ she would promptly and emphatically say, ‘That’s NOT your sister!’  We never stopped claiming them though.  After a while, she got over it (I assume, when she got over her feelings for my Dad and moved on with her life) and, since then, hasn’t tried to make us disown our siblings. My other siblings’ mothers have been guilty of the same or something similar or worse.  Despite it all, though, my sisters, brothers and I remained a unit. My father didn’t have a lot of money so he didn’t financially support any of us as much as he was responsible for but what he couldn’t do with money he tried to make up with time. Some of us got a lot, some of us got very little, which is another source of the resentment a few of my siblings carry.

It wasn’t until we were all in our late teens – early 20’s, however, that the jealousy and resentment began to rear their ugly heads.  We didn’t recognize it as such, in the beginning.  It came across as somebody having a bad day or a nasty attitude or an incident-specific reaction. As the conflicts became more serious and behaviors more hurtful, deeper discussions began to take place. There have been times when one wasn’t speak to another….or a few. There have been loud debates, treacherous arguments and yes, a couple times, blows have even been thrown. Throughout it all, though, we remain a unit; partially because we don’t want to disrespect my father’s legacy by falling apart but mostly because, we really do love each other. We spend A LOT of time together and we genuinely enjoy each other’s company.  Our children are very close and within the group, there are extra-special bonds.  If my father were alive today (he died 8.5 years ago), I think he would be proud that we’ve managed to stand together, despite our issues. In my father’s memory, the bonds of sister/brotherhood remain strong. We fight hard, we love hard, we protect each other….hard.  No matter what goes on behind the scenes, we (will) find a way to work it out and remain side by side…..and ain’t nothing ‘half’ about that!
I Love you Charliez Angelz!!


Today begins my ’90-Day BFly Kickoff’ as well as, my ’40 in 40 Bday Bucket List.’ My BBL hasn’t reached 40 things yet but I’m sure it will, in due time. As of now, my list stands at 22

I am starting out my 90 day kickoff as an official member of Weight Watchers and my stats are as follows:

WEIGHT - 225 lbs.
ANKLES – 9.25 in.
WRISTS – 6.5 in.
THIGHS – 25 in.
BICEPS – 13.5 in.
NECK – 14.75 in.
BELLY – 48 in. (I know….whoa!)
SHOE SIZE - 8, 8.5

PHOTO (to be added tonight or tomorrow)

Now let me ask, how many of you would share this information with the world?  Yup, about 5….that’s what I thought! I’m not ashamed of my measurements though….this is who I am, who I built myself up to be. If I want them to be different, then it’s up to me to reshape my body and my mind, one day at a time.  I’m not afraid to share this information because it is my hope that I will help someone else who may be in the same or similar predicament.  Knowledge is power and believing in yourself is an immeasurable motivator.  Through my challenges and triumphs, I hope someone will be inspired to feel better, do better, be better!

*Progress Report #1 next Thursday

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Insanity or Resolve?

As most people (who know me) know, I’ve been battling the bulge for many years. I started out needing to lose 10-15 lbs after giving birth to my daughter and now, I’m on a mission to lose 75. Yeah…..WHOA…..what a difference! Pre-pregnancy, I weighed 134 lbs.  Post-delivery, I weighed 150. Three years later, I went away to college weighing 160 lbs.; at the end of  2 yrs., I came home weighing 180 lbs. From that point, my weight gradually increased: reaching a one-time, short-lived high of 250, hovering around the 237-240 range for a good 10 years and now hanging at 226 lbs. A few times during my battle, I did lose a significant amount of weight only to gain it all back plus some. You may have heard it before and I am here to attest to its truthfulness, if your mind ain’t right, your body won’t be either. Trying to lose weight without dealing with the mental/emotional component of why you are the size you are is a waste of time. You may make some progress but it won’t be sustained permanently. Let me give you an example of how your mental status affects your physical stature: About 15 years ago, I decided I was going to lose weight once and for all. I weighed around 190 lbs at the time. I suppressed my appetite with a pill and walked my way to 155 lbs. I don’t remember how long it took for me to lose the weight but I know I maintained the loss for, at least, the entire summer. At the time, although I knew I looked great, I was still bigger than what I wanted to be and the biggest of most of my sisters and friends. Mentally, I was a big fat whale. The way I felt in my body then is the same way I feel in it now: smothered & hidden. The way I look at myself in pictures now is the same way I looked at myself in pictures then: way too big. I thought I was huge then, but I’d give almost anything to be 155 lbs. now. When I look back at those pictures today, I say to myself & aloud, ‘Damn, I looked good!’  At the time, though, I was constantly being told by a certain someone that I did NOT look good…..and I internalized that and believed it (shaking my head @ the memory....woosaahh!). Unfortunately, due to the unrealistic method I used (taking pills) coupled with my mental state, I quickly gained back the 35 pounds I had lost and gradually, an additional 50+.  
During the time I gained the bulk of my weight, I was dealing with a devastating breakup and had involved myself in a series of placating ‘relationships’ with guys that, in the end, only magnified the pain I was already feeling. In addition to that, I never liked to cook and my skills were (are) limited so my daughter and I ate out A LOT. Fast food became my steady companion…..and has been ever since. Over the years, I’ve used powders, shakes and pills to lose weight more times than I care to count and I have no desire to try any of those again. However, there is one program that I’ve tried before and was the only regimen that worked for me. Weight Watchers, an effective and affordable weight-loss program, has helped millions of people (including me) lose weight. How did it work for me if I’m still overweight, you’re wondering?  Well, it’s a wonderful program for those who are serious about losing weight and getting healthy. But, it (or anything else) can’t work for you if you’re not willing to work for you in partnership with it. It’s no ‘get-slim-quick’ scheme and is ideal for individuals who aim for a lifestyle change, not a temporary metamorphosis (although it will do that for you, too). It uses a points system that allows users to monitor food/caloric intake and provides guidelines on not only the amount of food you eat, but the nutritional value of the foods as well. It also has a component that tracks exercise and activity levels.  I don’t view WW as a ‘diet program’ because it’s not something that can only be used temporarily. With WW, you can achieve your weight-loss goals and maintain them for life.  There are no pills and shakes involved that are unrealistic to a permanent lifestyle change.  On WW, you can eat regular foods, including those that are beneficial to your health and those that are bad for your health (albeit, at your own risk).  There are point values for almost any food you can think of.  So, you can keep track of how much ‘bad stuff’ you put into your body, along with the ‘good stuff.’  When I was on WW for a respectable amount of time (approx. 4 months), I did lose weight and, for a short while, I maintained it. However, as soon as I went back to my old, unhealthy ways, the pounds came back and they brought a few friends with them. I was so mad at myself for letting that happen because I wasn’t hungry while on the program and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.  As per my usual routine, though, I let my emotions get the best of me; and when that happens, I call on my trusty comforters: fast, greasy, creamy, fried foods. In no time, I was back to feeling sorry, tired and plain ole miserable. And being in that space is no fun, no matter how many smiles one manages to put on. So, I’ve decided to try WW again!
I know, I know…the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over, expecting different results. People, I’m not insane, trust me. Through all my trials & error, I have learned a thing or few. As I already stated, I know my weight problem will not go away if I don’t address and resolve any emotional/mental state issues I have going on. I’ve been making progress, little by little, day by day, in handling some things that I’ve let fester & crust over. I still have work to do but I am at a place where I am handling things in a manner more conducive to a healthier state of being. I am confident that now is my time to shed the fat suit and reveal the gorgeous, fit gal within. She is tired of playing the back, second fiddle, angel in disguise. She is ready for the world….and it’s either now or never. I know what’s going through your heads: Sunshine Anderson’s, Heard it all befooorrrrrre…….. You want to know what’s different today than, say, a year ago? Me. I’m different today… so many ways. Ways that I won’t get into specifically but suffice it to say, I value myself much more than I ever have. I know what gifts I bring to those around me, I’m aware of my purpose in life and, more than anything, I truly believe I am worthy to live a better (quality) life. Besides, nothing beats resolve. I have (to use a recently stumbled upon quote) made up my mind in a way that totally says, ‘I will not have to do this again.’
Starting tomorrow, I will be a member of Weight Watchers. Every week, for the next 90 days, I will post a Progress Report, detailing my food and exercise activities and any changes to my body weight/shape/size (in photo form). When the 90 days are up, I hope I am in a place where I can run this race without having to pay for WW or any other weight-loss program.  However, right now, I do need the support WW (and hopefully some of you) will bring. I welcome all feedback and constructive criticism. Even better, I welcome you to join me in my weight-loss efforts if you’re fighting the fat too.  Either way, please, do weigh in………….
*Disclaimer: I am not a spokesperson or paid advocate for Weight Watchers. I am simply expressing my personal feelings about the program. Hopefully, it may be of help to others who also struggle with their weight/health.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Most parents look forward to the day when their children are finally old enough, mature enough and financially able to get out of the family home and into their own.  I am no different.  As soon as my daughter hit high school, I was thinking of ways that I could enjoy my free time and empty nest. I imagined the places I’d go, things I’d buy and people I’d entertain…..any time, any day and any way I wanted to. Then, the day came when I had to drop her off on campus and say (a temporary) good-bye.  The day I looked forward to for so long had finally arrived and what a bittersweet day it was.  I cried (of course) and I think she did too, after we left. The separation was difficult for both of us; easier than I thought for me (probably because she was home every other weekend) and harder than I thought it would be for her (especially since she was home every other weekend). She survived for a little while but, needless to say (if you’ve been reading regularly), she eventually came back home to attend school.  After a year and a half away, she was back in the house and on my nerves, full-time.  It’s been 2 years, a pregnancy and a baby since she came home and now, plans for emptying the nest are back in full effect.
When my granddaughter was first born, I told my daughter I would give her 3 years to get herself together and out on her own. I know how hard it is to be a single parent, physically, financially and emotionally and I don’t want to see my girls ‘suffer’ or go through unnecessary hardship. At the same time, I don’t want to coddle (cripple) my daughter to the point where she is too dependent on me.  Besides, I had life plans that she so rudely interrupted by leaving college then having a baby. Those choices aside, I think my daughter is a strong, smart and determined young woman and I want her to become independent sooner rather than later.  Yet, I’ve been worried that I’m pushing her out of the nest too soon. Yes, she’s almost 22 years old and yes, she has a child of her own to raise and yes, she needs to know how to navigate her way through the real world. But, the ‘pains’ of young adulthood and (premature) motherhood are definitely taking a toll.  Like most mothers, my daughter gets angry, frustrated, impatient and overwhelmed by her baby (duties), sometimes. She works and has her own money but still needs Mommy & Daddy’s financial support. She’s had her own room/space for most of her life, but, some nights, she still wants to crawl in bed with me (I probably would do the same if I lived with my Mom).  All of these things, in addition to knowing how cruel the world can be, makes me apprehensive about sending her out there. However, there is much more positive to be said about gaining and sustaining one’s independence. Handling your own business builds strength and confidence and dancing to your own tune (as opposed to your mother’s outdated music) encourages freedom of self-expression. I know it’s important that she build a solid mother/daughter relationship with her own child instead of allowing a big sis/little sis dynamic to take over by default of me being head of household. I want my daughter to know, by experience, that one must deal with the consequences of their own actions. When you choose to become a parent, you choose to become responsible for someone else’s life for, at least, 21 years; and how can one fully take on that responsibility if someone else is still responsible for them? 
That being said, I had been wondering if I was trying to make her do too much, too fast. In the past few weeks, my daughter and I have been looking for affordable apartments for  her and the gran’diva.  Every day, I give her some information or recommendation on apartment hunting and I can’t help but think I do it with a tad too much enthusiasm. She never mentioned feeling any kind of way about it, but still, I began to feel guilty.  No matter how many times I was told, ‘That’s just the mother in you….it’s normal….it’s time for her to get out there… will be fine and she will be fine,’ the feeling just would not go away. So, I finally asked her, point blank. I said, “Be honest. Do you think you’re ready to get your own apartment?” Her response was, ‘Ummmmm, uhhhhhh, I don’t know.”  “You don’t know!,” I exclaimed.  “Whaddya mean, you don’t know? Either you or you aren’t?”  She chuckled. I then asked, “Well, do you feel like I’m rushing you…pushing you out the door too soon?”  Without hesitation, she said, “NO. No, I don’t feel like that. I need my space, Shari needs her space. We do need our own place.”  “Okay,” I said, “just don’t want you to think I’m just trying to put you out like that.” She replied, “Nahhhhh, I don’t feel like that.” WHEW! As soon as those words were spoken, her assurance given, the waves of my guilt were immediately calmed. She does understand that it’s now time for her to take flight; time for her to make a nest of her own in which she can care for, raise and teach her precious baby. Yes, I look forward to the day I can enjoy the carefree feeling an empty nest brings; still, tears spring to my eyes every time I imagine them out there on their own. I’m sure they will survive and thrive, as many of us do but, as they stand on the landing, ready for takeoff, I want to snatch my little birdies back and never let them go….but that feeling is to be expected……right? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

BFly's Black Herstory Month: The Single Mother

In celebration of BFly’s Black Herstory Month, I would like to give honor & praise to the Single Mom. By definition, a single mother is a female parent who is head of her household, raising children on her own (with or without some degree of outside assistance from the male parent or other relatives). I know there are some single fathers out there, raising their children on a full-time basis but I don’t know any personally. I am also well aware that there are some single (and not single) mothers who don’t give their all and are not committed to raising happy, healthy, well-rounded citizens.  I’m not talking about them. Today, I want to celebrate the women I know who do this job and do it wellin some cases, exceptionally well. Whether or not a single mother receives financial, emotional or physical assistance from the other parent residing outside the household, her job is never easy. There is a huge difference between raising a child 24/7 and spending weekends, holidays and other planned time with them.  A single parent works full-time with rare breaks and no salary. She has to fill many roles along with being a parent: she is a maid, a cook, a chauffeur, personal assistant, stylist, nurse, teacher, referee, counselor, disciplinarian and the list goes on and on.  She is not allowed to quit when the going gets tough and she has no substitute to call on when she needs a day off.  Single moms everywhere work hard, sacrifice greatly and give more than they ever thought they possibly could.  So, today, I want to give them a shout out, some words of encouragement, formal acknowledgment and thanks for making such a wonderful contribution to society in the way of raising good human beings.  To all the great single mothers out there, I say:
Bravo to you, my sister
Your job is never done
Yet you continue to put that time in
Long after age twenty-one
Long after the kids mature
And are well off on their own
Their mother is always ‘Mommy’
And to her, they’re never grown
They remember all the nights you held them close to your heart
All the baths you gave, the meals you made, the love felt from the start
Being a good mother takes more than can be measured
And the memories created, for a lifetime, will be treasured
All the lessons that you taught and the battles that you fought
Will be honored when you see how strong and tall your children walk
When they take their first steps onto the path of independence
Accomplish goals, pursue their dreams and know their possibilities are endless
It’s because of you, dear Mom, that they have drive, that they can strive
That they know how to live, laugh and love, that they can smile with their eyes
And for them, I’ll say, THANK YOU Mom, for all that you’ve done
For raising an ambitious daughter, for raising a courageous son
a child who can now face the world on her own
a child who can give love because that’s what he was shown
The most important job of all is raising up a child
Shaping them into responsible adults, making their lives worthwhile
So while it seems the work you do is hardly ever done
If you’ve raised up a child in the way she should go then your race Is clearly won
Sameialika Tarver © February 24, 2012
This poem is dedicated to some very special single mothers I know who, in spite of their circumstances, are doing a helluva job raising their children in the way they should go: My sisters, Charliez Angelz: R. Tarver, K. Tarver, S. Tarver, N. Smith, N. Tarver, A. Tarver, C. Tarver, my dear cousins, E. Brace, S. Tarver & R. Monell and sista-friends, E. Manley, M. Moore, L. Harris, C. Hines, T. Johnson, K. Johnson, T. Mitchell, K. Thomas, S. Monk, S. Grady-Moses, and L. Phillips. These women are awesome mothers of awesome children.  Today, I salute you!

'40 in 40': BFly's 40th Birthday Bucket List

In forty weeks and six days, I will be celebrating my fortieth birthday. Me, 40 years old…..WOW. Unlike when I was facing the age of 30, I am not feeling sad about turning 40. I was almost always the eldest person in my close group of relatives & friends and I’ve never had a problem with that… any age. That might be because I’ve never looked my age so it always felt good to hear people say, ‘You’re (insert number) years old?! GTFOH!’ or could be because I’ve just never had a problem with my age.  It feels weird when I say it aloud but other than that, hey, it is what it is.  Anyway, in my 39 years and 86 days on earth, I’ve had all kinds of experiences, been many places and met hundreds (thousands?) of people. Most of these experiences, I have shared with my siblings, relatives or long-time close friends. But there are many more people I should meet & share life with and much more for me to see, do, experience and enjoy.  So, in what I call my ‘Second Act’ of life, I intend to broaden my horizons, step outside my same ole square box and stop spending so much time in my comfort zone.

To kick off my ‘second act,’ I have decided to have 40 new experiences (big or small) in the 40 weeks leading up to my 40th birthday. Each week, beginning Thursday, March 1st and ending Wednesday, December 5th, I will do something new or different; every following Thursday, beginning March 8th and ending on my birthday, December 6th, I will post about the new experience I had the week before. So far, I have compiled a list of  <40 things I would like to do.  As time goes on, I’m sure I will be inspired to add more to the list. I am also open to suggestions.

BFly's 40th Birthday Bucket List:
  1. Go one full week (that’s 7 days or 148 hours) without any contact or communication with my sisters. (Please pray for me!)
  1. Submit my writing to at least one major magazine.
  2. October 2013
  1. Lose, at least, 40 lbs.
  1. Become a licensed bartender.
  1. Relocate to Charlotte, NC.
  2. August 2013
  1. Take a weekend long trip with myself.
  1. Ask a guy out on a date.
  1. Pick up the tab on a date (not necessarily the date in #7).  I was asked out on a lunch date and my date was shocked out of his socks pleasantly surprised when I offered to pick up the check. 3/23/12
  1. Fall in love….with someone worthy of my love.
  1. Go one week without spending any $ on fast food/dining out.
  2. October 2013
  1. Make a sexy calendar 
  1. Start a job doing something I love.
  1. Take a dance class.
  1. Get a(nother) tattoo
  1. Treat myself to a spa day
  1. Host at least one Charity Event
  1. Break at least one of my bad habits (going to bed late, getting up late, eating out 90% of the time, procrastinating 90% of the time, not sticking to savings plan, overspending on gifts for others……just to name a few).
  1. Have the awkward conversation that I’ve been avoiding; gotta say it and move on
  1. Run for at least a half mile.
  1. Eat something I’ve never eaten before at a restaurant I’ve never been to. (Any suggestions?)
  2. Make peace with each of my siblings (oh, you thought we were 'perfect?'...NOT.....pray for me!)
  3. Aug 2013
  4. Purchase something outrageously expensive (nothing to make me homeless but something I'd otherwise say, "sheeeeeeeeeiiiiiiiiiittttt!" to)
  5. Go Jet-Skiing
  6. December 2012
  7. Take a sabbatical of (at least) 30 days
  8. February 2013 (LOA)
  9. Revamp my wardrobe
  10. Host a  5-course dinner party
  11. Go to a live taping of a show
  12. 2013 Additions
  13. Try online dating....and actually go out on a date with someone met on the site.

What are some things you think I should do before I turn 40? Hurry up and tell me, time is ticking!   

UPDATE 11/04/13: Up until today, my list only had 27 things on it and I didn't accomplish these goals before I turned 40. However, I will continue to pursue them and add more until I reach 40 things. Instead of '40 in 40' before I turn 40, they are on my list of '40 in 40' to accomplish during my (estimated 40 more years) Second Act of life...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

3 Types: Which One Are You?

‘What about your friends, Will they stand their ground
Will they let you down again,
What about your friends are they gonna be low down
Will they ever be around or will they turn their backs on you’
(‘What About Your Friends’ - TLC 1992)
A person with whom I haven’t been in contact for some months has been on my mind, more than usual, lately (going forth, I will refer to this person as ‘Jae’).  The last time I communicated with her was not pleasant and, at the time, I couldn’t care less if I never heard from her again. When the breakup of our ‘friendship’ (I use quotes because it was really a friendship in the building stages) occurred, my mind said, ‘good riddance’ but my heart wasn’t so quick to let go. This was probably due to my compassionate nature, coupled with the fact that ‘the incident’ that led to the breakup wasn’t really her fault. She didn’t cause nor instigate it but she was a co-conspirator, of sorts, in that she fed into the drama and allowed herself to be dragged into the fray. To make a long story short, it involved her significant other (s.o.) who caused serious injury to a loved one of mine and was extremely disrespectful towards me and a few others (including my sisters, one of whom was supposedly Jae’s best childhood friend). Although she did not initiate the 'bush' that went down, she did nothing to stop it, and at one point, joined her s.o in the disrespect. ‘The incident’ took place at Jae’s birthday party; a party that my sisters and I planned, orchestrated and hosted (albeit, financed by her s.o.). Not only did the actions of her s.o end the party but also what was once thought of as a potentially life-long friendship. Devastating as it was, in hindsight, ‘the incident’ was merely the straw…..the back had been cracked for some time. Although there were times when she was sweet, thoughtful, loving and lovable, there had been ‘minor offenses’ throughout the ‘friendship’ that showed Jae to be unpredictable, inconsiderate, disrespectful and downright rude. Despite her claim to want to have great friendships and live a more positive, meaningful life, there seemed to be a part of her that enjoyed (or was more comfortable with) chaotic situations. It was as if a dark cloud was looming over her, daring her to run away from it to clearer, sunnier skies…..daring her to try to escape its negative energy. I always remind myself to be mindful of an individual’s personal history that, undoubtedly, has great influence on the choices they tend to make. One tends to lean towards people and situations that they are most familiar with. So, knowing Jae’s history, a part of me wanted to give her a chance to be better because I always believed she wanted to be, could be and, in time, would be. I believed in her so much that (against my better judgment) I made her a partner in my very first business venture. My instincts told me not to move so fast but my heart told me to give her a chance to make a new impression.
By nature (nurture?), I am a forgiving person. Everybody’s got a story and, I believe, at one time or another, we all need to be cut some slack and extended some courtesy of understanding.  I have known Jae for over 20 years and, in spite of her flaws, she has some great qualities. Jae is beautiful, talented, fun and funny. She’s creative, assertive and skilled which, under better circumstances, would have made our partnership a force to be reckoned with in the business world. She’s a great mother and hard-working woman who wants the best for her family and works hard to attain it. I’ve always admired these things about her and those parts of her, I do miss. Unfortunately, the wonderful things about her are overshadowed by the not-so-wonderful things about her. Like, her penchant for drama; it seemed as if she was never satisfied unless someone was hurting, fighting , arguing or their lives was in some form of disarray.  Or like the 'dark aura' that seemed to surround her; whenever she walked into a room, the air literally changed.......thickened.....became static. There seemed to be a common sentiment between people who had just met her or were in her presence for the first time: 'I don't know what it is, but something about her rubs me the wrong way.'  Nevertheless, since 'the incident,' there have been times that I’ve wanted to reach out to her; times I've wanted to talk or laugh with her about something, times I've wanted to connect with her. I've also wanted to tell her exactly how what happened has affected me; that I'm more hurt than anything else, that I want to know how, why she could allow that to happen. But, whenever I felt that yearning, not only has it occurred to me that she likely doesn’t care how I was affected and probably has justified 'the incident' in her mind, a part of me warned, ‘There’s a reason she’s not in your life anymore; just let it be. She will not change; let her go.’ 
Then, I listened to an excerpt from a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes, where he preached about the Three Types of People In Your Life. After hearing what he had to say, I gained a new perspective and greater understanding of the relationship I shared with Jae, and others who have come into (and some, now gone from) my life. According to the great Bishop TD Jakes, there are three types of people in your life:
1.  CONFIDANTES – You have very few of them; these are people who welcome you unconditionally. They are into you whether you are up or down, right or wrong. They are in for the long haul and you can share anything with them. These are people with whom you can share your deepest and darkest inner thoughts; people who won’t judge you and will feed you instead of drain you. They will confront you; they’ll get in your business, in your face and tell you when you are wrong BUT will also come back and be by your side no matter what. Confidantes will never leave.
2.  CONSTITUENTS - They are not into you but, rather, are into what you are for.  As long as you are for what they are for they will be with you but never think they are for you. If they meet someone else who meets their agenda, they will hook up with that other person and leave you. Please Don’t mistake a constituent for a confidante. By the time you fall in love or are connected with them in a relationship, they will hook up with someone else and break your heart, leaving you wondering, “I thought our relationship was deeper than that.”
3.  COMRADES - These people are not for you nor are they for what you are for. They are simply against what you are against. They are strange bedfellows. They are the enemy of your enemy who will team up with you to help you fight a greater enemy. They will only be with you until the victory is accomplished. They are like scaffolding; that which is there just until the building is built. After the building is complete, the scaffolding is removed. Don’t be upset when they leave. They were not supposed to be there anyway. Don’t tell your dream to your constituents because they will try to sabotage your dream or try to fulfill the dream without you. Don’t tell your dream to your comrades. They will not support you because they are not for you in the first place.
I now recognize Jae as a Constituent, not the Confidante I mistakenly thought she could be. She is who she is and no amount of sympathy, empathy, conversation, rationalization or justification is going to change that. Some people come in to stay, some have a purpose that they serve then go and some are not a part of your life, at all, they’re just sharing the same space for a while. Thanks Bishop Jakes, I think I’ve got it now! ;-)
Although there is much more that can be added to each of these descriptions, I think they serve as a solid guide to deciphering who fits where in your life.  Can you recognize any of your close friends or relatives within these three descriptions? Are you mistakenly treating someone as a confidante when they are really more like a constituent or comrade?  Do you think my assessment of (my relationship with) Jae is on target?  Talk about it……

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BFly Presents 'Way Back When's Days' Family Vacations

Remember, back in the day, when families actually took family vacations every year?  The family vacation wasn’t likely to take place in some faraway, tropical locale or require flight tickets. Usually, the family vacation was a week-long visit to an auntie/uncle’s house a few hours away, a weekend holiday spent with friends or relatives or a series of day trips taken over summer vacation. Wherever the destination was, it was some place you looked forward to going with your siblings and parents.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are from family outings and vacations: namely the trips to the beach we used to take with my maternal grandparents and the movie dates, park outings and overnight visits to relatives my mother & stepfather took us on.  I’m glad my mother was like the paparazzi back then: she has hundreds of photos that instantly transport one back to a specific time & experience and provides a healthy dose of uplifting nostalgia.  Nowadays, I don’t hear many people talking about family vacations.  People are usually taking ‘Girls Gone Wild’ vacations with their girlfriends or ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ trips with their homies.  Personally, I’ve been on many (long & short) vacations with my sisters and friends but only a few that I would classify as a ‘family vacation.’ I’ve planned many family vacays in my head only to be superseded by some jaunt or adventure presented by one of the ladies. Now that my daughter is almost 22 years old, she is less likely to want to vacation with Mommy so I am now planning for trips with the gran’diva. She and I will be sure to make some grand memories to last a lifetime.
What are some of your fondest memories of family vacations, either as a child or with your own children?  Do you have any suggestions for family vacation destinations?