My Husband is my Life Coach

Sometimes I don’t give Lorenzo enough credit. I always let him know how much I appreciate him, but I don’t think I give him enough credit.

I always thank him for the things that he does, even the little things because I want him to know that what he does is appreciated. In a past relationship, I was told that I don’t appreciate anything which I took kind of hard and didn’t want to bring a negative habit into this relationship. Granted this relationship is way better than that one, it’s about give AND take; it may not always be equal but the intent is there.

I sometimes give Lorenzo a hard time because he works so much and rarely ever makes time to enjoy himself, which sometimes includes spending time with me. One day when he was working from home I had somethings on my mind and I decided to tell him what was bothering me. He listened attentively and didn’t get defensive or angry. He told me some things that he was feeling (things I didn’t know) and then we came to an understanding that we will both try to do better going forward.

I wanted him to relax more and have more fun, especially with me. He wants me to focus more on my work and getting a new job (I’d expressed a great deal of contempt for my previous employer and he wanted to support me with my goal of finishing my degree and looking for a new job). So we both came to an agreement that we would put more effort into what the other was asking.

One major thing I am grateful for is that he is very strategic with his life. Sometimes my lack of patience causes me to rush into things without thinking it all the way through. Before Lorenzo, I used to say that I wanted to date a man who could teach me things, and for this I am indebted to him because patience is a valuable tool when used correctly. Lorenzo is also the definition of “unbothered”; I’ve never seen someone who is so above any pettiness that I want to copy that same behavior. This is not to say that nothing bothers him, but when I say his reactions to other people’s foolishness is simply outstanding. It actually makes people approach him differently because they know he won’t feed into their craziness.

Here is a list of things Lorenzo doesn’t have time for:

  1. That

Its pretty awesome. Sometimes I want to get angry for him during times where I feel like he should be upset. He just explains to me how he feels and I just look at him and think to myself, “You’re either a unicorn or a robot, but I can’t decide which.”

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Sometimes its Good to Say ‘No’

Personal Story:

One of my sisters used to think I was mean. She used to tell me I was too hard on people and that I was too mean to one of my brothers.

I used to tell her she had a “Mother Theresa” complex and needs to stop trying to save everyone.  She disagreed.

Ten years later she is finally gets it.

My sister and I are complete opposites. She’s loud, hot-tempered, intimidating, but funny, extremely nurturing, and entirely too trusting. I’m quiet, determined, I’m “the nice one”, but I trust no-one, and I say no with a smile on my face.

I’m the kind of person who will move on from someone if they betray me in some way just one time. This took strength, because I used to keep people in my life that never had my best interests in mind. So maybe it hardened me some. My sister is the kind of person who will trust you and forgive you multiple times until the damage is severe. Sometimes she’ll even forgive after that.

We’ve had conversations about this over the years, how our behaviors differ from each other. I recently told her that even though it’s great to help others, she needs to learn to take care of herself first and there is nothing wrong with that (the saying ‘you can’t give from an empty cup’ comes to mind). There are some people in the world who you just can’t help because they will ALWAYS need it. They will rob you of your resources, energy, time, and patience and then blame you when things don’t go their way.

I don’t mind helping people, even when it comes to giving money. I just have rules that I go about before I do those things. For example, I never give anyone money that I might need later on; if I’m going to need it, I don’t have to lend out. I’m picky about who I give money to as well; my younger sibling who works and just might be falling behind this month, sure. My unemployed adult cousin who I don’t speak to very often and always seems to find money to support their bad habits, probably not. I’ll offer time, help, and advice, or just flat out say no before I take on the financial obligations of another adult.

So its not that I’m mean or just like saying ‘no’ for the sake of it, I’m just making sure that I can take care of my own obligations before I’m giving my last to someone else. Especially to someone who cannot reciprocate the favor if the shoe was on the other foot and I was in a bind. It may sound crazy to some, but I will say that it has saved me a lot of time, money, and awkward situations with people.

Three Signs In Male Fists Saying No, No and No Isolated on a White Background.

 

Why its Time to Retire… A Letter to my Future Self.

March 3rd marked the 19 year anniversary of when I joined the military. Just the paperwork portion of it, I didn’t actually go to basic training until a few months later. Every year on that anniversary I usually post a picture on Facebook or something and every year someone whom I’ve served with will jump in and encourage me to stay in longer.

I’m so sick of that.

Of course it happened again this year, and I think that no one believes me because I’ve been saying I wanted to get out for years and I kept re-enlisting. Once I hit the 14 year mark, I knew that I would stay long enough just to get my retirement. I figured if I completed 20 years, I can leave with no regrets because I did enough to finish and if I stayed in any longer than that it would be purely because I wanted to.

But I know me. I know that I will second guess myself half to death and end up staying out of fear (fear of what? I have no clue) and re-enlist again and ending up miserable. So I’m going to write a letter to my future self to remind me of this feeling I’m having right now and I’m going to put a reminder in my phone to check it also.

Dear Pat,

Enough is enough. Twenty years of your life is enough. You’ve been saying for years that you are tired of doing this, and you mean it. You have nothing left to give. The only way I can justify staying is if you’ve found another job that is relevant to your civilian career (which I doubt you’ll do in less than a year). Your back hurts, your knees are getting worse, you never really liked doing push-ups, you HATE running, and the food is terrible. Don’t be afraid to let go, don’t be afraid of the unknown. You have other things you want to do with your life so its time to move on.  You’d be doing a disservice to anyone you’d have to lead or mentor because you know your heart isn’t in it (and lets be real, you don’t even like half the people you work with anyway). You want your weekends back. You want to be able to plan a trip that’s not around their schedule. You actually want to travel to cool places, not middle-of-nowhere Arkansas. You can make extra money doing other things that won’t have you end up in the hospital because you threw your back out again, or because your asthma started acting up. You shouldn’t feel this way about your job. Don’t let anyone else convince you that you need to stay because they chose to stay. There was a time when you loved it, but I think that time has passed and now your heart is pulling your towards something else. If you decide to stay longer than planned stay because you want tostay because you’re happy, not because you feel like you don’t have any other options.  CREATE other options.

Love, Pat

Time to create some options…

 

This Degree Better Be Worth It

I never thought I would ever say this, but I am completely annoyed with school. Its not that the work is hard, its just very time consuming and I don’t want to do it.

I sound so childish right now, I know.

I actually enjoy being in school and I always have, it was just easier to deal with when I didn’t have a full time job, the military, a husband, and a mortgage to worry about. I also hate homework and tests. I guess that is why I enjoy reading: I can enjoy the content, learn something new, and not be judged about it later. I also do not mind having discussions about it and getting other’s points of view. But the homework…hard pass.

I’m glad that this class is almost over and that means just one more class to go. Most of my classmates will be done after this course and I can’t help but to feel some jealousy and a bit of regret for not being ambitious enough to take two classes at a time. I feel like I am squeezing in time to do the work for one class. I don’t know where I would get more time to take two.

Honestly, I feel that I get better grades than those who take multiple classes. I’ve noticed that some people who take multiple classes tend to get B’s and C’s on average and I (spoiler: nerd alert) have been maintaining a 4.0 GPA so far. I don’t want to mess up the streak. Of course there are other factors that could contribute to people not getting A’s, but that is just something I picked up on since I’ve started school.

I know a few people who’ve completed their Master’s programs and have vowed to stay a way from school for a while. I know I’m going to SAY the same thing but I’m a liar that way. I KNOW I will end up in someone’s classroom sooner or later.

I think I like to torture myself this way.

To All the Books I Haven’t Read

Do we have any bibliophiles here?

If you’re anything like me you have a shelf, drawer, room, and Kindle full of books you haven’t read yet, but it still hasn’t stopped you from purchasing more. I used to have a lot of books. A lot. When I was in college, I was a member of a mail order book club (I can’t remember the name) and somehow managed to read for leisure in between classes. I think I would’ve gotten better grades if I paid more attention to my school work but that’s water under the bridge.

I’m not sure what happened to them, but most of them are gone now, probably donated after I came home from Iraq. I managed to save some good ones, and I can’t wait to get started on them (and re-read some others).

Here is a short list of some that I am going to start, and some I have to finish:

Successful Women Think Differently, Valorie Burton (just started this one and I also have the sequel Successful Women Speak Differently)
Think and Grow Rich for Women, Sharon Letcher (just finished)
Understanding Stocks, Michael Sincere (re-read)
The Emperor of Ocean Park, Stephen L. Carter
Reading Like a Writer, Francine Prose
The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene (need to finish)
Growing Up Black, Jay David
And I have about 50 other “Want to Read” books on my GoodReads app, plus a few classics that are just sitting on my Kindle as well. I’m sure I’ll eventually get to them all but honestly, having the convenience of a Kindle and being able to download them so quickly is making it hard to keep up.

I almost miss the days I would walk around old bookstores and spend an hour or 2 looking for a book or three, now I can just download them on my handy-dandy iPad. I told Lorenzo I would eventually want to turn one of our rooms in a library or turn one of the walls into a bookshelf.

I think he thinks I’m kidding… but I’m not.

I’d be happy to take any suggestions as well. Read any good books lately?

Books

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Starting Over or New Chapter?

So I did something a little drastic last weekend.

I decided to cut my hair.

More specifically, I cut off heat damaged hair that I’ve been trying to grow out for the past 3 months. So now my once shoulder length tresses are in an experimental curly fro. Why experimental? Well, because I still don’t know how to take care of it or what products my hair responds to. My friend and natural hair vet Queena is helping me figure it all out. She’s a blessing.

I’ve haven’t had a relaxer since 2013. I transitioned to natural, and would get my hair pressed about once a month or less, so my routine was very low maintenance and low manipulation. Back in October I realized I had heat damage, and almost ALL of my hair was affected. I decided to stop getting it pressed and kept it in braids until this past weekend.

I spoke with Lorenzo about it. I had to explain heat damage (bless his heart) and why I wanted to get rid of it. When my friend came over to help me trim my ends (I really don’t do my own hair guys, please don’t judge me), I told  her to just cut it off. So I guess you could say I did a big chop (sort of). I spoke with hubby again before I did it. He asked a lot of questions about how I have to take care of it going forward, what do I do if I want to straighten again in the future, etc.

When he finally saw the outcome, he stared and examined it. No smiling. When I asked how he felt, he said he wanted to make sure I was happy and was thinking of the best way to support me. I was way too excited when my hair just curled right up.

I also discovered that I have 2 different hair types. The back of my hair grows in loose spiral kind of curls (3C?) while the front grows in these loose zig zags (4A?). I think its pretty cool.

I’m pretty excited to see how this turns out in a few months. Lorenzo says he feels like I’m starting over, but I see it as starting a new chapter.

Long live the curls!

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The Purge

I think I spend too much time on social media.

Scratch that. I KNOW I spend too much time on social media.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now Snapchat- are the reasons I find myself wasting 30 minutes at a time scrolling through and sometimes leaving comments. Thirty minutes may not seem like a long time, but when you are supposed to be doing homework, and you stop every 15 minutes to check Instagram for 20, it can become an issue.

I know…I have a problem.

I was talking to a friend today who did a 2 month social media purge, I think I want to give it a try.

After paying my credit card bills today I also know that I need to do a shopping purge as well. I wonder which one will cause me to crack first.

The shopping one is hard because Lorenzo and I are still furnishing our home, so I should specify and say an “unnecessary shopping purge”. But the social media one is difficult too because everything is on my phone…which I have next to me almost all day long. It’s just so easy to pick up an re-download the app….

Wish me luck…