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Make Sure You Have A Plan

If the past two years have taught us anything, it is to be aware of what is happening globally and locally. That means having a plan before the moment strikes. There are plenty of articles dedicated to preparing our households to respond to the next thing or incident. Preparedness is not a thing of the past; it is a mainstream way of life because we all know the anxiety that surprises may bring sucks. And, having your mind right and ready matters.

It is vital to have some semblance of comfort, and knowing what is ahead of you helps. Even a couple of weeks can make a difference compared to the previous experience.

Be Ready For The Next Incident – Plan Forward

a man wearing white face mask
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We are probably a little apprehensive when some say that we are on the other side of the pandemic. It is not arrogant to say that the past two years’ events are becoming the past, but what is next is possibly another thriller. So much is happening and unraveling around us. It takes time to digest the events and reconcile them to our lives, determine what is essential and unnecessary, and decide if anything requires an immediate or delayed response.

It is necessary to monitor what happens in your immediate circle and anything that may have an arm’s length impact on how you live. Do not let worry be the primary driver, but prepare to avoid being surprised. We probably know what we would do differently from the past two years, and we should take that knowledge and make it our plan to be prepared for the next time, especially in our individual households.

Follow Live Streaming Feeds And Hashtags

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It is not very comforting to realize we did not prepare for a situation that is spreading and intensifying in front of our eyes. Nobody wants to repeat the past two years of being spontaneous and panicking over a problem that was, in some fashion, covered on a global scale.

Here are seven easy ways to discover what is happening locally, nationally, and globally without relying on half-baked statuses, conspiracy posts, and secondhand or incomplete social media feeds.

  1. Check out the local news station that goes live regarding events.
  2. Make an effort to follow local TikTok users who stream live.
  3. It is a good idea to follow trending and live feed hashtags for TikTok or IG reels in the U.S.
  4. Follow hashtags for TikTok for IG reels for other countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia.
  5. Find a new stations in other countries dedicated to providing global coverage.
  6. Read blogs run by credible institutions. They will contain more information than you know.
  7. Twitter is still a substantial source of what is arising in the here and now, so check in on trending topics. 

Remember

“We are not preparing for the world we live in – we are preparing for the world we find ourselves in.”
― Michael Mabee, Prepping for a Suburban or Rural Community: Building a Civil Defense Plan for a Long-Term Catastrophe

white ceramic mug on brown wooden tray

Let’s Have Some Reading Merriment In 2021

Now that 2021 is in play, it’s time that you set your reading challenge. A good deal of fantastic books was released in late 2020. And 2021 will have no shortage of riveting novels. Also, if you did not get a chance to check them out, this is the time to add them to this year’s list. No matter the genre, you can always find a praiseworthy book.

Above all, for my 2021 list, I am revisiting some classics and continuing with my favorite genre, urban fiction. Last, here is a snapshot of the start of my list.

My 2021 Book List Looks Something Like This

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  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare
  3. The Celtic Twilight by Walter Butler Yeats
  4. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  5. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  6. The Legends of King Arthur And His Knights by Sir James Knowles
  7. Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova
  8. Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
  9. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  10. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  11. Tales of the Shadowhunters Academy by Cassandra Clare
  12. Something Dark and Holy Series by Emily A. Duncan

Honestly, there is no time like the present to indulge and escape in a good book. Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.” Reading brings a perspective that is necessary to thought and culture. So grab a book and enter into a world that will stay with you forever. This list is only the start of an auspicious year for reading. Last, I leave you with this, one ought to always revere the printed page. There is forever a story waiting on a willing reader.

A Review Of The Past 10 Years Of My Life As I Take My Decade Victory Lap

As we embark on the turn of a new decade I’d like to take a gaze over the past 10 years and share some highlights of my life. Truth be told, I look back in astonishment and gratefulness. It’s not because everything was perfect and went according to plan, mainly because I learned how to navigate the ebbs and flows of my life. Above all, I’m hopeful of what will follow and what I’m okay with leaving behind.

It’s not always easy to share experiences because you are subject to judgement. Furthermore, you risk exposing yourself to folk with staunch opinions. Without a doubt the idea is too approach the person sharing their opinion with an open mind. In essences, this more about events that have happened and how it shaped or reshaped me.

I’m sure 2009 to 2019 had an impact on you too. This sounds like a cliché but I had the best and worst of times. I was able to soar higher than the decade before. Also, I had some landing moments that were not smooth. A bump ride here and there. I mean I did go into cardiac arrest in January 2018. It wasn’t part of my plans or goals, it happened and I lived.

I’m me and this is but a snippet of my decade story.

The Dawn Of The New Decade Began With 2009

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In case you forgot, January 2009 was the inauguration of Obama’s first term in office. Four months later I would call northern Virginia home and Washington DC would be my new stomping ground. I vividly remember the start of the age, it was one of the coldest winters I have experienced to that date, only because I spent time with my brother in Alexandria VA. I would drive up from South Carolina and stay with him, well, because I was enacting some of my plans to conquer my goals. Achievement demands attention, activities, effort, and networking!

My networking and interviewing final materialized a grand result! In the spring of 2009, I had a major career change. It was a necessary upgrade. At age 36, I made a change in my career and life that would afford me the opportunity to achieve a few dreams. Folk, it worked out. Yes, in my mid 30s, I made a huge change which included uprooting my life.

My career was something that I began working seriously at the age of 26. When I use the word seriously, it means that I started planning a switch or major overhaul way before the 2009-2019 decade. The decade prior 2009, I was obtaining degrees and working as a cost accountant. In essence, I was acquiring the experience, skill, and knowledge to take a prepared leap of faith the following decade.

Spring Sprung On Me In 2009

Enter Spring 2009, after a winter of interviews around Washington DC and Alexandria Virginia, I landed a job that would drove the next phase of my career. At the age of 36, I left private business in healthcare insurance services and moved to Alexandria VA to purse my career as an auditor.

Luckily, I did not have any kids and I wasn’t married. My transition was a direct impact to me. However, it meant moving out the same state as my parents and at the time, the majority of my siblings were in South Carolina. I was building on my accounting career and leaving behind relationships I’d established, but the path to accomplishment required that I stay true and dedicated to my goals.

Staying True And Dedicated To My Goals

Listen, I was entering a world where I was leaving behind the private sector. I was giving up my own workstation to enter a world of traveling, extremes deadlines, and a field that is dominated by those who are fresh out of college. I entered my new job as a professional, but still I was amongst those who had only been out off college for 1-2 years. You should know that accomplishing my goals were worth the environment immersion that was about to experience.

Interesting enough, I had two bothers that were in the Northern VA and Washington DC area at the time. One had just made the transition only a couple of months before me. Both still reside there today, as do I.

The transition as far as living was doable. It was the least of my concern. My other bother had moved to the area at least 3 or 4 years earlier and it was home for him. Me entering a new living situation was eased because of him.

The entry into a new work style, yet still applying my current discipline and experience, was more of the challenge. Adapting to firm work and administrative task was the new objective. My approach was simple, be the hardest working person in the room and use what I know; what I don’t know, do research and adapt quickly. It helped and it worked. I made new friends and expand my colleague pool. It required staying involved in a lot of after work events and even hanging out on the week.

The first three years were busy and I established my reputation and name. I was challenged by folk and even bumped heads and people are pretty much people! Nothing new there!

Navigating Through A Robust Decade

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As the world turns and it turned during 2010-2016. I enjoyed the transubstantiate of my skills. In addition, I was first diagnosed with degenerative arthritis, in my back and hip and the fact that I still had my mobility and spent at least three days at the gym.

I spent 2010 through 2016 indulging in as much travel as possible. In 2010, me and my best friend spent about 18 days in Europe after a long audit season. You have to understand, I’m a southern lady from a small town South Carolina. Never in a million years did I think I would be traveling through Europe at all, let alone for 18 day. The journey took us through Paris, Manheim, Prague, Zurich, Milan, Venice, and Roma.

This travel would be the highlight of the decade for me. I knew one thing about myself, when I first experience domestic travel, I wanted more than anything, to be recognized as a traveler. To this day, that has not changed. I spent time in cities aboard and at home, in the states. So much too see, and I had the schedule and funds to do it. My career move quickly increase my financial situation and was acquiring new marketable skills much faster working in the District versus in South Carolina.

In 2015, I left the initial firm I entered into in 2009 and landed at a Big 4. The Big 4 sector I worked in became it’s own company in 2018 and I’m still with them as this decade concludes.

The Mini Perils Of Life Showed Themselves

In 2016, I found myself having to have a second back surgey. My first took place when I was 29. This one was simple, it was to remove a cist off my L2. I had great insurance so I made it through this event. Plus I had my bother around. My back would become my mini project because I was aging. Arthritis was upon me and I had to heat and I’ve more. I endured stiffness when I awake and became concerned about my range of motion. Not to mention my weight started to increase. I fell in and out of trying to find solutions and well work was getting more demanding.

I went from auditing to consulting! This was a much more involved area and I spent more hours working. I was also pursuing certificates and taking classes to keep my skills marketable and on the cutting edge. I was hitting the gym in spurts at this point.

Wrapping Up Another Decade Known As The Home Stretch

What can I say about the last two years of this decade. Well, if you happened to have read one of my post where I discuss the pulmonary embolism and DVT I suffered in January 2018; you know that was a huge circumstance for me. This event sideline me for most of the year. I traveled less and at a point where I had invested in my travels. Listen, the PE and DVT scared me and change portions of my life. I have to travel smarter and pay closer attention to body these days.

I’m easing myself back into travel, but understands that after the PE and DVT I must proceed with certain regiments prior to travel.

I’m 10 years older at the end of this decade. Particularly, I was a smidgen over my mid 30s at the beginning and at the expiration, a bit over mid 40s. Longevity and conquering arthritis are my top priority. Career growth and sustainment and easier for me. I’ve learned a few things and have an approach to my path.

Family is tantamount and vacationing essential. Finding a daily workout routine that fits me is a goal. I have a few considerations and I hope they work.

My Hope For The Next 10 Year Epoch

My hope is to age gracefully. Importantly, understand what my late 40s and early 50s will bring. Unquestionably, plan for the next phase of my career because, I’m not getting younger. The most important goal is to ensure that I’m living in a city where I want to retire. Additionally, deciding and mapping out a doctorate or PHD program is part of the coming era.

I’m interesting in revitalizing my dating life. I’m a progressive yet a traditional southern lady with refine attributes. It should be noted that I’m not interesting pettifoggers. I love thinkers and those able to engage an intellectual conversation yet able to laugh and bring comedy. Whatever the next age introduces, I want to be more mature and wise as I approach events. My family is my centerpiece. I want to continue to spend as much time with them as possible.

Ultimately, a balance life is what I’m working toward and a daily exercise regiment that includes getting steps and some type of weight. Weight loss is my new plan. Yes, I know all the information that says it more difficult as you age. Diet is everything. I’ll leave you with this, when you figure out your career that path will be easy if you layout the approach and repeat the steps to growth when necessary. Lastly, health is wealth!

Your Journey Is Not Like Others And Their Journey Is Not Yours So Don’t Play Comparison Games

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We have different journeys in life, which will carry us places we never imagine. In addition, you may put in endless effort or work to ensure that parts of your journey to obtain a specific or expect outcome. Your life adventures will unfounded naturally through the people you meet and you will end up being total surprise. Additionally, you will see others on their path, making their strides and wonder why your path looks difference or why you haven’t reach the pinnacles or rewards they have. Their strides may yield fruit differently from your, at a different pace, and time.

The journey is to be respected and nourished, not always forced. It will not be ignored and will not let you insert someone else’s path into your life without a fight. Disrespect it and will give you bearish or ugly results. Stare over or down at your friends path or a family members good fortune and try to re-tune your journey to mimic theirs and it just might back fire.

You Are Design To Be You And Be Inspired By People Around You, Not Take What Is Theirs And Desperately Make It Yours

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If you don’t cheer for you and don’t like you, then you may need to do some soul searching or just searching. You’re designed to come into your own, be inspired by others around you, but find yourself. Discover the type of foods you like and style of cloths. Delight in searching for music that you like or even love.

Friends are there to help you find yourself and support you through the process. Also, they are there to encourage you to love yourself and ascertain what’s at the core of yourself being. Don’t look at their lives and try and fit what works for them and their unique styles into yours. Simply be encouraged. Avoid being bitter or jealous of their lives, and focus on you. Cultivate your life garden. You are extraordinaire, so search for it.

It’s Okay If It Takes Time To Learn Who You Are As You Move Through This Life

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There is no pressure on you, to trek down your perfections or preferences in certain or given time. Although, time is of the essence, but no pressure. The more you rummage around the world and stretch the boundaries of yourself, like a flower, you will unfold to new attractions. Moreover, you will blossom and discover things unimaginable that may delight you. You get to cut your path and be spontaneous in at your own pace. Be curious and safe, but don’t be afraid and let fear keep you from properly moving through life. Question you ambitions and desires, but don’t just give up on them because you think you are too old, but be reasonable with yourself.

If You Find Yourself In State Of Jealousy Because You Are Not Where Your Friends Are In Life, Then Find A Reliable Mentor To Help Sort Through Your Emotions

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Mentors are undervalued. If You Find Yourself In State Of Jealousy Because You Are Not Where Your Friends Are In Life, Then Find A Reliable Mentor To Help Sort Through Your Emotions. Many people think that mentors and life coaches are something you have at work or while in school. You can have a mentor at any point in your life. Professional mentors or a close friend that you trust can be a trusted mentor, who can help you with your discovery process. You’re never too professional, wealth, or old to have a mentor. The way social media is set up today, mentors are everywhere.

Last, find the right one for you that will help you sort through your path and set realistic life goals.

10 Activities You Can Do, To Enjoy The Spring Time In The City Or Suburbs

Spring 2019 has sprung, and while some areas are still shaking off the frost and ice of winter, others are celebrating an increase in daily temperatures. The time change presents more daylight. You will begin to spend more time outside and start looking for functions or get-togethers with others, to release the cabin fever. Here are 10 activities to begin enjoying your spring.

  1. Fly a kite. Get together with friends or neighbors and find an open field with the big sky, pull out those kites, and get them up in the air.

    Photos courtesy of Pixabay

    Photos courtesy of Pixabay

  2. Find local Spring arts and craft shows in your town or city. Don’t be afraid to drive and hour to find festive events. Towns come alive this time of year. 
  3. Take in a wine festival and learn about newly release wines. Taste what spring has to offer in reds and whites. You palette will appreciate it.   

    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

  4. If you live in a city, such as Washington DC or a close surrounding area, take in the Cherry Blossoms on the National Mall. 
  5. In the south,  the March, April, and May welcomes the start of town and city historical festivals with carnivals for the kids. Check out what South Carolina has to offer –  https://www.sciway.net/calendar.html

    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

  6. If you like film festivals, then Florida and California are good trips in March and April to take in film festivals. https://www.floridafilmfestival.com/
  7. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”! Opening day of Major League Baseball is March 28.

    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

  8. April 2019 is clearly a year for motion pictures with another installment of Marvels Avengers – Endgame coming to theaters on April 26th. 
  9. Beach towns are a nice touch. If you are all skied out, then April through May will be a great time to kickoff beach season. There is nothing like sand and sun.

    Photo courtesy of Pixabay

  10. Music festivals are the best experience if you don’t mine the crowd and walking. Coachella kicks off in Indigo, CA April 12 -14 and April 19-21. 

20 Simple Things To Take Advantage Of In Your 40s, That Will Continue To Add Value To Your Days

In your 40s, life is another world in comparison to your 30s. When you arrive to your fabulous 40s you will know it. No matter how much you’ve prepared, there is nothing like the awaking you will receive. Your sleep habits change, you eat differently, a late night is 9pm, and your taste in music changes, if it hadn’t already. To be generous and forth coming, there are 20 simple things you can do in your 40s that will add value to your days.

  • Review your investments on a quarterly basis to ensure you are continuously making the right decision to ready for retirement.
  • If you haven’t done a double check on number 1, you might want to get to it. If you are not sure that you’ve made the right investments, then consult a reputable financial adviser. Readying for retirement is not an easy experience and not everyone is a finance wiz.
  • The idea of preventive care is brilliant. By the time you get to your 40s, your health should be carried out on the offense and not the defense. Offense is ensuring you are properly managing you preventive care.
  • Take vacations and short trips as much as possible. Work is demanding in your 40s, unless you’ve retired. There is value in nice beach towns and mountain towns.
  • Enjoy date nights with a person of interest or friends. You will probably date less often, but don’t let it completely fade away. Food is still good and conversation is always interesting.
  • If you enjoy wine or fine liquor, keep some close. A night cap every now and them will help you sleep well and it taste good.
  • Music is a must. If you have not given any thought to a good playlist in a couple of years, you might want to reestablish it. Music on your drive into work, drive home, or getting dress in the mornings can add some pep in your step.
  • If you have nieces and/or nephews, build a relationship with them. Offer some meaningful advice, because they are listening even when you think they are not. Provide guidance and teach them when those moments arise. If those moments don’t arrive, purposely create them, by reaching out and checking in on them. Family is family, blood is blood, and we don’t get to choose our DNA.
  • Accept what’s true, embrace the hurt, learn to heal, recover with regret and get up…stand tall.
  • Read the reports on sugar and understand why you must minimize or reduce your sugar intake. There is so much written on the effects of sugar and none of the reports are good. Minimizing it in your diet can make a lot of difference in your well being. You are not getting any younger, but you can age gracefully.
  • Don’t let sex slip away from you. Still enjoy a healthy and safe sex life. You are alive, well, and wiser…so enjoy your sexual appetite.
  • Embrace the arts (e.g., writers, stage play performers, composers of tedious instrumental music). Familiarize yourself with good writers of old and even those that write for television or motion pictures. Reading and writing in more than 120 characters will continue to influence your vocabulary and stretch your mind.
  • Travel by train, because it is relaxing and one of the most under experienced acts.
  • Forgive and forget, but don’t revisit the same bullshit that caused you pain. Learn to bury dead relationships and styles that belong to those that are 20 something.
  • Talk about men to your adult nieces and men talk about women to your adult nephews. Offer dating advice.
  • Drink lots of water, that means 64 ounces or MORE! Go with more.
  • Buy underwear and socks often. In fact, buy them every quarter.
  • Remember to laugh, so you don’t grow into a grumpy and complaining old man or woman.
  • Add a daily salad to your diet. You waist will think you for it.
  • Buy a Fitbit to remind you to get up and get your steps in each hour. Walking to stay mobile is important as you age. Again, your body will thank you. Daily steps help to ensure you work on your resting heart rate, but it also reminds you to get a form of daily exercise.

I’m Walking On Sunshine And Gliding On Air To Make It Through

I have to confess, the first seven months of every year is my most busiest. Do I plan it like that? One might say, yes I do. The reason is, I enjoy having the last two months of each year free to celebrate my yearly accomplishments and the holidays, but that comes with a price. The price is having a fully unavailable January – September. I suspect we all plan our lives or family lives around the events, that happen from month to month. Even after planning and organizing the days of my life in a year, my to-do list can still feel like it’s too much. And time, well time is not on my side most of the time. Trying to find the win or break even point, is challenging.

Making It Through A Day

A normal for me starts at 5:30am. Luckily, I don’t have any children, which means my morning belongs to me. Well, that’s also indicative of none of my immediate siblings, who share same city as I do, doesn’t require any help or favors. I keep activities in my life to ensure that I don’t end up with a lot of free time on my hand. Don’t think I’m a snob and I believe I have to be inundated with task, miscellaneous time is great, to ensure that I properly unwind and practice self-care.

It does seems as if with many of days, I’m running out of time. Not that 24 hours isn’t enough, but working for the man, personal time for me, and enough time to sleep…I’m short in 1 of the 3 areas. Most of the time it is personal time, I’m not allocating enough time to me…my personal time.

How Do I Account For Me On A Daily Basis

The real question becomes, how do I account for me? I make choices that will benefit me and the people around me. If I had to look over the course of my life, just maybe I have accounted for others more than me. My siblings might say it’s all about me. My colleagues would say, “you have to take care of you’. See, the dilemma is I appear one way to the people I love, and another way to the people I love being around. It’s possible both sets of groups are correct. I behave according to the situation and environment. Yet, am I still serving me best interest, in both environments? Am I not taking enough advantage of self-care? Let me shake off the voices in my head and say, it’s time for a notable change…well, a more conscious evaluation of myself. I believe this will catapult or punt me into the next phase of my growth and decision making. I’m more than ready to properly account for me!

There Is A Method To My Madness and Not Always A Madness To My Method

Sometimes, I find that being normal doesn’t quite get me through the day. I have to embrace my Ravenclaw House qualities in order to deal with events and people in my day. Yes people, I categorize people into houses, so that I know how to properly deal with them. I’m weird like that. It makes them bearable. If you are not familiar with the elements or qualities of each house in Harry Potter, then I will oblige and do a quick recap.

  • Hufflepuff: The house values dedication, hard-work, fair play, patience, and loyalty. 
  • Gryffindor: The house of the chivalrous, loyal, courageous, adventurous, bravery and chivalrous. 
  • Ravenclaw: The house is known for their intelligence, creativity, cleverness, wisdom and knowledge.
  • Slytherin: The is the house of the prideful, resourcefulness, ambitious, intelligent, cunning, and determined.

If you look at this, you can probably understand why I place people in the respective houses. Some will be easier to deal with than others. I don’t have time to waste, where I cannot make progress with people. I’m weird, but there is a method to madness and this may look like a madness to my method.

I do what’s needed in order to accomplish what I must to make it through my days, here on earth. Sometimes, it feels as if I running out of time or time is running me. No matter what, I have to adjust and emerge successful and walk a sane line, sometimes dipping my toe into a little insanity. The approach works and that’s what matters.

The Great Hall From Harry Potter

It’s The Weekend And It’s Time For You To Unlock Some Forbidden Fun

10 Weekend Quotes To Put You In The Weekending Mood

“The rhythm of the weekend, with its birth, its planned gaiety, and its announced end, followed the rhythm of life and was a substitute for it.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It’s a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.” ― Jimmy Buffet

“The one you love and the one who loves you are never, ever the same person.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters

Courtesy of Image app

“Love me like Saturday night, like three glasses of champagne, like the room is spinning, like you’re drunk on my love.”  ― C.J. Carlyon

“Without the weekend, where would the week be?”  ― Anthony T. Hincks

“Saturday is what gives us a weekend of enjoyment.”  ― Anthony T. Hincks

Courtesy of Pixaby

“Without Friday, the weekend would be half over already.”  ― Anthony T. Hincks

“You know it’s Friday when the weekend comes knocking at your front door.”  ― Anthony T. Hincks

“When you love fashion, there is no weekend. Everything just blends together.” ― Carine Roitfeld

“Oversleep, it is the weekend.” ― Unknown