Black boy chronicles

A couple of weeks ago we were shopping for school shoes and I had a teachable moment with my two sons. I still get chills thinking about it – and how it relates to the world we live in. I will get into that later.

As we picked out school shoes, I headed to the register and my oldest decided to “pick up” a piece of candy. NEWSFLASH: you are not allowed to casually pick up anything in any store. And the same for your sister. Period.

Pause. Breath. Pause. Breath.

Because mothers have super powers, I knew something was up when I looked into those innocent eyes — he knew nothing about what this really meant for him: a black boy.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: “What do you have?”

Son: “Uhhh. . . nothing.”

Me: Immediate side eye

Me: “WHAT DO YOU HAVE!” Blood rushing and boiling

Son: Pulls small piece of candy out of pocket

Me: Head nearly explodes, body tenses up . . . and the candy goes back on the shelf

Outside of the store in my lowest but most stern voice I gave him straight talk: don’t you ever do this in your life . . . EVER!

From the look on his face, I knew he understood the seriousness of my words and eyes. Same for his brother. I was overwhelmed with emotion and had to pull myself back together.

As we rode home in silence, my thoughts gathered:

  1. We’ll have “the talk” when they can truly understand
  2. But why do my husband and I even have to have this talk with our boys?
  3. As a black boy certain situations are not worth it — so don’t put yourself in them

My hope is that these teachable moments with my kids will ignite them to seek change. We all must continue to advocate at city, state, and federal levels – it is undeniably important.

But what stands: I will continue to raise my boys to know that they are strong, they are smart, they are healthy, they are happy, they are blessed, and they are brave.

This will be a part of their black boy chronicles.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

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Our cups runneth over

Ready. Set. Go.

  • You rush to get kid #1 and #3 out the door to camp/daycare with the hubby
  • Then you realize you forgot your phone – again
  • You take kid #2 to camp and he is in “normal” form – WHINNING about not wanting to go. . . so you have to sit and calm him down as you watch the clock
  • Then you have to get to a doctor’s appointment in an hour and your GPS says it will take 1.5 hours (Atlanta traffic. . . grrrr)
  • Oh. . . and kid #1 has a showcase at camp that you’ll miss because of your doctor’s appointment
  • And finally, you have a business lunch meeting that needs to be somewhat quick in order to pick kid #1 back up from camp; hopefully no traffic

So what happens? You return home to get your phone, reschedule your doctor’s appointment, and go to kid #1’s showcase.

You walk in and see your dear friend whose role today is “play parent” per kid #1’s request since you couldn’t be there (insert parent guilt). Then you see your kid’s face. What started off to be a challenging day fades and doesn’t matter anymore.

When I saw those eyes and smile the hustle and bustle of the morning became worth it. As parents we do this ALL THE TIME; from one thing to the next in a matter of two seconds. But the look on our kid’s face when we have made it to a showcase, a soccer game, or an awards banquet on practically empty– our cups are suddenly full again.

With summer coming to an end, we will wake earlier again, get them out the door and on to school, sports practice, tutoring, homework and all the other things that come with parenting – expectantly and unexpectedly.

However, when we see the twinkle in their eye because we are there, our cups runneth over #blessed.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

 

Just help

Help (verb)

  1. make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering one’s services or resources.

And . . . no, not the book The Help nor the time when black women were primarily the “hired help.” I am thinking about the kind of help we can all use every so often: sister-friend help or family help when we truly need it.

This week was an eye opener when I thought about helping others. Why do we continue to sit back and try to figure it out when all we need to do is ask for help? Puzzled? Yep me too and I’m guilty. There is no reason to take it on by ourselves. We all need to help each other, especially now.

Families are being torn a part for reasons that don’t make sense; there have been unfortunate suicides that have us thinking about the importance of mental health; and then the challenges of everyday life. But the sun does come out eventually.

Two dear friends needed help this week and I didn’t think twice about it. Why? Because that what we’re supposed to do. . . HELP EACH OTHER. And in return, ask for nothing. It will come back threefold if we remain humble and thankful we could actually help someone.

So for the next month, I challenge you to:

-Help someone at the grocery store

-Help a friend with a project they’d like to complete

-Help your child read a book before they go to bed

-Help a family member who needs it but won’t ask

-Help your spouse with something they’ve been putting off for way too long

-Help a mother/father with their kids just because

-Help yourself by doing something for yourself

Just help. . . that simple.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

Hold a Kate Spade

With the recent death of Kate Spade, I felt compelled to re-post this about dealing with mental health. I was so saddened to hear that she ended her life – and for what reasons we’ll never really know.

The first thing that came to mind: did she ever seek professional help? Were there any signs? Could someone have helped her in time?

Mental health with women is real. We face the challenges of managing our households and careers and anything else that falls in between–and it’s a beast. While we’ll continue to hold a Kate Spade–no more “holding.”

________________________

Breathe. You have a lot going on and decide to buckle down, not think about what’s really happening (mentally) and hold it together. Umm no. If you need help, ask – and I don’t just mean from family and friends.

Too many people live in a dark place when they need help. They don’t ask for it in fear of what others will say or simply because of pride. We reject the idea of a therapist, marriage counseling, life coach or whatever a licensed professional can offer.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. And for people that look like me – mental health tends to be overlooked. Instead, we are told to “pray about it” and carry on. I do agree that praying is important but we also need to be wise when we know something needs to be adjusted.

African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Services. Yet young adult African Americans, especially those with higher levels of education, are less likely to seek mental health services than their White counterparts, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association (Ebony Magazine).

We don’t have to hold ourselves together all the time. That’s called being normal. And if it gets to a point where it’s too much, I can not stress enough, please seek professional help. You will thank yourself later #noholding.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Photo Credit: Warmly Whit

Back and forth? #deuces

“Stop going back and forth on your ideas because of fear. You’re confusing the universe. Decide what you want and stick with it. You’ll notice things starting to shift in your favor.” #bossbabe (trademarked)

I could not agree more. This literally hit me in the face last week; now is my time and I’m thankful.

For the past two and half years I have been back and forth in my work “sit-e-ation.” After one job didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, I focused on my family for about a year and then decided to go back to work May 2017. Guess what? The company was bought and that story ended in severance pay.

Was this the final sign to really push through on the small business front? Or do I grind and find yet ANOTHER job? We have a family of five so what does one do?

I started to teach and take on projects here and there with nothing on the 9-5 job front coming through. So I continued to work on my business. After a while, I noticed more opportunities- and then more- and then more.

Throughout this process I continued to look for work, projects, and prayed for guidance. I hustled for clients and taught at a junior college with hopes of finding a j-o-b soon.

Then it hit me: STOP GOING BACK AND FORTH.

I’ve had doubts because of fear, because of what others think I should have been doing, or because of all the luxuries I see of others, comparing myself (big no-no). It definitely had me confused. However, in my heart, I knew what I was supposed to be doing but continued to go back and forth.

No more. We have to trust ourselves enough to know we can do it with prayer, a plan, and determination. Don’t confuse yourself or the universe. Stick with what you want to do and go hard. You will have doubts, you will get tired, you will want to quit and take the easy way out (present company included). But don’t shift. From this point on, it’s going to be about Taylord’d Events & Media.

So here’s a big arse #deuces to back and forth; FAVOR has showed up.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

At the buffet…WUT!

About three weeks ago, I decided to write out every task I completed over the course of three days. The golden number (and I’m sure I missed some). . . ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE. WTH?

Now let’s talk about the “buffet” and piling up way too much. I like to get steak and potatoes, while grabbing a roll and salad and then decide I need a dessert, drink, and coffee. Oh, and I forgot a vegetable. Why?

According to a Forbes article, piling up our plates or multitasking actually hinders production by about 40%; way too much shifting between tasks and lack of focus. We pile high and then wonder why things become overwhelming.

Before we get to the overwhelming state, we take on the “we can do it” attitude. Everything is done simultaneously – talking on the phone, cooking dinner, helping with homework, and answering client emails; multitasking on steroids #guilty.

Back to the buffet: how did I fill three days with over 100 tasks? Is it really that serious? Let me provide some background as I’m certain a lot of you can relate:

  1. I am a mother of three; it probably should just end there
  2. My husband and I own and operate two businesses
  3. I teach two classes at a local college
  4. My kids are all under the age of 7
  5. I work in and out of my home – clients, calls, cleaning, scolding, molding, folding, sweeping, wiping

When I shared my list of 133 items with fam and friends, the response was “WUTTTT!” or “you are doing the most.” Yes, but I’m learning – some things have to get done, while others can just wait #workinprogress

Also what I can delegate or pay (minimal) for someone to do for me? Like my new friend InstaCart (online grocery shopping delivered) Next is finding a laundry service. If you know me well, laundry is a *&%$@.

Ultimately, I did this to see where I could make changes and had my husband do the same. It was an exercise to show where we could help each other at the buffet – or pull back altogether.

At the end of the day, it’s no longer about what I didn’t get done, but what I did get done – and it will include paying someone—deuces!!!

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

Break or Spring?

Guess what? Spring Break is coming up. Will you “break” or “spring” it up? No clue for me at this point for the Taylor household #behindthe8ball.

Clearly, spring break is the onset to get your “ish” together for the summer. You have about two months before the mayhem of kids everywhere but can look forward to lighter traffic and less driving across America to ALL the kid activities–maybe.

Here are my top five predictions for spring break:

  1. Weather: It appears winter and spring are confused. They probably should have a conversation and get it right so we can go back outside and get some Vitamin D.
  2. Kids: They’ll be the same – driving us krazy – asking all sorts of questions . . . we have no clue about. . . and then we’ll fake the answer so they’ll go away #sorrynotsorry
  3. Family: If you’re like me, involve family in some form. Hopefully, you’ll get a call similar to “hey, want to bring the kids over?” YESSSSSSS.
  4. Activity/Trips: The park, museum, and painting look real good right about now and anything free! I’m sure I’ll have to call A-T-and M several times during the week.
  5. Break – And after everything is turned upside down or possibly broken, I’ll need a BREAK!

The silver lining – our kids are happy, healthy, and we all continue to provide wonderful experiences. Parents unite, try to have a blast, and remember the importance of wine. Cheers!

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

 

 

 

Holding

“Get it together!”

“Why are you acting like this?”

“What is wrong with you?”

These are all too familiar when you are trying to keep it together and can’t. You have a lot going on and decide to buckle down, not think about what’s really happening, and operate on “holding.” Guess what? You don’t have to.

We get stuck when we think we’re supposed to just “suck it up” and move on. Umm no. If you need help, ask – and I don’t just mean from family and friends.

Too many people live in a dark place when they need help. They don’t ask for it in fear of what others will say or simply because of pride.  We reject the idea of getting a therapist, marriage counseling, life coach or whatever a licensed professional can offer.

Good mental health is just as important as physical health. And for people that look like me – mental health tends to be overlooked. Instead, we are told to “pray about it” and carry on. I do agree that praying is important but we also need to be wise when we know something needs to be adjusted.

African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Services. Yet young adult African Americans, especially those with higher levels of education, are less likely to seek mental health services than their White counterparts, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association (Ebony Magazine).

We don’t have to hold ourselves together all the time. That’s called being normal. And if it gets to a point where it’s too much, seek professional help. You will thank yourself for saving yourself. I plan to and that’s perfectly fine #noshame.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Handle your business

“I’m not a business-man’! I’m a business . . . man! Let me handle my business, damn!”

-Jay Z

Woooooooooooooosah. I’ll just get right into it as business owners across the world UNITE! We kick butt when we’re good at operating our businesses- because it’s not easy.

And on that note, there were five (5) lessons that knocked me right over the head this week: some were reminders while others were new. It’s all about growing pains and I grew about 20 inches this freakin’ week.

Business is business 
Don’t take situations or business decisions personal. It’s perfectly OK if people don’t understand your business acumen (or vise versa) –  just keep moving. We can still be friends . . . maybe #workinprogress.

Your response (or lack thereof) speaks volumes 
Please always respond and not a week later. A complaint goes further than a compliment and people will talk when you are not on top of your game.

Manage expectations
If you can’t do it, then say it — but have another option. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Do what you say you’re going to do with no excuses. It’s just that simple.

Time is money 
There’s really no further explanation needed here. Don’t waste time when you (and I) could be making money. That same energy could be put into a new client — because “I needs my coins.”

Charge what you’re worth and then add tax
I actually read this on social media and it resonated immediately. Yes, there will be times when you may have to work out a deal (to get your foot in the door) but always know your worth. If you don’t know it, people won’t understand WHY you’re worth it.

I am certain there will be many more lessons but in the mean and between time: handle your business.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

#ProudCousin

Happy Friday! This has been some week but today I am thankful for family and the moments I continue to share with them.

Growing up as the only child, my cousins remain some of my best friends as my sounding boards and ride-or-die chicks. They have endured the loss, illness, and rearranging their lives to care for a parent but continue to keep a positive attitude. They’ve also gone on to get master degrees, nursing degrees, starting businesses, and remain straight up jet setters.

Meet Tameka “Meek” Monroe.  I met this fashionista cousin for the first time during a trip to see my father in Houston. On our first encounter I knew what she was made of immediately. Strong. Bold. Sweet. Funny. Smart. Bosslady.

Practically 15 years later, she’s a wife, mom of two beautiful girls, executive, fashion blogger, the list goes on. Every time I talk to her, I get some pearls of wisdom . . . and then some fashion advice. Tee hee :o)

Last week she launched an online fashion boutique – Skinnee Girl Couture.  The name comes from her blog, Skinnee Girl Confidence – growing up as a skinny girl she was constantly teased about her body. But she turned it completely around with confidence. As I mentioned, smart– and the clothes are for a variety of sizes.

While Meek has taught me a lot over the years with our crazy conversations, giggles, and family visits, I continue to be inspired by all my cousins— their accomplishments, the lessons I have learned from them, and the times they showed up for me.

I’ll always be that #proudcousin

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor