Life

My Facebook Memory: August 11, 2019

Hello! Here is a Facebook memory that I thought I would share. It was written on August 11, 2019, after a year of being in the doctoral program. This past March I decided to take a leave of absence, again (details included in the memory). This time it was the uncertainty of COVID-19 that had me stressed. I just could not focus on school. So I decided to take a year off. As I did last time, I have questioned myself about my reasons for pursuing this degree. Is it something I truly want? Glad I have a few more months to decide. Then we shall see what happens.

Here’s the memory (unedited):

Good Morning! No social media find this morning. I just feel like sharing.

Today’s the last official day of class. It’s been a year that I’ve been in the DrPH program. I’m not sure why I thought it would be easy. I’m still puzzled about that initial phone interview with my advisor. I was just so chipper. Why???🙄 I work at a university. I’ve seem so many students struggle through their doctoral program. Yet, somehow I thought things would be different for me. What was wrong with me?😩

A few days ago I finally really looked at my degree plan. Yeah, I never really reviewed it. I just started taking classes and going with the flow. When I saw how many hours I had left, my heart sank. The thought crossed my mind, “Will I ever have a life?” Y’all, this program is about to consume ALL of my time. I’m not going to lie, so far I haven’t been disciplined at all. I started off really disciplined. Had everything scheduled down to my “Tyler Perry Tuesdays” tweet time. Yeah, one hour to watch and tweet during the show and 1/2 hour afterwards to reply to tweets. I was serious. Then, life happened. It’s amazing how one little thing can shake you and your whole system crumbles.

I began to realize I used social media as a way of coping with the things happening around me. Whenever I wanted to get away, I would log on and mindlessly scroll down my timeline. Social media is a great distractor when you don’t want to deal with reality. At the time, I was going through the divorce. Somehow, in my little mind, I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it wasn’t. Also, things at work were becoming stressful. It was just a lot. Then, on top of that, I had school. I had to post and respond to discussions every week. Honestly, it was all taking a toll on me. I finally realized I couldn’t take anymore and sat out the spring term.

During my break, I did a lot of soul searching. Was this program for me? Could I fulfill my purpose without the degree? Was my purpose even worth the struggle? Why couldn’t I just let everything go and just enjoy life like everyone else? I mean, I’ve already retired from the military. I’m sort helping my community through my research projects. Why not sit back and enjoy life? Why do I always have to make things harder for myself? Well, because that’s exactly what I do. I love a challenge. Something inside of me, no matter how hard I try to fight it, wants the adventure. So, when my advisor called me before the summer term began, and asked me if I was returning to school, I confidently told him I was going to finish the program.🤦🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️

So, here I am. This time I’m really serious about being more disciplined. I’m trying to narrow down my use of social media to things that will help me along this journey. I’ve discovered that the Twitter accounts I follow on my ResearchDiva site reflect were I’m going (UN in Geneva☺️). I’ve been able to use some of the information I’ve come across for my discussions and assignments. My Mississippi Thriving IG makes me feel like I’m still supporting my community. My blog, It’s Shaun’s World, gives me an outlet for sharing my random thoughts. And this page… y’all make everything worth it. I love logging on and seeing your smiling faces. Y’all keep me grounded.

I know this was long. I needed to get it out. So, if I miss posting a few social media finds, or showing you love, it’s not because I don’t care, I’m just trying to stay focused.

I love y’all!

GodIsWorking

BeBlessed 🙏🏽♥️

Thanks for reading!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Guess I like this image better. Lol! Hello Sunday!

It is the first day of a new week! Sounds lovely, does it not?! Well, I hope this week is much better than last. Let me give you a brief rundown of what happened last week.

Monday was my first day back to work since March (been working remotely). Well, that day I put on my favorite lime green dress; somewhat curled my hair—Charlene + humidity is all I have to say (it was not the look I was going for); put on a little makeup; and wore my cute sandals. Y’all, I was ready! Felt like a kid returning to school after a long summer break. That was Monday.

Tuesday! HA! Tuesday was a different story. The newness had already worn off (imagine that- Lol). I was back in work mode. Since I was the only one working in my suite, I went the jeans, cute top, and BOB shoes, route. Charlene was doing her own thing, as usual. Well, everything was going smoothly until I made it all the way to my office and realized I had left my office keys in my car. What followed next was like a tragicomedy. Funny, but so not funny. Here is what I remember.

I was walking down the sidewalk towards the parking lot (which is on the opposite side of the street). I looked both ways before crossing the street. Saw one car coming up the street on the opposite side. I went to step off the curb between two parked cars to get a better view of oncoming traffic. THIS is when everything went wrong. I am not sure if I stepped too soon or what, but the next thing I knew I was stumbling into oncoming traffic. I had twisted my ankle. My left ankle went in one direction and my foot, another. I remember trying to balance myself with my right foot. However, my laptop bag, which was on the right, dragged me down and forward even more. Guess I should mention I am like 5’2” so it would not have taken much for me to hit the ground. Fortunately, I managed to stay upright, and driver of the car coming towards me was able to stop before hitting me. Y’all, I stumbled right into the path of his car. I am so grateful he was not distracted because this would be a totally different story. Anyway, it seems like he was just as confused as I was. He let down his window and asked if I was okay. I assured him that I was. But I was anything but okay. As he drove away, I saw him chuckle. I could not blame him, I was laughing, too. You know, sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying.. WAIT- isn’t that a Tyler Perry play? Lol. Been watching too many stage plays on BET Plus. Anyhoo…

Once I made it to my car and settled down, it was like everything flashed before my eyes. I remembered screaming to myself, “Girl, STOP!! You about to get hit!” Y’all, it was just like yelling at the television while watching a thriller. You see the tragedy about to happen so you yell to warn the character. Crazy thing is, I was that character, and I could not stop myself from stumbling. As I sat there trying to grasp what had just happed, I was kind of amused. I could not believe that had happened to me. However, now that I am writing about it, I see things differently. Y’all, I really could have been hit. I could be in the hospital right now, or even worse– DEAD! But, by the grace of God, I only had a sprain and tear in one of my tendons. I was ordered to stay off my foot for five days. Which was much easier to handle than what could have been. Grateful.

So tomorrow I get a do over. This time I plan to be more cautious and aware of my surroundings. Maybe this was a wake up call that life is not normal. Sadly, I cannot just pick up where I left off.

Life.

Shaun

Life

Psalm 23

Makes me feel like royalty.

My first thought was to save this for my weekly Hello Sunday blog since it sounds like a Sunday message. But this is how I am feeling now– in this particular moment. So I am sharing.

After checking Facebook and Twitter this morning, I began to feel discouraged. Every post/tweet was about chaos and doom. If someone was not sharing stories about us going to a cashless, socialist society, then they were sharing stories about injustices and living in the last days. Sometimes.. no.. most of the time, it is so overwhelming. However, this morning, as always, God reminded me that He is still in control. Our job is to trust Him in spite of what we see.

Story time:

When I was a little girl, I spent my summers with my great-great grandma, Madea. Every morning Madea would get up, pray, and read one chapter from her ginormous white Bible. That chapter was Psalm 23. It was her morning ritual. Y’all, she did this every morning before she started her day. To this day, that entire chapter is instilled in me. However, verse 4 is my secret weapon. Whenever I feel afraid, that one verse seems to calm all of my fears. I dare you to recite it when you are afraid. Whew! Talk about peace like no other! Personally, it kind of makes me feel like royalty. As if my daddy is The King and I am His princess. Like nothing can touch me. Sounds crazy– huh? But it does.

Anyway, without further ado, here is Psalm 23. Enjoy! And use it!

Psalm 23 KJV

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Amen. Y’all, God is with us. Trust Him.

Shaun