Life

Six Years

I really do love Facebook memories. I am always surprised by the treasures I find. Here is this morning’s treasure. It is a simple profile picture from 2014, six years ago.

Optimistic

Six years ago I was preparing to take the leap of my life. I had no idea of the challenges I would face, but I knew I could not stay where I was. God had made it clear, I needed to GET OUT. Y’all, I was so scared. I did not know how I would make ends meet without two incomes. Shoot.. I was barely making ends meet then. Boy.. the stories I could tell! But, I won’t. That was six years ago, and it is over now.

TODAY!! Today I am alive, well, and THRIVING!! Never could I have imagined I would be where I am today. EVERY day I give thanks to God. I constantly remind my children about His love, mercy, and grace. I remind them so much that whenever I become discouraged, they remind me. Lol. It is so important that they know just how good God truly is.

Y’all, I dare you to trust Him! I am sooo glad I took that leap.

Shaun- YOU MADE IT, GIRL!!

Life

Trusting God’s Plan

The song, I Understand, by Smokie Norful has been playing over and over in my head since yesterday morning; and this particular verse seems to be stuck on repeat:

One more day, one more step
I’m preparing you for myself
And when you can’t hear my voice
Please trust my plan
I’m the Lord, I see and yes, I understand

The part that mostly stands out– well, for me that is– is “I’m preparing you for myself.” To me, this says it all. Too often we forget that God created us to fulfill His purpose. Y’all, it is not about us. It is all about Him.

Honestly, who knew 2020 was going to be this WILD! I know I didn’t. HA! God definitely has a sense of humor. I was just reminded that I entered 2020 without expectations (Happy New Year! Let Go and Let God). All I can do is smile. Y’all, God has receipts! Lol

Yep… I am trusting His plan.

#BeBlessed

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday!

Hello Sunday!

Y’all already know what day it is! I have not been blogging much. It is not because I do not have anything to blog about. I am just trying to find a steady rhythm for blogging. Something that is sustainable. Outside of blogging on this site, I also keep a journal, and I am finally beginning to blog again under A Research Diva’s Journey. So yeah, I need to find a rhythm.

Yesterday’s blog, Aimlessly Passing Time, was about losing the passion I used to have for my profession. Y’all, being a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) was life! I mean, all I talked about was assisting people with making healthier lifestyle choices. Over time it became tiresome. Especially when I found myself constantly competing against the newest fad diet, anything Google or Dr. Oz said, or what worked for their best friend’s friend’s friend. Ugh!! Talk about too much!

Then two years ago, things began to change. Honestly, it was before then. Have you ever felt like you were running on a hamster wheel? You know, like the more you ran, or the faster it turned, you never moved? Well, that was how I was beginning to feel. Everything had become too routine. So I decided to go the Public Health route thinking something would rekindle my passion. It did for a while but not as much as I thought it would.

Umm.. Just thinking.. Some of my happiest moments involved nutrition education sessions. Whether I was providing the sessions or training others to do the sessions, I loved the interaction. I thrived off of it! There is something about watching a person’s face light up when they learn something new, or even watching them process the information. I particularly enjoyed educating and interacting with children and young adults. From toddlers to college students, they were all like sponges. They soaked up EVERYTHING and were very inquisitive. Yeah.. that is what I miss.

Anyhoo… I guess my passion is not completely gone. I just need to find ways to continue doing what I love.

Y’all be blessed and enjoy your Sunday!

Shaun

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

Hello Sunday

Thankful for life.

Thanking God for life. I had written an entirely different blog and decided to save it for another day or space. Today I would like to focus on God’s greatnesses.

Y’all, I am always amazed at how God works. How He connects the puzzle pieces of life. This is one reason I write and document everything. It allows me to go back and review past events and follow God’s work. If you do not journal, search your social media posts or look at old photos. See where you were a year ago, three years ago, or even ten years ago and compare it to where you are today.

Some of you might believe life is worse now than it was before. While some of you are finally living your best life. For me, life is definitely better. However, even during my lowest moments (documented in journal entries), certain aspects of my life were really good. When I suffered financial losses, my relationship with my children became stronger. During relationship problems, I grew closer to God. Problems at work, I expanded my knowledge. Y’all, there were always positive moments during adversities, heartbreaks and disappointments. I could not see it then, but I do now. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20.

Now, do not get me wrong, I am not saying that life is so good that I do not have disappointing and heartbreaking moments because that would be a lie (in Maury’s voice- lol). It is in those moments that I refer back to where I was, compared to where I am now. God saw me through everything then and He continues to do the same today. So yeah.. life is definitely better.

Please enjoy your Sunday.

Shaun