New Years Resolution

Of course I am going to make New Year Resolutions. What would a New Year be, without resolutions! Lose 30 pounds in on one week!

Happy New Year 2016, Y’all!

Happy New Year 2016

We made it!

It ain’t a joke entering a new year! I sat down, waiting for the clock to ring in mid-night, for the ball to drop, pondering about the uncertainty of entering a new year!

Particularly because, I was on the road, traveling out of state, away from my habitual residence, to join friends in welcoming the new year. I left Child of Mine behind, the second year in a row! I have to shamefully confess that, this is my second year, in a row, welcoming the New Year, away from Child of Mine, third out of the last four years

2013 – I was in Uganda, and welcomed the New Year with fellow Drinkers with a Running Problem, Kampala Hash House Harriers. On NYE, I went on a group run around Kampala City, thereafter hangout with the group, and at close to midnight, proceeded to Kololo hill to watch the fireworks.

2014 —I stayed home with Child of Mine, and we tossed to the new Year.

2015 — I went on a two-year run with Pocono Area Running Club, starting 23:00 on New Year Eve. The clock ticked mid-night —New Year’s Day, while alone the route. But I went back home that night and kissed a Happy New Year to COM!

2016 — I traveled to the Big Apple to join my Scandinavian friend, and his international group of friends in welcoming the New Year. I decided not to take COM with me, to give myself a break from “Being Mommy,” and a chance to “Be Doreen”. I left him with his cousins and grandmother, until the following night of New Year’s Day.

I made it safely into The City, in under two hours. I took a public commuter van into The City, for my sanity and safety —no worry about parking, falling asleep in traffic or getting stuck on the road. I slept the entire ride to The City, and woke up in time to hit the bright city lights, and right on time for the party!

Thankful for rich friends, who can afford $2M high rise apartments right above Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. Reminds me of my friend’s kids who used to cal me “Our Rich Auntie from the Hilton” [Story for another day]. I had a clear “Point of View” of the entire city, on the top @the35th. It looked good, a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the streets below, packed with New Yorkers and plenty of its tourists, trying to catch a glimpse of the ball dropping. [Oh! “The Ball” dropping! Oh the fireworks!].

Great night! Barilla pasta, and french bread; of Norwegian candy, and french champagne, of Norwegian cheese and middle eastern humus; all courtesy of my former Norwegian landlord in Oslo. An international night! With the Norwegian host, a Norwegian family, an American, a Chinese family, and a Dutch Italian pasta-making man [who made the pasta dinner], and this very Ugandan very American girl. Impressed that all the European men present said, they are the main cooks in the family!

The crowd was a pleasure! All intellectuals, and academics in universities and research institutions. We laughed, cracked joked, ate, drank, shared parts of ourselves, exchanged resolutions, and our confusions at the ‘disappearance’ of the Ball dropping and fireworks at the tick of New Year 2016!

I spent soundly throughout the night, with a beautiful view of The City, the harbor and the Hudson! I woke up, then went back to sleep, until I did not have to. Woke up, drank tea, shared our life trajectories, interrogated our insecurities and our hopes and dreams and commitments with the Dutchman, ate bread, drank more tea. Went for a New Year’s Day run in Central Park in the company of the flying Dutchman.

Back to our 35th, took a shower, went out to the grocery store and picked up a couple of ingredients for dinner. Made another pasta dinner, and tuna sauce and leftover champagne. Then it was time to head back to COM, onto the subway, the bus and Exit 302.

So, back to my resolutions

  1. Giving more gratitude to my family and friends
    i) My family, who love me regardless. I think, and I know, they love me unconditionally. Spoken or unspoken, they show me undying love. They don’t judge me, they don’t pressure me. They wait for me, to rise up, if I fall, and recuperate at my pace. They have outpouring love for Chid of Mine, steadfast love. I do not have to say it umpteen times, because they know I love them…as much as they love me…and I appreciate them. May 2016 be a year to see and enjoy the physical company of my family, more often.
    ii) My friends; I have the best friends in the world —one is Resting in Peace, around me! My friends, know me and appreciate me, regardless. I can call on them in an instant, and they will listen, and hold me down. They are the best the world could ever gift anybody. They inspire me, pump me up, remind me of the beauty of the life within me, and our shared friendships. They see the good in me, and remind me of my strength. They prompt me, knowingly or not, to hang on, hold on steadfast, and continue to pursue my best. May 2016 be the year filled with friendships. Hoping to see my friends in person this year.
  2. Understand Child of Mine (COM) much more. Continue working on being the best mother and father to this child. Work calmly and firmly with COM, listen as much as I speak to him. Support as much as I demand from him. Nurture as much as I suggest from him. Provide comfort and confidence as much as I teach him. Guide, as much as I learn from him. May 2016 also bring us another person into our lives —a partner and father figure for COM.
  3. Become Doreen, again. Do all the things I have always done to represent my brand. Lose the baggage — on my body, my mind, my head, and get back into my fit, healthy, fighter spirit again. Get back into winning and rising above all challenges. I am no stranger to this! Find the go-getter, creator and winning innovative Doreen.
    Keep an active on Social Media, communicating, learning, negotiating, and continuing to grow and thrive as a person and social being. Accepting the challenges of social media, challenge social relations and improve and grow my communication channels.
  4. Grateful, that social media has taught me not to take personal the differences of opinion, but negotiate my place and refine my views. I have become more accepting of difference of opinions and accepted alternative reactions, even when it is personal attacks against me or bitter responses against me. Social media is social living.
  5. Continue writing for fun, for meditation, for inspiration, to share, to relate to others, to learn, to teach and reach other. I hope to publish one or two writings in reputable fora. I hope to get back into writing for active citizenship of the African Diaspora and as a public intellectual.
  6. Focus on finding *meaning* in life, as a journey to *happiness*. 2015 gave reaffirmation that Emotional Intelligence/“Emotional Quotient,” is as important as “Intellectual Quotient,” or “Logic”. I felt vindicated by the social acknowledgement of “meaning” rather than just “happiness,” as key to a fulfilling life.
  7. I will keep treading the hard paths and staying the course. I will keep talking the hard talk, not shying away from it, irrespective of the audience. I will persevere, venture outside my comfort zone: commit to my social causes —of fundraising, building a brand; transforming my passion into my livelihood. I will bring my child with along with me, while we build a brand, to serve others, while also serving ourselves.
  8. Get back into the Dating Game. Intriguingly, 2016 started off with me in the “company of men”; the right kind of men, from the geographical zones I want to live. No! I am not running away; I am running into greatness. Never “actively searched,” but I am open to different avenues of finding love, real love and commitment. I want to date.
  9. Run four marathons in the year; three marathons will be fine. One marathon per season: winter, spring, summer and fall. If my finances will not allow me to sign up for one each season, at I will run a marathon on my own. I know I can wake up in the morning, and ran a marathon. But I hope to afford going out, and running with a group. I have identified four potential marathons, on my bucket list…two in my geographical location; one close to family [will need two air tickets] and will find another, possibly where another one of my family is located. Or another location without a need for a plane ticket or hotel accommodation.
  10. Finally, Give less Fcuks than POTUS gave 2015. With all the achievements on the economy, diplomacy, politics and social service, POTUS still got rotten eggs slammed at him, demeaned, undermined and belittled like a subhuman. So, rightly, he ran out of Fucks to give; haters gonna hate, and he just shook it off! Same here, I am plan to care less about failure, and more about trying again. I am going to pay less attention to disappointments, and devote more attention to rising up. I am going to devote less energy into self-criticisms, and more self-appraising. I am going to shut away the misgivings, misunderstandings, and under-appreciation. I will focus more on transformation, recovery, strength and achieving.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016 Y’ALL!

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Santa Bebe Came Into Town!

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Yesterday was Christmas 2015. In our household, that means, first and foremost, “Santa Comes into Town,” per Child of Mine aka COM.
Yes, He still believes in Santa, I let him play along, or he is he making me play along! I am beginning to wonder, who is fooling who?
Oh well!

As well, Christmas is a day my family, who believe that, Jesus Christ is born and comes to bless their loves. So, I honor them with the privilege of being with them in spirit. I grew up in a Christian household, and we got gifted on Christmas with new clothes, shoes, and feasted on all sorts of special foods and treats on this day!

For 2015, we spent Christmas Day at the Lakshmi Cow and Animal Sanctuary in Bangor, Pennsylvania, a 30-minute ride from where we live. We signed up to volunteer to feed the animals, and share a meatless potluck lunch. We also volunteered to carry a dish/es with us. Everybody we hung out with, we were meeting for the first time. But we did not feel like strangers.

In fact, from the time at the Animal Sanctuary, I learned two things:

  1. I am a small god; my conscious and soul is that which makes me.
    I had never thought of myself as a “small god”; I call myself “a human,” and that’s the way I live my life. I believe in the notion of communitarianism, human living, I believe in Karma, in horoscopes, zodiac signs. I believe that we are the pioneers of our own lives.

Still, I will embrace my new-found realization that, “I am a small god,” because I believe our conscious guides our every action or inaction, thoughts or pronouncements. Our conscious cannot let us rest happily, whenever we are not representing ourselves or our social relations as we should.

  1. If I refuse to smile, I refuse to see positive about myself, and deny to live the beauty of life. I get myself stuck in negativity, stress, depression and agony. [Well, I knew that, but I guess I simply refuse to practice it. That was my mantra in 2013 —time has taken its toll on me. Challenge 2016

Well, I learned a couple of more things

  1. Just because you are Hindu Indians does not mean you are not scared of cows. Quite like the common stereo type that, “Africans live in perfect harmony, with no fear of animals or bugs, because, “They are Africans, duh!” I was shocked on seeing our Hindu lunch-mates running away from cows, while COM and I got into their face, up and close, feeding and patting them!
  2. Cows eat rice, they eat watermelon, they eat carrots, they eat bananas. Cows eat the same foods at humans. They eat cookies as well! Oh! Do not feed cows, by throwing food on the ground or in the dung; it is dirty and will get them sick!
  3. When a cow grows old or dies, do not ask, if it is slaughtered for food. It is buried or cremated. I had to bite my tongue, and not talk about those yummy beef cows in Uganda, that also give us Mulokoni [soup from cow hooves], hide for mats, and accessories, horns for decoration and accessories too, and lots of milk.
  4. By the way, cows farms exercise preferential treatment of their cows! Those who specialize in beef or milk cows do not keep newborn calves, but pass them onto other farms happy to take care of them.
  5. Turns out, I do not have to schlep myself all the way to an Ashram in India for a mom-free retreat, when there is one in my neighborhood, called Aisha Vidya Gurukulam! They’ve got classes for kids, as well, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month. Me thinks, at my convenience! I might have to check that out.

I am re-living the fact that:

  1. Children bring blessings. Plenty of COM’s Christmas gifts this year were courtesy of my BFF, and golden Aunty Jude. And thanks to Cyber Monday, if at all there was any difference in price! Yes, I contributed, but I cannot thank my BFF enough for her kindest generosity; she always comes through! Living proof, you don’t need religion to do good, if you have a human heart!
  2.  Surprises are always welcome and greatly appreciated! Child procrastinated on writing his “Dear Santa List,”Christmas and thought he was not getting any gifts. Then Christmas morning he climbs upstairs, face to face with a living room full of gifts! He loved all his gifts, so he said, when I asked him. No special preferences!
    He was animated about plenty of the gifts, “No! No way! It’s a Wii U control [from his Dad]…Now I can play with Cole!”
    “Minecraft Legos! We can build together, mommy,” immediately co-opting me.
    But then he saw The Guitar, “This is all I ever wanted!”
  3. Live Life freely, wildly and be earthy! Don’t ever be afraid to try something new. In fact, take your child to venture out with you. If it is to feed animals on a rural farm on Christmas Day, go for it. Meatless potlucks, partake, and bring a dish! Hang out with retirees, like you are one of them; there will always be commonalities — running, gym, health eating, and vegetarianism. Experience is the best teacher!
  4. Always prepared to be flexible. Allow another person to dictate your schedule, sometime. Done with the Christmas Day, I planned to pat myself on the back and pop my collar for my “Santa Hat-trick,” settle down, sip my ginger tea, and read 109 pages of #JanetHalley’s Genealogy of #FamilyLaw.

Child of Mine had other plans, to drag me into building a Minecraft Lego City. I went in kicking and screaming, but in fact enjoyed becoming a “Minecraft Lego City Builder,” earned a “Stamp of Approval,” and very much enjoyed learning to lego- and Minecraft-away! Learning never stops!

I guess my biggest challenge is gonna be, returning to myself. Saying no to all the luring things that are not good to this body. It is gonna take 20 lbs under, to measure success — I literally need to tuck away that much! Yes, I am sick and tired of seeing this face, and have to drop it. I cannot give up on myself! Never!

And throughout all my experiences, I reconnected with the value of keeping positive, and letting positivity surround you. Yet, I still heartily believe that it is ok to share one’s sorrow and sadness, as a phase in life, a true testament of the human spirit and beacon of hope and optimism that things will always get better!

This is to hoping that everybody, near and far, had a fabulous Christmas Day. Let us continue to give, let us continue to love, and be loved. Celebrate!

Fear is Our Biggest Impediment

For many of us, fear is our biggest impediment!

Fear grips us, cripples us, and enslaves us!being different

 

We are afraid of the dark
We are afraid of heights
We are afraid of adventure
We are afraid of the unknown

We are afraid of criticism
We are afraid of failure
We are afraid of trying
We are afraid of dreaming

We are afraid of loneliness
We are afraid of attention
We are afraid of loving
We are afraid of affection

We are afraid of being talked about
We are afraid of not being talked to
We are afraid of being ignored
We are afraid of not being priority

We are afraid of dependence
We are afraid of begging
We are afraid of giving
We are afraid sharing

We are afraid of disappointment
We are afraid of embarrassment
We are afraid of getting hurt
We are afraid of pain

We are afraid of helpers
We are afraid of solicitation
We are afraid of donations
We are afraid of alms

But, let us not be afraid of reaching out
Asking for worthy help
Love regardless

Let us embrace loneliness
Live endlessly
Life with all its uncertainties

Let us give unconditionally
Against all odds,

Let us break the encumbrance of fear!

2014 in a Wrap

Minus 20lbs: Days Six, Seven, Eight, Nine & Ten

Day Six and Seven: Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25, 2015

This weekend was my bridge to the start of my Master Cleanse. So, I might have engaged the “Cheat Shit” a little bit more. Well, my excuse [and I should really put those to rest], “I still took juices and liquids, no solids and no hard carbs.” I made a smoothies for child and I, with grapefruit, apples, blueberries, pineapples with mango juice and water. I still drunk plenty of water with lemon and tea….StrApPineBerries Smoothie

I made child pancakes, made him meals with chicken, avocado, yams and watched him eat. I love avocado so much that I failed to control myself, so I made avocado puree for myself. I had a cup of almond milk for dinner.

The weekend went well! I had to skip the “Open Day” celebrations at my local gym because there was food involved. I did not wanna get tempted to eat. Though my stomach is also scared of starting to consume heavy meals, after a while without solid food. Last time I checked, I was 2 lbs more than I had been Friday.

Day Eight: Monday, October 26, 2015

This is the second week of my “Diet to Body Cleansing” period. It is also my first day of the Master Cleanse, which I am planning to do for a couple of days. Hopefully, I will get through. I want to get through with it. I want to do it for me. I know I have strong stamina, the courage to succeed, withstand so much temptation.

I want to re-learn to control myself from eating. There is a lot of food temptation. There is so much easy food I could eat. I am putting off dates, cranberries, avocado, oranges, yams, potatoes, popcorn, veggie burgers, chocolate. I am also putting off drinking any hot cocoa. I am putting off everything.

Today, was all about 24 ounces of mixed freshly squeezed lemon juice, cayenne pepper, maple syrup grade B and lukewarm water early morning. Nothing in the day, and then another 24 ounces of the same in the afternoon, as Child was having dinner. I had another 18 ounces of warm water without the mixture.

I forgot and used very warm water for mixing, which is not a good idea because, as they say, it ruins the enzymes. I also forgot and kept the other half of lemon in the fridge. Once again, not a good idea, because the cold in the fridge kills the enzymes in the lemon. So, I hope I remember to keep the halves out on the shelf.

The day did not go very well. I wonder, if it had to do with the family news broadcasted to me this weekend, or too much hunger! I stayed to myself. My energy was so down the entire day, until I went to Child’s Tang Soo Do, and draggingly spoke to momma-friend.

Fortunately, I was able to get through with the day, and stayed clear of any temptation to touch anything outside the regimen. Not even a taste of apple source, when child was eating!

Day Nine: Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This was my first morning of the Sea Salt Water Flush, the yuckiest part of this Master Cleanse. It does not taste pretty, at all! 32 ounces of this dreadful drinkup! But I have to do it, to flush out the impurities that stay after the Master Cleanse goes to manufacture energies for the body.

But, it works the magic. In fact, I hear sporadic stomach growling during the day, because of the salt still infused in my body. Though, I did not have the recommended sea salt – non-iodized. So, I am gonna head to the store and get me some.

After the sea salt flush, I had my first Master Cleanse mixture, as recommended, which also helped flush out more. Instead of doing many glasses of the Master Cleanse, I am drinking warm water with lemon. First, I do not want to buy too much Maple Syrup Grade B because it is so expensive. Two, I do not really like the master cleanse, either. It does not taste too good.

I am gonna buy some laxative teas as well, to smooth up the stomach.

Perhaps the easiest day so far! Temptation to eat attacked me a few times, but hunger was very far from my stomach! In fact, the least temptations to eat I have had so far. Yet, my kitchen had avocado, boiled eggs, oat cereal, apple sauce, all the things I would tempted to have. But, all I did was be a good mother, and left the yummy eats to him.

I got the non-iodized sea salt, thankfully. Just hit me, I forgot to buy any laxative teas. But I had the non-caffeine lemon-ginger tea. Hopefully, that too is acceptable. I had another Master Cleanse mixture in the evening after Child came back from school, while he ate his dinner.

After Tang Soo Do class, I gave child an Icy, and he tempted me to taste, to which I swiped my tongue. Well, I didn’t have the courage to tell him once again, in the same day that, I am body cleansing. But that’s all the temptation I succumbed to for the day. I drank my 25 ounces of warm water for the day. It was a great day!

Just to recap, I am Body Cleansing to lose weight, while detoxing my body of all the nastiness I have subjected it for the last three years! I want to wear my clothes the way I used to. I want to look at myself and see my previous body. I want to run with the body I know. I want to feel myself again. I slide down the scale one less pound. I still have plenty to go, from the way my clothes fit.

Day Ten: Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Still going strong. Did my Sea Salt Flush this morning. The yuckiest drink, EVER! Seems I did not add enough salt. So, I gotta top it up tomorrow, I guess. Or, could it be, there is not so much to flush out.

So, I immediately followed it with Master Cleanse, to pump up the Flush. It worked; I guess! I sat on our “unPort-a-Jones” for a while…and did some releasing.

Quite a tempting day, I must say. Had to gulp down two extra 26 ounces of warm water with caffeine-free additives, because I was near tempted to eat. Especially when child came back with an unfinished Black Bean burger from school. Typically, I would eat his leftovers, instead of disposing it over. I do not waste food; I detest wasting food. But I resisted it this time, and simply packed it and put it in the freezer for later consumption.

I did not have any of the smoothie I made child for breakfast: strawberries, blueberries, apples and pineapple. I love fruits, but I cannot imagine I am holding myself back. Seems to be paying off.

My last consumption was another 24 Ounces of Master Cleanse, while Child was eating his snack or special treat of Chocolate Ice…Non-GMO, of course. This time, he did not offer me to taste, and I was ok with that.

I did not weigh in yesterday. It totally feels different to go to bed feeling less bulky, although my clothes are not there yet. I can feel the fitting. But I know, we will get here; sometime soon! And hopefully, stay there, this time. I do not wanna pack on this load, again.