40 Years of Favorites: My Best Friend

Today, I’m dedicating my “40 Favorites” post to my best friend. The one who has stuck with me through thick and thin. The one who has seen me at my best and my worst. My biggest supporter. My Number One. My wife, Colleen.

For the past few weeks, I took random, unfiltered shots of my favorite person. I picked these because they remind me why I fell in love with her. Her spontaneity. Her drive to educate herself. Her honesty. Her heart. And overall, her good nature.

I took this shot at one of our favorite coffee shops in town. She loves coffee about as much as she loves unsweetened iced tea. And when opportunity presents itself, we will go out of town to find shops that are not franchise chains. Coffee shops, cafes, clothing stores, restaurants. She’s up for trying new things.

Colleen is a spiritual person. I just happened to catch her during prayer. Spiritual health is very important to her. She prays every morning for us, the city, the state of the world. And when she’s cleaning, she listens to Christian music. She has zeal for God and for making sure our children are raised on true Christian beliefs.

Another thing I love about Colleen: she loves learning. Social commentaries, political issues, raising children, cultural history, happenings inside and outside our bubble. The point is that Colleen wants to learn as much as she can so she can pass it along to me, our children, and everyone within earshot.

Even when we were dating, we would talk about being parents. About names we would give children. We’d talk about how we came from fractured family dynamics. Then, we got married. We didn’t have kids right away and there were some obstacles. But we’re happy we have such awesome children. Colleen and I want the best for our children. She finds ways to strengthen them physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. I couldn’t have picked a better mother.

I happened to catch her napping while she was watching TV. Probably one of the “Real Housewives” shows. Being a wife and mother takes its toll. And she’ll be the first to tell you that it’s hard at times. She sugar-coats nothing. I can attest to that. But that is why I love her. Because she’s honest and is not afraid to straighten me out.

Photos can only show so much. A sliver into one’s life. These pictures don’t fully state how much I love Colleen. About how I love her personality, her honesty, and the heart she has for family. I can’t imagine my life without her.

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40 Years of Favorites: Blacks on the Silver Screen

I love movies. I don’t get to see them as much. Too expensive these days, even for just one person.

Originally, I was going to create a set of articles listing my favorite movies throughout the decades, Continue reading “40 Years of Favorites: Blacks on the Silver Screen”

40 Years of Favorites: My Anniversary

Hello,

Last week, I turned forty. It’s a big deal because it signals a new phase in life. It’s been a week but I don’t feel any different. Maybe because I haven’t really acknowledged that I am forty. Maybe it’s the euphoria similar to that new car smell. Regardless, most people usually take the time to reflect on their lives and plan out the next phase. Continue reading “40 Years of Favorites: My Anniversary”

Hello, Forty!

Good day, my friends!

As you guessed, it’s finally here. My birthday. And at 9:30 pm, I will officially be forty. This is such an accomplishment. Turning forty is a big deal in itself. You start a new stage in life. Your mindset changes, too. Certainly all these things apply to me, but I add another important change. It marks a change in attitude. One that’s more grateful and appreciative than in my twenties, and even thirties. A change that applies to everything in my life. My family. My job. My writing. My faith. Everything is going to change. Enough of looking at life half-empty and feeling sorry for myself. It’s time I finally take charge of my destiny.

Everyone knows the saying about learning new tricks. I think that certainly applies to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with where I am, but there’s always room to improve. There are opportunities to make yourself better. And that is how I’m approaching this year and every year forward.

I’m discovering ways I can make my situations better. My mental health certainly comes to mind. For a long time, I depended on my wife and other members of my family to hold me accountable. It’s time I started holding myself accountable. That’s not to say I don’t require their assistance every once in a while. I need the occasional kick-in-the-rear. But I have to be my own advocate. I have to speak up for myself. I have to communicate my needs to my family as well as my team of professionals.

Taking care of myself also means allowing myself to have some fun. Give myself some grace and not hold myself, as well as others, to unreasonable standards. No one knows how much time we have left. So I’m going to make the most of it. Live for today. Enjoy the time I have with my family and friends. Get out of my own little bubble and explore what life has to offer.

Turning forty is a great thing. For nearly a year, I dreaded it. I dreaded all the negativity I assumed came with it. However, the closer it approached, the more I became appreciative and happy with beginning a new phase in my life. Shrug off the negative; embrace the positive; strive to be something more than your circumstance.

Oh, before I forget. I’m starting a new series to commemorate and celebrate the forty years I’ve enjoyed. A way to give myself a break from “writing” and to share more about my life. I’ve christened the series, “The 40-Year Favorites.” Each month, I will share my favorite things and moments that I have been blessed to experience. The first entry will be published in a week.

As my mom writes on my envelopes, “No peeking until then!”