Let’s jump right in!
Let me explain. As a black woman, I grew up gathering every holiday with family. When I became an adult, this consisted cooking massive amounts of food and hosting. Now, how did I end up being the hostess with the mostess? I’ll tell you this, I didn’t volunteer. I was in fact, voluntold. This wasn’t uncommon. My mother bossed everybody!
Hosting looked like taking PTO the day before the holiday just to prep. Cleaning my house for hours! Not that it was that dirty, but everything needed to be “perfect”. This sometimes meant spending money I didn’t have on new things for the house. Speaking of spending, being out hundreds of dollars to buy food, drinks and paper products.
Did I mention cook ALL the food? Oh yeah, I did.
Now, I’m all about spending time with family, but I noticed that this was causing so much stress, and I found myself complaining more than enjoying. I actually started to strongly dislike it. Getting up before day to start cooking because I knew my mom would show up before 11 and my brother dropped off before that.
My mother died in 2021, and if I ever felt the pressure of keeping tradition going, I really felt it after her death. Making sure my brother who is handicapped had somewhere to go, and getting what little family we had left together.
Four words, thank God for therapy! In one of my sessions, I was complaining about my dislike of all things related to the holiday, specifically thanksgiving this year. This included, cleaning up, picking up and dropping off my brother, and being so tired that I slept and stayed in bed the entire day following. She asked me one simple question, “then why do it? If you don’t like it, change it. She said in the most calm tone, “create your own tradition, you make the rules”. I immediately had a rebuttal saturated in guilt, because if I didn’t do it, who would? Then I started to think, is it really that simple?
Well, Christmas was fast my approaching and I decided that I was going to test it out. I decided that I would not be cooking nor hosting. I decided that I would be doing things my way. I made a pot of gumbo for the folks in my house. I got up when I felt like it. I didn’t go pick up my brother and it felt just fine! As a recovering people pleaser, I didn’t know this was possible.
Honoring my commitments to myself
30 minutes a day to write…
1 hour every evening to read…
Allowing space for grief and healing…
These may seem small, but let me tell you, they aren’t! I’ve struggled with committing to things I’ve started, and consistency. Sticking to these three things are making a big difference! This is still pretty new for me, but I’m noticing that I feel good when it’s done. I feel proud, and it definitely gives me purpose. Hell, I owe it to myself! If I can commit 40 plus hours of my time to a corporate gig, I can dedicate 1.5 hours to writing and reading, and create space for healing.
Grief and healing…whew, my grief journey has been and still is one hell of a journey. I’m learning that there is no amount of time attached to healing. I’m learning that it isn’t linear. I’m learning that it can get messy. I NOW understand that all of that is allowed and okay. For the first time I’m a long time I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I can see glimpses of the Jazmine I love.
If you also struggle, start small. Maybe your commitment looks like taking a real lunch during your workday instead of eating at your desk while still working and if you too are dealing with grief (of any kind) or healing from (anything) give yourself grace.
Not answering my phone
This is gonna be a short one. If I don’t feel like answering, I don’t. How many times has your phone rang, you looked at the number, sighed, became annoyed and still answered? Just me? It’s so simple, DON’T ANSWER! I promise you, the person on the other end of that phone will be okay.
I’ve released the obligation of making myself available any and every time someone “needs” me and it feels good.
Walking boldly into my healed girl era 🖤
Until next time…🦋