1500 Thank You’s

Today I learned that I had more than 1500 WordPress followers. I just wanted to scream when I saw that. I’m honored you chose to follow me.

1597354_905790662833358_1015058967_n

I never believed that I would reach this milestone, but Mr. C did. He encouraged me to write and knew that others would enjoy reading what he enjoyed reading. I am thankful. I am blessed.

I could have never imagined growing this blog. The pace may be slow to others, but it works for me because I believe that everything happens in God’s time. In late October of 2015 (19 months ago) I had only 200 followers. Thank you for staying with me. Thank you for reading. Thank you for taking this journey with me.

For my new followers I write about things that matter to me. Things that have shaped my world and perspective. Things like love. From my first love, to dating, relationships and my divorce and all the things in between. I believe in love. I’m grateful for it.

tolstoy

I also know pain. Pain from past abuses and broken promises. Pain of a divorce. Pain of infertility.  I write about that too.

Because-in-every-relationship

I write about my faith. I love God and am a follower of Christ. Super flawed and I talk about it. I struggle with making sure that my fear doesn’t overpower my faith. I struggle with a lot of things. I’m a work in progress. Each day I choose to be better. But, through it all I know that God has never abandoned me and loves me.

15202559d7dfbebd4af10894356a3ce7

I talk about social issues. Things that affect me…as a woman, as a black woman, as a mom and as a human being. I believe in the unity of all and I am blessed to have people from all different backgrounds in my tribe.

IMG_7310-q4xkad

I write about parenting. I’m a mother to a 9 year old little boy that I affectionately refer to as Munch. He is the light of my life. He’s a rising fourth grader in a French Immersion program. I’m overjoyed at his birth because he was created by God through help of medical science (I did IVF).

So, that’s my life. That’s who I am. That’s what I write about. I thank you for following and look forward to connecting with each and every one of you.

43090-Thank-You-For-Following-Me

 

Disclaimer: I own no rights to any photos except the picture of my son and I. All others were found on Google.com.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

 

 

Still Walking

This Saturday, I’m doing my part by Marching for Babies with my sorority.  March of Dimes is doing this walk to fund exciting new research to prevent premature birth and fund services for families of preemies. Can you chip in a tax-deductible $25 donation to my March for Babies campaign right now to help babies? Click on this link: http://www.marchforbabies.org/tikeethathomas

finerwomanm4b-why-FBIG (1)

Munch was born premature. My niece was born premature. My friends had children born prematurely. We are all blessed to have happy and healthy children.  But, what about those that aren’t as blessed? Let’s help them.

I set a goal of $250. I’m currently at $71.00. No amount of donation is too small. Thank you to all those that have donated.  Your generosity is appreciated. But, I still need more. Will you help? Will you help me reach my goal? Will you help fund research?

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Reblog: The Economics of Dating

This is a reblog/re-edit of a post I wrote almost over 2 and half years about the economics of dating. Why? Because everything costs. Everything has a price tag. Especially dating. Check it out:

*********************************************************************************

Dating now is a lot like going shopping when you don’t have any money. Even if you find the right thing, you can’t do anything about it. –Joshua Harris

Recently, I’ve been listening to the frustrations of dating and in particular…Who should pay? Should women ever offer to pay? Should men accept the offer? How long should a man and woman date before a woman ever offers to pay? So, I headed to cyberspace to do my research and came across this article on the Huffington Post, written by Catherine Pearson, “Men Still Paying for Dates…And Women are Partly Responsible”. Interesting title right? In short, a study was done and found the following information helpful:

  • 84 percent of men and 58 percent of women say men pay for most entertainment expenses — even after they have been dating for some time
  • 57 percent of women say they offer to help pay
  • 39 percent admitted that they hoped men would reject their offers to pay
  • 44 percent were bothered when men expected them to chip in
  • Nearly two-thirds of men believe women should contribute to dating expenses

So, interesting points, right? This is so true. I’m dying laughing. Mr. C still pays for 95% of our dates and it’s been a year and half of dating. I pay occasionally, but I do believe that a man should pay for dates. However, before you think me cruel and not considerate to the man that I love, I must say that I’m not. Although he pays for most dates, I do tend to spend more on gifts. I am a gift giver so I pick up things just because gifts.

But, I wanted to give you an economic breakdown of how a potential suitor may stack up in the dating market. Now, let’s say he’s a 40 year old male (divorced) with a 7 year old child who is in school full-time (first grade) and living in the Washington, DC area. We will give him a career as an IT specialist making about $85,000 a year.

Expense Monthly Cost                      Notes
Rent $1,200.00 Two bedroom apartment in a not so good area in the Washington, DC Area
Car Note  $300.00
Car Insurance  $120.00
After Care  $300.00
Food  $250.00
Utilities  $400.00 Includes Gas, Electric, Cable and Cell Phone
Gas for the Car  $300.00
Credit Card Bills  $300.00 Expenses with car maintenance and dating
Student Loan Payments  $200.00
Child Support  $600.00
FSA  $100.00 Required as part of his divorce decree to assist in the payment of his child’s medical expenses
Health Insurance  $220.00 Based it off a monthly two person rate of $1100 with him paying 20%
Total a Month  $4,290.00
85,000/26 (pay periods)  $3,269.23 Pay Period (Gross)
3,269.23*40% (taxes and benefits)  $1307.69 Taxes and benefits deducted
$1961.54  Total (Net) per Pay Period
1961.54*26(pay periods)/12 (months)  $4250 Monthly Salary

Sobering reality huh?  Looking at the chart above, this man is already broke before taking you out to dinner even though by most standards he’s making a pretty good salary. Just not enough to date living in the Washington, DC area and being divorced.

I recently read a report about how some families in Silicon Valley who are making above $150,000 are struggling.  Reason…housing is pricey. So, the man that I just described above is not necessarily living in the best neighborhoods with a 2 bedroom and paying $1200. Housing in a good neighborhood is not affordable to him.

How can he afford to court and woo you on this salary? Is it fair for him to take you out weekly at an average spend of $80.00 or more? Does his financial status make him ineligible to be considered a life partner? Maybe. It’s up to you.

Mr. C was right when he told me that Roland Martin said a black man in America has to work two jobs. The reality is that in this day in age, everyone needs a side hustle or another stream of income. The cost of living, dating, paying child support, paying alimony and/or paying back student loans makes it impossible to date without a second income.

Mr. C’s income is going to change as he has a son entering college in the fall which will tie up some of his disposable income. In other words, I know that he will not be able to take me out all the time. I’m cool with that. We’ll find cheaper ways to date because I understand his situation. I’m going to probably pay for more dates. I guess I should as it’s been over a year and half. LOL.

I think the key is that you should be flexible in the beginning of dating. A man should pay for the first three or four dates. After we get to the fourth date, I know that you’re probably a good guy and I will offer to get some dates.  I took Mr. C to my favorite jazz spot for dinner and jazz in Philly on our fourth date. I drove, paid tolls, gas, entrance for the concert and dinner. He was shocked. You see how I do it right?

Really though, the key is that if there is longevity, let’s be honest about whether or not you can afford something that week. Let’s think of low cost or free activities and budget dates. I’m not above it. If I want to go out with you then I’ll pay. But, let’s be clear…I’m not financing our relationship.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Welcome March – 2017

Today is the first day of March. It’s a new month. Time to create micro goals and get to moving. You are now in the third month of 2017 and are you doing what you love? Are you doing what you want? Are you making the changes that you said you would? It’s not to late. Let’s make it happen.

1533f938ec00d94b3928291aaa50a369.jpg

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links:  Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Babbling Brook

Last week I was reading to Mr. C what I need when I say quality time in the 5 Love Languages book. There’s a couple of paragraphs about the Babbling Brook (one that talks all the time) and the Dead Sea (the one that rarely talks) and how they usually end up together and in the dating stage both really like each other. Why? Because the Dead Sea doesn’t talk and the Babbling Brook talks a lot.

Well, I’m the Babbling Brook folks. I’m in love with a Dead Sea kind of man. I told him that it makes sense because one of his requirements for women is that she talked more than him. He doesn’t really like to talk. He’s more introspective and definitely an introvert. This proves so frustrating now that we’re in a relationship.

Why? Because I need him to share. I need him to be more open and let me in. He’s a pretty good listener, but he’s like most men who don’t give much away. So, we sit on the phone and I will allow moments to past without speaking. Why? I’m trying to get this man to speak up.

Sometimes it works. Other times it doesn’t. When it doesn’t there are moments of silence. He thinks I’m pre-occupied. I want to engage him and encourage him to share. I told him that I need him to share more and he asked “So, you think I have a problem communicating?” I responded “No, I think you’re like most men where you have a problem sharing. I want to know you. What was your worst experience as a child? What was your best experience as a child.” 

It’s a work in progress. He says he lived a boring life in comparison to mine. He grew up in a two parent home. I grew up in a single parent home. He’s the youngest of 4. I’m the oldest of 3. There are differences, but I think that makes it more interesting. I just want to find out more.

So, I’m going to slow down my mouth (the babbling brook that it is) and allow him to talk more. Encourage him to do so. Now, I just need to find some topics.

Any suggestions?

relationships-require-work

Munch’s Black History Moment

Munch is learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in school. He was telling me about Martin Luther King Jr. and all the things he learned…

  • he was a pastor
  • he’s from Atlanta, Georgia
  • he went to Morehouse (like his daddy)
  • he delivered his I Have a Dream speech in Washington, DC
  • he was assassinated

As he was talking he stopped and said “Mommy, Martin Luther King’s speech was about us living in harmony. People of all colors. He wanted us to get along. Like I get along with Noah and Emma. We’re all one.” I smiled. “Yeah, baby we’re all one people. We all matter.”

He then said “Even though Noah and Emma and I have different colors we are all important and need to learn how to get along. We all belong to God and Martin Luther King Jr. wanted all of us to be treated fairly.”

Yep, this kid is amazing. My son. He knew that his skin color was different than my girlfriend and her family. But, they don’t see color as a problem. They see it as different but perfectly normal. We all matter. We should all get along.

I have been blessed with some amazing friends throughout my life and I’m excited that in a time of turmoil that my son can see the bigger picture. His life matters. The life of his friends matter. We’re all apart of that big beautiful rainbow.

 

Dating Diary: Water My Dang Flower

I was telling you in yesterday’s post some of my lessons learned about relationships. Mr. C and I are struggling with time management. Specifically, quality time. Here’s what happened when I discussed it with my therapist…

I was sharing with my therapist last week how I had only spent about an hour with him since the start of the new year. I told her that he had stopped by to give me my birthday gifts but we hadn’t spent any substantial time with each other. I told her that now that he’s sick, I have no idea when I’m going to see him. We were two weeks into the new year.

She listened. She said “Relationships are like flowers. You have to water them or they will die.” She explained that he would need to treat our relationship like a job. Schedule time on the calendar to get together. I told her that he wouldn’t do that because he said that I’m the type of person that would be disappointed if plans changed. She said “Good. I believe that if he hears your disappointment then he won’t want to disappoint you. He will make it happen.”

I sat there and thought about that. That’s what happened in my last marriage. We stopped watering each other’s flower. We died. We stopped caring if we disappointed each other. So what? We probably thought “Oh well, just deal with it.” I was too tired to play any role but room mate and friend. We both died from our choices.

I didn’t want that to happen with Mr. C. I am constantly choosing him each and every day and I needed to make sure that he was doing the same. That we were watering each other’s flowers and making the time to be in each other’s lives. I told him what my therapist said.

He listened and said he had to process. But, he made an effort to see me two days later. We went to lunch and that’s when we had the difficult conversation that I wrote about. He then tells me about an interview for a job within his organization but the hours would be 2pm to 10pm.

I sighed. I was never going to see him. He already switched his hours from 8:30 to 5pm to 10:30 to 7pm. He couldn’t stand the stress from the traffic. I got it. I understood. I chose to move to the other side of the county thereby creating a 45 minute drive between each other. However, I work a straight 9 am to 5pm job. I explained that as busy as I am that I still make spending time with him a priority. It was God, my family (including him) and my sorority. I guess I wondered where I fit in to his hierarchy structure.

How does he see me? Is it as simple as I laid out for him or a more convoluted explanation. I know I’m probably over thinking it. But, I am a person that thinks in terms of black and white. No areas of gray. I have a lot on my plate, but I am committed to nurturing and watering this relationship. But, I can’t water my own dang flower alone. He needs to water me more.

relationships-require-work