Monday, July 21, 2014


I just can't be consistent. I think I last wrote in April....
(I wrote this Friday, July 18, 2014, and I forgot to hit publish.)

This week and last week have been two absolutely crummy weeks for me. I woke up on Wednesday mad at the world for no apparent reason. It's been one week and two days, and my desire to set the world on fire has diminished very little. On top of having to deal with this inexplicable anger, I've been helping a friend cope with some news they recently received. Since I feel that what they are going through is far more significant, I've placed my mysterious issue on pause for the most part...or at least while I'm talking to them. This week has been better, but I really hate feeling this way. The sun and the little birds outside my window normally give me life in the mornings, and now I just want to close my blinds and turn those birdies into target practice. This too shall pass.

Anywho, this really is about an encounter that I had with a woman named Tammy. Yesterday, I had plans to go out to dinner and attend a concert. While we were at dinner, I thought to check my phone because I wasn't sure if a friend of mine was going to need me later that day. I informed them of my plans, but said I would scrap them if they needed me. They did. After returning the call, I went back into the restaurant, asked for my check, and packed up my meal. I excused myself, and apologized for my abrupt departure. I walked over to the venue and asked them if they could gift my ticket to someone. They told me they would, and I headed towards my car. I was feeling good that I was able to not let that ticket go to waste, but I had no idea what the Lord really had in store for me. A lady stopped me. She told me that she didn't want any money, but she was hungry. I told her I had barely touched my meal, and she was more than welcome to it if she wanted it. She looked like she was going to cry, and she asked me for a hug. I complied. Then she told me she was dying from AIDS. I was surprise that I didn't respond in an overly empathetic way as I and most people are accustomed to doing, but instead my mind went directly into "now what?" mode for her.  I asked her when was she going back to the clinic. She told me that she has appointment on Friday, but she was scared. I assured her that as long as she went back to that appointment and do what they tell her to do, she could live a long life with this disease. "You really think so?" Yes, I replied. She told me that her viral load was high and her t-cell count was low and through it all she was able to give me the biggest toothless smile. She asked me to pray for her, and I told her I would. However, I stressed the importance of her going to her appointment. God and medicine are not exclusive of each other. She said that she would. We hugged again, and she gave me her phone number. I setup a reminder to check on her on Friday. Tammy came back to my window to let me know that the food was good. I'm glad she liked it.

I fought with myself if I should post a shortened version of this on FB. I didn't want to come off as someone who was seeking attention for her kind act. Instead, I want to spread the message of empathy. I want people to learn that vulnerability is okay. Tammy was vulnerable with me, and my empathy led me to be of assistance to her. In truth, Tammy was more of a blessing to me than I was to her. I don't think that I'm a nice person. It is not natural to me. I've learned to be this nice. I accepted the golden rule mentality back when monsters were threatening me from under my bed. The golden rule as an adult changes as our personalities have developed more and more time and energy is required of us. It's easy to be selfish when you don't have that much time for yourself. I struggle with trying to be positive and nice. I am quick to anger, judgment, and sometimes violence. The violence is always in my head. I have a future to protect, so I don't dare act on that. I just don't like that I think in those terms. Nonetheless, I'm happy that I was able to be a blessing for Tammy. I'm happy she was able to be a blessing to me.

Be kind to the people you meet for you do not know what battles they are fighting. It's a struggle to always keep this in mind, but it gets easier with practice.


the meaning of the word friend has lost so much of it's value. last night, dan and i were discussing what it means to be a friend. we pretty much agreed that they can be a confidant, provider of joy (and sorrow at times), but overall they are a person who wants the best for you. they want more for you than you can even imagine, and they motivate you to be a better person. my friend circle has always been small. i look at it now, and i see that it shrank without me even noticing it. it is not a loss.

dear Lord,
thank you for those who continue to love me, comfort me, and bless me in ways that i can not even fathom. grant me the wisdom to recognize friend from foe. help me to be the person i want to be. help me to be understanding in those moments when i'm hurt. help me in this moment right now to release all things that hinder my journey and keep me separated from your love.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Self Worth

Once upon a time, I lost most, if not all, of my self worth. It was the result of a relationship that left me with more questions than answers and a void I thought would never be filled. It caused me to severely devalue myself. I can only blame myself for this since my value was not something that was taken from me. It was something that I gave up. Yes the ingredients were laid out by another. However, I chose to pick up the ingredients, measure them out, and bake that wretched cake. It was dry, and I ate it. It had no flavor, but I ate it. I thought I measured the salt perfectly, but there was too much. I still ate it. It was a dry, flavorless, and salty cake, and I ate every last bite. How did I let that happen?  

The reasons that created that moment no longer matter except to serve as a reminder of what not to do in life. From time to time, the feeling of worthlessness creeps in, but I have to remind myself that "I is kind, I is smart, and I is important." I absolutely hate that line from "The Help", but I love what Aibileen was trying to impart to Mae Mobley. Mae Mobley's mother was going to clip her little wings before she could even fly. It's hard enough to grow up in a world that is always showing images of how we don't measure up, but to have your mother be your personal tour guide into that dark place is saddening. Aibileen was trying to give her a chance to know what feeling worthy was like. Maybe those seeds she planted could grow in any type of terrain, and Mae Mobley would have a chance to feel like she mattered. We all want to matter. We all want to feel like we belong. We all want to be loved. As we get older, we must accept that all of this must come from within first, and then we can add people to our lives who can help us be better versions of our ourselves. Seeking it from anywhere else will leave us insatiable. It's a lesson that I keep learning repeatedly, and I hope not to my detriment. The struggle continues but at least it continues.

Self worth must be protected. The world will steal it, disfigure it, or kill it if we let it. My self worth was on life support but with time comes healing. I pray that I don't ever slip that far again, but at least this time I know better.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Am Changing (in my Jennifer Holliday voice.) Am I?

 "I am praying to be a Proverbs 31, fearless, faithful, and loving woman. It's not easy, but I'm working on it."

I have a lot of time to reflect on so much. Although I probably have too much time to reflect, I try to at least keep the focus on my present. What is going on with me? Who am I today versus the person I was a week ago, a month ago, a year get the picture. My quote comes from a post I wrote nearly a year ago. I stumbled upon that post, and I wondered have I become this woman. It's great timing since I want to focus on the type of person I've become at the ripe old age of 30. I'll take it bit by bit. 

Proverbs 31  is a great description of the type of woman I want to be. This is one hardworking, loving, and kind woman. She really is the type of woman that most wives want to be. A provider, nurturer, cheerleader, philanthropist, and a woman who fears the Lord out of reverence. She wants the best for all of those around her. She has wisdom and a kind word on her tongue. Ooh, if I could get to the point where I always have a kind word on my tongue that would be awesome! This woman is highly regarded because she posses so many beautiful characteristics. Her wonderful spirit is so highly regarded that even her husband is known in the gates. Women can sit among the elders now, but when this was written, that was not the case. Can you imagine the type of influence this woman must have had? Honey! I love it, and I want to be her. So where am I with this? I am doing a lot more good than harm, and I am definitely far more supportive than critical. Old Kim would have looked at the situation and critiqued the hell out of it. I could turn any accomplishment into a mere whimsy. Recognizing that about myself sucked, but it created the new me. I am more likely to focus on the pluses and then constructively criticize any minuses or not say anything that won't be helpful. Changing this wasn't hard to do. I only need someone to tell me once that I'm hurting or offending them, but I need to be told. Now I just need to buy a plot of land and get myself some servants....

Fearless- I definitely am more fearless. I read a book, so it's certified now. Lol. I have pursued things that I opted not to do out of fear that I would fail. I do not accept failure well, so I've avoided it. Well, I've done the easy work. I've been accepted into a PhD program, but now I have to prepare myself for what may be the most difficult thing for me to do. On top of this, we plan on bringing people into the world next year. This is going to be interesting. Trusting in the Lord. 

Loving- It comes naturally for me to have a big heart, but for those who are rude...I've got a nanosecond for those people. I have some of these people in my life (directly and indirectly) and in an effort to try and forge some type of relationship, I've decided to fake it until I make it. If the false environment that I have created proves to not be enough, fine by me. I have other things where I can focus my energy. This is proving to be difficult. People are blind to the things that may be perceived as negative. No one wants to be anything that has a negative connotation, but got dang I can't stand it when people don't face the truth. So I'm dealing...poorly most days, but I'm dealing. 

Current assessment: I'm in a better place than where I was nearly a year ago, but I've got more work to do. I'll check back in on myself in 6 months. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

This isn't a typical throwback. I was speaking with a friend today, and I recalled a poem that was read at our wedding. We only had two readings:  1 Corinthians 13 and Why Marriage? I wanted to read it again. I really wish I had a videographer. Christina swears that I was crying first, but I know she started the water works. I'm taking a moment to count my blessings. One of my greatest blessings is the man who stood next to me on October 12, 2008. It's not been completely smooth sailing, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'm truly blessed.

By: Mari Nichols-Haining

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Teamwork Really Does Make the Dream Work

A long time ago, I realized that in order to have a healthy union, I needed to start viewing my husband as a team member and not as an opponent. I didn't get married to steal the ball from him, cause him to fumble or rip a backhand winner down the line to win the point. I married him because he's the one to block for me when someone is trying to force me to fumble and we play mixed doubles! Basically, we're in this together. We are not foes when arguments arise. We are partners who may have a differing view on something, but we keep the goal in mind. Fixing the problem makes life better for US.

I know many couples who didn't survive because they simply weren't a team. Promises were broken by some without apology. For some reason, they felt that they had more of a right to break an agreement with their partner than any random person on the street. Some just refused to changed. They accepted that they were lacking in an area, but they didn't change their behavior to fix the problem which only caused the rift to grow more. Many were just bad at communication. They were incapable of empathizing and listening to their partner's concerns because they were so focused on their own hurt. That is so disheartening to me. Two people who are both hurt who are "in love", but they can't help each other. My heart sinks when I think about that. Pain is a powerful emotion, and it keeps us from being able to move forward when we hold onto it like a life raft. The only problem is that it isn't a life raft. It's a weight that is causing us to sink.

Why am I writing about this? I mean I'm not a relationship blogger. This really is my personal blog that is public that I am using to track life events and occasionally some thoughts. This is a thought. A friend of mine sent a link to a video (Four Horsemen- John Gottman). I thought for some time about what we may be doing that is considered to be a characteristic of a "disaster" relationship and a "master" relationship. I feel shameful sometimes when I think about my behavior towards My Love early in our relationship. I am now able to recognize that those moments were the building blocks for what we have now. We're better for it, and it helps me to empathize with those who may have gone through a similar process. It makes it harder to judge someone when you know that you aren't that far removed from the behavior. We aren't "masters" of marriage, but in our five years of marriage I feel that I have what many never experience in their marriage until 10 or 20 years later. It took/takes work. The work never ends. It just means we have to keep finding fun and meaningful ways to make it not feel like work. It really doesn't feel like work when you are laughing all of the time, taking long strolls and learning more about the emotions and thoughts of your spouse, trying new restaurants, traveling to new lands, and getting tipsy and laughing your butts off about how tipsy you are. Just start to enjoy life together.

I think a big problem why spouses view each other as the opponent is that we're so afraid to face the ugly sides of ourselves. It's easier to blame and fight another than wrestle with ourselves. There are many who will proclaim that they don't mind people saying things about them because they can handle the truth. The loudest one in the crowd is probably the most sensitive one. If no one pinched you, why are you saying ouch? I had to look inward and see that there was a person there that I had become who was going to cause the demise of one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me if I didn't correct it. My marriage hasn't ever come close to having to talk about divorce. It's the worrier in me, that made me face this early on. For us, divorce is a last resort, and there has got to be something so broken that we have to recognize God didn't mean for us to be together. We speak about divorce in a awkward hypothetical sense. However, I'm aware of what causes divorce, so I need to fix whatever I need to work on to ensure that I'm doing everything to protect my marriage. The enemy can easily be in your home, and it may very well be you. Just pull out the mirror and start writing down what is getting in the way of your marriage being successful that you may be doing. Acknowledge it, accept it, and then fix it. People shouldn't be afraid to seek professional help as well. If we had cancer, we would do everything we could to eradicate the malignant cells from our bodies. We should treat our marriage the same way. There is a malignant force that is trying to take over the beautiful things that led us to marry this person. We need to do all that we can to get rid of that force. (Didn't mean to get on a soapbox....)

I'm not an expert on this thing. I'm just a married woman who's marriage has had its peaks and valleys like all. When he is weak, I am strong. When I am weak, he is strong. I just know that I've got the best QB, center, baseline player, forward, tackle, safety, kicker, and judo player on my team. He's got the same from me.

- One Half of Team Watkins

Monday, March 31, 2014

What's Been Going On In 2014

For 2014, I have been keeping a personal journal, so I've not posted anything for a while. My major goal for the year has been about creating a spirit of gratitude. I have found this to be very difficult because well, I am human. I have moments and thoughts that I'm not proud of. I recognize these things, but the difference of course is acting on them versus correcting my thoughts and actions. Also, apologizing if I need to is key when I don't correct my thoughts and actions. Take care of what you love, and it will take care of you.

I had a thought earlier today that I wanted to express, and it has escaped me like a runaway going to Canada. It was a good thought too. It's the reason why I'm writing anything at all and now...Poof! So what has been going on? Here's the highlights reel: 

1. I had surgery on Feb. 20th. The details are in the previous blog post. I'm at about 85% I guess. I have not fully tested my physical abilities. I get to see just how weak I've become in these last six weeks with today's workout. My flexibility is atrocious! This can be rectified with some good old fashion stretching and foam rolling. The green devil taunts me from its corner every time I see it. I'm still waiting on it to start feeling like a massage again. 

2. I got accepted into graduate school to pursue my PhD in financial planning or consumer economics. I applied for financial planning, but the consumer economics looks like what I really want to do as far as research and areas of interest. The awesome thing is since I'm a newbie, I can change later on. It's America, so I have some rights and freedoms. The most amazing part of this experience is that a couple of weeks after being accepted into my program, I received a letter from my graduate coordinator telling me that they didn't have any money for me at that time, but they were working on it. Story time! Once upon a time, I was going to go to Florida State University, but I changed my mind because Florida A&M University said I could get a degree for the free.99 because I was a good little student in high school. Why not? I really didn't want to go FAMU because I wanted to be with more than just black people, and the school was notorious for financial aid mis-handlings (like all HBCU's, but a major issue is that students don't fill out their FAFSA's on time, so for a school where 90+% of students receive aid, and only 40% of them do right....) Well, that was one of the best decisions I could have ever made because I was able to go to school for free not once, not twice (mostly), but three times. The Graduate Feeder Program was created to help underrepresented groups enter into graduate school. Oftentimes, this means full rides or some financial assistance. Well, I wasn't worried after I got the e-mail because 1. The Lord provides. 2. I'm a Fellow, surely I will get a fellowship, right?! (Okay, I was a little worried.) Two weeks later, I received my letter in the mail letting me know that I would have a fellowship. Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord! Honey, I only pay $25 a semester for tuition, I pay my student fees, and for 16 hrs of work a week I will receive a nice stipend every month. Won't He do it? It was done!  

3. Dan and I have been going through a book titled "Why Don't We Listen Better?" with another couple. Originally, our plan was to do it together, but I saw that a friend and I could benefit from it as well. He's married, so she could probably benefit too. Let's do this. We've been meeting since the beginning of February, and we're almost done with the book. It's been an interesting experience. I've always been a good listener, but now I'm trying to become not just a person who can recall what is said or lend an ear. I'm trying to do it without advising, agreeing, disagreeing, or defending. That is pretty tough. In general, I keep an open mind to most things. I'm happy I let Daniel convince me that this is something that I could benefit from. It seems to be helping everyone. I'm not sure if we're all fully understanding the principles, but I feel that it has been an added benefit for most. Gosh darn, I'm growing! Lol. 

4. Team Watkins has been reading a book titled "Fearless" by Max Lucado. Originally, this was a book that I was reading with a small bible study group I was in in VA, but we left shortly after we started this book. Dan and I picked it up because we needed to start being a little bit more radical with our faith and going after happiness. I have let fear conquer my quest for happiness for far too long. Most times there is something from the book that resounds with us and others not so much. I attribute this to us just getting out of our box more. We're almost done with this book as well. I think our next book will be The 5 Love Languages or a book about worthiness from Brene Brown. I have a huge girl crush on her. 

5. The usual stuff...ya know, lose weight, floss more, yada, yada. Lol. I am truly trying to meet new people. I finally went to my first meetup last Friday. It was cool enough. I met one girl that I really liked. She told me I reminded her of her best friend. (Well, I am pretty awesome! Lol.) I'm going to try and stay in touch with her. The meetup helped me to achieve a goal of meet five new people this year. Hey! I should reach a little higher than having dinner with strangers who I am perfectly fine with never seeing again, so I'll keep going to the meetups. Maybe something more will develop. I can stand to have some new friends. It's so hard because I really like Dan, and we have so much fun. Also, my friends are so much better than your friends...unfortunately, they aren't here (MOVE). Sigh.  

6. We booked a trip to go to wait for it....Dublin, London, Paris, Florence, Venice, and Rome. Yes! My passport hasn't been stamped since October 2012 when we went to China. It's past due, and now it's about to see some major activity. I have so much to plan! We'll be gone for a little over two weeks in May. So much to do, so little time! (Yes, I do have a month, and I don't work, so I do have time to plan...) 

7. We're still debt free. We need to ramp up our savings again, but last year took us a while to get our footing after the move. We did some savings, but not what we budgeted. Dan's income is more than enough, but we were just doing things without a plan.That's the fastest way to end up broke. This year we've had major medical expenses (PTL for FSA), car repairs, big trip/little trips, and other things. Although we've not saved like we should have, we are far from broke. I'm so happy that we did FPU, and I can't wait to start teaching it again. We've been doing the darn thing for Baby Step 4. I set up an automatic deduction to save 15% of our income in retirement. This year will be the first year that we will max out our Roths. :) 

8. Dan came up with the idea of creating a goals group with our friends, so I setup our FB page, Hangouts, and we checked in with each other for six weeks. We start back up again today. It's been great reading about our friends' successes. I love that most of these people didn't know each other, but we've been encouraging to each other to achieve the things we want in life. This 6 weeks goal is to do P90X3 and run three times a week. I'm doing the program with Dan, so I'm looking forward to that. Working out with him makes me step my game up. 

That's all I can think about right now. I'm going to try and do better about writing in this thing. I need to track my life! 

Toodaloo for now!