Like nearly every other black woman in the United States of America, I kicked off my weekend by going to see Girls Trip with one of my best friends. The movie follows four college BFFs as they reunite for a long overdue girls trip to New Orleans for ESSENCE Festival.
Monday afternoon after a long day at work and after visiting my mom, I came home, put on my pajamas and got in bed at 5 p.m. I stayed there for three hours eating Golden Flake Sweet Heat potato chips and watching television. My husband thought I was dying. Seriously.
I’m the woman who comes home from work only to launch into at least three additional hours of work and one hour of exercise.
And the Monday to-do list in my Day Designer* was full. But I just didn’t care. My body told me to get in bed and so I listened.
On March 4 I’ll be spending the day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for the first Lean On: Alabama conference. This leadership and lifestyle conference for women seeks to provide attendees with the chance to build relationships with like-minded women while sharing their own experiences and learning from women who are leaders in their communities, in business, and in government.
This past fall I started hosting a new event in my town that I call the See Jane Write Wine Down. It’s a gathering at a local wine bar & lounge, a girls’ night out of sorts, but one with a distinct purpose. The See Jane Write Wine Down is meant to give female writers, bloggers, and entrepreneurs an opportunity to meet with other women on a similar journey to share their troubles and to get encouragement and support.
This all came about because of a conversation I had with a fellow female entrepreneur at a networking event. She, like me, is building a business while working a full-time job. She’s also a wife and a mother and her husband is getting restless with the late nights and early mornings she’s spending working on her dream.
She’s not the only woman I know fighting this battle. I attend at least one blogging conference every year and at each conference I meet a woman asking for advice on how to get her spouse or significant other to get on board with her goals. I want to help you with this in case you’re struggling with this, too.
There’s something special about having a birthday in the second month of the year. If you’ve had less than a happy new year, if you’ve broken resolutions or failed to accomplish your January goals, your birthday becomes your second chance. Your birthday becomes your do-over.
Today, February 9, is my birthday. Today begins my second chance at 12 months of excellence.
Today I turn 36 and as I wrote in my Write Like a Girl column for B-Metro, at first I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this new age. You see, 36 is not a milestone birthday, but it sure feels like one as it officially declares me closer to 40 than 30. Does this make me old? I wondered. Does this mean I’m “over the hill”? Was 35 “the hill”?
But, I’ve decided that only I can define the prime of my life, so, I will take 36 and have the time of my life.
Here are 36 things — both personal and professional — I want to do while I’m 36:
Last year I told my husband that I wanted to take a solo weekend writing retreat, or a “writecation,” so I could start working on the book that I hope to complete in 2017. I wanted to check myself into a hotel for a weekend and just write.
I considered booking a room at a hotel in Birmingham, but I knew I needed to get away. Otherwise, the demands of family obligations and the lures of social events with friends would be too much of a distraction.
About a month or so after having this conversation with my husband I was contacted by a representative from Hotel Finial in Anniston, Alabama. They offered me a two-night complimentary stay so I could have the writecation I’d dreamed of. But my stay at Hotel Finial exceeded anything I could have ever imagined!