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Speak Life: Tell yourself who you want to become until you get there.

Speak Life: Tell yourself who you want to become until you get there.

That moment when, during my seminar, a doctoral student turns to her peer and says, “His job sounds like the kind of job I’d want to have: Teaching students how to learn.” 

I am thankful, and I feel blessed that my day job is also my calling. 

FYI: This was not always the case, but some faith-believing, prophetic people spoke it into existence since I was a little baby boy. 

They tell me my grandmother and grand aunt used to call me “Dr. Adrian” (yes, from the time I was born). 

Oh, and then I’m also told my maternal grandfather had an insatiable appetite for learning: He would even teach my mom and her siblings a little Spanish—singing songs, repeating high-frequent phrases, counting, etc.). 

Then what happened? I started developing a passion for language learning in high school. I just couldn’t get enough of it. 

By the time I graduated high school, my goal was clear: Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Got to college, one of my Spanish-speaking professors asked, “What’s your major?” “Spanish,” I replied. He looked at me in disbelief and said, “Do you want to starve?” As if to say, you’ll never make a living with that degree. 

Well, glory to God, I haven’t starved yet, but have been able to feed those who are. 

What happened next? At some point in college, I had a new goal: I wanted not just a B.A. in Spanish, but also an M.A. and Ph.D. in language education (learning how languages are learned and taught). 

Yes, I actually told myself that one day I’d be called Dr. Reynolds. Somehow baby Adrian internalized the prophecy of his grandmother and grand aunt, and captured the thirst for learning of his grandfather. 

Now here I am: Spanish-speaking Dr. Reynolds teaching people in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields how to learn at an R1 university. 

Here I am on my graduation day in 2012. I’ve lost a few pounds since this picture! 🙂

Not sure why I’m writing this post; but if you’re chasing your dreams and feel like giving up, don’t throw in the towel and make haters happy. 

Tell yourself you are who you want to become until you get there. 

Of course, as you know, it’s going to take a combination of factors including faith, work, opportunity, access, mentorship, sacrifice, long hours, some sleepless nights, yeah, some dollars, too, etc. 

But here’s one thing I know, without positive self-talk, and a growth mindset, it will not happen.

Don’t be scared to prophecy

Remember this: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:22). Speak life, PERIOD!!

Peace and Love,

Adrian

You’re no different than Beyonce: Owning your greatness in 2019 and beyond


Last week I posted the following quote on my Facebook page: “You’re allowed to be great.” As with many of my instagram posts, facebook posts, and even blog posts, I was writing this mostly for myself, while hoping it would speak to someone else. I have had a lot of success in the past few weeks. I overcame my imposter syndrome and delivered a monumental keynote address at a national conference. I had been extremely nervous about this talk for a year. It was a ton of work-lots of late nights, self-doubt, anxiety. 

I killed it, y’all.

I am a very humble individual, but…I did. I ROCKED THAT PRESENTATION.

I was in the process of creating an Instagram post to catch my followers up on everything I experienced this summer, and was feeling particularly strange about “bragging” about the success of my presentation. However, given everything that I had overcome in achieving this monumental success, I had to have a discussion with myself. I had to tell myself that it was ok that I was sharing my success-not to brag, but to praise God and to show others that they can also be great.

So, I posted the Facebook post in order to minister to someone else, as well a myself.

My Facebook friends commented, liked, and loved the post. Many of them commented and seemed to really need to see this particular quote. A couple of hours later I received a text message from a friend who just started a new job as a pediatric hospitalist this year. She said that she was scheduled that very morning to give a lecture to the entire second year medical school class, but was feeling like she did not have the credentials to undertake such a huge task. She felt overwhelmed and that she was a total imposter. She texted that she saw my post on Facebook before the talk, and it helped her to realize that she was being negative with herself. She was chosen to do this presentation for a reason.  

Imagine that. 

How many times do we second-guess ourselves? How many times do we doubt the greatness inside of us, even when other people tell us? How many times do we KNOW that we are great, but don’t actually allow ourselves to be great.

I am about to say something very controversial. Ready? Here it goes:

There is no difference between me and Beyonce.

Are you still there, Beyhive members? Fighting the urge to click the “X” at the top of your screen?

Ok, hear me out.

I am not saying that I am an amazing singer and entertainer like Beyonce is. My singing is questionable. My knees won’t let my dancing be great. 

What I am saying is…Beyonce allows herself to be great. She taps into her greatness. She decides to spend 8 months practicing for a 2 hour performance. Beyonce could have just as easily gotten on stage and pieced together routines from over the years, and we still would have called her the Queen. But, she knew she was capable of much more, and she put the time and effort in to push herself to the next level. Not only did she KNOW she was great, she then worked to show the greatness that she had inside.

I firmly believe that I have that greatness inside of me. 

I firmly believe that YOU have that greatness inside of you.

How it manifests is up to me. It’s up to you. It won’t be putting on an epic performance, but it can be in my writing. In my speaking. In connecting with people and helping them to reach their potential.

Until I allow myself to be great, greatness will be dormant inside of me. I read a quote that said that is the ultimate sin-not utilizing the gifts that God has given me. 

How dare I shake my fist at the sky and tell God, the Creator, “Sorry, I won’t be utilizing the gifts You have given me, because I am just not sure they will work out.” 

What if I publish this blog post, and one person reads it and finds the courage to create a life-saving medical intervention of some sort?

What if I publish this post and one person gets inspired to start their nonprofit, and that touches the lives of many?

What if I publish this post, and one person feels inspired to push past their insecurity and make the sale in their company, and goes on to lift their family out of poverty?

Now…what if I don’t?

If I directly told someone not to save lives, not to start a non-profit, or if I actively hindered someone from making a sale in their business, that would definitely be a sin, correct?

So isn’t making the decision to not utilize my gifts just as problematic?

Today I am making the decision to own my greatness. I am making the decision to push past my insecurities and my imposter syndrome and live in my greatness. I am making the decision to do the work now, 8 months in advance, so that I can reap the rewards 8 months from now. 

Just like Beyonce.

Peace and Love,

Kim

Imposter Syndrome pt. 1

I have a very vivid memory of sitting in the large lecture hall at my medical school in 2005. I remember looking around at all of my new classmates with a mix of awe and utter fear. I was not scared of my classmates, per se. Rather, I was petrified that my peers would find me out.

I was not like them.

Why was I different? These folks were CLEARLY smarter than me. Better than me. They had done AMAZING things, obviously. I didn’t know them yet, but no doubt, they belonged here, and I did not. I would be found out quickly

There was no evidence to prove this theory of mine. I just KNEW, deep down in my gut, that I didn’t belong. However, I thrived and did well in medical school for 4 years, and even managed to plan a wedding by myself, get married, and take a year off to pursue another degree. I graduated, matched into my number 1 residency choice at a premier children’s hospital that is ranked #2 in the nation, and received an amazing award at recognizing my dedication to children and the field of pediatrics at graduation.

Then came residency. You would think that my relative success in medical school would have gotten me out of my own head and into believing that I belong and can be just as successful as my peers.

NOT.

I don’t remember the first time that someone called me “doctor”, but I do recall having to call myself “doctor” for the first time. Spoiler alert: I didn’t do it! I introduced myself this way: “Hi! I’m Kim Reynolds, the pediatric resident.” I couldn’t do it! I didn’t feel like a doctor. I felt like an absolute FRAUD. I recall going home one day and saying to my husband “one day, these people are going to find me out.”

I knew it wasn’t good to consider myself a fraud, but I did not know how damaging the negative self-talk in my mind was contributing to my happiness, or lack thereof. Don’t get me wrong…I was HAPPY. I was finally living out my dream. But…I was anxious, and didn’t know it. It manifested as insomnia. I couldn’t fall asleep, or, if I woke up, it was difficult to go back to sleep. I would also procrastinate- procrastination is simply a manifestation of anxiety. Furthermore, how could I truly connect with my patients and have them believe in me if I didn’t believe in me?!

The defining moment was 6 months into my intern (or first) year of residency. I was going along day by day, full of anxiety and fear, but hoping that I was masking it all, and playing the role of a doctor well.

Spoiler alert: I wasn’t!

My attendings (or supervising physicians) were barely tolerating me (I am somewhat likable, which is the only reason that I think I didn’t get fired in the first 6 months!). I was stressed out, behind on everything, scared to speak up and answer questions, afraid to ask questions, tired, lonely (sooo thankful for my amazing hubby!), and basically failing at life at that point. It was definitely a low point for me.

It all came to a head when post call (the morning after a 30 hour hospital shift) and EXHAUSTED from a busy night on service, one of my attending physicians sat me down and gave me “feedback”. This consisted of him ripping me to shreds (this is not an exaggeration-he uttered the words “I am not calling you stupid, but…”). I left that day dejected, defeated, and wondering for the first time in my life if I had made the wrong career move by going into medicine. I remember sitting on the couch of our little apartment in Cincinnati with Adrian and crying my eyes out.

The next thing that I did was what ultimately altered the course of my trajectory in medicine, and by extension, in my life. I sat down with one of the senior residents on the team. “I need help” I said, with tears in my eyes. I needed to know how other people viewed me, and needed some actionable tips to help change my actions so that I could improve my performance. To this day I am grateful for this resident. She was kind, yet firm: exactly what I needed. She told me exactly what I didn’t want to hear and needed desperately to hear: I came across as incompetent, unsure of myself, and like I didn’t know what was going on.

Yikes.

It was worse than I thought. “What do I do?” I asked. How can I change and improve? I wanted to be better for my patients, and I didn’t want to develop a negative reputation that stayed with me throughout training. My senior resident then gave me the most profound and best professional advice that I have ever received.

She told me that she knows that I feel like I don’t belong or that I am an imposter. She felt the same way just the year before, when she herself was an intern. The best was that she has been able to conquer her imposter syndrome and to change the course of her training has been to: FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.

I looked at her blankly.

Look, she said. If you aren’t confident with your knowledge, your patients will not have confidence in you; your co-residents will not have confidence in you; your attendings will not have confidence in you. But, most importantly, YOU will not have confidence in YOU. And then, it becomes a vicious cycle. She explained that the only way to break the imposter syndrome cycle is to fake it. When you are asked a question, answer with conviction. If you do not know, say what you DO know about the subject, then state what your knowledge deficit is, and your plan of action to gain the knowledge. Don’t beat yourself up or have any negative self-talk. Just-do it. Look it up. Gain the knowledge. And continue with your day.

I was skeptical. But what did I have to lose? What I was doing was definitely not working, so I was willing to try something new. My next rotation was in the emergency room, which is an imposter’s worst nightmare. It is fast-paced and busy, and what you know or don’t know will be put to the test. She told me to try out the new method in the ER. She told me that I would either sink or swim in the emergency room, and that the time to start was now.

I could barely eat the morning before my first ER shift. I was sick to my stomach with dread.

This was it. This rotation would change everything for me, for better or for worse. I kept her words in my mind when I walked in- be confident. You are a physician who is here to learn. You can do this. I also kept my favorite scripture in mind: Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I don’t remember everything that happened that day, but I do remember this: I thoroughly enjoyed the emergency room! It was fast-paced and somewhat scary, but I actually grew to love the adrenaline rush and the fact that every patient that I saw was a different.

But, here’s the most important thing: I was receiving amazing feedback from my attendings! I found that they often treated me like a colleague more than simply as a learner. I bounced ideas off of them and discussed treatment plans. In the beginning my plans were totally incorrect and I had no clue what was going on half of the time. However, rather than beat myself up or get dejected I simply filed away all of the learning points and treatment plans so that I could remember them next time I saw a patient with similar complaints. With time, I became more and more confident. My senior resident was right-I was no different than I was a month prior, but my confidence in myself metastasized and spread, and allowed others to become more confident in me. Which led to me learning more, presenting better plans, and getting even more confident. Throughout that rotation and subsequent ER blocks I even became FRIENDS with some of my attendings, and maintain those friendships to this day. The confidence carried over into other rotations, and pretty soon I fell into the swing of things in residency. I will not claim to be the best resident in my class, but I was learning, taking care of my patients, and enjoying myself. I still had some hard days self-doubt, and feelings of insecurity, but my senior’s words continued to echo with me when I felt down.

I am now a Pediatric Hospitalist at a busy hospital in Miami, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. I am often told that I am confident and self-assured. This is not always true, but here’s one thing I know to be true: The more confident you ACT the more confident you’ll BECOME. You will start to exude a quiet confidence that inspires the trust of others. Do not get me wrong: cockiness is never a pleasing trait in medicine or any other field for that matter, and I am not advocating for that. However, people also don’t want a doctor who is unsure of themselves. Also, please don’t let my call for confidence dissuade you from speaking and saying you don’t know or are unsure. Quite the opposite: confident people are able to say what they don’t know. Only the ignorant are entirely self-assured.

Reading this story makes it seem so easy. Trust me, it was not at all. And while I have more or less mastered my confidence when it comes to clinical medicine, there are many (MANY!) areas of my life where it eludes me. I am writing this blog post to encourage you, but also to encourage myself to implement this tactic in other areas of my life. Self-help books that attempt to teach me to change my mindset and then see how it changes my life are ever-present and well-meaning, but simply do not work for me. Every day I strive to change my life and in order to see how it changes my mindset. It has worked without fail every time.

Want practical strategies on how to take action in your life in order to see outcomes? Stay tuned for part 2 on how to tackle imposter syndrome head on! Also, check out my blog post on the 5 second rule (link to post) which is basically a foolproof way of implementing this strategy. To check out the book, click on this link!

Peace and love,

Kim

The 5 seconds that changed my life

I was my own worst enemy

From the outside looking in, I am a success.

I am a wife to an amazing husband. I have two gorgeous children-and a boy and a girl at that.

We live in a beautiful community. I completed college, medical school, and trained at arguably the best children’s hospital in the country (shout out to Cincinnati Children’s!).

I have recently lost a significant amount of weight (more on this later, I promise).

I have it all. Seemingly.

Yet, deep down inside, I knew that I wasn’t giving it my all, all the time.

For as long as I have known myself, I have a very bad habit of doing just enough.

Now, my just enough landed me all of the amazing opportunities that I have outlined above, and for that, I thank my God and my family.

However, I lived with the constant realization that I could do So. Much. More.

It started off with big things.

I would procrastinate on assignments in school. I told myself that I “work well under pressure” or that “I only work well with deadlines”.

I would have an idea for something to write or a new idea for a cool new something, and I would put it off. “That’s a silly idea.” “I can’t do that.” “No one would buy that.” “I’ll wait until I learn more about X before I do Y.”

As I progressed in my career I noticed that it was no longer only “big” things I would put off.

Seemingly minute details became increasingly difficult to undertake. Not that the things themselves were necessarily hard.

They actually weren’t hard at all. Sending in paperwork for a new job.

Responding to an email from my boss, completing paperwork tasks on time, setting an out of office reply when I was going on vacation.

These are not hard things at all, but they were things that I learned to put off until the very last minute as a way to avoid the anxiety they caused.

This then morphed into not only not making it to meetings on time but also telling myself that I was being strategically late because everyone in Miami is late and I hate wasting time (there is some truth to this…especially the lateness of my fellow Miami peeps).

But, really, it was just an excuse for me to procrastinate.

It was easy not to be too hard on myself. Honestly, for as long as I can remember, things in our lives have been crazy.

Medical school apart from my hubby, residency with a baby, Adrian’s health scare while I was in residency, fellowship in a new place with Adrian unable to find a job initially (an entire blog post!), me getting pregnant, my mom almost dying and getting sick, Adrian starting a new and amazing job, multiple hospitalizations and rehab stays and eventually my mom’s passing, my cousin dying, and subsequently my mother’s brother dying as well.

Of course I had anxiety!

I was used to doing just enough and justifying it by all of the craziness that I was dealing with on a daily basis.

Can anyone blame me? I certainly didn’t think I had a problem. Life was just crazy and things were stressful. Right?

Wrong.

I always knew. I always knew that, deep down inside, I was using these things as justification for my terrible self-sabotaging habits.

Deep down I was scared for peace.

Because, when things calm down and hectic tumult evolves into the daily grind of a normal life, I knew that I would crumble if I did not tackle the habits that lead to self-sabotage in my life.

I didn’t know how to do anything other than procrastinating and self-sabotage.

The thought of being on top of my day-to-day tasks gave me major anxiety.

Working with my therapist helped me to realize that for some reason I didn’t believe that I deserved to not be scrambling at the last minute.

I didn’t know how to not be in chaos, so I was creating chaos for myself in every missed e-mail, in every missed deadline, in every pre-meeting scramble.

Every time I walked in late and rushed to submit an item before a deadline, I was reinforcing my flawed internal dialogue: “That’s the way it is in my life—things are just crazy.”

But things were no longer crazy, and I had no more excuses. Life was peaceful, or at least it was no longer insane. So what was my problem?

https://productivepurpose.com/2018/06/17/you-probably-need-a-therapist/ I cannot overstate the importance of therapy in figuring out the mental blocks that I had to living the life that I wanted.

I did lots of emotional work that included prayer and meditation. I remember the morning that I committed to change.

I told myself that I am worthy of so much more, not because of anything that I have done, but because I am a child of God.

Whew.

I truly, for the first time, felt free of the weight of uncertainty and self-sabotage. I had a renewed energy drive and focus to Get. Stuff. Done.

So, what did I do first? NOTHING.

A whole lot of nothing.

Why?

Because I didn’t have the TOOLS that I needed to get anything done.

I made a commitment to change but had no idea what the next step was.

When you’ve done something your entire life it is possible to summon the courage and conviction to change, but unless you have concrete steps to take, you will end up falling back into your old ways.

So here, I was with a ton of energy and determination, but feeling totally lost and confused as to what I should do next.

So, as the creature of habit that I am, I turned to the one place that I go to when I can’t figure out what to do next.

YouTube.

When I turned it on, one of the suggested videos was something from Amy Landino.

I had just started watching Amy a few months before and felt that her tips for productivity and being an overall girl boss resonated with me.

So, I clicked on her video, hoping that I would gain inspiration on what to do to shake my old ways. I watched a few of her videos in the background as I began preparing dinner in the kitchen. After a while, a video popped up that piqued my interest.

Amy was going to be talking to Mel Robbins.

Now, I knew I should know who Mel was, but I had no clue. Amy solidified that when she exclaimed how EVERYONE was now reading Mel Robbins” 5 Second Rule book. Having always been a book worm, I ventured over to watch the video.

And that’s where my life changed.

OK, I know how dramatic that sounds, but I cannot understate the impact that learning about Mel’s 5-second rule had on my life. It has truly been a game-changer.

Mel and Amy discussed the rule, and then I watched Mel’s Ted Talk.

Interestingly the 5-second rule is wedged in toward the end of the video, but what compelled me was Mel’s story.

I felt that she truly had been in a place that I was trying to crawl myself out of.

Stuck, mired by life’s worries, knowing that you need to change what you do in order to change where you are, but not knowing how to do it or where to begin.

Could it be that I was receiving the answer to my prayer at that very moment?

I truly believe so.

After watching a few more of her videos, I decided to put the 5-second rule into practice with something I had been procrastinating on for weeks—calling my therapist.

See, I missed my last appointment, and I had been avoiding calling her because she called me a few times and I didn’t call back.

STUCK.

So, I took a deep breath and did exactly what Mel taught me to do moments before.

5…4…3…2…1…

Before I even had a chance to think, I was on the phone with my therapist.

Success!

Just as I knew she would be, she was pleasant and kind.

And, just as I always do, I immediately thought to myself “Why did I wait so long to call? That wasn’t hard at all!!!” It’s never truly hard, but I get stuck anyway.

GOT stuck.

I tried to figure out the best and fastest way to get my hands on her book. I knew that if I purchased it from amazon, I could get it in 2 days, but I needed this book NOW. So, I figured out how to download the book from Audible so that I could listen immediately.

(Talk about stuck-I had an audible membership for at least a year at that point, and that was the first book I ever downloaded and listened to!)

I did several other things that I was dreading that day after counting from 5 to 1: I logged in to my student loan account and updated the amount I owed for my records, as well as confirmed my loan forgiveness (this was a HUGE undertaking! I had been avoiding that for MONTHS); I checked some old emails and responded to them; I started working on one of my many procrastinated projects; I PICKED UP THE PHONE WHEN SOMEONE CALLED

(Y’all. Being an  introvert AND a procrastinator with high-functioning anxiety truly made my voicemail inbox a place where messages went to DIE.).

I now hold the title of a recovering self-sabotager (Hello, my name is Kim…).

It is a daily battle and work in progress, although I will say that it seems to be getting easier.

I am making new habits and replacing old ones.

I am getting things done and having the daily courage to make little steps toward my goals so that I can have the life that I know I deserve.

Check out Mel Robbins’ book “The 5-second rule” for yourself! If you find it helpful, I would love if you would share your experience below or email me at productivepurpose.com.

Peace and Love,

Kim

I’m TAKING my time

 

I lost my beautiful mother one year and one week ago today (this blog post was delayed a bit, so that I could gather my thoughts). She passed away after a 1.5 year battle with serious illnesses. I do not use the word battle lightly-she literally fought until her dying day. Her example of strength through adversity will no doubt carry me through battles I have in this life. I am so blessed that I have her as my mother-she is truly one of the reasons I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God loves me.

As the months continued after her passing, I noticed a subtle yet ever-present tone in my conversations with friends and coworkers. I was still dealing with daily grief, still having the urge to call her and mention something that I saw or read (I even picked up the phone a few times to make the call, but remembered she was gone right before dialing), still running through her last days and wondering if I could have or should have done something differently. The loss and the grief was impacting my work tremendously, as well as my concentration levels. However as August turned to September, I realized that I was no longer being asked “How are you doing?” I was no longer being told “You’re in our thoughts and prayers” or “How are the kids holding up?”.

If I had a day that I looked down or sad, I would have people check on me, and that was great. However, if I managed to plaster a smile on my face, those around me would definitely lean into that smile and carry on normal conversation.

In those moments, I felt that I had to carry on as well. I told myself things like: “she was a part of your world, not theirs. Their world still carries on without Mom”. Or, “Life doesn’t stop because one person dies. People die every day.” So, I pressed forward.

But, not really.

I was having great difficulty with my work: with organizing tasks, with prioritization, with dealing with people. I was not clinically depressed, but I was definitely not adjusting well to my new normal. There was a sense of emptiness in me that I did not know how to handle. The part that made it the worst was that, other than my husband, I did not feel as though I could talk to anyone about this feeling. You know the usual trope: “I don’t want to be a burden.”

And I truly feel as though talking about it would have burdened those around me. I got the sense that people were relieved that I seemed okay. They needed me to move on. They needed me to be okay. I am the Strong Friend. I am the Confidant. I am the Giver of Advice. They needed me to continue to be those things for them, even though what I needed was to simply have someone say “are you okay?” Or to give me a hug. Holding that amount of turmoil and pain inside without any outward repercussions is impossible. I became physically exhausted and overwhelmed. I could not continue with social media, because it was so difficult having to see life go on for others while I was struggling so much.

Enough is Enough

At some point in December of 2017, about 6 months after she passed, I decided that enough was enough. I did two things that helped and led me to the path toward being in a better place: I made the decision to enroll in therapy, and I started speaking out more about my feelings. I shut down my facebook account and said no to opportunities that were draining my mental energy. I began prioritizing me for the first time in years. The grief and sadness comes in waves. If I felt it, I leaned into the feeling by journaling and reflecting. If I was in a moment of pain or sadness and someone asked how I was doing, I resisted the urge to respond “ok”. I was very honest. I would say things like: “today has been rough,” or “I am taking it one day at a time.” It felt incredibly freeing to be honest about how I was really doing. I can recall, shortly before deactivating facebook, that I was on a post with a group of women I was working with in a nonprofit group. We were doing group introductions. I basically introduced myself as “Kim, and I am not always doing okay, because I recently lost my mother”. I was mostly met with crickets, although there were a few supportive statements made. However, when I unexpectedly made the decision to pull back from my leadership role in that group, I did so unapologetically and knowing that the admin team had context for my departure due to the fact that I spoke up. If I could do it all over again, I would definitely change the “how”, but definitely not the “what” of my departure.

There are two lessons that I have learned from this time in my life:

1. You have to fight for your time.

When people say ”take your time to heal” I now interpret the “take” as an active process. I needed to fight for ME and my healing process. I turned down job opportunities, outings with friends, and let it be known (mostly to myself) that I was prioritizing ME. I TOOK my time back. I spent several months failing at this goal, and it wasn’t until recently that I have had actual success in making healing a priority in my life. Again, I could not do this without my therapist.

As Congresswoman (Auntie) Maxine Waters exclaimed last year, I was “Reclaiming my time!” I am taking my time. Actively. Fitfully. But, increasingly consistently. It felt and continues to feel AMAZING.

The second thing I learned was a very profound notion (and one that might require its own blog post):

2. I cannot expect people to show up for me if I was not showing up for myself.

I must credit Ms. Stacey Flowers with this particular line of thinking. If I do not deem myself worthy enough to take care of me, how can I expect others to? If I had not let people know that I was not ready to go back to life as normal just yet; if I had not turned down opportunities that were not right for me; if I hadn’t prioritized ME, others would have expected me to do all of the above on their terms. People in my life were not being malicious-that’s just the way things are. We have to let the ones that care about us know what we are willing to accept, and if they truly care about us they will abide by those edicts.

After writing this, I am certain that this second lesson requires its own blog post!

Has there been an area of your life that you have had to fight for your time? I would love if you would share below?

 

This post is dedicated to my beautiful mother, Hanna Hunter (August 8, 1946-July 12, 2017). In this life you dedicated your talents and treasures to your children, the children in your community, your church, and your God. I intend to carry on your legacy in everything that I do. Rest well, Mommy.

 

-Kim

The Ultimate Work-Life Juggle

Adrian: Father’s Day wasn’t supposed to go like this.

Kim: Ok, let me backtrack. Two Sundays ago was Father’s Day! The newborn babies in Miami didn’t seem to care, though, which meant that I was scheduled to work in the newborn nursery that day. Adrian and I believe that the day of each parent should be celebrated, at the very least, with decreased or no parental duties. I was feeling very guilty that I had to work. To make matters worse, I had been on service the entire week, so Adrian had been on daddy duty almost exclusively. I made the decision to get a babysitter for 4 hours to give Adrian a break. Adrian loves spending time at the beach, so I envisioned him taking a break to splash in the waves while I am rounding on the babies.

Adrian: I sincerely appreciate Kim’s thoughtfulness in hiring the babysitter. I do, in fact, love to spend time at the beach. Having grown up in Jamaica, being at the beach is like being home. For some reason, however, I view my birthday as a day to have some alone time to reflect on my life and goals, whereas I view Father’s Day as a day to be with my family. It brings me great joy to execute my fatherly duties on “my day”, so I decided to take my son to the beach with me while the baby stayed home with the sitter. “First, though, we went to our favorite breakfast spot in our city! I was enjoying our day but missing my girls. Israel and I arrived at the beach in the late morning hours. I was able to snag a parking space (score!), and paid a small fortune for beach chairs and an umbrella. However, once our time with the babysitter was about to expire, I realized that I needed more time at the beach—despite the seaweed invasion.

Kim: So, he called me. I was finally done with rounding and was about to work on a few other items on my to-do list so that when I got home I could be fully present. Adrian said we should all return to the beach as a family. Hey, it’s his day so I obliged him, even if I had NO BATHING SUIT on me, no towel, no shoes…basically I was totally unprepared. Adrian suggested that I go pick up a bathing suit. I decided to stop by Ross (shout out to Ross!). I picked up a suit and a towel. Meanwhile…

Adrian: Meanwhile, I went back home, picked up Selah (right before naptime…was that a good idea?), and drove back to the beach. As I drove, I realized that I didn’t bring a change of clothes for myself, Israel or Selah…I just grabbed their swim suits and left. I usually think that I don’t fit the “typical Dad” stereotype, but this was a typical sitcom dad moment. What can I say? Kim and I just have different packing skills. I did remember snacks, though. As long as they’re well fed, I’m good. After all, in sunny SoFlo, wet clothes will dry at some point.

Kim: At this point, Adrian was legit calling me q2 minutes (that’s every 2 minutes for my non-medical peepsJ). He was driving around and having difficulty finding parking. I was trying to negotiate whether or not I had time to grab a snack.

Adrian: Kim knows that not being able to find parking is my kryptonite. I need to work on this, but I get frustrated very easily and get very snippy when parking is limited and I have to drive around a lot. By this time, Selah was sleeping and Israel was eating pizza that I purchased earlier. The parking attendant told me that I could potentially park at the nearby hotel with valet. Nice! WRONG. The valet attendant said I needed to be a hotel guest.

Kim: I am still receiving q2 min phone calls at this point.

Adrian: Then, SELAH THROWS UP.

Kim: And he calls me again.

Adrian: I pull over and clean her up with baby wipes and the only towel I had. Still, I couldn’t find a parking space. I call Kim (again) and told her I might just take the kids home. I was very disappointed at this point.

Kim: I leave Ross with my purchases, because I didn’t get the 7th call (!) until I
had already checked out. So, now I had $30 worth of beach gear for no reason, and I am worried about my daughter. I am driving home when I get the 8th call. We are back on for the beach! Huh?

Adrian: I changed my mind. Why not just throw caution to the wind and go to the beach? I have no change of clothes anyway, and Kim just bought a bathing suit. I didn’t want to disappoint her, since she left work early because of me. Selah was now very happy—singing, clapping, throwing tantrums, bossing us around—and I think the vomiting was due to congestion, as her breathing sounded clearer now. Off to the beach we go!

Kim: By this time, I am mostly going with the flow ONLY because it’s Father’s Day. On a regular Sunday I would have screamed “Make up your mind!” So, now I am driving to the beach. I receive about 5 more calls, because we are now switching beaches due to the parking situation. This meant forfeiting our beach chairs and umbrella that Adrian had rented for several more hours; but again, I am just going with the flow at this point!

Adrian: The beach was great! We had a blast. We were totally unprepared, but we were all together. I had no towels, because I used the one I brought to clean up vomit. Well, Kim had a towel that she just purchased, so there is that. We splashed around, ate slightly sandy pizza (because we had nothing to spread on the ground), and generally had a great time.

Kim: We got home around 8:00 PM after picking up some food for dinner. Everyone showered before we ate so we wouldn’t track sand all over the house. We got the kids ready and then got ready for bed as well. Before we went to sleep, Adrian’s voice changed a bit and he seemed a bit short of breath. Let’s just say this resulted in a 911 call, an ambulance ride, me calling my best friend to stay with my kids, and a few days in the hospital.

Adrian: I am so thankful for Kim and her love and diligence. She is, indeed, a super mom. She made many sacrifices that week as she juggled work and home while being my personal physician and patient advocate—and she made it look so easy. Although she had to cancel a presentation the morning I was admitted, she still managed to get some work done while being at my bedside; and actually, that motivated me to put in a couple hours of work as well, yes, right there in the hospital. Of course, I didn’t have to, but I really missed work and needed to keep my mind engaged: I love my job that much. Thankfully, all turned out well. I’m feeling great, and I now have another testimony of divine healing and deliverance.

We hope you enjoyed reading about our Father’s Day debacle! Do you have a similar story of a day that was supposed to go well and ended up totally different? Share it below!

 

-Adrian and Kim