This Smile Hurts

Written by Shenise Gatson

This smile hurts.

It hurts because my smile is not genuine today. It is forced. Fake.

As colleagues pass me in the hallways, I smile and wish them a good morning. Inwardly, tears are falling and I am praying with all my heart they do not notice. It is one of those days where I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

What do I do now? When will this feeling go away? When will things work out and stay “worked out”?

I have prayed. I have cried. I have lain in meditation, trying to bring comfort to my soul. To no avail.

Maybe you have been in my shoes. Maybe you have had a bad day at work, received some unsettling news, or had a conflict with someone that greatly affected you. Maybe you received a bad doctor’s report or encountered a financial setback. Whatever it is, many of us have been in this place. This place of sadness. Of discouragement. Sometimes desperation, even. You want the situation to get resolved immediately so you can return to happiness and contentment, but then you secretly wonder…..

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I Want Cookies, Mommy!!!

Written by Shenise Gatson

Such peace. Such tranquility. Such freedom.

It’s 6:30 am. The store aisles are empty. As I push a squeaky shopping cart along, I smile inwardly. There’s nothing like going to the store….BY MYSELF.

Am I the only one?

The only one who dreads taking their three-year old to the grocery store?

One Saturday morning I woke up bright and early at 6 a.m. While my husband and daughter were sleeping peacefully, I took a shower and put on my clothes. As I grabbed my purse and car keys, I tapped my husband on the shoulder. He opened sleepy eyes and mumbled, “Where are you going?”

“Hey baby,” I told him excitedly. “I’m going to the store!”

He glanced at the clock, then gave me a strange look. “At six in the morning?!” My head bobbed, “Yes! See you later.” I happily sprinted to the car, thinking, “I’m free!!”

If you are a mommy like me, you love your child with all your heart. But, let’s be real. Sometimes we desire child-free time. Time away from the temper tantrums, endless “why” questions, falling out, and embarrassing store moments. Even just for a moment.

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The Struggle is Real

Written by: Shenise Gatson

Calm Ocean and Pastel Sky Good Morning Quotes (1)

I came across this quote while surfing online one day. It hit home for me. I can’t tell you how many times this year I’ve thought to myself, “When am I going to get out of this obstacle?”

Have you ever had a moment like that? When you wanted to fall down on your knees and yell to the sky, “Okay, enough is enough. I am not built for this!”

Or maybe your cry or prayer was, “When are things going to change for me? Are things ever going to get better?” It seemed like I was going through this phase of hitting my head against the same brick wall over and over again. I told myself, “I am thirty-two years old! Why am I still dealing with this?”

For every one of us, our struggle may be different. For someone, the struggle may be finding a stable career path. For another, it may be recovering from a failed marriage. For yet another, it may be trying to get on track financially. For some, it might be trying to lose weight, get healthy and combat illness. For many others, it might be trying to find their soul mate in the dating world. For another woman, it may be rebuilding emotionally after infidelity in a relationship.

When it seems like your life is going around in circles, don’t give up.

woman in red suit jacket sitting near brown surface

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That’s exactly what I did.

I gave up.

The struggle is real because, sometimes, I give up and have to pick myself up daily.

I even went through a period where I was being sabotaged on the job and being passed up in my career due to favoritism. In addition to dealing with that, my financial reality and goals were not lining up. On top of that, my parents fell ill. I fell ill right behind them.When they passed away and life was in shambles, all my hope was gone. I even went through a stage of comparison. I compared myself to others, jealous of what they had. Although I was happy for their blessings, I wanted to receive my own.

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What have you done for you lately?

Written by: Shenise Gatson

Have you ever felt like there are not enough hours in a day? Do you cringe at the thought of adding one more task to your to-do list? Do you feel like you are stumbling around trying to regain your balance?

woman wearing pink top

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Believe me, you are not alone. Myself and many other women have felt the same way. Sometimes we wear so many hats and play so many roles that we feel burned out. We pour so much into others’ lives but forget to replenish ourselves. At times, we may feel like we have reached our limit. Whenever you feel yourself nearing that breaking point, it is important to remember three things.

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