Old post from May 2016, still relevant today

I haven’t published a blog since October last year. I just noticed that it was around the time when my granddaddy got really sick and things started going downhill after he had hip surgery. So many lives have been lost since then in this country and personally in my family. My family entered into a season of death like I have never seen before. As a matter of fact I am going to a funeral this Saturday. I came across the below post I wanted to post to my church group after one of my clients committed suicide. I think I did. I don’t remember.Something told me to go ahead and make it public. Remember this is from May 2016 and a lot of things happened to me personally after that. Maybe I will share one day.

Please read below. It’s unedited.

One of my clients committed suicide. It was sad to hear and sadder to even think what could have been so bad so troubling that you no longer wanted to live. It bothers me that the client had no hope. I can’t judge because I too have felt hopeless. Like that could possibly be the only way out. But prayer works. Not just mine but the people who pray for me. Yet in addition to prayer sometimes you just need to get those issues out or maybe get something out of balance in balance. I’ve told people over and over again if you have a tummy ache you got to the doctor to get better. It’s the same with the mind. Everything isn’t a demon. Sometimes you can have a certified sickness or some sort of mental trauma that you need to see someone about. It’s ok, if you need a pill take it. I myself said I would not take medication from a therapist etc, but that’s me and I pray I never have to. You or someone you know may be different.

If you are going thru something I can bet you are not alone. We all have trouble. Talk to someone. No it doesn’t have to be me but if you want I can listen. I won’t judge, I can’t. I may seem to so called have it together but trust me we’ve probably been thru a lot of the same things. I’m just writing this in case someone feels hopeless, I guess like my client did. When I felt hopeless I went to a counselor. At first I did it due to the urging of loved ones, but now I am glad I did. I should have much sooner. I don’t share that a lot because it is a stigma that can come along with having trouble in the mind. People like to label you “crazy” when all you need is a little help or to talk and feel like you aren’t burdening your family and friends. It will seem weird at first, paying someone to listen to you, but I’d rather pay up then to end up…well you know. Yes that may be an extreme case but it is very common. I do believe in the power of prayer, but I do also believe God put people on earth to help us get better whether it is physical or mental. Yes we can go to our leaders, but they may be going thru their own personal battles. Just remember doctors, therapists, counselors and support groups have been put in place for a reason.

Girly Squeal Spotlight: Lisa Cotten, Esquire “Voice of Reason”

Girly Squeal Spotlight: Lisa Cotten Esquire

When I’m not squealing on my blog, fiddling with rhinestones or day dreaming about being at some exotic location, I am at an office moonlighting as a paralegal. Yes, I work in Corporate America in a little purple and teal decorated cubical to support my aforementioned habits.  There is a phenomenal woman that also works at the firm that I have had the pleasure of working with. My boss: Lisa Cotten. I affectionately named her the “voice of reason”. She is always there to listen to me vent when clients aren’t being very understanding and always encouraging me to live my dreams outside of my 9 to 5.  For almost ten years Lisa has been my mentor, therapist, financial consultant and most of all my friend.   I am very proud of her and just wanted to shed a little girly squeal spotlight on an accomplishment she achieved. Just recently, Lisa has been chosen to serve on the Board of Trustees for the South Carolina Bar Foundation. She wanted it, she worked for it and she got it. The Board of Trustees for the South Carolina Bar are responsible for directing millions of dollars for the entire state of South Carolina. In past years, the Board has funded community projects for Habitat for Humanity and South Carolina Legal Services.

I am pleased that someone who is innovative, honest and genuinely cares about the improvement of community that will be serving on this board. I am also excited as she is to see what projects will be funded with the millions of dollars raised by the Bar Foundation! The possibilities are endless for the Board and for Lisa Cotten. Her down home demeanor coupled with beauty and brains is a recipe for achievement. Aside from all of her legal accolades, Lisa is also a devoted, loving wife and mother. I count it an honor to watch and learn from her. She has taught me that if you want something sometimes you have to make it happen yourself. There won’t always be someone around to help you achieve what you want. It’s your dream and you are responsible for making it come true.

 

Sidebar: Should you need assistance with obtaining your social security disability benefits, workers compensation, personal injury (car accidents, slip and falls etc.) please email me at girlysqueal@gmail.com and I will be sure Lisa receives your information.

 

 

Seven Years Old

Once I was seven years old. If there was a problem in life I didn’t know it. I was joyous, full and loved; that was all that mattered to me. And I had a Sarah. She had pale skin full of freckles, red shoulder length hair with a crooked little bang and talked with a lisp. We laughed and played until we were out of breath sometimes. We had no worries just snacks and sunshine. Running barefoot thru the freshly cut grass in swimsuits and shorts. Life was perfect. Every moment was smiles, giggles and girly squeals. I was saddened when I learned that she had to move.I would always remember Sarah.My time with her taught me that love had no color.

Once I was 9 years old. I met a little girl with a big smile. The tiny tall girl sat on the end of a couch quietly smiling nervously. She was new to the neighborhood which was overrun with smelly preteen boys so I was so happy to have some estrogen around. I believe I had on those glitter stripped knee socks and purple shorts. I was a quirky, shy, short 9 year old with a high pitched voice. As different as we were on the outside our hearts connected and we became fast friends. She is one of the best friends I ever made. Me and this little girl spent countless days walking each other half way home and running back home to see who could call who first. Our relationship went beyond the neighborhood girls hanging out. She accepted me for just who I was. I remember packing her sandwiches when she “ran away”. She was my closest confidant, a sister who didn’t share my DNA. I would do anything for her. I wore those glitter knee socks a lot that summer and she never judged me or tried to change who I was. Today she is still my best friend although our lives are extremely different it never changed her love for me. She taught me it’s whats on the inside that counts.

Once I was 18 years old and I went off to college and met a group of ladies that would put an imprint on my soul. My cavalry. I’ve experienced so much with these brave women. They came from many different backgrounds but somehow we had a connection that couldn’t be explained. I experienced some of the best and worst times of my life surrounded by these strong independent chicks. Sleep overs in crammed dorm rooms, pot roast and pork chop Sunday dinners, parties, God, addiction, Cancer, abuse, and even death. These ladies and the things we experienced together shaped my very being. I felt I could trust them with my life. They stuck closer than a queen bee to her hive. We became family when our families were miles away. Yes, we have spread out over the years and gone on to live separate lives, but one phone call and I know each and every one of them would be there for me, in a black sweatsuit if needed. That’s when I learned that blood isn’t always thicker than water, try mixing it with dirt.

Once I was 35 years old and I met a girl who would forever change the way I looked at the world. She wanted nothing from me but to love me. She was one of the cutest people I ever met. She was short with poofy hair, slightly pigeoned toed with a million dollar smile that could light up any room. She had become a part of me. Everywhere I went she went and I hated when we had to be apart. We had Saturday morning adventures, summer time road trips and lazy Sunday afternoons. I thought life would end when she went away. I had never felt my heart literally break into pieces. I thought I would die. I actually wanted to because I thought after all I had been thru and put myself thru in 35 years I just didn’t want to deal with the pain.
That’s when I learned that we teach people to love but we do not teach people how to stop loving. That’s hard. And unfortunately something we are just going to have to deal with it.

Memories good and bad I am thankful for them all.
*you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

*Philippians 4:8-9

I was inspired to write this blog after listening to a song: “Seven Years Old” by Lukas Graham

Perfect Patty

Perfection perfection I always try to be. Perfection Perfection I now realize is not in me.
Though I strive to be perfect for he she and me. I finally realize perfect is something I will never be.
I tend to make them mad when I am just trying to help.
I make mistakes, say the wrong thing and with this fire tongue, make some melt.
I say things and don’t realize until later how the recipient felt.
Sad thing is sometimes I don’t care, that’s just how the cards were dealt.
Just one day, no wait maybe just an hour,
I wish everything was perfect, no sad feelings no reasons to cower.
I could love who I wanted to, open honest and true.
I’d have all my real friends with me and my sweet baboo.
I’d smell flowers with no sneezes and eat just what my tummy pleases. Cheese milk and of course bacon too.
Oh wouldn’t you love one perfect hour or maybe even two?
No tears, no loneliness, no emptiness inside.
No secret depression, suicidal thoughts or no unheard cries.
Just perfection with no need to seek that unwarranted affection.
No fights, no arguments, no name calling or strife.
No dangerous secret desires no secret sins.
Everything would always be out in the open and at the game of life my entire family would win.
Perfection perfection always hiding from me, perfection perfection is something I will never see.
I still wish everything was perfect but perfect is not my life.
If perfect was a dollar I wouldn’t have enough to buy a fifty cent pie.
There’s only one perfect thing I’ve found. Yes just one. His name is Jesus, you know, yeah, the Father’s Son.
So Perfect Patty I will still strive to be. For if He is in me that is all the perfection I need.

Focus: December 29, 2015

Random Tuesday thoughts. Yes. I am super excited about 2016, but today I am also excited about December 29, 2015. You say what’s so special about today? I say what’s so special about January 1, 2016.Yes I have an expectation of the things a New Year can bring. But I can’t forget about the blessings of today. Today may be the day all my dreams come true. So, today while many rush away the last few days of 2015, I will focus on the beauty, possibilities, and coincidences of today. December 29, 2015. I will focus on how many today are braving the freezing snow, but the sun decided to peak out at me through the cotton like clouds and warm my cheeks. Today I will focus on how beautiful those birds were in the morning sky, soaring scattered, yet in perfect harmony. Today, I will appreciate how easy it was to get downtown. I will focus on how I did not pass one accident during that morning commute. Today I will focus on how calm I am. I will focus on how God will speak to me thru a soft whisper while I trot about. He will let me know that time is my most precious commodity and I should cherish it. I am in a state of wonder about what will happen today and how it may be connected to my tomorrow. Today, with all I have to do, I will remain at peace. Today, I will focus on being the best version of myself. As they say each day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present. Remain present today and Happy December 29, 2015.

Girly Squeal Spotlight on Valerie Smith: Retired and “Sitting Pretty” #WWW #WWA

Valerie Smith, 60, Retired
Administrative Assistant
Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University

You may ask why in the world is she squealing about retirement?!?! She’s only 35! If we are going to maintain our wealth the first thing we need to learn is how to save. We think we will be youthful forever and have that steady paycheck until we get old and grey. We just buy, buy, buy and never think about the future. Or we say, I’ll save $100 a month and think we will be fine. Ummm, no! Before you know it you will be 35, 45, 55 and start wondering where has the time and money gone?

Take a look at your savings account. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, now take your current savings….well I’ll be generous for this example. Let’s say you have $10,000.00 in savings and you save the same amount each year for 30 more years. That’s $300,000. You only have $300,000.00 on hand and no steady paycheck. You retire and live 20 more years. You have $15,000.00 to live on per year. Can you live off of that? I’m sure many do, but a large percent of us would not be able to maintain our current lifestyle. Probably not even close to it. What if you live more than those 20 years? Sure you can get another job, maybe. But then can you even enjoy what they like to call the golden years? If you’re not careful, before you know it, you are back to doing what you have to do, not what you want to do.

To get more insight on preparing for retired life, I spoke to recently retired administrative assistant, Valerie Smith. She is a 60 year old retiree that has worked for the same employer for 30 years. She explained how thankful she was to have an employer that offered a decent retirement plan similar to a 401K. She took advantage of her employers retirement plan by having a certain percentage of her paycheck automatically deposited into her retirement account. Her employer would then match the funds that she deposited. That’s free money ladies! In addition to her employer retirement plan and joint savings accounts she shares with her husband, she kept her own personal savings account. Valerie mentioned to me that she was glad to have a husband who has the ability to make money and know what to do with it. She praised him for making intelligent decisions regarding investing and saving. Valerie believes that if you are going to be married, you need someone that can help with finances not hinder. Valerie knew the importance of setting a savings goal in order to afford the lifestyle she wanted when she retired. Because of the sacrifices she made early on in life she is still sitting pretty during her golden years;collecting her coins, traveling, and loving on her grandchildren. And that’s exactly what she wanted to do.

BIRTHDAY BONUS (Valerie turned 60 today!)
Valerie’s Girly Squeal saving but still shopping secrets and tips:
If available, use direct deposit to make deposits into your savings/retirement accounts. If you don’t see the money, you don’t miss it. Valerie owns one credit card for reservations and emergencies. Credit cards are not for daily shopping.
And her all time favorite, hoard your birthday, holiday and miscellaneous gift money. It keeps you from going into your household money when you want to shop. “I can shop without ever worrying about dipping into my bill money”.

By the way, Valerie Smith is my mommy, the girly squeal originator. I need a moment to publicly love on her and thank her for helping make me financially responsible. Thanks mommy for teaching me how to start from the back of the store because that’s where the clearance racks were. Thanks for teaching me that pricey labels aren’t important, it’s what’s on the inside that matters. Thanks for letting me help you clip coupons on Sunday afternoon after church and comparing prices to get things almost free. Thank you for showing me that paying tithes and giving offerings wasn’t just something you do, but there was a purpose for it. I know I wasn’t a perfect steward over my money all the time and I still make mistakes, but the more I watch you the more I want to do better. You are the best mommy any girly could ever hope for. I’m glad you let me be an individual and not a cookie cutter little girl. You put me in ruffles but let me climb trees. I especially thank you (and daddy) for teaching me the importance of being able to stand on my own two feet. And to be kind and gentle yet strong and stern. You told me once that your prayer for me was that one day I would be able to take care of myself. Well what do you think?
Love you and Happy Birthday. *Girly Squeal Salute*

If any of you girly squealers want further information or need help finding information on retirement/ saving opportunities you can email me at girlysqueal@gmail.com. If I don’t know the answer to your financial question, I am committed to helping you find it. The Wealthy Women Alliance has your back.

Find me on Facebook: Kimberly Smith
Find me on Instagram: @girlysqueal

Love, what are you so afraid of?

Love, what are you so afraid of?
All I want to do is take a hold of you.
I show you I care and that I will always be there,
I just don’t know what else to do.
You always seem to come around at the most inopportune times,
times when I have forgotten all about you.
Then I have to rearrange my life and sometimes get involved in a lot of strife,
just to fit you in, and then…
then you leave again.
Love,what are you so afraid of?
I wonder why you just won’t take a hold of me.
I guess, love, me and you, just aren’t meant to be.

30 somethings PSA

There are times in life where you need to know the truth. Unfortunately, I think it’s time for a little public service announcement. This is going to hurt a few of you, but because the girly loves you I must tell you. So prepare yourself. It may change the way you look at everything. I hope you understand I must do this. Here goes…30 IS NOT THE NEW 20. Wait don’t pass out. I know, I know you thought you would be able to wear those short shorts and stay up late and still look refreshed because somehow turning 30 meant you were 20 in your head, but you’re really 30 and oh my goodness you look a mess. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you but you need to take yourself to bed; don’t you have to work in the morning? Yes guys and gals you have hit the mark of the big 3-0 (and beyond). I know you think by some stretch of the imagination you can go back in time and make life different by giving yourself 10 extra years. We hear it every day. They say, “ Yes, girl, you look good for 30, you know 30 is the new 20?” And to our poor guys, “Yeah fellas, 30 ain’t nothing, lets hit these streets, don’t you know it’s the new 20?” They have gone as far as…wait who is “they”? Ever notice people say that when they never heard a specific person say something? I digress. “They” have gone as far as say 30 is the new 20, 40 is the new 30 and so on. Makes me wonder; is death is the new 80?

Why do we want to be something we aren’t? Listen 30-somethings, you must band together and unite before it’s too late! We have lived and learned thru those 20 somethings and made all the mistakes some 20 somethings make. Let’s “turn down”. For what, you say? Because you’re older. Yep, I said it. Chill mode time has come. Why go back and act like a 20 year old when you know with your grown self that you need to pull yourself up by the boot straps and be an adult?

Just to help soften the blow, I have compiled a list of 5 not so scientific reasons to prove to you that 30 is not the new 20 and you are actually 30 years old, say it with me “thiiiirty”. Good job. Just except it and be happy.

#1 You can’t eat fries at 2 am anymore without heartburn or it sticking to your thighs the next morning.
#2 You start referring to rude 20 somethings as young punks.
#3 You start to think it’s not cute anymore to live off mommy and daddy’s money.
#4 When someone says “yes mam/sir” you actually appreciate it.
#5 It’s Friday at 9:30 pm and you are in your jammies (pajamas) and actually nodding off.

Simply stated 30 is not the new 20. It’s ok, everyone will have to deal with it someday. So embrace your 30’s don’t act as if it is a curse to get older. Be thankful you have had that many years on earth. Love your tiny laugh lines, it means you have seen a lot of happy days. Love that strand of grey hair you have, it makes you look distinguished. Love the little stubborn pudge you can’t seem to work off no matter how many crunches you do, it means you’re blessed to have food everyday… or you’re still eating fries at 2 am. 🙂

No 20 somethings were harmed in the making of this post 🙂

Bosom Buddies

Fall 1998, Georgia Southern University Winburn Hall. As time goes on the specifics get a little hazy, but if I don’t remember anything else I remember the pink blow up chair. When she came in seems like no one else sat there it was her spot. She was the oldest and the “mama” of the group so we respected her as such. She would sometimes come in on a Saturday climb up to the cabinet to get a snack and go back to bed. And there was never a need to knock. She was known around campus as the girl with the big booty and I became known as “you know her short friend with the short haircut, yeah the bow legged one” We along with the rest of the cavalry, yes we named our little circle, were inseparable. She protected me as a mother would protect a child and in turn I loved her unconditionally as only a child could. She could do no wrong in my eyes. I was amazed at her intelligence, the way she wrote papers at 2 am while the rest of us were laughing, watching TV and jumping around on those twin size beds. She was one of the smartest women I knew, but in turn the most humble you could ever imagine. She was liked by all well except that girl who fell down the steps. But even she had to admit my friend was a force to be reckoned with. Through mean teachers, good and bad grades, kick doors, study groups, hunch punch, Sunday dinners, boyfriends, broken hearts family emergencies and those situations that the cavalry will never ever speak of, NEVER, she was always there for me. Before I knew it, I was graduating college and again she was in my corner teary eyed holding the video camera screaming my praises. She was so proud. After all we had lived thru some of the best and worst times of our lives, so we thought. So, years later when she called me as I drove thru Sandhills, a shopping center near my home, I had to stop and sit at the stop sign as she began to tell me she had something that felt like golf balls in her breast. She had braids at the time and immediately shaved them off. No, she didn’t know if she had cancer, but in true form she did things on her terms. So if it was cancer she would not let the treatment take her hair, she took it herself. Then the day came. That day I remember more vividly than I want. Was sitting at my desk working then she crossed my mind. I texted her because I knew it should be about time for her to be done with her doctor’s appointment. She texted me back. And it was what I prayed against. The one thing I never wanted to hear about someone I loved again. She had breast cancer. But she had just crossed over into the 30’s the time when you live the good life because you learned from all the mistakes you made in your 20′ right?? How could this have happened? You see, I lost my grandmother to cancer as a teenager and it hurt me to my core. Now, my friend, my confidant, my protector was sick and there was nothing I could do about it. I jumped up from my desk and quickly ran into a conference room before anyone could see the tears pour from my eyes. I could barely breathe.
The day had come for my friend to have her breast removed another brave decision she made. My friend had a very young daughter at the time; she did not want to run the risk of the cancer coming back. Seems to me she already knew that she would beat it then. In order for it to come back it would have to be gone first. She had claimed her victory and didn’t even know it. The “little sis” and I went to be by her side, with the “nephew” in tow. I ended up staying the night in the hospital, I just couldn’t leave her. It was like we were in Winburn Hall again. But then as I looked at her, the IV’s, and all the flashing lights on those monitors and I quickly realized, this is real. I had to hold back my tears. I would not break down in front of the very person who had always been so strong for me. As I reached down to pick up the wash cloth she dropped while bathing she said, “nope I got it” and proceeded to pick it up with her toes! At that moment I knew my friend would definitely make it. One simple gesture that made us laugh and forget the bandages that were in the place where her breast used to be. That night we laughed and laughed and laughed. I have no idea when we eventually drifted off to sleep.
It’s 2013 now and my friend has 3 beautiful girls. She is as bold, intelligent, daring, humble, loving and strong as ever. She is my hero. She is one of my best friends, more of a sister. My friend, my sister, my Donna is cancer free.
To God be the Glory 🙂

This post is dedicated to my friend LaDonna Peeples breast cancer survivor!

To Donna: Donna I love you more than words can say. Over the years, over the miles our hearts have stayed connected because we have built a bond that can not be broken. God put you in my life to show me how to have faith when you have no control over the situation. Because of you I still believe in miracles. You are my miracle. Love you always and forever.

Beaten and Snatched?!?!

I just got beat.
Oh my gosh, have you called the police already? 
Huh? No. I got beat by the girl at the make up counter.
Whaaaa? Why is the girl at the make up counter beating you.
Doesn’t my face look fabulous? I am beat and oh ain’t I snatched.
Wait honey you  got beat and snatched and you are happy about it?Ok, I may get a few eye rolls on this one, but you’ll still love me. Lately this “slang” stuff is getting way out of hand. And I know you are saying oh it’s not that serious, it’s just slang and lighten up. Trust me, I like a good slang word or phrase just like the next person. For example, everyones favorite, “turn up!!”, “giving me life”, “you tried it” or “yaaaaassssss hunty”. They are all hilarious and can instantly conjure up a smile. BUT our words have power and I don’t think many people realize that. Ladies listen to how this sounds BEAT and SNATCHED. Say it to yourself BEAT AND SNATCHED. BEAT AND SNATCHED.  BEAT AND SNATCHED. What picture comes up in your head when you hear those words? Nothing? Well, all I can see is a crying woman running for the door, fleeing her abuser, grabbing the door knob and him grabbing her arm and snatching her back to continue to “beat her to the gods”. That’s another one that we need to stop saying.  Who wants to refer to themselves as being beaten as an synonym for your face being full of beautiful make up and having a nice shape? Do you know that, according to The State (South Carolina’s State Newspaper), South Carolina is rated second worst in the nation in women killed by men. That’s a lot of beating and snatching right? The fact that women actually have to cover their bruises with make up and hide behind fake smiles after they have been “beaten and snatched” is more of a reason to bury those terms. In the bible … Wait I know someone is saying, “Is she really about to throw a scripture on us?” Yaaaaassssss hunty, I am because the Girly loves God ;). Anywho, the bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue. Always choose to speak life. There will be a wake for the slang term “beat and snatched” at 5pm. After that they will be buried in the slang term cemetary on Never Use Again Road, no repass will follow.