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Rest is a right...not a reward.

Last Monday, I had surgery on my 15 year old umbilical that was gifted to me by during my pregnancy with Hurricane Kingston. Not only was he a heavy baby and a difficult pregnancy, but he also gave me a push present...literally.

And y'all wonder why I stopped at one. Pregnancy kicked my ass. Short and sweet. I was definitely NOT one of the moms who "loved being pregnant". Actually, whenever I hear women say that shit, I really want to punch their lying asses in the throat. Again, pregnancy kicked my 22 year old ass. If that wasn't bad enough, labor (NATURAL labor at that!) made me say: "fawk these kids" permanently. There would be a snowy day in hell before I decide to mix up in the OB-GYN section of any hospital. Nope, Nik done did her time.

Anyhoo, I digress. Back to the story.

I've always been aware of my hernia. I've always known that it would need to be remedied. However, being a new mom, a wife, and an army sergeant-a bihhhh didn't really have that type of free time on her hand for recovery. Then after my divorce, I really threw myself into building my career and marketability so that I could take care of my then five year old son and offset the extra income that I would be "losing" by giving my ex-husband that good curb side assistance. Now between single motherhood, working TWO jobs, being enrolled in an accelerated grad school program (sis ain't have time for the traditional track because her baby literally needed a new pair of shoes), and she had no time being out on sick leave. So my hernia stayed.

I started my first business in 2016 and less than a year later, my sister Kimmie passed away suddenly with no warning. Not being one to express emotion and grief, I threw myself into my work even harder to cope. I started three more businesses in less than a year. Now add those four businesses to single parenthood, a full time job dealing with other people's mental health, and a grueling PhD program (did I mention that I took no breaks between undergrad and my PhD program? I enrolled in one program after the other because again, sis needed to make that money).

By my third year in business, I had added three more brands to my already busy schedule and hunty, the only thing I had time for was my annual physical. At this point, I couldn't (or didn't want to) slow down even if I wanted to. I actually reveled in the work frenzy because it meant I didn't have to focus on the loss of my sister and how that was really one good cry away from having my ass admitted to someone's psych ward.

Then the pandemic hit. I was able to work my day job remotely which meant I had more time to invest in my brands. I hustled until a few months in when I found out my father (who had been absent most of my life) had passed away. I had a real problem grieving someone who I didn't feel deserved the honor, especially when I didn't even give the honor to my deserving sister, so I pushed through even harder. When I finally severed ties with my boyfriend of three years, I didn't let that stop me either. I turned that fawkery into creative gold.

My brands grew astronomically. Especially my online store Black Sauce. With more sales and more time to actually tap into my creativity and bring them to fruition; I was in productivity mode literally 24/7. Plus, I had returned to my love of heavy weight lifting and grueling gym sessions. I didn't feel like I had time to take care of my medical ailments or my healing journey. Not only had I been conditioned to put myself last since childhood, I also never felt comfortable doing things that were solely for MY greater good. Even if it had to do with my health and livelihood. I was working 20 hour days and I needed those extra four hours for sleep and showering to start my new day. Everything else was obsolete and a non-motherfawking factor.

Then late in 2020, I got tired of being a machine. I got tired of being everyone's Go To for help while denying myself that same access to my own energy. I began to realize how much I was running myself ragged (just as my sister did) and how I needed to snatch back my power and my magic so that I could conserve it selfishly for me.

I began taking my own mental health seriously and giving myself access to the services I needed to heal. I even decided to dedicate the year 2021 solely for me. I was going to do all that I wanted that year and I wasn't going to assist or help anyone outside of myself.

Can you imagine how foreign that is at age 36?

When it came time for my yearly physical and my PC said she was (once again) giving me a consult to have my hernia removed, I actually showed up and followed through. Besides, with all the heavy lifting and continuous movement throughout the day, my hernia had grown to a pretty big size and now jutted out embarrassingly through my clothes. I knew it was time to put my money where my mouth was and get this thing taken out.

I scheduled my surgery for February 28th-my sister Kimmie's birthday.

Foolishly, I also scheduled and began to prepare for other deadlines starting the day after my surgery being the hardheaded workaholic I am. I figured I'd be in and out and back on my feet in a day. There was no need to push back any launches or any other business obligations I had with my brands.

Until I woke up from surgery, humbled in my hospital gown looking like a pitiful Billie Holiday laid up in that hospital bed.

Yall, I was in a bad way. You don't recover from shit like you used to at age 37. Between the pain, the sleeping, and the medicine (I was popping them percs like an ATL rapper, you heard me???), I was in absolutely no shape to do shit but lay it thee faek DOWN.

We ain't even goin speak on how Kingston's raggedy ass got suspended from school last week too. The school tried to call me with the deets and I told his administrator: "Girl, not today", before ending the call and returning to my perc induced sleep.

By day two, I stopped beating myself up about missing my "deadlines" and directed my attention to surrendering to rest. For the first time, I got full nights rest. I wasn't up at the crack of dawn wrestling with my gym leggings. I wasn't hauling boxes or mixing scrubs. I wasn't splitting my time between my brands and my 9-5. I stayed in my bed, ordered Door Dash, watched documentaries, and snuggled up with Pretty Paws.

Y'all, I haven't been this at peace since I received my divorce decree.

I even had Kingston (the culprit of all of this) home to assist me with walking Pretty Paws and bringing my food to my room. I feel so rested, light, and easy going. I'm also in awe by how well I have been healing-because I've allowed my body to do its job by simply leaving it alone and giving it the rest it needs.

This week, I've learned that taking time off for me won't kill me. It will actually make me stronger. I've vowed to incorporate more rest and authorization to do absolutely nothing in my schedule. I've also learned to stop suffering in silence and neglecting my health. It's a right that I must never deny myself due to me being conditioned to think that it is a reward.

When was the last time you rested?

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