Reclaiming My Time. Protecting My Peace. Preserving My Energy.
Reclaiming My Time: Often times we hear the phrase, “if (fill in the blank) was a person.” Well, this phrase has a face and a name. When Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attempted to delay and defer, running out the clock instead of answering Congresswoman Maxine Water’s (aka Auntie Maxine) question, she said to the Committee Chairman, “reclaiming my time,” and therefore made it known to the Secretary, I am fully aware of what you’re trying to do and it is not happening on my watch. You will NOT waste my time. Three words struck the most powerful cord in the keys of life. It went viral, became memes. It was also adopted as the anthem song for so many people, especially Black women who have been victim to people disrespecting our words, wisdom, work, sacrifice, knowledge and intelligence, our contributions, our time.
Protecting My Peace: On one of my trips to the east coast, riding the subway, I saw a beautiful brown-skin woman wearing a Black shirt with white text that read “Protecting My Peace.” Seeing her wear the shirt, full-figured, coiled afro, and unbothered invoked great joy inward and outwardly. Making eye contact, I sent a warm smile her way. It was one of those silent fist in the air moments, an I see and stand in agreement with you moments. “I love your shirt,” I said as I exited the train. Protecting our peace will not look the same because we have different triggers. But what ever those triggers are that cause harm to our mental health, psychologists suggest there are some steps we can take to care for ourselves.
- Listen to music that elevates your mood.
- Set Boundaries
- Practice self-care
- Speak up/stand up for yourself.
- Remove yourself from people, places, and things that are not good for you or to you.
Preserving My Energy: When I was growing up, we used to pick blackberries, and apples and preserve them in jars. Months later, we’d use them as jam on toast. I use this same concept when it comes to preserving my energy. I keep it safe, protecting it from harm, loss, and destruction. I reserve it for special use. I do not expend my energy on what will not be appreciated or reciprocated. It sounds harsh but as we grow and mature as humans, we learn that what you give out will return to you. For example, if you clean the house all day long, then work outside in the yard pulling weeds and what not, you will most likely not have a lot of energy left for date night (I personally would not). And, if you spend all of your energy on trying to get people on social media who you don’t know to like and care for you then you don’t have the energy needed to cultivate real-life relationships with people you do know.
Let’s just be real. It’s important to set boundaries. Especially, in this day and age where access to everything we want to know, see, and hear (and sometimes not) are at our fingertips. Not only is negativity vying for our attention in the virtual world but in-person. Being able to reclaim my time, protect my peace, and preserve my energy has been a gift to me and hopefully to other important people in my life. It has given me the ability to be fully present and not distracted. To keep things in perspective and not sweat the small stuff. To use my energy for the individuals, causes and things that truly matter. For this I am truly grateful.
Prompt: What are some ways you can reclaim your time, protect your peace, and preserve your energy?