I Found MY Cheer

cheerMy last post was 4 months ago.  The one before that was a year prior. I used to publish a weekly blog, for a couple of years, EVERY Monday, without fail.  Have you abandoned  our blog? Absolutely not! So what has been the problem?

I thought it was writer’s block. That’s not really the case.  This morning it hit me.  I’m happy! You see while the blog is entitled “A Cup of Cheer” it was born out of sadness and despair.  12 years ago I lost my dad very quickly to cancer.  It took me years to recover from this loss. That was followed  a few years later by the loss of my grandmother, also to cancer, for whom I was a part-time caretaker.  Add to that mix a deteriorating marriage and a family history of depression and you  can begin to see how I may not have been in the best place.

But I did not like this place.  I am a thinker and figured I could think my way out of these feelings.  My thoughts materialized into two outlets – exercise and this blog.  I wrote this blog to encourage you to think good thoughts and be happy but the person I was speaking to most was ME!

Well, I sit here typing from a new state I moved to 3 yrs ago.  I am 2 days away from celebrating my third wedding anniversary and life is good.  I am happy, and thus I’ve struggled to write this blog.  Sounds weird, right?  Well, dear readers, in case you’ve yet to figure it out I’m a study in contradictions. At any rate, I realized a bit ago that I still have things to write about and I’m committing to my weekly share again.

And, if the person I described above is you – someone down in the dumps, struggling to find your happy – I encourage you to find your outlet.  There is peace on the other side.  You will get through it.  It may be difficult.  It may take some time, but you will find your joy again.

By the way, I’m also struggling to exercise the way I used to.  Go figure!!

Thanks for sticking with me.  You all are the best!

Spread Love!

Peace and Blessings

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How Much Is Too Much To Share?

We are at an interesting time in history.  I was raised in an era where I was taught “what goes on this house stays in this house.”

Those times have changed. We live in an era of social networking. Every thing we think, feel, and do gets recorded for prosperity.  There are those who use social media to share their deepest thoughts. Others hide behind the anonymity of it.  They express themselves in ways and say things that they would never say directly to someone’s face. We saw the most blatant examples of this during the most recent election cycle.

In this era of bloggers, personal websites, etc. it has become apparent that in order to gain readers, advertisers, additional clicks and the likes one has to show their human side. Naturally that involves sharing details of your life.

But the question begs to be answered: how much is too much? l find that people’s opinion on this topic varies depending on their degree of social engagement. Those with low to moderate engagement question why folks would share so much information with “the whole world.” Those with a greater level of interaction are more tolerant of the sharing but generally keep certain aspects of their lives more private than others.

My opinion is that it’s all a matter of personal choice. For some sharing is cathartic. I don’t think it’s for others to judge. I just suggest caution. If you’re sharing information/pictures that can be used against you- especially in an employment situation, then please beware. If you are sharing personal information about your children especially young children, be VERY careful.  My rule for many years was not to share photos of my children or their names. As they’ve grown older (and reached adulthood in one case) I’ve relaxed my stance somewhat. But more often than not they’re still “the boy” (now referred to as the man) and “the girl.”

The bottom line is do you, Boo but be careful.  It’s not always safe out here in these internet streets.

Spread Love,

Peace and Blessings

Motherhood- The Most Difficult Job In The World

I couldn’t wait to become a mother! Well, I guess I could as my oldest “child” (now 20) was  born when I was 30 years old.  But what I really mean is that I really looked forward to the experience.  But I was scared!  I realized that I had the opportunity to form a person.  I’m not a total narcissist, but I realized that being a parent was serious business. As a parent you have the potential to totally damage a person (this kid) mentally and physically or you have (hopefully) the  opportunity to mold a marvelous member of society.

So. like I said, I was afraid.  Even though I have been around babies in some form for most of my life I felt that I needed practice.  Thus, while in graduate school I got a rabbit figuring I could start easily with something to take care of and bear full responsibility for.  I think it was pretty good practice but nothing prepares you for motherhood.

How can you practice never putting yourself first again? How do you practice falling so deeply in love it hurts?  How do you know in advance that your protective nature will make you contemplate serious physical harm against something who is threatening “your baby?” (no matter the age of said baby, no matter the offender)

But, I thought you said it was hard?  It IS!!!! See here’s the thing… they are not YOURS! They do not BELONG to you! They belong to themselves. They come through you as a gift to the world. They MUST feel their own pain, learn their own lessons, chart their own path and be who they decide they must be. That is the hard part.  I have instinctively known this since before I had a children.  I preached this mantra since my kids, who are four years apart, were babies.  And that was fine… when they were young and I still ran every aspect of their lives. But now I have a young adult and one who is two years from graduating high school and believe you me it gets harder and harder to accept the fact that I am not the architect of their lives.

I’m not. And sometimes that doesn’t feel so good. But it forces me to reach back into my memories and examine my own life. So now, I realize the pain my mom silently endured when I decided to make some decisions that were not best because I, like most kids, thought I knew everything or at least what was best for me.  She, after all, was not as educated as I so obviously she didn’t know anything. Right? Wrong!!!!! lol

So as we go into Mother’s Day weekend I want to start now publicly thanking my mom. She gave me wings to fly, never held me back, and let me make my own mistakes. That doesn’t mean she didn’t have anything to say about it. Oh she had plenty to say, but in the words of Frank Sinatra “I did it my way.”

For those of you who are just embarking on this journey, know that is the most rewarding, challenging, frustrating, important thing you will ever do. They will drive you crazy and make your heart burst with pride. And through it all you will think “this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.” And you know what? You wouldn’t have it any other way!

Spread Love

Peace and Blessings

A Dream Is Unfulfilled Without Action

 

Goals image

I am a writer. There, I said it. I dream of being not just a published writer, but a famous writer.

When I’m stressed, upset, or just need to “get away from it all” I do one of two things- I read or I write. I write to express my deepest feelings- those I’m too shy, or fearful, or unsure of to express aloud.  I write to give praise. I write to air grievances. I write for entertainment, mine and others.

I began this blog 6 years ago (WAIT! Has it really been THAT long?!) because I wanted to write and I wanted spread love through a blog that shared positive thoughts.  I am not hip enough to be a fashion blogger, and quite frankly dishing on celebrities is not my calling or desire.

Then guess what happened?  You already know right?  Life happened.  I’ve changed location, marital status, and a host of other things during the lifetime of this blog.  You know what else happened? I stopped writing. And my dream became more deferred. I’m rusty now. My written “voice” is not as sharp as it was. I have to resharpen my tools.

Earlier today I had a conversation with my husband. We discussed goals and plans for the future. As a part of the discussion I shared that writing is my true dream and passion. If I could have my druthers writing is what I would do. Then, he did it. That thing.  Yup, he dropped the bomb. What you need to know is that my husband is related to a world renown, highly acclaimed author.  I mean, one whose name is known by EVERYONE. So what did he do? How did he drop the bomb? He quoted her!!! He said “in the words of my cousin ‘writers write.’ ”  Sonic boom. I can ‘t argue with that, especially knowing who he’s quoting.

So here I am. I’m really, really back. Back with regularity. Back to posting. Back to inspiring (hopefully). Back to writing. Because a dream is just a dream until you apply action to it. Action makes the dream a goal. Dream your dreams. Then define the goals and go get ’em. It’s never too late. Not for me and certainly not for you. Let’s go get em.  As for me, I’ll continue to do the write thing.

Spread Love,

Peace and Blessings

 

Life Is Good

 

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2016 and the good life!

In the words of Kanye West (ok, I know that sounds strange but stick with me) “I’m living the good life.”  My good life didn’t begin this morning at midnight (1/1/16) nor did it start last year or the year before.  It began the moment I decided to view my life as good.

Yesterday I was visiting my social networking Facebook and reading end of the  year status updates.  What I saw there caused me great concern. A number of the updates focused upon what a bad year 2015 was: how awful it was for them, how much they’d endured. I pondered these updates and grew sad.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of Pollyannaish (my word) woman. Race relations in this country seem to be going more backward than forward. I’m concerned about my son, a young black man, as he moves about in a cultural environment that sees him as threatening despite the fact that he is not. I can’t stomach the fact that Donald Triump might possibly become president. I have suffered the loss of an uncle and a grandfather in the past year. Yes, all of this is true but I live a good life.

Though I lost 2 relatives I still have 2 grandmothers who are alive.  Not many people can say this at the ripe old age of 5o (this is also where having ancestors who divorced comes in handy, you have a larger pool) and I am so thankful. Though death is a sad part of life it is also inevitable, that whole circle of life thing.  And in the true circle of life, I know of beautiful babies who were born in 2015.

I decided a few years back that my happiness is independent of how much money I have, whether all of my bills are paid, and whether I’m eating crab cakes or tuna fish. Happiness is my choice. And in the choice to be happy the realization comes that indeed life is good.

Through my Facebook network, I’ve watched people battle illness (cancer and ALS specifically) in the past year.  Some have lost the battle and others continue to fight/press on.  I have also watched those who’ve suffered loss. What I see as a common thread is that for most of these people they see their life as good, even as they endure.

Making the decision to change your mindset is not easy.  It is also not instant. There are times when you fall backward into your woes. That does not indicate failure. It indicates humanity. Thus, you give yourself that moment and decide again in the next moment to be happy and live your good life.

So, my friends, I’m dropping in to tell you that 2016 will indeed be a better year than 2015 especailly once you decide that IT IS SO!

“I’m living the good life… Hey, hey, hey, I’m good!”

Spread Love,

Peace and Blessings

You are one of my FAVORITE people

Welcome back readers.  One of my favorite things about this creative process is being open to change.  I had a totally different topic that I was prepared to write about today, but then it happened.  Someone said to me earlier “you are one of my favorite people” and I realized, this is my topic today.

You are one of my favorite people. In my mind this statement is the highest form of compliment.  Why? Because of what it says and also what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say “you are my best friend” because you probably are not. It doesn’t mean “I just love everything about you” because  I probably don’t.

Then what does it mean?  I realize this is subjective, so here it is.  This is what it means to me.  When I tell you, you are one of my favorite people, it means:

  1. The very essence of who you are resonates deeply with me. I admire your ability to be exactly who you are and be okay with it
  2. I have learned a lot from you.
  3. I admire your spirit.
  4. There are qualities about you that I admire and hope to someday achieve.

You are not going to be everyone’s favorite person. In fact, you may only hold this title for a few people.  Again, the specialness (my word) of it is what makes it a compliment of the highest order.  I have a few favorites and I gladly let them know.  Everyone wants to receive this type of accolade no?

Spread Love,

Peace and Blessings!

Press On and Shine!

TSP

I am 61 days away from a major milestone birthday. For at least the past 6 months I’ve found myself in continual reflection of my life, my purpose and my legacy. I expect that this will continue up to and thru my golden year.

Yesterday I saw news of the passing of a lady I met only once (she’s the one in the middle in the above picture). I’m slightly shocked about the magnitude of my emotions regarding this news. I wondered “why is this hitting me so hard?” And then I stopped to think. I don’t know her, but I KNOW her! You see in the years that we’ve been Facebook friends I’ve come to know her: her family (Ben, the kids, sister Michelle, etc), her ideals (not all of which I agreed with), and her passions. We were FAMUly (graduates of the same university), had mutual friends, and shared a love of family and Facebook. As I’ve gone through the rest of last night and today, I’m noting the numerous tributes from those who never met Trisha. I’m touched by how many lives she touched. As I think about the little I knew of her life over the years and I think about my own future I’d like to share:

Lessons I’ve Learned from Patricia Sherfield Polite:

1. No matter what life throws at you PRESS on!
Press was Trisha’s tag after her initial breast cancer diagnosis. Once she made the choice to reveal the news to others, she went on to become a major fundraiser for Susan G. Komen, a spokeswoman for Cancer Centers of America and tireless speaker on behalf of breast cancer.

2. Face life with a smile and a golden spirit.
I remember when we met, precancer, and what a joy she was in person. I sometimes disagreed with her viewpoints but when my friend and I saw her in the GA dome we both said “there’s Trisha.” As we approached she turned with that smile and her lovely, sweet southern drawl and said “Hey y’all. It’s my facebook friends!” and of course we took an usie.

3. It’s ok to let people know who you are.
Trisha shared a lot- about her family, her friends her thoughts, and because of her sharing she touched lives of those who knew her and those who’ve never made her acquaitance. I remember sharing with her that I’d dreamed about the entire family and how odd I felt it was. Me: I’ve never even met your kids. Her: I talk about them ALL the time. Of course you feel like you know them.

She also shared (once she decided to) about her desire to PRESS on through Cancer. She invited us into her triumph story. In doing so, she endeared herself to all.

4. Live life on your terms and offer no apologies
Trisha lived a good life! She had a good job, a good marriage, and loved her kids. You didn’t have to like it if your own life was miserable but she was not going to downplay her blessings because it made others possibly feel some sort of way. Trisha loved Ben Polite in a way that we could all feel. She celebrated their love in particular and black love in general for the entire month of December- EVERY year. So if the example of her life inspires you to a better life, then her job was accomplished.

5. Love and celebrate your friends
Some of us have friends and some of us are part of a sisterhood. Yes, Trisha was a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, but more importantly she was a part of tight girls network with an iron like bond. They are there for one another, PERIOD! I’m guilty! Sometimes my friends and I lose touch or let distance, hurt feelings, assumptions, misconceptions come between us. Not Trisha and her girls! Nope they are HERE for one another. ALWAYS!!! And that inspires me to do better and to be a better friend.

I’m sure this list is not comprehensive, but as I sit here typing in the midst of my midlife emotions I pay tribute to a beautiful lady which a spirit that will continue to shine. I will not be there on Saturday to pay tribute to her. This is my way.

Press on and Shine Trisha!!!!