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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

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!

Staring 50 In The Eye And Not Blinking!

50 year old countdown

“I must learn therefore to let go of the familiar and the usual and consent to what is new and unknown to me. I must learn to ‘leave myself’ in order to find myself by yielding to the love of God.” -Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

I am standing at the door of 50 years old. While I have yet to knock on said door, I know that it will indeed open and the moving sidewalk upon which I stand will usher me inside.

With that said, I have a mixed bag of feelings about turning 50. Most of it is good, but some is a little off-putting. Let’s start with the off-putting:

1. Upon reaching 50, one realizes that for most life is more than half over.  It brings about reflections: a) At what point do I know what I want to do when I grow up? b) With half a lifetime gone what things do I still want to accomplish? c) What is my true calling in life?

2.  Slowly aging brings about lots of physical and mental changes. Weight loss does not occur as easily as it once did. The body does not readily accept the foods it once easily did. Dang it, why do I work twice as hard and eat half as much?! That’s a huge mental adjustment to make.   Also, why is it that I don’t seem to have the elephant like memory that I’ve always bragged about having?  What is father time doing to me?  My left ring finger experiences some swelling at the knuckle.  What the what?! That’s my wedding ring finger!  I can’t have it looking fat and swollen. Argh!!!

Now for the good stuff:

1.  I have a ton of friends joining the 50 club with me. It is exciting to see everyone blooming into their true selves.

2. The older you get the less you care about other people’s opinions.  This is quite a freeing space to be in. While some people’s opinions matter I no longer let them dictate my actions.

3. 50 is the new 30…well ok 35.  I know a lot of 50 year olds who look not only good but great.  You can tell that they take care of themselves body, mind, and spirit.

4. I still have half a lifetime to get “it” right.  Now that I’ve learned some valuable lessons I can apply them in my mature mind to reaching my dreams.

5.  Life is not that serious. Relax, have fun, and laugh… often.  (sometimes I have to stop and remind myself of this, but I know that it’s true.)

6.  You are only as old as you feel! So for me, this means I’m pretty young.  I’m silly sometimes even beyond my own belief. My 15-year-old and I watch a number of shows together.  Yup, I’m a youngun!

The bottom line is I have a hair more than three months until my big day.  I’m more excited than you can imagine.  While I understand that nothing magical happens on that day to make me a new and improved person, I just can’t wait to embrace 50.  It’s funny because at one time I thought of 50 like the bogeyman- something to hide from and be afraid of.  Now, I’m like the dance team in a stand battle and I’m shouting “Bring It!”

Thankfulness Every Day

thanksgiving never didn't and not

It’s that time of the year.  The time when people take time to assess all that they are grateful for.  I think that’s a beautiful thing.  It is through expressions of gratitude that our blessings increase.  However, I’m aware that the expressions of thankfulness should be a daily occurrence.

We have so much to be thankful for.  If you awaken in the morning you have beat the odds.  There are many who did not do so.  If you have a roof over your head, food to eat, warmth from the cold you are SO blessed.  In many corners of the world, including pockets of every city in America, there are people who are not in their right mind due to illness, who are homeless, and who do not have money to take care of their basic needs.

If you have health insurance, the doctor of your choice, and family and friends who surround you with love and support you are so far ahead of the game.  You have been shined upon.

I remind myself of all of these things often.  I find myself sometimes complaining about the smaller things of life.  This or that is not going my way.  Sometimes I forget that lessons come in many forms. It is through the challenges in life that many people experience their greatest growth.

Practice having an attitude of gratitude.  Be sincere in your thanks.  Not just on Thanksgiving Thursday but on every day.  The good life will only get better.

Spread love.

Pop Quiz

So you know my theory right? Once you learn the lesson it stops repeating.  Recently I have had cause to rethink this just a little bit. You may not continue to get retested but sometimes the universe gives you a pop quiz.

The purpose of the quiz is not to make you fail.  It is designed for lesson reinforcement.  In other words, yes you get it.  You’ve learned the lesson.  You understand.  BUT, are you able to apply the lesson across the board in a variety of circumstances?

Here’s the good news.  Once you are able to step back, remember that you do know the lesson,  and understand that this is just a pop quiz you relax.   There is no need to go into fight mode.  It’s just a quiz and you have already studied.  You know the answers.

This is today’s lesson.  I’ve been struggling with something for about a week now- asking myself why this is happening, wondering what I’m doing to encourage it. Today I passed the quiz.  I recognize that this is indeed a lesson. I’ve learned it before and I just need to implement the answers. I am a quiet stresser.  When I’m bothered most, people are often not aware of it.  I appear as cool as a cucumber on the outside but I’m torn up internally.  This is not good or healthy.  So, today I’ m breathing and relaxing- it’s just a quiz.  There is no new lesson to learn.  Just spit the answers back out.  It’s just a pop quiz.  Trust… you’ve got this.