Monday, April 17, 2017

I had lunch with some ladies on Saturday afternoon. The weather was balmy and beautiful. We sat outside on the balcony, in the light breeze, and chatted over tiramisu, banana cream bunt cake and ice cream, seltzer water and diet iced tea. Conversation went as conversations normally do with no predictable flow. As I listened and considered their words I found myself thinking further, bigger, outward. One woman recalled that another woman at church approached her and said she had always thought she was "mean." I, along with the other ladies at the table, could relate to being pre-judged. I thought, imagine, that we go to church every week, see the people there every week, see how we and others interact on a regular basis, and yet still we pre-judge and and are pre-judged. We come to conclusions without ever getting to know each other. And we are supposedly like-minded people of similar cultures and backgrounds. We already have much in common. How much more should we expect of those around us in the world with whom we don't interact on a regular basis and with whom with have no idea if we have anything in common?

I shared my thoughts with the group and we went on like that. We would talk, everyone contributing, and I would take it one step further, bringing attention to the connection of what we spoke about to the world at large. By the time we were wrapping up I had an aha moment that my gallup poll "strength" of "connectedness" was a surprising possible truth. I had never noticed that pattern about myself before.

Over the weekend I spoke to a couple of close friends about what we can do to change how minorities, any minority, are viewed. When you consider the negative images of us being portrayed it's no wonder that negative stereotypes persist. We, meaning all people, have to sit and eat with each other, and be willing to give each other a chance. And we, the ones who want to change the stereotypes, have to be proactive in making that change. We must create - create art, inventions, products, services. Create, overrun the negatives, and support each others work.

Ideas? Suggestions? I would love to read your thoughts on his.

Monday, April 03, 2017

If you spend time with me, it tells me that you care. That is the number one thing you could do to convey any feelings for me. Time is precious. That's not just a cliche. Especially as I get older I feel that more and more, as time gets ever limited and I am constantly reminded of mortality. If you're doing x then you're not doing y. Giving of time requires a sacrifice of something. Time that you can never get back. If you willingly share your TIME with me, that means the world to me. More than words.

Monday, December 19, 2016

I'm going to try to keep up with this blogging this, albeit inconsistently, but it will be something.  :)

Over the weekend the company I work for held a two-day event at an upscale resort. We have been doing this for a few years now and it never gets old. The location is great but the facilities themselves are tremendous. This year my room, that opened onto the beach, had a luxurious deep tub that I took full advantage of. The food was delicious with a full buffet spread that included nutella and parfaits, fruit energy booster shots, all manner of baked goods (read: croissants, chocolate cupcakes, sticky buns, bagels), meats, potatoes, and omelets cooked to order with self-selected ingredients and toppings. I could go on about the breakfast but I'm gaining more weight just typing about it. The staff all over the resort was always courteous and helpful. One evening, before dinner, my husband went down to the restaurant to order food for the children and while he was standing at the front waiting to speak to the host a couple walked up at the same time...and the woman addressed him about wanting to place her order. She was polite. He was polite in his response when he told her that he too was trying to get information for his order. She was obviously embarrassed, esp. and my husband and her husband got a laugh out of it. When I heard the story I was not amused. Maybe it's not a big deal. I don't know. But why on earth would someone ASSUME that my husband is part of the staff instead of just ASKING first? Take a step back, assess the situation, determine what is what before you open your mouth. If you don't know, ask. It's not that difficult.

Monday, December 05, 2016

I guess it's that time to make that post I've been avoiding. Because I didn't want to write it. Because I didn't know where to start. Because it was unbelievable times, and still it.

Shootings of people who look like me. Have been going on for so long. And you wonder who really cares?

A few days after yet another shooting of an unarmed black man... My family and I are at church, a predominantly black church in a predominantly black neighborhood. The sun has set so its dark outside. My 13 year old son asks if he can walk to the corner store with some friends, other black teens. And I hesitate to answer him. I hesitate. Never before have I hesitated for fear. But I hesitate. I decide to let him go. I don't want him to feel my fear. I don't want him to be afraid. There is no "healthy" fear to instill in a child or in anyone, yet THAT is our daily reality. Be vigilante, obey the laws, be respectful, don't give any reason for others to fear you. You hear it all the time. It's real. It's a real spiel we tell our children all. the. time.

My son went with his friends. And returned without incident. One of his friends stuck his head through the door of the balcony to let me know they were back. His words, "we made it back alive." What life is this that that statement could be a joke based on reality? It bothered me the rest of the weekend, the rest of the week, the month, every time I think about it. I wasn't upset that he said it. I was upset that it was in his mind at all. That it had to be in his mind at all.

It's saddening. I didn't grow up like this. I did not have fear as a child. There was trust all around, except, of course, of strangers, who we were always told to be wary of. I came here and things were different. I came at 17. Naive, ignorant. Not blissfully so because the awakening is indeed rude..But my children! Why do they have to live like this, with this, not being free, because of others' fear of...what? Fear of realizing how small and insignificant and unhappy they themselves really are is my guess. Sounds like a bully to me.

Monday, November 14, 2016

A lot

So much has been happening. It's been draining. I don't know where to start. There is no beginning, middle, nor end, only constant happenings in parallel. Work, church, home, children/school, sickness, death. Elections. Enough of that.

I'm mentally confining myself for a bit, expending the least amount of energy possible, at least externally. I spent some time reading about learning about myself. One thing hasn't changed - despite what I say I want, I always enjoy reading fiction, and I've found some awesome reads.

It's National Novel Writing Month. As much as I would love to say I've written a novel I highly doubt there is one in me. A book, definitely, but a novel? Not so much.

A friend said today was a down day. I can empathize. I've had many of those. They're very strange. I get so hard on myself. I reach a point where all I do is see how mediocre I am. I don't know what triggers it. Then the day will pass and I might feel better. I will remember and believe there is goodness and potential in me. But the down days are not good. How to make the good days stay....

Friday, October 23, 2015

The power of one

The big idea, the one message, one thing at a time, the ONE. I've read about the power of one with respect to the impact that can be made by an individual. This is not about that. :) What I was thinking about was the power of simplicity, being narrow, and focused. I was listening to CreativeLive this morning and one point that stood out was the need to pare down offerings and focus on one "thing" whether it be one product or one overarching theme or one goal. This goes right along with my need for order. As I see it, as well as I like to think I am at multi-tasking, I do myself a disservice with that practice. I've never been good at choosing. It could be because I am an optimist at heart - I see the good in each possible selection. (Ask my bff what it was like shopping at the candy story with me. SMH) Very recently she and I did a project where we categorized are life goals. She told me in a nice way that I have too many items on my list. What did I do? Did I look at my list and knock some things off? Ha! I laugh in the face of realism! I smiled as I typed my response to her, letting her know that I would not be striking out any items, that I would instead be pursuing them. :) They can all be accomplished - maybe some in parallel, maybe not. But that's ok. Shoot for the stars and you might at least reach the moon. This doesn't read like one who believes in the power of one, does it? Well...that's ok too. Nothing is set in stone. I do realize that in order to make the most effective use of my time I will need to prioritize, to break up my goals in chunks and focus on one step at a time. That I will do and get back to you!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I can't wait until the end of the day to write. By then my brain is ready to shut down. It's amazing how tired I get just from thinking. Yet here I am. I used to be a night owl and a procrastinator. I've gotten too old for my body to allow me to be the former and I'm constantly working on the latter. :)