Showing posts from 2015

2015-Did it pass you by?

2015. You've dealt me my share of ups and downs with a mix of celebrations and disappointments. But most importantly, I've been able to be in every moment that came my way and that in itself is a gift.

I used to let life pass me by. Anger, regret and attitude would prevent me from enjoying life or spending quality time with people I care about. I'd be at the moment but not really be in the moment; already thinking about the next appointment or engagement or obligation instead of enjoying the current one.

2015 was labeled my "fearless" year. I started the year by mountain climbing Camelback in Arizona; not an easy feat. With each step that took me higher, my fears were minimized and new confidence gained. When I stood at that mountaintop and looked down, I accepted that getting to the top is never easy and it requires faith in each step.

I went out on a jet ski for the first time and released a fear of being on the open water. I have sailed on cruises before or e…

Another Year-A little wiser

My friend Barbara, a fellow breast cancer survivor, and I at my birthday party. She's been one of the strongest women I've known this year. Every year around my birthday, I sit down to blog about the past year. 43 to 44 was ROUGH! There were more highs than lows but the disappointments came from putting my trust, time and energy into the wrong relationships.

I failed at my first attempt of re-entering the workforce after 10 years as an entrepreneur. And that's okay. To admit failure is to admit you tried. If you fail and take the experience as a learning opportunity, you walk away a winner. If you walk away angry or resentful, then they win.

I made the mistake of assuming that coworkers are your friends. Granted, I met my very best friend at work but she is a rare jewel. Lesson learned: Be professional. Be polite. You can even be friendly but leave those colleagues out of your personal life and set your expectations low that they truly care about your well being. Better t…

WWA-Writer With Attitude

I remember the first time I put on the Boyz in the Hood album on my record player. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this new sound! It played so loudly from my room that my dad walked down the hallway to turn me to "turn that mess down or off!" Since my parents didn't like it, I think I played it more. Hey, I was a rebellious teen who thought she was a bad ass.

Rap music has always resonated with me. From my wayward teens through my turbulent twenties and now in my fabulous forties, the lyrics were and still are a reflection of what I see and what those around me may be going through. I loved the genre so much that I completed a senior honors thesis at The University of Houston on gangsta rap and the feminist movement. The Dean of the program tried to talk me out of researching this topic citing it "lacked academic merit" but I "stood my ground" and got it approved.

My husband and I were so excited to finally see the biopic "Straight Outt…

Are you angry?

Anybody can become angry-that is easy but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree at the right time for the right purpose, and in the right way-that is not within everybody's power and is not easy. {Aristotle}

There seems to be so much anger in the world right now. Driving to work and people are angry. Take too long to order your coffee and the person behind you is angry. New laws go into effect and people are angry. Dangle a flag and people are angry. Anger, anger, anger......

We all get angry. No one is above that. But why are we so angry these days and why are we taking to the computer to vent our frustrations? Do we realize that we can actually insult or turn people away with a current state of emotion which may not even reflect who we fundamentally are?

There are few wastes of time greater than arguing on social media with a complete stranger. You aren't going to type anything that immediately changes their views and why are you investing time and energy…

Thinking Inside the Box with Influenster

I recently signed up on Influenster to flex my social media muscle and test some really cool products for free at the same time! To my pleasant surprise, I received a box of products that I could actually use and products that I will actually run out and buy.

Let me start off by saying that these opinions are my own and even though I received the items below to test, I would be honest if I did not like anything sent. Okay, now that is out the way, let's talk about the box!

The food items included Bear Naked granola, Nasoya Pasta Zero and Beanitos. Of the three, the beanitos chips were my favorite. Who would have ever thought that a black bean could be made into a tasty high fiber and gluten free snack chip available in several flavors and even cheese puffs? Say what now? I paired the chipotle BBQ with mango blueberry mint infused water and it was great!

The beauty products were fun and again, I was surprised that I could actually use them. The colors and products were perfectly s…

Down in the Dumps

No one ever likes to admit when they're under the weather....down....or the taboo word "depressed." For the last month, there have been more rainy days than sunshine and it has made me down. It sucks to feel down when you are usually an upbeat and happy person.

Life isn't always cheerful. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that in order to appreciate joy, one has to get acquainted with sorrow.

I just spent the last 30 minutes belly ache laughing at a facebook post and it inspired me to write this blog post. Yes, good old fashioned laughter is really the best anecdote for the blues. Communicating with people who make you laugh, reading a funny book or watching a comedy is a sure way to make you feel better; if even for a short period.

Some other ways that I have found help lift my spirit when I am down include:

1) Wearing bright colors or fun prints. Walking into a room with bright colors on or a whimsical print is an instant mood lifter and may even invite welcome co…

A Mom In Action

Yesterday on Mother's Day, I witnessed a heartbreaking incident while picking up my dogs from a boarding facility.  There was a young woman who appeared upset and unnerved standing at the counter recounting the night before.

Even though I was out of state, I was well aware that my area had undergone severe weather. The young woman forgot to let her 14 year old dog back into the house and the dog remained outside overnight in the storm. She had brought him into the 24 hour clinic because he had gone into shock. My heart sank when the conversation changed to the possibility of putting the dog down.

The boarding facility attendant was a bit unsympathetic (perhaps passing judgment) so when she walked away to ask the vet a question I turned to the woman and said that I was sorry that happened and that I hoped her dog would make it. She started crying and said that after working 14 hours, she simply forgot to let him back in and added "I know. I am a horrible human being."

I f…

2007-2015 Still learning and surviving

I spent this weekend celebrating my 8th year in remission from stage IIIA triple-negative breast cancer. In normal fashion, I got together with my closest friends and had a grand time. Several of my friends who shared my special days are also cancer survivors and I draw from their strength, humor and zest for life.

Since my diagnosis, I have learned that being in the company of people who not only support you but make you laugh and bring out the best in you is VITAL to my well being and happiness. I no longer stay in relationships that have toxic dynamics no matter the affiliation (family, employer, neighbor, etc.) Once you literally fight for your life, it's easy to walk away from circumstances. You didn't stare death in the face to stare at the enemy daily.

Every year that I reach another milestone, I sit back and honestly reflect on my progress emotionally, spiritually and physically. It's always hard for me to address my flaws and shortcomings but if I truly want to gr…

Celebrating Annaka

I always find the humor in my life. I had to laugh at the excitement I felt when I woke up that today is my dog Annaka's 6th birthday. In order to appreciate my joy, you have to understand what happened to my first pet Cotton who fell two weeks shy of his 6th birthday.

When my husband and Cotton were attacked by pit bulls during a normal routine walk, it was the kindness of a brave and beautiful stranger named Annaka who pulled over and rendered first aid to my bleeding husband until the paramedics arrived. It was one selfless act that provided a little bit of calm and comfort during a very frantic episode.

For the past 4 years, every time we have spoken or loved Annaka, we are honoring a stranger who gave of herself to our family. We are subconsciously reminded that someone you have never met can have a positive and meaningful impact on your life and heart.

Our dog Annaka went blind last summer. She may not be able to see all the beauty in this world but she represents the beaut…

Beware of the Organizational Cowards

"Only cowards hide behind silence."  Paulo Coelho

In any organizational structure, there must be leaders and there must be followers. If you're lucky, those who are most capable and competent are leading the way.

The recent events at OU with SAE fraternity were disturbing to say the least. The poor actions of a few have tainted the public perception of the group and University at large. Several of the young men caught chanting that horrible chant claim they were bullied into it.

Organizations (companies, fraternities, sororities, unions, social groups)  must be careful when appointing leaders and managers because their actions, or lack of, can not only jeopardize public perception; it can make the entire entity liable for wrongdoing.

We've all been there. The manager who harasses, demeans or bullies the new person in an attempt to exert power that they have never had before. The President of a group who rules with an iron fist and presides over meetings by tuning out…

Misplaced Elitism and Criticisms on "Empire"

Fox's runway show "Empire" features the acting talents of two Academy Award nominated actors and a slew of guest appearances by celebrated actors and musicians. With a highly dramatic story line reminiscent of the great shows from the 80's like "Dallas", "Falcon's Crest" and "Dynasty", each week those seeking pure entertainment are well served.

I was pleasantly surprised when a White female colleague told me that she loved "Empire" and particularly liked Cookie's character. She said that Cookie was a "strong woman who would do anything to protect her family." It got me to thinking that my colleague saw a positive character while social media tends to see the show as "buffoonish" or "coonish." While Cookie may not be presented in Claire Huxtable fashion, she is a strong mother character. We often see what we open our minds to accept.

Black communities are the only communities who collectivel…

Don't poke the bear!

"The puritan hated bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators."Thomas Babington Macaulay
Deep within all of us lies a ferocious spirit. Most times, it is dormant and at other times it is like a beast startled in the dark by a sudden twig snapping.

For most of my life, I have had to struggle with anger issues and a constant need to battle.  As a child, I had a lot to be angry about. As an adult, I fight for what I perceive to be righteous and I go to war for those who can't fight for themselves. I have a fundamental desire to do what I feel is not only right for those around me but a desire for truth, equality and fairness in the world I have no choice but to live in.

This past week has been a tremendous challenge to my inner warrior. My father instilled in me repeatedly that sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut and choose your battles carefully. An interesting paradigm because often keeping silent in the …