Time to Get Realistic (My #2018Goals)

We're midway into January, folks, which means some of us are still making a go of our "New Year/New Rules" and others have already dispensed of those lofty goals. 

I used to make annual goals in a thick spiral notebook. At the end of every year I'd look at said goals to see I accomplished a very small amount or simply forgot an abundance of what I had planned for myself. That's when I tried to minimize my aims on a quarterly basis. That also didn't work because for one, things happen. New opportunities, different places to focus my energy, and of course the unexpected be it my health or other things outside of my control.

I've always kept in mind Tayari Jones' post about realistic goal setting years ago on her blog. This post in opposition to or maybe a complement of #NaNoWriMo. What Tayari proposed was not setting ourselves up to fail. What are the most realistic intentions you can set for yourself without breaking the bank and looking back as though you're a failure? 

Much of the time I ignore my own health in the interest of getting things done (usually for other people). So far every year I have lessened and/or made firm demands on my time. I've quit volunteer positions that soaked up too much time & energy. I've flat out told people I will be paid for my time, especially if it means taking time off of work or leaving the city of New York. Even if I could use the money I have said no to jobs that I know would be emotionally taxing. And I can tell you I don't regret quitting unpaid jobs or saying no to instances when I'm not compensated/respected. 

Things aren't going to get easier in life. Yeah, I'm less stressed in ways than I was during my divorce though other stressors arose and expectations from other areas have come financially as well as time-wise. As me and many others have learned: No one is going to swoop up and save you. So it's time for us to save ourselves.

For one month, starting on MLK day, January 15th. I'm setting daily goals for myself that are attainable as long as I keep myself accountable and focus my attention & efforts. It means parsing out what is important and limiting what isn't. I'm partly writing it here for accountability. I came up with this several days ago, but realized if I attempted to do a one-day turnaround I was again setting myself up to fail. I took a few days to consider what I wanted and when I would start and to commit to this for 1 month before making this a new life change situation. 

Here goes:

  • Write for 1 hour a day (minimum)
  • Meditate for 10 minutes a day (minimum)
  • Do some form of exercise/movement (duration can vary)
  • Write at least 1 reason to be grateful in journal friend gave me
  • Always remember to breathe
  • Do not get on social media first thing in the morning
  • No social media on weekends
  • Read a poem every day

Wish us all luck in meeting our goals. I'll post again on February 16th to note how I did and where I may have flubbed. No stress and no excuses. 

The Dangers of the Rumor Mill and Hearsay (for Marginalized Folk)

The gossip/rumor mill is dangerous territory. Asses got beat in my middle and high school years for these kinds of transgressions (she said you said along with I heard from so and so). Most of the time I saw this result in physical confrontations between girls, but boys were not exempt. True story: I saw a fight begin and end in a matter of 10 seconds when a guy walked up to my best friend’s boyfriend on the street, his own posse huddled behind him ready to go, and said “I heard you said s*** about me in the school cafeteria.” In one swift motion the guy hiked up his jeans and lifted his chin ready for action. His people spread out and my friend’s boyfriend surveyed those around him weighing whether he was going to get tag teamed or this was mano y mano. They spread out, did that boxing jump in prep for battle, and my friend’s boyfriend landed a punch to the guy’s nose that bled instantly. The guy backed away, said “Oh s*** my nose.” That was it. The boyfriend and I got on the next Q44. I said “If someone had blinked you’d have missed the whole thing.” Days, maybe even a couple of weeks later the guy and my friend’s boyfriend gave each other daps in the cafeteria as if nothing had happened. It was an unnecessary lesson.

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Year of ME

Today's my 35th Birthday! It seems fitting to post a reflective piece being another year older. Here goes... The day it released I received a copy of Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes. I don’t often read self-help(ish) type books. But hey the book came with the tickets of her appearance at the 92Y so why not? 

Here’s the premise: One day Shonda Rhimes of all people has a metaphorical wake-up when she realizes she’s not happy. One of the most power women (of color) in television was not happy. She tended to hole herself up and not do things that scared her or took her out of her comfort zone. She was happiest when with her kids, in her jams/sweats, and/or writing. She was not someone who was into parties or public speaking, these things freaked her out easily. 

So she decided to challenge herself for one year. She was prompted by a comment from her sister who essentially said she never said “yes” to anything instead going on to complain about all the invites to events, being super busy in her success, and so on and so forth. However, she didn’t indulge in the celebrity life people were asking her to be a part of. She really wasn’t living period. And then, voila she made a change and while it wasn’t immediately soothing over time she got over those hurdles and realized that once something that terrified her was over and done with she didn’t die. Life goes on.

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Let the #CookBookTrials Begin ...

My newest blog post series is the #CookbookTrials. Every month I'll try a handful of recipes from one of many cookbooks I have (yet) to utilize and report back on results and who this book may be good for. Stick with me on this one and don't read if you're hungry. Just sayin'.

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#ArtistTherapy: On CPs and Sensitivity

In this month's #artisttherapy let's talk critique partners (CPs) and the inherent sensitivity we all have (whether you want to admit it or not) when it comes to getting feedback on your work.

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