The Break

Spring break
Summer break
Break your fall
Break a leg
Break dancing on a broken table
You are calling for another break
Break this down for me
I’m not so sure I have a good understanding
What is the meaning of this break?
You had one last week
You had three last month
You had more than 12 last year
Every time we take a break you break a part of us
Now that we are broken there are no words to be spoken
In your silence I will continue to live
Give me a break
Or maybe I should give you a break that lasts until infinity
The break of all breaks
No backsies allowed
Break the cycle
Breaking it down, I’m tired of all the breaks
Since I am a broken creature I will get past this break too
The story of my life is on a broken record that keeps playing the same tune

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Celebrating 80 years of life

I have some of the best friends in the world. One of the benefits of having great friends is being able to celebrate with them. My dear friend Yvonne invited me to Louisiana to celebrate her grandmother’s 80th birthday. We had a fun filled weekend from dinner to dancing and everything in between.
How do you want to celebrate your 80th birthday? I wouldn’t mind having a repeat of that weekend. I can’t think of anything better than being surrounded by my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends. Four generations of love were represented at the weekend celebration.
Here is a video of her grandmother dancing and some of the party goers.

Life isn’t fair, is it?

For a few months, the stud would remind us all that, “life isn’t fair.” I must admit I was concerned when he started kindergarten that I would get a note from the teacher telling us he told her and the students that, “life isn’t fair.” One day the two youngest were playing basketball with an imaginary ball and goal. The stud had the “ball” and the little dude was guarding him. Stud kept dribbling and wouldn’t shoot the ball. Little dude got frustrated and said, “that’s not fair, you need to shoot the ball so I can rebound it.” Stud muffin stopped dribbling, looked at me, and said, “life isn’t fair is it momma?” My response was and still is, “no baby, life isn’t fair.”
I love the school my children attend. The are at a local charter school. Charter schools are free schools but not governed by the local school district. One of the many things I love about the school is Business Day. The students who are in second thru fifth grade are encouraged to participate. They develop a business plan, rent a space, fill out a form that explains their business, competition, how they will market their business, who their customers are and how much they will charge for their product or services. Over the last two and a half years we have seen some pretty amazing and some not so amazing businesses. I help my children decide what to sell. We have determined the best customers are the kindergarteners, they will buy anything that is sweet, a sticker or a tattoo. The money they use is money earned from their jobs and good deeds throughout the semester. Yes, every student is assigned a job at the beginning of the year. They have a payday folder where they keep up with debits and credits. They pay the teacher for rule infractions.
Mid year, some parents complained to the president of the PTA and the headmaster about how unfair the business day was because some parents were obviously assisting their children and some were spending lots of money on material and supplies. They were basically crying out, “that’s not fair!” Hello!!! Life isn’t fair. Ultimately the rules were changed and now all student are supposed to make their wares by themselves and not spend any more than $10 for the supplies.
My personal opinion is you are sending the wrong message to your children. Life really isn’t fair or equal and everybody is not a winner. Let that soak in for a moment.
Everybody doesn’t get into the college of their choice. Everybody won’t marry Denzel, Taylor, Brad, Oprah, Justin, Demi, Chris, Jada or Selena. Everybody won’t buy a house and even if they do, they may not have the biggest house in the neighborhood. Have you seen the statistics for the number of college athletes who will actually play professional sports? Everybody can’t get into our school because there is a waiting list. When a job is posted in my department, we receive hundreds of resumes. Only one person gets the job. Life isn’t fair!
The sooner we understand this and begin teaching this to our children, the sooner they can wrap their heads around competition, doing your best and encouraging your friends. I understand the parents were saying the school should level the playing field this providing their child with a better opportunity to succeed. Well, is that fair? Should the playing field be leveled? Should all the children have the same opportunities? I thought the point of the whole exercise was to teach the children about small businesses and how to run your own company. In the real world of business, lots of people start companies but not all of them are successful. Some people do have financial backing and others do not. Some have great marketing teams and other do not.
At what point do we accept the life isn’t fair but chose to live our best lives anyway?

Sticks and Stones

I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” By a show of hands, how many of us know this is not true? The words do hurt and bruise and scar. The wounds go deep. Unlike a topical bruise, you can’t see the progression of the healing. You can’t bandage it or kiss it to make it better.
Will you accept a challenge from me? I challenge you to give a meaningful compliment or say a kind word to one person a day for the next 7 days. Then do the same for two people for the following 7 days.
Say you are sorry when you hurt someone with your words. Say it with meaning. Then try your very best not to hurt them again.

Ice Breaker- Labeling

I recently facilitated a workshop for my team. After reading a blog, my sincerest apologies in advance for not remembering which blog I saw the attached video, I incorporated the video into and Ice Breaker. If I figure it out, I will post the credits.
Why don’t you play along as I describe what I did.
You will need a bottle or cup of water.
Take a label or marker and write one word on the bottle or label. Attach the label to the water bottle or cup.
Watch the video…

My question to my team after watching the video is would you drink the water you just labeled? Most of the team said they would.
Then we had a series of questions and comments. One person asked whether or not a tattoo would have the same effects on us as a label would on a bottle of water. Something to think about.

He and she

It all began on a day when new beginnings where waiting to occur. It was after a breakup but before a makeup. Was it meant to be? On that day, yes it was. It wasn’t about the obvious it was about the underlying current that flowed through the room waiting to whisk them away to a time and place that only this journey could lead them to find.
Was it the stale donuts he offered as a sacrifice? Definitely not. Like Cain he didn’t give his best but a poor rendition of a sacrifice that would not appease the goddess of love. Unlike Cain, he made a second attempt and on the alter he placed what would spark the beginning and the end of something wonderful. Who knew the power of a chocolate chip cookie? He knew but did she?
As she arrived to the meeting location of the first date she rounded the corner to see him standing in the cold in long, black, wool coat. Did he look regal? As though he was the descendent of a king and a queen. Yes, regal, charming and captivating. He captured her heart right then and there. She knew but did he?
The only thing she remembers of that lunch on that afternoon was that smile and several small gestures. He opened the door to the restaurant, pulled out her chair, walked her to her car, opened the door and helped her in. She didn’t see these as insults or gestures aimed at destroying her independence or womanhood. She saw them as an example of his chivalry, regard and consideration. She knew but did he?
Days turned into nights and nights turned into days. Conversations and visitations led to laughter and more smiles.
He had learned, during one of those many conversations, that she liked to dance. They slipped in to a small place and easily found each others’ rhythm and danced to the beat of each others hearts. It was as if they had practiced the dance for months. It was easy and comfortable and familiar. They both knew.
The night did not end the way he had planned. He leaned in, she leaned away with a smile on her face but a look in her eyes that confirmed what he knew but he learned something else in that moment, patience would be his guide and surrender was not her companion. Another day, another date another place in time.
More chronicles of their journey on another day at another time…