Day 5 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

I did write yesterday, but it was just a brief paragraph as CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) beat my behind. I’m a tad better today and this topic wasn’t difficult to write about.

List five places you want to visit

1. Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History and Culture located in Washington D.C

Museum Website

I’ve heard and read so much about this museum. It took a long time to get the project completed and I’ve heard from people who have made the trip that it is a must see and it’s emotional. I enjoy learning history in a museum setting. African American history is American history and it should be celebrated.

b. Hawaii

Hawaii Tourism

Since I was a kid and watched the 3-part episode of The Brady Bunch, this was on my travel list. The birthplace of our 44th President has sun, sand and surf.How could you go wrong?

2. The Hall of the Great Vow for Kosen-rufu located in Shinanomachi, Tokyo.

The Hall of The Great Vow

SGI Headquarters History Video

Similar in scope to visiting the Vatican for Catholics or Mecca for Muslims, this is the destination for SGI Nichiren Buddhists. It’s the headquarters where we can visit and renew our commitment to promoting world peace and individual happiness.

3. The Champs-Elysées and all the sites near it. Located in Paris France

Paris Tourism

It is Paris! It’s considered one of the greatest avenues in the world. There are museums, shops and other touristy things to do.

4. Grenada – The Spice Island

Grenada Tourism

The maternal side of my family history is in Grenada. I would love to visit the Isle of Spice and have an inside glimpse of my personal history. It’s warm too, which I realize is better for my health.

5. Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos Tourism

I like the beach. Every photo that I’ve seen of Turks and Caicos makes me want to see it up close.

a. Cuba

Cuba Travel

I’m adding this one because it’s been forbidden since the 1960’s. For the culture and for the experience, I think I would enjoy myself as I learn and observe a place only about 1400 miles from Florida.

I don’t have a clue when I going to any/all of these places, but when the time comes, I have a list to choose from.

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Day 3- 30 Day Writing Challenge

I keep plugging along with this Writing Challenge and I’m rather proud of myself. I thought this was a good one to share.

Day 3

What are your top 3 pet peeves.

1.Seeing poor spelling and grammar on social media.

I guess this would have to include: speaking using bad grammar too. I’m not talking about slang. I mean real words we use in everyday conversations.

I can’t help but judge an adult who has completed all their schooling, that doesn’t know the difference between there, their and they’re. Then, there is the phrase “Sorry for your lost “ instead of loss, when someone passes away.They are not missing persons. I read statuses and memes where I’m silently correcting the grammar and spelling as I go along. It’s rather draining. We can do better.

2. People without manners, courtesy or good hygiene.

a. People neglect to say, “Excuse me, Thank you and Please.” Whatever happened to saying thank you when someone holds open a door for you? A person is exiting a door you are walking into and they hold it open, as you enter. You should say, Thank You. When someone does something for you, you should say Thank You.

b. When there are people in a room and you walk in, don’t just pass through, not acknowledgingthem. You should use a greeting of some kind. Good morning, Hello, Hi are all good ones.

c. Sneezing or coughing into the air without covering your mouth. It allows your germs to travel and possibly touch me. I do not need additional germs.

d. Please wash your hands as you leave the restroom. Not doing this is another way to share your germs. You share doors, knobs, pens, etc… with other people. Sometimes you want to touch people with your unwashed hands or handle food with those same hands. Do not do it. Please don’t.

3. People that are always in a bad mood, filled with negativity and never appear to be pleasant.

Life is very complicated and we do have to go through life together. If you can’t smile because things are challenging for you right now, that is very understandable. I feel that way sometimes. However, I don’t need to see anger and feel doom every time we encounter each other. All that negativity is bad for your body, mind and spirit. Try to find one good thing in every day and keep that thought going until you get home.

If I had to add one more it would be to openly and unashamedly lie without just cause. There are some who only use bits of the truth and omit vital information. It’s still considered a lie.

Do you have any pet peeves? I would love to hear what grinds your gears.

30 Day Writing Challenge Day 1

Today marks the first day of April and the first of a 30 Day Writing Challenge. I haven’t had the energy or inclination to write in some time. The world is topsy turvy and so negative some days. This winter was also very hard on my health. I decided this was a perfect way to refresh my brain, renew my skills and be accountable to write everyday. I can’t promise I’ll blog everyday, but I will write. Here we go….

30 Day Writing Challenge

Day 1

List 10 things that really make you happy.

1. Listening to my favorite songs that span all the decades of my 52 years and earlier. I like just about every genre of music. Sometimes I DJ a concert and “sing” (my version of singing) or lip sync, in my bedroom with my headphones on. I create playlists depending on my mood.

Don’t get me started on Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Gladys Knight,The King Of Pop Michael Jackson, Diana Ross or Prince. I could go on for a long time with those artists. I also do this with YouTube videos and post them to Facebook.

I also really find it funny when I see the lyrics of songs and realize I’ve been singing them wrong forever.

2. Whenever I can get a good nights sleep without waking up too many times. It’s like winning the lottery.

3. When I prepare a meal that tastes exactly the way I imagined it would taste, with all the seasonings just right.

4. Getting up and realizing I have minimal pain, discomfort and have some energy. Fibromyalgia and all the other ailments are in the background of that day. I’m alive and breathing. Yay!

5. Watching entertaining television shows and sometimes watching online and discussing plot points with my friends. Empire and Scandal are really good shows to share with other people.

6. Reflecting fondly on past good times with family who have now passed away, especially holidays, inside jokes and the food we ate.

7. Knowing that I’m still able to create value with my life, helping others reach their greatest potential. I look forward to seeing them reach their goals. I get to keep my mind sharp. It’s a win win situation. Chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo every day helps to remind me; I still have a lot to

offer the world and a mission to accomplish.

8. Catching up and laughing with my family and good faithful friends realizing its best to keep my circle small. My small circle has many wonderful, generous, smart, witty and true people inside of it.

9. Getting out to a movie, concert, play or musical or restaurant. I don’t get to do them often, but when I do, I make sure I have maximum enjoyment.

10. Sitting down with a good book where I’m transfixed by the plot, wrapped in a blanket and drinking a hot cup of tea.

10a. Sharing a funny joke or video that has made me cry laughing.

I am attaching the 30 Day Writing Challenge I am using that I found online. Feel free to join me at anytime this month.

Success Requires a Jump!

Recently, I did a writing assignment along with the adult students I tutor. We were talking about the goals they have set for themselves.  I gave them a quote with a photo of someone skydiving and ten minutes to write about it. The quote was, ” Success requires a jump! No jump! No reward! “ I’ve added a bit more to the original piece. Here is my take on what that quote means to me.

In life we all have to jump. Jumping is taking a leap when we don’t know where the landing is. In life we must take chances, even if we are afraid. Courage builds as we fight self doubt and self defeating thoughts.

I’ve taken many jumps in life. I’ve taken exams, taken classes and pursued work that scared me. I was especially fearful, yet driven when people told me I couldn’t do it. Never tell me I can’t do something,  I will then do everything I can to prove you wrong. I’m a hard headed Capricorn. I am ambition driven.

I jumped after a heart attack and gathered the strength to go to cardiac therapy on days I couldn’t gather much energy. Even, the therapists said I was in bad shape and looked exhausted for months. I’m getting stronger and getting my energy back. My goal was healing and returning as a tutor. I knew the students needed me and I knew I could help them.

I jump towards my goals. I jump to find balance in my life. I jump everyday when I get out of bed. I jump to get where I want to go, every moment of the day.  No one succeeds standing still.

You must jump to get all the things in life that you desire. You can’t listen to others voices. You must hear your own. Winning is my goal.

I have to pursue goals with the heart of a lion, who defeats all other animals in the jungle.  I have to fight to be successful.  I have to try and take risks.  I can not be successful. without jumping every chance I get.

I may win or I may get disappointed.  Disappointments happen but they prepare me for something better.  I won’t limit myself, even when I’m afraid.

 

I will get back to writing and musing in this blog more often. It’s really been a long time.

Jump

Inspiration

It’s been awhile since I have been inspired to write. There has been so much turmoil in our country recently and my mind became blocked. There was a lot I wanted to say, but couldn’t get it out. Three mass shootings, particularly the loss of the Emanuel 9 in South Carolina really hit me in the heart and mind. When you can’t sit in your place of worship peacefully, have fellowship and pray, something is wrong.

Guns are in the hands of the wrong people. The power that the NRA appears to wield needs to taken away. Ask all the parents and family members whose lives have been violently taken by a gun, how they feel? Nothing significant happened after the Sandy Hook shooting where first graders were murdered. Gun control laws should have been changed and thoroughly enforced since then.

There have been the deaths of unarmed black people, Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland and Sam DuBose and unfortunately too many more to mention in one sitting without me crying about the state of the United States.

More people appeared outraged about the death of Cecil the Lion than the deaths of so many humans. I understand completely the outrage and sadness of an out and out murder of a majestic creature. The American dentist who killed him may be extradited back to Zimbabwe for prosecution, He may even serve some time for his crime. He has received so much backlash he had to close his dental practice. I hope they throw the book at him.

But, lately, too many black humans have been losing their lives through out and out murders and the police brutality continues and some will never pay for their crimes.  With all of these stories, happening so close together I needed something to help me release.

Music has always been my solace and something that increased my joy throughout my life. I can’t recall a day where I did not have music playing in my ear. There was either the radio, albums, Walkman ,cassettes, CD’s, MP3’s, I-pod and music videos accompanying my days.

I recently lost a Facebook friend who was an encyclopedia of music of all genres. She died suddenly at age 46 and although we never met, we talked though Facebook for years. I celebrated with her this past May when she graduated. Her loss hurt, like I lost a family member. Again I sought solace through music and I remember her every time that I check out the music groups where we were both members. I miss you Note!

Music was the key to my inspiration. I had tickets a week ago to see Jill Scott in concert. She sang her hits and new songs from her new album Woman as she celebrated 15 years in the music business and I was incredibly blown away by her talent, confidence and humor from the stage. I wanted to write about it but my schedule was crazy attending aquatherapy (warm water pool is everything), going to an osteopathic psychiatrist for back and body pain and attending my Buddhist activities I didn’t have the chance. I did a lot of chanting about my situation and knew I would become inspired to write soon.

This past Friday, I was inspired by seeing veteran R & B acts, Stephanie Mills and The Whispers at the Kings Theatre . Stephanie MIlls came to fame as Dorothy in the all black cast of Broadway’s The Wiz which was later made into a film. Stephanie was in her late teens 40 years ago when she became a star.  She was a girl straight outta Brooklyn and she was excited to be back home. She talked about the 40th anniversary of the show and how she would be in the televised live version scheduled for this December, this time as Auntie Em. She revealed Queen Latifah would be playing the Wiz and Mary J.Blige will play the Wicked Witch of the West. They will be rehearsing in New York. She hoped the powers that be picked a girl from Brooklyn to play Dorothy. I’m looking forward to watching it.

In between her reminiscing she gave us the greatest hits she had as a solo singer. She wore a tight black dress and as she later told us, she is 57 years old and a hot tamale. The show started with Never Knew Love Like This Before and then we were treated to the rest: What Cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’, Something in the Way (You Make Me Feel), You and I (a personal favorite), Putting A Rush On Me, I’ve Learned to Respect The Power Of Love, Feel The Fire (here she held one hell of a note and showed all of her vocal prowess),

She then went on to I Feel Good All Over, her version of UpTown Funk by Mark Ronson ft.Bruno Mars (which was kick ass!!), Put Your Body In It (taking us back to disco days and Studio 54 and she gave a shout out to the late Rick James) and finally Home (her signature song from The Wiz and perfect for the woman returning to her childhood beginnings). She sang her heart out and did it with all kinds of passion. She did all kinds of vocal acrobatics! Her body did acrobatics as she shook her booty, dipped it low and dropped it like it was hot.

Watching her do all this in heels on a under hot stage lights made me even more aware that 57 doesn’t have to equal old unless you want it to be. She has inspired me to really work hard to put these chronic illness’ and pains behind me so I could be like her in a few years. I want more fun in my life. She was bouncing all over that stage and I felt so good watching and admiring her voice and youthful spirit.

Part two of the show featured The Whispers who are celebrating 50 years of being in the music business. As one of the twin brothers Scottie said, They never would have thunk it that they would still be on stage performing. He said we even have merchandise to sell now and they were available in the lobby. They took us back in time. They began with And The Beat Goes On, then went on to entertain with In The Mood, Is It Good To You, Keep On Loving Me, Say Yes, In The Raw, Lady, Love is Where You Find It, Olivia (Lost and Turned Out )Chocolate Girl, I Wanna Know Your Name and finished off a magnificent show with It’s A Love Thing. They were smooth, silky and energetic, as they crooned and danced and made us laugh and reminisce in their royal blue jackets with gold insignia.

I walked out feeling so full of life and energy even though I was exhausted. I had great aisle seats but had to keep getting up so others could get to their seats. I felt like I ran a marathon and my back and knees were beating me up the next day. Even though I have physical limitations I am determined more than ever defeat them. I want to really live during my fifties and sixties and do the things I’ve written and posted on my vision boards over the years.

I’m chanting for peace in our world, for more happiness with less violence and hate for all humankind. I’m chanting for  a full and happy life for myself. Thank you to music for opening the block. Thank you Jill Scott, Stephanie Mills and The Whispers for the entertainment and joy you have given to me over the course of your spectacular careers.

It took a month and a half, but I’m back to writing. I am happy and grateful.