Archive | February, 2013

The Resurrection of Letter Writing

28 Feb

handwritten

It was a beautiful day outside. I opened the blinds and welcomed the sun into my home. I thought this would be the perfect day to go for a walk, see what the world was doing, and just take it all in. As I was walking towards my closet to get my sneakers, I glanced at my college ruled notebook on the chair. I picked it up and started skimming through it and thought about that time in my life and the people involved. I smiled at the memories and the next thing I know, I was writing a letter.

Three hours later, I finished writing five letters.

I couldn’t help myself. You know how you log on to Facebook or Twitter and you lose yourself to time and sometimes foolishness? (Yes, you do!) Well, I lost time expressing my thoughts and sincere love for those people in my life. I didn’t miss going outside for that walk. There would be more sunny days. Writing those letters flooded my thoughts of memories of passing notes in class in elementary school all the way to high school. I remember feeling the imprint on the paper because we would write with such intensity. My friends had to know I liked so and so; or if we were meeting up later and where. We used any paper we could find – even the paper towel/napkins in the bathroom would be the foundation of our monologues expressing grief of pages of homework or whom we loathed that week. I was especially fond of receiving letters from my family in Jamaica. The first thing I would do is close my eyes and deeply inhale the letter. My Mom would look at me with furrowed brows as I blurted, “It smells like Jamaica.”

I don’t think Mom understood what that meant to me. Those handwritten letters evoked strong, personal emotions. They helped me to relive my visits with my loved ones from playing hand games with my cousins to eating mangos with my Grandfather that he specifically cut up for me. The paper also literally would smell like the country where they were produced. Letters propel you to write and think more with your heart than your brain. They are a beautiful surprise to receive in the mail amongst the junk and bills. You can’t rush through a letter. You must take your time to read and absorb it.

I wish this blog were handwritten so you could know how I feel for this lost art. I implore you to write a letter to someone today. So what your handwriting looks like you write with your knuckles, it’s ok! Go. Write. Today. There are so many pros to writing. Everyone is happy – ok well most are happy…ok, I’m happy. There are only two cons I can think of: writing a letter that delivers horrible news and buying stamps. I would like to think people would deliver horrible news in person or over the phone (not via text) and people can go to the Post Office to purchase a book of stamps. They’re stamps! So what? They’re self-adhesive so you don’t have to lick ‘em!

When was the last time someone received a handwritten letter from you? I would tell you to write me but I’m not giving you my address.

Core Lessons From A Seven Year Old

22 Feb

Core Lessons From A Seven Year Old.

Core Lessons From A Seven Year Old

22 Feb

heart

I do not have children but I have a very dear child in my life that I affectionately call my favorite seven year old. And when his birthday comes around in a few weeks, he will then be my favorite eight year old and so on and so forth until he tells me to stop. Maybe I’ll stop when he’s in college but for now, it’s our thing.

I salute and admire his mother for the way she is raising him.  She has made great sacrifices to ensure the best for his future.  They share profound and mentally stimulating discussions that can perplex even the most educated person on Earth.  This young person has an old man living inside of him. He is intelligent beyond his years, a logical thinker, a giver, and the “mayor” of his school.

He also loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and Bey Blades.

Any time I spend with him, I always leave with morsels to chew on. When I babysit him, I constantly texti his mother of things he said or did. I don’t know why. She lives with him. She knows. Yet, I am always amused how my favorite seven year old brings me back to reality and he has no idea the incredible impact he has had on my life. Here are a few lessons:

Loyalty and Love

This kid is fiercely loyal and protective of his Mama. He should be. Being raised in a single home, they only have each other and they protect each other equally. His love for her is tender, strong, open, uninhibited, and unconditional. He’s not selfish either. He shares these qualities on different levels with people in his circle and I’m fortunate to be one of them.  When he is around, I am not afraid or embarrassed to tell him I love him. I feel a natural protective instinct arise within when we are in public. I don’t even want to play the radio when he is around because I don’t want to corrupt his ears. His youth and innocence is so pure that I want to shield it from the elements called life but I know it is a gift and I cannot be selfish with it. Now if I could do this with adults…

Slow Down

Children do not have a sense of time except bedtime. Any time before that is their time. If I look like I am distracted with work or anything else, he makes suggestions. “You know, you’re more than welcome to watch TV with me.” “You know, I know how to do a cartwheel and you can watch me do them.” “You know, you’re more than welcome to eat food from our fridge.” (Guess I have been looking thin). I will stop what I’m doing to pay attention. I want him to know he is important to me and what he has to say or wants to do is important to me…even the current events of Bey Blade (Lord help me).

Manners

Please, excuse me; thank you, and no thank you go a long way. Period.

Laugh and Dance

This kid has me watching Disney, Nickelodeon, and The Cartoon Network. I admit, they have some funny stuff.  Quite a few of these shows are on On Demand therefore they are on repeat and memorized. After we laugh at them for the third time, he proceeds to show off his moves in the dance routine from the shows and then I’m invited to learn the routine with him. Endorphins are released and all is right in the world.

Hanging with my little homie definitely brings balance to my life and when too much time goes by, my little heart misses him.  With so much bad in the world, am I wrong to hold on fiercely to this little good? I’m looking forward to our next fruitful moments to see what new seeds he will plant in me.

 

What life lessons have you learned from that special child in your life?

 

Reading is Forgotten

20 Feb

My spirit and mind thrives to explore yet, my body is bored

My senses are intrigued and thirst for new

My ability to travel are far and few

But it doesn’t halt me.

 

You see I can escape to anywhere I want to go

From the Caribbean beach to a cabin in the snow

All I have to do is open a book and take a look

The answers are hidden within.

 

Guys, I implore you to bring reading back into your lives and the lives of children you love. Even though we live in the day of so much technology to occupy our minds with senseless shows and games, we need to continue to engage our minds with literature to develop ourselves. Wouldn’t it be nice to discuss something other than The Real Housewives of Any City U.S.A.? Take a look at the New York Times Best Seller list and start this week! Share with me what you are reading these days.

book lounge

Yawn

14 Feb

One of my biggest challenges is relaxing. I have heard numerous times from dear friends that I don’t know how to relax. You don’t know how to be in the moment. You don’t know how to enjoy the moment and blah, blah, blah.

So now that I have some unexpected extra time on my hands, I’m giving this whole “relax” thing a try. What have I done so far?

I drank a glass of wine.

pinot noir

Before, I used to drink a glass of wine either with a meal or when I had a rough, I mean a really rough day. There were times I wanted to skip the glass and swing the bottle to the head but I didn’t. I promise I didn’t. Today, I poured a lovely glass of Pinot Noir and inhaled the aroma deeply. Then, I put dimmed the lights and put on some Miles. I nervously walked to my couch and sat upon it and sipped wine…and listened to jazz. I did not turn on my laptop. I placed turned off my phone.

I lasted four minutes.

Then my mind started whirling wondering what texts or emails did I miss? What is going on in the world? Is Friends playing on TV? What’s on my DVR? I know, I know. I’m pathetic. But guess what? So are you! Well…some of you.  Life goes on without me and half of those people I’m reading about on social media aren’t thinking about me anyway, so I am going to implement the following:

black yogaDo more yoga: Yoga is a great stress reliever, helps reduce anxiety, it’s a great workout and helps to center your mind and body and help you focus. Umm, when is your next class? I need help in all of those areas. I am quite comfortable in the regular class so I can learn the moves plus, the soothing music and the mini nap at the end of the class brings me childlike joy.

Read a bookreading a book I remember a time when I used to read. It used to take me to wonderful places and stimulate my mind to use all those tools of reading comprehension and critical thinking. Where did those days go? They went to my smartphone and laptop. So I’m going to ditch the phone and laptop for a while and walk to my dusty, abandoned bookcase. I’m going to select a great novel, sit in my sunroom, and get lost in beautiful words.

Take a nap: Years ago when I heard the employees at Google were allowed to take naps, I almost brought a cot to work the next day to demand nap time. Quick, power naps really do give you power. Clarity of mind, increase in productivity, and boost of creativity are a few of the great things your body will thank you for.  Two warnings: Three-hour naps are counterproductive (believe me, I tried) and if you suffer from insomnia, naps may not be beneficial to you either (my mom tried).

sleeping

Well, all this typing about relaxing is making me sleepy. I feel a nap coming on. Yawn.

Share with me some ways you relax after you wake up from your nap <wink>