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The 3 Ds of Dynamic Presentations

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The 3 Ds of Dynamic Presentations

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Spring Purge

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Spring is the time of year when I usually purge. I get rid of old handbags and seldom worn shoes. Purging my closets, cabinets and drawers… making room for new things.

This year, I piled torn blouses, worn out pants and surplus coffee mugs into bags and boxes to be given away, thrown away or sold. It hit me that it’s time to purge other things too. It’s time to purge and get rid of the things that are holding me back in this second half of my life. It’s time to get rid of those old fears and feelings of discontent. It’s time to get rid of those old doubts and insecurities.  It’s time for me to begin to blow my own horn and get rid of that bushel basket under which my light has been hiding.

Sadly, It’s time to purge some people and places from my life too.

Don’t get me wrong! This is not a sob story. No, not at all! I am pretty proud of my life accomplishments.  I have great hope for the future. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, dreams are not just for the young!

This purging though, feels… healthy! Feels right. Feels like I can travel light. It’s like I’m building a minimalist life. Less to maintain, less to care for but still adequate, appropriate and even creative.

Think I’ll run on and see what the end will be.

 

 

 

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I think we all have done enough for other folks,

Trying to get them to

Do more

Be more

Care more

IMHO,

It’s high time we did something for ourselves

Something big and positive

Something awesome and explosive

Something to be remembered for a long time

Let’s do something selfish

Really selfish so that we can leave it as a legacy for our children and theirs

Not the selfishness but the magnificence

Let’s do something earth-shaking world-changing unimaginable

And then pat ourselves on the back and smile

Something that will make everyone else who is not doing it sad that they didn’t join us!

Come on, let’s do it for real just for ourselves

We can start right now and love each other all the while

I’ll go first if you promise to follow

And we can motivate each other to

Do more

Be more

Care more.

OK?

Black Man Running

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It seems odd to me that, at this time of year when I am usually sad about and missing my mother, my father has been on my mind so much.  A lot of recent circumstances and conversations have focused my thoughts on him and who he was and how I became who I am because of him and, as you will soon learn about, the lack of him.

I wrote this piece about my father a while back.  I have never published it and have only allowed one person to read it before now…but it seems I am in a period of healing and prayerfully, renewal.  I guess it is time that I let go of some of the things that I have held onto so tightly for so long.  So, here it is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was 5 AM.  Early morning early cold 5 AM and he had just finished his shift.

Gray workshirt and pants black workboots over full body thermals under dark work jacket against early morning early cold 5 AM cold.

Midwestern early cold wind cut across his head and face, so cold he pulled a dark wool cap from his dark work jacket pocket and against early morning early cold pulled it over his needing a haircut head and ears

     ahhh warm.

He walks tucks metal lunch bucket under his arm other hand casual waves

      See Ya 

with that you know upward nod to his boys and heads off to home.

Him, a husband now not so new anymore but still amazing after five years

that he goes home,

home that word so amazing that he has to say it twice sometimes

     I’m going home Man home to a wife so pretty and sweetmean

and his son just three and looking exactly like him

still sleeping now and his baby daughter tiny brown delicate smelling like a new baby daughter

powdery and made to be hugged

thinking about her made him smile and more warm so

he walked faster

faster to home

home where his pretty wife now awake and shuffling softly through the house,

their home,

would be rubbing sleep from her brown eyes and ironing her skirt for work

so she would be dressed and in the kitchen stirring soft scrambled eggs

glancing at two strips of bacon and hoping for enough butter for toast,

coffee in the old percolator that her mother gave them

said it made coffee good enough for his father in law while father in law

worked at the steel mill and now that son in law was on at the plant

he would need good black coffee too.

Thinking of his pretty wife moving her lovely hips back and forth in front of the stove timing his eggs so that the eggs would be hot soft scrambled the way he liked

just as he walked in the door not too cooled down or not yet ready so he would have to wait

made him move faster

he started a jog to get home faster

his home where his pretty wife would be warming a plate and cup for him

and son who looked just like him big headed and long brown legs

already the eyes of a son who knows his father works but plays with him too and

delicate baby daughter who needed lots of hugs.

The jogging became a run

a feeling good in the early morning early cold run that would get him home and

when he got home sooner because he ran,

she would pretend to be angry and it would make him smile while he ate his soft scrambled eggs that she would pout and

he would smack her lightly on the behind

Him only 27 and not spotless but now with a home with a pretty wife

a lookalike son and tiny new daughter

Oh he ran faster

on the early morning early cold sidewalk past the bus stop where he didn’t stop

because to catch the bus meant a quarter the he needed to save towards the car that

he wanted to buy so she didn’t have to catch the bus in the early morning early cold to get to work and

some of the fellows from the neighborhood on the way to the dayshift hollered

     Hey Man Where you going in such a hurry

but he only ran faster

running

     home Man home

running

If he got home in time he could watch her finish getting dressed

tucking her blouse in her skirt while he finished his toast and sipped his coffee

then help her bundle the children for the trip to her mother’s so he could sleep,

running past the barber shop and Best Place In Town for Ribs

     Black Man Running! Slow down Man! HaHaHa You running from the law?

Running

she would pretend to fuss over what to have for dinner running so he could tell her not to worry he would cook before his shift

running

and she would turn and smile at him in their house with his son who looked like him and knew daddy worked but played with him too and his delicate baby daughter who needed hugs

Running

Running home to the reason he worked lived breathed ran

running to home his pretty wife and looks just like me son and tiny new daughter who needed hugs

     Stop Police!

Running

he only heard the sound of his pretty wife saying to his son

     You can sleep a few more minutes until Daddy gets home

running

so he could wrap his son up warm in a blanket and his delicate baby girl for the trip to her mothers before she went to work

     Stop or I’ll shoot!

running

he heard a loud bang

running

he began to turn but the bullet spun him around

     No!

away from home

     BANG OHMYGOD BANG

     Home! I need to get home!

warmth spread over his chest and stomach but he wasn’t running anymore

     Did they just shoot that boy?

     Get in the house.  It aint our business.  Go now!

     Oh my God! The police just shot that boy lives down the way!

     Did you see that?

     Hey, why yall shoot that boy?  He wasn’t doing nothing.

His legs still wanted to move kicking a little now and again

     Home Man Home

to his pretty sweetmean wife and his lookalike son who would yell

     Wake Up Daddy Wake up!

at the funeral and his tiny delicate baby daughter who would not get his hugs

but would grow up to write about how he got killed

running

in the early morning early cold on the way home to his pretty wife who was making him soft scrambled eggs two slices of bacon hoping for enough butter for toast.

For My Father, William                                                                                                           (c) May 2, 2006

 

From There to Here

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A few weeks ago, I got together with some of my old friends from college. You know, the kind that really know you but in spite of all that still like you. Anyway, we spent the weekend catching up with each other and remembering old times. It was amazing that so much time had passed in just a blink of an eye.

Of course, someone had to pull out those old photos. There we were, the crew from Wilberforce University.  We were eagerly posed for the camera, full of undergrad bluster only thinly disguising the fact that we were all just trying to find our way.

I saw me staring into the camera, all those years ago. Who was that naïve and arguably innocent young girl? She looked back at me with such hope and anticipation of what was to come… with a youthful confidence that life was going to be good and everything would be just fine.

If only I could tell her some things, I thought.

If only I would warn her about the bad decisions that she would make, about the miscarriages that she would grieve over, the disappointments that she would live through, the loved ones she would lose, the opportunities that she would miss, and about all the things that would seem so important but would turn out to be just the opposite. I wanted to tell her about the people she should avoid and the people she should hold on to and to be a bit more bold and not so trusting. I felt so sad for that girl who was long gone from me.

Then, it hit me. That girl had brought me through some difficult times. Her optimism was what had helped me through life’s crises and challenges. Yes, she had made mistakes but she had achieved some things too. She had had grief and setbacks, as we all will have in life, but she hadn’t let her spirit die.  She had faith and passion and courage and she was a lot tougher than she looked.

I enjoyed my friends that weekend.  I know that from now on, I will reach out more often because time flies.  But when I look at them, I see the girls that we all were and  the women that we have become.

The girl that I used to be was sending me a message across the years. She was saying that life was going to be good and everything would be just fine.  I was proud of her… and I realized that that young girl isn’t such a bad old girl either.

Promises of a New Year

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I know that a lot of folks made resolutions at the beginning of the year. So, here we are about six weeks into the new year and most of those resolutions have been broken or forgotten already. A few years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Resolutions seemed useless and frivolous to me. They were like bad promises that I dont think I ever really intended to keep. Then, I read an article that changed the way I looked at New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t remember the title of the article but the gist of it was to not make resolutions. Rather, the author suggested that one should set a few realistic, achievable goals for the year. That made so much more sense to me. I understand goals much better than I have every understood resolutions and I believed that I could actually achieve them. See, goals are something that you work toward whereas, it seemed to me, resolutions were something that needed to happen immediately. When I set a goal, I immediately create a plan to reach it. Sometimes those plans are very detailed and comprehensive and sometimes not. I try to set goals in different areas of my life. For example, I might make a goal in the areas of health, career, finance, relationships or personal development. Sometimes it is a simple as trying a new hobby or taking a trip to a certain place. It could be a personal acheivement like finishing a project or taking a class. A couple of years ago, I decided to locate and develop a closer relationship with some relatives who live far away and to whom I hadn’t communicated for a while. The important thing is to not just make up goals in your head and leave them there. You have got to write down your goal, timeframe it and figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Give yourself enough flexibility to recognize and take advantage of opportunities as they come to you throughout the year. Get your support network of friends and family on board to help coach you when you need it. Periodically check your progress, say monthly or biweekly, to help keep yourself on track. Lastly, make sure you congratulate yourself and celebrate successful steps toward your goal. If something doesnt work like you think it should, don’t give up. Try a different approach. Again, that is where your support network can be helpful. The good thing about setting goals rather than making resolutions is that you can set goals for yourself at any time. I have set three simple goals for myself this year in the areas of career, finance, and personal development. I have a plan and have made some progress. I will let you know how it goes. If you have given up on your resolutions or if you just want to try goal setting instead, let me know how it goes for you.

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