Tag Archives: achievement
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.
I think we all have done enough for other folks,
Trying to get them to
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
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
He walks tucks metal lunch bucket under his arm other hand casual waves
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,
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
home Man home
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?
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
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 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
he only heard the sound of his pretty wife saying to his son
You can sleep a few more minutes until Daddy gets home
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!
he heard a loud bang
he began to turn but the bullet spun him around
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
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
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.