When XMas comes before Halloween.

20151024_123525 (4)XMAS IN OCT?

Call them the  Grinches Who Stole Christmas!

Right now, I despise all things Christmas because retailers have taken my joy of anticipation.

Am I the only one who’s wondering when will retailers stop bombarding consumers with massive Christmas displays and hundreds of decorations?

You-hoo! It’s October!

Walmart, Sams and CVS stores and even supermarkets are putting Halloween decorations out next to Christmas items. For me, it’s bothersome because I feel bombarded by perhaps greed over “the need” to allow people enjoy one holiday at a time.

     Psychologically, retailers are banking on buyers who want to get their Christmas items out the way or who want “first dibs” on merchandise, even if they have to pay full price. That way, they feel on Black Friday, they won’t have to fight the crowds who are trying to get the bargains.

Then there’s the other consumers, who want to buy now because the merchandise may not be there later.

Thomas, a friend of mine, says he doesn’t see a problem with the early display of Christmas items.

“I get it’s still Halloween, but there’s a segment of shoppers like myself who doesn’t really mind that Christmas displays. I think the retailers are  supplying customers demands to shop early.

Call these Scrooges selfish because some of us still like to nostalgic of easing into the holidays. For me, I like to see one holiday usher itself out and have that mental break/rush before I start thinking about the upcoming holidays.

Remember the days leading up to Halloween, when as kids we would be making pumpkins, decorating our houses and we would be putting together our costumes? And who can forget the joy of  watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” special?

But these days, there’s this mad rush of Halloween and then abruptly going right into Christmas. Thanksgiving feels non-existent to me these days.

Already, I’ve seen a Christmas commercial on tourism, their wonderful annual attractions, its offerings, highlights and of course, discounts

“Come experience the wonderful, magic of Christmas as we take transport you back to the good old days of warm coco, families gathering, a dazzling array of lights and rides you have to experience…..”

Even at my favorite Park, which is an attraction, they have pumpkins out if full display, but already they’re gearing up for the holidays.

Crews will be out in full force putting up lights and in two weeks, they’ll work day and night to transform the park into Winter Wonderland. I don’t have a problem when they turn on the lights on mid-November. Anytime before, I think it’s too much, too soon.

My message to retailers and businesses who are bombarding the rest of us who really want to enjoy the natural progression of the holidays: Please stop the madness!

Terms of En-DEER-Ment

 

You’d think after 20 years of walking, climbing, hiking, and driving/riding around Stone Mountain Park, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing/being around deer.

But, here’s the problem: I fear deer.

That’s right, Bambi.

According to Yahoo Answers, fear of deer is called Cervidaphobia (pronounced sir-vee-day phobia.)

Conquering this fear is still a process—I assure you.

This fear hasn’t derailed my habitual exercise mojo. Here’s what I’ve told myself over the years in dealing with issues:

 Deer are natural and annual inhabitants of the Mountains.

They’re as common to the park as the granite itself.

I’m the visitor.

I’m in their territory.

 

Even though I know all this, I’m still prone to the heart palpitations, sweating, shaking and wanting to bolt.

Whether walking, climbing or driving, I still feel spooked seeing deer magically pop out of nowhere!

The Stone Mountain deer—as I call them—nonchalantly just saunter across the street, (la-la-la); they’re casually munching on vegetation or lying down—in broad daylight—watching humans like me for sport.

Throngs of visitors between the April-August, doesn’t seem to faze these bad boys. In fact, I get the feeling the Stone Mountain deer are like the greeters at Walmart: Welcome! Did you enjoy yourselves? Ya’ll come back and see us soon!

To this day, I struggle with pinpointing why I am so fearful of these seemingly, calm and complacent animals?

What do they represent to me?

In my mind, I’m intimidated by their size and their bulkiness. Maybe, I’ve seen to many episodes of “When Animals Attack” or something. They are wild animals, I reason.

I’ll never forget my deer encounter that I blew wa–ay out of portion.

My worst fear materialized, when a pack of deer ran right out in front of me!

Zoom!

Zip!

Wham!

I thought I was going to pee on myself!

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Help me! Help Me!” I hollered at the top of my longs.

I worked myself into such a frenzy, these two guys came barreling to my rescue.

“Oh, honey!” one of the guys said as he comforted me “these deer aren’t interested in you.”

“That’s reassuring,” I said laughing at the way he dismissed my histrionics and my fears

“Right!” the other guy chimed in. “Those deer are long gone chasing some tails—pun intended.”

“Tell ya what, we’ll walk down with you,” the guys offered and I wasn’t refusing.

As a trio, we locked harms and we’re happily walking down the mountain.

Coincidentally, my screams also alarmed the guy I was seeing at the time.

Every time we climbed, I’d stop in mid-stride paralyzed with fear and frozen. Many times, he has felt my death grip on his arm.

Poor fellow and poor deer!

I’ve tried many tactics to give the deer fair warning that I was approaching such as singing (run, hide escape deer!) music, clapping, and clanging my keys.

Yes, I’ve done the most.

Deer Update.

For the past few months, I calmed myself considerably. There’s still quickening of the heart, but I trick myself:  I see them, but then I don’t.

Simply: I keep it moving.

They’ve finally trained me!

A Loving Tribute to my Ride and Die Girl

My Ride and Die Girl

She told me it would happen.

I didn’t listen.

I was in denial.

I was “in love.”

In my eyes, heart, and mind, he could do no wrong.

She knew me.

We were friends for 20 years.

Many days, we laughed, talked, cried, swapped secrets and solutions.

With her, I was the REAL me.

Faults and all.

She had seen me through my darkest days.

Through my divorce.

Stood by me and with me when my son had Cancer.

The days when I didn’t have one thin dime.

My many careers.

There are many dimensions of me. She was non-judgmental.

Then it happened. My world was changing: I was in a new relationship.

She was the voice of reason.

She knew from experience, headaches and heart break what vulnerability looked like.

She was right there with me each year of my sacrificial relationship I willingly put in with him–only to be hurtfully disappointed.

Longevity doesn’t always mean healthy, she advised me.

But this time, this year, with this man, I had a plan that involved “shared goals and visions.”

He was paradoxical, had abandonment issues and often moody.

She saw it before I did: there was no future.

He had taken me to ground zero too many times.

There were hosts of other deal breakers, but I choose to only see the best in him.

At this point, she didn’t hold back.

She couldn’t stand to see me suffer.

She was taking a big risk.

But she had to say it.

You’ve made the sacrifices.

He remained stagnant in all areas.

He’s not the one. Period.

She’s heard me cry too many times.

She knew I’d accept him back.

Unconditionally.

Even though he broke my heart, I forgave him.

I was willing to do more, try harder, compromise.

She already knew it wasn’t going to work.

But this time, she came spiritually.

“God has something/someone better for you.”

Her truth convicted me.

 “God wants your undivided attention,” she told me.

She was on point.

I hit the rock bottom.

I was an emotional wreck.

She loved me unconditionally.

Unequivocally.

Undeniably.

She loved me through the piercing pain and she reminded me that how much God loved me.

“You are His child; so, He removed what was harmful and pouring into your love, guidance, and acceptance.”

I’ll never forget the day she found me in the fetal position, curled up, not wanting to face the world.

She cradled my head, wiped my snotty nose, wiped my tears and put me to bed.

He’s long gone.

Two strikes he’s out.

She’s still here.

God sent her to me.

Ride and Die.

Friends for so many years.

Sisters forever.

She’s already told me, she ain’t going nowhere.

And it is so.

 

Cure All for being Home Alone

I’m the type of person who probably shouldn’t be home alone for long duration of time.

Long stretches of time—weeks, months, years– at home alone when I’m not working or in-between   jobs, reminds me that each day counts and matters.

I matter.

Some people are perfectly fine with solitude like my friend Debbi. Although, she works out every morning, she works as a Real Estate agent, she says she loves, loves, loves being in her house. Most days, if she doesn’t have to go out, she’s indoors.

“My home is my sanctuary,” she explains. “I absolutely love my home and have no problem entertaining myself at home.”

We’re complete opposites. I can do things at home, such as write, home projects and take care of business via computer, but at some point of the day, I’m itching to get out.

Being at home has its advantages, but sometimes, I feel claustrophobic. Maybe it’s just a mind thing, but there are times visit Panera Bread, walking, my favorite coffee spot and my favorite super market that has a built-in coffee store/dining area–just to get out of the house.

In short, I am a people magnet. I have no problems talking to stranger–in fact, I enjoy it!

When I was home with my children, I knew I had to go out and work. Being home alone with children and when they went to school, got old for me.

These days, I feel the pang of loneliness more so during the weekdays.  Why? Because most of my friends/associates are working!

Some days are clearly action packed: there’s my to-do list, running errands, taking care of business and every once and while hanging out with a friend.

That is why, I am actively searching for meaningful work. These days, I made hard choices not to work at jobs that I don’t enjoy. Or having a job just to have a job. And no, I’m not rich where I can sit home and wait for the perfect job to show up.

I’m ready to end my home alone days. Ideally, I would love to work part-time, 3 days would be ideal. The other two days, I would be promoting my dream of writing and publishing novels, blogging and working on a business.

One thing that being at home I have plenty time for serious introspection about my life, exploring and trying to design my future, looking at ways to improve my skills and thinking about how I feel about male partnership.

I discovered I  enjoy being home alone without feeling I need to fill my time with a relationship—that will come—it’s just not now.

Home alone is temporary, I tell myself as weeks go by and I haven’t secured a job—it’s in the works and I know God is working out the variables for me.

My next week plan is to join a Meet Up Group to find other people/professionals who also home alone for making good solid connections, have fun, doing something productive and perhaps learning something news.

Check out a local Meet Up Group in your area. Simply go to MeetUp.Com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear of Failure? You’re not Alone.

Even the most qualified/confident among us, harbors the fear of failure.

I have a friend who by anyone’s standard who is the epitome of success.

For starters, she holds Ph.D. in Science and has years of experience teaching “hard to reach” Middle School students.

Her resume extols her many accomplishments.

After many years of inside political backlash, the mental anguish took its toll.

This year, she went looking for new opportunities.

Over the summer, she landed her dream job!

Duties consist of teaching high achievers classes—which comes with its own set of expectations—secure and find science programs/internships for her gifted students.

Wait! It gets better!

Incentives includes higher salary, networking with other Science professionals throughout the state, and less hassle. No more working long hours. Hello, to working 7-Noon. Two days out of the week, she’s required to travel to check her students’ progress and exchange ideas with other professionals in her field.

I gave her a high-five and we continued to talk. Humbly, she attribute her success to God’s favor. Her transition from one school to the next was dramatic.

There was “trouble” processing her paperwork, which was not submitted by deadline among other undercover tactics. The superfluous hurdles was a deliberate attempt to stymie her efforts. And it almost worked.

“The enemy tried everything he could to stop me, but it didn’t work,” she said as her eyes turned moist.

Then a true miracle happened. Her new principal became her staunch supporter. With his help, she was able to navigate the obstacles and received a monetary reimbursement.

We embraced in victory! Then, she paused and took a deep breath. I was surprised  by her next statement.

“While this is a great opportunity, I am so scared!” she blurted out.

“Scared?” I questioned and the reiterated her God-given talents.

Her eyes met mine. “I’m afraid of failure. I don’t want to fail,” she said.

“Failing is not even an option,” I assured her. “You are equipped to succeed, all you have to do is step into your destiny with confidence.”

Where is this fear coming from?

She was able to trace her fear back to high school. As one of few blacks in Science classes in a majority white school, she had to succeed. Why?  To dispel the stereotype that Blacks and Science don’t mix. Her fear of failure pushed her to excel.

Turns out when it comes to fear of failure, my friend is far from alone. At some point in our lives, we feared something. When fear cripples us, it’s a problem. Fear of new things, opportunity, people, locations, relationships, professional opportunities, oftentimes causes people to stay in their comfort zone.

In Henri’s Wake Up Cloud article on 13 Incredibly Simple Ways to Overcome Fear, he states “the more you fail, the more you succeed. The difference between the successful and the not-yet-successful is the realization that failure is simply a stepping stone, not a permanent event.

My friend started her job three months ago, and I’m happy to report, she survived! How?

She says acknowledging fear, honoring when fear is present, then work on conquering fear.

Forward, my friend!