Wish N for boots!

“Hello. I’m Lalinda,” I say to my fellow circle of supporters.

“Welcome,” they all say in unison. I have to find my nerve to continue.

All eyes on me. No pressure.

“I’m  a boot-aholic,” I manage to say.

“A what?” the organizer says stumped.

“For clarification purposes, I’m addicted to boots.”

“Gotcha,” they say.

Disclaimer: This is an imagined conversation to a real problem. Just FYI.

There’s not a person alive that doesn’t have an addiction. My sister’s addicted to sweets.  My friend jokingly claims she’s a man-aholic.

My weakness is acquiring and collecting more boots.

I don’t quite know when my boot addiction started, but I absolutely love a nice pair of boots.

Boots are sexy, or should I say, they make me feel sexier.

My willpower goes out the door when I find good boots—as in designer boots, or boots that still have the tags on them at Goodwill or finding bad A, boots online!

At one point, I lost count of the number of boots I had.

Colored boots were always my weakness, they stood out to me like neon signs calling my name.

I couldn’t resist, I tell myself. And the sad part, I didn’t wear half the boots I purchased.

“So, what’s your plans for beating this addiction?” the organizer asks.

“Stop buying the altogether? Stop the boot justifications?”

“Great suggestions, but here’s another. Gradually start giving the boots away. Think of even giving them away as presents to friends/family members.”

Is there such thing as boots withdrawals?

Houston, we have a problem. Time for some serious boot intervention. I must find out what is this predilection for boots, and most importantly, what’s the underlying reason?

Perusing several sites, I stumbled on Today. Com and the article suggest asking yourself these 3 questions “How to do feel when you purchase boots; what’s your motivation and what’s your ultimate gratification?” Here’s my list:

  • Wanting/feeling sexy, especially if I can sport the boots with a hot dress or skirt.
  • Loving the uniqueness of the boots
  • Pure bliss. It’s equivalent to finding the Golden Egg at an Easter Egg Hunt.

And I like article’s suggestions to beat this fixation..

  • Keep a log of spending. It could be an eye opener how much you’ve spent and how you could have used the money for such pleasures as trips, saving/budgeting for big ticket items or giving money to a charitable contribution
  • Expand your possibilities: Instead of shopping, use your time wisely: volunteer, exercise or read a good book
  • Know when to get help: If you feel you cannot stop buying, reach out to Debtors Anonymous via Google. There’s a link that will help you locate a site.

Returning to the meeting in my head, I would like to end on a positive note.

“My name is LaLinda. I’ve given the boots addiction the boot. This year, I’m sticking to the boots (one casual, one dressy) I have, no extraneous boot shopping.  And oh, I’m still sexy with our without boots. Bah!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Can We Talk?” Seriously!”

 

 

“Can we talk?” late comedian Joan Rivers jokingly challenges us and we laugh uproariously—well, at least I do.

The underlying meaning here is more of a statement than a real question. It’s double speak for: “Let’s get real! Let’s be serious. Let’s be Grown Ups and Let’s Be Transparent, shall we?”

Here’s break down Number 2:  No innuendos, nuances, or nebulous/clueless answers or responses.

By now, it’s clear that whoever poses the question is very hopeful that talking will occur. Now, the dynamics of the question changes because it’s now up to the other person to agree/disagree to talk.

When a person asks “Can We talk” it can totally surprise the other person causing an immediate reaction, as in no, or not giving a person time to really think it out. Or, that person might just as ready/eager to talk. Breathe. Many people may opt of “having the talk” because it may involve/entail:

  •  Being honest
  • Taking ownership/responsibility
  •  Being vulnerable
  • Debunking misconceptions
  • Really Listening
  • Clearing up misconceptions
  • Honoring each other’s feelings
  • Being realistic
  • Exposing emotions
  • Willingness to talk about relationship issues

Talking is never easy and gets a little complicated, especially when a there’s been estrangement in a friendship and relationship. Therefore, I solicited the advice from my friend Debra. She and her husband has been married almost 30 years.

“When the question is posed, we treat it seriously. Then, one try to figure out if the issue is urgent or can it be addressed later. If we agree to later, we wait a few days and then pick up the conversation as we agreed to. That way, we both have time to think about the situation and then we work towards resolution.”

The next time, I’m asked or requesting “Can We Talk” I hope to implement to implement three questions to the question: “When, What time and hopefully Where (preferably in person.) My only stipulation to this question would be:” If not in person, I’m willing to have this conversation by phone.” Texting is out for me. Real Talk!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who are the People In Your Neighborhood? Chicago Veterans bring back Old School Neighborhood Values

 

There’s a touching video circulating on Facebook that gives “It takes a Village to raise a child.” to a whole new meaning. In this case, it takes a team of Veterans to ensure that 10,000 children make it to and from school SAFETY. (Go to Youtube and type in NationSwell)

These Veterans patrol the mean streets of Chicago to send an important message to children and those looking to recruit children into illegal activity that these Veterans very presence matters.  One, there’s accountability and 2) there’s immediate intervention. I can only imagine what a relief it is for the school district, parents, the law enforcement and even neighbors knowing these children have comfortably make it their destinations unharmed.

Spoiler Alert:  The Veterans appearance will surprise you. When you see the video, you’ll see why its a win-win situation for youngsters.

 Throughout the video, you may wonder “What’s motivates these Veterans to risk their lives and what are they getting out of this horrific situation?” Here’s the answer. Ready?

“When they come out of the military, there is a moment where they say “Well, what is my new purposes? states  Eli Williamson, Co-Founder of No Veteran Left Behind.

“Doing alright?” a young veteran, who looks like he could be any one of these children’s older brother inquires sincerely.

Anyone who watches this video and grew up in the old school era, when neighbors instituted their own form of  Neighborhood Watch. Everyone watched out for each other. Period.

Here’s what I fondly recall about our Neighbors/Neighborhood

  • They weren’t apprehensive about giving us directives: “Go home, Lock the door,  Stay in groups.”
  • They were like Co-parents when your parents were absent or working
  • They literally kept their eyes on you–AT ALL TIMES
  • They were vigilant in their efforts to walk with you, making sure you walked in group, made sure you, your siblings, friends were accounted for–as in roll call.
  • In a heart beat, they would stage an intervention if they thought there was any hint of trouble. Back then, there was no such thing as Stranger Danger because they wouldn’t have allowed it.
  • They were Mentors
  • They were Nosy (in a good way)
  • Luckily for us,  our neighbors were culturally diverse and all of them contributed to raising us–And we turned out pretty good–if I must say so myself!

To the Veterans in the video and countless others who are making an inedible difference in children’s lives: Thank you for reminding me there are still people who take the lives of our future children SERIOUSLY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Dare You: Challenge Me!

The challenge seemed simple enough—that is, if I was up for the challenge.

It was a simple request, yet it could be very daunting, should I quit.

This challenge required consistency from day 1 and 0 (zero) tolerance for B.S.

It was a case of either you have it or you don’t. Simple as that.

A New York Time, bestselling author, I Friended on Facebook posted this challenge: “Write a Book in   90 days.”

Gulp!

She cannot be serious!!!!

Is that even plausible?

While I loved the idea, I vacillated between failing and succeeding.

Quite a dichotomy, right?

“No problema for me, I’m a natural at this!” I tried to convince myself as the deadline drew near.

“I’m a writer, remember?!!!!” I reminded myself daily.

Then, a fellow writer posted this inspirational quote:  “Someone out there NEEDS    your book.

Here’s a list, I heard successful writers say that are absolutely Musts for writers:

Guts.

Stamina.

The ability to write, re-write and edit.

Tough skin.

The willingness to accept/or reject feedback.

Support from fellow writers.

To become comfortable asking questions and asking for help.

To call yourself a writer.

Do the work.

Rejection is part of the process.

Knowing that writing entails starting, stopping, picking it back up, walking away from your material and then re-read with fresh eyes.

With those things in mind, I took the plunge.

What did I have to lose?

Actually, this would be my second novel. I have a novel finished, so this could potentially be an actual win-for-me.

The first few days, was well challenging.

I had the prologue written but the first chapter was stressful.

Why?

Because every writer knows the first few lines are critical.

That means, if I didn’t grab the reader’s attention, chances were they wouldn’t continue reading.

No pressure.

The “magic” kicked in when I was able to fall in love with my own characters; when I enjoyed their growth and development and create “believable” situations.

I allowed myself to stop and re-start a few times and then write with abandonment.

Quite a few times, I had to tell myself, “So what if it’s not perfect, just keep writing!”

And each day, I actually hungered to finish where I left off. To my surprise, I even enjoyed introducing new characters and infusing drama, I didn’t even see coming!

To me, it’s that Writer’s rush.

I finished my second novel in 90 days!

I made a promise to myself: “This year, I want to find an editor.”

God must have answered my prayers. In December 2015. I  met to my son’s new girlfriend’s Mom.

“So, what do you do?” she causally asked.

“I’m a writer and you?”

“Oh, I’m an editor for a book company. I love to read your material.”

Gulp!

My newest challenge? Letting her read my book.