Friday, November 6, 2015

Eating w(h)ine with my cheese

I presented a workshop at school yesterday on the topic of "Staying Motivated".  I'll be completely honest.  I was very UNmotivated as I created this presentation.  All three months of pondering, researching, creating, and at the end some BS-ing.  For about a month I had a powerpoint presentation with each slide containing a Dr. Seuss quote.  Because Dr. Seuss always has a quote for anything in life, right?  I wrote notes about what I would talk about, what stories I would tell, what YouTube videos I would show, how I would run the workshop.  I even practiced in my office the day before.  Of course that gave me an excuse to stand up and stretch my back since I sit on my butt in front of a computer every day.  I felt semi-confident, sort of prepared, and slightly okay about the whole thing.  I went in and gave it the old college try.  The pre and post assessments came back positive and the students said they learned something.  Which is great.  But do you know what I really wanted to say?
  • Put on your big people undies and get 'er done!
  • Suck it up, Buttercup!
  • You want some w(h)ine with that cheese?
  • Quit yer bitchin'!
  • Stop making excuses.
But I didn't say those things.  I told them motivation comes from within.  And sometimes from the support system around you.  So find some good people that are going to be cheering for you and picking you up when you stumble.  Set a goal and visualize it.  Make a list.  Break goals into pieces. Strategize but be flexible.  Ask for help!  What happens when your motivation droops?  Check in, check in, check in.  This was my advice with some personal stories sprinkled in to make things real. Guess who felt like a hypocrite?  Because I'm not taking my own advice.  I'm eating a whole lot of cheese with my w(h)ine because I haven't been writing.  I'm using excuses as to why I'm not researching my awesome sauce story I thought about and bounced around ideas with my daughter. I'm acting like I'm too tired.  I don't want to stare at another computer screen after doing that all day. I'm bitching about not having the support system to create the "ideal" writing environment.  My undies are definitely big but I'm not getting 'er done.  So I'm going to suck it up, do some research this weekend, and start writing.  For real this time.

Friday, September 25, 2015

No sons? Talofae...

I have four daughters.  No, I don't have any boys.  No, I'm not sad about that.  In fact, I love having girls despite the emotional meltdowns and the need to invest in a sanitary pad and toilet paper company.  Quite honestly, my girls could probably beat up your boys, anyway.  And yes, I'm proud of that fact.  At least I know they can take care of themselves.  No, they don't play any sports.  Yes, they are great students.  Nerds?  Nerds rule the world so yes, they are nerds with nerd parents.  No, I'm not having anymore children.  This factory is closed, shut down, out of business.  Now please mind YOUR business and stop asking me these ridiculous questions!

An older Samoan gentleman was in my office the other day and asked about my kids.  How many? Then the inevitable question, "No boys?"  He decided to take it one step further (one step too far) and called my husband "weak".  Number one, he's lucky he was sitting in my office at work and I love my job so I refrained from jumping over my desk and showing him some old Bruce Lee moves. Number two, my parents raised me right so I respectfully let him continue his asinine commentary about how he has other family members with only girls and how he calls them "weak".  Number three, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and since he's much older, maybe he was having a senior moment and forgot what year we're in.  Needless to say, he left my office (FINALLY) and I was fuming for the rest of the day.  When I got home, I told my husband about this one sided conversation and ranted about people and their ignorance.  This gentleman (if I can even give him that designation at this point in the story) is a friend of my husband so he chuckled but I was NOT amused.

A man who does not have sons is not weak.  How many men do we know have sons but are crappy fathers?  Yeah, spread your seed around but that doesn't make you "strong" because you have sons all over the freakin' world.  There are good dads all around with sons and with daughters and with a mix of both.  But how can one say another man is "weak" because he did not produce sons?  Who are you to judge the path that the Big Guy Upstairs has designated for our lives?  I'm sure there are many reasons men have only daughters.  My husband, for one, can count himself lucky to have four daughters.  In fact, he can count his blessings that not only does he have four daughters, he has four healthy, smart, respectful, well-behaved young ladies.  And a very clean house. So to the nay sayers who think a man is weak when he only has daughters, I have only one thing to say to you.  You're stupid.  You better thank your mama, grandmamas, aunties, female cousins, possibly sisters and daughters.  Because if they weren't here, who would carry and give birth to the babies?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  And you're welcome.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Heart of Teu

The heart is an amazing muscle that pumps blood throughout the body.  It is literally the life force that will cause the rest of the body's organs to stop functioning if or when the heart stops beating. Blood flowing through your body creates a song and dance of movement, sound, energy, motion. Many people ascribe feelings to the heart and even though that is not the scientific case, we can't help but talk about how our hearts are filled with joy, sorrow, hurt, excitement, and so many feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

When I first met Teu, he was a teenager.  I attributed his high energy to his youth.  His excitement was contagious and as the band played, we drew our energy from him.  His dancing, yelling, and singing alongside of us (he didn't need a microphone) gave us that push we needed to be better.  To do better.  To perform better.  He himself took performing to another level, whether he was on the mic or not. You would see him in the very front row or, whenever he had the chance, onstage dancing alongside the horn section.  Or the backup singers.  Or grabbing the mic to add some ragga style to any song.  You couldn't help feeling his love for music in all of its entities.  It was ingrained in his heart.

The constant and ready smile, the hug that was never timid but big as a bear, the conversations light and filled with jokes, always parting with "love you, sis", this was the heart of Teu.  He had big plans for his music and his life.  The last conversation we had with him was about recording his songs. There was a sense of urgency that wasn't there before.  Like he needed to get it done very soon.  Our response was, "Let us know and let's get it done."  That was three days before the phone call.  Where our hearts broke.  Because his energy and passion was needed on a higher level.  And now we will all carry a small piece of the heart of Teu.  Until we are called to join him and Him.