Archives for category: Communication

Ya’ll it’s April. I promise you, it was just January. April is the month of the Aries and the Taurus, but in my book, it is also my “ish just got real” month. You see, April is when the majority of my assignments are due and when I literally do not have time to waste. It’s the month where I have to “cut it, cut it, cut it, cut it. Them deadlines way too close, I need to cut it” (And yes, I sang that as I wrote it). So in an effort to be more productive, I have done an assessment on four ways in which I #wastemyowntime2017

  1. THE FACEBOOK. Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild will have me in the sunken place. It’s like a sensory overload and a lot of people on my timeline are hilarious and a simple quick trip on Facebook will have me waste AT LEAST 20-30 minutes cackling. I like to cackle aka laugh with my tongue out my mouth, so I get caught up laughing at random cat videos, petty posts, memes and videos. And since I don’t like to cackle on my own, I’ll send this posts to others so we all can cackle together. And before you know it, the jokes on me, as I have to stay up way later than I desire to finish an assignment. Recently, I was called “A Facebook Ambassador” and I CACKLED because it is true. I need help. I need to detox from the book cuz the book don’t pay no bill of mine. smh Facebook is like Target. A set up. A trick of the enemy. lol
  2. THE YOUTUBE. Man, let me tell you, mess around with YouTube if you want, and it will have you listening to a TD Jakes sermon, transition into Brandy’s “Never Say Never,” album, and close with a bootleg version of “Love Jones” (One of my favorite movies) all in one night. And don’t let me there be a good tv show on that I didn’t catch. Now, I’m on the TUBE searching for a review video where folks tell me about the show that I didn’t watch so I can catch up. And then, I’m all tired the next day, BUT I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED ON (insert your favorite TV show) THO!! That, my friends is the definition of hustling backwards. Does it really matter if She by Sheree is completed? No.  Does it matter if Kirk the Jerk had a baby while married to Rasheeda? No. Does it matter if Huck lives or dies or Scandal?  Do we care if Mary Jane stays with ole cutie with the light eyes… Yes we do. LOL  All I’m saying is I had to put myself on a TV quota.
  3. DAYDREAMING. I am not Mariah Carey. I do not have a single out titled “Dreamlover,” so why am I sitting in front of my computer singing songs or daydreaming about stuff that ain’t never happened. Maybe it’s the creative in me, but I literally write songs and books in my head…but sometimes, I’m too lazy to actually write them down. Still hustling backwards.
  4. PROCRASTINATION. I get a lot of things done in a day. It just tends to be stuff that could wait cuz I really don’t wanna do the things I should be doing. Now, don’t get me wrong, my deadlines are always met and my work is top quality, but I would like to know what it feels like to have something done a week or a few days in advance. You know, instead of praying to God for energy to keep me up and my mind activated to get the job done.

Ya’ll time is precious and we gotta do a better job of managing it. I just had a birthday in March and I ain’t got time to waste ya’ll. Actually none of us do. I need my sleep and my food and my Lord helps those who help themselves. So I guess this is the first step in admitting I have a problem. What are some ways that you waste time? Let’s discuss how we can move forward together in April with a little more pep in our step and time on our side.

Today is my mommy’s birthday. I must admit that I’ve never called her mommy. Usually, I call her “Ma” when I am calling her to come down the hall to turn off my light (just kidding) or “Rose” when I’m trying to get my point across and let her know who is the boss (I am in case ya’ll were wondering who runs the show). LOL

Today as I celebrate her life, I am grateful that she is here, healthy, and hopeful. I am grateful to have time. Time to learn together and grow together in the good and trying times. When it seems like so many people, young and not so young are leaving this realm of life, I do not take time for granted her little idiosyncrasies that I’ve grown accustomed to, such as:

The fact that she STILL wants me to call her when I get home from a late night at work (mind you, I’m grown) or if she hasn’t heard from me in a few days because I am swamped with deadlines, she will send a message asking to hear my voice (it sounds the same). Or if she knows I have an event coming up, she will specifically request that I send her pictures of myself at the event and she will comment on my outfit, hair, etc. as she usually does (I look the same).  In my teenage years, all of these things were aggravating, but I’ve grown accustomed to her checking in and when she doesn’t I send her a message like, “Hello. I am your daughter. I could have been dead. You would not know. Because you ain’t call me.” (Yeah, I’m that dramatic kid).

When I recently experienced an unexpected loss, unbeknownst to her, she was on the phone before and after doing her usual check-in. While giving her the basic details she listened intently and said, “How are you?”

“I’m fine,” I replied with a steady voice and eyes brimming with tears…hoping that the surety in my voice and the quickness of my response would assure her miles away that I was okay, even when I did not feel that way.

“No, you’re not,” she said. She didn’t explain to me why or how she knew. She didn’t offer words of encouragement. She didn’t ask me to talk about my feelings or ask more details. She didn’t tell me I shouldn’t feel that way. She didn’t try to interject logic into my emotions. She just sat on the phone. Quiet.

And I knew that she felt my pain. And disappointment. And sadness.

And I knew that if she could somehow remove any of those feelings, she would.

After our time on the phone, she sent me a few text messages. Messages of things that she has told me before.

Ones that encouraged me. Ones that reminded me that she is proud of me. That she admires my work ethic and organization. That she is in awe of my determination and follow-through. Ones that let me know that she was here and that all was not lost. And that God would see me through. For that, I am grateful.

In happy times or times that seem to knock the wind out of my sails, she is there. In silence. Or with words. With a phone call or with a text. In person with a hug or across the ocean with facetime (can’t tell her nothing now), she’s there. And I hope that this birthday brings with it a kind of peace that cannot be explained, prosperity that is not limited to money, and joy that bubbles up from her soul. I wish her laughter, love and answers to prayers that reside in her heart and may have never been voiced.

She’ll keep getting those text messages when I get in late, phone calls to hear my voice , and photos at events, because I love her and like Smokey said about Craig, “That’s my dawg!”

Happy Birthday, Rose 🙂

It’s 5 am on January 7, 2017.  I’ve been up for hours, unable to really go to sleep—tidying up, answering emails, doing things to keep my mind occupied. For the past 3 years, sleep typically evades me on this day.  I don’t plan it. It’s just difficult to fall asleep. So I write:

Today is my Grandma’s birthday.

Geez. 3 years. It has flown by! She would be 82. So much has changed.

I miss her voice and hugs and back pats/rubs. I miss talking to her—listening to her.

I miss her humor and her charm. I miss her food. I miss her smile.

These things I store in my heart and memory, yet I fear that as time passes these things will become a faint memory. I fear no longer hearing her voice in my head.  At this point, I still do when I make decisions or am stressed or need encouragement. I STILL hear her voice telling me “you’ll be alright.” In trying times, I’ve even had to say it to myself—like a mantra.

I also never realized how much I bring her up in conversation. Folks who never met her, feel like they know her based on the way I describe her.  Many have expressed how they wish they would have met her because they would love to sit at the feet of the lady who raised me. I was privileged in that way. I was her “hand baby” and from the cradle to adulthood, she played a vital role in my life.

My Grandmothers death has taught me two important lessons:

  1. Because of her, I know what it means to love.
  2. Because of her, I also know what it means to lose.

And I think that makes me a better person—not in the “you should cherish every moment like it’s your last” type person (though that ‘s good). Better in the sense that I know love. I cannot find the words to describe what love feels like. But I KNOW love. Comparable only to knowing God. She is my compass for selflessness, kindness, compassion, empathy; my road map to prayer, perseverance and patience. My guiding light for laughter and love.

When she died, it did not feel real. I received the phone call from my mom and all she could say was “Ma’s gone.” I knew it happened, but there is a cognitive dissonance that occurred when I heard the words uttered. I was struggling with my will being trumped by God’s. I struggled with the idea of being hours away when she passed—somehow thinking that my presence could have encouraged her to evade death one more time. I had seen her do it before. I had seen God answer my prayers for healing. I knew God could do it, but when He didn’t I realized I had lost. I wasn’t used to God not answering my prayers. Granted, before then, I had never prayed for anything as significant but I felt a sense of disappointment in a God that I served—and loved, who decided that He couldn’t just do it for me. I was selfish and wanted her here for me. Because if she wasn’t, then where did that leave me?

After all of the typical festivities of funeral arrangements, I returned to work weeks later to looks of sympathy, statements of condolences and cards of kind words. And my first day back, I went to the bathroom and cried. Like that ugly cry. That get yourself together cry. That your eyes will be red and puffy cry. Why? Because it was too much. Because everyone knew. Everyone knew what I had lost and their attempts to comfort me only reminded me of a lost I wanted to forget. I would have preferred that they act “normal”– no cards, no looks, no statements…just treat me “normal”– whatever that means. To this day, I still don’t know what I wanted from others during that time.

Since then, a new normal is being crafted. New memories. New moments. New experiences. Often I want to share them with her, but I can’t– and I am okay with that reality.  Instead, I honor her daily, in my living, giving, and the way I treat others. Trust me, my Grandma continues to save folks from my verbal paws…on a regular. You’re welcome. LOL

But, my Grandmother’s death has not been all bad.

Her dying left space. Space for my personal and professional development. Space for my mom to enter in ways that were just impossible with my Grandma around. It helped me to appreciate my mom in a whole new way. Why?  Because I had to step outside of my pain to realize that I was not the only one who lost someone. I lost my Grandmother. She lost her mother. I still have my mother. She still has me. God still has us– our entire family, actually. Maybe that’s what it means when my Grandma’s favorite song says “nobody told me the road would be easy and I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me.”

Love conquers the grave. I know it to be true. Because this happens daily, when I think, speak or write about you. Happy Birthday, Grandma. The Realist There Ever Was. The Answer To Prayers I Never Voiced.  The “isimo” of my life.

So, I’m going to bed now, but before I do:

This my prayer for anyone dealing with a loss. Not necessarily death, but the end of a relationship, job, friendship, etc. Don’t let my brevity take away from my sincerity.

I pray that you know love. Deeply. Unapologetically. Fully.

I pray that love creates a desire for you to be better, do better.

I pray that God reminds you of his infinite love and limitless potential for what He can do in your life.

I pray that you see the space and fill it with positive people, opportunities, and experiences 🙂

With love,

Ms. Maude’s Granddaughter

Ya’ll wanna hear my ratchet dating story… well I’mma tell ya anyway.

So I was out in these streets being courted. (yeah, that’s a better word for going on a date…and it actually is way better than a date, but I digress) and we were in the car, in a state, headed to an undisclosed location (mind ya business, don’t be too nosey). I was given control of the music that we would listen to. (I know right, such a major responsibility)…but let me back up…

I love all kinds of music: country, gospel, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, etc. I haven’t been home in months and I really missed the 843 (area code of my hometown), and had been specifically missing MY music.  So when I got the control of DA MUSIC, I decided I was going to play some of my Chucktown get-down songs (mind you the person I am on a date with has probably never been around the 843 or exposed to this music, so I’m basically representing the dirty South right now). So out of all the songs I could have selected,  I play…..wait for it.

“If ya babymamma real she will tell ya dat she love me” and “Last call for alcohol” and “Clappery.”

I know ya’ll are like, really?! You played that? Yes, I did. I did. But…it gets worse.

Ya’ll I was getting it too— jigging all in the passenger seat. I forgot where I was, started reminiscing  and ya’ll couldn’t tell me I wasn’t in the hole in the wall at 11pm with my mama texting my phone telling me to get my behind home cuz I’m not grown and that If I am  not home within 30 minutes, she is gonna tell my Grandma on me….. so when I come down off my ratchet high I realized it was real quiet. Like all you hear is the hum of the car quiet.

I thought, I shoulda just played some Alicia Keys or Lauryn Hill. You know something woke but not too crazy. When folks hear that, they tend of think you are a certain kind of Black folk. (Clutches my imaginary pearls, puts prayer cloth over my lap, and insert other things that mid-upper class Black folks supposedly do). In my mind, I’m like: I just exposed my ratchet. This person is probably like what in the world just happened. So, I was over the silence,  panicked and said, “My bad. I know you’re not used to that music.”

He paused and responded, “I liked it. Yeah, I liked the baby mama real song. I’m glad to know you were comfortable enough to be yourself.” Bahahahahahahaha all I’m saying is the Chucktown just gained another loyal customer of the music. I’m about to make him a Charleston mixtape… and if you don’t like my music, step. Go listen to Bach and jazz and quartet music with someone else. My roadtrip music is always something crunk. I gotta stay up.

Moral of the story: Be You. We’re not one dimensional, folks and if a person can’t appreciate all sides of you, then he or she ain’t the one.

Now, go be great because I said so.

Love,

Mo

I really wanted a dog. I had been researching it– taking dog quizzes to figure out which breed would fit my lifestyle and personality, visiting dog shelters to find potential pets, completing dog adoption papers, budgeting dog supplies, getting advice from pet owners,  etc.  I was going through the motions of obtaining a dog but it never seemed to work out. Months passed– still no dog. I couldn’t seem to figure out why.

It wasn’t until months later I realized I wanted a dog for all the wrong reasons. I wanted it to play dress up and for photo ops. I wanted it to be there for the fun moments. The convenient times.  I wanted it to greet and play with me on the days I had time to spare (I travel often), but I didn’t want to clean up poop, or vomit, or have him/her tear up my furniture, or potty train or teach commands. Despite traveling often, not wanting to clean up after another being or be responsible for the welfare of another mammal, I wanted a dog. Sounds crazy, right?

I loved the idea of a dog, but not the reality of owning a dog. And I do not think I am alone…

For some of us it’s a dog. For others it could be the idea of a serious relationship or marriage, kids, having a six pack of abs, position/promotion at work, etc . We’re in love with the fantasy versus the reality of it. When the truth is, all of those things require effort– effort to obtain and effort to maintain. We would love to have those things but are not willing to put in the work for them right now. And that is okay.

In my quest to find a dog, I realized there is nothing wrong with admitting I liked the idea but not the reality. Truth is, I say I want some things and to a certain extent, may even believe it when I say it. But the reality is… I’m just not ready for it. So I thank God for not giving me the things I wanted when I thought I wanted them (dog included).

I’m better off without those things/relationships for now, except the abs. I really want those. Wonder if I can buy it out of Walmart. 🙂

P.S- if there are certain things you really want and can’t see yourself without, then you have to put in the work. Be like Nike- Just. Do. It. If not, maybe it is a sign that you don’t need it right now or at all.

Be Blessed.

MS

Hey you. Mrs. Know Everything and Mr. I’m Always Right. Have a seat. Let’s chat.

I get it. You’re awesome. You have a long list of accomplishments and accolades. You have more plaques than wall space. You have more degrees than a thermometer. You have more money in the bank than the average. I get it. Congratulations.

You worked hard. You earned it. You deserve it. That’s awesome! There is no problem with your success. The issue arises when you behave as if those accomplishments give you the authority to treat others less than. No, you don’t come out and say, “I’m better than you,” but your behavior speaks louder than any words you utter.

Here’s the truth:

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If you do not voluntarily humble yourself, life will do so. Events happen to everyone that knocks us off our proverbial pedestal and cause us to stumble. You won’t be “the big shot in high school” or the “popular girl in college” or the “smartest kid in the classroom” or the “prettiest girl in your circle” or the “CEO of a Fortune 500 Company” or “The holder of the most NFL/NBA rings” forever. If and when that happens, you will need people. Not money. Not degrees. Not awards. But people.

Your lack of humility will make you lose out on relationships and thus opportunities. If you are not humble, you will not recognize when you need help or accept help when offered. Even worse,  based on your prior treatment of them, others may not want to help you.

You have to be humble. You have to know that you are not always right. That you do not always make the best decisions. That you are not perfect.

There is always an “ER” in your life. Someone smartER, fastER, prettiER, strongER, etc. And that does not take away from you. You are amazing. You don’t have to puff yourself up like a blow fish and throw your weight around like a bull in a china shop. We get it. You’re awesome. Be humble. I promise, your light won’t shine any less.

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Definition from Merriam-Webster.com

Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

In life we all make decisions. Unfortunately, we do not always make the best choice. Under pressure, with the clock winding down, we miss the last shot to win the game. We have our opportunity. We have our chance. We take the shot. We miss the mark. We lose. And it alters our lives direction.

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I’m sure many of us can relate to giving something our best shot and it not working. The relationship, the job, the business, the class. Oftentimes, we get stuck in our moment of failure. We continuously hear the buzz signaling the end of the game in our ears–a reminder of our lost, what could have been and our reality.  Oftentimes, we live in regret.

When we think of where we could have been if we never met such and such or did such and such or listened to such and such, we question our lives. We mull over the less than stellar choices we have made. We trick ourselves into believing that our past disqualifies us from having a bountiful future. But we must recognize a redirection of our route does not change our destination.

How many times have you used a GPS and made a wrong turn? Your GPS acknowledges the wrong turn and redirects you back to your destination, even if it is not on the same course. We must do the same. Acknowledge and move forward.

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Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

“NEW JORDANS”

BY

CEDRIC DALE HOARDS

 

I ran across this spoken word and felt compelled to share. It was written as a conversation starter for our society, particularly our youth. The video discusses the importance of material items and how we inaccurately use it to define our worth. It concludes by redefining the scale on which we measure our individual worth and challenges the notions that materialism equates wealth and worth.

One of my favorite lines:

“…I just want to tell them that if you’re walking in the wrong direction, it doesn’t matter what is on your feet. And if you’re not hearing sound truth, no I don’t care about your beats. And if your words aren’t edifying, no I don’t want to see your tweet. Because your desperation to take a seat with the elite will eventually become your defeat. “

Do you wear Jordans? Are you a fan? Watch this!

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“I wish statuses had a plagiarism check so people would give credit to where the got their enlightened statuses from. Some of yall are perpetuating like these are your original thoughts instead of giving credit due, which is proper when quoting.” -Sharnee Green via Facebook

Coincidentally, I had begun to write a post about this EXACT concept a few days prior and was compelled to continue.

With the onset of social media and reposts, retweets, and sharing of social media, I find that our sense of plagiarism is waning.

For those who don’t know, plagiarism is when you use a person’s thoughts, words, ideas or concepts and claim that you are the original author. For those who desire a formal definition, According to The Merriam Webster Website:

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Ironically, I saw a really motivational quote on social media. It had several likes, shares and reposts. The thing about it was it sounded eerily familiar. I heard another person (the author) say the exact same thing in their video. I sooooo wanted to write on their page and say, “hey, did you get this from such and such?” But, I didn’t want to seem like a hater on their “enlightened statuses” so I just let is slide.

Moral of the story:

It’s okay to post other people’s thoughts; it’s not okay to repost them or add a line or two that is different and not give credit to the person.

For example, if I wrote/said: “Today the sky is blue. It has never been this blue. You should look at it and enjoy it.” and you write the same thing, you plagiarized. Or maybe you add a few lines and write, “I just woke up. Today the sky is blue. It has never been this blue. You should look at it and enjoy it. Be blessed”  you plagiarized.

So when I find out that you are basically taking credit for someone’s else’s work, I give you the stank face because I have been deceived.

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If you are not going to give proper credit, be original. Add to the conversation.Stop plagiarizing and just quote the person directly. You don’t want the stink face.

Be blessed.

With Love,

M.S.

Too often, we settle. Women, Men, Young and Not so Young, for whatever reason we do it. We trick ourselves into believing that our current state of unhappiness and displeasure is where we are destined to be. That it’s the best life can offer to us — so we willingly accept it.

Don’t get me wrong– this is not something we say to ourselves as we look in the mirror in the midst of teeth brushing, hair combing, makeup applying, or face shaving. No, we do this way before our feet touch the floor at the dawn of a new day.images-1

Why?

Maybe it is because we forget that each day is an unique day. Each day is the most important day in our lives, right here, right now for two very important reasons:

1. Today is a brand new day that we have never seen before. It is unlike any other. It is a time to try again, to use past falls, stumbles, and triumphs as building blocks for the future.

2. Today is a day we won’t ever see again once it is complete. We won’t ever get the chance to experience today again. There is no re-do, no rewind button on time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’ve learned that time is precious, valuable and we can’t get it back. For that reason, we have to use it wisely–o so wisely.

Don’t settle today, tomorrow or any day henceforth because we are not meant to live like zombies in a state of unhappiness and displeasure–and not even know it. We are meant to live full in all areas– so if you have settled in your personal, professional, familial, spiritual, or any aspect of our lives– pursue better, obtain better, and accept better when it’s offered.

I stand in agreement that your life can and will be better.

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Happy Monday!

With love,

M.S.