Style and Substance

Style and Substance

2015 Year End Reflection

Improve relationships, healthy living, write more, read more (less television), increase income, increase savings, find ways to stay in love, practice humility (intellectually, socially and emotionally), get organized (in general, but also finances, insurance & other important records), smile & laugh more, grow spiritually and meditate.

My “better thinking” goals are just aspects, some of the parts that make up the whole of 2015. Growth and life’s lessons are (were) a consistent theme.

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Four Letter Words Beginning With L ...

The Week of Loss, Life, Lust & Love

Of Loss

I’m not an empath but this week has proven that we all are on some level, for most of us it is so low key that we aren’t aware of anyone else's feelings but our own. I’ve had friends lose their mother, a very special friend who’s mother had a heart attack and a close friend whose dearest friend suffered a stroke. Although I did not know any of them personally, in the moment you first hear, the initial shock leaves you stunned, numb to the huge surge of feelings. I never know how to respond, the most common phrases are void of sincerity to me. So here are my words. Sorrow serves as a reminder of the brevity of life.

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Attachment VS Detachment

Of Attachment

A feeling that binds one to a person, thing, cause, ideal, or the like; devotion; regard.

 

Of Detachment

Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.

Ability to maintain an emotional bond of love, concern and caring without the negative results of rescuing, enabling, fixing or controlling.

 

Attachment VS detachment, find balance.

I Am.

What Happens When Someone Stops “Following” You In Real Life?

“I think back of the few people that were allowed to interface with Brian ( his choice ) … ”

That’s my mother on Mr.TramueL … Did my mama use my government name? It seems even as an adolescent I was guarded with who I allowed into my personal space. I have a very small circle of folk whom I consider friends, although somewhat undemonstrative I am generally loyal and responsible to those I care about.

What happens when they stop e-mailing, texting, calling or  simply stop communicating? If you’re using Twitter, Facebook or any other social-media site when you lose a follower it’s no problem ‘cause they can always be replaced. In real life there are no macros, widgets or tools that email you when someone stops following you, what was said or perhaps done at that particular point in time. If something in my character past or present causes you to stop “following” me I offer you this; judgments can be as unjust as the actions or personal view they condemn.

Don’t worry kids Mr.TramueL is still committed to disarming his armor. I’ll continue to look to the sky and deepen my relationships with my current “followers.” I feel sorry for  lil’ Mr.TramueL  though he is now my official & permanent hang-out partner.

Drops Mic. Pours out a little liquor on stage (for those we lost along the way.) Walks off. Lights match. Throws lit match on poured out liquor. Stage goes up in flames.

Magic Always,

Forty One Years To Life ... R. Boyd

Forty Years To Life

The story of man and his development is an ongoing saga of ups and downs. Forty years of living sets the stage for the rest of your life. If we look back at all of our experiences we find that we concentrate on a plethora of failures and our minute successes. But I think the best thing to do is look to the future and the possibilities.

What’s next?

When you hit forty you find your body has changed and your mindset has changed. Your body maybe a little fatter and your mindset is, to become as healthy as you were when you were twenty. The one thing you can’t change is as your age increases your body functionality decreases. Your legs get weaker and your arms get saggy. Your mind slows down and so do you. The worst part is you try to keep up with changing times but find that you are old. As my nephews told me the other day you can’t even find your expiration date because you have been around so long it has rubbed off. When you hit forty, life has become a crap shoot you may find yourself looking for an exit but because you have responsibilities you continue on. Because you have goals that you set for yourself when you were twenty and you have not reached them you press toward the goal that much harder. You stress over what I can accomplish before I get to old to do anything or possibly die. You live each day as if it is your last trying to leave a legacy or at least a mark on the world to say you were here. If you don’t have kids you begin to look for the first available dumb chick that will have your baby and not want to be married. If you have kids you pray that your spouse has not gotten tired of you and wants to divorce you leaving you to weekend visits by the little people you have given birth to. If you are divorced you are wondering if the opportunity to love will ever come again. Single mothers and fathers are in a more precarious situation they have to still trudge forward on a single income and hope that child support will be paid so they can afford to send the children to college or continue to provide while they are in college. What they have that is a blessing is the opportunity to advance financially now that the kids have left nest and are beginning their own adult lives. Now is the time, be a better example for your children don’t give into the notion that you can re-live the life that has passed; get over it, it has passed.

Life has not passed you by:

Yes the past is what it is you can’t change that, but life is not over at forty. The good news is now is the time to re-invent yourself and become brand new. Every day you wake is a new day with new possibilities. If you are out of shape then it is time to hit the gym become a physically fit middle aged, body beautiful, temptation to your spouse or intended. A new mercy from God opens the door for better second half of your life. You have to set new goals that are attainable in the near future and let go of goals that have since passed you by. Goals that make life worth living another forty years and into retirement that set you up to live comfortably while you rest in your retirement village. This is a time where you amass your wealth monetarily and spiritually. It is a time to become the new person you forgot about when you were raising your kids and concentrating on your career. A new person that loves hard, plays hard, and more importantly Praise hard. This is the time to love yourself and all your faults and make life the most enjoyable life you could have imagined. It is easy to get caught up in failures but now is not the time to worry about that; it is the time to worry about what to wear to the party; a party that begins every morning; a party that brings light to a dark world; a party that you organize on your behalf. This party includes a select group of friends that have stuck by you through thick and thin and wish blessings on you all the time. This select group of people is the ones who know where the bodies are buried and knows the bones that are hidden in your closet. They are the ones who will celebrate the next half of your life, occasionally taking you out to dinner and maybe buy you a gift or two just because you are you. This is the time to teach your children how to be upstanding adults and guide them in their pursuit of happiness. Teach them how to set attainable goals by giving them the knowledge of your failures and the lessons you have learned. Do not be ashamed to share life experiences with your children they are the best gift you can give them. You are the example not the governor so if they don’t listen to your warnings or your encouragements love them anyway and be there for them if they fall. If you are single explore being single and free, do not be afraid of the single life embrace it and feel free to live it to the fullest. Keep in mind that your spirit self is connected to the Holy Spirit so do not damage the relationship you have with God by living recklessly or unholy. If you are married live like you are on your honeymoon again and explore every inch of the marital vows, bed, and life. This second half of life should cause you to have a new love for your spouse and a new love for life.

Celebrate:

Do exactly that! Celebrate life for we do not know when the time will come.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted;

3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time dance;

5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6. A time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

7. A time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

This is your season Forty years to life

R. Boyd

R. Boyd

Forty One Years To Life ... Y. Spinks

40 Years...I'm not sure how I feel about turning a year older this year. I'm still trying to process my feelings. On my 33rd birthday, I remember lying in bed trying to cope with the fact that instead of spending the weekend in sunny L.A. at the Blogging While Brown Conference, I had just buried my mother three days before. The thoughts of the trip were secondary to the fact that my mom wasn't there to tell me happy birthday. What a birthday!

I thought about all the times I took her "Happy Birthday!" calls for granted. All of the times she let me know that she didn't buy me anything because she didn't have a clue of what I wanted, but I could take her Sears card to find something suitable.  Every year I declined because I didn't want the stuff--a closer relationship would have made my heart content.  This year I wished she was around so that I could tell her that.

So I would have to say that this year, my 33rd year, I learned that the saying, "Live everyday like it's your last day." is not just cliché.  Sometimes things come along and shake our foundation helping us realize that life is so much more that the minutiae we fuss about daily.  My mother and I spent over half of my life bickering.  It wasn't until my mother lay on her death bed that I understood that the problem we had wasn't really "our" problem.  She was just a women who loved a man who didn't want to be loved.  I was the result of that union and a constant reminder of her love for him.

These days I spend more time thinking about relationships.  I refuse to be a hurt person who hurts other people.  So I love hard.  I nurture all of my relationships and when I'm not treated how I want to be treated I don't linger...I just let go.  In her own way, my mom taught me it's okay to let go and that it's okay to love. This birthday I learned to say, I love you freely, without reservation.  God forbid I leave here anytime soon but when I do there will be no question as to how I feel about the people in my life.  Yep, my mama taught me that in her own little way...

I spent my entire life waiting for my mom to tell me she loved me.  She finally did...on her death bed...In my heart I know she always did.

spinks sideview

Forty One Years To Life ... Jay

AGE - A three letter word with so much meaning.To start things off, let me take a page of out Mr. TramueL’s book and share a few definitions of the word with you.

As a noun, AGE is defined as a period of human life, measured by years from birth, usually marked by a certain stage or degree of mental or physical development and involving legal responsibility and capacity.

As a verb, AGE means to bring to maturity.

Lastly, there is the idiom of AGE which refers to being old enough for full legal rights and responsibilities.

As you can see there are a number of different definitions for the word AGE. Personally, I believe the word revolves around the evolution and maturation of our being. It has everything to do with the steps we take and the moves we make. At the end of our lives it is the sum of all of our movements, decisions and choices; with each one stemming from the very moment that we were conceived. Now when I say conceived, I’m not referring to our natural conception. I’m referring to our conception in the mind and heart of GOD. It is my belief that in that moment the aging process began for each of us. In that moment, we were formed, created, given unique personalities and characteristics and filled with a LOVE like none other, by HIM. It is for that reason that I define age as GOD’S masterpiece of our life. It contains every element that HE used to create us and the minor additions that HE gave us the free will to include. That is why I think age is such a beautiful thing.

There are many people who go through life and they dread the aging process. All they can see is the negative and the limitations. Well, I want to tell everyone who reads this that aging is not a bad thing. Just the opposite, it is a marvelous thing. Yes, we may begin to look different and even lose the ability to do things that we once did with ease, but I believe it’s for a reason. GOD has a season and a purpose for everything, including our lives. There is a reason why our looks change and we can no longer do certain things. It’s because those things have already been added to our masterpieces. Think of it like a painting. A painter may begin using the color black and that color may be used to form and shape the image that is desired for that work of art, but at some point the painter is going to stop using the color black and begin using different colors. Do you know why? It’s because if the painter doesn’t stop using the color black, or even picks it back up after adding other colors, and continues painting the canvas black then eventually that will be the only color on that work of art. Nothing but black. No variety. No color. No clear image, picture or design. Just black. How appealing do you think that would be?

The same applies to GOD’S masterpiece of our lives. HE wants variety. HE wants color. HE wants beauty. HE also knows that HE is the creator and is in control of the way our masterpiece will look, but HE does allow us to add our own uniqueness to it every once in awhile. We can’t take the paintbrush from HIM. We can’t paint our masterpiece of our lives for HIM. This is what I think a lot of people have lost sight of. They believe they are in control of their lives. They believe they are the one holding the paintbrush and dictating what appears on the canvas. Well, they are sadly mistaken. It is GOD alone who is the creator. Think about it. I believe if it were left up to us, many of us would have black canvases. Also, I think many of us would have identical canvases. No variety. No uniqueness. We would likely do it our way or copy the way that someone else was doing it. GOD doesn’t want that for our lives. HE wants all of us to age differently, because HE wants each of us to have a unique and one of a kind piece of art.

So now it is time that you start looking at your aging as a wonderful thing. Enjoy the things that you can still do and be happy that you can no longer do the things you once did. Know that there is truly a reason for that. It’s time for you to love who you are and love GOD for creating you. Make the most out of each step you take, every word you say and all of the precious decisions and choices you make. They all have meaning behind them. They all define you. Most importantly, they all are being added to the masterpiece of your life that GOD is crafting.

Stay Blessed,

*J

J-Up4Dsn

J-Up4Dsn

Forty One Years To Life ... D. Dorce

D. Dorce

D. Dorce

At first i didn't know how to reply to this...and then i thought of the most wonderful wish i could have on my birthday...this year or the years coming would be to finally meet and greet the love of my life. See i have had many loves, but not so many...i can count them on one hand, but i find myself envisioning that "one" in a very special way. A way i haven't felt in a long time. I dream of him and i'm almost sure i would know him instantly when we met. My goals in life have been almost fulfilled. I have raised my immediate family and have given them all the encouragement and love i can give and i am happy at the outcome. For my future. i would like to have a life partner, a love of my life to share this blissful ending and new beginning with. As i reach another year i can only feel closer to achieving those goals, that aspect in my life of fulfillment, of achieving, of finally resting on that i am who i was meant to be and more, and able to share that with someone special. So this birthday, like the next will be anticipating "that moment". Happy Birthday to my dear Virtual Friend...hope it is all you intended, and more.

Forty One Years To Life ... L. Delli Santi

“If these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in. And that’s what I guess these stories are about”

Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

My thoughts on birthdays is that, as a society, we tend to categorize and mark our lives in milestones of ten year increments, each passing year a stepping stone to the next big hurdle, which will then denote who we are because of the number attached to our being. What is really important, and often overlooked in the grand scheme, is that your past and the obstacles that were hurdled will always be a beautiful part of you. The experiences you have had make you the person you are and the person you hope to be in the future. So when things are bad, you are learning and growing. When things are good, you have put your knowledge into play. Life is cyclical; every moment is just as important as the next.  You cannot run away from your past, or who you are/have become.  Life is a collection of stories that represent a time and place that we can never go back to.

L. Delli-Santi

L. Delli-Santi

Forty One Years To Life ... A. Waters

My life

I, like many others my age, am trying to apply the breaks as I skid into turning 40 in less than 6 months. Why am I so afraid to reach that milestone? In this day and age it should be an accomplishment, a luxury, a badge of honor yet I treat it like a tooth ache, the plague, a death sentence,  like I'm doomed. Why you ask? Because when I was younger- 40 meant you were married ( happily, optional), loving family, a promising career, financially set, and had all the stability you could stand. I have missed the mark in ALL those categories. Yet I get up each morning, by the grace of God and I try life again, most days willingly and other days forced.  I have always been a late bloomer and i am just now realizing what it means to say that this life of mine is not a dress rehearsal. It's not promised.  It's not even conditionally guaranteed.  And everything you have can be stripped from you in the blink of an eye. So my new stance on life is this: LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, and make yourself happy, regardless of your age. Man up or put on your big girl panties (whichever applies) and live with NO more regrets. 40 is my new 30.

Dear Yvette

Dear Yvette

Forty One Years To Life ... Aging BlaQ

Aging BlaQ: Shriveling Ovaries: The New Mating Call

I'm a believer in animal instinct. I believe that as humans we were all born with innate responses and reactions to people and situations. Most of the time, we can't quite put our finger on why this response happens, but if we go with our instinct, we can all rest assured that we'll end up on the good side of that particular situation.

Lately, since I've turned 30, I've had conversations with men about life/love/& the pursuit of the draws. I could try to explain them, but there's no explaining this isht!

Example #1

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

Him: "Do you want kids some day?"

Kari

Kari

Me: "Maybe. I definitely want the option."

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

Him: "Well let me know when I can give a donation."

Kari

Kari

Me: "A donation?"

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

Him: "Yeah, if you want kids, I can donate to the cause."

---silence---

Kari

Kari

Me: "Well, I appreciate the offer, but I'm gon' have to pass on that one."

Rick Ross

Rick Ross

Him: "Oh, no problem. I try to help when I can." 

Example #2

Corporate Thug

Corporate Thug

Him: "So how did your interview go?"

Kari

Kari

Me: "I think it went well - they seemed impressed."

Corporate Thug

Corporate Thug

Him: "Well, congratulations are in order!"

Kari

Kari

Me: "Why? That was just the first interview. I don't know if I made the 2nd round."

Corporate Thug

Corporate Thug

Him: "You said they were impressed."

Kari

Kari

Me: "Yeah."

Corporate Thug

Corporate Thug

Him: "I'm just saying. If I'm grooming you to have my babies in a couple of years. I want to make sure you get a job you like."

Kari

Kari

Me: "What the fck, man?"

Corporate Thug

Corporate Thug

Him: "Oh, sorry."

Now, instinct has CLEARLY ruled on both of these individuals. But I'm not here to talk about my instinct, I'm here to talk about male instinct.

Where am I going with this? Walk with me, please...

The one thing that I was never able to adequately explain to my male friends is the dire situation and vulnerable state a childless, single woman finds herself at the age of 30+. Maybe if I used the words "mental and physical anguish", that would better describe how 30 signifies the beginning of the end for some women. Granted, I don't want to be pregnant; nor am I scheming to poke holes in condoms to get a baby... And no, playboy, I am not accepting donations for your illegitimate kids that you have no intention of raising... But I do hear the faint shriveling of my ovaries and eggs (it sounds like a crumbled up paper bag) along with the tick-tock of the old biological clock. The clock is loud but the shriveling isn't. The shriveling makes me sad... I digress.

As the last of my friends turn the big 3-0, it has been quite interesting to see how they have dealt with the pressure. One vowed to give up her bi-sexual lifestyle for the promise of kids and a husband with her ex-con ex-boyfriend (a sure catch). One vowed to keep the punani under wraps until the engagement ring pulls those dusty panties down. Still another gave up all her side-dudes to wait for the Lord to send her the soul-mate she was promised (ok, that was me). Yet, we all have come to our senses (somewhat) and realized that life does not end at 30.

So, I say all that to say this... I believe that men are capable of hearing the shriveling of eggs spoiling and ovaries singing the fat-lady blues. I don't know that it looks like desperation or the wave of a white flag on the battlefield, but I do believe that they know when we are ready to have babies. Now, you will most definitely have to weed through the people who make plans for your uterus without you (see example #2), but instinct should help with all that.

Something happened on the way to 30

Weight Watchers called "We have the solution"

Something happened on the way to 30

The switch in my hips turned into a limp

Something happened on the way to 30

The pretty complexion became mole central

(Party up in here! Moles stay #winning!)

Something happened on the way to 30

Afternoons spent thinking "Did I take my medication?"

Something happened on the way to 40

I finally stopped caring about my age...

The End. Happy Birthday, Brian. :-)

Kari

Kari

Discovery Place

Discovery Place, Inc. is a private 501©(3) not-for-profit education organization dedicated to inspiring exploration of the natural and social world through extraordinary exhibits and educational programs that inform, challenge and engage audiences of all ages. Discovery Place, Inc. operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum and Discovery Place KIDS.

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