Monday, October 29, 2007

The Return of Babz

I have missed my sister. There has been a whole in my conscious realm of existence. Only recently have I hade the benefit of speaking with her. Babz returns today. Sometime after 8:30 AM, Babz will be released.

I know will she have many stories to share. I also know she will have changed. Her experience with the justice system has been a journey I’m sure she never expected to take. Still, it is my hope that she turns this experience into an asset.

Babz has repeatedly said she no longer has the desire to work with the public. I think she was burnt-out. I think Federal prison may have rattled her cage and reignited her energy, her hustle, her motivation. I hope so, ‘cause there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.

For me, this will probably be my last post. To those of you that have been faithful to this blog while Babz was away, thank you for your support. Stay tuned, the transition continues….

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Faith Forward Friday (Saturday): Holler If You Hear Me…..

I haven’t been to church in years. I have been invited to church by friends for various ceremonies. But, I had planned to join a church by now. I’ve been in New Jersey for more than ten years and still haven’t made that connection. With the birth of each child, again, I thought surely I would/could find a house of worship.

I grew up going to church EVERY Sunday. Although I didn’t particularly like the church I attended, I did feel a part of a larger community that believed in God and all that entailed. When I became a teenager, my mother allowed me to decide if I wanted to continue at that church, join another, or not go. I frequented my grandmother’s church because the choir was the best in town. But, I never joined a church through baptism.

I am a spiritual person and have studied different religions. I take what works for me and incorporate those practices into my life and believe I am passing universal truths and lessons to my children. Still, I would like them to have the experience of the ritual of church sermons, bile study, maybe even bible camp. It’s not my lack of faith that keeps me from church, it’s my lack of belief and trust in those that lead. I have met only a few religious leaders with which I would entrust the spiritual development of my children. I don’t like being yelled at, or victimized by the fire and brimstone speech. I don’t like cliques, especially at church where I expect members to have a greater appreciation and understanding of acceptance, forgiveness and compassion.

Now, some who know me find it puzzling that I would even entertain the idea of church, on a Sunday, since that’s football’s day during the fall. However, any church that I’ve attended and would/have considered have early sessions that would get me home before 1 PM (kickoff time).

Anyway… I’ll find something. Sometimes, there is no substitute for sitting in a house of worship and feeling the power of belief released in waves across the congregation. Not the jump around, fall on the floor belief; but that quiet, nod your head or smile belief because the sermon was seemingly directed at you, without judgment, but with care and concern.

Holler if ya hear me…

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Opportunity Knocked and Broke Down My Door….

I’ve stopped watching TV. Not because there isn’t anything to watch. I do like several shows - Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Life, K-Ville and a few things on the Discovery Channel. Thank God for Tivo! I couldn’t possibly watch everything if I couldn’t fast forward through the commercials. But still that’s not why I’m not watching.

In the past ten days, I’ve received every contract I applied for. Can you believe it? Every one!!! Now, I had hoped to get two or three, in the best case scenario I dreamed of four. I have FIVE contracts. I have five contracts that require my time simultaneously. So, I don’t have time to watch TV. I’ve turned my TV off because I’ve been using TV as a crutch, a way to pass the time instead of doing the things I know I should be doing and the things I say I want to do.

I’m not complaining. But, my husband got me thinking when he asked me “are you prepared for the success awaiting you?” Of course I adamantly replied, “Yes.” Then I thought about it – am I really prepared?

I know I have an awesome skill set and work ethic. I know my strengths and challenges. Most importantly, I know what I want. Still, the little voice in my head asks, “are you really prepared to make the sacrifices you regularly speak about to others? Are you really willing to rise to the occasion and forgo the comforts you have come to know, and enjoy?” I believe I am. But today, at this moment, “The work” I so frequently refer to in conversation is here and needs to be done. It needs to be done right, the first time. My professional reputation is gaining the respect I envisioned. But to move to the next level, that level I have seen myself moving towards for years is here, right now. I am both excited and apprehensive.

Damn, the opportunities are….here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rambling Thoughts about ….Road Rage?

I haven’t blogged in almost a week. I meant to. I had plans to. But it didn’t happen.. again. I could make lots of excuses, and have. So, I’ve decided to just write about whatever pops into my head as I write this post.

For past postings for Love Babz, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Now, my mind is filled with all my new contracts. Yes, I’ve been blessed with two new contracts that will keep me busy through March 2008. I love when all the effort you put into something materializes just when you think, “Well, I guess that’s not gonna happen.” And then, you get a phone call or an email or some communication stating that “we couldn’t possibly do this project without you.” Yes, my mind is on work and the possibilities of new work and how all that work (at good pay) will help me return to some semblance of financial stability.

I could write about how I hate that our society is more prone to believe what they see someone say on TV, as opposed to believing what they see like the Rodney King beating. I could query why political pundits spend so much time analyzing politicians and not enough time helping Joe and Jane Public decipher the politics of politics. I’ve even thought about a campaign to place all cars a device that automatically disengages a vehicle if it fails to signal before a turn. Better yet, I’d rather have an ordinance that would provide me with a monster truck to aggressively pursue people who don’t use turn signals or who flick cigarettes from their car windows instead of using their ashtray.

Well, see, I had more to say than I thought.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

True Love Tuesday: Love Money Can Buy

I’m a consultant. There is a certain pleasure I derive from being my own business entity and commodity. I work my own hours, at my own pace, and wear whatever I want to get the job done. The thing I love about consulting is that I can ramp up for a project that is finite. If anyone wants more of my services, they know that they have to pay for it - which is always good.

Now, sometimes I have to take a job for the money…because I need to pay bills. Fortunately, I’ve been blessed with good jobs, but sometimes those jobs are few and far between. In the past few months there have been times when I thought I would be working for Target or Home Depot at anytime. I’m not opposed to working; I’ve been working since I was thirteen. I know how to hustle multiple so-so paying jobs with low-wage jobs. I’ve done retail, custodial, and childcare.

But now, finally, I feel like my talents are being appreciated with the appropriate compensation I heard tell about some years ago with the go-to-college-and-do-good- things speech. I believe if you have talent and are steadfast, opportunities will find you. I love the whole karma thing. So, yes, a good contract that allows me to showcase my skills and pays top dollar, well that’s a love money can buy for me ANYTIME!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Faith Forward Friday: Ask and Ye Shall Receive ….to a point

I’m a consultant. My specialty areas are project management, project evaluation and performance management. My three areas of expertise are linked – effective management will include ample opportunities for internal evaluations that (should) lead to a continuous improvement loop. My faith is similarly appointed.

I pray for things that make sense to me – incredible health for family and friends, viable contracts to do good work, patience (always patience) and wisdom. I have on a few occasions asked to win the lottery or have someone removed from my life (not dead, just exit my realm of existence). I haven’t won the lottery, but a few folks have moved on to other locations – some in this world, others in the “spirit” world.

Anyway… this week I received news about a contract which was pending for several months. It’s a great contract because it will allow me work 2-3 days a week as opposed to five days and a part-time job to meet household expenses. Well, when it rains, it pours – for me anyway. I received a call from another organization that I have consulted with (love them because they pay top dollar!) and was asked if I was amenable to working for them again. On top of that, an organization I thought I probably would not ever work with again contacted me, not about work, but the conversation was pleasant.

I have been smiling like a Cheshire Cat all day. I got what I asked for, what I prayed for. What I take away from moments like this is that I never wavered in what I needed. I want a lot of things – weekly spa retreats, a bigger house with weight room, and manageable hair. But, I nver wavered in asking for what was important to me.

Now, I must digress for a moment. I used to have the kind of hair and haircut that would make people stop and notice – healthy hair with a sharp haircut. I’m six feet tall, so an excellent haircut just accentuated my stature.

Back to the blessings. Instead of quick wealth, I always asked for sustainable wealth; opportunities for me to work at the things I wanted to be doing, but also with an accommodating salary. This week I feel that I’m on my way…making my prayers and dreams a reality. Oh, I’ve worked hard, sometimes for free. But, I always knew and know that my blessings are opportunities, I must be steadfast and diligent with my efforts to move to the levels of personal success and personal fulfillment that I desire.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

True Love Tuesday: What Do You Want…Today?

I awoke this morning, somewhat stressed and bothered. Stressed that I’m not doing the things I really want to be doing when I want. I know that sounds childish, even selfish. Still, the obligations that await me daily are sometimes overwhelming and sometimes just… overwhelmingly boring.

I like adventure and being impromptu, but I also like routine. I like certain things to stay on schedule – like bedtime for my boys, dinner during the week, and knowing that on Sundays in September though December, I’m watching football.. ALL DAY.

Anyway, this morning I was annoyed that my oldest son was not doing what I had asked him to do to get ready for school. It’s a common occurrence, but today it just really annoyed me. I get that he’s four and his focus is on playing, or rather, occupying his time with the things that he deems more important than following my commands. He was about to blow our morning routine.

The request this morning that became the bane of my existence at 8:30 AM was Buddy Bear. Buddy Bear is a stuffed animal that each child in my son’s Pre-K class takes home to care for and reports to the class the next morning all the things they did. Well Buddy Bear was lying on the floor without his blanket. “Where’s Buddy Bear?” I asked, knowing exactly where he was and how blanketless he was. My son replied, “I don’t know, can you help me find him?” I explained to him that he needed to be more responsible for his things, like keeping his sneakers together so we don’t have to hunt for them in the morning, or putting his toys away, consistently keeping his room clean – I could (did) go on and on. When I had finished, my son smiled at me and asked again, “Mom, can you help me find Buddy Bear?”

In that moment I(re)learned a valuable lesson – ask for what you need. My son wisely ignored my rant and focused solely on what he needed at that moment: Buddy Bear. Now, I realize that an adult life is much more complicated than child’s (the whole work and debt thing). But, his steadfastness and forgiving tone was more resolute than my whining.

At times, I have been slow in asking for help. I have repeatedly (re)learned to take it from wherever it comes. I’m not a supermom, although today my sons beg to differ. Whatever crisis of boredom or frustration I have because of choices I have made are mine to resolve. This morning I realized (again) that what’s happening at this moment is more important than what could happen tomorrow. Knowing what is needed today and asking for it today is wise.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Faith Forward Friday: That’s the Truth, Ruth

I believe in a God. Yes, I believe that there is a higher power moving through the universe, a positive force (goodness) that ALWAYS trumps negative energy (evil). Now, I don’t claim any particular religion, because I don’t believe I need an intermediary to get access to my God. However, I will concede at times that an intermediary, in whatever fashion – be they called priest, reverend, rabbi, or friend – is necessarily helpful with my communication.

Each morning when I awake, I lay still in the bed and give thanks for all that I have and pray for the wisdom and guidance to do all that I must. I’ve been thinking that keeping the positive energy flowing toward and around me (blessings) require the appropriate actions and deeds. I try to keep it simple – do unto others…, say what I mean, mean what I say, and keep the lying to the bare minimum. I really don’t have a problem with lying. Most people that seek my advice and/or support do so because they know they’ll get just that – the unadulterated truth. That’s not to say that I’m not tactful, just snarkily honest.

When I was a teenager, I took bible study with my sister. One of the most important lessons for me was that once you know something to be true, you can’t ignore it anymore. You can’t pretend that you didn’t know, or fake it. Because then Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” would prove to be … true. Now, I do believe that most of society resides in Plato's proverbial cave; again by choice. It's easier to ignore the truth than to deny it, becuase denying it would mean you'd have to think about it, then present a cogent argument for refuting it, AND then do something about it (whatever it is).

I spend a lot of time thinking about truth and what that means and it’s relativity from one situation to the next. One thing I know for sure (ode to Oprah) is that when truth is not readily accepted, it’s because it’s not what’s really wanted. We say we want to know things, we want the truth. But what is really sought is a truth that is recognizable and palatable. A truth that is conveniet and comforting. I don't want a convenient and comforting truth. I want the usually painful, often distateful, sometimes burdening, but always cleasning truth. And that's the truth, Ruth.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

True Love Tuesday (on Thursday): Are You Ready for Some Football?

I love football. I get anxious about the season right around June. I spend hours talking with my brothers and husband about the trades, acquisitions, the ads; I can have a conversation about just anything about football. I can always tell when a special season is on the horizon because the weather behaves and accommodates my sense of fall, which includes a slight crispness in the air. Unfortunately, this is not one of those seasons. Still, I believe that the possibility for greatness exists if the players cooperate, which continues to feed my passion for the sport.

See, like life, there are external forces (weather, turf/field, referees, fans) that can impact our actions and choices. Still, the choice to excel and succeed is ultimately ours. Lou Holtz (former Notre Dame Football coach) recently gave a speech about champions vs. winners. What I got from his musings was that champions expect to win and play accordingly because they make the effort to be prepared; while winners are usually talented, but play not to lose. I think if you love what you’re doing, it’s not a chore or a job, but an essential part of who you are and you prepare yourself accordingly. If you’re a professional football player you should be watching tape, taking advice or whatever is needed to make you a better player (without cheating). Champions know that with success much more work is required to prevent mediocrity and complacency. Champions exude confidence, so much so that their opponents expect them to win, even if the score says otherwise.

I believe I have a champion attitude. In my professional capacity, I need to show up prepared when scheduled. I can’t say, “Oops, I’m sorry can I get a do over? I was out late last night partying, because that was WAY more important to me at the time than this job.” Now, that works if you really don’t want your job, but what if you do? What if it’s not a job, but a friend, spouse, child, or ___________? You could fill in the blank with anything you’d like, because if was important to you, you’d find a way to prepare yourself to do what was needed to excel and succeed. Hence, True Love Tuesday on Thursday! Excuses only work for young children. Now, I may not have the making for a dynasty yet (one of those teams that’s a juggernaut in whatever they do Boston Celtics [pre 80’s], Yankees, Green Bay Packers [12 NFL titles], or the Chicago Bulls).

So, I’m taking my own advice and making it work for me as a guest blogger for Babz. I dropped the ball, but I’m still here willing and ready to fiercely participate – ‘cause that what champs do.

Monday, October 1, 2007

What the Hell is Snarky?

I spoke to Babz this morning. She was expecting my call. Actually she and my brother (Uncle Robert) were estimating my call. See, I have a routine where I call Babz and/or my brother after I drop my son off at school. Anyway…. they were en route to Danbury.

At one point the conversation turned to what she’d wear upon release. I asked, “What difference does it make? Can’t you just wear your khaki’s home? Why waste time changing clothes? What… you have an interview or appointment scheduled?” Then she called me snarky. “You’re being real snarky today.” Snarky? Snarky? “What the hell is snarky?” I asked. She enlightened me that I was being sassy in blog speak. Of course, I immediately Googled the word to learn its meaning and usage (it’s a habit of mine – if I don’t know I find out through the internet). So, yes, I was being snarky or rudely sarcastic.

Our conversation ended with the mutual “I love you” and a joke about calling when she could. My brother escorted her inside. I asked him if she was alright, “did she cry?” “No,” he replied. “I told her yesterday that if she did, I’d laugh at her.” Babz, my brother and I chatted about this day of surrender. She vehemently stated that she wanted to be strong and not cry. My brother told her that her strength comes from experience – she’s known hardship and anguish. She should take this moment in time and use it to her advantage. Get her head right, and get back to her trailblazing ways.


...BACK IN AWHILE CROCODILE. See you all in 30 days, however in the meantime, my Sister Lo will be holding it down.