Wednesday, December 21, 2016

I Am Not a Jumper

If you have heard of Steve Harvey (funny man turned talk show host/NY Times best selling author) then you know that one of his most popular mantras is "jump." Steve has had several shows related to people "jumping", taking a leap of faith and following their dreams and pursuing their passions. This is no ordinary jump. People have been challenged to leave their jobs and all of their financial security to start that business that's been burning in their chest for years, get married and a whole hosts of other things.

Jumping into your dreams and flying high on your faith until you are guided by that parachute that lands you safely into your passion sounds beautiful. Or does it? Don't get me wrong, I love the concept of people following their dreams and pursuing their passions. However, one day as I was watching the show, I had an epiphany. I took a mini trip in my mind down memory lane and also evaulated my current situation. I realized that I AM NOT A JUMPER. If you've read any of my prevuious blogs then you know that I've achieved some major milestones and have overcome great obstacles in my life. But, guess what? I didn't do those things because I jumped. I did them because I flew after I was pushed. See, I realize that not everyone follows the same route to accomplish their dreams. Jumping may work for you, but flying after I've been pushed has always worked for me. I guess because I am such a risk averse person. I've always erred on the side of caution. Everything I've ever done and accomplished is because I was pushed to do something more, something greater for me and my daughters. I made the decision to fly and land in greener pastures for me and my girls. You may be asking the question, Tasha, how were you pushed? My circumstances pushed me. Although I was a young mother, I knew I didn't want to be an uneducated welfare recipient. The thought of living that way pushed me into going to school and earning my degrees. A few months ago I lost my job at an an organization I truly loved. Although I loved the organization, I was not happy with my new work assignments. I had actually started to become miserable on my job. I didn't know what to do. Being as though I'm not a jumper, I tried really hard to make the most of it and tried to stick it out. However, it didn't work out and my position was eliminated leaving me unemployed. While I don't enjoy being unemployed (I'm diligently looking for my new season of employment), I don't have the anxiety I felt going to work everyday stressed. Some people may say I should have jumped and left prior to my position being eliminated, and perhaps they are right, but again, I'm not a jumper. Right now I am flying and when I land, I know my next opportunity will be the right one.

Whether you are a jumper, a flyer, a cruiser or a sprinter, dreams and passions are important. It doesn't matter which route you take to get there, what's important is that you get there and you are happy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Why Am I Not The Parent My Mom Was?

Last night my 16 year old daughter came into my room and said she wanted to talk with me about something. Of course I obliged her because anytime your kid actually wants to talk with you, you immediately stop doing the 12 tasks you were doing simultaneously and give her your undivided attention. She was on a mission to stay home from school the next day. Let me tell y'all, my kid had a speech, a presentation and supporting documents all prepared to present her case to me. She was talking so fast, she got out all 6000 words in one breath. I'm laughing hysterically at what is taking place in my bedroom. She is saying mom, please stop laughing. She actually had a text message on her phone from one of her teachers saying there would not be anything going on in her classroom tomorrow and she'll only be checking folders if any student had not turned theirs in. I'm sitting in my bed amazed at how well she presented her case to me. ( She is going to make a great lawyer). She says, please mom let me stay home tomorrow. I said, I need to ponder and pray about it. She says, I will ask you again at 6:30 in the morning. Needless to say, she won because I did allow her to stay home.

The whole time she was presenting her case to me, I'm thinking, my mom would not even listen to any foolishness like this when I was 16. More so, I knew better than to ask. So, my next question to myself was, Why am I not the parent my mom was to me growing up? Don't misunderstand this blog, I'm not discrediting my parental skills, however, I can admit at times, I am way more accommodating to my children than my parents were to me. I think part of it is the guilt from being a single parent. We try to make up for things here and there when we can. Another part of it is, I am tired, and you caught me at the right moment. My mom investigated everything when I was growing up. A big difference with me and my mom is I have way more responsibility as a parent. My mother had more time to investigate during certain phases of my life when she was a stay at home mom. I'm a  mom among many other titles so I try to give my girls a little bit more leeway than I was given. Although they accuse me of being overly strict.

I do think my kids and many others have a more relaxed life than what I had and their parents for that matter. Kids today are the most spoiled children with a strong sense of entitlement I've ever seen. But to some degree that's our fault as parents. I can own that. I have good kids, don't get me wrong but the things I have to stay on them about like chores, my mother never had to stay on me about. I can remember if I didn't clean the kitchen at night, my mother would wake me up out of my sleep to clean it. That was rough. My girls have gone to bed without doing chores and I never wake them up out of their sleep to do them. I will assert punishments where it hurts; such as removing electronics from their possession. For my 16 year old, this tactic  works wonders.   The problem with some of us parents is that we want our kids to have it way easier than we did. But we are ruining them in some ways. It's okay to give them a great life, but every now and again, some old school parenting will not hurt them.

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Highlights, Achievements and Lessons

I can and can't believe that in a few days, 2015 is over. This has been a roller coaster of year. As you can tell from the picture above, I did it! I finally finished my graduate program on December 12th. I have officially earned my Master's in Public Administration. Although the program was only 18 months , it was a long road mentally and emotionally. However, I thank God that it is over and I can move on to the next chapter of my life.

If  you have followed my blog or any of my social media sites (especially Facebook), you know this Master's Degree is so special to me because of my plight of single motherhood; working full-time, raising four girls, helping my oldest with her daughter, ( single nanahood), running a household and keeping my sanity all at the same time. I've been a mom ever since the age of 17 years old. And while I've been legally wed twice, I've never had a real marriage. My girls and I lived in a homeless shelter for a couple months some years ago and we are survivors of Hurricane Katrina from our hometown of New Orleans, La. People doubted me at times; didn't believe that I would overcome stereotypes of the black, single mother and do something with my life. For me, my accomplishments are not about proving anything to anyone who didn't believe in me. They are to inspire someone to believe in themselves.

In May, I celebrated my 20 year high school class reunion with old friends and classmates. It was a weekend I will never forget. My classmates are beautiful, genuine, kind and great people. I'm so proud of them individually and all of us collectively. We partied literally like we were back in 1995. The spirit of unity was overwhelming. I could not have been a part of a better class. We danced together, literally took thousands of pictures together, sang together, ate together and prayed together. We also showed our love and respect for our classmates who have gone home to be with the Lord. And, it was also my birthday weekend which completely added to the awesome sauce of it all.
In August, I had the honor and the privilege of serving as a co-host of the first ever "What If" Women's Conference in Jackson, MS. I am a part of an amazing group of women who participate in quarterly experiences that uplift, inspire, and encourage one another to reach and achieve their full potential. The organization's founder named the group "Stilettos On The Pavement." The What If Conference simply means . . . " What If" we as women support one another with actions instead of tearing one another down with our words? "What If" I support your business? "What If" I encourage you to go back to school? And so on. . . Amazing things can happen in our communities by simply asking "What If"? It was an extraordinary day of revelation, rejuvenation, unity and growth. I was honored to be a part of something so moving and uplifting.
I've shared some of my most memorable highlights and achievements of the year. I've learned some valuable lessons this year as well. I'm all for being a continuous learner in and out of the classroom. In my last blog I talked about getting out of my own way; about how I over analyze everything in my life. I am still working on that; however, I feel as if I've gotten so much better. I've learned to pace myself, and not sweat the small stuff so much. I'm learning that I can't be great at everything; at least not in the beginning. I'm truly enjoying rediscovering newness about myself in my singleness. Yes, I'm still single, although, I have a nice long distance friendship with a guy who has managed to keep my attention for some months now. He encourages me, makes me laugh and he has stimulating conversation. And guess what, I can live with that. Also, I'm learning how to not think that I'm a failure as a parent every time my kids do something I don't agree with or when they make a mistake. You guys won't believe the things that truly "unbothers" me at this stage in my life. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting older. Whatever it is, it's working. I am learning how to pray, give them the word of God, tell them right from wrong and allow them to make their own choices whether they are good or whether they are mistakes. I have noticed by me doing this, my hair is not graying as fast anymore (seriously). This does not mean they get to do what they want in my household or in my presence; it means that I can lead the horse to the water but I can't make them drink. And, furthermore, it means, I can still be their mother and live my life on my terms no matter what they are doing.

I am not going to get all cliché on you guys with the "New Year" jargon about 2016. I have goals, dreams, and plans for the new year; and you guys will read all about it (if God says the same) as it all unfolds. Until then, thank you so much for coming to my space and entering my world. I wish  you all blessings and prosperity in the new year ahead.

~Tasha Mac