Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I know I said I would not address news because I wanted to keep my blog "light"...but this time I have to. You don't have to be a parent to have shed tears over the tragedy in Connecticut. We have all said the same thing, "I don't understand how someone could have done this" or "I don't understand how this could have happened."  I've decided I'm not going to try and understand how or why this happened. A link to this story was sent to my email. Soon after I read it, I was sitting at my niece's Christmas program. I watched my niece, dressed in her Christmas red, walk confidently to her spot on the bleachers. She stood there smiling and carefree, waiting for her cue from the "music teacher" to begin singing. I looked at all of the faces of the other children: innocent, some wearing reindeer antlers, some dressed as elves, some waiving to their family members, some talking to each other instead of singing, some standing still and poised, some who couldn't stand still. I thought about those families who babies were taken from them. The day probably started out as a normal school day. No one even imagining their day would end like it did. Those children will never sing in a Christmas program. They will never get to open their Christmas presents they were anticipating. All over the world, people have created memorials for the victims. I saw children who released yellow balloons to honor the slain. I heard one of the children say, "I believe something good can come out of this." This statement reinforces the innocence of children. I admire that child's belief in the "something good."  Right now I question the good that can come from this. Where is it??

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Don't forget what you love

We need sources of income..legal sources of income, just in case a few of you were confused. We need money to take care of ourselves. We need money to live. I will ruffle some feathers with this one, so I welcome your disagreeable comments when I say that having money makes life more enjoyable!! Show me a broke person who is walking around proclaiming, “I’m broke, but I couldn’t be happier”….hmmmm…no thanks! There is a source of pride that goes along with going to work to be able to take care of ourselves and to handle our obligations. However, I do believe that we become so anxious to make more money that it pulls us away from doing what we love. We forget what we love. Do not push that which you love to do to the wayside. Who said you have to settle for working an unfulfilling job or jobs for the rest of your life just to get a check. Take it from someone who, at one point, worked three jobs. So, I get the notion that “you have to do what you have to do.” I get it! Just consider that doing what you love CAN be a source of income. It can be your main source if that is what you choose to pursue. Why not start out doing what you love as a part time gig? Maybe that is the start you need to have a more fulfilling career.  You love what you love for a reason. Give it a chance. Give yourself a chance.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Hangover

If you are like me, then you are still coming off the Thanksgiving food high and still working off the 5000 calories you inhaled on Thursday! This time every year, people become extra emotional, extra sensitive, extra “lovey-dovey”, and extra thankful and grateful for what they have.  I guess that is what’s called the “Holiday Spirit.” At the start of 2012, I made it my resolution to be more thankful for my life and those in it. Making that resolution must have worked because all year I’ve had this overwhelmingly grateful attitude for the people I love and for the gift of living; and by living I mean the ability to exist, to be able to dream, to think, and to create. As I was shoveling food into my mouth, no one knew, but I had to hold back tears. To say that I was happy to be surrounded by my family would be an understatement. The image was picture perfect!! I wonder what kind of energy would exist in the world if this attitude was a part of us all of the time. Whatever kind of gratitude you felt and expressed while you were eating your greens, turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese and whatever else you had piled up on your plate, why not carry that same level of gratitude daily?  I know being grateful can be challenging when we are having those “life can be a real #####” days. How about before making a complaint, stop yourself and ask, “What can I be thankful for at this moment to wash away this complaint?” I’m talking to myself too people! I’m not telling you how you should think. I’m just making a very strong suggestion. We don’t have to wait for a holiday to be thankful or show gratitude. It should be a lifestyle. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

So Sentimental

(Pardon me in advance if the content of this post sounds like it could be a part of a story line for one of those "cheesy" holiday lifetime movies.) I have been experiencing this overwhelmingly appreciation for the people in my life. My family and friends close enough to be considered family, are a huge part of the reason why my life is so full. When I listen to the successes they’ve reached along with the disappointments they have endured, I feel blessed to be surrounded by such powerful people. When I get advice from them, I’m confident their advice to me serves a positive purpose only because they are in my corner. By the way, if you have to second guess whether someone in your life is in your corner…**Breaking News** …they are probably are not. Not to bring anyone down, but there are so many people who are truly living life alone.  This being alone is not just a feeling, but it is their reality.  I don’t believe a person was put here in the earth to handle LIFE all by themselves. The people in my life make up my support system: support through failures, disappointments, and success! Through my support system, I get plenty of encouragement and laughs!! My title for the person who really thinks he/she can live life alone…Fool. (Harsh?...not really.) Taking it further, I could list what each person in my support system adds to my life. I won’t do it here, but I hope I’m adding the same positive thread to their lives as they have added to mine.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Seasons are changing, time is moving. I have been trying my best to keep up and I’m sure you are doing the same. I hope that what ever transitions you have experienced have brought enlightenment and more fuel to your journey. I know it has for me. I would describe my feeling right now as excitement. Not because of the transition into a cold season (depending on where you live), but because I’ve been having these “Aha” Moments.  (Side note: I know Oprah came up with the “aha moments” phrase, but allow me to borrow the phrase for this post.)  I won’t go into it again here, but I’ve talked about how I have learned to be flexible with my life plans. In my mind, I have envisioned how I am going to achieve a goal, the steps I have to take, and in what order!  Lately, I have laughed at myself, repeatedly for being so naive to think that I have that much control! (Perhaps I need to deal with a control issue.) You know how it goes when things happen and it begins to look like your goals and whatever you desire, have been pushed back, so far back that you can’t even see them anymore?! As you stumble along the way, you start to wonder why this and that happened. As you start to regain your balance, you realize you are facing opportunities to accomplish whatever it is you want. I’m excited about those opportunities. I was just wrong about the path I thought I was going to take to get there.  I’m looking back at a few of the “events”, that once had me picking my face up off of the floor, and I’m able to say, “Ok. I get it. I had to go through that to be ready for this opportunity.” (HOWEVER, there are still some other “happenings” that I’m still scratching my head on.)  Whether or not control is a factor, it’s still a “mutha” for reality to not match what you have written down, drawn out, or mapped out. Don’t worry about how you will get there (wherever or whatever your “there” is), just know your opportunities are still very present. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Change Episode

If anyone would ask, “How many people are not afraid of change?" , I would be the first one to have both hands raised high.  Without change there is no progress, no growth, no newness, no life! Yes, that all sounds good, but are we really ready for the change we seek? I had to ask myself this question recently. This last change episode, albeit positive, the waters have been shaky, leaving me to feel nervous and uneasy at times. I’m in new territory, I have new opportunities, I have new challenges, and I have more to consider. So why do I catch myself thinking, “Before all of “this”, things sure were simpler!” As life goes on, I’m really starting to understand how people can remain complacent. When I was younger, I could never understand how or why people would talk about what they wished they could do or talk about all of these moves they wanted to make in their lives, but then followed up with a reason for not moving! So much comes with stepping into a new territory. I’m going to venture off and say change has an emotional piece to it also. Change is not just about what’s happening on the exterior, but internally, we are also affected. True, it can be overwhelming. Change can happen so fast, we don’t often get that much needed moment to process what has taken place. With all of that being said, we deserve positive changes that come from working hard, hoping and praying (yes I do believe in prayer.) So when you see change taking place, do not take a step back, don’t second guess yourself, gather whatever you need, follow the yellow brick road, and go.  

I told you I would be back!

I told you I would be back!
I hope this new month is off to a healthy, safe, fabulous start for you! This delay from my blog was not a planned one. I have really missed writing, so I hope that you have really missed reading my blog!! (Do you understand what I’m getting at? If you missed reading it that means you have not given up on TamuTalks.) I have to find a better way to stay on top of my blog!! To say that I didn’t have time is a poor excuse, so disregard that from the most previous post! Side note: seriously, I do feel like I need an assistant sometimes. From now on, my blog time will be treated as a regularly scheduled appointment. I’m putting that out there, so that you can hold me to that! Now….. let’s chat!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Still Talking!

I realize it has been awhile. I had to make this short post for all of you, just in case you were wondering where Tamu has been, just in case you were getting restless, just in case you were wondering when the next post was going to come through…well don’t fret...Tamu is still talking!  My slight absence from my blog is not because I’ve had nothing to say..o no! Much needed change has been occurring in my life and it hasn't left me much time to blog! I have noticed my view count continues to rise, so much appreciation to you for that (don’t forget to tell your friends about me!). So, be patient. I will return in a few. We have much to talk about!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

No Comparison Part 2

We do ourselves an injustice when we compare our lives to someone else. That comparison is sometimes done without even knowing what a person’s life really looks like behind closed doors. We don’t know the inconveniences that a person has had to face everyday. We don’t know what another has had to deal with emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially to get where they are. There are certain things that I planned to have accomplished by a certain age, but those tasks are still a “work in progress.” What remains a “work in progress” for me, is an accomplished mission for some around me. When I look in the mirror I still see a successful person. I know that had I accomplished what I thought I should have accomplished by now then perhaps I wouldn’t have been able to have the experiences that I’ve had. I suspect what brings about comparisons comes from what society, and believe it or not, what our family and friends says success is supposed to look like. **Another News Flash** If you have people in your life who say things that make you feel you are less successful because you don’t have certain things or you don’t hold the “right” titles, then have an honest chat with those special ones. Tell them you don’t need their definition of success because you have your own. So class, what did we learn? Stop with the comparisons. Sloppy copies are not allowed. Success is by individual definition only. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

No Comparison Part 1

Define success for yourself. The more I experience in life, the more I hold onto that truth. I bet if you ask anybody the question, “Do you let other’s define success for you?" most people would answer with a proud, “NO.” So why do these same people compare their lives with everyone else’s?  **News Flash** When you compare your life to the life of another, you actually are letting others define success for you.  Some of us have this idea that by a certain age, if we have certain material things, have obtained certain statuses, or hold certain titles, that we, finally, have success. People become edgy when they see something they want and don’t have, but yet see their peers or friends with it. Those people start to question whether or not they have done something wrong or if they are less worthy. Another example: Some women think that by age of 30 they should have a strong career, and be married with at least one and half kids!  They start to become dissatisfied with life because they are noticing that their peers and friends are becoming a part of the “wives club.” (I have witnessed women who start to feel less successful and less womanly just because they haven’t walked down the aisle. How dreadful!) Whatever the comparison, we limit ourselves and the endless possibilities in our own lives go unnoticed. I also believe that when we compare our lives to others, we start to tragically copy. Why would you be a sloppy copy of someone else, when you can be fabulous in your own right?! Stay tuned for Part 2.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Gift Called Resilience

Not everyone has the ability to recover or to “bounce back,” as some would say, after stressful events. Not everyone can smile or even laugh while enduring tension.  Not everyone can reach for inner strength to continue living a productive life. No situation under the sun is unique to just one person, so what makes one person keep going, while another loses steam? It is called resilience. In my life, I have found during stress, time can either drag or fly by.  When time passed quickly, I did not process what I had actually endured until after the fact. We should give ourselves credit for getting through what has not been easy. In the midst of stress, it is hard to wrap your head around what it really going on. I supposed it is because we are too busy trying to figure out why the mess (another 4 letter word comes to mind, but I’ll be civil) is unfolding. Writing a book is on my list of “things to do.”  I’ve always enjoyed writing since I was a little princess.  I’ve never known exactly what type of book to write and I don’t know where the desire came from.  But as far back as I can remember the desire has always been there.  Well thanks to some stress, I believe I now have some material to write about (whew, wiping my brow!).  People see the carefree and successful you, but they didn’t see the stressful you. To others, you make things look real easy and glamorous!  Do pat yourself on the back for not throwing away your plans, for still opening that business, for still obtaining that degree, for keeping your relationship together, for owning that promotion!  Maybe a pat on the back is not enough for you, maybe you feel like you need to do a back flip!  Just give yourself credit for the spirit you still have, even if no one else does.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

LOVE: not the "I love you like a brother" kind

I did my best to stay away from this LOVE topic, because that could easily take my blog into another direction! But I figured I start off with a short post, otherwise it wouldn’t be TamuTalks if I didn’t. So for you men, that maybe secretly reading TamuTalks, please take note. (Side bar: No really, earlier I said TamuTalks is for men also, so please keep reading!) Ok. Here it goes:
Love is the way you feel when he says your name. Love is when he annoys the #### out of you, but yet you do not want him to leave. Love is when you argue, but yet the sound of his voice makes him irresistible. Love is when he makes you angry, but yet you cannot imagine life without him. Love is that warmth you feel when he enters the room. Love is the way you look at each other without saying a word. Love is when you sit on the same side in a booth at a restaurant (the “cheesy” alarm just went off!). Love is when he still stands out in a room full of other attractive men. Love is when life hits hard and he puts your hand inside of his and without saying a word, you know everything will be ok. Love is being blissful to be in each other presence, even when romance is hard to find. Love…to be continued.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peace of Mind

If you have ever had this before, you know how this feels. Physically, it feels like weights have been lifted off of your shoulders. Peace of mind leads to a lighter heart. If you really pay attention, you even breathe lighter when you have peace of mind. Literally, your head feels lighter! Peace of mind can give you clearer vision. You start to look at situations differently. You start to notice opportunities in bleak situations. You start to feel like you can accomplish anything at anytime because your peace of mind has replaced fear. Peace of mind brings smiles and laughter easier. You’ll even find your talk is different. I’ve had to get myself to this point again. Because life is so full of decisions and options, it has been easy for me to be bombarded with those questions we ask ourselves; you know the ones: How will I know if I make the right decision? Where will this option lead me? Will I fall flat on my face (and chip a tooth)? I’ve been faced with decisions before, and with my peace of mind, I picked what was behind door #2, and moved on. I know I can do the same at this particular time in my life. We have to decide to trust that the decisions we make will work out in our favor. We have to decide to trust that the plans we have made will work out in our favor. After all what else are we going to do? Worry all day? No Thanks. Worrying brings wrinkles and gray hair, neither of which I wear well. So, I’m making a conscious, daily effort to maintain my peace of mind, hope you do the same. **Peace**

Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to the Basics

“If we just get back to the basics and watch how we treat each other, things in the world would be so much better.” This is what someone told me during our conversation we were having about progress and greed. This statement really got me to thinking, “Is it really that simple?” I have tried my best to keep my blog light, so I won’t give a list of all the treacherous things people have done and said to each other, just to get ahead. People make a choice to be dirty. While I’m achieving and progressing, I’m not going to step on anybody in the process. As a matter of fact, when I leave here, I want to be remembered for how I treated people. There’s no need to be ugly. Sometimes we can want to achieve and get ahead so badly, we develop this attitude of “I’m going to get what I want and forget everybody else.” A fine line can develop between this attitude and being malicious. For some, this attitude can just be one of ambition. Being ambitious, however, does not and should not translate into being grimy.  If you feel you have to throw someone under the bus, to get what you want, If you feel you have to down play someone else’s efforts to make yourself look good, If you feel you have to steal someone’s ideas because you feel it takes too long to develop your own, If you feel you have to be condescending to prove your status (whatever status that may be)…..????  Check Yourself! (Just like Ice Cube said in 1993!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

New city. New mind. Maybe.

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to live in a couple of different cities. When I moved, I realized, after the fact, I did not take full advantage of what the cities had to offer because of my thought patterns. Change is fabulous! Change can bring progress. I’m all for new scenery, new experiences, new surroundings, new people, but before jumping up to move to another city just because you feel you need a change or if you are unhappy, consider a change in your thinking should come first. Changing cities may not necessarily change your mindset. Whatever your habits are, good or bad, those habits follow too. If you are unhappy in one city, you may still be unhappy in the next. I understand that traumatic things happen where we feel we need to leave a city for a new start, but the hurt will follow. You still have to recover. Maybe you have considered relocating because what you want to happen in your life is just not happening for you. (Of course, if you are trying to make a career change, there are cities that are homes to certain industries.) I believe that how we think, how we talk to ourselves, what we say about ourselves, affects every aspect of our lives. I believe our thinking, gives us our demeanor. I believe in the law of attraction; what we think, is what we attract. So moral of this short story, before you decide to pack up, ask yourself, “Is my thinking out of sorts, what am I saying to myself, does my thinking need to be more positive?” Answering truthfully to these questions is an eye-opener, take it from me. But, after answering these questions, you still feel the need to pack up, just relocate to a sunny place with beaches; because that’s the only way I will come and visit! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Another Health Edition: Kind of

I am thankful that I have not had any hospital stays.  I’m not suffering from any chronic illnesses. I have been abundantly blessed with good health. I’m conscious of what I put into my body, but I am not extreme. Before I go full force with my rant, let me emphasis this is my opinion. Everyone has to do what they feel they need to do to lead the healthiest lives. Back to where I was: Call me old-fashioned, but I still believe in the well balanced meal with meat, carbohydrates, and vegetables. I do not believe we have to totally omit certain foods from our diets to be our healthiest.  I consider myself a healthy eater. I am not a big fan of beef or pork. But I will inhale a baked piece of chicken or fish. Fried food is not a regular part of my diet, but I can still appreciate a large, fried catfish dinner! Everywhere we look there are articles and books that tell us what we should eat on Tuesdays, and what not to eat on Fridays! There are shakes being marketed, telling us, “Hey, you don’t need food at all. All the nutrients you need is in the shake!” (Ok. I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea.)  We hear food experts tell us what foods we should become blind to. You know those diets that tell us to eliminate carbs. Excuse me, no mac and cheese?!. No thank you! And real quick: how about that one diet that tells us to throw meat out the window..period? Well, I’ve looked into benefits of being a vegetarian, but I will not be moving to “Veganville” anytime soon. I may ruffle some feathers with this, but this diet is the perfect example of being extreme. I believe in eating foods in moderation. Too much of anything is not healthy, there must be balance.  I will say this again because I can: I do not believe we have to totally omit certain foods from our diets to be our healthiest. Now if you decide to go out and eat a carton of ice cream, don’t blame me because I’m not telling you to do that. Remember we are talking about extremes here. We know what foods we may need to cut back on and what foods we may need more of. Eat well. Be moderate. Until next time!

Monday, July 9, 2012

How Free Are You

To be completely comfortable with yourself, your personality, what you like, what you dislike, what excites you, what bores you to tears, accepting who you are, without making excuses, or feeling like you have to explain yourself, is what I call freedom. To know that we are flawed goes without saying. There are books that give ideas on how to work on our flaws and imperfections. I’ve read several of these books, and I’ve found them to be enlightening. I also found that while I was “working on my flaws”, I forgot about all the positive aspects of my personality. I was so focused on my flaws and how I needed to better myself that I no longer appreciated the qualities I had to offer the world. I no longer appreciated my personality. Yes, we should deal with our blemishes head on, but we should also deal with enhancing our positives. It’s no secret that when the good pieces of you are enhanced, the blemishes become smaller. We should also keep from putting the light out on our personalities just to make others feel comfortable. Not cute. Your goal in life is to live…YOU. My goal in life is to live…..ME. I’m the type of person who can mingle and would be comfortable sitting at a table full of strangers. I’m going to talk to someone at that table about something! Because of that fact, I’ve been told that I like being the center of attention. Well, if this aspect of my personality makes another uncomfortable, I can’t do anything about that. So, If you are bold, be bold! If you are life of the party, then be the life of the party! If you are witty, then be witty. Be YOU. Those that are supposed to stick around you will stay and those that leave weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Just Take the Compliment

When someone gives you a compliment, what do you say? All together now, “Thank you!” You may be saying, “Tamu, why are you taking us back to toddler years where we learned that rule?” Let me tell you why. We learned to say thank you because it is the proper, socially acceptable thing to do.  But where did we learn to follow up “thank yous” with negatives? Let me present a simple i.e.; let’s say someone says to me, “Tamu, those shoes are fabulous.” Then I respond with, “Thank you, but they are so old.” A perfectly good compliment has just been negated with a “but.” I suspect that some people don’t know how to accept compliments. I also think some people are so concerned with being modest, they feel they have to down play the compliments in some way, as if receiving compliments makes them less modest. Compliments are given for something done well. Another i.e. moment; let’s say you form an event and your guests tell you how wonderful it turned out. How about you just accept the compliment without proclaiming what you did not like about it. When you are good at something, you are just good. Following up a “thank you” with a needless, unconstructive comment, can make you appear unsure of yourself. It can even turn you into a compliment repellent. I’ve given compliments to people and after hearing all the downbeat commentary, I just wanted to just say, “Never mind on that compliment.” There is nothing wrong with accepting compliments and accepting them with a big kool-aid grin. Your acceptance doesn’t make you arrogant. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging that people consider what you did, said, or how you look was/is grand! Compliments are one of the very few things in life that are free..so just take them!

Nothing To Do With You

You cannot control decisions a person makes. A person will make decisions to make their life more comfortable as he or she has every right to do so. Sometimes an individual will make decisions without considering how those closest will be affected. So, the decision can make others feel uncomfortable, shocked, and even hurt. This hurt will cause a person to actually blame themselves for the decision another has made. A person can blame themselves to the point of feeling inferior or less valuable. I can go into several scenarios surrounding this idea, which could be the start a book (hmmmm). Anyway, I know from experience, people will make decisions based off of what they want. Questions of “What did I do wrong?” or “How can I change?” can start to take a toll. At some point, no more mental energy should be wasted on “figuring” out why a person made the choice they made. Why? Because the decision did not have anything to do with you. I’m not telling anyone to avoid owning when your wrong-doing influenced a resolve that did cause hurt feelings. That’s different. I’m talking about those decisions that are unexpected, unpleasant surprises. I’m talking about those decisions that interrupt something you got used to, something you thought was good and then this startling decision occurs leaving you to pick your face up off of the floor. It’s okay to be sad and angry for a moment. While you’re moving through those emotions, don’t beat yourself up over someone else’s choices. That person will go on with their choice and with their life. You should do the same.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Don’t Forget To Celebrate

I don’t know about you, but I do not need to be reminded that nothing comes easily in this life.blah..blah..blah. I don’t need to see it posted on an ad, t-shirt, billboard, or a piece of cardboard, nor do I need to hear it in a song. To live the life you want, to obtain the goals you set, it is no mystery that hard work goes with the territory. Time moves so fast, that no sooner you meet one goal, you have already shifted your focus toward your next objective. Sometimes the shift happens with no appreciation shown or celebrating done for what has been accomplished and acquired. I have found myself being drained from work to the point of being left discouraged because the journey to my aspiration had proven to be more difficult than the last. At times, the discouragement settled in to the point of me showing no consideration to what I have already achieved. I even found myself lessening the significance of what I had completed. Side note: Discouragement is a dreadful something if not dealt with. Don’t fret, I snapped out of it! I had to ask myself, does it really make sense to work so hard to make things happen, to be a “mover and a shaker,” only to never celebrate my successes? You and I deserve to honor what we’ve attained. We’ve had to overcome internal and external obstacles to make progress to get to whatever point we are at right now. To commemorate that, it IS personal empowerment. So the next time discouragement tries to take a comfortable seat at your table, let the celebration begin.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Take a Moment

Often, I wonder how in the world am I supposed to get done what I have to get done. I feel like I’m always rushed. There are days I feel like throwing my calendar out of a window. I get caught up with being busy and making preparations for tomorrow that I never take a minute to just be in the current moment. I have noticed my so called relaxation isn’t relaxation at all. My mind races heavily and I then I realize I’ve just spent the last 15 minutes thinking about what I needed to do next! It’s becoming more important for me to seize time to be tranquil and just look at my surroundings. I’m constantly proclaiming to the world my pressing need for a vacation. Maybe I wouldn’t feel this way all of the time, if I take a minute to just sit and listen to the calm and get recharged. I believe that more peace would come when I take time to notice my own breaths and feel my own heart beat. I guess it would be okay for my mind to race at first, because being silent will focus my attention to what and how I’m thinking. There are different situations that have sparked my preoccupation with making this apart of my life, as I still have yet to do so. (I got it! I’ll make it apart of my work out sessions.) I realize these moments have been of great value for quite some time. I’m sure that many of you already appreciate these quite moments. So, please excuse me for not being up to speed. Excuse me again, as I “take a moment.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No Explanation Required (extension from “When Being Busy Gets Ridiculous”)

I have never understood why a certain two letter word has so much power and brings so much grief. Why is so hard for people to say, “NO?” In my earlier “Busy” post, I discussed how people find they don’t have enough time to fulfill obligations they’ve committed to. I hear people complain about being asked to do certain things they would much rather not do or get invites to go to places they would much rather not be see in. Last time I checked, “NO” is still a word.  People voice concerns of wanting to avoid hurting another’s feelings by declining. I am all for being considerate of other people’s feelings. On the other hand, I know that I have absolutely no control over another’s feelings. Guess what else? “NO” can be said freely, without providing an explanation. I have witnessed that, even after saying “NO”, people follow up with an explanation. Is the explanation supposed to soften the blow of hearing that two letter word? So, now you may be thinking, “Really? Come on! That’s just mean!” Ok. I understand under delicate circumstances, a follow up explanation would be polite, appropriate, and respectable. I just don’t think every proclaimed “NO” needs a follow up. Because, even after the “follow up”, that “NO” is still waiving. It is ok to use the word. You don’t have to feel bad using the word. You can’t do everything at one time. You have the right to respect your time and your energy. NO. Just say it…it really is that simple.

Monday, June 25, 2012

When Being Busy Gets Ridiculous

Being active is good! Being active keeps us alert and engaged. Life, if you have one, is busy anyway. We all have obligations we must tend to in addition to doing those things that give us pure enjoyment. Then something happens. We start to complain about all of the things that we have to get done. We start to gripe about the places we have to go to. We whine about the “duties” we’ve agreed to accept. Here is a perfect resolution for that. How about we stop agreeing to be involved in everything, in every group, in every club! How about we stop accepting every invite and “rsvp-ing” for two! I view giving time just as significant as giving green (green=money). I enjoy giving both. But I don’t know anyone who will give money until they don’t have enough left to take care of themselves. Even the richest person, that person with long money, is not giving all of their dollars away. Do you get the idea? Our time should be treated the same way. Unless you have a double, you can’t be in more than one place at one time. If people are asking you to give your time for whatever reason, and you find it is not feasible according to your schedule, you can decline the invite, you can say NO. (By the way, don’t fret about how people will react to your rebuff. That is not your problem. Look for further discussion on this in another post.) What is the point of agreeing to something, knowing you really do not have the time? You will end up dreading what you agreed to. You’ll end up asking yourself, “why did I agree to this?” or “why am I here?” or here’s my favorite, “what was I thinking?” Also, we get involved in so much that we forget to even set time out for ourselves! I get the feeling some may disagree with me on this, but that time out for you, is a necessity, not a luxury. It’s so important to me that I take time out for myself, that I make it an appointment on my calendar! Being “on the go” makes life even more eventful. But, if you find yourself fuming about being busy, try asking yourself if all that you are involved in has good reason…that’s of priority. (Only you can define a priority in your life and what is not. Don’t let others define that for you.) If you don’t find an answer to that question, then perhaps some of your “busy” is just brainless. Maybe it’s time to drop some “obligations” out of the line-up.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Perfection Quickie

I often hear people say “Don’t try and be perfect, just do your best.” I’ve also heard, “Perfection is too much pressure.” So, when did perfection become such an unenthusiastic notion? To me, when you give your best at what you do, it is the same as reaching for perfection. I don’t believe in doing anything haphazardly, regardless of how big or small the task is. I believe when you do something, you should do everything you can to get the task done RIGHT. I get the feeling that some people will turn perfection into something negative when they need to find an excuse for either not completing their task or the task turning into something frightful. The search for an excuse begins because they know the task was not handled to the best of their ability. Instead of saying, “This task didn’t meet expectations because I didn’t do all that I needed to do,” they say, “Oh well, I’m not perfect.” Side Note: Consider that the effort you put into accomplishing a job is a reflection of you. Let me point out, I do feel the notion of perfection becomes a problem when it develops into obsession. Of course, after we’ve completed something, we will always notice what could have been done differently or better. That’s inevitable. We can take what we’ve learned and apply it to our next mission. That’s good for us! However, it is not healthy when we become gripped by everything that we could’ve done differently. But, when we know we have made all the proper preparations and put all of our sweat into completing that task, we can be confident that we gave our absolute best.  We can be confident in that, regardless of the outcome.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fashion Edition: Summer Weddings

Since summer is my absolute favorite season and I’m attending several weddings during the season, it’s only fitting to do a segment on what to wear to a summer wedding. I do not claim the “fashion expert” title, but I do know a few things. What you will read here, and in future fashion segments, is inspired by my own style and fashion tragedies I’ve witnessed. Please note: some of what is discussed here can be applied to weddings in general. OK. Men, your best bet is to stick with linen to keep you cool, now stand by. Women, here we go. We see more couples opting for nontraditional ceremonies instead of the traditional church weddings. For example, I’m attending one wedding that will be outside and the other will take place in a ballroom. Because of the “nontraditional-ness,” attire for weddings has become slightly more flexible. This flexibility necessitates caution. I will be the first to embrace every moment to wear shorts, halter/strapless dresses and tops, and high-split skirts! But let us pump our brakes when we go to weddings. Please remember you are not at a party, a lounge, or in a club. It’s important to keep your “extra sexy, showing a lot of skin and I’m too sexy for my shirt” attire in the closet.  We already know that bright colors are so right for the summer. However, please do not wear the same bright colors that are themed in the wedding. Remember you are a guest, not part of the bridal party. So, look like you are a guest. I probably do not have to address this, but I will, for the sake of completion and clarity. If you show up in white, you deserve to be escorted to a far away land and that is all I will say about that. So you ask, “Well Tamu, since you have these “rules”, what do I wear?” Try an asymmetric dress, which always has sophistication without “over-shining.” Also, a simple A-Line dress with pleats or appliqué detail is classy. You can’t go wrong with the Maxi skirt or dress. Please don’t forget about the jersey dress, especially if it is strictly comfort that you are going for. I have posted pictures, but keep in mind they are only examples. If we were to get into accessories (shoes, jewelry, hand bags), that would be a totally new post. However, I would be more than happy to provide ideas for coordination of your complete ensemble, should you have further questions.

(ignore the dreadful flip flops)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Health Edition:You Have Time!

I won’t list the reasons here because you know them well. You see them listed in magazines, on the news, and everywhere else!  But I will say, “Yes, you do have time!” I’ve heard the argument, “When your time comes to die, exercise won’t keep you here.” (**crickets**) Let’s talk about living. I believe in quality of life and doing those activities, within reason, that will keep us feeling and looking fabulous, not for other people, but for ourselves. Exercise is a stress reliever for me. Exercise helps me clear my mind. Ladies, raise your hand if you feel extra sexy after a workout! Men, I don’t mean to leave you out, maybe you guys also feel extra sexy or..something..after a workout. So that I don’t use the “I don’t have time” excuse, I treat my exercise sessions as appointments. Some days, because of my odd schedule, I exercise at odd times. Either way, I know I’m getting my exercise done. We can probably name at least one disease that is common in our family. That does not mean we have to be doomed to the same disease. For example, heart disease is a disease we hear about everyday. .Now, I know I said I wasn’t going to list reasons, but you know exercise strengthens your heart (you know it does!)  Even if family members suffer, why not do everything you can to avoid the same diagnosis? We know stories of seemingly, healthy people who exercised regularly, who were stricken with incurable illnesses. So, yes, life is unpredictable. Yet, we cannot live with the morbid words of “I’m going to die anyway.” Those words rob you from getting the most out of your life. Speaking from experience, exercise provides wellness in the mind and body. Take care of yourself. Make exercise your time. You have just been served an extra-mini lecture on exercise.

Good Luck?..No Thanks

That saying has always been unnerving to me.  When people say that phrase, for the most part, there is no malicious intent behind it. But, it sounds like a phrase you say, when you don’t know what to say, but have to say something to avoid an awkward moment. “Webster” tells me that luck is “the force that operates for good or ill in a person’s life, as in shaping circumstances, events, and opportunities, considered a result of chance.” Excuse me “Webster”, but I’d like to believe that all of my hard work, the disappointments, and sleep deprivation, and not simply chance, have opened and will open doors for me.  I’d like to believe that my efforts have cultivated my success grounds. Otherwise, if simple luck is all I need, then I might as well get my beauty sleep! Life will interrupt the most precise of plans and turn them upside down. I have learned that being flexible is essential. I have had to readjust to make my plans harmonize once again. After all of this “readjusting” and “harmonizing”, there has to be more than just luck behind curtain 1, 2, and 3! Good luck just does not seem to match my efforts. I need favor, a phenomenon! Someone said to me, “Tamara (in a disapproving tone), you can’t tell people to not tell you good luck.” Let me think. Maybe saying, “Don’t tell me good luck,” could make me appear starchy and rude, especially to someone who really wants to wish me all the best. So, to replace “Good Luck”, how about saying, “Best Wishes?”  That works for me!

Roll Up Your Sleeves

We’ve read it in books, heard it on talk shows, see it in ads, it is so cliché- Dream Big.  Even as cliché as it is, I believe in it.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t.  Dreaming big repositions you so far out of your comfort zone, that when you realize how far you’ve gone, it’s too late to get scared and turn around! I have tried to tone down my goals, but that would require me to just settle for my current position.  That is difficult to do, when you know you have more to do. Dreaming big requires rolling up your sleeves and getting into the trenches. It requires mental, emotional, and physical energy.  At times, you will have to reach through inner layers to grab hold of that energy.  Dreaming big shifts you beyond what you thought was your limit.  It will require you to look foolish to those who really don’t understand your ambition and what you are attempting to accomplish.  Another cliché moment: I firmly believe, that what you can think, you can make happen.  I understand this immense entity called LIFE, can zap our energy in ways we are not expecting, leaving us exhausted on all levels. So exhausted, to the point, where we start to question whether reaching for that next goal is even worth it. (Ask me how I know!)  To get past that point, I have had to use what I have already accomplished as fuel for the next phase.  Now, to those of you who are comfortable with what you have accomplished so far and you have decided to not expel anymore energy on any more goals, you are appreciated! To those of us, who are not finished, let’s roll up our sleeves, and keep dreaming, keep going, and keep doing!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Especially for You

I’m sending You a Thank you note for spending your valuable time reading my blog. I am surprised at the number of views I have received so far. A few have asked me, before reading, “What is your blog about?” I did not have a definite answer then and I still do not.  I will say, I should have started this blog months ago. I have had fun with it, which isn’t surprising because I do enjoy writing. My blog has been a nice break from all the activity in my life (I’m not complaining).  Blogging has forced me, so to speak, to slow down! So far, my ideas have come easily.  Sometimes the ideas race through my mind so fast, I can’t keep up!  I can’t say if I have long-term goals for my blog.  In the meantime, I will continue writing and you continue reading! Thanks again.

Get Over It

Many times we hold onto what people in our lives have done or said that have offended us. (These are not the same offenses I was speaking about in “The F Word.”) In many cases, the offense was not even intentional.  Sometimes we expect for people to be a certain way, treat us a certain way, and talk to us a certain way.  These expectations are fine, except these people may never be able to meet those expectations. This fact does not make them bad people. It means that we are waiting for them to fulfill a role they do not have the capability to fulfill.  Instead of being irritated and annoyed, a decision has to be made.  We need to decide what we are going to deal with and what needs to be left to the birds or left for someone else to deal with.  Do we keep that person close to us and just accept the role they CAN fill? Do we decide to keep those expectations and hope the person will someday meet them? (Stop here. If you are keeping hope alive on this one, bless your heart and get ready to be disappointed….again.)  Do we decide to distance ourselves from that person because the role they CAN fill just isn’t enough?  In either case, whatever we decide, we need to “get over it!”  We need to get over what they did or did not do that brought us so much frustration. If we decide that keeping that person close is important, we have to remember the type of person we are dealing with. Not one person walking this earth is perfect. Take me for example. I may smile like an angel (it’s a joke..laugh), but I am far from flawless. I know I can be domineering, also known as “bossy” and “overbearing.”  Because of this, I have often offended people very close to me. They know I have very limited capacity to fill a meek, apprehensive role, however, they continue to keep me close and deal with me (I appreciate it).  I have had to apologize for my affronts and as long as I live, there will be more apologies for me to hand out. I don’t want those that I care about to carry frustrations about what I have done, and I don’t want to carry irritations toward someone else.  So, can we get over it?

The “F” Word

Let us get close and personal for a minute. I have endured painful situations at the hands of other people. I am sure you can say the same. The hurt was unfair and unjust. The hurt left emotional and mental scars. Now let me speak for myself. I have been bitter to the point of..well..let me not continue before I incriminate myself. I did not fully understand what the saying, “Forgive for yourself” really meant. It just did not make sense to me because I was angry and I had a right to be! But, I think I get it now. As long as I was pissed off, fuming mad, and bitter, I was basically asking to be stuck in distress and sadness or just stuck…period. I owed it to myself to release that debris. That hatred and anger was kryptonite to my existence. When I grasped this reality, I embraced…Forgiveness. It did not happen overnight. You see, this Forgiveness business, is a tough one.  No matter what excuse I came up with to not forgive, I still had to recognize my hatred was hurting no one, but me. When I truly grasped that fact, something happened that I could not believe. My view for these people turned from hatred to pity. I realized they are sad souls, who have actually gone on with their lives. Now, I will never have dinner with these people, meet them for happy hour, give them a coke and smile, or even wish them a good day.  I am happy with the progress I have made thus far.  At this point, I am satisfied that the contempt I once held is no longer weighing me down. I now pack light. Disclaimer: This post is not related to “Get Over It.”  This post goes far beyond that.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don't sweat the what?

You and I know the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. The problem is what I may think is small may not be small to you and vice versa.  Take this “i.e.” moment: People who display poor boundaries as in standing so close to me that I can feel the person breathing on my skin.  Or how about, instead of a person saying “excuse me”, they would rather reach over me or in front of me to get what they want. Neither one of the previous examples are “small” to me. I know both examples well.  I have voiced how I’ve felt to the culprits, to get a response of disbelief that I actually had a problem with their actions. Sometimes I’ve walked away feeling that maybe I should have ignored the “violation” and perhaps it was not a big deal. After all, no one got hurt.  But then I have a right to speak up when something is bothering me, don’t I?  Of course I do.  I think people view being assertive as negative.  But what is negative about requesting that someone gives you space or asking for someone to excuse themselves?  Nothing is negative about it.  You cannot help how a person perceives your request. My view is if a person is bold enough to display uncouth actions, then that person should be able to handle the feedback they receive. I do realize I can be high strung. Over time, I have learned to control this “no so cute” part of me. Still a work in progress, I have learned when I need to address something and when I just need to smile and nod.  So here’s the deal: You should be free to assert yourself when something occurs that makes YOU feel uncomfortable. Whether that something is “small” or “big”, really does not matter. Deal?...Deal

What’s wrong with me?

People assume I have at least one kid after I state my age. I cannot believe the amazed looks I get they realize I’m childless. People look at me as if my age and my childless factor make me an unusual being that should be studied.  I am not so unusual, I promise.  There are plenty of women in the world that are my age that wave the childless banner for different reasons.  People take on a convincing tone when they describe to me “what a blessing kids are” as if I thought they were a curse. Kids made me…well let’s just say they made me nervous.  I would not even look in the direction of children’s clothes.   If a heard a kid crying, I would remove myself from the premises whenever possible.  As I got older, I, surprisingly, got into volunteer work that had me face to face with kids, and yes, this includes teenagers! If I was not sold on having a child of my own after dealing with an 8 year old, dealing with a 15 year old was certainly not going to help!  Then something happened. Seven years ago, my sweet, beautiful niece was born. She was a breath of fresh air.  She deserves a posting dedicated to her. I have noticed my tolerance level for a kid crying has increased. I actually stop and look at children’s clothes.  I have even caught myself looking at babies and thinking, “Now how cute is that baby.” I have NEVER done that!!  Now wait. Do not get excited. I still cannot say, with all of my heart, soul, mind, and spirit, that I actually want one of “those.”  People used to tell me, “When you fall in love, you will want a child then.” Guess what? Falling in love has not made me say with confidence, “I want a child.”  So until, or even IF, that confidence arrives, I will continue to recognize the “cuteness” in other people’s children, smile, and continue moving right along.

Friday, June 1, 2012

MY 1st

I’ve always let the “1st” pass me by as just another day, but I realized I should be embracing my gift, my new beginning. So, at the start of 2012, I told myself I would make a special effort to recognize the first day of every month and to really seize its’ moment. The “1st” marks the beginning of: new opportunities, dreams realized, new relationships, healed relationships, new good habits.  The “1st” means I have a chance to right what I did wrong during the last 30 days. The “1st” means I survived whatever the last 30 days brought to me. The “1st” represents a chance for harmony in my life. I used to hear a phrase over and over again, “walking into a new month is like walking into a dark closet.” (blank stare) Ok, not only does this phrase instill fear, but it also robs you of the excitement of starting something new. Of course, no one knows what life will bring in a new month…Ms. Cleo left the building a long time ago.  However, I choose to hold onto the positive possibilities. So, it should not be surprising for me to tell you I think the “1st” should be celebrated. Celebrate it in your own way; light a candle, do something on the “1st” that you wish you had done in the last 30 days, get a few of your “close ones” and make a toast,  just recognize, welcome, and embrace it! (And here you thought this post would be about something else, get your mind right and hey…..thanks for reading!)

Sugar Coats

 A wise woman once said, “Life is too short to sugar coat, so be honest and the pieces will land wherever they are supposed to.” (Feel free to ask the identity of the wise woman). I’ve never been one who would deliberately say something to hurt another’s feelings.  I try my best to be honest and tactful, especially when it comes to those I love. I would never want anyone, especially my family or friends, to think that I was judging them or putting them down.  But if you are constantly so conscious of that, how do you know if you are really, truly, being honest with people? If you are trying to be careful with what you say, how do you know if you are helping that person or being a crutch to plain foolishness? On the other hand, if you are being so honest, how do you know that your “un-sugar coated” honesty is not sending that person into a major slump?  I’ve made decisions that were really dumb and some that were dumber (get it? Dumb and Dumber?).  “Anywho”, I can’t remember anyone using words like “dumb”, “stupid”, “ignorant”, or “brainless” when I was receiving advice on how to move beyond a decision I made.  I guess I did not need to be reminded because I already used those words on myself.  When someone is asking for opinion/advice on a “situation”, the one thing that rests on my mind is, I never want that person to come back to me and say, “Why didn’t you tell me how foolish I looked”?  I know the saying, “the truth hurts.”  I know you can be honest without calling anyone outside of their government name, obviously.  Is there such a thing as being “too harsh?” Maybe all of these questions depend on how detrimental the situation is and/or has the situation turned into a trend.  I am only talking about adults/grown folks here. You can give advice and opinions, until you are purple in the face and STILL, grown folks will do what grown folks will do. So, I guess you can only relay honest advice in a way that you see fit at the time. At least you will be able to say to yourself, “I told them.”

Of many talents, but I don’t brag

When I was younger, my mind raced with images of how I wanted my life to look when I “grew up”. I had one main goal and then I had others I would reach one by one.  No bragging, but I know I’m good at a “bunch of things” (no, I couldn’t come up with a better phrase).  When I was younger, I did not know how to channel any of my talents. I was all over the place! Being good at more than one thing can make it difficult for a young person to decide clearly on a career and stick to that. I was a perfect example of that. I did have the opportunity to explore some of my talents, which handed me priceless experiences, that maybe I could not have received otherwise.  Those experiences bring me to 2012, where I am back at my “one main goal.”  Disclaimer: The following statement is not a complaint.  Reaching my “one main goal” has been anything but easy. Sometimes it has been a *beep* pain in the *beep*. (Feel free to insert your own words.)  I wish I would have reached this “one main goal” first and THEN, played around with my talents on the side.  I know there is nothing I can do about it now, but I do wish I could have been more focused in thought. I guess you could say I’m having a “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve” moment. I’ve heard people say these moments are a waste because I can’t go back in time and I’m supposed to enjoy the process of working toward my goals. (Yeah, it’s a process alright!) Well, I say to those people, “Excuse me, you have reached Tamu Talks, so let me have my moment. Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, and Good Night!”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Emotional Freedom

Being honest about your emotions is freedom. It’s essential that I have people around me that I can be emotionally honest with. I can’t have people in my life me that would make me feel that somehow I have to paint a “pretty” picture. No Thank you! Those who truly love you and want to see you progress are those who welcome your out pour. They may not know what to say at that moment, but they listen.  I’m surprised at how many people cover up their emotions because they don’t want to appear weak. That is quite the contrary! People who can admit to feeling angry, sad, unfulfilled, or even depressed are displaying strength. What good does it do to hide behind a fake smile or laugh? You hear about people “going off”, “going crazy”, or “losing their minds” everyday. When someone asks, “how are you?” we are so conditioned to say, “I’m good”, with a half crooked smile because really, we are not. Now I’m not telling you or your cousins to walk around frowning at people just to let people know you are unhappy. What I am telling you to do is go ahead and feel what you are feeling. Allow yourself to feel now, so that two years later, you don’t find yourself “going off” in the produce section at Wal-Mart because the apples aren’t red enough.  I promise you, whatever emotion you are trying to push away and ignore, will sneak up on you at the most inappropriate times. You will be angry all of a sudden and you won’t know why or you will respond irrationally to a situation (as seen in the previous apple example).  I’m ending this, but let’s revisit emotional freedom later.   

This is a “Just in case You were wondering” moment

Tamu is a unique name. For a minute, I could not handle its’ uniqueness. That is the long way of saying, “I hated it”.  Tamu is actually my middle name, which comes from the Swahili language of Africa.  The name means “sweet one”.  I have grown to love it. Consider this your history lesson for today. That’s all.

Small Beginnings

“You talk so much, you should start a blog”- Some would find that statement insulting, but you have to know the individual who said it to me, to realize, it actually is a compliment. It took me a few months to decide to create one. I got tired of trying to decide which direction to take, so I just went for it, and still, I do not know what I am doing.  I knew I wanted to create a blog that was simple to read. I did not want my content to include anything about “famous” people (we get enough of that), news (we can go to CNN for that right?). I want my blog to be about you and I.  I want my blog to be about real things that mean something. I want you to leave my blog feeling good about the minutes you spent, not feeling burdened, or feeling like you have wasted 5 minutes of your life that you can never get back. On my blog, you will find topics on everyday things you think about while you’re driving (no I’m not going to give examples).  I’ll throw in some “talks” on health (because we have to take care of our bodies), and of course, I will have to talk about cosmetics and a little bit of fashion, because it is the “womanly” thing to do. You will find slight, sometimes dry, humor, and occasional sarcasm. You may or may not find motivation or inspiration on Tamu Talks.  You will leave this blog smiling and anticipating your next read. So enjoy…and for charlie’s sake…please comment!!