Hot Planner Summer

We can all agree that 2020 has been absolutely nuts! However, one thing that 2020 has afforded me is the opportunity to slow down, reassess, review, and most importantly, write things down! This is a photo of all my planners that I recently purchased.

As a writer, one would think that journaling would have already been a habit for me, but it was not. I have not journaled in years. But since the pandemic, and since discovering @staciapierce #successjournals , I started journaling again and planning!

I’ve always been a sucker for planners, ever since high school, but now I’m doing it way more strategically. I’ve also become a new fan of #90dayplans. I recently started using the @racheal.cook #CEOPlanner, the @savorlifeplanner #selfcare planner, the @cultivatewhatmatters #powersheets, the @contentcreatorsplanner for my social media, looking forward to the @planathon this fall with @ambermccue and I’m officially a @the_happy_planner brand addict.

HAPPY PLANNERS: I have one FOR my startup business, one for my freelance projects, budgeting, my online courses, three for writing stuff, one I use as a calendar/memory book, etc.

Yes it seems like a lot, but this system has actually helped me out a lot this year. It helps put everything in perspective, sort of a form of therapy to get me through this summer. Oh and I can’t forget to shoutout the @Trello #ProjectManagement app and website, it’s awesome!

My planners

#SummerRemix: Our 40 and over bodies. Podcast

SummerRemix #thecliquepodcast . Have a listen to the replay of my 40 Year Old Bodies episode 4. I’m betting right about now, we’re all feeling the affects of the Coronavirus Quarantine, many of us have been experimenting in the kitchen, gained weight, sitting around, watching our favorite TV programs (as our grandmothers used to say), and basically chillin, waiting for this pandemic to go away! Some of us, chillin a little too hard! Well, I got news for you, it’s not going away any time soon! And if you’re over 40, it’s going to be even harder to get those extra pounds off, the longer we wait to, in the words of Outkast, get up, get out, and get something (and not a Popeyes sandwich! LOL). So check out the podcast replay and hopefully we’ll all be back on track before the winter holidays! Yikes! #podcast #40AndOver #GenerationX #the40andoverproject #theclique #QuarantineChronicles #blackpodcast #blackpodcasters #WeightLossGoals

Art Journal Therapy

Started my #ArtJournal project today with artist @marjiekemper, this is the first page/section entitled “Family”, used stencil and using #scrapbooking paper I already have on hand. So glad I signed up for this workshop. I need a creative artsy outlet right now! #5DayChallenge #creativity #journal #journaling #blackgirlhappyplanner

Back To School Shopping. Old School Edition

As parents prep to send kids back to school (or not) during this pandemic, I thought I would share some memories I think some of you might appreciate.

Back to school shopping back in the 1980s, was an annual event, that involved parents taking their kids to local popular department stores to get the best deals on clothes, shoes, and school supplies for their growing boys and girls for the new school year.

I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and shopping local, was a thing, long before it was a thing. My friends and I often wax nostalgic over stores like Gold Circle (which I’m convinced became Target) and Value City, both Ohio and Midwest based chains, that were very popular in the 70s and 80s. Also, I’m old enough to remember the onset of “the mall”, which was a new phenomenon for a generation who was used to the “one-stop shop” department store concept, which, ironically, has made a comeback through stores like Target and Walmart.

Another thing my generation grew up on, was the catalog. There was the JC Penney and Sears catalogs. These catalogs were not unlike the size of a phone book and was very much the precursor to online ordering so your mother either called the 1-800 number to place your order or you pressed her luck with a mail-in order form and pray the item wasn’t on back order by the time the form reached the warehouse.

Also, I would be remiss, if I did not give a shout out to the Sears store, and the Garanimals clothing line for kids. What made Garanimals awesome was the concept they created for coordinating and color matching through the use of animal figures on the hang tags. This, to me, was a genius concept. It was like the Sesame Street of clothing, teaching kids about colors and matching through fashion. I loved it.

Unfortunately, the 21st century and the onset of online shopping, has seen the demise of multiple large department stores and catalogs that were once the stallworth of shopping for a whole generation. A piece of nostalgia, that recently filed for bankruptcy is J. Crew. If you are #40AndOver and attended college in #the90s, you probably remember receiving a #JCrewCatalog in your dorm/residence hall. It was probably the first catalog that catered to the college age student, so unlike the JC Penney and Sears catalogs of our parents and grandparents day. It was a hallmark of life on campus. I never ordered anything from them and I’m guessing not many of my friends did nor this current generation, because, unlike the JC Penney catalog (or Penny’s as my grandmother liked to call them), J. Crew was super expensive so really, most of us just looked at the pictures, it was actually more like a magazine for us, more of an aspiration, if you will, that was delivered monthly to our student mailboxes and front desks in our dorms. As J. Crew goes by way of JC Penney and others, the only thing left will be the memories of a whole generation who defined the what “Back To School” shopping really meant.

#the40andoverproject #OldSchool #memorabilia

black lives matter. again.

Timeline

It goes in cycles but seems never ending. Every generation of African Americans has that moment where the anger boils over like fire because the racism and hatred just becomes unbearable. It’s got to stop but we know it’s never ending.
Watts Riots – 1965
LA Riots – 1992
Ferguson Riots – 2014
Minneapolis Riots – 2020

#poetry #instagrampoetry
#DoBetterAmerica #AmericanHistory

A Favorite Professor

I’m 47 now, but 23 years ago, 1997 to be exact, my senior year, a group of students from #KentStateUniversity , got on the bus headed to the first ever #MillionWomenMarch in Philly, PA, accompanied by Dr Adilene Barnes-Harden (pictured with us in the Kente cloth outfit, I’m next to her, holding the sign) . During my time at Kent State, I switched my major about 5 times, had some interesting experiences (we’ll just leave it at that, thankfully before the Facebook lol) , and I had some very awesome professors, especially in the Department of #PanAfricanStudies . If there was anything that was constant during my college years, in between all of the fun, it was the classes I had the privilege to take at Kent State. One of my favorite and one of the best professors EVER, was Dr. Barnes-Harden who taught The Black Woman, The Black Family, and other courses that changed my life! She was so raw and so real in the classroom and inspired us as black students on campus! She has transitioned, gone but definitely not forgotten. Ashe! RIP #KentStateForever #PAS #BlackStudies #PeaceAndLove

The Million Women March, circa 1997

poetry. on turning 42, part II. circa 2015

42  

A random age  

In random times 

Yet significant  

In this moment  

In history  

And in life  

Forty-two 

2 × 3× 7 

The angle  

Upon which  

A rainbow sits 

So that  

In the right light  

You see hope  

In the eye of the storm  

42 

The number of days  

A password expires  

On a Microsoft domain 

Before you must create a new one  

Restart the tedious process  

Of creating a new set of characters  

That symbolize who you  are

Yet is something you can remember  

Before you forget again  

The older you get  

The more you use the same password  

For multiple tasks  

Because life is  

Too short  

To have to remember  

How to get into your email account 

42 minutes  

The time it takes  

To drill  

To the center  

Of the earth  

Divisible by 

1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21, 42 

separates life  

Into segments  

Sections  

42 

In spiritual terms

Signifies the essence 

Of making life plans

Decisions

Figuring out 

What is next 

On your bucket list 

42

Superbowl XLII 

With 97.5 million viewers  

The year Jordin Sparks  

Sang the National Anthem  

And the year I made the decision  

to take a leap faith  

Figured out  

God had my back  

After all  

4 + 2 = 6 

The number of times  

My heart has been broken  

42 

broke barriers  

in the form of Jackie Robinson  

Baseball  

My grandfather’s favorite pastime  

Boring to me  

Yet symbolized so much  

To a race 

A country  

A sport  

Everyday  

42 children 

are diagnosed with cancer  

Such little bodies  

Such little time  

So unfair  

Yet so biblical  

Little children suffer  

God beckons  

God protects  

42 is the  answer given  

When a Google search  

Is completed  

Using the terms   

“The meaning of life ” 

That you can  

Find the answer  

To these questions  

On Google  

Is a challenge  

In itself  

Profile at 40

When I turned 40, I wrote several poems to deal with the “trauma” LOL. Here is poem number two.

profile pic

I took a head shot of myself

to assure my inner critic

that I am still beautiful

then one day

I shared it

on Facebook

and the shout outs from everyone else

reassured me that

I have nothing

to worry about

Me, early 40s