Tag Archives: Wisdom

Acknowledgement is Encouragement

6 Mar

I recently had sort of an impromptu power meeting on a weekday morning — kind of a meeting of the minds you could say, between myself, a fellow running team mate, who I’d just finished a run with and a neighbor doing her wash. It evolved in response to a simple inquiry about the running program we’re in over tea and coffee, as well as a moist almond-clustered, date breakfast pastry supplied by my health-conscious friend and team member, and my half eaten donut. Well, it was leftover from a much earlier—5:30 am start—monthly group meeting.

This post-gathering, as it were, convened outside the laundry room on the mezzanine level of our building and couldn’t have gone better if we had planned it! The three of us all having exhibited artwork in in-house art shows, had a rousing exchange of insightful suggestions, which in itself is a great source of inspiration among women, especially. The sheer act of sharing and utilizing our energy collectively to offer information to one another also made for productive use of our social connection and time there. So, armed with food for thought (literally), we left with a few avenues to follow-up.

Many times, un-planned situations can allow for interesting input, when there’s no pre-set agenda other than simply picking each other’s brains so to speak and spurring creative engagement. Opening this door on the spot doesn’t necessarily prompt exploration into similar areas of one another’s potential aspirations, which under usual circumstances might never be touched on. But it may in these situations.

However, in the course of our lengthy conversation, we did find some correlations and clarified other things we expounded upon. Acknowledging someone else’s individual strengths does strengthen your own resolve.

Respect and mutual admiration is particularly affirming when expressed in personal constructive, purposeful ways and encourages us to see in ourselves, the positive traits and inherent talent the conveyor sees in us.


Quality of Life

19 Oct

*Note:  As you read on you’ll see that due to a recent incident, I’ve added an addendum since composing this post.

My last post (Oct. 14) got me to thinking: What do we want in our 40s and 50s?

We’ve gone through the rites of passage of youth and reached a certain age. Everyone gets to this point sooner or later, when they start to think about their quality of life. The term casts a very wide net, I know. But I mean life beyond the basic necessities of food and shelter. I’m talking about life’s creature comforts, those little incidentals, which we most take for granted. That’s the quality I’m speaking of.


Do we take time to fully de-stress and enjoy the small things that bring us joy. Do we indulge our passions? This includes our hobbies, extracurricular activities, our interests (outside of work), our families, time with friends, associates, neighbors, co-workers, etc. or our solitude (when we’re at one with the world around us). Are we taking time to take all that in?

We each have our own barometer with which to measure [quality], whether we’re surviving or thriving. In the meantime we have to live everyday, and at the same time look forward to tomorrow. A cliche, but true, nonetheless.

What determines your quality of life?

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans, the old saying goes, and can be changed in a moment without a moment’s notice. The pitfalls we encounter in life–the optimum word being fall–can blindside those plans at anytime when you least expect it. Literally, you can be up one day, take a fall and find yourself crutched up and hopping around for ‘a coupla weeks’ the next.

That’s where I stand now or actually bend and manuever around holding my fractured ankle up to support my 120 lb. frame on what Godfather of Soul James Brown would proclaim, ‘the good foot.’ Quite a workout too, I must say. A simple slip ‘n’ fall is not so simple afterall.

Kind of semi-athletic could sorta describe me. I’m probably a little more active than the average American according to the national stats; as I run several times a week outdoors with the Back on My Feet group and/or indoors on the treadmill, walk most places around New York City, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator at least once daily (8 flights) three-four times a week-before the fracture, write everyday, play Scrabble or paddle ball (ping pong in the summer) when I can fit in it in my day and weather and mood permit, and solve the occasional crossword puzzle to keep my brain active, too.

The 20s vs. the 40s and 50s

14 Oct

I enjoyed my 20s when I was in my 20s. Those days were a lot of fun—then. But I wouldn’t want to be at that age now, knowing what I know now, I told a neighbor friend as we discussed the subject of 40 and 50 year-olds engaging in behaviors that we or those we knew had engaged in over 20 years ago.

Balking at the thought, I said I can’t believe that adults in this age group still acted in the same irresponsible reckless way some of us did at the time. When we were in our 20s, we were either in school or finishing school. We weren’t concerned with bills or too seriously worried about our futures. We partied hard every weekend, Friday and Saturday night through Sunday mornings. We’d be headed home when folks were on their way to church. I remember the rays glaring down so strongly sometimes, it seemed as though God was scolding us.

Naturally, we felt a little guilt but we were living out our youth, celebrating coming of age by hanging out and participating in recreational activities like many other young adults in the mid to late 80s. Living la vida loca! Before the advent of Crack became an epidemic and ruined it ALL! Then it no longer was fun to be young and adventurous. That should have been enough to scare anybody straight. It was a real wakeup call!

When you get older you may not get wiser but you get more mature, and hopefully, smarter and eventually tire of it. Essentially, you want to progress not regress. Some people made ill-advised decisions and others encountered bad breaks, which set them back. In any event, Oprah often quotes Maya Angelou when she says, “When you know better, you do better.”

So you can’t blame middle-age misbehavin’ on post-youthful indiscretions, because we’ve been there and done that. And I repeat it was fun—then. But with age you acquire responsibilities, many in fact you may not have even foreseen. You realize your life has to move forward in order to meet them, I reiterated.

In conclusion I told this neighbor I would not want to be doing at 40 or 50, what I did in my 20s. That, Oprah, I know for sure.

p.s.  As you relate to young people, remember when you were their age…

Sherry Howard

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