At the beginning of the month, I started the July BoHo Berry Challenge. Time got away from me, so I wanted to spend some time sharing the responses to the rest of the questions, since tomorrow is August 1st! The questions that I am responding to are in bold and different colors so feel free to scroll to read the answers you’re most interested in!
Day 9: My Best Habit
I am obsessed with keeping a clean bag/purse. My favorite purse to carry is the Coach Turnlock. I’ve written about looking for the perfect [carry-on] bag here. One of the my best habits is that I use a pouch system for keeping my bag organized. Depending on what I need to carry, I can swap out my pouches to make sure that I have everything that I need. Sometime soon I’ll write a post about what I keep in each of the pouches.
Day 10: My Worst Habit
My worst habit is that I don’t clean out my e-mail inbox. I’ve heard lots of debate about both the benefits and the ridiculousness of attempting to achieve inbox zero. While I am not on the side of Inbox Zero, I would like to figure out some regular sorting, processing & deleting schedule so that my inbox isn’t too out of control. I process e-mails daily, but once the emails are processed they pretty much sit in my inbox. This is a habit that I am working on. I am equally bad with responding to text messages (after I’ve read them) and responding to Voice Mail Messages (if I could delete my voice mail entirely I would)…
Day 11: 10 Things That Make Me Happy
- Pinning Things on Pinterest
- Glitter (on anything, anywhere)
- Sending people mail (I love to send handwritten notes and greeting cards)
- Bubbly Drinks (Prosecco, Champagne & Moscato D’Asti are my faves)
- Live Music (I’m a huge fan of live instruments & live performances, I regularly go to concerts. The last concert I went to was The Art of Rap (featuring EPMD, DMX, KRS-One, Ghostace Killa, Raekwon, Crucial Conflict, and Rakim). It was amazing! My girl and I are going to Made in America in September to celebrate her birthday and I most look forward to the kick-off of Jay-Z’s 4:44 Tour and to seeing J. Cole, I loved his last album.
- Organizing and cleaning things (brings me a sense of peace and calm)
- Good TV: Right now I’m watching Power, Insecure, Love & Hip Hop (all of them lol), Being Mary Jane, Queen Sugar and I’m so excited about the return of Greenleaf!
- Shopping (I enjoy shopping, especially at Thrift Stores & Electronic Stores)
- Things That Smell Good (I’m obsessed with candles, bath products and home fragrance products).
Day 12: Book(s) I’m Reading Right Now
I just finished reading John C. Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. My favorite books to read are nonfiction. I taught High School English for 12 years, so it is difficult for me to read and enjoy fiction (unless it is my favorite author Toni Morrison). I also really like classic literature (behind Toni Morrison, F, Scott Fitzgerald and Zora Neale Hurston are my favorites). I love to learn, so I prefer to read nonfiction because it helps me to stay sharp.
Day 13: My Greatest Talent
I’m super resourceful. I very good at research and I’m very good a teaching myself things that I don’t know.
Day 14: A Note To My Younger Self
Dear Little Donnie (Don-Don, Metaphor (my poet name):
Do not worry so much about what other people say about you or think about you. You won’t even remember the names of most of these people in 10 years! Don’t allow their bullying to affect you.
Stop thinking so far into the future! When you think so much about the future you are missing out on the present.
Done is better than perfect. As long as you are doing the best you can, you should be proud of yourself. You don’t have unlimited time and you don’t have unlimited resources. Do the best with what you’ve got.
None of your boyfriends are your future husband! They are simply warming the bench for the love that you will eventually experience and the love that you need and deserve.
Study abroad when you have the opportunity to! Don’t wait until you’re out of college to start seeing the world!
You are loved. You are needed and you will leave one hell of a footprint on this world!
Day 15: How Can I Make A Difference?
For the longest time I’ve wanted to start gathering my mentees for a monthly breakfast. I’m hoping to implement it in August or September (I think I’ll wait until this Mercury Retrograde ends lol)….
Day 16: My Life Philosophy
My mission in life is to close the gap(s) between my reality and my dreams and to help others do the same.
My life philosophy includes the following tenements:
(1) Train your replacement. I believe that we should always be sharing our knowledge and experience with others so that they can have the skills, the tools and the competency to replace us.
(2) Money is a by-product of success. Money is a tool, not the ultimate end goal. I’d like to earn and make money in order to do other things.
(3) Be of service, not self-serving. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to consider oneself and one’s own needs, but its equally important to think about others.
(4) Don’t make it to escape it. Our neighborhoods are often considered things to “escape” or to run away from. The very definition of success is often to “make it out the hood.” I think we need more people to stay, to be the examples and to own businesses and social services and social programs in our communities, especially those that have concentrated poverty and are considered low-income.
Day 17: How Can I Grow Today?
I want to spend more time journaling. This article talks about the value and importance of journaling daily. One day I’d also like to become an author, so I like to keep copious notes that can be used for the books I hope to write and publish one day.
Day 18: What I Love About My Life?
The most important thing that I love about my life right now is the freedom. I have the freedom to do what I want to do, when I want to do it. I’m married to a man who supports me as I grow as an individual and evolve. I have lived in houses and been in relationships where that was not the case and more than ever I have peace of mind because of the freedom I enjoy!
Day 19: I Feel Happy In My Own Skin When…
I feel happy in my own skin when I look good. I started working with a stylist about two years ago and that was one of the best choices and most useful decisions I’ve ever made. To have someone whose job is to worry about what I look like is a beautiful thing. It means that I can spend time on other things. I also feel happy in my own skin when I’m only in my skin – lol. That’s an entirely different conversation for an entirely different day.
Day 20: What I Need To Hear Today…
Today I need to hear “thank you.” I do a lot for a lot of people not because I expect anything in return, but I’m not going to like, “thank you” feels good. Sometimes I feel like people take my kindness, my time and my optimism for granted… When I feel that way I usually withdraw into myself, or really withdraw into my own mind.
Day 21: I Am Grateful For…
So for this I’m going to set the timer for one minute and I’m going to just write a list of everything that I’m grateful for, as much as I can get to in one minute. Here it goes (in no particular order): my home, my vehicle, my washer and dryer, my husband, my dogs (Muffin & Marley), my bonus (step) babies, my sissy and the fact that she lives across the street, my family, my eyeglasses, my laptop, my iPad, my phone, my organized closet, the work that we just had done in our house (we had a floor repaired and have some more work happening the next two weeks), my plants that have lived for as long as they have, good TV shows that inspire reflection and dialogue, my blender and fresh fruit smoothies, Crazy Crab (the food is so good and its so close to my house), my spirituality, the ability to travel (I’ve been so many places this year and am heading to Africa in September ;). That’s all I had time for. I could keep going. I find that whenever I feel like things are bad, thinking about what’s good and how I’m good is a great exercise in healing.
Day 22: What Negative Self-Talk is Holding Me Back?
I’m hard on myself and like most women I can think and talk negative about my body. I find myself in a bind because I am always in the process of trying to have a baby, while also trying to maintain a positive lifestyle. Sometimes I worry that if I go too hard on the fitness side, I may be creating a dangerous situation for the child that I pray will be in my womb sometime soon. When you add to that, we’re also having health care issues, it’s just a recipe for disaster. Please just pray for me and us that I find the perfect balance of a healthier lifestyle and (one day) a health pregnancy and full-term safe, healthy delivery for baby and me.
Day 23: If I Knew I Could Not Fail…
Failing is a part of growth and a part of the process of life. Failure is an opportunity to try again. “I don’t lose, either I win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela. I think it is irresponsible to try to teach people not to fail. I believe in failing spectacularly, laughing, dusting oneself off and trying again…
Day 24: Who In My World Inspires Me…
Right now I am most inspired by my friend Kris Williams. Kris is the owner of Fame Marketing and she does so many amazing things. She runs a full graphic design/marketing company, she produces an amazing magazine. She just launched a social-enterprise that involves coffee. I love Kris because like me not only is she a dreamer, but she executes and moves toward her dreams. She doesn’t just talk about it! Plus she looks amazing doing it all and has the sweetest spirit.
Day 25: My Sweet Spot…
I’m going to answer this literally. I’m in need of some good banana pudding! I’m also a fan of Dulce De Leche Ice Cream.
Day 26: How I Want Others To Describe Me…
When I was a teacher, I used to have students to write their own obituaries, during our Edgar Allen Poe unit. It was controversial, but it was also incredibly powerful. Here is how I want other people to describe me (without going into too much detail):
Kind, Creative and helpful. A good listener, witty and smart. A person whose presence was more welcomed that it was dreaded. Someone who positively impacted and changed the lives of people. A person who created the change I wanted to see. A dreamer. A doer. A Humanitarian. A Philanthropist. A lifelong educator. A mom to her own children and to her children by blessing.
Whew! When I got to the end of that my eyes started to well up. Sometimes it is important to step outside of our bodies and to consider how other people may be receiving and experiencing us.
Day 27: I Feel Successful When…
People are able to do something better because of my influence, my guidance and my instruction. I also feel really good when I accomplish something super technical. I recently installed a Smart Lock. I just knew that it was going to take all day and be terribly frustrated. I mastered it in less than an hour!
Day 28: My Ideal Day…
I’m going to be real specific here. My ideal day would go something like this:
6:00 a.m. – Wake Up – writing, prayer & meditation.
7:00 a.m. – Work-out
8:00 a.m. – Breakfast & setting the agenda for the day.
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Work, work, work, work, work, work (meetings, writing, responding to e-mails, etc). Lunch would happen somewhere in the middle.
2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Home stuff (cleaning up, meal prep and planning, bill paying, family time)
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Me Time (TV Watching, scrapbooking, friending lol).
9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Reading (I would like to read every single night)
10:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – Whatever needs to be done
12:00 a.m. – Bedtime
Right now 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. is my work time. I’d like to get a better handle on that sometime soon.
Day 29: Positive Affirmations…
The thing that I have been telling myself the most lately is “Everything happens for a reason.” It helps me to roll with the good and the bad punches. I’d like to start actually considering the reasons in my journal/reflection time.
Day 30: I’ve always wanted to…
Learn SPANISH! Before I go back to South America I want to spend more time learning Spanish. I studied in High School for 3 years but have forgotten most of it because I haven’t used it. I’ve also always wanted to take a cruise, so I’m hoping to cross that off my list in the next 2 to 3 years.
Day 31: Lessons Learned This Month…
a. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, with whom you’re supposed to be with.
b. Everything doesn’t deserve a response.
c. You have to write things down, otherwise you will forget them. This was something that I’ve always known, but a process I have had to remind myself of over and over again this month.