Family First!!

Why is it so hard to share crucial news with family? These are the people we’ve grown up with our entire lives. Yet, it is often extremely difficult to disclose unfavorable news when these unexpected times arise. I know for me, the reasons vary widely.

I never want to feel like I’m burdening my family with any issues that pertain to me. I feel like they all have their own lives with respective issues to go along with everything else that they have to worry about. So why would I come along and make their load(s) even heavier? That being said, what’s worse, not sharing important life events or unloading all of our chaos on our families?

I chose to share my latest health crisis with each of my siblings, one by one. Each of them is so very different. It was so hard to say the words without choking up. These are the same people that I used to run, jump, skip, get into trouble at home with, defend from punishment until the end. Being the oldest of my siblings, sometimes holds me to a higher level to be emotionally and physically strong. So, when illness started visiting me more often a few years ago, I felt like I was somehow letting my them down. It was as though I was somehow damaged and that they could no longer look to me as their solid pillar of strength. Illness had chipped away at the ‘rock’ that they’ve always known me to be. So, here I was again, showing them that transparent and most revealing side of my vulnerability with this latest health interruption.

My family has been there for me through some very rough times. As I sit here writing this piece, I don’t recall them ever making me feel like I was weighing them down, in terms of giving them one more thing to worry about as a result of sharing. They’ve always been gracious and willing to jump in wherever and whenever I needed them and that is priceless. After all, that’s what family is for right? I guess I would feel pretty bad if there was something going on with any of them and they made the decision to not share with me, no matter what their reasons were.

It is sometimes very hard to look at things with the shoe on the other foot. My family has a right to feel like they don’t want to burden me further with their problems. I certainly have felt like that before, as I touched on earlier. At the end of the day, we are all blessed with the love of family for many reasons. They are the glue that helps to hold things together when the going gets rough. The load often gets to be a little too heavy to carry alone. So, God blesses us with siblings and parents that are down here with us on earth to provide the all-important emotional support and love that is so necessary for survival.

For me, the word family exudes togetherness, love, friendship, support and strength. It’s so easy to take it for granted when you have a supportive family. Unfortunately, not everyone does. Have you told your family lately how much they mean to you? When is the last time you told them how much you love them, or encouraged them in their life endeavors? If you haven’t done any of these things lately, maybe it’s time to do that. Let them know that you appreciate them always being there for you when you really need them the most, and even when you don’t. Now, obviously I can’t ask you to do that without doing the same myself. It’s an unwritten item on my daily list of things to do. Even on those days when I don’t speak to my family voice to voice, simply because of busy schedules and time demands, I send them love through my prayers, thoughts, and hopes for each of them. A quick text works well too, just to say, I love you and I’m thinking about you. Family first I say!! What say you?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Did You Know?…(8)

 

 

    • A great number of teachers are ‘unhappy’ in their jobs.
    • Harris Interactive conducted a survey for Metlife that found that public school teachers’ job satisfaction has reached plummeting levels as reported by the Metlife Survey of the American Teacher.
    • Teacher satisfaction is the lowest it has been in 20 years. The proportion of teachers that had been satisfied with their jobs decreased by 15% in only two years.
    • Out of all the teachers surveyed, only 41% allege being very satisfied in their profession as opposed to 59% in 2009.
    • Layoffs over the past several years have negatively affected the sense of job security that teachers once had.
    • Many other factors contribute to teachers’ low satisfaction for their jobs including: staff layoffs, elimination of after-school programs, lack of updated educational technology, deteriorating conditions in school buildings and grounds, witnessing students coming to school hungry.
    • Forbes ranks ‘teaching’ as one of the unhappiest jobs as reported by Jeff Dunn on April 4, 2013.

 

All of this is very disappointing and disheartening. Teaching is such a crucial and invaluable piece to the development of our young people. It would seem that some of the things contributing to teachers being ‘unhappy’, could be significantly decreased, but how? What can parents do to help stop the elimination of after-school programs? What can be done to help schools update educational technology? How can teachers, parents and students play a role in helping their schools with this? How unfair it is that students and teachers suffer because of deteriorating conditions in school buildings? Is there anything that teachers, parents and students can do about that? Sadly, some families are on the brink of starvation, if not already there. What can be done to ensure that more students receive breakfast at school, when they are unable to eat at home?

Teachers often face danger when they come to work. They shouldn’t have to, but they often do. Especially in this day and age with all the school shootings.(which could be a whole other post) How can teachers be expected to come to work and be ‘happy’ about it, when they often fear that danger may or may not happen? Police officers use to reign supreme in terms of a profession that ‘fear’ was and is an eminent part of. Unfortunately, teaching has now joined that rank. I’d say teachers have a lot to be dissatisfied or ‘unhappy’ about. All these are very tough questions and to answer any of them is definitely a daunting task, but we have to start somewhere. Maybe it should begin with you and me!

 

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

 

 

“Big Boy Pants” – One Leg at a Time

 

I thank the heavens for small favors. My one and only son has been showing some real signs of maturity lately. I’ve rubbed my eyes on several occasions to make sure I wasn’t seeing double or something but my eyes did not deceive me. Slowly but surely, he’s coming around…or so I thought.

He just purchased his first car a couple weeks ago. It’s seemed that this was a blessing in disguise. Along with the new responsibility of having a vehicle, came what appeared to be a more grown up attitude. Now some of you out there may be reading this and saying to yourself, my goodness, she sure doesn’t put her son in a very good light. I assure you, though it may sound that way, that’s not it at all. Just sharing some real life honesty with you.

Admittedly, I wish I could feel a bit more confident with his driving ability. The few times I’ve rode with him have been quite the adventure to say the least. He takes off from a standstill much too fast and his turns around corners….oh my! For some reason, he feels he needs to speed into the turn. I just don’t get it! Why do new and/or young drivers feel like they have to drive fast when they haven’t been driving very long? I would think they would feel safer going a bit slower until they are a little more experienced behind the wheel. But this isn’t the case with my son. And heaven help me if I say anything about his driving. You would think I asked him to hand over the keys! Sometimes that’s not a bad idea but anyway….I try to give constructive criticism when I see him doing something like taking off too fast or speeding into a turn and I do this amazingly without the parental panicked demeanor that I could have. Oh, and let me not forget the booming, vulgar rap music that he likes to blare from his new vehicle.

My son insisted on taking me to the store one day and as we were pulling off, he pressed a button that turned on the cd player, and the most explicit nonsense exploded through the car speakers. In this particular song, the rapper kept repeating the same obscene line….over and over again. As this racket hit my ears full force, I felt as though pure venom was being spat at me. I looked at my son like he had at least 2 heads, because I don’t know which one was in charge, but he needed to turn that darn crap off! He had the nerve to be mad that I looked upset! Seriously?! I vowed right then and there that I would rarely ride with him in the future if this is what it was going to be like! Then I had to hear about how it’s his car and this is the music that he listens to. Okay…that’s fine. I’m well aware that it’s his car. After all, I was with him when he purchased it. But where’s the maturity to realize that he could play this music any time being that it is rare that I am riding with him? I just grinned and beared it for the rest of the ride and I’m sure anyone that saw us that day, also saw the steam coming from me and pouring out through his car windows along with that horrible music!

It’s like someone lifted a veil from eyes one day and everything is crystal clear now. You see, I have been my son’s source for everything in his life…for all of his life – from day one. In the process of being there for him, I’m sure I’ve hindered him in many ways and with that comes regret. I can clearly see how dependent he still is on me.  Sometimes I am in awe about the things that he asks me or the way he views things. I am floored sometimes by his behavior when things don’t go his way. It’s like rewinding back at a high speed to when he was 4 or 5 years old. This may sound mean but it’s the simple truth. I’m down right scared for him at times because he feels he has a good handle on life but he really has no idea.

A lot of his naivete can be blamed on the fact that he still resides with me and has not experienced life on his own yet. (See recent post – Failure to Launch) I feel like the longer he lives with me, the more stifled his growth becomes. We’ve been together like two peas in a pod since the beginning of his life. He now has a hard time picturing me living all alone in a big house without him. Sometimes I want to scream, PICTURE THIS…I want my peace,quiet and solitude! Little does he know, life will go on for me, even when he moves out. I just hope and pray that he wakes up soon and puts his big boy pants on…even if it’s one leg at a time! Just put them on already!

 

Failure to Launch

 

Failure to launch…..an interesting phrase. But more than interesting, it is a serious real life occurrence that is happening more often than some may realize. First of all, you may be wondering what this phrase means? Maybe you’ve never heard of it before now. You can glean from the words that something has failed to take off. Yes, failure to launch is when our 20 something young adults still live at home with seemingly no plans to leave. This incidence seems to happen predominantly with males. Now, this could be for any number of reasons. Do you think that maybe young females are more independent and yearn to be on their own more than their male counterparts? Maybe so, maybe not. Could it be that in the instances where a young male has failed to move on and go out and find out what life is all about, is because he often comes from a single-parent female head of household? Would you agree that the lack of male influence and guidance has left him with little or nothing to go on in terms of what he should be seeking in life for himself as a young man? This may sound like a cop-out and in some ways it may be. But couldn’t these young males look at their single parent mother(s) as an example of all that she has accomplished by herself? Wouldn’t that seemingly be enough inspiration for them to take the bull by the horns and seize life? Evidently not in some instances. This scenario is very much alive and well. But why?

It would be easy to just say that some young males today are lacking in ambition and are not motivated by much of anything. The main form of stimuli for many of these males comes in the form of a video game system where they can be found any time of day glued to the screen as if they were hypnotized. You might be wondering how I know all this? Well, I happen to have a failure to launch situation of my very own! Yes….I live this every day. I have one son, age 23 and as the years go by(more and more quickly), he seems to dig his heels in deeper. It seems there is really no plan to explore life on his own any time soon. Without going into a whole lot of detail, I will say that the reason for this is the result of a combination of things.

I too am a single mother. You mothers out there know as well as I do that as women, we can only teach our ‘sons’ so much. We can teach them how to be respectful men, but we can’t teach them how to be men. A thin line to walk.  Almost so thin, it’s non-existent! Aside from all the wonderful technology that has been bestowed on society, I will admit that I have unintentionally contributed to the failure to launch issue in my home. I have often stepped in and solved a problem simply because I would not only make sure it got done, but timely. It seemed so much easier to just do whatever it was myself rather than go through the hassle of getting my son to produce results. I found myself to be very lenient when a stricter adherence to rules would have made all the difference in the world. I guess you could say, I more or less created a bit of a monster. Would you move out if everything was at your beck and call? Would you be anxious to go out into the world if it meant suddenly becoming responsible for everything? I may have raised a somewhat spoiled and entitled child, but I didn’t raise a fool. Why would anyone rock the boat who had it so good? Would you blame him?

I remember the times when my parents would encourage me and my siblings to go outside and play. We naturally triggered our imaginations as a result of always being outside in nature. My parents’ main request was that we had to be back in the house before the streetlights came on. As kids, we had a certain desire and curiosity about the good old outdoors, and bugs and the like. Television was limited and we couldn’t stay up until all hours of the night. We lived in a much more structured way of life than what many children experience today, including that which my son experienced in earlier years.We didn’t seem to have outrageous expectations and for the most part, were very satisfied with what we had.  It’s a different animal today that parents have to contend with. Technology has firmly planted the young minds of our children right where they stand; constantly enticing them to remain focused on some technological advance as opposed to some good old fashioned thinking.

So, how do parents solve this problem of failing to launch? A good starting point might be to begin reinforcing confidence and providing the proper tools to our young people in hopes of inspiring them to handle problematic situations on their own instead of waiting to be bailed out. The  cycle has to be broken at some point. The constant feelings of accomplishment will no doubt build and before you know it, you’ll be witnessing a successful launch instead of a failed attempt.  If you have a 20 something young adult still living at home, there’s a 50/50 chance you may experience this. What will you do?

Multiple Choice(s)

 

All of us have had to make choices at some point in our lives. Some have been easy and required little to no thought, while others have been difficult and required much consideration. You might be someone who finds it stressful deciding what you’re going to where to work every day. Or you might be the person that undergoes much stress in deciding which shoes go better with an outfit for an upcoming fancy gala. No matter how superficial or crucial the decision(s) may be, a choice has to be made; a stand has to be taken. Now, you can always opt to simply do nothing. But how far will that get you?

According to the Associated Press, a New York teenager by the name of Kwasi Enin has recently been the talk of the  national news media. You might question why? This student found himself in a most unique situation;one that I’m sure was the envy of many. Incredibly, Kwasi had been accepted to all 8 Ivy League Colleges. As if this wasn’t extraordinary enough, he was also accepted to several New York colleges. Is there no end to this teenager’s potential? And just think….he’s just getting started!

Kwasi’s parents, Ebenezer and Doreen Enin, who both emigrated from Ghana in the 80s, have always encouraged both Kwasi and his sister Adwoa to excel academically according the Associated Press reports. Evidently, the message was heard loud and clear! A.P. also states that Yale has always been a top contender for Kwasi in terms of his choice of colleges. A recent visit to this prestigious university’s campus tipped the scale as Kwasi made his decision. He liked the fact that everyone was welcoming and that he had met many geniuses during his visit. Kwasi also noted that Yale’s residential college system is good to all of the students as reported by AP.

The Associated Press reports that Kwasi wrote a passionate essay for his Yale college application where he expresses his love of music. Yes. He is also an outstanding musician! Surprised? Hardly. Even though Kwasi has a great love for music, it is not the direction he is headed. He aspires to become a physician and will be attending medical school.  Wow! Quite a lot to absorb for a student who is only 17 years old. But something tells me that he will do just fine. Kwasi Enin was faced with a huge decision and he had 8+ selections to choose from. After careful consideration, he weighed all his options and made his choice.  How would you handle it if you ever find yourself  faced with multiple choices?

What would my grandma say?

 

I often wonder what my grandma would say about so many things if she were alive today. She had such high hopes for me and my siblings. My grandma had a unique way of making each one of us feel like we had a special and individual relationship with her. It takes a special person that can make so many feel uniquely special, all at the same time.

I can’t help but feel that my grandma and I shared the most unique bond of all. I was the firstborn and my mother has often told me that my grandma fell in love with me instantly as a baby. So much so that she actually kept me for the first nine months of my life!  This still amazes me when I think about it now in my adult life. It started off that grandma was only going to keep me for a couple of weeks to give my mother a little break. A couple of weeks became a  month, two months, so on and so on until nine months quickly rolled around. My mother actually had to insist that my grandma give me back which my grandma of course did, but reluctantly.

Sometimes, I think my own bonding time with my mother suffered some as a result of the first crucial months being spent away from her. It’s almost as if there’s some kind of unspoken disconnect that exists between my mother and I, even to this day. Now, let me be very clear. My mother and I love each other to pieces, but I often feel that intangible missing link that casually floats between us.

My parents used to take my siblings and me to stay with grandma for the summers. We would cry when our parents dropped us off and we would cry when they came to pick us up. Oh the fickleness of children! My grandma would always promise that one of those old days she was going to come back home with us and stay for a couple of days! But until that time came, we just cried like babies when we had to leave grandma at the end of our summer visits.

This one particular summer visit had quickly come to an end. I knew there was a chance that grandma might come back with us this time, but I also knew that she probably wouldn’t. To our surprise,  grandma announced at the very last minute that she would indeed be traveling back home with us for a visit! We were beside ourselves with joy! We didn’t have to be sad about leaving grandma behind  because she was coming with us this time! We couldn’t have been happier!

I had recently learned to “french braid” my hair and had been promptly given the job of braiding all three of my sisters hair as well. Can’t say that I was happy about that but practice makes perfect, right?  Even though my grandma preferred wearing a wig, she was so excited about my new braiding skill, that she wanted me to try it on her as well. I happily braided her hair that weekend. I don’t know who was happier – me or grandma. Grandma only stayed for a few days as she was preparing to move the next weekend into a new house closer to town. She was so excited about us visiting her there in the future summers. That next weekend, my dad went to pick her up for the move. He could see my grandma sitting in her chair by the window as she had often done while watching and waiting for us to arrive in the summers. My dad knocked and knocked but she did not come to the door. My dad went and got someone to help break open the door. Sadly my grandmother had  passed away in her chair with her coat on waiting to go to her new surroundings, but she never made it. I still remember the day my father came home and broke the news to the rest of the family! I learned later that she had passed away with the french braids that I had done still in her hair! My grandma was indeed a special woman and I still feel a bond with her, all these years later. I hear her quiet encouragement when I am hesitant about a new project or adventure. I wonder what she would think of what I’ve accomplished thus far. Would she be pleased with the adult woman I’ve become? I would love to know what she would make of the world and all of the changes that have taken place since she passed away all those years ago. What would she think about all the things I’ve gone through in my life so far? I may never know the answers to these questions but I do know that grandma is somewhere smiling and marveling at everything. She may not be here in the flesh but she is always here in spirit! I will always love you grandma!

Push or shove?

 

When it comes to the words push and shove, you might say that they are one and the same. Or are they? Would you rather be pushed in different areas of your life or shoved? You may feel that being pushed in the direction of pursuing your dreams is a welcome and favorable action. In this case, you don’t mind being pushed all day; if it’s going to help propel you to where you need to go. It also may depend on who’s doing the pushing. Now, lets talk about the word shove.  Shove would seem to be the ruder term -vs- push, even if only by sound.  Shove can imply taking someone by surprise and in essence can be viewed as aggressively pushing. Do think you would ever find yourself saying, I’m so glad my parents shoved me in the right direction concerning furthering my education? Maybe, maybe not. Sometimes, parents are pushy reflecting their particular style of parenting and may feel the need to aggressively shove their children to excel and become successful. But if a teacher or colleague were to do the same thing, you might very well take it defensively and feel more like you’re being shoved. After it’s all said and done, you may draw the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter as long as the end result is a positive one. But remember, the true end result may be the fallout of all that pushing and shoving.

June 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3,004 other followers

Follow sporterhall on WordPress.com
sporterhall

Calling all conversations!! What say you?

bornofGod

Sharing my walk with Jesus Christ & helping encourage other Believers!

Toast and Tea

Express Yourself in Beautifully Webbed Words

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

Ana Spoke, author

It's time to get hella serious about writing!

peculiarpetunia

a journey to becoming different

Gringa of the Barrio

A Sassy Barrio Gringa Telling It Like It Is

Rebirth of Lisa

Author, Blogger, Poet and Freelance Writer

Alligator Juniper

A literary magazine from the high desert of Arizona

The Main Focus

Embracing Life Today In A Creative Way

Echo Chamberz

A Spoken Word Exhibition and Celebration of Lyricism

mermaidcamp

Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water

SongSmith

#1 source for songwriting news and development.

%d bloggers like this: