My family is going camping! JJ has never been camping before so it seems like the time to right that wrong. Yes, we’re raising a city boy but we want him to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. We’ll be camping near Sequoia National Park. We haven’t been there in a few years, so it will be nice to go back. I can’t wait to see a sky full of stars (No, I didn’t mean to make a Coldplay reference).
Happy Wednesday! Here’s another installment of “We Love It Wednesday,” a list of a few of my family’s favorite things this week.
Jeff and I wanted this summer to be productive for JJ. He just wanted a summer job. At 15, he was at the age where boys want their own money to buy, well…stuff. We’re so glad he reached that conclusion instead of getting a case of the “gimmes” (gimme this, gimme that).
We didn’t want a summer job to take up his whole summer, though. As strongly as we believe in the benefit of hard work, we also don’t want JJ to maintain a busy bee mentality. We encouraged him to time to think about who he is, who he wants to be, and how he can help others.
That’s a tall order for one summer, so we looked for solutions that worked for him. He had two short-term summer jobs: one in cleaning and another in sales auditing. Let me just say: the cleaning job upgraded his house chores and made him complain (less) about doing them. Goooal!
I asked JJ to write a list of all the careers he was interested in having in the future. Based on the list, we brainstormed about who we knew did related work and he asked to shadow them for a half or full day. Man, did that pay off! He got an inside look at the day-to-day routines of each role and so many people were willing to speak with him, share useful books and websites, and to follow up with him if he needed more information.
As for Project Introspection, we had a series of continuous talks and activities to get him thinking about his goals. The activities include writing a goal list (short term and long term). This is a more on-going topic, but in preparing for this, we decided that he would not be involved in school activities during his junior year. He is still very involved in volunteer work, but AP classes + school activities seemed like a heavy load. Last year was incredibly busy for him, so we decided to clear his schedule by only leaving the academics. Without all the extra activities, he can be more selective in deciding what he wants to add to his schedule next year instead of trying to maintain the status quo.
Being busy does not equal success. It just means one is busy.
As the summer break comes to an end, we now have a 16 boy who is walking a path and we’re so excited to see where it will take him.
Velissa Robinson is a filmmaker. You may have seen her short video piece, “The Love Life Of A Black Girl According To Velissa.” Or maybe you at least read the write-up about it on Indiewire. Or maybe you have seen her short film, “Also Seen In Men,” that proved to be a counterpoint to the stereotypes of deadbeat African-American fathers. And if you ever have the pleasure of conversing with Velissa, you will know that she is a born storyteller.
Her newest project is a documentary entitled, “Bad Hair.” This film (in production) is an intimate portrait of the Natural Hair Movement as seen through the experience of Karen Tappin-Saunderson, the entrepreneur and educator behind the brand Karen’s Body Beautiful. Velissa is currently holding an Indiegogo campaign to raise additional funds for her film. Learn more about the director and donate to her film, Bad Hair.
Forgive me for leaving you.
It’s been months.
Life has been crazy busy, as I’m sure yours have been, too.
My life has been in a constant state of change for the past few months. You know that feeling when you know that something has got to change, but you don’t know how or when? If you’ve read this blog before, you know change and I don’t exactly get on like peas and carrots.
My duties in my second job as a Social Media Content Manager have been increasing. I’m learning so much about social media marketing! I love having a hand in helping people find quality services and products that they may not have known about otherwise.
And I’ve taken on a new position (crazy woman!) through early March helping with a social media campaign to raise money on Indiegogo for a documentary film that is in production. Note: You will see lots of info from me over the next few days about this project. And you just may thank me for putting you in the know about this intriguing film.
Am I doing work that I love? Yes. But what about my other loves? I’m not spending as much quality time with my family. I’m forcing conversations with JJ trying to pack as much quality conversation into less time to let him know that he is an important priority for me and that I care about him. Jeff has two jobs (downgraded from three) and we both plop into bed late at night (sometimes early in the morning) and fall into exhausted sleep. Date nights and social events have been out of the question lately.
My other responsibilities? Don’t get me started on how disorganized my house looks. Or how I’m dragging myself home from one job to start on another. Or how I’m trying to maintain the quality of my volunteer work as a Bible teacher because I deeply love and value the privilege. Or how I am THE worst daughter in the world and don’t call to my parents nearly enough. Exercise. Time with friends. Cooking dinner. All falling to the wayside.
Something has got to give.
So, I’m considering making the career move that I have been wanting to make for YEARS. I’ve been praying and trying to muster up the courage to do it. Will it happen? I am very hopeful. In the meantime, I’m dusting off old skills and trying to hone new ones. Leaving my day job and becoming a social media maven seems pretty scary right now. Not gonna lie.
We shall see…all in due time.
My family loves music. We often play music while cooking or doing chores. We share new music with each other as well as our bluntly honest opinions.
Music is the soundtrack of my life: Singing “Them There Eyes” to JJ when he was a baby. Dancing like crazy with Jeff to Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad (B.O.B.)” in high school. Family road trips singing Journey/Coldplay/Beyonce medleys. Jeff telling me that the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” do not, in fact, include: “telepath is human nature.” Some of my favorite memories play in my head with a musical accompaniment.
During the holiday season, travel picks up as folks get more time off from work and look forward to spending time with family and friends. What’s better than being with the ones you love? Not wearing out your welcome with the ones you love. Read on for five helpful tips to make sure that your time spent as a houseguest is enjoyable for both you and your host.
Star Wars is a classic film.
And with the upcoming JJ Abrams directed version of Star Wars, a new version will be introduced to a younger generation. My son, JJ, has excitedly followed the new film’s production progress since he first heard about it.
When you were younger, did you have that one auntie or uncle who always wanted you to teach them the latest dances that “the kids” were doing? Or, maybe that was your mom or dad?
Well, I’ve become that person.
JJ was never the kind of kid to say sweet things to me when he was small. No “You’re so pretty, mommy” or passionate declarations of his love for me. No smothering me with hugs or showering me with kisses.