>Today’s Word and Idiom of the Day!


Today’s Word of the Day is:


Move the arms energetically
“It was not until the phony “doctor” began to gesticulate wildly with his scalpel, that a vigilant nurse was able to detect the fraud. In the annals of medical history there have been a number of such cases”
“I often marvel as I watch the traffic officer gesticulate at the onrushing cars”
Today’s Idiom of the Day is:

“A wet blanket”

One who spoils the fun
“Everyone wanted the party to go on, but John, the wet blanket, decided to go home to bed.”

>Black Power at it Again:Picking Up Where I Left Off…Let the Heads Roll!


Yesterday I shared with everyone about the tiff between Tavis Smiley and the Reverend Al Sharpton that took place over the airwaves. Since I’m long-winded I decided to make my post a two-part discussion so not to overwhelm my readers. I look forward to hearing back from each of you. So far I’ve been told I hit it on the nail. Let’s see what folks have to say today….
What This Means to Me
One of my passions is teaching young Black students about their culture while empowering them to become great leaders at school, home, within and outside of their communities. Let me tell you what I won’t do…. I will not teach them to expect our President to ride in and overnight move mountains; nor will I teach them to ask for (and expect) any hand outs, especially not our 40 acres and a mule reparations cry. Let’s be real shall we?!? 
I also won’t discuss the suggestion that our economy be bombed by another multi-million dollar stimulus injection.  Can we take a break from looking like a country of idiots for just a second? I’m not going to teach children that just because we have a Black President that now our problems should soon go away, and that he alone can write our future. 
Yes, we all have concerns we want addressed. Yes, we have every right to do a double-take at the President and his advisors and ask, “Uh…what’s going on with us getting some jobs in the marketplace and healthcare for those of us struggling with being uninsured or underinsured?” Yes, we need help in our schools as we see our high school drop-out rates skyrocket. Yes, I’d like to ask why we have 20 and 21-year-old students in high school because states like Georgia want to have ridiculously high graduation requirements (although they rank embarrassing low nationwide in testing and graduation rates). 
These young adults are at an age when most people are graduating from college…not 12th grade. But I’m not solely looking to our President for the answers to my problems or the problems of the Black community. I need those other leaders who line that ladder to the top to be on board of the plan for change that uplifts my people…not provides handouts…that brings about long-term positive change where there is visible growth, wealth, prosperity, and equality in education and health measures, not simply while he’s in office but until the end of time. That way our President’s plan can be welcomed (even with friction) and not shut down.
What’s the “Black Agenda” Exactly?
How effective is it to have an agenda when at the grassroots level we can’t even reach those that are within an arm-length distance? How do we go to the President with our “Black Agenda” when we obviously haven’t come together on the ground level to collectively determine what the agenda is exactly? It’s obvious that there are some folks that are out of the loop so to speak….maybe because there are too many segmented agendas floating around. Have we determined who will oversee the process once everything has been put into action on our behalf? Who is assuming what role? We need every Black leader to get off their high horse and have a seat in a chair in one room and respectfully hash everything out now!
Our Measure of Time and Action
If you were the President who could you trust when it appears that a great deal of people have their finger on the trigger? Yes, he is very difficult to read…his pulse is not clear. Should it be? I’m not sure. Should he keep a solid poker face as he strategically finds a way to address our needs at the same time he’s addressing our country’s needs? Or should he just come straight out and say, “Black people have been mistreated for hundreds of years, disenfranchised and overlooked, so I’m issuing an order of blah blah blah to take place effective immediately to re-birth a nation that built this one”? Which Black leaders can he trust to be frank with, listen to, and take advice from? Maybe that is an issue…some Black leaders are upset that they aren’t part of his “circle of influence”.
So let me throw something out there….Is President Obama not moving fast enough for us? What should have already been in place by now that directly impacts Black America? I know what I would have liked to have seen implemented. Should he be moving faster because he’s Black? Some folks felt he was not Black “enough”…what must he do to be Black “enough” so that we are satisfied that he is representing us to his fullest capabilities? What must he do to prove that our needs and concerns are important to him, and that all the work he’s done within our communities over the years was not simply the layered motives of a politician wanting to gain ground and leverage? How long are we giving him to prove himself before we turn our backs on him and throw him under the bus? 
What time frame did we create for our last 18 Presidents that held office during the 20th and 21st centuries to speak up and produce proof on how they would serve the needs and interests of Black America? How well did they fair? I mean heck the situation that I see in the Black community did not just pop up once Obama was elected. 
So I’m trying to figure out what exactly the last 18 Presidents did for us that was so overwhelmingly impressive that proves that Obama is slacking? I’m not saying his slow action or inaction is acceptable, nor am I attacking him. One thing I can say is that with the exception of the long-time jokes about Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton being “Black” presidents- Barack Obama is our first (only God knows if he is to be our last). In this role he is doing something no other Black person has achieved. I understand that he has a limited window of time to get the job done (or as much as possible). I understand that unlike other countries he can’t “reign” for another 50 years. What I also understand is that although we are part of an instant gratification society, we can’t ask or demand of this president what we didn’t ask or demand of the past 18, 19, 20…or 25 presidents. If we did then why don’t we just say, “hey just refer to the last 10-18 requests we’ve submitted to your predecessors and then add this, this, and that…“?
So ask yourself, how can he best serve us while also serving the millions that also voted for him (and those that did not), while trying to secure a second term- so that we can see the fruits of all of our labor? Maybe he won’t get a second term…what are we doing to help prevent this from happening? Can we help? In what ways can we hurt his second term election?
What Are My Leaders Doing?
I know that we need help desperately. I know that I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I know that it rips me up to see my people on the streets homeless and feeling helpless and hopeless. I’m tired of seeing my people being pimped out with payday loans, rent-to-own furniture, and too-high-to-sleep-at-night interest rates. I’m tired of seeing young Black girls dropping it to the floor, shaking and showing what God and their mama gave them. I’m tired of seeing these Black girls thinking it’s cute to be dumb as a rock in the woods that no one sees. 
I’m hurt every time I see a teen mother…when will birth control and adequate sex education be an option at all of our schools? 
We say that abortion is causing genocide in our community…birth control and sex education would help prevent this. We have too many young girls between the ages of 10 and 17… pregnant…some on their second and third child…birth control and sex education would help prevent this. I’m tired of hearing and reading stories about a mother leaving her baby in the trash can, park, alley, etc….birth control and sex education would help prevent this.
I’m tired of seeing our young Black men with their pants so big, hanging off their hips (struggling to walk, trot or run) barely able to hold a decent conversation above that of a third grade level because it’s not cool to be intelligent. 
I’m tired of seeing kids in my community going to and coming back from school with no books in hand. I’m tired of seeing half-empty public libraries. I’m tired of seeing school libraries being used for in-school suspension…are the kids in there reading, studying, doing class work? Not likely. I’m tired of seeing visits to the museum limited to school trips (if it’s in the budget). I’m tired of seeing Black parents working just to put their kids in designer clothes, shoes, and bags but can’t pay their rent and utilities. I’m tired of hearing my people say, “I don’t read” when I ask them, “so what book are you currently reading?” or “so what kind of books do you like to read?”
I’m tired of seeing kids “slanging” drugs and can break down how much an ounce, pound, or kilo costs but go dead dumb in the classroom. Yes, I said dead dumb. I’m tired of these so-called “reality” TV shows that depict Black people as loud, ignorant, uneducated (even when it’s a show with college students), sex feigns, hoes and players, dead-beats, alcoholics, and drugged out. I don’t need to mention these cable TV shows, besides there are so many I would need to write a separate piece just on that subject…and don’t let me start on those flippin’ grills! I don’t want to see another child or worse, adult with a grill in their mouth…please stop!
I’m tired of seeing my people more concerned about how they’re going to “front” with a fake 5-7 carat stone in their ear or on the hand; or twirling around a huge cross or some other emblem made out of crystals pretending they are diamonds (each stone roughly 1-3 carats in size). 
If my people understood the true cost of those items had they been real…maybe (but I doubt it) they would elect to wear something smaller (like 0.25 carats) or something else more appropriate. Oh and by the way the image you just saw…here’s the eye-catching description at the website that sells it for $89.99:
EXCLUSIVE All Ice 36 inches White 8mm Stones Bling Chain
– All iced out 150 karats of ice!
– You’ve seen these worn by all the rappers!
– This chain will attract crazy attention by all the ladies!
Wow 150 carats huh? Oh excuse me…karats…for only $89.99
I understand this madness clearly…they imitate what they see day in and day out. So what are leaders in my community doing about it? Speak up those of you who daily go into the classrooms, walk these streets speaking with your people, interviewing them, recording them, documenting their progress…tell me what you are doing right now to change this…besides saying, “we need the President to do….
I want education reform, I want true financial literacy being presented and taught in our communities and in our classrooms. I want Black studies, multi-cultural studies, and religious studies being taught in the classroom and not just as an option on college campuses. I want affordable health coverage where I can pick my doctor, dentist, and specialist, and not because I’m getting “aid”. If I lose my job and get independent, private insurance I don’t want to be denied service, face a laundry list of exclusions, or be put on the traditional “one year” clause because of “pre-existing conditions” or other nonsense. I want to see unemployment rates plummet while watching my people get those jobs they have been desperately applying for…and so Black men can resume being the true head of their household, with dignity and self-respect. I want to see more state regulations (especially in southern states like Georgia) in place so employees feel valued and companies can feel the sting when they mistreat their employees.
So what are leaders in my community doing about this? What do we tell our President that we need him to do to resolve these issues? What is our collective message in this Black Agenda? Where do I go to have my say, listen to the masses, and see this outlined proposal for change?
The Standard for All
Accountability should be addressed to every politician and leader who has been put into office by our vote, our say, our power, our support. Not just one or some, but all leaders should be held accountable for what they claimed they would do before they got into office, what they said they would do the first 100 days, and what they have done those first 365 days and every year thereafter. You don’t hold them accountable once the diaper hits the fan…it is to begin from day one. Just like when Jerry McGuire yelled, “show me the money”, you must tell your leaders, “show me what you can do and what you have done”.
You make it difficult for this dialogue to take place when you’re having a monologue!
Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved

Tavis Smiley “Tavis Smiley Talks” Transcript Source: http://www.tavistalks.com/we-count-black-agenda-american-agenda

Tavis, Sharpton and Ogletree Conversation Source: http://blip.tv/file/3259184

New York Times Article Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/09/us/politics/09race.html

Black girl in shorts Image Source: http://img.youtube.com/vi/x6UWGzx2YVI/0.jpg

>Today’s Word and Idiom…plus a BONUS!


Today’s Word of the Day is:

“A plethora of escapes from supposedly secure prisons embarrassed the hapless wardens”

“The hapless contest winner was unable to locate the lucky ticket”

Today’s Idiom of the Day is:

“Pyrrhic victory”
A too costly victory

“King Pyrrhus defeated the Romans but his losses were extremely heavy”

“In heavy fighting the troops managed to recapture the hill, but it could only be considered a Pyrrhic victory”

Since I missed posting a word and idiom for yesterday….

Today’s Double-Header Word of the Day is:
Secret, stealthy

“Casting a furtive glance over his shoulder, the prisoner slipped out the main prison gate to be swallowed up in the fog.”

“In a furtive manner she removed her shoes and tiptoed up to her room”

>Black Power at it Again: Part One


Something I have not done in awhile is discussed politics…in general… “Black” politics specifically. Today is the day that I bring up some issues that are troubling. Today is part one of a two-part blog post where I discuss issues that cause so many of us to shake our heads and ask, “Have we taken another step backwards?” I may tick some folks off today and tomorrow with these two posts…so let’s talk… 
Let me explain what has taken place….
What I Have Seen
We are our biggest enemies. We undercut, undermine, overrule, overshadow, shoulder climb, backstab; open our mouths when we should be listening, blame, blame, blame…pointing fingers but never looking in the mirror. Everyone wants to lead but not really. Everyone wants to have a say, but not be held accountable for what they say and do. Everyone thinks they can do a better job, but obviously the “people” don’t think so because you don’t hold the position of the office you are attacking regularly. The model of Black leadership waves above our heads in the faces (and on the backs and shoulders) of men and women who really should know better. You can’t blame “the man” for this mess!
There has been one too many school yard fights amongst our leaders over trivial things. Too many fake smiles, half hugs, and loose handshakes in front of the camera and moments later blunders of honesty on forgotten “hot” microphones. In my almost 35 years on this planet I have wondered, “When are we going to get it together individually and collectively? If our senior leaders and mentors can’t do it, how can the 35 and younger group take over effectively?” If you want to know why some Black folks old and young don’t get involved in the political process, don’t get involved in community action planning…it’s because they can’t trust their leaders to effectively lead…and they question, “what makes them qualified to lead me?”
What Just Happened
I sit here reflecting on one of the most puzzling displays of public pissing contests I have seen amongst my Black leaders. It’s not the first and unfortunately, it is not the last in our bubble. This one happened to be between Tavis Smiley and Reverend Al Sharpton (with Charles Ogletree waiting on the line and occasionally addressing particular points, questions, and attacks when he could get a word in). The argument…over President Barack Obama…over the “Black Agenda”…over what was said and not said by Sharpton, Ogletree, Dr. Dorothy Height, Ben Jealous, and other Black leaders…over individual agendas that will always overshadow the big picture without healthy dialogue…first privately then publicly.
Thanks to technology, a conversation that should have taken place privately between three influential Black men, took place publicly over the airwaves for all to tune in and tear up to shreds. What went wrong here was lack of better judgment, lack of effective communication, and lack of respect for individuals and for the “Black Agenda” This argument highlighted our very issues within our community…we have no unity but keep expecting for it to appear out of the clouds like the North Star that led Harriet Tubman and others from slavery to freedom. We point the finger at each other and say, “Your actions caused the rest of America to once again size us up” yet those very actions have also done the same.
I can see both points of view….the breakdown in respect and communication unfortunately overshadows all of it. Tavis Smiley on the Tom Joyner Morning Show [see show transcript and video] basically said that many of our Black leaders were giving President Obama a “pass” on having to deal with Black issues…which are also America’s issues. That is a huge boulder of a pill to swallow considering Tavis pointed the finger at Al Sharpton…the thorn in many leaders’ sides over the years. Is it possible that Sharpton is making an exception for Obama? Hmmmm…not likely…maybe I’m wrong.
 Singling out Sharpton and these other leaders without dialogue was a misstep. Tavis then went to another level by misquoting more than once the New York Times as though the referenced quote in the article was a direct quote from Sharpton (and taking it out of context), when in actuality the writer paraphrased a sentiment. Instead of speaking with these leaders he calls “friends” in private and getting clarification on quotes he and others read, Smiley blasted them on the radio which in turn caused Sharpton to make contact with him for dialogue on public radio [hear audio]. It would seem that there was no other way to diffuse this, right? Tit for tat…he said he said…It got a little ugly folks.
 To me it is clear…we do not all think alike. Period. But why should we? Why should we all vote alike? It is clear that we don’t. It is clear that some of us are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, etc. and some of us simply don’t vote for whatever reason.  Some of us are conservative while others are liberal. Some voted for President Obama…some did not. Some pray that he successfully leads us through a second term…others hope he fails before the end of this term. Some voted for him simply because he’s Black. Others refused to vote for him…because he’s Black (no, I wouldn’t be surprised that there were some Black folk who did not vote for him simply because of this fact).
President Obama received over 66 million votes. Let’s be clear that there are not 66 million Black people in the United States.  Yes, we as a people have common concerns that are unique, honestly, only to us…and yes, we as a people need those concerns addressed and resolved. Yes, there are issues that require the President to have his hands all “in the mix”. But our President is not the sole “great hope” responsible for taking care of (all of) our needs. He’s not our Moses.
Can we miraculously come together like the cartoon, Voltron, and be…one…all the time in every situation, at the drop of a hat without thought…even when we’re rolling our eyes and sucking our teeth at the person beside us? What other culture or nationality thinks, speaks, and acts collectively as one? None!
God gave us each a brain…our minds are ours to make up based on our interpretation of folks, facts, figures, and fiction. We all have our own interests in mind. We all have separate needs. Yes, Black people come from generations that walked and crawled through hell in order to make today better for each us…and yes we need to make sure our voices are loud, strong, clear and focused. Still some of us haven’t learned to work the “system”- haven’t learned how to make your voice be heard where action takes place on your behalf…not shuffled to the bottom of the pile as you’re being patted on the head. 
I’m not talking about passivity, passive-aggressive behavior, or any Uncle Tom foolery. I’m speaking strategy. I’m referring to looking at every situation and deciding if there are steps you can take before you take a stand, cause ruckus, and declare war. Looking at the situation as though it is a map and you’re in battle…picking the ones you can win quick and in a hurry (with the least amount of casualties)…then coming back to the camp to rest up, re-group, and re-think the ones you have doubts about.
We don’t need to embarrass one another, call each other out like we’re ready for a neighborhood brawl. We don’t need to always try to prove we’re right and the other person is wrong. We don’t need to ride a wave of accusation based on quotes from mainstream America’s resources when we can simply place a call and ask for clarification…then move forward.
What Was the Purpose/Agenda?
So Tavis makes a point of promoting his upcoming meeting of the minds panel discussion amongst the leaders he’s accusing basically of trying to sabotage or downplay the “Black Agenda”; along with other Black leaders that he selected…some of whom have publicly “attacked” President Obama and other Black leaders. 
So does it seem as though the agenda is clear? A back and forth, finger-pointing session it would seem. Who is the moderator of this meeting? Mr. Smiley. Tavis’ first summit slated for this month was cancelled, and the newly scheduled “discussion” was quickly organized for next month…but which leaders besides the one he mentioned going to be there to address our issues and our agenda? The scales of open, healthy dialogue don’t appear to be balanced.
I admire Tavis Smiley, have read and own a couple of his books; frequently listened to his reflections and calls to action on the Tom Joyner Morning Show; I have even watched his television program on PBS. So my eyebrows raise high when I notice a side step or two. I agree with Reverend Sharpton and others, like Dr. Boyce Watkins that Mr. Smiley should also be a panelist in this discussion, not the so-called unbiased moderator when it is clear that he is very biased against the Obama administration; and has publicly voiced his negative opinions of the President long before he took office. 
Just as he wants these leaders to speak up and share what they have discussed with our President over the course of a few weeks or so, and what their intentions are in furthering our agenda; he too should share with the public why he appears to be on constant attack mode; what solutions he has to offer, and how he plans on being an intricate part in the whole equation.
Tavis is right in that we need everyone on the same page. The problem is there are too many egos that simply can’t be checked at the door so folks can get down to work. The same reason more leaders were not obviously invited and won’t be present next month at the discussion in Chicago. Maybe Reverend Sharpton is correct in his thinking that Smiley may not be the appropriate person to make the rally cry for everyone to have a Black town hall meeting so-to-speak. 

What are your thoughts?

Tomorrow I will pick up from this point. Yes, I dig deeper and explore both sides of the table. I wish I could just share all of it in one post, but I know that you have a life beyond reading blog posts.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved

Presidential Election Results Source: http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/
Tavis Smiley “Tavis Smiley Talks” Transcript Source: http://www.tavistalks.com/we-count-black-agenda-american-agenda
Tavis, Sharpton and Ogletree Conversation Source: http://blip.tv/file/3259184
Voltron Cartoon Source: http://www.voltron.com/main.asp

>To Reach Your Goal…See it First

>A few days ago we looked at setting your goals. Today let’s move a step farther away from your comfort zone shall we?!? In order for your goals to be a major focus in your life you need to see them daily. What do I mean by that? Well, let me put it to you this way, you can’t simply write them in your journal or on a sheet of paper and put it away somewhere. Your goals need to be in your face day in and day out asking you, “So what are you doing today to make this happen?”

I have post-it notes I keep in my car, on my laptop, bathroom mirror in my bedroom, and throughout my home. I call them “God notes” because I’m asking God to show up and show out to help me reach these weekly and monthly goals. On my dry erase board in my office I have my big action plan items that I need to attack and conquer for my clients, and for myself. I have my financial goals boldly written where I can see them every time I enter and exit the room.

Another key reinforcer is a goal poster that I like putting on walls and bedroom doors. I don’t care that some people may think it’s tacky to do, I know how it makes me feel (especially when I accomplish those goals). First writing down my goals with the dates (which can be done in a notebook) allows me to put them in order of priority, making sure that I included every goal both short term and long term. Then I transfer the information written to the poster (bright colored ones really catch and hold your attention), making sure that it is legible and can be seen from a distance. I will oftentimes cut out pictures of items that represent the goal and clearly indicate my target completion date. Matter of fact, it’s time for an updated board this week.

Lastly, I have a “dream book” that I started in 2002-2003 while working with Mary Kay Cosmetics. As I moved up in leadership positions it was vital that I kept myself focused on what I needed and wanted in life….my big girl dreams! This week I must update it because some of the dates have passed, and the dreams I had as goals (and accomplished) need to be replaced with new goals. The goals I did not achieve, need to be re-assessed and updated with new dates. I will then share it with one to two people whose opinion matters most to me.

When I don’t keep these reminders in front of me constantly, I have nothing staring me in my face on those lazy days and not-feeling-so-good-days that tell me I’m slacking, and risk losing more than the roof over my head.

When fear tries to set in and my vision becomes blurred, I can quickly and easily turn to a “God note” or one of my other sources for motivation and clarity.

Be sure that your “accountability team” is doing their job and that you’re keeping them posted on your progress. Not reaching your goals does not phase you as much when no one knew of your goals to begin with- but the moment you tell people, “my goal is to bring home $7,100 monthly net beginning May 1, 2010” believe that March 29th they are asking you how close you are at reaching your goal….April 20th they are asking, “are you ready?”… And by May 1st they will be looking at you closely to see if you did what you said you would!

You must realize that you need this fire under you sometimes. Embrace it!

Now if you don’t have one to two people to share your goals with then contact me! I’ve been there…the naysayers, the scared kittens who run behind the curtains when they hear thunder and lightning….those are definitely not the type of people you need to share your goals with. You can’t run to the top with Shaggy and Scooby…trust me…the only time you will be running to the top of anything and that is up a flight of stairs (out of fear) trying to get away from something!

You need believers, innovators, movers and shakers. You need people who are forward-thinking, dream big and work smart so they can win. You need people who face fear head on; who hear and see the lightning and thunder and admire the power behind it, as they sit, watch, and listen in amazement.

…So trust and believe that I have spent many years wondering who would be a part of my “accountability team”. I wondered who could be trusted to encourage and push me even at times when things got blurry and I was not sure I would make it across the finish line. I’ve had people on my team that were lovingly cut; just as I have recently brought people aboard who expect nothing but the best from me and will encourage, motivate, push, and pull me all the way to the top.

The years of pushing myself, alone, were miserable and counter-productive. Having mentors and friends who know me, know my potential, and know my heart, surround me and say, “you can do it Tasha” has made all the difference. I’m not saying I don’t still have people around me who don’t see my vision, who don’t see how I can set high goals for myself with a short window of time to accomplish them; but I don’t rely on them for support, cheerleading and butt kicking…their simply my added motivation to prove to them that you can do anything you set your mind to doing.

So when faced with negative or insensitive comments about your goal posters, “God notes”, or dream book simply look directly into their eyes and say these four little words- pretend…its…not…there. If for whatever reason you have a real comedian on hand, smile and then say these four words- don’t…worry…about…it….then wait for their response; or should I say non-response.

As you find yourself reaching and accomplishing more and more goals be prepared for the sap sucking groupies because they will be coming out the wood works claiming they always believed in you from the beginning! Don’t stop and entertain this but for a minute (or at all) because you still have much more to do within your lifetime and investing in fair weather friends is not a lucrative investment!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved; excluding displayed images

Sleeping Man Image Source: http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/lazy.jpg
Ladder of Success Image Source: http://webprowriting.com/resources/Ladder_of_Success.gif 
Shaggy and Scooby Image Source: http://blog.davidhoyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/shag_scoob1.jpg
“Show Me The Money” Image Source: http://www.jillstanek.com/show%20me%20the%20money.jpg
Lightning Image Source: http://www.windsun.com/pictures/Lightning1.jpg

>Word and Idiom of the Day


Today’s Word of the Day is:
Expressing much in few words

“His speech was usually rambling, but this time I found it brief and laconic”

“Calvin Coolidge, our thirteenth president, was named “Silent Cal” by reporters because of his laconic speech”.

Today’s Idiom of the Day is:
“The sword of Damocles”
any imminent danger

“a king seated one of his subjects underneath a sword that was hanging by a hair, in order to teach him the dangers a king faces”

“Although the president of the company seemed quite secure, he always complained that there was a sword of Damocles hanging over his head”

>Word and Idiom of the Day


Today’s Word is:

Unpleasant, dull, or hard work

“The child who begs his mother to “get off his back” when she implores him for some assistance with the household drudgery, may plead urgently when he wants something for himself”

“She does her homework on Fridays to save herself from the drudgery of having to do it during the weekend.”

Today’s Idiom of the Day is:

“To pour oil on troubled waters”

To make peace, to calm someone down

“When I tried to pour oil on troubled waters, both the angry husband and his wife stopped their quarrel and began to attack me”

>Setting Goals the Right Way!

>You dream….

In order to make the dream a reality you need a goal with a date signifying when you plan on reaching that goal. Clear objectives must be outlined showing benchmark dates and tasks where you “check in” to see how you are progressing towards reaching the goal. You can’t just say, “I want to buy a house” and not give yourself a deadline with measurable benchmarks. You have to say, “I want to buy a house by Spring 2011” and then give yourself three, four, or six month incremental benchmark dates to check your progress.

Here are a few examples of various types of goals (broken down by category):

Financial: Increase my earnings to $9,250 per month beginning August 2011 (benchmark dates are every three months); eliminate my bad debt of $75,000 by Thanksgiving 2013 (every month I will pay off $2,083 in debt); pay off my $2,000 credit card debt before July 4, 2010 (I will pay $400 per month).

Relationship: I want to take my sweetie to Europe for 14 days by September 1, 2010 (benchmark of every two months); get married by July 1, 2011 (I will propose to her January 1, 2011); I want to have a baby by December 2010 (we will go off birth control next week; monthly benchmarks); take a couple’s cruise to reignite our “flame” by July 2010 (monthly payment plan and benchmark); start having weekly “date night’s” beginning March 1, 2010.

Spiritual: Read the entire Bible by the end May 2010 (March 20, 2010 benchmark to confirm half-way point).

Household: Re-paint the house by September 2010; new flooring by Christmas 2010.

Health/Fitness (weekly/monthly benchmarks): lose 10 pounds by April 1, 2010; run the 5K in May 2010; lower my cholesterol by 10 points by June 2010; run a mile in 5 minutes by April 29, 2010.

Once you have set your goals and objectives, you then share this information with one to two people who truly support you and want to see you succeed; so they can not only be your cheerleader, but also hold you accountable.

Then hit the pavement running!

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved.

>Word and Idiom of the Day


Today’s Word of the Day is:

A statement that at first seems to be absurd or self-contradictory but which may in fact turn out to be true.

“How paradoxical that the world’s greatest chefs have all been men! Cooking would clearly seem to be a field that lies exclusively within a woman’s realm, yet the annals of cookery are replete with masculine names”
Today’s Idiom of the Day is:
“A flash in the pan”
Promising at the start but then disappointing
“The rookie hit many home runs in spring training, 
but once the season began he proved to be a flash in the pan”

>Seeking out the Eye for Temporary Relief from the Storm

>Wow this feels more like a journal entry than a blog. I wrote this entry exactly one week and two days ago today. I kept putting it off, looking at the sheet of paper I had written on…not sure. Not sure if it’s too revealing, too personal. Not sure if it will be taken out of context. Not sure if people or God will think I don’t have trust in Him. I don’t want my fear in any way to displease Him. I am not questioning or rushing you Lord. I’m just ‘feeling’. I guess all of these moments of not being sure don’t matter one way or the other. If it helps someone else then it serves its purpose. Uplifting others warms my soul and brings a smile to my face; I know this creates a domino effect…so I continue my passionate work even on days when it hurts!

When reading this post please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m not desperately waiting to ‘pounce’- let’s not forget that I walked this path, it didn’t land in my lap. Don’t attempt to rationalize or try to bring logic…just feel it…I am not a rare case. I speak because there are many others too ashamed to do it. They hide in secret; creating clever screen names on Internet support sites hoping to lean on other shoulders- sometimes never learning how to stand upright alone.This is something that has been going on for years; it is just becoming more alarming as the reality of life sets in globally. Developed nations are realizing with a sense of irony that we are actually behind (in some ways) our so-called undeveloped neighbors, and missing out on life’s sweetest pleasures.

No, I will not stop talking about it even when it no longer becomes my personal issue…because it is an issue…because it affects thousands of women and men daily…because it is not a game we can pause and come back to…because one of my purposes in life is being gambled with and I know that other women and men are experiencing this very thing. So as long as I have air in my lungs, a warmed beating heart, and a functioning mind I will speak on this. Now prepare yourself because you may have experienced this (or presently experiencing it) or you may be the other party in this conversation and simply not realize the impact of your words. Hopefully after reading this you will think before you speak and consider the shoes you’re not walking in.

Seeking out the Eye for Temporary Relief from the Storm

January 31, 2010

She means well. Never purposely intending to cause harm on any level, but earlier today something she said struck a chord; it stung painfully to my core as the reality of her words rocked my very essence. It was her apparent fear that reconfirmed my own. Her words marked my mortality, highlighted my closing window on those beloved and treasured reproductive years more and more women are seeing slip away.

Crazy thing is I can’t recall specifically what she said, it is really of no importance…it is how I felt. It’s how I internalized things until they flowed from my eyes many hours past, while sitting on a plane headed to Chicago as the passenger to my left steadily perused through a couple of bridal magazines. The slow creeping feeling of pain grew from my feet and stomach simultaneously, gradually consuming my body- placing heaviest pressure on my chest and shoulders. No where can I turn. Where do I walk, to the lavatory? I can’t stay in there long; it will only bring attention to me. So I sit here with tears occasionally streaming down my face as I glance every so often at the brightly colored images within the bridal magazines.

Two failed engagements equals two called off weddings, two engagement rings stashed away, one wedding gown hanging patiently, and a wedding binder sitting on the floor of my office. If it could it would ask, “what the heck happened?”

It’s amazing how a comment about someone’s chances at marriage, family, and feelings of completeness can grab them so tightly that it feels like all of their organs are convulsing at the same time while tied together with a jumbo rubber band. I thought school would be a distracting force. I thought church would bring me added purpose and patience for God’s will and grace. I thought an attempt to revive the career I put on the back burner to help the ego of another would bring me peace and resolve as I remained…focused. None of these things serve as a band-aid to the open wound that is causing me so much grief. None are the anti-inflammatory pill needed to simply COPE. 
I share this openly only because I know I’m not the only woman in her 30s experiencing this; matter of fact I know there are women in their 40s who feel as though they are on that last stretch of the marathon where they can have both marriage and family.
I know I’m not the only woman tired of hearing people say, “girl you better hurry and find a man” while at the same time I’m frowning at those who say “you’ve got plenty of time…there’s women getting pregnant at all ages after 35….” I understand that the latter comment especially, is not meant to pacify me and other women. I know it’s said to give hope, to restore the faith that God’s plan is the only plan. It still casts a mirror in the faces of us that put our careers first; that entered into dead relationships with men who passed time and played house as our precious time ticked away. 

If it’s merely a wait for marriage then sure you have plenty of time. If however your wait is for marriage and children, every 25 to 34 days you lose one more petal from your flower. You realize that you’re getting one day closer to being too tired to play with the kids or to take them this place or that place. Or worse you’re getting one day closer to being told, “I’m sorry you simply waited much too long…ever consider adoption?” Yes, but not as my only option.

It’s like a tornado and I’m looking for the calm within its eye just so I can cope, breathe, and cry silently with a smile on my face…just in case some storm chaser catches a glimpse.

…you are not alone.

Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved; excluding some images.

Tornado Image Source: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.freewebs.com/cropcirclelanguage/A131%2B11.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.freewebs.com/cropcirclelanguage/&usg=__sNZ06SMfOZyp0uDv4v-hSHajg6I=&h=398&w=600&sz=21&hl=en&start=7&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=f9jRy3Qd2QYCCM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Deye%2Bof%2Bthe%2Btornado%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

Woman with Clock Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mBqv5-11iEQ/Sspjh5u0wnI/AAAAAAAAAKo/PBeT7OKjfb8/s400/refi_clock_ticking.jpg

Negative Pregnancy Test Source: http://www.electrical-res.com/EX/10-17-17/pregnancy-test-after-use-negative-single-blue-line-no-cross-indicator-on-instruction-leaflet-background-1-DHD.jpg

Image of Natasha L. Foreman Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Engagement Ring Boxes Source: Natasha L. Foreman
Wedding Binder Source: Natasha L. Foreman