Spaceship Hijacked – Where is George Clinton?

It was billed as a George Clinton (i.e., Funkadelics) show beginning at 6pm. It turned out to be an NMAAH (aka National Museum of African American History) show.  I am a long standing contributor to NMAAH. I believe in NMAAH. I strongly support AAH, but…. Don’t get in the way of the Mothership!

I had picked up the kids from summer camp and arrived at 5:45 to be sure to get a seat under the tent. They balked at sitting for 45minutes, but agreed to do it for G’Ma. So, we sat and watched the parade of greyhairs arriving to take a trip up into the ship.

At 6:10 the MC started and introduced Meshell Ndegeocello (Who’s bad idea was that?), who thought she would win the greyhairs over by doing a poem about “I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Didn’t work. As she continued her non-funky, psychedelic  performance, the audience patiently waited for her set to end and “Bring on da funk”.

After sitting through a painful set of psychedelic, weird jazz, Tom Joyner took over as MC and was followed by luminaries connected with the NMAAH, and a video of the NMAAH groundbreaking. We are all thinking “OMG … when will this end… bring on da funk!!!”

Long story short… this was my shot at revisiting my youth via the Mothership and I missed it. The Gran’s patiently sat for two hours and the ship still had not landed. I couldn’t ask anymore of two 10-year olds. I used it as a lesson in “getting over it”. I explained that I had been excited to see the show, I appreciated their patience,  and I was disappointed that I missed it, but… it’s not the end of the world. I’ll catch the ship at its next stop.

Stay tuned


What’s in a Title?

After completing my doctoral program, I appended Ph.D to everything and reveled in being called DOCTOR. Then… I got over it. The other day, I received an email from a lady titled as the AUTHOR, and last year I became a tri-athlete where I followed the signs to the ATHLETE’s table. Then I thought about the importance of titles. They are important to the person with the title and to those without.

A title denotes a position either positive like decathelete or something negative like drug addict.  With one word or phrase, we categorize, define, and assess. Once I told the guests at a B&B where we were staying, that I was a travel writer, and watched their expressions change. They began to engage with me in a different manner. They were captivated by my “supposed” profession.

There are times when a title is an entre to a group. For instance, when among athletes, I tell them I am a triathlete. If among entrepreneurs, then I tell them I too am an entrepreneurs. Military folk talk about their experiences in the military and find a common bond among other ex-servicemen. These labels (i.e., titles) establish a common dialogue and understanding.

But, the most important title is that which we bestow on ourselves. When my grandson asked me if I thought he was fat, I told him that he is the only one who can define him. His definition is the only one that matters. So I asked him if he thought he was fat and he said ‘no’, so then I said… you have the answer.

Signed…. the tri-athlete, doctor, entrepreneur, writer, story teller, professor, grandmother (guess which one makes my face light up… hint: it starts with a G)

The First Day of Camp

Each summer we end up with some combination of our grandkids either for a weekend, week or just an overnight. This year I found a Smithsonian computer camp and figured our 10 year old grandson would love learning how to design the games that consume his every waking moment. Then my husband suggested that we invite our 10 year old granddaughter to accompany him.

That sounded like a great idea, until I arrived on the first day of camp and discovered that the other kids in the camp were all boys and super game freaks. There my little granddaughter sat on the edge of the group just watching and listening as my grandson and the others talked about mobs and boomsticks.

I was trying not to freak out. Trying not to be an overprotective grandparent, because even though she hadn’t engaged with the boys, she seemed okay, and when I took her aside and asked if she wanted to change, she said no. The head counselor assured me that she would be okay and that the gamer teacher was actually a girl.

Then I looked around and discovered that all the other parents, grandparents, guardians, etc. had dropped off their kids and quickly departed. I was the only one still standing, watching, and fretting.

So I left assuring myself that everything would be alright.

Choose the Upside

Didn’t discover gratitude until after 50… what a waste of time. Wish I had found it earlier in life. Gratitude makes life so much more enjoyable. I could have been grateful for my energy, abilities, bowel movements, flexibility, good knees, strong back, teeth, children, family, etc. etc. Boy… how different life would have been if only I had found gratitude earlier. While engaged in career building, child rearing, entrepreneurship,  skiing, racketball, tennis, and biking, I never took time to be grateful. I took it all for granted.

As I sit basking in the filtered sun on a quiet spring day listening to the birds and light breezes, I ask myself if it is possible to be too grateful, because there can be a fine line between gratitude and complacency. If one is grateful for one’s current state, then why change it? Sorta’ like a seesaw, one finally gets their life in balance and any change could tip the seesaw. But then along comes a story about a Paralympic sprinter, Jerome Singleton, who is the “fastest amputee in the world“, and you realize that one can be grateful regardless of the current situation. In other words, gratitude is a state of mind that we choose.

Gratitude is all about accepting the current situation while knowing that we have the ability to remain where we are (on the bus or under the bus). Even if moving the bus means we have to get help. Oprah did a show where a lady spoke about the pain of losing her husband, and the knowledge-bearers, reminded her that she could choose between being sad about her loss or be grateful for having had “the love of her life”.

The hardest thing to remember is that we get to choose. We can choose to be grateful that we were not the accident that caused the traffic jam. We can choose to be grateful, happy, sad, angry, or joyous, but when we choose the upside… life gets better and better.