National Sister’s Day

Today I celebrated National Sister’s Day. I didn’t even know that was a thing until recently. 

I love some of these random days to enjoy the little things in life. They have national ice cream day, national friendship day, national poem day. There is something to celebrate every single day of the year. 

This post will be short so I can get back to the company of my friends and sisters but what ladies in your life could use a little love from you? Maybe a hello, a smile, a laugh, a call, a card, a coffee, an ice cream or a brunch date? 

I went to brunch today with my actual sisters but celebrating things like national sister day can include the more general sister definition of just a lady in your life. Your sisters might include your family, friends and any other lady who could use a spirit uplift from your kindness. It might be a a lady you admire or have fun with or someone you call mom even. 

Who could use an extra dose of your attention this week?

Share the love in the spirit of National Sister’s Day! 

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I went to the same junior high and high school with a small group of the same people. A few of us went to the same college together too.

We graduated, entered our career fields, lived our lives. Some got married. Some had kids. Some worked and traveled and played.

Nowadays unless you already do everything to keep in touch with old school friends, we tend to catch up for birthdays, funerals, babies being born and weddings.

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The twins sharing their brother/sister dance

It is a personal shortcoming of mine to not keep in touch with people. With age, my circle keeps pretty small. I have good intentions and mean people well but without a whole lot of action to reach out regularly, I really do a poor job of staying up to date with old friends and loved ones. I am always constantly working on that one.

One of my dear friends got married this weekend and boy I got so many blasts from the past. It was so fun to see, laugh and catch up with old friends. It has honestly been several years since I have seen most of them.

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Laura & Dilaun

We re-lived school memories, talked about all the pieces in our lives that are new and changed. A beautiful day full of flashbacks and yet celebrating my sister friend who looked stunning and blissful on her day of marriage. Another new beginning to keep in touch about.

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With the Beautiful Bride

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I was so glad to be in the same place with her family who I consider my family too. I spent so many nights in their house. We grew up learning from each other. There was a lot of fun and love there. I was overcome with such joy being close to them again, sharing hugs and stories, introducing them to my significant other. Everything felt familiar like the old days and with the exception of a little passed time, we fell back into the same routines.

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Love them! Bride's family

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Distance makes the heart grow fonder but if you can keep the distance from growing, you’ll be better off.

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Congratulations to my loving friend, Diana, and her new husband Joel. I wish  you two all the love and happiness in the world. Enjoy Hawaii and let’s see each other before the next wedding, birthday or funeral to come.

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The Happy Couple

Choose Joy

Don’t you find such freedom in making your own decisions?

When you choose your education path, faith, career, love life, friends you will keep in touch with, etc. The opportunity for you to choose the paths for your life is freeing.

Growing up, if you were lucky, someone probably guided you, always telling you what to do. Usually this was a parent, an older sibling or grandparent perhaps.

If you were “normal” you likely hated it. It is easy to misunderstand being told over and over how you should live, especially as you’re growing up without much choice or explanation about why. 

Part of the reason I got so much out of my education at college was the freedom I had to choose what I wanted to study. It was different than elementary or high school. I had a greater level of satisfaction and fulfillment being responsible for my own life. 

Some people would rather be told their whole lives what to do and when but if you recognize there is more to life, if you really get it, you will take ownership and live how you want.

I choose to live this way in all the areas I previously mentioned. My faith has been far more powerful and meaningful to me as I have gotten older. I’m not continuing a cycle because my parents did but it’s my own decision. I find freedom in that because it impacts how, where and why I worship as I do with the faith I have.

My romantic life is my favorite daily choice and giving my all in a relationship empowers me to learn all the important lessons about love. Choosing the man I do life with was one of my best decisions. We will explore all we can while flying or occasionally falling together. We are learning so much.

Even defining friendships has gotten more precise. My group of friends has shrunk significantly since my school days. I am far more intentional about who I keep in touch with on a personal level. Some people are truly only in your life for a season and when the season ends, we must take the lessons and move on.

I was fortunate enough to keep my cold at bay long enough to attend my friend’s wedding shower this weekend. I spent so much time at her house growing up, her dad assumed they adopted me, haha. It has been a few years since I saw everybody. It was like old times hugging and catching up with the cousins, sisters, mom, grandma and a few other high school/college friends. I missed the last 10 year school reunion so I haven’t seen most people since we graduated.

It was such a good feeling to be in a room with great people. Actually my friend made a comment I totally agree with. The party was like school but with only people we liked. That’s the freedom I mean. I do everything in my power to choose joy and happiness and the paths or people who bring me closer to that. Point blank, period.

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Wedding Shower

The Company We Keep

We are only as good as the company we keep.

Hopefully you choose your friends as much as they choose you so you know you are filling your space and time with people who deserve your attention but won’t drain you for it.

May you know people who live independent of you so they can fulfill their lives by accomplishing their goals and dreams yet they also have your backing and support.

We cannot escape becoming like the people we spend the majority of our time with — for better or worse. That’s why this idea of the grand importance on the company you keep matters.

Earlier this year in June, I attended a leadership conference in London on scholarship. I met the most brilliant women. Today was one of their birthdays and what caught my attention most was what someone else wrote about her. I spent just a few days with these ladies and yet we have joined up our lives together, celebrating our impact on one another.

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London
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London
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London

The post read, “This year I met some of the most amazing young people who inspired me and spurred me to action because they are already on the dance floor of life, doing some crazy samba with opportunities and resources to change the world. They believe they can and they are.”

Brilliant words from my dear friend and I wholeheartedly agree.

Over the weekend I had the great privilege of attending my friend and co-worker’s book launch.

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Book Launch
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Book Launch

She is now a published author, having just written her first book, A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict.

This is the same friend who has been featured in Ebony and (my favorite) Essence magazines. She has her own life coaching business, blog site and successfully blogs weekly for Black and Married with Kids, a very popular site with articles on relationships and parenting.

She is accomplishing so many goals I have and I am completely blessed to be close enough to watch and learn.

The other company I keep includes song writing award-winning producers, engineers, project managers, therapists, entrepreneurs, actors, artists, writers, designers, faithful husbands and wives, strong mothers and fathers, people going back to school for bachelors and masters and doctorate degrees. Those going back to achieve that GED they may need to propel their education and career forward.

I want the achievers, innovators, collaborators, those who are honorable and have intergrity.

I can look up to these people in my life. I  can be motivated and challenged by them. I can ask them questions to help me navigate my own path and best support them on theirs. I can soak up the good vibes, watch, listen, learn, do.

I don’t limit myself to only engaging people with uber established careers either. BUT I want people who exist in the mindset of moving forward. Medocrity and stagnation is a curse when you have control to make better things happen.

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Chicago Business Leader Meeting

They say if you are the smartest person in your group then you need a new group. I agree and am grateful for people in my life I can teach something to and learn something from.

What kind of company do you keep?

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Friend visiting Chicago
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Chicago Fundraiser