Mental Spring Cleaning

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Spring-allergySpring is known as the season of new beginnings. New life springs forth as nature comes alive after the death of winter. Beauty unfolds! Of course, with it comes the pollen that’s not so welcomed by those who suffer with allergies.

Yet, it’s no denying the spirit of the season–beauty and new life! Depending on where you live temperatures rise and confirms the change of the season.

ferriswheel Myrtle Beach

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This is my first spring season here in Myrtle Beach. I survived the winter and now I’m ready to enjoy this new season, which is literally a new beginning for my husband and me.

Back home in Texas, it is the time for “spring cleaning”–cleaning out the old stuff and making room for the new. However, since I’ve been non-stop, I realized it was time for me to take a spring break from the anchor/reporter fast-paced life and take some “me” time. It was time to regroup, refresh, relax and clear my mind to begin again. I guess you could call it  mental spring cleaning.  Now, I’m ready to start again with a fresh attitude and outlook on all that matters to me in this season of life. I plan to enjoy it. I hope you will too. Expect good things to spring forth in this season.

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Time to catch up!

2013-10-19 15.41.11-1Wow! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I know that is a “no-no” for a blogger. The reality is (not an excuse) that so much has transpired in my life since my last post that … well, I’ll just say, time has passed like a flash of lightning.  I can say I’m excited and thankful for my life events:

Marriage (a God-sent husband)

Relocation to another state

Career move as an anchor/reporter

New friendships…

I’m grateful for the friendships I made in East Texas, and for those East Texans who showed me so much love and support during my 7 years as a news personality.  Many are staying in touch and telling me how much I’m missed. I miss them too. However, I am learning that in this life nothing stays the same as we endeavor to live out our purpose on this earth. There is no growth without transitions and experiences that may mean leaving that familiar place, especially family and friends.

In spite of any challenges I’ve faced, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to do what I enjoy. Now that I’ve settled in, it’s time to catch up.

 

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Working to fulfill purpose is much more

Working to fulfill purpose is much more rewarding that working just to get a paycheck! God, I love my new job! #toGodbetheglory

Expanding Your Horizons

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East Texas Annual Career Awareness Conference

Me w/Donna Christopher, Conference Coordinator

Reading and broadcasting  so much negative news day after day can have an emotional impact, if I’m not careful to focus on more positive news.  Therefore, I’m always elated and humbled when an opportunity to be a part of positive news and worthwhile causes such as Expanding Your Horizons— a national network that motivates young women in career choices.

The  American Association of University Women  Nacogdoches Branch  and Stephen F. Austin University hosted the annual Expanding Your Horizons Career Awareness Conference on the campus of SFA this month. I was honored to be the keynote speaker in the morning session to get the 600+ girls, grades 6 – 8,  motivated for a full day of workshops and fun-filled activities.  Seeing their enthusiasm was inspirational.  It brought back memories of my middle school years when I began thinking about career choices.  I was not as fortunate to have such a conference to present career opportunities and women role models in fields related to science, technology, and mathematics, although math was not a career option for me.  However, I did have extracurricular activities that helped me as well as teachers who saw my potential.  Seeing that diverse audience of brilliant young minds and potential leaders gives hope for a promising future amid the craziness of the world I see everyday.  I could definitely relate to their excitement knowing they have options and sponsors who believe in them and are willing to invest in their future.

Special thanks to Ms. Donna Christopher for extending the invitation to be a presenter at the conference, and for considering me a role model in my career field.   From the positive feedback I received, and my interaction with the young ladies, I believe the conference made a life-changing impact; I know it did for me.

If you would like information about the EYH network, check out this introductory video…

Life-Changing Plans

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My first post of the New Year is an indication of the expectations I have for a blessed 2013. I have been very busy making plans that will forever change my life as a single woman. Occasionally, I’d wondered how I would feel when I walked into a bridal shop in search of that perfect dress to accentuate the bliss and sacredness of my wedding day. Of course, I never daydreamed about it.

Now that things have changed, I’m thinking like the speed of lightning! Since December my days have been busy, not only with planning for a successful daily news broadcast, but with planning for the most memorable event of a lifetime.

Getting married has never been the focus of my dreams; in other words, I was not consumed with the idea of getting married some day.  However, deep down in my heart I now realize that the desire was there; but I was convinced that timing was everything–from meeting my soul mate, building a relationship and sharing our goals and dreams together, to the mutual agreement that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together–that everything would miraculously work together in our favor.

The moment of reality hit me when I arrived for my appointment with my assigned bridal consultant at Impression Bridal accompanied by my special team of close family and friends.  As I tried on dress after dress looking for that perfect one it was definitely surreal. I kept thinking, I’m trying on wedding dresses; I’m getting married.  After only two visits, I was convinced I’d found the perfect dress. How did I know it was the perfect one?  When I looked into that full-size mirror holding a sample bouquet in my hand, and the reservoir of tears began streaming gently down my face, it was like a beaming glow overshadowed me.  I have no words to adequately describe that moment!  I knew it was the perfect dress for me.  I knew without a doubt this was a moment of reality…my life-changing plans were in motion, and it felt good! And it still feels good; I aim to keep it that way!

 

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Season’s Greeting

What matters most

I’d like to think that once you reach thirty-something, you become more mature and focused.  You take life more serious…realizing that tomorrow is really not promised. So you prioritize and reflect.

My siblings and I were blessed to celebrate our mother’s birthday and retirement this month.  As I planned the event, it really gave me an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices she made to make sure her children were a priority. I thought about the investments she made in our lives, both naturally and spiritually.  I never recall her saying negative things that would wound us emotionally.  She was always supportive even when she had to discipline us, of course we didn’t think so at the time.  Therefore, this was the opportunity of a lifetime to honor her, and make it a memorable occasion.  Moreover, it was the perfect time to assess what matters most, for me— family and faith.

I believe that life presents us all opportunities through our experiences to help us realize what matters most.  Sometimes those opportunities may come through painful experiences, at other times they may come through the joy of planning an event to honor and celebrate that special person who has given so much unselfishly to help, encourage and inspire others.

Whenever or however the opportunity presents itself,  hopefully, you will also seize the moment to focus on what matters most and never forget it.

I’m sure you’ve had many experiences that presented you an opportunity to prioritize.  From your experiences have you concluded what, and especially who matters most in your life?  Please feel free to share.

Thanks for reading,

I love you, Mother!

I choose to be thankful

It’s that time of the year! Oh, how quickly the year is ending. The light bulb goes off at Thanksgiving, reminding me that a year has come and gone; then Christmas, and if by the grace of God, a New Year.

I so love the Thanksgiving season, not just because my birthday falls within this time of the year…well kinda. Seriously, it reminds me that I’ve been blessed with another year of life, and to use my time as an opportunity to make a difference. I love this time of the year because of all it represents. It’s a time for family gatherings…a time to stop and evaluate your priorities in life. A time of reflection; and a time to begin looking forward with great expectation and continuous thanks for what you believe will manifest in the next season of your life.

I must say, this year has really been a challenging one, with the sudden tragic loss of my 9-year-old nephew, James. Yet, my family and I are thankful because of our faith that says James is okay, and he is still with us in spirit. Yes, we’ll miss him so much during this holiday season, but we’re confident all is well. And we have the support and love of each other to get through the holiday season. For that, I am thankful!

I’m learning each day that it’s up to me to choose my attitude—an attitude of gratitude, or arrogance and ingratitude. It’s easy to focus on the negative…what I don’t have, what I think I deserve. Even as a journalist, sometimes the news reports can influence your perspective in such a negative way that you become biased and pessimistic. However, as I focus on the positive, and redirect my thoughts by considering what I do have—loving and supportive family, friends, especially the love of life, my fiancé, a great country, loving church family— I choose to be thankful!

Being a news anchor requires patience under pressure and flexibility, of course. For example, I will be working on Thanksgiving Day! That means I can’t dine with my family out-of-town, yet I choose to be thankful because I have a job…a career, and coworkers who share in the spirit of thanksgiving. So, in keeping with the spirit of thanksgiving, I will reflect on this year, with all its challenges, and rather than whine and complain, I choose to be thankful

I sincerely wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!
Grateful,

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ACT-SO is…

While this is the time of the year when many people use their much-needed and well-deserved vacation days to travel, like taking extravagant trips to the islands, entertaining family road trips, or intimate get-aways, I didn’t.

I decided to spend my time giving back, investing in the future of our young people.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held its annual convention in Houston this year, and part of the convention is the National ACT-SO Program, which was held as well at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  ACT-SO stands for: Afro-Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics

Many are not aware of this dynamic program that exists for African-American students or students of African descent.  ACT-SO is sponsored by the NAACP, and was founded by Mr. Vernon Jarrett.  It’s designed to stimulate and encourage high academic and cultural achievements among high schools students.

The competition is national and consists of 26 categories within the following areas: the Sciences, Performing Arts, Humanities, and Entrepreneurship.

Throughout my high school years I participated in ACT-SO.  I can’t even begin to tell you, or explain the doors it opened for me.  That’s why I felt so compelled to give of my time, service and talents to a program that invested in my future, and nurtured my dreams.

The NAACP ACT-SO Program selected me to be a judge for the Oratory category, which is actually the category I competed in and placed locally and nationally during high school.  It was a great experience; however, coming back years later was an even greater experience.

You walk this hotel surrounded by these gifted and talented kids from all over the country, and you feel so proud. These kids are so awesome…it’s like they can’t even hate on each other, because they are all exceptional.

I was sitting in the competition thinking how do you choose the top 3? How do you do it?

I did it, along with two other judges, but it wasn’t easy. They were all good! They all have untapped potential!

At the awards ceremony on Sunday, I walked up to one of the young ladies that actually won in the category of Oratory to congratulate her. She said, “Oh my gosh, you’re the judge! I saw you stand up in the competition, when you introduced yourself, and I said I want to be like her.”

I told her she was definitely headed in the right direction to achieve her goals. I said to her, “You can be like me … but I want you to be better than me; I just set the bar.”

She looked at me with the biggest smile, and gave me a sincere hug.

It was at that moment, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I spent my time wisely. Every one of those students in that room was destined for excellence. I knew that being in their presence, nurturing their dreams and believing in their potential was part of the foundation that could pave the way for greatness.

Someone did that for me;  I’m thankful to God they did.

Throughout the convention people were asked, “Give me one word to describe ACT-SO.”

ACT-SO is awesome.

ACT-SO is eye-opening.

ACT-SO is phenomenal.

ACT-SO is mind changing.

ACT-SO is excellence.

New Orleans…

Last week I returned to the place where my passion for broadcast-journalism began—New Orleans, Louisiana.  What great memories on the campus of Xavier University! I met some great people and developed some lifetime friends.

Attending the NABJ (National Association of Black Journalist) Convention 2012 brought back bittersweet memories.  Yet, there was a sense of solemnity realizing the severity of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, and the displacement of so many people.  However, the spirit of New Orleans is still strong and it’s very apparent it is alive and well!

I am always pleasantly overwhelmed when I attend the conference, there is always a positive energy I feel when I am surrounded by other beautiful black professionals. I often find myself stopping for a moment to reflect on the great accomplishments of my culture.

My trip to New Orleans was so rewarding, I came back home with a rejuvenated passion to work harder, do better, and of course go farther in this journalism journey.

NABJ Convention 2012, New Orleans

Deborah Lee, Chairman & CEO of BET Networks

TJ Holmes, Host of BET’s ‘Don’t Sleep’

Paige, a journalism colleague, attending the NABJ Convention

Brea, a SFASU student, first time attending a NABJ Convention

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