Month: August 2016

Taking Time For Me: Time For A Run

Why Do I Run? Precisely, that is what I asked myself yet again this morning at the sound of my alarm. Couldn’t I just stay in bed this one time, snooze and finish off my dream, even if it was a disturbing one? Without the ending, I could be haunted for hours. Still I agreed for Paul to open the curtains, allowing daylight to pour in. I threw back the covers and pulled myself out of bed.

Instantly my right foot felt heavy and went into a muscle spasm. In the meantime, my mind sent jarring messages to it and to my achy abs and then turned its attention to all the many urgent things we had to do today—try to negotiate a reasonable appointment from a car dealer who puts customer service last, check on Daddy, order groceries (non-perishables; fridge/freezer dead), chase the repairman, write a blog, just to name a few. Why run?

Ignoring the chatter I grabbed the massage roller thing a ma gig. You know the one, its called posture pro and meant to work on anything thoracic. Admittedly, it works on feet, too.

That done, I dressed and stretched, still feeling lifeless and continued to wonder why I was torturing myself. But outside, as I sucked in the fresh river air, basked in the cool of the London morning, it hit me as clear as day that I run for one reason only. All the rest are fringe benefits. My reason: It’s called me time, as simple as that.

To this end, I even ditched music to avoid any distractions. Anyhow, as I got into my stride, the other runners, walkers, folks going to work, the publican rolling beer barrels across the private road, began to fade into the background. In moments I was in my zone, no longer aware of my temperamental foot, fussy abs. etc.

At first my mind continued to search for reasons to feel listless. And then the tears pushed through, hidden behind sunglasses, of course, as I remembered my mother’s recent death. But when a sensational breeze swept over me, it conjured up memories of her life and suddenly, the tears dried up and I felt myself smile.

When she and my aunt, her only sister, were avid walkers, it occurred to me that they might have been getting in their me time together. Otherwise, there was always someone else around.

Before I knew it, I was coming to the close of my three-mile journey. And though I toyed with extending the run, I had slipped out of the zone that quickly.

Now, I felt my racing heart, the energy flowing through me, the urge to get on with my day. Still, cooling down and stretching, I remembered the run fondly and the other two earlier in the week. Then all the stuff on my to do list started pouring in and jockeying for position-me, me, no me, etc. Not to mention that the world was abuzz. A cyclist nearly ran me down without even saying excuse me, and a yappy dog thought he should have exclusive use of the boardwalk.

Putting the thoughts in their place, the dog and the cyclist behind me, I looked ahead to the next opportunity for time for me—just me. That is why I run.


Vote: It’s A Serious Matter

It is no secret that I don’t think Donald Trump is the right person to be elected as President of the United States for a number of reasons, but the main one is that he is not qualified. He doesn’t have an ounce of legislative experience. But despite this and all the rest that he doesn’t have, he’s a serious contender.

My heart still splits when I drive up behind a car with a Trump for President Sticker on it (in the US) or when someone supports him on social media as the only real choice. Unbelievable!

A few weeks ago, a dinner guest of mine, who knew someone who claimed to know him, said he is a nice man really. He is just being a politician, that’s all. Really, I said, not to mention what else I said.

Still, I was prepared to keep my opinion private until now. Why now? First, as a writer, it is my business to speak out responsibly. And next, some Americans, particularly African Americans, are questioning whether to vote at all or not. Really? Yes, really!

At least two C-list celebrities, an little known rapper and Mariah Carey’s ex, have said that they will not be voting—there is no one to vote for they insist. Really!

Then I came across two normally reasonable writers who not only suggested that they might not be voting but also offered what they thought was good reason. One wrote that voting is not our voice in a democracy; the other wrote that there is no lesser of an evil to vote for, not voting for Hillary Clinton does not mean voting for Donald Trump. He will not vote for evil. And both these writers denounced the American political structure and then went on to expound on why W.E.B Dubois didn’t vote in 1956.

He said, “I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no ‘two evils’ exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.”

With all due respect to democracy, and Dubois, this is not 1956. This is 2016, and certainly remnants of the problems America had in those days might some times feel more like the problems relived than they do remnants, but here is the thing,  voting is a serious matter, especially this November.

Why? In short, it is voting that puts a candidate into office and also that keeps one out. Let’s be real. This is not reality TV; this unusual bid for the White House is a serious matter and has to be taken as such.

Recently, I read an email from Georgia Representative John Lewis (no relation), in which he wrote: “Silence in the face of injustice is another form of injustice.” Hence, this blog!

And that’s when it occurred to me that people who don’t vote are remaining effectively silent on the matter. And there can’t be any justice in that. Not to mention it is the right to vote that puts us at the table to vote in the first place.

Why would we waste that? As such:

  • Like or Lump Hilary Clinton, she is not to be compared to Donald Trump. Whatever she has said and/or done in the past, Hilary is a bona fide candidate with experience as a Senator in her own right, and she has served as Secretary of State, and has demonstrated that she can at the very least work with others and on behalf of others.
  • The President of the US is a world leader and must, I reiterate must, be able to work cooperatively with leaders around the world.
  • The office of President is not a platform for espousing hatred and dividing its citizen. It is the office we look to for hope and unity.
  • Furthermore, the job of President is a real job, requiring real experience, at least knowledge and understanding in policymaking for the sake of its citizens, all of them, not just a handful.
  • Finally, electing the President of the US is not a game, albeit there is a lot at stake. But to debate whether to vote or not as if it is game, is unreasonable, particularly when the stakes are so high. It is a serious matter. Vote!

For more reading on the matter, check out this article.