Top posts for September

30 Day Blog Challenge
Here are the top posts from last month's 30in30 challenge: September is my mom's birth month. She was on my mind, and subsequently, on my blog. Early in the month, I wrote about the Barnes and Noble she never had the chance to enjoy. Later, on her birthday, I shared a co-worker's wisdom about mothers and grief. In short, losing a mother can leave you broken-hearted, even a decade later. I talked about vulnerability and learning to be "intentionally transparent" with the one you love. Easy to want, but often hard to do. It boils down to being honest with yourself first. That level of honesty and clarity about myself and my needs is at the root of an emotional wellness strategy I learned in September. Emotional wellness is important, but wellness extends…
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Last, but not least

30 Day Blog Challenge
I debated yesterday and today about what kind of entry I would write for my last 30in30 this month. I wondered if it would be a roundup of the top posts of the month. I considered featuring my favorite posts. I pondered whether or not to share my my girlfriend's story about lupus (spoiler alert: coming soon). Today during dinner, there were unexpected fireworks. I thought about posting that story, including the fact that several patrons ran out onto the balcony just to witness the display.  We all clapped at the finale. But the truth is, I'm sleepy. It's past my bedtime and I'm just happy I made it through another challenge. As always, I learned a lot about myself and my life during the past 30 days. I'm in…
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Great arms, nice donk, and other reasons to lift

30 Day Blog Challenge, Temple Building
I wrote about prioritizing fitness for National Women's Health & Fitness Day earlier this month. One commenter, fellow FAMUan Peter McKay, suggested I do some posts focused on strength training. It's something I've done off and on over the years. More on as of late. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys going to the gym use the machines or free weights, but I found a total body barbell-based program that includeds choreographed reps with upbeat music. I believe there are way too many fitness options to force yourself into doing exercises you don't like. The program I found was a perfect fit for me. I'm not an exercise scientist, nor a fitness trainer. I am, however, a few months away from 40 and in pretty decent shape. I lift (in addition to…
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She was right.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative
"I'm so sorry." The chocolate brown woman shook her head as she embraced me, the two of us in the nearly empty corridor.  It was August, the beginning of the school year. It was my first time seeing Mrs. Jackson, a long-term substitute at the elementary school where I worked. My had mother died unexpectedly just before the last days of school the previous year, so coworkers who saw me still offered condolences. "It's been ten years since my mom died. You never get over it," she said to my cheek. I nodded as we pulled away, not sure how to take her news. Today is my mom's birthday. It was ten years this May. She was right. =============================================== Mama’s voicemail sounded an alarm. “I’m not feeling well. Call me…
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Thankful Thursday

30 Day Blog Challenge
#ThankfulThursday y'all! Health& healing, the brand new lil person who sings below me, music & the way it moves, the gift of song @ndcollier — Anika Noni Rose (@AnikaNoniRose) September 26, 2013 The past several Thursdays, I've seen Anika tweet simple gratitudes. As I was sitting here admiring today's gorgeous weather, I thought it might be nice to do a couple. After days of clouds and rain, I'm overjoyed about the sunshine, and thankful I can enjoy it. I was able to run this morning and witness the dawning of a new day. I'm thankful for my good health. She's on my mind a lot because her birthday is tomorrow...I'm thankful for my mom, RIP. I'm happy for  the chance to reflect upon and learn from past choices. I'm thankful for evolution.…
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Make it non-negotiable

30 Day Blog Challenge, Temple Building
Today is National Women's Health & Fitness Day. People who have met me via social media and in real life, know I make #templebuilding a priority. The days I get up and exercise in the morning are the days I'm off to a fabulous start. But there was a time when that wasn't the case. I'm a self-described athlete. I ran and biked like most kids in my neighborhood growing up. I was a gymnast in elementary school.  A cheerleader in middle school. I danced (band auxiliary) and sprinted (varsity track) in high school. I engaged in fewer structured activities in college, although I danced (partied) several hours a week which definitely counts for something. After college I had an on again, off again love affair with local gyms.  I stocked…
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On clarity and sabotage

30 Day Blog Challenge
The clearer you are about what you're supposed to be doing, the harder it is to do something else. #random — nicole means victory (@ndcollier) September 24, 2013 This has been a year of transition.  Every season thus far has boasted some sort of change, and that remains true with the advent of fall. Recent professional shifts have left me considering next steps, which, in many ways, will be a return to previous steps. As I checked in with self about my current professional path, the thought above came to me. When I say "supposed to be doing" I don't mean according to some external metric.  These days it's easy to be swayed by the expectations of Big Brother. We're a surveillance-happy society, wherein we've virtually relinquished self-control and self-expression…
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This is not a review of iOS 7

30 Day Blog Challenge
Generally speaking, I'm a late early adopter. This basically means you won't catch me standing in line or logging in at midnight to get new hardware or software on launch day. But it also means I won't be joining MySpace while the whole world (except musicians) has migrated to Facebook. I wait to hear how things are going. I also wait for at least one round of updates for bugs that weren't discovered or resolved during beta testing or public release. Then I decide if the latest {insert gadget or app here} is for me. So I'm sort of surprised that I'm sitting here with iOS 7 on my iPhone right now. Not sure what made me go ahead and update, but I did. This is not a review, but…
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Autumnal equinox

30 Day Blog Challenge, Temple Building
Today marks the first day of fall. To be honest, it's felt like fall for most of the summer here in Georgia. I'm not looking forward to winter, which I'm betting will not be one of our characteristically mild affairs.  But winter is a full season away, and autumn is upon us now. So what, if anything, will you do differently? I rather like the beginnings of things. It's a great opportunity to make a new determination, refresh an old one, or purge ideas or habits that no longer serve. Even though this is typically associated with spring, any time is a great time to begin anew. New Year's Eve. Anniversaries.  Mondays. Mornings.  Anyone who has ever made a resolution discovers that the strength of that determination fades in time.…
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