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Childhood TV Shows

After having a discussion within the office, I figured I’d put the question on here to ask all of you. What television shows did you guys grow up watching? What were some of your favorites? I’ll answer first.

Some of my favorite shows growing up were:

-Rolie Polie Ollie
-Hey Arnold
-Global Guts

How about you guys???

Best Compliment Ever Received

I can personally say that I am not a fan of compliments just because I feel weird being the center of attention at any given moment, but just like any other person, I do enjoy the occasional compliments. With that being said, what are one or two of the best compliments that you can ever remember receiving?

For me, I was once told that they reason someone decided to not give up was because of me. It made me feel great about myself, especially because it came from someone who was a lot older than me and it made me realize that no matter what our age is, we can be an inspiration to those around us. I love that compliment the most because it also reminds me that I have a purpose here, and that every time I choose to not give up, I’m helping others not give up either.

What about you???

Remembering Those no Longer with us… and Tough times during the Holidays

The holiday season may be tough for some people for a variety of reasons. For some, it may be a constant reminder of negative, perhaps traumatic events that have occurred in their past around specific dates. For others, it may be uncomfortable to be forced into situations or not-so-familiar environments with family that they only see on special occasions. For me personally, I both love and have a difficult time with the holiday season. I love the colored lights and decor, I love giving presents and seeing the joy on my family’s faces and I love the great food we eat and the wonderful memories created when we get to spend time together. Nevertheless I have lost a couple of people that have been close to me at one point or another in my life during this season, and although I find peace knowing that they are in a better place, it hurts me to know that I can’t spend time with them anymore and see them continue to grow into awesome individuals.

On December 26th, 2012, God called home my childhood best friend. She was an awesome person, a cool person to hang out with, a great singer, a compassionate soul. I will always remember sitting in the cafeteria in elementary school and laughing at her as she drank her chocolate milk out of the carton with it turned sideways. Back then I thought I was cool and whenever we would get dissed by the “cool kids”, my phrase of choice was “you freakin’ asteroid”. Although I did keep in touch with her over the years, we did grow apart and were no longer best friends like we used to be when we were in elementary school. Her death was not easier due to this though, as guilt settled in and I definitely wished I had spent more time reaching out and talking to her as we got older. R.I.P. C.M.D

On December 31st, 2015, God called home another one of my best friends. Man was this hard to swallow. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I can still recall as clear as day when I was on her Facebook profile and was a little confused as I saw so many people posting R.I.P. on her timeline. I didn’t understand why they were doing that, I had just spoken to her, and we had agreed to cancel our weekend plans of going to Walmart because she had decided on spending time with her sister instead. Everything seemed fine, although underneath it all I know not everything was. S.E.K. was the funniest, most random, best softball player, most determined and strong individual I have ever met in my entire life. I will forever be grateful of our weekly car rides to and from groups, our detox sessions at Sweet Frog afterwards that helped us unwind, our random conversations, our trips to Charming Charlie’s to purchase gifts for other people because the Lord knows neither of us would be caught dead buying something in there for ourselves. I definitely miss her more than words can explain, and every time our song comes on the radio or Pandora, I honestly feel like she is with me. R.I.P. S.E.K.

Are there any reasons why the holidays are especially tough for any of you?

Ho! Ho! Ho?

This holiday season brings back a lot of memories and maybe that’s one reason why the holidays can be so difficult. Family is always one of the greatest assets during Christmas. I’ve always believed that this is the best time to get together with family… to spend a few days cuddling together, especially in the cold but of course to catch up on some of the good things that happened throughout the year.

But instead of fighting myself to forget all the good times, regardless of the bad, I thought maybe, while drawing on some of those many memories, why not share them?

So I want to talk about growing up in Jamaica with my family during Christmas. There are many similarities between Christmas here in the States and Christmas on the islands – whether, its in the music, the food, the rituals or just the holiday season itself but there are still many differences.

-Christmas Eve – On Christmas eve, towns are crowded. No surprise there… everyone is shopping. In Jamaica, there is a name for this: “Grand Market”. It might be similar to Black Friday in terms of the price offers and it can get just as crazy. One aspect of ‘Grand Market’ is ‘night shopping’. I can’t forget how much Jamaicans loved to do this. This was mostly for the younger generation though and it was basically spending the night in the streets while on a shopping spree. Traditional Christmas didn’t require a Christmas tree and of course, Jamaicans don’t have Chimneys so there wasn’t the anticipation of Santa. But the tales of Santa was in my heart while growing up, as much as it was in yours.

-A typical Christmas morning starts with church. This wasn’t the best moment for me, because I didn’t like going to church. But something about that ritual reminds me why it wasn’t so bad after-all. I spent Christmas at my grandmother’s house, because that’s where all the family come together (from generation to generation) and on Christmas morning my grandmother would take her grand children to church with her. So we would be up by 6 in the morning and out for a two hour church service, before returning home for Christmas breakfast. This was a special time for me – time with my family, especially my cousins was priceless.

-Food. This was one of the best part of Christmas. Sorrel, Christmas cake (with fruits, rum and raisin), akee and saltfish, festivals, ham (with pineapples), curry goat, ‘rice and peas’, just to give you a taste. Back then, Christmas wouldn’t have been Christmas without this mix. The most iconic beverage at Christmas was ‘sorrel’, a red drink with (or without) an alcoholic base.

-The celebrations – Jankunu!!! A fun to watch and to participate in, kind of costume street parade. My most memorable account of this, was during a school play where I played the character “Cow Head” (a depiction of the figure shown below). Jankunu to me is equivalent to gay pride, lol. But they are both symbold of liberty and community.
Also, on Christmas, nothing unusual, but I get to see the most familiar faces in my family. We had a big family reunion. And I said that because it was a really big family. We had so many people sleeping over at my grandmother’s house that there were people sleeping on couches and on the floor. But it was all fun nonetheless.

-The weather – do I need to mention that every Christmas was warm and sunny? Man, we wished for snow every Christmas. All we had were myth about snow falling in Jamaica. Before moving here, the closest I got to snow was from watching movies. We watched classics too: Home Alone, Elf, The Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty the Snow Man, you name it.

-The Music – Jamaicans have probably remixed every single popular Christmas music into reggae. Being much older now, music helps me to relive what Christmas was like growing. Good memories maybe?

But with this and many more, Christmas will always mean the same thing to me no matter how older I get and I see that from my memories. Every Christmas I just want to keep adding to that meaning and its simply one of love, peace and tolerance.

Feel free to share your Christmas memories as well, would love to hear it!!! 🙂

Anyone Can Prevent Suicide

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Do you know the statistics? Suicidal ideation is common. In CT, the suicide rate has been rising. Do you know how to talk to someone you’re worried about? Check out the video from the QPR Institute, below, to learn more.

As you’ll see, we ALL have a role to play: parents, teachers, friends, colleagues, elected officials. In Ireland, taxi drivers are among those who work to identify people at risk and prevent suicide: clickhere to read about the TaxiWatch program. 

So, what about you? If you’ve never taken a suicide prevention training, now is the time! A “SafeTALK” training is being co-sponsored by Mid-Fairfield Substance Abuse Coalition, Positive Directions, and Southwest  Regional Mental Health Board on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 from 5:30-8:45pm at the HSC Building, 1 Park Street (corner of East Wall), Norwalk, CT. There is a $10 materials fee. Please RSVP to transformativetrainings@gmail.com. Click here for the flyer.

Whose line is it anyway?

Have you ever been doing something boring such as laundry or homework and stood back and started laughing hysterically for what seems to be the most random of reasons? I must admit that I tend to do this a lot and the most common theme that gets me to that point of hysteria is remembering things that have been said in previous conversations. Whether it’s those instances where my coworker was clucking like a chicken around the office while playing a game of truth or dare, or a friend telling me a story about how her elderly grandmother calls her walker “hey kitty kitty”, those types of memories and good quotes always cause me to start chuckling at the most unexpected times.

What are some of your favorite memories? Do they tend to pop into your head during the weirdest times as well?