Ima Need A Minute

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Just like your favorite TV show I too must go on winter hiatus. But I shall return in the new year. Have a wonderful end of your year and I’ll have more misadventures to share in the world of travel, dating and more!

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The Mission snippet

If you don’t know, I wrote a novel called the Mission (an ebook, out on various sites). It’s a romantic comedy/chick lit novel about, you guessed it, dating. Specifically, dating in D.C. and the idea of dating rules that women are often given to follow.

Here’s an excerpt:

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Greg turned his head to me and raised an eyebrow. I hadn’t dated anyone in four months; what was I talking about?

Jamie spun around, eyes wide with curiosity. “Oh, really? What’s his name? What does he do?” she asked, leaning against my doorframe again.

I thought fast; of course she would want details. “His name is….

James.” Yeah, James. That was nice and respectable-sounding. So, what did James do? Maybe he could be a doctor. I’ve dated doctors before. Maybe even a plastic surgeon. Then I thought, she probably knew all the ones in the area with her melt-near-a-fire body. Another lawyer? No, she’d look him up on a legal search engine. Plus, you couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a lawyer in this town. I looked down at the cover of my latest copy of Essence peeking out of my large handbag by my feet. Sean “Diddy” Combs was on the front, and I knew what James did.

“He’s a music producer,” I replied seriously.

Greg tried to control his laughter.

Jamie’s eyes glowed with surprise. “What label?”

Label? What the hell? “Uh…Um. He told me. I can’t remember the label…”

“It’s the one Jill Scott’s on, right? I remember you told me that.” Greg smiled.

I tried to cover the look of gratitude on my face and nodded my head in agreement. Jill Scott was neo-soul, right in my musical database. “Yeah, that one. I’ll have to ask him again. He works a lot with neo-soul music. He’s a VP and lives in New York.”

“Neo-soul, huh? That’s not really my area. But I’m sure the partners would be interested to know this. You’ve been holding back a major networking opportunity.” She wagged her index finger at me, and I wanted to bite it off. “Lives in New York? Must be hard, so far away,” Jamie stated, searching my eyes as if looking for a lie.

I shrugged. “Not really. It’s just a three-and-a-half-hour drive with no traffic. And he makes enough money where filling up his Mercedes with gas on a regular basis is no problem. Or he flies me to him. I prefer to go see him because I like the access he has. I meet some of his artists and get VIP treatment wherever we go. Next weekend we’re going to New York City for a celebrity party, but I can’t remember whose it is. Jay-Z, or Diddy, Kanye West? Who knows?” It was like I was plugged into a lying machine. Somebody stop me!

The right corner of Jamie’s upper lip twitched. She was pissed. All of a sudden, I was starting to feel better.

“Damn, can I go with ya’ll?” Greg asked, giving me a playful, wide-eyed look.

“Well, Sheila, sounds like you’re doing well for yourself. I suggest you show a good attitude and hold onto him. Maybe he just might stick around for the banquet. I would love to meet him,” Jamie smiled tightly.

Show a good attitude; I’ll show her my foot as it connects to her face. “Oh, he’ll be there for the banquet; we’re pretty serious,” I replied with confidence.

“Then who knows? Maybe you’ll defy statistics and get married!”

Thanks, Dateline and friends, for sharing with the masses the black woman’s plight in finding love. Seriously, how long would I get in jail for tasing someone? Might be worth it.

I shrugged. “I wouldn’t be surprised.”

Jamie gave a shocked face. “So, you could be getting engaged? How exciting. Wait until I tell everyone. The partners will love the exposure,” she muttered, leaving before I could straighten her gossiping ass out.

I stared at Greg in horror; he looked at me with pity. “What in the world? Friends don’t let friends be stupid!” I cried, throwing a paper clip at him.

 

Getting ahead at work

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For federal government workers this is the time of year we start to get our performance appraisals and new fiscal year expectations. As a supervisor, it can be an intense time for me. It’s also a time of reflection. Sometimes I get surprised that I am where I am in my career or when someone asks me for career advice or to be their mentor. I’m no longer in my twenties and I have some years of service behind me now so maybe I do have something to share. There aren’t a lot of people I know at my age where I am and it didn’t come to me because of simple luck. I stayed focus on my goals. So if someone were to ask me how to get ahead at work with just five tips, I’d share the following:

  • Study your craft. Become an expert and a go-to source of knowledge. If people aren’t asking you questions it’s because they think you don’t know and that’s not good. So read whatever is out their in your field and take any relevant courses and trainings.
  • Think outside the box. If you know of a way to improve efficiency of a process or cost then don’t be afraid to share new ideas.  Managers have a lot to deal with but one way to show you are a keeper is to bring some fixes to any concerns you bring to them. Be prepared to take the lead on any solutions. Take initiative. your-career-at-ingenious
  • Say yes. Sure taking on new work can be time consuming. However, it’s those extra projects that get you noticed. And if management is asking you to do certain assignments it’s because they feel they can rely on you which is good.
  • Get a mentor. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my career. Whether the mentor is formal or informal, seeking career advice or solutions regarding how to best handle work place problems is always a benefit.
  • Have a career plan. In the federal government they are called Individual Development Plans. Sure writing goals out with steps on how to achieve them along with dates on when you will take these actions can be a pain but it is worth it. One, it supports any training or development request you give to management because they know you are doing it to further your career and a good manager will want that. Two, it keeps you focused on the bigger goal so you aren’t sweating the small stuff or getting too comfortable in your current position. Three, it helps you actually reach your goal when you want to reach it.

In summary, the way to get ahead is to get out of your comfort zone, think big, and keep learning!

Happy Birthday Party of One

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I’m a huge birthday gal but as I get older the thrill is sho nuff gone. I actually have birthday burn out. And more importantly I don’t like putting expectations on others to make my birthday memorable. At the risk of sounding like a wise elder, which I am far from, I now (okay this time around at least) just want to celebrate my birthday in a more personally meaningful way. Yes, that could mean being surrounded by people you care about but if that doesn’t happen, here are some ways to celebrate your day, solo style.

  • Treat Yo Self- Get your hair done, nails done, go to the spa
  • Take a mini vacation- On your own, explore a city, sit on a beach, take a road trip. Give yourself time to reflect and enjoy the moments on your own where it’s all about you
  • Escape- Go check out a movie (especially at one of the new “luxury” cinemas) or see a play
  • Take an exercise class- One way to show thanks for another year is by  starting it off with a healthy option like yoga, spinning or zumba 
  • Go shopping- Do we ever really get past the stage of wanting a new birthday outfit? Not me!
  • Challenge yourself-Another way to take on a new year for you is to do something you normally don’t or rarely do: cook a new dish, run that 5k(or more), volunteer at habitat for humanity, finally check out that trivia night at the bar down the street

Any other ideas of good ways to self celebrate your birthday?