Tishspiration Tuesday| Taking Action

Tishspiration Tuesday| Taking Action

This will not be my typical Tishspiration Tuesday post.

My friend and I in our masks
My friend and I in our masks Photo by Matty Watson

At least, not at the beginning. I have left my blog to be quiet for far too long again, and many, many things have happened. This will not be a short, pleasant read. I feel from the depths of my very soul that it is my duty to write this story, and I pray that it leaves my mind through my fingertips in the way I intend it to. To help. To start the necessary conversations we need to be having in our homes and with the human population. In case you are reading this in the future, and not in the present time, here are a few of the things I am referring to.

  • Corona Virus or COVID-19 the Worldwide Pandemic
  • Self Isolation or Self Quarantine
  • Essential Frontline Medical workers went to war with COVID-19
  • Essential workers became an everyday term for extraordinary people doing their jobs
  • Stock markets crashing
  • A brief drop in the price of gas
  • Deferrals on payments of things like mortgages and car loans
  • Recession
  • Working from home became mandatory
  • Unemployment Rates Skyrocket
  • Mental Illness Crisis
  • Governments struggle to grasp the enormity of shutting down the world as we knew it
  • Government handouts to help people cope in the midst of all of the above
  • Murder Hornets
  • #BlackLivesMatter

If you are needing to learn any more information about any of these topics, feel free to Google them. Make sure you search for 2020. Looking back on things, it seems like we had no warnings at all. We are here, in the midst of it, praying for things to get better. For some it has. For others, the pain goes too deep to feel like it could ever be okay again.

I listed #BlackLivesMatter last above, intentionally.

It is a movement that has come and gone numerous times, before many of us were even born, and will continue to be something that plagues us, as a different kind of pandemic, until we find the cure. I have listed it last, but please do not think that means I am listing it in a place of least importance. I am not. It is there because this is when it has affected me in 2020. This very week, not in the previous weeks and months. I may not have the list in exact chronological order because I am going from memory. Today is fresh in my mind. The last several weeks have been a blur of adjustment and trying to learn when to pay attention, and when to tune the daily news out.

Like many people around the world, I have done my best to adapt to the world I am living in today.

I don’t leave the house at the drop of a hat anymore. I plan trips to the grocery store twice a month and have limited my time outside of my home to a walk around the neighbourhood. Alone, with my music. I nod and say hello to my neighbours as we walk 2 metres or six feet apart from each other, go home, shut my door, and go about entertaining myself and keeping busy.

I have been successfully able to adapt to my husband suddenly having to work from home. We get along well; I am one of the lucky ones. Another reality is that since we are all in isolation is that violence behind closed doors is at an all time high.

I want to choose my words carefully as I write.

There is a whole lot of hurt, pain, grief, anger, rioting, and violence happening in the world this week. It has escalated past the boiling point, and can no longer be ignored. People are dying every day from the pandemic virus that is sweeping across the planet. They expect it to come in waves, and the people of our planet are struggling to cope with the losses of so many people. It does not discriminate, it just attacks.

It is the people, the people who are guilty of discrimination and targeting minorities that has finally boiled over like it has in the past. #BlackLivesMatter has been a movement under this name since hashtags became popular, but only now do I fully understand what it really means.

Sign at the rally. White Silence is Violence
Sign at the rally. White Silence is Violence

I am a white woman. So white that I almost glow in the dark.

I have led a sheltered life, which means that I have been living a life of white privilege.It doesn’t mean I am rich, or famous or haven’t had struggles in my life. It means I have not had to live in the fear of persecution, violence or death simply because of the colour of my skin.

Throughout my adult life, I continue to do my best to educate myself. I, too, was guilty of proclaiming that #AllLivesMatter, before I really knew what either term meant. I believe in equality and justice for all. Saying #BlackLivesMatter does NOT mean I am disregarding the rest of humanity. It means that this group of people, People Of Colour or POC, which is what I think is the politically correct term for the demographic, are in danger. (If this is incorrect, I am certain that it will be pointed out, and if so, I will edit after publishing).

I watch television shows. I watch for entertainment, for exposure to things I would never experience, and to learn. As a student of the internet, I constantly sign up for challenges and webinars. As a network marketer, working with social media as my virtual customer base, I have allowed many people to interact with me. Some I know, some I have met only online.

I do my best to treat everyone as equals.

I am certain that I have failed in this, more than once, because I am not perfect. To be human is to err. It is inevitable that I will say or do something that will cause someone to have hurt feelings. It is not intentional, ever. I sometimes blunder into places I should never try to go. Maybe you are thinking I am doing this as you are reading this post. I encourage you to keep reading until the end before passing judgment.

Today I attended a rally. It was the first time I have ever gone to a protest. It was peaceful and I am eternally grateful that it was.

For a few minutes this morning, I debated attending the march. I know that there have been murders and shootings in my city, just like in all cities and even smaller places all around the world. I thought, what if something bad happens? What if I get hurt? What if I get arrested? If you know me, the chances of me being arrested are slim to none, but with escalated emotions and the possibility of a mob mentality running hand in hand with protesting and rioting, it would not be completely impossible. I debated this for an hour or more, searching within to find the right answer. I already knew what it would be, but I had to say it out loud, to make it real.

If I let fear take over, then I will not overcome what so many POC face every time they leave their homes.

I would be saying the words, but not taking action. This year, with all the chaos happening around me, I drew my line in the sand. It was time to be present in something that matters to me. Because I believe in equality, I must stand up against inequality. I must take courage against my fears, and step forth to take a stand for something I believe in.

So, I told my husband, that I was going to go. The rally would be during his workday, and he would not be able to join me. I had errands to run while I was out, but I wanted him to know what I was doing, and where I was going. Just in case. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and neither do bullets. He thought I was being silly when I said I loved him before leaving, but he also took the time to watch the video which set me in action. We talked about George Floyd and the uprisings, and he had a hard time watching the unnecessary, unjustified murder of a black man by four policemen.

Whether or not he broke the law, he didn’t deserve to die that way.

Now he will not have his day in court, here on earth, like so many other victims of racism and injustice. Bearing witness to that video recording stirred something inside of me. I try to keep things positive and light as much as I can, but it is not possible after seeing what happened.

The first thing I do when I am troubled is to pray.

I started watching for ways to learn how I could help. If you do your own research, you will find there are many organizations accepting donations for various charities centered around the cause. I made the decision to show up, to be present, and to listen while participating.

After fighting with a parking meter, I made my way up the street where the #BlackLivesMatter March would start. They began before I got there, with the crowd in silence, taking a knee, or kneeling on the grounds of our City Hall. Some people held their arms in the air, others, like me, held a hand over their heart. When I got close enough, I paused and waited for this to conclude before taking out my camera. I did not bring a sign, rather I chose to bring my camera with the full intention of writing this when I got home. I wanted to be present and to bear witness.

My friend & I at the March
My friend & I at the March

You have no idea how happy I was when one of my best friends appeared. Even if I had to be there alone, because of the location of the march, and the time of day it was happening, I felt that I would be okay. It was being held in the middle of the day, downtown, on the same walking path of the Pride Parade. I looked it up online and decided I could handle the distance of the march. Having a friend there eased my anxiety, a bit.

The irony of my poor physical condition combined with wearing a face mask and needing to stop for my asthma inhaler is not lost on me.

I did not want to fall behind, I wanted to keep up with the people around me. Until that point, I pushed myself, until I realized that I was having difficulty breathing. I was able to stop long enough to take two puffs of my inhaler and could breathe easier right away. I was able to continue in the march.

George Floyd was not given the ability to breathe when three police officers knelt on top of him. He suffocated under the weight of their knees on his body. I am only aware of this because it was the start of the riots in Minneapolis, and spreading to other cities in the United States of America. The irony of the name of a country so divided on so many levels is something I am also very aware of, even if it is only occurring to me as I type. It happens all over the world, even here. Racism, hatred, segregation, violence, and murder. All over the world, right under our noses.

So much hate, violence, and murder are often overlooked because it happens so often, people grow immune to it.

Turning a blind eye to injustice is no better than rioting and looting because of it. My eyes are open. I do not know what tomorrow brings, but I am trying to do better. My purpose on earth is to bring more good into the world, every day, more than yesterday. I do admit that it is difficult on days like today, but I am doing the best I can, which is all any of us can do. Not our worst, our best.

Every. Single. Day.

I showed up and I marched with the crowd. (I did wear my face mask, bring hand sanitizer, and a bottle of water from home. The COVID-19 concerns are still very real). I yelled, I chanted the rally cries and I listened to the speeches when we got back to the city hall. It was a peaceful rally, and I don’t know how many people were there, but I do know that the organizers were thrilled with the show of support by the turnout.

One last thought before I press that publish button.

Underneath it all, in our very core, beats a heart in every living human being. Our hearts are all the same colour, as is the blood pumping in our veins. We can do better. I am trying. I hope that you will try too. Once we grow accustomed to what it means to try, then we must do better. It is not a choice anymore, it is a requirement of being human.

Don’t let the darkness of those who do wrong overtake the light. We win when we stand together, to support each other. It is something I have learned in the writing community. When we support each other, we rise together. It is time to reach out your hand to whoever needs the help. Before things get worse. If we do nothing at all, we are no better than the oppressors. Have difficult conversations. Ask awkward questions, sensitively. Find out how to help those in need. Dig as deep as you have to for your empathy. It is in there, you just have to find it. When you do, you will realize, like I do, that this is what is important, and by speaking up and speaking out, we can change the world. One conversation at a time.

  • The crowd at the rally before the March
  • People are gathering
  • Looking at the crowd
  • The crowd is gathered at City Hall
  • Starting the march
  • Marching toward the street
  • Marching around a car in the street
  • People and signs
  • Midway through the march
  • Following the crowd
  • Traffic is halted for the protest
  • Turning a corner on the 2 block route in downtown Fredericton
  • Back to City Hall for the speeches
  • My friend and I at the end of the rally

#BlackLivesMatter

#Tishspiration Tuesday: I am seeing results start to come back to me!

#Tishspiration Tuesday: I am seeing results start to come back to me!

This week for #Tishspiration Tuesday, I am seeing results start to come back to me. What? Results? Things are going well. Not perfect, but very well.

A while ago I had asked for some information about cameras. I had been advised to find better quality pictures, and well, sometimes I like to use my own pictures instead of free to use stock photos, like the one I have featured above. The old Tuesday picture, the one I used to use, was my own, and I had a friend help me to edit it a while back. If you have been following for a while, you may remember this:

Treasure Seeker Tuesday
Treasure Seeker Tuesday

Previously on Tuesdays, I would write under this title and category. I was so grateful when my friends helped me with photo editing, and this was the final choice for the blog. It was a great pic at the time, and the enhancements made it better than the original.

Shortly after asking for advice on cameras, a friend offered to loan me a camera, long term. I am thrilled every time I take a picture. I use it frequently, and I have even downloaded the manual to improve my photography skills and to look up information as needed. It has been a dream to have a really great camera to take pictures with.

Since then, I have been working really hard on things.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had some good results from my hard work, and I appreciate every little bit of it. I have had meetings and appointments every week pretty much since I have been unemployed. It was a little tough at first, as nobody ever wants to unexpectedly find themselves unemployed. As you know if you follow this blog, I have chosen to take it as an opportunity to find out what I really want to do with my life. I have had jobs since I was a teenager, but now more than ever, I want to take another chance on me.

Sure, this is scary. It is a leap into the unknown, hoping that my dreams will turn into a trampoline and bounce me higher than I was before I started.

Realistically, I have wanted to be an entrepreneur for almost 20 years. I have tried on my own, several times, and failed. So why do I keep trying? The truth is, I am not a cookie cutter individual. I mean, I wrote a book which I describe as a memoir narrated by cats. I made up this word, #Tishspiration, and now I am developing a business idea, based on a word I made up.

Who does that?

I do. I make stuff up all the time. My sense of humour is sometimes out there, but I still crack jokes. With comedy heroes like Weird Al Yankovich and Betty White, I am going to make someone laugh, even if it is only me. I am writing a book and basing a business on a word I made up. It could be the best thing I ever did, or it could fail. In which case I will take the time I need to reflect on what did work, and what didn’t; before I try again.

So really, if you think about it, this entrepreneur thing is always a gamble. Someone comes up with an idea, and when they are brave enough, they try it out. Sometimes they make it work, sometimes they don’t. What happens next is the important part.

That part right there, the time for reflection, is the reason why I keep trying. If I quit, I could find a regular job and earn a paycheck every two weeks like I used to. When I left the job I had for 7 years, I had taken on a project which grew bigger than I could manage on my own, just to find joy in my daily job. The regularly scheduled work day was not fulfilling my life. I wanted more. I still do.

Today, some friends helped me out, in a big way.

Instagram. I have been trying to figure out how to be more active on Instagram for months. An author friend, Shannon McRoberts, has been advising me on how to do that without a cell phone. The day is getting closer to when I finally get one. It will be a celebration of some sort I am sure, and it’s going to be a real big deal when it happens, as people everywhere cannot understand why I don’t have one. It is something we haven’t been able to afford in our budget yet.

Lately, we are maintaining well, but any financial commitment will need to be planned carefully. It is also why we don’t yet have that kitten or dog we want. To be honest, I want 2 kittens, and I am in negotiations with Roy about it. He says because we want both a kitten and a dog, that we can’t get 2 kittens. I disagree; I also digress.

To expand my social media platform I have worked a little bit at a time. As an indie author, it is crucial to pick your lane and stick to it. With all of the changes lately in social media, however, I have thought about trying different lanes, and even different routes. I know there is a lot of action on Instagram, and I want to join in, to see what the buzz is all about.

I finally posted my first Instagram post today.

It was a fight, let me tell you. It seemed to be really difficult. I joined, but could not post from my computer because I couldn’t download the app from the google play store. It did not recognize my computer or laptop. My landline telephone number will not work as it is not a number from a mobile device.

Shannon told me about Hootsuite. I thought I finally had a workaround. So I went to sign up, only to find that I could try it for free, for 30 days. Another source said for 60 days. After the trials, I would have to pay to keep it going. I don’t want to be a flash in the Instagram pan, to be there and gone without a way to continue building content there.

After messaging back and forth with Shannon, finally, I learned that there is a way. Hootsuite will let me post 30 times in a month, to 3 different accounts. I am on my way to automation. It will be odd if you follow my author Facebook page, my Twitter account and my Instagram Account, as they will all be sharing the one post a day as I create them. Since I have a few to start with, and once they cycle through, I am going to create more content for the automation. I will work hard to keep as much of it as new as I can, so it doesn’t get boring.

I really do love to help people.

Shannon wasn’t the only friend who helped me out today, though. I went to see another friend, Marilyn King, at her store, King Woolens and Yarns. She has moved the location of the store several months ago, and it is now located within the city limits. It is really close to where I live, actually, and I have been to visit her there once every couple of weeks. I have been helping her with some graphics for the store, and she is learning more every time I visit.

Today, I helped her out, and she let me try to get the Instagram hiccup resolved by letting me try to do what I needed to on her tablet. She didn’t have the app on her tablet, and I thought I really needed a cell phone to get this program to work. I went home, disappointed, and ready to give up on it until I got a phone.

I relayed the news to Shannon, and she told me that the tablet will work if it has the app installed. Since Marilyn had told me it wasn’t installed on her tablet, I didn’t want to make her install it just for me to use for 15 minutes and then have to uninstall it. I thought of another option.

I sent out a message to another friend with a tablet.

MaryRuth McGee invited me to her place, and I made sure to ask that the app was downloaded. I wandered to the local dollar store on my way, just for some time to walk around for a few minutes. I found a cute picture frame and then went to MaryRuth’s. When I arrived, I said hello to MaryRuth and her daughter, who has grown up before my eyes into a smart, beautiful young woman, and I joined MaryRuth on the couch. I thought she was going to help me on her tablet, so it was a sensible place to sit. She handed me the tablet with a note on it for me to read.

MaryRuth’s note to me, on the tablet screen.

I read the note and thought it was a reminder for her to help me when I arrived. She is very organized, and I didn’t understand what the note really meant. MaryRuth was giving me the tablet to use for my business! She said it is slow and old but it doesn’t matter at all to me, I have none to compare it to.

It’s here and went right to the dollar store after leaving her house to get it a case and a stand. She gave me one, and now I have 3. One to charge on and one for my desk. The one she gave me will be great if I am travelling with it. I also found purple earphones with a mic to try, as I may be filming for my social media with it. I have seen that they are necessary for some situations, and I want to be prepared.


As I pulled into my driveway, a wave of gratitude came over me.

I had thanked all of my friends throughout the day, but at that moment I fully realized what was actually happening. People are helping me not only because they are my friends, but because they see what I am working on, and because I want to help people, my friends are supporting me by helping me on my way. I had to just sit with it for a minute in the car before I came inside. I was feeling like I could cry, and I was shaking with the enormity of what I was thinking.

The day had its moments, both good and bad. Overall, I feel really blessed to have such good friends in my life. No matter what you believe in, when you put the right thoughts behind your actions, good things will follow. It isn’t always what you ask for, but it is always what you need. Truly, this was a #Tishspiration moment, where my friend was able to surprise me with her gift, and her encouraging note.

Have you had an unexpected gift which helped you to achieve something you were dreaming about? Please share in the comments below.

#Tishspiration

Week 2: What Should YOU do when Tishspiration happens?

Week 2: What Should YOU do when Tishspiration happens?

#Tishspiration is the word I finally created to describe what has been going on in my life for the last two years or maybe even longer. I have been aware of it for the last two years, this I am sure of. I have been telling my husband for years that I am full of surprises. It went from being a saying to becoming what my superpower is. The best part of all of this is that I am using my powers for good. I am constantly surprising people around me with what I am doing. The best part is when I surprise myself. That is the true meaning of Tishspration, the part I want to share with the world. It can happen to you. I am going to try to explain it, and then give advice for what YOU should do when Tishspiration happens to you!

I have been on a journey for the last 2 years. It started when I watched that inspirational video, where I took away the message that I need to live while I am alive so that when I die and I think back on the life I lived, not filled with regrets and what ifs. I want to live life to the best of my ability. That includes trying things and doing my best. It means not dwelling on what might or might not happen, because I have done something to make a change. I am pushing my limits. I am trying new things. I am chasing my passions. I am surprising myself.

#Tishspiration.

Where do you start? Well, asking me is one way to find out more. Waiting for my book about Tishspiration is another option. It will be a few months from now before it is ready. What do you do in the meantime?

Think about what you want to do with your life. What is something that you are really good at, something that you get so involved with that before you know it, several hours have gone by. It should be something that comes really easy for you, even if you don’t think it is your passion. If it isn’t it might be a clue to where you are supposed to be going on your journey.

People are starting to pay attention to what I am up to. Some of them are curious. Some of them want to say they knew me before I started my journey, to be a cheering squad from the sidelines. There is nothing wrong with either of those reactions.

There is a small group of people that are watching me, and thinking about their own lives. They have seen me change and start to grow into the person I am now, and they wonder what if it happened to them? To me, the answer is simple. I would simply ask them, why not? Why not take one step in the direction you want to go in? Why not prepare yourself for what could be, instead of hating the way things are and doing nothing?

What is stopping you?

Fear.

Fear of failure.

Fear of not being accepted for being the unique and wonderful being that you are, from the inside out, the one you have buried inside for safe keeping.

Want to know a secret?

I am scared of failure too. When I try something and it falls flat, I let myself lay there for a while. In the melodrama of despair.

I cannot do that for very long, anymore. I have a drive in me, fueled by passion, bursting at the seams with stories to tell.

I am a Lyricist, with songs I cannot sing.

I am a Blogger, because I need to write.

I am an author, with some small published works, who is writing her first novel, and planning 5 more.

I need to let my stories out. If I keep them inside, they hurt me because I am selfishly not sharing the gift I was born with. By writing my books, I will be accomplishing my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Surprising myself and others with how good I am at this writing thing. Most importantly, I will be sharing this gift with the world.

Because deep down inside, all of us know what our purpose is. We just have to be listening to our hearts whispering the answers to us. Then we need to make a plan and act upon it. One step at a time, on this journey of life. If you smother a spark, it will extinguish in time. Don’t smother your passion. Let it trickle out until you feel like opening the dam and letting it flow free.

Friends, I am standing in front of a lever, preparing to open the floodgates. The next step for me is getting my book published. I hope that you are 1% as excited as I am about it. I can assure you, I am the other 99% on the excitement scale, and then some! I cannot wait to be able to share this book with the world. I sincerely hope that you all will agree that it is worth the wait.

So what do you do if #Tishspiration strikes? Congratulate yourself on a job well done, then move on to the next goal. That is what I do, and I am an expert at #Tishspiration. It has gotten me this far…

#TishspirationTuesday Week 1 What is Tishspiration Tuesday?

#TishspirationTuesday Week 1 What is Tishspiration Tuesday?

In an effort to get back on track with my blogging, I have decided to change up the Tuesday category. I love Treasure Seeker Tuesdays, and I am hoping that I was not alone in that sentiment. The time has come to try something new. #TishspirationTuesday Week 1 What is Tishspiration Tuesday? I might not even know yet.

I am going places.

I am going places.

Yes, I am writing my first book. Yes, I just took on a new project at work. Yes, I am planning a limited jewellery collection to be launched with my first (and every) book. Yes, draft 2 is in progress, in preparation for editing. Yes, I am all over social media, and I even got Instagram before I got a cell phone so that I can contribute there. I can follow I just can’t share there. Yes, I do talk to my husband when I am awake, and maybe in my sleep too.

No, I have not managed to hire a maid to keep up with the housekeeping. No, I have not hired a chef to keep me on track with my meal plans. No, I do not sleep very much when I am in a high creativity & productivity cycle. No, I haven’t been to Zumba regularly this summer. I will be changing that as soon as possible.

I drink my coffee black (which I review alternately with wine reviews on my Facebook live videos) and I take really good multivitamins. I try to eat healthily, and although I still have pop for a treat, I have basically given it up as an everyday beverage. I am making changes.

I ended the Birthday Bling Club. It did not get the number of subscribers I had hoped for. I have replaced it with a closed secret group to help people like me stay motivated and accountable with weight issues. It is going well. Now if only I could get back on track with my own weight loss goals…

What on Earth am I doing now?

I’ll bet some of you are wondering. There are days when even I am wondering…

I am shaking things up. I am using the momentum created by the positivity I have surrounded myself with to try and give you all a glimpse into the possibilities into what your own potential is.

That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?

Tishspiration. The Art of Surprising Yourself. Once upon a time, these two concepts were not linked. Until I thought about it. Someone I spoke with encouraged me to somehow find a way to meld these two things together. Now, it is as if they were never separate concepts. I made the term. I defined it. And now, I am going to run with it!

Tishspiration has been hovering around in my mind since April 2018, but it has had a much longer history than when I put a name to it. I will be writing a book to describe it in more detail. That will be book 2. I have to get book 1 written, published, and shared from my heart with the world before I can shift gears and get to work on book 2.  I can’t wait to explore what all of this means for me, and what it could mean for you.

As it grows and develops, there will be opportunities. Some will help me to fine tune this concept I have created into something that will change over time. I have been working on this in the background while doing all of the above. I have to keep going. You can witness all of it. I am hoping that when the time is right for you, you will take the leap with me. It all starts here. Now.

Are you with me?

tishspirationstation@gmail.com

Let’s start a conversation about this little thing I call #Tishspiration!

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