2018 – The Year I became 50

Laughter.

Plenty gatherings with friends.

SPORTING events.

Family time.

Music (live and recorded)

…were just some of the highlights of 2018 for me;

The year I turned 50.

The unplanned way in which all this (and more) happened

Was exactly how I wanted it to be.

The opportunity and privilege to just get up and go:

  • Arnold Palmer Invitational (to see Tiger Woods)
  • Kaya Fest (to see the Marleys and other great Reggae Acts)
  • To celebrate 40 with my Sister
  • To dive deeper into Self Care

… were just some of the thrilling encounters I experienced,

The year I turned 50.

I posted a lot about #GivingThanks and #Focus – some ideas of joy I try to spread daily.

In between that, it was also the year, I hosted more soirees at my home. It was time well spent, the year I turned 50.

Up to August, I wasn’t sure what the actual day (December 1) would be like,

But as the time got closer, the day formed its own vibe.

Joyful. Exciting. Glorious. Thankful. Grateful – were just some of the words that can describe,

The Day I turned 50.

Well, it is that time of year, when one reflects to refresh,

And based on how the preceding days were, one looks ahead.

I remain grateful and thankful and will always care…

The year I turned 50.

Here’s to 2019!

One Love!

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Self Care – Part 5 – Reading

In this encounter, I will delve into another area which helps you to feel great about yourself. So far I would have encouraged you to eat right, enjoy music, travel for leisure and sport; but this time I want you to explore reading.

There are so many quotes/sayings associated with reading; here are some to chew on:

  • We read to know we are not alone 
  • Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light –Vera Nazarian
  • I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense – Harold Kushner
  • Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers – Charles William Eliot

Reading has a way of taking you into a space which can help you to relax when life is throwing serious challenges at you. Reading takes you away, even temporarily, from the reality of what you confront, to a place where you want to be. Reading also gives you the opportunity to consult over and over without any judgment from anyone – it is that gift you can open over and over again.

inspiration

The good thing is, you can read just about anywhere

  • On the train
  • On a plane
  • At the coffee shop
  • In your bed
  • On your couch
  • In class
  • On the beach
  • Even in a meeting

Here are some ways you can start the habit of reading

  • Research the authors you find readable
  • Get their books
  • Find books on topics you find interesting – this makes reading easy
  • Find books on topics you need to learn more on – this can be hard in the beginning, but you will get there
  • Find a source to get the books – online or at a book store
  • Also, determine if you prefer books or on your device/s

Reading is a worthwhile hobby, but can tack up costs very quickly, so find ways and means to get books at the most reasonable costs. Join a book club so you can find folks who may want to exchange ideas and even books. A book club is also a way to be encouraged to read more, the interactivity helps.

The impact of reading on your life should be a positive one and I encourage you to read a book at least once a quarter; that is the recommendation if you are just getting into the habit. At the moment, I read a book a month, sometimes two; but then I have been doing this for a long time.

Whatever you decide to do, read a book soon – Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body – Richard Steele.

#ReadABookToday

Self Care – Part 4 – Sport Travel

Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.

When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/

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Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:

  • Get the schedule of the event, early
  • Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
  • Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
  • Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
  • On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location

The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.”  May the best team win!

Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.

There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:

Wimbledon: – At the start of July, tennis fans will descend on London to watch the greatest tennis professionals in the world compete to win the 2018 Wimbledon title. It is how to enjoy London while at Wimbledon, read more details here https://www.roadtrips.com/blog/experience-london-wimbledon/

Wimbledon

Tennis at its best

With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.

Tiger Woods

Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill, Orlando

WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.

2018_ICC_Women's_World_Twenty20_Logo

The World comes to the West Indies – November 2018

Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.

In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September  and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:

  • When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
  • Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
  • Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost

Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!

#OneLove

 

 

 

 

 

THE SOCIAL AGENDA MUST BE A PRIORITY

In the mid 90s, a program called the Social Agenda was developed and was never implemented. The program at the time had two basic goals

  1. To reduce poverty
  2. To empower two main groups; Youth at Risk; Communities

handshake-man-and-woman

The updated program could look at a revised civics curriculum in schools which identifies “the ideal Jamaican” as the main aim. The ideal Jamaican would be someone who epitomizes

  • Courage
  • Discipline
  • Commitment
  • Respect

…as typical behaviors

The program which was initially created as a public education program could add the educational element for schools, and over the next three to five years, could begin to curb some of the social ills we currently face in our society. The Social Agenda, with its renewed thrust, could be a subset of Vision 2030. Go to www.pioj.gov.jm for more details.

2030Vision

The objectives are clear:

  • to communicate Government’s determination to address the social problems of the nation
  • to educate members of the public of the various services available for support for persons considered to be a part of the poverty group
  • to educate the public on practical approaches to promoting health, community development, a wholesome environment and the development of the nation’s children
  • to provide progress reports on the implementation of the program to show trends, growth and the areas that may need to be readdressed

I would therefore like you to consider a Ministry of Education, Youth and Social Development to incorporate the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the National Youth Service (NYS) as the main agencies. Why Education? Because they can continue to focus on the formal process of which Compulsory Education MUST be considered. If we can create a five-year plan with a determined focus on this, we can achieve social growth that will ease the ills we currently face.

There are key roles for Government and Private Sector to offer employment to the skilled set from these groups with an attendant compulsory employment program.

Let’s do this and save Jamaica. #OneLove

Self Care – Part 3 – Go somewhere you’ve never been

May 7 – The last time we spoke on Self Care, I recommended that you go somewhere you’ve never been.

So after you have figured out the food, music, TV shows, clothes and exercise routines you would become accustomed to; I have a few more suggestions.

Self Care speaks to a routine, one which requires habitual acts. In the early stages do some of the activities the same time of day and same day each week. This kind of repetition will create a rhythm so the practice becomes a routine.

By now you would have created your playlists. These playlists should be done based on a particular mood. If you are a writer like me, there is a playlist to help you relax, one to boost a new idea, one to refresh the memory among other things.

Go somewhere you’ve never been

Go Somewhere

New places have a way to set one’s soul on fire; it makes one curious and those kinds of missions allow you to see and hear things you’ve never seen before. The trip/journey to the new location allows for a perspective of value that one will never be able to get if you stay home all the time.

Here’s how some see travel

  • A wise man travels to discover himself – James Russell Lowell                                                            
  • All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it. –Samuel Johnson

Travel

This other quote I found speaks to the adventure

  • Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people and look beyond what’s right in front of you. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in – Andrew Zimmern

So as the experts recommend, once a year, do something different. The food, music, people, locations and the language of the folks you will experience would be well worth the time spent away. I have a friend who does a blog at this link mytravelstamps.com/ – here you will find tips on travel you will want to take note of before you head off to your first/adventure. The blog clearly speaks to Ways You Can Save; Bucket List; Business Layovers and so many other things. Read it when you have some time.

Mix and match the self care activities

While you are having fun traveling, here are some fun things you can do

  • Try the local spa
  • Hop off to any of the local bars
  • Walk in the park closest to your hotelMoment
  • Go to a local play or music show

Makes notes for a journal if you feel the need and takes loads of pictures

Life is really about enjoying the moments. You can go this alone or tag along with a few friends. Either way – E-N-J-O-Y!

In the next piece, we will talk about Sport Travel.

 

 

Self Care – Part 2 – makes you feel fresh

SUNDAY – Today, or any other Sunday, is probably the best day to do so many things you have not done for the week. On the other hand, it is also the day one should take a break – Eat. Pray. Love – to get ready for the week ahead.

Sunday

The recommendation is always to write down the things you want to achieve. You may even want to create a list. Over time, as you go through the list each week or month (which is what I recommend); you will become accustomed to planning and implementing the things that pulls you off the grind and brings you back full center.

In Part 1,  https://carolebeckford.wordpress.com/2018/04/15/self-care-a-new-form-of-energy/ I never really did define Self Care, but I think you get my gist. It is that process that focuses on ensuring you have done anything just to make you feel good/great about yourself. 

I will therefore share some of the easier ways to achieve this so you can ease into making this process one that you grow into and making it a habit. Last time, we never spoke about food, but here we go:

Create a log of food you eat for a week, then determine if over the next week, you will maintain or change that list. We have different reactions to food. We also have different needs where food is concerned, but for self care, we are going to focus on foods that make us feel the best about ourselves. Hope this picture helps with the variety I want to convey. Of course, add some meat along the way or whatever else you eat. Just add water.

Self Care Food

Focus on self care as being essential to you. Never see it as a reward. Over time, it should become part of what you do daily. Here is a chart that should identify the effort you need to put:

self care

I strongly recommend MUSIC as part of any self care plan. Recently on Facebook, friends have asked to tag 10 favorite albums. These albums, though you may not admit, form part of your life. You sing, dance and hum every word, rhythm and rhyme you can remember. Some experts recommend meditation music. While there is need for that too, the songs that made you happiest, dance the best and gave you a good vibe are the ones you should focus on. Now, you can compile a play list; before we had to play each album or just pick the song and play it over and over again. Start working on that list now.

Self care music

This sums up how important self care is – “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn

Self Control

In the next article, we will look at – going somewhere you’ve never been – to create moments you will never forget. Until then #OneLove

 

Self Care – a new form of energy

SUNDAY (Funday) – Over the last five years life has become so much more hectic. In my line of work (marketing, communications, media), information and consumption trends have changed tremendously. I have had to ensure that these tools are used in the most efficient way – either by me – or by teams I end up working with.

That said, during that time, I have begun to pay way more attention to rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, also known as self care.  The process is one which requires some thought, as it falls within the routine you would usually have.

Here are some tips you may consider as you head into self care:

  • Listen to music from one of the happiest periods of your life Playlists
  • Write down all the things you love about your life
  • Watch a few episodes of your favorite TV shows back to back every now and again
  • Dance to your favorite songs (15 minutes) at least once a week
  • Refresh your wardrobe. Donate.
  • Volunteer to a cause that means a lot to you
  • Take a drive out of town. Roll down the windows. Turn up the sound and SING out loud
  • Once a month, get body treatments you prefer – massage, pedicure, manicure, yoga, sauna steam20171104_103822
  • Say “no” if you can’t do it
  • Skip the routine once in a while and do something different and wild20180223_133644