“Sometimes the best plans are the ones that reveal themselves right before your eyes!” ~Inga O
On Fridays The Press Kittens are on air from noon to 1pm EST. Katia Kool, savvy Life TIP and I, Inga O host a weekly radio talk show on WRFG 89.3FM in Atlanta called The Press KIT with Inga O & Co. (streamed live at http://www.wrfg.org) loosely formatted with the television show The View in mind. We open with our version of Hot Topics called “Perspectives” and have a few musical interludes and usually an in studio guest who is interviewed for about 45 minutes. I’ve posted a few shows here before.
In the past we used to go for lunch and casually enjoy the “Post Show Glow” as I like to call it. Now we all seemed to have responsibilities that are pulling us in a variety of different directions. This past week I decided to press pause on my post show plans and stay at the studio. I am very fond of Caribbean Runnings, one of the shows that closely follow us.I get to hear great Caribbean music and learn all the going ons within the local and International Caribbean communities. From time to time I’ll lend my voice to their 2 hour show.
This past week Red Carpet Shelley and I had a blast listening to great tunes spun by DJ Superpec between interviews about this month being Caribbean Heritage Month and speaking with the highly intelligent songtress Anita Antoinette, the 2016 Caribbean Heritage Month Musical Ambassador.
I’m thankful for all the opportunities being a part of the WRFG Family affords me. I’ve met great people, all who love what they do enough to do it for free. I laugh often and I’ve come to realize that you don’t have to know exactly where you are going to know that you are in the right place.
If you’re into fitness or follow fitness gurus on Instagram you should be familiar with the concept of a “cheat day.” The premise is that working out and eating healthy becomes more consistent as a lifestyle change what you know that you have a certain day that you can “cheat” and eat whatever you like. Abolishing deprivation that could lead to binges.
I understand the concept of a “cheat day” but I never joined the bandwagon despite understanding the benefits. I couldn’t figure out why a designated “cheat day” didn’t resonate with me until today. Today I went to yoga in Central Park at Atlantic Station and decided to make a post yoga run to IKEA which is very close by. Walking through IKEA I often get decor inspiration and I need book shelves so I wanted to compare what they offer to having it built. The store was closing and I started to feel hungry so I went down to the fast food section to grab a hot dog (FYI they are made of turkey). I decided to walk around and look at the unfamiliar Swedish foods and stumbled upon the wall of Swedish candies. The sign said “Lördagsgodis: Saturday Candy” and went on to explain the Swedish tradition of families taking their children to get sweets on Saturdays, the day designated for trips to the many candy shops in Sweden. I was intrigued. It resonated with me because it was a positive way to frame a “cheat day.” The day is set aside for a fun trip to the candy shop. I could instantly visualize myself at a favorite doughnut shop Saturday morning and then later in the day passing by IKEA to try an unusual Swedish candy flavor combination. Suddenly I’m on a taste bud adventure in my head! Oh the chocolates and other treats I could sample on Lördagsgodis. Lördagsgodis wouldn’t just be for Swedish fare, I could explore the world through their confections. I would travel the would one sweet treat at a time. But that’s not all, Lördagsgodis resonates with me because I have always considered myself an adventurous eater and Internationally minded, and with Lördagsgodis, I can be both sweetly.
You Should Know
A beloved Scandinavian tradition has come to IKEA (we’re calling it “Pick & Mix”). Stop by the Swedish Food Market to customize your own perfect mix of candy by scooping all your favorites into one bag.
$7.99 per pound
“The ebb and flow of life can knock you down, as long as it doesn’t take you out.” ~Inga O
That is what I tell myself. That is why I am not afraid to share the reinventions of Inga O, no matter how many times I have to do it. I’ll be the first one to admit I don’t have it all figured out and smile when I say (truthfully) that I no longer care to figure it all out but instead choose to live in the now. I feel like a self inflicted burden, like a too heavy weight around one ankle was removed when I decided strive to have experiences that I can accumulate that will add up to a life well lived.
I thought it fitting that on the first day of the month and the first day of the week I will relaunch a better version of myself. I call it Inga O 5.0!
Inga O 5.0 does all of the great stuff the former versions did but now with the added features of focusing on being more present while setting and accomplishing lofty goals.
I read that we have about 30,000 days to live and that when we count our time left in days rather than years we realize that we don’t have as much time as we may think we have. Counting by years makes us feel like we have lots of time, counting by days doesn’t. So, I’m learning to love everyday and make it count. Here’s what I did:
- I figured our how long I expect to live and came up with 35,770 days. I subtracted how many years I’ve already used and converted them to days along with how many days I should have left and I got 19,710 days. Starting today, each one of those days needs to count! I choose to live on purpose. I will have fun everyday.
- I reverse engineered my 19,710 days so I can figure out what I need to get done and by when to have the end goals I want. For example, if you want to have certain goal by age 70, what do you have to do at age 68, 66, 65, 50 etc.
- I gave myself a mantra. Susie Orman said “People first, then money, then things.” I like it and I know a good mantra is a nice, quick reminder to keep me on track. This is really important for me because I can get down on myself when things don’t go according to plan and I can get stuck when the key is to get back in motion.
The above made this one of my best days ever. Perspective is everything. I hope you are inspired and will set and reach for your own goals.
You Should Know
As this year begins to come to a close, (at least in the North American system of accounting for time) I am noticing that I am challenging myself to operate outside my comfort zone to seek opportunities and experiences I either put off out of fear or never thought to have until now.
I am a very social person so the thought of going out to eat or to the movies has always involved the inclusion of friends. I guess that is the case for a lot of people because those are the two areas that I often hear “experts” say go at it alone to “get comfortable with your own company.”
Last week I was invited to the Make A Wish Foundations Event for the reopening of California Pizza Kitchen in Lenox Square Mall. I extended the Plus One to 3 different people: The-closest-thing-to-a-bestfriend; The-regular-hang-out-buddy and The-one-I-want-to-get-reaquainted-with.
All three couldn’t make it or had other plans that night. So, I went it alone.
It’s strange to feel the slight discomfort of being one for dinner. I think the hostess felt it too because she offered to seat me at the bar. I declined and chose a booth that was bigger than my Oneness needed but was more comfortable and less transient feeling. I didn’t come to drink, after all. I came to eat alone. I get that the hostess was probably giving me the company of other Ones, so I hold no malice towards her but to truly push outside the comfort zone of enjoying a grand reopening party alone, I needed to have the full eating alone experience where it was obvious and deliberate.
And I did. And at times it felt lonely. But I experiences my Oneness fully and occasional I took notes and pictures of my food like the true Blogger I am. This experience couldn’t have happened at a better time. Both my brother and our cousin share the November 16th date of birth. He celebrated for both of them as she recently passed away last month. Amid the balloons and complementary meal, I made a wish and celebrated both of them too.
What are you willing to push through and do?
Thought you should know.
Make A Wish Foundation Pre Launch at California Pizza Kitchen. Atlanta GA
“Not one drop of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me” Quincy Jones
The day I realized that no matter what you do, there will be people who just don’t like you was the day that I set myself free. Prior to that faithful day I was the pleaser. Always wanting everyone to like me and invite me and include me and feeling personally slighted when it didn’t happen. “Why wasn’t I invited?” What did I do wrong?” “How could I have been nicer?“ These questions would swim around my head like angry Piranha gnawing at my brain for days, weeks and sometimes months. I was a hopeless people pleaser and couple that with a mild manner and fear of speaking up and you get an easy target.
I remember the day that all changed well. It was a sunny day and I had on my High School uniform: Blue plaid skirt, crisp white shirt, navy blue socks and black penny loafers; all regulation at the old, all girl private catholic school on the hill. My hair was straightened and blew in the warm breeze. After school I would go the long way to my mother’s hair salon, pass the area guaranteed to have the most boys who looked like me. I was an anomaly at school, one of two Afro-Caribbean girls in a grade level comprising of 3 classes. Was it a coincidence that we were placed in the same class? That fact really didn’t matter because I was alone in the expression of our culture. AS soon as the bell rang I was on the train headed to the part of town none of my school mates would dare venture into. Looking back now through mature eyes and life’s wisdom; I realize that I was an anomaly there too. I couldn’t see it then as I desperately sought acceptance and approval. I wanted to belong. I wanted everyone to like me. I needed to fit in…somewhere. So I did all I could to get others to realize that I was nice/kind/loving/friendly/loyal. And if they didn’t “get it” at first I would just try harder. Make them realize how great I am. Yet, that faithful day as I walked along the cracked sidewalk, pondering God-knows-what I had a moment that Oprah would later coin as “an AHA.” I realized that some boys just wouldn’t like me. Maybe I didn’t fall for them. Sleep with them. Give them something that they wanted. I realized that some girls just wouldn’t like me either. Maybe I had a big bum. Maybe I had hair that was too long. Maybe their boyfriends looked at me in that certain way. It had nothing to do with me.
That faithful day the light bulb went on and I realized that since I can’t please everyone and make them all like me, I may as well stop trying and please myself. Some will, some won’t, so what. I decided to enjoy the company of those who wanted to be around me and wish the others well on their journey. Empowerment was earned that day, as I walked along the crack riddled sidewalk, hair blowing in the wind with a smile on my face.
I thought you should know.
I made a pact with myself and then with my friend Judy O at the end of August that September would be different. September 2014 would mark a new beginning. 2014 is more than half over and it’s time to actually plan to end it with a bang I thought. We decided to have an early lunch and life decided that we “Make a Day of It,” you can read all about that here. By the end of that day we knew that we were in it together.
Between that optimistic and eventful start to September and our promises of holding each other accountable, life continued to propel us forward. She called and texted and would have sent smoke signals to let me know that she got us complementary tickets to Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend. Not only did we meet over an episode of Oprah’s Giveaway Show we just talked about embracing September as a month of new beginnings. The Weekend event was all about new beginnings. It fit in perfectly and I was thrilled that she thought of me while life was clearly providing more information for us to use to move us forward.
As I sit here I realize that I’ve been grumpy, tearful and anxious all week and because of it I have been focused on all the wrong things: what I do not have or have not accomplished. I guess we all can take a time out for a whiny break but I know I just can’t get suck. I am ready to continue on the adventure that life has me on. Time to dust myself off and get back on the wagon. I don’t know where it will lead but I am making a promise to myself to put in the time to find out.
I thought you should know.
It felt like a Sunday, as holiday Monday’s often do; fooling us into the familiar routine of preparing for another work week. As I sat across from the first friend I made after moving from the North. I couldn’t help but smile as the rain held back and we sat outside in the sunny warmth of the court yard between restaurants, Front Page News and Tijuana Garage. We chatted casually but with depth. Remembering why we were more than friends we were family- framily.
We ordered lunch and eagerly split everything. Got two extra plates and made our own tapas; sandwiches cut exactly in half and one side order of fries and another of salad shared equally. We talked about relationships and lessons learned. Talked about who we wanted to be and what we wanted to experience. Life we both realized was about balance and making time for those things you enjoy doing like reading a great book or always wanted to do, like learn to play the guitar.
As we left the restaurant and prepared to walk around and experience the hidden gems of Atlanta we both understood the importance of spending time in the company of someone who gets you. Spending time with people who honor your you-ness while you honor theirs. Those friends, family or family members who allow you to be yourself yet encourage you to be your best possible version. As we walked and talked and laughed we recognized that we are that to each other and the smiles, nods and warm conversation of the people we met that day indicated that they recognized it too.
I thought you should know.