Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Birthday Wish

Betty Jean Jackson Wilmer (1951-1976) and me in 1972 or 3
Today December 12, 2011, my mom would be 60 years old.

She's been gone from this life since August 19, 1976 and it hardly feels like she was ever here.

In fact, the biggest imprint and proof of her existence dwells in me and my younger sister, Jeanine.

My hope for this post is to give some people out there, who wonder what ever happened to Betty Jean Jackson some glimpse. Think about it. We now live in an age when people "Google" folks and since today is her birthday, perhaps an old classmate or work friend decides that they want to know what happened to her. I want them to get it a hit and see this post. Snoop around and read more about me - the eldest daughter of Betty Jean Jackson (Wilmer) - Denise Wilmer Barreto.

Betty Jean met and married Albert Wilmer in 1971- I arrived late that year and they had another daughter Jeanine in April 1976 and she passed away four months later that August at age 24, four months shy of her 25th birthday. She was super happy she became a mom and was so very hopeful for the future when tragedy struck. There's not much more I know to the story but it is a beautiful one.

I gotta believe that the reason relationships matter so much to me is because of the absence of this relationship between my mom and me. With few photos and even fewer people around to tell me about her, I have repainted her in my mind and in my dreams.

It's a bit too painful nor can I actually articulate it all but I know one thing...

She'd be proud of what I've become.

She'd glow when she told people what I did for a living. She'd be telling everyone the secret I'd have asked her to keep until the new year.

She'd love my family and be proud of my attempts at motherhood without her.

Happy Birthday Mommy! I know you are smiling down on us from heaven.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rantings From The Gal With A Close Relationship To Achievement - Part One

It is not often that I am out of sorts for very long. Normally, I have the ability to unpack what's bothering me, deal with it head on and move on to my next challenge or opportunity.

Today was not that day.

I have been bombarded lately with situations/people/instances where folks seem to just not be able to figure out ways to get to what they want in their lives.

Be it romance, peace, financial stability - you name it and people can't get it.

I am scratching my head as to why.

You see, I have strong and consistent relationship with achievement.

I'm not talking about extraordinary things, I mean everyday  - make a goal, attain it. Make another goal, attain it. Sometimes the goals are big and sometimes the goals are small. Regardless, it's really simple for me. Don't like something in my life, change it. Not happy with the way I look, work on it.

I am stunned at how difficult this seems to be for others right now.

Further, I am perplexed that people act somewhat annoyed when I start to troubleshoot once they share their woes with me. Clearly they did not get the memo from this past week. I'm a Maximizer and I can't help myself. No apologies.

At the urging of my supervisor at work, I took the StrengthFinders 2.0 and found out (well got more validation and perspective on what I already knew)  about my top 5 Strengths. And the one related to this post is Maximizer

The Shared Theme Description for Maximizer is this:

People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

Thank goodness I read and absorbed this earlier this week because it explains so much to me about me and how I interact with others. It is just the way I'm wired to be disappointed when I see strong that can be stronger.

I hold myself to a high standard and it's highly unlikely that I'm going to "lighten up" on others - especially those that I see more than what they see in themselves.

I focus on my strengths as a way to achieve those things I want in my life versus looking at the obstacles or roadblocks in the path. I intentionally choose to grab on to the nuggets of hope and pour energy into them versus the boulders of doubt and "what ifs".

So this post is my non-apology to folks who want me to lower my expectations, "lighten up", or what ever other euphemisms you have for give up and settle for what life hands you. Not gonna happen for me or anyone who chooses to associate with me. I live to be the best I can be. Every day of every year. Forgive me for being temporarily frustrated when things are not the way I'd like them to be. While you're criticizing me for being so uptight - I'm already looking for solutions to make sure I don't get disappointed again.

Thanks for reading this rant.  Because there are 5 strengths - there will be more rantings. Stay tuned.

What do you have to say back?