Water: One of life’s simple pleasures?

Green Seeds

Water, simply? (Photo: Petre Williams-Raynor) Water, simply? (Photo: Petre Williams-Raynor)

The ability to turn on your tap at the end of a long day and have water come pouring out is typically thought to be one of life’s simple pleasures.

After two days in the Bahamas at the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) Conference and Exhibition, however, it has become clear that that simple pleasure may not be so simple after all.

Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie (second from left) together with CWWA president Lennox O'Reilly Lewis (second from right) and other delegates at the official opening of the CWWA Conference and Exhibition on Monday night. (Photo: Contributed/CWWA) Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie (second from left) together with CWWA president Lennox O’Reilly Lewis (second from right) and other delegates at the official opening of the CWWA Conference and Exhibition on Monday night. (Photo: Contributed/CWWA)

We have been given hints of this this past summer — as in former years — in Jamaica where we suffered under the weight of drought conditions that forced at-times crippling water lock-offs across sections of the island.

But as burdensome as the past summer has…

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Thanks for this timely reminder that I should take a ‘stay-cation’ in my own country more often. We Jamaicans take the beauty of our own island too much for granted. Absolutely wonderful photos, makes me want to skip work and drive down to Negril, like, right now!

One day, one day, I’m gonna…. 2013 and beyond

Santorini GREECE

So, I am the original serial procrastinator. There, I admit it.

 I dream big dreams (when not in the occasional throes of self-doubt), but I wait too long before acting… on most     things. Not so much work; at least it’s not that bad when it comes to work. I’m so passionate about work, I dedicated my reproductive years to work. Actually, I bent my nose to the grindstone 22 years ago and didn’t really look up until recently, when I realised I had somehow achieved, in essence, what I intended to achieve. I also realised that time had flown and with it a good portion of my life.

Still,  I am skilled in my specialist field of journalism – I write, edit, create, produce and present for TV, Radio, Print and web. I’ve won awards in each medium. I am one of a few Jamaican journalists who has experience across all these mediums. (I never blow my own horn, but bear with me, I’m making a point).

Today, I am a newspaper editor and proud of it! Along the way, I have been a TV News anchor/producer/TV and Radio news editor; I’ve hosted discussion programmes on Radio and TV, planned huge events coverage; managed a large team of diversely talented characters/reporters. They liked me when I wasn’t being miserable and demanding excellence (I think). They seemed to respect me, despite all my flaws and mistakes. (I hope). I’ve travelled and met interesting people and had incredible experiences.

I’m proud I managed to achieve all this doing something I love, though my lover (journalism) has been cruel to me sometimes, and I am still far, far, far… did I say FAR… from having money. But, I am grateful. Somehow, I got where I had envisioned myself being so many years ago. I got there despite my innate flaw of procrastination. However, I am the first to admit that I have missed opportunities because of it; scholarships, better paying jobs, travel opportunities.

I used to call it singularity of mind, that I had to be uber-focussed on doing my job 24/7. I would tell myself: One day… one day, I’m gonna do ‘X’. But I was so bogged down in doing my job as best as I could; sacrificing time, money, energy, relationships, that I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I couldn’t sort out the ‘after journalism’ part, the non-work-related part, the ‘just for fun and sheer joy’ part. I put off advanced studies, subconsciously avoided marriage and kids, ignored the clock ticking away.

So, for my 2013 dreamboard, (yes, I do one every year, but now its not just a list, it has pics and cutouts and tags and is virtual, thanks to Oprah.com, lol), I am going to start plotting my journey to Santorini, Greece (don’t care if it’s bankrupt, I’ve wanted to go there since I was 14 years old sprawled on the floor of my High School’s ‘Old Library’ poring through mouldy, 1960’s editions of National Geographic magazine).

I don’t known when I will get there, or how, but I’m putting this dream out there in the universe. That’s what I did 22 plus years ago when I took the CARIMAC entrance exam at the University of the West Indies in defiance of my Dad’s dreams for me to do law. I put the dream of what I hoped to become out there in the universe and look at what happened.

‘Ask, Believe, Receive’ is a tenet proposed in the best-selling self-actualisation tome, ‘The Secret‘ by Rhonda Byrne. I have always believed in the power of visualisation, and was taught and experienced the power of prayer and faith in my life. I ‘miraculously’ tended to get what I wanted if I prayed on it and believed it was mine. That’s how I got my first car, my house in 2012, my current job, my lecturing gig. It could take days, or weeks, or years, but it usually came to me. Sometimes, though, this power got muted by my procrastinating, or my inability to focus on anything outside of work, or being distracted by rough patches in life and complaining bitterly, unendingly sometimes about same.

But every new year, cheesy as it sounds, really does represent a chance to renew old promises to oneself. So, since the Mayan doomsday has passed and I am still here, I resolve to refresh some old, NON-WORK-RELATED dreams, one of which is to visit, Santorini, Greece. Universe, are you listening?

PS:- I still battle the procrastination demon daily like a caffeine addict in a Pepsi wharehouse… lol

Jamaican Olympics uniforms “sell-off”

 

I dipped my toe into the violently rippling pool of discussion about the Jamaican athletes’ Olympics gear the other day and I mean literally ‘dipped’ since my approval of most of the pieces was met with such derision by some that I quickly scampered away to safety. This is why it thrills me to say that despite the obvious displeasure expressed by so many of my countrymen over the Cedella Marley-designed Olympics uniforms, that the team looked fantastic in them at the opening ceremonies in London.

I daresay I was right (pops proverbial collar) and that the designs were fashion-forward, eye-catchingly colourful and would photograph well. I’m still craving a couple of the blazers (like the ones worn by Asafa Powell  and Michael Frater) which I would totally rock in army green or black.

Though I wouldn’t dare try to pull it off myself – the yellow pants with the military black seams were so ‘cool’ they were ‘hot!’ (FYI – coloured jeans are the ‘it’ jeans of the moment, people, for both guys and girls). The effect of the multiple combos of different pieces made it all uniquely personal, exotic and decidedly tropical. Tropical in a ‘White rum-chased-with-Ting-on-a-beach-with-jerk-pork/sausage/lobster’ kinda way. The cool, modern way we Jamaicans do tropical.

The fitted, belted, militarised shrunken jackets and mini-skirts that some female athletes opted to rock; the men’s body-con shirts and vests offset by a variety of chic accessories such as scarves, straw fedoras and newsboy caps, in my opinion, made our athletes look uber-hip.

In fact, compared to, say, Canada (ho-hum khakis and red wind-breakers with Canada sprawled across the front in huge white letters-as if we might forget who they are); and the US’s (yawn-inducing Made in China military school navy blazer and berets), I dare say Jamaica’s outfits were among the most ‘haute couture’ of them all and made our small group of Olympians ‘pop’!

Kudos to Cedella Marley. Time Magazine plug aside, I guess you knew what you were doing after all. Now, where and when can a non-athlete purchase some hot pieces from/inspired by the Jamaica Olympic kit?

PS – Still not a fan of that ‘weed’-print A-line skirt, though!

ImagePhoto: Bryan Cummings—Jamaica Observer

 

The richer sex: Female workers ‘set to earn more than men in EVERY profession’ within 25 years | Mail Online

The richer sex: Female workers ‘set to earn more than men in EVERY profession’ within 25 years | Mail Online.

I have been musing on the issues in the above article recently as more and more of my professional Jamaican sistahs choose partnerships with men who earn less than they do, often without blinking twice (blame the so-called man shortage, desperation, I guess).

No… I’m being funny. I have no hang ups about being with someone whose paycheck is smaller than mine, proven that time and again in past relationships. He just can’t be lazy, unambitious or suffer from terminal female dependency syndrome. You know, the condition where a woman is not only relied on to stock the house with Skittles, soda, spare batteries for the remote, but also to send minutes/credit to the man-child’s cellphone, cause he can’t afford it himself!

I’ll partner with a guy who earns less if he gets me, is loving to a fault, treats me like a queen (money isn’t always needed to do this), is emotionally supportive, mature in his approach to life, and not allergic to doing things that make it easier for the woman of the house to bring home the bacon/jerk porK. I speak here of helping out around the home ie, cooking a meal every now and again — especially if he gets home earlier than she does — and taking out the trash without being prodded. Trite, maybe, but these things sure make it easier for me when I work 12 hour days!

But back to the point I was trying to make. I don’t mind being with a guy who doesn’t earn as much as I do, although it can be really nice when he does! I’ve always been accepting of the diamond-in-the-rough-kinda guy, to my detriment sometimes. I also would not abandon a partner who fell on hard times, lost his job or got injured — that’s how you demonstrate true love. I’m down for whatever until you get back on your feet and I will support you getting there, step by painful step, plus do my best to make sure we don’t starve or lose the roof over our heads in the meantime!

BUT… I have issues with the ‘Sugar Mama’ phenomenon that seems to be de rigeur among young Jamaican males these days. I’ve had a chance to interact with these 20- and even 30-somethings who hunt for older women to be their surrogate moms/lovers (Oedipal, I know). They don’t mind being the boy toy and providing sex and the ‘appearance ‘ of romance in exchange for financial and other support from their older, more economically established ‘cougars’. As one young man who is studying for his university degree told me recently, “Why not? Women have been doing the reverse for centuries!” On the face of it, the logic may seem unassailable, women have been attaching themselves to men of means forever, so why can’t young men?

To each his/her own. But I cannot see devoting myself  to single-handedly funding the future of a young, albeit ambitious man scrabbling around in search of his footing in the world, when I have struggled so long (and still struggle, alone) to attain this for myself. Will he return the favour and take care of me in my old age (OK, I exaggerate) when he is finally established professionally and economically? Will another women reap the benefits of my investment?

So, for all the young virile males who fall into this category I have a simple message, “You are not my child! I have no obligation to raise you! I am not desperate and I want a man, not a boy!”

But it seems I may have to contend with this new age phenom as I am assailed constantly by young men who start salivating the minute they hear I am an older professional woman, single, childless, but who manages to still be cute, fun and kinda cool at the same time.

Am I swimming against the tide here, is my stance unrealistic? Am I looking for an extinct or at least endangered species? The Daily Mail article suggests that men who are the major breadwinners may soon go the way of the Caribbean Monk Seal, native to Jamaican waters, and believed to have gone extinct in 1952. Possibly over hunted. Hmmm… maybe some parallels here?

So, are  Jamaican women likely to outstrip their male counterparts in the salaries department in the near future by dominating every major career field like the American women in the mentioned article? The latest stats from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, show a two per cent increase in male enrollment at the campus for the 2010/2011 academic year compared to 2008/2009.

“It is a statistic — published in UWI’s annual report for 2010-2011 — that the institution hopes will prove prophetic in correcting the years-old imbalance between the number of females and males attending the university. It puts the current male to female distribution on the campus at 30 per cent to 70 per cent, up from some 20 per cent to 80 per cent a few years earlier.”

“The UWI, Mona campus is cognisant of the under-representation of males within the student population. To help counter this imbalance, new programmes were introduced in the sciences, cultural studies and management studies, the hope being in part to attract more male applicants,” reads a section of the report, published in the March 12, 2012 edition of the Sunday Observer.

But what of the female graduates of the past decades, products of a sexually imbalanced campus, where are they finding their mates? And do these likely less educated men earn less than they do? Are Jamaican professional women becoming “the richer sex”? Does it matter?

Nicely said! Like I tell friends who feel they have been made hostage to their social media alerts, IGNORE THEM!! I do, in fact I have no problem checking my Twitter and FB feeds when I’m good and ready, and that may be every three or so days. Friends just gotta work with the programme. I love you all, but unless someone’s dying, in which case call me or even BBM me, I will see your status updates when next I log in. C’mon peeps, surely I’m not the only one who remembers we survived with snail mail and rotary dial telephones for decades.

Musings of a Serial Procrastinator

I want to go back to the good old days. The days when the flow of my life wasn’t tossed to and fro by a tone, vibration or an icon; or more accurately the news, incident or trivial nonsense that lay behind them. I’ve been using smartphones for many years now. We all love them; the convenience they’ve given us. I have to admit that somedays I find myself asking how we actually existed before them. What I’m beginning to dislike however, is the byproduct of their smartness; The way they’ve made us constantly connected and instantly accessible.

I used to check my emails at certain times of the day, and reply to many at a time. I would keep my email account open when sitting in front of a computer, in other words when I was working and it was appropriate for me to have constant access. Now I…

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