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Planet Work

September 30, 2020

It’s not what you do for a living…It’s what your living does for you

Most people remember being asked what they were going to be when they grow up. As we grow, we set our sights on a dream profession or enterprise. The dream often morphs and expands as we mature, On average people have about 5 careers/jobs in their lifetimes. While the pursuit of your dreams is admirable and profitable; there is another benefit to all of your hard work.

Very often the work that we are drawn to do serves our family and friends in way we didn’t consider when we started our careers. Often, our career choices benefit the people that we care for the most and create our family legacy.

This may have been obvious to other individuals, but I had only perceived a part of my life’s picture. I am retired educator and librarian. I knew that my training would benefit my children and give them a leg up as I was trained in pedagogy. I knew how children learned: I had the materials, insights, and motivation to help them reach their goals. Even if they had no idea what they wanted to do when they grew up; I could prepare them for a future of options. These gifts were obvious to me. It was later in my life I observed my planet work.

I may have become a educator/librarian, but I was brought to the planet to preserve my family’s legacy. Legacy is the “gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest. anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor” according to my Google search. We take it for granted that we will always be here and that our family’s will always thrive, but this year more than others has given us time to ponder what is really important. Many of us have lost the our precious elders. The loss is twofold as both their beloved personalities and their historical witness have been snuffed out as well.

This is why I know that my short lived Librarian career continues on in the guise of my family’s keeper. I am the keeper of our family tree, photographs, letters, hand made items, journals, and recorded testimonies. It ia a heady title to be your family’s Keeper. All of that education may have afforded me a decent living , but t also provided me the skills to deal with probate, document preservation, and caretaking.

I challenge you to reflect upon your life and profession. You are so much more than whatever your title may be. The skills that make you good at what you do provide benefits to your family beyond the money it provides. If you are still a student; you are our passport to the future. You are filled with promise and ready to gain your stamps of achievement. All we do adds to what we leave behind for the next generation. Our life purpose spills over everyone around us. Stop a moment and acknowledge all that you bring to this world.


Love in the time of covid19

September 11, 2020

The other day, I was listening to a news program and the commentator read off the statistics claiming that 52% of young adults lived with their parents. What I found alarming was not the number of young adults returning home; it was the implied censure in the article that presented having to return home as something bad. There are many reasons to return to the nest in adulthood and not all of them are a failure to launch.

I am a child of immigrants and I remain one to this day having recently immigrated to Jamaica. My parents are native Jamaicans who met and married in England; that was where I was born. We moved to Canada for better opportunities eventually settling in America. At every step of the way there was an extended stay with family who were already based in country. So many people lived with us (in various locations) over the years that I never realized that I supposedly had my own room. I was always sharing.

Returning to a family home base is not a bad thing. There are many life interruptions that can lead you home. Divorce, illness, the starting up of your first IPO may require assistance from those who love you the most, Of course, the privilege of family ties like many things can be abused. Almost every family has a deadbeat or manipulative person in their midst; even those individuals have a role to play in family life. Even if they are held up as a example of what not to do.

There are those who return home, those who leave later than society deems proper, and those who never leave home. Mental and physical illness do not just affect the old. Many children and young people can have their launch into society waylaid or cancelled altogether by a tragic accident or affliction. I know of two individuals who have had their launch delayed by circumstances and are having an extended childhood because that is what was needed for them to thrive. Their families have supported them on their path to whatever independence their circumstances dictate.

I choose to see the gifts of God’s blessing in every difficult situation. In times of world crisis or war, we are afforded an opportunity to draw closer experiencing a greater connection with our family members. Returning to home also allows for the healing of old wounds. Let’s face it. If you can live with your parents or siblings again; you can work out whatever petty grievances you may still carry from childhood.

I grew up with my grandmother, grand aunt, uncle, aunt, various cousins, and an ornery step-brother, I know their presence in my childhood made me who I am today. Currently, I am living my second childhood with my father in a house in Jamaica. Jamaica is where the root of my family began after slavery. You could say that this is a full circle moment in time for me. Living with my parents again has ushered in a full pallet of emotions. I have been sad, mad, irritated, filled with love, and I can honestly say I have laughed so hard that milk shot out my nose. Where else can you get all of that , but at home!

In this time of COVID19 when families are being tested in both loving and tragic ways; it helps to have additional resources and a place to return to when everything goes wrong. We all need a place to shelter from harm and revamp our dreams. This is not the first time we have had to pull together to survive and it won’t be the last. There is always another event around the corner albeit, a world pandemic is (hope to God), a singular event. Moving in with those you have a bond with might be the ultimate collateral beauty of a terrible time.


Trees without leaves can’t give shade

July 29, 2020

“A Tree without leaves can’t give shade.”

Jamaican Proverb

The case for self-care

To steward anything of value demands that the steward must be able to care for themselves before they can know how to truly care for someone or something else.

I pass the above pictured “Cotton” tree whenever I run errands. She is magnificent. She is at least 6 feet across in diameter and probably over 4 stories tall. I can’t begin to guess how old this magnificent tree is. The one thing I do know is that she provides shade for several understory trees, varied vegetation, a herd of goats on occasion and the people who feel the relief from the sun when they walk into her large shadow.

This tree does not apologize or shrink from the space that is needed to give shade. She requires loads of water and organic nutrients to have attained her size. While I have no desire to attain her size (though I do have her bulging bell), I do need to take up a lot of space in my life in order for me to steward the people and causes I love.


  • Exercise and eat well so I can support the ones who might need my mind to be sharp and my body strong.
  • Rest so that I can work through strenuous time demands (especially in stressful situations).
  • To experience happiness and joy so that I recognize when these things are lacking in the ones I steward.
  • Read so that I stay current about all the resources that are necessary to navigate through my life and the ones I steward.
  • Stay in touch with my higher power so that I can tap into my faith during difficult as well as good times.
  • Live in gratitude so that I can share my good fortune with all that I steward.

The world is filled with a bounty of gifts. Even as we go through these dark days we have been given incredible gifts. Some of us have grown closer to family , learned more about our self than we thought possible, and some have grown steadfast in their faith. All of these things help us grow leaves and that allows us to shade all we care for in our part of the world. Finally, I noticed that my lovely tree brushes branches with several other large and imposing trees creating a luxurious green canopy. We can do the same. Throw some good shade someone’s way. After all, we are our brother’s/sister’s keeper.


What is StewaRdship???

March 27, 2020


According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the definition of stewardship: is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. All of us are stewards of something or other. We care for things both great and small. From stuffed animals to the very Earth we live on. Good stewardship requires only that you care for someone or something that you are entrusted with.

I have had many jobs and careers in my life, but the role that has never ended has been the one of stewardship. In medieval times if you laid siege to and captured a castle you would give orders that the steward be found and not killed. For the steward knew all of the holdings of their liege lord. The steward held the keys to the castle. So, how is stewardship relevant today and why should we care about such an abstract construct in our modern day?

I am convinced that competently caring for the things and people we are entrusted with lead to a life filled with contentment, authentic accomplishment, and joy. This blog is a vehicle to collect all of the resources I know, the experiences I’ve had, the education I’ve received and put them at your finger tips. My sincere hope is that some information I present , no matter how small, will be of use to you. This desire is what led me to create the My Family Steward blog.