Learning: The First 20 Hours

Monday, 29 July 2013, 0:30 | Category : Change, Projects
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Last weekend, I picked up the new book The First 20 Hours by Josh Kaufman. Let me start by saying that I had never heard of this book until I picked it up at Barnes & Noble. Now, I see references to it nearly everywhere I go. The day I found it, I just knew I needed something different. I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant lately, which usually means I need something to change. And this change needed to happen fast.

My attempts at losing weight have been failing. (The minor point of success here is that I’m no longer gaining – I’m just not losing either!) I finally have grown my hair out long, so cutting it isn’t the change I want to make. I’m loving my new job, so that’s not an area to change.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and loved to learn, so it makes sense I want to learn something new. And the prospect of being able to do that learning in 20 hours…well, count me IN!  I’m about 50% through the book so far, and so far my biggest challenge is deciding what I want to learn first – whether it be something that’s going to make work easier, or a new technology skill that I can show off… or just something personal, something just for me. I wonder what it will be. Any suggestions – feel free to leave them in the comments!

Try Easy (or Why I’m taking a Step Back from Yoga)

Sunday, 21 July 2013, 19:15 | Category : Fitness
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When I was at the height of my yoga practice, I read a book by Baron Baptiste – an amazing yoga instructor. He said to “try easy”… which I took to mean “Not everything has to be hard.” I’ve never been very good at trying “easy.” For me, it seems like if it’s not doing something the hard way, I must not be doing it right.

So it was when I decided to go back to a yoga practice this year after a long hiatus. I didn’t just “try easy.” I tried to conquer everything within the first few weeks – adding yoga back into my life, at 530 am, 3-5 days a week. And this wasn’t easy-breezy yoga, or the kind of yoga I loved to practice (traditional hot yoga). I jumped right into CorePower 2 classes – full of vinyasas and inversions. These were things that I had never comfortably conquered when I was practicing 5-7 days a week – but I was sure that I would be able to persevere with just my mind over matter mentality.

Today, I admit that it’s not going to work for me. I surrender my CorePower Black Tag, and go back to a traditional gym where I can build my own fitness routine, at my own pace, at any time of day that I want. I can choose 530 am or 530 pm. I can go to a yoga class, body pump, or just spend an hour on a treadmill walking at an incline while I catch up on some reading.

I’m hoping that through this surrender, I find a way to “try easy” and give myself the room to rebuild my strength and stamina.

(But just for good measure, I think I’ll keep my yoga keytag for a few more days…)


Change is no joke

Monday, 4 March 2013, 1:18 | Category : Change
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When I was writing my last post about making 2013 my year of C.H.A.N.G.E., I had no idea how right I was. Now, just over a month later, I’ve got some CHANGE on my plate!

So, the first big change is that I started a new job. It definitely fits many of the change categories.

Courage: My new job is in a completely different industry, without anyone that I’ve worked with over the last 8 years. While exciting, it’s also nerve-wracking. It’s like the first day at a new school – I didn’t know where my desk was, or who I’d have lunch with. It’s also a new variation on what I’ve been doing, so there’s a bit of a learning curve.

Attitude: It’s amazing what this new opportunity has done for my attitude. Even JB noticed, commenting on how I seem happier and less stressed. That demeanor is one that I aim to keep with me, even when there are challenges. Nothing helps you overcome challenges more than the right attitude and outlook!

New Things: I think we’ve already addressed this. :)

Enrichment: In my new role, I get to learn a lot, and use what I learn to help grow the business. (Not to mention that by being able to focus on one job at work, I’ll be able to read and expand my brain outside of the business world as well!)

I can’t begin to express how excited I am that I was right about 2013 being my year of positive C.H.A.N.G.E.. With this new adventure to kick it off, I just know that 2013 is going to be a great year!



2013: The Year of Change

Tuesday, 22 January 2013, 23:27 | Category : Change
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At the beginning of each new year, I say “I’m going to change.” I resolve to do things differently – to eat right, to manage my money better, and finally run a 5k.

I did it again this year, and now, a whole 22 days into the new year, I’ve already failed at most of my resolutions. (Ok, the truth is I’ve forgotten most of them, but really, isn’t forgetting them even worse than failing?)

Luckily, our lives are full of fresh chances – you can start over each month, each week, each day, each hour, each minute… it’s never too late to start over.

Starting today, 2013 is my year of change.


Courage: Grow a backbone, and don’t let fears keep you from achieving your potential.

Happiness: Find things that make you laugh with reckless abandon and bring a song to your soul.

Attitude: 2/3 of a situation is what you make of it – so bring something positive to it.

New Things: Food, movies, books, classes… don’t be afraid to try new things.

Grace: Handle situations with poise and grace. No crazy outbursts (at least not outside of the safety of my own shower walls!)

Enrichment: Learn as much as I can – with the goal of learning something new and interesting each day.


Your Silence Speaks Loudly

Saturday, 17 November 2012, 14:04 | Category : Uncategorized
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We all avoid things we don’t like – paying bills, cleaning the bottom of the dishwasher, sharing bad news. I’m as guilty as anyone. (As I’m typing this, my dishwasher is getting cleaned for the first time ever. How is that for procrastination!)

But as someone who is on the waiting side (for income, for a decision), I’ve really started to notice lately how disrespectful it is to respond to someone’s honest inquiry or excitement with silence.

We get bills because there has been a service or product provided to us. In most instances, we get billed after we’ve already made use of that service… so is it fair for us to withhold our payment when we’ve already enjoyed the work of someone else?  If you’ve ever worked in freelance, you know how difficult it is to wait for a paycheck to come in. Don’t do that to the people who have provided service to you. If you can’t afford to pay for the service, either don’t ask for it in the first place, or talk to the provider to work out a payment plan you can both live with.

If someone is waiting on you to make a decision, you’re paralyzing them from moving forward. Even if the only feedback you can give them is “I still don’t know – if you need to move on, then please do.” This lets them know that you are being considerate of their time and needs. Chances are, when you do get around to making a decision, they’re more likely to be responsive if you’ve been communicative.

It comes back to the lessons that your grandparents lived by:

Treat people the way that you would like to be treated. (Even if you owe them money or information)

I can’t defend procrastinating on cleaning… you’re on your own for that one.


Our Deepest Fear..

Monday, 3 October 2011, 0:05 | Category : Life
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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson

That is all.

Plans, Maps, or Wandering

Monday, 26 September 2011, 22:41 | Category : Life
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“We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the one waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell

Plans: what funny things they are. As soon as you make them, they change. If you do happen to get perfect execution, you’re often left wondering “Is this really what I set out to do/achieve?” I found this quote today when I opened up my daytimer. (Yes, I still use an old-fashioned paper daytimer.. the kind that you buy refills for every year. And I love it. Moving on.) I’ve flipped past that page a dozen times, and had forgotten that the quote was there.

Perhaps it resonated with me more tonight because I am in a state of transition and growth. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got lots of questions about the plan that I’m making, and where it leads. Sometimes you do have to let go of plans to find your way, but I also think that sometimes you need to make some plan to get you on your way.

What do you prefer? A map, a plan, or wandering until you find your way?


Saturday, 10 September 2011, 22:38 | Category : Life
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Beautiful Zipper Pond in Taiwan from Toxel.com

My cousin and aunt were unexpectedly in town on Friday. We’re not close to our extended family, so it’s normally a surprise when we see them. My cousin (who’s nearing 50 by my estimate), said something that really stuck with me.

“When I was younger, I used to dream that one day I would unzip this fat suit and step out looking gorgeous in a bikini. I finally realized that ain’t happening.”

I’ve got a whole list of things that I’m not satisfied with about myself – from my hairstyle to the way that I choose to spend my time, and I just keep wishing for a “bippity-boppity-boo” that will magically transform me into the person that I think I want to be. Like C, I was waiting for the day that my suit unzipped and I could step out into the world as that fully fledged new person.

When I told JB what she said, he offered: “Did it ever occur to her to just take a jog?”

It’s a reminder that if we want to change, we have to take the steps to make the change happen. As much as I’d like to unzip, to bippity-boppity-boo, the only way for me to change is to take that jog.

That doesn’t mean I will stop looking for the zipper though.

Who Wants Flies?

Monday, 22 August 2011, 23:26 | Category : Life
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If you’re like most,  you’ve heard the old adage “You get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” It’s something I strive to take to heart in my daily interactions: choosing the high road, asking nicely for what I want rather than demanding, and turning the other cheek.

When my coworker posted this as her status message one day, it made me wonder:

Who wants flies?

If I’m using honey, treating others the way that I want to be treated, and all of those other rules that were embedded in our childhood minds, shouldn’t I get something better than flies? How about “You get more avalanche bark with honey than you do with vinegar” or “You get more gold coins with honey than you do with vinegar?” Make it worthwhile for me to be nice! I’d settle for “You get more niceness with honey than you do with vinegar.”

I’m tired of people being unpleasant, demanding, and demeaning. Say thank you. Ask, not demand. Suggest, not request.

Even if you don’t want flies, you’ll get more good stuff by inserting a bit more pleasantness into your day.

How are you going to make today pleasant?

Energy Boosters

Monday, 30 May 2011, 23:38 | Category : Life, working
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Like most Americans, I’ve got more to do (including the things I want to do) than I have energy to get done. So, when I saw the article “23 Get-You-Through-the-Day Energy-Boosters” from Oprah, I knew it was just right for me. Here are some of my favorite tips.

1. Make a list of everything you plan to do today: In Column A, include the activities that drain you; in column B, those that replenish you. Now figure out how to remove one item from A and add one to B.

3. Take an extra step—and 499 more. “Exercise gets your heart pumping more blood to the muscles,” says internist Marianne Legato, MD. “It’s one of the best antidotes to fatigue.”

15. Write down what your purpose in life is. “You have to be going somewhere to have the energy you need to get there,” says cardiologist Mehmet Oz, MD.

Read all 23 tips

Share your favorite energy-boosting tips in the comments, please!