Tag Archives: building a new career

Trust Your Instincts

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Sometimes you just need to stop over-thinking and trust your instincts.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving with my son.  Nearing home, I depressed the brake pedal and pulled the steering wheel toward the right as our car approached a turn.

Nothing happened.  The car kept going.  Shit, shit, shit.
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Hibernation

I’ve been absent from this space for the last couple of months because I’ve been hibernating.

One of the definitions of “hibernation” is “to withdraw or be in seclusion.”   Every January, I try to remove myself from the daily insanity of connectedness to discourse with myself and ensure that my life is proceeding in the direction I want and need.  I intended this year to be just the same, but as I moved through the holidays and January to jump back into my routine, I realized I needed to make it different. Continue reading

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The Desire Map

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Let’s talk about your life.

Do you feel free? Joyful? Connected?

Most importantly, does your life feel the way you want it to feel?

When I read The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte for the first time, my life was not feeling the way I wanted it to.

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What I’ve Learned in a Month (U.B.C. – Day 30)

What I've Learned

Here it is:  the last day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I’ve spent the last month ensuring that I posted some content each day, and it’s been a learning experience in many ways, some good, others not so much.  To make it a little easier on myself because it’s late, I’m tired, and I’ve got a sick 6 year-old sleeping next to me, I’ve put all the lessons learned in list form. Continue reading

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Ultimate Blog Party 2014 (U.B.C. – Day 5)

Happy day five of the Ultimate Blog Challenge! Happy Saturday! Happy April 5th! Happy whatever it is you might be celebrating today!

You can sense a theme here. I’m having a happy day. A party day. I woke up refreshed and rested after a full eight hours of sleep. Yes, you read that correctly. I – mother of a 6 year-old boy, a/k/a perpetual motion machine – got eight hours of sleep last night. I feel like a million bucks, and I woke up happy and energetic for the first time in I can’t remember how long. I was up at 7am making pancakes, for freaks’ sake. It feels as if I could conquer the world today. I plan to do just that. Continue reading

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Permission Not Necessary

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I have spent much of the last week reclining either on the couch or in bed. For two days, I was unable to do anything – including read – because of the overwhelming vertigo and nausea that overtook me when I so much as lifted my head. So I slept…and slept….and slept. I have slept more in the past seven days than in the preceding month combined. Today was my first day with The Boy back at school, and as I’m still excessively coughing every time I move, speak or pretty much do anything, I just hung around reading. Without the nausea. Yay! Continue reading

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Organize Me

One of my targets for 2014 is organization, namely with respect to my blog posts and getting draft articles written and out for submission. When I first started my blog, I tried keeping all my blog post ideas and social media tips in the same calendar as my off-line life, but it never really worked, and I found myself with pieces of folded up paper sticking out of my daily calendar and sticky notes with frayed edges falling out into the depths of my massive purse. Continue reading

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2014 Reading List

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There are so many websites that post discussion ideas, blog post ideas, article ideas, photo challenges and the like during the week between Christmas and the new year that it’s sometimes overwhelming and hard to distinguish what is actually worthwhile.

One list in particular, however, caught my eye, so I’ve decided to pick up the gauntlet thrown and run with it for the month of January.  Continue reading

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True North

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the true north of my life, and more specifically, the true north of this blog and the project I began in January.  After much deliberation, and consultation with my trusted advisor and über-talented web guru at Fresh Pond Media, I’ve at last settled on my new identity.  On January 1, 2014, my blog and I will be relocating to our permanent home at www.madnessofjoy.com.** Continue reading

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Keep a Contented Heart in November

Well, here it is again. That time of the month. The time when I drag out my muse’s guide to finding happiness and write myself notes on the next layer of my happiness and joyful cake creation. Here’s what Ms. Muse has to say for the month of November.

Keep a contented heart.  A contented heart is a even sea in the midst of all storms.  So said William Secker in his treatise The Nonsuch Professor in His Meridian Splendor, published in 1660.  Amazing that it’s the same some three hundred and fifty years later.

a) Laugh out loud.

She’s right. I should laugh out loud more. We all should laugh out loud more. It just feels so gosh darn fantabulous when we do it. The sun seems to shine brighter for a few moments, the air seems to warm, and the endorphins rush through our bodies. It can change my whole outlook on a day.

What do I do to ensure I laugh out loud at least once a day? For starters, I have a child who is learning to read and sometimes mispronounces words in such a way that I can barely even understand what he’s trying to say. My child also loves to sing, and I mean loves it as if it’s his favorite chocolate treat. He belts out whatever tune he is listening to, and at times it’s all I can do to keep the car on the road I’m laughing so hard. Which makes him smile and sing more loudly, which makes me laugh more…. You get the picture.

I also read amusing books. Currently on my nightstand is Jen Lancaster‘s The Tao of Martha.  Ms. Lancaster is a seriously funny woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Consequently, when reading her books, of which there are many, I tend to laugh out loud and try to live my life with the same grain of salt approach she seems to espouse in her essays.

Laughter is good for anything that might ail us. We all need more, so I’m going to continue laughing and smiling and feeling good. It helps me get through the days when the sun doesn’t shine so brightly, which was a lot of September.

b) Use good manners.

I have my mother and Emily Post to thank for my somewhat rigid adherence to “proper” and “appropriate” behavior. My parents drilled me like they were each an Army Drill Sergeant to ensure that I knew and utilized manners. Proper table etiquette, even when all we were eating was grilled cheese sandwiches. Thank you notes for everything and in a timely manner, e.g. no later than two weeks after the event, the gift, etc.

One year for Christmas my mother found and gifted me a book on manners penned by none other than Ms. Emily Post. I still have it on my shelf with the the note-filled margins, underlined text, and dog-eared pages. I still consult Ms. Post regularly, but these days it seems that most of her advice is considered antiquated niceties that we can all eliminate from our lives due to the instantaneous and often impersonal nature of the digital age. I disagree wholeheartedly and so stick to the advice and manners that have gotten me this far in life.

Several years ago I bought the updated version of Emily Post’s book for my two step-daughters.

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I thought that as they went out into the world as young women and began interviewing for jobs, receiving engagement, wedding or baby gifts, knowing how to deal with the acknowledging and thanking people for their kindnesses would be helpful, especially since so few people attend to social niceties these days with the advent of e-mail. I gave the books with that precise sentiment.  As both opened the gift in my presence, they both said thank you, having such a resource would be great.

Two years later?  Both books are still sitting on the shelf in their respective closets upstairs, unopened. One moved out and left her copy here.  Does anybody want to purchase a slightly used copy of Emily Post’s Etiquette? I can give you a really good deal!

c) Give positive reviews.

I consider this up there with manners. If I’ve received good service or had a good experience, I say it. I shout it from the rooftops. I am a firm believer in the maxim that if you let people know they’ve done a good job, that will make them want to do it again and again to get the feel good rush from positive feedback.

Accordingly, I’m one of those people on Amazon and Yelp and Open Table who reviews service providers. If the meal, the product, the service has been good, I let the provider know. Of course, I also let them know if it’s been bad, but I think it’s just as important to put out good vibes into the world as bad.

d) Find an area of refuge.

I’m working on this. I actually reclaimed my sunroom over Labor Day weekend and made it into a sitting/reading area.

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However, it’s off the kitchen, so although it’s a lovely spot in which to have a cup of coffee and chat with Ernie Hemingway or a friend when children are playing, it’s not really a refuge. Too public. So I’m looking for different space in the house.

Our house has a central family room where everything happens. We also have a formal living room, which at this stage of our lives is largely unused. The only time it sees traffic is when the Christmas tree goes up and when packages are delivered to the front door. It also tends – like so many other open spaces – to attract junk and become a storage area when it’s not being used for the Christmas tree.

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For some time, I’ve been planning to make the back corner of the room into a quiet area where I can meditate and practice yoga. It’s sunny and bright, and the farthest corner of the house away from the main traffic areas, so it feels distant. Just what I need for quieting my mind and soul.

Of course, I have an office, too, but currently it’s situated in the laundry room on the other side of the master bath, and over the garage, so it’s not quite as isolated and quiet.

Plus, it’s cold. It is so cold that even when the heat is on, I need an electric space heater to keep marginally warm. It is so cold that once the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees, my cat won’t even hang out in there with me. It is so cold that the winter after we moved into our house we needed to install heat into our garage to ensure that the pipes for the laundry didn’t freeze. I don’t know precisely what the previous owners did about that particular problem, but I don’t care. I now have a garage that stays at a relatively balmy 55 degrees all winter. Getting into a cold car is not really a problem, unless of course, I’ve been lazy and haven’t put the car into the garage, nor is frozen pipes, truly the most important thing.

My husband decided several months ago that his office, located off the family room, should be mine so that I wouldn’t have to spend so much time upstairs away from the central living area, but it’s still got a lot of his books and other stuff in it, so it doesn’t feel like mine yet.

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Maybe I’ll work on getting the walls covered with my stuff and then I’ll want to use it more. I’ll keep you posted.

For now, though, I think my quiet area in the formal living room – or the Christmas tree room as we call it – is my best bet. I’ve got a folding room divider that I’ll put behind the couch, a meditation chair for which I’ve just redone the cushion, my super thick yoga mat, and a Bose sound dock into which I can pop my iPhone to play ocean music. Now I just need to get all the junk out of that room.

And did I forget to mention that Thanksgiving is at our house?  Namaste.

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