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sometimes you gotta just float!

29 Jan

Just some musings on Tuesday evening.  I am obsessed with my morning routine.  It looks like this:

  • Wake up before or at 5 am
  • Rinse face and go downstairs to office
  • Do bible study (via bible app on phone)
  • Read devotional: my utmost for His highest (been reading every year for 15 years and counting)
  • Write in my new productivity journal  – see what I have here
  • Write out my daily work and personal to-do
  • Read Brendon Buchard’s High-Performance Habits bookSidenote: I also have the audiobook so I can finish listening to it in the car!
  • Meditate using app on my phone – 5 min top focused on mindfulness
  • Pray – 5 minutes top
  • Skim about 100 blogs in my full FEEDLY app (this is my “tv”)
  • Catch up on news by reading the annoying “THE SKIMM” email blurb or flipping through Flipboard app
  • If I’m being honest, and I am, I spend a good 15 minutes flipping through Instagram at the end

Then I get ready and start my day!

However, admittedly, at the end of the day, I get simply exhausted with how creative, cute and clever everyone is on social media.  I’m overwhelmed with the number of “good advice” business books I read and how much I have to remember in order to perform at the highest of levels.  Instead of feeling inspired or motivated, I’m just damn tired.  Even though all of it is something I want to do.

At night, I have to give myself a break and just mentally float.  Have you done that?  I close my eyes and think about nothing at all except floating atop the warm water. I know that sounds stupid but it is a great way to disconnect from distraction.  I visualize my hands dropping under the water and then resurfacing.  I feel the sun hitting my face and top of my knees.  I clear my head.

Then I get up at 5 am and do it all over again.   

encouragement for today

11 Nov

there’s something i want to remember every single morning.  

but i don’t.  i wake up and go through my programmed routine and i forget.  in the beginning i didn’t forget. and i made myself promise that i wouldn’t.

i don’t want to forget to remember to live this day as if i had 4 months left to live.  

like so many people out there, i learned this lesson the hard way.  it happened to someone close to me.  in fact, now that i think about it, it has been a similar situation for several people close to me.   why should you listen?  because i promise that if this news hasn’t crossed your path yet, it will someday.  

do you know what my dad did when he found out he had 4 months to live?  he moved, within weeks, two doors down from me in an OK apartment complex in dallas, texas.  do you know where he was living?  in a million dollar or so house on a golf course on hilton head island – away from his children – away from his family.

when he got the word that he was dying, his very first thought was me, my sister and my brother.   and my mom.  he didn’t give a shit that he was going to a rented one bedroom apartment – all that mattered was he was close to his family.  he didn’t care about feeling uncomfortable about asking our forgiveness, he did it.  and quick.

i could go on more about this but this encouragement for today isn’t about my dad.  it’s about you + me.  how can we live each day with this mindset?  here is what i thought about:

1. close your eyes.  you just got this horrible news.  what is very most important to you?  make it that important every single day and act as such.  pick up and move to dallas, so to speak.

2.  make it right.  if there is anything off kilter, make it right, now.  don’t wait for this day to come.  make it right RIGHT NOW.

3. make other people important.  taking a lesson from dad, i absolutely became the center of his life.  and i wasn’t before.  he was genuinely interested in what i was doing, saying, learning.  my favorite memories ever were in the morning before work, i would see his bald head bouncing down the outside walk to my house for coffee.  i loved it.  he couldn’t wait to wake up and talk to me about my day and what i was going to do.  i need to be like that every day with everyone i encounter.

4. get over yourself.  and your fears, insecurities and inhibitions.  it’s not about you.  it’s about your time with people important to you.  big difference.  so say i’m sorry, say i’m scared, say let’s pray, say i love you – stop with the inside voice telling you stupid things.  you only have a limited time.

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making inspiration real.

19 Sep

sometimes i’m overwhelmed by inspiration.  ha.  what a problem to have.

i mean it.  of course, i seek it out.  my rss feed, podcasts, flipboard all stream inspiration constantly.  i love it. even the music i listen to during the day is what i call “epic inspiring” – check it out here.  helps keep me in the zone as does the geranium essential oil i infuse my air while working.

it is a basic need that i have to be inspired. to remember the dreams i have for myself.  to hold on to them so no one takes them away.  to fine-tune them and evolve them and push myself to limits i didn’t know existed.

here are 3 other (somewhat surprising) things that can be inspiring:

DISAPPOINTING NEWS

i don’t always follow this, mind you,  but it’s important to note.  how can you be inspired by the disappointing news?  if the news relates to you like:

  • lose your job
  • didn’t get that house you wanted
  • test results weren’t expected
  • trip was canceled

then allow yourself to feel the news.  kick, scream and know that “it sucks.”  then be inspired by the fact that this is what is called a CLOSED DOOR.  and a closed door, to me, is an opportunity to find your real calling, a better house or even avoid unseen disaster down the road.

i’ve seen this played out many times in my life and in others.  about 20 years ago, our ad agency lost all the

about 20 years ago, our ad agency lost all the buick business.  i was 3 of about 15 people left and had to let go many of my colleagues and friends.  it’s easy for me now to paint you a picture of what happened with one of those people:

LET GO:  someone who reported to me, who took the job to learn from me and who had taken a step backward in her career to do so. THIS STUNK.  for both of us!

NEXT STEP: she considered this an opportunity to follow one of her favorite bands to NYC and at over 35 years old, up and moved herself to NYC.

WHAT HAPPENED:  became a VP at the world’s largest ad agency working on a global account.  Way surpassing me and the agency that let her go.  whoop!  whoop!

true story.  you know who you are.  

(then there was the guy we let go where we found a pot “bowl” in his desk drawer after we cleaned it out.  probably different story for him…)

THE ORDINARY AND MUNDANE

when things are ordinary and mundane – it means you are not present in your own life.  it means you are on auto-pilot or simply don’t think big enough for yourself.  maybe things happen to you versus making things happen.  just saying.  maybe?

when things are this way, it is an opportunity to be inspired by this:

someday, you will wish for the ordinary and mundane things in your life!

wait, did that depress you more?  sorry.

i meant.  WAKE UP!  here are two ways to drive to work:

  • get in car, buckle up, listen to news, yawn, drink coffee, get to work or –
  • get in car, buckle up, listen to inspiring talk or music, be interested in what is going on around you on your drive.  appreciating the crisp fall weather, the smell of pumpkin syrup in your coffee, smiling at the driver next to you.  noticing the older woman waiting for the bus hunched over made you sit taller.  saying a prayer and thanking God for the car you are driving, the family that loves you and the full day you have ahead of you.  calling an old friend just to say hi before work with a quick ‘HEY THINKING BOUT YOU message, get to work

and lastly, get inspired from:

PEOPLE WHO DO NOT HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART

how is this inspiring?

be inspired that you recognized this fact about them and be inspired to move on and not care.  put on your blinders. be inspired to get focused, get energized – this can be one of the best motivators.  the day you finally realize that what other people think about you matters very little.

 

 

Word.

7 Aug

maybe you had to hear these as much as me?

4 reasons not to strive for perfection

23 Jul
striving for perfection has always been seen as an admirable goal.  whether it’s getting into the right schools, cleaning your house just right or toning your body, perfection is what we want.  or is it?
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here are four reasons not to strive for perfection:

1. when we are hyper-focused on perfection, there is a chance we may miss the things that would truly make us happy.

In her 2012 article in Harvard Magazine titled “Effortless Perfection”, Isabel Ruane wrote:
“Last winter, I had wondered how I could ever reconcile my guilt at having relaxed my work ethic with my certainty that doing so had allowed me to grow in other ways. I had worried about where my duty lay: to Harvard, for offering me an education and paying a great share of its cost; to my parents, for raising me, guiding me, and making sacrifices for me; or to myself, maybe more in need of reflection and friendship than a spotless transcript. Now I realize I was worrying about the wrong “duty.” My duty to the world isn’t to be perfect. It is to take care of myself as best I can so I can give back to the world the love and care it has given to me. If slacking off was what I needed to make myself happy and available to help others, then this decision reflected no disrespect for my parents, for Harvard, or for my own work ethic.”
 

2. perfection is subjective and abstract.

there is nothing wrong with having personal goals and wanting to achieve them.  i try to achieve my personal best every day.  with my career, with my personal life – everything.  having goals is what guides my day-to-day living.  on sunday, i write out goals for the week and if i achieve them- to me that is perfection!  But this is MY personal best with which i connect with perfection, not yours.

it becomes judgement when we start projecting our “strife for perfection” on others.

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perfection is subjective because with social media and just media in general, everyone can photograph and video their best foot forward – always.  some blogs that i follow, you’d think they only live a life of crisply curated +  snapped recipes and coiffed living rooms.  they can build the perfect career and host the perfect dinner party – NO! – not a boring dinner party but a bollywood-themed movie night complete with belly dancers. to me, the takeaway is  that they are PERFECT.  and that un-truth can bring someone down.  ok, sometimes i’ve been brought down by it.  ok, sometimes i contribute to it.  <sigh>

so good for danielle guenther  who photographed brilliantly the not-so-glamourous life of parents.  she says “capture the moment, because in the end, all we have are the memories.”

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 and lastly…

2. perfection is unattainable.

you’ll never get there – ever.  as a Christian, we believe that only Christ is perfect.  why oh why can’t i remember that?
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.
Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” 

4. if you strive for only perfection, you may fly by the lessons that failure teaches us. 

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
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inspiration for today

15 Apr

today i’m in naples, florida with people I love. ROF arrives today and i can’t wait to see him!

i’m thinking about my wonderful aunt jeanie.  she passed away on wednesday. i loved her.  I used to stay at her house in columbus ohio when i handled the buick account at JTC Advertising.  she was always so excited to see me and hear about what i was doing.  she and I shared a love of books and movies.  she had so much life and interest in people and places!

she also could play the piano so well.  i snuck a video of her playing the last time I saw her.



i’m thinking of her sisters- my mom and aunt sally- and her kids, my cousins and her many grandkids.

oh! here are some things i’ve been meaning to tell you.  pass it on + be inspired!


  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

heart attacks + fries

22 Feb

happy new year!

yes, i realize that it’s almost march but i haven’t posted since december.  i got a new job and started it in january and have been running ever since. (new job is awesome, by the way)

right now, i’m on an early morning delta flight out of dfw headed first to minneapolis and then to duluth. the cabin in this small plane smells like freshly brewed coffee and morning breath from the several men around me sleeping with their mouth wide open and head back.  from duluth i will rent a SUV and drive an hour and half to ashland, wisconsin.  otherwise known as God’s country.  look it up on a map.  it may be only 6 degrees up there but i consider it to be a huge perk of my job to experience the beauty which is northern wisconsin. then i turn around and drive back, stay by the airport and am on an early morning flight out of duluth to minneapolis and land back at dfw tomorrow at noon.

living healthy.

so at my age (46) i just realized i could die someday.  as a gen x’er (i’m stereotyping) the thought of dying or coming up on serious health issues could not have been further from my mind.  i was invincible and could smoke as much as i wanted (after all, the kids from my favorite movies did like st. elmos fire and singles.)

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drink wine as much as i wanted like carrie bradshaw in sex and the city and not care about how it affected me and my body.

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now i know.  and it’s a sobering fact of life.  you get old and your body and organs go along for the ride.

my brother who is four years younger than me had a couple massive heart attacks around thanksgiving. they had to shock him 19 times and his heart stopped beating for over 15 minutes.  my brother and i have a very strained and challenging relationship but it has made me sad for him.  it has made me think of me too.  that maybe it isn’t enough for me to just drink my trader joe’s super green powder drink every morning and “try” to walk 30 minutes before slumping back in front of my computer for the rest of the day.  maybe i have to do more and maybe it’s urgent.  maybe i better stop thinking that all there is what makes me happy now and think about the fact that what i do now will make me very happy in the future.

so i’m not a complainer or a whiner, i’m a doer and so i got a physical.  i’m on a plan to lose weight and eat right.  it is not going to be easy.  in fact, i forgot about eating right when i ordered a BLT sandwich and fries at st. pete’s dancing marlin this weekend. i only ate half.

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baby steps.

i also have a cardiologist who is going to run all the tests and wants to see me every 6 months.  she’s awesome.  my mom had her first heart attack at only 49.  and i’m 46.

it’s a journey,right?  that’s what they say.  i hope that i can do this and have encouragement along the way.

happy new year!

it’s great to be alive!

18 Nov

read this if you believe it’s great to be alive.  or if you don’t.

my favorite radio station in the whole world is 93.1 or 93XRT in chicago, as everyone calls it.  i’ve been listening since i was in high school living the burbs of chicago.  i continued listening all the way through my 20s and 30s living the single life in downtown chicago to streaming it for the past twelve years (INTO MY FREAKING 40’s!) down here in dallas.

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i’m not going to go into how eclectic the music selections they play are – just trust that i have good taste.  anyway, i grew up with lin brehmer.  he’s on the morning show and ROF won’t be mad by me saying…. i love him.  he’s genius, wonderful, funny and insightful.  and i LOVE his signature “IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE” phrase he got from frank zappa.  i wonder if lin knows someone in dallas thinks this about him.  ha!  hearing that reminds me to tell you that i truly – and maybe cheesily – think that IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE every single day.  if you know me, you know that is true.

can you even comprehend for one single minute, sitting in a cafe enjoying a nice dinner – maybe it was impromptu – maybe it was planned for weeks – who cares.  but you’re sitting there and a gunman enters and starts shooting off an automatic gun.  like you, i’m sure, hearing about the events in paris rocked our world this weekend.   you don’t have time to say goodbye.  you don’t have time to “work on those things that you want to change.”  that’s it.  was it good?   did you make every single day count?

sometimes i have to remind myself and my close friends that we have #firstworldproblems.  that sometimes the things that SUCK really don’t SUCK at all.  this is what having this mentality is all about.  for example…. having a hard time at work?  you’re not appreciated or maybe not being used to your capability?  well, you’re getting a paycheck, you have a roof over your head and an opportunity to change your situation.   so guess what – IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE!  you’re upset that you’ve gained weight and clothes don’t fit and you’re depressed?  well,  if your legs work and you can walk – then IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE.  so change it, dear.

i spent a lot of time with my dad when he was dying.  every single day as a matter of fact.  so, yes, many times your situation really does SUCK.  dying of cancer SUCKs.  but my dad for the nine months he lived after finding out he had cancer in his esophagus, then brain, then finally his spine is that he truly had the attitude of how knowing IT’S TO BE ALIVE.  he used his last days on earth to hug life.  to make wrongs right, to make us laugh, to squeeze my mom tight and tell her he loved her always, to encourage my sister, brother and i and to really embrace life.

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he had the opportunity to do this where so many do not.  he knew this.

if you ever need a reminder how great it is to be alive go here and do something about it.  one of the best websites i’ve ever seen.  ever.  thanks JG for sending.

 

101 ways to get your house ready for guests – friends weigh in!

15 Nov

i love having house guests.  because it is just ROF and me (and ruby!) having our house abuzz with family and friends really gives me the feeling of home.  i love making our company comfortable whether it’s a home cooked meal, special conveniences or little surprises.

so i reached out to my friends to find out what they do to make the visit special.  i love these ideas!

have some of the guest’s favorite things on-hand; e.g., snack, coffee, liquor/beer. Female: fresh flowers, magazines, candle, comfy bedding, beautiful glass for bottled water, something silver in room Male: good breakfast food, James Patterson-type books, late night snacks, bottled water – marinell roe

i had my sister and her boyfriends initials monogrammed on hand towels. – megen decker

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get a collapsible suitcase holder at bed bath and beyond to get their suitcase to a place they can easily use it. put a small surprise on the bed. if kids are visiting get a little something about the city or candy treat.  if they are coming to see your city print an agenda like u and britt did when we came to chicago.aunt sally nilsen

for me, the thing that makes having house guests easy is organization in advance.  whether it is room prep, meals or activities, if you plan ahead, make an itinerary, buy and prep in advance, you can enjoy your guests and feel less stressed.  – susan prendeville

i like to put a goodie bath basket on their bed or in the bathroom. something luxurious, soap/body wash, loofa, plush washcloth and candle maybe to help them feel at home and little gifts they can take home with them.- katie ballard

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since the guest room also doubles as storage when there are no guests, i typically organize the guest room closet and find extra non-wire hangers to put in there.  – meredith conte

i frame my wireless network and wifi password and put it on the bedside table.  Like what they would see in a boutique hotel.

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i always buy fruit, juice, banana bread or croissants and set up coffee and tea so they have a little continental breakfast waiting for them in the kitchen. people wake up at different times so even if I go back to bed, it’s there waiting for them and they don’t have to feel weird searching through the pantry.  I like doing this even if we have brunch plans because like I said…sometimes people wake up really early and i’m always hungry as soon as I wake up.

i always buy chocolate and set it out in candy dishes.  People like to munch and snack and it’s nice being able to grab a few pretzel M&M’s on your way to bed!

i let them sleep with riley, if they are really good friends… he’s a snuggle bug. – jackie grubb

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i love to cook for guests and a few special items I will pull out like chicken enchiladas or a lasagna that’s made with pepperoni (yum!) we also love to make a brunch for the first morning complete with mimosas. my go-to brunch casserole is pioneer woman’s sleepin’ in breakfast casserole.

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when we go out, we try to look for unique spots that the guests might not have at home. i love to try new restaurants and want to share that experience with others. – jennifer anderson

i love to leave a small vase of fresh flowers, nothing fancy (I can usually run outside and find something pretty in bloom) by the bedside.  ordering out from a local pizza place that first night makes things casual and easy and gives people time to relax. – lindy stagnaro

have a box of matches or a nice room spray in the bathroom and other accoutrements like nice simple soap in the shower and q-tips on the counter. set up a power outlet by the bed for phones and ipads to charge – sarah beth prendeville

i also asked my friends what games they like to play with guests and i heard about these several times:

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dani crowder’s friends and guests have a blast playing this game and we have had great success learning from jamie hare’s family playing this game

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but the most creative, interesting and fun suggestion came from christine warren.  her husband likes to whip up molecular gastronomy creations (invitation, please!) and she suggested purchasing this fun thing to do with guests!

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i have also gone to the local unique chocolatier and bought a sample box of chocolate and had guests guess what is in the chocolate (whiskey, bacon etc…)

lastly, here are some of my tips:

  • give people “jobs” to do.  everyone asks what they can do to help and typically they really do want to help – so delegate roles such as setting the table, writing out place cards, helping keep people’s drinks filled and clearing the table make people feel helpful and play a part
  • have the coffee pot ready to go – just press a button and hot coffee is on the way so your guests don’t have to wait if they wake up early
  •  plan for some down time.  time for people to do their own thing – take a walk (have an extra house key made), read or just hang out and not feel like they have to be “on” the whole time
  • plunger in the bathroom.  no one wants to ask for one and if you have a finicky toilet like we do – just keep one under the sink
  • give guests permission to help themselves to snacks at any time.  drinks in the garage fridge and chips and nuts in the pantry  – help yourself!  i love trader joes salt and pepper pistachios

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  • in the winter, keep comfy socks in guest room drawer and extra blankets by the bed.  sleep in your guest room so you can experience what they will

thank you to all my fun friends who contributed to this!  i can’t wait to have a house full of family this thanksgiving and they are sure to be the recipients of your great ideas.

encouragement for today

30 Oct

my encouragement for today is for you, girl.

yes, you.

the woman who does it all.

chin up.  don’t get discouraged.  don’t get down.

if you don’t get encouraged by me, at least listen to one of my heros at the end.

have a great day!

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now, if you’ve made it this far, listen to maya.  miss you.

 

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