Taking a moment to reflect pushes me more toward looking forward. When I read about issues and news stories that ask the question, “How could this have been prevented?” I ask the question, “How can we make changes for our children and their children?” My top three changes start with mind and body.
1. During this year, my hope is to daily, say or do (or at least think) something positive about or to another person. Enough with the negativity; it gets you no where and probably adds to the lines in my face. So, enough. As much or as best as possible, smile, and respond with, “I hear what you’re saying.” Do we really think we’re going to change another person’s mind when they are loaded for bear and ready to take someone’s head off? People don’t change that much; it makes more sense to take positive energy; shrug to yourself and perhaps try to think something positive about that negative person. Plus, I’d like to record weekly, a positive outcome for that week – business, family/friends, personal or something out of the ordinary.
2. After two body part replacements since 2011, I have learned that fitness is supreme. I get through each workout day in a positive way; my nutrition is key and adds to my positive mindset. For 2016, this journey will continue:
- Start each day with 20 sips of water (thank you #NBCJennaWolf);
- Two-three workout days per week with stationary bike action at the house in between and more outside recreation.
- #OptOutside is tough. We get caught up at the office – which for me is my home – and it’s difficult to carve out at least 30 minutes outdoors. This, I will work on.
3. Date night keeps things fresh. This is our 25th anniversary year. Marriage is a partnership that grows, ebbs, flows and evolves. It is never perfect. At least once a month – beyond the usual outings – we’ll go to a comedy club, enjoy something cultural and take turns yielding to the other when it comes to things we enjoy doing.
Whatever fits in your world, resolve to make it happen. Find what makes you happy and set out to accomplish the goal – no matter how small or large. Your positive action will sustain you; the positive karma may catch on you those around you and be infectious in a very positive way.
Do people admire your sense of organization? Do they tell you they wish they could be organized like you? Bless them. From where I’m sitting, I need a wife; someone to support me and ask me if I have everything together and pick up the proverbial slack sometimes. I could use someone to back me up in keeping me organized. I just went through a lot of my Rutgers material in preparation for teaching the same course for the spring semester. I seemed as though I was organized, but now, I’m organizing my material even further. The good news is, I won’t have to create everything from scratch; From lesson plans to understanding the text book, now, the course is not new to me (thank god!).
I have a couple of piles (OK, maybe three piles) around my office. There’s the “pending” pile, the “to-be-filed” pile and the “I’m-not-sure-what-I-want-to-do-with-this” pile. Every once in a while, I go through these piles and do something with the material. Why is it that there is ALWAYS a pile? Probably for the same reason I haven’t finished hanging art/photos up in my office. I’m waiting for the mood to strike me. At some level, I realize THIS is the way I work. If I have everything put away, it looks as though I have nothing to do, which is never the case.
I just found a note I made to myself to call someone who may need PR help. You see? Had I filed that note where it belongs, I would have forgotten completely about it. It just showed up in one of my three piles (the pending pile).
Today, finally, I published my basic web site. It’s up and running now and this begins my constant tweaking and revising process. It’s the same thing I’ve done with my resume for the past year. I update and tweak when I get spare moments. It’s also good to clear your head in between these intense writing situations. I have spent weeks agonizing over the web site. I decided, less is more. I needed a web presence and the site is there. I have a Facebook page for the business as well. (That reminds me, I need to put the Facebook icon on the web site — see, some tweaking already!)
In the end, we’re never as organized as other people think we are, but we’re probably better than most when it comes to getting through the day without a meltdown. Excuse me now, while I go hunt for the piece of paper I was looking for before I started writing this.
I worked for more than 30 years in the radio news business. ‘Tis true I never had a lunch break working radio news. In fact, at my last job, with deadlines every ten minutes or so, I found a few minutes about four hours into my shift to down a little breakfast. When a boss gave me more tasks to do during that period, I mentioned that was when I ate some breakfast. Her reply was, “Are you asking for a break?” I suppose a potty break and five minutes to down some instant oatmeal WAS too much to ask.
Now, I set my own schedule. I can cram four hours work into two or work late at night. Today, I decided to go to lunch. I took a walk down my block dressed in my bathing suit, cover-up, visor and SPF30 liberally sprayed on my skin and took a chair at the neighborhood pool. Some ice water and a cereal bar was all I needed. The scenery consisted of kids from baby-carriage size to teens along with moms and dads. The swim team was wrapping up practice. Little paddlers were getting swim lessons in the shallow end. A refreshing summer breeze cooled us off. I took a mini-vacation with a magazine. The sounds of the pool scene were intoxicating. Care-free with only fun on their minds, in between pages of my magazine, I watched a group of kids in the deep end playing tag; a boy about 8 years old, was watching in delight as his swim teacher showed him how to make a racing dive off the race platform. What a belly-flop! I mentally gave him a “7” for his enthusiasm and the attempt. I admired the patience of the swim teachers as little ones tried, tried, and tried again to carry out the kicking and arm strokes and blowing bubbles. So many tasks to coordinate with one little body!
An hour passed effortlessly and I knew it was time to walk home. My head was clear; my mood upbeat and no one asked whether I was getting all my work done. Granted, tripping and falling over an offset slab of concrete on the sidewalk did annoy me. (Seriously??) I don’t think anyone saw me take my spill and I just have a slightly skinned knee as proof of the klutzy moment. I’d rather take that fall than hear someone ask my if I was requesting a break. Guess what: I’m getting a work break for the first time in more than 30 years. Happy day!
The perfect age is 38. I made this declaration on the eve of my 51st birthday as my husband and I talked about the significance of this birthday. My 50th birthday came and went last year; I got a few more birthday cards than normal. This year, the usual smattering of cards along with some Facebook greetings, emails and text messages. But, as they say, it’s all good. This surely has been a transition year. My career change; deciding to begin a PR consulting business (What’s Next Productions) and actually signing my first client (Plato’s Closet franchise owners in the region).
We spent the weekend in Ocean City just as we have one weekend in June every year for years. My parents, brother and his wife and the three of us enjoyed family time with an ocean view. Doug and I spent a few hours on the beach Saturday. There were high school seniors soaking up the sun. Their toasted bodies showed no wrinkles or lines. Their smiles were carefree and (for the most part) their hair color was untouched by chemicals. Now looking at the groups of happy-go-lucky groups lying on colorful towels on this perfect beach day in June, I felt all of my 51 years. Your mind jumps into “oh-my-god” mode. How did the time go so quickly? Why didn’t I study in Europe? Why didn’t I take that OTHER job? What would have happened if… And then I stopped. I know the phrase, “count your blessings” is so cliche. But there’s a reason: it’s TRUE! I have a wonderful husband, son, family, a new career path, friends all the things you have no idea about when you’re 18. Now, when your 38, that’s PERFECT! You’ve been through all of the growing pains, trials and tribulations, breakups, career hiccups and missteps of your 20’s and 30’s. Finally at 38, you’re perfect. You’re in reasonbly good shape and have the stamina to stay that way, your career could be fairly stable (though probably not in this economy) and your hair is likely looking good just the color it has been for years without modifications. I must say, I am now in better shape than I was at 38. I was looking at a photo album the other day from a vacation in 1992. That was NOT a pretty picture of me. A few weeks ago at a party, a 16-year old girl was in disbelief that I was turning 51. She’d never seen me before and really thought I was younger. God bless her, her tight skin and naturally-colored hair.
The one thing I have now that I didn’t have at 38 was the patience to carry on. During my long career in radio news, deadlines were constant. I didn’t know any other way. Every minute was critical in getting stories and newscasts on the air. Even today, there’s no other way to approach radio. It’s hard to automate local news (though I’m sure they’re trying to figure out how to do that). Today, without that radio deadline clock in my face, I still have deadlines, but they are self-imposed AND forgiving. That’s the key: I forgive myself for being a little behind schedule. I’m thrilled when I come out ahead of the game. Come in on schedule: perfect.
So, friends, at 51, I’m the boss of me. I listen better now; I understand more with an open mind now; I’m able to turn the gray skies blue when the days are not so bright.
Give more, hope more, love more. Happy Birthday to me!
Whether you are employed putting in mega-hours a week or transitioning, Mondays still mean the same thing. This first spring Monday is no different. You keep to the morning routine and head out for appointments. Only difference; you’re not getting paid. You tell yourself, that’s OK, it’s all in the name of networking and gaining new and different experiences. Deep in your gut you wonder, is there anything in this for me? The answer is always a resounding: YES.
One fact in working a gazillion hours a week is you are always in hyper drive. You are balancing work, home and many other personal things. Now your focus is not only on finding new work in perhaps a new field, but finding the place you fit in the world-at-large. Even if you are employed, this is always a mission, you just don’t have the time to thing about the “big” picture and where you fit in the future. While I balance the job search and quest to fulfill my life, I am taking baby steps. Sure, I’d like to feed the poor, solve illiteracy, clean up the environment, run for office and in the process win the Nobel Peace Prize. Guess what, not happening. So channeling my thoughts and energy into ways that I can be of service to my community while networking professionally is the best use of my time for me right now.
I have found two places I’m trying where I am getting to use my professional know-how and serve at the same time. (Both of these things look great on a resume once I’ve put in some time.)
I started another manic Monday feeling as though I had little to offer. After a more than 90 minute meeting with two key stakeholders in a worthwhile community organization, not only do I know I can help them and the cause, but to quote Sally Field, “They like me.” Never underrate maintaining self-confidence during these shaky times. Grab on to those handle bars and realize YOU are steering. Finding the direction is the mission.