Despite the fact that I’ve been a terrible blogger these past few months, I am diligently developing my consulting business – mostly because I like keeping the lights on and food in the fridge. I promise I’ll have real posts coming soon but in the meantime take a look at my updated website and “like” my new Facebook page – it’s almost as though I have a real business or something. I must be an adult!
I don’t believe in making resolutions as they tend to end in tears more often than not. Rather than focus on “resolving” a supposed deficiency (because I’m perfect, of course!) I prefer to create attainable goals with an achievable action plan. As we ring in 2012 I am challenging myself to maximize my potential! Here are 7 things I plan to do in 2012:
1. Celebrate my accomplishments. Building a freelance business is HARD. I will celebrate my accomplishments small or large and plan to accomplish more.
2. Spend time with myself… and then spend time with others. It’s always important to spend time with yourself and carve out time to rejuvenate your mind and spirit. However, there is such a thing as living too much in your head and I can be guilty of that at times. I won’t be afraid to enjoy a solo dinner or a lengthy conversation with a dear friend.
3. Think outside the box. I don’t think anyone would accuse me of being a traditionalist but my goal this year is to help others think outside the box and consider new ideas that will help them in business or in life.
4. Kick procrastination to the curb. There are always things in life that get pushed to the back of our “To Do” lists because they are boring or just plain unpleasant. Rather than waste time procrastinating I plan to hold myself accountable to all of my “To Do” items.
5. Focus on the journey. As in MY journey. Not my best friend’s journey. Not that random chick at the coffee shop’s journey. Who cares if someone else is younger, more accomplished, wealthier, prettier, etc, etc? Everyone has their own unique journey and successes in life. Rather than trying to live up other’s success I plan to live up to my own success.
6. Make health and happiness a priority. No one else is going to take care of my body and my mind. I will get off the couch and work out as well as focus on healthy eating for a fit lifestyle.
7. Let go of negative relationships. Just because you’ve known someone for 10 years doesn’t mean that you have a healthy relationship. I will focus on building healthy, happy relationships and releasing negative friendships.
What are your goals for the New Year? How do you plan to maximize your potential this year?
Once you enter your 30s it is inevitable that friends will start to settle down. When a slew of wedding invitations and birth announcements found their way into my mailbox I accepted the change with as much grace as I could muster. I figured that while these poor schmucks were yoyo dieting to fit into wedding dresses and becoming sleepless zombies thanks to their newborns, I could continue to bask in the freedom of single life without a husband or child to weigh me down. But then I moved back to the States and witnessed first hand the impact of nesting on once single friends. These friends, once beholden to no one but themselves, were putting spouse and child’s needs ahead of their own… and it scared the crap out of me.
The reality hit me hardest when a good friend announced she was pregnant last summer. I was on my way to becoming the last single girl. What did I have in common with these women anymore? I would rather scratch my eyes out than talk about breast feeding and sleep schedules. But as I watched this friend contend with pregnancy with her usual sarcasm and horror I realized that a child could never break the bond of crazy, we would always have irrational fears, awe inspiring stories, or just plain bizarre life moments.
With that said I’m happy to announce that said friend delivered her baby (aka Thor) at 5:46 this morning. If I was a better friend I’d know how much it weighed and stuff but I’m just happy knowing that he is a healthy baby boy. With the birth of Thor I’ve decided it’s no longer appropriate to continue referring to his dad as”Studmuffin”. I gave him a variety of mildly inappropriate new nicknames to choose from but rather than allow him to weigh in on the matter I’ve decided that my favorite is an amalgamation of his former nickname and his new role as proud pop. So “Studmuffin” I hereby rename you “MuffinPop”. Congratulations!
Join me for the Where Were You When? Series and share your story about how major world events impacted your life.
Image Credit: Where Were You? Events That Changed The World 26-episode series graphic
Because I’m a slacker who doesn’t keep up with her own blog series I am always pleased when other people write my posts for me. It also helps when these events coincide with the exact same thing that I was doing at the time.
In 1999 I was 19 years old and in my second year at a small Texas college. I remember the hoopla surrounding the millennial new year celebration and the fear that it inspired in the armageddonists. Will the Y2K bug revert the world’s computers to 1900 and effectively stop commerce, business, and life itself? Some people stockpiled supplies in fear of the end times as the world prepared to usher in the new millennium. I, on the other hand, was ready to party it up just in case there was no tomorrow.
To read more about avoiding death, zombies, and water turning to blood with the new millennium head on over to So Long And Thanks For All The Fish. If you’d like to be a part of this series please drop me a comment so I can share your blog here as well.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, the winter holidays are not far behind, and tvs started blaring Christmas-caroled commercials the day after Halloween. America, with its innovative capitalism, has found a way to bottle consumerism into a tidy holiday package full of patriotism and guilt. Fa la la la la… la la la la.
That’s not to say that exchanging gifts as a token of friendship and love is not important; the holidays serve to connect us with friends and family and create cherished moments. Before Christianity and Hallmark turned Christmas into an unrecognizable consumer holiday, the winter solstice celebrated the life that would soon return to the ground after the first thaw.
Rather than spend our time in search of the perfect Christmas/Hanukkah/Festivus gift, I suggest we use our resources to spread goodwill to friends, families, and our fellow humans. Here are some ways you can make a difference this year:
Kristen Bell collaborated with Erica Anenberg to create a line of handbags and wallets that will benefit the Invisible Children in Central Africa. These are great gifts for the ladies in your life who want to combine fashion with philanthropy.
If you’d like to support the Invisible Children cause by adding more shirts to your wardrobe or a hipster messenger bag head over to the Invisible Children shop.
Timberland partnered with Ringo Starr to create a limited edition Earthkeepers® footwear to benefit WaterAid. The limited edition boots will be available on eBay, through Timberland’s Canvas that Cares. A total of 75 pairs will be auctioned in men’s size 8, Ringo’s shoe size, with a starting bid set at $250. This is an excellent way to make a unique fashion statement while also showing your commitment to providing safe access to water and sanitation for all.
TOMS, is unique in that the corporate purpose is to provide shoes to children who had nothing to protect their feet. In the five years since the company was created, TOMS Shoes has provided more than 1,000,000 pairs of shoes to children in need. They have also started selling sunglasses, which provide care to people with visual impairment. So if you are looking for a fun pair of shoes (there are even vegan shoes!) or a funky pair of sunglasses check out TOMS.
If you are addicted to auctions, Ebay has a sister site called “A World of Good” that allows you to purchase handcrafted products made by artisans around the world. Of course if you’re looking for a more traditional present you can still make a difference by bidding on items where a portion of the proceeds is given to a charity or bidding on a special experience with your favorite celebrity to benefit a charity.
There are many ways to make a difference in the lives of others and I would love to hear your suggestions of products that give back or websites that promote philanthropic consumerism. Join me this holiday season in celebrating the true meaning of the season; sharing joy, giving love, and celebrating happiness and health.
Full disclosure: This is not a promoted post by any of the people or organizations listed above. I just believe in giving credit and commerce to people and organizations who make a difference with their products.
Yesterday wrapped up a week of annual events bringing to light the issues surrounding banned books such as censorship, first amendment rights, and freedom of information.
However, as responsible adults, it’s our job to protect children from danger. Honestly, I’m not sure which is more dangerous, a run-in with Ernest Hemingway or a good old-fashioned book burning. On one hand, Ernest Hemingway advocates sex and could give you a nasty paper cut, on the other hand, fire is singe-y and could kill you. It’s a tough call. Fortunately, there are numerous approved reading sources that nix the socialism and sex but still share the wonders of misogyny and homophobia.
You know what else makes book burnings ok? The approval of the government. If the people in charge say it’s ok then it’s time to pull out the matches and grab some sticks. I’m pretty sure that’s how the Nazis convinced everyone to throw a book on the bonfire. Well, that, and Hitler promised to bring s’mores to the bonfire. S’mores make everything more festive.
I checked out the Banned and Challenged Book Lists and realized that I’ve read a fair number of books on the list so I guess I’m doomed.
Some of my favorite books are regularly banned or challenged, including:
- Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”
- Stephen Chbosky’s “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
- J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye.”
- Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl.”
- Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
- Augusten Burroughs’ “Running with Scissors.”
- Lois Lowry’s “The Giver.”
- Mark Mathabane’s “Kaffir Boy.”
- Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.”
- Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass.”
As you can tell I’ve clearly turned out poorly and will be accursed for life so it’s advisable to keep your children away from these books altogether. In fact, the best way to keep them from sneaking around with a copy of “Of Mice and Men” is to forbid them from ever learning to read. Illiteracy is the answer and abstinence from books is the only solution.
Recently, I have been rewatching “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” tv series and despite my inherent love for all things Joss Whedon the show is clearly dated. In the late 90’s the internet was in its early stages, cell phones were the size of a small dog, and card catalogs were the search engine of choice. Technology has changed our way of life in the past 10-15 years and an anonymous online community came into existence that can be both a positive, sharing environment or a negative, trolling opportunity.
I normally avoid internet trolls by not posting on websites that draw negativity; unfortunately that leaves me out of the conversation on worthwhile topics but it does maintain my sanity so it’s a trade-off. I knew it was only a matter of time before I was trolled because of my “crazy”, liberal beliefs and lo and behold it happened. I was attacked on a blog I frequent for a comment I made discussing victim-blaming. Essentially the troll took the opportunity to claim that I was uninformed and that victim-blaming was acceptable if the victim deserved it.
The accepted opinion is that by acknowledging trolls we feed their negativity but I believe the reason trolls exist on the internet is because they can cloak themselves in relative anonymity and spread hate without the repercussions that a face to face discussion would incur. There are few consequences for internet trolls, which is why cyber-bullying is the outlet of choice for school age bullies.
I have to wonder if this is what we want for ourselves and our society? A construct that allows unfiltered animosity to soak into our collective unconscious and influence future generations. When I was a kid I was able to leave the mean girls and bullies at school and they didn’t follow me home via text messages, skype, or facebook. These days there is no escape from bullies who employ technology to fight their battle for them. As an adult, I can take on internet trolls without a blow to my self-esteem or belief system but trolls can be devastating for someone whose self-worth is built on what others think of them.
I wonder how a Buffy would handle high school in the new millennium with the interwebs posing a greater threat than the creepy crawlies of the night? I like to think that she would kick-ass in cyberspace with a witty retort (e.g. “You need to show this bully that you’re not gonna take any more of his sh— guuuff. Uh, any guff.”) and a visit from Mr. Pointy. Which is why I suggest we start a revolution, Buffy-style. One that says we will fight back and draw back the veil on cyber-bullying and hate speech in order to maintain a healthy online experience and community. That is not to suggest that constructive debate or oppositional beliefs are prohibited but that hate speech is rejected and we will stand up to those who employ it. So join me, stand up, and fight back against internet bullies, Buffy-style.