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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Window Shopping for Purpose and Passion

May 26, 2011 7 comments

I have been a little MIA here lately.  I have written many posts… in my head.  Trust me, I have some brilliant thoughts at 3:00 am that I never put to paper (or keyboard) the next morning.  So what have I been doing instead of blogging?  Why am I up thinking at 3:00 am? 

I have been shopping.  Well, window shopping actually.

I have put a lot of energy into window shopping for my purpose and passion.

I am a happy person.  I love my life and feel blessed with the things in it.  I have a wonderful husband, two adorable children, a stable and rewarding career… but…

…I feel like I am wearing a shirt I love that doesn’t fit quite right.

…I feel like I am meant to do something else, something more in line with my passions and strengths.

…I feel like my happy life could be happier.

I feel like I am searching for my “purpose”.  Yes, I am a mother and wife, those things are paramount.  But when I take away relationship titles, who am I?  

Is this just a career search? I don’t think so, but I could be wrong.  I have a career, but does it speak to who I am?  I am not sure.  Does it capitalize on my strengths?  Not all of them.  The time we spend working is significant, shouldn’t it or couldn’t it represent us?

In search of quieting the questions in my head,  I have invested more time in my work while researching new careers.  I have been trying to gauge how much I love my job and if it is the right one.  I have been searching for the ideal job that fits multi-faceted me.

Then something great happened, a chance conversation.  A wise friend, who I respect very much, recently shared with me that he is trying to figure out what is next for him after he wraps up his current corporate gig.  He explained he might put more effort into a few small companies he runs, he might do philanthropic work, or he might do something totally different.  It sounded like he might dabble in several things.

As I reflected on our conversation, it hit me that I was trying to get all of my passion and purpose in a few places.  I realized that I have more than one purpose and I need to figure out how to prioritize them, not combine them.  I am the queen of multi-tasking, but you can’t multi-task life.  I think life is meant to be enjoyed and lived in separate streams.  Career, motherhood, charity work, friendships, hobbies – they are each deserving of their own time.  And I deserve to enjoy each of them without distraction (on the ideal days – don’t get literal with a woman with young children).

The other important thing I am figuring out is that I need to focus on the details and let go of the big picture.  No, I didn’t write that backwards.  I would like to better appreciate the happiness and passion I already have instead of trying to connect them to one purpose in life.  I read a quote by MeiMei Fox that I love:

The key to happiness is not enjoying every single moment of every day. That’s an unrealistic expectation that sets you up for disappointment. The key is to celebrate every tiny but glorious, extraordinary and surprising experience you have.  She goes on to provide the critical reminder that:

“When something miraculous takes place — and by miraculous, I mean any of the seemingly small yet phenomenal events that unfold all the time, from your child laughing in your arms, to your best friend calling in tears to tell you her mother has cancer — stop. Put down your smart phone. Watch. Listen. Taste. Touch. Show up.”

I sometimes often forget to stop and show up.  I over multi-task, I miss the passion, the purpose that already exists.  So I am still window shopping from time to time, but I am trying to spend more time just experiencing.

The restless feeling hasn’t completely left me, but now I interpret it as excitement and anticipation for the many blessings that I will experience in the moments, days, months and years ahead.  My personal challenge is taking them one moment at a time.

Do you feel like you know your purpose?  Do you experience life?  Do you show up?

10 Lessons from a Girls Weekend

April 11, 2011 12 comments

The following lessons may or may not have come from actual or alleged events.  You can’t prove these things happened.  I destroyed the pictures.  Enjoy the lessons and take them to heart!

  1. There are three slots on an ATM – the one you put the card in, the one you get a receipt from and the one that dispenses the money.  These slots are not interchangeable.
  2. When a friend gives you directions to a bar four times, it is time to pick that friend up from said bar.
  3. When attempting to rent a stack of chick flicks, it is easier to ask how to open a rental account than to guess other people’s’ account information.
  4. Short bar patrons are not souvenirs.  Even if she is 4′ 10″ one should not try to put her in their pocket.
  5. Yoga on patio cushions is dangerous.
  6. There is a brief window where karaoke sounds good: after listeners have had enough to drink to miss the mistakes, but before the singers have had too much to drink and sit down on stage.
  7. If you’re going to get on your hands and knees to bow to your new friend at the bar because she has six kids and multiple grandchildren, wash your hands afterwards.
  8. Playing ‘hide the car’ while a friend is in a store, never becomes mature old.
  9. If eye flirting with a guy at the other end of the bar doesn’t create a love connection, throwing ice at him probably won’t either.
  10. There is a fine line between a classy woman and a two scoops of crazy one.

They are rather confusing...

Thank You to My Parenting Village

April 8, 2011 13 comments

When it comes to parenting, they (whoever ‘they’ are) say “it takes a village”.  I whole-heartedly believe this is true.  As a working-mom, I rely on my village to make it all happen.  Carpools, playdates, meal swaps – my village works together to make sure our kids are dropped off, picked up, fed, have presents for parties and uniforms for games.

But not just working parents need the village.  Stay-at-home moms and dads need the village too.  They need a break from their precious darlings or they need back-up when they have four kids playing two sports each with games in different parts of the state.  Bottom line, all parents need a village.

What’s amazing about my village is how efficient it is, how seamlessly our villagers work to ensure the best for every child.  The other day, my son was standing in front of the school waiting to be picked up.  In the mere minutes that he waited, two of my friends checked to see if he had a ride.  They talked to the mother picking him up to make sure he was taken care of.  My son was not crying, he did not look distressed, but my friends in my village know the routine and they saw him in front a minute past when he normally is out there.  They made sure he was accounted for.

Having a village full of aware, considerate friends is more valuable than a job, a pay check or any other material thing.  My village watches out for my kids, shares tips and advice and picks me up on the low days we all have as parents.  We celebrate as a village too.  Lost teeth, passing the big test, learning to ride a bike; we rejoice as a village, thus making every celebration more monumental for our children.  The village, and the people of my village are amazing, unique and keep me balanced.

Thank you to my wonderful village, you make my heart full and my worries less.

What do you want to thank your village for?

Mechanical Bulls, Mullets and Friends

March 29, 2011 16 comments

This last weekend, after having sushi with friends, we decided to go the Saloon in town.  I love saying this, because I am hoping it conjures up images of me living in Texas and wearing some sassy boots.  I really do live in the suburbs, but we do have a saloon with a mechanical bull.

After running up a bill that was more Sapporo than sushi (and it was a lot of sushi), we headed over to the Saloon.  As some of you may know, I am all for an adventure.  Before we even left the parking lot of the sushi restaurant, my husband was making me swear I would not ride the mechanical bull.  We were placing bets in the parking lot on who would ride and my husband kept reminding me that I am already a frequent visitor to the chiropractor and a bull ride would not help.  I do not think it is appropriate to bring up my aging, frail body on my birthday.

Upon arriving, I felt like the bull was calling my name, my friends were trying to talk me into it and my husband was giving me the look of, ‘I will not give you sympathy or pay for the massages’.  We decided two other friends would ride, but I would at least get on for a picture.  Only I couldn’t even get on by myself.  Maybe it was the Sapporo or the high-heeled boots, or the Sapporo, but it took the help of a friend to even get me on – it was clear riding would not go any better.  Rather I was a passionate spectator.

The only thing that could steal my attention was the 80’s band setting up.  One of the guys had a mullet and the female lead definitely rocked the 80’s – hard!  I was instantly enamored!  I was the first one on the dance floor – inappropriately early.  I drug my tolerant friends and two perfect strangers out with me.  Is there anything better than listening to an 80’s band in a Saloon, with fantastic, indulgent friends?

Well yes, let me suggest some improvements:

  • They didn’t know any Bon Jovi songs.  There should be a law that states that if you have a mullet, you know Bon Jovi songs.
  • I am too old to dance with such enthusiasm (think hamming it up – combination swing dancing and jazzercise) in high-heeled boots.  My shins, calves and ankles are still recovering.  I should have taken the boots off earlier.
  • If you can’t remember how many beers you had at dinner, don’t drink seven captain and diets at the saloon, even if you are making up for Lent.
  • When everyone wants to leave, do not explain to your husband that the two nice women you met on the dance floor can bring you home later.
  • We should have used a camera that didn’t create the devil eyes, but it’s almost fitting because I felt like the devil had strapped me to a mechanical bull and done his worst the next morning…

Yes, my friend in the picture had to help me up AND hold me up, I would have surely fallen off the back!

5 Reasons This Is A Great Weekend

March 26, 2011 4 comments

It is only Saturday morning, oh… wait… wow, it’s noon?!  How long have I been on this computer?!

Anyways, it is only Saturday at noon and I have already proclaimed this a great weekend.  Despite the rain (I am a sun girl) and the fact that I was awake from 4:00 am to 7:00 am, it is still a great weekend! 

  1. Wine and cookies!: Yesterday was the Feast of the Annunciation which means a church sanctioned break from Lent!  I didn’t know about this ahead of time, but at 6:00 last night I got a text from a Lenten authority who told me I could drink wine.  Within a minute (no joke) I was sipping a glass of wine.  I followed that up with cookies – both freshly baked and the Girl Scout variety! Bliss!
  2. A schedule free day!: The only reason I could lose track of time today is that today is a rare Saturday where we don’t have kids sports (thanks to the rain), birthday parties or pressing errands.  I am in my jammies, reading, writing and enjoying some leisure time.
  3. My kids: With less rushing around, I have gotten extra hugs, and a very special, “I love you mommy soo much with my whole heart”.  That is my daughter’s interpretation of I love you with all my heart.
  4. Creative Ideas A-Flowin’:  I have been working on a pet project and I could not sleep in the wee hours of the morning because ideas were popping into my head.  I got up and mapped everything out on paper.  I feel  much further along and ready to start making it a reality.
  5. Dinner with friends: I am going to sushi tonight with friends to celebrate my upcoming birthday.  My husband and I have both been traveling a lot too much for work and are looking forward to an evening with friends.  When I started Lent, I gave myself one free pass for my birthday so I will be enjoying beers with my sushi tonight. (Like all things in my life, Lent is a guideline and last night was simply an offical bonus!)

I guess it’s my chosen positive perspective today – happiness and positivity.  I could dwell on the rain and the lack of sleep, but they are both opportunities to find other sources of happiness!

I am heading back to my fabulous weekend – go make yours great too!

Categories: Life Tags: , ,

Re-Pay It Forward

March 10, 2011 26 comments

Do you ever have those moments in life that you wish you could do over and be a better you?  Here’s one of mine:

My cousin, Lisa, is like a sister to me.  I love her so much my heart wants to explode.  So naturally, when she was in labor I had to be there to support her.  I was stuck at work all day and couldn’t leave for the hospital when I first got the call.  When I got off work, before I started the 45 minute drive to her hospital, I stopped at the grocery store to get her flowers.  I was excited, I was nervous and I was in a hurry!!

As I stood in line to checkout, the woman in front of me had 4 cans of green beans, but there was something wrong with her form of payment.  They had to go get a manager, it took ‘forever’.  I am ashamed to say I was rolling my eyes and tapping my foot with impatience.

As she finished her transaction and walked away, I realized the problem was with her food stamps card.  I will never forget how horrible I felt.  Had I not been so absorbed in my life, and realized what was going on, I would have gladly paid for her green beans to expedite things or… I could have just been more patient.  That woman will never know that I wasn’t rolling my eyes at the form of payment and I can never make up my rudeness to her (something I will never forget).

But there is still a lesson to be learned and a way to create something positive out of my negative behavior.  I use that day to re-pay it forward.  You have likely heard of paying it forward, buying the next person’s coffee, paying the next driver’s toll fees.  I love those gestures, but also practice small acts of patience and kindness with strangers.  I need to make amends to a stranger for being rude, so I make sure to treat other strangers better. 

  • I wait patiently when someone is trying to park their car next to mine (it’s a big SUV and seems to intimidate people). 
  • I pull the lever so the next person has a paper towel in the airport restroom. 
  • I help people get their baggage up to the ticket counter.
  • Helping people who are lost (directionally – if they are lost in their lives, I probably would only hurt the situation).
  • Holding the elevator doors when you know the person is just around the corner even though you can’t see them and can get away with letting the doors close. 

Since I can’t ever apologize to that woman in the grocery store, I try to pass on other goodness that I hope will come back to her.

I also know there will be other moments when I am distracted, stressed or simply not being the best Paige I can be, so I re-pay it forward for those moments too.

How do you show kindness to strangers?

3 Signs I am Drowning and How I Fixed It

February 8, 2011 13 comments

I am still treading wine, but drowning more than drinking.  I just returned from two back to back business trips.  I realize many people travel every week for work, across countries and continents – they’re amazing, I am not.  I am tired and my body hurts from lugging my ginormous (technical term) laptop all over the place in heels.  I was ready to spend some time at home and get back to normal, then my old pal Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) showed up…

My little diva has been sick for the past couple of days with a 103.5 fever and sleep disrupting killing cough.  I have tried to catch up on work and home life while “functioning” on 2 hours of sleep over two days. (Why was this so much easier when the kids were babies???  Don’t say I am getting old – I am fragile and can’t take that right now!)

Here are the signs that things were slipping in my world:

  1. There was soy sauce and wine on the table, I meant to put soy sauce on my brown rice…
  2. I put a carton of milk in the dryer – of course  I didn’t turn it on (because my husband walked up)
  3. I lost my son’s homework, my daughter’s valentine’s and my… (I can’t even remember the other thing!) all in one day! They were all found, including the thing I don’t remember losing, by somebody else.

There are plenty more examples, like my inability to string a sentence together to save my life, but I think you get the drift.  I have hit the proverbial wall and it is not made of cheese, chocolate or wine corks. 

I told my friend this morning, “I just need to get organized and catch up on everything and I will be fine”.  This sent her into hysterical laughter. I am pretty sure my friends only keep me around for the entertainment value.  She gently reminded me that being “caught up” might be too ambitious and I would miss all the fun in the meantime.

So guess what I did? 

At  12:05 I was sitting in my home office, in my pajamas, unshowered and decided to meet a friend for lunch.  This gal is rarely in town and was 10 minutes from my house.  I looked at my work email, my to-do listsssss (did you catch the emphasis on the plural lists) and walked away.  I set a new record for fastest shower and walked out the door at 12:10. mostly clean, no make-up and a big smile.

I have to tell you a spontaneous lunch out is incredibly therapeutic.  The to-do listssss continue to grow, but I am no longer drowning, because really, what is more important – expense reports or lunch with a great friend?

I knew you’d agree.

How do you keep your head above water?

I looked nothing like this at lunch today, but I was happy.

I Beat Murphy’s Law… For Now

January 14, 2011 21 comments

Do you ever feel like:

  • Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) is a big mean guy swinging a heavy bat – usually at your face or gut?
  • The moment you get off the rollercoaster of life, you step onto a merry-go-round?
  • Just when you get on a good healthy eating and fitness kick, you get sick, injured or somebody sends you a box of chocolates?
  • You can have a quiet work week and then everything hits on Friday?
  • Nobody drops by unannounced when your home is immaculate and you are put together, but your new neighbor drops by the day you forego getting dressed to re-organize and deep clean your house.
  • The simplest of mistakes can have the biggest impact?
  • You forget the one thing at the grocery store that has no substitute?
  • Your kids only sleep in when you’re already awake?
  • The movie you’ve been dying to see was on TV the previous night?
  • The 50% off Border coupon expired yesterday?

I had a week like this.  But you know what?  That Murphy guy is nothing but a bully.  I turned on him, stole his bat and beat his ironic ass – we say bottom in this house- into the ground.  I have been in pajamas (figuratively and literally) all week, just trying to survive.  But now, the sun is shining, I have taken a full shower (with a razor and everything) and am re-claiming my happy life!

They say that what goes up must come down.  But what comes down and breaks, can be fixed with superglue and a martini!

What are your brushes with Murphy’s Law?  How do you bounce back?

New Years Un-Resolutions

December 31, 2010 3 comments

AHHHHHHH!!!

I feel better now.  Wait…

AHHHHHH!!!

Okay, all better now.

Why all the screaming you ask?  (If you didn’t ask, just humor me.)

Well, you see, today is New Years Eve and you know what that means…

No, not drunken debacles.  Well, yes, there may be those, but that didn’t make me scream.  At least not yet.

I am screaming because the mere thought of making a New Years Resolution stresses me out!  Seriously, if I haven’t been able to accomplish as task as of now, why is a specific date going to make it any easier?!  It’s not.  It’s just going to add pressure. 

I will be sitting at dinner with a few friends tonight and we will be talking about what to give up.  Yes, I am aware resolutions don’t have to be about giving things up.  They can be about starting things like going to the gym, taking more time for ourselves, blah blah blah.  Our group tends to focus on the what can we give up to be healthier.  Aka, what vice can we give up to make more room for other vices.  I call this phenomenon the vice exchange and have done scientific studies and experiments on the topic.  Go ahead, click the link to learn about the vice exchange, I’ll wait right here. 

Welcome back.  Back to giving stuff up – We have one gentlemen in our social circle who gave up chips one year, crazy bastard – (you know you were thinking it too!)  He made it the whole 365 days and then went two more months just because. (Insert more name calling here.)  So the next year we all decided to give something up.  I know, I know – if your friend jumps off a cliff…  Anyways, I gave up ice cream.  As you know, I am a sweets-aholic.  But I figured if I could keep cake, cookies, candy, etc I would be ok.  The first few months went great.  Yep, I was a superstar for not eating ice cream IN THE WINTER!  But the minute the weather warmed up, my will power cooled down.  I ate ice cream in April.  Nope, I didn’t even make it until a heat wave when it may have been medically necessary to consume frozen dairy products.

This was two years ago and I haven’t made a resolution since.  As you may have read, I have given things up for bets and I give things up for Lent, but a whole year of not doing something, or starting something for that matter?  SCARY! 

So my resolution is not to make a resolution.  Resolutions don’t allow for balance in the normal chaos of life and I am all about balance.  I prefer, rather, to be “mindful” of certain things.  So here is my (da da da da – that’s trumpets):

2011 Mindful List:

  • Be real.  I swear in real life.  Not around children or relatives, but with friends.  I approach this blog as if chatting with my friends, so may see more frequent swearing (like calling my chip-quitting neighbor a bastard).  Swearing is the real me.  Also included in the real me is inappropriate humor (I will use a filter though – you’re welcome), bouts of craziness (you may have already suspected this one) and a severe case of ADD.
  • Judge myself by the same bar as I judge others.  I am tougher on myself than others, so I am going to give myself a break and be more accepting of me, the way I am accepting of my crazy (not a judgment, but rather a compliment) friends.
  • Drinking water.  It reduces headaches, helps chapped lips, promotes clear skin and can prevent or reduce hangovers.  Water is my new BFF.  But Captain is still my boyfriend.
  • Exercise is not the enemy.  I feel better after a good workout.  I can eat more sweets and still fit into my clothes.  I can visit with my friends while working out.  I can waterski and wakeboard without severe injury.  I’ll be mindful of the benefits of kicking my own ass.
  • Sweets are like house guests – they are better in small doses.
  • Instant gratification is not always the best option. I am not sure I belive this, but I will be mindful of it (or be reminded of it when my credit card statement comes).

Well, I think my list is already too long for me.  So let’s talk about you. 

What are you going to be mindful of in 2011? 

I’ll get you started:

  • Paige LOVES comments on her blog.  Something as quick as “so true” makes me smile and I love people who are  wittier than me.  There seems to be a lot of folks in this category… hmm…

 

Categories: Balance, Humor Tags: , ,

10 Things to Do In My Lifetime

October 11, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday was 10/10/10.  It is a cool date and it was my husband’s birthday so it was a fun-filled weekend.  I want to commemorate this auspicious date with my top ten wish list.  I am currently working on a Mighty List that will be a life list of 100 things I want to do in my lifetime.  But my current top 10 feels appropriate for yesterday.  Narrowing it down to 10 was tough but here we go:

  1. Change the life (for the better) of someone close to me
  2. See a cure for cancer
  3. Renew my vows
  4. Get paid to write
  5. Sponsor a family in need at Christmas
  6. Inspire somebody to pursue their dreams
  7. Watch my children fulfill their dreams
  8. Give a large amount of money  to a stranger on the street
  9. Give a speech to 10,000 or more people
  10. Travel the World

What’s your top 10?

Categories: Life, Lists Tags: ,
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