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Posts Tagged ‘life’

Imagine a messier life?

September 15, 2011 11 comments

Imagine you were given the gift of four days to tune out all other distractions and focus on your passions, your hopes and dreams.

Suppose you were supported by a group of strangers who are now dear friends.  These people helped identify roadblocks to your dreams AND ways to bust through them.

Picture sitting in a beach community being encouraged to chase your dreams and live your life on your terms and by your personal priority list. 

Between the sounds of seagulls and waves crashing you hear people saying ‘go for it’, ‘you can do it’ and ‘you deserve it’.

No, I did not have a wonderful dream, sustain a head injury or consume too many cocktails at book club.  (That was all the week before! 😉

Last weekend, I lived this experience.  I spent four days in Santa Barbara, attending the Life Launch program I told you about.  This program gave to me what I hope to give to others; a sense that you’re not alone, that people are in your corner, that anything is possible.  It focused on the good in each person and supported each person’s life journey.  I was reminded this weekend that everyone is slightly off-balance; that we all have fears and obstacles, but with the right support, we can do great things.  This weekend was a prelude to a coaching certification I hope to obtain, when the time in my life is right. 

That time for that certification maybe now, if I can figure out how to juggle work, family and an intense 8 months program that requires 10-12 hours per week.  Stop laughing!  Or at least bring it down to a giggle.  I know, ‘where I am going to find the time’?  If I do this, will I miss more soccer practices, ballet or my own yoga classes?  Will my husband forget that I even knew how to cook dinner? (Hmm… this might be a benefit).  Will I completely disappear from this blog  – I have already been delinquent as of late.  Will people think I am selfish for adding something else that is about me?  Will the mold in my showers run rampant?  Will I start to wear dirty clothes and stop washing my hair?  Okay, I already don’t wash my hair that often… Life would certainly get messier.    But maybe a messier life is a fuller life.  Maybe, messy is good.  You can’t argue with the fact that an empty room may be clean, but is empty, whereas a messy room is full of living; mementos of life’s adventures.  (Do you think my husband will buy any of this?)

These are all questions I have to answer, but my gut is telling me to give it a shot.  I have a little more research to do and I’ll keep you posted.  But I’ll make you a promise, I may have less time to blog, but I’ll try to post the messy pictures! 😉

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Intuition

July 29, 2011 6 comments

I just read a series of articles in the most recent Oprah magazine about intuition.  As a mother, I have always believed in intuition, but I also feel I am more intuitive than some.  I have been trying to listen to my intuition more lately. 

My intuition is a big driver in exploring new careers.  As I stop and listen to that little voice, she has become louder and more definitive in where she’s trying to lead me.  My intuition has had to overcome the bully that is my intellect.  My intuition has been quietly whispering to me that a more purposeful and passionate career is out there, but that bully, my intellect, kept stepping in and drowning out my intuition. 

Intellect told me how fortunate I am, I have a great career, a loving family and wonderful friends, how dare I want more.  Intellect told me that those crazy ideas coming from my intuition were risky and half-baked.  But my intuition is like the little engine that could, it quietly persisted, and it built up steam.  I would sit in a meeting or work on a project and my intuition would suggest how what I was doing could be leveraged in a new role.  Intuition is sweet, she validates the choices I have made thus far and has shown me how they could be a path to my next stop.  The more I listened, the easier it was to see new possibilities.

For my intuition to work well for me, I have had to give her respect.  I have had to publicly stand by my intuition with conviction in order to get others to listen to my intuition.  You might ask yourself, who else needs to listen to my intuition – uh, my husband!  He’s in operations, he believes in data, research and is a dedicated follower of intellect.  Imagine his reaction when I went to him several months ago and said, “something tells me that I am meant to do something different”.  He and his intellect, joined forces with my intellect and really challenged my intuition.  But overtime, I have shared the points my wise intuition have made and even my intellect-driven husband is now supporting me exploring other options.  (He did make some “irrational” demands like, not giving up my current income and researching my ideas before jumping with both feet).  But we’re all a work in process. 😉

The more I listen to my intuition, the happier I find myself.  My intuition is my best ally and she helps me with career ideas plus so much more.  As a mom, I have always listened to parenting suggestions from my intuition, but now I listen to my intuition around choices with friends and family as well.  So far intuition has not steered me wrong (as long as you don’t count 80’s wardrobe choices!).

As proof of this, here are some of my intuitive moments from today:

  • My house is quiet, but my kids are home, I sense trouble
  • I heard the toilet flush more than once, I sense trouble
  • My daughter is holding my son’s Lego, I sense trouble
  • My son has asked for glue, but told me not to worry, I sense trouble
  • I sense a cocktail in my future

See!  This intuition girl knows her stuff!  You know what else, my intuition told me?  That I have some amazing opportunities on the horizon.  She also told me I am very fortunate to have a network of friends to support me in this journey!  Why wouldn’t I listen to someone who tells me what I am hoping to hear?!

Are you an intellect or an intuition person?  Maybe a combination of both?

The Summer Sabbatical

July 20, 2011 18 comments

My summer sabbatical was not planned.  I never thought my last post would have been June 1st.  In fact, my one year blogging anniversary came and went without any fanfare and trust me I am a fan of fanfare.

So why the unplanned sabbatical from my blog?  Hmm… not sure.  All I can tell you is that in the beginning I was busy living.  The last weeks of school are hectic, than summer swept me up in all it’s sparkle, sunscreen and sangrias (actually, it has been mostly rum, but I love to abuse alliteration).  Both of my kids have summer birthdays, so there are parties, presents and pinatas (actually, there were no pinatas, but again with the alliteration).  I have been enjoying the little moments, the everyday joys of summer.  Before I knew it, I looked up and I hadn’t written in over a month.

Then it became daunting.

I felt like I would need a spectacular re-entry and was at a loss.  I would get pings from my dear bloggy friends and readers and I would hide.  (I actually tried to respond to some tweets and am having Twitter issues).  Every time I read the brilliant writing of those I follow, I would feel like I was in a deeper hole.  Whether you’re a writer or not, I bet you have been there; procrastinating a paper in college, putting off a work deadline or avoiding thank you notes (of which I need to do for both my kids).  The longer you put it off, the bigger the task becomes.  

A friend asked me this week, if you’re not writing, where are you putting that time?  Well, that’s a post in itself, besides enjoying small summer moments , I have been more serious about window shopping for my passion and purpose.  I have been more focused on exploring new career options and have taken a big step.  I am enrolling in the September session of the Life Launch Program through the Hudson Institute in lovely Santa Barbara, CA.  I have some hunches on what I want to do next and I hope the program will help evaluate those hunches.

I told a friend that I didn’t think I would blog about the program and my thoughts behind it.  I felt that this blog was about Paige, the crazy, cocktail-drinking mom striving for balance through humor.  But looking for passion and purpose, trying to balance our personal identities with our parent personas, actual feels like a perfect fit.  I am convinced everybody has that moment (or several moments!) where they say ‘how did I get here’ and ‘do I want to be here’?  Let me be clear – I want to be here, in my home with my children and husband, but there are other parts of life that can be tinkered with.  I think about my friends who gave up high-powered careers to raise their families or those who work 80 hours per week, we all have those days where we ask ourselves if we should have chosen differently or wonder if it’s time to chart a new course. 

Therefore, it is my plan to continue to share with you my journey, my experiences and my thoughts, because we are all multi-faceted, unique and amazing people who fit in more than one bucket, whether that’s parents, working professionals or cocktail-loving crazies.  I hope you’ll share with me your questions about your chosen path, your future journeys and dreams yet to be fulfilled.  Crazy loves company.  Yes, I will still share parenting stories, but my seven-year old son is in the all farting, all the time stage, so I plan to spare you. 

Do you feel like you’re fulfilling your life’s purpose?  Are you passionate about how your spend your days?  Do you have another goal on the horizon?  Do you live a double or triple life to fulfill multiple passions?  Do you put lime in your rum?  How do you get a little boy to stop with the incessant potty talk?!

I am still on sabbatical, but there is sure a lot to discuss and now that I am here, it’s good to be back.

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!