Monday, January 19, 2015

My Thoughts on Equality

This is such a hard post to write, because people these days are so prone to be offended.  But here's what I say to that:  I have no agenda to offend.  I only want to bring people together as Human Beings.

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US.  For those who don't know, this day marks the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Dr. King was instrumental in the non-violent activism of the civil rights movement for the US.  On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated by James Earl Ray (as records stand now).

He was a true leader -- one I wish we had here today.  His message of equality by peace is something we still need today.  If he were here, I know that he would work to curtail the riots and the hate that is being displayed now.

Look.  Here's one thing this blogger can say, without a doubt.  I think white people and black people and every other color people in these United States have the same opportunity.  The fact is, we want everyone in the US to succeed.  Because quite frankly, if you succeed, I will succeed somewhere down the line.  That's the way it's supposed to work.

I don't give a crap what color your skin is.  I want you to succeed as an American -- as a Human Being.  If you succeed, I succeed.  That's just the way it works.

However, if  you are someone that is not able to be successful because of racism or discrimination or whatever, then that's a problem for me.  Because it's holding back Human Kind, which is holding me back.

On the other hand, if you're one of these people who thrives at being held back so you can lament about it, and protest about it, and collect government assistance because of it, I have no time for you. And if you participate in stupid protests that hold up business productivity, you are even more on my shit list.  And I feel safe to say that you would be a huge disappointment to Dr. King.

Get it together, people.  We are ALL on this Earth together.  There's no getting around that.  We need to figure out how to make it work (it's really not that hard, folks) and stop this unnecessary misery.

I love you all.  Please give your fellow Human a hug, no matter their color, and tell them you love them.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

My Weekly Review: Jan 12 - Jan 18, 2015

Hi there!  I hope you had a good week.  I'm still having trouble coming to grips with the holidays being over.  But it's time to move on!

This week was pretty busy.  It started off a bit miserable, as I had a migraine for almost two days. That was not fun.  I haven't had one in a while, so I'm not really sure what brought it on.

I had quarterly reporting to do for work, and that took the whole week and a little bit of the weekend. I really like doing it, so it's not a burden.  But I know next week will be tough catching up with the tasks I had to put aside.

Schools had a two-hour delay for two days due to freezing rain.  Honestly they could have gone in at their regular time on the second day, but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.  I've really been hoping for frozen precipitation, although I prefer that it snows.  Unfortunately it doesn't look like it's going to be cold enough for the next week.  Bummer.

Friday we went to a "regift" party hosted by a friend.  It was so fun!  The idea of a regift party is that you take a gift you received for Christmas that you don't particularly like or won't use.  All the gifts are put in a pile, and everyone draws a number.  As each person's number comes up, they either get to choose a gift from the pile, or they can "steal" a gift that someone before them opened.  I've heard it called by other names:  White Elephant, or Crazy Santa.  Anyway, the party was really a lot of fun!  I got to see friends I haven't seen in a while, and met some new ones.  It was great.

The weekend has been pretty quiet.  I had a little bit of work to do, and have been catching up on laundry.  Tonight there are football games to watch.  The two teams I usually route for:  Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys are done for the season, so I don't know who I'll pull for now.  It doesn't really matter.  I just like to watch it!

That's about it for now.  I hope your week was productive and fun.  Did you get any snow where you are?  How much?  :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

On Dealing with Planner Fatigue

For those who don't know me, I am a paper planner nerd.  I have been ever since my first real job as a receptionist for a printing company.  Our bosses introduced the team to the Day-Timer planners. From the moment I saw it, I was hooked.  Even before the Day-Timer, I used the free pocket calendars from Hallmark to note birthdays and such.  But the Day-Timer was definitely the turning point for me.

I used a paper planner consistently for several years, and then backed off a little bit.  I don't really remember why.  And then I was introduced to the Franklin Covey planner system, and once again, it was love.  The Franklin Covey system was even more in-depth than Day-Timer, because it helped me focus on my goals, and getting those goals broken down into manageable tasks.

I continued with the Franklin Covey system for several years, becoming more and more dependent on it as the years went by.  My system became a well-oiled machine.  Soon I started to wonder about other ways I could use my planner, and so I started reading blogs and looking at photos of planner pages on Flickr.  Yes, I had it bad!

It was then that I was introduced to Filofax.  I had heard the name before, but never dreamed of moving away from my Franklin Covey, so didn't look into it further.  Until I saw the photos.  Oh, the photos.  There were so many!  From there I stumbled upon YouTube videos.  Yes, YouTube videos! People actually filmed themselves flipping through their planners, and sharing how they setup their planners.

It was nirvana!  I had found my Happy Place!  Not only was I able to see how others used their planners, but now I had a community of people who loved their planners as much as I did!  Woohoo!

It wasn't long before I started taking photos of my own planner, and I even created my own YouTube channel and started recording videos of my own!

Fast forward to the end of 2014.  I was in a new, more demanding, position at work, the daughters' school and activity schedules were busier, and life in general was just more hectic.  You would think that I would have become more dependent on my planner than ever, but for some reason the opposite occurred.

My planner became a burden.  Suddenly it was too much trouble to write things down.  It was too much trouble to flip through pages and tabs to see if we were free for an event or already booked.  It was too much trouble to sit down every Sunday and do my weekly review and planning for the coming week, which had always been something I treasured as "my time."  Suddenly, I no longer wanted to use my planner.  And so in October, I put it away.

I started entering appointments and reminders in Google Calendar.  And my tasks went into Remember the Milk.  Everything was electronic, and so EASY!  I could access everything on my phone (iPhone 6 Plus = I can see!) or my laptop.  I shared my calendar with my husband so he could see on his own what was on our schedule, rather than having to ask me.  My tasks were set up to recur automatically.  I didn't have to rewrite anything, and just had to click a box to complete a task. It was awesome!

Still, there's a sadness in my heart -- a feeling of being unsettled.  I miss the paper, and the pens. And I miss my lovely Ochre Malden, with the soft, squishy leather.  I've tried several times over the past month or so to go back to a paper planner, but just a few minutes into it I'm turned off by having to write everything down.  I just don't have time for that.  And the desire is not there, either.

For those who are not in the paper planner world, I'm sure you think I'm a nutcase.

But those who do use a planner know where I'm coming from.  I'd love to get some feedback from you. What do I do?  How can I find a happy balance between using my paper planner, and having the ease of the electronic world at my fingertips?

Thanks a lot for stopping by.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Funny: Police DashCam Confessional (Shake it Off)

Happy Friday, ya'll!

There's so much funny stuff out there in cyberspace!  Each Friday I'll share my favorite with you.

This week's favorite is a video I came across on Facebook.  This guy knows how to make his own fun!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Throwback Thursday: After-Holiday Blues

Warm 'n Fuzzy

I've never jumped on the "Throwback Thursday" bandwagon before, but I thought it would be fun to partake in a bit of reminiscing here.  Since the first posts in this blog have long since grown stagnate, I thought it would be fun to look back and bring some of them back to life, as long as they are relevant to today.

Right away I found one from early January 2013 titled "After-Holiday Blues," and it certainly rings true for me a year later.  In fact, I think I get the after-holiday blues at this time every year.

The Fall, and the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas, are my absolute favorite times of year.  I'll even throw Halloween into the favorites mix, not because I love Halloween (I guess I'm indifferent), but because Halloween's passing means that Thanksgiving is not far behind.  I love the cold(er) weather, the baking, the fellowship with family and friends, and the gift giving.  And the eating.  (My family is not an Army, but we can prepare food for one!)  I love the way strangers seem more friendly, and the Christmas music playing in the stores.  I love the football on TV, and reminiscing with family about past traditions.  I just seriously love it all.

And when it's all over, I get sad.

It always passes quickly, but for a few fleeting moments after all signs of the holidays are gone, I think, "Well, what do I have to look forward to now?"  That's silly, I know.  Of course, I have lots to look forward to.  But hopefully you know what I mean.

So, yes, I'm going through that period now.  Winter has settled in as rainy and dreary and cold (but not quote cold enough for wintry precipitation -- sad face).  But I know the sun will come out tomorrow.  (Bet your bottom dollar... sorry, had to go there.)

If you've got a spare minute or two, hop on over to my blog post last year.

Do you get the blues after the holidays?  Or do you still have your Christmas tree up in defiance?  :)

I haven't thanked you lately.  Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Revised Bucket List


I revised my bucket list today.  I've had the list for many years, and things have been added or dropped off as my interests have changed.  For the most part, though, what is on the list today has been there since almost the beginning.

Here's my list as it stands today:

  1. Reach my goal weight of 165 lbs.
  2. Run a marathon.
  3. Publish a novel.
  4. Pay off all debt.
  5. Learn Italian.
  6. Visit Italy.
  7. Get paid for my singing. // Done!
  8. Journal as a daily habit.
  9. Build an interesting blog.
  10. Live at the beach.
  11. Become famous in a good way.
  12. Learn to snow ski.
  13. Swim with dolphins.
  14. Cruise to Alaska.
  15. Vacation in New York city.
  16. Learn to paint with watercolors.
  17. Regularly practice meditation.
  18. Visit the hot springs in Greenland.
  19. See the Northern Lights.
  20. Visit New England in the Fall.
  21. Read all of the classic novels.

You can see the most up to date list on my Bucket List page.  As I complete the items on the list, I'll write about it, and you'll be able to see the links to those posts there.

The funny thing about my bucket list is I've always kept it tucked away out of sight.  And what happens when things are out of sight?  They're out of mind!  A few of the things on the list have made it to my goals for the year, and that's what I'll continue to do to make sure I actually get them done!

Do you have a bucket list?  How many things on the list have you completed so far?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On Keeping Up The Pace


This is my thirteenth blog post in a row.  That's pretty good for me, but I am tired.  How do people do it?  It doesn't help that I've had a headache for four days and a migraine for two and a half of them. At this moment it hurts to think, so I'm going to take it easy and just ramble a little bit.

I've thought about writing a few blog posts in advance to have on hand for days like this, or when I have to work late, or whatever.  But part of the reason for me blogging every day is to practice the craft of writing, and doing it every day to develop the habit.  If I write advance posts and give myself permission to skip a day, well that's defeating the purpose.  So I'm going to trudge forward with blogging every day.  Just know that some of them will be boring.  Like this one.

On a happy note, we have freezing rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning.  Just a little bit, and knowing the way our weather rolls, it will probably fizzle out and do nothing, but at least it's in the forecast.  I'm ready for wintry weather.  I'd prefer it be in the form of fluffy snow instead of ice, but I'll take what I can get.  Incidentally, we had thunder ten days ago.  You know the old wives tale: If there's thunder in the winter, that means snow will follow in ten days.  Well, we're not going to have snow tomorrow, but it's trying!

For those of you who don't know, I'm a winter weather fanatic.  I love snow so much!  Mostly because we hardly ever get it in my neck of the woods.  I'm sure if I lived in Buffalo or Minnesota I'd be sick of it,  So if we do happen to have any of the frozen precipitation grace us with its presence, you can expect for me to write about it here!

I know this is short and sweet, but I'm going to end today's post here.  I hope you are well and warm wherever you are!