Tag Archives: Relationships

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

Katie Holmes, Thank You

Katie Holmes, you deserve a round of applause for taking a stand and doing what you felt was right for the best interest of your daughter!  We’ve all watched on from the outside as photos and rumors have swept around for years about the good, the bad and the recently ugly side of the Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise relationship.  This divorce has most definitely brought Scientology to the forefront of the news, but that’s not what I want to focus on.

Instead of pointing out all of the traditions and beliefs that many whom are not Scientologists are now questioning, I would like to hone in on Katie’s decision.  As someone who made the decision several years ago to admit that my marriage needed to end, I am proud that despite everything Katie knew would come forward she stood strong and strategically move forward with her plan.  She did what she felt to be important to protect her daughter and herself in the miserable process that is known as a divorce.

When I see photos of Katie and Suri out enjoying all that NYC has to offer it reminds me of my mom and I when we first relocated to New York after my parents divorced.  They both look relaxed, happy and genuinely enjoying some mother / daughter bonding time without any concern for the paparazzi storm that is swirling around them.  I know on the other side of this is a parent who’s world is crumbling apart, but it is hard for me to not recognize how empowered Katie looks when you see her smiling and living her life proudly with her daughter by her side.

As all kinds of crazy items about Tom’s religious beliefs have been brought to lift, I’m still amazed that their entire divorce process took only eleven days!  I’m sure with a child involved there were terms and visitation conditions that they went back and forth about, but I’m proud of Katie for doing what she felt she needed to do for the best future for her daughter (in her eyes at least).  It just proves that we each have a strong gal waiting to break out and stand up for what we feel is right no matter what might come from it.

While I’m sure there is no reason that Katie Holmes would be reading this, or even cares my opinion during the very big life change she is undergoing, I still felt it was important to put it out there in the universe that she’s reminded me that standing up for what I feel is best is still the right thing to do.  Thank you Katie!  Thank you for being a strong, now single, mother and reminding me that we all have the same potential inside of us.  Continue to be a shining example to us all and keep on smiling with that adorable young lady of yours.  Your future ahead is as bright as Suri’s smile!

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Filed under Culture, Dating

It’s A Photo Finish!

The photos are in just in time for us to prepare for the next challenge.  Crossing the finish line at our first half marathon was an amazing experience, but now we’ve got a new challenge ahead of us.  For my birthday my amazing boyfriend surprised me with entries for us to run in the Expedition Everest Challenge in May and the Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September.  It looks as if 2012 might possibly be the start of new running traditions for us.

Since I had problems with my knee during the half marathon, and we think it may have been due to over training, I am preparing for the upcoming Challenge in May by only running a 5K three times a week.  I’m really looking forward to this event since it combines a 5K with a scavenger hunt inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom after the close of the park.  The Tower of Terror 10 Miler in September should be exciting as well…as long as no one makes me ride the Tower of Terror as part of it.  Let’s just say that ride and myself have decided it would be best if we agree to disagree.

I digress.  Back to the fun!  I’m excited that the photos and videos finally arrived.  Although my mom did a great job of capturing the action that she could, the person who decided to jump for joy in front of her kind of added to a reduced number of usable photos in the end.  It was exciting to also get videos of us coming down the castle ramp and across the finish line.  I hope you all enjoy getting to be a part of the journey!

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Has Anyone Seen My Timeline?

It’s no secret that going through a divorce screws up any preplanned timeline you may have had for yourself.  If you are a list person, much like I am, then you know what I’m talking about.  My list might be digital now but it’s still a list nonetheless.  It’s got the usual yearly goals one might hope to attain: get a raise, go on a vacation, save “X” amount of money for savings, etc.

Now most of those things are still doable even despite a divorce.  Well, except for maybe the one about saving spare cash if you are the one paying for the divorce as there might not be anything to spare until everything is said and done.  If you’re a gal there is a good chance that you have a dream age you hope to get married by, buy your first home by, and possibly even have children by.  I was never the type who dreamt about her wedding from a young age and knew exactly what she wanted, but with my last birthday of my 20s quickly approaching (as my lovely boyfriend pointed out over the weekend) I’ve become a little nuts about my timeline being a hot mess.

By no means do I want to rush into anything just for the sake of staying on some silly timeline I made for myself.  I am at least rational enough to know that isn’t the way to go about things.  However, I am still a gal and we all know that moments of weakness do on occasion compel us to be slightly irrational.  Last week I threatened to cancel my social networking account after yet another friend from high school announced her upcoming bundle of joy.  I am very happy for her and her husband…really!  I think they both will be fabulous parents and that is going to be one lucky baby.

Then this week yet another friend announced his proposal to his longtime girlfriend.  Another friend to be happy for…of course!  Under the post about his engagement was page after page of status updates from my younger friends about their upcoming wedding or something adorable their little angel just did.  Although the sane side of me is very happy that all of my friends seem to be in such a wonderful place in their lives, the less rational side of me slightly feels like I failed myself by not making the right decision the first time around.

Had I listened to my mother (I know she is saying “I told you so” while reading this), had I even listened to my current boyfriend as he told me he knew I was making the wrong choice, or had I let myself acknowledge any of the 5 million other red flags then maybe I wouldn’t have failed my own mental timeline.  I know to some of you out there this seems nuts, but there are others out there who know just what I am talking about.  I am lucky to be in a much better place now, with a man who I love and who treats me like gold.  I have my friends back, the support to pursue my dreams and it seems like most things are just falling into place.  Maybe it’s time to find out how to switch off that judgmental voice in my head so I can just enjoy where I am now.

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‘Tis The Season

It is that time of year again guys and gals.  The time to be surrounded by our families and all the craziness that goes along with that is upon us.  It is time to enjoy hot cocoa and the plethora of sweets that surround us everywhere we go.  The tree has been up, the presents are wrapped and I’m still trying to vacuum all the glitter out of my carpet from the bows I chose to use this year.  Nonetheless, it’s a time to sit back and reflect upon the year that is about to be behind us before the next one is off to a running start.

My life has changed drastically in the last two years, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of it for anything in the world.  I changed my job, changed my car, and the company of those that surround me.  For the last few years I lost touch with my friends and regretted each moment I missed out on.  However, 2011 gave me the opportunity to reach back out and apologize for my distance.  I am thankful that I did as it has reminded me how awesome many of my friends truly are.  Those who welcome you back with open arms are the kind of friends you know that will be a part of your life for the long haul.  While sitting around a table enjoying the brisk fresh air, just the other night, I was reminded how wonderful it can be just sitting around and talking about nothing with those who know you best.

I am thankful for this beautiful holiday season, for my friends whom I once again hold near and dear to my heart and for my family who supports me no matter how crazy I might seem some days.  This is my very first holiday season that I’ll be facing with the knowledge of being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  That’s another thing to be thankful for…my diagnosis.  There are many health issues my family is facing amongst us, but the most important part is knowing what we are up against and learning how to handle the holiday season appropriately.  This holiday season I’m thankful for each moment I get to spend with those I love and I urge you to consider what you are thankful for.

Are you thankful for your new bike that Santa brought you, for 8 days of Hanukkah celebrations you’ll have with your family, for your new boyfriend that fate led your way, or even the possibility that your most recent Rituxan therapy might be your last one?  It doesn’t matter what you’re thankful for as long as you take the time to see how lucky you are and enjoy the holiday season.  To those of you who are facing health difficulties or harsh economic times just remember that there is a silver lining in each situation if you will just allow yourself to see the glimmer of hope for even a moment.  I wish everyone a Happy (late) Thanksgiving and hope that there are Happy Holiday’s ahead.

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It’s Called “High Efficiency” For A Reason

Reinventions are good.  Think of how far we have come with some standard items that have been reinvented through the years. Washing our clothes has gone from a rock and a creek to a high efficiency machine that uses the least amount of water, soap and energy thought to be possible with a mechanical reinvention.  Now I can turn on the washing machine, walk away and go finish another task while my clothes are cleaning.  I would say this is a positive check in the reinvention category.

You can be a reinvention of yourself.  You could wake up tomorrow and decide to change the way you do things at work and suddenly make it your purpose to be more efficient with your time.  Maybe you decide you want to reinvent yourself as someone who’s goal is to meet as many people as possible throughout your company.  As long as you commit to your reinvention, it is possible.

Think about yourself: your style of completing tasks, the way you manage those around you, how you interact with people you encounter in your professional life, etc..  Now ask yourself, “Am I ______________(fill in the blank)…completing tasks in the most efficient manner, managing with a purpose, making positive connections to help me in the future?”  If not then decide if you want to reinvent yourself or, more specifically, the way you handle something you do every day.

I have done three things to reinvent myself through the years.  For almost 20 years of my life I was some shade of blonde.  As I grew up I found that because of my friendly demeanor, laid back attitude, and physical appearance people would speak to me differently then they did others.  I began noticing it in my first few years of college.  People seemed to be surprised when I struck up an intellectually deep conversation.  Other times if I questioned something then people would start explaining the subject to me in a manner that used more concise wording and they would speak slower.  After a while I realized that from my outward persona people thought I was a ditz.  I decided it was time for a change and it would be a fun experiment.  Eight years later I am still a red head and have found that even with the same blonde demeanor I get different treatment because of the way people visually perceive me.

The second time I chose to reinvent myself was after my first year in my current position.  I have a tendency to really get emotionally connected to those who report to me.  I take stock in their lives and genuinely care.  I’m not, by any means, saying that is bad.  If it was, I would be in a load of trouble since I still continue the practice to this day.  However, I did learn that there were different ways to tackle the issue so I wouldn’t get emotionally stung by anyone taking advantage of this trait.  I took several steps back, evaluated what was occurring and moved forward with a different outlook.  I changed my way of thinking and stopped allowing myself to be personally offended as often.  It was hard but it has been a wonderful change for my sanity and style of management.  This reinvention has also led me to council the staff differently and make my choices in a slightly different manner, but still in a way that allows them to know that I still take stock in them and care.

It could be time to reinvent any area of your life.  I used this same process when it was time to take a stand and move forward with the dissolution of my marriage.  I realized that in order for me to be happy I needed to be true to myself and stand up for what I have always believed in.  I now proudly take part in the things that I love again and live each day to the fullest as I always envisioned I would.  Since my divorce I have found that I am less afraid to go out on a limb and make big life changes.  Those who are close to me they know that in the past I haven’t handled change well, but reinventing myself, taking back my maiden name and original passion for life has given me a second chance to do things differently.

I think of myself now like a Dyson vacuum cleaner.  I still have the same purpose as when I was originally invented; I just do things now in a more revolutionary way that saves time and energy.  I continue this analogy all the way through my professional life.  When seeking employment I may price myself a bit more than others, as the Dyson definitely does, but the company seeking me will more than get their return on investment.  I may not have 5 turbo charged cyclones like a Dyson, but I guarantee to be a dynamo that gets the job done better than the others I’m up against.  There’s no time like the present, so ask yourself, “Is it time for a reinvention?”

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Dream Trip…Priceless?

How do you not use a coupon when you purchase things?  Last month for my birthday my amazing boyfriend surprised me with my dream trip to Wrigley Field.  I was so overwhelmed with joy that I cried while jumping up and down screaming like a crazy gal.  You would have thought I just won the lottery based upon my response.  He just laughed and, when I finally quit jumping around, hugged me as tight as he could.  Since then we’ve been slowly planning what else we would do while we are in Chicago.  Afternoon game at Wrigley…check!  Tickets to see a musical…check!  Morning tour of Wrigley…check.  Those were no brainers, but I decided to not worry about the rest of the trip until we got a bit closer.  Being a frequent user of Groupon and Livingsocial, I have been checking both apps every day in search of fun things to do.  Then it dawned on, I’m obsessed with being able to save money and I am letting it dictate what we’ll do while we are on vacation.

A few days ago a Groupon for a local fondue joint in Chicago came up and, since I’ve never had that kind of an experience before, I scooped up the coupon.  By the end of that night I had made reservations for two in a booth, since I read reviews saying the tables are very close together, for a dinner that is four months away.  Does that make me crazy?  How could I pass up the chance to experience a 4-course fondue dinner for the first time when we would only pay $25 for $60 worth of ooey gooey fun?  Then came the coupon for 2 to go to a glass blowing class in Chicago.  Um, yes please!  Before I could scoop it up it was sold out and I was broken hearted.  Helllllloooooooo?  Anyone home up there?  Apparently my brain seemed to translate “sold out coupon” to “no chance to experience glass blowing” and I didn’t even look into what the regular price would be.  On one side is a boyfriend telling me we can do anything I want in Chicago if I just tell him what I want.  Yet I seem to not be able to find things for us to do unless I can attach a coupon to it.

I think I need a crash course in making my own dreams come true even if I don’t have a coupon to support it.  After all, I don’t remember Cinderella having a Groupon for one ticket to the ball.  I have worked so hard to get myself out of debt like most other Americans.  My coupon addiction might be contributed to my fear of incurring debt again.  Just when I think I am the only one battling something like this, TLC so appropriately plays a commercial about people who are addicted to cutting coupons for every purchase they make.  I should have been shocked, but when I saw a woman get $350 worth of food at the grocery store for only $43.00 I actually became envious.  Quick!  Grab the scissors before I beat you to them!

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