Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

29 Days: This is it

So I missed posting yesterday, because I did spend the day in my pjs watching shows on my DVR. It was a pretty great way to relax and turn my brain off. A good thing for yesterday. 

Today I’ve been fighting technology difficulties with my 10+ year old MacBook. Struggling to get my old iPhone backed up before resetting and passing it on to a friend. I’m close to success, which is a good thing and makes me happy.

So, this is it, the end of my self-designed 29-day challenge. I set out to blog every day and find at least one good thing about every day. Although I made up for them, I did miss a few days of posts. But I succeeded in finding at least one positive thing worth mentioning for every day in February. 

I’m counting the effort a success overall. The aim all along was to get back to a habit, an instinct to positivity. I felt like all the stress in my life and all the debilitating negativity online and in the world had led me into a pattern of negative thoughts. I was seeing the annoying, the infuriating, the depressing, and the sad first, before anything good. That’s an express train to self-defeat and depression. So I decided to assert my will over my own mind and give myself a challenge. 

If I’ve learned anything from the effort it’s that I can choose how I react to and think about the world. I don’t have to wear rose colored glasses. But I can acknowledge the negatives without allowing them to take over my worldview. I get to determine whether my day is good or bad. Even when others treat me badly, I can choose to stay calm, find a positive lesson, and seek a positive outlet. 

Realistically, not every day will be good and there are times when I’ll let it get to me, or lose my temper. But the meta lesson is that there’s something to learn, something positive even in those misses. That’s a very good thing. 

29 Days: Lazy Saturday 

Well, I didn’t spend the whole day in my pjs. 

Had a slow start, spent some time watching tv, and then dressed & went to the shop for a few minutes before going with my brother and sister in law to our monthly supper club. We have a group of art friends that we get together with once a month. We rotate picking the restaurant.  It’s usually really fun and the food is usually an adventure. 

Tonight was fun. The conversation was interesting and non-controversial. That’s good, especially since there are elections coming up and a few of our number are vocal, nay, rabid when discussing politics. We had a nice meal, good visit and enjoyed each other’s company. A fine Saturday all around–one very good thing. 

29 Days: Long Weekend 

Coming to the end of a long week and the oddly extended month of February. I have the next four days off, YAY! 

Gonna pretend to- or, as I like to think of it, aspire to – do some long-neglected chores. I may go to this cool new theater-in-a-tavern that opened recently and find a movie to watch while I have lunch. I may hang out at the bookstore. I will spend some quality time with my pillow and also with my family, but not at the same time.  I will do a few errands on Monday. 

But more than anything I will devote real energy and concentration on NOT working, NOT checking work email, NOT serving as the emotional pacifier for executives and coworkers who need constant validation that their backsides won’t be pinched off by the monumentally stupid choices they want to make against advice and reason. Ok, maybe I’m not quite as relaxed and positive in this moment as I hope to be by next Wednesday. Hence the 4-day weekend. 
These next four days have loomed large in my imagination for most of the month. Not because of any plan for glittering events or exciting experiences, but because it’s almost 100% me-time. I’m working hard not to feel guilty about that, about both wanting and taking me-time. That’s always a challenge for me, resisting guilt. 

But I think it’s ok to focus on yourself once in awhile. And even if I end up spending four straight days in my pjs doing nothing but watching shows on my DVR, I’ll have spent time with myself and let the job rest for a while. I’ll count that as a win and one very good thing. 

29 Days: Movie Star

So this just happened:  Came back to my office to find HR and a camera crew waiting for me. Before I could panic, the HR rep smiled and said they were shooting clips for an employee engagement video for our upcoming all-employee meeting and they wanted to include me. Scary, yet oddly flattering. 

Everyone set up, hooked me up with a mic and started with some mild silliness. Rapid fire questions and no small amount of giggling by both me and HR’s “secret agent” ensued. I got to talk about my job, yes, but also about movies, my BB8 droid on my desk, and bow ties! Awesome!

I was nervous at first, but everyone was nice, patient, and funny. The whole thing turned out fun. I hope it is still fun after it’s seen by the whole company next month and not a total cringe-fest. Yikes! 😳

29 Days: Matchy-Matchy

Was a decent day. Really busy and, at times, a challenge to my patience. But overall, professionally satisfying. 

One of the best things about today was that I wore a new bow tie that I got for Christmas and have been trying to decide what to wear it with. It’s orange with navy and white polka dots. Cool, but a challenge to coordinate with a fairly conservative dress shirt and sweater/vest wardrobe. 

So I threw caution to the winds and decided to go full quirk. Added the loud bow tie to a white shirt with black checks, black cotton knit vest, faded jeans (natch), and my orange Polo dock-siders, cuz they match. My blue and cream chevron striped socks do not match, because I’m rebellious like that. 

In prose it sounds hideous. Lulu assures me that the look is dapper and I don’t look like a clown. I feel good, so I’m not fussed about the matchy-matchy (or lack there of). What do you think?

   
 

29 Days: Top 5

Today was a very long day. It was full of fast-paced decisions, on-the-spot demands, and unexpected executive pinch-hitting. I acquitted myself well and am satisfied with the outcome. Professional satisfaction is a good thing about today. 

But another good thing about today was an unexpected non-work discussion with a work friend I only get to see in person once a year or so. A few years ago we were joking with each other and, to razz her a bit, I responded to her completely irrational attack on the merits of Fleetwood Mac’s music by vowing Stevie Nicks to be the world’s best singer. My friend reminded me of that silliness today. After disabusing her of the idea that I really meant what I’d said (she’s one of the greats, but not the greatest), we debated our choices for our personal top 5 favorite female singers. All jokes aside, I like where I landed. My choices are all about voice, not looks, writing talent, band, or off-stage personality. Just who’s voice do I like to listen to? Here’s my list:

  1. Madonna 
  2. kd lang
  3. Sarah McLachlan
  4. Stevie Nicks
  5. Patsy Cline

Who’s on your list?

29 Days: Positivity Takes Work

Were I not on a positivity power, fake-it-til-I-make-it, determined self-improvement program, I might post my disappointment in the fact that it has been cold, drizzly, blustery, gray, and very Monday-ish all day today. And were I less committed to my look-on-the-bright-side campaign, I might also post my frustration that my work laptop has been fritzing for days and the promised replacement was not delivered on Friday as planned. 

But I am committed to this positivity sea-change, so I’m not going to dwell on those dismal details. Instead, I’m going to share three really good OTGs for today, knowing the day is only half over and bound to have even more good things in store:

  1. Today is my beloved’s birthday and in her honor I have worn her favorite color: pink. Because I finally felt well enough to bother with it, I selected a pink and grey striped bow tie to wear with a light pink dress shirt and black vest. She said I look dapper and she was happy I wore her color on her day. Style points. Butch points. Win-win!
  2. I had two quick, productive meetings this morning that accomplished their purposes and left me with zero to-dos. Fast and productive and no actions for me!? Trifecta!!
  3. I successfully delegated tasks to my team that were appropriate to be delegated and did not engender resentment for the delegation. This skill is a challenge for me. I am not against delegation, but I find it difficult to add to my team’s burden when I know I am capable of completing the task. Yet, if I don’t let them try new things, how will they develop new skills? Too, I am an expensive resource, comparatively, so I’m not always the best choice (which hurts to admit), even if I am capable. This executive-ing, like adult-ing, is hard sometimes. But it’s a great thing when it works!

It feels good to be able to see the good stuff, even on a cold, gray Monday. I hope your day, too,  is full of good stuff that you can appreciate. 

29 Days: Two for One 

So I’ve fallen into a habit of extreme relaxation on the weekends. Not gonna lie: I am enjoying the sleep and laziness. But it seems to also result in missing posts on Saturday. So here are two OGTs for this weekend, one for yesterday and one for today:

Saturday:  My hair had reached the I-can’t-stand-it-one-more-minute length. Unruly, sticking up in odd places, and making my neck itch…it had to go. But by the time I got to my usual place, it was closed. So I took a flier on the dude place around the corner. Best haircut experience I’ve ever had. Nice stylist. Head & neck massage while being shampooed. Tingly shampoo and nice-smelling pomade. Love the freshly cut feeling. A great haircut is one very good thing in any day. 

Sunday:  I love my DVR. I don’t get to watch tv much during the week. I like being able to record shows I like and watch several in the time it takes to watch one live. Skipping commercials is the jam! I despise the intelligence-insulting, gross-out, sexist and absurd ads that pervade today’s tv. But I can fast forward through them at 6x speed and compress watching a show into about a third of the standard runtime. I love that. TV watching may be a time sink, but I like the ability to turn off the stress from a demanding job and yet feel like I’m still engaged in something. Relaxing on the weekend with a few episodes of a favorite show is one good thing in my book. 

29 Days: Thankful

Friday is winding down and the weekend is about to begin. I’ve had another personally and professionally satisfying day. I have no responsibilities for the next couple of days. Monday is not yet over-booked with meetings. No one is waiting on anything from me. In short…Dobby is a free elf for the next 48+ hours!

And, also, plus…the sun is shining and it’s still warm and I didn’t even have to wear a coat today. 

I’m thankful there are so many reasons to feel content today. And thankfulness is one very good thing. 

29 Days: More Good Things

  1. Today was warm again, with cheerful sunshine and birdsong.
  2. I did a lot of hard, important, smart, deeply substantive, executive level lawyering today. 
  3. Some really smart, high-powered attorneys from some of the most sophisticated, white-shoe national law firms treated me with respect and deference while working together on the things in #2 above. A validating, gratifying experience. 
  4. Further progress toward getting back to 100% after the nasty cold I picked up while traveling. Glad to have my voice and my brain back. 
  5. Leaving the office at a reasonable time and before full dark for the fifth working day in a row. Feels so good!

Many One Good Things for today, for which I am grateful. 

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