Archive for the ‘blogging’ Tag

Listy Post

So I’m averaging once every other week instead of weekly posts since I set my goal. Bleh. I despise not living up to the standard I set for myself. It seriously irritates me.

But instead of dwelling on what I haven’t achieved, I’m choosing to reframe it as a step in the right direction: at least I’m posting semi-regularly. Yay for positivity!

To keep the momentum going, here’s a short list of the recent positives in my life:

  • I survived my conference and on-the-spot feedback was unanimously positive. I’m now working on putting everything into practice, both personally and within my team. That’s always the challenge: turn the mountain-top experience into daily practice. So far (a week out), so good. 
  • One motivational exercise we did during the conference was to identify a list of people we personally admire and the qualities they typify that we admire and wish to emulate. This list of qualities defines our personal standards of integrity. I have posted my list in my office as a daily reminder to live up to my personal standards. These are my personal standards of integrity and I will strive, today and every day, to be: authentic, honest, faithful, intelligent, a leader, kind, loving, selfless, generous, hospitable, compassionate, determined, hard-working, brave, courageous, teachable, resilient, friendly, open, and welcoming. 
  • It was a beautiful long holiday weekend here. I spent some quality time with my immediate family, rested a lot, and watched some odd movies. It was a nice break from a very stressful stretch of work. 
  • Had The oddly satisfying experience of having my windshield replaced by a mobile service in the parking lot of my work. I’m always fascinated by machines and technology. It was cool to see the lift the tech used to place the new windshield in the right spot. And, yes, I’m aware of how geeky that statement is. It’s just cool to see the right tools used in the right way to get a job done efficiently and well. 

So what are some positive things in your recent life?  I hope you’re able to focus on those and let the irritants pass you by. 

Tulips

Ugh…totally failing on the post-a-week goal. But on the bright side, Spring has arrived and my SIL’s tulips have bloomed. So have my pear trees, creating a lovely fragrance in my front yard, along with a huge ‘snow’ of blossom petals. Here’s a collage from Easter, when they were at their peak. 

I hope you’re having a lovely Spring!

Just Under the Wire

Whew…just made it. My goal was to post something at least once a week for the rest of the year. This third post since setting that goal just barely makes it. 

I’ve nothing profound to say. It’s Saturday, but feels like Sunday. Got that little edge of tension that comes with thinking tomorrow is Monday and all the stress that will bring. Trying to ignore it and relax. 

Here are a few good things to help me with that and hopefully inspire you to find the little bright spots in your corner of the world:

  1. Yesterday was the first day of sunshine we’ve had in more than two weeks. I enjoyed it by sitting under one of the pear trees in my front yard before sunset. Birdsong, sunshine, warm and breezy…a few perfect minutes at the end of the day. 
  2. Speaking of…my pear trees are about to bloom. That is one of my most favorite events of the year. Nothing smells nicer than pear blossoms in cool, Spring morning air. 
  3. I went to a movie at a new theater a couple weeks ago. They have a Star Wars theme in their lobby. I sat in the Emporer’s chair! Silly little things make me happy. Check out the pics below. 

I’m baaaaaack!

So…hi. It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Life has a way of running inexorably on and suddenly it’s been 3 months and only feels like a couple weeks. Sheesh. 

Anyway, I’ve been trying to write and failing epically. I’m my own worst critic, true, but I think the issue is more basic:  I feel that I have to have something deep and meaningful, or worldly wise, or Earth-shakingly original to post in order to be worthy of publishing here. I’m completely baffled how that idea got into my head, but it’s been a barrier for a while. 

Yet, this is my blog and I started it for me. I made this a place for my own thoughts and expressing them in my own voice. I’m honored that my writing has attracted readers. But that was never the primary purpose. I need to get back to that original goal. 

So I’m giving myself permission to just post anything I feel like sharing. It may be a rant on something irritating, a list of positive things, something that makes me think, or smile, or just some random oddity that I find interesting. I’ve seen a few of my favorite bloggers do this periodically and it seems to work for them. So I’m giving it a go. 

I hope you enjoy the nearly uncensored view into my brain that this is likely to turn into. I also hope that I can keep up a somewhat regular posting pace. Because I like this blogging thing and the feeling of connecting that I get from sharing something from my brain to the internets. šŸ˜œ
So, for today, three good things:

  1. I’m posting to my blog, which WordPress tells me just turned 4 years old. My ambition is to post at least one thing a week for the rest of the year. 
  2. Spring is here in the Midwest US. Green things are starting to grow. My SIL’s tulips have already pushed 3 inches of leaves out of the soil. So happy to see life return. I’m including a picture of the sunrise from the first day of Spring that I took on my drive to work. It was a good way to start the day. 
  3. I went to see Beauty and the Beast with a friend last Friday night and absolutely LOVED it! Say what you will, but a good ol’ Disney story always leaves me smiling. I still find myself singing “Be Our Guest” in my head. That was pure escapist fun and I’m glad I went. 

I hope you all find more than a few good things to smile about today. 

Troubling Thought

Here’s the first of my #NaNoWriMo posts…

Last month, I attended a CLE seminar on diversity in the legal profession. During a panel discussion with five representatives of various marginalized demographics, a question asked the panelists to tell of a time when they experienced trouble in their job because of their minority’s identity. Several of the women of color described being assumed to be secretaries, prostitutes, or mothers of their clients by judges and court personnel. The discussion turned to their coping strategies and what things they did to avoid those assumptions. All of the women on the panel, including the gay white woman, talked about making great efforts to present a professional appearance, especially having a good hairstyle and always wearing a suit jacket to court and meetings. These were acknowledged by the panel as the most direct measures to avoid negative assumptions by people who “naturally” rely on prevailing stereotypes about women’s roles. 
Then a self-acknowledged straight white man who spent 20+ years in the US armed forces, commented that his experience in uniform taught him that “dressing the part” was often the best way to achieve a goal and earn the respect of those involved. 

I was stunned by the level of agreement this remark drew from the audience. 

Perhaps I look at the thing with undue prejudice, given that presentation, gender identity, authenticity, and validation are all closely, inextricably linked in my head. But even so, I cannot help but think that telling people who are marginalized in large part by their appearance that the only way for them to succeed or advance is to assimilate the appearance of those who marginalize them, is dangerous and damaging. 

“Fake it ’til you make it “, “dress the part”, “grin and bear it”, “pay your dues”, and lots of other pithy, glib, over-simplified adages all tell the same story: you’re not (yet) enough and you’ll only ever be enough if you become (or appear to be) something else. 

In a room full of lawyers voluntarily learning about the vital role diversity plays in making our profession, our justice system, our society, and our world better for us and future generations, I judge that man’s comment, and the sentiment and connotations it carries, to be wholly unworthy, erasing whole swaths of identities, and undoing any positive messages that the seminar did impart to the non-marginalized attendees. 

But what other advice could he have given that would be more helpful? 

If looking mainstream provides the relief necessary to get you to a position that allows a more authentic presentation, how is that a bad thing? Conforming for safety, personal and professional security, or as a step among a progression…isn’t this the definition of maturity, of growth? Is it possible to balance authenticity and conformity?

Lots of questions and few answers. 

What do you think?

Back to BloggingĀ 

So…hello again. It’s been a really long time since I posted. Sorry about that. Life, you know. Been slowly going insane with work and life and all the horribleness going on in the world. With one thing and another, I haven’t had the heart to blog.  

But I miss it a lot. And NaNoWriMo is upon us. A friend on Twitter encouraged me, Obi Wan-style, to start again, perhaps commit to a set number of posts. It’s a good idea. I know I haven’t the energy to post every day. But I can do at least one per week. And if I muster the energy to do more than that, then bonus. 

So, I’m committing to post at least once a week in November. No clue what I’ll write about. I have some half-started posts, so maybe it won’t be that hard. It probably will be, though. Either way, I’ll at least be back to writing a little. Watch this space. The first one comes tomorrow. 

If you’re doing #NaNoWriMo, best of luck. If you’re reading this blog still, despite my laxness, thanks & wish me luck!

Birthday Free TimeĀ 

I turned 47 today and, as a is my habit, I took the day off from work. Actually, I took yesterday and today. The 4-day weekend has been awesome. Lots of rest and very little thinking about my work. That’s been great. 

Today has been really low-key. Slow start to the day, talked with my Lulu before she went to sleep, watched some home improvement tv, and then ran a few errands. I wore a bright bow tie, which always makes me feel good.  Although the skies were blue and the sun a cheery brightness, it is really cold and windy outside. So, now I’m hanging out in the coffee shop inside Barnes & Noble, looking at wire jewelry books and drinking a grapefruit soda with my warm blueberry scone. 

A relaxing end to a great day off. 
  

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 SaturdayĀ 

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: Two for OneĀ 

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. 

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