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Showing posts from January, 2014

Our Children are Broken, We are Broken

I am at a loss. It seems children being violent with other children is on the rise. My news feed last week was filled with awful stories: an 18-year-old college student was arrested for possession of bomb materials, a 19-year-old shot and killed a student at South Carolina State University, a 19-year-old was sentenced to life with possibility for parole for shooting into a vehicle with his former love interest and her boyfriend, a 23-year-old Purdue student shot and stabbed to death a 21-year-old fellow student, three teenage boys confessed to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who later killed herself after photos of the incident were shared.

I'm left questioning where have we gone so wrong?

Have we neglected to teach our children how to deal with frustration and anger? Or maybe we forgot to teach them kindness? Or respect? Or how to disagree peacefully? Or how to talk things through? Or how to walk away?

Have schools become a place of strict procedures, but low guidance?

I don&#…

Flecks #14

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

Sometimes I feel like I know what I want to do and I'm doing it. Other days I feel like I have no idea what my vision is or if what I do makes sense to me or anyone else. Lately, I'm realizing that the unclear times are getting shorter and swing back around to clear days.
I've heard that you aren't supposed to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach because you'll buy more than you intended (and need). I think that's true because this week I went to the grocery store on a full stomach and it was probably my smallest and cheapest grocery run ever. I bought just a few things to work into meals for the week and I didn't buy any junk food.
I feel like a good mom when: 1) I put total attention into playing with my toddler (no cell phone, no distractions); 2) I bake cookies; and 3) I prepare a good crockpot dinner.

Things I'm celebrating this week:

I am …

Interview: Ginny Lennox

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Hearing other people’s stories is a great way to see things from a different perspective and perhaps find something new to apply to our own lives.

Ginny and I recently became acquainted and I am thrilled about that! She has a kind and encouraging spirit which is evident not only in her voice but in her art. Enjoy this wonderstruck interview with certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach Ginny Lennox.

What have you been wonderstruck by recently?

I am always wonderstruck by people. I love getting to know them, learning about their lives, and their hopes and dreams. As I get to know and work with people all over the world, I am wonderstruck by how alike we all are.

What part of your day are you grateful for?

I am grateful for every part of my day. Each hour brings something that I can enjoy and celebrate. Several years ago I began to really think about what I am most grateful for each week and began to share my thoughts on Friday with my readers. As I began to publicly share the things I am grat…

Tipping the Balance Back to the Physical

My poor body. It is quite upset with me I think.

I've spent much of the past month in front of my computer editing a criminal law textbook. (Yep, you read that right.) 1,100-some pages on my computer screen.

You know that feeling you get when you stare at a screen too long and your eyes and your head start to feel weird and fuzzy? I'm much too familiar with that feeling right now.

This whole project reminded me about my desires in life. My day job consisted of working at a computer all day every day for 10 years. When I left work to stay at home with my son, I was determined to never return to that kind of life.

I love computers. I've been using them since I was young thanks to my dad who taught me way back on an Atari. Computers are valuable tools.

But that's all I want them to be. I want my computer to be a tool. Something I use in small doses to write, research, and connect. I don't want to be tied to my computer for hours each day.

It's not just my eyes that suff…

Flecks #13

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As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

My clothes really like to get caught on things. It's been happening for months and I'm really aware of it now. Yesterday my coat button got stuck on the grocery store cart three different times while I tried to load groceries in my car. Drawstrings on pants are also notorious for looping onto my son's dresser drawers, then pulling them open as I step away. I'm not sure what the lesson here is- stand further away?
Ask. Because the worst that can happen is someone can say no and even then, you're no worse off then you were before. Even better, they might say yes! (I received 2 yes answers out of 3 people asked. The third has not responded yet. Can't wait to share these wins with you!)

Things I'm celebrating this week:

Noticing my surroundings, like a beautiful chandelier in the Music Box Theatre in New York City (pictured above).
Another of my articles went …

What Happens When You Tell a Designer to Give You a Light But Dark Website

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Hello there. Remember all those hints I've dropped since... I don't know... November? Hints about stuff happening behind the scenes?

Welcome to part one of the rollout: a new look. (By the way, if you're reading this in your email or a reader, you should click through to see.)

It isn't just any new look, though. For the first time in all my blogging years, I actually hired a graphic designer.

I didn't piece this together on my (extremely limited) design skills. I brought in a real honest-to-God web designer: the lovely, amazing, talented Laird Sapir.

(HOORAY, LAIRD! *confetti and sparkles and cheers galore*)

Laird had quite the challenge. I wanted lots of white with pops of color, something light and happy, but also dark and mysterious. Something whimsical, but serious. Playful, but polished. I shared pictures of trees and birds and butterflies and stars and hand-drawn art and macabre photographs.

I gave her so many contrasting descriptions that she likely considered the…

Flecks #12

As in flecks of reflection from the week: what I'm learning and celebrating.
Things I learned this week:

If you open your weather app on your phone in the morning and it says "3," you should not sit there waiting for the page to finish loading. Apparently 3 is as many degrees as you get.
On days that start out at 3 degrees and forecast a high of 10, you should not let your ducks escape while feeding them.*
Running around in 10 degree weather for 20 minutes trying to round up ducks by yourself is futile. That's just you chasing ducks. Call for assistance and work as a pair to herd them back to their home.**

*It's possible that this lesson may not apply to everyone as most people probably do not have pet ducks.
**Ditto.
Things I'm celebrating this week:

The response to my word of the year. (If you don't know that word is "Badass," you might want to go see what you missed.) Ginny Lennox offered some beautiful words on my Facebook page finishing with "…

Word of the Year for 2014: Badass

Did I get your attention? Got mine, too.

For the past five years (five? wow!) I have chosen word of the year to focus on and learn about- something that will help me grow. It's an idea I first learned about from Christine Kane.

Let's start with what I learned from this year's word: Listen.

I chose this word because I was becoming increasingly aware of (and annoyed by) my poor listening skills. I often was unable to immediately recollect what I had just heard- frustrating to me and my husband, I'm sure.

What I noticed throughout the year is that I need to put myself in a place of presence. I need to be here and be ready to listen. If I'm doing something it benefits me and the other person to say, "Hold on one minute while I finish XYZ, then I'll be able to listen."

Then I finish whatever I was doing (or at least get to a natural pause point). I turn to face the person and say, "Ok." And I pay attention.

Because it's the attention part that need…

Returning from December

My, oh my! Welcome back to the post-holiday real world.

I don't think I've stopped running for two weeks straight and I don't know that I will for the next few weeks either. Things are crazy! But good crazy, you know?

As you probably saw, I joined Jamie Ridler and Shannon Ridler for the Kickin' It Old Skool Blogathon for the month of December- one prompt per day to bring the fun back to blogging.

And you know what? I almost made it. I wrote a response to each prompt, from Day 1 through Day 23. Then… well, Christmas happened. And visitors. And even some work.

I'm really proud of myself, though, for those 23 posts. That has to be a new monthly record for me and it felt really good to write every day, even if it was only a few sentences.

Even better, I "met" a bunch of new bloggers. Well, not necessarily new bloggers, but new to me. I learned about them and I even learned a little bit about myself. It was a lot of fun.

Now December is well over and January is unde…