Friday, February 27, 2009

Renewal

This photo at left is of a chalkboard outside a spa. But today, it is my mantra.

Every couple of years I go through some kind of self-awareness awakening. I guess we all have an ongoing evolution but we are not always aware until things happen to cause us to re-think and re-route ourselves in a different direction. At times, it's little personality quirks of which we realize we just need to rid ourselves. On other occasions, circumstances force us into looking in the mirror and facing things we don't really want to see.

The last two weeks have been so busy and I have not had a lot of time to do the things I love - photography, blogging, etc. I have been taking photography classes two nights a week and, while I am enjoying the heck out of them, they are cutting into my spare evening time. I have been traveling for work and that always takes my head out of my normal routine.

Last week I was in Washington, D.C. for work. It was a long week - long days, meetings, and what we sometimes call "re-interviewing" for our job. I had a great year. There were honors. There were awards. I received a special honor for which I am so grateful. And an Ipod Touch as a reward for success - it's my favorite new gadget. But I also had to look at myself and accept some tough stuff.

For instance, I sometimes think things are stupid, frustrating, silly, and no matter how hard I try to keep it off my face, it shows. I have been working on that for more than 20 years. I will never be able to play poker.

Although I am really good at what I do and very confident, when I need to show that confidence and tell people how good I am, I hesitate, feeling that I don't want to appear cocky or egotistical. I am not good in interviews, and consequently "re-interviews".

I make assumptions that, because I am successful, that people understand what I do and how I do it. And that other successful people do things the same way I do. When asked to share my "secrets" with others, I really couldn't.

And if I don't get "me" time . . . I am no good to anyone.

So I am in a phase of renewal. I need "me" time and I have to carve that out of even the busiest weeks, no matter what. I have to develop a poker face. I need to figure out how to take my confidence and allow it to shine. I must be proud of my success but be able to share with others specific ways they can take my ideas and use them for their own success.

Renewal is ongoing. It can be hard. Suggestions are appreciated cause I don't have answers to a lot of this. But it is time to face it and work on it.

Again.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Narcissism Plus Social Media Equals Me, Me, Me

I have been on Facebook only a few months but one of the first things someone "tagged" me with was a survey entitled "25 Random Things About Me". Here's how it goes: someone "tags" you, you write 25 random things about yourself and you tag 25 other people who do the same. As you can imagine, this thing moves pretty quickly.

A few weeks ago, I was listening to Good Morning America Radio on XMSirius. They were discussing the spread of "25 Things" and it's relevance to society. Questions and comments flew as people called in. Some said it was narcissistic and others said it was just TMI. Some opined that hopefully people know when to use the edit button. Still others said they liked learning new things about people they thought they knew well. Interestingly enough, the whole time they were discussing this, they asked callers to share one of their own "25 Things". Then the host and the caller would discuss and compare that thing. All in all, there was no call to end the chain, no revelations, and "25 Things" continues in many forms on Facebook and other social media sites.

It all boils down to one thing - we like to talk about ourselves. And we like to read about other people's so-called secrets. As long as we know where the line is drawn, who really cares? If you don't care to read it, you don't have to read it. If you don't want to create your own, you don't need to write it. It's just for fun.

So, just for fun, here is what I wrote for my 25 Random Things About Me, Me, Me.

1. I am going to win the lottery one day. I just know it.
2. I already know how I will spend and distribute the money I will win. Some of you are on the list.
3. I don't know how to blow my nose. Long story but really.
4. In my head, I'm an artsy bohemian. On the outside, I just look like a mom.
5. Also in my head, I'm still only 25 years old.
6.I love to organize. Even if it only makes it organized chaos.
7. I love cemeteries
8. I used to be embarrased about being an "officer's kid".
9. I miss my mom more than I could ever explain.
10. I love dirty jokes.
11. I have a written list, in a notebook, of what I want in a soul mate. I carry the notebook in my purse. And no, you can't see it.
12. I have small hands. Getting my nails done makes them look larger. Yeah, that's why I do it.
13. I have lived on 3 continents, in 3 countries, in 7 states, and in 16 cities.
14. My favorite place that I lived was Germany.
15. I wish I had two more kids. I like the ones I have, just wish I had more.
16. I'm not afraid to die but I am afraid of dying and leaving my kids with no parents at all.
17. One day, I want to live in a large victorian farmhouse on at least 10 acres.
18. I would love to travel in a time machine. But only backwards. Leave the future alone.
19. I have more shoes than Imelda Marcos. Cute shoes work on fat girls.
20. I'm addicted to techno gadgets.
21. I hate to shop. Yes, really.
22. I am not an animal lover.
23. I have 5 dogs living at my house. That's mostly why I don't love animals.
24. I wish I was funny. My brother is REALLY funny.
25. I love my life.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Confusing Times

I have been quite busy lately, spending lots of time running from one thing to another. Lots of time in the car listening to the radio. There is a lot of news lately that leaves me bewildered. These are weird times we live in, we all know that. But lately, there have been some things occurring in our country that leave me wondering about our collective common sense. Here are a few of those things:

1. Do you have to be nominated by a president for a cabinet position to find out you didn't pay taxes? Shouldn't they have some idea about their taxes or at least a clue that someone might find out?

2. When can I go back to assuming my food is safe to eat? Just when I began eating spinach again, peanut butter became a deadly snack.

3. When your company fails and has to be bailed out by the taxpayers, what kind of arrogant idiot rewards people with bonuses and high dollar retreats?

4. Why is Jessica Simpson fat and what does that make me?

5. What type of doctor would agree to implant 6 embryos in a woman who is single, lives with her parents and already has 6 children? I feel a reality show coming soon.

6. Why is Popcorn Sutton in jail and Bernie Madoff is not?

7. When is the news media going to get over Joe the Plumber and quit putting his face on the news?

8. When are young celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Michael Phelps going to realize that EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING they do will show up in the news?

9. Is anyone really that surprised anymore when an athlete, the latest being Alex Rodriguez, tests positive for steroids?

10. Is it weird that 9 things are confusing to me but not 10? I don't have a 10th thing but I just like round, even numbers. It's an OCD kinda thing.

So if you have answers, please share. If you are confused by something not on this list, share that. Maybe it can be my number 10.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

It Was A Good Day

I have spent several years whining about my birthday. Today is my birthday and it has been a great day. My Dad remembered so that was huge. My mother-in-law called early this morning to wish me a happy day. So many friends have left me messages on Facebook and on email. I am such an attention whore on my birthday!

I was told by my kids that they had a surprise and that I should be ready by noon. And I should look cute. I'm not sure how most aging moms interpret cute but I took it to mean I could not wear sweats and I should probably take a shower.

My daughter and her boyfriend whisked us away in her jeep and we met up with my son and his roommate at a local restaurant where we went to brunch. They gave me funny cards that made us all laugh and two bags of Peanut M&Ms - my favorite candy. I drank champagne. The waiter flirted with me . . . it was kinda awkward. At first I thought it was just me but then all the kids mentioned it afterwards. "Dang Mom, he was looking to see if you had a ring on" and "Wow, if he had gotten any closer he would have had to brush his teeth". But the food was great even though it was way too expensive. We had fun. Happy Birthday to Me!

The other good thing - it's the Superbowl and I love the Superbowl. My pick in today's game is the Steelers but my reasons have more to do with family ties than football statistics.

Kevin Greene, who played defense for the Steelers for many years, is a very old family friend. He and I are not close, haven't seen him since I was about 12. But my parents have been friends with his parents since I was about 6 years old and his brother Keith was the first boy I ever kissed.

My youngest sister dated Rocky Bleier's son about 12 or 13 years ago when my parents lived in Pittsburgh. Rocky played during the 70's and is the Steelers 4th all time leading rusher. After a few years together in Pittsburgh, my sister and his son moved to California together and then went their separate ways but still remain friends.

I usually pull for the underdog but in this case there are "family ties". And I have always been a Steelers fan since the days of Franco Harris, Terry Bradshaw, and Mean Joe Green. So you can see, I must pull for Pittsburgh. Go Steelers! Let's get a Superbowl win for my birthday!