I Give Up

Love is a funny thing. Some people jump in with both feet. They are more than satisfied not knowing what will happen. Some people wade in slowly, testing the waters and then easing in a little bit at a time as their comfort grows. 

Me? I swan dive. Face first. Every time. Sometimes that water can be pretty shallow and I wind up nursing my injuries. But other times, the water is so deep, you wish you could hold your breath forever. And just as quickly as I dove in, I can jump back out if the temperature changes.

When I have a job, I’m absorbed. I do everything I can picking up tasks the second the first is finished. I find things to do that no one knew needed to be done. I organize. I clean up. Then I try to make things easier or better. And if I work from home, I am a slave to the “one more minute” theory. It’ll just take me one more minute to finish this email. Two hours later, I’m still working. 

Books. I devoured books as a kid. Then there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t read at all. I like to refer to this as the zombie-parenting era. In the past few years, I’ve picked them up again. My bookshelves are overflowing. My husband is complaining. Thankfully, he bought me an ereader or I would start stashing them in any open space. 

This is me. I get addicted. I obsess. 

The good news is…I know it. 

We try to hide the characteristics we don’t like. We deny them. We don’t let them come out. But I find that the more I discover about myself, the more I have to find a way to like that quality. Somewhere along the line I stopped trying to fight my personality and now I work with it. I no longer try to change everything, I embrace it.

There is only so much you can change. There are certain aspects of ourselves that are simply rooted in our personality. Figure them out. Learn about yourself. And then see the positive. 

If you are told to build a cabinet, it’s easy if you have wood, nails and a  hammer. But if all you are given is some dinner plates and a hot glue gun, you’re going to have to figure out a new plan. 

MacGyver did it. So can you. 

 

 

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Done Waiting

It was 2 weeks ago that I posted about how I need to step up my game. In writing and in life.

So, did I do anything? Am I all talk and no walk?

Yes, I did and no, I’m not.

Wait…you get that, right?

I started with a movie. I took myself to the movies. I went to a matinee to see Hangover 2. There were about ten other people in the theater, so I got to stretch out and get comfortable. (I’d like to add that matinee is prime time because if you heard a whole theater laughing, you may have missed half of the jokes as they were layered in one after another.) While I usually bring my own snacks in my oversized purse….ssshhhh!…this time I bought myself a snack and drink there. Hey, if no one else is gonna splurge on me, why don’t I do it? I spent two hours in worry-free bliss, relaxing and laughing.

A few days later, I treated myself to some new summer clothes. Nothing extravagant, but a few bright colored things from Old Navy perked me up a bit.

This week, I took my kids to the local zoo. Not a big city zoo, but a local one where we can still walk around and enjoy the day outside. The kids had a great time and I was at ease allowing them to run around and watching them ooh and aah at every little creature.

Tuesday. Tuesday was a big day. I took my son to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. My quest to spend more time in the city has begun. A bit nervous on the drive in, we made it there with no problem. I only freaked out mildly when I found out I couldn’t park in the usual parking lot in front of the building.

WHERE DO I GO?!!

Street parking…ugh. We found a spot, and the bonus? I didn’t have to pay for parking. Score one for me.

And even though the residual effects of the stress tainted my stomach for the next two hours, I managed to suck it up and make the most of the day with my son. We strolled. We admired. We wondered. He received several compliments on his hat; he has a fedora he loves to wear. There’s something elating about seeing your child beam at random compliments. We even marveled at our favorite room…The Armor Room.

All in all, I think I’m on the right track. The past two weeks gave me a boost and I feel like some life has been breathed back into…well…my life. I’m definitely going to take myself to the movies more often. And finding things to do outside with the kids will be a priority, as well. There are a bunch of playgrounds nearby. Maybe that will be next week’s fun.

What are YOU doing to live a little more? Let me know!

What AM I Waiting For?

I’ve felt a bit stalled. And stale. With my writing and with my life. I’m busy hunting for jobs. I’m running errands and cleaning house. The fun factor is very low right now. Not that life is all games and nonsense, but my personality requires a certain level of me that’s running on empty. And when I feel like this, I gravitate to this:

I was lacking in inspiration last night, and a very cool Twitter friend, Jason, gave me a hand. We played a little word association game to help each other get some ideas going. And in the process, I ended up being inspired by inspiration. The ridiculous word combinations reminded me to have fun with my writing.

I also felt a little push to my outlook on my life, as well. I’ve been feeling like this summer is going to be a big deal for me. Like things are going to happen. Nothing grandiose, but maybe some serious change that will be for the better. I’m also vowing to be more of me. The girl that wants to enjoy what she does whether it’s working, being at home, or going out with friends. Or even by myself. I want to go into the city more…that would be Philadelphia. I realized it’s a shame that I’m not enjoying what the city has to offer when it’s so close. Maybe I’ll get over that whole “I hate driving in the city” thing.

I want to write more. I want to have a good balance of work coming in that will include jobs that allow me to use my personality to enhance my writing. I’d like to pick up a gig as an advice columnist. I give a lot of advice. And it’s usually well appreciated. I have an ability to talk to people and see a problem from every angle. Maybe even start my own advice page to see how it goes.

So, off into the wild blue yonder…errr…interwebs? I go! And then into the yonder stuff. I’m not waiting any longer.

Perserverance is Exhausting

The past few months I have been spending a lot of time job hunting online. I’m searching for various jobs to piece together enough freelance work to create a substantial income. I don’t need to make six figures. I just need to pay the bills.

In the meantime, I’ve gained immense respect for freelance writers. There are numerous sites for writers to post their details and look for opportunities. I have been signing up on many, but it seems a full time job just keeping up with every page. I spend time hunting for jobs here. Then I look for more there. Check my email for responses to my inquiries. Hunt some more. Write some articles. Scour lists of needed articles. Edit, edit, edit. Check the email again. How do they find the time?!

I’m neglecting my blogs. I’m falling behind on all the reading I want to do.

Whoa! It’s time for dinner…find something to cook. Dishes, laundry. Buzz around the house to get some chores done.

I’m being productive!

Can I just go outside and enjoy some nice weather?!

The good news is, I’m learning a lot. I’m finding more opportunities and slowly crawling towards an actual career.

The bad news is…there is a very long road ahead of me. And I don’t have a fast car to get me there any quicker.

And so….I perservere.

I Should Listen To Myself More Often

Me: What should I write?

Me2: I don’t know. Write about writing. That’s the point of this blog.

Me: Yeah, but I’ve been having a hard time thinking of my next entry. I think I have writer’s block.

Me2: Don’t be ridiculous. Just get to the page and let your fingers start typing. It’s what you do whenever you come here.

Me: What if my fingers won’t type anything? What if they have nothing to say?

Me2: Are you listening to yourself?

Me: Ummm….

Me2: You don’t need inspiration. You don’t need motivation. You don’t need a reason to write. Just sit down, stop being a baby and write.

Me: But I don’t know what to write ABOUT. I was thinking about an entry on how important reading is to a writer. I’ve been participating in some hashtags on Twitter with other people reading. It’s great for finding book recommendations. Or maybe the fact that I have writer’s block. I mean, what do other people do when they get it? I’m just not sure where to go with either of them.

Me2: You’re an idiot.

Me: What? There’s nothing wrong with those ideas.

Me2: You just wrote an entry.

Me: I what?

Me2: With all the fuss you made about what to write, you wrote an entry with it. This is your blog. It’s done. And you are still wondering what to write.

Me: …….

Me2: I told you. Let your fingers do the typing.

Me: Oh.

Aaaaaaaand scene.

10 Things I Learned on Twitter in 2010

I’d say, for me, this has been the year of the Twitter.  I discovered it when I started blogging and thought it would be great to help my writing.  Which it has, in wonderful ways that I would have never thought.  However, I’ve also learned a few interesting commonalities about people from some of the amazing folks I follow.

1.)  No one likes to wear pants.

It’s true!  There’s tags like #nopants and #pantsoff to prove it.  Apparently the restriction is just too much for people to take at the end of the day.  Quite frankly, I’m glad to see it’s nothing to be ashamed of. 

2.)  EVERYONE likes bacon.

I’m sure there’s plenty of foods that are big favorites, but the love of bacon has got to be the purest.  And I am certainly included in that group.  Greasy and limp, or burnt to a crisp, it doesn’t matter…it’s all heaven.

3.)  You never need to feel alone when there’s a hashtag for everything.

There are loads of popular hashtags on Twitter.  Friday nights you can join #wineparty.  All day Friday you can post what you’re reading with a #FridayReads tag.  If you’re writing any time of day, use #amwriting.  If you have great advice for writers, post it with #writingtips.  When I post my blog from All About Momsense, I use #mommyblogger.  If there’s a need, a hashtag will fill it.

4.)  Celebrities are normal people.  Mostly.

I have chatted with Scott Grimes (ER, Band of Brothers) and Kellie Martin (Life Goes On, ER, Christy) and they are two of lots of fantastic people that answer back and tweet about every day life.  They help you remember that they are just like us and want to enjoy life with their families and friends and get through the day.  Whether talking about amazing homemade recipes or being plain silly, they really are just like you and me.

5.)  All ridiculous occurrences should be shared with photos.

Did you just see a complete stranger with the worst hair ever?  Tweet it.  Have you found a store that has a completely innocent sign that reads like a dirty joke.  You need to share that.   New shoes?  Going out and need someone to check your outfit?  Share it, get the feedback, feel redeemed. 

6.)  Everyone’s children are out of hand.

Kids pooping in hallways, screaming about candy, feeding the household pets table food…it’s all there.  It’s not a result of bad parenting.  It’s a result of life.  When everyone says your kids are angels, so well behaved, Twitter knows the truth.  They are bad, and they are wonderful.  We know every hair pulling, heartstring tugging moment.  Good and bad, it’s all there in 140 characters.

7.)  News travels fastest on Twitter.

If someone dies, thousands of people are informed in seconds.  If a child is missing, everyone soon has a copy of a face to look for.  If someone is missing, Twitter is looking for them.  It only takes a few moments for information to spread.  The domino effect of tweet after tweet being passed should be record breaking. 

8.)  Outdated sayings are welcome…even encouraged.  Or create your own!

I haven’t used “word” as an affirmation since I was in middle school.  Suddenly, it’s everywhere.  Things like “awesomesauce” and “for realz” are probably my personal favorites.  Acronyms are a requirement, as well, with only 140 per tweet.  OMG, BTW, IDK, IKR, IRL…the list is endless. 

9.)  Even professionals can be goofy. 

Sure, some people are here for the social media marketing benefits.  Having Facebook, Twitter and blogs all contribute to spreading your name around and gathering an audience.  But sometimes, it helps to share a bit of your personal side to show you aren’t a robot.  An offhand comment can be like loosening your tie at the office party.  Relax, enjoy. 

10.)  Twitter cares.

There is an incredible support system within the Twitter-folk.  If someone is sad, others will encourage him.  If someone needs help, we look for suggestions.  We talk, we listen, we make each other laugh.  We send each other food and drinks.  There is a heartfelt connection that we create with each other. 

It may seem immature to some, but Twitter has built an increasing web of friends, colleagues and confidants that I never thought I would have.  I’ve become close with people hundreds of miles away.  And for as much as I try to learn about each and every one of them, I hope they know that their friendship is something I truly treasure.

Your Blog Is Killing My Creativity

Aside from the holidays dragging me kicking and screaming from my laptop, I’m having a hard time staying focused on blogging.  Why?  Because your blog is killing my creativity. 

I currently have 83 blogs listed in my favorites.  I’m following another 30-some from my BlogSpot page. 

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO READ ALL OF THESE AND STILL WRITE ON MY OWN?!!?!

So, I’ve devised a plan.  You can all stop being so witty and interesting and I will get on with my life.  Mmmkay?

No? Ok, then listen…I have a Plan B.  I will promise to read your blogs when I can and you can be satisfied with knowing that I love it.  There’s too many of you.  I could probably spend hours reading your posts, clicking all your pages and buttons.  Not to mention, it’s very humbling to read other people’s blogs and find yourself laughing out loud or completely wrapped up in a display of gorgeous photos.  It makes you wonder “what is so special about my blog?”

In a way, I suppose, it’s encouraging me to write differently and learn how to stand out from what I’m reading.  So, you might be helping to make me better…bully for you.  I’m still a little mad at you, though.  My eagerness to read your blog is constantly whispering in my ear, “oh, just go look at that one.  It’ll only be one.” 

And I say, “You lie!  You know you will find more links, more pages, more wonderful little tidbits to read for ‘one more minute’.  Then I’ll be sitting here wondering why there’s still so much laundry and the dishes aren’t done.”

So, stop it.  Stop being clever.  Stop being so awesome.  Just stop it all!

Then I can continue my writing and get on with this as a career.  You do want me to work, don’t you?