Monday, March 17, 2014

10 Things Holding You Back From Being Productive at Work

I've bee home on medical leave since January 14th of this year. I suffered a neck injury due to an auto accident caused by an uninsured motorist. (I'll save that rant for another day). My treatments are showing positive results and I hope to return to the office in a few weeks.

Coincidentally, I ran across an article from titled: 10 Things Holding You Back From Being Productive at Work.  I won't bore you with how many of the ten are personal "challenges". I just thought I'd share some food for thought. This is advice that can be helpful in almost every arena. I can just replace work with friendship, marriage or parenting and learn a thing (or ten).

10 Things Holding You Back From Being Happy at Work

1. Assuming your past dictates your future.
We all have limitations. We all have challenges. We all make mistakes. Don't be bounded by them--learn from them.
Easier said than done? It all depends on your perspective. Take mistakes: When something goes wrong, turn it into an opportunity to learn something you didn't know--especially about yourself. (And when something goes wrong for someone else, turn it into an opportunity to be gracious, forgiving, and understanding.) Where you've been, what you've done--your past is just training. Your past should inform you, but it should never define you. Stop letting it.
2. Gossiping.
It's hard to resist the inside scoop. Finding out the reasons behind someone's decisions, the motivations behind someone's actions, the skinny behind someone's hidden agenda--much less whether Annette is really dating Marco in accounting--those conversations are hard to resist.
Unfortunately, the person who gossips about other people is also gossiping about you. And suddenly gossip isn't so much fun. The next time you're tempted to talk about another person, think about whether you would say what you're about to say to that person. The next time someone starts to talk about someone else, excuse yourself and walk away. Don't worry that you'll lose a gossiper's respect; anyone willing to gossip doesn't respect other people anyway.
If you really want to share the inside scoop, speak openly about your own thoughts and feelings. That way, you're not gossiping. You're just being genuine.
3. Saying yes when you mean no.
Refusing a request from colleagues, customers, or even friends is really hard. But rarely does saying no go over as badly as you expect. Most people will understand, and if they don't, should you care too much about what they think?
When you say no, you feel bad for only a few moments. When you agree to something you really don't want to do, you might feel bad for a long time, or at least as long as it takes you to do what you didn't want to do--or shouldn't have to do--in the first place.
Practice saying no. In time it gets easier and ensures you can focus on doing what you really need to do--for yourself and for other people.
4. Interrupting.
When you interrupt someone, what you're really saying is, "I wasn't thinking about what you were saying. I was thinking about what I want to say, and what I want to say is so important you need to hear it now." Want better professional relationships? Want better personal relationships? Listen to what people say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand.
Other people will love you for it--and you'll love how that makes you feel.
5. Being late.
I know. You're busy. You're overwhelmed. You're always running behind. And it stresses the crap out of you. (It also makes other people resent you. Whenever you're late, other people rightly assume you feel your time is more important than theirs.) Although you may think you can't help it, being late is a choice. You allow yourself to be late.
Tomorrow, start your a little day earlier. (It won't kill you.) Then arrive at your first scheduled event early. Don't worry that you'll waste time--just plan ahead and bring along whatever you need to use any "early" time to get a few simple things done.
I promise you'll feel a lot less stressed, and as a result you'll be more insightful, more creative, more decisive, simply more "on" in everything you do.
6. Resenting.
Take it from Nelson Mandela: Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies. The same holds for bitterness. And jealousy. And dislike. Let negative feelings go. When you hold on to ill will, the only person who loses is you.
7. Deciding you just don't have the time.
Everyone knows someone who just seems to get a lot more done than other people. It's the craziest thing. How do these folks do it? They must have no life. Actually, they have a great life. They've figured out what is important to them, and they're making it happen. Figure out what's important to you. Strip away all the stuff that isn't. Then make it happen.
We're all given the same amount of time. The only difference is how we use it.
8. Fitting in.
Though entire industries are based on holding the opposite viewpoint, no one likes you for the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the house you live in. No one likes you for your title, either. All those are things. Other people may in fact like your things, but that doesn't mean they like you. And in all likelihood, that doesn't mean you like yourself.
Be yourself. When you stop trying to fit in or make an impression, you might lose a number of acquaintances...but you'll gain a few real friends.
9. Ignoring your parents.
In the same way no one lying on his or her deathbed says, "I really wish I'd spent more time at work," I don't know anyone who has lost, say, his or her dad and then said, "I'm sad, but you know, I really do feel like I spent enough time with him." Everyone wants more time with his or her folks...when it's too late.
Your parents know you, and they still love you. Call them. They miss you. And though you may have forgotten it, you miss them.
10. Waiting.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was only partly right. True, "The only thing we have to fear itself," but when you get down to it, a better quote might be, "The only thing we have to fear... is ourselves."
Why? We're all afraid. We're afraid of what might or might not happen. We're afraid of what we can't change. We're afraid of what we won't be able to do. We're afraid of how others might perceive us.
We're afraid.
And that makes it easy to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
Meanwhile, days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.And so do our dreams.Don't let your fears hold you back. Whatever you've been planning, whatever you've imagined, whatever you've dreamed of, get started on it today. If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or design new products or services, take the first step. Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.

Today is precious. Once tomorrow comes, today is gone forever. Today is the most precious asset we all own. Wasting time is one thing it makes perfect sense to fear.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Was Scrappin' When Scrappin' Wasn't Cool

A post on 2peas asked "Do you think your scrapbooking hobby has an end date?"

My response is below. I didn't have to consider my answer for a moment. Scrapbooking is a constant in my life that I never intend to give up.

I think this is a personal preference. I have scrapbooked for over 30 years. I have a scrapbook from my first year of college that is one of my greatest treasures. It is filled with pages from the first night I met my daughter's father. The next album has journaling and memorabilia from out dating and marriage.

When my father passed away a few years ago, I placed his favorite family scrapbook in his coffin so he will have a part of us for eternity.
I cannot imagine a time when I will not scrapbook. One of my greatest fears as I age is not having the dexterity to make scrapbook pages.

I don't have an issue with the amount of money I spend on my craft. It is my vehicle for self expression and in a real way my source of sanity. I have cut back on the amount of supplies I've purchased in 2014 in order to force myself to use more of what I have; but I have no intention of a total freeze unless my financial situation changes.
If everyone in the world stopped creating scrapbook pages, I will continue to scrapbook.
I am in the final stages of purging my extensive cache of scrapbook supplies. I have given every paper, sticker and album a heartfelt evaluation before choosing to keep it or let it go so that someone else can find pleasure in my treasure.

Scrapbooking isn't for everyone. It doesn't have to be. It is however a vital part of my life. Who's with me?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What I found at Tuesday Morning...

These days, I'm doing more organizing than actual scrapping due to an auto accident so I needed a little "pick-me-up".

At one of the local Tuesday Morning stores, I found quite a few new items. Here are the ones that came home with me.

I love Thickers and I think the burlap ones will work great for my visit to my husband's family farm last November.

I'm also planning to make lots of mini albums so the magnets will be a great option for closures.

Stay scrappy, everyone!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Who I Am and What I Scrap

A scrapbook kit company sent an email asking me to complete a survey about what I look for in scrapbook kits and products.

I took the request to heart and below is a snippet of my response.

I would like to see more of a variety of items and less "common" themes.

I no longer have children or pets in my home. I have a handsome husband and friends who I meet up after work or spend time with on weekends. I attend wine tastings, love live music and great shoes and handbags. (Note: we are all over 35 years old ).
I live in a large city. I WORK-- downtown; for a large, global corporation. I attend meetings, make presentations and interact with professionals in my and other industries. I shop, go to museums, try new restaurants and travel (not to France!) Last year I went o to New York (twice), San Francisco and several road trips to small towns in my state.This year it will be Seoul, Korea, Chicago, maybe Seattle and a few more road trips in my state).
I live in a warm climate -- no snow, no icicles, "brrr" moments, mittens, snowflakes, etc. Here, life is not run by traditional seasons -- we can golf and exercise outside all year. Today, in mid-January the high temp will be around 70 degrees.

Also no autumn. Here leaves turn brown and die. In the fall, we attend football games and sometimes festivals downtown or nearby towns -- but we mostly watch football. 
There are no cute woodsy animals, air balloons or wild mushrooms in my life.
I own a laptop, a tablet, an iPhone, a Selphy, a Cameo, etc. I like and embrace technology and social media. I don't spend much time daily on Facebook or Instagram; but I think they are fun tools.
And oh yes... I am a minority (racially). I embrace diversity in all forms. I wish more manufacturers did the same.

I have disposable income to spend on my hobby and would love to belong to a kit club again -- however, I am tired of seeing so many things that do not apply to me.
I am not addicted to certain manufacturers. I look for products that speak to my life. 
I can think outside the box -- and I challenge you to do the same!
I don't live a flowery, pastel life. My life is lived in bold colors and adult activities.
This is who I am; what and how I scrap.
I have scrapbooked since I was in high school, Now it's a creative an industry with opportunities for many more voices to be heard.

How about you? Do you feel you are represented by scrapbook manufacturers and kit clubs?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Super Hero

My grandson and I had a chance to spend some quality "Jaidyen / Nana Time" over the holidays.

The Spider Man once-piece pajamas (complete with netting) were a huge hit! I can't believe how fast he's growing and how my love for him grows exponentially greater every time I see him.

How lucky am I to have my own SUPER HERO in the family! (And luckier still to have the scrapbook supplies on hand for some great layouts.)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ms. becomes Mrs....

This is a quick photo before the ceremony. I'm still wearing my coat and scarf....I wanted him to be surprised when he saw the dress.

It was a quiet, private ceremony. We are planning a reception for friends and family in early March.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Coming to a JoAnn's Near You...

When I made my weekly trip to Joann's yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see the new products that they were putting out. There were new faces like Prima and expanded selections from American Crafts, Studio Calico, Basic Grey's new Capture and We Are Memory Keepers (WRMK). I snapped a few shots so that I can plan for the next sale:

Monday, July 8, 2013

CKC Houston - Recap

Last Friday June 28th, I headed to the Woodlands for Creating Keepsakes Convention (CKC) armed with an empty bag, a new Discover card, and visions of scrapbook treasures to be discovered and claimed as my own.

The event space was smaller than in years past and the deals (in my opinion) were scarce. The selection was meager and only a few vendors offered items that I couldn't get everywhere else -- and the one that did had a 15 minute line. If Greg hadn't been there to bolster my spirits, I would have given up my loot and left without a backwards glance -- truly there was nothing that I couldn't have lived without. I was buying because a) I was there, b) the items were there and c) although the offerings were insubstantial; I want CKC to return next year.

I remember 10 years ago (during the "scrapbook boom"), attending Creating Keepsakes Convention was the stuff of scrapbook dreams -- huge Vendor Fairs bulging with new and abundant items that made your credit cards shiver in anticipation, classes with "scrapbook experts/celebrities, make-and-takes that were FREE(!) and worth taking the time to complete -- a big deal scrapping girl's year.

For now, all the scrapbook glam and SWAG has disappeared; but a scrappy girl can dream...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Zoo Day!

Saturday morning, I headed to the Houston Zoo with my favorite guys. The weather was perfect and we arrived early so the crowds were small and most of the animals were out. A good time was had by all! I have promised to Jaidyen that I will make him a scrapbook and this one will be fun to create.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Weekend Chill Mode

It's a little past 8:00am on a Saturday morning and I already feel like I'm behind schedule...But wait! It's SATURDAY --  there is no schedule. I am thereby moving into Weekend Chill Mode: no deadlines, no schedules, no "gotta's". Just me and mine loving life.

I am busy with work; but still trying to find time to create. Here are a few snapshots of one the the Easter mini's that I created. I love to mix the supplies from years ago with items I find on the seasonal shelves -- foam & felt shapes -- to stay current and still classic.

I haven't made a single Project Life 2013 layout, but remain determined to document this year. With a little effort and a lot of caffeine, I will make a dent this weekend.

I'm off to shop, create and enjoy the day. If I see anything awesome, I'll snap a photo and share.