Thursday, April 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo - Challenge is Sweet

Oh how I’ve been a neglectful blogger. I have all these intentions and ideas and plans and then…well, then I don’t have the time, the motivation, or the inspiration to follow through with them.

But I miss blogging. I miss my interaction with my readers, I miss going to visit my favorite blogs, and most of all, I miss the writing of posts. I miss the flow of my creative juices as I come up with a new post each day.

SO, I’ve decided to join NaBloPoMo this month. If you don’t know, NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month, and it typically takes place in November. The goal is to post on your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY that month. However, NaBloPoMo has now expanded, and there are several bloggers that participate each and every month now. Or, you can choose to jump in for just one particular month here and there. To help us along as well, the NaBloPoMo folks give us a theme every month which we can choose to run with…or not.

This month, the theme is “Sweet”. And I’m going to go ahead and join in. I am going to do everything in my power to post a new post every day. And I’m also going to try to keep the running theme of “sweet” throughout the month.

I’ll be very honest with you, I’m not entirely certain I’ll be able to post every day. But my goal is to try, and to focus on having good quality posts, not just “filler” posts. I’m thinking that even if I miss a few days here and there, I’ll still be posting more regularly than I have been, so it’ll be worth it.

And not every post this month will be based on the theme, most likely, but I think having a theme will help keep me motivated. So I’m going with it.

Please do come back tomorrow for Only The Good Friday, with a nice, SWEET twist.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Accountability April - And It's Over...

As accountability April comes to a close, I face facts.

The fact is I love to write, I’m always going to be a writer, throughout each and every single day, there are several events, moments, people and places that inspire me and I rush to write it all down. I will always write.

The fact is, however, that try as I might, this is probably just not the right time in my life to attempt to focus my energies on becoming a “published” writer. I work a full time job, I have an active social life, I am deeply involved with the youth of my parish and with community activity. I run my own household and am in the midst of a major purge/decluttering project. I am turning into a bit of a fitness nut, dedicating more time than I ever have before to both exercise and eating healthy. I am scatterbrained, unfocused, and have about a billion other interests which distract and intrigue me on a daily basis.

The fact is my NaNo Novel, which was the driving force behind Accountability April, sits nestled quite comfortably among other unfinished writing projects on my hard drive, with only a few thousand extra words from where it began the month. Comfortably enough that I don’t feel the desire to rouse it just yet. I visit now and again, write a few more words, but then leave it be. Resting, gaining strength for when it truly is it’s time to shine. It is not now.

The fact is I am at peace with these facts. Because although some might see it as not working hard enough toward my dreams, I see it as something else entirely. Yes, being a published author is, and always has been, a dream. And a dream that I know with enough time, attention, and dedication, is quite possible for me. But living this life I live? That is another dream all together. I said it before, just the other day, I live a charmed life, I am blessed, and I take NOTHING for granted. Therefore, the little moments, the little distractions, they are not hindering my dream, they are just a larger part of it.

The fact is that when it comes to my goals, my aspirations, I’m a bit ADD. I have always been this way, I want so many things. To do so much, to be so many different people, that I realize I will never be able to accomplish all things. It is just not possible for one person to do all I have dreams of doing. Not while working a full time job and dedicating my time to the youth and trying to have social life and…but wait…those too are things I NEED to do to feel fulfilled. See my dilemma?

The fact is, in all honesty, I’ve realized that for me, it is not ever going to be about the “end result”, it is always going to be about the journey. And this journey I’m on? Oh what a ride!

So, as Accountability April comes to a close, and I realize the NaNo Novel will sit, unfinished for now. And my home office remains a bit of a disaster area as I continue on my decluttering project, and I’m not quite THERE with any of the projects I set out to accomplish this month, I face facts.

The fact is I did not fail this month. I took accountability for my actions, and I did what I could, and in the process, I discovered other goals, other roads I needed to take on my journey. And in doing so, I live my life as only I can. All over the place, all the time, and loving every minute of it.

How did you do this month?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Only The Good Friday - What A Good Week

It is Only The Good Friday once again, and once again I have to thank Shelly for starting this fantastic meme. If you don’t know what OTGF is all about, go here to find out the details, but in a nutshell, on Friday, EVERY Friday, there are a handful of us in the blogosphere who post ONLY GOOD THINGS. We are on a mission to spread the optimism virus. The world has enough negative in it; on Fridays we only focus on the positive.

So, that being said, today, on this Friday, I must tell you something. I live a charmed life.

No, really, I do.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time than you know I am not one to take my blessings for granted. I am often reminded of how truly blessed I am, and I cherish each moment for the gift that it is.

I am blessed with family, friends, a job, a home, faith, love, and a million other wonders in my life. I am not rich, I am not supermodel beautiful, I am not famous, a genius, a prodigy, extra talented at some specific thing, I am not extraordinary in any particular way.

I am just your average hard working, single thirty something woman. On the surface, there is nothing spectacular about my life.

And yet, daily, I realize just how truly fantastic my life is.

On their own, none of the events of my life are particularly momentous, but when you pile them all together, when you take note of each and every one of them? Damn, I really do live a charmed life.

I’ll give you this week, simply this week, as an example.

I started my Sunday simply enough, cleaning my house, windows open due to the gorgeous weather outside, listening to music, enjoying the Spring feeling in the air. I took a break to go have lunch with my parents, my grandfather, my brother and his new girlfriend. We had a lovely afternoon just sitting, eating and chatting. Blessings.

On Monday I took the day off work and spent it with a handful of my closest friends in Boston watching the Boston marathon. One of my very best friends “The Disciple” was running, and we were there to support her. Standing on the sidelines all day with my friends, watching all 20 something thousand of these amazing folks run by, with their inspirational messages and pictures on their t-shirts, struggling, but persevering at the bottom of HeartBreak hill, was amazing. Then being able to run out to our friend and run down the hill with her (for a mere 30 seconds) as she continued on to the finish line? BLESSING.
That's me in the unibomber outfit (shut up, it was cold), The Disciple, our other friend Lil' Sis, and The Disciple's friend M who also ran the marathon.

Tuesday I went to work, and just when I was thinking a quiet Tuesday night at home was in order, my buddy “Chick Flick” called to ask if I was up for our weekly movie night, which I’d forgotten all about. A night out with a friend, watching a silly movie (17 Again, review to come), another small blessing.

On Wednesday I again headed to work, ready for a regular day on the job. My cell phone rang early that morning with a question from my friend “DD”. “Can you take the afternoon off work?” It appeared she had scored some killer seats to that afternoon’s Red Sox game. Because I have the best boss in the world, I knew I could, in fact, take off for the afternoon, so I said “YES”. My boss, of course, said “GO, have a great time”. So I worked only a few hours, but was at work long enough to receive a bouquet my boss had delivered for me for Administrative Professional’s Day. BLESSED.

But, back to the game for a moment. My friend Traveler and I joke that we only do things “VIP” status. That’s just how “we roll”, we kid. No second class status for us, we get the best because we expect and we deserve the best. We JOKE. But we also live it. Time and again, we find ourselves in these VIP situations (together or apart) and the joke continues, because folks, that’s how we do it. Go big, or go home, right?

At the game? VIP status all the way. Our tickets, which were handed over for free, mind you, were so ridiculously close to the field, we were practically on it. How close? This close.
Big Pappi himself!

The game was amazing, the Sox won 10-1, and “DD” and I got to spend some much needed quality friend time. BLESSED.

Even yesterday, as I spent the day at work, focusing on being extra productive to make up for the time away from the office, I could still count my blessings. In the afternoon I found myself inexplicably sad. I couldn’t pin point or explain where it came from, but a wave of melancholy filled me and stayed with me most of the day. I get hit with these moods from time to time, and I’ve learned to just let them ride out, they pass soon enough. And in the meantime, I take advantage, because it is in these moments of melancholy that my muse makes its appearance known. Yesterday? I wrote this blog post. (so, in a confusing way, I’m actually writing it right now, in the middle of that moroseness, but you’re reading it on Friday, when I’m sure to already have been past it and in a much better mood)…confused? Laugh with me, it’s okay.

But you see, this is my point…small events, little things that on their own just appear to be the average happenings in an average life. Nothing particularly earth shattering. And yet, what a charmed life I lead. How blessed am I?

These are GOOD things. Perfect to reflect on on this Only The Good Friday, don’t you think?

Count your blessings. Every day, count them, and hey, on Fridays? Why not join us and post about them.
Go visit Shelly to see what's good in her world, and to see who else is spreading the optimism.
PS: If I can quickly point you to my sidebar and ask that if you can, you donate and sponsor me in my March for Babies? Thank you if you can!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Accountability April - Week 3 - Happy Earth Day

One more week of April behind us, and what have I got to show for? Am I being Accountable for the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the month?

EH…sort of.

This last week, I have to admit, I barely touched the NaNo Novel once again. I got a boost of inspiration last week, but it left as soon as it came, and since I wrote those few thousand words, I was again blocked. Not sure where to take my characters, how to further develop the story. I can’t seem to focus on it for too long before I get completely distracted or disenchanted. I’m missing something vital in the story, and I can’t seem to pinpoint what it is. Worry not, I have not given up, I’m just giving it a bit of space to grow on its own. It’ll come to me, I’m sure of it.

In the meantime, although the novel writing isn’t progressing quite as well as I’d like, I seem to have gotten inspired in other areas of my writing. I have quite a few blog posts in the works, and seem to be inspired to dedicating a bit more time to my content here, because, let’s be honest, it’s been severely lacking recently. It was one of my goals to work on the blog a bit more in April, so I’m claiming one for the plus column here.

Also in the plus column is my ongoing cleaning/decluttering project at home. This past weekend I spent a GOOD deal of time going through my wardrobe, doing the winter/summer change-over and donating some of the stuff that no longer fits me now that I lost weight.

And then there is the Green Part of my accountability. With today being Earth Day and all, it only seems appropriate that we discuss my other ongoing project to lessen my carbon footprint. I’ve mentioned in here before that I’ve only recently become a little “greener”. I haven’t necessarily been the most environmentally friendly person in the past, and I could give you all sorts of excuses and reasons behind that, but the truth is, I just didn’t know any better. It was likely out of being partly lazy, partly ignorant, and partly disinterested. I’m just being honest here, I didn’t look at the big picture, didn’t see how I PERSONALLY could make a difference.

In my defense, I wasn’t exactly focused on even taking care of myself, so is it any wonder I wasn’t worried about taking care of the environment around me? Right.

But, as you all know, over the last year I have been working on bettering myself. Losing weight, working out, eating healthier, feeding myself spiritually as well, surrounding myself with the kinds of people who make a positive impact on the world, have all been a part of my personal growth the past year or so. With that came a deeper awareness of my place in the world, and in turn, my responsibility to change some of my habits.

I’ve taken baby steps, and started with the basics I should have been doing all along.

Recycling. No, I didn’t even recycle before. Now I have three separate waste bins at home. Trash, paper, plastic. (I don’t drink soda or beer, so no need for can recycling). Such a small step, such an easy thing, but it’s felt really good to make that small change.

Re-usable shopping bags. I’ve found the double benefit of switching to cloth grocery shopping bags. I’m reducing the number of plastics bags I use, thereby helping the environment. This is obviously the main purpose for doing it, and I’m happy to be doing it. But here’s the added bonus. All my groceries, which used to fill 10 to 15 plastic bags (what a waste, when the bagboy would put one single item in a bag, and I in turn, would then place that plastic bag inside one of the other bags), used to take me two to three trips to carry into my condo. Frustrating, annoying, irritating, making grocery shopping my most loathed chore. Now? THREE, count them…One, Two, Three…cloth bags fit all of my groceries, ONE trip in the house, all is done. NICE.

Lights. I have started to very slowly replace all my light bulbs with those energy efficient bulbs. Slowly, as they die out, I replace the regular bulbs with the energy efficient counterparts. This is a work in progress, but it is taking place.

And finally, just this week, I went out and bought myself a PUR Water filtration dispenser. This was a huge move I’ve been wanting to take for quite a while now because although I was now recycling my water bottles, it still felt like such a waste each time I would empty the 20 or 30 bottles into the recycling bin. Financially, it won’t cost me more to buy new filters every few months. I was easily spending an average of $15/month on water, and that number was sure to grow with the coming summer months. It will likely cost me an average of $7 every two months for the filters…possibly more in the summer months, likely less, who knows, with an upfront cost of $30 for the container. In the long run, I will likely save money. I will have to invest in a few good quality, BPA free re-usable sports bottles for the gym. Over-all, however, I think I will save money, and I’ll be reducing my waste. I feel good about that. I will likely miss some of the convenience of just grabbing a water bottle out of the fridge whenever I’m thirsty, when I’m heading out the door, in a rush…but I’m willing to make that sacrifice. I’m willing to be more accountable.

There are many many other ways I can reduce my carbon footprint, and I’m working on it. Slowly, but surely, I’m working on it.

But that’s it…that’s my Accountability April/Earth Day post for this week.

How are you doing on your goals? One week to go, don’t despair, you still have time to DO SOMETHING, anything. Get to it! ;-)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The World's All A-Twitter

AH, the Twitterverse. That wonderful world of 140 character snippets of another human beings’ world. Oh, how I love thee Twitter. You keep me entertained, engaged, and enthralled. You keep me informed, involved and inspired. You keep me amazed, awed and appaled. Oh Twitter, what would I do without you in my life?

For those of you who don’t know what Twitter is, (gasp), let me fill you in. You know of myspace and facebook (please tell me you do, otherwise, I’ll have to write a whole other post for you), well, you know those little “status” updates on those websites? That’s pretty much Twitter, sort of. Well, not really...

A quick and easy way to update others on what you are doing at any given moment. But Twitter is so much more than that. It is not just about telling your friends what you are eating for lunch (though we all fall guilty of doing that from time to time), it is an instant way to share those random thoughts we all have and think “I wish I could tell someone this very thought right now”. With Twitter, you can.

When I joined Twitter, before it was the IN thing to do, it was a great way to stay in touch with my bloggy friends at my new job, since I was no longer able to spend HOURS hopping from blog to blog. This way, I could still keep in touch with them, and not jeopardize my new job. I followed a few folks, and had their Tweets sent to my cell phone as text messages.

And then, as will happen with any mode of social media, my circle of friends (followers and followees) began to grow. I made new Twitter friends, met new people, and realized that I obviously needed a new cell phone, because Twittering via text message was just not going to cut it for me anymore.

Enter the Crackberry, and AH…all is well with the world.

But I digress, Twitter, for me, was a way to keep in touch with like minded folks, inform one another, entertain one another, and share little trivial tidbits throughout our day. It was, simply put, like texting your friend when the guy in front of you in line is wearing purple short shorts, or the lady in the next car over just tweezed her eyebrows at a red light.

There are many other uses for Twitter, but that’s the gist of it.

And then, suddenly, seemingly overnight, it appears that the media, and in turn, Hollywood, discovered Twitter. Celebrities started creating their own Twitter accounts with a frenzy, and just in the last two months or so, the number of celebrity Twitterers has increased ten-fold.

Now, in all fairness, it must be said that there are a few celebs that have been Twittering pretty much since it’s inception, and have been using it in much the same way the rest of us “regular” folks do. They interact freely with other Twitter users, and follow the rules of RT, Reply, follow, etc. They “get it”.

But then there’s this new influx of celebs, who seem to mainly be using Twitter as yet another method of advertising. Pimping their newest album, their next television show, their clothing line. Fair enough, plenty of Twitter users use Twitter for the same exact thing, to advertise our newest blog post, our websites, etc.

But there seems to be a whole lot of controversy about celebrities on Twitter these days. Those of us who were "#herebeforeOprah", have a sense of proprietorship over Twitter. It was "our" social media venue before THEY invaded it.

There are those who believe celebrities will destroy the true spirit of Twitter with their “races” to accrue followers (just recently Ashton Kutcher and CNN were in a race to see who could reach a million followers first).

There are others yet who have an issue with celebrities achieving such high numbers of followers, when they, in turn, only follow a handful of folks.

Some believe we shouldn’t give them that attention, and stick to following folks we can actually have conversations with.

Some accuse those who follow celebs of having an unrealistic belief that they’ll somehow befriend that celeb in real life, simply by exchanging Tweets with them.

Yet others think Celebs had to take over Twitter, because they couldn’t stand that the “average” person had a voice somewhere.

There are many other theories, controversial ideas, and complaints floating around in the Twitterverse.

It’s become an interesting phenomenon, and as someone who has always been fascinated by the celeb culture, it’s been one I’ve become somewhat engrossed in. Because I? I am one of those who will follow a celebrity, if I’m interested in them. I have a different take on this whole Celebrity Twitter thing.

See, I think it’s great fun.

Let me explain.

To me, Twitter has become the epitome of the “celebs are just like us” thought process. I won’t lie to you and tell you I don’t get star struck. Of course I do. I love celebrities. I love celebrity gossip, I love finding out about their clothes, their cars, their lifestyles. I always have. When I was younger I too wanted to be a star, my name in lights, adoring fans, the riches, the power, the fame. As I grew up I realized it is not all that fabulous, and that perhaps, I much prefer my quiet existence. But that doesn’t make it any less fascinating to me.

That being said, because I’m fascinated by them does not mean I hold them in any higher regard than I would you were I to meet either of you. I’m fascinated by people in general. If you lead an interesting life, have something interesting to share with the world, then I want to know about it, about you. This is why I blog, and why I love the blogosphere. Through it, I’ve met fascinating folks I never would have met otherwise, and you know what? To me, in the blogosphere, we’re all a little bit celebrity like, aren’t we?

So, why do I follow celebrities who don’t know me from Adam? Why follow them when they don’t reciprocate my Tweets (which, to be honest, I very seldom try to communicate directly with them) or follow me in return? Why add to their “count” when they are not doing the same for me?

Well, very much for the same reason I still read blogs of folks who probably have never stepped over here to this blog. Why I comment on blogs of folks who never comment on mine. Why I people watch strangers on the street. Because people fascinate me, and the world is full of folks with interesting things to say, and I want to hear it. Soak it all in.

I follow celebrities on Twitter who interest me. Whether it is because I grew up loving them, and like to hear how their lives have turned out, or because they genuinely have positive words to share. Or because they are hilarious and make me laugh through the day. Or because I have a giddy 13 year old living inside me who squeals every time a new Tweet pops up from my teen idol. Or because I really enjoy seeing the interaction between some of these celebs with each other, obviously I’m a bit of a voyeur.

It is, in fact, the same reason why I follow anyone else on Twitter. I like what they have to say at least 80% of the time.

If you bore me, celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

If you offend me, celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

If you don’t ever update your tweets, celebrity or not, I’ll eventually unfollow you.

If you are ONLY using twitter to pimp yourself, your product, your movie, your website, your album, your blog…celebrity or not, I’ll unfollow you.

However, if you have something of value to add to my day, be it educational, silly, trivial or techy, I’ll continue to follow you.

If you and I know each other and carry Twitter conversations here and there, of course I’ll continue to follow you.

But if you and I are strangers, and never actually exchange “Tweets”, as long as I like what you have to say, I’ll still follow you.

In fact, if I send you a Tweet about something you said, and you never reply to me, EVEN if you’re not a celebrity, I won’t quit following you.

I’m not so insecure that I’ll take it personally and feel ignored. I will also continue to follow you if you don’t follow me back, celebrity or not. Because I’m not on Twitter, just like I don’t blog, for the stats. I don’t check my stats, EVER. I don’t care how many followers I have, what their rank is in Twitter, or where I stand in the rankings.

There’s nothing in those numbers for me. I’m about the people, not the numbers.

So, do I think celebrities will ruin Twitter? No, I don’t. I think they are just another aspect of this fabulous little invention, and like everything else, we have the power whether or not to click that little “Follow” button. Easy as pie.

Besides, I have a direct link to Donnie Wahlberg’s personal thoughts now…how could that ever be a bad thing?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Only the Good Friday – The Foot Edition

It is Only The Good Friday once again, and this week it’s all about feet. Well, not, that’s not entirely true. It’s not really about feet at all. Well...maybe a little bit.

(photo taken while lying on the beach in the Bahamas a few weeks ago).

That’s some good stuff right there!

But really, I want to focus on the good those two feet are hoping to do next month. Because those two feet? They are planning on doing not one but TWO walks for a cause. And those two feet? They could really use your support.

So, today, on Only the Good Friday, I’m asking you to reach into your hearts (and your pockets), and help those two feet make a difference.

You can start by clicking on the pretty little badge over on the right side there and popping over to my page on the March of Dimes, March for Babies website, and sponsoring me for the 3 mile walk I’ll be doing on May 2nd.

Every little bit helps, so if you can spare $10, $5, $1, 50 cents, I’ll be super duper appreciative. (See, I’m not asking for much).

And if you’re feeling extra generous, be sure to keep checking back, because you can sponsor me

for the Walk for Cancer I’ll be doing on May 17th. This time those two feet will be walking 6 miles, so they would REALLY love your support. Especially since on May 17th I’ll be walking in honor of my dear grandmother “O” who fought a hard battle for years but eventually we lost to cancer in 2000. I miss her dearly, and I’m walking for her, and for everyone still fighting that battle today. I'm still in the process of registering for that walk, but don't worry, I'll let you know when you can donate! ;-)

Choose one, choose both, but please help. The money’s ain’t for me folks, I don’t want it. It’s all for a good cause. Think of how GOOD you will feel this Friday when you know you’ve made an impact.

Don’t you already feel good just thinking about it? Go on, click the link, you know you want to!

Here, as a prize for being so generous, I’ll give you some more pretty cruise photos to look at:

Have a great Friday, and don’t forget to head on over to
Shelly’s to see what she’s got up her sleeve today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Accountability April - Week 2

Here we are at week 2 of Accountability April. How are you doing on your projects?

I am happy to report that this week I was able to be a lot more productive than last.

Project No. 1: and the main reason I created Accountability April was my NaNo Novel. I’m still not doing as well as I’d like to be with this one, but I did manage to write another 3,000 words or so. Better than nothing, I’ll take it. I’m hoping for 5,000 this next week.

Project No. 2: I’ve unearthed my desk at home. Seriously folks, this was a MAJOR doing, so I am very proud to have accomplished this task. I can now actually see my desk, sit at it and use the desktop computer. This means that I can probably work on yet another project this weekend (which is printing out some of my cruise photos).

Project No. 3: Go through the pile of clothes I set aside to give to charity and sift through it. Decide which I will give to friends, which I will give to charity, and which I will list on I did it! AND I even took pictures of the items for listing at Dignswap. Now I just have to actually go on the site and list them…

Hmm…yeah, those were three of my major projects this week, yay for me! I also did a bunch of little projects, such as change the water in my poor abused fish’s fishbowl, clean my house top to bottom (including tackling the dust bunnies under the bed), and other such things.

How did you do?

Here are some other folks who are participating (leave me a link if you are, and I'll add you):

2. Could be you...

Also, just really quickly, if you look over at my sidebar you’ll see a nice little widget about the March of Dimes “March for Babies”. I’ll be doing the walk on May 2nd and would appreciate any and all donations, 50 cents, 50 dollars, anything in between…everything helps. THANKS!!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fun Monday - Dream a Little Dream

I haven't done a FUN MONDAY post in a very long time, but Jill stopped by the other day and let me know she was hosting this week, and I love the topic, so I thought, hey, why not?

So, here is this week's Fun Monday topic:

Strange Dreams. Do you have any dreams, particularly recurrent ones that you feel no one else has? Or, just tell us about an odd dream you had as a kid.

I don't remember my dreams very often, and usually, even when I do, I only remember random bits and pieces, never the full dream. For the most part, my dreams never make any kind of sense, whatsoever, but that's sort of par for the course with dreams, isn't it?

I do, however, have a recurring dream. It's not the same exact dream, but it is always the same theme. I've been having this dream for at least 10 years now, probably since I left college.

Here's the general gist of the dream:

I'm in school. College. Back in my old haunts on Beacon Hill. Sometimes, I'm just visiting, as I am now, older, wiser, just stopping by to see an old teacher or something (something, which, by the way, I never do in real life). Other times, I'm actually still in school, taking classes, etc.

All is well until suddenly I realize that I don't know my class schedule. I have no idea where I'm supposed to be. And I can't find anyone anywhere to tell me what my schedule is supposed to be. And the worst part is, I realize that I have a class, a particular class (usually a math class of some sort, though not always), which I have NEVER attended, the entire semester, and there is an exam coming up. I HAVE to make it to today's class, because then I'll know what's going to be on the exam, and I'll be fine, even though I've never set foot in class all semester.

But I don't know my class schedule. I don't know where it is, on what day, at what time...

I usually wake up in a panic thinking I'm going to flunk out of college.

There are different variations of the dream, but the sense of failure and confusion is always the same.

The funny thing is, if you knew me, you'd know how ridiculous this is, because I? Was always the good student, always in class, always on top of things.

I realize I usually have this dream when I'm stressed about deadlines or something of the sort in my life, which would explain why I haven't had the dream since I left my old job...until last week, when I was stressed about a deadline at work.

I've also learned, from talking to folks, that I'm not the only one who has this particular themed recurring you have it too? What are you recurring dreams? Go on over to Jill's to join in on Fun Monday if you want to share, or just let me know in comments, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Only The Good Friday - On Good Friday

Well, it surely is fitting that on this particular Friday, I would participate in Shelley’s “Only The Good Friday” meme, as I have been doing for several weeks (months?) now.

If you don’t know yet what “Only The Good Friday” is all about, let me tell you. Shelley, being the snarky bloggess that she is, (and we all love her for that snarkyness), decided that she would dedicate one day a week to posting only about the good things. No snarkyness, no negativity, no rants, just good positive thoughts. She decided as bloggers we should come together and spread the “Positivity Virus”.

I thought it was a brilliant idea, so I joined in.

You too can join the cause, and there’s no better day than today to jump in, is there? Head on over to Shelly’s for more details, and to see who else is “spreading the good”.

Now, moving on to the actual GOOD for today, this Good Friday.

I thought it only right that I take advantage of both the meme and the significance of this day on the Roman Catholic calendar when creating today’s post. Which means, of course, that I’m about to get personal.

Are you ready? Oh well, here goes either way.

Right around this time last year I was out of work. I had been laid off from my job of 5 plus years, and was feeling a bit lost in the world. How was I going to support my single income household/mortgage? How was I going to find a new job in a market saturated with unemployment? Was I going to have to resort to the hellish commute into Boston once again, a commute that sucked the very life force from me for over a decade? Was I really going to have to continue on as a paralegal, working for some other law firm, day in and day out performing a job that left me unfulfilled, unsatisfied and unhappy? How could I change careers and keep the same level of income, one necessary to keep my bills paid and food on my table? What was I going to do?

Somehow, even in the midst of all this questioning and confusion, I managed to keep my spirits up, and to “put it in God’s hands”. And that is exactly what I did.

I threw myself into my job search, but never panicked, trusting that it would all work out somehow, if I just kept the faith.

And it did. Through a series of events that can truly only be described as fate, I found my current job. And my whole life changed dramatically, for the better.

Over the last year, I have started a new career, made new friends, reconnected with old ones, taken control of my life, and my body, gotten back in shape, started fully living my life again, and more importantly, strengthened my relationship with God in ways I can’t even begin to explain.

My faith, which sustained me during that confusing time, has only multiplied and grown since then. I have learned much, I have shared, I have seen and heard and grown and changed. And I’ve only just begun.

I honestly believe this is only the beginning of my faith journey, I have miles and miles yet to go. But today, on this day when such an incredible sacrifice was made, I feel only grateful and blessed for the path I’ve traveled this past year.

That’s my good this week, just a thank you to God for the blessings in my life.

It is, indeed, a good Friday.

Head on over to Shelly’s to see what everyone else has to day today!
Also, sneak a peak back a the post before this one, if you will, and join us for Accountability April!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Accountability April - Week 1

Well…it is with much chagrin that I write this post, because even though Accountability April was all my “brilliant” idea (ahem…right), I am SLACKER extraordinaire!

My goal for April was to be more accountable to my goals. To get back to work on my NaNo Novel especially, but also to tackle some of the other “projects” on my to do list.

I come to you today to tell you that I, dear readers, have failed miserably this week. I haven’t even opened the computer file to the NaNo Novel, and of the other “projects” I’ve tackled exactly NONE.

Yep, that’s me, big fat slacker.

HOWEVER, I do not come to you disillusioned or a quitter. So, one week has passed and I’ve been unable to begin, I still have three weeks in April to get back on track. And so do you!

If you haven’t joined us yet, it’s not too late!
Read this, so you can have some background information on what Accountability April is all about, and then join Lisa and I in our quest for results!

Together we can do it, cheer each other on, and get stuff done!

A few of you commented last week that you’d be joining in, so, let me know in comments how you’re doing, and if you’re still in, (leave a link to this week’s post) and I’ll add links to this post as the day/week goes along.

And next week? Be ready, I’m coming back with results!!!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Only The Good Friday - It's always good.

It is Only The Good Friday again, and that means time to share good cheer and positivity.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have to pop on over to
Shelly’s and she’ll fill you in on all the details, but in a nutshell, it just means that some of us bloggers have gotten together and decided that on Fridays we only post “good” things.

So, what good things do I have to share with you today?

What I wanted to share were photos and stories from my cruise, but it’s been a bit of a hectic and crazy week, and I haven’t had time to get myself organized enough yet for all that…so it’ll have to wait.

What else could I talk about then?

I could tell you that I am grateful that for the first time this week I’m not freezing at work. After a week of a broken boiler, and wearing a winter coat and self-made hobo gloves (you know, those with the fingertips cut-off) while sitting at my desk, today I’m able to just exist in my regular work attire, no winter gear necessary.

THIS is a very good thing.

I could also tell you that I’m incredibly excited for Accountability April, to take hold of some of my “unfinished” projects (especially my NaNo Novel) and work diligently on them this month, and invite you to join us as we try to pick up those “pushed aside” projects this month.

Accountability is a very good thing!

And finally I could tell you to go read
Shelly’s post today, and then click on the links for the other participants, because let’s be honest, I’m still in Island Mode and can’t really create a coherent post today…but they? They always have some great positive stuff going on.

Happy Friday everyone, be good!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Accountability April - Who's With Me?

Okay folks, here it is, April 1st. I was going to be all clever and give you some big April Fool’s Joke, you know, tell you I was quitting blogging, or I had gotten married on my cruise, or some such silly thing, but…well…I’m just not that good of a liar, so I’ll spare you, and instead get serious about my big project for April.

My Twitter friend
Lisa and I had a discussion recently about the fact that our NaNo novels have pretty much laid untouched since November 30th or so. All this hard work put into reaching the 50k words, and then, as soon as the month ended, they were pushed aside like all of our other unfinished works in progress. One more to add to the list of started, but never completed manuscripts.

So, we decided that it was time to focus on those novels once again, and the month of April was to be the month in which we would do so.

And then we thought “There must be others out there in the same boat, others who’s NaNo novels are just sitting, waiting for encouragement to be picked up again”. And also, what about those New Year’s Resolutions? The promise to lose 10 lbs. The goal to hit the gym 3 times a week? The decision to quit smoking? The plan to declutter your house one room at a time? How many of those resolutions have been forgotten and pushed aside?

It is not too late to take them up, and THIS is the time my friends, April has just become the month in which you will be held accountable for those projects.

So, we invite you to join us for Accountability April, a month long challenge to get back to those projects we have let slide.

Lisa and I are both going to be working on our NaNo Novels. But you don’t have to be a writer to join us, any of those resolutions, or any other task you’ve been meaning to tackle will do.

Join us in being productive this month, won’t you?

Here’s what we’ll do. Every Wednesday I’ll post an Accountability April update. I’ll let you know how I’m doing on my novel, how many words I’ve written that week, or what kind of time I’ve spent on edits, and I’ll share other mini-projects I’m working on each week.

You will post on your own blog your very own Accountability April post, giving your readers an update on your own progress with whatever your project may be.

Then, stop on by and leave me (and/or
Lisa) a comment letting us know your post is up, with a link.

If you don’t have a blog, but would like to participate, just leave a comment with an update on how you are doing.

What do you think? Are you in? If you ‘d like to join us and think you can get a post up this week with your own project plan, go ahead and do so, and link back here to let us know. Even if you can’t get your post up this week, start working on your project, and post next Wednesday and stop by with your update then.

Also, we'll be pushing each other along, and encouraging, and keeping tabs, and checking in daily through Twitter, so you'll want to be sure to follow us, and let us know you're participating, so we can follow you in return. Here's me on Twitter: CandidK and Lisa.

Looking forward to getting accountable with you!