2013 in review

Sharing as a thank you to all of you! Have a happy and blessed 2014!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Courage to be…me

In 2009, I had this idea for a blog so that people could learn from my life experience before they stepped out their front door and got burned. I never wrote it. It may still be out there, somewhere, in cyberspace, ready and waiting for me to write it, but that will never happen.

Instead I moved to New York.

I packed up my car, my kid, and my husband and left in search of something.

Do you know that feeling when nothing that you are doing is who you are and you need to change your life dramatically to keep from being put into an asylum?

You don’t? You’re lucky.

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I used to have that feeling often. Instead of complaining one more time I left.

In search of me – thinking I would find her somewhere other than where I was located.

I had a lot of fun meandering up the Atlantic coast. I didn’t originally set out for New York, but that was where we ended up. We settled into life in Central New York in my brother’s third floor walkup.

Luckily, things worked out. We had a fun time (until we didn’t).

Though, I still didn’t find me.

Where was I? Surely I was supposed to go far from home, and I would find me hidden in the bushes. I would rise to greatness (or at least happiness).

I would sprout invisible wings and fly!

It didn’t happen, nothing happened…except a deep seated unhappiness from being the cause of disappointment…again.

By the end of September 2010, my husband and I had given up on each other. We were incompatible for a number of reasons and I have shared the tale within this blog. I won’t repeat the sadness, but I will say that I felt the tie sever. After 10 years in an alcoholic/codependent relationship it was about damned time!

It was at the end of February 2011 that I sat down and typed my first blog post. I was sitting in my son’s hospital room with my shiny new laptop and just started writing.

I had been reading blogs for many for years. I had been inspired by them to change my life so drastically and ultimately it was the blogs that brought me back home. The posts that spoke of home and family with such reverence that I couldn’t help but long for the familiar, even as familiar as our life had become in isolated dysfunction.

I wanted to see my family.

I wanted to be home again.

I wrote almost daily for the first few weeks of this blog. It was more of a diary than well written or thought provoking, eloquent posts on American life. I found a family of fellow bloggers that understood my struggles and would offer sage advice.

I lamented single motherhood with a 5 year old and a 6 month old, and people wrote to me that they understood! I found solace in a community of “stranger friends” when I wrote about the relationships in my life.

And then it happened.

I found me.

Somewhere between the words I found out that I was right here all along. I didn’t need to go about the world looking for me. I need to go inside and write it out.

I needed time alone with me.

Blogging is like this for some.

You spend all your time in your head getting the words to screen and you discover that everything you needed was inside you. It was there and if you had just been still enough, if you had just been quiet enough, you would have figured it out.

It was like a whisper in the breeze at first. Then the muse becomes more apparent and then you find your voice.

I found fulfillment in my words, writing through the pain and the struggles.

I discovered compassion for myself and others.

Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human. ~Henri Nouwen

Through blogging I found clarity.

Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.~Oscar Wilde

Over the course of the last two years I found the courage to just be me.

I think if I hadn’t started blogging it would have taken a lot longer to get here. By making who I am more public and accessible I have to hold myself accountable. I have left myself vulnerable to people who stumble across my blog. I’ve become unapologetic about the content, the dissension, the thought provoking meanderings, and the whimsical smatterings of my dreams.

I am so thankful to all of you who come back to read every post.

Late last week I stumbled upon a hashtag on Twitter for #TXBloggers, then I found hashtag #BlogElevated there are so many meanings to that – to blog elevated.

My mind goes on overdrive when I ponder the words. Blog Elevated, I don’t know what meaning they want us to infer but I find myself wanting to be more profound. More eloquent. I want to dive deeper into compassion. I want to leap into globe school. I want to wage war against ignorance.

I want to find more of my heart’s desire.

Blog Elevated is a conference. Our very own conference right here in HOUSTON! I couldn’t believe it. I am hoping to go. I hope that I can learn about taking Small Wonders & Other Thoughts to the next level. I hope that you all will go along for the ride. It promises to be fun and educational.

If you happen to be in the Houston area in the middle of September and want to go with me the link to register for Blog Elevated is here.

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(I hope you all can make it!)

“Stop the Glorification of Busy”

Ten minutes ago I told someone “I like to be busy.”

He said, “It certainly makes the day go quicker.”

Then I took the lunch I heated up, headed back to my desk, flipped on Facebook and was confronted with this image.

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Let’s let the words ruminate for a bit.

“Stop the glorification of busy.”

Stop

The

Glorification

Of

Busy

~Whoa~

Pardon me while I have a moment.

What does THAT MEAN!?!?

I’ve been complaining about the lack of tasks to do on a given day of the week, but does that mean I am glorifying busy?

I can’t say for sure, but I think so.

I get caught in this web of – I have to do this, then this, then this.

I like having a tight schedule and deadlines, so this role change at work has thrown a kink in my day.

For ten of the last twelve months I have been extraordinarily busy. I’ve juggled multiple stresses and handled everything from screaming vendors (yes, literally) to lack luster coworkers who really didn’t want to work, and I think I’ve done a pretty damn good job.

But – Am I glorifying busy?

It would seem that yes – yes I am.

Because I felt like I was an integral part in the chain of purchase to paid completion. I mattered. People could try but they couldn’t ever quite do what I could do.

(Yes, I was wrong for thinking that…but I did.)

My role changed about two months ago and the pace at which I worked feels like I came to a dead stop in a hurricane. Like I was on the dirty side and now I’m not. Now I am just watching the clouds from the dry side. Watching them dip and swirl and never having to get wet.

This isn’t a bad spot to be in, but I am no longer busy.

For a while now I have complained because it feels like it should be a bad thing. I have time on my hands when everyone else that I know seems to be extremely busy. I can walk through the floor and see members of the various departments typing away.

Enter this, delete that, pay this, wait on that, why hasn’t this client paid, why are these invoices being…you get the idea.

I am wrong again.

“Stop the glorification of busy.”

Having time on my hands isn’t a bad thing.

It leaves me time to think about how to improve the process so that the whole company can benefit. Having been in the trenches I know what it is like and I can provide workable solutions.

I think the whole corporate world needs to put a stop to Machiavellian power strategy that keeps the guys at the top, the guys at the top.

One of the books I’m reading right now is “The Prince.” Machiavelli’s homage to the great power struggles of his day.  But the philosophy is still so prevalent today.

But let’s not get into that right now.

Right now you should be thinking of your life (personal or professional) and figure out how you can stop glorifying the amount of stuff you do.

Slow down.

Don’t join every club.

Don’t agree to be the do it all soccer mom.

Learn to say no.

No is a powerful word when you are trying to change the busy habit.

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What is your relationship to passion?

A fellow blogger of mine recently gave me +K as a relationship blogger…which I guess I sort of am – I just didn’t think anyone else noticed.

Lately though I have been pondering our relationship to passion.

I am a passionate person.

I am passionate about EVERYTHING, but mainly I am passionate about our interpersonal relationships. How do we interact with each other? How do we get on? Why are we doing some of the things we are doing…these are questions I silently ask myself everyday.

People confound me. Which I guess is why I question human nature so much.

It is in continuing to watch and interact that my passion is sustained. I constantly ask people why they did something and wonder about their thought process to get from idea to fruition. Whether the end result was what they expected or not, and what could they have done differently to get their desired result.

I was recently discussing a dissertation with a work friend of mine and his passion for the topic is waning. It’s not that he doesn’t care about his chosen topic, but while he was waiting for department approval life happened.

That’s the problem with passion sometimes. Life happens and we adjust.

Our passions change.

What can we do about it?

I think we have to feed our passion. To keep something alive and real to us we have to continue to read, write, experience and discuss with like-minded individuals.

In months past I was involved in discussions on TED.com that I am extremely passionate about, but life has happened, and I am not equally passionate about doing a great job at my new job. (Which by all accounts I am. :)) It’s not that I don’t want to continue doing those things, but I would rather spend the few minutes I have every now and then sharing with you all.

Life happens.

I’ve started using Twitter as a tool to keep up on topics that I find interesting. For the first few years the service was available I scoffed at it and didn’t sign up. I thought it was mostly for idiots to follow celebrities on and I just didn’t care about that. But lately…Twitter has become my news source. My article reading source. My writers source. My muse.

Many ideas that I scribble about in the wee hours are from Twitter.

Today – think about this – what is your relationship to passion? How do you feed it? Are there things that you could be doing to get you excited again?

I bet the answer is right under your radar.

Image from Bing. If the owner/creator finds this image here – let me know I will link it.