Posted in New Years Resolutions

What’s Wrong With the Old Me?

 

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Today is January 1, otherwise known as New Year’s Day, otherwise known as the BEGINNING OF A BRAND NEW YOU. Out with the old, in with the new! Let’s be healthier, richer, prettier, on time, more organized! Let’s buy new gym memberships and lots of veggies! Let’s get up early and cook breakfast, then run a couple of miles, then go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean, walk the dog, do a load of laundry, work on that new project, go to bed, and then do it all again tomorrow! And the day after! And the day after! And…you get the point.  We make so many new resolutions and set so many new goals all with the intent to become a better person, and hey, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve oneself, I’m all for it. In fact, I am always thinking of how I can improve myself which is why I have recently changed careers and am working on a second master’s degree. HOWEVER…do we really have to change ourselves? Do we need to stop doing the things we love (sleeping in, eating cookies) in order to “be better”??  So often in creating New Year’s Resolutions, we commit to taking away what makes us happy, what makes us who we are.

I believe we should ADD to who we are, not take away from who we are. If you want to make changes in your lifestyle, fine, by all means do it. Make healthier choices and exercise, but please do not set unreasonable goals.  Take baby steps – little changes add up! Don’t take on so much that it feels overwhelming, and you quit after a week or even a day. Take small positive steps that you can live with and that make you happy!! I propose that we DUMP NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS  and instead focus on the tiny things we can change. New years resolutions seem to suggest a BIG LIFE CHANGE. Which is great if that’s what you want, but do it incrementally!

When I left teaching, I thought I would automatically be able to step into my new career in some sort of mid-level position. I was just going to jump in and take control of my new life because in my mind, I declared it!! Then I figured out that life doesn’t operate on what I want just because I want it! Instead, I’m going in from the bottom up, and I am loving my job! While it’s not glamorous, I’m learning so much that will help me later as I do grow.

Here’s a site for some further ideas:  https://daringtolivefully.com/new-year-resolutions

While I haven’t had a chance to fully review it, I think it has some great ideas!

Cheers to a New Year while keeping the “old” you!!!

Nicole

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Mud & Mascara

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about what makes me, well, me. Is it a career, who I married, or what type of clothes I wear? Is it the way I style my hair? Is it my accomplishments, or lack of? Religion? Upbringing? Weight? Hair color?

My Fitbit determines my success by the number of steps I take in a day. I’m pretty sure if I had an accountant, he would determine success by my household income. My dogs determine my success as a mommy by the amount of time I spend cuddling with them and the amount of “people food” I slip them under the table.

Success is determined by so many factors, and everyone has a criterion for it. The bottom line is, you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the bunch, but there’s always going to be someone who hates peaches.

Still, even knowing this, I have so many thoughts over the course of a day. Many start out like this…”I wish…I was (smarter. prettier. thinner. more successful. had an amazing career. could take a longer vacation. was wittier)”…you get the drift. It’s not that I am not amazingly thankful for what I have, but why are we always left wanting more?

The ugly and the pretty. The mud and the mascara.

While others cannot and should not define you, I do think that it is important how they remember you. What kind of person are you? How do you treat people? What kind of first impression do you make…and second, third, and so on. Do you smile? Are you sincere? When you listen, do you really listen? I think the way we treat people goes a long way to defining who we are.

Humans aren’t meant to be alone; we are meant to interact with others. So much animosity exists in the world, I think it is important to do whatever tiny part we can to counteract that. Hold a door open for a stranger. Smile at someone. Leave your hairdresser a bigger tip than she was expecting. Invite a neighbor over, or take them a homemade apple pie (or a store bought one). There are so many things we can do to make the world a better place. So here, have a piece of pie.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Seven Things A Professional Woman Should Strive for (But Only If She Wants To)

  1. A professional woman should understand when it’s time to either try harder, or when it’s time to walk away. It might be a  toxic relationship, a job, or even that red lipstick you always knew never really suited your complexion. Whatever the case, intuition is usually dead on. For example, I recently left a career I worked pretty hard to obtain. I had a Master’s degree in my field of choice, and worked hard at it for five years…but it just didn’t click for me. I woke up every morning crying because I had to go to work. Thankfully, I was in a position where I could re-evaluate and take some time off. Now, I’m working on another degree in a completely new field, and working to re-establish my corporate identity.
  2. An outfit that will fit any occasion. Maybe you have a meeting with the boss’s boss, or maybe it’s a down day when you aren’t feeling well but still need to look on point. Maybe all of your other clothes are at the cleaner’s. Having an outfit (that you can wash, dry, and go) hanging in your closet is a must. I suggest putting this outfit in the back of your closet for any emergency situation.
  3. A way to organize that works for you. Maybe you can’t live without your Google calendar, or the notes app on your phone, your maybe you have a planner you write all of your important dates in. What it is really doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you. Personally, I like to SEE what I have coming up in advance, so I like to write all important dates on my wall calendar, or on a desk calendar. Usually both. I’m still working on being tech-savvy about these things.
  4. A great hair-dresser. There’s really no explanation for this. As I’ve mentioned before, I feel I work better when I feel pretty, and if my hair isn’t done, I’m simply not working at my maximum potential. Sad, but true.
  5. A confidant. It might be a best friend, a significant other, or your mom, but every woman needs someone to pour her heart out to it bad times and when things go exceptionally well. I bounce ideas off of my husband, and tell him my worries, my fears, but I also celebrate small victories thNF9BA4SRin the same way. He is my rock.
  6. Know yourself.  Know what you want…what are your goals? If you don’t know what they are, figure them out. How, you ask? Well, figure out what motivates you, and think about what you enjoy. Think about things like where you want to end up living, what kind of salary you can live with, and then map out how to make it happen.
  7. Have a plan to get there. Unfortunately, we aren’t given a life-map when we are born, or when we graduate high school and college, but we CAN create our own. Plan it, mark it, but most importantly, follow it! Understand that there will most likely be detours on the way, but don’t let them completely derail you from your goal. I’m not going to be so trite as to use the cliché that life is a journey…but…it kind of is. When we reach a milestone we celebrate, but we also keep moving forward. How boring would life be if we stayed in one place? And I mean that not simply in the physical sense, but mentally. We must continually challenge ourselves and live life to the fullest (even if your goal is a NY Times crossword puzzle).

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

What Southern Girls Are Really Like

thJSYK2AT1Obviously I can’t speak for all southern girls, but I’m pretty sure I can speak for most. We love Grandma’s cooking on a Sunday and cheering on the home team. We love football and tailgating, which, by the way, is a dress up occasion. Actually, everything is a dress up occasion. We love sundresses and kitten heels, and backless dresses paired with a pair of stilettos. We love tank tops with cut off denim shorts and flip flops with our hair pulled up in a ponytail. We love our cowboy boots and will wear them with anything. A southern girl always wear just a little mascara and at least a swipe of lip gloss, and can be sweet as sugar or hot as a firecracker depending on her mood (which, by the way, can change in a hot minute). We love camo and pearls, and won’t even hesitate to wear them together…along with our boots, of course.

Southern girls must have their sweet tea and love to sit on the front porch with their sweethearts. Their men are tough and will ALWAYS drive a truck. They give as good as they get in a relationship, and when they love, they love hard. They are loyal. Sure, they enjoy the finer things in life, but are just as content sitting outside looking at the moon and watching fireflies, or walking a trail in the middle of the woods, or taking a drive while admiring God’s creations, staring in awe at the rolling hills or the coastline, whichever way their mood takes them.

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Southern girls are pleasers. We work hard in school and in life, and persevere when things get tough because that’s what we watched our parents do, and that’s what we try to teach our own kids to do. When we fall down we might cry for a minute, but then it’s time to get back up and keep on truckin’. We are professionals, moms, wives, daughters, girlfriends, lovers. We come in all shapes and sizes. When we go to bed at night, we remove our carefully applied makeup, brush our teeth, and say our prayers. We are thankful that we were born and raised in the south, and look forward to another day of hard work, family, friends, and sweet southern life.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Husbands, Kids, and Drama

First of all, let me start by saying I have the best husband in the world. I have the best kids in the world…but I also have a lot of drama. My husband works from home (enough said, right?)…and my daughter just left for college on the other side of the state last week, hence, I have taken about a two week sabbatical from writing. Life has been crazy and hectic. We have made countless shopping trips trying to get everything daughter needed to take to school, got there, and guess what? We made yet ANOTHER shopping trip. It was a crazy, emotional time for me and if I am honest, it still is. I miss my baby. I miss seeing her sitting on the sofa in the mornings and asking for hash browns. I miss hearing her favorite tv shows playing in the background, and I miss her laugh. My husband tells me they all have to grow up and move on, but…I wasn’t ready for this. I thought I was, but I wasn’t.

Alas, the world goes on. I will continue to worry about her and will always be her mother. I’ll continue to do worry about her, and to make impromptu trips across the state (yes, I’ve already done that) which drives my husband mad. Already. And in the meantime, my daughter will be making new friends, learning new things, and becoming increasingly independent as she makes her way into adulthood, and I will continue to be one proud mama.

“It’s sad, my daughter going off to college. I know she is ready to go off into the world, but mothers worry.”

Posted in Success, Uncategorized

Success is not a Race

Why is it so hard for women to feel successful? We can look at other women and recognize their success, but when it comes to ourselves, why do we feel we always fall short? Hey, I’m only five feet tall, and I know what it is to feel short!!

So, I have a few theories on this. Women historically come from a place where the home was our haven. We cleaned house, we cooked for our men, we took care of our kids…wait…we still do all of these things! But now, we demand equality, and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m all for it. However, how do we balance home, life, career, and still have time for ourselves, let alone be a (gasp) successful woman?! So here goes…here are my theories:

1- Delegate. Delegate responsibilities, at home AND at work.
2- Organize. Organization is probably more important than delegation. We will discuss organization more another time.
3- Know when to say NO. If it’s out of your realm of responsibility, if it will not benefit you, if it will cut in to your time, just say no. You don’t always have to say it, but understand when it’s better to say no than to say yes.
4- Prioritize- Feeling overwhelmed can be, well, overwhelming.
5- Make a to do list.
6- Feel pretty. Ok…I know how this sounds. But, I find when I feel put together, my hair is done, and my makeup is on point, I feel more confident. Hence, I am more reactive to my state of mind!

There are many more ideas in order to improve our performance, both at home and at work, but these are definitely the biggies. Also, one more thing…believe in yourself. I lacked in this area for a long time, and still do sometimes. I find myself comparing me to other women…WTF?? I’m not another woman, I’ve led a completely different life than those I often compare myself to. I’ve raised kids, I’ve been a stay at home mom and devoted my life to being the best mom I could be. I put the career thing on hold until I felt the time was right, and now, I’m working on a SECOND Master’s degree!! So, my point is, success is not a race. Success is defined in many ways, and my take is, if you are happy and fulfilled, you are a success!