Monday, February 27, 2017

When will the "right time" be?

If you are anything like me, you find yourself waiting around for the "right time" to start a new work out plan or to begin eating healthy or quit smoking or learn a new hobby.

It is the New Years Resolution dilemma - you spend the last quarter of a year preparing to start fresh in January.

This is a topic we discuss a lot at work - this idea of "one last" tryst or use or indulgence.

Why do we set up this special date in our heads where we will finally take the time to stop and put ourselves, our health and well being first? What prevents us from just jumping in with both feet and start making changes?

The answer I have come up with is a lot of things.

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change, FEAR.

Habit - we are creatures of habit, change forces us to think about what we are doing and be present in those activities that we normally do out of habit - this makes us uncomfortable.

Mind over matter - for so many things in our life, we are our own worst enemies and allow ourselves to believe we "can't" do it. Getting out of our own way is one of the hardest tasks I believe we learn as humans.

Lastly - you have to want whatever you are going to reach for! If you do not want the end goal, all of the change in between is going to feel like you are walking on glass. You have to be ready to make the changes in your life to push forward and reach for the life you want.

Ask yourself - what do you want and what are you willing to do to get there?

If you can start with what you want, you can then hopefully start to map out how to get there.

Having an abstract end goal in mind with no idea or plan of how you get there can lead you to feel like you are getting nowhere quickly.

Having even a loose plan of what you are going to do TODAY to get you one step closer to your end goal will go a long way!

I guess what I want to say is - there will never be a "right time" or a magical perfect moment to begin working towards the life you want.

Once you are ready for it, you will know.

What is something you have been waiting for the "right time" to start?


Monday, February 20, 2017

Getting Through The Winter Blues

As a follow up post to my Winter Blues, I figured I would include what I ended up doing that same day I wrote that post.

Despite knowing better, I tend to keep my feelings, emotions, thoughts to myself.

I do not share until it is pretty bad and so when I do, I usually end up recognizing that it would be better to act vs. wait for the "right time." 

So after writing that initial post, I talked to #babysisterbestfriend and by doing so realized I had to make a change or stay stuck in my funk.

We came up with a game plan in the car on the way to putz. We decided to push one another to stop eating crap (again), eat healthier overall and pick a workout plan.

We figured, what the hell? We were headed to a plaza that has a DSW and a Shoe Carnival in it, why not look for clearance or cheap sneaks for running?

Lo and behold - we both ended up with clearance running sneakers for $17 each! Tell me that was not meant to be?

So the 2 of us decided to get our asses back in gear.

We actually found a delicious salad from Sam's Club too, just throwing that out there.

It is their Sweet Kale Chopped Salad and we are all huge fans. The we being #babysisterbestfriend , the husband and myself. 

So all of that to say in the end that I am glad I wrote it out because it pushed me to come face to face with my reality. I was allowing myself to stay stuck and once I shared it, I was able to see past my own nose and come up with a plan. I had to ask for help, but that is okay. I will be better for it in the end.

What obstacles in your life do you need to get out of your own way to fix?


Monday, February 13, 2017

Winter Blues

I am not sure how this works for anyone else out there, but winter kicks my ass.

I unfortunately live in NYS and it is cold, snowy, gray, dark and shitty about 6 months out of the year weather wise.

I am not one of those people who enjoys skiing or snowboarding etc.

I enjoy the pool, beaches, sunshine and warmth.

So yeah, winters are hard for me.

Last year when I shared about my weight loss journey I had started, I thought I was on the fast road to success... Well I was wrong.

I forgot to factor in how I would get past my winter blues that I get every single damn year.

All the way through September I was doing good! I worked out anywhere from 3-6 days a week and was still seeing progress.

Then October hit and I just shut down. I then proceeded to stay shut down through November. For whatever reason December got me back up and going again. January hit and I was back to being a hermit and have stayed one since then.

I have gained back 5 of those pounds I was so excited to have lost. I started this whole thing at 165, got down to 150 and am back to 155.

I am not mad or giving up forever, but rather annoyed I didn't think about this. I know what makes it difficult for me in the winter time - the lack of sunlight. It is dark by 5:30 and I do not get out of work until 6:30pm. The last thing I want to do at 7pm at night is go down in to my cold, dark (non scary) basement to work out for 45 minutes to an hour.

To be honest I am not sure how to get past it for next year. I have given up on fixing it for now because I am just in the slump and there is no plan to try and remedy it now.

I know once March rolls around, I will get back that energy because that is what always happens.

It would be great to hear what other people do to stay out of the winter blue funk or how y'all stay motivated through the winter months. Perhaps with your help I could be better prepared for next year?

Hoping your winter is not nearly as blue as mine appears to be haha


Monday, November 14, 2016

Communication is Key

Recently I shared about my own struggle with communicating (FYI I am a talker, kind of a shitty listener) and I realized a post on how communication can be easier might be helpful to people.

How many of you struggle with communicating with people in your life?

I am not talking about opening your mouth and saying words - I am talking about true communication of your needs, wants, thoughts, opinions, fears, feelings and more.

I am talking about the type of communication that is difficult because either you or the other person ends up defensive, fighting, angry, hurt, words are used as weapons, etc.

There are many pieces to communication - the actual exchange of information, listening, using "I" statements, learning you are responsible for your own feelings not other people, learning nobody can make you react or do anything and more.

Listening - not just hearing what people are saying but actively listening to them. There is a statistic that says we actually remember 25-50% of what we hear. So that means anywhere between 50-75% of what is said to us theoretically goes in one ear and out the other. So when communicating on important things actively listening is a must.

"I" statements - this one is easy. When talking to another party keep things on the "I." I am frustrated because I feel that you don't care about my needs VS. You don't care about my needs! It is harder to argue with the first statement than the second one right? Someone can not tell you what you are feeling they can only tell you what the intended by their actions or words.

Your feelings - this one is a tough one for most people. Going in to an argument prepared to tell someone what they did to make you feel/act/do something ain't gonna cut it. "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." In other words you can only control one thing in this world and that is yourself. Nobody else is responsible for how you react or what you do besides you. There is always a choice. So stop telling other people they are responsible for you.

Like so many things - it is a process of growth and learning. We should never stop doing either.

So whether you could write the book on communication, suck at it or are somewhere in between - keep your mind open to what others can teach you.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Freelance Update

In case you are new around here I shared about my desire to do more a while ago.

Today I want to share an update on how it has been going since I decided to try my hand at it.

Week 1: I created my account and did my profile, stopped there until week 2.

Week 2: I bid on 4 jobs the first day - 24 hours later heard nothing from any of them.
Day 2 - I bid on another 8 jobs for 12 total - 24 hours later heard nothing from any of them.
Day 3 - I heard from 1 of the 12 jobs! They wanted to know my price for 30 articles/month. I don't know if I bid too high but I merely followed the .01-.02 per word quote. Another job declined my bid - I was grateful they informed me I wasn't chosen. I then bid on another 3 jobs for a total of 14.
Day 4 - I was offered 1 job and am currently being interviewed for 2 more, 1 of which is the job mentioned for Day 3. My first job was only for $5 but I figure it is a move in the right direction - or at least I hope so.
Day 5 - I did the article for my 1st job and am waiting on review and payment.
Day 6 - I bid on 2 more jobs for the same person - I now have 13 bids in, 2 in interview and 1 completed. Not too shabby for 2 weeks in.

Week 3: Well in true Meesh fashion I forgot to keep a running update! However, what I can say is there is progress!

Right now I have an ongoing contract writing 5 articles per week for a client and just completed week 5 with them! This means I hit a milestone with UpWork and their fee has halved. One job I did was just not for me, the client was super nice and easy to work with. Unfortunately, I for some reason was not 100% comfortable with his style he needed the articles written in and did not feel I could provide him with quality work so I canceled that contract. He was great about it and gave me a positive review for the work I did do for him.

I have been consistently bidding on 10 or so jobs a week until I run out of "connects" to bid with. I have written 2 articles for the same client and those were $5 ones. They were easy and allows me to put something on my portfolio.

This is going to be an ongoing, long term goal for me and so far it is paying off and I am happy to say that. I will share another post next week on what has worked for me so far, but today is just for an update.

So there ya have it, I tried something completely outside of my comfort zone and I have not failed. I finally did what I always wanted to do, rather than doing what I thought I should do. I still love my DIY, handmade stuff and recently even made a sign for a friend's wedding. However, I have accepted that will never be my retirement plan ha ha, it will always be a side hobby/job.

However this, this writing thing could one day lead to something and that excites me and makes me want to work for it so much more. Have any of you gone outside that comfort zone and tried something you were afraid to? How did it go?

I hope to have another update soon sharing my goals when I started this and how far I have gotten on them so far.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Shut the pie hole, open the ears

Communication - it is a word we all know and understand, but are we good at it? Personally I love to talk and share info. That might explain this blog and my venture into freelance writing. One small problem, while I love to hear myself talk, not everyone does. This is not a new problem, I have always struggled slightly to control my urge to just blurt things out. I get super excited to share what I know and forget sometimes that conversations are a 2-way road. 

While I know the ins and outs of being a good communicator I struggle to remember in the moment. While talking is obviously a huge part of this process, so is listening. I mean active listening - that thing you do when you actually HEAR what people are saying to you. The act of being engaged in the moment, not worrying about what to say next, not coming up with the perfect response and missing out on what is being said to you. 

Now we are at the root of MY problem. I am a great talker, kinda a shitty listener. Now this is slightly scary when you realize I am a counselor. Thank the Lord when I am at work it is an automatic to turn on my "listening ears" and shut up. However in real life I completely forget that mentality.

I am assuming by writing this that I am not alone in this. There are probably other people out there that struggle with balancing listening and talking. Once again, like so many things I share on here - it is about growth, learning and balance. Never stop believing you need to grow. There is always something to learn. Balance your need to be heard and validated with other people's need to share with you.

I am hoping by putting this down in words I will be reminded to sit back and relax and become a better communicator. I never want to be the person who nobody wants to get stuck talking to because they won't shut up. I want to be the person people enjoy conversing with. I will continue to embrace who I am because it makes me, but I won't pretend I am perfect and without room for growth and progress. 

So moral of today's story: More hearing, less talking. 

Are you a talker? Are you a listener? Are the balanced person I want to become? Whichever one you are - embrace you and continue to grow and learn.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Frustrated with no purpose

I feel that I have writer's block, but I also feel like I may not have the right to say that.

I am not sure if I am considered a writer or not but I do know I have continued to feel just out of reach of my possible potential.

I know rule #1 of writing is write about what you know.

Well when I think about it I know a little about a whole lot.

I know about family, cooking, crafting, DIYing, dreaming, wishing, being a counselor, criminal justice, chemical dependency, being a friend, a wife, a sister, a dog mom.

But not one of these am I an expert at.

There is a part of me that has yearned for more in the last few years which is ironically how this blog actually started.

I have ideas and plans and a desire for a very different kind of life (career wise) for myself but fail to deliver.

I have tried my hand at owning a handmade business and for a number of reasons it hasn't worked out - I haven't tried hard enough? I don't want it enough? It is not my actual calling? And so on and so forth.

However I have opted to try my hand at freelance writing - I have no idea if I have a right to do this or am just setting myself up for failure but you know what? I don't give a shit either way. I cannot imagine myself sitting at a desk doing what I do now in 20 years, for no reason other than I will stagnant and will not feel that I am doing anything worthwhile.

Therefore I want a backup plan so to speak. When I think about what I enjoy reading the most it is articles and posts that help me to recognize I am not alone and the things I think make me crazy or weird are not actually that unique after all.

In other words when other people experience the same chaos that I do. It is a good feeling to realize you are not alone. I look forward to this next step in my journey and hope that I have good news to report in a few months that I have at least managed to write something worthwhile haha.

So here is what I am asking of all of you - if you have any tips, pointers, hints, suggestions, corrections etc I would greatly appreciate them! Wish me luck friends.