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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I took advantage, last week, of a class sponsored by our HR department.  It was called Franklin Covey:  The Five Choices to Extraordinary Productivity.  It's a class based on the time management giant's new way of managing time. 

I LEARNed it's not about filling every time slot in your planner with something to do, someplace to go, or someone to meet.  It's less about calling that person at 2:47pm and more about LEARNing what it is they want or need, or determining if what they offer is something you want or need...

It's about LEARNing to make better choices.  And after all, isn't that what life is all about?

I use that phrase a lot, "making better choices."  I have a niece and nephew who are brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  So smart.  So capable.  And they have made so many (to me) obviously questionable choices in their young lives.  But I've also seen them LEARN from their mistakes/decision, and that's what it's all about, right?

There were 16 of us enrolled in the class, and we spent the day, from 9am to 4pm, in Corporate 2.  We ranged from assistants to editors, from sales coordinators to tech support managers, from directors to VPs.  It was empowering to spend the day with such a wide range of people - it's not just me struggling with the day to day maintenance on Salesforce.com.  It's not just me spending more of my day than I should in Quadrant 4...  I'm not the only one who has spent her career on Outlook but never learned to highlight incoming emails.  I'm not the only employee who feels she's not maximizing her productivity.

I had to do some digging to LEARN more about myself and about my work habits.  I LEARNed - well, I finally admitted out loud! - that I spend more time organizing and planning to organize than I do actually doing.  I admitted that at 53, I haven't yet LEARNed to be a good housewife, to keep an organized and spic-and-span home.  I LEARNed that I have to take more responsibility in our home; I LEARNed early that my husband will do it if I don't.  While this has made my life very easy, it's time to take charge again.  I need to be more productive at work (yes, I'm writing this blog post during work hours, but I'm going to let myself slide considering I'm writing about an HR class I took...).

I LEARNed that I really need to pay closer attention in class.  I am, for the most part, a good student.  I enjoy LEARNing and I understand that LEARNing requires active participation.  It's NOT a passive activity.  But I tend to get distracted very easily, and even in a class about being more productive, about managing my time more efficiently, about making better decisions, I still get distracted by others, and I even distract myself!  (Which, btw, is more common than I like to admit!)

I LEARNed that I take great notes, but not great enough!  There's a lot of detail in my notes, but I think with age, I've sort of assumed (wrongly!) that instead of my notes sparking my memory (the way they used to in school), I really have to actively pay more attention - there are things I wrote down that I can't tie to a memory.  I quite obviously intended the notes to be enough to help me remember more of what was presented, but I'm finding with age that I am not remembering as much as I did when I was younger.  Sure, I can remember anything important if I have to, but when it's a discretionary memory, something I don't have to remember, it's a 50/50 shot that I retain it.

Okay, 50/50 might be an exaggeration, but I'm seriously making an immediate commitment to try to LEARN better, to remember more, to pay closer attention...

The end.

Friday, April 25, 2014

30 Days of Lists 14

Today I Saw...
  • Beautiful stained glass windows at Mass for my mother-in-law (Happy Birthday, Mom! Miss you SO much!)
  • A delicious venti-sized Iced Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks - for FREE!
  • Sunlight
  • A pile'o'work to do
  • A pile'o'laundry to do
  • Two phones + 2 laptops, all up and running
  • Gas prices are on the way up again
  • I need to dust my hallway (I'm never home when the sun is coming in that window - all of a sudden I see the dust!)
  • Neighbor boys leaving for temple
  • The baby who lives across the street isn't a baby anymore!  He's over a year old! (It's been a long winter with none of us hanging around outside for several months...)
  • What day it is - our property taxes are due in less than a week!
  • Our seedlings are almost ready to be transplanted outside (but it's too cold!)
  • I have a large stack of books to be read - can't wait for summer and sunny afternoons reading on the dock
  • My to do list (and I almost fainted!)
  • Bills to pay
  • A horrible news story about a 16yo girl killed because she didn't want to go to prom with the person who killed her
I saw a lot more, but my day is over and we're going to the lake so I have to pack...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

30 Days of Lists 13

Things to Do This Spring

  1. Change out my winter clothes for my spring and summer clothes
  2. Get through some more of my 40 Bags/40 Days list, specifically our linen closets and my china cabinets
  3. Lose weight
  4. Continue going to the gym and actually doing something when I'm there, something that will give results
  5. Take care of my knees
  6. Pack light for my AZ trip, and my cruise
  7. Stay on top of Project Life
  8. Scrap some more layouts (outside PL)
  9. Be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, friend...
  10. Keep my planner up to date and really use it to plan
  11. Eat healthier
  12. Take a walk every day
  13. Cut back on snacks - a guilty winter habit!


Hmm, what have I LEARNed this week?

I've LEARNed that...
  • I get distracted very easily
  • I can get used to staying home from work very easily
  • I feel accomplished when I do something as simple as a load of laundry
  • I need to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend...
  • I want to spend more time improving me
  • any more improvement in my knee is up to me, that I've been discharged from any and all PT
  • I really don't like going to the gym
  • two men were stabbed just a mile or so from my house, by a homeless man who they knew had psychological problems - one mad died and one is being treated at St. Joseph's Hospital in Paterson
  • I'm getting more and more antsy to ask M about J
  • what you see in someone else's family isn't what it really is, and unless you're living it, it's really easy to make judgments
  • "the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (thanks, Dad, for instilling in me your love of Robbie Burns!)
  • I'm really excited about my June vacation to AZ and my July cruise/Orlando trip, and my Miami business trip in September, and my cruise to nowhere in November (IF this happens)
  • I miss my cousin Rick a lot - and I have to make a better effort to stay in touch
  • it's a lot easier to buy new clothes than take care of old ones, hence the obscene amount of winter/summer clothing I have to change out every other season

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

30 Days of Lists 12

DIYs I Want to Try

  1. Painted wooden stools - Done!
  2. Colored backdrop on bookshelves - Done!  Obviously I need to take some photos and update these links!
  3. Wall-papered or stenciled backdrop on bookshelves
  4. Blue ceiling
  5. Built in window-seats - They're not built-in but they fit in as if they are!
  6. Make curtains out of sheets - Done!  I'm using them to cover the open bookshelves.
  7. Make a terrarium
  8. Make a container succulent garden
  9. Sew a quilt
  10. Knit or crochet a blanket - practicing!
  11. Doodle an entire wall (like Alisa Burke's), or even part of one (see her movable walls here)
  12. Paint my own napkins like Katie Bower did here
That's only 12 of them, but I know there are more - I have an entire binder full of torn out magazine pages of projects I want to try, but it's sort of unrealistic to add "butler's pantry" to my DIY list since there's no room for one in my current home...  maybe when I move to my compound...



I've LEARNed that there are only 15 more weeks until our cruise! 

We booked it last night.  Now we have a day or two to decide if we want to add on a couple of extra days before the cruise for the parks...  Which we do...  But we have to figure out which parks, other than Universal/Harry Potter, we want to go and see.  Harry is a done deal.  Period.  End of statement.

We haven't been to FL since our engagement in 1998.  I know the parks are pretty much completely new now; they're constantly adding and upgrading and changing...   AND the tickets are, I'm sure, exorbitantly expensive...

I've also started to pay a bit closer attention to my pet peeves - don't ask why.  I've LEARNed I have a few.  Here's what REALLY stinking annoys me:
  • There's more salt in a salt packet than there is pepper in a pepper packet.  And I rarely use salt, only on my eggs-over-easy, but I do use pepper...
  • When I go through a tollbooth, I give THEM money.  THEY are the ones who should be saying "Thank you," but I do, and they DON'T say "You're welcome" in response.
  • When I call a wrong number, I say, "I'm so sorry."  When I'm at the receiving end of a wrong number call, they just hang up.  Grrr.
  • People invading my personal space.  I'm very affectionate.  I'll hug you when I see you, if I haven't seen you in a while.  I can stand next to you, even close to you.  But when we're merely acquaintances, do NOT stand overly close to me and lean on me, like I'm a lamppost or something.  I don't want a virtual stranger touching me!
  • I despise people acting as if they a) know more than me, b) have been in a worse situation than me, c) are richer than me, d) are better than me...  You know what?  You're NOT.  Even if you are, you're NOT.  The minute you start acting superior to me, you've proved you're not smarter, richer, better...  AND you get really annoying...  (Yes, I work 5 days with someone like this and she's really getting on my last nerve lately...)
I'm sure there are several more, but these have popped up recently and no, they are not the result of me getting older and crankier.  They have bugged me all my life - it's just that now, I feel the need to share...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


What did I LEARN this week?

I LEARNed that no matter how hard I try, I do not like working out in the gym.  I had my free one hour with a trainer.  I warned her up front that I wasn't going to sign up for training sessions, no way, no how.  I just wanted her to show me how to work the machines I haven't used yet, so I don't hurt myself if and when I decide to give them a try.

She insisted on a short, 15-20 minute work out, as part of my hour. 


SHE didn't LEARN that I know my own mind and that she can't in any way make me change it.  Well, actually, I guess she did LEARN it, to some degree, but she really doesn't believe in her heart of hearts that in two weeks, when she checks in with me again, I'll still not want to sign up for sessions...

I LEARNed in those very loooooooooooooong 15-20 minutes, that I can work out hard and not have a heart attack and pass out or die.  My God!  What she made me do!  I can't even believe I did it!  Sure, I admit that I felt proud of myself for having stuck to it, and not flipped her the bird and walked away, but did I enjoy it?

No, no, a thousand times, no.

I even cheated in PT yesterday and did fewer of one of my least favorite exercises and totally skipped two others.  I added two new ones into the rotation so I feel like it wasn't an entirely bad session, and it's the first time I did that in four months...  I just couldn't face them, I just couldn't.  I'll try to do at least one of them at home before next week's session, so hopefully that one will become a little less intimidating and painful...  The other two I can't modify at home, so I'll have to struggle through them at the gym on Monday...  I suppose I could try to do a couple when I go in to the gym, for non-PT time, but do I want to do that?  No, no, a thousand....  You get the picture...

This was probably not one of my best posts, but it's what's on my mind and I've LEARNed to just let that stuff out, once in a while...  even if it's not the most fascinating content on the face of the earth...

Tonight we're going to Eataly for dinner, me and a few coworkers from this office, and a few who were let go during the reorganization.  Looking forward to it, but I really wish it wasn't in NYC.  I really don't like the city...

30 Days of Lists 11

Books I'd Like to Read This Year

Some of them are older, some of them are newer, but they all made their way onto my iPhone "Book List"

The Longest Ride, Nicholas Sparks
Eat That Frog!  Brian Tracy
Linger, Maggie Stiefvater
Forever, Maggie Stiefvater
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan
The Last Dead Girl, Harry Dolan
Hope in a Jar, Beth Harbison
Oath of Office, Michael Palmer
Suzie Bitner Was Afraid of the Drain, Barbara R. Vance
The Shadow Patrol, Alex Berenson
Death Benefit, Robin Cook
Cell, Robin Cook
The Drop, Michael Connolly
Throne of Glass, Sarah H. Maas
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Matthew Dicks
The Light Between Oceans, ML Stedman
Every Day, David Levathin
Origin, Jessica Khoury
The Dog Who Lived, Teresa Rhyne
Monarch Beach, Anita Hughes
Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  Maria Semple
Crazy Salad, Nora Ephron
The Last Letter from Your Love, Jojo Moyes