You don’t have to be an actor to be an artist

Dear Readers,

Sometimes I am astounded at the simplicity of what will drive me to post.

Last week, my company did an internal contest for what we can do to help our customers better or develop something that will be a great return on an investment for the company. It’s a truly awesome way to collaborate with people who you would normally never EVER talk to and interact within the walls of the company, sure you might see them in the hallway and smile awkwardly and maybe even strike up a conversation (if you are me) and find out what they do and then when they give you their title you smile blandly and say, okay so what does that actually mean?

But back to HackAway, it was a great experience to get together with other teams and work on projects to help our customers and hopefully help the company. I obviously can’t share what we did but I can tell you that their was lots of artistry that came out of the project. That is what got me thinking, you don’t have to sing, dance, act or direct to be an artist. That is by no means a comprehensive list.

There is beauty in coding and the steps to get there. I also think that seeing the design in science is something I miss a lot of the time so I am happy this project helped me to remember it and caused me to examine the way I approach a challenge in a COMPLETELY different way.

Is there something comparable at your job that you do that might be worth a second look? Can you see some science in something beautiful? Can you see something beautiful in the science? You can make data dance, go for it!

Think About It…. happyfeet

Listening is underrated and an underperformed act

Dear Readers,

I had occasion to connect with a dear friend of mine on Sunday and it occurred to me how long it has been since we had time to talk. Scratch that, I talk to people all day long and they talk to me, but do we really LISTEN to each other? I am sad to say that no, that isn’t always the case.

I am diligently working on this skill and am so glad I am because in this chat, he said something I REALLY needed to HEAR. I won’t share what it was because it was important to me and will mean nothing to you. Later that night, I heard a similar thing when a friend opened up and was very upset and I didn’t have an answer which is hard but often true.

I honed that skill further when another friend in need said, I don’t want you to cheer me up (a tall order) I want you to listen, and I want to be in a dark place and be pissed at the world. I also will understand if you need to not be around me right now. Deep breath. Okay. First, you are family, I will always want to see you, and hear what you have to say.

Then in the same week, I needed to listen to myself when I was sick and needed to rest. I tend to be a workhorse, and not stopping for anything as unimportant as a little sickness, but you know what, this was not small, this was non unimportant. I needed to go home and rest. So I did. I do not regret it, your health is no small thing and I can tell you listening to your body is a great skill to develop.  I am posting this picture of a coffee cup a friend gave me which I cherish and I used during one of these conversations to take a thoughtful pause when I wanted oh so badly to talk…. but what my friends needed was a listener. I encourage you to take stock and consider, Do you listen or wait…………………………………for your turn to talk? friendsMartina

Think About It……

Think about it.

Conflict is inevitable, Drama is a choice.

Dear Readers,

I heard this on a podcast the other day and I can’t get it out of my head.

“Conflict is inevitable, Drama is a choice” – Chris BrownDramaChoice

In life, we WILL have conflict because we interact with people and they have their own agenda, feelings and thoughts about a given situation (just like we do!)

So many things inform this, different personality types, feelings and thoughts, background and childhood and personal life experience “They reacted this way last time so of course they will react that way this time”

Take me for example, I grew up in a household that when you spoke you were disregarded so I found the need to talk more and more and more and somehow I got it into my head that “quiet” or “no communication” means someone is angry. This is really unfortunate for me because I chose to marry a “processor”. My partner really likes to think about things and just because he is NOT talking does not mean he is mad at me. I have spent so many needless hours worried about it and actually asking him about it and having him reassure me, “no, nothing is wrong” so much so that I think I have actually CAUSED there to be an issue. Right there, I caused drama where there was none. Yes, there was conflict, but there was NO need for drama-

In some ways, that was part of my work life as well, until I took a long hard look at it and realized, Silence is just that, silence. It is not bad or wrong or the portent of something horrible. I have a pretty vivid imagination so I can take a very little amount of silence and transform it into something really ominous. In reality, I have to trust that people around me will own their feelings and not expect me to be a mind reader when they share the responsibility in the relationship to share how they feel if there is a problem. By the way, this post is not directed at anyone, I want to make that clear.

My personality is such that I am usually smiling and saying hi and am more apt to say hi or how are you doing?  As such, it is my tendency to talk a lot and that is my way, but its really important for me to honor and realize not everyone else is like me so they choose to communicate differently. It is not wrong because it is not my way, it is simply not my way.

Think about it…..

Failure is not the end of your story, its just a chapter in your book

Dear Readers,
I come to you today to talk about the journey, not the destination. I think its super easy to say, hey, I did it.. or we did it.. and bask in the glow of success never giving a though to the sacrifices and setbacks you experience among the way. For my purposes, I am going to tell you about a setback we are having right now in our journey to debt freedom.
We had projected by the end of November which is exciting and then Tuesday we found out that the car we are paying off (Murphys Law has a sense of humor) needs some repairs so the money we have been using to pay off the debt at an accelerated rate now gets to go to car repairs so its disappointing. In fact, I was trying really hard to not get excited about the debt free date at the end of November because I kept waiting for something to screw us up. Guess what, I was right. I HATE that I was right. Its certainly not the end of the world, but its worth mentioning because it is part of the journey. . (looking forward to that post when we ARE DEBT FREE) because its still coming, just slightly delayed.
In my career as an actress, I have failed many more times than I have succeeded.
I have auditioned many more times than I have “gotten the part”. As the speaker and writer Jon Acuff says, “Its about making reps”- or repetitions
Showing up to do the work, over and over, makes you READY for when they (the people casting) say YES. At the end of the day, when you get that goal, you don’t focus so much on what rejection has come before, you are so excited that you have won.
I also hurt my back in May and have not been able to keep training for the half marathon I wanted to do in January 2016, but I am focusing on the fact that I am now working my way back up to a 10K. Recently I slow jogged a 5K so 10K can’t be far behind. I am looking forward to the chapter (many months away) that I get to write about that success. Stay tuned, for more on that.
So put another way, if you fail, its not the end, its just a chapter in your book.
I love this quote from Michael Jordan who is undeniably a success story. MichaelJordan
Think about it…..

Can you be happy for 100 days?

Dear Readers!

Anyone paying a lick of attention knows that I try my best to keep a cheery disposition and some have even called me Sunshine- (a favourite amongst my plethora of monikers) so I figured this challenge to post something about being happy for 100 days would be pretty simple.


If you would like to join me- here is the site

One my favourite aspects of this challenge is this rule– which (if obeyed) will effectively cut out the “comparison war” we can fall prey to by taking in too much social media and not enough life.  “It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. ”

The person who told me about is herself, a very happy person, so I was intrigued and then after reading this, I was in..

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge.

“It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. ”

Too often we measure our happiness by someone else’s yardstick. I have said it before but it bears repeating—

“Foamy soap and rock star parking rock my socks and is enough to make my day”

How about you?

Think about it!