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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

Screen shot 2012-12-16 at · Dec 16 @ 4.39.32 PM

This weekend feels so strange… not really the weekend before Christmas but I am definitely feeling the pressure of heading into the week before Christmas. Because let’s be realistic; there will not be a lot of people working next Monday. It is basically an upcoming 4-day weekend with the celebration of Christmas. In fact, each time I look at the calendar, I think, “gosh it is almost Christmas!” It is coming so quickly!

Have you been feeling this, too?

Therefore, this was a weekend of preparation. That is how I spent my holiday celebration time of which I have been blogging for the past 2 weeks.

Day 14: Friday: Made plans for Christmas Eve. Wanted to be certain I had a plan. I will be staying in the city this year and not returning to Rochester to my family’s so for me it was important to have a plan. Which church service was I attending, what volunteer work would I be doing, where would I celebrate with friends before church? All the details got worked out. Plan in place.

Day 15: Saturday: A beautiful day in NYC. Warmish for this time of year and a day that I had set aside entirely for fun. No work. Just “me time”. That “me time” included the most relaxing walk through NOHO and SOHO- looking in store windows with all holiday items displayed in the window. So much creativity and happiness everywhere. Plus, the walk was with my best friend who I had not seen since before the Hurricane due to all kinds of obstacles so this was just a wonderful, leisurely holiday celebration.

Day 16: Sunday: Since I decided not to send all my hundreds of holiday cards this year, I wanted to make a mini-plan for holiday greetings and beyond. Sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, I wrote a mini-list of family members who deserved a holiday greeting from me- regardless of the fact that my work life is so uber-busy that I determined that I would not be sending out cards.  I decided that family members would be the exception.  I then made a list of friends and clients who I wanted to be certain to celebrate. That list will be tackled after the New Year with a deliberate sit-down in a coffee shop to write individual notes to each one. I would rather sent a heart-felt note to wish them a Happy New Year than a generic holiday greeting just to get it in under the wire of December 31. Hopefully, they will all feel the same!

Now, we head into the week before Christmas. Wow.

Be Merry and Bright!

Screen shot 2012-12-16 at · Dec 16 @ 4.39.00 PM

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coal in my stocking

Bad Blogger.

Probably getting coal in my stocking.

One full, exciting and life-changing week in my business equals ZERO blogging.

But believe me, I was still out there looking for those holiday moments. But even those were a stretch. Therefore, vowing to get back in the groove for this last 12 days of my 25. And I will catch you up now on the past week’s activities.

Maybe it will spark an idea in your brain regarding how to bring a little holiday cheer into your life:

Day 7: I was working all day so I played Christmas music on Spotify all day. Singing along. Laughing at some of the funny old songs and really loving the instrumentals. What is your favorite holiday album? One of my top choices is Jewel’s 1999: Joy- A Holiday Collection

Day 8: It was a Saturday so I headed to Bayridge Brooklyn to meet a friend for a movie and lunch. Met him on the corner with all the Christmas trees and wreaths because why WOULDN’T I stand in that amazing fragrance while I waited?  Then after lunch we walked around the neighborhood as it started to get dark and looked at the decorations and the lights. Fun day.

Day 9: Spent the day getting my “life” and home together in preparation for my first day on Wall Street with my new client. Conclusion. Those holiday cards are simply not going to send themselves. I have basically already missed Hanukkah’s window.  The cards are going back into storage. Feels a little disappointing but terribly sane.

Day 10: Monday. First day at the new client site on Wall Street. Ummm… can we say Hanukkah extravaganza with delicious looking jelly donuts and black/white cookies on a big table right near my office? I partook a little tiny bit…I mean, it is Hanukkah and I was the new girl so….

Day 11: Coming down with a cold. Headed to that new client’s holiday party anyway. Planning to stay through the entertainment and head out at dessert (like any good wedding escape plan- works here as well) and then, I got stuck on the subway for 45 minutes.  So that took care of that. Just went home.

Day 12: Received my first Holiday cards complete with beautiful family pictures from my dear friend Ellen (and a pic of my adorable Goddaughter Emily) and one of my longest-standing friends (not oldest- we are NOT old) from Brownies and her beautiful family from their new home in Texas. Joy.

Day 13: That was yesterday. Made plans for next week to not work compulsively and instead head to mid-town to see the Rockefeller Tree and some of the windows. If I don’t make the plan, it just won’t happen.

Okay- this “bad blogger” is back on track! Happy Holiday Cheer! 

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Screen shot 2012-12-06 at · Dec 6 @ 6.28.22 AM

In my quest to enjoy the holiday season one day at a time from December 1 through December 25 (and who knows- maybe this will continue straight through New Years Day), day 5 and 6 were all about planning. Planning forward.

  • The holiday cards came out and now scream at me from across the room
  • The decorations were found (they were secretly tucked away in this one-bedroom Manhattan apartment and required a “if you were a Christmas decoration where would you be hiding?” moment)
  • Since I have not joined a church since moving to Washington Heights, I needed to scope out options for Christmas Eve
  • RSVPed to several holiday get-togethers
  • Changed my Facebook cover photo to include the Rockefeller Plaza Tree and the gorgeous angels (my favorite)

So while I would have liked it better if I was VISITING the Rockefeller tree as my holiday activity to blog about, I will say that there are some wonderful plans in motion for the remainder of the month thanks to my planning.

What have you got planned?

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starbucks

 

This was a short, but super fun holiday moment for the blog.

Day 4 in my quest to find something celebratory about the holiday season brought the fun to me…

As I waited at the Starbucks bar for my Grande Americano (one of many for the day!), the holiday music was playing overhead. So I…. yup… started humming and then singing softly and then realized that I was not alone. The barista making my drink was singing. So we smiled and got a little louder at which point other customers and other baristas joined in and soon we were all singing “Winter Wonderland” together.

When it was over, we all cheered, giggled, hi-fived and went on drinking our coffee!

Love my neighborhood.

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This morning in my journal writing I got this clear “hit”. Time to celebrate the holidays in a new way. You see I love the holiday time- especially December and the lead into Christmas. So much sparkle and song! But during many holiday seasons past the days fly by and before I know it, it is New Years Day. Very disappointing. It is just not the same finally being in the mood to celebrate in January.

Therefore, I decided to do one “holiday activity” each day for the first 25 days of December and blog about it. Share about it. Celebrate it!

Today’s kick-off was the tree lighting in my neighborhood. Courtesy of the Washington Heights Business Development Council, Fort Washington Collegiate Church and many local businesses.

In August, I moved to Washington Heights and immediately fell in love with the diversity and energy of this magical part of NYC. My best friend calls it “secret NY”.  Today marks the beginning of the holiday season for me in this new neighborhood.  New traditions. New experiences.

The tree lighting ceremony was simple. Children running everywhere- meeting Santa, decorating cookies, singing songs- and then we all gathered around a crooked tree in the front of the churchyard and counted down to the lighting. I stood with some new friends and felt a part of everything. Cheers from the hundreds of neighbors as the tree glowed in colored lights and then we all sang carols.

My idea of a holiday kick-off.

2012-12-01 12.56.20Washington Heights tree lighting

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Coffee Location:  My sofa watching the NY Giants on SNF
Today’s Beverage of Choice: Coffee and chocolate protein shake

 

 

 

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Have I Been a Modern-Day Rip Van Winkle?

Have I been sleeping?
Sleeping though part of my life?

I feel like Rip Van Winkle. I loved that little story from my childhood.
My mother would tell me that when there was scary thunder that I did not need to worry because it was just Rip Van Winkle bowling.
However, recently I actually read the story again after all these years and learned that Rip is described in many of the versions by creator Washington Irving as a “henpecked husband who loathes ‘profitable labor’ “.

Now that is really taking the comparison of Rip and me a bit too far.  I am neither a henpecked husband nor a person who loathes profitable labor… but walking around constantly exhausted from living in indecision and not working or living as my very best self certainly makes life and business less profitable. So, looking a little like a modern-day Rip Van Winkle.

On Sunday, November 12 it changed. I woke up and came down that figurative mountain as Rip did in the story and basically declared,  “I CHOOSE ME!” Made the decision.Immediately slowed down the wondering, worrying and spinning!

  • I choose me.
  • I choose to see my life as it really is, not a warped version of how I wish it to be.
  • I choose to forge ahead as the best self I can be today.

This new decision has had an immediate impact on my business model, my relationships and my home. 

In future blog posts, I will talk about this in more detail (all a part of my 40 day vulnerability challenge).
However, for tonight I just wanted to pose these questions…

  • Where in your life are you “sleeping”?
  • Where are you looking at life in fantasy rather than reality?
  • Where are you acting like a modern-day Rip Van Winkle?

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I love the Muppets.

I am almost 46 years old and I love the Muppets.

They are my friends- at least that’s how it feels.

They make me happy and hopeful.

When I forget, they help me to see the world for what it is- magical, fun and filled with opportunities to love.

I have blogged many times about hero Jim Henson – ALWAYS the answer to any version of that question “if you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?”

Through his willingness to step out and be exactly who he is (at a time in the 60s and 70s when I cannot imagine it was a big popularity move to be a grown man creating puppets) has had a profound impact on my life. The risk, the creativity, the vision, the ability to reach people in the best way he knew how, and the gentleness of his entrepreneurial spirit shining through…. All make me cry with overwhelming joy. Each and every time I think about him. A perfect embodiment of that statement, “Attraction not promotion. I want what you have.”

And in my mind, an incredible example of vulnerability.

Thank you Jim.

Thank you for wanting to be on that new medium-television-so much so that you created puppets to be sure that your dream was realized.

Here is one of my favorite segments of a larger series called The World of Jim Henson to share with all of you. Some remarkable insights into how it all began.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful to you, Jim and the risk you took to share your crazy brain with us!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

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