Saturday, April 28, 2012

Differences

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, Sara asked us to write about: We've all heard the old adage, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." How and in what areas do you feel men and women differ?We've all heard the old adage, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." How and in what areas do you feel men and women differ?

My first instinct when I read the topic for this week was to point out one difference that I see a lot between men and women which is that men are more apt to want to solve a problem immediately, rather than to listen to the emotions associated with said problem before actually solving it. Then I realized that it's probably an over generalization to say that.

It's difficult to make such a blanket statement. Especially since I know some women who will just go ahead and attack a problem without dealing with the emotions. I wish I had more to say about this topic, but I don't. So I encourage you to read what my fellow bloggers have to say about the topic:


Momarock (Sara)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Some Thoughts On Failure

This week for the Thursday Blog Project, I asked the group to write about the following: What would you do if you knew you wouldn't fail?

First I have to say when I asked the question I felt as though this had been covered before by the group. However, after much discussion, and research, we determined it hadn't. That said, I apologize if we are in fact repeating ourselves.

My inspiration for this week's topic was a blog post by author Wade Rouse titled, "The Go-to-Gay: Turning 'fear' into 'fierce."

This idea of not failing is not something new to me. I think about it all the time because I often feel as though I do in fact fail at everything I do. Now, the rational part of my brain clearly realizes this is not necessarily the case, but nonetheless since there are so many things in my life that I am currently struggling with, frequently feel like a BIG, FAT FAILURE! So, as you might imagine, right now the idea of not failing is quite appealing and attractive.

Over the past year, I've put myself at risk of failing more often than not. I'm not sure why I did this as it is a bit uncharacteristic of me, but apparently I felt the rewards of success outweighed the cost of failure. I think it is this mindset that keeps me going with the participating in races. Something inside of me is thoroughly convinced that over time I my completion time will improve, vastly. To say it's hard at times to believe that is an understatement.

I wish I had this same confidence in other parts of my life. Like my career aspirations. If there is one thing I have wanted to do for work since I was in college it's to write for a living. It is not a huge secret that since I was in college all I wanted to do was write Public Relations pieces ranging from Press Releases to Speeches. In recent years, I've enjoy my time blogging and wish there was some way I could get paid to do it full-time. And even more recently, I had this silly dream of writing a book. However, despite my dreams of getting paid to write, I continue to follow the same career path I've taken for many years for two simply reasons -- it's safe and what I know. To veer off course is.... SCARY!!!

What if I fail at pursuing writing as a career???

What makes my fear of failing at pursuing a writing career ironic is that over the past four years I've basically put myself in the eye of fear time and time and time again. I've jumped out of airplanes, and discovered a love for skydiving. I've taken the LSAT THREE times, and improved on each go around.

This coming week, I faced another fear of mine -- being in the spotlight (sorta). The blog that I've been doing social media for is officially introducing me as part of their team. Though it's not anymore "out there" than writing for them periodically, it's still a bit freaky to me. I don't usually put myself out in the spotlight. And if I do, it's in a very safe way.

When I look at what I've written, I don't know that I've really covered the topic. The above is just where my head is right now. I guess at the end of the day, I think the most important thing I need to remember when it comes to fear and failure (because I think the two are tightly connected) and overcoming the fear of failure is that I need to continuously push myself out of my comfort zone -- regardless of the fact that I don't know for sure how things will turnout. It's the simple fact that you need to participate in whatever it may be to find out if you're gonna succeed, or not.

Now that I've shared my thoughts on the topic of failure, please take a moment to read what my fellow bloggers have to say:

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Momarock (Sara)

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Measure of Success

The Question(compliments of Susanna):

Hypothetically, a credible authority from the universe reveals that the meaning of life is one big talent show. Success is measured not by $$, but the extent to which your contributions to society actually increase the quality of life for others. If the reward for winning was truly exquisite, how would this revelation change your game plan? How would you change your goals and objectives if you were being judged based on how you make the world a better place (increase the quality of life for others)?

The first thing I thought when I read this question was, "This would be an awesome world to live in!"

I, however, live my life serving the community around me through various volunteer work so such a world, such a concept, just further supports my beliefs about helping others in an effort to create a better society. My vast participation in volunteerism is nothing new. Aside from a gap in time after I moved back to the Chicagoland area, I have always been involved in some sort of volunteer work. Even my internship during college was at a non-profit Maternity Home/Adoption agency in their Public Information department. Actually it was this internship that made me realize that I was never going to make "big bucks" in my career should I actually be able to land at a non-profit like I really wanted too. However, that didn't bother me at all. Ultimately, helping others was far more important to me. Furthermore, those I call my friends and family also embody the same belief that helping others is important and contribute in their own ways.

I've never worked for a non-profit like I wanted to, so I volunteer my time instead in various capacities -- Marketing, Human Resources and participating in various activities such as delivering food for Pesach to individuals who can't afford it on their own otherwise. Sure, I could donate money, but personally sometime I believe my time is more valuable to the organizations, and I feel I can make a greater impact that way vs. writing a check.

It was during one of this random volunteer activities that I learned something disturbing. It started when I was commended for driving over an hour to help out. (Honestly, I didn't think anything of it. The activity was something I wanted to do and the cost of gas was negligible to me.) When I asked my friend who I was there with why it was such a big deal that I had traveled so far, it was explained to me that the kids that were helping were there only to get "community service points" and their parents were only there to show their kids the importance of volunteering. Or in other words, the kids wouldn't have been there if they didn't need these point and the adult wouldn't have been either if they hadn't wanted to be a good example for their kids. (Or at least that is what I got from it.)

All this made me wonder WHAT would it take to make volunteering and dedicating ones times towards bettering our society more appealing, and making. Maybe it would take restructuring our world into one that rewards you monetarily for increasing the quality of others to get there. With that in mind, I say that with a bit of sadness as I've personally found helping others through improve their quality of life much more rewarding than any monetary payment I've gotten for working. Sure, we need money to live and having more rather than less does make us more comfortable; however, I found that this is not entirely to be the key to overall happiness and success in life.

I'm not sure if I've answered Susanna's question. (This all just seems like a lot of rambling on my part about my volunteer experiences.) I just know that I believe the world would be a much better place if people would focus more on increasing the quality of life for others. Yes, it is important to think of ones self as well, but I think a majority of our society has adopted that idea to an extreme.

Now that you've read my thoughts on the Thursday Blog Project topic, please take a moment to read what my fellow group members have to say:

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Momarock (Sara)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Glass Half Empty Froggie (Extinct)

This week for the Thursday Blog Group topic, Melissa ask us to write about the following: There's an episode of "How I Met Your Mother" where they all go to the Museum of Natural History. There's one point where Lily finds herself talking to an exhibit called "College Marshall," who is now extinct, since he's married and working in the corporate world of NY. It got me thinking....what part of YOUR personality is now extinct?

Recently, I watch all the seasons of "How I Met Your Mother" and this particular story line was the one that stuck out the most for me. With all the changes I've gone through over the past year (or even four years for that matter) it's hard for me not to think about the parts of me that have changed significantly.

Of the things that sticks out to me, it's the change I've had in life in general. For a period of time I was very much a "glass half empty" kind of person. I complained a lot and really didn't see things in a positive way. I'd say in the beginning of this period of my life the individuals I was spending time with greatly influenced me. However, as time went on there were events in my life that added to this negativity. It just didn't seem like things would get better for me and as a result I continued to see that things would help make things change for the better.

My "glass half empty" mindset changed somewhere in the past year. I often attribute this change to applying to law school. It was something I had talked about for YEARS, but never took action on. After the initial application process was finished I began doing other things I had talked about doing for years -- like training to run a 5k.

Most recently, I added to this by specifically focusing on the positive things in my life. The most important of these positive things are the great people I have in my life. It always feels cliche when I say it, but I have truly lucky and blessed to have some great people in my life. I hope I never forget how truly funny, interesting and caring these individuals are. When you have people like this in your world it makes ALL the difference.

There is one more thing I've done to eliminate my "glass half empty" mindset, but I will talk more about that on my Wednesday post.

Before I end this entry, I want to say just because my mindset has changed, it doesn't mean that negativity doesn't sink into my mind periodically -- it does. I think when it does it's more out of frustration with things going on at that specific moment in time. What I have found with this is that the amount of time I stay negative is less than it use to be. I also remember that it is ok to have the feelings that cause the negativity -- no one can be happy ALL the time.

There are many parts of my personality that are extinct. As time passes, and things in my life change it's only normal. Right now, this is the part of my personality that I am most happy to say is no longer around.


Now that I've shared my thoughts on the part of my personality that is now extinct, please take a moment to see what my fellow bloggers have to say:


Merryland Girl (Melissa)

Momarock (Sara)

Mom of Many (Susanna)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordy Wednesday: The Little Aliens

Last summer was the first time I noticed them. I was walking to get my lunch when I saw one of them. I thought it was a one time deal until I saw another a few days later as I was heading in a totally different direction.

Since then it's become sort of a game to me. I try to spot the little "aliens" imprinted on crosswalks in the Loop area. It kind of reminds me of Sex and the City when Jack Berger would pick up playing cards.

I hadn't really noticed any this past Fall or Winter, however the other day I did.




They were within just a few corners away from one another.




I wonder how many more of these there are around the Loop. . . Or, for that matter, around the city.
















Not all of the "aliens" I've spotted have been yellow . . .


Some have been white....

I will say one thing about all this... Taking pictures while walking through a crosswalk is difficult sometimes. There have been times when there is no traffic so I can stand still and take the pictures; however, most of these pictures were taken during heavy traffic times so I had to learn how to get the shot and snap the picture fast -- without getting hit by a car.