Suite 101

http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/730095

This is the link to my articles on Suite 101…. I am having a hard time trying to market myself.  I am shy by nature and so I always feel like when I am marketing myself I am being pushy.  I was taught that people do not respond to pushy.   I think it is great when others market themselves… I love seeing the new and interesting ways people do this.  Hopefully I leap this shy hurdle soon.

Advertisements

Muscled By Geese

Since I am having a hard time finding pictures online of items, animals, sports teams, musicians, etc., I decided to go out on this beautiful Sunday afternoon to take some pictures.

I didn’t have a huge amount of luck, as I did not travel far.  I get like that.  I don’t really want to be around people sometimes (of course looking like I just stepped off a street corner may have had something to do with that).

I did make myself walk into Starbucks and get a coffee.   I went to the one in Yardley, PA by the lake next to a church.  Both the Starbucks and the church are close to the road.  The lake is overrun with geese and ducks who have no problem approaching someone with a tasty treat.  I ate most of the banana nut bread I purchased.  I looked up to see a pair of eyeballs staring back at me.

About To Get Muscled For My Tasty Treat

Now, a rational person would just chuckle perhaps.  “Aww, look at the adorable geese!”

Not me.

I was bitten by a goose when I was a wee lass.  Now, I am nervous around geese.  And I mean, really.  They have those black hoods that hide their beady eyeballs.  Never trust something or someone you can’t look directly in the eye.

Needless to say, I ate about five morsels of my bread.  The nerves really started to go crazy as the geese approached closer.  There were ducks not too far behind.

I threw a piece of bread into the lake.   The geese careened on it like vultures on a carcass.  I stood and watched, sure I was safe for a moment.   The geese swallowed down the sopping bread.  They hissed at each other.  It was a battle of wills until the bread was gone.  A motorcycle roared by, snapping me back to reality.   Geese were staring me down, waiting for more.   My left arm threw small pieces of bread as far as it could muster.

I made a mental note to get back to the gym and high tailed it out of there.

Mireya Mayor: Female Indiana Jones

Her name is Mireya Mayor.  She is a PhD that people call “The Female Indiana Jones.”

She has drunk cow’s blood and eaten raw goat kidney.  Mayor, 37, grew up in Miami, a Cuban “girlie-girl.”  Now a worldly animal expert, she tells of her transformation in her new book, “Pink Boots and a Machete: My Journey From NFL Cheerleader to National Geographic Explorer.”

In an interview with CNN, Mayor talked about her adventures of bio-diverse animals and dangerous places.

The greater the biodiversity implies the greater the health of the ecosystem.

Her favorite expedition so far has been “Expedition Africa,” where she spent time with Western Lowland Gorillas in Congo and trekked across Tanzania.  “Expedition Africa” is a reality show based on Henry Morton Stanley‘s search for Dr. David Livingstone.

Tarantulas are common in Mayor’s travels.  Tarantulas aren’t big on people, so the best thing to do when near a tarantula is just be aware.  In South America, Mayor amused the locals by letting a tarantula crawl from her hand, up her arm to the top of her head.

Mayor survived a plane crash in the Congo, which changed her disposition on airplanes.  Now a nervous flier, she has trouble falling asleep on airplanes, but she doesn’t let it deter her from her passion.  Since surviving the plane crash, she told CNN, she hopes that she “beat the odds and will never experience another.”

CNN asked Mayor if she enjoyed traveling to domestic places or if she found them boring.

Mayor replied, “Oh, no.  I still like my comforts and I still think that traveling domestically can be a lot of fun.”

Not having been to any cold places yet, Mayor has Antarctica and Alaska in her sights.

Source: CNN.com, Wikipedia

Fear: A Silent Killer

There is a difference between fear and a phobia.  Fear is to be afraid of something.  Phobia is to be irrationally afraid of something.  That’s pretty simple, right?

The number one fear in America is the fear of spiders. Almost 50 percent of women and 10 percent of men have a fear of spiders.   I personally love spiders.  I am awed by them and rescue them from squashation before my co-workers have a shot.

Fear holds us back from so much.  Phobias hold us back as well, but they are irrational and so, only gross amounts of therapy can help us with that.  And most times that doesn’t even work.

Fear of the unknown kills us.   And in unknown, I don’t mean ghosts or extraterrestrials.  I mean the future.  I mean change.  Change affects the future.  We’re so busy trying to maintain the humdrum present; getting the same thing for breakfast everyday, driving the same way to our thankless job everyday and putting on the same after work clothes everyday.  We don’t even recognize that we’re afraid of change until…

One day someone says, “You want to go get sushi for lunch?”  And the mere thought of this is paralyzing.   Sushi?  But, I eat turkey on whole wheat with mustard every day. I hate mustard, but it’s fat-free. This thought is immediate and uncomfortable.

You say, “Thanks, but I brought my lunch.  You know, turkey.”  You feel like a dweeb as soon as the words start falling from your lips, but it’s too late.  You can’t take them back.

Most of us are so comfortable inside the box as we gaze upon the wonders of “what if” that we do not dare disturb the monotony of our world with sushi.

Have you ever talked to someone who incessantly complained about their life?  You offer ideas and feedback and all you get back is constant rebuttals of “why it simply will not work.”

I’m too old.  It’s too hard.  I don’t have enough money.  I’ll fail.  They’ll laugh at me.  Someone already thought of it. I can’t.

All of these statements say one thing.  I am afraid.

What are you afraid of?

Have you ever done something in spite of fear?  Maybe you stood up to your boss.  Maybe you told your spouse that your marriage wasn’t working out.  Maybe you, like me, decided to say “screw it” and submit one final article to a site that turned you down three previous times.   Doesn’t it feel good when you stand up to fear?  How many times have we said, “that wasn’t so bad.”

Fear kills our spirit.  It robs of us finding out whether or not we should truly be afraid in the first place. 

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”.   I never really understood what in Hades ol’ FDR meant by that until I decided to leave my husband of seven years.  And it hit me.  Fear should be the only thing I fear.  Fear held me back.  Fear kept  me isolated.  Fear does these same things to you.

Fear kills us for as long as we let it.


What Does Music Do For You?

I love music.  My grandmother frequently told me an interesting story about me as a baby.  When I was about three or six months old, I was lying in my cradle, crying.  She picked me up, she put me down, she fed me, she changed my diaper.  Still I fussed and cried.  At her wit’s end, she wound up a tiny Fisher Price music box and tossed it in the cradle.   To her amazement (and relief) I stopped crying.  Since I was just a wee lass, I can’t say that I remember this.   However, I know it to be true.

At my grandmother’s, there was an organ that once belonged to my mother.  I would sit at it every chance I got and play whatever songs were in the sheet music book.  I got bored with that easily.  To resolve my boredom, I began sitting under the organ and reaching up to play the songs without looking.

Music has always been my outlet.  I have tried my hand at a few instruments.  I played the flute in grade school but didn’t like it.  I switched to the violin, and played that for four years.  I gave up the violin.   I went into junior high school and none of the cool kids had instruments.

Eventually, I wound up lying in front of the clock radio in the back bedroom with pen and a notebook.  As I listened to the radio, I would write down the songs that came on.  I once did this for an entire weekend only getting up to eat or pee.  Hot hits played twice an hour, semi-hot hits played once every sixty to ninety minutes and the rest was up for grabs.  I must have had 30 pages of songs.  Yes, I was that dorky.

As I progressed into early adolescence, I found that I could release any emotion I was feeling by listening to music.   If I wanted to stay sad, I’d put on some Pink Floyd.  If I wanted to be happy, I’d pop in some 80’s pop or rock.

Since I had trouble speaking my mind as a young girl or showing emotion, I found that Def Leppard or Simple Minds could do a better job.  I would tape record songs and push rewind and play at least thirty times so I could write down the lyrics and eventually sing along.

Somewhere around the transition from junior high to high school, I discovered heavier rock and eventually heavy metal.   Little angels sang in my head the first time I heard Judas Priest singing “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.”  It turned out those little angels were the voice of metal god Rob Halford.

I am still hooked.  I went through a brief rap phase, I went through a briefer country phase but still there were some songs that I truly loved from both genres and I have them on my ipod.   I suppose they are my guilty pleasures.   Hell, I even tap my fingers sometime to muzak when I am on hold.  I know, I know… so sad.  But so true.

What does music do for you?

Do The Worst First…Save The Best For Last…

I’ve given this a lot of thought.  Never the go-getter type, I have gone through life  on a lackadaisical kind of cloud.  Sometimes that cloud is puffy and white, other times pink and fuzzy.. still other times dark and foreboding.

We all need different textured clouds in a rainbow of colors.

I finally decided I am going to do what I want for whatever it takes.  A loaded statement, I know.

Hear me out.

This does not mean I will tread blindly on others while hoisting myself to the top of the proverbial ladder.   Quite the opposite.  The more I give, the more I receive.  That’s sacrifice.

I could have blown off this blog entry and took a nap like I wanted to.  It is Sunday afternoon, after all.  I always take a nap on Sunday afternoon.  I most likely still will.   But I have to prioritize.

Something I have learned over the years.  Get the big stuff out of the way first.   Kind of like a reward system, if I get the big stuff out of the way, then the smaller tasks are almost like a treat.

I learned this when I was seven and my mother used to make brussels sprouts for dinner.  I hate brussels sprouts.   At first I used to eat all the yummy stuff and save the grossness for last.   I dreaded eating those bitter, green balls.   Even more, I dreaded sitting at the kitchen table for two hours wishing them into dematerialization while my mother glared at me.

I had an idea.  I would eat the disgusting brussels sprouts first… then I would eat the meat and save the best for last: mashed potatoes.  Dinner done and still time to go outside and play.. bonus!

Since then, I’ve really tried to follow that self-imposed law.  Unfun stuff first.  Fun stuff last.   Chores, then writing.  Food shopping, then relax.  Work, then play.  Dinner, then dessert…

It makes things much more meaningful.

Getting Through The Day

Today we have way too much to do.   We have our career, and some of us have a second job on top of the demands of the career.   Some of us have children while some of us do not.   We have our routine, from which we rarely deviate.   Some of us have gone back to school either to get a degree or to get a better one.  We do the laundry, shop for groceries on a budget, make the meals, help with homework, do our own homework, meet deadlines, write blogs, go to yoga class, do laundry… well, you get the idea.  We do too much.

Where is our “me time”?  Where is the payoff?  When are we going to say, “I am taking the day off” and actually take the day off. Not sort of take the day off.  Not “only work a little bit” ( we know this never goes the way we planned!).  When are we really going to learn time management and make it work to our advantage?

I have found that in order for me to get through my day I must block time.  No, I don’t mean squint your eyes really tight and pretend like time does not exist.  If there is anything I’ve learned (begrudgingly) is that no one, not even me, can control time.

But we can monopolize it to the fullest extent and get what we need from it.

Sunday is my only day off.  But it feels like I never sit down on Sunday.   I have a lot of chores to do, rewrites to write and new articles to post.  I have pets that need attention and I have to take care of myself.

So when I have to make a meal, do the laundry and go food shopping, I need creativity.  I throw the laundry in the washer.  While the clothes are washing, I make the shopping list and do some tidying up.   After the clothes go in the dryer, I go to the grocery store, stick to the list I wrote (important to stick to the list), get out of there and get home.  I usually have about ten to fifteen minutes left before the clothes are ready to come out of the dryer.  I use this time to put away my groceries and start on a crock pot meal that will cook for a good 4-6 hours leaving me time to fold the laundry, jot down some ideas for articles and maybe (if I am lucky) take a twenty-minute nap.

On top of everything in my week day, which is Monday through Saturday, I need to recharge.   Recharging gives me the energy I need to get through the day.  Recharging will give you energy too!

I recharge during my work week by making it a point to take twenty minutes for myself.  This means no cellphone, no kids, no work, no boss, no television.  It is walking in a park (I am fortunate to have one close to my office) and thinking of nothing.   I breathe deeply, look around inquisitively,  and leave my mind blank.  That is when the ideas come.  That is when I am able to truly be grateful for things I may otherwise take for granted.

After my walk, I am able to finish my day.  Satan could come up from the bowels of hell, an after my piercing scream I’d say, “I got this.”

Find your “me time”.. you’ll love how much more you can accomplish.