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We’ve all heard of vision boards thanks to the movie The Secret. I always liked the idea of a vision board to help me get more visually focused on my goals but what I did not like was the blatant display of what I wanted in life. It made me feel a bit vulnerable. I didn’t want my family and guests in my home to give their opinions of my visions. I wanted my visions to be MY visions and was not interested in other people’s criticism or opinion of them.
What I used to do was make mini vision boards on construction paper. This worked well for me because I could tuck them away in a folder of my desk and look at them in private without the peanut gallery having a say in my “woowoo” stuff.
However, I have recently discovered something even BETTER and more FUN than my mini vision boards and they are called Vision Books! The vision book idea came from my friend Marilyn LoRusso who runs the Vision Book Art Workshops out of her home in Marin County, California. She leads us through creating vision books re-using old, hard cover novels, that we alter.
Here are two of my vision books:
Tucked inside those pages are my visions and dreams wrapped up in a pretty package. Marilyn’s workshops have been so successful she is now offering an online version of her workshops, it’s actually an 8 week vision book rainbow journey, as she calls it.
Oh and you don’t have to be “woowoo” to benefit from Marilyn’s workshops. Our local newspaper, the MarinIJ recently wrote a piece about the workshops. When I started taking the workshops I had no idea where I was going with my vision or what my vision even was. I just new I was ready for a change. A lot of wonderful things have changed in my life in the last year.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unhappy with your life, it is time to give yourself a break and take care of yourself. Creating a vision book is one way of doing this.
Click here for information about the Online Vision Book Rainbow Journey.
I believe February is a great time to set new resolutions! The gyms are less crowded. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over. Routines are starting to set in again.
Since I spent most of January sick with the flu, I pretty much didn’t start any of my resolutions or new year plans.
Let’s review, I wrote this blog post Time For A Change at the end of December with my BIG plans for 2013.
Here were my plans:
- No more commuting to San Francisco day in and day out √ Oh hey! I can check this one off the list! 2/1/13 is my last official day working in San Francisco.
- Finish my book (committed to writing for 30 minutes a day for the next 30 days) I haven’t exactly been writing 30 minutes a day for the last 30 days but I have been writing and I did complete 1 more interview! And I created a brand new blog dedicated to this book!
- Post more on this blog √ 3 new blog posts and 1 new blog – not bad!
- Join CrossFit √ I did join Crossfit! I made it to 1 Intro session and 1 whole beginner session and then got the flu… this is the one resolution I will definitely pick back up in February. From my little introduction to CrossFit, I already LOVE it!
- Make the rest of my life the best of my life! √ Yes! So far, despite the flu 2013 has been a great year!
I am happy I reviewed my plan. I actually did accomplish a lot! This gives me hope. Here’s to a fun February to you all!
What are your February resolutions?
*Check mark image from http://icons.mysitemyway.com
I have never been one to set resolutions in January because… well… we all know how that goes. BUT it just so happens that the end of this year 2012 (fortunately, not the end of the world) is the time when I decided it is TIME FOR A CHANGE!
Being that I am now 42 (and look nothing like the avatar you see on this blog which was a cartoon based on a photo taken of me 4+ years ago) I decided it was time for a BIG change.
Here is the plan:
- No more commuting to San Francisco day in and day out (will save the details of this for a later post)
- Finish my book (committed to writing for 30 minutes a day for the next 30 days)
- Post more on this blog
- Join Crossfit
- Make the rest of my life the best of my life!
Yep, I am going to join Crossfit. Let me give you a little background on what a BIG deal this is for me. First of all, I do not like exercising! I am “skinny fat” (term I learned from Jeena Cho). When it comes to exercise, I am lazy. Truthfully, I would much rather stay home and blog or watch an episode of Glee. However, my vanity and my desire to have more energy in my 40s is now overriding my laziness. Also, I’m at a point where I know I need to do something drastic, something big, because I know whenever I do something outside of my comfort zone or something that scares me, something better always happens.
Why Crossfit? Well the answer is simple: I want to look like Tamara Holland and my neighbor Kat and they both do Crossfit. I told you, vanity was one of my driving forces. Oh and there is a Crossfit gym just down the street from my house which goes along with number 1, no more commuting to San Francisco. So, by February I will be starting my Crossfit training. I am committed to trying it for 1 month and will see how it goes after that.
Are you wondering why I am telling you this? The reason is, if I put it in writing and send it out to the world to read I am much more likely to actually do it!
Do you have any big plans for change?
My new motto: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
I hope I don’t regret this post…
Have you ever noticed how much we like to complain? I have realized that being around complainers drains me and I don’t want to be a complainer drainer myself anymore. I’m not talking about people going through real crisis and stress, I’m talking about the rest of us: the general complainers who just blah, blah, blah about this and that. Actually, I am just talking about myself.
I’m starting my new 30 day challenge TODAY. No complaining for 30 days. I realize I picked a very challenging 30 days to do this… the days leading up to the election but what better time than now?!
Starting today every time I catch myself complaining I will do my best to stop and refocus my thoughts (and my mouth) on what I am grateful for.
Not complaining doesn’t mean living in denial. It means I’m going to focus on the truths that are more positive than the negative ones.
For instance, when I wake up in the morning I have choices on what to focus my thoughts on. I can wake up and think I hate getting up so early for my job or I can wake up and be grateful for my comfy bed and home. I can appreciate all the things I take for granted every morning like the electricity that powers my coffee maker (I really, really, really appreciate my coffee in the mornings), the hot water that comes out of my shower, the toilet that flushes, the fireplace in my living room, the bus that always arrives on time, my smart phone that works on the bus.
Have you ever thought about how much you complain?
Want to join me in 30 days of no complaining? I have a feeling this tiny shift could have a BIG impact on how we feel.
I will be using the hashtag #nocomplaints on Twitter.
Join me on Facebook for more discussions on this topic. #Like
More articles on no complaints:
For the last year, I have been on the hunt for vintage prints to decorate my San Francisco office. Turns out, this whole time the exact type of store I was looking for, was right under my nose, in the financial district. The more time I spend in San Francisco, the more I love it. There is a whole sub-culture of local, independent, women owned businesses co-existing in the fast paced, downtown, financial district area.
I recently happened upon the charming neighborhood of Jackson Square, located in the shadow of the Transamerica Pyramid where I discovered a tiny little store front with a sign reading Prints, Etc. This store just happens to be located in the second oldest commercial building in San Francisco.
I had no idea I was walking in to a piece of San Francisco history.
The small store was filled with vintage prints, historical photos of old San Francisco, concert posters, antique stock certificates, maps, curiosities, collectibles, beautiful frames, mirrors and so much more, hence the Etc… part of the name.
I was immediately greeted by a very friendly woman named Kathleen who took the time to show me around and teach me how the store worked. She even helped me find some cool prints for the office that my boss liked!
You know how sometimes you meet someone and you instantly click? That is how I felt about Kathleen. I felt like we had been best friends forever and I found her stories about the shop fascinating. So yesterday I spent my lunch break inside Prints, Etc chatting with Kathleen about the history of this adorable little store.
Prints, Etc has been here since 1957. Kathleen DiGrande and her sister Elizabeth Cologne are the 4th owners of Prints, Etc and have owned it for the last 6 years. The store has kept the same integrity since the beginning. Kathleen and Elizabeth have one employee, Adriane Brown who is an artist and is currently getting her Masters of Fine Art.
Elizabeth makes these unique and colorful pressed flower framed designs.
Adriane painted this beautiful painting that was hanging up high which explains the angle of the photo. Reminds me of the days working in my parent’s flower shop.
According to Kathleen, Prints, Etc has the largest selection of custom frames in the city, such as ‘closed corner’ frames made in the US, and ‘mitered’ corner frames. Many frame shops outsource their framing, not Prints, Etc! The 3 women do the framing themselves right here in the store and take special care of the art.
494 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Be sure to “LIKE” Print, Etc on Facebook!
While you are there click “LIKE” on Sally Around The Bay too!
I am in serious need of some quiet time. Despite my big plans to slow down in 2012, I feel like I have sped up. I need to follow Laura Fenemore’s advice and listen to what my body is saying. I’m sitting here at home, on this holiday weekend, with a sore throat. I am exhausted. I decided I am going to hibernate this weekend and recover. I’m also going to take some time to reflect on what is really important to me. I’m starting with clearing out the clutter in my life: emails, piles of paper and my closet.
I just deleted 735 emails from my in box. Some junk, some newsletters, some blog requests, others;
letters from kid’s schools and sports teams, personal friends and family, strangers who want something, friends wanting to hang out, responses to emails I sent, endless. So many not read.
Decided I needed a fresh start. Have been trying to get on top of my email account for months and it has been a slippery slope. Every time I opened my email I felt bad for not responding to each person, especially my friends and family. Problem is, each time I respond I get another email back almost instantly. Tried to keep up but couldn’t. Realized today, I was never going to catch up.
Feels good to start fresh. I wish people would be more conscious about the number of emails they send. I know I’ve been guilty of shooting off too many because I’m too lazy to pick up the phone. Sometimes a quick phone call could save 10 email exchanges.
What do you do when your email in box reaches the point of overwhelm?
I plan to spend more time enjoying the sunsets. Thankful to my friend Marilyn who has been getting Poncho and I out on more sunset walks.
Maybe I can’t teach an old dog new tricks but it seems an old dog can teach me some things, about life. I think I am going to take advice from my aging dog and slow down a bit this year. Poncho was a crazy puppy. He had a LOT of energy. Kind-hearted people always told us just wait until he is 2 and he will calm down. Well, he turned 2 and he did not calm down one bit. In fact he made it all the way to 10 without calming down much.
Now he is 11 making his way toward 12 and he is finally calm (most of the time).
Poncho used to go, go, go! Now he spends most of his time sleeping. He still likes to play, but not for too long. He still likes to go on walks, but tires sooner. He still enjoys seeing his doggie BFFs but hardly plays with them like he used to. His younger dog friends try taunting him but he usually chooses to lay down over playing tug-o-war, chase or wrestling.
He is losing his eyesight. His muscles are degenerating and I am watching the process of aging do its thing in the rapid way it does in dogs.
I get sad sometimes seeing him slow down knowing he may not be with us for much longer. But he is not sad. He is just living life, taking it as it comes and enjoying it as much as possible.
I wish I could be more like Poncho. I spent the last year in the go, go, go mode and to be honest it was not a very satisfying year.
Instead of go, go, go I am going to try to slow, slow, slow. Life is flying by fast enough. I see proof of this when I look in the mirror and see the wrinkles on my face. What is the hurry?
I am going to slow down, spend more quality time with my dog in the sunset of his life and maybe learn a little bit from him on how to worry less and appreciate more.
I am not sure how I am going to do this but slowing down is my intention for 2012.
2012 is the year I am going to simplify my life!
2011 was anything but simple. 2011 was probably the hardest year I have had since coming out of the closet.
Let’s just say 2011 was a bit of a poopy year.
***WARNING*** TMI coming up.
With extended “family” drama taken to a whole new level, a sewage flood that took out a large section of my house (there was literally human poop floating around my house), to the undiagnosed-but-most-likely-Ecoli-poisoning I had that made me poop blood, 2011 was a poopy year.
All this poop turned out to be very cleansing. The shit of the family literally came to the surface and we are slowly cleaning it up. The great poop flood of my home was a symbol of my life. My home is now beautifully remodeled. The food poisoning gave me a serious cleanse and took with it those extra 10 pounds I had been carrying around.
Now that the poop has been washed away I am ready for a clean, simple 2012.
To start with I am going to intentionally plan simplicity in to my life and focus on the things I love: my family, friends, my dog, hiking, cooking, reading, blogging, tweeting, etc.
I’m going to…
- downsize my social life. Taking an idea from Lissa Rankin, I’m making a list of special people in my life that I want to spend more time with. I am going to say no to events and invitations that I feel obligated to attend and only say yes to spending quality time with the special people in my life.
- eat out less and cook more healthy meals at home.
- spend more time reading books, less time on the internet.
- more time hiking with my dog.
- more time blogging.
- more time serving others. (going to start volunteering)
What are your plans for 2012?
On Thursday night a large group of women descended upon Mill Valley. There were so many beautiful women arriving, the town couldn’t contain itself and erupted in excitement.
“A Band of Wives is not about being married to men. It is a sisterhood of women who are supportive of other women and are looking to connect with likeminded women. We are helping women bring community back to their communities.”
As I was driving to the event the street literally was erupting in front of my eyes (and my car). I was a little nervous to drive by but ended up getting a great car wash (and photo) at no charge.
When I arrived to El Paseo I knew I was at the right place because I found the patio full of beautiful women.
I was happy to find familiar faces as soon as I walked in. My Tweeps were there! I said hello to my tweep friends, made my way to the bar, had a glass of complimentary bubbly, then did I little mingling. Ran in to the authors (Sue Warhaftig and Beverly Butler) of the book, Meant to Be that we are currently reading for the Twitter Book Club, chatted it up with them for a bit and then like a magnet was drawn back to the corner where my Tweeps were. Guess what they were doing? They were in a huddle looking down at their phones! I joined them. I SO wish I had a picture! However, I did get a picture of our toes. We were acting like a bunch of 7th grade girl wallflowers with the difference that we were having a blast tweeting it up while chatting with each other.
So… we aren’t that bad, we did actually talk to some non-tweeting wives. How could we not? They were all so friendly.
At one point during the evening Christine Bronstein, the founder, got up to speak and tell us about a sister wife who is going through a very difficult time. Here’s an excerpt* from the ABOW Facebook page with an example of how the wives actually do band together:
After the first El Paseo gathering I wrote “Oh what a night! There are simply no words to describe the high that comes with flittering, fluttering and floating amongst so many amazing wives who came from far and wide and mingled and laughed and ate and drank and were merry all around!”
This feeling, this merriment and excitement and support was still in full effect on this July night but tenfold as wives packed up the venue and enthusiastically reached out to each other in true ABOW spirit… but our gathering was also bittersweet as wives lived up to our ABOW name and indeed banded together for one of our own who needs help, wife Tika Hick.
Thank you Christine for the spur-of-the-moment fundraiser for Tika. If you don’t know the story, our wife Tika has been battling breast cancer with a new baby, is scheduled for a double mastectomy on July 20th and could really use our support in now tragically losing her husband (http://ow.ly/5G4Nn ). Please keep her in your prayers and if you want to help financially:
Attn: Matt Johnson
Bank of Marin
501 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Make payable to Hick/Potts Fund, Tika Hick or Bank of Marin and reference Tika
*Written by the fabulous Leila Radan who is the Director of Operations for A Band of Wives.
Here is another post about Tika from a fellow wife/Tweep @LisaKiftTherapy who posted Tika’s story on her blog.
After lots of love, tears, laughter, socializing and tasty appetizers (the little cups of Mac-n-Cheese were to die for!) the geeks, I mean Tweeps decided to go out to dinner at Piazza D’Angelos. The 4 of us (@pobutler, @alembic, @tamholland and me) plus one innocent woman we planned to convert (a non-tweeting friend) headed over to Piazza D’Angelos where we sat down at a lovely table and promptly pulled out our phones to check in via FourSquare. We were more interested in our phones than in what the waiter had to say. I think we annoyed him a bit. When we finally got around to looking at the menu we discovered Piazza D’Angelos now has a gluten free menu! However, it seems the waiter isn’t fully sold on this menu yet… when Dolores and I ordered the gluten free gnocchi his response was do you want that one or the REAL one. We wanted the gluten free one and got it! I imagine being a waiter in Marin must be trying on the patience with all the quirkiness in diets that Marinites come up with.
Our plan worked, my friend Dolores converted and is now tweeting! She just had to try it after sitting there with us for awhile watching us tweet and chat about tweets. She grasped the concept of how Twitter works faster than anyone I’ve ever taught! She’s a natural. Follow her here: @mizstarryeyed She and I put our phones down long enough to take this picture.
A special thank you to Leila Radan for being SO active on the social networking sites keeping me informed about the upcoming A Band of Wives events. To Christine Bronstein for creating this wonderful group. Tolan Florence for welcoming us into El Paseo. To my Tweeps for sitting in restaurants with me tweeting. And all the wonderful women who showed up!
I’m famous! Well not exactly… but I was mentioned in the Marin Magazine this month! Marin Magazine is our local magazine highlighting all things happening north of the Golden Gate Bridge (in Marin County).
Marin: have you read your February issue of Marin Magazine yet? Our TweetUps were mentioned in it! By the way, you are all invited to the TweetUp on 2/17 at Pacific Catch to celebrate the article (even if you’re not on Twitter stop by to say hi and meet all my Marin Twitter friends!) More info here: TweetUp
Here’s a photo of the article courtesy of Peggy Butler.
I’ve always been a advocate for goal setting. A few years ago, one of the goals I wrote down was to be in the Marin Magazine. It feels nice to cross this one off my list!